* Posts by Andy The Hat

311 posts • joined 21 Oct 2010

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NASA's New Horizon probe rudely fires its thruster at gnome planet

Andy The Hat
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Re: Rounding Error

You gotta love compounded rounding errors.

You've got to love the combination of units - "... centimetres per second, a small fraction of ... miles per hour" Did we have European and US scientists working on this probe?

Anyway, I reckon the course correction was about 0.5mile per hour - the speed of an average hedgehog. There would have been far less confusion if they used a standard unit - current probe speed is 65000 Hedgehogs ...

I presume they're pulling Hew Horizons like a team of Huskies?

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Smart meters set to cost Blighty as much as replacing Trident

Andy The Hat
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I can pick standard meters up from £20 upwards (one off, certified recon as fitted by most suppliers) the cost of which would normally be carried by *the supplier*. Smart meters on the other hand are about £150 (single phase, 100A, one off), add £50 to fit it and presto! Charge the Government (us, the tax payers) about £400 a meter and watch those profits roll in ... Subtract the usual meter budget for the ten year life of the new meter and well, you do the maths.

As has been said, this whole policy smacks less about the natural environment and more about the economic environment of certain bank accounts.

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Subaru Outback Lineartronic: The thinking person’s 4x4

Andy The Hat
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Here speaketh a Defender driver, the best 4 x 4 x Far on lovely skinny 100% profile tyres.

You're lucky to get 100% - most standard manufacturer supplied profile nowadays are tubeless 85% as they're more concerned about "look and feel" than actually supplying tools to get the job done.

The earlier comment about '200mm ground clearance ... so 300mm of mud should be no problem" obviously comes from someone who has never driven a vehicle in deep mud, let alone one on stupidly wide, low profile, road biased tyres ...

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Beyond the Grave: US Navy pays peanuts for Windows XP support

Andy The Hat
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So a fully costed, full patch support contract for a small number of Xp machines is $9m p.a.

If MS had charged $10 on the original Xp price per user as a "premium support option" to extend EOL (security patch support only) that would have netted about $400m, at only 10% uptake, for little extra work (the patches are already done for $9m pa for the Navy remember) and nobody would be complaining about unpatched systems ...

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'Backronym' crowdfunds itself into Oxford English Dictionary

Andy The Hat
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They forgot the additional meaning of the prefix "pro-" as in pro-bacillus or pro-retinol meaning 'three letters added to another sciency word to make a product sound really expensive and worthwhile spending money on eg pro-biotic or pro-qubit'

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D-Wave promises chip that could SEARCH THE WHOLE UNIVERSE

Andy The Hat
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If something is so much better, to the extent that a user really can't tell whether it's actually any better or not (apart from costing a fortune, looking techy and "What Qbit" liking it), to make viable commercial sense of their business model the manufacturer should really branch out into building audiophile hi-fi equipment ...

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Get your WELLIES to MARS: Red Planet reveals its FROZEN BOTTOM

Andy The Hat
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Another Reg unit!

"debris flows occurred at Earth like frequencies" - so "Earth" is a frequency!

1 Earth = err ... umm ...

I have no idea what that means! Anyone?

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Flushed with success: No bog standard Canadian goldfish these

Andy The Hat
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Tricks?

What sort of tricks?

Card tricks - playing Go Fish?

High diving tricks - three twists without Pike?

Balancing tricks - plaice spinning?

Or tricks of the mind - look into the eyes not around the eyes, snap fingers and you're a carp ... ?

Half a story again - the reg throws us a bone but whips it away before we get to break our teeth on it.

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Killer ChAraCter HOSES almost all versions of Reader, Windows

Andy The Hat
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PDF was originally touted as providing access to a secure document. Standard, reliable and secure. Since then, however secure the document, the apps break the system around them.

Bit like locking the riveted steel front door on the way out but breaking the kitchen window ...

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Pluto plastered in what looks like 1970s orange wallpaper – proof

Andy The Hat
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Is this news?

Hubble imaged Pluto and found that it was a black/beige combination.

