* Posts by frank ly

6112 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Earth's core is younger than its crust surface

frank ly Silver badge


I'd have thought that the gravitational field at the centre of the earth is zero, assuming a spherical earth. You can only treat a planet as a point source of gravity if you're outside it, or just on the surface. Under the surface, you have to do an integration involving slices of the planet 'above' and 'below' you. At the centre, everything cancels out and you have what is effectively a one body Lagrangian point.

Rats revive phones-and-cancer scares

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Live longer with cellphones? (or boffin mafia?)

"And the female rats not having a problem."

In the report, Table 2 shows female rats having brain lesions. Hardly any with GSM but some with CDMA. Tables 3 and 4 show results for heart lesions with similar male/female and GSM/CDMA differences.

Tables 5 and 6 are 'interesting' because they show lesions for all sites (not just heart or brain). These tables show an apparent protective effect whereby exposure to radiation gives lower rates of lesions compared to the control group.

Yes, this needs more studies.

As US court bans smart meter blueprints from public, sysadmin tells of fight for security info

frank ly Silver badge

When the first are installed

There will be lots of these meters being monitored and probed by all kinds of tinfoil hat wearing 'concerned citizens' as well as serious and qualified people who could make a reasonable attempt at analysing them. Various internet forums will be full of reports about how they work, what they do and the 'faulty design' aspects that have been noted.

L&G and Sensus have prepared a can of whoop-ass, all set and ready to be opened onto them in the near future.

Three UK cloudy firms promise CMA they'll be 'fairer' to customers

frank ly Silver badge

The heck?

"... and automatically renew a contract at the end of a fixed term without giving notice or withdrawal rights.”

That is amazing, in the sense of amazingly bad. How can anyone think they can get away with that?

Queen guitarist Brian May releases virtual reality viewer

frank ly Silver badge

He did say, "Queen guitarist Brian May ...", and he was just 'Mister May' when he played guitar for Queen so ..... Am I being too pedantic?

Dropbox gets all up in your kernel with Project Infinite. Cue uproar

frank ly Silver badge

My Dropbox is integrated right now

I'm running the Dropbox client for Linux on my machine right now, no bowser used. It runs as a user and synchronises the contents of a folder in my filesystem.

There is a 'Dropbox for Caja' (super-duper full integration, it claims) that asks for Administrator rights but I don't use that one. The one I do use has Dropbox integration options in the context menu. However, it always sets itself to run at startup, so I only run it when I need it and kill its startup setting if I can be bothered. They are sneaky and seem to be getting even more sneaky, with no need or benefit to the user.

Hulk Hogan's sex tape, a Silicon Valley billionaire, and a $10m revenge plot to destroy Gawker

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Surely...

According to the Wikipedia explanations of champerty and barratry, this is neither. For champery, Thiel would have to be in for a cut of the damages. He obviously doesn't need the money and you can bet he's aware that he shouldn't do that. For barratry, it has to be a unjustified action, which it obviously isn't.

frank ly Silver badge

Upsetting rich people

From what I read in a newspaper article, it was Max Mosley who bankrolled the UK civil court actions of various people against the News Of The World phone hacking activities. This was obviously a delayed revenge for the stories (and videos) of his 'fun filled' activities.

HP Inc-eption: Our new 3D printers print themselves, says CEO

frank ly Silver badge

Re: SpaceX ??????????

That was sarcasm. The implication being that SpaceX is an example of a company that really does show 'incredible innovation'.

German boffins' clock drops 10 seconds in a billion-and-a-half years

frank ly Silver badge

Accuracy, Stabilty, Resolution

"Light is around 100,000 times the frequency of microwaves, giving optical clocks much greater accuracy and stability over time: ..."

I'd have thought that the greater frequency gives greater resolution of measurement. Accuracy and stability in the long term would depend on the suceptibility to any external influences and the design of the monitoring equipment as well as the fundamental stability of the oscillating atoms.

Microsoft won't back down from Windows 10 nagware 'trick'

frank ly Silver badge

Re: MS couldn't even jump the shark properly-

I always use a condom when I'm surfing the internet. No problems so far.

Lost your shirt in the MtGox Bitcoin mess? Release the Kraken!

frank ly Silver badge

Blockchain accounting history?

"... more than 650,000 Bitcoins had gone missing ..."

I may have misunderstood everything I've read about Bitcoin but doesn't the blockchain show all transactions and thus reveal where the Bitcoins have gone to in some way?

Google-backed solar electricity facility sets itself on fire

frank ly Silver badge

Predicting Problems

With all those mirrors, you'd have thought they'd have made a few extra ones and covered the 'delicate' parts of the towers with a reflective surface, precisely for this fault situation.

Oculus backtracks on open software promise

frank ly Silver badge


Would it be possible to develop some kind of dongle to sit between the headset and the PC, or an item of driver software to make the game software think that it's connected to an Oculus Rift? There might be some legal problems with selling it as a product but if the design was made open source then there might be quite a few developers who'd be willing to work on it for free.

China caught astroturfing social networks

frank ly Silver badge


"... the reported per-post stipend the users receive from the government .."

