* Posts by Andy The Hat

855 posts • joined 21 Oct 2010


The Iceman cometh, his smartwatch told the cops: Hitman jailed after gizmo links him to Brit gangland slayings

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: "grassing" in British English or "snitching"

No, a super grass is the person who made the phone call to the coppers ...

"Good afternoon officer. One is speaking to one. A gentleman called Phileeep, who I do not know at all, has just taken one's Range Rover for a jolly jaunt on one's highway and the silly oaf has failed to put one's seat belt on. One is making this report anonymously on the telephonic apparatus such that one's crown will not cause one to be recognised by a member of one's Police Force as one does not wish to be known for the rest of one's life as a grass. Charles - of whom I have no knowledge - would never let it lie, unless of course one abdicated.'

Western Digital deploys heatsink on remodelled M.2 to tempt gamers

Andy The Hat Silver badge


I think this link refutes the 'heat is good' for long term storage at least http://www.ni.com/white-paper/54864/en/

The lighter side of HMRC: We want your money, but we also want to make you laugh

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: so what borderline things will you be claiming for this year?

So much hassle, so much time, so much financial outlay! Why take the risk? Apply for the Brexit contract and, if you get it, charge the setting up of the company into the contract, you could probably even claim it against tax as a business expense ... Seems just as legit as a no shipping shipping company or a no government Government.

RIP 2019-2019: The first plant to grow on the Moon? Yeah, it's dead already, Chinese admit

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Today we're growing tatties and neaps to demonstrate the uptake of Helium-3 by plants on the marginally-more-hostile-than-Aberdeen environment of the moon. Today's temperature is a touch fresh at -120C so frost may be a wee problem and germination may be slow but luckily there's no chance of windchill to undermine my sporran. ...

China's really cotton'd on to this whole Moon exploration thing: First seed sprouts in lunar lander biosphere

Andy The Hat Silver badge

I would like to see the aims of the experiment.

I don't quite see where the experiment takes knowledge beyond current understanding.

Germination and growth in a sealed, temperature controlled environment has been shown many times, including increased 'gravity' using slow centrifuges and on the ISS in micro gravity. Issues would be expected to arise when the gravity gets small and the plants get big, and not with the sealed growth environment itself. However gravity is still significant so I would not expect it to be a particular issue on the moon - at least in the early development phases - and, in any event, I don't believe the impact of a lower gravity on long term plant growth can be tested with the Chinese experiment.

What I would suggest is a long term study with the system exposed to properly harsh conditions to simulate dehydration, water logging, freeze/thaw cycles, excess temperature and other harsh extremes - just deliver it to my mum, she'll kill it ...

Huawei's horror show 2019 continues as Taiwanese research institute joins banhammer club

Andy The Hat Silver badge


I have to say at the moment that there's lots of spurious allegations and precious little hard evidence for wrong-doing.

I'd like to seen some facts ...

Andy The Hat Silver badge

"China's government has come to Huawei's aid."

We can assure you that the private company is completely legit as we, the Great Government of China, know nothing about whatever we have done and have nothing to do with the company at all ... If it was true we'd have seen it on our trojan's phone-home logs ...

Huawei sales director nicked in Poland on suspicion of 'spying'

Andy The Hat Silver badge

"The allegations were that Huawei was using its kit to spy on other governments"

And in the process broke Agencja Bezpieczeństwa Wewnętrznego's own spying equipment ...

Would anyone care to spell that phonetically for us hard-of-Polish types please :-)

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: Bye bye.....

I was told in before transfer in 2015/6 that the specific email host address 'belonged to me' and to mitigate the blow of termination of their service they would provide discounted host migration to Namesco - which they did. However I note from Whois that the demon.co.uk domain is still registered to Vodafone (not namesco) and is due for renewal in May ... anyone's guess what happens then.

Hubble 'scope camera breaks down amid US govt shutdown, forcing boffins to fix it for free

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: the Eagle Nebula dubbed the Pillars of Creation

... next time I have an X-ray I'll insist on looking at a real image that I can't see rather than an artist's impression of x-rays shifted into the visible spectrum of what my bits look like ...

