* Posts by Graham Dawson

1653 posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

Jeep Cherokee 2.2: Capable, comfortable ... but just not very Jeep

Graham Dawson
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the last worthy holder of the name Jeep Cherokee was the Cherokee Classic, from the days before that bloody "trail rated" badge.

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What time is it Oxford Dictionaries? How about almost ‘beer o’clock’

Graham Dawson
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@jake Re: @Graham Dawson (was: English is rubbish...)

The point was that while English is a germanic language and retains a certain germanic character, due to the early involvement of the French and a mingling with the celts - promoting a healthy appetite for new vocabulary - it hasn't resorted to the extreme character lengths of modern high German.

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Graham Dawson
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Headmaster

Re: English is rubbish...

You crack wise, but think of English if it had a wordstogetherstuckform. It would be a speech that greatlongwordenclosestuckmaked each time overgoingfolk had a newcraftwordneed for a notyetfeltthing.

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White Stork mates with ISS, delivers bundles of resupply joy

Graham Dawson
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Re: Dehydrated food

Yep, the food is freeze-dried and vacuum sealed as a preservation method, with the added benefit that it takes up less space in storage.

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Why do driverless car makers have this insatiable need for speed?

Graham Dawson
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@wordsmith Re: 10 Year Wager £50

The terms were laid down explicitly.

£50 to a charity of your choice if humans are banned from driving on any existing classification of road anywhere in the UK in the next 10 years.

The bus is still driven by a human on a guided bus lane. All the lane does is guide the bus wheels while the driver accelerates and brakes. The driver is still in control. Humans are not banned from driving on guided bus lanes. Private transport is banned, but only for the same reason that you can't drive a car on a footpath or an off-street bike lane: they were never built for that purpose.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: The end of any driving pleasure

A road that uses induction to charge your car as you drive? Yeah, no... you'd be driving on a giant eddy current brake. Whatever charge you could pick up would be negated by the increased energy required to overcome the electromagnetic field holding you back.

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Amazon UK conditions 'exhausting', claims union

Graham Dawson
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Re: Not totally suprising

they all float down here, AC! They all float! And when you're down here, in the grease and fat running between the kitchen tiles, you'll float too!

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Graham Dawson
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We were all called "colleagues" when I worked at Asda, in some sort of attempt to make everyone seem like one big happy group of equals or something. This was before the Walmart buy-out as well, which means this particular bit of silliness was home-grown.

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EU clears UK to give £50m to SABRE space launcher engine

Graham Dawson
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@x 7

Rafale is the better plane too, built to the particular needs of the French rather than trying to be something for everyone. Sweden built the technologically equivalent Gripen without ever going anywhere near the Eurofighter program and came up with something similar to Rafale, but suited to the needs of the Swedish airforce. I'm not saying the French didn't cheat, but I am saying that they took the knowledge the acquired and turned it to something that was tailored specifically for French needs.

@lars "Please Mr Dawson, either you are a kid without any knowledge of European history or a complete idiot."

Condescend all you want, doesn't change what I said in the least.

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Graham Dawson
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Much as I want to get on a rant about the EU (which has progressively reduced the autonomy of its members to the point that they have to beg for permission to spend their own money)... yay for skylon! SSTO is the dream of space travel. Using an SSTO to get payloads to orbit would dramatically reduce the cost of assembling truly useful interplanetary and even interstellar spacecraft - though the latter would be a long time coming no matter what - and this sort of technology will form a fundamental part of any coherent space-based economy.

And then perhaps one day we can set up our libertarian utopias and socialist paradises away from the petty meddling of the bureaucrats. Or perhaps not... but at least, if Skylon takes off, we can try.

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NASA primed for 9-minute live test of mighty rocket motor

Graham Dawson
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Re: "Brain"

That mirror thing is not due to stupidity, but rather an overabundance of lawyers.

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Sane people, I BEG you: Stop the software defined moronocalypse

Graham Dawson
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Re: Might take a while

It was traditionally the architect. I think that would translate to senior management.

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Apple goes to crapple in stock plunge kerfaffle: $113bn wiped off in days

Graham Dawson
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Re: If Apple were an apple, what kind of apple would Apple be?

McIntosh is the cultivar you're thinking of.

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Windows 10: Buy cheap, buy twice, right? Buy FREE ... buy FOREVER

Graham Dawson
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Re: Word Free

Neither was 8 .

Didn't stop them.

