* Posts by Francis Boyle

2365 posts • joined 29 Jul 2007

Watch an oblivious Tesla Model 3 smash into an overturned truck on a highway 'while under Autopilot'

Francis Boyle Silver badge

The first rule

of operating small vessels is and will always be "Stay the fuck away from big ships".

No, it's just a Mirage: Lenovo's nerd-goggles-for-suits boasts 4K display but no need to be attached to powerful PC

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Re: "nerd-goggles-for-suits"

Your wearing the wrong suits. See icon.

All-electric plane makes first flight – while lugging 2 tons of batteries aloft

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Re: Compulsory El Reg commentary moan

Battery swap looks like a shoe-in for commercial aviation use. No one wants to load up a plane with more fuel than is needed for the planned flight and convenience factor is hardly relevant given the sort of effort needed to get a plane airborne. And it open up the possibility to use non-rechargeable chemistries such as aluminium-air.

Hoverbikes, Hyperloops and sub-orbital hijinks: Yes, the '3rd, 4th and 5th Dimensions of Travel' are coming soon

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Nothing so simple

Hyperloop has so many potential modes of failure that the word adequately describes what would happen to your various body parts in any serious accident.

7*7 = a simple equation for taking total control of multiple VMware-powered clouds

Francis Boyle Silver badge

I don't know

Has any tried executing one of amanfromMars' posts.

So you really didn't touch the settings at all, huh? Well, this print-out from my secret backup says otherwise

Francis Boyle Silver badge

It didn't take long

to determine that (assuming you are referring to the UK)) the truth is a little different. And the claim comes from that august source of truth, the Sun ( which presumably doesn't actually care how many admirals the RN has as long as they all have big boobs).

Beardy Branson’s 747-assisted sat-launcher can’t get it up

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Don't you mean Moonraker

Because Bond always attempts re-entry.

International space station testing Wi-Fi links with incoming craft, with an eye on autonomous docking

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Is the robot called Roller?

I've heard of a bending robot and even an ironing robot but a rolling robot? Are there a lot of things on the ISS that need to be rolled?

Oh wait, it's the vehicle itself that rolls (on wheels). That makes much more sense.

A real loch mess: Navy larks sunk by a truculent torpedo

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Re: Kids Toys

I learnt mine from porn.

I'll never be lost in Germany as long as I'm in the middle of an orgy.

Dickens' forgotten spaceship classic: A Tale of Three Missions

Francis Boyle Silver badge

What the Dickens

are you on about man?

If you don't LARP, you'll cry: Armed fun police swoop to disarm knight-errant spotted patrolling Welsh parkland

Francis Boyle Silver badge

I don't know about future plagues

but the orange one carrying a bottle of Clorox is a shoe-in for future Halloweens.

Now we know what the P really stands for in PwC: X-rated ads plastered over derelict corner of accountants' website

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Re: PwC

Probably will Cock-up!

Bye, Russia: NASA wheels out astronauts, describes plan for first all-American manned launch into orbit since 2011

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Probably because

when you search on AliExpress for 'launch package' the closest thing you'll find is "Rocket Pattern Wall Stickers".

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Re: how long for SpaceX to catch up with Boeing's pork barrel govt pricing

Mass produced satellites are likely to remain a rarity for the foreseeable but mass produced satellite buses are a thing (for small values of 'mass'). As the cost of entry to space falls due to cheaper launchers they're likely to become much more popular and thus cheaper which in turn. . .

International space station connects 100Mbps symmetric space laser ethernet using Sony optical disc tech

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Re: Nice technology

I'm not sure where you're getting the 1m figure from. According to the graphic the 1m telescope is on the ground and the unit on the ISS has an aperture of roughly 50mm. I assume the system is reversible (I can't see why it wouldn't be) so the larger unit will always be on Earth.

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Not a problem

Their space suits are of course designed by the same people who do the female armour for fantasy games.

Tesla sued over Tokyo biker's death in 'dozing driver' Autopilot crash

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Not if the speed is zero

Tesla's system is well known not to be able to "see" stationary objects which is actually fine for cruise control. (A stationary car, fire truck, or barrier is not "the car in front".) But since people can't be relied on to remain attentive when everything is being done for them the onus in on Tesla to up it's game. Maybe Musk should just swallow his pride an accept that lidar has its uses.

