Feeds

* Posts by Andy The Hat

176 posts • joined 21 Oct 2010

Page:

Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage

Andy The Hat

But what caused the excessive load?

They still haven't really said where the excessive load came from - a failure internal to the system or something like a DoS external to it ...

If it was an internal failure it's unlikely that both systems (geographically seperate hot mirrors) would fail at the same time - unless there's a fundamental bug in the (replicated) system? The who point of their system redundancy (as I understand) is to kill one system if the other fails which they could obviously not do which infers the caching is not a redundant system ...

All this suggests to me the failure could have been triggered very close to the external gateways which again suggests external influences rather than internal ones.

Would the BBC tell us if they could be crippled by a DoS attack?

3
0

In space no one can hear you scream, but Voyager 1 can hear A ROAR

Andy The Hat

Increase in fuel consumption

For AndrueC,

it looks like LECP and MAGROL expriments suck a load of fuel - presumably for orientation and stabilisation purposes. That's probably why they only do them intermittently.

The real question is whether the fuel is actually used to power the Bic biro auto-wind robot for the data tape ...

2
0

Doctor Who season eight scripts leak online

Andy The Hat

"I for one will just wait to see the thing on TV"

I wish I felt the same. There'll be a cyberman (who's come back from the dead), a dalek (who's come back from the dead), the Master who's ... well you get the idea.The characters and sets will all have expensive GGI thrown at them to make it look as if someone has thrown expensive CGI at them and at a guess, it'll all happen in London with some obnoxious female 'cokerney' wimpering incessantly. But at least it'll all turn out nice and cuddly for the Christmas episode to offset the huge depression caused by the nasty death on Eastenders.

Sorry, should I have said "spoiler alert"?

23
3

Google de-listing of BBC article 'broke UK and Euro public interest laws' - So WHY do it?

Andy The Hat

Why is everyone missing the fact that Google (or any other large data storage facility) can decide whether information is in the 'public interest'? That's a judge's job not that of the Great Firewall of London ...

7
0

Austrian Tor exit relay operator guilty of ferrying child porn

Andy The Hat

Definitely a hot-water situation. Someone could deliberately transmit 'illegal' material through the Tor network between two machines belonging to themselves, monitor the transmission and report the server owner for transmitting it illegally. Fundamentally anyone could target a mark and get their system shut down.

As has been said, this appears an easily defendable case. On the other hand, if upheld, it would have major ramifications for *anyone* running a public facing network. The theoretical ability for a third party to *legally* get an entire infrastructure network shut down (on the simple pretext of retransmission of data via the infrastructure of that company's network) through one illicit act is quite scary.

7
2

NASA's Curiosity rover brought Earth BUG to Mars

Andy The Hat

"On the other hand, there is a pretty cool article on formal verification ("Reasoning and Verification: State of the Art and Current Trends") in "IEEE Intelligent Systems" of January ..."

I would hope that this will eventually come to the fore ...

I studied formal verification methods many years ago and when I went for an interview and asked about verification of software the company said 'we test it extensively'. I believe that to still be the case in nearly, if not all systems today (including military and critical systems.)

0
0

'Sterile neutrinos' re-ignite 'we found dark-stuff' debate

Andy The Hat

"They're also one of the reasons we believe in dark matter ..."

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

They're an observed phenomena which can be explained, using current scientific theories and understanding, by the presence of "dark matter". We no more 'believe in dark matter' than we believe that a duck-billed platypus called Arnold will score the next goal for Brazil.

People believe in God, Yogic Flying, Homeopathic medicines and luck ...

<... What was that? Arnold *is* in the starting 11? ...>

2
0

Higgs boson even MORE likely to actually be Higgs boson - boffins

Andy The Hat

"Although if we do find a deviation from the Standard Model, it is likely to be a very closely related one ..."

... because if it's not closely related we're frelled ...

0
1

Assange™ makes fresh bid for FREEDOM from Scotland Yard's 'physical encirclement'

Andy The Hat

"A large catapult on the roof might work, would be worth watching them try!"

Oh why, oh why did you have to put images of trebuchets and wooden horses smelling mildly of elderberries in my head!!! :-)

1
0

Canada to Google: You can't have your borderless cake and eat it too

Andy The Hat

"Dear Google, following Chinese law, our Chinese judge orders you to remove the following pages from your index worldwide: ..."

Isn't that what they have already done? Such pages, although global in extent, are filtered at China's boundaries, which is technically very similar to what has been asked for in this Canadian case.

2
4

PoW! Academics KO Bitcoin mining mammoths

Andy The Hat

If implementation will be 'within twelve months' what will people be mining then? Surely it won't be economic to mine anything that exists today ...?

