* Posts by ian 22

965 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Jun 2009


Hundreds of workers to space out from NASA's JPL amid budget black hole

ian 22

Re: Adapt or die

Hardware developers hate software developers for that very reason. Every time they get more powerful hardware, the software people just piss it away.

We're getting that fry-day feeling... US Army gets hold of drone-cooking microwave rig

ian 22

Reminds me of the DEW Line

In the previous century when the Soviet Union was considered a threat, there were large radar installations above the arctic circle searching for incoming bombers.

The technicians maintaining the antennae would stand in the radar beam to warm up.

I've always wondered how their health fared in later years, and whether they were able to father children after they left the service.

Tesla's Cybertruck may not be so stainless after all

ian 22

Re: Musk? Who trusts this guy?

Large amounts of money will fix many problems. XtwitterX seems to an exception.

Musk claims that venting liquid oxygen caused Starship explosion

ian 22

Re: Its a Test

Good judgment comes from experience.

Experience comes from poor judgement.

US Air Force wants to see some atomic motors for future spacecraft

ian 22

Re: Quantum slipstream

You need unobtainium. I don’t have several pounds of the stuff.

Scientists spot startlingly close black holes in Hyades star cluster

ian 22

Re: The Asylum has shown the way

We are all going to hyades in a handbasket in any case.

Florida man accused of hoarding America's secrets faces fresh charges

ian 22

Re: … flooded "a room where computer servers were kept."

Flooding the server room sounds like the sort of incompetent action Trump would order. Discs are usually in airtight cases, and only the external electronics are exposed, so the data is probably accessible.

Trump probably thought he could flush the data the same as he did paper documents in the White House.

India takes second punt at soft lunar landing with launch of Chandrayaan-3 mission

ian 22

Excellent reuse of the chandrayan orbiter as a commas node.

However it seems to me that if we are to continue reaching out to the Moon, we should build out communications infrastructure in the form of lunar satellites incorporating packet switching and lunar gps. We will need these things soon enough.

NASA awards $150 million to prototype tech for humans on the Moon, and above it

ian 22

Re: a battery powered by americium-241

Thanks for asking. I (and other enquiring minds) want to know.

America ain't exactly outlawing gas cars but it's steering hard into EVs

ian 22

Re: this is simply not feasible

The rate of development of battery technology will approximate that of semiconductors. Remember Moore's Law? Likewise, the efficiency of electric vehicles is bound to improve.

ian 22

Re: Distances

Toyota announced plans for an electric car with 900 (!) miles of range by 2028. Good on them if they manage it. Next we will have commenters claiming they need 1000 miles of range.

ian 22

Re: Distances

Of course battery technology will never improve. Tesla has shown us the truth of that.

ian 22

Re: It won't be the SCOTUS

Thanks for the analysis. It’s also been proven that bumblebees can’t fly.

ian 22

Re: Change can happen quickly...

I agree, a vehicle with a touch screen will never be mine. However, I own a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle that has no touch screen. It is fun to drive, and I'm one of the lucky few that can charge it up at work for free. Given the price swings for gasoline, electricity is far more reliably priced.

San Francisco fog defeats pack of Waymo robo-taxis

ian 22

Re: Confusion

Where I live, automobiles used for teaching meat bags to drive have warning signs attached: "Student Driver". Something similar could be used for self-driving cars. "Auto auto" comes to mind. Forewarned is helpful.

NASA tweaks Voyager 2's power supply to avoid another sensor shutdown

ian 22

Re: I bet some smartass...

When I were a PFY we used pebbles for memory. Cold pebbles…. Cycle times were measured in minutes.

The Hubble Space Telescope is sinking! Two startups want to save it for free

ian 22

Re: Who's going to pay for this?

Miller Light: Like making love in a canoe.

Millions of mobile phones come pre-infected with malware, say researchers

ian 22

What is the point in collecting IP from poverty-stricken users? Surely the posh class have more interesting data to hoover.

Thieves smash hole in wall to nab $500K in Apple iKit

ian 22

Re: Law suits all round

Second rule of trial lawyers: sue everyone in sight.

ian 22

Re: Where were the plastic police?

USian construction: we have no concerns about Viking raiders, and in an atomic war neither bricks nor stones will save us. In any case, our construction is designed to not kill us in an earthquake.

Reg fashion: Here's what the well-dressed astronaut will wear on the Moon in 2025

ian 22

Re: NASA Marketing -- who knew?

All of that tat is made in China. The same place MAGA hats are made.

Today's old folks set to smash through longevity records

ian 22

Re: "life expectancy in [the USA]"

Indeed, involving someone else is the whole point. The younger the better. Population control via the 2nd Amendment.

The Stonehenge of PC design, Xerox Alto, appeared 50 years ago this month

ian 22

What about MESA?

I was part of the team developing the 8010, using the Alto. What a revelation! Although the cartridge disk drive only had a capacity of 2MB, it was adequate for the time.

While I never used BCPL, I did use MESA.

The network speed was (I think) 10Mb/second, but it was quite fast until it was 'productized', with multiple added envelopes in each packet.

The Computer Museum in Seattle has a working Alto, and an 8010.

