3344 posts • joined Wednesday 28th February 2007 21:13 GMT
@ g e
The North Koreans should have to give details of any object they put into orbit.
In 1998, they even went so far as to tell the world the elements for Kwangmyongsong which was apparently circling the Earth broadcasting toe-tapping melodies such as "Song of General Kim Il Sung" and "Song of General Kim Jong Il" at 27MHz. They insisted it was up there, even though the US couldn't ever track it on radar and listeners on 27MHz were disappointed not to be able to listen in.
It looks like the 1998 launch was one for a space vehicle which went wrong at the last minute and either tipped the satellite into the North Pacific or into a very low orbit from which it decayed within hours.
Pulitzer winning journalism here
The Telegraph has deployed its formidable resources to determine that Virgin were satisfying the Home Secretary's husband with "Raw Meat 3" and "By Special Request".
Any of the Reg's readers able to tell us more about these epic titles - especially "Raw Meat 3"? Does it achieve the tricky task of being a good third movie in the series - which is hard to pull off [snigger] - Jaws 3D, Rocky 3 and Return of the Jedi all failed to keep the high standards of their predecessors.
Can we work out the titles?
The BBC tantalises us with the news that Virgin's porno pipes delivered the movies on 6 and 8 April 2008 at £5 a time. Is there any hope of narrowing down what sort of filth gets Mr. Home Secretary going?
And surely a Playmobil reconstruction of salient plot points for those of us who don't subscribe to Beardie muck is in order?
'Cylons should be big, clunky and metal '
Including the one in the little red dress?
Me? It grew on me for the first season, I loved season 2, after that it was clear they'd blown the budget on the first couple of episodes of season 3 and it became LA Law in Spaaaace.
Got bored. Which was a shame as it did appear to be willing to flirt with much darker SF than is normal for TV. Fortunately, it looks like 'Dollhouse' is starting to get in its stride and that seems to be going into very dark places indeed.
Be worried about your neighbours
If you're planning on doing a bit of DIY, decorating or fixing up the garden; you'd best hope your neighbours are all trained chemists and can recognise the legitimate uses for household chemicals.
Terry Gilliam's 'Brazil' had the perfect slogan for The Home Office:
'Be Safe, Be Suspicious'
One model makes sense
Because Apple just have to brand 'iPhone'. Their latest campaign is about the number of apps:
'only on iPhone'
Adding new models implies that some apps won't work on some models or won't offer the full range of functionality - and that's a way of pissing people off.
Sony Ericsson, whilst they're still with us, constantly has to struggle to tell customers the differences between its nigh on indistinguishable and bafflingly named phones. They've already lost the marketing war.
Should go back to the 1950s
I'm a little disappointed in DARPA. This project isn't nearly as bat-shit crazy as we've been led to expect - no cyborgs, no artificial intelligence and precious little danger - where's the fun in that. My benchmark in looney-tunes missiles is Project Pluto from the 1950s which even had a cool acronym - it was to build the SLAM (Supersonic Low-Altitude Missile)
Instead of boring old kerosene, SLAM would have had a NUCLEAR jet - essentially a completely unshielded nuclear reactor that heated and expanded incoming air to generate thrust. It's pure brilliance for anyone with a Strangelovian streak in their personality - it's a sort of Chernobyl with wings!
A SLAM could have remained airborne for months just waiting for Jonny Soviet to get all uppity, whereupon it would have screamed towards the Motherland at supersonic speeds before turning Moscow into hot slag - and it wouldn't even have needed a warhead to be a radiological disaster to remember.
They even built a couple of stationary prototypes, but before this Armageddon to Go was given the green light, the US decided to be slightly less mental and switch to ICBMs.
Come on DARPA, give us something Pluto mad so we can fall in love with you again.
'the main potential beneficiaries of an Identity Cards scheme, such as police, DVLA, Passport Agency, IND, DWP, Inland Revenue and the financial sector'
New Labour told me that WE were going to be the main potential beneficiaries of an Identity Cards scheme.
Could they have been lying?
Hold on. Lips moving, making a noise - yep they were lying.
'Wtf is titanium doing in my donuts?'
It's an inert whitener used in everything from paint to toothpaste by way of doughnut sugar.
On the bright side
The next time this atrocity can be realistically introduced is in the next Parliamentary session beginning in November. However, that session is going to be curtailed because an election has to be called by May - meaning Parliament is peroged no later than mid April. So the government won't have much of an opportunity to introduce contentious legislation which could ping-pong between Commons and the Lords. Any legislation that isn't completed before the dissolution of Parliament, automatically falls.
