* Posts by S4qFBxkFFg

621 posts • joined 6 Feb 2012

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This is AUKUS for China – US, UK, Australia reveal defence tech-sharing pact

S4qFBxkFFg

"Australia previously planned to build diesel-electric subs in conjunction with a French manufacturer – a contract that is about to be terminated without putting a boat in the water. Nuclear-powered boats can run submerged for longer and more quietly, and do not have to vent exhaust gases."

AFAIK, a diesel-electric submarine when it's running on battery power, is significantly quieter than a nuclear-powered one (because there are certain non-silent processes, such as cooling the reactor, that have to run constantly): am I out of date here?

Good news: Jeff Bezos went to space. Bad news: He's back

S4qFBxkFFg

"Had they paid workers correctly and paid fair share of tax, they wouldn't have money to spend on such vanity projects..."

That's quite possibly correct.

"...and at the same time governments would have funds to continue meaningful space exploration."

I would be very sceptical that the state of the USA space program would be much improved by Bezos being taxed at 100% of his wealth; the small percentage of that that made it to NASA would probably be allocated by Congress to their local interests (e.g. Boeing and the SLS).

Not a baaa-d idea: Embracing the eunuch lifestyle slows ageing – for sheep anyway

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: How about...?

"mail hormones"

I remember, in those terrible times before adblockers, seeing adverts for those all over the www.

UK urged to choo-choo-choose hydrogen-powered trains in pursuit of carbon-neutral economic growth

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: No all electric

"Or if third rail is unacceptable (why?)"

There are probably other reasons, but if the local "kids just being kids" decide to discard a shopping trolley onto the track, the consequences stand to be more expensive; in both cases, the line has to be closed and a man in an orange waistcoat sent to remove the item, but if the offending trolley has become part of a high voltage electricity circuit shorted to ground (I assume 1st and 2nd rails are kept at 0V?), some other stuff probably has to happen beforehand.

John McAfee dead: Antivirus tycoon killed himself in prison after court OK'd extradition, says lawyer

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Re: It's A Very Complicated Story...

"Christ, he was 75 and faced 30 years in a US jail."

I could imagine him carrying out his own defence and requesting a reduction to life.

Seriously though, it all feels depressingly unnecessary. These problems could maybe be avoided if taxation was simplified and applied at a far earlier part of the transaction chain. (Yes, I'm aware of some of the reasons why that wouldn't survive the legislative process required; we can still wish.) There'd be less need for harsh enforcement if collection was easier.

SpaceX spat with Viasat: Rival accused of abusing legislation to halt Elon's Starlink expansion

S4qFBxkFFg

I found this amusing: https://spacenews.com/viasat-books-falcon-heavy-for-viasat-3-launch/ (still planned for this year, as far as I can tell).

Even when the companies are at each others' throats, it apparently makes commercial sense for SpaceX to launch a competitor's satellite.

(It looks like they wanted different providers for each launch: the other two are Ariane and Atlas.)

Artemis I core stage finally pointing in the right direction at Kennedy Space Center

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Vertical

Once the solid fuel boosters are stacked, they need to be used within a certain time (several months, AFAIR), so there is a limit to how long it can stand there doing nothing.

I'm sure the contractors involved are hoping for the limit to be busted, so they can present a menu listing all the expensive options for remediation.

"Would sir care for the erection of a full-height non-destructive testing scanning rig, or perhaps for peace of mind, we can do the full lowering, disassembly to booster segments, manual inspection, and restacking?"

Antivirus that mines Ethereum sounds a bit wrong, right? Norton has started selling it

S4qFBxkFFg

I remember back when I was renting, "bills included" was not uncommonly seen in listings, and for about two years, I lived in a place like that (there was no gas or electricity meter in my home, the pipes and wires were physically connected to my landlord's house next door). I probably paid more rent than my neighbours in equivalent homes, but it worked well enough for me.

The point is, for various legitimate or not reasons, there are plenty of people who are not responsible for the electricity supply they use, and therefore have a theoretical incentive to mine until their cards produce the magic smoke, even if it does cost £2 of electricity to mine £1 of ₿ (or, more likely, ETH).

