* Posts by gromm

57 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Jun 2010


IPCC: Yes, humans are definitely behind all this global warming we aren't having


Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

"crippling our economies to make a worthless impact would be foolish in the extreme"

Possibly, maybe "crippling" our economies for a higher purpose (like cleaner air, which has its own benefits) sure beats *actually* crippling our economies for the lulz, like what happened in 2008. And in 2001. And in 1990. And in 1981, 1980, 1973, etc, etc, etc.

Oh, and if higher electric rates are a definitely surefire way of crippling the economy, someone should tell the Germans. They don't seem to have gotten that memo.

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


Re: Lithium + water?

You mean when pure lithium is on fire, right?

The Lithium in lithium-ion batteries is far from pure. Also, it only makes about 2% of the battery's mass. Which is what explains why firefighters were able to put out this fire with normal CO2 fire extinguishers.


Re: I don't think it's fair...

They wouldn't ever *have* to apply the jaws of life to the 500 volt mains. The entire battery and electrical system is *under* the car. The Jaws of Life are only used on the weak points of the car where you typically put the side-curtain airbags.


Re: I don't think it's fair...

And strangely enough, considering the large number of gas cars that burst into flames in an accident, that means that when they say "world's safest car", only one bursting into flames out of - what is it now, 20,000 units? - still means that it's the world's safest car.

Oh yeah, and I couldn't help but notice that the car warned the driver about the damage and the need to get out. I don't think there's a MB out there with the same feature.

NSA whistleblower to tech firms, Obama: 'Grow a pair!'


I'd like to hear more about endpoint security from this guy.

So Mr. Snowden, what exactly *are* we doing wrong with endpoint security that's making our encryption easy to work around, anyway? Are we talking about people's PCs, or servers here?


Re: Why do you think open source is any better?

One of the reasons my computer has neither a microphone or a camera, I guess.

That, and I have no use for them at the moment.

Big Brother? Social networks are far worse, says Estonian president


1. We can lie. My occupation according to Facebook? Systems administrator at Aperture Laboratories. Likewise, I don't have my address, phone number, or real e-mail address listed. My gender, political leanings and sexual identity are listed, but these aren't things I even consider private. Everyone I know knows these things, including people who don't know me very well at all. It would be a problem if I lived in Iran, but suffice to say that if I did, I would just lie about them. This makes Facebook a particularly unreliable source for information about things the state wants to suppress, don't you think?

2. "Data on smartphones shows how peoples' weight loss plans or even how many push ups they make every day," he added. So? How is that information going to be useful to anyone at all? One of my friends on the other hand, is what the police here refer to as a "Code 3", which means he can kill people with his bare hands or any nearby object that could serve as a weapon. He's also known to be a little, um, twitchy. Which is something that *is* useful to police, and it *is* recorded by them, in no small part because there have been incidents where the police have been involved. They write that stuff down, you know.

3. The supermarket has records about how much KD I buy and how much toilet paper I buy, which, while being highly personal, is again, useless to anyone besides the supermarket. It's highly unlikely that my insurance company will ever get this information, and you could just as easily glean it from my garbage anyway, which requires no specialized knowledge.

4. The current public attitude about Facebook is that if you want it to be private, don't put it on Facebook. Personally, I don't have much of a problem with the public knowing what the route I bike is, and how fast I bike it. Some stalker might find it vaguely useful, but since I'm male and I don't make a habit of pissing people off, I don't see that as particularly dangerous.

5. If, for any reason I decided that I would prefer not to be found, Facebook makes this particularly easy. I can change my name. birthday, address and gender on a whim, and I could feed it information that is completely ridiculous. I could stop using applications that track my whereabouts (there's only one anyway). I could change my bike route (which is necessary at my level of fitness anyway). Again, this makes Facebook a really unreliable method of getting personal information, if any such information exists on Facebook to begin with.

You thought only Google dodges UK taxes? So do all the Brit firms


Re: News Flash!!

"Shock! Horror! UK companies who do international business aim to minimise their costs"

There's a difference between "minimising their costs" and "tax fraud".

Like the man said, if you want to do business here, you pay taxes here. Don't just siphon billions off of the populace and send it to another country. At least the government keeps what they steal here. Big business just steal and you see little to no benefit.

Rules, shmules: Fliers leaving devices switched on in droves


You didn't read the article, did you?

It's pretty much a given that someone has their cell phone turned on during takeoff and landing. On every single flight. Since around 2000.

In other words, the whole "your cell phone could cause the plane's sensitive[1] navigational gear to give the pilot (or autopilot) all the wrong readings" is complete horseshit. Noone has actually done any actual research to actually determine if this would actually have *any* effect in real life, and they've always been saying "well... it *might*!" the entire time, and then rattled off the boilerplate so as to protect their own ass.

