* Posts by AdamT

334 posts • joined 7 Sep 2010

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Uber and Volvo take on Ford in race to launch self-driving vehicles

AdamT

So...

...given the recent announcement from Tesla about their truck plans, their undeniable speed of getting stuff actually on the road (notwithstanding their tendency to miss their overly ambitious targets) and the fact that they already have more real-world "autopilot" experience than anyone else - doesn't this mean that the first issue Volvo/Uber/Ford will face when they eventually hit the road is trying to merge into a continuous stream of TeslaTrucks ?

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Viscous liquid oozing down the walls? You must have hives

AdamT
Coat

But no-one said:

"It had to be seen to be Bee-lieved" !?

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Idiot flies drone alongside Flybe jet landing at Newquay Airport

AdamT

Re: Risk?

Bizarrely, I've done exactly the same in almost the same place. My pigeon swooped out the trees from the side and hit right in front of my face on the windscreen - it was loud and I totally flinched! But was quite proud of myself that I didn't swerve or do anything disastrous. The cloud of feathers was impressive ...

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NASA test foiled by rocket shaking power cord loose from camera

AdamT

Re: What it shows

It's almost like he heard you ....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKqY8sy3nkM (went up a day or so ago)

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AdamT

Shaky!

Does anyone know how to run a youtube video through some kind of de-shaking post processing? The rocket should be a nice stable point of reference...

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Violence, vandals and vomit: London's naughtiest tech Tube stations revealed

AdamT

Re: SPADs, TDFs, what a cornucopia for disaster

@TRT - yes, that's when the article was from. They were doing authorised SPADs but discovered that, at low speeds, the automatic brakes were not triggered (because of the string/rope thing). Cue much tabloid hysteria about the tube trains failing because of the wrong sort of string...

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AdamT

Re: SPADs, TDFs, what a cornucopia for disaster

Not sure if this is relevant but I recall an article from a few years ago that actually explained that many SPADs are when there has been some other signalling fault and the line controller authorises the driver to proceed across a red light over the radio. This still triggers the emergency brakes and is still recorded as a SPAD but is actually part of a defined procedure to avoid shutting the line down for every single little failure (i.e. not dangerous and not some driver just piling through a red light at 30mph because he wasn't looking). You know if you've been on a train that's done this because you'll crawl slowly out the station, suddenly stop, pause for a few seconds and then accelerate off as normal.

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The developer died 14 years ago, here's a print out of his source code

AdamT

Re: Portrayal of computer tech guys in films/tv.

Allegedly there was a similar problem in the legal system with juries having watched too much CSI and asking why they couldn't have the grainy CCTV footage "enhanced", etc.

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Perlan 2: The glider that will slip the surly bonds of Earth – and touch the edge of space

AdamT

Looks like ...

Have to admit my first thought on seeing the picture was that it was a Burt Rutan / Scaled Composites design (the people doing the Virgin Galactic craft, amongst other things) and that it was interesting that Airbus would be working with them. But turns out it's not. I guess small round windows is the only feasible choice so they all end up looking a bit similar?

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Chatbot lawyer shreds $2.5m in parking tickets

AdamT

Re: A small omission?

"Some people will game the system of course by betting that the cost of them processing your dispute will be more than the fine is worth"

Arguably the council has already done this to you with the discount offer: "you owe us X for this alleged infringement but if you just pay up quietly within 21 days we will generously reduce it to X/2"

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Singapore Airlines 777 catches fire after engine alarm

AdamT

Re: camera phones

in some situations it is deemed safer to remain on the plane. Most extreme example of this being Qantas 32 (the A380 that lost an engine eplosively). I think the passengers sat on the plane for 3 hours whilst one of the other engines was put out. Obviously they were ready to evacuate the whole time but the pilot's view was that the outside contained a burning engine, hot brakes and a major fuel leak, and until that situation changed, inside was safer.

