* Posts by bombastic bob

5178 posts • joined 1 May 2015

Chinese biz baron wants to shove his artificial moon where the sun doesn't shine – literally

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Eight times brighter than the Moon?

"It'll be a shaped mirror focussing on a relatively small area."

a city isn't all that "small" but yeah, not like the moon which is competely UNfocused reflection.

A space-mirror would have solar energy reflected from it based on the total surface area of the mirror. if the mirror were exactly the size of the city, perfectly focused, etc. it would light it up like daylight. A fraction of the surface area of the city means an equivalent fraction of the light level, and so HOW bright did you want it? HOW big does that mirror need to be? 1/10 the surface area of a city with a population THAT large? Oh let's just ballpark it at 100 SQUARE MILES!!!

(article said 10 to 80 mile area - is that radius, diameter, or square mileage? if square miles, then make the mirror about 1/10 of that - but 10 square miles is only ~3 miles or so on a side, maybe the general area around his house but that's about it)

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Drag

Problem: you need to move a parabolic mirror that is pointed/focused at a city from geosync orbit.

a) the mirror is large enough to reflect enough sunlight to light an entire city;

b) the energy density of the sun that lights it up in the day is 'n'

c) you want to reflect 'n * m' energy for night-time visibility, where 'm' represents the fraction of daylight brightness you want at night

d) the surface area of your mirror must be 'city area' x 'n' x 'm', with extra factors added in for reflectivity and atmospheric losses.

So, HOW BIG does that mirror need to be?

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: The silver lining

messing with the day/night cycle - unintended consequences follow

Lighting streets with lamps is one thing. Shining the sunlight onto an area 7/24 is not the same thing. You can turn a street lamp OFF. The satellite is a "one size fits all" kind of thing. You can't control it. It's ON whether you want it or not.

But I think it'd be a nice target for ground-based 'satellite killer' laser testing - mirror? Oh CRAP!

(oh and for this to work properly, the mirror would have to be the size of a city, something about energy density, etc.)

Raspberry Pi fans up in arms as Mathematica disappears from Raspbian downloads

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Missing info

right, as long as you can do "sudo apt-get install mathematica" I'm good. No need to bundle it if only a percentage of people actually care if it's there [thereby saving 700Mbytes in the SD image which to me is more important].

Once more with feeling: Windows 10 October 2018 Update inches closer to relaunch

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: A powerful sense of dread

"they just cant help themselves can they"

I spend at least 80% of my time working in FreeBSD. Same idea as those who use Linux.

Windows is for accounting applications, occasional e-mail, and music authoring [because I bought cakewalk almost a decade ago, and might as well use it]. And it runs Windows 7. Best e-bay purchase I made, a Lenovo box for 'cheap price', dual core 3Ghz reconditioned model with 4G and Windows 7 pro. While I still could.

So yeah. couldn't help myself mentioning THAT.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: I'm just wondering

even though many of us (former?) insiders have made the SAME kinds of comments in the past, i.e. that it's not our job to constantly fiddle-fart with 'updates' in lieu of getting work done, I'd expect the same response to companies [even big ones] making the same kinds of complaints.

Micro-shaft does not care about customers. They are 'minions' and 'revenue generators', and so the customer is NEVER right, MICRO-SHAFT is right, your computer is a means by which they can exploit you, and you're lucky to even get something that works MOST of the time. The rest of the time, you're a slave of Micro-shaft Marketing, your computer's maintenance is the end-all be-all of your day, Win-10-nic and any 'CRapps' they CRam into your body orifices are MORE IMPORTANT than ANYTHING ELSE you do, yotta yotta.

It's the same kind of arrogance that used to crap up your 'autoexec.bat' and 'config.sys' files back in the DOS days, when "whatever application" was _THE_ _MOST_ _IMPORTANT_ _THING_ on your computer, so "of course we can take it over".

Chrome 70 flips switch on Progressive Web Apps in Windows 10 – with janky results

bombastic bob Silver badge


underwhelmed indeed. I toyed with something *like* that on a droid SEVERAL YEARS AGO, but it actually displayed a web page in a way that made it _look_ like you were running an application. But it was a specialized web server. The alternative had the web browser decorations which took up screen space.

The 'droid application was something like 5 lines of Java code, and a hard-coded web server URL. Good enough for a prototype. But yeah it needed a customized web server to work. That's the REAL magic.

