* Posts by Brangdon

313 posts • joined 15 Sep 2008

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Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 is hot, but not much more than the S8+

Brangdon

Am I the only person who also cares about FM radio? I want one partly for emergencies, partly to save data, and partly to save battery. Few flagship phones have them now, allegedly because the network operators want you to pay for internet data instead.

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NASA Earthonauts emerge from eight-month isolation in simulated Mars visit

Brangdon

Re: Mars

Mars has an atmosphere which blocks most of the radiation. It's not as good as Earth but it's comparable to being on the ISS. The Moon has no atmosphere and no magnetic field, so it has no protection from radiation at all, and so is far worse to colonise from that point of view. (And from most other points of view, too). Either way colonists will want to spend most of their time in shielded habitats, eg sited in lava tubes.

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So thoughtful. Uber says it won't track you after you leave their vehicles

Brangdon

Re: Why track in the first place?

The official reason is to check that the driver dropped you off at the correct place, on the correct side of the road. If tracking shows you crossed the road immediately after being dropped off, the driver probably wasn't giving service as high as possible.

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Headless body found near topless beach: Missing private sub journalist identified

Brangdon

Re: no one outside Denmark

She's a journalist who writes for The Guardian. It was always going to be reported in this country by her fellow journalists.

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Calm down, internet. Elon's Musk-see SpaceX spacesuit is a bit generic

Brangdon

Re: In-flight travel vs spacewalks

These are for the manned Dragon crew to wear as they are taken to/from ISS. They won't be for EVA because that isn't required (and adds systems for heat management, waste disposal, longer self-contained life support etc, which isn't needed in a Dragon). However, the people wearing them will be real astronauts who may do spacewalks from ISS in different spacesuits later.

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Paris nightclub red-faced after booze-for-boobs offer exposed

Brangdon

Re: Bah!

Some women don't want to be asked to expose themselves when they go out at night. It's objectifying and part of rape culture. It probably counts as solicitation - it's not much different to kerb-crawling or offering to pay random women for sex acts.

I don't know about outrage, but it's understandable that some women would want to warn their friends to avoid this bar, and the bar's owner might be annoyed at the loss of business.

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Private sub captain changes story, now says reporter died, was 'buried at sea' – torso found

Brangdon

I doubt it is the same woman. Without face, teeth or fingerprints the torso will need to be identified from DNA, which will take time and hasn't happened yet. It could be some other crime. I doubt submarine guy would have had time or inclination to dismember, and it kinda blows away his "buried at sea" story. I mean, why use a story that will be disproved as soon as the body is found?

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Linux-loving lecturer 'lost' email, was actually confused by Outlook

Brangdon

Re: If you refuse to learn

In this story, he didn't refuse to learn. IT broke his email and then left it broke for two weeks. He asked for help and didn't get it, for two weeks. He has every right to be upset. If someone had explained to him he just had to click in the right place on day one, he'd have been fine, but the IT department didn't do that. They left him to stew. This may not have been Newt's fault, but he was there as the representative of IT so he should have been polite. IT was in the wrong here, not the user.

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What code is running on Apple's Secure Enclave security chip? Now we have a decryption key...

Brangdon

Re: Demanding your PIN

Arguably, handing over a PIN only self-incriminates to the extent of confirming the phone is yours. The contents of the phone is evidence of the sort found by a search, not testimony.

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Place your bets: How long will 1TFLOPS HPE box last in space without proper rad hardening

Brangdon

Re: "I'm not sure where you are getting your figures from. "

I'm not going to watch a video. Curiosity has a device to measure radiation. It gives 0.67 mSv per day, which about double the ISS exposure rate. Your figure of .7 Sv per week, or 100 mSv per day, is out by several orders of magnitude. Maybe you have your units wrong, or are confusing exposure during the journey with exposure once arrived. (If you missed a "milli" and confused weekly with daily, that would do it.)

http://www.sci-news.com/space/science-mars-radiation-measurements-surface-01629.html

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Brangdon

Re: Not a good test

I'm not sure where you are getting your figures from. On the surface of Mars you are protected by the atmosphere, and Mars itself, so the radiation is similar to that on the ISS. You would also build a shelter from regolith, or situate it in a lava tube, which would give excellent shielding when you didn't need to be working on the surface or during solar events.

The journey there and back are another matter, but hopefully the trip will be under 3 months and the ship itself will provide some shielding. Overall we're talking risk of death by cancer increased by a few percent. If that bothers you, don't go.

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Space boffins competing for $20m Moon robot X-Prize are told: Be there by March 31 – or bust

Brangdon

If we're allowing hypothetical third stages, why not allow Falcon Heavy, due to launch in November this year? That's probably sooner than someone could design and build and fly a third stage.

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Cloudflare: We dumped Daily Stormer not because they're Nazis but because they said we love Nazis

Brangdon

Cloudflare acted the only way they could

I don't get it. Why couldn't they just state that what the Daily Stormer says about them isn't true?

Cloudflare seem to be saying that it is OK to tell lies about other people, but not about themselves. That's not some high moral principle. It's hypocracy.

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For fork's sake! Bitcoin Core braces for another cryptocurrency split

Brangdon

Re: where does the cash come from

The original bitcoin is not backed by real world cash. It's backed by confidence that other people will accept it in exchange for goods and services. Which is mostly true because Bitcoin is a useful way of transferring value.

The increase in Bitcoin's value came because SegWit and Bitcoin Cash represent software upgrades that a lot of people wanted. The value of Bitcoin had been artificially depressed because of uncertainty about whether the upgrade would ever come. Now SegWit is here, that uncertainty is (mostly) gone, and other technology such as the Lightening Network can be build on top.

