* Posts by bombastic bob

5556 posts • joined 1 May 2015

Europe is living in the past (by nearly six minutes) thanks to Serbia and Kosovo

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: For those who wonder...

"It wasn't about efficiency, it was about Edison (DC) versus Tesla (AC), with Edison 'proving' that AC was more dangerous by demonstrating electrocutions using AC."

They certainly weren't more 'dangerous', as high voltage DC and high voltage AC will still kill you. But the AC version would be a LOT more entertaining... [doing the 50/60 cycle jitters in the chair].

Edison was just wrong about AC and we all know it. But he was a SORE LOSER. And he HATED Tesla because of it. They used to get along, until AC vs DC. Tesla was right. Tesla had the ability to think 'dynamically' and do simulations in his head. That's how he came up with the idea of a rotating magnetic field, and alternating current, as I understand it. He pictured it in his mind. Those of us who can ALSO do that kind of thing understand it completely, I'd guess. And I'd also guess that Edison couldn't really do that, though his 'static' imagination was still pretty brilliant.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: For those who wonder...

"The issues with sources like wind and solar is that due to politicians swallowing the green lobby lies"

I'm with you on that last part (swallowing the green lobby lies), but I think we should still use wind and solar generators, because other forms of energy are still finite, and I doubt the EU (or post-brexit UK) wants to prop up the price of oil by using even more of it for electricity. If you want energy independence, you use more of what you have, and less of what you must import. So there ya go. Besides, most of the trouble in the Middle East is ultimately caused by too much world money going into the hands of people who tend to support things _like_ terrorism, and we don't need Middle East politics affecting the world economy so much, now do we?

So even if the 'renewables' policy was driven by 'human caused global warming' hysteria, it's still a reasonable outcome to have plenty of solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and whatever other 'renewable' someone can think up and implement at a reasonable cost to the consumer.

Then, on non-windy winter nights, you can burn the midnight oil for power [so to speak]. But the rest of the time you can get it from Mr. Sun instead.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: For those who wonder...

"AC was just more efficient with less line loss."

this mostly has to do with distribution locally, not over distance. the problem with DC is that you can't EASILY convert a high voltage (like 100kv) into a line voltage for home use (let's say 220 or 110). So the generators had to make DC at 'what you get at the wall socket', meaning very high current and lots of loss.

However, if you send DC over distance at 100kv (let's say), then all you need is a motor/generator setup on each end. In fact, an MG can go BOTH directions. A DC line under the channel could then be a bi-directional power connection. It's probably why they do it "that way". Also a DC setup could have surge capacitors and batteries on it to help absorb transients etc. etc.. Sort of like submarine power, which still has backup generators and batteries very similar to old WW2 diesel subs. Hey, it works!

The motor/generator [for those who do not know] is what it says on the tin. It's a motor on one side, and a generator on the other side. The mode of operation is essentially based on how the regulators are set up to work. A generator on the DC side will regulate voltage. A motor on the DC side will regulate speed. Similarly, if the AC side is operating as a generator, its frequency regulates the DC side. If it's operating as a motor, the voltage and current on the DC side determines the loading. Both the voltage and speed regulation modes would have appropriate settings curves, so that load is shared and regulated properly, and you adjust the regulator's curve point to maintain 50Hz (or whatever), or 'n' volts on the DC bus.

Also in this way you can parallel the MG sets, so that you can take one or more off line for maintenance [yeah those DC brushes will need to be changed out periodically, and the contacts cleaned, etc.] but with proper care and maintenance, an MG set will spin for DECADES without major problems, and operate very efficiently. They really do work very very well, and are probably the most reliable way to transfer very large power levels between AC and DC, while simultaneously allowing bi-directional flow.

Additionally, you could use a motor/generator for standard conversion - a 60Hz unit on one side, a 50Hz unit on the other, with an appropriate number of poles on each so that they spin the same speed. Often they're used for 400Hz systems in that way.

