* Posts by LeeE

388 posts • joined 12 Apr 2012

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HMS Queen Lizzie to carry American jets and sail in support of US foreign policy

LeeE
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Re: U.S. has used Harriers...

"And if you;re using the Harrier in a non S/VTOL manner, why put up with the other compromises like the brick-like aerodynamics, the heavy airframe, and the severely anhedral plan that contributes to hugely unstable handing?"

The Harrier was designed for Close Air Support (CAS) & Fighter Reconnaissance (FR) from front-line operating bases and this dictated most of its design features. CAS requires low altitude performance and FR requires manoeuvrability.

As far as I'm aware, the Harrier is always operated in STOL mode (rolling short take off and short landing) from land bases because there's little to be gained from conventional long roll take offs and landings. S/VTOL (rolling short take off and short/vertical landing) is used from ships for obvious reasons.

The Harrier has exceeded the speed of sound in a dive (the supersonic P.1154 was cancelled) and everything I've heard about them indicates that their manoeuvrability is generally very good and their acceleration, perhaps unsurprisingly, is exceedingly good. It is, apparently, an easy aircraft to fly but vertical landings, whilst not difficult, do need regular practice - same as most other aircraft really. Because it's designed to operate primarily at low altitude, thanks to the CAS requirement, it will usually be on a par with most other aircraft it's likely to encounter, which are designed to operate at high altitudes, and their engines are just as thirsty at low altitude as the Harrier's Pegasus.

As for weight, the GR3 came in at 13,535 lb empty/25,200 lb MTOW rolling Short Take Off (STO), the AV-8B comes in at 13,968 lb/31,000 lb MTOW (STO). The (not really comparable) F-16 weighs in at around 18,900 lb empty/42,300 lb MTOW, the F/A-18 23,000 lb empty/51,900 lb MTOW and the (cough) F-35B 32,300 lb empty/60,000 lb MTOW. I've included the F-16 because it's a roughly comparable weight, but note that it lacks the much heavier landing gear that carrier borne aircraft need - in the light of those numbers I find it difficult to regard the Harrier as overweight - it's just a smaller aircraft and carries a proportionally smaller weapon load.

The Harrier's Pegasus engine dictated a high mounted wing; without anhedral it would have been too stable for its intended CAS/FR role.

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Pluto has massive underground oceans, say astro-boffins

LeeE
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Past and present

"Pluto may contain a colossal underground ocean"

It seems very unlikely that Pluto still has an underground ocean but it may well have had one a few billions years ago when the Sputnik Planitia was formed.

The assertion that there are two reasons why Pluto could currently have a liquid underground ocean is flawed. Firstly, tectonic activity is a consequence of internal heat, not a cause of it, and secondly, Pluto is so small that after ~4 billion years there will be hardly any radioactivity left.

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'Extra-supermoon' to appear next week

LeeE
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Re: That's no moon… It's a space station!

"A very, very powerful projector..."

Could work with a New Moon but at Full Moon your projector would have to outshine Sol.

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Stiff upper lips and sun glasses: the Chancellor bets on Brexit feeling

LeeE
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Re: What Chancellor Hammond meant to say

He also reiterated that Japanese conglomerate Softbank's June purchase of ARM was a signal that Britain is "open up for business sale".

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Whoosh! China shows off J-20 'stealth' fighters and jet drones

LeeE
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Re: Stealth..

Radar stealth is actually only of limited utility in fighters because it only confers a dubious and questionable advantage at ranges beyond that of electro-optical systems.

Electro-optical systems use Infra Red, which gives them a passive detection range of ~30-40km depending upon conditions, whereas active radar gives detection ranges of several hundred km. However, the use of active radar not only immediately alerts any enemy that you're looking for them before you are able to detect them (because the strength of the incident radar pulse received by the target aircraft will be far stronger than the reflected signal from the target aircraft that the radar needs to receive and recognise) but also acts as a beacon for your location.

Note that electro-optical systems using IR can work by detecting skin-heating - they don't need to see the hot exhaust plume from the engines - and so can detect an oncoming aircraft as easily as one retreating or flying across its path.

