* Posts by itzman

1930 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Jun 2011

NASA to tear the wings off plane in the name of sustainability


NASA are not exactly amateurs...

Unlike the posters here.

Everything in airliner design is geared towards reducing total lifetime cost of the passenger mile. As engine designs develop, and the market changes, aircraft design also must change.

There is a complex optimisation between aircraft cruising speed (= more passenger miles per yer) , aircraft drag (=more fuel per passenger mile), wingspan (=less terminals can accomodate giant planes) and wing aspect ratio, (long thin wings have less drag - sailplanes) (=greater structural issues, needing more weight to bring strength).

Adding a strut creates lift, and reduces the need for wing root strength, but adds drag.

One assumes the overall equation is marginally positive, or they wouldn't be doing it.

You get the internet you deserve


Recycled excrement

Is infinitely sustainable and terribly green...and that's what we have been told we want and need.

Look! Up in the sky! Proof of concept for satellites beaming energy to Earth!


Of course...

...the cost and ecological footprint would only be 100 times greater than a nuclear plant or ten times greater than a windfarm, but hey, money grows on magic trees.

Sizewell C nuclear plant up for review as UK faces financial black hole


You may be sure

Not one penny of renewable subsidies will be affected.

And the UK gummint is not funding Sizewell. EDF is. At a strike price well below the holistic cost of any renewable+grid extension+ gas backup + rotten capacity factor + short lifetime + STOR plant + battery short term grid stabilisation + cost of inevitable grid outages..

Micro molten salt reactor can fit on a truck, power 1k homes. When it's built


U233 and bombs...

Really not a good idea. Its a nasty hot material and you dont want your military anywhere near it.

Japan reverses course on post-Fukushima nuclear ban


Re: Wind and solar

France decided to use rivers to cool some of its reactors, but then the envirionmental lobby decreed that warm fish was a nono, so they werent allowed to fully utilise them

Japan has a lot of coastline.

Windmills kill birds and bats and parachutists and cause sleep disturbances in humans.

Windmills are not safe.


Re: Wind and solar

"The development of nuclear power does not imply that renewable energy sources are not also being developed."

That depends on whether engineer politicians or profiteers are setting the policy:

"There is nothing a fleet of dispatchable nuclear power plants cannot do that cannot be done worse and more expensively and with higher carbon emissions and more adverse environmental impact by adding intermittent renewable energy."


Re: Similar to the way scrap metal is treated on decomissioning

Yeah, the science is settled. a gamma ray from material that came out of a nuclear plant is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from a gamma ray that occurs naturally when 'natural' uranium decays...

That's why you don't have to clear Dartmoor at 20mSv/yr, but you do have to clear Fukushima at 2mSv/yr

Like Ubuntu, just a bit less hassle: Linux Mint 21 'Vanessa'


Mint is looping

..then replace your hardware..

Being declared dead is automated, so why is resurrection such a nightmare?


I do miss Lemmy...

Thanks for the clip.

China rallies support for Kylin Linux in war on Windows


Perhaps the CCP will develop a shim to allow windows code to run on their Linux.

The world would thank them for that...

Microsoft sounds the alarm on – wait for it – a Linux botnet


Re: knock, knock.

I get thousands of root ssh attempts an hour, but root ssh is not enabled. I don't think any other user has been attempted

South Yorkshire to test fiber broadband through water pipes


Re: Great idea...

I think they felt that there was enough shit in the sewer pipes already.

Feds take down Kremlin-backed Cyclops Blink botnet


What happened to Gorgon Stare?

That I read about

UK Cyber Security Centre advises review of risk posed by Russian tech


Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

There really are fairies at the bottom of my garden, and secret microchips in the vaccines they gave me.

The precautionary principle: A justification for spending enormous sums of other people's money on something that doesn't exist, and never will.

Cui Bono? Is that man warning you about this, a purveyor of a solution perhaps?

The wild world of non-C operating systems


Re: What about Assembly Language?

Fairly sure MSDOS precedes 8086 C and was written in assembler, as was CP/M...

Volcano 'shredded' submarine cable, vastly complicating repair job


Re: Turbidity currents

Cause was clearly Cthulhu

Fibre broadband uptake in UK lags behind OECD countries


Re: Why I'm spoiling the statistics

"What catches many out is the need for a double power outlet at the NTU so that the modem and router can be directly attached."

