1253 posts • joined Monday 5th March 2007 21:42 GMT
I would think the time they mention includes deceleration as well. They aren't that daft.
Also, didn't you see the news? Martian soil is stuff full of the chmicals needed to make rocket fuel. All they'd need to do is drop a manufacturing plant on the surface and have it make fuel before the ship even lands. Of course the first trip would probably want to take its own fuel with it for the take-off, just in case the production plant isn't working...
If you want to judge something by its very worst output then please be equal about it. The French may well have made some inspiring film but the majority of what they put out is utter, pointless trash that nobody - especially the French themselves - actually wants to watch.
As for american film, Magnolia, anyone? Though I doubt that one would work in 3D...
"In this IT day and age can we not have User ID's linked to License fee's, anti fraud in place to ensure user ID's are not pinging up all over the place at the same time??"
Did you just find a new role for the Government ID Card project? I think you did!
This would be more akin to ordering something from Amazon only to find that after you've placed the order the company that made the product has decided to put the price up and charge you, won't actually deliver the product for 20 years, and when you do get it it'll be completely different to what you actually wanted anyway.
Tornado was great as a mud-mover. Typhoon is a fairly good air superiority fighter designed to defend against the Russians - suddenly not such a distant prospect, it seems. Unfortunately they're trying to turn it into a carrier-launched craft and a bomber, neither of which is particularly suitable as a role for this plane. As the article said, you'd think they would have learned from the F3 debacle but no, it seems they haven't.
Meanwhile the French built their own, the Dassault Rafale, and it seems remarkbly similar to what the Eurofighter Typhoon was *meant* to be. C'est la guerre, as they say.
"Critics of OOXML have two main objections against the standard."
Yes, you say that, and then go on to sput the biggest pile of bullshit I've ever read at The Register. And considering Otto Z Stern was a regular here at one point, that's quite an achievement.
The SINGLE objection to ooxml is that it contains large amounts of proprietary, patented garbage. It is impossible to implement the format with the provided spec because the spec is incomplete, littered with "make it behave like office 5 here" and similar. The objection is that Microsoft made this "open" "standard" purely to try and preserve its monopoly on office file formats and prevent people from easily migrating to competing products. This is a gross abuse of the standards system which was ostensibly set up to prevent that sort of vendor lock-in.
That's the ONLY objection. The rest? Icing, or just the fevered imaginations of someone who can't be arsed to take the time to actually understand the arguments. That'd be you, Drew.
Simpel really. The northern hemisphere is highly industrialised so, on top of the usual reasons for ice melt (currents, vulcanism, wind direction and so on) there's also the addition of large amounts of soot, mostly from China and eastern europe. The soot carries up to the arctic, settles on the ice, lowers its albedo and... melting! Oddly enough this was one of the "fixes" posited for the media-driven global cooling scare in the 70s. It doesn't have the hugest effect but it is a contributing factor, unlike the whole CO2 thing.
The antarctic, of course, doesn't get that soot because the southern hemisphere is relatively free of the stuff, so it'll just keep right on growing.
Infallibility of scripture
No kidding. Only idiots claim the bible is absolutely infallible. This is why christian creeds since the very first have called the Bible "inspired by god" - and made sure to point out that it was written by imperfect men. The perfectly inspired word of god is infallible, but we aren't.
No comment on the court case though. I don't have enough information to judge and when it comes to christians (or any religious people) in court, there's always more detail tot he arguments than the media lets on.
Also, where's the Paris and IT angles? I see neither!
Obama may be smart...
... but he's a politician, and politicians do not inhabit the real world no matter how much they claim otherwise. They inhabit a fantasy world where they believe can change things with a wave of a pen and a snap of their fingers. Nothing illustrates this more than the constant claim that "we can't drill our way out of the problem" of high oil prices. Increasing the supply doesn't solve the problem of a lack of supply?
And Brown with his disappearing 10 pence tax band claimed he was "helping" the very poorest amongst us, incidentally increasing the tax burden for most of them overnight. Politics, in the end, is all about taking your money and then paying you some of it back to make you stop complaining. Say what you like about the oligarchs and robber barons of old, at least they didn't steal from you with the pretence of virtue and "helping".
For the record
The government under Prodi tried to ban TPB as well, so it's not simply that Berlusconi competes with them. It's because he's a politician, and politicians like to ban things they can't tax or regulate.