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: the Eagle Nebula dubbed the Pillars of Creation

... and the government is run by space ferrets in league with the lizards too I suppose?

Cambridge Analytica sister firm pleads guilty, fined £21k for failing to obey UK information commish

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Obvious twist

Option 1) you can grant access to all the data by giving passwords to the ICO and not get a pesky £20k fine

Option 2) you can take the £20k fine on the chin and keep all the data under wraps which, if divulged, may subsequently cost multiple millions in fines and lawsuits

Decisions, decisions ...

Chinese rover pootles about... on the far side of the friggin' MOON

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Therein lies the problem - the bean counter agreed to this idea on the basis that we "do our own LUNCHES". The only thing launched would the the crusts off the cucumber sandwiches towards the local MP's duck palace on the moat ...

Before dipping a toe in the new ThinkPad high-end, make sure your desk is compatible

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: Bah

Give me a chassis 2mm thicker, an extra 100g of weight and a couple of hour's extra battery life any day ...

New Horizons snaps finish buffering: Ultima Thule actually two dust bunnies that got snuggly 4.5 billion years ago

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Courtesy of wikipedia

Thule (/ˈθjuːliː/ THEW-lee[1] Greek: Θούλη Thoúlē, Latin: Thūlē)

It's not damn "Tooley" or "Tool", it's Thooley! Repeat after me "Th ... Th ...Th ..." Why can't those Yanks learn to speak English ... err.... Greek?

More nodding dogs green-light terrible UK.gov pr0n age verification plans

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Slippery slope

In China they have the Great Firewall. Perhaps this is simply Her Bitchness's the May's next step towards the Great Brexit Wall Off ... Lock everything down! Don't let anyone see things my pet, Reesmoggy, wouldn't understand! Sex is not a thing! Dirty foreign smut peddlers showing foreigners doing foreign things! And I now command that HM Government builds and enormous sand pit so stupid MPs who voted for this idiocy can can bury their heads in it ...

Hot on heels of 2.0, Vivaldi 2.2 adds tab session management among other goodies

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Do something radical ...

and just build an Opera 12 interface, customisation, tab handling, customisable ad blocking and everything that was great and original about Opera, onto a modern rendering engine ... I'd be happy. Stop wussing about with 'new features' and just get the old ones working fast and well.

Opera was my browser of choice from the version 6 (paid for version) onwards (which I think was the first "proper" feature rich release) until they ran out of track, hit the buffers and wiped out the station with the fork-up with version 12.x and 23 with "new features" that didn't include all the basic features that Opera users liked ... von Tetzchner can do it, I still have the faith.

If most punters are unlikely to pay more for 5G, why all the rush?

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: Priorities

I agree ... I got a really decent 2G signal last night as I was kneeling in front of the fire ... but bugger If I'm going to do that on a regular basis to have a conversation.

Sorry to tout the current 'drive to the lowest" story from the USA but we need a better general coverage of existing technologies in the UK. Norfolk is a web of not-spots, 3G is a bonus most of the time - hell I can't even have a mobile-connected smart meter and I live less that two miles from the centre of a major town!

As far as us 'non-metroplitans' are concerned, 5G is a pipe dream.

Hole-y ship: ISS 'nauts take a wander to crack Soyuz driller whodunnit

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: Bits of foil

"vacuums work by sucking in air, and dust with it."

No ... vacuums lower the machine's internal air pressure and causes the external air to blow in taking dust into the unit so technically all you have to do is have a largely closed filter/catch bag and a pressurised gas supply to build a space vacuum (blower?) thing.

BTW I published my idea for a space cleaner here first ...

Huawei exec out of jail, just as US accuses China of Marriott hack

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: Note to Ayatollah

It's a short step between 'lifting sanctions' and 'getting a pay off'.

Even shorter between 'have a biggest tower' and 'have an enormous erection'.

Google translate isn't always accurate due to the lack of a "Trump shyte" language setting.

Phew, galactic accident helps boffins explain dark matter riddle

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: Explains the riddle...?

