* Posts by Conundrum1885

713 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Oct 2014


Belgian man charged with smuggling sanctioned military tech to Russia and China


"Dual use"

What concerns me is that many years ago, I got in deep merde for the following.

Attempted to source a broken Gen 2 night vision tube for my radiation detector project.

Got as far as finding one, decided it was too expensive (£68) and the following afternoon

had a strange phone call from someone at <agency>

Went like this.

"Hi Mr (full name) living at (address) we have been notified that at (time) you searched for

these modules on a device with IP address xxxx... on a laptop, just to make you aware that

this is a serious matter and we have investigated. As of yet no charge has been filed

but please be aware that if this happen again we won't be as understanding."

Not good!

Iran launches 'biological capsule' to low Earth orbit



That's not big enough for a WMD.

IIRC, the smallest feasible gun-type physics package is about a ton and that is assuming 90% enrichment on the uranium.

Switching to a composite design with a 239Pu "bullet" wouldn't help, that just makes things more complicated.

Looked into this after watching "Oppenheimer" for reasons, even if somehow they could perfect implosion there is

no way to test it without someone noticing.

Implosion is extremely finicky and the margin for error exceedingly small, even in 1945 there were doubts.

Wasting this much fissionable material is ludicrous, they would be better off using it for fuel.

Now if they could nail down the timing (cough laser detonation /cough) but that adds yet more complexity

and laser diodes with this sort of switching speed are themselves dual use.

Disclaimer: I have looked into this but lack a Q-clearance.

Microsoft issues deadline for end of Windows 10 support – it's pay to play for security


Re: The impending win11 downgrade approaches...

Also have one of these. I looked into upgrading its CPU to an i7 but barely worth it as its only a single step in generation.

The chip in there works fine if you don't want to play 1080p or better video.


This machine

Is less than 2 years old, and ALREADY obsolete because it has an older TPM and thus not supported.

CPU is recent (9th gen), GPU same so it *should* work.

To be honest, I know of folks who will take their chances and not upgrade 10, still running a 7 machine here.

Checked and to get something that will support 11 is simply beyond my price range.

Microsoft need to seriously look again at continuing to support older TPM and CPU even if a paid upgrade.

The differences between 1.4 and 2.0 or 2.2 are just not that large.

What really sucks is that most of the older machines WILL RUN 11 but some bean counter just arbitrarily

decided not to support them even though the hardware is fully compatible.

US nuke reactor lab hit by 'gay furry hackers' demanding cat-human mutants


Re: While I find ...

Be careful what you wish for.

An actual "Catgirl" would be a nightmare. You thought regular cats were bad, now imagine something human sized but with

claws and teeth that would thoroughly ruin your day not to mention the quantity of hair you'd be picking up on a daily basis.

It would be like having a puma in the house, with a bad attitude and ninja like reflexes.

Not something you'd want to get on the wrong side of.

Don't even get me started on "That time of the month".. dial the claws and teeth up to 11.


Re: Genetic Tinkering Results

Laughs in "Weeping Angels"

Those "Catgirls" aka the Sisters of Plenitude gave folks nightmares, apparently.


Re: I met a catgirl once.

Staff, not servants.

Got me thinking, an alien ecosystem might yield something that has superhuman intelligence but has a fraction of the body mass because alien biology.

Could the infamous "Black-eyed children" be something this?

What about the Grey aliens?

I often wonder if the strange reports of elves, faerie folks or something like them may be ancient alien encounters.

At least theoretically, something could be grown in a lab from cloned cells with a complex computer program running in a superconducting

3-D reactive lattice with sub quantum limit features, potentially less than 10cm on a side but with a truly insane number of connections

approaching that of a dozen human brains that can operate at a speed in the hundreds of GHz range if you measured on such a scale.

Once you've got that sort of technology, any organic body would work.

Grow the body around the "brain" so to speak, as the biological body matures the neural net becomes more complicated.


I met a catgirl once.

She was.. Furry nice.

Gets coat.

