* Posts by Simon Harris

1092 posts • joined 1 Mar 2007

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Is there ANOTHER UNIVERSE headed BACKWARDS IN TIME?

Simon Harris
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Re: Time

"Why does physics view time as going "forward" anyway?"

Because physics likes management speak?

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US Navy's LASER CANNON WARSHIP: USS Ponce sent to Gulf

Simon Harris
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As anyone who remembers Missile Command will know, a trackball is the only way to go!

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Simon Harris
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Re: cloaking metamaterials?

Yes, but metamaterials still need to interact with light to bend it around the object, so wouldn't the same problems exist with dirt, sub-100% efficiency, limited wavelength response, etc. exist with these as already discussed with mirrors?

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Simon Harris
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"why not just drop a bomb on it?"

Because new toys are always so much more fun.

I was watching a tv programme last night about the 1304 siege of Stirling Castle. Edward I has besieged it for 4 months to no avail, until he got his engineers to come up with the biggest trebuchet ever made. On seeing it, the Scots surrendered and came out, but Edward refused their surrender and sent them all back inside just so he could try out his new toy.

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Égalité, Fraternité - Oui, peut-etre. Liberté? NON, French speedcam Facebookers told

Simon Harris
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Shouldn't that only get the satnav manufacturer into trouble if, as the article states, the law does not cover those receiving information.

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MP caught playing Candy Crush at committee meeting: I'll ‘try’ not to do it again

Simon Harris
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Re: "try not to do it in the future"

But who else in that meeting was also not paying attention to the affairs of state, but was instead busy filming him?

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Apple deliberately wiped rivals' music from iPods – iTunes court claim

Simon Harris
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Re: "Unexpected files"

"no digital music existed without DRM"

You mean apart from the music that had been on CD for the 20 or so years before iPods and iTunes existed, most of which wasn't DRMed* and could easily be ripped to an audio player, losslessly if required?

* DRM is not part of the audio CD standard, and attempts to DRM CDs involved creating them as CD ROMS rather than as true audio CDs - which made them unplayable on some real CD players.

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Give nerds their own PRIVATE TRAIN CARRIAGES, say boffins

Simon Harris
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Re: Trains ...

Bulleid designed a double decker EMU for the Charing Cross to Dartford service. In reality it was more 'deck and a half' rather than the true double deckers of continental services as the upper and lower decks were staggered - upper decks alternated with lower decks - the upper decks' seats being about at the height of where a lower deck's overhead luggage rack would normally be. Designed in the late 1940s, they were finally taken out of service in 1971.

unfortunately, the rather restrictive UK loading gauge doesn't really allow for true double deckers.

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Simon Harris
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@Mog_X and your bicycle.

Do you by any chance ever cycle through the site of the old Willington Station (next to the Danish Dock)? I'm working on a modelling project based around there and am wondering if there's anything left to make a site visit worthwhile.

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Simon Harris
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Actually the line survived Beeching, but the Beford to Cambridge and Oxford to Bletchley services were stopped by British Railways later, in 1967, when it had become faster to get from Oxford to Cambridge via London.

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Simon Harris
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Alien

Re: how about Bletchley?

"Sadly the line from Bedford to Cambridge went for housing years ago"

Not just housing, but radio astronomy too - the area around Lord's Bridge (last stop before Cambridge) became the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, with the railway line being used for the 5km array Ryle Telescope. The observatory is still using the splendid old LNWR station building and goods shed, typical of that stretch of railway between Blunham and Lord's Bridge.

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Pub time for NASA bods? Orion spacecraft test launch called off

Simon Harris
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Facepalm

Should have gone to Specsavers...

I keep reading that NASA are intending to launch an Onion into space.

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Simon Harris
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Boat

Was it the same one that scuppered the Orbital Sciences Corp. launch in October?

I suspect the work of evil Bond villains.

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Violet, you're turning violet! Imagination unveils graphics-tastic hobbyist board

Simon Harris
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Re: "The Ci20 will cost $65 (US)/£50 (Europe)"

"It's amazing what a small cultural difference can do"

I remember on my first visit to the US, picking things from the shelves in a store and having the exact change ready based on the shelf price tickets. Imagine my annoyance when they added on the tax at the till!

