* Posts by alannorthhants

190 posts • joined 23 Dec 2009

Page:

Palaeoboffins discover 500 MILLION year old ARMOURED WORM

alannorthhants

Re: I expected

Or a member of the shadow cabinet ....

Or a member of the Lib Dems ....

0
0

DEATH by VEGETABLES: Woman charged with killing boyf using carrots. And peas

alannorthhants
Happy

Any accident happend to my brother Jim,

When someone through a tomatoe at him.

Tomatoes are juicy and don't hurt the skin,

But this one was specially packed in a tin.

(with apologies to the late Spike Milligan)

13
0

Les unsporting gits! French spies BUGGED Concorde passengers

alannorthhants

What about the noise

While I never flew on a Concorde, I understand from those who did (and survived) that they were actually fairly noisy beasts on the inside, much the same as most passenger planes are today. While I am not going to pretend to understand eavesdropping technology, I believe that at the heart of it is a pretty standard microphone, and they can easily be swamped by the wideband noise in a passenger cabin.

I can believe that French intelligence agents tried to bug Concorde, whether they ever got anything useful for their efforts is something I find harder to come to grips with.

0
0

Finally! It's the year of Linux on the desktop TITSUP

alannorthhants

Re: Sad, but not unexpected

That's pretty much my story - Mandrake (as it was) was the first Linux distro I used for everyday work, and as such it helped me to unshackle myself from the chains of Windows (and also showed the wife that there are alternatives). Sadly when Mandrake an into problems and started to flirt with a paid-for subscription service (a bit like Caldera, aka SCO, had before they collapsed) I jumped ship, moved to OpenSUSE and have been a happy bunny ever since.

12
0

Pundits ponder perilous placement of STANDING STONES on Comet 67P

alannorthhants
Coat

It's a monolith!

(I'll just fetch my coat ...)

9
0

Facebook is VIOLATING your SEXUAL privacy, warn Belgian data cops

alannorthhants

It is kind of ironic ...

... that Ghostery reports that it is blocking Facebook Connect on El Reg articles (but not on the comments pages).

1
0

World of the strange: There will be NINE KINDS of Windows 10

alannorthhants

Re: "and they're losing faith.'

Our main PC dual-boots OpenSUSE and WIndows 7. I think Windows 7 was last booted sometime around last Christmas.

6
0

DEEPENING MYSTERY of BRIGHT LIGHTS on dwarf world Ceres

alannorthhants
Alien

Re: Pah.

Hmmm ... given that Star Wars was "a long time ago, in a place far, far away", could the Empire parked another Death Star in our back yard and then forgotten where they left it ("I sure I left it in this corner of the asteroid belt, Darth. Can't you blip the keys to flash it's lights."

Just think of the parking fines ....

1
0
alannorthhants

Re: Dawn will be orbiting Ceres for a very long time

As you said, the hydrazine thrusters and reaction wheels are purely for orientation; the ion engine would be used to change the orbit.

The loss of the reaction wheels, while a serious issue that requires careful mission management, is hardly a show-stopper. At worse mission control could put Dawn into a slow rotation that matches the orbital period around Ceres; this would minimize the amount of re-orientation that needs to be performed, and hence allow the hydrazine to last that bit longer.

This sort of slow rotation is commonly used on Earth orbiting three-axis stabilised satellites, and was first used on a deep space mission by Voyager 2, so its pretty much a standard manoeuvre.

2
0
alannorthhants

Re: Dawn will be orbiting Ceres for a very long time

The mapping orbit allows the spacecraft to photograph Ceres at lowish resolution, and in doing so allows the construction of a broad-brush map. By lowering the orbit scientists can start to look at interesting pictures identified from the map at a much higher resolution.

Oh yes, Dawn uses an ion engine; it has a low thrust but does not use much in the way of consumables. At the moment Dawn has plenty of fuel; don't forget this was all accounted for in the overall mission plan.

2
0

Pacific nation accidentally does good thing in web crackdown

alannorthhants
Coat

Re: Should we be depressed?

... nation's best financial future is to be a prison-camp for other nations ...

Pretty much sums up how Australia was started.

