* Posts by Cuddles

2337 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Nov 2011

Software patch fixes Euclid space telescope navigation bug


Re: "the telescope's Fine Guidance Sensor"

There's no such thing as a solved problem when it comes to unique instruments. Hubble and James Webb both also have fine guidance sensors that do a similar job, but obviously they don't share identical hardware for either the sensors themselves or the systems feeding them light and doing the actual pointing. Hubble has three separate FGS (two have been replaced since launch), which combined would make up nearly half the size and mass of Euclid if it used the same system. James Webb has its FGS combined with a near infrared instrument. Euclid has its FGS combined with a visible light instrument.

Suggesting that they just made up their own new idea without bothering to ask anyone else is just silly. Of course knowledge is shared and they used the same principles as in other telescopes. But that doesn't mean they could just blindly copy the exact solution from Hubble even if they wanted to. The exact issue isn't being shared as far as I can tell, but it appears to be something along the lines of having underestimated how sensitive the CCD in the VIS instrument is to protons in cosmic rays and the solar wind, so it struggles to identify guide stars when activity is high. No amount of knowing the principle of how to aim a telescope is going to help when the problem is with the specific hardware used in a unique instrument that has never been in space before.

Could this have been solved before launch by doing better simulations? Maybe. But as the ESA explain, the whole point of the commissioning phase is to find and fix issues like this, and since they've successfully done so with a simple software patch, it's really not a big problem.

SpaceX accused of paying less to women and minority engineers


And that £54k is still double the median salary, and is higher than a Grade 4 civil service/public sector salary, which would be a senior engineer or scientist in a similar position at government funded facility. It may not be quite a much as the straight conversion suggests, but I'd still very much agree it sounds like nice work if you can get it.

Lawsuit claims Google Maps led dad of two over collapsed bridge to his death


Re: Were there no signs indicating that the Bridge was out?

"Yet if you DO drive at a speed where you can stop in the space you know to be clear, you can get tickets for obstructing traffic"

Can you give an example of this ever actually happening? It's certainly true that it's against the law to unnecessarily obstruct a highway, but I've never heard of a single case where someone was actually prosecuted for simply driving slowly on a blind corner. If that actually happened, virtually every pensioner in the country would be in jail by now. It's incredibly difficult to be prosecuted for dangerous driving even if you actually kill someone, the bar is so high that it's almost always a lesser charge of careless driving or often not even that. No-one ever faces such prosecution for simply braking at a blind corner. In fact, it's notable that this is only ever raised as a complaint by people who for some reason don't think they should ever be required to drive slowly and/or safely.

"I have to question, however, why that road wasn't just blocked off. Signs be damned, roads like that shouldn't be open at all."

According to reporting pretty much everywhere else, it was blocked off, but frequent vandalism means the signs and barriers have often been removed.

Moscow makes a mess on the Moon as Luna 25 probe misses orbit, lands with a thud


Just the one goose actually.

Sparkling fresh updates to Ubuntu, Mint and Zorin on way


The northeast portion of Ireland is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, although opinions differ on whether it should be. It is definitely not located on the island of Great Britain, hence the somewhat extended name of the nation it is part of.

Norway to hit Meta with fines over Facebook user privacy from next week


"as The Register has previously pointed out, even if the fine is imposed for the entire three month period of the temporary ban, it will add up to a fraction of 1 percent of Meta's Q1 2023 profits"

And as apparently needs to be pointed out every time this nonsense comes up, comparing legal action in a single, quite small, country to a company's global profit is utterly meaningless. Facebook has about 3 billion users. Norway has a population a little under 5.5 million. Even if every single person there has a Facebook account, Norwegians would still make up less than 0.2% of Facebook users, and presumably also around that proportion of their profits. Which would make the total fine after three months equal to about 20% of Facebook's yearly profit in Norway. Which doesn't seem all that unreasonable really. The point of fines is to change a company's behaviour, not to simply drive them out of business, whatever your personal views on the benefits of doing so may be.

