* Posts by STOP_FORTH

42 posts • joined 21 Dec 2018

How's this for sci-fi: A cosmic river of 4,000 stars dazzles lifeforms as it flows through a galaxy. And that galaxy is the Milky Way


Re: River of stars?

I think it is an ex-cluster. That is to say, it was a globular cluster that is in the process of being taffified/spaghettified by a close encounter with something else's gravitational field. Not sure what that thing was, maybe just the Milky Way itself?

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019


Re: Time too

GPS doesn't recognise or believe in pesky, foreign, European leap seconds. That's why it gradually drifts wrt UTC. There have been a number of articles on The Reg about propsals to get rid of leap seconds because baby code-monkeys can't cope with them.


Re: Piloting still needs a list of waypoints

You need to know your height above sea level to use a sextant for navigation. This works well at sea, in East Anglia and Somerset. Pretty useless elsewhere in UK.


Blighty's GPS

We'll have our own GPS soon. Just implement incompatible extensions to the spec and rule the world.


How's this for sci-fi: Orbiting probes face fiery death dive from planet's radiation belts. And that planet is Earth


Conspiracy theory

Someone told me that the moon landings were obviously a hoax because the astronauts would have gone deaf when they passed through the van Halen belts.

Help us sniff out 50 neutron star collisions so we can calculate universe expansion, cosmoboffins plead


Sixty symbols

There is a good Youtube video covering this topic. Just search for "sixty symbols age of universe". The Deep Sky videos are also worth watching.

(Icon chosen as it is the biggest bang available.)

Pandas so useless they just look at delicious kid who fell into enclosure


Re: Perhaps

Can you still get black and white film?

Now, hold on. This may shock you... Oracle allegedly juices its cloud sales with threats and shoddy on-prem support


Right on brother.

Bullshit trumps brains every time.

(I know, it should be "baffles" for the alliteration, but trump seemed apposite, somehow.)

Core-blimey! Riddle of Earth's mysterious center finally 'solved' by smarty seismologists


Maintenance of the geomagnetic field

Is this work performed by geomagnetic field maintenance engineers? Are their hi-vis jackets heat-proof?

US kids apparently talking like Peppa Pig... How about US lawmakers watching Doctor Who?


About time

Generations of British nippers grew up saying "zee" instead of "zed" thanks to the cultural imperialists from Sesame Street.

Jolly good show, though, what?

Holy planetesimal formation, Batman! Ultima Thule's no snowman – it's a friggin' pancake


Re: Relic?

Well spotted mikeymac. It was actually created in 1945 by the Germans on the far side of the Moon. That explains why it's called Ultima Thule. Lizards were probably involved as well.


Re: Relic?

I am also a relic and parts of me may be four and a half billion years old. (I believe most of my hydrogen is thirteen and a half billion, give or take.)

Whilst not in any way spherical, as I am less than 400km across, my GP thinks I am more spherical than I should be. I guess he must have changed degree from astrophysics to medicine?


Re: Potato Rule doesn't apply

I think Version1.0's point is that when things get big enough gravity tends to make them spherical no matter what shape they were originally. There is a minimum size/mass for this to happen.

For rocky/metallic bodies this size is somewhere between Vesta and Ceres.

For icy bodies this happens at a smaller mass (presumably bigger than Ultima Thule.)

For something made out of nickel and iron this size will be bigger than Ceres.

But if they spin fast enough (like Saturn) they start to bulge out at the equator and stop being spherical.


Re: Relic?

I think the point is that these things have not changed that much in the last four and a half billion years. Ignoring volatile stuff that has been driven off what you are left with is "primordial stuff". Even bodies like Ceres and Vesta have radically changed since their formation.

So, if you had enough stuff like this you could build a solar system. Or, at least, work out how it had evolved.

I am a body in the solar system, but you'd have a pretty hard job trying to work out how Jupiter formed by looking at my chemical constituents.

It's now 2019, and your Windows DHCP server can be pwned by a packet, IE and Edge by a webpage, and so on


Re: How oh how

It's not an acrobat, it's a clown pretending to be an acrobat. That's why the doors keep falling off.

RIP Dr Peuto, Zilog and Sun's bright SPARC


Indeed, it was very in-depth. First place I ever saw any reference to micro-code. It was known about by the big iron techies (who sometimes had to upgrade it) but seems almost unknown today.

Accused hacker Lauri Love tries to retrieve Fujitsu lappie and other gear from Britain's FBI in court


Re: "Britain's FBI"

It's not just institutions being different that is the problem. I was reading a report in an American newspaper a few years ago about the Pakistan Department of Defense (sic) testing out chilli sprays for crowd control. It's a proper noun and it's Department of Defence.

I am aware that they probably have an official Urdu title as well but I don't think the Yanks would put "funny" characters in their newspapers any more than we would.

Ever yearn for the Windows 95 shutdown sound? TADA! There's an Electron app for that



This should make Brian Eno happy. Or was he dum-dum-dum-dum?

Mini computer flingers go after a slice of the high street retail Pi

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Mould breakers

Is there any trend these guys won't try to buck? Bricks and mortar shops are dead, everyone says so!

LibreOffice 6.2 is here: Running up a Tab at the NotebookBar? You can turn it all off if you want


Re: I thank all the developers

I thank all the developers too. My employer used MS Word, Excel etc for all documents. When a Word document (in .doc format - not the modern variants) or template became corrupted I could nearly always open it with LO and then save it as a .doc . Why LO should be better at opening corrupted MS files than Word itself is a mystery. I am aware that LO does not have all of the legacy cruft that Word has. Why should Word documents become corrupted/unopenable in the first place?

