* Posts by eldakka

1118 posts • joined 23 Feb 2011


Super Cali optimistic right-to-repair's negotious, even though Apple thought it was something quite atrocious

eldakka Silver badge

When was the last time you owned a phone with a replaceable battery? Let alone one that used a battery with an industry std.form factor, capacity, and voltage rating?

Samsung Galaxy SIII from 2012 that I had for 3 years (because I could just pop the cover off with my thumbnail and replace the battery when the original started holding significantly reduced charge).

Brexit text-it wrecks it: Vote Leave fined £40k for spamming 200k msgs ahead of EU referendum

eldakka Silver badge

Re: What I don't understand

While I agree with what you have said in principle, I don't think it would be just in this case considering the referendum to enter1 the EU (or EC at the time) was done under simple majority as well. To me it would not be just to use a simple majority to enter, and then require a supra-majority to depart. In hindsight (being 20/20), it perhaps should have been a supra-majority to enter as well.

1 OK OK, to get technical, a referendum was held 2 years after the UK had joined the EC to determine whether the UK would stay in the EC. But the point stands that it was a simple majority vote.

eldakka Silver badge

Re: Dodgy behavior by Vote Leave? @Snowy

only now you've added distrust of referendums

As the first poll wasn't a referendum as laid out in various ACTs, it was, legally, an opinion poll that the Government Of The Day decided to, after the fact, treat as a referendum, I would think holding an actual referendum, as per the laws regarding referendums, would restore faith in the referendum process, no matter the outcome.

Boeing big cheese repeats pledge of 737 Max software updates following fatal crashes

eldakka Silver badge

Re: Car analogy, software emulation

I suspect that some point, the airlines would like "pilots" that are basically meatbag window dressing. Hire basically a computer operator who has no knowledge of the guts and mechanics of flying.

That's true of any and all professions that require skilled (read: well-paid rather than minimum wage-slaves) staff.

IT have been doing it, trying to 'dumb-down' systems so that organisations don't need highly technical, expensive, staff to set stuff up, configure it, tune it, keep it running smoothly. They'd rather have a room full of unskilled staff following flow-charts and panicking when the task goes off-script.

Airlines have done it over time, at one time aircraft required a flight engineer(s) in addition to pilot/copilot to manage and monitor all the complicated systems that go into making an aircraft fly. They've managed to get rid of those by having more automation. Next on the chopping block will be getting rid of one of the pilots. That is, making the system 100% automated, thus only needing a single pilot to deal with emergencies, who could also be the chief steward for the flight as most of the time they won't be needed in the cockpit at all for the entire flight.

Hospitals are trying to reduce the number of doctors and nurses needed per patient, by using computer expert systems to help with diagnosis.

Factories try for more automation to get reduce even the minimum wage-level staff they need.

It is all about cutting costs. And the most obvious cost to cut is the meatbags that require wages, and breaks, food, sanitary facilities, moan and whine to management or unions, complain and take the company to court when they get underpaid or other payroll shenanigans, can be whistle blowers to expose unethical (if not downright illegal) business activities, etc.

NASA: We need commercial rockets! SLS: Oh no you don't!

eldakka Silver badge

As NASA's Space Launch System (SLS)

I think you mean the Senate Largesse Scheme.

Wondering why 'Devin Nunes herp-face' was trending online? Here's the 411: House rep sues Twitter for all the rude stuff tweeted about him

eldakka Silver badge

Re: But he actually has a case...

Except, now that Twitter so thoroughly curates their platform to police what is and is not allowed to be said there, far above and beyond what the law requires, they may no longer fall under safe harbor provisions.

I'd like I introduce you to 47 U.S Code § 230, aka "Safe Harbor", and specifically subsection (C) (aka the “Good Samaritan” section) paragraph (2):

(2) Civil liability No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—

(A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; or

(B) any action taken to enable or make available to information content providers or others the technical means to restrict access to material described in paragraph (1).[1]

As has been upheld in many, many cases, moderating, curating, blocking, censoring, content does not in any way threaten a sites safe harbor protection.

As long as the specific material that is in dispute is not the original creative content of the site itself (and doesn't breach the other exceptions, e.g. (e)(5) No effect on sex trafficking law) then a site can curate to their hearts content without losing safe harbor protections.

