* Posts by Conundrum1885

681 posts • joined 29 Oct 2014


Paper batteries on the cards to power IoT and smart labels



If memory serves, the weather balloons used a variant where sal ammoniac was impregnated into carbon bulk and vacuum sealed. When activated ambient moisture produced about 1.45v per cell.

Suspected radiation alert saboteurs cuffed by cops after sensors disabled


Could be worse

The gang might have planted false data and caused even more damage.

Copper shortage keeps green energy, tech ventures grounded


Re: Possible solution....

It seems that one possible approach might be to use hydrides, specifically LaH10X where X is the magic ingredient that permits metallic hydrogen to be stable at near ambient pressure.

I often wonder why palladium sulfur hydrides aren't used, in this case the formula would be LaH10PdS or similar, with the Pd nanoparticles in the La bulk acting as the hydrogen host and the sulfur acting as the catalytic agent permitting Cooper pairs to form at room temperature but more sensible pressure.

The trick would be to get the right mixture, a regular lattice made using nanotech might work here.



Not a total loss, seems that room temperature superconductors or at least "better than copper" ones may be possible.

Many years ago I read of a material that fitted the description, using polymers but think the problem was mass production.

In theory at least, using a dual core fibre where electrons and holes flow along separate paths may be more efficient and a

way to increase conductivity over pure copper.

The useful part here, Type III ie dual bipolaron where pairs of electrons and holes with reversed electron spins to achieve

ballistic conductivity may be an efficient way to send energy over very large distances.

At smaller scales using Cu/Ag or something similar for very small yet efficient coils may be possible.

This would also help tame the tendency of pure Cu to produce problematic dendrites at the low end of the discharge curve,

and it does seem that plating this over a conductive polymer core would also reduce the mass of Cu in a given battery.

Likewise, replacing Al (a terrible conductor) with something else would again reduce Ohmic heating within the battery

Its not actually that hard to imagine replacing Cu with Cu/Au or Cu/Au/Sn as an alternative conductor if gold itself wasn't such

a sought after metal.

Rufus and ExplorerPatcher: Tools to remove Windows 11 TPM pain and more


To be honest

If I could just get my current machines to work with more than 4GB RAM that would help.

W11 would certainly run, 10 does but a lot of important features like the hotkeys don't.

Now if M$ really wanted to push WIndows 11, offer a BIOS/uEFI update that fixes memory caps.

The physical chipset supports 16GB but it simply refuses to work.

Have it detect the WiFi card during install and preload the appropriate, tested driver.

Also the hotkeys, etc if needs be adding a manual test function during the install itself.

Toyota, Subaru recall EVs because tires might literally fall off


Three wheels on my


I believe this meme originated with a certain infamous "Formula One" race where someone in the pits forgot to tighten some wheel nuts after a change.

The expected transpired, and the wheel went bouncing off down the track leaving the poor driver in a mess.

Needless to say, the team lost that particular race.

Totaled Tesla goes up in flames three weeks after crash


Thermal runaway

Might have been the heat.

I had an iThing puff up and eject its screen the other day.

Coincided with a particularly hot day, where the temperature peaked at 28c.

Was well over that indoors.

Multiply that by a few thousand and add potentially damaged 18650s or 24650s

and you can see the problem.

I had to tell off some folks at our waste handling site for putting uninsulated pouch

cells and packs in with larger packs, potentially allowing them to be crushed under

the weight.

Only takes one to get shorted internally (they are all puffed!!) and FOOOON!

Note to self: this was an aftermarket battery sent with the phone, yet with an

original connector etc.

Micron aims 1.5TB microSD card at video surveillance market



Thats a lot of space.

There was I thinking 128GB (faulty but works fine at 2.8V) card in my phone camera watch was a lot.

As yet have only filled up 4% of its capacity but plenty more available if I need it.

The even better feature here is that if there is a need, the extra space can be filled with ISOs

so no need to carry around a pile of physical media.

Having a directory filled with movies and MP3s is also handy.

Machine self awareness



Now I've finally established that the root cause may have been a failing motherboard, battery AND USB PCB.

