* Posts by stucs201

1292 posts • joined 20 Feb 2010

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Foiled again! Brit military minds splash cash on killing satellites with... food wrapping?

stucs201

Oh, not the Project Daedalus I was thinking of

Isn't that supposed to head to Barnard's Star, not clean up space-junk?

This re-using of names for space-stuff get's confusing. I also get confused every time Orion is mentioned, my first thought is the nuclear bomb propelled version, not the more recent project.

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Hubble spies most distant comet zipping through Solar System

stucs201

Re: ...cloudy in the UK that night

Comets don't always mean it's cloudy in the UK. Sometimes they're only visible from the southern hemisphere, we sometimes get clear nights for those ones.

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Boffins prove oil and water CAN mix – if you do it in a gas giant

stucs201

Re: Lucozade vs chicken soup

Why choose only? When dying of man-flu any and all potential cures should be applied...

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Space Duck 2.0 is New Horizons' next destination

stucs201

Re: If thats a duck

A Star Goose? I remember that game...

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NASA lights humongous rocket that goes nowhere ... until 2019

stucs201

Re: 8 million pounds thrust

I feel the "untied balloon" would be a suitable reg unit for thrust. I suspect the numbers would be rather large when using it to measure rockets though.

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NASA: Bring on the asteroid, so we can chuck a fridge at it

stucs201

Re: I do not remember that from any of the 3 Indiana Jones films

Obligatory XKCD : https://xkcd.com/566/

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In touching tribute to Samsung Note 7, fidget spinners burst in flames

stucs201

Re: Do the spinner things actually exist?

Yes they exist. Even according to rule 34...

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Witcher dev CD Projekt Red says hackers stole game concepts and asked for ransom

stucs201

Although they say the stolen stuff was changed and concepts have changed I'm hoping that at least the visual look hasn't changed much from the trailer. That was really rather nice looking, though I don't quite understand what Alt Cunningham was doing on a poster.

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Science megablast: Comets may have brought xenon to Earth

stucs201

Re: Oh thanks, now I'll have bloody Bomb the Bass stuck in my head all day!

For me it was a different cheat that let me see the whole thing. I found where the prices of upgrades were stored and set them to zero. Now I originally thought this would just make sure I could buy whatever was available at each shop. However it seems that what was available at each shop was based on price, so by zeroing the prices I'd enabled myself to get a fully armed ship from the first shop.

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'My PC needs to lose weight' says user with FAT filesystem

stucs201

Re: SMTP

I suspect "Send Mail To People" may have started as a joke by those who actually know that isn't the real meaning. I've heard "Plastic Tape For Engineers" used for PTFE tape by those who do know it's real meaning.

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BOFH: The Boss, the floppy and the work 'experience'

stucs201
Pint

Re: Enemy Territory

440ml is not a pint!

A proper pint is 568 and a bit ml

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SpaceX wows world with a ho-hum launch of a reused rocket, landing it on a tiny boring barge

stucs201

Re: Bad people winning the world.

Between his various projects Musk appears to be genuinely trying to save the world single-handed (or at least ensure some of the human race survives it's end if it all goes wrong). How much more of a good guy do you want?

(Either that or he's not joking about the white cat, and super-villain volcano lair)

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If you can't beat AI, join it: Boffinry biz baron Elon Musk backs brain-machine interface biz

stucs201

Five things they absolutely need to get right with this:

1) Security.

2) Compatibility/Standards - This needs to be a one-time install, without constant upgrades and/or getting stuck with something unsupported.

3) Security.

4) Avoiding obsolescence - See point 2.

5) Did I mention security yet?

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Boffins name 12 new types of cloud in first Cloud Atlas since 1986

stucs201

Does it include the types of clouds normal people recognise?

Clouds that give nice sunsets.

Clouds that look like a <insert animal here>

Clouds that are black over Bill's mother's

Clouds that piss it down with rain when you have a BBQ

Clouds that guarantee any interesting astronomical event isn't visible from the UK

etc.

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Now UK bans carry-on lappies, phones, slabs on flights from six nations amid bomb fears

stucs201

Obligatory XKCD

https://xkcd.com/651/

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NASA swerves serious cash cuts – but Earth climate probes, asteroid snatcher face axe

stucs201

Re: as too are plans for a lander on Europa

Well of course that one is cancelled. Someone told Trump they might find alien life there, of course Trump then assumed illegal aliens and we know how he feels about those...

