* Posts by annodomini2

1180 publicly visible posts • joined 24 May 2010


SpaceX's Starship on the roster for Texas takeoff


Re: Clearing stage zero is again the primary aim...

Historically with probes, with multi-billion dollar launch costs and programs, combined with no super-heavy launch capability (Saturn V was cancelled remember).

The mass budget available for the landing systems was limited, so there's a trade off between payload for science and payload for landing, given that most of the people designing these missions are scientists, so they want to maximise science. So some risk is there.

With Super-heavy lift of Starship and the intention for them to be manned will require a greater margin of safety in the landing systems to reduce the risk.

NASA, DARPA enlist Lockheed to build nuclear-powered spacecraft


Always preferred NSWR

Ultra simple, no liquid hydrogen to handle.

Much better volumetric efficiency.

Probably take an ISP hit in trade for increased safety.

Lockheed Martin demos 50kW anti-aircraft frickin' laser beam


Lasers are typically around 10% efficient, so iro 500kW

Techies ask PM to 'prepare UK chip strategy as a matter of urgency'


Re: Deluded is as hubris advises and ignorance servers with arrogance delivering on empty promises

where is amanfromMars 1 and what have you done with them?

Here's how to remotely take over a Ferrari...account, that is


While it has been too long coming

Automotive Cybersecutiy has improved (at least at the vehicle side)

All new cars sold (outside of China at least), made after June 2022 need to meet ISO 21434.

Is it perfect, no.

Is it a big improvement, yes.

NASA boss says US may lose latest space race with China


Re: America needs a new adversary ...

Started as a NASA project:


Japan lacks the expertise for renewed nuclear power after Fukushima


Re: "an intermediary power source until the wider adoption of renewables like wind and solar"

Thorium is no safer than Uranium.

There are reactor designs that are safer than the current stuff, but the fuel has little to do with it.

Also if we can reprocess the existing spent fuel we've enough to power the planet for hundreds if not thousands of years without the need to transition to Thorium.

America's nuclear fusion 'breakthrough' is super-hot ... yet far from practical


Re: Laser ignition fusion

There's enough tritium in the world to run 1 reactor for about 6m.

Bill Gates' nuclear power plant stalled by Russian fuel holdup


Fast reactors are breeders.

The problem with a true breeder is proliferation, as it requires removing enriched fuel from the reactor. The concepts use a fertile blanket of material that needs to be replaced periodically.

Fast reactors are intrinsically ISO breeders, which create more fuel from the production of higher actinides e.g. plutonium, which can be burned in the reactor.

This has the downside that the enrichment of the reactor is constantly changing and changes the reactivity, this is part of what makes them harder to control.

Like any engineering decision it's a compromise, harder to control, but doesn't need to be refuelled for 20yrs.

But taking from something like LFTR, where they reprocess and remove fission products from the reactor, automatically during operation, will help with regulating the chemistry of the core and help with control.

The real advantage of fast reactors is they can be run on "spent fuel" from thermal BWR and PWR reactors with minimal reprocessing.

The problem is they're making the same mistake AEA made in the 60's, liquid metal cooling, they're either volatile (sodium, lithium etc) or expensive e.g. Lead + Bismuth. Molten Salts offer a better compromise IMO, but are also not without their risks.

All this is un-proven is the real issue and the major blocker being research investment.

Fusion won't avert need for climate change 'sacrifice', says nuclear energy expert


Re: "US government has promised around $1 billion in investment in nuclear fusion over five years"

They are DARPA have a few running, being military they'd likely keep it top secret to give themselves a competitive advantage.

Planes, Tanks, smaller ships will relatively "infinite" range (if they can build them that small), would be a serious advantage.

Tesla Autopilot accounts for 70% of driver assist crashes, says US traffic safety body


Re: Its a nice headline

Yes, but not all Fords have ADAS. Which is the other missing metric.

For many of these it's an option, the question is how many have it fitted?

Fusion boffins apply plasma know-how to building thrusters


Re: Are there any ISP Numbers

Or thrust, weight, power consumption, propellant consumption

Intelsat orbital comms satellite is back online after first robo-recovery mounting and tug job gets it back into position


Re: Satelite designers missed a trick

If SpaceX get Starship working, I'd love to see Hubble either serviced again or brought down intact.

