* Posts by Christoph

3099 posts • joined 24 Dec 2007

Virgin Galactic reveals giant mirror feature in cabin design for Beardy Branson's space bus


Six minutes?

A mirror for the passengers to see what they're getting up to in weightlessness - but only allowing six minutes? Hardly worth all that money for just a quickie.

Black hole destroys corona


"Black hole destroys corona"? So when is Trump going to promote injecting Black Holes as a cure for the Corona Virus?

Heir-to-Concorde demo model to debut in October


How much climate-wrecking CO2 will this blast out so that rich people can get across the Atlantic a little bit quicker?

We have to urgently cut emissions, not spend all our ingenuity on finding new ways to increase them.

Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds


In the days when 3 1/2 inch disks had just taken over. Got a call that a floppy wouldn't work. When I got there he was talking to some people so just pointed me over to the computer where I turned down the clamp handle on the 5 1/4 inch floppy. He got an "Ah!" expression.

Euro police forces infiltrated encrypted phone biz – and now 'criminal' EncroChat users are being rounded up


Isn't it lucky that the cooperation with European police forces happened this year.

After 31st December we're out of luck.

Amazon's not saying its warehouse staff are dumb... but it feels they need artificial intelligence to understand what 'six feet' means


So if you're red-green colour blind (the most common type) you can walk wherever you want.

Splunk to junk masters and slaves once a committee figures out replacements


Similarly, "sanity check" is objectionable when "a final check for completeness and clarity" is more inclusive.

So there ain't no Sanity Clause?

Facebook's cool with sharing the President's nonsense on its mega-platform – but don't you dare mention 'unionize' in its Workplace app


Simple fix

They can get round the filter by just spelling unionise correctly!

Seriously though, filters like that are always bypassed by simply using other words to mean the same thing. And banning those words leads to whack-a-mole, or to using the names of the bosses as the alternate words so they would have to censor their own names.

Talk about a control plane... US Air Force says upcoming B-21 stealth bomber will use Kubernetes


OODA stands for "observe–orient–decide–act"

Shouldn't that be SFHN?

See the stranger, Fear the stranger, Hate the stranger, Nuke the stranger.

ATLAS flubbed: Comet heading our way takes one look at Earth, self-destructs into house-sized chunks


Yorkshire Tea, of course.

Why should the UK pensions watchdog be able to spy on your internet activities? Same reason as the Environment Agency and many more

Big Brother

Re: Sunset clauses and jury oversight are needed.

Inform people when, what, by whom, and for what reason their personal private data has been accessed.

When the investigation has finished, or if it's ongoing then after a fixed time unless an extension is granted by a judge, give the person intruded upon full details of the intrusion.

Yes, yes, you can have your exclusion for "National Security" aka Political Embarrassment. But for the vast majority of those agencies there is no justification whatever for not informing people other than that it will embarrass the snoopers.

NASA's classic worm logo returns for first all-American trip to ISS in years: Are you a meatball or a squiggly fan?


We may not have a rocket, but we have TWO logos!

Philippines considers app to trace coronavirus carriers


"your life was in danger, shoot them dead"

Pretty well any police force will respond with lethal force if their life is perceived to be in danger. For instance if they're aiming a gun at you (or in the US, if they're black and running away from you).

But the idea of someone who is breaking quarantine being so likely to threaten a policeman's life that a special warning must be given is extremely odd.

At the Supreme Court, Morrisons pops data breach liability win into its trolley – but it's not a get-out-of-compo free card for businesses


If it had gone the other way it would be wide open for companies to plant agents in rival companies to deliberately leak data and have the rival sued. The agent of course taking more care to not get caught themselves.

NASA mulls restoring Saturn V to service as SLS delays and costs mount


Re: Sensible idea

Of course there's golf on the moon. He can try to beat Alan Shepard's drive.

Want to see through walls? Electroboffins build tiny chip in the lab that vibrates at just the right frequency to do it


Aren't you glad that the police (and many others) will now be able to spy on you through the walls of your house?

Though this would also be extremely useful if you can run WiFi over it. Vastly higher data rate, and no problem with walls blocking the signal.

Corona coronavirus hiatus: Euro space agency to put Sun, Mars probes in safe mode while boffins swerve pandemic


"long periods with limited or no interaction with ground, required for instance for the periods they spend behind the Sun as seen from Earth, when no radio contact is possible for weeks."

