* Posts by AndrewG

108 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Mar 2009


Elon Musk: Just watch me – I'll put HUMAN BOOTS on Mars by 2026


That about wraps it up for SpaceX

The thing that everybody needs and SpaceX was doing nicely was drving down cost-to-orbit.

As Clarke always used to say, if you can get to orbit your half-way to anywhere becasue the delta-V profile is so different.

However letting SpaceX get sidetracked from doing the useful (and profitable) work is just going to sink the compmany with the same old "we go to mars becasue it'll sound good" rubbish that NASA's infected with (at least NASA has the excuse of trying to get congress interested).

All we ever seem to see from Musk is marketing hype that sounds good, SpaceX lucked out, mainly becase if Launch Alliance/NASA incestuous relationship was so toxic.

Car titans WON'T STEAL our tech, says Musk: DAMNIT, I'll GIVE IT to 'em


Publicity Stunt

So after proving hes running a company thats an answer to a question that no-ones asking, he's happy to allow other non-competitors to use the patients for a market they aren't interested in.

Tesla and Hyperloop are just a waste of time, SpaceX shows promise, but only becasue hes competing in an industry that needs a serious antimonopoly shake up.

Another climate change myth debunked by proper climate scientists


Re: Consensus


Is a word that means nothing in the world of "real" science

In 1938 as part of a propaganda piece, 100 german physicists were induced to add their name to a report explaining how Einstein theories was totally wrong.

Einsteins response: "If they could prove me wrong it would only take one of them"

verifiable, repeatable experiments that can not be disproven are the difference between science and social studies, its a pity that too many people don't seem to know that any more.

Turnbull floats e-vote, compulsory ID


I voted informally (and I don't mean I forgot to wear shoes)

Personally I was so blown away by Abbott and Costel...er Rudd that I had no intention of voting for either party and felt more than a little depressed that any vote I cast would eventually be preferenced over to one of those losers.

So I intentionally cast an informal ballot so the AEC and by extension our political parties understand that I voted a big FU to both parties at this time.

Naturally the likes of Turnball would see this as a "mistake" I just can't believe they are talking about voting machines after thier long and spotty history - one of the best tings about Australian democracy was the paper ballots.

House bill: 'Hey NASA, that asteroid retrieval plan? Fuggedaboutit'


Re: Stasis guaranteed

The next man on the Moon will be Chinese

NASA's current space capability is roughly where it was in 1962 in real terms

They threw out all the technical schematics of the Saturn V etc - so they are starting from scratch and they'll never get the wherewithal to overtake China

Never-mind that the asteroid mission would give NASA valuable experience in long distance teleoperation, conditions outside Earths Magnetosphere and care and feeding of high isp drives - Congress decided its a detour so away it goes, and now were back to fiddling around on the moon (which pretty much has no point unless your planning a permanent settlement) which will provide sod-all experience at getting to Mars (they only thing they really have in common is they aren't on Earth)

Thats also 8 astronauts that are essentially out of a job on their second day of work - I wonder if they can lodge a hostile workplace grievance?

MPs demand UK rates revamp after Google's 'extraordinary tax mismatch'


So whos going to do business in England?

1. Be an international corporation and have a tentacle in Britain

2. Pay your taxes according to the law

3. Get told thats not good enough, suffer reputational loss, bad press, etc.

4. Close up shop, and move all the jobs to somewhere where your not a punching bag for thieving politicians and their over-endowed sense of entitlements

With crap like the politicians are spewing, why in God's name would anyone bother when they can just plant themselves in business friendly Luxembourg or somewhere?

Apple seeks techies, designers to revive iWork office suite


Few Major Changes

I should have thought that was a selling point, no new ribbons, no addition of fringe rubbish just because the company wants to sell a new version every year,

The truth on the Navy carrier debacle? Industry got away with murder

Black Helicopters

I didn't realise there was a difference

Affter years of watching British defence procurement and how defense budget cuts were apportioned between MOD and the actual services, I just assumed that the MOD was BAE's marketing department

Report blasts NASA for 'lack of consensus' on goals, plans


What US Space Program?

After 40 years of push offs and political grandstanding is it any wonder.

And the report is basically more of the same

What they need is a clear goal that needs to be accomplished within the existing presidential term so you can't have successive presidents pushing grandiose rhetoric, content in the knowledge that they won't have to find money for it in their budget.

Also NASA needs to stop being a feeding trough for the Aerospace industry and actually require functional hardware or improvements instead of launching million dollar studies into dubious concepts.