Another advantage of using DC to transfer power is that you separate the line frequency controls on either end of the distribution. I assume this is what they wanted to do here. And when you're putting power lines under water, maybe the inductive losses are much higher with AC than with DC. I'd guess that's it at face value, without researching even.

bombastic bob Silver badge

I'm pretty sure that HDTV standards allow for different frame rates, like 24fps [movies], 25fps (EU standard I guess), 30fps (US standard I guess). Over here in the USA we're doing HDTV pretty much everyplace now. The 'pulldown' and 'telecine' algorithms are well known and supported by common open source tools like ffmpeg and mencoder, last I checked. And at least one HDTV I've seen had Linux on it (GPL declaration in the printed stuff). I think even VLC can do the conversion. So there ya go.

I don't think it really matters any more what the actual frame rate is for the video, other than the perception of the viewer. I happen to like 25fps since it makes the files a bit smaller.

But the reason "back in the day" was to synchronize the vertical sweep with the line frequency in order to avoid the kinds of problems that a CHEAP CRAPPY POWER SUPPLY would have, a line frequency pattern that would vertically sweep across the screen. If you synchronized it with the line frequency, it was less annoying. Fortunately electronics have improved since the 1950's, and that's no longer a problem.

bombastic bob Silver badge

"You probably also think we use inches."

you don't? (how about miles, pounds, gallons, ...)

yeah only us US'ians still measure based on a King's anatomy. I wouldn't mind using all metric if the damned bolts on my car were all metric... and I needed a 5/16" wrench the other day to loosen the battery terminals so I could replace the battery. Yeah, it's just unavoidable.

And every damned recipe in every recipe book uses freaking tablespoons and cups. What the hell?

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Mains powered clock

"They explained that the grid had to let the frequency change when compensating for load"

Exactly. The frequency (generator shaft speed, essentially) is regulated based on load. There's a "curve slope" that's used, essentially like a speed control, to make the generators turn a bit slower as load increases. Doing it this way is a lot more stable, and handles transient load conditions better.

So, at high loads, frequency is just a bit lower than at no load. And this has several interesting effects: First of all, if you run generators in parallel, they tend to load balance very nicely. Second, if you get a power transient, it's a very smooth transition with very little over/undershoot. And every generator on the grid would essentially be able to maintain this load balance correctly. You could, for example, cause one generator plant to take up more load by INCREASING its frequency setting, and leaving the others alone (this is what an Independent Systems Operator would be responsible for managing). Doing this could keep the generation and the load close to one another. If Kosovo is using more power, then generators close to Kosovo should be providing it. That kind of thing. And you can keep nuclear power plants running at 100% power as well [they don't do so well with transients, inherent design thing]. Anyway, it's really very cooperative like that.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Mains powered clock

"The real issue is that of less electricity being put into the system than was claimed and is not being provided."

Yes, and that means power was STOLEN.

One of the following probably took place:

a) power generating company(ies) reported more power going onto the grid than was really provided;

b) someone(s)'s tapping power from the system and NOT paying for it

c) equipment seriously malfunctioning (probably not likely)

In the case of 'a', they're being ripped off by one or more power generating companies. SOMEONE is getting the money for "providing" more than was actually on the grid, so I'd guess "follow the money".

In the case of 'b', some marijuana grow houses (or other gross power thieves) tapped directly into the distribution lines somewhere, in a manner that's not being sensed well enough to indicate a problem, and are powering up some large equipment [like growhouse lighting] on a rather massive scale with stolen kilowatts. So an audit of the grid seems to be in order [it was detected down to the region already, so I'd guess "more of the same" to locate it].

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Mains powered clock

"Is there such a thing at all nowdays? It is cheaper to throw in a quartz osciallator or a real time clock than to measure grid frequency."

not necessarily. old-school analog clocks probably still have synchronous motors in them. And I remember constructing a digital clock (well, back in the 70's) that used line frequency. Since you had to have a transformer [back then] it made sense to just use it. Seriously, though, it's not that hard to get the incoming AC frequency, through a very cheap capacitor, and then measure it with a single input pin on a dedicated clock IC. Crystals probably cost $1 more than that (and typical crystal oscillators need 2 capacitors, one on each end of the crystal). And that assumes that you don't want a backup battery for when power goes out, so the clock just flashes 12 after a power outage. This would be, a VERY cheap clock, yeah.

Anyway, my $.10 worth.

Slingshot malware uses cunning plan to find a route to sysadmins

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Eh?

"The filename heavily suggests Windows code."

Right, and then the article mentions that the malware gains 'root access' suggesting NON-windows code...

