* Posts by John Smith 19

15778 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

One does not simply repurpose an entire internet constellation for sat-nav, but UK might have a go anyway

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"why then are we spending/wasting millions/billions on reinventing the satnav wheel?""

Because Dominic Cummins told the Johnson to of course.

Obvious really. *

*I think the British PM deserves the singular pronoun in future. After all he's not just any johnson, he's the johnson.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"Spending single digits billions to mitigate that risk seems well worthwhile, "

What did you think Galileo was for?

Note that the UK will not lose access to the signal.

A properly designed receiver could use, GPS, Galille and the Russian system to ensure continuity of navigation data.

What the UK has lost is the deep access to the security access (which the UK proposed under US prompting to keep the Chinese out).

IOW this system makes no sense. It's just the deeply wounded pride of ministers who've are finally waking up how seriously the UK economy will be f**ked by Brexit. Turns out their actions will have consequences. Who knew?

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"Don't Surrey Satellite have a lot to do with building the Galileo sats?"


They built the initial test models (very cheaply and very quickly) and so BAe did what BAe do and bought them.

SSL built the payloads (inclduing the atomic clocks) and OHB provided the bus, however that work is due to end within the next few years as the last sats are launched.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"What's wrong with a brass sextant and clockwork chronometer? "

The perfect solution for the "Honorable Member for the 18th Century"

John Smith 19 Gold badge

$500m buys you a *stake* in the *existing* satellites

Nowhere near launching the full constellation.

Now those new sats could carry a WAAS package to improve accuracy of GPS, but they won't replace it.

Retarded idea still sound retarded (and a waste of taxpayers money).

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"and have managed to bump off a good number of their voter"

Not even necessary.

According to a Guardian piece by the head of YouGov given UK death rates and the profile of the Leave vote that majority had died off by about Jan 2019.

History will probably record Brexit as a "perfect storm," where a cretinously weak PM, in a desperate attempt to keep his party together and in power (and for no other reason) allowed a gang of delusional Aholes and pocket-lining thieves a chance to use stolen personal data to pitch a total fantasy to a large group of desperate, unhappy and gullible people.

Meanwhile sensible people thought the benefits of membership so self evident (Maybe they remembered what state the UK economy was really in before the UK joined in 1975. Maybe they had the critical thinking skills to spot the insane bu***hit the Leave campaign were spouting)

they did not take the threat seriously, leaving Leave to peddle any lies they wanted through the Facebook lies, conspiracy theories, hate speech, mad ravings "news" feed.

John Smith 19 Gold badge


That's half of what Reaction Engines are being charged by BAe for a flight test vehicle despite

a) HMG dragging their heels so long for the £60m loan they lent REL

b) Insisting REL needed a "solid" airframe mfg with high speed aircraft experience

c) BAe have a 20% equity stake in REL

But as Don Corleone would tell them "It's just business."

OneWeb as a stand in GPS sounds pretty retarded, and I didn't need £92 to work that out for myself.

Much like Brexit really.

UK space firms forced to adjust their models of how the universe works as they lose out on Copernicus contracts

John Smith 19 Gold badge

" EU - Do what we say or you will pay. "


It takes quite a lot to get a post actually deleted by a moderator.

I'm more curious who posted it rather that it's contents, or did they AC it?

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"two Leave campaigns were found in breach of electoral rules. "

I'm more aware of the flat out lies told by the Leave campaign, starting with the big red bu***hit mobile and it's claims about the NHS. And BTW that "Oh everybody lied" routine is a classic "reflection defense." Suggesting someone who can't deal with deeply ingrained beliefs being questioned (perhaps because those beliefs would fall apart if you did so).

Bul**hit Boris's money to the NHS is about 5 weeks worth of EU contributions according to the side of the bus so far.

So where's the rest?

These are the lies Leave told to win. Now let them either put up or admit "Britain we lied. We told you what we thought you wanted to hear so we could win."

Then tell the UK how you really think you're going to make the British economy better outside the EU than inside it.

I will be most interested to hear what that plan is.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"Preferably near the equator to have earth's spin assisting you."

TBH that's a bit of a myth.

When you break down ascent losses you find the difference between the Ariane 4 launch site (which was also Guiyana) and the Space Shuttle Florida) site is a whopping 18m/s.

