* Posts by Brangdon

283 posts • joined 15 Sep 2008

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Elon Musk reveals Mars colony rocket capable of bringing pizza joints to the red planet

Brangdon

Re: Downvote all you like but... it won't make us "more likely to survive"

This is not about survival of individuals, but of the whole human species. The Mars colony is more likely to be wiped out then Earth, but it's still less likely that both will be wiped out at the same time.

The premise is that the Mars colony will be self-sufficient. I expect that to take over 100 years, but it's hard to see it taking more than 200 years.

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Brangdon

Re: One Way Trip

The journey time is around 3 months. That's short enough for microgravity not to be a big issue (people have stayed on ISS for over a year). Radiation comes from two sources. General background radiation is weak enough that some shielding will suffice for the short flight duration. Solar events are stronger, but can be shielded by orienting the engines and propellant tanks etc between the Sun and the passengers. Their chances of cancer will probably increase by a few percent.

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Brangdon

Re: Sending "ships" back is stupid.

The ships are horribly expensive. They have to be, to be large enough for the job. However, they are reusable, so the cost of bringing them back is essentially the cost of the fuel. Hence it is much cheaper to bring them back than to leave them there.

It also means the people sent to Mars don't have to die there. It can be a return trip. That will encourage more people to go.

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Voyager 1 passes another milestone: It's now 138AU from home

Brangdon

Re: RCA_1802

Shame. My first computer had one of those. An Elf II, with 256 bytes of RAM programmed via a hex pad and no ROM. Assembly code would have been a luxury. Circa 1978.

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Bogus Bitcoiners battered with US$12 million penalty

Brangdon

Re: So custom ASICs are there, just a layer deeper in the onion than you're used to

Sounds like their use is temporary. You use them as an intermediate when buying Vertcoin, but once bought you don't use them thereafter. And even this step will vanish if/when exchanges accept direct dollar/Vertcoin trades.

It's often the same with Proof of Stake coins too, like Nxt. No ASICS or GPUs needed, you can mine them with a Raspberry Pi, but to buy them you depend on the exchanges that expect Bitcoin.

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UK PM Theresa May's response to terror attacks 'shortsighted'

Brangdon

Re: shame

LibDems do accept Brexit is going to happen. They think we should read the fine print before signing the contract, is all.

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Microsoft founder Paul Allen reveals world's biggest-ever plane

Brangdon

Re: Interesting

Although if it then failed to ignite, you'd probably lose rocket and payload. For comparison, during a SpaceX launch the rocket is held down by clamps for a few moments after ignition, while the computer checks the telemetry and decides whether it is healthy. Launches have been aborted after ignition, with no harm done; just fix the problem and try again. I don't know if this is standard for rockets that are not reusable.

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Bitcoin exchange Coinbase crashes after Asian buying frenzy

Brangdon

Re: Why?

It's main benefit is for people and countries who can't use normal banking services. A lot more people have smart phones than bank accounts in places like India. It's also for people who don't trust fiat currency (see, for example, the inflation currently in Venezuela). Historically it also allowed for cheap or free money transfers, even across national boundaries. Those days are gone because the system has reached capacity creating competition for space in the block chain, but they might return if the block size issue gets resolved. Finally, it allows for permission-less innovation. For example, if you are a business that wants to accept credit cards, you need permission from the CC company. They might refuse if they don't like the look of your business, for example because it competes with them, or you are Wikileaks, or it involves sexual services they disapprove of morally.

If you are in the Western world, it's quite likely you have no real need of Bitcoin.

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DARPA orders spaceplane capable of 10 launches in 10 days

Brangdon

$5m sounds very cheap

Hopefully by 2020 SpaceX will have been reusing first stages and fairings for years, and maybe second stages too (at least for Falcon Heavy). They should have paid for a lot of their research and be able to pass savings onto customers. Even so, getting below $10m will be challenging.

