* Posts by Grikath

1280 posts • joined 9 Feb 2012

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Signal app guru Moxie: Facebook is like Exxon. Everyone needs it, everyone despises it

Grikath

Maybe for the average commentard here it is, as you say, bollocks.

However, Facebook has become the de-facto reality when it comes to "communication" to the Outside World for a shedload or two of small/one-man firms, clubs, hobbyists, and so on. For most of those there is no economically viable alternative to present whatever they want. It *is* indispensible to them.

And honestly, even if you could fund an alternative that *doesn't* use the Facebook model of datamining, and get enough traction to make it viable, and avoid getting BORG'ed... You'd still have to charge people *somewhere*. And the bulk of people/businesses would still opt for the "free" option, especially since the actual cost of the "free" Facebook model is too ephemeral to them. It does not impact daily life/operation, and probably never will, so the true cost gets ignored.

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Supreme Court punts on Microsoft email seizure decision after Cloud Act passes US Congress

Grikath

Re: How can Microsoft be happy?

They would be. The CLOUD act *will* be challenged sooner or later, but with the new DoJ seizure request under the act, they had a small window of opportunity to settle this without loss of face to either side. US politics being the minefield that it is at the moment, MS would *far* prefer the politically expedient solution than getting ready for another round on the barricades against the DoJ and everything else trying to wade in.

This way they can claim "duress" even when CLOUD gets shot down eventually. And they can let other companies take up the Rock/Hard Place fight against the ....impossibilities.. within CLOUD without soaking up the initial costs. Until then they've dodged a particularly nasty bullet. Until the next shot is fired, of course.

Not that I *agree* with the way they've solved this, but I can see where they can be happy about it, in a mercenary kind of way. It's 50/50 that the EU will get involved in this now, eiher directly, or by Asking Pointed Questions in the direction of Microsoft Ireland.

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More than 87m Facebook profiles farmed, says second ex-Cambridge Analytica witness

Grikath

actually....

That is pretty much how a lot of this dataminig on FB is done...

All those accounts that deal in nothing but "Pithy Quotes" , "If you feel [insert] tag/react", and others like it that thoroughly infect peoples' timelines, because "friends" keep reacting to them are nothing more than thinly disguised data mining. On a level far deeper and insidious than a plain questionnaire.

The whole thing is ridiculously easy to set up, and is as close to subliminal interrogation as you can get, all without a shred of risk to whoever sets up the accounts. Once you're out in the wild, it's a gift that keeps on giving.

In that sense, Cambridge Analytica is a high-profile but *small* player. The real big players are well in the shadows.

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We 'could' send troubled Watchkeeper drones to war, insists UK minister

Grikath
Mushroom

Re: Still yet to hear...

Could have been they saw an opportunity to get rid of ordnance near its expiry date..

Icon because..

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ZTE now stands for 'zero tech exports' – US govt slaps 7-year ban on biz

Grikath

Does the US actually have..

Anything ZTE wants?

It's not as if they can't source anything they need in Asia nowadays.. Including a HUGE market that will only buy if you *do not deal* with the US...

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Security? We've heard of it, say web-app devs. 31 in 33 codebases have at least one big bad vuln

Grikath

Re: This is my take on these appalling statistics

[manglement] We have this idea for... Can you make something like this?

[poor sod] Yeeeesss... can be done..ummm gimme two weeks and...

[manglement] No Good we need it next week so we can include it into our <interminable round of drinkies>

[poor sod] umm well.. I can whip up a basic thingie in about a week but....

[manglement] Good!

two weeks later..

[poor sod] Well there were some difficulties, but we've got basic functionality, and at least it doesn't crash wildly anymo...

[manglement] So it works?

[poor sod] ummm.. yeeeeesss.. in a way... It's only a proto...

[manglement] But it works?

[poor sod] In its basic shape yes, but it needs test...

[manglement] OK. We'll hand it to Ops and roll it out.

[poor sod] but we still need to test i....

[manglement] Thank you! Now what's for Lunch?

1
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Data watchdog fines Brit council £120k for identifying 943 owners of vacant property

Grikath

Re: Excel

"and there's the big problem.... council workers and basic competence are mutually exclusive !!"

Not always.. In municipal-related projects I've had to distribute many a pivot table, and the first thing you do is LOCK THE DAMNED THING. It's also why you learn Access if you got to work with Office. Same queries, less embarrassment.

However Manglement doesn't like that, as it locks them out of....reviewing.. your work for answers they do not like. So Safe Practice gets beaten out of subordinates and below. Your average slob may have provided the table, but you can be sure it was not locked or otherwise sanitised until Manglement and Public Embarassment got through with it and sent it out as-is.

