* Posts by alannorthhants

372 posts • joined 23 Dec 2009

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Clone wars: Wrestler sues Microsoft over Gears of War character

alannorthhants
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WTF?

Excuse me while I try to understand this.

He provided photos and voice recordings of himself in 2005, presumably freely and not under any form of coercion. Now he is suing because they where actually used when making the game.

There seems to be an air-gap in the logic somewhere.

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Routes taken by UK prosecutors over supply of modified TV set-top boxes

alannorthhants
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Re: City of London Police = Rent-a-cop

The City of London Police are about as bent as they come

You can of course prove this statement, or are you just throwing accusations around in a hope that some mud might stick.

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Florida Man sues Verizon for $72m – for letting him commit identity theft

alannorthhants
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Joke

I thought Washington DC (I know it is not a state) had the biggest idiots - or at least it will on January 20th.

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Uh-oh. LG to use AI to push home appliances to 'another dimension'

alannorthhants
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Joke

AI in a home appliance

Of course, absolutely nothing could go wrong with this idea.

We have tested it, haven't we?

Haven't we?

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alannorthhants
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Joke

Of course it might be trying to tell you something!

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Trio charged with $4m insider trading by hacking merger lawyers

alannorthhants
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I first came across this in one of Fleming's Bond novels.

Goldfinger.

I always think of it as "Goldfinger's Rule"

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Energy firm points to hackers after Kiev power outage

alannorthhants
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Facepalm

Why is the substation connected to the internet?

You would have hoped that some basic thought on cybersecurity would have ensured that the power substation is not connected to the internet. If the power company actually needed remote access to the sub-station's equipment then it would have used dedicated network links, or (at the very least) an encrypted connection terminating in a firewall that rejects all other traffic (preferably supported by device-specific firewalls that only accept network connections from a white-listed set of network addresses).

Come on guys, this is not rocket science!

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Itchy-fingered OnePlus presses refresh, out pops value champ 3T

alannorthhants
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Re: 'The capacitive buttons ... make it vastly easier to operate the phone in the car'

Not quite correct, the law was changed a few years ago although very few people seem to to be aware of this.

If you make or accept a phone call in a car while driving, whether with a hands free system or not, you can be charged with a moving vehicle offence (normally driving without due attention, but sometimes careless or even dangerous driving). This is why the police will often relieve you of your phone if you have been involved in an incident; they want a forensic lab to check to see if it was being used at the time of the fender-bender.

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EU accuses Facebook of providing incorrect info on WhatsApp buy

alannorthhants
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... they may even be able to balance the books and submit real accounts and not something cooked up

Oh look up there, a flock of pigs migrating south.

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alannorthhants
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Re: technical possibility of automatically matching Facebook IDs with WhatsApp IDs existed in 2014.

Either the commission were incredibly inept or perhaps they were very clever.

The commission is not clever.

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Oracle finally targets Java non-payers – six years after plucking Sun

alannorthhants
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Re: Even slurp hasn't

... yet

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'Public Wi-Fi' gang fail in cunning plan to hide £10m cigarette tax fraud

alannorthhants
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Taxing the profits at 90% seems a bit low to me. 150% sounds about right.

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RIP John Glenn: First American in orbit – and later, the oldest, too

alannorthhants
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Yuri Gagarin, John Glenn ....

You have to admire these pioneers of the space industry. They allowed themselves to be strapped into rockets that were pretty much unknown technology, almost experimental, aware that there was a significant chance that when they went up, they might come down one piece at a time.

RIP John Glenn and all your comrades - you did something that ultimately may have helped all of humanity.

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Say bye-bye to net neutrality next year, gloats FCC commish Pai

alannorthhants
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Black Helicopters

Re: " "give him a chance" to change to "Give him the F***ing Boot" "

I assume your bags are packed and you are just waiting for the knock on the door by the guys wearing dark suites and sunglasses.

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Russia accuses hostile foreign powers of plot to undermine its banks

alannorthhants
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Facepalm

Hoisted on their own petard

As the old saying goes, if you live by the sword, expect to die on the sword.

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Android-rooting Gooligan malware infects 1 million devices

alannorthhants
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Re: Social Attacks

What's amazing is that 13000 people per day are falling for this kind of phishing scam

There is an old saying - there is one born every minute. And they all seem to want to prove it!

Seriously however, a lot of these problems would go away if people just spent a minute thinking, instead of indulging in knee-jerk reactions.

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Icelandic Pirate Party's coalition talks run aground

alannorthhants
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Devil

Re: steady as she goes

If TB is a political saint then his halo is distinctly tarnished.

