* Posts by The lone lurker

115 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Nov 2009


How do you teach a robot dog new tricks? Throw it a string of hex, a crayon, and a canvas

The lone lurker

Re: Is this evolution continuing?

Victory Unintentional

Boeing discovers Dreamliner defect, delivery delay decided

The lone lurker

Re: paywall

Show me a 10ft paywall, I’ll show you a 12ft ladder.


This is a very nice resource to bypass such things.

Four out of five Uranus moons likely to have ocean under crust

The lone lurker

Re: This is so cool (no pun)

The problem for aquatic aliens (as identified by Arthur C. Clarke in 2061: odyssey three) is how do you leave the Stone Age without fire?

Utah outlaws kids' social media addiction, sets digital curfew

The lone lurker

Re: While I do not agree with 99% of...

Have another for caring about downvotes on an anonymous forum of a tech news site.

I see lots of posts like this from you regarding downvotes, but it still puzzles me why anyone cares. It’s not like the up to down ratio actually does anything.

Are you OK?

Flaming USB battery halts flight from Taiwan to Singapore

The lone lurker

Re: Luftwaffe or Lufthanse?

Possibly because they’re more able to absorb losses on the common business routes that were being run on shoestring margins and drove the local operators out.

RIP the BMI Munich to Southampton route.

On the other hand, Lufthansa have consistently been improving on the long haul side whereas others like SIA have fallen far.

Bill Gates lays out a three-point plan to rid the world of COVID-19 – and anti-vaxxer cranks aren't gonna like it

The lone lurker

Re: First prove...

@ David Nash

I'm sure all those thalidomide survivors have something relevent to say about clinical trial methodologies.

Cops called to Singapore golf club after 'wrongdoers' use scripts to book popular timeslots

The lone lurker

Kiasu culture

Singapore is tiny but it is uniquely kiasu as well as being severely dense in population. If golfing (or anything) slots are auctioned it will become inflated to a status symbol.

My girlfriend here is a member of a major gym, we are forced to set an alarm to book classes and immediately try on three phones to get a slot as otherwise they'll be gone in seconds due to the overselling of service which is just normal here.

Apollo 11 @ 50: The long shadow of the flag

The lone lurker

Re: Ranger etc. missions

Not sure about shoulders of giants, Titans maybe...


The link is a book called "On the Shoulders of Titans: A History of Project Gemini"

However, if you mangle the URL, you'll find a huge number of free resources from that time documenting the work from Redstone to Shuttle.

Spoiler alert: We'll bet boffins still haven't spotted aliens

The lone lurker

@Destroy All Monsters

This idea is also described in some detail by Stephen Baxter in a number of his Xeelee sequence novels (most notably Exultant). With the various phase changes of the early universe influenced by these early civilizations.

Well worth a read IMO.

BlackBerry emits Android mobe as biz goes down the Priv

The lone lurker


An android phone with a proper qwerty keyboard. I still have my Motorola Milestone for just this reason.

They've made one sale already.

Hats off to Nintendo’s platform supremo Super Mario Bros at 30

The lone lurker

Re: Super Mario 3 Characters

Alex Kidd in Miracle world?

He had a flying bike and the rock paper scissors boss fights had a guy that looked like he had a cock for a head.

Apple Watch sales in death dive after mega launch, claims study

The lone lurker

I was recently travelling for work and staying in a business hotel.

One morning I entered a lift with another guest who immediately flicked out his wrist with a very flamboyant gesture and tapped his Apple watch a couple of times.

He then proceeded to make this exact action every time the lift stopped at a floor - for a total of 6 times. I have never seen anybody sober make themselves look such a dickhead in such a short space of time.

Meet the man who inspired Elon Musk’s fear of the robot uprising

The lone lurker

I may have missed something here...

...but how is something that can be programmed to make paperclips ad infinitum without stopping to consider the ramifications be considered an intelligence?

I'm somewhat intelligent (when compared to molluscs), if I accepted a job making paperclips and was subsequently left alone I would most likely eventually grow bored and stop or give my manager a call when I had to leave the factory for more raw materials.

