* Posts by Chemist

2462 posts • joined 24 Mar 2010

MoD confirms award of giant frikkin' laser cannon contract

Chemist
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Re: Frikkin lasers

"or will it just burn through the glass and reflective coating"

For sea use the target will probably be salt encrusted anyway.

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Sony wins case over pre-installed Windows software

Chemist
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Re: "without pre-installed software" @Charles 9

"It turned out that someone had disabled ALL the networking devices in the BIOS setup when trying to disable UEFI/enable legacy and get rid of secureboot"

So NO new OS could be loaded - scarcely a Linux problem then.

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Chemist
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Re: OS Refund

" latest atheros chipset which is in practically all the latest generation of laptops."

Apart from all the new ones with Intel chipsets.

As I mentioned before £7 USB dongles the size of a fingernail are available for Pis and work fine in all the Linux laptops I've tried assuming you are unlucky enough to have problems with the built-in adaptor

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Chemist
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Re: OS Refund

"and it is actually quite difficult to but a laptop now that is compatible with linux."

Nonsense ! - my ( as usual ) anonymous friend

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Chemist
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Re: "without pre-installed software"

"Broadcom WiFi"...."require proprietary firmware that's only supported in Windows"

Ah, ah.

I must tell my wife - she's using a Lenovo laptop running OpenSUSE 13.2 with Broadcom WiFi. It obviously shouldn't be working !!

(I've had 7-8 laptops over the last ~15-20 years and Linux has installed on all of them. Most of the recent ones have had Ralink, Realtek or Intel WiFi . Indeed 2 of the very cheap USB WiFi dongles for some Pis plug into the laptops and work without any issues.

My Huawei mobile dongle also works without any issues.

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Star Trek's Enterprise turns 50 and still no sign of a warp drive. Sigh

Chemist
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Re: It is all wishful thinking

"but if we have some scientists who think it can't be completely ruled out yet then it can't hurt to try."

Whilst I agree in principle in practice there are an awful lot of possibilities - without some framework to prioritize where the effort goes it remains up to those keen on the idea to show some evidence ( real or even theoretical) to support what, in most cases, is speculative.

Unfortunately there is a a view that "anything is possible " - no, sorry it's not. Just because human imagination can visualize something doesn't mean the physics of this universe allow for it. ( Ask Scottie if you don't believe me ).

( Nothing, BTW, would give me more pleasure than for there to be a way to travel far & fast but .....

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Chemist
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Re: "The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy had hyperspace..."

"So I suppose we can deduce that Chesterfield Sofa's are the vehicle of choice for really long journeys"

Certainly more comfortable than A Perfectly Normal Beast !

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Chemist
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Re: EM Drive is an impossible idea

"It was impossible that stomach ulcers in humans were caused by a virus ? Hello Heliobactor pylorii !"

Not quite - no-one knew but some clues were were there in the literature. Cases often appeared in clusters and especially in immunosupressed groups. Munition workers exposed to certain chemicals is the example I recall.

When I started work on H2-blockers ~40 years ago some people might have said that it was impossible for the disease to be caused by an infection but really nobody knew the cause although there were a number of pet ideas.

BTW H. Pylorii is a bacterium. not a virus.

As regards your comment on gravity -definition of gravity was "a force which distorts spacetime."

it's rather " a distortion of spacetime is perceived as an apparent force we call gravity

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Chemist
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"you cannot accelerate anything in normal space-time faster than the speed of light."

Or assuming it has any mass at all even to the speed of light

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Speaking in Tech: Windows is coming to smart refrigerators

Chemist
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Re: Smart fridge

"it's smart enough to make you think it has turned the light off"

I've got a pie pi in mine keeping an eye on it

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Pokémon-loving VXer targets Linux with 'Umbreon' rootkit

Chemist
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More info

From Softpedia :

"The good news is that Umbreon's installation is not automated, and attackers need to break into a system first, and then manually install the rootkit on the hacked device."

http://news.softpedia.com/news/pokemon-themed-umbreon-rootkit-targets-linux-x86-and-arm-platforms-507970.shtml

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London's Francis Crick Institute will house 1,250 cancer-fighting boffins

Chemist
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Re: funding

"Lots of positions with dubious futures due to either lack of, or difficulty of securing funding"

This is usual for lots of academic and institutional research and has be for years. I'm certainly not saying it good, far from it. It's often funded very short term, people exist on poor living grants, poor funding grants and a lot of chopping and changing. Generally much better in Pharma companies but there the research has to be directed to areas with greater potential returns.

