* Posts by DJO

487 posts • joined 28 Sep 2011

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The new, new Psion is getting near production. Here's what it looks like

DJO

Take the approach that crowdfunding is a form of investment and that the exit strategy is the item you're funding.

I'd say a gamble rather than an investment, if you win you get a shiny toy at ~40% off retail, if you lose, you lose - you might get a proportion of your money returned, or not as the case may be.

This is the first time I've been even remotely interested in a crowdfunding project, in fact more than remotely especially as the UD$/Sterling rate isn't as bad as expected given Trump & Brexit ($400 = £300) so I'll hopefully have a nice new shiny for Christmas, or be an even more miserable git than usual.

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DJO

Re: Sony Vaio P

The Sony Vaio P was a decent mini machine

I rather miss the Toshiba Libretto, perhaps in 1996 the hardware wasn't mature enough for the form factor (486 processor, 1260x600 display, Windows 98, 8M Ram, 270M HD) but now this shows what's possible - I might have to start saving pennies.

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MPs accuse Amazon and eBay of profiteering from VAT fraudsters

DJO

Normal right wing rhetoric, the Tories always say "We will not increase VAT".

Translation: "We will increase VAT at the first opportunity".

VAT is a regressive tax as it disproportionately affects people on lower incomes which is why the right wing like it.

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Boffins: 68 exoplanets in prime locations to SPY on humanity on Earth

DJO

Re: Alien SETI project

Really wouldn't worry about radio signals. There are a number of reasons, firstly there are hundreds of transmitters around the world all using the same frequencies, not a problem here we just get the closest one but in space they are all pretty much at the same distance so it's a mush that's almost impossible to sort out, secondly radio propagation follows the inverse square law so after a few dozen light years the signal is almost non-existent, thirdly apart from satellite uplinks most radio bounces around the atmosphere with little leakage into space.

We are on the cusp of being able to get the spectrograph of the atmospheres of exoplanets, if an alien got a spectrograph of our atmosphere the pollutants would be a dead giveaway.

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Smart meters: 'Dog's breakfast' that'll only save you 'a tenner' – report

DJO

Wrong application

For high consumption industrial and commercial users smart meters combined with half-hourly reading condensed into a daily or weekly analysis is immensely useful and can save an absolute fortune in energy costs.

This does not translate to a low consumption domestic setting. Smart meters are excellent in the right application, under my stairs is not the right application.

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SanDisk's little microSD card sucks up 400GB

DJO

Re: 400 Gb on your little fingernail....

5mb? Tha were lucky!

Luxury.

First computer I used was a Varian V70 which used paper tape. That had enough core (and I mean "core" as in ferrite ring memory) for each of the 8 users (each sat at an ASR33 teletype) nearly 4k of storage - happy days.

The next one was an IBM 360 which used punched cards, well it would if they weren't all nicked to use as roaches.

First real hard drive was a ST157a - 57M unformatted, about 44M formatted.

Now these however could be fun, 9 in RAID 5 to make a smaller than matchbox sized 3TB array with redundancies. about 100 of those could be crammed into a 1U rack, that's a lot of storage in a small space, probably glowing red-hot due to heat dissipation problems but that's part of the fun.

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How does Apple chief Tim Cook's package look now? Like $89m

DJO

The continuing myth of trickle down

This shows the absurd distribution of monies in large companies.

Tim gets so much money he eventually plans to give it all away (if the will isn't contested) but until then it sits in a bank doing nothing and actually removes money from circulation so it provides no positive stimulus to the economy

Now if $100million had been spread over 1 million people, they each would have $100 to spend which most would causing the money to keep moving and provide a stimulus to the economy, hell some would spend the money on Apple products which would help them.

Trickle down doesn't work, has never worked and will never work. Trickle up however has a long history of working and always does work but it means giving money to the less well off members of society and that'll never pass muster in American boardrooms.

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Boffin rediscovers 1960s attempt to write fiction with computers

DJO

Re: What happened to the Lion?

He'd also need a prequel and a sequel to fully tell the story, then another set of films from Dogs perspective. Oh and the "Making Of" documentaries (to be sold separately) - In total about 10 films (excluding "Directors Cuts"), should keep him busy for the next decade or so

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Airbus issues patch to prevent A350 airliner fuel tanks exploding

DJO

Re: Brilliant!

vapors and can ignite with a spark.

½ correct ½ wrong

Vapours can ignite with a spark in the presence of Oxygen

Now engage your remaining brain cell and consider if the manufacturers might have thought about purging the tanks with nitrogen (or some other gas, CO2 would do the job I suppose)?

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DJO

Re: I Am Not An Aeronautical Engineer

For the archetypical Carnot heat engine lowering the temperature differential between the fuel and the engine body does lower the engine efficiency but modern jet engines are slightly more complex beasts than a simple heat engine.