This has already been tested in many cases, and come through (mostly) unscathed.

First, Google touts $150 AI dev kit. Now, Nvidia's peddling a $99 Nano for GPU ML tinkerers. Do we hear $50? $50?

eldakka Silver badge

Safety force field:

Awesome! A force field. Cool.

Nvidia’s Drive boffins have come up with a set of policies and mathematics, dubbed the Safety Force Field, that can be used by autonomous vehicles to, hopefully, avoid crashes and injuries.

Oh wait, so it's not an actual force field? I was all excited there for a sec. Bummer.

Public disgrace: 82% of EU govt websites stalked by Google adtech cookies – report

eldakka Silver badge

Re: GDPR is a cookie own-goal

GDPR is a cookie own-goal

I don't agree. It's more like those sites have overtly exposed themselves to Darwinism. That is, when I find sites that do this, I block the site entirely, as it is not a site I wish to visit. The site doing this is doing me a service by making it blatantly obvious that it is a shite site I want nothing to do with. If enough people follow suit, the site will either change its practices, or shut down.

Click here to see the New Zealand livestream mass-murder vid! This is the internet Facebook, YouTube, Twitter built!

eldakka Silver badge

I generally agree with you, but this is particularly problematic:

Acts of a criminal nature should always and without question be banned and blocked before anyone sees them or has a chance to download or share themselves because acts of a criminal nature have been through the due process to define them.

Who defines criminal nature? Which countries laws are used as the basis of this? Who chooses that?

I mean, if a country says being homosexual is illegal, does that mean that these platforms must remove anything that supports homosexuality?

What about abortion? Some places outlaw it, other places provide financial support to to cover the costs of having an abortion.

On a multi-national platform, criminality is not black and white. There are no easy answers, which doesn't mean we just give up, but it does mean it'll be hard.

Facebook blames 'server config change' for 14-hour outage. Someone run that through the universal liar translator

eldakka Silver badge

Re: Optional

FB is a purely optional "free" "service".

Just because you , or your friends, family, and other people don't pay (money) for it doesn't mean that others don't. Otherwise, where does FBs US$55Billion a year revenue come from?

NASA admin: What if we switched one delayed SLS for two commercial launchers?

eldakka Silver badge

"Bridenstine insisted: "We need to stick to our commitment." If NASA says it is going to launch in June 2020, then it jolly well will."

Pretty terrifying that he thinks that's a good attitude, in this day and age.

It certainly won't get him very far in the civil service or politics with an attitude like that!

Never thought we'd ever utter these words, but... can anyone recommend a spin doctor for NASA?

eldakka Silver badge

Re: Incoming...

With frickin' lasers on their heads.

Don't be too shocked, but it looks as though these politicians have actually got their act together on IoT security

eldakka Silver badge

leaves things to NIST to figure out.

That hasn't worked out to well in the telecommunications sector, just look at Pai's FCC...

What today links Gmail, Google Drive, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram – apart from being run by monopolistic personal data harvesters?

eldakka Silver badge


just as Zuck's network became decidedly antisocial.

I'd like to suggest that Facebook being un-contactable is the opposite of antisocial.

Boeing... Boeing... Gone: Canada, America finally ground 737 Max jets as they await anti-death-crash software patches

eldakka Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: In the race to idiot proof potential issues

This rant is impressive.

It is filled with inaccurate data ("struggles with the same problem for over 15 minutes"), use of all caps, 4 consecutive exclamation marks, 4 consecutive question marks. Also conspiracy theories, accusations of vested interests behind third parties actions, even manages to bring Donald Trump into it.

I'll give it 4 thumbs up.

eldakka Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: More of this to come

Not to mention that if you feel something is wrong with your car, bus, truck, you can just pull over to the side of the road and stop. That's a bit harder to do in an aeroplane.

Remember: "all take-offs are optional, all landings are mandatory."

eldakka Silver badge

Re: More than 300 dead is largely worth an abundance of caution

Is this to say that the 737 max is too difficult to fly manually?

With the proper training, not at all.

However, that's the point, if the aircraft required its own training régime - even if it's just a few hours 'conversion' training - then that would mean it wasn't the same aircraft and would have had to receive its own certification, rather than just using the existing 737 certification.

