* Posts by The elephant in the room

216 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Feb 2008


A few reasons why cops didn't immediately shoot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

The elephant in the room

Simple solution

Why don't they simpy feed the datastream from accoustic sensors, signal triangulation, radar, lidar, IR and optical sensors on ground-based and high-altitude observation platforms into a neural network trained to detect drones, and present the results as tracks on a map?

Then all they have to do is go to the take-off point, tazer the operator and take control of the drone, or if they are not there, vaporize it with a laser or microwave beam. Job done, what is so difficult about that?

OK I am joking, but some of these elements could be developed to protect airports and other key installations from drones in the future?

The elephant in the room
Black Helicopters

Video of it flying or it doesn't exist.

This has been going on for a day with tens of thousands of people with mobile phones, blanket CCTV coverage and presumably many media crews in the area, and still no video of the Phantom Menace. How is this possible?

Is there really a drone out there, or is it a smokescreen while the authorities prevent somebody or something from leaving or arriving at Gatwick?

Or are they keeping the air lanes clear for an aerial armada of bombers / alien invasion fleet / ruling-class evacuation shuttle?

Or have they decided that we are not allowed drones and need to engineer a reason to ban them?

Or are they just practicing for what they can't admit all UK airports will be like on 29th March next year? (Admittedly the last one is unlikely as that would suggest somebody is planning ahead).

Something weird to deck the Xmas tree with: 3D-printed Wi-Fi baubles

The elephant in the room

Re: Why?

Would you like some toast?

Subsidy-guzzling Tesla's Model 3 volumes a huge problem – Wall St man

The elephant in the room

Re: Musk, the new Jobs?

Let's hope that Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?

there doesn't turn over a new Leaf!

Boffin rediscovers 1960s attempt to write fiction with computers

The elephant in the room

Re: Probably the software was bought by Hollywood....

Puppy: Son of Dog

Scary news: Asteroid may pass Earth by just 6,880km in October

The elephant in the room
Black Helicopters

Re: Context


Britain's on the brink of a small-scale nuclear reactor revolution

The elephant in the room

Green Janet / Blue Bishop

This reminded me of a British portable reactor project in the '50s:


Concorde without the cacophony: NASA thinks it's cracked quiet supersonic flight

The elephant in the room

"but your aeroplane has a big nose. "

But how does it smell?

The Psion returns! Meet Gemini, the 21st century pocket computer

The elephant in the room

Does this niche still exist?

On the face of it, you could just get a keyboard case for your phone if you were hell-bent on typing a lot on a small screen device. Maybe if the keyboard is really good and the battery life is as advertised it will find a new niche.

USMC: We want more F-35s per year than you Limeys will get in half a decade

The elephant in the room


I'd like to think we are only making a token effort with F-35s and didn't bother with catapults not because of incompetence or being poor but because the carriers are actually for the production version of the X-47B or sea-going BAE Taranis, which aren't in the shops yet. But no doubt we will find we need a completely different type of carrier for those.

Samsung Galaxy S8 will be a no-show at MWC, exec says

The elephant in the room

Re: Bloody hell

Perhaps the Head of Testing had recently moved from Volkswagen...

Drone biz Lily Robotics takes $34m in pre-orders, ships nothing, shuts down, gets sued by San Francisco DA

The elephant in the room

Re: How does my credit card issuer fit into this story?

If it's RBS then probably right at the middle of it...

British defence minister refuses to rule out F-35A purchase

The elephant in the room

If memory serves correctly, at one point Saddam did challenge George Dubya to a duel!

Whoosh! China shows off J-20 'stealth' fighters and jet drones

The elephant in the room

Tiger vs T-34 tank / Space Pen vs pencil / engineering schools of thought

Achieving such a tolerance is an amazing feat of engineering; however not requiring incredible precision to produce an effective product is probably more useful.

Samsung are amateurs – NASA shows how you really do a battery fire

The elephant in the room

Re: "but the intern responsible..."

I think in the video screengrab you can just make out the Blame Deflector automatically deploying.

8K video gives virtual reality the full picture for mainstream use

The elephant in the room

So come Black Friday...

hopefully we'll able to pick up a cheap Theta S which has just been made obsolete by the Theta T or S2 etc.

The ball's in your court, Bezos: Falcon 9 lands after launching satellites

The elephant in the room

Re: but how much re-use can you get?

"nothing that a pump, a good wash and a bit of care can't handle."

That's what she said!

The Edward Snowden guide to practical privacy

The elephant in the room


You sound like a troublemaker...

