* Posts by Alastair MacDiarmid

21 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Jul 2007

Everyone remembers their first time: ESA satellite dodges 'mega constellation'

Alastair MacDiarmid

Yesterdays update from spacex

Update: 09/03/19 1:19pm ET: SpaceX has issued a statement clearing up its correspondence with SpaceX:

"Our Starlink team last exchanged an email with the Aeolus operations team on August 28, when the probability of collision was only in the 2.2e-5 range (or 1 in 50k), well below the 1e-4 (or 1 in 10k) industry standard threshold and 75 times lower than the final estimate. At that point, both SpaceX and ESA determined a maneuver was not necessary. Then, the U.S. Air Force's updates showed the probability increased to 1.69e-3 (or more than 1 in 10k) but a bug in our on-call paging system prevented the Starlink operator from seeing the follow on correspondence on this probability increase – SpaceX is still investigating the issue and will implement corrective actions. However, had the Starlink operator seen the correspondence, we would have coordinated with ESA to determine best approach with their continuing with their maneuver or our performing a maneuver."

Alastair MacDiarmid

Doesn't make any sense, Starlink constellation is at a completely different altitude. Only thing that makes sense is if it's one of the couple that didn't deploy correctly and are in a decaying orbit in which case Spacex can't do anything about it, or the couple that are deliberately being lowered as a test. Also, if ESA are performing ~280 avoidance maneuvers a year this is nothing special, one wonders why they are making a big deal about it. Matt Desch / Iridium: "Hmmm. We move our satellites on average once a week and don't put out a press release to say who we maneuvered around... "

Falcon 9 gets its feet wet as SpaceX notch up two more launch successes

Alastair MacDiarmid

Re: Gruesome Post-Mortem

It's one of the reasons they re-designed the octoweb structure that mounts the engines to the stack. Easy swap out. I doubt they'll fly that engine again but it's not a massive big deal for them to bolt a new one on. But again, who knows, they seem to have a handle on some really hard problems, so maybe they have a solution for that one too.

First A380 flown in anger to be broken up for parts

Alastair MacDiarmid

"Owner can’t find anyone to fly the thing profitably" Incorrect. They just think they can make more money by selling the parts, as nobody has done that yet there is a market for parts, and BA who are in the market for more 380's for example, are cheap bastards, something obvious to anyone who's flown on the recently.

And pointing out the obvious, unless airports keep getting bigger and bigger there is an absolute limit to the point to point flights with smaller aircraft currently in vogue.

Yep, I hate transferring in airports and I'd much rather fly point to point, but honestly for long haul? Give me a 380 over toothpaste tube bug smasher any day. Emirates gets my business because of the big aircraft, decent baggage allowance, and big seats. No contest.

SpaceX flings SES-12 satellite into orbit, but would-be lunar tourists should probably unpack

Alastair MacDiarmid

Re: Odd!

Lens flare, duh.

Leaning tower of NASA receives last big arm

Alastair MacDiarmid

"Big Falcon Rocket, a vehicle yet to make its way off the drawing board", err, I think you'll find if you do some research the first BFR prototype components are in production now.

Openreach kicks off 'rebrand' by painting over BT logo on vans

Alastair MacDiarmid

How about they spend the money they're wasting on a nice new logo by sorting out my rural broadband desert instead.

They could just shove a cheap white plastic sticker over the BT logo as that's all they're doing with their business model.

Three's 'Home Signal' femtocells fail, restore mobile black spots

Alastair MacDiarmid

Re: Three in Touch versus Home Signal

Try again with them, they gave me one and I'm on a 30 day rolling. I have been with them a while though. I use my box at work, because although I am 100m from a Macrocell I am down a hill and behind a load of concrete and steel.

Works well, thought the dubious BT VDSL connection at work drops regularly, and the Home Signal box needs re-setting about once a month.

I use three in touch occasionally, mostly when I'm at my local, which being miles out in the country can be patchy. Only if I need to be contactable though, who really needs to be called by work when you're having a pint?

For a while three in touch wrote sms to it's own system, so texts received didn't show up in the normal text app, irritating, it was easy to miss stuff, they've given you the option to turn that off now.

Living out in the country I find three coverage pretty good, much better than o2 who I used to be with, and hey, you always have 3g minimum, that was a revelation.

I used to get all my home internet over a 3 link, £15 month for 15GB.

BT landline dsl ran at a snails pace until they ran a new fibre into our exchange the other month, used to get a clean fast 10mb down and 4 up on three, only moved to a landline for the unlimited data. Good service all round imho.

Gov.uk's broadband boast: Superfast fibre piped to 1 million Brits

Alastair MacDiarmid

highlands, undersea cables? how about 30 miles south of london.


Not even adsl 2+ here in west sussex, ten years after it launched.

2mb if you're lucky

'iPhone 6' with '4.7-inch' display 'coming soon', but '5.5-incher' 'delayed'

Alastair MacDiarmid

for those of us of an age with changeing eyesight

The larger displays, I've recently moved from an iphone to a HTC one, really are a lot more readable, it's a problem as you age and one that I've really noticed in the last year as I approach 50..

