* Posts by Francis Boyle

2545 posts • joined 29 Jul 2007

Mars Express orbiter to get code update after 19 years

Francis Boyle

Re: It never ceases to amaze me ...

But for the first 100 years of that, steam engines were condensing and worked at (or below) atmospheric pressure. A vacuum gauge would have been more useful.

Toyota wants 'closed loop' EV batteries in its future cars

Francis Boyle

Re: Value in old things...

And when there's a market for it the car companies will introduce small cheap no-frills electric vehicles just like Chinese companies are doing right now. Either that or those Chinese companies will and it will be the 1970's all over again.

Francis Boyle

Re: Monopoly

Kids from one of the world's poorest counties aren't able to make videos for the internet. Well colour me shocked.

Nothing says 2022 quite like this remote-controlled machine gun drone

Francis Boyle

Re: Aiming?

I see a pivot and what looks like a hydraulic strut. That's tilt. Pan probably involves doing burnouts.

How one techie ended up paying the tab on an Apple Macintosh Plus

Francis Boyle

Re: Tab and return

That confused me to. It's not like the concept of the tab key would be alien to someone familiar with typewrites. It seems like in this case we are dealing with a better fool.

Photonic processor can classify millions of images faster than you can blink

Francis Boyle

Re: What it will actually get used for

Reverse cowgirl, 69, missionary (boring), I don't know WTF that is, etc. Could be very useful.

Tough news for Apple as EU makes USB-C common charging port for most electronic devices

Francis Boyle

Re: Apple's next move?

AFAIK wireless vehicle charging uses resonance charging which is what allows it to have an efficiency similar to a cable. I don't think any consumer devices have that at the moment.

GitHub drops Atom bomb: Open-source text editor mothballed by end of year

Francis Boyle

Or aren't,

you know, controlled by MS.

Brute force and whiskey: The solution to all life's problems

Francis Boyle

Re: Smells and not of whisky...

I don't know about your beef but I'm pretty sure someone was telling porkies.

That time a techie accidentally improved an airline's productivity

Francis Boyle

Shower, Shit and a Shave"

That bit was cut out of Mr Bean for obvious reasons.

Francis Boyle

Training or no training telling the user that the the thing that they have just asked to use is in use is a bloody silly thing to do.

New York to get first right-to-repair law for electronics

Francis Boyle

Yes, it's a legal thing but if it is in any way effective it will limit what companies can produce, or at least sell. The trick is to get the balance right so that measures intended to limit reparability (like, say, welding the case shut) are banned but design features that are intended to improve the product (like welding the case shut) aren't. You see the problem. I'm no lawyer, and obviously I haven't read the New York law, so I can say how well (or even if) it addresses this but it something that right to repair laws need to do.

IBM's self-sailing Mayflower suffers another fault in Atlantic crossing bid

Francis Boyle

No need to diss

one of Conan Doyle's finest fictions.

Drone ship carrying yet more drones launches in China

Francis Boyle

Re: Carrier command...

It wouldn't exactly be mysterious given China's known expertise in making islands appear.

AI-designed COVID-19 drug nominated for preclinical trial

Francis Boyle

Thing is

people like to get paid for their work. The alternative is problematic. And yes the profit motive has it's problems it turns out to be a very good way to get people to take risks.

Voyager 1 space probe producing ‘anomalous telemetry data’

Francis Boyle

Re: Light bulbs

No, they "conspired" to make bulbs with known and reasonable efficiency. It's not difficult to make a bulb that lasts a hundred years when the filament is a slightly warm wire.

Astra Space to launch satellites from Shetland

Francis Boyle

Re: Isn't it a bit far from the equator?

You still have to kill any easterly velocity either by launching west of north or by making the change once in orbit. I don't see any fuel savings either way.

RIP: Creators of the GIF and TRS-80

Francis Boyle

Re: Does anyone care?

You're partly right, but that's mostly to do with word choice and pronunciation. The spelling differences are almost all down to Noah Webster.

Are we springing into a Y2K-class nightmare?

Francis Boyle

Re: USA change its date format ...

Nah, wet clay is better for people with RSI. If you need permanence you can always just burn the library down.

Photonics startup Luminous Computing bags $105m

Francis Boyle

Well, after reading the lede I was expecting an emergency medical hologram so I'm more disappointed.

Beware the techie who takes things literally

Francis Boyle


That would involve paying a lawyer.

Notepad Dark Mode and Android apps arrive on Windows 11

Francis Boyle

Being Microsoft

I think we can rule out it being super-intelligent.

'Boombox' function sparks Tesla recall

Francis Boyle

Re: Uh

The human brain is very good at filtering out extraneous information which means safety signals need to look/sound like safety signals. It's why you don't see many traffic signs using Comic Sans.

KDE Community releases Plasma 5.24: It's eccentric, just like many old-timers

Francis Boyle

People give things names based on other things they remind them of. If you don't like it you probably should use your handheld pointing device to move your location indication symbol to the list of options activation area and then select the cease operations activation area.

