* Posts by Killing Time

322 posts • joined 1 Apr 2011


After 30 years of searching, astroboffins finally detect the universe's 'missing matter' – using fast radio bursts

Killing Time

Re: Missing Matter?

The answer to your question is clearly no because they still haven't been able to see back to the Epoch of Reionization.

However, astronomers can see back far enough that with extremely conservative assumptions the probability of the missing mass being in this unknown region is vanishingly small.

In short, they are not dumb and they know what they are talking about.

Brexit Britain changes its mind, says non, nein, no to Europe's unified patent court – potentially sealing its fate

Killing Time

Re: "clarified once the uncertain situation caused by Brexit has been resolved"

I ain't Spartacus,

I am saying that we, as a nation set the tone. The talks between the UK and the EU did not happen in a vacuum, they happened to a media conveyed background of noise from the ERG emboldened by May's disastrous general election decision and subsequent weakened political hold over the party. The EU were fully aware of her position and probably exploited it to some degree to gain advantage, as any good negotiators would do. I would expect our negotiations team to do the same.

The fact that the EU turned down the UK's proposals and offered no alternatives is a negotiation strategy in itself. It's one which can be and is often implemented by the dominant party, after all, its not them trying to leave the existing agreement. There are no friends in negotiation, particularly when the doomsday scenario of us walking away has stupidly been publicly floated even before the negotiations started.

I stand by the divorce analogy, divorce definitely isn't about love, though more often than not, the process results in the complete opposite! The legal divorce process is about dissolution of a legal contract between two people, provision for dependents and division of shared assets. This pretty much sums up where we are with respect to the EU and where we are going.

Killing Time

Re: "clarified once the uncertain situation caused by Brexit has been resolved"

I ain't Spartacus,

Granted that the EU have not been exemplary in this, but we set the tone. If not May then the background yapping of Farage and the ERG with their rhetoric where we would just walk away from our commitments unless we got our way amongst other diplomatic and stately declarations.

It's a divorce, like it or not and emotion plays into it. Don't know what your experience in that department is but 9 times out of 10 it gets messy. From a negotiation point of view I can well see why the EU would not want us to dictate terms based on agreements they have with others, it sets a precedent for any others wanting to leave. Their goal is to keep the EU together and if that means making an example of us then so be it.

Expect to see the same tactic from BoJo if the Scots get pissed off enough to try to jump as well.

That is of course, if DC lets him.

Killing Time

Re: "clarified once the uncertain situation caused by Brexit has been resolved"

‘I think there's a deal to be done, just nobody statesmanlike enough to get it. ‘

Sadly statesmanship doesn't factor into the style of dealmaking Dom and the Tory right wing think they can impose. They appear to favour the language of a knifefight all the while paying occasional lipservice to our ‘friends on the continent’.

No one did more damage to May than her own party and their internal machinations which put personal power above all, including the UK’s interest ( see Northern Ireland).

It’s deeply concerning that in our particular democracy an unelected or non royal wields so much influence and power. A classically educated person with links to Russia, ( like that has gone swimmingly before), who appears to be attempting to take control of policy by dictating which political advisors will be allowed within the government framework.

What could possibly go wrong?

UK energy watchdog to probe National Grid and Scottish Power over fault-plagued subsea cable

Killing Time

Re: The future for undersea power cables

Technical reasons are likely to include better control of AC phase and reactive loading over such distances from out in the 'sticks' where the power is being generated to the areas it is most likely to be consumed, the Northern Powerhouse/ Midlands.

An alternate route provides distribution supply security in the event of natural disaster, changing climate or even 'bad actor' events.

Undersea, minimises NIMBY issue likely to come about by trying to get increased distribution capacity slung across half of the UK.

A whole host of factors will have been considered, these are probably just the headline ones.

Killing Time

Re: The future for undersea power cables

'A fourth link is pretty likely to happen, the only question that remains is where it will go.'

Yeah, well if I wasn't clear, my money is on it not being between Spain and England which is the original suggestion.

Please keep up.

Killing Time

Re: The future for undersea power cables

'The cost / benefit may not be too good today, but I would be surprised if these schemes are being rejected instantly.'

OK, I take it back, rejected after they have time for a good snigger.

Pipelines carry product from where there is a supply to where there isn't an existing supply.

In the current circumstances it's a non starter...

Killing Time

Re: The future for undersea power cables

'Iberdrola and other Spanish power companies ought to be thinking about undersea cables to transmit Spanish solar power to England.'

I suspect they have and then dismissed the thought in the space of a millisecond.

