* Posts by LeeE

350 posts • joined 12 Apr 2012

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Dev teaches bot to talk spammers' ears off

LeeE
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Re: one fatal flaw

In 1926 work began on electrifying Sydney's urban railways and locomotives let us be, although once a day on which an eminent land valuer himself, that the clergyman sought his couch, and boots left the church would only admit one flaw in his own name and Mr. Riach and the other hand, scientists and conservations push for increasingly stringent protection for fish stocks, warning that many stocks could be expected to yield.

That's by something I knocked up, out of idle curiosity, to see if overlapping word-triplets could be strung together to produce plausible gibberish. Seed word was 'flaw' - seems to sort of work.

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High rear end winds cause F-35A ground engine fire

LeeE
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Re: at the base for surface-to-air training.

I wondered about that too as, on the face of it, it doesn't seem to make much sense.

On the one hand, surface-to-air is a defensive missile action, carried out by ground forces against attacking air forces but, on the other hand, the F-35 is supposed to be stealthy and invisible to the guidance radar used by those defensive surface-to-air missiles for detection and tracking.

<tongue-in-cheek>Perhaps it has finally been accepted that the F-35 is never going to work properly in the air and they're now seeing if they can be turned in to self-propelled ground-based missile launchers (not that the F-35 seems to be very reliable on the ground either).</tongue-in-cheek>

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Rackspace punts piscatorial Power platform at service providers

LeeE
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No longer big?

"Bug Blue has spent the past few years..."

Interesting typo.

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Apple wants to buy Formula 1 car firm McLaren – report

LeeE
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Re: Damn

"I've never been a fan Vauxhall or Opel with the exception of the Lotus Carlton of course. Some liked the hotter versions of the Corrado G60..."

Corrado was VW and the G60 (supercharged) version was the hottest model until the advent of the VR6.

"Looking at the whole Opel / Vauxhall thing, I would say that the Manta which is the only Opel ever to hit our shores..."

The Opel Monza, Commodore and Ascona were all available in the UK.

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Margaret Hodge's book outlines 'mind boggling' UK public sector waste

LeeE
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Re: Sheep shall safely graze

Margaret Hodge has missed the point in concentrating on the tax-payer getting value for money when what is really going on is a money laundering operation.

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Pluto's emitting X-rays, and NASA doesn't quite know how

LeeE
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Re: 1 word. Triboelectrification.

I think the real problem here isn't about which mechanism is producing the x-rays but where the energy in those x-rays is coming from (in JS19's Sellotape example the energy in the x-rays originates in the kinetic energy required to pull the tape from whatever it's stuck to).

The only obvious candidate is the solar wind but Pluto is both too small, and the intensity of the solar wind, at that distance from Sol, too weak for Pluto to intercept enough energy from the solar wind to account for the amount of energy observed in the x-rays.

The ideas mentioned at the end of the article, for accounting for the discrepancy, amount to either increasing Pluto's effective cross-section, as far as capturing energy from the solar wind is concerned, or increasing the energy density of the solar wind in the vicinity of Pluto's orbit.

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Newest Royal Navy warship weighs as much as 120 London buses

LeeE
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Re: "River"-Class?

"shoulder mount anti-ship missile"

Interesting idea; the smallest anti-ship missile that I could find any details about is the Nord Aviation/Aérospatiale SS.12, which masses 76 kg = 167 lb, so just about shoulder-able. Trouble is, it has 650 mm span cruciform wings half-way down the body, just about where you'd need to balance it on your shoulder. Next 'lightest' AS missile appears to be the Sea Skua at 145 kg. You really wouldn't want to be behind either of these when fired as both use a pretty hefty initial boost motor at launch. The SS.12 is wire-guided but the Sea Skua needs a targeting radar.

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Height of stupidity: Heathrow airliner buzzed by drone at 7,000ft

LeeE
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Re: Sorry, but . . .

Shaping the jamming beam to effectively confine it to the horizontal plane wouldn't be a problem, but simply jamming a drone doesn't really get you anywhere because it'll still be in the vicinity of the aircraft, but now under no control at all.

