* Posts by Terry H

59 posts • joined 30 Sep 2009


OAP sues Apple for $1m after walking into store's glass door

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Swiss space-cleaning bot grabs flying junk, hurls itself into furnace

Terry H

Oh Dear

This is a really disturbing plan, and it's not even April 1. On the surface it seems to be in the running for "stupidest thing I've ever heard in my whole life".

This sort of thing has been studied for decades by groups with resources that completely eclipse the entire Swiss GDP. Of course they never really said THEY were paying for it.

The kinetic energies involved far exceed fly paper, and a large percentage of the stuff is probably non-ferrous. So their grabber thing might solve those problems. Of course the far more likely scenario is that the debris will puncture their toy and turn it into more space junk.

I read once that if there were 24ct gold bars sitting on the surface of the moon we couldn't afford to go get them. I think that would be downright profitable compared to this farce. At least they didn't say they were going to drive around and collect more than one piece. Changing orbit is the single most extravagant thing you can do. So at least it qualifies as bad science fiction instead of stupid science fantasy.

Maybe their next version will have Fairies on Unicorns packin' Disruptors. They can call it their FUD program.

Sprint grants LightSquared last-minute stay of execution

Terry H

Money can open a lot of doors

But not every single door. Just ask ATT. I have yet to read the true technical impact (granted I haven't searched fcc.gov). But it seems the story in FCC speak "Yes, LightSquared generates harmful interference with primary use licensed operators" in adjacent bands.

Primary use is often important, but likely not here. The principle is that a primary user gets to, shockingly, Use the spectrum. Often the FCC will license a Secondary user who can operate within the band but only if they do not impact the primary user. For example Amateur Radio can operate in the 60MHz band, but only in very specific circumstances and only if it "IN NO WAY" interferes with the primary users.

An Engineering school drop out could probably have told LightSquared their plan would cause harmful interference from reading the initial executive summary. LightSquared went ahead under the assumption that it was easier to Beg Forgiveness Than Ask Permission.

In their defense, this has historically worked with the federal bureaucrats. However right now the public are in a frenzy over the (mis-)government of the country. Pounding the crap out of ATT and LightSquared is a quick and easy way to show that someone is actually minding the store.

Airline strikes, unions outraged

Terry H

Wow! A simple thumbs up just seems completely inadequate here.

MS denies secure boot will exclude Linux

Terry H

Yes and NO

AC you are probably correct because microsoft will have some shell company raise the DMCA issue, and there is 0% chance it will get an exception like cell phone unlocking.

However, you didn't really address part 2. Someone, probably lots of someones simultaneously will break this security. There is no real time limit here like an SSL session. So given all the data necessary, full access to the hardware, and elapsed time only impacting on your patience - OF COURSE it will be broken. To think otherwise you would have to be truly retarded.

So while Red Hat may never use this facility, it is certain that criminals will. Therefore, if we follow the money trail and ask the simple questions:

1 who benefits

2 why

3 when

4 by how much

We find the only real beneficiary here is microsoft and the only real possible loser here is Linux in the developed world.


Newzbin2 pirates prepare to sink BT web block

Terry H

The DVD Dilemma

I read quite some time ago a quote from a slightly above average cryptologist. The basic statement was once you give someone the media and the keys to decrypt the media any effort you spend on that encryption is just an utter waste of time.

This is the same deal. World+dog has "the media" (Internet access). And a way to decrypt it (everything from simple hosts file to VPN and a thousand other approaches).

Leaving off the sticky moral issues of telling BT to interfere which is itself most similar to suing the car manufacturer for a drink driving crash, we rapidly arrive at simple reality.

Granted "justice" is never simple and any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental. But the fact is that the car manufacturer is ultimately powerless to stop drink driving other than to not build the car. BT is equally powerless to stop piracy (or child porn), their only option being to not plug in the wire.

<StupidTolerance currentValue=fuckalllow/>

UK, Dutch cops cuff 5 more in Anonymous-LulzSec raids

Terry H


Sod on the politically correct, must never offend anyone living or dead, double speak!