China floats strict screentime limits and content crimps for kids


What's actually new?

Isn't this all already available in stock Android? Parental controls already allow setting max total screen time as well as preventing use at specific times, is locked behind a separate password to prevent it being disabled, and is part of the OS settings so it can't be hidden or uninstalled. There are also a variety of "wellbeing" options like bedtime mode that do things like restricting use at certain times or giving reminders to take a break. I assume iPhones have similar options. The problem isn't that these tools don't exist, it's that people either don't care about them or actively don't want them - sticking kids in front of a screen to keep them quiet is a deliberate choice by many. Since the whole proposal appears to be optional on the part of the parents, what makes anyone think they'd decide to use this new mode when they don't currently use the virtually identical options that already exist?

Typo watch: 'Millions of emails' for US military sent to .ml addresses in error


Re: Whatever.

"I shouldn't be hard to prevent mail from a .gov or .mil address from being sent to a .ml domain."

And of course, blocking all emails to anyone in a country that is a member of the UN and has bilateral diplomatic relations with the US including reciprocal embassies is obviously a sensible idea. 100,000 emails sent to non-existent domains by accident in a bit over half a year? There have likely been far more than that sent from .gov to .ml addresses on purpose during that time. Putting checks on an internal .mil system that only expects to send to other .mil addresses is one thing, but putting manual checks on the entire government covering things like customs, immigration, and all other contacts that happen between two countries with normal diplomatic and commercial relations is just a ridiculous idea. Mali may have been slightly less friendly to the West in the last couple of years, but that hardly means they need to be cut off from all routine communications.

From cage fight to page fight: Twitter threatens to sue Meta after Threads app launch


Re: Europe/EU

"Have the UK data regulation rules actually deviated wildly from the EU rules, so far?"

Not yet, but they probably will by the end of the year - https://www.theregister.com/2023/07/06/uk_data_protection_bill/

How a dispute over IP addresses led to a challenge to internet governance


Re: There's a big clue in there.

Yeah, but look at the last line of the article - "And as The Register will soon report, the NRS moved on to a new target: the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre". If they're going after APNIC, either the Chinese government is involved, or it soon will be.

Virgin Galactic finally gets its first paying customers to edge of space


Re: Cheaper?

About 6 minutes compared to 25 seconds. Although the vomit comet does 40 or more wiggles so the total zero-g time is actually larger. So there seems to be a relatively small niche of experiments that need continuous zero-g for more than 30 seconds but not more than 6 minutes. Given that vomit comets have been run on a variety of different regular production planes, it's presumably far cheaper to fly on one of those than with Virgin (insert joke about Virgin Atlantic here).

Supreme Court says Genius' song lyric copying claim against Google wasn't smart


Re: lyrics.ch

Copying someone else's work and publishing it yourself, regardless of whether you make money or not, is illegal. Obtaining a license to publish someone else's work from the person who owns it is perfectly legal. LyricFind and Musixmatch, and presumably Genius, have licenses with various record labels to publish lyrics to which they own the copyright. Google presumably also has some sort of deal. lyrics.ch did not. However much various people might disagree with how intellectual property should be treated, the laws regarding how it actually is treated right now really aren't that complicated.

CERN spots Higgs boson decay breaking the rules


To be clear, we are absolutely sure we really have no idea what's going on. It's been known for decades that the Standard Model is fundamentally broken in several different ways. The entire reason for the existence of large fields of particle physics such as string theory and supersymmetry is precisely to find some way to either fix it or replace it with something better. The problem is that the parts we're pretty sure it can't handle mostly still fall outside the range of energies we're able to experiment on. Meanwhile, every time someone has a clever idea for something we can actually test, it keeps turning out to match the basic Standard Model and not point us in any useful direction for how to modify it.

