* Posts by Killing Time

341 posts • joined 1 Apr 2011


Voyager 1 cracks yet another barrier: Now 150 Astronomical Units from Sol

Killing Time

Re: out of range of Earth’s Deep Space Network

Careful what you wish for, there would be even odds on you being a course or even a light snack ...

Ghastly little Dwellers!

Killing Time

Re: out of range of Earth’s Deep Space Network

Seriously bad news for the Affront....

Have a beer for the reference!

USA seeks Moon and Mars nuke power plant designs ready to fly in 2027

Killing Time

Re: Why the 1Km cable?

'why is high voltage AC off the table for the transmission line ?'

The answer to your question is that the DOE know the means of generating the power is almost certainly going to be a thermopile and the output will be DC. They are not expecting anyone to reinvent the wheel. They are looking for innovation in reactor safety and design, this in turn is likely to come predominantly from materials science and less so from innovative design.

There isn't any simpler means of generating a voltage (and therefore electrical power) than a thermocouple.

Killing Time

Re: What are they going to do with the heat?

'the cable will weigh about as much as the shielded nuke'

How did you arrive at that guesstimate? What about an aluminium conductor?

By the way, 120v AC really wouldn't make more sense. I think you need to revisit your electrical theory studies.

UK intel committee on Russia: Social media firms should remove state disinformation. What was that, MI5? ████████?

Killing Time

Re: big fat nothing burger

To 'interfere' is to 'intervene in a situation without invitation or necessity'.

How can the EU interfere in a situation both the UK and the EU were both intrinsically part of?

The US, when asked, expressed views on trade and political stability RE: Ireland. They were invited to comment.

The BBC supposedly breaching it's Charter is entirely subjective depending on which side you happen to be but they will claim balance and neutrality. There are other broadcasters which have access to the majority of homes.

If you feel my description of one part of your post is a personal attack that's unfortunate, you appeared to be quite emotionally robust in your initial post, you didn't expose your sensitive side.

As for the situation being simple logic, if it were that easy it would all just be a function of maths.

Chin up, I'm sure everyone here doesn't think you are ridiculous.

Killing Time

Re: big fat nothing burger

'I notice that you provide no rebuttal to any of the points I made, and merely insult me.'

I was quite clear in that I believe your 'points' to be inaccurate.

Not seeing any personal insult leveled at you. Perhaps you can be specific as to where you feel the personal insult lies, clearly you are quite emotional about this.

How I voted is frankly quite immaterial, I have voted in the democratic process ever since I have been able to. It only appears to be since this particular vote went though that all further debate is expected to be shutdown.

I have always understood the democratic process to be about civilised and respectful debate. Not in this case it seems.

Killing Time

Re: Report from self-important people uncritically 'informed' by 'evidence' from yada yada yada

I'm afraid to say your title pretty much sums up your post. I read it twice just to reassure myself I hadn't missed something of importance. But no, it contributes very little other than conjecture, appears contradictory in places and reads like you just swallowed a thesaurus. If there was a point there to directly address I would happily try to reason with you but I fail to see one.

it's just the pontificating kind of hot air and smoke, mischief makers have successfully been blowing up our asses for years now. It's a damning indictment of our society a significant proportion continue to fall for it.

If you want to make your point (whatever it is) in the space of one sentence, I would be happy to debate it with you?

Killing Time

Re: big fat nothing burger

'this report has nothing meaningful to say about the EU referendum'

Well that is about the only accurate statement in your post and precisely the reason most reasonable people are questioning it. For my part, your emotive descent into ridicule and expletives is just grist to the mill and additional evidence of you have no rational argument.

If anyone who holds an opposing view to you, is in your view a bleating clown, then sign me up I am more than happy with that so insult away.

If truth was established by an escalation of insults, civilization would have been screwed centuries ago, thankfully it's not.

FYI Russia is totally hacking the West's labs in search of COVID-19 vaccine files, say UK, US, Canada cyber-spies

Killing Time

Re: The Mandy Rice-Davies Proactive Defence

'It's all a smokescreen manufactured to divert attention from next week's release of the Russia Report' and a remarkably effective one at that given the number of comments on the so called joint statement.

Probably due to the gravity lent to the statement by the inclusion of the US and Canadian intelligence services. With that in mind, I have looked but I have struggled to find reporting of statements from any politicians (of an equivalence in position to Dominic Raab) from the US or Canada in the international press coverage. If it is out there, I stand to be corrected. There is some confirmation reported from US intelligence officials but that is hardly what one would consider a 'joint statement'.