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Car-crash television: 'Excuse me ma'am, do you speak English?' 'Yes I do,' replies AMD's CEO

Grikath

You're in ...oh wait....

And given that the average high-educated, high profile Asian might be able to handle english, and sometimes even german in the written form, *nothing* in their education system prepares them for actually speaking it.

As any Fule who' bin there learns to his embarassment..

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US, UK cyber cops warn Russians are rooting around in your routers

Grikath

Gosh..... Just 6 months ago it used to be the NORKs...

Before mr. FattymcFat started, more or less successfully, detonating nukes it used to be the Chinese..

When the Establishment figured out Asia in general had caught up and could and *would* outcompete them it was the Yellow Menace...

We've covered about 30+ years of global development in those 3 sentences, and *only* if you look at them through PrUSAian propaganda.

Anyone else see a pattern, or am I getting Old?

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The only way is Ethics: UK Lords fret about AI 'moral panic'

Grikath

Re: Surely any true AI, deserving of a persona legalis ...

Ummm nope... The "esoteric features" of humanity are software, not hard/firm/wetware. Humans are *not* hardwired for specific "social behaviour". That stuff is taught/impressed from infancy through (pre)-puberty, more often than not through the seat of the pants. ( 5 billion+ of the earth's population do not take to our Western neoHippie special-snowflake-inducing approach to child-raising...)

Until someone figures out a universal algorythm for "justice" , "ethics", and other such stuff, and incorporates it into AI ( and the rest of humanity, despite cultural differences...) , any machine that develops enough intelligence and self-awareness to be classed as a "person" is most likely to develop a mindset that will be completely alien to us.

Fortunately, unless there appear some *MAJOR* advances in our understanding of how brains actually work, we will not reach that level in our lifetimes.

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Australian Feds cuff woman who used BTC to buy drugs on dark web

Grikath

Re: Either that or

Or the shipment address in the UK was already suspect, or... plenty of ways to get caught shipping Naughty Stuff from the UK to Oz, using the Dark Web or other means.

Although there's BTC in the story, I doubt they got her by tracing the transaction itself.

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Having ended America's broadband woes, the FCC now looks to space

Grikath

Re: This is targeted at rogue broadband mini satellites

That's the thing, isn't it? The world has *changed*, and when it comes to market, there's places now that are way more interesting than the US market. And those places don't really care about what the USofA thinks. In fact, they're known to be able to shoot back..

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Anon biz bloke wins milestone Google Right To Be Forgotten lawsuit

Grikath
Facepalm

Re: Google UK vs Google.com

"Why do you need to use a proxy if Google.com is not 'forgetting' the results in Europe?"

Because your "natural" IP will still tell Google ( or any other outfit, like say ..Netflix.. Youtube...) you're located in the EU. And thus subject to the court-mandated filter. Or any other filter, like the soon-to-be Great British Think-of-the-Children Firewall.

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Grikath

When it comes to "Look me being purty" *everybody* takes a little license when it comes to public-facing communication. Or have you never written a resumé .. ? The internet in general is the same. It's mostly facing to the outside world, so some care and consideration must be taken towards presenting yourself, especially the stuff your Boss or [insert here] might see.

I very much doubt this particular court result will have any significant impact on that.

The verdict doesn't even interfere with journalistic Due Diligence. The case records are still on file, and can be dug up if you *really* want to dig into either claimant's past. With the proper credentials, and not by scanning a search database for all of 5 seconds in the case of NT2.

NT1 is less lucky, but then again, the verdict states that NT1 extended his "Naughty Person" status with regards to his case. Not a good career move....

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Boeing CEO takes aim at Musk’s Starman-in-a-Tesla stunt

Grikath

pffftttt...

Musk can already bring his own Tesla back if he wanted to, just to spite Muilenburg.

Basically he just needs to build something "small" with a grabby bit and enough fuel/delta-v to catch up with the car, grab it, and change vector enough to bring it back. The car isn't that heavy, after all. This he can already do with the Falcon 9, not even a need for the BFR. Would also be a good demonstration of the reliability needed for a real Mars mission.

He doesn't even need to bring the car back to the surface. Parking it in geostationary roughly above the Boeing main office would do..

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Fear the Reaper: Man hospitalised after eating red hot chilli pepper

Grikath

Re: Like Moths to a flame...

How can the farmer get sued, if someone *stole* it, and ate the evidence?

Darwin Award material? Possibly. Something that would stand up in court (outside, of course, the US....) ? Not a chance in hell.