No, it doesn't have any effect. And if it did, then there's ways to fix the problem, and it would only require replacing small bits of avionics with better avionics.

So you can stop getting pissy with some poor slob who's just playing solitaire on their phone now.

[1] It's not that sensitive. Especially by today's standards. The Instrument Landing System is based on 1970's technology.

'Liberator': Proof that you can't make a working gun in a 3D printer


Re: Idiot



Re: All very true, but..

Oh, but the 3D printer makes the whole thing look nice and vaguely well-made.

Excess all areas


So what you're saying is...

So, giant corporations *aren't* trying to bribe the press with hookers and blow?

Monkey poo probe reveals secrets of middle-management brains


Re: If only someone would invent a "search engine"

Or, how for example, South Koreans have a distinct culture of keeping their heads down and working hard in a single-minded effort to do the work faster than the next guy. Sure, it ensures that all the top Starcraft players are from Korea, but then, none of the strategies they use come from Korea - top players elsewhere come up with the winning strategies, they just hone them to a fine point.

Creativity is what wins you Nobel prizes. Hard work just wins you more hard work.


Re: What this study mainly proves..

What I want to know is that if they wanted to apply this to human hierarchies, why didn't they just test the poo of people in human hierarchies for stress hormones, instead of mucking around with monkeys?


Re: Middle management: a bit like (I imagine) being the centrepiece of a spit roast.

Except that getting spit roasted is way more fun.

Vietnamese high school kids can pass Google interview



As a parent, if my kid ever did that, I would immediately tell him that he did a great job and then ask him to show me how to get the computer to do it 20 times in a row.

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Re: Software piracy as a metric?

"who wouldn't want to go to a high-school that's an adjunct to a profitable sports business,"

I just upvoted this so hard.

New nuke could POWER WORLD UNTIL 2083


I have a couple of issues with the article itself:

"As a side benefit, this could also reduce nuclear proliferation since countries would no longer have to

manufacturer nuclear fuel."

Well, it would remove the *excuse* of generating power from the nuclear proliferation problem, but since places like America have had plenty of options when it comes to development of nuclear power, and have instead opted for sources of power that also, just coincidentally *happens* to produce nuclear weapons, I would say that it's all a load of bollocks. Iran for example, could just as easily go the Thorium route like India has, but that's not what they *want*. They *want* an excuse to pretend to make electricity while actually making bombs.

"It would cost around $1.5bn – which may sound like a lot, but is dirt cheap compared to a garden-varity nuke plant these days."

A garden variety nuke plant also costs way less than they actually do, but when you have to go crazy on safety and insurance, costs spiral out of control. I'll believe them about costs when they start delivering plants in the real world, on time and on budget. We've all heard this line before. It also might be a reason they're looking to China for customers - when you don't have to worry about insurance claims from a population that has no legal recourse when it comes to What Happens When The State Fucks Everyone Hardcore, then things get stunningly cheap.


Re: What about the oil barons??

What about them? Since the oil shocks of the 1970's, only about 3% of America's (for example) electricity supply comes from oil. The same goes for say, China which said company thinks would be a good market for the product. Most of their electricity comes from coal.

The only places that use oil for electricity are places swimming in oil - like Saudi Arabia or Iraq. And they would prefer instead to export it instead of consume it.

Attention, CIOs: Stop outsourcing or YOU will never retire


Re: Oak ceilings and dead ends

"Well they also choose to stay in harness."

Who wouldn't? The high salary beats retirement, and it's not like arthritis is going to prevent you from doing the work. It's this, or government office, and industry pays better.

BAN SMUT, rage MEPs: Purpose of internet must be EXTERMINATED


Re: OhMaGERDZ, they're trying to take our porn!!

"Could you explain how porn is exploitation of 51% of the world's population?"

Dear god man, have you even *seen* a porn site lately? They're *clearly* out to exploit the insecurities unique to the XY chromosome with bald-faced scams!


"It's highly unlikely, however, that the draft resolution will be adopted by the European Parliament given its flagrant disregard for human rights."

Oh, and here I thought that such a resolution would be adopted *because* of the European Parliament's flagrant disregard for human rights. Things like freedom of speech and such.

Strategic SIEGE ROBOTS defeated by 'heavily intoxicated' man, 62


Re: Vandalising government property?

Usually that "Illegal intruder" part goes away once the police have to surround your house. Good luck with *that* court battle.


Re: Sense of déjà vu

" which is why the U.K. has one of the highest violent crime rates in the civilized world."

