* Posts by james 68

509 posts • joined 9 Jul 2009


Surrey Uni mans the space harpoons, and NASA buys more seats on Russian rockets

james 68

Re: brake

Earth's atmosphere extends out past the ISS, though tenuous in the extreme at such a distance, it is there and will slow a spacecraft accordingly. This is why satellites and the ISS must expend fuel to maintain their orbits and why satellites in near earth orbit eventually sink low enough to burn up after they have expended their fuel supplies. Depending on the orbital path, relative speed and the surface area of the spacecraft this form of atmospheric de-orbiting can take anywhere from weeks to years to accomplish, the large sail is essentially just a means to hasten the result.

How's this for sci-fi: A cosmic river of 4,000 stars dazzles lifeforms as it flows through a galaxy. And that galaxy is the Milky Way

james 68

Re: Continents and Stars

Your compass could just as easily be pointing South and your just looking at the wrong end.

Jammy dodgers: Boffin warns of auto autos congesting cities to avoid parking fees

james 68

A very bad idea.

"A time-based charge for occupying the public right-of-way, whether parked or in motion."

This is a corruption scam waiting to happen, as it will encentevise local governments to ensure that their road systems get worse instead of better, simply to create congestion to reap larger profits from the taxes added to the gains from not spending on improving infrastructure. Screwing over everyone else into the bargain both in money and time. Somebody gag the chap who suggested this before he gives the clowns even more ideas.

I studied hard, I trained for years. Yay, now I'm an astronaut in space. Argggh, leukemia!

james 68

The problem with that is: would an earthly virus or bacterium even be able to infect an alien lifeform? Given the relatively low cross infection rates in different terrestrial species it's very unlikely that they could colonise something which would be so biologically different. Death due to a native Martian infection compounded by reduced immunity caused by prolonged space travel is much more likely. Though given that the book is based in early 1900's science they could conceivably mistake the deaths as being caused by terrestrial means.

Why millions of Brits' mobile phones were knackered on Thursday: An expired Ericsson software certificate

james 68

Re: I see that...

Y! Mobile also, and yes, it's because of the same dodgy Ericsson cert.

Cops called after pair enter Canadian home and give it a good clean

james 68

In the UK forcing a door or window is "breaking and entering", entering through an unlocked but closed door or window is "illegal entry" and entry through an open door or window is "trespass" which can be upgraded to "criminal trespass" if there is intent

How an over-zealous yank took down the trading floor of a US bank

james 68

Re: Unplugging the keyboard = kernel panic ?

@onefang, lucky you. Up top I've got salt and pepper going on, down under though.... slap a red hat on it and it'd look like an ugly santa impersonation. Only reason I can think of is how when some people get a sudden shock their hair turns white. Truth be told over the years it has seen things, things that would terrify H.R.Geiger so perhaps I shouldn't really be surprised.

FCC boss slams new Californian net neutrality law, brands it illegal

james 68

@JLV The plants.... Meh. Huey Dewey and Louie were the stars of that movie, still brings a tear to the eye when one of them gets taken out and all that's left is his foot. Bloody good storytelling to give the feels for a box on legs.

james 68

Silent Running is an excellent movie, but I believe he may have meant The Running Man.

New MeX-Files: The curious case of an evacuated US solar lab, the FBI – and bananas conspiracy theories

james 68

Re: 三体

The kanji "三体" means "3 body" in JAPANESE, now sure kanji has a Chinese origin and therefore the same characters do have a Chinese meaning, "Trisomy" which is a chromosome disorder related to the development of down syndrome. Japanese and Chinese translations of characters are NOT equivalent.

If you weren't rich enough to buy a Surface before, you may as well let that dream die

james 68

Re: Ah, but...

That's what I thought too, until I started using them for teaching. I still wouldn't want one at home, but in the classroom they're perfect and beat the usually standard iPads (Apple has a major push for iPads in schools) by a huge margin.

TLDR: they have their place even if that place is limited.

Huawei pleads with FCC to overturn US ban, says it's 'anticompetitive'

james 68

Re: When it comes to national security...

Which won't keep anything safe against a compromised cpu. Who's going to notice that there's an extra core in there hard coded to transmit data taken directly during the encryption/decrypt process?

james 68

Re: When it comes to national security...

All well and good, but shouldn't they then ban apple products? (Since they're made by a partially government owned company in China) amonst many others who also have their kit made in China and just slap an American brand name on it?

Jupiter suffered growing pains before becoming our system's big daddy

james 68


318 times the mass of the sun? Really?

