* Posts by Thoguht

407 posts • joined 10 May 2011


Ethiopian Airlines boss confirms suspect flight software was in use when 737 Max 8 crashed

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Re: Appalling software, it seems

Although reading the Zero Hedge article linked below, it appears that the $80,000 is for a second AoA sensor as well as the warning light, implying that the standard setup is a single sensor.

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Re: Appalling software, it seems

Alternating between sensors on alternate flights was terrible design and seems like superstition rather than science.

The old mariner's adage "never go to sea with two chronometers" would seem to apply here, because if you have two of anything and they give different readings, which one do you trust? Triple (or even more) redundancy is the rule for many safety-critical systems, but if Boeing charge $80,000 for a warning light then goodness knows how much more they'd charge for a third AoA sensor.

Geiger counters are so last summer. Lasers can detect radioactive material too, y'know

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Re: Not a nuclear scientist here...

Sounds to me like they are assuming the weakly-ionised oxygen atoms will leak outside of container that holds the radioactive material. In which case all you need to do is make sure the container is airtight.

Security storm brewing for Oracle Java-powered smart cards: More than a dirty dozen flaws found, fixes... er, any fixes?

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Security? We've heard of it

Take a CPU with Harvard architecture so it physically can't execute what ought to be data, manufacture it on a (by modern standards) huge process node so it's less prone to external interference from electromagnetic attacks and such, give it temperature and light sensors so it can tell if someone's trying to tamper with it other ways, design it with hardware-based isolation between processes including strongly-encrypted memory, provide it with a true hardware-based random number generator so encryption key sequences can't be predicted, and then put Java on it. It's like having the world's most secure bank vault but leaving the door unlocked. So yeah, 3 billion devices do run Java, but all of them are vulnerable.

Oh, and the applets are called cardlets if you're being fussy.

Russian sailors maroon themselves in Bristol Channel after drunken dinghy ride goes awry

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Flat Holm used to have its own pub, the Gull and Leek, don't know if it's still there though. Probably wouldn't have been open anyway.

Altered carbon: Boffins automate DNA storage with decent density – but lousy latency

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My worry would be not so much that some micro-organism could damage the data store, but that the data store itself could be a micro-organism. Suppose someone's database when placed in this DNA storage just happened to encode for, say, an airborne virus with 100% lethality to human beings. Wouldn't that mean any large-scale DNA data stores would have to be kept inside the highest possible level of biosecurity?

DRAM, bam, thank you Sam: Like a Flashbolt from the blue, Samsung flaunts its fastest RAM

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What a brilliant idea, giving a RAM technology a name with the word "Flash" in it.

Meet YouTube-linked games-streaming Stadia, yet another thing Google will axe in two years (unless it kills Twitch)

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The presentation last night was a little thin on detail so I couldn't get a handle on how any virtualisation would work, but the idea that you can use multiple GPUs per instance rather than a single more powerful virtualised GPU suggested to me that any virtualisation was limited because it would surely add to the latency. So you are kind of stuck with the hardware, which having seen the way that a single Stadia GPU struggles with fluid dynamics, is going to make multiple GPUs pretty essential. I mean, saying "hey, look at the improvement with two GPUs" is pretty much an admission that a single one isn't up to it.

The real elephant in the room though is raytracing. I know that you can ray trace in realtime without the Nvidia RT hardware because Nvidia have had to shoot themselves in the (elephant's) foot by porting their system to earlier GPU platforms due to the slow take-up of the RT-enabled ones, but if it does take off in a big way then Stadia may just be end up as an expensive liability.

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Fantastic, let's take the greatest disadvantage of consoles, which is a fixed architecture that rapidly becomes obsolescent, and replicate it a millionfold in the cloud where you have to use a very long piece of wet string to communicate with it. Only a company the size of Google could come up with such a stupid idea.

Remember the OpenAI text spewer that was too dangerous to release? Fear not, boffins have built a BS detector for it

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Re: English, bad English and AInglish

Congratulations to your schools if children are actually being taught grammar at all, although for your other point am I really going to have to quote Wittgenstein's Tractatus to counter it?

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Re: English, bad English and AInglish

The real difference between native and non-native speakers is that non-native speakers are far more likely to have been taught English properly.

'It's like painting with atoms'... Watch how boffins form armies of simple micron-sized bots from a silicon wafer

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Nay robot

A bit of metal that bends irreversibly when you shine a light on it is hardly a "robot", no matter how small it is.

God DRAM, that's a big price drop: Memory down 30 per cent, claim industry watchers

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Re: The article's reasoning doesn't make sense

Servers tend to use registered ECC memory, a different type from that used in desktops. And it's warehouses of memory with no PCs, not the other way around.

Galaxy S10's under-glass fingerprint reader, quelle surprise, makes mobe a right pain to fix

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Re: Smaller is always harder to repair

Actually I do have a real boat anchor (bought it on a whim one day from eBay to match the room's somewhat nautical-themed decor) and I can honestly say it's never needed repairing. But my old (well, over two years is old these days) Sammy's not needed fixing so far either, and they still pump out OS updates for it on a fairly regular basis too.

