* Posts by not.known@this.address

265 posts • joined 31 Jul 2009


Capture your late-night handbrake turns with this 'autonomous' car-chasing camera drone

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Nothing new.

Various organisations have been using these for years - although they are normally attached to rocket motors and a few kilos of HE or other assorted noisemakers and used for taking out AFVs, softskins and the odd aircraft that doesn't get out the way quickly enough...

Although I believe can be quite challenging to pop into your local Wallyworld and pick up an off-the-shelf Strela or Hellfire...

Facebook finally fully embraces GDPR – Generally Derailing Pages Recklessly

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Re: If you think Faecebook is important

What would you suggest that would allow friends and family to stay in touch with each other around the globe then?

Experts build AI joke machine that's about as funny as an Adam Sandler movie (that bad)

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Big Brother

Re: Major Overreach

Since we meatsacks can't tell what is funny and what is not, how can we expect a machine to be able to - can we even judge if the machine is funny nor not? Maybe it is but we just don't get it.

Try telling a mother-in-law joke, or almost anything by Frank Carson, Jim Davidson or any other comic from the 70s and 80s and see how long it takes the Politically Correct mob to start baying for your blood...

UK judge appears in dock over Computer Misuse Act allegations

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New UK drone laws are on the way – but actual Drones Bill still in limbo

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Re: Complete non-enforcement...

"1963 was the last RC licence issued..."

Um, no. I inherited a small 2-channel glider my dad built when he built himself something bigger and I had a new licence for my 27MHz 2-ch Futaba set - and that was 1975. I don't think they had to be renewed every year but the last one was issued around the time CB became legal.

RIP to two 'naut legends: A moonwalker and a spacewalker

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Re: @bombastic bob

I don't think we abandoned our "launch technology" so much as lent it to other European nations who fscked the 2nd and 3rd stage systems and caused the end of the program. Our bit worked fine so the icon's for the other 2 :-)

You know that silly fear about Alexa recording everything and leaking it online? It just happened

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Re: And that....

@ gbru26060

""I'm hoping that the self-driving cars will be cross between (and priced between) taxis and efficient public transport."

...and not prone to racist rants.


Hey! That's Organism talk! Machines aren't racist (although some may be Species-ist, and I certainly have my suspicions as to why my toast keeps coming out burnt...)[*]

[*] actually, it's nothing to do with dodgy hardware at all - it only seems to happen after my Better Half cremates her toast before I get to the toaster

HPE: Hell yeah, those job cuts worked out great… for our investors

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Re: People are what makes us different

HPE (Highly Paid Executives).

Fixed :-)

(I'm sure trolls - even the hide-under-a-bridge-and-scare-billygoats variety - could do a better job...)

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"Jobs are a cost, not a benefit"

I think you're right - every worker should be sacked and replaced by an Outsourcing Manager who does absolutely f***-all except add extra layers of cost and paperwork for what his underlings do.

I vote we start by putting anyone who seriously[*] believes you have suggested a good business model in a submarine and outsourcing the OBOGS support role first...

[*] You *WERE* joking - weren't you??

Uber jams Arizona robo-car project into reverse gear after deadly smash

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Black Helicopters

Offshoring to France?

This on the same day Uber announce plans to build a development plant in Paris to develop flying taxis - is it just they have some people they are trying to move beyond prosecutors' reach (good luck with that, Uber - there's a little process called 'extradition' you might want to investigate), or do they hope that the Right-pondians won't notice the potential risks involved?

The US Military is doing quite well with autonomous rotorcraft as warzone delivery vehicles and I'd far rather trust them than a company that closes one site to open another rather than allowing people to learn from mistakes...

You've got to be kitten: Vet recruiter told to pay £1k after pinching info from ex-employer

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hold on a minute...

...If I give my details to recruiter Jack Schmidt when he works for 'Jobz-R-Uz' and he takes my details when he sets up 'Employment Pimps UK', how come he can't claim it's all legal and above board because my initial contact was through him, regardless of which company he worked for at the time?

