* Posts by John Jennings

288 posts • joined 14 Apr 2011


Apple takes another swing at Epic, says Unreal Engine could be a 'trojan horse' threatening security

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: "most egregious acts of sabotage that Apple has experienced with any developer,"

And Audible (another Amazon Product). Audible on Apple is the only variant with In-app purchases blocked for the audio themselves.

The same thing applies to charts and datasets for navigation apps and such. Usually, you can buy them directly in Android or Windows apps, but not on Apple....

That is an example of how messed up Apples approach actually is. If the apps could offer the transactions with a reasonable VIG, they would, as that would sell more product. 30% is gouging.

The Battle of Britain couldn't have been won without UK's homegrown tech innovations

John Jennings Bronze badge

Battle of Britian - some of the forgotten bits.

The BoB was fought (mostly) over land - and in inshore waters. British pilots could be rescued, German fighter pilots could not, usually. Britian had about 1000 active fighter pilots, versus around 1300 german fighter pilots (plus another 2000 bomber crews). A shot down plan had around 70% of british pilots ready to fly again within a week. on the German side - closer to 30%. Coastal rescue played a decisive role for the RAF.

to add to this, the BF109 was fighting outside its effective range. a german fighter could remain on station in Kent for about 15 minutes provided it saw no action. Spitfires were designed round less effective range and carried less fuel - making it generally a little more agile. This agility was offset by the BF109 low level engine performance, with a superior supercharger and fuel injection system giving more than 200 HP prop power. The Spitfire excelled at high level anti-bomber work where the Rolls Royce engine could excel against medium bombers. The ME110 had the range, and straight line speed, but no manuverability worth a damn - being a twin engine boemoth of a fighter.

The Hurricane, on the otherhand, was the mainstay of the RAF and polish forces - and accounted for more than half of the german fighters shot down. Not as pretty, though.

Radar really played a role where the RAF could be targetted at bombers - avoiding fighter screens - while german fighter sweeps usually went unanswered.

India flies Mach 6 scramjet for 20 whole seconds

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Amazing.

Not really

We do spend money on stuff like sanitation - though much more on Bangladesh and elsewhere.

In return, India supports our Steel industry, and props up most of our IT infrastructure!

India spends about 2.5 percent GDP on defense - and has 2 warm/hot borders (China & Pakistan)...

The US spends 3.2, and the UK about 1.9

So its in the ball park.

Apple: Yeah, about those ground-breaking privacy features in iOS 14 – don't expect them until next year

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Disappointing they are delaying this change

Hiding consent by burying an option is not 'informed consent' under GDPR rules.

The tricky part here is that there is nothing in the ID itself - its how that interacts with companies such as FB.

There is no question that FB links the ID to the device, the user and the FB app and so can monitor sites that have a tracker belonging to FB hosted.

The ability to reset (if it still exists in 14) on its own is not enough - users need to be able to manage the option easily - they need to be informed, and easily make the choice (even if most select 'dont care')

Like Uber, but for satellite launches: European Space Agency’s ride-sharing rocket slings 53 birds with one bang

John Jennings Bronze badge


AIS comes in 2 classes - A and B (and B+)- A is commercial, B is recreational. A is 5 watts, B is 2 watts, with the + outputting at 5.

proper installation of Class A specifies 15M above sea level - hence the 74KM range

The range of B (and B+) is highly dependent upon the areal and its placement. As AIS uses 2 channels (either side of the DSC radio channels), a standard marine radio areal may not transmit at ideal frequencies - and placement can also be problematic (getting it high enough, where it doesnt interfere with the DSC areal, lines, etc.). I have seen AIS B which doesnt pick up a target more than 10KM away!

The satellite will be great for the system - its generally ships that recreational boats need to watch/avoid.

Smash-and-grabbed: Chinese AI academic cuffed by Feds after 'binning hard drive' amid software leak probe

John Jennings Bronze badge

Another one.


This one is on advanced fluid dynamics simulators.

This time at the university of Virginia.

Its systemic.

Nuff said.

