* Posts by Tempest8008

121 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Aug 2010


SpaceX feels the pressure, scraps first orbital launch of Starship


Talk about disingenuous...

This whole paragraph is so slanted it can't stand up straight:

"Starship has been under development for years, and in a handful of test flights has failed to do much but flop over and/or explode. Its most recent test, in May 2021, was the first launch of a full-sized Starship craft that didn't end in an explosion. The May 2021 mission accomplished its goal of a suborbital flight and successful vertical landing, albeit with a small methane fire that burned for around 20 minutes after the craft landed. The craft has been grounded since then, with today's launch the first planned since the successful 2021 test."

* Under development for years- yep, several years. not decades. Not bad in designing, building, and launching a brand new style of rocket.

* Handful of test flights - more than other rocket companies have done with much less ambitious designs.

* failed to do more than flop over and/or explode - that's just wrong. Data. They got data and if you followed the progress you SAW that they were getting better each time. More timely engine relighting, fixing issues with pre-burners, the belly flop, flip and landing maneuver timing, all of it informed by the previous launch and landing attempts. This is rapid, iterative testing in action. And it WORKS.

* The May 2021 mission accomplished its goal of a suborbital flight and successful vertical landing - I'm not going to consider flying up to 10km, hovering there, and then dropping like a stone anything like 'suborbital'. Wrong term.

* The craft has been grounded since then - that's pejorative and assumes there was some kind of regulatory or other limiting factor preventing further tests, that's not the case. SpaceX has been devoting much of the time since then to ground infrastructure construction and continuing to tweak the design of SuperHeavy and Starship. The current mating of B7 and S24 is already obsolete...it's why they have no need to land and reuse them. They want the launch and re-entry data, if they can get it.

Man...you guys do NOT like Musk, do you? Can you at least temper the obvious hostility?

Anyone want an International Space Station? Slightly used


Why not sell it?

They consider it end-of-life...which means it is no longer considered safe for people by people with wildly excessive safety margins. That's fine. So why not sell it? There are companies out there that will buy the station, refurbish it, and use it as a base to build their own new station.

Or why de-orbit at all? Use some ion thrusters (low thrust, but long term) to increase the orbital velocity, boosting the height of the orbit and taking it out and away from the Earth. Keep those firing for an extended period and you could push it into the Sun or impact it with one of several planets that are out there floating around.

For that matter, why not use it as the base the build a new station rather than just junking it and flying a new station (in pieces) up there? Though if Starship proves itself, lobbing large chunks up is going to become way easier.

And if we stay on the "sell it off" model....sell it by pieces. Those solar panels are still working, are you telling me that someone won't want to buy those to use on their own orbital startup? It just seems like blinkered thinking.

"We MUST de-orbit it! There are no other options!"

There may not be any standard options...but times are changing and space is becoming a place we can actually see more activity in. Things could be very different within the next 10 years.

SpaceX lobs second-gen Starlink satellites into orbit


A bit inaccurate...

The article states: "...Musk claimed wouldn't be launched until the company's Starship vessel managed to do more than explode on the pad."

What Starship news have you been reporting on? The last launch of it concluded with a successful landing and was in February of 2021. Since then they've been working on launch facilities and iterating the design of Starship itself AND the Super Heavy boosters, which most recently performed a static fire in preparation for their first orbital attempt which could happen as early as March. I love the Reg, but please report honestly. This boner you seem to have for attacking Musk needs some tempering. His companies aren't him.

FAA grounds all US departures after NOTAM goes down


Re: Old clunky system goes down

This is incorrect. Weather events and runway conditions are also communicated via NOTAM. If I'm flying into Toronto and they had a storm go through an hour before I'm set to land there, a Runway Surface Condition inspection is conducted and a NOTAM is issued that tells the pilots the runway conditions. Icy, snow covered, swept, brushed and sanded etc etc. It's important information for the pilots to have and they CAN'T have that information before they take off. It's not current or accurate.


Re: Just after Patch Tuesday? Hmmm.

I work in the industry and I can read that. They're kept short and to the point because pilots, at a literal glance, can get all the information they need while actively piloting the vehicle. More interesting are the ones where the airfield has significant snow clearing operations. Cleared width, height of snowbanks, which side of the runway has any windrows, the RWYCC (Runway Condition Code) telling the pilot how slippery the runway is likely to be when braking....it's all in there!

Intel ships mystery quantum hardware to national lab


Facilitate collaboration?

