* Posts by imanidiot

2190 posts • joined 19 Mar 2012

Silent running: Computer sounds are so '90s

imanidiot
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A the memories

My very first phone was a good old Nokia 3310. The archetype brick-phone. The ringtone I started out using was "Hurdy-Gurdy", but this wasn't always easily audible so I switched to Sunny Walks. Somehow that little monotone tune is guaranteed to penetrate 3 feet of concrete in a way that makes it still distinctive enough to let you know you're getting a call. To this day even on my new smartphones I have the ringtone set to a MP3 version of the original 3310 Sunny Walks. I've developed an almost Pavlovian response to it now where hearing it will lead to a compulsive reaction to check my phone. It helps I never give my number to anyone that would call me "just because", thus if I get called it's probably something I should answer.

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EU aren't kidding: Sky watchdog breathes life into mad air taxi ideas

imanidiot
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Re: O RLY?

If it's designed like a quadcopter you need all 4 to stay in the air. In a hexacopter you can lose one and keep control or 2 in limited cases but lose yaw control. Not exactly confidence inspiring. On top of that it's very often not the motor giving up but the control electronics. And how likely is it for a problem with the control electronics to be limited to just the one motor controller? More motors doesn't have to mean more reliability. It just means moving the common point of failure further up the chain. If the battery or battery controllers fail you suddenly have no engines at all for instance.

Even ballistic parachutes require an amount of altitude to work, and usually more altitude than you'd be willing to fall.

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imanidiot
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Re: In Germany there actually is a strong push for those ideas in the ruling party

"$Hint: robot air taxi drivers have fewer things to avoid than robot ground taxi drivers. This is an area where monkeys won't be allowed to take the controls."

You'd think that, it's not actually the case. On top of that robot air taxi drivers suddenly have to deal with moving objects in 3 dimensions and with unpredictable movement patterns. Unlike robot ground taxi drivers where everything happens in pretty much a 2d plane with much more predictable movement. Dealing with 2 or 3 aircraft in close proximity in a landing pattern is a handful, dealing with 5 is stressful, dealing with 30 is impossible without outside guidance and ATC.

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Leaked memo: No internet until you clean your bathroom, Ecuador told Julian Assange

imanidiot
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Re: Considering....

That's easily solved. Find someone who looks enough like him and have him visit, then get in a black, tinted window car wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap. Drive him to the nearest port. If the car gets stopped, show correct ID documents and tell the coppers: "You've got the wrong guy, I was just visiting". Do this enough times and at some point the police will just assume it's the same visitor leaving. Then leave the other guy in the embassy for a day and walk Julian Asshat out, put him on a boat then transfer him to a ship sailing to Ecuador in international waters.

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imanidiot
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Re: Please, someone set up a GoFundMe

You don't need to create it: It already exists

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In Windows 10 Update land, nobody can hear you scream

imanidiot
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And still people wonder

Why I got a Windows 10 Pro license iso Home and configured it to delay updates as long as possible and take only slow release cycle "Ready for release in large organisations".

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NASA gently nudges sleeping space 'scopes Chandra, Hubble out of gyro-induced stupor

imanidiot
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Neither the crewed Dragon nor the Starliner are designed with extended duration trips like that in mind. I doubt they have the needed facilities to perform such a mission. Just docking with hubble without contaminating it would be a major problem

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imanidiot
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Re: Trivial query

A little of A and a little of B. Some gets dropped (some experiments are time sensitive for instance) some get reallocated time asap, some have to fight over priority. Theres also a few blank spots in the schedule that can be assigned to "targets of opportunity" that can be used for cases like this

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imanidiot
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Re: If we extrapolate from the directions they were pointing in when they failed

Does the pope shit in the woods?

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AI's next battlefield is literally the battlefield: In 20 years, bots will fight our wars – Army boffin

imanidiot
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Re: AI ? We don't need no steenking AI.

