* Posts by Francis Boyle

1650 posts • joined 29 Jul 2007

Cosmology is safe and the Universe is one giant version of the Barbican

Francis Boyle
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Obligatory HHTTG reference

It is after a couple of pan galactic gargle blasters at the eponymous burger bar.

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Francis Boyle
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I don't get the problem

The principle that underlies all cosmology is called the cosmological principle. What do you expect them to call it - Fred?

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Game over: IANA power-grab block pulled from Congress funding bill

Francis Boyle
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I don't see how that would work

since it only relates to the question of whether Cruz is a US citizen (which presumably he is). The real issue seems to be that the US constitution requires a presidential candidate to be a "natural born citizen" and no one quite knows what that means. (Popular understanding takes it to mean born in the US but legal authorities tend to think it includes all children of citizens regardless of where they're born.)

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She cannae take it, Captain Kirk! USS Zumwalt breaks down

Francis Boyle
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Re: That's what happen when you have a Kirk...

Two weeks at base. That'll make for a boring episode.

Unless, they get into some wacky hi-jinks with some cute furry creatures.

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What's Chinese and crashing in flames? No, not its economy – its crocked space station

Francis Boyle
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If it were to hit my home

since I live in Australia I expect my local council would just issue a littering fine.

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MoD confirms award of giant frikkin' laser cannon contract

Francis Boyle
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Re: Arms race rules, anyone?

"As long ago as Reagan's Star Wars SDI imbecility, engineers were pointing out that it's much easier and cheaper to harden missiles against lasers than it is to produce vastly powerful beams which can track and sustain power-on-target against high speed projectiles."

Easier and cheaper - yet in the end it was more than the soviet Union could afford. (I'll leave it open as to whether that was the intent or just a post-hoc justification). Yes, there will be counter measures. Russia will probably afford them, Somali (or whatever county's next on the list) pirates probably not.

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Sorry Nanny, e-cigs have 'no serious side-effects' – researchers

Francis Boyle
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Caffeine's addictive

The moment someone works out how to vape it I'm in*.

Can't be done unfortunately, because chemistry.

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Microsoft thinks time crystals may be viable after all

Francis Boyle
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Re: Microsoft - Messing around with time

"Ever seen the time estimates for a copy operation?"

You've got the wrong end of the stick. Messing around with the fundamentals of time is the only way they can think of to fix the problem.

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'Oi! El Reg! Stop pretending Microsoft has a BSOD monopoly!'

Francis Boyle
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Re: Genuine BSODs?

The glory days of the BSOD were the Windows 9X era when the mere failure to think MS approved happy thoughts would prompt a VXD* to pull a blue screen. That really was Windows fault.

*What do you expect from something deliberately (and awkwardly) named not to sound like a disease.

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Curiosity rover likes big buttes but it cannot lie around

Francis Boyle
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It's French

So pronounced "booty".

Nothing sophomoric here. This is sold gold back-of-the-bike-shed humour.

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Star Trek's Enterprise turns 50 and still no sign of a warp drive. Sigh

Francis Boyle
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Re: As a side note

We don't have warp drive for the same reason we don't have a time machine they (or it since they're the same thing really*) are pure wishful thinking.

We don't have a practical fusion reactor because climate change doesn't wear jackboots and therefore no one is willing to fund a new Manhattan Project.

*See Destroy All Monsters's post below.

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Second 'dimmer switch' star spotted

Francis Boyle
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Good news then

Means the galactic economy is picking up.

The tourists should be arriving any day now. Time to start learning how to make a really good Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.

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Hollywood offers Daniel Craig $150m to (slash wrists) play James Bond

Francis Boyle
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Yes, Matt Berry as 007

but he has to say "Damn these electric sex pants" at least once. Shouldn't be too hard working that into a Bond flick.

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McAfee-the-man wants McAfee-the-brand, Chipzilla says no

Francis Boyle
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Re: Oh boy...

