* Posts by Scott Pedigo

182 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Aug 2012


Big Tech begs Congress to pass $52bn chip subsidies bill

Scott Pedigo

Why Always Subsidies?

If the taxpayers are going to pay for a fabrication facility, I think they ought to own part of it.

How about the chip manufacturers issue $50 billion worth of new shares of stock which the U.S. government purchases on the condition that the new capital is used to invest in new fabrication facilities in the U.S.?

Taser maker offers electric-shock drones to stop school shootings

Scott Pedigo

Drones Will Have The Same Problem That Dogs Have


UK's largest union to Arm: Freeze job cuts now

Scott Pedigo

Now That We Are One Arm

we have to watch out for that fugitive doctor who is chasing us!

AI-created faces now look so real, humans can't spot the difference

Scott Pedigo
Paris Hilton

OK, Now Do the O-Faces

And then the people who score really high are going to have to explain to their partners how they have so much experience recognizing them.

India's Reserve Bank deputy governor calls for crypto ban

Scott Pedigo

A Suboptimal Analogy

"One might as well argue that drug trafficking is a rampant phenomenon despite a ban, and therefore drug trafficking should be legalised and regulated," he said.

He should have used human trafficking, or illegal gambling, or some other illegal but still not stamped out activity as a justification for maintaining a law which you know will still be broken.

Drug trafficking is the result of the drugs being criminalized. Making drugs harder to obtain increases their value, creating a highly profitable market for drug merchants. Drug use is caused more by despair than by the physically addictive nature of the drugs. People use them for recreation but mostly to escape their misery, and their misery is often the result of poverty caused by underlying economic issues. Putting people in prison doesn't make them less miserable, and the threat of it doesn't sufficiently deter them from using drugs to escape reality. It does however, fuel the prison-industrial complex, another profitable market.

Sherlock the tobacco in his pipe is a drug.

The best way to combat drug use is by decriminalizing drugs, provide counseling, and provide social services to address economic issues. People ween themselves off of their drug habits when their lives improve.

Twelve years after Intel was fined $1.2bn for unfairly running over rivals, an EU court says: No need to pay

Scott Pedigo
Big Brother

Re: I don't think that means what you think it means.

>> Surely this is doublespeak of the most double plus ungood variety.

Thanks, now I have the song from the Eurythmics 1984 album stuck in my head.

Scott Pedigo

There was a time when...

Dell PCs had a good price-performance ratio compared to the original IBM PC and good IBM PC compatibility compared to the competitors.

At the time, I read that if you ordered several PCs with a given specification, they might not all have exactly the same components, e.g. if you selected a 200 MB HD you'd get a 200 MB HD, but the builders would grab a 200 MB HD from the stock of whatever manufacturer they had on hand.

I didn't care about that, as I wanted just one PC for me. I ordered one, used it for years until it became obsolete, and was happy with it. I alternated between ordering components and assembling my own PCs and being lazy and ordering complete ones if the price was right.

At one point I wanted a Dell PC, but I also wanted an AMD CPU, and Dell didn't offer any. Another time, I wanted a Dell PC, but with Linux and not the Windows OS. When I couldn't get what I wanted, I stopped buying Dell and went back to assembling my own PCs.

Decades later my then employer went through a phase where all the developers got Dell towers and the occasional laptop. Later they switched to giving everyone Lenovo ThinkPads.

But there was definitely a time when I found the Dell Wintel lock-up frustrating, and it DID deny me choice, and probably cost AMD some chip sales. So should Intel get a free pass on that now?

I'm surprised AMD survived, after having to sell off the family jewels and silverware, their fabs and even their own home office (and rent it back). The company was losing a few cents per share, quarter after quarter, year after year. Credit to Lisa Su for turning that around. Miners buying up graphics cards probably was a key factor for the bottom line.

Burning plasma signals step forward in race for nuclear fusion as researchers get bigger capsule for their 192-laser experiment

Scott Pedigo

Re: ... demonstrating self-heating plasma ...

Are you implying that if I stack enough McDonald's Apple Pies in a grid, I'll get an atomic pie-l?

