3558 posts • joined Wednesday 28th February 2007 21:13 GMT
Cheaper and it was designed to be suitable for bankrupt countries with lousy education and appalling infrastructure.
Not holding the World to ransom
It's just common sense economic policy. China needs to keep its economy growing and is aware that the next lot of cheap manufacturing countries are following along behind. Moving up the manufacturing ecosystem to produce finished objects is good practice.
As for China being left behind when the next technological leap occurs. I doubt it; their R&D (especially in rare earths) is second to none.
Oh and because it's China, I wouldn't be surprised if their mining groups end up being the ones who eventually get the contracts to extract rare earths elsewhere in the World. They'd only be following the example of Sinopec which has been tying up exclusive development contracts for oil and gas in the Middle East and Central Asia.
Why do these patent cases come along so late?
The iPhone's been on sale for three years, the Blackberry for even longer - and yet Kodak have only just got round to noticing an infringement?
Headline 'Nuremberg Laws'
The Nuremberg Laws are nothing to do with the defence plea at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial. Instead they were a series of edicts first announced at the Nazi Party Conference in 1935 which stripped Jews of German citizenship and their rights.
I think you're thinking of the 'Nuremberg Defence'.
So while the new British law is bad, it isn't comparable to the Nuremberg Laws.
The next standards war
Oh goodie - after finally killing off HD-DVD, the media industry can get down to doing what it does best - producing any number of rival formats to sting early adopters. Bonus marks will be awarded to the company that manages to include DRM in their 3D technology.
Count me out of this one.
Not to mention...
'I imagine that other leading causes of sudden unexpected death in Spain include vehicle accidents, cot deaths and big men with moustaches, knives and an adverse disposition.'
not forgetting people being crushed by donkeys falling off church towers.
Very small particles decelerate rapidly when hitting the atmosphere and are structurally robust enough that they just filter down through the air as meteoritic dust. Really big objects - think house size and above, are so massive in comparison to their surface area that they hardly decelerate at all and hit with their original velocity.
For objects between these sizes all sorts of things can happen. generally, the smaller and denser the object the more likely it is to reach the surface; however, relatively large (several metres across) stony meteorites (or the bizarre carbonaceous chondrites) tend to disintegrate through deceleration in the upper atmosphere and very little survives to hit the ground, or what lands is a shower of fragments.T =he vast majority of meteorites are made from stone, however, almost all the largest meteorites are made from structurally resilient iron/nickel.
There's been quite a lot of excitement recently caused by the release of classified data showing that relatively large objects are ploughing into the upper atmosphere and exploding on a quite regular basis. And when I say exploding - I mean think multi kiloton explosions:
Not the big story
The fact that the changes will cement the powers of the disastrous Digital Economy Bill is what we should really be worried about. That too is going to be shoved through Parliament with the full support of the Conservatives.
'Heathrow was reduced to giggling chaos this afternoon when a passenger was found to have written 'Fuck You Alan Johnson' across his buttocks in magnetic poetry'.
And getting hold of the image would be the best DPA request ever made.
Lewis and Sun readers
This is a brilliant plan but falls down with Lewis' unprovoked use of wit, sarcasm, punnery, semicolons and three-syllable words.
Knicker Bomber Glory
Either that or Fruit of the Boom.
The SRBs are the most obvious weak spot for low temperatures as the rubber O rings need to remain flexible. The revised SRBs now include electrical joint heaters to keep the rubber soft.
But low temperatures are a real problem as ice accumulates on metal surfaces. During take off this comes crashing loose from the gantries and can impact on the Orbiter, gouging the tiles, which dramatically affects the aerodynamics. After the Challenger launch, the tiles on the wreckage were found to have experienced hundreds of ice impacts in the very first seconds of the flight.
Finally, all that ice makes the metal surfaces of the pad slippery for workers.
I feel very much safer already
Knowing that my personal information is being protected by the impossible to crack 'What was your mother's maiden name?' question.
Thank you Mr. Johnson.
BTW. Can the Reg find out how many New Labour drones have signed up for their commemorative Blunkettcard?
Component outputs (and PS3)
Can you play 1080p through component or do the movie studios assume you're a nasty pirate if you want to use those cables?
Also, I agree the PS3 is a great BluRay player, but it sucks as a DVD player if you try upscaling the image - it makes almost as noise as an XBox 360 and the image isn't any great shakes.
Just to be a total heretic, my el-cheapo Toshiba HD-DVD player does a much better job of playing upscaled DVDs, both in terms of image quality and not sounding like it's about to explode; and the few HD-DVDs that were released are indistinguishable from their Blu-Ray equivalents.
