* Posts by SminkyBazzA

33 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Aug 2008

CAPSTONE mission is Moon-bound, after less rocketry than expected


Thank you very much for the explanation, I knew there must be a reason (hence my use of quotes around my implication that something went wrong) but I didn't know where along the line the divergence would have crept in.


Did it go better than expected because they forgot to attach some pieces? I was under the impression that anything involving trajectories in space was heavily simulated before launch, so it concerns me (the uneducated lay person) that anything unexpected can happen without something having gone "wrong".

The perfect crime – undone by the perfect email backups


Panic stations

Sounds like a certain senior manager also needs their email backups reviewed for naughty business, literal or otherwise.

Password recovery from beyond the grave


Re: dundancy

Not to cast aspersions but hopefully someone occasionally checks that the charity secretary isn't keeping their copy in the charity safe too - especially if the role has changed hands a few times.

So you locked your backups away for years, huh? Allow me to introduce my colleagues, Brute, Force and Ignorance


Re: No hammer needed

3. A screwdriver handle is a very light form of hammer

Every dog has its day – and this one belongs to Boston Dynamic's four-legged good boy Spot


Re: no head

Pretty sure that the attachable arm (holding the door open in the video) has a manipulator on the end. Pretty jaw-like, especially as it looks more like a velociraptor 'face' than a tool.

Planes, fails and automobiles: Overseas callout saved by gentle thrust of server CD tray


Re: Barclaycard, c 1997

> Barclaycard had just laid off everyone in the IT department...

> Someone had, at some point in time, left a floppy in the drive

I suggest that these two statements are related.

Hello, tech support? Yes, I've run out of desk... Yes, DESK... space


Re: Hysteric Scotland

I had no idea what a "maroon" was, so I found this: https://web.archive.org/web/20090515184959/https://www.burnham-on-sea.com/rnli/maroons.html

All good, leave it with you...? Chap is roped into tech support role for clueless customer


Re: "While you're here, could you just..."

Most radiators are convective, aren't they? ;)

Surrey Uni mans the space harpoons, and NASA buys more seats on Russian rockets


Hold up...

A man named W.Hale doesn't like harpoons - understandable!

Americans' broadband access is so screwed up that the answer may lie in tiny space satellites


Re: Jug of the Danaides?

It gives SpaceX five years to get the rules changed again so the ones already up there can stay longer. Presumably they're engineered to last longer than 5 years?

Leeds hospital launches campaign to 'axe the fax'


Re: Damn it feels good

That was a printer wasn't it?

Borked bog forces flight carrying 83 plumbers to bug out back to base


How many plumbers?

Was the problem something to do with how the number of plumbers varied during the flight? Perhaps two plumbers were lost to the vacuum flush when trying to fix it from the inside.

Chinese fire up world's 'most powerful' drone brain


If you're a Chrome user, why not get the autoConvert plugin that will do the hard work for you?

Grand Theft Auto 1997: 'Sick, deluded and beneath contempt'


Speed challenge

I had a time limited demo of GTA and I played that for months. Reaching a million points in 4 minutes is definitely a life achievement for me :) I knew the exact order to do the available missions to get the score multipliers as soon as possible.

There was a tiny island with cops on that you could jump to on a bike - nearly drove me insane missing and/or dying so often. Another was trying to drive three fuel tankers around with getting them damaged - many many explosions!

The Reg's desert XP-ocalypse aversion plan revealed


Free Avast has annoying popups?

When I've tried Avast! in the past, it would popup daily marketing messages in very large dialog boxes. Anyone know if this is still the case? Could be a source of confusion in a learning centre.

Comodo Internet Security is my free go-to now - quieter day-to-day, and covers AV, firewall, and malware.

Asus: Ice Cream Sandwich Transformer Pad out in May


More than just the picture is wrong

The first link in the article refers to a product with a 1920x1280 screen, not the 1280x800 screen shown here. Also, the linked article refers to a 1.6GHz CPU, whereas this one is 1.2GHz.

Are you sure they're the same product?

Valve seeks geek to design 'platform hardware'

Thumb Up

As long as I still use a keyboard and mouse, I'll be happy. Also, HL3 first please.

Most anticipated videogames of 2012 revealed


Re: I, for one, anticipate some PC games

+1 for Planetside 2!

I lacked the patience for Risen, but I'm sure I'll get Risen 2 anyway

Top Gun 2: It's happening - and the choice of star is stirring controversy


If they don't accept your version of the plot for Top Gun 2, don't worry; it's a shoe-in for the almost-guaranteed Hot Shots: Ménage à Trois (I'm sure you guys can come up with a better title though)

Flashback: The Quest for Identity


"Even amidst the running, jumping, climbing trees and putting on make-up [while you're up there]"

One of Eddie Izzard's if I'm not mistaken, well done

SanDisk Memory Zone

Thumb Up


I've just downloaded this and it's only 1.7MB, not 5.7MB....

Pretty good app from what I've seen, though I don't really use any cloud services yet, this will make it easier when I do :)

Fanboys find way to NFC an iPhone


Hang on...