Broadband plumber Openreach yanks legacy copper phone lines in Suffolk town of Mildenhall en route to getting the UK on VoIP

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Sucks to be you, any aliens living anywhere near Proxima Centauri's record-smashing solar flare

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Re: Proxima Centauri is a glimpse of our own future

"So, during the next billion years mankind (or whatever comes after us) needs to figure out how to move the Earth to a higher orbit"

There was a Stephen Baxter novel that addressed this: the idea was to redirect asteroids and comets onto a trajectory towards Earth in such a way as to give it a gravity assist to raise its orbit.

UK.gov wants mobile makers to declare death dates for their new devices from launch

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Force open source instead

Then, there needs to be a way of transferring the legal liability up the supply chain and impose the same obligations on the chip maker.

Ah, you know what? Keep your crappy space station, we're gonna try to make our own, Russia tells world

S4qFBxkFFg

"Angara has flown. Once. In 2014."

It's flown more than that: twice in 2014 (if you count the single core suborbital flight earlier in the year) and once in December last year.

Payloads appear comparable to Proton, even launching from Plesetsk.

You're right to question its viability, I have no idea how they're going to price it, but it will get some government work; there are probably military payloads that can't fit on Soyuz that will launch whether paid for or not.

Debian devs decide best response to Richard Stallman controversy is … nothing

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Re: Not very accurate

"That attention resulted in a number of women coming forward to make accusations against Stallman of inappropriate behaviour over most of his career."

This is the important bit.

These accusations (the details of which I don't know) should be addressed by the relevant organisation: police, prosecutors, or Stallman's employer(s) at the time the alleged behaviour happened. Anything else risks turning into a witch hunt, or the appearance of one.

If the above organisations don't consider there is a basis for an investigation, or one is carried out and doesn't find anything significant, or the process exonerates Stallman, that should be an end to the matter.

UK's National Rail backs down from greyscale website tribute to Prince Phil after visually impaired users complain

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Re: Shame...

"He also missed out on getting a telegram from his wife."

I'd be interested in what the telegram plans are if she is still going strong on 21/04/2026.

Openreach out and hike prices on legacy fixed-line products: Broadband plumber pulls trigger after Ofcom gives the nod

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: We've switched to LTE

"There is literally no other connectivity available from any provider on any infrastructure - and no roadmap or plans for that to change."

Starlink? Pricey, but it should be fine for your latitude.

Fire takes out Japanese chip plant, owner Renesas warns of more silicon shortages

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Their chips are down

Hmm, the spring might be a bit worrying to deal with, maybe compressed air would work.

edit: Or just a smaller engine to start the main one, e.g. lawnmower/chainsaw size.

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Their chips are down

Going further, I often wonder if it's still possible to build a (road legal) car that contains no electrics, let alone electronics. I cannot think of anything in particular that would be impossible: compression ignition systems exist, pumps can be geared to the shaft, lights of various colours can be generated with combustion, etc. etc.

Something to investigate if I ever acquire undeserved billions, I think the "Ampa" would be a good name for it.

(A/m/Pa = Amps per metre per Pascal = inverse Tesla)

What could possibly go wrong? Sublet your home broadband to strangers who totally won't commit crimes

S4qFBxkFFg

Sounds like Hola, but with the difference being cash rewards rather than use of the VPN: https://www.theregister.com/2015/06/10/hola_gets_holes_poked_in_client_lulzsec/

It was a bad idea in 2015, and it's a bad idea now.

Boldly going where Elon Musk will probably go before: NASA successfully tests SLS Moon rocket core stage

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Musk

I'm sure that if ULA (owned by Boeing and Lockheed) were allowed to compete with SLS, they could. They have tentatively studied making a triple core version of Vulcan, and that could probably be taken further (there were serious plans for a Delta IV with 7 cores at one point).

Someone defeated the anti-crypto-coin-mining protection for Nvidia's 'gamers only' RTX 3060 ... It was Nvidia

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Re: The Coming of the Bots

Anyone who has played Universal Paperclips knows how that ends.

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

Eventually, things will probably change, there are a few different ways it could happen:

Manufacturing catches up, more chips get fabbed, and more cards get to the retailers (yes, miners will snap them up, but will eventually let them go to the second hand market).

Cryptocurrency prices crash, the miners unplug their kit, least efficient first, and, again, sell cards.

Someone further up the supply chain raises prices to silly levels. At the moment, it's the scalpers and reseller platforms (i.e. ebay) that are taking the profits, there's only so long that sort of money gets left on the table, so we're waiting until either the consumer retailers, card manufacturers, or chip manufacturers decide they want in. If AMD/Nvidia do, expect them to justify it by saying they need to invest in the first option above.