This was why the search for the Higgs boson was such a big deal. The idea wasn't simply to find it, there were a whole bunch of different predictions for what mass it would have or how many different types there might be depending on which theory you used, so it was supposed to tell us where to look next. And once again it was just the unmodified Standard Model that matched best, and whole swathes of string and field theories were pretty much thrown out overnight. And that's why this news is also potentially a big deal. We might have finally found something solid that can tells us which direction we should be looking to figure out what's going on.

So there's never been any thinking we know what's going on. That's just a common myth non-scientists think scientists think. We've been modifying and trying to fix the Standard Model for longer than it's even been called that. The original version when the term was coined 50 years ago only had 4 quarks and massless neutrinos after all. But neither are we simply going to tear it up and replace it with something entirely new. Newtonian physics is correct, it's simply the low-energy limit of relativistic physics. Similarly, the Standard Model is correct under certain conditions, it's simply going to be the limit of some more widely valid theory. Modern quantum physics is the most thoroughly tested theory ever to have existed; we know it's not complete and doesn't cover every situation, but all the parts it gets right aren't suddenly going to disappear and require us to tear it all up and throw it out wholesale. It's possible we'll end up in a situation like relativity where our new theory boils down to the previous one under certain conditions. Much more likely is that whatever we come up with will still be called the Standard Model, and there will just be yet another addition or extension to the existing theory rather than an actual replacement.

Perseverance rover shows up Curiosity with discovery of Martian water park


Re: Archeology on Mars

Given that no-one seriously believes there was ever technological civilisation on Mars and there's no evidence of manufactured artefacts, archaeologists are unlikely to be particularly interested. If we find evidence of life, paleontologists would certainly like to take a look though.

Apple, Google propose anti-stalking spec for Bluetooth tracker tags


Re: Not that I have any reason for concern

"So an apple tracker needs to talk to an apple phone; an android tracker to an android phone? Or are they ecumenical and talk to both?"

It's just bluetooth. Apple's implementation is part of their OS while you need to install an app on Android or for non-Apple trackers on iOS, but other than that all phones are capable of talking to any tracker from any manufacturer. There's even an official app from Apple for Android phones. The point of the new collaboration appears to be mainly about treating all trackers equivalently, so you won't need to install an app for each separate manufacturer to be sure you're finding them all.

"With the secondary issue that if you don't carry a phone, or carry one with things locked down until they're needed (bluetooth, location etc) then how do the changes help you know you're being tracked?"

Obviously they don't. If you don't carry a phone, devices that only work by communicating with a phone will not work for you. Although for having a phone but keeping it locked down, they mainly get around that by simply lying to you. Note that the article talks about still using bluetooth to find your phone even when you think you've turned it off. Just because you think you've turned off bluetooth and location doesn't mean your phone can't actually use bluetooth and location. There's a reason people like hardware switches and physical covers for webcams.

The truth about those claims of Qualcomm chips secretly snooping on you


The important part

"a list of software on the device"

The article author and Qualcomm both go to a lot of effort to dismiss the concerns due to things like IP address and device IDs being a necessary part of any communications. And that could well be a reasonable argument. But the claim is that the gathered data goes a lot further than that. I can't see any possible reason that location data to improve GPS accuracy would require a full list of installed software. It's not needed to enable the communication, it's not relevant to GPS at all, it serves no purpose other than to fingerprint a device to allow identification of individual users. Qualcomm waffles a lot, but fails to actually address that part of the claim at all. The author generally appears to seek to minimise the issue and just says that lots of people collect various data so it can't be a problem, but again fails to address the actual claim that Qualcomm appear to be fingerprinting devices for no explained reason.

As others have noted, it also seems a somewhat interesting take to describe unique device IDs and precise location data as "non-personal, anonymized data". And that's the parts they explicitly admit to collecting.

Bank of England won't call it Britcoin but says digital pound 'likely to be needed in future'


Re: But why is this necessary?

