* Posts by Dom 3

381 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009


Buyer of $28m Blue Origin space ticket has a scheduling conflict – so this teen will go instead

Dom 3

Re: Time to change the rules

Sorry, I have to disagree. They did the *testing* not the *training*.

Dom 3

Re: Time to change the rules

Like I wrote - "physiological screening".

It was Eisenhower that decreed that the Mercury astronauts should be military test pilots.

These days of course it has been mandated that the next American moon landing will include the first woman on the moon. Why can't she be chosen on merit? Why the tokenism?

FWIW - for a Mars shot I reckon an all-female crew makes a lot of sense. Although that of course will never happen.

Dom 3

Re: Time to change the rules

"As I said, Wally's an astronaut. Did the training" - nope. She "underwent the same physiological screening tests as had the astronauts selected by NASA on April 9, 1959, for Project Mercury". In a completely unofficial and privately funded programme.

Hungover Brits declare full English breakfast the solution to all their ills

Dom 3


As this German wikipedia page points out:


"a traditional part of the hangover breakfast". Preferably the "Zigeunerroller" variety.

Apple announces lossless HD audio at no extra cost, then Amazon Music does too. The ball is now in Spotify's court

Dom 3

Re: Yay!

30 years ago as part of a Mus. Tech course I had to produce a 1/4 inch 15 ips stereo master using Dolby A. As the content of the tape was irrelevant, we were told it was okay to record on to DAT and then transfer it. Quite a few of us did. And we all found that the analogue copy *sounded* nicer than the digital original, despite by definition being "degraded".

SpaceX flings another bunch of humans into orbit in reused capsule atop reused booster

Dom 3

Re: Two crews

According to Mary Roach's "Packing for Mars" it's actually the Three Dolphin Club.

Her comment on this is "And so, as hard as it is to imagine that no astronaut has had sex in space, it is equally hard to imagine that they have".

Elon Musk's SpaceX bags $3bn NASA contract to, fingers crossed, land first woman on the Moon

Dom 3

On merit?

If I were the woman chosen to land on the moon I would want to be there because I was the best person for the job, not because of lack of Y chromosome.

Women tend to be lighter, too, and tend to consume less food, so for journeys out of LEO they are arguably far more suitable.

NASA's Mars helicopter spins up its blades ahead of hoped-for 12 April hover

Dom 3

"yes, they need to do a system checkout, but they really need to pull their finger out..." Not like there'd be any pressure from the scientists waiting to get going with the rover, eh?

Beer because the pubs are (semi-)opening that day.

US consumer protection bureau goes after tech support scammers' alleged payments processor

Dom 3

"detect when the user is running anything other than Windows OS" - would *you* bother?

Missing GOV.UK web link potentially cost taxpayers £50m as civil servants are forced to shuffle paper forms

Dom 3

In house or out house?

A few years ago I went to a talk given by a developer at .gov.uk. He explained that they were bringing .gov.uk back in house after years of it being outsourced.

He related a story of one particular web form / whatever which had a section telling people to put their passports in the post. This was no longer a requirement, but to get the page changed was, due to the contract with the outsourcer, *more* expensive than paying someone to post passports back to people who had sent them in. (And yes, they did their best to tell people to ignore that section before they embarked on the form).

Scotch eggs ascend to the 'substantial meal' pantheon as means to pop to pub for a pint during pernicious pandemic

Dom 3

Oh fercrissakes. If "they" try to spell out precisely what is and is not a substantial meal, there will inevitably be edge cases and some smart-arse who thinks they've found a loophole which they can exploit. Much better to leave it as is:

1. Customer must order a substantial meal

2. Don't take the piss.

Dunno what this means: `This is how it "worked" before the second lockdown`. It was quite different a couple of months ago.

Boeing 737 Max will return to flight after software updates, says EU's aviation regulator

Dom 3

I'm still not buying it. You can board a 707 from airport steps - I have done it myself. Nor do you need to be that close to the ground to have airstairs - the A320 series can have them (see vids on youtube of A319 deploying them). But a really really good reason to have short landing gear is to save weight.

