* Posts by TDog

293 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Jun 2013


Scientists think they may have cracked life support for Martian occupation


Re: May??

Microgravitation related illness.

Ah, unless you are talking about in transit (and we have had folks in microgravitation for quite long time periods) then the last time I looked mars had a perfectly reasonable gravitation field.

Software rollout failure led to Devon & Cornwall cops recording zero crime for 3 months


Income Tax

I wonder if HMRC would accept this as a valid defence for a failure to keep tax records for 6 months?

Errors logged as 'nut loose on the keyboard' were – ahem – not a hardware problem



In our early development (late 80's) we had an unintentional tester - one Higgins. He could and did break anything. So somewhat cruelly and arbitrarilly we made our standard unit of testing the 'Higgins' So if could use it for 10 hours without breaking it, it had passed to a standard of 10 Higgins.

Vessels claiming to be Chinese warships are messing with passenger planes


Re: Joining the dots

care to specify which treaties the AUKUS is in breach of? There are no nuclear weapons on the subs; the reactors are nukes but:

* They are sealed for the lifetime of the vessels

* They are similar to 'peaceful' nuclear power stations

* They cannot be made into explosive devices

* According to the UN China exported about 540$Billion of nuclear technology including reactors in 2021, this too would have broken you alleged treaty violations.

* There is no proliferation

* Get a life. Or at least one with some facts in it.

Don't worry, that system's not actually active – oh, wait …



Some Halons are general anesthetics, inducing sleep, e.g. halothane. in the case of fire or anoxia that would be the big sleep.

Eager young tearaway almost ruined Christmas with printer paper


Re: Procedure update

And when I worked for a certain logistics support firm in the late 90's they were still passing round a script to make things easier; which granted top level rights to whoever ran it in SQL server. There was also no security either physical nor IT on the cheque printer and the only concern they seemed to have was whether or not I could legally write an API which would require only 1 licence to access the DB, rather than one per user.

They were actually very good at repeating the practices of the 1950's in logistic support, very good at bringing their accountancy into the 1970's, superb at loosing their copy of the contract which stated that whether the access was through an interface or direct they still required a licence per user, immensely concerned at saving a few tens of hundreds of pounds by taking acts that could well have been described as fraud (I did say I dealt with their management, not their accountants) and couldn't give a shit that I could create a firm, add it to their billing list and pull shed loads of money out, removing the sums from their reported in payments and from their out payments, so that the books still ballanced and it would take me about four hours plus the fifteen seconds it required me to get to the cheque printer, to which I had access as I was supposed to be responsible for physical issues there too.

Oh, and just before someone says that it would have shown in the outgoings, that was done through the same server account too. So if you did a paper reconcilliation you would find it matched the SQL server, it would have only been if you did a line by line check you might have found the "missing links".

And they were trying to save a few hundred (<5K) pounds a year.

Could 2023 be the year SpaceX's Starship finally reaches orbit?


Gies a job

'Nuff said.

Private company set up to oversee UK's prototype fusion reactor


Re: UK IFS and buts and maybes ….

Oh come on, the Titanic was private industry, It was the government that commissioned the iceberg. It was habbakuk 40 years previously (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Habakkuk)

Field trip! European Space Agency sends astronauts abroad to learn about rocks


Split second?

Do rocks etc not presently on earth run that much faster tnan geolocated ones? Perhaps we should be equiping our future, astro, taiko, cosmo, naughts with shotguns and external speakers pre-programmed to shout (in whatever passes for the luminiferous ether) "PULL!", as well. No icon as neither Einstein nor Michaelson Morley.

Mind you, in very high G wells one could well imagine a scenario where locally they moved like fuck whilst still dawdling to the long way away located external observer.

School laptop auction devolves into extortion allegation


Re: Investigating RDA ?

What, like Dr. Who?

NASA, DARPA to go nuclear in hopes of putting boots on Mars

IT Angle

Re: Where is the handbrake?

An odd number, that way someone is guaranteed to win (game designer at Hambledon CC, c. 17:50 [That is, "hurry up, the bar is just about to open" time.] Icon cos it its almost 3 stumps and a pair of bails.

