* Posts by DJO

1069 posts • joined 28 Sep 2011


We've seen things you people wouldn't believe. An exoplanet building its own moons

DJO Silver badge

Re: Amazing!

Generally I try to be eloquent and use the language as gracefully as possible, but directly imaging objects 400 ly away I have only one remark:

Fucking incredible!

Gloom-dwelling subterranean robots battle for million-dollar DARPA prize

DJO Silver badge

Re: Meanwhile, in real caves.

A winged drone is a non-starter in a cave type environment

I may have been a bit hasty with that blanket assertion. I should have said "fixed wing".

Bats manage very well in caves - so some form of onithopter might (given suitable materials) do the non-aquatic bit of cave exploration quite well.

DJO Silver badge

Re: Meanwhile, in real caves.

A winged drone is a non-starter in a cave type environment, would never be able to maintain enough speed for lift.

It would have to be a somewhat ruggedised standard 4 rotor type thing, to go in water it "just" needs to be waterproof and have the rotors turn a lot slower and ideally have slightly positive buoyancy in fresh water.

Apart from all that it would need to be autonomous as remote C&C under water is non-trivial so all things considered I can't see anybody managing this any time soon.

DJO Silver badge

Meanwhile, in real caves.

A robot with wheels or any number of legs wouldn't get to 100 metres in the vast majority of real caves, or if it did it would be unable to return - maybe not a problem?

Can't say for caves in the Americas but the ones in Wales are far from level and unlike the ones on TV don't have suspiciously even floors. vertical pitches are very common and water in stream-ways or partially or fully flooded caverns is almost inevitable.

Must say a submersible drone that can fly above and below the water surface would be an impressive feat if anybody does it.

Not only is Hubble back online after outage, it's already taking photos of the cosmos

DJO Silver badge

Re: Galaxies colliding in 'expanding space'....

This is what happens when somebody gets a few facts and tries to extend them using the wrong kind of physics.

Yes, space/time is curved but not as curved as you seem to think.

Yes, if you go in a straight line you'll end up where you started - but - due to the degree of curvature you'd have to go a very long way, many multiplies of the diameter of the observable universe.

If what you said was true we would be unable to resolve any stars, they would all be smudged blurs and not the point sources we do see.

Annoyed US regulator warns it might knock SpaceX's shiny new Texas tower down

DJO Silver badge

Re: "The current regulatory system is broken"

...loading a lorry to take things to a train station, the first lorry journey, unloading the lorry, loading the train, the train journey, unloading the train...

I know, if only there was some form of standard boxy thing that would fit in ships, trains & lorries.

Google fined €500m for not paying French publishers after using their words on web

DJO Silver badge

Re: Thick skin

Try to keep up.

This is not a penalty for snippets in the search results linking to the article in question, but where Google aggregates news with no links or accreditation and present it as "Google News".

G20 finance ministers agree plan to make multinationals pay their 'fair share' of tax

DJO Silver badge

Re: Box ticking exercise

Companies and individuals have used a variety of schemes to reduce their tax burden for decades and while they were just cutting it by a small amount it was generally easier to ignore it.

Now these big tech companies have started to take the piss and reduce their tax burden by a significant amount with the inevitable result that the counties they operate in are getting seriously pissed off.

If they hadn't been greedy idiots, they could have continued with tax reduction for ever, now they've screwed the pitch for everybody (And not before time in my opinion).

Lenovo says it’s crammed a workstation into a litre of space – less than three cans of beer

DJO Silver badge

Re: Depends on where you get it.

But that's a child size pint, 20oz or 568¼ ml is a proper grown up pint :-)

2021: A Bork Odyssey. Is it remake of Disney's The Black Hole or explorer.exe being shown the door?

DJO Silver badge

I forgot this Peter Sellers classic:

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bork.

DJO Silver badge

Here goes:

From Bork to Eternity


Night of the Long Borks

And of course, Carry on Borking

Revealed: Perfect timings for creation of exemplary full English breakfast

DJO Silver badge

Re: Fried eggs

saucepan lid on the frying pan.

Try adding a little water to the frying pan, turns to steam and speeds up the cooking of the top of the egg.

11-year-old graduate announces plans to achieve immortality by 'replacing body parts with mechanical parts'

DJO Silver badge

Re: IQ of only 145?

The whole concept of assessing intelligence in a single numeric value is fatally flawed.

The only thing IQ tests measure is how good you are at doing IQ tests.

