* Posts by Alan Dougherty

126 publicly visible posts • joined 22 May 2007


Bad news. Asteroid 1999 KW4 flew by, did not hit Earth killing us all. Good news: Another one, Didymos, is on the way

Alan Dougherty

Re: A pair of asteroids just whizzed past Earth

Considering that (ignoring the laws of physics), you can fit every planet in the solar system in the space between the earth and the moon, then no it's not really that close.

First China banned Bitcoin. Now its crooks are using malware to steal traders' wallets

Alan Dougherty

Re: So, what got stolen?


'If someone swipes your Bitcoin data file in a jurisdiction that does not recognize it as legal tender.'

Except, that no country or jurisdiction recognizes it as legal tender in the first place.

It is currently treated as a commodity. A digital commodity. One that will not exist, without electricity or internet.

If you have BTC or other digital currency, then the easiest way out is to find a precious metal dealer that will take BTC for shiny metals.

Don't wait for BTC exchanges to transfer funds in to your fiat accounts. Spend it with PM dealers that accept BTC and will send you physical PMs.

Proto Steam box may feel your arousal, hints Valve daddy

Alan Dougherty

Noise and heat issues

Oh yes, that's why PC gamers have been installing big fucking fans and heat sinks in to tower cases for the last two decades.

To be fair steam is a godsend for not having to drop a CD/DVD into a drive everytime you want to launch a game, but please, performance = heat, and heat = fans+sinks.

If he can really crack that one, and make it upgradable, when the next gen games arrive, then I'll buy him a pint. Meanwhile, I'll be swapping out my 550W PSU for a 750, and buying a cheap gtx460 to sli.

Sony promises PC-based PlayStation 4 for Christmas

Alan Dougherty

Re: Sony have dropped the ball

Or you could just go and buy a PC?

Tesla's Elon Musk v The New York Times, Round 2

Alan Dougherty

Re: From the article ....

Except, this was not a review of the car per se; It was a review of the maximum range of the vehcile, under controlled optimum driving.. sort of like when Clarkson took the diesel Passat from London to Edinburgh.

So, to have a journo, known to be in the pockets of oil companies, dick about in car parks and, frankly, try everything in his power to fail, just smacks backhanders, and undermines his and the NYT's credability, (if they had any, I don't live on that side of the pond and don't read said paper, and have never (before this review) heard of the jurno either.).

The universe speaks: 'It's time to get off your rock!'

Alan Dougherty


Strangely, I can only read this article with the voice of Richard Hammond (TG) in my head. Makes it seem more DON'T PANIC! for some reason.

Copying Wikipedia's lies is not just for hacks, right Lord Leveson?

Alan Dougherty

Re: It's a launch pad


“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible.”

Stuart Chase.

To argue with people that will believe whatever they are presented with is pointless, because they have already made their minds up. This is why 419 scams are (deliberately) badly written. Those that still reply to them are worth the effort to chase, because they WILL believe anything.

‘Hyperspectral’ camera surprises aurora researchers

Alan Dougherty


I hope the boffins in Svalbard are prepared for Dust, Spectres and armoured bears.

Japanese firm offers 4-tonne GIANT MECHs for just $1.3m

Alan Dougherty

Re: Step 1. Acquire mech.

This is what I don't understand; If you can get inside it, why the hell would you not?

Why 'slow light' might just save the Internet

Alan Dougherty

Re: Wrong Day

Yep, started reading, looked at empty wine bottle, cursed Canadian F1 drivers again, thenn I think I goingto ebd..

BlackBerry 10: AWESOME. If the hardware matches it, RIM jobs are safe

Alan Dougherty


HMRC isn't a bank, it's the tax man, yeahhhh; it's the tax man.

Sould €100 seem too small

Be thankfull he doesn't take it all.

Looks like it's well past beer-o-clock for me....

South Korean convicted for tweeting Pyongyang propaganda

Alan Dougherty


Right, so to prevent the population, of a wealthy western looking country, from being influenced by the propaganda (prop-prop-prop propaganda style?), of a basket-case nutter next door, they have draconian dictatorship like laws, incase anybody wants to move there?

Am I missing something, or would it not seem that no one could take that propaganda seriously, and it should automaticly be treated as satire?

Sandy 'Mary Celeste' Island undiscovered - again

Alan Dougherty

If they can get a passenger jet to drop to 5000ft and spot a yaught on the way to the land of cork brimmed hats, can we not get the next one to have a quick gander when it's in the area?

