* Posts by rh587

332 posts • joined 23 Mar 2011

Page:

Want security? Next-gen startups show how old practices don't cut it

rh587

Re: People "trained in IT security" are a lot of the problem

Make it a game, offer a carrot in addition to the stick - people who correctly identify White-Hat phishing attacks get a bottle of wine at the Christmas party, or gift vouchers or something.

Of course that requires them to have had at least a day (and not their first orientation day when it's in one ear and out the other) of training on identifying such attacks and secure/insecure practices.

There is the carrot side, which is remedial training for people who aren't getting it, but there is a sales element to this - sell this as useful skills which will keep the company safe, but also protect their personal details at home, help them mitigate phishing and browser-based attacks during home surfing, etc.

i.e. incentivise them to give a shit!

1
0

Perhaps middle-aged blokes SHOULDN'T try 34-hour-long road trips

rh587

Re: A few things

"Sorry, speaking as a roadie, what Tim was described *are* slow/fast lanes. In UK road design the slow lane up a hill is called the crawler lane. Its specifically the lane for slow traffic to take to allow faster traffic to overtake it in the passing lane."

But not universal. I can think of one hill climb in Staffordshire where the road hits the hill, and a second uphill lane is provided. In order to use it you have to cross a white-dashed line. At the top, the lane merges back into the "slow lane" and you will cross the dashed line on your way back across. The slower vehicle does not have to make any sort of adjustment or actively move into a "slow lane".

It effectively a short stretch of dual carriageway (without central reservation), and is as very much constitutes an overtaking lane, not a "fast lane". Having overtaken a truck you WILL merge back in, or else go head-to-head with oncoming traffic when the middle lane disappears!

1
0
rh587

In his series "Jeremy Clarkson: Meets the Neighbours" (in which he toured Europe in an E-Type Jag), he had a debate with a very confused toll attendant, trying to argue that they should let him through toll-free since he was one of the lovely Northern-European taxpayers who had actually paid for Portugal's shiny motorway network to be built.

He also took said E-Type around the Arc de Triomphe, which makes him a braver man than I!

1
0

Telcos' revenge is coming as SDN brings a way to build smart pipes

rh587

Re: Net Neutrality?

"Is the only difference that the consumer pays for access to all high resolution video, not just Netflix, and the providers are not allowed to buy preferential access on behalf of their customers?"

I think that is the general idea yes. You can choose to subscribe to a particular network product - a highly asynchronous pipe for streaming down 4K, a symmetric or up-biased pipe for backups, low-latency gaming or VOIP, etc, etc.

Whether a customer with a streaming-profile is accessing BBC iPlayer or Netflix, or uses their gaming profile with PSN or XBL makes no difference - one service is not gaining an advantage over the other, but the network is better optimised for either of them than it is for pushing backups offsite or up into the cloud.

Very nice in principle. Making it work, and ensuring people get the right product (I'm thinking of all those users who "get their Internet through Internet Explorer") is quite another...

Probably easier and more reliable to just poke us all a symmetric 1Gbps Fibre connection and stuff some QoS in the exchange to ensure VOIP, Streaming protocols and Gaming all get preferential treatment for low-latency.

1
0

Bloke cuffed for blowing low-flying camera drone to bits with shotgun

rh587

Re: He should go free...

"Not if he shot straight up, as he claimed."

Well he's not going to claim anything else... he's been charged with wanton endangerment - he's not going to say anything to the media that might prejudice his position!

Watching the videos, he doesn't have a huge back yard. Bigger than a lot of Brit's, but it looked like his neighbour's fence was only a couple of metres away. Unless his shot was absolutely vertical, some shot will almost certainly drift across one boundary or another.

Turns out he used bird shot, which shouldn't cause too much problem if it's only falling under gravity and has no appreciable x-component, which it won't if it was a largely vertical shot, not shooting towards his boundary or anything.

"Nonsense. Please get some perspective. While I agree Guns should be controlled, I'm also against this tendency to interpret the risk associated with every action is determined by the media's attitude towards the tool/thing used while the action is taken."

He's been charged with wanton endangerment. By the Police, not the media. May not go anywhere, but clearly there's a basic case to be examined.

1
0
rh587

Re: He should go free...

"e.g. In France "hunters" are allowed to chase and kill virtually anything they please, on any property."

Wrong. Punishment for hunting on private land in France without permission is up to 1 year in prison and a €15,000 fine.

Some hunting clubs will organise communal associations (ACCA - Association Communale de Chasse Agréée), whereby any member can hunt across any land within the commune (as opposed to the UK for instance where an individual deals with landowners on an individual basis to get permission to shoot).

This does not by any means cover all land in France, nor does it happen in all parts of France. They may have limited rights to chase a wounded animal for the coup de gras (though they should probably have practiced their fieldcraft a bit more, got a bit closer and done the job properly with the first shot), but that doesn't mean they have the right to chase across any land they like.

Land owners are under no compunction to participate in an ACCA and can ban shooters from their land.