Actually did read somewhere that at least theoretically with the right amount of genetic tinkering it might be possible to modify a house cat to have a higher intelligence.

Whether it would be possible to make it as smart as say a gorilla is unclear, then the limiting factor would be developmental.

An average cat lives at most a handful of years, not enough time to learn anything useful even with optimal teaching methods.

Perhaps a better option might be to write the genetic code from scratch, once the key to human level intelligence is known designing a body able to house a brain

that can think and reason at human level but only be a third of the mass isn't ridiculous if you look at Homo floresiensis or one of the other archaics.

There are a number of optimizations present in the human brain due to evolution but if starting from scratch might not be needed.

US Air Force wants to see some atomic motors for future spacecraft


Re: Quantum slipstream

Well at least theoretically, there may well be a dark matter flow through Earth. Its got an apparent seasonal fluctuation and may or may not affect certain types of radioactive decay very slightly. Only for some isotopes with a very specific structure within the nucleus though.

In this case, the heavier isotopes may react more so extrapolating based on the known data https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-64497-0 a hypothetical isotope of Laforgium aka Unhexquadium (atomic mass 164) with optimal neutron number may be significantly affected. Think of it like the quantum version of a particle accelerator driven sub-critical reactor.

Due to Newton's first law if you can get a unidirectional effect then absolutely the device should produce thrust in the opposite direction.

Might not be significant on the ground but certainly measurable if not useful in space.

I actually did contact CERN not so long ago but think they are waiting on a physics paper before getting back to me.

Not yet having enough of the specific isotope to even test it in the laboratory is inconvenient.

Did look into 'cold fusion' of plutonium 239 and lutetium 184 layered in an ultracentrifuge under high energy pulsed electrical discharge via superconducting energy transfer, yielding Element 165, which might decay into metastable 164.

Would only get a very small (as in a few dozen atoms) quantity per run but enough for testing at least.

Another method might be to use an ion multipactor with 239Pu and a beam of 184Lu produced externally as its got a very short half life, again the problem is tuning that reaction to not break up the newly formed element as fast at it is formed.

Perhaps focus a laser beam on each axis and a WB8 like arrangement to boost reaction efficiency by adding energy to the system?



Quantum slipstream

Looked into actually building a power core (technically a miniature nuclear power plant) but using a quantum field based reaction.

In theory I could build it for a tenth of that cost, but need materials not currently found in nature.

All feasible with terrestrial technology otherwise, if someone can get me even a few grams of this I can use existing materials

and generate a torsional field using dark matter flux at altitude.

Think warp nacelles though it would be limited to a fraction of light speed, this would get me to the Moon and back without

the need for conventional rockets though RCS thrusters would be a useful and necessary backup.

The slight snag is generating a >44T sustained field inside the central core to control the reaction and help regulate, though

can further throttle it using external X-ray emitter tubes of my own design and other methods.

Think of it as a radiometric downconverter that uses intense static magnetic fields to align the spins allowing a reaction to

take place without criticality which allows for a far more compact device.

Also need to build two of them in case one goes bad, with cross connectivity so in an emergency situation the craft is

still controllable.

Interestingly it would work best above 55K feet so can test this simply using a high altitude balloon, this is an approach

I believe pioneered by NASA.

Sharing here in the hope that others had the same ideas.

Bored Ape NFT party is a real eyesore, say irritated attendees


Can confirm

I also had "Arc Eye" from messing with near UV lasers AND UV LEDs. You'd think I'd learn but didn't know that back reflections even with UV blocking goggles were enough.

Did some tests, and typical green gas welding goggles DO NOT BLOCK narrow band UV from an LED, especially not the sort used for light reactive nail varnish or glue.

Exceedingly painful, and symptoms can be delayed by hours or in some cases days depending on wavelength and exposure time.

Incidentally you can get a mild dose from being outside on a sunny day.

Some fluorescent tubes with specific glass (ie BLB) are less harmful but still not something you'd want to stare at for days on end.

