3578 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007
Couldn't Orange come along and deturdify our streets?
You're missing the vital role of nicotine in boffinry
Most of the modern world could not have been built had boffins not been puffing away on their pipes.
Lester is remaining strangely elusive on the equally vital shed angle of the project.
I like a good shed.
That's my kind of thinking
I'd also insist the whole thing is lovingly lacquered in thermite just to increase the Michael Bayitude of the launch.
'However I do know that living organisms metabolize radioactive isotopes in a way that dead ones don't, allowing for things such as C-14 dating... so it seems to me to be a valid indicator of 'living organisms''
C-14 is useless for dating almost all fossils as it only has a 5.73ky half-life. IIRC the oldest samples reliably dated using C-14 are only about 60ky.
It can be used to date living and recently deceased organic material because living creatures take up C-14 throughout their life at a known ratio to the stable carbon isotopes. When they die, the uptake of C-14 stops and it begins to decay at a known rate. By measuring the actual ratio found in the sample you can derive an age for the material.
Living organisms preferentially metabolise C-12 over C-13, so their surroundings tend to show a depletion of C-12. There's a similar change in ratio when organisms metabolise sulfur.
This is a fascinating find as it pushes signs of life back to a point within 400 My of the end of the Late Heavy Bombardment which would have plastered the whole planet with massive craters - but which also brought a sizeable amount of the Earth's water.
There are practically no sedimentary rocks of this age left in the world, so this might be the best we can get for now. Although there is a chance fossils from an older rock could be included in a younger conglomerate or breccia. But pretty much every rock of this age has been through at least one phase of metamorphosis which tends to erase fossils as the rocks get cooked.
There is some evidence of life in even older rocks (3.8 Gy) from the Isua Complex in Western Greenland. Some sequences contain traces of graphite enriched C-12 suggestive that they originally came from sediments including living organisms. However, the Isua rocks are in a greenstone belt which has been heavily metamorphosed into gneiss and they've lost their original sedimentary features and any fossils have been baked away.
Yep - it was Contact
Agree with the previous AC, it was S.R. Hadden's Adnix which he followed with by the Preachnix that muted religious programming.
Fiorina in 'not worst boss of HP ever' shock?
HP really have made a fist of this acquisition which let's face it means the end of WebOS. If the company who own it have no faith in its ability to shift boxes there's no chance another company is going to license WebOS for their own devices. So it looks like Palm is reduced to a nice set of patents to beat other tech companies about with.
And the other thing is the astonishing rate of consolidation we're seeing right now - Nokia, Motorola and now HP all being rendered more or less irrelevant in mapping the future of mobile devices. And this news must surely lengthen the odds on RIM remaining independent for much longer.
Is the lovely LOHAN going to have a tailpipe rocket or tractor rockets? I was thinking (rare I know) that if you used tractors on the end of a long - erm - I'm sure there's a technical name for this, but let's just call it a - stick, with the plane at the far end you might be able ensure the plane is always pointing up and clear of the balloon simply by adjusting the fulcrum about which the plane is suspended so that the rockets always point up and the plane hangs down.
I think like a lot of people I saw the transputer first of all on Tomorrow's World where it was raytracing a shiny Newton's cradle in real time. Thanks for telling the whole story.
And I couldn't help but think of Transputer last year when an Intel keynote conference talk was spent saying how widespread parallel processing was almost here...
Isn't this the one styled by the mistress of taste and refinement, Victoria Beckham?
Somehow it manages to look expensive AND cheap at the same time by appearing to be styled for rap stars who shop at Clare's Accessories.
I don't care if it hits or not
I just want to see a really bright comet some point in my lifetime (possibly right at the end just before the impact). We're well overdue one to rival the beautiful comets of the 18th and 19th Centuries.
It'll be filth
Just try to imagine animals - naked.
PRS-650 is here
Although good luck finding one on the high street. Most Sony stores only carry the smaller 350 and I've not seen one in Waterstones since the week of release. They are still officially on sale and you can pick them up online - and you won't regret it. The 650 is a beast with a gorgeous touch screen and fabulous build quality which is only let down by the umbilical to the Waterstone's store. If that could be severed with a rival to WhisperSync then Sony would have the best reader out there bar none.
A UK version of the 950 (or more likely its follow-up) would be very gratefully received in this household.
I'm not sure how a sustainable Android tablet market can be built on discounting unsold stock. It sucks money away from R and D and leaves the vendors even less competitive against Apple. Their current strategy is following the netbook path of 'me too' substandard products towards total irrelevance. Andrew pointed out yesterday the problem with Android tablets is that they look like iPads but they don't work as well.