Alexa heard what you did last summer – and she knows what that was, too: AI recognizes activities from sound

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: "...and potentially nudge users towards healthy behaviors..."

"Harry Harrison thought of it first, if I'm not mistaken."

He thought up 'cheddite' (Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers)

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: The title is no longer required.

putting a new 'spin' on audio 'analysis'

OK - that was just *BAD*

bombastic bob Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: More accurate spying - Who wouldn't want that?

"The younger generation is quite adamant about their right to be spied upon"

they have grown up on reality TV... and post their mundane activities on social media like anybody else cares about their bowels or whatever.

yeah, and if one o' those hears ME sneeze it'll sound like... "Ah, Ah, AH SHIT!!!" [yes I really do that, I hate sneezing - it interrupts what I'm doing]. I wonder if it'd call an ambulance, thinking it means "I fell and can't get up" (and of course THAT introduces the topic of false alarms generated by a big-nanny spy-on-your-life system). And no, I don't need Alexa to order me some narcoleptic cold medicine either.

Finally. The palm-sized Palm phone is back. And it will, er, save you from your real smartphone

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: A phone from the past

I just use a dumb phone anyway. Fits nicely in my front pocket.

Phone in a phone - is that like 'Matryoshka' dolls?

In Windows 10 Update land, nobody can hear you scream

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Pity

sounds like a top 10 list...

Top 10 ubuntu-like name suggestions for Win-10-nic releases

10: Nosy Ninny-Nanny

9: Unscheduled Upgrade

8: Flatso Failure

7: Slurping Snake

6: Tracking Tyrant

5: Arrogant Adware

4: Bandwidth Bandit

3: Crappy Cortana

2: Hideous Hog-OS

and the #1 ubuntu-like release name suggestion for Win-10-nic releases:

Worthless Win-10-nic !!!!

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Windows 7 "outdated"?

'not enough sales' 'PC market saturated'

This is NOT because of Windows 7. This is because of WINDOWS 10! People see Win-10-nic on a new machine, and they're like "how is this BETTER than what I already have?"

You want to increase sales? UPDATE Win7 for the newest architectures, and RE-INTRODUCE it into the market, shipping NEW MACHINES with Win7 on them, instead of Win-10-nic!

Yeah. it's obvious to anyone with a CLUE.

When 'Ape' (8.0) released, MS read the tea leaves wrong. they saw Moore's law NOT driving new computer sales any more. They saw an uptick in slab sales. They *FELT* that everything would be a slab, now, regardless of whether it was a desktop or laptop. And they were *WRONG*. They were *SO* wrong, 'windows for phone' fell ON ITS FACE as an EPIC MARKET FAIL. And we're stuck with the "phone-y" Win-10-nic user interface with UWP which will NEVER be used outside of Win-10-nic.

And, they're too embarassed to go back and do it RIGHT. So they keep going over the cliff, towards the icebergs, etc. because stopping and turning around makes them LOOK BAD.

But regardless of how they *FEEL* about it (the 'F' word, 'feel'), reality says they've SCREWED THE POOCH and it makes them look even WORSE by PERSISTING at it! The occasional lipstick on the non-oinky end of the boar, as well as the 'forced update' cockups, just re-enforces how bad things have gotten.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Is it still a choice...

accessibility is less of a 'thing' than it used to be, when nobody had the screen readers (etc.). I remember seeing some effort towards this in Gnome 2. Not sure how it's handled in Mate, as I don't use acessibility features. It's probably about the same as gnome 2 was.

But... I might consider the effect that "light blue on blinding bright white" has on the eyes. THAT hideous color combination, so typical of 'UWP' and 'The Metro' and Chrome and WAY too many web sites, deserves a FREAKING LAWSUIT under some 'Disabilities Act' clause, because that color combination is HARD ON THE EYES. It could make people GO blind! Well, contribute to macular degeneration, at any rate.

Blue light depletes the macula of its orange pigment. I did some work for an optometrist a couple of times, one project involving a 'flicker' test. It's used to test for macular degeneration. Light blue on bright white is likely to CONTRIBUTE to macular degeneration, which is why [on my FreeBSD system] I 'off white' the background colors a bit, so that they're slightly yellow - easier on the eyesight. [but I have to complain about this edit window as the font is WAY TOO FREAKING SMALL and everything looks like BLUR - I make a LOT of typing mistakes because I can't read it easily - hint hint hint - needs fixing, El Reg!]