New certification means a more costly aircraft, as getting it certified costs money. In addition to the increased purchase cost due to having to get the aircraft certified, there'd be an even bigger training cost to the airlines. A big airline like SWA that has ordered 280 of these would have to train a thousand pilots, and that costs more money. Therefore initial operating costs would be higher, and they couldn't just assign any existing 737 pilot to it randomly, they could only assign the ones who had undertaken the training, therefore less flexibility for the airlines (until they'd competed their replacement programs eliminating all non MAX 737's) which means more cost.

Therefore Boeing introduced systems to the aircraft to (try to) make it fly to the pilots like a bog-standard 737, therefore no certification expenses therefore no training expenses. As much of this correction seems to be dependant on software 'hiding' the actual changes in how the aircraft flies, this means Boeing introduced more software complexity - read more bugs and more points of failure - to the aircraft to accomplish this. And this additional complexity means that the control systems are now more dependant on aircraft sensors (AoA in the MCAS case), which doesn't seem to have been taken into account in the sensor package of the aircraft. What was prior to the MAX a useful information system, AoA, that just provided information to the pilots (and could issue automatic alarms/warnings - "beep, beep, pull up, beep, beep, pull up..."), is now a critical control system. This increase in importance of the system doesn't seem to have been reflected in the AoA sensor package, in that there are only 2 AoA sensors (that don't even have their own instrument readout in the cockpit unless the airline pays extra for that feature), not a properly redundant 3-sensor voting system.

eldakka Silver badge

Re: Negligent certification

In my view the FAA acted completely negligently in certifying the B737MAX aircraft system (including the manuals).

That's the problem. My understanding (could be wrong, anyone?) is that the FAA did not certify the 737 MAX. As far as representations from Boeing to the FAA are concerned, the 737 MAX is merely an improved 737, therefore should be considered a 737, and thus use the existing 737 certification. The FAA (and other countries equivalents also, though they may have been trusting the FAA's opinion and just blindly accepted it) accepted this. So from a flying certification perspective, the 737 MAX is a 737, and did not receive an separate certification.

China still doesn't want iPhones despite Apple slashing prices, say market watchers

eldakka Silver badge

Haha good point.

If the potential customers aren't buying them at $X, then, by economic definition, they are overpriced. The business needs to reduce the price to a point where customers are buying them, even if the seller thinks they are more valuable than that final selling price.

eldakka Silver badge

Re: I must be Chinese

The Chinese are smart, they understand status isn't bought (or more likely rented for £50/month idiot contract), status is earnt, there are no shortcuts.

That must explain then why bribery in China is rampant and is a culturally acceptable (if not legally acceptable - at least if you get caught) part of daily life, and has been for thousands of years?

Carphone Warehouse fined £29m for mis-selling mobile insurance to punters who didn't need it

eldakka Silver badge

And at least one (Greenmotion, I think) has a cheap headline price, and small print in the online contract which requires you to take their own insurance at 10GBP/day, and says that they'll refuse to rent the car if you don't.

Don't know about the UK, but in Australia that'd be illegal. An advertised/listed/displayed/quoted price must include any and all compulsory components to a purchase. If you must pay 10GBP/day or you can't have it, that 10GBP would have to be included in the advertised price.

eldakka Silver badge

Re: Persistent buggers

Personally I take the view that the only things you should insure are those you can't afford to replace (house and contents) or that you are legally obliged to insure like a car. In the long run it is cheaper to bite the bullet any pay yourself if things break early or are lost / stolen.

Since a few years ago, every time a salesman asked me about extended warranties and/or insurance, I've put that money aside into a separate bank account and declined the offer.

Every time something broke outside its warranty period that I had put that money aside for, I've been able to replace it with the money in that account and still have a couple thousand left over sitting in it after the 4 or so years I've been doing that.

This does not apply to really expensive things, like cars or houses tho. Just to things like whitegoods, home entertainment (err, I mean TVs and stereos, not other types of in-home entertainment), computers, phones, household appliances, etc.

Boffins discover new dust clouds in the Solar System, Mercury has a surprisingly filthy ring

eldakka Silver badge

Venus has a few surprise lumps in her ring

Should get that checked out by a doctor, sounds like hemorrhoids.