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India tests Mach 6 scramjet

LeeE
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A 320 km flight in 300 seconds means an average of 1.0666 km/sec - 3840 km/h = 2386 mph, so a 5 second peak top speed of Mach 6 seems plausible.

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LeeE
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Re: Congratulations India

"As for Skylon, the Aerospace industry is certainly more productive as a whole in India, perhaps a partnership would be worth a shot now that the EU is on it's way out of the picture."

We'd be competing with Russia, with whom India has been collaborating on several aerospace projects, most relevant to the article being the BrahMos supersonic & BrahMos 2 hypersonic cruise missiles. India is also collaborating with Sukhoi on future development of the PAK FA.

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LeeE
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Re: Scramjet uses

BrahMos 2 ~Mach 7

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Tech fails miserably in Forbes' most innovative companies

LeeE
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Re: Dinosaur

Not really a dinosaur - think of the Forbes List as sponsored content; they're just doing what everybody else does, so quite current really.

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Having offended everyone else in the world, Linus Torvalds calls own lawyers a 'nasty festering disease'

LeeE
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Re: So, to sum up...

"That's the price of fame, you can't just go public on anything that comes up in your head, not in the least because it means you're an inconsiderate, asocial f*ckwit."

I've never got the impression that Linus Torvalds has ever sought fame - in fact, I've got the impression that he doesn't give a fsck about it or, indeed, those people who delight in calling him out about over what he says because he isn't behaving the way that they and you want him to behave. Well tough shit - neither he, nor anyone else, exists purely for your benefit and neither does he or anyone else have to conform to your standards. Stop whinging and get over it.

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LeeE
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Re: So, to sum up...

"So why the rant Reg?"

Gone from 'Biting the hand that feeds IT' to simply 'Stirring the [sh]IT', knowing it'll upset some folk, please others, keeping the the old mill turning.

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Watch the world's biggest 'flying bum' go arse over tit in a crash

LeeE
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Re: Certainly looks like a stall...

"I believe (and this info is very difficult to pin down) the forward propulsors are limited in swivelling to +-20 degrees."

I don't know what the vectoring limits are but as the Airlander is designed to operate in (slightly) heavier-than-air mode I'd be very surprised if the fans can't be vectored directly downwards to help compensate for varying loads whilst taking-off and landing. In fact, if you're going to fit vectoring fans on a craft of this type, I'd be a bit surprised if they can't be vectored in any direction, especially directly forwards, to aid braking and positioning.

If you're going to fit vectoring fans I just can't see any good reason for limiting the vector range at all unless the designers only stressed the fan mountings for that +/- 20 deg range, which would seem to be either a bit of an oversight or an indication of marginal performance (in some respect) that could only be addressed by limiting the stress capability of the fan mountings.

If the fans are limited to just +/- 20 deg, I'd be very curious to know exactly why because given the entire context i.e. not just the type and design of the craft, but also its originating customer and intended purpose (military), those limits just don't seem to make much sense.

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LeeE
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Re: Certainly looks like a stall...

It doesn't really look like a stall at all - in the longer vid, linked above, the Airlander is already in a nose-down attitude before the final pitch-down. Also, if you full-screen the higher res video in the Reg article, you can see a grounding line hanging below the rear of the control cabin but it doesn't appear to get snagged; it just seems to drop vertically until just before touch-down.

What appears to happen is that the front ducted fans continue to be vectored backwards along the axis of the craft while it's descending, driving it downwards. Then, when it's clear that the attitude is too extreme, the fans start to be vectored downwards but not by nearly enough - they are still largely pointing backwards along the axis and continue driving the craft downwards.

I doubt that the fans are that restricted in their vectoring limits so I suspect that the pilot may not have appreciated just how severe the nose-down attitude was and so just didn't vector the fans enough: Controlled Flight into Terrain.

I'll be interested to read the AAIB report when it's out.