1
1
rh587

Re: Good on him

"Hopefully the fine will be almost nothing and the warning to drone operators invading peoples privacy will be public."

The fine for shooting down the drone, maybe.

The sanction for recklessly endangering neighbours I hope is more severe.

Not sure which I would object to more - being snooped on or being (and having my family and property) peppered with shot by neighbours...

2
6
rh587

"Also, it would seem that the gun owner threatened the operators with shooting them. In Britain, that would rightly get you locked up. I don't understand why or how that's acceptable in America."

Slightly different. He effectively stated that if they came onto his land looking for a fight he would shoot them, putting the fight to an end.

Castle Doctrine is alive and well in the US.

Simply threatening to shoot them would not be acceptable. Stating that he would defend himself with his firearm if they approached him is a bit different.

He's still in the wrong though, as his action in shooting down the drone probably constituted reckless endangerment since he could not have known if there were people downrange, beyond his opaque privacy fence.

7
3
rh587

Re: Na Na Nana Na(not a coward-forgot password)

"So what you're saying, is that if your two 16 year old daughters are sunbathing in your garden and suddenly a drone flies over the fence at lower than roof level (Presumably with a camera attached), you'd be perfectly okay with this?"

But would you also be okay with your neighbour shooting at it, perhaps unaware that your daughters are sunbathing (because of the privacy fence) and injuring or even blinding them when they get peppered with shot?

Droneboy wasn't in the right here, but the shooter could rightly be facing reckless endangerment charges.

5
8
rh587

Re: Let the arms race begin...

"Discharging a gun inside the city limits can be problematic though, because you're never sure where the bullet will end up if you miss (and sometimes even if you hit - pass through, minimal loss of velocity etc) but I'd think a shotgun would have been ok in that regard."

Shotgun = lots of little balls of shot, not one big bullet (assuming he wasn't shooting solid slug, and I'd be amazed if he hit a drone with solid slug!).

Pro: those pellets bleed energy quickly and won't go more than 300yds.

Cons: Lots of them means it's a statistical certainty not all of them will hit the drone - that's the point, you fire a pattern of shot and effectively get more than one attempt per cartridge.

This means shot WILL have landed downrange - not very far, but probably on someone else's property. That's reckless endangerment.

1
2
rh587

Re: Let the arms race begin...

"I don't know much about guns, but I imagine that a typical shotgun charge has a lot of small round shot in it, so the risk of that coming down far away elsewhere under gravity and remaining momentum is a whole lot smaller than a bullet."

A lot less than a bullet, and being spherical, the shot has an awful ballistic co-efficient and bleeds it's energy very quickly.

Depending on the weight of shot and the powder load (26/28/32g) as well as the range, it could break the skin or worse if you caught one in the eye.

2
0
rh587

Re: Let the arms race begin...

"They'll tumble instead and fall to the ground with about the force of a comparably-sized pebble dropped from the shot's apex (1-200 feet, I think). Meaning, at worst, it can be annoying but it shouldn't be lethal."

Yes and no. Depending on the angle at which it was fired, it may still be travelling horizontally with some force - even if it's vertical speed is only the acceleration due to gravity from the apex.

At best it bounces off, at worst it could break the skin. If it hits a small child or a vulnerable area (e.g. your eyes) the results could be more severe. Of course this guy wouldn't know if anyone was "downrange" if he was shooting over a 2-metre privacy fence...

2
2
rh587

Re: He should go free...

I expect him to lose and for one very simple reason.

In the UK, anyone engaging in shooting activities is legally obliged to ensure that any shots fired do not leave the boundaries of the land over which you have permission to shoot, nor that you endanger another individual. Shooting over someone else's land even form your own land is considered akin to trespassing on their land (or more specific, armed trespass since you're carrying a firearm - armed trespass being a criminal matter, not civil like regular trespass).

I doubt America has such a law, however it seems probable that some or all of the shot will have landed outside of his back garden. It may have landed in his neighbour's back garden. He would not have able to see if there was anybody in that garden because of the aforementioned two metre privacy fence (which is opaque in BOTH directions!).

Therefore he will be bang to rights for reckless endangerment.

How peeved would you be if you or your child were peppered with buckshot because the guy next door decided to take potshots at a drone?

10
18

HP slaps dress code on R&D geeks: Bin that T-shirt, put on this tie

rh587

"Also I would really like to meet one of these "customers" who are so terribly fragile that they'd throw a contract in the bin over employees of a prospective service provider being dressed one way or another. They would be very fun to troll but I have a feeling that they do not in fact exist."

My neighbour worked as a window cleaner for many years, and ran the company for a few years when the boss decided to semi-retire. During the handover, his boss told him to always have a shirt and tie in the car for when he was delivering invoices and dealing with customers. They might be window cleaners but they could be professional about it dammit!

A couple of weeks later he was asked why he was wearing a shirt?

"Um, professionalism?"

The customer suggested that his working t-shirt and trousers were fine and he'd never understood why $boss had always gone and got a shirt out the car - he was a window cleaner and they were his working gear. Just because the customers (solicitors) were wearing suits, didn't mean he needed to put on a shirt in order to talk to them - the company's professionalism would be judged on how clean the windows were!

