* Posts by Jimmy2Cows

418 posts • joined 6 Feb 2015


SpaceX winning streak meets explosive end


Re: So random...

You're a dick. Remind us how many other current launchers have been able to successfully land any of their rockets from orbit...

SpaceX is still learning, and coming back from GEO was always going to be much harder than LEO. Any fule kno that. Successful landing was hoped for, but I don't believe it was expected. This is just an engineering problem to work around. And they still manage to launch for way less cost than the encumbents.

Man dies after UK police Taser shooting


...behaviour and welfare of a man. A man subsequently died.

What is your name?

A man has no name.

Surveillance forestalls more 'draconian' police powers – William Hague


Maybe be a bit less appreciative...?

I can appreciate the need for increased surveillance in this modern world

Not me. What is needed is better targeted surveillance and actually bothering to do something about the people they already know about, instead of leaving them in the hope of catching an ever bigger fish.

I don't see the world is really much more dangerous than it was 30 years ago. Atrocities then, atrocities now. Only difference is the whack-job group du jour perpetrating them. The odds of being involved in one are still statistically tiny.

More likely to die falling down the stairs. So hey let's monitor everyone's stairs in case someone falls? Won't prevent the falls, but we can increase surveillance coverage in the name of saving lives plus it'll get some laughs on YouTube. And that's about how ridiculous this all is.

Increased surveillance on an Orwellian scale serves no practical purpose, certainly does not make us more secure. Just an exponentially growing haystack obscuring the needles, and an ever-increasing huge scope for abuses of power over the most trivial of civil disobediences.


Re: If you don't let us rape you, we will have to kill you.

And if you do let us rape you, our "careful selected partners" will too. Because you did but didn't / didn't but did (makes no damn difference either way) tick the box.

And no, you may not choose "neither".

Brits don't want their homes to be 'tech-tastic'


...busy lives in a practical way or even reduce their energy bills

If you're too busy to go in the kitchen and open the fridge or look at the oven, ffs slow down and relax before you have a stroke.

As for still flogging the tired horse that is "reduce their energy bills"... where's the real, actual, unbiased evidence of these savings? Can they be achieved without significant up-front outlay whose ROI is measured in decades? Otherwise you're just moving the cost around, saving nothing. Maybe even spending more.

And no, I don't mean the typical smart-meter BS about how the unicorns in the magic meter box will somehow reduce your electricity consumption. Real, hard evidence, not produced by anyone with a vested interest in smart meters. Not clear that exists.

Pandora investor: Sell this company sooner rather than later


Re: Arrggh


Never has my bullshit bingo card filled so quickly...

A UK-wide fibre broadband investment plan? Don't ask awkward questions


Re: It's just the how and when that's missing.

I expect BT to invest in their own infrastructure, to modernise it as technology progresses rather than leave us languishing with infrastructure that may be 100 years old.

I certainly expect them to have used the vast amount of public money they've received for broadband rollout to actually use in on that.

Would I be prepared to pay? Yes, if they didn't take the piss and I actually got anything like the expected speeds afterward.

There's fibre to the cabinet at the top of my street, maybe 100 yards away from my house.

If I had to contribute say £100 towards the installation cost I would happily do that. But it's not even an option.


It's just the how and when that's missing.


As slow and cheap as they can get away with, ideally someone else's money (milk the taxpayer teat) whilst avoiding anything vaguely difficult or giving poor ROI (dense inner cities, everything rural and/or remote) like the plague.


When they can be arsed. Or until the regulator grows a pair and forces the issue. So in both cases... never.

London NHS trust fined £180,000 after second bcc fail on HIV email list


Re: So we'll punish the patients instead

Perhaps retributive justice would be better served by publishing the names of the people ultimately responsible, along with any embarrassing medical details. If they don't have any, then perhaps some could be strongly implied.

Karmic justice eh? Would be nice, but you'd probably find yourself on the wrong side of a data protection breach and risk being fined. Not to mention, slander, harassment etc.