But if you insist on this ridiculous word smithing, lets Brain Storm some new retorts.

NASA eyes Atlas V for 'naut-lifting duties

Terry H


You confuse smart engineers with greedy politicians. ULA is a Boeing / Lockheed unholy abomination whose main reason for existing is to ensure neither company has to pay any benefits.

EELV (Delta IV and Atlas V) already had their chance. NASA paid oceans of cash for these two launch vehicles, both of which thoroughly failed to live up to the "evolved" part of the name - other than maybe evolving into yet another giant waste of money to established companies.

Allowing Boeing / Lockheed / UAL into this program is the worst conceivable news. America (and the world) would be FAR better off if they turned to money spigot off entirely than let these companies ruin the initiative.

If NASA does the expected and now funnels all the money into the pockets of the top bureaucrats' future employers a once in a generation opportunity will be lost and commercial spaceflight will amount to naught before it even starts.

You have to have standards – or do you?

Terry H

Want to jump off that bridge?

I always love this argument! We should do it because everyone else does. That's exactly the opposite argument used by parents, to wit

"If your friends jumped off a bridge would you?"

The correct answer to the parental unit is always no. The correct answer to your teen peers is "hell yeah!"

I modestly dislike the metric system for a corollary to Dave 15. The base unit of measure is not convenient to daily human life.

Freezing at 0 makes WAY more sense. But then 100 degrees to boiling is not granular enough.

A gram is too damn light. An ounce is barely big enough.

A liter is a quart. That's OK, but quarts are why we measure most things in gallons.

And the infamous Meter! Aka the yard. Only the Navy ever thought yards were a good idea. It is just an annoying measurement. Too long to wield around comfortably, too short to get anywhere without breaking into scientific notation. But the millimeter will save us! Now wait, where the hell did my mm go? I think it slipped into the crack between the tiles. On the other end of the scale we have the kilometer - aka Girlie Mile. When you just can't go the whole distance!

Fun Fact: International Aviation standards use Celsius temperatures, but KNOTS in speed. That's because for all the pissing and moaning, only the nautical mile has any relation to the planet it is laid upon - note the meter would, except they botched the math worse than most folk would have though humanly possible.

So overall the order of magnitude scaling is nice. But had they chosen some better base units it would have been a lot better. It is like there really was a committee just like UTC! The French wanted TUC the English wanted UCT so we settled on UTC so everyone can be equally unhappy, and the acronym of course makes no bloody sense at all.

But, it is nice that you can try to hold the sinking Greek ship afloat with all those standard guage Germany widgets.

New Bluetooth profiles for heart rate, body temp kit

Terry H

This is what you get for being a smart ass

They thought they sounded so pseudo-scientific when they came out with the "Human Interface Device" (HID for the uninitiated). Now I ask you, why can't I hook a heart monitor up as a "Human Interface Device"?

Maybe they shouldn't have jumped quite so euphorically into the sea of techno-babble.

It is always embarrassing when someone points out you're a pretentious wanker.

Dropbox snuffs open code that bypassed file-sharing controls

Terry H

This makes things simpler

I had great suspicions about dropbox. It sounded like a pretty shady organization. Of course anyone who wants me to put private data on their mythical servers has an uphill battle on their hands.

Clouds are made of vapor after all!. Just ask Amazon's poor victims^H^H^H^H ah, customers.

I am pretty sure you can get the crap sued out of you for filing false DMCA notices. Of course no one does, and it's probably not even illegal to just lie and say you got one. Still I can now cross dropbox off the list of "things that exist in the universe" with a clear conscious.

Thanks for showing your colors so early on and removing all moral ambiguity from your company.

Wind power: Even worse than you thought

Terry H

Perpetual Motion?

That only makes sense if they have to restrict the flow through the dam due to lack of water. I know that is a big problem in a lot of the SW (aka DESERT!) so maybe that is the case here.

