* Posts by Francis Boyle

1727 posts • joined 29 Jul 2007

China pollutes ocean with bloody big rocket

Francis Boyle
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For what it's worth

in the video you might want to skip forward to 54:00. (Unless you're really interested in the delights of the local cuisine (which I'm sure is delicious)).

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Skynet? More like Night-sky-net. AI hunts for Milky Way's turbo stars

Francis Boyle
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Colliding galaxies is fun!

(Goes off to reinstall Universe Sandbox.)

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SpaceX nails two launches and barge landings in one weekend

Francis Boyle
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Re: Even old curmudgeons are happy!

"[T]he ill-conceived, monstrously expensive Shuttle"

The shuttle design, brilliant that it was, was largely determined by USAF requirements. A rocket launched space-plane like the shuttle is only useful for returning things from orbit. You only need a large space-plane if you intend to bring back large objects (like enemy satellites) from orbit. So basically the Shuttle was just a design run for the X-37. And as you say a monstrously expensive one. But no one ever said the military industrial complex wasn't smart. (Getting the civilians to pay is Trump level smart.) Luckily Musk seems smarter.

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Humanity uploaded an AI to Mars and lets it shoot rocks with lasers

Francis Boyle
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Re: Good future movie device here...

I see you've taken a course at the L. Ron Hubbard academy of script-writing.

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Oz senate committee says 'robo-debt' program was 'set up to fail'

Francis Boyle
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The interesting thing

is not that it failed but that it fail leaving egg on the governments face. Note to Macolm et al: just because something works in the US doesn't mean it will work in Australia. There's something to be said for being descended from convicts rather than puritan prigs.

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PC rebooted every time user flushed the toilet

Francis Boyle
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Re: Holistic Solution

On the other hand two opportunities to make piss-related puns in one day is still pretty close to heaven for some people around here.

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NASA's Kepler space telescope finishes its original mission catalog

Francis Boyle
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"It is estimated that only 1 per cent of stars host super-Jupiters, planets that are more massive than Jupiter with short orbital periods of about 10 days."

Even if you read this at 100 days that's a very short orbital period and hence a very close orbit for a Sun sized star and most likely a little toasty for a gas giant. Since I'd expect there to be a lot more further out, where they didn't look, I'm not sure this estimate is particularly useful.

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Virtual reality audiences stare straight ahead 75% of the time

Francis Boyle
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Do you really want that sewerage treatment plant in your travelogue?

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Hotel guest goes broke after booking software gremlin makes her pay for strangers' rooms

Francis Boyle
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"This has to be illegal? You can't just keep wrongfully charging people thousands of dollars and knowingly because you can't fix a software bug?" she tweet-raged at 1 Hotels.

That's a rage tweet? This is not the internet that I know.

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NASA brainboxes work on algorithms for 'safe' self-flying aircraft

Francis Boyle
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Your memory is somewhat misleading

An individual component can (perhaps) be made failsafe but the system as a whole can only be made 'acceptably' safe. At the systems level you have something called 'safeworking'* - a set of procedures designed to prevent unsafe situations and to correct them as soon as possible if they do occur. That's what makes rail and air travel as safe as it is (which is very safe). And since "algorithm' is just a fancy word for "a set of procedures" it doesn't ultimately matter who or what is implementing them

*That's the rail term at least.

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Samsung's Bixby assistant fails English, gets held back a month

Francis Boyle
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Seriously

who's ever bought a Samsung for the software?

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Tech industry thumps Trump's rump over decision to leave Paris climate agreement

Francis Boyle
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We live in truly strange times

when I agree with Apple, Microsoft and enen Facebook.

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German robo-pastor preaches the GNU Testament

Francis Boyle
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So how long before this thing

ends up in Silicon Heaven*?

* Faith is so much easier when it's programmed in.

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Vegemite tries to hijack Qantas name-our-planes competition

Francis Boyle
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Upvote

for remembering "the axiomatic Sorenson".

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PAH! Four decades of Star Wars: No lightsabers, no palm-sized video calls

Francis Boyle
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How is

addressing a computer as "computer" worse than saying "OK Google" I will not say fucking "OK Google".

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Mouse sperm kept frozen in SPAAAAACE yields healthy pups

Francis Boyle
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Don't these so called scientists know anything

Any legitimate research into sex into space has to be carried out in orbit about Uranus.

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Scheming copyright scam lawyer John Steele disbarred in Illinois

Francis Boyle
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Or he could go into porn

He's already got the name.