A newsflash to say "We're getting closer, we've fired up the colour cameras and they're working to specification" would be news.

A newsflash to say Pluto is beige feels a bit like hearing it on DaveJaVu ...

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Graphene sheaths could boost processor signal speeds by 30 per cent

Andy The Hat
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Re Cell phones

Pyrolytic graphite isn't graphene though it does contain "bits of" graphene as a product of its production process (in the same way that a cabbage contain lignins). The whole point of graphene is that it is a continuous sheet - and the problem with that is there are no interconnects (ie lattice defects) between the sheets to reduce the strength. Pyrolytic graphite is an impure source of graphene which allows lots of intra-lattice bonding - less strong, less electrically conductive but more usable and much, much cheaper than pure graphene.

Pure graphene is actually really useful for ... err ... and ... ummm ... other that graphene is useful for and obviously other things too. And it's a brilliant material because the His Royal Highness Cameron is investing loads into it and I totally trust his judgement with tax-payers cash.

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Philae warms up nicely, sends home second burst of data

Andy The Hat
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Perhaps Philae's secret experiment package 14 will prove once and for all whether the Clangers are real, or if "the Clangers" are simply a disease resulting in a nasty itch ...

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Fess up: which one of you Galaxies made all that gas?

Andy The Hat
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Data data data

Just wait until the whole thing comes on line and the data lines and storage arrays start to feel the heat of beeelions of phonabytes of data ...

(1 phonabyte = 1 teenager's phone data per second)

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Cortana threatens to blow away ESC key

Andy The Hat
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Re: OK can I just explain Cortana to a few people...

But since Tosh are including a button to *summon* it, the interface is obviously not as slick as ... "Cortana, you're always turned on so why have I had to press your buttons?"

"Cortana, what's wrong with using an existing function key?"

"Cortana, how much can I claim back from Tosh for the bundled copy of Win10 that I didn't want but Tosh are obviously dedicating their machines to run?"

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Carbon nanotube memory tech gets great big cash dollop

Andy The Hat
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In 2012 they reckon they were manufacturing 4Mb devices ... Their press release archive basically says 'we've got some more money (again)' but blatantly does not say "in three years we've been able to develop 8Mb devices" or "we've managed to commercialise a production system for 4Mb devices" or even "This is our demonstration product, look at what it can do, and here are the specs ...".

I think vapourware is about right.

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Cops turn Download Festival into an ORWELLIAN SPY PARADISE

Andy The Hat
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Advertising

You pay electronically to go to this event, you pay electronically for why you consume in the event and presumable you pay electronically for what you dispose of at the event.

Why is there no opt out from having your personal information sold/supplied to 'other organisations' for advertising purposes? Every other ecommerce (ie electronic commerce) site has to have an opt in/out check box for use of your personal data ...how can this organisation specify it as a mandatory condition of service - share your data or don't attend?

I'm no expert but it feels like they're walking a very fine wire ...

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Spooky ghost town vid perfectly sums up YouTube's 8K playback: It's virtually no use to anyone (yet)

Andy The Hat
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Personally speaking I don't give a fig about 8K.

My house isn't big enough to make use of a screen that would justify it (unless I watch it through the window from the garden perhaps ...). The Freeview broadcast options at the moment consist of HD (restricted offering), HD upscaled (restricted offering), full SD (some), SD at minimum possible bandwidth (most). And, before someone says stream it, I'm unlikely to be able to support a full 8k res on my broadband feed which is currently bouncing off the 2Mb/s mark ...

Until I can get a decent broadcast feed at *current* resolutions without being stripped of £70 a month - and there's no sign of that in the next 20 years - why bother?

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TERROR in ORBIT: Dodgy rocket burp biffs International Space Station off track

Andy The Hat
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Re: WTF

"... the A team is working on something else."

I don't buy that. These are almost 'mass produced' craft, not something new so QC and consistency of product off the production line *should* be good - if they aren't that's a failure in it's own right.