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Julian Assange wins at hide-and-seek game against Sweden

Brangdon

Re: Pen-y-gors

The Swedes haven't dropped the case because of lack of evidence. They've dropped it because they can't proceed without physical access to him, which they are unlikely to get. It's not their fault they have no access, it's his, because he jumped bail and fled to the embassy. It seems fair to me to prosecute him for his own actions.

They've also said they may reopen the case if he becomes available. That may happen if he leaves the embassy, is arrested for bail-jumping, and the Swedes issue a new arrest warrant while he's in jail. (I doubt he'll get bail a second time, given he's a proven flight risk.) It seems to me he has to stay in the embassy at least until the statute of limitations expires on the final accusation. If he truly does not fear the rape case but does fear extradition, I don't see when he'll ever be able to leave. The UK will never guarantee not to extradite him to the USA.

If he does leave the embassy after the rape case is dropped, it will confirm that he was in fact avoiding justice for that and the extradition thing was just a pretext.

It's also worth noting that he said he'd hand himself to America if Chelsea Manning was shown clemency, and that has now happened (as her sentence was reduced and she's out of jail). So he's got no excuse to hide on that score.

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UK Tory party pledges 'digital' charter, wants Verify to back online gov

Brangdon

Re: the Northern Ireland system

The Northern Ireland system offers free ID cards. There are no plans for that mentioned in the manifesto.

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Chelsea Manning leaves prison, heads straight for booze and pizza

Brangdon

Re: Here we go again

Assange did not use the word "pardoned". The tweet was: "If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case". Clemency means, to moderate the severity of punishment due. Early release is clemency.

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Samsung Galaxy S8+: Seriously. What were they thinking?

Brangdon

Re: Bah!

Covered in the penultimate paragraph of page 1.

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Space upstart plans public cloud in low Earth orbit

Brangdon

Re: I don't think there's any communication between satellites,

There may be communication between satellites. They can aim lasers at each other, for a point-to-point mesh. Again, this is what SpaceX's Internet constellation will do.

The computing power won't disappear. There will always be a satellite or two overhead, that has the most recent state of your app. That state will be broadcast from satellite to satellite as they move, and your ground station will track the satellites and hand-off from one to the next with solid-state phased arrays. I'm not sure what the applications are, but it does sound cool and workable.

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Brangdon

Re: Call me skeptical but...

I'm guessing their ground receiver is some kind of phased array. That is, a fixed-position, solid state pizza-box sized array of tiny transceivers. It aims itself by adjusting the timing of how it broadcasts or integrates the signals across the transceivers, and using wave mechanics. Magic, in other words.

It's what SpaceX plan to use to talk to their global Internet constellation.

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LastPass connectivity snafu locks out Brits from password manager

Brangdon

Re: Three Words...

The Mooltipass link worked for me. It expects you to carry a smart card, a dongle, and (to use with a phone) a USB cable. I'm not convinced it's easier to use than, say, KeePass, which is software you can keep installed on any device that needs it, with an archive replicated via DropBox or similar.

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Hackers emit 9GB of stolen Macron 'emails' two days before French presidential election

Brangdon

Re: unmasking

It was called "unmasking" because that is the technical term for what happened. That is, voice calls intercepted and recorded, people's names not covered by the warrant were redacted, and later those names restored. Restoring the names is called "unmasking". There are people in government who have the right and duty to unmask such names (eg, when they are needed for context). The same term would have been used whoever was involved. The term does not indicate bias.

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Fortran greybeards: Get your walking frames and shuffle over to NASA

Brangdon

Re: Old stuff sticks around

I had a quick look but I couldn't easily tell whether it can use GPUs for parallel code. Does it?

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Don't panic, Florida Man, but a judge just said you have to give phone passcodes to the cops

Brangdon

Re: I'll leave the final ruling to --

The equivalent to cutting open a safe would be cracking the phone PIN. No-one denies a warrant will give them the legal right to do that. However, if the phone's security is such that the PIN cannot reasonably be cracked, it doesn't help them.

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Carnegie-Mellon Uni emits 'don't be stupid' list for C++ developers

Brangdon

Re: everything is memory

There is more to a data type than its memory. There will, for example, be class invariants that need to be preserved. If you see everything as a just bag of bytes then you are missing some powerful tools. For this reason, a file handle is more than a pointer to memory. It has meaning beyond bytes.