Why, why, why in the centre of London though ?

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Watch SpaceX's rocket dramatically detonate, destroying a $200m Facebook satellite

Chemist
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Re: cant see much

"electrical spark from somewhere ignites the O2 venting off"

No ! - whatever else happened oxygen does not burn. The spark might have ignited something else but NOT oxygen - No !.

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BBC vans are coming for you

Chemist
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Re: TV detector vans certainly do work

"Look at the windows or any residence at night "

They'd have to come up half a mile of unmade road, then go on foot in the dark through thick woodlands for another half a mile because our TV is at the back of the house and the nearest road in that direction is a mile away with half a mile of woodland in-between.

So just to be sure we dim the screen & just listen to the sound ( with headphones).

Load of nonsense

( I do have a TV license 'cos you can't be too careful !)

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Windows 10 Anniversary on a Raspberry Pi: Another look at IoT Core

Chemist
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Re: We should use neither

"blu-tac'd (yes really!) "

Mine's held by a big cable-tie stapled to the wall !

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Chemist
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Re: Really?

"Q. What do people go on about most in Windows articles?"

From the article's titles - "Neat platform but should we just use Linux?"

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Chemist
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Re: We should use neither

"Its too low powered for most proper computing tasks "

Can't agree I'm afraid - it's certainly limited but for running one or 2 applications i can't fault it.

I'm running 4 routinely and 6 in all. All running Debian desktops via VNC

1. is a web/motion-sensitive/streaming cam - also running a web-server for domestic use - addresses, recipes, notes etc.

2. is a backup fileserver and sshd portal - ethernet connected to the router and also used as a web-proxy back to the UK when traveling.

3. is for hardware experiments with a break-out connection board

4. spent the summer (May-Aug) in Saas-Fee taking a photo every 5 minutes & joining them into a .mp4 file.

5. Travels with the laptop. An ethernet cable and USB/USB cable to power it from the laptop works great.

I don't stress them but I find they've been completely reliable Even running a desktop and streaming from the webcam (800x600, wifi, 3 fps) I find Pi1 ( a Pi B) is using little memory (~140MB) and running at ~8% cpu usage, for example.

A test spreadsheet (which recalculates 400000 sines ) which takes < 0.5 secs on this i7 takes ~7 seconds on a Pi.

I don't suppose I'll be doing any video editing but I'd certainly use it for developing a directory of RAW images in the background.

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Linux turns 25, with corporate contributors now key to its future

Chemist
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Re: El Reg on Linux

"that businesses don't use Linux."

Years ago (~~2003) the large Pharma that I worked for at the time moved gradually from SGI to Linux workstations (~200) mainly for cost reasons at the time. This was for the scientific groups involved in computational chemistry & protein structure determination etc.. All the workstations were dual Xenons with frighteningly expensive 3D graphics/ LCD specs and backed with IBM fileservers and compute servers and several large Linux farms (1024-4096 nodes).

So certainly the business of science did use Linux even in the early 2000s

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Kindle Paperwhites turn Windows 10 PCs into paperweights: Plugging one in 'triggers a BSOD'

Chemist
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Re: I remember @AC

"Unless the support's SIMPLY NOT THERE...like there is for SO MANY USB WiFi devices out there..."

IF you have trouble ( I never have BTW ) then as it's a USB device - just plug one in that is supported.