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German sauna drags punters to court over naked truth

Grikath

Re: "We sell ad space next to IT stories"

Given what Booth Babes pass off as "clothing" at IT/Tech conventions....

B00bz are Business... And those guns aren't aimed at the *professional* IT crowd. They're aimed at the Boss who tries to avoid a Cattleprodding ( or at least ...delay the inevitable..)

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Are you SAP-py now?! ERP giant overhauls pricing model following indirect access drama

Grikath

Re: Bastards

yes. It has always been thus...

SAP has always had the business model Micro$oft wanted, and only got access to with Win10 model. And not only M$... *every* SaaS model is essentially what SAP perpetrates on humanity.

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UK 'wife'-carrying champion named

Grikath

you forgot the plural there..

Single ferret + wide trousers = happy warm-cosy naptime ( unless you ...annoy.. the ferret first..)

plural ferrets introduced in trousers, especially if they have not been properly introduced.... Wellllllll... I can see where that might pose a problem.

3
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Grikath
Coat

Re: ummmm

XKCD....ermmmm... https://satwcomic.com/sports-in-finland

'nuff said... ;)

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Patch or ditch Adobe Flash: Exploit on sale, booby-trapped Office docs spotted in the wild

Grikath
Angel

Flash?

A-haaaaaaaargh!!

13
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You. FCC. Get out there and do something about these mystery bogus cell towers, huff bigwigs

Grikath

Re: Foreign governments ?

That's the interesting question, isn't it?

Given how crucial cell towers are for our modern communication network, and (afaik) you still can't park them willy-nilly everywhere... Someone must have known/signed off on them, and someone must have been sleeping at the wheel to have those things appear all over the place. In a nation's capital, no less.

Lemme get the popcorn... This one is going to be *FUN*....

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In a sorry state again: Zuckerberg dusts off apology playbook in mea culpa to Congress

Grikath

Re: How about even a scripted-apology for Shadow-Profiling?

Not really... They can sacrifice Zuck, and deal with Musk.

It's not as if Google doesn't scrub even more...

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Britain's 4G is slower than Armenia's

Grikath

Way worse than Holland, slightly better than Germany and France, actually. Although France has better speed when you get it.

Which fits with the rollout really. Holland is small and urbanised enough to have near-national coverage, and the fiber backbone to distribute the signals. Germany/France rollout is concentrated around the cities, and far less out into the country. And both Germany and France have oodles of Middle-of-Nowhere.

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Is there alien life out there? Let's turn to AI, problem solver du jour

Grikath

Re: Europa

Different type of research. We *can* ( and should) send a probe there to have a look-see. Stars are a bit out of our league for the foreseeable future when it comes to actually going there.

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Are meta, self-referential or recursive science-fiction films doomed?

Grikath

"At its release reviewer Roger Ebert suggested Starship Troopers was "pitched at 11-year-old science-fiction fans" "

Which shows what a reviewer knows, as a bit of research ( 10 seconds on wikipedia) would have shown Starship Troopers was *written* targeted at the juvenile market. As-is, the book still sits firmly in the Teen category.

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No chance of flying too close to this: Icarus, the most distant star seen, is 9bn light years away

Grikath

Re: I take it this star has lovely plumage?

Blue supergiant... So at this time it's a black hole..

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Wanna work for El Reg? Developers needed for headline-writing AI bots

Grikath

Re: Editorial staff are vehemently opposed to this project

Noo need fer a' Moostick, Laddy. Yes' use yer HEID on 'em scunners...

3
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Amazon warns you have 30 days before Music Storage files bloodbath

Grikath

Aaaahhhh... the Cloud...

Eternal, until the service gets axed.

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Magic Leap ships headsets at last, but you'll need a safe

Grikath

Re: Safe size?

Or you find an intern whose sole function is to wear the device, so that your Experts can stud...errmm... evaluate the thing. It's in use, after all.... No Safe Needed. And interns are cheap.

11
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Super Cali goes ballistic, Starbucks is on notice: Expensive milky coffee is something quite cancerous

Grikath
Pint

Re: the judge who cried wolf?

"So either eat your food raw or boiled, "

Wasn't "Boiled to Death" the standard mode of english ...food massacre.. ? As opposed to the scottish "fry it 'till it stops screaming".. ?

Which makes me wonder.. In all those decades I've mastered english, I've never really heard any solid stereotype about the Welsh and Food (other than the sheep thing). Inquiring minds at Beer 'o Clock and a bit...

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Autonomous vehicle claims are just a load of hot air… and here's why

Grikath

Re: BTW

"What's wrong with that?"

