* Posts by Timbo

254 posts • joined 6 Jun 2007

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Male escort forgot pregnancy protection, scores data protection instead

Timbo

Re: In the UK

"Almost no contraception* is 100 effective."

Not quite - there is one very good method: UTBNB

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=UTBNB

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Gig economy tech giants are 'free riding' on the welfare state, say MPs

Timbo

Definitions of employed/self-employed ?

I always thought that the distinction between "employed" and "self-employed" was along the lines of:

"Employed" - you work for someone else in "their" company (either full time or part time)

"Self-employed" - you work for "your own" company (even if providing services to someone elses company)

So, drivers for Uber et al should be called "Employed" as they are working for someone elses' company. In theory, by my own definition, Uber drivers could be working for themselves, but providing "services" to Uber.

In which case, I would further refine the above to:

"Employed" - you work for someone else (exclusively) in "their" company (either full time or part time)

"Self-employed" - you work for "your own" company (and/or you are providing non-exclusive services to more than one company belonging to someone else)

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'I feel violated': Engineer who pointed out traffic signals flaw fined for 'unlicensed engineering'

Timbo

Re: Landgrab again

By sheer coincidence, I saw this on Facebook@

https://www.teezily.com/engine3r

It's a T-shirt that says:

[quote]

Engineer

noun.[en-juh-neer]

Someone who does precision guesswork based on unreliable data provided by those of questionable knowledge, See also: Wizard, Magician

[end quote]

Think I'll get me one of them :-)

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European Court of Justice lays down the law on Kodipocalypse

Timbo

mmmmmmmmmm...

So, nothing to stop you buying a KODI box and adding the correct software yourself...but EU law is now clarified to the point where it will be illegal for retailers to sell boxes with any such software pre-installed.

One assumes, further, that it may become illegal to pass any directions as to where you can find the instructions on how to install such software.

Good luck with that !!

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TVs are now tablet computers without a touchscreen

Timbo

"Until they update the HDMI spec, that is..."

Except that HDMI uses a handshaking protocol, so that a HDMI v1.1 device can "see" (or be seen from) a HDMI v2.x (or later). Sure you might not get receive the latest whizz-bang, shiny-shiny picture or sound, but it will work - it'll just be working on the "best" common specification, between the two devices.

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Timbo

Re: All I want is the screen

"The display of a "TV" is the biggest and most expensive part. I want this to be the dumbest, too. I don't want it to be dependent on the whims or mistakes (or cynical marketing) of some distant third party. I don't want to have to upgrade it, or replace it, merely because someone, somewhere, flipped a bit in a protocol and made it obsolete. I want the smarts to be in a separate box."

Quite a few years ago, Sony did a modular TV - it was called ProFeel.

They did 2 sizes of TriniTron CRT (in UK at least): 20" and 27".

The extra's included a separate TV tuner, a Teletext unit, that plugged into that and two speakers that were attached to the sides of the TV cabinet, so you have stereo TV sound (if the broadcaster offered it).

https://www.sony.net/Fun/design/history/product/1980/kx-27hf1.html

Looks like the best way forwards to "future proof" yourself, is indeed to follow the modular path - I did and I have a nice 32" Sammy monitor, with HDMI, DVI and VGA inputs, and I can then invest in a KODI box (or Freeview, Freesat, Roku, Now TV or even Sky or Virgin) and I can get whatever TV service I like. The Sammy has it's own (not so good) built in speakers, but I can always pipe the sound through the hi-fi if I want. Job done.

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While Facebook reinvents Sadville, we still dream of flying cars

Timbo

Virtual World?...again?

Reading this article about MZ and FB, I'm reminded of something from over 20 years ago: CompuServe WorldsAway....

I found this website that shows some of the info - I'm sure a trawl of your fav search engine will find more.

http://www.digitalspace.com/avatars/book/fullbook/chwa/chwa1.htm

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Give 'bots a chance: Driverless cars to be trialled between London and Oxford

Timbo

Re: Repainting the text....

