* Posts by dbayly

52 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Dec 2013


Crippled Peregrine lunar lander set for fiery return to Earth in matter of days


Kudos to Astrobotic

Their transparency has been outstanding from all accounts, and now they're heading to make the responsible decision on spacecraft disposal. Well done!

Honda cooks up an electric motorbike menu, with sides of connectivity


Re: However, safety could be improved if,,,, a riderless bike could be developed


Dev's PostgreSQL experiment probes possibility of zero-downtime schema migration


Kaleidoscopic views

Neat idea but I see trouble ahead if it gets deployed to places where managers just love a quick fix .... "Can't you just reshape that for now ?" . getting those last few apps that hold up the completion, patched to the new schema and thru QA ,,, "sorry no budget for that" or "We don't have time for that now" . Not sure where that ends, but it won't be very manageable. That's not a criticism of the tool to be sure and used carefully looks like a winner.

The dark equation of harm versus good means blockchain’s had its day


The doom is a bit too thick

There are ways to do decentralised blockchain without burning the planet, and there are successful projects that have used this scheme.

If you don't believe me, go look at https://hedera.com/

I take the point that ransomware depends upon bitcoin style blockchain, but that doesn't mean you must throw out blockchain entirely. A method of payment is not the cause of a crime, any more than iphone secure messaging is the cause of terrorism. There's a case to be made for money transfer without government supervision, or excessive fees from the transferring entity. Just look at what the big transfer agencies extract from the third world, in fees and exchange rates.

BOFH: Pass the sugar, Asmodeus, and let the meeting of the Fellowship of Bastards … commence


Re: Kickstarter

I'm gonna sue, it didn't work on my buckle up sandals

US Air Force chief software officer quits after launching Hellfire missile of a LinkedIn post at his former bosses


Re: So true...

People are promoted BEYOND their level of incompetence.

fixed that for you

Bionic eyes to be a thing in the next decade? Possibly. Boffins mark sensor-density breakthrough


Re: Who turned the lights out ?

Thank you for an illuminating response. :-)


Who turned the lights out ?

is this article claiming that the eye can detect less than 86 photons /second? Surely not ...

ALGOL 60 at 60: The greatest computer language you've never used and grandaddy of the programming family tree


ALGOL lives !

I learnt ALGOL 60 on a Elliot 503 in Oz in the 60s , and moved on from there to a long career of systems programming in ALGOL variants on the Burroughs machines, then Unisys A series. The OS is still written in ALGOL variant, all the compilers are ALGOL programs , including the ALGOL compiler.

And the I/O conundrum was solved handily by Knuth, who wrote an I/O library (largely in ALGOL) quite early on.

ALGOL lives still, though is a rare skill these days

Beyond JAMstack: Next.js creator on hybrid rendering, TypeScript and Visual Studio Code


Static generated pages with dynamic javascript generated elements

There is truly nothing new under the sun. I had to dig in my archives to verify I was doing this in 2006. In a plugin to a now obsolete CMS, Manila. Do I get a beer?

There and back again: NASA's mobile launcher returns to testing after ducking out for Dorian


The bigger they are

How do you hurricane proof a structure like the VAB ?

Science and engineering hit worst as Euroboffins do a little Brexit of their own from British universities


Re: Well, you're leaving

After a hard Brexit BOTH UK AND EU citizens in this county would only have the rights that the UK government was prepared to give them.

There fixed that for you

I can hear the light! Boffins beam audio into ears with freakin' lasers


Ain't science wonderful ?

Oh, finally - advertisements beamed to your ears only! And other delightful applications.

Spidey sense is literally tingling! Arachnids detect Earth's electric field, use it to fly away


<quote>Like migrating birds that cross oceans, then fly back. There's reasons they do that.</quote>

You think they fly back because there's no feed at the other side?

4G found on Moon


Would it be possible to

.. devise a way to connect an earth based phone to the moon base station, so that calls appear to originate from the moon ?

Death notice: Moore's Law. 19 April 1965 – 2 January 2018


Re: so Desperation

RIP Microsft!

Today in bullsh*t AI PR: Computers learn to read as well as humans (no)


Another , more promising, approach

There are other AI natural language processing approaches that are not based on machine learning type pattern matching. I am much taken with


It's still arguable if the program understands anything. But the deeper we dig into "intelligence" the more that seems to be so for human, IMO.