Could you pass me the one with the boomerang in the pocket ...

3
0

How Groucho Marx lost his voice and found his funny bone

alannorthhants

The beauty of Groucho's humour ...

For me, the real beauty of Groucho's humour was his ability to deliver pointed comments and and barbed jokes without ever having to resort to foul language. There is a lesson there that I wish some of the current batch of so-called stand-up comedians would learn from!

13
0

Fed-up Colorado man takes 9mm PISTOL to vexing Dell PC

alannorthhants

Right now, at this particular moment, I think I known exactly the way he was feeling. How satisfying it must have been to keep on pulling the trigger at a Dell machine ...

4
0

'We STRONGLY DISAGREE' that we done WRONG, says Google

alannorthhants

EU has already said that it will not "fix" the problem

If Google are fixing the search results (and I am not convinced that a solid case has been made to support this accusation) then they must be doing it by adjusting the search ranking algorithm. However Vestager has already said "It's very difficult to supervise the algorithm ... it is very important to find something that is guided by principle, which basically leaves the algorithm and the screen design to Google". This statement sounds a lot like "we cannot really sort out the problem, so we are just going to smack Google with a massive fine to help our budget, and then keep smacking them when they do not fix the problem in the way that we have not told them to do".

3
0

Adobe, Level 3 drive a stake through heart of vid-stream creature before it attacks again

alannorthhants

Re: The ultimate patent:

I think someone actually tried to get a patent in the US on the "business" process of getting a patent and using it to sue someone else. As far as I recall it was initially granted, but the Patent Office subsequently revoked it when the patent owner threatened to sue the Patent Office.

0
0

Europe could be drowned in 'worthless pop culture' thanks to EU copyright plans

alannorthhants
Trollface

"People speak different languages, the group reminded Kommissar Ansip"

That's the next thing the Euro Commision is going to address. Expect them to specify a standard Euro-language that everyone must speak with massive fines if you fail (and round-the-clock monitoring to make sure you keep to the rules).

Of course the language is going to have to be a mixed hybrid of every language spoken in Euro-land.

6
5

FAA speeds up drone flight approvals for firms that don't need them

alannorthhants

Re: Visual Line of Sight

Drone operation is either VLOS ("Visual Line of Sight") or BLOS ("Beyond Line of Sight"). Typically you need multiple communications systems to operate in BLOS mode (e.g. long-range UHF coupled with satellite communications). At the moment no aviation authority allows small-drone BLOS operation, although the CAA is working on the rules.

3
0

Assange™ lawyers demand Swedish prosecution files or no London interview

alannorthhants

It is important to note that the Swedish police cannot arrest anyone (Assange or not) in their embassy unless the ambassador gives them permission. However the ambassador can give the Swedish police permission to enter the embassy in order to ask Assange questions, although he cannot force Assange to answer them.

Of course if the ambassador is fed up with Assange and allows the Swedish police to arrest and remove him, the moment Assange steps out the door the UK plods are going to be all over him like a rash. At that point the Swedish police will just have to go to the end of the queue; the UK courts get first dibs on a small account of breah of bail conditions.

6
0

Cisco posts kit to empty houses to dodge NSA chop shops

alannorthhants

Of course the NSA has a simply counter to tis strategy - they get a few tame Congress-criters to pass a law making it illegal to knowing send something to a non-existent address, with *huge* penalties if the law is broken.

3
0

Microsoft RE-BORKS Windows 7 patch after reboot loop horror

alannorthhants

KB3033929 has certainly borked our system. The problem is that having reverted it off the system, MS Update insists on trying to reapply it even though I have set it manual update installation only. Obviously Uncle Bill still knows what's best for you!

2
0

Paul Allen hunts down sunken Japanese WWII super-battleship

alannorthhants

Re: Who trained the Japanese to torpedo bomb?

[But it's interesting to note that both the Italian and British fleet avoided at all cost a battleship battle in the Mediterranean]

I disagree; the RN had a serious attempt to engage a battleship-vs-battleship action at the Battle of Cape Matapan, but the Regia Marina legged it for home when their flag ship (Vittorio Veneto) was hammered by an air attack lauched from the Formidable. The RN got a consultation prize however when then managed to sneak three battlkeshipd up on an Italian force of three cruisers + 2 destroyers at night; the results were pretty predictable when the first warning the Italians had was the gun flashes at point-blank range!