"Wouldn't it be good if someone did crowd-funding to get the "Give peas a chance" message repainted - it's looking a bit tatty now."

Speaking of which (or not as the case may be.

Anyone remember the "Good Morning Lemmings" graffitti, painted on the support posts for the elevated section of the A4/M4. You'd have to be on the A4 under the elevated section (or to have come off the east-bound slip road) towards the Chiswick roundabout to have seen it.

Been a while since I was in that area so don't know if it has been overpainted. Always tickled me, thinking of stationary motorists in the morning rushhour, having to endure this message !!

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Not the droids you're looking for – worst handsets to resell

Timbo

Re: Until the battery dies

"I'm not kidding, either. Literally just this week I bought a new battery for my SGS1. I'm buying seven candles and a cake on the 4th of June."

My original SG S11 battery has at last decided it doesn't want to charge up any more...but I already had a spare, bought at a time when the little pocket rechargers weren't available.

And I still have my EE pocket charger (just in case), as it's one of the good ones that doesn't heat up !

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Mondays suck. So why not spend yours playing with an original Mac and games in your browser

Timbo

I still have some original Apple CDROMs with Mac System 7 on them. And somewhere I have an external Apple CDROM drive, using a SCSI interface.

The Mac I was using at the time, (to use with an Apple Newton !!) was recycled a while ago though.

Might have to dig them out and see if they are still OK?

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Boeing builds British Airways 787 Dreamliner in 4 minutes

Timbo

Re: Nice video.

"If you watch carefully at 1:44 and 2:15 the airframe is labelled line number 233, which is apparently JY-BAF, an aircraft delivered to Royal Jordanian almost a year ago."

Yup - the video is of at least two different builds. Look at 2:16-2.17 and as the port engine is lifted, at the right of frame you can see a painted tail - and it's not a BA "flag" !!

So, maybe some CGI was added to hide a different marking on a tail? (on order to make it look like this was "one" build and not a compilation).

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

Timbo

Re: Question: How many engines does....

"You're seeing the flame from the main engines, looking down the length of the stage."

in which case, one should be the unextended "legs" on the side of the 1st stage and NOT the grid fins....

But as mentioned the grid fins are at the top of the first stage, so the pic implies the 1st stage is heading back to earth "upside down".

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Timbo

Question: How many engines does....

...a Falcon 9 have?

In theory it's nine, mounted at the bottom of the 1st stage.

BUT: In the article there's a pic of the 1st stage "burn" where the "grid fins" are extended and there's fire coming out of the end of the rocket.

The grid fins are at the TOP of the first stage. So, is there a small engine at the top of the first stage, that then slows down the rocket, so it can then do a "flip" and allow the bottom of the rocket to then face downwards and eventually allow the 9 engines "relight" and do the "landing burn"?

So, is there a 10th engine at the top of the 1st stage?

http://www.spacex.com/falcon9 for more pics.

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Reg now behind invisible HTML5 Bitcoin paywall

Timbo

Frankly - new El Reg reporter?

"Frankly were surprised this hasn't been done before. "

I glad "team" Frankly was surprised....they often doesn't get much praise in the first instance !

Unless you meant Frankly is an individual, in which case it should be "Frankly *was*..."

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So my ISP can now sell my browsing history – what can I do?

Timbo

Re: Track Me Not

TrackMeNot can be installed into Chrome, but trying to do the same in Firefox causes the browser to prevent installation as it is an unsigned extension :-(

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Disney plotting 15 more years of Star Wars

Timbo

SPOILER ALERT

"The CEO also said that recently-departed actor Carrie Fisher will not be digitally resurrected in The Last Jedi and that the scenes that she shot and the film's plot will remain unaltered."

So, given that they killed off Han Solo in the last SW film, I would guess that they had already planned and filmed killing off Gen Leia.

That then leaves the 3rd "new" SW film to bump off Luke and then it completes the entire original SW cast history.

Just some "spin off" films to add in a bit of back story and maybe some extra content to give us some "treats" on how Tarkin got so high up, how about a training film for Stormtroopers, and film of how to build a Millennium Falcon, though there is already a Haynes manual for how to fix one !!

