* Posts by Francis Boyle

2739 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Jul 2007

NASA tries to jog Voyager 1's memory from 15 billion miles away

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That was Voyager 6

and NASA is fast running out of time to launch it.

MIT breakthrough means there's no material too weird for 3D printing

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For some value

of cheese!

AMD to open source Micro Engine Scheduler firmware for Radeon GPUs

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Intel cards have always been relevant. Good on the other hand? (where 'good' means performant, not affordable.)

San Francisco's light rail to upgrade from floppy disks

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Re: Have they been hacked?

But that's an issue of individual drive /disk compatibility – an old, and notorious, problem. Protocol compatibility is pretty much given. (I'd be surprised if anything from 19998 is anything other than bog standard when it comes to talking to the host.) So you plug the drive into a machine that has a floppy connector, or more likely use a USB adaptor, and make an image. Of course, you should have an image archived somewhere, but well welcome to the real world. (I obviously don't live in the real world as I have a couple of hundred of the things on my system.)

NASA missions are being delayed by oversubscribed, overburdened, and out-of-date supercomputers

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It's just one site

and each of those GPUs probably has many times more computing power than the junk in your basement.

Caffeine makes fuel cells more efficient, cuts cost of energy storage

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Turns out

you don't, in fact, need a Very Large Hill, with a Very Large Lake at the top, a Very Large Hole in the Ground* works as well.

*AKA a disused mine.


Third time is almost the charm for SpaceX's Starship

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Re: ablative surfaces

The Latin ablative case, as you say, indicates the source of, or movement away from something. The engineering sense may be metaphorical but the idea of loss is baked into the metaphor. (But points for combing Latin grammar and space engineering – peak geekery!)

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Re: "...otherwise a success" is the logic equivalent of "kind'a pregnant".

On your logic every bomb ever made was a dud. Sadly, that isn't true.

Whatever you think of Musk, SpaceX proved this sort of tedious nonsense to be baseless the day they successfully landed a booster on a barge. why it continues is beyond me.

Voyager 1 starts making sense again after months of babble

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Since we're doing pedantry

The Canberra site is not in Canberra but at Tidbinbilla (I love that name), still in the ACT but a good long walk from Canberra itself.

Rancher faces prison for trying to breed absolute unit of a sheep

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But this is a Gigasheep

All the existing standards are null and void.

Logitech MX Brio 705 – where Ultra HD meets Ultra AI

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I can't help thinking

that in some of those types of applications face tracking software would be a definite disadvantage.

The batteries on Odysseus, the hero private Moon lander, have run out

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If they were easy for humans

they wouldn't have needed to send Armstrong.

Flying car biz Alef claims 3K preorders, still hasn't done a proper demo

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Re: Flying car

You could also buy a lawn chair and a bunch of balloons. Yeah, I go out on a limb and say this would give you a better flight experience than this (and a better road experience too if you bolt on some lawn mower wheels) .

Trident missile test a damp squib after rocket goes 'plop,' fails to ignite

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Re: What the hell?

I remember reading at the time that the implosion would propagated faster than the fastest neural signals so not even nanoseconds.

Space exploitation vs space exploration: Humanity has much to learn from the Voyager probes

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The word 'Electricity' was coined by a contemporary of Shakespeare. Stephen Gray built a crude electric telegraph in the early 18th Century. That's at least two centuries of electricity being a useless toy. The thing is you can never know when an idea's time will come so you have no choice but to take a long term view.

The literal Rolls-Royce of EVs is recalled over fire risk

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Using French words in English

Quelle horreur!

Japan recovers moon lander data, puts craft to sleep due to solar panels' bad attitude

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The slope is only 15 degrees and the engine bell is quite large so I doubt that was the plan. AIUI it had to perform the rotation before touchdown. If the timing was off even slightly the bell would have touched the ground with predictably unpredictable consequences.

Wanna run Windows on an M-series Mac? Fine, buy a license, but no baremetal

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In my experience

the GIMP developers are actively hostile to users. There are subtle clues like the name, the interface, the hostile response to even the most polite suggestions for improvements. Little things like that.

Japan's lunar lander is dying before our eyes after setting down on Moon

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We probably should

just assign it to Tuvalu because by the times this happens they want have any land of their own.

Going green Hertz: Rental giant axes third of EV fleet over lack of demand

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The dealership

has sex-demonstrator cars. Must be a fun place.

Need to make some 3D models but lack the skill and talent? Say, have you tried... AI?

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I have little interest in this

But what I'm waiting is AI based texturing. The problem of endlessly repeated textures is just about solved but we are still in a situation where 3D-worlds are unnaturally clean and uniform. An AI that could add in unexpected but common details like say a spilt milkshake on the pavement or a plant growing out of a crack in a wall or patch on a wall where something used to be attached would greatly increase overall realism.

Nearly 200 Boeing 737 MAX 9 airplanes grounded after door plug flies off mid-flight

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Re: When is a door

When you need a spanner to open it?