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Gangnam Style BREAKS YouTube

Simon Harris
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More importantly...

Surely, the most important question that nobody has asked is..

how many up-votes (or down-votes) does it take to break El Reg?

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Hawking: RISE of the MACHINES could DESTROY HUMANITY

Simon Harris
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Re: @HMB

"What we've getting is Hawkings *opinions*."

What we're getting is nothing new, but a regurgitation of many other people's opinions - Kurzweil, Vinge, Turing all talked about intelligent machines creating more intelligent machines, even in the 19th century R. Thornton wrote of the mechanical calculator

“…such machines, by which the scholar may, by turning a crank, grind out the solution of a problem without the fatigue of mental application, would by its introduction into schools, do incalculable injury. But who knows that such machines when brought to greater perfection, may not think of a plan to remedy all their own defects and then grind out ideas beyond the ken of mortal mind!”

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Sinclair is back with the Spectrum Vega ... just as rubbish as the ZX

Simon Harris
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Re: Indiegogo Warning @Simon Rockman

Currently up to 27% as of 4pm.

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Bought an iPhone 6 Plus? Odds are you've binned the iPad

Simon Harris
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Re: Please note and do not apply willy nilly

fanny.. willy... i see what you did there!

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It's BLOCK FRIDAY: Britain in GREED-crazed bargain bonanza mob frenzy riot MELTDOWN

Simon Harris
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Re: I'll embrace Black Friday...

As far as trick or treat goes, it seems the US stole the idea of Souling and Guising from the UK and Ireland, bastardised it and sent it back to us as trick or treat.

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Simon Harris
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I'll embrace Black Friday...

when the Americans embrace test match cricket.

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Oh BOY! The MICKEY MOUSE Apple Watch is no heart-throb

Simon Harris
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Nag nag nag

"The device has several fitness apps which will nag you if you haven't done your 30 minutes of exercise a day"

unlike the Microsoft offering which will nag you if you haven't done your 30 minutes of Windows updates a day.

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Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it

Simon Harris
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Bladerunner needs a sequel...

about as much as Alien needed a prequel.

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Chops away...

Simon Harris
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Chops away...

This cannot go unchallenged..

http://www.theguardian.com/science/video/2014/nov/25/lamb-chop-sent-into-space-video

Does LOHAN perchance have bacon sarnie payload capacity?

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MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'

Simon Harris
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Re: STREET THUGS TERRORISTS USE US THIRD PARTY SERVICES

" It's very easy to program encryption based protocols using standard computer languages"

Shhh... that's dangerous talk - if the powers that be see that we'll all need to apply for government approved licences and background checks before we're allowed to sit in front of a compiler.

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Simon Harris
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Those soldiers are gonna be toast soon...

and then I'm going to dunk them in my egg.

and as for predictive text - how many tea drinkers will be banged up because they thought they'd typed 'I could murder a cuppa'?

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'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described

Simon Harris
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Re: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Ireland @ James

Nope, can't be the UK

The article says "It is likely that its development took months, if not years, to complete" and yet from years of watching Spooks, we know that the chaps over at MI5 could knock something like this up in an afternoon.

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Useless 'computer engineer' Barbie FIRED in three-way fsck row

Simon Harris
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Barbies can't fix computers...

but if I remember Small Soldiers correctly,

computers can 'fix' barbies.

clip

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Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k

Simon Harris
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Re: Link to the kickstarter?

Did you try typing 'kickstarter lunar mission' into Google?

It's, err, not rocket science!

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Simon Harris
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Re: £600,000

That's if India hasn't got bored of going to the moon by then - apparently Chandrayaan 2 is set to launch in about 3 years with an orbiter and lunar rover, on a somewhat larger rocket than that which launched Chandrayaan 1 and the Mars Orbiter (sadly, it also has a much higher failure rate).

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Simon Harris
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Time capsule on the moon.

It's probably safer there than in the Blue Peter garden!