12
0
rh587

I know a company which tried to dress down generally. They encouraged staff to dress comfortably, down to and including polos, etc - unless you had customers visiting, or osme public-facing duty, or a meeting with the Directors, or any one of a number of items which called for you to be suited and booted.

Since it was often difficult to know if a colleague might have customers visiting and might want to call you into the conference room to answer a tricky question, everyone just carried on wearing shirt and tie.

Either you commit to a dress code and make a statement that "this is who we are and this is how we do things", or you don't bother.

3
0

Rise of the swimming machines: US sub launches and recovers a drone

rh587

Re: Question

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle.

Upload a mission profile and let it run. There's no operator such as you would get with the Reaper aerial drones.

Autonomous Aerial Vehicles do also exist, but only unarmed platforms running surveillance/intelligence/target drone duties, etc since any sort of weapon-release calls for human authorisation.

They're also used in civvie street for aerial surveys, scientific remote sensing, etc - send it off on a survey path and it comes back a few hours later with all your data. No need to sit at a terminal driving it all that time. Obviously locations where you can do this are limited. Oceanography is one such application - not much air traffic at 1000ft in the middle of the Atlantic.

2
0

SpaceX's blast shock delays world's MOST POWERFUL ROCKET

rh587

"All this presupposes that NASA and Friends can bring the SLS in on time and on budget, not something they have much past history of doing."

Absolutely. Based on recent form, there's a very good chance NASA could be stood with a still-not-ready SLS in 2018 whilst Musk smiles and waves calling:

"I say chaps, we've got this Heavy over here if you need something big lifting? Anything? Give us a shout if you need us! Oh, you do? Well, step into my office..."

5
0

Florida cops cuff open-carry, balls-out pirate packing 'operational' flintlocks

rh587

Re: Much fuss over nothing?

"I am puzzled. I thought it was carrying a concealed weapon which usually needed a special licence - if allowed at all?"

Some states actually permit Concealed Carry (with or without a permit), but not Open Carry.

Some have it the other way round, and other permit both.

Carry laws are legislated at a State - not federal - level, and thus there are 51 (including DC) sets of rules, all subtly different.

6
0

Elon Musk's $4.9 BEELLLION taxpayer windfall revealed

rh587

"together have benefited from an estimated $4.9bn in government support, according to the data compiled."

Government support or government subsidies or government contracts?

Yes, clearly Solar City and Tesla benefit from various go-green rebates for their customers. SpaceX on the other hand I thought was largely funded by it's contracts.

A contract that happens to be from a government arm (whether that be the Air Force, CIA or NASA) is hardly a "subsidy". It's a contract to provide a service. You can argue whether the taxpayer should be spending money on whatever that thing is, but it's not a subsidy - it's not allowing the company to operate at a loss and still balance their books (no more so than a military supplier carrying certain IP over into civilian products).

Moreover, when we consider the amounts by which he is undercutting the lumbering incumbents, it does indeed look to be a bargain.

As far as Tesla goes, their 200,000 vehicle limit will dry up, but if all goes to plan, Musk's Gigafactory will be producing cheap batteries by then, allowing him to drop the price of his products (both cars and powerwalls) by not inconsiderable amounts, so he is at least trying to play the short-term subsidy game - get it whilst it's hot and use it to bankroll longer-term prospects.

12
3

Man sparks controversy, fined $120 for enjoying wristjob while driving

rh587

Re: Driving? PAY ATTENTION TO DRIVING!!!

"These more specific laws are fine"

These more specific laws are not fine, because they gave him a penalty for using a "hand-held device that contained a telephone", when in fact the device he was using was neither hand-held, nor contained a telephone...

Whatever his personal failings as a driver, he hasn't actually broken the law as enacted.

He's definitely in for a due-care-and-attention charge if they have such a law available, but the Police can't just redefine words to suit their purpose - where hand-held now means anything attached, worn or in the general vicinity of your body, and telephone means a computer peripheral!

The courts exist exactly to curtail the Police when they attempt to ignore creatively interpret the law as written.

3
0
rh587

Re: Can't wait for the "but the car is automatic" defense

"I dunno what car you drive but I don't think holding on to the steering wheel would class your car as a hand held telephone device, although a sufficiently creative prosecution might try."

If they're going to use a "hand-held device" ban to prosecute someone for operating a smart watch - which clearly isn't a hand-held device (nor contains a telephone), then I would say your odds of prosecuting for car-phones are really quite good, based on the fact the steering wheel clearly is a hand-held device, and the car clearly does contain a telephone.

I hope he gets off, not because I have any sympathy for him, but because the law is shit - I can fuck around with my fitbit (which doesn't have any telephony function whatsoever) to my heart's content, but in the eyes of the law that's less distracting than the equivalent iWatch, or gazing down at the touch screen embedded in the centre console? Give me a break.

