3558 posts • joined Wednesday 28th February 2007 21:13 GMT
The Russians have recently finished their latest reactor in Kaliningrad, and if they've engineered it to their usual high standards it should be leaking quite nicely about now,
"TV, record all the future episodes of The Simpsons"
That might run into conflict with some of the PVR patents awarded to TiVo and which have been upheld in the courts.
I'd just like it if Sony released TVs that were actually distinguishable from one another by more than the 22nd digit in an unmemorable product code. Fewer different TVs would help people pick one from the multitude.
Oh and don't make them so inflammable next time.
Mars 5 worked just fine, but it is a lousy record; especially when you compare it to their hugely successful Luna and Venera probes.
I think the right word for this is
They must also be concerned that the window for Mars is passing quickly. Leave it much longer and even if they can get Fobos to talk they won't have enough fuel to get there.
Understatement of the year
'We know even less about warm dense matter believed to exist in the core of larger planets'
That's a bit like calling the Blessed Paris merely 'warm and dense'.
Any news on whether the safety systems of the reactor have been brought up to basic standards? Most of the VVERs exported to India and China have had completely different safety systems (often Western) from those installed for the Russian reactors; and AFAIK none of the existing VVERs allow for passive cooling.
Not exactly just a theoretical question if previous Soviet operating regimes are anything to go on.
What's often ignored with any discussion of any gas is that it is rarely pure and needs to be sweetened before put into a pipeline. The two major acid gases in natural gas are hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide. Hydrogen sulfide is easily reduced to sulfur, but carbon dioxide is regularly vented into the atmosphere at the treatment plant. Injection back into the field can be done, but isn't widespread. So when you add the carbon dioxide that comes up with the gas to the carbon dioxide that is produced by burning it, the actual savings from burning gas often aren't as good as made out.
Overall, gas is a better fuel than coal and oil, but it probably isn't good for the long term health of the planet.
As for fracking, yep it can cause 'quakes. But generally not big ones.
A few large 'quakes have been linked to injection of fluid into wells (the most famous being in Colorado where nerve gas waste was being pumped into a deep reservoir). But most are small, just like the swarms going on at Hellisheiði right now where Reykjavik Energy are injecting water to bring new geothermal boreholes online. (It's the little cluster of yellow and orange dots near the centre-left of the map between Reykjavik and Þingvallavatn (the big lake)
It's not so long ago that EdF was the largest corporate debtor in the world despite having most of its nuclear costs either written off, transferred to the spreadsheets of the French government or simply ignored.
It must be easy to generate cheap power when you don't have to pay for anything.
Wow! Just wow!
We're really lucky that measles is never fatal and there are no cases of the chickenpox virus causing serious conditions in adults with immune deficiencies.
Oh wait a moment...
Make sure the government doesn't get involved
Before they know it, UKube-1 will be the size of a bus, weigh as much as a brontosaurus, cost as much as a nearly new Nimrod and have all the functionality of the MoD.
For all of its faults (such as continuing to believe in God), the Vatican does do some very good science through the Vatican Observatory headquartered at Castel Gandolfo:
So talking to physicists isn't completely unexpected.
Coming soon on Channel 5
Celebrity Big Brother: Mars Edition
Every week, one unlucky astronaut will be evicted by the airlock.
'It wasn’t until 1970 that China even got a satellite into orbit'
In the process beating Britain by a year.
And unlike us, they didn't give up.
With the likes of Norman Lamont, Nigel Lawson, Norman Tebbitt and John Redwood all recently starring in the ghastly afterlife of Newsnight interviews there does seem to be good reason to think the dark forces of the supernatural are a perfect match for the Conservative Party.
The Voynich is more complex than that.
There's the huge problem of how many characters are used - there's almost no agreement about whether some characters are distinct or whether they are actually different characters with ligatures. Estimates vary that Voynichese uses between 20 and 30 characters for the bulk of its text plus a few other rare characters.
Then when you start doing the number crunching odd things begin to appear - there are definitely word-like groups in the text, but the word lengths do not resemble any known language - there are very few short words and very few ones over 10 characters long. Some words are only found in certain parts of the manuscript. Individual words are often repeated either identically or with slight variations - a pattern not usually found in real texts.
The patterns of characters are definitely not random, there are rules about which characters follow others and which do not and whether they appear anywhere in a word or only at the beginning.
When you measure the entropy of the whole text (ie. how predictable the text is), it comes much lower than most European languages, around the same as English or Latin - but neither of those match the previous patterns found in the text.
It most probably is completely meaningless, but a huge amount of work was put into its creation and it would be wonderful to know more about where this thing came from and why it was made.
The best suggestion is that it was an alchemical fake designed to impress the rich and powerful in Central Europe, but there is a frustrating lack of contemporaneous evidence for the book prior to the early 17th Century (we now know from C-14 that the vellum is early 15th Century, but that does not necessarily mean the book itself is that old).