Starting with what the Brits consider "suitable" for putting into those bags? *shudder*

(Disclosure: I have worked for a dutch coffee company which produced on order for the UK (beans, pre-ground and instant), and still have a fair feel for the blends. The UK blends are ...different.. from the rest of Civilised Europe. And damned if you tried to show them there's BETTER stuff for the same price range...)

5
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Grikath

Re: BTW

Dabbsy also carefully avoids the opinion of the rest of the civilised world about the horrors the Brits perpetrate when making/serving coffee. ;-)

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Microsoft patches patch for Meltdown bug patch: Windows 7, Server 2008 rushed an emergency fix

Grikath

Re: Testing?

They did test it... against the original problem..

This one was introduced by someone who forgot to reset a flag ( presumably set for testing/debugging purposes.), which opened up ...well.. everything...

Not a failure to solve the problem, but introducing a new vulnerability in the same area by simple, stupid, human error. Like leaving the stock admin login untouched in an installation.

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Recording Industry Ass. says vinyl and CD sales beat digital downloads

Grikath

Re: scenario

"you'd figure a way to get that VCR hooked into the new flat screen to get the kiddies out from under foot."

SCART to standard AV plug converter.....

Amazing what you can hook up to modern screens with that...

(lot of friends with little kids. And an amazing selection of kiddie films/series that are only available on video tapes. The sheer volume of tapes still around is...impressive... And cheap for the parents. )

3
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More ad-versarial tech: Mozilla to pop limited ad blocker into Firefox

Grikath

Re: Adblocking is stealing

"Put it this way. If ad blocking becomes ubiquitous, either ads will get more aggressive to the point of becoming unblockable, or a lot of Web content, good or bad, is going to start disappearing."

Point 1: if ads become that agressive, even the most clueless consumers will catch on, and turn away from sites that employ them. Even the pr0n industry has learned that lesson... eventually...

Point 2: The web could do with a bit of culling. The most annoying sites are clickbait/revenue generation caroussels anyway. Good riddance.

Most sites where people try to make a living off creating content have a Patreon (or similar) solution in place, and as a result a stricly limited and light ad-load on the site itself. Limited enough to whitelist those sites.

4
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US Congress quietly slips cloud-spying powers into page 2,201 of spending mega-bill

Grikath

This bit of junk won't do the US govt any good if the data is held by a subsidiary set up as a foreign legal entity. Like most data centers are nowadays....

5
0

Bitcoin's blockchain: Potentially a hazardous waste dump of child abuse, malware, etc

Grikath
Devil

Proper BOFH material.

We're at the harsh tail-end of winter, and those guys land a presentation at a conference in Curacao...

Quite pleasantly subtropical Curacao... That is really not known for anything IT-ish....at all...

Something tells me the organisers and participants are at least ..familiar with Simon's work...

16
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Uber breaks self-driving car record: First robo-ride to kill a pedestrian

Grikath

Lovely frothing at the mouth...

and all that. But the data in the article is insufficient to determine who was to blame here.

Those cars are experimental, and have a shedload of telemetry and cameras built in. No doubt the local plod will be quite adamant in nosing through all that to see what exactly has happened here.

Speculation is all good and nice, but until some more actual facts get released to the public, that speculation is pretty much pointless.

9
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Another day, another self-flying car pipe dream surfaces

Grikath

Re: Obstacles

People always forget the biggest and most lethal ( from a practical point of view) problem: The. Damned. Noise.

4
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Crooks opt for Monero as crypto of choice to launder ill-gotten gains

Grikath

Re: Minecraft ?

Private servers and paypal accounts.

Really, any game that allows digital bits and bobs to she shifted from player A to player B can be used that way. The game is simply used as a token-exchange system, with the server admin as the broker. Minecraft has the advantage that there are a lot types of resources, which can easily be adjusted by the admin(s), so it's pretty versatile as a system.

And as with all things coded, you'll have a damned time proving that stack of chickens represents [X], if you don't have access to the codebook.

Additionally, there are a *lot* of legitimate private Minecraft servers... Easy to hide in the forest.

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We're Putin our foot down! DHS, FBI blame Russia for ongoing infrastructure hacks

Grikath

Re: some text was in French

And french was once the language of almost every court in Europe, and still is a mainstay in the diplomatic world.

Your point?

8
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Fermi famously asked: 'Where is everybody?' Probably dead, says renewed Drake equation

Grikath

universal infinity.

The Universe is finite.. It's *expanding* into infinity. **

The expanding balloon model is applicable here. Shaves off a dimension so that our monkey brains can more easily visualise the phenomenon.