Funny how "violent crime" and "homicide" are different. See, *because* knives are less lethal, there may be more *attempted* homicides but far fewer *successful* homicides. The difference is that in one of these, they can fix you up and put you back on the street, raising your kids or *whatever* it is you do in life (selling coke and stabbing people perhaps, after your lengthy prison term). The end consequences are different, as a result.

German boffins turn ALCOHOL into hydrogen at low temp


Re: 24 litres per second?

So? It really doesn't look like it's going anywhere.

The *real* real problem is that just burning the ethanol in an engine is a hundred times more efficient cost-wise (and, very likely also several times more efficient energy-wise) than screwing around with extracting its hydrogen so you can pretend that your car doesn't pollute. As it stands right now, you take an expensive extraction process for the fuel, put it into an expensive storage/transportation process, transfer it to a much smaller, expensive/heavy/potentially dangerous storage container in your car, where it would be funnelled into a large and expensive fuel cell so that it can be converted into electricity that pushes the car. All while still producing exactly the same amount of pollution. Just burning the ethanol (or better yet, natural gas which is easier to come by and about as clean) in a large power plant to charge everyone's battery would result in about the same energy losses over the whole system, while being much cheaper to build and run.

What for? To save you time charging a battery instead. Because refuelling a fuel cell takes 3 minutes instead of 30 for a battery charge.

This type of research is a *complete* waste of time and money. Except to prove that it doesn't work (from a science perspective, proving something doesn't work is just as valid as proving something else does, so I guess this research just goes to further that batteries are a better way to go).

Quit the 2D internet, flee your cave, and GET LAID, barks rock star


If you're as old as Jack White and you're still concerned about "getting laid"...

I noticed that he was born the same year I was.

Funny how I don't concern myself with all that because family life keeps me too busy and poor to get out and hang out in cool places that sell music. This either speaks volumes for his inability to find a significant other, or it speaks volumes about how much money he'd like to be making, vs how much he is making.


You don't hang out in record stores.

I remember record stores. Except that the period I remember had little to nothing to do with records. Jack White is no older than I either, so he has no excuse for waxing nostalgic about something that never existed.

I don't remember anything about them being a place to hang out in. I only recall the standard kind of shop atmosphere whereby you buy the crap they're selling and get out, or they'll call security. Oh sure, you could sample some CDs and see if you like the new content and all, but there was little to no social interaction in these places. And certainly no place to sit.

No, we hang out in restaurants, coffee shops, bars, pubs, clubs, and maybe even libraries (although libraries don't really offer much for social interaction either - you're required to shut up, actually). Often enough, we use the internet to make that hanging out happen in the first place.

Perfect sex minx calculated from 'deep' probe of X-rated flicks


Re: @Nicho (Was: What a jake-off)

Oh, I completely agree that this analysis is a complete waste of time. Especially considering that anyone with eyes can see that the girls in porn don't fit any stereotype except that most of them are skinny. Rule 34 notwithstanding, but that part was taken care of by the "top most popular porn stars" part of the analysis.

Higgs data shows alternate reality will SWALLOW UNIVERSE


Re: The laws of physics will be different in the encroaching bubble.

"the only way to do that would be a base-pi number system, which would make every single other number irrational instead. Not an improvement..."

Yes, I remember that bit of Pre-calculus class. A royal pain, if you ask me.

Why you need a home lab to keep your job


Re: I suspect

Yes, I once did some training at home in my spare time.

Back when I had spare time.


Re: Argh!

Nevermind this little thing called "real estate".

I live in a place where it's actually quite uncommon to have anything in your basement besides renters, because you can't afford the mortgage otherwise. And *that* is only if you have a detached house. Most people around these parts appear to be living in condos or townhouses. Put the rack in the living room? When pigs fly.


Well said. I was about to respond to the article with something "thanking" the author for making it harder for the rest of us who don't have $10k to sink into the hottest new computer hardware.

Engineers are cold and dead inside, research shows


Clearly, these researchers haven't met *my* doctor.

Which explains a few things. Maybe he should have been an engineer instead.


You're an Engineer and you have *time* to regularly find new bedmates?

Something doesn't add up there.

Unbelievably vast quasar cluster forces universe-sized rethink

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I had to laugh at your bus comparison. It's pretty standard for regular news outlets to measure sizes, distances, and weights in "human" terms, even if the number of buses, elephants, or football pitches required gets stupidly large.

And then there's astronomical measurements. You might as well just toss any human measurement out the window, because they're all stupidly big. As one astronomer pointed out, if you were to scale down the galaxy to where a star is the size of a grain of sand, you could scatter three grains of sand randomly about in a football stadium and that space would be more densely populated with "stars" than our neck of the galaxy is.