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Mars orbiter FLOORS IT to avoid hitting MOON

stucs201

Re: " chance of hitting each other"

Surely it's more about speed relative to a given frame of reference, rather than relative size.

If someone is daft enough to stand on a railway track it's likely they'll get hit by a train. Even though the train is much larger it's the one doing the hitting, since it's the one moving relative to the likely frame of reference (the ground).

If we take the frame of reference as Mars then both Maven and the moon will both be moving and at similar speeds, so hitting each other is the appropriate description.

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Nokia’s big comeback: Watches, bathroom scales, a 3310 PR gimmick, Snake, erm...

stucs201

I was hoping for more from the 3310

Other than some nostalgic styling I see nothing interesting about the new 3310. As the article says it's basically the exact same entry-level feature phone that Nokia have never stopped making.

I'd actually been hoping (but really not expecting) that they'd take the opportunity to actually make a good feature phone again. For years they've been inferior to older models (3G and >2mp cameras used to exist on feature phones, but not anymore). If they'd instead done a phone with modern capabilities (4G, Wifi, decent camera, high DPI (but still small) screen, etc) but with buttons and an S40 style interface I may have actually been interested (though I'll accept I'm probably in a minority).

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Annoyingly precocious teen who ruined Trek is now an asteroid

stucs201
IT Angle

I know this doesn't need an IT angle...

..but there is one.

The dislike for Wesley spawned not one, but two usenet groups:

alt.ensign.wesley.die.die.die and alt.wesley.crusher.die.die.die

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Putting the 'Port' in Portal: Old-school fan brings game to Apple II

stucs201

This is a triumph...

...I'm making a note here, huge success.

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How Rogue One's Imperial stormtroopers SAVED Star Wars and restored order

stucs201

The rebel squadron commanders weren't CGI. That was unused footage from the original film.

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What's the first emotion you'd give an AI that might kill you? Yes, fear

stucs201

Re: Be careful what you wish for...

Daleks aren't emotionless. They have exactly one emotion: hate.

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BOFH: The Hypochondriac Boss and the non-random sample

stucs201

Re: "IT skillset of a potato"

Be careful if the potato is GLaDOS...

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Nokia's great lost smartwatch? #SavedYouALandfill

stucs201

Moonraker watch?

I'd rather have the Q designed one with the nifty gadgets from the Bond film.

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Coming to an SSL library near you? AI learns how to craft crude crypto all by itself

stucs201

Re: Algorithms created by AI

You don't need to understand how something works for it to be useful. All that matters is that for a given input it consistently produces a desirable result. For example although we've now got a pretty decent understanding of bovine biology the human race was successfully exploiting that biology as a means of turning grass into milk for a long time before we understood how it worked.

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A robot kitchen? Whatever. Are you stupid enough to fall for this?

stucs201

Re: It's all bullshit

Just needs a few Thorsen memory tubes to work then.

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Google may just have silently snuffed the tablet computer

stucs201
Pint

Re: I don't remember this weekend

But I'm hoping the explanation is beer, not age.

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Elon Musk: I'm gonna turn Mars into a $10bn death-dealing interplanetary gas station

stucs201

Re: Musk seems to be losing it

Well count me as a loon then.

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The Internet of Things isn't just for Bluetooth toothbrushes, y'know

stucs201
Joke

Bluetooth toothbrushes

How do these differ from toothbrushes for normal whiteish teeth? Are there really enough people with blue teeth needing cleaning to justify such a specialist device? I'd expect the market to be limited to children who've eaten strangely coloured sweets.

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Jeff Bezos' thrusting cylinder makes Elon Musk's look minuscule

stucs201

Re: units

Surely the correct base unit for thrust is the "untied balloon". You're going to need very large numbers to apply that to rockets though.

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Helpful airport robots

stucs201

re:... shiny, red helmet

At least they chose red, not purple.

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Still got a floppy drive? Here's a solution for when 1.44MB isn't enough

stucs201

Re: But does the BIOS and DOS see it as a floppy?

It depends...

I used to have a non-standard format utility which would create (for example) an 800K floppy by formatting with an extra sector (*). On some PCs these discs were fine as standard, others needed a small TSR to read them.

Later versions of MS-DOS actually allowed the creation of these discs without a special utility, if command line arguments were used to specify the sector count.

