* Posts by Chris 239

186 posts • joined 17 Dec 2010


French court pulls SpaceX's Starlink license

Chris 239

Not safe, don't forget the rest of the universe...

I'm sure other species on other planets round other stars have the same problem...

Chris 239

The Register needs to get a fucking clue!

This line is such crap:

"The coverage of each spacecraft is a narrow band around the whole world, meaning it faces global competition."

Starlink will face competition * because other companies want a slice of the action and nothing to do with the coverage of each of the thousands of satellites in the constellation. The coverage of each individual satellite is only relevant to the number of satellites needed.

* (somewhen - right now it faces none outside of a courtroom).

But, rant over, When Starlink comprised of V2 sats that don't need a local downlink will governments in the "free world" be able to stop customers using Starlink?

Debugging source is even harder when you can't stop laughing at it

Chris 239

Hey, I had the exact same WTF moment on a multithreaded C compiler for DOS * in the 90s

The compiler would bug out with an error along the lines "you shouldn't see this error message", add back exactly 1 comment line and it would compile fine.

IIRC the compiler was from a one man band company, and yes up to a point did somehow give you multithreading on DOS but eventually enough unexplained crashes occurred that I refactored my code to be single threaded and then all was good.

Chris 239

I'm just upset the offending post has been removed so I can't see what the fuss is about!

A tale of two dishwashers: Buy one, buy it again, and again

Chris 239

Re: Bought a shed

I agree that is good scheme, In fact I used it when I was single.

However I think CookieMonster's 2 dishwashers both have zero storage capacity for crockery or cutlery. They are those old fashioned one at a time dishwashers.

I expect his/her dishwashers both have instead a good capacity for sweets and junk food.

When forgetting to set a password for root is the least of your woes

Chris 239

Re: Nobody told me I wasn't allowed to do it.

That is hilarious!

Galileo satnav system gets two new somewhat confusing satellites

Chris 239

Re: No they havent.

On a fight from Southend to Jersey, before takeoff the Captain came on and said it was dicey they would be able to land at Jersey because it was foggy there and he would have fuel to fly back to Southend.

He also pointed out that while the airplane was a fully equipped with precision approach and autoland so it could land with zero visibility * Jersey airport did not have the required ground systems for that which seemed pretty daft as it seems fog is pretty common at Jersey airport.

The pilots made the landing on the 3rd (and last before fuel meant they would have to give up and fly back!) attempt. I had a window seat and damn we seemed pretty low when the ground became visible. They must have been using ILS until the very last bit.

* jeepers that must be weird/ scary for the pilots !

Chris 239

Re: No they havent.

While I don't know about the 1st two or the 5th of your numbered points and they sound plausible I take issue with 3rd and 4th

3rd - it would not need all operators or planes to be fitted with the system - the airport would maintain all the old systems alongside the new just as they do now with the decades old ILS and the current precision approach systems, also right now not all airports or aircraft have precision landing systems and there are procedures to ensure the pilots know if and when they can use a precision landing system or have to use a Mk1 eyeball.

4th - it would not require the approval of all aircraft manufactures, just one - as above a precision landing system is optional - if there is demand from operators then it is a commercial decision for the manufacturer to make.

But I agree that the EU acted disgracefully over Galileo, but then the whole Brexit was (and still is) a predictable cluster fuck by both sides driven more by posturing, prejudice and hurt feelings than any considered desire for the best outcome. Fucking politicians.

Chris 239

Re: OneWeb must be coming online soon too...

Maybe the government consulted Stephen Fry about how GPS works, looked at how OneWeb is supposed to work and decided they are the same!

Russia: It isn't just us – a bit of an old US rocket might get as close as 5.4km to the ISS

Chris 239

Re: Not the orbital kitty video delivery system

It is not humanly possible to de=orbit anything by throwing it backwards, I can't be bothered to find it but Scott Manley has debunked this in one of his videos.