I love this part:

"Researchers have complained Uncle Sam hasn't done enough to facilitate collaboration and bridge the gap between educators, developers, and scientists involved in algorithms and developing hardware."

This being the US, there aren't any blockages here for the US Gov't to remove.

Pick up a phone. Write an email. Send up smoke signals. No one is stopping you.

If you read about something interesting, you can follow up yourself. Why do you need something special (ie Government money) to do that? There are a wealth of official journals, blogs, websites, periodicals etc. dedicated to quantum computing. It's a small enough community that most of them likely are familiar with each others' work and can reach out if they want. The biggest blockage I could see would be private companies being proprietary with their research. Like it or not, D-Wave isn't sharing with Intel, Intel isn't sharing with Microsoft, Microsoft isn't sharing with Google.

There are likely insights each of them COULD share with each other, but they won't because they all want to capitalize first on what their research produces. But the Government won't stop that. That's healthy competition and as long as companies are spending the money on all that skull sweat, the taxpayers aren't. No way in hell the Gov't will step in at this point.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou admits lying about Iran deal, gets to go home


Re: Concerning

With respect, cite your sources here.

Because I HAVE looked them up and I'm not seeing what you're seeing.

Their detention was clearly a reprisal for Meng's detention. Their release (after being found GUILTY of espionage) hours after Meng's release is clearly a response to Meng's release.

I cannot fathom how anyone from the West doing business in China cannot look at that and think, "That could have been me." China has shown it is willing to imprison people on trumped up charges, give them no legitimate legal process, and restrict their Consular access in retaliation if one of their foreign nationals is detained.

Speaking personally I will NEVER go to China as a result of this. My work could offer me every incentive under the sun, but it's not worth the risk to place myself under the power of such a corrupt regime in the pursuit of cheap Chinese labour and their manufacturing capability. We can look elsewhere.


Well, at least your thesaurus is working...

The Fat iPhone, 11 years on: The iPad's over a decade old and we're still not sure what it's for


Portability is key

We have customers who use them to perform on-site reporting and inspections.

The iPads spit the data back to a website and database where managers run reports on the data collected.

Much handier than a laptop for people in the field, though the lack of a ruggedized version is a detractor.

We ended up building an entire separate version of our platform for places to use iPads that didn't want to use other kinds of tablets. We were forced into doing that despite our concerns over the harsh environments they were going to be exposed to and the inevitable attrition that would result. We also had to engage a 3rd party to assist with coding for the app as most of our development is NOT iOS based.

The 'testing' iPad I brought home to do QA on new builds of the app we use has been taken over by my 7yr old. He uses it to chat with friends on Kids Messenger, play games, watch videos and install questionable apps that do odd things to his face.

Lenovo reveals smart specs that let you eyeball five virtual displays, with strings attached


Needs built in headphones

I'm imagining this sitting at my desk at work. Give me 6 huge monitors in front of me and I'll put up:

3 different customers whose live environment I'm monitoring.

The Teams meeting that seems to have been live for 36hrs and is still going.

The email I'm working on.

The website I'm referring to while writing my email.

Build in headphones and a mic and the only reason I have to leave is to use the bathroom.

Make it so I can tether them to my phone and be able to seamlessly carry those displays with me and I can be doing what needs doing IN the bathroom.

(full disclosure, if you're on the phone with me you have about a 25% chance of me going and doing that while we're speaking anyway. It's just efficient use of time. :D )

Internet root keymasters must think they're cursed: First, a dodgy safe. Now, coronavirus upends IANA ceremony


Test them?

IANA should be able to obtain access to a COVID-19 test.

Before they isolate themselves, have the participants tested and confirmed virus free, THEN lock them in together.

People living in the same household aren't held to the social distancing requirements...that'd be daft. Being locked in together for a few days would hold the same strictures, I assume. And if they've been tested and confirmed virus free the point should be moot, regardless.

Woke up on Wednesday, expecting a SpaceX launch? Surprise! It got postponed


El Reg seems to have a hate boner with regards to SpaceX

As mentioned previously, the headline definitely makes it seem like "another" SpaceX failure.

The headline would have been more accurate if it had been: Dragon Docker Down: No SpaceX Today

The Register really seems to have it in for SpaceX. The headlines and stories are rarely complimentary.

Microsoft unveils HoloLens 2: Pitches AR goggles at suits


We're developing Hololens Apps

My company is developing some Hololens apps.

I can say with definite authority that we would NOT want our software on the regular Microsoft Store; our apps won't be for the general public.