The thing is designed to throw rather nasty steel balls out the front, meaning anything on that side gets to aerated by steel on top of the blast damage. Behind the thing you only have to worry about the blast, which is much easier to shield from. So for certain values of "behind it" you would be safe. Just don't be within 10 feet behind cover or 30 feet with open LOS towards it and you'd probably be fine.

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imanidiot
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No need to develop EMP hardening. All current military tech of any semi-developed nation is already EMP hardened to withstand the EMP from nukes. I doubt any NNEMP weapons is going to be more powerful so for all intents and purposes military gear is already EMP hard anyway.

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imanidiot
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Re: The Wizard of Boston

The control systems may be remote (IE, calculations are done on a computer not on the moving "machine" ) but that's very different from remote controlled. The "control" extends as far as telling it where to go and in some cases how to get there (The jumping stuff might be programmed in to a certain extend) but the control over limbs and stability is all done on the system itself. It's certainly a lot more autonomous than you imply with "remote controlled" and "prosthetics"

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Yale Weds: Just some system maintenance, nothing to worry about. Yale Thurs: Nobody's smart alarm app works

imanidiot
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Re: I still have an old-school rule to follow

Given the trackrecord of the likes of MasterLock I wouldn't trust the engineering side of em all that much either.

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Your RSS is grass: Mozilla euthanizes feed reader, Atom code in Firefox browser, claims it's old and unloved

imanidiot
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Re: Thunderbird

AFAIK only Bronze badge commentards can do HTML in their posts since those were introduced. < a> tags work fine for me anyways

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NASA's Chandra probe suddenly becomes an EX-ray space telescope (for now, anyway)

imanidiot
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Re: Failure modes

NASA keeps mission hardware "copies" operational in their ground testing facilities. Most of the failures they encounter out there in the mission craft are also seen in the earth based hardware. That allows them to find out how to detect the failure mode with the sensors on the spacecraft or find out what the readings mean for hardware with similar runtime.

They don't need to bring the craft back for that. In any case Chandra is in a bad orbit for recovery.

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Chinese Super Micro 'spy chip' story gets even more strange as everyone doubles down

imanidiot
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Re: How can I put this?

@AC, NO, not just by the fab. The analysis is very often done either by or in very close cooperation with the fab customers (chip companies) engineers. And plenty of semicon manufacturers run their own fabs. Even in the case of a foundry running the fab for fab-less clients, the distinction between where the "Chip Company" ends and the fab/foundry begins in this regard is a bit of a grey area in practice. Checking layer geometry to "make sure the foundry has made the chip exactly as designed." IS a rather standard test afaik.

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imanidiot
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Re: How can I put this?

@AC, as someone who works in the industry, it is sort of done. Not shaving layer by layer but examining wafers after each layer is processed. It's not routine per sé but it IS done regularly for lots of chips. Especially in the run-up fase. Once it's been verified all reticles do what they should and overlay, LER and CD are in spec this process is phased out and it's only repeated every few tens of thousands of wafers. At the startup of a process it's a good way to verify everything works as it should.

Once a process has been spun up in this way it's VERY hard to make reticle changes without anyone noticing, because changing a reticle has significant impact in it's characteristics and can lead to requiring changes in exposure mode, beamshape, focussing, etc, etc. All of which would again be verified by checking the layers after exposure and/or processing (A lot of this is even done automatically by inline inspection systems, which would also have to be taught on the new, changed design or it would flag an error on every single chip, and someone WOULD then look at the pictures and see something was awry)

Semicon fabbing is NOT trivial and involves a LOT of people and a lot of equipment, all of which would have to somehow not notice someone has altered a chip design without their knowledge.

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

imanidiot
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Re: Compare with successful launch video

From what I can remember seeing/reading the LES tower should launch itself away from the craft, not just tumble lazily away from the craft. maybe the tower release failed or the motors didn't fire and the tower struck the boosters?

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imanidiot
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Seems something went wrong even before booster cut-off and staging. See 02:37 min. into this video of the launch, something can be seen detaching from the rocket and spinning around just before the internal shot where the "gravity indicator" suddenly rises and then the bouncing starts. 2 seconds later the debris cloud can be seen.