For longer term, they should be defining the steps needed to develop a working space infrastructure (like how do you feed someone for 5 years, better interplanetary engines, pressure suit development because the ISS era ones barely capable) and make attaining one of those the 4 year goal

NASA shouldn't be working on orbital launchers unless its to fund development of something in the heavy lift range because private enterprise seems to be growing into that field

Mars Research is OK, but it should be looking at improvements to automation and development of better experiments (which can also be done on the moon)

Asteroid miners hunt for platinum, leave all common sense in glovebox


The moneys probably in the markets that don't exist yet.

I tend to agree that the numbers don't add up the way Planetary Resources would like

Where I think the money is, is having all those shiny resources at the top of the gravity well, particularly volatiles like Hydrogen or water-ice. No-one in their right mind wants to spend US$2000 per pound hauling fuel up to Low Earth Orbit and Planetary could probably deliver it for a tenth of that just based on Delta-V costs. Likewise mineral resources already in orbit could be delivered far cheaper than boosting them up into Orbit on top of an Ariadne or Dragon.

Given current circumstances what is probably going to happen is they will potentially use any volatiles to defray costs of later missions and de-orbit the minerals (and I'm going to love to see the greenpeace protest over that one) and try to sell them for funding. Probably not a sustainable model

What should be happening is development of an orbital infrastructure to use those resources either by other private operators or governments to make a big step towards self sufficiency. Bad news is something like Planetary should by rights come along after theres some infrastructure there, which would require a larger space commitment or usage like moonbases, orbital hotels and refueling stations etc.

Instead we've got government funded organisations (NASA) d**king around with unworkable pork for the aerospace industry and occasionally tossing a probe out somewhere interesting for scientific information.

Obama win may mean NASA 'nauts to Deep Space as soon as 2021


Re: Nice thought but unlikely

Politics has already gotten in the way.

The original concept for L2 was an unmanned fuel dump which could have resources gently boosted out to it and used for all sorts of things (deep space probes & serious lunar work mostly).

But lo and behold...all of a sudden its a manned base so we've suddenly got a reason to throw a few more billion towards the unworkable SLS and capsule system that will make big aerospace happy.

I would have preferred the fuel dup and more Earth Orbit development, particularly though private industry, but NASA has got to have a reason to exist and a way to feed pork to the Space Consortium companies

NetApp offers middleweight refreshments


getting more ready for cluster mode

Back when the 3270's came out cluster mode was for NFS bulk storage

Now with Ontap 8.1 cluster modes becoming their main development platform so large storage arrays aren't so important because thier preferred setup lets you can now split a volume over several nodes.

I wouldn't be surprised if all these new versions had 10GigE interfaces on the chassis - that'd prove these puppies were designed to run in cluster mode.

Anonymous declares war after French firm trademarks its logo


Re: Errrrr....

Actually I think WB owns the trademark for the mask and anyone buying one pays them a royalty

Global chocolate crisis looms

Thumb Up

2 birds one stone

First we tell all those climate change botherers to push off because we've got a more important crisis to solve

Then we use the money being sunk onto pointless carbon reduction schemes (I'm looking at you windmills and electric cars) and put it towards cocoa irrigation and improvement.

Surely we can use some of that space they cleared for biofuels?

In any case...tell the WWF and Greenpeace that this is our cause!

ONTAP 8.1 delayed a month


Haven't seen a date for 8.1 because I'm really not interested until it gets to 8.1.2 (I've been burned before) - which of course means no 2240's for me :(

What I'd really like is to see 8.0.3 because I'm getting jacked off having to use 8.0.2P6 and explain to my management why I'm using a P release in prime time (and reading the bug fix list between that and vanilla 8.0.2)

I do notice that NetApps seems to be pushing 8.1 pretty hard.

RIM should focus on BBM, find a human CEO


Re: Sort yourselves out

Yeah, and that goes back to where RIM actually has both an opportunity and a risk.

They can just about create a category between feature phones and smartphones, sucking some of the smartphones growth market with themselves as the only mature player. They've missed the boat for full smartphones but if they can provide 75% of the functionality plus their own advantages it would be interesting to see how big a dent they could make.

Football rules punt Oz IPTV into touch



Conroy is to IT as an ocean is to a sack of kittens

So naturally the idiots made him minister for broadband & digital economy.

Hopefully this will go as well as his last brainwave..the great aussie firewall, or at least the other side will find someone to lead the party who isn't obviously overcompensating.

Climate models need revising: Droughts, heat waves not such a big deal


Re: Would be nice...

The most likely thing to put a major dent in our food production at the moment has already started happening. Farmers are finding that they get more money growing seed for biofuels then they ever did growing food for humans.