On the other hand the porn industry would probably have a problem with low ethical standards.

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NASA duo plan Tuesday ISS spacewalk to replace the mux that sux

Francis Boyle
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Re: Unscheduled?

Sounds like something Captain Kirk would say to a computer he really didn't like.

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Man sues date for cinema texting fiasco, demands $17.31

Francis Boyle
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Why?

It seems to me that she was just being a good friend. So it messed up the date- or rather it messed up the guy's enjoyment of the movie, which is why going to a movie on a first date is not a good idea - but if he wasn't a jerk he would have dealt with it.

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Windows 10: Triumphs and tragedies from Microsoft Build

Francis Boyle
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RemoteSystems API

"The RemoteSystems API could enable an app running on a mobile device to launch itself on a nearby PC or Xbox, for example"

Nope, can't see how that could go wrong in any way.

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Kill Google AMP before it KILLS the web

Francis Boyle
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I like that there's a cost to voting

It discourages those twitchy fingers. I mean, do we really want this place to be anything like the youtube comments sections.

Now back to the (legitimate, in this case I suspect) Google bashing.

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Chelsea Manning leaves prison, heads straight for booze and pizza

Francis Boyle
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Re: You can change the name

I've just looked at my hands. Seems I should start calling myself "Frances". Either that or human physical and mental variation is more varied than our concepts of gender.

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Samsung Galaxy S8+: Seriously. What were they thinking?

Francis Boyle
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Re: Pure hipster wankery

You could have put that post in all caps and I'd have still upvoted you.

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Train station's giant screens showed web smut at peak hour

Francis Boyle
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I hope if they do they give us a head

s up

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Vigorous tiny vibrations help our universe swell, say particle boffins

Francis Boyle
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Re: Things aren't getting pushed apart

"If the space in the solar system out to Earth's orbit inflates its diameter by a Planck length every "time period", how would you know?"

When it gets to the point of the "Big Rip" you'd know. Or rather you wouldn't because you'd be dead.

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Uber is a taxi company, not internet, European Court of Justice advised

Francis Boyle
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"And to "United" right now..."

Which side of the pond are you on. Oh wait. . .

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Francis Boyle
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Cakes or biscuits?

You're still on that? According to XKCD it's the definition of a sandwich which is where it's at.

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Amazon's Alexa is worst receptionist ever: Crazy exes, stalkers' calls put through automatically

Francis Boyle
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Re: How do you think...

PTW, doncha know that when a woman makes a complaint it's necessary to point out that all her problems are down to her own cluelessness. Can't have the little ladies getting the idea that they know stuff.

(/sarc mode)

(Yes, I know that victim-blaming (i.e. user) is a professional hazard among tech people so maybe the OP was only accidentally being sexist.)

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US Coast Guard: We're rather chuffed with our new Boeing spy drone

Francis Boyle
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Re: @ Ledswinger -- £10m a year for a drone?

The days of "Rule Britannia" ended on the first of September 1939.

Not that "Fight for your life Britannia" wasn't impressive but there was only one way it could end.

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Space upstart plans public cloud in low Earth orbit

Francis Boyle
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Please teacher, I know this one.

He was a scammer.

Next question.

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Francis Boyle
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Re: "More space junk and rare minerals burning up..doesn't really sound like the sanest plan ever?"

"Like shipping laundry from the Klondike to Hawaii to be washed."

Citation please. The only think I could find was an "amusing facts" page which says it was California and China which is a bit to much like a Radio Yerevan to inspire confidence.

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Mozilla to Thunderbird: You can stay here and we may give you cash, but as a couple, it's over

Francis Boyle
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Re: - the dominate corporate email client is Outlook

With Microsoft there is never a safe word. "Safe, sane and consensual" - nah, not even one out of three.

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China's first large passenger jet makes maiden flight

Francis Boyle
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Re: Fly on one - if you have a death wish

The Chinese build their high speed rail lines on concrete viaducts. If you saw rust you were looking at older infrastructure. Seriously, how could you see the supports of the bridge carrying the train you were travelling in?

@SundogUK

The Chinese are doing extraordinary things with their rail infrastructure. That's not Chinese government propaganda. I try not to let my dislike of the Chinese regime blind me to the very real achievements of the Chinese as a people and a culture. Adopt that approach and you might save yourself some nasty surprises.