A smartphone recession is coming and animated poo emojis can't stop it

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Manufacturers are spending more

"Bad news: it might take 6 months to charge in the first place!"

most LiPo can charge at 0.5C safely, so ~3-4 hours for a full charge, at a peak of 1.5 giga-amps . You'll need a ~6 GW power converter for that. yeah, might need to run it on a 12kv line, too (at half a million amps).

your power company would either hate you or love you, depending.

Also the peak current would only be for about 30 minutes, after which it tapers off for the next 2 hours or so.

/me thinks of Griswald's christmas lights, and the need to start up a nuke reactor to power them

post-edit: the flux capacitor only needed 1.21 "jiggawatts"

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Who knew...

so, will THIS mean a renewal of PC and laptop purchases?

If so, it's time for LINUX ON THE DESKTOP! Let's give people something really GOOD to buy, not some crap excreted by Redmond running on hardware that MUST be more expensive, because, Win-10-nic.

Slack cuts ties to IRC and XMPP, cos they don't speak Emoji

bombastic bob Silver badge

Emojis... where's the one for *vomit* ?

Emojis are like a cancer. They started with those stupid sideways smiley things and grew into a hideous mass of toxic waste. It makes me want to *vomit* (and there's no emoji for vomit, and if there were, I wouldn't use it anyway because it's funnier if I just type out *vomit*)

icon, because, I'm facepalming. And it's not an emoji.

Microsoft says 'majority' of Windows 10 use will be 'streamlined S mode'

bombastic bob Silver badge

I don't know how else I can say this

"Belfiore wrote that "if a customer does want to switch out of S mode, they will be able to do so at no charge, regardless of edition."

What the *HELL* was Belfiore *SMOKING* before coming up with THAT?

(You REALLY shouldn't implement new business ideas that you thought up when you were stoned)

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Windows S


(even though the concept makes me lose my stomach contents)

Microsoft can hoover everything you've ever processed

And advertise to you until you fall into their vortex!

[ok hard to find rhyming words for 'nonsense']

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Win 10 Stupid Edition

does 'SH!+' mode turn OFF the ability to run "legacy" applications (i.e. Win32 API) or any kind of "backward" compatibility? Because, rumor has it, THAT is the TRUE goal here. That's right, ONE! BIG! HAPPY! UWP! FAMILY! (via "the store") !!! All *DUMBED* *DOWN* to the *LOWEST* common denominator, running 'SH!+' mode "CRapps" from "The Store!!!" Because, it's *MODERN* !!!

ugh, now I need more 'pink liquid' so I don't vomit.

Will the defendant please rise? Utah State Bar hunts for sender of topless email

bombastic bob Silver badge

"Hope they didn't get their special ""Mormon Underwear" in a knot."

Naw, the 'garments' make sex OK again. Hence, evangelism by procreation.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Terribly American

the problem isn't fear of tits, but rather, the implication that showing tits have: (alleged) bad male behavior. Too many men have been castrated by radical feminism and are afraid to be themselves.

As for me: left paren, dot, Y, dot, right paren

Think about it: It's fun to follow the women's movement while watching from behind. And when normal male behavior is classified as "toxic masculinity", you KNOW there's gonna be a BACKLASH!

But, apparently, they're not amused by the prank over at the Utah bar association. Getting all self-righteous over it is actually what the prankster would WANT to happen. So it was a successful prank.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: "to the breast of their knowledge"

"A cup of tea for them!"

sorry, but they can't have tea. But maybe Postum...

[I don't know what I'd do without coffee, tea, jolt, ...]

Fresh docs detail 10-year link between Geek Squad informers and Feds

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Traditionally...

"upload all of one's private pictures to the Interweb for their own adolescent amusement"

/b on 4chan maybe

bombastic bob Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Re: Wouldn't he have some pictures?

"I imagine that problems with the vagina can happen or indeed the penis, as a part of his job wouldn't he have these? In textbooks and stuff?"

I actually considered that, if the Doctor were researching child sexual abuse and had the photos as part of that research.

I wonder who you'd "register with" if you WERE doing such research, in order to avoid being prosecuted for having the stuff? Because, as a physician, it's probably legitimate research. Similar for psychologists and, of course, law enforcement people.