Dom 3

Why do I keep seeing this - "The reason for 737 lowered stance was to make it practical at more airports that were less well equipped"?

Fact is, the 737 was plenty high enough for skinny 1960s engines and there was no good reason to make it any higher than needed. Landing gear is *heavy*.

And although some very far-sighted engineers back then *might* have predicted big fat ultra high bypass engines, nobody would have thought that fifty years later they'd be sticking them on the same airframe.

EU says Boeing 737 Max won't fly over the Continent just yet: The US can make its own choices over pilot training

Dom 3

"Which was itself a kludge to get it low enough to the ground to allow it to carry its own airstairs " - here's a video of the airstairs on an A319.

The 737 is that height because that was perfectly sufficient in the 1960s.

Soyuz later! SpaceX gets NASA green light to lob astronauts to the International Space Station full time

Dom 3

Re: Hyperbole

So - back to flogging the third seat to billionaires.

Now-patched Ubuntu desktop vulnerability allows privilege escalation

Dom 3

Re: GUI on a server?


Corsair's K70 MK.2 does nothing a cheaper keyboard can't, but the steep price gets you top-notch components

Dom 3

Re: I Remember, and Love, the Old IBM Clickty Clack Keyboards

Yebbut being able to tell the scammer that there is no key next to the Ctrl key would make it all worth it.

Proposed US fix for Boeing 737 Max software woes does not address Ethiopian crash scenario, UK pilot union warns

Dom 3

Longer landing gear

They already *have* the longer landing gear:


So simply put max-10 gear on the shorter variants, and put the engines back where they ought to be.

Safety driver at the wheel of self-driving Uber car that killed a pedestrian is charged with negligent homicide

Dom 3

Re: However

I wonder how driving instructors do it?

DPL: Debian project has plenty of money but not enough developers

Dom 3

So they've got money and need developers.

Yup, that's a hellishly difficult thing to resolve.

Amiga Fast File System makes minor comeback in new Linux kernel

Dom 3

Re: My life is now complete...

It certainly was the Atari ST that had built-in MIDI and dominated the music industry (at least in Europe).

Southern Water customers could view others' personal data by tweaking URL parameters

Dom 3


''While the word "forgery" makes requesting a resource hosted on a public server sound like breaking into Fort Knox, doing so is not illegal in the UK or most other Western democracies.''

I thought that the Cuthbert case:


had shown that manipulating URLs *can* constitute unauthorised access and therefore *is* illegal despite the best of intentions.

Or has the Act been updated to better reflect reality?

Space station update: Mystery tiny but growing air leak sparks search for hole

Dom 3

Forced airflow

As explained here:


Norfolk's second-greatest cultural export set for return with 3-metre monument in honour of the Turkey Twizzler

Dom 3

"thought he had the right to tell people, many of whom didnt have a great deal of money how to feed their kids." ICBVW but as I remember it, it was the schools not the parents he was aiming at.

And it's off! NASA launches nuke-powered, laser-shooting, tank Perseverance to Mars to search for signs of life

Dom 3


A very hand-wavey argument:

If you want to be 95% sure that all of your rover's modules are still working after 90 days, you need to ensure that each one has a 99% chance of still working after 90 days. And if that's the case then there's a 66% chance that a component will be working after ten years.

Which is more or less what we saw - some bits stopped working.

Apple was the only Fortune 50 company to foresee COVID-19 pandemic risk and properly insure against it – Forrester

Dom 3

Re: Things we can prevent and things we can't

Megatsunami debunked here:


An article here explaining that the lack of recent pandemics does *not* increase the likelihood of a new one:


Yes, governments and large employers should have (had) contingency plans in place.

When Apollo met Soyuz: 45 years ago, Americans and Russians played together nicely... IN SPAAAAACE

Dom 3

Re: LOL, and what if it's all a hoax?