It should be noted that the RN commander subsequently signalled the Regia Marina in the clear giving them the location of survivours and guaranteeing safe passage for a hospital ship.

1
0
alannorthhants

Re: Not so vulnerable...

[... if it took 20 bombs and 17 torpedoes to sink it. Just check what was needed to sink HMS Hood in a far shorter time.]

You really are comparing apples with pears in your statement. A few points to consider:

1. Hood was built nearly 30 years before the Musashi. Technology had moved on a lot in that time - no WW1-vintage battleship could ever realistically win in a straight-up fight with a WW2 (aka "modern") battleship.

2. Hood was a battlecruiser, not a battleship. Battlecruisers had heavy guns but thin armour, and were intended to fight and destroy cruisers, not battleships - the Battle of the Falklands in WW1 is a perfect example of how they should have been used. In the Battle of the Denmark Strait, Hood's real job was to smash the Prinz Eugene to scrap, not to take on the Bismark.

3. Hood had known flaws in her armour protection. She was scheduled for a rebuild to correct those problems in 1940 or so. Not surprisingly the rebuild was cancalled when WW2 kicked off.

4. Hood was at least sunk in a ship-to-ship fight, which is what she was designed to do. Musashi never fired her guns in anger; she was taken apart by a concentrated aircraft strike.

It is interesting to speculate what would have happened if the Musashi and Yamato ever came face-to-face with an equivalent US battleship force. I suspect that the USN might have found itself gravely overmatched - the 18" monster guns mounted on the Musashi/Yamato would have seriously out-ranged the American 16" guns, and even a single hit by one them would have probably caused major damage. Fortunately for the Americans, Pearl Harbour forced them to use a much more dangerous weapon - the aircraft carrier.

5
0

Amazon's delivery drones SHOT DOWN by new FAA rules

alannorthhants
Black Helicopters

This is not really a surprise

The technology that will allow these very small drones to fly BLOS (Beyond Line of Sight) is still being developed, and the rules are still in the process of being defined. Surprisingly the UK CAA is in the forefront here: they are currently trying to define rules for drone BLOS operation, and there is an expectation that (once they have completed the process) all of the other aviation authorities will simply adopt them with little more than minor regional amendments.

2
0

SWELLING moons of ice dwarf Pluto snapped by NASA spy-probe

alannorthhants

Re: Its a planet.

Titus-Bodes law? Good grief you are behind the times, that hypothesis was discounted a long while ago.

Moons? Some asteroids have moons, but no-one was suggested that thet are planets. Also some planets do not have moons (Venus & Mercury for starters) but no-one has suggested that they are not planets.

With the discovery of dozens of Kuiper-Belt Objects (KBOs), some of which are larger than Pluto, the astromical community decided that they had to get a proper definition of what is a "planet" - up to then there was no definition, just an informal agreement. Rightly or wrongly the definition they eventually came up with excludes Pluto, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

1
1

Let's be clear, everyone: DON'T BLOCK Wi-Fi, DUH – FCC official ruling

alannorthhants

It's still a type of jamming

It may not be as crude as simply swamping the area of white noise on the necessary frequencies, but it is still a form of jamming. I would suggest that the FCC has made the correct call on this one.

4
0

Canonical goes all Internet of Stuff with Ubuntu for DRONES

alannorthhants

Re: Rasbeen there done that...

Raspbian is not Ubuntu.

1
0
alannorthhants

I'd beg to differ

For a lot of embedded systems, 600 MB of RAM and 4 GB of storage is extremely high spec.

2
0
alannorthhants
FAIL

This is going to fail big time!

I am currently working on an advanced satellite communications system; the target platform has 1 GB of FLASH (has to store the kernel, root FS image, FPGA bitstream, DSP code and user configuration files) and 512 MB of memory. I was vaguely interested until I saw the minimum hardware spec, now I cannot (and will not) touch it no matter what it offers.

