* Posts by fnj

182 posts • joined 21 May 2010

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Extreme trainspotting on Britain's highest (and windiest) railway

fnj

Texas

There are 27 counties in Texas each reaching an elevation of at least 1000 m.

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fnj

Re: 1,097m (3,599ft)

@jake - Guadalupe Peak in Texas is 2667 m.

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Concorde without the cacophony: NASA thinks it's cracked quiet supersonic flight

fnj

Re: Next, apply the technology to ...

@MadHacker - the muzzle velocity of the iconic handgun - the Browning M1911 - is only 825 ft/s, well below supersonic.

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As you head off to space with Li-ion batts, don't forget to inject that liquefied gas into them

fnj

Re: Article completely misses key misses

-20C=-68F

WTH?! -20C is -4F.

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Pai guy not too privacy shy, says your caller ID can't block IP, so anons go bye

fnj

Re: @Charles 9, re: fake info.

@Shadow Systems: ah, "ostentatious" and "ostensible" are completely different words.

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Blighty's buying another 17 F-35s, confirms the American government

fnj

Re: I wouldn't call the F-18 one of the most successful combat aircrafts [sic]

Err, the plural of "aircraft" is "aircraft".

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Plan to kill net neutrality is the best thing/worst thing ever! EVER!!1

fnj

Re: If US buggers up the net what happens to the rest of the world?

The internet is not just the web. Usenet is very much the internet. So is email. Fido, OTOH, is not. Fido is a pure point-to-point POTS modem network.

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Toshiba spins out new NAS disk drive with its fastest transfer rate yet

fnj

Let's not be ignorant

Design life is not the same thing as MTBF. A population of a thousand with an MTBF of 1 million hours means that one failure can be expected in the whole population every 1 thousand hours, which is less than 6 weeks if operated 24x7.

Only someone very ignorant thinks that it means the "average" drive "should" last 1 million hours. The design life may be 5 years. MTBF only applies for the duration of the design life.

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Robo-supercar hype biz Faraday Future has invented something – a new word for 'disrupt'

fnj

Re: Yeah right...

F1 cars are not geared for 0-60. This thing is right in the same range as a typical F1 car (2.1-2.7 seconds).

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fnj

Re: What is truly disrupting...

It carries the tiresome and stupid trend toward rolling pillboxes with gun slits instead of windows to an extreme. Give me a BMW 2002 or an Audi 5000 any day.

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Ruh-roh! Rick Ruhl rolled out of Ham Radio Deluxe in software kill-switch aftermath

fnj

Re: Read his apology carefully, folks.

Seriously, did you mean to say that? He claims his diabetes was caused by him making a threatening phone call? Are you sure you didn't word that backwards?

"Blame X on Y" means X was caused by Y, not Y was caused by X.

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Say bye-bye to net neutrality next year, gloats FCC commish Pai

fnj

Pai?

I've watched Kill Bill, and that doesn't look like Pai Mei. Where's the long white beard? They must have the name wrong.

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fnj

Re: " "give him a chance" to change to "Give him the F***ing Boot" "

dark suites

"Suites", LOL.

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HMS Queen Lizzie to carry American jets and sail in support of US foreign policy

fnj

Re: Bad idea

[HMS Hood] cost just about as many lives as a sunk modern carrier

When virtually the entire complement of HMS Hood went down with the ship, that was only about 1400, not much more than a US heavy cruiser. A Nimitz class aircraft carrier carries over 5000, and even a WW II Essex class carried over 3000.

If we ever lose a Nimitz, that could more than equal the entire US death toll of the Normandy landings in the blink of an eye.

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fnj

we surrendered HK

The UK surrendered HK 9600 km away, but the US surrendered the Canal Zone 1900 km away, and many US ports are run by foreign organizations.

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Why your gigabit broadband lags like hell – blame Intel's chipset

fnj

Re: From the original article

[Expletive deleted] Whining about windows 10

I choose not to match your rudeness, but jeeze, did it ever occur to you that there is a REASON everybody hates it? I knew enough never to touch Windows at all after 7, and damn little after XP. I have been almost 100% Windows-free for over a decade, having jumped into Linux beginning 22 years ago, and do not miss any part of it.

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fnj

Lucked out

Just recently purchased an SB6183 to replace an ancient obsolescent D-Link DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem. Sure looks like I dodged a bullet this time!