I have fixed corrupted .doc files with Open Office and Libre Office.

I have fixed MS OS problems with live Linux CDs. (Forgotten passwords, Registry problems, virus problems, etc)

I have never fixed any Linux computer with any MS products. I wonder why this is?

Hold horror stories: Chief, we've got a f*cking idiot on line 1. Oh, you heard all that


Oooops, dropped by the network

Also works on trains. "We're just going into a tun.........."


e-mail trails

A similar thing can happen with e-mail. I was once copied in on an e-mail epic that had something like 30 messages in it. Early messages in the chain referred to the customer's competence/intelligence in very unflatterring terms. By the time I was copied in the whole chain had already been sent to the customer with some form of explanation/resolution.

The person who sent said explanation to the customer was the one who had been most abusive/uncomplimentary in the early e-mails.


WeWork restructuring bites El Reg hacks where it hurts as afternoon brew delayed


You guys had shoes?

Winter 2020 here.

We ate our shoes. (Except the leather ones - not Vegan!)

Google: All your leaked passwords are belong to us – here's a Chrome extension to find them


Default password

Just use "incorrect" - then you get a prompt every time you enter it wrong.

Is this a wind-up? Planet Computers boss calls time on ZX Spectrum reboot firm


Re: <pedant-mode=enabled>

Shouldn't that be <pedant_mode=enabled> ?

Do you know how fiddly that is to type on a Gemini?

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IGG need to sort out their act

Currently waiting for two low value items. No feedback on one at all, no recent updates on the other, although IGG have asked for feedback about the item.

Planet Gemini and another low value item came through fine.

Fingers crossed for the Cosmo Communicater.

NASA pops titanium tea cosy over Martian InSight probe instrument


Re: Tea cosy hat

They don't drink tea in France (or America)

Trying to log into Office 365 right now? It's a coin flip, says Microsoft: Service goes TITSUP as Azure portal wobbles


Fragility of DNS

I know there have been fairly recent attempts to bolster the DNS system against malicious attacks, but is the system still fit for use? I presume most of the recently reported problems are down to misconfiguration or other human error.

Is this one reason why Google is trying to move Android users over to Chrome and their own DNS so that Android users can survive some imminent DNS apocalypse? (I'm sure there are other "good/do no evil" reasons to do this!)

Do I have to start editing my Hosts files to include all of my frequently visited sites the way I used to when I was using a rubbish ISP with an unreliable DNS?

Should the super-rich pay 70% tax rate above $10m? Here's Michael Dell's hot take for Davos


Wrong worm

I believe AOC has clarified that she meant hookworm. I'm sure ringworm isn't that great either.

Crispest image yet of Ultima Thule arrives on Earth, but grab a coffee while the rest downloads


Re: T-t-t-toolay?

If this one is Ultima Thule what are they going to call the next object they are hoping to get permission/budget to photograph?

Court orders moribund ZX Spectrum reboot firm's directors to stump up £38k legal costs bill


Zombie companies

Any news of SCO?

Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently


Re: Hosts

Some weeks ago, somebody in this forum reported that Chrome sometimes used Google's DNS and did not even use hosts files on local machines. It was related to proxy settings I think.


How many browser engines are left?

Is anyone developing new ones?

OffByOne is a quirky, no frills browser I found a few years ago. It is quite old and is no longer developed but was still working on Windows 7 last time I tried it. It supports CSS and basic HTML but won't do all that interactive stuff that the modern Web requires.

Only shows pictures and text, not much more. A bit like Lynx with added pictures.

It would be no good for buying anything online and doesn't even support video IIRC.

Register Lecture: Can big science keep up with discovery?


Nobel prize on the way

Can you engrave it with Anonymous Coward?

I'm in two minds about the green ink brigade.

Alfred Wegener spent decades gathering evidence for continental drift but was mostly ignored because he proposed no mechanism for shifting large plates of rock around.

Immanuel Velikovsky was pretty much ridiculed by everybody for trying to shoehorn events from the Old Testament into a dynamic model of the Solar System with planets and comets crashing into each other on a regular basis. Modern understanding of the local neighbourhood is that orbits are not stable over billions of years and everything is fairly chaotic.

Both published under their own names, however.

A Delta IV Heavy heads for space at last while New Horizons' fumes OK for 'future missions'


Re: The Delta IV Heavy.

Agreed, synchronised landings are much more impressive.

Slack to fend off the collaboration competition with... a new logo


Before and after

I like the Reg logowatch articles, but why don't they show us the old logos? I know this stuff is only a quick search away, but even so.

RIP 2019-2019: The first plant to grow on the Moon? Yeah, it's dead already, Chinese admit


The sunlight won't be attenuated because there is no atmosphere. That's why you can't open a pub on the moon.


Re: Bad planning

Spider plants? Thrive on neglect.

What's 23 times the size of Earth, uncomfortably warm – and has astroboffins excited?


Re: A bit of a fried egg planet - with a melted front and a solid back.

Igneous rock is really frozen lava, but that just sounds wrong. Everyday language is very room-temperature-and-pressure-centric.


Re: A bit of a fried egg planet - with a melted front and a solid back.

Lava is molten rock.

Rock is solid lava.

You can say solid rock, for some reason, but molten lava is frowned upon.

I'm new here, so I can't start my own thread. That's why I'm replying to you!

Attention all British .eu owners: Buy dotcom domains and prepare to sue, says UK govt


Re: Well... F.Uk!


A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

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Ballistas loaded with ostrich eggs

Unused eggs can be used to feed passengers trapped in airport.

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