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Kill animals and destroy property before hurting humans, Germany tells future self-driving cars

DJO

Re: Who - "invisible" objects

I see bicycle riders and pedestrians crossing in all black clothes at night in the rain I'm asking myself if they are intentionally suicidal or simply do not care to live.

Imagine if you will a curving narrow road with huge trees and bushes on either side making the road effectively a green tunnel with mottled sunlight.

Now imagine you are employed to cut the hedge.

What to wear while standing in the road? Nice reflective high-visibility jacket? Well in that exact circumstances I came across a trendy moron who thought that a camouflage jacket and matching trousers were the ideal outfit, if his hedge trimmer hadn't been bright red I would never have seen him and I would definitely have squished him.

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Surfacegate: Microsoft execs 'misled Nadella', claims report

DJO

Re: Not surprised...

Well yes but in reality the movement is in the opposite direction, it's just a matter of time until SSDs are no longer a separate item but are an integral part of the motherboard, at least for lappies and tabbies where space is a premium.

Not endorsing this, much the opposite but I am making a firm prediction.

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Revealed: The naughty tricks used by web ads to bypass blockers

DJO

Dumb will as dumb does

Don't they realize forcing ads is counter-productive, I seldom notice adverts but when I do it's just to remind myself never to buy anything from that company, if the advert is forced against an ad blocker then that goes doubly.

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TalkTalk fined £100k for exposing personal sensitive info

DJO

And double the maximum fine for every subsequent offence.

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Space Duck 2.0 is New Horizons' next destination

DJO

Re: Giant Space Ducks!

Oort to be careful then

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Don't mind if I do, says Nokia, taking a €1.7bn chomp out of Apple

DJO

Re: Definition of a troll

Just because they no longer sell consumer goods does not mean they don't sell or make anything. Nokia make lots of high-end network kit for ISPs and Telcos.

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Astroboffins discover that half of the Milky Way's matter comes from other galaxies

DJO

Re: It's one of those "I'm surprised this has not been tried sooner"

Obviously people have known that if the only way to make higher elements was fusion then we are all the remnants of supernovae explosions.

You only need supernovae for elements heavier than Iron and the elements heavier than Iron are only found in the human body in parts per trillion. The elements between Helium and Iron are from ordinary boring novae and other unremarkable stellar deaths, only really big mothers go supernova.

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NASA lights humongous rocket that goes nowhere ... until 2019

DJO

"Won't 8 million pounds of thrust also knock Earth out of it's current orbit and crash us into the moon?"

There will be a minuscule effect on the Earth, every force having an equal and opposite reaction and all that stuff but the Earth is very big and very very heavy when compared to a rocket so I really wouldn't worry about it.

Anyway the Moon is receding so any change to the Earth's orbit won't be enough to catch the Moon. also as the Moon orbits the Earth if the Earth's orbit was disturbed the Moon would just tag along for the ride staying in much the same orbit as now.

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Juicy fine for Bradford firm after it blurts one million spam texts

DJO

1,000,000 mails and a fine of £80,000 which works out to 8p per message.

Significantly cheaper than normal mail campaign so a win for the company. Fines need to be at least an order of magnitude higher to be any deterrent.

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Set your alarms for 2.40am UTC – so you can watch Unix time hit 1,500,000,000

DJO

Re: It can go on

Constant Acceleration at 1G is impossible for more than a few months.

From stationary in 353 days 19 hours 45 minutes 23.004 seconds at a constant 1G you'd attain c which is not allowed.

If you had an engine capable of producing a constant 1G which would also provide the illusion of gravity which would be nice for the crew, the trick would be to keep turning the ship around so you oscillate between (say) 0.75c and 0.9c so you'd still be prety fast but the time dilation would not be excessive and you'd have gravity (except when turning the ship) for the entire journey so no bone or muscle wasting.

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Sleuths unearth 'Panic Mode' in Android, set off by mashing back button

DJO

User input should be a unmaskable interrupt,

And before USB with dedicated mouse and keyboard ports it was but it's tricky for the USB controller to issue a maximum priority interrupt securely in a way that cannot be abused.

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Australian govt promises to push Five Eyes nations to break encryption

DJO

Re: Ahmed the Terrifying Terrorist

mangled to squelch any steganography you may have put into the image.

With a bit of imagination that is a surprisingly easy problem to circumvent especially if you know it's going to happen, it will lower the amount of data that can be encoded per picture but they only need to send a few code words not an annotated copy of War and Peace.

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DJO

Foot, gun, take aim, fire!

So messaging moves off the normal internet and you lose all the lovely metadata which any intelligence expert will tell you (in confidence) is where the bulk of their information comes from.