I better stop before "they" actually DO come to get me...

FBI chief asks tech industry to build crypto-busting not-a-backdoor

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Encryption backdoor takes it up the ...

"that wouldn't help with the apps on the phones"

Someone like me would invent a new "not back door" encryption 'app' that would a) act like a file system, storing your data encrypted within it as if it were an SD card or other removable storage; b) use a very strong encryption method that's well known and well published and has NO! BACK! DOOR!!! [with a HUGE key that's hashed from an arbitrarily long pass phrase plus a salt that's stored as part of the device itself]

So to decrypt the file you wouldn't just be able to take the SD card out and put it into another device; you'd have to at LEAST analyze the device and know what "salt" data needs to be used when generating the hash from the password. That's one possibility, anyway [others also exist].

This way, the app ITSELF does the encrypting, and it deliberately has NO back door. Although, I suppose storing the SALT within a 'back door-able' encrypted file isn't that bad. Sure, yeah, why not! Throw 'em that bone!

That way, ONLY those who used this (illegal?) app would have STRONG encryption, and you KNOW that anybody getting ahold of that APK would be able to install/run it, and even if you PUBLISH THE SOURCE, it wouldn't matter much, would it? [then anybody with an SDK could build the thing and install it as 'a developer' or on a jailbroken phone]

And THIS just proves how POINTLESS the argument is to have a "not a backdoor, seriously, not!" encryption method. With a back door. Shhhh...

bombastic bob Silver badge

Arkg gurl'yy jnag gb sbepr hf nyy gb hfr jrnx rapelcgvba yvxr guvf.

the topic line says it all. Let's see how long it takes the FBI to decode what I said.

(coat, please)

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: He's right, but no one here will accept it

"And of course, the key escrow will never be breached..."

nor will the WRONG person ever be in power to abuse it.

When you consider all of the outright illegal shenanigans that took place within the top levels of the FBI, regarding Mrs. Clinton, the Steele dossier, and (alleged) lying to the FISA courts to get a warrant on a member of a rival candidate's campaign, yeah, sure, we can "trust" that the keys would be kept safe/secret.

Riiiight. Am I on 'Candid Camera' ?

Fact: Human nature is what it is. Those who wield power often ABUSE it. Period. That's why we must NEVER allow *them* to have TOO MUCH.

As for those who want back doors or "not back doors" in encryption algorithms, I say this: Do you want someone you don't know to have a master key to all of your locks, in case you're a criminal or a terrorist? Do you think it will be kept safe?

The 4th ammendment to the U.S. Constitution was written in part to deal with this specific thing. I believe they had locks on doors back then. This is NOT a new concept. The cops can do REAL police work instead of being FORNICATING LAZY.

And, if every HONEST LAW ABIDING CITIZEN used this "back door" encryption, then EVERYBODY WHO ENGAGES IN ILLEGAL ACTIVITY will simply use one of a BOZILLIAN EXISTING METHODS that do NOT have back doors, with super-strong keys, and THAT genii has been OUT OF THE BOTTLE for so damn long it's pathetic.

Icon in response to the idea that the FBI guy was 'right' in asking for the "not a back door, really, honest!" encryption method, because, he thought of it, and therefore it's *POSSIBLE* !!!

BlackBerry unveils bold new strategy: Suing the c**p out of Facebook

bombastic bob Silver badge

comparing crpyt keys

When certain keys (or key 'signatures') had known vulnerability problems, such as multiple keys could resolve the decryption, I think every key generator had its list of "poor crypto" key signatures to avoid. Or something like that. I remember seeing an update to Debian and/or FreeBSD for something similar, probably more than 10 years ago. It might have even been done to OpenSSL [I just don't remember the details, that's all].

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: The Reg called it

"Lawsuits In Motion"









bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Whatsapp

Faece-book can monetize anything that's "free" as long as it ONLY works with Faecebook. It becomes a 'feature". Like the 'Edge' browser, which ONLY works on Win-10-nic. If you want to run the Edge browser, you need to have Win-10-nic.

It used to be (back in the day) that the applications you ran determined the platform you used. That's the kind of thinking _I_ am thinking of. It's how Faece-book "monetizes" something that's "free".

