* Posts by Spikehead

53 posts • joined 7 Jan 2010


One man's mistake, missing backups and complete reboot: The tale of Europe's Galileo satellites going dark


Re: This really isn't helping anyone.

There isn't an either-or decision. GNSS receiver chipset manufacturers have all available GNSS built into their chips.

My phone is able to track GPS, Galileo, GLONASS and BeiDou.

Blood spilled from another US high school shooting has yet to dry – and video games are already being blamed


@Bronek Kozicki

You do not need a reason to own a shotgun. A shotgun licence is a "shall issue" if there are no reasons not to. There is no limit on how may you can own once you have a licence, no limit on the amount of ammunition, and you do not have to prove they are being used regularly.

A firearm licence (rifles, shotguns that can hold more than 3 shells) are "may issue" and you need to have a reason to own them, belong to a rifle club and regularly use them. You have to state which calibres you wish to own, are limited to buying only what you've asked for and are limited on the amount of ammunition you can hold.


Re: Early information


The M16 uses a 5.56 NATO cartridge. The AR15 is available in anything from .17 rimfire up to a .50 Beowulf. Yes, AR15 is only semi-auto but can be chambered for much more powerful cartridges.

The AR-15 inferior? The M16 is based on the AR15 (it was the original rifle offered to the military), with the only difference being the M16 having a select fire receiver (and the AR15 now available in more calibres).

Better mobe coverage needed for connected cars, says firm flogging networking gear


You were lucky. There are still some swathes of India that are blackspots. Spending 3 weeks in Sriharikota with no mobile reception, no alcohol, and no real freedom to go anywhere - not fun!

Teen texted boyfriend to kill himself. It worked. Will the law change to deal with digital reality?


Depends when her birthday is. If it's close enough to 18 she may be tried as an adult

Violin Memory shares collapse as it files for chapter 11


Re: Economics fail

And has since been corrected.


Economics fail

I make that a share price of 5 cents. Tips and correction sent over.

Microsoft tries, fails to crush 'gender bias' lawsuit brought by its own women engineers


Re: It's getting to the stage

There will always be those that have an over-inflated view of themselves that feel hard done by when overlooked for opportunities. If you are in a minority in a pool of equally suitable applicants, then the chances of you being given the job is low. That's how equality works. Trying to induce gender balance in senior positions where the pool is not in balance is a positive discrimination scenario - unless you are lucky to have your minorities being more suitable for the role. But would you then have that niggling thought that you only got the role to satisfy a quota?


>So because this 20% chance doesnt come to fruition for 3 people (which doesnt even meet the minimum number required for a 20% chance to actually pay off once), it's automatically gender bias, rather than skills bias.

That is assuming that the selection is entirely random, or all are equally skilled and productive. If one of the female engineers where indeed better than their male colleagues, then this would bring her into contention for the role. That again is assuming that the promotion is solely based on their technical ability and ability to deliver. Itmay well be that the position that they will be promoted to will need other skills that they may not have exhibited.

Whatever happened to ... Nest?


Re: I bought a Nest before Google bought Nest.

I hate the idea of cloud connected control mechanisms - be it central heating or home security.

I could be home from work at any time between 5 and 9pm. What time do I set for my central heating to be "on". This situation lends itself quite well to being able to set my central heating state remotely, ideally using my VPN connection to home and connecting to my central heating control directly.

Superfish 2.0: Dell ships laptops, PCs with huge internet security hole


Re: Connection?

I had noticed that, hence in the original post I had stated that Dell would have to release a patch to remove the stoooopidly installed cert/priv key pair.

Undeniably a huge cock up, and seriously damaging to their reputation.


Re: Connection?

Thanks for the clarification on external revocation.

Believe my comment on local revocation (remove the cert / key) still stands tho. And looks like Dell are helping rectify this cock-up.


Re: Connection?

Minor correction here - a leaked private key for a root certificate means that anyone can sign a piece of software. Without the private key you cannot sign anything. The certificate is in effect the public key, the part that is freely shared.

The fact that the private key is installed on all these pc's means that anyone with the right skillset enact the attacks as mentioned in the article. The certificate and key need to be revoked - not sure on the mechanism for this outside the PC - but Dell need to supply a patch that will remove the affected certificate and private key and install only a replacement certificate based on a different private key and keep that key, well, private!

