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* Posts by Geoff Johnson

187 posts • joined 30 Apr 2007

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Good grief! Have you SEEN BlackBerry's SQUARE smartphone?

Geoff Johnson

I agree

But it looks like it would be bloody good to use. To me, function wins over form in a phone.

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Our Vulture 2 rocket spaceplane crammed with MORE POWER

Geoff Johnson

Sort of seconded

I remember reading that the plane is made from nylon. Why do you need to mount the antenna outside?

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XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources

Geoff Johnson

ps4

Does the PS4 have this functionality? I see a lot of comments about the PS3, but not 4.

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Engineering fault stops SpaceX launch of machine comms satellite network

Geoff Johnson

First stage

Does anyone know whether they're planning to bring the first stage down gently again?

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POND SCUM shine a path to more efficient solar cells

Geoff Johnson

Re: Evolution works

I'd bet a lot of solar cell research is very similar to evolution anyway. If a formula works, try tweaking it a bit for the next batch of cells. If a formula doesn't, work very well, drop that line of research. Give it a few billion years and they'll have it cracked.

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S is for SMACKDOWN: Samsung takes Galaxy Tab slab war fruit-side

Geoff Johnson

Re: 2560 x 1600 resolution

I guess size makes a difference. TV size displays need big machinery to make them. I also suspect that there'll be X defects per square yard of screen produced, so the bigger the screen, the lower the yield.

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China 'in discussions' about high-speed rail lines to London, Germany – and the US

Geoff Johnson

Re: Ring of Fire?

Google for tectonic plates and you'll find lots of maps showing where the boundaries are. It looks like the long line to the USA would cross one boundary, and that will be well inland. It's also no a particularly active boundary from what I can see on some of the pictures.

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BuzzGasm: 9 Incredible Things You Never Knew About PLIERS!

Geoff Johnson

Re: Pliers cause pain

That reminds me of the EHT dance. Everyone knows the moves and the words but doesn't realize it. Then one day tinkering with a car, you get a shock from an EHT lead and the information comes magically to hand.

The dance involves jumping up and down while slowly spinning around and violently shaking the shocked hand while trying to put it under the opposite armpit without stopping shaking it.

The words (shouted in time with the jumps) are Bastard, Bastard, Bastard.

Everyone I've ever seen shocked by an EHT lead has reacted exactly the same way.

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Robo-termites will stack boxes IN SPAAACE

Geoff Johnson

Vimeo

Is it just my machine, or does Vimeo not work in Chrome?

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Virgin Galactic's supersonic space ship in 71,000-ft record smash

Geoff Johnson

Research

There must be some research that can be done in 5 minutes of zero g. The alternatives I can think of are 30 second bursts on the vomit comet, or full blown orbital flight. One may be too short, while the other may be too expensive. I expect this would hit the sweet spot for something, I just can't think what.

Just remembered drop towers, but they give really short times at zero g, comparatively cheap though.

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Surface 2 and iPad Air: Prepare to meet YOUR DOOM under a 'Landfill Android' AVALANCHE

Geoff Johnson

Surface 2 runs between £359 and 3439.

Dodgy shift key, or very expensive tablet.

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Report: Secret British spy base in Middle East taps region's internet

Geoff Johnson

Why not use our internet filtering technology?

Just sell them our magic filters, you know the ones that will take out all the porn, and include backdoors into them. No undersea splicing required.

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NASA and Google team up to buy into quantumish computing

Geoff Johnson

Must be more to this than sharing the hardware.

Google or NASA could afford a 15 million computer n their own. Presumably this is a joint research project and the new toy is just a tool that they'll be using.

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Researchers break records with MILLION-CORE calculation

Geoff Johnson

Re: The future of home computing

I did a calculation a couple of years ago and found it took about 12 years for the MIPs value of the worlds top supercomputer to be available on a single graphics card.

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Netflix wins first-show TV rights to Disney flicks

Geoff Johnson

which only covers the US

Says it all really. Over here we're stuck with Sky for legal access to recent films.

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Curiosity finds organics on Mars, but possibly not of Mars

Geoff Johnson
Black Helicopters

Re: So what's the airspeed of an unladen Instagram?

It's a montage of shots from the arm. Kind of myspace style. Careful stitching of shots with the arm in different positions to remove the majority of the arm its self.