The Russians make a lot of money launching - a single failure of such a public vehicle is bad for PR, but the business will work it out and the company will be fine. Multiple failures make people talk to alternative suppliers - Chinese, Indians, ESO, SpaceX or whatever and, down the line, that's seriously bad for the company.

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Andy The Hat
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WTF

Is it just me who can smell something odorous in the Russian space programme? Such a string of apparently unrelated faults and issues is, to say the least, unusual ... Either QC has fallen through the floor or perhaps a separatist has got his spanner in the works somewhere?

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A 16 Petaflop Cray: The key to fantastic summer barbecues

Andy The Hat
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Unit fail?

I'm sorry but 'flops per watt' is so old hat ... surely there's an alternative reg notation?

Obviously the 'flopperwatt' or 'flatt' ... but how does that relate to olympic swimming pools, blue whales or wrists per second?

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Brit plods' post-TETRA radio omnishambles comes home to roost

Andy The Hat
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Re: Semaphor Stations or Hill Top Beacons?

"bah, you kids are always in such a rush these days. Why can't they just write letters."

No can do.

They're selling the Post Office so it won't be too long before the Investment Wonkers (sp?) buying it get HM Gov to remove the 'deliver everywhere' clause to turn it into a 'deliver eventually' service, so if your cat goes missing in Loch Lothian you'll have to book it in advance ... "Dear Sarge, we're having a burglary next Friday in Inverness, if you could send a constable to assist ...Oh, and while I'm at it, there's a spontaneous riot planned in Glasgow on the 14th ..."

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Bill Nye's bonkers LightSail spaceship unfurls solar sails at last

Andy The Hat
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Re: Don't forget about Ikaros!

"... it passed Venus after six months and is now... somewhere (and I haven't been able to find a reference). It was last contacted in April this year."

Seems to be hibernating at the moment. Bit of info ...

http://global.jaxa.jp/projects/sat/ikaros/topics.html#topics4743

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Au-mazing! Cornwall sold GOLD to Ireland back in the Bronze Age

Andy The Hat
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Selling? Trading?

Why not Seamus O'Neanderthal nipping across at the dead of night on ye olde dug-out, tapping a Cornish pre-historic aristo on the noggin and nipping back to the land of the Leprechaun with gold as the proof of conquest?

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Chips can kill: Official

Andy The Hat
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I remember all this acrylamide crap in the 80s when we were not supposed to eat fried bacon or toast or anything that looked remotely palatable apart from Delia Smith (did I say that out loud?)

I'm still here, overweight, half dead, blind and bald but still quite capable of downing half a bottle of whiskey before a KFC breakfast bucket and still having time for a fag before going jogging ...

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Voyager 2 'stopped' last week, and not just for maintenance

Andy The Hat
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... 25 years before Twitter was a thing...

Is Twitter a 'thing'?

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Andy The Hat
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Re: Golden record...

... and if we're looking at this in proper "Time Team from Cetea Alpha 5" fashion, what we have is a golden disk that has a specially roughened surface to act as a grippy, load spreading surface so a support post doesn't slip sideways and a small nail used to centralise the post on the disk - accuracy was obviously important. From this we can infer the building was 1m high with a domed and thatched roof with finials and gable ends with a nice kitchenette and an area to play Scrabble ... The height shows the population was very short or worshiped on their knees ... Furthermore, since the disk is corrosion resistant gold and was positioned on the ground, the surface of the planet was marshy and soft, and the population couldn't wait to leave (as indicated by the crude drawing of a solar system on the disk).

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ESA shortlists three medium-sized missions for 2025 launch

Andy The Hat
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Is that a path?

Looks like the ramblers made it to 67P first and put a footpath in ...

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Your servers are underwater? Chill OUT, baby – liquid's cool

Andy The Hat
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Re: "The warm output water can then be used in other parts of the business..."

Warm oil baths are good for the skin, apparently, so why not have a beauty salon on site and charge fat, rich people extortionate fees to luxuriate in blade induced warmth - "an ultra high frequency digital toning treatment using futuristic heat pumposoidal techniques and plasmondo-rich liquid drenching"? Warming the treatment rooms, plus washing and drying laundry using the heat exchangers all saves cash ... got a feeling I can make more money out of de-ugly therapy than the data centre itself!

