* Posts by Grikath

1527 posts • joined 9 Feb 2012

SpaceX Starship struts its stack to show it has the right stuff


So... the equivalent of 5 mins of LA daily gridlock? Even less time if you calculate the CO2 produced making all those semistationary wheeled tin cans and the roads they're on into account.

So yeah...


Re: "Mine is bigger than yours"

That would require the ISS to keep spinning, and a sloooooow automated approach by Starship....

Intrepid squid mission may help in kraken riddle of why zero-g makes astronauts sick


Umami.... seriously...

Although as acronyms go this one is ..palatable..

BOFH: When the Sun rises in the West and sets in the East, only then will the UPS cease to supply uninterrupted voltage


Re: Experience

To be fair.. They gave the young lad every possible bit of warning Not To Meddle without actually breaking out the CattleProd™ itself...

Clearly Darwin Award material, that lad...

You start wondering who else he had already ticked off to rate the .....suggestion... he should have a look at the efficiency of the IT department...

Whoop! Robot/human high-fives all round! Oh, my fingers have disintegrated


I believe the aim was for 5.. Plus the double-entendre of "the smallest trumpet"..

Elon Musk's SpaceX bags $3bn NASA contract to, fingers crossed, land first woman on the Moon


Re: To do list

Don't need to..It's all CGI nowadays..

The only question.. Will it be Alphabet or Amazon that will be in on that deal...

Sadly, the catastrophic impact with Apophis asteroid isn't going to happen in 2068


Re: placing it even closer than some satellites in geosynchronous orbits

Urrrr.... you really don't want that to happen....

Asteroids like that ( by current estimates) aren't solid rock, but rather an aggregate clump. If it hits a satellite at the speed it is going the result will not be pretty. At all....

A direct impact by the asteroid would be significant, but not "world-ending" , despite the Doomsayers. But at least it'd hit in one spot. What would happen after a collision is anyone's guess, but the next pass of the remains would make for Interesting Times.

We've seen things you people wouldn't believe. A halo of light polarized by a gigantic black hole's magnetic field...


Well.. The science says that a theoretical black hole of the mass P9 is supposed to have would evaporate ( or explode, depending on your taste ) within nano- , if not femtoseconds after creation. With an event horizon so small that single atoms seem large in comparison.

Not exactly a likely candidate.


Re: Black hole in 'has quite mundane magnetic field' shock!

To be fair...

The field only has to accelerate the plasma up to ~c to avoid the event horizon in an orbital equilibrium. And the plasma can have quite a bit of a run-up to get there, especially in a spiral setup. It doesn't have to race around a tight corner like in the LHC or your typical fusion reactor as well, locally the field is "forward only".

So you can get quite a lot done with a "modest" field.

Boffins revisit the Antikythera Mechanism and assert it’s no longer Greek to them


Re: Must look at this

Well.. the monks that got plundered did write the commonly taught History, while at the same time a different branch tried to Convert the "damned heathens"...

On the other hand, the Danes/Russ/Swedes/northern Slavs(!) didn't go in for Writing Complaints Down much. If it wasn't worth being sung by a Skald, or entrusted to Runes, it wasn't worth mentioning..

So the primary sources we have just might be a tad biased, and not wholly represent the opinion of the Vikingr themselves.

Icon because..

Besides... Those complaining monks were officially Ascetics.. They didn't have any use for all that gold and posessions anyway. Hypocritical bastards..



You don't need a lathe to make the concentric shafts. There's several methods to do this, none requiring a lathe of any kind. Them greeks knew how to Bronze, y'know...

Oh, and the ancient egyptians already had lathes, notably the bow-type and the spring type for wood and stone work. So I think the greeks of the 1st c. BC may just have had a clue about them after a couple of centuries of trade and war and stuff.

Soft-shell robot uses snailfish features to sail though Mariana Trench stress test


The real test...

"What will try to eat it?"

Not entirely tongue-in-cheek, since brilliant as the design is, it also makes the thing look like Food... And meals are few and far between in the deep ocean..

