277 posts • joined Sunday 13th January 2008 10:47 GMT
I've just printed me a plastic gun. Awesome.
Unfortunately it seems it needs bullets, and this magic 3d printer doesn't seem to be able to produce those.
Re: Why not use a helicopter?
I have often considered that those who claim to have climbed Everest actually haven't. They've only climbed part of it. They normally fly into Nepal, then go by truck or whatever to base camp which is 20 something thousand feet up. Then they just walk the last bit.
That's like getting a lift to 99th floor of Taipei 101, nipping up two flights of stairs and then claiming you walked to the top.
Will be forced on us
Back on a visit back to the UK I was asked to go to our bank because it has recently been bought out and had to redo 'know your customer'.
They wanted two forms of photo ID in order to satisfy the requirement. I had my UK passport, but I don't have any other photo ID from the UK. My drivers licence is the old paper type, and apart from that, I had nothing.
In the end, they accepted my UAE ID card, because foreign ID cards are acceptable.
But it seems to me that this is forcing the issue of ID cards by the back door - by requiring banks and other private organizations to require more than just a passport. My passport gets me in and out of the country and onto aeroplanes without having to show secondary ID, but I can't open a bank account? Something doesn't smell right about that.
Re: Four million dong?
Congratulations. I can't believe the reg missed the opportunity to squeeze a 'dong' gag into this story. It was a gaping open goal and they muffed it.
Re: 10 minute wait
>>> This only acts as an assurance for retailers wanting to check that their transaction is genuine. To use bitcoin properly you need a few more assurances.<<<
Sure, but on the plus side, once you have a few assurances, you have the cash. Unlike credit cards, where it can be charged back any time in the next 6 months for various reasons.
So waiting an hour for several confirmations isn't great if you're selling something that needs to be delivered instantly. But if it's something expensive, to be sent mail order, then an hour wait is nothing. Remember - with credit cards, the merchant would have to wait *months* before he knows he irrevocably has the cash, it's not fraud.
Re: A finite calculable resource [like] gold/precious metals -- NOT
>>> Which means that when the money supply causes problems in the wider economy, there's nothing anyone can do about it. Some of us consider the bank of england to be a feature, not a bug. <<<
Not strictly true. Think about fractional reserve banking. There is no reason why that could not be applied to bitcoins. In the UK for example, the supply of actual physical money is far, far smaller than the amount of money in existence.
For example, I start a bitcoin bank, and you deposit 10 bitcoins, which I show on your account. I then lend those 10 bitcoins to somebody else, who uses them to buy something. The recipient of those bitcoins deposits them in my bank. You think you have 10 bitcoins, and so does the guy who received them, because both accounts say you have 10 bitcoins. Of course my bank would have problems if both my depositors wanted their bitcoins back at the same time.
It's called a bank run, and it happens in normal banks for the same reasons.
Bitcoins are just like cash in this respect too.
Re: A finite calculable resource [like] gold/precious metals -- NOT
Have you ever held $100 bill? It's just a piece of paper. Yet it is worth $100.
Currency used to be backed by gold or silver - old pound notes used to have 'I promise to pay the bearer...'. They haven't had that for a long time, and the government can print as many as they want these days. And yet people are happy to exchange these 'worthless' pieces of paper for real things.
Bitcoins have value if others are prepared to accept them in payment for things. It's just a representation of value, it has no real inherent value, just like a bank note.
Bitcoin is a little more interesting than other digital currencies due to its implementation, it's p2p nature. The fact you can transfer funds relatively anonymously across the web to anyone in the world is quite revolutionary when you think about it. Think porn, gambling...
The problem is people writing bad code.
They should be using parametrized stored procedures or queries, where they pass in individual typed values for each parameter, which are treated as such. Then it works pretty much as you say it should - variables and code are distinct separate things.
But if you write code to piece together an SQL string, and then run that on the db, you're asking for trouble. Sanitizing inputs is just a sticking plaster, if you forget one, or don't do it right, you've got a vulnerability.
Re: when you hear a dog talk, you dont criticise its grammar
I've lived in Dubai for 8 years, and the driving is still as dangerous and clueless as it ever was.
As for the Dubai Police, if they've had British consultants, one can only assume they were MI6 interrogators fresh from a posting in Afghanistan:
There isn't such thing as a civilized dicatorship....
