* Posts by StephenTompsett

50 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Aug 2012

When we asked how you crashed the system we wanted an explanation not a demonstration


It suddenly went quiet...

"I thought it was the doorbell"...

Russian ChessBot breaks child opponent's finger


No Safety Barrier

Should have been IR safety barrier as used to protect operators of machine tools like punching machines.

UK chemicals multinational to build hydrogen 'gigafactory'



Ultrafast chargin is going to require it's own infrastructure. Just how many MW for such chrgin are going to be available via the grid without serious upgrades? ant it's only going to be available/economical in busy locations, bad luck if you are in a rural area or at the edges of the country...

Chemical energy is easily transported - LPG was rolled out across the country without major national infrastructure upgrades being required.

Northrop Grumman throws hat in the ring to design NASA's next-gen Lunar Terrain Vehicle


Careful Drivers?

There was at least one 'Fender Bender' - repaired with document covers and duct tape I think....

Russia says software malfunction caused Nauka module to unexpectedly fire thrusters, tilt space station


We stole the software from Boeing, so it should have been OK.

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



Remember the 'Missile Gap' and 'Atomic Bomber'...

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


Just install a Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor ?

USA's efforts to stop relying on Russian-built rocket engines derailed by issues with Blue Origin's BE-4


Re: Capitlaism

Cheaper? Only if you only use the engines/rocket once and throw it away!

Thanks, boss. The accidental creation of a lights-out data centre – what a fun surprise


Door Bell?

A major utility company used to have an 'Emergency Power Off' button outside each door exiting from the main machine room.

The person delivering a pallet of equipment who had been directed to a door opening onto a corridor at the back of the room said: "I thought it was the door bell"...

Why did automakers stall while the PC supply chain coped with a surge? Because Big Tech got priority access


Just too late?

A whole production line brought to a grinding halt by the lack of a cheap part,

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



Is it really progress to throw away four of what were designed to be re-usable rocket engines at each launch.

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


Darwin prize candidate?

150,000 lost UK police records looking more like 400,000 as Home Office continues to blame 'human error'


Apollo computers used to have backup and restore commands called wbak and rbak... lots of opportunity for a slip of the finger...

Super-antique-fragile-and-it's-XP-alidocious, even though the sight of it is something quite atrocious


It appears that to avoid upgrading such systems... They are shutting down all the stores!

Huawei bid to move chip production in-house so it can survive US sanctions will start with a 45nm process – report


Having been bitten, the Chinese will rapidly develop the required technology to lead the world.

Think tank warns any further delay to 5G rollout will cost the UK multiple billions – but hey, at least Huawei is out


Does anyone actually need 5G?

Do you really need to download a movie in seconds?

UK govt reboots A Level exam results after computer-driven fiasco: Now teacher-predicted grades will be used after all


I wonder how many students will drop out of their university courses over the next year?

NHS tests COVID-19 contact-tracing app that may actually work properly – EU neighbors lent a helping hand


Over sensitivity

Why is there so much of a concern that the app may be too sensitive, and is likely to over estimate the risk of infection from people 2m or more away?

This type of problem is inconvenient, and may lead to people quarantining and or getting tested, and may actually help save lives by alerting an at risk person that they have ben in the vicinity of an infected person.

Failure to detect that the user of the app has been in the vicinity of an infected person is likely to be a fatal error - literally!

Microsoft runs a data centre on hydrogen for 48 whole hours, reckons it could kick hydrocarbon habit by 2030


Why not just run diesels on hydrogen? Using hydrogen that is created by using the 'free' surplus energy that PV and wind generators produce in excess of current demand.

Some modification to fuel system and injectors etc, but a possible route to transition to a a 'Greener' system without completely scrapping all the existing generating equipment.

GitHub to replace master with main across its services


Another proposal

Villain and Minion ?

This'll make you feel old: Uni compsci favourite Pascal hits the big five-oh this year


Apollo Domain

Pascal was the system programming language for Aegis and Domain/OS for the Apollo/Domain range of computers

One of the nicest operating and network systems I ever used.

Admittedly most of the application programming I did for CAD/CAM systems was in FORTRAN and C.

Iran military manages to keep a straight face while waggling miracle widget that 'can detect coronavirus from 100m away'


How many has Trump ordered?

That code that could never run? Well, guess what. Now Windows thinks it's Batman


ICL Algo 68

I seem to remember that an old ICL Algol 68 compiler could produce a message "Impossible Happened", that could be worked around by adding a blank card to the stack of cards..

UK cautiously gives Huawei the nod for 5G network gear sales


Who can you trust?

Huawei - nothing proven (yet)... but lots of rumors..

Americans - NSA have form in weakening security both hardware and algorithms

The Swedes - Oops your license has expired?

The Finns - Has provided intercept capabilities to governments...

The British? - Sold off or given away the technology years ago?

The Koreans - ???

Home fibre in the UK sucks so much it doesn't even rank in Euro study


False advertising!

Why is any company allowed to use the term Fibre if it doesn't actually connect to the end user. An inch of fibre followed by half a mile of damp string isn't a Fibre connection!

Possible cut to British F-35 order considered before Parliament


Re: Why cats?

I would rather sit at home in the warm and pilot a RPV!