USB4: Based on Thunderbolt 3. Two times the data rate, at 40Gbps. One fewer space. Zero confusing versions

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Re: LumpSpeed

Wasn't one of the disadvantages of Thunderbolt in the first place that it placed the line drivers in the cable plugs rather than the sockets? That makes sense from a technical point of view as the drivers can be matched to the length of the cable, but it puts the price up too.

OK, Google? Probably not! EU settles on wording for copyright reform legislation

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"This tactic doesn't play well in the EU"

What, you mean trying to get MEPs to listen to their constituents?

Hey, UK.gov: If you truly spunked £45k on 1,300 Brexit deal print-outs, you're absolute mugs

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The total cost of the paper documents has to be the full life cost, so the paper, printing and labour as before but also the waste collecting and recycling. And don't forget the cost of the carbon offset for all the hot air that was generated by the text.

Terribly Sorry Bank reports 165% drop in profits to a pre-tax loss of £105.4m

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Terribly Sorry Bank?

Wouldn't "Tit Sup Bank" have been better?

And presumably Sabis was once Sabadell Information Services but then got spun out and offshored.

Full disclosure: yes, I do still bank with that bunch of muppets because 5% interest is hard to come by these days. And really I've not had any serious issues after the first nightmare week.

Say what?! An AI system can decode brain signals into speech

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Re: Oh dear

How do you express that without language? As Wittgenstein put it, "Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen."

I know Wittgenstein has had his detractors over the years (including himself, of course), but I can't fault him on that proposition.

Oof, are you sure? Facing $9bn damages, Google asks Supreme Court to hear Java spat

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Re: Worthless lawsuits

I believe there is an equivalent "clean hands" doctrine in US law too.

Crispest image yet of Ultima Thule arrives on Earth, but grab a coffee while the rest downloads

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Alice Bowman?

Any relation to Dave?

Nothing 'unites teams' like a good relocation, eh Vodafone?

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Re: £8,000 to relocate from Glasgow to Newbury?

Newbury is hardly rural these days.

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Re: £8,000 to relocate from Glasgow to Newbury?

Because these days it's a standard way of getting rid of older employees. Younger people with no houses and no kids settled in schools are much more likely to take up relocation offers.

The only good thing you can say about this is that at least the alternative is redundancy, in the US if you get offered a relocation package and turn it down you're deemed to have resigned.

Google Play Store spews malware onto 9 million 'Droids

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Open an unknown PDF?

Surely not, might contain malware.

Feeling a bit gassy? Toshiba floats 16TB helium whopper

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Re: Will it sound different?

That's part of the reason why helium works well because its lower density means that there is less drag at the platter surface and so less turbulence and the heads can sit closer to the platters giving improved areal density.

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

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Dammit, Vivaldi, stop adding features. I just want a simple browser with a totally customisable interface. Next thing you know it'll be asking me to sign into my Vivaldi account.

Fraudster convicted of online banking thefts using… whatever the hell this thing is

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Devotional postcard? Personally, I think it's the IKEA mirror that gives it away.

Dine crime: Chippy sells deep fried Xmas dinner

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Re: battered?

Boil for 9 minutes? No, no and no.

First take some bacon lardons and cook them over a moderate heat in a sauté pan until you have rendered most of the fat off them. Put the lardons to one side and stir-fry the sprouts in the bacon fat for 5 minutes or so. Then add a splash of water, cover the pan and let the sprouts steam gently for a few minutes. Finally, turn the heat back up, return the lardons to the pan and stir gently a few times, making sure any remaining water has evaporated. For a really festive touch, mix in a few sliced marrons glacés before serving.

Do not adjust your set: Hats off to Apple, you struggle to shift iPhones 'cos you're oddly ethical

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Re: a £200 phone that does everything an iphone does.

Degrading? Must be the rotational velocidensity.

Millennials 'horrify' their neighbours with knob-shaped lights display

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Re: Is it a penis or....

Definitely a protected religious figure (probably NSFW, depending on the attitude of one's employer to certain Shinto festivals).

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

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Re: Nice, but ...

I've only spent 3 minutes reading your post and cogitating about it, but I have noticed a glaringly obvious mistake in your "ommision".

Oh my chord! Sennheiser hits bum note with major HTTPS certificate cock-up

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Why? Because they aren't gold plated, of course. The Sennheiser software gold plates every data packet it handles for the ultimate digital audio experience.

3ve Offline: Countless Windows PCs using 1.7m IP addresses hacked to 'view' up to 12 billion adverts a day

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Over the past few days Google gets slammed all over the place for being evil, today news breaks that they are really the good guys. What a surprise!

