* Posts by AdamT

366 posts • joined 7 Sep 2010

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WhitTVman to head mobile-first media platform

AdamT

Well, I think she'll fit right in based on an observation I made in a previous comment thread:

Having read some of the various claim/counter-claim documents in the HP vs. Autonomy spat I still can't get over the description of the high level "Executive Committee" meetings: "Ms Whitman ... repeatedly adopted the management approach of ... playing country music to the meeting instructing the senior executives attending to take the meaning of the country music songs and apply them to their own management methods".

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WikiLeave? Assange tipped for Ecuadorian eviction

AdamT

Re: He may regret waiting

OK, I'm confused. I thought it was generally accepted now that Wikileaks had selectively leaked information to damage the Democrat campaign and and held onto stuff that might have damaged the Trump/Republican campaign. In which case wouldn't they be rather pleased with him?

Or is this one of those "yes, he helped us but we still don't like him and he probably can't help us any more (especially as the Mueller investigation is uncovering more stuff than Wikileaks held on to)" situations?

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Mystery surrounds fate of secret satellite slung by SpaceX

AdamT

Re: the 45th Space Wing?

So cray74 is not necessarily the 74th cray then? Is that what you are saying?

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Bigmouth ex-coppers who fed media MP pr0nz story face privacy probe

AdamT

Just an ICO probe?!

I don't get why he isn't facing something more serious than an ICO probe.

This article from the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-42151148) quotes him admitting that he took home evidence: "... Mr Lewis said the only police notebook he took with him was the one he had used during Operation Miser. The notebook, seen by the BBC ..."

I think police notebooks have a higher evidential status than something that you or I might have written so the idea that he could just walk out with it when he retired is pretty shocking (to me at least).

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Pastry in a manger: We're soz, Greggs man said

AdamT

Re: Jesus backwards

That's nearly as good as when someone just pointed out to me that "Maximus Decimus Meridius" is sort of Latin for "High Five"...

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Donald Trump's tweets: Are they presidential statements or not?

AdamT

Re: 21st Century Schizoid Man

Much as it hurts to say this, I think that might be a bit unfair. As the article says:

"The Department of Justice is right now doing what all defendants in lawsuits attempt to do: argue whatever points they think will make it most likely that the lawsuit will be dismissed before it gets to trial or judicial decision."

This might then be more of a criticism of the US legal system where much seems to be decided before anything gets to court and becomes concrete and public (c.f. the recent revelations about how many probably-criminal harassment cases are settled out-of-court where, conveniently, severe gagging conditions can be imposed). During this pre-court phase it seems that you can make any argument that you think might stick as long as it doesn't directly contradict existing legislation or court decision. That could well be why the two organisations bringing the court cases are so keen to get a court decision and the DoJ is pushing so hard not to get one...

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AdamT

Re: legally entitled to block accounts

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think it works like that. An impediment has been put in place against specific individuals from reading statements made by @realDonaldTrump feed. The fact that the impediment is fairly easy to work around probably isn't that relevant to the legal argument.

I'm wary of trying to make an analogy but if someone steals your bike they can't use the argument "but it was a really rubbish lock and really easy to pick" because the principle is that you had asserted your control/ownership of the bike and your intent that it should remain where you left it by using a lock, no matter how bad it was.

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Google's phone woes: The Pixel and the damage done

AdamT

Re: Updates

With the caveat that I really don't do much research into phones beyond reading El Reg, I have indeed mostly fixated on the Nexus series because of the frequent security updates. I genuinely don't understand why this isn't a bigger issue for more people - I can't imagine the frustration of reading about a zero-day exploit on El Reg, that is being used in the wild and then having to wait for the phone manufacturer to pick up and release the fix. If they even bother, given it is in their interest to try and "persuade" you to buy the latest one which coincidentally already has the fix...

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You forgot that you hired me and now you're saying it's my fault?

AdamT

Re: Meeting room naming

@DB - Indeed I have done that but the room naming contest got suspended for the suspicious reason that they wanted to refurbish the entire building instead - which I felt was a bit of an extreme way of stopping me winning. I did get a box of chocolates instead though.

(I'm allergic to chocolate)

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Farewell Cassini! NASA's Saturnian spacecraft waves goodbye for its Grand Finale

AdamT

Re: FTA: "The shuttle was to point its antennas..."

Well, it did carry (or "shuttle", if you like) another probe all the way there too...

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SpaceX releases Pythonesque video of rocket failures

AdamT

Re: The best one there was

I'm with detritus. Loved that book!

