* Posts by Timbo

456 posts • joined 6 Jun 2007


Bezos offers to knock $2bn off his bill to NASA to stay in the running for Moon contract


Re: Sending a blue dildo to the moon

"He could launch a space program on his own."

Exactly....Bezos is missing a great marketing trick - he can afford to build his own moon rocket, and then go there himself (and be the first "billionaire" to get there) and even open an Amazon Prime "taxi service" counter on the Moon...so that future NASA astronauts can book a return flight when the SpaceX lander fails to take off !

However - he seems to prefer to keep his own money and just get hand-outs for non-existing, un-proven space rockets from the millions of US tax-payers (of which he clearly isn't one).

Russia's ISS Multipurpose Laboratory Module launches after years sitting on a shelf, immediately runs into issues


Re: 30 stable orbits before crash landing...

"Sounds like a job for Bruce Willis - or possibly Flash Gordon"

Just send up Team Daedalus - Clint will rewire the spare PAM rockets and get it into the right orbit...he's done it before !!

Unless Russia has their own "Space Cowboys" available?

Our Friends Electric: A pair of alternative options for getting around town


Re: I'd be much happier...

"I suggest you take a look at the Arcimoto FUV, from the USA."

That looks cool....BUT, it's only available in the mainly "sunshine" states (CA and FL - and OR and WA too)...and I really doubt I'd want to drive that ANYWHERE in the rain...esp in the UK, where it rains even in the summer !!

(And yes, looking at the promo video, there do seem to be some "half doors" available...so maybe full doors are an extra cost option ?)

Not only is Hubble back online after outage, it's already taking photos of the cosmos


Re: “This is a moment to celebrate the success of a team"

Indeed - Well done NASA !! Never give up, never surrender ;-)

Engineers' Laurel and Hardy moment caused British Airways 787 to take an accidental knee


Seems to me a few errors were made...

1) So this happened on 18th June? - one assumes 2021....and given that most aeroplanes have been in mothballs for some time, why had the directive to sort out this issue not been done already? The mechanics would surely have had great opportunities to fix many of the relevant planes as a) all the planes were parked up in large numbers around the country, not going anywhere and b) there were no time pressures to get the planes modified quickly.

2) I assume BOTH mechanics were trained to do the work? If so, was this a simple mistake by one mechanic who clearly had not read the guidance on how to fit the crucial lockdown pin....or maybe the short mechanic was in charge in which case why did he not "oversee" (sic) what the tall mechanic did, by getting a ladder to check it? The cost implications of getting it wrong are pretty huge, so someone must take responsibility for it?

Buyer of $28m Blue Origin space ticket has a scheduling conflict – so this teen will go instead


"a tin can" ?

You were lucky, we used to dream of a tin can....we had to make do with a rolled up newspaper !

Iffy voltage: The plague of PC builders and Hubble space telescope controllers alike


Re: Old Power Supplies die eventually

The PCU is apparently putting out a constant 5V, via it's regulator.

One assumes this is DC and is derived from the solar panels, which would be producing DC as well.

Electrolytic caps can be used to smooth out rectified DC voltages sourced from AC power supplies but I doubt they are needed in this case as decent quality, silicon voltage regulators have been available for many years.

However, I would also assume that there would be a high current output (to power many and various instruments and control systems), at 5 volts, and that alone can lead to time related issues, due to the possibility of effects such as dry joints, caused by heating/cooling cycles.

Richard Branson uses two planes to make 170km round trip


"His Elon-ness was actually at the site watching yesterdays flight apparently."

And Musk has booked a flight on Virgin Galactic too...while Bezos tries to undermine Branson by offering a free flight on BO on 20th July, to Wally Funk, who had already paid a deposit to Virgin for a ride to space in Unity.

Just a shame that billionaires can't get along with each other. :-(

NASA signs $1bn deal with Northrop Grumman to build studio apartment in lunar orbit with room for 3 vehicles


Re: Room for 3 vehicles?

"1) for Beardy Branson

2) for Baldy Bezos

3) for Bitcoin Musk"

More like one for the Lunar lander, one for the incoming "astronaut taxi service" from Earth, and maybe one for a "lifeboat" or for a cargo mission.

I would also assume that at least one space craft would always be docked (whilst humans are inhabiting it, or working on the Moon) so as to allow a rapid escape, if something should go wrong.