You may be correct that Accuracy and method may be different but one of the earlier investigations was 240 disks not just the one and they did have the accuracy to measure angular velocity at various radii ... I still think there's more work needed to prove the conclusion based on only one observation.

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: Misleading title

... or it's not matter as we know it and it's not dark :-)

It's actually God's finger pushing stuff about :-)

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: Explains the riddle...?

Exactly, isn't this just one aberrant point on the graph - the reading that would normally be regarded as unreliable in a pool of consistency?

Cups of tea are hot. My cup of tea is demonstrably cold. Therefore all cups of tea are cold and all previously measured cups must have been cold...

I would suggest the conclusions as reported are 'excessively optimistic'.

Oxford startup magics up metamaterials for next-gen charging

Andy The Hat Silver badge

I was going to make a similar comment - what is the electrical efficiency of such a system? Charging systems are bad enough as it is without introducing another wholly inefficient coupling system 'just for convenience'.

Thanks to UK peers, coming to a laptop near you in 2019: Age checks for online smut

Andy The Hat Silver badge

It should start off with "When a man loves a woman very much..."

When a man loves a woman ... a man loves a man ... a woman loves a woman ... a man that was a woman loves a man ... a man that was a woman loves a woman ... a man that was a woman loves a woman that was a man ...

Oh sod it kids, find out for yourselves ...

Super Micro says audit found no trace of Chinese spy chips on its boards

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Some sympathy

I feel that this was, as eluded to at the time, an elaborately baited US 'government' hook with the aim of discrediting the use of Chinese made equipment. It probably is fake news but based on believable information from more than one source.

In this situation Bloomberg were damned if they did and damned if they didn't. Fail to report what fifteen (?) individuals have 'corroborated' and pass up a truly massive scoop or report a story that you are now convinced is true as it has been corroborated by fifteen individuals and get shot down because the 'government' smoke screen was so thick that you ended up trusting the web of deceit ...

The obvious loser is SM's reputation who have that nightmare to prove that something that never existed was never fitted to a few of their boards which themselves may not even have existed ...

Doom at 25: The FPS that wowed players, gummed up servers, and enraged admins

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: Graphics

Me too. Even watching Doom over someone's shoulder for a couple of minutes would have the pit of my stomach stirring dangerously for a couple of hours ... Never worked out what it was and never had the issue with similar games.

UK Supreme Court considers whether spy court should be immune to legal probes

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Obvious comment ...

Nothing to fear if you've nothing to hide ...

It is a well known fact that the Government is great, always does what's right for the people, never does anything remotely dodgy and T May and her hench-persons are totally trustworthy. Therefore there needs to be no oversight of 'their' actions as they will always be correct and above board ...

He's not cracked RSA-1024 encryption, he's a very naughty Belarusian ransomware middleman

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: Outsourcing??

Traditionally known as sub-contracting.

Company scams individual, third party sets up to make a load of dosh 'correcting' that wrong by annoying punters, talking to the third party and raking off the cream for doing bugger all. Sounds like a PPI claim company to me, except the Doctor is potentially providing a bitcoin conversion service that average Joe doesn't have ... Morally I don't think they're far apart.

No, you haven't gone deaf – the Large Hadron Collider has been wound down for more upgrades

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Don't tell me, a big stone ring with the apparently liquid surface of a singularity at its centre and a sign saying "Teal'c was 'ere"?

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Explain pleeeese

Simple phrase: "The new linear accelerator will accelerate H− ions, which are later stripped to protons..."

If you strip an electron from mono hydrogen you get H- ... all that's left is a proton isn't it?

Or are they talking about doubly ionised di-hydrogen ie an H2 molecule with both electrons removed (H2)2- which are then separated into 2H-?

European fibre lobby calls for end to fake fibre broadband ads

Andy The Hat Silver badge

The ASA's reasoning was that "fibre" is "seen as one of many generic buzzwords to describe modern, fast broadband" and customers don't care. It would be interesting to see this logic applied to other situations – for example, the ambiguity extended to "meat" products.