Windows Update borks elderly printers in typical Patch Tuesday style


Re: "I got myself a Mac and could still use my scanner"

<quote>you can't really expect an OS deliver drivers for each and every device ever produced. Especially complex ones like scanners or printers which may have very specific functions.</quote>

I suspect more and more people do really expect just that. I certainly do. And especially for complex ones (i.e expensive ones) like scanners or printers with very specific functions. An OS choice doesn't give the manufacturer a licence to determine what hardware you should choose. The ever onward strategy of the OS companies is a business choice, they want to generate more revenue. It's worked well for them; I see no problem with requiring some of that revenue to be dedicated to maintaining functionality.

Keeping security patches entirely separate from feature patches might be a good start.

Jupiter flashes pulsating southern pole, boffins understandably baffled


It's all about us

It's the "Danger:savage primitive lifeforms in stellar system" beacon, placed, as per convention, on the poles of rotation of the largest planet in the stellar system.

Generally when the life forms figure out how to turn it off, they are advanced enough to not want to argue with the lifeforms that turned it on a long time ago.

Comet 67-P farted just as Rosetta probe flew through the gas plume

Thumb Down

Re: Theories

Can we nominate presidents for assassination ?

SpaceX sneaks in X-37B space plane launch ahead of Hurricane Irma


Re: Getting bored now

There's a really big swimming pool visible on Google Earth, that might be retractable, about 200 klicks south at MAr-al-lago club on the coast in West.

No, the cops can't get a search warrant to just seize all devices in sight – US appeals court


It's a 100 miles I think. There might be one spot somewhere in the US that is that far away from all airports.

HoloLens: Microsoft brags about AI chip in next-gen techno-goggles


In praise of local processing

When and if functions that are offloaded to the cloud, such as voice processing and image processing, are handled entirely in the local device, I will become more interested in using said features. Privacy is a major selling point for me!

NASA whistles up electron noise from the Van Allen belt


not news

When I had a student job building radio Telescopes for the Physic Department of the University of Tasmania in the 60s, I remember being told about whistler research and listening to sounds just like this, particularly the second recording. I don't think it is a new research topic, although the satellites weren't available then...

US laptops-on-planes ban now applies to just one airport, ends soon


Meanwhile what's happening with the UK's ban ?

I seem to remember that the UK imposed the same ban, following the US precedent. I've heard nothing about it since. Is it still in force?

You know this net neutrality thing? Well, people really love it


What happens to external internet users ...

.. when the US does away with net neutrality?

will my access to US sites from Europe be affected (well sure) and how ?

Supreme Court closes court-shopping loophole for patent trolls


Re: Look out Delaware!

Unisys is incorporated there. As is Dell. I stopped lookign after those 2.

Space upstart plans public cloud in low Earth orbit


Possible motivation

Could it be that the servers are out of reach of any regulator or other authority , that makes this an attractive proposition for some?

Trump sets sights on net neutrality


Re: What happens when the 1% has all the money?

Trump isn't in that top 1% of the 1%.

Not yet he isn't. Give him some time

What a time to be alive: drone pooper-scoopers are a thing now


I know a few horse owners who spend a lot of time shovelling horse shit in paddocks. Seems like another opportunity for these developers

Confirmed: TSA bans gear bigger than phones from airplane cabins


You're all missing the point

So the Trump administration leaks a possible new security protocol and what happens? It dominates the news and deflects attention from other newsworthy issues, such as Trumps FBI director and his NSA head dissing him in a public, televised forum. And revealing he may have had links to Russia during his campaign and that he was lying wrt being wiretapped by Obama. And his candidate for the supremes is in front of the Senate committee just now.

I commend the description of the "goat and the cow" in https://extranewsfeed.com/when-villains-arent-super-f5646d81db6#.zdmm06qtq

MI5 man to steer GCHQ as Trump wiretapping saga continues


descending to the level of an infant school playground

It's the dilemma faced by all adults trying to deal with an undisciplined, truculent toddler, real conversation is just impossible. Only 46 more months to go .....

Huge if true: iPhone 8 will feature 3D selfies, rodent defibrillator


Re: I'm calling it

You'd need way more than 45V to reanimate a lowland paca.