Wouldn't this only work when implemented at the point of introduction of yet-another-bit-coin-looky-likey-oops-I've-lost-it currency?

0
0

Urine a goldmine for fuel-cell materials: boffins

Andy The Hat

Does this mean we'll have people open cast mining the laybys and verges of the A1 for golden lemonade bottles?

What we could do is have a "Public Lavatory", charge people a quid to piss in it *and* sell the urine to a factory ... double charging is always economically prudent!

1
0

Venus Express to get final acid bath before crashing to surface

Andy The Hat

sounds more like the astronomical equivalent of doing doughnuts until your tyres burst ...

Six Million Dollar Star Trek episode ...

"She's breaking up, she's breaking up! Pull up pull up!"

"Hold it, hold it ...just a bit more ..."

"But she canna take it cap'n!"

"Oh bugger the antenna's fallen off ..."

1
0

Jupiter's Great Red Spot becoming mere pimple

Andy The Hat

It's obviously due to global warming ...

14
1

BEAM ME UP SCOTTY: Boffins to turn PURE LIGHT into MATTER

Andy The Hat

I have to agree with a couple of other posters. This story is a complete non-entity. A theory was produced many years ago and a bunch of theoretical physicists have theorised that they can produce an experiment to validate the theory. End of story.

If Prof Higgs said "I've discovered the higgs particle by building a theoretical collider in 20 years time" he'd have been laughed out of the funding committee ... and rightly so.

"We may be able to demonstrate a theory by building this piece of hardware to conduct an experiment", fine, that's what thousands of 'boffins' are doing every day without getting publicity for it!

0
2

Urinating teen polluted 57 Olympic-sized swimming pools - cops

Andy The Hat

Aha - I see a correlation and when I grow up I can be a climate scientist!

Sea level rise *is* due to human influences - namely the deposition of 57 olympic pools af water per human pee (probably more for certain stubborn instances of Gt Yarmouth cigars) equating to 10^15 cubic metres of water per day. (Obviously *we* don't flush that much as the cistern would be too big, it's added at the "treatment" plant.)

That's potentially a mean sea-level rise of 2.7m but allowing for the natural actions of the water cycle, some retention due to dodgy prostates, whales having a drink and both Ireland and Manchester being rain magnets, I believe that equates (within the ranges of typical climatologist errors bars) *exactly* to recorded increase in sea level rise over the last few minutes. QED

Nobel Prize for Sewage please!

2
0

ULA says to BLAME SPACEX for Ruski rocket rebuff

Andy The Hat

ULA buys engines from Russia

ULA complains national security is up the proverbial without these engines.

The corollary is that the launch vehicles for spy satellites to spy on Russia rely on the Russians to supply Russian engines.

Am I, and the US administration, totally stupid ... or have I missed something?

8
0

Teardowns confirm $1,500 Google Glass hardware is DIRT CHEAP

Andy The Hat

Re: To be fair...

"Those of you who don't have to wear glasses would be appalled at what we short-sighted people have to pay out."

Indeed - a true story: take one pair of plasic sunglasses costing £2. Hot-press your name on the side (total cost per item including all tooling and packing £1) as you're a 'reputable' fashion designer. Sell them at £60 ...

People obviously paid for the name not the goods. It'll be the same with Google Glazed-over ...

0
0
Andy The Hat

What an utter waste of time!

You can put any price tag you want on a pile of rubbish but it's value is only what someone will pay ... initially, if you can find the muppets, you can get massive profit then reduce the price as the market shrinks until you stabilise at a profit margin that suits your cashflow requirements and the bank.

0
0

Beached whale Symantec watches revenues recede 7%

Andy The Hat

Are their current figures in proportion to the performance drop of the average system on which their products are installed? Haven't touched it for years as it doesn't do a good job ... oh, they just admitted that didn't they ...

0
0

Get BENT: Flexy supercapacitor breaks records

Andy The Hat

Re: 6.3 microwatt-hours per cubic mm

"For comparison, Wikipedia says Li-Ion batteries have an energy density in the range 250-730 Wh/L which equates to 250-730 microwatt-hours per cubic mm. That is, this new stuff is 40-115 times worse than existing technology."

There certainly seems something up with their 'comparable with ..." statement. Perhaps "no where near comparable with ..." is more interesting, or "give us a load of funding because we're using the wonder material graphene which can do everything and we may produce a small capacitor in the future if you give us the dosh".

