* Posts by Rol

1116 posts • joined 24 Jan 2013

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Should we all consolidate databases for the storage benefits? Reg vultures deploy DevOps, zoos, haircuts

Rol Silver badge

I came at this all wrong, thinking that consolidating databases was suggesting a centralised approach, whereby multiple instances of data across all business/social networks were consolidated onto one database. As an example, my name and address are probably splurged across dozens if not thousands of databases, with each one requiring a high level of security to keep my data safe, and therefore multiplying the risk my details could be hacked by a thousandfold, along with the waste of resources required to store the exact same information a thousand or so times.

And continuing my leap from the headline, I thought it wouldn't be such a bad idea if my personal details were stored just once, and that place be heavily guarded. All and sundry would get access to it using a unique identifier that I could make single use if i wish, and life would be all so much easier - I move house, change my mobile number, reassign my sex, change my name, and all I need do is change it the once on the central database.

Amazon gets its tax excuses in early amid rising UK profits – but leaves El Reg off the press list. Can't think why

Rol Silver badge

If you're not in the club already, you're not getting in.

The problem with Paul Monaghan's suggestion of unitary taxation, is that he is asking the foxes if they wouldn't mind helping to build a more secure hen house.

It is our political elite who have supported the convoluted tax system down the years, and will no doubt go to war to maintain their questionable revenue streams.

Yes they would love to have the tax shenanigans of Amazon et al, reined in, as they only serve to raise the awareness of their own devious and conniving tax exploits, but do not expect them to go so far as to cut their own noses off to achieve it.

If they could write tax legislation that worked for their interests in Guernsey, Cayman, etc, and against the likes of Amazon, they would, but they can't, as Amazon is only using the legal tax loopholes that our political elite foolishly believed was theirs alone to exploit.

Amazon might have been ripping off the UK for the past few years, but Lord and Lady Fancy Pants and their ancestors have been at it for centuries.

Video encoders using Huawei chips have backdoors and bad bugs – and Chinese giant says it's not to blame

Rol Silver badge

Two legs good, four legs bad!

It seems clear that we have some trump fantards on here that despite all the evidence, still insist on regurgitating the party line.

Frankly, given the option of getting into bed with a known sex offender, or some ageing pseudo communists, I assume you can guess I'm more likely to take the risk of getting rubbed up the wrong way, rather than the certainty of getting a grubby hand thrust up between my thighs, and then later bragged about in the hyena circles that he travels in.

US military takes aim at 2024 for human-versus-AI aircraft dogfights. Have we lost that loving feeling for Top Gun?

Rol Silver badge

The UK and the rest of Europe frown upon monopolies and will barge in uninvited to prevent any one company from taking it all.

In America, they chose to be more selective about who's wings they'll clip, and make encouraging noises towards many organisations as they suck up all the competition in their attempts to dominate the world market.

Rol Silver badge

Oh we did produce them, but the bottomless purses in America bought up every last shred of evidence that we were ever in the race.

Rol Silver badge

Re: A new missile race?

Your suggestions, but instead of flak exploding out of airburst shells, why not Kelvar netting to entangle in the prop/get sucked into the turbine.

Or how's about barium? An airburst shell that explodes barium all over the shop. Ten miles in and you have some relatively simple rockets knocking out every barium signature in the sky.

Rol Silver badge

AI cameras will not be allowed in any public or private places

What does that sentence mean, if not, "not anywhere", or "banned outright"?

Why does legislation get written in a manner that a quick dash with a black marker can instantly erase half of the purpose, if not the entire reasoning behind it.

UK and Japan agree to free trade deal that excludes data localisation requirements

Rol Silver badge

Re: Didn't...

I dealt with Domino's by giving them £20 and getting two 12" pizza's. Later I dealt with a mugger who took the pizzas but I managed to bite his ear off. Following that I returned to Domino's and offered them what I considered to be a better deal. They politely refused.

The UK's deal with Japan has consideration on both sides and is arguably not an improvement to their EU deal. Therefore they cannot be compared.

Infor pays UK construction retailer Travis Perkins £4.2m settlement following cancelled upgrade of 'Sellotape and elastic bands' ERP system

Rol Silver badge

It's there, on the shelf. There, right in front of you, you idiot!

I find it very hard to believe that Travis's business is so unusual that an off the shelf system could not be readily tweaked into usefulness.