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imanidiot
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Re: How can we spin that?

But, but, NASA has always maintained the standards of yesteryear. Their standards may have always been shit to start with, but hey, it is consistent! (Weirdly enough I hear that last sentence in the voice of the late and great George Carlin. Seems like something he might say)

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imanidiot
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Boffin

Re: To quote Mr Manley...

More like, check your attachment points. Seems like one of the boosters might not have separated cleanly and slammed into the center core (as they always seem to do when I build a rocket in KSP). One of the core engine combustion chambers then seems to develop pogo-oscillations judging from the violent jerking seen in the video of the capsule interior (Phrasing!). Or one of the Vernier engine control systems was damaged and it was flapping about uncontrolled.

The pressurization tanks are also at the bottom of the core stage, so if that got damaged this could lead to pressurisation problems and irregular engine feed pressures resulting in aforementioned pogo oscillations.

(Interesting pic at wikipedia of the Soyuz construction: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1d/Soyuz_rocket_and_spaceship_V1-1.svg)

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imanidiot
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Hamish is rightly questioning the initial comments by the Russians that the hole had been made by someone on orbit and not on the ground. By autopsy I presume he means the accident investigation. And you have to wonder, if they are willing to make such dubious claims about the hole drilled in the orbital module of one Soyuz, are they willing to publish the mistakes found in the investigation of THIS incident.

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imanidiot
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It MIGHT be able to survive the gap if it's boosted to as high as it can be allowed before turning off the lights and locking the door IF SpaceX or Boeing can get their crewed Dragon up there and man-rated in time. If there's no-one on board they can switch off a lot of the complex life-support, ventilation and cooling systems. Bringing it back online after a gap like that is a daunting prospect though. I'm very sure a lot of people will be very nervous right now. It'll be a while before they have to make the decision to abandon it, but it'll be a hard blow either way.

Having to bring all the crew home WILL however no doubt mean an end to the research of a lot of scientists as experiments will have to be abandoned.

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Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work

imanidiot
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Re: Silver/Tin whiskers

Made worse with todays obsession with RoHS compliance and lead-free solders.

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Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID

imanidiot
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Enjoyable as ever

SFTW keeps me coming back on Friday (that, and the vain hope of a new BOFH). Funny as always. My name (ancient Viking era name with some similar sounding but different origined names found in Baltic culture) also seems to lead to confusion over here in the Netherlands. And it's annoying as hell to have to spell both my first and last name 4 times over because people seem to be incapable of understanding 2 slowly pronounced 4 letter words...

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SpaceX touches down in California as Voyager 2 spies interstellar space

imanidiot
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Re: Who made the Gyros?

The current crop of failed gyros turn out to be because of their spacecraft being subjected to intense solar winds. The voyager crafts are so far out that they aren't subjected to the same charging effects that led to the demise of the failed gyros. They are also subjected to far less loading for similar reasons, so aren't subjected to the same kind of forces. I doubt Voyagers gyros would have lasted the same amount of time if they'd stayed at around 1 AU.

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imanidiot
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Facepalm

Re: RTLS

I should have said "burned most of it's fuel and DITCHED most of the mass it was carrying". Burning the payload that mass isn't really a good way to get stuff to space.

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imanidiot
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Re: RTLS

@Peter, not quite. In a RTLS they had to burn the SRBs to completion in the normal ascent path, the boosters would then be ditched and the main tank stayed attached. The shuttle then boosted up and slowly did a sort of half loop while burning to kill the speed and raise the apogee sufficiently. Only once sufficient velocity back towards the Cape had been achieve would the main tank be ditched and the shuttle would glide from that point on.

(See this video by Scott Manly for instance: https://youtu.be/Iwn3kk-q1YU, sort of showing the maneuver in Orbiter)

The main thing with SpaceXs Falcon is that a RTLS isn't an abort mode and the stage has burned most of it's fuel and most of the mass it was carrying. Which means compared to the ascent a little fuel goes a long way. For the STS RTLS abort the shuttle was still carrying a lot of fuel in the external fuel tank, OMS and RCS systems which it needed to ditch to be able to land, hence the long drawn out back-flip to burn off fuel (All the while also firing the OMS and RCS systems continually).