Classic game 'Elite' returns … on Kickstarter

Alan Dougherty

Re: Big disappointment


Straight from the horses mouth, that it is single player, with multiplayer, if you so wish.

Felix Baumgartner sadly turns out to be blinkered FOOL

Alan Dougherty

Re: I wonder how he feels

Indeed, imagine that he didn't have a space suit to do the jump, like the suits that where designed, becuase pilots, engineers and scientists, a few generations ago, wanted to go and visit other planets..

Fuck it, lets get him to do the jump again, this time without a suit.

5 Tokyo devs cuffed over 'The Movie' Android app scam

Alan Dougherty

Re: I don't know if this says something...

This is Japan we are talking about here 'tho.

For too many times have I been taken to a dark corner of the internet, and left there, weeping in a corner, because; well, because Japan.

Curiosity scoops up SHINY BITS from the RED SANDS of MARS!

Alan Dougherty

Re: Martians never left

Or, it's ONE of the space arks that didn't make it. We got off one of the other ones here.

Game over for legendary 1980s games designer Mike Singleton

Alan Dougherty

Re: One of the greats

Midwinter; I haven't heard that name in years.

Infact I forgot the game even existed. I now remember my mate bringing his ST over one day, while my 286 was still waiting for it's first sound card. And it was epic for the time. Funny tho, that I didn't make the connection between Carrier Command and Midwinter until now, probably due to platform difference.

Still, a few years later, I was just upgrading, while he was buying a new machine from scratch. Swings and round-a-bouts..

Alan Dougherty

Re: Oh no...


Although I haven't played the release (have been banging my head off the table with the beta tho), I hope Mike was chuffed enough to know that there was a LOT of interest for the new Carrier Commaand; A good game never dies.. it just gets rebooted..

Alan Dougherty

Re: Oh no...

Exactly.. Carrier Command, a pivotal game in RTS, sims and most games today.

Bohemia have even just released the reboot (after buying the car crash effort from another studio). I pre-payed for the CC reboot, just to let them finish it, but haven't installed it yet.. tonight shall be that night...


Why is solid-state storage so flimsy?

Alan Dougherty

Re: SSDs and HDDs both require backup...

That's exactly one thing on an HDD that can give you a warning, the noise.

I've shut down and mirrored two HDD's because of 'oddness', that you can hear (cclicking, rpm winding up and down when it shouldn't really), and, wouldn't you know.. a few weeks later, a loud scrrrrech, and a sudden BSOD later, the HDD refused to spin up after a reboot.

One tip, if you DO hear that sort of noise, DON'T DO A WINDOWS DISKCHECK.. all that will do is bounce your heads all over the good bits of the platter; Take the disk out, put it in as a slave on another machine, and just mirror it to another HDD.. then you can do your fault check.. which will probably destroy everything anyany.

Luckily, these (it happened twice over 10 years), were home PC's, with nothing but banal crap, re-installable games, personal e-mails containing nothing that I couldn't recover from the imap, and personal docs and pics that were always backed up..

So, in a sense, HDD's can and do give more warning of a problem, but you can't rely on it, and you have to be physicaly present to hear said telltales.. HD drives, in their death throes, failing in a server room, with no one present, would need to be striped across multiple discs to prevent data loss.. oh wait.. that's exactly what happens..

SSD will never replace HDD RAIDS for secure ('secure' in this case meaning nonvolatile) storage.

And if you're at home, infront of your PC, you WILL have a better chance of physicaly hearing a problem before it becomes terminal / expensive.

But still, back yo' shit up. Ain't nobody needs that sort of data loss round these here parts..

Chip strip reveals 'handmade' Apple A6

Alan Dougherty

Re: Samsung

@Steve I

""I can't see the Samsung investors not selling to another rival like Google anyway.. just for the shits and giggles.."

With billions of $ at stake, they'd sell to the highest bidder."

Don't misquote me please, I said "If that was the case", just before that.. I never claimed it was the case, or was the current situation..

You may well be right, and probably are; I'm sort of being devils advocate here, especially with the current questions around juror's conduct behind closed doors.

However, even though I know pride comes before a fall; If I was a boardmember of Samsung, and any part of the company was looking like it was going to be sold to Apple, I'd fall on my sword and sell what I had to Google, before I'd let those fruity harpies near it.

