* Posts by Swiss Anton

295 posts • joined 16 Feb 2009


USA seeks Moon and Mars nuke power plant designs ready to fly in 2027

Swiss Anton

Re: What are they going to do with the heat?

Would that be a really hot cup of tea?

Fitness freaks flummoxed as massive global Garmin outage leaves them high and dry for hours

Swiss Anton

Better still don't connect it to the internet, though there are some advantage to that.

When I first read this story, I dug out my old (15+ years) Garmin Etrex GPS to see if it still worked. Amazingly it does, and it is at least 30m accurate; however there is a slight problem. Whilst I still have a cable to connect it to my computer, it needs to plug into an RS232 interface. My computer doesn't have one of these, but I'm sure I can get a RS323 USB adapter (the irony). If not, then there is always my Raspberry Pi - now there's an interesting project for the weekend.

Three UK: We're sending you this SMS to warn you not to pay attention to unsolicited texts

Swiss Anton

Not so long ago I got an e-mail (apparently from my company's training department) informing me that I needed to take a mandatory online course on computer security. The email even had a link, please click here to start your training session. Of course I deleted it. Some weeks later my boss moaned at me because I hadn't taken the mandatory training. The irony.

Windows 10 Insider wondering where Notepad has gone? Fear not, Microsoft found it down the back of Dev Channel

Swiss Anton

Re: Good Grief...

I use Nodepad++ a lot, but sometimes its text colour coding* is down right annoying, Sometimes a simple monochrome view is what I want, and MS Notepad does that. (*Yes I'm sure there is probably a config setting in Notepad++ to change this, but life's too short to find out how).

Windows 10 once more in print condition: Microsoft applies out-of-band fix to Patch Tuesday cock-up

Swiss Anton

Re: The current Windows dev process is horribly flawed...

"...just try getting a mortgage if you don't own a printer."

Its kind of quaint to find that someone will except anything that you have printed as some sort of proof of income. All it proves is that you can use a word processor and a printer.

OOP there it is: You'd think JavaScript's used more by devs than Java... but it's not – JetBrains survey

Swiss Anton

Re: I just can't get away with them...

vi! You lightweight. What's wrong with edlin, or maybe even punching your own cards. Sheesh, what a snowflake.

(Icon - closest I could find to a hair shirt)

Virgin Orbit at last ready to live up to its name: Branson's other space adventure set for maiden flight this weekend

Swiss Anton

....does not require the infrastructure needed by vertically launched rockets

But it does need a 10000ft runway for the 747, a trained crew to fly it, and someone to serve them fish ...

Well, that's something boffins haven't seen before: A strange alien streaks around Jupiter

Swiss Anton

Re: Looks like a job for...

It might stop us from using their planet as a trash can, sorry I mean a legitimate target for one of our space probes

IBM age discrimination lawsuit suddenly ends, suggests Big Blue was willing to pay to avoid discovery process

Swiss Anton

Re: Yay ! Justice is served !

Downvote because this happens all over the world, not just the USA. The only difference there is that their lawyers are so much more expensive than the rest of the world. That and the very real threat of a hundred billion dollar award against you, should you lose.

Netflix starts 30-day video data diet at EU's request to ensure network availability during coronavirus crisis

Swiss Anton

Re: But Netflix has kittehs!

Possibly, but Netflix do automatically show a preview of their latest and greatest on the home page. Something I find very annoying and I haven't found a way of disabling it.

Swiss Anton

Not sure how long it will be before the TV channels start to go blank, at least the commercial ones. They carry a lot of adverts for holidays & travel, new cars and many other things that people aren't now buying. No advert revenue, no TV, not even repeats. Could El Reg go the say way?

European electric vehicle sales surged in Q4 2019 but only accounted for wafer-thin slice of total car purchases

Swiss Anton

Re: The maths is strong in this one...

A dodgem car can easily do 800 miles, although the distance from its starting point is never going to be more than a few feet.

Drones must be constantly connected to the internet to give Feds real-time location data – new US govt proposal

Swiss Anton

There are already services that use geostationary satellites to provide internet services, though the weight of the comms kit to connect to them would make the whole thing moot, as the drone would be too heavy to fly.

Death and taxis: Windows has had enough of clinging to a cab rooftop in the London rain

Swiss Anton

Re: Oh Dear...