Presumably you don't expect them to dig up or straddle France but just traverse the Bay of Biscay? An area who's sea conditions match the worst areas in the world? Then there is the billions in cost. Do you think they would foot that bill in the hope of selling energy to a country which is doing it's best to distance itself politically and financially from the rest of Europe?

Blue sky thinking completely disengaged from the reality of life.

Coronavirus claims new victim: 'DEF CON cancelled' joke cancelled after DEF CON China actually cancelled

Killing Time

Re: Hard Times

'then why is the US, France and Australia independently working for the same thing (but all reporting to WHO)?'

That's a good question which appears to skewer your point.

Why are they working independently when they are all reporting to the WHO? Presumably because many hands make light work.

The director of the UK lab for infectious diseases was on Breakfast Time over the weekend and was clear that the Chinese cooperation with other countries was more than acceptable. There wasn't the slightest suggestion of any issues.

So who are we to believe?

Curse of Boeing continues: Now a telly satellite it built may explode, will be pushed up to 500km from geo orbit

Killing Time

'The mentioning of the satellite exploding/breaking up would suggest some kind of serious outgassing event, conceivably inflammable?'

Well, conceivable if there is any oxygen around but given the location, probably not...

An exothermic chemical reaction is what they are concerned about.

Rugby legend Will Carling tells El Reg: Techie stats bods will love this year's Six Nations

Killing Time

Re: Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics...

Admittedly the interested audience of this data will only be a subsection of the viewers but with its inherent 'law' complexity the game has always attracted fans of that persuasion. I have lost count of the times I have been in a club or pub watching a game where the subject of conversation during a lull would be the new seasons law change along with how the ref is likely to interpret it.

Besides, it will provide a handy calibration benchmark for the studio talking heads. It should be easier to establish if they are bigging up their mate, club,country or they actually know what they are talking about and not just talking out of their arse.

Are you getting it? Yes, armageddon it: Mass hysteria takes hold as the Windows 7 axe falls

Killing Time

Re: Thanks Reg!

Got a nod in to the album as well...

Geoboffins find the oldest matter on Earth: Ancient stardust created before the Solar System formed

Killing Time

Re: Glue

These granules were formed early on and then have probably been through the gravitational mangle multiple times where they became part of bodies along with younger material. To be broken up, reformed ( probably a number of times), finally only to crash and burn on the surface of our planet. All the material being manufactured by successive generations of stars. There is no glue other than what gravity did to it.

The granules age with respect to our Sun has no significance, The Sun is a mere baby by comparison.

Astroboffins baffled as Curiosity rover takes larger gasps of oxygen in Martian summers

Killing Time

Re: Tiptoeing around the elephant in the room

'Just once I would like to read something on The Reg where some pillock does not fucking mention Trump nor Brexit.'

Politics affects everything in life that requires money and resources, including science.

Get over it.

Killing Time

Re: Tiptoeing around the elephant in the room

'No one will say it because they is no proof.'

My observation is presicly about that. Prior work has been shot down in flames to the extent that the possibility is now dismissed to the point that appeals are going out to explain the phenomenon with hypothetical chemistry. No one is prepared to risk their reputation.

It's telling that you jumped on photosynthesis, and then dismiss it out of hand as if it is impossible panspermia could be a possibility.

Mars was potentially habitable far earlier than Earth if current knowledge is to be believed.

Killing Time

Tiptoeing around the elephant in the room

It seems that since the Viking 'discovery' and the fossilized bacteria 'discovery' during Clinton's tenure, no one seems to want to stick their head above the parapet for fear of the shelling they are likely to receive. Possibly, as given the last announcement involved the incumbent POTUS, they think their credibility would be ruined for life if Agent Orange jumped on the bandwagon.

Alternately, they are playing the long game to build the value of manned exploration of our companion planet. Whatever the reason, the mounting evidence is getting more and more compelling, even if no one will actually say it.

Londoner accused of accessing National Lottery users' accounts

Killing Time

He has a clear defence

Who in their right mind would buy North Face gear?

Poor man, how tragic...

Reaction Engines' precooler tech demo chills 1,000°C air in less than 1/20th of a second

Killing Time

Re: That's quite hot

Actually, in current gas turbines, along with inconel alloys, it's a combination of coating the early stages of the power turbine blades and stators with Ceramic Matrix Coating ( the composition of which is rather IP protected) and cooling air from a suitable interstage location in the compressor section/turbine ( depends on your design)

The air is extracted at a pressure and temperature low enough to provide the internal and necessary surface cooling by excluding the extremely hot combustion gases from direct contact with the components. For any direct surface contact the CMC provides final protection. The combustion gases have expanded enough prior to encountering the first stage that the interstage cooling air pressure is high enough to do the job.

