* Posts by Yesnomaybe

332 publicly visible posts • joined 6 May 2010


NASA fix for Curiosity rovers's damaged drill: hitting it, repeatedly


I don't use the word "Hammer". I prefer "Kinetic adjustment tool" or "Kinetic adjuster" for short.

NASA lunar rover trundles to a meeting with Doctor Hacksaw and Mister Axe


I was hoping

for Robot Wars ON THE MOON! The content of the article was far less exiting.

Millions of moaners vindicated: Man flu is 'a thing', says researcher, and big TVs are cure


Pretty conclusive?

"men......exhibit a higher mortality"

Isn't that pretty clear-cut then? FFS!

Curiosity rover gives Mars the middle finger, prepares to get drilling


Re: Whoa!

The diameter of the hole in a rock after drilling is 1.6 cm

Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 is hot, but not much more than the S8+


Yup, I had 2 now on 4, can't wait for the 8, buying it whatever the price.

NASA Earthonauts emerge from eight-month isolation in simulated Mars visit


Re: Just saying

Having worked on a couple of yachts, you find out fairly quickly if a crew-member can hack it or will succumb to "cabin-fever". And I think I could probably weed out most of the people that couldn't handle it after a half-hour interview. On a yacht, you do not have the option to walk out if you are on a long crossing. Some people are OK with it, some crack up. (It could also be to do with sleep-deprivation and long shifts with hard/dangerous work, but hey.)

In the red corner: Malware-breeding AI. And in the blue corner: The AI trying to stop it



Sounds like the equivalent of loading a bacterium on a petri dish with increasing doses of antibiotic.

UK government's war on e-cigs is over


Re: but... but...

ScienceDaily is rabid anti-vaping for some reason. So much so that I have tried to get information on their funding. Not much luck with that.

Extreme trainspotting on Britain's highest (and windiest) railway


Re: Reasonable compromise

"A better one would have been not to put a ski resort in there in the first place, mind."

In my opinion, the place is perfect for development. It is basically a barren wasteland. Not much good for anything else.

London suffers from 'sub-standard' connectivity - report


Re: Logical the likes of York will be better

Stalking is an ugly word. I just like to look at you. When you get dressed in the morning. If you didn't want that, you'd probably close your curtains, so I take it as an implicit agreement.


Re: Logical the likes of York will be better

"We're 15 miles east of York"

Hey! I am living near you then.

Hot news! Combustible Galaxy Note 7 to return as 'Galaxy Note FE'


I'll get one if I can get it. My Note4 is starting to show its age. And I need the functionality.

Ever wondered why the universe only has black holes in S or XXXL? No? Boffins have an answer


How come...

How come the super-massive black holes haven't sucked up all the dark matter?

Colliders, containers, dark matter: The CERN atom smasher's careful cloud revolution



Puts my crappy little server-room into perspective, doesn't it just...

Feel guilty for scoffing Easter chocolate? Good news: Scientists have made NEGATIVE mass


Negative mass?

Or a state that imitates ONE characteristic of negative mass?

How hard will it be to measure Planet Nine?



Shame about Pluto. We could now have been looking for planet "X". Instead we are looking for "IX"

OK, it's not a disaster, there COULD be many machines on IX.

Boeing details 'Deep Space Gateway' for Mars mission staging


Re: More USS Gravy Train than USS Enterprise

Eventually they WILL need telephone-sanitisers.

Mac Pro update: Apple promises another pricey thing it will no doubt abandon after a year


I like them

Yes, I know. But I bought around 25 of the 6 core dustbin-mac, and I have to say, they have been pretty robust and trouble-free. So I like them for that. They are powerful enough for our purposes and run very quietly. That last point was important to us. Also, the form-factor works well for us, although I know that's not the case (lol) for everyone. So all-in-all, I am happy with them.

Robo-AI jobs doomsday may, er... not actually happen, say boffins


I'm for the chop soon then...

...as my job mainly consists of taking the blame without arguing back. I should think a machine could do that.

Vapists rejoice! E-cigs lower cancer risk (if you stop smoking, duh)




Seems to me...

...That the major problem people have with vaping is that it shouldn't be possible to enjoy something without being punished for it. To these puritans, smoking is better than vaping because at least you will (most probably) have to pay a price for your enjoyment. To suggest that something is enjoyable and harmless is heresy to them. Because they (the vapers) are getting away with something they ought not to get away with!