How much does it cost to strain fat people out of plasmondo oil?

BTW 'plasmondo' is my trademark which I invented just now for a super beauty product that does magic stuff if you soak bodies in it and, by sheer coincidence, is an inert liquid cooling product sold under another name at one third the price by 3M ...

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Virgin Galactic will get into space 'within 18 months to two years'

Andy The Hat
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Re: And we should give a Rat's Arse about this why?

"Because it's observable progress in space manned exploration that has been missing from the likes of NASA?"

Not sure I agree with that.

Space? Barely.

Exploration? Err, no again - it's a jolly.

Missing from NASA? NASA have orbital and suborbital missions all the time ...

What Virgin may do is come up with alternative ideas and methods of engineering that may reduce future mission costs (though disintegrating rather than investing in landing gear isn't one of my favoured ones!)

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MEPs, Council still deadlocked over EU telco laws

Andy The Hat
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Welcome to Democratic Europe where a commission of bureaucrats make the rules and the elected representatives are ignored ...

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It's not over 'til Saturn's spongy moon sings: Cassini probe set for final Hyperion fly-by

Andy The Hat
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Looks like a bit of Oasis foam for flower arrangements ... maybe it's for their equivalent of the Chelsea Flower Show?

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Nosy Brit cops demand access to comms data EVERY TWO MINUTES

Andy The Hat
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Lies, damn lies and statistics ...

"... between 2012 and 2014" - is that "between" ie neither 2012 or 2014 but 2013 only?

Or is it for 'two years' (paragraph one of text)?

Or 'three years' (paragraph one of quoted report)?

Methinks confusion reigns.

Whatever, it's 700k individual phone numbers - that's grandiose super-slurpage which rates (on an A-Z scale) about 'why?'

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Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: The new common-as-muck hybrid

Andy The Hat
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Obvious question ... however 'green' it may be, how long does the battery pack last before it needs replacement and how much does a replacement cost?

"Short time" and "lots" would be economic suicide, buy a gas guzzler instead.

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Multiple fondling on the MIGHTY 12-INCH iOS 9 SLAB — so, so close now

Andy The Hat
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now it's 12inches we could add a little keyboard and perhaps a mousey thing and, since it's so unwieldy the user could support it on their knees - we could call it a 'knee-pad' or 'lap-pad' or something and, since it'll be so fab and great, charge one meeeelion dollars ...

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Andy The Hat
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Double the pane?

How come nobody thought of having more than one window or application open at a time before?

Must have been a massive leap of faith by a designer to suggest something so radical ...

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Swedish government wins legal case to seize Pirate Bay domains

Andy The Hat
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Re: The government can take stuff it thinks belongs to you if you've been convicted?

If the domain is rented, surely it returns to the ownership of the registrar at the time of renewal (as mentioned above) otherwise the registrar, not the perpetrator of the crime, is being penalised ...

If I lived in a rented house and committed a crime who would then own the house, the rented tv, the Complete Anthology of Great Works by J K Rowling pamphlet borrowed from the library?

Sounds like a dangerous precedent to set ...

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Ricoh rolls out electrifyingly exciting RUBBER!

Andy The Hat
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Just the thought of the rubber suit makes me feel the electricity run through my extremities. Did I say that out loud? ... Oops :-)

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Pundits ponder perilous placement of STANDING STONES on Comet 67P

Andy The Hat
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Hmm. Having studied this for some time I conclude that they are not 'balancing rocks' as that's just silly.

As the article says the 'objects' are hard to identify, but I think they are actually three ramblers who've sat down for a rest after getting lost just outside Newcastle. The proof is that the trodden path is obvious to their right ...

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Ex 'Tech City' chief Shields appointed junior Fun minister for internet safety

Andy The Hat
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The Government want to give more access to the BT infrastructure for other companies (by proxy via Ofcom) and she happens to be non-exec director of Talk Talk ... Thankfully no obvious conflict of interest there then ...