Still, your solution smells a little like perpetual motion. Because, if you are using wind to pump water back you can never (rarely) use wind to generate electricity. So you've added a huge crushingly expensive infrastructure in order to feed the hydroelectric generators. I hasten to emphasis I haven't studied this particular case, but if it is economical it would certainly be the exception not the rule.

PlayStation hacker defiantly posts 'bible' following police raid

Terry H


Yeah! I noticed that too. How can he violate an order that hasn't been issued yet. It would be wonderful to see lawyers sued for slander when they make these slanderous statements. I don't know know if lawyers are capable of morals or not, but I bet if you start throwing them in jail they can at least be a little less fast and loose with facts.

It would also be great to see Sony's employees brought up on criminal charges and sent to prison for their countless offenses. But that could be said about every corporation on earth.

Note that this doesn't make me a card carrying communist. I am a 100% free market Randian Objectivist. But I see no conflict at all with that stance and throwing employees in prison and losing the key when they violate the law. The problem isn't that corporations don't pay enough taxes, it is that their employees are not prosecuted for the crimes they commit.

Oracle looks for love at Java DevJam

Terry H


I am mostly speechless. Your superficial discussion of what's going on in the JAVA world is not within normal limits expected of The Reg.

Bluntly it seems your attitude is as long as I can have it on my Mac all is forgiven. This is the attitude of an apple fan-boy not an IT reporter.

I am fairly certain JAVA is doomed. Oracle will hold the IT world in FUD for as long as it's lawyers are able. But eventually the copyright suits work themselves out. This will likely take 2 years. Once this is done we can move forward with a (hopefully) Apache/Google backed language with some as yet to be determined name. This language should be source compatible with Java 1.6 and ideally should get an ISO sign off.

Then Oracle can take their ball and go home. Or straight to hell. That works too.

Cobol cabal will take over THE WORLD Australia

Terry H

What language can get you in the most trouble

One thing people don't appreciate is that COBOL doesn't give you enough rope to do serious bodily injury to yourself or others. It is a 2.5 ton lorry, not a Porsche. The worst systems I have ever had the grave misfortune to try and maintain were written in C. I never worked professionally in C++ but it seems to have ALL the problems of C plus an entire suite of additional severe handicaps. It is probably presumptuous, but my gut feel is C++ is likely the worst language to ever gain widespread acceptance.

You normally only hear 2 complaints about COBOL. First, "it's old". Which actually seems to mean it's formal rather than the language specification was set down many years ago. If the latter is the actual complaint the person making it might be too immature to be left alone with your business' data. If the former... perhaps they are too reckless.

The second complaint is that there is too much typing involved. I never understood this at all. You can certainly have variables named A and X, it's just more likely that in a COBOL shop they will have things called coding standards that will give you the opportunity to work late and take every last little bit of cute, witty, obfuscation out of your code.

None of this should be interpreted as expressing my unrequited love for COBOL. I firmly believe in OO and would not choose a procedural language for any serious application. I have not seen OO-COBOL but am very skeptical of attempts to teach that old dog such a complex new trick. I believe JAVA is the very best implementation of OO and am crushed that Oracle is going to destroy the language. I sincerely hope Apache or someone will fork the language so it can continue.

So as is so often the case I cannot agree with those who are ostensibly on my side. Java is the state of the art. But COBOL is vital and a completely valid, if no longer the optimal, choice.

Galileo euro-satnav 'driven by French military', says sacked CEO

Terry H

ICBM Guidance

I have never heard of GPS being used for nuclear ICBM guidance. I don't think GPS would work in the EMP rich environment of high yield nuclear detonations.

The monstrously brain dead plan to use Trident missiles as kinetic kill weapons was to use GPS. I'm not sure it's current status. I think it was mostly scraped. I can think of no more ironic end for the human race than replacing a $100,000 bomb with a $20,000,000 missile and in the process trigger a full scale nuclear war. Sometimes you really have to wonder about the decision making capacity of our leaders.