'95% original' film star Spitfire could be yours for a mere £4.5m (or 0.05 Pogbas)

Scott Pedigo

Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

lf you've got 20K or so to drop, maybe go on a tour of the Cosmodrome and combine with a zero-G flight and a ride in a Mig?

I own that $4.5bn of digi-dosh so rewrite your blockchain and give it to me, Craig Wright tells Bitcoin SV devs

Scott Pedigo

Plot For A Film

Film Plot: this claim and legal battle is just a trick to get the real Satoshi Nakamoto to reveal his identity.

Once that happens, the quick-action special ops teams on stand-by for an organized crime syndicate go into action, kidnapping the real Satoshi, with the plan to intimidate or torture him into handing over the keys to the $4.5B worth of BTC.

Like all big heists, the mercenaries each get a payout, but the main portion of BTC disappears, being immediately broken up into smaller amounts and distributed to thousands of wallets.

The authorities are now faced with the uncomfortable choice of either shutting down the cryptocurrency entirely, to prevent the (latest) crooks from profiting from the theft, or else engaging in the enormous task of trying to trace what is designed to be hard to trace, as the money is laundered through ever more transactions, a difficult if not impossible task.

The authorities know if they simply shut the cryptocurrency down, e.g. by declaring it illegal, or by freezing the blockchain and halting any further transactions until the mess can be unwound, that thousands (millions?) of small investors (speculators) will lose access temporarily or maybe permanently to their money and scream very loudly about it.

The organized crime syndicate hopes the authorities will decide the lesser evil is to let them get away with the theft. After all, they routinely pay people to steal valuable art work from museums, and then hide it in secret warehouses, waiting for the statue of limitations to run out. Even if that might not happen in the lifetimes of the current bosses. Eventually the paintings turn up again and can be auctioned off, back to the museums or to rich private collectors. Cryptocurrency is just another commodity for them.

Sherlock because it will all be a big mystery...

Less than PEACH-y: UK's plant export IT system only works with Internet Explorer

Scott Pedigo

We Need Nicolas Cage

as he is the peach specialist.


The inevitability of the Windows 11 UI: New Notepad enters the beta channel

Scott Pedigo

For Me, Windows 10 Jumped the Shark When...

I started getting notifications offering to show me highlights of stuff that got backed up to One Drive during the last year. I presume photos and screenshots. As if my Documents folder, which is being automatically backed up to One Drive, were some kind of social media. Say what?

I find it mildly annoying when even Facebook offers to show me the highlights from my own year's posts, but I can just tell it not to show me those offers and it stops for awhile. I positively hate the feature that offers you to re-share old posts from 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 years ago, because one of my relatives uses it and I find my feed regularly filled up with dozens of old posts that I have no interest in re-reading. Like photos from one of their vacations 7 years ago. If I were interested in some past occurrence, I could go to their page and look through their photos.

But the OS getting in on the act? Gimme a break.

If you're wondering why I'd turn on the automatic backup to One Drive, it's because for the first 6 months to a year after I got a new HP laptop, every Windows 10 update (which you can only postpone, not skip) would break the NVidia graphics driver and require me to reinstall the original OS version from the emergency restore partition and reinstall all my apps. Nothing else worked, not manually replacing the driver, not going back to a Restore Point, nothing. You get tired of reinstalling all your apps every month or so, and having to manually save and restore all your data every time as well.

Samsung adds non fungible token trading app to its tellies

Scott Pedigo
Thumb Down

Surpise Credit Card Bills Likely

Sound like there is a class action lawsuit in Samsung's future, after many cases where children inadvertently manage to spend thousands on in-game tokens in the TV apps, where parents have given Samsung or Google a credit card number when prompted during the TV setup, or linked the TV to some existing account, and failed to subsequently find the TV or app configuration for preventing access or limiting the charges.

We went through this with phone apps already, with parents being dinged by telcos with surprise monthly bills running into the thousands making the news and causing a public outcry.

Microsoft Paint + car park touchscreen = You already know where this is going

Scott Pedigo

The Volvo Estate

...appears to be pulling out, but has overheated and the radiator is spewing coolant.