John Jennings Bronze badge

We wont know, but

Likely not a 'professional agent', but a source for one, who was untrained in spying.

Most information gathering by agents isnt done by dressing in black and sneaking around. Its done (willingly or with pressure) with people inside who are contacted by an agency or are supported by these agencies to be placed in sensitive areas.

From where he worked originally, it was likely willingly in this case.

It should not be underestimated how many people are prepared to do this for their country. As they say, 'every bit helps'.

Samsung reveals new folding stuff for people who like flaunting wads of folding stuff

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Good point

Stick a sheet of clingfilm inside your specs case and you are sorted..... Noone can see what you are doing at range anyway.... Snaps closed with a reassuring thwauup....

Forget Fortnite and FIFA: India wants to develop games based on local legends

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Really?

Have to agree there. I dont know much about the Mahabharata, but there are some epic fights and story lines in it. More diverse, in many ways, than the Greek myths. Bits would transfer well into big battle games like 'total war' and could be great.

The kingdoms in ancient India also would be a rich source of intrigue and missions for strategy type games which could work across the world (imagine the time of Alexander in the Punjab, and the Persian Satraps.)

Nevermind fantasy based upon the myths and legends...

China trolls Trump with tech export rules changes that could imperil TikTok sale

John Jennings Bronze badge

TicTok banned?

I reckon that the Prez will block TicTok

By threatening to ban the sale of TicTok, china has shown that it really does have a paw up the butt of companies born within the Middle Kingdom. It reinforces the Administrations claims. Irrespective of how the sale was forced, it could be a win for Trump. He only has to delay the banning till after the election, but before the end of his administration (if he looses) and he can still ban it. If he wins, he can ban it when he likes.

There is unfair competition in both directions. China does not allow many apps in its country Facebook, Full Fat Google and others - these are banned for political stability reasons as the Party cannot have dissent. Data is throttled going into the country, as reported within this journal earlier this month, to discourage locals from using 'approved' external products at the expense of home - grown efforts.

Plus, I am not sure how many ticTok'ers are active voters....

A bridge too far: Passengers on Sydney's new ferries would get 'their heads knocked off' on upper deck, say politicos

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: They could

A typical passenger ferry only sits in 5-8 feet of water. You cant drop them much ususally - a matter of a few inches usually or all sorts of breakages happen.

Also have to consider the bottom of the river/runagrounds if they go deeper.

Also may have to rengineer the docks at either end to have passengers get on and off - the access ramps need to be approximately level in rivers - in tides they may have to float to maintain a level. The problem happens then if other passenger ferries also need to use the same docks - obvious hilarity.

The cost of changing to swing bridges (and the disruption they cause) also needs to be factored into the life of the bridge. Swing bridges take years to implement, and cause disruption to traffic on a regular basis. The lifespan of a bridge is longer than a ferry, generally.

Finally, rivers change height too - every few years a flood (rarer in Australia than most places, I am sure) might add feet to the height of the river at times - again causing disruption to service. I do not like taking a boat under a bridge with less than 10 feet clearance for safety and sanity.... passenger ferries might do 10 knots or more down stream - thats a LOT of kinetic energy to hit a bridge from the side....

Scrap the ferries or modify them and fire the procurement team.

UK national debt hits 1.46 Apples – and weighs as much as 2 billion adult badgers

John Jennings Bronze badge


We are f**ked, then.

Time to get a fixed rate mortgage if you can. It will only help for a few years, but better than nothing.

I remember the 1970's......

Samsung slows smartphone upgrade treadmill with promise to support three Android generations on Galaxies

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Who needs a new phone when 2018-vintage kit still packs a punch?

consider a KaiOS phone when the old one dies or is useless.

its a sorta 'off the grid' phone - basic browser, not social media and whatnot.

limitted apps deployed, and no tracking other than carrier logging, which you cant avoid.

cheap as chips mostly too...

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Change is possible - it happened with cars

I think it was Porsche was the first to offer a 7 year warranty against rust... either Saab or Volvo were next.

