* Posts by Vic

3590 posts • joined 7 Dec 2007

Hawk like an Egyptian: Google is HOPPING MAD over fake SSL certs

Vic
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Re: Odd?

True, but I'm guessing this is aimed at small companies without the resources to do their own CA. To you and me it's not that hard to do, but I can think of several small business owners I know that wouldn't have the slightest idea.

Many small businesses don't have the resources to wash their own windows, or change the oil in their vehicles. So they pay someone else to do it for them.

IT in all its guises is no different - it's just that many businesses think that getting a favourite nephew in to do the job is a viable approach...

Vic.

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Open-Xchange builds anti Oracle stack after server M&A splurge

Vic
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Re: UM

The dual license open-xchange means you can't provide a paid for service using the free version

Says who?

Given that a chunk of what they're shipping is GPL, to try to put such a restriction on the code would remove their own right to distribute.

Vic.

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Hated biz smart meter rollout: UK.gov sticks chin out, shuts eyes

Vic
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Re: Business as usual

and why do they do that - use more power - surely it is not byond the wit of engineering to make them more frugal?

Digital radio involves a fair bit of number-crunching. That uses power.

And that's on top of the tuner, demodulator, and audio output stages that made up the FM radio - you still need all those.

Vic.

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HUGE Aussie asteroid impact sent TREMORS towards the EARTH'S CORE

Vic
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Alien

Re: Looks like the mother ship is still there...

It's a bit like going to an old isolated house/castle for help after your car has broken down in the rain.

"You've arrived on a rather special night. It's one of the Master's ... affairs"...

Vic.

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Microsoft gets data centres powered up for big UPS turn-off

Vic
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Re: not enough runtime

AC is, I believe, more efficient to transport around a building.

It isn't. The inefficiency comes from power drop in the cables - which is determined by their resistance (effectively fixed) and the current flowing. It matters not whether it's AC or DC. The main reason AC is pumped around the building is that it has historically been very easy to change the AC voltage with minimal loss, whereas changing DC voltages has, until recently, involved much cost and power loss. It's probably still cheaper to change AC voltage, but the discrepancy is much reduced.

And any electrician can come in to sort out the 240v, not all of them will touch deadly voltages at DC

An electrician will not be worried about 50VDC. There's no more risk to life - in fact, probably less - than 240VAC.

The circuitry to generate 240v AC from 12v DC is actually commodity hardware. The circuitry to distribute and step-down huge DC voltages is not.

It's pretty much the same hardware. There's a small difference in the configuration. Maxim[1], for example, make devices that work in either direction within limits.

Vic.

[1] A friend of mine who's rather good with hardware design hates Maxim converter products because they don't vary their LO frequencies properly - they tend to pulse-skip. This leads to all sorts of nasty sub-harmonics that are more work to filter out. But I like Maxim because they give me free samples when I'm putting a new design together :-)

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Standard General bids to save RadioShack from oblivion

Vic
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Re: " from selling a Bentley to selling a Ford to selling a used Vespa.”

They were not able to make their brands, such as Realistic or Micronta as recognisable as the Japanese companies (like Technics, Sony etc)

I disagree. At the time, Realistic was a very recognisable brand.

It just wasn't a very desirable one...

Vic.

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Pirate Party leads Icelandic voting intentions poll

Vic
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Re: Yarr! @Stupid AC

Are posting AC because you just want to troll or are you just gormless?

You say that as if those options are exclusive...

Vic.

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AUTOPILOT: Musk promises Tesla owners a HANDS-OFF hands-on

Vic
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RALPH was doing that twenty years ago.

The TRRL were playing with this half a century ago. It was somewhat more restrictive - requiring cables in the road - but it was rather impressive for its time...

Vic.

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Amazon issued with licence for delivery drone madness

Vic
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Re: So why is Amazon pursuing the idea?

I can't see the aviation authorities in other countries being any more likely to allow drone operations than the FAA and the UK CAA

The Germans have already allowed it.

Vic.