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USS Zumwalt gets Panama tug job after yet another breakdown

fnj

Re: Welllllll. A B2 was something like a $Bn and this is much larger so by military standards

I always questioned the vast cost of modern weapons. A B-17 cost about $250,000 in WW II, which inflates to approximately $3.4 million today. Manpower costs and losses aside, which do you think would do a better job of pounding jihadis, one B-2 with 18,000 kg of bombs for $1 billion, or 294 B-17s with 294,000 kg of bombs for the same price? Even against a first-class military opponent, I think the 294 would have a better chance of at least some of them reaching and damaging the target than I give the single B-2. Or take the P-51 at $50,000, inflated to $700,000. Compare 143 P-51s to one F-35 at $100 million. My money's on the 143 in a dogfight. The F-35 would run out of ammo long before it could shoot them all down.

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fnj

UK electric drive warships have had their share of problems, and the same is true of just about anything cutting edge and clever, civil or military.

Correct, but electric drive is hardly new. Turboelectric drive was routine in the 1920s. Colorado, New Mexico, and Tennessee class battleships, USS Langley and the Lexington class aircraft carriers. In WW II, 102 Buckley class destroyer escorts, 25 T2 class oilers, and close to all of the US submarines. Many ships of other nations, including ocean liners. It was a very reliable technology right from the beginning.

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NASA sets fire to stuff in SPAAACE. On purpose. Because science

fnj

Re: How does this work?

I'd assume that the air in a human habitable module would be constantly blown around to stop the 'nauts from suffocating on their own CO2.

Not necessarily. Nothing could STOP the CO2 from diffusing into the atmosphere. Same principle as an airship. Air inevitably leaks into the gas container, but it doesn't settle on the bottom. The whole contents become contaminated and have to purified.

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Irish eyes are crying: Tens of thousands of broadband modems wide open to hijacking

fnj

NEVER trust an ISP-controlled firewall/router

Happy horse-pukky like this is the reason I have my own SEPARATE cable modem and firewall/router (a Sonicwall). If my ISP would not allow me to use my own cable modem and foisted their own modem/router on me, I would still put my own firewall/router in series with it. I wouldn't be happy, but at least I would still be reasonably secure.

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Lenovo intros monster disk box

fnj

... or ZFSonLinux

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Britain must send its F-35s to Italy for heavy overhauls, decrees US

fnj

Re: Look on the bright side

I wonder if traps could be added and the Eurofighter modified to take off from a ramp?

No to both of those. Well, that is, anything is POSSIBLE, but it would be just as cheap to design a new STOL. What REALLY ought to be done is build more Harriers. If the tooling and plans have all been destroyed by criminal idiots, reverse-engineer the things. I'm not kidding. It worked for Stalin when he had the Tu-4 copied from interned B-29s.

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fnj

Re: Widow Maker

So the F16 HAS to be replaced, not a matter of IF, but when.

Why? No, I'm serious; why? Much, much older B-52s are still flying and will be for a long, long time to come. So are DC-3s. Heck, there are still two B-24s and assorted other WW II warbirds that are flying. If wing spars and other pieces do fatigue, you just replace the pieces.

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Trump's torture support could mean the end of GCHQ-NSA relationship

fnj

Are you referring to that thing that has now been investigated no less than TEN TIMES without finding anything that is legally actionable?

Some of us believe that action was taken by the American people on November 8. Kind of like the British people taking their own action with the Brexit vote.

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Kotkin: Why Trump won

fnj

It's not "why", it's "how"

First, let's remember that Trump appears to have LOST the popular vote by a slight margin (counting is not yet 100% complete). Given that a Presidential election depends on the summation of the results in the various States, Trump's win resulted from nothing more than a series of razor-thin margins, many of them so close as to be statistical dead heats. Reading anything more into it than that the country is exactly 50-50 split along ideological lines would be folly.

Finally, the fact is that he HASN'T won UNTIL the electors chosen to the Electoral College have their individual meetings in their respective States on December 19, cast their actual votes, the results are transmitted to the President of the Senate and certain other authorities by December 28, and a joint session of Congress meets January 6 to count the electoral votes and certify the results.

How many US citizens (let alone people in the world) actually understand this process?

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Laziness and hate drove me to invent my storage engine concept, says MariaDB's CTO

fnj

Going public???

How can an open source project GO PUBLIC?

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Intel punches out data centre flash cardlet

fnj

Junk

Complete lack of data protection means this is garbage. A useless toy.

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Samsung are amateurs – NASA shows how you really do a battery fire

fnj

Re: Only 96 batteries

it's a very bad idea to use water on a lithium fire

Yes, burning lithium METAL cannot be extinguished with water. No, lithium ION batteries do not contain lithium METAL (or, pedantically, only minute quantities in free form). Water is fine and effective in sufficient quantities. The FAA tells flight attendants to use water or carbonated beverage on lithium ion battery fires.

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Actually, yes, Samsung, you do have to pay Apple $120m

fnj

An idle fantasy

This is just an idle fantasy, but exactly what could the court do if Samsung said "hell no, we ain't payin, so shaddup".

