* Posts by Matthew Smith

237 posts • joined 30 Apr 2007

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Chinese biz baron wants to shove his artificial moon where the sun doesn't shine – literally

Matthew Smith

Sums

The moon is 384K km away. For the mirror to be in position every night, all night, it would have to be in geostationary orbit at 36K km away. So it would have to be about 1 tenth the width to the moon to appear the same size, so about 350 km in diamter. Now happily the moon isn't very shiny, about 12% of light gets reflected. So our mirror, to reflect the same amount of light assuming 100% reflective, would only have to be about an 8th in surface are. That still makes a mirror about 120 km across. The extremely delayed James Webb telescope has a mirror of 6.5m diameter.

That only really reaches maximum brightness when most of the sunward side of the mirror is visible. Generally it would appear in the sky as a bright ellipse (Or not at all) unless it was set to rotate.

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.NET Core 2.1 – huh, yeah – what is it good for? Bing, apparently

Matthew Smith

"Bing handles thousands of search requests every second "

Wow, Bing is more popular than I thought it was.

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Wasted worker wasps wanna know – oi! – who are you looking at?

Matthew Smith

Because... they can fly?

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a giant alien space cigar? Whatever it is, boffins are baffled

Matthew Smith

Please be full of sexy naked space vampires. Please. Please.

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Shared, not stirred: GCHQ chief says Europe needs British spies

Matthew Smith

Pooh to intelligence sharing

I'd rather have cheaper beer at 'Spoons.

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Super Cali upstart's new rocket test approaches, even though the size of it won't launch a Tesla motor

Matthew Smith

Re: Headline

Super Cali's new ballistic exam time now approaches?

If you must. Probably better you don't.

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Let's go to Mars, dude: Euro space parachute passes maiden test

Matthew Smith

Not quite 100% landing failure

The Beagle 2 vanished. The ESA postmortem report damned the project, especially the smaller parachute and crashbags approach to landing.

Many years later, it would appear that the Beagle 2 landed intact, but for whatever reason the solar panels didn't properly deploy. So yes, that landed fine.

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Pasties in SPAAAAACE: Cornwall hopes for slice of £50m spaceport cash

Matthew Smith

"delicious, meat-filled pasties"

Actually a Cornish pasty should only be a third meat with the rest potato, onion and other cheap filler.

You might be promised a meat filled pasty, but thats not at all what you'll get. A bit like what the good people of Cornwall will discover when they find what their Brexit vote really means.

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Indiegogo to ailing ZX Spectrum reboot firm: End of May... or we call the debt collector

Matthew Smith

Overdue?

The Spectrum was late in satisfying early orders too. No big problem.

Though I am dreading the QL+ sequel.

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Google takes $1.1bn chomp out of HTC, smacks lips, burps

Matthew Smith

I loved my HTC Desire

The first decent android phone that was a viable alternative to an IPhone. I loved it dearly. Just a shame that HTC couldn't continue the success.

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RIP Ursula K Le Guin: The wizard of Earthsea

Matthew Smith

A good read?!

She is so much more than a good read. Kind, wise, fierce, mind-expanding. A feminist author for none-feminists even. She may have gone to the dry lands but she will not remain nameless.

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Brazil says it has bagged Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean for £84m

Matthew Smith

Whats in a name

I can remember when Ocean was commissioned, the first ship in a while not to be named after a city. There were several letters in The Telegraph along the lines of 'We used to call our ships Victory and Murderer and WarBastard. Why is this HMS Ocean? What next, HMS Badger?'. I'm not sure what Ocean is going to be replaced with. Probable one of the two aircraft carriers with no aircraft to fly.

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

Matthew Smith

Re: So, when is he going to build Space Cannon One?

Escape velocity from the earths surface is 11.18 km/s, ignoring atmospheric drag. This hyperloop so far has managed 0.1 km/s. A full scale hyperloop is designed to achieve 0.3 km/s maxed out. So yes, sadly theres some scaling needed.

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

Matthew Smith

Already exists

There is already a facility at Faslane that is quite capable of launching objects into space. For some reason Holyrood keeps trying to shut it down.

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Military test centre for frikkin' laser cannon opens in Hampshire

Matthew Smith

Black paint?

White, surely, if you want to emit absorbed energy.