"Why not a more or less circular orbit? Is this so the moon-bound ships can dock way out and "hitch a ride" down to low Moon orbit where the lander detaches for the final leg? Is it cheaper in fuel, even if further away much of the time in an emergency?"

I would assume that having a non-circular orbit, means the flight controllers can use the Moons gravity to maintain it's orbit without requiring "booster burns", when the orbital height gets a bit low.

This can save the need for fuel to be carried to HALO, in order to increase it's orbital height every once in a while (the ISS has to do this, as it's skimming Earths atmosphere which slows it down a little and it needs a "burn" to raise it's height - but getting fuel to the ISS is easy. Less so with the Moon).

Hubble Space Telescope may now depend on a computer that hasn't booted since 2009


Re: Shuttle!

No need for a shuttle - Just send a SpaceX Crew Dragon up, with the Project Daedalus crew: Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner - the Space Cowboys.

If they can handle an old Russki "communications satellite", they can easily deal with Hubble. :-)

Euro court rules YouTube not automatically liable for users illegally uploading copyright-protected material



So, an EU court has basically said that YouTube (which actually hosts, on it's servers, potentially copyrighted material), is not THAT responsible where users have uploaded said material.

And yet, in the UK courts, back in November 2019, a ruling was made on the joint action brought by Warners & Sony against TuneIn (an aggregator site providing "links" to websites it does not own or control, that stream music and other material), has basically found that TuneIn is responsible and this has now lead to the majority of "internet radio" products now ceasing to work (such as Sonos and others), where they use TuneIn as the "source" of the links.


As a result, UK users can/will now only be able to stream "internet radio" from UK sources, though in some cases of certain hardware, the manufacturers are blocking EVERY internet radio source, irrespective of originating country.

Clearly, big corporations money and their lawyers are the root cause of this latter issue...

TuneIn filed an appeal against this ruling and the judgement was made on 29th March 2021 and TuneIn failed to overturn the original verdict.


Sony and Warners have also gone to the UK High Court on 3rd Feb 2021, to prevent ISP's actually allowing UK internet users to access any foreign streaming internet radio stations to ensure that ISPs actually block access to many websites:


John McAfee dead: Antivirus tycoon killed himself in prison after court OK'd extradition, says lawyer


Re: Oblig XKCD obit

In the early-mid 1980s, if you had a PC, there were various tools you needed...

McAfee - anti-virus - esp when "sneaker-net" was the norm...

Norton Utilities - such as NDD, (Norton Disk Doctor), SD (Speed Disk), etc

XTree - for File management under DOS

4DOS - a replacement for command.com

RIP Mr McAfee....you will be remembered by "old hands" as a significant player in the early years of the PC and by "younger hands" as a bit of a rascal !

Mind the gap(ing mouth): London's Underground to get ubiquitous mobile phone coverage


"I’m going back to carrying a large portable hi-fi (aka boombox, but the term didn’t exist… ) "

In my day, they were called "Ghetto Blasters" and there was a serious amount of competition, between Sharp, JVC and others as to who could produce the biggest, loudest, bad-ass radio/cassette player between them.

In the end I think Sharp won, with products like the GF-777


And if you needed more speakers, try a Panasonic RX-A5


and of course not only were some of these "boxes" physically large, but they also required a significant number of D type batteries, which added to the carrying weight !

Hubble Space Telescope sails serenely on in safe mode after efforts to switch to backup memory modules fail


Re: And shut the door on your way out ...

..and there was me thinking that on the last service mission in 2009, they fitted an Alexa module, so all they need do is use the voice command:

"Open the pod bay doors please HST"...

and lo, the pod doors would stay shut and they'd hear:

"I'm sorry Dave I'm afraid ! can't do that!"

FYI: There's a human-less, AI robot Mayflower ship sailing from the UK to US right now


Re: Pirate Fodder

"What are the chances of it disappearing without trace, or mysteriously losing all of it's expensive tech?"

Why? Is it going through the Bermuda triangle?...or perhaps it will be targeted by Somali pirates somewhere near to the SE (ie Socotra Passage or the western side of the Indian Ocean?)

What Microsoft's Windows 11 will probably look like


Re: Why bother?

"I cannot imagine that I would even notice that rectangles were no longer rectangles and had rounded corners!"

For various reasons, I still use Windows 7 and I've avoided the Windows 8/10 scramble that many have gone through.

And looking at this website, using Chrome browser I notice: The program window has rounded corners. The tabs have rounded corners.