Dwarf galaxy yields up middle-sized black hole


Re: 290 Light Years Distant?

290 MILLION Light years would be more like it


290 Light Years Distant?

I don't think so

NASA plans manned Deep Space Moon outpost


more pork for Aerospace

Possibly one of the stupidest ideas NASA's ever floated, except of course that lets them sling another few million at the United Launch Alliance for a feasibility study rather than give it to private industry to actually develop technology.

High enough to need deep space level radiation shielding.

In a circular orbit so the Delta V requirement to actually get to it immense

In the unstable L-2 location so it's going to need lots of fuel runs

I'll bet you at some point they say its going to be manned so they can justify another expensive boondoggle like the Space shuttle.

US killer spy drone controls switch to Linux


I'm just trying...

To imagine the Tux logo for this one

Star Wars: The Old Republic


What about Australia?

No official release date yet, website won't even take our money despite the fact that everyone in OZ is used to playing MMO's with crappy ping times from US or EU servers.

Thank God for the grey market!

Asian canaries revive 'one year, two iPads' launch rumour


What does integrated applications actually mean?

I thought the beauty of the iPad was it is what you make of it. This sounds like a rumour started by a windows integrator who installs gig after gig of crapware on new PC's.

The next Steve Jobs is: Kanye West


When did Apple start making things people wanted?

Apples business plan has always been to design something cool, TELL people they wanted it, and then try to stuff all the money people gave them into their pockets.

If these guys are talking about doing product the customers ask for..they aren't Apple, they may be Dell or HP, or if they then go and see what Apples got thats selling and try to do a better version they might be Samsung.

Doctor Who girl Amy Pond axed in 'heartbreaking' exit


Oh Well...

In one way she never lived up to the promise of the police uniform in her first episode...

I thought there'd be that girl from the forest that was in the half season finale that would be a contender for upgrade.

Or maybe River Song?

Or maybe Moffats just giving us something to cry about because this christmas special is even more crappy than the last one (Hint, when they include a flying shark, thats a very good clue that they are about to jump the shark)

Fanbois locked out of iTunes store, iCloud in Apple outage


Already fixed

Noticed it about 4 hours ago in Australia when iTunes decided I didn't exist.

Noticed it was fixed 2 hours ago...so not a huge outage time wise, but the problem with a single appleID for iTunes, App Store, Support and iCloud pretty much hosed everything apple in the big wide world.

Meh, at least I could check that it was a server issue and see if it was fixed by failing to log on to the apple support communities, would have been nice to see a message somewhere saying there was a general problem.

Apple stores getting close to overload


I walked into one this morning

it had about 30 staff and 100 customers, and the staff were attentive and helpful. Definitely going back after Christmas for a longer look when there aren't so many crowds.

New account of Flight 447 disaster published


"I don't know, but I suspect that 4 jet turbofans at full throttle probably produces so much thrust that the benefit of going nose down is marginal"

Errr you'd be wrong in your suspicion I'm afraid. The biggest problems with any jet engine is they have to spool up, gravity's instantly responsive. Also the aim of a stall recovery is to get the air flowing over the wings the right way, a stall means your descending so pointing the wings in the direction your travelling makes the recovery one hell of a lot quicker.

And according to the transcript, it looks like the people driving sort of forgot to pump the throttles for a while and then when they did they tried to go for a nose up max climb attitude amore appropriate to sea level.

Theres so many basic mistakes and areas for improvement in that reconstruction its scary. Add that to the later QANTAS A380 engine debacle where the crew had to spend 30 mins clearing alerts to understand what was wrong and you've got to wonder if there are some seriously wrong UI decisions in Airbus

Who said this didn't have an IT angle?

NASA busts booster booster


There are sooo many things to be upset about in this article

First off.... NASA's not wanting booster tech to get out into the world.... NASA doesn't actually build things..Lockheed builds things, NASA's just acting as a government schill for their corporate owners and justifying their continued existence as the primary agency responsible for stopping anyone else from having a space capability and nobbling private companies with withdrawn contracts when they can't stop them legally.

Secondly. 1960's technology, No doubt theres been updates but if a 1960's engine still has secret bits they haven't really been busting a gut trying to improve the things have they? And as has been said, unless someone happens to have 300 cubic feet of liquid oxygen and hydrogen handy, they won't be getting far with launching it.

NASA and big Aerospace just seem more and more like a for-profit conglomerate trying to keep a monopoly by doing as little as they possibly can while going slow on solutions.

What should a sci-fi spaceship REALLY look like?