More like petrol with 10% bio-ethanol (when they get themselves in gear ...) so, that being the case, my car is bio-ethanol fueled. Does that mean no congestion charge and cheaper tax? In addition, as I had to charge the battery the other day, it's an electric vehicle surely ...?

Tesla autopilot saves driver after he fell asleep at wheel on the freeway

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Am I misreading?

People are ripping Musky to bits but the reports quotes the Muskid:

"Exactly. Default Autopilot behavior, if there’s no driver input, is to slow gradually to a stop & turn on hazard lights. Tesla service then contacts the owner. Looking into what happened here."

Surely the Musky-one's first two sentences explain what should have happened followed by a statement that they're looking into whether it acted correctly or not...

Luckily the reporter's sentence then completely confuses the quote by adding the non-statement "Which is, of course, not what happened.' Did it not take the correct action? Is Musky not looking it to it? Did it take the correct action but wrongly performed it?

Clarification would be good ...

WhamWham, bambam, no thank you, SamSam: Iranians accused by the Feds of orchestrating ransomware outbreak

Andy The Hat Silver badge

The Feds have said ...

"don't process these payments ..."

And exactly how many foreign owned exchanges will give a monkey's left toenail about what the Feds say?

Another example of the USA thinking "Feds: World Police"

It's all a matter of time: Super-chill atomic clock could sniff gravitational waves, dark matter

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: Neat

"Speed of movement (General Relativity) has been tested this way since the late 60's but the actual force of gravity itself is new."

Is it? Time dilation due to variation in gravity has been demonstrated experimentally many times over the last 50 years ... Did they not send an atomic clock to the ISS (or as a Shuttle experiment) to do a weightless comparison some years ago?

If this system is much more sensitive to that variation that may be new, not the experimental concept itself.

Seeing as Bitcoin is going so, so well, Ohio becomes first US state to take biz taxes in BTC

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: What a stupid idea

Unless your turnover is in Bitcoin (unlikely unless you are on the list of activities above) how is it economic to convert your hard-earned into Bitcoin to pay your taxes plus a 1% charge? "No no, my tax bill isn't high enough, have some more ..."

Who will be the first hacker to gain access to a large Bitcoin tax transaction (obviously the Bitcoin will be "just resting" in BitPay's account, they will have nothing to do with it) and funnel it off to lands-unknown? Who would be financially responsible for that loss given that the transaction takes a significant time when, as I understand it, the funds would be in an ownership limbo ...?

Excuses, excuses: Furious MPs probe banking TITSUPs*

Andy The Hat Silver badge

What's now interesting is that you cannot even apply for a current account without access to the internet. Either via branch (they fill in the form), by telephone (they fill in the form) or on the internet directly. I have an elderly relation who needs an account, is not good on the phone and is infirm and already two organisations have refused ... one suggested 'the rules' mean it has to be done 'in person' despite me pointing out that 'by phone' wasn't in person and they then admitting that the generated form is sent by post for customer signature anyway ... doh!

The whole banking system is tied to computer systems to reduce cost and maximise profit NOT for the benefit or security of the customer. It means that if the system/network/power/infrastructure fails at any point there is NO paper alternative ...

What is the purpose of these stress tests other than to show that the banks themselves won't lose out and/or to demonstrate the banks are NOT put in the situation where those with money in the bank have any control over that money (ie if the banks take money they have to actually have a legal duty to give it back which could allow a run on the banks)?

Some say I'm getting cynical ...

NASA has Mars InSight as latest lander due to arrive today

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: Information

Yep, damn metric and proper measurements :-) Even so, at two watts maximum power, unless it's pulsed in some way I can't work out how it can generate enough power to overcome the basic drag from its umbilical let alone dig ...

Andy The Hat Silver badge


Any info out there on how the HP3 'mole' is designed to work?

A small, unguided pipe mole on Earth can hit a stone and reappear at the surface only a few inches away. They're aiming for 15m deep dragging a cable through the spoil-filled hole which, in my experience, would start jamming the cable severely and very quickly making the process at best difficult and at worst stretch and break the data/power cable after 50cm ...

Need geeky mechanical info ...