And checking my desktop, the icons on my tool bar has slightly rounded corners...

Clicking the start button gives me a vertical menu with rounded corners...highlighting an icon on my desktop shows it has rounded corners...and I just opened a spreadsheet in Excel and it has....rounded corners.

So is this just a case of the Emperors New Clothes...?

'Welcome to Perth' mirth being milked for all it's worth


Re: Cool and normal

Sadly John Clarke died in 2017, but his legacy lives on, on Youtube.


NASA doubles down on Venus missions, asking what made the planet uninhabitable


Davinci+ mission might not last long...

According to the Press Release: "The mission consists of a DESCENT (my caps !!) sphere that will plunge through the planet’s thick atmosphere, making precise measurements of noble gases and other elements to understand why Venus’ atmosphere is a runaway hothouse compared the Earth’s."


And, apparently "Venus today is a hellish world. It has a crushing carbon dioxide atmosphere 90 times as thick as Earth’s. There is almost no water vapor. Temperatures reach 864 degrees Fahrenheit (462 degrees Celsius) at its surface."


"Above the dense CO2 layer are thick clouds, consisting mainly of sulfuric acid, which is formed by sulfur dioxide and water through a chemical reaction resulting in sulfuric acid hydrate. Additionally, the atmosphere consists of approximately 1% ferric chloride. Other possible constituents of the cloud particles are ferric sulfate, aluminium chloride and phosphoric anhydride. "


"Strong 300 km/h (185 mph) winds at the cloud tops go around Venus about every four to five Earth days. Winds on Venus move at up to 60 times the speed of its rotation, whereas Earth's fastest winds are only 10–20% rotation speed."

So, very strong winds, sulfuric acid atmosphere and extremly high temps at the surface.

One wonders how NASA can build something that will last long enough to survive and take useful readings and photo's...still, they have between 7 and 9 years until the launch date, so something will turn up no doubt...unless someone makes the $500m budget vanish quickly !

How many remote controls do you really need? Answer: about a bowl-ful


Bang & Olufsen fixed this years ago...

I used to work in hi-fi retail and apart from all the UK and Far Eastern mainstream kit, we also sold a LOT of B&O.

B&O used a 7-pin DIN connection between their receivers, turntables cassette decks and eventually CD players. And the B&O remote controls would:

a) Allow you to press one button, lets say Preset 1 of the radio, which would power up the receiver and it would start playing at the preset "switch on volume".

If you then fancied listening to a CD, (and the disc was already inside) just pressing "CD" on the remote would switch inputs and play the CD. If you then wanted to record the CD, (and a blank tape was inside the cassette deck) you just hit the "Record" switch.

Once you were done, and you wanted to listen to an LP, (and a record was on the deck) pressing "Phono" would start the turntable, stop the CD player and stop the cassette deck. Pressing the "power" switch would then switch EVERYTHING off with just one button !

And if you had a B&O system compatible with the B&O Master Control Link system, you could do this from another room !!

Some other manufacturers did something similar, BUT it was only on a simple mini or rack system and was not fully implemented across their entire range of products (whereas the B&O Remote protocols was).

it does seem rather strange that in the computer world, once PC's became dominant, you could pretty mix and match components from multiple vendors (HDDs, CDROMs, keyboards, mouses, VGA cards, monitors, ISA or EISA soundcards and/or memory cards, etc etc) and yet for audio and AV systems, this is virtually impossible, which has lead to the situation the OP mentions - a plethora of remote control devices. You'd have thought a common standard would have been adopted years ago... :-(

And there's also the inevitable problem of a remote working, just as it's batteries then drop below the working voltage threshold and you cannot then turn the device off by remote and then you can't find any spare batteries !!

US nuclear weapon bunker security secrets spill from online flashcards since 2013


Re: secrecy

I made 2 posts about the bunker near Nantwich, but both are awaiting approval from the mods...been 22 hours now !

I assume they are waiting as both contain the word "H A C K" as in H A C K Green which is where the bunker is ! (And this being a techy website so the above word might be on a "watch list" of unacceptable words...).

Or maybe I'm just being observed by B I G B R O T H E R and his holding company ;-)

I'll pop into MY bunker and keep my head down for now, just in case ;-)


Re: secrecy

The Hack Green bunker is listed here:



Re: secrecy

"If you drive around near Nantwich in the UK you'll find several brown tourist signs giving directions to the "Secret Nuclear Bunker". Always makes me laugh."