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Francis Boyle
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Re: On the plus side, instant familiarity

That Auto Express article is bizarre. With two or three exceptions of the (the A6, the ersatz Rolls Royce, and possibly the Lifan 330 which is very Mini-like) the Chinese vehicles in the list bear no more than a generic resemblance to the supposed western originals. Apply a collection of currently fashionable styling elements to a vehicle and you will inevitably end up with something that more or less resembles all the other vehicles in that class. The author appears to have merely selected whichever vehicle he thinks is most like the alleged infringer (i.e. whatever Chinese vehicle he could find a picture of) and called it a match. Even the horrible Rolls Royce ripoff really only counts as such because RR effectively owns the category of big square luxury car.

Not that I am denying the Chinese copy. But stylistic copying happens all the time. We call it fashion. The only reason we don't in this case is that we are not yet ready to start copying from the Chinese. But that will happen soon enough and then we'll change our tune.

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US Navy developers test aircraft carrier drone control software

Francis Boyle
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Re: Really??

Unfortunately, I suspect that it's an entirely reasonable comment given that currently most software development (not just the IOT stuff) appears to be based on the "put it out there and if someone pokes a hole we can always release a patch, maybe" principle.

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First cardboard goggles, now this: Google's cardboard 'DIY AI' box powered by an RPi 3

Francis Boyle
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Re: Why I feel uncomfortable...

The Pi can get hot but no hotter than a pizza straight from the oven which is why I built a Pi cluster in a Domino's pizza box*.

*This is, of course, not true. I wouldn't be seen dead with a Domino's Pizza Box. Someone might think I eat the stuff.

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Former RCL director: It was me who cancelled their domain names

Francis Boyle
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Re: Lots of legal fun

If that happened they'd have to reintroduce the farthing so he could pay the damages.

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Francis Boyle
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Re: It just gets worse...

RCL are looking worse: the others are looking fucking brilliant.

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Lyrebird steals your voice to make you say things you didn't – and we hate this future

Francis Boyle
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Re: Just curious

This reminds me of the minor moral panic that happened when Photoshop first became popular. Apparently criminal types were going to get up to all sorts of shenanigans with this terrible new power. Instead, instead it just killed in popular consciousness the always stupid notion that the camera doesn't lie.

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While Facebook reinvents Sadville, we still dream of flying cars

Francis Boyle
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I wouldn't mind a flying car

I just don't want all the other idiots to have one.

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Peer pressure, not money, lures youngsters into cybercrime – report

Francis Boyle
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Re: Game modding?

I made once made a Quake 2 mod were all the soldiers were replaced with Daleks. If only I had resisted I wouldn't have ended up hacking the Democratic Party and Trump might not have been elected. Please forgive me.

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Qualcomm's Windows-capable silicon will land later rather than sooner

Francis Boyle
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Re: No good options

This is for mobile. The article's not exactly clear about the relevance of the Windows Server Arm port but I suppose the suggestion is there will be something similar for desktop Windows. Not that I'm blaming the Author. It seems Qualcomm is talking big but providing precious few details and we all know what that means.

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Opportunity rover gets bored of spot it's explored since 2014

Francis Boyle
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If you want your measurements to be easily divisible by four (or three) you choose appropriate sizes. Which is why your window is 1200mm wide not 1m.

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Facebook's 'delightful' AI Clippy the Paperclip creeps into Messenger

Francis Boyle
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A poll?

Well, that's world peace done, then.

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Francis Boyle
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No

that might actually be fun.

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Boaty McBoatface sinks in South Atlantic on her maiden deployment

Francis Boyle
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No

They managed to get a cheap lot of surplus phone batteries from a source in Korea.

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Boeing-backed US upstart reckons it'll be building electric airliners

Francis Boyle
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Re: Catapult takeoff?

I was thinking along the lines of a White Knight style carrier aircraft to take the electric plane up to a decent altitude before sending it on its way. Technically feasible, probably but I don't for a moment think it would be practical.

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Riddle of cannibal black hole pairs solved ... nearly: Astroboffins explain all to El Reg

Francis Boyle
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Think of it like this:

You jump as high as you can. While you're in the air the Earth collapses into a black hole. Your landing is now going to be a bit harder than you expected. Well, it's not like that, as a famous black hole wrangler once said. But still, it's a bit like that, only more so, since you have two objects that have mass but aren't made of matter, so they can't actually collide but that doesn't stop them combining. . .

Yes, black holes are weird.

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Manchester pulls £750 public crucifixion offer

Francis Boyle
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Re: No nails required

I'm trying to think of how that would work without breaking the bones so badly there's not much purchase left anyway.

It's just a matter of practice and the Romans had a lot of practice.

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