* Posts by notowenwilson

143 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Oct 2013


Boeing big cheese repeats pledge of 737 Max software updates following fatal crashes


"When you turn on the engine, the plane phones home and checks your software update"

You've flown a DJI drone then?

SpaceX sends Iridium-8 into space while Musk flaunts his retro rocket


"Some people would wait until they were on a truly solid commercial footing with their main business before starting on glory projects with no obvious way to pay for them"

And some people would be working an average job, living an average life in an average suburb making an average contribution to the world.

Between you, me and Musk only one of us has built an orbital launch business and it's not you or me...

Suunto settles scary scuba screwup for $50m: 'Faulty' dive computer hardware and software put explorers in peril


"Also, what I am saying is that relying on wireless kit underwater (which all Suunto integrated computers use) without having an SPG and depth gauge is stupid."

Except for the one that is in the article that is an air integrated computer that is not wireless and happens to be particularly common in these parts.


"Firstly, no serious diver would use a Suunto" how serious do you need to be? I know plenty of instructors who dive with Suunto computers with no backup with hundreds or thousands of dives. Are they serious enough?

Houston, we've had a problem: NASA fears internal server hacked, staff personal info swiped by miscreants


Apollo 13

Thankyou for getting the quote right in the headline

It's raining drones, but just one specimen: DJI's Matrice 200 quadcopter


Re: Damn batteries ...

Unlikely to be a jammer issue. DJI drones will either stay in place, land, or go home if they lose signal. They don't just drop out of the sky due to lost comms/gps


Re: Raises an interesting question

Auto-rotation requires variable pitch propellers which have a major weight penalty compared to the fixed pitch units currently installed on multi-copters. It also requires higher inertia (longer and heavier) rotors than currently used. If you were going to do that you'd be better off with a traditional 1 or 2 rotor helicopter.

Better option would be to put a ballistic parachute on it.

Sysadmin misses out on paycheck after student test runs amok


Re: "Snoopy characters"

Bart Simpson was the original focus. Homer became the focus as their audience grew up with the show.

Dear America: Want secure elections? Stick to pen and paper for ballots, experts urge


Re: Somehow...

"Not the ELECTION budget, which is usually FIXED..."

It's not like the election budget has remained fixed since 1950. Budgets get revised every year. But let's assume that they don't get looked at for a full presidential election cycle. How much has the US population changed in 4 years? About 3% from a quick look. If you can't tolerate 3% more people you've got issues. Hell, US voter turnout swings by more than that from election to election. Australia's population increased by 4.5% over a federal election cycle. Every vote is counted by hand and the AEC is one of the best in the world at running elections. The US issues are purely their own making.


Re: share of moonballs

"People don't find such ID offensive. Why does the US left?"

Because the US has a long and proud tradition of voter suppression. The issue is not having to have a card; the issue is that it's too easy for local authorities to decide that the card will cost you $50, or is only available if you have a drivers license, or if you have a clean criminal record, or are paid up with your taxes any of which would mean a huge population of low income (and generally Democrat voting) people can't get one. Same reason the right don't want voting age lowered to 16... the majority of kids will vote democrat.

The US loves the idea of local control (to save us from the big bad feds) but the by-product is you get lousy governance.

Build your own NASA space rover: Here are the DIY JPL blueprints


Re: Boo

"The phone I am using right now has a 5200 mAh battery, I can't help but think a bigger battery would make a huge difference."

Sure, but your phone runs at 3.7V, I expect that thing runs a little higher than that.

Brit drone biz Sensat notches up 29km remote-control flight


These guys have been delivering blood and other medical products, by drone, over ranges up to 80km for years now...


Impressive stuff.

Orbital ATK launches another Cygnus without anything blowing up


Re: Environmental impact of burning tons of space junk in earth's atmosphere?

"Are you thinking that space exploration and launches should be shut down do to "environmental impact"?" Slow down, tiger, you can be interested in the impact without wanting to shut the whole thing down. I once looked at how many calories in a hamburger but that doesn't mean I intend to starve myself to death.

Super Cali health inspectors: Tesla blood awoke us


Re: wish we had some yellow.

My friend doesn't get it, can you explain the blue spotlight thing for him?

White House: Is it OK to hijack, shoot down, or snoop on drones? Er ... asking for a friend


Re: Bah!

To be fair you can stop a car with a gun, or just a big concrete planter box.

Apple, if you want to win in education, look at what sucks about iPads


Re: @AC

"BTW, in a lot of countries parents pay for their kids textbooks - over five years of secondary school that can add up to the same as two or three iPads. Also an iPad is a lot easier to carry than a rucksack full of books..."