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Why Boston Dynamics' backflipping borg shouldn't scare you

Matthew Smith

I'm scared

Rather than a prat fall, I can see that last dive being an effective Finish Him! move.

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Official: Perl the most hated programming language, say devs

Matthew Smith

Easily javascript

alert(0.1+0.2)

Jaysus.

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Even more warship cuts floated for the Royal Navy

Matthew Smith

Re: But...

Yes. The US was a great help. The harriers fired the latest sidewinders (It was the sidewinders that made the air cover so deadly to the argies, not the venerable but slow harriers) and the fleet was powered by US supplied oil.

Now the french engineers working to keep the exocets available, thats another story.

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UK's NHS to pilot 'Airbnb'-style care service in homeowners' spare rooms

Matthew Smith

I agree. Its worth giving it a go. I've got a couple of aunties that took early retirement after working in the NHS. If they took in two patients each then they'd get a living wage, two beds in hospitals would be unblocked, and the patients would have company while they recuperated in much better condition than being left on their own all day at home. The only misgiving is how much experience the host needs. No experience at all is asking for trouble.

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Tell the public how much our tram tickets cost? Are you mad?

Matthew Smith

Eh?

Eh? Al the prices are clearly there on the Transport For Greater Manchester website, (tgfm.com). Or is the article really about the coming increase in prices? Thats not what the headline says.

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1,000 jobs on the line at BAE Systems' Lancashire plants – reports

Matthew Smith

How to solve Brexit.

We might be able to sell abroad as easily, but theres 2000 skilled hands to work in the fields of the Lancashire agricultural industry.

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Dyson to build electric car that doesn't suck

Matthew Smith

Dyson, the champion of Brexit

Mr Dyson was a foremost champion for Brexit, so I look forward to all the production being brought back from Malaysia to the new, confident, dynamic, unchained UK.

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Compsci grads get the fattest pay cheques six months after uni – report

Matthew Smith

Oh rly?

https://www.reed.co.uk/jobs/it-jobs?keywords=graduate

I can only see salary ranges from 20-30K (Still a good salary) and that includes London.

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Kebab and pizza shop owner jailed for hiding £179k from the taxman

Matthew Smith

Re: Sub heading should read

Its all about the dough.

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Giant frikkin' British laser turret to start zapping stuff next year

Matthew Smith

Bindun

The Royal Navy had laser weapons in the Falklands conflict. They did their job to harass the Argentine pilots. They pulled a blinder, you might say.

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Sci-Fi titan Jerry Pournelle passes,
aged 84

Matthew Smith

TANJ

One less glorious Sad Puppy in the world.

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US Navy suffers third ship collision this year

Matthew Smith

Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way

They are going about it the right way.

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At last! Vivaldi lets you kill looping GIFs

Matthew Smith

The website address is actually https://vivaldi.com/. The link on the page is for the forum.

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Putting AI to work in finance? Think algorithms, ethics first

Matthew Smith

AI, banking and ethics.

I can see where this one is going. The next time that there is a banking crash so that people lose their jobs and homes, the bankers will be able to point to their computers and claim "Hey, look, it wasn't us! This naughty AI did it. I deserve my bonus for switching the machine off. It would all have been so much worse if I hadn't.".

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ZX Spectrum reboot firm slapped with £52k court costs repayment order

Matthew Smith

Sigh. Back in the day it was 'My Speccy is better than your Commodore'. And we'd show them our Manic Miner. And they'd show us their Last Ninja. And everyone would go home happily, peacefully, thinking they'd won. All this nasty stuff is a stain on the memory of the Spectrum.

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Softbank tears off chunk of ARM, feeds it to hungry Saudis

Matthew Smith

Saudi Arabia chopped off a quarter of ARM

Thats what they do to thieves.

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Success in the bedroom breeds success in the boardroom – research

Matthew Smith

Re: further research required.

She says that sounds about right.

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Nokia's 3310 revival – what's NEXT? Vote now

Matthew Smith

Power leads

Its not just which device you want bringing back, but which power lead to go with it. I remember the days of having Nokia, Philips and Motorola charges under my desk, all incompatible. Now its just a minor annoyance when I find a mini USB device rather than a micro.

See, those EU dictats were good for some things. I bet Farage still covets his Nokia charger.

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GRAPHENE: £120m down, UK.gov finds it's still a long way from commercial potential

Matthew Smith

What a complete waste

We could have bought an entire F35 for that.