Breaches like this are almost criminal, so why not go the whole hog and make such negligence a criminal act, with a range of penalties depending on the severity of the breach? Suppose that's awfully close to legislating against stupidity...

Robot surgeon outperforms human doctor with porcine patients


Quite well. Its opponents will be stitched up good an pwoppa.

E-cigarettes help save lives, says Royal College of Physicians


Re: 2nd hand vape...?

Btw I am not making a statement one way or the other here. Just think it'd be good to know before assuming safe or not safe.

Regardless it's still a much better alternative than smoking.


2nd hand vape...?

Just wondering how much nicotine remains in the exhalation, which may be inhaled by those around the ... umm... vaper?

It's another, different risk profile.

Depending on concentration, seems at least possible others who've never smoked or vaped themselves could end up nicotine addicts too.

Which the e-cig biz will just hate, of course.

Utah declares 'war on smut'


Outdated concept for some

The legislature is also concerned that watching naughty vids “is linked to lessening desire in young men to marry, dissatisfaction in marriage, and infidelity”.

Well that's one obviously biased and flawed take on it. A contrasting, and probably equally guessed opinion is just that marriage is becoming irrelevant to many people, and the reasons go a lot deeper than just pron.

Hey Utah! Society's changing, and if you don't like that you need to look at the broader picture rather than just "porn is bad".

Britain is sending a huge nuclear waste shipment to America. Why?


What's not to like?

No bomb stuff.

And hyperventilating "greens" who miss the entire point of being green by trying to get us all to live in caves as off-grid spoon whittlers, producing scary "facts" like Fukushima will lead to millons of radiation related illnesses and deaths over the coming decades (this despite the science proving that because so little radiation was released, it will be impossible to detect even one such excess illness/death against the background rate).

These things (and other such stupidities) mean an obviously brilliant idea that deals with a huge number of fundamental issues will struggle to gain traction.

Thumb Up

Re: What a waste of "waste"

Not sure why you got downvoted for this. Your analysis seems right on the money to me.

Have an upvote to balance.

3,000 kids' sketches to fly with exoplanet hunter


Looks like they raided the staff kitchen

You sure there's not a fridge in there somewhere? They already robbed all the bacofoil and a pizza tray from the staff kitchen to make the thing...

Police create mega crime database to rule them all. Is your numberplate in it? Could be


Some opposition huh?

In response to her despicable use of a heinous crime to bolster IPB support, May should have been forced to explain exactly how the IPB would have prevented these attacks where, as usual, security services already knew the bombers as they'd done hard time for previous violent offences.

People with a such known violent past and links to radical points of view should already be surveillance targets. Sufficient threat already to warrant it. No need to multiply the haystack exponentially when you already have the needles.

UK.gov's Major Projects Authority ain't saving us any money, say MPs


not usually wise to merge a delivery organisation with the body providing independent scrutiny

Which is exactly why the bodies will be merged.

Then this whole pesky business of scrutiny, oversight and ensuring value for money can be killed off once and for all, and the government will be forever free to funnel taxpayer money into their own interests blow countless billions on poorly designed, planned and executed projects at the behest of their private sector mates.

UK Snoopers' Charter crashes through critics into the next level


Re: "gutless" by the Liberal Democrats.

This, from orbit, to the lot of 'em -------------------->

It's the only way to be sure.

Abstaining shouldn't even be an option for anything remotely as important as this.

It must be a binary choice.

Abstaining says (to me) one of two things:

1) "We tacitly believe in this, but don't want to piss off the voters by saying outright YES".

2) "We want to say NO but don't have the balls to risk upsetting future career prospects."

Neither is acceptable from people supposed to be protecting our interests. Further proof were any needed that they're only protecting their own interests.

The data-fetish powertards have already won. Appearing to go through the democratic process is just for appearance.