Not certain what Shuttleworth is thinking - MS proved that trying to push out an embedded BSP OS with huge hardware requirements just results in an equally huge market failure. I guess that that lesson needs to be learned once again.

4
0

Buggy? Angry? LET IT ALL OUT says Linus Torvalds

alannorthhants

Re: So he admits it

Microsoft screws up its kernel all of the time, and patches frequently result in yet more screw-ups. I guess however that Mr AC thinks that is acceptable since they are professional screw-ups.

11
0

Facebook privacy policy change leaves Dutch stomping feet

alannorthhants
Mushroom

Re: The zuck has blinked..

I went one step further - I have never, and will never, have a Facebook account and deliberately disable the Facebook app on my 'droid phone. If I ever find that they have any information on me, I will happily drop them in a whoel barrel-load of c**p - face(book) down.

13
1

European data law: UK.gov TRASHES 'unambiguous consent' plans

alannorthhants

WIN/Gallup International, survey of EU support in 13 European countries, results published on 21st or 22nd December 2014.

1
1
alannorthhants

In a poll just before Christmas, 51% indicated that they would vote to leave the EU.

12
4

Now Obama seeks China's help to halt alleged Nork HACK ATTACKS

alannorthhants

You are forgetting that the film directly struck at the over-inflated ego of the Nork's Great Leader.

3
1

Hold the front page: Spain's anti-Google lobbyists lobby for Google News return

alannorthhants
Mushroom

Re: Google will quit Europe

It will be dire. All of a sudden the EU (and all of its members of course) will have absolutely no way of extorting money from Google. One big fat revenue stream gone for ever.

11
0

Égalité, Fraternité - Oui, peut-etre. Liberté? NON, French speedcam Facebookers told

alannorthhants

Besides a French court cannot impose a driving ban on a UK license (or vice versa). The most they can do is fine you.

4
0

SCIENCE LAB TERROR: MYSTERY of the MISSING BRAINS

alannorthhants
Devil

Getting stuffed ...

... the 18th century utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham had his body stuffed...

I'd like to do that to most of the House of Commons.

7
0

Euro spacemen clear Ariane 6 for liftoff

alannorthhants

Re: How is Ariane 6 cheaper?

Astrium does not exist; it's was officially renamed as "Airbus" this year.

'nuff said.

0
0
alannorthhants

Re: Great stuff.

UK is a major member of ESA - goes a long way to paying my salery! However Arianespace is not a part of ESA - it is an independent company (albeit spun off after ESA developed the Ariane 3 and Ariane 4), however ESA still has a vested interest in Ariane launches and hence helps fund the development of each Ariane generation.

Arianespace launch control is located on Devil's Island. Darmstadt is the location of ESOC (European Space Operations Centre) that manages ESA satellites and deep-space missions.

4
0

Is EU right to expand 'right to be forgotten' to Google.com?

alannorthhants

Prehaps we need to understand the core problem

Some thoughts ...

The core problem we have here is that we are in the middle of a pretty fundamental shift in the nature of information and how it can be controlled. 30 or 40 years ago national or multi-national organisations could easily control what information is available to people under their jurisdiction; this was enabled by a simple process of censorship and banning unwanted publications. The process worked because the information distribution mechanisms were largely paper-based, and hence easy to identify, amend and block. There was no central index of all of the information available to people, hence it was not easy to determine whether someone had published something that (while true) you did not like; even if they had your ability to delete the offending item was pretty limited - how do you recall & pulp every copy of a newspaper when some of those copies may well be overseas?

In the 1980s however the Internet appeared and started to grow at an enormous pace. Information distribution rapidly adapted to this new media and the Internet started to take the form of a huge database of information. It rapidly became very difficult to find what you wanted unless you already knew were it was, so companies like Google came along and started to catalogue and index the contents of the Internet.

Roll on to today and people have suddenly realised that these indexes are a weak spot in the Internet's information database - remove any reference to something you don't like from the index and hay-presto no-one can find it unless they already know where it is. Censorship by the citizen, although whether this is good or bad thing is a something that I am in two minds about. More to the point is that national and international organisations now have the chance to share in this process and censor/cover-up any unfortunate facts that are in the public domain. Oh joy!