I certainly wouldn't render down the nearest town and smelt their remains to make new paperclips.

Dwarf planet Ceres has TEN bright spots, astroboffins say

The lone lurker

The orbital resonances between Mars and Jupiter pretty much preclude a planet of any significant size having in the region of the asteroid belt.

It becomes even more unlikely when you consider the energies required coupled with the low combined mass of the Asteroid belt - somewhat less than 5% of the Moon's.

The radically different compositions of the various Asteroid Families are also difficult (though not impossible) to explain if they were to have originated from the same planet.

HOVER ROCKET space station podule mission LIGHTNING HOLD DRAMA

The lone lurker

Shades of Apollo 12

Couldn't they have tried SCE to aux?

Man, its smartphones are SQUARE. But will BlackBerry make a comeback with them?

The lone lurker

I actually want one...

I really miss having a physical keyboard on my phone and as an existing Amazon customer this does seem to tick a lot of my boxes. The aspect ratio of that screen looks like it'd be great for eBooks etc. as well.

However, after their about face on the promised Playbook update I just cannot bring myself to get back in their camp though. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Chinese Moon rover, lander duo wake up after two-week snooze

The lone lurker

@ Dalek Dave

If you do not already believe that men landed on the moon then I sincerely doubt that some Chinese pictures will convince you otherwise.

The evidence is already visible from The LRO images from orbit.





The lone lurker

Re: Yes Absolutely true.

I agree with your sentiment but I recently found out my 12 year old niece has no idea who Charles Dickens was and had no interest in finding out.

Anything that might get new people reading the classics is a good thing, simply making them aware of their existence is a start.

HUBBLE turns TIME MACHINE: Sees GLINT in the Milk(yway)man's EYE

The lone lurker

It's turtles all the way down.

SPACE, the FINAL FRONTIER: These are the images of the star probe Cassini

The lone lurker

Re: tides

"Tides on Titan raised by Saturn's gravity can be as high as 30 feet (10 meters)."

The mind boggles when you consider the distances involved just within the Saturn moon system.


The lone lurker

Re: I want a Neptune orbiter

There are various proposal for what to do with Cassini when it completes it's current mission. One of these is to send it onwards to Uranus...


There is some uncertainty however that there would be sufficient power available to do any signifiant science at destination given the decade or so that it would take to transit.

New US Apple factory will make INVINCIBLE sapphire glass for SHINY iThings

The lone lurker

Re: Ditch the aluminium

Sapphire is already transparent Aluminium (oxide)!

A steam punk VDU ?

The lone lurker

How about something like a Magna Doodle?


I envision it to be similar to a mechanical typewriter but the keys would have magnetic letters and instead of striking an ink ribbon they would be placed upon the surface thus drawing up the ferrous material in the shape of a letter. A user adjustable wiper could be used to erase letters and a carriage return much like a standard typewriter would move the writing surface when a line was fully populated

Printing might be an issue but some kind of photography could be utilised to store the finished page of text before you had to wipe it all of and move on to the next.

Chaos Computer Club: iPhone 5S finger-sniffer COMPROMISED

The lone lurker

Re: Embedded RFIDs in your hand

"Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark"

Revelation 13:16-17

Is Steve planning his next big thing?

Fame-hating planets don't need to hang around STARS – boffins

The lone lurker

Re: Don't really understand why this is surprising

I believe the current theory is that it is a Brown Dwarf if it is below 13 Jupiter masses and does not orbit a star or stellar remnant.

Some also argue that it must not have experienced fusion in it's existence to be a true Brown dwarf - Most known brown Dwarf candidates are Lithium rich which cannot be the case if fusion has occurred.

Surprisingly they tend not to become much bigger than Jupiter as this is the limit of the Coulomb pressure and they are purple.

Apple can't dump Samsung, it needs those iPad displays – report

The lone lurker

Re: Samsung screens - the sought after ones.

Care to share with the group how to ensure we find and recieve such a mythical beast?

I've bought 2 Ipads in the past and have never been allowed to rummage around in the shops' inventory in order to find the 'cream of the crop'.