Alan Dougherty


The question is, does Apple have enough suppliers to drop Samsung, before Samsung decide it's not worth dealing with Apple, and taking the risk to not sign a new fab contract?

Considering that Samsung currently owe $1bn to Apple, (I know it's still in the courts, but if they do end up paying it), would it cheaper to pay fees for breaking a contract early, and let Apple stew in a channel of no parts, or use it to beat Apple round the head? (i.e. drop the shitty patent suits, or you get no more parts, and we'll pay the contract fees)?.. Anybody know what the default fees might be?

In no business, have I ever heard of a parts supplier, continue to supply parts, to a rival, that is doing it's best to bankrupt the supplier.. it just does not compute... and what if Apple win, and Samsung shuts down.. sure the different fabs and labs might be broken up, but those would go the prefered bidder..

Maybe Apple want to assimilate teh Samsung R&D and fabs, without the hassle of setting up their own.. but that would just expose their lack of internal investment or over-outsourcing in the first place...

If that was the case, I can't see the Samsung investors not selling to another rival like Google anyway.. just for the shits and giggles..

LASER STRIKES against US planes on the rise

Alan Dougherty

Re: Two separate issues

@Alan Firminger

And WTF has this got to do with US drone strikes, the current president (one who seems to be trying his best to reduce overseas military assets / strikes, as much as is feasible, taking into account resources and money already commited), or the Hague? Which President do you mean? The one left with the shit on his plate or the one (or more) that started it?

Maybe it isn't one individual Presidents fault, but the whole countries fault, and you're just pointing fingers at the current President, because you probably can't name the last five in order? Who knows?

High power lasers, directed at comercial aircraft, needs to be dealt with, BEFORE something happens, and the current state of the US international agenda / internal polotics have cock all to do with that.

Alan Dougherty

Re: Ironic Punishment - use MIRRORS


'The fact the beam is diverging doesn't matter.

Each photon travels in a straight line, and so long as it hits part of the retroreflector the photon will be sent straight back. The only problem with a divergent beam is you'll need a large reflector to capture as much of it as possible.' /quote

Wouldn't that mean that you have to have some way to move / alter the mirror shape? Preferably trying to do this on a small window on the underside of the nose of plane, and considering that the target of the original beam is the glass cockpit?

If the beam is hitting it's target, then there will be no mirror to reflect it, and even if it misses, and hits any sort of reflector, it would have to stay there for a few seconds to have any chance of beaming back to the source (which you might note is not the eyes of the perp., but their hand / laser source). As the aircraft is moving more relevent to the source, the mirrors will have to change shape / move to account for the air speed.

This sort of mirror arrangement is in line with certain 4 shot air-bourne 747 chemical lasers.. the laser on those cases is the easy part.. the targeting is the hard part..

Still seems easier to have a small range / direction finder behind a small perspex window, just under the nose, and feed the data to ground assets.

The aircraft does not need to return anything other than a GPS of where the original beam came from.

Alan Dougherty

Re: Two separate issues

Cars, trucks, vans and all types of ground transport, can stop quickly, with minimal risk to life, even with the drivers eyes closed.

Granted that some one might crash, but it wouldn't be i the scale of an aircraft crash, or from the distance that it could be caused from with a laser.

Lasers and road traffic, just gets people to pull over, get out, and beat the shit out of the tools with the laser.

Alan Dougherty

Re: Ironic Punishment - use MIRRORS


The beam diverges over distance, and to reflect the beam directly back at the source, the mirror would need to be perfect in manufacture, angle, and the beam itself would need to be tight, otherwise all you're going to do is scatter green laser, diverging ever more from the point of origin.

Mirrors will not work.

Range finding for a GPS location, will tell you where it came from in a second or two, then let the boys in blue trawl the area for a while.. if it's kids in the street, they will get the message. If it's some nutter, he'll be shining from a property, and not on the street.. so that will be enough for the cops to go on anyway, because they would have rough cords.

Alan Dougherty

Re: Annoying brats (bis)

@ ElReg!comments!Pierre

It may indeed reflect some of the beam, but the glass will most likley 'scatter' most of it insde the cockpit.. chances are, that the pilot probably wont even be able to see the instruments infront of him, due to reflected light, coming from the airframe and cabin behind him, as that's now awash with intense laser light.. even if he looks down and away from the window, the entire cabin will be a massive tint of green..

Considering most displays are green on black, good luck finding that heading / speed marker when everything around you is luminous green.

