* Posts by Clive Galway

493 posts • joined 15 Feb 2007


Bezos offers to knock $2bn off his bill to NASA to stay in the running for Moon contract

Clive Galway

"That decision broke the mold of NASA’s successful commercial space programs by putting an end to meaningful competition for years to come"

Riiight, because before SpaceX there was meaningful competition

Tech support scams subside somewhat, but Millennials and Gen Z think they're bulletproof and suffer

Clive Galway

"Indian netizens continued interacting with scammers a staggering 49 per cent of the time"

I have spoken to dozens of them (My dad is inundated with them - to the point where we have had to take serious measures to lock his PC down), and in my experience, the vast majority of them ARE Indian.

Also, judging by the content of a lot of YouTube scam baiters (Jim Browning and the like), a disproportionately large amount of the ones they deal with are Indian.

I also suspect that the figures wrt age demographics are way off - nobody I know under 50 has fallen prey to them, and I know numerous over-50s who have.

Richard Branson plans to trump Jeff Bezos by 9 days in billionaires' space race

Clive Galway

Re: Third base

> it can clearly get to orbit with quite a payload mass

From mars - yes (Lower gravity, less air resistance). From earth - no

Artificial gravity will require a bigger object than two starships nose-to-nose. The distance from an occupant to the center of rotation needs to be quite a way, else your head and feet are moving at significantly different speeds and you get dizzy.

Clive Galway

Re: To quote a well known phrase...

For limited values of "stuff"

You ain't gonna fit a 2nd stage big enough to loft 100 tons of payload to LEO under the wing of any feasible airliner

Plus, once you have a fully reusable starship, all you are doing by using air launch is saving fuel, which is by far the cheapest part of the launch, and given that SpaceX are going to be getting fuel pretty much for free (They just suck the fuel out of the atmosphere using their fuel farms), then you're probably not saving nigh on anything vs buying jet fuel

TLDR the bigger the launch vehicle, the lower the cost/kg, and Virgin's system is inherently limited on size

New IETF draft reveals Egyptians invented pyramids to sharpen razor blades

Clive Galway

Re: Patent 91304

However it did revive problematic ZX microdrive tapes :P

If you're the 1% and have 10 mins to spare this July, bid for a place on first Blue Origin space tourism launch

Clive Galway


Meh, just this crossing the Karman line BS - 2 mins of weightlessness - you may as well just do a vomit comet ride

Call me when they're actually putting people into orbit

Average convicted British computer criminal is young, male, not highly skilled, researcher finds

Clive Galway

Rinse, repeat?

“The low skill category is largely made up of ex-IT employees who used their knowledge of the systems that they used to operate in order to damage their previous employers,”

“the median criminal computer abuser is “young and male, with mental health and development disorders over-represented in their number,”

"On the flip side, British police forces have been rather good at diverting young computer-enabled criminals into activities that harness their talents for positive things, such as working in the IT industry"

So... let me get this straight... median user used to be an IT drone, got thoroughly depressed, decided to try and get rich quick by fleecing their former employer, and the solution is to find them more work as an IT drone?

Trustify CEO gets eight years for lying to investors, spending millions on homes, private jets, sports tickets

Clive Galway

Re: 97 months?

Or, say, protesting and "Causing an annoyance" which, if the Police and Sentencing bill passes, could get you locked up for 10 years

You only need pen and paper to fool this OpenAI computer vision code. Just write down what you want it to see

Clive Galway

Re: A rather large piece of paper for a fair test

I think what mike was trying to say, is how do you know whether it was identifying *the object* iPod, or *the word* iPod.

If it was the latter, then I would say that it was entirely correct and not a hack at all.

If the same engine can recognize words and objects, then just outputting "iPod" rather than "word: iPod" or "object: iPod" then that's the mistake, not that it misidentified what it saw.

