* Posts by ian 22

903 posts • joined 17 Jun 2009


Nothing says 'We believe in you' like NASA switching two 'nauts off Boeing's Starliner onto SpaceX's Crew Dragon

ian 22

So fright over flight?

If anyone can explain why Jupiter's Great Red Spot is spinning faster and shrinking, please speak up

ian 22

Pay no attention

Jupiter is winding us up…

We're all at sea: Navigation Royal Navy style – with plenty of IT but no GPS

ian 22

Re: Glider units

Reminds me of a story I heard. A group was working on a air defense missile system for the US navy, and supplied them with documentation using feet for altitude units. The navy rejected their work, demanding that they use nautical units.

They revised the documents this time using negative fathoms for altitude.

This is AUKUS for China – US, UK, Australia reveal defence tech-sharing pact

ian 22

Re: A hint at the UK's future

Not to be snide about it, but it is better to be the lion's tail rather than the mouse's head.

Spot the dog? No, we couldn't either because Spot is a robot employed by United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority

ian 22

Re: Mickey the mongrel

The Hanford Atomic Reservation in Washington state is at least as problematic as Windscale. Vast tanks of liquid radioactive chemicals must constantly be stirred lest solids settle and begin fissioning, causing the liquids to boil and vaporize.

Unfortunately, the tanks are leaking and the radioactive effluvia are draining towards the mighty Columbia River, threatening the West Coast of the United States. At least we have plutonium bombs to show for it all.

ian 22

Re: History repeating itself?

Government cluelessness is hardly a problem only in Britain!

Spring tears down math geek t-shirt listing because it dared to mention the trademarked word 'zeta'

ian 22

Re: "The Greek alphabet is currently protected legally"

No one has mentioned cultural appropriation yet. Will no one think of the children?

ian 22

Re: "The Greek alphabet is currently protected legally"

Are the Greeks being sued for use of the Greek alphabet? If so, does the court know they are essentially bankrupt?

Can we talk about Kevin McCarthy promising revenge if Big Tech aids probe into January insurrection?

ian 22

So you consider protesting police misconduct the equivalent of overturning the government? How many were killed by the police in these protests, pray tell?

ian 22

Re: Pics or it didn't happen.

Or to quote Mr. Trump, "I'm not responsible for anything."

However, as an American president said in the 20th century, "The buck stops here."

Arms not long enough to reach the plug socket? Room-wide wireless charging is on the way

ian 22

Re: Inverse square law

Where is Nicola Tesla when we need him?

Engineers' Laurel and Hardy moment caused British Airways 787 to take an accidental knee

ian 22

Re: @Pascal

When I read your comment, I immediately thought of R. Newman's song. However there may be those who are unaware of it.

More Boots on Moon delays: NASA stops work on SpaceX human landing system as Blue Origin lawsuit rolls on

ian 22

Re: Bezos

Visit Seattle and see Bezos' balls. Big!

Boston Dynamics spends months training its Atlas robots to perform one minute of parkour almost perfectly

ian 22

Looking forward to centauroid 'bots

Whilst the parkour demo is impressive, a more useful form factor than humanoid is the centaur, and given the already developed "Big Dog", it shouldn’t be difficult to build. The added body could accommodate additional power sources, support further cargo weight, and might allow for horse-like running speeds. Such a robot form could be the basis for soldier 'bots.

Senators urge US trade watchdog to look into whether Tesla may just be over-egging its Autopilot, FSD pudding

ian 22

Paranoia strikes deep, into your car it will creep

It’s bad enough that I must watch other cars like a hawk, but now I need to also watch mine also? I do like automatic cruise control, but only as a backup to my own imperfect driving.

Russia says software malfunction caused Nauka module to unexpectedly fire thrusters, tilt space station

ian 22

That's what they want you think.

ian 22

Re: Those comments from Roscosmos...

So no more "improvements " to the ISS from Putin? I'm so relieved!