(I've got several for Raspberry Pis that cost almost nothing, are ~ 1 cm long and work with all my LInux desktops and laptops)

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Chemist
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Re: I have a Kindle paperwhite and have NOT had any computer problems

"Linux installs in minutes" - quite

On this i7 laptop even a heayweight like OpenSUSE took just 15 mins to install from a slowish USB stick (complete of course with a goodly selection of office/graphics/photo/multimedia/internet progs. and admin tools). After that it depends on how much updating your distro needs and how fast your connection is. But it's all usable whilst it does this.

As to whether you need Windows - well I don't and my interests are photography including developing RAW , video editing, and all the usual office stuff + a vast array of scientific software most of which is developed on or compiled for Linux.

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update completely borks USB webcams. Yay.

Chemist
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Re: MS is in decline, but Linux will never replace it

"The average person who is not a developer who tries to install Linux on an average box usually fails, because there is no working graphics driver, or mouse driver, etc. for some part of their machine.

I have worked in IT for years, and installing Linux on any platform/brand has always been a crap shoot. It either works, or it wont and there is no fix for it, unless you develop it yourself."

I note that you are anonymous presumably because you are telling porkies !

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Physicists believe they may have found fifth force of nature

Chemist
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"Er, wasn't the weak and electro-magnetic forces unified into the electro-weak force upon the discovery of the W & Z vector bosons at CERN back in the 1980s? Which would mean that there are now thought to be 4 forces, namely gravity, strong, electro-weak, and this new one?"

AFAIK it depends on the temperature of the systems you are considering. The weak & electromagnetic appear to be indistinguishable above a certain energy/temperature and indeed I think the strong nuclear force can also be unified above an even higher temperature.

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PC pioneer Gary Kildall's unpublished memoir revealed

Chemist
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Re: "to pen" is not a verb

"Repeat after me: "to pen" is not a verb"

What !

As others have said to pen an essay etc. is perfectly correct usage and indeed what would farmers do to enclose animals - " the shepherd penned his sheep" .

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update: This design needs a dictator

Chemist
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Re: Under construction?

"You need a less rainy climate than the UK for this to work :)"

Build the roof first !

BTW see : http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-36961433

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Windows 10 pain: Reg man has 75 per cent upgrade failure rate

Chemist
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Re: Boils...

"Linux doesn't have a CLI reliance as any number of people here will tell you."

A liitle example BTW - I needed to install a network printer on one of my Raspberry Pis. Using a VNC client on my laptop to get the Pi's desktop I installed the CUPS package on the Pi from the GUI package manager, went to the web-based management page to install the network laser printer but didn't need to as it had already found it and it was already appearing in the print menus of anything that needed to print. And this on a Pi (which often does need CLI use purely due to the lightweight distro installed.)

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Chemist
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Re: Boils...

"I wonder if maybe this CLI reliance is one of the reasons why Linux struggles to get mainstream desktop adoption?"

Any sane, modern (post 2005 ?? ) Linux doesn't have a CLI reliance as any number of people here will tell you. I use it all the time for everything ( since the early 90's, exclusively since ~2008) and when I use the CLI it's because I want to not because I have to. Sometimes it's quicker because I can just copy/paste from a note on the desktop, sometimes it's much quicker because I'm calling a script to process 1000's of files but it could all be done by a GUI if necessary .

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My Microsoft Office 365 woes: Constant crashes, malware macros – and settings from Hell

Chemist
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"but once done the vpn worked better from linux than it did from winders"

Ditto.

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Microsoft axes 2,850 more Windows Phone, sales staff – a week after Justin Timberlake sang on stage for them

Chemist
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Re: Also a name change-

"Puzzled. We have a 3% marked share by end users in Windows phone as a failure. But a 2% market share on the desktop for Linux is a success.."

It's not that hard really - people can go out and buy a Windows phone but they don't. People have to get off their butts and install Linux

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Schrödinger's cat explained with neutrinos

Chemist
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Re: Although the neutrinos left Illinois as one flavour

"So how do they know which flavour they were when they left Illinois?"

The experiment produces mostly muon neutrinos. A detector at the experiment confirms this and the remainder are detected after traveling the ~740km to the main detector.