You've been face to face with John McAfee. You have my sympathy.

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Google scraps its Project Ara modular smartphone wheeze

Francis Boyle
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The only way a modular phone is going to work

is by the creation of an industry standard attachment. (If you've ever tried using a phone with a power bank hanging off a USB cable you'll understand why that's a good idea.) Sadly, I can't see that ever happening.

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London's Francis Crick Institute will house 1,250 cancer-fighting boffins

Francis Boyle
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It's probably just a shield

to fend of attacks from that building that melts cars

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How much does your kid hate exams? This lad hacked his government to skip them

Francis Boyle
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Re: Job offer

Yeah, successful "hacking" requires not getting caught. It's kinda important.

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That Public Health study? No, it didn't say 'don't do chemo'

Francis Boyle
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Re: Irresponsible

"As for the Reg article, thankyou for a well considered and written piece."

Seconded. This stuff is important. Keep at it.

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NIST spins atomic gyroscope to allow navigation without GPS

Francis Boyle
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Re: Hm

Get an astronaut to swing it around on the end of a string.

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SpaceX's used flight-proven rocket to loft Euro satellite this year

Francis Boyle
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I've got a guy called Han here

He's asking me to explain this concept of a "new spacecraft".

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$329 for a MacBook? Well, really a 'HacBook' built on an old HP

Francis Boyle
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A bit chunky

but I wouldn't mind putting Mint on it. (That surprisingly isn't any sort of double entendre.)

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Password strength meters promote piss-poor paswords

Francis Boyle
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no

but it does have password1701. Also Picard 4-7 Alpha Tango (you wouldn't want anyone using that one).

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ISS astronauts begin spacewalk to install new docking adapter

Francis Boyle
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Re: Don't drop that wrench

But if you copy and paste the url it works fine which pretty much defeats the point of the block.

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The calm before the storm: AMD's Zen bears down on Intel CPUs

Francis Boyle
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I'd rather not join that group

I have an FX6100 in a four year old motherboard. I just hoping AMD get Zen out before it dies.

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China launches quantum satellite to test spooky action at a distance

Francis Boyle
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Re: Shutter telegraph

The problem with all such attempts is that it's not possible to tell if an individual particle is entangled by looking at it. Any attempt to read the particle's state will simply ensure that it is no longer entangled. (It won't even tell you if it was previously entangled just that it not any more.) Entanglement is something you have to detect statistically.

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Francis Boyle
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Re: MITM impossible

Look up the "no cloning theorem". Short answer:no. Slightly longer amswer: no, that's just the way quantum stuff works.

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London cops waste £2.1m on thought crime unit – and they want volunteer informers

Francis Boyle
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If where you live

making death threats is not a crime I'm glad I don't live there.

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Swedish Pokemon teens terrorised by laser-wielding 'sex pigs'

Francis Boyle
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Due to conditioning

I read that as 'Swedish Pokemon team' and was quite disappointed to discover that Pokemon hadn't been made an Olympic sport.

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Hey, turn down that radio, it's alien season and we're hunting aliens

Francis Boyle
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Re: I for one

"And I for one would like to ask them, or one of their boffin friends, why they call it the Low Frequency Array when it operates in the VHF band (Very High Frequency)."

Astronomers have a different sense of scale. Hence the local group (of galaxies).

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NASA test foiled by rocket shaking power cord loose from camera

Francis Boyle
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Doesn't look much like a spider to me

Are you sure it's not the result of a very scared pigeon shitting itself?

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£1m military drone crashed in Wales after crew disabled anti-crash systems – report

Francis Boyle
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I know I'm late on this but

I think "clean up crew" is the one we want.

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Intel overhyping flash-killer XPoint? Shocked, we're totally shocked

Francis Boyle
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I think el Reg has just

broken Betteridge's law of headlines.

Still, at least it ain't Larrabee.

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Samsung Note 7: Probably the best phone in the world. Yeah – you heard right

Francis Boyle
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Re: Usb-c?