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Sliced your submarine cable? Fill in this paperwork

AdamT

Re: Notification...

well, given that the contents of that cable could be at around 9kV I'm guessing that a number of paper-work inducing events will ensue...

But, I agree, this new "FCC Outage Report" will probably be the least of them.

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Happy Mappiversary, Ordnance Survey

AdamT

well, hence the name _Ordnance_ Survey. Meaning either artillery or military planning/logistics.

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Microsoft cancels Remain speech after death of Labour MP

AdamT
Unhappy

Re: Shitstorm V2

I have no particular objection to a company saying to its workforce "this is what we believe the consequences of the two outcomes will be both for the company itself and you as as member of staff" - and then backing it up with some actual facts, actual reasoned arguments and clarification of which bits were opinion, company policy, etc. (*)

Of course I'd like the same from the wider debate too, so clearly I'm an eternal optimist due to live forever in a state of disappointment.

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FAA to test Brit drone-busting kit

AdamT

Well, quite. And also, if my drone could use wifi, 4g, 3g, etc. could it really block all those? Or some sort of custom telemetry on some random frequency? If I'm planning something nefarious with a drone then I'm probably not going to be too scared of OFCOM turning up to complain weakly at the unlicensed spectrum use ...

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ISS pump-up space podule fully engorged

AdamT

Actually I'm not sure that a "The Martian" style Hab material needs to be quite as tough. Pressure differentials about the same but even Mars' thin atmosphere is enough to stop the kind of micrometeorites and so forth that the ISS has to worry about...

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AdamT

Re: Hope he's not a smoker

i was watching the first attempt on NASA TV and he was being told to inflate it in one second bursts. It did seem to me that his definition of "one second" was somewhat quick and evidently mission control thought so too because the fourth or fifth "go" command contained the addendum " ... and make it a generous second".

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AdamT

CGI?

This is yet another good step forward in space exploration and space technology development. But I can't help but feel that the actual thing looks a bit, well, scruffy compared to the various CGI/artist's impressions that were shown around before hand...

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First successful Hyperloop test module hits 100mph in four seconds

AdamT

Re: The key question

Well, it's not just about the cost of the power. It's also about the cost of the infrastructure necessary to deliver that power such that it can be consumed at any point along the route. Point of Hyperloop being that (a) less power is needed, and (b) it only needs to be delivered at a few key points on the route.

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AdamT

Re: The key question

Well, according to this ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TGV_world_speed_record#Preparation_of_the_train_for_Operation_TGV_150 ) - about the current rail based speed record - you need a mechanical power output measured in 10's of MW which suggest the total of the various drags are considerable.

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Ooh missus, get a grip on my notifications

AdamT

Re: "What I say means what I want to say when I say it. More I cannot say."

Hmm, don't agree with the use of FLA for "four letter acronym". You should use ETLA meaning "extended three letter acronym", that's much more IT appropriate...

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Watch: SpaceX finally lands Falcon rocket on robo-barge in one piece

AdamT

Re: "...live-streamed the landing from a helicopter."

yeah - I don't get that either. Given that "catching the rocket engines with a helicopter" is actually the plan of ULA for their Vulcan project...

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Turbo-charged quantum crypto? You'll need Cambridge laser boffins for that

AdamT

Taking it on trust

So I guess for most people (including the more literate IT types reading here!) we are realistically already at the level where we have to take "secure/unbreakable encryption" claims on trust (because the maths is hard) but once "quantum stuff" starts getting used in real world situations it's going to get worse, right? The number of people who could legitimately claim to genuinely and fully understand how it works is going to go down by an order of magnitude (if not two or three!). 'Cos, you know, this quantum stuff is spooky ...

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New submarine cable to connect Australia to Singapore

AdamT

See you what now?

I was (very slightly) involved in the development of the Sea-Me-We-2 cable and I'm pleased to see they've continued the naming convention so we can continue to all giggle like 8 year olds just like we did 20 years ago ...

