* Posts by Annihilator

3409 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Apple said to be removing charger, headphones from upcoming iPhone 12 series

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Re: Gets my vote...

I remember the ballache when Nokia switched from their 3.5mm pin charger to 2mm. For the under 30s reading, *everyone* had a Nokia charger back in the late 90s/early 00s, so you never needed to carry one anywhere. Then they changed it so your new phone lost access to the ubiquitous charging network you once had. Bad times.

Grav wave boffins are unsure if they just spotted the smallest black hole or the biggest neutron star seen yet

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Re: So too small for a black hole and too big for a neutron star

"Black Stars, much cooler sounding"

David Bowie - always ahead of the game even in death.

Moore's Law is deader than corduroy bell bottoms. But with a bit of smart coding it's not the end of the road

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Re: Quantum

In one of the universes, it's already here.

You E-diot! Formula E driver booted off Audi team after getting video game ace to take his place in online race

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Re: Asking for a friend...

Only if you load the Barnard Castle scenery packs.

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"The online Formula E race is based on rFactor 2, which is a game. It's a simulation which does not have anything in common with real racing"

Does not have anything in common. Huh...

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Re: Seems like an Abt punishment

I'm not into esports at all, but I did catch one of the F1 stand-in races and I have to admit I was kind of impressed. Probably more to do with the graphics I suspect, but I would hand on heart say I would struggle to tell the difference between real footage and game footage these days.

'I wrote Task Manager': Ex-Microsoft programmer Dave Plummer spills the beans

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To be honest I'd forgotten about it too until reading the article, but I recall now that it was quite a regular occurrence. Things like a damaged CD in a drive becoming stuck/unresponsive was enough to kill the explorer window and take the whole she-bang with it.

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“ According to Plummer, many users do not appreciate the full capabilities of his utility, which can be used to launch applications without using the Shell (a life-saver in some circumstances). File - Run new task is the option for this.“

Definitely used this under Win9x. Explorer windows had a habit of crashing and taking the whole desktop/explorer environment with it. Getting Task Manager open and running a new task of explorer.exe was an absolute lifesaver.

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Re: Space Cadet pinball

Yep, was part of the Microsoft Plus! (their exclamation mark - not mine) pack from memory that was often bolted on to the side of Win95.

SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon cleared to hoist real live American astronauts into space

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Re: Space Taxis

"Of course, the shuttle flights had flight crew that returned with the craft after a week or so, so shuttle manifests with 7 or so people weren't uncommon"

Also people could live on the Shuttle - was very much like having a caravan parked at the side of your house. Not sure the Dragon has as much capacity.

Railway cables overpowered errant drone's compass and flung it back to terra firma

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Re: Ilegal ?

That's true - and weirdly something that's not even mentioned in the Drone Code.


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Re: "over localised regions of the bridge below"

You have to rotate it several times through first the z then x axis before it completes calibration. Check this guy out - put your phone down away from the drone, take your watch off etc. It's unbelievably sensitive.


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Re: Relocating office...

I'm amazed you weren't just told to deal with it. That's the usual Manglement way.

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Re: "over localised regions of the bridge below"

Presumably not any DJI type drone anyway - mine bitches about an unknown magnetic field if I've got so much as a keyring in my pocket when doing the initial calibration.

Driveway karaoke singer who wanted to lift lockdown spirits cops council noise complaint

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Re: Why on Earth ...

You read the part about the bonfires, right?... Also I suspect if some prick was singing I'd also have them shut.

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Bloody right.

"I don't want to just sit here all day looking at the same four walls."

Well most of us have to now, and we'd rather not listen to the muffled sounds of someone caterwauling. Similarly, the number of weapons who think that now is the time to have bonfire after bonfire. It's been 20+ degrees the last few weeks, and I'm sitting sweltering in the house of an eve with the windows bolted shut.

In colossal surprise, Intel says new vPro processors are quite a bit better than the old ones

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How much?

"Among the numbers we were offered is a 44 per cent boost to data analysis and visualisation compared to Intel processors found in a five-year-old PC"

Well that's Moore's law fcked then.

Ignoring that (deliberately over-simplified) statement for a minute though, I'd be a bit disappointed to see *only* 44% increase against a 5 year old model.

ATLAS flubbed: Comet heading our way takes one look at Earth, self-destructs into house-sized chunks

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More chunks, but spread over a wider area, so it's "bigger" and therefore spread out over a wider area.

Also, a lot of the gas that formed the outgassing was probably lost in the break-up (and caused it).

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I trust you saw the hilarious Twitter reaction when some knuckle-dragger discovered that tea wasn't grown in Yorkshire?..