Now, had the Shenzenite manufacturers who sent me the diodes with NO WARNINGS WHATSOEVER or even a datasheet actually done the right thing, I'd have

known that these were in fact hazardous to the eyes.

Was told that they were near UV ie 410nm not as it turned out closer to 370 according to my Note 4 and testing LED vs known UV-B diode.

After speaking to an optician who berated me about not using £xp£n$iv£ eyewear they confirmed no permanent damage had been done.

I did actually consider writing to the manufacturer but its a game of Whack-A-Mole with these folks.

Interestingly UV-C (230-320nm, 2-130mW) can be had if you know where to look, these really will ruin your day.

iPhone 15 Pro Max users report seeing ghostly OLED apparitions


RE. Re. But it's made with Titanium!

Judging by how expensive the iPhone 15 is, I am absolutely sure that they contacted Asgard Supreme Commander, Thor, and had alien metals included in the design.

Latest science news, it seems that 33 Polyhymnia may contain elements that up until now have only existed in science fiction with a Z of 164 or higher.

Someone's almost certainly getting the Nobel Prize if the existence of these elements is actually discovered in meteorites, though it would be exceedingly unlikely

they may exist near the surface of the Moon, just under the surface where mass concentrations (mascons) exist.

I have a standing bet with some physicists that at least one ultra-superheavy element may be superconductive at or near room temperature, in combination with more

ordinary elements.

Because if you're going to travel to the stars, having abundant high Tc and high Jc materials is a good starting point to build a drive with.

More down to earth it seems, deuterium is the magic sauce in at least one prototype OLED display as it emits brighter light without degrading as quickly due to that

extra neutron improving the quantum transition that makes OLEDs emit light. Google "spin triplets" ...

I still say that if Atlantis rises from the waves in peacetime, we should call the first such element "Naquadah" or "Laforgium" or something similar.

Canon claims its nanoimprint litho machines capable of 5nm chip production



Its 'vacuum ultraviolet'

The chip machines actually run in a vacuum to do their magic, and the light source is a highly parallel beam. Not a laser but pretty close.

Interestingly I looked into using uvc leds with an off the shelf monochrome LCD as a microimaging device for homemade chips. They are cheap and sone even have a lens built in.

Gas supplier blames 'rogue' code for Channel Island outage


Black swan event

An outrage this large is a very unusual event.

To be caused by a computer glitch is virtually unheard of.

Makes me wonder if they tried to patch something and if all went Strange Loop.

It's 2023 and Microsoft WordPad can be exploited to hijack vulnerable systems


Wordpad? Whar about Notepad?

Back in the day there used to be a particularly evil bug where you could write malware in Notepad, save it as a .com (or any other) executable file and run it.

I actually never had reason to use this but did sometimes write regular code in Notepad during my microcontroller days.

Examining .hex files to see if something changed, in fact got my code working without even needing to recompile just by changing a couple of bytes then applying the fix to

my original source.

Russian Nauka module plays leak-a-boo with International Space Station


Re: Russian Nauka module plays leak-a-boo with International Space Station

Should have called the module 'Leaky McLeakface'

New information physics theory is evidence 'we're living in a simulation,' says author


Fermi paradox

Could thus explain the lack of actual verified alien signals.

I have often wondered if there is alien life out there but if so did they make the same mistakes we did? Did their 'Cuban Missile Crisis' or another close call end in mutually assured destruction?

Perhaps they learned the hard way, abandoning nuclear energy in favour of a more potent energy source?

There is more potential energy locked in a kilo of 40K or 176Lu than uranium, if we could only harness it. Isomer power would take us to the nearest stars, eventually.

Never mind SETI and NASA, if your Ring somehow snaps ET, Amazon might give you $1M


Got some footage here

Taken on a Canon 500D around 2006 IIRC, but clearly shows something that had no business flying around during a thunderstorm.

Looked like a ball of sparks and appeared to be feeding off the lightning.

Very strange!

I've still got the camera here if someone wants to try and reconstruct the image using dark field extrapolation.