I wonder if it would be worth putting relay satellites at Earth's L4 and L5 points to talk to probes that are behind the sun? (And possibly a further relay at L3?)

Google reveals the wheels almost literally fell off one of its cloudy server racks


"a Googler was despatched to endure the indignities of meatspace and inspect the problem rack with their actual eyes"

Sounds like time for Google to install little robots than can move round the datacentre with a camera so they can check remotely. And maybe have manipulators to fix simple problems such as shoving a loose connector back into place.

California tech industry gets its first big coronavirus hit: RSA Conference attendee infected, in serious condition


Re: Its worse than you think

"about 12% get “severe” symptoms, possibly leading to the need of a medically-induced coma

And then the ones in the USA have to pay the medical bills for that. So about 12% of those infected will lose their homes and be in debt for the rest of their lives.

And they said IoT was trash: Sheffield 'smart' bins to start screaming when they haven't been emptied for a fortnight


Re: Ahem

And it makes it a lot easier to know when "trees need watering" if there aren't any.

Google lives in an Orange submarine: Transatlantic cable will get by with a little help from some friends


It connects Los Angeles, California, and Valparaiso, Chile. Maybe it loops through the Panama Canal and back again?

Fake docs rock real docs: Ex-Wall St guy accused of conning medics out of £27m for bogus cryptocurrency fund using faked paperwork


"your church... none of them are a bank or financial advisor so they can't be trusted with your money."

Standard trick - use people who the victims know and trust, or are well known and respected in the community. That's the way people work - they assume it's not necessary to plough through all the checks because "X wouldn't lie to me".

Classic example of running a Ponzi scheme in this way: Bernie Madoff

Hey GitLab, the 1970s called and want their sexism back: Saleswomen told to wear short skirts, heels and 'step it up'


When they demanded that women wear heels, did they make a legally binding commitment to cover all medical expenses for injury to their legs and feet from wearing those ridiculously impractical things? Including injuries from tripping or losing their balance, and also long-term damage from holding the feet in an unnatural position?

WannaCry ransomware attack on NHS could have triggered NATO reaction, says German cybergeneral


Re: Disproportionate response?

Hack your enemy, use their computers to attack US computers, sit back with a bag of popcorn.

US's secret spy payload offloaded: Rocket Lab demos missile muscle with second Electron guided home


Re: One small detail

The elephants land on the Turtle.

Remember the Clipper chip? NSA's botched backdoor-for-Feds from 1993 still influences today's encryption debates


There was another problem with the Clipper chip. How do you persuade people in other countries to use computer kit that the US can spy on at whim?

"Only the government can decrypt it" - which government? If you mandate it in your country, what do you do about visitors? Force them not to use their own tech?

Even if you use it among the 'friendly' Five Eyes, they are promptly going to spy on each other.

What do big international firms do? Their executives are flying from country to country carrying kit that contains extremely valuable information. Which governments where and when can grab that for industrial espionage?

If the words 'new', 'AI', 'for', 'the', 'physical', 'world', 'accelerate' and 'Facebook' scare you, click this headline



We need to make it even easier for UK terror cops to rummage about in folks' phones, says govt lawyer


What is the evidence for the need for these powers?

He is loudly claiming that the powers are deparately needed to protect us from those terrible $CURRENT BOGEYMEN$.

Where is the evidence for this need? How many times in the last few years did the lack of these powers cause a problem for the police?

No handwaving please. State the number of times, with supporting evidence.

Ancient Ore Crusher or KillBot 2000? NASA gets ready to pick a name for its Mars 2020 Rover

Black Helicopters

Maybe the US Space Force will insist it be named All Your Planet Are Belong To Us

Big Falcon explosion as SpaceX successfully demos Crew Dragon abort systems


Re: "given that the rocket is lost during the test anyway?"

"Anyway the new Boeing core business looks to have become "self-certifications and skipping tests to save on costs"."

Because that worked so well for Hubble.

From Soviet to science fiction icon, the weird life of Isaac Asimov 100 years on


Re: Happy Xmas Eve!

I doubt he picked his birthday by the age of three when he left Russia? Or stuck to the original version of Christianity when he was Jewish?