"The shot of Aldrin exiting the hatch to join Armstrong" - which one? They are all here:


CEO of motherboard maker MSI dies after plunging from headquarters' seventh-floor

Dom 3

Re: :-(

"agencies are just automatically assigning deaths with unreported causes as Covid-19" - which? where? evidence? Here's the current guidelines for England and Wales:



"doctors are expected to state the cause of death to the best of their knowledge and belief"

Splunk to junk masters and slaves once a committee figures out replacements

Dom 3

Re: Where will this end....

Never noticed a street missing a number 13. OTOH never seen a row 13 on an aeroplane.

Couple wrongly arrested over Gatwick Airport drone debacle score £200k payout from cops

Dom 3

Re: Pictures or it didn't happen


Boeing brings back the 737 Max but also lays off thousands

Dom 3

Re: Third world airlines like Ryanair

"risk of dying"??? Ryanair has an excellent safety record.

Anyway - Ryanair has changed. I think Mr O'Leary realised that some of his policies were so extreme as to alienate passengers to the point that they would refuse to fly on his planes. And I still meet^W used to meet people who hold this position. I fly with them four to eight times a year, because they are the only option using my nearest airport and going where the rellies are. I've had reason to phone them a couple of times to get a name changed (cos I didn't make the booking) to match the passport - done without quibble and without charge, despite their Ts & Cs. And they no longer really enforce the cabin bag size rules. I have yet to see someone get pulled over, even when their backpack is clearly *way* outside the 55x40x20 limit. As long as it is "cabin-size", it's fine.

Crooks set up stall on UK govt's IT marketplace to peddle email fraud services targeting 'gullible' punters

Dom 3

"scammers and/or jokers"?

Oh come on. It's clearly someone 'avin a larf.

Watch now the three UFO videos uncovered by Blink-182 star – and today officially released by the Pentagon

Dom 3

It doesn't disprove the existence of Aurora. But it *does* mean that weird contrails cannot be used as evidence of its existence.

Dom 3

Re: Cautiously raises hand...

"seeing strange things while flying may be a pretty common occurrence."

Yup. Illusions are all around. We have not evolved in the air but on the ground.

Your perceptions are but a construct.

Dom 3

Thanks for the links. Shame that Nick Cook raises the "doughnuts on a rope" contrail. I've got my *own* photos of one of those. After taking the photos I checked on flightradar24 and found that the contrail corresponded *precisely* with the flightpath of a 747 that had just gone over. Another couple of minutes prodding the web produced this:


At which point I was done with *that*.

Regarding the weather satellite photo (which doesn't actually explain how they calculated the speed) an aircraft travelling at those speeds would also have to be up at about 200,000 feet or something, unless built of unobtainium. But contrails form between 25K and 40K (source: Wikipedia). Seems unlikely (but not impossible) that they would form at 200K.

The thing that really stands out about that "contrail" is that it is absolutely straight (bearing in mind curvature of earth - but it mirrors the state boundaries that are based on latitudes). In other words, a ballistic trajectory. So a meteor would seem a more plausible explanation. Would an aircraft - even unmanned - travel for *thousands* of miles without a course correction?

The other stuff is essentially speculative. It would be extraordinary for this aircraft to be in operation for three *decades* without any concrete evidence coming to light. It would take hundreds, nay thousands of personnel to build and operate it. Yet nobody credible has come forward.

Having said that, I had an airline pilot describe seeing a weird triangular aircraft to me. As he said, he was used to looking up at aircraft and identifying them. I can't ask him about it any more as he "shuffled off" about five years ago.

And then there's the compelling argument that the US military wouldn't have given up the SR-71 unless they had a replacement.

Dom 3

"Aurora certainly exists because it was inadvertently outed by a weather satellite" - link?

You can get a mechanical keyboard for £45. But should you? We pulled an Aukey KM-G6 out of the bargain bin

Dom 3

What are the chances? Just as I start my reply to say that this Model M is from *May* 1989 - it crashes.