Tiny Robot Smartphone: Invasion Earth 2016 – prepare to be facially recognised humans

The elephant in the room

Re: This could be useful

I hope it changes to darlek-voice and starts yelling "WE DEMAND MORE POWER!"

Future civilisations won't know how the universe formed

The elephant in the room

No problem

We will tell them (as long as we get boldly going before something bad happens to the Earth).

D-Wave promises chip that could search the whole universe

The elephant in the room

So I started wondering if it could potentially mine bitcoins really really fast...

I know better than to post lay speculation where experts hang out, so I googled it and answerd my own question with "No". I dare say a lot of you already knew that, but for everyone else, a very detailed answer why, which frankly went way over my head can be found here:


Hey! Want a FREE TOASTER that makes BITCOIN? What? You DO?

The elephant in the room

Re: Erm....

But surely electric heaters are the one exception, because their only function is to generate heat. Rather than using 3KW to unprofitably heat up nichrome wire you may as well be running an ASIC that outputs the same amount of heat. The electricity costs you exactly the same either way, but if you are given the hardware for free + 25% of the bitcoins you are better off than having to pay for the heater yourself and not receiving 25% of the bitcoins.

It is true that electricity is an expensive form of heating, but many people do not have the option of gas, and for them I do not see that this is an entirely stupid idea.

FOUND: NASA's stray balloon located in the middle of nowhere

The elephant in the room

Re: Bricks?

Not bricks, I'm pretty certain it is cardboard honeycomb packing material like this:


I guess they were put there by the finders to stabilise & protect it.

Mars needs TRAFFIC COP to stop probe prangs, says NASA

The elephant in the room

Re: Americans, Indians and Europeans....

"He is intelligent but not experienced. His pattern indicates 2-dimensional thinking"


How many Androids does it take to change a light bulb?

The elephant in the room

A useful article - I wondered why my 4 dimmable LEDs couldnt be dimmed below a certain point. I will replace one with an incandescent to increase the load for the dimmer switch.

Dimmable LEDs look odd because their colour temperature remains the same as they dim, where as the colour temperature of incandescent bulbs gets lower (warmer) when they dim. Maybe the cleverer app-controlled RGB LEDs can compensate for this.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge: A side swipe at smartphone design

The elephant in the room

Re: Gonna be expensive.

You put a case with a cover on it, and the edge screen shows uptates that you would otherwise have to open the cover for. (Admittedly, there will be an area in the middle obscured by the hasp, but the information can probably be configured not to be displayed in that area).

Hola HoloLens: Reg man gets face time with Microsoft's holographic headset

The elephant in the room

All this talk of porn...

...but the exact opposite could be the case, with Righteousvision(TM) installing a Smartburka(TM) on every female whoreish enough not to already be wearing one. That would be an ironic piece of malware to pick up from a "gentlemens'" website!

This could be a case for Mulder and Scully: Fox 'in talks' to bring back The X-Files

The elephant in the room

"History is a lie..."

X-files had 9 series to explore every conceivable monster-of-the-week and a couple of make-it-up-as-they-kept-on-getting-recommisioned conspiracies. I was a huge fan for the first 5 series, but ultimately a disgruntled one by the 9th. I'd rather see a reboot of Dark Skies, with it's secret history of the latter half of the 20th century, which was axed with much unrealised potential.

London teen pleads guilty to Spamhaus DDoS

The elephant in the room

Re: going down

Surely not!? If TV has taught me anything, at this point you get recruited by a secret government agency staffed entirely by beautiful teens & 20somethings plus a grizzled older boss, and your now ethical hacking will now require lots of exciting fieldwork with sportscars, night vision goggles, laser tripwires and parachute jumps.

GCHQ boffins quantum-busted its own crypto primitive

The elephant in the room
Paris Hilton

"...like blowing up a balloon?"

We've had the Science Officer technobabble; now we need the simplistic analogy!

Man's future in space ... Barack Obama: Mars. Narendra Modi: Mars. Vladimir Putin: Er, Moon

The elephant in the room

Re: In Russia rockets land on you!

If there had been an indigenous population up there on that cold dry grey rock looking down at our warm wet blue one, they would have come to us.

Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts

The elephant in the room

Smartwatches the killer product for Vertu?

Analysts - what do they know? My own uninformed guess at an area with an opportunity for major growth is super-premium smartwatches: Super-premium phone handsets like Vertu's have so far remained a very niche market. High-end chronometers on the other hand have much more uptake - common even, if a £1000+ watch can be described as such. The sort of people who flaunt such timepieces are not likely to consign them to the sock drawer in favour of a mere Apple, Samsung, Motorola or LG, even if the smart functionality is of value to them. But there is an opportunity for a smartwatch that is elegant & opulent, is not technically or aesthetically compromised in any way by having to meet a mass-market price-point, has some 21st century functionality and reliability and is less derisibly nouveau riche than a Swarovski-encrusted platinum-plated phone.

Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch

The elephant in the room

It's got to be a wind-up...

2 days of power for a watch was once OK, but they could be recharged in less than a minute with a bit of knob-twiddling. These smart watches look big enough to house a fairly substantial spring.

An LCD matrix or eink would surely extend the battery life. Or maybe a Swiss watchmaker will take some time out from making tasteless footballer bling and go completely steampunk with a micro-mechanical display!

True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS

The elephant in the room


Islamic State is better because ISIS is not an anagram of "camel ass titi".

Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies

The elephant in the room

Gigantic ancient toothless dragon?

Comedy dinosaur Les Dawson would have fashioned a mother-in-law joke from this! But the dinosaurs died out, and mothers-in-law evolved into yo mamas.

Indian techies-in-training face down MAN-EATING LEOPARD - and WIN

The elephant in the room

There was also an elephant in the room...

...but nobody mentioned it.

Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax

The elephant in the room

Overpriced software?

There's a crack for that.

Elon Musk to fund Tesla museum with 'ONE MEEELLION DOLLARS'

The elephant in the room

Re: Great Marketing

"Brand Synergy"

The elephant in the room

Rattling the tin

Monochromatic troubadour Jack White must have a spare bob or two, and, apparently, his own Tesla coil. Fundrasers should perhaps call him next?

Physicist proposes 1,000-foot state-sized walls to stop tornadoes

The elephant in the room

Ecological chaos!

Wont somebody think of the effect this will have on the butterfly attempting to flap its wings on the other side of the world?

Microsoft tests HALF-INCH second screen to spur workplace play

The elephant in the room

Underpants gnome diversified business plan

Step 1: make millions of little screens

Step 2:

Step 3: Profit!

Sounds like a slightly less fun version of http://littleprinter.com/

Is this actually the result of a brainstorming session to think of a way of using excess stock of obsolete tiny screens?

But if it takes off and after years of development I suppose in some sci-fi-inspired future it may be commonplace for people to carry about wireless full-colour touch-sensetive screen gadgets for communication & time-wasting purposes.

Toyota catches up to William Gibson with LED hood

The elephant in the room

As seen last year in London

I saw a Mini with LED screens all over it in London last year. Here it is:


Rather like the recent "Peak Beard" article, these cars are eyecatching when unique but when every chump in a traffic jam is lit up like a council house at Christmas the car that stands out will be the the one that isn't trying to stand out.

Oh, wow. US Secret Service wants a Twitter sarcasm-spotter

The elephant in the room

Wayne's World-style proto-hastag detection?

Perhaps they dont realise that some people (i.e. evil-doers) can be sarcastic without overtly flagging it in the manner of "I think the NSA are guardians of liberty... NOT!"

Google TOO WHITE and MALE, says HR boss, looking in mirror

The elephant in the room

Google too white for you pimps & hos? Try this:


Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)

The elephant in the room

Without needing any new technological development

Central locking for your house

Phones & tablets with full-size standard ports & slots (easily accomadated in the extra thickness already agreed for a decent battery)

Desk phones that don't require a forgettable training a course to use despite having a millionth of the functionality of a smartphone requiring no training

A standard size or range of sizes for digital camera batteries

DAB radios that aren't f*****g ugly

Cars with scratch and dent-resistant self-coloured plastic bodywork

Ability to have a dark background in Outlook

A first-world problem solved: Panoramic selfies, thanks to Huawei's Ascend P7

The elephant in the room


Unless you have a phone branded "Smallcock" with a logo in the shape of a small cock pointing at your mouth.

Teen girl arrested with 70-year-old man's four inch weapon inside her

The elephant in the room

With a suspicious camel toe

she shot herself in the foot!

Brit game devs WILL get tax relief for, er, EastEnders Game and Legend of Slough

The elephant in the room

Point & click paedo hunt

beard <click>

beard <click>

taking a photo at a school play <click>

used to be on childrens tv <click>

dog collar <click>

gold shell suit <click>

The elephant in the room

Daily Mail Reader blood pressure survival game

Guide a reactionary Middle Englander through a town centre full of imigrants on benefits, gay weddings, modern art, skateboarders, yoghurt bars, young people not looking where they are going while texting, young people playing loud music in Vauxhall Corsas, young people loitering in the park, young people wearing hoodies, young people pushing prams and so on, without their blood pressure rising to head-exploding levels. Collect beta-blockers and Franklin Mint china power-ups.