The options for radar stealth fighters, when engaging electro-optical equipped fighters, are either to retreat and maintain distances beyond electro-optical detection i.e. 30-40km, or close to within electro-optical detection range where their radar stealth is useless and where any aerodynamic compromises due to radar stealth might leave them at a distinct disadvantage. This is why non-radar stealthy but highly agile fighters, such as the Gripen and Eurofighter, and especially the Sukhoi Flanker variants, which are aerodynamically superior to all other current fighters, including the F-22, are still viable.

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WordPress daddy Matt Mullenweg says Wix.com 'explicitly contravenes the GPL'

LeeE
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Re: does the GPL apply to server side code?

In short, yes, the GPL applies to server side code, but that isn't the issue here.

The GPL says that if you distribute GPL'd code then you must also distribute any changes you make to that code. If, however, you run GPL'd code on a server as an application service then you're not distributing that code, at least as far as the GPL is concerned, and so don't have to release any changes you make to it.

This is regarded as a loop-hole because whilst the code itself is not being distributed, its functionality is [being distributed].

The AGPL licence addresses this loop-hole by requiring that the full source code be made available to any network user of the AGPL-licensed software.

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Hack us and you're basically attacking America, says UK defence sec

LeeE
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Re: UK MoD: "We're ready to fight it out to the last American!"

"...the Russians had aircraft in Syria, but they couldn't stand up to F-22 Raptors"

I wouldn't be too sure about that. Whilst the US has a good lead in radar stealth the Russians have quite a strong lead in passive optical IR which makes radar stealth a lot less important. Whilst the US aircraft will have a detection advantage at longer ranges due to being able to detect, but not be detected, by radar, trying to use that radar range advantage against the Russian aircraft will alert them to the fact that the US aircraft are present and are looking for them before they are actually detected, as well as providing a good indication as to the location of those US aircraft.

At shorter ranges the advantage switches to the Russian aircraft with their passive optical IR sensors and superior aerodynamics.

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LeeE
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Re: warning them not to target Blighty

"it [Nimitz class carrier] has constant air cover and satellite observation."

Constant air cover - yes. Constant satellite communication - yes. Constant satellite observation - no.

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LeeE
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Re: warning them not to target Blighty

"The Russian aircraft carrier a carrier ain't - it is an aircraft carrying cruiser (official designation) and is an ESCORT SHIP in this fleet group."

That's really just arguing semantics - the Admiral Kuznetsov is a 1000ft flat-top that can carry a total of 40 aircraft, up to 32 of which can be fixed-wing aircraft. For comparison, the Nimitz class carriers carry a total of 85-90 aircraft (fixed-wing & helis).

I agree that the Admiral Kuznetsov's primary role is as an Escort Carrier though - its SU-33s are primarily for air-superiority, although it seems that only about 35 were ever built, and they will be replaced by MiG-29Ks which, being smaller than the SU-33, may possibly increase the number of fixed-wing aircraft able to be carried.

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LeeE
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Re: "...sending their...Aircraft Carrier...down the English Channel in a show of force"

"The best route from their base in Russia for the Med is down the denmark straits and into the Atlantic."

Going via the Denmark Strait would be considerably longer and would also be a deep-water route, making it very easy for subs to tail them. As well as being shorter, the English Channel route would be a very tricky proposition, bordering on dangerous, for a submerged submarine due the the shallow depths, strong currents and numerous banks; a trailing sub would have to break off before the Dover Strait, so you'd need another to pick up the trail after the transit.

Although traffic levels in the English Channel are very high, that traffic is very well coordinated and there's little congestion - the traffic keeps moving pretty well.

So whilst it is a show of strength, it's not just a show of strength.

"They (The Russians) regularly send over Bombers to test our defenses."

It's really just propaganda to describe the Tu-95MS (the only Tu-95 variant currently in service) as a bomber - yes, it's a cruise missile carrier but it wouldn't be used as such in any contestable airspace, such as border regions, as it's far too vulnerable; it's primarily used for long distance recon and SIGINT.

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See that red spot on the chart? Sail over it and you'll find a Russian sub

LeeE
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Target search != target detection

"...anti-submarine warships use sonar pings to search for enemy boats, in the same way as radar detects aircraft."