Mars isn't the garbage wasteworld you think it is: Swirling polar ice cap photographed


Re: To me...

Hahahahaha! Very good. That made me snigger on an otherwise bleak Monday morning.


To me...

...It looks like they have found the arse-end of Mars..

Super-cool sysadmin fixes PCs with gravity, or his fists


Greek toolkit

In my distant youth, I worked on a large yacht. The engine-man was a big Greek fella, very good at what he did, and as I was not particularly busy I often offered to help out in the engine-room. (Re-lapping 32 cylinders worth of diesel-engine is repetitive but satisfying)

He had a fairly pragmatic and quick way of sorting things out. It involved a sledgehammer, with a cut-down handle (I am guessing the only reason for this was that it is difficult to get a proper swing with a full-sized handle in a cramped engine-room. He compensated for this by being built like a brick shithouse)

If something didn't work as it should, he wold give it a good tap. Still no joy? Hefty tap. Most bits of kit would have gotten the message by now and bucked their ideas up, but sometimes it needed a smack, with a bit of a run-up. Generally, at this point, things would either work, or need replacing. Either way, issue sorted.

Coming to the big screen: Sci-fi epic Dune – no wait, wait, wait, this one might be good

Thumb Up

Re: I am obviously alone in this.

"but it did have a Sting in the tale"



I am obviously alone in this.

I think Lynch's Dune is actually very good. OK, he had to "skim over" quite a bit, but if you have read the books then the film makes a lot more sense.

I know I am pretty much alone in my opinion, but I rate Lynch's Dune as one of my all-time favorite movies.

Watch: MIT's terrifying invisible gel robo-eels snatch live fish


Pretty agile.

Although something pinged off when it jumped over the obstacle.

(Edit: I AM talking about the Boston Dynamics robot here, not the jellygrabber. Just thought I'd clear that up to avoid confusion.)

Devonians try to drive Dartmoor whisky plan onto rocks


Re: A small correction...

"If you want ice in your drink of choice then its pretty much perfect."

No, I'm afraid it is still wrong.


A small correction...

I want to draw the attention to the picture in this article. There is ice in the glass. This is wrong.

President Donald Trump taken on by unlikely foe: Badass park rangers


Re: Less than a week in the position...

... and the process of replacing truth with "post-truth" has begun.

El Reg drills into chatbot hype: The AIs that want to be your web butlers


Dystopian future

The more I hear about the possible uses of AI, the more I think the future will be like this:


Why Theresa May’s hard Brexit might be softer than you think



What if May has a plan so cunning, so incredibly clever that it will take care of all these problems? A plan that will allow us to have our cake and eat it too. But in order to not bork the upcoming negotiations she is FORCED to keep it secret from everyone and we will be mightily pleased when the winning moves finally comes into play. And there will be much rejoicing. What if that is the case? Hmm?

No. I guess it's going to be an almighty clusterfuck, the slow-motion train crash is starting to happen as we speak.

Google sends Titan broadband drones to the unicorns' graveyard


Re: Why Bad?

"....So, I think some kind of flying craft in-between balloons and drones would work best,...."

Blimp. The word you are looking for is "blimp"

Flight 666 lands safely in HEL on Friday the 13th


Re: damn

Nope, not much there. I have been through Hell many times. I never stop.

LinkedIn, eBay founders and pals kick in $27m to bring Jesus to AI bots


Re: Sounds like a bad idea.

You misunderstand the thrust of my argument. I don't think ethics should come via religion. Got no problem with the rest of them. (social scientists, ethicists, philosophers, economists, lawyers and policymakers) Weeelll. Possibly I have a problem with economists as well, as it seems more of a religion than anything else...


Sounds like a bad idea.

"“Because of this pervasive but often concealed impact, it is imperative that AI research and development be shaped by a broad range of voices – not only by engineers and corporations, but also by social scientists, ethicists, philosophers, faith leaders, economists, lawyers and policymakers.""

Faith leaders? Which ones? Who gets to choose the "faith-leaders"? To have a balanced view, should it include a couple of fundamentalists?

I thought AI, notwithstanding all the issues and problems it will bring, could be a chance to finally separate ourselves from all that medieval mumbo-jumbo. I guess not.

Insane blackhats behind world's most expensive ransomware 'forget' to backup crypto keys


Sounds like...

Sounds to me like someone wants to pretend they are doing it for the money, but really aren't. State/government people perhaps?