If the only way they're going to allow people to download and install apps on the Hololens is via some kind of authorized "Store" setup, we're going to need our own to deliver our product, so that part at least makes sense.

Of course, now we need to think about Hololens 2. I hope the codebase isn't too different between models...

Deton-8. Blastobox-3. Demo-1... One of these is the name of a SpaceX crew capsule test now due to launch in March


I don't get it...

The Dragon Capsule has proven itself in cargo delivery to the ISS repeatedly. It also separates, makes its way down through the atmosphere and splashes down intact when sent back with experiment results/trash. So that part works. The one launch failure in-flight, the Dragon capsule survived but due to a software oversight didn't pop its parachutes. This oversight has been fixed.

The Space-X boosters work to get the Dragon Capsule into orbit. One failure on the pad, one in flight out of 68 launches so far.


That failure on the pad was during a static fire test, and changes to that procedure means the payloads are no longer going to be on-board during those kinds of tests...so no astronaut danger there.

I understand 100% that NASA wants to make things as safe as possible. I think SpaceX and Boeing and all of the private firms reaching for space feel the same way and are working flat out to achieve the most safety they can.

But at some point you have to decide you've done all you can and light the touch paper.

In Space, Still: 20 years since Russia hurled first bit of floating astronaut hostel into orbit


5 of those with one BFR

Yeah, refusing to call it Starship. But a single SpaceX BFR would be able to loft the equivalent of 5.2 of those suckers at once.

We need big lifters and a bloody origami expert to fit it all into a neat unfold-able package.

Er....we also need the BFR to exist.

You! Yes, you! Get on that...

Has science gone too far? Now boffins dream of shining gigantic laser pointer into space to get aliens' attention


Re: Giant laser attached to a telescope blasting into space...


Cray's pre-exascale Shasta supercomputer gets energy research boffins hot under collar


At first glance

I thought it said it was "near-composTable" and I was all, "Wow. Cray is really listening to the hippies." Then I started reading about the power requirements...

Shocking. Lightning strike knocks out neuro patient's brain implant


Re: That's the problem - It isn't.

So you can move your eyes outwards simultaneously instead of inwards?

That's cool. But now I'm struggling to find a name for that...can't be cross-eyed, you're not crossing them.

Google is your friend (says Google):





Divergent Strabismus (if you're a cat)

Windows 10 April 2018 Update lands today... ish


Re: "Keep clicking, Windows-lovers! It's bound to come along soon."

I'm calling BS on the downvotes on many of these.

There's absolutely NOTHING wrong with what this particular AC wrote.

When tyrants pull on their jackboots to stamp out free speech online, they reach for... er, a Canadian software biz?


Right to information?

No wonder International Law is ignored when it's this damn fuzzy.

They say, "Access to information is a human right..."

WHAT?! So every human has a right to every piece of information on the planet?

Since when? I don't even have a "right" to know what my friend ate for breakfast if she doesn't want to tell me, let alone proprietary intellectual property or manufacturing processes.

And by that logic every human should have full access to a device that can access that information, the power to run it, and the education to be able to use it.

Talk about pie-in-the-sky claptrap.

If the people in these countries want to be able to access the Internet unfettered and uncensored then I'm afraid they're going to have to fight for those rights...like everyone else.

No "right" comes free.


What did we say about Tesla's self-driving tech? SpaceX Roadster skips Mars, steers to asteroids


Re: tripping what


Basically he's saying he's high.


So much for range anxiety on that Roadster...

Epic spacewalk, epic FAIL: Cosmonauts point new antenna in the wrong direction


Re: Raise their orbit

A rail-gun pointed at the Earth...I can see all of the involved parties having issues with that.

Windows Defender will strap pushy scareware to its ass-kicker machine


Re: Hey, Alanis!

The Reg isn't an app.

<drops mic>

SpaceX delivers classified 'Zuma' payload into orbit


Shows my age...

Shows that I have kids of a certain age:

To me, Zuma is a chocolate Lab' in the Paw Patrol.


Whizzes' lithium-iron-oxide battery 'octuples' capacity on the cheap


Re: Great News

So....you want a Blackberry?

Ah, the good ol' days.

Irony's lost on old Pope Francis: Pontiff decrees fake news a 'serious sin'


Oi, lay off Alanis.

What is more ironic than a song about irony with no real irony in it?

NASA tells The Reg: For crying out loud. We're not building flying taxi software for Uber


If the FAA moves fast on this I will be utterly shocked.