Subsequent interstage expansion of the combustion gases and therefore cooling, results in the last stages of the power turbine not requiring assisted cooling.

The single crystal aspect increases the mechanical strength of the blade so that resists flying apart due to impact and / or centrifugal forces. It adds little to the material's thermal performance.

What's the scoop with Mars InSight's mired mole? It's digging again, thanks to trowel trickery

Killing Time

Re: I'm not surprised

'if something doesn't work, hit it.'

Also known as percussive maintenance....

UK.gov's smart meter cost-benefit analysis for 2019 goes big on cost, easy on the benefits

Killing Time

Re: Hmm

'And it's reasonably well known that the current crop aren't compatible with solar panels or other "in house" generation mechanisms.'

It is? Is there any published technical detail to back this claim up other than vague claims and hearsay? All the meter is doing is measuring the direction and size of the electrical current in the supply 'tails' to the property, nothing more nothing less.

Killing Time

Re: Horseshit

'Accuracy? No. If ever you have a new system installed you do not simply rely on the data from day one without any kind of manual checking unless you're an absolute idiot*. The best and most accurate way to read it therefore still involves the same manual check that you were doing before having one.'

Don't really know what your interpretation of accuracy is but the above statement isn't even close to the mark.

Instrument accuracy WRT electrical metering is a function of the 'class' of CT's/VT's being used and resolution / sample rate of the A/D converters handling the analogue to digital conversion.

Its swimming against the tide to attempt to support so called smart metering on this site and I have no intention of doing so other than to say the primary drivers behind it are actually reduction of fraud and better load profiling data to enable improved load management.

The rest is pretty much horseshit....

How much pass could LastPass pass if LastPass passed last pass? Login-leaking security hole fixed

Killing Time

Re: "make sure they have updated"

More Tools > Extensions > LastPass 'Details' button

Last one out, hit the lights: UK energy supplier SSE to axe 115 bodies from tech department

Killing Time

Re: Dumb move

'If you live in Northern Scotland, Southern England or South Wales, they are the ones that actually deliver the electricity to your distribution board'

Don't know about Northern Scotland or the Effluent South but SSE aren't the DNO in South Wales, Devon and Cornwall. That would be WPD.

Eight-hour comms lags and shock discoveries: 30 years after Voyager 2 visited gas giant Neptune

Killing Time

Re: Proper requirement analysis

In fairness, New Horizons has completed one extra science mission and will probably achieve a third due to the forethought / planning of the project team and it must be acknowledged, the administrators.

Both groups manage to schmooze the politicians into signing off realistic budgets to support further science along the way.

Long may it continue!

UK cops blasted over 'disproportionate' slurp of years of data from crime victims' phones

Killing Time

Re: Police in impossible position

None of your fears regarding the contents of your phone are a particular concern for me, I have a digital imprint stretching back to the Nineties ( if you include old email accounts etc) and while I wish privacy there is nothing in my past photos or communications I am ashamed of. I suppose that is something that separates us and shapes our viewpoints.

I can see that you could be ashamed if certain aspects of your life were made public but if you were to bring charges against someone and in doing so denigrate their reputation you would have to overcome that shame and stand some challenge to your character, surely you see that as a reasonable outcome?

Of course, as you are concerned about what is reasonable,I'm sure you would agree that if the accused is required to supply phone data then so should the accuser or else there is an immediate bias and an incentive to be an accuser. A cynical criminal could commit a crime, immediately make an accusation and enjoy the protection afforded a victim.

Not really sure what your point is regarding job applications when it would be so easy to spoof that process by submitting a false phone but I agree no one chooses to be raped. Just as no one chooses to be falsely accused.

Killing Time

Re: Police in impossible position

I struggle to see a circumstance where a genuinely aggrieved victim would refuse the opportunity to provide evidence to support their case.

Even in sexual crime cases, the arguments seem to be very weak as those I have heard put forward where past behaviour could be construed as current behaviour is a pre judgment of what is evidence, this is equally prejidicial to the accused.

It's always been the investigative and judicial authorities role to decide what is evidence. I'm all for privacy but there are limits, is this one?

'Cockwomble' is off the menu: Uncle Bulgaria issues edict against using name in vain

Killing Time

Re: CockWomblers Unite

'Difficult to know if she's serious of just a troll. '

I'm sure if you look in a modern dictionary, under troll you would find her as an analogy.