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UK will build new nuclear bomb subs, says Defence Secretary

fnj

Re: Shouldn't the new names all start with a "W"?

Excuse me for veering off course a bit, but when did Boadicea get bowdlerized into Boudicea? When I learned it in the, ahem, 1950s it was always spelled Boadicea (and pronounced bow-a-di-see-a). Next thing I expect to be told "veni, vidi, vici" is to be lisped as "weni, widi, wici" and "Caesar" is not "see-zer" but "kigh-zer".

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FCC death vote looms for the Golden Age of American TV

fnj

Golden age my foot

As a USAian, color me thunderstruck. I find USA commercial TV to be a vast wasteland. OTOH I am awestruck by some of the UK productions: Endeavor, Wallander, Luther, Wolf Hall, Inspector Morse, Sherlock, Churchill's Secret.

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UK copyright troll weeps, starts 20-week stretch in the cooler for beating up Uber driver

fnj

Foul psychopathic behavior

I side with those aghast at the light sentence. Kicking someone in the head while they are at your mercy is ATTEMPTED HOMICIDE; probably attempted murder, considering this low-life initiated violence in response to an innocuous situation.

Only in cartoons can you kick people in the head or slug them on the crown with the butt of a handgun and assume the result is going to be only a headache. In real life these are actions with likely lethal or maiming (fractured neck) results.

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It's OK for the FBI's fake hacks to hack suspects' PCs, says DoJ watchdog

fnj

Always watch the watchers

So who is going to bring the "justice" [snicker] department to justice?

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VW Dieselgate engineer sings like a canary: Entire design team was in on it – not just a few bad apples, allegedly

fnj

Re: Disgusted

Actually, it was acid rain from particulates in the 70's that drove the US/Congress to gas (or petrol) engines over diesel engines.

No it wasn't. First, Congress had nothing to do with air quality regulation, beyond setting up the EPA, an independent authority. Second, US automobiles were 100% gasoline powered from way before the EPA. Third, acid rain is exacerbated by all combustion which liberates SO2 and NOX - not specifically or especially diesel engines. It is true that diesel fuel in the US (which was and continues to be used by locomotives, trucks, off-road vehicles, and a few imported cars sch as Mercedes and later VW) had a shockingly high sulfur content, but that wasn't rectified until 2006, when it was lowered to significantly below the level mandated for gasoline.

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fnj

Re: It seem to me

It is not the tesla owners fault the power plants currently are coal

They aren't; or more precisely, more are non-coal than coal. Worldwide, 39% of all electricity is generated by burning coal; 22% gas; 5% oil; and 35% hydro, nuclear, and "other". In Europe, coal is only 25%. In North America, 33%.

[2014 figures] chart

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fnj

Re: It seem to me

@Alan Brown:

Some of the proposed new standards are impossible for petrol engines to meet too.

The green mania is a fetish. It's not about a reasoned tradeoff. It's gone way beyond that. You couldn't have the industrial revolution if you started now. No part of it. We would be limited to hunting and trapping and picking berries, warming ourselves over open fires, the lucky ones having caves. Disease would be so rampant that life expectancy would be about 25.

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US Marine Corps to fly F-35s from HMS Queen Lizzie as UK won't have enough jets

fnj

Re: it's Pearl Harbor

American place, English language, English spelling.

I don't think so. The country on whose territory a place is mapped gets to name the place. Look, I think the American shortening "ou" to "o" was stupid, just like I think the inability of the British to pronounce their "r"s is stupid, but these are not windmills at which I spend much of my energy tilting.

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fnj

Re: They should save time...

There's another, much bigger problem with the UK building Nimitz class carriers. The UK doesn't have any dock big enough to accommodate one. Nor any experience with building or manning 260,000 hp mobile nuclear steam power plants. And before you suggest modifying one for an oil-fired steam power plant, they don't have any experience with those on a 260,000 hp scale either. Not to mention, the manning requirements would be prodigious. Without steam, you've got no steam catapults.

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fnj

Re: it's Pearl Harbor

American film, Rubbish film

You want a crackerjack WWII naval film, watch Tora! Tora! Tora!. Midway wasn't half bad, either.

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Forget Khan and Klingons, Star Trek's greatest trick was simply surviving

fnj

My paean to the greatest joys in my life

I agree with all the fond rememberings of E. E. Doc Smith's Skylark works; also all of Murray Leinster's Med Ship and other stuff. To that I would also like to nominate Keith Laumer and Rosel George Brown's incomparable Earthblood - the single work, of all fiction and non-fiction, which had the greatest impact on my soul. Reading that epic as a teen was my piece of heaven. Laumer's Retief yarns in all their profusion also gave me wonderful times.