That's the one at Hack Green, which is open to the public too.

And, to be fair, it is a decommissioned bunker and one that is very entertaining to visit, as there's quite a lot of old tech in there too...I've been there a couple of times and it's always interesting :-)

There's another similarly signposted "secret nuclear bunker" near Kelvedon Hatch in Essex:


Space is hard: Rocket Lab's 20th Electron launch fails


Re: What one has to remember is.......

Quite - the science is now pretty well sorted out...we know all about escape velocity, maximum dynamic load and many other things, that ensure we can launch into the ether and go beyond (towards infinity ?? ;-) )

It's the engineering that seems to have failed this time.

One wonders though, if we insist on astronaut safety systems, (that will save lives on an aborted launch), why this has not been implemented on payload launches?

Surely a sensible satellite company who wants a payload delivered into orbit safely, should only employ a firm who will be able to "save" an expensive payload from a RUD, if a rocket fails?

Hear that, Qualcomm? Analyst claims Apple's homegrown 5G modems to land in 2023 'at the earliest'


Going all "in-house"?

This latest alledged "news" seems to imply that Apple is using it's cash reserves to go all "in house" on it's designs, and one assumes that they are not then making profits for other companies, by way of paying for Qualcomm or anyone elses products.

it will also be more difficult for other brands to copy some "new" functionaility, esp if Apple register a load of patents.

Of course they are still improving the bottom line of the actual manufacturers of their idevices and chipsets, but it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't bring some (or even all of) this "in house" in due course.

Broadband plumber Openreach yanks legacy copper phone lines in Suffolk town of Mildenhall en route to getting the UK on VoIP


Re: "The handset will plug into a router"

"Look at all those horrendous "Technicolor" boxes that were given away..."

I've got a Technicolor TG589 v2 box and it's working very well, esp after I upgraded to a Fibre connection...it has had some firmware updates and has never "hung", unlike some Draytek routers I had in the past. :-(


"Another potential drawback is that the all-digital system won't work in the case of a power outage, as it draws a current from the mains, rather than the telephone exchange itself. In short: anything that relies on a landline, from phone calls to alarms, will briefly cease to function."

So if you have a local power outage, BT are assuming that customers will call their leccy firm to report the outrage via a mobile, assuming the local mobile phone mast hasn't also been KO'd by the lack of volts?

And god help you if you have a medical condition requiring an ambulance and the router fails or there's a config issue with the VOIP equipment.

As someone else commented, a small backup UPS system for the router/VOIP phone would be worthwhile...perhaps new routers could even have a small battery built in to at least allow maybe a 10 minute phone call to be made?

At least with the analogue system, a standard phone would still work !

Google to ban emoji, deceptive marketing, and ALL CAPS from Play Store metadata later this year


Re: 30 character limit is limited

If EVERY app is going to be limited to a 30 character limit, does that mean that there will be lots of similar apps all with the same name?

So how many "Best Android File Manager v1.0" apps will there be?

and what about "Dive case connector for Google Camera" - will that be renamed?

OK, so we don't have a flying car yet, but this is possibly even better: The Internet of Beer


Re: That’s one big battery

...not only that, but the barrels I've seen in the UK are metal (aluminium?) which no doubts makes for a very good Faraday cage...

So, one assumes the "tracking device" must be external to the main metal barrel and perhaps could be easily identified (and hence the thieves could choose to nick a different non-trackable barrel) or they could be armed with a "lump hammer" to bash the "tracking" section and make off with it anyways.

OTOH, the maker(s) of the barrels could use a more "cost effective" solution and just put a large label on it saying "GPS Tracker Installed" and hope that this puts off the "crims" and they select something else to nick?

Sucks to be you, any aliens living anywhere near Proxima Centauri's record-smashing solar flare


Graphic used?

It's a shame that the graphic image shown, has been used for this article, as the "belch" was NOT in the visible wavelength (as seen by humans - another lifeform MIGHT have seen it, if they were looking in the right direction during the 7 seconds that the "belch" was occuring).