Facebook's target audience is relaxed about privacy.
I tried using the Kobo site - once.
I put a stack of books in my shopping cart. Clicked to pay, filled out the details. Got an error message, but was reassured in big friendly letters that I hadn't been billed. Told to try again. Did so, same error message. Gave up, bought the books elsewhere.
A hour later, two receipts from Kobo for the books. Told customer service that I wanted a refund as their site had not worked and had assured me there had been no charge.
Response: all sales are final, no refund.
They edge just ahead of Sony in my league of companies that can go and merrily burn in hell.
Still stuck on 2Mbps
The graphs over at akamai are really rather interesting - and once again South Korea just wipes the floor with us with what looks like an average of 13Mbps.
Meanwhile I wish someone from BT would come along and tighten the bit of damp string that connects me to the Intertubes.
The Olympics are always one of the events used to demo new telly tech. The Seoul games were the first real demo of HDTV, featuring live dove roasting in the Olympic cauldron.
Perhaps we can look forward to the same with Seb Coe and Tessa Jowell being sacrificed by enraged taxpayers in a giant wicker Wenlock mascot.
Thatcher also went ballistic when the US attempted to block Britain from supplying gas turbines for a gas pipeline from the Soviet Union.
She was also willing to tell the US what to d;, it was Thatcher, not Bush who first proposed confronting the invasion of Kuwait, famously saying 'George, don't get wobbly.'
Sadly you're probably right
I can't imagine the Middle America focus groups accepting a gay man might have helped end World War II. And an English accent will only confuse them if he's neither a member of the royal family nor a super villain.
It was a dead letter drop for his Chinese handler.
But not as nice as this proposal
For the Icelandic power distribution company Landsnet:
We should definitely have these giant stalking things because:
a: they're awesome, but mostly;
b: they'd give Andrew a seizure.
If you're going to be a pedant
It was a Mr. Fusion.
You stole that idea from me when I mentioned it down at the pub next week!
They also have more than the minimum number of tottilicious presenters displaying equal amounts of cleavage and knowledge of borscht production in the TransCaucasus.
And have you ever tried watching CCTV's English language news? If it wasn't for the Day Today graphics it's like a time warp back to the days of Vremya (Вре́мя). Lots of marching soldiers and footage of tractor factories.
And don't forget
Nuclear is still uneconomic after the taxpayer assumes all the disposal and insurance underwriting costs. Goodness only knows what it would be like if the nuclear industry had to pick up its own costs.
A minister who gave the nuclear industry a ringing endorsement after its relentless failures to bring projects in on time and on budget would be a minister who hadn't read his brief. And judging by the former flag bearer for the whole nuclear industry: Olkiluoto 3 in Finland; we're in for a whole raft of substandard construction, cost overruns (now 50% over budget) and delays (at least 3 years). Strange how the nuclear business has gone so quiet over Finland.
Nice to see the old thorium chestnut again. It's been a while since that brand of snake oil was given a good marketing. There isn't a single thorium reactor operating in the world. There isn't a licensed thorium design in the world. There isn't a prototype thorium reactor operating in the world. Nor is there a reprocessing plant to deal with the thorium cycle, nor even an international agreement to regulate the mountains of highly fissile U-233 which would be produced.
Squid are very poorly preserved in the fossil record as it is, and something this big would be extremely rare anyway, so the chance of finding a beak is practically zero. As a similar comparison, there are no more than six spinosaur skeletons known in the whole world - and that managed to get a starring role in the REALLY bad Jurassic Park sequel.
And to the author; squid and octopuses (the preferred plural) are not only in different orders, but different superorders and shouldn't be used interchangeably - at least not unless the recipe says so.
That would be a next gen Apple TV then?
Enable the app store for the Apple TV and perhaps sell controllers (although Apple would probably prefer if we all stumped up for iPod Touches, iPads or iPhones) and they could have a console that would paint Nintendo's next-gen Wii into a corner.
Not one for the hardcore gamer, but good enough for the casual and family market.
We could use this to kill off the Daily Mail
The aim of the scheme is to prevent children seeing sexualised content. It is backed by the Nation's Nanny, the Daily Mail.
If you ever visit the Mail's site (preferably manipulating your mouse using a barge pole), you'll see that they have a standard page layout of scandal on the left, slappers on the right. Most of the sleb stories feature people in bikinis or underwear. Which has to count as a sexualised image.
So we should all complain to our ISPs and demand they block access to the Mail.
(In the process ensuring a generation can grow up without knowing the horror of Melanie Phillips)
- Xmas Round-up Ten top tech toys to interface with a techie’s Christmas stocking
- It's true, the START MENU is coming BACK to Windows 8, hiss sources
- Google embiggens its fat vid pipe Chromecast with TEN new supported apps
- How UK air traffic control system was caught asleep on the job
- Pic NASA Mars tank Curiosity rolls on old WET PATCH, sighs, sniffs for life signs