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alannorthhants
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Re: steady as she goes

No electoral system is ever going to satisfy everyone. First-past-the-post and PR (in all of its incarnations) both have serious flaws; the real question is can the electorate tolerate those flaws (assuming of course that they are given any option).

Anyone who comes up with a perfect electoral system that keeps everyone happy will probably be an immediate candidate for political sainthood.

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alannorthhants
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Re: steady as she goes

Of course the main problem with PR (which tends to be brushed under the carpet by its supporters) is its tendancy to result in hung parliments that result in much dirty dealing being done in smokey backrooms, in which everyone scrabbles around trying to get what they want while happily stabbing all other parties in the back. And of course coliation goverments put toether by this and subsequently held together by spit and stick-tape tend to fall apart the moment one member of the coalition feels slighted and decides to through its toys out the pram.

First-past-the-post has its faults, in fact quite a few of them, but at least it has tended to produce goverments that can actually govern.

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San Francisco's sinking luxury Millennium Tower: Tilt spotted FROM SPACE

alannorthhants
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Re: Welcome to the club

But, and I think this is an important point, the Dutch do not have to worry about magnitude 7+ quakes hitting them. Just remember that SF is right where the San Andreas fault can clobber it - in fact that is exactly what happened to the city a little over a century ago. Also (before someone decides to mention it) the SA fault does not run through the city - it actually takes the scenic route through the bay. Major SA quake on the SA fault = tsunami right up the San Joaquin valley. Not fun!

Saying that, I remember hearing that LA was once described as "a city waiting to die".

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alannorthhants
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Unhappy

At least for once the victims are also rich tossers

Which means that they can afford court cases that will drag on for years. As usual only the lawyers will come out of this better off.

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alannorthhants
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Re: Timber!

Actually you have a point there. If SF gets hit by a major quake, the ground under the tower might suffer liquefaction since it is only landfill and not bedrock. At that point the concrete slab that the tower is built on will sink. If they are lucky it will sink straight down, but the odds are that one part of the slab will tilt which means the whole tower will start to lean over. At that point being somewhere else would be a very advisable strategy.

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Space crap: Flap, zap or strap? $30k from NASA for your pooper scooper

alannorthhants
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Re: 60 minutes??

Getting into a modern space suit is a lot more complicated than putting a coat on. Modern suits work on a lowered atmospheric pressure (with enhanced oxygen levels to make sure that the O2 partial pressure is maintained), so an astronaut has to pre-breath oxygen for a while to flush out the nitrogen that is disolved in his/her bloodstream. Failing to do this correctly is asking for a sift dose of the "bends"; ask any deep-sea diver how much fun that is.

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alannorthhants
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Joke

Re: Simple solution

disposing of six days worth of shit is going to be a challenge

Well you could use 6 days worth of Trump speeches to experiment on!

Excuse me, gotta rush ......

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Comcast is the honey badger of ISPs – injects pop-ups into browsers, doesn't give a fsck

alannorthhants
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Copyright violation?

By injecting code into the HTML, Comcast is effectively changing the contents that a web server is sending to the browser. Do they have permission from the copyright holder to do that? I'm betting they don't, which means that Comcast are probably infringing someone's copyright.

Sorry, is that a queue of lawyers I see?

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Microsoft's nerd goggles will run on a toaster

alannorthhants
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Re: Well,

Actually if I remember rightly the minimum spec for W95 was 1 MB of memory.

<diety> help you if you ran on a minimum spec machine however.

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LinkedIn officially KickedOut of Russia

alannorthhants
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Joke

Much more likely is that the Merkin office forgot that the rest of the world exists.

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VMware joins Brexploitation gang, double digit price hike in the offing

alannorthhants
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Price changes and currancy shifts

Strange isn't it - the $ drops against the dollar and the prices go up, the £ strengthens against the dollar and the prices .... still go up (or at least they don't come back down again).

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PoisonTap fools your PC into thinking the whole internet lives in an rPi

alannorthhants
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Joke

Re: Revelation 22:13

Your also only IPv4. Try again with IPv6.

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alannorthhants
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Re: This is exactly how things are designed to work

Linux itself (or any other Unix) still isn't, rather it is the desktop cruft too often layered on top that gets caught out

I can't speak about Windows in any of its forms, but regarding Linux you are wrong, wrong and wrong. IP addressing and routing is handled inside of the kernel, the desktop software does not know anything about it unless it explicitly queries it. Certainly IP packets generated by the desktop (or any other service running on a Linux system) are automatically routed by the kernel to the appropriate network interface; what we are seeing here is an example of how it is possible to manipulate the internal routing tables in order to gain unauthorised access to the network packets.

