* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

NASA working on nuclear rocket for manned Mars trips

Tom 13

You still need to shift the same amount of mass

to whatever orbit you establish for building the craft.

Ironically, the only way this stuff starts making sense is if you follow the alleged moron's directive to build a base on the Moon. Then you build a manufacturing facility there and build the space ship components on the Moon and lift them from there. Much smaller gravity well, so you get overall savings on the lift issue. Of course, this also implies a sustained commitment to build a lot of stuff on the Moon, or it doesn't make sense either.

Tom 13

The AC isn't the only one who failed Econ 101.

Keynsian pump priming isn't working any better this time than the last time it was tried, and that applies even to programs I would like to see succeed. Even if the program were spectacularly more successful than expected and we launched say 17 missions to Mars, that wouldn't significantly boost economic production in the US let alone the world.

Programs like this should continue because they are the sort of basic R&D that sometimes lead to unexpected discoveries that boost productivity and bolster the imagination. That imagination in turn may produce other products that people want. That's why you keep going.

Having said that, imagine what NASA could have done with all the money wasted on Solyndra.

Assange loses High Court appeal against extradition to Sweden

Tom 13

So then we can be assured that nor murder, rapist, or child molester

has ever passed through customs leaving Sweden before the paperwork was processed to keep him there? Particularly as the authorities weren't expecting to have to process such paperwork since he was due for an interview the day he left the country?

Sorry, they have a saying down South about that: That dog don't hunt..

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Tom 13

Oh goody!

Paid hypocrites instead of amateurs.

Tom 13

The Swedish charges against Assange are crap.

But they are the sort of crap he supported when it wasn't being flung at him, so my heart doesn't bleed for him.

Electric car crash leads to battery blaze

Tom 13

Ecco warriors have no shame.

They are only interested in redistributing the wealth to the less fortunate. If they had any shame there wouldn't be any kind of push for electric cars whatsoever. Anybody who has seriously looked at the engineering and efficiency of these cars knows that even the worst gas guzzler from the 1960s is a more eco-friendly car once you are done considering all the toxins required to manufacture an electric car and the frequency of battery replacements.

New plastic telescope ammo machine gun is light as a rifle

Tom 13

By recalling rules 303 and 1.

See Breaker Morant for rule 303. Rule 1 is: there are no rules.

Barnes & Noble complain to DoJ over Redmond nobbling

Tom 13

Re: big brass pair

While I concur with your sentiment, the problem is that by my calculations it requires at least 268 someones (possibly at least 285 depending on whether certain arcane rules apply) to grow big brass pairs, and they seem to already be feeding at the lobbyist trough.

Spanish firm brings 20MW solar ‘ranch’ online in Arizona

Tom 13

That's so you can get a clear camera shot of the Doctor being chased by a Dalek

the next time the Beeb comes over here to shoot an episode.

Tom 13

Forgone revenue is not the same thing as money taken from tax payers,

particularly when it matches with all other corporations which receive similar tax breaks (including socialist green companies).

And oil companies are barely on par with your local grocery store in terms of actual profitability. But then I guess flames like you don't actually care about facts, only their own self-righteous indignation.

Microsoft releases fix for Applocker bypass flaw

Tom 13


he Walked Through Walls.


Tom 13

I'm not sure that really helps them any.

You need sudden cooling to fix the magnetism and their mechanism would seem to have slow cooling which ought to allow time for the magnetic alignment to drift.

'Angry Bird' netflinger projectile brings down drug ultralights

Tom 13

They are, but that excites

the coddling classes too much when run on the nightly news.

Deadly drive drought derails Dell's PC biz

Tom 13

That's a more short-sighted calculation than a CEO worried about next quarter's earnings numbers.

