* Posts by wiggers

184 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Jan 2011


NASA reassigns Venus boffins to save short-staffed asteroid interceptor


Is this Dilbert?

"NASA said it has since pulled more employees to work on the Psyche mission – including hiring more leaders..."

"Top management at JPL must also organize meetings more regularly"

Yeah, that should do it!

$50m+ contract for crime-fighting IT system won by Fujitsu after no one else bid


If no one else bid then that should have been a red flag. Something was very wrong with the contract terms. The bid was no doubt pitched high because they didn't really want it.

NASA builds for keeps: Voyager mission still going after 45 years


How long before we launch something that can overtake them?

BT strikes to start this month, 40,000 workers to down tools


Will anyone notice?

Hangouts hangs up: Google chat app shuts this year


I had no idea it was still going! The remaining three users must be devastated...

China's blockchain boosters slam crypto as Ponzi scheme


Re: Ponzi scheme?

"If crypto is a ponzi scheme because it relies on new investors valuing the asset, what does that make gold?"

I agree that the crypto world is more like a bubble than a Ponzi scheme. The enthusiasm of the crypto-kiddies talking it up on social media is testament to that. Whether a cryptographic "coin" has the immutability of gold is another debate.


Re: Pension funds

The (UK) State Pension "fund" is only a kind of Ponzi in that pensions are paid out the tax revenue from those currently working. If you have a personal pension then that is *your* pot of money ready for when *you* start to draw it down. Hence the advice to view the State Pension as a potential safety net, in case for some reason your personal arrangements go pear-shaped.

Not to dis your diskette, but there are some unexpected sector holes


Re: Such memories...

Also, sending out a batch of floppies to customers only to find that the post room had stapled the disks to the letters before putting them in the envelopes!

Scientists make spin ice breakthrough


"could lead to"

How many times have we heard that with laboratory discoveries?

Reg scribe spends 80 hours in actual metaverse … and plans to keep visiting


Is there a version for eBikes?

Asking for a friend...

Google lab proposes solar-powered moisture farming to provide water for billions


Absolute not relative humidity

The actual amount of moisture in the air is measured as absolute humidity, g/m³.

Relative humidity is simply the ratio of the actual moisture content compared with the maximum for that temperature and pressure.

Hitting underground pipes and cables costs the UK £2.4bn a year. We need a data platform for that, says government


I thought this was already a thing. It was certainly being talked about in the '90s when Nynex were busy digging up everything. They certainly found the location of a large number of underground services, usually by damaging them!

Give us your biometric data to get your lunch in 5 seconds, UK schools tell children



My class had three pairs of identical twins. How does facial recognition cope better with that than a contactless card?

Ordnance Survey to take a poke at Pokémon-style gaming with outdoorsy AR adventure


It's still pretty bad. As you zoom out it suddenly switches from the 1:25k map you downloaded to a 1:100k or something. And offline is still not working. Once you're out of mobile signal you can't go very far before walking off the edge of the visible map. Have had long correspondence with their support for a few years now.

Feature bloat: Psychology boffins find people tend to add elements to solve a problem rather than take things away



...is the removal of all annoyances.

Airline software super-bug: Flight loads miscalculated because women using 'Miss' were treated as children


The ASN lists quite a lot of CoG errors leading to accidents and even more for overweight:



(Might be some overlap.)

NHS COVID-19 app is trying to tell Android users something but buggy notification appears stuck on 'Loading...' screen


"There is the danger that some might deal with the notification problem by simply deleting the app,"

That's what my partner did!

UK on track to miss even its slashed full-fibre gigabit coverage goals, warn MPs


I think I can see the problem...

"Government plans..."

If a technology is being promoted by the government it is either out of date already or is hideously expensive and poor value for money. Or both.

Yes, true, fusion reactors don't work quite yet, but, er, maybe AI can help us stop our experiments from imploding


"Clouds of plasma made up of positively and negatively charged ions are placed in a donut-shaped chamber"

Surely they need to be one or the other? It's only in colliders they are opposite charges, so they flow in opposite directions under the same magnetic field.

