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* Posts by John Robson

823 posts • joined 19 May 2008

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Site-saving workers evacuated from Japanese reactor disaster

John Robson
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Boffin

Or...

We should look at that <50 fatalities over 40 years and then look at each reactor. We might want to look at their backup systems better, and look at what the design considerations were.

Some may then be retired early.

We should however look at the more modern breed of reactors, and see what we can do about developing non weapons tech power generation from nuclear sources.

I'm remaining massively impressed with the over engineering of these reactors - in the same way that I was impressed that the twin towers stood for over an hour after being hit by a completely unenvisioned* attack. It's not that it's a good thing, but it's not nearly as bad as the petrochemical** fires burning all over the affect areas, nor the general collapse of buildings, destruction from the tsunami...

I am getting somewhat concerned that the world is ignoring the massive crisis occurring outside the gates of these plants.

* They were designed to cope with an unladen, slow 737 (largest plane at the time) searching for the airport - not fully fuel laden, full speed 757s.

** Including the various gas fires from broken gas mains.

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Data-mining technique outs authors of anonymous email

John Robson
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Boffin

Thank you

For finally asking the question that had been floating round my head since the article...

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Fukushima is a triumph for nuke power: Build more reactors now!

John Robson
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WTF?

Chocolate poinsoning

I should be dead then.

I've eaten 4kg in 90 minutes on more than one occasion without any ill effects ($SUPERMARKET had a BOGOF on 2kg bars, I left my self control behind)

I can't imagine than an extra 4kg would be fatal

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Giant 5-year-mission aerial wing-ship to fly in 2011

John Robson
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Boffin

Why "plane shaped"

The concept of a (possibly lift generating body) airship has got to reduce the required power for flight.

Or a lifting delta...

I can't imagine than "long thin straight rigid wing" is absolutely ideal - it just doesn't look it...

Might be limitations to do with required speed to overcome any wind...

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Cute download Firefox, 'treat a cub' vid downed by IE glitch

John Robson
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Badgers

More likely

That the Panda farm is running it?

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Anti-religious campaigners smack down census Jedis

John Robson
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Thumb Up

My complaint exactly.

Although I come at from a different angle (evangelical Christian) I agree that there is a world of difference between:

- No religion

- Atheist

An Athiest has a FAITH - albeit a faith that there is nothing.

Not spoken to many antitheists, but wikipedia (all hail) suggests that this is also a faith position.

The honest answer for most people who don't KNOW that their answer is different is "agnostic" or "don't know"

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Spaniards bemoan 'joke' speed limit cut

John Robson
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Alonso?

"This argument is unlikely to cut much ice with F1 driver Fernando Alonso, who was quick to criticise the new limit and warned it was so low that drivers could nod off from boredom, with fatal consequences."

Err - what?

Maybe they shouldn't be on the road if they are within a couple of kph of "dropping off from boredom"

Heaven help them if they ever get to a town, city, corner, traffic jam - anything that requires them to drop their speed by more than a few furlongs per fortnight...

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iPhone 'Death Grip' effect is real, plastic cases don't help

John Robson
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Boffin

Gap important

Because I presume the distance is important - even an extra couple of mm can have a huge effect, most other phones bury their antenna a bit more deeply than the iPhone.

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Traffic-light plague sweeps UK: Safety culture strangles Blighty

John Robson
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WTF?

Facts...

"This might justifiably annoy motorists, as it is they who pay for the streets and roads. So far from helping pay for the infrastructure they use (and destroy, and block up), buses are heavily subsidised: cyclists and pedestrians use the facilities for free. But the roads budget (no more than £15bn annually) is dwarfed by the revenues received by the government from road tax and fuel duty (£46bn as of last year)."

Please correct this drivel:

Road tax does not exist (abolished in the 1930s), VED is based on emissions, so many motor cars pay nothing.

Fuel duty is no more saved to pay for the roads than duty on alcohol is used to build breweries.

The cost to the NHS/Police/Fire service of traffic "incidents" vastly outweighs any contribution from fuel duty etc. Motorists in this country are very nicely subsidised...

Also most cyclists pay more attention to red lights than most motorists. I'm generally horrified at the number of motorists who treat amber or "just red" as green.

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Man pockets $8m running computer fraud ring

John Robson
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WTF?

his take

Was $8m

Let's assume he took 1/2

"more than 250 victims" - let's run with 1600...

That's 1600 people "not noticing a charge of $10k ??!!

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Facebook offers 500 million users SSL crypto

John Robson
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Easy

They know how often you message people or graffiti their "wall", "like" their "status" or any number of other interactions...