If you've got six months of storage, than means more labor. Somebody has to move them into storage, keep track of the storage rotation, and move them to production as needed. JIT eliminates all that. You also have new QC requirements. If it is going directly into production you QC it as you use it and send it back within the RMA timeframe with limited risk. If you are storing for 6 months, you need to QC it when it comes in, but it can still fail while in storage but before production. In the States the last factor is that it IS inventory and businesses get taxed on it. Twice a year you have to count it all, put a value to it, and send the government their cut, and that's over and above the rest of the taxes. I presume the same thing happens in the UK and EU, but don't know for sure.

Yeah, the guy who keeps inventory can probably ride this one out. But for the 3 months the shortage will last, does he make enough money to more than recoup the losses he's taken for keeping the inventory for the last 10 years? The issue isn't the inventory, it's the effectively sole source for the drives. Which I think another Reg author was a bit more pointed about back when the flooding started.

Apple expels serial hacker for publishing iPhone exploit

Tom 13

In some ways whether or not he did is irrelevant.

The approval process should involve some vetting, and that vetting should have found the code that was doing stuff that wasn't described in the application. It's not like the real bad guys are going to say, 'Please approve our app which includes code that exploits a vulnerability in your OS.'

Men most likely to friend dodgy Facebook strangers

Tom 13

So that's what those are supposed to be.

Looked like too much work and not flexible enough when I glanced over them the first time. They should have three universal categories: friends, acquaintances, and family. Lists could be built from them, but those three should be the base.

Is the electromagnetic constant a constant?

Tom 13

For purposes of testing the red shift hypothesis,

you can extract some information from binary pairs, especially pulsars. It depends on tracking the wobble of the light signature and calculating the masses of the stars so you can determine the orbital periods. Probably a few other things that I don't recall after 20 some years. But the results agreed well with the red-shift hypothesis, and elevated it to an established fact from which you could work other hypotheses.

Tom 13

If you are going to be a pedant about it,

"elements" isn't the right word either as what exists in stars and even more so in supernovas is a plasma, and what are actually being synthesized are nuclei which when the plasma cools will become elements.

Tom 13

Yeah, but even with our historical knowledge and modern technology

the number of stars to which we can calculate the distance based on trig functions is really very, very small. Most of it is done on the basis of red-shifting and the assumption of constant emission lines. Yeah, Astro has a lot of very circular calculating. It's part of what makes it so challenging as a field of science. Most scientists can put their hands on what they are testing. Even the nuclear guys can build experiments for the stuff they can't touch. Astro, we'll we've got everything observed from Copernicus on, and a few bits and pieces before that, but very few experiments for which apparatuses can be made. It's mostly thought stuff, and that's where Plato went wrong too. Astro folk get just enough experimentation to keep them honest.

Tom 13

typical aethist, just like the devil

never quotes the entire thing directly. It's not 2 of each animal, it's two of each UNCLEAN animal an 7 of each CLEAN.

Now if you ascribe to Darwinism, which by definition us Bible thumpers don't, there isn't actually a problem with this and the inbred animals, because you are closer to the "pure" un-mutated genes the further back in time you go, and since this happened back near creation time, you wouldn't have the same inbreeding problems you would today.

A tenth of Chinese farmland polluted by heavy metals

Tom 13

Get with the program dude!

Environmentalism is ALWAYS about self-flagellation and NEVER about cleaning it up. Okay, you do get the occasional exception for holier-than-thou-ism, but that pretty much covers it.

Can 24/7 porn rescue Google TV?

Tom 13

And that someone would be dead wrong.

Pr0n was just as available on Beta as VHS. What killed Beta was that they wouldn't DRM their file format and VHS would. So all the movie houses released their stuff to VHS but not Beta. The movies being available led to the opening of VHS rental chains which further fed the uptake of VHS players and recorders. Also VHS quickly moved to 4 and 6 hour formats, which were good for cash strapped consumers. Beta never extended beyond 2 hours to keep quality high. I'd give this latter about a 5% effect on the market, but the first was good for at least 70%.

Tom 13
Paris Hilton

Oh that I believe.