Terry H

Charming Idea

Well except for the part where the US pays most of the UN's bills. So the US would probably have to give the UN 1.5 trillion dollars to account for the 75% waste. Then the UK kicks in about 10,000,000, the Germans and French 500,000 each and everyone else just promises to pay "their fair share, once they see the results".

How about we abandon the UN concept. Sell off the New York City real estate and use THAT money to fund new satellites?

Top secret payload fired into orbit aboard private rocket

Terry H
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@The JonB

Brilliant!! I really did laugh out loud! You sir should take a bow. And probably deserve an El Reg T-Shirt. (er, we do have T-Shirts right?)

WikiLeaks payment service threatens to sue Visa, MasterCard

Terry H


I think I would thoroughly love to live in that world. I'd move there tomorrow. The only part you left out is that if it's "MY" responsibility then "I" get to decide what "properly secure" means -- You know, like every government on the planet does -- without ANY regard to ANY other authority!

So sure, bring it on. "I" will properly secure my house with shot-gun traps and land mines. If I come home drunk and blow myself up --- too bad for me. If you die lusting after my TV - too bad for you. And the taxpayers save about 100K a year keeping the bad guy in prison (where everyone freely admits he will refine his skills).

"I" will secure my car with a 1,000,000 stun gun. If the odd dog or "young lad stealing hubcaps" gets the top of their head blown off, oh well. they won't be doing that again will they?

And if I get beaten up because I only had a revolver when the 10 guys come at me. My bad! Next time I'll carry that lovely German party favor the MP-5. You know, like the ones the body guards of every politicians on earth carry. Maybe you're not familiar with it. You are excused, as far as I know, it is illegal for normal people to own in every single country on earth.

Alternately here's a plan that's not quite as radical. Make every government, every politician, and every government employee fully and completely comply with each and every law they inflict on their citizens. No special treatment. The government wants warrant-less wire tapping of the world? They can hardly complain then when the world wonders what's under their kilt then can they? Good for the goose good for the gander.

Cameron cocks up UK's defences - and betrays Afghan troops

Terry H


I don't want to ride the subway with you!

Fight there or fight here. Makes a difference who dies where. But fighting is not open to debate.

Guardian super-blogger flames Reg boffinry desk

Terry H


Congratulations El Reg! You've made it onto the hit list of mainstream corruption and evil. You're in the big time now.

I'm so proud. I knew you when you were just a little techie site.

Windows Phone 7 leaves operators on the hook

Terry H
Gates Horns

I agree and kudos

First kudos on pointing out publicly your miscue on the iPhone. That is brave and I respect that, its easy to say I told you I was right, harder to say I told you and I was wrong.

It was really quite an easy mistake to make. You understandably, but naively, thought the discussion was about value, when it never was; the iXXX is all about form over function in the material world. (Please note the XXX is intended to mean all apple everything and in no way means to imply that stevie condones, or indeed ever even has had, SEX).

Anyway, as the relentless TV spots point out M$ is about as uncool as tech gets. Therefore, I'll join you out on that branch and say the same factors that lead to iApple will in no way translate to success for Windows Phoney 7. I was stunned when Palm shipped their "new" OS that was 100% incompatible with over a decade of pre-existing software. WP7 will be the same deal. There is no hope for adoption, it offers nothing of consequence - just some eye candy, but those attracted to shiny objects already have their iPhones and won't ever look to see it.

Meaningful (to me) Analogy:

The main problem IMO with Vista was in microsoft's fanatical attempt to take over digital media they intentionally broke the device driver model. Windows 7 is "better" because without any other option the rest of the industry has now coded to this less robust model. I would LOVE to see Windows 8 not support the windows API. A whole new, and of course better API. Perhaps require ALL applications to be written in Silverlight. Sort of a zombie abomination of Chrome OS.

"People love to buy all new everything that doesn't work quite as well as what they had before."

If that statement is true, GO FOR IT microsoft. I'm sure people will be beating down your door with sacks-o-cash.