Massive strike at Foxconn's iPhone 5 factory

Alan Dougherty

Re: "No Chines workers, No iPhone" ...

China does indeed supply nearly all of the rare eath metals, but it is by no means the only holder of such metals.

The US needs large quantites of these metals for weapon systems, guidence systems in cruise missiles etc etc.. but the US is sitting on large quantites of those metals itself, it is just not mining them. Why? Because a lot of them are in protected enviroment areas. Also, while you can still afford it, why use your own supplies, when you can use the supplies from a potential enemy?

Democratic congresswomen 'less feminine in appearance' than Republicans

Alan Dougherty

Re: Fits in with Republican Ideology

Did.. did you honestly just post a link to the onion as an argument?


On a tech web site?

Are you Iranian?

I hope you are trolling...

Tesla drops veil on top secret solar Superchargers

Alan Dougherty

Long distance driving in petrol or disel engines, is actually less damaging per mile than shorter distances.

Constant high speed (70mph), over long distance will do less harm to your normal engine than short distances, as the engine is running at a constant rpm and temperature.

If you're buying a second hand car, and you know it's spent most of it's life on long motorway cruises, then you can discount some of the higher mileage, as the engine won't have taken as much punishment, from one doing the same milage in urban driving.

Tesla Motors falls behind in Model S production, issues more shares

Alan Dougherty

Re: not to be a dick or nothing

The 'dumb' tower, was sound in wireless comms.. dunno about the wireless power transmission, but it mostly failed because his patents ran out, and, surprise surprise, the banks fucked him up the ass, probably at the request of Edison, after Telsa had shown them that AC was the way to go on power tansmission, and not Edisons' Dc.. not to be a dick or anything.

Don't panic: Arctic methane emissions have been going on for ages

Alan Dougherty

Under sea lab

Let me guess, it's placed a few hundred meters from the edge of an unexplored abyss? Has anybody sent some special forces deep sea, search and rescue people down to it in the last few weeks?

Has it been heard from again?

Verizon CFO: 'Unlimited' data is just a word

Alan Dougherty

Re: There appear to be limits to Unlimited

That article has no bearing on the word 'unlimited'.

It appears to be soley about a $30 plan that you actually need to pay another $30 for the line.. Data useage per month is not mentioned.

Did you read the article you posted a link for?

Ten USB 3.0 HDD enclosures

Alan Dougherty

Re: Why blue LEDs?

Don't hate me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, blue LED's only became available, after some archaeologists scraped some crystaline blue paint from a cave painting, many years ago (20 or so.. I remember the BBC article, but I don't thing it was so long ago that no-one else can remember).. then found it would be superb if industrialised, and a bit of DC pushed through them..

Before that, we had red, green, and, well red and green, and maybe some orange, with a bit of plastic lens to mix the red and green..

Anyway.. the fact we even have blue LEDs, is down to idots, in warm, sweaty countries, filled with bugs, spelunking down caves that they shouldn't bother with, to find paint pigments, left by monkeys like us, that can be used in LEDs..

Next time you see a blue LED, think of the effort that went into getting *just the right pigment*..


Alan Dougherty
Thumb Down

Re: Hopefully, I'll be spared...

It's not the producers, it's the retailers..

I produce a product, that is placed into 200 outlets acroos my area of operations..

My price to the retailers has not increased in 4 years (it will shortly, mark my words).

My product is VAT free, yet every time there is a VAT increase, the retailers increase the price of my product, to the public, citing VAT, despite the fact that I haven't increased my price to them.

When I tell them I'm increasing my price, to cover a 60% rise in fuel costs, 50% in materials cost, they tell me they will drop me as a supplier...

DON'T blame the pruduction.. blame the gready fuknuts on the retail end..

Alan Dougherty

Re: Totally illogical.

Hang on.. if you're talking about the Boer Wars, i think it was penned a good bit after, by Jack Judge..

Alan Dougherty

Re: I do not like green (eggs and) ham.

Would you like them in a tree (due to rising sea levels)?

They are so good, so good you see?

You should have them here or there,

You should have them anywhere.

*Bacon sarnies need only six ingredients..

Plain white sliced bread



Small amount of grated mature chedder (grated smoked applewood if it takes your fancy)

HP Sauce (just a drizzle)

One or two sun dried tomatoes, making sure you don't get too much oil on the bread.