And, there's also the data slurping mentioned earlier)

bombastic bob Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: When you can't compete based on the merit of your product

"Your only remaining option is to be a litigious patent troll/whore and extricate the wealth from others."

And, SCO is the undead horse of this particular trope

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Seems to me

(sub-thread already degraded to politics)

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: It's hard to see why

"Trivial Software patents runnable on GENERIC devices are an idiocy"

Fixed. you're welcome.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Go for it BlackBerry

""It is notable how almost every OTT messaging app out there apes (in one way or other) BlackBerry Messager."

I think AOL's messenger, MSN's messenger, and ICQ preceded even blackberry...


thread and sub-thread blocking have been implemented in some news readers for, like, EVAR.

(thunderbird has 'ignore thread' and 'ignore sub-thread' in its menu, for example)

To say they were cloned from Blackberry might be a bit much. Perhaps they (including Blackberry) simply grew out of a large set of features implemented by MANY "old school UNIX" applications back in the day, maybe even as early as the old '$TALK' system on the California State University CDC Cyber timesharing computer. From the 70's.

bombastic bob Silver badge

"So a bit like turning the device off? Are they going to sue for power buttons as well?"

I think HP and Apple have patents over the use of buttons, with respect to selecting from a menu and "hold time" having a different function... but they're specific to their own devices. HP's patents have to do with printers that have LCD displays, for example. Apple's patents are for things like the iPod. if you did a different type of device, you could [in theory] circumvent THEIR patents, and even get your own patents granted.

but any patent is SUPPOSED to be specific to a device or narrow class of devices. So if you're not making an iPod clone, or a printer with an LCD-based menu system, you should be fine. With THOSE patents, anyway.

Software patents MUST, at the very least, be specific to a device, and not "generic computing devices". Didn't anyone learn anything from Micro-shaft vs Apple back in the 90's ? Oh wait, they did... and they're forming PATENT TROLL portfolios now! [wrong lesson]

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Enough, already

"Can we just have an end to software patents?"

I'd be happy to end patents on TRIVIAL and OVERLY-BROAD software patents, like THOSE appear to be.

But, on occasion, a patent MAY be deserved, such as specific software patents related to a specific device, with the provision that the patents are NECESSARY for the device. I think a Blackberry works just fine without "those things", as do Android and iPhone.

A valid software patent MIGHT include a method for error correction or data compression that's specific to a particular device, like a hardware decoder or demodulator that has microcode. But if someone were to implement the same algorithm in SOFTWARE, for a generic system, it shouldn't be covered by the patent. however, if someone else made another hardware decoder or demodulator, the patent MIGHT apply. And, THAT would be fair.

An alternative might be to reduce the time period for any "generic device" software patent to something considerably shorter than 20 years. Or, just deny them outright.

Fancy sitting in a Level 4 driverless car roaming London? Get in line

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Can we have them

ideally you could "subscribe" to a service where you can get a car within a few minutes, better than a taxi and on call for semi-emergencies, with a regular taxi service as a backup for unexpected demand.

Electric car fans would probably appreciate this kind of service the most. They could _ALL_ be electric, and would re-charge themselves at the "base" where they're all kept.

Ideally the service would include some 'long distance' vehicles that are gasoline powered, but otherwise your average trip to the mall or picking up groceries would be covered by your subscription.

If it's properly managed, cars will "re-arrange" themselves between storage lots as economically as possible, maybe driving you to the store, and parking at a different lot, then getting you at the store, and parking at the original lot [maybe not even the same car, but so what]. That kind of thing.

Best usage would be for people who have a hard time driving or can't get a license for some reason. TOTAL mobility. It's a good thing.

I doubt they'll replace privately owned vehicles, or human-driven vehicles, especially for long trips or "out in the boondocks" excursions. Still, I'm looking forward to seeing these things.

But I doubt they'll replace cabs. Sometimes you just need to have a driver, to handle luggage, for the extra customer service, to get local info from, yotta yotta.

And then public transportation is most likely going to remain cheaper than a "driverless car subscription". But the 'driverless car subscription' should be cheaper than a car payment + insurance + fuel + maintenance (and that would be the selling feature).

