* Posts by Andy Gates

145 publicly visible posts • joined 10 May 2007


Want a clean energy transition? Better start putting cash into electrical grid

Andy Gates

Re: I would be willing to agree that ...

Here you go: https://skepticalscience.com/climate-models.htm

Honestly the core predictions from the 80's still hold.

Andy Gates

Re: I would be willing to agree that ...

The Reg used to be full-on denier central, huffing on the long tailpipe so much I abandoned the site.

Old engineers are resistant to change. That's why they bring up old busted arguments over and over. That and the lucrative disinformation mill (brace for "only X ppm, smol number how big change" full arse exposure by people who didn't do chemical equilibria).

Climate-change skeptic lined up to run NASA in this Trump timeline

Andy Gates

Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

"Earth has stopped warming" is flat wrong, though. That's not a skeptic position, that's a political one. Similar non-factual political opinions run to Lysenkoism and "rain follows the plow", so, yeah, no. Educate that man before he gets promoted anywhere important.

Flash HOLED AGAIN TWICE below waterline in fresh Hacking Team reveals

Andy Gates

You lucky bastard

You lucky, lucky bastard.

Critical stuff in Flash. So despite eye-rolling and memos when the decision was made to buy the critical stuff that uses Flash, we're still committed. I need a drink.

So long, Lenovo, and no thanks for all the super-creepy Superfish

Andy Gates

Re: the fire rises

WinCE is like Highlander 2. We just don't talk about it.

Google Now now SLURPS data from third party apps so YOU don't have to

Andy Gates

Re: Trust is gone

Since the quality of posts - and boy howdy, the quality of comments - has dropped so much, I'm just not here much. This thread with it's uninformed screeching confirms the wisdom of my decision.

Why Microsoft's 3D HoloLens goggles aren't for Google Glassholes

Andy Gates

Re: True Holography??

Don't even mention drone hackers and drone hackers. ;)

Andy Gates

Re: A lot of potential

Sysadmin here: three-monitor desk tryptich, couple of lappies in for servicing and the Big Board on the wall showing (mostly) green. I *love* the idea of binning that lot for a dynamic bunch of virtual screens. Windows-in-windows, even. Fly-eye wall of screens? Done. "Hey Cortana, imax this" Vwoosh.

Nork-ribbing flick The Interview AXED: Sony caves under hack terror 'menace'

Andy Gates

See, I'd agree with that, but Sony? It'll be a cold day in Pyongyang before they release something free when they could monetize it. It's not so much "free speech" as "valuable product", y'see.

I'd love to watch the exec's faces when some intern suggests that they put it up for torrent. :)

'You have no right to see me naked!' Suddenly, everyone wakes up at the Google-EU face-off

Andy Gates


That's harder than you think: *which* Fred Bloggs do these results refer to?

It's also not relevant. Fred might not want his bad business dealings from 2002 being found, but be entirely happy to have his current stuff up.

Of course, as it stands Fred can only get anything enforced if he is prepared to spin up a lawyer, which makes this a right and a rule for the wealthy only.

Mars needs women, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less

Andy Gates

KSR being predictive again...

In 2312 he had "smalls" - a whole clade of little people who worked in deep space for the mass/life-support/ship-size reasons listed here.

Start with 5'6 and 70kg, say. That way you can get some smaller men as well. It's not like the extra mass for a carthorse like me's justifiable!

Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really

Andy Gates

Re: Missing 9 - A bad idea, and here's why.

Even Star Trek movies and odd Windows versions. I'm a'feared.

TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'

Andy Gates

Re: Conflicted

When I buy a waterproof gadget, the first thing I do is dunk test it. When a salesdroid came into work touting rugged tablets, I drop tested it right in front of him to a delightful squeak.

...now, iphones don't claim to be rugged, but they do claim to be phones, and we know how people handle phones. Vewwy woughly. If Apple want to launch the "dress phone", as pretty and delicate as a dress watch, they're welcome, but if it's a regular phone it oughta survive regular phone abuse.

SpaceX blasts a mischief of mice, a 3D printer and a cuddly toy* into SPAAAACE

Andy Gates

Re: What's the towers are for.

They're water towers for the sound suppression system - those jets of water that spray over the flame trench, they come from here. By muffling the thunderous acoustic battering of the engine somewhat, they prevent damage to the rocket and the pad.

Also, they're lightning rods.

Forget bonking, have ONE OFF THE WRIST with Barclaycard's bPay

Andy Gates

Re: Cashless Underground

It's not a cashless underground ... it's just a payment vendor trying to get you to use their product. Competing products will come, and the ticket machines will continue to take regular payment.

No Barclays bank account needed (that would reduce customer potential), just feed the account the way you'd feed any other PAYG. The Pride ones are available (and in black as well as pink, if you're funny about such things).

So, clip the chip out and attach to your fairy wand. :)

Moto 360: Neat gizmo – if you're a rich nerd

Andy Gates

Re: just me ??

" the battery life just isn't acceptable. I wear a Basis, one of the fitness watches, and its battery lasts four or five days. That's already short enough to be a major hassle. "

Charging when you've noticed that it's run out of charge and gah, you wanted to go for a run -- that's a hassle.

Charging every day is ritual, and if it's easy enough (no connectors), it'll be ignored.

Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch

Andy Gates

Hold your horses on the HRM until it's tested; I'm told by the nice folks at Runkeeper that these devices aren't doing continuous HRM with their optical sensors as it's a battery hog. Might be some trickery needed before they're ready for a lazy parkrun round El Reg Towers.

Finally, a practical use for 3D printing: Helping surgeons rehearse

Andy Gates

Re: Useful stuff

And in China, they've just done a vertebra. Invest in titanium sintering, say I.


I wouldn't be surprised to see the big orthopaedic centres getting their own fab facility for both practice parts and implantables.

Andy Gates

Re: Goth friends

My own skull, topped and hollowed and made into a Byronic goblet, thank you very much.


Uber and Lyft sitting in a tree, 'c-a-n-c-e-l-l-i-n-g each other's rides'

Andy Gates

Re: wait, what?

More the use of lots of freshly-created accounts. Hide that shadiness for maximum shade.

Mars rover 2020: Oxygen generation and 6 more amazing experiments

Andy Gates


Nope, it'll just crack atmospheric CO2 into 2x CO and O2. As seen in Zubrin's Case For Mars, and in fiction in KSR's Red Mars and recently Weir's The Martian.


NASA aborts third attempt at finally settling man-made CO2 debate

Andy Gates

It's already decided; this just adds resolution to the picture. Knowing where natural sinks and seeps are means we can look at emulating them to scrub the extra out, for example.

Greenpeace rejoices after getting huge renewable powerplant cancelled

Andy Gates
IT Angle

Mod -1, flamebait.

Look inside ELON MUSK'S CAR! Tesla S wundervehicle has voom

Andy Gates

Re: Superchargers Free!

How, I wonder, does the eebil government tell the difference between juice for a car and for a kettle?

Andy Gates

Re: "The 125kW Superchargers work much more rapidly than the existing charging infrastructure.."

And that's why Tesla plan to release the Supercharger patents; as the best-in-breed, allowing non-Tesla-built compatible infrastructure will get the pumps in place.

Scoff ye not: Chap carves crunchy carrot-copter

Andy Gates

If I were a betting man, I'd say he pranged his X4 (quadcopters being crashing machines that sometimes fly) and rather than faff with repairs, got wonderfully silly.

It's a pity cruciferous veg aren't more cruciform or we could crew up the Sprout Patrol...

Nintendo says sorry, but there will be NO gay marriage in Tomodachi Life ... EVER

Andy Gates

Re: "such a significant development change"?

You're confusing activities with orientation. The debate has kinda moved past that now.

Titsup UK Border IT causes CHAOS at air and seaports in Blighty

Andy Gates

Also note how many have "this till closed for a technical fault" when they're just closed for any reason. Always blame IT. :(

Google's self-driving car breakthrough: Stop sign no longer a problem

Andy Gates

Re: Quaint already

There are videos of simulations like that. From overhead they are absolutely beautiful algorithmic shoaling. From inside... I'd want blacked out windows. Yoy!

Andy Gates

Re: But I wonder

Don't worry, little brother, that won't happen. It puts an unreasonable burden on the squishy, and you'd have to have some heavy upheavals in law to make it even halfway permissible.

Save your paranoia for the eyes, the always-on unblinking remorseless REPORTING TO GOOGLE EYES!

Andy Gates

Re: 700,000 miles

Oncoming vehicle in your lane? Come on, that's not even exotic.

The loom was at least novel.

Andy Gates

A cyclist taking the lane in front of it will be handled fine. It knows where the cyclists are and roughly what they're doing, and has sharp reflexes. It just needs to edge forward when clear.

Japan plans SEVEN satellite launches to supercharge GPS

Andy Gates

A good use case for Ara

If it's not compatible, it's a fine use case for a modular device that can change the GPS module.

Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed

Andy Gates

Re: Post-Death Updates

Well, the public sector just got a year of patches. A very reasonable £5.5m, too. Given the porosity of the internet, those updates will get public smartly. Getting updates from random sources of course opens the home user to the risk of fake XP updates... fun fun.

My Y2k-sense is tingling. I think more of a whimper than a bang, but I'm ever so glad for the extended support while we grunt through updating our zillion desktops.

Drone 'hacked' to take out triathlete

Andy Gates

Re: Occam's Razor

Aye. "Just dropping out of the sky" is a thing that quadcopters *do* - they're crashing machines that sometimes fly. Having it close over the racers might have made for some thrilling shots, but you have to leave enough clearance to be safe.

The "magic jib"-ness of a camera drone is sometimes too magical for the safety considerations to be remembered.

"OMG hax" ... sounds weak to me.

Triple-headed NHS privacy scare after hospital data reach marketers, Google

Andy Gates

Re: HES Data

Various analyses and extracts are. I bet they'd look at you funny if you said "giz the lot".

Ill communication delays NHS England's GP data grab for six months

Andy Gates

Re: Which third parties?

If it were properly anonymised (with a route back in case of clinical need) and if it were restricted to real research organisations, I'd be gung-ho for it as a great case of Big Data doing useful things.

If it's sold to Experian or that bloody Meerkat, who jigsaw it back together to deny me a good credit rating or insurance premium because of my last peak flow or my old genetics tests -- that's incredibly sucky. That's a *gross* violation of patient-doctor confidentiality.

We expect the latter. If the intent was the former (Hanlon suggests it was), there's more than communication problems.

Andy Gates

"What I don't understand is how can the government can avoid any Data Protection issues here? This secondary use of the data is not consistent with any (implied) consent a patient may have given a doctor."

I'm equally baffled. Here I am slaving in a hospital IT department surrounded by IT governance reminders, and the National bunch are hawking off weakly-anonymised data well in excess of its remit. How on *earth* is that legal?

The Helpline unhelpfully says "It's within the law, don't worry your pretty head". Eesh.

Virgin Galactic's supersonic space ship in 71,000-ft record smash

Andy Gates

Re: What is the long term goal?

Ostensibly it's a rollercoaster.

It's also mostly a technology demonstrator - Scaled and Virgin have always been clear that they have an SS1 / SS2 / SS3 plan in mind, with each model proving stuff for the next step up. Sky-launched re-entering rocket rollercoaster is preamble for something with beefier engines and actual LEO capacity.

Don't panic! Japan to send nuke fuel rod into MELTDOWN in Fukushima probe

Andy Gates

Re: What is Renewable about Renewables?

Are you serious? What's renewable is that the giant solar atomic furnace keeps on making wind and light for free. The prime mover is continuously being renewed instead of consumed.

Block The Pirate Bay? Arrr, me hearties, new P2P client could sink that plan

Andy Gates

Re: It's a question of trust


I'm a bit surprised that anyone savvy enough to torrent isn't savvy enough to adblock.

Andy Gates

Re: We need more of this.

They certainly are. I voted with my wallet and went to one of the smaller ISPs that don't censor.

NHS carelessly slings out care.data plans to 26.5 million Brits

Andy Gates

Re: If they are anything like ATOS

It's not stopping him from working.

Andy Gates

Re: GP's Opening Hours

Email them. Most GP's surgeries have an email address.

Technology: not just for evil.

No anon pr0n for you: BT's network-level 'smut' filters will catch proxy servers too

Andy Gates

Re: "Web filtering is already the default on mobile phones."

It's worse than that: they KNOW it's ineffective and *they don't care* - Something Must Be Done and compliant masses are always good.

China's answer to AIRPOCALYPSE: Fire up the supercomputer

Andy Gates

Re: They have to do something

We tackled that with the Clean Air act and its friends. Low-emmissions fuel and a big push to electrify (and gasify) domestic heating.

Should be relatively easy for a more centrally-controlled setup to reproduce. Wrap it in a 5 Year Smog Plan and Chang-e's your bunny.

LG: You can stop hiding from your scary SPY TELLY quite soon now

Andy Gates

Re: Aren't they breaking the law?

Computer Misuse Act, anyone?

Andy Gates

Re: And...

" I had already been thinking of updating my firewall setup to stop devices like this initiating outbound connections."

...which would have to be done with a bit of finesse, as there's content-delivery services in among the spook-drops and advertising servers. Next thing you know, the baked-in Netflix stops working.

Is it all up for LANDFILL ANDROID? BEHOLD, the Moto G

Andy Gates

Re: not a galaxy killer at all

I would have thought no SD was a killer, but apparently I've only got 11 Gb on my 32 Gb card in this ol' stuck-at-Gingerbread Defy+, so maybe it's not such a big deal after all. The 16Gb versoin looks very tempting.

Sysadmins forced to CLEAN UP after bosses WATCH SMUT at work

Andy Gates

Re: not entirely fair

I've certainly seen "so what? you can't sack me" from some of my bigwigs in more than one job.

One rule for the plebs, another for the hoi polloi...