Spaniard sues eBay over right to sell the Sun


That convention says no nation can own them - there is nothing against private ownership.

There is a Moon treaty that turns jurisdiction over to the international community, It is in effect a failed treaty as none of the main protagonists in space exploration have ratified it.

Easy come, easy go: Euro astroboffins blast brace of Galileo sats INTO SPAAACE


Re: First built by SSTL, rest by Astrium (after they bought SSTL)

The platforms are built by OHB,the payloads are still built by SSTL who are only 99% owned by Airbus.

I, ROBOT ~ YOU, MORON. How else will automated news work?


Someone beat me to the robot comparison. I was going to go for a different angle. Maybe a robot generated article will be a better read. All AD's articles are conceited egotistical drivel. Don't think I've got past the first paragraph of any of his pieces without thinking "Jeez, what a moron!"

Rack-mount 24TB RAID 5 disk array for $5,000. Let's just check the label here. Uh, it's TiVo


There is no such thing a "Road Tax" - that was abolished in 1937.

Vehicle Excise duty on the other hand is solely dependant on the size of vehicle and the emissions generated by said vehicle and not on the amount of time the vehicle is used on the public highway. To make things fairer we need to monitor where and when you're going. If only there was something that we could use for that - Oh, the Galileo navigation system. Now if only they can get them into the right orbit!

Dell charges £16 TO INSTALL FIREFOX on PCs – Mozilla is miffed


As someone has already said, this would more than likely be installed onto a system that an image is then made from. This would be done using a tool called "Sysprep" which brings the system back to a just installed date, with all the applications still installed that were done before the sysprep tool was used.

Once this image is created, a new PC can be "installed" in less than 5 minutes with a 500GB image over a USB2 interface (yes, I've done this many times!)

Tesla shares dip as Elon Musk admits electrocar firm ran out of juice


Re: A third Tesla went up in flames this week

All three have been due to accidents.

One encountered a large piece of metal that apparently if it was a regular car would have penetrated the passenger cabin and killed the driver.

One drove across a roundabout, through a wall and collided with a tree. http://jalopnik.com/another-tesla-model-s-caught-fire-after-a-crash-in-mexi-1453376349

The latest incident is being investigated but by all accounts was involved in a non-standard incident.

So at least two have been due to extreme external influences.

Not so Saucy after all: Ubuntu reveals Mirless Salamander... and what, no Britney?



Does anyone actually proof read these articles? Next spring's LTS release is 14.04.

Twitter-mad twits trade 14 million shares in BANKRUPT zombie biz


A company that has filed for Chapter 11 is still available for trading on the stock market.

This is a trader fail, as the Q denotes a company that has filed for bankruptcy.

'Safest car ever made' Tesla Model S EV crashes and burns. Car 'performed as designed'


Re: Lithium + water?

There is no pure lithium in a Li-Ion battery. In thermal runaway all the constituents for fire are within the cell. CO2 or foam will have no effect. Water is the most effective extinguishant - the more the better - to kill the heat (the only thing you can control in a Li-Ion fire)


Lithium-Ion Batteries

Ok, so Tesla have stated that the fire started in the battery pack. The most likely cause of this is due to the metal debris the driver said he ran over punctured a cell and caused a short circuit.

Now, this is a Lithium-Ion battery pack, which contains no raw lithium metal, and hence is not reactive to water.

Conventional fire training states that for an electrical fire, do not use water. In the case of a Li-Ion fire, this is not the case. Once the cell goes into thermal runaway, all the ingredients for the fire (Fuel, oxygen and heat) are in the cell. using CO2 or foam will have no effect (these are used to remove an external source of oxygen from the fire).

It has been stated that the initial use of water was not effective. Looking at the video the fire seems to have spread beyond the batteries, so there is likely to be an electrical fire outside the battery, plus whatever other flammables are there. At this point they used dry extinguishers, smashed through the battery and at that point (which this article does not mention) water was used on the cells to finally put out the source of the fire. It seems to me that the fire department on site had the proper knowledge and training to deal with the fire.

No-one was injured and the driver evacuated the vehicle safely. Any artificially powered vehicle that suffers damage in the wrong place will catch fire. There are numerous vehicle fires on our roads (and race tracks) every year, and none of these have this kind of effect on the stock price of that company. Hopefully the post-mortem reports will bring market confidence back to Tesla.