After 15 years and $500m, the US Navy decides it doesn't need shipboard railguns after all

DJO Silver badge

Re: A cunning plan

Another way to look at is as a proportion of Federal spending and then it's 15%.

DJO Silver badge

Re: Progress?

Next it's the "mine shaft gap".

Microsoft defends intrusive dialog in Visual Studio Code that asks if you really trust the code you've been working on

DJO Silver badge

Re: Over the hill

I look at old code and it's either "Gosh! How the hell did I do that?" or "Why?, oh gods why?".

This is the problem with being self taught, while my teacher had unlimited patience, was charming and an absolute delight, he knew fuck all.

Florida Man sues Facebook, Twitter, YouTube for account ban

DJO Silver badge

Re: No Name

Those bankruptcies weren't because of mismanagement as such but rather a barely legal way to reduce debt and screw over all the contractors and banks.

Due to some ludicrous laws in America concerning bankruptcy and Real Estate he was able to declare himself bankrupt and then start up a new business the next day and take over the bankrupt business for cents on the dollar.

In any other country and in America any field except Real Estate, such behaviour would have you prosecuted and disbarred from directorship for a very long time.

Microsoft tells US lawmakers cloud has changed the game on data privacy, gets 10 info demands a day from cops

DJO Silver badge

With safe deposit boxes you have the only key, the bank cannot open your box without the assistance of a locksmith. That does not stop a third party bank-robber from breaking in but that's what insurance is for.

With cloud services you do not have ownership of the key. Yes you can (and should) encrypt content but metadata is always available and as any spook will tell you, metadata is where the most useful information is found.

A real go-GETTR: Former Trump aide tries to batter Twitter by ripping off its UI

DJO Silver badge

Re: Conservative products

Which is why I said "partially".

Obviously they were already investing R&D but the sanctions provoked them to massively step up the funding which will have benefits for them in the short, medium and long term.

Meanwhile in the USA the trend seems to be to cut R&D and boost the already excessive boardroom remuneration.

DJO Silver badge

Re: Conservative products

maybe the policy towards Chinese domination of electronics manufacturing

Brilliant response by Trump, restrict Chinese access to high technology.

So the Chinese have 2 options:

1) Scrap manufacturing and return to a peaceful agrarian existence.

2) Invest heavily in R&D.

Obviously they did the latter and are now overtaking America in many fields and will continue to do so and that is partially due to the idiotic sanctions placed by Trump.

Boffins boast of 'slidetronics' breakthrough enabling binary switch just two atoms thick

DJO Silver badge

Possibly given how comparatively tiny these switches would be they could be ganged and use a vote system to ensure accuracy.

That is: each element would contain not one but 3 or 5 (or any low odd number) switches and all are given the same conditions and any switches that give a dissenting answer are ignored.

This always-on culture we're in is awful. How do we stop it? Oh, sorry, hold on – just had another notification

DJO Silver badge

Re: Not office hours? No contact

don't add your work accounts to your phone.

Where I work it is forbidden to use personal equipment for any work tasks so not a problem - at 17:00 I turn off my work laptop and am totally out of contact.

London Greenwich station: A reminder of former glories. Like Windows XP

DJO Silver badge

Re: Windows XP's various peccadilloes

Unless you are in Nidd in which case you obviously have to go via Earls Court.

DJO Silver badge

Re: How much longer will we have to endure this ?

Probably full of log files nobody ever looks at but are generated daily by default.

Water conditions in Jupiter's clouds could support 'life', say astroboffins

DJO Silver badge

Water activity is not the only activity

Jupiter is incredibly radioactive which as far as "life as we know it" is pretty much of a deal breaker.

And the problem with "it's life Jim but not as we know it" is we have absolutely no idea how to identify or even recognize it or have a clue as to what metabolites we should be looking for.

Papa don't breach: UK data watchdog fines that other pizza place £10,000 over unsolicited marketing blitz

DJO Silver badge

Re: Fined 10 Grand?

About 10p per infraction seems to be the ICO rule.

Woefully inadequate, 10p per transaction is not a penalty, it's an ongoing business cost and far cheaper than sending out mailings.

The fine for this sort of thing should be at least the current rate for a 1st class stamp per infraction.

FTC approves $61.7m settlement with Amazon for pocketing driver tips

DJO Silver badge

Re: Wage theft

If corporations want to be "people" then then they should have all the responsibilities the real people have, including paying income tax on every penny/cent of income with the same threat of prison time for breaking the rules that real humans are exposed to.