The one fly in the ointment is that companies like Google are multi-national. No national or international organisation has a jurisdiction that covers all of their operations. So what we are seeing now is an attempt by the EU to expand its legal authority to cover the entire world (much like the US keeps on trying to do). However doing so could run into a few show stoppers: for example what can the EU do if Google Inc. (in the US and the controller of google.com) refuses to play ball - any attempt by the EU to punish Google EU for this could run into all sorts of legal problems. Or what happens if the EU orders Google EU to remove something from all of its search engines across the world, by the US government tells Google Inc. tells it not to do any such thing.

This could get very interesting ...

5
1

Sacre vache! Netflix ne parle pas le Frenchy ... zat is against ze LAW

alannorthhants

Re: For once, I'm with the French...

Have you ever tried to read the T&Cs? Most of the time they might as well have been written in Navajo for all the sense that I can make out of them.

16
0

Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned

alannorthhants

Re: Tough choice...

Just to add to Assange's (self inflicted) woes, when he does step (or get thrown) out of the embassy, the first thing that will happen is that he is going to be hauled in front of some very unamused UK judges who will want a *very* good answer as to why he skipped bail. It is entirely likely that he could spend a month or two in a UK slammer before having his backside kicked over to Sweden.

21
1

Italian appeal court clears seismologists of manslaughter

alannorthhants

At last, a sane ruling from an Italian court.

The original convictions should never have be made in the first place. in fact the charges where obviously some chair-warming bureaucrat’s attempt at pre-emptive blame management. Earthquake prediction is not a precise science; in fact it is closer to guess work sometimes as any seismologist will tell you.

7
1

Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins

alannorthhants

Re: It's not just about Skype

The core problem is that the standards MS claim they are using are not designed for desktop systems, so the scope for things breaking (because you are trying to force it to do something it was not designed to do) has just gone *way* up.

0
2
alannorthhants

Re: sensible, usable alternative.

MS Outlook, using Zarafa and Postfix as the back-end.

0
0

Steelie Neelie orders Germany to sort out its mobe charges – or EU will go FULL LEGAL

alannorthhants

Re: 5th time warning or else

I think they noticed the warnings - for about 5 seconds before they were dropped in the bin.

The EU will not do anything about Germany breaking the rules regardless how many warnings they issue - after all Germany controls the EU!

1
1

Red Bull does NOT give you wings, $13.5m lawsuit says so

alannorthhants

Re: Applies where?

Having tasted the stuff, I suspect it is - pretty rusty ones as well.

13
0

SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn

alannorthhants

This announcement worries me

My company (I'm the IT Manager) use SLES as our primary server infrastructure due to it's high reliability (the last reboot occurred when we physically relocated the servers to a new site; since then we've had 100% up-time). I was concerned when Attachmate took over SUSE, but decided to wait and see. Now I am *really* worried - does Micro Focus actually have any commitment to Linux (AFAIK the answer to that is a responding No). Might be time to work up some contingency plans switching our infrastructure to Redhat/Centos.

2
0

spɹɐʍʞɔɐB writing is spammers' new mail filter avoidance trick

alannorthhants

Re: And of course...

Spammers are simply applying the Wizard's First Rule (as stated by Terry Goodkind):

"People will believe anything, either because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid that it is true"

Politicians use this all of the time!

7
0

Shareholders throw the book at Apple for ebook price-fix drama

alannorthhants
WTF?

The problem is investor expectations

In the US (and probably to a much lesser extent in the UK) investors have the view that they are totally entitles to make money with no risk; if they make an investment that fails big-time they automatically blame someone (anyone) else and reach for the lawyers instead of admitting to themselves that they screwed up. A much better solution in this case is to simply cut their losses and pull their money out; Apple will come to heal *much* faster when their share price starts to skydive.

5
0

TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P

alannorthhants
Coat

Re: 24th September - Night Excursion

There are bars there but they are not very good - they just have no atmosphere.

I'll just get my coat ...

19
0

Page:

Forums