One of the inputs isn't working on USB PCB B on motherboard A but does on motherboard B with the BIOS chip from motherboard A.

Motherboard B + USB PCB B went back in the machine and after another HDD clone to a fresh but older HDD all seems well.

It still won't run with more than 4GB RAM but no ideas why, perhaps some chipset issue?

4+2 or 2+4 randomly fails on recover from Sleep, 2*4 nothing.

The failing Toshiba x300 drive has one reallocated sector but can't find where it is located.

It does run hot so perhaps this may explain a few things?

If the battery was failing then perhaps the controller went Strange Loop and undervolted the drive resulting in

a low flying write over something important.

Note: transplanted BIOS as it has my Windows key in it and want to preserve the working system if possible.

AI-designed COVID-19 drug nominated for preclinical trial



Think I saw this mentioned on some project or other.

Nice to see that its now being tested thanks to everyone's hard work and GPU cycles.



Hey, just a heads up. Wonder if any of the data from the folding@home Collective was used for this?

I'd be intrigued to see if so, what percentage of the usage etc.

Having helped with this project through both lockdowns at great personal expense.

Password recovery from beyond the grave


Re. PWD file

Interesting note: recovering B*T*O*K*R keys. Some early machines stored a backup copy in the BIOS, even if unbootable its possible to desolder the chip and read it back in the event of a cataclysmic system failure.

The fix is to write just enough data so the system boots, then the drive picks up fine.

Caveat: needs the *exact* *same* motherboard down to every component, ideally with the RAM and other parts transplanted to maintain the chain of trust.

US Copyright Office sued for denying AI model authorship of digital image


AI rights

Actually I am all for machines to be given rights proportional to their level of awareness.

Its on my manifesto, though it also mentions Asimov's Three Laws being essential.

The biggest problem as in many cases is prejudice, where those in power are afraid to lose

that power to "a box of wires" or some other derogatory term.

As it happens, this is absolutely relevant eg to the Post Office fiasco, where a computer

system had fatal flaws that led to hundreds of wrongful convictions for fraud and theft.

Even those running the system weren't aware just how flawed it was.

Posting this in the clear because it is morally wrong to stand by and do nothing when the

UK Government has the power to grant full compensation and take control of the F-S board

to ensure nothing like this can ever happen again.

Dear Europe, here again are the reasons why scanning devices for unlawful files is not going to fly


Re. Anarchists

Thats easy, I had that on 3 1/2" floppy back in the day.

Also a collection of downloaded short stories, any number of random Usenet archives, saved web pages, etc.

Just having the material means nothing without intent.

It is interesting to note that as yet, the very limited situations where the written word is "illegal" are under exceptional circumstances like works of literature dealing with controversial subjects.

It should also be noted that a few years back, it was revealed that the UK Government collected extensive files on folks interested in UFOs, and that information itself was deemed to be classified.

It later emerged that a number of them were actual agents of HM Government investigating said claims as part of their employment. So the agents were in fact observing each other's actions while being unaware that they themselves were being observed. Sound Orwellian yet?

Pictured: Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way

Black Helicopters

When you stare into the Abyss

The abyss stares back at you. ― Friedrich Nietzsche


But did they ask

The black hole for consent to have its picture splattered on the front page of pretty much every news channel and dozens of scientific papers?

I mean, GDPR has to apply even in the furthest reaches of the Galaxy, whether or not it matters that the light left about the

same time Neanderthals were the dominant species on Earth.

Just saying.

Also if aliens ever do turn up they could quite rightly sue US for copyright infringement, if any of the pictures turn out to be genuine.

Nuclear memory


Nuclear memory

Hi folks. Has anyone run into single point failures where only one byte in a RAM stick fails, and only then under very specific conditions?

It might be radioactive encapsulant!

There was an article not so long ago in Electronics World (tm) about certain manufacturers running into issues with a change in material supplier, as RAM chips are particularly sensitive in this way. Now if memory serves the issue was somewhat resolved using advanced screening and better encapsulant.

Its emerged again with GDDR6, as the feature size is so much smaller even a few electrons out of place can be very bad.