So, for those "not yet blind", Micro-shaft needs to GET RID OF those HIDEOUS 'UWP' colors, and LET! US! CUSTOMIZE! THEM! OURSELVES!!! In fact, going back to a 3D skeuomorphic appearance would help a LOT with readability... and no WORSE THAN HIDEOUS 'dark themes' or so-called 'high contrast' themes, either. MS devs wouldn't know a nice looking readable easy-on-the-eyesight desktop if it BIT THEM IN THE ASS!

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Installing Windows 7 on Sky/Kaby Lake CPUs

"Windows 10 doesn't try to serve the user; it tries to force the user to serve Microsoft"

well stated!

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Yes I understand Microsoft's problem ... and Linux...

"Does MS really want to choke its only chicken?"

thanks for that image. brain bleach, please...

(good one, heh)

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Last time

"Why downvote me and not tell me why"

Don't take it personally. It's probably the howler monkeys, slinging poo as usual. Go fig, yeah. I get downvotes all the time, just for being me. It's a badge of honor. Par for the course. Etc.

I got this T shirt that says something like: "The Internet - if you're not offending someone, you're doing it wrong". You could insert 'getting downvotes' and ti would be similar.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: No warning

"Why do Microsoft find this stuff so hard to get right?!"

Simple: they don't actually get WORK done in the Halls of Redmond. At least, not what _I_ would call 'work'.

And as such, they can't POSSIBLY comprehend what REAL WORKING PEOPLE need a computer for, or how it's typically used.

Couple that with their desire to MONETIZE THE CUSTOMER, the general attitude that THEY own the hardware too, and the ARROGANCE that goes with being an effective MONOPOLY on operating systems.

Let us not forget GWX. That kinda says it all.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Installing Windows 7 on Sky/Kaby Lake CPUs

@AC - here's a simple breakdown of paragraph 1:

"I just don;t understand why so many people have issues with Windows 10."

1. 2D FLAT crammed up our asses (and taking away config choices)

2. 'Settings' instead of Control Panel crammed up our asses

3. 'Microsoft cloudy logon' strong-armed during install and when you add a new user

4. 'The Slurp' - monitoring everything you do, phone home to 'The Store' so it can 'suggest' things

5. the ADS (and 'The Store' in general)

6. 'Forced Updates' as in why these update COCKUPS are such a problem [updates are overrated anyway, unless it's to fix a REAL problem]

7. Reset of our configuration back to 'default' [which is FUBAR] following an update

8. Uber-slow inefficient update process overall, at Micro-shaft's convenience [not ours]

9. The general attitude that customers no longer matter

10. The general atmosphere that we have NO other choice, and something is wrong with US if we do NOT like being treated "this way"

"Especially resorting to gimping themselves with a 9+ year old outdated operating system."

'new' is not necessarily 'better'. Win-10-nic is evidence of THAT. If it's old, maybe it works REALLY REALLY well which is why we're still USING IT (instead of DOWNgrading to Win-10-nic).

"Is Windows 10 so incredibly different that your brain can;t cope with the changes?"

This is a typical pejorative 'leading question' that asserts an assumption that those who don't "get on the bandwagon" with Win-10-nic are a bunch of OLD FART, STICK-IN-THE-MUD, REFUSE-TO-CHANGE, UNABLE-TO-LEARN, STUCK-IN-THEIR-WAYS, UN-TEACHABLE LEMMINGS running off of the cliff.

The truth is, the [insert profane pejorative here] FANBOIS that promote Win-10-nic and *INSULT* those who aren't LIKE THEM (i.e. those who do not drink the Win-10-nic koolaid), are the REAL "lemmings leading the other lemmings over the cliff"...

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Yes I understand Microsoft's problem ...

Solution: sub-contract someone like Linus to manage a *REAL* QA dept for Win-10-nic updates. Expect lots of profanity directed towards the developers. It's called "accountability". Deal with it.

[instead we appear to see NO accountability and the poor quality that's doomed to happen - I guess MS has too many 'safe spaces' inside the Hallowed Halls of Redmond, so that their "I grew up feeling good about myself" *SNOWFLAKES* can "feel good about themselves" even when they're *ROYALLY* *SCREWING* *THE* *POOCH*. I wonder how many directions the fingers are pointing over the Intel Audio SNAFU...]