Capita unfurls new consulting arm. Hmm, what shall we call it?


Good name

The name makes it easy to remember to avoid them.

Trump Administration fast-tracks compulsory border facial recognition scans for all US citizens


Look at the names of the people who produce technical breakthroughs in the US (which the US is critically dependent on). A very large proportion of those names are not Anglo-Saxon.

Let's learn from drone cockups: Confidential reports service opens up to unmanned fliers


"Just Culture is one of the keystones of conventional aviation safety."

And with very good reason - lack of that was a contributing factor to the Tenerife disaster.

No wonder Bezos wants to move industry into orbit: In space, no one can hear you* scream


It makes delivery easier

Your Amazon delivery will now arrive by re-entry capsule and parachute.

Unless there's a slight error due to the workers having to pack the parachutes too quickly and your package arrives as a meteorite, leaving a crater where your house was.

I'm still not that Gary, says US email mixup bloke who hasn't even seen Dartford Crossing


Re: TV

++?????++ Out of Cheese Error. Redo From Start.

To avoid that Titanic feeling, boffins create an unsinkable hydrophobic metal with laser power


Re: Could this reduce friction?

How long would this last in an actual marine environment, with all sorts of stuff growing on it?

UK ads watchdog slaps Amazon for UX dark arts after folk bought Prime subs they didn't want


Re: Been there, done that

Same thing here. The sign up says "Welcome to Prime" without any confirmation whatever, but the carefully hidden cancellation repeatedly asks "Do you really want to lose all these wonderful benefits?"

Deus ex hackina: It took just 10 minutes to find data-divulging demons corrupting Pope's Click to Pray eRosary app


Re: I must Confess

Both Aziraphale and Crowley have claimed credit for causing the invention of this.

Blood money is fine with us, says GitLab: Vetting non-evil customers is 'time consuming, potentially distracting'


I'm sorry, but someone had to say it

What a stupid git

'We go back to the Moon to stay': Apollo vets not too chuffed with NASA's new rush to the regolith


The money was not spent in space. It did not disappear.

The money was spent on Earth, stimulated the economy, and is still circulating.

Remember the FBI's promise it wasn’t abusing the NSA’s data on US peeps? Well, guess what…


That's terrible

You mean they are treating American Citizens in the same way that they have given themselves the right to treat every other person in the world?

As if American Citizens were just ordinary people? Not shining examples to the rest of the world of what they ought to be aspiring to but obviously can never be because they are not American Citizens?

Tough luck, Jupiter, you've lost your crown for now: Boffins show Saturn has more moons


New moons?

Aren't new moons rather tricky to see? It would be easier to find full moons.

Do you run on a cloud Down Under, where data's shared and governments plunder... Oz joins US, UK in info search-warrant law


Is there any provision for publishing statistics of the subpoenas? For instance, how many times the US has demanded the private information of people in the UK but insisted that this must be kept secret from the victim?

Google causes more facial-recog pain, machine learning goes quantum ­– and how to lose a job if an AI doesn't like your face


They could extend the system by having it analyse the bumps on the applicant's head to predict their personality.

Watch out! Andromeda, the giant spiral galaxy colliding with our own Milky Way, has devoured several galaxies before


Re: There's a simple fix

No. Either find out what causes the direction to keep switching and stop it doing that, or simply stop dropping matter in while the jet is pointing the wrong way. Details to be refined once we get close enough to see what actually happens there.


There's a simple fix

You know those pictures of active galaxies firing matter out of their poles, but in bursts toggling in opposing directions?

We've got plenty of time to develop interstellar travel and get to the core, then we divert matter into the central black hole to make it active.

But we only let it fire matter in one direction.

The ejected matter goes one way, the black hole goes the other way and drags the Milky Way galaxy with it. So we simply fly the galaxy away from Andromeda.


Re: 4 billion years until impact!

4 billion? Oh thank god, I thought at first they said 4 million.

Oh cool, Alibaba's first home-grown AI chip. Oh wait, it's only for its own cloud servers... for now



We've got to stop China competing with us, by forcing them to develop their own world-class semiconductor industry.

Several months after the fact, CafePress finally acknowledges huge data theft to its customers


Re: Base64!

And then applied a Caesar cypher. If it was good enough for him ...


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