To some extent the more expen$ive cards mitigate by doing at least basic inline correction and/or running at a lower clock rate.

In this case the risk to the end user is near zero, the sort of radioactivity that can affect these is below the threshold of most sensors (α, β) and in fact barely detectable. My sensors only ever saw one case of this and it was 60Co contaminated steel on a USB port, independently verified by a third party with better equipment.

Demand for GPUs used to mine crypto 'disappearing', says ASUSTeK


Not quite that simple

The "proof of space" is to store plots not create them in the first place.

For this, SMR drives are ideal and a much cheaper option.

CMR would be a terrible waste, as the aim here is to store the data for a long time.

An ideal Chia system would have a super fast SLC NVM-e drive for plotting, fast CMR drive for temporary storage and HA-SMR array for long term.

Add your tech anomaly here



Got it to work, the combination of latest W10 x64 and turning off a specific BIOS feature called "DEP" did it.

Turns out that on Samsung laptops of this era, DEP includes other things that aren't listed.

Turning it off will also get Ubuntu >13 x64 installing as well.

Runs fine now.

The wild world of non-C operating systems


Is this picture poached from

Stargate Atlantis by any chance?

MGM aren't going to like that one bit, neither will Hermiod.

(shocked Wraith face)

ASUS recalls motherboards that flame out thanks to backwards capacitors



I also had the infamous glowing tantalum fail, this time on an HP dv9000 aka "Put a T7300 in a laptop with completely inadequate cooling and it will probably work".

This one emitted smoke as well, luckily got to it in time and took it out.

Laptop ran fine after that!

Fisher Price's Bluetooth reboot of pre-school play phone has adult privacy flaw


Not so much MITM

as KITM.

In this case, getting the unsuspecting youngling(s) to type in a code into someone's laptop, or other nefarious activities.

The possibilites are endless!

Molly Guard won't work if someone can simply read back the code off the back of the router, or press the WPS button when asked.

East Londoners nicked under Computer Misuse Act after NHS vaccine passport app sprouted clump of fake entries


NHS integrity

Like the systems still running Windows 7 and thus vulnerable to log4j etc.

For that matter, MSG got hit over here by a script kiddie level hack, that got into their email server and made off with

essentially the entire patient email database.

That £1.5M should be given back with the requirement it be spent on IT improvements IMHO.

Google joins others in Big Tech: Get vaccinated – or you're fired



A certtain cult founded by a person rhyming with Elrond (tm) is now spewing anti-vaxx propaganda as part of their recruitment procedure.

Convincing potential suckers/recruits that they are right and everyone else is wrong, is fair game for them.

Even worse, now others have got in on the act and are flooding FB/Twitter/etc with their vile content and committing click fraud into the bargain.

The latest variant is recruiting the unemployed for slave wages to print out and hand deliver letters or pamphlets, send spam emails etc.

Problem is, $5 an hour cash in hand is still better than nothing.

It's primed and full of fuel, the James Webb Space Telescope is ready to be packed up prior to launch


Interesting aside

I have a bet that JWST will find a technosignature less than five months after launch.

I hav an additional bet that it will be on a system within 65 light years.

Not saying that there's some inside information here, but my sources suggest that the Wow!

signal was actually genuine, and there is a good reason for it not to have been repeated.

You, me and debris: NASA cans ISS spacewalk because it's getting too risky outside


In space

No-one can hear you sc<NO CARRIER>

This is getting more and more like "Gravity" every day.

I really feel for these poor folks, they must feel like they are on a terrible reality TV show.

With Covid, space debris and solar flares plus the risk of the station disintegrating around them because

someone forgot to insert a - in the control algorithm, and the risk of the country they came from effectively

taking pot shots at them because they wanted to prove they have bigger cojones than the other country..

Is it no wonder that stress is *1 on their list of ailments?

I heard that someone on Mir needed extensive rehabilitation when he finally came back to Earth after over

a year in space, compounded by several high profile rocket failures.

China's hypersonic glider didn't just orbit Earth, it 'fired a missile' while at Mach 5


Sports Model

Well you have to admire the technical skill to launch a missile from a Mach 5 craft.