I can't think of a better example.

Elon Musk's new idea is to hook your noggin up to an AI – but is he just insane about the brain?

Killing Time

Re: some of Charlie Stross' work is in a similar vein

Yes, read the 'Crow Road' myself after getting hooked on IMB's SF output but couldn't really get into it.

I think what sets the SF/Fantasy genre apart is the 'world building' aspect of the writing. This to me adds a whole literary dimension which I think sets the author apart from run of the mill writers.

I do read 'real world' novels occasionally and once in a while I come across something that impresses me but always find myself coming back to the SF/Fantasy genre and that invariably being the novel I can't put down.

Killing Time

Re: some of Charlie Stross' work is in a similar vein

'I've still not read his final Culture book for some reason. Something I need to correct.'

The Hydrogen Sonata, again a strong story, expands upon the Sublime ideas featuring a memorable organic lead character and awesome Culture ship the 'Mistake not.....'

I am truly sad there will be no more.

Bulb smart meters in England wake up from comas miraculously speaking fluent Welsh

Killing Time

Da iawn

How an ace-hole AI bot built by Facebook, CMU boffins whipped a table of human poker pros

Killing Time

Re: Get a life

Time taken to play a hand depends very much on the level of play and how many players are in the hand.

If you assume six players sitting, at the professional level you would probably not see any more than three players seeing the Flop (the first three common cards) the rest fold, whereas at the lower skill levels far more of the table would be in it, possibly through to the River (the last card). The hand time will also quicken as players drop out.

Better players are invariably tight/aggressive. They play less hands but when they are in it they bet more aggressively. Passive play and loose play, in the long run, gets found out.

Having said that, big professional tournaments with hundreds of 'runners' can last up to a week before you get into a money placing.

As someone else here said, it is their life....

UK Home Sec kick-starts US request to extradite ex-WikiLeaker Assange

Killing Time

'What was the point of showing all those Scandi-noir detective shows on BBC2 - that's what I want to know!'

To make you think they are not all Hygge, Ikea and meatballs....

Wholesome: Waste heat from coal power station turned data centre to help grow veggies

Killing Time

Re: wonderful concept

It's a nice idea to reuse waste heat however from a engineering point of view, that energy supply needs to be predictable and within certain parameters otherwise you need to put in place parallel systems either to make up the shortfall and/or deal with the surplus energy along with those systems incumbent costs. This makes the potential uses for low grade waste heat fairly limited.

The use in agriculture isn't new, there have been a number of previous projects which use biodigesters and gas engines with the exhaust heat ( including CO2 enrichment) being used in large scale greenhouses.

Despite the headline, no doubt the big driver in location of this project is the existing grid connection infrastructure. Having done some work on similar projects in the past I will say that a high proportion of the initial project cost for something like this would be swallowed up by the HV Multi MW supply infrastructure rather than the processing hardware itself.

If you have a suitable use for the waste heat in close proximity which can cope with varying energy input then all the better, its a win win.

This variability in waste heat energy output is alluded to in the article with the reference to use of the lake for additional cooling.

Good luck to them in using that waste energy in a beneficial manner.

It's a Hull of lot more: Macquarie offers £563m for fibre network flinger KCOM

Killing Time

Re: Oh dear, that's them ruined

The don't call Macquarie the Vampire Kangaroo for nothing....

Stay frosty: Google to fork out another €600m on bit barns in Finland

Killing Time

Re: Now we know what's causing the icebergs to melt.

Seawater cooling isn't a new thing and it's highly regulated.

In all likelihood the relevant licencing authority will have stipulated the lowest possible outlet temperature so it would probably only be in the region of 2-3 Deg C above the ambient seawater temp.

I think the distant polar ice cap will be safe from that particular heat source.

It's 50 years to the day since Apollo 10 blasted off: America's lunar landing 'dress rehearsal'

Killing Time

Re: I'm terribly sorry (not really) that I have to be the one to pee in your crazy punch again


I will only explain this once as I currently have nothing better to do, after that you are going to have find yourself a preschool teacher with infinite patience.

If I understand you gibberish correctly you want to know how boulders don't appear to have dust on them when they are 'buried in thousands or millions of years of dust' (sic).

Well perhaps the boulders are deposited after the regolith (that's what moon dust is called by the way) i.e. they are newer than the regolith.

That is a reasonable explanation that doesn't involve conspiracy or film sets however I know deep down, that is of no concern to you as you just want to believe grand conspiracy, your paranoia won't allow you anything else.