Icon because..

Intel told by jury to pay $2.18bn to VLSI for ripping off two semiconductor patents


Re: completely artificial construction

Dunno about the "artificial construction"...

VLSI is simply the "legal arm" of NXP, which is the chip-fabbing part of the Philips blob. It makes sense in a way to incorporate the patent-wrangling part, given that it's a specialism in and of itself nowadays, and there's a measure of flexibility needed there that you just can't get as part of the main corporate/production body.

Especially when you have to play legal ball in the US, which is ..shall we say.. quite typical when it comes to stakes involving the unholy mess of patents and payouts. Choosing Waco is part of that. It's not as if worthies as Apple and Intel and... don't shop for "friendly" court districts or anything..

This isn't some shady ambulance chaser with some stupidly-obvious US patents trying to wring some cash out of a victim. This is ultimately a slugfight between Philips and Chipzilla involving real patents used in real tech.

And it'll drag on a bit, I reckon.

Wells Fargo patent troll case has finance world all aquiver so Barclays, TD Bank sign up to Open Invention Network


Re: Wonder how this will impact UK banks with no US presence?

Patents are national grants , so a US patent is not valid outside the US. The move is mainly against trolls in the US.

The UK/EU is also not really a place where patent trolls thrive, simply because the payouts on a possible win are much smaller and more based in reality ( starting with the simple issue of requiring someone to actively use the patent for something other than litigation in a lot of cases...) , and the UK/EU patent agencies are ( as yet ) a lot stricter in what they allow as a patent, so there's far less "frivolous"/obvious/insane patents that can be used as ammunition in a case compared to the situation that has evolved in the US.

Nominet faces showdown with British internet industry: Extraordinary vote called to oust CEO, board members


Re: Too little, too late.

"Yes what is it about the people the likes of Nominet and Icann seem to attract?"

The New Court Nobility.

Manages vast stretches of Real Estate™, gets there through Connections, can rebuff any criticism or responsibility through the Network, makes sure to line pockets before the next protegé is up for his/her Due's.

Engineers blame 'intentionally conservative' test parameters for premature end to Space Launch System hotfire


There once was this One Ring

And thus they spake: It Will Be All Right.....

What can the 1944 OSS manual teach us before we all return to sabotage the office?


Re: passengers?

Nononono... You can't call them "customers" .. that implies they have actual rights and expectations...

The correct terms nowadays are "guests" who have a "travel experience".

What does my neighbour's Tesla have in common with a stairlift?


To be fair..

That video that is NOT at the end of the article features some decent and enthousiastic Air Guitar in it...

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


Re: SN8 flight was to test multiple concepts in one go


Plus the fact that this prototype seemed to lack any serious attempt at, y'know, actual landing gear at all.

I've the feeling the craft wasn't expected to land without rapid disassembly, and that it got a lot further than people actually expected. The whole flight showed enough "you really don't want to see this happen" from the engine housing as it was..

Mysterious metal monolith found in 'very remote' part of Utah


attempt at art

which fits the "too much time and money" category.

Weren't there some "pop-up" artists of the Banksy mindset that do this kind of stuff?

One does not simply shove elephants on a ballet shoe point and call it an acceptable measure of pressure


Weird choice, really..

May be a local thing here in Holland, but the standard example for that particular aspect of physics has been the "Supermodel on Spike Heels" for yonks.

This may be because the weight/height ratio for your standard anorexic walking coat-rack and the floor area of spike heels have been pretty much well-defined and relatively stable over decades.

Plus that in any given highschool class there's always at least one female victim volunteer wearing the torture devices available for a practical demonstration.

Trump administration labels WeChat, TikTok ‘threats’ to national security, bans transactions with both


It's more like... What in that sentence does not describe most of the internet nowadays?

Where's the ban on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc. etc. etc........ ?

After all, they do exactly the same, if not worse....

We'll pay £400k for a depth charge-proof robot submarine, says UK's Ministry of Defence


Re: Thats our whole navy ...................