I would have stuck with apple if there had been a larger more readable screen available.

If you're about to blather on about reading glasses etc etc, it's not always convenient in my line of work to be fishing out glasses to read a text or an email. I have a busy physically active job.

Gr8, it's the new M8! Ideal for that celebrity funeral selfie

Alastair MacDiarmid

Re: Another shiny HTC, another poor camera

The camera on the m7 is gorgeous, it's not all about loads of pixels M8.

BT earmarks super-speedy 300Mbit/s broadband for 50 exchanges

Alastair MacDiarmid

This really rankles for those of us on shitty adsl at about 2meg or less on a country exchange, with BT as the only provider.

Perhaps some of this money could be spent on evening out the divide rather than giving faster and faster to those who already have it?

Apple stops Caring in Italy, probably all Europe soon

Alastair MacDiarmid

there are some advantages to apple care if you travel

For example, those of us who buy laptops and travel with them around the world are guaranteed service in other places.

A laptop I used to have, bought it in the US, I live in the UK, it died in NZ.

New motherboard, no problem.

Having said that I've never bothered with it since.

O2 roaming rates to rise by up to 140%

Alastair MacDiarmid

Try looking for the "on and on" rate

Just swapped into it.

Unlimited voice and text in the uk. 1GB of data. 1.50 a day to use this in Europe. Sounds alright to me. Very cheap.

In truth their 3G coverage is appalling and 3G over 900mhz a scam because they don't seem to be upgrading the back haul with the air link upgrade. So your phone says 3G but it still takes five minutes to load an image. Yawn.

I'm in the middle of Sussex with an indifferent 2g connection. Not even edge. I get mybroadband from 3 who have the only useable 3G signal. Too far from a Bt only exchange to bother with copper. I'd swap to 3 but their roaming packages are non existent.

O2 were great before they got the iPhone. The creaking infrastructure never came right after.

War On Standby: Do the figures actually stack up?

Alastair MacDiarmid

"for instance for low-voltage ceiling spotlights. In such cases, of course, it is often not feasible to cut power to the transformer without knocking off a breaker or pulling out the light fitting"

really? really? you clearly have no idea how domestic electricity is switched. There is no low voltage switching, it's all mains, therefore if you switch off a low voltage light you switch off it's transformer.

Makes me think that perhaps some of the other arguments are a bit fallacious too.

Apple cripples iBooks for jailbreakers

Alastair MacDiarmid

I don't have an purchased ebooks and mine seems fine.

Only use it as a pdf reader and for freebees anyway, everything else is on kindle......

Trident delay by the Coalition: Cunning plan, or bad idea?

Alastair MacDiarmid

give it up you fools

Here's an idea, how about the UK and the british people stop pissing around pretending they're a world superpower and their opinions and politics are more valid than anywhere else.

Then all this money squandered on these useless ego inflating arms could be spent looking after the poor and disenfranchised in the UK.

Look how little sympathy Pakistan has had recently over the floods and earthquakes, they squandered massive amounts of their money on nuclear arms.

Frankly, given a big natural disaster ( and I don't mean a bit of anticipate-able snow this winter) the rest of the world is going to look the same way at your arrogant country as we do on Pakistan, pretty much like everyone does at the States when shit goes wrong.

Get over yourselves, nobody cares about you, if you didn't insist on arrogantly meddling in other's perfectly legitimate politics nobody would be in the slightest bit interested in bombing the tube, which is what you need to be looking at, not some crazy nuclear deterrent.

Steve Jobs death-grips iPhone 4 reality

Alastair MacDiarmid
Jobs Halo

Mine's Fine.

Thing is, I live in a really marginal O2 coverage area, and my 4 is absolutely fine however I grip the thing, before or after the software update.

Better than the 3G I had before.

Maybe this is a storm in a media tea cup?

3G iPhone not ready for the enterprise?

Alastair MacDiarmid
Thumb Down

"O2 don't cap their 3G at 128kb/" ..... bullshit

"O2 don't cap their 3G at 128kb/s. The WAP APN is capped at that speed and is designed for use with the O2 WAP portal. For full internet use, the mobileweb APN should be used, this is not capped, and will give you full HSDPA speeds, currently 1.8mb/s, soon to be >3mb/s."

errr they are capping it, my connection is still only around 100k with the "mobile"APN, and it's not my phone or network setting as I get a good 1.5m with the same setup on my at&t pre pay card in the states

Brain-sucking parasitic killer menaces warming lake waters

Alastair MacDiarmid

common in thermal pools in New Zealand

We were always advised as kids to avoid putting our heads under water in natural thermal pools when swimming, most these days use a heat transfer system to avoid contact with thrmal water that's been in contact with the soil where the amoeba contamination comes from.

O2 lacking Apple focus

Alastair MacDiarmid

works fine for me with safari

It was a bit iffy about a year back but Ive not had probems with it since.

Are we not confusing the fact th O2 don't "support" apple, doesn't mean that it doesn't actually function....