Form follows function

Who's got time to prettify on that level?

Assuming you don't have some form of reentry force field and your ship needs to re-enter, your stuck with the simple geometrics Disk, Ball, Cylinder, Boomerang, or Dart.

What you use for propulsion also has a big influence, is it a big 1950's antigravity ring? (in which case your using a saucer or a ball) some big rocket nozzles? some sleek reaction less propulsion device (which under current physics you can't have anyway, but thats another story).

How radioactive is it? - does it need to be at the ned of a long spar to keep the crew from spitting out their teeth after a few weeks

Whats the ISP? - An engine that can do a brachistone trajectory is going to look seriously different to something that only fires off once every 6 months

Warships? Using lasers? in which case you want at least two of the dimensions minimised for dodging.

Using Missiles? Then it should be studded with counter missile kinetic weapons

At the end you can't just look at a spaceship and say "this looks real" or "this looks fake", you have to look at the spaceship in the context of the technology that built it. The USS Enterprise exists in a universe of cheap artificial gravity, field drives, energy reinforced structural components - so it makes sense in that context. However if the rest of the universe is babylon 5 (for example), then the USS enterprise is just wrong.

Too rude for the road: DVLA hot list of banned numberplates


My favourite from the Australian list was someone driving around with a plate of 6UL-DV8 although I allways wanted TA12D1S

Harry Potter director takes on Doctor Who movie


Paul McGann

Minus the atrocious wig this time of course. Or failing that..Hugh Laurie because he should all be housed out by that time

The new touchy-feely Doctor Who trend: Worrying


What about last years Christmas Special?

Awfulllest writing for the Doctor ever. Basically it had the premise that if he meets someone he disagrees with, he'll just go back in time and make sure their personalities changed to whatever suits him.

Mars, Moon, solar system could be littered with alien artifacts


How long does a civilisation radiate EM signals

Possibly a long time, but taking the one example we know (us) our omnidirectional EM output is actually dropping overall as we move to cable transmission, fibre optics, podcasts instead of radio and low strength wi-fi.

Don't forget a Star is a pretty big EM emitter naturally and any source has got to be resolvable with that in the background.

Apple expels serial hacker for publishing iPhone exploit


Poor Baby

So he finds a flaw - commendable

Then he puts that flaw into an app and lets it be sold for 2 months.

And then he wonders why Apple, a company not known for taking a joke, canned his developer access?

He either needs to be saying he was trying to expose Apples weak app store application process (if that was the reason) and take the hit or admit that he really messed up.

Alien city lights could be detected across interstellar space


Its not quite that bad

Actually we can't only "see" them when they are between us and the sun. The usual method for detecting exoplanetary systems is Doppler Specroscopy (the minute change in the frequency of the light given off by the sun that we see as the planet orbits it). We can detect a change of about 3 m/s last time I looked which means of course its way easier to find a superjovian than an earth like world. However the limits are currently that we can detect a heavy world as long as its orbital plane is within about 20 degrees of our line of site.

That brings us to problem 1, geometry is not our friends in this case so theres about a 60% chance we will just have the wrong viewing angle to see nightside or even be able to detect an exoplanet.

Problem 2 is as pointed out...the small earth like worlds have to be on a really close orbital plane to viewing angle and that means theres a ruddy sun in the way half the time

Problem 3 is that your detecting exoplanets by essentially looking at how the mass distribution changes over time so you've got no way of working out when the intelligent aliens will be pointing their nightside to us

Problem 4 is I think lighting will be like radio, we'll always have it, but waste light going up not the sky will be a passing fad.

Urban legend nips iiNet 'subliminal' campaign


What kind of dunderhead wouldn't expect to get pinged for this?

Gotta agree with Steven on this one...the fact that they even tried it means their marketeers either don't know the law for advertising standards or just don't care...In either case, the ad should have been pulled.

And if I saw a flicker that made me spend 15 minutes slow scrolling a bunch of ads just to find some swarmy false-freindly piss-in-your-pocket adhype I'd be pretty annoyed.

NetApp's STEALTH launch of ONTAP 8.1


8.0.1 wasn't one of their best

8.0.1 brought in support for a couple of things that were also later added into their 7..3.5 release, 8.0.1 imo wasn't that great for enterprise (mainly because downgrade was awful and it had a bit of a buglist) but originally they had to ship hardware with it pre-installed.

Stay away from 8.1 its still a RC for 7 mode (I'm I'm appalled Netapp are shipping systems with RC level software) even though it looks good. 8.0.2P2 so far has been running sweetly and fixes most of 8.0.1's concerns.