What simultaneously sucks and doesn't? This new robot vacuum cleaner


I make it 793,722 ponds/acre

Fancy yourself as a bit of a Ramblin' Man or Woman? Maybe brush up on your cartography


Undocumented feature

You used to access the paper maps from the main menu and switch between types of map there. After weeks of uninstalling and reinstalling I suddenly discovered you now enable them in a completely different way, by tapping on the part where you download them. Thanks for telling us OS!

The UK's Cairncross Review calls for Google, Facebook to be regulated – and life support for journalism


Most news publications, with the exception of the BBC, do so to make money. Mostly from advertising and partly from subscription. There is a market for news, however loose the definition. There is no monopoly. Therefore there is no need for taxpayers' money to be thrown at a non-existent problem, especially not yet-another-QUANGO.

Boffins build blazing battery bonfire


Government funding

Presumably because no one else was daft enough to invest in it!

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


Re: I want to move away

I'm using Tsohost now, seem reasonably low-cost and competent.


Offered for domain already migrated away!

They sent me the 'deal' for a domain I transferred to someone else many years ago! When I queried it they sent me a list of half a dozen other domains they were 'protecting' that I had transferred to another registrar over the past couple of years.

Infrastructure wonks: Tear up Britain's copper phone networks by 2025


Governments are crap at picking technologies

So they install fibre everywhere at taxpayers' expense just as the rest of the world moves on to something else, say mesh radio of some kind. When demand outstrips supply the price goes up, encouraging new investment in the supply side. Having the government plan things is a horrible idea.

"Hayek was right, the only calculating machine we have capable of planning the economy is that economy itself with its pricing mechanism." @worstall

UK.gov is not being advised by Google. Repeat. It is not being advised by Google


Just what we need..


"I'm from the government, I'm here to help."

Brit ISPs get their marker pens out: Speed advertising's about to change


Re: Hmmm...

I've noticed many survey/speed test sites don't allow the option of 'coax' or cable, which forms a large proportion of VM's connections.

MIT gives one-star review to Lyft, Uber over abysmal '$3.37/hr' pay


Judge by what people do, not what they say they want.

If the 'wages' are so bad why are people still driving for these services?

Worstall, formerly of this parish, has an explanation:


Another day, another meeting, another £191bn down the pan


The Dilbert Principle

"Always postpone meetings with time-wasting morons."


Best piece of advice I ever read!

Transport for London to toughen up on taxi firms in the Uber age


It's all about control

"the increasing number of journeys made by vehicles it doesn't control"

How exactly does it intend to control where taxis go? Surely that's down to the passenger! And what about all the privately owned vehicles, not for hire, by far the majority of traffic in London? Seems a rather specious argument.

The reporting to police business is a bit odd too. Surely it is the victim or witnesses who do the reporting, not the people who run an hailing app!

GOLD! Always believe in your role. You've got the power to know you're indestructible...


Wrong direction!

The inclination of the orbit is way off, which is why they probably lost comms.

"TLEs are out - the Ariane objects are in 230 x 43160 km x 20 degree geotransfer instead of the intended 250 x 45000 x 3 deg, so inclination totally off but height pretty much fine"


Fancy coughing up for a £2,000 'nanodegree' in flying car design?


They should have a pico-module all about Blockchain, that should get them flocking in!

User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster


Re: If somebody does not understand...

I've taught and helped maybe a dozen 'silver surfers', but one lady defeated me. All she wanted to do was transfer photos from her camera to her computer and organise them. During the first session she seemed to be doing well, taking notes to remind herself. Got a call a couple of weeks later and she was struggling to find and open Windows Explorer. After two more teaching sessions I had to admit defeat. Her recall after only a few minutes was gone, even with her notes.