Game developers reassess what their target platform looks like. If your game needs a recent GPU to be enjoyable, you're going to have a bad time.

Telecoms shack in the middle of Scotland put up for auction at £7,500

S4qFBxkFFg

Copper broadband phaseout will leave UK customers with higher bills and less choice, says comparison site

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Re: Emergeny calls

Power over fibre (POF) is a possibility, and it seems like it's enough to run a phone, but may be beyond the competency of Openreach, or whoever they subcontract to yank and chop fibre.

SpaceX small print on Starlink insists no Earth government has authority or sovereignty over Martian activities

S4qFBxkFFg

Starlink on the Moon will be difficult; there are very few stable low lunar orbits (only specific inclinations will work due to the Moon having quite an uneven mass distribution compared to Earth). Maybe they can get it to work somehow, but they can't just stick the same types of satellite into the same altitude and expect a drag-free ride until the electronics fail.

Bitcoin surges, exchanges flooded after Tesla says it bought $1.5bn in BTC, hopes to accept it as payment soon

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: The value of your shares may go up...or down...

"Paying for a Tesla in bitcoin is a risky kind of strategy for Tesla - if they accept it as payment one day and by the time they come to trade their bitcoins on the market, the price crashes through the floor, someone has just made a mug out of them!"

This is addressed in the article:

"...we expect to begin accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for our products in the near future, subject to applicable laws and initially on a limited basis, which we may or may not liquidate upon receipt."

If they're worried about a ₿ crash, they'll convert it to $ as soon as they receive it. I guess they'll convert a proportion of every ₿ sale into $ anyway, depending on how optimistic Musk really feels.

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

S4qFBxkFFg

"It is also possible to alarm onlookers with a custom tint."

That's been possible for a long time; when I was on win95 or 98 (can't remember which) I was seeing it enough to want to customise it, and ended up with a rather tasteful lilac (at least on that particular monitor) instead.

I think this was how it worked, too long ago to remember: http://smallvoid.com/article/bsod-change-color.html

Google QUIC-ly left privacy behind in its quest for a speedier internet, boffins find

S4qFBxkFFg
Stop

Instructions to disable QUIC on Chrome

Type chrome://flags in the address bar.

Where it says "Experimental QUIC protocol" choose "Disabled".

Fedora's Chromium maintainer suggests switching to Firefox as Google yanks features in favour of Chrome

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Re: Chromium is doomed.

The Firefox Nightly app, with an annoying workaround, will allow you to install add-ons. You have to create a collection of your preferred add-ons on https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/collections/ and then select it in the app. Then, Mozilla will graciously allow you to do what should be possible without all this bother.

Five years after US promised crackdown on ticket-snaffling bots, the first prosecutions are in... and are a slap on the wrist

S4qFBxkFFg

"How does one fight scalping?"

It's very simple; price one's products at a point where scalpers cannot make worthwhile profits.

If necessary, start selling at a higher price than the market will bear, gradually reducing until a sale is made.

Be careful where you log into GitHub: Dev visits Iran, opens laptop, gets startup's entire account shut down

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: relying on third-party services

"the EU has been unable to provide an effective shield for companies to trade with Iran in the face of US sanctions"

I'd say more "unwilling" than "unable". If the EU was prepared to bear the consequences, it could prohibit complying with the relevant US rules.

They're obviously unwilling because there would be severe disruption (assuming the US didn't give in to avoid losing the business) until/unless EU equivalents replaced the US institutions - imagine Mastercard, Visa, and every bank that can't do without the USA simultaneously withdrawing from the EU.

SpaceX Starship blows up on landing, Elon Musk says it's the data that matters and that landed just fine

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Doesn't work on the Moon, probably won't work on Mars.

Chuck Yeager, sound barrier pioneer pilot, dies at 97

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I thought this was interesting: Chuck Yeager's 100,000 Foot Zoom Rocket Plane Crash

Apparently, the rocket augmented F104 crash scene in "The Right Stuff" departed some distance from the truth, the linked video tries to give a better idea of what happened.