As the sun rises and as it sets... (at least until they've taxed sunlight)
"Looking above... rule 36 aplies already ?"
ule 36, rule 36... Any officer caught sniffing the saddle of the excercise bicycle in the women's gym will be discharged without trial. I'm not really sure how that applies to this situation.
Wait, perhaps I am...
Anyway you're looking for rule 34. :)
I agree. In fact lets stop subsidising any form of power generation, force the buggers to actually generate it efficeintly. of course they'll all switch to coal fired plants to do that... even without subsidies, coal is a fraction of the cost of other fuels, and there's enough of it right underneath us to supply the UK's generation needs for the next century - and probably longer given how efficient coal fired plants are becoming these days. And then we can switch to fusion.
Personally I see no problem with this but, then I don't believe the whole CO2 scam, so I would say that.
So this is why it's taking me several times longer to sftp things to my server than it used to. I thought I was just hitting congestion somewhere... well I guess I was! Only it was intentional. Similar with anything else I was running over ssh, or non-http ports.
@ac re: million-to-one
Aye, and if hollywood is believed, nine times out of ten they bloody well turn up in california, where they're beaten off by the pretty dude, the sassy woman, the geek and the dog.
To be serious for a moment, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the polar lander drop down on a parachute for the final part of its landing? With an airbag? No rockets involved...
And now, I've just realised what some of the mysterious "box shaped" objects in the earlier photographs actually were... the supposed "machinery on mars" as, I think a Mr Hoagland had it, is actually The Luggage!
Notes is good
The city council I used to work at uses Notes for all its internal communications - though, notes on Windows, for some godawful reason. They standardised on Win2k. Being government I don't know if they'll be too quick to shift over to an alternative, but that's probably 10,000 or so users, which is a lot of windows licenses to be invested in. they're cutting budgets now, perhaps i should phone up my old boss and make a suggestion.
Actually hoist is correct. It's quite likely a variant of the middle english "hisse" ("heave!") and in the contemporary context generally meant lift or carry away, which is usually what happens to you when a petard goes off in your hands.
Originally petards were just bombs with a slow fuse designed for undermining castle defences and it was possible to set them off accidentally, whilst carrying them, and consequently be "hoist" all over the roof of the undermining tunnel.
@ac with link
Pot, kettle. Kettle, pot.
Simple solution to knife crime
Make guns legal.
It works like this. They'll still attack each other but instead of wounding they'll just kill each other, which means fewer injured idiots straining the A&E department, which in turn leads to less money being used up to save idiots who'll just be in again next week. Reduced strain on limited funding means that it can be more effectively distributed, saving money, reducing the costs and letting the NHS fund more livfe-saving treatments for cancer patients and so on. I just saved the NHS! Where's my consultancy fee?
"If he actually existed and was in fact actually the son of God"
The historical person of Jesus existed, we know that much, since he's recorded in extra-biblical historical records from the era. Whether he was the son of god is a matter of faith.
I think it can be left at that.
Now where did I put my MoPhone?
Badly written law
In my occasional gracing of these comment threads I'm sure I've built up a reputation as someone who, to put it mildly, isn't particularly keen on the EU as a concept. Now I'd love to be able to point at this as another example of why the EU is evil incarnate and scream "Told ya!" from the rooftops, but I can't. I can't because our own dear parliament is just as prone as the EU to writing laws with such sloppy logic and such over-broad terminology as to be essentially useless. The "extreme porn" thing a while back was an example of that - it could easily have included just about everyone, so badly was it written. There are hundreds of examples from the last decade of similarly badly written law, either implementing EU directives or just made up on the spot by a Minister with a need for some publicity.
Laws shouldn't be confusing and shouldn't need the author to "clarify" them in order to assuage fears. They should explain exactly what they're doing and why they're doing it and if they aren't they should be rejected and re-written until they are.
"People may, quite understandably, want to see their money spent on things that they voted for,"
Didn't they vote for Johnson? Presumably they knew he planned to scrap this...
It's a crazy world. We have EU paratchiks denyong their countries referenda because they want to "increase public representation" or what have you, we have the government spending billions on a failing bank whilst claiming to be prudent, hiding half their accounts off the book s with PFI whilst claiming to be open and accountable, and we have this green politician deciding rather at random that Boris actually promised the exact opposite of what he said he was going to do. Madness. I know, I know, politicians are expected to lie... but why? Why can't they tell the damn truth for a change? Why do we tolerate the sort of behaviour from the political class that we wouldn't even tolerate in primary school kids?