I agree with other comments however; this is the way that DHCP is designed to work, and any sysadmin worth his salt will know how to eliminate the risk to his key network devices (hint: static IP addresses and high-priority routing table entries).

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Commish urges UK.gov to mean it when it talks about transparency

alannorthhants
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Selective deafness

This government is just the same as all governments - it suffers an extreme and selective deafness that only effects what it does not want to hear. Hence the SCC's report is going to be circular-filed.

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UK privacy watchdog sends poison pen letter to Zuckerberg et al

alannorthhants
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Re: Delete your account

You need to check FB's T&Cs. Deleting an account does not delete the data. FB claims the right to keep your data (and sell it) until the heat death of the universe.

The best approach is the one I adopted - I never had a FB account in the first place.

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Angry user demands three site visits to fix email address typos

alannorthhants
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Re: Not just the users though

Had a similar problem at work. My company's bank started to complain that they could not send e-mails to us. After much back-and-forth of e-mails we finally worked out that their IT bunch had decided to configure their e-mails so that they would only send using TLS, which we had not configured our e-mail system for (my bad, I could not be bothered to do it). Of course the banks IT crowd did not announce this, and when we started asking questions along the lines of "have you changed anything, and if so what" they refused to talk to us.

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alannorthhants
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Re: Obviously...

Not all of them are bad ...

My wife is a primary school teacher and she is completely at home with Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 10 (thank <deity> she missed Windows 8) and even Linux! More to the point she understands mail bounce messages, so if she does mistype an e-mail address she knows what to do!

Funny thing is that at one of her previous schools a member of staff looked after the IT systems. He would regularly borrow my (then 16 year old) son to help him sort out issues, including upgrading all of the laptops to the latest from Redmond. He trusted my son to sort things out more than he trusted any other member of staff!

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Fleeing Aussie burglar shot in arse with bow and arrow

alannorthhants
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Target or Broadhead

Keep in mind that in the vast majority of countries bow hunting (i.e. the use of broadhead arrows on wild life) is strictly regulated (i.e. you can only shoot certain game) or is completely illegal. Try shooting an arrow at anything alive in the UK and you will find yourself in front of an unamused judge asking very difficult questions.

Funny enough you can own broadhead arrows and even shoot them at targets. You can also shoot at 3-D targets on field ranges. You just cannot shoot at anything living.

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alannorthhants
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Coat

Recurve or Compound?

Other reports I've seen state that a compound bow was used; this is pretty important since a compound bow will shoot a much heavier arrow much faster than a recurve (modern compounds are rated at up to 100+ m/s with a carbon/aluminium arrow) that could easy punch a hole clean through a body. An arrow shot from a recurve bow is unlikely to go through a body unless you only hit soft tissue. I am assuming target arrows in each case; broadheads (if they are legal in Oz) would probably inflict terminal damage from either type of bow.

Actually a compound bow seemsmore likely for another reason. Recurve bows are typically stored unstrung and deconstructed (i.e. the limbs are detached from the riser) while compound bows are kept strung all the time (you cannot unstring them without a specalised jig designed to take the strain off of the string). I tested things this morning when I first heard about this - it took me 30 seconds to get my compound bow (yes I am an archer) out of its transport case and ready to shoot with an arrow nocked (no stablisers on it, and no release aid but it was shootable from the fingers). The same thing for my recurve bow took about 4 minutes.

Mine is the one with the release aid in the pocket.

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Hell Desk's 800 number was perfect for horrible heavy-breathing harassment calls

alannorthhants
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Re: Tom Mabe

I have a copy of that on my PC. Absolutely hysterical, had me in tears that first time I heard it.

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alannorthhants
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Re: German sub parts

Possibly because BP is a museum.

GCHQ or MI5 - that would have got a response!

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Leaks password, check. Leaks Wi-Fi password, check. Can be spoofed, check. Ding! We have an Internet of S**t winner

alannorthhants
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Re: Let me get this straight

Could someone please explain the rationale behind that decision ?

Most likely is that someone specified it as a part of protocol and it was implemented on the camera's firmware correctly, however they were running short of money and/or time when developing the server software and some PHB decide that they should drop the authentication algorithms - too expensive to develop and "they do anything useful anyway".

Seen it before. Sadly.

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America has one month to stop the FBI getting its global license to hack

alannorthhants
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Joke

As I recall, the founding father's original intention is that the winner of the presidential election becomes President, the loser becomes Vice President.

I'd love to see that brought back for this election!