Spinless yellow twat-faced scum-sucking maggots every last one of them.

CK Hutchison/O2: 'Four networks' dogma risks one giant and three hopeless dwarves


Re: 4 network providers isn't dogmatic

Hmm... seems (to my uneducated mind) that you're describing how reducing the number of players leads to price hikes, while increasing the number of players is better for the consumer.

That, indeed, is not dogmatic.

What is dogmatic is insisting that 4 is somehow a magic number for how many mobile operators a country needs.

The fact that "4" was involved in each of your examples is coincidental at best, and does not prove your titular assertion.


Re: What is Coverage

At least myself and SWMBO aren't the only ones who felt that coverage really went to shit after Orange and T Mobile merged.

Of course it sucked pretty badly before that, but we (foolishly?) hoped the merger would lead to better coverage, not worse. Or at least that it would stay the same. Trouble is none of the other operators, real or virtual, seem to be any better.

How a Brexit could stop UK biz and Europe swapping personal data


Of course. These things always are. You weren't seriously expecting a reasoned debate and rational decision making processes, were you?

The racists seem to vastly outnumber those able to actually think stuff through. They don't give a shit about the economy, it's all about them immigrants. If they can be arsed to get off the couch and vote, Brexit seems a given.


bulk data collection ... "limited to ... where targeted collection is not possible."

(Title was too long hence ellipsis')

And who exactly decides what's not possible?

Anything is not possible until one can actually be bothered to try...

So if it's the spooks deciding, and you know it will be, everything will be not possible because they want bulk collection and can't be arsed with all that targeted hassle.


Bargaining chip...

If leaving the EU really is the economic disaster it's painted as, seems like a smart electorate would insist gov.uk drop the IPB in exchange for voting to stay in the EU. Plus we see who's really in charge - the economists or the data fetishists. Though I think we already know the truth on that one.

Drop it now - not after the vote - with legislation guaranteeing it's putrid corpse can never go all Walking Dead on us, and we'll vote IN. UK economy is saved.

Up to the individual whether or not they want their MP to push for tighter border controls, immigration restrictions, benefits restrictions, or whatever their particular ire is, at the same time. The point is people have to contact their MP and make their feelings known. MPs job is to represent his/her constituents, so make them do it.

Of course that requires a smart electorate and not a bunch of Daily Mail readers...

One problem at a time I guess.

Californian tycoons stole my sharing economy, says Lily Cole


@LewisRage Re: Newsflash

Define spoiled little rich girl...

Well first up I didn't say little. That's clearly what you thought when you read my comment - though whether it was just because that's what you expected to see, or whether you tacitly believe that of her yourself and that's a Freudian slip, is unknown.

From personal experience, people who think the world works the way they want it to have been spoilt as children. Really spoilt. Those who've not been spoilt tend to have a more rounded, realistic outlook. Probably bordering on cynical/pessimism. YMMV of course, and I respect that.

So it's not a massive leap to believe she was spoilt as a child.

Am I right? I don't know. Freely admit that.

You don't know either, as you obviously don't know her personally. Relying on that fount of all things truthful Wikipedia for your information is kinda daft.

Does it actually matter? Not a damn bit, and it doesn't alter the thrust of my argument in any way.



Spoilt rich girl good at spending other people's money is shocked to find the world doesn't work the way she wants it to, complains.

UN rapporteur: 'Bad example' UK should bin the Snoopers' Charter


Nice to think the UN will take a stance on this...

but... what exactly is the UN going to do when our data-fetish government outright ignores them and pushes ahead regardless?

Because they will push ahead. Regrardless of what UN / ECJ / ECHR have to say. Regardless of how illegal it is.

What a pair of ace-holes: Crooks bug gambler's car with GPS tracker, follow him and rob him


Re: Bah!


Well played, Sir. Thank you for a hilarious start to my morning!

Turkish hacker pleads guilty to $55m maniac global ATM heist


In the place of guns and masks, this cybercrime organisation used laptops and the internet.