'Urgent data corruption issue' destroys filesystems in Linux 4.14



General rule of software versions:

Odd numbers good - probably fix bugs that have been reported since last release.

Even numbers bad - introduce new features and bugs!

'Open sesame'... Subaru key fobs vulnerable, says engineer


Re: Weakest link...

Some criminals appear to be willing to expend an awful amount of effort for very small return.

Some will do almost anything anything to avoid 'working'!

Web devs griping about iPhone X notch: You're rendering it wrong


A horned beast?

Spawn from hell?

Hi Facebook, Google, we think we might tax your ads instead – lots of love, Europe x


EU basic principle

"The Commission wants to apply a simple principle" - They want to grab as much money as they can!

The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY


Re: There has to be black pudding

I'm not sure it's permissible for a 'Full English', but I have a preference for the Scottish Stornoway style Black Pudding over the typical English Style. With a runny egg of course.

Emissions cheating detection shines light on black box code


Get the requirement right!

The software did the job it was asked to, pass the 'test' when undergoing an artificial test.

Reminds me of when councils were paid to collect general and recyclable waste separately, but then just dumped it in the same hole!

Your internet history on sale to highest bidder: US Congress votes to shred ISP privacy rules


Don't buy from intrusive adverts!

If people resisted purchasing from intrusive and the 'targeted' or 'tailored' content. The advertisers would stop wasting their money on it. Unfortunately just like SPAM it only needs a few suckers to make the annoyance to the majority of users worth it to the marketing agencies.

Forgive me, father, for I have used an ad-blocker on news websites...


What about photosensitive epileptics

There are times I do not risk visiting certain websites (in particular the web site of a major national newspaper) because you will almost certainly be greeted by numerous tacky flashing adverts embedded in the news. I do not want to risk triggering an adverse reaction in people at risk.

N.B. I would much rather prefer to have a warning that a site may display flashing images, rather than the pointless warning that a site uses cookies, I can delete cookies.

Ofcom cans Virgin Media's Premier League live footy match probe


Please can I have LESS football?

Galileos 11 and 12 live for your (imminent) navigating pleasure



If you don't want to be tracked, why are you using a phone? It's a transmitter, as soon as you switch it on 'they' know where you are!

If you don't want to be tracked, you shouldn't be using ANY electronic device, but then you may still be visible from the hole you leave as you move around.

If you want to be paranoid: It probably wont be long before anyone who doesn't appear to be carrying a switched on phone is regarded as suspicious.

Police Scotland will have direct access to disabled parking badge database


Re: Why badges?

If they are having a 'good day' then they have NO NEED of the space and should leave it for someone who does NEED it.

Apple's Watch charging pad proves Cupertino still screwing buyers



An iPhool and his/her money are easily parted...

Exam board in 'send all' fail: Hands up who knows what the BCC button is for?


I said 'default', the safer option if you regularly send emails to more than one person,

You just have to make a positive decision to change the address mode to TO:, after which action you can't really claim that you did it accidentally.


Why don't more email systems default to using BCC as the addressing mode?

GCHQ to pore over blueprints of Chinese built Brit nuke plants


Presumably they will also inspect everything supplied by Americans, French and indeed everyone else, with the same diligence?

MILLIONS of broadband punters aren't getting it fast enough – Which?


The real problem is the steadily corroding cables to the home...

Unless you change the physical connection, changing ISP isn't likely to give an increase in speed. Its really amazing the data rates that they do manage over the same old corroded damp copper wire intended for telephony, I used to get approx 8MB over ADSL when it was dry, but it would drop to approximately 0MB the day after a good rainstorm, The replacement cable from Virgin has no problems providing me with 100MB+, and the quality of the telephone service has also improived!

Downing Street secretly deletes emails to avoid exposure to FOIeurs


Email isn't (shouldn't be) a filing system...

Important documents should be kept in a version controlled respostory.

Duqu 2.0‬ malware buried into Windows PCs using 'stolen Foxconn certs'


And American, British, French,...

UK.gov mulls three-point turn on three-point turn thanks to satnav. Weeeeeeee. THUD


The 'Three point turn' demonstrates use of gears, clutch, accelerator, together with observation and judgment. Successful completion demonstrates a reasonable level of competence by the driver.

I suspect the reason for the proposal to remove it from the test is the problem of finding a safe stretch of road to perform the maneuver on due to the increasing number of on-road parked cars.

Oracle Team USA sailors admit breaking America's Cup rules


Details of rules breach


Huge erections - or lots of small ones. Checkmate, mast NIMBYs


Questions to ask objectors

Do you own a mobile phone? 99.9% ob objectors will probably own a modern smartphone, in which case the followup question is: How do you expect to use it?

Brit horologist hammers out ‘first’ ATOMIC-POWERED watch


Too many moving parts...

Hands are so steam-punk. An 'Atomic Clock" needs a digital display.

Graphene plus molybdenum oxides yields faster electronics


Electical Engineering?

Has anyone ever considered using Molyslip to speed up an electronic device before?

LG first to flaunt quad-core Qualcomm smartie


Re: 4-sided, Rounded corners...

No... This phone borrows it's aethetics from the entire history of handheld devices, if you want a device to be easily held by one hand and to fit comfortably in a pocket what other shape can you make it?