Galvanized metal was used from about 1978.

the main issue with hot dipped galvanized car body panels is that it cant be welded without giving off really toxic zinc oxide levels. I rebuilt a 60's triumph as a kid, using galvanised metal (old volvo bonnets - boxy but good!) in the floor, and the zinc needed to be completely cleaned off areas of heat.

Breaching China's Great Firewall is hard. Pushing packets faster than 1Mbps once through is the Boss Fight

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: So even in China simple commercial greed does more harm ...

Thant isnt communism - china isnt communist and the Communist party is communist

It is a dictatorship with a globalisation capitalism model and state protectionism against external competitors. Long play is the name of the game

China is as communist now as North Korea is democratic...

There are some socialist and communist traces within the ruling party - though not enough to interfere with Xi Jinpings 14 point 'thaught policy'

Good news: NASA boffins spot closest near-Earth asteroid ever. Bad news: We never saw it coming. Good news: It's also really small

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Arecibo is borked

Arecebo is built on a sinkhole - there are many with similar dimensions across the world. Its location is more to do with its near equatorial location (and thats where the hurricanes are)

The main thing is that newer techniques for receivers have superseded its original effectiveness. It is still useful - just not the most powerful any more. for flexibility, it is usually better to have many receivers spread out over a wide area (ideally the circumference of the planet). There is a large one in Australia now

You there. Person, corp, state. Doesn't matter. You better not shoot down or hack a drone. That's our job – US govt

John Jennings Bronze badge

TBH, the physical protection laws cited for 'Kinetic' are a strech at best.

It applies to citizens transiting airspace - though the definition of transiting (and of a citizen!) is broad. Most of it only applies to the FAA requiring to make policy for the protection of navigable airspace - but the definition of that is "airspace above the minimum altitudes of flight prescribed by regulations under this subpart and subpart III of this part, including airspace needed to ensure safety in the takeoff and landing of aircraft."

Caselaw in the US has placed that altitude (for practical purposes) at 500 feet (Urban), or 350 feet above any local structure (rural) - however, that could change, it is the current lower limit of the FAA in space not directly round an airport...

Anti-5G-vaxx pressure group sues Zuckerberg, Facebook, fact checkers for daring to suggest it might be wrong

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Not rooting for Zuck, but

one thing you wont do is break the Kennedy family....

John Jennings Bronze badge

The only reason I mentioned Thalidomide was becasue it was mentioned in the thread.

Oxycontin was approved in 1996 - and killed an estimated 60,000 per year since 2002 globally - half in the US...

Plenty of drugs are still licensed but which are a bad idea in hindsight. I could list a further half a dozen, if you want

By the way, I am not personally anti vax - I was making a point when Thalidimide was brought up.

John Jennings Bronze badge

cant edit it now - damn that spell checker....

John Jennings Bronze badge

THalidomide was actually proscribed as a cure for morning sickness - in pregnant women!

It was proscribed correctly it had not been tested on pregnant women adequately.

It had originally be developed as a sedative.

TBH, it kinda proves the anti-vaxxers point. At the time of Thalidimide comming to market, the testing regime was inadequate to quantify the risk in pregnant women....

John Jennings Bronze badge

He is not. He is a signed up Democrat - head F**K or what? Not everyone you disagree with is a Trumpian!

He does, however, believe that his disability (a speach impediment) was caused by vaccination,

John Jennings Bronze badge

Aluminium is not safe at all - if exposed to high levels of dust or salts:


Typical exposure is near processing plants, or where extraction contaminates your drinking water....

Chronic paracetamol use is also toxic - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3921468/

Long term adoption has been linked to the rise of a particular form of Alzheimer's.

No evidence of 5g.

Dido 'Queen of Carnage' Harding to lead UK's Institute for Health Protection because Test and Trace went so well

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Take a look over the pond

Whoha, Dav- I never said that the R number or inicidents were going down - you are extrapolating more than I said. I said that there was less pressure on testing - nursing homes and queues, and was only referring to Florida.