Not for those of us who have a cat 5 wired house. No need for the router to be anywhere near the modem


Re: It's of no interest to me.

Yes, today's content is easily handled for a normal household with 20Mbps.

I have fibre more for reliability and upload speed. - 10Mbps. The only time I notice the download speed is when software upgrades come along.


UK is a crowded islannd

That started the telephone revolution before anywhere else. It has a huge installed base of copper, and some very tight ducting.

It also has high wage levels for skilled people.

Its simply more expensive to throw fiber in, but it is coming.

Just be happy you don't live in e,g., rural USA. Or Germany.

Linux Mint 20.3 appears – now with more Mozilla flavor: Why this distro switched Firefox defaults back to Google


Re: Quick fix for the stupid skinny scroll bars.

that menu chain doesnt exist in MATE

No more DRM-free downloads as Amazon's ComiXology app set to disappear inside Kindle


DRM effectively ruined ebooks

I really wanted to have an ebook collection. DRM means all I had was access to someone elses collection until they revoked the privilege.

I now am back to buying paper

The Ministry of Silly Printing: But I don't want my golf club correspondence to say 'UNCLASSIFIED' at the bottom


Re: Back in the early 90's

yesterdays memories are in RAM. last centuries are on disk.

old age reboots every might...

Rolls-Royce set for funding fillip to build nuclear power stations based on small modular reactor technology


assuming you buy the 'co2 causes massive warming' scenario which has failed to predict anything accurately in the last 30 years.

In the end Global warming doom is irrelevant. Northing the uk does will make the slightest difference.

'Saving the planet' is down to India and China.

Our problem is more local. with ecohippies shrieking against fracking we have no economically viable local energy source left.

Do we really want to rely on Arab nations and Russia?

In the limit uranium is abundant everywhere. And you don't need very much. A mass produced production engineered bog standard reactor is exactly what we need to meet any future challenges

Waterfox: A Firefox fork that could teach Mozilla a lesson


Re: Open source closed devs

you can always tell someone who has either never installed linux, or last did so in 2001...

A Windows 11 tsunami? No, more of a ripple as Microsoft's latest OS hits 5% PC market


Thank Clapton I run Linux...

...and will be able t pick up all that incompatible with win11 hardware for a song...

Facebook may soon reveal new name – we're sure Reg readers will be more creative than Zuck's marketroids


Re: How about Muckraker





Boeing 737 Max chief technical pilot charged with deceiving US aviation regulators over MCAS


golden parachutes...

Are only issued to ex employees that have valid evidence of their superior's complicity.


Re: Some extra info

Even if the answer is 'those stupid pilots don't know how to fly' that is merely an indication that the training given to them was inadequate, an that was own to Boeing's failure to fully document the changes.

We have some sad news about Facebook. It has returned to the internet after six-hour mega outage


Re: I love the Register

"I am still none the wiser as to what the fuck BGP is"

Think of it as stanav for IP packets.

"At the router, take the third exit"


Re: Not a failure of testing - a failure of change enablement

"How do you know that this wasn't a malicious attack?"

Hume's Problem of Induction. You cant know anything for sure, so you go with the balance of probabilities.

Access to BGP tables is something very few people need to have and would likely be extremely hard to hack from outside. As supported by the fact it had to be fixed from inside.

So it was most likely a fat finger or equivalent.

Whether that finger was paid to be fat? Or was consciously fat?

We can argue for the nmext ten years and not know the answer...

Compromise reached as Linux kernel community protests about treating compiler warnings as errors


Re: A billion years ago...

Yup. Sure its a faff when you get a null pointer returned from a function and apply a test to it and the compiler says 'but its not an integer' BUT if you explicily cast it to one, the next bloke along compiling onto a 16 bit integer target with a 32 bit address bus at least knows what you were TRYING to do...

NSA: We 'don't know when or even if' a quantum computer will ever be able to break today's public-key encryption


Re: Not asking the right people

"If you stop measuring light, does it stop moving? Or perhaps head off in a random direction till you measure it again?"

The fact that anything not directly observed even exists, is in the end only an article of faith.

You appear to be blind to the Materialist worldview which you assume to be true, for no other reason than it vaguely explains your experience.