Watch now the three UFO videos uncovered by Blink-182 star – and today officially released by the Pentagon

Francis Boyle Silver badge


who can't even do capitalisation is involved in the production of avionics software. Well that explains the 737 MAX.

Forget tabs – the new war is commas versus spaces: Web heads urged by browser devs to embrace modern CSS

Francis Boyle Silver badge

What's wrong

with 256 colours like God and Tim Berners-Lee intended?

There are always two sides to every story – except this one, which is just a big billboard borked in all directions

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Re: "even in these interesting times, artisanal dough prodding will endure"

"I wonder if they've finally worked out how to mass produce pizzas whose bases don't immediately turn into dry cardboard when cooked?"

McCain achieved that long ago. Their pizza bases come from the factory as dry cardboard.

Star's rosette orbit around our supermassive black hole proves Einstein's Theory of General Relativity correct

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Hello Bishop Berkeley

There are no "things" that require an observer to become "real". The universe has been completely real for approximately 14 billion years, most of that time without any observers in evidence.

Paranoid Android reboots itself with new Android 10 builds

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Not Samsung itself

I have three Galaxy Note 5s. (For reasons.) Two of them run custom roms. The third is still stock. The reason? It's an (ex) AT&T device which will never get a custom rom because AT&T wouldn't allow the bootloader to be unlocked and no one managed to crack it. Strictly speaking I can't say how easy it is because all my Android devices have been Samsung so I don't really have a baseline but I've never had from the Samsung side. Indeed the software that does the flashing (Odin) was leaked from Samsung (apparently several times as there are several versions floating around) and, as far as I know, Samsung has never done anything about it. Just stay away from AT&T.

Oh ... Fudge This Pandemic! Google walks back on decision to switch off FTP in Chrome 81

Francis Boyle Silver badge

It looks like

the FTP user base just about double in 20 hours. Must be making a comeback!

Academic showdown as boffins biff-baff over when Version 1.0 of Earth's magnetic core was released

Francis Boyle Silver badge


flat Earth logic – "I haven't observed the Earth to be round so it must be flat".

From Amanda Holden to petrol-filled water guns: It has been a weird week for 5G

Francis Boyle Silver badge

In this case

I think it would be like capacitors where all the common values are in the micro and milli ranges.

Soichi to join three-spaceship club, SpaceX is going to the Moon (no, really), and rocket boffins step up COVID-19 fight

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Re: Space junk?

They're low Earth orbit satellites. De-orbit is built in.

Are you extracting the urine, ESA? Why, yes it is, from Moon dwellers to build homes out of lunar regolith. Possibly

Francis Boyle Silver badge


Moonbase Alpha will actually be called Moonbase Number One.

Astroboffin gets magnets stuck up his schnozz trying and failing to invent anti-face-touching coronavirus gizmo

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Especially when

swallowed by the black hole he's using for a doorstop.

Remember that clinical trial, promoted by President Trump, of a possible COVID-19 cure? So, so, so many questions...

Francis Boyle Silver badge

I agree

It's completely unreasonable to expect Trump to express an idea as complex as "people are working hard on treatments but results will take time" so, when he said something completely different, people should have understood that that was what he really meant.

Francis Boyle Silver badge

I think I get it

You're an old-fashioned moralist. You desperately want people to be better You think that only when people become better will they deserve a better world. But it's you who have got it backwards. We make people better by making a better world. And to do that we need concrete suggestions. So if you're worried about inefficiencies in the way scientific research is directed (which may or may not be a problem – you haven't exactly proved your case) you need to look at the mechanisms of reward rather than complaining that scientists are being selfish. (That science is a general public good doesn't actually require individual scientists to be be any less selfish than the general public. That's the thing about science – it's a mechanism for overcoming individual human limitations.)

Want to see through walls? Electroboffins build tiny chip in the lab that vibrates at just the right frequency to do it

Francis Boyle Silver badge


relatively high power for a very short time is exactly what you want. Inertial confinement is the only one that comes readily to mind but I'm sure there are many others including ones not even imagined yet.

Self-driving truck boss: 'Supervised machine learning doesn’t live up to the hype. It isn’t C-3PO, it’s sophisticated pattern matching'

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Re: Such honesty

We can't give people from the thirties contemporary IQ tests but we can give contemporary people thirties IQ test and they consistently and measurably better than thirties people did. Whatever you think of IQ tests (I don't think much) it's clear that people are getting better at abstract reasoning.