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Brit chip biz ARM legs it to Softbank for $32bn

Chemist
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"By the time Intel's bods wake up in America, the deal will likely be done here in the UK, so they'll miss out."

Not really - the shareholders have to decide in the end and could easily be open to a bigger offer. It's the board's job to get the best value for the owners.

On the other hand it would be great pity if this company was damaged in any way. I see Softbank are suggesting doubling the (UK) workforce.

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Graphene is actually self-folding origami, proclaim physicists

Chemist
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"As it applies equally to a collision between two photons"

I'm not sure it actually does - this might seem like heresy - thermodynamics does deal with bulk properties - averaged over a reasonable number of pairs of photons it will surely be true but just 1 pair? I'm desperately trying to remember my statistical thermodynamics lectures from nearly fifty years ago* (which I had a lot of trouble with then). In a gas at a fixed temperature there will be a distribution of particle velocities. The gas will have a 'temperature' but any atom/molecule will have it's own (and changing) velocity.

*I would welcome views

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Chemist
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"The researchers believe that the behaviour boils down to the laws of thermodynamics"

Really !

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Linux letting go: 32-bit builds on the way out

Chemist
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"That depends. If you have and use legacy 32-bit S/W it's not at all rare."

Certainly a lot of the stuff I've written was compiled for 32-bit Linux and still runs fine on 64-bit OpenSUSE. I've never bothered to recompile it ( lots of small do-one-job programs) but all newer stuff is 64 bit

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Microsoft's Windows 10 nagware goes FULL SCREEN in final push

Chemist
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Re: It's those nasty penguin people

" That is, even if Linux cost a small amount and Windows was free, people would pay for the OS that behaved as though *you* owned the computer."

Quite a long time ago now i computing terms (~~2000) I used to pay for SUSE Linux ( ~£50 if i recall correctly) For that you got a set of disks, a manual and support. Thought it was a bargain at the time compared with Windows.

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Botnet-powered ballot stuffing suspected in 2nd referendum petition

Chemist
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Re: (1) Jump out of plane. (2) Check for parachute.

"I believe we should have another referendum "

My guess is that after extensive negotiations we will end up with a worst deal than we have now, the Brexiteers will have to man up and either recommend continuing with membership or having a referendum or general election on the issue.

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Chemist
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Re: The debate

" or rather, who admitted voting to leave...."

Ah, well I discussed it with many/most of them on several occasions - they'd have to have been pretty devious - what would they gain ?. Their reasons for remain were broadly the same as mine. Most had a good laugh too at "two bananas Boris" and Michael "we don't need experts" Gove . (Hope he never needs emergency surgery)

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Chemist
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Re: The debate

"I voted remain, the older folks were more likely to vote leave. So we left..."

A little more complicated than that I suggest l

Fewer older voters were for Remain

Urban dwellers more likely to vote Remain

The higher the education level the more likely Remain

The younger the voter the more likely Remain except they were less likely to vote.

(BTW I'm 65, live in the country in the North yet I don't know anyone in my circle of friends and family who voted Leave)

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Genes take a shot at rebooting after death

Chemist
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"These genes would be active during development, but presumably during that development another gene comes along and turns them off (or else we would never stop growing)."

Well gene expression and control is a lot more complicated than that. And some gene products are often involved in both development and normal adult function - the differential effect is often due to which tissues the expression continues in. It's really very, very complicated.

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Chemist
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Re: Not that surprising

"I think that was Geoff's point. There isn't so there is no selection pressure to shape post-mortem gene into anything useful."

He also said "These are probably just junk genes."

If they are "inflammatory, immune genes and responses to stress genes. " then they are essential not detrimental to the living phases

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Chemist
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Re: Not that surprising

"Things only get evolved away if they have a detrimental effect during the useful lifetime of the organism."

Why do you think these genes have a detrimental effect during the living phase of an organism ? As they seems to include "immune system, inflammation, and responses to stress." genes. Many of the others may be switched on due to a breakdown in control as happens in, for example, cancer.

