* Posts by SnowHawk

26 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

Top aero boffin: Green planes will be noisy planes


Oil is now a renewable resource

Oil and hydrocarbon based fuels are not going away. This point, almost assumed to be fact in this article, is false.

Even if we somehow manage to completely deplete the stored reserves of oil that are currently locked in the ground on this planet, there are processes currently known and in development that can make more. Algal oil, oil extracted from algae biomass, is just one such process, and it is well past the proof of concept stage. Petrol, Jet Fuel, and IIRC Diesel fuel have been created with this process, as well as other oil products used to make plastics. Work is being done to scale up and economize the process now. Costs are expected to be in line with deep sea oil drilling. Hydrocarbons created in this manner are compatible with our current energy infrastructure, and offer other benefits besides. The carbon is extracted directly out of the air, so the process of creating the oil is a CO2 sink. This CO2 is returned to the air when the fuel is burned, making the full process carbon neutral.

Finding this info is fairly easy with Google.

'Windows Cloud' to descend this month, says Ballmer


What do they call a cloud that decends to the ground?

Oh yeah, that's fog, isn't it?

Windows Fog! Not only it the title, it's a description of the state of the user.

It's the peacoat, I hear it's foggy outside.

Northrop offer supersonic robot stealth raygun cyber-bomber

Black Helicopters

Get thee to a University AC

Oh Noes! Hitler comparisons! What can we do? Surely you can do better than that AC?

You may be too far gone in your Bush Derangement Syndrome(BDS) for anyone to help you, but perhaps with some therapy you can avoid McCain Derangement Syndrome come Jan. 20th, 2009.


Difficult to believe

So, how is an armed flying network node a weapons system to fight the last war?

Simply modifying the existing B2 with new 'Stealth' technology is not a workable strategy. Stealth technology is not some component you install to make it invisible like a Romulan Cloaking Device. (Well, at least not yet.)

What the hell is up the the troofer brigades this morning? Take an engineering class already. Do you idiots know even the basics of metallurgy? Tell me what Body Center Cubic means and you might get another few seconds of attention.

Got a problem with American superiority? Come on over and enjoy it, 12 Million Mexican citizens will tell you, we're not particularly picky about who we let in, and if you've got some skills and intelligence we could use you to counter the troofers and evangelists.

Mines the one with the Northrop logo on the pocket and the guide to unfortunate acronyms in the pocket.

My name really is Ivan O'Toole, admits Ivan O'Toole


New a couple odd ones in the US Army

I went through boot camp with James Dean, and Kirk James.

US nuke missile crew falls asleep on the job


It's a protocol breach

That is the problem. You are required to maintain what is called 'positive control' over those codes, even after they are outdated, until they are destroyed. Sleeping while in position of those codes is a failure to do that. It is just one layer of many that are used to safeguard the nuclear weapons and minimize exposure to unauthorized use, which is generally regarded as a very bad thing. Actual physical loss of these code might, at worst, make the weapons unavailable if needed. Loss with many other lapses could be much more dangerous, which is why a single lapse is treated so seriously. Never heard of a fourth member of the team, in any reports that I have read, but if there was, then there is some aspect to this story that is not being reported. The USAF is in the midst of fallout from several serious lapses in security, and apparently a significant lapse in overall judgment recently. It does not surprise this US Army veteran that this is happening to the least disciplined of our services.

Mines the one with the Big Red One on the shoulder.

Blighty's electro-supercar 2.0 uncloaked today


Hate to piss in anyones Corn Flakes, but...

The ICE is not going anywhere soon. The electric grid in the US, arguably one of the most robust and capable in the world, is completely inadequate to the task of supporting large numbers of electric vehicles, even if they were all charged overnight during off-peak hours. This is not going to change in the next few decades. Have you seen the opposition to even small projects to improve our grid? Google "Sunrise Power Link" for an example of the problems encountered in even a small addition/improvement to distribution infrastructure.

This Li-Tit battery (I love that name, thanks AC) looks promising, and in fact has tested well at Argonne Laboratories when used in a Prius in place of the NiMH from the factory. Hybrids, with optional plug-in charging, are likely to be the best we can get in the near term, since they rely primarily on currently installed infrastructure.