In case of LOHAN flight emergency, gobble THIS Iridium-Arduino sandwich



Breakaway Unit To Terminate Payload Lift Under Gravity

Not the first time that acronym has been used - different definition of course! :-D

Apple denied trademark protection for 'iPad mini'


Re: hahaha

Considering this was posted on the BBC website on the 31st of march, and there are US articles before the BBC one, not an April fool.

SpaceX's Falcon places Dragon in desired orbit


OK, so the sub-headline isn't technically incorrect..

....as this IS the first mission where the mission objective is to re-supply the ISS. The last Dragon capsule launch was the first private cargo vessel to dock with the ISS, and did carry with it some supplies.

Satellite broadband rollout for all in US: But Europe just doesn't get it


Re: Wait a second...

Well, the satellites do tend to "roll out" from the integration hanger, where they are bolted to the rocket , to the launch pad...


The GPS orbit is around 20,200km in what is known as Medium Earth Orbit (MEO). The European Galileo system is in an orbit of around 23,222km, the Russian GLONASS system is at 19,100km and the Chinese Compass system has an interesting mix of GEO, MEO and HEO (inclined orbit at GEO altitude) satellites.

The main uses of satellites in LEO are Science based (weather, ice coverage analysis, ionosphere, ISS) and Earth Observation.


The problem with LEO broadband is it's not a viable option. The satellite is orbiting once every 90 minutes or so, with a pass lasting a maximum of 15 minutes. As for your dish, it would not be a static dish and would have to track the satellite(s).

Now you could have a constellation of satellites, but to be able to have a continuous connection you'd be looking at a huge amount of satellites. For example a constellation of 5 satellites can guarantee a point on the earth covered once every 24 hours.

The only viable use for LEO based internet is a store and forward service, which terminal based radio hams have been using some of the LEO satellites for since the 80's.

McFlurry McMisdemeanour costs Welsh lass McJob


Re: What the fu..

According to my math, she's being paid over the minimum wage.

At 19, her minumum wage is £4.98. As she works between 30 and 35 hours a week, she would be earning £174.30 max if she was on minimum wage. Ergo, she must be on more than that if her average is £180.

Apple's iPhone 5 connector said to be a control freak


Re: Not the first time

Erm, I think you'll find that the PC USB port will adhere to the USB standard. USB 2 according to the specs will supply up to 500mA. USB 3 will supply up to 900mA. The power adaptor for the ipad supplies up to 2A. So even if you have a USB 3 port, that is still less than half the power of the ipad charger.

New Brit nano-satellite to use Xbox Kinect for docking in space


A lot of the tech in SSTL satellites has been consumer grade electronics:-



Re: Bit surprising

Not exactly true. The orbits most of SSTL craft fly in is Low Earth Orbit (LEO) with an altitude of around 700km. This orbit is relatively benign. You only need to start looking to used rad-hard components in higher orbits (MEO or beyond)

Intel 368 processors have been used successfully in this orbit, with missions that exceed 4 years service.


I'm sure you can search for other instances of the use of this processor, and longer mission lifetimes than this.

US space programme in shock metric conversion


Re: "even if "six-tenths of a kilometre" still has a ring of old school about it."

The most common abbreviation for km is Klicks. So they could have referred to the distance as "Point 6 of a klick" downrange..

Does Britain really need a space port?


Re: And then there is the weather

You design and build a decent enough vehicle, then weather will not stop a launch. I have only heard on one launch from Baikonur scubbed due to adverse weather conditions, and that was due to high winds. Cloud, rain, snow they'll launch whatever the weather. http://www.universetoday.com/90939/soyuz-launches-to-station-amid-swirling-snowy-spectacular/ and that was a manned launch!

Stray SMS leads to aborted landing


Re: Interference

Considering satellites in low earth orbit (600 - 800 km) have transmitters with an output of a few hundred milliwatts, then 2W at 50-60km will go a long way!

Apple drops 'thermonuclear' patent bombshell

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Re: meh

The even dafter thing is, I can see the US Patent Office granting this patent!

Satnav mishap misery cure promised at confab


For those that have Garmin sat navs, there is a way of getting openstreetmap maps onto your device:-


World's only twin jet-engine bike drives onto eBay

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Jay Leno's "jet" bike

Jay Leno told a story about his turbo jet helicopter engine powered bike. At a stop light, a car driver kept creeping up his tailpipe as Jay was trying to maintain a space between them. When the light turned green and he pulled away, he noticed the car had a slightly melted front fender.