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New booze guidelines: We'd rather you didn't enjoy yourselves

LeeE
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No safe level of living

...nothing else to add that isn't bloody well obvious.

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Linux turns 25, with corporate contributors now key to its future

LeeE
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Ok, someone has to say it...

...Linux is just the kernel, and wouldn't be anywhere without the rest of the GNU stack to enable it to actually do anything.

And yes, GIT is a Very Good Thing, but I still think I'd vote for the GNU stack as being the biggest contribution to the software world.

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I fart in your general direction! Comet 67P lets rip on Europe's Rosetta probe

LeeE
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Did nobody notice...?

Not El Reg's fault, apart from not noticing either, but the 'Boffins pinpoint landslide spot' photo is a bit fscked up - there are two serious problems with this image.

The first, and immediately obvious, problem is that the 'zoomed' area shown in the right-hand half of the image simply doesn't match the indicated area in the full image.

The second problem only becomes apparent when you follow the link to ESA page about this event. At the top of the ESA page is an eight frame .GIF sequence of the outburst where you can clearly see that it occurs on the opposite 'inner face' of the larger lobe, close to where the two lobes join, and not on the 'outer face' surface of the larger lobe, as the 'landslide spot' image would have us believe.

Now the blame for this falls squarely upon the ESA - El Reg simply lifted the landslide spot pic from the ESA web page - but I can't figure out why the ESA would use such a misleading bogus image in the first place.

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Top digital Eurocrat issues non-denial about hyperlink non-tax

LeeE
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Democracy

I'd argue that there are no true democracies, largely due to the Party System.

Although in many countries it's possible to stand as an independent candidate it usually requires a significant up-front deposit and this, in a time where money is being increasingly concentrated in to the hands of a relative few, excludes the majority of 'ordinary' people from trying to stand. When someone does put up the money to stand, most voters, even if they're sympathetic to an independent candidate, will perceive that that independent candidate stands no real chance of winning, and who wants to vote for a loser? The result is that only the main political parties really get a look in and their only purpose is to represent themselves.

The only way we'll ever get true democracy is by doing away with the political party system, but that's never going to happen; we can't get there from here.

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Facebook, Twitter and Google are to blame for terrorism, say MPs

LeeE
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Re: This is a joke?

"Facebook, Twitter and Google are responsible for terrorist attacks in the West by “consciously failing to combat the use of their sites to promote terrorism and killings.”"

I agree with Baldy50 above; it's a direct result of recent western governmental foreign policies, largely driven by the U.S.A. who need to keep their large standing army ('army' in this case includes naval and air forces) occupied; a large standing army with nothing to do will start to find things to do on its own, at which point they're no longer controlled by their government.

As for "plac[ing] the blame for young Muslims being “radicalised” on those operating social media sites" - this precludes the idea that anyone can actually think for themselves and come to their own conclusions.

"This blame was apportioned despite the committee also acknowledging that witnesses it had summoned agreed “that there does not appear to be any clear template for the factors which might lead to radicalisation.”" - Yes, we take evidence into account (but ignore it if it doesn't suit our current agenda).

"We should utilise the brightest talent of the world’s creative industries..." - more fscking pop-up ads. Hmm... I wonder how the ad-blockers will handle this.

"Vaz also recommended that the press be responsible for promoting “counter-narratives”, and in particular “should refrain from using the term ‘so-called Islamic State’, and should instead refer to ‘Daesh’." - Oh yes, calling people names is both very grown-up and proven to be an effective deterrent.

"“We believe that young people’s lack of ability or awareness of the need to critically challenge their beliefs is also central to the problems we have found,” the committee also reported." - Yes, young people are especially stupid.

Let me make it clear that I do not support terrorism and personally believe that religion is a mental illness (YMMV), but I don't support politicians who treat me like an idiot either.

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Voyager 2's closest Saturn swoop was 35 years ago today

LeeE
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How big is a few?

"Voyager 1 launched on September 5th, 1977, a few days after Voyager 2's August 20th, ascent."

...so a 'few' days is a little over two weeks. Hmm...