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Did your in-flight entertainment widget suck? It's Panasonic's fault, claims software biz

Timbo

Re: In flight entertainment

"doesn't give out more heat than Chernobyl"

I flew long distance Manchester > Doha > Perth and the back of seat display in front of me gave out a lot of heat...if you then multiply that by the 300+ seats in the plane, one wonders how much extra work the aircon has to do to get rid of all the excess heat :-(

Surely more efficient screens would make more sense?

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Licence-fee outsourcer Capita caught wringing BBC tax from vulnerable

Timbo

When the UK adopted digital TV, (and everyone had to ditch or adapt their CRT's) is the point at which the manufacturers of TV receiving devices (set top boxes, flatscreens, VCR's etc) should have ensured their products could take subscriber cards*...and then the BBC could have easily encrypted their service and the licence fee method of collecting monies, could have been axed, along with all the extra cost of employing 330 people to doorstep you.

And then it would be a case of: No subscription, no reception.

Likewise, existing Sky subscribers could have paid a little extra to receive BBC services.

Common sense clearly isn't something any of the big wigs in Govt or at the BBC had back then or have any more.

* With a discount for any extra subscriber cards for people with more than one TV in the house.

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Apple weans itself off Intel with 'more ARM chips' for future Macs

Timbo

Multiple ARM chips?

Not being a hardware genius, and seeing how Intel have been making a lot of dosh on multi-core CPU's of late, I'd have thought that it would make some sort of sense for Apple to have multiple ARM CPU's (either individually or shrunk into a single "package") on it's newer products. These products could then have various cores switched on, as required, by the OS in order to allow the hardware to carry out the users heavier processing tasks, by using more cores.

This then brings efficiency to the fore, as well as keeping the cost down (and not paying Intel). And as we all know, Apple have changed their "OS" to suit themselves, over the years and the customers still love them !

They could then use this hardware model on any product, depending on how many cores are needed for any given product?

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Let's replace Ethernet with infrared light bouncing off mirrors!

Timbo

Re: The good and the bad...

"Or a single central ceiling mounted reflector hub. Something ball shaped and covered with small flat mirrors that rotates?"

Or planet/moon sized grey metal ball, equipped with a single laser, under the command of Grand Moff Tarkin ??

PS: I still can't believe that thing got into HyperSpace (in Rogue One)

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Boffins break Samsung Galaxies with one SMS carrying WAP crap

Timbo

I have found that the biggest issue is that UK mobile phone companies prefer to sell you a new phone (and a new contract) rather than update any firmware for mobiles that might be more than (say) 18 months old.

I have a perfectly good Sammy S2, which has proven itself to be a great device...no issues ever with it and apart from having 2 new batteries (since summer 2012 when I got it), it's still in "original" condition.

And T-Mobile (now EE) only ever offered ONE update over all this time (going from 2.3.6 to 4.1.2 (Kernel dated 31st May 2013)).

I wonder if the operators are still subsidising new mobile phone contracts, as they used to do (say) 10 years ago...when retailers could earn big money for hitting monthly targets when getting people to sign up for new contracts (and hence getting new phones) and ditching their old mobiles which usually end up in a drawer somewhere.

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Former car rental biz staff gave customers' details to phone pests

Timbo

Re: Are the people affected told?

"I guess there's loads of places they could get mobile numbers from though."

Given the "take up" of mobile phones, over the last 10+ years, it's fairly easy to set up an auto-dialler to work through a range of numbers all starting 07...as so many have been issued, there's a good chance of them being successful and hence any numbers that are "live" will give a connection (even if it's just voicemail), while "inactive" numbers won't connect.

So, the issue of "cold-calling" is just down to the probability of the number being "active", as it is with landline numbers.

But the scammers have moved on now and want more than just phone numbers - so a name or part of an address is more useful to them :-(

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NASA plans seven-year trip to Jupiter – can we come with you, please?

Timbo

Different mission name?

Shame they called the mission to Psyche, "Psyche".