You can't prosecute someone for operating a handheld telephone when the thing they were operating was neither handheld, or a telephone! That's akin to prosecuting for someone driving without a license when they do in fact have a license... You're just ignoring the law as written and making it up as you go along.

He needs to be prosecuted, but under a due-care-and-attention law. Of course they won't actually rewrite the law to address the realities of "in-car-entertainment" in 2015, they'll just hurry through an amendment that clumsily attempts to define smart watches and ignores the broader problem - such as the factory-fit distractions and the rest!

0
0

Wearable fitness tech: Exercising your self-motivation skills

rh587

Some of them are promoted as such. I wouldn't say mine motivates me so much as guilts me. The Fitbit defaults to a target of 10,000 steps per day, and although I knew I was a bit sedentary, I didn't realise I was often only doing 2000, which is only the equivalent of a short walk to the shops and back!

Ironically, when I'm on "holiday" I find myself easily exceeding 15,000 steps just from ambling around and about.

As a result, I've had a few days now when it's prompted me to pick up the camera and go for a nice walk, with the bonus that aside from getting some fresh air (and getting my steps up), I've been getting more use out of my camera!

3
0

Skype hauled into court after refusing to hand call records to cops

rh587

"Sorry, I'm totally against warrantless and mass collection of data, but if a court orders skype to hand over data for a criminal investigation and skype refuses, the next step will be that they will be summoned for obstructing investigation, not handing over evidence or even accomplice to criminal deeds."

Remind us all how much jurisdiction a Belgian court has in Luxembourg, or the USA for that matter?

You can't order a foreign company to do squat unless they have a branch registered in your country which you can serve a summons on. Sure, they can post a summons to their Luxembourg office, but they're under no compulsion to show up. What are they going to do - send Belgian Police across the border to arrest Skype execs in Luxembourg? That's rendition/kidnap, and wars have started over less provocative acts.

That's why we have European Arrest Warrants and cross-border cooperation, so the Belgians can make a request to the relevant authorities to help them in securing evidence. It is entirely right and proper that the Belgian Police go through the proper process to secure evidence held in another country.

I have friends in the Channel Islands who service various clients where the law requires customer data to be stored locally, in-country. Are you suggesting that the FBI should simply be able to say "oi, send us a clone of that disk" and they should just wing it over with narry a thought?

Not a flocking chance. If anyone wants that data, they go to the Jersey/Guernsey authorities and ask for their co-operation in acquiring the data they require. If the request isn't coming from local authorities, it has no power whatsoever, because Jersey companies are not subject to US law. They're subject to Jersey law, just as Luxembourg companies are not subject to Belgian law (or Belgian law enforcement). Funny that.

7
1

KA-BOOM! Russian rocket EXPLODES over Siberia minutes after lift-off

rh587

Re: Tomorrow, tomorrow...

"One does wonder if Skylon is being developed by one old boy in his garden shed, who's funding it from his pension.

Please could we see some proper investment and some more entrepreneurial management? Move faster, make a few mistakes."

Three old boys effectively. They're averse to taking government funding because they all worked on HOTOL which was great until the government cut funding, causing the project to fall apart.

They also actively avoid investment from one of the biggest sources of venture capital (the USA), for fear of getting strung up under ITAR regs and becoming beholden to the whims of the US Gov once an American entity owns a slice of the tech. Even if Musk offered them money they wouldn't want it. The ESA have granted various lumps of funding, but they've deliberately limited their investment options which unfortunately limits their rate of development.

0
0

UK safety app keeping lorries on the right side of cyclists

rh587

Funny, UPS optimised their routes in the US to favour right-hand turns on the basis they suffer fewer mid-junction T-boning accidents as they would never cross the path of oncoming traffic (or at least minimise such maneuvres). Also, such routes tended to be a bit quicker as you would not be waiting for gaps in traffic to make your turn, which saves fuel and driver hours.

I imagine in the UK they have their mapping software optimised to do the local equivalent - favour left hand turns. Somehow doubt they'll be breaking their software to now do the exact opposite and favour the inefficient routes they've been busy optimising out!

2
0

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

rh587

Re: Not on Shuttle-

The Shuttle was it's own abort capsule. Half the crew were on the mid-deck anyway, so impossible to eject, and the odds of them actually getting to a hatch if something went wrong were slim. They toyed with making the crew compartment an entire ejectable pod that could detach from the rest of the orbiter vehicle, but time, funding - never happened.

As one astronaut pointed out - at launch, if you're at an altitude where you can eject, then the SRBs are still burning - if you survive going through their flame trail, you won't have a parachute. Once the SRBs are burned out, you're too high and fast to eject anyway. Short of a fully enclosed ejection cabin, it was a bit of a non-starter.

At landing, if you've made it to a safe bail-out altitude, then you've survived the worst of re-entry in one piece anyway!

What they did have was a hoofing zip-wire from the top of the launch tower down to an armoured personnel carrier, which was left with the engine running during the launch process. If something went wrong early in the launch, then in theory they could pile back out the main hatch and leave the shuttle to burn on the pad. Of course, in bulky launch suits, the odds of them ever making it as far the cage in time to zip away before it all went boom was miniscule.

