* Posts by JeffyPoooh

3973 posts • joined 28 Jun 2013

Your phone may be able to clean up snaps – but our AI is much better at touching up, say boffins

JeffyPoooh
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Spots seen on "...medical resonance imaging scans..."

Oftentimes, one would rather have the spot removed by surgery, rather than just removing it from the image.

[Extreme Example Alert]

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Snooping passwords from literally hot keys, China's AK-47 laser, malware, and more

JeffyPoooh
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"...Chinese have developed a laser rifle..."

And in related news, JeffyPoooh Instant Inventions Incorporated hereby places into the public domain the concept of employing surface arrays of innumerable precision retro-reflectors to send 98% of the high power laser beam 'right back at ya'.

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Boeing embraces Embraer to take off in regional jet market

JeffyPoooh
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ibmalone mentioned, "...Bombardier Q Series..."

I believe that you may have misspelled 'C'.

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"Bombardier forces Boeing to get a Brazilian"

Comedy sub-headline opportunity missed.

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Every step you take: We track you for your own safety, you know?

JeffyPoooh
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Re: Battery life ?

csg suggested, "...GPS devices shouldn't use much power."

I agree that they shouldn't. But did you realize that, sadly, they sometimes actually do?

Later chipsets are typically much improved in this respect. So YMMV.

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JeffyPoooh
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Battery life ?

As recently as the iPhone 6, using the GPS essentially continuously results in the battery charge assuming a downward trajectory to intercept 'flat' in about 5-6 hours.

Perhaps the very latest GPS chipsets (or the embedded 'baseband' equivalent) have improved their power consumption, so that they'll last an entire working day.

In other news, Package Thieves are doing very well. Their theft efficiency is way up, almost as if they're tracking the deliveries. Coincidently, Jag sales are up.

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US Declaration of Independence labeled hate speech by Facebook bots

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Re: This could be solved by...

Keef suggested "...not using social media...", on El Reg's world famous comment forums (which, amusingly, are social media). ;-)

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Uh-oh. Boffins say most Android apps can slurp your screen – and you wouldn't even know it

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Re: Boffins say most Android apps can slurp your screen

Yeah!

Where's the 'Name and Shame' section of this finding?

If (for example) Facebook is capturing screenshots of my phone's on-line banking app, then they should be named and shamed, and subjected to the legal hell of class action lawsuits and regulatory punishments. It would certainly make the news, and cost the billions.

Otherwise this report is all just meaningless noise.

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'Plane Hacker' Roberts: I put a network sniffer on my truck to see what it was sharing. Holy crap!

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Re: What exactly does he mean by this?

Unicornpiss skillfully summarized it thus, "...Well, if he's tapping the OBDII connector and exclaiming 'Look at all the data that's being shared!', that would be just silly..."

Betcha that's exactly what he did.

Based on his previous loopy claims about hacking an airliner via the in-flight entertainment system.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: What exactly does he mean by this?

@kain preacher

I believe that my post raised an important set of questions.

Your criticism of my post is pretty lame. Starts off very fierce, but then rebuts only in the weeds. I'll concede your minor tidbits may be good clarifications, but they're quite trivial.

Would you like try zooming out and responding to the actual larger points I raised?

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Richard Feynman

GT noted, "In the Feynman incident the safes were all using the shipped, default, and ubiquitous combination."

I've read about a half dozen books about this, including at least one by Feynman himself. They don't match your "all" claim as quoted above. He tells of several different approaches (brute search, birthdays, numerical constants, social engineering, etc.), not simply dialing in an unchanged default combination.

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JeffyPoooh
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What exactly does he mean by this?

Mr Roberts claimed, "I put a network sniffer on my truck to see what it was sharing. Holy crap!"

By "network sniffer", he kind-of silently implies Ethernet and Wireshark. Which physical layer interface did he tap into? CAN bus? The OBDII socket (<- betcha)? Does he understand the basic difference between LAN (on-vehicle) and WAN (transmitted away)? Is this data he's found really being transmitted to an off-vehicle location? Did he tap it at the exact point of transmission back to Automobile OEM Spying-On-Customers HQ? Did he employ a Stingray on steroids to build a custom Man-In-The-Middle mobile data capturing system? Was the data encrypted, and he cracked it? How often is the location shared? How much data? Is it megabits per second?