Puny galaxy packs a big punch: A gazillion joules' worth of radio bursts


Re: That is big

The energy released: Doesn't that depend on how directional the burst was? I mean, yes, it's going to be big anyway, but is it coming at us in a narrow beam, or is it a sphere of radiation propagating outwards evenly? Or something in-between those two?

Landmark EU ruling: Legality of UK's Investigatory Powers Act challenged


Re: Yup...

"Do you now see why it's important to get this settled now irrespective of whether you think Brexit is the best thing since sliced bread or a mistake that's going to cost swathes of its supporters their livelihoods?"

Yeah. Fair enough.


Re: Yup...

"I seem to recall that most of our glorious leaders were all for staying in the EU...? Not sure what you mean by that comment."

Have you heard about the recent power-struggle going on, where Brexit will not even get a vote in Parliament if the Tories get their way? It seems a lot of politicians have seen the opportunities Brexit will bring (them) and are now hell-bent on forcing it through. If they were lukewarm about it, why take it to the Supreme Court?


Re: Yup...

Another reason our glorious leaders are so keen to get out of the EU. They can run their country any way they see fit then. Must be really irritating having the EU stopping them doing whatever they want.

Energy firm points to hackers after Kiev power outage


A serious threat.

Hacking these systems is a really good way of inflicting a lot of damage. I'm not saying this example IS an attack. But it is an obvious target.

I'm not a doomsday-prepper. But I do have a small generator sitting ready in the garage in case of power-cuts (for whatever reason, the UK's power-generation infrastructure is seriously short on spare capacity)

If the power goes, the central heating system won't work. So I have bought a small 4-stroke generator/inverter to power the essentials at home if and when it happens here.

Sexbots could ‘over-exert’ their human lovers, academic warns


AI and ethics

I enjoy these discussions around AI and the ethical conundrums they will bring up. And people are talking about embedding "laws" into the AI for the protection of humans or other reasons. Asimov would approve. But it's not going to be like that. We don't live in that kind of society. It is a competitive market. Every maker of AI will invent it's own implementation of laws. Whatever sells really. And a self-limiting robot in THIS circumstance will not sell.

Stupid law of the week: South Carolina wants anti-porno chips in PCs that cost $20 to disable


Re: More Magic Technology

Completely impractical and very poorly thought out. It is virtually guaranteed to pass.

UK Home Office slurps 1,500 schoolkids' records per month


Re: And what do you expect from GruppenFuhrer Rudd?

It's just the Tories trying to woo back the UKIP voters.

Europe to launch legal action against countries over diesel emissions cheating


Re: Oh, here we go again!

"No. VW are being punished because they committed a crime. The member countries are being fined for pretty much turning a blind eye to that. Each are being punished for their respective failings."

That's what I MEANT to say!! Instead I got dragged into some long convoluted analogy, entirely of my own making, to do with parking and that. The art of brevity is something I need to dedicate more time to the study of. Well said anyway, have an upvote.


Re: Oh, here we go again!

"So to return to the parking analogy, the EU is fining me because VW are parking their cars illegally."

Not quite. The EU are fining you (OK, I'll take your point that it will be passed on to you in some way) via the state for LETTING VW park in any old way they want. It is now up to you to change your voting to reflect your (un)happiness with the governments handling of parking in the UK, be it by VW or others. The EU is saying: You should have done more to stop this illegal parking, you didn't and now here is a fine.


Re: Oh, here we go again!

"Is living in a world where you get fined because someone else parked their car illegally REALLY what you want?"

You have misunderstood what's going on here. To carry on with the parking-fine analogy: The UK government (amongst others) are getting fined for NOT taking illegal parking seriously enough. Now; I have certain views on parking-fines, but YES, I DO want to live in a world where the government will be held to account if it chooses to ignore the law.


Re: Oh, here we go again!

"The EU doesn't give a flying fuck about protecting the population."

British beaches says otherwise.

Brussels forced the country to shape up through its 1976 Bathing Water Directive and, later, the 1991 Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive, which introduced strict rules regarding the cleanliness of Britain’s sea water and sewage disposal.

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/environment/britains-beaches-fair-outside-eu/

Well, well. Auditors say UK govt procurement body hasn't saved your tax cash


Re: Not so unusual

"Yes, but just think how satisfying all that neatly-completed paperwork must look to a beancounter. Remember, the message is the medium!"

That's a bleak and jaded world view you have there! So I instinctively sense the truth of your wise words.