Us cloggies will probably send one of our 7 Provinces frigs along. Besides the ability to play C&C for (part of) the escorts, they've got a long-range anti-ballistics suite which the UK hasn't got. ( besides the usual ASW/AA stuff all dutch frigs have.)

I'm willing to bet a beer or two that the US ship will be of a similar bent. It'd plug a major hole in the defense bubble, given that a lot of the local theoretical Baddies can lob Nasty Stuff over a couple 100 miles nowadays...

University ordered to stop running women-only job ads


Well... It's the TUE.. The "ability" bit for any faculty position is a given.. They've got no "fluffy subjects" there.. It's engineering and/or applied physics all the way..

Which is the main problem with that 30% goal... There's simply not that many women making a career out of that level of hardcore science.. They're aiming at rougly 5-6 times the fraction of women actually available.. Even if they fish in the international pool, that's quite a tall order.

The Moon certainly ain't made of cheese but it may be made of more metal than previously thought, sensor shows



The Moon may have had overall less metal per olympic-sized swimming pool when she formed, but we also know quite a lot of that did never separate out into something that resembles the lovely little life-preserving dynamo the Earth has.

The Moon, especially the outer bit did cool down rather rapidly, so it's entirely possible that the concentration of metal in the crust is higher than here on Earth. Especially when you realise that the Moon must have received some core material from Theia, and possibly proto-Earth, depending on how big of a Bang that was..

Not so nice, we investigated them twice: EU opens double whammy of inquiries into Apple's biz practices


Re: The worm in the picture doesn't seem right to me

Dunno... it fits the company... centipedes whoopss... millipedes.. are ravenous poisonous predators, so........


Re: The Register has asked Apple, Spotify, and Rakuten for comment.

Yes... a most surprising and unexpected development there....

One wonders what must have happened to have a PR/Legal drone fly over Vulture Central territory in blatant disregard of the strict No-Fly Zone that is usual from the Masters of Fruit..... Maybe they know they're in deep doodoo with this one and are desperately scrambling for all the sympathy they can get?

Icon because...not quite...but close...

'One rule for me, another for them' is all well and good until it sinks the entire company's ability to receive emails


2GB monster

I worked for a PC manufacturer in that era as tech support/repair shop , and having access to Stuff We Never Could Afford Ourselves we did load up a machine or two with ...shall we say... excessive specs..

So yes.. there's been at least one Win95 box with 2 GB because we did build one, to see if it would actually work, mostly.

From memory: Yes it worked, even though any performance improvement past 64MB was actually negligible, and it did have problems addressing the full memory space. It did work pretty well ( and lightning-fast for the time once you got stuff loaded) because we resorted to using the overkill past 128 MB as virtual hard disks. Which did work a treat.

We did get a serious bollocking over it, because welll... Using expensive server-grade hardware for Experiments tends to be Frowned Upon From Above... But hey... For Science!! ;-)

Don't panic: An asteroid larger than the Empire State Building is flying past Earth this weekend but we're just fine


Re: future orbits?

At 16 to a minimum of 5 lunar orbits that gravitational tug is so small that any deviations in orbit would end up in the realm of geological timescale, not human generations.

At its size, a chance encounter with a decent-sized rock would add more random momentum than Earth + Moon could ever do in a couple 100k years.

Edited to add: A gravity assist requires losing mass. Unless that rock has a method of shedding mass as it's going into a gravity well, it's a zero-sum equation coming out.



Given that lunar orbit equates to one light-second ( give or take a couple of olympic swimming pools) ...

This approach will be at 13 light-seconds, closest approach within a reasonable timeframe will be 5 light-seconds, and the orbits don't even intersect. It just comes close...ish.. For a given value of "close".

Not a threat, but close enough to toss a probe or two at it to see what it's made of now that his Muskness seems to have this rocketry thing mostly sorted out.

Trump issues toothless exec order to show donors, fans he's doing something about those Twitter twerps


Not so sure it will be ineffective...

