* Posts by adam 40

72 posts • joined 15 Oct 2009

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Radioactive leak riddle: Now Team America sniffs Europe's skies for iodine isotope source

adam 40
Angel

Re: You idiots!

True - Observed but infrequent side effects of ingesting Potassium Iodide (KI)

include the following:

• Nausea

• Intestinal Upset

• Rashes

• Inflammation of the Salivary Glands

• Possible allergic reactions

NOTE: Potassium Iodide (KI) cannot protect the body from radioactive

elements other than radioactive iodine...

50g for a fiver off eBay, the protective dose is 100ug a day. So that's 500 doses stashed for when the big one goes up, and I'll watch out for that upset tummy.

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adam 40

You idiots!

Someone has just tested a small "dirty bomb". Probably with a few grams of material.

Now you've told them how far the contamination has spread.

Stock up on iodine tablets now - while you have the chance.

Remember the Windscale leak? Iodine sales were banned in Boots the next day to prevent people self-administering.

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Amid new push to make Pluto a planet again... Get over it, ice-world's assassin tells El Reg

adam 40
Mushroom

Sooo - the Earth is not a planet....

...by their new definition "has never undergone nuclear fusion".... hmmmm

Mike's Orrery (above) will require some more radical surgery.

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Drop the F-bomb, get your coding typos auto-corrected

adam 40

fk!

In the spirit of U*IX I'd have to abbreviate the "fuck" to "fk".

Otherwise it's all good.

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Uber hires Obama's attorney-general to review its workplaces

adam 40
WTF?

Thought Police

Kalanick released this statement through Uber "We seek to make Uber a just workplace and there can be absolutely no place for this kind of behavior at Uber — and anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired."

Now I have a few problems with this....

a) How do they know what the employee is _thinking_?

b) What if they are thinking that, but keep it to themselves, and don't act on it - is that really a sacking offence?

c) What the f***?

If anyone needs sacking, it's the guy who comes up with a corporate policy like that.

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Hard numbers: The mathematical architectures of Artificial Intelligence

adam 40

AI - a moving goalpost

I studied IKBS back in the '80's and the AI techniques back then were considered to be producing or capable of producing AI by the standards of the day.

One by one these techniques became absorbed into mainstream computing, Expert Systems, speech recognition, speech synthesis, image recognition, etc etc.

At the same time, AI seemed to move to loftier heights.

My prediction is that whatever we are discussing right now as "being AI", as the techniques are understood (even the Google Translate feature where the Google scriptkiddies don't know how it works), will then no longer be regarded as AI anymore.

So, to summarise, AI (if it's ever attained) will be some computing device exhibiting intelligent behaviour whose internal workings cannot be understood or explained.

Similarly, once the internal workings of the human brain are fully understood in all their subtleties, we'll be regarded as walking machines, not really intelligent at all.

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UK.gov hiring folk to watch smutty vids? All hail our blind censors...

adam 40

Re: - acist

Thanks - I preferred to flag it up for discussion, than point it at the moderators. At least that was people would have a chance to reflect on it - as you say you can't ponder a blank space!

The use of the word in question isn't yet regarded as racist by a significant proportion of the British population, although it's now recognised as such by the authorities.

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adam 40

Re: - acist

I think you'll find that remark is racist.

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Twin brothers. One went into space. The other didn't. NASA reveals how their bodies differ

adam 40

His moustache fell off!!!

Must be due to the cosmic rays or something.

Glad I don't have to work in space.

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Human memory, or the lack of it, is the biggest security bug on the 'net

adam 40

Re: All websites are fundamentally insecure

Quite.

My "image" in In Real Life.

All the rest is imaginary - it's in your mind, not mine.

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adam 40

All websites are fundamentally insecure

As soon as you realise that all these sites are insecure, as you can just log in with a username and password anytime and from anywhere in the world, then the problem goes away.

Just don't keep any private data on them and use the same password everywhere - job done.

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Google's Chrome is about to get rather in-your-face about HTTPS

adam 40

Browser Facism gone mad

I'm sick of this continual upgrade madness.

Chrome now won't even let me view sites with RC4 TLS, but will let me view plain http - where's the logic in that?

Grrrr...

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Northumbria Uni fined £400K after boffin's bad math gives students a near-killer caffeine high

adam 40
Paris Hilton

They both lost 10kg

How long before this miracle diet pill hits the streets - the one containing 30g of caffeine?

Seriously though, I bet these two get F-all compensation, compared to the 400k fine.

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H0LiCOW! Hubble's constant update paves way for 'new physics'

adam 40

Re: Is "42" the "Adams Constant?"