A quick rummage around in some old B&Q/Homebase/whatever news items would probably reveal the providers of their IT solutions, who I have no doubt would love the opportunity to double their money on a tried and tested system, that requires perhaps 6 months of bespoke jiggery pokery.

Sure enough, everyone will need retraining to fit in with the new system, but that was always going to be the case.

Another month, another cryptocurrency exchange hacked and 'millions of dollars' stolen by miscreants

Rol Silver badge

a bit naughty

I'm unclear about how taxation deals with theft. If a company makes a million quid and then subsequently has it stolen, is the company still liable for the tax due on that million or is it a deductible cost?

It would be an ideal means of avoiding taxes, while also avoiding a large bill from tax consultants

Smash-and-grabbed: Chinese AI academic cuffed by Feds after 'binning hard drive' amid software leak probe

Rol Silver badge

Re: Uncomfortable?

3.785 litres was a Queen Anne wine gallon, but back in 1824 the Brit's decided to rationalise the gallon, that had differing values depending on what it was you were measuring, to what it is today.

The American colonies never picked up on these world changing events, and it wasn't until WWI and the arrival of the international drink a gallon of beer and start a fight in a boozer competition, when they realised they were seriously underprepared.

Someone's getting a free trip to the US – well, not quite free. Brit bloke extradited to face $2m+ cyber-scam charges

Rol Silver badge

Shame!

I suppose if he is found guilty he will have to return his Queen's Award for Enterprise.

Can't have our majesty being associated with thieves who get themselves caught.

Nominet backtracks on .uk domain expiration money grab, critics still fear sweetheart deal to come

Rol Silver badge

Once upon a time in boardroom land..

"He looks good"

"Who?"

"Russell Haworth"

"..but his background is in venture capital and acquisitions"

"and?"

"Well, we need a book-keeper to look after things, not a marketeer to sell them off"

"And where's the money in that?"

"What money? We're a not for profit organisation"

"Well after we've submitted our expenses, there won't be any profit"

Worried about the Andromeda galaxy crashing into our Milky Way in four billion years? Too bad, it's quite possibly already happening

Rol Silver badge

Clarification required.

If the light from Andromeda's quasars gives our scientists an understanding of the material it has passed through on its journey to Earth, and they have no means to measure the Milky Way's halo gases, then surely their findings are the sum of both galaxies' halos.

I guess the only solution is to measure it again after a few million years have passed, and then calculate the influence of our own halo based on the assumption that Andromeda has remained constant, while the distance travelled through the Milky Way to get to us has changed as we orbit our galactic black blob.

Then again, I'm sure that has already been factored into their findings, and my argument is based solely on the article presenting the juicy information while not getting bogged down in the technical whys and ways.

Rogue stars! That's the answer. Stars that had slipped their galactic chains long ago, and therefore their light arriving at Earth is far more influenced by our own halo than anything else, give or take the odd intergalactic gas cloud.

Be very afraid! British Army might scrap battle tanks for keyboard warriors – report

Rol Silver badge

I think when the deployed unit is given a weapons free nod, as it would in a battle scenario, it would default to its "AI" if it lost communications with its fleshy operator, and start shooting up anything that didn't have a friendly QR code stamped all over it.

With our ability to distinguish with a high accuracy between individual humans as they saunter through shopping malls, it isn't such a great feat to have a mobile weapons unit pick with an even greater accuracy between friend and foe, tank and SUV.

Hell! I'd warrant far fewer blue on blue A10 incidents would have happened if the people doing the shooting had been replaced by a Sinclair ZX81, coded by a psycho.

COVID-19 has done what Microsoft and Intel couldn't – given people a reason for a PC upgrade

Rol Silver badge

Follow the money

My mate, despite all my protestations, still gets most of his news from the likes of Twitter and other mischievous social media. As a result, he is convinced the lockdown is a scam. I throw doubt at him when I ask "Well who benefits" at that point he goes quiet, but this article would have him pointing to pc manufacturers, and chip makers, and at that point, knowing how Intel operates, it will be me going quiet.

Intel talks up its 10nm Tiger Lake laptop system-on-chips as though everything is going according to plan

Rol Silver badge

Re: That press release in full...

7nm allows interpolar mishtabbing and mashable burfing architecture, while 10nm is too big to get all of that on one die and you just end up with a mishmash instead.

I do agree it will be some years before 7nm becomes an industry standard, but that's Intel for you.

Hopefully Intel will catch up so we can be assured by the rightful guardians of industry standards that 7nm is in fact an industry standard.