From Larry Page on the Google Blog
'We recently explained how companies including Microsoft and Apple are banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android. The U.S. Department of Justice had to intervene in the results of one recent patent auction to “protect competition and innovation in the open source software community” and it is currently looking into the results of the Nortel auction. Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.'
Which is a bit of a reversal from Google's public statements a couple of weeks ago that they didn't like the blatant patent grab going on right now.
Oh bloody hell
The people of the 31st Century will risk the emo equivalent of the Ark of the Covenant when they uncover working copies of the 'Twilight' movies in their archaeological digs. The poor buggers.
DARPA really need to get some advice from the Reg's combined space command and donkey sanctuary.
My guess is they'll find the centre of gravity was off by the weight of one Playmobilnaut.
'Is it not the time that industry/government put some serious effort to make mobiles unattractive to thieves.'
Nokia have been trying hard to make their phones unattractive and unusable for some years now.
Maybe the balloon is misleading us?
Perhaps we should ditch the balloon entirely and just use a bigger rocket?
Liquid hydrogen fuelled for maximum hilarity of course.
BBC vs. Sky
I didn't think there was much between the reporting on the two channels, but what was noticeable was that Sky were much slicker at switching to a breaking story or a team on the ground. The BBC was having real trouble linking to crews at the location or even lining up interviews.
The both did well under the circumstances of a massive story breaking across a huge area.
This is going to be a challenge
Many of these pieces will never have been designed to be grappled, so getting an attachment is going to be difficult, and they will probably be tumbling having never had, or have lost attitude control.
Good luck to them and it sounds like a fun project to work on.
(Paris because she is designed for easy grappling and has attitude).
In the meantime...
Anyone want to be brand manager for Blackberry?
It's been years since they got this much press attention, sadly now it's all along the lines of 'the mob's favourite phone.'
Not floor wax
The distinct tang of Hershey is definitely stale ear wax.
A lardy cloying texture is distinctly a Cadbury's Dairy Milk thing. But the OP is quite right about Hershey chocolate having a nasty chalky texture.
I've always assumed there's a huge overlap between the audience for You & Yours and The Daily Mail.
'Today, the hidden peril of doors. Electricity - it sound terrifying, but is it? We investigate further. And at 12:30 we'll have a live studio discussion over the tragic case of Mrs. Volvox who stepped outside at eleven o'clock yesterday evening to find it was dark. What is 'night time' and how do we ban it?'
Mind you, the misery of accidentally tuning into You & Yours is nothing compared to the unspeakable of horror of 'Moneybox Live'.
Setting aside the gruesome image that evokes
The Apollo astronauts reported seeing bright flashes in their vision when they were travelling to the Moon and back. It was suggested this was caused by sub-atomic particles trapped in the Van Allen Belts passing through their eyes.
A nice idea, except the Vela Incident took place over the Indian Ocean.
Though it does cause problems for satellites. The ISS has to carry extra radiation shielding for the occasions when it passes through the SAN and the Hubble Space Telescope is shut down for its passage. I'm pretty sure it was also linked to the repeated failures of a number of low-orbit comms sats.
...but it's actually a magnetometer.
payload on top
Is that even stable?
Maybe the nearest aerodynamicist can put me right, but wouldn't a weight on top and a weight on the bottom just mean that with the slightest disturbance the balloon rolls over until the two weights are more or less horizontal?
That sounds really sensible
The only difficulty with that suggestion is making sure the plane doesn't tumble when it released, but it sounds relatively simple and would avoid too much spin damage on the way up.
Wind doesn't seem likely
I'm not sure.
These images are from a crater wall in the southern hemisphere pointing north in the summer, so it gets the full heat (hah) of the Martian summer. You'd expect that to produce a convection of air up over the rim of the crater - opposite to the pattern we're seeing here.
Also, when you put the graphic over a 3D terrain, you don't see any of the tell tale swirls that you normally associate with windblown debris, these lines are going straight downhill:
(long URL approaching)
There's still a chance this could be liquid CO2 seeping out of the permafrost, it would be able to transport material downhill, but it wouldn't leave any tell-tale traces for the orbiter to pick up. But then, liquid CO2 is not normally found in these conditions.
I wonder if ESA can point their Mars Orbiter towards Newton crater any time soon.
What a shame the NotW is no longer with us
The delicious Rebekah Brooks could have started a whole new 'Death to Paedos' petition had things not gone quite so spectacularly tits up for her and NI.
And a correction to the original article. The government has not promised that any petition which gets 100,000 signatories will be debated, they have said it 'may be debated'.
