* Posts by Vulch

444 posts • joined 28 May 2008


The D in SystemD stands for Dammmit... Security holes found in much-adored Linux toolkit


Re: Never trusted SystemD

It's a classic case of "Something must be done. This is something, therefore it must be done".

Oz cops investigating screams of 'why don't you die?' find bloke in battle with spider


Spiders: Permitted sizes

A spider can be any size across provided, and this is important, it is no thicker than a coat of paint.

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace


Gatwick is a big place

The airport perimeter is something like 10km long. How many shotguns/hunter drones/nets/eagles/whatever are you going to need to deploy to cover that?

Falcon 9 gets its feet wet as SpaceX notch up two more launch successes


Re: How do you launch 64 satellites from a single rocket?

It was something like four slightly larger satellites deployed from the second stage, then three dispensers with a varying number on each separated. The three dispensers then released thier satellites over the next half hour or so. Because of the orbit the various separations were out of range of ground stations so no video.

Millennials 'horrify' their neighbours with knob-shaped lights display


Re: Apparently flamingos and unicorns also

*End* of November? Luxury!

Pulses quicken at NASA as SpaceX gets closer to crewed launches and Russia readies the next Soyuz


NASA may have been pushed into the inspections according to a tweet from Eric Berger last week.

Doctors join wombats in sh!tting bricks to help parents relax about kids chowing down on Lego


...Or a 16 pin DIL TTL chip which has the ability to become more firmly attached to the underside of your foot for several steps.

Busy week for ISS as Russia resumes flights and vies for parking spaces with NASA


Re: The ISS is getting short of parking spots

Although the new Russian docking ports will only be used by Soyuz and Progress. Dragon, Cygnus and HTV currently are berthed at CBM ports. The new crew capsules from SpaceX and Boeing will use the IDA ports.

Rocket Labs mean business, Brits stick pin in Mars map, and Japan celebrates HTV-7’s dive into the atmosphere


Re: Hippy-friendly hybrid-electric rocket motors

The pumps use a number of battery packs and as each one is depleted it is jettisoned, lightening the load.

Roughly 30 years after its birth at UK's Acorn Computers, RISC OS 5 is going open source


Re: Eproms?

You need to watch the address bus width. The ARM processors used by Acorn, including the StrongARM, used 27 bits (I think, getting on for 20 years since I left Acorn) of the notional 32. More recent versions use the whole 32 and I think RISC OS 4 and 5 are intended for the full width architecture. It may or may not be possible to build for the older architecture.

Russian rocket goes BOOM again – this time with a crew on it


Only if they do without a reliable return capsule. The Soyuz is only rated for 6 months (some sources say 200 days) life on orbit, so having launched on June 6th MS-09 needs to come back in early December.

The limit is apparently seals and washers in the manoeuvering systems, the propellant used makes them start to degrade.

30-up: You know what? Those really weren't the days


Alternative 2018 floppy disc put-down

"How cute! You've 3d printed the save icon!"

Sysadmin misses out on paycheck after student test runs amok


Re: Machine names

Space Intruder Detector, in orbit 180 degrees away from the moon to give warning of UFOs coming from that direction so Gabrielle Drake in her purple wig could launch Interceptors.

Pluto is more alive than Mars, huff physicists who are still not over dwarf planet's demotion


Active geology

Io has formed itself into a sphere and appears to be the most geologically active "planet" in the Solar System with Titan not far behind. Be interesting to find out how many of the rereclassifiers consider Cruithne to be a moon of Earth...

Space station springs a leak while astronauts are asleep (but don't panic)


The last couple of paragraphs are complete cobblers. Soyuz MS-09 *is* due to return to Earth *with* crew at the end of the year. The leak is in its orbital module so should not cause problems for the crew in the re-entry module. Only the Progress cargo variant is disposed of entirely.

Somerset boozer prepares to declare its inn-dependence from UK


IRTA as cabinet of Ginsters. Government by meat pie sounds a plausible method...