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AdamT

If you like "Ignition!" you might also enjoy this summary blogpost about Chlorine Trifluoride (which duly references the book): "Sand won't save you this time" ( http://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2008/02/26/sand_wont_save_you_this_time ). Yes, it's relevant as it has been tested as a possible rocket fuel...

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One thought equivalent to less than a single proton in mass

AdamT

Re: Confused units

oh, less than 12 I'd guess.

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SpaceX nails two launches and barge landings in one weekend

AdamT

Re: Things are getting interesting

Is it just the physical vibrations? I was also wondering if there could be ionisation in the rocket exhaust that could mess up radio signals?

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AdamT

Re: Even old curmudgeons are happy!

That's a little bit harsh on the "sub-orbital lob" companies. Yes, a lot of the money will be from tourists but there are (or were - they have been a bit quiet lately!) a few companies (including VG) who were planning science-only jaunts. Apparently there is a surprising amount of zero-g science you can get done in a few minutes. Even though the time is short, for the same money that you would spend on launch to ISS, or whatever, you can get a _lot_ of 6 minute sessions and you can sit right next to your experiment so the apparatus can be a lot simpler.

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AdamT

Re: Grid fins

Actually on fire? Or really, _really_ "toasty"?

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Tesla, Atlassian told to go through front door in effort to save Australian industrial civilisation

AdamT

Re: 100 days from contract signature

Well, this project isn't rocket science and they've done it before:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/30/business/energy-environment/battery-storage-tesla-california.html

"Manufactured, shipped, installed and readied for operation in roughly three months ..."

1
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Dyson backs Britain plc with $2.5bn AI and robotics investment

AdamT

Re: The best bit...

I think he (and his company) also pay rather a lot of tax in the UK too according to this report in the Indy (albeit a few years old): http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/the-billionaires-who-do-pay-their-bills-including-james-dyson-and-jk-rowling-7873607.html

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Annoyingly precocious teen who ruined Trek is now an asteroid

AdamT

Re: I like Will wheaton but wesley...

You might also like John Scalzi (sci fi author) performing a skit with WW on that very subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zz5S2x_tJ70

It's from his "Redshirts" book promotion tour (the book loosely being a Trek parody) and, if I recall correctly, WW was reading his part live so didn't know where it was going ...

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AdamT

Re: Blame the EU?

You should also hunt down the episode of "The Nerdist" podcast where they interview Patrick Stewart and he ends up doing the opening intro and various of Picard's stock phrases in a French accent. He also alleges that there is a tape somewhere in the vaults of Paramount where they did if for real at the time before deciding that it really wasn't going to work...

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Blockchain: A digital 'golden section' that's the 'gestalt of its pieces'

AdamT

To infinity?

Pretty sure bitcoins can only be divided down to a "satoshi". Even if they extend the protocol to allow finer division (isn't protocol extension really tricky though? Didn't a previous attempt cause fairly major problems?) then I'm still fairly confident that they can't be "...subdivided to infinity". 'cos, you know, "maths" and "precision" and "finite number of bits to represent your currency units", etc., etc.

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Mr Angry pays taxman with five wheelbarrows worth of loose change

AdamT

Re: Legal Tender ? Debt?

Hmm, quick bit of <search-engine-of-choice>ing suggests I'm wrong. Still, I think the "don't be a dick" philosophy is still good and you can surely enjoy the funny story?

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AdamT

Legal Tender ? Debt?

So, this may not at all be correct but, I was under the impression that "paying for stuff in a shop" is different from "settling a debt".

When you stand at the till and they say "that'll be £11.63 please" then there are limits on what they are required to accept (which, as noted in comments above, are actually surprisingly small so often bigger shops will be more lenient) so you can't give them 1163 pennies and then shout "you're discriminating against me" or whatever if they refuse. This isn't "settling a debt" because you don't owe anything because they haven't given you the goods yet.

But in a restaurant, for example, you are "settling a debt" because at the end of the meal they have given you the goods and so you do now owe them recompense for that. I and thought, perhaps wrongly, that there was a different set of rules about what they were required to accept in payment of that debt. i.e. that they can't refuse to accept because you want to pay a £5.10 bill with 51x10p, for example, because it is actual money of the correct amount and you are legitimately attempting to settle the debt.

Of course all of this is covered by the general observation that life would be so much easier if everyone on both sides of these transactions just resolved to "not be a dick about things".