Had you followed the link I provided to the Florida News article - the numbers of positives from 450 testing labs reported in Florida (and possibly elsewhere) was 100% rates for several weeks- the fact was that they mis-uploaded the numbers.

The actual positive rate at the time was approximately 5% positive in the US as a whole - of the tests actually done.

The actual article was rather about Dame Dido, queen of Chaos - rather than a political anti trumpian thing anyway...

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Take a look over the pond

3 weeks ago, Florida was posting every test from 450 of their testing centres as a positive...


'a bug in uploading the data', it was claimed..... The actual rate of positive tests are around 5%

You can still get a test in Florida - fewer people are going for them - the queues have basically disappeared, and most nursing homes are done now. The actual testing centers have not gone away.

You can twist stats any way you like - but so can anyone. Its not always some Trumpian campaign, and not everything is red or blue (or red or yellow)

Oh what a feeling: New Toyotas will upload data to AWS to help create custom insurance premiums based on driver behaviour

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: It might work...

No - EU is included - just on a different URL you need to search for.

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Winking red supergiants sneezing hot gas 650 light years away

John Jennings Bronze badge

we get the fart jokes - enough allready !

Seriously, though....

This is interesting. We reckon that all elements heavier than Iron are the products of supernovae. Assuming that Bg is about to supernova, it is likely that the outgassing is more than just hydrogen/helium. If the content of the materiel could be tested, there might well be an oppertunity to calculate when it will go bang - by estimating the percentage of Iron and other elements in the outgas This might not be possible, but it would be interesting to find out. It spat out a massive amount of material (which will never fuse now that its left the caronasphere). If we know the ratios of material, we might also learn if this is common to pre-supernovae stars as we have an idea of the ratios of stardust elswhere....

This is possibly a big deal! Well done spotting it.

NHS tests COVID-19 contact-tracing app that may actually work properly – EU neighbors lent a helping hand

John Jennings Bronze badge

As far as I can tell, Northern Ireland is part of the UK....

We have had a formal NHS Trace and Track app here for about a month and a half - launched with much fanfare.... here anyway.

It works either side of the border, so I think its a reskinned version of the Irish version (never tested this though)


the link above is to the public discription.

I wonder why the NHS UK or the govt haven't publicized this in the UK? Perhaps because its really the Irish one - and unionists might get nervous?

Some lucky web developer just scored $20k to scour Facebook out of Neil Young’s website

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: SIgh. Ignorance is... common

So against Roundup resistance and suicide gene modification (seeds not fertile, so they have to be re purchased each year).

Not against all GMO here though.

Also Young is a god performer.

However, he did sign a public performers license for his music - so he out of luck with the trump rallies. Taking a case is just showboating.

First alligators, then dogs, now Basil Fawlty is trying to standardise social distancing measures

John Jennings Bronze badge

That episode of Fawlty Towers

is currently withdrawn - the Major was quite politically incorrect. (yes, I know he was meant to be, but that is not possible currently)

No word yet when it will return - though it is available on non-official channels.

China re-shapes its silicon industry to boost production

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: weeell

10 year tax breaks to indigenous companies will give you the advantage. 20 years ago, every industrial country produced its own steel - even in the 1950's, the 'common market' treaty was about coal and steel (Its old name was the European Economic Coal and Steel Community) - steel was a national strategic resource.

Today, one could argue that Silicon is the new strategic resource. It would be awkward if an AMRAAM would turn away from a Xian H-20.

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: weeell

I didn't say they shouldn't do it. I was saying that the strategy is for world domination of certain sectors.

China produced 120m tons in 1999 - now its 1000m tons. to do that it employs around 2 million people - excluding transport and logistics. that employment is down a million in the last 20 years... but its employment lost (mostly in US and EU)...

Even exporting 60M tons - that's larger than most countries entire production- enough to kill off all significant European production - and equals the entirety of US production (number 4). Employment in that sector has dropped everywhere except India.

The strategy is a 20 year one. IC production (later it will be design) are the next target. They are not targetting the coarse 28nm stuff like Z80A or cips for a tamagochi - tax breaks are for targeting high engineering.

