3346 posts • joined Wednesday 28th February 2007 21:13 GMT
"the size of several football fields"
Oh VERY useful. That's bound to be an *American* football field (you know the 'game' where they don't play rugby dressed in full body armour between beer commercials), not a proper British Passchendaele pitch with scrunched up jumpers for goalposts.
Why do Americans insist on using such arbitrary units when there is a rigorously logical unit of measurement that the whole world can agree on?
How many Wales???
'...Harris told how a terrorist group or rogue state detonating a small nuclear bomb in the upper atmosphere could destroy power infrastructure...'
So terrorists not only have to get hold of a nuclear weapon, they also have to get their hands on a miniaturised warhead that can be put in the nosecone of a missile (which they'll also need to acquire), work out how to target the missile, fuel it and prepare it for launch without being seen.
@ Anonymous Coward
'Whereas Murdochvision owns the rights to the content, the distribution mechanism, the conditional access mechanism, the receivers, the installers, etc.'
Would it surprise you that Sky was the complainant when Kangaroo was referred to Ofcom?
No, thought not.
From what I learned (off Wikipedia obviously), the early symptoms of swine 'flu appear to be identical to those for every pathogen from the common cold to Ebola fever. So if the symptoms go in three days it was a cold, if you're dead in three days it was Ebola; somewhere in between? probably 'flu, or mumps, or gout...
@ Duncan Jeffery
'EDF reckon they can complete them by 2012. And the only rreason for the urgency was greenie bleating about how unsafe nuclear is - rather contradicted by the French experience and the fact that many other 'sensible' scandinavian countries are going down this route (Finland for instance).'
Setting aside Finland not being in Scandinavia...
...and Finland being the only one of the Nordic countries actually *considering* new nuclear power...
...That's turning out to be something of a fiasco. The Olkiluoto 3 plant should have opened this summer.
You may have noticed from the conspicuous lack of news - it hasn't.
It's now 50% over the stated budget, the French state company Areva is in dispute with the Finns for $1 billion and is not even willing to give a date when the plant will be commissioned. The utility company is even threatening to default on the project. And that's before the Finnish Nuclear Regulatory Authority criticised the number of defects. Everything from the concrete slab its built on upwards has been found to be substandard. The concrete was too porous, cracks were found in the concrete and some of the welders were not properly qualified to be working on the project.
The second reactor of the European Pressurised Reactor design at Flamanville is also well behind schedule and massively over budget - and that's the revised budget which was 25% higher than that quoted for Olkiluoto. The EPR design has still not been certified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the US and a couple of American utilities have just dumped the design because it could cost upwards of $8 billion a reactor.
It'd cost less than £2 billion to build a HVDC cable to bring an equivalent amount of reliable, clean hydropower from Iceland to the UK. That'd also solve the bugbear of providing power in the event of calm weather of Western Europe and help keep their economy ticking over nicely.
'Ok so my non-tech neighbor is having the exact same problem on BT. All of a sudden last week BTs DHCP started issuing him a 169. IP address, where the normal from them is a 168., thus he cannot get a connection to the web.'
169.x.y.z numbers are allocated to machines when they don't get an IP number from the DHCP server. It's a network issue. Have you tried another machine through the same connection in case there's a network adaptor fault in the machine? If you've tried more than one machine and more than one router it sounds like BT is at fault.
Denmark seems to manage it
And last time I checked, our pragmatic Scandinavian friends were getting 20% of their power from the wind and weren't sitting round in the dark or living in abject poverty. They've invested in a diverse energy supply and interconnectors to even out the troughs and peaks.
Their bacon still sucks however.
The USAF and the plane's builders had managed to put subcontractors for the F22 in 46 of the 50 states - and made sure the relevant politicians knew about it.
And they still killed the programme? Is it too much to hope that the Senate is starting to see through the defence contractors? And let's hope some of that money goes to buy kit for the guys fighting the wars going on right now, not the ones in a Tom Clancy novel.
Isn't inductive charging ridiculously inefficient?
'Saw this on NYT and took a look. Seems that (most of?) the interesting titles are not available outside the US.'