Tesla driver blames full-self-driving software for eight-car Thanksgiving Day pile up


UK law

You have to remain sufficiently behind the vehicle in front to stop safely. As a frequent motorway user I can assure everyone that this is followed religiously*

*Def: religiously; not seen as terribly important since the glorious revolution but makes bods feel self justified so long as it doesn't have to change their behaviour

Don't lock the datacenter door, said the boss. The builders need access and what could possibly go wrong?


Re: Not optimist, downright stupid

In the very early days,phones were like a brick (you may find some of them visible in the walls of your house) and were more annoying since the users frequently used them to indicate "I've got a mobile phone". This was before apple iphones or generic phones and were severely irritating to those of us at the Trent Bridge test match.

I have to admit I did not do this, but some chappie in front of me, after a few minutes requesting silence, grabbed the phone and threw it onto the outfield.

'T rude bugger who was distressing all of us went off to find a local bobby. I can't remember who was fielding but the phone disappeared, but what I can remember very clearly was the young, highly competant copper coming into the stand and asking, loud and clearly, when the over was over, "did anyone see a man throwing something onto the field of play?" As the west indian supporters were in the adjacent stand, with whom we were exchanging our beers and their uncommon smoking substances we could reply "NO", quite honestly, we were too high and pissed and to busy laughing to notice the alledged perp.

"T' copper, walked off with a big grin on his face, explaining without evidence he could do fuck all.

Great 22 year old. And I know cos I bought him a beer in the Trent Bridge Tavern a bit later.

OneCoin co-founder pleads guilty to $4 billion fraud


In fiat currency

I saw what you did there.

Five British companies fined for making half a million nuisance calls


Re: I used to string them along

I had one today - trying to help me with my 'slow' internet. For some reason communications broke down. I'll use asterisks to prevent shy embarassed criminals from being upset

HIM: Is there any particular time when your internet is slow?

ME: Well yes actually.


ME: When I'm trying to upload pictures of me shagging your mother up the *rse.

ME: Strange she really reminds me of you.

HIM: What?

ME: Yes, she even looks like a c*nt. Piss off criminal.

US Air Force reveals B-21 Raider stealth bomber that'll fly the unfriendly skies


Re: Eye-watering

Max payload of Wellington about 4000lb. Official weignt of Fat Man, 10,800lb. Max payload of Mosquito about 4000lb. We can ignore range constraints as they aircraft would be incapable of taking off.

International cops arrest hundreds of fraudsters, money launderers and cocaine kingpins


Re: A safety measure

One of my favourite questions is

"Tell me characters 13 and 57 of the security pass phrase I posted to your bank" *

* Your numbers may vary.

How not to test a new system: push a button and wait to see what happens


Re: Alternative Lesson: "Never turn anything off if..."

Strangely enough, with limited opportunities for general elections I for one welcome our new rabble pentesters. Without them the "believed redundant" analysis might never have happened.

Pain in the arse yes, useful too.

Massive energy storage system goes online in UK


Re: Per home usage

I find the mask tends to keep my face warmer in a cold room and bed. That and the bobble hat on my slaphead.

Locked out of Horizon Europe, UK commits half a billion to post-Brexit research


Re: The brexit gift

No, this is absolute barrel scraping:


And my comment on it at the time was:

"Re: Clearly states the first batch is manufactured in EU, not UK

Section 5.4 specifically states that it only applies to section 5.4. Thus it cannot be applied to any other part of section 5 including section 5.1 which requires "best endeavours" to manufacture the vaccine in the EU. Thus UK production can not be included in section 5.1. The blatant claim by Ursula that this only applied during the development of the vaccine and not during it's production is a good example of a usually honest politician doing what so many politicians do best - lying (IMHO)."

Look! Up in the sky! Proof of concept for satellites beaming energy to Earth!


balloons floating at altitudes of up to 300 meters

Why bother? China has many plateaux higher than that. And if we are already getting for free 4* the energy density at the equator why not just put the solar plant on the ground there, rather than in space? Lots of advantages and huge areas of equatorial surface available, much of it comes with free easily available cooling water, albeit a bit salty. No need for expensive pesky rockets at all.