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imanidiot
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Re: Lack of Astonish!

Planned obsolescence isn't really a thing most of the time. Or at the very least not a conscious choice by the manufacturer. It's simply driven by cost. Cheaper stuff sells better, even if it lasts shorter. So margins go down, your competitor is undercutting you on price and you are losing sales. Do you A: Keep doing what you are doing and hope the average Joe looking for your products realises and cares your product lasts longer or B: Cut a few corners, shave a few dollars of the production cost and undercut or pricematch your competitor?

I can tell you manufacturers will go for B, because A doesn't make sense. People are stupid idiots, and that appreciation for quality and lifetime is often not important.

Cars are engineered to last roughly 3 to 4 years before requiring major maintenance. Because that's how long the average buyer keeps the car before buying another anyway. Second owners can either get bent or are profitable to dealerships in maintenance fees and spare parts sales (Plus, you've already sold the car to the first guy, so you don't care).

Yes they can make cars that'll last dozens of years without problem. It would be very expensive, probably rather heavy and still require regular upkeep to stay reliable. Meanwhile people are buying that new Volkswagen Passat or BMW 3 series because its cheaper to own over the 4 years they'll have it in their possession.

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imanidiot
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Re: Don't be cellist

Thats a fagott.

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imanidiot
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Alien

Re: No more planets?

Rebel propaganda. Alderaan never existed in the first place!

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Indiegogo pulls handheld airport pervscanners off crowdfunding platform

imanidiot
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Re: Getting to the bottom of things ...

Please let them. The human body is rather sturdy. 2 pounds of HE "down there" isn't going to do much damage. Someone has already tried, but body surrounding flesh and bone dampens much of the blast and it didn't have much effect. I'm NOT going to google that for you though. I don't need to be on any more watch lists than I am probably already on.

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Punkt: A minimalist Android for the paranoid

imanidiot
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Re: Calls and Email

Email on a 320x240 pixel display? Not really going to work all that well. Especially with today's tendency towards rich text emails with dozens of corporate logos embedded.

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Remember that lost memory stick from Heathrow Airport? The terrorist's wet dream? So does the ICO

imanidiot
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Re: The Queen

In public they'll usually use various randomly chosen routes to minimise the chances of someone figuring it out. In a supposedly secure area like the "backend" of an airport it should be possible to use the same route. Because it's a rather small area with a limited number of entrances, probably a fixed "royal lounge" and a fixed ramp for the aircraft that means there's little to vary in the approach and departure routes on the airport itself anyway.

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Astroboffins may have found the first exomoon lurking beyond the Solar System

imanidiot
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Orbital stability

Just how stable would be the orbit of the moons moons? (Moonlets?, Metamoons?). If the parent body is that large the point where an orbit around the moon is stable would be quite close to the moon I'd imagine, making it possible the moon wouldn't have any stable moons and swap them with the host planet from time to time

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JAXA probe's lucky MASCOT plonks down on space rock Ryugu without a hitch

imanidiot
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Re: Flywheel ?

The swingarm is also a flywheel.

See also the phrase: "Once the first measurements have been conducted, MASCOT – again driven by the flywheel – will change location and repeat the experiments there." from the link you made yourself. So it isn't El Reg that made that up.

PS: I think this article on the actual mechanism is applicable.

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New Zealand border cops warn travelers that without handing over electronic passwords 'You shall not pass!'

imanidiot
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Re: Have fun!

@R69,

I DON'T post my live all over social media (I don't have Twitter, Facebook, snapchat, google+, whatever). Just because YOU are a moron doesn't mean I have to give up my privacy! You people really don't seem to understand the message that EVERYBODY has something to hide. You might think you don't but that's just because you don't realize what kind of information someone might use against you. The NZ government does not have a pressing need for the information on my phone even if I travel there, so they shouldn't have it. Period.