Inside Windows Phone 7: ghost of Zune

Terry H
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Re: The past cobbled together & regurgitated

Ah, you have heard of Vista right? Or the not substantially different but must less maligned Visa 1.2 (aka windows 7).

If not, to answer your semi-rhetorical question: No. No they cannot.

Danube sludge peril: Brown trouser time or not?

Terry H
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Outstanding article

Brilliant, really brilliant.

And just because I love the quote and it fits in normal conversation so seldom:

"If it can't be grown it has to be mined."

Microsoft assembles unlikely band of brothers against patent trolls

Terry H

Hoping microsoft doesn't get heard

The patent system is not just horribly broken. It has been perverted into true evil. As I've said many times if the system in place today existed in 1903 the Wright brothers would have patented heavier than air flight and no one else would have EVER been allowed to build an airplane. Yes, patents are SUPPOSED to expire, but so are copyrights!

The solution is not for microsoft et al to whine at the supreme court. The solution is for them to pay up. They lost fair and square. Then they need to use their utterly unstoppable lobbying might to instruct their lap dogs in Congress to change the law.

This case presents a unique opportunity wherein the shoe is on the other foot. Suddenly, one of these mega-corps has lost a case which is in fact indistinguishable from the business world terror attacks their legal departments routinely launch against world+dog.

If microsoft wins this case they, and all the rest, will have no incentive to fix this abomination of a "system". It can't be patched up with "standard of proof" tweaking. It needs a comprehensive rewrite; step 1 of which is to remove software from the list of things you can patent. Who wants to bet microsoft had rather pay out $290M than change a system they routinely use to bludgeon innocent victims.

Copyright, software? absolutely! Patent, software? It doesn't even make semantic sense. It's like saying it is hotter in here than the length of a football field.

Everyone but Oracle demands Java independence

Terry H

Another fork in the road[map]

Ever since Oracle bought Sun I have been wondering how this would play out. Without too many references to fascists and their happy go lucky attitude when compared to Larry's evil empire, I couldn't see how any of Sun's software could survive in this environment.

My, admittedly modest, interpretation is that:

Open Solaris is basically dead but may be forked if enough people care about setting up yet another *nix OS. But the care and feeding of an operating system is a bit harder than your average OSS project.

Surprisingly, to me, Open Office seems to be in fine shape and after the necessary pissing contest [ah make that paperwork] it will continue at least as well as before.

Java was always the biggest issue. Unquestionably Oracle bought Sun to get their hands on it. The only possible future for Java has always been to fork the language itself.

When I read in The Reg that oracle had bought Sun I knew instantly that Java would be forked or it would die. It's death would be a huge loss to the entire industry as there really isn't another enterprise grade language of this caliber around. There are many toys, such as Ruby and PHP, but you cannot build enterprise grade software with them. If you disagree, please, PLEASE, stay in school and don't try to build enterprise grade software until you know what that means.

So, there really are only three options.

1) Oracle releases Java as the JCP wants. This is vanishingly improbable to the point of completely discountable. Oracle didn't become the most hated corporation since Computer Associates because they work and play so incredibly well with others.

2) The JCP forks the source code and tells Oracle to Sod Off. This is my most likely and preferred solution. It will need a name. maybe Cafe.

3) Everyone abandons Java. Sadly the closest thing to a replacement is probably C++. But it is a very poor replacement indeed - welcome to 1990.

Anyhow, it says I'm the first post, let's see how many were actually in queue ahead of me.


UK ICT classes killing kids' interest in tech

Terry H

Jobs are good too

OK, so I didn't read all 3 pages, as everyone seems to agree schools can't teach, although that news item is at least 20 years old. And M$ has made a bad situation worse, also true. Although when apple gets their foot in the door "worse" goes to "mouth breathing lackey".

STILL, one point I haven't seen yet is it would just be super cool if there were jobs doing this stuff too. If a kid finds out they'll make less when they graduate than their father did, and they have to move to India to get any job at all, that can be somewhat off-putting.