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Petrol cars are dead in the water, says Tesla CTO waving numbers on the back of an envelope

Graham Dawson
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Of course all of this ignores the fact that essentially all of the pollution a car will produce over its lifetime is produced during the manufacture of that car, and at the moment an electric car produces far more pollution in total (that means counting everything, not just CO2 emissions) during its manufacture than an equivalent IC car. Elon's big battery manufacturing plants might mitigate that somewhat, but I can't imagine they'd make a significant dent in the total, especially when you consider the environmental issues surrounding the mining and refinement of rare earths.

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Ballmer's billion-dollar blunders: When he gambled Microsoft's money and lost

Graham Dawson
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Re: Hmmm

Simple.

They saw it wasn't working properly, so they tried turning it off and on again.

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YOU! DEGRASSE! It's time to make Pluto a proper planet again, says NASA boffin

Graham Dawson
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Re: American

No, it didn't. You're thinking of the failed Indiana Pi Bill, a legislative attempt to square the circle - something politicians and legislatures around the world have been attempting to do in one form or another ever since they were invented. It was just rather more literal in this case.

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NSPCC: Two nonces nailed by cops every day

Graham Dawson
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Dead Vulture

@Dan 55 Re: Smut filter and nonce-catching

Here you go.

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Account at HSBC? BAD LUCK, no iPhone bonk-banking for you

Graham Dawson
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"all those wasted moments finding the right card"

I have two. Credit. Debit. They're in my wallet, which is in my pocket. Unless iPhone users walk around with their phones literally glued to their hands and have the bonkpay app open all the time I don't think I'm going to be suffering any comparative delay finding my money.

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Pan Am Games: Link to our website without permission and we'll sue

Graham Dawson
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Technically correct, but the lack of a distinct second-person plural in modern English has resulted in the evolution of a number of attempts to replicate it, especially in American English - yourselves, y'all, yinz and so on. If we were still using tou/thee it wouldn't be an issue, but of course language evolves to drop and reacquire forms all the time, so it's only inevitable. Perhaps in a few hundred years we'll have adopted something else equally silly.

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We tried using Windows 10 for real work and ... oh, the horror

Graham Dawson
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Re: Tedious Romulan

And it was the one that broke the pattern and made the curse universal. Every Trek since then has been mediocre at best.

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Why OH WHY did Blighty privatise EVERYTHING?

Graham Dawson
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Re: Why did the EU insist on separating track and train operators?

EU Directive 91/440 required all member states to separate the management of infrastructure from the provision of transport services. It was modelled on the "successful" Swedish practice, though between the directive being drafted and coming into force Sweden's railways went down the same shitter as ours would do a few years later.

Thing is, Sweden's railways are still state-operated and have suffered exactly the same issues as our own railways. The UK problem wasn't privatisation, but the lack of cooperation between the infrastructure management and the transport operators.

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Why is it that women are consistently paid less than men?

Graham Dawson
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@Tom 13 Re: @Graham Dawson

"here's not a great deal of skill in bricklaying. You trowel the mortar on the brick, press it down/slide it over the correct amount, and move to the next brick."

I've worked on enough projects and knocked down enough shonky walls after the fact to know the difference people people who think that way and brickies who are actually worth paying. Generally speaking, the people who do think that way are called apprentices and they're kept away from anything remotely structural or visible.

Any fool can slap mortar on bricks and call it a wall. It takes a long, long time before they're actually good at it.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Something missing

The whole point of comparing like for like is to eliminate confounding variables - things that can't be controlled, like relative supply and demand, required skill, cost of operation and so forth.

Simple example: Bricklayers require a lot of training and need several years of experience to be any use, and are always in relatively short supply as a result (though not nearly as short as plumbers or gas fitters). Secretaries need to know how to turn on a computer, type reasonably well and answer phones, and can be had for pennies because there's a glut of people with these skills

A man working as a secretary will be earning the same as a woman working as a secretary (I know this, because I have done so), and a woman working as a brickie (and yes they do exist) will earn as much as a man working as a brickie.

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FLICK my FLINT and SNIFF my TREE on the streets of Naples

Graham Dawson
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Re: Welcome Back

The big brick and mortar retailers generally do send you vouchers for things that you want - or more accurately things that you are more likely to buy based on your shopping habits. They can be disturbingly accurate in their predictions - so accurate that they have to toss in unrelated vouchers to mix things up a bit.

Online retailers are amateurs in comparison.

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Using leather in 'leccy cars is 'unTesla', rages vegan shareholder

Graham Dawson
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Coat

@sabroni Re: providing the world's population with the protein it needs to survive.

