* Posts by Graham Newton

46 posts • joined 3 Apr 2007

Spooky! Solar System's Planet NINE could be discovered in the next NINE years (plus one to six), say astroboffins

Graham Newton

Astrology SHOULD be able to predict where the planet is from people not behaving/feeling as currently predicted. If it was a real science.

Granddaddy of the DIY repair generation John Haynes has loosened his last nut

Graham Newton

Not always helpful

My all time favourite was for a Fiat 128 3P :- "The manifold is held on by three bolts one of which is inaccessible"

China on its way to becoming the first nation to land on the far side of the Moon

Graham Newton

Re: eliptical orbit satellite...

I initially thought it would be a single satellite in lunar orbit. Receiving and recording when in contact with the lander and then re-transmitting when in contact with Earth, like Cassini Huygens.

However you are correct and there is quite a lot of interesting information in this link.


FYI NASA just lobbed its Parker probe around the Sun in closest flyby yet: A nerve-racking 15M miles from the surface

Graham Newton

Re: 5.3 degrees of sun

I would have approached it differently. From Earth the Moon is the same angular size as the Sun.

The Earth is approximately 90 million miles from the Sun so at the current 15 million miles the probe is 6 time closer so the Sun would appear 6 times bigger. At closest approach at 3.9 million miles, say 4 to make the maths easy then it is 22.5 times closer. So maybe you have a factor of two missing somewhere.

In memoriam: See you in Valhalla, Skype Classic. Version 8 can never replace you

Graham Newton

It works on Linux and it's better than Skype for Business

Well I find it works on Linux really well now. I don't even have to call "Skype" and listen the annoying upbeat message "if you can hear your message then your mic is working" (if you can't you are a hopeless loser). As for Skype for Business well that's pitiful. Like most things in office 365 the so called integration is abysmal. And I've discovered recently that Skype for Business does appear to have echo cancelling.

Tired sysadmin plugged cable into wrong port, unleashed a 'virus'

Graham Newton

Re: Network related

When I worked in an office with smokers, if the weather was fine, I would join them and have a virtual fag. I would then find out from them what was really going on.

Galileo, here we go again. My my, the Brits are gonna miss EU

Graham Newton

And India has working launch sites unlike the UK.

NASA's Curiosity puts cat among the climate pigeons: Lack of CO2 sinks water theory

Graham Newton

So if CO2 is as clear as glass at IR wavelengths at above -50 degree C how do you explain Venus which has a 96% CO2 atmosphere and is a lot hotter than it should be?

Computerised stock management? Nah, let’s use walkie-talkies

Graham Newton

The reply is

"Well they are long enough to reach the floor!"

Microsoft phone support contractors told to hang up after 15 minutes

Graham Newton

Being paid to march

I was working for a company where the office was being shut down and there wasn't much work. So we found stuff to entertain ourselves. One of our colleagues had been a member of the Soviet armed forces and taught us all to march Red Army style.

Mercury to transit Sun: Viewer discretion advised

Graham Newton

Telescope solar filters

DO NOT use the solar eyepieces that come with some cheap import telescopes. These are very dangerous


As mentioned before use Baader Solar Film at the entrance to the main aperture so filtering the light before it enters the telescope optics.

Miguel de Icaza on his journey from open source to Microsoft: 'It's a different company'

Graham Newton


As primarily a Linux developer a Windows developer commented on C# and some useful RPC functionality. So I had a look and it seemed to sort of work.

There were obviously massive gaps in the functionality between .NET and Mono so I monitored the progress of Mono on Linux.

It soon became clear that with the creation of Xamarin then Mono on Linux wasn't really going anywhere. I am of the opinion that de Icanza is a politician. He'll tell you what you want to hear but if something better comes along he'll go for it. I don't blame him for furthering his career but it's not because he is a great coder or really committed to open source.

I don't believe the open source team were always talking to the .NET guys because why would Mono have so many deficiencies. de Icanza may have been talking to MS but I don't think it filtered down to open source but de Icanza used this to get to where he is now. Just like a politician.

I have found the views expressed here to be quite enlightening. I thought it was just me!

Which keys should I press to enable the CockUp feature?

Graham Newton

Re: Rotated screens and "pranks"

You didn't need access to the terminal. You could send the user a messages with the control characters embedded in the text to get the terminal to do all sorts of things when they opened the message.

Happy days indeed

BTC dev: 'Strangling' the blockchain will kill Bitcoin

Graham Newton

Re: Bit bollocks more like

OK step 1

Open (or log into) wallet.