The slidewires were probably of more value to technicians and closeout crew members if there was a problem during the preparation and fuelling stages and they needed to get off the launch tower in a hurry (fuel leak, pad fire or something)

2
0

French BIONIC EYE sits IN your peeper, feeds infrared light into nerves

rh587

Misbehaviour...

How long before we see misbehavior with television remote controls being flashed at people with the implants to overload them, or cause a DOS attack?

Presumably they could simply apply an IR-protective coating to the glasses, meaning that the only IR reaching the eyes is that emitted by the transmitter, eliminating any ambient IR.

Since the image signal is entirely artificial and calculated from a camera input (rather than boosting the ambient light actually reaching the eyes), the goggle lenses could presumably be entirely opaque, giving the system a nice, dark controlled environment in which to do it's thing.

0
0

Don't shoot the Messenger: NASA's suicide probe to punch hole in Mercury

rh587
Joke

Borrowed!?

"so NASA borrowed a new type of flat radio aerial from the US military and used that instead."

I hope the military aren't expecting to get that back...

7
0

Boffins brew up FIRST CUPPA in SPAAACE using wireless energy (well, sort of)

rh587

Re: energy for cloud-cuckoo land

"Since microwaves will boil water, cloud cover could get interesting."

Lots of remote-sensing satellites already use microwave band instruments precisely because they can see through cloud (unlike IR).

You just need to select your frequency with care.

0
0

UK spaceport, phase two: Now where do we PUT the bleeding thing?

rh587

Re: "no UK Government ever spends any money west of Bristol"

"Well, not strictly true.

You've got Plymouth Dockyards, RNAS Yeovilton, and the UK Hydrographic Office which are directly MOD or MOD trading funds, so west of Bristol is too broad."

And the Met Office in Exeter.

But yes, the M5 runs out at Exeter. Cornwall is basically just pasties (nom) and traffic jams (in summer).

2
0

Murky online paedo retreat: The Nether explores the fantasy-reality divide

rh587

Re: "We all accept"

"with the best (or worst) will in the world, neither you nor your wife are going to remotely resemble 10-year old children, despite whatever makeup or facelifts you indulge in."

But you accept that the activity itself is a fundamentally legal (if tasteless - depending on your POV) partnership between two consenting adults?

So what you're trying (and struggling) to say is that with significantly more convincing (digital) costumes, the ethics of the activity change?

Perhaps you might like to put forward arguments in support of that (entirely reasonable) position, rather than simply spouting "child abuse bad".

Because yeah, duh. But we're not discussing child abuse.

7
0
rh587

"So.......if we accept the premise of this play, Gary Glitter should have been found "not guilty" in his first trial as his possession of kiddie-porn photos was likely to prevent him from carrying out real life attacks."

No.... because the porn in itself depicted unacceptable child abuse, and we follow the logic that the supply is (in part) linked with demand and therefore the consumer is an accessory to the abuse.

If Glitter's porn had consisted solely of Lisa Simpson being subjected to animated incest then his conviction might be more tenuous, since no harm was done to any living person.

And so it is in the scenario posed by The Nether - no harm has been done to a child, and no harm will be done to a child, because the entire meeting is a digitally-augmented roleplay game between consenting adults.

The question you should be asking yourself is that - in the knowledge that consenting adults do engage for instance in daddy/daughter role-play (apparently that's a thing) - is a digitally enhanced extension of that - entirely legal - activity ethically different?

"The basic premise of the plays argument is wrong: habituation to a certain practice, even if simulated, makes it more likely that the practice will be repeated in real life. Not less. Repetition breeds acceptance and familiarity: if it didn't, then what would be the point of aircraft / tank / battlefield simulators?"

It's not the premise of the play, it's the question the play is asking. In that respect, it cannot be "wrong".

Moreover, your references to simulators are hopelesly misplaced. Spending time in a simulator does breed familiarity, but does not mean that (e.g. if you simulate firing your tank cannon) you are more likely to do it in real life. In actuality it means you are more likely to use that cannon efficiently and effectively if you have need to use it. It doesn't mean that the moment you are deployed you will go blowing the place up firing shots everywhere. It simply means you'll be well equipped to use that equipment when you need it.

"If some deviant practices kiddie porn in private, its more likely to make him accept carrying out the real thing. Not less."

Two things.

1. Cite your sources. Such claims require evidence. There is a whole section of criminal psychology which would disagree with you.

2. When did "porn" become a verb? What does "to practice porn" mean?*

* Don't answer, I don't want to know.

This play tries to create a discussion where no discussion is needed. In our society abuse of children is not acceptable.

Indeed it is not. But at no point in the play does it actually try to argue that abuse of children is acceptable. All activities are between consenting adults wearing digital costumes. People engage in roleplay now, so is roleplay with a more convincing costume ethically different? I'm inclined to accept that it might be. But not because of any argument that you have put forth in your drivellous rant.