>> Are you being serious? Your idea would result in a spectrum not peaks. <<

That's exacly what I said above isn't it? The CMB is a spectrum.

10% measurement uncertainty in part of the spectrum is under half a dB.

What I'm talking about is the measurement of a level, let's say my basestation outputs +20dBm and for type approval purposes the spectrum outside the intended range has to be below -30dBm (i.e.50dB below carrier).Good RF measurement kit can measure this, but you will see the level fluctuating, half a dB +/- isn't uncommon, for example my basestation spurious output might show up as -52.7dBm but fluctuate between -53.2dBm and -52.4dBm.

This is exactly the type of measurement you must make of the spectrum to determine if it's come purely from a black-body source as postulated, or is possibly an additive combination of sources.

What you haven't explained is whether this qualitative analysis has taken place? Or are we just looking at the "broad brush" and saying "that'll do?".

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adam 40

Re: Is "42" the "Adams Constant?"

That's interesting you must have been looking over my shoulder by quoting me as saying "beyond the event horizon", that was in fact in my first draft but I saw the folly of it and corrected it before posting.

Spooky.

Anyhow a quick google reveals that "The spectral radiance dEν/dν peaks at 160.23 GHz, in the microwave range of frequencies", yes it "peaks", in fact it's not a single spectral line, but a thermal black body spectrum.

So yes, the CMB itself will extend down into the tens of GHz and up to a terahertz or more.

There is plenty of room for tens of percent of energy to be added into the spectrum here and there without anyone noticing. it's hard enough to get a power reading in the lab off my 100mW 2GHz basestation without a 10% fluctuation on the band edges, with calibrated kit and a conducted connection, let alone waving a microwave horn in the air and measuring at 100x the frequency.

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adam 40
Paris Hilton

Is "42" the "Adams Constant?"

Since I saw the Hubble Deep Field image I have been wondering about the CMB.

What if it could be wholly or partly explained by redshifted light from the many galaxies that undoubtedly exist on or just next to our universe's event horizon?

Even a 20% proportion due to this could explain such a discrepancy.

You saw it here first!

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Oh, the things Vim could teach Silicon Valley's code slingers

adam 40
Facepalm

If it ain't broke....

Exactly!

That's why I run an old ff on an old ubuntu distro - and turn off updates.

And use chrome when I need to.

If people could stop dicking about with this stuff for 10 minutes, life would be a lot easier....

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adam 40

What's wrong with "cp /dev/console filename"?

i

Or on DOS - copy con: filename

Much better than ed!

Ahh yes I still use vim/vi every day - it's hard-wired into my brain now. Never really grokked emacs which seems to use up far more memory.

Apart from a brief (geddit!??) change of editor in the late 80's it's been vim all the way. Even then I used the brief vi macros.

I still remember permies looking over my shoulder asking "How did you do that?" the reply would be "I'm not telling you my contractor secrets!" Control-space being a fave.

<ESC>

ZZ

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Amazon asks for spectrum to try out IoT networking gear

adam 40

Looks like the good old GSM850 band to me....

Nothing to see here, move along please.

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Happy birthday: Jimbo Wales' sweet 16 Wikipedia fails

adam 40
Happy

Uncyclopedia anyone?

The perfect antidote to Wikipedia!

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Ancient water found in Canada is two billion years old – giving hope to Mars colony dreamers

adam 40

Adnam's must make beer out of it...

I want a pint of two billion year old ale - you could really call that "A pint of Old"

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Reports: Autopilot will go on strike if you're not paying attention

adam 40

v0.8? Eeek!

Everyone knows not to use s/w until it's rolled over to at least v1.01.

What are they thinking???

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Airbus flies new plane for the first time

adam 40

Will we all get a crash helmet and parachute?

I for one would feel much safer if I got a crash helmet and parachute on boarding the aircraft - "just in case" of course - it would also make the stewardess' demo much more interesting - showing how to pull the rip cord etc.

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'Data saturation' helped to crash the Schiaparelli Mars probe

adam 40

How many inches

... did it think it was below ground level?

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Post-outage King's College London orders staff to never make their own backups

adam 40

Never known a restore to work

I've worked in computing for 30 years and in the last 15 years I've never known a restore request to come up with any usable data.

My main requests have been from data that I deleted by mistake, or something that has been moved on a server by an unintentional drag and drop.

Occasionally I overwrite a file on a local PC that I am working on as local data.

If the IT department had been operating a simple son=father=grandfather tape backup you would expect to get up to 6 months back, but the excuses for coming up with nothing range from "the tape is unreadable" to "the drive just shredded the tape", and "that drive isn't backed up".

