* Posts by Big John

3060 posts • joined 28 Oct 2009

Finally. The palm-sized Palm phone is back. And it will, er, save you from your real smartphone

Big John
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Re: I got a Youtube ad for suppositories...

> "No, that is the new improved AI working in conjunction with the devices upgraded sensors...."

If my "smartphone" is really smart, it won't try to pull that crap on me...

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Bloodhound Super-Sonic-Car lacks Super-Sonic-Cashflow

Big John
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Re: Corporate Risk

> "...the risk of the driver going splat..."

The bigger risk is going boom. Two words: "Monopropellant rocket." There's a reason that type of rocket isn't used very often. The best source for info on the subject is the dynamite book Ignition! (PDF). A real eye-opener.

But I suppose they could mean it's a solid fuel rocket, in which case it cannot be shut off once started, which might be even worse.

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The Obama-era cyber détente with China was nice, wasn't it? Yeah well it's obviously over now

Big John
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Re: China

> "So you're agreeing with him."

Name one national government that isn't evil. Chronos's comment was meant to put down the US, period.

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Big John
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Re: Reall?

> "Just how naive can people be?"

Well, Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein employed a Chinese spy as a chauffeur for 20 years, up until a short time ago.

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Russian rocket goes BOOM again – this time with a crew on it

Big John
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I read a book by one of the Space Shuttle astronauts which speaks of the same thing. Apparently every single one of them would have gladly cut off a leg to go to space, even if the odds were just 50-50 of surviving. Only the most fanatically driven even get to the point of being considered for the job!

They are still on the bell curve to be sure, but it's way out there.

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On the first day of Christmas my true love gave me tea... pigs-in-blankets-flavoured tea

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Big John
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Re: There! Fixed that for you!

> "...im going to hell, but all the good stuff is forbidden in the Bibble and in hell anyway!"

Oh no, you have that backwards. It's in heaven that all the good stuff is forbidden. In hell you can do whatever the heck you want.

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SpaceX touches down in California as Voyager 2 spies interstellar space

Big John
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Re: Presumably you're not using ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARPANET

The kernel of the Internet started as a US Department of Defense project. The DoD was worried about internal communications during a nuclear attack on the US, and they wanted a distributed system that would be able to work around damaged areas of the network. Thus the first packet switching nodes were built and lo, it was Good.

The WWW part is merely HTML, which did have one vital new feature over previous markup languages: The >hyperlink<. Anyone with a mouse could easily operate them! So easily in fact, that the great unwashed masses soon occupied most of the space, alas.

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Big John
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Some people really are interested in our fancy remote control gadget, that happens to be about to cross the heliopause, sampling a second, vital scientific data point on this previously theoretical zone of solar space.

So please stop giving poor old NASA grief over it. They don't get much right, but the Voyagers are very sweet spacecraft. If I could claim credit for them I'd never shut up!

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Big John
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Re: No more planets?

> "Alderaan never existed in the first place!"

And anyway, they had it coming.

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Big John
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Re: Lack of Astonish!

You don't want cars built that way. In the last century, car safety has noticeably improved every year, accumulating huge gains. If cars were made to last a lifetime, there would be too many old, unsafe cars on the streets, driving up the injury rates a lot.

Once cars have been perfected is the time to talk of durability.

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Hate to burst your Hubble: Science stops as boffins scramble to diagnose gyro problem

Big John
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Re: Not too serious

No, the failed one was the last of the old three. Now the three new ones are all that's left, and one of those is apparently cranky.

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Pentagon's JEDI mind tricks at odds with our 'values' says Google: Ad giant evaporates from $10bn cloud contract bid

Big John
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Meh

Meh

Google is becoming politically radioactive these days, so it's probably for the best.

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It's over 9,000! Boffin-baffling microquasar has power that makes the LHC look like a kid's toy

Big John
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Okay, but would you rather be hit by a stream of gamma rays or a star?

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Big John
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If someone wants to use it like a weapon, just remember that changing the plane of rotation of a spinning stellar black hole would require throwing a small star at it, at the correct angle and velocity. If one can do that, why bother with black holes?

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Big John
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Re: Good News!

> "It wouldn't be nice if it was 15 LY away and slowly rotating the axis toward us?"

Actually it would be the galaxy rotating US towards ITS axis, but still just as ominous.

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30 years ago, NASA put Challenger behind it and sent a Space Shuttle back out into the black

Big John
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Re: Space Shuttle - Pop Culture Favorite

> "The current solution of capsules rocketing off, but returning like a bowel movement hitting the water, are not the visions of space travel we would prefer to embrace."

That was true even in the early sixties when safe re-entry methods were first being worked out. I recall one or two stories about potentially deploying some kind of airfoil after the re-entry gees ended, but apparently those methods were all deemed too risky, compared to good old parachutes. Heavier too.

Thus the bowel movement approach was the gold brick standard (ahem), until it was shown that the airfoil can be part of the heatshield too, and as a bonus, will allow precise control over where the ship would come down. A space shuttle re-entry consisted of a series of sweeping flat s-turns across the sky, shedding velocity while using dynamic lift to stay out of the thickening air below until enough speed was shed to be safe. That kept gee forces down to 3 gees or less, unlike the high gee re-entry of dumb capsules.