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Brangdon

re: for religious reasons

That is, for backwards compatibility and efficiency.

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'Grueling' record-breaking VR movie marathon triggers hallucinations

Brangdon

The Gadget Show

Georgie off C5's The Gadget show claimed a VR record for playing 25+ hours of VR Minecraft, only last Friday. That record didn't last long.

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That apple.com link you clicked on? Yeah, it's actually Russian

Brangdon

Re: Simple solution?

Currently mox.com and mox.ru can both exist, even if owned by different entities. That's the whole point of having different namespaces. Given that, мох.ru should be allowed whether or not mox.com exists, so long as mox.ru doesn't exist.

If both spellings want the same namespace, as in мох.com and mox.com, then it should be handled as if the spellings were the same. First-come, first-served, or whatever the rule is. That isn't making IDN second class. It is treating them the same as everything else.

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Evil ISPs could disrupt Bitcoin's blockchain

Brangdon

Re: Bitcoin is just one blockchain implementation ...

The expectation is that other payment protocols will be layered on top of Bitcoin, so many user transactions get reconciled by a couple of Bitcoin transactions. See, for example, the Lightning Network.

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Assange™ keeps his couch as Ecuador's president wins election

Brangdon

Because he's an alleged rapist and undeniable cad.

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What went up, Musk come down again: SpaceX to blast sat into orbit with used rocket

Brangdon

Re: The first stage of the Falcon 9 is sub-orbital.

Actually even the first stage Falcon 9 is capable of getting to orbit on its own, albeit without a payload. It goes a lot faster than its terminal velocity. Blue Origin's New Shepherd is doing a much less difficult job generally. It is less close to performance limits and as a result can be made much heavier and so stronger. It's more comparable to SpaceX own Grasshopper rockets than Falcon 9. Grasshopper was reused multiple times, albeit only flying a few 100 metres up and down.

Blue Origin's next rocket, New Glenn, will be interesting. It will be orbital. They say it will be a scaled up New Shepherd and everything they learned on one will transfer to the other. I'm not so sure. I think they'll find they are hitting new problems for the first time, problems that Falcon 9 has needed to solve.

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Brangdon

Re: has never been done before

If you're counting Blue Origin's suborbital hops, then you should also count SpaceX's Grasshopper.

Refurbishment costs should go down as Block 5 comes into play. Block 5 is supposed to incorporate lessons learned from studying the boosters they landed successfully. They are currently on Block 3 or 4, and they've said they won't bother reusing them many times.

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What should password managers not do? Leak your passwords? What a great idea, LastPass

Brangdon

Use DropBox or similar for synchronisation, and then use KeePass for the password manager.

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Brangdon

Re: a hack of Dropbox

If you use KeePass, the password file is encrypted locally before DropBox sees it. You're main vulnerability is if your local machine gets compromised to the point that someone can inject a DLL into the address space of the KeePass process, but if they can do that, they pretty much own you anyway.

(A simple key logger isn't enough, because KeePass uses a secure desktop for its master password, and a simple clipboard sniffer isn't enough if you use its autotype mechanism instead of copy and paste.)

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NASA to fire 1Gbps laser 'Wi-Fi' ... into spaaaaace

Brangdon

SpaceX

This sounds like the technology SpaceX plans to use for their Internet via satellite scheme, which they hope will pay for their Mars colony. The hard part (aside from launching 7,500 satellites into LEO, which they think they have nailed), is making the pizza-box ground transcievers that can track the satellites as they move.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX_satellite_constellation

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Security slip-ups in 1Password and other password managers 'extremely worrying'

Brangdon

Re: Q2: What happens next time Amazon-S3 is down

I use a password manager, but not a password website. Specifically, KeePass. So passwords are stored locally on my PC. I use DropBox to back them up and replicate them to other devices. I can get at them from my phone without needing internet access.

