* Posts by Kristaps

22 posts • joined 13 Sep 2013

Incredible Euro space agency data leak... just as planned: 1.7bn stars in our galaxy mapped

IT Angle

Re: Real science

Yes, many types of proofs in maths, many of which well apply to a lot of branches of physics. But until you make an actual experiment, they are just abstract ideas. Sooner or later they have to be tied to some actual observation. If we go by what the scientific method is, math is hardly a science.

P.S. I think mathematics are amazing. Hard to come up with a subject with more elegance in a higher level of abstraction. Something really rewarding about understanding some proofs.

It's happening! Official retro Thinkpad lappy spotted in the wild


Re: Great laptops!

Typo. I meant T400. Cheers


Great laptops!

I still have a T440 going. Bought it in 2009 and now am running Linux Mint on it. It's getting a bit slow and the battery is dead, but it works!

No laptop ban on Euro flights to US... yet


Re: I keep thinking

Those are some small hip flasks mate

Machine-learning boffins 'summon demons' in AI to find exploitable bugs


Here are some of my ramblings - why think of ML as software and not as of a simple mind? When you learn to drive, certain neural structures are created in your brain, their connection weights adjusted and eventually it's robust enough that you can drive safely, though still susceptible to illness, seizures, tiredness and other biological factors (let's ignore things like other drivers being tits). Can you verify these neural structures when you teach a person to drive? A poorly trained "AI" (please excuse my careless use of this term for the sake of simplicity) will suffer from conceptually similar problems.

As soon as the given AI can drive at least as safely as an average human, it should be ok to use it in a self-driving car. There's still a chance for it to crash, but so is there when a human is driving. All that you require of the AI is sufficient complexity and learning experience. (You might think that say a chimp's brain is incredibly complex compared to our most powerful computers yet they can't drive a car, but then again a lot of their available computational resources are used for other processes whereas the aforementioned AI can have its sole purpose to be the driving of a particular car).

Cash injection fuels SABRE spaceplane engine


Re: Why is it curved?

I remember being at the UK Space Conference in Glasgow in 2013 when the first investment of £60m was announced and speaking to some REL folk there. I think it went something like this:

When in air-breathing mode, it is best if your intake is horizontal. However, once you go high enough, there's not enough atmosphere to give more lift (I guess this is what we count as space where going fast enough for sufficient lift just gives you local circular orbital velocity) so the thrust needs to have a vertical component to take you higher still hence the back of the engine is slightly curved down. I guess all you need to make sure then is that the thrust vector still is on the line through your centre of mass.

Another chance to win a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive


Typical systemd developer. And some woman.

Net neutrality: How to spot an arts graduate in a tech debate


Stochastic != deterministic

"‘Stochastic' means it evolves over time in a deterministic way."

Ehrm.... no. Stochastic is the opposite of deterministic. Ironic that this is in an article on bad comparisons.

In a galaxy far, far, far away ... Farthest ever star system discovered

Thumb Up

Lost Horizons

Thanks, some bedtime reading for me!

Poseidon's Wake, Naked at the Albert Hall and Farewell Kabul


Re: Way too harsh on poor Alistair

Agreed that it's too harsh. I binge read Revelation Space (and all the short stories, novellas, etc, pertaining to that universe) as well and after a year of reading other stuff, I'm rereading it. But I'm not even that interested in the story (which I admit can be a bit slow at times), I just think Reynolds is a master worldbuilder and it's the depth and rigour he goes into when describing his universe, technologies and science therein that fascinates me.

Interestingly I tried reading Iain M Banks (Culture stuff, in particular Consider Phlebas) afterwards and I could not get into it. The science there was just a stream of buzzwords which made me cringe really hard and I had to put the book down.

NASA spies weird glow from Pluto's FRIGID pole


Did you R'lyeh just say that?

Something's missing in our universe: Boffins look into the SUPERVOID


Obligatory SMBC




Re: the good stuff

My apologies. (to the pub!)


Re: the good stuff

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

This and New Horizons (along with lots of other great endeavours) make me really excited about these times we live in.

A hypothetical pint because it's still early here!


Giant mirror

The particularly bright one at the end of the GIF looks like it's bang in the middle of a crater. Can it be some of that internal liquid ocean leaking after an impact (frozen now obviously)? Maybe it's just really reflective? So far no bright spots have been seen on the dark side, right?

Dwarf planet Ceres has TEN bright spots, astroboffins say


So it IS fully operational...

RELICS of the Earth's long lost TWIN planet FOUND ON MOON


Re: Say what?

It came a long time ago from a galaxy far, far away.

SpaceX ROCKET HOVER-SHIP space station mission now on Friday


Re: Flying milk cow ?

I suspect it's to do with one of the student experiments being delivered to the ISS.

See http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/01/05/spacex_santa_has_late_christmas_presents_in_its_sack_for_iss_astronauts/

Of course it could be that they're actually launching a cow. The space industry is taking a bizarre turn lately. For example, NASA wants a huge lasso in space now.

FOUR, count 'em, FOUR big rockets launching in next seven days


Hayabusa bombing the asteroid

Pardon my ignorance here, but would that not be quite dangerous to the probe? How big a crater will it make? I can see how the probe can be behind the asteroid to avoid getting hit by debris right after the explosion, but surely there will be lots of stuff floating about once it returns to the crater. Or am I being overly dramatic and the explosion will be a tiny pop?

That icon was closest to how I imagine the "mining" will look from distance. Maybe I should stop reading sci-fi.

Philae healthier: Proud ESA shows off first comet surface pic


Re: Ignacio Tanco

A spell to do what? Ignite a tank engine?

Astroboffins solve birth of the Man in the Moon face


Re: Its a history of the moon saving our butts ....

No. When stuff comes into the atmosphere, most of it burns up, bar a few bigger pieces of rock (metal?) like the one in Russia earlier this year.

Also, the chance that something will hit the moon (if it's bound to hit either the earth or the moon) is miniscule. At least so it seems to me.

Massively leaked iFail 5S POUNDS pundits, EXCITES chavs


"Let’s get this straight: the iPhone 5S is possibly a fun place to be if you’re an electron..."

You, sir, owe me a new keyboard.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019