Sony: all new PS3 titles will require PSN Pass for online play


Seems this process is on xbox too. EA have this in their new titles on both formats.

Samsung preps anti-iPhone 5 lawsuit before it's even out


There's a difference between patents protecting real technological innovation and patents protecting rounded corners. From what I have read about the Galaxy Tab argument is that it looks a bit like an ipad.

No doubt someone who has read the whole argument will point out it's a bit more than that, but there still seem to be a lot of pointless patents out there. (Geddit?) :-D

DIY aerial drone monitors Wi-Fi, GSM networks


Not a typical RC control system

There are boxy aircraft with small wings that do fly (apologies, a name doesn't come to mind right now) mostly light aircraft. As long as the wings provide enough lift, the lack of aerodynamic shape doesn't matter.

If you went and looked at the specs -

Wingspan - 67 inches. (Hardly tiny)

Length - 72 inches

Ths massive batteries - look at the images, there are two compartments just behind the nose that house the two 22v 5000mAh batteries each weighing 1.8 pounds. On a craft that weighs 14 pounds, that's not a huge percentage.Tthey give 30-45 mins of flight time. Who said it needed 5 hours of flight time? 5 hours of processing time yes. Once you have your sample data, you don't need to stay airborne.

500 separate components are all software on a pico-itx computer. OK there will need to be receiver electronics for the radio, but all not a huge drain on battery.

And that tiny fixed pitch prop is a 17"x10" on Eflite Power 90 Brushless motor. Looking at the specs for the motor, this combination of prop and motor is sufficient for the weight of this model.

Uses a 900MHz radio system with a line-of-sight range of over 30,000 feet with a dipole antenna. With a high-gain antenna this range is more than doubled. USes a bespoke groundstation that provides telemetry. I wouldn't be suprised if you used an on-board camera to fly with once airborne - much like military drones.

Quite a difference to the conventional RC gear. Things have advanced quite a bit.

Oh, and fiction, check out the video on their website.

Explosion in iPad factory kills two, injures more



So you assemble all the PCBs yourself??!!

Facebook trains self to recognize your face



that still won't stop your friends tagging you manually in the photos. You can always go and de-tag yourself.

Apple iPhone 4 vs... the rest


iTunes - why?

iTunes is one major bugbear of mine. Why should I need to have a separate app to put music onto my device. It is, at the end of the day, a USB storage device. I should be able to just drag and drop the music into a folder on the device from an OS built-in file manager. I don't want to have an app to manage my music, I'm more than capable of doing it myself. Plus 99% of my work is in an OS other than winblows or OSX, for which there is no iTunes available.


Doesn't just work out of the box.

Well, maybe it does if you run Windows or OSX. Seems they haven't heard of Linux.

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OK, so it's looking a bit battered - stone chips out of the ally case where I've dropped it, and a noticeable bend where I walked into a bollard when it was in my thigh pocket, but the screen is still pristine and the slider works flawlessly.

Just wish their update policy was a bit more speedy.

Virgin unwraps three-tuner über set-top

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3 tuners?

The V+ box I have at the moment has 3 tuners. Can record two channels and watch a third. OK, has a 160GB hard drive (for up to 80 hrs recording).

So the only benefits are more storage and the ability to go back for a "best TV of the week" (which is highly unlikely to be anything I'm interested in!)

So, I'd probly only be interested when a 5 tuner system is out so I can record those 4 programs that overlap, while watching the 5th. An added feature could be the dynamic program guide that can compensate for sports events running over, or changes in the schedule. Save me having to fast-forward through 3 hours of snooker to find out the program wasn't on in the first place!!

OOo contributors make a dash for LibreOffice


Title? What title?

We use MSO at work, but I have a WinPenPack release of the latest LibreOffice beta. Been many a time I've used LO as opposed to MSO due to Microsloth's limitations. (spreadsheet row/column number limitations, row height limitation, and text file import).

Use open office at home with no issues whatsoever. the only reason I'm using the LO version occasionally at work is the OO version has that damn ugly Oracle logo on it's splash screen and it complaining about a missing file.

Libre Office does have some patches implemented in it that OO doesn't (don't recall the extra features/improvements) so it's probably going to have improvements happen faster than in OO.



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