Re: Lived in the UAE..
I have lived in Dubai for last 8 years (hopefully my last now), and you've summed it up perfectly.
Apparently the Dubai police guy said they bought the car 'to show the world how classy Dubai is'. They still haven't figured out the difference between 'crass' and 'classy'. Monaco is classy. Dubai most definitely is not.
The problem with the cops is that here it's all about 'wasta', which translates roughly as 'status'. Basically, if you are a well-connected local, or part of a family that is, you can do pretty much what you like and the cops won't touch you. Which goes a long way to explain why the roads here will continue to be about 40 times as deadly as those in the UK.
Now I have two small children, even a big 4x4 doesn't seem protection enough when many of the nutters on the roads are driving similar vehicles. Dubai likes to tell everyone how 'safe' it is, and in terms of being mugged, that's true. But in terms of your overall risk of death or serious injury, Dubai is many times more dangerous than the UK solely due to its appalling accident rate, which their culture makes them unable to properly address.
Re: Mixed lessons from history?
>>> If the Norks were to start something, I am pretty sure the Chinese would fight against them <<<
On the contrary, China would be forced to go in and occupy the north if the regime were to be attacked, because it most definitely does not want chaos, or worse, a US client state, right on its border.
The US has consistently failed to stop NK's nuclear and missile activities because, aside from the obvious lack of oil wealth, it knows that China would would be forced to move in. And China is a lot stronger than it was during the last Korean war. And the US is arguably a lot weaker.
Re: What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!
>>> I really cant imagine it has anything to do with a hidden licensing arrangement with anyone at all, no siree not in the least. Must be for a nod and a wink <<<
Only in the reg comments could the blame for rather half-assed linux laptop be put down to a conspiracy by Microsoft.
>>>That's probably not an insurmountable issue... shock absorbers.<<<
Project Orion was extensively researched and is not entirely dissimilar in principle, in that you're using a series of nuclear explosions to power your craft.
They had a big blast shield and shock absorber arrangement, with 1 atom bomb per half second being chucked out the back. So the shock absorber approach doesn't seem infeasible. Getting meaningful fusion is the deal maker/breaker.
Close down all the car companies or sell them off to foreigners and bet the farm on banking, house price bubbles and the 'new' service economy.
What could possibly go wrong?
Re: Crime watch
I assume his paper round is finished by then.
Re: not magic beans
Yes, but people have been having illicity meetings for years and passing wedges of banknotes to each other and nobody has ever suggested this makes cash evil.
not magic beans
The internet has provided a route to communicate across boundaries which is decentralized, virtually free and can be anonymous (if you want). But until now, there was no payment system with the same characteristics. The only problem with bitcoin is that nobody can seriously use it if the price fluctuates so wildly. The more outlets that accept it, the more speculators buy into the bubble, and the more its price jumps so nobody spends it. Maybe fractional reserve banking can help stabilize it, but then you're back with all the kind of banking shenanigans every other currency gets destroyed by.
As for bitcoin being used to purchase drugs, I am pretty sure that most dealers in London only accept pounds sterling... as do the hookers, illegal bookies, hit men and guys selling stolen laptops in pub car parks. And yet curiously nobody is queuing up to rant about the evils of cash issued by HM government.
Re: I aim for the stars
Yes, if we'd proceeded to develop rocketry, the Queen might now have to make do with only a couple of large houses and a lot more bankers might have lost their six figure bonuses.
Re: Spamhous must really be hurting those parasites
As I understand it, Spamhaus adds IP space either because spam originates there, or because it hosts web sites that are being promoted by spam (which in many cases may come from elsewhere such as botnets). They call this 'spam support'. Responsible hosts will generally clear out such spam support services. Some are clueless, and some actively decide to take spammers money in return for 'bullet proof' services - i.e. not pulling the plug for abuse of the AUP.
In such cases, Spamhaus can escalate blocks - effectively enlarging the range of IP space covered by a block to turn the screw on the host, because it starts to cover their legitimate business customers as well as the spammers on their network. The idea is that miscreant networks will find that they end up losing legitimate customers if they continue to provide service to illegitimate ones.
One can argue about whether such actions are justified, but ultimately it's up to any network to decide whether it wants to use Spamhaus's lists or not.