The value in Bitcoin comes from making transactions. These upgrades increase the number of transactions that can be made per second. Hence they increase the value Bitcoin delivers.

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Don't make Aug 21 a blind date: Beware crap solar eclipse specs

Brangdon

Re: despite it hurts

It doesn't hurt. That's the point of these warnings. The retina doesn't have pain nerves and doesn't signal when it is being damaged. Hence you can damage your eyes without realising it. It's easy to do if you become fascinated by what you are seeing. These warnings are necessary because the danger is not obvious. I only wish they'd take the time to explain why the danger is not obvious; then people might not be so complacent.

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Autonomous driving in a city? We're '95% of the way there'

Brangdon

@Peter2

The very section you quoted says, "Unless the trader and the consumer have agreed otherwise...". By using the delivery service you will be agreeing otherwise.

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Brace yourselves, Virgin Media prices are going up AGAIN, people

Brangdon

Re: Used my parents Virgin TV system the other day

Consider upgrading to the V6 TiVo. It is 10-20 times as fast. Netflix loads in a couple of seconds. Going to My Shows takes about half a second instead of 8 seconds. It's much nicer.

It also has 6 tuners, and the remote control no longer needs line of sight so you can hide the box in a cupboard if you want.

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It took DEF CON hackers minutes to pwn these US voting machines

Brangdon

Re: Why Electronic Voting?

They don't use paper votes because they vote on many different things at once. Their voting forms are pages long. It's much more complex than it is in the UK.

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Chess champ Kasparov, for one, welcomes our new robot overlords

Brangdon

Re: I would guess that Mr. Kasparov is not only better than I at chess

You can adjust for miles driven to remove that bias, and then the self-driving cars already look good.

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The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

Brangdon

Fried eggs should be

crisp and dark brown around the edges from being bubbled in immense heat. I'm fed up with places that fry with a gentle heat so that the egg is left with the smooth white texture of a poached egg. If I want a poached egg I'll have one. Fried eggs should look fried; that's the point. Yolk runny, of course, and the top white cooked by basting with the hot oil.

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UK.gov: You can't have our drone test results because... er, security

Brangdon

Re: What about using gravity?

The terminal velocity of a drone is probably a lot less than the speed of an aeroplane.

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

Brangdon

Re: Ground rules

Also, there should be no pregnancy or magic baby plots for at least 3 seasons. We had enough of that with Amy Pond.

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Don't panic, but your Bitcoins may just vanish into the ether next month

Brangdon

Re: no one is going to tolerate or risk an exchange rate bubble

There's no technical reason why 1 Bitcoin can't be worth $3.7 million. It means people would trade in satoshi instead - satoshi being the actual fundamental unit of Bitcoin. Each Bitcoin is 100,000,000 satoshi. If 1 satoshi is worth 37c, that's fine. If necessary, with protocol changes, it can be subdivided further.

It's not a structural problem. Your calling it a "bubble" makes it clear it's a psychological one. You just don't think Bitcoin can be worth that much. You probably also didn't think it could be worth $1,000, or $1.

A much deeper problem is scalability. That's part of what SegWit attempts to address with its effective blocksize increase, but to manage anything like the transaction rate of a fiat currency much more is needed.

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Set your alarms for 2.40am UTC – so you can watch Unix time hit 1,500,000,000

Brangdon

Re: subluminal space flight

You might also be interested in Karl Schroede's Lockstep, Their spacecraft crew spend the journeys asleep, and the colonists adapt the same technology so they sleep during the period of no external contact. (While they sleep, robots mine the resources needed to sustain them when awake, thus allowing them to survive on marginal outer solar bodies.)

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Good luck building a VR PC: Ethereum miners are buying all the GPUs

Brangdon

Re: Rejoice

If/when Etherium moves to Proof of Stake, then the GPUs will become worthless for it.

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Why, Robot? Understanding AI ethics

Brangdon

Re: What if the nuns are pregnant?

You can't be made pregnant by a candle stick.

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SpaceX halts Intelsat 35e launch twice in a row

Brangdon

Re: some of these savings make it to the customer

But not many. SpaceX spent around a billion dollars developing reuse, and they want to recoup some of that by keeping most of the savings back. Apparently the main incentive to the customer is an earlier launch slot.

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50th anniversary of the ATM opens debate about mobile payments

Brangdon

Re: Another Gibson Prediction Becoming Reality

In Heinlein's "I Will Fear No Evil", they tried to make cash illegal but couldn't because the black market was too important to the economy. 14 years before "Neuromancer".

(Note: not a recommendation to read "I Will Fear No Evil".)

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SpaceX nails two launches and barge landings in one weekend

Brangdon

Re: Damn, this is now so common it's no longer big news (and I missed it). SAD!

Apparently the first booster took 4 months to refurbish, and the second 2 months. Obviously that will come down as they get more experience, and especially as Block 5 starts flying. (Block 5 is a design refresh which takes into account what they've learned from the earlier boosters.)

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UK and Ecuador working on Assange escape mechanism

Brangdon

Re: so well resourced

When that money was spent, he was more than just a bail jumper. There was a European Arrest Warrant on him, which we were obliged to honour. Now that warrant has been dropped, it is purely a local matter, so perhaps it can be resolved.

On the other hand, the case itself hasn't been dropped, and the Swedes have said they will revive it if Assange ever comes within their reach. I think Assange has to be careful here. If he spends any time in police custody, the Swedes might act.

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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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