Did you reply to the wrong post? I'm not sure how any of this would be relevant to anything I said. Using a card, especially contactless, is much less likely to transfer any virus, covid or otherwise, than handling cash. That there are other ways to transfer viruses, and that viruses have existed for more than three years, are not in any way relevant to that simple fact. Note that this thread of the conversation was started by someone claiming that using cards in unhygienic and that cash is better. Personally I very much doubt that either is a significant vector for viral transfer, so the idea that someone would go to great lengths to avoid either in an effort to stay clean sounds rather silly. But, again, that is not in any way relevant to claims about how the two compare to each other. Unless you wipe your card on a stranger and then lick it after every transaction, cards are more hygienic than cash, however little benefit that may bring in the real world.


Re: But why is this necessary?

Using cash means frequently handling multiple objects that have been recently handled by multiple other people. No-one else has ever touched my card since it was posted to me a few years ago. It doesn't matter how long a virus might be able to survive on a card if you don't wipe it on other people in the first place. Having to touch a keypad maybe once a month provides far less opportunity for transferring viruses than handling piles of cash for every transaction. And of course, neither the UK or EU have paper cash, so how long a virus might survive on paper is utterly irrelevant.

Counterfeit crud crooks crossed over to e-commerce during COVID



"The document details "dupe" influencers who have the trappings of less fake influencers – large social media audiences and a fondness for bling – but who push counterfeit products. The dupes drive plenty of sales for purveyors of fake products ."

I'm not sure I understand what the difference is supposed to be.

Microsoft shells out for 2.5GW of solar. Not that it'll make a big dent in its emissions


Just no

"many of these facilities consume tens of millions of watts of power every hour"

They consume tens of millions of watts. Watts are the unit of power, so saying watts of power is just weird. And it's either watts or joules per hour, absolutely not watts per hour.

Uncle Sam greenlights first commercial nuclear small modular reactor design


Re: Hope

Fair points, there is far less spent fuel than most people think, but there are other types of radioactive waste and engaging in too much hyperbole about how little there is probably isn't a great idea.

That said, there are a couple of other points in response. Regarding low-level radioactive waste, a lot of that depends on local regulations and is often a matter of being overly cautious rather than sensible safety considerations. For example, I'm not in the nuclear industry but we do have to deal with radioactivity, and sustainability is a big consideration these days. That means figuring out how to re-use or recycle various bits of lab equipment and similar. Here in the UK, it's not too difficult - measure how radioactive something is, and if has become activated maybe leave it for a while before it can be sent somewhere else. Usually not even as long as a year. On the other hand, some French colleagues get very frustrated because French regulations essentially say that nothing that has been in an environment where any radiation is present can ever be moved off site ever again. Even if something is less radioactive than the ground outside, once it's entered a controlled radiation area and has to be measured, the limits are so low that it's pretty much impossible for it to ever stop being considered low-level waste. So the fact that there can be a lot of waste that is considered low level waste does not necessarily mean that's a sensible way to treat it. The leftovers after enriching uranium are, obviously, less radioactive than the ore you started with. But you can't just bury it in the same hole it came out of because now it's dangerous radioactive waste that must be disposed of safely.

Secondly, it's important to remember that historical waste is not necessarily the same as new waste. A lot of the problems with contaminated ground exist because all kinds of crap was just dumped with no thought of consequences. A single barrel of water poured on the ground can contaminate thousands of tons of soil. The site I work at is currently dealing with a legacy of nuclear research. One part is practically a quarry where huge amounts of soil are being dug up and removed, not because it's all radioactive, but because no-one is even sure exactly what was dumped there in the '50s and '60s so some of it might be (and also potentially full of toxic chemicals and heavy metals). The Hanford site is likely similar. It doesn't really have 710k m3 of radioactive waste, it just has a huge amount of potentially contaminated crap from actual waste leaking out of inadequate tanks and similar.

So sure, as I said nuclear waste is an issue and needs to be dealt with properly. But there is hopefully a middle ground somewhere between dumping it on the ground and pretending it's not there, and treating everything that's ever heard the word "nuclear" as high level waste that must be safely contained for millions of years. We've created a lot of radioactive waste in the past by our poor choices, not because it's inherent to nuclear power. And we continue to create a lot of radioactive waste because we choose to call it that, not necessarily because it actually is.