Hmm... seems like progress to me. Almost civilised.

Not approving of the crime, just observing that, in this kind of heist, at least no innocent bystanders get scared shitless, shot or killed.

Robbery will always happen until/unless we evolve to a post-scarcity society where money is irrelevant and anybody can have any possessions they desire with no effort required.

But as we're a long way from that, in the meantime well hey, it's an improvement if nobody dies in the process.

Almost sounds like the US attorney would have preferred the gang marched into New York banks with guns waving...

Spanish cops discover illegally parked flying car

Thumb Up

Re: Rag Week?

Did a similar thing to an acquaintance's old Corsa... He could be a big headed twat, so we thought it'd be a laugh to pick up his car by the rear arches and turn it sideways in his dad's drive, sandwiched between a fence and the house wall.

His reaction was a confused mix of apoplectic and WTF just happened, switching between the two every few seconds.

Needed about a 300 point turn to get out :D

Good times...

We're doing SETI the wrong and long way around, say boffins


Royally fucked...?


Any space-faring race able to reach us from another star system has ready access to vast material resources in their own backyard without any need for conquest.

Unless they've buggered their own planet, and we happen to be on the only other reachable habitable planet... then how fucked we are depends on their relative level of technology and aggression.

'I bet Russian hackers weren't expecting their target to suck so epically hard as this'


Re: Unsigned....


Here's my take on this. Happy to be corrected, but I'm pretty sure it's accurate.

Assumptions made about the loop code:

  • "u" is an unsigned integer;
  • "u" is at least 8 bits;
  • overflow exceptions won't occur as it's integer arithmetic.

So to the loop itself: it's counting down from 100, not 200.

So 100, 99, 98, ... 2, 1, 0

Then it wraps. And if it's unsigned and anything bigger than a 7-bit integer, the loop ends.

Thus 101 iterations.

If the loop counter's signed, well yeah, all bets are off as behaviour depends on the number of bits. A signed char will go to -128 and loop forever as it wraps to +127. Unless there's an overflow exception (which probably doesn't happen in integers - depends on whether or not your compiler can even detect the overflow condition, which in turn depends on whether or not the CPU has integer overflow flags).

Since the discussion was about unsigned it's reasonable to assume that's the type being used, and so even an 8-bit unsigned char would still let that loop terminate. Again, unless there's an unlikely underflow exception...


Re: Unsigned....

@AC: Sigh... seriously?

Wow! Am I glad you don't work for me.

No... it won't exit immediately.

"u < 200" is not the condition to exit the loop, it's the condition to remain in the loop.

Therefore the loop will count down quite happily with this condition.

If "u" were signed, the loop would continue until "u" reaches it's minimum negative value, which depends on the number of bits representing the integer. "u" will then wrap to the maximum positive value for that signed integer type, and the loop will end.

Assuming unsigned, since the loop begins at 100, it will reach zero before wrapping back to the maximum for an unsigned integer. Which again depends on the number of bits representing it. And is irrelevant, because for anything more than 7 bits, it will be greater than 200 so the loop ends.

100 to zero inclusive is 101 iterations.

And do you really want to get into it over implicit vs. explicit declaration?

Casting i.e. implicit conversion will depend on whether or not "u" is declared explicit, as well as any qualifiers assigned to the constants. In this case, no mention of explicit means we can assume non-explicit declaration. And since the "200" is not qualified (e.g. not "200L"), the compiler should treat it as the same type as "u".

If not, there will be a warning about signed/unsigned conversion leading to a possible loss of data (unless the warning is disabled, or it's severity level is below the compiler's warning threshold).


Re: Unsigned....

Would help to have a u++, rather than u-- :-). Also, such counters are often used to index arrays, which start at 0...


Assuming "u" is unsigned, I believe you may have missed the rapier-like subtlety of decrementing an unsigned integer below zero...