GC has conflated two different ideas there.

Detecting enemy targets by active means, such as sonar or radar, these days at least, is a big fail; not only does it immediately alert whatever you're trying to detect to the fact that you're looking for it but also provides a beacon for your location long before you're able to achieve detection (this is simply because active scanning relies upon receiving a reflection that must always be weaker than the scanning signal - it's far easier for you to detect that you are being scanned than for the scanner to detect you).

Instead, passive scanning is used to detect when a target is present, at which point active scanning will be brought in to play to search for, or in other words locate, the target so that it may be engaged.

This is more of an issue for ships and subs though - aircraft detection and targeting systems are increasingly using passive IR as it can be effective over several tens of kilometres and is intrinsically accurate whereas passive sonar/hydrophones are both subject to the thermoclines mentioned in the article (there's no real analogy to IR in sonar) and are less accurate (sure, a homing torpedo can find its own target accurately enough from a passive sonar detection but the vessel that fired it will still be unsure of the target's precise location until the torp hits it).

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Divide the internet into compartments to save us from the IoT fail whale

LeeE
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Re: About bloody time

I don't think that compartmentalising or partitioning the 'internet' is the solution, or even really viable, because how do you control, or use the data coming from, IoT devices if you can't access them?

The real cause of the problem that IoT devices are now presenting is that the manufacturers of these devices want control but not responsibility. They achieve that control through proprietary software, that only they can update, but then refuse to accept the responsibility for it by failing to maintain that software and provide updates when problems are found with it.

It's pretty easy to see why the IoT manufacturers are doing this: exclusive control of the device gives the manufacturer exclusive access to the marketable data they acquire from it and control over its planned and ensured obsolescence.

The only solution I can see is a standardised IoT h/w platform, pretty much along the lines of the PC model, where all of the software can be maintained independently of the OEM or vendor.

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Spoiler alert: We'll bet boffins still haven't spotted aliens

LeeE
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"The distances involved seem to point that the signals would have had to leave the originating planet a very long time ago. Possibly back in the childhood of the universe."

The SDSS uses wide-angle telescopes and isn't able to isolate individual stars in other galaxies; the stars they're talking about will all be in our Milky Way galaxy.

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Hard-up Brits 'should get subsidy for 10Mbps'

LeeE
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Re: BB for the poor (Correction)

Doh! - bad maths - I subtracted monthly amounts for land-line and BB from weekly income numbers.

Dividing those two monthly amounts by four, as a rough approximation, gives £3 & £2.75 = £5.75/week instead of £23/week, so I actually have roughly £50/week for food and utility bills. Thought it seemed a bit too low at the time but didn't spot the stupid mistake.

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LeeE
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Re: BB for the poor

"Currently EE appear to be offering uLtd BB and free weekend calls plus a few other extras for £18.50 pcm"

Thanks for the heads-up, but the EE £18.50 deal (£1/month BB + £17.50/month line rental) is an 18 month offer. After that BB goes up to £10/month = £27.50/month (at current rates). Yes, I could go the constantly switching between providers route, but life is looking increasingly too short for the inevitable grief and disruption that would certainly ensue - one axiom I've learned from experience is: 'Nothing Ever Works Properly'.

I'm ok for h/w - been given a lot of old cast-off kit, newest were a couple of first gen i3 mobo+cpu+ram combos, which allowed me to retire my last P4 (spit!) systems. No problem with old cases to put them in. Also got quite a collection of spare used HDDs now, some with nearly 60k hours on them - smallish by current standards (80GB - 2TB) but big enough for my needs - OSs on small drives and data on bigger ones (or arrays/BODs of smaller ones - mhddfs has been a boon - slowish but can combine multiple hdds without losing the entire 'array' when one hdd craps out - just need to replace it and rsync from another of my systems to replace the missing stuff instead of a full restore - yep, currently got five systems with full copies of all my data). Second-hand ram is cheap enough from ebay

Keeping up to date with Microsoft is a non-starter though - no way I can afford the licenses for server & SQL. Good job I like Linux & Postgres.