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Brain the size of a planet and you've got me controlling traffic

I don't wan't any sort of intelligence controlling the vehicles I travel in. Trains have been extremely safe for something like two centuries despite for most of that time relying on a complex system of interlocking metal bars to prevent things crashing into other things. I want safety systems to be built on simple robust logic. That's one of the reasons I think Musk's refusal to have anything to do with Lidar is a serious mistake.

Hong Kong makes wearable trackers mandatory for new arrivals, checks in with ‘surprise calls’ too

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Re: What a time to be alive

Exactly. For most of human history dying of infectious diseases, not just pandemics, was a commonplace fact of life. It's perhaps the greatest achievement of our species that we've turned it into a rare tragedy but the corollary of that is that we know longer have any collective sense of how to deal with it when it happens. (Cf. anti-vaxxers.)

Reach for the sky: Pixar founders win Turing Award for pioneering 3D animation – and getting rid of jagged edges

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Came here to saw

Clark wuz cheated!

Yes, I use Blender.

Yanking on the space supply chain: Rocket Lab goes Interplanetary with Sinclair acquisition

Francis Boyle Silver badge


if Elon can launch a roadster into space surely they can manage a C5.

European electric vehicle sales surged in Q4 2019 but only accounted for wafer-thin slice of total car purchases

Francis Boyle Silver badge


something like 5%.

In case you want to flee this wretched Earth, 139 minor planets were spotted at the outer reaches of our Solar System. Just an FYI...

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Re: Detection

These things are Kuiper belt objects. You're really going to have to ramp up the power if you want to see anything in the Oort cloud. Maybe borrow a spare supernova from the neighbours.

Broken lab equipment led boffins to solve a 58-year-old physics problem by mistake

Francis Boyle Silver badge


Science. Everything else is engineering. (To an approximation.)

Astroboffin Kurtz ends 40-year quest to find a predicted one-sided vibrating star that was never seen – until now

Francis Boyle Silver badge

The illustration is an artist's conception

And not a very accurate one. Tidal bulges appear on both sides of an object – it's why we have two tide cycles each day.

California tech industry gets its first big coronavirus hit: RSA Conference attendee infected, in serious condition

Francis Boyle Silver badge


only there were some form of worldwide communications network that could take the place of these conferences. You could even make it wireless to make it even more convenient. I've heard a rumour of one but I suppose these WISP folks know better.

The Reg produces exhibit A1: A UK court IT system running Windows XP

Francis Boyle Silver badge

No one goes to jail

If you fuck up a Facebook post.

NSO Group fires back at Facebook: You lied to the court, claims spyware slinger, and we've got the proof

Francis Boyle Silver badge

I don't think

Zuck's ageing program is working correctly.

Grab a towel and pour yourself a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster because The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is 42

Francis Boyle Silver badge

I have done the calculation

and can assure you that it is a finite probability.

So there's no chance of you accidentally finding yourself on Magrathea though you may end up at your destination naked. (Your clothes will be in the boot).

Want to own a bit of Concorde? Got £750k burning a hole in your pocket? We have just the thing

Francis Boyle Silver badge

"may not post to Australia"

Dammit, that's me out. Oh well, I've always preferred Spitfires myself. I wonder if that guy in the US with all the Merlin parts does postage to Australia.

Microsoft pushes out fresh version of '90s throwback PowerToys suite with plenty of fixes – and one nasty bug

Francis Boyle Silver badge


I've just finished setting up Widows on my new laptop. Open Shell plus Winaero Tweaker go a long way (though not all the way) to making it not look like Win 10. (I don't exactly want to make it look like Win 7 because I hate the start menu in a box thing).

RIP Freeman Dyson: The super-boffin who applied his mathematical brain to nuclear magic, quantum physics, space travel, and more

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Nothing ignomious

in dying at 96 among those who love and respect you.

Pope tells his followers to log off for Lent

Francis Boyle Silver badge


Holy talk time protocol.

'I give fusion power a higher chance of succeeding than quantum computing' says the R in the RSA crypto-algorithm

Francis Boyle Silver badge

I think

the canonical form is "If you think blockchain is the answer you're asking the wrong question".

Flat Earther and wannabe astronaut killed in homemade rocket

Francis Boyle Silver badge

Once again proving that

Spike Milligan was a visionary.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020