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LOST IN SPAAAAAACE! SpaceX aborts Space Station podule berthing

Brangdon

Re: Lacking Details

According to NASA TV, a wrong value about the ISS position was uplinked from the ground. So nothing wrong with the hardware or the software that was in orbit. I don't know where the wrong value came from; whether it was a typo, or someone not allowing for the 24-hour launch delay, or ground hardware.

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SpaceX shuffles deck, EchoStar launch bumped

Brangdon

Re: Miss-characterisation of the fault

Although the frozen oxygen is a popular theory, SpaceX themselves aren't committed to it. They seem to say that even liquid oxygen can be trapped in the buckle space by the pressure, and then ignite. The freezing merely exacerbates the problem.

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Don't worry, America: Elon Musk says he'll have a word with Trump

Brangdon

Re: For good or ill...

Scott Adams is certainly worth reading, but for me he crossed the line into evil months ago. Much of his "persuasion" amounts to saying whatever will get the result he want, whether or not it is true. This applies to what he writes in his blog, which is often misleading or simply false. He admired and privately endorsed Trump even while claiming to endorse Clinton. He gave a tutorial on increasing the Trump vote by manipulating friends who are Clinton supporters into not using their vote - and said that because it was legal, it was OK. He has written that fake news is OK if it supports Trump.

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Doomsday Clock moves to 150 seconds before midnight. Thanks, Trump

Brangdon

Re: Putin is not Trump

It won't be Russia vs America, because Trump likes Russia. He's making noises about reducing NATO, which would let Russia extend into Europe and eventually Britain or France might fight back with nukes, but that's a whole other scenario.

It is China that Trump dislikes. He's already "pissed them off" by accepting a phone call from Taiwan, and they've already retaliated by grabbing a US research drone (from the sea). If that kind of thing escalates, there's no knowing where it will stop. China owns vast amounts of US debt, for example.

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Welcome to the Wipe House: President Trump shreds climate change, privacy, LGBT policies on WhiteHouse.gov

Brangdon

Re: Happy Days

Actually the vote on proportional representation was also similar to Brexit and Trump, in that the voters were lied to and some believed the lies. (Eg, they were told it meant some people's votes counted more than others.) As a separate issue, the vote wasn't for proper PR but some half-baked hybrid scheme. Many people voted against it because they wanted proper PR; which in my view was very stupid because such votes were inevitably taken as endorsing the status quo. The upshot is that it was just a big a fiasco as Brexit, and we probably won't get another chance for 20 years.

The system we are left with is worse than America's electoral collages. For example, UKIP got 12.6% of the last election vote but only got 1 seat out of 650, rather than the 82 or so they deserved. I'm not a UKIP fan, far from it, but ignoring any party that has that many votes is wrong. Arguably it encouraged the feeling of not being listened to that helped produce Brexit.

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IT team sent dirt file to Police as they all bailed from abusive workplace

Brangdon

Re: what the material was

The article mentions a girl and pony video, so presumably bestiality, which is illegal under UK law. (And it mentions Scotland Yard, so presumably UK law applies.)

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Trump inauguration DDoS protest is 'illegal', warn securobods

Brangdon

Re: 1984

> I don't recall any such public behavior. Okay, that private conversation with one other guy, that

> was caught on tape and then leaked by media partisans years later was a tad off-colour, but

> everything else is merely controversial, not disgusting.

It wasn't so much "off-colour" as an admission of sexual assault. And there are numerous other examples, such as him going to the changing rooms during Miss World so he could ogle the 16-year-olds naked. Here's a public quote from Trump: "You know, no men are anywhere. And I'm allowed to go in because I'm the owner of the pageant. And therefore I'm inspecting it... Is everyone OK? You know, they're standing there with no clothes. And you see these incredible-looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that." He said that on the Howard Stern show. It's been confirmed by women in the dressing rooms, and even his daughter.

Given that, it is entirely reasonable that women not want to perform at his inauguration. That's not undermining the Office of President, that being worried he might go backstage while they are changing again.

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Chelsea Manning sentence slashed by Prez Obama: She'll be sprung in the spring

Brangdon

Re: it doesn't send a very good message. not at all.

