* Posts by SkippyBing

2364 publicly visible posts • joined 21 May 2008

Brit broadband subscribers caught between crappy connections and price hikes


Re: Happy me

Same here, just without the one day outage. Actually have two potential FTTH providers where I live which made cancelling the more expensive copper only BT service a delight!

Quirky QWERTY killed a password in Paris


Touch Typing for the Win

Many years ago I worked in tech support in France so long ago I think el Reg had only just started. I found it much easier to set the keyboard as QWERTY so I could still touch type rather than learn how to do it on an AZERTY one. With the bonus it drove anyone who tried using my machine mad.

This also helped many years later when a colleague tried to get revenge for some minor misdeed by moving by keys around. Took about a week before I noticed.

Time running out for crew of missing Titanic tourist submarine


I have to assume they wanted to minimise/eliminate through hull openings. So the Bluetooth controller allowed them to communicate through hull to all the stuff bolted on the outside without having to seal a gland. They probably thought it was a genius move that the world's navies are idiots for not using...


Re: So the sub has not been certified

I am idly wondering which legal jurisdiction any contract/waiver fell under? If they signed at sea would it be the state of registration of the ship, international waters in which case no jurisdiction, or have they explicitly stated on the paperwork it's considered to have been signed in a favourably lenient location?


You don't want to open it at depth, you want to open it at the surface so you can breathe if you come up miles from the support vessel after an extended stay on the sea bed.

It’s official: Vodafone and Three to tie the knot in the UK


Re: Coverage - Mast sharing

We can all make up fictional places with their own communications network. Like Australia.


Re: Coverage - Mast sharing

I remember when we used to have only one comms network in the UK. So efficient you could often get a new phone in under six weeks if it wasn't too much trouble for them...

NASA to tear the wings off plane in the name of sustainability


Hurel-Dubois HD.31

This is of course just ripping off the French designed and built Hurel-Dubois HD.31 family of aircraft. I'm fairly sure if they asked nicely there are some surviving examples NASA could get airworthy to allow Boeing to concentrate on unf**king the rest of their business.

About ducking time: Apple fixes up autocorrect in iOS 17


So that explains why it's so bad. I thought it was me not being familiar with Apple devices when I typed messages on my other half's iPhone that made it such a painful experience.

You know Android auto-correct is pretty good and lets you use all kinds of swear words right?

First-known interstellar Solar System visitor 'Oumuamua a comet in disguise – research


That's just what we want you to think Earthlings

Nothing to see here...

NASA wants a telescope on the far side of the Moon


Re: Department of Energy?

But why? How does that relate to energy? It sounds like they're concerned with power production and infrastructure, or are they literally involved with energy at the fundamental level?


Department of Energy?

I get why NASA are involved in this but could someone explain to this right pondian why the US Department of Energy have an interest?

Huge lithium discovery could end world shortages ... Oh, wait, it's in Iran


Re: Doesn't really matter if it is in Iran

Exactly, it's like oil, there'll always be someone willing to buy it from you which will reduce demand on the other sources. You just may have to drop your price a bit.


Re: Lithium is where you find it

To be fair Greta is now campaigning against a wind farm so it appears some of them at least are consistent in not wanting anything anywhere. Although it will make it harder for her to commute in a carbon fibre yacht...

UK space faces cash freeze unless watchdogs step up


Re: Civil Service

They are also the only organisation I know that takes four weeks to mark multiple-choice exam papers, with a computer. Whereas at the time the German equivalent would tell you that day if you'd passed.

Or the time they told me they couldn't issue my licence because I hadn't crossed their palms with silver. Which was odd as I had a month old receipt saying I had...

NASA finds crashing spacecraft into asteroids is a viable defence strategy


Re: From orbit?

As with all things space the answer is in fact Project Orion. I will not be taking questions at this time.

Who needs sailors? US Navy's latest robo-ship can run itself for 30 days


Having been on a few warships I'd be impressed if they go 3 days without some sort of electrical or mechanical break down that needs human intervention, never-mind 30. Also although minimal crewing sounds like a great idea if you're on fire or flooding you want as many trained people as you can to throw at the problem to make it go away. See HMS Nottingham vs Australia in 2002.