My personal opinion is that Spamhaus does an excellent job, and forcing networks to choose between legit business and spammers is fully justified. It's bad if it affects your company or personal email, but you should vent spleen at your network for whatever spam problem has caused Spamhaus to list them, rather than at Spamhaus.
here's what they need to save windows 8 and some face at same time
They cannot dump metro, they've pushed it too hard. Same thing with start page.
But it's turning off the majority of Windows users, and companies are going with Windows 7 to avoid the obvious user problems they're going to have with 8.
A compromise fix would be a setting that puts back a start button, which launches a menu which looks like the start page, but small icons. Similar to old start menu, with the search box, but metro kind of feel.
Then instead of having metro apps full screen on desktop mode, allow Win 8 apps (especially phone ones) to run in a sidebar - kind of like the old widget bar. It would be quite cool to be able to run familiar phone apps like facebook, twitter, etc. in a sidebar on a desktop, especially if they sync with your phone.
This is basically what Windows 8 should have done re phone integration if they wanted to encourage existing users into it, instead of just forcing it on them.
Re: Be Advised that we have Good Results On Target, which is Outstanding.
Of course the holy grail of TQM wankwordiness is ISO 9001 certification, which appears to be a way that dubious offshore developers can try to persuade me that their caged monkeys on homemade PCs running pirated copies of Windows XP home are going to provide 'plenty goodness and much cheapness'.
In the last 15 years I've been running a business, the only company that ever managed to pay one of our invoices to the *wrong* company (a sister company on another continent) was ISO 9001 certified. But to be fair, I am sure they documented the screw up very well.
twas me that suggested an incendiary, so don't want to appear biased.
But I hope the effect of cold on the magnets is being considered. For example, first result I dug out of Google
In these tests, a magnet that pulls 225 at 0 degrees pulls 275 when at just -21. You're going colder than that by quite a long way. So you better be testing the pull strength of your magnets at the right temperature, or you might find your rocket goes nowhere.
Wrap the wires in Thermate-TH3 or another incendiary, kind of like using thermite but a much lower ignition temperature. Rig up a fuse that can be triggered electrically shortly before your rocket release. You don't want to rely on the rocket plume to trigger the break in the wires, because it might not hang around long enough to provide heat to do the job - and you'll end up with wires still connected. Triggering electronically gives you far more control on timing, and a good incendiary means you can have decent sized insulated wires that aren't going to break easily, but still cut through them in short order when you need to.
Re: Your numbers are off
Yeah, power usage here is some of the heaviest in the world - I recall seeing CO2 emissions are even more than the USA.
But it's not dirt cheap. Water and electricity is still fairly expensive. I live in a 2-bed flat, and the water and electricity is around 90 quid per month, excluding the air con (which is paid by the landlord as part of the service charge). Cooling a villa is *very* expensive (apartments are more efficient, less surface area to the outside for heat transfer).
BTW, the majority of people here are not locals, they are expats, and while the locals do tend to have a lot of things subsidized, most expats are trying hard to save what they can.
Re: space mirrors etc
AC >>>> The primary reason solar power isn't viable is it only works when the sun shines (I'm not going to rehash the argument over energy storage here, suffice to say, no you can't store it in batteries for nighttime use). In space (with the right orbit) the sun shines all the time.<<<
Ok, so let's say you get 10 times as much average power from your panel in space than you would with it in the desert here. Which is going to be cheaper - putting one panel in space, or 10 similar panels in the desert here?
I'll give you a clue. $10,000 dollars per kilo to low earth orbit. I can fill my 4x4 up here with a full tank for about 20 quid and carry several hundred kilos in the back out to the desert.
space mirrors etc
I find it slightly perplexing that Reg readers seem to be on a general downer about the prospects of solar power and other renewables (for cost reasons), yet are generally enthused about putting mirrors and solar plants in space (the ISS cost $100 billion).
I live in Dubai, just down the road from this plant. There is loads of empty desert and it's sunny 360 days per year. Maybe you can get 3 times the power from the same sized panel in space (stronger sunlight, less dust), but it'll cost you 1000 or 10,000 times as much to get the whole thing up there, and to run it. When it breaks you need to send a $50 million dollar servicing mission, when the thing breaks in the desert, you send some fat, sweaty bloke with a spanner.
If you cannot make solar power viable here, it's not going to work anywhere, and certainly not in space.
Re: US spelling...