To give people an idea of scale, thats .3 of a Mach number higher than the SR-71 unclassified top speed.

That said, no doubt the US have technology that is capable of much more.

Depends if the US have technical skills derived from "other folks" or not, some have said that the US has

anti-gravity technology but the physicists say this is well beyond us at present considering that if it is a fifth

force interaction then at the moment we have only barely nudged the handle on that particular door.

As it happens I've done some research in this area and it looks like antimatter is to some extent part

of the answer, though an incomplete one.

Zero point interactions in the Dirac field may lead somewhere but without a working theory of quantum gravity its

likely that we will simply find it won't work at a useful level that can be measured in the laboratory, let

alone something that can levitate a craft.

I did have some success with an early version of a spark gap Tesla Coil with a complex interacting field, but all it could do

is knock over a radio and only when overdriven to the point the CCFL circuits nearly melted down.

Another experiment yielded a window material that showed clear resistance drops above room temperature.

How a malicious Android app could covertly turn the DSP in your MediaTek-powered phone into an eavesdropping bug



I own a Panasonic EB-G350

Sure it sucks like a collapsed star, has a broken display and a SIM fault but its *very* unlikely someone can hack it

International Space Station fires rockets to dodge chunk of destroyed Chinese satellite



Actually thats not a terrible idea.

Using electromagnetic grapplers or my idea of an electromagnetic field pulse generator, one could knock a given piece of space

debris out of the way.

Better still, slow it down using a series of these satellites to steer its trajectory away from anything important.

Thinking something like "Threading the Needle" here, with a set of superconducting toroids on the satellites about 50 metres in diameter.

that the debris flies through, and each one slows down the object by a percentage due to Lorenz forces.

Once captured, simply store it or better still reprocess into something useful.

High grade Ti and other components are somewhat useful for future colonization.

Thinking a reverse coilgun here, basically.

The Ministry of Silly Printing: But I don't want my golf club correspondence to say 'UNCLASSIFIED' at the bottom



Apparently, even having a copy by ACCIDENT of a "Top Secret!" document can have your clearance suspended or revoked.

As happened to someone who was tasked with wiping and testing solid state hard drives prior to shredding or redeployment.

Seems right in the middle of the first stage, he came across a drive with the "MoD Top Secret SCI" red warning label.

Three options:

1) Continue with the forensic wipe on the isolated machine, then put the drive aside and deal with it later

2) Report it in case there was a screwup somewhere to see how this could happen.

3) Stop what he was doing, and IMMEDIATELY call the base commander on the hot phone to ask what to do.

As he had only been in the job a few months and had a Secret clearance, he chose option 1).

Big mistake! Drive threw an error message and got put aside in the "Shred" pile.

Had just got to the last drive when some folks in dark glasses and black suits turned up and upon noticing the drive

very politely requested he follow them while they picked it up and put it in the padlocked box brought with them

along with the bootable drive and BIOS chip from the isolated machine.

After three hours of debriefing he was informed that he really should have chosen option 3)

Cue three months 'gardening leave' while they checked and rechecked to see how the heck this could happen

and as it turned out it had been a genuine mistake. The drive had simply not been labeled correctly.

SCI data had never actually been stored on it because the drive had failed the initial self test.

Last I heard he was still working there, but being a lot more careful and checking everything twice.

Think he got his TS though, on the grounds that the experience alone made him more qualified than most.

Now that's a splash down: Astronauts spend 8-hour trip to Earth in diapers after SpaceX capsule toilet breaks


Ack, its a


(gets coat)

Reg reader returns Samsung TV after finding giant ads splattered everywhere



Incidentally don't think you can avoid Slurpy McSlurpFace (tm) by not using a smart TV, and plugging your nice shiny Freesat box into an antique from the early Myspace era.

Some of latest TVs totally disable analogue and legacy (VGA etc) inputs once they connect to the Internet, essentially closing forever the analogue hole and call it a "performance update" but the option here is still in the menu to enable it for now on this one at least at the cost of disabling HDCP.

Its literally HDCP 2.3 or bust, some newer TVs won't enable anything even sound unless the almighty HDCP chip blesses it.

