* Posts by MD Rackham

190 posts • joined 26 May 2007

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Glaring flaw in Apple car hype-gasm: The iGiant likes to make money

MD Rackham

Apple will never build...

...an audio player. Clearly Creative already owns that market.

And a phone? Who would contemplate going up against Nokia?

(Stock analysts: people who are rarely right, and get to blame the company they are "analyzing" if the company doesn't meet their prognostications. Oy, such a racket!)

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Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell: El Reg on the hydrogen highway

MD Rackham

One can build wind and solar farms dedicated to H2 production, rather than use existing farms connected to the grid. It's a lot easier to store enough H2 to get you through calm/cloudy days than it is to store electrical power.

Anything that reduces hydrocarbon consumption from driving little Billy the half mile to school is a Good Thing as it leaves more hydrocarbons for feedstock use. If we burn it all up for personal transport then prices for feedstock are going to get very high indeed. Plus there are the CO2/NOX et al reduction benefits.

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Testing times as NASA rattles Mississippi with mighty motor burn

MD Rackham

Re: alternatives?

Steam launchers.

Spray water vapor into an expansion chamber at the back of the rocket, pulse a laser up it and the expansion of the steam provides thrust.

Power storage on the ground to run the laser is a challenge, but recent progress in military lasers (US Navy) is quite promising.

Oh yeah, you also have to have a really good aiming system, although you need that for zapping incoming hypersonic missiles too.

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Verisign sues Google's new love-interest .XYZ for a second time

MD Rackham

Re: Paranoid

Just because they're out to get you doesn't meant they aren't right.

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HTC caught storing fingerprints AS WORLD-READABLE CLEARTEXT

MD Rackham

Re: Prints are left everywhere

Write someone a check.

You've just given them your bank account number, signature, and fingerprints. And usually address and phone number.

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Microsoft's Windows 10 Torrent-U-Like updates GULP DOWN your precious bandwidth

MD Rackham

Re: Sounds like a good idea

Or you could just download the .iso and share it across your local network or put it on a USB stick.

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WHAT ARE the 'WEIRD' SPOTS seen on far-flung PLUTO?

MD Rackham

Tentacles?

Are those Cthulhu's tentacles coming up from the dark south?

Or maybe Cthulhu's cousin's?

I demand a response from NASA!

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Even Apple doesn’t mess with Taylor Swift

MD Rackham

Re: Apple gets cluestick

Apple gets good press for appearing reasonable and Swift gets lots of positive PR because she "made Apple back down."

If I was just a bit more cynical I might think it was planned this way from the start.

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'It’s irrelevant whether Elon Musk is a dick or not. At least he’s trying to make things'

MD Rackham

Re: Pretty laughable to think...

So how do you like working at ULA?

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ISIS command post obliterated after 'moron' jihadi snaps a selfie, says US Air Force

MD Rackham

Can we get the Air Force to do this to everyone who posts a selfie?

It would help weed the narcissists out of the gene pool.

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America was founded on a dislike of taxes, so how did it get the IRS?

MD Rackham

Re: USD $24 for 10 gallons of gas

Gas prices have been down (global crude prices down), up (refinery fire, strike, maintenance, price manipulation), and back down again this year, so depending on when you were in the Valley you and the expat could be right.

Any gas station near an airport or freeway will be charging more, and California gas prices in general are higher than the rest of the country. (Just paid $1.92/gal in (very) rural Arizona.)

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SPY FRY: Smart meters EXPLODE in Californian power surge

MD Rackham

You'd know it was true, if not for the smart meters controlling your mind.

I rest my case.

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Euro THERMONUCLEAR REACTOR PROJECT is in TROUBLE

MD Rackham

Of Course

ITER scientists claim that successful financial controls are just 15 years away.

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Scientists splice mammoth genes into unsuspecting elephant

MD Rackham

Re: Tundra Colder?