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Re: That's not a comet...

Yep, pretty sure this is the mechanism used in Independence Day.

"What the hell is it, a meteor?"

"No sir, no definitely not"

"How do you know?"

"Well sir, it's uh, slowing down"

Florida man might just stick it to HP for injecting sneaky DRM update into his printers that rejected non-HP ink

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Re: Even HP Cartridges don't work in HP printers

I suspect that some older HP cartridges wouldn't have worked either if they've update the communications protocol as the article states. Even if they updated the cartridge tech a few years ago, there will still be some floating out there.

Android 11 Developer Preview 3 allows your mobe to become a router via USB Ethernet – if you can get a decent signal

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Re: Eh?

Don't know what to tell you:


"To be clear, Android devices have supported connecting to wired networks over Ethernet for years, but now an Android device can serve as the host network as well. The option is greyed out until you plug in a USB Ethernet adapter."

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Re: Eh?

It's that. An old TV with only ethernet connectivity wouldn't work with a tethered phone over USB (if it even had one previously), whereas now you can plug in a USB-C dock (that often has an ethernet port on it) and wire that to the old TV's ethernet port. That part wasn't possible before.

Kerching! Intel PC chip shortage over just in time for everyone to buy computers for pandemic home working

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Blimey - people are still buying Intel kit?

Realme's X50m is a decently specced 5G phone – for the price of a 1995 Nissan Micra

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Re: The thing about a 1995 Nissan Micra is...

and surprisingly more expensive than you might think...


How's your night sky looking? The Reg chats to astroboffin Mark McCaughrean about Starlink and leaving a mark

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Re: winking dots

I was just going to say the same. Non-astronomers and astronomers alike enjoy the sight of the ISS going overhead - even capturing pictures of its transit across the sun/moon etc. Iridium flares are cool to observe as well.

But would it be as exciting and fun if that was all we could see, filling the sky? Again - a middle ground required. I'm sure the early days of aviation it was a thrill to see an aeroplane overhead - today living near Heathrow or similar can't be much fun.

Hana-hana-hana: No it's not your dad trying to start a motorboat... It's Northern Gas, renewing its SAP software

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Re: payroll has reduced from six hours to five minutes - really?

"It is easy to see why SAP consultants are amongst the highest paid; it's a job for life!"

I believe that SAP consultants set their day rate to be the same as their mobile number, just for convenience sake.

Intelsat orbital comms satellite is back online after first robo-recovery mounting and tug job gets it back into position

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Re: Makes me wonder...

Balls, yes, quite right, I had images of it being an ion thruster, completely forgetting it had to ionise something..

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Re: Makes me wonder...


has much more details. It has a CGI video demonstrating the approach and capture. Even has images of the actual capture beamed back from MEV-1. But yeah, the engine bell.

Impressively, the 5 year thing is just a contract agreement. At the end of the 5 years, MEV-1 can go and capture another dud satellite and keep that one going instead (it's engines are electronic and powered by solar panels potentially indefinitely)

NASA dons red and blue cardboard 3D glasses to drive Curiosity rover because its GPUs are stuck in the office

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"they are instead using simple red-blue 3D glasses, similar to those offered for free at cinemas"... in 1965...

Apollo 13 set off into space 50 years ago today. An ignored change order ensured it did not make it to the Moon...

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After the fact

What blows me away is the ability to deduct what happened after the fact, when all the physical evidence was inaccessible - the problems were all in the service module, which gets ditched as soon as they're back in earth's orbit and subsequently burns up in the atmosphere.

Incredible science just to figure all that out.

Microsoft attempts to up its Teams game with new features while locked-down folk flock to rival Zoom... warts and all

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“ here is no reference in the announcement to using your own background images though one user reckons they have worked it out by putting a custom image in a special uploads folder hidden in AppData.”

Bless. Takes me back to the days of playing with logo.sys

Bose shouts down claims that it borked noise cancellation firmware to sell more headphones

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Re: Er ...

Also indicates - "we haven't tested the rollback feature as much as we'd like to"

Australian state will install home surveillance hardware to make sure if you're in virus isolation, you stay there

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"Strange world: Arresting and possibly jailing people for not locking themselves away... Given that police are ones at high-risk of being infected, and that jails are highly likely to be large establishments filled with infected and sick people very soon...."

Another way to think of it.

Strange world. People would rather run the risk of being arrested and jailed into a high risk environment, than staying safe at home.

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Black Helicopters


Having seen some facebook posts of some Hong Kong based colleagues, they're currently sporting some jumbo sized wrist tags at the moment.

Delivery drones: Where are they when we really need them?