PhD student guilty of 3D-printing 'kamikaze' drone for Islamic State terrorists


Deep trouble

Yeah, you don't want to get on the wrong side of TLA, eg by building strange projects. Despite having nothing to do with energetic chemicals, got in big trouble just for collecting actinides. I didn't know that a Home Office license was needed, even for NORM (ie monazite) and some folks in suits turned up one day. They were more concerned about the heavy metal oxides than other things, as all my MSDS sheets were in the form of PDFs, apparently the documents should have been on paper. The exact phrase used was, ' how did you get all this stuff?'

Nuclear-powered datacenters: What could go wrong?


Re: Nuclear fanboys keep looking for a business case for SMRs

Or just build it in secret. It's never been officially confirmed but the White House has a collection of radioisotope generators in its bunker for post apocalyptic power underground.

Low risk, they were designed for Earth atmospheric re-entry so a nuke wouldn't really bother them. The occupants, not so much.

Last rites for the UK's Online Safety Bill, an idea too stupid to notice it's dead


Re: Not holding my breath

They stopped that over here, by indirect means. A few high profile prosecutions and one jail sentence ( previous convictions) for the heinous crime of 'buying a car with cash' therefore not insured. Workaround was to swap the vehicle for a high value item like a PS5 or smart phone, having done the paperwork and put an approximate value on the change of ownership form, insurance application etc. Sales from a garage etc weren't affected as they usually give receipts even for trade ins.

Cosmic rays more likely to glitch out water-cooled computers


Gives a whole new meaning to

Nuking the entire site from orbit.

Apologies, but this is the best I could come up with.

The UK's bad encryption law can't withstand global contempt


A while back

I found an unbreakable encryption algorithm which is a matrix multiplication using pressed DVD slack space.

The key here is a one time pad which is the ISBN of the disc in question, first ensuring that

the recipient HAS a readable copy then encoding it, putting the disc back in its packet and

giving it to a charity shop in a pile of DVDs to make recovery very difficult.

Then sending the resulting file via an SD card in the post, in the unused space with a firmware hack that

detects someone has put it in the wrong machine and if so immediately zerofills the slack space then

deletes itself.

Good luck cracking that!

Added steps: sending the ISBN using a burner phone, and then rather than burning the phone,

sell it to some bratling for like £4.20 having first ensured that the number is wiped, etc to use as THEIR

burner phone :-)

ReRAM redo: UCL spinout scores £7M to push Resistive RAM


RRAM chips

Back in the day an early version of a similar (IIRC based on SrTiO3) technology made it into greetings cards.

Interesting note, if they went after the applications where capacity is less important than quality ie for recording video, then they might be onto something.

Having a few odd distortions in a video is a minor irritation, and can potentially be worked around in software by pre-mapping the chip and simply doubling up

on the areas where distortions exist then do on-the-fly corrections.

One thing I could do with is a 25x compatible chip that can store 1-4 GB but only be the size of an 8 pin BIOS IC, however none exists.

Yes there are microSD cards but its not the same and 128Mbit is about the upper limit if you want it to be compatible.

UK Prime Minister wants £800M to spend on big British iron


What about

Purchasing the chips from another country to stop them reaching other markets?

Essentially this wouldn't be that different to how the US got titanium to build the SR-71

Reuse some parts from other projects, with custom firmware, thermal management and PCBs made in the UK.

This would also be a lot cheaper, and provide much needed revenue for British business.

Swedish datacenter operator wants to go nuclear



Some folks here looked into these.

Believe that the idea of using a two-fluid MSR is also being floated.

The mechanism with these is using a liquid fluoride salt in a conventional reactor pin, with any gases evolved being vented under controlled

conditions. The outer salt which is the primary coolant is less harmful as it has no nuclear fuel within.

A somewhat more radical variant uses a modified liquid metal reactor with the fuel suspended within the liquid as tiny capsules

so that criticality only takes place within the highly optimized core that also has control and neutron reflective elements included.