Hapless engineers leave UK cable landing station gate open, couple of journos waltz right in

eldakka Silver badge

Re: Not really secret

EDITED: partially ninja'ed by Baldrickk reply while writing this rant. Just in case you can't tell, using URL obfuscation services is one of my (many) pet hates. Original post below:

Would you have preferred https://www.google.com/maps/@53.6273895,-2.9876024,3a,75y,209.63h,67.67t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s0JRd4UeT2_n0tkhfcAU41g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 or https://goo.gl/maps/DbTvADnpK5o

Abso-fucking-lutely would I have preferred: https://www.google.com/maps/@53.6273895,-2.9876024,3a,75y,209.63h,67.67t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s0JRd4UeT2_n0tkhfcAU41g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656.

Every day of the week!

URL obfuscation services are bad. They actively hide the URL that you are actually visiting.

That long URL you posted tells me I am going to a google maps reference.

By using a URL obfuscation service, that information is being hidden. For all I knew - or still know, as I haven't tried using the obfuscated URL, so have to take it on trust that they are one and the same location - that URL could have been going to a porn site, or was an advert for something else, or could have been going to a malware site.

Using URL obfuscation is a key tactic of malware purveyors, identity thieves, spam-bots, internet tracking (what, you don't think URL obfuscation services aren't primarily web-trackers to build up saleable profiles of your internet usage?), just all-round dodgy people. When we get spam emails claiming to be from our bank, or anything else that provides a link for you to login in, many of those use obfuscated URLs. That way you can't tell by looking at the URL that it isn't in fact sending you to accounts.mybank.com/login because what you see hidden under the anchor is goo.gl/xrfeHuYH, which when you click on it actually takes you to login.mybank.com.34dsxcc.bobsite.tv.

Never, ever click on an unknown URL, which is what an obfuscated URL is, by definition of what URL obfuscation (aka URL shortening) is.

It's just as dangerous - and foolhardy - as opening an unknown attachment from an unknown sender in an email.

Downvoted because I believe that someone providing criticism shouldn't do so without providing a solution.

I'm happy to receive down votes if that's your opinion.

The solution was provided in the criticism, "do not use URL obfuscation". What further solution is required? I mean, logically, what's the alternative to not using an obfuscated URL? Ummm, how do I provide a URL without using URL obfuscation? Duh, providing the full URL? Which you seem to have done in that reply, so it wasn't really that hard to work out, was it?

Even better would have been to use an actual HTTP anchor like this: look at this map.

On mouseover you can see the link in your browsers status-bar, or you can usually right-click and copy the actual URL embedded under the link so it can be pasted into an address bar and seen before pressing enter to go to the site, or searched for, or pasted into a text editor, wherever you'd like to have the actual URL before interacting with it.

This is common internet-safety knowledge, like not opening attachments from unknown senders, what further information than "do not use URL obfuscation" do you think should have been provided?

eldakka Silver badge

Re: Not really secret

now if it had been a COPPER cable

Then you'd have to watch out for the COPpers.

eldakka Silver badge

Re: Not really secret

Downvoted for providing a URL using a URL obfuscation service.

Airlines in Asia, Africa ground Boeing 737 Max 8s after second death crash in four-ish months

eldakka Silver badge

Re: A programming error?

Don't forget that AF447 went down because of a sensor error too - when the sensors give bad readings the software seem to always assume that the sensors are correct and the pilots are not - and so the software puts the plane into the ground

The software on AF447 did not put the plane into the ground.

Because of the sensor error, the software switched to alternate law 2 (reduces the influence of various automatic systems, including in this case disabling the anti-stall systems) and the pilots then flew the plane into the ocean, there were issues as to why the pilots did that, which I went into in a post about this on a previous article.

eldakka Silver badge

Re: Background

You can say that the pilots should just take over but it's not that simple - a sensor's lying - which one? What do we trust?

You're right, it's not that simple.

You see, the pilots were in manual control of the aircraft, yet the anti-stall system allegedly still took over and crashed the plane. The pilots were not aware of this new MCAS system, so did not know that it could produce the effects being experienced, therefore did not know that it could be disabled in this situation by disabling the auto-trim system.