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Ex-NASA bod on Gwyneth Paltrow site's 'healing' stickers: 'Wow. What a load of BS'

DJO

Re: graphite?

I can supply a precision made cylinder of pure natural graphite enrobed in a hexagonal wooden substrate with a sun-yellow gloss finish, a snip at £999.99 each (bulk discount negotiable).

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NASA? More like NASAI: Brainy robots 'crucial' to space exploration

DJO

Re: Autonomous exploration of Alpha Centauri

A chain of weedy transmitters does not make a viable repeater chain

Reading comprehension failure #1

I said the sensor craft would have weak transmitters, the repeaters by definition would only be carrying a receiver & transmitter without the science package so they would not be weedy in the slightest.

While a RTG is one way and would be needed if there was constant comms traffic, but there wont be, it'll be a few bursts so a simpler energy supply would suffice and a Gigabit connection is not required, make it slow but reliable.

The science craft can work on solar power from Alpha C & P as can the repeaters near that end of the chain.

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DJO

Re: Autonomous exploration of Alpha Centauri

how will it be possible to ensure that the probe's signal will be distinguishable from Alpha Centauri's output ?

Now this is where you get clever, rather than a single craft you have a swam of micro-probes propelled by a laser at this end, these craft have a broad selection of sensors and pretty weedy transmitters. After the sensor craft you regularly launch a handful of repeater craft which you don't accelerate to quite the same speed so you end up with a chain of repeaters between here and Alpha Centauri which can handle the data with ease.

This scheme allows a further refinement, if you have a second set of sensor probes about 10 to 15 years behind the first set they can be directed and programmed to look at any interesting things the first ones spotted but were going to fast to investigate thoroughly.

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Tesla's driverless car software chief steps down

DJO

Re: I think Uber might have a vacancy.

fix a toxic company without destroying it.

But if the company has toxicity built into it's business model, there's no chance. If Uber didn't just ignore inconvenient local legislation their business model of "Destroy & Monopolise" wouldn't stand a chance, and to be honest doesn't deserve to stand a chance.

Lobby to change rules but ignore them and expect to be prosecuted - Uber has no future with it's current operating model, it's amazing they haven't been sued to oblivion already.

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Oxford profs tell Twitter, Facebook to take action against political bots

DJO

Re: Nope, the truth is not relative

Whilst the "truth" is not relative it does rely on context.

An unrelated uncontentious example:

Water contains 66.6% hydrogen

Water contains 11.8% hydrogen

Both statements are completely true.

1st by number of atoms, 2nd by mass.

In the political arena the problem is the same, statistics without a baseline are worthless.

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Now you can 'roam like at home' within the EU, but what's the catch?

DJO

Re: I would suggest telco to save cutting ads, especially the expensive TV ones.

Virgin are the worst, I'm not a customer, I've never been a customer, I'm never likely to become a customer but every week I get at least 2 letters from them extolling their wonderful service, letters that must cost them about £50 a year for the materials, postage and handling, letters that go unopened straight into the bin.

I'm just one person but extrapolate that across the country and beardy must be wasting millions a year in futile mailings.

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Teen texted boyfriend to kill himself. It worked. Will the law change to deal with digital reality?

DJO

Gross negligence is the "lack of slight diligence or care"

Interesting, did you know it's a crime to let somebody die (such as by drowning) if you could have prevented their demise.

I'd think this is exactly the same, she knew he was suicidal and could have intervened to prevent that.

To use the drowning analogy this is as if she stood on the shore and stamped on his hand when he tried to get out. Not murder but death caused by malicious negligence.

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Going to Mars may give you cancer, warns doc

DJO

Re: Its a different world

All I'd need would be time enough to grab a handfull of regolith

Have you watched any science fiction?

As soon as you touch the dust it'll creep through your skin and before you know it you're a vacuum tolerant homicidal maniac.

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TRUMP SCANDAL! No, not that one. Or that one. Or that one. Or that one.

DJO

Casus belli

Well now the CIA and FBI have a legitimate reason to rummage around in the Trump organization systems, "got see what's there to determine if it's been hit", let's hope they take full advantage of the opportunity.

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Scientists are counting atoms to figure out when Mars last had volcanoes

DJO

Re: Is this for real?

Mars, in Olympus Mons, still has an active volcano

Please cite references, I always understood OM was either dormant or dead with no eruptions for several million years (evidence from impact craters on the slopes).

Mars has no plate tectonics and a relatively cool core so significant seismic activity is considered very improbable.

When they count atoms the numbers are quite huge, for example 1 nanogram of Uranium has 2.5 x10^12 atoms so I wouldn't worry too much about small samples.