Hybrid design that relies on very thin layers of moving metal driven by gravity, so if anything goes wrong they simply cut off or divert

the fuel flow around the core and it shuts off. Fully throttled and far safer due to minimum inventory of potentially dangerous actinides.

It could feasibly be adapted for space use as parts can be sent up by rocket, with far lower risk than sending up a conventional

fully stocked core if the empty re-entry proof Ir fuel capsules are reused between launches (hey there SpaceX)

Huge lithium discovery could end world shortages ... Oh, wait, it's in Iran



Interesting note here: 7Li is more commonly used so if one had a way to separate the two it would allow for an abundant supply.

Rugged satellite messaging phone Bullitt fired out ahead of MWC


Re: But,but,but... where did the thermal infrared camera go?

If memory serves, the special chips used were in fact military surplus that had failed the strict testing, so rather than destroying them they reprogrammed them and sold on to CAT so they could integrate into their phones. Explains a few things.

Some of the FLIR Lepton modules use a very similar if not identical part, but are typically downgraded because some of the pixels are bad.

If you have the "Knowledge" (tm) its possible to un-downgrade them and run a remapping tool to work around the defects.

US defense forces no match for the unstoppable fiend known as Reply-All


Heard a joke

An Army, Navy and Marine were taking a leak.

The Army zipped up, washed his hands, dried them and left.

The Marine just zipped up and walked out.

The Navy zipped up, washed, dried and left.

Outside, they were heard talking, "We know you're in a hurry but not washing, seriously?!"

The Army said to the Marine "In the Army we take hygiene very seriously"

"As do we" said the Navy.

Upon hearing this, the Marine said "In the Marines, we learn not to p**s on our hands in the first place."

SpaceX cuts off Ukraine's 'offensive' Starlink use



Fun fact: Russia once had a "Space Laser" but it failed on launch.

I often wonder if its even possible to make something that can fire a multi-MW beam in orbit,

one of the biggest problems is disposing of the resulting heat as COIL lasers are horribly

inefficient being essentially a rocket motor with a laser cavity.

Even the best solid state laser diodes are only 65% efficient even with clever tricks like

recycling the waste heat using TPV modules.

As with many of these hypothetical devices, its nearly impossible to create a beam that can

do much more than damage a distant CMOS sensor which is trivial to mitigate with filters.

Unless your satellite happens to be directly below and can hit something important like a

support beam then its likely that more damage could be done just by using a projectile.

Did look into unconventional devices like a "gravity beam" but this is even more complex

and also suffers from much the same issues as a laser.

NASA retires Mars InSight mission after it enters ‘dead bus’ condition


Mark Watney

Is going to dig it up one day, dust off its panels and the rover will probably still work.

New York gets right-to-repair law – after some industry-friendly repairs to the rules


Re: Shame on El Reg

I feel your pain.

Had a failed (sticks in fully up position) headlight motor on my car, quoted price for a COMPLETE NEW light assembly from (unfriendly_car_parts) was £450.

This is for a fairly old otherwise mechanically sound car, nothing fancy like HID or suchlike.

£450 because a single connector pin inside the lamp has gone intermittent.

Cheaper to scrap the entire vehicle when MOT finally comes in, than risk a fine.

As it is, I can make do by simply leaving it in that position on the opposite side, its perfectly safe to use like this.

Since humans can't manage fusion, the US puts millions into AI-powered creation


Interesting note

The reason why the capsules are so expen$ive is precisely because the tolerances are so fine.

If mass production were used, then there would be economies of scale.

Low quality capsules would be used for research, etc.

Interesting to observe here that the "cavitation by physical projectile" method can be done with a liquid projectile, coated with tungsten auroiridium or whatever the magic material is these days.

Same with conventional IEC fusion where the main limiting factor is how many fast moving deuterons you can cram into the central region to reach mean densities likely to yield fusion.

I did sketch out a variant that uses a boron/carbon capsule containing a small amount of D-T fuel as there's a window where pyrolytic carbon is essentially transparent to both neutrons and alpha particles. Its really more of an engineering problem than a physics one.

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.