Supermicro spy chips, the sequel: It really, really happened, and with bad BIOS and more, insists Bloomberg

Clive Galway

If the firewalls only block inbound connections, then sure, 3 or a million, makes no difference

Police drone plunged 70ft into pond after operator mashed pop-up that was actually the emergency cut-out button

Clive Galway

Because there is a camera on the drone, and you can see what the drone is doing via the video feed

Clive Galway

> And the manufacturer is a dick having an emergency cutout that will simply drop a flying drone out of the sky with potentially fatal consequences

Not at all - this would be preferable to allowing an out-of-control drone to keep going, where it could hit an aircraft and kill hundreds. Your criticism assumes a flight controller (The motherboard of the drone) which is infallible - ie it always knows exactly what it's current state is and can override the instructions of the operator. It's better to have a human decide if it's safer to kill all motors and let it plummet rather than fly off into the distance. After all, he skipped THREE WARNINGS, so the fault is 100% with the operator, not the manufacturer

Clive Galway

Re: Fail safe?

Yes, you really do want this ability. If the craft gets confused (Can be caused by something as simple as a loose motor or arm) then it can be ascending even when throttle is set to 0 (Most quads, even when throttle is set to 0, are still spinning props, because you need spinning props to control pitch/roll/yaw)

Granted, a GPS-equipped quad can *maybe* work out that it isn't actually doing what it thinks it is doing, but to be safe you would always want a failsafe cutout

Clive Galway

No-one does any more - the new rules don't differentiate between recreational and commercial use - it's all to do with weight of drone and where you want to fly it.

Clive Galway

Figures - police allowed to fly a 3.5kg drone in a built up area after just 2hrs training, but a hobbyist pilot has to do a >4hr "A2 CofC" to fly a 0.25kg drone and with more restrictions on where they can fly - a 14x heavier drone with half as much training (And to be fair most people doing an A2 CofC already probably have many hours under their belt)

Over long US weekend, GitHub HR boss quit after firing Jewish staffer who warned Nazis were at the Capitol

Clive Galway

> Not sure what the religious affiliation of the employee has to do with the issue

Seriously ??? You're not sure why a Jewish person would be concerned that someone was storming the capitol with "6 million (Jews) was not enough" emblazoned on their t-shirt??

Considering the colonisation of Mars? Werner Herzog would like a word

Clive Galway

Re: There’s hope yet!

I disagree. Once you factor in the million-mile battery and AutoBidder, he's making it so that electric cars will be way more affordable (More upfront cost than ICE, yes, but it makes you money and benefits society when it's not in use)

Bezos to the Moon: Blue Origin joins SpaceX and Dynetics in a three-horse lunar lander race

Clive Galway

LOL, just look at the difference in size between the SpaceX proposal and the other two

Add to that fact that the SpaceX one looks like it would be the only one to return all of the craft back to earth (And potentially reuse it)

About the only downside I see to the SpaceX proposal is that if that lift breaks down, you are royally buggered

That's what makes you hackable: Please, baby. Stop using 'onedirection' as a password

Clive Galway

As any fule kno...

The correct response when asked to enter a password with at least 8 characters is "snowwhiteandthe7dwarves"

The BlackBerry may be dead, but others are lining up to take its place

Clive Galway

YAY, slider QWERTY is back!

Gotta get me one of these F(x)tec phones - absolutely loved my old HTC TyTn and similar slider QWERTY phones of the era, the clamshell of the new Psion clone appeals less

Let's learn from drone cockups: Confidential reports service opens up to unmanned fliers

Clive Galway

The registration of drone operators becomes mandatory in the UK from tomorrow

Only for drones >=250g

Criminalise British drone fliers, snarl MPs amid crackdown demands

Clive Galway


Price is not so much the problem, it's weight.

