3339 posts • joined Wednesday 28th February 2007 21:13 GMT
'He might be able to keep the moustache if he has one, but you do understand he'll need to lose the pipe if he's to go up into space. Right?'
But... but... but... Dan Dare had a pipe:
The pressing need for a zero-G pipe requires the full application of the best of British boffinry. Since we don't have a DARPA to call our own...
Gentlemen! To your sheds and prepare for blast-off.
Oh god, you just know the government is even now investing in workshops, DVDs and teams of roving ID ambassadors to show and tell security twonks about the 'distinctive noise' made by a genuine ID card.
Fact. If you rap one with your fingernail it sounds like 'BLUNKett'.
@ Anonymous Coward
'Besides, why bother with this crap when you can just have a fission reactor and be done with it?'
Because reactors need pumps which make noise and make the submarine more vulnerable. Diesel electric submarines such as those deployed by the German and Swedish navies, run rings around nuclear subs.
One reason for cancellation
Is that the Terminator franchise isn't owned by Fox, so even if the series does well on DVD they don't see much income. Dollhouse is a fully owned property, so strong DVD sales will add to Fox's bottom line.
I've seen both and after a rough start, Dollhouse is the better series (IMHO). I really don't see where people get the impression TSCC had a particularly deep story; it was good on occasion, but rarely anything to write home about.
The Shuttle doesn't have enough fuel to change orbit from the current HST rendezvous to that of the ISS.
But by the sounds of this the damage looks to be superficial and in an area not especially exposed to very high temperatures during re-entry. It's worth remembering that many, if not most, Shuttle flights have had tile damage; we're only hearing more about it post Columbia.
@ Dan Paul
'Iodine is a volatile solid metal'
It's a WHAT?
Iodine is a member of the halogen group and is most definitely NOT a metal. So whilst the rest of us engaged in the age-old ritual of blearily staring at Open University chemistry programmes through an industrial hangover, what were you doing?
500 words on the oxidation states of lanthanum on my desk by this time tomorrow.
Has anyone noticed...
...that since they finished upgrading the WCML there has been more disruption because they're constantly digging it up again?
If my computer is using more power than Google does to answer my query, the obvious energy-saving solution is to switch off my computer.
Still not working
When I went to one of the biggest Tesco's in the country this evening, so it looks like it might be something more complicated than flicking the power switch.
Isn't today the day they were planning a huge new relaunch of their Clubcard loyalty scheme? So that's worked out about as well as a Gordon Brown relaunch.
"...a little shocked that it will take the programme $87m to not fly shuttles in 2012. Sounds like a bargain."
They'll be decommissioning the hardware and removing anything dangerous or likely to deteriorate before shipping the airframes to three lucky museums.
We train them to enjoy the taste of refrigerator-sized immortal jellyfish and finally answer the immortal question of which phylum is the hardest.
Makes a great little delivery vehicle
That range and relatively quick recharge should make this an ideal delivery vehicle for city centre businesses like caterers, florists and the like. Finding a good niche for 'leccies will be key to getting them accepted. Hoping to compete with the petrol family car is a non-starter (ahem) right now bearing in mind the limitations of the technology.
Does anyone remember a Channel 4 series about 10 years ago called 'Better by Design' which got a couple of industrial designers, Richard Seymour & Dick Powell, to redesign the Norwegian Pivco electric car? They had the brilliant idea of turning it into a tiny delivery vehicle with interchangeable back sections that could be swapped as and when needed to carry different loads. Of course, as in all these things, the company saw the idea, loved it and then decided to stick with the original layout.
I really like the Kindle's addition of a keyboard. If this device is to succeed in the educational market then its crucial that users can annotate their books without having to also carry a notepad or computer. The current eInk screens don't allow for onscreen keyboards unless another overlay is put over the top like on the Iliad - but IMHO that makes for a poorer quality display and a thicker, heavier device.
A physical keyboard is the only way to go and the Kindle 2's looks like a nice compromise between usability and thinness of the whole device.
Now when's it coming over here?
You'd have thought...
...from its history that IBM wouldn't want to get involved in the compulsory registration of citizens all over again.