OTOH by having a better ascent trajectory (which Shuttle had) it lowered its "gravity losses" compared to A4 by 344 m/s

The big with with a rotating earth comes when its compared against a non-rotating earth.

Which would be a bad thing for all sorts of other easons anyway.

John Smith 19 Gold badge
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"There's nothing for you here!"

You sir (or madam) are a true fan.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"...and where's the Russia dossier?"

Right were bul**hit Boris put it.

After all this is the job he's he's shamelessly promoted himself as being the best man for for (literally) decades.

How could he face the fact a lot of his "popularity" is down to Kremlin bankrolled troll farms?

John Smith 19 Gold badge
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"Check my posting history on this site, I've provided enough information in the past."

I've looked at it.

Looks like the usual "I hate the EU (but don't really have a coherent reason for doing so, because I just do)".


Very weak.

Care to try harder? An actual coherent, rational argument for leaving, perhaps?

John Smith 19 Gold badge

Still waiting for those "Good reasons" Cederic

You do have them, don't you?

Don't be shy.

This is a safe space. We're all curious what they are.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"sterling has behaved more like the volatile currency of a developing country over the past

four years"

Which is just the way currency speculators like it.

Which a certain N. Farage could have predicted.

Given he was one.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"worked hard to improve our market and business intelligence to try and get in ahead "


Someone who gets how to do business.

Common sense.

Not very common apparently.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"Not spotting the joke, there, eh?"

This is why humour over the interwebs is so tricky to pull off.

Nice work Robert Grant.

Nice work Doctor Syntax.

I think you're in violent agreement what a s**tshow Brexit will be.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"Enjoy being part of a strong independent nation."


The Republic of Ireland.

I'm scratching my head to work out who you're talking about about.

My inferencing skills are usually pretty good, but in this situation I'll have to admit defeat.

You'll just have to name the country you're thinking of.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"Brexit supporters really don't get it."

No they don't.

You need to realize this was not won by appealing to their common sense but their emotions

Each group carefully fed just the right kind of bu***hit to hit their buttons.

Basically "If you vote leave all your dreams will come true (promise) but if you vote remain all your worst nightmares (even things you didn't think were that frightening) will come true.

Cummins did an excellent job. Just what you'd expect from someone with a complete lack of ethical restraint and a massive desire to win by telling people exactly what they didn't want to hear (IE their worst nightmares).

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"We did so for good reasons "

At last.

Someone who will articulate those reasons beyond the "Taking back control" slogan you all spouted like brainwashed cultists whenever I asked a British person why they wanted to make themselves worse off than if they stayed with the status quo.

This should be good.

Come on, let's here them. Share with the group.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"Have you ANY Idea how expensive our own constellation would be? Any idea at all?"


None whatsoever.

It's just the enormous ego's involved that are driving this thing.

And an Indian Billionaire's desire to recoup some fairly serious losses.

Wonder what he's promised this shower? "I'll spend more money in the UK as a non-dom?"

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"are explained in language an adolescent could comprehend."


That should have read "were explained in language an adolescent could comprehend."

5 down votes?

Banjos getting up early today.

Mr Cummins continues to play you like a hillbilly orchestra.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"We were pissed at the bought of being merely bid fodder."

There is an actual open bidding process (where the best products or approach should get picked) and the ticky box version to satisfy funding, equality legislation or whatever.

BTW All EU project bids can specify a minimum local content level.

AFAIK UK govt bids never did this.Which is why stuff got built by Germans, French and Italians.

Nothing to do with the EU. British politicians and British civil servants.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"Living in Trump's fiefdom,"

Yes, the brits got the prep school class clown with the over developed sense of entitlement, and propensity for fantasy who couldn't keep it in his trousers.

While the Americans got the prep school class bully with the over developed sense of entitlemen, and propensity for fantasy who couldn't keep it in his trousers.

It's 6 of 1, 1/2 dozen of the other. *

*Although Nelly's budding bromance with various dictators around the world is slightly more nauseating. I guess the only thing a bully really respects is another bully.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"We just have to be realistic. "


I should have thought the statistical evidence is that at least 17,410,742 British citizens are completely incapable of being "realistic"

Even when the consequences are explained in language an adolescent could comprehend.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

Not part of the EU? Not likely to get parts of EU projects.