Page 20 of that PDF contradicts your words where it says the first 9 Falcon 9 flights:

"• Left in LEO to decay == This has been the case for Falcon 1 Flights 4 & 5 which remain in a nearly equatorial LEO to this day, as well as the first 5 Falcon 9 flights - of which COTS1

performed an unannounced upper stage restart boosting it into a 290x10,700km orbit &

CASSIOPE, which attempted a "sideways" upper stage restart which failed, stranding it in a

900km polar orbit. "

BTW I think that PDF comes across very disjointed and poorly put together which is surprising considering the author of the PDF is a Journalist and was an aerospace engineer. Perhaps he is past his best.:-(

James Webb Space Telescope gets all shook up – launch delayed again

Chris 239

Re: a "sudden, unplanned release of a clamp band"

That or someone what "OH F**k!" when they realized they had forgotten to tighten the clamp band.

Chris 239

Re: a "sudden, unplanned release of a clamp band"

Wasn't "Engine Rich Exhaust" coined by Scott Manley when talking about on of the Starship tests? At least, IIRC, that's where I first heard the term.

Chris 239

"1,500,000km (930,000 miles) beyond Earth's orbit"

could confuse some that think of orbit as circling the planet whereas in this case the orbit referred to is the earth's orbit round the sun. *

though I think technically it will still be in orbit around earth just that the orbital period will be one year and so remain roughly inline with the sun and earth.

* that's what I did and was going to comment that it implies there is only orbit round earth and manged to understand the sentence just before making a fool of myself !!!

Fool me OnePlus, shame on me: Chinese phone firm fingered for fiddling with performance figures – again

Chris 239

Bugger, shattering my bubble...

I'm typing this on my 4 year old OnePlus 5 and have to say until now I've been more than happy with it.

It still pisses all over my <1 yr old Samsung A50 work mobile in performance, battery life, charging speed and reliability.

It's been updated several times and is on Android 10 so support seems ok to me.

Former NASA astronaut and Shuttle boss weigh in on fixing Hubble Space Telescope

Chris 239

Re: Faulty backup computer

I want to upvote (because funny) and downvote too (because I hate cloud)!

Kepler spots four rogue Earth-mass exoplanets floating in space, unbound to any star

Chris 239

Planet pool

Only if Dave Lister is involved, otherwise multiply icon by several gazillions.....

Chris 239

Re: Free floating planet population

So we can buy their new improved FTL drive?

Chris 239

Re: Spending eternity roaming space

Why are there downvotes on this? It's polite, informative and sounds very reasonable.

If you downvote a post I think you should post a reply to refute the post too unless it's obvious like say, the post says the brontosaurus is not valid unit of measurement or claims the Flying Spaghetti Monster does not exist.

Chris 239

"reason to expect that they did"

Isn't that pretty much the definition of speculation?

"Speculation: the forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence"

Chris 239

Re: Free floating planet population


You should start worrying about the core explosion sooner rather than later!

Hubble memory errors persist despite NASA booting long-idle backup payload computer

Chris 239

Now there's a conundrum.

Is getting Hubble back online actually worth having Bezos get back from his little hop? Probably not!

Crane horror Reg reader uses his severed finger to unlock Samsung Galaxy phone

Chris 239

Re: "on the other hand he was fine"

Yep, same here! Imagined him being trapped in the incident that severed the finger and having to pick it up off the floor to unlock his phone to call for help.

Activist millionaires protest outside Jeff Bezos' homes to support tax rises for the rich

Chris 239

Re: the rich being richer than them.

What utter bollocks!

"bring money into the US for it to be taxed and then sent out of the country again" this is TAX on profit not revenue why would it go back out of the country? they are retaining the money outside the US waiting to it slip it in when they have applied enough grease to your government to get a tax holiday so they can pay more of it to their rich shareholders.

"US has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world" https://taxfoundation.org/publications/corporate-tax-rates-around-the-world/#Rates

There's many places higher, e.g. France, Germany, Japan, Brazil, India but don't let the truth get in the way of a good rant!

Terminal trickery, or how to improve a novel immeasurably

Chris 239

Re: Novel interference

@dvd.. I'm the same with beer and golf.

Yep, you're totally unique: That one very special user and their very special problem

Chris 239

Re: ran out of ram

"universally known" ? - um, where I worked we called then "virgin urgers"

There was also the very un-PC and racist mnemonic for the resistor colour code!