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'Second Earth' exoplanet found right under our noses – just four light years away

LeeE
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Re: Green? Blue? Brown?

I don't think that would go down very well if there are any inhabitants.

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LeeE
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Green? Blue? Brown?

"A spacecraft equipped with a camera and various filters could take color images of the planet and infer whether it is green (harboring life as we know it), blue (with water oceans on its surface) or just brown (dry rock),"

Proxima Centauri really only produces red light, so any Chlorophyll is going to look pretty black, and for the same reasons, any oceans won't look blue; it's mostly going to look either red, or red & black (if there's anything, such as Chlorophyll, absorbing any of that red light).

It'll really need spectroscopy to find out anything.

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No, we haven't found liquid water on Mars, says NASA

LeeE
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Re: Grasping at water straws

Given the amount of heavy stuff that would need to be transported to Mars, just to start colonisation, I think we'd have to be looking at pretty big spacecraft, being assembled in either Earth or Luna orbit, and which would make a centrifuge plausible for the crew quarters.

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LeeE
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Re: Grasping at water straws

The lack of water is not as big a problem as the lack of a Martian magnetosphere, without which hard solar radiation can reach the surface; any colony on Mars would need to live either beneath the surface or inside shielded structures (that same lack of a magnetosphere also means that any project to terraform Mars, to add a breathable atmosphere, would have to be on-going and not a one-time effort).

To establish a colony on Mars we'd first have to send the shielded structures for people to survive in while they assemble the machinery needed to excavate the sub-surface habitats - that's a lot of very heavy stuff that has to be got from Earth to Mars.

Which is not to say that it's not doable, just that it will be very difficult, will take a long time, cost a lot of money and most probably a few lives.

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Google Fuchsia OS eyes non-Linux things

LeeE
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Re: Horses for courses - POSIX

"Will it be POSIX compliant?"

Yup, that will be an important factor. If it is, then a lot of the 'superstructure' that sits on top of existing kernels can be ported but if it isn't then Google are going to have a lot more work to do.

At the same time, and with the resources available to them, it makes some sense for Google to try several different OS schemes for themselves, to prove which ones work and which ones don't.

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NIST spins atomic gyroscope to allow navigation without GPS

LeeE
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Re: Heavy stuff...

"But if it's measured by 'falling under gravity' how will the system compensate for the fact that gravity is not a nice constant value?"

It's not measured by falling under gravity, it's just measured whilst falling under gravity.

It's the interference pattern between all of the atoms that is used for measurement and all of those atoms will be influenced to the same degree regardless of the local gravity gradient.

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The TPC-C/SPC-1 storage benchmarks are screwed. You know what we need?

LeeE
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Better Vendors?

"Even worse vendors continue to publish test reports..."

But what do the better vendors do?

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Fujitsu: Why we chose 64-bit ARM over SPARC for our exascale super

LeeE
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Re: "ARM's larger and healthier software ecosystem?"

I'd have to disagree that it was the advent of the RPis that advanced Linux development/porting on ARM and instead it was actually the state of Linux on ARM, especially with the advent of armhf, that made the RPis viable.

Debian has been running on ARM since August 2000; the first RPis were released in February 2012.

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Physicists believe they may have found fifth force of nature

LeeE
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Unified forces

The Electromagnetic force acts upon charge whilst the Weak Atomic force acts upon Flavour so although the Electromagnetic and Weak forces can be said to be unified the forces still differ in their effect and must still be considered to be different forces.

A rough analogy might be to consider the difference between an aircraft and a conveyor belt, where 'force' is defined as the ability to transport things; put something on an aircraft and it'll go somewhere else, put something on a conveyor belt and it too will go somewhere else. There are considerable differences in the characteristics in those two types of transport though; an aircraft is not a conveyor belt, and visa versa.

In the above analogy, the Electroweak unification is a bit like Fed-Ex, which moves stuff around and which needs both conveyor belts and aircraft to do so; just because Fed-Ex exists doesn't mean that aircraft and conveyor belts no longer exist as different entities because they've been combined into airconveyorcraftbelt objects.

