* Posts by rwbthatisme

35 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Jun 2011

Nuclear power is the climate superhero too nervous to wear its cape


Re: Waste

But nuclear waste is the smallest problem, both physically and radioactively. Yes it needs to be kept safe and not discharged into the rivers and the sea and fly tipped on country lanes. But simple measure the amount of stuff coming from a reasonably sized plant and you'd find that you could probably pack it into a few shipping containers.

Quick Wikipedia search;

The amount of HLW worldwide is currently increasing by about 12,000 tonnes every year.A 1000-megawatt nuclear power plant produces about 27 t of spent nuclear fuel (unreprocessed) every year. For comparison, the amount of ash produced by coal power plants in the United States alone is estimated at 130,000,000 t per year and fly ash is estimated to release 100 times more radiation than an equivalent nuclear power plant.

The PrintNightmare continues: Microsoft confirms presence of vulnerable code in all versions of Windows


the spooler has always been a wide open barn door, basically by design any user can write to the directory….

‘What are the odds someone will find and exploit this?’ Nice one — you just released an insecure app


I think there are multiple reasons for insecurity, but I think one of the biggest problems is actually developers aren’t trained or just don’t know about or understand basic security. I interviewed a computer science graduate this week who was doing a masters in some computer vision cobblers and he had no knowledge of any basic security when I asked him about sql injection. We really need to sort out the basics and bake in security from the ground up and get courses to properly include it in the curriculum.

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found


Re: ...SUBS!

Yes when no crime was committed it’s hard to catch Criminals

Fraudster convicted of online banking thefts using… whatever the hell this thing is



Its quite clearly a modern day enigma encoding device, all banks have a similar contraption on the back end of their infrastructure for decoding transactions, except theirs has a post-it note holder to write down the onetime keys. I understand from a source (only known to me) that this key piece of hardware caused TSB's melt-down when a piece of gaffer tape became unstuck.

Talk about a cache flow problem: This JavaScript can snoop on other browser tabs to work out what you're visiting


Dear Christ live a little!

‘I turn off JavaScript.... etc etc. You might as well walk infront of a train with a red flag.

Ok so yes some clever chaps have found you can work out roughly what’s in the cpu cache, but not a lot and a proof of concept does not mean that it’s a civilisation ending zombie apocalypse.

JavaScript is a wonderful thing, yes it has some funny quirks and bugs but it also allows us to do amazing stuff like build little calendars on websites that people can use to book appointments to cure cancer.

Brit bank TSB TITSUP* after long-planned transfer of customer records from Lloyds


Last Known No Good

Seems to me they're probably in a real bind by now, in any 'normal' upgrade snafu you would be reassured that you could roll back to the last known good position and back out gracefully. But because the last known good was on the Lloyds Bank system any roll back would involve rolling back all of the Lloyd systems as well......

Measuring the complexity of the systems and issue probably means there is never a snapshot in time that they can actually ever accurately roll back to, so the only way to perform a migration of this nature is the equivalent of running two trains in parallel and throwing the TSB customer accounts across the gap and hoping that they land up in the equivalent carriage and seat.

Brits must now register virtually all new drones and undergo safety tests


Call the RSPB

I would also say that in the interests of fairness we should balance the incident of Bird strikes against Drones, (in 2016 1,800)


Quite clearly the RSPB are falling down on the job



Yup the summer silly season is upon us! A drone can be used to drop drugs into prisons... solution put a net up (also catches Frisbee's and footballs that can be resold on ebay to pay for the net install), as for the law and registration, we already have a perfectly good system in place https://bmfa.org/Info/Know-the-Law

BA's 'global IT system failure' was due to 'power surge'


Split brain

Reading between the lines my hunch is that they got into a split brain scenario of some sort. The power failure broke down the coordination between the data centres and then as they came back online both centres started to operate independently, so that requests and updates to data centre a would not replicate to data centre b. The information about boarding passes swapping from one flight to another point to this. The upshot is now both centres are running with incomplete and irreconcilable data and the only remedy is to shut down and roll back to the last known good data point.

Volkswagen used software to CHEAT on AIR POLLUTION tests, alleges US gov


It would seem pretty obvious to me that when vw developed the ecu software they needed to put in some base parameters to work from, it just so happens that these parameters coincide neatly with the epa testing regime. Likewise the sensing that the car is stationary with little or no movement in the steering wheel is a logical mode if you work on the assumption that the car might be parked on a driveway or sitting in traffic, I.e. Switch to an efficient engine map to reduce pollution fuel consumption etc.