NASA: Yup, thousand-pound meteorite exploded over Texas


Re: How long?

I see you one CBS article and raise you The Jerusalem Post https://www.jpost.com/science/article-732223

Corgi-sized meteor as heavy as 4 baby elephants hit Texas - NASA

NASA, DARPA to go nuclear in hopes of putting boots on Mars


Re: Project Orion

From the book on Project Orion by Dyson's son the estimate was 1 additional death, somewhere on Earth, per launch. For the time at least the 'bomb' designs were relatively clean in terms of fall out as I understand it, but a lot of the project is still classified as small lightweight nuclear propulsion systems may have other non-peaceful uses...


Project Orion

Come on you cowards do it properly and make Freeman Dyson proud!

Lockheed Martin demos 50kW anti-aircraft frickin' laser beam


No, but I think that would probably stop the small drone threat as well. Missiles and artillery shells not so much.

Uncle Sam greenlights first commercial nuclear small modular reactor design


Re: Timing is everything

And on a windless cloudy winter day in the UK those renewable projects still won't be supplying power.

Laser-wielding boffins bend lightning to their will


As long as they aren't pointing into aircraft cockpits it shouldn't be a problem. The concern around airports is blinding/dazzling pilots more than anything else.

Let me X-plane: Boeing R&D unit sheds rudder, ailerons, flaps for DARPA project


Re: Stop me if you heard it before..

Good explanation of how it works here: https://breakingdefense.com/2021/09/blowin-in-the-wind-a-new-x-plane-program-to-revolutionize-aircraft-maneuverability/

Quite different to the reaction control system on the Harrier which pushes the aircraft around rather than messing with the airflow.

Native Americans urge Apache Software Foundation to ditch name


Re: Bit ridiculous

Exactly, it's not as if they were using the name Apache as an insult.

FAA sets 2024 deadline for preventing 5G crash landings


Reputation rebuilding?

I idly wonder if this hard line stance on the part of the FAA is at least partly driven by a desire to rebuild their reputation after it became apparent how little oversight they gave to the 737 Max programme?

Elon Musk's cost-cutting campaign at Twitter extended to not paying rent, claims landlord


Re: Inevutable

Honestly it makes some of my 14 year old step son's money making ideas look like genius.

UK cuts China from Sizewell nuclear project, takes joint stake


Re: Rough timing

Re weapons it would appear due to the boom and bust nature of defence procurement it seems a lot of the sub-sub-contractors no longer exist so getting some niche parts for more advanced stuff like Javelin is basically impossible. So it's basically a case of starting from scratch.


Re: Also

'But are fossil fuels quadrupling in price?'

For natural gas no, it appears to be worse.



Re: Priorities

The App was not £37 Billion. That was the total put aside for two years, including all those test kits that were being freely handed out. Is £37 Billion a lot of money? Yes. Was it all wisely spent? Probably not, it was a global pandemic*. Was it all spent on an App? Definitely not.

*If you're one of those types who likes to compare it to a war you should see how much was wasted in WW2 buying aircraft that weren't fit for their intended role and just went to be target tugs or similar.


Re: Also

I don't think the answer to a quadrupling in the cost of fossil fuels is greater reliance on fossil fuels...


Rough timing

Just glad they got Rough back in service in time to take advantage of all the cheap gas during the August heat wave. Oh...

FAA wants pilots to be less dependent on computer autopilots


It's only mentioned in the article, no reason you should be.


It's the European regulator, EASA, looking at single pilot operation not the FAA.

Time Lords decree an end to leap seconds before risky attempt to reverse time


Exactly, I thought computers were supposed to make life easier for people, not the other way around.

Imagine if this approach had been taken with Y2K, we'd be in 1922 again because it was easier for Meta...

Biden wants SpaceX to beam internet to Iran amid uprising


Re: Pirate radio?

"but not all Europeans are French"

Thank God.