(*) more than one extra sector or additional tracks were also possible, but reliability went down as sectors went up. Extra tracks was dependent on the drive being able to move the heads far enough.

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Snakes on the phone!

stucs201

Snake on a phone?

Yes, I had had that on my Nokia 3310.

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'Second Earth' exoplanet found right under our noses – just four light years away

stucs201

Orion and/or Daedalus?

Time to dust off the plans?

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False Northern Lights alert issued to entire UK because of a lawnmower

stucs201

Re: Obi-Wan:

That's no aurora. That's a lawnmower.

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Five-storey Blue Screen Of Death spotted in Thailand

stucs201

Advertising screens

The one that slightly surprised me was on a two-sided advertising screen. One side had a BSOD, which in itself wasn't too surprising. However the other side of the same display was running fine. I can just about understand using a PC to run something which is just a display screen (easier to update content than with a simple TV), but 2 in one box? Surely it would be more sensible to run both screens from the same PC?

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Viscous liquid oozing down the walls? You must have hives

stucs201

Re: re: and head straight back to where they came from

Also shouldn't it be "make a bee-line for", not "head straight back to"?

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stucs201

re: and head straight back to where they came from

Do they announce their arrival with "Honey, I'm home!"?

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stucs201
Coat

Surely getting rid of bees is simple...

...just ask them to buzz off.

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Ford announces plans for mass production of self-driving cars by 2021

stucs201

Re: fewer cars on the road

I don't see it meaning fewer cars on the road. People not owning their own cars may mean less cars in total, but more of them actually on the road. Not having your own car parked and waiting at the start of your journey will mean a shared car having to drive to you, for however long that takes that's an extra car on the road (rather than parked).

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Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

stucs201

I don't even like tea...

...but even I know milk in the pot is wrong.

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Seminal adventure game The Hobbit finally ported to the Dragon 64

stucs201

Re: Yes, yes...

You'll just have to make do with Phantom Slayer if you want a first person shooter.

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stucs201

Re: pfft!

I think things probably varied a lot by school. Overall numbers of computers in that era were low enough that the relatively small sample within a school wasn't certain to follow the national trend.

Ours was mostly Speccys, with the Dragon comming in second place (but at least there were enough of us to be able to "own" more games than we'd bought). I only remember one BBC (yes it belonged to the swottiest kid in the school) and one C64 (some of the Speccy owners were fond of calling it a "Commode").

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Apple Watch exec Bob Mansfield 'gets into secret Apple car'

stucs201

Will they be using their usual designer?

If they really do produce an autonomous car and it's designed by their usual designer then I propose that everyone should refer to them as Jony Cabs...

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No, the VCR is not about to die. It died years ago. Now it's VHS/DVD combo boxes' turn

stucs201

Re: snooker

Unless I was setting timers for multiple programs at once I generally used to set the time manually to record an extra half hour or more to allow for overruns.

1
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Microsoft's 3D Jedi phone explored

stucs201

You mean this bit?

"A loud clatter of gunk music flooded through the Heart of Gold cabin as Zaphod searched the sub-etha radio wave bands for news of himself. The machine was rather difficult to operate. For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive--you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure, of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same program. "

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Since you love Flash so much, Adobe now has TWO versions for you

stucs201
Coat

Since you love flash so much...

Flash, I Love You! But We Only Have Fourteen Hours Left to Save the Earth!

Sorry, wrong Flash...

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Smartphones aren't tiny PCs, but that's how we use them in the West

stucs201

Since you mentioned plastic cards

It seems the phone in this case is just being used to display a code. So there's actually nothing about this system that needs the customer to have anything electronic - it seems it would work just as well with the QR code printed on a plastic card.

I'm assuming here that the code is constant for a given account. Others seem to think it's a generated unique code for the transaction. The latter would be more secure, but the description in the article doesn't really make it clear which is actually the case.

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Uber helicopter taxis

stucs201
Terminator

Get to the choppa!

I can see lots of people using this line when their ride arrives.

(Icon? Wrong film, but still Arnie)

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Millions of 'must be firewalled' services are open to the entire internet – research

stucs201

I miss when not everything was TCP/IP

There was a time I used to set protocol bindings to configure local file and printer sharing to use IPX/SPX or NetBEUI only, leaving TCP/IP only for things that needed to connect to the internet.

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