Once you confuse models in your mind with the RealWorld™, you have stopped learning anything.

EU to formally probe Nvidia's $54bn takeover over British chip designer Arm – report



It simply is none of the EU or Chinas business.

They have no legal say in it.

COVID-19 cases surge as do sales of fake vaccination cards – around $100 for something you could get free


Even a valid vaccinatrion certificate is no gurantee

..that you have been injected with anythung more than saline, as a German nurse is charged with injecting it instead of the vaccine...

Wireless powersats promise clean, permanent, abundant energy. Sound familiar?


Re: Oh great, let's microwave the earth... did anyone mention global warming ?

The answer is simple. Heatpumps will cool the citries, and circulate the working fluid to mountain tops where extremely hot heat exchangers will radiate earths surplus heat to space.

What do you mean that's what clouds do?


The difference between a scientist and an engineer

Is that teh scientist has this Geat Idea, and announces it to the world 'it Could Work!' while the engiuneer grabs his slide rule or equivalent, starts calculating costs efficiencies , automatically thinks of safety, and worst cases and concludes 'No, it's worse then the mousetrap I already have' and goes back to reading 'Biggles'

The UK is running on empty when it comes to electric vehicle charging points


Re: "Why solar panels are not mandated as part of the new builds is lost on me."

Better still look at the real sute - not the rip off trademark infringing copy site designed to make money - and go to gridwatch.org.uk


Well you should be. The national grid is about to lose its independence and be nationalised, bringing it under full political control.

Anyone who murmurs that it can't be done will be sacked for 'negative attitudes'.

Name one big government sposnsored infratstructure project that has actually delivered what it was supposed to, on time and on budget, if at all..

Radioactive hybrid terror pigs have made themselves a home in Fukushima's exclusion zone


Re: Domestic cross breeding is the real problem

I have had wild boar in Sardina. Finest pork I ever tasted!

Who would cross the Bridge of Death? Answer me these questions three! Oh and you'll need two-factor authentication


Book of Lies?

*Rest assured, dear reader, everything is this column is the gospel Liber AL truth, as Thoth is my witness. Everything is permitted. Call me Aleister."

Golly. I never would have pegged you as a student of the occult!

TimeCache aims to block side-channel cache attacks – without hurting performance


Re: It's a shit-show!

The answer is massively parrallel Z80s, powered by a small modular reactor....

...i'll get my coat.,..

Wyoming powers ahead with Bill Gates-backed sodium-cooled nuclear generation plant


Re: The reactor is the right size

The benefits of the small modular reactors being developed worldwide are eaily listed

1. Small reactors can use the cube-square law of heatloss versis size to be safe under passive cooling in SCRAM conditions. At a stroke the cause of the only two core meltdowns of PWRS is eliminated

2. Small reactors can be assembled in factories under controlled conditions and then shipped out for installation, massively reducing build inspection and certification times.

3. Larger outputs can still be achieved by use of multiple units

4. Water coooling may not be needed for smaller units making siting less of an issue.

5. Although less efficient in the use of uranium and especially when compared to fast breeders, there is no shortage of uranium at the moment and its dirt cheap.

Although the bogeyman of man made climate change is pretty much dead in the water in scientific circles, the fact remains that fossil fuel costs both in terms of cash and energy required keep on rising as the low hanging fruits of mining and drilling have all been plucked, and the massive propganada campaign about CO2 has left the ill informed public thinking they need alternatives, and renewable energy - which was esily provable over a decde ago to be unsuitable and not fit for purpose - is now undergoing subsidectomy, there remains only one viable and poltically acceptable alternative - and that is nuclear power of some sort..

And whilst not intrinsically ideal from an overall efficiency and engineering perspective, factory built type approved mass produced small (350MW ) modular pressurised water reactors would use thoroughly known and proven technology - the only thing different is that they would be factory built - and can couple up in as many uniyts as are needed to bog standard steam turbines up to a gigwatta mecahnical output or more. Rolls Royce Trent gas turbine units are already used in multiples in gas power stations feeding steam boilers to drive additional generation capacity in CCGT power stations so the modular technology already exists.

What the public probably thinks (or has been told to think) it wants , is a Heath Robinson array of windmills, solar panels, hydrogen production, grid scale batteries made of unobtanium, transcontinental interconnectors and BEVS using lithium sourced from the imagination - there not being that much around to mine...

