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* Posts by Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

27 posts • joined 17 Oct 2011

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

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward
Pint

Kudos

I tip my hat to the scientists and boffins who have managed to measure/observe, or whatever they did, to something 2cm in size at that kind of distance. An incredible feat of technology.

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NASA opens its Jupiter photo album to honour Pioneer 10

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: Last pic

Not that good - I don't see David Cameron bombing in the side......

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When the lights went out: My 'leccy-induced, bog floor crawling HORROR

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Two Anecdotes to this...

I'm a bit late chipping in but here are two comments.....

1) About 15 years back, the company I was working for took on a new recruit. A networking guy in his early 30's, who had come from the power industry, and work on "safety critical" systems. During the first few weeks/months whilst fitting in with the team, he would chat about his previous employment. Even back then he was commenting that the power industry was heading into a huge black hole (which the power companies were all aware of), and that by 2015-2020 the UK would be in a major power crisis: - old power stations (30-40 years old) were being or were scheduled for shutdown, coal was coming to an end, "green pressure" was starting to bite on all fossil fuels, the UK had not researched or kept up with nuclear development since the 60's, etc, etc, etc, and meanwhile our appetite for electricity was forever growing - not just at home, but our business in those days of the mid/late 90's was data centres and PoP's which were starting to appear and munch through kilowatt hours at an alarming rate.

2) At around the same time, give or take 5 years or so I was driving one morning up the M6. I was stabbing the buttons on the car radio and ended up on some local station somewhere. There was an article on the news about a power cut the night before which had left umpteen thousands of homes in the area with no power all night. After the news the DJ stepped in to have a little "backchat" with the newsreader and commented that he was one of the homes that had been blacked out. He and his wife had to fumble around in the dark to find if they had some candles and matches somewhere, whilst his kids thought it was really exciting and spooky with no power, and thought that candles were only for birthday cakes and couldn't actually be used to produce "real" light. He then went on to say, that after five - ten minutes the kids started to realise there was no TV, no DVD, no computer, no cordless phone, no microwave, no warm food, no light in the fridge, no heating, no light to see anything by anywhere except a couple of solitary candles, and then started to get really stressed about the lack of electrcity. The DJ/newsreader then went on to comment about how reliant we were now on electricity compared to when they were youngsters (aka in the 70's) when such things were relatively frequent and how we are not prepared for it, and how his kids had never ever experienced a power cut or had any concept that such things happened.

I'm not sure why I remember both anecdotes so clearly after all this time, but there was obviously a connection between them, and I guess it started to make me think about what to do if the power is off for more than 15 minutes every five years, or whatever we take for granted these days.

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Top comet-watcher pens ISON's emotional obituary

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Nice touch...

I was looking forward to a nice bright streak across the sky on a crisp winters night, but alas...

That's a nice and thoughtful touch he put on the end.

"In ISON's memory," he writes, "donations are encouraged to your local astronomy club, observatory or charity that supports STEM and science outreach programs for children."

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If this doesn't terrify you... Google's computers OUTWIT their humans

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Show me pictures of my dog.....

I just asked google to show me pictures of my dog on the beach at sunset, and it was an epic fail.

There were lots of pictures of dogs I don't recognise, and none of mine.

Mind you, I don't have a dog.

So, by that test, I think think humans are safe from the rise of the google machine for at least a while yet.

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Broadband rivals 'pleased' over Ofcom's market shake-up plans. Maybe too pleased

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

OFCOM seem obsessed with attempting to drive down the cost of broadband, and presumably squeezing everyones margins along the way. Why can't they just accept that's how much it costs for a broadband connection? Personally, I think £20 per month for my 16mb/s (upto 20) service is amongst the best £20 a month I spend, for what I get in return and what it gives access to. If I needed to save £20 a month, there are plenty of things I would sacrifice before my internet connection.

The people I feel sorry for are those also paying £20 or whatever, and getting a pittance of a service, or no service at all (though obviously not paying £20 in that case!). If OFCOM had some balls they would "price cap" at the wholesale or retail point, and make the amount they charge dependent on the speed they actually deliver. ie £20 for upto 20mb/s, but if they can only deliver 5mb/s, then they only get to charge £5. That might actutally make some of the ISP's pull their fingers our and invest in getting a better network.