And of course, the main point remains - fossil fuels are so polluting at every stage of their production and use that we really could just dump all our nuclear waste willy-nilly and still end up far better off than the current situation.


Re: Hope

The waste being more volatile means it has a lower boiling point. Which I'm pretty sure is not what the author actually intended to say. What they actually meant is that the waste is more highly radioactive. Which does potentially make it more difficult to handle in the short term, but also means the short term is all you need to worry about because more radioactive means faster decay and therefore less need for long term storage.

As for producing 35 times more waste, there's a reason they're using a relative number instead of absolute. If you piled up all the nuclear waste ever produced, it would be smaller than the spoil heap from a single coal mine. Yes, radioactive waste can be hazardous and needs to be disposed of properly. But the scale of the problem is many orders of magnitude smaller than the waste from coal and oil. If we just didn't care about it at all and happily dumped it wherever convenient, we'd still be much, much better off replacing all fossil fuels with nuclear power. The problem is that people have either just got used to other types of waste, or simply don't care at all, while every time the word "nuclear" comes up there's a feeding frenzy to see who can panic the most about how dangerous it is. Ideally we'll deal with nuclear waste a lot better than we do with various other types of waste. But even if we don't do the best job possible, a relatively tiny area of contaminated land would still be a huge improvement on coastlines wiped out by oil spills, large swathes of country with contaminated groundwater, and tailings dams and spoil heaps straight up falling over and crushing entire towns. And of course it's always worth pointing out that coal power plants dump far more radioactivity into the surrounding environment than a nuclear plant ever will. It's just less scary when everyone collectively decides not to think about it.

Look like Bane, spend like Batman with Dyson's $949 headphones



"The Dyson Zone headphones come with a removable "visor" that uses a pair of compressors and electrostatic filters to "project purified air at the wearer's nose and mouth.""

A visor, by definition, goes in front of your eyes. The similarity to the word "vision" is not coincidental. On the other hand, using this thing as a visor would probably look just as sensible and provide precisely the same level of protection.

Orion snaps 'selfie' with the Moon as it prepares for distant retrograde orbit


Re: outdated imperial units

Also, American Customary units aren't actually the same as British Imperial units, so calling them the wrong name just invites even more cock-ups than using such silly units in the first place.

Aviation regulators push for more automation so flights can be run by a single pilot


No such thing as a single pilot

"Pilot incapacitation: Detect whether the single-pilot during the cruise phase of the flight is no longer fit to fly. Ensure that the level of safety remains acceptable in case of pilot Incapacitation."

A system that is capable of taking over when a lone pilot becomes incapacitated is a system that is capable of flying without having a lone pilot involved in the first place. This isn't trying to reduce the number pilots required, it's trying to eliminate them entirely.

Mozilla will begin signing Mv3 extensions for Firefox next week


Re: Old Faithful

Unfortunately PiHole can't handle adverts that are served from legitimate domains that you don't want to block outright. That means adverts in places like YouTube and other streaming services get through just fine. So even with PiHole you still need an adblocker in your browser to catch the ones that slip through.

Eggheads show how network flaw could lead to NASA crew pod loss. Key word: Could


Re: Question?

By compromising the laptop one of the astronauts is using (or the astronaut themself of course), or one of the various things running one of the many experiments that will be carried out during missions. The whole point is that you don't need to hook anything into the harness, the flaw allows any device plugged into the network to disrupt critical systems. You usually avoid that by having entirely separate physical networks so that it's not possible even in principle, but the idea of TTE is supposed to be that you can achieve the same separation while saving the weight and complexity of separate wiring. This exploit shows that's not necessarily the case.

And bear in mind, we're long past the days of astronauts being thoroughly screened military personnel, even if you assume such people could not be compromised. We've already sent multiple random tourists into space, including spending time on the ISS, along with a wide variety of scientists, teachers and others, and that trend is only going to continue. How do you slip a malicious device onto a spaceship? Drop a USB stick in the spaceport car park, and it won't be long before someone decides to pick it up and plug it in halfway to orbit.