Quantum computers have failed. So now for the science


knot quite ;) an eddy current could be seen as a string as it has a linear progression but its isn't a string in the sense it has a finite start and end point. A eddy of this form might be like an ever rising spiral of smoke from a fire, perhaps light photons work like this, when seen from above / head on the spiral just shows as a circular form, but from side on in 2d just a sinusoidal wave structure. Because the spiral structure is never closed it never displaces any space and therefore has no mass.


Re quantum vacuum as a fluid. I can never quite get my head around the practicality of quantum physics as a water tight explanation for the subatomic, but in my mind the 'way things might work' is that all energy is a kind of eddy current in a quantum fluid, and that mass / matter is a stable form of this eddy current. Some of the quanta in this fluid act rather like stringy knots in a current that are easily transformed from one shape to another, whilst others form long-lasting stable configurations that are much harder to break down. For example a photon of light is reasonably 'transformable' into another energy state when interacting with something else, where as a Higgs Boson has a stable shape that is so small and untenable that it doesn't break down any further except to energy.

On a subatomic particle level a stable eddy current is perhaps analogous to a perfect whirlpool, which explains the spin state of quarks. Likewise the harmonics of stable and unstable atomic configuration shapes how atomic particle fit together, electrons could be orbiting whirlpools around the central atomic whirlpool (Jupiter red spot).

Mass is effectually not really a measure of the actual matter within an object but more the displacement of the object (these eddy currents) against the quantum fluid, this helps explain gravity as matter will seek the most stable configuration and 'packing' and so over time will 'gravitate' towards each other. (Ships in a closed dock will tend to move together as they bob up and down slowly forcing any separating water between them to be reduced). Likewise the displacement of light in gravitational lensing etc.

I could probably waffle on for hours over a pint or two of IPA about my understanding of the world, universe & everything it is only my theory ;)

Suffering satellites! Goonhilly's ARTHUR REBORN for SPAAAACE


Vistor Center

I took my Mrs to goonhilly on our honeymoon many years ago and was sad to hear it had closed as the it was amazingly informative. The great thing about the dishes was because they where fast steerable that and so able to track satellites as telstar (pre Geo-stationary orbit) had only a limited window to relay signals. I also hope they re-open the 'Big Dish' cafe, just because of the pun.

Virgin Galactic vows to continue space program after 'serious anomaly'


Re: Alternative propulsion?

Yup a rail gun should work, not that you would be able to stand the acceleration. It's very sad that there was an accident and hope they can regroup and carry on

Bring Your Own Disks: The Synology DS214 network storage box


Great little box

Well I bought one after a major snafu with mavericks & western digital raid and have to say more than pleased with it all. I would say setup & install is very easy, though you would need a bit of technical knowledge so its not really for PC Globe customers. Backups for Time Machine are reliable & general file transfer is very quick. As for cloud service, it acts as your own cloud so I can access files anywhere which is very handy, 10 / 10

Russian Christians boosted by Pussy Riot law spank 'sinful' Apple logo


The Beatles better watch out

All those beatles LP's have a spinny apple thingy in the middle, I think if you play them backwards they sound like yoko ono.

Liquefied-air silos touted as enormo green 'leccy batteries


Flywheel - Local Storage for local people

It's a nice simple idea for electrical storage but its a lot of cold air. (apols pun)

If we implement packaged flywheel storage accross the grid and local distribution system, we can store all the electricity we need, its extreemly efficient up to 90% and a proven technology in use today.


Freetard-idol rock star Trent Reznor gives up, signs to major label

IT Angle

As someone who does it as a hobby....

Being pretty well un-known, zero promotion budget and near zero quality, I give pretty well all my music away for free (but if you like it you can buy it) & earn about $5 - $10 a month. Leveraging big promotion is the key, & having worked in the industry before everything online digital, the same is still true today, sign with a label that can plug your record and it will be more likely to sell.

Organic food offers basically no health benefit, boffins find


Re: Efficiency vs Etthics

haha, caught a live one, perhaps GM is getting a little off topic.

Obviously plants adapted & developed flowers independently for attracting insects to polinate them, rather than plants having a sentaint thought that hey lets make flowers cos they're awful pretty & cool (and perhaps in a million years an ape creature will like them....) .