Obviously throwing a corporation into prison would be "problematical" so the board of directors should be the ones punished for malfeasance.

In fact the entire system of punishing companies for breaking laws is a total joke, any fines come not from the malefactors but ultimately from the customers and workers, for the guilty parties on the board there are no repercussions even for the most serious crimes such as corporate manslaughter.

Uber drivers can now unionise after ride biz recognises GMB, one of the UK's largest trade unions

DJO Silver badge

Uber has consistently lost billions every year because they're more interested in gaining market share than actually operating a profitable business.

Their plan was to first usurp taxi companies to get local monopolies, and then replace all the drivers with self driving cars. They foolishly believed the hype that self-driving cars would be here by now and consequentially Uber is basically fucked, they've burnt up far too much money to ever be in a position to repay the debt.

The next few years are going to have some prolonged death rattles from Uber when the venture capital people finally realize they've been duped.

Australian Federal Police hiring digital evidence retrieval specialists: Being a very good boy and paws required

DJO Silver badge

I've aways wondered...

If canines have such magnificent noses, why do they have to get so close to other dogs bums to smell them?

43 years and 14 billion miles later, Voyager 1 still crunching data to reveal secrets of the interstellar medium

DJO Silver badge

There is no fission or fusion, or whatever else we call "nuclear power" going on

Not strictly true. What they use is the heat from radioactive decay, much the same as in a nuclear power plant just a lot less heat.

DJO Silver badge

Re: Often overlooked

Doesn't really matter, every frequency is used in multiple locations around the globe, that's not a problem on the ground as you will only get the one that's nearest to you but out in space they are all about the same distance away so extracting a single signal from the mush of multiple signals would be pretty close to impossible.

In fact the combined mush might be indistinguishable from random noise.

Uplink spill might be detectable from a distance but that will sweeping round like a lighthouse beam as the Earth rotates so that's not too much of a concern.

China launches first module of new, crewed, Tiangong-3 space station

DJO Silver badge

Re: Congrats to China

The ISS doesn't have long left, it's likely to be decommissioned within 10 years, probably less so no real point in China getting involved with it now.

The possible replacement, Lunar Gateway is running into political problems so investing in that could be problematical for the middle kingdom.

When the ISS is decommissioned it's possible that for a few years, China will be the only country with a permanent presence in orbit.

We need a 20MW 20,000-GPU-strong machine-learning supercomputer to build EU's planned digital twin of Earth

DJO Silver badge

Re: But can you or your brother intuitively calculate ...

how much rainfall there will be (to the hundredth of an inch) during the course of just one week...

Please spend a little effort in learning the difference between "climate" and "weather".

Seagate UK customer stung by VAT on replacement drive shipped via the Netherlands

DJO Silver badge

Re: But, but

Actually they did, UKGov backed every horse in the race which will obviously get you the winner but you also have to pay all the losers too.

Not a sustainable practice but 100% true to established Tory methodology - it gets a few favorable headlines from the poodles at the Daily Mail where the staggering waste of money is dutifully ignored.

Also helps their primary objective which is to make sure when they leave Westminster they'll have nice sinecures to waltz into.

DJO Silver badge

Re: But, but

The UK spent £11.7 billion on 570 million doses most of which will never be delivered with no penalty to the non-suppliers

The EU spent £2.7billion for 300 million doses all of which are contracted to be delivered.

And you think we got a good deal? The final cost per dose to the UK taxpayers will be over 10 times the cost to EU taxpayers per dose.

DJO Silver badge

Re: But, but

Ah the benefit of misreporting.

The UK threw money at the pharmaceutical companies, the cost to the UK will end up at least 10 times as much per dose as in the EU.

The problem was AZ could not meet the contracts it had signed so it had to break one contract, it chose to break it's contract with the EU.

Strangely in the EU itself there is no narrative that the EU screwed up, they didn't, what they did was wait a bit until the vaccines were ready and certified which meant a one to two week delay over the risky and expensive route taken by the UK.

The only place where the story is the EU screwed up is here.

DJO Silver badge

Re: But, but

Since 1973 the UK contributed a total of £215 billion to the EU.

So far in one year the cost of Brexit to the UK is over £200 billion.

After 5 years I'm still waiting for anybody to tell me what the advantages of Brexit are, I mean just one advantage, please....

UK Supreme Court declares Uber drivers are workers, not self-employed: Ride biz's legal battle ends in a crash

DJO Silver badge

Re: Well....