John Jennings Bronze badge


Rare earths - not so much - they tried to corner the market a few years ago, and got egg on their faces - see previous El Reg seminars and articles. Mostly by not properly understanding how international rare earth extraction works.

This subsidization has nothing to do with the West leaning on China - its not a reactions, its part of a plan. This was in play long before that fracas started - they have been importing high tech fabrication systems for years - and stealing know how when they can. This is part of a play for the worldwide semiconductor industry - and the govt subsidies are part of that long-play.

International companies would be crazy to invest in training, manufacturing and R&D there - except they will continue to do it for the short term massive markets (much easier and often only possible to sell tech in China if a thing is made in China). That is also part of the China strategy. These guys are playing a long, long game - these subsidies last for 10 years and represent a massive and long term subsidization of Chinese manufacturing.

They won on steel, now they are moving on. last year, they manufactured 10 times more steel their next rival (india), and more than the next 20 countries combined.

The results are in: Science says the Solar System's magnetic heliosphere looks like a deflated croissant

John Jennings Bronze badge

Its a


or perhaps an alien fetus, enveloping our sun, growing by absorbing the cosmic and solar winds before joining the galactic herds.....

the Sun is just a trans-dimensional umbilical

we are a nasty case of athletes foot

What a good eye-dea: Battery-less, grain-of-sand-sized 2.4GHz transmitter to help save your eyesight

John Jennings Bronze badge

It doesnt?

I have seen lots in the internet suggesting otherwise....

What goes up, Musk come down... and up and down and up and down: NASA details followup Dragon pod trips to orbiting station

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Also..

Actually, the US paid for another 2 seats on Soyuz back in May. Keeping their options open for now.

Total build, supply and crewed missions to iss now are

US - 34 shuttle/30 other (including Dragon)

USSR - 79 progress and 60 soyuz

others (ESA and Japan) - 15

Soyuz/progress still do most of the regular resupply. Russia also provides the emergency crew recovery options - there is always at least 2 russian ships docked with ISS. These are also used to bump ISS orbit each month with burns.

The one to watch at the moment is China - it has also launched 25 times this year, and god knows what they are doing....

Virgin Galactic pals up with Rolls-Royce to work on Mach 3 Concorde-style private jet that can carry up to 19 people

John Jennings Bronze badge

there is a problem there - what if you researched a fuel guzzler that was twice as efficient as currently - total damage to environment (BUILD/RUN/RECYCLE)? that would likely build more benefit to the environment than ripping up all the lithium and obscure minerals from the Congo for batteries in the current tech - nevermind the strain on the grid and investment in power production that mass adoption would cause...

Bransons bird will likely never get off the ground - but - it might develop technologies/techniques which improve the way things are done currently.... so keep on trucking, I say.

Microsoft confirms pursuit of TikTok after Satya Nadella chats to Donald Trump

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Completing these discussions no later than September 15, 2020

The big thing they are getting is a license in the US to a massive music library thats used in the overlays in the tictoks ...

probably transferable to other products in a limitted way too.

thats likely a license to print money.

Struggling company pleads with landlords to slash rents as COVID-19 batters UK high street. The firm's name? Apple

John Jennings Bronze badge

Its the way of it

Its called 'Fiduciary duty to shareholders'. Companies dont have 'social responsibility' if it has any impact upon their bottom line and could adversely affect shareholder value.

If they can save a buck, then its required of them to at least try.

It does improve your pension, but thats about it for the average joe-schmo.

That it destroys Joe-Schmos current job and his childrens opportunities by decimating the high street, is not a concern.

Modern ways, eh?!

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

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Oh, the days when things lasted more than a year...

Sentient pear wood - fixed it for you.

Or perhaps Bocote or Lingum Vitae - not that you would use either for a door.

Lignum Vitae is not used becasue so hard to work with - you cant glue it, barely cut it - and is so hard used to be used for thrust bearings on warships... Its an oil wood - self lubricating....