Anyway, as I often point out: a professional builder doesn't use a five quid hammer from B&Q.

Vodafone chief speaks out after 5G conspiracy nuts torch phone mast serving Nightingale Hospital in Brum

Dom 3

The anti-vaxxers are taking advantage of CV19 to further their agenda (WTF *that* is I am not really sure; I can only assume that *somebody* is making good money out of it). Bill Gates is a vocal proponent of vaccination in third world countries. His logic is simple; if parents know that their children will live to adulthood, they'll have two instead of eight, and those kids will be healthier and better educated, and poverty will be reduced.

Dom 3

Nope, not yet seen a CT that conflates flat-earth-ism or creationism with coronavirus. But everything else, from 5G via Bill Gates to vaccination and veganism, yup.

Dom 3

They left out the anti-vaxxers bit.

And the meat-eating bit.

And the alkaline diet bit.

Watch out, everyone, here come the Coronavirus Cops, enjoying their little slice of power way too much

Dom 3


Does the difference really need spelling out? The father and son are already exposed to each 24/7. The two lads could lead the infection to spread from one family to another.

Meanwhile I want to know why people think it's okay to go shopping in pairs. It means I have to queue for longer and it makes it more difficult to observe the distancing once inside.

Do you want to be an astronaut when you grow up? Yeah, you and 12,000 others: NASA flooded with folks hoping to visit Moon, Mars

Dom 3

Re: Road trip for two to the moon...

I read "Packing for Mars: The Curious Science Of Life In Space". IIRC the author concluded that it's very unlikely that sex in space has ever taken place. And also that it's very unlikely that sex in space has /never/ taken place.

Dom 3

Re: Merit?

I hate prejudice and discrimination. Saying that the next crew to go to the Moon *will* include a woman is prejudice.

The next phase of Moon exploration will not require the test pilot skills of the 60s.

"Anyone who completes the training program" - really? At that level there is still competence vs. incompetence. I cringed when Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper dropped her toolbag, particularly *because* it would fuel sexism.

It depends what you're doing - read Chris Hadfield or Tim Peak or "Riding Rockets".

If you're looking at Mars, small women make sense - they need much less food.

Dom 3

Surely the first woman on the moon should be there on merit, not because it has been decreed in advance?

Xilinx's high-end Versal FPGA is like a designer handbag. If you need to ask the price, you probably can't afford it

Dom 3

Would they sell one to Oprah?

Five new players – including Blue Origin and SpaceX – are now in NASA's race to send landers to the Moon

Dom 3

So they've already decided that the next landing will have a woman on board? Isn't that a bit sexist? From what I've read about NASA's female 'nauts, they want to be there on merit.

Of course doing the *logical* thing - factoring in body mass, food consumption etc - would most likely lead to an all-female crew, but that ain't happening either.

'We go back to the Moon to stay': Apollo vets not too chuffed with NASA's new rush to the regolith

Dom 3

Sheesh. The footprints were put there by the *Russians*. /Everybody/ knows *that*.

Apollo 11 @ 50: The long shadow of the flag

Dom 3

Re: 25 seconds of fuel

The ALSJ has:

102:45:31 Duke: 30 seconds (until the 'Bingo' call).

102:45:40 Aldrin: Contact Light.

The "Bingo" moment was the last possible moment for an abort. An abort required five seconds of full thrust from the descent module before it could jettisoned and the ascent module take over. At hover thrust those five seconds would be an additional twenty seconds. So the Commander *could* have decided to carry on past the bingo point if he was within seconds of touch down.

You're not Boeing to believe this, but... Another deadly 737 Max control bug found

Dom 3

Re: The REAL problem

+1. The wordpress of the aviation world.

Wine? No, posh noshery in high spirits despite giving away £4,500 bottle of Bordeaux

Dom 3

Re: Wine is wine

"the markup will have been extraordinary" - actually, only about 50%:




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