What it needs however, is a couple of hundred small modular reactors, driving the grid and synthetic hydrocarbon plants. Nothing in the chemical table beats hydrocarbons for energy density and safety in off grid power.

Except uranium and plutonium of course, and how far we will have nuclear ships powered by very small modular reactors plying the oceans remains to be seen.


Re: Thankfully, the world is simple

Nuclear waste.

1. The longest lived nuclear isotope in the world today is the natural uranium we burn to make nuclear power, thus reducing the total amount of radioactivity in the world.

2. There are ~4 billion tonnes of it in the worlds oceans, yet people get excited when a few pounds of radioisotopes were released into the sea at Fukushima.

3. the longer lived the isotope, the less active and the less dangerous it is. If the Romans had had reactors by now they would have decomissioned themselves.

4. If the Romans had had reactors, their Empire would not have collapsed

5. The science now tells us what we didn't know in the Cold War period, that chronic exposure to low level radiation up to 200msV/year has absolutely no discernible effect on cells. And total dose is not what counts - peak dose is what counts.

6. If reactors were built and waste dispaosal were done to reflect what we now know about radiation - that its about 1000 times less dangerous than those old cold war regulations suggest - as evinced by the zero death count from radiation at 3MI and Fukushima and the piddling death count at Chernobyl - less than a hundred people, all exposed to massive single doses fighting fires - then most of the cost would vanish.

Nevertheless this project is, while sexy, not really commercial. We dont need advanced reactors, we need cheap reactors, and that means trying to meet regulatory ratcheting driven by anti-nuclear sentiment paid for by other energy interests with simple cost effective boring ordinary 50 year old technology that is developed to be quick to manufactire and install, and cheap.

If the nuclear industry spent one percent of the money it spends on trying to meet insane and ever moving safety goal posts, on educating people on how safe it was...


Having said that, heatbanks as a way of storing heat energy before conversion to electricity are interesting and may be more cost effective at supplying peak demand than building either pumped hydro (if handy nesaby mountains and water exist) than overcapacity of reactors running below full capacity much of the time.

What is disppointing in reading posts by El Reg readers is that one would have expected the readership to be both techically savvy and capable of researching what this project actually is, and yet the majority of comments betray utter ignorance of either.


As well as supplying about 20% of the UK power...at rock bottom prices well below what even our coal plant can produce..

...in winter we supply france of course


Re: Proper Generation IV reactor design

a molten salt heat bank is not lightning fast load following since it will still be used to generate steam for a turbine.. unless they use flash steam...which no other power station to my knowledge ever has.

It will ramp up and down as fast as a coal burner, maybe even a CCGT, but not as fast as hydro.

A well manged PWR is almost as fast.


Re: You know what

Natrium isnt a molten salt cooled reactor.

Its a molten sodium cooled fast breeder reactor plus a heatbank that stores thermal energy in molten salt to allow it to modulate its output above and below the reactor output in order to provide dispatchable load following without having to have a pumped storage hydro scheme coupled up. Batteries of course are completely unsuitable for grid scale storage

At an intelligent guess I would say it will mostly work eventually long after small modular reactors of bog standard design have become the de facto standard, and more money than even Gates can afford has been spent on it.


Re: Go for it

Really there is no need to invent or develop massivly new reactor designs.

What Rolls Royce and others are doing - production engineering small, and hence passively coolable under Scram, bog standard type approved pressurised water reactors for mass production at low cost with lifetime storage of used fuel (until polticians can decide what to do with it) is the low cost low risk option - is by far and away what we need right now.

Natrium is a complex liquid sodium cooled fast breeder. Dounreay effectively. Expensive, technically tricky, and full of the same problems as Gen II reactors.

Throw enough money at it and I am sure it will work eventually, but it seems to be repeating the same mistakes that the UK nuclear power program made - letting scientists create a better mousetrap rather tnan letting engineers cost reduce and streamline production of a perfectly adequate one

FYI: Today's computer chips are so advanced, they are more 'mercurial' than precise – and here's the proof


well its obvious

that as a data one gets represented by e,g, less and less electrons, statistically the odd data one will fall below the threshold for being a one, and become a zero, and vice versa.

or a stray cosmic ray will flip a flop.

or enough electrons will tunnel their way to freedom....