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: Dusty

Got this damn image of Chrichton dusting solar panels in my head now ... :-)

Analogue radio is the tech that just won't die

Andy The Hat Silver badge

The basic commercial model here is to produce a standard, produce equipment to that standard, attempt/force market saturation, make loads of money and tie the punter in. Change the standard away from the previous equipment, produce equipment ... etc

It's a cynically planned, government led money making scam - much like the smart meter 1/smart meter 2 fiasco.

As soon as any of this says "more choice for the consumer" read "more cost to the consumer for more, lower quality product with more income stream potential" - as in digital tv ...

Word boffins back Rimini Street in Oracle row: 'Full' in 'full costs' is a 'delexicalised adjective'

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Excuse my lack of understanding ...

"In this case, 'full' can no more alter the meaning of 'costs' than it can the meaning of 'moon,' 'speed,' 'time,' 'parking lot,' or 'house'".

Full moon as in not a waxing phase?

Full speed as in not being stuck behind a cyclist?

Full time as in not half time?

Full parking lot as in a parking lot without an illuminated 'NO SPACES' sign?

Full house as in a house that isn't occupied by 150 squatters?

I really don't see this argument ...

Big Falcon Namechange for Musk's rocket: BFR becomes Starship

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Please, please ...

let the first captain of the first manned Starship mission be a "Major Tom", a SpaceX "Starman" rather than a NASA "Astronaut", who communicates with "Ground Control" and transmits video on "channel two" ... If it went well the publicity would be fabulous, wrong and it would be messy but Elon's never one from shying away ...

Can you trust an AI data trust not to slurp your data?

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: Easy answers to easy questions

By definition, AI may not be slurping your data today but, because it's AI, may decide to completely autonomously slurp data tomorrow ...

It's supposed to be AI, we're putting tax-payers' money into AI, at the very least it should demonstrate some semblance of AI ...

Or is it just a set of interpretation algorithms, lots of data and some deep data mining tools that people have rebadged ...? /cynical mode off/

Microsoft sysadmin hired for fake NetWare skills keeps job despite twitchy trigger finger

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Memories ...

"dropping a huge NetWare manual on his desk ..."

Those were the days, when documentation existed and actually contained decent information. You could have three folders (paper variants) open at once, see the entire pages and still be working on a console ...

Sometimes I feel we've taken several steps backwards ...

Creepy or super creepy? That is the question Mozilla's throwing at IoT Christmas pressies

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: Now if Mozilla would look at itself

Welcome to the Internet. If you've done nothing wrong there's nothing to worry about ... until there is, at which point all hell breaks loose.

When will people realise that IoT *is* Big Brother except it's corporates and criminals in the harness with the state trying desperately to hold onto the reins of an ever accelerating wagon.

Oracle's JEDI mind-meld doesn't work on Uncle Sam's auditors: These are not the govt droids you are looking for

Andy The Hat Silver badge

"... because the agency reasonably determined that a single-award approach is in the government’s best interests for various reasons ..."

could be rewritten in plain Merican-English as

"... we are not a financially corrupt institution and we live in the land of the free, like what His Excellency our Glorious Leader the Hair Monster says, so actually it's all ok because 'reasons'. Please move along and continue to enjoy freedom somewhere else before I set security on you."

OK Google, why was your web traffic hijacked and routed through China, Russia today?

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Re: Key exchange to confirm the identity of core routers?

How does this work if the invalid routes are advertised by a valid ISP with valid keys? It appears to me that China Telecom is valid (?) just being naughty for whatever reason but *is* a valid carrier. Of course RPKI would prevent external actors fiddling with configurations without keys but is there any evidence that what is happening is external to these organisations?

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

Andy The Hat Silver badge

French burglar contact details

If anyone has his number I'd be grateful - I think I need my house done over by him. If he can just give me a call before he arrives as I'll need to book him an extra van or two ...

Townsfolk left deeply unsatisfied by Bury St Edmunds' 'twig' of a Christmas tree

Andy The Hat Silver badge

Christmas tree decorations are so repetitive - like Eastenders it's just a load of old balls.

I'm off to have a pine for the fjords ...


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