We can just pretend your rover is ours.
Kinda like you do with our language.
Re: nice but is it efficient
Er....I suggested landing on land by parachute, not the sea.
And I specifically mentioned a small rocket just to cushion last few feet. There is no reason for such a landing to require any more of a refurb than a full rocket powered descent. It can be just as soft.
But you're right about the rocket hunt though. That's the killer. If only boffins could devise some way to locate things anywhere on the earth accurately within seconds, perhaps using satellites and atomic clocks?
Re: nice but is it efficient
If parachutes are 'big and heavy', why is nobody jumping out of aeroplanes with rocket packs?
Maybe it would be more costly. But consider a pilot ejecting from a $100m dollar fighter jet. His seat is already rocket powered, and yet he still comes down by parachute.
nice but is it efficient
It's a nice idea to be able to land your capsule. But I'm not sure it's a particularly efficient (i.e. low weight) solution. Maybe splashing in the ocean is not ideal, but the russians land theirs on land with parachutes. Maybe a small rocket just to cushion the last few feet and avoid a thump. Sure, you cannot get pinpoint accuracy, but recovering an undamaged capsule by helicopter or truck is a lot cheaper than carrying the extra fuel and rocket motors into space with you to enable you to land yourself.
It'd be pretty scary too coming in to land by rocket compared to parachutes. Presumably they have to kick in pretty late or you're going to waste a lot of fuel hovering down. Very little time to bail out if there is a misfire. Maybe the plan is for the astronauts to bail out and let the thing land itself... that would seem a lot safer.
But if they can get a reusable first stage (and even better, second stage too), that would really be key to making it cheaper, even if these parts cannot land themselves.
a couple more
I saw Butterfly Effect in the cinema not really having any idea about it as hadn't seen any trailers, and it's actually rather good. One of the best time-travel/alternate reality movies I have seen.
And Primer is definitely worth checking out - cost 7000 bucks or so to make, and you'll need to watch it several times to figure out what is going on. And even then, it's hard to get your head around. But it's quite brilliant.
Re: can't deal with the idea of a motor vehicle not using gasoline
"We also can't deal with the lunacy of burning gas (a relatively clean high density easily transported fuel) to inefficiently generate electricity, and sending it across the grid to slowly charge very expensive low capacity batteries instead of burning it in the car."
Power stations converting gas or other fossil fuels to electricity do so far more efficiently than IC engines in cars, even the most efficient ones. Gas turbine systems with HRSG can approach nearly 60% efficiency, 2-3 times the efficiency a car could manage burning a similar fuel.
There are of course losses in terms of transmission of electricity, waste heat charging a battery, etc. but electric motors are typically very high efficiency, over 90%. So overall, the total efficiency in terms of fuel to useful energy will be higher.
It's also more feasible to capture particulates and other pollutants from a power station, even CO2 capture, than it is from a car itself.
Re: I was GIVEN a Chromebook last year...
I am pretty sure when Windows Phone 8 was announced, you didn't deflect criticism of the present incarnation on the basis that 'this is a new generation - so it might be less useless.'
Re: Hold on a minute
Isn't it something like 50% of the population that are morbidly obese? That would go some way to explaining it surely?
Suggesting that an average of the top women porn stars is better than all of them seems a slightly flawed premise.
It's like saying if you mix the nation's 10 most popular foods together, the result will be better than any of them.
Re: Previous NK tests yeilded zero radioactivity
Actually faking a nuclear test isn't as ridiculous as it sounds.
Britain faked H-bomb tests in the 50s:
If you can fake an H-bomb with an A-bomb then it is not inconceivable to fake an A-bomb underground test, where the only confirmation comes from seismic monitoring.
pros and cons
Sad to see Presto go, I wonder if Opera would release that as open source so any group motivated could carry on with that and keep the ecosystem healthy.
Both Chrome and Safari have the same lack of customizability. You can't seem to move buttons around or change the behaviour in the same way you can with FF or Opera, despite the rendering engine being excellent. Opera have a real opportunity if they can combine the widespread compatibility and reliability of webkit with a decent interface that actually lets you set it up the way you like.
not for profit
The whole not-for-profit wheeze has been used extensively by shysters over the years.