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Samsung SSD 840 series storage review

Geoff Johnson

Sorry, got to say it.

It's rectangular with rounded corners.

Again, sorry.

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Voyager's 35th birthday gift: One-way INTERSTELLAR ticket

Geoff Johnson

Re: Isn't about time we built another Voyager?

We are / do / have.

New Horizons is heading for Pluto.

Dawn is off to Ceres having already surveyed Vesta.

Cassini is orbiting Saturn.

Curiosity is trundling around Mars.

And that's just the few that spring to mind.

There is a tendency to go to other planets and stay there rather than doing a tour of the solar system, but you can get a lot more science done it you have a few years in orbit, rather than an hour flying past. New Horizons is the exception to the rule but the physics of getting there make an orbiting probe a bit too tricky.

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GAGA: Spinning blades, welding, wi-fi, what could possibly go wrong?

Geoff Johnson

Thinking out of the box.

So, navigating by on-board sensors is proving tricky, but remote control is going ok.

Why not have the brains of the beast in a stationary location controlling the mower remotely using a stationary camera that can see the whole lawn. If you mod the camera for IR ( See http://www.hoagieshouse.com/IR/ ) and paint the mower black there'll be a really good contrast between the mower and the grass. Of course, the higher the camera the better, as you'll get a more plan view, do you have a roof overlooking the grass?

If you still want the whole thing in one unit, maybe you could use a downward looking wide angle IR camera mounted well above the mower body grass will be bright white to an IR camera so it should see the lawn edges. You'll still need a coarse position from a GPS or something similar though.

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Geoff Johnson

Re: Yes, this is a serious question.

Thanks, I may have a try myself then.

Over here in England we have more problems with floods than fires, and the extra moisture should protect the roots from excess heat.

By the way, I found a patent for this has been filed.

http://www.google.com/patents/US4952222

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Geoff Johnson
Flame

Yes, this is a serious question.

Has anyone tried a hot wire cutter to cut grass?

A foot of nichrome wire or something similar at a few hundred degrees C.

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LOHAN sucks 27 inches

Geoff Johnson

Air admittance valve

Stick in a T piece with a valve to let air back in if the engine fails to fire. As mentioned before, you'll have to let the vacuum out before you can open the chamber.

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DARPA overjoyed that its hypersonic glider came apart, blew up

Geoff Johnson

to get from airport queue to airport queue really fast.

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LOHAN ideas..

Geoff Johnson

if the rod is an I section with teflon sliders that fit around the bottom flat bit. This and many more problems are solved.

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Sub-£400 svelte lappies hurled in Ultrabook preemptive strike

Geoff Johnson

Re: Ultrabook?

Did anyone else notice the "Small Cheap Computer" died out when they dropped the Cheap part?

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Media groups propose anti-piracy 'code of practice' for UK search

Geoff Johnson

"any de-listings would be published "

Excellent, a directory of all the best free download sites.

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Lovefilm dumps Flash, BLINDS Linux fans with Silverlight

Geoff Johnson

Not a Problem

Their streaming selection is rubbish anyway.

Hopefully all these issues will be fixed soon as Netflix is coming to the UK.

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Pay-by-wave: At least it's better than being mugged

Geoff Johnson

Maybe there's another way...

Have two people carrying a box each linked by some wireless data transport mechanism. One person holds their box next to the victims pocket. The other person buys something at he supermarket and waves their box at the payment terminal. The two boxes relay signals from the card to the terminal and back. The terminal and card think they're in proximity and talk quite happily via the wireless link. Money goes from victim to legitimate retailer. Goods go anonymously to the bad guys to be sold on e-bay.

So, buy your RF screened wallet from Geoff's shielded wallet store now.

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German boffins BREAK LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS!

Geoff Johnson

But the Peltier effect can be useful the other way around.

I'd guess that this will act as a heat pump if given power. These kind of things usually work both ways.

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FSF takes Win 8 Secure Boot fight to OEMs

Geoff Johnson

OEMs and BIOS people

Has anyone asked the OEMs and BIOS manufacturers for comment on this issue? Surely UEFI has a configuration system like the old BIOS settings system, and surely there'll be an off setting in there.