Boffins' first take on asteroid dust from Japanese probe: Carbon rich, less lumpy than expected

Scott Pedigo

Ooooo Laaaaa

Imagine some Martians having the same idea, that bacteria from Earth seeded their planet, thinking,

Martian Logic: "Cool, if our DNA originally came from bacteria from Earth, then it must be a very hospitable planet for us! Let's go there and breathe the fresh air!"

Developer creates ‘Quite OK Image Format’ – but it performs better than just OK

Scott Pedigo

Re: Pronouncing...

Are you playing coy with me?

The monitor boom may have ended, says IDC

Scott Pedigo

Re: Is it wrong

>> That I have 12 identical monitors on arms, and another 4 "close to identical" also on arms?

You wouldn't happen to be El Reg Mission Control would you?

I haven't heard what happened to any Lego astronaut in a while.

Scott Pedigo

WFH Spoiled Me With A Larger Monitor Than At Work

At work I have a standard sized monitor, I think 24". Eventually we'll all get 2 monitors.

At home I'm using a 40" 4K Samsung TV as a second screen connected to my 13" work laptop.

The TV has multiple HDMI ports, so I also connected my own 17" laptop and can switch inputs using the remote.

Note: a standard HDMI cable didn't work reliably -- I had periodic blackouts of the screen.

A purchase of a premium HDMI cable rated for 4K bandwidth solved that issue.

Popular password manager LastPass to be spun out from LogMeIn

Scott Pedigo

Re: People still use Lastpass?

The user experience is only one consideration.

Some others are:

- the encryption / decryption are done locally

- the ability and ease to hook into the company's authentication system, e.g. LDAP or some other SSO

- where the passwords are stored if the company is not based in the U.S.

- the ability to set and enforce rules on managed office laptops / desktops to prevent the user from storing company passwords in their private password manager or vice-versa

Lastpass ticks a few boxes that not all the others do, which is why a company might select it.

Academics horrified that administration of Turing student exchange scheme outsourced to Capita

Scott Pedigo

Re: May be they should send some Christmas hampers/party gifts to No 10

I first read that as Christmas hamsters. Which sort of fits when you're talking cronyism.

What a bunch of bricks: Crooks knock hole in toyshop wall, flee with €35k Lego haul

Scott Pedigo

Re: The Lego brick patient expired a few years ago

Was the Lego doctor sued by a Lego lawyer?

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

Scott Pedigo

Re: FAA -- Environmental Champions?

>> harassing SpaceX probably makes a bit of a change from bothering aircraft modellers

It's a mixed bag with the FAA.

A long time ago, I used to go parachuting. I still have a subscription to the USPA (United State Parachute Association) magazine. The organization helps protect the rights of skydivers, and they work closely with the FAA to do that.

There's the occasional story of some people who want to keep the local public airport only for their own use and deny skydivers the right to use it. Then the USPA will help the local skydiving business to lobby the FAA to get them to enforce the law or regulation which guarantees the skydivers access to the airport.

The other side of the coin is that occasionally the FAA tries to introduce some onerous restrictions on skydiving, based on some rationale which doesn't make sense, and the USPA has to lobby against it.

Tim Cook: Sideloading is a disaster and proposed App Store reforms would harm user privacy and security

Scott Pedigo

The Walled Garden

Way back in the day when MP3 players were all the rage, I was excited to purchase one of those touch screen iPods with apps that looked more or less like an iPhone without the phone part. It worked great, but one thing really annoyed me: being forced to use iTunes to get MP3 files onto and off of it. There were any number of wannabe collection managers for MP3 files. I found all of them tedious. I was happy enough just to rip my music CD-ROMs into directories organized by artist. It maddened me that I couldn't just drag them onto the iPod via USB cable, but instead had to import them into iTunes and create a playlist for transfer.

For an ecosystem that was supposed to be friendly to non-technical users, it was maddeningly hard to explain to my then girlfriend, who didn't at all understand the concept of syncing a playlist on a computer with her player and was forever needing help.

More than app store, the music store with it's iTunes software represented to me the gatekeeper. The walled garden is one of the reasons I opted for buying my own Android phone, even though my employer would have given me a free iPhone.