IANAL, but,,,,,

The problem for the big social media platforms may not be that this executive order may or may not be effective in and of itself. Their big problem is that it weakens their protection on one of the more contested powers on their platforms: their ability to edit or even delete self-published material, even though anything published may well not be illegal/obscene/whatever at the location of publishing.

Trump is, by far, not the only one that has run into the rather...haphazard.. and uniquely US-centric morality of "staff editing" that takes place on social media platforms. He's simply one of the top-profile ones, who doesn't have to run the infamously opague and boobytrapped hurdles to figure out what in your post has offended the Powers that Be on your social platform of choice so that it doesn't get published, or even gets you an appointment with the Banhammer.

Between the litigious nature of US society, and the rather sizeable group of people who feel Offended by censorship actions on social media platforms, the indirect effect ( and possibly actual purpose) of this executive order is the threat to open the floodgates to a deluge of lawsuits which up until now were blocked by that lovely little special protection of those social media platforms. Death by Papercut....

Trump himself may be the self-evident embodyment of the "cockwomble", but even while he may not be the brightest bulb in the bunch, his handlers are not stupid. And the threat of a ton of lawsuits that cannot be directly attributed to the Presidents' Office is a lovely little crowbar.

And so subtle that most news outlets have missed this implication outright.

5G mast set aflame in leafy Liverpool district, half an hour's walk from Penny Lane


Wasn't a proper Scouser...

Seriously... If one of them would have gotten off his/her arse to down a tower, it would have gone down, not just stayed slightly damaged..

And no self-respecting Scouser would contemplate risking to be seen in public on an electric bicycle... It's just... Nope...

Not going Huawei just yet: UK ministers reportedly rethinking pledge to kick Chinese firm out of telco networks by 2023



This thing has doing the rounds for a bit now, but the whole Huawei Spai Thing™ is getting rather silly...

Especially since any system Huawei may be able to incorporate in their gear to Spy On US runs into the same problem the also much-discussed Three-Letter wishlist item of a government-mandated backdoor into mobile devices in the Land of the Free... It simply doesn't work in the end.

Whether Huawei would use a hardware, firmware, or software approach to accomplish a Phone Home service other than proper diagnostics, it would be found and probably cracked within months if not weeks. It'd simply be a matter of who, not when. Whether "Intelligence", White/Black/Grey Hats, (commercial) vulnerability research, or plain oldfashioned tech-savvy criminal organisations, there's too much glory and $$ to be had from cracking that system if it were actually there. Everybody + Dog that is remotely capable would be all over it.

Yet we still have to see a single shred of credible evidence. And I doubt that Vulture Central would miss the chance to blow up the front page in extra bold capitals if there was, and they could nail an exclusive.

And as yet.... nothing.

Meet ScrAPIr, MIT's Swiss army-knife for non-coders to shake data out of APIs (It's useful for pro devs, too)


Re: our tech team is busy enough as it is

No doubt quickly edited in while IT was checking for "interference in the WiFi Matrix" while helpfully checking the window hinges for Anomalies. Just a friendly service by your local techie...

If American tech is used to design or make that chip, you better not ship it to Huawei, warns Uncle Sam


I can see this going well....

"Essentially, chips manufactured overseas using US software or hardware cannot be shipped to Huawei or any of its subsidiaries without Uncle Sam's permission. That means that even if the semiconductors were commissioned or designed by Huawei and manufactured by foundries outside of the States, the chips will still be subject to export limits if the manufacturing processes use any US equipment or design tools. "

Between the mess that is the USPTO when it comes to patents and its relation (ahem) to other patenting agencies elsewhere in the world, corporate cross-licensing, and corporate presence demands, what exactly is "US software or hardware" ? Or is "the US" trying to Claim it All if there's even a shred of "US technology" in a production/supply line? That'll go down well...

And with the way this is stated, well after the fact as well.. This would apply to machines/production lines that may well have been built/ordered years ago...

I can see this one turning to Interesting Times if they're really going to put their foot down on this. And not for Huawei or ZTE.