Isn't he the same guy that thought that he could take control of an airliner by accessing the In-Flight Entertainment system? He confused the GPS data, provided for the entertaining map display, with the ARINC 429 Busses which are clearly segregated. Unless he started pulling up floor boards and cutting into cables, then he was wrong in that case.

And I suspect he's blowing smoke again.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: So... who pays for the 3G/4G data connection?

That's the actual question. Such a persistent and supposedly well used mobile data connection would normally cost at least $50 per month.

If people don't want this, then dig around in the boxes, find the SIM Card (assuming / 90% odds), and yank it. Or find and unplug the cellular network antenna connector (replace it with a dummy load if you're feeling generous).

Or, bonus points, hacked into their network to reach the internet, and then use your car and their "Cost Free" network to have unlimited free mobile (or home) internet.

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Automated payment machines do NOT work the same all over the world – as I found out

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Even Canadians that find themselves in the USA...

"ENTER ZIP CODE OF CARD BILLING ADDRESS"

Ah, we use Postal Codes, with letters. Some say, "Just enter 00000." Yeah, yeah....that was the first one I tried, followed by "00001", then "00002", etc.

Thankfully, there's always a human attendant on duty selling cheese doodles, beef jerky, and lottery tickets. After waiting 26 minutes for the unwashed masses to finish their $400 lottery ticket buying spree...

Pay in advance. "How much gas do you want?"

It's a rental, I need to fill it up. "How much gas do you want?" About half a tank. "How much gas do you want." Screw it, I'm on expenses, I have to catch a plane, so make it $99. Proceed to put $12.35 worth into tank.

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'No questions asked' Windows code cert slingers 'fuel trade' in digitally signed malware

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"...checksums..."

At least there's no possible way for miscreants to fiddle with checksums. ;-)

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Software engineer fired, shut out of office for three weeks by machine

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Re: Not the machine

AC offered, "IT myth my arse", and then went on to more or less agree with my points.

"About filling the gaps in the requirements, you are indeed correct." Yes, the gaps that I mentioned. Those huge gaps occupying that ~97% empty space where complete Requirements Management should be.

Rebuttal my arse; you're agreeing!!

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Not the machine

AC still believes the widespread IT myth about "Requirements".

Make yourself comfortable, allow me to explain.

The functional density of tightly written software code is typically about an order of magnitude higher than the 'Requirements' it embodies. In other words, a page of software might embody functions that would need about ten pages to fully define. I once wrote a one-liner demo that would need at least a full page to explain.

So if you've got an application that's about the size of a magazine, then the disciples of The Church of Requirements had better have prepared a telephone book size document that wears out the word 'shall'.

Here's the punchline: Nobody can afford this.

...unless they explicitly invoke DO-178, and explicitly and intentionally decide to allocate at least 10x the usual budget. If you're doing DO-178, you'd notice. Everyone else is just paying lip-service and just pretending. That's the honest 99% of so-called Requirements Management.

So, almost always, the coder needs to interpolate and extrapolate. They must silently assume the other 97% of the unspoken requirements. Which is why it's best if they're clever. If they're thick, they could still assemble DO-178 code as directed, until they're replaced by Requirements Compilers.

Most coders, working in the real world which isn't DO-178, need to be very clever, and understand the real world. Their bosses need to understand this. If they point to inadequate requirements, most often that's admitting that they're not clever enough and should transfer to the spoon fed DO-178 world.

Requirements Management is either like DO-178 and you'll certainly notice, or it's a half-assed lip-service and you'd better have coders with actual life skills.

What's horrifically frightening is that so few people understand all this. Almost all of you would be shocked by the above explicit description, while hopefully most will immediately recognize its general accuracy.

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JeffyPoooh
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TIFIFY

Software engineer fired, shut out of office for three weeks by *software*.

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Meet TLBleed: A crypto-key-leaking CPU attack that Intel reckons we shouldn't worry about

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Re: Trusted computing yeah not so much

AC mentioned, "...on my usb stick..."

Is that the USB stick where the USB controller chip is actually a wee feisty ARM chip programmed to emulate this function, as well carry the perfectly-hidden malware?

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JeffyPoooh
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Write your cryptographic software to...

Write your cryptographic software to require both virtual cores.

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Azure North Europe downed by the curse of the Irish – sunshine

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Re: > started leaking water...

Having just repaired my refrigerator/freezer, I feel qualified to offer a *possible* explanation, as a mental placeholder until the facts come out.