It's tru that the current *house* prices going into something of a dive but you seem to forget that "houses" and "prperty" are not the same thing. Property values may go up and down, of course, but you can make plenty of money on short and medium term leases. In times of high uncertainty and times of great prosperity, owning property of any sort allows you to do something that most other businesses are only capable of doing in certain pints of the economic cycle: seek rent.
Like the great man said, they aren't making any more of it. People always need land. They don't always need set-top boxes. Moving into property, therefore, is a very sound decision.
Is it worth pointing out the judge in question is a Clinton appointee?
"Does anyone know the actual reason for the strict regulation of mustache size for fighter pilots?"
Modern regulations presumably account for the fact that fighter pilots will invariably be wearing an oxygen mask, though whether the limits are to prevent a risk to a proper seal or just the possibility that the wearer might get a nasty rash I cannot say. The Queens Regs date from a time when having a moustache was considered a bit dashing and extremely fashionable, and all the officers, being posh types, simply would not part with them. So they regulated em instead.
First, munitions are surprisingly delicate things built to extremely fine tolerances. Dropping them at speed tends to make them break. Useful in a bomb, not so much in an air-to-air missile...
Second, sea-water makes things corrode like nobody's business. It's likely that your average missile is designed to withstand a bit of splashing, but immersing such a delicate piece of kit in the sea would render it useless in minutes.
Other than that it's a bright idea. Perhaps they should think about water-proofing.
"Cogito ergo Deus absconditus"
I think, therefore god buggered off?
Speaking as a man holding religious views, I have to say I found this whole idea very silly. Of course I would say that, wouldn't I? I'm just a stoopid christian...
I would have hoped that the creators of the report read up on European history, though. It was syncretism (which my spell checker apparently doesn't recognise) between Greek philosophical thought and early Judeo-christian belief in a rational God that allowed the creation of our society. The idea within christianity for most of the last 2000 years is that God, being rational, would create a universe of rational rules that could be studied and discovered. The scientific principle eventually grew out of this belief in the rationality of the universe as expressed within the nicene creed and other christian get-togethers, which is why subsequent dips into irrationality and anti-scientism from the church were never able to last long. In one sense the very concept of the trinity is an odd mathematical problem that has promoted a very sharp mind. The arguments over that concept alone forced the great thinkers of the past to actually think. The idea of critical thinking is central to christian syncretism.
On top of which, by banning polygamy and banning concubinage, christian society removed one of the most potent disincentives to progress by giving the majority of men a chance to have their wife without the big man coming along and taking it away. On top of this, the removal of the power-plays and constant questing for favour from the male in polygamous marriages increased the rights of women incredibly. It also prevented inbreeding to a great extent, by reducing the ability of certain powerful men to dominate the gene pool, and consequently allowed a much greater genetic mixing to occur, and allowed smart people, who otherwise wouldn't have had the chance, to propagate. That was a side-effect of course; I doubt a bunch of priests got together and said "Lets increase our genetic viability!"
Then again, with priests, who knows?
All of these things are rational ideas. It was Christianity that propagated them across its sphere of influence. I freely admit that these ideas could have propagated in as many other ways as you can imagine but, it was a religion that actually *did* it and it was often the most fervent believers in that religion that were also, generally, the smartest, because christianity, for much of its life, encouraged rationality and education and provided an incentive for the ordinary man to improve himself. It's gone downhill a bit recently but that's just one of those things...
If you want another example then lets go to India. There, mathematicians were working with complex trigonometry and algebraic equations that would make your eyes water when the Arabs were still worshipping their pantheon and the Greeks still wondering what to call themselves while they hacked each other to pieces. They did it because they were inspired by their beliefs to seek out the rules that governed their lives, rules they believed were put in place by their gods to run the universe. I imagine some of it involved working out angles for the kama sutra as well but that's by the by, the main point is that their religious life encouraged this sort of highly critical thinking.
Whilst it's quite likely that critical thinking tends to lead to a rejection of religious ideas, I would doubt that the lack of a religious experience is a necessity for critical thinking. The idea that religion prevents critical thinking is false, as I hope I've demonstrated; what actually prevents critical thinking is a lack of critical thinking, and that can afflict even the most accomplished scientist if they've got their own little idea they don't want to give up. Just look at the whole AGW debate.
I do find it fascinating that the increase in atheism can actually be matched up to a general decrease in educational standards. It all depends how you draw the graph really. :)
re: 89 days 23hrs 59min 59secs
Look at it this way. We've not had this 48 hour hard limit *before*, so why should not having it now suddenly mean employers are going to start acting like complete idiots with their employees? They didn't before, when the limit didn't exist. The limit still doesn't exist. Nothing actually changes.