I thought there'd be more Instagram: ICT apprenticeships down 20% in five years


Supply and demand

"Some 15,010 people started ICT apprenticeships in 2016/17, down from 16,020 the previous year and a fall of 3,510 since 2011/12, the government body found."

So they have successfully increased the supply and now the demand is falling. Do we really need the NAO to tell us that?

Ford giving electric car investment a jolt to the tune of $11bn


Re: If you build them...

"what happens when your infernal combustion engine wears out?"

Current vehicle design is such that the engine should last the life of the car, if properly maintained. So when the engine needs replacement it is generally uneconomic to do so and the vehicle is scrapped. This is factored into the depreciation costs, the assumption is that a new engine won't be required for the foreseeable future.

There are not nearly enough EVs in the used car market for this calculation to be made, so it is a big unknown. Leasing companies will need to work this out as this affects their rates.


If you build them...

Question is, can they sell them at a profit? And what will the depreciation be like?

National Audit Office report blasts UK.gov's 'muddled' STEM strategy


Re: Governments are useless..

Centralised planning fails again!

No wonder Marvin the robot was miserable: AI will make the rich richer – and the poor poorer


Great Depression?

"They anticipate a period like the Great Depression, when agricultural innovations meant fewer workers were needed to produce food, reducing agricultural prices and incomes, and thereby driving down demand for urban products."

Of all the causes mooted for the depression agricultural innovation isn't one of them!


If that's the basis of their argument then they're on completely the wrong tack!

WordPress 4.9: This one's for you, developers!


Comments on images still there

The code in images.php had an unconditional comments call, which you had to delete to disable comments. Now there doesn't appear to be an images.php file and still no way of turning off comments on image pages.

The case of the disappearing insect. Boffin tells Reg: We don't know why... but we must act


"Most locations (59%, n = 37) were sampled in only one year, 20 locations in two years, five locations in three years, and one in four years" also "Our data do not represent longitudinal records at single sites, suitable to derive location specific trends"

Looking at Table 1 it seems the sampling was very irregular and sporadic. I'm not sure how you can draw any conclusions from this! And in Fig 2, is it my eyes or does the black trend line appear to be right at the top of the blue bars?

123-Reg customers outraged at automatic .UK domain registration


Re: TSOHOST just did the same thing

Vidahost also :-(

44m UK consumers on Equifax's books. How many pwned? Blighty eagerly awaits spex on the breach


Take a letter to The Times, Miss Jones...

'Driverless' lorry platoons will soon be on a motorway near you


Re: Positive externality

Yes there are externalities, but it not for the government to arrive at a technical solution. To reduce congestion you introduce road pricing. To reduce pollution you legislate for emissions. Spending tax-payers' money on something they think might be a solution isn't the way to do it.


You only invest in something if you think there will be a good chance of making a profit. This is why governments shouldn't be investing in things, they are pretty clueless about what might or might not work. Governments need to look out for the externalities. If you want less pollution then legislate for emissions limits. Don't try to second guess what technology might achieve those limits, let those with skin in the game (manufacturers) work it out.


Who pays?

Why is the taxpayer coughing up for this? If there's a financial advantage then surely it will be funded by the truck manufacturers' R&D departments.

Forget trigonometry, 'cos Babylonians did it better 3,700 years ago – by counting in base 60!


Re: that have integer ratios in base 10

Yes, sorry, I realised that after I posted. I was focussing on the bigger issue...


Re: Special cases

The point is, the special cases were well known in the ancient world, pre-Greek. So this tablet simply confirms that and provides more evidence for how far back it was known.

It is not 'better' than sin/cos/tan, it's simply a collection of useful special cases.


Special cases

Pythagoras noted a number of special triangles, such as 3:4:5, that have integer ratios in base 10.


The Babylonians had similar special cases that can be written in base 60 as integers as shown on the tablet. Very similar techniques.

The breakthrough with sin/cos/tan is that any triangle can be described and calculated because they are continuous transcendental functions.