Most such cooling systems would require a defrost cycle, to melt away the accumulation of ice from the evaporator. If the system fails, perhaps because the thermostat part number 12001937 has gone open circuit after some years of service, then the evaporator will eventually ice up and the entire cooling system will need to go off-line for many hours to be manually defrosted.

If they've failed to repair the defrost system, then the ice up will repeat and they'll be shut down a 2nd time.

One cheap part can take out the whole system.

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Um, excuse me. Do you have clearance to patch that MRI scanner?

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Re: Is an MRI Machine really a good example?

AC read only the thread title "Is an MRI Machine really a good example?" and then instinctively noted "Therac-25 Is Radiation therapy machine."

@AC You failed to read the first sentence where it was already noted, "The infamous Therac-25..."

Careless reading, but good instinct.

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JeffyPoooh
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Is an MRI Machine really a good example?

The infamous Therac-25 machine was directly dangerous, historically due to a bug in the GUI.

But I thought that MRI scans were 'mostly harmless', in the sense that if you had 100 MRI scans in a week, it still wasn't a significant direct health risk issue.

CAT scans, being X-Rays on steroids would be a better current example of a machine that should safeguarded.

Did I miss a memo about the dangers of MRI scans?

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Canadian utility makes blockchain upstarts bid for their ravenous rigs' electricity supply

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Re: Server Farms and Mining Rigs should be...

Jeffy's 1st Law of Eco Computing: It shall be considered to be a sin to heat with hot tungsten while there remains proteins to be folded.

2nd: Proteins shall only be folded during winter.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Won't somebody think of the planet...?

AC mentioned, "low energy kettles".

No such thing as a "low energy" kettle, in terms of the heat capacity of water.

Low *power* kettles may exist, but would be precisely pointless in aggregate - and worse: counter-productive on the time axis. Boiling a cup of water requires a certain amount of energy, and the faster it is accomplished, then the less time for energy to escape as waste heat.

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JeffyPoooh
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Server Farms and Mining Rigs should be...

...packaged to resemble electric baseboard heaters. Wall mounted thermostat would merely control boot-up and orderly shut down.

Does the Blockchain really have a future when each transaction reportedly requires $140 in power?

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Atari accuses El Reg of professional trolling and making stuff up. Welp, here's the interview tape for you to decide...

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Re: ATARI is like NOKIA, ...

In my local Mall*Wart, I happened to notice something odd. The teetering stack of "RCA" branded LCD TVs in their boxes had a printed disclaimer (right on the packaging).

"RCA - This product is manufactured and sold by (LICENSEE COMPANY NAME). ..." etc.

I guess there's a new manufacturer of LCD TVs called LICENSEE COMPANY NAME.

I've seen similar branding antics with "POLAROID".

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(Cryptographically) sign me up! Android to take bad app checks offline

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Re: I don't understand why we need App Stores

lglethal noted, "The App stores were called....Tandy Electronics..."

And sometimes the "Apps" needed to have their contacts cleaned with an eraser.

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Keep your hands on the f*cking wheel! New Tesla update like being taught to drive by your dad

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I'd happily pay $800 to not have one...

Tesla should offer an option to explicitly remove all this dangerous nonsense. What if one's teenager borrows the car, accidentally or intentionally turns it on, and is somehow killed?

As with my slightly-famous UPS Rant, I'd happily pay an extra $800 to have a Tesla without any Autopilot. Not that I'm planning to buy a Tesla anytime soon.

To be clear, same thing applies to any of these present-day self-crashing death traps. I like Automatic Braking and similar 'oversight' safety feature, but not these silly things.

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Apple will throw forensics cops off the iPhone Lightning port every hour

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Oh goodie...

"...disables the data connection of the iPhone’s Lightning port after a given time, while allowing it to continue to charge the device."

You know the aftermarket $2-each eBay Lightning charging cables with the stolen DRM key that has since been revoked by Apple for the sole purpose of imposing their tax. Presumably they'd need a "data connection" to check the Key (which is data) in the DRM chip embedded into the Lightning charging cable.

So does this mean that those unlicensed Lightning charging cables would start to actually work again after not working for an hour?

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Thought the AT&T Time-Warner tie-up was scary? Comcast says 'hold my beer'

JeffyPoooh
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"Content was King."

"Content is King" no longer.

Apparently stringing cables along poles is now 'King'.

I *TOLD* (<- in a high pitched voice) you that Cable TV and Telephone rates were too high. Now they've got all the money in the world and can buy things that even Bezos couldn't quite afford.