Or come up with the same old hackneyed excuses as to why it went wrong,

Google Chrome to block file downloads – from .exe to .txt – over HTTP by default this year. And we're OK with this

Swiss Anton

Re: Annoying tho

telnet w.x.y.z 80 still works for me.

Maryland: Make malware possession a crime! Yes, yes, researchers get a free pass

Swiss Anton

Re: Banning malware is not an option!

And clearly being in possession of tools that can be used to write ransomware must also be a crime.

H0LiCOW: Cosmoboffins still have no idea why universe seems to be expanding more rapidly than expected

Swiss Anton

The universe can't bump into another one - uni means there is only one. Maybe we should change its name in case there are other verses out there.

I spy, with my little satellite AI, something beginning with 'North American image-analysis code embargo'

Swiss Anton

Floppy discs are no longer required.

Does it count as being exported if the software is running on a server that is in the good o' U S of A, but is being accessed from Iran via a properly encrypted VPN?

Having trouble finding a job in your 40s? Study shows some bosses like job applicants... up until they see dates of birth

Swiss Anton

Re: So how do you hide your age?

Lose the word VAX. My CV makes no mention of the time when I wrote software in C for a VAX. In-fact it doesn't refer to anything from more than ten years ago. I removed all the old jobs from it to get my CV down to two sides of A4. Reading it, you'd never guess that I've being doing this stuff for more than three decades. My CV doesn't even have my date of birth, or the dates of my education.

Does it look suspicious if an employer can't guess my age from my CV?

Londoner admits illegally accessing National Lottery accounts

Swiss Anton

Re: Statistically speaking, his chances of a prison sentence are low.

The was no mention of jackpots, just "... winning anything …" I don't see why that doesn't include the prize for matching 3 balls.

Swiss Anton

Re: Statistically speaking, his chances of a prison sentence are low.

I know lots of people who have won something on the National Lottery. I personally know only one person who has been to jail. Am I a statistical outlier?

Co-op Bank online and mobile banking goes TITSUP*

Swiss Anton

Re: The UK really is a marvellous country

My lumpy mattress gets more and more comfy with every online banking SNAFU.

Forget sharks with lasers, NASA kits out an elephant seal with a sensor-studded skullcap

Swiss Anton
Big Brother

Big brother is everywhere

What is the world is coming to? Even the wildlife are wearing tin foil hats.

We strained our eyes with Lenovo's monster monitor: 43.4 inches for price of five 24" screens

Swiss Anton

Re: Vertical space rules

Or turn your head sideways.

High-resolution display output or Wi-Fi: It seems you can only choose one on Raspberry Pi 4

Swiss Anton

Re: Interference

Have you tried using a HDMI cable with gold plated connectors?

Irish eyes aren't smiling after govt blows €1m on mega-printer too big for parliament's doors

Swiss Anton

I know, that's what inspired my comment

Swiss Anton

I believe it transcribes acts of parliament onto vellum using a quill pen held by a robotic arm.

Totally Sardonic Bank: Well, it must be, to have a TITSUP* the same week as THAT report

Swiss Anton

Re: Why does anyone still use this bank?

Not sure if that is possible, but its easy enough to have an account with a different bank and move the money around using that account,

Questions hang over Gatwick Airport after low level drone near-miss report

Swiss Anton

Re: No geofencing for me

Down voting you as you clearly did not click the link. The Jindivik is a Jet powered fixed wing drone* that started life in the 1950's. It is almost as big as a light aircraft, and it lands on a runway. Hence it would be a bit tricky if to fly if it had to avoid airfields.

*Drone, because it is flown by an autopilot. The autopilot is controlled from the ground, so it is much like today's drones. No GPS though because such things didn't exist when it was designed, hence no geofencing.

Whoosh, was that the sound of Jindivik flying past? BTW, in my first job I worked with the engineers who designed its autopilot.

Swiss Anton

No geofencing for me

This is why I only ever fly antique drones like the GAF Jindivik

Apple's latest keyboard travels back in time to when they weren't crap

Swiss Anton

Apple missed a trick here

I'm surprised they didn't go for a collection of individual wireless keys, each with their own unreplaceable battery.