The end of the World took place Tuesday just before tea time. You might have missed it because frankly, it was a bit of a cock-up. The third of the seas turning to blood was cancelled since the organising committee couldn't agree on whether calling it 'the Sea of Japan' was politically correct in this day and age; the Antichrist cried off saying that with Simon Cowell still alive all of his work was done; and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are still mired in a particularly malevolent contraflow just outside of Basingstoke (twinned with the Infernal Pit since 4004BC).
'"I don't remember exactly, but it seems to me it could hit the Earth by 2032," said Anatoly Perminov, quoted by AP.'
So they guy who's planning on shunting around a lump of rock the size of a well-proportioned ocean liner isn't exactly sure when it's due to arrive?
Well that's delightfully reassuring.
Isn't it a German train that just happens to be running in China?
It's tempting to laugh
But then you realise a lottery-winning spliff made from the finest dried vulture brains is probably about as sensible as using homeopathy - which is available through the NHS.
Thanks for confirming this
I've spoken to a number of authors who have released eBook versions of their novels and each and every one of them is fed up with DRM being imposed by publishers. In a couple of cases they have said they will not be licensing stuff for eBooks in future because the DRM is so restrictive they can't market their material in certain countries.
I guess the publishers and the movie industry are in the unenviable position of being more backward than the music business.
What if I'm allergic to lilac?
After all, this is meant to be a government all about choice - why can't I choose the colour of my ID card? Why can't I have one with David Blunkett's eminently slappable face on it?
But most of all, why can't I have one with clear instructions for Home Office employees who might be thinking this is a good opportunity to deprive us of our rights. Something classy like:
'Why don't you just take this card, sharpen the edges, shove it up your capacious arse and have a good rummage?'
Oh yeah. Merry Christmas.
Pot calling kettle black surely
'The service is pitched at clueless Blighty folk, who don't know the first thing about how to get their "digital stuff to work."'
You mean clueless Blighty folk like Virgin Media?
This shut-down will give Lewis a chance to recuperate with a mince pie and an even larger thesaurus.
This daft bint has to do ONE thing to retain her ministerial salary.
Just ONE THING - she has to remember to pick up her ID card so she can do her job promoting ID cards.
And she couldn't even do that.
There are things without spines lurking in mangrove swamps blowing bubbles that would make better government officials than Meg Hillier.
(And can we have a slightly larger FAIL icon - the current one seems somewhat inadequate for this case)
Serves them right
'2) There is a need to specify the landmass in which "Washington" resides'
For all the times they stick a picture of the Eiffel Tower on the screen with the caption
@ Anonymous Coward
'I was under the impression that Stanza was a good sort of inbetweeny app that converted ebooks from one format to another.'
Stanza's a (very good) eBook reader, nothing else. Are you perhaps thinking of Calibre, which is, a fabulous utility for getting (most) eBooks to talk nicely with (most) eBook readers.
@ Hugh G. Rection
'As another paid-up member of the old farts club, I can assure you that in 1973 we needed all the halp we could get to cheer ourselves up, and this song went some way towards doing that'
So what you're basically saying is that Noddy's song is perfect for today's Brownian economy.
Hold on let me get this right
We already own C17's. We have pilots and navigators trained to fly them? Engineers trained to maintain them? Presumably we've also got the complementary Lockheed care plan and a warehouse full of spares to keep them in the air. The plane is available like now...
...and we've decided to go and buy something else?
The MoD simply isn't fit for purpose. We should scrap it, flog off the buildings and sell the defence contract to Tiscali who after all, have a record of ruining life for millions of people that the British military can only aspire to.
Is it too much to hope that Adobe will release a version of Flash that won't max out the processor on a Mac Pro?
Extradition and death penalty
'Really? Does that mean that the USA judiciary is not independent of the government then? How can a government department otherwise guarantee that a felon won't fry?'
Errr because not all crimes in America attract the death penalty?
In cases where there is a possibility of receiving the death penalty, the Department of Justice will try to get the prosecutor to agree to not seeking a capital punishment in order that extradition can proceed. But the DoJ cannot dictate to the courts what sentence should be imposed.
Goes beyond awesomeness into a whole new realm of jaw-dropping brilliance
One for the Reg's tame lawyer. Have we broken the new obscenity laws by even looking at this vital health information? If so, I can't wait for the trial.
(And is that Lewis inside the scuba outfit - the face mask was so steamed up it was hard to tell)
'Populist measures take effect before the election, like the "bingo tax cut" '
Oh he's cleverer than that - he whacked up the tax on bingo AT THE LAST BUDGET. The 'cut' actually still means bingo players will be paying more money than a year ago, but the tabloids will give him a break because it looks like Darling cares about their readers.
As for public sector workers - didn't you get the memo? The public sector is the great class enemy. In the last couple of weeks politicians have come to believe that the bankers who got us into this mess are a vital part of the Great British economy and we mustn't be too beastly to them otherwise they might leave the country. Teachers on the other hand...