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Sick to death of mighty rocket launches? Avoid these dates

AdamT

Re: Further ahead

which also reveals a further TBD SpaceX launch in April...

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William Hague: Brussels attacks mean we must destroy crypto ASAP

AdamT

Huh?

"US Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-SF) introduced a bill to prohibit the anonymous sale of pre-paid mobile phones in America"

Is it just me interpreting that as "OMG! Phones iz more dangerous than gunz!" ?

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Computers shouldn't smoke. Cigarettes aren't healthy for anyone

AdamT

... not just PC's either. Once helped a friend gut a house he'd just bought (partly because of the hideous 60's décor and partly because the previous occupants were chain smokers). As we took down the lovely 60's polystyrene ceiling tiles you could crack them apart and see how far the yellow had soaked into the tile...

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Mighty Soyuz stands proud at Baikonur

AdamT

Re: Middle Naut

Based on in interview with him in a documentary I saw (that was actually more about Tim Peake) it appears that he does have a pretty good sense of humour but that it is very, very, ... very ... dry indeed. Whether that is representative of Russians in general or Cosmonauts in particular, I couldn't say.

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Hi-def ExoMars launch vid lacks volcanic lair vibe

AdamT

Re: Bonkers

There was a recent satellite launch on some similar flavour of converted ICBM (perhaps this one: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/02/17/sentinel_launch/ ) where it looks like, even though above ground, there is still some kind of tube that the rocket launches from.

I'm sure there's a technical reason (something to do with the rocket engine expecting a certain back pressure from an underground launch tube?) but it's also amusing to just consider that the rockets get nervous in the open air so they're given a little tube to hide in until it's time to go...

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Computers abort SpaceX Falcon 9 launch

AdamT

Volcano Lair?

And presumably we'll find out shortly if Musk really does have any "volcano lair" tendencies as, in this situation, surely the temptation to use one's fortune to hunt down the boat's skipper and do something amusingly unpleasant to them must be very, very tempting ....

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Ordnance Survey unfolds handy Mars map

AdamT

Re: Bah!

Absolutely! That was my favourite bit of the Geography O-Level exam - the "here's a nice OS map for your perusal and a number of questions about it" question. Sad thing was that we didn't get to keep the maps afterwards.

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AdamT

Re: Map for The Martian

yup - I spotted that too. I wonder if it was deliberate or perhaps that area of Mars is just "interesting" whether you are an author, a NASA lander or a quiet bunch of Brit cartographers with a dream ...

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The field at the centre of the universe: Cambridge's outdoor pulsar pusher

AdamT

Used to be my "local" interferometery array

... as I lived in one of the nearby villages so would drive past these chaps most days:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryle_Telescope

Occasionally at night you'd hear the groaning/scraping sounds as they dragged themselves up and down the old rail lines adjusting themselves.

Seems like they've now been co-opted into a more stationary configuration these days:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcminute_Microkelvin_Imager

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Who would code a self-destruct feature into their own web browser? Oh, hello, Apple

AdamT

French slang?

Not at all an expert on French slang but I was made aware of "zizzi" as meaning the same as "bite", in this slang context at least, by my French colleagues' hysterical laughter at this news item from 2007: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6586879.stm

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Microsoft sinks to new depths with underwater data centre experiment

AdamT

Re: Why put it all below water?

exactly! Why not just pump seawater out the sea (or a river), pass it through some heat exchanges and then let it back out into the sea? Works pretty well for power stations and they need to get rid of quite a lot more heat than a data centre would ...

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Blighty's Parliament prescribed tablets to cope with future votes

AdamT

Re: Secret

Not any more. Initial transcripts, albeit subject to correction/approval/etc., all available here:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/commons/todays-commons-debates/

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Space podule outfit inks Arizona launch deal

AdamT

Re: Alternatively...

not entirely sure how the economics and/or politics work but I suspect this is more "dirt-poor southern state competes with other states to keep company in the hope that billionaire visitors will, in the future, spend lots of money in their state on high-altitude ballooning, hotels, food and lots of other sales-tax earning things" ...