The lightest class of quadcopters ("TinyWhoops") are in the sub-30 gram kind of range, often 18-25g

A GPS receiver typically weighs ~5-10g

With these things typically having a flight time of 2-3 minutes, adding another 25-50% or so of weight is going to seriously reduce that flight time and performance of the quad, and that's not even considering where to mount the bloody thing

Meanwhile, fixed wing aircraft are treated totally differently - for example, there is legislation coming in whereby you can fly a fixed wing up to 1000ft, but a quad is only allowed to 400ft.

If it really were about reducing the possibility of AirProx events, then this makes zero sense - how is a fixed wing less likely to hit an Aircraft than a Quad?

Cosmo Communicator: More phone than the Gemini, more pocket computer than phone

Clive Galway

"completely impossible to edit anything [...] unless you have cursor keys"

No it's not

The BlackBerry KeyOne / KeyTwo have a reasonably usable system by double-tapping the keyboard to enter edit mode, then move the cursor around with swipes.

Admittedly, cursor keys would maybe be nicer, but I feel "completely impossible" is overly hyperbolic

I thoroughly approve of the product tho, the HTC TyTn 2 was my favorite phone ever, I would kill for another phone in that form-factor

Bloke who claimed he invented Bitcoin must hand over $5bn of e-dosh in court case. He can't. He's waiting for a time traveler to arrive

Clive Galway

"January 2020" seems surprisingly accurate for a courier...

I would have thought they couldn't give you an exact month, it would be an all-year window

I could throttle you right about now: US Navy to ditch touchscreens after kit blamed for collision

Clive Galway

I was thinking along similar lines when I saw the interior of the SpaceX dragon capsule

Looks like it is all touch screens - seems bonkers in an inherently high vibration environment

He's coming for your floppy: Linus Torvalds is killing off support for legacy disk drive tech

Clive Galway

Had no problems with the 3" floppy on my Spectrum +3

Was an absolute godsend, especially when coupled with a Romantic Robot Multiface 3 - load a game from cassette, pass any copy protection (read word from manual etc), press the little red button on the multiface and dump the memory image to floppy.

Game then loaded in a fraction of the time.

Of course the disks were more expensive than the 3.5" version, and much harder to come by, but loved it none the less. Was way better than the microdrive.

Bad news: Earth is not going to be walloped by asteroid 2006 QV89. Good news: Boffins have lost sight of it, so all hope is not yet lost

Clive Galway

If you find an asteroid 13 years ago with a 1-in-7000 chance of hitting us (At a not very high level of confidence), why the fuck are you not checking up on it until a month before it might hit?

Sounds like someone seriously dropped the ball on this one?

Prenda Law boss John Steele to miss 2020 Olympics... unless they show it in prison

Clive Galway

Someone call the OED

They need to update the entry for Schadenfreude

Akamai CEO: Playing games from the cloud? Seems too expensive to be viable right now

Clive Galway

My concerns with Stadia

* If I already own a game, will I have to pay for it again to play it on Stadia

ie would I be able to play games from my Steam library?

* What will the selection be? AAA only, or indie games too?

* What about save games? Will I be able to upload my existing save from my local PC, and download again after?

* Will multiplayer servers be limited to people only in the same datacenter?

Your ping rate affects others, not just you - that extra latency is not fair on people running locally, so is likely to lead to segregation

* Mods - will you be able to upload mods?

* What forms of input will be supported? If I have a HOTAS controller for example for use with Elite and such, or a steering wheel, will I be able to run the config software for it? Will DirectInput controllers be supported, or only XInput? What about things like eye trackers?

* Will you be limited to only the voice comms solution provided with the game (If any)? or will you be able to use Discord etc?

* Once a game is made available, will it be available for ever, or will even single player games be pulled at some point

I suspect the answer to most, if not all of these questions will not be the one I want

Personally, I think something like Parsec cloud (Where you rent the whole PC, not just access to the game window) will be much better for the consumer

What's up at Microsoft this week? Windows 10 builds of course, Skype screen sharing... zzzzz... New Flight Simulator?!

Clive Galway

Re: Elite controller

Well if talking about for use with flight / space sims, it's even worse.