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imanidiot
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Re: Mission Creep

@Big John:

"Seems like US Customs might have better things to do than inexplicably and needlessly harass international travelers."

Seems like you've never had to deal with US customs. (And lets not get started on the friggin TSA)

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Why are sat-nav walking directions always so hopeless?

imanidiot
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Re: never seems to taste the same?

The biggest problem I encountered on my visits to the US is a lack of good water for tea. The stuff from the taps is chlorinated and has all kinds of other stuff added to it to preserve the centuries old lead and iron pipes. The stuff from bottles either tastes of plastic, is too hard, otherwise tastes funny or a combination of all of those. No wonder they don't sell their beverages in anything under puny gallon size.

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imanidiot
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Why would you use the app navigation itself??

Get the app to plot where you need to go. Your current location will show as a dot on the map usually. Then plot your own route. Blindly following what its suggesting is often the road to madness.

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imanidiot
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Re: Tea with milk

@AC, the Starbucks in France is only passable because the rest is so horrible. In comparison to real coffee it's still closer to raw sewage.

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Fortnite 'fesses up: New female character's jiggly bits 'unintended' and 'embarrassing'

imanidiot
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Re: Wtf?

It's because the average USian (even the females) has been indoctrinated all it's life to believe breasts are evil and the root cause of all of mankinds ills. For a people claiming to be all about freedom and liberty the average USian has a weird hangup on tits/boobs/funbags/breasts/etc.

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imanidiot
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Re: Storm in a B cup

And cup sizing is not even consistent across brands (So I've been told) so finding one that fits seems to involve going into a shop and just trying on a whole load that seem "about the right size".

There's been some attempts at getting a better system worked out, but from what I've seen it suffers from the old "people aren't used to it so it doesn't get used" and "People don't get used to it because it doesn't get used" problem.

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Intel boss admits chips in short supply, lobs cash into the quagmire

imanidiot
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Re: AMD has a window of opportunity

Except that AMD doesn't own any fabs and has to rely on bought capacity. That limits the amount of chips AMD can supply so it remains to be seen if they can take up the slack.

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Attempt to clean up tech area has shocking effect on kit

imanidiot
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That led exactly to where I thought it would be going. Still got a good chuckle though. Thanks for sharing.

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imanidiot
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Re: Why is it always the cleaners?

I've heard similar (possibly appocryphal stories about a semicon litho equipment manufacturer. A security guard apparently patrolled the cleanroom with his guarddog. The first clue they had about it was finding dog hair inside the equipment during the install tests at the customer site. That took some talking from the PR/sales/marketing guys to the customer I'm sure.

For anything done in a cleanroom the cleaners are vital to the whole operation. Anything they screw up can't be easily fixed, so a company should be damn sure they put competent people in those positions and give them all the training and information they need.

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imanidiot
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Re: C

@A K Stiles

Only in the pockets? That's not how you wear stockings you know...

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Spoiler alert: Google's would-be iPhone killer Pixel 3 – so many leaks

imanidiot
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Fscking notch...

I don't WANT a notch. It's ugly and it doesn't add anything. Even the slim bezels are not that much of a plus. It just means the glass is closer to the edge so it's more likely to crack if you hit it wrong. I've got a nice big crack running across my screen from dropping it about 3 inches in the wrong place, hitting it just so on the corner of something hard. That never happened on my older phone that had a bit of a bezel.

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imanidiot
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Now I'm curious what phone you are using Cambsukguy. Most 4 year old phones I know don't get updates anymore. Let alone monthly ones.

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Working Apple-1 retro fossil auctioned off to mystery bidder for $375,000

imanidiot
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Re: Flag

Both NASA and the astronauts themselves brought all kinds of crap with them to the moon. Some of the "Lunar Surface flow" stuff never actually ever left the CM but that's just nitpicking. Things like postcards, stamps, flags. Nothing too voluminous or heavy but stuff you can then sell for a premium or give away as "special" PR tat. This was mostly done on the later Apollos (14 and later) because the increasing power of the Saturn and improved orbits/trajectories meant more load capacity for the CM and LM.

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