This isn't Barnes and Noble's fault - it's the publishers who insist on country by country licensing of their titles.
I've got the Sony Reader here in the UK and I can't get many titles available on their US store, so I contacted some authors asking if they knew their books weren't legally available in the UK. All of them said (wearily) they knew it, they were furious people couldn't get their books legally and a couple asked me to tell the publishers. eBooks should be good for authors, but it looks like they're getting even more screwed than usual.
Is this a replacement for the ID card database?
The government suddenly goes cool over ID cards, but is extending this database like crazy.
Soon they'll want to put all adults on it - which, when you think about it, makes sense.
Just think EVEN NOW children are in the unsupervised presence of adults when they go to shops, cinemas or riding on a bus. Some of these strangers will try to talk to the children using phrases such as 'Good morning,' 'Can I see your ticket?' or even 'Hello' - chillingly, all these words are known to have been used by paedophiles.
The evidence is clear.
Honestly it'll be for our own good if we're all databased, tagged, chipped and followed around by a power-mad government.
Just think of the children. No not that way - that's creepy.
@ Anonymous Coward
'Space exploration today is all about trying, and failing, to get a toilet to work.'
Which is why calling for an immediate mission to Mars is silly. If we can't get a toilet to work in low orbit, you don't want to think of spending 2 years in the company of a crapped out cyberloo. I don't think the Ares V is NASA's biggest challenge - it's the plumbing.
I dream of a day when all this sort of thing could be avoided
Just imagine if someone were to come up with a hypermedia technology that would allow pages about the paintings on the Wikipedia site to link to their images stored on the NPG's servers.
Do you think it could be possible?
My problem with this is...
The customer is the one who really loses out.
They bought (or licensed) the title from Amazon in good faith. Presumably Amazon were given the rights to those titles by the publisher. So it looks like the publisher goofed. In the olden days the publisher might have been expected to eat their loss. But not here.
A mature solution might have been for the publisher to stop further sales as soon as they noticed the error. They've lost nothing so far. After all, they got their royalties from each Kindle user. The books are DRMed up to the eyeballs so can't be copied (ahem) - so there's no risk of them spreading further (cough). The problem would have been contained, there'd have been no unhappy customers and Amazon wouldn't look bad.
Certainly Amazon should have behaved in a more consumer-friendly manner towards customers who've invested a hell of a lot of money in the company's eBook strategy - those are A-list customers guaranteed to come back time and time again, now they're pissed off. And they're letting the world know.
And like a lot of people here, it's really cooled me towards buying a Kindle.
Could just be the 360 is the best supported of the consoles
The PS3 is more expensive and even a cursory glance shows that it has precious few 'must have' exclusive titles whereas those available on PS3 and 360 tend to look better on the Microsoft machine. I don't know if it's lazy coding or bad support from Sony or the desperate lack of texture memory on the PS3 - but some PS3 games are running in lower resolutions than the 360, have lower frame rates and some horribly blocky textures.
As for the Wii sales falling. Simple - once you've played Wii Sports, what else is there that's worth having? The Wii is a complete bust as a games platform, Nintendo seems to have forgotten to release games for it, preferring a series of gimmicks like Wii Fit and Wii Music which don't have much long appeal and are ridiculously expensive.
I'm on my 3rd 360, whereas my PS3 and Wii have behaved perfectly; but it's clear Microsoft have won this generation of consoles - they've tapped into popular sentiment and got a compelling set of exclusives.
15 fcuking miles long???? This thing's got a starring role in a future Michael Bay movie!
'Gordon Brower with the North Slope Borough's Planning and Community Services Department told the paper he saw some jellyfish tangled up in the goo and someone else retrieved bones and feathers from a dead goose.'
This thing's carnivorous???
We are so boned...
...on the upside it might be the only thing to save us all from Lewis' refrigerator-sized immortal jellyfish (El Reg passim).
I wonder how it handles Humvee sized Arctic spiders???
'Thanks, that would be a good half hour (45mins?) after launch then?! I could have sworn they dropped it way earlier (shortly after meco) I obviously spent to long listening and not watching...'