Others have pointed it out, but it's worth repeating: most meat animals are kept on marginal lands that wouldn't be suitable for crop farming. Cows and sheep are the most efficient way of turning otherwise inedible grasses into food and they turn it into a form that is most easily processed by our bodies, as it's pretty much in the form we need it to be in already - proteins, fats, vitamins. Got to get that lovely offal down your throat too. You barely need to do anything to digest it.

Now you could argue the point on factory-farmed piggies, which don't live particularly nice lives at the best of times, but free-range piggies raised on the crap we throw out are particularly delicious, and given they consume a great deal of waste food that would otherwise be dumped (and the occasional farmer) they're good for the environment as well.

For the record I was raised out in rural derbyshire and lived close enough to farms to know what a mess an animal makes when you cut it open. That sort of visceral knowledge either turns you veggie or completely inures you to the whole thing. Fortunately for my tastebuds I soon came to the conclusion that piggies are at their best when they're sliced and smoked.

Yum.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: and the electricity?

No downvote from me, but someone might have been a bit miffed that you forgot to mention all the transmission and conversion losses between the car and the power plant. They do even up the balance somewhat.

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Online identity woes can only be solved through the medium of GIF

Graham Dawson
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You misspelled Jobal Identity Foundation.

That's how it's pronounced, right?

Like .gif?

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Your CAR is the 'ultimate mobile device', reckons Apple COO

Graham Dawson
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That old story about microsoft and apple cars was a joke, tim.

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Queen's Speech: Snoopers' Charter RETURNS amid 'modernisation' push

Graham Dawson
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Re: Well...

Labour held a far larger majority and they couldn't push this shit through when they tried.

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BlackBerry: We ARE cutting jobs AGAIN

Graham Dawson
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Re: Sadly...@cb

Pfft, they "tried". If they'd actually stuck with one platform instead of fundamentally changing it with every iteration and if they'd actually marketed it properly, and maybe if they'd not let the Symbian team murder it in the cradle... they tried with the N900 and N9 the same way Microsoft tried with Xenix.

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SpaceX signs off on another successful mission with Pacific splashdown

Graham Dawson
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The leading conclusions I expect to be drawn from the worm experiment are

a) that there are previously unaccounted effects of microgravity leading to a loss of muscle mass and tone

b) that the body's reaction to microgravity leads to unpredictable changes in metabolism that result in poor uptake of essential minerals

c) further that a certain amount of reduction in physical size may occur

d) that regular exercise along a general line of squeezing, bending and stretching may assist in staving of the effects, and

e) that the most viable long-term solution to the physiological effects of human habitation in space is to fill the entire cabin with high grade loam and require astronauts to burrow through it, thus mitigating the concerns of (a) and (b), negating the effects of (c) and fulfilling the requirements of (d).

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Yow! It's the HOT NEW 'Collections' from Google! Oh wait ... it's a Google+ thing

Graham Dawson
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Holmes

Haha, fancy that...

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Graham Dawson
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Dead Vulture

Likely tweaking with the form.

Lets see if this works...

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Right Dabbsy my old son, you can cram this job right up your BLEEEARRGH

Graham Dawson
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Re: Memory for names

I suspect they invented the title of Sergeant Major just to troll people like him.

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BARMY bio-boffins are growing DINOSAUR SNOUTS on CHICKENS

Graham Dawson
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Thumb Up

It's all about priorities.

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Mondeo Man turns into mutant electrical beauty: Ford Mondeo Hybrid

Graham Dawson
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That's nice.

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Graham Dawson
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Bad example. Zirconia is a much prettier rock than diamond and isn't tainted by the dubious moral decisions of a monopoly supplier forcing an artificially high price through artificial supply restriction. So it's not a "cheap knockoff", it's an arguably superior product at a much more reasonable price.

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Facebook echo chamber: Or, the British media and the election

Graham Dawson
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Re: So this article is basically saying the traditional print media in this country is crap?

That doesn't really explain the graun though. Or the independent. Or the... well you get the idea. Most media in this country isn't run by Murdoch and still somehow manages to be a complete shower.

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Shields up! Shields up! ASTRONAUTS flying to MARS will arrive BRAIN DAMAGED, boffins claim

Graham Dawson
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Facepalm

Re: Not really equivalent

"Someone hasn't read their Larry Niven..."

I plead guilty m'lud, and throw myself on the mercy of the court.

"The logical conclusion, therefore, being that the first colonists on Mars would have to be Clangers - right…?"

No. Mars has no blue string. They'd never survive.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Not really equivalent

What in heaven's name are you talking about?