Right, don't have one of those.



Mmmm -- most of them say they are vulnerable. That doesn't sound good.

Right try Bitcoin Wallet as it is not vulnerable.


"Have your Bitcoins always with you, in your pocket! You pay by quickly scanning a QR-code. As a merchant, you receive payments reliably and instantly. Bitcoin Wallet is the first mobile Bitcoin app, and arguably also the most secure!"

Not convinced.

Riddle of cash-for-malware offer in new Raspberry Pi computers

Graham Newton

Re: exe file, on a Pi?

Yes it runs Windows. Full stop. The ARM version. You can load as many exes as you like, nothing will happen unless they have been compiled for ARM. Which they probably haven't.

I did try it and it was very painful. I have learnt the error of my ways and gone back to raspian, cos it just works.

They’re FAT. They’re ROUND. They’re worth almost a POUND. Smart waaatch, smart waaatch

Graham Newton

In the 70's I had a FIVE function digital watch. OK my class mate had a SIX function digital watch but you really should know what year it is.

Windows 10 collects colossal 0.375 per cent market share in July

Graham Newton

Having tried and failed (at least 10 times and including using a USB stick) to upgrade my Toshiba tablet thing I feel the mobile Windows 10 penetration may continue to be "disappointing".

Ginormous HIDDEN BLACK HOLES flood the universe – boffins

Graham Newton

Re: so...

It's no different to measuring the mass of any other object. It's not special just because it is a black hole. The obvious way is to measure the orbital period of orbiting objects.

The other way of looking at is if you can walk away from a car you can walk away from a black hole with the mass of a car.

This unfortunate fact along with Hawking radiation scuppered my invention of the black hole vacuum cleaner.

Server guys: Are you running fewer than 200 virtual machines?

Graham Newton


What do magic quadrants do and where can I get them? Diagon alley perhaps?

Cinnamon 2.6 – a Linux desktop for Windows XP refugees

Graham Newton

Re: So Far they haven't F*cked it up!

Exactly. When I am dealing with a unfamiliar machine it is a relief to be able to find the system console by just clicking on a menu option.. Rather than having to learn how to use the completely alien GUI I have never seen before to find anything at all.

BOFH: Getting to the brown, nutty heart of the water cooler matter

Graham Newton


We used modeled Ginger nut biscuits swimming in lager in a chamber pot .

The future groom had to eat and drink it.

Then we got chucked out the pub.

In a galaxy far, far, far away ... Farthest ever star system discovered

Graham Newton

It's full of galaxies

I think there is only one star in that image. To the top left.

MAYHEM in ORBIT: Russian cargo pod spins OUT OF CONTROL

Graham Newton

Re: Re. spin

Seeing as the spacecraft will be in full sunlight for half an orbit it's presumably not a power issue due to lack of light.


Graham Newton

Radio transmitter under four solar panels.

Having worked on Cassini Huygens, which I presume from the comments by the Beagle team must have been an uncontrolled European spacecraft landing, I find it strange that the radio transmitter was under four solar panels that had to be correctly deployed in order before radio transmission/reception was possible.

We were always concerned about single point failures and despite the compactness of Beagle's design having 4 single point failures before the radio is operational seems unthinkable.

Philae healthier: Proud ESA shows off first comet surface pic

Graham Newton

Re: geo sync ?

Rotation period is 12.4 hours . Geosync orbit about 5km from the centre.

Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo

Graham Newton

Re: @NUmbers

India and Thailand both have road rules very similar to the UK. But watching the traffic you wouldn't know it.

e.g. Turning right from a minor road on several taxi journeys in India the driver would positioned them self on the right of the road and left turning traffic would have to pass in front and drive round the taxi.

WTF is ... Virtual Customer Premises Equipment?

Graham Newton

Been here before

If the VCE is designed by the same engineers that designed the homehub I was sent, which:

Wouldn't allow a 10.x.x.x subnet

Only allowed a specific set of ports to be opened

Changing the SSID was an advanced feature

Regularly drop the PPoE session

Regularly generated 255 phantom Wifi hotspots one after the other

it will work really well.

Spinning SPACE DUCK is comet-chasing Rosetta probe's PREY

Graham Newton
Thumb Up

Re: duck

Thanks -- pint of Lager please.

SPACE: The FINAL FRONTIER. These are the TEN-YEAR images of star probe Cassini

Graham Newton


The final mission has already been decided and is known as "Grand Finale". The orbiter is to be manoeuvred into a polar (vertical) orbit such that the closest approach is between the rings and the planet which will give some fantastic photos of the planet. This culminates after several such orbits with orbiter falling into Saturn's atmosphere.