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you


Redmond Ribbon.

With the possible pictorial of a noose topped by a bow-tie..

Wake up, Neo: Microsoft mulls using your brain waves or body heat to mine crypto-currency while viewing ads


Re: Creepiness factor

In a sense, the technology is already here...

Any of the methods of measurement mentioned in the article , including the brainwaves, are established, if sometimes experimental, technology and have been demonstrated to work. Quite a lot of them actually are used in practical applications and research aimed at the Betterment of Mankind ( and as always, military applications..) . The aim there is usually control/interface, but something has to be measured to be used as an input...

Allowing for maturing of currently experimental/developing control tech, which we will see if this whole AR/VR thing really does become practical one day, and before that in gaming consoles ( of which quite a bit is there already..) it's simply like tracking the mouse cursor and registering clicks. The same kind of data.. Has a very legitimate purpose for the system, can very much be abused...

Which is why I wondered why they'd bother to patent this at all.. Until I realised we're dealing with the USPTO here.. The one allowing for Rounded Corners, and the addition of "on a mobile device" to well-established tech, and....

Fright at the museum: Bored curators play spooky Top Trumps on Twitter over who has the creepiest object


Re: A few years ago in Cornwall

Meh... I know Radboud University in Nijmegen still has its old Pathological collection.

If the Anatomical Museum, showing off what the finest of surgical hands can produce in displays of the human anotomy how it should look, the Pathological Museum has all the Stuff That Went Wrong.... And the usual 18th/early 19thC Curiosa to boot.

You do have to book in advance though, it's only open on appointment.. And... not everyone manages the full exhibit... 3:-)

So how do the coronavirus smartphone tracking apps actually work and should you download one to help?


Bluetooth (alone) won't work.

The granularity of the system is several times larger than the actual direct infection radius of anyone actually infected. Even with bad reception you're talking 5 meter radius, running up to 10 meters. That's a lot of of area where people can be in, and be in the "watchlist". Especially over two weeks, the supposed incubation period of Covid/SARS2

This means that the "alert bubble" is orders of magnitude wider than it needs to be. This also means that the spread of the alert/virtual infection in this system is several orders of magnitudes faster than the Real Thing™. In short, within a week or two everyone using this app will have been "infected". No difference from a total lockdown. This is "basic" math used in modelling, including epidemiology.

So unless a Bluetooth solution also includes mitigation or selection it's practically useless. It must at least consider frequency of contact and proximity to avoid you being "tagged" because of a one-off "contact" two weeks ago. And a lot of other things to give at least a decent approximate of the chance you have indeed been in infectuous contact with someone who has developed Covid/SARS2.

Else it's just a panic-spreader. Well before any issues over privacy, slippery slopes, and a very ..insidious.. introduction of mass surveillance in our "free" society.

COVID-19 is pretty nasty but maybe this is taking social distancing too far? Universe may not be expanding equally in all directions


Re: Quantum Mechanics?

Ummm... This is stuff at the macro scale. Very much macro.

So definitely not a quantum effect, whichever way you look at it.

Are you extracting the urine, ESA? Why, yes it is, from Moon dwellers to build homes out of lunar regolith. Possibly


Why ever?

So they're proposing locking up the only recyclable nitrogen source by using it for building projects, making it unusable for anything else....

Like that hydroponics plant that scrubs the CO2 and replenishes that precious, precious oxygen...

Well thought out, that plan....

Good luck pitching a tent on exoplanet WASP-76b, the bloody raindrops here are made out of molten iron


Re: Puzzled!

The "it's a gas giant" bit is correct..

Jupiter ( and for that matter, any gas giant) will have Iron Rain somewhere as well. With enough metal content, the inner temperatures will make it inevitable. The difference with WASP is that one side of the planet gets stoked up hard enough that this iron actually reaches the surface layers where we can detect it, instead of being hidden by several 1000's of miles of boring methane, ammonia, and water ice.

Astroboffin Kurtz ends 40-year quest to find a predicted one-sided vibrating star that was never seen – until now


Re: Why doesn't the red dwarf bulge too?