A friend of mine used to subscribe to a service where he could get a car to drive with an hours' notice or something like that. It worked pretty well for him until he started driving EVERY day and then he bought one for himself. Up until that point he'd take the train to work. When that became too inconvenient, he started driving. But if it had been available at BOTH ends of the trip, to the station, then from station to work, then back to the station, etc. he might've continued taking the train.

Too many bricks in the wall? Lego slashes inventory

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: LEGO isn't what it used to be...

I played with Lego back in the mid 60's. It was pretty simple then, a nice compliment to Tinker Toy, Lincoln Logs, and the Erector Set. A box of Lego could be played with for HOURS. With all 4 of those things, plus a model train set and road racing set, you could build an entire model city. More or less.

I guess the Legoland parks have already done that with just Lego, though.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Agreed...

Back in the 60's, when Lego was still "a box of bricks", the Erector Set went the "specialty" route.

I had a box o' generic parts that I had tons of fun with and plans to build a whole BUNCH of stuff [which I did, for several years in fact]. Only a few items needed 'specialty' parts. But I remember seeing the specialty kits in the toy isles. My parents wouldn't buy them, saying "you've already got a HUGE Erector Set". (they were smart)

Apparently the Erector sets nowadays are actually 'Meccano' sets.


So they repeated the same mistake.

At least they're still made of Steel. You gotta give a young kid something he could actually hurt himself with, then supervise how he uses the tools until he's safe with them. Getting the occasional cut from a semi-sharp steel edge is a good training tool on why you use safety precautions, learned at a young enough age where you can't really hurt yourself THAT bad, and it tends to stick in your mind better.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Lego...

"My kids still play with the large brick sets to create Minecraft-like buildings or vehicles, but the modern sets tend to be played with once"

exactly. After a while, parents catch on and buy the kids the thing that lasts for a while, rather than paying for the overpriced "new, shiny" that only gets used one time.

Also Lego seems to be having a classic 'inventory control' problem. The solution to an inventory control problem is EXACTLY what their CEO appears to be doing. You have to eliminate the excess inventory, using the method that creates the least amount of pain, and then fix your forecasting methods and get the production schedule RIGHT this time, so you don't end up with another warehouse full of crap that won't sell.

Buffer overflow in Unix mailer Exim imperils 400,000 email servers

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: That has been fixed in Debian quite a while back

I first thought of Debian since they switched to Exim as the default mailer a while back.

Glad to know it's already patched. Still worth an article, even "late to the party"

Suspected drug dealer who refused to poo for 46 DAYS released... on bail

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Liquid laxative in his food and drink

chocolate Ex-Lax would do it - for "desert" with his meals

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Lamarr, Lucky to be alive

"The bags or condoms have not ruptured"

It's my understanding that opiates cause constipation. A 'slow leak' would assist him in his "protest".

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: So...

"after that long it's probably turned into coprolite"

oh, so you're suggesting that maybe he held it for SO long that now it's IMPOSSIBLE for him to crap it out?

Well, then, that's a *bit* different! [in saving his life, they'll collect the evidence - w00t!]

He _still_ deserves a Darwin award, in my bombastic opinion.

bombastic bob Silver badge


The jailers should've let him explode. Instead, he gets to (allegedly) BURDEN SOCIETY for the rest of his [much longer] life.

I have no compassion for criminals, as THEY have NO COMPASSION for ME (or anyone but themselves). Innocent until proven guilty, and you get your day in court and your standard "rights". Beyond that, too bad.

And the jailers aren't responsible for self-inflicted punishments. If the ACCUSED wants to inflict punishment upon himself, such that he can't be forced into compliance, that's not the jailers' fault. They've "washed their hands" of it.

at least when you let a toddler hold his breath until you buy him "that toy", the toddler knows to give up after a couple of minutes. THAT guy ought to have received a DARWIN AWARD for his BLATANT STUPIDITY.

ESA builds air-breathing engine that works in space

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Accelerating the wrong way ?

"the engine is slowing it down"

OK - I do a mini-simulation in my head, and I see air going into some kind of 'scoop' device, like what you might see on a ramjet [only a "space" version], and I consider a few things that aerodynamics might cause some trouble with:

a) when the air enters the scoop, how does it get collected exactly? [you need some kind of compressor pump I'd think]

b) while air is collecting for a compressor pump intake cycle, wouldn't it build up enough pressure to exert an impulse on the satellite, causing it to slow down just a bit more?

c) is the electrostatic acceleration going to be ENOUGH more than the (effective) drag caused by the intake scoop going to be enough to overcome the additional drag of the satellite itself against the atmosphere? [this includes the solar panels, too, which just might not be all that streamlined]

I imagine the rocket scientists have thought all this out. Hopefully I didn't just poop their party.