Retirement for me is at 66, so another seven years to go - got three pension schemes, in addition to the state pension, but not enough to live on at 60. Funny how, on the very rare occasions that I do get a job interview, no one ever asks me "What do you see yourself doing in ten years?"

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LeeE
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Re: BB for the poor

@AC: I'm 59 and unemployed, despite >40 years IT experience, largely, I suspect, due to my age.

I live in a council flat.

I receive £73.10 per week JSA plus housing & council tax benefit. However, I have to pay about a quarter of my JSA payment back to the council as the amount of housing & council tax benefit I receive doesn't cover the full amounts. In part, this is due to being hit with the 'Bedroom Tax' because when I had to be moved from my previous flat, which was being demolished, I was re-housed in a two-bedroom flat (the second bedroom is 7ft x 9ft). I didn't request a two bedroom flat when I was being moved.

I do qualify for the BT Basics package, which gives me a land-line for £12/month (no free calls) and have a 3GB/month metered BB package at £11/month. Might be able to get a better introductory BB deal if I were prepared to keep swapping every year or so but needs to be with a Linux-friendly ISP.

This leaves me with about £32/week for food and utility bills.

Am I poor?

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Acronis: Yep, we're using blockchain for backup now

LeeE
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Re: I see.

All I saw was an advertisement.

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Red Hat eye from the Ubuntu guy: Fedora – how you doin'?

LeeE
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Re: Why oh why would you use Ubuntu

"It is not independent, Red Hat funds and supports the CentOS Project and owns the trademarks."

Not at the time I was trying to use it - RH only took over CentOS in 2014, possibly because, after trying obfuscation in RHEL 7 as a deterrent to CentOS, they decided it was easier to take it over.

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LeeE
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Re: Why oh why would you use Ubuntu

You'd use Ubuntu instead of Debian when you need a newer version of something. Personally, I don't and I've been more than happy with Debian since slink.

I've never used RHEL or Fedora but have used CentOS (5 & 6), which is not a RH distro but an independently re-branded RHEL. However, I was disappointed with CentOS for not being able to upgrade in place (never been a problem for me, with Debian) and for the official CentOS repos not including all of the packages I needed for the Nagios & Cacti monitoring system I was working on. When I found and added an unofficial repo that was supposed to be compatible with the CentOS version I was using, to get the rest of the packages I needed, they were installed in different locations and hosed Nagios. CentOS had been mandated by my boss, who was a Windows person, but after I outlined the problems he okayed a switch to Debian, where it all just worked and where we could upgrade in place.

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Report: UK counter-terrorism plan Prevent is 'unjust', 'counterproductive'

LeeE
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Re: Display

The winners They thought differently at Nuremberg

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Probe boffins: Two balls deep in Uranus's ring

LeeE
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Re: Yes people seem to forget about Saturn and Uranus.

"...few opportunities to visit it as it rarely crosses the ecliptic plain [sic]"

Uranus's orbit is closely aligned with the ecliptic plane and is no more difficult to get to than any of the other outer planets. It's orbit around Sol is relatively eccentric though, by about 1.8 AU, which may be the result of whatever it was that tilted it over by 97.7 degrees.

The most curious thing about it, to my thinking, is that not only is the planet tilted over but that its moons and rings are also tilted and remain closely aligned with its orientation and axial rotation. The current thinking is that Uranus's axial tilt is the result of a collision with an Earth-sized protoplanet early in the Solar System's formation but this scenario doesn't really explain how its rings and moons were also tilted: an Earth-sized protoplanet hitting Uranus should certainly disrupt the moons and rings to some degree but its almost inconceivable that it would disrupt them in such a way as to maintain that close alignment.

If Uranus had a relatively large and very irregular rocky core then that might explain it: the irregularities in the core would result in slight variations in its gravitational field (as it rotates) which could 'drag' the moons and rings in to realignment after the collision. The trouble with this though, is that Uranus's core seems to be too small and is under so much pressure that it's unlikely to be irregular enough. An alternative is that the realignment could have been due to the influence of Uranus's magnetic field but the problem with that idea is that not only is Uranus's magnetosphere not aligned with its rotation (by about 57 deg) but it also doesn't even pass through the center of the planet, being displaced by about 1/3rd of Uranus's radius.