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fnj

Re: Huh?

@Danny 14:

I would guess that the bulk of people who watched ST and TNG were at least some part nerdy and watched partly for the "science" of it.

Even in 1966 I knew there was no such thing as "warp drive", and it was patently obvious that there never would be. Yeah, I dug the gadgetry, but what made my heart fairly burst with deep identification was Jean-Luc Picard's humanity and professionalism, and Commander Data's curious spirit and thirst for knowledge.

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fnj

Re: that really gave Star Trek muscle was, in a word: science.

@Mage:

ST TNG was even less scientific.

ST TOS was simple golly gee whiz kid's adventure with plenty of militarism. ST TNG was about social development, understanding, humility, and human (and non-human!) performance, leadership, and sacrifice. As such it stands up very well in the company of such towering works as Command Decision and Twelve O'Clock High (both the movie and the series).

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Linus Torvalds won't apply 'sh*t-for-brains stupid patch'

fnj

Re: I expect my manager to give me all kinds of shit if I f**k-up

@oldcoder:

Abuse is perfectly fine when you need to get the persons attention.

No it isn't. Abuse is NEVER acceptable. If one thinks that is the only or best way to get their attention, then one needs character development oneself. It is the mark of someone with poor people skills and no regard for the reason good manners have developed since the days of cave men. I don't mean everything has to be a negotiation. I mean you respectfully inform people when they make damaging mistakes, and work with them to become better. That helps both them AND YOU, and avoids provoking resentment and antipathy, which is NEVER a desirable outcome.

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

fnj

Re: At 500 kb/s

@Loyal Commenter:

That is going to take 6 days, 5 hours, 7 minutes and 50.912 seconds to write a 32Gb flash disk. I can see how that might be problematic.

Yep. You're the only one who noticed this painfully obvious fact. This piece of crap makes an ancient USB 1 (remember that?) port running at 1.5 Mb LOW SPEED seem like a speed demon! It's not much faster than a freakin' SERIAL port running at 115,200 baud.

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Watch the world's biggest 'flying bum' go arse over tit in a crash

fnj

@cray74:

Well, all neon is produced by fractional distillation of atmospheric air. However, it costs $330/kg. The volumetric concentration of helium in the atmosphere, however, is less than one third that of neon, so it would be extremely expensive to produce using this method. Logic would suggest at least $3000/kg (the density being 1/3 as much as neon in addition to the concentration being 1/3 as much).

Right now, helium extracted from natural gas costs only in the general neighborhood of $20-30/kg.

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fnj

Re: Certainly looks like a stall...

@LeeE:

I doubt that the fans are that restricted in their vectoring limits

I believe (and this info is very difficult to pin down) the forward propulsors are limited in swivelling to +-20 degrees. But additional thrust vectoring is available through using the movable vanes in the propwash. It's very difficult to impossible to judge the final vector direction by inspection.

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fnj

Airship vs fixed wing "It`s an entirely different type of flying altogether"

Not exactly entirely different. The physical realities governing airship flight are a superset of those governing fixed-wing flight. Both have aerodynamic influences following the same physics, and to these the airship adds aerostatic influences.

Both can blunder into the ground.

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Russia is planning to use airships as part of a $240bn transport project

fnj

Re: Helium supply

@Maje:

Weather (wind) is the biggest issue for airships, this is what destroyed the ingenious USA airship based aircraft carriers.

One of them flew into the ocean for unknown reasons. A prominent theory is that their altimeter was grossly out of calibration, they found themselves suddenly approaching the looming surface in stormy night conditions, and they dipped their stern into the water at speed by applying hard up elevator.

Controlled flight into terrain is still a recurring problem in HTA flight after all these years and experience.

The other one was lost due to a structural flaw which they knew about and were IGNORING. Not simple vulnerability to "wind".

Funny, Graf Zeppelin flew over 1.7 million km in 9 years, encountering severe weather on many occasions, including a violent hailstorm, but never displayed any structural or flight endangerment due to weather. The sole exception was a single incident on her first crossing where some fabric ripped when she was mishandled penetrating a severe wather front.

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fnj

"using cheaper-than-plane airships"

Oopsie. Big boo-boo right there. The Zeppelin NT, with a passenger capacity of 12, costs about $20 million each. A Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX, with a passenger capacity of 13, costs about $2 million.

The Zeppelin has a range of 900 km at 115 km/h on 447 kW. The Cessna, 1996 km at 343 km/h on 647 kW.

The $40 million Airlander 10 is not believed to have any passenger facilities at all. A developed production version due in 2018 is touted as having 19 seats.

Maintenance costs are enormous for airships and far outweigh the fuel costs. And they have to be tended all the time while parked on the ground.

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