I hope AMD don't do anything foolish in the meantime and start churning out 5nm chips, as I very much doubt Intel will ever get to the point that they can validate it as an industry standard.

Perhaps if customer's voted with their feet, then they might just dislodge Intel from being the arbiter of standards, and a new monarch might ascend, one that is kind, benevolent, far seeing and innovative, and not the twisted Richard we've had to suffer all these years. I bet Intel have more than a couple of missing princes in the tower to account for.

eBay won't pass UK Digital Service Tax costs on to third-party sellers – unlike Amazon, which simply can't afford it

Rol Silver badge

Flight capital of the world. Passport not required.

Part of the problem for the UK in trying to fix some glaring tax holes, is that it is up to its eyes in dodgy finance. No wonder the rest of the world has a difficult time sitting down with our representatives to talk about making things fair, when we are running one of the world's biggest tax and accountability scams.

Back when the nation was partying to Live Aid and giving millions in donations to Africa, British Overseas Territories were smoothing the way for African despots and assorted villains to transfer billions into secret off-shore trusts.

I bet my life savings that if the UK's off-shore trust scam had been running as early as 1940, they would have happily accommodated Adolf's stash, and still be guarding it for his appointed beneficiaries today. That's the moral level where they operate. They care little about the impoverished nations from where the money is fraudulently embezzled from, or the number of men women and children that died in the process.

In that light, the UK has no right to moan about the unfairness of tax loopholes.

Softbank confirms talks to offload Arm as it posts rebound profit

Rol Silver badge

What's going on?

Just what is it about ARM that makes them the peerless go to company for chip design?

I ask, because whatever the trade secrets are that keep them winning gold at every turn, have just been rummaged through by Softbank's cohort of staff.

Now I'm not suggesting Softbank have done, or will do, anything dodgy with this sensitive information, but the potential to start up a challenger company just after they have offloaded ARM is not beyond all possibility. After all, why did they go to all the trouble to buy ARM to then put it up for sale a heartbeat later?

It just doesn't make any sense.

Intel NDA blueprints – 20GB of source code, schematics, specs, docs – spill onto web from partners-only vault

Rol Silver badge

Re: Off topic

In your best Alf Garnet impersonation

"Dawgs bark, but it's not a language! In it!"

Geneticists throw hands in the air, change gene naming rules to finally stop Microsoft Excel eating their data

Rol Silver badge

Re: And you thought that Clippy went away

I vaguely remember the analogy "If cars developed like computers, a Rolls Royce would cost £50, do 5,000 miles a gallon, etc"

If cars had developed like Excel, most of the world would be reading this from their hospital bed.

Rol Silver badge

You mean like how Excel used to work.

Rol Silver badge

I look forward to the time that Excel gets a real AI appendage to its program.

Maybe the Doomsday clock will start ticking a little faster at that point, but have no fear, we can force M$ to take on the maintenance of that sayer of the end, and a few updates later, it will no longer be 23:59 31st December, but 23rd of the 59th month 31 minutes past 12 and humanity will have been saved forever by m$'s unflinching hubris.

Rol Silver badge

Re: Happens in Google sheets as well.

I'd argue 23:59:59 is the end of the day, and that 24:00 is actually 00:00.

Rol Silver badge

Re: I must be missing something...

An option in Excel settings. That's all what is needed. For Christ's sake they have options for every other conceivable thing under the Sun in there except "Would you like me to permanently stop guessing at what you are trying to do? Y/N"

God help us if Excel ever gets a real AI upgrade.

"Hi! Snoopy here, I've just instructed your bank to move all your money into Jelly Beans, based on your spreadsheet, "Investment tutorial for beginners"

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

Rol Silver badge

Sod Trumph/social misfit media. There's far more important stuff happening

I work from home at the moment and unplug my PC's keyboard to use in the firms laptop, but the weirdest thing happened yesterday. When I went to plug the USB keyboard back into the PC it wouldn't go in, and so I swivelled it 180 and amazingly it went in. I was absolutely gobsmacked. And it didn't stop there. Oh no! The very same thing happened again just a few hours ago. Now how's that for defying the universal law of USB connectivity. Not once, but twice, it was the second attempt when it worked and not the third when you have turned it back to the first orientation that for some reason didn't go in.

I pity the users of Lightening connectors, as they are missing out on all the fun.

This investor blew nearly $300,000 on Intel shares the day before 7nm disaster reveal. Yup, she's suing

Rol Silver badge

Learner drivers and attitude do not go together well.