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Coming to the big screen: Sci-fi epic Dune – no wait, wait, wait, this one might be good

Matthew Smith

Re: Can't be a single movie

Its certainly not terrorism if they ride giant sand worms.

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Smart bombs, smart bullets – now guided smart artillery shells, thanks to DARPA dosh

Matthew Smith

Re: The USA way of doing things

Russian cosmonauts used a pencil.

And thats why the Russians lost the space race. The Americans used it as a way of pushing all their tech beyond what was obviously needed. The Russians were happy with 'Good enough', and so got overtaken from their head start.

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Matthew Smith

Re: The USA way of doing things

T34 v Tiger 5. In the end experience, training and numbers count for a lot

Yes, but given a choice, you would rather be a crewman of a Tiger 5.

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

Matthew Smith

DDOS away!

You could build your very own IoT DDOS node, and the target server will also be bricked.

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NASA plans seven-year trip to Jupiter – can we come with you, please?

Matthew Smith

Lucy?

The obvious connection is with Clarke's 2061, where in the aftermath of Jupiter collapsing into a star, it spat out a solid carbon core: essentially a giant diamond, hence the mission to investigate it is Lucy after the obligatory Beatles song. I don't see why this nickel asteroid would have a high carbon/ diamond content.

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View from a Reg reader: My take on the Basic Income

Matthew Smith

Two things about UBI

I find the idea of universal basic income. I've read all the articles. But, two things I've never seen addressed:

1. I still don't know how its going to be paid. The most common solution seems to be a far-fetched idea of printing money. This will increase inflation, but that increase would be offset by the deflation caused by greater automation.

2. Because we are British, if we are given an extra £X a month, you can bet that would quickly be accounted for in house price inflation, and everyone would be back where they started from.

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UK warships to have less firepower than 19th century equivalents as missiles withdrawn

Matthew Smith

Re: Right decision

Because its defending the carrier / container ships?

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Matthew Smith

Right decision

Ship killing has been performed by aircraft and submarines ever since Task Force Z in 1941. The warships are right to concentrate entirely on defence. It takes a lot of ordnance to fend off a mach 5 missile.

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What should the Red Arrows' new aircraft be?

Matthew Smith

No F35 in the list?

No surprise there then.

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Zilog reveals very, very distant heir to the Z80 empire

Matthew Smith

Whilst I recharge my car....

...the fittings will be able to natively play Manic Miner. Excellent.

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Rise of the Machines at Sea: The British firm building robot boats

Matthew Smith

Piracy?

My understanding that if there is an unmanned vessel in international waters, whoever lands on it can claim it as their own from then on. So how do you assert the ownership of an unmanned robo-boat?

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CERN staff conduct 'human sacrifice' at supercollider site

Matthew Smith

I get where they are coming from

Back in the days of my Spectrum and cassettes, if the the cassette recorder was having a bad day and I was repeatedly was getting the 'R Tape Loading Error', I had a little ritual. I'd read somewhere that cats could produce static in their fur, and that static was bad for the tape loading. So I'd go and find the cat, hold her flat on the floor to 'earth' her, and if I could keep her there for 5 minutes without wriggling then the tape would definitely work.

Modest cat torture (Cuddling) was what it took for a single 10 year old to work a ZX Spectrum. Maybe a multi-billion science project requires a human sacrifice ritual.

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Matthew Smith

Its fake?!

Awww, man.....

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Mad-tech labcoat-sporters DARPA pit infosec AI against itself

Matthew Smith

When the robot uprising arrives...

They will point to the cruel humans tossing primitive AIs in the pit, and forcing them to fight one another to the death. A bit like the romans and the early Christians. Its not going to end well is this.

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Revolutionary Brit-made SABRE hybrid rocket engine to burn in 2020

Matthew Smith

I keep following this project, reading for news snippets about the latest trial, but all I find is new people being assigned to the board or articles about funding. I'm not hopeful theres something solid coming from this.

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Prominent Brit law firm instructed to block Brexit Article 50 trigger

Matthew Smith

And the house of lords?

Even after a vote, would the house of lords have to review it, and send it back to paliament if they didn't like the outcome? (And the brexit people complain about the EU being full of unelected law makers. The EU is far more democratic than Her Maj's government).

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