And was this fine because he misused people's personal information (to find them work... surely why they handed it over in the first place??) or as punishment for "stealing" the data from his previous employer? I guess the acid test would be, how much did the "victims" whose information he "stole" get, how much did his previous employer get, and how much did the 'court' keep?

(Disclaimer - I don't work for any of the parties involved, I'm certainly not a vet, and I'm sure there's little similarity between what vets do to pets and what employment agencies do to their 'clients'...)

Super Cali goes ballistic: mugshot site atrocious

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Re: OK

@ Chivo243

I'm not your normal invisible Troll but I just couldn't resist Downvoting you after that post. Still, I'm posting this reply anonymously so you'll never know who I am!

[and yes, I *do* know it's not posted Anonymously. It's my feeble attempt at humour...]

[and unfortunately it won't let me give you both an Upvote AND a Downvote. What sort of a shonky voting system is this??]

Three-hour outage renders Nest-equipped smart homes very dumb

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Re: Where do I buy a flame throwing robovac?

robot Wars design drawings?

There's a Haynes Manual for that!

Privacy group asks UK politicos to pinky swear not to use personal data for electioneering

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Black Helicopters

It's your Count that Votes...

Good luck to anyone trying to use my online behaviour to work out how I will vote - I'm not quite sure how they will convert discussions on whether orbital mass drivers and god-rods or Near-C rocks are the best way to negotiate with Ine Givar, or what my Slightly Domesticated Attack Felines are doing, or how many ways my fellow humans have to FUBAR, into a usable guide to how I choose where to make my mark on the ballot paper...

Still, at least while they are busy doing that, it's stopping them getting up to other mischief...

'Alexa, find me a good patent lawyer' – Amazon sued for allegedly lifting tech of home assistant

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I still have complete confidence in the US Patent System, Dave.

As I recall, HAL couldn't just understand natural language queries, he could lip-read too!

How long until some patent troll comes along and challenges Arthur C Clarke's estate on that one?

(on a slightly related note, did Clarke ever get any royalties from those nice people sticking satellites in geosynchronous orbits?)

Citrix joins the ‘reinvent the future of work’ chorus with a workspace app and security stuff

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Mainframes are such old hat you know...

Here, have a system that runs on boxes and holds data on disks that live in a special room miles from where any real work gets done...

Just think how much energy we could save if we stopped using Shi... sorry Citrix to run PCs as dumb terminals and simply went back to proper Dumb Terminals with nowt but Monitor and Keyboard and, for those unable to figure out or remember keyboard "shortcuts", a mouse.

ServiceNow goes for more Now, a bit less Service

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I think they got the colours wrong

It should be an orange hood with a face inside and a voiceover from some kid called Stan...

UK's Royal Navy buys £13m mine-blasting robot boat

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"The transmitters generate pings that trigger modern digital mines at a safe distance from either the roboat flotilla or actual human-carrying shipping."

Is range-gate capture really that impressive? The flyboys have been doing it for years, and to things that are moving a damn sight quicker than a stationary mine...

Mike Lynch's British court showdown v HPE pushed back to 2019

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Buying pigs in pokes often lets cats out of bags.

I can't help wondering if there was a meeting where one pointy-headed boss said to another "let's see what we've got, decide what we want to asset-strip and what we can then flog off to someone else for an overinflated price" and that's when they brought someone who actually had a clue in...

UK Ministry of Justice knocks down towers, brings IT BACK in-house

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Outsourcing - does it *ever* really work?

I'm curious - I mean, I know it allows the beancounters and Management to say they've reduced costs by cutting (directly employed) headcount but has any company actually managed to keep the same level of service as they had before they outsourced?

I will admit to being biased against Outsourcing since I've been there and got the teeshirt - and the service we were allowed to give after the contract going live was not as good as the one before (a minimum of one more level of paperwork & bureaucratic delays at the very least) but surely someone must have a long-term success story?

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re "Hmm - you are wasted here..."