OK nevermind. the REAL solution is to use LINUX (which already DOES have a 'QA department head' named Linus)

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: "It has been a hellish couple of weeks for the Windows giant"

"so what about us poor customers"


(Bend Over, Here It Comes Again)

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Rigorously Tested

"the Intel driver was 'incorrectly pushed to devices via Windows Update'"

More like "excreted to the world via the usual process", i.e. without any testing at all, i.e. "it will work, trust us".

As far as I can tell, Micro-shaft does not HAVE a QA/Test department. They were all laid off just before Win-10-nic released... to be replaced by 'insiders' aka 'fanbois' (who are then ignored). See icon

Unless the testers can press the "no go" button, and can spend all day long JUST testing the OS and teh updates (aka get a salary for it) on a wide range of hardware, we can expect more of this.

(but everyone here already knew this - obvious thing is obvious)

It is 2018 and the NHS is still counting the cost of WannaCry. Carry the 2, + aftermath... um... £92m

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: £150m deal was signed with Microsoft to update systems to Windows 10

"medical scanners that the NHS CANNOT develop applications to control"

So you call up scanner company and say "How much do you need from us to build a Linux version, or fix the windows version to run reliably under Wine" ?

*NO* business exec would turn down an opportunity like THAT one (unless he's a Micro-shaft paid shill)!

It would cost LESS than porting the universe over to Win-10-nic just because of a small number of applications that "need windows" for some reason. There's still a cost involved. Not debating that.

Also, keep in mind that this is public tax money paying for all of this (to the best of my knowledge anyway). NHS is proving itself to be a bureaucratic BLACK HOLE for funding, wasting all of that money on Win-10-nic instead of hiring more staff to serve patients better (or getting more equipment that has a high demand). But I guess I'd expect that from *ANYTHING* that's "gummint" run...

So who's accountable for all of the WASTE, FRAUD, and ABUSE? [fingers pointing everywhere is not a good thing]

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: NHS upgrades antiquated IT systems to Windows 10?

"Then the millions required for training and development of applications that will run off those Linux systems"

would be FAR LESS than the HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS spent on moving to Win-10-nic (see my earlier post, near the top)

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: £150m deal was signed with Microsoft to update systems to Windows 10

for THAT! MUCH! they could have RE!-WRITTEN! every windows-only application to RUN! ON! LINUX! and *THEN* switched EVERYTHING over to Linux, and would have had MONEY LEFT OVER afterwards.

I base my opinions on actual history, like Ernie Ball's experience switching the entire company over to Linux in the early 2000's.

Microsoft reveals xlang: Cross-language, cross-compiler and coming to a platform near you

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Can't do cross lnguage, cross platform interoperability at function level

yeah for a lot of things Python definitely has its uses. Underneath you'll probably find one of those toolkits I mentioned, though... (especially for GUI applications)

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Can't do cross lnguage, cross platform interoperability at function level

I found a few reasonable ways to approach true cross-platform applications in C/C++:

a) Use Qt

b) Use GTK

c) Use wxWidgets [and, with some creativity, you can take an existing MFC application and turn it into a wxWidgets application with a 'relatively small sized' effort.

d) a C language toolkit I've been working on for a while, now

and plenty of '#ifdef WIN32' and similar blocks around system-dependent stuff. But it's not all that hard, really.

No need for UWP or its new replacement. No need for RT. No need for ".Not" or C-pound or that disease-sounding 'mono' thing. Or ".Not Whore" (aka '.Net Core').

(now, where's my clue-bat?)

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Stupid conflicting name

'xlang' - it's maybe supposed to be similar in appearance to 'clang'?

that was my first guess, anyway. I also face-palmed at the *OBVIOUS* 'Embrace Extend Extinguish *EX-TER-MIN-ATE*" coming down the pike behind it.

/me uses clang with FreeBSD. I find it a little refreshing compared to gcc, particularly in the way it deals with cross-compilation, and of course, no GPLv3-related licensing problems. It also has some more interesting warning generation that occasionally spots things that gcc misses.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Only Microsoft can kill Windows (Win32)

yeah, and from the article:

"The Windows Runtime (WinRT) is a noble attempt to replace the grungy C-based Win32 Application Programming Interface (API) with something delightfully object-orientated in C++"

El Reg: I hope you had your *snark* hat on when you wrote that. See icon.