Waymo turns its driverless cars into roving weather stations


Re: Talk about over complicating things!!!

The standard rain gauge for meteorology is literally just a cup that is checked and emptied every few minutes. Not necessarily styrofoam, but the vast majority are some kind of plastic. Tools for measuring other aspects of weather have come and gone as technology has changed, but you'll struggle to find a weather measuring tool more traditional than simply checking how full a cup is.

Russia-based Pushwoosh tricks US Army and others into running its code – for a while


Scottish Widows were never even married!

FTX collapse prompts other cryptocurrency firms to suspend withdrawals


Re: Can't have it both ways...

"We did NOT have regulations regarding crypto because it didn't exist until recently."

While I mostly agree with you, I don't think this part is really accurate. If crytopcurrencies are actually currency, then there are already laws regulating currency and they would be covered by those. If they're not really currency and are instead tradeable assets, then there are already laws regulating assets and the trading of such and they would be covered by those. Despite all the sound and fury, there's nothing particularly new or interesting about cryptocurrency. It might be easier for people using them to avoid following the rules, but that doesn't mean the existing rules don't apply.

Microsoft feels the need, the need for speed in Teams


Re: Upgrades

"Combined with: “Where’s that bit of UI gone? I’m sure it was there a moment ago.”"

Indeed. Speeding up the software's response to clicking a button by 16% won't make much difference compared to the 5 minutes spent looking for the damn thing.

Tumblr says nudes are back on the menu – within reason


Re: Do you know...

"citizens of the United Sates (and yes that's awkward but technically 'Americans' includes people, living in Canada - OK stop; you all know what I mean)"

Of course, you mean citizens of the United Mexican States.

Big brands urged to pause Twitter ads until Elon's learned how this all works


Re: hmmm...

"I think there are 3.96 liters per gallon"

There are 4.55 litres per gallon, or 3.79 litres per US gallon, or 4.40 litres per US gallon. Yes, they don't just use a different size gallon, they use two different different size gallons. Fortunately, the confusion can be solved by appropriate rounding. According to the Reg standards converter, all three gallons are equal to 0 Olympic swimming pools, and can therefore be considered equivalent.

InSight Mars lander has only 'few weeks' of power left


Re: Use inclined solar panels

"You need a terrific filter for that atmosphere you're collecting or you'll just blowing more dust over the panels when you try to "clean" them. It would probably require some very tiny pores, which would become gummed up with Martian dust and once the filter is clogged and you can't collect more air your blower can't operate and you're back to square one."

OK, but what if we have a second blower to blow the dust off the filters of the first one?

NASA picks its UFO-hunting – sorry – unidentified aerial phenomena-hunting team


Re: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

Except that there's little evidence the majority of reports involve anything aerial. Some well known UFO reports involve things like fishing boats, oil platforms, a variety of stars, planets and the bloody Moon. Plenty of others are just blurs on a picture or a scratched lens, or just outright faked or invented from nothing. If you're going to come up with a new name for UFOs because they don't necessarily involve flying objects, making the new name just as wrong doesn't really help matters.

Toyota R&D wheels Fujitsu's pseudo-quantum tech out onto vehicle assembly floor


Re: "Inspired by Elements of Quantum Computing" / Poor Naming

Simulated annealing is a well established genetic algorithm technique. Quantum annealing is specific subcategory and has been around since the 1980s. They don't seem to be giving the exact details, but I assume all that's happening here is a hardware implementation of decades old genetic optimisations.

Amid losses, Uber driven to become advertising network


Re: Poof, gone

If Uber could do it cheaper, they wouldn't be losing billions every quarter. Uber only exists because investors keep wasting billions of dollars on it in the hope that at some point it will somehow discover a way to actually make a profit.

SpaceX's in-flight Wi-Fi, Starlink Aviation, takes to the skies



"Oh c'mon! Was it too much to expect Skynet?"

