* Posts by Richard Boyce

443 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Aug 2007


Scandium-based nuclear clocks promise punctuality for next 300 billion years

Richard Boyce

Clock speed variations

How sensitive would this be to altitude? The closer you are to the ground, the slower time passes. Also, the rotation speed of the Earth varies slightly with the global weather. Would that be something that could measureably affect the rate at which time passes for such a clock?

After years of fighting Right to Repair, Apple U-turns-ish in California

Richard Boyce

It's not just the US

The EU is also heading in this direction. Apple has perhaps decided that if you can't beat them, join them.

NIST boffins shrink atomic beam clock to the size of a postage stamp

Richard Boyce

In a hundred years...

.... this may be a treasured item in a museum, viewed by people who routinely carry a low-cost device that measures their personal speed through time with far more accuracy.

Samsung's Galaxy S23 Ultra is a worthy heir to the Note

Richard Boyce

Re: Too powerful ?

Which is why there is increasing pressure on manufacturer's to build in failure. A decaying battery, a decaying screen (particularly OLED), and decaying security for lack of updates. They also want to build in information gathering, and eventually adverts, as a continuous source of income.

Dump these insecure phone adapters because we're not fixing them, says Cisco

Richard Boyce

Web interface

Anyone who is exposing the web interface on these devices to the public internet is asking for trouble anyway. From memory, I don't think modern browsers will tolerate connecting to it via https either. All this said, I don't think there is reason for panic if the interface is only available from the LAN. For many businesses, if the LAN is compromised, it's game over anyway.

If these adapters are replaced, don't buy the suggested Cisco alternative. Go with a different manufacturer that still has an interest in this market.

Diving DRAM prices are a problem not even AI can solve

Richard Boyce

Re: A problem?!

Somehow I doubt that Apple will stop charging £200 / $200 for 8GB of RAM.

Barred from US tech, Huawei claims to have built its own 14nm chip design suite

Richard Boyce


" Intel has said it will have a 2nm chip in production by late next year."

I suspect readers here will take that with a large pinch of salt.

China's Mars rover hibernates for a scarily long time

Richard Boyce

New solution

Any future lander that includes a helicopter might have a solution.

Rolls-Royce, EasyJet fire up first hydrogen-fueled jet engine

Richard Boyce

I suspect this is most useful as PR

I think hydrogen is going to have a hard time competing with synthetic hydrocarbons because of the storage problems. Even liquid hydrogen requires much bigger storage tanks. Then you've got the weight and size of the insulation. If you don't liquify it, you've got to compress it, which again requires heavy tanks. Then you've got the much higher risks from leaks, especially during refueling.

Long distance flight must eventually become net-zero carbon, but I doubt that Rolls Royce would be doing this if EasyJet weren't paying for it, probably from their PR budget.

Orion reaches the Moon, buzzes surface, gets ready to orbit

Richard Boyce

"Dark" side of the moon

I'm of an age where I remember Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, so I can't resist the bait....

"There is no dark side in the moon, really. Matter of fact, it's all dark. [The only thing that makes it look light is the sun]."

I assume the author means "far" side. He may have a bet on how quickly someone posts this...

Moon has been drifting away from Earth for 2.4 billion years, rocks reveal

Richard Boyce

Re: those further away than geostationary orbit tend to depart (eventually).

If there were enough time, the moon would eventually become geostationary as the earth's rotation became tidally locked to the moon's orbit, and the system would stabilise, with no moving tides, just as has already happened to the moon. However, the Sun will reach the end of its normal life before then and likely swallow the remains of the Earth and moon as it swells.

US court backs FCC decision to let SpaceX fly Starlink sats at lower altitudes

Richard Boyce

Re: if you are going to complain to the courts....

Making allegations in court, simply on a wing and a prayer, with no evidence, may be seen to be professionally vexatious and suggests desperation.

FCC decides against giving Starlink $1b in rural broadband subsidies

Richard Boyce

Are all improving technologies disqualified?

That seems to be the gist of the FCC's reasoning.

Is it good enough and reliable enough to deliver what people need?

Pull jet fuel from thin air? We can do that, say scientists

Richard Boyce

There are also the costs of lost opportunities, such as using the land and sunlight to produce electricity or using the heat for some other thermochemical process.

CHERI-based computer runs KDE for the first time

Richard Boyce

Re: Breakthrough

"I hereby predict that when that day comes intelligence agencies will once again clamor for backdoored operating systems and CPU's."

Because that's what their political masters insist upon. For the sake of the chldren, of course.

Copper shortage keeps green energy, tech ventures grounded

Richard Boyce

Possible solution....

Now would be a good time to discover a low-cost room-temperature superconductor that doesn't contain copper.