So, it is unlikely that any life near to the star would have seen anything at all, though they might have experienced a warming sensation, before they were roasted to a crisp... :-(

Lego's Space Shuttle Discovery: No trouble with Hubble, but the stickers will drive a grown man to insanity


Re: Welcome back

"...we had battery powered trains sets too"

Our train sets were powered by a 12 volt transformer plugged into the mains as we could afford electricity as we hadn't splashed our cash on Lego ;-)

£169 for a Lego Shuttle....?? I could do it for about 5s and 6d, some old newspapers, a bit of fish glue and some metal coat hangers....Papier Mache rulez :-)


Re: Welcome back

"Eee, when I were a lad... Lego came in a handful rectangular brick shapes, a couple of flat panels, and if you were lucky, a window or door. And everything was white, green, red, or blue."

By 'eck, when *I* were a lad we coudn't afford Lego, so we had to make do with Betta Bilda, which was made by Airfix

The bricks were much smaller than Lego and mostly were White...they even came with bases onto which the bricks were fixed so as to stop the "building" from falling apart.

BUT they came with doors and windows :-) They also were supplied with roof tiles that clipped together.

Later sets had wheels so you could build vehicles as well as houses/garages etc.


Brit Salesforce exec Gavin Patterson becomes transfer target for controversial European Super League



"It's interesting to see Boris Johnson vowing to fight this."

BoJo needs to retain the "red wall" of voters gained at the last election...so he has to do something "popular", after the UK Govts shambolic attempt to control the pandemic, leading to 120,000+ deaths.

Plus spaffing £2.5m on a broadcast quality update of 9 Downing Street, so as to hold press conferences, and now being found out to have tried to "fix" James Dysons request to minimise tax breaks for employees coming to UK to make ventilators for the NHS.

And let's not even mention the large sum spent on updating the PMs flat in 11 Downing Street, just a few years after the Camerons also re-furnished it - both at tax-payers expense...


Re: Update:

Indeed....the back-pedalling has already begun with all sorts of owners spouting "apologies" and "we made a mistake"...

If they had actually asked the fans (maybe the supporters groups) in advance, they would have seen the amount of negative criticism they would get and they could have saved a lot of "face" by not getting involved to begin with.

BUT, with 3 American owners (of Arsenal, Liverpool and Man Utd) and backed by the American JP Morgan Chase (who were bankrolling the initial plans), this was always about MONEY and bypassing UEFA and the PL and FA by negotiating directly with broadcasters and taking all the extra wonga for themselves.

But the Big 6 English teams have now pulled out and it leaves the remaining 6 to ponder how they are going to get more money to ensure that can keep on paying out huge amounts on players transfer fees and salaries...as well as getting themselves out of debt (due to Covid as well as poor management alledgedly ).

Japanese auto chipmaker Renesas expects to resume full production next month following fab blaze



One can understand using JIT systems for large components that the auto industry needs such as chassis and bodywork panels...as these are large and difficult to store.

But small silicon chipsets, even if mounted on pcbs are hardly going to take up a lot of room and I doubt they will break the bank either.

Fridges... in... Spaaaaaaace: Engineers book ride on the Vomit Comet to test astro-refrigerator


Re: The fabric of space

"No, you don't want peltier junction fridges in space. They're REALLY inefficient for anything other than small temperature differentials. A garage freezer uses 60W with a 10% duty cycle. A peltier freezer just big enough for a pint of ice cream would need 80W continuously."

Peltiers are indeed inefficient...BUT the ISS has some rather large solar panels gathering lots of free energy...so one could just add another panel on for the "fridge", if required.

And ordinary fridges also work on the basis of energy exchange - just feel the back of normal fridges to feel how warm they get.


"though you'd have to pump the heat away from the peltier without disturbing the air around the fridge which I imagine would be a great insulator in zero G."

No need for a pump - just use some CPU paste and attach the "hot" side of the Peltier to something metallic that can conduct the heat away...I'm sure there's a large number of metal beams and cross-members inside the ISS that help. :-)


"NASA has a lot of experience using the Peltier-Seebeck effect"

Indeed one can buy small fridges that run off a 12V brick power supply, for cooling things like soft drinks, beers etc and these use a Peltier IC, so the current passes through the chip and there's a heat difference between one side of the chip and the other - so depending on whether you want to heat up the contents inside the compartment or cool them down, dictates which way around the chip is used.

It's not 100% efficient but far better than using refrigerant fluids and recirculating pumps and keeping everything lubricated in a near zero G environment.


We're on our way already: Astroboffins find 5 potentially habitable Tatooine-like systems from Kepler 'scope


Re: Space is big

"...at an average 1% of the speed of light, which we can't, it would take 400,000 years to get there..."