<cough> LOHAN <cough>

What went up, Musk come down again: SpaceX to blast sat into orbit with used rocket


Collection of low cost cube-sats instead

Doesn't it make more sense for SpaceX to try a launch with a previously used rocket and have a cheaper, more disposable payload?

A bunch of school cubesats, for example.

They eat the cost of the launch, but now you have PROOF that your PL (previously launched) rockets work, and you can start hauling in multiple requests at the lower price.

You end up with quantity making up the money, and if something DOES go wrong your customer isn't out millions for a destroyed satellite.

And in the meantime they get to look like the good guys, providing a free launch for academia.

(I'm assuming the reason they didn't do this is due to an accountant somewhere)

Stay out of my server room!


Too many problems to count. I'm responsible for numerous sites around my Province of Ontario (Canada).

Location 1: Single rack with network gear, a DVR, UPS, and ancillary equipment. The room also houses the demarc and the phone system. By company fiat ONLY IT equipment is to be in this room.


The site has put a drinks cooler in there, propped the door open 24x7, and is now using it to store janitorial supplies and tools.

Location 2: Same as above for the IT gear, plus a small print server.


The site has removed all the venting from the door, resulting in NO air flow, and the night cleaning contractors put their half full mop bucket in there the other night. Hello humidity alarms at 3am...

Location 3: The MDF has a couple of servers, 3 separate network racks, the PA system, the phone system and acts as the demarc for two buildings.


The site has decided to store sales paraphernalia, including sweaters, t-shirts, golf bags, posters, flat packs of floor displays and everything else they can think of in there. That's in addition to all of the PCs that I have recently lifecycled that they are requiring "be stored in a secured area" before I (literally) chuck them in a big wooden crate and the company we contract with comes and takes them away...in 6 months.

There is no longer any such thing as sacrosanct when it comes to IT gear. It used to be considered inviolate, sacred, and feared.

Now it's in the way...until it goes down.

Fun times...

Robot solves Rubik's Cubes in 637 milliseconds


You've all missed the most important point...

When do we get some of this cheesecake?

SpaceX: Breach in liquid oxygen tank caused Falcon 9 fireball ... probably


Re: too technical for me

24 hours a day

7 days a week (which includes weekends, which are usually days off)

365 days a year (which includes all the holidays etc, again usually days off)

Generally that's how that is read.

But as you're obviously intelligent, you knew that....you're just being nitpicky.

Nothing wrong with being nitpicky, per se, though sometimes it can come across as just being smarmy.

Engendering replies like mine. Which is a textbook example of being...

Crap. Have I just been trolled?


Inside our three-month effort to attend Apple's iPhone 7 launch party


Go covert

You said in your email that you had other people in journalism who would be happy to give up a seat for you.

Time to work another angle. Find one of them who IS willing to give you up a seat and get in using their credentials.

Job done.

Or pull some Mission Impossible crap and crash it. Find out who the caterer is and get in that way, or better yet the lighting/multimedia company who is streaming the event (you can guarantee Apple contracted that out) and get in with them under the guise of reviewing their streaming setup.

Go for it!

Harrison Ford's leg, in the Star Wars film, with the Millennium Falcon door


Foreshadowing (spoilers)

Meh....he died in the end anyway!

Lester Haines: RIP


55? Too soon...

Gone too soon, my friend.

Gone too soon.

Hopefully his family will take what solace they can in just how many people Lester's work touched.

Kraftwerk versus a cheesy copycat: How did the copycat win?

Black Helicopters

Not to derail the conversation...

...but has anyone else noticed in the headline image of this article that the guy on the left looks JUST LIKE CHIEF O'BRIEN FROM STAR TREK!?

Sampling be damned! CLONES!!!

No story today on Netflix blocking VPNs?


Re: No story today on Netflix blocking VPNs?

Since when did news need to be exciting?

But not really my point. Netflix is blocking VPNs...from a technical point of view I'm more interested in the HOW than the WHY.

We know why. You know why, you spelled it out very succinctly.

And not that I do not agree. Someone has to pay for the content and the licensing model (outdated and antiquated as it is) is the method they use to do that.

I'm just curious HOW Netflix is doing it. Are they just collecting VPN hostnames and blacklisting them? If so it just becomes a race where the VPN providers keep rolling over between domain names to keep off the blacklist.

Are they doing something more interestingly technical?

The point being, it's news. It's technical. It's I.T. related, and it's a big player like Netflix that's involved. I would have expected The Register to do a report on it. That's all.