15
0

Elon Musk plans to plonk urban Hyperloop subsonic tube on California

rh587

Re: About 4-to-1

Considering in most countries the number of start-ups that make it past their second year without going bust is 50-1, 4-1 is a fairly god-like ratio.

Anyway, let us know when you've built up your own billion dollar car company and are launching services to the ISS...

9
2

Big Brother in SPAACE: Mars One picks first 100 morons to suffocate, er, settle on Red Planet

rh587

The MIT Paper gamed it out?

The MIT paper opened with this statement in the abstract:

"That being said, the ISRU technology required to produce nitrogen, oxygen, and water on the surface of Mars is at a relatively low Technology Readiness Level (TRL), so such findings are preliminary at best."

Which is them saying "you can't do it tomorrow, but if the technology is developed it might work". They even recognise that such technological development and demonstration is included in the Mars One plan.

The proposed launch date is 2024 - 9 years away.

In 1960, the technology required to carry humans to the moon, down to the surface and back was also at a "relatively low Technology Readiness Level (TRL)".

But sure enough, in 1969 Neil Armstrong landed (probably, if it wasn't all on a sound stage).

Heck, the iPad 1 was only released in September 2010 - less than 5 years ago. Look at how the world has changed since then. The way we work, the way we communicate. The world's moving fast.

Obviously

I don't think this is actually going to happen. Endemol are not going to bankroll this to the tune of $4.5bn, and they haven't the resource to put together a Project Apollo-level R&D effort to get the pieces in place in time.

I do however object to a paper that describes the technology as merely immature (along with raising concerns over certain points of mission architecture) being presented as evidence that the whole thing is doomed to failure.

I think Elon and SpaceX are more likely to actually make it happen, but lets not write this whole thing off as impossible. It is possible. It's just really difficult, and quite expensive.

2
0

How's your F-ITCH-bit? Surge gizmo sparks rash of complaints, watchdog's attention

rh587

"So Fitbit has designed a product to be worn by people who exercise... which does bad things when combined with *sweat*?"

They do recommend you remove it whilst showering, and to allow the skin to breath. I'm not quite sure why people expect to be able to wear anything 24/7 with no ill-effects. The Force did genuinely cause an allergic reaction, but wearing any band 24/7 will leave you with some sort of friction/contact sore regardless of how much it cost, much like bed sores from lying in one place constantly.

I have the next one down (Charge HR), and did develop a small red mark where the Heart Rate sensor presses against the skin, but that was only after I'd worn it a week (including to sleep), only removing it for showers. I just had a couple of days off, only putting it on when I actually went for a run. You're not exactly losing out on a whole lot of data if you take it off for a few hours whilst you're sat at your desk.

1
0

French plod can BAN access to any website – NO court order needed

rh587

Re: If a website is really so bad...

"How will le plod ban access to web sites not hosted on French soil ? Scan all of cyberspace for pages displaying the banned IP addresses and threaten to close down their site owner's local French embassies? Send the paras ?"

Probably have Telcos do what BT did to block the Pirate Bay - which was to change the record on their default DNS service to point at their own page telling you not to be naughty.

Changed my computer's default DNS to 8.8.8.8 and presto, magically reappeared ...for downloading linux distros and such...

1
0

NASA greenlights SpaceX and Boeing to carry crew to ISS in 2017

rh587

"Just a question of what the astronauts say - tried, tested, and quite reliable Russian tech versus unpredictable and explody US tech.

OK, so the private US ventures have come a long way, but carrying astronauts? Real, expensive, meat bags?"

SpaceX are already establishing a reputation as having one of the most reliable launch platforms on the market. Give it another 18 months of the same and I can't see any astronauts would have any problems climbing into Dragon.

Falcon 9 has lost precisely one payload. And that was a secondary payload that they lost not because they couldn't technically do it, but because the primary payload owners declined authority for an additional second-stage burn. Since astronauts are always a primary payload, that's a 100% success rate.

Show me another launch platform with that record.

6
0

David Cameron: I'm off to the US to get my bro Barack to ban crypto – report

rh587

Re: ya right

"It's pretty much a given that he's out. The question is which omnicidal moron we install in his place."

A given? Is it? Lots of people seem to complaining about Cameron, but they're not all clamouring to vote for Milliband either. Realistically, if it's another coalition it's going to be Dave or Ed in as the senior partner, and I wouldn't stake money on it being Ed.

All depends - at the end of the day - on how successfully the SNP split the Labour vote, UKIP split the Tory vote and what happens with the disaffected LibDem vote.

3
1

Drone in NEAR-MISS with passenger jet at Heathrow airport

rh587

"How big would it have to be to be a significant danger to an Airbus? (Bigger than a goose?)"

Some of the media have hyped it as a near-fatal accident, which I thought was overegging it a bit. Aircraft are designed to deal with minor collisions (birds, etc), so it's unlikely to have been at any risk of downing the aircraft.

That said, airports spend significant money having people run around scaring birds and doing their best to eliminate the risk of FOD and bird strikes. They don't need people flying bird-sized aircraft back into their airspace after they've finished scaring off the animals who genuinely can't be expected to respect restricted airspace.