However, that large heatshield came with its own not inconsiderable costs, which I believe ultimately doomed the Space Shuttle going into the future. The beauty of SpaceX's method is that most of the expensive gear is now savable, while returning passengers via the safe, cheap, and reliable Bowel Movement Method.

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AI trained to sniff out fake news online may itself be fake news: Bot has mixed results in classifying legit titles

Big John
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Me too. It took half my life to break free of the early conditioning.

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Hunt for Planet X finds yet another planetoid, just not the right one

Big John
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Re: Doing my head in.

But mostly because that tiny solar pull gets to operate over a very long time period. If the object had even a little more velocity, it would indeed slip the surly bonds and so forth.

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Big John
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> "Would that be the identity of Chemical X..."

No one knows - It's a very dark matter.

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Big John
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Re: The Goblin is very eccentric

> "Transforming the mass of Jupiter into an expanding shell of exploro-bots ..."

Oh sure, and then have to listen to people complaining for the next ten million years about human caused orbit change?

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JAXA probe's lucky MASCOT plonks down on space rock Ryugu without a hitch

Big John
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Re: Raumfahrt?

> "Yeah, I know, it's amazingly hilarious when words in a foreign language sound a little bit like the sort of thing which makes five year old children laugh hysterically."

Well, it passes the time...

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Big John
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I disagree; We are brilliant little children playing with the toys we've invented. I can't wait to see what happens next! :-)

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The ink's not dry on California'a new net neutrality law and the US govt is already suing

Big John
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Re: Why companies can regulate interstate commerce, and States cannot?

> "...so by that argument socialism is successful in at least one country."

You mean the "long time" argument? I don't see a number there, and having lived in Cali from the early sixties I can attest that it wasn't a socialist paradise up until fairly recently. California's wealth was built by Capitalism, and now Socialism is parasitizing that wealth. But eventually the mistake is self-correcting, as we see in Venezuela today. Too bad about all the collateral damage tho...

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New Zealand border cops warn travelers that without handing over electronic passwords 'You shall not pass!'

Big John
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Re: Mission Creep

> "I bitterly remember standing in line at LAX after a 12 hour flight, to explain to a frankly incredulous immigration officer that I didn't have an address in the US because I was never planning to enter the blasted place."

Um, the US requirement in your case was the same as making a vist to the US, basic customs. hat does not require you to have a US address. Are you sure that's what really happened? Seems like US Customs might have better things to do than inexplicably and needlessly harass international travelers.

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DEF CON hackers' dossier on US voting machine security is just as grim as feared

Big John
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Re: @claptrap314 -- Centralized incompetence

Funny, that Wiki page has this:

"The trial court's judgment was overturned by the Texas Court of Appeals, an intermediate appellate court, on September 19, 2013, with a ruling that "the evidence in the case was 'legally insufficient to sustain DeLay's convictions'", and DeLay was formally acquitted.[1] The State of Texas appealed the acquittal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals[2][3] On October 1, 2014, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the appellate court decision overturning DeLay's conviction."

So DeLay was indicted for technical violations of election law, in the only county in Texas that isn't Republican-leaning, and that court was finally slapped down twice, exonerating DeLay. But in the mean time Tom Delay was made to suffer and his career was ended, the true goal of the exercise. I suppose he was just too effective a legislator for some people's taste.

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Big John
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Centralized incompetence

The article heavily promotes the idea of federal fixes for voting security, but in fact there are NO federal elections whatsoever. All national elections are held at the state level with each state responsible for its own separate voting system. If the Feds try to stick their big oar into that existing system it will constitute a major change far more sweeping than just tightening security.

Currently the states are generally moving away from voting machines and towards paper ballot systems. The problem may still partially exist for the upcoming election but the future looks better. I, as a small government proponent, would prefer the Feds keep their sullied hands off our election apparatus. A distributed system seems safer than a centralized system to me, even with a few temporary vulnerabilities.

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Trump's axing of cyber czar role has left gaping holes in US defence

Big John
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But it's still Trump's fault.

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Big John
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Re: The sad thing is

Um, President Trump has not and never will "elect" anyone to the US Government.

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Big John
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> "...he will claim that all of the areas where they failed were hacked by mysterious outside forces..."

You mean, like Hillary did? ;-/

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NASA to celebrate 55th anniversary of first Moon landing by, er, deciding how to land humans on the Moon again

Big John
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Re: De-orbit ISS

> "It would need a big feck off booster fitted to it and somehow the whole thing would need to be shored up to cope with the move."

Only if you want to do it the inefficient way. The smart way is to use a few ion engines, letting them slowly enlarge the orbit until a lunar capture is effected, then tightening that orbit. No big strain on the station and far less fuel needed. Okay it takes a while, but that doesn't matter in this case.

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Open-source software supply chain vulns have doubled in 12 months

Big John
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> "PHP and CGI for the win!"

That's "teh" win.

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Big John
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Re: Software supply chain attacks?

