Or even Jack McDevitt's 'Engines of God'
(great book - none of the sequels quite match it)
3736 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007
(great book - none of the sequels quite match it)
Do you mean magnetic poles or geographic poles? Magnetic poles are ephemeral not only waxing and waning, but moving all the time. Yes they can degrade to such a point that the Earth is exposed to the solar wind, but these periods don't seem to coincide with mass extinctions.
The geographic poles wobble, but like the Weebles they don't fall down since they are more or less locked by the Moon.
It's a blast to play until the glitches kick in. There's a lot of dropped frames when things get busy, the controls get unresponsive and the sound goes to crap. It's not like it's pushing the XBox to it's limits, compared to games like Just Cause 2, it looks quite dated.
If anything the first game is more technologically proficient, it's definitely more varied and a bit prettier.
'Perhaps this is not the case – and Ms Hillier is still secretly beavering away beneath their very noses.'
I kind of like the thought of Meg Hillier in the role of one of those Japanese World War II soldiers who carried on fighting for a lost cause decades after the end of all that unpleasantness.
The British government should have kicked this idea back to Tel Aviv after the Israelis took to photocopying our passports en masse.
I've got a Swissbike on order - the paratrooper was out of stock so I have to get it in namby pamby black.
I think even Kim and Aggie would throw up their Marigolds in disgust at that place.
Poor robot, it was probably disposed of as hazardous waste when it went back to iRobot.
Because I haven't heard mention of gaffer tape yet.
There's also a suspicious lack of photos of men with pipes and a garden shed.
Didn't this have a slight problem with its wings falling off?
Philo T Farnsworth's fusor has been around with modifications for about fifty years now. Unlike cold fusion where the results are still disputed it does produce reproducible results. They're also relatively cheap to build (you can make one at home if you don't mind irradiating the cat with fast neutrons), so it looks like a technology that should be investigated seriously:
How much did saving Northern Rock cost us?
What are the overruns on the NHS Spine?
How much for one of BAE's crappy frigates/submarines/Nimrods?
The UK, even in its current financial state could afford this and be seen as a visionary.
But we won't.
...it does point out that all these conservation societies only ever want to preserve the 'nice' bits of any period. (Manu)factories and slums aren't considered worth saving so we end up with horrors like the National Trust and Prince Charles who think the only bits of the past we should have are those that look good on the back of a tea towel and can have a tea shop attached.
They're not being burned as witches, they're being burned as Devonians for the heresy of putting the cream on the scone* first.
* the more militant members burn people for using a scone when it should always be a split.
"It is the first fully functional, completely submersible submarine for transoceanic voyages that we have ever found,"
Which must mean it's better than anything BAE have produced for a long time.
But be prepared for BAE lobbying that they need to build more multi-billion unarmed combat ships to protect the UK from South American drug smugglers.
'What about the twatterer?'
I think they're called the twatterati.
This is the latest way for the movie industry to get people back to the theatres. Now we've all got big screens and HD the living room is looking increasingly appealing compared to the out-of-focus, crappy print quality, fast-food, daycare centres of the multiplex.
But if they can now offer 3D that's something you can't have at home. So for a couple of years people have been drifting along to see the novelty - some good ('Up'), some bad ('Clash of the Titans') - but all highly profitable as they've been able to bump up ticket prices.
Where it all falls down is that people who actually *like* 3D are few and far between. Even those movies that haven't been post-produced to look 3D (hello 'Last Airbender') tend to look a bit murky, are hard work on the eyes and come across as LESS immersive than a well-projected (especially digitally) 2D movie. I'd be perfectly happy never to see another 3D feature ever again outside of a theme park.
So no, 3D won't persuade me to buy a new set. Bigger screen, better blacks, Internet out of the box - yes, thinner - maybe.
And if they want me back in the multiplex - well tasers for the staff, a projectionist who knows what the focus does and content that doesn't assume I left the brain at home would be a good start.
The movie studios sided with Blu-Ray, probably because it offered even more DRM options.
The PS3 only helped adoption, but HD-DVD was dead by the time the PS3 actually started selling in bulk. Lucky they put Blu-Ray in the console, because it's something of a disappointment otherwise.
I've heard that somewhere else before now.
But the magistrate was very understanding.
The Progress has plenty of fuel and power to make another attempt at docking. This is a spacecraft with a formidable track record; there have been previous failed dockings, and you can bet the Russians will fix this.
The theory is that the aluminium powder in the doped cover (which was there to reflect heat) reacted with an iron oxide primer. As good old-fashioned chemistry practicals taught us aluminium + iron oxide + heat -> aluminium oxide + iron + mind boggling amounts of heat. This is the thermite reaction.
The theory falls apart because the concentrations of iron oxide in the primer would not have been enough to start the reaction.
It also conflicts with evidence from the ground that report seeing a glow deep inside the airship before the fire became visible on the skin; and that the ship was reportedly stern heavy on her final approach, both of which suggest a hydrogen leak deep inside the craft.
At the end of the day, hydrogen doomed the ship; the Germans had just been incredibly lucky that they hadn't lost a civilian ship before then.
Ekranoplans - much more fuel efficient than a plane and much faster than a ship. For those of us that grew up on Gerry Anderson TV they also have the added advantage of looking seriously awesome:
(yes those are ALL engines!)
By your methodology oil, coal and natural gas are renewable fuels.