They had a really bad habit of leaving the refrigerator door open. I think it was the tusks that got in the way.

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Elon Musk: Hover rocket? Check. Hover ship? Check. Let's DO THIS

MD Rackham

Re: Who picks up the 'tab' when these things crash?

Since the alternative is to end up with the booster at the bottom of the ocean, I'm not sure what "tab" you're referring to.

The cost of getting the barge out to sea and repairing any damage is borne by SpaceX. The extra cost of the landing equipment on the booster and the extra fuel (and hydraulic fluid!) is built into the cost of the launch and therefore borne by SpaceX.

Now if they're successful, the savings on the next launch because they can re-use a booster all accrue to SpaceX, in which case the investment has paid off. Although realistically they'll have to offer a steep discount to get someone to be the first customer of a refurbished Falcon 9.

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Tom Wheeler flings off dressing gown, dons gloves for net neutrality RUMBLE

MD Rackham

"Fearbeared"

I think the correct word is "forborn."

But I like your word better now that I think about it.

Beware the fearbears.

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SpaceX makes nice with U.S. Air Force, gets shot at black ops launches

MD Rackham

Huh?

What does landing a reusable booster have to do with getting classified satellites into orbit?

While reuse has the potential to lower SpaceX's costs, they're not relying on that to bid on the Air Force contracts. In fact, they might need another certification process to determine if the reusable booster can be used for Air Force launches.

Methinks the reporter is a bit confused by there being multiple SpaceX projects.

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I'll build a Hyperloop railgun tube-way in Texas, Elon Musk vows

MD Rackham

Re: Problemo?

If a pod breaks down, then all the pods in the tube need to also stop to avoid a pile-up. In that case you can re-pressurize the tube safely and everyone can breath outside air.

I actually came here to dispute the "desert no one cares about" line. Ahem. There are a lot of us who have been working quite hard to preserve the Mojave desert from off-road vehicle abuse and ill-considered private water schemes, to name just two threats. If you get off I-15 and actually take a look around, the Mojave desert is a wonderful place.

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SpaceX: CATS with FRIKKIN' LASERS to blast off to space station

MD Rackham

Russian "engines", please. As re-built by AeroJet.

The "booster" was all Orbital's.

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SpaceX six days from historic rocket landing attempt

MD Rackham

Re: Why land at sea?

It's Florida so it's mostly not-valuable people at risk.

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Deprivation Britain: 1930s all over again? Codswallop!

MD Rackham

An oldie and a (not so) goodie

It's just the old "Hey! Someone is poorer than you so shut up" argument.

Crab bucket morality at its finest.

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Orion hacker sends stowaway into SPAAAAACE

MD Rackham

Re: hacking

If they were going to read the names out from space, I suspect it would be easier to just register "Ben Dover," "Mike Hunt," and "Tyrone Shoelace" than engage in any hacking.

Even in space, some things just never get old.

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Ten Mac freeware apps for your new Apple baby

MD Rackham

Re: F.Lux

No risk of any damage, but just don't do any color correction work while it's on. The result will be spectacularly bad on computers not running F.lux.

Color correction work should always be done with the monitor set to D65 white, preferably also with the use of a good hardware color calibrator.

(Yes, there are other valid white points for specialized situations, but D65 is most common.)

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Apple: Want a PATCH for iOS Masque attack? TOUGH LUCK, FANBOI

MD Rackham

"We've never had an undetected error"

...and other classics.

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Branson on Virgin Galactic fatal crash: 'Space is hard – but worth it'

MD Rackham

Re: Untested engine?

What? They were flying with a rocket motor using a new propellant. one which had been thoroughly ground tested. So it wasn't "untested" it was just the first time they'd flown with it.

Sooner or later you have to fly with it, or should it remain "untested' forever because there is some risk?

The investigation has barely begun and yet people like you are sure you have it all figured out.

