* Posts by Alister

3335 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Moore's Law leaves mobile networks ripe for attack

Alister Silver badge

final solution

"He advised countries to check the record of their local supplier, disable software updates, and consider leaving the phone at home altogether."

In fact, you could connect the phone by a wire to a central point, which then connects you to the world, thus avoiding using GSM altogether.

Wait, what do you mean, it's been done?

'Nobody can resist the charming of iPAD'

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way to go

...quoting completely out of context.

The paragraph you quoted was from the Chinese/English blurb accompanying Proview's Internet Personal Access Device, which was

a/ not a tablet, and

b/ was released in 1998 way before any Apple product of tablet form.



Hitachi GST waggles nippy 2.5-incher at Ultrabooks

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Re: Single platter

This is a genuine question:- can there be such a thing as aerodynamic drag in a vacuum?

I agree with your point though, but I would suggest that inertia and bearing friction are the governing factors.

Woman spanked for dissing ex in Facebook snapshot

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Translation

@Richard 120

Thanks, that fixed it - didn't know you could do that.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Re: Translation


I downvoted this by accident when trying to click on the "Next" button...

I apologise.

Juniper buys Mykonos to beat off web app attacks

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Oh! I thought they'd bought a Greek island (at a knockdown price) to retire to...

Third of Blighty stuck on snail-speed broadband

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My thoughts on this are:

1/ it doesn't matter what the headline speed is, if there is massive contention or traffic shaping on your broadband. If I run speedtests from my house, I get between 5 and 6 Mb/s on a regular basis, and the reported synch speed is 6.2Mb/s. However, on most evenings, I am unable to stream a program on BBC iPlayer, even on the lowest bandwidth setting.

The government should be shouting about improving backend infrastructure, not offering some meaningless figure plucked from the air as a minimum "speed".

2/ Where I live, we are STILL on a non-LLU exchange, so we have no option but to go with BT. Despite all the pretty leaflets I get through the door from Virgin, I can't take advantage of them - or any other provider. The first goal of the government policy should be to get every exchange unbundled, so at least people can choose a provider. Surely increased competition will drive provision of services.

Privacy warriors sue FTC over Google's policy tweak

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The EU's Article Working 29 Group

shurely shome mishtake?

Spacemen urge NASA to build nuke ship for Mars trip

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Far from being "worthless" Mars is the only really viable place for Mankind to colonise, as it is (in astronomical terms) just next door, and has the potential to be terraformed using current or near future technology, to the point where living on the surface could be possible within a few generations. Contrast with the Moon where any colony would always be confined to artificial structures, and at the mercy of the low gravity (which has deleterious effects on human bodies).

It's all very well the boffins going "ooh look at star such-and-such, it's got goldilocks planets which can support life!" the reality is we are not sufficiently advanced to even consider travelling to any of these.

You say "I think we should concentrate on Mankind on this planet."

Yes, but we are in the classic "all the eggs in one basket" situation at the moment, where firstly, any extinction level event (whether from orbital impact or through our own foolishness) would wipe us all out, and secondly, we are running out of room and resources.

We either need to drastically limit the population growth in some way, or find another planet to move to. Doing this now, before it's too late, would seem sensible. But as you and the previous poster have said "Mankind's short sightedness may well be its downfall".

Boffins make graphene micro-distillery

Alister Silver badge

Sea water Mineral extraction

If they can make this large scale it could lead to commercially viable mineral extraction from sea water...

Australia, US agree to space junk talks

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"As we begin this work, the United States has made clear to our partners that we will not enter into a code of conduct that in any way constrains our national security-related activities in space or our ability to protect the United States and our allies,"

They're a bit like a garage hoarder: "no, that's not space junk, you never know when it might come in useful for our national security, someday"

X Prize: Build a Star Trek 'tricorder' and win $10m

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Not so easy

To be fair, there are already plenty of small Automated External Defibrillator, Pulse Oximetry, Blood Glucose meters and Blood Pressure devices on the market, so to combine them into a single unit with a simple AI to recognise common conditions would not be too big a problem. However, to be true to the Star Trek idea, you would have to make all of those work non-invasively (ie without removing clothing or attaching things to the body) which is probably a challenge too far.