Sacked saleswoman told to pay Intel £45k after losing discrim case

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Money here

"if you’re going to criticise, be explicitly clear about the core facts and be as balanced as possible"

Yeah, THAT will happen... *NOT*

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Legal Costs

"the prospect of having to pay legal costs is enough intimidation for the other party to drop the case?"

Exactly. Think of it as a "burden of proof" hurdle that you have to overcome in order to have a successful lawsuit. This as opposed to "always side with the [insert 'identity' here]". That way, only the REAL cases will win [and no more 'just settle and make it go away'].

bombastic bob Silver badge

There's a penalty for playing the 'sexist' card

Let's face it: every time you hire a [insert 'identity' here] you run the risk that this employee, if ever fired, will turn it around and sue you, costing you time and legal fees at the very least.

I applaud Intel for NOT "just caving" and "just paying her off".

So, *FINALLY* it looks like there's a penalty for playing the 'identity' card like that, in this case the 'sexist' card, "*FEELING*" as if everyone else out there is a bleeding-heart SJW just waiting to PUNISH "the man" [in this case, literally so] for all of those past grievances that SOooo many others [read: straw men] *SUFFERED* due to discrimination in one form or another, and therefore concluding YOUR case now has "merit" because, emotional manipulation, excessive jury damage awards, yotta yotta.

I hope this has a 'chilling effect' against frivolous discrimination lawsuits.

the only 'winners' in these kinds of things are the l[aw]yers.

Facebook regrets asking whether it's OK to let adult men ask underage girls for smut pix

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: how would "the real internet" handle the following

"14 year old girl: [trollface]"

because, as we all know, when someone online claims to be a 14 year old girl, it's really a 45 year old male living in his mom's basement.

Asking for underage pr0n: creepy

Sending the underage pr0n (of herself): criminal

who's really taking the risk, here?

Open source community crams itself into big tent

bombastic bob Silver badge

should've camped out at Haight/Ashbury

with the hippy overtones, they should've just camped out at Haigh/Ashbury (assuming there's a vacant lot there 50 years after the infamous 'love-ins' of the 60's).

I wonder why _I_ was not invited to this love-fest? I've got open source stuff, on github... so what's the big deal here? I contribute patches and testing for open source projects. So why was _I_ not invited?

I guess it's only for the 'hippy' side of open source.

Article didn't mention if Linus was there. I bet he wasn't. Linus was probably busy working on Linux, as usual.

April Fool: FCC finally bothers with Puerto Rico as chairman visits

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Unbelievable

it's quite possible that this is a case of government getting in its own way.

Hackers create 'ghost' traffic jam to confound smart traffic systems

bombastic bob Silver badge

All I want...

All I want is the ability to make the lights go green when I'm approaching the intersection.

Brit semiconductor tech ended up in Chinese naval railgun – report

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: The *real* tough part is not nS (or even pS, with the right design) switching, it's the

"Actually if you want to do this is also the old school "Saturatable reactor" tech."

yeah, about mag-amps... they're notoriously inefficient, so they'll heat up really fast. Additionally, you COULD make a mag-amp rectifier, but regardless you still need to feed them with AC, and not DC, which means that charging a bank of super-capacitors and then RAPIDLY discharging them into the railgun system to fire it would be out...

nice try, though. Sorry to pee on your parade, to wet your blanket, to hose you down in your moment of passion, to poop your party, to ...

compare to much smaller (and lower dissipated power) IGBTs and/or MOSFETS. Hell, with optoisolators you could get away with using standard bipolar, or even (if you're really tricky) use SCRs. A few decades back I saw some static inverters that actually used a bank of SCRs in the output stage, big bolty-looking things, several inches in diameter. I think these inverters were designed in the 1970's, long before IGBTs and vertical MOSFETS came around. And they had massive cooling fans, too.

Anyway, there are LOTS of ways to skin cats, remove one's clothing, etc..

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019