India seeks chipset manufacturers to make its local GPS alternative fly further into the market

S4qFBxkFFg

"New Delhi wants to spur adoption of NavIC by having a local manufacturer make chipsets that can receive the satellites’ signals"

That seems unnecessarily complicated. It would be simpler to make NavIC support mandatory for anything with satellite navigation technology sold in India. Their market is big enough to matter.

(ISTR Russia doing something similar with GLONASS support.)

UK's Space Command to be 'capable of launching our first rocket in 2022'

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Re: 12 billion announced yesterday on green stuff, another 24 billion announced today....

Don't all these issues already apply to the Royal Navy's nuclear powered submarines though?

It would be nice if the big defence companies could be made to construct some sort of modular reactor that keeps being talked about. One or more could then be plopped into all the RN's vessels, whether above or below the surface.

Once carbon taxes go high enough, the big shipping firms could probably be persuaded to buy a few too.

Tax working from home, says Deutsche Bank, because the economy needs that lunch money you’re not spending

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: charged for entering a shop

Which will be less than the tax for not entering a shop and not buying something.

Somebody's Russian to meddle with UK coronavirus vaccine efforts, but GCHQ won't take it lying down

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Infantile

I am nearly certain that this is overoptimistic, but it would be far better if instead of competition, the work of all the scientists in this field was open access from start to finish. Let the Russians (and anyone with an internet connection) look at "our" data, have the Russian data available to "our" people too.

If this required temporary nationalisation of large parts of big pharma, the situation justifies it.

Effective responses to this virus are far more valuable than giving Johnson/Putin something impressive to say in a briefing.

Why, yes, you can register an XSS attack as a UK company name. How do we know that? Someone actually did it

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Apart from those [restrictions] the Post Office has about addresses in general

Agreed, also, I still get post addressed using the format (taking your examples above):

23-Apr Apartment Street

42 Tenement Road (3-Feb)

Linus Torvalds hails 'historic' Linux 5.10 for ditching defunct addressing artefact

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: bye bye 2038

"I think the HC/HE system is better, none of the no year zero stupidity in the middle."

For those wondering; being rid of the "AD1-1=BC1" issue would be very nice indeed.

From the Department of WCGW: An app-controlled polycarbonate lock with no manual override/physical key

S4qFBxkFFg

"the Cellmate schlong-strongbox sex toy"

As a reminder to headline writers, apparently the company concerned is based in Guangdong.

A 73bn-kg, skyscraper-size chocolate creme egg spinning fast enough to eventually explode – it's asteroid Bennu

S4qFBxkFFg

"73 billion kg of chocolate creme egg"

Ah, an example dating from before Cadbury's resizing exercise.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 debut derailed by website glitches, bots, lack of supply

S4qFBxkFFg

Indeed; it's hard to believe this isn't their preferred outcome. At first glance, they have the strongest of incentives to stop it: margin going to botnet-equipped scalpers is not going to Nvidia('s shareholders). If they wanted to avoid this situation, they'd auction the cards themselves, or set the price at an insanely high level that gradually reduces until inventory shifts.

This is just complicated marketing.

Europe is falling behind in AI, we need to launch our second machine learning-powered satellite soon, says ESA

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: AI for cloud and ship recognition ...

AI has determined that the insertion of the string "AI" into requests for funding to politicians, and press releases, correlates strongly with increased funding, and greater numbers of mentions in mass media.

If you think Mozilla pushed a broken Firefox Android build, good news: It didn't. Bad news: It's working as intended

S4qFBxkFFg

Fair enough - when I loaded the page that's eventually linked from Firefox's notification, it didn't go into that detail, but only mentions that the master password is to be no more, primary password replaces it, and has a brief paragraph about the fact that "master" is a now a bad word.

S4qFBxkFFg

"I've removed my Master Password for now, just so my passwords don't get blitzed."

You may or may not know, but the reason this change is being made, is to get rid of "problematic" English-language nomenclature - the same function will be enabled by something called the "Primary Password".

(To be explicit, the undesirable connotation is with human slavery, where the word "master" would mean a master, sometimes owner, of slaves.)

Now, if I may, I will digress into a rant...

No-one can deny that racism exists, it can be casual, organised, deliberate, accidental, etc. I would hope everyone could agree that whatever adjectives are used, it's bad.