Even in the 24th century the Next Gen "Enterprise" could only muster about 4 LY per day....so, nigh on 4,000 LY would take around 1,000 days at Warp 9 - that's still about 3 years of travelling (including maybe some time to accelerate and decelerate at the start and end of the journey).

Of course if one went at Warp 9.5 or more then this would reduce the time...but given that "transwarp conduits" and "quantum slipstream drive systems" have yet to be invented, I doubt we should hold our breath waiting !


Satellite collision anticipated by EU space agency fails to materialize... for now at least


Re: the 2007 Fengyun-1C anti-satellite missile test

As long as you also write a stiff letter to the USA concerning their 1985 "test", when they conducted an anti-satellite missile test using an ASM-135 ASAT to destroy the P78-1 satellite.

And another stiff letter concerning the 2008 "Operation Burnt Frost", when the USA launched another missile to bring down the non-functioning low-altitude NRO USA-193 satellite...which had a "classified" use designation (and assumed to be a High Def Radar system), though it was predcited that little debris would remain in space from this...but no one is sure.

NASA's Mars helicopter spins up its blades ahead of hoped-for 12 April hover


What's to stop...

...the wind blowing it over and stopping it from flying, before it's first flight?

As it sems to have been an oversight not to fit a "ring" around the rotor blades so if it does get blown over, the current design won't allow it to get back up again, as the blades won't be able to turn.

If that happens, then maybe Percy can go back to Ingenuity and pick it up or give it a nudge so it is standing vertical again?

And I really don't know why it will have taken until next Monday to fly...the rover landed on 18th February...so very nearly 2 months will have elapsed....yes, they need to do a system checkout, but they really need to pull their finger out...

Global tat supply line clogged as Suez Canal authorities come to aid of wedged 18-brontosaurus container ship


eerrr...not quite "by the side"

As of 20:54pm BST, both:




were both still showing Ever Given as still straddling the Suez Canal, by the towns of Madama and Madiyah.

For some time now quite a few tugs have been giving assistance but to no avail as the bow (front) of the ship has run aground on the bank by some distance...and the ship seems to have lost power so cannot reverse itself off the sandbank....not that there is much room aft (behind) of it, as the canal at that point is only about 280m wide..and the ship is 400m long.

There are reports that they are trying to use a digger to get some earth/sand by the bow (on the eastern sandbank) moved so that the ship could be pulled around to face north (the original direction it was heading in), before being blown eastwards. One assumes that this was when they lost some/all power and could not correct the eastwards drifting.

If at first you don't succeed: Engineers power up the computers of NASA's monster SLS core stage once again


Is winter a good time to launch?

The launch of the SLS *might* happen this year, but as time moves on, if NASA do want to launch in 2021, with all the delays, it could be that they might have to launch in the winter...and who knows how the seals on the SRB's will cope with that?

We all know what happened with Challenger, sadly...so my bet is on a Spring 2022 "test" launch and maybe followed up quite quickly with the second launch, which may be crewed?

The 40-Year-Old Version: ZX81's sleek plastic case shows no sign of middle-aged spread


Re: "Some dealt with the RAM pack with..."

I was working for a firm that had it's own in-house service dept and my £49 pre-bult ZX81 (bought from WH Smiths, along with a £19 16K RAMPAC) was handed over to one of the service guys to see if he could fix the "wobble".

He did - by removing the edge conenctor from the RAMPACK and soldering the ZX81 edge connector, directly to the RAMPACK (by way of many short wires).

And it then worked very well after that !!

9 years after SpaceX strode into Texas village, Elon Musk floats name change for Boca Chica: 'Starbase'


Re: Wenhop

"Icon chosen for obvious reasons."

The icon was well chosen as despite a "bang on the button" landing, about 8 minutes later it did go "Boom" - seems it might have had too heavy a landing and an internal fire ruptured something and some propellant leaked causing an RUD.

But the data they collected should be fine for SN11...as long as they can slow it down a bit more on landing !

Seagate UK customer stung by VAT on replacement drive shipped via the Netherlands


Re: It's a UPS issue

"Your mistake was using UPS. They're blacklisted at my employer due to their many cockups"

Actually, it wasn't MY mistake, it was the seller...but at the time his usual courier, DPD, had suspended courier deliveries to the UK, due to the impact of Kent variant of Covid, plus a huge issue of trucks stuck in Kent, due to France closing their borders.

So, *his* 2nd choice was UPS, as they had NOT suspended courier services to UK. It was only due to inefficiencies with the Customs handling process that caused the issue both with the O/P and for my shipment.