Even though I avoid Apple products, opting for Windows or Linux desktop and Android phones, I'm bothered by the idea of other companies wanting to have their cake and eat it too: offer their apps through the app store (profiting off of the reputation Apple has cultivated for being more secure, letting Apple test and host their apps), while going around the T&C to keep all the income generated from their apps.

It looks like free-loading to me.

US declares emergency after ransomware shuts oil pipeline that pumps 100 million gallons a day

Scott Pedigo

Re: "Our pipelines can be hacked but the election was the most secure ever”

>> "Our pipelines can be hacked but the election was the most secure ever”

Could easily be true.

People might choose to infer that "most secure ever" equates to "was secure", but that would be just one interpretation, the other being "our election had slightly fewer gaping security holes than the previous elections".

Scott Pedigo
Big Brother

The gang has also shared evidence that it has made charitable donations...

Al Capone was also viewed by some as a modern day Robin Hood. The St. Valentine's Day Massacre got him a new name: "Public Enemy Number One".

As noted in previous comments, the hackers involved might be Russian. If so they might be state-sponsored, state look-the-other-way, or otherwise. They could be from anywhere. But wherever they are from, one the U.S. authorities know their identities, then there future travel prospects are limited. A vacation even years later to a seemingly safe former block country could result in an arrest on an Interpol warrant and deportation to the U.S.

WTH are NFTs? Here is the token, there is the Beeple....

Scott Pedigo

There are also existing PoS-based blockchains

I looked into buying a $10 NFT and a colleague reported that the current gas price for the transaction would cost $80 (for the fractional Ethereum) (plus $12 to link a wallet, and another 5% website transaction fee). Needless to say, I declined to engage in such a lopsided purchase. I started thinking that Ethereum was a PoS-based blockchain :-)

I look forward to Ethereum's change to Proof-of-Stake based processing that was mentioned in a previous comment. I'm curious as to what will be the result.

UK's National Cyber Security Centre recommends password generation idea suggested by El Reg commenter

Scott Pedigo

Re: Biometric password

>> It is most common to analyze the design of the sphincter

I'll need a copy machine for that.

It's wild the lengths Facebook engineers will go to find new ways to show you inane ads about tat: This time, AR...

Scott Pedigo

Create An Infinite Ad Loop

Buy several pairs of AR glasses and wearing them in front of each other.

When the Facebook glasses show you an ad for a beer, then the Google glasses underneath them see you are looking at a beer and offer you a different beer.

Then your second pair of Facebook glasses underneath the Google glasses sees the beer the Google glasses were offering and shows you another beer, which the Google glasses see on the first pair of Facebook glasses...

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

Scott Pedigo

After You've Checked Out "Iron Sky"...

have a look for "Mad Heidi" and check out the teaser.

The tentative plans are to start filming this fall in Switzerland.

Former Microsoft tester sent down for 9 years after $10m gift card fraud

Scott Pedigo

Volodymyr Kvashuk -- Is that Russian for....

full load o' my cash?

No Mo'zilla for about 100 techies today: Firefox maker lays off staff as boss talks of 'difficult choices' and funding

Scott Pedigo

I still use it, but...

they annoyed me greatly when they stopped allowing me to install my own plugins, that I wrote myself, in my own Firefox installation, in the name of increased security.

Yes, I know why they did it (to stop naive people from installing possibly infected plugin files they downloaded from who knows where). Yes, I could still do that in a developer version, and yes I know that somehow, by some arcane process, I could submit my plugins for official approval. But I was never able to figure out the latter, and couldn't be bothered to do the former, and my plugins weren't anything that the general public would have been interested in, just some helpful menu items for some browser-based game I was playing. But it definitely killed my enthusiasm for learning Javascript and how to tinker with web pages.

What was Boeing through their heads? Emails show staff wouldn't put their families on a 737 Max over safety fears

Scott Pedigo


Manufacture Crap And Sell

Scott Pedigo

Re: "the FAA remains focused on [..] returning the Boeing 737 MAX to passenger service"

>> It seems that the plane should be retired and a new one made from scratch, properly this time.

That's what I was thinking. They should stop production and scrap the existing planes.