I'd also be interested to know what the differences are, perhaps a link please?

Vulcan? Not on our tiny balls. Pluto moons named Kerberos, Styx

The lone lurker

Re: pretty obvious really

Enterprise was built between 1974 and 1976. The Approach and landing test program finished in 1977 and the decision not to convert Enterprise to an orbiter was made in 1978 so it was still assumed during the naming of Enterprise that it would fly in space.

The lone lurker

Re: pretty obvious really

In fairness Enterprise was always intended to be converted to into an orbiter after the ALT program completed. Under the original plan she would have been the second functional shuttle to reach space.

The unexpected number of changes that had to be made to the shuttle design during Columbia's construction ended up precluding Enterprise's conversion on the basis of cost.

Huawei's new 7-inch MediaPad Vogue feeds Wi-Fi+3G phablet frenzy

The lone lurker

Re: Presumably...

So you cut people off as soon as part of your body comes into contact with the touch sensitive part of a phone - like when you press it to the side of your face? Presumably this device can turn off the screen when it detects that it is close to your head, just like most phones already have done for a long time already. Alternatively the software could ignore all inputs except in certain areas of the screen as soon as the device goes into call mode.

It's more likely that this is simply a promotional picture and you're nitpicking to jump on this particular bandwagon.

House bill: 'Hey NASA, that asteroid retrieval plan? Fuggedaboutit'

The lone lurker

Re: Stasis guaranteed

The Saturn 5 blueprints still exist, as do the plans for the Ford model T. The primary issue is that the huge Saturn 5 assembly lines and in some cases the manufacturers themselves simply do not exist anymore.

The cost to start fabricating Saturn 5's again would never be funded... Unless there's another country threatening to beat them to it again!

If funding wasn't diverted from the Saturn 5 program in the 1970's in favor of the Shuttle it would have been possible to assemble the ISS in only five launches!

Cameron eyes 'non legislative options' for more spook snoop powers

The lone lurker
Thumb Up

Re: Scaremongering clap trap of a man on his Ibiza holidays @ Mycho

Mechanical pencils existed and they were used in space. Fischer developed a space pen but did so independently with no input from NASA.

Jim Lovell's notebook clearly shows some rubbings out in his calculations of the burn time to get the CM on the correct trajectory for the free return.

This article has a rather nice image of it:


Windows 8.1 Start button SPOTTED in the wild

The lone lurker

Re: This seems rather half-arsed @ roland6

Certainly they can, if it was provided in a similar way to the third party offerings. They could provide it as a download from a support website or possibly as an optional update. Perhaps a 'start menu' choice screen to preempt the EU bureaucrats?

First Cook, now Intel bigwig pokes Google in the eye over Glass

The lone lurker

Methinks they doth protest too much

I get the distinct impression that they might be somewhat worried about it in reality.

It might not be perfect but there is at least a working product in people's hands, and there's lots and lots of attention being paid to it and Google.

Apple cored: Samsung sells 10 million Galaxy S4 in a month

The lone lurker

Re: not sure i see what Apple has to 'fear' @D@v3

Something similar to what you are suggesting happened with their computer ranges back in the 90's. Apple ended up with this bewildering array of models each trying to target a certain part of the market and it nearly destroyed them.

It was only the return of Steve Jobs and his consolidation of the product lines that pulled them out of the tailspin. This time round it's unlikely he's going to be able do the same.

More than half of Windows 8 users just treat it like Windows 7

The lone lurker

re:screen res

Go into regedit and search for "Display1_DownScalingSupported"

Change all instances to "1" and reboot, you can now select higher resolutions on your netbook... Some things will look slightly strange as you cannot magically create pixels but for browsing etc. at arms length the higher vertical resolution is a godsend!

Nine-year-old Opportunity Mars rover sets NASA distance record

The lone lurker

Re: Now for Opportunity to...

I have read and re-read your comment, then I read it again. I still have not the faintest idea what you're talking about.

The lone lurker

Re: Now for Opportunity to...