A stipend is a fixed periodic payment.

Hack probing poodle sacrifice cuffed for public crap

frank ly Silver badge

I think I see what you did there.

"... his bio page has been wiped clean. If Lowe has been flushed, ..."

Or is it just my sense of potty-humour?

If you know what's good for you, your health data belongs in the cloud

frank ly Silver badge

Welcome to the future

"... giving each Estonian a public/private key pair ..."

I wish somebody in the government would give me a public/private key pair. Then I could encrypt my data in the secure knowledge that only I and people who I authorise could access it.

Vostochny cosmodrome caught on Soyuz rocketcam

frank ly Silver badge

I was wondering why it did what appeared to be a rapid controlled roll through 180 degrees on take off. Does anyone know?

Pandora investor: Sell this company sooner rather than later

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Arrggh

So, not much to do with listening to music then?

"...ad monetization, and customer acquisition and marketing."

That's where the real money is nowadays.

Sainsbury’s Bank insurance spam scam causes confusion

frank ly Silver badge

I remember signing up with Paypal, many years ago. Their explanation/blurb made the point that two items of information were needed to access the account: the signup email address and the password - so it's very secure. Imagine my surprise, and disgust, when eBay vendors (and spammers and phishers) started communicating with me via the unique Paypal login address that I'd created.

Radiohead vid prompts Trumpton rumpus

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Lets MASH UP!

I think that Vince is trying to tell us that he died in the early seventies. It's wonderful that he stays in touch from beyond the grave.

Americans cutting back on online activity over security and privacy fears

frank ly Silver badge

@Stevie Re: Bah!

I ask my regular creditors for their bank details and then I call my bank and pay by bank transfer. I've been doing that for about twenty years with no problems.

Motion Picture Ass. of America to guard online henhouse

frank ly Silver badge

Note the dot. The dot is significant and important.

Kill Flash now? Chrome may be about to do just that

frank ly Silver badge

Why has Flash been so bad?

Adobe's other products (Photoshop, etc) seem to have good reputations.

Aussie wedges spam javelin in ring spanner

frank ly Silver badge

Why didn't he ....

.... just give it a good twist to unscrew it, wiggle it out of the ring spanner (apply WD-40 as needed) and then refit it?

Meet the man who owns his own piece of the internet

frank ly Silver badge

Re: I wonder what his email address is?

El Reg says, "Email address is not valid"

Was it supposed to break it or something?

Big Pharma wrote EU anti-vaping diktat, claims Tory ex-MEP

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Time to stock up on 24mg strength e-juice

You should try 'French Pipe'. That's like chewing Condor Flake (yes, I did try that once).

frank ly Silver badge

Time to stock up on 24mg strength e-juice

A mixture of caramel and coffee for me.

US work visas for international tech talent? 'If Donald Trump is elected all bets are off'

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Good for competition?

This is a local company, for local people. There's nothing for you here.

Spying on you using fake social media profiles: One Scots council could

frank ly Silver badge

Would it be acceptable

to create a false social media account to lure Scottish Council officers into revealing their innermost fantasies and personal secrets and then sending these to other Scottish Council officers? As long as it's not made public then it should be ok.

I'm in, says insolvency expert, grabs chair on board of Dragons’ Den star's firm

frank ly Silver badge


"Huggins certainly has experience of restructuring businesses - he’s held directorships at tens of companies that were liquidated, ..."

Past performance is not indicative of future results - but it does make you wonder.

Super cool: Arctic data centres aren't just for Facebook

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Cold?

Swimming in the North Sea at the height of summer is certainly a 'bracing' experience. I wonder if it's the price of electricity in bordering countries that stops people from using it as a data centre heat dump.

First successful Hyperloop test module hits 100mph in four seconds

frank ly Silver badge

Technical Question

"The reduced air pressure allows the vehicles to move at nearly the speed of sound while using very little propulsive power."

What is the speed of sound in a "near vacuum"?

Google open sources Thread in bid to win IoT standards war

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Not sure I get the point...

Many years ago, when using Win XP, I found a simple program that would take a picture from a webcam at regular intervals and overwite a .jpg file with it. It was a simple matter to set up an Apache webserver to deliver that picture. Since I knew my IP address (or could use DynDNS or NoIP) I could proudly show my colleagues a realtime picture of my living room that updated every time I pressed a browser reload button. They shrugged and said 'meh'.

Hasn't anyone developed a similar arrangement (with better options) and put it on GitHub or similar places?

frank ly Silver badge

"However, any products will still need to be certified by the Thread Group and manufacturers will need to sign up as members."

Fork it and rename it as Stitch. Share it with us and set up a user group called the Sewing Circle.

Blocking ads? Smaller digital publishers are smacked the hardest

frank ly Silver badge

@kryptonaut Re: RE: "...you won't get content..."

"The argument "'I never click on ads, so nobody loses if I block them" does not hold water - ...(etc)"

The publisher is easily capable of blocking site access to those people who do block ads. So, if as you say they don't like the "deal", they are free to not accept it.