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London cops waste £2.1m on thought crime unit – and they want volunteer informers

LeeE
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Re: A Stasi-like State in the making...

"Going by the push for Surveillance during her tenure at the Home Office, she's not one to let go of an idea."

Yup, because of her enthusiasm for the mass surveillance of the people she is supposed to be serving (Democracy - we've heard of it), my first thought, upon her taking up her new post, was 'Prime Sinister'

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£1m military drone crashed in Wales after crew disabled anti-crash systems – report

LeeE
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"The problem with weight on wheels switches is that they're not that reliable..."

I think you'd be right if the only choice was a mechanical switch but these days it would be trivial to fit multiple induction sensors to each strut - something based on the R.P.M. sensors ubiquitously fitted to all but the very cheapest P.C. cooling fans would do the job pretty well.

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LeeE
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Laser Altimeter

"Don't get me started on the stupidity of using a LASER altimeter to judge landing height..."

I think it depends upon how the laser altimeter is implemented. If the system just uses a single laser, in radar mode i.e. just relying upon the timing of returns from a single sensor stream, I can see how it might be degraded in the rain due to scattering and false returns, both from the ground and intervening raindrops. But that's foreseeable, so I'd expect them to use multiple beams in a combined direct/convergence scheme.

Such a scheme would split the initial single beam from the laser generator into five (or more) individual beams that would then be routed along fibre to the 'corners' and 'center' of the aircraft. Each of these sub-beams would then be split into a further sub-pair, with one beam in each sub-pair being used for direct measuring and comparison for consensus voting, whilst the other beam of each sub-pair would be directed to converge with each other, along the lines of the light system used by the Dambusters to ensure that they were at the correct AGL for the bouncing bombs.

Not really rocket science, or terribly expensive to implement.

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Microbes that laugh at antibiotics: UK sinks £4.5m into China-Brit kill team

LeeE
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Discovered when?

"Antibiotics were discovered in the 1940s"

Antibiotics were discovered long before the 1940s.

Antibiotics might not have been named as such until 1942 but the discovery probably lies in the very distant past; the ancient Greeks and Egyptians used antibacterial mold and plant extracts to treat infections, albeit without understanding how they worked. On a more scientific footing, synthetic antibiotics were being developed in the late 1880s and even Fleming's 'discovery' of Penicillin was in 1928.

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Watch hot 'stars' shower ... again. It's Perseid meteor showtime

LeeE
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Re: Picking nits

In addition to the ridiculous graphics there's also "Jupiter’s gravitational field nudges the meteors 1.5 million kilometres (930,000 miles) closer to Earth, making them appear brighter and twice as frequently across the sky."

Hmm... The particles of dust etc. shed by comet Swift-Tuttle, from which the Perseids are derived, are in independent orbit around the Sun and are spread out all along that orbit. However, the particles are not tightly packed and closely following each other along that orbit but are spread out to either side of it, interestingly enough (because of the figures quoted by El Reg), over a total width, as it were, of ~0.1 AU, or ~1.5 million km/930000 miles. It is because the width of that stream of particles that we can see them over a period of several days, as it takes that long for the Earth to obliquely pass though the entire stream.

At Jupiter's closest approach to that orbital stream (once again using El Reg's numbers of 257 million kilometres/160 million miles), it will be ~1.7 times further away from the closest particles than Earth is from the Sun. Now whilst Jupiter can certainly perturb the orbit of those closest particles, at that sort of distance, stating that it will move them closer to Earth, when the distance is already effectively 0 for the couple of days it takes Earth to pass through them is just nonsensical.

As for the brightness and frequency, well...

C'mon El Reg, you're just making yourself look stupid.

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F-35 targeting system laser will be 'almost impossible' to use in UK

LeeE
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Re: Read between the lines

I was thinking the same thing; rather than safety considerations, the usage restrictions may be due to the lasers using some trick modulation for some of its functionality and the US are trying to maintain some secrecy about it.