From what I've read in various news articles, they needed to add bigger, heavier engines to get more power or better fuel efficiency, and this changed the center of gravity to the rear, making the aircraft less stable. To compensate, the MCAS was added.

I suppose the proper thing to do would have been to change the engine mounts or move the wings farther forward, but doing that would have counted as a significant design change and necessitated a costly re-certification. Which is what they were trying to avoid.

I recall several old adages, such as "There's never time to do it right the first time, but there's always time to do it again.", or "You can pay me now, or you can pay me later."

Like all engineers, software developers, and any other professional who has a sense of responsibility and takes pride in their work, sometimes I want to choke the bean counters.

Interestingly, for fighter planes, this kind of instability is important for superior maneuverability. There are bombers and fighters which are difficult or impossible for human pilots to manually control, and fast acting computers are needed to constantly adjust the control surfaces to stabilize the flight. But there, the trade-off makes sense.

National Lottery Sentry MBA hacker given nine months in jail after swiping just £5

Scott Pedigo

Might be worth investing £5

for the fun of seeing some hacker get a vacation in the slammer.

I could imagine getting some debit type credit cards, loading them up with £5 each, setting up some e-mail accounts under various usernames, setting up some Amazon or other on-line vendor accounts using those same usernames, and deliberately using the same username / e-mail and password on some other crap websites, and then waiting.

When some skript-kiddie get the credentials from the inevitable breach, he/she can order a maximum of £5 worth of stuff.

Chance of skript-kiddie being identified and getting caught? No idea, so don't know if this would pay off versus just losing the £5 quite often.

But if the chance of getting caught were high, it would be worth the £5 to see them get busted.

Does it count as entrapment if it is not the police doing it?

Remember the Dutch kid who stuck his finger in a dam to save the village? Here's the IT equivalent

Scott Pedigo

De-Nuking It From Not In Orbit

Many decades ago, in my first job after getting an engineering degree, I worked on the staff of a nuclear power station. There I heard the apocryphal tale of a mishap due to the Big Red Buttons (yes, plural) being inadvertently pressed. In the control room, there were two big red emergency shutdown buttons for the reactor (presumably mirrored on the other side of the control room for the second reactor). Both had to pressed at the same time to initiate an emergency reactor shutdown.

In addition to not being something you'd want to do accidentally, due to dropping the power production off the grid, that would have the additional consequence that due to some basic nuclear physics, it would require many hours to restart the reactor. Why: at steady state, the number of neutrons being released by fission is equal to the number consumed by (a) causing more fission, i.e. the chain reaction, and (b) absorption by nuclei of other elements, e.g. atoms of water molecules, atoms of iron from the reactor vessel, and... radioactive decay products of previous fission components, some of which had a high affinity for neutrons, and are referred to as neutron poison. As the fission daughter products with a relatively short half-life decay, the amount of neutron poison increases. If these aren't being fed by a steady stream of extra neutrons from an ongoing reaction, which upon neutron absorption converts them to different isotopes, they'll hang around for awhile before further decaying. When the amount spikes after reactor shutdown, it reaches a level where a chain reaction becomes impossible, because too many neutrons will be non-productively absorbed. At that point, there is nothing to do but wait a few hours for those decay products to decay further. With the concomitant loss of revenue from not generating and selling the power. At the time it was probably about $1 million worth of lost sales.

The Big Red Buttons didn't have any covers, but they were spaced far enough apart that it would be impossible for a human to press both with one hand.

Unfortunately, when an operator, who was wearing a hardhat, leaned back in his swivel chair, facing away from the console, he fell over backwards, and the hardhat was just wide enough to hit both buttons.

Homeland Security backs off on scanning US citizens, Amazon ups AI ante, and more

Scott Pedigo
Big Brother

The Motivation For Face Scanning Is (Presumably)...

to recognize wanted criminals, people on a no-fly list, or potential terrorists, but...

recent shootings at U.S. military bases were:

(a) Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hawaii : a 22 year old disgruntled service member, who killed two contractors and then himself (probably not terrorism)

(b) Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida : a Saudi pilot in training, at the base for two years, who bought a Glock 9 in a local gun store, and then used it to shoot some sailors at the base, killing three (categorized as terrorist attack)

I don't know what the existing facial scanning may have stopped (because whatever it was didn't happen, and didn't make the news), and same for the "Muslim ban" on flights from certain countries (conveniently not including Saudi Arabia), but for sure neither of those was able to stop the latter terrorist attack, whereas better vetting and monitoring of the Saudi pilot might have.