Which reminds me of the time I donated several years (and Kgs) collection of coppers to the work charity collection and said "You do have one of those coin counting machines don't you?" to which the response was "Yes. But's it's broken. But that's OK because we've got an intern!".

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How the NYE leap second clocked Cloudflare – and how a single character fixed it

AdamT

Re: the code was updated to check if rttMAX was equal to or less than zero

I think the point is that the "implementation" of their UTC functions just doesn't know about leap seconds so all you can do is externally set it back by a second at some point. i.e. the now() function can't ever report "23:59:58", "23:59:59", "23:59:60", "00:00:00", which is what it should do in a leap second. So the only option that they have is to "manually" knock back the time counter so you repeat a second as reported by the now() function. Having done that there is a risk that if you make two requests less than an actual second apart and the knock back occurs between the two, then you will get a negative value.

Hence Google's approach of just smearing the second out over a day or so by making multiple tiny adjustments such that you can guarantee that the smallest interval between now() requests will always still result in a positive number.

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Joe Public likes drones and regulations, finds UK.gov 'public dialogue'

AdamT

Re: Another great government survey

As usual, "Yes, Minister" got there first with the "would you support compulsory military service" questionnaire episode. Just got to find a link...

Ah, here we go: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086831/quotes

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Privacy is theft! Dave Eggers' big-screen takedown of Google and Facebook emerges

AdamT

Black Mirror

Didn't Charlie Brooker already do this in one of his "Black Mirror" episodes?

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Whiffy kitchen after last night's chips? Clear the air with SPACE PLASMA

AdamT

Wait, what?

Running the fumes through the current filters produces ozone but using a high voltage spark won't? I thought high voltage spark was the very definition of how to produce ozone!

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Chap turns busted laptop into phone keyboard, in Himalayan book-rescue mission

AdamT

Not quite as hardcore but...

... I do recall back in the 90's being asked to install Windows 95 Japanese (*) on a laptop. It took me several goes to get it right (I think I had to install regular 95 first then install the Japanese version on top) so I had to ask the user to draw out all the kanji characters for the install wizard questions/answers.

(*) not just a "language pack add on" kind of thing, but a complete "everything is translated" version where the only English text was for trademarks/names/etc.

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Chinese 'nauts blast off for month-long space station scouting mission

AdamT

@esme - well official UK government policy is that our space programme is strictly an unmanned one. So we're just not in that race at all (rightly or wrongly - discuss!)

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Blighty's telly, radio watchdog Ofcom does a swear

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Hololens for biz shocker: Surprisingly, it doesn't totally suck

AdamT

Re: "evaluating the insurance risks for buildings"

My reading of the article was that the inspector from the insurance company would be wearing the kit. He then just wanders around and, if he's been there before, just need to "look" at everything necessary. Possibly taking a few close-ups of fire-extinguishers, etc. to see serial numbers or whatever. Then, if it all works correctly, doesn't then need to spend hours/days going through his notes, working out where each photo was taken, cross checking every serial number with a test certificate, etc.

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Kaspersky to 1337 haxors: take down our power grid. We dare you

AdamT

Old news

I saw this done in a documentary once: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PxTAn4g20U

1
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Uber and Volvo take on Ford in race to launch self-driving vehicles

AdamT

So...

...given the recent announcement from Tesla about their truck plans, their undeniable speed of getting stuff actually on the road (notwithstanding their tendency to miss their overly ambitious targets) and the fact that they already have more real-world "autopilot" experience than anyone else - doesn't this mean that the first issue Volvo/Uber/Ford will face when they eventually hit the road is trying to merge into a continuous stream of TeslaTrucks ?

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Viscous liquid oozing down the walls? You must have hives

AdamT
Coat

But no-one said:

"It had to be seen to be Bee-lieved" !?

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Idiot flies drone alongside Flybe jet landing at Newquay Airport

AdamT

Re: Risk?

Bizarrely, I've done exactly the same in almost the same place. My pigeon swooped out the trees from the side and hit right in front of my face on the windscreen - it was loud and I totally flinched! But was quite proud of myself that I didn't swerve or do anything disastrous. The cloud of feathers was impressive ...

3
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NASA test foiled by rocket shaking power cord loose from camera

AdamT

Re: What it shows

It's almost like he heard you ....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKqY8sy3nkM (went up a day or so ago)

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AdamT

Shaky!

Does anyone know how to run a youtube video through some kind of de-shaking post processing? The rocket should be a nice stable point of reference...