Churlish HSBC drops atomic-scale accuracy

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The standard unit of length shall be the EU standard (Florentine) linguine (unboiled at sea level), defined as 1lg, representing 14cm, 0.02784 perches, 0.462 Japanese shyaku or 0.0007568 Ancient Greek stadium ptolemys

A femtolinguine, is therefore, 1 x 10−15th or or 0.000000000000001 of a linguine, or to put it another way, bloody small!

Alister Silver badge

Given your apparent love of precision in small scales, are you a Hornby train-spotter?

Alister Silver badge


Judging by the input over Powerpoint up-thread, you need to rethink that strategy...

Perhaps you could put a "no-track" prefix on your office address?

Arctic freshening not due to ice melt after all, says NASA

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@AC 00:22

"If someone thinks that something, which is generally regarded to be happening (by science), isn't in fact happening, despite massive evidence to say that it is, it's not unreasonable to call them a denier."

This is the typical strawman used by CAGW supporters. The vast majority of those who oppose the CAGW position do not deny that there are changes in global climate (for which there is, yes, a large amount of evidence), they deny, or do not accept, that there is sufficient evidence that the climate change is as a resut of mankind's activities.

Well, burn my atomic-clock-powered new human renaissance platform

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May I take this opportunity to say...

PLEASE El Reg, lose the bloody annoying Microsoft Cloud banner add which keeps changing size, and causes the whole page content to jump about like a startled gazelle.

Yes, I know ads are needed to make you money, but FFS get ones that aren't written by a bunch of half-trained monkeys.



Alister Silver badge

Does LRO also map magnetic anomolies... say, in the Tycho area??

Navy pays 2x purchase price to keep warship docked for 5 years

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You'd have to cut off the masts and rigging, and probably the poop as well, and you would still have a more capable ship than the new carriers...

Carrier IQ VP: App on millions of phones not a privacy risk

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Like tiny fish through a net, key taps dropped from memory

Is that a haiku?

UK lays carbon plan before Earth Goddess

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curious why our electricity is 15% more expensive than Germany

Chief reason is we don't have the land area, compared to our population density, we just don't have the room to put sufficient power generation in place. As it is, we buy in a proportion of our electricity from France.

The larger European countries are able to have many Hydro-electric plants operating, and have done for a long time, so it's mature technology and the capital expenditure was paid off years ago.

We don't have the room to have that sort of infrastructure, even if we wanted to.

Boffin's bot spots red light jumpers before they kill

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Never mind warning other drivers...

Just make it so it stops the car and preferably ejects the idiot.

LOHAN fondles substantial concrete buttocks

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That deserves a prize...

Or a pint

Alister Silver badge


kinetic anti trauma obstruction - Non ablative

Google gives up on saving world from cheap coal energy

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If someone at Google uses google to look something up, a recursive loop is formed and the Earth will disappear up it's own thingy

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Maybe they should have stuck all that money in Fusion research

Text is not an option

We talk to Moon designer about ULTIMATE sci-fi ship

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It's only just struck me, but in fact if you look at an Eagle and Thunderbird 2 sideways on, they have a lot in common, in shape, layout and use of different payload modules.

Still think the Eagle looks more "real" though.

Alister Silver badge

Space 1999 Eagles

Got to be my favourite, despite the lack of any obvious fuel storage, or the fact that there's two big engines mounted in the passageway to the cockpit section, so there'd be no room for anyone to walk through.

They somehow just look right, would love to see a full size one.

Rogue Russian Mars probe communicates - but in gibberish

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probe communicates - but in gibberish

See, It's not human, it's ALIEN!!

Where's the universal translator?

Hubble snaps mystery green death nebula in NGC 1846

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in a nearby dwarf galaxy...

right next door, really, only 160,000 light years away...

Elon Musk's SpaceX seeks 'private sector Cape Canaveral'

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Virgin Territory

Maybe he should ask Richard Branson for a corner of "Spaceport America"

Busted Russian Mars probe could go to Moon instead

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Why is it so difficult to talk to?