They might have been able to work it out, if given enough time, but in the Lion Air case it was something like 8 minutes into the flight, so those pilots at least were taking longer than 8 minutes to figure it out. And, as the AoA sensors that the MCAS system was using to decide to engage its anti-stall protocols had no cockpit display, the pilots couldn't see instruments/data in their cockpit that was telling them AoA sensor 1 thinks this and AoA sensor 2 thinks that, they didn't know they had conflicting AoA sensor data.

eldakka Silver badge

Re: Southwest's position (last November)

Why would an airline spend money on a optional extra

SWA didn't add this option until after the Lion Air crash.

I would imagine that, since SWA have only received around 30 737 MAX's out of a total order of 280, I think they'd have the buying power to get those sensor displays added at no cost. They are, after all, just a software option, not requiring physical instrument installation. A safety critical issue I believe would be enough for SWA to cancel the remaining 250 order without penalties on SWA.

If SWA did, in fact, opt to pay more to get this option, then their contracts people need to be fired.

'What's up, Skip?' asks paraglider – before 'roo beats the snot out of him

eldakka Silver badge

Re: With all these deadly creatures I always asked myself

4 years higher than Americans.

That's because so many Americans get eaten by crocodiles in Australia, enough to skew their entire average life expectancy. At one point there was a joke about Americans being crocodile fast food because so many were eaten in a short period of time.

It sounds like a new train line, but no: Compute Express Link is PCIe 5.0 server CPU-accelerator glue from Intel and pals

eldakka Silver badge

Re: I was told ...

Your software has to run on something, it's not just magical pixies or demons that do it.

An FPGA I think is really just a software-defined CPU (or any other sort of xPU). In fact, a FPGA is a more general processor than a CPU, as it can be reprogrammed on the fly via software configuration to replicate any other processor you have enough gates for.

If you have an FPGA with enough gates, and the license to do so, you could program your FPGA (via software on the fly) to be an Intel CPU, or an AMD GPU, or ARM, or whatever.

A GPU is just a hugely parallel processor from this perspective, it's not a 'Graphics'PU. Graphics is just a subset of what can be run on a massively parallel processor like what is traditionally called a GPU.

You've been dying to know. Here's the answer: The Milky Way tips the cosmic scales at '1.5tr' times mass of the Sun

eldakka Silver badge

IANAP/C (IANA Physicist/Cosmologist).

What about all the exploding stars, converting mass into light?


This means that m=E/c2.

This means that converting matter, i.e. concentrated energy, into light (energy) doesn't change total mass, as energy has mass. This is why particle physicists use the eV (electron volt) for both saying how much energy a collision has, as well as how much mass is involved, as they are the same thing, just in different forms.

Or black holes.

It would be more accurate to say black holes accumulate matter, rather than 'eating' or 'swallowing' or even 'annihilating' as people sometimes say. If a black hole accumulates 10 solar masses of matter (or energy) the black hole will increase in mass by 10 solar masses. Therefore the mass from the matter being swallowed by the black hole is not lost, the black hole now contains that mass.

Therefore neither converting matter to energy (explosions) nor matter being accumulated by black holes will change the mass of a galaxy (while the black hole and energy remain within the galaxy and don't get ejected from the galaxy).

Is this the way the cookie wall crumbles? Dutch data watchdog says nee to take-it-or-leave-it consent

eldakka Silver badge

Re: I just surf privately now

Get yourself a Pi-Hole and be done with it for your whole home.

A Pi-Hole might protect your devices while using your home network, but it won't help when those mobile devices (phones, tablets, laptops) are used on other networks - friends, work, random hotspot, etc.

For laptops at least you could create a virtual machine running the PiHole software, but that could be more difficult with Android/iOS devices.

If you were really keen, could probably make a battery-operated PiHole and use that in between your device and the network being accessed.

It's a hard drive ahead: Seagate hits the density problem with HAMR, WD infects MAMR with shingles

eldakka Silver badge

Re: Meanwhile, ssd marches on relentlessly

If you use the appropriate devSleep modes, an idle SSD should only use a couple hundred mW. This does depend on model, some models don't have good sleep modes. And the O/S has to support it as well.

eldakka Silver badge

Re: Meanwhile, ssd marches on relentlessly

Backup, backup, backup.