The Daily Mail
'Why is it that the Daily Mail is vociferous in support of penalties for certain crimes, but not so much for others (phone hacking)? '
You have to remember the same deranged moral compass that once had the Mail printing "Hurrah for the Blackshirts" has driven them on to the ideological rocks of the 1950s when everyone loved the Queen, there were no beastly foreigners around, everyone went to church and Europe could still be cut off by fog in the Channel.
There was a death penalty in the 1950s so we need it back. And only nice proper people had telephones back then and they'd never dream of listening to someone else's messages, so why the fuss now?
At a guess
The plastic used by LEGO might not be capable of withstanding the heat, cold and radiation Juno is going to experience.
But I'm with you on wanting a set for myself (LEGO is far too good for children)
Well if you're going to ask
We're going to need a bigger balloon
Does the plane need to be directly beneath the balloon? Instead couldn't you have a horizontal boom suspended from the balloon with the plane on one end and a counterweight on the other. Fire the plane up at an angle before the balloon bursts and it should clear the rest of the vehicle.
Either that or dump the balloon entirely and build a bigger rocket to create your very own Dynasoar. The rocket, of course, would have to fuelled with liquid hydrogen for maximum hilarity.
A Californian company is being sued by a Taiwanese company in the UK. Why exactly? For the air miles?
Stop making them smaller
These cameras are just too small for me - and I don't have huge hands. I've got a Sony A700 which is a pretty old camera now, but it has a nice chunky design, generous grip and enough heft that the lens doesn't unbalance it unduly. I'm looking to replace it, but none of the cheaper dSLRs have the same sort of bulk.
But it looks like the powers that be have decided that if blobby shapes and saggy shoulders are good enough for the British physique, they're good enough for cameras.
And since they're doing so well
Perhaps they'd like to start paying some tax on their income?
Still going to be expensive
The USMC is only committing to 80 C aircraft which will result in them being more expensive than if the airframes had been made from the finest gold leaf hand-rolled on the thighs of Cuban women and then liberally sprinkled with sapphires. (I have no idea if this is how you go about making an aircraft by the way).
A dodgy bloke with a fag hanging from his lip comes round and clamps the rocket.
And the engines on this beast happen to be Russian, originally developed for the N1 super rocket of the 1960s.
The UK government encouraged companies to drill our side North Sea as quickly as they could with the result that the UK sector is the fastest oil producing region ever brought on stream. It is also now the one declining the fastest.
But for a while it was nice, all that money covered up the collapse of our manufacturing industry and paid for millions to be put on to long term benefits.
The Norwegians sensibly decided to manage their oil production through Statoil with the government pension pot taking the proceeds. The result being that not only does Norway still have lots of oil under the sea, but it is sitting on half a TRILLION dollars of assets that will keep on generating income when the wells run dry.
It was about the time BAE became heavily involved in selling weapons to the Americans that the US economy went tits up?
That's a big job
Where do you start?
The ISS is in an inclined orbit, geostationary requires one aligned with the equator. Changing inclination is a big job,
About half of the energy used to lift a kilo to geostationary orbit is used getting it into low orbit, the remainder is used in the transfer to the higher orbit. So take whatever energy its been to assemble the ISS and double it.
You'd then have to contend with the fact the ISS would lie outside the inner Van Allen Belt and would be exposed to more radiation and necessitate its crews being exposed to a healthy dose of whatever the Sun coughed up a few days ago.
And finally, we don't have any manned vessels that can get there.
I didn't know they reported on science and engineering for fear of upsetting their core demographic who are not quite ready for the breaking news that the Earth isn't flat, isn't six thousand years old, wasn't made by God and isn't centred around Sarah Palin.
It should definitely be inspired by the lovely Ms. Lohan
And come without any undercarriage.
It's a nice OS, but there's still so much wrong
There are the atrocities of the Address Book and iCal whose interfaces are utterly broken by the insistence on copying real world alternatives.
Finder is still a dog. The left-hand pane listing foldings and drives is much harder to read now it has been stripped of all colour and contrast. And they still haven't fixed the basics of how data is presented in the Finder, the appearance of folder contents is still entirely random - will it be a list? a set of icons, a preview - who knows? That's the excitement / frustration of Mac OS.
And then there are the wretched animations that can't be switched off. Windows zooming out of nothing circa mid 1980s GEM and the drives me to distraction bunny-hop of a new Mail message window.
I wish Apple would get some real interface designers to work on their products rather than the kiddies who knocked up this monster.
End this already
If the Winklevosses keep this up much longer they will achieve the near impossible and turn Mark Zuckerberg into a sympathetic figure.
Guys, you got $65 million for having an idea and nothing more. I call that a pretty good payment. Now go off and play in your boats.
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