Pentagon Wikileaks probe reaches MIT

Terry H

But that's my favorite phobia

Xenophobia - the fear of music made by striking wooden bars of various lengths with plastic, wooden, or rubber mallets.

No wait, that's Xlyophobia.

Never mind.

Council's school-snoop-op ruled illegal

Terry H

No Punishment EVER

"The Government" whomever "they" are, are never, not ever, no I really mean it, not previously, not now, nor will be until the end of time, held accountable for their actions. The only exceptions I have seen are the losers in a war - most notably the French Revolution. OK, they really did go a bit too far, but you have to admire their dedication. And it was sort of the "not accountable" part that caused the whole mess to begin with wasn't it?

Every single "power" should have a SEVERE prison sentence associated for misuse. And by the way, just following orders didn't work in Nuremberg for people who could reasonably expect to be killed on the spot for failure to comply, it sure as hell shouldn't be an excuse for some wanker in the local council (or the FBI).

Why do Afghan terrorists have more rights that UK and US citizens?

US law to neuter libel tourism

Terry H

Libel is in the eye of the beholder

This reminds me of the case recently where ATT sued Verizon for airing commercials saying ATT's 3G service was nearly non-existent. In a rare fit of sanity, the court sided with Verizion saying that just because it was inconvenient and embarrassing did not make it libel (slander in this case).

This was of course probably due more by Verizon's deep pockets rather than any deep seated commitment to right vs wrong. But it was still gratifying to see them get it right for once. Too often in the US the right to free speech is usurped by some wanker's right to not be offended.

If I say you kill babies and grill them up on Sunday afternoon, then yeah, that's libel. If I say you're a shiftless waste of space, well... Not too many people who are not a shiftless waste of space would really get all up in arms about it.

Google sets Android on pirates

Terry H

What part of open source did I miss

Well everyone else covered roaming data charges, and time bombed shiteware and most of the other good stuff. But I can still add this nugget:

Android is open source right? Even if they don't open source that module it wouldn't matter any at all. The API is known, most anyone with just a little time and a compiler should be able to defeat this or any other documented API in fairly short order. You say "Oh no, that would beak marketplace". WHY? I can wrap and rename marketplace - done and dusted. WAY easier than installing a custom build when you don't have root access. Well some people allege to have figured that out in some special cases. But it seems you must have physical access to the hardware to make that work, so no worries there.

I agree with not wanting your stuff pirated, but this seems trivially stupid.

4chan flings faeces at Gawker

Terry H

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.



Drive suppliers hit capacity increase difficulties

Terry H

So we'll have full height drives and no full height bays?

Glad I still have my XT with the full height drive bay. Can't wait to hook 4TB to my 8088.

SkyFire massacres own proxies

Terry H

Not losing money on me

I was early to their party. Got in on like the second closed beta. It was, and remains, an intriguing idea. But the client software is unusable crap and hasn't ever gotten any better.

So no tears here.

Speed cameras slide out of LibCon budget

Terry H

Mostly right

I wholeheartedly agree except for one point. You said:

"Beyond that, it is actually acceleration that is the issue."

Since you want to be technical, it is the deceleration that is the problem. Or to be even more accurate the rate of deceleration.

Terry H
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Well as long as it's reasonable.

So you have to be going 33 in a 30 zone? Clearly a threat to western civilization. I think the terrorists should give up on all these unwieldy bombs, and complex hijacking schemes. They can just tear through town at 40 KPH.

Suspended-animation cold sleep achieved in lab

Terry H

Not much progress

Sometimes I wonder about our society of "information overload". Scientists do read right?

I read about this prinicple at least 3 years ago, maybe 5. It was an article about a guy who had determined that tissue did not decompose if an organism was deprived of ALL oxygen. Which pretty much makes sense if you think of food packed in nitrogen. The general idea was to stop every last bit of all biological processes.

Anyhow, as I recall he had saturated some life form, frogs I believe, with carbon monoxide and reanimated them latter with no apparent ill-effects.

