* Posts by phuzz

5942 posts • joined 23 Feb 2010

Born slippy: NASA Mars rover Perseverance to persevere on Earth a little longer as launch date pushed back again

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Re: Like it or not

The Falcon Heavy can get enough mass on a Mars trajectory*, but back when they were planning the Mars 2020 mission the FH hadn't flown. Swapping launch vehicles halfway through the planning phase isn't something NASA do very often.

Also, I suspect they were always going to stick with the same rocket they used for Curiosity. That said, I'd be pretty sure that any Mars missions in planning right now, will be looking at the FH as an option.

* SpaceX claim about 16,800kg for a full expendable launch, and the rover+landing system+cruise stage is less than 4,000kg

Linux Mint 20 isn't exactly bursting with freshness but, hey, there's kernel 5.4 and it's a long-term support release

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Re: Upgrading can be painful?

Since Vista upgrading Windows has become more viable, I'd probably put it on par with doing a major upgrade like a service pack (or whatever they're calling these twice yearly updates we get now). ie, very much luck of the draw.

I've never had any problems with it, but I'd put that down to lucky hardware choices.

Two out of three parachutes... is just as planned for Boeing's Starliner this time around

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Re: Technically

I'm assuming that it can land on land, although it would probably rely a lot on crush structures (crumple zones), if only in an emergency. Similarly, both Soyuz and Starliner are capable of a water landing, although it's non optimal. (So far, only Soyuz 23 has had to do a water landing because it landed in a lake).

I'd also assume that they've tested land landings, even if that just meant dropping one from a crane, but I can't find anything after a few minutes of searching.

You wait ages for a mid-air collision spoofing attack and along come two at once: More boffins take a crack at hoodwinking TCAS

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Or, with the same drone, but without the transponder, you could just crash the drone into the aircraft.

Why make it more complicated?

Stinker, emailer, trawler, spy: How an engineer stole top US chip designs, smuggled them to China to set up a rival fab

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"was found guilty of economic espionage and theft of trade secrets, as well as conspiring to commit both crimes"

It does seem slightly harsh that you can be convicted of both committing a crime as well as planning it, isn't that like being charged with murder, and the attempted murder of the same person?

I'd assume that the pre-meditated aspect of the crime would be dealt with in sentencing for the 'larger' crime (eg, premeditated murder is treated more harshly than a 'crime of passion').

Ex-barrister reckons he has a privacy-preserving solution to Britain's smut ban plans

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Re: This could actually make $$$

Plenty of internet and mobile providers already offer content blockers (Vodafone's is called SecureNet) either for free as an incentive, or as a paid program. They mostly seem to be aimed at parents wanting to censor what their kids can look at.

I'm in two minds about it, because I fell that working out how to circumvent a censorbot would be a good learning experience for kids.

Apple to keep Intel at Arm's length: macOS shifts from x86 to homegrown common CPU arch, will run iOS apps

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Windows CE has supported ARM for years, and there's also Windows 10 ARM, which as far as I can tell is pretty much the Microsoft equivalent of everything that Apple has just announced (x86 emulation and everything).

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Probably not a big deal, if you already have reasonably solid code.

you are frankly an amateur

Plenty of software used by millions of people is written by amateurs. Linus Torvolds wasn't paid for his work on Linux until 2003.

Belief in 5G conspiracy theories goes hand-in-hand with small explosions of rage, paranoia and violence, researchers claim

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Re: We have our own US-based All-American 5G Conspiracy Theory!

Well, unless you happen to have clearance, there's no way of knowing who the UK are spying on right now. But from the Snowden leaks we know that they were spying on any country they could, just a few years ago.

Hey NYPD, when you're done tear-gassing and running over protesters, can you tell us about your spy gear?

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Don't bring politics here

I knew that Americans had weird ways of spelling words like 'colour' and 'aluminium', but I'd never have guessed that that is how they spell 'only tells me what I want to hear'.

Microsoft emits a colourful Windows Terminal preview

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Re: Sounds good.

It's open source (here), but after a quick search, I can't find any evidence of anyone trying to port it.

Shame really, can you imagine how many flame wars that would encourage? ;)

Ex-director cops community service after 5,000-file deletion spree on company Dropbox

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Re: Backups? We've heard of them...

A good admin knows how to restore from backups before anyone realises they fucked up...

PC printer problems and enraged execs: When the answer to 'Hand over that floppy disk' is 'No'

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Possibly the original word that 'Tom' used might have identified what company they were talking about, and the editor removed it to preserve their anonymity.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: I think he was glad when I left

For some reason I can't give this the upvote it deserves

Hmm, same here, I just get "Sorry, this post is no longer open for votes".

What's that about elReg?

The incumbent President of the United States of America ran now-banned Facebook ads loaded with Nazi references

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Re: Golly. RED trangles?

Has bob registered a new account?

One way to check; Hey Jemma, what's your thought's on Windows 10's GUI design?

NASA to send Perseverance, a new trundle bot, and Ingenuity, the first interplanetary helicopter, to sniff out life on Mars in July

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Re: Interplanetary Hellicopter

I don't know how they can replicate the conditions to test a Mars helicopter.