I think you might want to correct that, considering that in the reality where the planets orbit the sun and not the sun and planets orbit Jupiter it's around 0.001 times the mass of the sun, but it is 318 times the mass of earth.

Muslim American woman sues US border cops: Gimme back my seized iPhone's data!

james 68

Re: When Booking-Travel now the first thing I usually do is:

Only if your rich, buddies with a Trump, or of Russian background.

Southport: Come for a round of golf, stay for the flesh-eating STIs

james 68


Donovanosis infection menaces Brit home town of El Reg's HR department

Flesh eating disease found in the same location as an HR department? Correlation or causation do you reckon?

Feds charge Man after FCC boss Ajit Pai's kids get death threat over net neutrality axe vote

james 68


An adult is capable in most cases of defending themselves against another adult or failing that devising alternate means of protection. A child is many times more vulnerable.

At least threatening an adult because of an action they have considered and acted upon can be understood though rarely condoned, what pray tell are the children guilty of to merit such?

Oh and congratulations, you've managed to use the standard pedophile defense with a straight face. Anonymous Coward indeed.

james 68

Pai is a gormless twat, but here (and I can't believe I'm saying this) he's in the right. Someone threatens you and it can be laughed off, no harm no foul. Someone threatens your kids on the other hand.... You screw em and you screw em HARD.

Japanese dark-web drug dealers are so polite, they'll offer 'a refund' if you're not satisfied

james 68

Re: It is often presumed

Maybe so when they work in the service industry, but outside of the job they are just as ignorant (often moreso).

Just try walking in a large city in Japan or if you have overt masochistic tendencies try getting around any large metropolitan area by public transport during morning or late afternoon. This is my fourth year of living in Japan and from experience I can honestly say that the ignorance and intolerance is strong in this country, only when you enter the service industry or a person's home as a guest will you find the stereotypical overly polite Japanese.

Basho investor to pay up $20m in damages for campaign that put biz on 'greased slide to failure'

james 68

Re: People worked at Basho

It's a nice thought, and I fully agree, but the proletariat rarely see anything from these kinds of fun and games. The lawyers will get the lion's share, the bigwigs will get the remainder and the taxman will get the scraps.

Labour MP pushing to slip 6-hour limit to kill illegal online content into counter-terror bill

james 68

Re: Funny how everyone points at the Tories doing all kinds of shenanigans...

That would be New Labor, essentially Tories in a sluttier dress and with a slightly different definition of the term "pearl necklace". Far removed from the actual Labor party.

I am not in favour of the Tories or Labour, they're both rampant Muppet farms, but New Labor and the Blairites are/were even worse than either.

Xiaomi the money? OK, here's a one beeeeellion dollar loss ahead of IPO

james 68

Re: Not surprised at the loss.

Really? Because everything you need is right there on the website in English AND it's automatic, both for unlocking the OS and the bootloader.


No, Stephen Hawking's last paper didn't prove the existence of a multiverse

james 68

Re: As far as I can tell, you can prove

My problem with the infinite number of universes theory has always been that somewhere out there, exists a universe where they destroyed our universe at suppertime last Tuesday. That we do in fact still exist disproves it.

Apple: Sure, we banned VPN iOS apps in China, but, um, er, art!

james 68

Re: A non story

and provide a nice, easy, way of evading the restriction

By "allowing" Chinese users to only access "government approved" communication apps which are constantly monitored and provide backdoors to access the devices at will? Yes.... good Apple.... glorious Apple.... bow to the Apple... my preciousss Apple... Whoops, almost fell down the rabbit hole there.

Donald Trump's tweets: Are they presidential statements or not?

james 68


"It would strangely fitting if a constitutional crisis was caused over something so shallow as a Twitter account president Trump."

Fixed that for you.

CopperheadOS stops updates to thwart knock-off phone floggers

james 68

Re: Folks stealing their stuff?

Folks "stealing their stuff" which presumably contains other various flavours of opensource code. I assume they are compliant with all the various licences and their requirements?

I somehow doubt it if they're expecting payment for the product (OS) rather than for tech support.

I side with the snakes on this one.

ATM fees shake-up may push Britain towards cashless society

james 68

Re: Also, in an increasing surveilance society

@Kiwi I have a simpler guide that works for me:

Have I communicated with anyone today? if yes then mission accomplished.

james 68

Re: Also, in an increasing surveilance society

Strangely enough I did have a badge, right up until yesterday, it was all silver and shiny too.

Makes me wonder if Mr Orlowski got a little stroppy because I commented that his latest HTC hit piece review sounded somewhat whiney and the admission that they're actually good phones was just tacked on the end.