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Raspberry Pi 3 tops SBC poll for self-brew hackers and Linux folk

Chemist
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Micro-USB

BTW - I have 4 Pi3 and they all work happily with a cheap USB/microUSB lead to provide power from a laptop and a standard ethernet cable to allow VNC. Quite portable if you want to develop software whilst traveling

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Laser probers sniff more gravitational waves from mega black hole smash

Chemist
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Re: Why LIGO Is a Scam

"You don't understand the politics of mainstream science, IMO. It's Big Brother all the way down."

I don't think you understand much. I've spent 41 years doing 'big science' as you put it. Not Physics but, for example a co-worker and I developed a route to manufacture the world's first $1B /year drug and that was ~ 1975 I also understand. peer review and publishing of papers. You do not !

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Chemist
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Re: Why LIGO Is a Scam

"I know I'm striking a sensitive nerve for every thumb down that I get. The truth hurts, doesn't it? There is way too much at stake. This is one of the reasons that the whole thing is a scam."

Given such advanced views I'm amazed that you are wasting your time on such an audience as The Register. Clearly you should be submitting serious papers to learned and influential journals. It worked for Einstein despite him being a total outsider who had to argue against the perceived wisdom of his day.

/Sarkasmus und Verachtung

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Chemist
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"So I'm curious... what happened to the "missing" mass?"

Well all the energy involved in shaking the spacetime fabric of the entire universe probably took a bit.

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Raspberry Pi distributor Premier Farnell in £792m Swiss buyout deal

Chemist
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"Yet another British company ownership going abroad - along with the profits."

So no UK company has ever bought a foreign company and returned the profits to the UK ?

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England just not windy enough for wind farms, admits renewables boss

Chemist
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Re: Tidal?

"we could start off the water power revolution by damming all these rivers up and getting some turbines going."

Are you serious ?. Where in this small island is there enough catchment to collect sufficient water and free land to flood to a depth sufficient to generate meaningful amounts of electricity at an altitude that will give a sufficient head - well I can tell you, just about nowhere including most of the Highlands.

I'm in Switzerland at the moment. In the Valais from Martigny to Visp ~60km the side-valleys almost all contain dams for flood-control and hydro purposes. Many of the dams have heads of ~1000m with rainfall and meltwater from 4000+ m peaks and yet this area stiil only produces electricity equivalent to ~15% of Switzerland's consumption

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Air-gapping SCADA systems won't help you, says man who knows

Chemist
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What !

" “They were designed to manage regulators and voltage flow and that’s still what they do.”

voltage flow ! Sigh - it's also the 2nd time I've heard the term this week.

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Universe's shock rapidly expanding waistline may squash Einstein flat

Chemist
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Re: Newtown, Einstein, and...?

"Newtown was consider right until things started moving at speeds closer to c. What we discovered, wasn't that Newtown was wrong, just that his theory didn't work at a certain scale.

Newton can be be considered to be approximately correct for aspects of gravity. But his theory does not accurately predict even the orbit of Mercury, and has nothing to say about the effects of gravity on time etc.

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Earth's core is younger than its crust surface

Chemist
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"The exact center of the Earth would not be subject to a gravitational force (because the mass around that point would be balanced). Full force of gravity at the surface, less the deeper you go."

Indeed so but the effect on time is due to the gravitational potential not the field and that gets stronger all the way to the centre. As others have explained if you fell down an evacuated tube connecting one side of the earth with the other you would reach max velocity at the centre and then almost pop out the other side, then oscillate around the minimum ( the centre). Better than any fairground ride but a bit same-ee after the first billion years. (Presumably there would be some loss of energy from the system to slowly damp the oscillation eventually)

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Re: the other stuff?

"does that mean there's 39,000 years of energy production 'missing' at the surface that the core simply hasn't had [the] time to produce?"

Not going to even consider that when estimates show it may take a photon a million years just to reach the sun's surface from the core

image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/ask/a11354.html (0/10 for background to web-page)

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