By continually squeezing everyones margins, they are making it even more difficult for an ISP to justify giving punters better speeds, or for those who live in a black-spot/have-not, any prospect of service at all.

Just my tuppence worth.....

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How City IT is under attack from politicians, diesel bugs, HR

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: Diesel Bug

Diesel bugs exits in both mineral diesel and biodiesel (which is, roughly speaking, a blend of mineral diesel and vegetable oils).

It's not a critical issue with cars and general transport as the fuel is pretty fresh, ie. from refinery to your tank in a week or two, and re-filled in your tank every few days/weeks. It can be a problem with standby generators as the fuel may have been sitting in the tank for years. And I mean years. If you have a standby genset at work, when was the last time anyone ran the tank to the red-line or until the little light came on, and refilled it? Sure, you might "top up" a few hudred litres each year after routine testing, but the bulk of the fuel may have been there 5 or 10 years or more.

It's not unusual for a genset to fire up during a power failure, run for a hour or so, then cough and splutter to a halt as the sludge and stuff get drawn through the filters.

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NORKS harbouring 3,000-strong cyber army, claims Seoul

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward
Black Helicopters

Re: This always makes me wonder...

Good points there, lglethal. My question would be that is it possible to "highly train" someone to be a world class hacker, or even a script kiddie? Or is that particular skill something you develop a skill/passion for by being exposed to these computery thingmybobs at a very young age and firstly teaching yourself how to fiddle, then growing from there? Is it really posible to take someone who has never seen a computer or the internet until, say teenage or university age, then give them such exposure to use it for malicious purposes? It would need some very good professors and lecturers, who in turn must have been trained very well and given a lot of internet exposure. And could a country the size of NoK come up with 3000 such persons?

Or is this just another round of sabre rattling? Another WMD and 45 minutes to hit London claim to "sex up" South Koreas and the wests paranoia?

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Tito's Mars mission to use HUMAN WASTE as radiation shield

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward
Mushroom

A whole new meaning.....

brings a whole new meaning to......

Klingons on the starboard bow........

(Can't believe no-one got there before me)

<< Good curry icon.

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Google sinks millions into plush new £1bn London HQ

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: More money than sense

"1300 employees is £500,000 per seat."

My seat cost £25 from a charity shop.

Can I get a job as a consultant to Google?

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Brit boffins build projectile-vomiting robot to kill norovirus

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward
Pint

Kebab and Lager?

How much kebab and lager is required to produce sufficient quanity of the vomitus substitute?

And does he only work on Friday and Saturday evenings?

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DEKATRON reborn: Full details on World's Oldest Digital Computer

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Back in the day

Easy to forget that the UK was once a world pioneer in Nuclear Power AND Computing. Nice to see we have preserved something from that era so future generations can understand what this country used to achieve.

Plus, I bet it smells nice when running, that authentic, warm, ye olde electricale smelle, unlike modern computers.

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Musk to blast right of way through California with railgun Concorde

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

round corners

Actually, i hope any high speed, highly stressed capsule has got round corners. History records that square corners on the Comet did not end too well......

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Curious robot rover Curiosity chews a second mouthful of Mars dirt

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward
Coat

Taste?

Bet it tastes of peanuts and caramel....... Oh sorry, that was a marathon/snickers, not a Mars bar.....

Oh well, one mouthful a day will help Curiosity work rest and play...

Coat? The one with a sticky chocolate bar in the pocket, of course.

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Beep! NASA here, a 400 tonne spacecraft is about to buzz your house

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: Harder to see in the daytime

Nice website and great pictures, Dave. Thanks for sharing it.

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Quarter of Eastern cell towers BLOWN down BY SANDY - FCC

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: If they didn't have all their electricity cables above ground...