Anyway.. if we are currently importing bacon, and we have farmers wondering what to do with their land, then can we not step up and make this once great Kingdom an exporting powerhouse of bacon again (and keep enough back (bacon) for ourselves)?

If the import price is high, then the home grown price should be getting close to equilibrium.. maybe enough to make it worth while for local pig farmers to do what they do best, and export the best of British pork?

Where's the bacon icon?

iPad no flight risk says Federal Aviation Authority

Alan Dougherty

Re: Sigh

Possibly, because the pilot can have data stored for multiple aircraft, for out of cockpit reading, if he's being a good boy, and not boning the hostesses on a stop over and aircraft change..

Alan Dougherty

Re: wut?

Depends on if it's an old 90's Nokia or not..

Alan Dougherty

Re: Presumably........

Pilot : 'Siri, you can't be serious?'

Co-pilot : 'I am serious.. and don't call me Siri'...

HP preps designer desktops for Windows 8

Alan Dougherty


I have had a IIyama touch screen for over a year, and, it is good, depending on what you need to do.. (spreadsheets, flight sims, etc when you get used to the interface, despite MS failing to push out half decent drivers, that 3rd parties can make use of).. but where in the bloody hell I'm I supposed to cram in the second gfx card and water cooler in that thing?

I'll stick to custom builds thanks... and it'll still be cheaper..

Airbus predicts catapult takeoffs and formation flying by 2050

Alan Dougherty

Re: Burst ear drums

Apologies, that should have been quick pressure *increases*..

Alan Dougherty
Thumb Down

Burst ear drums

I'm sorry, but fuel saving, shorter runways & quicker flight times.. will mean nothing, when myself, others with my condition, and any children, sue them for burst eardrums, due to thin ear canals..

Even as an adult, a more rapid than normal descent, will cause me pain like you could not believe.. and it was worse when I was a kid.. and most flights I have been on have pre-teens holding their ears, crying, because of a steep descent (usualy due to weather considtions, and this is just with current planes)..

Unless they can properly regulate the cabin pressure in a steep descent, then they will spend more money on legal fees and medical bills, than this will save on fuel..

Whats next.. 'Sorry Sir, you can't fly. Your ear canals are too narrow to withstand quick pressure drops..'?

DARPA builds faster-than-Usain-Bolt Cheetah robot

Alan Dougherty

Boston Dynamics do some cool stuff... and speed over rough terrain isn't everything..


Big Dog would be the stuff of nightmares, if you couldn't hear it from 1/2 a mile away..

NASA captures mind-bogglingly gorgeous solar video

Alan Dougherty

Re: Wow

@CGI could do it better

To be honest, when I glanced over the image I just assumed it was the usual 'artists impression' bullshit.. but .. fuck me.. I'd still rather look at the real thing than some 'artists impression' cgi / paint crap..

Android dev smacked with £50k fine over premium rate SMS scam

Alan Dougherty

Re: If this is a Ltd company

You may have a point there, as my business needs enough capital to buy physical machines and vehicles.. so I'll always have that as an overhead.. but, then I'll always have physical items as capital as well.. not much value for the average bank (these days, despite paying those fuckers over the odds, for the equipment in the first place), for a small business, but, at least I can sell the lot as a going concern..

If anybody is thinking of starting a business.. one word of advice.. talk to the co-op first before you set up a business account...

And no, I don't have a co-op account yet (I'm not a shill).. I'm still trying to clear up the clusterfuck of the ulsterbank first.. it's not really fair to turn up on a new banks doorstep with a statement that makes most people go WTF?

Alan Dougherty

Re: If this is a Ltd company

Limited companies can stop trading, and managers and owners will not be personally responsible for debt incurred by the company.. however..

The directors may be declared bankrupt, and unable to hold a directorship in the UK for 12 months..

Also, most banks and big creditors, will insist that any capital given is secured personally by the directors, regardless of a limited status of the company.. starting your own business and getting limited status, does not mean you are absolved of loan debt, that the lenders require personal guarantee on..

I'm not 100% on all the details, but being a self trader, and looking into going limited, my accountant advised it would be pointless for the size of my company, as any loans etc, would still need personal guarantees..

Alan Dougherty

Re: How to put 'thumbs' icons after message

1) Then you should use noscript.

2) You have to be logged in, to up, or down vote a post. (I'm still assuming that you are talking about the green red vote buttons under a post?)

3) Other than that i have no idea. (i.e. can't be arsed, it's beer o'clock).