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DJO

Re: Ingenious. It's a way to do "Carbon dating" at the scale of a grain of sand.

Well "technically" it's:

Uranium 238 to Thorium 234 to Protactinium 234 to Uranium 234 to Thorium 230 to Radium 226 to Radon 222 to Polonium 218 to Lead 214.

not finished, Lead 214 is radioactive.

Then to Bismuth 214 to Polonium 214 to Lead 210 to Bismuth 210 to Polonium 210 and finally to the stable Lead 206.

There are different chains if you start with Uranium 233 or 235

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Media players wide open to malware fired from booby-trapped subtitles

DJO

Will they ever learn?

Yet again pointless functionality is exploited.

Subtitles are plain text sometimes with a bit of simple formatting, the ability for them to contain and run executable code is so pointless & stupid it makes Trump look like Mr Brainbox.

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Code-thief pleads guilty to pinching file system to sell to China

DJO

Priorities

Lets see if I've got this right

For failing to steal and sell some obscure code, possible 75 years

For actual rape 10 to 15 years, possibly commuted to zilch if the perp is a nice white boy.

Perhaps the American judicial system had got it's priorities a bit fucked.

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WannaCrypt: Roots, reasons and why scramble patching won't save you now

DJO

I confess I have one PC running XP because it's all it needs for the single purpose the PC is used for.

It is however on it's own sub-net which is not allowed to connect to the internet which is what anybody running a redundant OS should do.

Run redundant OS's if you must but only an idiot lets them talk to the outside world.

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Blighty's buying another 17 F-35s, confirms the American government

DJO

Fighters are really redundant.

Ground attack can be performed by drones.

Hostile intercept by ground to air missiles.

Civilian intercept by any plane you've got hanging around.

After that there is no real role for fighters any more.

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US surveillance court declined less than 2 per cent of applications

DJO

Re: The land of the ....?

recommend 1984, but also read Brave New World.

Animal Farm might be worth reading too - All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

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New satellites could cause catastrophic space junk collisions

DJO

Re: The real worry is cascade collisions, where debris from one hits a bunch of others.

Debris collision cascade is known as Kessler Syndrome (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kessler_syndrome) and is well known to players of several space games.

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Boeing-backed US upstart reckons it'll be building electric airliners

DJO

Re: Brilliant

Next up: The solar powered submarine

That actually could work!

Have a football field sized neutrally buoyant sheet of solar cells that could be towed behind the sub when cruising close to the surface and rolled back in when going deeper.

But probably more hassle than a simple old fashioned nuclear generator.

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DJO

Re: Reality check time?

Batteries have awful energy-to-mass ratios when compared to good old flammable liquids.

Also batteries don't lose weight as the energy is consumed so the overall energy requirements will be slightly higher.

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DJO

Re: Reality check time?

I'm pretty sure they do not plan to power the aircraft by solar power.

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Boeing details 'Deep Space Gateway' for Mars mission staging

DJO

Re: Nice idea

like a roller coaster,

ROTFLMAO

A roller coaster may max at 100mph and still they come off from time to time.

Your hypothetical lunar track would need speeds of about 13,000 mph.

The bearings would explode, the tracks would twist.

Given current materials technology there is no way it could possibly work.

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DJO

Re: Nice idea

the rails go all the way around the Moon, it's a very long railgun

An engineering impossibility, nothing could stay on the tracks at speeds far in excess of escape velocity.

Once the projectile is above a critical speed the gun must be straight, any deviation would be catastrophic.

5km is a reasonable maximum length for the final straight part of the gun, getting the projectile up to a speed to cover the roughly 60,000,000 km between Earth & Mars in exactly one year would expose the projectile to an acceleration of about 90G

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DJO

Re: Nice idea

The acceleration needed on a lunar railgun to fire a ship to Mars to get there in under a year would squish the crew into a thin film of raspberry jam.

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People may have been wrongly sent back to prison over faulty tags

DJO

Re: Who Else?

Could a tag be replaced with a ruggedised, non-removable Apple Watch?

It's supposed to be rehabilitation, not punishment.

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Douglas Coupland: The average IQ is now 103 and the present is melting into the future

DJO

IQ tests

IQ tests are good for one thing and one thing alone:

Measuring how good you are at IQ tests. That's it, they provide no more value or insight than that, the tests are too culturally based and your mark can be improved by practising at taking tests.

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UK Home Sec: Give us a snoop-around for WhatApp encryption. Don't worry, we won't go into the cloud

DJO

Colour me surprised

A government minister exhibits a fundamental lack of understanding about how encryption works and the inherent problems with backdoors - I'm shocked.

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Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

DJO

Re: Read more

"Don't get me started on the click here to read more buttons"

Well they are hardly likely to label the button "click here to install sypware" are they now?

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