If we consider the deliberate and organised kind of racism - imagine the kind of people who post seriously and enthusiastically on /pol/ (8 or 4) - if they are "out", they may march at protests wearing swastikas, but more likely keep their activities anonymous - expressed online, and in the ballot box. One of their goals (and in the context, it seems obvious and reasonable) is to discredit their opponents - these could include almost the entire political left and centre, as well as most of the right and unengaged.

Now, the relevant part - one of their methods to achieve this goal (and this can be seen being openly discussed on some of their forums/boards) is driving a wedge between those who actively oppose them (a minority) and those who are uninterested, uninvolved, or even "normal".

Even assuming actions like removing the word "master" in favour of "primary" are taken in good faith in pursuit of a better, more equal, society: This is not what the majority of people affected by such changes will think. They will experience inconvenience, and if they make the slightest enquiry as to why, they will associate it with "those BLM people". They will be that little bit less likely to accept genuine anti-racist positions, and perhaps even drift into active racist thoughts and actions.

Don't assume I'm saying people will join the KKK over Firefox breaking their passwords - the point is that this is happening across society - both genuine and false-flag anti-racist positions and actions are being publicised (this could be as simple as some nobody sharing an absurd "loony left" story on facebook/twitter) with the intention of portraying good and necessary responses to racism in our society as extreme, and harmful to "normal decent folk". If this happens enough times, it will not be shrugged off as a one-off.

In nearly all cases of such "wedging" there will be no convincing evidence unless someone is willing to spend their time digging around the extreme-right web.

Please remember this if you are in any sort of position to influence any kind of change that affects others - by all means, take the actions considered necessary to improve society, but think hard on the effects, and how they could be presented - inconveniencing the uncommitted and denigrating the unengaged run the great risk of being nearly entirely counterproductive.

(Rant now ends - I bashed this out in the last ten minutes based on some previously unaddressed thoughts that pulled together when prompted by this master/primary thing Firefox is doing - please let me know if I got anything obvious wrong.)

This PDP-11/70 was due to predict an election outcome – but no one could predict it falling over

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Re: The elevator did it

"Remember when audio systems used to make a noise when your phone received a text or phone call."

ISTR reading that this no longer happens because the phones have changed frequencies, not that the audio systems are less sensitive - I remember it happening in the pre-smartphone days, but not recently (and there has been commonality in the audio equipment over that time).

Pass that Brit guy with the right-hand drive: UK looking into legalising automated lane-keeping systems by 2021

S4qFBxkFFg

"The government is seeking to permit the technology on roads with speed limits up to 70mph (112kph)."

Er - isn't that all of them? (Unless it's "Up to (but not including) 70mph".)

Google extends homeworking until this time next year – as Microsoft finds WFH is terrific... for Microsoft

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: re: lack of variety

"Cats just think of themselves and crap everywhere."

That is untrue; we have two cats, and I must refute: they just think of themselves and vomit everywhere.

(In all seriousness, one of them is genuinely attached to his human flatmates, not just at feeding time; the other has her moments, but often conforms to the stereotype well.)

Intel couldn't shrink to 7nm on time – but it was able to reduce one thing: Its chief engineer's employment

S4qFBxkFFg
Pint

Re: Reliability, security and all that tat

"There is little reason to speculate."

I see what you did there.

Oh deer! Scotland needs some tech smarts to help monitor its rampant herbivore populations

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Reintroduce Wolves & Bears

As they say, "With no natural predators left, deer numbers have increased substantially in Scotland over the past 60 years."

However, lynx would probably be an easier sell: https://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/species/lynx/

Downloading display drivers when the GUI won't work, and keeping the deer in check - busy animals.

Hungry? Please enjoy this delicious NaN, courtesy of British Gas and Sainsbury's

S4qFBxkFFg
Stop

More like "Mortal Dismay"

"an alternative pud option, butterscotch Angel Delight, is a thing of glory"

We all have our preferences, but I can't understand how anyone can even tolerate, let alone like, this - maybe it was ruined by the way our school did it (the pink version, and everyone had to finish, unless they had a doctor's note), but as soon as it was in my mouth I felt the stomach muscles start considering expulsion - it's like it's in the uncanny valley of cuisine - the texture is nearly like food, the flavour is nearly like food... If that wasn't enough, butterscotch - another thing irrevocably ruined, in this case because, somehow, the smell was often present in the dirty nappies I was changing up until a couple of years ago.

It's a good thing I'm trying to lose some waistline, that's put me off lunch, at least.

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