There are multiple projects in the works to support and sustain the oil economy. A promising technology is Algal Oil (A petroleum product produced by algae) that is being pushed by companies like Sapphire Energy. SE has already made 91 Octane Gasoline with it's process, and is currently working on scaling up the process. It can produce oil from algae directly at a cost competitive with deep sea drilling and the yields per acre are a several orders of magnitude larger than any proposed ethanol projects.

British pilot makes first supersonic stealth jumpjet flight


Re: Forger Mark II

goggyturk, the F-35 does not carry a second engine to drive the central fan. The vertical thrust fan is driven by a shaft from the single main engine. The exhaust of the main engine is also directed down, by a rather ingenious three bearing gimbal, providing two columns of thrust to support the aircraft.

The weight problems have been addressed as well, but yes, the extra kit on the F-35B make it have a smaller payload than either the A or C variants, but that has always been an issue with VTOL or STOVL craft.

Northrop scoops DARPA mindreader-helmet threat visor cash


Acronym Hell

As one of the developers for said "American armaments goliath", I can't see why they would not like the CT2WS acronym. I can however, report a disturbing trend for renaming projects midstream with all new acronyms. Don't be surprised if some of your suggestions come into actual use.

Says someone currently working on JCRV, formerly C2PC, related to C2CE, somewhat connected to F2CB2 and UTDL, who used to work on JSF CNI, F22 CNI2010, CLIP, JxF, ROBE, and BACN all in C4ISR domain. WTF man?

It's the one with the NG logo on the pocket.

US Navy hands out $1bn robo-plane contract


This is great

It should keep me employed a while longer at least.

US Army cyber colonel in call to network arms


Please tell me this is a counter-intel op

"stay out ahead of the speed of megabytes"

I can only hope that this is some carefully planned operation to make the Chinese think that we don't know squat about 'cyber-warfare', making them think that they can steal Our Pure Essence.

As a U.S. Army vet, I'm not that certain of that however.

BOFH: Impatience


PFY energy

Given the typical energy output I observe every day from my 7yo son, I would have to say that the PFY was quite restrained in his response.

Pentagon says sat-smash smithereen cloud almost gone


Dispersion of the Hydrazine to non toxic levels

Sean, you ask, "Oh, and by the way, how does it make more sense to break up toxic chemicals in the atmosphere vs. a restricted area on the ground?"

Breaking it up in a location you determine is preferred over letting it land where it may and cleaning it up. If the sat had come down in a populated area, it would have done so with little warning, and the hydrazine, contained in a tank that might have survived reentry, could have poisoned a significant number of people. Bursting it high up in the atmosphere allowed it to disperse to safe concentrations, or maybe even be broken down into its chemical components by unfiltered sunlight, before hitting the surface in a location of the US Gov's choosing, in this case, well out to sea.

Skull and bones for poisonous content. Or perhaps I should have gone with the black helo for US Gov conspiracy to put some fish at risk?

US declares 1400-mile Pacific sat-shoot exclusion zone



They did get the warranty, but it expires on Saturday and it says that you have to return the satellite to the manufacturer no later than the final day of the warranty period.

Supersonic stealth jumpjet rolls off production line


Not sure if you noticed

I may be a little biased in this, as I am an Engineer that has worked on the F-35 program, but in case you haven't noticed, the F-35 is the cheap alternative right now. As expensive as the program is, you will not get a capable new fighter for less money. Especially not one with the sort of life-span that this program is envisioned to have. F-35s will be flying for a very long time.

Nine Partner Nations (United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Australia, and Turkey) are involved in the development of the F-35, with development efforts being spread out to those Nations in relation to the amount of development costs that they contributed. And yes, the whole withholding info from the British was a stupid thing to do, but withholding from Turkey is probably the right thing to do.

Giant athletic todger defends Pennsylvania


That may be large, but...

It does not match the magnitude of the M51 galaxy for being one of the largest of todgers, even in its obviously flacid state.


California gov site invaded by smut and malware again


Gov't and IT. The fun never ends

@Paul Murray.

Surely you are not suggesting that the same public bureaucracies that brought us the California Dept. of Motor Vehicles computer upgrade fiasco in the early 1990s be responsible for hosting their own websites. These idiots spent more than US$44 million on a system that was never built and would have been obsolete before it was finished. (San Francisco Chronicle, February 2, 1997)

We can't afford that sort of efficiency in our Gov't IT departments.

Bought some uranium ore? You'll need the anal douche, then


The other customer

The other customer must have been Ahmedinijad.