(I don't, but if my data was that important (it isn't) that I'd be willing to pay thousands for data recovery from a dead HDD, then I'd definitely be using backups, live replication etc.)

eldakka Silver badge

I'm not going to be replacing 39TB (61TB raw, 8TB HDD and 3TB HDD arrays) of spinning rust in my NAS with SSDs anytime soon.

For starters, I only need 12 HDD connectors, using the best value 2TB SSD I can see from pcpartpicker would require 30 units, that's 30 connectors, so even not including the drive price itself, I'd have to add more connectors, either add-in SAS/SATA cards or an expander, either way ~$300-$400. There is a 4TB one that is not quite as good $/GB, however that'd reduce the number of units to 15, which would mean maybe skipping adding more ports to my system, the increase in price between 2TB and 4TB would be less than the cost in adding the extra ports, so would be worth the few extra $. But they are still about 2x the price of my 8TB HDDs, or 4x per TB pricing.

Which, I have to admit, is a smaller gap than I expected. Maybe, when it comes time for the next capacity upgrade (2-3 years I estimate when I'll probably want to trash the older 3TB drives entirely and use bigger drvies), the price may have dropped enough it might be worth considering. For the relative simplicity of SSDs (lower power, etc.) I'd probably consider a 2x $/TB of SSD over HDD as worth considering an SSD over a HDD for.

SPOILER alert, literally: Intel CPUs afflicted with simple data-spewing spec-exec vulnerability

eldakka Silver badge

Re: Access control and process scheduling issue

Just because they ask for a unicorn doesn't mean you give them one!

Give me a horse (miniature, full-sized, doesn't matter), a broomstick, a whittling knife, self-tapping double-ended screws, and I'll give you a unicorn.

When 2FA means sweet FA privacy: Facebook admits it slurps mobe numbers for more than just profile security

eldakka Silver badge

4 or 5 years ago I struck this problem.

I had struck up a 'friendship' with a stripper. She was from this town, but had moved to a bigger city. Since she came back 3 or 4 times a year for a week or two to visit family etc, we swapped numbers so that she'd let me know when she came back to town so I could go down to the club and visit her (read: spend some money on her - but I had fun, and knew the limits of the 'friendship', it was a good night out).

But after we swapped numbers, suddenly my Facebook 'people you may know' suggestions started having all her friends listed in it. It showed her real name, and that of other strippers she was friends with. It turned out that mysteriously, sometime in the past, my privacy setting of "Friends Only" for my phone number, and some option along the lines of "Allow searching on your phone number: Disabled" had reverted back to "Everyone" and "Enabled."

I was mortified, we had no Facebook relationship or linkage, and didn't intend to have one, but because we had swapped phone numbers Facebook slurped the number from the phones and used that to link us even though there was no intention to be 'Facebook friends'. Since she had already told me her real name that aspect of it didn't matter, but many of her other friends who were strippers hadn't, and I felt like I was invading their privacy by doing nothing other than, IRL, swapping phone numbers with someone.

Needless to say, I uninstalled Facebook apps and only used browsers to access Facebook (to prevent it slurping that information directly from me), and went and tightened up all my Facebook privacy permissions again because I had them all at pretty much maximum privacy years before, but many of them had mysteriously (not really, it was Facebook 'updates' that would have done it) become more open.

Then I just gave up on Facebook entirely, I haven't used it in over 2 years now, and I don't miss it at all.

Ah, this military GPS system looks shoddy but expensive. Shall we try to break it?

eldakka Silver badge

for what intended "purpose" does a GPS need to survive being hit by a sledgehammer? If you dismiss a GPS device for this reason rather than it's ability to perform the function it was designed for, your testing priorities are clearly wrong.

How about, a GPS where as part of its design that is required to be operated in extreme conditions (winter in northern Scandinavia, Sahara Desert in summer, Jungles of SE Asia during the wet season, bottom of a squaddies foot locker) by soldiers in combat situations, with bullets and shrapnel whizzing around, bits of buildings collapsing on them, and so on.

Or, do you expect a soldier to refuse to go out cause it's raining and that'll short the GPS? Or can't dive into a foxhole when under fire, has to gingerly climb into it and make sure they don't lie on it because it might break? Or can't toss their webbing into a corner because that might break the GPS attached to it?