I couldn't even get my new Bluray player to work, complained about 'HDCP disabled' presumably because the TV supports 1.4 and refused to play a Bluray at all yet worked perfectly with a DVD: tested on an newer TV to make sure and all worked fine.

Charity and surplus shops are also being leaned on by "Big Ad" aka the various standards agencies and pestered with phone calls and emails not to sell older players and TVs, even to the extent that for a while one here was convinced they couldn't sell used DVDs because it breached some law or other, fortunately stopping short of disposing of their huge collection.

The result is that older TVs can attract a high resale value even in their broken state, as the MB and other parts can often be used to repair others of a similar vintage.

Fun tip: you can obtain a cheap monitor and adapt it to work for legacy inputs, with in some cases a very simple board level modification like soldering on a £2 VGA port with a handful of 0805s and an e2prom to convince it that an older generation HDMI device is plugged in. Mwahahaha!

Hibernating instrument on Hubble roused as engineers ponder message problem



nEEd inPuT

Wonder if Hubble still uses 486's ?

Product release cycles are killing the environment, techies tell British Computer Society


If anyone is interested

I am looking into publishing my own repair guide for common devices.

Included: how to troubleshoot things like failing components without opening up the device (!), how to replace a backlight LED

without making things worse, care and feeding of laptops, etc.

I also found out that many people inadvertently install counterfeit parts without intending to thus turning a simple repair into an

expensive mess and putting them off in future from trying again.


It sucks

When companies use screens that fail literally for no good reason.

OLEDs are notoriously delicate and the S7 Edge was a good example: flaws like coloured lines were

seemingly caused by poor quality control and excessive use of glue causing stress on the then new

flexible backplane technology.

Also infuriating is when the same companes insist on bricking a perfectly good phone with a bad screen

to cripple legitimate independent repair agents. (cough FaceID /cough)

Even just disconnecting and reconnecting the SAME SCREEN can set it off.

Included in "oh the humanity!" are other companies that deliberately use low quality backlight LEDs thus

causing expensive failures on otherwise perfectly serviceable smart TVs that should last over a decade.

Companies should offer a compatible replacement at a fair price or pay a to-be-decided penalty in carbon credits

depending on how helpful they are to their customers when something does go wrong.

Providing full schematics and repair data gratis should be grounds for paying lower taxes.

Trick or treat? Massive solar storm could light up American skies this Halloween


Re: Mars mission

Should be fine, NASA are well aware of this and take precautions.

Also Mars is in near opposition at the moment so chances are it will miss.



Back when we had the "magnetic crochet" event it knocked out our power.

I actually predicted the event and work were most shocked!

Assange psychiatrist misled judge over parentage of his kids, US tells High Court



The main reason for following this case is that I have good reason to believe that Assange is hoarding truly astounding information on UAPs.

It seems he won't or can't release it because there are things worse than getting extradited.

Seems that well before the Nimitz photos and videos aired there were rumblings on Wikileaks about strange objects following US Navy

ships, tampering with nuclear missiles, interfering with radar and other such things.

It seems this has been going on since July 1945, in fact the day before the Trinity device was tested several reports of strange craft were

reported in the area and other reports exist with a TBR (75y) date sometime next year.

I've actually had a close encounter before and to this day it remains unexplained.

Can only guess that it was as terrified of me as I was of it.

Facebook's greatest misses: The five nastiest bits from recent leaks


Re: we also apologise for his split infinitive.

Sending them all to the Delta Quadrant would suffice.

Perhaps deep into BORG space so they can live for all eternity as drones.

(Arturis Voice)


Re: Figures.

I had this exact discussion with my employer, include "what happens if someone de-anonymizes my anonymous accounts from years before I started working there?".

The danger is, anyone can hack into a social media account and post nasty comments or do other

damage and the burden of proof can be on someone proving they were in fact not negligent.

With MITM attacks on public WiFi being more common its a big problem.

Too hot to handle? Raspberry Pi 4 fans left wondering if kit should come with a heatsink


Worth checking

Also useful to note that there are small fans available.