As you guessed, they tested in a vacuum chamber (although not in a complete vacuum), and effectively suspended the 'copter from a string to simmulate the reduced weight. More info

How do you run a military court over Zoom? With 28 bullet points and a ceremonial laptop flunkey, of course!

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That put hairs on their chests

Well, that could be a problem in today's Army, now that women are allowed to serve.

Mind you, it might cut down on fraternisation...

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram

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Re: Me too

I only know my weight in kilos, but I'll admit that in some respects 'stones' make more sense.

Mostly because your weight can vary up to a couple of kilos between eating and defecting*, so kilos are too precise.

Still, if I'm going to be doing any maths at all, I'll use SI units and thus stidestep all the random "base twelve, no sixteen!" of Imperial units.

* I once measured a 2.1kg reduction in my weight after one visit to the toilet, of which I am unaccountably proud.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Spelling

Personally I just spell it kg.

If you're despairing at staff sharing admin passwords, look on the bright side. That's CIA-grade security

phuzz Silver badge

Yes. For example there's "Facedancer21" to attack things like routers and APs using an embedded Linux. They also seem to have developed Linux versions of some multiplatform tools (eg).

There's probably much more, but it's difficult to find without spending days trawling through the documents.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: There's a dangerous assumption here.

It sounds like they weren't using the same security tools as the rest of the CIA's network, so my assumption would be a bunch of people who thought they were so elite that they didn't need to follow the rules.

In my experience in civvy life, it's usually the marketing department that consider themselves too 'special' to obey the rules.

Wow, Microsoft's Windows 10 always runs Edge on startup? What could cause that? So strange, tut-tuts Microsoft

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Re: Standard Win10 Error

Chrome always autostarts on my system (and yes, I've double checked all the settings to make sure it's not set to do that).

It seems to be linked to the 'fast startup' feature, where Windows actually hibernates rather than shutting down when you click the Shutdown option.

Instead I have a shortcut on the desktop which runs shutdown.exe /s /hybrid /t 0, which forces a proper shutdown.

Twitter ticks off Trump with new 'Get the facts' alert on pair of fact-challenged tweets

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phuzz Silver badge

Re: Ooh, fun!

This is the problem. The ASA does not cover political messages, and the Electoral Commission only covers what the political parties say directly (eg Party Political Broadcasts).

Everything else falls between the cracks.

The Last J-Freighter: HTV-9 arrives at the ISS as ESA inks a deal for a third Moon-bound service module

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Re: Space is big

I agree that 'deep space' should mean a long way away, but in fairness to NASA (and ESA), out by the moon is well outside the Earth's magnetosphere, with all the radiation problems that will entail. So functionally, it has most of the same engineering challenges as deep space.

SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon cleared to hoist real live American astronauts into space

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Agreed, and I'd really like it if elReg would include the UTC time by default.

Everyone should be able to remember their local offset from UTC (and it's especially easy for us Brits), but I can never remember all the various timezones in the US.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Space Taxis

The 'Lunar Gateway' is NASA's idea of where it's second space station should be (ie, near the Moon). It is otherwise, basically what you propose as an ISS2. It's international too, ESA and JAXA are interested in adding modules, and Canada are supplying a robotic arm (that seems to be the default Canadian space contribution. Maybe maple syrup works as a lubricant in vacuum?)

I suppose that once you're launching supplies up to LEO, you might as well add a taxi stage to take them all the way out to the Moon, rather than docking with a station and then handing them over to a dedicated taxi. Plus that might lead to a use for the SLS, which means it would go down well in the government...

Linus Torvalds drops Intel and adopts 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper on personal PC

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Re: ARM wrestle

The whole "year of Linux on the desktop" idea came about in a time when desktop PCs were the main interaction most people had with computers.

These days most people don't own a desktop, although they might own a laptop, but the main way people these days use a computer is the phone in their pocket.

These days the worldwide majority of phones are running Android, which is based in part on Linux, so you could say that the 'Year of Linux on the ARM Desktop', came about where no one was looking.

Dude, where's my laser?

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Re: They always seem to pick easy targets.

Ah, that's the plan you see!

The US convince everyone they have anti-aircraft lasers, their enemies develop aircraft covered with retro-reflectors, and then the US shoot them down using laser guided munitions!

Das reboot: That's the only thing to do when the screenshot, er, freezes

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Re: Funny that

Our computing lab at uni had a room full of iMac G3's, which had a USB keyboard and mouse.

Some of us realised that you could plug a second mouse or keyboard in, and both would control the pointer. So as someone attempts to click on something, you move the second mouse so it looks like their pointer has a mind of it's own.

I also remember when I was at school and BackOrifice, was released. We had great fun 'spontaneously' rebooting people's computers.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Funny that

It was disabled by default a while ago, but I can still enable it on my work machine which is about five years old.

The end really is nigh – for 32-bit Windows 10 on new PCs

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Re: Amazed it took them this long

"FF has become such a PIG"

To be fair, I'd lay a lot of the blame for that at the feet of web developers. Even a simple webpage these days is full of megabytes of javascript and ads.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Probably just as well, given how much RAM it uses..