I agree too. Always amazes me to see all those local distribution cables strung up on poles for miles, and so labour intensive to repair after damage. At least in the UK our local distribution is mostly underground, though of course the incoming 33kv to a town/village may well be on overheads. But, its a lot quick to repair one set of 33kv overheads in an open field and light up a few thousands homes than it is to have to repair poles on street after street of residential properties all lined with trees and branches.

I also suspect the 25% figures means sites out of action - either due to loss of power or loss of backhaul. Remember most mobile backhaul is on microwave link, which needs a pointing accuracy of less than 1 degree and line of site to work. A fallen tree can block the path, or twist the antenna enough to take the path down. Where you have one major node acting as a concentrator it can easily knock out comms over a larger area, even though many of the locals sites are still capable of working - as T-mobile learnt in the Peterborough area a few years back.

This is another solid reminder of why the emergency services MUST have their own comms networks, under their direct control and not rely on public infrastructure.

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Brit 4G live TODAY: At last you can bust your data cap in 5 minutes

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward
Thumb Down

Re: Does 2G work yet?

"promising "everyone can get [Vodafone] 4G when it launches next Spring" and offering a free replacement handset and 70 per cent of the remaining contract charges when customers upgrade to Vodafone 4G"

What a bunch of lying bathtubs Vodafone are. They have had 10 years to build a 3G network, and it's a joke. I very much doubt everyone will have 4G when it launches or for another 10 years afterwards. Vodafone don't even have a 4G licence yet, and are not guaranteed to get one (unlikely not to, admittedly) so how they can make statements like that beggers belief.

As I travel round the country my 3G Vodafone probably has 3G signal about 20% of the time. As previous poster comments, even a reliable 2G signal would be useful.

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Hitachi buys Horizon to save UK's nuclear future

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: 1,300MW

Hopefully there is a clock tower nearby if they ever need to jump start the reactor......

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US and S Korea both claim first place on voice over LTE

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward
Go

Voice over new Mobile Network??

Whatever will they think of next.......

Mind you, I think I would welcome improved call quality compared to what we are now forced to suffer over current 2G/3G implementations (in the UK at least). Let's return call quality to what it was 15 -20 years ago!

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Price Waterhouse Cooper: Only mobile comms can SAVE HUMANITY

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

2012 or 1912?

Sorry, which century are we in here?

"wireless telephony is described as "a key enabler of change" whose ability to spread education and information is necessary to drive the jumps in productivity we need." Which is exactly what Marconi, Sarnoff, et al were saying 100 years ago.....

"Brereton also brought up the example of fishermen using mobiles to check which harbour will offer the best price on the day's catch" Righty-o, and fishermen have not had ship-to-shore radio comms to do that exact thing for the past 75-ish years then? Even in places like Africa? And how does he expect a mobile to work 20 or 30 miles offshore?

Just confirms my belief that accountants should not be left in charge of technology, or the economy or the country......

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Bletchley Park gets £7.4m to tart up WWII code-breaking huts

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: The MoD should fund

The last thing Bletchley Park needs is civil servants and politcians getting involved......

Top marks to tBP for the funding, also one of the places I keep meaning to see but never get round to....

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10x power boost for Freeview as London analogue signal cut

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: Turn up the wick!

Nope, the old DTV powers were roughly 17dB down on analogue. Post DSO powers are typically 6-10dB down (pretty much on all sites) - that was the whole point of DSO - switch off the high power analogue and you free up spectrum to increase digital powers.

Also, directly comparing analogue radiated powers with digital to establish coverage areas is not a good idea. Digital can work with much lower strengths than analogue. If you need proof of this just look at the radiated powers in the analogue system for analogue sound, and NICAM digital sound. The NICAM carrier powers were around 1/10 of the analogue power, yet NICAM could still give solid reception when both vision and analogue audio were very noisey and starting to fail.

However, as another poster has pointed out, the biggest problem for some people now will be too much signal, overloading all those cheap and nasty freview boxes. This is particulary so for those who have installed high gain "digital" aerials and amplifiers. It's been a problem in other parts of the country, and it's effect is for some channel to be missing completely and is difficult for people to diagnose correctly. At least with analogue, overloading was fairly self evident from floating pictures in the background.