So if you're in the public sector you're going to get hammered by whoever's in charge because even if you're a cardiac ward nurse you're politically indistinguishable from an Islington Council seasonal diversity empowerment officer. The Tories know you won't vote for them and Labour know that too.
You're thinking of Pixel Qi who have demoed a screen but haven't begun production just yet.
And yes, it is an awesome idea.
'S&S and Hachette, to be sure, are motivated primarily by the fact that ebooks command much lower prices than hardcovers'
Guess they haven't looked in the Waterstone's store where eBooks are regularly more than the same hardback from either Waterstones or Amazon. The companies claim this is because eBooks attract VAT, but I reckon it's called 'blatant profiteering' in anyone else's language.
'I want to know where they are (or we are) going to find £178B!!? '
Well, I really shouldn't tell you, but I've caught a glimpse of the next Labour manifesto; and; (promise you won't tell anyone now), New Labour are essentially going to revolutionise economics. The Treasury has recently had a lovely email from a Mrs. Abacha of Acacia Avenue, Lagos: 'I know this might come to you as a surprise, but please do accept it in good faith and treat as a matter of urgency with utmost confidentiality. I have a business proposition for you involving the sum of $ONE TRILLIONS DOLLARS!!!!'
If Labour win the next election, the very lovely Hazel Blears will be on the next plane to West Africa carrying a briefcase containing the Crown Jewels which will be needed for security or something.
There's also something about us each taking in one another's washing as a top-down-grass-roots-generational-wealth-generation-incentivisation-opportunity-initiative type thingy.
Britain - where the economy's like Iceland's - only without the fish.
UK vs. France and Germany
The UK's economy is about the same size as France's; a little smaller than Germany's. It's hard to directly compare taxes but levels across business and personal taxation are pretty much in the same ballpark.
If you go to either of those countries, public services work, the education systems aren't in permanent crisis, the roads aren't crumbling and you can pretty much guarantee your train or bus will turn up.
So what are they doing right that Britain isn't?
' is it really a surprise that we're heading towards another one (which is due anyway).'
No it bloody isn't!
Can you please find a geological textbook that says the next glacial maximum is due? The best claim you can make is that in the early 1970s a *minority* of scientists studying the climate proposed that the Earth was likely to head into a period of general cooling which might end up as an ice age (we'll skip the technicality that we're actually still in an ice age).
The work began with Stephen Schneider at NASA Goddard Flight Center and got into the New York Times. Around the same time, a report by the National Academy of Sciences also suggested a 'finite possibility' that the Earth's climate would begin cooling within the next century. The stories got traction for a number of reasons:
Research had been going on into Milankovich Cycles - regular changes in the tilt of the Earth's axis on a geological timescale which appear to be *partially* related to glaciations. Running the Cycles forward showed that the Earth was heading towards a part of the cycle which would produce greater amounts of cooling.
The then state of knowledge of glaciations was very poor - we had not done any deep drilling of ice cores. There was a general assumption that the warmer interglacials, such as the current Holocene, lasted no more than 10,000 years; and that the previous interglacial had lasted less than 5,000 years. The Holocene interglacial had been going for about 10,000 years, so it was reasonable to assume the ice sheets were most likely to begin expanding again in the geological near future.
There had been a very mild cooling from the 1940s onward which was believed to have been driven by rapid industrialisation producing smoke, soot and dust and by the cultivation of previously virgin land producing even more dust.
Schneider performed a simulation contrasting the cooling effect of these aerosols against the known warming effect of increased CO2 from fossil fuels. He made a prediction of the future climate if the known trends continued into the future. His 1971 paper suggested the cooling effect was dominant and would tip the Earth towards another glacial.
Schneider quickly realised his numbers for future cooling were not realistic (he had used local concentrations of pollutants on a global scale - there were too many of them), when he dialled the aerosols back to more realistic values in his second simulation, it was clear that the warming effect was dominant.
Since then we've learned a lot. Milankovich Cycles are a good, but not total explanation of glaciations. We now know interglacials last up to about 100,000 years and we're pretty sure (again from the ice evidence) that much of the cooling in the middle part of the 20th Century was caused by an upspike in volcanic activity.
Schneider's paper came in a poorly established field without a large amount of supporting work. It was a good piece of work and he deserves credit for re-running his work with better figures. But he was not the only person researching future climates. Between 1965 and 1979, 44 scientific papers were published that predicted a warming world - and some were pointing to CO2 as the driving force, 20 thought there would be no overall change; just 7 predicted cooling.
There's a review of those papers here:
Can we now bury that myth alongside the person who suggested I should take up drinking instant coffee?
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