0
0

Source code for world's first MUD, Essex Uni's MUD1, recovered

Andy The Hat

Optional

Those were the days ... 1986, 1am, bleary eyed, playing MUD on TVI920 terminals at York University, having bounced across at least three DEC platforms to get to Essex with a pint of Scotch Bitter gently oxidising in the glass beside you ...

1
0

BBC hacks – tweet the crap out of the news, cries tech-dazzled Trust

Andy The Hat

A poster suggested 'Stop regurgitating other people news stories and make your own'. That annoys me as the producers spend half the time inventing a story where there isn't one (eg how much tv time was given to 'the reason for the earthquakes in Rutland' this morning? Or the 'road that is being filled with flowers from mourners' when there is abviously a single strip of flowers along the foot of a fence.) It's getting progressively more tabloid headline and markedly less news.

In additional use of Twitter to supplement delivery channels is ok - but how does that equate with the BBC's mandate of non promotion or advertising of commercial organisations? Stinks to me.

4
0

OnePlus One equals 'killer' new mobe running CyanogenMod

Andy The Hat

... but will it make better phone calls or make my thumbs text faster than my nokia 1112?

0
0

Brit game devs WILL get tax relief for, er, EastEnders Game and Legend of Slough

Andy The Hat

I'm sorry but am I the only one who thinks this is an utter waste of MY money that could have been spent on hospitals and doctors and no-win-no-fee lawyers' legal aid money to sue the NHS and all that other tosh the media spout?

If a 'british game' gets a tax break why not British umbrellas, British Beef, British shoes, British parsnips, British condoms, British bombers, British pregnancies?

There's a stink in the tax department ... Revolt I say!

5
3

Surf's up near Saturn as boffins spot waves on Titan

Andy The Hat

Silly question but what did they use that has a 2cm resolution? I didn't think any orbiter was that good ...

p.s. just read the article

"Four pixels in the images are brighter than one might expect from reflecting sunlight, Barnes reported at the conference. He concluded that they must represent something particularly rough on the surface — a wave or set of waves"

Four pixels? So it could be a lump of ice, a wave, an atmospheric disturbance or the Loch Titan Monster's back breaking the surface ...

1
0

WTF is … the multiverse?

Andy The Hat

"Yeah... it's all fun and games until one morning you see dead pixels in the sky !"

Ha! The only indication of dead pixels would be very dark areas that we couldn't see but we could infer were there ... and, if the pixel was dead because it was electrically short, there would be a hard-to-explain flow of energy in that area ... oops I think I've just explained dark matter, dark energy and the existence of a higher entity ... now to send an email to gimme_a_nobel_prize.com! :-)

1
0

Earth's night-side gets different kinds of neutrinos from day-side

Andy The Hat

I've started eating jam tarts ... anyone noticed a flux change yet? :-)

0
0
Andy The Hat

The neutrino flux changes day/night. Good science, nice result.

Correct conclusion: lower electron neutrino flux at night ...

Reported conclusion: The electron neutrinos change flavour so the flux reduces and we don't detect so many. Theory, no practical experimental evidence, terrible science!

The excess neutrinos, using the same experimental evidence but according to my theory, are absorbed by the fillings of Mr Kipling jam tarts in London, there's just as much evidence! Lots of other less jammy possibilities, including absorption by some mechanism within the Earth but, until they do an experiment showing the increase in flux of the other neutrinos with the corresponding drop in flux of electron neutrinos, their conclusion is not shown by the experimental evidence.

A Level physics score 5 out of 10, results good but mis-interpretation of results resulting in an invalid conclusion based on the available data.

0
6

Cable thieves hang up on BT, cause MAJOR outage

Andy The Hat

I wish people would stop blaming the average scrap merchant.

Large scale copper theft is organised and legit scrap merchants never really did touch it.

The cables are cut as an entire bundle (fibre as well), dragged out with a winch onto a drum, the whole lot stuffed into a 40foot container somewhere then shipped out via wherever as 'recycled waste material'. Nobody can tell the difference ... it's probably on the ship next to the container with two Range Rovers and a BMW for someone in Illigitimatostan ...

3
1

'G-WIZ like' object doing 40,000 MPH CRASHES on the MOON

Andy The Hat

Sometimes you just have to love the eononomic drivers behind science ...

We've witnessed a number of small impacts but we saw one, "1", ONE, uno evento (is that spanish enough?) involving an object between 0.6 and 1.4m across. The conclusion therefore is that impacts involving objects of about 1m in size happens 10 times as often as we thought ... I would really like to see the statistical error bars on that single item graph ...

Oh no, such a thing may hit the Earth! Doomed doomed! We must try to spot them ... "Gimme gimme gimme that funding baybeee ..."