Governments should not *sell* monopolies to companies that run Cable/Twisted Pair/Fibre along public property. They should lease them. Keep ahold of the leash. Same thing applies to Spectrum.

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Monday: Intel touts 28-core desktop CPU. Tuesday: AMD turns Threadripper up to 32

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Re: Gimme speed

Richard12 offered, "...Hand-tuned assembler is....incredibly expensive - months or years..."

You've failed to read to the end of my post, where I specifically suggested, "Even if it's just a few LoC in the innermost loop."

Modern compilers can be good, but if a run takes a full month then it seems clear that he's almost certainly running his program as a crappy and inefficient high level script.

Room for improvement is inevitable.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Gimme speed

Vegan^2 noted, "...one of my jobs would typically take a month or so..."

Unless it's already been done, then there's very likely an order of magnitude (or maybe three) in optimizing the code.

Hand-tuned assembler written by somebody that really understands exactly what they're doing can be stupidly fast. Even if it's just a few LoC in the innermost loop.

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Oddly enough, when a Tesla accelerates at a barrier, someone dies: Autopilot report lands

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@Oengus

You're being generous with #4, unless we accept that the average of two lanes is a reasonable option.

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Hey, Mac fanbois: Got $600,000 burning a hole in your pocket? Splash out on this rare Apple I

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At $500k+ each, we can make these...

2019 update: "Only 200 Apple Is were originally made, ...and of them only about 26,500 are known to exist."

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No lie-in this morning? Thank the Moon's gravitational pull

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Checks date of article, confused by 1980s-era news...

The Moon drifting away from the Earth due to tidal forces has been known since - like forever.

What's new?

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Great time to shift bytes: International bandwidth prices are in free fall

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"...as many different wavelengths as you like..."

AC suggested, "This is as opposed to 'dark fibre', where the whole fibre is dedicated to you - you can light it with as many different wavelengths as you like, simultaneously."

Not if the fibre is sufficiently long that it has repeaters installed (perhaps 100km). Those repeaters, being active, would be designed to work on certain wavelength(s).

Of course, on land-based installations you could wander over to the huts and upgrade the repeaters.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Wavelength? Not bandwidth?

Jake was perplexed by "Wavelength? Not bandwidth?"

In this context, a "wavelength" can be interpreted as a "colour" (although some may be invisible IR). They're stuffing more than one wavelength down the fibre.

[I expect that there's a great deal of headroom (room for expansion) in this area. I doubt that they're efficiently filling the optical spectrum. <- Gut-Instinct Alert.]

The word bandwidth is the one that has been corrupted. It used to mean, ah, bandwidth. As measured in kHz or MHz. It was fair to apply it to bps. But now it's been corrupted to mean GB/month.

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JeffyPoooh
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Meanwhile...

Consumer bandwidth (GB/month) demands skyrocket, meaning that not all of those lovely outcomes will unfold quite as ideally as you may hope.

"Hey boss. The cost of our wavelength is only a third of what it was."

"Great. Call them up and get five more. This damn Netflix 4K is killing us."

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NASA makes the James Webb Telescope a looker with a heart of gold

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Re: Heart of Gold

MyffyW mentioned, "...an infinite improbability drive..."

They exist, now.

They're called "EmDrives" (a.k.a. "radio frequency resonant cavity thrusters"), a supposed vacuum drive technology which is infinitely improbable.

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JeffyPoooh
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"the Webb"

NASA and their international partners were originally contemplating two options for the Webb, a narrower version and the wider version which was ultimately selected.

So now we await the launch of the World's Wide Webb.

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NASA spots asteroid on crash course with Earth – with just hours to go

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"...the rock in question was just six feet (two metres) across..."

So there's no lower limit in size to make the news?

OMG!! There's a small pebble burning up in the atmosphere, with no advanced warning.

OMG!! There's a small rock, that we just detected 26 seconds before impact.

OMG!! There's our present 2m rock that we detected only hours before.

OMG!! There's a 10m rock that we detected only days before.

etc.

Shall we plot a graph of asteroid size versus typical detection range?

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Four hydrogen + eight caesium clocks = one almost-proven Einstein theory

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"...look, it's just water..."

It just so happens that I market a line of homeopathy medicines, sold in dry dehydrated form. The patient just adds water. For maximum homeopathy effectiveness, by avoiding even the remote possibility of contamination with molecules of the actual medicinal ingredients, I don't even send the empty packet.

Believers send me money, and then I email a receipt.