> 'Also worth pointing out that Javascript is in and of itself "a problem".'

So is breathing, in certain environments.

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Big John
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Re: Software supply chain attacks?

> "I want to know how something can shrink by more than 100%..."

Easy, the result of 400% shrinkage is -300%.

Um...

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Guilty: The Romanian ransomware mastermind who infected Trump inauguration CCTV cams

Big John
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Re: "ensured that the surveillance camera system was operational prior to the Inauguration"

> "Those white areas of the mall that were filled with people in the Obama inauguration and appeared to be devoid of people in the Trump inauguration weren't actually empty."

It's easy to claim Trump had a small crowd based on that infamous photo of his event, taken hours before the event started. The photo for Obama's crowd however, was taken during his speech. This widely disseminated deception was uncovered and debunked at the time, but some partisans refuse to this day to acknowledge it. They just don't want to have to stop "taunting" Trump supporters with this "fact."

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NPM not tied in knots over Yarn rival project

Big John
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Re: FFS

It's not an issue for me, since almost invariably I have to mod my downloaded NPM modules anyway, to accommodate my local needs. By the time I do that, I know exactly what's in the code, oy...

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Big John
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Re: Doesn't fix the fundamental issue with NPM

I recently installed NPM on a new box and by default it now dedupes the subfolders. So that's at least one big problem that's gone away. ;-/

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Holy macaroni! After months of number-crunching, behold the strongest material in the universe: Nuclear pasta

Big John
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Re: Sorry, what?

> "Someone please explain to me what those "competing forces" actually are?"

There aren't any of the type described. From Wikipedia:

"Most of the basic models for these objects imply that neutron stars are composed almost entirely of neutrons (subatomic particles with no net electrical charge and with slightly larger mass than protons); the electrons and protons present in normal matter combine to produce neutrons at the conditions in a neutron star."

So neutron stars are made of, well.. neutrons. Go figure.

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Big John
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Re: Pastafarian

> Science doesn't acknowledge "forbidden".

Perhaps not, but nuclear physicists are wont to call some atomic actions "forbidden" from time to time anyway.

https://www.britannica.com/science/forbidden-transition

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Euro bureaucrats tie up .eu in red tape to stop Brexit Brits snatching back their web domains

Big John
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Re: Well that's the end of the .eu domain

> "Well our politicians are telling them that a majority of people in the UK want nothing more to do with them. That could, reasonably, be taken as a considered insult and they are responding."

So not wanting to be a part of the EU block can (reasonably) be considered an insult to the EU? Are they that sensitive?

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Big John
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Re: Well that's the end of the .eu domain

> "It it better than Hitchcocks version?"

In the play the birds talk, so yes.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Big John
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Headmaster

Re: Well that's the end of the .eu domain

> "Cuckoo cloud-land?"

Cloud Cuckoo Land is the literal translation of classical Greek "Nubicuculia," the name of a perfect city in the sky made by birds in Aristophane's play The Birds.

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Trump shouldn't criticise the news media, says Amazon's Jeff Bezos

Big John
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Re: Definition of fake news

> "Reporting on potential future events is mere speculation; fake news is a form of slander/libel, meaning that it has to make deliberately false or misleading claims about someone or something."

Just a few weeks ago it was widely reported that Trump was "separating families" at the border, with no initial mention of the fact that this was a policy adhered to by presidents Bush and Obama. To make it even more impactful we were treated to an image of said separations, said to be going on right now, but which turned out to be a pic from the Obama Era. This was pure slander against President Trump. We who support him see it for the propaganda it is, and so we are labeled "marching morons" by actual morons.

Go figure.

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Big John
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Re: Poor Jeff is so right, nobody takes his leftist hate pamflet seriously anymore

> "What is actually says is Trump is actively trying to downplay human-caused climate change, which is capable of increasing the severity of weather events."

It's a well-known tenet of the Left that those who "deny" global warm... excuse me, "climate change" have the blood of future billions on their hands, and therefore they are complicit in crimes against humanity and need to be punished. That's what Bob was alluding to in his admittedly florid prose. We all knew what he really meant. Well, most of us did. ;-/

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Boffins don't want to burst your bubble – they create them with sound

Big John
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Re: Retrofitted justification

> "They had to come up with a "real world" use for the grant application."

To be fair, governments tend not to fund people who are forever blowing bubbles.

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US military chucks $2bn at AI, Google touts machine-learning data search, and more

Big John
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Re: What is it for?

Who is "they"? The secret rulers of the world?

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Wannabe Supreme Brett Kavanaugh red-faced after leaked emails contradict spy testimony

Big John
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Re: Leaks?

> "Golden leaks if stories are to be believed"

Hey, those stories were used to justify spying on a Presidential candidate! They MUST be true! If they weren't, then it would mean a total subordination of the US Intelligence apparatus for political purposes.

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HTTPS crypto-shame: TV Licensing website pulled offline

Big John
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Re: scrap tv licence

> "The tv licence model is broken..."

No it isn't. Governments usually love to force propaganda on their citizens, and making them pay for it too just makes the operation that much sweeter.

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