You still have to pay for the books, though, just because you own the device doesn't mean that the content is free.

Seen from spaaaaace: Boffins check world's oceans for plastic


"The question is though, who pays? Tax payer?"

Put a tax on it when it's sold, if you return it then you get that money back. Companies selling plastic products will want to keep the sale price down so they will reduce the amount of plastic in their products (if it's done by weight) and collecting discarded plastic can become a profitable exercise if you can do it at scale. Plenty of places currently do that for aluminium cans and there are vanishingly few that make it through to landfill since there is cash to be had for collecting it.

UK's air accident cops are slurping data from pilots' fondleslabs


Re: "...GPS blockers as notoriously used by so many professional drivers..."

"Imagine a Speed Camera like device"

Alas, the RAF used to have a device that achieved somewhat similar functionality, it also happened to be rocket powered and instead of just taking photos it could rapidly relocate itself, complete with explosive payload, into the vicinity of the jammer. Unfortunately it was retired a few years back so you might need to ask the USAF to help instead.


Re: "...GPS blockers as notoriously used by so many professional drivers..."

"I'm not even sure anything illegal is happening by using the jammer"

From memory any transmission on a frequency you're not permitted to use is illegal. I can't imagine OFCOM are handing out licenses to transmit on the same frequencies as GPS and I'm certain they are not listed in the ISM bands that are a bit of free-for-all.

EU aviation agency publishes new drone framework. Hobbyists won't like it


As someone who currently flies drones in a country with rules that are effectively identical to the EASA rules I can confidently say that the biggest issue is the requirement to remain clear of people. Where I am that requirement is to stay at least 30m from anyone who is not directly operating the drone. If my kid is standing next to me watching me fly I can't fly it within 30m of me. That starts to really limit your ability to take pictures of your family on holiday and starts to bring into question the reason why you would consider buying most camera oriented drones that are on the market now.



"I know hardly anything about drones, but I have a feeling they use metres as their preferred vertical units." It's the beauty of having purely software defined instrumentation that changing between one and the other is just a matter of changing a setting in the config menu. I dare say people just change that to what they are comfortable with.


Re: Drone makers rush

"Serious drones are getting lighter and lighter. My Mavic Pro is pretty tiny yet can fly literally for miles, it's beyond line of sight very quickly indeed."

And the mavic air which has comparable capabilities is 2/3 the weight of the pro

‘I crashed a rack full of servers with my butt’


Re: Just finger trouble

Our work PCs have one of those nice setups with a bunch of USB ports, headphone and microphone jacks on the top edge of the case. Very convenient. Except the power button is directly below the headphone jacks so when you're poking around under the desk to get the cable in there's a decent chance you're going to have windows asking if you want to start saving things before shutting down.

A Hughes failure: Flat Earther rocketeer can't get it up yet again


Re: So about the same height as LOHAN then

Too soon

So you accidentally told a million people they are going to die: What next? Your essential guide...


From what I understand initially there was a lot of shouting and running and within a couple of minutes they had been advised that it was all clear and everyone went about their business.

Sysadmin crashed computer recording data from active space probe


Re: Hmmm ...

I thought it was an interesting read.

Hawaiian fake nukes alert caused by fat-fingered fumble of garbage GUI


Re: Confirmation checkbox needed

How about:

"to send this message, please type the first 20 digits of pi"

Ecuador tried to make Julian Assange a diplomat


Re: WOT? CCTV not sufficient???

"WOT? CCTV not sufficient???"

The issue is not seeing him leave, the issue is getting hold of him before he can go hide somewhere else or leave the country. CCTV has never been particularly good at arresting people.

Of course Uber allegedly had a tool to remotely destroy evidence


Re: And that's why...

"Jesus, what more do you need Uber to do before you stop using them?"

Run out of VC money that is currently supporting low fares. Once the fares go up to sustainable levels things will change.

Russia claims it repelled home-grown drone swarm in Syria


"German rocket planes"

That'd be the ME163? I believe. Not sure how well the skid worked but I believe they were fairly effective at killing their pilots before they had a chance to land.

Big shock: $700 Internet-of-Things door lock not a success


Re: I'm disappointed

The other $370 covers the industrial design to make it look awesome. And beanbags for the programming team's office.

5 reasons why America's Ctrl-Z on net neutrality rules is a GOOD thing



"I learnt to drive, and make sure I drive well. I also work at watching the road and things around me to be able to see trouble before I'm in it.