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Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe

MD Rackham

Re: Removable battery = extend your phone's usable life by years

You know you can change batteries in an iPhone, right? Takes some tools and a bit of dexterity, or you can pay someone to do it for you.

Apple would like you to buy a new phone, but you don't need to fall for that one.

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No one wants iOS 8 because it's for NERDS - dev

MD Rackham

Wow! An Apple Developer!

Am I supposed to know who Andrew Clark is? Or care what his opinion is?

Sounds to me like a developer who's apps aren't working on iOS 8 yet.

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'MYSTERIOUS PYRAMID STRUCTURE' found on COMET beyond Mars: Landing planned

MD Rackham

I think the "head from Zardoz" theory contains more scientific rigor.

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BENDY iPhone 6, you say? Pah, warp claims are bent out of shape: Consumer Reports

MD Rackham

You Kids

If you damn kids would just dress properly you could put your phone in your inside suit coat pocket. Or even your shirt pocket if you must.

But, no, you have to wear your bohemian "jeans" to be "hep" don't you?

Personally, I simply have my manservant carry my phone for me. A bent phone and he's out on the street with no references.

Pah!

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A Norsified Linux for Windows and OS X wobblers

MD Rackham

Re: I think it looks crap

Most likely because whoever did the screenshot wanted them to show up and chose large icons and/or a small screen size. Maybe because they've seen too many press release screenshots that are utterly illegible.

And perhaps, like OS X, the icon size is selectable?

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My TIGHT PANTS made my HUGE iPHONE go all BENDY!

MD Rackham

Re: is that a 6+ in there or are you just pleased to see me?

Well in that case I'll have another doughnut or two. Wouldn't want to damage the new phone.

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Isis Wallet, NOT an Islamist militant group, reborn as Softcard

MD Rackham

Remember "Ayds" Diet Candies?

Oddly enough, they chose to rename their product back in the '80s.

Name overloading is very confusing for some people.

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It's official: You can now legally carrier-unlock your mobile in the US

MD Rackham

Re: A glimmer of hope

The current glued-together iPad/iPhone/MacBooks are far easier to recycle than the equivalent products held together with screws. Pop up 'em in an oven, the glue melts and they fall apart. Turn up the oven a bit and all the SMD components fall off the PCB too.

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Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency

MD Rackham

Re: How useful is this really!?

I once worked for a company who decided not to waste time on research and instead spend all its time on "real product development."

Not too surprisingly, they ended up with no ability to develop actual new products and instead spent all their time coming up with new paint schemes, minor UI tweaks, and copies of competitors features (6 months too late). From stopping all research to bankruptcy took all of three years. (It was in a highly technical/highly competitive field.)

(The CEO made a bundle of money on his stock holdings the first few quarters that the R&D expenses approached zero, so there is that viewpoint.)

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Fear a terrifying killer robot revolution? GET A GRIP: Boffins invent cyborg hand for humans

MD Rackham

Re: Souds good

I can't decide if I want the Rosie Greer second head, or the Ray Milland model.

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Future Apple gumble could lock fanbois out of their own devices

MD Rackham

Re: Prior Art?

Was the app available prior to Apple's patent filing date?

If not, it may not be in the Google Play store for long.

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US spanks phone-jamming vendor with $34.9 MEEELLION fine

MD Rackham

People who are tired of the anti-social use of that RF bandwidth?

Jammers are a bit of a blunt instrument, though. Being from the States, I'm required to favor being able to legally shoot people using their phones in an annoying fashion. Better?

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Report pegs Apple for October smartwatch release

MD Rackham

Teenagers aren't going to wear any health monitoring device; they are immortal.

If the iWatch is indeed going to be focused on health monitoring, then perhaps Apple is aware of markets not made up of teens. You might want to broaden your view.

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Adobe blames 'maintenance failure' for 27-hour outage

MD Rackham

Re: On the other hand...

If you're going to tell a story, get the details right.