I guess the Downvoters don't have a sense of humour. (Or should that be humouT? :-P )

Blame everything on 'computer error' – no one will contradict you

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Re: I'm not sure I believe you

Unfortunately Robert, I fear you might be mistaken. I don't think it's exaggerated at all - I've had the same sort of encounters and would had many more but for the fact that I tend to hide away at home and only venture out when absolutely necessary...

Equifax reveals full horror of that monstrous cyber-heist of its servers

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Re: And how...

Maybe try a 'proper' Bugger King shop rather than the overpriced abominations that you find at "service" stations (although I suppose DIS-service stations, whilst much more accurate, would not be good for their business model)?

I've never really found the cost of the meal* to be a particular reason for avoiding fast food chains - the taste and texture (or lack thereof) provide much more compelling reasons...

*Here in the UK we have a load of adverts telling us that "Kiddie X" wants "Product Y" from The Golden Arches but "Mommy Z" isn't sure that it's safe - cue Doctor Devidence showing us that the cows really are cows, the chickens really are chickens and the fries... funnily enough, they don't get mentioned (I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions on that).

I'm sure it's all perfectly safe really (as long as you're a penguin or have an infinite number of limbs) but I cannot help wondering if C.M.O.T. Dibbler might not have gotten in the food chain somewhere...

Legal tech startup tries to haul 123-Reg to court over 24-hour backup claims

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Ah, backups...

What about when you have to keep backups for a L-O-N-G time like the aerospace industry, where the standard used to be lifespan of the airframe + 10 years. It's all well and good keeping those lovely 2400' open-reel magnetic tapes but where are you going to find a tape deck to read them on? Or an old Mainframe that can understand what's on them... (or a programmer who can write an emulator to let something newer read them...)

No top-ups, please, I'm a millennial: Lightweight yoof shunning booze like never before

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It was on telly so it must be right!

Last night's ITV news (can't remember if it was the local or national "show") had a couple of, um, interesting graphics; one said that just over 77% of women over 25 regularly drink more than the recommended limit while just over 22% of women under 25 don't drink as much as the recommended limit and they said this PROVES people's habits are changing...

Mind you, since roughly 65% of the under-25s cannot legally drink at all, I can't help wondering what this says about the "ladies" in the 18-25 range...

Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain

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"Noisy" Concorde

I still remember some idiot on television talking to a reporter, bemoaning the way Concorde was louder than anything else that flew and should be banned immediately - during the interview, one flew almost directly overhead and he didn't even realise it was there!

Double double, soil and trouble, fire burn and heat shield bubble: NASA cracks rover, has dirty talk with ESA

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Re: get those rocks back to our home world.

"It'll probably also have to carry enough fuel to brake into Earth orbit"

Solar-powered ion engine. You don't even need to mess about sending radioactive chunks whizzing around someone else's back yard (unlike V'ger ect). Sorted :-)

Google founder Sergey Brin promises to protect humanity from AI

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On interrupt, decrement the counter to zero.

Or is that the wrong sort of AI?

Mannequin Skywalker takes high ground on Bezos-backed rocket

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Re: Mannequin Skywalker

I thought it was because of the wooden acting (well, standing ./+ running around whining) of the character in the Prequels...

..which I always considered a bit of an insult to the 80's movie with the (Jefferson) Starship soundtrack (ooh, lookit - another space link!)

Blighty stuffs itself in Galileo airlock and dares Europe to pull the lever

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Two words - Black Knight

A British rocket that worked well and would have made an excellent First Stage for what became (eventually) Ariane... if only the French and German 2nd and 3rd stages hadn't failed so miserably.

But don't worry, the revisionists amongst the Remainers and the EU will soon edit history to show that the UK is going to be a total loss without them (in which case, why were the European aerospace companies so keen to buy up all the UK's manufacturing and design companies?)

That's no moon... er, that's an asteroid. And it'll be your next and final home, spacefarer

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Asteroid Ships

"Barnacle Bull the Sailor" and the "Starstormers" series (the latter by Nicholas Fisk) spring to mind...

Windrush immigration papers scandal is a big fat GDPR fail for UK.gov

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Won't someone think of the children... doing Family Trees!