You'd have to be pretty ignorant, stupid or gullible, to think otherwise.*

Still at least Blighty is hard at work on the GPS**

*I'm not discounting the possibility of people being all three of course.

**Gammon Positioning System.

Born slippy: NASA Mars rover Perseverance to persevere on Earth a little longer as launch date pushed back again

John Smith 19 Gold badge

It's called a "Launch Window" for a reason.

But note they still have till Aug 15th to get everything sorted. NASA and ULA could still make it happen. Telatively tight. Not impossible.

Aug 15th is also when SX would have to send something to Mars. They are unlikely to make it happen.

But 2022 should be a different story.

The Moon certainly ain't made of cheese but it may be made of more metal than previously thought, sensor shows

John Smith 19 Gold badge
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Funny you should say that...

Since the original Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter of the 1960's probe operators have detected orbital anomalies which indicates "mass concentrations" below the surface.

So what could another name for a "Masscon" be?

An ore body of course. And this instrument can give us some of that bodies electrical properties as well.

Thumbs up to the team. They seem to have built it to confirm a theory, but the theory is not confirmed. They have new facts and new questions to ask.

Exciting times.

After six months of stonewalling by Apple, app dev goes public with macOS privacy protection bypass

John Smith 19 Gold badge

So the *illusion* of security

Without actual security.

Note it takes 2 fails to make this work.

So (in principle) Apple only has to fix 1 of them to stop it in its tracks.

They appear to have fixed neither.

Fintech biz Wirecard folds into insolvency like two pair against a flush. Good luck accessing your chip stack

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"for E&Y what Enron was for Arthur Anderson"

Funny you should say that.

Because E&Y bought up 60% of AA's business when their role in Enron came out.

AA seems to have the "Auditor that likes to say 'Yes'" "

Now for legal reasons I'm not saying E&Y has inherited that title but it does look a tad concerning.

Maybe there is hope for 2020: AI that 'predicts criminality' from faces with '80% accuracy, no bias' gets in the sea

John Smith 19 Gold badge

So he's from the NYPD.... Plenty of material there for looking at crims.

Just to get a reading for false positives you understand*

*Like f**k. There's at least one set of congressional hearings where officers were given immunity. Thieves with badges.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"He's a wrong'un gov, I can tell his eyes are too close to gether"


"It's a crim. Computer says his eyes are too close together*"

Are they f**king kidding me? Seriously are they f**king kidding me?

*Except I've yet to see an ANN capable of that detailed an explanation.

Things that make you go foom: Destruction derby as NASA and SpaceX test rocket components to failure

John Smith 19 Gold badge

People might like to note how long each programme has been going on.

IIIRC it's taken about 16 years for NASA to get here.

With SX it's been (I think I'm right in saying) less than 16 months.

And in 16 months time where will they both be?

Fujitsu, Japan strong-Arm their way to the top with world's fastest-known super: 415-PFLOPS Fugaku

John Smith 19 Gold badge

I note the Intel microcode is a 3 address architecture.

Perhaps a more honest slogan for them would be "ARM inside (TM)"

What does London's number 65 bus have to hide? OS caught on camera setting fire to '22,000 illegal file(s)!!'

John Smith 19 Gold badge

Hmmm. London busses as mobile backup vaults.

I think we've found a plot device for the next Laundry novel.

By emptying offices, coronavirus has hastened the paperless office

John Smith 19 Gold badge

Holly s**t the 90's have finally arrived.

Paperless offices, teleworking.

All it took was a global pandemic and the 3rd highest number of deaths on the planet to make it so.

Why do I hear the voice of Dominic Cummins in my head saying "Trust me, when this is over we will be a smaller, better Britain."

Health Sec Hancock says UK will use Apple-Google API for virus contact-tracing app after all (even though Apple were right rotters)

John Smith 19 Gold badge

But Y'know, cake?

Isn't that always better than no cake?

John Smith 19 Gold badge

I wonder who did the architecture for this balls up.

It's always the same.

"We must collect this data and store it centrally (for at least 20 years)"


"Because we must"


"Because it's this thing we do and the universe will fall into chaos if we don't know everything about everybody all the time forever"

It's not a policy. It's a personality disorder.

Facebook boffins bake robo-code converter to take the pain out of shifting between C++, Java, Python

John Smith 19 Gold badge

Back in the day the sign of a good CASE tool was...