No story today on Netflix blocking VPNs?

I would have loved to see something like that this morning, but alas.

Tell me you're at least working on something.

No story today on SpaceX launch and sticking the landing?


No story today on SpaceX launch and sticking the landing?

I know the first time was a success, but the second time? That's a pattern...and it was from a booster on a geostationary launch, which is twice as fast as a LEO launch.


In case anyone wants to see the video.

I just think it's newsworthy...

Champagne weekend for Blue Origin with third launch


Re: well done

I don't think the rocket really cares that much.

Remember, that's the unmanned portion.

Fifth time's the charm as SpaceX pops satellite into orbit


Re: Time, money, staff...money.

Don't remind me of Mission Patches.

I have never seen hide nor hair of the LOHAN mission patch I was supposed to receive as part of the competition for the slogan to go on it.


But I'd prefer them to be spending their energy on actually getting that mission in the air. Sod my bloody patch.


Time, money, staff...money.

SpaceX has prided itself on being a lean company, with very little of the bloat that affects NASA as a government agency.

You want floating FO lines between the barge and either the support ship or a second barge.

Who is setting that up? Who is testing it? Who is reeling it all in when done?

The resources you would devote to that SpaceX is instead devoting to other areas that have been deemed more important.

That's it. Why bother providing the feed in the first place then? Because the system they DO have is cheap, easy to set up, and doesn't require a dedicated team of people to maintain and fart around with. Why offer it at all then? Because it's cheap, easy to set up, and doesn't require a dedicated team of people to maintain and fart around with.

This is all cost vs. reward. The cost for them in the current system in time, material and labour is minimal. The reward would be a live video of their 1st stage returning successfully in a world first...where they would probably provide an on-site HQ recording at a later time anyway.

In your system the cost is WAY higher across the board. The reward is letting people watch repeated failures as they iron out the bugs and try to figure out an immensely difficult engineering problem, or, on the off chance it works fantastically and people get to see that world first live....they provide a recording in HD the next day taken from the onboard camera system.

You've said yourself they are very good at what they do. Don't you think that they COULD figure out the live feed issue on the barge if they wanted to?

This is a "good enough" system as far as SpaceX is concerned. Otherwise you can be damned sure they WOULD have fixed it long ago.

ISS 'nauts prepare to wrap One Year Mission


You got your choice of assignments, hotshot.

Why do I keep expecting Scott Kelly to yell at Maverick?

NASA boffin wants FRIKKIN LASERS to propel lightsails


Not sure of the math

REALLY not sure of the math, but what would we be looking at regarding the destructive power of a 100Kg projectile moving at 0.3C?

Is this a feasible asteroid defense?

Or would it just be better to point the laser and shoot?

Come on kids, let's go play in the abandoned nuclear power station


Fission expedition

"...but we probably won’t remember the pioneers who harnessed the power of the atom and then let it go again"

Catch and release fission?

I'll get my coat...

El Reg mulls entering Robot Wars arena


Make it properly Autonomous

I want it to be a true, autonomous robot. Not some glorified remote control experiment.

Have the remote control ready and a cutoff in place to be able to take charge if needed, but I'd really like to see it making its own choices and reacting on its own.

A truly, magnificently, barbed, bladed, and bad-ass autonomous death machine.

Caption this: WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg


Hello. My name is Lester Haines, and this is my video application for the position of Technology Tart for The Register...

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg


"Very funny. - Dr. Jones."

"ARRGH! Windows 10! Oh, look! A snake."

"The real reason the complaints about the new Register website went unanswered."

"No. I'm not a viper. No. I'm not a python. I'm a run-of-the-mill, non-venomous, ophidian. I'm sitting here because it's nice and warm. I am not amusing nor do I care to be. Like this laptop I am merely being used to further the advertising goals of The Register. Later on I'll be put back in my terrarium and fed some crickets...perhaps a small mouse or frog. Then I'll sleep for a week. This is my life. Could be worse, I suppose. Like most things, there's less complexity here than you'd expect. And if you're looking for the punchline at the end of this long winded ophidian's monologue, keep waiting. I'm not here to entertain you."

RIP LOHAN? What's up?


RIP LOHAN? What's up?

Just wondering if anyone has heard anything regarding the SPB LOHAN mission recently?

Seems it has died an untimely death...

Another chance to win a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive


Pic editing is cheating, but...

I couldn't help myself.


Caption would be "The horror! The horror! Oh, look! A spider!"