Pentagon: Electromagnetic pulse bombs from 2012


Modern Russian AA systems

Don't know if anyone posting here has noticed, but just last month, the Israeli's flew into Syria and destroyed an under-construction nuke facility.

They did this with F-18s, and flew them through the latest Russian anti-aircraft radar systems that Syria had just recently installed. This wasn't just a little over-the-border excursion, they came in over the Mediterranean and flew over most of the country to get to the installation, then returned out to the Med. They were not only completely unmolested, they were only detected when the target blew up.

Needless to say, Iran, another customer of the Russian Defense Industry, is concerned.

Customers can sue AT&T, after all


I just signed one of those contracts last week for T.Mobile

I read through my T.Mobile upgrade contract before signing last week. It seemed that half the paragraphs began, "The customer waives any right to...". It mentioned a California consumer protection law in particular several times. I believe that law prevents just the sort of arbitration agreements that this contract was spelling out. I signed anyway, I wanted my KRZR K1. At least I didn't have to tattoo T.Mobile on my son.

Glad to hear about this court ruling though, even though the 9th Circuit is the most overturned of the Circuit Courts. Seems their 'liberal' interpretations are often found to be lacking a certain Constitutional validity that the Supreme Court likes. I think this one should stand however, at least it makes sense. Hopefully this will lead to a general reduction in these Arbitration Agreements.

Pipex invites customer to get 'c**ted'


Purposely use them

Number one rule of work station security for me. DO NOT tell anyone your password. Therefore, I use obscene PWs as a matter of course. Anytime someone asks for my PW, I immediately think of the sexual harassment lawsuit to follow and politely decline. Also makes them fairly easy to remember.

They can block Page3, but I can still type in a robust insult, or at least a descriptive explicative, every single time I log on.

Fort Bragg grunt in gay porn vid shocker


Re: probably a little of both

The US Army does vigorously prosecute all flavors of this sort of violation. It is a direct violation of the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) that applies to all US servicemen and women. That is the higher standard that those that volunteer for the US services are held to. The hetero male variety just doesn't make the news. It's just not controversial enough, or it doesn't involve a cute babe that can be shown to viewers to boost ratings, newsstand sales, or page hits.

What does this have to do with IT?

Gay porn.


Two great tastes that go great together!

There is your IT angle. (I know it's a stretch, but this is El Reg and they are flexible like that, providing talking points for the Pub.)

Student's suspension for IM buddy icon upheld by US court


300m, you expect a few idjits

US pop is approaching 300 million. You kind of expect a few idiots in the bunch.

However, I have to question this statement, "In a country where school shootings are not uncommmon..." by Dale Morgan. "Not uncommon"? Are you kidding me? Women with large breasts are "not uncommon", school shooters are pretty damn rare. Overzealous school administrators are "not uncommon", every school seems to have at least one, rampaging students with weapons are again, pretty damn rare.

Get some perspective.

Geek Squader gets fruity with customer porn


Reputation is what is to stop them

"What is to stop them from loading keyloggers (or any other nefarious software) on a suspect's PC..."

A business must maintain the goodwill of its customers, or it will shrink, or even die. That is what is to stop them. Several reputable, or even just frequently repeated but more suspect, reports that a PC repair service was planting malware on its customers PCs and that service will shortly have no customers. For evidence of this take a look at the Sony rootkit fiasco with their music CDs several years ago. It didn't take long for them to cry uncle and withdraw them from the market.

Also look at the machinations that Best Buy is going through right now to see how much they desire the goodwill of their customers. I don't know how big of a piece of their business their repair service is, but if their response is lacking in the public eye, then it may well become unprofitable, and that is the last thing they want.

YouTube, CNN invite cats falling out of trees to US Prez debates


Comparing pros to amateurs

Give us a chance to test waters a little and then work up to the professional level. Those politicians in Taiwan and Japan are the big leagues. I certainly don't expect Beckham level performance from amateur level players.

Also, our press still goes apoplectic when a politician says something as "controversial" as "Immigrants should avoid Spanish-language media to learn English". Do you want their heads to explode? (Come to think of it, that might be a desirable outcome.)


Now wait a minute

We are doing our best to make American Politics as interesting as the rest of the world.

Why, just last week we had State Senators in Alabama brawling on the floor of their Senate.

And don't tell me that you aren't amused by the antics of my very own, Conan: the Governor.