I haven't bought new pants for years, why do I have to keep buying new PCs?

Chris 239

Re: I still have some pairs of trousers that are that old

I would vae a large selection of clothes from the 80ies onward except I got married 13 years ago and SWMBO insisted I throw most of it away. Shame really, around now would probably be back in fashion! It was probably going out of fashion when I bought it - would have been nice to actually wear fashionable clothes! :-)

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

Chris 239

Re: But, but

Is you sarcasm detector on the blink?

Chris 239

Re: But, but

Says the person too chicken to put his name to his post. Oh the irony!

You think the simple servants responsible for most of the Brexit trade arrangements will be held responsible (you don't actually think Boris's bungling pals got involved with the details or will accept an iota of responsibility do you?)

SpaceX powers through bad case of wind to nail Falcon 9's eighth droneship landing

Chris 239

Re: Seconded

"high resolution pictures of Pluto (for example) are .....non-pedestrian"

True but the legacy space industry (eg. Boeing) deciding not to bother developing booster recovery because it's too hard or they assume the customer will always be happy to pay to build a new one is shortsighted, arrogant and is now costing them SpaceX is eating their lunch/launch.

Windows Product Activation – or just how many numbers we could get a user to tell us down the telephone

Chris 239

Same here because I've always worked for large companies that can/could afford their own servers and IT dept (aka busses and bus mechanics).

I'd say it is like a small startup bus company that doesn't have the capital or want to be in debt to to buy the bus and so leases the bus.

Chris 239

Re: Revenge needs to be had...

Maybe, but back then MicroShaft * even (allegedly) blackmailed PC makers into not selling PC without a Microsoft OS so effectively applying a Microsoft TAX onto the entire PC market.

That and other anticompetitive practices explains the hatred for Microsoft and lack of sympathy for your comment shown here.

* other hateophones are available.

Two clichés, one headline: 'No good deed goes unpunished' and 'It's always DNS'

Chris 239

Re: Life Lesson

Wasn't never lending your favourite books covered in the book?

SpaceX cargo ship splashes down off Florida with science in tow – but what we want to know is how space wine tastes

Chris 239

For science? - pull the other one! and make sure it's got a nice head on it :-)

Agriculture research! pull the other one - I know it's made from plants but wine is not agriculture. Someone realized they could make some cheap plonk worth a fortune by sending it to space and back!

Otherwise surely they would have drunk some of the wine in orbit - you know for science!

As that experiment has apparently still to be performed can I please offer myself as a volunteer to test a variety of alcoholic beverages in orbit. (but not Whiskey - horrible stuff!).

Theranos destroyed crucial subpoenaed SQL blood test database, can't unlock backups, prosecutors say

Chris 239

" are not convinced this was an innocent mistake", masterful understatement you have there!

Here's hoping there's sufficient other evidence to lock up these fraudsters. If the judge has to make an judgement of deliberate destruction that could be a grounds for an appeal.

Cats: Not a fan favourite when the critters are draped around an office packed with tech

Chris 239

Re: Heat detector

You remind me of something from a while ago.

My folks are lucky enough to live by a river and have a narrowboat, this was mostly used as a floating shed and study and the side door was open most days. Their cat used to like lying on the bunk in the boat and when getting off the boat used to leap up from the floor over the door sill and onto the bank.

They eventually got around to going on a boat trip and took the cat with them.... I've still got a picture of the horrified cat trying to stop and reverse direction in mid air like a cartoon cat when it discovered the bank no longer there.

Turns out cats can swim pretty well if they have to!

Trump fires cybersecurity boss Chris Krebs for doing his job: Securing the election and telling the truth about it

Chris 239

Re: You see Trump, now blaiming the voting machines.

I'd like to see a world where the standard of living in the "other countries" levels up such that there is not enough to gain by outsourcing production to those places or any other.

That way you can have trade and all the benefits that brings without workers either losing jobs or getting exploited.

But that needs a level of education of the populace and honesty and expertise from the people in power that I don't see happening anytime soon.

Let's... drawer a veil over why this laser printer would decide to stop working randomly

Chris 239

Re: Something similar

These days every Windows 10 computer does that ! - It's called "updating" I think.