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Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION

Simon Harris
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Geolocation (with some additional detective work) may make a good guess if the address is associated with a company with a registered domain name (at work, it knows who I work for, but not which site I'm on). For a home user plugged into an ISP, when I've tried it, it identifies the provider, but the location it suggests is usually only somewhere within a 50 mile radius of where I actually am.

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Simon Harris
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"create a site that went round and turned off all these devices with default passwords."

At least in the UK, that might well fall foul of Section 3 and/or Section 3A of the Computer Misuse Act (1990)

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Simon Harris
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"Steamed footage available through the site"

Presumably that will be from the Cambridge University Trojan Room Coffee Machine.

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HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox

Simon Harris
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Jim Al-Khalili - now that's someone who can present a good science programme.

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Simon Harris
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Re: Helium-3

Fusion reactor fuel?

Nahh... it'll probably be mined to fill party balloons when all the ordinary helium has run out!

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Simon Harris
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Re: No DNA on the moon

"What about DNA attached to the hair from human contact?"

I am just envisaging aliens discovering this artifact in a million years and concluding we were a race of space-faring(-ish) headlice.

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Simon Harris
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Re: Human DNA on Moon

"DNA is safe in the vacuum of space."

Some people might beg to differ...

Cosmic rays can seriously damage DNA.

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Simon Harris
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Re: Probot?

2003? You're a bit late to the party. I first heard the word Probot in about 1994. It's what we called our automatic Prostate Resection Robot partly developed by me in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Imperial College - see here:

The Probot

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Blackpool hotel 'fines' couple £100 for crap TripAdvisor review

Simon Harris
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Re: No sympathy on either side.

Strangely enough, my brain skipped a few words and I read "functional furniture and equipment that was edible", which is an interesting concept for a hotel.

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Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode

Simon Harris
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Re: There seems to be a lot of confusion about 'offline mode'.

Ok, so in Solo mode you never *see* players in Open Play, but do you see the effects of those players? I mean (assuming this is how it works) if you dock at a spaceport and see a list of goodies you want to buy, but close the game down to go and have dinner or something, when you start up again, are the goodies still there, or will the Open Play players have bought them all up while you were away?

Someone posted earlier than the on-line link is necessary to handle purchases - but does it just keep one inventory per spaceport, or manage separate inventories for all solo players too?

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Simon Harris
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It seems to me that it's the difference between buying a house that you can live in forever, and renting a place where you're at the mercy of when the landlord decides you're not profitable any longer and throws you out, or forgets to pay his mortgage and gets repossessed.

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THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS

Simon Harris
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Re: First landing on a comet?

But will ESA be receiving a grumpy letter from Aquilino Cosani for violating his patent for a space hopper?

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Simon Harris
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Re: A hypothetical solution

"Rosetta is very small and quite far away."

What? Something can be small and far away? Father Dougal will be very confused!

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Simon Harris
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Re: Should have included some buttered toast on the feet

Superglueing a cat to the bottom of it might do the trick.

Oh, on second thoughts, that wouldn't help - it would spend even more of its time in sleep mode.

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DODGY THRUSTER won't stop PHILAE hurtling toward COMET SHOWDOWN

Simon Harris
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@EddieD

Isn't that backwards?

Giotto flew by Halley's comet in 1986, but little bits of Halley's comet smashed into Giotto - an encounter which it survived (albeit with a broken camera) and was reawakened in 1990 to fly by comet Grigg Skjellerup, which it did in 1992.

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Simon Harris
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Re: Proof?

Yes, but what triggered life on the Jaggaroth's home planet?

psssst... anyone want a couple of Mona Lisas I've got going cheap!

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My HOUSE used to be a PUB: How to save the UK high street

Simon Harris
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Tesco ...has fallen behind Amazon ... for the ... shiny-shiny we buy each other for Crimbo.

it would never have occurred to me to buy shiny-shiny stuff at Tesco (except maybe chocolate coins).

Bacon maybe, but CDs and tech stuff, no.

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ESA sends back PRE-LANDING COMET CLOSE-UPS

Simon Harris
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Re: Scale.

They should have used a picture of a De Havilland Comet!

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