0
1

No, pesky lawyers, particle colliders WON'T destroy the Earth

Andy The Hat

... and back to the subject ...

Who are these lawyers and on whos behest are they grinding they lawery axes and preparing to fill their ample wallets?

No laywer *ever* does something for nothing, getting two to work on the same job at the same time would cost at least four times as much (price goes up with the square of the level of bamboozlement provided). In addition they've actually written a letter ... that must already be £10k ... someone's paying ...

5
0

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

Andy The Hat

It became a dead rabbit? This assumes it was alive to start with ... Was it artificial life or really alive? That's a silly question, they wouldn't send real bunnies as they taste too nice so it must have been artificial life ... THE CHINESE HAVE DEVELOPED ARTIFICIAL LIFEFORMS - RUN FOR THE HILLS!

But why are the Chinese then sending lagomorphic lifeforms to the moon? Is it that they've run rampant over their fields and are sucking their rivers dry, immune to all that the Chinese artificial-lagomorph exterminator squad could throw at them? Perhaps the cunning Chinese sought to kill the pesky hares by sending them to the moon!

Aha! Dead as the proverbial (but tasty) roast dinner.

But no!

Even now they survive the ravages of the lunar surface ... they're out to get us ... it's only a matter of time before the chino-bunny finds a lunar lander and, to the theme of the A-Team, builds a rocket ship to return himself to the Earth... Beware The War of the Wabbits and narration by Richard Burton! Pom pom pom ... ta de dah, ta de dah ...

0
0

You’re NOT fired: The story of Amstrad’s amazing CPC 464

Andy The Hat

Had one of these. Wasted many hours whilst at university playing adventure games and graphic stuff that was great at the time.

It was the first machine I ever modded (had a *really* good keyboard off a terminal, 8-bit printer port and dual 3" floppies). You could get big stuff onto disk from tape but often couldn't load it again as the DOS took RAM space so you had to part load off disk, stuff that into video RAM, finish loading off disk then get the data back from video space which overwrote the DOS!

I also ran it as a full CP/M machine linked up either as a terminal emulator to various DEC machines or as a true workstation to other CP/M machines. My mate wrote his entire final year dissertation on it and my final year project was specifically targeted at compiling and running large projects on small machines (with the CPC as the sample CP/M machine).

It never broke, it did what you expected and, for it's time, I really can't knock it!

2
0

Bad luck, n00bs: Mozilla to splurge ADS inside empty Firefox tiles

Andy The Hat

Donationware?

What's wrong with an optional 'donate here' button - £2,£5 or whatever? The user gets a guaranteed decent, fast, ad/spyware free browser and Mozilla get more income than they would from ad clicks ...

I remember being happy to pay a small amount for Opera years ago to get the full fat, ad free version ...

10
2

MtGox takes heat as reasons for Bitcoin FAIL surface

Andy The Hat

Let me think through this turn of events, hypothetically obviously:

"Oops! There's a nasty hole here that I failed to fix, I'll take the system down for third party transactions"

"Oh look, the BC price has plummetted I'd better buy some"

"I've fixed the problem that I knew about all the time, carry on folks!"

"Oh look how the BC price has now risen due to increased confidence in my newly secured system."

""Wow, look how much money I've made from BCs that I bought when they had crashed in value after I knowingly took down the system in the full knowledge that it'd cause a temporary reduction in value ..."

BC market manipulation cynic ... me?

4
0

Jean Michel Jarre: Je voudrais un MUSIC TAX sur VOTRE MOBE

Andy The Hat

I was listening to Zoolook yesterday - I think he's already taxing enough ...

Does the 'vocal' actually say 'moomin troll'? If so I believe there may be a copyright issue to answer ...

0
0

CERN outlines plan for new 100km circumference supercollider

Andy The Hat

Re: Why not space?

... but that's one big device with a lot of sensors. How would you supply enough energy to power your ring and enough fuel to keep your immense ring in a stable position? Or, if you used a legrange point, would your ring be stable enough to not need prodding by attitude adjusters regularly? Whatever it is, pushing your ring into space would be eye watering.

1
0

LOHAN's handsome young autopilot springs into life

Andy The Hat

Silly question but wouldn't a flush mounted super-blindo LED and a flush finish el-crappo-time safety switch be better aerodynamically than standard el-naffo panel fittings?

1
0

UK libraries trial free access to scientific research

Andy The Hat

Every tax payer should have access to *any and all* research which is even partially funded by the tax payer or any public body (such as an organisation claiming charitable status).

As an extension to this, any patent or invention created as the direct result of public funding would also belong to the public (at least partially) and as such 'we' would all get a return on the investment via royalties rather than the entire proceeds being syphoned off to an individual, single rich institution or to a patent troll.