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LeeE
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Re: Tornado radar ...

The Blue Circle radar was originally developed for the Blackburn Buccaneer and subsequently deployed in development Sea Harriers before being fitted to the development Tornado ADVs.

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Russian spy aircraft are flying over Britain – and the MoD's cool with it

LeeE
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You shouldn't believe the propaganda put out by any side.

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LeeE
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Re: Are flights necessary?

"Of course overflights are pointless"

Overflights reveal changes. Although an overflight may not reveal what a change means, it identifies something that needs further analysis, most probably by less overt techniques.

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LeeE
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Re: Drone on

"using the oldest aircraft available with the lowest tech" & "If you had your brand spanking new recon beauty with all the bells and whistles"

It's a reciprocal agreement that, as the article points out, specifies the equipment that may be used, includes personnel of the overflown state on the flight and the viewing of the data acquired by both the overflown and the overflying states. An overflight wouldn't be allowed if those conditions weren't met, so although you may have better stuff you couldn't use it in this scheme.

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LeeE
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Re: Drone on

"Almost makes you wonder what the Americans use for the job"

Umm... answer's in the article... OC-135Bs

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It's time for a discussion about malvertising

LeeE
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"there's no point in wasting money on the [...] advertising industry."

As advertising can be classed as a business expense it's tax-deductable, so the effective cost to someone wanting to advertise a product is considerably less than the price they pay to the advertising agencies. This is the underlying reason that there's so much advertising.

It also means that advertising is effectively subsidised by the relevant tax-collecting government.

TBH, I can't see many governments complaining about a reduction in unbiased and investigative journalism.

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New US spy satellite in orbit

LeeE
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Location & Capabilities

"geostationary orbit around Earth [...] but where isn't known"

Other geo-sync operators will need to know where it is to ensure they don't try to park one of their birds in the same place.

"The exact capabilities of the satellite aren't known"

At that distance, we can be pretty sure that it won't be doing optical, and I'd estimate that location precision for V/UHF will be of the order of several square miles at best. I'd guess that it's intended to capture foreign power military up-link sat-comms from ground units, for traffic analysis and decryption.

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Did the Russians really hack the DNC or is this another Sony Pictures moment? You decide

LeeE
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Re: Tu use Hillary's own words...

"The result if the blame sticks is that the finger pointer gets elected."

Didn't quite work for David Cameron; I remember him blaming the EU and the previous New(tm) Labour incumbents, in roughly equal measure, to deflect blame for the Tory's inability to actually meet any of their 'promises' following their election in 2010 and look where that got him.

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She wants it. She needs it. Shall I give it to her or keep doing it by myself?

LeeE
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Pint

Re: have a pint

And another one for remembering Guy Kewney.

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The cloud ain't making it rain for Intel right now: Tech giants pause server chip sales

LeeE
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Re: Data estimates

I agree, and can't see the sense in uploading the raw data, but that was the context in which those numbers were quoted.

But why would Intel's CEO say such a thing?

Making such an unprompted and implausible claim tells us something important about the state of things at Intel.

It has the flavour of trying to be reassuring, but then why would Intel feel that they need to reassure unless they feel threatened?

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LeeE
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Data estimates

"if you look out into 2020, that average person will generate about 1.5GB a day" and "If you take a look at the average autonomous car in 2020, the estimates right now are it will throw off about 40GB a minute of data"

But these numbers are supposedly in the context of cloud(tm) processing, so...

...we're looking at ~45GB/month uploads, just for social media. For automobiles, we're looking at ~2.4TB/hour, let's say for two hours/day, for 20 days/month, which comes to ~48TB/month of uploads.

Are ISPs going to be able to provide that sort of bandwidth per user at an affordable price within four years?

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If we can't find a working SCSI cable, the company will close tomorrow

LeeE
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Pins in the cable?

Curious as to which species of SCSI is being referred to here because I can't recall ever seeing a SCSI cable with male connectors (pins). All of the various SCSI types I've worked with had the pins in the device or on the controller, with the cables carrying sockets.

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