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Hello? Police? Yes, I'm a car and my idiot driver's crashed me

Vic
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Re: Exactly what problem does this solve?

If you ever find yourself inside a burning metal wreck, please tell your surviving family to come and lecture us on cost/benefit analysis.

If I ever find myself in the aforesaid burning metal wreck, are the emergency services going to get there quickly enough to make a difference to the outcome?

A vehicle fire is quite hot...

Vic.

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Our 4King benders are so ace we're going full OLED, says LG

Vic
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Re: "retro" gear like valve radio sets

CRTs were crap by modern standards.

That depends on your criteria.

For picture quality, they are the gold standard. For everything else, they are surpassed.

Vic.

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OpenSSL preps fix for mystery high severity hole

Vic
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Re: Welcome to software written in C

After seeing some of Chuck Moore's work, I'd say he makes a compelling argument that Forth can have better performance.

No, Forth doesn't out-perform C except in a few (generally contrived) situations. This is why the two primary Forth systems on the market today[1] are compilers in just the same way as a C is.

Where Forth really does score is in code density; it tends to be heavily-factored from the outset, and words will requently be refactored as a maintenance exercise - code complexity tends to increase rapdily as word size grows.

Vic.

[1] MPE and Forth Inc.

Disclosure: I used to work for one of the above...

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Bride legs it from wedding after groom proves unable to add up

Vic
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Re: Could be a good way to get out of a wedding...

a Pint is a bit early for Monday morning!

Ahem

Vic.

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Musk: 'Tesla's electric Model S cars will be less crap soon. I PROMISE'

Vic
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Re: @Mark 85

anyone can reverse them without struggling to remember the complicated method of steering a normal trailer

Complicated?

You grab the bottom of the steering wheel, and move your hand in whichever direction you want the trailer to go...

Vic.

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LOHAN chap compiles 'tenner a week' cookbook

Vic
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Re: Dumpster diving, yes or no?

but it'll get you arrested. Nicking stuff shops have chucked out is still theft, apparently

Taking anything with an intent to deprive the owner of it is theft. There are a couple of "kinda sorta" exceptions for salvage, but that's a law unto itself, and unlikely to trouble too many here.

The trick with taking stuff from bins is to *ask* for it. You're usually met with a strange "why would he ask me that" look, followed by a stammered "yes, of course". At that point, the items belong to you, and you can take them. But taking them without asking first is theft, and that gets you busted.

I've had loads of stuff from bins over the years - I've even had the owner drive stuff to my house to drop it off. Most people (and many shops) are happy for you to take their crap away. But if you haven't asked them for it, it isn't yours, so taking it is stealing.

My food bill comes to FAR more than £10pw, simply because, thanks to the NHS's war on anything remotely healthy, the cost of everything is astronomical. My meat alone costs £50.

I lived for nearly 2 years on quite a lot less than £10/week. It's tricky, but doable. And very, very tedious. If you're spending £50/week on meat, you're eating far more meat than you *need*. Whilst that's very nice to do, it's not a necessity.

Vic.

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Sir Terry remembered: Dickens' fire, Tolkien's imagination, and the wit of Wodehouse

Vic
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I think they are truly the only books that have ever consistently made me chortle out loud

I've had the same effect from reading Robert Rankin and David Langford. And both of those authors had forewords by Pterry[1].

Vic.

[1] Which is why I read them in the first place :-)

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Vic
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Re: Time to re-read

I have hyper-intolerance to alcohol

Me too.

Eight or nine pints, and I'm anyone's :-)

Vic.

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BBC: We'll give FREE subpar-Raspberry-Pis to a million Brit schoolkids

Vic
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Re: What can you do with a 74HC00?

trying to explain why double-clicking a Python program "just makes a black square flash up for a fraction of a second"

If the python code works, I've found renaming it to a .pyw leads to fewer questions.

Of course, if it fails (as implied by your post), that can just make matters worse :-(

Vic.

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UK call centre linked to ‘millions’ of nuisance robo-calls raided by ICO

Vic
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Re: "four to six million recorded telephone calls a day"???