But, a sustained 45V might cook one nicely in short order.

Want to come to the US? Be prepared to hand over your passwords if you're on Trump's hit list


That will be a self correcting problem. Expect Canadian and Mexican hubs to become popular.

CBI: Brexit Britain needs a 'sensible and flexible' immigration programme


Re: Employers have called for a "sensible" immigration programme

<quote> What we need is a big WALL to make everybody respect us, and fear us, and make us GREAT agin!


You forgot to add... "and make Europe pay for it!".

Amazon files patent for 'Death Star' flying warehouse


Re; Turkeydrop on WKRP

It's on youtube


the actual drop starts at about 19 mins.

Sexbots could ‘over-exert’ their human lovers, academic warns


Re: Umm



Pair programming – you'll never guess what happens next!


Re: Re; Dumb idea - Nope. Stereotypes.

Upvoted as thanks for that link. It is pretty well spot-on in my experience (40+ years).

Astronauts on long-haul space flights risk getting 'space brains'


Re: Space hats!

Dr Who would look daft dressed like that. Er, even more daft!

One-way Martian ticket: Pick passengers for Musk's first Mars pioneer squad


Re: Survival.

Reminds me of Cyril Kornbluths "marching Morons"


Wonder story that appeals to all BOFHs and ananbes

Fanbois iVaporate: Smallest Apple iPhone queues ever


Re: What else can you queue up for any more?

Your mortgage is £35 a month??

It's for a phonebox

Inside our three-month effort to attend Apple's iPhone 7 launch party


To anyone who has endured as an employee of a large corporation, it's obvious why El Reg is blacklisted, at some point a senior manager took offence at something on the website and The Register was a added to the "Do not revive" list. That worthy has probably moved on, been disgraced or died, but the listing remains. Large corporations are not flexible in this matter. Executive dignity must be preserved at all costs, even at the risk of being pompous.

Reduced roaming charges, net neutrality come into force in EU


Re: Bloody EU!

Won't that be illegal after Brexit?

Apple Watch exec Bob Mansfield 'gets into secret Apple car'


An iAUto would ....

.... change shape and colour every new software release

.... have controls that were invisible unless you swiped left (with 2 or 3 fingers) on the steering wheel (or left , or something)

... not have a speedometer as it would clutter the user interface

.... an entertainment centre that only played music available on iTunes

... have a unique charging plug

China leaves Apple books, movies on the cutting room floor


Books, Movies but NOT music?

Perhaps music isn't as subversive :-)

Aye, AI: Cambridge's Dr Sean Holden talks to El Reg about our robot overlords


Re: Motivation, motivation...

Great website, thanks for the link.

Zuck: Facebook won't retry Free Basics in India


The flying wing thing cruising at 90,000 feet is way cool. But the laser connection from the ground station to the plane would seem to be dodgier. I can't imagine that airline pilots will be too keen on them; they will need significant power to be detectable at 90K - more I suspect than the lasers that pen laser waving idiots around airports are using. And then there's the weather ...

From Zero to hero: Why mini 'puter Oberon should grab Pi's crown


Pascal on MAc

MacOS, the original on from the 80s, was implemented largely in Pascal, and the reference docs were all in Pascal form. The best IDE and compiler I ever worked on , Think Pascal, was a brilliant piece of UI work, unmatched in IDEs to this day I think.

Apple then discovered C and seemed to think it was superior, but I didn't see much evidence of that at the time.

Meaningful gesture: Thalmic Labs Myo motion sensing armband


I have one

I bought 2, one for a friend with extreme hand problems and one for me to maybe extend its capabilities for the friend, if it worked out. It's slightly irritating, it kept wanting me to re-sync my gestures. My friend had problems using ti also. In the end its a bit too limite. It does work to pause videos from the lounge though.

Myo didn't live up to the potential as optimistically predicted by its Kickstarter campaign. I've not had a great run with Kickstarter projects, at least this one delivered.

Behold the mighty Swiss SPACE JUNK NOSHER PODULE


It would be rational to preserve the investment made to put all this expensive junk in place, by collecting the non functional bits into a junkyard, inside a big net in the back yard of the ISS. Maybe you'd need separate junkyards for each space power..