** We still have no idea what we're expanding into. Now *that* is the billion-dollar question. Or slood.. everything is better with slood.

4
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Boffins build 'body-on-a-chip' for drugs tests

Grikath

Re: "better prediction of human responses at lower financial and ethical costs"

You'd still need animal and human testing for most chemicals.

While this thing is *really* neat, especially in the way it could measure catalysis and metabolisation paths, it cannot predict the neurological and/or hormonal impact on the whole body. Or other bits and bobs that can give nasty side-effects, like our immune system.

It does save on a lot of rats in the preliminary stages though.

1
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16 exoplanets found huddled around 12 lightweight stars

Grikath

Re: Tides

Never been too hot on the "tidal requirement" argument when it comes to "advancing life". Even when the Moon was a lot closer to us, and tides were .. a bit more pronounced.

Thing is, life over here progressed from Green Goo up to Fishes, Crustaceans, and Other Stuff well away from any tidal zones, in the ocean. The fossil record is clear enough about that. So really.. Moon Not Needed.

I think the metal content of the stars is more significant. More metal = more chance on a viable metallic core = a solid magnetic field. Which is the first buffer a planet, and anything living on it, has against several shades of Nastyness happening to it. The way Mars lost its water and atmosphere to solar wind shows what happens if that magnetic field fails..

16
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Air gapping PCs won't stop data sharing thanks to sneaky speakers

Grikath

Re: Theory and in practice?

yup...

Especially given the directionality of high frequency sound, and the fact that the speakers would generally not be aimed at each other...

You'd need to put out some serious volume to get anywhere. Well into hearing range of all but the most disco-deaf.

5
0

Tech giants should take the rap for enabling fake news, boffins tell EU

Grikath
Devil

Re: Thank god for tech giants

Big Tech is responsible for all the crackpot sites, because they must be, because they're Big Tech.

simple isn't it?

3
3

For all we know, aliens could be as careless with space junk as us

Grikath

Re: just a little rant...

Anybody up to calculating. The probable mass of an opaque satellite belt around the Earth?

napkin time...

Geosynchronous circumference is about 226000 km.

Say we've gotten *good* at parking and maintaining orbit you may get as far as one satellite per 10 km. Anything closer strikes me as ..not enough elbow room.. But I may be wrong there.

That gives us 22600 satellites in a ring.

However geo is not a single line, but a zone where you can park several rings adjacent to each other and still do the equator-zoomy bit. Ignoring the toroïd , (https://i.stack.imgur.com/xzORe.jpg), signal blocking and other Stuff, I'd guess you can get about 10 rings in either side from the center before moving out of true geo territory. That makes for 20 feasible orbits ( 200 km orbit definition), containing roughly 450.000 satellites.

now comes the question: how much does the average geosat weigh? The thing there is that while still the heaviest birds around, their mass has been declining over the years, (https://blog.forecastinternational.com/wordpress/average-commercial-communications-satellite-launch-mass-declines-again/). Now there's only so much you can strip, and you need some serious tech in space, so they can't drop *that* far in weight. So let's assume a 3.500kg standard mass to allow for future tech.

The Napkin says that amounts to a total mass of 1.6*10^9 kg.

Which, for comparison, would be 2.15*10 ^ -14 the mass of the moon.

Worse.. the mass would be evenly distributed around the equator, so there'd be no wobble to detect. Albedo? You'd have to know what it would have been before the whole ring got up. Spectrography? Possibly a bit more metal, but that would be a hell of an assumption. Radiation? At that density you'd need *very* tight beams out, and the satellites themselves beam down.... Visual? at the right angle... That would mean whoever is looking at us can achieve a resolution high enough that they can also see our continents/major cloud patterns. Who cares about satellites at that point?

ok. It's no XKCD , but I've done my best. Thank the damn Flu and the resulting Boredom.

1
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Pasties in SPAAAAACE: Cornwall hopes for slice of £50m spaceport cash

Grikath
Mushroom

Re: "..located in the area around Newquay airport and Goonhilly..."

"Not so. This scheme is air-launched rockets only, from well off-shore to the south, I presume. Thus Devon will be spared, but not, alas, France."

Nah you can easily miss France.. Just aim over the length of the Mediterranean.

0
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Boffins discover chemistry that could have produced building blocks of life in space

Grikath

"The big question is whether this is something that, inherently, the laws of physics do allow"

Ummm last time I checked the laws of physics don't give a hoot about personal opinion, they just are.

Which means that they do allow for "life". Thankfully so, given that our whole body chemistry is dependent on those reactions to survive and ultimately make more "life".

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