UK Home Office: We will register thousands of deactivated firearms with no database

Scott Pedigo

Waiting for the inevitable...

lawsuit from Oracle, because they didn't get to bid on a contract for it.

Here we go again: US govt tells Facebook to kill end-to-end encryption for the sake of the children

Scott Pedigo
Big Brother

Low Barr Would Have Been Happy If...

Trump's conversation with Zelensky had been over an end-to-end encrypted Facebook Messenger connection, instead of listened in on by NSA / State Department / Intelligence Service / Russians / ? / and Barr himself. It sort of came around before it even got to go around.

Wombats literally sh!t bricks – and now boffins reckon they know how

Scott Pedigo

They should make dice for D&D players out of the cubes.

They when a player complains that they "rolled shit", it will be literally as well as figuratively true.

Will someone plz dump our shizz on the Moon, NASA begs as one of the space biz vendors drops out

Scott Pedigo

Robidog to the rescue

If we can first get a Robidog planted by one of the cheapo space biz vendors, then the astronauts can use baggies but leave them in the refuse container, rather than flying them home.


Get rekt: Two years in clink for game-busting DDoS brat DerpTrolling

Scott Pedigo

Who Will He Deny Service To Now?

All his base now belong to the inmates.

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin unveils 'Blue Moon' lander, making it way too easy for manchild Elon Musk to take the piss

Scott Pedigo

Considering What The Rocket Reminds Me Of...

it should carry TWO moon landers.

Samsung's tricksy midrange teasers want your flagship catch

Scott Pedigo

Doesn't Replaceable Battery Mean Crap Waterproofing?

I like my Samsung Galaxy 7edge because:

- doesn't have the fingerprint sensor on the back

- does allow a memory card

- is somewhat waterproof (I ruined a Galaxy 2 back in the day by swimming with it)

- has quick wireless charging (I love it putting it in a cradle rather than plugging in a cable)

It's probably already difficult to make the phone waterproof while still leaving a USB port, headphone jack, and SIM / memory card slot. If the whole back came off easily to allow a battery replacement, I can imagine that it would be hard to keep water from leaking around the edge.

I also have had horrible experience with obtaining a replacement battery for my ASUS ROG laptop. ASUS doesn't supply them. The ones for sale on Amazon etc. are cheaply made pieces of crap that either don't work at all, hold about 20 minutes of charge if they do work, and give up the ghost completely after 11 months into the 1 year guarantee.

If the desire for a replacement battery is more because of running out of juice during the day than extending the life of the phone, then one of those external batteries is probably a better alternative. I have one about the size of the phone itself that can charge up the phone 4 times, and can be used with any phone that has a UBS charger connection.

So if you have an old(er) phone and there is no longer an official replacement battery from the OEM, I'm wondering it getting a quality replacement is possible. If not, then the battery replacement feature trade-off versus waterproofing looks even worse.

Never thought we'd ever utter these words, but... can anyone recommend a spin doctor for NASA?

Scott Pedigo


The point defense Gatling guns are spinning up.

Swiss electronic voting system like... wait for it, wait for it... Swiss cheese: Hole found amid public source code audit

Scott Pedigo

How Swiss Voting Currently Works

Every resident must register with a municipal office when they move into or out of a municipality. The person's nationality is part of the registration. If you are not Swiss, you must of course have obtained a residence / work permit in the first place. This registration is checked by your landlord and employer, so you won't be able to legally rent a flat or work, or take advantage of any government services, if you don't register.

Voting typically happens several times (I think a max of 4 times) per year. It always takes place on a Sunday. Votes have to be in by 12 midday on Sunday. The results are often known within a few hours. There are only 8 million residents, of which about 1/3 are non-Swiss, so not a huge number of votes to count.