And how many photos you are both tagged in...

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Google's cloud printing goes physical

John Robson
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Postscript

My post script printer got it's test page directly from my Android.

There is no need for it to leave my house...

Add a "view as PDF" option to docs mobile and we're sorted.

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Casio touts 'Bluetooth Low Energy' wristwatch with 2 year battery

John Robson
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Thumb Up

Lock my PC when I walk away, unlock it when I return...

That's what it's useful for, although I already have several lanyards, so would rather something that clipped onto one of those...

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London's tube demands faster-than-NFC ticketing

John Robson
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Go

500ms is a long time

I like the fact that I don't need to break stride while walking through the gates on the tube - I barely notice them, ticket in, by the time my hand has got to the top of the machine the ticket is out to be grabbed on the way past.

In Sydney their systems take sufficiently long that I had to stop, and that's a pain - the person behind me had to stop, wait for me to go, then step forward and stop...

350ms seems like a better target to me!

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Windows 7 really was some girl's idea, rules ASA

John Robson
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Polotically correct isn't a noun...

so Public Convenience is the only remain option...

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Asus sidesteps tablets, debuts e-reader-cum-jotter

John Robson
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Grenade

Does it have...

A web browser / mail client?

If so then I do want one - although I'd have been happy with e-ink and a greater runtime.

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PARIS joins the 17-mile-high club

John Robson
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Awesome...

I hope Lindsey has a camera in the plane as well though ;)

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iPhone 4: the best built smartphone...

John Robson
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Jobs Halo

Rubber band

Doesn't the iPhone 4 need a rubber band around it to work anyway?

Won't that provide grip? - See it's a feature, not a bug

</sarcasm>

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John Lewis pitches 80-quid colour e-book reader

John Robson
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WTF?

2 or 3 ???

I get through 1 or 2 books a day on holiday...

over 2 weeks that's easily 20 books (i.e. most of anyone's luggage allowance...)

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Oz journo pokes PARIS

John Robson
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Lightweight Ornithopter, High Altitude Nuisance

LOHAN

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Microsoft's IE 8 'most widely used browser', rules ASA

John Robson
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Alert

Isn't that what the monotonies commision are for

It's widely installed because it's foisted on the unsuspecting masses (and government employees)

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PARIS HAS LANDED!!! Epic supra-atmos flight ends

John Robson
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Black Helicopters

Chase car

" G6UIM-9 - info

2010-10-28 11:49:37z

91 km/h 113° alt 851 m

EA/ PARIS Chase Car (APRSIS32)"

91 km/h - on that road?

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Vulture One PARIS spaceplane telemetry LIVE ONLINE

John Robson
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Pint

Erm

Has the chase car crashed, been pulled over by the local police, or just stopped for a pint?

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John Robson
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Thumb Down

Looks like it's falling

quite fast

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DARPA fashions miracle robotic attachment from balloon, coffee

John Robson
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Thumb Up

Should be fairly gentle

Although I imagine that it would have difficulty lifting a bowling ball

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Facebook pages very much public, even when set as private

John Robson
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Megaphone

No

It's not correct now. A search does not have to be automated to be a search.

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Linux bug bestows attackers with 'superuser' powers

John Robson
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Flame

Queue

Linux isn't secure after all flames...

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iPad tethering does disappearing trick

John Robson
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Any chance

they'll release Android updates for earlier devices - thought not...

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Google rolls out phishing URL alerts for admins

John Robson
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Grenade

Allow scripts

I've written a good number of scripts which don't require XML - they just need a common format.

How does a space separated list sound (Linked%20URL From%20URL)

Grenade because "XML is like violence. If it doesn’t solve your problem, you’re not using enough of it."

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Futuristic Judge Dredd smartguns issued to 101st Airborne

John Robson
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Boffin

Really?

"Snipers armed with existing heavy rifles could potentially pick off targets four or five miles away with a single shot - and these targets could be moving unpredictably as well, as it would be easy to hold a laser dot on them"

It's non trivial to generate a genuine dot at 5 miles (rather than a big fat blob)

Additionally atmospheric disturbances also affect light (twinkling lights across the bay anyone?)

I'm sceptical that it's easy - although clearly it's possible

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OOo's put the willies up Microsoft

John Robson
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Coat

Multimate

Or does that really date me?

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John Robson
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Familiarity

So that's why you've done away with menus and introduced a rhythmic gymnasts ribbon...