I'm not naturally a stabby person

Awesome. I'm pinching that :-)

Vic.

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Bulk interception is NOT mass surveillance, says parliamentary committee

Vic
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Re: Ain't so bad

Vote them out, now, before it is too late.

How?

Vic.

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Euro broadcast industry still in a fug over that 4K-ing UHD telly

Vic
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Re: ...there's a reason for that...

I suspect the effective video bandwidth of a digital signal is much higher - in theory you could encode adjacent pixels as white and black, whereas an analogue signal was much more restricted (test card with frequency bars, anyone?).

Actually, it's quite the opposite.

Digital TV is compressed - even prior to transmission, the signal is invariably quantised in the frequency domain, so you will lose all that detail.

Analogue baseband material does not have that problem, and only loses effective bandwidth at broadcast due to noise (per Shannon's Law). Given a clear transmission channel - which was certainly possible with UK terrestrial broadcast - the displayed picture could closely match that baseband image. The SNR of a digital signal will necessarily be much lower, unless you're using a very noisy channel (poor antenna, far from source, reflection interference, you name it...)

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: People don't want it.

4K enthusiasts can argue all they want with anecdotal evidence that they could tell the difference at 20 feet away. They really can't, it's human biology.

Your point notwithstanding. people *will* see a difference between 720, 1080, and 4K transmissions. Ands it's nothing to do with the display, for the reasons you quote.

There is a bit budget for any transmission stream. The more compression you use, the less bandwidth required - but, for any given codec, the lower the quality of the image. And so it is with broadcast - the higher resolutions are simply given more bandwidth. So the difference you will see is that the bigger-number stream has less obvious compression artefacts.

There were rumours that at least one broadcaster turned up the quantisation when HD was coming in so that the HD streams would look visibly better. I couldn't comment, opbviously...

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Ultra HD?

I'm reminded of Bruce Springsteens "57 Channels and nothin on."

I think Pink Floyd did it first in "Nobody Home"...

Vic.

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Linux clockpocalypse in 2038 is looming and there's no 'serious plan'

Vic
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Re: The problem is in applications

There probably aren't a lot of ext3 systems around even today.

There are. ext4 is really quite bad at dealing with improper shutdown - power failure and the like. The configuration I and many others use is to create a (smallish) root filesystem with ext3, and use xfs/ext4/whatever for the other filesystems. This means that a machine can usually boot properly after a hard power-down.

Vic.

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Dutch MEP slams 'cowboy practices' of GCHQ 'n' pals following Gemalto allegations

Vic
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Joke

Re: "... mouthpiece of rogue NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden"

Would have thought El Reg had more class.

First time here?

Vic.

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Got $600 for every Win Server 2003 box you're running? Uh-oh

Vic
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Re: Dear custommer move to free Linux or else we fine you...

what was RedHat's response to the latest Ghost exploit for RHEL4 boxes? We have 5000+ RHEL 5+ servers and 2-300 still running RHEL4

I don't know about RH's response - but RH aren't the only ones who can support RHEL4.

I had an RPM rolled within about 20 minutes. It's not hard. My support customers all had it within a couple of hours.

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Over a barrel. @AC

But Linux doesn't use Kerberos features to control OS user access rights.

It does if you tell it to...

Vic.

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Amazon's delivery drones SHOT DOWN by new FAA rules

Vic
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Re: common sense vs profit (1-0)

As long as drones don't have sensors to inspect, return and assess the situation around them - I can't see how they could be used safely beyond visual light of sight

DHL's drone does just fine[1] .

That's not in the USA, of course...

Vic.

[1] I had a better link last week - I'll try to find it again...

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Now Samsung's spying smart TVs insert ADS in YOUR OWN movies

Vic
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Re: Tired of Samsung

my Samsung TV won't play many common types of media files including: DivX, XVID, anything from Apple even if its been fully paid for.

Really?

I have a Samsung DumbTV[1]. It plays everything I've thrown at it.