Cooling was not part of the story as he pointed out that cold just complicated matters because if you freeze anything with water in it, like biological cells, the water expands (crystallizes) and shatters the cell wall thereby making the life form nonviable.

This story seems to document someone reinventing the wheel. Maybe there are important advances that didn't make it through the dumb-down filters for publication. But at face value this is far from groundbreaking and a fairly disappointing that apparently no progress at all has been made in years and years.

Mechanic drove three miles with angry bloke on bonnet

Terry H
Black Helicopters

This is really scary

Sometimes the UK "justice" system just baffles me. In many ways things have regressed to the dark ages. Even refusing to sit quietly in your flat and letting someone hack off your arms is likely to get you arrested for making too much noise.

Maybe the driver got charged because it was the word of 2 (assailants) against 1 (victim). Or perhaps one of the assailants had noble blood? Not that NZ has any, but DAMN Folks!!

You know the French were really on to something with that whole revolution thing. Granted they went a bit too far but they did certainly fix the immediate problem. At the absolute minimum the government should pay the poor bloke a BIG settlement and ALL the police involved (including the idiot 999 operator) should be fired and bared from ever working in a police service again.

Windows Phone 7 - what's in and what's out

Terry H

Spot On!

Well said sir!!

My feelings 100%. When I stop using my Touch Pro 2 I'll be an Android user. And if someone could get the camera to work I'd flash it now.

I will never under any circumstances run win phone 7.

'Curiosity' nuclear Mars tank passes key tech test

Terry H

Two times design life?

If everything MUST perform to two times design life, then isn't that the new definition of design life?

I'm sure I have missed some nuance of government contracts here, but it just sounds a bit foolish to me.

Feds open school spycam probe

Terry H

When they say school...

In this case it means US High School: Grades 9-12. Nominally ages 14-18. The kid in question is a 16 yo male.

One of the interviews was with a mortified 15 (I believe it was) yo girl who takes her laptop to the bath to listen to music. MANY (MOST) keep them on near 100% of the time. The conclusions about dressing and most everything else one does in the privacy of his own room have already been WIDELY discussed with much disgust.

The school will likely avoid peado charges as there is no proof, as yet at least. The federal and state hacking, and wire tap charges are going to prove much more sticky.

Terry H


I've been following this with above average level of interest. The kid and his family were actually on TV. The "inappropriate behavior" was "selling / using pills". The kid counters he was eating candy.

Oddly it is still unclear if anyone has seen the picture or if the vice-principle only reported seeing it. Also unknown how the "selling" part of the story came to pass; no one has inferred another person was in the picture. Most likely inference here seems not a "picture" at all but a video complete with audio. Also if we follow that line of reasoning it is quite possible the kid did what he is accused of doing. But right now the school has both the state and feds lined up with about 10 first degree felony charges. I am certain both state and feds very passionately want this matter to go away as it's never good to prosecute one of your own. But as there is no honor among thieves you can bet they will hang the whole school board out to dry if the media won't let this rest.

Overall the "defense" of "the camera's are only used to find lost / stolen laptops" seems a direct contradiction and complete non-starter with the part where the parents were notified by the vice principle of the violation. Perhaps noteworthy, on other boards I read numerous people claiming to have seen a TV show where a school bragged of their ability to spy on students with the web cams.

So it may be possible, albeit at the very edge of credibility that the suit was made up based on the TV show and the vice-principle never contacted the parents at all. This is probably stretched past the breaking point by the fact the vice-principle in question seems to have crawled in a hole and then pulled said hole in after himself.

It is probably a good time to <editorialize> All US vice-principles are power mad and more than mildly evil. So if anyone had spare time on his hands and a penchant for nefarious activity there is little need to look to a less upstanding member of society than a vice-principle </editorialize>

Personally, not that you asked, but I believe the story went down exactly as reported and the school, in the person of this and likely other vice-principles, made a routine habit of watching web cams looking for just this sort of activity. [I will leave out peado references, feel free to add your own.] The problem is that they never fully considered what they would do once they hit this "pay dirt".