It's a console style controller with round throw on the sticks - it's impossible to hit the corners, so at full pitch, you cannot roll *at all* and vice versa

Clive Galway

Elite controller

"Most advanced game controller" - absolute bollocks

Unlike the DualShock4 and the Steam Controller, it lacks gyros and any form of touchpad.

The paddles on it are only independently readable via the Windows.Gaming.Input API (Or raw HID, if you code support for it yourself), which is meh - the reading application must be the active window to receive any updates, so third-party remapping applications such as UCR, Joystick Gremlin etc don't play nice with this API as they sit in the background

Nice feel in the hand though, and the interchangeable parts are nice, but still, better off with a DS4 or SC if you want maximum possibilities, both of which are a fraction of the price

Powers of stash and rebase fall into the hands of noobs with GitHub Desktop 2.0

Clive Galway
Thumb Up

At the risk of mass downvotes

I, for one, am happy to use a GUI git client for most of my day-to-day tasks. It's very rare I need to resort to the command line to get what I need done. It also makes it easier for people to get started in open source development, which is a good thing

That magical super material Apple hopes will hit backspace on its keyboard woes? Nylon

Clive Galway

Re: Apple keyboard malfunction issues and IFixit.

Buy a Wooting keyboard - that way you can hot-swap the switches if one breaks without even unplugging the keyboard.

If you get the linear switches, there is no clicking to annoy colleagues, and no physical switches (The switches are optical, not electronic), so they won't break in a hurry

Japan on track to start testing Alfa-X, fastest train in the world with top speed of 400kph

Clive Galway

Fastest train in the world?

Once in service from 2030, the Alfa-X will run at a mere 360kph or 224mph. This would make it the fastest train in the world


In Blighty, HS2 is due to carry its first passengers in late 2026 and is hoping for a top speed of 360kph

So same speed as HS2 then and 4 years later?

Unless we hit more delays of course

What's that? Uber isn't actually worth $82bn? Reverse-gear IPO shows the gig (economy) is up

Clive Galway

Re: Efficient Market

"85% of people who sometimes ride bikes also sometimes drive cars"

Citation please.

Maybe you are mis-quoting this? https://www.cyclinguk.org/statistics

"85% of the people aged 18+ who cycled also held a driving licence"

But then the other statistic is wildly different to what you quoted:

"31% of the people who held driving licences also cycled"

Given two sets, C (Cyclists) and D (Drivers)...

C ∩ D is 10% of D ("Only 1 in 10 drivers also cycle")

C ∩ D is 85% of C ("85% of people who sometimes ride bikes also sometimes drive cars")

Therefore, D is ~8.5x more than C ?

Is my maths wrong? Really trying to wrap my head around these statistics

Russian-trained spy whale spooks Norwegian fishermen

Clive Galway

In Soviet Russia, you don't hunt whales, whales hunt YOU


Is Google's new cloud gaming service scalable? Yes but it may not be affordable, warns edge-computing CEO

Clive Galway

"Streaming games has never been about latency"

And with that, he lost all credibility

NASA: We need commercial rockets! SLS: Oh no you don't!

Clive Galway

I watched NASA's announcement video yesterday, and LOLed at his squirming trying to justify SLS as enabling re-usability - "It will launch re-usable moon landers, thus it's furthering the sustainability goal"

Admit it guys, it's a one-trick pony (Bigger max diameter), and that trick is looking pretty pointless given how promising Bigelow inflatable habitats are looking.

Just ditch the incumbent industrial military complex already, it's been sucking you dry for years

This headline is proudly brought to you by wired keyboards: Wireless Fujitsu model hacked

Clive Galway

"To make it a practical threat rather than an embuggerance, the attacker also needs to be able to see your screen"

Can you enlighten as to *why* they need to be able to see your screen?