You're right, the ET's jettisoned about 8 1/2 minutes after launch just after MECO; but it's only just sub-orbital so the burn-up is between 60 and 80 minutes after launch. It only needs a small change in velocity to put it into LEO, so during the 1980s there were a number of studies about putting the ET into orbit as the basis of a space station.
Yesterday's launch is here, the tank is jettisoned around 9 minutes in:
'Get there before they finish!'
Yep, there's going to be a big gap in launches before the Ares V flies.
NASA doesn't have that launching until 2018; but that's going to be a monster - 110m tall and 3,300 tonnes - it'll be like the good old days of the Saturn V. Now if only they'd built the Nova - that'd have been TWICE as powerful as the Saturn V; and if they hadn't had a sudden attack of 'what if it all went wrong?', the upper stage would have been nuclear.
If only they'd put Gerry Anderson in charge of the space programme.
@ The Original Ash
'Aluminium is actually pronounced Aluminum'
Nope, it's 'aluminium' according to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (head boffins in the bangs and smells division). Sir Humphry Davy called it aluminum in 1812 before it had been isolated as an element, but this was objected to as long ago as 1813 with the 'ium' ending given on the grounds that it sounded 'more classical'.
Humphry Davy had previously called it 'alumium' but he might have been off his face on nitrous oxide at the time.
Just in case the Brits get too smug, the American spelling of 'sulfur' is the correct one. I use it just to piss off my pedantic colleagues.
@ Anonymous Coward
'Not surprisingly this went down like a lead balloon with the NI Unionists...'
I wonder if this was a concession demanded by the Unionists in exchange for the support they're regularly giving the government to overcome Labour rebels on the backbenches?
He's not expecting to receive $5 million. It's a class action suit which if Amazon were found liable would see $5 million - expenses shared amongst the plaintiffs.
That's not to say $5 million is a reasonable sum, it's hard to see how they came to that number without knowing precisely how many cases have been sold and I doubt Amazon have released that number.
Still not sure what they're planning on selling
After all, Microsoft doesn't make computers. Go into an Apple Store and you see the software running on an Apple machine you can buy there and then. Go into a Microsoft store and - ummm...
They'd be foolish to tie the XBox brand too closely to the rest of Microsoft, part of the console's success is that it's seen as 'cool' - something Microsoft isn't. To a lesser extent Zune benefits from not being seen as a Microsoft product.
But if the stores are going to concentrate on selling software and improving user skills they're going to be seen as copies of the Apple Store Genius Bars and professional sessions.
So is this anything more than Microsoft once again deciding it has to compete in a market just because someone else is making money from it?
Oh well, if nothing else I guess we'll all get to play with Surface.
I'm guessing the voicemail is being highlighted because the NotW would have hoped they'd get a juicy bit of gossip from one sleb or another along the lines of who's shagging who and how often and what flavour dildo was inserted where.
...of the drop in emissions is down to the Conservatives closing coal mines and switching to gas-fired electricity production? (Policies I think the likes of Gordon Brown opposed in Opposition)
Because I'm buggered if I can think of anything this government's done to reduce emissions. Well apart from screwing up the whole economy so spectacularly that there won't be a factory left in the country and we'll all be too poor to fill up the car. Taking us back to the Dark Ages will have a nice effect on CO2.
'Other than having the ability to make the SRB's fall into the ocean, rather than on someone's house, is there any other reason why they don't launch shuttles from the drier Nevada desert rather than the tropical Florida coast?'
Not really. Canaveral had always been there so that missile tests could drop harmlessly into the Atlantic so it made sense to keep on using it. As Ian R 1 says above, you also get a small extra kick into orbit by moving the launchpad closer to the Equator.
The Shuttle was originally also going to fly out of Vandenberg AFB on the Californian coast to put military satellites into polar orbits - the SRBs dropping into the Pacific. Although the USAF had been the biggest influence on the Shuttle's final design, they dropped it like a hot potato after Challenger and went back to big expendable launchers.
Which in a way was a good thing. The Soviets were terrified the Shuttle could be used to lob a huge nuclear weapon over the North Pole as a first strike weapon. Scrapping polar flights solved that little Cold War nightmare. But not before the Soviets bankrupted themselves by building their Buran Shuttle capable of doing just the thing they were worried the Americans were planning.