The business model was to not only wipe out local cab companies but then to replace the contractors with self-driving cars but they believed the wildly overoptimistic timescales from people working on self-driving cars.

Basically Uber is screwed, there's no way self-driving cars will become available in the time-scale Uber was relying on, by the time they are Uber will have trashed so much money it'll take decades to pay back the initial investments.

Big Tech workers prefer 3 days at home, 2 in the office. We ask Reg readers: What's your home-office balance?

DJO Silver badge

Bandwidth issues

My ISP provides a wildly asymmetric connection, downloading is fine but uploading is pretty crappy. I work with some big databases and doing that purely over the VPN is tedious in the extreme so it's not really practical to work exclusively from home.

UK watchdog fines two firms £270k for cold-calling 531,000 people who had opted out

DJO Silver badge

Re: Spoofing unused codes

Not what he said. Numbers starting 0291 are as yet unissued.

The ofcom website: http://static.ofcom.org.uk/static/numbering/#pers

has this data, you need the sabcde2.xlsx file for all numbers starting 02

Amazon sues NY Attorney General in preemptive strike: Web giant faces claim it did not fully protect workers in COVID-19 pandemic

DJO Silver badge

Re: The NY AG has bigger fish to fry

It's not a Republican or Democratic problem, it's an American problem.

There are structural problems too deep seated to be easily addressed. Perhaps the most dangerous is having a politically appointed judiciary. For Democracy to stand any chance the judiciary has to be independent of the executive branch and be seen to be independent.

DJO Silver badge

Re: They make a convenient bogeyman though…

Adjusted for inflation, a humble Speccy cost £800. No screen, no mass storage included. And yet people (most, perhaps) baulk at paying this much for a laptop nowadays.

Not really a valid comparison, silicon components are a lot cheaper and orders of magnitude more complex now. Modern laptops probably have fewer chips than a Spectrum but billions if not trillions more transistors in chips that (apart from the CPU) cost pennies to make while those in the Spectrum cost pounds to manufacture. Back then they sold fewer CPUs a year than are sold every day now, economy of scale really adds up.

If you are going to compare then and now prices, you need a product that is fundamentally unchanged. Bread, beer and housing are better products for this purpose. Alternatively citing prices as a percentage of the average wage is possibly a more revealing tool.

Web prank horror: Man shot dead while pretending to rob someone at knife-point for a YouTube video

DJO Silver badge

Darwin strikes again

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

No ports, no borders, no hope: Xiaomi's cool but impractical all-screen concept phone

DJO Silver badge

Re: Yes

If wireless charging was already widely adopted then that argument would have some merit.

But it's not so creating a new way to waste more energy is plain stupid when there are perfectly adequate alternatives that do not waste energy.

DJO Silver badge

Re: Yes

Oh yes, because we waste energy on X it is fine to waste some more energy on Y.

That's a fucking stupid argument.

DJO Silver badge

Re: Yes

interoperability between brands and models of phones.

If only. There are currently 2 incompatible standards, Qi & PMA and so far Apple have not decided if they'll use one of them or create their own third standard.

DJO Silver badge

Re: Yes

For one phone the difference is indeed insignificant.

There are 7.8 billion people on this planet, if 5% of them were to use wireless charging the energy wasted would be far from insignificant.

It's not too tricky to make connectors with no ingress for liquids.

Nearly 70 years after America made einsteinium in its first full-scale thermo-nuke experiment, mystery element yields secrets of its chemistry

DJO Silver badge

All science is either physics or stamp collecting.

And ultimately physics is applied mathematics.

European Commission redacts AstraZeneca vaccine contract – but forgets to wipe the bookmarks tab

DJO Silver badge

Re: Null and void

European Union members will pay $2.16 (€1.78) for AstraZeneca's shots.


The UK has spent £11.7billion on vaccines.

If all 66 million people in the UK get treated that works out to about £177 per person or £88.50 per dose.

What happened is Boris backed every horse in the race. Try that at the Derby and yes you'll back the winner but you'll lose money big time.

Death Becomes It: Who put the Blue in the Blue Screen of Death?

DJO Silver badge

"an unexpected error has occurred"

Actually logical if used correctly.

It just means execution has fallen through the error handling for all possible errors the benighted programmer was able to think of at the time or the testers were able to generate to annoy said programmer.

Admittedly it's not too helpful but followed by a clean(ish) shut down is preferable to a crash.



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