Photon fantastic: James Webb Space Telescope spies its first starlight

Francis Boyle

Who else is getting ads for 4wd wheel alignment?

Sorry mate, you may do big rigs but this one's probably a bit out of your league and you don't say anything about onsite service.

Out of beta and ready for data: 64-bit Raspberry Pi OS is here

Francis Boyle

And attract the attention of Vlad's goons

No thanks!

Lost your mouse cursor? Microsoft's PowerToys 0.55 has you covered – with a massive crosshair

Francis Boyle

Re: I put it down just a second ago, where'd it get off to?!

There's no need to keep buying batteries. Just get a set of USB rechargeable li-on battery of the appropriate size (AAA, in my case).

First they came for Notepad. Now they're coming for Task Manager

Francis Boyle

Re: Stupid

Probably, the one that God* himself decreed to be 4'8½" and which has been known ever since as "standard gauge" and which according to Wikipedia constitutes 55% of all rail mileage.

*It might have been George Stephenson. One of those two.

If you want less CGI and more real effects in movies, you may get your wish: Inflatable film studio to orbit Earth

Francis Boyle

Re: So Zero G Porn then...

Don't worry. I'm sure there's a Space Corps directive to cover that.

Tesla Full Self-Driving videos prompt California's DMV to rethink policy on accidents

Francis Boyle

Re: As ever, fully autonomous cars

Still, it doesn't have to be perfect - just better than humans.

And when a million people die on the world's roads each year that's a pretty low bar.

'Admin error': AWS in dead company data centre planning application snafu in Oxfordshire

Francis Boyle

Re: Swindon and Bracknell

ICL? Are you sure they weren't some species of hominids?

Weed dispensary software company's ambitions pruned after Spotify trademark clash

Francis Boyle

Nailed it indeed. Just checked, they're still calling themselves Potify but are using a logo that looks nothing like Spotify's. (Bit boring though – at least the original was decent visual pun.)

Could BYOB (Bring Your Own Battery) offer a solution for charging electric vehicles? Microlino seems to think so

Francis Boyle

On the contrary

commuting is serious business. Buying groceries is serious. It's the fantasy of cruising down the interstate that isn't serious.

Francis Boyle

The Chinese are coming!

If your current car can hang on for a year or two you'll have no shortage of cheap Chines electrics to take its place (unless someone manages to organise a trade war to keep them out).

Scam, pyramid scheme, environmental disaster: Vivaldi boss shares his thoughts on crypto-coins

Francis Boyle

Not a Fuckin Things are the digital equivalent of a piece of paper with "you own this piece of paper" written on it.

Francis Boyle

Re: Wall Street?

Not the Government, the state or indeed just the people. Fiat currency doesn't disappear with a change of government or even of regime. Any not completely barking revolutionaries will honour the currency of the old regime because they don't want to inherit a non-functioning economy. They may however make modifications.

Or maybe not.

NASA confirms International Space Station is to keep orbiting through 2030

Francis Boyle

Re: Should buy time for a new one to be planned and built

No, they obviously mean the obscure Doctor Who Character:


Web3: The next generation of the web is here… apparently

Francis Boyle

"Mildly amusing"?

I'd call it too good not to steal.

Apollo 17 samples yield fresh insights 49 years after mission left the Moon

Francis Boyle

For a cosmologist

that's practically instantaneous.

Hubble space 'scope brings its Cosmic Origins Spectrograph back online

Francis Boyle


according to the Russians (or indeed the Chinese).

Say what you see: Four-letter fun on a late-night support call

Francis Boyle


the obvious solution would be to put an 'F' for France in front of the first option.

AI algorithms can help erase bright streaks of internet satellites – but they cannot save astronomy

Francis Boyle

Re: you do it to yourself, just you/You and no one else

A test on the maths describing a move to a different universe should do the trick.

50 years have gone by since the UK's one – and only – homegrown foray into orbit

Francis Boyle


it may look like a lipstick but I bet it vibrates like hell when you turn it on.

Japanese bloke collared after using AI software to uncensor smut and flogging it

Francis Boyle

I know I am

I wonder if this Japanese man has software to fix that.

'Windows 11 has been successfully downloaded,' says update for Xbox version of Microsoft Flight Simulator

Francis Boyle

You make your own luck

by turning off secure boot.

Astroboffins reckon they've detected four hidden exoplanets by probing distant radio waves

Francis Boyle

Re: Not for long

We can't be sure it's come too far.

Electric car makers ready to jump into battery recycling amid stuttering supply chains

Francis Boyle

They have been

but because the batteries last longer than the naysayers predicted and because a battery that no longer has the capacity for vehicle use is usually fine for static installations, recycling is only just now becoming commercially feasible.

How not to train your Dragon: What happens when you teach an AI game sex-abuse stories then blame players

Francis Boyle

I think

you have just created the profession of AI Dataset Curator and probably won some sot of buzzword bingo in the process.

California Governor signs bill protecting warehouse workers from unsafe quotas

Francis Boyle

I don't know about IBS

but I've certainly had FFBS.*

*Yes, the first 'F' stands for what you think. The second's your choice.


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