You're thinking of Voyager 1 and 2! Pioneers 1 and 2 were built to study cislunar space but in both cases the third stage of the rocket failed only allowing a ballistic flight. Both probes lasted less than a day before re-entering Earth's atmosphere!

This was all in the days before the USA had really started to use their Germans to build rockets so they had a tendency to fail often!

Tablet? Laptop? HP does the splits with Tegra-based SlateBook x2

The lone lurker
Thumb Down

Nice resolution.....

But why can't we get the same screen on the windows version?

My mind boggles at why a major computer manufacturer can see the need for high vertical resolution on Android devices but cannot go the one logical step further and realize that Windows devices could benefit from this too. The windows version has a poor 1366 x 768. This is lower than my 4 year old laptop!

Apparently the PC market is in the crapper, this is why.

Opportunity rover stuck in standby mode after Martian blackout

The lone lurker

Re: And the pertinent question is,....

I was much more annoyed by the animated bear on the Russian probe that handily gave instructions to non Russian speakers.

Pirates scoff at games dev sim's in-game piracy lesson

The lone lurker
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Re: gamers and pirates

Yes, and home taping was going to kill the music industry...

Apple fanbois get one last chance to see spectre of Steve Jobs

The lone lurker

Re: Pretty soon...

I'll just leave this here:


Review: Nokia Lumia 520

The lone lurker
Thumb Up

Re: Where's Eadon....


Microsoft to unveil new Xbox console on May 21

The lone lurker

Re: Always on - obviously, this isn't 1998

During the recent bad weather my internet connection along with the phone service was out of commission for almost six weeks. I would have been pretty pissed off if this had also taken away my ability to play the games I had paid for.

Not to mention the fact that my broadband speeds are so pathetic that we can barely get a PC to stream, having a console constantly slurping bandwidth would not be appreciated by the other half when she wants to watch her programs. I know I'm not alone in this situation.

Huawei preps new mobes to overhaul Apple

The lone lurker
Thumb Up

Re: Pronunciation

Phonetically it's "HOO - A - WAY" which when you look at it is not all that far of from "HU - A - WEI".

Apple alert as half China's fanbois consider switch to Galaxy S4

The lone lurker
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Re: damn percentages again!

Lies, damned lies, and statistics!

The lone lurker

Re: Another dodgy survey?

I think you might be in the minority there! Many people I know upgrade the same week the contract ends, If not before. Two of my friends are planning to buy themselves out of their contract early to get the S4 at a cost that exceeds what they would have paid to stay in the contract until end.

I think mobile phones have stopped being mere tools quite some time ago. It's no longer about what is best for your circumstances but rather about how many pixels there are per square inch or the fact that it might be 12% thinner etc etc.

Mars orbiter finds remains of pioneering Soviet Mars 3 probe

The lone lurker

Re: Musing...

Cydonia was pareidolia at it's finest, they've had high resolution scans of that region for some time now, nothing but rocks after all! There is however a smiley face in Galle Crater!


The NASA or Wikipedia page has some good comparison images of the Cydonia Mesa:



Unfortunately searching for "Cydonia" on Google very quickly leads you into the weirder parts of the internet where Richard Hoagland is king.

Rocket boffinry in pictures: Gulp the Devil's venom and light a match

The lone lurker

Re: I aim for the stars @ Graeme

The Blue streak missile was developed to completion. The Black knight sounding rocket and subsequent Black Arrow rocket were derivatives of this system.

The Black Arrow was the satellite launcher and was also completed but the program was cancelled just before they were about to test launch. However as the parts had been produced and were actually in transit to Woomera the go-ahead to launch the three completed rockets was given.

Only one launch succeeded and lifted the Prospero satellite to orbit in 1971.

Interestingly, prior to Black Arrow cancellation NASA had offered to launch British payloads for free but this offer was withdrawn after the successful launch of Prospero.

If you can find a copy there is a fascinating book called "Black Arrow. A Vertical Empire" that details the internal politics that led to the cancellation.

Lost CASSiE search moves up a gear

The lone lurker

Thriving Space Industry?

Since the cancellation of Black Arrow in the 70's Britain remains the only country to have successfully developed a satellite launch system and then to have abandoned it.