Given it's a "metal" asteroid (s'posedly) plus it's like a "rock", I'd have thought the mission might have been named "Lemmy" (after the now resting in piece (sic)) former frontman of Motorhead.

With both Lemmy and Lucy heading off to the far reaches, that would give us two music based named missions.

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Galileo! Galileo! Galileo! Galileo! Galileo fit to go: Europe's GPS-like network switches on

Timbo

When the specs for Galileo were first published, I thought that there was a hoo-ha about whether it was going to be compatible with the American GPS system.

And eventually, it was agreed that it would be.

So, instead of needing to lock onto just a couple of available (US) birds, GPS devices would "see" more birds in the sky and hence locking onto a signal would be faster.

But it seems you need new hardware, looking at the list of (mobile phone) processors that support Galileo...so, what happened to the "compatibility"?

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Six car-makers team to build European 'leccy car charge bar network

Timbo

Re: UK Charging points

The Morrisons at Wolstanton near Stoke on Trent had a great idea - you filled up with fuel and then drove to the exit of the filling station where there was a booth and you paid for the fuel without leaving the car.

But I think the bean counters didn't like this so they re-developed the entire place and then built a "normal" mini-shop, which means to have to wait until previous customers have walked to the shop, taken a look around, buy a few items and then pay for their fuel and walk back.

There's an Esso petrol station on the A14 at Rothwell, where you can fill up, then just drive forwards into a parking bay in front of the shop, thereby making space for someone else. If all petrol stations were like this, it would help speed things up. (IMHO).

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Google's Chromecast Audio busted BT home routers – now it has a fix

Timbo

Given that BT (and PlusNet) have a lot of customers, one would assume that most peoples friends will also be on BT/PN?

So, surely a quicker option is just set up a hotspot on an Android phone and connect the ChromeCast to that, via the WiFI connection?

(I don't know how big a download the CC firmware would be, so, check first you can accommodate the download within your "free data" allowance).

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International Space Station celebrates 18th birthday in true style – by setting trash on fire

Timbo

I found the answer myself here:

https://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2013/03/speedy-astronauts-make-the-fas.html

Basically the Soyuz can catch up with the ISS within 4 orbits so about 6 hours from launch to docking. It requires the ISS to move a little (in its orbit) plus the Soyuz mission controllers need to do their bit too, as do the cosmonauts/astronauts.

So, it can be done so why it's not done regularly is why I'm still stumped !!

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Timbo

It still amazes me that it can take nearly 2 days to fly, in a space rocket, up into space approx 250 miles.

Of course the ISS is in orbit, travelling at a good few thousand miles an hour so the Soyuz takes time to get up to speed and then catch up.

But I've seen that the Russians have previously taken a "quicker" route in the recent past....so I wonder why they don't do that more often?

Plus "2 days" in a cramped Soyuz, with little space (sic) to move around inside?....one wonders about DVT plus how do they manage "toilet breaks" with a woman on board? Maybe a few diapers placed inside the space suits?

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User needed 40-minute lesson in turning it off and turning it on again

Timbo

""Monitor does not switch on, displays "No signal detected" message on screen,"

Actually I have a 32" Samsung LCD monitor and if the DVI cable (from the PC) "somehow" becomes detached (even though DVI plugs have thumbscrews to hold them in place), I get pretty much the same message along with a huge black border taking up the rest of the screen.....

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Possible reprieve for the venerable A-10 Warthog

Timbo

Re: Don't look to the past

I find my rocket-powered paperweights to be very good...as very shortly after deploying them on a new set of paper invoices and despatch notes they all disappear leaving behind just some black and charred remnants...it certainly makes book keeping very easy as there's nothing to input ;-)

However, my accountant is insisting I downgrade to ice paperweights, which makes the ink run but the paper still looks like paper, and hence he can embellish our accounts a little more thoughtfully, when submitting our annual nett loss to Companies House ;-)

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Spoiler alert: We'll bet boffins still haven't spotted aliens

Timbo

Re: 234

"Perhaps a Federation of Planets all using the same signal method as a way to attract the attention of other civilisations? I've heard dafter things."