Latest exoplanet discovery is a virtual CLONE of Earth


Re: Magnetic field / shield

Well, you can determine that a planet has life-as-we-know-it if there's free oxygen in the atmosphere (you can have life without oxygen, but in our data sample of one, we've found that an element as reactive as oxygen is necessary for multi-cellular life). And that's something we can detect by photometry, especially with transiting planets like those found by Kepler. Any other conditions that exist on the planet friendly to life can be assumed or speculated on, but they'd be irrelevent anyway. Find free oxygen, and you've got a bang-on case for life elsewhere in the universe.

Also, we've noticed in our own solar system that any planet of significant size (larger than Mars, for example) has a suitably strong magnetic field, so it's reasonable to expect that one exists for this planet.


Re: How old is the star?

Or, far more easily traced, that wee layer of radioactive matter we managed to scatter into the atmosphere while we were testing bombs out in the open like that.

That tends to be a pretty good marker for intelligent and technologically advanced - albeit highly destructive - civilization. And it's not going anywhere either. There've been asteroid impacts that have shown up in geological layers just the same way, just not as radioactive.

Vibrator guru on pleasure tech: 'Of all the places you'd want a quality UI....'


Re: what you did there, I saw it

Snark aside, there's not really a lot of innovation in the sex toy biz. There's plenty of room for real science to come in and introduce practical new products.


Re: Lies, damned lies, and... What?!

Dear *god* man! Are you truly that lacking in imagination? You think *gay* men are the only men who would be interested in owning a vibrator?

'Leccy-starved Reg hack: 'How I survive on 1.5kW'


Re: Adversity breeds ingenuity

Actually, as many off-gridders have already discovered, it's far cheaper (about 10x) to decrease consumption instead of increasing capacity. New LED TVs for example, use about 1/3 as much power as Plasma. Microwaves and kettles can just be replaced with your gas stove. The cement mixer could run on gas instead.

Identify your biggest consumers, and reduce or eliminate how much they consume.


Re: Buffering?

Actually, car batteries are completely unsuitable for storage of electricity that you intend to use for more than about 10 minutes at a time. Car batteries are designed for short bursts of high output, namely starting your car. Deep-cycle or marine batteries are what you're looking for.

Dad hires online assassins to slay game-obsessed son


That reminds me of a line out of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" that goes "Once I learned the value of a hard-earned dollar..."


Re: hmm...

Yes, but a headshot to the back of the head upon respawn from a teammate is pretty hard to dodge. It might get you banned from the server, but the dude was paid to keep up the fight, so yanno, dedication.

Dad's intention: Make kid ragequit for a few months. Maybe then he'll get off his ass.

Exploding stars drive Galactic geysers


Re: That would be worse than sitting in an NMR scanner.

Emphasis should be added:

"it would be like standing *in the way of* a microwave crowd disperser, "

Not, say, off to the side of it, where we are located in the galaxy.


Re: On the contrary

This is Astronomy though. There's no need for that kind of thing because any measure you use will literally result in astronomical numbers. Even using solar masses as a base unit often ends up with many times-ten-to-the-power-of's at the end.

Newborn planets spotted slurping up gas from young parent star


Re: Yummy?

As El Reg is written tabloid-style, that's completely within its literary license.


Re: Old news

Actually, 450 years, and it will be going on for several million more into the future.

Anti-virus products are rubbish, says Imperva


Re: ...spend “is not proportional to its effectiveness”

Oh yeah. I took this approach for a while, and it worked too.

Up until about 2006, that is. Around that time, viruses started getting spread by images in websites and other novel routes. You'll also notice that this was about the time when dual-core CPUs basically became *necessary* so that one CPU could do near-constant virus scanning, while the other did useful stuff.

We live in a world now where "avoid scummy e-mail and websites" isn't enough protection. And I say this from my Linux workstation.

Major new science: Women more nude, more often online


Re: I nominate these chaps for....

Funny how they make the logical leap from "Well, measuring this in real life is too hard, so...", and then bugger the whole thing up with one collossal poor assumption. Namely, that Second Life has anything at all to do with First Life.

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Re: Second Life?

You should probably take closer note of the times that your boss' status updates get posted.

As a parent with two young children, I can attest that after the kids go to sleep at 8:30 or 9, there is little else *to* do but fart around on facebook until I'm tired enough to sleep. At that time of day, any housework that hasn't already been done whilst the kids were awake is too exhausting to do that late in the day (or way too noisy), you can't really expect to go out with friends and leave the sleeping kids with your significant other (and besides, you don't have much time left to spend in the first place, especially on a weeknight). "Real" hobbies can sometimes get accomplished, but these days "marble madness" often qualifies for someone's hobby.

At least it's not the usual old pastime of pissing away your earnings on gambling and booze, so there's that!