Plants already incorporate defense mechanisms that deter predation by pests, these wheren't arrived at by 'accident' but by the selection and random chance of genetic mutation and trial & error over the millenia. Bacteria & viruses are clear vectors whereby plant & animal DNA may be exchanged. Plants & animals always have had and always will be swapping genes and working symbiotically.

Likewise if GM where able to implant the genes necessary for a plant to create a useful drug that could not be synthisised by traditional methods, would this be wrong? Is it wrong to dictate to an african farmer whos maize crop has just been ravaged by locusts or stunted by drought that they can't plant GM?

An anti-GM stance is illogical at best.


Efficiency vs Etthics

The argument of organic vs artificial is complete bollox, in comparible circumstances a tomato grown either way will have pretty well the same nutritional value. The key consideration to food production is the equation of energy input, amount of land used to produce your kilo of corn and the transport cost of getting that food to market. Organic production generally produces less acre and because of the lower croping density means that your transport costs are higher.

Organic farming is jolly nice on paper as somekind of pastoral utopia, but with 6+ billion people to feed it isn't terribly efficient.

The second related argument is the idiots who rail against GM crops, (which gets me even more mad!), ever since humans stopped chasing down mamoths for steaks and started farming, we have been GM'ing our food crops and animals, be it from selective breeding and cross polintation etc. GM is that 'selective breeding' at a greater precission. Once again, the reason why we selectively breed our food crops is to make the most efficient use of land & energy inputs.

Hypersonic Waverider scramjet in epic wipeout


Re: Sunk cost

Not entirely true, the Concorde at Manchester Aeropark airport is still airworthy (as it was flown in & parked) with a bit of effort (oil & fresh spark plugs etc) could be returned to flight

PayPal whips out barcode app for high-street glad rags


these are not the goods you are shopping for

LOHAN ideas..


Re: Ultrasonic Altitude Measurement

Sorry I should have added that the speed of sound is affected by temperature, so we will need a thermocouple to allow us to calculate the correct reading. But this is fairly trivial, we can program the temperature ratios into the software etc.


Ultrasonic Altitude Measurement

Ok another very simple way of measuring the altitude, at sea level the speed of sound is 340ms at 30,000m it is 300ms. Therefor we attatch ultrasonic transducers on a plank 1m apart facing eachother and a simple arduino counter. Transducer A pings at a signal and when Transducer B recieves it it pings back to A and so on. At sea level you should get a signal of 340hz whilst at 30km it will drop down to 300hz.


Re: Why re-invent the wheel?

the problem with GPS is that in a civil application the maximum altitude a GPS is specifically restricted to & rated is 60,000 feet http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/offdocs/itar/p121.htm#C-XV This is because the ITAR regulations conclude that anything going higher must be some kind of missile (not that the North Koreans will get to test this theory...). That leaves only a few options;

1. Altimeter based - reasonably accurate, but as presure falls the accuracy tails off, so its difficult to calibrate, this is probably the most simple to achieve. Atlimeters are normally calibrated to standard flight levels & temperatures, 90,000 feet is quite a bit higher!

2. Ballon burst - accurate, but the causal effect would lead to a very unstable launch.

3. Horizon Curvature Measurement - Good but would require a lot of work to calibrate & computing power etc.

4. RDF & Telemetry - By placing an radio beacon on Lohan and measuring the inclination from two / three ground based positions (separated by a few mile or two) we can triangulate the approximate height. But this will require good two way telemetry to remotely launch Lohan.

5. Light metering / UV radiation - simple to impliment but may be difficult to calibrate accurately.


further to the UV measurment idea, as per http://www.who.int/uv/faq/whatisuv/en/index3.html UV increases approx 10% for every 1000m so about 17x higher than at ground level.


measuring release altitude for launch

As you're intending to release at +27 - 30km 90,000 - 120,000ft we could use the increase in UV radiation to trigger the launch. The incidence of UVC radiation increases at about this level http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ozone_altitude_UV_graph.svg so we need a sensor that can measure the mean UV incidence and calculate the approximate height of the ballon. I suggest we mount the sensor on the top of the ballon so it isn't shaded.