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Appro overclocks HF1 server for hedge funds

John Robson
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SSD

Surely they'd want either PCIe SSD or at least SATA SSDrather than a feeble 7200rpm spinny disk....

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Official exposes govt IT overlaps

John Robson
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Because

public libraries are such difficult places to get to, and even then they have no internet access - nor librarians who would help the technologically dyslexic.

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Trucker pulled with DVD and laptop on dashboard

John Robson
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Pint

Professional

Merely means that it's how you earn your living. It implies nothing about skill level.

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John Robson
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Stop

Rectification

Would involve removal of license.

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Microsoft sends in the tanks against Motorola, Android

John Robson
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Happy

Upvoted

Purely for the discworld reference

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Terry Pratchett computer sniper-scope deal inked

John Robson
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More than a million to one

Therefore more than a nine in ten chance

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BOFH: Robot wars

John Robson
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Big Brother

Google Ads strike again:

Light-Duty Robot Arm

Humanoid arms for lightweight jobs. Easy to set up. Starting under $3K.

Used Industrial Robots

Fully warranted, used ABB robots from the original manufacturer

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Internet tethering spotted in iPad iOS beta

John Robson
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Go

Tethering

should be a default option on all such devices (iOS, Android, RIM etc..)

Or we should be allowed* multiple SIMs on the same contract so that we don't need multiple line rentals for each device.

--

* I mean that providers should be compelled to offer additional SIMs for a given contract at a sane rate (50p/month/SIM?).

Optional extras could then include SIM based call limits (so you can stop kids calling Australia, but still have them on a cheap phone contract)

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Everything Everywhere axes 1,200

John Robson
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Badgers

T-Mobile + Orange

T-MOrange

Team Orange?

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Buy your own Batmobile

John Robson
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Flame

Flamethrowers

are road legal?

I'm getting me one!

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Google shocks world with unthreaded Gmail

John Robson
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Does that mean

that they are going to allow manual threading at some point?

i.e. the ability to add a message to a thread, and to split a thread?

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Nutter repairmen scale 1,768ft TV mast

John Robson
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Thumb Up

I didn't have vertigo....

Blimey!

But there is a quick way down if a storm blows through - base jumping!!!

And if I were there I'd check on the storm conditions BEFORE climbing that thing!

Still - respect for those guys.

Now to develop stratellites so these guys can do their job in somewhat more comfort...

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Google data center links shot down by 'bored' riflemen

John Robson
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FAIL

Orange animals

Tigers (stripy, but orange)

Orangutan

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General Motors bitchslaps Tesla with Range Anxiety™

John Robson
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Badgers

EV1

"GM feels that "range anxiety" is a major reason why its original EV-1 battery car of the 1990s failed"

It failed because you refused to sell it to your customers - who (at least a large proportion) wanted to buy them at the end of the lease period.

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Bye-bye to bizarro bye-laws, says UK.gov

John Robson
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WTF?

required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Um - so how on earth do I know what is legal anywhere when councils can just make things up without recourse to central Gubbinment.

At least they had to be bothered before, and the Gubbinment officials had to think it was a good idea.

That meant that I could go about my life without worrying too much, however much we berate them MPs have shown some intelligence and sticking power to get where they are (and then paradoxically displayed a complete lack of both)

I know local solutions are required for some problems, but not that many...

An answer to the "too many laws" issue is to require that all legislation has to have a sunset clause. Max 25 years (for things like murder) down to 6 months (default if not otherwise specified) for things like carrying horses through Fulham.

Then all we need to do is ignore a law and will fall out of use. Important laws will get re-discussed periodically (important) and the total legislation is limited by the time available in parliament (a good thing).

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Underweight passport pic left traveller stuck in Amsterdam

John Robson
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Joke

Almost as if

ten year old photographs are always a perfect likeness of the current individual.

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Stockholm schoolgirls fined for bugging staff room

John Robson
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required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Schools aren't likely to scan for bugs, so a simple FM transmitter was the bug of choice when I was at school - even got to make them with school facilities when I were a lad...

But teachers were able to do interesting things which increased my understanding of a subject, rather than boring stuff I could regurgitate in an exam.

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Perseid meteors 'thrill star-gazers'

John Robson
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Boffin

Rain stopped, cloud cleared ...

... and we saw a good number last night, didn't stand out too long as I'd assumed cloud cover and didn't have a sun lounger available.

A couple of beautiful sights of pieces of Swift-Tuttle, loads of satellites, a couple of planes and some ghostly seagulls as well...

Didn't see any non Perseids though, even though that's always a fun possibility.

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