New era for Japan, familiar problems: Microsoft withdraws crash-tastic patches

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Re: year zero , all over again

It will be year 1 of the new era, but an additional issue is that the era name hasn't been announced yet and that forms part of the localised date format - for example, this year can be expressed as "平成30", "Heisei 30" or even "H30" depending on the choice of formats offered.

Traditionally the era name is is not announced until after accession, but this time it is expected to be announced before to give companies a chance to change things. Apparently though a new era can be added to Japanese versions of Windows with a simple registry update, so what could possibly go wrong with that?

Behold, the world's most popular programming language – and it is...wait, er, YAML?!?

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HTML-only calculator?

Yeah, right. Tens of thousands of lines of HTML to just display pre-canned screens depending on a few characters of input? It's as much a calculator as a dictionary is a novel.

5.. 4.. 3.. 2.. 1... Runty-birds are go: 12,000+ internet-beaming mini-satellites OK'd by USA

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GPS is NOT a synonym for GNSS (global navigation satellite system), it's one particular implementation of a GNSS by the USA. To call the European Galileo system a "GPS" is a contradiction in terms. I mean, that would be as bad as calling a Dyson a "Hoover".

Shift-work: Keyboards heaped in a field push North Yorks council's fly-tipping buttons

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Shifting old keyboards?

Sounds like a job for Del boy.

Linguists, update your resumes because Baidu thinks it has cracked fast AI translation

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SOV off

Reminds me of the old joke about a crowd of people next to a building site in Berlin watching the foreman berating one of the workers. An English visitor is walking by and is bemused by all these people standing there intently, so he asks one of them what they are doing. The reply is "We are waiting for the verb!"

Finally. The palm-sized Palm phone is back. And it will, er, save you from your real smartphone

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Yo dawg I herd you like phones

So we put a little phone next to yo phone so you can phone your phone when you phone.

300,000 BT pensioners await Court of Appeal pension scheme ruling

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Re: I blame the cursed one

I can still remember the days when some company final salary pension schemes had so much money in them that they stopped taking pension contributions from employees.

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CPI was never intended as a means of measuring personal inflation, it was developed for comparing underlying inflation rates between different countries. One of the issues with it is that it doesn't include housing costs, which is why the CPIH measure (CPI plus housing) is a little better.

But the real problem is that personal inflation rates for older people are typically higher than for younger ones, mainly because they don't spend as much money on things that tend to get cheaper as time goes on, such as technology. RPI is therefore a better reflection of reality for pensioners, although it's still less than half of the estimated personal inflation rate that pensioners in some parts of the country are facing.

Russian rocket goes BOOM again – this time with a crew on it

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Re: Space Shuttle

Another part of the problem, as astronaut John Glenn is once alleged to have pointed out, is that every component of every NASA vehicle is made by the lowest bidder.

Punkt: A minimalist Android for the paranoid

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Security's not my forte, but isn't it generally reckoned to be a big security no-no for each device to have its own unique ID? I remember all the fuss when Intel tried to do the same thing with their Pentium III processors.

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Re: Calls and Email

Back when I was working, some marketing bonehead sent round a mail with the latest corporate communication standards, one of which was not to embed images in emails. The mail of course had all sorts of marketing images embedded in it.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave me tea... pigs-in-blankets-flavoured tea

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Re: Sprouts

Bacon lardons? Cut out the middleman and stir fry the sprouts in bacon fat to start with. Works best with the smallest, most tender sprouts of course, but if you're stuck with large ones you can microwave them for a couple of minutes first.

On the seventh anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, we give you 7 times he served humanity and acted as an example to others

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Perhaps we should christen the phrase "sarcasm doesn't work on the Internet" as "Jobs' Law" in his honour.

Wi-Fi Alliance ditches 802.11 spec codes for consumer-friendly naming scheme

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Good move (perhaps)

At long last, broadband suppliers with own-brand routers won't be able to bamboozle potential customers with meaningless (to most people) strings of numbers and letters. If company A offers Wi-Fi 6 but company B only offers Wi-Fi 5, you know at a glance which one is faster.

Except that if A's router's implementation of Wi-Fi 6 is crap you might still get better throughput with B's Wi-Fi 5. And then there's the question of do you really need that bandwidth when the speed of your copper/fibre is often the limiting factor? Plus, on top of all that, you might not actually have any kit that supports Wi-Fi 6 (or even 5). Still, this is probably a good move by the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Holy macaroni! After months of number-crunching, behold the strongest material in the universe: Nuclear pasta

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Well, probably not seeing that nuclear pasta can presumably only exist under very exotic conditions.

And talking about exotic, why the ergs and cm? Whatever happened to good ol' SI?

First Boeing 777 (aged 24) makes its last flight – to a museum

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Re: 777?

707? I remember the Comet, or "Plummet" as I think it used be called.

Microsoft accidentally let encrypted Windows 10 out into the world

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This Fluent Design blurry stuff is all very well, but after the last OS update I got a notification telling me one or more apps are looking blurry and I should change my screen settings.


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