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Violence, vandals and vomit: London's naughtiest tech Tube stations revealed

AdamT

Re: SPADs, TDFs, what a cornucopia for disaster

@TRT - yes, that's when the article was from. They were doing authorised SPADs but discovered that, at low speeds, the automatic brakes were not triggered (because of the string/rope thing). Cue much tabloid hysteria about the tube trains failing because of the wrong sort of string...

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AdamT

Re: SPADs, TDFs, what a cornucopia for disaster

Not sure if this is relevant but I recall an article from a few years ago that actually explained that many SPADs are when there has been some other signalling fault and the line controller authorises the driver to proceed across a red light over the radio. This still triggers the emergency brakes and is still recorded as a SPAD but is actually part of a defined procedure to avoid shutting the line down for every single little failure (i.e. not dangerous and not some driver just piling through a red light at 30mph because he wasn't looking). You know if you've been on a train that's done this because you'll crawl slowly out the station, suddenly stop, pause for a few seconds and then accelerate off as normal.

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The developer died 14 years ago, here's a print out of his source code

AdamT

Re: Portrayal of computer tech guys in films/tv.

Allegedly there was a similar problem in the legal system with juries having watched too much CSI and asking why they couldn't have the grainy CCTV footage "enhanced", etc.

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Perlan 2: The glider that will slip the surly bonds of Earth – and touch the edge of space

AdamT

Looks like ...

Have to admit my first thought on seeing the picture was that it was a Burt Rutan / Scaled Composites design (the people doing the Virgin Galactic craft, amongst other things) and that it was interesting that Airbus would be working with them. But turns out it's not. I guess small round windows is the only feasible choice so they all end up looking a bit similar?

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Chatbot lawyer shreds $2.5m in parking tickets

AdamT

Re: A small omission?

"Some people will game the system of course by betting that the cost of them processing your dispute will be more than the fine is worth"

Arguably the council has already done this to you with the discount offer: "you owe us X for this alleged infringement but if you just pay up quietly within 21 days we will generously reduce it to X/2"

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Singapore Airlines 777 catches fire after engine alarm

AdamT

Re: camera phones

in some situations it is deemed safer to remain on the plane. Most extreme example of this being Qantas 32 (the A380 that lost an engine eplosively). I think the passengers sat on the plane for 3 hours whilst one of the other engines was put out. Obviously they were ready to evacuate the whole time but the pilot's view was that the outside contained a burning engine, hot brakes and a major fuel leak, and until that situation changed, inside was safer.

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Sliced your submarine cable? Fill in this paperwork

AdamT

Re: Notification...

well, given that the contents of that cable could be at around 9kV I'm guessing that a number of paper-work inducing events will ensue...

But, I agree, this new "FCC Outage Report" will probably be the least of them.

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Happy Mappiversary, Ordnance Survey

AdamT

well, hence the name _Ordnance_ Survey. Meaning either artillery or military planning/logistics.

1
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Microsoft cancels Remain speech after death of Labour MP

AdamT
Unhappy

Re: Shitstorm V2

I have no particular objection to a company saying to its workforce "this is what we believe the consequences of the two outcomes will be both for the company itself and you as as member of staff" - and then backing it up with some actual facts, actual reasoned arguments and clarification of which bits were opinion, company policy, etc. (*)

Of course I'd like the same from the wider debate too, so clearly I'm an eternal optimist due to live forever in a state of disappointment.

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FAA to test Brit drone-busting kit

AdamT

Well, quite. And also, if my drone could use wifi, 4g, 3g, etc. could it really block all those? Or some sort of custom telemetry on some random frequency? If I'm planning something nefarious with a drone then I'm probably not going to be too scared of OFCOM turning up to complain weakly at the unlicensed spectrum use ...

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ISS pump-up space podule fully engorged

AdamT

Actually I'm not sure that a "The Martian" style Hab material needs to be quite as tough. Pressure differentials about the same but even Mars' thin atmosphere is enough to stop the kind of micrometeorites and so forth that the ISS has to worry about...

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AdamT

Re: Hope he's not a smoker

i was watching the first attempt on NASA TV and he was being told to inflate it in one second bursts. It did seem to me that his definition of "one second" was somewhat quick and evidently mission control thought so too because the fourth or fifth "go" command contained the addendum " ... and make it a generous second".

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First successful Hyperloop test module hits 100mph in four seconds

AdamT

Re: The key question

Well, it's not just about the cost of the power. It's also about the cost of the infrastructure necessary to deliver that power such that it can be consumed at any point along the route. Point of Hyperloop being that (a) less power is needed, and (b) it only needs to be delivered at a few key points on the route.

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