Or more importantly in this case to keep it shut

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So let me get this right

In 43 years exactly one fare-paying passenger has been killed in a TGV accident. Not exactly a great argument for going by air.

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Re: oh it will not propogate

Failures can be prevented from propagating by the simple expedient of drilling a small hole. In this case the plug was surrounded by a large hole. And if the airframe was designed to depend on the presence of the plug for its structural integrity it was designed wrong. On the other hand this is a Boeing. . .

Polish train maker denies claims its software bricked rolling stock maintained by competitor

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or in this case


Digital memories are disappearing and not even AI or Google can help

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Re: Just let it go....

There's a quote attributed to all the usual suspect that goes something like 'I apologize for such a long letter - I didn't have time to write a short one.' That pretty much sums up my attitude to archiving – I simply don't have time to go through all my stuff trying to determine what I might want at some undetermined point in the future. It's always easier to just buy a bigger hard drive.

Amazon on the hook for predictably revolting use of concealed clothes hook spy cam

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Re: WTF?

I don't know. I suspect some people might find the studs, er, stimulating.

Six pack of sub-Neptune exoplanets hang tight around nearby star

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Baring outside influences

if resonance is capable of happening it's going to happen. It might take a while but "a while" is nothing on astronomical timeframes,

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

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"False Flag Anime Nerds"

is my new band name!

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"the female cat people were wiped out by the Lizard People’s 5G broadcast attack in 2020"

Not buying it. I've seen what cats do to lizards!

NASA's Lucy probe scores a threefer as it flies by first target in 12-year mission

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I think the diamond planets/stars are just a little bit further out but nevertheless still count as being "in the sky".

Boffins detect direct evidence of atomic oxygen on Venus's day side

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That whoosh you're hearing

isn't the sound of a deflating luftballon.

After nine servers he worked on failed, techie imagined next career as beach vendor

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Your not fooling me

Mostly you just slack off and spend your time surfing.

GNOME Foundation's new executive director sparks witch hunt

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It's ridiculous

but no more ridiculous than any other religion.

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On the third hand

you can offer the user your wonderfully innovative way of doing things as an option. Maybe you passionately believe that having the close button hovering in bottom right-hand corner of the window provides some great benefit. Then implement that but allow the user an easy way to revert to what they're comfortable with. Of course 99% of them will do just that and your wonderful idea will go nowhere but since the alternative is losing 99% of potential users you're still coming out ahead. And maybe the other one percent will start a revolution. (Don't hold your breathe.)

US launches official probe into Cruise after pair of pedestrian accidents

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Right behind human driven cars.

NASA's Mars Sample Return mission is in danger of never launching

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Re: HS2 - "people can't not know this"

Bombing roads or railways seldom makes strategic sense since they are too easily rebuilt. To be more than a nuisance you have to target bridges, or if you can get your hands on earthquake bombs, tunnels.

Scientists suggest possible solution to space-induced bone loss

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Re: ...treatment for brain changes and other detrimental health effects of space exposure...

You're probably right but one of the interesting things about Babylon 5 was watching the graphics steadily improve over the run. Pretty ropey at the beginning but by the end as good as any physical model work.

World's most powerful free-electron laser upgraded to fire a million X-rays per second

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It's aim at

the same people who need to have movies explained to them. 'Nuff said.

Apples to apples: Boffins find a way to make e-waste edible

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Am I missing something?

Perhaps the difference between science and engineering.

Watt's the worst thing you can do to a datacenter? Failing to RTFM, electrically

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Re: Cooking error

I destroyed my first rice cooker that way. Put it on the cooktop while I cleaned the bench and accidentally bumped the knob. I still insist it wasn't my fault. What short of idiot designs a control knob with 360 degrees rotation so that the slightest nudge can set it to full power?

Bombshell biography: Fearing nuclear war, Musk blocked Starlink to stymie Ukraine attack on Russia

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Not odd at all

but exactly what you'd expect Putin to do. (It might be different if the US were at war with Russia but I don't believe any sanctions that are in place forbid personal contact with Russia officials.)

Google rebrands 'android' as 'Android' to remove any doubt about its affiliations

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I'm sure they will address that

going forward.

Let's give these quadruped robot dogs next-gen XM7 rifles, says US Army

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But K9 was a good dog

who only had a stun setting.

Moscow makes a mess on the Moon as Luna 25 probe misses orbit, lands with a thud

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And as I've pointed out before

Korolev was Ukranian.

US Space Force finally creates targeting unit – better late than never, right?

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It worked

The USSR is no more. Shame about Russia, though.

LG's $1,000 TV-in-a-briefcase is unlikely to travel much further than the garden

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What next?

An exercise bike in a briefcase?

Pack of GM Cruise robo-taxis freeze, snarl up Friday night traffic amid festival crowds

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Re: Map book?

If it doesn't include a map with Patagonia in it it isn't an atlas.

Airbus to help with International Space Station replacement

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There's air

but you have to pay extra.