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alannorthhants
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Mushroom

Re: US LAW

You are forgetting one little detail - the US insists on being able to extradite people to its courts, but refuses to allow extraditions of US citizens when they need to face the music. Also the FBI does not care a damn about the law, whether in the US or outside of it. The Hoover mentality to law enforcement was never really expunged.

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And so we enter day seven of King's College London major IT outage

alannorthhants
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Pint

Re: Many years ago...

Ahh yes, punched cards. Never had to worry about them myself; my year was the first that used CRTs for all our work. However I do remember being in the computer centre once and seeing a 2nd year break down and cry when she dropped her course work and ended up with punched cards scattered across half the room.

Those were the days <sigh>

Beer logo, because I was a student then!

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alannorthhants
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Many years ago...

... When I was at university, I heard that Warwick Uni had a Harris H1000 supermini that was used by undergraduates. However someone found that there was a serious bug in the OS JCL interpreter, basically if you entered the command "SREG $A=$B+$C+$D" (I.e. add three variables together and store the result in a fourth variable) the OS crashed and needed a hard reboot.

Apparently it was amazing how often this happened just before coursework had to be handed in!

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Reports: Twitter chainsaw massacre redux on the cards

alannorthhants
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Joke

Re: Well.....

Twitter is finally being realised for what it is. A toxic, pointless place.

For a moment I thought you were talking about Facebook

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Smoking hole found on Mars where Schiaparelli lander, er, 'landed'

alannorthhants
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To be fair, about 50% of Mars missions (by all nations) have failed on one way or another. I will grant however that ESA are not improving that average.

Apparently there seemed to be a lot of out-gassing while Schiaparelli was in transit to Mars. I have to wonder if they had a leak in the fuel system, and hence most of the fuel required to slow the probe down is now in orbit between here and there.

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alannorthhants
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Joke

Re: It's WAR!

Its not dead, its just pining for the fjords

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IBM throws ISP under a bus for Australia's #Censusfail

alannorthhants
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Re: It was Entrapment!

That is the kind of thing you expect a large, competent vendor to do, right?

IBM: large - yes, competent - questionable in my experience. Like so many large companies (including Oracle, Microsoft, Cisco ...) they seem to think that they are too big to fail, or event be blamed for a failure.

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Juno probe has tech trouble, cancels orbital re-adjustment

alannorthhants
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Re: "...so it could concentrate..."

I should add that a good example of an overloaded control system due to a failure to switch off non-critical systems occurred during the descent of the Lunar Module for the Apollo 11 mission.

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alannorthhants
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Re: "...so it could concentrate..."

Granted and noted. I was mostly giving a general reason for doing this, not something that is Juno-specific. In fact Juno is pretty much an exceptional case in itself since no-one has tried to send a mission to the outer planets before that has been powered by anything other than RTGs. Not certain how often a Juno-like design is likely to be reused unless solar array efficiency improves significantly (although the shortage of Pu for the RTGs is an ongoing issue).

However saying that it could have been possible to build Juno with solar array fittings that allowed it to keep them aligned with the Sun; my understanding is that that was the original intention, but it got dropped to save mass (and budget) and was replaced by more fixed mounts.

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alannorthhants
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Re: "...so it could concentrate..."

Engineering explanation coming up, read at your own risk ....

The main control computers used on Juno (and in fact on a lot of space missions) are pretty slow when compared to, for example, your smartphone. They are often based on processor technology that is 15+ years out-of-date; this is basically due to the very long lead-times associated with the development of a deep space mission, coupled with their use of rad-hardened designs that have been proven on previous missions (one thing that deep-space mission designers do not like to do, and that is use the latest gee-whizz technology on their core systems.

So when Juno fires up its main engine, all of sudden the main control systems have to start monitoring a whole bunch of sensors to make sure that everything is going according to plan. For example the system will be monitoring the star trackers to make sure that Juno is not moving off the expected thrust axis - if it does then the AOCS will be commanded to get the spacecraft back on track. Similarly the fuel tanks, fuel lines and the engines themselves will be carefully monitored to make sure that everything stays nominal. This all has to be done very frequently since any thing going wrong will become serious (possibly mission-fatal) really fast!

In order to ensure that the control systems do not overload, it is standard practice in such a situation to shut down anything that is not essential, including all of the science instruments. This ensures that the control system is not having to handle non-critical data streams, and hence minimises the risk associated with the main engine burn.

A further reason for shutting the science instruments down is that they are pretty much useless when the main engine is running - the vibration induced in Juno's superstructure will ruin just about any attempt to gain useful science with anything apart from the magnetometers, and those will be useful due to the engine exhaust planning havoc with the local magnetic field.

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