Now you can't even scale Mount Everest without a drone buzzing overhead


Drones in Nepal

Went trekking on the Annapurna trail in 2018 with a friend. We were carrying our own gear so fairly minimal, a couple of changes of clothes, washkit, and a kindle for me. He sacrificed everything to pack his drone and SLR, to capture the sights. You can imagine his delight at discovering the whole area had been made a No Drone Zone about a week before our arrival...

Scientists, why not simply invent a working fusion plant using $50m from Uncle Sam


Re: I've already got a working fusion power source

Plus you've air gapped your power supply so it's more secure.

China's single aisle passenger jet – the C919 – likely to be certified next week


Re: Should we be making lots of airplanes ?

I mean yes that's great, but I have yet to catch a train to the USA from Europe. Which does make the decision to reduce the tax on short haul but not long haul flights seem a bit counter productive. It's the short haul you want to be discouraging.


Re: Should we be making lots of airplanes ?

Airlines wouldn't be replacing old aircraft if it wasn't cost effective so you can guarantee the new ones use less fuel and are less polluting.The improvements in terms of fuel burn/seat km over the last few decades are pretty impressive. e.g.

1998 Boeing 737-600 75mpg/seat

2017 Boeing 737-Max 115mpg/seat


Re: Russian market?

Going by the quality of Russian engineering seen to date in Ukraine I would not want to get on a A320/B737 with counterfeit Russian parts...

Woman forced to sell 4-bed house after crypto exchange wrongly refunded $7.2m


But surely Crypto.com have the NFTs of the receipts which are where the real value is?

Braking news: Cops slammed for spamming Waze to slow drivers down


Re: feels valid to me

I'm also convinced half the country forgot how to use motorway lanes during COVID. Travelled from Dover to the South West and it was as if someone had covered the inside lane in landmines, meanwhile the outside lane was a train of white vans with a 1mph advantage on the queue of traffic in the middle.

Smart thermostat swarms are straining the US grid


Re: Randomized time offset ?

Nest definitely does that, my boiler kicks in earlier the colder it is to hit the target temperature at whatever time it thinks I want it. Second order effect was to make me get more loft insulation as I was getting woken up too early as it fired up in December!!


Re: After looking at all the smart thermostats...

Connecting it to the internet lets you check the settings while you're out. It's amazing how cold a teenager can get with the windows open, wearing only a t-shirt, in winter. Once they learn where the thermostat is you need to make sure you can turn it back off before they bankrupt you.

With the app on your phone it can also tell if you're on the way home and pre-warm the house (which was handy when I had an erratic schedule). Not vital but it did stop me heating an empty building and make me feel like I was living in the 21st century, not the 1900s like some luddite who had to turn things on themselves.


Re: Smart?

I'd say they're smartish. Mine didn't require programming, I just set the temperature to what I wanted it to be for the first few weeks and it learnt what I liked when. It's certainly smarter than the 7 day timer I had before as it doesn't bother heating the house when no-one is in it.

Chinese drone-maker DJI suspends ops in Russia, Ukraine


There are military applications and military applications. i.e. using a drone to observe the fall of artillery is at one end of the spectrum, using one to check for missing tiles on the roof of an accommodation block is another.

DJI doesn't design its products to do the former, the US Armed Forces are banned from using them for the latter.

First Light says it's hit nuclear fusion breakthrough with no fancy lasers, magnets


Re: "the gun would shoot a projectile every 30 seconds"

That's only 2880 rounds a day, or what the M3 version of the Ma Deuce would get through in about two and a half minutes presuming the barrel didn't get all hot and melty.

OneWeb drops launches from Russia's Baikonur spaceport


Re: RD-180 Engines

How long would it take the US to reverse engineer them?

It only took the USSR 2 years to copy the B-29 including developing the right spec alloys, plastics, and electronics.

Russia's naval exercise near Ireland unlikely to involve cable-tapping shenanigans



The FAA seem keen on Notice to Air Missions. It would probably help if more aviators did consider they were on a mission and plan as such rather than bumbling blindly around the sky...