Nexus 1 put in orbit to prove 'in space, no one can hear you scream'

Graham Newton

I know Surrey Satellites know their stuff BUT is the phone really unmodified? First of all it has to survive launch vibration. Once in space it will be exposed to radiation and be in a vacuum. Normal electronic don;t really work well in a vacuum. Circuit boards tend to arc so destroying themselves. Non radiation hardened parts will probably fail pretty quickly.

Curiosity needs OS upgrade before getting down to science

Graham Newton

Data rate

I don;t think the data rate information is correct.

Doesn;t agrree with this.


I'm surprised that they have had to upgrade the OS especially after such a short trip. I wrote the s/w for the SSP experiment on Cassini Huygens and the last thing I would have wanted to do was significant s/w upgrades. I didn't use an OS as they are too resource hungary..

On that my data rate allocation was about 2 to 10 slots of 100 bytes per 12 second cycle. (From memory)

However having carried out such an audacious landing procedure an OS upgrade should be a walk in the park.

Plods to get dot-uk takedown powers - without court order

Graham Newton

Is this Digital Spy?

Apart from a few notable exceptions I am astounded at the comments on here. I expect this type of hysterical ranting on Digital Spy which is why I don't go there.

So Nominet changing its rules to allow Websites that are engaged in serious criminal activities to be shut down rather than having to find a loophole to do the same thing is bad?

Nominet obviously think there is a need to be able to do this so they are looking for solutions. Which don't appear to be found here!

Here lies /^v.+b$/i

Graham Newton


Please contact your system administrator.

Unfeasibly vast amphibian found croaked on video card

Graham Newton

Dead frogs

We have a pond with frogs in it. When then die they do tend to bloat and then float to the surface presumably because of gases being created and held inside the frog. Really nice to remove -- not!

So I suspect that is what happened in this case and was probably aided by the heat as a previous commenter has noticed.

Get ready for the revolution: internet TVs

Graham Newton

Is it me?

When I read Internet TV I think of TV distribution over the internet NOT the internet on the telly which is quite easily done anyway.

Boffins plan Titanic balloon trip

Graham Newton

Thank you Nano nano

For making me smile on this grey November day. You surely must be worthy.

Graham Newton

Economical with the truth?

"and there were no instruments designed to do surface science after landing"

This is untrue. There was a surface science package (SSP) on the Huygens probe that was designed to measure surface properties. Hence the name. Whilst there was no experiment to determine the properties of a solid surface by a direct sample there were several experiments to measure liquid properties for a potential liquid landing. Also the penetrometer and accelerometer data were used to determine the surface composition.

I know this because I designed and wrote the SSP s/w!

Having said that I think it is a great idea anyway.

Laptops to blame for Qantas jet plunge?

Graham Newton

Passenger with laptop question

Did you see a dialog box with the following ?

New hardware found: A330-300

Install driver yes no ?

Bloke crams 13 into Volvo S70

Graham Newton

For those of you that think it is ok to do this


Jane Fonda c-word slip shocks US

Graham Newton

Missing the point

Another 'outrage' that demonstrates that no one knows what they are talking about. Anybody with even a cursory knowledge of The Vagina Monologues would understand the whole point of Jane Fonda actually saying the word.

Brit stargazers get Gemini reprieve

Graham Newton

Chile in northern hemisphere!

How do they view the "northern hemisphere skies" from Chile?

Schoolkid chipping trial 'a success'

Graham Newton

I remember registration







Sigh "Where's Roberts?"

"He's been put away sir" (Sent to prison)

Smiles "Really?"

"Yes Sir"


Mars rovers can keep on rovin'

Graham Newton

Re. Operating System?


Nissan builds twirly-cab sideways electric pod-car

Graham Newton

Uh-oh... part 2

"It looks like you're trying to park your car. Would you like some help?"


"Tesburys do a GREAT discount when you buy 6 or more bottles of wine why don't you let me drive you there or should I just call the police?"

"I don't think that crowbar will he...."

Music pirate convicted in Led Zep bootleg case

Graham Newton

Why now!

I'm stunned. The last Led Zep concert was in 1979. Has it really taken 28 years to catch him!

China reveals nuclear lunar rover

Graham Newton

"We want it to be better than the early US rovers"

It's like comparing a Ferrari (Apollo rover) to a JCB (Chinese rover). The Apollo rover didn't dig but went a lot faster so the Astronauts could dig further away.

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