Good luck in your search for someone who cares.

Killing Time

Re: I'm terribly sorry (not really) that I have to be the one to pee in your crazy punch again

Ah, yet another ovarian egg with the wisdom of the internet who thinks they can apply the science of hindsight to tell us how it was back in the day.

Tesla big cheese Elon Musk warns staffers to tighten their belts in bid to cut expenses (again)

Killing Time

Re: I don't get it...

@Lee D

'There's a reason that the shareholders in Tesla aren't particularly sad to see him gone from the board, and why they immediately raised prices and/or cut costs once he'd gone.'

I'm really interested, when did this happen?

C'mon, UK networks! Poor sods have 'paid' for their contract phones a few times over... Tell 'em about good deals

Killing Time

'When a business is propped up by an pretty unrelated contract service, then you know that they are struggling for business. '

No, sadly that's not the case, the contracts generate the big profits over and above the stable margins they generate on their services businesses.

For every saving you make by sensibly controlling your telecoms costs they have to skin someone else to keep the profits, to pay the dividends, to grow the share price,to attract more investment, to grow the company, to employ more people.

That's what drives the economy, like it or not.

OFCOM and their ilk are supposedly there to ensure they don't skin to many people .

Japan's mission to mine Mars' moon is cleared – now they've filled out the right paperwork on alien world contamination

Killing Time

Re: Too much fuss about contamination

So there was this Tardigrade minding his own business, sitting inside a rock......

Killing Time

Smashing LCross into Cabeus crater, dropping Cassini into Saturn's atmosphere. Makes you wonder where the red lines are?

Crap band sues crap beer maker: Hair-metal rockers have an Axl to grind over Guns N' Rosé

Killing Time

Re: Axl should be happy someone remembers them.


I fully agree with you. I wouldn't pay top dollar for a nostalgia trip. I would rather see a number of up and coming bands in their acendancy for the same money.

Personally I think Appetite is a good album which was just elevated by the poor Hair Metal which was around at the time, however that doesn't change the fact that GnR shifted a shed load of albums and clearly retain a lot of fans prepared to shell out to see them again.

Perhaps it's just a reflection of the state of rock music in the late eighties and that generation of fans highlights.

Killing Time

Re: Decent enough?

'Debut album. Come on.'

There appears to be an omission from your post, something like a point?

Killing Time

Re: Decent enough?

'Rating music by the number of copies sold pretty quickly has you trying to defend Katy Perry or even Kiss.'

Actually I was pointing out that an act which has sold a truly significant amount of albums is just not going to be a support band to someone else. Additionally, as it happens, Appetite for Destruction didn't receive much acclaim or sales when first released.

If you are going to contribute you really should check you facts before exposing your prejudices.

Killing Time

Re: Decent enough?

If you like nearly dead musicians at least three of them almost died through alcohol and drug abuse so they appear to fall into your criteria,

A band with the best selling debut album of all time as a support act? I don't think so.

Killing Time

Re: Axl should be happy someone remembers them.

The 2016-2018 'Not in This Lifetime' tour reputedly grossed in excess of $500M.

I'll stick my neck out and say some people remember them...

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin unveils 'Blue Moon' lander, making it way too easy for manchild Elon Musk to take the piss

Killing Time

Re: Musk just hates it when someone else gets attention

I think the Space X achievements give him the kudos to take the piss out of potential competitors, it's just a shame his wit appears to have deserted him.

Bezos' ambitions are admirable but as yet the talk and vision are just not backed up by true innovation, a demonstrable track record or an aggressive launch and development program which might just achieve his stated aims.

May Day! PM sacks UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson for Huawei 5G green-light 'leak'

Killing Time

Re: Innocent unless proven Guilty

The significant point I see in the exchange of letters is that despite there being no suggestion of anyone else's involvement in May's termination letter, in his response he goes out of his way to point out his trust for the civil servants and others in his dept.

Classic deflection. Muddying the waters by subtly inferring that the leak could have come from within the department. What a snakey POS. He doesn't give a toss who he screws over.

Dump him out of UK politics, period.

Killing Time

Re: Innocent unless proven Guilty

As I understand the letter, he was sacked due to his behaviour during the investigation.

This suggests at the very least that in private he was evasive despite his public undertaking and protestations. In a normal employment context this could be considered gross misconduct. Where are the facts to support the political finger pointing and scapegoating suggested?

A lack of cooperation is not something you can tolerate from a defence secretary on a security matter.

Good riddance.



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