If you could make all the manipulations you needed without digging into the code the system generated.

I worked with 2 such systems.

One never touched it. No problems.

Other. Some nappy had bought the code generated by the CASE model rather than the model itself.

It was f**king horrible.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"they are not guaranteed to be correct.""


Is that better than some s**t flinging code monkey cut and pasting off stack exchange?

So let me see if I got this straight.

It takes a function (which is presumed to be 100% working) and maybe converts it to one that has 75% chance of working, but could be f**ked up in some way ?

One of the usual suspects (EDS perhaps?) was doing something like this where chunks of COBOL were emailed to their mainframe and chunks of C came back. These are big applications. I'm very unconvinced a bunch of ANN's is going to cut it for this. Computer languages <> human languages. 99% of human language ambiguity is designed out from day one to ensure they can be compiled.

An Internet of Trouble lies ahead as root certificates begin to expire en masse, warns security researcher

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"Belkin have been added to my shit list."

They've earned it.

WTF is this "Oh you must connect to our remote server to enable this. BTW the certificate is expired so you can't, and you can't update it"

F**k right off.

Do not need, do not want.

Someone got so fed up with GE fridge DRM – yes, fridge DRM – they made a whole website on how to bypass it

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations"

F**k me sideways.

Sounds like someone has actually read it.

Trump's Make Space Great Again video pulled after former 'naut says: Nope

John Smith 19 Gold badge

Hard to believe people actually get *paid* to do this stuff and don't check questions like this.

Then again "Take the money and run" seems to be the theme song of this presidency and it's line-your-pockets-as-quickly-as-possible inner circle.

In Hancock's half-hour, Dido Harding offers hollow laughs: Cake distracts test-and-trace boss at UK COVID-19 briefing

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"Is this cake going to be low fat, lactose and gluten free, vegan friendly?"

It's a Brexit cake, of the kind bu**it Boris was so fond of.

You can eat as much as you like.

It'll still be as much as you started with as when you finish eating.

And you'll never get fat no matter how much of it you eat. *

*No facts checked for authenticity, accuracy or even rationality.

US Air Force wants to pit AI-powered drone against its dogfighting hotshots in battle of the skies next year

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"So at least we now know what Captain America has been doing since he retired"

I know.

ROTFLMFAO at it in fact.

I do hope his time in HS helped him develop a sense of humour about the matter.

I looked him up.

Yes, his nickname is "Cap"

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"close support, specifically chewing up 1980s Soviet armoured formations in Germany"


Actually chewing up formations of Vietcong in the jungles of Viet Nam.

The project took a loooong time to get to completion. :-(

But it turns out excellent against the mass tanks of the Warsaw Pact as well. Like many of the sites in Viet Nam they were also protected by radar directed guns and AAM batteries. But the gun and it's milk bottle sized DU shells would do some serious damage to anyone on the ground not inside some seriously fortified bunker.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

I'll wager the A-10 won it too...

You mean the Warthog rides the Lightning II?

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"So you can design drones to be smaller and more nimble and can't fight human anatomy."

You can do so.

But that might mean that the drone might actually win.

Now is that any way to run a human based airforce?

Unless of course you care more about winning than you do perpetuating your organization.

Which is sort of the point of Pournelle's Law.

Russia drags NASA: Enjoy your expensive SpaceX capsule, our Soyuz is the cheap Kalashnikov of rockets

John Smith 19 Gold badge

many risks happen on the way back down, as we know from Colombia and Salutz 11

Well Columbia had wings (which Dragon does not) and Salute 11 was about 40 years ago and not made in the USA.

As for how long they are staying that was at the invitation of NASA.

And let's not forget that SX (unlike Boeing) have been delivering cargo for the last 9 years to ISS on quite a similar design.

So thank you for your concern. I think they have a pretty good shot at landing alive.

John Smith 19 Gold badge

"SpaceX's "land on the tail" tech might find its way onto competing rockets "

I guess you don't know that SX don't patent stuff.

It forces them to let people know far too much.

And by people, they mean the Chinese.

So anyone who want's to do this is free to do so.

If they are prepared to take the sort of risks SX have taken and stop worrying about protecting their workforce forever, as Arianespace's CEO seems to be doing. It's a stupid, short sighted strategy that wastes time trying to stop the inevitable.


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