But 234 of them all pointing at Earth ??

I can imagine maybe pointing in 234 different directions...

Or maybe there are thousands of these "light sources" pointing in multiple different directions and it just so happens that 234 of them, just by chance, point our way. :-)

Unless of course they have been monitoring our radio signals since the first Marconi broadcast and decided to focus on our Solar System?

So, say Marconi's first radio transmission was c1900 (give or take) then if aliens were listening out for us, those (v. weak) signals could be picked up say approx 115 light years away. But for a acknowledgement signal to come back then the senders can't be further than (say) 60 LY's away.

If these 234 star "signals" are coming from stars further away than 60LY, then we can be pretty sure they are not focussing on us :-)

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Astronauts on long-haul space flights risk getting 'space brains'

Timbo

HAL 9000

My first thought was: So THAT'S why HAL went wrong ;-)

(2001: A Space Oddity, if one needed the reference)

Seems like Arthur C Clarke was ahead of the game...again !!

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Ransomware scum infect Comic Relief server: Internal systems taken down

Timbo

Internet access?

Do all the HQ's PC's have to log into this "compromised" server, to then allow them access to the outside world?

I'd have thought they would just be able to start up their PC's, find that a "network server" isn't available (because <hopefully> it's been quarantined and taken offline) and they'd still be able to access the 'net.

Or is simple me, missing something that happens in "big corporate/charity land"? Maybe this server was also their firewall/access point/etc etc?

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MoD confirms award of giant frikkin' laser cannon contract

Timbo

Diamonds are forever ?

I'm simply reminded of the laser weapon that was bedecked with diamonds and was put into space and started destroying various weapons....shame Blofeld was put out of business...he could have won this contract !!

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Viacom, Mattel and pals busted for stalking kids with creepy web ads

Timbo

ehh ??

"collecting and sharing such information on users under the age of 13 is a violation of COPPA."

So, collecting the data is illegal ?

"Under the terms of the settlements, the companies will all agree to place additional oversight on their third-party advertisers, including regular scans to monitor how advertisers are collecting data and background checks for ad partners.

The sites will also be required to keep detailed accounts of how data is collected and provide that information to parents upon request."

and apart from a small fine, they are going to be allowed to continue "collecting data" - though they need to document what they collect.

So, having been found guilty of collecting data illegally, they are allowed to carry on ? If it was me, I'd have shut down the servers collecting the data as well as banning the sale of the "toys" that were "collecting data". That'll teach 'em !!

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Voyager 2's closest Saturn swoop was 35 years ago today

Timbo

Re: Space is big...I mean, really big

They've been in transit 39 yrs (give or take) since launch in 1977 - and are between 15 and 18.5 light hours away...so, not very far !!

I hope I get my calculations right THIS time !!

So, if humans were travelling at the same speed as Voyager, my back of a fag packet calculation is that it'd take 91,104 years to get to Proxima b

4 LYrs = 35,040 LHrs

35,040 / 15 LHrs = 2336

2336 * 39 years = 91,104 !!

Space is VERY BIG !!

PS 16,667,718,000 km in 39 yrs (or 341,640 hrs) is (approx) 48,787 km / hr - hardly "slow", but nowhere near "warp speed" !!

PPS This doesn't take into account that both Voyagers were sling-shotted around the Solar System, prior to their final trajectory...so some of the above calculations are very inaccurate !!

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Microsoft buys Genee's lamp, tips it into Office 365, smashes lamp

Timbo

Re: Hmmm

I still remember Microsoft Bob !! (We're talking Window 3.x here)...

[url]http://toastytech.com/guis/bob.html[/url]

Ahhhh......and it seemed to offer so much too...

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'Daddy, what's a Blu-ray disc?'

Timbo

Re: quality..

PS: By coincidence, I found a link on Facebook to this article...

http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-gift-for-music-lovers-who-have-it-all-a-personal-utility-pole-1471189463

Pricey idea but not totally daft !!