I don't see any mention of this limitation in the advisory

Crew Dragon returns to dry land as NASA promises new space station for the Moon

Clive Galway

Gold is worth ~$40k per kg

A dragon capsule weighs ~4,200 kg and can return ~3,000 kg to earth.

Cost to put something on the moon is probably going to exceed $1m / kg (https://space.stackexchange.com/a/4724), so you made a loss just getting the container there.

Clive Galway

Volume != mass

If you pack a capsule intended for regular cargo (Food, water, meat bags etc) full of gold, it's gonna have a lot more mass than normal.

One would imagine these things (eg the heat shield and chutes that slow it) would be rated for a certain mass, the volume is a constant. Then there's the increased fuel needed to get it off the moon, to the earth, and to de-orbit it

Clive Galway

Unless you had no other use for that vehicle (eg bringing people back home), then it's still consuming a resource that could be used for something else.

It also limits you to only bringing as much back as you sent up, which kind of destroys the whole economics of it. Surely for it to be viable, you would need to be able to bring back orders of magnitude more than you sent up.

Clive Galway

I think it's going to be a long, long time until it is financially viable to mine stuff in space and sell it on earth, as surely you would need to be able to build the return vehicle in space, otherwise you need to factor in the cost of lifting the container into orbit

Clive Galway

I am assuming this is a flippant comment, but whatever, I will honor it with a response anyway...

AFAIK it may actually be desirable to do that, I seem to remember reading that eventually we will lose the moon as it is gradually moving further away.

One would imagine that is because the mass (inertia) is higher than the gravitational hold the earth has on it, so lowering it's mass would keep it in orbit? Dunno, I may well be wrong on that.

Whatever, I seriously doubt that we could ever mine it enough to make that much of a difference, and of course it would only apply to things we then removed from the moon (ie fuel) - we could mine all the resources we wanted if they stayed on the moon, and not change it's mass. In fact, the balance is currently the other way - at this point we have increased the mass of the moon by landing stuff on it that came from earth.

Of course, the same also applies to earth - we are lightening the mass of that all the time by sending stuff into space that does not come back.

Clive Galway

> isn't the moon just a dead rock

That is one of the plus points of the moon

1) It's dead - no chance of destroying any indigenous life.

2) It's close, but outside the worst of the gravity well

3) It has a fair amount of water (Rocket fuel / oxygen)

Therefore, we can strip mine the absolute buggery out of it, and no-one gives a toss

Meizu ditched hole-free phone because it was 'just the marketing team messing about', not because no one really gave a toss

Clive Galway

Re: Deal...

And it's inherently less likely to break

Pokemon No! Good news: You can now ban the virtual pests, er, pets to stop nerds wandering around your property

Clive Galway

Still does not seem like enough

You should not have to request that they don't incite people to trespass on your private property, it should be opt-in, not opt-out.

What if there were millions of these games - do you really expect property owners to know all the sites they have to go to in order to opt out?

Should the super-rich pay 70% tax rate above $10m? Here's Michael Dell's hot take for Davos

Clive Galway

The problem is not that the highest tax bracket is too low

The problem is that too many of the highest earners do not pay tax.

Make the top tax rate 50% (The state getting more than you is frankly ridiculous), but make penalties for avoidance really harsh and start enforcing it - no exceptions, no loopholes and prosecute any accountants who facilitate avoidance.

UK.gov plans £2,500 fines for kids flying toy drones within 3 MILES of airports

Clive Galway

Re: Knee jerk reaction

> And an industrial drone with a net has been shown to be an effective way to catch and disable a drone

Good luck trying to catch an FPV racing drone with an industrial drone and a net

Hell, TinyWhoops are so small and fast, no form of physical interception is likely to be effective - my Mobula7 is about 26g and will do in excess of 50km/h

Razer offers freebies to gamers who descend into its coin mine

Clive Galway

Utterly pointless

Razer would not be doing it if both them AND their partner did not make a profit from it.

So the customer would be crazy to use this software, as two other parties get a cut of their mining operations



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