That way, I don't need things like roll cages."

Your hubris is truly awe inspiring. "I can keep myself safe by my own actions, everything that happens to me is under my control".

Good luck with that bud!

Auto auto fleets to dodge British potholes in future


Re: Really?

I think we're going about this pothole dodging the wrong way. Put active hydraulic suspension on the car and if it detects a road defect it can rapidly extend the suspension, thus launching the car - over - the pothole. No dodging of other traffic necessary.

Why Uber isn't the poster child for capitalism you wanted


Re: Erm

The threat is that in the time it takes for their VC funders to run out of cash, a whole load of low-middle class drivers will be driven to the wall and go broke. I'm not talking about the Uber drivers who are getting short changed by 10 or 15 percent. I'm talking about the minicab drivers who are losing 50+% of their income.

Uber Cali goes ballistic, calls online ads bogus: These million-dollar banners are something quite atrocious



For not referring to them as a "ride sharing" company.

Uber bros kill car leasing program after losing nine grand per vehicle


Re: No word on

"Neither is running a taxi service, but they're losing billions doing that, too."

Well said. Eventually people will realise that Uber is just a taxi service operating at a loss with a shiny app and no morals.

US spies hacked our phones over the air, claim pipeline protesters


Re: This is another reason Apple needs to get away from Qualcomm


But, thanks for the laugh."

Calm down, sunshine. Perhaps you had some really insightful things to say, perhaps you know all about this stuff. But all of that is overshadowed by a direct and personal attack on the OP. I come to these forums to learn from people who know interesting stuff. Go somewhere else if you feel the need to sling insults at people.

Want to visit your loved one in jail? How about Skype instead?


Re: Almost all contraband is brought in by the guards

They won't need an excuse. Someone will be making money and a cut of that will go to the people who run things.


Re: Why not both ?!

Your logic has no place in the US prison business.

.. ..-. / -.-- --- ..- / -.-. .- -. / .-. . .- -.. / - .... .. ... then a US Navy fondleslab just put you out of a job


Re: And how well, exactly....

Looks like a panasonic toughpad. Yes they work fine after a heavy drenching. Source: have used them offshore and given them a heavy drenching in salt spray. Not bad in direct sunlight either.

French general accused of nicking fast jet for weekend trips to the Sun


" Many people complained to the local police (which I find suprising in wartime). "

Just because there's a war on doesn't mean that the NIMBY's suddenly shut up.

Researchers blind autonomous cars by tricking LIDAR


"As opposed to enough time to read and comment on random articles on El Reg, I see. The Twatter generation at its best."

I was torn between replying with

a) a quip about the dismissive older generation that has to hide behind the anonymous coward veil in order to sling insults with impunity at random strangers on the internet

b) noting that if I hadn't been reading random articles on El Reg I never would have seen a reference to the report and hence would never have read it anyway, and

c) pointing out that you can often get better information in the comments than you can in the article itself.

As is the case with my generation we frequently struggle to make decisions so you can have all three


Awesome, as the designated Reg reader with enough time on their hands to read the paper, care to share the TL;DR version?


I always wondered, if the majority of cars end up with LIDAR systems that run on the same wavelength, what are the chances of those LIDARs interacting in the same way the researchers found? Provided your vehicle density is low enough the chances of getting interference would be pretty low, but what about in peak hour traffic where you could have multiple cars blasting away with multiple LIDARs in a confined area?

Huge ransomware outbreak spreads in Ukraine and beyond


"Note that there are millions of Apple Mac users out there that do not use any Windows software and get things done much more easily, securely and professionally."

Sure, but very few of them work in engineering companies that require access to top of the range CAD packages.


Excuse my ignorance, but how do I run all my windows only software that is central to my job description on Linux? Or do I need to get a new job?

'Bio-hacker' embeds public transport ticket under his skin


Meow that's just ridiculous.

Queensland Police want access to locked devices


Re: I think someone has misunderstood the intent of social media

Because its only vaguely about actually responding to terrorism and mostly about streamlining policing by allowing desktop investigations rather than having to actually talk to people.

DARPA orders spaceplane capable of 10 launches in 10 days


Does the US military have a bunch of spare satellites just sitting around waiting to be launched?

SpaceX settles $3.9m shift pattern class action lawsuit


Re: "but three-quarters of any payout goes to the state’s coffers in return" !

Or it's just a matter of risk/reward. The state pays the legal bills, the worker just has to testify. The state gets most of the money, the worker gets the rest. If the legal action fails, the state still pays the legal bills and the worker doesn't pay a cent.