A very unlikely third alternative is that Uranus could be a captured planet and was already orientated the way it is when it was captured. However, its close alignment with the plane of the ecliptic is a very strong argument against a capture scenario.

Obligatory arse themed comment: Buggered if I know what happened.

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Democralypse Now? US election first battle in new age of cyberwarfare

LeeE
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Re: General uptick in Villainous Russian stories lately.

Yes, one has to wonder what this particular propaganda thread is leading up to.

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Drone idiots are still endangering real aircraft and breaking the rules

LeeE
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Re: Some numbers...

On a typical glidepath approach of ~3.5 degrees an aircraft will pass through 500m (1640 ft) about 8.1 km, or about 5 miles, away from the touch-down point. Dunno what the geofenced distance is.

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LeeE
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Re: Some numbers...

Correction: typo in the A340 incident ascent time in seconds - should read 457 seconds and not 257 seconds.

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LeeE
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Some numbers...

From the Phantom 4 specs:

Max Altitude: 6000m

Max Endurance: ~28 Minutes

Max Ascent speed: 6 m/s

Max Descent speed: 4 m/s

Which gives:

Time to ascend to 6000m = 6000 / 6 = 1000 seconds = 16.6 minutes

Time to descend from 6000m = 6000 / 4 = 1500 seconds = 25 minutes

So it would seem that if you try to fly to max alt at the max ascent rate you'll be out of power before you get back down again. However, if you ascend at a lower rate then it'll take proportionally longer to do so and, in addition, I doubt that the max endurance figure is achievable if you're ascending at the max possible rate.

For the 747 incident at 4000ft (1219m) we get an ascent time of 203 seconds = 3.3 minutes

For the A340 incident at 9000ft (2743m) we get an ascent time of 257 seconds = 7.6 minutes

So those two reports do seem plausible.

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New Brit Hubble analysis finds 2,000 billion galaxies, 10x previous count

LeeE
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Re: So...

"If we have 10x the mass of matter, that would mean the gravity would (given current theory) certainly cause universal deceleration and gravitational collapse producing the inevitable big crunchie."

It depends upon whether this increases the overall density of matter in the universe. The article says "there must be a further 90 percent of galaxies in the observable universe that are too faint and too far away to be seen with present-day telescopes.” (my emphasis)

What is slightly unclear about that is that in the context of the observable universe 'too faint' == 'too far away'. Given that we know the resolving power of the telescopes we currently have, we already know that there should be a large number of galaxies that we can't see, and current estimates of the overall density will take this in to account.

Making things more complicated though, is that we're also looking back in time, which should mean that there should be many more smaller galaxies and very few large galaxies, simply because, at the time we are seeing, there shouldn't have been enough time for large galaxies to form. So although the overall density throughout the universe should be roughly the same everywhere, we wouldn't be able to see that same amount of matter at extreme distances because that matter is bound up in lots of small galaxies that are currently too faint to see.

The James Webb telescope is to operate primarily in the Infra Red, which should allow it to see both fainter objects and further back in time.

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LeeE
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Re: So...

"If it's a concentrated shell of mass then it may be enough to explain the accelerating expansion of the universe."

Afraid not: the net gravitational force experienced anywhere within a hollow sphere of matter is zero.

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WD gives My Passport spinning rust drives a lick of paint

LeeE
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Personally, I find that design particularly unattractive and, given a choice, would chose something else.

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Without new anti-robot laws, humanity is doomed, MPs told

LeeE
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The UK autonomous weapons

"The UK doesn't yet have anything like an autonomous weapons capability."

I think you'll find that the Phalanx and Goalkeeper CIWS are regarded as autonomous weapons. In general, most short-range defence systems need to operate autonomously in order to respond quickly enough.

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Queen Lizzie awarded good behaviour medal

LeeE
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Constitutional crises? When did they replace the Billiard's table in the officer's mess with a Pool table?

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UK govt sucks at AI and robots, doesn't use them to its advantage – wait, is that good or bad?

LeeE
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Re: Thinking small - unemployment

I think that the most important aspect of this is the unemployment issue and no one is facing up to it - neither government nor business.