TBH it carries little to no meaning so I can't say I actually care.

james 68

Re: Also, in an increasing surveilance society

Heresy, I know, but I am of the opinion that the works of Douglas Adams are utter shite. I have read the majority of his books and they never failed to disappoint - much like Tolkien, good premise but bad execution.

But to each their own, different folks have different tastes and that's what makes 'em interesting. Being stuck in a room with people who have diverse tastes makes for much more interesting conversation than the conversational circle-jerk when everyone likes the same thing.

james 68

Re: Also, in an increasing surveilance society


If you can't scratch a window with it, I don't accept it.

So, say you bill someone £3,000 for your labours, you won't accept coins, notes or even pre-paid credit cards because you prefer it all in cubic zirconia or perhaps broken carbide steel drill bits?

I think you might be telling a little fib there.

Scientists think they've found primordial goop whence life first sprang

james 68

Original experiment was on the fertilization of barley huh? What are the odds they were studying beer production and accidentally discovered this while just trying to find a way to get hammered?

US judge orders Sci-Hub be excised from the internet

james 68

Re: court says Google can safely ignore Canadian search ban

Yes, and watch how quickly they'll throw their toys outta the pram when it starts happening in the other direction.

Should be a good show, I'll spring for beer if you bring the popcorn.

HTC U11: U-hoo. Look over here! Two new phones! We're Not Actually Dead

james 68

Hardly a non-biased review

Is it just me or for the majority of this story does it sound like the author woke up this morning to discover that HTC had taken a shit in his cornflakes?

It reads like one long whining session with a small forced admission at the end that they're actually good phones.

Interstellar space rock screams through Solar System

james 68

Re: Under the Sun?

Depends really on whether or not the object is above or below the orbital plane. Though the argument could be made that that is still an arbitrary definition as there is no up or down in space beyond what we ourselves define.

Curiosity rover gives Mars the middle finger, prepares to get drilling

james 68


Given its predecessor Opportunity is still trucking 13 years after landing, we can expect Curiosity to go on exploring for years yet.

Way to jinx it. If it falls over and dies tomorrow we know who to blame.

NYC cops say they can't reveal figures on cash seized from people – the database is too shoddy

james 68

Re: Your 'justice' system in the US is corrupt

Don't forget that thanks to Tony bLair saying police can keep money from fines, It's on the same path in the UK. Policing for profit. Another great nuLiebour legacy.

A Conservative by any other name is still a Conservative. NuLabour is just the same old, tired conservative crap tied up with whalesong rebranding. They're about as far from the actual Labour party as any of the parties in our green and pleasant land are from the common electorate (read as: light years).

Funnily enough, the only people the rebranding seems to fool are the particular brand of "Conservatives" who confuse miss-spelling things in an attempt to belittle others as an intelligent and amusing endeavour, in reality it puts them on a intellectual level with a group of 3 year olds throwing a name calling hissy fit.

Li-quid hot mag-ma: There's a Martian meteorite in your backyard. How'd it get there?

james 68

Re: "an asteroid hit the volcano, leaving a crater and sending the materials rocketing to Earth"

Not to be a pedant or anything but Mars still has an atmosphere. Sure it's low pressure, but it's there. Hence why mars landers use atmospheric braking and parachutes to reach the surface and why said landers tend to send back remarkable photos of dust devils and storms.

Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

james 68

Re: Orwell alert!

@Bernard M. Orwell

You sir are both erudite and aptly named. I doff my hat to your eloquent and veridical observation.

james 68

Orwell alert!

"Later today the Home Secretary is expected to announced that people who repeatedly view terrorist content online could face up to 15 years in jail."

That's one way to deal with those pesky journalists who think they can observe and report on terrorism instead of just regurgitating the party line then. Next up: Remainers websites to be classed as "terrorist content".

Gov contractor nicked on suspicion of Official Secrets Act breach

james 68

Re: Wow...


You think the USA doesn't do the same on a massively larger scale? That's cute, ignorant, but cute.

Do yourself a favour and read the "National Defence Authorization Act" sections 1021 and 1022, as they specifically apply to indefinite detention without trial of ANYONE, be they a US citizen or foreign national without the need for evidence of a crime, just suspicion.

Microsoft downplays alarm over Windows Defender 'flaw'

james 68

Funnily enough...

Mostly unrelated other than involving Defender and malware.

Just two days ago I opened Defender to update and run a full scan (as I usually do once a week to supplement the normal automated quick scans and the active scanning), anyone care to guess what happened when the update finished downloading?