From what I saw, it is *WORSE* than ".Not" with it's bass-ackwards "oh look, we have OBJECTS now" approach.

The worst programming assignment EVAR (for me) was cleaning up code written by a drunk [who was a partner in the company at the time he wrote it, and was subsequently bought out - did I mention he had once worked for SAIC doing 'bill by the line' stuff for them?], in Borland C++, for Windows 3.x, in which the author had "discovered" that C++ had *CLASSES* in it!!! So you can guess that EVERYTHING was a class, and interestingly enough, they were so bit-fiddly with one another's internals that you'd have to reboot that poor Windows 3.x box every time you ran the application, because the resources would be depleted. (I managed to get it working anyway, to an acceptable level, with only occasional resource leaks)

And so, when I hear about Windows RT's "wonderful world of objects" or whatever, I spit up my coffee all over the keyboard. Replace Win32? With *THAT*???

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Yeah, I hope you had your *snark* hat on!

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

bombastic bob Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: I fail to see the problem

"Somebody get a cluebat, I feel the need for some percussive education."

same here (except for the word 'feel', heh)

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Developing in sometimes difficult... who knew?

it would have been LESS difficult if they hadn't wasted time and effort doing the following:

a) Australis

b) a 'UWP' version (DOA last I heard)

c) hamburger menu re-invention

Mozilla: why not just give us what WE WANT instead of what YOU want us to have?

You're not Micro-shaft. Please don't act like them.

Shortages, price rises, recession: Tech industry preps for hard Brexit

bombastic bob Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Oh no, it's 1999!

heh - good one

bombastic bob Silver badge

EU sounded great at the time it was proposed

like many things I'm sure EU sounded great at the time it was proposed, and was supported by a majority, and opposed by a minority. Now it's the other way around.

Just a thought. In U.S. history, the post 1776 government ['Articles of Confederation', which was too weak] was abandoned, and re-invented in 1787 (which we still have). Similarly, maybe it's time to re-think the EU? Unification wasn't a bad idea. How it was actually implemented, not so good. Typical of gummints.

/me thinks of Brexit as a mild example of what would happen in the USA if the UN were to become "a government" and start imposing it's will upon us.

rebellious pirate icon again

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: And all we can do...

"The people who want Brexit need to go away"


yeah, anti-Trump'ers have that attitude about those who voted for and/or support our current president. And yet, the last nearly 2 years show how much BETTER things got, and way faster than anyone expected (even Trump), because Trump became president. [we did NOT 'go away']

I like the optimism that was expressed in the article; that is, if there's a Brexit, things get better. If there's NO Brexit, things still get better. The only scenario that this individual saw was 'bad' is one with "no plan", which we all know that politicians are INFAMOUS for...

(lots of 'harumph', nothing really getting done, but isn't that better than the alternative of what they'd do if they COULD???)

Oh, and 'silencing your opposition' instead of presenting logical (not emotional) arguments that prove how right you are is a typical tactic of those who promote oppressive gummints [think "brown shirts"]. You shouldn't be like them. Present your arguments and let the arena of ideas deal with it logically. You're welcome. Otherwise it's like being a 'mob', just shouting your opposition down with no discussion.

rebelliious pirate icon, just because

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

bombastic bob Silver badge

"The Cloud" is overrated

and that, too.

Microsoft Windows 10 October update giving HP users BSOD

bombastic bob Silver badge

whenever I update FreeBSD's kernel and install it, the old kernel is preserved, and if something goes wrong, I can boot the old kernel and fix things.

Micro-shaft: take a lesson from open source. Give us THAT option on bootup after your "cram-it-up-our-asses" 'up'dates FAIL...

either that or let us EASILY AND COMPLETELY DISABLE THE UPDATES [make them 'manual only'] like we USED to do, instead of making it a choice between "now" or "later" (and then sneak it in when we're not looking).

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Shove It Out The Door

"Almost everything these days seems to be loaded with high-tech features that are of use to no one, are poorly or not-at-all tested and have bloated, broken and idiotic UIs."

"Something has gone very wrong."