EU wants one phone plug to rule them all. But we've got a better idea.


Re: Drawer full of leads

I also have a "Muker" plug in monitor

Oooh, want. And thanks to the magic of the internet will have one Soon (tm).

People hate hot-desking. Google thinks they’ll love hot-Chromebooking


Re: Pointless?

"Wine? Isn't that something users do?" - BOFH

Wine is what they drink, whine is what they do.

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


Re: Nose, face, bite ...

During the initial Galileo negotiations one EU member insisted on a clause excluding non-EU states from access to certain capabilities of the system. Would you like to have a guess which one it was?

Britain's new F-35s arrive in UK as US.gov auditor sounds reliability warning klaxon



While four may have landed in the UK, five took off from the USA. One turned back after the first refuelling for a so far undisclosed reason.

Capture your late-night handbrake turns with this 'autonomous' car-chasing camera drone


Long time ago the ITV company I worked for decided to invest in a company that was strapping broadcast quality film cameras to big RC helicopters. They decided to do an item for the local news about it so set off with a news crew and the drone operator in a proper Castle Air helicopter and the drone flying below them along a valley. Unfortunately, this being before YouTube, the footage from the helicopter of the drone saying hello at speed to the viaduct everyone had forgotten was there isn't online and the film from the drone didn't survive the 16mm camera on the drone being converted to shrapnel.

International Maritime Organisation turns salty gaze on regulating robotic shipping


Re: Tortuga bound

A big ship that's carrying on on its way with not the slightest interest in your desire for it to follow you into port. You're going to have to try and get your loot off something that is underway and making frequent random course changes because its unauthorised boarding detectors have gone off.

It could be you: National Lottery hands £16m to England's Jodrell Bank


May not happen. PBCOBE was out in Australia recently to do a Stargazing Live Australia and mentioned the BBC weren't enthusiastic about more.

Flamin' Nora! Brit firefighters tackle blazing fly-tipped boat


Re: Sir Nelson??

ITYM Sir Francis.

The current King of Spain is bearded...

America's forgotten space station and a mission tinged with urine, we salute you


Re: 5...4...3...2...1...>

Walter and Donald (Deke => D K) Tracy, the forgotten brothers.

UK's Royal Navy buys £13m mine-blasting robot boat


Re: "The Strait of Hormuz"..

The Strait is quite shallow, full sized subs going through need to be very careful if transiting while submerged.

New Monty Python movie to turn old jokes into new royalties


Re: Shovelling shedloads of sheet glass in the shithouse?

African or European?

Mannequin Skywalker takes high ground on Bezos-backed rocket


Re: Units

Very obvious in the coverage yesterday. Everything was given in obscure units, mph, feet, pounds, etc.. The only metric unit I noticed creeping in was a mention of crossing 100km altitude.

2001 set the standard for the next 50 years of hard (and some soft) sci-fi


Re: Silent Running...

Morgan Freeman has been trying to get Rendezvous With Rama made for 20+ years.

For some reason, you lot love 'em. So here are the many ThinkPads of 2018


Re: Something to look forward to

I ought to bookmark the article, currently trying to sort out the models from 5 years ago looking for a replacement for the one from 10 years ago.

Boring. The phone business has lost the plot and Google is making it worse


Re: Phone design

That layout twists the wrist uncomfortably, better off with speaker on the thumb and mic on the little finger.

Crunch time: Maplin in talks to sell the business


They had good prices for cable ties and spiral wrap when I decided I really needed to tidy up the cables in my home office, but apart from that I've only bought things I am willing to pay a premium for because I need them right now. Anything that can wait a day or two is online and cheaper.

Sorry, Elon, your Tesla roadster won't orbit for billions of years


Re: What about collisions with spacecraft on the way to Mars

The Tesla orbit is inclined to the ecliptic by a degree or two so will be above or below traffic travelling between the planets.

NASA rethinking InSight probe mission after dust storm predicted for Mars


Mostly because it is designed for direct entry from interplanetary cruise. It never enters Mars orbit.