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Matt Groening reveals location of Simpsons' Springfield

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward
Facepalm

Re: Indeed

Heck, haven't seen that video for, er 29 years, thanks for sharing! Some of todays wannabe's could learn something about (cheesy) pop music and videos from that.

I must be getting on a bit as I am fairly sure I have some Tracey Ullman 7 inch vinyl in the cupboard under the stairs.. will have to dig it out and play it later....

What, it's the Simpsons we're talking about? Doh....

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Council to chuck £28m wad at schools' ICT supplier

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward
FAIL

Re: Who ate all the pis

And while we are at it lets spend lots of money on MS software that won't be used for anything that OpenOffice or LibreOffice can't be.

Double Fail.

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GiffGaff goes titsup again in 'leccy cable gaffe

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Problem?

Sounds just like every other mobile network then.....

And these people have a cheek to charge us money for delivering half-baked service?

I'm on GiffGaff and their service is patchy as hell - it has major capacity issues which they never admit (tested via multiple handsets etc). It typically hits in congested parts of London (most of London, then!) and calls are dropped instantly, one gets the service unavailable tones when attempting to connect a call, I've even had HALF-duplex calls where the recipient can't hear me and thinks it's a prank call(!), SMS fail to send, and don't get me started on internet reliability.

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Nanocapacitor slab to boost car batteries

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

Re: Stop and start = new batteries

Yeah, and not just the batteries, and the dealers cost to replace them. What about all those catalytic converters and diesel particulate filters that never get properly warmed up and stay warmed up, so fail much sooner than they normally would? Plus all those acidic exhaust gases that now get to condense in the exhaust system and cause it to rust much quicker. Plus what does stop/start tech do to the life of a starter motor? Given that a starter motor doing a few starts a day lasts for, lets say, 120,000 miles, do stop/start ones last for only 20,000 miles?

Manufacturers seem to love to spend OUR money on waste of space technology, 'cause it reduces their CO2 figures by a few g/km or saves £50 a year road tax, but adds hundreds, if not thousands onto the total costs of ownership of a car over its lifetime. And don't even mention the hassle of having it go wrong at the most inconvenient moment..... Having a lazy starter motor is one thing when you are sitting in a car park and take a few attempts to get it engaged and going, it's another entirely when you are stop/starting along a busy motorway or at a busy set of traffic lights.

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Voda in 3G blackhole probe by ASA

Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward
Unhappy

Voda 3g

IMHO Voda need to be investigated by Ofcom (for compliance with their license/coverage requirements) , not the ASA (though they do have a cheek to market 3G wireless broadband...).

As a self-employed bod who travels the length and breadth of the UK on a frequent basis, with a 3G Nokia on Voda, and a USB dongle on 3 for my laptop, there is no comparison between the networks. Voda's 3G coverage is an abysmal embarrassment. Outside built up areas it is non existent, and even in those areas it can be very patchy and slow. We are now almost 10 years into 3G technology, yet Voda have not even upgraded all of their 2G cells for 3G coverage, let alone built significant infills. My business often takes me to work on or next to cell sites, and I can stand there reading the Vodafone logo on a cabin door, yet there is no 3G coverage. Their 2G coverage is generally second to none, so they need to stop resting on their laurels and running on past glories and get some investment into their UK network and not on sponsoring football shirts and whatever.

When 3G first appeared Glasgow city centre was one of the areas across the UK which was "wired up" for discreet cellular coverage, with lots of infill points to create an experimental "wireless city". AFAIK that network is still there and Voda have access to it, so they have no excuse other than laziness and taking their eye off the ball.

And if you complain to Voda about 3G coverage? They ask for your postcode and offer to send you a femtocell PoS. What has my home postcode got to do with it? It's a bl**dy MOBILE phone - the clue being in the title. It actually works fairly well in my home.

Having spent a year with an I-phone on Voda my business partner ditched them in favour of 3 earlier this year and hasn't looked back, and whenever I get round to retiring my old Nokia I won't be hanging around with Voda either.

ooh, feel better for that now. Good start to a Monday morning...

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