Oh how we miss those days of bat-shit insane paranoia.
'What's the runway for?'
Landing in the event of an emergency.
HOWEVER - the Shuttle has real problems with bad weather in the event of an abort. The first being that it has a sink rate about that of a brick and is extremely vulnerable to side winds - there's no 'go around' if it can't land - so the weather has to be calm.
The second is that the heat tiles form the aerodynamic surface of the Shuttle; flying through large raindrops or hail could shred the coating on the wings, destroying the lift and - well that gets nasty. NASA was very strongly condemned for launching into heavy clouds shortly before Challenger made its final flight.
@ Dave Page 2
'Is there a technical reason for the seemingly random launch time? I'm (perhaps naively) assuming that it's not a case of launching at that precise time so they can fly in a perfectly straight line to the docking port on the ISS.'
Pretty much it - the launch window is when the orbital plane of the ISS intersects Kennedy. It's actually a window opening at 19:34 and closing again at 19.44. The Shuttle tries to launch right in the middle of that window to reduce the amount of maneuvering needed to intercept the ISS. There's a similar length window open for each of the next few days.
The Shuttle's launch window is further constrained as NASA tries to launch when the transAtlantic abort sites are in daylight. If the Shuttle has a major failure - such as the loss of two engines before main engine cut-off it doesn't have enough velocity to go once around the Earth and return to the US, and it's going too fast and too high to return to Kennedy, so the plan would be to hop across the Atlantic and land the orbiter at one of several extremely long runways including RAF Fairford, Zaragoza and Keflavik.
Oooh please sir, please sir!!!!
Change one word from the current TV Licensing advert so it's now
'YOU'RE in the database'
That'll be ten million quid, a Lear Jet full of hookers and a bin bag of the finest Bolivian please.
@ Joe Zeff
Until we have evidence that Galileo described Neptune as a planet, then the first person to observe *and recognise it as such* was Johann Galle in 1846. We still credit William Herschel with discovering Uranus even though it had been recorded in observations as far back at the late 17th Century, but always marked as a star.
Oh and I thought it was going to be bouncy
All those big rounded corners and bright colours had me hoping they'd designed a neoprene or silicone covered netbook that could take a tumble. A ruggedised model would go towards justifying that price.
But as J 3 says above, wake me up when there's something new...
...you know radical stuff like higher resolutions or more than 1Gb RAM, or a browser that thinks it's an operating system ;)
'And software. Telling someone "Hey, stop using Photoshop Elements and use this thing called 'GIMP' instead" gets you funny looks. The stupid name is half of it, of course, a common problem with many open source packages.'
One reason not to use GIMP for photographs is that it is still limited to 8-bit TIFF. After finally getting photographers to start using RAW, it'd be a huge backward step to ask them to start using an inferior piece of software.
And the name's shite as well.
Ummm... this has been tried
It wasn't that long ago that an iron fertilisation experiment was tried in the Antarctic Ocean which is also iron deficient.
The phytoplankton bloom - and are almost immediately gobbled up by exploding populations of zooplankton which feed fish... This keeps the majority of the carbon in the upper part of the water where it can re-enter the atmosphere rather than sinking it to the ocean sediments where you want it.
The only new thing here is that the North Atlantic is poorer in dissolved iron than we thought.
Mind you if the Icelanders are clever they'll fertilise the oceans, get more plankton, which are gobbled up by copepods, which are then snacked on by capelin which go on to feed minke whales - which are delicious and best served rare with a portion of guilt on the side.
@ Anonymous Coward
'What I just love is all that pre-packaged pre-cooked food that comes with lovely bright pictures on the packaging and the printed phrase "Serving suggestion". Which sounds like some kind of a recipe, but is in fact usually just a euphemism for "Rip off the lid and slap it on a plate."'
Believe it or not, it's a legal get-out; by putting 'serving suggestion' next to a picture of a delicious egg with buttered soldiers they protect themselves from morons who might sue them expecting to find spread and the Light Infantry inside the carton.
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