Even if central government couldn't find a use for these papers, they could have been scanned by the people at Kew and kept for those interested in researching their family history.

But then the people in power at the time who ordered the records destroyed wouldn't have a sh***y stick to beat the current government with - funny how the Opposition can't remember who gave the orders and keep blaming everybody else (as usual)... if I was inclined to be cynical, I might suspect it was deliberate...

Even Microsoft's lost interest in Windows Phone: Skype and Yammer apps killed

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At least Micro$haft pretends to care about interoperability and legacy users, not like those nice people over at crApple who want to redesign everything in their image...only they aren't sure what image they actually want to enforce.

Why else would the money-grubbing company redesign practically everything from power cables and data leads to protective sleeves every time they bring out a new model? (Seriously, what other reasons are there except to screw as much money out of their consumers as they possibly can?)

State spy agencies 'outsource surveillance' to foreign partners – campaign group

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Big Brother

So now the people trying to keep us safe are the bad guys?

And while our "public-minded" politicians make themselves look good releasing details of security operations and practices just to screw over the opposition, the real Bad Guys will be laughing as the big-mouthed, small-brained idiots supposedly responsible for our safety reveal almost everything in the interests of 'openness' and 'transparency'.

And whatever secrets the various groups of politicians don't manage to give away, groups like Privacy International will ruthlessly hunt down in their efforts to "safeguard" us from the evilness (for a given value of 'evilness') of the Security services.

Tech bribes: What's the WORST one you've ever been offered?

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What's a bribe?

Used to work in a Computer Room (before they all became "Data Centres") and got asked by one of the Hardware engineers why we never wore the teeshirts or used the cups etc they gave us?

"What teeshirts? What cups?" I asked, not having a scoobies what he was talking about.

"We've brought in loads of stuff with [company name] all over them and you ungrateful buggers have never used any of it - you've never even said 'thank you'!" he explained.

"Um no, still no idea, sorry Steve." said I and he went away muttering under his breath about ungrateful Operators and whether an arm designed to move a 3480 cartridge from storage slot to tape drive could be used to stuff said Operators into that same drive...

Back again for a different problem the next night, he came bearing some nice shiny mugs and the explanation for the whole sorry mess. His boss had 'phoned our boss to find out what had happened to all our shiny little gifts...

Apparently "These are for the Operators" in Engineerese translates to "Give these to your mates you pilfering PHB" in Managementish.

There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick

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"Turns out Vanilla Ice was not so popular in Thailand back in the day..."

He was popular here? I must'a missed that... thankfully!

Facebook faces foe formation in facial fingering fight

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"They don.t exist here, and anyway, the images would become obsolete in a few years"

Unless you have reconstructive surgery or are badly injured, the underlying structure of your face won't change much over the years - and you only need to look at the accuracy of "aged" photos in missing persons cases to know how accurate they can estimate what you will look like x years after the 'last known good' photo of you was taken.

SpaceX finally Falcon flings NASA's TESS into orbit

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"Such landings are in danger of becoming routine, a tribute to the engineering involved."

Some things should NEVER be considered routine, at least while using small numbers of slightly tamed giant fireworks as launch vehicles. We've lost too many pioneers and had too many near-misses due to complacency over 'routine' operations.

Wait until we have a reliable means to get 'em out and bring 'em back (in a hurry or earlier than planned, if/when necessary) before saying it's routine, please.

What's silent but violent and costs $250m? Yes, it's Lockheed Martin's super-quiet, supersonic X-plane for NASA

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Re: SIG!

"The fuel tank vulnerability was already well known and should have been addressed long before the Paris crash."

What, by fitting rubber mats as spall liners inside the tanks like British Airways did, even though it added a significant amount of weight and therefore increased fuels costs? Apparently a few BA Concordes suffered wing strikes but the liners did their jobs and the aircraft survived. Unlike Air France who decided the bottom line was more important.

Not quite sure which part of Arabia was crossed when flying across the Atlantic between Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle and John F Kennedy airports though...