I wouldn't go buying one of these "Smart"[2] TVs, though. On the one occasion I tried to plug a wireless adaptor into my telly, it refused to use it. And that's probably for the best...

Vic.

[1] The UE40H5000, in case you're interested.

[2] Ha!

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Vic
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Re: meanwhile in other news...

Do we see something like Pepsi and have an urge to buy a Pepsi?

No.

Yes.

You and I might not like it, but it is a simple fact that, for many types of product, TV exposure correlates directly to sales. Hence "Hi, I'm Barry Scott" </spit>

Vic.

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UK chip champ ARM flexes muscle: Shows strong profit and sales

Vic
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Re: How long can this go on for?

the Atom was succeeded by the BBC Micro and the Electron.

The BBC Micro, of course, was the "Acorn Proton" before the BBC came along and signed the contract...

Vic.

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BBC bins pricey Windows Media, Audio Factory goes live

Vic
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Joke

Re: NOW FUCKING KILL FLASH !!!

Flash is the Ebola virus, the HIV virus, and all other virus' in one

Ah. We have a Flash fan :-)

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: from the blog ....

DAB sounds bad only because there's too many stations crammed into the available bandwidth.

Only in the very broadest sense...

DAB - not DAB+, just DAB, as we use in the UK - uses the MP2 codec, which is shite. We all complain about MP3 artefacts, but MP2 is significantly worse.

Now I *suspect* that, given enough bandwidth. you could make MP2 sound OK. But we don't have that much bandwidth available. We have enough bandwidth for AAC or MP3 - but that would mean DAB+, which we don't use.

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: If your hardware is rusting...

So in 3 years they'll break even. What's your issue with that?

In two years, they'll do it all again... :-(

Vic.

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Back seat drivers fear lead-footed autonomous cars, say boffins

Vic
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Re: Roller coasters

At motorway speeds recommended distances are more to do with reaction time than actual stopping distance.

Errr - no.

Reaction times are fairly constant, so reaction distance rises linearly with speed.

Braking distance is essentially[1] proportional to energy, so rises with the square of speed.

On motorways, of course, most people are driving very much closer than their actual stopping distances, so you're relying on unusual events not occurring. That's a big part of the reason for huge pile-ups...

Vic.

[1] I'm ignoring oddness like brake fade, etc.

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Vic
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Re: cough @stucs

I can see why it might alleviate car sickness, and why it might not. Anyone know?

It depends on whether or not you can see a true horizon.

Travel sickness occurs when the inner ear describes one sort of motion, and the visual system another - such as when you're inside a vehicle, or when you're reading whilst moving. In evolutionary timescales, such a condition only occurred when you'd been poisoned - and the solution to that is obvious. Travel sickness is a mechanism evolved to protect you from poisoning.

So with a HUD, if you can see the outside, you'd probably get away without sickness, But I can't imagine reading would be much fun...

Vic.

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'Come on, everyone – block US govt staff ogling web smut at work'

Vic
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Re: Naaahhh...

They'll just start watching porn in Gaelic.

Or High Class British Porn"

Vic.

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Tiger Moth: Old school flying without all those pesky flaps, brakes and instruments

Vic
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First solo vid

Excellent christmas present to yourself. Congratulations!

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: No flaps?

isn't it like the tale of Goldie Locks and the Three Angles of Attack?

I suspect you mean "Glide Slope".

Angle of Attack only really has two states - less than the critical angle, or more than the critical angle. An aerofoil with an AoA greater than the critical angle is stalled. If you didn't do that deliberately, that might well be a problem...

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: No flaps?

To land, how does one slow to a safe speed *and* maintain safe descent rate w/o flaps?

Practice :-)

Flapless descents are standard practice, and are a required capability for the PPL, even if you're flying an aircraft fited with flaps. They're very useful if it's a bit tubulent on approach...

This is the aircraft I've had most fun in. It has no flaps either...

Vic.

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IEEE rubber-stamps new patent policy

Vic
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Re: What about open products ?

If I compile and give a binary to someone will I be liable for license fees ?