Micro molten salt reactor can fit on a truck, power 1k homes. When it's built


99.5% of their fule is converted into energy

As any fule kno (copyright Molesworth, N).


That's aweful

It had me splitting my sides in reaction.

Just because you failed doesn't mean you weren't right


Never forget the military antipathy between the Italians and the Germans

Nuff said.

This is the military – you can't just delete your history like you're 15


Re: It's happened to me a few times...

Was he someone well known who may soon find himself out of a house with the number 10?

Soviet-era tech could change the geothermal industry


Are they watchable on pornhub?

Behold this drone-dropping rifle with two-mile range


Target spotting and authentication

One of the biggest issues will be seeing and identifying the target. Spotting a drone, even with the annoying whine at ranges in excess of a couple of hundred meters on a noisy battlefield will be problematical. A narrow beam would prevent shotgun like firing whilst possibly reducing power consumption, but make the probability of causing effective interference significantly lower. And what if it is your drone, doing a good thing?

GPS spoofing is doable but much more difficult from below (think shielded antennae) and would presumably significantly increase the cost. Jamming would be a lot cheaper, but we still come back to the cost of stopping versus the cost of the target equation.

Finally I wouldn't like to have a bloody great emr noise emitter on a battlefield. Home on jam may be feasible for suicide drones, or just a few rounds of 122 / 152mm HE.

I was fired for blowing the whistle on cult's status in Google unit, says contractor


Was one of the cult members Nehemiah Scudder?

Whatever you do, don't show initiative if you value your job


Re: jumping out of plane with no parachute

Well I've jumped out of a fucking plane with two parachutes,

And neither worked as well as I could have wanted.

The first didn't tell me I was in a shitty place until the wind blew me across the combine harvester storage area [No, I am serious] and the second couldn't get me out of the mess when I found the first wasn't working. Still here with some small bits of titanium generously donated by the taxpayer via the NHS, and I have now a life (not so very long left) concern about however many parachutes you can have, if they

* Come too far down the decision tree

* Don't understand the interdependanilty risks

* Don't take the external environment [just where are those fucking combine harvester storeyards]

* Don't understand the risks [So what is so bad about being 30 feet above a group of parked harvesters when you are dropping at 15 - 30 feet per second (big fat bugger on a T10)]

* And finally for me, but there are lots more: Not all risks are combine harvesters, the NHS can't fix everything.

Japan's asteroid probe reportedly found 20 amino acids


Re: A statistician would argue ....

Human life can't last forever because it (the universe) existed priorly without human life. Assuming an inifinite life for the universe then human life's finite duration is effectively zero compared to an infinity. Thus we never existed anyway. So much for the strong anthropic principle.

Small nuclear reactors produce '35x more waste' than big plants


Re: Size?

No - it may be valuable in the future. What has the sun done to upset you? Fire it in small quantities in cometary like orbits - something like spinlaunch would be ideal for this - encase the hot stuff in a suitable material and keep that wheel spinning.

50 launchers whanging out 10 launches each of 50kg high level waste per day could get rid of it into cometary like orbits in about 25 years (250,000 tonnes of high level waste around). That's not long, it just becomes an engineering problem.


Re: even more safer to operate?

Just remember, more people died at Chapwuidick than Three Mile Island.

Google Russia goes broke after bank account snatched


Re: Very bad idea

To be fair, we did wander all overf Germany, by land and air, blowing it to shit. But that was a war...Oh.

Human-made hopper out-leaps rival robots in artificial jumping contest


Re: The next hurdle

Nor at Moon ambient surface temperature and atmospheric pressure does rubber (freezes or looses volatiles and melts) and to a lesser extent carbon fibre. On the more heavy side of things you would know exactly where to find it, just where it was left.

NASA's modified Boeing 747 SP SOFIA to be grounded for good


Re: I'm puzzled...

Following in the screams of the soon to be ex passengers and crew.

Twitter faces existential threat from world's richest techbro


You couldn't care less

I can think of nothing that would make me care more...

And can we please have a sarcasm icon, and perhaps a think about it icon?

Ex IT chief at Homeland Security watchdog stole US govt software to pirate


Uncle Sam's Software

Was good enough to warrant stealing it? Bloody hell, what went wrong when they built it?