10
1

UK picks Open Document Format for all government files

Andy The Hat

"The problem is not only document format but also embedded code and over use of document formatting ..."

I'd agree with that.

1) if the document was reasonable and

1.1) a) (i) concise and

(ii)not indented

(x) too far or

(xx) unreasonably

b) plausible information

1.2) didn't contain

a) huge colour watermarks or

b) loads of commercial

(i) logos

(ii) trademarks or

(iii) telephone numbers that send you in circles

Of course the first failure would be inability to comply with para 1.1(a)(ii)(xx) or 1.1(b) and, when it comes to HMRC, 1.2(b)(iii) would be right out ...

What I do hope is that 'editing in the browser' doesn't mean cloud storage of data with insecure data transmission and manipulation ...

2
0

Boffins demo re-usable paper and waterjet printers

Andy The Hat

Writing stuff in children's books in erasable ink? The teachers here would be lynched if they did that here 1) because most of our teachers have the ability to write in the correct books and 2) most of the kids would be altering stuff all the time!

1
0
Andy The Hat

Reminds me of the 'erasable biro' years ago ... before people realised that if you wanted to erase it you could use a pencil, or make it permanent by using a pen ... Cheques with erasable biro were great :-)

Now, where's that inportant memo sent to me the day before yesterday by El Sid the Wise ... I hope it wasn't printed on 24hour paper ...

1
0

UK.gov recruiting 400 crack CompSci experts to go into teaching

Andy The Hat

At least Microsoft and Google are involved ... :-(

Why insist on two languages? At that age, why not teach them how to program properly instead so they can turn their hands to multiple languages?

When are they teaching basic logic to these kids, before or after they have been taught bad programming? Would that be before they've been taught the basic maths required for programming?

Ho hum ... at least they'll be able to code more crap apps for defunct windoze phones and googly stuff ...

I can't help thinking Gove should be subject to a CO2 emmisions cap.

4
0

Amateurs find the 'HOLY GRAIL' supernova – right on our doorstep

Andy The Hat

What's more amazing is that using small telescopes (4 or 5" refractors) and some modern techniques, amateurs are imaging this thing from their back gardens!

0
0

Your squirty insecticides make bumblebees SHRINK, warn boffins

Andy The Hat

"Oh, one last thing. That is one weird bee in the photo! IMHO it is either a bumblebee drone or a fly passing itself as a bee mimic. Anyone else know better?"

That started some conversation! It is a bee (not a fly as it has 4 wings), probably female (appears to have rudimentary pollen baskets) and likely a carder bee or similar but it's incredibly hard to tell from that picture ... certainly not an average "bumble bee".

Very good spot ChrisMcD!

For the record, I believe that's the first time bee anatomy has ever been discussed on El Reg!

0
0
Andy The Hat

"Organic food is more healthy ..."

And my name is Nellie ... why do people believe this hippie twaddle? *Fresh* food is more healthy and restricting the indiscriminant use of pesticides and herbicides may be more healthy for the environment and reduce residues (which may or may not be harmful). Organic food per se has been proven to *not* be 'more healthy' or taste any different to 'non-organic' in like-for-like taste tests.

I had bees and they were specifically moved next to extensive rape fields (canola for the hard of English) for many years before the EU organo-phosphate regs came in and never had problems - apart from coping with the massive honey yield! Pyrethroid use has increased *since* that time yet the honey bee population problems were seen long before that. I think researchers must look more holistically at the reasons for the reduction in bee numbers not pointing fingers at individual things ...

2
0

Health Sec opens new data centre: Biz not Surrey to be in Godalming

Andy The Hat

"Aegis One has standby generators powerful enough to supply 15,000 homes"

Whoopy doo! Enough to power 100million electric toothbrushes on pulsey vibratey mode, but is this super-dooper generating station enough to power ... err ... a data centre perhaps? And for how long? Somehow the importance of this has been lost on me ...

2
0

Ten classic electronic calculators from the 1970s and 1980s

Andy The Hat

Re: Novus

"I had a RPM calculator back in the late 70's, it was a Novus. I've never seen or heard of them since."

Hooray! Another person in the world who had one of these.The big advantage was the rest of the kids never borrowed my calculator as it didn't have an equals sign! Mine still works ...

0
0

Brit inventors' GRAVITY POWERED LIGHT ships out after just 1 year

Andy The Hat

A boot note to this. What exactly has been invented? Every schoolkid does exactly this experiment using a mass, a motor/dynamo and a bulb or meter?

3
0

Page: