* Posts by bigphil9009

169 posts • joined 7 Jul 2009


Star's rosette orbit around our supermassive black hole proves Einstein's Theory of General Relativity correct


Re: Theory?

The scientific meaning of the word "theory" differs from the generally accepted use of the word. Specifically, a scientific theory is reliable, rigorous and comprehensive (thanks Wiki!) which means it can be accepted as proven through mathematical rigour and consensus within the community. Physical proof is just another element of that rigour. The more general use of the word is analogous with the scientific use of the word "hypothesis". So Einstein's Hypothesis of General Relativity would require proving, through one of a few different ways, be it mathematical or observational, before it could be accepted (amongst the scientific community at least) as a Theory.

NASA mulls restoring Saturn V to service as SLS delays and costs mount


Thank you

For a small piece of normality and levity in this currently rather uncertain world. It's great to be reminded that life can carry on. Bravo!

BT providing free meals to coax its healthy customer support staff back into office as calls rocket amid pandemic


Re: asymptotic

I suspect the OP meant asymptomatic rather than asymptotic :)

Corporate VPN huffing and puffing while everyone works from home over COVID-19? You're not alone, admins


Re: Uptick in remote S/W sales

You said that already...

Want to own a bit of Concorde? Got £750k burning a hole in your pocket? We have just the thing


Re: Light the fire

But in a world where you have a gravatonic cavity wave FTL engine, why would you possibly need an archaic fuel-burning jet engine?

That is, unless you didn't actually have said gravatonic cavity wave FTL engine... perish the thought!

Put down the cat, coffee, beer pint, martini, whatever you're holding, and make sure you've updated Chrome (unless you enjoy being hacked)


Double standards?

It seems like Google are keeping schtum about their own vulnerability until sufficient users have patched, yet are trumpeting MS’s vuln from the rooftops - this seems like double standards to me, or am I missing something?

Shocker: UK smart meter rollout is crap, late and £500m over budget


Re: Home security problem

Not that I'm complaining, but should we be able to see all that documentation?

Cancelled in Crawley? At least your train has free Wi-Fi now, right?


Franchising Works!

On GNER... sorry, I mean ECML... sorry, I mean Virgin Trains EC... sorry, I mean LNER, one gets 15mins free WiFi before having to stump up (unless you buy from your ticket from their website, which isn't so good for us season ticket holders!). However, a quick change of MAC soon sorts that...

UK.gov IT projects that are failing: Verify. Border control. 4G for blue-light services. We can go on


Head above parapet

At risk of getting shouted at, and I don't believe in Big G's ability to deliver lots of complex IT services at the same time, but I recently used Verify.gov when the time came to renew my passport and I thought it was pretty good! Dare I say it but it was joined-up, painless and quick.

Sysadmin’s worst client was … his mother! Until his sister called for help


Skool Daze

Back in the mists of time, when I was a young'un and things were still in SD, I was sitting in class one day working away when the headmaster poked his head in the door and said to me those fateful words "your mother is on the phone". As some here will remember, in those pre-mobile days these words were code for "someone you love and care for has died and your life will never be the same again" so it was with a sense of foreboding that I made that long walk through the corridors to his office to pick up the receiver.

"It's gone! The whole thing is gone and all I have on the screen is a white page! All my bloody work has gone!"

She had pressed CTRL+N by mistake.

A Hughes failure: Flat Earther rocketeer can't get it up yet again


From the school of Richard Hoagland

After watching the first YT clip embedded in the article I notice he has adopted the same talking style as the Daddy of All Pseudoscientists Richard C Hoagland - talk in excruciating detail about the most inconsequential parts of the topic while avoiding saying anything of any substance regarding the main thing they are there to talk about.

He will go far.

(Probably about 1,000 feet before exploding in a shower of skin and muscle being blown from his bones, or something)

Another day, another Spectre fix slowdown: What to expect if you heart ZFS


And your performance "review" is somehow valid with the exact same lack of hardware configuration details?

This could be our favorite gadget of 2017: A portable projector


Re: Good lord.

Do you mean MDMA? That was synthesized early in the 20th century by a German pharma company I think. However, if by chemist you mean the great Alexander Shulgin then he did synthesise loads of analogues and tested them in himself and his friends (and even had a licence from the DEA to do so!) He was an amazing chemist and empath. I had a copy of PIHKAL when I was at uni that I bought from WH Smiths! Those were the days... Still, I'm probably on some list somewhere now!

Bill Gates says he'd do CTRL-ALT-DEL with one key if given the chance to go back through time


Re: Bill Rewriting History again

Err, I did just that, and no results on the first page even go so far as mentioning anything about BIOS-level resets. I didn't go past the first page of results because come on, who ever does that? ;-)

El Reg is hiring an intern. Apply now before it closes


The Spectator magazine ran a "blind recruitment" exercise for their recent internship which resulted in a 47 year-old mother of three getting the position who when interviewed on Radio 4 sounded like a pretty damn good recruit (and as a bonus, the Spectator got plenty of free, positive, publicity). Any chance of you guys doing something similar? Or are you just looking for a young 'un, and damn the Equality Act 2010? ;-)

How the NYE leap second clocked Cloudflare – and how a single character fixed it


Re: There is the theory of the moebius...

Where time becomes a loop...

Where time where time becomes a loop...

Ridiculously small Linux build lands with ridiculously few swears


Re: tripto what I think...

A bit of googling, and a memory echo back to biology classes reveals that the amino acid L-Tryptophan is used in the biosynthesis of protein, and as we all know, turkey, pigs-in-blankets and whisky* all have a lot of protein in them!

*yeah, well, you know? It was Christmas after all!

I was a robot and this is what I learned


Brilliant Article

Trevor, that is a quite brilliant article, at once revealing and humanising, which is quite a feat in an article essentially about non-human interaction. We've clashed on these pages before, particularly around that ol' "spinning rust" thing, but let's let bygones be bygones and I wish you well on your adventures with this technology - will you be attempting to use telepresence at other events too? Further follow-ups on this would be very interesting!

VW Dieselgate engineer sings like a canary: Entire design team was in on it – not just a few bad apples, allegedly


Re: If the government had better tests...

This must be the first time in Register history that a computing analogy has been used to explain an automotive issue :-)

Holy kittens! YouTube screens go blank


Nice to see a Playmobil image

Fond memories of Mr Haines. Perhaps we should have a new Playmobil icon in his memory?

Lester Haines: RIP


R.I.P Lester

My thoughts and condolences are with his family, and his friends all over the world.

SpaceX winning streak meets explosive end


Re: "Of Course I Still Love You"

Naughty naughty. Don't let those Minds hear you calling them AIs ;-)

Grim-faced 'naut Malenchenko prepares to return home


I'm pretty sure that on the Horizon documentary broadcast just before MTP's launch there was a moment when Yuri said something like "My name is Yuri Malenchenko and I am Russian cosmonaut, that's all there is to say" and then gave a brilliant grin as if to acknowledge his own taciturnity, although I could have dreamt that last bit...

Microsoft thinks it's fixed Windows Server mess its last fix 'fixed'


Re: Cluster Disk management gone bad...

I'm not sure I agree with this sentiment - I've used Storage Foundation for many a year and with many a complex multi-LUN-concatenated-volume-in-a-failover-cluster horrors and never experienced a problem with it. I used to marvel at the technology when initiating test failovers and watching the LUNs disappear from one node and magically re-appear, in the right order, on the second.

LinkedIn mass hack reveals ... yup, you're all still crap at passwords


Using "linkedin" as a password

If you don't value your LinkedIn account particularly, as a lot of people probably don't, then the use of "linkedin" as a password isn't all that bad - after all, you're unlikely to be using that password elsewhere, and that is where the real problem lies.

Hate Windows 10? Microsoft's given you 'Insider' powers anyway


Re: Where...

Sunday Morning, I'm waking up.

Can't even focus on my coffee cup.

Don't even know who's bed I'm in,

Where do I start, where do I begin...

White hats bake TeslaCrypt master key into universal decryptor


Brings back memories

Ahhh, the ASCII art in that screenshot - reminds me of the 1990s. Now get off my lawn!

Google Loon balloon crash lands in Chile


Re: I'm not saying it's aliens...

You've probably seen this, but in case others haven't, here's the oblig xkcd...


The web is DOOM'd: Average page now as big as id's DOS classic


Re: from three 'double u's to one single 'm'

Err, you might need to edit that again ;-)

I have checked and triple chequed my posting to insure that there are know typos in my response, I think I'm cleer.

Watch: SpaceX finally lands Falcon rocket on robo-barge in one piece


Tat bazzar

And just think people, this utterly brilliant advancement in rocket science and possibly in our next phase of discovery has been funded by people using a certain payment service to buy random items of stuff - we can probably all claim to have contributed to this incredible achievement and I for one am incredibly glad of this.

Amazon WorkSpaces two years on: Are we ready for cloud-hosted Windows desktops?


Re: You can't fix this kind of stupid

No, you're just a twat.

Apple goes to crapple in stock plunge kerfaffle: $113bn wiped off in days


Re: Non Story

I guess the problem with this is that one sells in the short-term, not the long-term, so isn't that more important than the long-term performance?

Don't want Windows 10 FILTH on the company network? Step this way


Except of course...

Domain joined machines don't actually get the "Download Windows Update" app(lication). Yeah, I know the other avenues mentioned in the article are still available, but the situation isn't as dire as immediately presented...


(I know it's not an MS site, but it's as good as)

TERROR in ORBIT: Dodgy rocket burp biffs International Space Station off track



As someone who has just read Neal Stephenson's frankly excellent "Seveneves" novel, I can only assume that this event somehow presages the imminent destruction of the moon and the extermination of all life on earth. This is not a good thing.

NO ONE is making money from YouTube, even Google – report


Re: "Babylon 5's a big pile of shit!"

Me too :)

Boffins baffled by the glowing 'plumes' of MARS


Another picture gripe

If you are going to insist on bunging a bloody great picture at the top of each article, at least put the bit of the picture that the article is talking about there! I spent a lot of time wondering where this plume was, and wasn't until I saw the much smaller picture at the bottom of the article that I realised that the bit I was looking at in the main picture was probably the polar (dry) ice cap.

$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience


This is brilliant!

This is great, for the simple reason that it allows one to justify _any_ other expense.

"Yes, love, I did just spend £5,000 on a new bicycle, but look! I could have spent even more on some stupid cables - this bike has loads of cables on it - it's good value!"

'Boutique' ISPs: Snub the Big 4 AND get great service



Are also XKCD/806 compliant, which is nice.

NASA prods sleeping New Horizons spacecraft: Wakey, wakey, Pluto's calling


Re: What is this I don't even

Brilliant comment! :)

Quite prescient too - 2001 is being re-released this month in cinemas. Yey!

I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations


Re: A Recommend

Thank you sir, for giving me the opportunity to post a link to an excellent XKCD :-)




Staggering Pictures

Somehow I had always had the impression that comets were just amorphous blobs, almost sponge-like, but these pictures really show just how interesting they can be. How did those "mountains" form? Where have they been?

Science - it rocks!

Adorkable overshare of words like photobomb in this year's dictionaries


Re: Bakeoff?

Pedant's corner, I know, but it's actually spelled "Dictionary"; I'm sure there's a book you can use to look up the correct spellings of things, but I can't remember what it's called.

Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT


Re: Well I never

God, that website makes me want to vomit diamond cutting-wire harvested crystals.

They have finally reached the point where they are a parody of themselves. It's incredible.

iOS slurpware brouhaha: It's for diagnostics, honest, says Apple


Apple Support Document

There's something odd going on here - on that support page, they infer that the packet capturing interface is innocent and secure and what-have-you. They then link to a developer page that has the following text in the iOS section:

"iOS Packet Tracing

iOS does not support packet tracing directly. However, if you're developing for iOS you can take a packet trace of your app in a number of different ways:

If the problem you're trying to debug occurs on Wi-Fi, you can put your iOS device on a test Wi-Fi network. See Wi-Fi Capture for details.

If your app uses HTTP, you can configure your iOS device to use a debugging HTTP proxy (such as Charles HTTP Proxy).

In iOS 5 and later you can use the remote virtual interface facility."

Which makes no mention of this innocent, secure feature.

Are they trying to retcon something here? Or am I just being paranoid?

Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!



Does anyone know why it will take 9 months for the full data download to occur? It can't be the distance (the report says that the light RTT will be about 8 hours at that distance). Is it bandwidth-related? Or can't they get enough time on the Deep Space Network?

Get ready for LAYOFFS: Nadella's coma-inducing memo, with subtitles



For a long time I thought she was singing "honestly, I want to see if it breaks" which struck me as an odd marketing message. Bit of a wishful thinking mondegreen methinks.

I/O NOOOOO!!! We sat through Google's bum numbing 3-hour keynote so you didn't have to


Re: Automatically unlock a phone in a known environment

I totally agree with you - my colleagues are a threat to any unlocked phone in the vicinity. It is lots of fun though ;-)

And I think you're right about that statistic, I'm sure I caught the guy in the keynote say something along the lines of "if you're one of the 12-15% percent of people who enforce security then..." so the stat might be even worse than that!


Re: Automatically unlock a phone in a known environment

The article isn't very clear here, but after watching the keynote, here is what I think happens:

The phone doesn't "auto-unlock" in the sense of becoming active, but it suppress any PIN-code or pattern-unlock requirements that may otherwise be enabled on the phone, allowing the user to just to slide to unlock (in the same way that you can if there are no security settings enforced)

Glastonbury debuts festival wide Wi-Fi network - fitted to COWS


Oh I was there when it was still cool and now it's just a commercial borefest and blah blah blah blah blah

Amazing never-seen-before photo of colourful hot young stars (Thanks Hubble)


Re: Ultraviolet?

That is a great question, and one I'd like to know the answer to, too.

The clearest answer I can find is this:


Which seems to say that it's not these ancient galaxies that we are observing in UV, but closer, younger ones. But this doesn't either answer your question into why we see this UV at all, unless - like you say - the radiation was originally in the form of X-rays or gamma radiation, nor explain why this is being discussed with relation to the HDF image (which by definition is of old, far away galaxies).

Can any astro-boffins help?



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020