Anyway it's all moot, the ECJ will simply override it in a year or so and kill off another bit of our freedom. Yes. Freedom. I freelance, that means I can choose to work the hours I want. With this 48 hour limit I would no longer be able choose to work the hours I want. I would no longer be free to do so.
So let me get this straight...
The congestion charge is being sold to us lot around greater manchester as some sort of deal with central government to pay for the metrolink we were promised. Which they cut funding for, for some reason, probably because it peeked a little bit above the 900 mil they'd initially budgeted for.. Now this congestion charge is going to get a 1.2 billion subsidy to get started...
Wait a minute, wasn't this charge supposed to pay for the Metrolink light rail extension? Why is it getting more money than the extension was going to get? Why didn't they just take that 1.2 billion or whatever, that they suddenly seem to have lying around for useless schemes, and "invest" it straight into the Metrolink instead? They'd still have a few hundred mil left over for padding out MP's salaries, filling one of the pot-holes in Gord... sorry, Darling's books, or building a new fountain somewhere, too. Everybody wins! Well except the taxpayers, but that's probably an argument for another day...
Oh wait, it's actually about saving the planet now, so we have to pay whether or not we get our light rail. Ye gods.
Actually tbe sub-prime mortgage thing was caused by the US government mandating that mortgage lenders *had* to provide mortgages to high-risk borrowers, those below a certain income threshold with known credit problems who most lenders wouldn't normally touch with a barge pole. They were forced into the situation that created the problem. That same government (the faces change but the government is always the same) is now proposing solutions to the sub-prime problem they created - solutions that will actually make it worse.
Which just proves my idea that when there's a problem, first look to see if the government started it. They usually did.
"It isn't cold enough for CO2 to rain out here on Earth."
CO2 is water soluble. It rains out with the rain.
On top of which, increased rainfall cools the atmosphere. It's a self-regulating system in that respect. Of course the idea that rainfall is increasing doesn't actually prove that CO2 is warming the atmosphere, merely that there is an increase in the amount of energy input into the system. That's it.
And, lets not forget, energy travels from points of high potential to points of low potential. That means energy *in* the atmosphere can only ever radiate *out* of the atmosphere. When CO2 absorbed that energy it may temporarily halt its progress, but it can't bounce it back. It has to keep going out. And here's why:
See, the very concept of a greenhouse effect is a terrible, terrible misnomer. A greenhouse works by preventing convective heat exchange - it prevents warm air from convecting away and being replaced by cool air. The reflective properties of glass in a greenhouse are a tiny effect in comparison. That's a greenhouse: a closed system that prevents convection.
In the atmosphere there is nothing preventing that convective exchange. Warm air rises, losing energy as it does so, drifts a bit to a cooler latitude and then falls again, which is the primary exchanger of heat from the lower to upper atmosphere. Now, you may have noticed that there's nothing actually surrounding the planet. No giant greenhouse, no big "Spaceballs" atmospheric shield at any point, hence nothing to stop that convective process.
CO2, compared to the glass in a greenhouse, doesn't reflect or rebound heat at all. It absorbs those photons, yes, and that energy gets turned into a little bit of extra kinetic energy in the CO2 molecules, but then it re-emits those photons at a lower energy level. Now this is where the physics comes into it again. That photon can't go down because it's not got enough energy to be absorbed by the warmer gas below - in that case it *would* bounce off, or at least that's the approximation we come up with. It's at a lower energy level than they are, so it goes flying upward (or, to put it another way, the probability of the photon being emitted down is much, much lower than the probability of it being emitted up). Eventually it reaches space where it radiates away into the vacuum.
See this planet is radiating heat out into space just about as fast as it can. Turn off the sun and we'd be frozen solid in a matter of days. Days. Weeks at the outside. That's how fast the planet radiates energy. In fact it radiates it as fast as it's introduced because there is nothing, *nothing* to prevent it. Just a vacuum which, as I said, is effectively an infinite heatsink.
Not *yet*, but it's just a matter of time now. Ooh... actually I think I'll build one of these, it might come in handy for some model-making projects I have in mind.
A stork to deliver another EU tar-baby. Joy!
The reason they waited until after countries started distributing theirs was so they could cause the most amount of disruption to the largest number of people's lives. As far as I can tell, the EU civil service do this sort of thing purely for the giggle of it. They *like* causing people misery. It's really the only thing that explains their actions and behaviour these days.