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Re: "There are also trends towards reduction of poles"

I had heard recently that BT aren't going to make telegraph poles any longer.

Apparently they're long enough already.

Announcing the official Reg-approved measure of social distancing: The Osman

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Osman himself already tweeted before Dan Walker got involved:

@richardosman "I measure two metres if anyone wants to use me? #KeepYourDistance" 19:48 - 22/03/2020

BEHOLD! Japan's Hayabusa2 probe left human imprints on ASTEROID SAND

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Nothing that a healthy supply of bog rolls won't solve.

Thought you'd go online to buy better laptop for home working? Too bad, UK. So did everyone. Laptops, monitors and WLANs fly off shelves

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Re: 'customers will stop buying and start preserving capital'

"Even if you don't know how long this shitstorm is going to last, you will preserve, if not positively hoard capital."

Potentially - but right now the base rate has practically made money free.

Oh-so-generous ransomware crooks vow to hold back from health organisations during COVID-19 crisis

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Re: Look at the super markets.

Good for you. (I feel I have to emphasise, no sarcasm here)

That's a really good point, and goes some way to emphasising mine - there aren't any overall shortages, the supply distribution is just in the wrong place and will take some time to rebalance.

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Re: Look at the super markets.

"One can't be too surprised that most of the population are busily trying to lay in 2 weeks worth of food at home; they've been told to do it!"

It's worse than that. The extra week's worth of supplies represents a double of demand on the supermarkets on paper - their supply chains just aren't geared up for that, hence the shelves being empty. My favourite comments have been along the lines of "bl00dy panic buyers! I'm just buying an extra packet of pasta and paracetamol" - well quite, and if everyone is doing that, shelves will be empty in no time.

On top of this, it's estimated 1/3 of the UK consumption of meals come from restaurants, cafes, takeaways, pubs etc. We've been recommended to avoid this. So that's a 50% increase in home food supplies that come from.. the supermarkets.

Then we add in all the people working from home and now the schools closing. That increases the levels of food and sundries required in the household. It's probably fair to say that around 30% of (say) bog roll usage occurs at work or school - so that's another 50% increase of required in the house.

And that's without the people who are gearing up to self-isolate for 12 weeks and don't necessarily have the support network in place to have people do shopping for them.

The measures in place have, at best guess, led to a tripling of shopping demands by consumers.

Firefox to burn FTP out of its browser, starting slowly in version 77 due in April

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Re: "FTP is an insecure protocol and there are no reasons to prefer it over HTTPS"

"Sure, FTP is as much insecure as HTTP. So add an S to it to just you did to HTTP and it becomes as secure as well."

You say that - but do you mean SFTP or FTPS? Two very different things.

Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, surely has no frozen water, right? Guess again: Solar winds form ice

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"Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun"

Mercury is also, currently, the closest planet to Earth. Strangely, on average it's the closest planet to Earth (about 45% of the time) with the rest of the time split between Mars and Venus.

It's also (on average again), the closest planet to all other planets in the solar system, which still blows my mind.

Not exactly the kind of housekeeping you want when it means the hotel's server uptime is scrubbed clean

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To be fair, this assumes that everyone can read English. That’s not always the case.

BT CEO tests positive for coronavirus, goes into self-isolation after meeting fellow bosses from Vodafone UK, Three, O2 plus govt officials

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Re: Why didn't he folow advice?

"I thought the advice was to self-isolate when you got the symptoms"

As of Thursday that's the updated advice. Prior to that (when this guy felt unwell) it was only if you'd come into contact with a confirmed case. From what I can tell, he did more than government advice by virtue of being rich and getting access to a private test.

Good luck pitching a tent on exoplanet WASP-76b, the bloody raindrops here are made out of molten iron

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On the plus side, rain has the benefit of deterring the midges. I can only imagine what molten iron rain would do to them.

Australia down for scheduled maintenance: No talking to Voyager 2 for 11 months

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Re: Down Under?

According to some flat earthers, Australia doesn't exist and that everyone from Australia is an actor. Anyone visiting there is living in some sort of Truman Show style setup.

Fancy that: Hacking airliner systems doesn't make them magically fall out of the sky

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Re: Wait, you're telling me that the scenario in Die Hard 2 wouldn't work?

That concludes our object lesson for this evening.

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Re: Fees and charges

"You know, I've personally flown over 194 missions and I was shot down in every one. Come to think of it, I've never landed a plane in my life."

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"Apparently Elon Musk has one under development. The software is to be branded Autopilot."

Indeed, but don't be confused into thinking that the autopilot is actually flying the plane... That would be silly...


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