I expect it's not tax deductible, and if it were The Reg, the attempts to hack the account for free access would be unending.

Now whether or not something like El.Ger is registered is a whole other story....

DNS cache poisonings foist malware attacks on Brazilians

Tom 13

Now this is something I am more concerned about

than another SSL cert manager having a potential compromise. Of course, I've been counter-trained by sites like jobsusa.gov which never had a working SSL cert when I was using it in the first place.

US pols sack Santa Claus in cost-cutting drive

Tom 13

I doubt either reporter is telling the whole story.

More likely, a whole lot of temps and part timers got sacked and Santa was just the one the commies in the press could pick on to make a responsible decision look malicious. So far the Reuters article has 3 responses, two of them indicating they are with the County on this one: either private businesses should pay for it, or people should volunteer. Count me with them. Frankly, government shouldn't be involved in this in either a promotional or a discouraging way. At his root, Santa is a religious icon and I'm surprised the ACLU hasn't run this one through the courts yet.

Tom 13

No severance pay because

it is a temp job. No unemployment benefits either.

Doctor Who and the Unsatisfactory Five Hole Tape Punch

Tom 13


I was old enough not to hide behind the sofa when I first saw it, but it was still (and is still) great stuff. I wish the Beeb would collect it like they do the current stuff and sell it at a reasonable price - $60-75US/season instead of outlandishly insisting you buy it at a rate of $25-30US/show.

Shale gas: If we've got it, flaunt it

Tom 13

Forget it. He's not worth the electrons.

Anybody still hawking the Gasland Kool-Aid when the most dramatic participant from the movie has repeatedly admitted that he was showing people his "burning water" years before the first fracking well went in isn't naive, he's willfully obstinate; sort of like the Inquisition when they set upon Galileo.

British Library defends flogging of orphaned artwork

Tom 13

It's not the "punitive damages" concept you don't want,

in fact, that might actually be beneficial. What you don't want is the American legal idea of "I won the lottery!" if the defendant has deep pockets. Of course, they don't use those words exactly and do frequently hide behind "punitive damages" and "pain and suffering."

Tom 13

Yeah, that's the PR line they feed the average sap when asked.

But if there's real money involved and you take them to court, the judge will explain exactly how illegal and non-binding that agreement is. Essentially, if you have no option to modify the agreement, the agreement has to conform to laws that protect the rights of the little guy. That sort of en-masse forfeiture is frowned upon.

Apple was OK to fire man for private Facebook comments

Tom 13


This case needs to be appealed. And I'm not the sort of person to often say that.

Army of 'socialbots' steal gigabytes of Facebook user data

Tom 13

Re: "they've annoyed and deceived a lot of FB users."

Only one part of that statement is probably true, the other is highly doubtful. And I say that as someone who still has a FB account.

Anonymous threatens Mexican drug cartel

Tom 13

Real people are already getting hurt.

I don't see a real answer anywhere on the horizon.

Tom 13

While I concur with your sentiments,

I'm not sure you can get much more afraid than they were BEFORE this came out. It's bad, bad, bad, down there, and Operation Fast and Furious didn't help matters any.

Machine translation cracks 18th century occult cipher

Tom 13

You have that reversed, ASCII is a cipher not a code

ciphers are one to one character replacements where as codes are dictionaries that provide word for word replacements. I'm not sure what the modern computer encryption technique or re-arranging the positions of the letters in the transmission is called but it is neither code nor cipher. And then you've got the whole steganography (sp?) thing.

Tom 13

Shirley you mean Watson!

Or haven't you been keeping up with your Dr. Helen Magnus?

Tom 13

You mean where is Michael Shanks when you need him?

RDA mostly blew stuff up.

Massive study concludes: 'Global warming is real'

Tom 13

Oh, the land vs water isn't the half of the limited data problem.