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Not really equivalent

The Apollo 14 astronauts were apparently exposed to 1400mrem over 4 days, which seems to be even less than skylab. There's a lot to account for there though. They were on the moon for a good portion of the mission and likely shielded from a fair amount of radiation by its sheer bulk.

All of which leads me to the only sane conclusion: in order to get to mars safely, we need to use the moon as a spaceship.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Not really equivalent

Well... the issue is that they gave them the dose all at once, and a quick check around the numbers makes me think it's a lot higher than anyone would expect to be exposed to in space.

Skylab 4 was an 84 day mission. The astronauts were exposed to about 17 rems cumulative over that time, or 0.17 Grays. That's for 84 days, or a rate of 0.0000082 Gy/minute (Assuming I can indeed count and am not ballsing up the conversion between rems and Grays, and I'd appreciate if someone checked the maths). This test exposed the mice to between 0.5 and 1 Gy per minute for a short but sustained period. If the skylab astronauts had suffered that sort of radiation absorption for the entire mission then they would have take on board 120,000 Grays of radiation. They'd be dead. In fact they'd probably have cooked right through.

This experiment suffers the same issue that a lot of mouse experiments suffer - they expose the mice to an unrealistically high dose of whatever is being tested and assume a linear relationship between dose and effect, and assume that a single large dose is equivalent to a chronic low dose. They don't examine whether there's an effect from low-level cumulative radiation exposure. They just blast them in the brain with what would be a fatal dose of radiation if it was sustained for more than a minute, and then act surprised when they turn out brain damaged.

Thing is, even assuming there is a cumulative effect from radiation, you have to account for the body's ability to absorb and adapt to radiation over a sustained period. If you expose someone to a cumulatively high dose of radiation over a period of a few years they will likely not suffer any effects from it, beyond an increased risk of particular cancers. Expose them to the same high dose of radiation over a second and their organs will melt and dribble out of their behind.

tl;dr the experiment assumes a linear relationship between dose and effect. The experiment posited an unrealistic environment and did not test what would happen in reality.

Sources:

http://srag-nt.jsc.nasa.gov/spaceradiation/faq/faq.cfm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_%28unit%29

(and an assumption that the 1:1 rad/rem relationship holds in the particular situation described)

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Wordpress munching contagion turns Linux servers into spam bots

Graham Dawson
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Re: Wordpress.

That's a funny way of spelling "Windows"

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Citroën C4 Cactus BlueHDi: A funky urban crossover

Graham Dawson
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Re: On mirrors on the left and the right

Don't forget India, most of south east asia, a third of africa...

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The huge flaw in Moore’s Law? It's NOT a law after all

Graham Dawson
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Re: Spelling Police

Catenation is also a term in linguistics. It's less frequently used than concatenation, but nevertheless you can catenate words.

Sadly the wikipedia article about the word doesn't include that definition, which is presumably why this isn't so widely known today.

And, for the record, I'm still waiting for you to back up that accusation of plagiarism you made against me. But then I've noticed something of a pattern in your posting recently. Accuse someone of something, declare yourself superior in some way and then bugger off when you're called on it.

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Public exploit crashes Minecraft servers

Graham Dawson
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Wow. Did he piss in your cereal and steal your dog too?

"Vile". Try looking in a mirror.

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WW2 German Enigma machine auctioned for record-breaking price

Graham Dawson
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Re: Why

She's called the first programmer because she did in fact write an actual algorithm based on the specifications of the analytical engine. It was never tested on hardware, but its existence can't be denied.

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Easy ... easy ... Aw CRAP! SpaceX rocket ALMOST lands on ocean hoverbase

Graham Dawson
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Re: Meh

Here's the thing: they very nearly did it. The craft suffered a sticky throttle valve, which caused the guidance computer to overcompensate. On only their second attempt they got it down to the barge and very nearly landed it, but that throttle problem scuppered it at the last moment.

Frankly your initial post was correct. You know fuck.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Meh

The divert video is even better for demonstrating it. They can take the falcon through some pretty extreme manoeuvres already and they've advanced their capabilities quite a bit from that test. The technology is there and it works in ideal conditions, so they just need to figure out how to deal with the less-than-ideal. They've already demonstrated that they can get it to the barge and set it down in one piece. Of course it fell over, exploded and sank in the swa- er, sea, but the next one will surely stand firm.

Landing on a barge is harder than landing on land anyway. For one thing, the ground doesn't generally wobble up and down (unless you're having a really bad day).

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