Wasn't 'Angels and Demons' written BEFORE 'The Da Vinci Code'? Which means Dan Brown was still developing his powers as an author, so it's unlikely we'll see the later novel's 'extraordinary' prose, 'astonishing' plot and 'thrilling' character development.
But I reckon it will still read like he had the wikipedia guide to Rome open in front of him.
At a wild guess:
'Langdon walked across St. Peter's Square, distinguished from the territory of Italy only by a white line along the limit of the square, where it touches Piazza Pio XII. St. Peter's Square is reached through the Via della Conciliazione which runs from the Tiber River to St. Peter's. This grand approach was constructed by Benito Mussolini after the conclusion of the Lateran Treaty.
'It was only then, as he perused the menu in a family-owned trattatoria that he saw the reflected image of the lesbian assassin nun wielding the cold fusion assault rifle.'*
Word to Ron Howard and Tom Hanks - you gave us 'Apollo 13' for crissakes - why are you making this shite???
* If anyone has a couple of million burning a hole in their pocket I am willing to write the rest of my screenplay - complete with the lesbian assassin nun, the cold fusion assault rifle, prominent placement of the product of your choice (Coca Cola, Pepsi, the Shroud of Turin you name it, I'll cram it in between the roof-top car chase and the CGI sidekick), Dolph Lundgren and/or Jean Claude van Damme in a dirty green vest as the mitteleuropean action hero who dies a gory death at the hands of the Provisional wing of the Salvation Army, and a huge, deeply satisfying climactic explosion which will have me venerated by hearing specialists for years to come. Think Michael Bay without the taste and restraint but with gothic chanting on the soundtrack.
'Genuine death mask of King Tut'
$1.99 + $400million shipping from China.
It really wasn't until I saw that it was in Beijing that I cottoned on it might not be real.
@ Robert E A Harvey
'I think the publishing houses need to get together and agree a portable format for all ebooks if they don't want to hand control of their business over to Amazon & Sony.'
There is an agreed standard called ePub which is supported on most current eBook readers and reader software. In a complete break with the rest of the company Sony support it on their readers and it works very well.
Amazon do not support ePub and tie you into the Kindle infrastructure.
Bloody Chinese copying our ideas again
Not satisfied with knocking off iPhones and Wiis, the Chinese are now emulating our own splendid security-mad government. Next they'll be having unelected leaders and suppressing dissent - oh - right...
Rival to the Sony VAIO TT???
This machine is priced in a market alongside the two style icons of the laptop market - the VAIO TT and the MacBook Pro - it's hard to see why anyone would choose the Fujitsu. Hell, even Dell's latest consumer laptops are more attractive.
In terms of size, if you want a small screened laptop I guess this compares with the TT, but that's about it. The bottom of this machine looks thicker than the whole of the TT and as for the styling - well there isn't any. And is that really a VGA out on premium-priced laptop???
As for the MBP, Apple's specs are better, and well - let's face it, it's the best looking laptop out there.
I'd go for a Dell over this thing and pocket the difference.
Twixt two stools
Okay there's no need for hysteria - yet (possibly). But...
It's worth remembering that this is the virus that caused the 1918-19 pandemic and it has shown itself to be capable of human -> human transmission. What is absolutely crucial is finding out how deadly it is. At the moment the figures from Mexico City suggest a relatively high level of mortality, whereas it's produced relatively minor symptoms elsewhere. What we need to know is how many infections there have been in Mexico and if the deaths are in excess to normal 'flu. Of course there's an outside possibility there are two forms going around.
And even if this is a relatively benign virus, it is clearly capable of spreading through the human population. It will continue to mutate and reassort as it passes through humans and pigs (and possibly birds), which means we're getting yet another warning that pandemic 'flu is a real threat - how many more warnings do we need before we start planning for them?
BTW. Whales can catch the 'flu virus - can you imagine how much snot they produce???
Look on the bright side
The 1918 - 19 pandemic was preceded five to six months earlier by a similar disease which had a relatively low mortality in humans but was extremely dangerous to pigs.
There's still plenty of time to panic.
@ Peter Gant
'From this future point ONLY VTOL aircraft and helicopters will be able to use the carriers.'
After this week's budget I wouldn't be surprised if the carriers were canned by the next government of whatever colour.