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SpaceX: launch, check. Landing? Needs work

AdamT
Mushroom

Hey, Subs! You can have this for free:

"Stuck the landing but not the standing"

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What the Investigatory Powers Bill will mean for your internet use

AdamT

Re: Can anyone* see my web requests if I use HTTPS?

Absolutely true. Where I work this is specifically mentioned in our employment contracts (or at least in a policy doc that is deemed part of our contract). Effectively they MITM every HTTPS because they can set whatever root certificates they like on our workstations. They have legitimate reasons to do this but as a consequence get to sweep up all such data. I'm also presuming that any legislation will at least attempt to be sufficiently broad that they can get such logs from employers too.

If you don't like this then you should only browse personal stuff at home. I nearly added "or on your smartphone" then I laughed at myself.

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UK's super-cyber-snoop shopping list: Internet data, bulk spying, covert equipment tapping

AdamT

reasonable explanation?

She has to try and get all these huge sweeping powers to hide her true purpose - getting the names, addresses and real-time locations of all the members of the Dalmation Owners Club ...

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Cash injection fuels SABRE spaceplane engine

AdamT

Re: Why is it curved?

i actually met a few of the Reaction Engine guys at a conference a few years ago and did ask this qustion. Regrettably I don't recall the exact answer but it was along the lines of wanting some down vector to the thrust whilst the airflow was straight (with respect to the fuselage)

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I survived a head-on crash with driverless cars – and dummies

AdamT

Actually lots of evidence that travelling at a constant say 25mph and going straight through lights at green is quicker for you (and everyone else) than going at 30mph, having to stop,queue and then start again. Germany, for example, has been doing this sort of thing for decades with their traffic lights. Similar example on the london underground where they are switching to "moving block" signalling (which attempts to keep a constant speed / spacing) compared to the old "fixed block" where the driver would slam the train to a halt at the red signal because there was no way of telling that the next block would become free in a few seconds so actually they'd have been better off slowing a little.

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AdamT

"slightly eerie"

You probably shouldn't watch the slow-mo child seat tests that they have on which.co.uk featuring similar crash-test-dummy babies and toddlers, then.They do actually put up a warning before them saying that they might be disturbing, which I casually dismissed and then, shortly after, thoroughly agreed with...

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We're getting kick-ass at seeing through walls using just Wi-Fi – MIT

AdamT

Finally!

The beeping scanner tracking thing from Aliens is here!

(who cares if it uses wifi rather than detecting air motion which, if I recall correctly, is what the film one used)

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El Reg celebrates Back to the Future Day

AdamT

"Why are you still wearing those Google Glass prototypes? They're not retro yet!"

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Whitman slams EMC/Dell deal

AdamT

MW management style

Having read some of the various claim/counter-claim documents in the HP vs. Autonomy spat I still can't get over the description of the high level "Executive Committee" meetings: "Ms Whitman ... repeatedly adopted the management approach of ... playing country music to the meeting instructing the senior executives attending to take the meaning of the country music songs and apply them to their own management methods".

Sounds like HP is in safe hands ...

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NASA announcement of MAJOR MARS DISCOVERY imminent: WHAT can it be?

AdamT

Well, you're out of date! Sadly, it's sonic sunglasses these days...

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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

AdamT

"You're the 666th visitor to this site! Click here to claim your prize!1!!!"

Hmmm, tempting ....

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We saw the future: Apart from the bath apps it looks like the past

AdamT

Efficiency...

Nice use of sarcasm in the article saving us from having to bother in the comments!

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How green is your ROCKET FUEL?

AdamT

Yes, but can you make water out of it?

You know, if you're stuck on Mars, for example ...

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