Taiwan bans exports of chips faster than 25MHz to Russia, Belarus

Richard Boyce


What's to stop Russia from buying indirectly through intermediaries, though it would cost more?

What's to stop Russia importing products such as laptops from Chinese manufacturers that include such chips? Would Taiwan or the US sanction such companies?

Quantum internet within grasp as scientists show off entanglement demo

Richard Boyce

Re: Within our grasp

"The human mind, let's call it Real Intelligence (RI), is a marvelous thing for generating ideas. But implementing those ideas always seems to be a bit beyond our grasp."

If that were true, you wouldn't be using a computer.

US exempts South Korean smartphones from Russia export bans

Richard Boyce


I think everyone's aware that China sells phones, cars and white goods, and would benefit at South Korea's expense. Samsung also is one of the major chip manufacturers of the world and those are in very tight supply right now. Realpolitik.

Targeted ransomware takes aim at QNAP NAS drives, warns vendor: Get your updates done pronto

Richard Boyce

Re: "I have 50tb of data there, none of it essential"

I am surprised that he wrote tb instead of TB.

Google: We disagree with Sonos patent ruling so much, we've changed our code to avoid infringement

Richard Boyce

Legal costs

Does the loser pay the victor's legal costs in this case?

Dutch nuclear authority bans anti-5G pendants that could hurt their owners via – you guessed it – radiation

Richard Boyce

Source of radiation

I can't read Dutch, so can someone tell me if the authorities have said what the source material is that's producing the radiation, or any other technical details?

Humanity has officially touched the Sun (or, at least, one of its probes has)

Richard Boyce

Re: Jorge Cham's graphical illustration

If it were in a thermos flask, it would cook itself with the heat from its own energy use. It radiates that heat into space while mostly in the shadow of the shield.

Chinese Communist Party official expelled for mining cryptocurrency

Richard Boyce

Re: world is getting weirder again

Senior party members use those services too, and they have rivals.

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

Richard Boyce

High southern latitudes too.

31-year-old piece of hardware not working very well: Hubble telescope back in safe mode over 'synchronization issues'

Richard Boyce

Re: It’s going to L2?

It's going to the Earth-Sun L2 point, not the Earth-Moon L2 point.

Alpha adds to tally of exploding rockets, takes out space sail prototype with it

Richard Boyce

Re: Close

They may have destroyed evidence by interfering with debris. They also risked chemical burns.

After quietly switching to slower NAND in an NVMe SSD, Western Digital promises to be a bit louder next time

Richard Boyce

A serial offender

As the article states, this is not the first time that they've done this, so it should be assumed that they'll keep doing it. Their Red drives used to be my favourite for NAS, now I avoid WD. This behaviour is another gift to the competition.

OK, so you stole $600m-plus from us, how about you be our Chief Security Advisor, Poly Network asks thief

Richard Boyce

Everything time he sends a message or uses his wallet, he increases the odds that he will be identified. Then it's game over.

Das tut mir leid! Germany's ruling party sorry for calling cops on researcher after she outed canvassing app flaws

Richard Boyce

The mice have commissioned a reserve planet, just in case the Vogons get a bit careless.

BOFH: You say goodbye and I say halon

Richard Boyce

Royal Institution lecture

There's a very interesting clip from an RI lecture on the use of 15% oxygen. Largely fire-proof but safe to breath.


Ransomware-hit law firm gets court order asking crooks not to publish the data they stole

Richard Boyce

Streisand effect?

I had never heard of 4 New Square before, but a lot more people have now.

Samsung commits to 5 years of Android updates... for its enterprise smartphone users at least

Richard Boyce

Re: Quarterly schedules won't work for Android

Huawei hasn't been given a choice in the matter, and that's probably making a lot of other companies in China and elsewhere think twice about their dependence on Google.

Spyware, trade-secret theft, and $30m in damages: How two online support partners spectacularly fell out

Richard Boyce

7 years

Why did it take so long? Is it now over? What proportion of the damages goes to the lawyers?

Ex-Brave staffer launches GDPR sueball in Germany over tech giants' real-time bidding for ad inventory

Richard Boyce

Re: Previous approach

I am thinking that the advert itself is a product to be sold. Is the offer of personalised ads a good means of marketing online advertising to clients? How clued-up is the average client?

Facebook and Singapore teams looking for ways to get data centres relaxing in moist tropical climes

Richard Boyce

There would seem to be an increasing need for chips and other components to be designed to operate at much higher temperatures. If they could operate 50C hotter, the cost of cooling would be much less, though you might have to provide humans with special suits to keep them cool while working near the servers.

Seagate finds sets of two heads are cheaper than one in its new and very fast MACH.2 dual-actuator hard disks

Richard Boyce

Re: dual actuator drives have been long in coming

At worst, you could always buy their NAS drives. Seagate has promised they won't do what WD did.