Fly me to the M(O2)n: Euro scientists extract oxygen from 'lunar dust' by cooking it with molten salt electrolysis


Re: Energy

They were an add on, where in the film WALL-E, where it makes the image on the i-Pod bigger, that is a Fresnel lens.

When used in reverse they can create a sharp focus from a wide area.

Move over Ceres! There's a new, smaller dwarf planet in town called Hygiea


Re: "its surface only had two meager craters"

Formed relatively recently from 2 relatively equal mass bodies with sufficient energy to break the 2 apart and melt them, but not enough to fully disperse the material that they cannot recombine?

Diggerland comes to Mars as boffins battle to save InSight's mole


Re: Bubble cars

BMW Isetta

First water world exoplanet spotted – and thankfully no sign of Kevin Costner, rejoice!


Re: Thank you!

"the light year is probably a difficult unit for Joe Bloggs to relate to"

The Sun is travelling at approximately 828,000km/h

Speed of light (in a Vacuum) is 299 792 458 m/s or 299,792.458 km/s.

A light year is 9,464,615,782,836.48 km

Therefore the Sun takes roughly 1303 years to travel 1 light year.

Mysterious 'glitch' in neutron stars may be down to an itch under the body's surface


Re: Car analogy

Other way around, clutch is normally slipping, bites, but has a dual mass flywheel and accelerates on release, then continues to slip

Meet the super-speedy white dwarf binary system that's going to grav-wave our world


Re: Supernova ?

What about a nova?

Years late to the SMB1-killing party, Samba finally dumps the unsafe file-sharing protocol version by default


Re: "Most people had dial-up"

Leave's tha' lucky bugger!

We 'ad only one la who 'ere authorised t' poke t'other guy on't t'other side o't room wit' a big stick wit' needle on't end.

Fecker were blind too!

US kids apparently talking like Peppa Pig... How about US lawmakers watching Doctor Who?


Molly and Mack tops all of them for eye twitching and heading for a nervous breakdown, when little one(s) has/have been watching it on repeat for the last x time.

RIP 2019-2019: The first plant to grow on the Moon? Yeah, it's dead already, Chinese admit


Re: Bad planning

Theresa May seems to take a lot of fertiliser from all sides.

Shit sticks to shit, who'd have thought.

Steamer closets, flying cars, robot boxers, smart-mock-cock ban hypocrisy – yes, it's the worst of CES this year


Re: Flying car? For only 6,000 pounds?

Probably 3 zeros

Jeep hacking lawsuit shifts into gear for trial after US Supremes refuse to hit the brakes


Re: History not favourable

> Marketing dictates that everything should be "connected" because it sounds "cool",

And they can sell all the lovely data it collects to advertisers.

Congrats from 123-Reg! You can now pay us an extra £6 or £12 a year for basically nothing


Re: No email here

Check your spam box

EU aren't kidding: Sky watchdog breathes life into mad air taxi ideas



It's also not going to have a ~30 meter wing to distribute the weight. It's going to have all of the velocity concentrated upon a meter area like a wrecking ball.

Yes the CSA is smaller, but the mass is much lower ~500-1000kg vs 7000-12000kg for the DC3

Someone would have to do the maths obviously.

SpaceX touches down in California as Voyager 2 spies interstellar space


Re: Isn't it amazing

You think it hasn't already?

A web where the user has complete control of their data? Sounds Solid, Tim Berners-Lee


Look at Android and App permissions

This isn't going to do anything, even if implemented.

The Apps talking to it will just refuse to work unless you release the information and probably rights to sell it on.

It's official – satellite spots water ice at the Moon's chilly poles


Re: Awaits...

Depends what generic lager someone drinks hard to tell the difference between that and piss.



Some water company going there and bringing it back for the super-rich, un drunk water $100,000 a litre or some other ridiculous amount.

Most of the water on Earth has been drunk at least 10 times over time.

Canny Brits are nuking the phone bundle


Re: Shysters

It all switched with the regulation changes that allowed users to cancel their mobile contracts at any time.

As the phone was a "freebie" with the contract, you could buy for 1 month and keep the phone, this required the companies to split the contract into the call plan cost and a loan for the device you are purchasing.