A drone may not down an aircraft, but it'll force a turn-back if it goes through an engine, and who's going to pick up the tab for either a multi-million pound rebuild or an all-new engine?

2
0

Jacking up firearms fees will cost SMEs £3.5 MILLION. Thanks, Plod

rh587

Re: No sympathy

"(seriously, what's up with that? Are the Reg's editorial staff all keen shooters?)"

Gareth is.

Also, in my experience, shooting clubs seem to be disproportionately filled with engineers (of both mechanical and electronic bent), computer scientists, tradesmen - anyone who likes problem solving or fiddling with intricate mechanical stuff. I recall my uni rifle club at one stage had a committee consisting of an aerospace engineer, an electronic engineer, an ocean scientist, two chemists, a medical student and a single, solitary humanities student. That was representative of the club as a whole, and is something I have noticed in other non-university rifle clubs.

I imagine there are probably quite a lot of people on El Reg who shoot or have shot in the past.

4
0
rh587

Re: No sympathy

"the public is subsidising gun-owners. Who generally tend to be people like the landed gentry and others who are far better-off than most of us."

Bullplop.

My current club has 200+ members, of which the vast majority are engineers, tradespeople, retirees, along with some juniors. My last club had 100 members and was much the same.

I don't dispute that every country estate has a gun room, which may contain some fairly valuable firearms, but that is in no way representative of the UK's shooting community.

The rest of us are regular joes, farmers (for whom a firearm is a tool of work, no different to a tractor - not a recreational article), etc, etc. Not spending our weekend with Lord Grantham shooting Grouse with a £100k pair of Purdeys.

"After all, most guns are used for no better purpose than blasting birds out of the sky so chinless wonders can pretend they're wonderful "sportsmen" just because they've slaughtered a bit of wildlife."

Well, most of the 10million airguns in the UK are for target shooting or back-garden tin-can plinking.

Of the couple of million or so rifles and shotguns, the overwhelming majority are for target shooting, clay pigeon shooting, or pest control - not driven game bird or deer stalking.

Of course deer stalking is a perfectly legitimate activity too - in the absence of a top-level predator such as wolves, population control falls to us (deer herds controlled by famine and disease are not a pretty thing to behold).

3
0

Under the Iron Sea: YES, tech and science could SAVE the planet

rh587

Re: Iron is not enough

"I have always undestood that phosphorus in some soluble form was a limiting element."

Sorry, but your understanding is limited. My Ocean Science lecturers universally defined Iron as the usual limiting nutrient, though in areas Phosphorous may also be limiting, or may be the next limiting nutrient once Iron has been supplied. It may also be that you only need to add a little iron for it to not be limiting, and each area needs a tailored cocktail to get the bets results.

Certainly when I was studying this stuff it was established that it worked quite well, but the cost of actually processing and shipping that iron out there off-set most of the carbon sequestration that took place, which rendered the whole effort somewhat pointless.

Of course if suitable seeding material can be sourced as a waste product of some other processing going on anyway, and it doesn't take much carbon to transport it from it's source to the coast (and sail out to sea), then that changes the equation rather dramatically.

Of course care needs to be taken. Just because an area appears relatively barren of life does not mean it is not supporting certain niche species, and using it as a dumping ground to sequester carbon could - in excess - cause major environmental issues if we continuously bloom areas which should naturally be clear water.

0
0

Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs

rh587

Re: Sir!

"I have to say I'm quite surprised they didn't go with a SWATH ship - its whole point is that it is as immune to rough seas as one can possibly get in the 21st century - and the layout seems to naturally fit the requirement for a wide, flat vessel"

True. You could custom-build a very stable SWATH. But I'm guessing this is just a stopgap until he can prove he can do it safely and then move recovery operations onto land.

Consequently I very much doubt that barge was built for SpaceX - it's probably just a second-hand commercial barge that they bolted some hefty station-keeping gear on and a big landing deck.

2
0

My HOUSE used to be a PUB: How to save the UK high street

rh587

Re: With you on this

"My own local council seems to think spending £1-2m quid every few years on laying a new surface on the high street will solve the problem."

Similar story here - our council spent a vast sum resurfacing the town's large Pay & Display. Two months later, 40% of that tarmac was torn up by the developers who had bought a chunk of it to build fairly crap infill housing.

As part of the town's redevelopment they also sold a chunk to a new supermarket who have arrived (who won't go anywhere without controlling their own parking). That parking is now ANPRd for customers only. Unlike a different local town (with a more competent council and thriving high street) where the supermarket car park is Pay and Display (with refund on your ticket in store for customers), which means people can use it as general parking if they want. In our town however, it's for the store only, even though it's right next to the high street - they don't want you popping across to the local greengrocer. Barstewards (that's malicious barstewards in the supermarket, incompetent barstewards in the council).

In this respect our planners failed utterly (compared with their sensible refusal to have our pub converted), allowing the superstore and developers to walk all over them without stipulating a stringent set of conditions like the next town along did (and which has embraced the presence of a supermarket but in a manner that is friendly to the town centre).