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Clock blocker: Woman sues bosses over fingerprint clock-in tech

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Fingerprints, versus an effective "hash" code of the print created on-board

I immediately suspected that they probably didn't do it that way (emailing fingerprints around); so I looked it up.

"Touch ID Plus scans the employee’s finger and converts the scan into a mathematical representation - creating a finger scan template, which is then stored in an encoded format. As a result, it’s not possible to reproduce the original image..."

Yeah, that.

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Russian battery ambitions see a 10x increase in power from smaller, denser nukes

JeffyPoooh
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VRH was rightly concerned about...

VRH, in reference to Underwater Locator / Acoustic Beacons, "...no more 4 week rush until the battery runs..."

That's already been sorted. The ULB/UAB Requirements boffins crossed-out "30 days" and wrote in "90-days". It was the simplest thing on Earth; the change only took them a few minutes. ;-)

They're also adding newer 8.8 kHz UABs to supplement the traditional ultrasonic 37.5 kHz ones.

Still, endless lifespan would be even better. But such low power would cause the once-a-minute PINGS to be much less frequent. And less frequent PINGS means that the effective range and search speed must be considered while steaming around searching. So it can get just a little complicated (not really).

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RIP to two 'naut legends: A moonwalker and a spacewalker

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Re: Only four left

There's another eight left that have been out at the Moon, but not landed/walked upon it. They've also got some stories to tell. Al Worden tells of retrieving some film and being out in a spacewalk with the entire Universe before him.

Frank Borman, CDR Apollo 8

Jim Lovell, CMP Apollo 8 and CDR Apollo 13 (twice!)

William Anders, LMP Apollo 8

Thomas Stafford, CDR Apollo 10

Michael Collins, CMP Apollo 11

Fred Haise, LMP Apollo 13

Alfred Worden, CMP Apollo 15

Ken Mattingly, CMP Apollo 16

I figure that Jim Lovell is actually the one person that's been further from Earth than any other individual. He let the other two on Apollo 13 look out the window at the Moon's far side, so he would have been on the other side of the CM, ever so slightly further from the Earth than the other two. FTW.

(Apollo 13's Free Return Trajectory was the furthest - "highest" - from the Earth. I'm adding another layer of detail to the title 'Highest Human Ever'.)

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EmDrive? More like BS drive: Physics-defying space engine flunks out

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Re: Hey Boffins!!!

DropBear posed, "...both would experience the same modulation..."

Clever design would have the modulation only exist (at significant power levels) in close physical proximity to the horn. This is a trivial requirement to achieve. Then, if the modulation frequency signature shows up in the detected thrust, then you know that the thrust is probably originating from that circuitry (the high power circuitry carrying the tone) or the horn itself. It eliminates the high power DC circuits, as they don't carry the tone.

It makes the detection simpler, but (and you're correct on this point) it doesn't explain where it's coming from. Except it DOES help in narrowing it down to those parts which carry the tone at power. Eliminating the torque effects caused by the DC currents at the liquid joints * would be critical.

(* Ref: Google this -> liquid mercury motor)

The second suggestion about the applied magnetic field is what would be added to the experiment a few days later, to help track down the source. It would be a different frequency tone, identifying the thrust as having a magnetic field origin.

It merely a technique, to make use of the vast frequency spectrum to separate signals from the endless offsets of DC, and from each other. This should be second nature to experienced experimentalists. All they need to do is think about it, and then include it. It makes experiments better, faster and cheaper.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: @ handleoclast

Pascal Monett fails to appreciate the 'Appeal to Authority' failure with this, "...not a recognized, peer-reviewed, scientific news platform."

Hey. Science is proudly 'Self-Correcting', and that includes plenty "recognized, peer-reviewed" nonsense. It's a useful skill to separate the wheat from the chaff based on one's own understanding and logic.

Those that worship the nonsense that is sometimes "recognized and peer-reviewed" and published in journals are doing themselves a disservice.

To be crystal clear, I'm all in favour of Science. It's what passes for some science these days that is annoying. E.g. Dietary and Heath advice.

There's no excuse for worshipping and faith in Science.

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Game over: Atari cofounder Ted Dabney dies aged 81

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Moon-walking Apollo 12 astronaut Al Bean of "Try SCE to Aux" fame too...

Sad.

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You've heard that pop will eat itself. Boffins have unveiled a rocket that does the same

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Re: I love the $5 multimeters in the picture

"**Scottish** boffins..."

Coincidence? I don't think so.

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