As the old saying goes, now they got the tiger by the tail. This promises to be very very interesting.

Windows Phone 7 will not translate to Win Mobile after all

Terry H

Well that's that

Android it is. That was easy.

RIP Redmond. Good show following PALM once again.

Echelon computers can't cope with bad lines

Terry H

Well this is disappointing

Perhaps I should have kept my Sprint phone. They'd never get a word. Plus the constant dropped calls would be like a poor man's spread spectrum.

MEPs to US: Hands off our bank accounts

Terry H
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Well Done EC!!!!!!!!!!!!!


(well maybe some)


Well Fucking DONE!

Airport scanners go live today, kids included

Terry H

Which is more important?

Had you rather worry about some mindless drone seeing a low res black & white "image" (photo is too kind) of your silhouette or should you perhaps worry about your DNA being destroyed?!?!

There are MANY links to this. Google it yourself. Here's one:


This is REALLY serious and I wish the fools would quite whining about porns so maybe saner folk to talk about the real threat that "THIS SCANNER MAY KILL YOU".

Amazon deletes a 6th of its catalogue in book price barney

Terry H

The real question

The real question here is:

Did Amazon reach out to everyone's Kindle and delete the books they'd already purchased?

Windows 8 possible July 2011 release?

Terry H

Microsoft's problem

Their basic problem is that XP does everything needed by virtually every business that uses PCs. It also does everything needed by virtually every consumer.

The average person wants a super fast web browser that will play/run any content anybody, anywhere puts on a web server. Unexpectedly, microsoft does not have a browser that satisfies this need. The average business's needs aren't even that robust.

They really do have a very serious problem. So far they have not been hit too hard because of their lock in deals with PC manufacturers. But it wouldn't take much, action from the EC competition commission for example, to level that playing field very quickly.

When I wanted to become a programmer, my father couldn't understand it. He said: "But once you write a program you're done. Why are they going to keep you around". Fortunately that has rarely been a problem for me. But microsoft really is a victim of their own success. They have nothing new to offer and most of the world had rather buy a 3D TV than a 6 GHz computer to run the latest microsoft attempt to clone the KDE desktop.

Obama to scrap Moon, Mars expeditions - report

Terry H

What angers me...

People talk of the "huge waste" and all the better uses that money could be put to. LIKE F*ING WHAT? Another couple billion to follow the many trillions we've poured on entitlement programs? Do you, for one second, believe that would even be visible? The entire NASA budget for the decade would disappear into the miscellaneous admin bucket of Medicare on any given weekday.

And perhaps we shouldn't look too closely at the question: who said "they" were entitled to anything other than a chance? Nor the fact that the government has deprived everyone of that chance by destroying the economy.

As for NASA proper, what possible science can we do in LEO? Learning if ants can sort tiny screws in space? [Simpsons]. We accomplished all the "science" there was to be done 20 (30?) years ago. It seems a terrible waste to abandon ISS, but the real waste was building it to begin with.

Adding insult to injury we get to: "study climate change". PLEASE!!! The climate is not changing! OK?! Get that straight. Global warming was a global scam. BUSH's people came up with "climate change" because they knew they'd already missed the normal solar heating cycle and will soon have to start talking about Global Cooling. EXACTLY like they were doing in the 1970s - we were headed for another ice age. But I digress.

Supporting commercial launch could be good. But won't be good. The EELV (Boeing & Lockheed) rockets are barely operational from the last big "commercial space" boondoggle. By most any quantitative measure they are failures. Not catastrophes since they are functional but they're certainly not worth a fraction of the investment to create them.

Going back to the moon is a dubious undertaking but would be the minimum acceptable undertaking. A much better plan, and the ONLY one with any chance of actual long range benefit would be a Mars colony.

Bloated Office 2010 kicks dirt in face of old computers

Terry H
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I can't even read this

Sorry, I couldn't finish reading your post. I did manage to get off the floor - eventually, but I plan to giggle the rest of the day over your "concrete donkey".



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