So they're just hiding an NFC card inside an iPhone? Surely by the same logic you could 'NFC a Cake' or 'NFC your Hand'.

At least reference the guy who melted down his Oyster card and put it into a magic wand - equivalent but far more of a 'win' if you ask me.

My Nexus S has NFC built-in, such that it can actually communicate with the phone and internet. However as far as I'm aware there are zero practical applications* for me at the moment anyway, so isn't it all a bit of a moot point?

(* apart from reading the ID number off my rail-bridge pass every time I put it in the wrong pocket...)

Dell samples shrooms for server shipping

Thumb Up


This is the first example of something I've seen on a TEDtalk being used in the real world, excellent.

Check out the (~8 minute) video here: http://www.ted.com/talks/eben_bayer_are_mushrooms_the_new_plastic.html

Nokia DC-14 bike charger


Two things in response

1) I wouldn't have thought so, as it wouldn't be rubbing so much as rotating against (like the tyre on the ground when rolling vs skidding). Having said that, wouldn't it have made more sense to put a rubber ring on the charger and spring tension it against the metal rim? Then if the ring wore out you can't charge your phone, but you also don't risk ripping the wall of your tyre...

2) Indeed, the bizarro 2mm connector would stop me from impulse buying, though I'd be happy to cut it off and attach it to a USB connector. Is there any word about voltage regulation tho? Might be worth using it to charge an intermediate battery. There's a box under the handlebars in the photo which isn't mentioned in the article, that might perform this function.

Google preps YouTube movie service 'for UK'



BlinkBox has worked very well for me over the past few months. It's not a subscription service, but they do streaming and download, rental and purchase (though not all combinations for all movies).

Microsoft's web Office: No love for Chrome, Opera

Thumb Down

But why?

Do they provide any information on what 'effort' is required to develop for one of the most standards compliant browsers available? I doubt it...

Opera Software reinvents complete irrelevance

Thumb Down


Not only a week late, but pathetically unfunny. *Yawn* Please stop wasting pixels on this guy...

Opera to take web back to the old days


Steady on...

From what I've read it's not a whole server being bared to the internet, but a limited set of content services. I think it's great and will definitely open up the web for people like my parents who will never make their own website, but can understand the simple steps required to share some pics with faraway relatives.

It's not made clear above but only the person 'serving' requires Opera, the content can be accessed through any browser. This isn't a lock-in technology.

Can't wait to try it later

What's the best non-iPod music player?

Thumb Up

Sansa Fuze

Hello, my requirements were very similar to yours. I've been using a Sandisk Sansa Fuze since christmas and it's pretty amazing. It does video but it's easily ignored if you want :)

8GB with a microSD slot in case you want to upgrade it with a larger card in future (it transparently merges with the onboard memory).

Battery life is amazing, I can go for weeks on light usage between charges (they state 24hrs I believe, but ymmv).

I listen through a pair of £15 Sennheiser CX300 and the sound is great, but then I'm no audiophile.

No fancy software required, you can drag and drop as a standard USB device in Windows.

It does a few other things, but you don't mention a preference so neither shall I.

* http://www.sansa.com/players/sansa_fuze

* http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/06/16/review_sansa_fuze/


US lawmakers to de-silence electric cars

Thumb Up

sod personalised number plates...

Methinks this is going to bring a whole new meaning to the phrase "mobile ringtones"... I want mine to sound like its running on a Merlin 45 Spitfire engine please!

I witnessed my first silent-running Prius a couple of weeks ago, pulling away from the curb a few metres from me (admittedly in a busy town centre) and if I hadn't been looking at it I would never have expected it to move.

Also, cyclists tend not to weigh a ton, although I imagine we can shout louder.

BBC to 'reimagine' The Thirty-nine Steps


@West End Version

Seconded! Every scene acted out by just four people and the funniest stage performance I've ever seen. Was at the Criteron in Picadilly.

EU grabs 30MHz of spectrum for talking cars


more possibilities...

Here are some uses that I've imagined at various times over the past few years:

* Road state notifications - if the car in front runs over a pothole or a particularly icy patch this information could be useful to following vehicles (think traction control and suspension, not the necessarily interupting the driver)

* Vehicle state notifications - how long does it take you to realise you've got a light out or a klingon on the starboard bow? Maybe give those riding shotgun (copilot/gunner) some helpful buttons to send preset messages to an other vehicle's log (maybe require several of the same type before notifying the driver safely at the end of their journey)

* Proximity warnings - having spent the weekend driving around the sussex countryside we regularly approached completely blind corners with dense trees/bushes blocking any view of oncoming traffic. If there's any signal strength/direction ability then they can be highlighted (on the HUD we should have in a few years) for early warning of other vehicles. It only takes one speeding driver to cause an accident, see them coming.

* Hazard warnings - bung a simple transmitter on every cyclist and onroad-shop-mobility-scooter-deathtrap and you can provide a level of warning in addition to the lights they all use. Right?

Perhaps not very applicable with today's vehicles and driving abilities but thats not why they're reserving the spectrum now.