I remember back in my youth, an old guy had driven his car into a neighbour's garden wall, and refused to accept responsibility for it, despite his car being embedded in the wall. He claimed the car must have been faulty and tried to blame another neighbour, who sold it him the day before. Well the police soon got involved and established the old man had neither insurance nor licence to drive the vehicle. It was also pointed out by one of the neighbours that the old man had never been taught how to drive, and just thought he'd pick it up as he went along.

Needless to say, he was banned from driving for some time, and wouldn't it be sweet justice if Cheryl Huang lost her case and then subsequently got banned from trading in shares for a couple of aeons.

Mysterious supernova is blasting far-flung galaxy with flashes of UV light – and astroboffins don't know why

Rol Silver badge

Q. Two trains are travelling towards each other, each with a light on their engines. At what speed would they be travelling at for the light to appear blue to the other?

Or put another way - Assuming red shift to be caused by nothing other than the Doppler effect, what kind of speeds are we talking for a z value of -0.2 (blue shift)?

Sick of AI engines scraping your pics for facial recognition? Here's a way to Fawkes them right up

Rol Silver badge

Re: "16th century failed assassin Guy Fawkes"

A stroke of good luck?

A busy day in Hell's reception?

Herbicide?

Silver cloud with a diamond encrusted lining?

Yeah! Just what is the term for temporarily freeing the masses from their incompetent masters?

NASA delays James Webb Space Telescope launch date by at least seven months

Rol Silver badge

"Jam roly-poly with custard? Strawberry Jelly and Neapolitan Ice-cream? What's going on with the staff canteen menu?"

"Yeah, been a few changes mate"

"Mate? Mate! Who are you!?"

"I'm Doug, Uncle Bob's nephew. Nice to meet you"..."Uncle Doug can I have some more ice-cream?"

"What? And who's that?"

"That's Emily, she's Uncle Bob's granddaughter"

"And them who are just strolling in to this private canteen like they work here?"

"Err, well, some of them are my kids, and Uncle Bob's and Aunty Sue's,and they do work here"

"As what?"

"Well, the eager hands needed to get things rolling along. You see we all share a social bubble and therefore are the best qualified to get stuck in, down and dirty, and rubbing shoulders like"

"So why is the project still delayed?"

"Have you ever tried working alongside family?"

CERN puts two new atom-smashers on its shopping list. One to make Higgs Bosons, then a next-gen model six times more energetic than the LHC

Rol Silver badge

Re: Ridiculous

We have been here so many times, and I'm sure some of the longer serving critics are probably fed up of hearing my thoughts on the subject, but for the benefit of those who have more recently washed up on El Reg's exotic shores, I offer you this little snippet.

Experiments have tentatively shown that antimatter has anti-gravity - it runs away from matter. The Big Bang could be equally called the great escape, from the perspective of antimatter, as it hurtled hell for leather away from its evil twin.

The physics that brought particles together to form matter, hold no sway over antimatter, so it exists today, in the exact same fundamental state that it was born in, and hence very very small, and very widely dispersed, and still hell tailing it away from all that nasty clingy stuff.

So where is all the antimatter? It really is out of sight, on the edge of our universe and still running at the speed of light away from us, as it has no mass.

Perhaps it is God's means of erasing past failures out of the way of this universe.

or...well most of you have already heard my or, and I'll not make you suffer any more.

Rol Silver badge

Re: Ridiculous

I whole-heartedly agree that our science has no explanation for what it sees, or doesn't see, and until something a little more credible than invisible dark goo comes along, then the ratio of 50/50 stands as the most sensible conclusion to the composition of our Universe.

The fact we can't detect anti-matter, and are eager to jump through some incredibly warped hoops of twisted logic to deny antimatter's existence, suggests we are blind in more ways than one.

Several more plausible theories have been put forward, including on this site, but all of them lack the revenue generating potential that scientists are clamouring for, because any conjecture supporting the existence of antimatter requires investigation far beyond our Solar system, which, as you would expect, will get zero funding until faster than light travel is possible.

So, to keep the wheels on the science wagon rolling, we squander vast budgets on what we can investigate, even though, in our hearts, we know they will reveal nothing worthwhile in our exploration of antimatter's perceived absence.

Perhaps one day, I can go into Lidl and buy a telescope that allows me to study grains of sand on Pluto from the comfort of my home, and read the latest articles in el Reg about how scientists are mapping antimatter particles in a matrix like structure, that is more or less an inverse contour map of the universe's gravity.