There's a giant cloud of SMUG hanging over Redmond, these days. I blame THAT.

the 'next generation' of developers took over when 'Ape' released. It was "their turn now". And they're arrogant, smug, and don't care about the customer, because THEY know best! I could ALSO say something about them being raised by helicopter parents and indoctrinated by left-leaning teachers and even MORE indoctrinated by outright communist professors in college, which for them is a VERY recent memory, but I won't. Wait, I just did...

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: HP keyboards are special?

recording keystrokes? If that's the case, what's different about Microshaft slurping your activity and sending the data back to Redmond? You know, so "the store" can offer you "smart suggestions"...

From Joe Belfiore's infamous keynote speech at a dev conference shortly before win-10-nic released...

"As I'm using my PC, on the client we know which apps you're launching, and which apps you're installing, and so we're able to communicate with the store and bring down suggestions that are personalized for ~you~, to help users learn about great new apps that are available for them to try out on their PC"

In any case, I am starting to think that maybe HP has had WAY too much of Micro-shaft's coolaid...

[they would do well to ship with Linux as their primary OS, instead]

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Again

"If you're having team meetings, you should be running the Enterprise version of something OTHER THAN Windows"

REALLY fixed that for ya!

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Pros & Cons of AutoUpdate

From the article: "The update debate has divided security experts about whether automatic updates are more trouble than they're worth"

Ya think?

Obviously more 'cons' than 'pros'. See icon.

But, will Micro-shaft do what the CUSTOMERS want? (let alone security experts)

(snarky, hysterical, uncontrollable laughter follows)

With sorry Soyuz stuffed, who's going to run NASA's space station taxi service now?

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: No worries

well, if ya think about it, maybe a 'space force' COULD become a nice emergency handling agency, for stranded astronauts. Kinda like a Navy. In space.

I'm surprised we haven't already done the 'space force' thing, actually. I think the shuttle was ORIGINALLY intended to be a stepping stone to that. It just never happened.

(a bit of google-fu seems to confirm my suspicions on this, from the sheer number of military-related STS missions to the floated idea that shuttles could replace ICBMs)

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

bombastic bob Silver badge


hydrazine is kinda what nitro looks like without all of that carbon and oxygen (and I think it's just a bit more stable. yeah, when NOT in the presence of the right catalyst to make it go 'foom')

nitrogen bonds typically break with a great deal of released energy. Hence, with that nitrogen double-bond, it makes GREAT rocket fuel! (I read up on it on wikipedia just for grins, always fun stuff). Nitro would, too, except for the whole 'shock instability' thing.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Oops.

yeah it DOES reflect well on the Russian safety record so far. The crew returned safely.

Unfortunately not-so-good for a couple of our shuttles... [but we did over a hundred shuttle missions, so what's the accident rate?]

I checked HERE and found a few interesting statistics:

a) the last shuttle mission was STS-130 in 2010

b) 788 people were sent into orbit on the shuttle (that includes repeat flights, not just the number of astronauts)

c) 14 died on the 2 shuttles that were destroyed. this is 1 in 56

d) at the time the article was written, Soyuz had launched 250 people

e) that the time, there had been 4 fatalities and a couple of abort/returns [that were not counted in the statistics]. This is about 1 in 63, slightly better than the shuttle.

but it DOES suggest that the safety numbers are somewhat comporable. I think if the shuttle program had continued, safety improvements would have bent the statistics in a more favorable direction. We'll never know, of course. The shuttle is history.

That being said, space is risky and of course astronauts sometimes die. But I think Soyuz has been pretty good with their safety record, and I'd like to see Boeing and SpaceX maintain at LEAST that good of a record in the future.

We should keep the ISS. In fact, maybe we should build a hotel there... (it would be easier to extend it than to have another ginormous orbiting thing that might transit across the same orbit as the existing ISS from time to time, and I'd really rather have them all in one spot than to spread out the risk on that one)

The Obama-era cyber détente with China was nice, wasn't it? Yeah well it's obviously over now

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: PRC anyone?

what OS on the laptop? also you might want to see if the BIOS was re-flashed (or similar)

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Please....

it also proves that bending over and apologizing to the world is NOT a good strategy. [better to negotiate from a position of STRENGTH]

If China were 100% "our friend" they wouldn't be reacting this way. Their goals were obvious, they've been called out on them, and they stopped pretending to be our friends, so much.