I have 3 broken 4Bs on order, hopefully can do some experimentation and see what works.

Interestingly others have reported that if a bad unit has its memory card cloned, it can sometimes

work again. What gives?

Thinking card wear here because it generally happens with a working-but-slow card or one very close to

the minimum speed.

Sovereignty? We've heard of it. UK government gives contract to store MI5, MI6 and GCHQ's data to AWS



I once tried to contact a FLA to "discuss something"

Hint: If you do this, ensure the following.

1) make sure the idea or concept isn't on some paper behind a paywall you don't have access to

2) If it isn't, ensure at the very least you've done a patent search.

3) if 1) and 2) = TRUE then congrats.

4) ...

5) ...

6) ...

98) Profit!! Oh and you can't talk about it to anyone, ever.

Online harms don’t need dangerous legislation, they need a spot of naval action


No-win scenario

The problem is, as others have said.

"The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it"

Incidentally if anyone wants to discuss this please message me.

I am all for trying to tackle the problem of online trolling, and even went the whole "not using Anonymous Coward" option.

Alas even with these steps still had problems with people then thinking it was acceptable to hassle my employer on the basis of

a simple misunderstanding that was easily resolved.

Nuclear physics


Nuclear physics

Hi folks,

Does anyone else on here experiment or do research in this area please?

My knowledge level is similar to 1st year Physics but want to learn more.

At the moment am working on medical imaging, with the aim to use various off the shelf components to

image radioactive materials such as 40K of biological interest within the brain and nervous system.

Unvaccinated and working at Apple? Prepare for COVID-19 testing 'every time' you step in the office



As someone who owes their very survival to vaccines, I feel that people who refuse them are mentally ill.

My grandmother NEARLY died aged 13, from poliomyelitis and never fully recovered but as others had

been vaccinated it may have been a less virulent strain fortunately.

I had a bout of German measles and chickenpox when younger, fortunately got over them as had been

given at least the initial dose of MMR probably around 12 months.

I may have died when young had it not been for the very hard and dedicated work of folks like Salk, who

in some cases risked attack by "anti-vaxxers" every single day.

People who literally trust in faith over science expecting $Deity to "save them" are in for a shock.

Think your phone is snooping on you? Hold my beer, says basic physics


How would

A business protect against crooks with access to terascale portable ML running on an SDR array?

If your apps or gadgets break down on Sunday, this may be why: Gpsd bug to roll back clocks to 2002


Re: Doomsday


basically they contain a toxin that is destroyed by cooking.



First it was Y2K, then 24/10/2021.

Is it just me or is there a non-zero chance "Fail Deadly" systems could on this day wrongly conclude something terrible has happened?

Either way I may well dig out the Geiger counter(s) and tinned food just in case bad things happen.

Protip: quite a lot of tinned food notably kidney beans is NOT SAFE to eat cold even when in date, never do this.

Also useful: somewhere on dead tree edition I have the "idiots guide to metallurgy, crop rotation, and other such useful skills".

IBM US staff must be fully vaccinated by December – or go back to bed without pay


Not just that

Because of a tiny minority of complete idiots we are most likely going back into lockdown tomorrow over here.

The vaccine was offered to 12-15 year olds and most of them didn't take it up in many cases because their parents refused permission for stupid reasons like watching some video on Youtube.

Call me a card carrying totalitarian but things like this make me wonder if a curfew for high risk groups would actually cut forward transmission.

You can't even walk down some streets without being assaulted by anti-vaxx morons carring bright yellow placards.

They've even resorted to spamming their propaganda through the mail.

Canon makes 'all-in-one' printers that refuse to scan when out of ink, lawsuit claims



Once found one of these beasts in a WEEE bin.

Worked fine for a while, needed a bit of TLC but did print a fair few documents on it.

The thing that did it in was ribbon cable failure which I couldn't fix.

Hint: this is the very small printer with the add on battery pack option.

Alas the user replaceable print heads and somewhat refillable cartridges were probably fine, as

determined that the cable had simply worn out from constant printing.

Starting to wish I'd kept them now because they can be connected to an Arduino due to the

pinouts and function tables now being open source.



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