But we have to vote these fuckers out of power for a generation.
Doesn't matter if he tw*tted after the verdict
He has violated one of the rules of the jury system - all of the discussions of the jury and how they come to their verdict are supposed to be secret. Doing this causes grave problems when it comes to any appeal.
Hopefully the court will consider this a contempt and the little tw*tter can be sent to somewhere where Big Earl wants to become his very special friend.
'Predictors of Beaconocity'
I mean - wow!
Someone actually used that and their vestigial sense of irony never even kicked in. Hold on, who's in charge of the Department for Communities and Local Government? [clickity]
Aha. Explains everything:
The simpering ginger android herself.
Oh crap = we're going to see more of this
Marketing companies are having a tough time now that advertising revenues are falling. But hello! Perhaps they have a new victim - all they have to do is persuade a vulnerable company that falling sales aren't down to a global economy in the toilet, but rather to out-of-date branding. In exchange for a couple of million, everything will be all right thanks to the Columbian nose candy brigade and the liberal application of swooshes and lower-case sans serif to everything.
It's going to be terrifying.
SyFy as Stef mentioned above is like applying a cheesegrater to the eyeball - but the strapline 'Think Greater' is somehow even worse.
The corrections in the comments:
'The elections were the same as such events everywhere with voters turning out in their hundreds, but there were no opposition candidates: in fact there was only one person standing for each seat which is why all the candidates were elected with 100 approval; and there was a 99 turn out because the compulsory voting was strictly enforced.'
New Labour's postal voting wouldn't be satisfied with a mere 100% approval.
A truly radical machine
The biggest breakthrough on the Adamo appears to be that it doesn't have any 'Intel Inside', 'Core 2 Duo' or 'Designed for Windows Vista' stickers.
And to go with the consensus so far - the Air is a far more handsome beastie.
Britain's like Iceland...
Two countries, with appalling weather in the North Atlantic. English is spoken in both - although arguably better in Iceland. The economy in each country has been frankly buggered. But Iceland's more appealing because at least they can keep the lights on.
And you can buy delicious free-range organic whale.
Borderline bonkers - it's DARPA
Airborne gravity surveys are pretty routine in the oil and gas industry, so it is possible to build gravimeters that can survey being buffeted in a plane and compensate for any movements relative to the terrain.
BUT the differences they're looking to identify here are insanely small - in the tenths or even thousands of a milliGal (i.e. not-a-lot). This sounds only borderline doable, so they'd better turn their beanie-caps up to 11.
@ Peter R
'Lord Adonis ???
'You jest, surely ?'
Setting aside the fact that with Lord Adonis *someone* is having a joke even if I can't see the funny side. It's all too true: 'Andrew Adonis, Baron Adonis is a United Kingdom Minister of State in the Department for Transport, a role he has held since 3 October 2008.' (Wikipedia)
As the author Robert Harris once said about this leading New Labour intellectual (sorry, I can't keep a straight face) he's 'more Andrew than Adonis'
Many trains don't seem to have them these days; and I suspect one or indeed both of the following reasons:
1: trains are so grotesquely overcrowded on many routes, the inspector can't physically get through the train, or;
2: they get so much grief from passengers that they daren't go into the cars - telling people who've spent £x thousand on a season ticket that they shouldn't stand in an exit, or telling others that they should find somewhere to put their luggage other than the tables or aisles when there is no luggage space* - can't do much for morale.
* no, I have to say it - don't stop me now. What TWAT developed the interior layout of Virgin Pendolinos and put luggage racks in the middle of the cars? Meaning you have to walk half the length of the car down a narrow aisle to stow your luggage, THEN turn around to fight your way through the rest of the crowd trying to do the same???
Must have had legal advice
The show will have to have been cleared with the BBC lawyers before broadcast (and if they were sensible, they will have got legal advice BEFORE production even started), so it will be fascinating to know what 'Click' was told.
The law appears to be clear, but I wonder if the Beeb's lawyers thought they could rely on a 'public interest' defence - and if they did, where they got that reading of the law.
Still I feel sorry for 'Click''s half-dozen regular viewers if Spencer and co. are sent to chokey.
Read Jobs' words
'We don’t know how to make a $500 computer that’s not a piece of junk'
That leaves two possibilities:
1: Apple could be putting a lot of effort into trying to design a half decent n**book for $500, or:
2: they could release a machine with the general n**book format, add some special Apple sauce and use that to justify a higher price. The 12" Powerbook still commands high prices on eBay, so there is a demand for a small Apple laptop.