There is already a Skynet satellite communications system. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skynet_(satellite)

NASA AI shows slashing sulfur in shipping fuel cut air pollution at sea


Not a risk

"The noxious gas increases risk of acid rain"

I don't think this is quite the right way to put it. Acid rain isn't a chance-based phenomenon where you roll a die and depending on how much sulphur you've emitted there's a varying chance of acid rain suddenly appearing, and there isn't a threshold above which you get acid rain and below which you don't. Sulphur oxides dissolve in water to form sulphuric acid. If you put more sulphur in the air, you get more sulphuric acid. Emitting sulphur oxides doesn't increase the risk of acid rain, it simply increases the acidity of rain.

This maglev turntable costs more than an average luxury electric car


Re: Hah. but...

"Only a Z bosun based system could possibly"

Presumably that's for turntables intended for use at sea?

California legalizes digital license plates for all vehicles


Re: Why?

"One wonders if the display is scrollable. What OS do they use?"

If it doesn't support marquee and blink tags, what's the point?

Google reveals Pixel 7 phones with 1.7 Stadias of security fixes promised


Re: Support lifecycle still not up to Apple's standards

"So, is it any easier with Androids?"

The reason many people prefer Android over Apple is choice. Is replacing the battery any easier? Depends entirely on which phone you have. A fancy 4-figure Samsung flagship? Probably not. On the other hand, I can change mine in about 10 seconds. Software updates are more of a problem, with Qualcomm being one of the main obstacles. But hardware is almost entirely a design choice by the manufacturer, and it's still very easy to find a phone that you can just pop the back off with a fingernail if that's what you want.

UK politico proposes site for prototype nuclear fusion plant


Re: Teeny weeny horses

Left-pondians don't use imperial units, they use US customary measures. Most of the units names are the same, but volume and weight are both different from British imperial units, and presumably also different from measures used by other empires.

Waxworm's spit shows promise in puncturing plastic pollution


Re: Terms and conditions

"you can't just pour a couple billion tons of those enzymes into the sea to remove those plastics"

I think you mean we probably shouldn't do that. Given sufficient funding, there's nothing making it inherently impossible to do so. I suspect it would take quite a bit more than only a couple of billion tons to have any noticeable effect though.

Those screws on the Apple Watch Ultra are a red herring


Re: Priorities

Indeed, I've always had waterproof watches for swimming, and I'd never consider attempting to replace the battery myself rather than taking it to a proper repair place. There's really no alternative to fiddly gaskets when it comes to sealing things.

That said, pretty sure every watch I've owned could have the battery changed by simply unscrewing the backplate. Keeping it waterproof after you've put it back together might take some care, but at least it's a simple job in principle. Having to hack your way through the display in order to do anything seems a pretty poor design choice even before you start worrying about waterproofing.

The years were worth the wait. JWST gives us an amazing view of Neptune's rings


Re: Yes indeedy

Doesn't even need the clouds; Asimov's "Nightfall" has essentially the same premise of a civilisation not realising the rest of the universe exists due to their planet being in a system with six suns so they never experience darkness.

Nvidia unveils RTX 4090 – but it's the 4080 to watch out for


Caps lock stuck?

Ti, not TI. It's the chemical symbol for the element titanium, not an acronym.

Morgan Stanley fined $35m after hard drives sold with customer info still on them


Re: Jail time

Pretty sure it was meant to be a quote from Animal House.

Actual real-life hoverbike makes US debut at Detroit Auto Show


Actual Translation

It weighs 34.48 adult badgers, has a range of 1819.8 brontosauruses, top speed about 3% of the maximum velocity of a sheep in a vacuum, and can only carry 0.112 of a great white shark.

Sun's magnetic mystery solved by ESA NASA Solar Orbiter



"The resultant collision forms an "S" shape wave in the Sun's magnetic field that emanates from the Sun out into the solar system."

Looks more like a giraffe to me. I guess they've upgraded from the standard spherical cows.