Beers all around!

Software bug in Bombardier airliner made planes turn the wrong way

ian 22

Which ones!!!

"… if pilots tried to land on one of seven specific runways in the world" they would activate the blank screens of death?

Please list them! And soon!! Flaming crash icon for 7 obvious reasons.

The UK is running on empty when it comes to electric vehicle charging points

ian 22

Re: Hmm....

There are no petroleum spills in your world? No petrol leaking from aging underground tanks? No yobs dumping spent ICE lubricants down convenient sewers?

Sadly, these things happen constantly in my world.

Russia's ISS Multipurpose Laboratory Module launches after years sitting on a shelf, immediately runs into issues

ian 22

Re: "Nauka" = "neukъ" ?

The Dutch translation seems to be most appropriate in this case. Neuked in 60, 59, 58…

Wanna feel old? It is 10 years since the Space Shuttle left the launchpad for the last time

ian 22


I visited Endeavor in Los Angeles before the pandemic. She seemed both huge and fragile, an odd combination. The external tank was just outside the building, but wasn’t yet on official display. The fact that we puny humans could harness such huge energies with these fragile machines is testament to our greatness as a species.

Can someone please help me? I think I’ve dislocated my shoulder while patting my back.

Massive 3D catzilla gets crowds purring in busy Shinjuku district of Tokyo

ian 22
Thumb Up

The Japanese…

…. do weird better than anyone else.

Water conditions in Jupiter's clouds could support 'life', say astroboffins

ian 22

Re: Water activity is not the only activity

Jupiter's radioactivity might be just the thing. After all there are plenty of life forms here on Earth that require radiation to drive their life processes. We call them "plants". Yes Jim, it’s life, but not as we know it.

USA's efforts to stop relying on Russian-built rocket engines derailed by issues with Blue Origin's BE-4

ian 22

Re: Capitlaism

Oddly, I thought charging what the market would bear was capitalism in action. And monopoly Capitalism was, well, capitalism.

US Navy starts an earthquake to see how its newest carrier withstands combat conditions

ian 22

Re: That truck video is Awesome!

Those test objects (trucks to you lot) clearly have the aerodynamics of bricks. First quality red clay bricks.

But as to the 40kilopound shock tests, I'm sure the builder was pleased with the results, but what if the bright shiny new ship had sank? Red faces all around?

Once considered lost, ESA and NASA's SOHO came back from the brink of death to work even better than it did before

ian 22

Re: If it ain't broke

Well said. I was stuck doing maintenance on a system that required maintenance occasionally. I found it annoying so I developed an automated process to take care of it. I didn’t ask management for permission, and when they found out what I had done, they were oh so happy to take credit for it. I didn’t care. It saved me from annoyance..

Your hardware is end-of-life... and it's in space. Worry not, Anglo-Japanese sat to test new orbital cleanup method

ian 22

Re: kitted out with a large ferromagnetic plate

If the trash consists of aluminium, couldn’t we take advantage of aluminium's diamagnetic property and repel it into desired destruction? All that would be required is an alternating magnetic field.

China showing signs of brewing IPv6 eruption

ian 22

Re: Why is this news?

I seem to recall the US policy to convert to Metric. How is that going?

ian 22

Re: IPV6- Choice of Base System

Hex to binary isn’t hard, it just takes a bit of practice.

Flagship Chinese chipmaker collapses before it makes a single chip or opens a factory

ian 22

Re: More to this than meets the eye

I seem to recall Japan being accused of 'copycatting', and the accusation might have been correct... at one time.

There may be not one but two new air leaks in International Space Station: Russian boss tells us not to panic

ian 22

The crew are given a hearty (farty?) dinner of beans prior to launch time.

Europe promises all-out assault on batteries to counter China’s lithium-ion domination

ian 22

Re: The car industry doesn't need more state aid

Catalytic reactions or not, to input 2KwH and getting 1KwH out is not a economically (or energetically) sound investment! Even if the energy inputs are renewable. More like burning money.