It will have a bulge.

However.... A red dwarf is several shades more dense than the outer layers of the, much hotter, real star that we see the bulge on. So it'll be there,only very much smaller, probably too small to detect from here.

Exactly how much.... Well , that's why they put a math boffin on it. Napkin-fu won't cut it here.

AMD, boffins clash over chip data-leak claims: New side-channel holes in decades of cores, CPU maker disagrees


All of them should be....

The attack requires the attacker to run his own code on your machine. This means a side channel attack is the least of your worries, since you've been pwned already. Once that happens your flavour of OS or hardware isn't exactly relevant anymore, isn't it?

Raspberry Pi goes 2GB for the price of 1GB in honour of mini-computer's eighth birthday


Re: Better options

"then spend on a case, power supply, disk, USB hub, etc., "

Why? Most people who play around with Pi's tend to already have most, if not all of that stuff... Except maybe the case.. Then again.. Half the fun is making a case for it yourself. Mine's currently posing as an older PS2 while making my "smart" TV actually Do Stuff. I've made several others, in various flavours, for friends. Because it's Fun, and not everyone wants their tech visible.. Hell, one is literally a basket case...

Huawei claims its Google Play replacement is in 'top 3' app stores after Trump turns off tap to the Chocolate Factory


Re: Individual developers not allowed

Just checked the info the App store has on that, and it's not as if they don't allow individual developers.

It's just that they make it pretty clear ( use of services : 7.3 If You wish to use the Services in order to offer Paid Products to Users You must enter into a Merchant Service Agreement with HUAWEI.) that they only allow paid apps if you're a company. Something-something taxes.... It's not as if they're making a big secret out of it. In fact, they're terribly up-front about it, and make the neccessary information blindingly obvious to find.

And honestly, selling apps through an app store is (international) trade, and as far as I'm aware that requires having a company in most jurisdictions. Even if it's just a one-man company. Because something-something-taxes.


Besides the question: "why would you even want most if not all of that stuff on your phone", the answer is "yes".

If any of those apps even work within the Great Firewall, most chinese have no real need for them, given that they tend to use social media apps that are not "USA!, USA!" branded or maintained.

Outside the Great Firewall, you don't need an app store, given that you only have to log in, or sometimes even simply go to, one of those sites through a mobile browser when you haven't got the app installed, and you get bombarded nagged to death forced suggested that their spyware feature-laden app can be downloaded straight from the site at the click of just One Button.

25 years of Delphi and no Oracle in sight: Not a Visual Basic killer but hard to kill


Re: Still use Delphi

I think he was referring to memory usage. 4Gb sounds about right for Win10.

After all, when it comes to running programs, it's the bits that sit in memory that matter, not the bits that sit in storage. Although with the rise of the SSD even that becomes a little fuzzy, given that you can park a lot in virtual memory if cutting-edge performance isn't your main goal, and hardly notice the difference at the user end.

Huawei to the danger zone: Now Uncle Sam slaps it with 16 charges of racketeering, fraud, money laundering, theft of robot arm and source code


Re: Wow, DC is really out to get Huawei...

What national security card?

These accusations are a tad more specific than the "Dey Haz Spai Chipz In Dere. Cuz We Sez So!" guff we've been tired of hearing about so far. And they all come down to "They spied on us!! ( Poor us.. [cryface] )" , even though industrial espionage is so common and bog-standard you should expect it and account for it.

Huawei certainly isn't angelically innocent, but the DOJ had better come up with some solid, and public, evidence if they don't want to come out of this with a scorched bum and an even less credibility in the "we're not a political tool" department.

Astroboffins agog after spotting the first repeating fast radio burst that pings every 16 days from another galaxy


Re: Carefull

Welll.. I dived into the the Arxiv article, and noted the estimated distance of 485 million light years...

So accounting for redshift, the original opus would have been done in far-UV or low Gamma.. Now that's proper Vogon poetry for you... Gets you right to the bone..


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