NASA wants a telescope on the far side of the Moon

ian 22

My thinking exactly. The main problem seems to be synchronization.

European Commission bans TikTok from staff gadgets

ian 22
IT Angle

Will no one think of the (government employed) children?

Now the USian government has banned ticktock on government kit, the Chinese government is complaining about it. Why is it their concern? Asking for a friend.

Could 2023 be the year SpaceX's Starship finally reaches orbit?

ian 22

Re: Orbit

I disagree, but I enjoyed your exposition. 'Ave an upvote.

ian 22

Present at the creation!

A new El Reg metric for pollution, the Australian (Au). How many Au = American?

Curiosity finds clearest evidence yet for water on Mars

ian 22

Re: I've seen those marks before

Those tracks were obviously left by Vogon construction machines.

It's been 230 years since British pirates robbed the US of the metric system

ian 22

Re: Hooray for Avoirdupois and pounds, shillings and pence

Quite right, Jake. It’s been awhile since I had to deal with lumber.

ian 22

Re: Hooray for Avoirdupois and pounds, shillings and pence

Indeed! I took a course in industrial processes that required us to learn to use lathes, milling machines, shapers, and to make gears among other metal things. The instructor caught me attempting to shave the metal to fit, and accused me of carpentry. It seems he considered that to be a Bad Thing.

ian 22

Re: Hooray for Avoirdupois and pounds, shillings and pence

Oddly, here in the Leader of the Free World (tm), a '2 by 4' is actually 1.75 inches by 3.75 inches. Go figure (using some strange measurement system).

NASA boss says US may lose latest space race with China

ian 22

Re: "the next two years were crucial for gaining a foothold on the Moon"

The fact that the PRC is claiming ALL of the South China Sea and shoving it’s smaller neighbors around doesn’t indicate they won’t claim the moon is Red.

China dumps dud chips on Russia, Moscow media moans

ian 22

Re: Other rules may apply

Not if they are being paid in rubles. Last I heard, the value of the ruble was down 25%.

NASA may tap SpaceX to rescue ISS 'nauts in Soyuz leak

ian 22

Re: Escape pod???

I expect the tailors in Hong Kong could run them up in no time.

ian 22

Re: Lessons lernt from Apollo programme?

The great thing about standards is that there are so many of them. The Russians have standards, NASA has standards, ESA has standards, the Chinese have standards, the Japanese have standards, etc. Take your choice. To paraphrase Clint Eastwood, a man has to have a standard.

Russia says Starlink satellites could become military targets

ian 22

Re: Seems reasonable and fair

By that reasoning, enemy civilians can also be targets. Farmers producing food that sustains both the military and civilians should be targets, yes? I could provide many similar examples.

Biden administration to dole out $900m for electric vehicle infrastructure

ian 22

California must increase electric generating capacity

California currently (pun not intended) has the largest grid-scale switchable battery storage in the world at 6000 megawatts. Every new solar field in California includes battery storage. However, they must increase the power available (now about 52000 megawatts) by 68% to accommodate a complete replacement of ICE vehicles and add fully electric buildings without natural gas heating.

NASA just weeks away from trying again with SLS Moon rocket launch

ian 22

Re: Why am I remined of the old Peanuts cartoons

As the NASA bods once said, "the dirty bird flies clean". I hope all hands are on deck to insure there are no other malfunctions!

OneWeb takes $229m hit from satellites not returned by Russia

ian 22

Re: They already are

Nor is the Holodomor ancient history.

California asks people not to charge EVs during heatwave

ian 22

Yes, that 40% loss is a good argument for both solar roofs and micro grids with batteries. Think globally, act locally.

ian 22

Re: The Sunshine State

Those of us who can, do. Or are you suggesting everyone just sit back and complain?

ian 22

Re: Cars are next, then your digital money

Surprised? This was expected in the 1980s, even before the IoT was a glimmer in someone’s eye.

Voyager 1 data corrupted by onboard computer that 'stopped working years ago'

ian 22

Re: 07734

I replenished the graphite lubricant on my aluminium slide rule from the 1960s just last week.

ian 22

I'd go with interstellar job.

Commercial space station Orbital Reef's design phase passes NASA review

ian 22

Why deorbit the ISS?

If the ISS is to be considered scrap, why can’t it be salvaged in orbit by a corporation? Will it be so worn that it can’t be rehabilitated? The costs of orbiting a replacement alone would seem to make salvage and rehab a bargain.

Scientists unveil a physics-defying curved space robot

ian 22

Re: er ... doesn't the em-drive claim the same ?

Are you quite sure about this cat thing? I was under the impression that cats control gravity, much as they control everything else.

DARPA seeks portable muon-making machine to see through almost anything

ian 22

Re: Translation:

Nor our flying cars. We were promised those!

ian 22

Re: Safety

I'm a bit concerned by the petawatt laser requirement.

ian 22

Re: negative 450 degrees Fahrenheit

"Centigrade"? You must mean "Celsius" /pedant

Amazon shows off robot warehouse workers that won't complain, quit, unionize...

ian 22

And more recently "Mind the gap". There’s nothing new under the sun, which is why I mentioned something that exists where the sun doesn’t shine.