They keep saying they only have "a small window of opportunity" to talk to the damn thing, when it passes overhead a ground communications station. If it is that hard to talk to, how could they possibly expect to talk to it over the distance from Mars?

And why can't they bounce a signal through a comms satellite or two, which might have a better chance of attracting its attention?

Moon goodness: Far side of Luna in full colour

Alister Silver badge


Damn, you beat me to it.

I was going to ask which bit was the secret Russian base...

US nuclear aircraft carrier George Bush crippled by toilet outages

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If you look at the picture accompanying the article

You can clearly see a temporary toilet block in the middle of the flight deck

Romanian authorities cuff NASA hack suspect

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Was he really arrested in a place pronounced cludge??


Boffins reckon Mars quite blustery actually

Alister Silver badge

Didn't Spirit or Opportunity have an anemometer strapped to them somewhere, so we could get an idea of real wind speeds, rather than computer simulations?

Army raygun to boost power with starlight de-twinkling tech

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I'm sure I read about this adaptive mirror tech being used to reduce atmospheric distortion of a laser weapon in a Tom Clancy novel about twenty years ago...

Nice to see reality catching up.

Bloke gets wedding tackle trapped in ring

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Firemen bearing grinder tackle Southampton hampton shocker

You should really win a prize for that

NASA: 2012 solar flares could DEVASTATE CITIES!

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"Food would rot, trains wouldn't move, traffic would be gridlocked"

So... no change there then?

Fusion boffins crack shreddy eddy plasma puzzle

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"We need a fusion reactor project equivalent to the Manhattan project. At today's money the spent 24bn in 4 years or 6bn a year. Afaik ITER is a 10 year project which makes it around 1.5bn a year."

That's pretty much what I thought.

Trouble is, fusion has the word "NUKELER" attached to it (yes, I know its nuclear) and therefore must be A-BAD-THING(TM).

"If we put our minds and money to it we could have a working fusion reactor in half the time and help solve the worlds energy needs."

wot 'e said...

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Anyone know how much funding there is globally for fusion research, compared to the in vogue "renewable" energy generation technologies?

Results in on why life, the universe and everything exists

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I bet I'm not the first...

UK.gov deputy CIO quits Cabinet Office for EMC job

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Bill McCluggage puts self into storage

Bill McCluggage on the rack

Bill McCluggage bags new position

Bill McCluggage makes case for storage

Cabinet Office lost McCLuggage

Poor man...

'Puzzling structures on surface' of YU55 spaceball

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@No-one would have believed...

10 / 10 for remembering the passage

2 / 10 for spelling

Still at least it proves you didn't just copy-and-paste...

Alister Silver badge

I for one...

...can only see big pixels.

How clever of the builders to make the surface look like an early eighties computer animation when viewed by radar.

Russian probe engines crap out on way to Mars

Alister Silver badge

Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Ofcom boss warns of low interest in 'superfast' broadband

Alister Silver badge

You don't really need superfast bandwidth for iPlayer.

You do if you have more than one user in the household, or you take into account the contention of multiple households in one street.

I have a nominal 8Mb/s BT connection, on which I usually see between 5 - 6 Mb/s real world speeds, but if I and my kids are watching iPlayer we are sometimes lucky to get more than about 1.2Mb/s between us. Ok so this is probably down to contention and throttling, but if a 6Mb connection is getting throttled that much, then we need the headline speeds of fibre as a starting point to offer sensible real world bandwidth.

Theresa May won't quit job over UK Border Agency fiasco

Alister Silver badge

Has the Prime Minister...

...expressed his confidence, and offered her his full support?


Alien city lights could be detected across interstellar space

Alister Silver badge

How typically arrogant and anthropocentric to assume that any "alien" species would use a sense organ that responds to the same part of the electromagnetic spectrum as our eyes.

Why, even on this planet, there are many species, even some mammals who use completely different methods to be aware of their surroundings, and many more species that see different bits of the spectrum compared to the frequencies we call visual.

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