3
0
rh587

Re: Doing my bit

The pub (a Free House) in our local village closed, primarily because the owners had managed to hack off pretty much everyone within a 5 mile radius, despite doing superb food. They desperately tried to get planning permission to convert to residential but were refused. After about 5 years it reopened, with the wildly successful young bartender from the pub in the next village behind the bar. He created a great atmosphere and people flooded in.

After 6 months his place was taken by the old couple - turns out he hadn't taken it over, they'd just paid him a pretty penny to "consult" for 6 months and get it running into a going concern for them.

Having struggled on for 12 months they're now closing down. Again. Because she's a racist, homophobic harpie and he has the personality of a sponge They were idiots not to sell it 12 months ago as a profitable going concern. Instead they've taken a resurrected pub and run it into the ground.

I am eternally grateful to the planners for refusing them planning permission to convert the property. Once that stops being a pub and becomes a house it will never go back. But if that couple finally get a clue and flock off, we might actually get a pub worth drinking in. Were it not for the planners, the village would be solely comprised of houses and the church. At least we still have a pub. On and Off.

The village shop has been converted - because there's a big Tesco barely 2 miles away, so that was never going to remain sustainable. But there's no other pub - just that one.

It's sustainable and there's a market and demand for it - we would support it, except the owners are not cut out for the pub trade. Or indeed any sort of customer-facing retail position anywhere.

10
0

The late 2014 Apple Mac Mini: The best (and worst) of both worlds

rh587

Re: Laptop

"I don't think it runs a laptop CPU. At least the 2012 one doesn't.

It also doesn't use laptop RAM or laptop hard disk (from what little I know about laptop parts) given that you can fit a standard desktop SATA SSD."

The 2012 Mac Minis did indeed come with Mobile CPUs, Laptop RAM and 2.5" HDDs - easily replaceable with 2.5" SATA SSDs.

The current one comes with a -U series Haswell, which is classed as Mobile, and - in the Fusion Drive configuration - a 2.5" HDD tucked underneath the PCIe Flash stick.

They're quite right, it's a laptop without a screen or peripherals. it used to be quite a modular laptop where you could slot in a second 2.5" drive next to the stock one, change it for an SSD or add your own RAM. Now you can change out the PCIe flash and whatever sits in the SATA bay, but that's it.

6
0

Dead pilot named in tragic Virgin Galactic spaceship crash

rh587

Re: RB's real interest isn't space, that's just a bonus.

One news article said they'd burned (no pun intended) through most of their $400m from Aabar Investments and Virgin Group are now funding day-to-day operations. I imagine Aabar are hoping Branson will carry on piling Virgin's money into it so that they eventually see a return on their investment rather than just pulling the plug and calling it a bad job, as will the New Mexico State government who have poured $200m into Spaceport America specifically to attract the likes of Virgin Galactic, and who will not want one of their highest profile tenants to be packing up and calling it a day.

On the plus side, latest news reports are suggesting it was an errant feathering of flight controls rather than the rocket motor going boom, which suggests that it's an error in the flight software rather than a fundamental design or engineering problem which is going to send them back to the drawing board.

It's worrying that there's an error in there at all given the strict standards that such software is supposed to be written to, but initial reports would suggest there isn't fundamental flaw in the airframe or motor design that would require a total redesign of the package (and render the partially-complete VSS Voyager vehicle obsolete).

2
0

Apple CEO Tim Cook: My well-known gayness is 'a gift from GOD'

rh587

Yeah, I thought that. Who's proud of their sexuality? "I'm proud to be straight/gay/bisexual" kind of suggests you consider it to be superior to the others, rather than simply different, which is not quite what "Equality" movements are about.

There are lots of things he can be proud of:

- Proud that he is part of a society in which he can openly live his chosen lifestyle without being beaten up, chemically castrated or removed from his position as CEO of a business

- Proud that he has overcome any misgivings and fears over "officially" coming out

- Proud of those around him who have accepted it without question

But proud of being gay? Not really.

I'm proud of you Tim. Not for being gay, but for being sufficiently comfortable with yourself to be open and honest about it. Or I would be, if I could muster myself up enough to care about which way people swing in this day and age.

12
2

KRAKKOOOM! Space Station supply mission in PODULE PRANG EXPLOSION CHAOS

rh587
Joke

Re: Russian conspiracy?

Russians? No, I expect the gatehouse are busy checking the visitor logs for any contractors coming on site by the name of "Noel Smuk" or similar... speaking of which, who was that yacht registered to!?

1
0

Reg hacks see the woods or the trees In the Forest of the Night

rh587

Not sure it needs to be darker. Just go back to basics. The stand out episode of this season for me has been Listen - good old monsters-under-the-bed creepiness.

Not dark or adult, just a common fear of the dark.

That said, I do wonder why they are showing what is ostensibly a family show (and really quite light a breezy with no especially gruesome or dark bits) at 8.30pm. What happened to Who being 7pm Prime Time viewing?

0
0

Page:

Forums