About a month before the day of a vote, ballot packets are mailed by the municipality to all the voters, i.e. all the Swiss, or depending on the canton, to even non-Swiss who are allowed to vote in some local elections. The packets contain paper ballot slips for federal, cantonal, and municipal elections and/or referendums. Elections happen every couple of years, like everywhere else. Referendums happen all.the.time.

The ballot card, on which your mailing address was printed, must be signed. The ballot slips can be filled out, placed into an inner envelope with no identifying information, and mailed back in the same pre-paid outer envelope -- you just turn the ballot card upside down so that the return address is shown in the envelope window.

Or, on voting day or the Saturday before, you can go to any of several local polling stations and personally hand over your ballot. The polling places and opening times are all conveniently listed on the ballot card.

I believe that the e-voting being tested is a "keeping up with the times" thing, with the view to someday supplant the paper ballots with voting over the Internet. I don't see why they'd want electronic voting machines in the polling places, because if they got rid of the paper ballots and didn't have voting over the Internet, then people would be forced to go to the polling stations, a big step backwards in convenience.

Further, I doubt that saving money, or getting faster results is the impetus. They have a proven system which already has fast results. If anything, it is being considered as a further convenience for the voters, who would no longer have to mark the ballots and carry the envelope to a post box or to the post office, and also wouldn't be confronted with having to show up at a polling place on Sunday if they procrastinated until it was too late to mail in the ballot. They could vote over the Internet up to the last minute.

Florida man's deadliest catch forces police to evacuate Taco Bell

Scott Pedigo

Speaking of Magnet Fishing...

I remember having a toy magnetic fishing set as a child, similar to this (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Digabi-Magnetic-Fishing-Toys-Colorful/dp/B07DLQ63CK/) but the magnet wouldn't have been strong enough to pull out a grenade.

The Large Hadron Collider is small beer. Give us billions more for bigger kit, say boffins

Scott Pedigo

Re: Size vs position?

> It has to be a large ring.

> It is not possible to accelerate uncharged particles, such as neutrons. When you accelerate charged particles (or decelerate, as in X-ray machines), energy is radiated away. Circular motion means sideways acceleration, same thing.

> So it has to be a large ring, i.e. small curvature.

The particle is being accelerated by alternating electrical fields along the path, both pushing it and pulling it. It's pulled as it approaches a given field, then when it passes, the field is flipped to start pushing it. If the field didn't flip, then it would start pulling it back and slowing it down again. Assuming a constant distance for the parts which generate the fields, as the particle gains speed, the rate at which the electrical fields alternate must increase in proportion.

If you want to gain a high energy with particle speeds approaching the speed of light, then if you made a linear accelerator, you'd need either an extremely powerful one (very strong electrical fields for quick acceleration) or else a very long one (more fields for longer acceleration).

If instead you use a ring, then the particle(s) being accelerated can make many revolutions, with the rate of alternating the fields increasing with each revolution. As the particle gains speed, it will gain relativistic mass, and strain against the magnetic field keeping it in the ring, which is why you need those big super-cooled super-conducting magnets. The magnetic field is vertical, and as the charged particle travels through it, it experiences a sideways force, which keeps it traveling in a circle.

A ring lets you get more use out of those expensive field generators.

Scott Pedigo

Demolition Derby Track

If the FBC and LCH are built slightly overlapping, as shown in the picture, then maybe they could cross connect the rings to allow particles to travel in figure eights, in both directions of course (courtesy of counter-rotating beams), and then hold a super destruction derby.

OK, OK, I know that the magnetic fields of the LCH wouldn't contain the more powerful beams of the FBC.

But still, as someone who used to squirt lighter fluid onto plastic model u-control planes for more realistic crash scenes (Will the burning plastic pilot escape the wreck? Of course not!), I immediately start thinking of how one could created a really big bang.

NASA to celebrate 55th anniversary of first Moon landing by, er, deciding how to land humans on the Moon again

Scott Pedigo
Paris Hilton

Boldly Not Going Where Man Has Gone Before

I'm hoping that things pick up steam if the BFR stays on track or close to it.