Although AI and robotics systems can increase quality of manufactured goods and services though improved consistency, the real motivation for their deployment is to reduce costs. However, whilst some of the cost reduction could come from reduced wastage due to improved consistency, it's difficult to see how the reduction in costs from just this factor, on its own, could cover the costs of developing and deploying the systems in the first place; the greatest reduction in costs will be from the reduction of jobs.

It's true that an increase in the development of AI and robotics systems would see an increase in the number of jobs in this field but the number of new jobs must be less than the number of jobs that will be made redundant otherwise you'd end up with more jobs than you had before, which means that you've increased costs, not reduced them. So without even considering population growth, progress must lead to a cost reduction and that means fewer jobs and higher unemployment.

The problem arises because employment is the solution that allows people to provide for their needs: people go to work and get paid, which allows them to buy services and goods. But what will happen as unemployment increases? As the number of people employed decreases, to reduce costs, then the amount of money available to be spent on the services and goods must also decline, otherwise you're back to increasing costs again.

So, in the long term, I think the concept or policy of people providing for themselves through employment is time-limited and what government really needs to do is come up with an entirely new paradigm for providing for people, and hopefully not one that incorporates slavery.

And when I say that I hope it doesn't incorporate slavery, I'm genuinely being honest - a significant proportion of humanity (those with wealth) would have no problem with slavery (for those without wealth) even in this day and age.

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Intel is shipping an ARM-based FPGA. Repeat, Intel is shipping an ARM-based FPGA

LeeE
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Re: What does this mean ??

I couldn't parse that either.

The number of typos in El Reg articles is getting beyond a joke.

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Social media flame wars to be illegal, says top Crown prosecutor

LeeE
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Talking of old farts...

All your mothers were hamsters and all your fathers smelt of elderberries. I fart in all your general directions.

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LeeE
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Re: Re : As ever, age is fair game for discrimination. Kids!!

"And religion shouldn't even be on that f*cking list..."

Religion is a mental illness and so is really covered by the Disability category.

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Hubble telescope spies massive 'cannonballs' of fire from dying star

LeeE
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Re: Astrobreaking in progress

I was wondering about the energy solutions of this too. Just passing though the outer layers of V Hydrae should slow the companion pretty quickly, decaying its orbit and making this a relatively short-lived phenomenon.

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Citizens don't trust UK.GOV with their data

LeeE
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UK citizens have little faith in the government's ability to securely handle their private data

FTFY

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Stingy sapphire lens in Apple's iPhone 7 is as scratchy as glass

LeeE
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Re: further details?

If you have A levels then Carbon Dioxide sublimes.

Sublimate[s] is only a word in places where they don't know how to speak English properly.

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Microsoft's Azure-in-a-box preview runs on your own hardware

LeeE
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Microsoft’s reasons...

"In other words, it is for new-build infrastructure only, and customers can’t repurpose existing racks to run Azure Stack.

Microsoft’s reasons for doing this are understandable: it can’t guarantee optimal performance unless it can control the hardware Azure Stack is running on..."

The implication of the reason given in the quote above is that Microsoft is going to guarantee optimal performance for this product.

There're a couple of problems with the idea of guaranteeing 'optimal' though, because 'optimal' is a relative concept that only applies to a specified context. For example, the optimal speed, in terms of fuel efficiency, for two, or more, different road vehicles will not be the same. Furthermore, the optimum fuel efficient speed for any one of those vehicles will depend upon its load i.e. whether it is empty, partially-loaded or fully loaded.

Then, whilst it might be possible to quantify the optimum fuel efficient speed for any particular vehicle, for any particular load, how would you go about quantifying 'optimal' performance of software on a particular hardware stack, other than by referencing it to artificial benchmark scores? This being the case, then there's no reason why Microsoft couldn't guarantee 'optimal' performance for its software on any hardware stack.

Finally, a guarantee suggests that Microsoft is actually going to accept both the responsibility and the financial penalties it will incur when a customer decides that the performance it is achieving is not optimal.

So no, I don't buy the idea that Microsoft's imposition of restrictions on hardware is anything to do with performance; simple collusion with the named hardware vendors seems much more plausible.

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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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