HP: That print-free-for-life deal we promised you? Well, now it's pay-per-month to continue using your printer ink

Chris 239

Re: Chargeback

Yep, I think in the UK at least if the Printer cost over £100 *, but the CC company don't have to recover the money for you, they are liable to refund you themselves. You can get your money back from the credit card company under Section 75 if you bought the printer with your credit card and you are not getting what you paid for...

The CC company can then decide to chase HP to get their money back if they choose too.

* mind you not many consumer level inkjets are over £100 are they?

Suspended sentence for bank IT worker who broke into his boss's webcam because he didn't get a payrise

Chris 239

Being invited down to the police station for an interview under caution and given the 3rd degree sort of gives it away.

Did I or did I not ask you to double-check that the socket was on? Now I've driven 15 miles, what have we found?

Chris 239

Re: Why are sockets switched?

@P .V. Jeltz (nice username, how is the poetry coming along)

A kettle is designed to run at a particular voltage, if a 120V kettle is to have the same power as a 240V kettle it must be designed to present a quarter the resistance and draw twice the current.

If you plug a kettle designed for 240V into 120V it will draw half the current and have a quarter of the power because P = I x V and your brew up will be delayed, if you plug a 120V kettle into 240 V please warn me first...

PS I've always wondered why we use "I" for current.

Elizabeth Holmes' plan to avoid her Theranos fraud trial worked out about as well as her useless blood-testing machines

Chris 239

Re: The ages of humankind

All things made of you know what stinky stuff......

Chris 239

Re: Wait a minute ...

I'm guessing the logic is I'm going to lose the money so might as well spend it staying out of prison for as long as possible.

Or spend half while hiding half?

Burning down the house! Consumer champ Which? probes smart plugs to find a bunch of insecure fire-risk tat

Chris 239

Re: Not just smart plugs!

Unless you stand there watching your shiny iThing charging for however long it takes I don't see the benefit of an off switch on it on safety grounds.

OTOH I often wonder what standby power they consume - probably very very little but x a billion or so and it's probably a decent sized power station worth.

Salon told to change ad looking for 'happy' stylist because it 'discriminated against unhappy people'

Chris 239

Re: Wouldn't it be nice

and sadly it works for the head of the previously free world too these days

Raytheon techie who took home radar secrets gets 18 months in the clink in surprise time fraud probe twist

Chris 239

I wonder

I wonder if they have relaxed the rules this year and all his ex colleagues are now working from home - confidential data and all!

Wouldn't that be the final irony for the poor bloke!

Chris 239

Re: Editing

But then you would not get credit (or abuse!) from your fellow commentards or the pleasure of publicly shaming the almighty vultures.

I think this and ease of commenting is why people put corrections in the comments.

Manchester, UK seeks IT-slinger: £235m for number-plate-and-fines system to clean up vehicle emissions

Chris 239

Re: Northwest

That may be true, but it's far more entertaining point out mistakes in the forum! :-)

When a deleted primary device file only takes 20 mins out of your maintenance window, but a whole year off your lifespan

Chris 239

Re: You know you've been reading El Reg too long…

The real measure you've been reading Register forums too long is when Amanfrommars posts start to make sense!

Hey, Boeing. Don't celebrate your first post-grounding 737 Max test flight too hard. You just lost another big contract

Chris 239

New laws needed

For many years the higher ups in big companies have used the concept of the legally responsible entity being the company to hide from the consequences of their actions.

So saying the company does not deserve to be in business is saying the company is responsible and while that may be right it's also ignoring that actually it's people that are responsible and should be made accountable. And the people that would be worst affected by the company failing would probably not be the people responsible.

One or two scapegoats will or have been found in Boeing but I bet a lot of the people that are responsible for MCASgate have escaped any reckoning.

We need new laws to make higher management personally responsible for the behavior of the company they run, that way they might take the "safety first" or "Your privacy is important to us" mantra as something more than marketing BS.

Barclays Bank appeared to be using the Wayback Machine as a 'CDN' for some Javascript

Chris 239

You should have left the image and logged the traffic and after a while presented them with an invoice for the service. Could have made a killing!



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