We'll explore Titan with a methane submarine, a methane submarine, a methane submarine...

ian 22

Re: At -179C

Fuel for propulsion? The craft is surrounded by fuel! All that’s needed is an oxidizer, and voila! All the U-boat will need is a tank of oxygen.

A 1970s magic trick: Take a card, any card, out of the deck and watch the IBM System/370 plunge into a death spiral

ian 22

Agreed. I don’t see the logic in simply removing instructions (randomly? Sequentially?) from a program to debug it.

If Load A doesn’t work, let's try Store B! Perhaps a bit of analysis would have been in order.

Japan pours millions into AI-powered dating to get its people making babies again

ian 22

Re: It's not just matching

Declining birth rates correlate strongly with education for women, but as correlation isn’t causation...

ian 22

In the United States, income growth has stagnated since the 1970s, while productivity has exploded. If income had grown at the same rate as productivity, there would be no pension problem. However, the benefits of increased productivity have gone to the 1%, leaving the enraged 99% to vote for Trump, and he is happy to destroy Social Security.

ian 22

Re: It's not dating, it's the society

The last time we came to a collapse was in the Black Death of the 14th(?) century when at least 33% of the population of Europe was carried off. The result was the enrichment of the remaining population. Not the worst possible outcome.

As we approach a global population of it seems we will have a collapse due to overpopulation rather than under population.

SpaceX Starship blows up on landing, Elon Musk says it's the data that matters and that landed just fine

ian 22

Re: You can't beat a good 'KA-BOOM!'...

What can they be doing with all the resulting scrap stainless steel?

China compromised F-35 subcontractor and forced expensive software system rewrite, academic tells MPs

ian 22

Re: Any landing you can walk away from...

However, keep in mind that any landing you can walk away from is a good landing.

ian 22

Re: Now I read

Yes, I read the same story. Isaac Asimov? At some point meatware is cheaper than software.

Trump's official campaign website vandalized by hackers who 'had enough of the President's fake news'

ian 22

Re: ... another 4 or 8 or ... 12 years

There’s literally nothing to stop the loser of the popular & electoral college votes from refusing to conceed, fight the results in the courts and create such chaos that the election is thrown into the House of Representatives, where each state gets a vote. As there are more Republican states than Democratic ones, Trump would again be President.

ian 22

Re: A sign of the times

Hope is not a strategy for success.

FYI: Mind how you go. We're more or less oblivious to 75% of junk in geosynchronous orbits around Earth

ian 22

However, urine is not shit. /pedantically

Huawei mobile mast installed next to secret MI5 data centre in London has 7 years to do whatever it is Huawei does

ian 22

Re: Redacted

Is yours the one in the Faraday cage?

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

ian 22

War of the Worlds?

It seems an entire FLEET of spacecraft are sailing towards Mars. Some armed with lasers and nuclear engines. It’s not "Mars Attacks", but Mars Attacked.

Microsoft president exits US govt's digital advisory board as tech leaders quit over Trump

ian 22

Oh God...

Dear God, if we should impeach Trump, please send us a sign. Perhaps blot out the sun sometime next week...

BOFH: That's right. Turn it off. Turn it on

ian 22

Re: The power of suggestion

In the (very) early days of the intertubes, one experimental implementation of password management *did* allow backspace as a character. Caused no end of problems.

Texas says 'howdy' to completely driverless robo-cars on its roads

ian 22

Governator Abbot?

Now that Abbot has thrown the state wide open for lethal autonomous automotive weapons, will the state legislature mandate painting bulls-eyes on the backs of pedestrians?

The developer died 14 years ago, here's a print out of his source code

ian 22

¿Y que?

Some of the most obsolete code (40 years old) continues to run- originally written in Cobol. I hate Cobol.



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