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Ofcom: Oi, BT! Don't be greedy – feed dark fibre to your rivals

Andy The Hat
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Stupid question here but why aren't 'the rivals' investing in dark fibre networks of their own rather than waiting for BT to spend money doing it then screaming when the owner, BT, puts the lid on the cookie jar?

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Crude scammer targets Brit oil brokers

Andy The Hat
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'Once executed, the PDF ..."

WTF? Why is a PDF able to execute? This was discussed the other day - a PDF is a data file and should be readable by a PDF reader - why is it being executed by the operating system?

Data handling is getting to the stage where a step backwards is required. It may be slick to do things automatically with data files but some common sense control is required.

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Lightbulbs of the future will come with wireless extenders and speakers

Andy The Hat
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Smartlocks, microphones, wi-fi, cameras? Sounds great - as long (a) you're a complete gadget freak and (b) the manufacturer isn't sponsored by GCHQ ...

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DEEPENING MYSTERY of BRIGHT LIGHTS on dwarf world Ceres

Andy The Hat
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Duncan Goodhew, Adrian Moorehouse ... I think they're reflective equivalents ...

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Andy The Hat
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Perhaps both NASA and the non-believers are correct. Maybe the spots are reflected light but it's where the Ceresians (?) have swept the dust away to build the greens for their golf courses ...

Anyway, the lack of the important fact here is obvious - how big are these reflective spots? Presumably much bigger than the Reg-SI unit of a fun-bag but smaller than a blue whale? Or perhaps it's several Olympic sized swimming pools? And do we have an El-Reg unit of reflectivity? Perhaps the light of a 100W bulb reflected of Duncan Moorhouse's bonce = 1 Scalp?

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ISS 'naut: How we collect our POO and DROP it FLAMING on hapless Earthlings

Andy The Hat
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Being good space-personages, do they launch their waste in the direction of Kazistan?

Coat already on ...

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BILLION YEAR SECRETS of baking hellworld Mercury UNLOCKED by NASA probe crash

Andy The Hat
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It's ok talking about 'magnetic fields locked into rocks' but has anyone managed to check out the surface of Mercury recently? As I recall it's got more cratering then a McD loving teenager's frontage ... Surely the extensive reformation of the surface affects the local magnetic field very strongly and the impactors themselves generate huge magnetic anomalies?

I don't understand ...

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SpaceX Dragon crew capsule in 'CHUTE ABORT drama – don't panic, no one died

Andy The Hat
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"Strange that this is essential for SpaceX but NASA's own Space Shuttle had no such escape system"

However much fun a death slide in a wicker basket from a static launcher may be, it doesn't help once the rockets have fired - unless you've got very, very long stretchy wires.

Sorry, I've now got cartoon images of an Acme wicker basket instantly turning to charcoal and a pair of severely scorched coyote eyes blinking as the rocket flies past ...

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'Rombertik' malware kills host computers if you attempt a cure

Andy The Hat
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An executable disguised as a data filef?

FFS, this is 2015 not 1985 ... why is this still possible? Quick file structure check, ring various bells allow brainless user to run it if they want and the rest of us just say no ... Why run it by default?

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Amazon boss Bezos' Blue Origins declares test flight 'flawless' ... if you overlook one snafu

Andy The Hat
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Re: Twig minus berries

"Pleased I read this because I was just about to suggest a similar sort of thing. It does look a bit like a lady's pleasure device."

Doesn't look anything like a shopping trolley ...

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Range Rover Sport: Like a cathedral on wheels, only with comfier pews

Andy The Hat
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200TDi was the last good one - the 300 is a bit more awkward to work on.

Long gone are the days of stories such as 'I made an emergency Land Rover head gasket in my hotel room from a copy of the New York Times' ... That's the reason the military don't want to know - if a vehicle needs computer diagnostics just to find out what may be at fault it means it's not basically serviceable by a squaddie in the middle of the desert and it's potentially a coffin ...

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