Defender marked its own update as "Severe - Trojan:Win32/Vagger!rfn" and threw it into quarantine.

Yay me.

Rather than faff around I just formatted and reinstalled, I keep regular backups so nothing was lost and all was again well. To many this may seem an extreme reaction, but without knowing if the update was compromised or if Defender itself was compromised and hence quarantining any updates which might kill the infection I considered it the best course of action. Either way I am unimpressed with the security of Defender.

Cloudflare coughs up a few grand for prior-art torpedoes to sink troll

james 68

Re: Free Speech

Bravo, exactly what I was about to point out. The right to free speech only applies to government censorship, everyone else is free to call out asshats, block their access, delete posts etc

Google routing blunder sent Japan's Internet dark on Friday

james 68

@Pascal Monett

"Ah, the good old "I had no issue, so there was no problem"."

Well when the claim is that "ZOMG!!! ALL OF JAPAN WAS TAKEN OFFLINE!!!!" and my case and all of those that I have interacted with clearly proves that the premise is incorrect then yes, the fact that I did not have a problem is direct contradictory evidence and valid proof that the story is at best wrong and at worst clickbait.

The article fails to point out that only a handful of providers who are affiliated with Verizon were actually affected and makes wild claims that this, somehow, is the entirety of Japanese internet infrastructure.

james 68

Re: Fragility

It isn't and it didn't.

Read my post below.

james 68

Far from "all", in fact a reasonably small amount which by chance covered the government's supplier (which is why they're making a big noise over what amounts to a tiny drama).

I live just outside Tokyo and saw no issues at all on either my home connection (AU, largest supplier in Japan) or on my mobile (UQ, a tiny supplier). Nobody else that I have talked to here in Japan noticed anything out of the ordinary either.

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

james 68


"Apparently, you didn't show him how to access the backup."

Users should NEVER have access to the backups. That is how data gets lost, projects fail and in some circumstances things can become legally disastrous for the company. If they need something restored from the backup they have 2 choices: restore from a personal backup on their own machine or place a request with IT.

james 68

Worked in a TV company for a while and one git sticks in my mind.

He was always taking credit for other peoples work while doing none of his own and berating everyone else for being lazy and not good enough to work there, unlike him...yadda yadda.

Well, we were working on an outside docu series and I'd finished a number of possible intros and outros and this clown was supposed to be giving a presentation the next day to the execs and needed the intros to work into his speal.I personally took him the clips on an external drive and watched him copy them to his laptop.

Next day rolls around. He's exploding at everyone because he can't do the presentation because nobody had done the necessary work (the intro and outro clips), bosses aren't happy, outside execs aren't happy and everyone comes down on me.

After a lot of being screamed at (one of the bosses lost his voice he literally screamed so much) I finally got to telling them that yes, the clips are done, yes I had given them to the clown and no, I really didn't give a shit about keeping my job anymore if this was how I was to be treated. Cue clown screaming even more that I'm a liar and should be fired immediately.

Boss #1 who is actually a nice guy normally but who should never have been working in a tech related role nevermind in a senior position shows some sense and says "If you're so certain that the files were put on the clowns laptop then we should have a look and see" only for no files to be found.

After much more being screamed at and the clown egging everyone on, I made them an offer. We would run undelete software on the laptop, if it didn't find the files they could have my resignation there and then, if it did find the files then clown would be gone or they could fire me because I would not work with him again.

Clown starts arguing that the laptop is his property and has personal details on it that I shouldn't be allowed near so we couldn't run the software, I point out that the laptop is bought and paid for by the company and has only been allocated to him... anyway software is run files were found and timestamp on the delete is 5 mins before he was supposed to give the presentation - for which he had done no work and decided to blame his cockup on someone else.

He was fired that day.

I left about 6 months later because the whole damned job had turned toxic because I'd caused boss #2 & #3 to lose their little brown-nosed arse polisher.

Waymo fleshes out self-driving car tech with hardware that goes soft at first sign of trouble

james 68

Great park it in your garage and it senses "objects" within crash distance on all four sides and rapidly then flops to the ground as a jelly like mess requiring the purchase of a new car. This is either the height of stupidity or a genius ploy to boost profits by getting customers to need a new car every X days.

GoDaddy gives white supremacist site its marching orders after Charlottesville slur

james 68

Re: Good for you El Reg

It was always there and has always received tacit protection from the system, Trump has just given the scum the opportunity to move out of the shadows without fear of reprisals.

Trapped under ice with no oxygen for months, goldfish turn to booze. And can you blame 'em?

james 68

I see your statement, and raise you a driving goldfish.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019