Buying a USB adapter: Pennies. Knowing where to stick it: Priceless


Re: Seems ok

Well if either is a vicar they probably could...

Cooler heads needed in heated E2EE debate, says think tank


4. When a tart with a heart of gold opens a hose of ill repute

Does that mean she / he pulls you off with the stockings?


Tongue in cheek

Surely the best way is to ensure e2ee and then, as the service provider create a second layer of encryption over that. Thus my e2ee service will nor know your keys but will ensure that the transport layer data is securely overencrypted.

So when HMG or similar or quasi-legal entities request access we can deliver that on proof of warrant. This will protect against casual hackers whilst ensuring that your already encrypted messages are secure against attack <g>.

Thus we can protect against non authorised interception whilst leaving your safety in your own hands...

And for a small extra fee we can produce significantly different large prime numbers preventing against near prime number identification.

How could this be an issue?

Microsoft Visual Studio: Cluttering up developer disks for 25 years


No 2 till 5

I recollect being very confused when VS 6 came out - I seemed to have missed 4 editions. On querying this I was told it was to achieve numerical consistency with Office. Glad to see that still happens.

Ukraine's nuclear plants: Chernobyl off diesel power, explosions explained


Did I miss something?

I thought power was supposed to go from the power plant to the grid?

Something must have happened whilst I was asleep. They'll be telling me the Soviets are invading next. Sighs, still no sarcasm icon.

We have redundancy, we have batteries, what could possibly go wrong?


Re: Enterprising thieves

I was expecting "Someone stole the trench".

IT blamed after HR forgets to install sockets in new office


Re: Business as usual

And requires literacy.

Saving a loved one from a document disaster


Re: old kit and wp software

Viagra will help with a floppy, not around then so you just had to lie back and think of Brigit Bardot.

20 years of .NET: Reflecting on Microsoft's not-Java


Re: Easier games to play

I turn to drink before.

Reality check: We should not expect our communications to remain private


Re: "Saying if you don't want it on the internet, don't put it up there is too trite a response"

Well there are a couple of things to consider here:

To paraphrase Douglas Adams - "Mostly Harmless"

So if you keep flagging up flags (I see what I did there) you will eventually get labelled as not a problem. We are seeing this in the UK now - with shed loads of targets we now find MI5 having to use arbitrary rules as to which ones to whack off (sorry, meant follow).

In the mid eighties I was a member of Compuserve MilForum and often spoke on the phone to American and other colleagues about all sorts of things including I know nor whatever. An aquaintance of mine asked if that were deliberate. I sort of stated I didn't realise that it mattered, to which his reply was something along the lines of "well no one listens to you any more".

Of course I didn't understand that and carried on with my normal life.

But this story sort of indicates the issues of using AI driven interpretations of reality. Yes Facebook (sory, bollixia) can keep track of data - and can make serious estimations of you and your intents. If you don't put y9ur stuff up they can do the same. But the key issue to me is ownership, (and spoofing just for fun.). They can have as many predictive systems as they like, you can have as many games as you like. When they come up with:

"You should join this group"

"Biil Blogs has changed his gender by self descrption and now wishes to be known as MaryFuckwit" you as the recimpient have multiple choices

You can ignore it, which may leae to even more enticing reasons to be a target

You can respond with a meaningful response (not reccomended)

Or you can respond with arbitrary statements designed to make the AI lifes untennable. And I think I need to think about it again https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96rC4X_KWl4

How can we recruit for the future if it takes an hour to send an email, asks Air Force AI bigwig in plea for better IT


Re: Big Biscuits

At least the computers will stay safe and dry. Unlike at least 2 F35's.

UK's new Brexit Freedom Bill promises already-slated GDPR reform, easier gene editing rules


Quis Custodiet?

"The programme will also develop a tool for businesses, hosted on GOV.UK, that will help firms to identify the regulations that are relevant to them and understand what actions they need to take in response," the paper said."

No doubt driven by AI.

Crack team of boffins hash out how e-scooters should sound – but they need your help*


Ride of the Valkyries

Interspersed with random "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" quotes.