That u < 200 will actually work. Sure, there will be 101 iterations of the loop before it exits. And it looks shit. And will confuse anyone reading it. But logically it will still work. Unless "u" is signed, then it's a much longer count.

Doesn't make it suck less hard though...



Brain-dead manager: I want all those infinite loop warnings sorted!

Lazy-arse dev: OK boss...

[mutters a string of expletives]

#pragma warning (disable: 4127)

[heads back to the pub]

Brits unveil 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car


Runs straight into the usual issues with alternative fuel cars...

Why is it that every alternative fuel car (barring the Tesla model S) is:

a) Ridiculously impractical for every day use, an

b) looks like a fucking turd on wheels?

Alt fuels are great, but FFS please make it a proper car a family can use every day for the whole range of normal things, without having to wear bags over their heads in shame!

Silent Nork satellite tumbling in orbit


Re: " Soviet SS-1 "Scud" powerplants"

But the user experience really sucked.

To improve user experience with our product, please adjust your system Regional Settings location, format and locale to German (Germany)

Open APIs for UK banking: It's happening, people


Oh, hell no!

Standardised API? Fair enough. Maybe even makes sense if it's actually achievable across all banks and building societies. Worldwide. Many banks are global after all.

Open source? OK, maybe. Enables the community to evaluate security, stability, interoperability etc.

Give 3rd party businesses access to account data? No no no no no no no no no.

And Fuck no!

Only a complete moron, or heavily bribed (and likely both) could ever believe this is a good idea.

Take what probably the majority of people expect, demand to be the most secure and private thing they do online, and open it up to every parasitic marketing twat out there. Fucking genius.

Firemen free chap's todger from four-ring chokehold


Why *4*?

I mean come on... was he trying to hang a curtain from it?



Anyone else wince, sort of curl up a bit, and experience involuntary, um... contraction... reading that?

Must be cold in here all of a sudden.

Scottish MP calls for drone-busting eagles


Shocker - another MP jumps on the "Drones Bad" band wagon

With comments like "a real risk to people", "a danger to those on the ground" and even "a risk to national security" in the wrong hands, the Dunfermline and West MP appears to be jumping straight to "OMG drones can be used by paedos/terrorists/bad-guys for bad things, must come up with ridiculous solution to this menace"

Everything and anything can potentially fall into those risk categories if used by the "wrong" people.

What's next? Deploying roving platoons of Mongoose in case snake owners decide to do "bad things" with their pet...?

How about just ban everything? Because anything could be a risk to somebody, somewhere, right? Tool.

Seriously, prove there is a genuine tangible issue beyond vague "a risk to the people" crap, then and only then, if there really is an issue, devise intercepts that don't involve sending rare animals chasing big machines with fast-spinning blades...

At least the police inspector's comment was sensible. For once. How refreshing.

Internet idiots make hoax bomb threats to UK, Aus, French schools


Claiming the ability and actually having it are two different things.

But no, you're not alone. It's a chilling prospect, and a tasty price for anyone twisted and vindictive enough to consider it. And of course the cops will nick you, freeze your accounts, bust your door in an swipe all your IT kit, before eventually realising it's a frame-up.

Meanwhile you're jobless (cos you got nicked), homeless (cos you've got no job and your bank accounts are frozen), and likely to get lynched. Great.

Universal Credit slammed by MPs: Late programme branded 'unacceptable'


re: I can't help but think democracy is a bit of a sham

Only a bit of a sham?

Every five years we get to choose between a couple of no-hopers, or prats with the same ideas trying hide their likeness behind a different coloured tie.

And then a party that doesn't get the majority of the votes cast can still somehow win (36.9% is not the majority of voters however you try to spin it). First past the post is the worst possible way to call it.

Yay "democracy".

'Here are 400,000 smut sites. Block them' says Pakistani telco regulator


Those poor censors

Must've got real hard for them "censoring" all that porn.