So I have to agree - if the data is vital to your job, or you spend more than a few man-days creating it, take your own copy too. It's the also useful when there's a network outage, power failure, etc, you can plug your drive into any laptop and carry on working. And you don't have to go to IT when you deleted that file by mistake!

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Low-power transistors hint at alternative to battery bonfires

adam 40

No it's the standby current

The biggest consumer of electrons in a phone - on average - is the standby current.

- How often does it wake up from deep sleep?

- How long does it stay awake?

- How much juice does the _receiver_ take while it's awake?

- Any other tasks/processes that get triggered (e.g. email, sms etc?)

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Paging 1994: Crap encryption still rife in devices

adam 40

Same as the Internet then

You don't need to change the technology. Just encrypt the data sent over it.

Cloning a SIM doesn't really work that well, let's assume you did so and registered on the mobile network, the SMSC would deliver to your MS and not to the target's one, the message would get deleted off the system. (SMS being a point-to-point protocol.)

You would also have to NACK the SMS and then drop off the network sharpish, and not re-register until it had gone through to the real MS.

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US govt pleads: What's it gonna take to get you people using IPv6?

adam 40

It's already 16 bits bigger...

NATting via 16-bit port numbers already expands IPv4 by a factor of a thousand or more (at least, in the subnets behind the NAT gateways) so I don't see IPv4 running out for another millennium or so.

Come back in the year 3000 - then we'll see.

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Victoria Police warn of malware-laden USB sticks in letterboxes

adam 40

Re: If something is free... this reply is free.

here you are, some of my with, wisdom and repartee completely for free.

I don't expect anything in return, and it gives me no pleasure to say so.

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Plusnet broadband outage: Customers fume as TITSUP* continues

adam 40

A comment from someone with no internet access

Yeah we had problems too in Cambridgeshire. Even hit the red light on the modem sometimes - no t'internet.

PN speeds have been generally good for downloads, we get about 20MBps now over ADSL, but uplink speed is appalling, only about 300k.

Data usage is fine too - I think we hit 200GB last month with no problems - in the old days with Demon that would have reduced speeds to a crawl.

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Tesla touts battery that turns a Model S into 'third fastest ever' car

adam 40

Higher friction though from the tyres

>> There is no getting away from weight being a problem round corners. If you have a 2 ton mass full of energy then getting it to change direction is much much harder than if you have 850kg regardless of where you put most of the mass. <<

Surely a lighter car will put less force through the tyres onto the road, so they won't be able to transmit as much lateral force before they skid, when you corner. So your light car will be skidding all over the place rather than going around a corner.

Or on the other hand....

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NIST spins atomic gyroscope to allow navigation without GPS

adam 40

I has thinks, therefore I ham. - Francis Bacon.

wot I said.

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We're going to bring an asteroid fragment into Lunar orbit

adam 40
Holmes

Oh it'll only leave a 6kn crater, what are you worried about?

According to Wikipedia, 400 m asteroid impact releases the equivalent of 3010 Mt and leaves a 6 km (3.7 mi) crater. And probably will cause a small cold spell. (Maybe it's the antidote we need to global warming?)

Presumably the orbit around the mood will be chaotic, rather than deterministic. So what happens after this thing is put in place and many years later we lose the technology to control it (let's say there's an economic collapse of something). Eventually it'll nudge out of lunar orbit and start it's journey....

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Scariest climate change prediction yet: More time to eat plane food

adam 40

How do they do this?

So far, people have correctly pointed out the gains are not equal, and here that airlines avoid head-on jetstreams, but use tail-on ones.

But how do they do this?

By the expedient of choosing the cruising height, The jetstream is bounded by a lower altitude, if you are below it, you don't get the (full) effect. The height is negotiated with ATC before leaving US or UK airspace and typically they will arrange planes crossing the Atlantic in each direction to get the benefit or avoid as necessary.

The researchers are correct if you take "random" use of the airspace, however we didn't create an Empire based on this (and sailing ships) we make use of the winds intelligently. So we will save fuel, not use more.

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You know how that data breach happened? Three words: eBay, hard drives

adam 40
Paris Hilton

Sales forecasts????

I've never seen a sales forecast that turned out to be accurate, they are usually wildly optimistic.

So what's the big deal with leaving them on your hard drive?

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adam 40

That only works if /dev/sda is executable...

sed 's/|/>/'

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You can be my wingman any time! RaspBerry Pi AI waxes Air Force top gun's tail in dogfights

adam 40

What a whopper

.. as predicted by the Tic Tac Toe scene in War Games (1983)

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Friends with benefits: A taxing problem for Ireland in a post-Brexit world

adam 40
Big Brother

Brexit will happen but Merkel and Hollande will be in London within a week to offer terms for re-entry.