Most wooden doors (oak/sepeele or similar hardwood) are actually cheaper these days than plastic ones... they can be worked on/adjusted with simple tools which any joiner worth his salt should be familiar with (a jack plane).

John Jennings Bronze badge

at 151

the thing will hit the wall that has all the stars painted on it.

Seriously, though - this is one of mankinds marvels.

Virgin Galactic reveals giant mirror feature in cabin design for Beardy Branson's space bus

John Jennings Bronze badge

fixed it for ya

Passengers will be able to watch themselves float in their own puke while bathed in Earthlight

Russia tested satellite-to-satellite shooter, say UK and USA

John Jennings Bronze badge


Some time ago, late 1960;s, early 70's the USSR fitted a modified canon to one of its mini space stations. The project was labled a soyuz, but it is also known as an Almaz.

The russian 20MM canon has a muzzle velocity of 820Ms-1 at ground level - I would assume it would be a slightly lighter charge would do it to get 700Ms-1

It used a rear gun from a bear strategic bomber - 30mm I think - I believe it was successfully test fired then - though not clear if it hit anything....


We've heard of littering but this is ridiculous: Asteroid dumps up to 50 quadrillion kg of space dirt on Earth, Moon

John Jennings Bronze badge

Chances are good that we would see that one for a while. Couldn't do much about it, though. Lucifers Hammer, anyone?

UK.gov admits it has not performed legally required data protection checks for COVID-19 tracing system

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: what charges...

not only 'just in time' - more about globalization .

John Jennings Bronze badge

There we go again

'Critical Friend'....

The term also used at the select committee hearing in May about the looney toons version of the app and its developer division

Thats not the role of the ICO. Lady Denham is confusing what the ICO is meant to do in a power grab.

The DOH could have slapped an initial DPIA together. The initial screening parts only takes an afternoon FFS. I believe that they dont want to do it, because they know that they will be repurposing the data for later analytics other than the purpose for which its collected - ie test and trace. If they (DOH) dont define a limit, they could easily sell it or use it for other purposes. They dont have to consider what they propose how people could exercise their rights, and dont need to describe any limitations on access.

An axe age, a sword age, Privacy Shield is riven, but what might that mean for European businesses?

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: The point of the EU

The fundamental problem is that the EU wants privacy for its citizens, but the US does not want privacy for anyone who isnt a US citizen. It doesnt care so much either way about US citizens in this instance.

It is a bit reminiscent of Rome, in terms of standards.

I dont think that the EU CAN do a lot about this, tbh, as so much of the data which lubes up conglomerates and other big businesses transfer all over the place. SCCs might be useful - but they are going to be redrafted too. I dont think that the ECB will have the nutts to really put its foot down. I also doubt the UK would be able to follow suit at this time.

United Arab Emirates’ Mars probe successfully launched and phones home

John Jennings Bronze badge

Best of luck

Best of luck on this mission. Getting to other planets is hard - we have seen that before - I Hope it all goes well for them.

When Apollo met Soyuz: 45 years ago, Americans and Russians played together nicely... IN SPAAAAACE

John Jennings Bronze badge

I missed the moon landings

I am too young to remember them. I do remember being called by my mum to watch this docking. I was young at the time, but remember believing that this would be the start of real space exploration.

I think we (humankind) missed a trick - collaboration could have rendered so much more.I know we have the ISS, but we should have a presence at our Lagrange points by now. LEO is passe now...

Privacy Shield binned after EU court rules transatlantic data protection arrangements 'inadequate'

John Jennings Bronze badge

Re: Standard contractual clauses

Its not quite like that.

BCR (Binding corporate rules) apply only for each arm of a multinational, or each company in a conglomorate. You cant have a BCR with a supplier, or customer.

BCRs are a complete PITA to do - expensive and can take years to complete - they have to be don in conjunction with the local data Authority. I have not been involded in those personally, but when I .last looked into it, there were no more than a couple of hundred firms which had gone through the pain.

The main issue I have is that most US companies I deal with refuse to use standard contract clauses - they almost all relied upon Privacy Shield - meaning that now we have to go back to them, and renegoiate.



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