The average sentence for this kind of crime is 3.5 years. Manning has already served double that. She's not getting let off lightly at all.

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Brangdon

Re: nothing in that case that isn't perfectly legal under Swiss law

He's accused of having sex with an unconscious woman, knowing she wouldn't have consented had she been awake. It didn't "turn into rape" - that is rape in Sweden (and in the UK). It only came to light when the woman asked the police to force him to get an STD test, but that doesn't change what he did.

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Reg straps on goggles from upstart that wants to 'democratize' VR

Brangdon

Re: Still dubious.

If they could crack VR pornography, that would be another big one. So far I don't think they have. Rendered porn isn't yet photo-realistic enough to compete with recorded human actors. VR movies have issues with poor resolution, not allowing the user to move the point of view, and scale. (The scale issue is apparently because the recording cameras need to be the same distance apart as the user's eyes, and eye separation varies from person to person.)

There could be a lot of niche applications. For example, estate agents could provide VR models of the homes they are selling for prospective buys to tour. That would require such models to be cheap to create. A recorded walkthrough VR movie might be good enough. There's a big difference between watching a flat screen and actually being immersed in a room.

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Weather stops SpaceX from blowing up more satellites

Brangdon

Re: Nope

The payload wasn't on the rocket for this static test. This means they have to lower the rocket, take it back inside, install the payload, then take the rocket back to the pad and raise it to vertical again for the actual launch. Doing all that takes time, and arguably invalidates the static test at least partially (which is why they gave the customer the option of skipping it previously), but will be standard procedure for the next few launches.

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Elon's SpaceX gets permission to blow up another satellite or two

Brangdon

Re: US/Russian/EU/Chinese/Brazilian government RUDs

And lets not forget a Russian Soyuz-U lost its cargo on the way to the ISS only last month. Space is hard.

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BOOST! LEGO's computing future and its ground-breaking past

Brangdon

Re: as benign as it is possible to be

They gender their kits in a way that upsets Anita Sarkeesian.

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Assange confirmed alive, tells Fox: Prez Obama 'acting like a lawyer'

Brangdon

Re: He also claimed that the charges against him in Sweden didn't come from the women

That is true, and should be well-known to anyone following the case. It's not new. The women went to the police in an attempt to force him to have an STD check. When the police heard what they said he'd done (such as, had sex with a woman who was unconscious, knowing she would not have consented had she been awake), they informed the women that that was rape. That the women didn't realise until they'd been told is not too usual for non-violent rape.

In general it is the authorities who prosecute crimes, not the victim. The charges never come from the victim.

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How the NYE leap second clocked Cloudflare – and how a single character fixed it

Brangdon

Re: No it can't. It's defined as being monotonic.

Was it just me that read that as "moronic"?

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Patience is SpaceX's latest virtue

Brangdon

June was always an optimistic date. All SpaceX dates are NET, meaning "no earlier than", and are the soonest possible if everything goes well. Delays are likely.

In this case they seem to have spent a lot more time testing the recovered first stage. They test-fired it 10 times. Additional delays are due to the whole fleet being grounded because of the explosion of 3 months ago. They are now expected to launch a pre-loved first stage in the first quarter of 2017.

They don't seem to be having problems finding a client for it.

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Kotkin: Why Trump won

Brangdon

Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

It's true Clinton won the popular vote. However, if the popular vote mattered, then both parties would have campaigned differently, so the result might have been the same.

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Hell desk thought PC fire report was a first-day-on-the-job prank

Brangdon

Re: so..

If the business has a problem with the way he dresses, it should communicate that to him through channels. Not humiliate him in front of a client.

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Password1? You're so random. By which we mean not random at all - UK.gov

Brangdon

Re: 'Social media' as the same level of importance as banking??

If they have your Facebook account, they can pretend to be you and ask your friends and relatives for money. With a bit of social engineering some people will fall for this. For example, if they pick a date when you are on holiday and say there's been a disaster, you've lost your phone and wallet, and you need money to get home ASAP.

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