From the GPL v2 :-

"if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program"

Vic.

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NSA lays out its reforms post-Snowden (they can fit on back of a stamp)

Vic
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Re: Does US law have a definition of a "Criminal threat"?

Or does the law cover using surveillance to stop canadians walking on the grass?

If those Canadians are walking on American grass, that's one of those "transnational" offences that is explicitly permitted...

Vic.

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Ex-squeeze me? Baking soda? Boffins claim it safely sucks CO2 out of the air

Vic
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Re: Carbonates are how the Earth deals with excess CO2

Methane doesn't last that long in the atmosphere - order of a year - it is actually unstable and oxidises

OK, so methane sits around doing its greenhouse-effect thing for a year or so. And then it oxidises.

Into ... ?

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Carbonates are how the Earth deals with excess CO2

As long as the oxygen content remains high enough, CO2 levels pretty much doesn't matter - the lungs won't absorb it.

That's completely untrue. CO2 in the inspired gas *will* be absorbed - or at least it will prevent CO2 from the body being expelled. It's just that hypercapnia is a prefeable condition to hypoxia.

Some complain of a headache if exposed to several percent of CO2 for hours, but that may be due do other contaminates in the air

No - hypercapnia is an issue. It leads to an assortment of symptoms - the worst, IMO, being panic in hyperbaric situations. This has undoubtedly led to the deaths of quite a few divers.

Only when CO2 displaces O2 is there a real problem - but that would be true of ANYTHING.

Again - untrue. Try breathing a normoxic O2/CO2 mixture. You'll only take a couple of breaths before you get into respiratory distress[1]. It's a horrible thing to go through.

backfill the coal mines where you extracted it to begin with.

And what form are you going to use to store it? Something soluble? That'll be nice for your water table.

Vic.

[1] The urge to breathe in just about everyone[2] is driven by blood pH. CO2 in your body dissolves in the blood, leading to carbonic acid, which lowers that pH. The lower the pH, the greater the urge to breathe. Carbon dioxide is an active chemical in our lives; it would be an enormous mistake to consider it an inert gas.

[2] There are, apparently, a (very) few chronic CO2 retainers whose ability to determine blood pH has failed. I'm fairly sceptical of this, but I've not bothered to research it in detail, as it's not going to apply in the environment[3] in which I'm going to be involved...

[3] Diving :-)

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Vic
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Re: Is this the right way round?

It's an easily reversible process

Ah. That'll be why we don't want it in a breathing loop, then :-)

Thanks, Mr. C!

Vic.

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Is this the right way round?

When I'm doing CO2 capture, we start with hydroxide ions and produce carbonates as the waste product.

Can anyone point me to a primer on how carbonates absorb CO2?

Ta!

Vic.

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$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience

Vic
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how they could possibly claim Ethernet is directional, is beyond me - regardless of what data it is that's travelling down the cable - an ack needs to be sent back for every packet - making it bi-directional?

Each pair only sends data in one direction - that's why it's full-duplex; you have a separate pair for each direction of travel.

That said - current flow in each pair is *still* bi-directional...

Vic.

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Ofcom can prise my telly spectrum from my COLD, DEAD... er, aerial

Vic
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Re: "Broadcast is efficient" Badvoc

I was refering to the fact that I am sure most streams are not 50i or 25p

...In which case, I have absolutely no idea why you introduced temporal compression to the discussion, since that is entirely orthogonal to the framerate and interlacing of the video.

Vic.

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Plane crash blamed on in-flight SELFIES

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Re: So wait

as did the loss of control and stall.

From the sound of it, he didn't just have a bit of a stall - the rate of descent implies an uncontrolled spin. Which, given the fact that he appeared to be part-way through a climbing turn when it happened is somewhat understandable.

I was reading some FAA materials on spinning[1] a few weeks back - the upshot of one report was that, if you spin at 1200ft or less, it doesn't matter who you are; you're going to crash.

Vic.

[1] I was about to go on my first spin lesson. It was one of the most exciting things I've ever done :-)

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