But until then, I will just bumble about my business, knowing damned well that physicists, after spending hundreds of billions of dollars and yen and pounds and euro's, still have to cross their fingers behind their back while telling me I'm wrong. Which, after spending all that money, I guess is a contractual obligation, to ensure the next generation gets to paddle knee deep in project funding.

Moore's Law is deader than corduroy bell bottoms. But with a bit of smart coding it's not the end of the road

Rol Silver badge

One for the conspiracy cats

"Hey this is the biggest breakthrough of the century. 16 cores, running at 5Ghz, on a 5nm die. It's out of this world"

"Yeah, it took some time, but we aimed for the prize and made it"

"Our customer's are going to go bonkers with this"

"Err...well...not really"

"?"

"You see marketing has quite rightly pointed out, that giving the world this piece of kit now, is the equivalent of making everlasting lightbulbs. We'll sell millions of them and then that will be it, as every Tom Dick and Harry will have a machine that fulfils their every desire for many years to come."

"so what will we be marketing"

"Something that will still blow their minds, but obviously seriously cut down. a single core running at 150 Mhz with a 60Mhz bus"

"Yep. Still quite impressive"

"And every two years we'll double it up, so as to get people to upgrade. Instead of making millions we'll make trillions of dollars over the span of a few decades, as customers try to keep up to date"

"Mr Moore, you are a genius."

"You know. I predict our customers will probably see me as less of a genius and more of a prophet"

Rol Silver badge

Re: Performance limits

Anyone with a touch of Asperger's, would vomit uncontrollably at the sight of the x86 instruction set.

When it comes to inefficiencies, the instruction set that has been used as much as a weapon by the dominant player, Intel, against it's competitors, is one of the most inglorious examples of how not to develop technology.

If we were developing a cpu today, with no regard for the legacies of the past, then without any added leaps of science we could turn the x86 into a beast that would more than double performance of any application at a stroke. Of course the application would need to be compiled using a new compiler, that mapped to the more efficient use of the bytes set aside for instructions, and obviously allowing for many more instructions to be added, but this time, by a consensus of the players, not individual companies looking to steal an edge on their competitors.

Seeing as the industry is transfixed with the idea of obsoleting everything they can in the search for greater revenues. it beggars belief that the x86 instruction set has not been completely overhauled and set on a more steady course, with a governing body overseeing additions to the universal set.

Trump's Make Space Great Again video pulled after former 'naut says: Nope

Rol Silver badge

Re: Practically the only thing that has gone right in his Presidency

Just looking at the British monarchy, we can see, how following a particularly nasty Royal, society takes a little more power away from them, until the position of king or queen is nothing more than a tourist attraction.

If Trump has achieved anything in his presidency, it is that he has shown the position comes with more power than an insane man should ever be allowed to wield.

I look forward to the day that the American president is bedecked with gold and jewels. To be rolled out at state functions and then returned to the walled garden, where their manic rantings and dribbling rhetoric is hermetically sealed from the rest of us Earthlings.

America! For the sake of humanity, put your dog on a leash. A very short leash. And in Trump's case, muzzled, and booked in with Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer, for some very long and trying training sessions.

Rol Silver badge

Re: 450 cities protesting racism

I can only imagine the sigh of relief from villagers and townsfolk up and down blighty, when their local fuckwits left to go to America, in search of similar thinking fuckwits, that they might form a community, that against all Darwinian thinking would prosper, flourish and grow to create the greatest amalgamation of self serving fuckwits the planet has ever seen.

"The power of Christ compels you! The power of Christ compels you!"

See! Even Christ is powerless to intervene in America's ascendency up the Devils sphincter.

Remember when Republicans said Dems hacked voting systems to rig Georgia's election? There were no hacks

Rol Silver badge

Re: Coup, one small glimmer of hope

It doesn't make any sense to kill your voters. The frothing at the mouth Republicans and religious nutjobs have a lot of overlap, so any encouragement to ignore all sensible advice, especially in the teapot focussed Fox News, is going to kill a lot more chavs than normal humans.

However if their unwitting sacrifice manages to postpone the election and thus keep Mr Orange in office a few years longer, then I suppose it's a sort of victory.

And forget bleached chicken, I want everything coming from America swimming in bleach. And a metaphorical acid bath for that gob shites tweets while we're at it.