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Timbo

Re: quality..

"The chain is only as strong as it's weakest link - a fancy power lead won't change your house wiring or the distribution grid. In some cases the meat bag's own sensors are the limiting aspect."

Actually, many "fancy power leads" are shielded...which does two things:

It prevents the magnetic/electrical field that is around the power lead (when actually providing voltage and current) from having an effect on OTHER speaker, power and interconnect cables in/around the back panels of the hi-fi system...esp if higher currents are being drawn, which leads to higher levels of induced signals in other nearby cables...and esp those that are not well shielded (if at all).

And it prevents other cables from inducing "noise" into the "fancy power lead" too...

Of course, there are all manner of ways in which interference can be induced into other nearby products...but there are ways of reducing/minimising this by careful product design.

The trouble is that some brands do seem to have marketing depts who have Ph.D's in snake oil theories...which then makes it look like EVERY "upgrade" solution is "suspect", when in fact some very simple (and not expensive) products can bring about noticeable improvements.

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Tim Cook's answer to crashing iPhone sales: More iPhones

Timbo

"The iPhone accounts..."blah-blah-blah"...40.4 million (units) ..."blah-blah-blah"...51.2m units..."blah-blah-blah"..."

I'm still quite amazed at human kinds ability to actually manufacture such significant numbers of a highly technical product, in such a short space of time (the above numbers relate to fiscal quarters...

I can understand it with "simple items" say Mars bars, or packets of corn flakes, etc...but it's indeed a "good business" for anyone when they make 50 million of anything in just a few months !!

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NASA dumps $65m into building deep space hutches for humans

Timbo

Re: Lots of road containers.

"Send em up one at a time and just lego them together into a big sphere and eventually it will be safe to live in the middle."

On a similar vein, why not re-design the 2nd stage boosters (which normally just burn up in the atmos once they are "used") and collect them together in orbit, join them up and re-use them/recycle them.

It might take a bit of re-imagining how these boosters are designed so they could be "dual use" (ir as boosters and then as storage/habitats/raw materials but they could be re-used post-launch, and it would be a start.

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BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it

Timbo

Re: Once upon a time detector vans existed

"So detector vans do not exist and haven't for decades. Instead there is a team of people sending out letters and knocking on doors."

I would tend to agree with you...

BUT, there are surely enough El Reg members who have smart phones and who live in the UK to able to grab a photo of one of these vans...after all, it wasn't that long ago, that some people took to taking pics of Google's Streetview Opel Astra's driving around.

So, why not see if we can spot some TVL vans - esp as I'd love to see the twigs on it !!

(Twigs = antenna's / aerials / bits of string )

2
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Heart Internet goes TITSUP again

Timbo

Would Heart Internet have anything to do with Fasthosts?, as they too suffered a major outage on their email platform on the same day...and that also took about the same time to fix.

Coincidence?

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NASA peers through its SpeX: Aha! Jupiter's globe-warming hotspot

Timbo

Given this news, I think we should start a campaign and get NASA/whoever to rename the GRS to "Scorchio", in fitting tribute to the late, great Caroline Aherne.

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SpaceX: launch, check. Landing? Needs work

Timbo

"but surely Mr Musk has got deep enough pockets to buy a bit of ground somewhere ?"

I'm not sure why I got 2 thumbs down for this...as according to a story in ElReg, Mr Musk is planning on doing just what I suggested..almost exactly 6 months after my suggestion ;-)

[url]http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/07/20/after_mondays_landing_spacex_wants_to_do_it_in_triplicate/[/url]

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Rolls-Royce reckons robot cargo ships are the future of the seas

Timbo

"Well there's always Starship Titanic"

Not quite one of Douglas Adams' best, but still seeing this reference, brought back a few memories...

Wiki for those who want it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starship_Titanic

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Kepler's K2 mission confirms 104 Earth-like planets

Timbo

"I wouln't mind a 24 day year so long as it's not Patch Tuesday on 12 of them."

OTOH, would it be great if it was a combined payday and POETS day on the other 12 "days" ;-)

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