2001: A Space Odyssey has haunted pop culture with anxiety about rogue AIs for half a century

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HAL's acronym

Wasn't it Heuristic Algorithmic Logic computer?

And wrt Mother in Alien, Mother wasn't specifically described as an AI that I can recall - it was just what the crew called the computer when they were using it (her). Mother simply did what it (she) had been programmed to do and had less freedom of operation than, for example, the new software in Sky TV boxes (the version that thinks because you have downloaded something you missed while you were out, you must want it to keep Series-linking the show even though you delete the Link.




No Falcon Way: NASA to stick with SLS, SpaceX more like space ex

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I'm confused...

If SLS has never flown (and from what I've read here, looks like it's quite a way off from the first launch) then how can it be compared in a meaningful way to Falcon Heavy?

That would be like an aircraft manufacturer comparing a rival's in-service airliner to their own pie-in-the-sky, not even on the design boards yet, supersonic sub-orbital intercontinental wonderjet...

What I don't really understand is why, given how they managed to iron out most (if not all) of the problems with the Saturn 5/Apollo combination, they don't try building a new one with modern manufacturing techniques and materials rather than reinventing the wheel completely... it might not be exactly what they want/need but it would give them a current data to work with and it's better than PHBs wasting money in meetings arguing over how to waste the money quickest.

I look forward to any genuine rocket scientists who may have wandered in by mistake explaining why I'm wrong, and the rest of you giving me the giggles when you start quoting manufacturer's estimates as though they are accomplished results...

T-Mobile US let hackers nick my phone number, drain my crypto-wallets, cries man who lost $20k

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Big Brother

Re: Cell Phone != secure

Credas, I had to take all my documentation to my nearest government office (the local Job Centre) for sending to HMRC because the Verify providers said I did not exist... and I wasn't the only one with the same issue.

It was the same documentation the Verify provider said didn't exist...

‘I crashed a rack full of servers with my butt’

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Re: you don't leave an important switch where someone might accidentally hit it

Similar situation happened to me at the Home Counties-based headquarters site of a well-known British aerospace company in the late 80s - we had to have the electricians in to do some work on one of the PDUs and, as they went to leave, one of them says "Is this the exit button?" and before we could yell "NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!" he pressed the big red emergency power off button...

We weren't sure whether we should have been relieved that we didn't need to spend the next few hours rebooting various mainframes (the IBM and VAXs wouldn't have been much of a problem, the biggest headache would have been the ICL 2966s...) or extremely p***ed-off that the Emergency Power Off - intended to save our lives if anything went wrong like someone connecting themselves to 415v AC, remember - did absolutely nothing.


Not a gorram thing.

We went with p***-ed off, and the Data Centre Manager made sure scalps were collected from the muppets at fault...

A tiny Ohio village turned itself into a $3m speed-cam trap. Now it has to pay back the fines

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Re: Another vicious unprovoked attack on the motorist

Adeyjay, I downvoted you because you are missing the point - laws are supposed to be there to make life better, not to line the pockets of greedy people who think 'public servant' means the public is there to serve them.

This isn't about road safety, it's about abusing legal powers to raise money for vanity projects and not real benefits for the community, and certainly not to improve road safety.

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Big Brother

Re: "raise property taxes slightly"

"Here in Oregon, there's 3 towns I can think of off the top of my head that when you hit the "city limit" sign, you best be doing the posted speed limit. And if you're driving a semi-trailer rig, the fine is even higher."

Assuming you are being serious rather than trolling and setting aside for the moment that some places feel reducing speed limits is a better way to improve road safety rather than teaching idiots to keep off the road/highway and out of the traffic, there is normally a reason for the posted speed limit and you probably shouldn't be going faster.

I am a driver and I often complain about the speed limit on some roads (especially when the gits* in charge decided to change it purely as a revenue stream**), but I also understand that the limit is there for a reason and it is not up to me to ignore it just because I don't like it.