Oh chute. Two out of three ain't bad, right? asks Boeing after soft-ish crew module landing

Swiss Anton

Re: What fun!

My school physics says

v=u+(at^2)/2. Given u=0, v=650mph=~290m/s,t=5. a is 23.2 m/s/s (or ~2.36g) ,


v^2 = u^2 * 2aS. Given u=0,S=4500ft =~1371 m,v=650mph=~290m/s. a is 30.6 m/s/s (or ~3.12g)

Both of these answers are a load of rubbish though as the acceleration isn't going to be constant. The vehicle's mass will reduce as fuel is burnt, and the air will thin as it ascends, but I think it gives a ball park figure for the acceleration. Which doesn't seem to be so excessive.

Swiss Anton

Re: Redundancy

If the occupants in the capsule can still say WTF after a landing with 2, rather than 3, parachutes, then I would call that a successful landing. If they can also walk away, then that would be a good landing.

Not just adhesive, but alcohol-resistant adhesive: Well done, Apple. Airpods Pro repairability is a zero

Swiss Anton

Re: Not for me

I find listening to music helps on flights. I suspect the other passengers might get annoyed if I used a ghetto blaster, so I use my £25 pair of headphones*.

(*Headphones - two ear pods connected together by a band across the top of the head. This band prevents them from falling off. They also come with a wire that connects to a phone to avoid the need for unreplaceable batteries)

Thought you were good at StarCraft? DeepMind's AI bot proves better than 99.8% of fleshy humans

Swiss Anton

I kind of like the idea if it means that I can delegate the playing the game to an AI so that I don't have to endure the tedium of playing it for real.

Tesla has made a profit. Repeat, Tesla has made a profit – $143m in fact

Swiss Anton

More Tax?

Will Tesla be paying more (as in some) tax, now that they have made a profit? I not holding my breath.

Second MoD Airbus Zephyr spy drone crashes on Aussie test flight

Swiss Anton

And a parachute would probably be too heavy, making the whole concept a non-starter

Virtual inanity: Solution to Irish border requires data and tech not yet available, MPs told

Swiss Anton

Re: "There are over 200 roads that cross the border."

Ed Byrne has done a brilliant sketch about this, and in particular how the border runs down the middle of the road in some places (though I'm not sure that is actually true). but one of the best lines in the sketch goes something like "Siobhan, get your passport out, we're about to overtake the fella in front"

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

Swiss Anton

Re: Moons?

What makes a moon a moon?

I think its when a cow can jump over it.

We're all doooooomed: Gloomy Brit workforce really isn't coping well with impending Brexit

Swiss Anton

Re: Look you stupid B*******,

"Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose"

Consumer campaign to keep receiving printed till receipts looks like a good move – on paper

Swiss Anton

Re: Evil Thermal

I had to use an old thermal receipt that had faded to nothing more than some vague unreadable pinkish marks. Then I had a brainwave, I photographed the receipt and enhanced the image's contrast. Hey presto, the text was readable.

Captain's coffee calamity causes transatlantic flight diversion

Swiss Anton

Re: Sheepskin seat covers

My A320 does, it also has one of those nodding bulldogs that came with the insurance.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moves to shut Parliament

Swiss Anton

And now that we are in a dictatorship, identity cards are inevitable (after all we need to keep tabs on those dangerous EU foreigners) . And ID cards will need to have an IT system. So, yes, there is an IT angle to this story.

Electric cars can't cut UK carbon emissions while only the wealthy can afford to own one

Swiss Anton

Re: A bit out of date?

"How often does anyone replace an ICE engine or, for that matter, a battery pack?"

Its a bit early to say how often someone will need to replace the battery pack on a car, as the number of seven year old electric cars is very small. On the other hand, I've had to replace the batteries on a phone more than once. I've also had to replace a lead acid battery on a petrol car.

Swiss Anton

Re: A bit out of date?

"is already price-competitive with an equivalent IC car if you look at overall cost of ownership"

They aren't taxed like non-electric vehicles, once tax revenues from the sale hydrocarbon fuels start to significantly drop, I sure that some new tax will be created to compensate.

I will conceded that servicing costs of pure electric vehicles "should" always be cheaper than non-electric cars, but again, the dealers will not want to lose out on the profits to be made from servicing vehicles.



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