We should stop sticking bullpikes in nubile women forthwith!
I'm going to cement some sort of reputation as a nerdly type here but let me point thos out: Manga is the japanese name for comics and graphic novels (and is also the name of a company that imports japanese "animé" for some stupid reason). The equivalent of saying you want to ban "manga" would be like saying the police want to have all illustrated books banned because a few of them contain these images. Or saying they want to ban all film and television because some times you can find videos of people doing nasty things to their kids.
There's no denying that the Japanese have quite a reputation for less than savoury comics (and animation) but that's not an excuse to ban *everything* from there. It's like saying Hollywood movies contain sex, so lets ban everything from the United States! And the French, well they're just weird, so lets ban everything French! And the Italians? They've got naked kids painted on the ceiling of their most famous church! PERVERTS!
And that's another thing, I can think of a number of paintings that would be banned by this, with images of the cistine chapel just being the most famous example. A few of them are pretty fruity and feature what would be considered "children" by the standards of some of these bad laws. Sorry, Monet, Raphael and all you other 'artists', you're under arrest.
Does anyone believe this law won't be so overbroad and ridiculously vague as to do all of these things? I bet you it'll be an enabling act as well. This government are very fond of enabling acts, with their lovely statutory instruments that let them arbitrarily expand the provisions of the act without facing parliamentary scrutiny.
As I think I've said before, laws like this are the actions of a government in denial about how much power it actually has. They're desperate to be seen to "do something" that they'll do anything. And, of course, it's "for the children", which means there's nothing to argue against without being twisted into a monster.
I hate that argument.
now those few of you that may actually know are asking "But Graham, you're a christian, shouldn't you be all for banning everything sinful?" No. You don't ban, you don't use the power of the secular state to enforce religious ideas because that power can be turned right back on you. Another religion can come along and use the same mechanisms to subdue you, outlaw things you never intended to be outlawed using the very same laws you originally promoted to enforce your idea of what's moral. The answer is never over-broad and potentially unenforceable law - along with the implicit threat of force contained in any law - but talk. I try and convince you you're doing the wrong thing, you tell me to toss off. That's how a civil society works.
I was going to post this as anon but, frankly, I think it's time people stopped hiding. Like I said, "for the children" mean any argument can dismissed with "you're just a pervert pretending to be about liberty or something", standing up can mean ruining your reputation no matter how logical your argument and no matter what your own moral stance on the issue. I'm a christian. My stance on many things is probably quite easy to glean from that, but I prefer to believe that people can be reasoned around to my way of thinking without the use of great big legal sledgehammers.
Bring on the black helicopters!
Suddenly all those mobile phones they're letting onto plans *will* be a threat.
some sort of title
"The government takes about 60 pence out of every litre of petrol you buy, and BP / Shell still managed to clear a PROFIT! of over one billion pounds sterling over thirty days!"
Yes, because the price at the pump rose to preserve the profit margin in the face of an increasing tax percentage. No other company would be expected to sit by when the government basically took away its profits.
Most oil company margins are about the same as most other successful businesses though, around 10%. It's the volume that matters, and given the huge volume of sales oil companies make it's no surprise they have these huge profit. Go look at the stats of how much petrol Shell sells in a week, worldwide and suddenly that one billion profit is put into perspective. If Microsoft (for example - hey it's an IT site, lets get some reference to IT in here) were to sell several billion quids worth of software every week they'd also have huge profits.
A billion is a big number, but it's only big in comparison to small numbers. Oil doesn't just squirt out of the round into the waiting barrels of cigar-smoking magnates in huge cowboy hats. If you look at the costs involved in oil production, the R&D, the exploration costs that often turn out to be dead-ends (i.e. a non-recoverable expense) then the oil company profits make sense. They're a big number alongside a whole bunch of other big numbers. And if you look at where those profits come from - quite apart from petroleum sales there's a whole bunch of other oil-derived products out there - then the scale of the operation becomes apparent and the profits no longer seem excessive. Or should a company be forced to lower its margins just because it has extra zeroes after its annual turnover? Raising taxes won't do that. They just pass it on to the consumer. The only way to stop that is to introduce price controls but, price controls simply remove the incentive to produce.
I'll tell you who's stealing! It's OPEC! Broon said so!
If existing users get to 36 do they get to pay a visit to the carousel, or can they get renewed?
Would you believe, I typed in "Nelson", stared at it for a while and then thought "that can't be right"...
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