It's time to get lights out factories up and running 'back home', in lieu of paying a 'bunch of warm bodies' slave wages to do things manually in China. Pick & place and automated processing competes with China, easily. Seen it. And labor in places like Mexico is a bit more 'affordable' these days, all things considered.

China spent quite a bit of time trying to lock down the supply chains such that you HAVE to go to them, more or less, for pretty much EVERYTHING. I spent some time looking for possible components for a personal project, and saw a bunch of things marked as 'tarriff included' on the pricing (in this case, surface mount resistors). A lot of manufacturers use discrete parts that are made in China. But I bet an automated factory in the USA could do the same thing, once it's up and running. The reason the China factories are so popular is they're basically "down the road" from the assembly houses and board shops. So China has everything 'in one place' more or less which cheapens the overall supply line.

When things are built in lights out factories NOT in China, it becomes more reasonable to use domestic makers of discrete components, too. With automated processes, you don't need "a pile of warm bodies" to get things done any more.

It wouldn't take a whole lot of time to shift things over, I bet. A year or two perhaps, and lights out factories would be building discrete components in the USA and Mexico and Canada, and EU too.

The good news: PC sales went up a little worldwide, say Gartner crystal-ball-gazers

bombastic bob Silver badge

if it weren't for Win-10-nic

PC sales would be fine, if they were pre-installed with WINDOWS 7 instead of Win-10-nic (or 'Ape' for what it's worth). Micro-shaft has *killed* desktop sales by making sure that the next machine you buy won't be perceived as 'as good as or better than what you already have'.

Results are, therefore, obvious, as well as the *CAUSE*.

Perhaps vendors need to get on board with the idea of shipping more computers with a DIFFERENT operating system, and promote it a bit, so that their sales will increase? You know, something like Mint or Ubuntu or one of the other more popular Linux distros... [with a choice of what you want pre-loaded!].

It wouldn't take a whole lot of convincing, especially if Linux were available on *ALL* computer models [not just 'select' ones], for people to choose Linux over Win-10-nic, especially if it were presented correctly and advertised a bit. This goes DOUBLE for computers sold without "the Micro-shaft tax" (i.e. a Win-10-nic license fee).

Imagine a Dell or Lenovo ad showing their computer with Linux Mint on it, doing something with Libre Office, web surfing via Firefox, and so forth, as a viable alternative to Microsoft, without the slurp, ads, update problems, etc. - and more CHOICE for configuring the desktop!

I know it would work. But the Micro-shaft lobbying against this has been strong...

Oh no, Xi didn't! Chinese spymaster cuffed in Belgium, yoinked to US on aerospace snoop rap

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Expect more

"There is a lot of down votes here"

probably the usual suspects [the howler monkeys, my fan club, etc.]

I find your lack of faith disturbing, IBM: Big Blue fires photon torpedo at Pentagon JEDI cloud contract

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Single Bidder

I don't disagree with the "2 or more main suppliers that hate each other" part, but I think it would be better to be able to switch suppliers at a moment's notice in case of "whatever reason", for reliability purposes.

I have to wonder who it was that came up with the 'JEDI' idea in the FIRST place. Then, "follow the money".

Russian 'troll factory' firebombed – but still fit to fiddle with our minds

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Don't be silly.

a 'good troll' will find your IRL info and dox you, subscribe your IRL e-mail address to multiple irritating lists, use a dozen sock puppets to ridicule everything you say, try and crack your firewall, post your company info on a business review site and give you lousy ratings, and if they're REALLY good, sign you up for receiving lots of junk mail. And, subscribing you to dating sites for bizarre fetishes.

There are point assignments for each troll behavior. So a REALLY good troll will score you more points. Then you can compare with your friends, "my troll is better than your troll". Otherwise, they'd become boring, and you'd just stop feeding them...

'SWATting' has a negative point value. that's just lame.

anonymously e-mailing you a windows virus, when you're running Linux or *BSD, is an extra added bonus!

Microsoft deletes deleterious file deletion bug from Windows 10 October 2018 Update

bombastic bob Silver badge

MS likes to display a montage of messages

turbo tax honestly says "ok this is taking longer than we expected" or similar.

Micro-shaft should have messages that are more honest, like:

a) we are busy resetting all of the changes you've made

b) we are busy slurping all of your data

c) this is taking way too damn long because we lazily coded it in Javascript

d) we know this process sucks, but we don't give a damn about YOU

e) you have been assimilated

and so on

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