The loss of the UK market to Germany and France means too much, it won't happen overnight but the imposition of trade tariffs will make business drop off.

Whether we impose tariffs to/from Ireland is an interesting one - in the old days we wouldn't, but Ireland now has to kowtow to the EU. So if they impose tariffs, we will too.

More analysis of the EU trade position here: https://brexit2016blog.wordpress.com/finance/trade-with-the-eu/ and related pages.

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Pisspoor EE customer service earns it a cool £1 MILLION Ofcom fine

adam 40

Not Fine By Me

All this "fine naughty companies" business gets my goat.

So I got poor service from EE. Maybe my case contributed to the evidence they used. Where is my cut of this "fine"?

These fines are turning into an extra tax on the population. This is how it works:

a) Customer gets shoddy service and complains

b) Customer should really get an ex-gratia apology refund - but doesn't.

c) Govt fines company

d) Govt keeps the money.

I have noticed pattern this in the banking sector, insurance, etc etc. Joe public is effectively being turned into tax collectors for the government. Also - as others have commented - these fines are rarely a deterrent, and it's a commercial decision - do it badly and cheap and get fined (maybe), or do it properly/legally but more expensively.

The public is worse off - they should take the fines and distribute them directly to the affected customers.

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This whopping 16-bit computer processor is being built by hand, transistor by transistor

adam 40

Re: Beat the clock

It's only 14m long. Assuming 0.7c because of the dielectric of the wires that would be 66.6ns propagation delay end-end. So you could run is under 15MHz, say 1MHz should be do-able.

With the current speed it still beats the 1957 all-valve DASK.

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BBC: We'll give FREE subpar-Raspberry-Pis to a million Brit schoolkids

adam 40

Time for Sir Clive to Ride Again?

Well if the Beeb are getting going again with computer hardware then surely it's time for Sir Clive to market a competitor?

Struggling to work out the business model though...

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OTHER EARTHS may be orbiting our Sun beyond Neptune

adam 40

Mianus!

Found at last....

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What will happen to the oil price? Look to the PC for clues

adam 40

Get hungry, not starve...

I can walk out of the centre of London to the nearest farm in well under a day. If I follow one of the many rivers then I won't even get thirsty.

There can't be any cities big enough yet, where I would actually starve to death before reaching food on foot?

It would probably do most city-dwellers some good to get a bit of exercise!

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ALIEN EARTH: Red sun's habitable world spotted 470 light years away

adam 40

So what are you saying, Dickwads?

Is it nearer, or further away? (On average)

Please enLighten us ;^)

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adam 40

I am not a number

Fed up with all this "Kepler nnnn-X" malarky. About time we started using names, there are plenty from Sci-Fi, vaguely fitted with the relevant story's description.

E.g. this one could be Naboo? Or Romulus?

What would be amusing is if the residents then get wind of this name calling, take offence, and launch an attack....

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Erik Meijer: AGILE must be destroyed, once and for all

adam 40

So true

>> Agile breaks projects down into tiny, boring bits and take all the fun out of development. <<

That is so true. And what is worse - it turns the programmer into an automaton driven by the sprint.

You end up with a load of partly-written code and no documentation to maintain it (so when you discover some bit that needs adding after release - and you will - no one knows how).

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Stuck on a coding problem – should you Bing it?

adam 40

nGoogle

Probably because 20 years ago you had to "Altavista" it?

So - I expect all this "bing/bunged in" code is license and royalty free - or are they notching up cut'n'paste activity in the tool for later trolling once the code is released? Cynical, moi??

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UK flights CRIPPLED by system outage that shut ALL London airspace

adam 40

Testes - the whole system!

>> actually testes the whole system <<

Quite an appropriate remark for yet another ATC balls-up!!!

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Boffins: We have found a way to unlock the MYSTERIES OF SHEEP from old parchments

adam 40

Holy Cow

This analysis will obviously be biassed towards breeds that produce good parchment.

Where you have breeds that are good eatin' but the parchment is crap, they won't be well-represented. Similarly where you have extensive use of barbed wire, you get (more) holes in the sheep, and therefore in the parchment, and it's useless.

(This is why they keep the cows for Bentley leather in fields without barbed wire...)

Otherwise a great idea - but they can't have my deeds.

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Sinclair is back with the Spectrum Vega ... just as rubbish as the ZX

adam 40

Will the buck convertor give up like the old ones?

It won't be the same either, unless it works for a month and then one of the internal power supplies goes pop and you lose a rail to the CPU.

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