The really, really, really big limited data problem (even though they keep trying to paper over it) is the complete lack of a substantive data baseline against the cyclical period: call it a generous 200 years vs a 200 million year interval period. Even if you were to claim we were in a current warm age and take the last 60 million years as the interval, you don't have anywhere near enough data to have an inkling of being able to hazard a wild-assed guess about the stadium in which the next major event will occur.

Tom 13

Re: How do you know...

It's a combination of high school physics, chemistry, geography, and history - you wouldn't comprehend it.

Essentially any volcanic eruption releases thousands of times more CO2 than all of mankind contributes at its peak CO2 production. If the disruption the AWG crowd (who keep changing their name whenever they are proven wrong) claim, any of the major volcanic eruptions which happened in recorded history (Krakatoa, Mt. St. Helens, etc) should have triggered the massive melting events they predict. That hasn't happened, therefore they are wrong.

Critical Windows zero-day bug exploited by Duqu

Tom 13

If you haven't heard of ATMs being hacked,

you haven't been keeping up with your reg reading. Just the other day they posted an article about a wireless hack that lets you spit an endless stream of cash out of an ATM.

The banks just eat the cost to avoid the bad PR. Sort of like they sometimes do with identity theft cases. I can testify to one such ID theft case. A co-worker who never uses an ATM was having money withdrawn from his account by ATM. After being able to prove he never requested or received an ATM, the bank refunded all the "erroneous" ATM withdrawls and associated bank charges. No police report was ever filed in an attempt to apprehend the culprits.

Tom 13

Being obsolete and being part of MS's current technology stack

are not mutually exclusive events.

LightSquared pulls out all the stops to get FCC approval

Tom 13

You can't put a "stock FCC" anything on your product

without going through appropriate testing and certification. Well, you might if you are a knock off, but that a whole other realm of fraud, and does not apply to the allegedly cheaply made GPS kit. If I went through testing and FCC certified my product, I'd certainly be pissed to find out I needed to retrofit my kit because the FCC changed the rules and it turned out their test didn't really test what I needed to comply with in the first place.

Insulin pump hack delivers fatal dosage over the air

Tom 13

That's probably more difficult than it sounds.

Remember, people initially thought certain wi-fi stations had fairly short ranges until some hacker stuck a Pringles(tm) can around them and beefed up reception to a couple multiples of the vendor designed range.

Tom 13

Thank-you for sharing your insights.

HP flip-flops on sale of Personal Systems Group

Tom 13

Not just the Apothakare, you've got Fiorna in there too.

Back when I had just gotten out of college, if it was scientific equipment, HP was THE brand to have: printers, pcs, detectors, lasers, chromatography equipment, or any of a large varieties of 'scopes. They've had a long run of bad management and hope they can turn things around.

Respect your BOFH or watch your small biz fail

Tom 13

Ah, so it was a good thing I got laid off at the old place,

Seeing as they did away with VP of IT position and now have the emaciated IT staff (50% cut when they laid me off) reporting not merely to the VP of Finance, but the VP of Marketing. I mean, if you understand bean counters, you CAN put together a plan they will approve. Marketing... best stop before I get banned.

Cops find hackers' phone in NOTW office

Tom 13

You don't seem to get it.

To get the juicy stories, the ones you win Pulitzers for, you HAVE to break the law, because leaking state secrets is ALWAYS against the law. So they invent a superior morality position that negates the illegality of breaking the law because of a "right to know." Once you've engaged in that kind of thinking for long enough there no longer IS any law. Of course, that also means occasionally you have to turn on one of your own. Just to keep up appearances you understand.

Earth escapes obliteration by comet

Tom 13

Your processes are good

but your snowball model is a bit old. Recent research indicates your rocky snowball is actually a negative of the actual object - it's more like snow packed into a hole strewn rock.

Tom 13

Not to mention the secondary and tertiary factors.

The break up means the pieces are now on different orbits. Some of those pieces will now be sucked up by other planets. And of the ones that get past the other planets, some of those will miss the earth completely.

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