Helium is being created constantly at a rate of about 3000 tonnes per year across the Earth. Unfortunately we're using ten times that much every year.
The Earth is unable to hold on to helium because helium tends to migrate to the upper part of the atmosphere where the thermal velocity of helium atoms exceeds escape velocity. Some is also lost by ionisation through the Solar Wind.
There is no primordial helium on Earth which is easy to prove since He3 is practically non-existent down here whereas its plentiful on Jupiter which is big enough to hold on to its original helium.
Surely the real market for these things is as freighters which can bring us the essentials of life (Spanish strawberries and Shanghai iPhones) much more quietly than a 747?
I'm a little confused how Apple's claim that recalibrating the display of bars to better show bad signals is going to solve my problem' namely that holding my iPhone 4 in my living room sends the signal from O2's usual 2 or 3 bars to 'No Service'. The previous iPhone had no problems making or receiving calls at home, this thing drops at least half of them.
I don't think Beachrider is arguing with the flexibility of the Shuttle, just how the contracts were allocated. Several companies tendered for the key components of the Shuttle and the companies that eventually got the work were not those that were expected. North American Rockwell building the Orbiter was a real shock and there's always been suspicion that Nixon favoured a fellow Californian.
The choice of the SRB is also dubious; it was widely expected to have gone to Aerojet who had designed a monolithic booster design that would never have failed as happened with Challenger. Lockheed was second most likely. Instead it went to a segmented design from Morton Thiokol. Thiokol is based in Utah; at the time of the contract, NASA's head was James Fletcher who came from - Utah.
...is that all of a sudden the iPhone is going to start reporting fewer bars. Apple will be able to tell users 'nothing to do with us, take it up with the network and demand better coverage'.
And their excuse is bollocks. My 3G registers 3 bars in my living room, it might fall to 2 bars when I pick it up to make a call. The iPhone 4 registers 2 bars and shows 'No network' when I deign to hold it using anything other than Apple's official finger tripod.
albeit only about half as pretty as the Valkyrie and a tenth as gorgeous as the TSR-2.
It's a mains-powered iPad that shrank in the wash.
The problem was the data plan. The target market isn't able to stump up the sort of monthly payments that Kin came with. Had it been sold unbundled it deserves to have done well - the Cloud based approach to pictures and the like is actually a good idea.
So for once Microsoft isn't actually the culprit.
I think you've earned your pint for the day - and it's not even lunchtime.
Most of the Beeb is now decamped just down the road at White City. Which is - as I can personally testify - the most confusing building on Earth - every corridor leads to a coffee shop.
The nation's favourite clotheshorse is refusing to appear at the Hague - it might actually come to an international arrest warrant being issued that would compel her to attend.
Sharon Stone reenacting her finest moment from 'Basic Instinct' showing how Thatcher charmed Reagan with Jedward to play the Thatcher twins. Graham Norton to host the inevitable BBC talent search programme.
3G coverage is shite here on all the networks, the city centre has a WiFi network that no one can use and the cable network is crapola.
Truly the city of the future.
Ah they've finally found their true home. Though whether the Communist Party will be happy about an upstart foreign rival snooping on their citizens is another matter.
I'm reserving that song for the day Thatcher joins the great stock market flotation in the sky.
I was impressed at the Science Museum with their Bloodhound missile - which for a bit of 1950s tech still has a lot of WOW!
Namely it's go up to 400mph by the time it cleared the launcher and went supersonic in 25 - seconds? no - FEET.
Usually NASA have a handy back-of-the-envelope comparison to hand on to tell us just how insanely difficult this is - you know, 'scoring a hole-in-one after a three mile shot' or 'getting five bars while making a call with an iPhone 4' (okay this wasn't that difficult, but you get the idea).
...we've all got to switch off electrical items when the plane is taking off - whether we're on it or not.
While India is turning itself into a 21st Century superpower powered by science and innovation, Pakistan is burying its head in the sand. This sort of thinking (alongside widespread campaigns against Western concepts encompassing everything from rights for women to evolution) is crippling its economic future and giving no hope to its people that they can ever be raised out of genuine horrific poverty.
With the exception of anyone working in Pakistan's nuclear programme, the future doesn't look bright. And for the rest of us, the fact a country with these sort of people making decisions has a nuclear programme doesn't bode well at all.
Thatcher WAS in charge of the country when most of the current batch of white elephants lumbered off the drawing board. She was just as in love with BAe as her successors.
Perhaps now is the time to bring back the Sandys report and scrap all manned aircraft in favour of unmanned whooshy things.
Though where precisely hasn't been decided. If you're lucky it'll come out of one of GM's German plants.
It looks like an American's idea of what a European saloon should look like, after having a Maserati described by a mime artist.
Does it come in any shade of sane?
It'll deter people from trying to upgrade their machine if they know popping open the box might kill the undead cat that makes everything work.
'so you don’t have to worry about buying the wrong type of 3D TV and then being left with an expensive and obsolete piece of kit when one format wins out over the other'
Instead, you can now worry about buying a 3D TV and then being left with an expensive and obsolete piece of kit when you finally realise how much you've got to pay to equip family and friends with the bloody glasses.
Will be able to use Mastercards. It's just those of us who are paying for the fiasco won't get a choice in which way we actually pay to see what we built.
Ah that explains why they've decided to phase out floppy disks.