Record-breaking Aussie boffins send 44.2 terabits a second screaming down 75km of fiber from single chip

Rol Silver badge

Re: Correction

The University of SMUT is currently working on a porn AI, and they are optimistic that their program will be able to generate any and all customisable flesh combinations with associated grunts and groans to fool anyone into thinking it is real.

This program, once installed on a PC, will free up 90% of the internet and reduce the instances of PC infection to almost zero.

Well, that's something boffins haven't seen before: A strange alien streaks around Jupiter

Rol Silver badge

Re: Who said they came from Mars....

I had a torch with interchangeable lens covers that achieved just that.

Rol Silver badge

slighlty off topic

Am I the only person wondering why Trump hasn't banned Hawaii from providing 5g infrastructure?

Alibaba Cloud revenue grows 62% – but it's still just a sixth the size of AWS

Rol Silver badge

Stack it high. Sell it higher.

So this morning, and only for a fleeting moment, did I consider buying cigarette lighters from Alibaba at 4 cents each. Minimum order, 100,000 of them!

I only need about 500 to see me out, and would then be left with 99,500. Obviously I couldn't sell them on Alibaba at 50p each, but I could on Amazon or Ebay.

Based on that, I can assume the $35Bn in revenue that AWS generates, comes from $3Bn of stock being sold on at hugely inflated prices, to a public that has little idea of how much factory gate prices are.

Napoleon might have been right to slur the Brit's as a nation full of shop keepers, but seeing as the three essential things necessary to fight a successful war is gold, gold and more gold, he should have realised, retailers were always best placed to win in any conflict.

As for the sodomite reference that he goes on to sleight us with, I can only assume it is a metaphor for the act of selling goods at ten times their cost to your customers.

Facebook to surround all of Africa in optical fibre and tinfoil

Rol Silver badge

Re: Can someone explain?

Might want to have a listen to Cabin Pressure. An hilarious radio program that ran some years ago on Radio 4.

Rol Silver badge

Re: Can someone explain?

It's Nigerian waters you want to be worried about. Far more incidence of pirating than Somalia.

Cyber attack against UK power grid middleman Elexon sparks in-house IT recovery efforts

Rol Silver badge

Re: What ?

'Thank you for opening this obviously dodgy email. You have won a permanent, no expense paid, holiday for one on the good ship HMS Unemployed, which our automated systems are processing as you read.

Please wait for security to attend at your work station, as they want to frisk you for paper clips and pencils before dragging you feet first out of the building.

Thank you and goodbye'

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Spacecraft with graphene sails powered by starlight and lasers

Rol Silver badge

Re: Thoughts

I've been flushing Dark Matter down the toilet, with equal amounts of dark humour for years. Advice I suggest we should all follow, before it becomes a serious hazard to scientific advancement.

Rol Silver badge

Re: Politica

Could we put a large solar powered array in orbit around Sol, so that it is relatively fixed with our interstellar craft, and generate the "back to the future" power necessary to spark up the laser?

It could even be initially purposed to send power back to Earth, and perhaps this be a means of funding the whole project.

Rol Silver badge

Re: 1m/s**2

If after launching the craft, a second craft is then sent along the same trajectory, but purposed to refocussing the laser beam, then a third and a fourth...then the integrity of the beam could be maintained over large distances.

Similarly, the lensing apparatus could be sent ahead of the main payload and then position themselves after the payload has overtaken them, with a couple of twitches from the source laser, and an adept bit of tacking.

Rol Silver badge

Re: Calling Isaac Newton...

The same means that propulsed the craft toward the star, would similarly now be braking it, as Alpha Centauri would be exerting a far greater effect in opposition to whatever flickers were coming from Sol.

(Whoops! I was beaten to it. Sorry for the repetition)

On the matter of divergence, it wouldn't be too great a task to drop off the occasional lens en route, so the laser beam can be refocused. The lens too, could have its own mini sails that would give it the ability to keep it aligned.

Behold: The ghastly, preening, lesser-spotted Incredible Bullsh*tting Customer

Rol Silver badge

Re: Fake BT Call

"OK, I'll have a look at your PC for a virus, based solely on the deceitful spiel of a scammer, but while I'm busy doing that, you might want to pop around to your wife's workplace, 'cos she's shagging her boss"

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

Rol Silver badge

Rodeo Rentals

Well, it's my favourite so far.

Reminds me of the days families had to put 50p into a meter so they could watch TV, and it would always run out at the worst time, and no one had a 50p piece to get it working again.

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