Re: cog, thrust line, drag & angular momentum

Yup I do agree with you point that the precision of construction should allow for the correct cog to be determined. But at issue (and perhaps didn't expand on it properly) is that the cog is generally (subject to trim) around the centre of axis of turning, therefore at inital start launch point maximum drag is to far forward to allow for stable launch. At high altitude the stall speed of a wing rises (read coffin corner) it will take a much higher airspeed to allow for normal aerodynamic flight, so any automatic control of surfaces for stability would be pretty useless. Basically I think we need to give Lohan a big strap-on!


cog, thrust line, drag & angular momentum

The problem that I think we need to solve in the launch system is getting the thrust line & center of gravity CoG correct. At altitude the aerodynamic drag on Lohan will be fairly minimal but having a large wingspan for gliding will mean that you'll possibly have the wings & cog much to far forward. If it is feasable to have the wings swept back

Rockets / darts have fins at the base of to ensure that maximum drag is aft of the cog and the thrust line goes through the cog, if you dont the rocket will indeed start going into a spin or tumble.

the launch rail system is good, but it changes the dynamics of the cog of launch as the cog will be comprised of the launch rail assembly and lohan. Therefore I would suggest having two motors, one mounted on (or as close to) the rail and one on lohan. The Rail launch rocket would have very limited thrust & a very short burn time, this will mean that during the initial launch phase the thrust line will be directed to take lohan off the rail. once that is done the main motor will then be pushing through the new cog point of lohan. This has the advantage that lohan will be traveling at a higher speed exiting the rail and so will have greater vertical angular momentum to keep traveling in a vertical (ish) direction.

O2 leaks 3G users' mobile numbers to every website visited



Not only 3g, edge & gprs to ;(

How digital audio ate itself ... and the music biz

Thumb Up

Yup Sony 4trk & Yamaha 8trk

I had a Sony MDM-X4 which was a great bit of kit and used it on loads of demo-projects in the 90's until the minidisk DATA disk corrupted and you got a bit screwed, but it was very simple and easy to use and synced with all your midi setup. But multitrack recording rapidly went to HD and what was a great format died out.

LOHAN spaceplane project starting to shape up nicely


Thin Atmosphere

That should not be an issue, rockets work in a vacuum, solid rockets combine the oxidiser& propellant in a homologous lump so it should do fine. The thin atmosphere will actually help, the launch and as there is less aerodynamic drag so accelleration should be better.

The main issue is the cold at 80,000 feet its about -60 -> -70C. The best motors we can use (aluminium perchlorate) are electrically started and making sure there is sufficient current in the batteries / capacitors to kick them off is a headache. We'll need to include somekind of warming elelment & thermal insulation on the design to protect the avionics & battery pack.


Napkin thoughts

I've been jotting down some thoughts & designs on a handy napkin, and the main things I think we need to consider are the following:

1. Weight, I think the the ballon can lift around a maximum of 3kg usable payload. To get the maximum altitude after a motor burn we need the plane & control systems to be bare minimum of no more than 500 - 700gm weight. An iPhone for example is 140gm, so electronics & control mechanism are going to have to be 300gm at most. The Ardino board has sufficient avionics to do the job including an airspeed & barometric altimeter (more later).

2. Rocket Design, with 2.3kg of weight available for propellant / motors, the best option is to have a staged rocket motor assembly (ie Saturn 5 etc), this will give us the maximum burn time and potential altitude. By clustering 6 rocket motors in each stage and knozzle'ing them through a single chamber (shroud) we can overcome the vagiaries of motor ignition, so through the motors may not ignite symiltaneously they will be generally thrusting inline etc.

Refering to this link: http://www.thrustcurve.org/motorsearch.jsp (My maths is a bit rusty), but clustering 6 x 5n AeroTech E7 rockets together should thrust around 3kg of lift force for 5 seconds of burn time, at a weight of 50gm each motor, each cluster would have a weight of 300gm so very rough maths we have 700gm of plane & 7 x motor assembly stages + 200gm spare and a burn time of 30 seconds which should get us up to around 500 - 700mph and an extra 10,000 feet altitute so perhaps we can get to 90,000feet? http://webalt.markworld.com/multistage.html

3. Vertical launch; as long as the CoG is as far forward (nose) as posible and we have some drag to the rear of the rocket (ie fins). we should be able to launch using a fairly basic hook & eye mechanism. The avionics & barometric altimeter can be programmed to initialise the launch sequence before the baloon bursts, at which point the rocket assembly will be hanging in a reasonably vertical position (being that at 80,000 feet wind speed is going to be less chaotic, so any swing should be rasonably little) and as it shoots up into the inky blackness the hook drops from the baloon cable and we are gone!

Has UK gov lost the census to Lulzsec?


60+ million deed poll requests coming up

Oh well atleast we don't have to wait 10 years for someone to mull over the data....