FYI: Today's computer chips are so advanced, they are more 'mercurial' than precise – and here's the proof

Richard Boyce

Error detection

We've long had ECC RAM available, but only really critical tasks have had CPU redundancy for detecting and removing errors. Maybe it's time for that to change. As chips have more and more cores added, perhaps we could usefully use an option to tie cores together in threes to do the same tasks with majority voting to determine the output.

Xiaomi touts Hypercharge 200W charging tech, claims 4,000mAh battery goes from 0 to full in 480 seconds

Richard Boyce

Re: Stupid lab tricks

1C is the charging/discharging rate that will fill/empty the battery in one hour. So for a 4Ah battery, it's a current of 4A.

Nvidia nerfs RTX 3080, 3070, 3060 Ti GPUs to shoo away Ethereum miners

Richard Boyce

Mining probably only makes economic sense if you pay very little for the electricity, or someone else is unwittingly paying.

Broadband plumber Openreach yanks legacy copper phone lines in Suffolk town of Mildenhall en route to getting the UK on VoIP

Richard Boyce

Competition problems

Will the major telcos take the opportunity to block other specialist suppliers of VoIP service for "security", and try to inhibit switching to a different provider?

At the moment, if you have an Internet service, you can get digital phone lines with no line rental, low call rates, even free calls to some other VoIP numbers. The telcos are not currently worried by the few geeks that use VoIP for domestic service, but this could change.

At the moment, for calls not covered by a package, the telcos will charge a connection fee for each call, and have minimum call duration of a few minutes. If you want to dial across the pond, they will purse their lips and say, "Ooh, long distance gov, takes a week to get there by steamboat, so gotta charge you accordingly." They will want to ensure that roadblocks to competition remain, so the existing business models for call charging and line rentals are not undermined.

Elon Musk's SpaceX bags $3bn NASA contract to, fingers crossed, land first woman on the Moon

Richard Boyce

Re: To do list

Cameras could provide a stereoscopic image of the approaching surface, but I doubt the pilots will be flying manually, as the Apollo crews did.

Intel offers to produce car chips for automakers stalled by ongoing semiconductor supply drought

Richard Boyce

Re: Meanwhile at the trough

"And what about whatever said fab used to make? Is that stuff then going to be in short supply?"

Exactly the point I was going to make. And it's not just the lost capacity while they're making the chips, it's the lost capacity in the 6 to 9 months while they're preparing to make them. These chips won't be cheap.

What's this about a muon experiment potentially upending Standard Model of physics? We speak to one of the scientists involved

Richard Boyce

Electrons or positrons?

There is confusion about whether the experiment is using normal matter muons which decay into electrons, or antimatter muons which decay into positrons.

Here's one government source:


Here are two mutually-contradictory pages from Fermilab's site for the experiment:



Can anyone help?

Scientists are keen to find differences in the way antimatter behaves from normal matter. I wonder what the result would be if they used the opposite type of muon....

Will Apple blink? ByteDance, Tencent, others ready new ad-tracking tech in defiance of iOS privacy protections

Richard Boyce

What's the Chinese government's attitude to this likely to be? Would this be regarded as useful for surveillance? Is the average chinese person as blase about privacy as most people in the west?

Someone defeated the anti-crypto-coin-mining protection for Nvidia's 'gamers only' RTX 3060 ... It was Nvidia

Richard Boyce

Re: Mining works best

...and using other people's electricity.

That's part of the problem.

Millimetre-sized masses: Physics boffins measure smallest known gravitational field (so far)

Richard Boyce

One of the great unknowns is how gravity behaves at such tiny scales where quantum mechanics is so evident, hence the desire for experiments like this to observe gravity at smaller scales than before.

Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity (Eintein's description of gravity) are mutually contradictory, but humanity has yet to observe conditions sufficiently extreme to pit them against each other to see which breaks first.

Intel CPU interconnects can be exploited by malware to leak encryption keys and other info, academic study finds

Richard Boyce

Re: Another nail in the coffin of x86?

I didn't make my point well.

These cores from Intel, (and I assume AMD) are coming with a lot of extra stuff that's both poorly documented and proving to be a security headache. It seems to this layman that the ARM ecosystem is inherently more open because of the way things are licensed, thus allowing a lot of early scrutiny by independent people.

Richard Boyce

Another nail in the coffin of x86?

These researchers shouldn't have had to reverse engineer this stuff; it only obscured the security problem. As with software, the more open the design, the better for security. This isn't rocket science.

The good optics of silicon photonics: Light sailing serenely down a fibre

Richard Boyce

Isn't this expected to be a major paying application of LEO satellites with optical links between them, such as Starlink? Upload from a ground station in London to LEO, beam across the pond in a vacuum, down to a ground station in New York, beating light pulses travelling through undersea cables.