Pentagon fastens lasers to military drones to zap missiles out of the skies


Re: And the "drone" part helps how exactly?

Tech moves on, dude.

Solid-state electrically pumped lasers are steadily approaching the power levels emitted in the 747 prototype. They're a lot smaller and lighter watt for watt, and are not limited to 20-40 shots because there's no chemical lasing medium used up with each shot. So long as there's electricity, they can keep shooting.

How to get that much power from a drone is another issue. Maybe they'll go with a small modular nuclear reactor. 25MW should be easily enough to fly and recharge the capacitor banks rapidly for quick successive shots. But I digress.

Seriously doubt they think for one second they can stuff 72,000kg of chemical lasers into a drone. Unless they expect one mutha of a drone. But remember - military drones can be pretty big, and anything that can fire a MW laser is not going to be your typical Maplin octa-copter.

Nah. More likely they are pushing for funding to:

1) advance the state-of-the-art in lighter, electrically pumped solid state lasers

2) try to shoehorn the tech into a some kind of drone form - doesn't have to be small, just smaller than a 747 - so if it does have to loiter on target within enemy counter range, it can without risking lives of their flight crews.


Re: Isn't there a standard defence against lasers?

@Charles 9 - upvoted to balance the downvotes from people who clearly don't understand the issue. Several things to remember with mirrors and lasers:

1. Mirrors are not perfect reflectors.

2. Mirrors reflect/absorb different frequencies in different ways.

3. Military lasers may or may not operate at visible frequencies.

4. Impurities and imperfect reflection guarantee some energy absorption.

5. Any energy absorption heats, distorts and ablates the surrounding area, increasing the chance of absorption in the surrounding area (though ablation can have a temporary shielding effect)

6. Spinning the target will make little difference. Laser might have to remain on target a little longer, but ultimately spinning just means more of the target surface suffers heat damage.

7. Spinning the target will actually help shed ablated material. Ablated material can be like a temporary shield, the laser has to burn through it to reach the target surface. You don't want to shed ablated material, you want it to build up between the laser and the target surface.

8. Only takes a small initial absorption to start a snowball effect as heating, distortion and ablation spread, burnt ablation impurities accumulate on the mirrored surface.

Florida cuffee surprised by pills in vagina


Distiller's droop?

Well you could try drinking less vodka... reduce the chance of an "is it in yet?" moment.

Pass my coat. Yeah, that one with the black-market enhancement products in the pockets...

For fsck's SAKKE: GCHQ-built phone voice encryption has massive backdoor – researcher


Not germane to terrorist or criminal activity...

The God-damn Germans got nothin' to do with it!

Where's Sheriff Buford T. Justice when you need him? Ah, here he is:


European human rights court rules mass surveillance illegal


Love a good roast

I did not know that Bunyan as well as Betjeman had visited Slough.

Did tick all the boxes for a typical Slough resident.

Now do Coventry! We have an ever-growing breed of under-scum who make Slough seem a place of saintly virtue...

Amnesty International accuses tech giants of battery bastardry


Re: Cue lots of Apple hate

Did we read different articles?

AC must've done. And read a different report than the one linked in the article as well, since the actual Amnesty report doesn't headline with "Apple" either.

In fact "Apple" isn't even mentioned until page 9 of the report, where they are named alongside the standard tech big guns:

In seeking to understand how this international supply chain works, as well as to ask questions about each company’s due diligence policy, Amnesty International wrote to Huayou Cobalt and 24 other companies in China, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, UK, and the USA. These companies include some of the world’s largest and best known consumer electronics companies, including Apple Inc., Dell, HP Inc. (formerly Hewlett-Packard Company), Huawei, Lenovo (Motorola), LG, Microsoft Corporation, Samsung, Sony and Vodafone, as well as vehicle manufacturers like Daimler AG, Volkswagen and Chinese firm BYD.

Hardly click-bait, is it? Unless AC has a weird definition of click-bait...


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