USB is still USB and the C connector is backwards compatible so this is really a non-issue.

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First Wi-Fi box ever is chosen as Australia's best contribution to global history

Francis Boyle
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I'd go for antibiotics

Technically created in the UK, but Howard Florey was Australian born and bred.

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Cognitive computing: IBM uses phase-change material to model your brain's neurons

Francis Boyle
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Re: 10^8 nanoseconds?

Using units smaller than the things you're measuring: You call it complexity. I call it simplicity.

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HPE CEO Meg Whitman endorses Hillary Clinton, dumps on Trump

Francis Boyle
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As someone who agrees with her about Trump

I think it would have been better if she had endorsed him.

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Swede suffers shrinking penis after dentist fits mouthguard

Francis Boyle
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It's always a good day*

when there's action on el Reg's todger trauma desk.

*Schadenfraude - I don't mind if I do.

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Avoiding Liverpool was the aim: All aboard the world's ONLY moving aqueduct

Francis Boyle
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This is how it should be done

Thanks for this. I was reading this painfully dumbed down and mostly cribbed from Wikipedia article* about the bridge a few days back and feeling frustrated at the lack of real information about the mechanics. This is how it should be done. More please.

*The pictures are nice though.

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Lowland Scots plunged into panic by marauding ostrich family

Francis Boyle
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Re: Ostriches versus Glaswegian males

Probably not. But a hard Scotsman plus a trained cassowary could win the "War On Terror" on their own. Only problem: you can't train a cassowary.

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Francis Boyle
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Ostriches versus Glaswegian males

I'd probably give it to the Glaswegian males. Now, if it were cassowaries, no chance.

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Death of 747 now 'reasonably possible' says Boeing

Francis Boyle
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No, one month they build half of a plane

The next month a quarter, Then one eight. Since they'll probably never get around to building the wings they'll have one giant arrow of which Zeno could be proud.

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Australian Banks ask permission to form anti-Apple cartel

Francis Boyle
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Re: Life's hard choices

"Huh? Why should they grant chip level access to the NFC hardware? All that is needed is API access, based on NDEF standard, for example. There are valid reasons to not support the banks on this, but technology isn't one of them."

Seconded. If Apple are unable to provide secure access to authorised services their system doesn't deserved to be trusted.

I think I'll go for the banks here as the Hillary option.

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Tesla autopilot driver 'was speeding' moments before death – prelim report

Francis Boyle
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Re: Bah!

Shouldn't that just be someone saying "you're already dead" in a suitably doom laden voice.

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Francis Boyle
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Re: Why wasn't he paying attention?

"Demanding lorries be painted in patterns the computer running beta software can more easily spot is not the solution to this problem."

It strikes me that if some sort of high visibility markings (which the truck in the accident conspicuously lacks) were made mandatory it would benefit everyone on the road.

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Telstra's head of ops drops after network flops

Francis Boyle
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Yeah, I hear

they're headhunting Marissa Mayer.

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Florida Man cleared of money laundering after selling Bitcoins to Agent Ponzi

Francis Boyle
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Re: Stay Tuned ...

I'm glad to see that he's put that cannibal thing behind him. And all those other things. All in all one of his better days.

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Harrison Ford's leg, in the Star Wars film, with the Millennium Falcon door

Francis Boyle
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Re: Eh? What?

Ford's an actor. He wasn't responsible for the safety of the set. The company was. That's why they pleaded guilty.

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White House to bung electric car industry $4.5bn in loans

Francis Boyle
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Re: Electric car grants

"I'd like to see where you get the statistics for each electric car using the same power as a house."

I would like to as well. As far as I can tell a typical household in the developed world uses around 55-60% of its energy expenditure on private vehicles. But the conversion efficiency of an ICE is typically 30% while an electric motor is around 90% so the increase in domestic electricity consumption from converting all private vehicles to electric power looks to be at most 50% and probably significantly less.

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