This kit is (was) intended to be used by soldiers in combat. Bullets flying around, IEDs/artillery sending shrapnel out, bits of masonry falling, being dropped, heavy kit being thrown on it accidentally (e.g. a crate being put in the corner) and so on.

So while specifically not a sledgehammer, certainly very rough and high impact treatment. Therefore a sledgehammer is probably not a bad substitute to simulate the most extreme effects it might be subject to. If it survives a sledgehammer, it'll survive anything likely to be thrown at in a harsh environment.

Boffins put the FUN into fungus by rigging yeast to squirt out the active ingredients in cannabis

eldakka Silver badge

Re: lots of heat, light and water.

I assume, in the context of making marijuana for research purposes, that the institutions would be using hydroponics to locally make it at the institution.

IBM hunkers down for no-deal Brexit, warns of disruption to supply chain, data transfers

eldakka Silver badge


I don't think the massive queues that will occur after Brexit will be for shag-shops.

Three-quarters of crucial border IT systems at risk of failure? Bah, it's not like Brexit is *looks at watch* err... next month

eldakka Silver badge

Re: What possible delay?

You must really hate those of us who would suffer the most if we were to remain.
Who in the UK is being harmed by being in the EU?

Demand for HP printer supplies in free-fall – and Intel CPU shortages aren't helping either

eldakka Silver badge

Re: Finally....

Or AI actually becomes intelligent and it does all the work.

eldakka Silver badge

If you are printing in a situation where colour accuracy actually matters, you'll be using $10k+ printers anyway, because you are earning revenue from the printing, in which case it'd make sense to use the vendor-supplied or approved colour-accurate toner.

If you are adding a bit of colour to a printed power-point presentation for intra-office use, does it really matter if the accuracy is off?

Foldables herald the beginning of the end of the smartphone fetish

eldakka Silver badge

Re: No, not really

Compaq/HP iPaq?

Sony-Ericsson P800/900?

eldakka Silver badge

Re: and want plenty of storage (say microSD).

I did a phone search on gsmarena, 2016+, Still Available, Android, less than 115mm X 70mm, excluded watches, and got a total of 3 hits.

Don't have a lot of choice really if you want the smallest Android phone that meets your requirements.

eldakka Silver badge

Re: Roller phones are the future!

Wot? Like a scroll?

It'd definitely have that 'retro' look ;)

Spooky! Solar System's Planet NINE could be discovered in the next NINE years (plus one to six), say astroboffins

eldakka Silver badge

Re: Wasn't this how Newtonian mechanics was disproved?

Wasn't this how Newtonian mechanics was disproved?

Newtonian - i.e. Classical - mechanics hasn't been dis-proven.

It is still a perfectly valid and accurate theory for describing a lot of macroscopic situations. You don't need anything more than Classical mechanics to, for example, send a probe into orbit around Saturn via several planetary sling-shot maneuvers.

Newtonian Gravity never explained why things moved as they did, it merely gives a means (formulas) of calculating it.

GR gave us the why, and more detailed and more accurate formulas to explain and calculate the cases that Newtonian couldn't.

eldakka Silver badge

Re: Excellent captioning

of course, that's not a tiny planet... it's either a vast planet (i.e. > Jupiter by some way) or it's a tiny sun,

...or a battlestation that makes the Death Star look like a a soldier wearing floaties.

eldakka Silver badge

Re: Exotic orbital inclination

Short answer: No


Of course it will. Planet 9 is, if course, the home planet of the highly advanced Atlantean people.

For 2-3 thousand years of its highly ellipitical ~20k year orbit, it is close enough for the Atlanteans to make trips to Earth in a reasonable time (even they don't have FTL capabilities unfortunately).

During that period, they lord it over Humans, pretending to be Gods like Zeus, Set, Shiva, Uller, Wotan, etc. - after all, any sufficiently advanced technology appears to be magic. They build their giant ocean-floating cities, and megaliths like the Pyramids. They also tend to populate coastal regions such as those around the Black Sea.

When Planet 9 starts to move too far away for reasonably comfortable interplanetary travel, they, being the bastards they are, destroy their floating cities, and coastal settlements by acts such as opening the Bosphorous, flooding the coastal plains. All this because wethey don't want youus scummy humans from having access to their advanced technology. They want us to be overwhelmed by them when they next visit to make the pacification campaign easier on them.


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