The cynic in me is beginning to think the desperation to control the narrative around the the up coming Russia Report has shown our esteemed government ready to drag our allies into their sordid little cover up.

Psst: Want to know who else has their snout in the Copernicus trough? (spoiler: it's not the UK)

Killing Time

Someone else's taxpayers are paying and we will have access to 'some of' the data.

Sorted that out for you. Wouldn't want to mislead anyone, would you?

UK space firms forced to adjust their models of how the universe works as they lose out on Copernicus contracts

Killing Time

Fascinating argument you put forward in the name of your 'democracy'.

Ridicule and demonise those who have the temerity to hold a different opinion and exercise their own democratic rights. Attack the press for conveying the opinions of others if they deviate from your own.

Nah... you are going to have to do better than that to convince me. Try starting with a reasoned rational argument, avoid the emotive adjectives and we may get somewhere.

In reality though, I am sure this is not something you are capable of as it takes some actual thought. Its far easier to descend straight into faux nationalism to attempt to take the moral high ground, hey?

Google and Parallels bring Windows apps to Chromebooks, in parallel with VMware and Citrix

Killing Time

Re: Chromebooks are a breeze . . .

Can't really understand why you would actively advise people to stay away from Chromebooks when you clearly have little first hand knowledge of them.

No product is perfect but if it's a privacy thing then I would have thought you would have realised by now, they all slurp data to a greater or lesser degree, Including Linux distributors. You set up an account, they start the profiling.

For the vast majority of users, Linux isn't an option because they don't possess the skills. Their only viable options lie with the main players. You don't need to be old fashioned to understand privacy encompasses a whole host of issues. Including reduction in unsolicited mail and data security to name a few. If advised rationally, some may place these aspects of privacy above other aspects and perceptions.

Killing Time

Re: 'On the way to the cloud'

Sheets is a decent alternative to Excel for most purposes. I have in the past created a scoreboard with Form driven data entry from a mobile phone to it.

For the vast majority of users it will do the job.

Works offline also.

Someone got so fed up with GE fridge DRM – yes, fridge DRM – they made a whole website on how to bypass it

Killing Time

Re: Overall Brand

Simple, they bought them but were forced to divest various parts such as the rail division and some other bits, by the French government who had part ownership.

It turned out to be a dog of a deal.

Killing Time

Re: Overall Brand

I agree, yet you have contrived to make it longer by your cut and paste and in doing so appear to have confirmed my point regarding the acquisition of Alstom.

Very kind of you.

Have a great day.

Killing Time

Re: Overall Brand

No I don't agree with him and see it as the hedgefund backed shorting move it is, along with many other actual shareholders.

I am also realistic enough to understand that brand names have value and market share.

As to your last point, if the purchase of Alstom, which directly lead to their current troubles, didn't raise an action, this wouldn't.

In the real world, people just sell their stock.

Killing Time

Re: Overall Brand

Don't know where you got the idea GE is close to bankruptcy unless you are an acolyte of Stephen Tusa and enjoy shorting the stock.

They sold the Appliances unit some years ago when they could see the margins were dropping and they had an opportunity to sell it at a premium. Their current problems actually stem from what they spent the money from that sale on. You really need to get your facts straight before commenting on what the stockholders would do.

I doubt many Wall Street traders while away their hours as commentards but as a general rule of thumb, its good practice.

They've only gone and bloody done it! NASA, SpaceX send two fellas off to the International Space Station

Killing Time

Re: Naming

Granted, but my issue I suppose is the use of the word 'silly', it implies a lack of thought or foolish when it was anything but.

Being a total fanboy of his writing I think it does his humour a disservice as the uninitiated may carry that view and pass up the opportunity to read a superb author. Not dissing the article but just think there are better descriptions that could have been used and probably would be if more people read his work rather than it being a subnote of Space X massive achievements.

Killing Time

Re: Naming

'in which he delighted in silly names for spaceships'.

I'm afraid not. IMB wasn't that lazy a writer. Given that the ships are sentient asexual lead characters in his novels, the names they choose are generally a function of their character, status or standing within the Culture.

This leads to entities such as Sleeper Service, Shoot Them Later, Attitude Adjuster and the lead character in his last novel, Mistake Not..... Whose full name reveal is a high point within the story as you come to understand it's full capabilities.

The names are an intrinsic part of the stories and have far more thought put into them than you suggest.

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



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