* Posts by MD Rackham

179 posts • joined 26 May 2007

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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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'Daddy, can I use the BLACK iPAD?': Life with the Surface Pro 2

MD Rackham

Re: Stop stating patently wrong facts as truth!

Late to tablets that anyone cared to use then.

Did you actually try to use the first gen tablets? We did a trial deployment with our app into a hospital. Leaving hardware reliability aside, doctors were literally (and I do mean literally) throwing them back at us because they were so frustrating to use. Hardware and UI were both a disaster. (I'm long gone, but as I understand it, the descendent of that medical software is now quite successful as an iPad app.)

If you want to do MS a favor, don't remind people about those early systems. Apple's real talent is knowing when to enter a market, which is after all the pioneers have died of arrows in their backs, and it's much clearer what the market wants. (I can mix that metaphor a bit more if you wish, sir.)

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MD Rackham

Re: unhelpful review

I can't comment on the "right mind" part, but I see people all the time using their iPads as cameras.

I suppose for video it gives more stability than a phone, but they don't usually seem the sort that would understand that.

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Astroboffins solve birth of the Man in the Moon face

MD Rackham

Man in the Moon. Pfffft.

Everyone knows that it's a rabbit pounding rice for mochi.

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iPad 4 is so OVER: 5 times as many fanbois now using iPad Air - survey

MD Rackham

Re: I suppose...

If someone came up to me and said they wished they could spend 5 hours reformatting a PowerPoint presentation, I'd be pretty sure they were being sarcastic.

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Rare gold iPhone 5s goes up against 50 caliber high precision rifle

MD Rackham

Re: That kid...

If it's running iOS 7, hell, it walks on water!

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Space truck Cygnus left idling outside ISS after data format snafu borks docking

MD Rackham

Re: Safety?

Michael Foale's book, Dragonfly, about his time on Mir is quite an interesting read. While parts of it seem pretty defensive, his description of the docking incident and the fire (a separate incident) are quite harrowing.

His career came to a screeching halt after he revealed just how close, and how often, Mir came to disaster. Astronauts are supposed to just suck it up.

Anyway, a good read, although it has to be taken with a grain of salt, or at least balanced by the Russian side of things.

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DARPA: You didn't think we could make a Mach 6 spaceplane, so let us have this MACH TEN job

MD Rackham

Re: At least the USAF is doing something with the X-37B

When Congress cuts your budget, you have to cut somewhere. So some projects get tossed in the waste bin.

You can argue NASA's priorities, but research projects with no immediate application tend to always get cut before the big splashy projects (Mars Opportunity, JWST, etc.).

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Memory muddle muddies Intel's Exascale ambitions

MD Rackham

Exaflop may be the current goal, but Intel's already produced two wottaflop processors: the iAPX32 and Itanium.

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Snowden's XKeyscore revelations challenged

MD Rackham

Re: There is middle ground too

Rationality based on material from the NSA, or rationality as in something you just pulled out of your ass?

The Greenwald piece is based on actual documents. The criticism is based on help-wanted ads and self-proclaimed "experts" who keep getting proven wrong as others confirm what has been in each Greenwald story.

Maybe the Reg can put Lewis Page on the case so we can once again be told that there's nothing to be concerned about as long as we trust our masters.

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Nuke plants to rely on PDP-11 code UNTIL 2050!

MD Rackham

Re: RSX11M - Dave Cutler

Of course, that was several years after there was a protected, multi-user timesharing system running on the PDP-8, TSS/8. And it would run in 8K of memory, although you had to spring for 12K for decent performance. Swapped off a fixed-head 256K word disk.

You PDP-11 kids get off my lawn!

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Adobe kills Creative Suite – all future features online only

MD Rackham

Re: Bah!

No, if you read the Adobe release, it only requires an internet connection once every 30 days. And if it can't get one, it switches into 30-day evaluation mode. So you can go 60 days without a connection without losing anything.

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