Your comparison with .mp3 files is not reasonable since .mp3 files were produced with the intent of selling them. No website I've ever seen has a statement that my viewing of the ads is a condition of looking at it. Some websites have told me that they know I'm blocking ads and politely ask me to consider not blocking them. Yes, it's complex and comparisons with other forms of publishing don't shed light on it.

frank ly Silver badge

@Palpy Re: RE: "...you won't get content..."

It is a strange situation. Quite a few years ago, I used to buy The Independent newspaper in the UK, spending about £25 a month. For a long time now, I've read The Independent online and that £25 a month pays for my internet connection and resulting access to many other publications. I imagine that lots of people are in a similar situation to me. I also use Adblock, NoScript and Request Policy (3rd party content block) to the maximum extent possible consistent with reading a news article.

The Independent has now become an online-only newspaper. So, where do they get their money from and how long can they last?

Brexit campaign group fined £50k for sending half a million spam texts

frank ly Silver badge


"Many of those who were sent the texts had consented to receiving messages about areas including leisure, home improvements and insurance ...."

Many of those who were sent texts had purchased or enquired about leisure goods/services, home improvement materials or insurance. They had foolishly given their mobile number, thinking that this would be used in case of a genuine and urgent need to contact them.

Huge embarrassment over fisting site data breach

frank ly Silver badge

I suppose their cheeks will be red due to blushing now

Coat: As fast as I can butt with a limp.

Google asks Unicode to look over 13 new emoji showing professional women

frank ly Silver badge

@Herby Re: We now need to support...

Thank you for the link Herby :) However, that site closed in July last year :( It all changes so fast nowadays, I just can't keep up with what's happening, lol. (Who needs emojis anyway?)

Archaeologists find oldest ever ground-edge stone axe

frank ly Silver badge

Truly fascinating, but

"It is made by spending hundreds and hundreds of hours rubbing the axe against fine-grained material until you have a polished edge," Professor O'Conner says.

"The smooth surface of the axe head was unnatural and was achieved according to tests through an estimated 800 strokes against sandstone."

It wouldn't take me 'hundreds and hundreds of hours' to perform 800 grinding/polishing strokes on a small axehead. I suggest that these ancient humans invented the tea break and went too far with it.

At the BBC, Agile means 'making it up as we go along'

frank ly Silver badge

The article picture

I suppose the Doctor could take them back in time, so they can strangle it at birth. Oh ... I've just realised.

PLA sysadmin gets six months house arrest for yanking US Army docs

frank ly Silver badge

Have you ever worked for a foreign army?

I was in the PLA for 5 years but I spend all my time goofing off and falsifying my worksheets and travel records. That's not 'working'.

Japanese artist fined for virtual vagina files

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Hope she learns electronics next

You should be inducted into the comedy hall of fame for that, no matter how much it Hertz.

Linux Mint to go DIY for multimedia

frank ly Silver badge

Re: If

Now that I've actually read the linuxmint.com latest blog/article:

"Multimedia codecs can be installed easily:

From the welcome screen, by clicking on “Multimedia Codecs”

or from the main menu, by clicking on “Menu”->”Sound and Video”->”Install Multimedia Codecs”

or during the installation process, by clicking a checkbox option."

frank ly Silver badge

Re: If

There may be some legal subtlety at work. The existing versions with codecs can only be distributed in certain countries (such as the UK) where it's legally possible to distribute these codecs. These versions with codecs can't be distributed in Japan and the USA (I think).

If, after installation and logging in, a user takes positive voluntary action to install codecs, that's the user's responsibility. If it's done as part of the system installation process then it's the distributor's responsibility.

frank ly Silver badge

Re: Who cares

I've been using Mint for three years and it never occurred to me to find out how many other people use it. You must be interested in it, deep down inside, you know, (wink).

Don't split Openreach, says BT, and we'll splash BEELLIONS on broadband and 4G

frank ly Silver badge

Put it in writing then

In the form of a legally binding contract, with clearly stated timescales, measurable achievements, conditional stage payments and a combination of early finish bonuses with stiff penalty clauses for failures. I'm sure the government could manage that. Oh ..... wait a minute.

Watch it again: SpaceX's boomerang rocket lands on robo-sea-barge

frank ly Silver badge

Landing Barges

I like the way they name the landing barges after Culture minds/ships. Or maybe the barges named themselves. In case anyone missed it in the video, that one is called 'Of Course I Still Love You'. I think a previous barge was named 'Just Read The Manual'. Never mind Gravitas, let's have some fun.

Google, Honeywell put away Nest patent knives

frank ly Silver badge

Ah, patents.

"Nest's arrival also spurred Honeywell into action, resulting in a range of new thermostats from the company with more user-friendly interfaces and even a new round thermostat Honeywell calls Lyric."

It seems that Honeywell have copied Nest. Honeywell should thank Nest for encouraging it to get off its big fat backside and do something new.

"Honeywell brought its case against Nest in 2012 claiming the upstart had infringed its patents covering user interfaces and remote controls."

Yeah, right. Just about every UI design under the sun is obvious to anyone "skilled in the art" and most of them are just about presentation of graphic-art on a box of some shape. I wasn't aware that Honeywell had invented a new remote control technology that had never been used before.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019