PAE was supported on Windows XP, Vista and 7 (as well as Server 2003 and 2008).

In colossal surprise, Intel says new vPro processors are quite a bit better than the old ones

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The value is that Intel get to sell both the chip and the wifi module.

Oh wait, you meant value to the customer...

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Re: Does that statistic come with an asterisk?

They're probably benchmarks with the mitigations enabled, although I'm sure they cherry-picked the benchmarks which aren't affected by the Spectre stuff (iirc the slowdown is quite dependant on exactly what you're asking the chip to do).

Third time lucky for Windows 10 2004? Microsoft yet again fiddles with code and adds a go-live SDK licence

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Oh come on Microsoft. You've already skipped Windows 9 (possibly to avoid poorly programmed version checks confusing it with Windows 95 or 98), so how about skipping all public version numbers between 1995 and 2050?

Calling it "2004" makes me have flashbacks to XP 'Media Center Version 2004', and no one wants to remember that.

(Although thinking about that did remind me of the ATI 'All-In-Wonder' cards, that combined a TV tuner in a graphics card. They were kind of cool.)

We dunno what's more wild: This vid of Japan's probe bouncing off an asteroid to collect a sample – or that the rock was sun-burnt

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I hope it had "This is for the dinosaurs" written on the side.

'We're changing shift, and no one can log on!' It was at this moment our hero knew server-lugging chap had screwed up

phuzz Silver badge

Re: It's easy to detect the Aarons of the world nowadays.

Monitoring is a good (practically essential) start though, especially when your environment is too big for any one person to know what 'should' be going on with every device.

I've not spotted crypto-mining yet, but I've spotted servers filling their discs, which turned out to be something writing debug-level logs because the developer forgot to switch them off.

Another vote for Zabbix though. It can monitor practically anything with a network connection, and it's configurable seven ways from Sunday.

The Great British anti-5G fruitcake Bakeoff: Group hugs, no guns, and David Icke

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Re: They are the virus

"Well those [microwave ovens] the frequencies used by 5G"

Microwave ovens use 2.45 GHz, 5G uses a range between 25-39GHz.

More importantly, 2.45GHz is used to heat water very specifically because that frequency is best absorbed by water (and converted to heat). And that's exactly why that frequency isn't used for communication, because otherwise your mobile would only work reliably in a desert.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: They are the virus

I prefer trolling them right back, but harder, so they waste their time 'debating' with me, rather than bothering people who might not realise that they're lying.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: They are the virus

The problem is with anti-vaxers in particular, that their refusal to vaccinate puts other people (often their own children) at risk.

These people are undoubtedly going to end up spreading CV19 to other people that they've interacted with, who had nothing to do with their protests.

Latvian drone wrests control from human overlords and shuts down entire nation's skies

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If the radar* is picking up returns from below a sensible altitude then you get reflections from the ground, and everything on it (trees, buildings etc.). If you implement a speed gate and only show object that are moving then you pick up every vehicle, large trees, waves etc.

The difficulty with picking an altitude which avoids ground clutter then becomes hills...

* Radar is one of those acronyms that doesn't need to be capitalised in general usage.

Square peg of modem won't fit into round hole of PC? I saw to it, bloke tells horrified mate

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Re: DIMM Slots

It's not a hammer, it's a "forceful screwdriver" ok?

Prank warning: You do know your smart speaker's paired with Spotify over the internet, don't you?

phuzz Silver badge

Re: IoV

So basically add it as part of the CE/FCC/Kitemark* certification process?

* or whatever the UK starts using if/when we finally brexit.

SpaceX's Elon Musk high on success after counting '420' Starlinks in orbit and Frosty the Starship survives cryo test

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Re: Perfect Timing for Bypassing Great Firewall of China

Musk's goal is making money.

If there's more profit in delivering uncensored internet to China than he'd lose due to pissing off the Chinese government then he'll do it. However, I suspect the big Tesla factory he's building in China will mean that he's not going to risk pissing off the government there.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Would China, North Korea be scared of starlink ?

"Then Musk would have to built satellites capable of firing back..."

No need, just make the bottom into a retro-reflecting mirror :)

(Although that would make it worse for astronomers)

Academics demand answers from NHS over potential data timebomb ticking inside new UK contact-tracing app

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Even HMG has to is supposed to obey the law.


Wakey-wakey! A quarter of IT pros only get 3-4 hours' kip – and you won't believe what's being touted as the 'solution'

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Re: Bollocks to cloud....

"I don't know about illegal, because emergencies happen. Let's make it very expensive, so those bosses who don't respect boundaries get slapped by the bean counters."

Congratulations, you just invented the on-call bonus ;)

Nine million logs of Brits' road journeys spill onto the internet from password-less number-plate camera dashboard

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I'd be surprised if whoever set up a publicly facing web portal with no security whatsoever actually had a working log setup, so "to the best of our knowledge", is probably not fucking much.

Aussie immunology legend consults Twitter for his local off-licence opening hours

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Isn't that basically Hooch?


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