UK competition watchdog: Fox's takeover of Sky 'not in public interest'


Re: Mickey Mouse?

They've bought the feature film side and some of the TV production, not the news part.

What do voters want? An IRL Maybot? Sure, give that a whirl


Frankie and Benjy Mouse should be able to help with that.

BOFH: Buttock And Departmental Defence ... As A Service


Re: Well the smoking gang...

2 side walls would class it as outdoors

Actually two complete walls class it as *indoors*. The wording is "50% or more", not "more than 50%". Generally smoking shelters have a missing panel in one of their remaining sides to make sure they're under the 50% limit.

1980s sci-fi movies: The thrill of being not quite terrified on mum's floral sofa


Re: Jabba the Hutt in 1983’s Return of the Jedi

No, Jabba was always in RotJ along with slave bikini Leia. He was pasted into an extra scene in the original Star Wars though.

GIMPS crack whip on plucky processor to find largest prime number


Virgin Hyperloop pulls up the biggest chair for Branson, bags $50m, new speed record


Re: What's the record?

The current hyperloop test tracks are short. Show me a steam train that can do 0 to 200km/h and back to 0 within 500m.

SpaceX to try reusing both rocket and spacecraft for historic ISS mission


Visible pass after launch

If the launch goes off on schedule it ought to be possible to see the Dragon, second stage and solar panel covers go over the UK about 20 minutes later, weather permitting. There's an ISS pass about half an hour before launch that will give you an idea of where to look. On CRS-11, the first flight of this booster, the pass was videoed.

Opportunity rover survives Martian winter for eighth time


Re: Obligatory...

Weight, extra moving parts (you really don't want a wiper or brush to get stuck halfway across a panel) and I think the amount of dust collecting on the panels was one of the things that was quantified by Spirit and Opportunity. Previously the amount of dust expected was "some".

Scotland, now is your time… to launch Brexit Britain into SPAAAACE!


The plan is to run sub-orbital stuff like the Virgin Galactic Spaceship 2s out of wherever is chosen rather than orbital things.

SpaceX 'raises' an extra 100 million bucks to get His Muskiness to Mars


CRS-13 has been pushed back to the 8th now, Iridium is on course for the 22nd/23rd from Vandenberg so the fairings problem looks like it is being managed. Zuma is likely to take precedence as a paying customer over the Heavy though so we'll probably not see the Heavy launch this year. https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/


And if everything goes smoothly we'll see four more boosters re-flying in the very near future with CRS-13, Iridium and the side boosters of the Heavy.

Comet 67-P farted just as Rosetta probe flew through the gas plume


Has the feeling of something that wasn't there in one image, was for the next two and had gone again by the time the fourth image was taken. All they know is the event started after the first and before the second, and finished after the third but before the fourth.

Interstellar space rock screams through Solar System


Re: An eccentricity of 1.2 ...

Voyager 1 - 3.72, Voyager 2 - 6.28


Elliptical orbits to their Jupiter encounter, then a boost from each subsequent encounter.


Re: Rendevous with Rama

Morgan Freeman holds the rights and has been trying to get things moving for many years.

'Screaming' man fined $149 for singing 'Everybody Dance Now'


A MAMIL got convicted of furious cycling in Cambridge a while ago without fatalities, for some reason he'd decided the best time for "training" was middle of the night as night clubs kicked out.

BOFH: Oh dear. Did someone get lost on the Audit Trail?


Similar tale told about a Cattle Market back home. Customs and Excise turn up near the end of the day to dip Land Rover tanks looking for red diesel. First farmer comes out and starts a long argument with the C&E officers about how they don't need to test his tank. In the mean time everyone else hops into their Landie and depart, the parking area being a triangle of open space between a couple of roads with no fences or hedges there's no hope of delaying them. Finally exasperated C&E get an answer to their repeated question of why they don't need to dip the tank, "This one runs on petrol".

[In the UK fuel for agricultural machinery isn't taxed but mustn't be used in road vehicles, there's a red dye added to trace it]


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