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Back to the Future DeLorean to go under the hammer

Geoff Johnson

plenty of time to get saving

No problem there. Just bid an absolute stack of cash from your savings account, then use the car to go back and deposit a small amount in the account. Maybe a few lottery tickets too.

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LOHAN to suck mighty thruster as it goes off, in a shed

Geoff Johnson
Mushroom

You've probably already considered this, but...

Put the vacuum pump tube near the top, then you don't need to go through the outer tube.

Get the temperature low before pumping out the air - the thermal conductivity of a vacuum is pretty low.

And as mentioned above, make sure your lid doesn't get frozen on. I've seen rigs like this blow their top due to frozen relief valves and it gets pretty violent.

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Secret list of celebrity .xxx domains removed from market

Geoff Johnson
Coat

...half a dozen spellings of Mohammed...

So it's a Not-For-Prophet organization.

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Sony evolves card-less Augmented Reality tech

Geoff Johnson

Next Generation.

So will the Second Edition be SmartARSE?

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Jaguar hybrid supercar gets green light

Geoff Johnson
Thumb Down

Wimps.

Should have gone with the jet engines. If they're sticking a standard petrol engine in it, I won't be buying one.

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Elite coder readies £15 programming gadget for schools

Geoff Johnson
Thumb Up

I want one.

That's pretty much all I have to say really.

Oh, and a few General purpose IO pins would be nice.

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MythBusters: Savage and Hyneman detonate truthiness

Geoff Johnson

Another PC myth

On the IT front, they (well actually the other team on the show I believe) also tested whether a laptop in a bag can stop a bullet.

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Italian white van man nudges sound barrier

Geoff Johnson

Just short of breaking the sound barrier.

He beat thrust SSC by just over 2kph. Therefore he must have broken the sound barrier.

If only he could have gone the other way too, he would have the land speed record and two speeding tickets.

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Google pulls trigger on 'Instant' search engine

Geoff Johnson

Nautical instruments

What happens if you're looking for a sextant?

And I dread to think what happens if you want to do any analysis.

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Tosh has tiniest flash bits

Geoff Johnson

Why not 2.5 bits per cell?

I'm sure it's doable, just a bit more logic around the edges.

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Lexar Echo ZE ultra-compact backup drive

Geoff Johnson

Readyboost

These mini USB flash things look like good devices to use for Windows Readyboost in a laptop. Just depends whether the speed is any good.

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Chinese go beyond binary with ternary molecule

Geoff Johnson

What do we call it?

If a Binary digIT is a BIT, what's a Ternary digIT going to be called?

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Google accused over China censorship

Geoff Johnson

Monitoring site

Is it just some cache thing on my machine or is the monitoring site 2 days out of date?

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CrackBerry mimics Jesus Phone with WebKit browser

Geoff Johnson

E-Mail

Does this mean we'll finally be able to read e-mail with HTML in it?

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Iran launches rat, two turtles, some worms into space

Geoff Johnson

Rats

"the Iranian space programme is entirely peaceful in nature."

Unless you're a rat.

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O2 and Be Broadband speeds dip

Geoff Johnson

Looks about right.

http://www.hoagieshouse.com/weather/myhouse_ping.png

This is the ping time for my house to the server where the image is.

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Spirit rover clocks up six years on Mars

Geoff Johnson

Instruments

The Rover chassis has proved to be an excellent design but maybe some new tools would be nice.

Something (laser maybe) to vaporize rock, and a Mass Spectrometer would be nice. The mass spec could also sample the atmosphere to see where the methane is coming from. Above all, now we know the platform can last as long as the solar panels stay free of dust, let's add a feather duster.

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Googlephone Nexus One leaks more news

Geoff Johnson

blackberry batteries

My blackberry has a removable battery so you can reset the phone when it locks up.

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Mars rover faces icy death

Geoff Johnson

Make some wheels sink.

Surely if they can't move it, they can at least make some wheels sink deeper by spinning them. Maybe that would allow them to tilt the rover towards the sun and keep it alive.

Then you have a stationary lander rather than a rover but it's still good for some of it's science work.

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First ever supersonic stealth jumpjet starts hover tests at last

Geoff Johnson

RE: balance... #

The Harrier had a few little thruster vents in strategic places (I think they called them puffers), these were used as a fine balence control mechanism. I believe this new toy has a similar system.

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