One can of course personally receive a not insignificant salary, cash bonuses as well as wield the not-for-profit's influence in areas in which you just happen to have a personal financial interest (or someone close to you does), and still have the masses fooled that you're running some kind of philanthropic, idealistic enterprise.
not worth the effort
I was single around the age of 30 (10 years or so back) and tried internet dating. Waste of time.
I gave up after 3 months and just decided to be single, go out drinking with my mates when they were available and somebody would turn up. And if they didn't, at least I'd have had a skinful and a kebab. You might even pull on the bus or train home.
After a year I met a very nice girl from South America in a bar, and I'm now married to her and we have two kids.
I think the best thing you can do to meet people is to join some clubs and go out drinking. Just put yourself in situations where you actually meet members of the opposite sex and eventually you'll find someone. Internet dating was a miserable, disappointing experience for me. I'd far rather go to the pub or a club and see real people who I might get talking to than sit alone at home clicking through the internet hoping desperately that my messages don't get ignored.
Re: You lost me at...
Sounds alright by me.
A lot better than dating a 20 year old who's brought her 50 year old mother along.
Couple of years back I went to China with the mrs. We were flying to Beijing for few days, then on to Taiwan for a few more, before returning to Beijing and then home. When I went to get our Chinese visas, they insisted I needed multiple entry ones, because the trip to Taiwan meant I was leaving China, and so needed to re-enter.
'Ah, but Taiwan is part of China, there is only one China' I said (quoting official Chinese policy). They were having none of it.
So I coughed up the extra for multi-entry visas, happy in the knowledge that I had official Chinese confirmation that Taiwan is indeed independent and not part of China.
Re: Is this a Verizon press release?
>> Someone that smart wouldn't have let his subcontractor connect directly.
My thoughts exactly when I read it. It would be trivial to setup a VPN through his own machine and get the Chinese guy to connect with that before connecting to the corporate VPN so his home IP shows up as the one connecting.
i don't get it
Why all the hate?
I have an android phone and I'm happy with it. But Android has some 60-70% of the market and it's growing. Pretty soon it could be 80-90% of the smartphone market. If people think Google isn't going to abuse a monopoly like Microsoft did, or that it will continue to innovate hard when it's got no real competition, or that because Android is based on an open-source kernel, this somehow safeguards any kind of lock-in, then I think they're deluded. The ecosystem and cloud services that go with it are the lock-in, not the source code to the kernel.
The best thing that can happen for iOS or Android *users* is that Windows Phone and Blackberry 10 both do well, and create a market with 4 viable platforms. It won't be as good for Apple or Google, because they'll have to work harder. and have a smaller market share (though within a vastly bigger market). But it will give consumers more choice and it will force all 4 platforms to continually improve and innovate.
As an android user, I'm hoping Microsoft and RIM get their acts together, regardless of what 'crimes' they might have committed in the past.
Apparently a friend of my father who runs a hotel in Alton, Hampshire, frequently has guests turn up, check in and then ask the way to Alton Towers (which is in Alton, near Stoke-on-Trent, a good 2-3 hour drive away).
And this happened long before sat navs too.
PDFs are nice if you have documents that you're likely to want to print or send around by email. Unfortunately they get used inappropriately far too much. You shouldn't really need a browser plugin, because stuff posted on the web should be in HTML, not PDFs.
For example, huge user manuals in PDF format you need to download, when it could be put online with RoboHelp or tomeCMS or similar. I might only want the info in some subsection, I really don't want to download a huge 40MB file just to be able to get to that.
not done right
Saying that smart watches don't convey sophistication is only because they have not been done right yet. I am sure Apple or perhaps a decent digital watch brand like Suunto could make it look classy.
The problem with smart watches at present is that they're just miniaturizing smart phones. For a watch, you need an interface specifically designed to work on a very small form factor. You need battery life of weeks or months, or kinetic/solar charging, because you want to be able to wear a constantly without thinking about charging. It needs to be waterproof. And you need it miniaturized to the point where it can be worn on a daily basis without sticking out like a sore thumb. Nobody is going to want to have both a phone AND a watch they need to charge nightly. So if it really does need daily charging, it has to replace a smartphone, not just augment it.
I think we're probably still a few years away from having the technology to do it well, which is probably why Apple is avoiding it at present. Like most tech, they'll sit on the sidelines, watch others experiment, and then come in with something just at the right time when the technology is up to scratch and the market is there for the taking.