Best company name ever.
They also designed the batshit-crazy ocean liner-sized Orion spacecraft powered by small nuclear bombs - which for some reason never got approval.
@ Michael Philbey
Technically Balmer is correct when he says Microsoft doesn't own hardware companies. They do the design of products and subcontract the whole process of making the boxes to companies like Flextronics.
But by that measure Apple isn't a hardware company either.
Must be true
I've just order a MacBook Pro - me spending money on any product inevitable results in either the company going spectacularly broke or upgrading the whole range.
If anyone would like Aston Martin to release a new range of cars, please get in contact with me and bring £100,000 in used non-sequential notes.
Touch and gos
I once had the privilege of being shown round Edwards Airforce Base by a retired USAF pilot. Amongst all the awesomeness, I got to watch a B1-B doing repeated touch and gos. Apparently it was a regularly administered punishment for pilots who had flunked a landing.
Beautiful plane and it made one hell of a noise when taking off again.
As for this story. It's a non-story in many ways, these sort of issues are regularly found when prototypes are flown for the first time. It's hardly a problem to worry about. After all to take just one example the very first 747 had problems with its flaps and with wing flutter during the test flights; despite that, Boeing produced one of the most awesome pieces of machinery ever designed.
USB charging is the only way to go? ;)
The most awesome word yet. I intend to use it wherever possible.
Well I'd hate to piss on anyone's parade, but when was the last time this country produced any piece of high tech that could compete with the Japanese, Americans and Germans?
I'd love to think Britain was going to be a leader in this trade, but I still remember how breathless journos told us that we were going to lead the world in aviation, rail, pharmaceuticals, GM, computers, space... but somehow we ended up selling cheap Korean phones and insurance to one another to make things meet.
Waiting for the first news story
Involving an airliner crash caused by one of its turbines ingesting a low-flying marmot.
...for diabetic pandas.
And was there an obesity timebomb ticking in the Alpine meerkat population?
Next up - what flavour crisps do blue whales prefer?
Fix for the Monolingual problem
I've had this problem with Office 2008 since day 1 and there is a fix which always works for me (including the latest update). It needs a text editor and nerves of steel, but little else.
1: First of all, get the update from the Mactopia site at http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads.mspx - you'll need to root around for the actual update as the featured 'latest' update is for Office 2004. Well done Microsoft.
2: Open the DMG file and drag the installer file on to the Desktop.
3: Go to the Desktop, right-click the installer file and choose [Show Package Contents].
4: Navigate down to Update/Contents/Resources/ and open the file package_updatable in your favourite text editor. You may be prompted if you want to make the file editable, say Yes.
5: Find the line 'found_valid_version=False'
6: Change 'False' to 'True'
7: Delete all the text below that line as far as the line 'if not found_valid_version:' BUT DO NOT DELETE THIS LINE.
8: Save the file.
9: Rerun the installer.
But why the Microsoft Office installer is so shite? Sorry can't help you there.
...if you'd said Armando Iannucci and Chris Morris had gone on a three month tequila bender and came up with this when coming down from a peyote high I would have believed you.
But this is real???? The man's a national treasure:
'One of the girls, Theresa, achieved the World Record for riding a motorcycle through the longest tunnel of fire – shortly before setting fire to Joe’s sales kiosk by pouring petrol instead of fat into the donut machine.'
Best web page ever.
If he can't shower crims with shit, is he up to do the House of Commons?
Carl Sagan walks amongst us
'Boffins think the planet-smash theory of lunar formation could explain why the Moon has such a relatively unimpressive iron core, being made up mostly of melted crusty bits smashed off in the possible Earth/Theia pileup and then blobbed together.'
Brilliant, it's the grasp of the precise language of planetary geology that makes it so authoritative. Please make sure all future stories include the word 'billions'.
It's worth adding, had the Moon had a normal origin, it's relatively small size would have precluded it ever getting hot enough for an iron core to differentiate, so you still wouldn't expect things like a planetary magnetic field or active vulcanism.
The collision theory is better supported by doing high precision work on lunar rocks ('hittin' it wiv an 'ammer' in geological parlance); they're very rich in refractory minerals and depleted in volatiles such as carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and the noble gases.