From my perspective 8.0.2 lets me use 64 bit aggregates (finally large volumes!) and 8.1 when we start using it will offer the ability to turn existing 32 bit aggregates to 64.

Hunt for long-lost Apollo 10 moon lander adrift in space


Don't think so

L1,2 and 3 are dynamically unstable (which means stuff doesn't stay there) L4 and L5 are a pretty fair whack from the moon (60 degrees) and aren't that strong gravitationally...I mean you could create a burn to drop you into L4 or L5 with a small enough relative velocity to be captured..but you'd have to be aiming to do it.

Mac Lion blindly accepts any LDAP password


I Feel your pain

Having spent two years watching my companies Executive happily pushing for iPhones connected to the company exchange environment (because apparently Blackberries aren't cool at CEO gabfests) and watching so many reports go up to the board about why exactly its a bad idea, I just feel like I'm on the treadmill to security hell.

LOHAN rival to inflate bulging orbs with hydrogen


Use it or Loose it

Non-renewable helium? You mean the stuff that the US Government no longer offers storage for because they can't afford it? The stuff that now gets thrown away from most natural gas refineries if they can't shift it to balloonists and welders and such? Oh and some estimates of Helium depletion are 2015 - I agree thats a travesty, but not using out for balloons is not going to make it last any longer.

Hydrogen, despite the pundits, wants to kill you, Helium, use it or not..is going to get away and head off into space.

Your mom, girlf, boyf: Spying on your phone and email


All part of growing up

....and getting around that kinda thing is one of the signs that she's wanting to take a little bit more responsibility as long as she knows what she's getting into.

Don't forget...were talking CHILDREN...if they were ready for full responsibility for their actions then they'd be ADULTS, whatever age they are.

I can't see a problem with getting her email cc'd as long as the parents also take the time to educate her on why they are doing it, when she eventually opens her gmail account that'll be her first tenative steps into giving her a chance to make her own mistakes....in some places they call this growing up.

Romanian NASA hacker fights 'inflated' damage assessment


I remember that one

Bell kinda forgot to mention that the stolen document could be purchased legally for $25 from their tech support store.

Doom guy: tablets, phones to be gaming platforms of the future


Still stuck on power and graphics :(

What amazes me is these numbnuts are still stuck on the power and graphics mantra after the way-behind-the-power-curve Wii and the Nintendo DS basically owned the 360 and PS3.

Yeah mobile gaming is probably going to do to consoles what consoles did to the PC game market, but not because mobile platform reaches a console spec, its becasue it finally got up to a minimum spec to be useful and is a damm sight more convienent and the limitations of the platform mean they'll have to focus on a little thing called gameplay rather than how they can overdrive the gpu.

El Reg to unleash rocket-powered spaceplane



Pre Orbital Rocket Test of Manouvered Aerial Navigation

Pull this off and you've got to go for an orbital next :)

Imagine...the only only Web News arm with an orbital capability..never has a vulture flown so high

New plan: Send humans into space, keep the robots on Earth


Humanoid robots confirming to the astronauts movements?

Considering the astronaut is in zero g and the robot isn't....I'd pay to see that on u-tube for about the 5 seconds it lasts.

Investigation of wearbale drone control systems and LEO->Surface comms maybe, Examination of semi-autonomous drones conducting external repairs and operations to save an astronaut suiting up most deinfately.

But managing a humanoid robot from orbit by conformal motion has got to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Google bypasses admin controls with latest Chrome IE


Best Reason ever....

..to ban Google or anything connected with Google from an Enterprise network.

I wonder how their revenue stream will fare while their busy forcing people onto Bing?

As usual, they miss the point..If Enterprises are still using XP/IE8- thats probably becasue they've got so many internal web apps they can't test them all, which is an environment that would make them very leary about a browser functionality install that can bypass policy settings.

E3 2011: the showstoppers


So, nothing much new then

More same-as-before sequels than a hollywood cinema season with everybody in the xbox stream trying to leverage Kinect (no matter if it makes sense or not) while Nintendo goes ahead and rips out whatever made the wii so special.

Oh and Sony is pushing for people to buy HD TV's...never would have guessed.

Ho Hum

About the only thing that actually shows some potential is Star Wars: Old replublic and thats probably only becasue Sony botched it the first time round.

Toyota and Microsoft ink e-car deal in a cloud of telematics


One more step to the car as an applianhce (shudder)

And I thought Pugot was leading the feild in turning cars into tampon shaped handbags!

at this rate its only a matter of time until Steve comes up with the iCar

(available in white or black - orders for black will take an extra 6 months)