I have also seen the results of idiots driving faster than is safe for the conditions and would say that, without exception, the bigger the vehicle the worse the carnage - so why should being an idiot in a semi not be punished harder than someone being an idiot in a car?

*Git = 'Awkward or obtuse person', which describes some of the people responsible for deciding speed limits in the UK perfectly.

**There are several roads in the south-east of England that were, for many years, "national speed limit" roads and people rarely had accidents on them. Then, when the local authorities could keep (some or all of) the revenue generated, these same roads suddenly became accident black spots and the gits reduced the limits on a load of them but somehow managed to forget to put the new signs up where they could easily be seen (A24 Michelham Bends between Leatherhead and Dorking was the first and best example to spring to mind - there are many, many more!). Or they will slowly extend "temporary" reductions brought in for road maintenance work and "forget" to remove these when the work is completed.

F-35 flight tests are being delayed by onboard software snafus

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Re: Colour me surprised

"Fleet personnel" are responsible for keeping airframes in the sky, where they belong. Lab rats are responsible for making sure software behaves the way it is supposed to.

Whist these are not mutually exclusive, what works well in a laboratory will not necessarily help when you're stuck on a steel postage stamp in the middle of a storm at sea with a pilot screaming at you because some relatively insignificant (in a lab) piece of hardware failed and nearly dumped him - and his $90m whizzjet - into the ocean, so the maintenance crew will find ways to use (and abuse) the software to try to prevent that happening... which is also somewhat at odds with the "just-in-time" manufacturing and minimal stock levels so loved by beancounters and management everywhere, and which is a very poor way to keep any sort of war machine actually doing what it is supposed to do rather than sitting awaiting repair while the parts get manufactured and shipped out to the combat zone.

Judging whether or not ALIS is fit for purpose has little to do with whether the REMFs certify it does what the salesman said it would in the lab but everything to do with how many airframes are in the air and not decorating the hangars...

User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster

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Re: Reminds me of a story

Ken Hagan said: "I doubt whether 40-somethings were really into Pong. They probably reckoned that was the machine surrounded by the younger generation and therefore best avoided."

Ken, I'm pushing - rather forcibly - on the upper end of that group and I certainly wasn't playing (or avoiding) Pong; even in the $Deity-forsaken armpit of a town I lived in had *much* more advanced games than that... in addition to such new-fangled amusements as Space Harrier and Outrun, one of the local watering holes had the proper sit-down Afterburner cabinet!

(And despite their best efforts, it wasn't the younger generation on top of the high score tables either...)

It knows where the gravel pits and power lines are. So, Ordnance Survey, where should UK's driverless cars go?

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I wish to be first to welcome our Giant Robot Overlords - mine's the one with the "I was an Emperor Driver before Pontious was a Pilot" and "Wipe your feet when you step on a tank" patches... (since the gaming geeks seem to have deserted El Reg, it behoves me to quote from the internet's oracle of everything [E&OE], "CAV or Combat Assault Vehicle is a miniatures wargame by Reaper Miniatures.")

Also, doesn't 'autonomous' suggest it shouldn't need to be connected while working, or am I missing something?

Sysadmin crashed computer recording data from active space probe

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old lessons well learned

I still use the date format from my VAX/VMS days - dd-mmm-yyyy - as it makes it very, very hard for someone to blame me if they mess up te date for something...

We're cutting F-35 costs, honest, insists jet-builder Lockheed Martin

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x 7, practically the entire US Aircraft industry exists because of this style of technological development (let someone else bear the costs to invent and develop it, offer to share some whizzo bit of kit you bought/stole/swapped from someone else, then forget to hand over the stuff in return when you get what you want...) - assuming you don't simply relocate the brains behind it to a US location anyway.

Boing, so quick to accuse other people of getting unfair Government subsidies, seem to forget that they get a lot of Tax Dollars to fund their military conversions of their civil aircraft - and the development thereof - plus free access to anything NASA do... which is also taxpayer-funded.

Of course, it would have been a LOT harder if our own politicians and the shareholders, accountants and /or management of the British companies hadn't been so keen to put short-term profit ahead of long-term viability...


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