When this shift happened, it also conveniently coincided with the prices going up.

Tax the tech giants and ISPs until the bits squeak – Corbyn



"HMRC would label it hypothecated and, on the basis that they don't like hypothecated taxes, would just roll it into the general taxation pot and the intended beneficiaries would get little or nothing out of it."

Treasury would, not HMRC, they seriously don't like having their spending direction dictated to, elected representative or not.

Connected car data handover headache: There's no quick fix... and it's NOT just Land Rovers


Re: Why?

[i]Give me one good reason why cars need to be Internet of Shite on wheels.[/i]

So they can flog all your location data to advertisers, then show you adverts in the car.

Extra revenue, for them.


Re: Why?

Cost, cost, cost

Boffins build the smallest transistor, controlled by an atom


Re: More akin to a relay than a transistor

Was about to say the same thing, but for the majority of uses of transistors today (by count) most are used as switches anyway.

The major issue I see with it is the removal of the solid state functionality, just like relays, making the thing reliable over billions if not trillions of actions, in wide environmental conditions is the challenge.

I could only see this being developed if we had room temperature superconductors.

Any data on the switching speed (I respect it's a prototype)?

Rejoice! Thousands more kids flock to computing A-level


Re: Good luck to em

Good training for a lot of programming environments.

Brain brainiacs figure out what turns folks into El Reg journos, readers


Re: Hmmm


The Solar System's oldest minerals reveal the Sun's violent past


Re: Irradiation in the early solar system

Red dwarfs emit more radiation because they are physically smaller, i.e. the core is closer to the surface.

It could be that the young Sun was physically smaller for the purposes of starting the reaction and it would take time for the reaction to grow and also heat the outer layers of gas so there could have been more radiation emitted.

Brit spending watchdog brands GP Primary Support Care a 'complete mess'


Which is the entire aim of the policy from a political perspective.

Microsoft: The Kremlin's hackers are already sniffing, probing around America's 2018 elections


Re: Kremlin's hackers

Reverse Honeypot

Engineers, coders – it's down to you to prevent AI being weaponised


Re: AI principles, yeah

Until they setup another business unit under Alphabet and transfer knowledge and tech; "but it's not Google!"

What if tech moguls brewed real ale?


Cyber Punch

Cider - Loosely based on a West country Scrumpy, you know the ones that get you pissed from the feet upwards.

With added Nanites - thoroughly intended to prevent you getting a hangover.

Side effects - note Nanites have been known to go rogue and covert you into a Borg!

You're burning £1.2bn for what? UK spending watchdog gives digital court plans a kicking


"The digital feudal system. They're just replacing local lords (who've been occasionally know to go Robin of Sherwood with corporations, who sometimes do charity, but also very 'charitable' to poor government servants."


Taps running dry for Capita? Southern Water pens 5-year managed service


Re: How do they do it?

"Not being a ginormous self-aware globocorp from some nightmare dystopian future, sent back in time to make sure it is created?

I call it the Crapinator."

See icon-->

Windows 10 IoT Core Services unleashed to public preview


Re: Expensive Decade of Hell

"Only the Mega Rich corporations own anything."


By Jove! Astroboffins spot 12 new spanking moons around Jupiter


Re: What is a moon ?

Neither has Jupiter, look at all those Moons!

Fix this faxing hell! NHS told to stop hanging onto archaic tech


Re: User story

Awaits fax machines being banned immediately with no replacement or plan to replace them.

UK.gov told: You're not very good at collecting quality data, are you?


Re: Yet another myth busted..

That really does make them astonishingly fu**witted.

Nope, it's deliberate and malicious.

No data = No proof.

Ergo Civil Servants and/or MPs statements have to be taken at face value.

Chrome, Firefox pull very unstylish Stylish invasive browser plugin


Re: While the software that has been removed is bad, I have issues...

Conceptually it's a Chicken and Egg problem, with the "Free Speech" mantra, but in reality most people are too ill informed to understand if something is malicious. Hence the approach that is taken.

Therefore expertise is required, my issue with it is that opinion of expertise could be abused.

UK Minister of Fun Matt Hancock opens London infosec upstart creche


Re: Minister of Fun!?

What next, a Ministry of Love?

That's the Home Office.