But lesson learned and UPS won't be used again.

I've also heard from someone else, within my sector of industry, that they too have had issues with imports coming via UPS from The Netherlands and Germany too...in their case, the goods are still "in the UPS system" 3 weeks later. :-(

Oh and I also received an email from UPS telling me that their storage fees were £13 per day (after 3 days), if I took my time paying the "government charges and docmentation fees".

I wonder how many UK firms are paying up, just to get goods imported via UPS, even if they are being over-charged for these fees... :-(


It's a UPS issue

I had a very similar issue with UPS recentrly importing goods that were made in the EU into the UK.

First UPS wanted to charge me around GBP 930 BEFORE they would deliver to me, which included "government charges" of around GBP 905 plus "documentation fees" of just under GBP 25.

The "government charges" represent 20% (ie the VAT amount) of the declared value of of the goods, converted into GBP (from EURO) using the UK Government online "exchange rate" for the relevant period.


As a VAT and EORI registered business, you can advise couriers to use "Postponed VAT accounting" (PVA) to declare the VAT value on your quaretly return, instead of paying upfront to a courier. You do not need to tell the UK Govt you are doing this - just advise the courier.

Getting UPS to "register" my EORI number took me a week !! (You can email them at pva@ups.com to register)

And then UPS tried to charge me customs duty of 2% on the value as they claimed that "Third Country" duty was applicable....I had to get them to re-check the commerical invoice (sent with the goods) to see that there was a "SIGNED DECLARATION" on the commercial invoice stating that the items were made in Germany.

Therefore under the FREE TRADE AGREEMENT, the UK is the "second country" and no duty applies to the commodity code of items listed on the invoice....though some products, such as food, dairty meat, livestock etc may have other duties applies).

Eventually I got my package, 16 days affter it was ready for collection Germany on 2nd Feb 2021 !!

re: Returning items for repair/replacement

There is a way of declaring items for repair/replacement that avoids all the duty issues - and its down to the sender and shipper to do this in advance. HMRC website covers this:


We need a 20MW 20,000-GPU-strong machine-learning supercomputer to build EU's planned digital twin of Earth


Re: I can see where this is going

"By the early '30s DestinE will have become a singularity and will begin remedying the prime causes that are threatening the Earth's climate and ecology."

So, another name could be "Skynet" or maybe "The Matrix" ?? (Both had the same idea of essentially getting rid of humans so that a machine future was inevitable).

"Agent Smith:

I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure."

No fair! Space Launch System gets cool stickers even though monster rocket failed test


2nd Trump term "send off" ?

"The delay is likely to signify an end to hopes of launching Artemis I this year, and add further weight (if any were needed) to the argument for a delay to the 2024 landing on the Moon so beloved by the previous US administration."

One wonders if the previous US administration, lead by (now private citizen) Trump, endorsed this so that the moon mission took place during his 2nd term of office and it would have perhaps cemented Trumps "Make America Great Again" campaign. After all, Nixon did quite well out of the Apollo moon landings (until Watergate) - even though it was JFK's idea to get men on the moon "in this decade".

€121,000 YOGA Book Android is 'priced right' says Lenovo


Been done before...

Way back in about the mid-1980's, a certain British high-end amplifier manufacturer, called Naim Audio, were frequently berated by customers who'd bought their amplifier product(s) but wanted a matching FM tuner to go with their other prized items.

So, back in those pre-internet days, customers would usually telephone or write in and ask the sales dept to design and supply a tuner but Naim refused.

This carried on for a number of years, by which time Naim had worked out how much time was being spent answering calls/letters or talking to punters at audio shows. So they designed and manufactured the NAT-01 FM tuner and sold them for £1500 each.

And, lo and behold, all the punters requests, for this type of product, ceased pretty quickly. !!

Of course, this Lenovo product also prompts the question: What's with the pricing that ends in 0.79? And the clue here is that certain retailers price some products with a specific ending to the price, which informs the shop staff about the actual product itself so:

Some "made up" examples:

ending 0.99 - this is the items normal price

ending 0.98 - it's on special offer for a specific period

ending 0.97 - it's discontinued, there won't be any more/a new version is out soon and we need to clear stock quickly

ending 0.96 - there some extra commission on this one as our assistant buyer bought too many and we need to pay the supplier for it real quick

ending 0.95 - it's ex-demo and sold as seen



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