@ Anonymous Coward
We shouldn't be fearing razors on planes. It's that bloody plastic they use to wrap memory cards, headphones and razors. Get through Security, go to Dixons, buy an SD card for a tenner and you have a weapon with a lethal edge.
Most people know Denmark has gone a long way to get power from the wind, but 400,000 Danish households get their power and heat from waste-to-power plants just like this.
And these campaigners are against the power station AND a coal mine? Well it's not like the Valleys need jobs is it?
Like the end of any good horror movie
This proposal will come back, leaping out of the shadows in a different bill or statutory instrument. The only way we'll know it's dead is when New Labour is interred with a stake through its heart.
NY Planetarium showdown
Neil deGrasse Tyson from the NY planetarium was interviewed by 'The Daily Show''s Jon Stewart about his decision to demote Pluto from their exhibit. It's well worth a watch:
It's a long time since I did any recreational actinide chemistry, so I was wondering about using lanthanum as a carrier to separate plutonium from americium; but a quick check online suggests there's an even easier way:
'A single stage process using MgCl2 in CaCl2 has been demonstrated to remove 90% of the americium from plutonium with no transfer of impurities to the product metal except magnesium, which is readily removed in a vacuum casting operation. ©2000 American Institute of Physics.'
$24 for the whole paper.
God bless Aldermaston.
It's hardly surprising that techniques for separating the two are well-developed. Pu241 is a contaminant in most plutonium, decaying to americium with a 13 year half-life. This affects bomb performance, so it can be necessary to separate the two elements in plutonium which has come from reactors with a long burn time.
Kind of funky looking though.
Let's get Web 2.0 on their asses...
Anyone up for a Web site listing MP's addresses? If anyone lives near an MP, they could submit the address which would go on to a public site.
Does it have...?
A red wire and a blue wire for the oh-so-tense 'can he stop the bomb, save the ship and marry the gorilla' finale?
Why I believe in alien life
Is because if Wacky Jacqui, Blinky Blunkett and the rest of them really are representative of the most advanced lifeform in the Universe, then the last 13 billion and something years have been completely wasted.
Right let's see...
RyanAir fly to countries using a range of currencies. Are all passengers, no matter where they're getting on or off, expected to carry Pounds, or will their toilets have a dozen slots?
Sounds like Old Mick is trying to rile the press again.
Hopefully the chassis on this machine is better than its predecessor. A colleague's R500 has developed a nasty crack after only a couple of months thanks to its eggshell thin plastic casing. Rather than go back to Toshiba, he's getting a MB.
Light's nice, but not so nice if you can't carry the machine around without swathing it in bubblewrap.
@ Anonymous Coward
'as they haven't yet ratified the Geneva Convention '
The US has ratified the various Geneva Conventions with the exception of two 1977 protocols which amend the previous 1949 Convention.
And I hate to point this out, the US Senate unanimously ratified the 2003 Extradition Treaty in September 2006.
But we should be gravely worried about the asymmetries in the treaty regarding prima-facie evidence.
Perhaps peoples' perceptions are wrong
The chart shows that the two brands most praised for build quality and reliability are also those that people perceive as being overpriced. Which suggests to me, that the consumer isn't picking up on the costs involved in making laptops that are reliable. Maybe the marketing people at Apple and Sony need to take a leaf out of BMW and Audi's books to see how to sell a premium product and make reliability and build quality a real part of their promotions.
My experience? My latest MB is rock solid and well screwed together and a nice change from the previous laptops I've had from Apple. My Acer appears to be made from the same grade of plastic used to make yogurt pots but is surprisingly solid to handle.
'Surely one can be found of the right size and shape, requiring only minimal retooling.'
Nice idea, sadly the Moon has almost no exposed bedrock. The bigger craters were all gouged out more than a billion years ago and since then any exposed rock has been eroded into regolith by micrometeorites and radiation.
What we really need is a huge moonbase with fancy elevators that can take spaceships down into an underground hanger. Then we can use the Moon to store all our nuclear waste.
What could possibly go wrong?
If the payload fairing didn't deploy the satellite is a write-off.
Either the additional weight which should have been jettisoned will prevent it reaching orbit, in which case it will make a hypersonic re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere; or, if it does reach orbit, the satellite remains trapped inside the fairing, can't deploy its sensors and solar panels and the poor thing dies either of overheating or when its battery dies.
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