If they have annual CC subscription, the software keeps working for 99 days without being able to phone home. With month-to-month it's 7 days.

So except for those stuck in the middle of uninstalling/reinstalling the software, or those who rely on the few actual "cloud" features Adobe offers, how was it "not working" during the outage?

(Not to excuse Adobe (from anything)--TypeKit users were truly screwed by the outage--but most of the talk I heard about how "I can't use Photoshop" came from people using CS3 and looking for an excuse for missing their deadline.)

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Too late, Blighty! Samsung boffins claim breakthrough graphene manufacturing success

MD Rackham

Re: The real difference

Says someone who apparently never actually used a STAR workstation. Nor an Alto running Smalltalk. Us old farts know better.

There's a good reason STAR never caught on, and it wasn't just the price.

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MD Rackham

Where will our cats relax on summer days until then?

This is simply unacceptable.

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Apple flops out latest OS X Mavericks beta, hopes sound+graphics sorted

MD Rackham

Re: New OSX' always breaks audio

But what if I can't hear the cat's adorable mewing?

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Comcast Corp to merge with Time Warner Cable in MONSTER $45bn deal

MD Rackham

Re: Some people regret the lost jobs of horse carriage maintenance.

Perhaps you can enlighten us as to what the benefit of this merger is, such that it compares to the introduction of the automobile?

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IT'S ALIVE! China's Jade Rabbit rover RETURNS from the DEAD

MD Rackham

I just want to thank the writer for clarifying that Yutu's owner Change'e is a *mythological* Moon goddess.

Don't want to get her confused with any of the real ones.

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MAC TO THE FUTURE: 30 years of hindsight and smart-arsery

MD Rackham

Mouse Hindsight

I certainly don't care to defend the original Apple mouse, but another example of revisionism is the idea that "journalists" of the time were aghast at how bad it was. This was 1984. Most "journalists" had never seen a mouse, let alone used enough to be critical of a specific implementation.

The introduction of the Mac caused everyone else to go out and start building mice, even if you couldn't really do anything with them. Fortunately, those other people learned from Apple's original design mistakes (sharp corners, ouch!).

Yes, the original MS mouse shipped about 6 months before the Mac 128K--remember that MS had Macs before the public did--but few sold as there wasn't much use for a mouse in command line MS-DOS. And the design was nearly as bad as Apple's.

(I'd claim that the original iMac "hockey puck" mouse was an even worse design. No sharp corners, but you couldn't figure out which way was "up" so were always mousing at a diagonal.)

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Ancient video of Steve Jobs launching the first Apple Mac found

MD Rackham

Indeed.

If I crane my head a bit I can see the machine room with at least 5 U-Matic (3/4") VTRs, most of which are the SP flavor.

Of course, we also manage to keep a 2" Quad VTR working, alongside all the other formats that people still have tapes for. (1/2" EIAJ reels anyone?)

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SpaceX beats off Bezos' rocket for rights to historic NASA launch pad

MD Rackham

"Launch Complex"

Not "launch control".

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Submerged Navy submarine successfully launches drone from missile tubes

MD Rackham

Re: Cool but not as cool as

Soon to be the US Navy that did this, at least if Hollywood has anything to say on the subject.

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NASA probecraft to FLY the SKIES of MARS - IF it can make its launch window

MD Rackham

Re: $671 million?

I'm certainly not going to defend the US for our callous disregard for many of our citizens, but, seriously, walking and chewing gum at the same time is possible.

$671 million makes no dent in the problems of healthcare/food security/housing/etc. The US is an extremely wealthy country. If it wanted to address those problems then it would need to make hard choices about defense and subsidizing the already wealthy; that's where the money is.

The MAVEN mission actually accomplishes something useful in extending our knowledge. Another tax break so someone can buy another Lamborghini really doesn't.

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Apple releases previously SECRET OPERATING SYSTEM SOURCE CODE

MD Rackham

Yes, but we didn't have cut/paste back then.

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