1932 posts • joined Thursday 12th June 2008 16:24 GMT
T'ain't the tech sector that needs to up its recycling game - its the civic infrastructure.
I have a number of lead acid batteries, NiCad batteries and a few lithium batteries that could use a good recycling plant. I cannot put these out for the standard recycling pickup because they are not plastic and not paper. I can take the lead acid batteries to a local battery dealer in theory, but the reality is that they won't welcome them or me if I do any more than a delicatessen will welcome even washed, boxed beer cans it sold me a week before that it has to take by law.
There is a recycling plant. It is about seven miles from my house and is open during business hours weekdays. I commute to work and rarely am in my home during business hours on a weekday. When I am it is typically for a doctor's appointment or illness, neither of which leave me in the position of being able to drive to the town dump.
Recycle a dead iPad? How? I can't even properly recycle a couple of Duracell AAs.
Agree. I have a manager who "multitasks" by doing e-mail during meetings. The end result is that meetings last three to four times longer than they should due to having to go over agenda items again and again, and that the emails are so poorly absorbed (because he insists on trying to read everything on a Blackberry, has the attention span of a gnat on speed and keeps breaking off reading to find out what the f*ck the people at the meeting are talking about) he has to call meetings so the content can be explained.
I got so sick of this I offered to put in some mail filters for him (declined) then pointed out that the first thing most "effective management" books suggested was to stop reacting to email in real time. This got me disinvited to a bunch of meetings so - result, sorta.
How do you reconcile "outside of the slow-moving parking arena" with citing a City of New York report?
Anyone who has been mad enough to drive into NYC can attest to the fact that the place is one giant parking lot. Should anyone discover a quick route from somewhere to somewhere else, hidden spy cameras spot the increase in traffic flow and teams are dispatched to dig up some of the one way streets and double park ten ton trucks in the rest.
I heard about this drone idea on Monday from a colleague, and responded "doesn't make any kind of sense."
We engaged in a lively and frank exchange of views during which I forcefully made the point that even though I hadn't any firsthand knowledge of the story I did have firsthand knowledge of VTOL aircraft of the small kind and the fact that having to pay for keeping its own weight in the air before you factor in payload meant that it would be a non-starter vs goodole wheels.
I went on to mention that if Amazon were truly looking to spend money they could do worse than partner even more closely with the Post Office (a recent agreement has the USPO delivering for Amazon on Sundays) because all the costly route discovery and traversal infrastructure had been taken care of by the taxpayers.
Amazon Delivery Quadcopters. I sometimes wonder if my fellow IT practitioners actually have any sort of intersection with the real world at all.
And next week on Top Gear...
That Droid Retirer doesn't look kosher to me. I've a poor "garage kit" copy of my own and bad as it is it looks closer to what I see in Deckard's hand than that lump of undifferentiated black resin.
For those needing a good start for their own Solo blaster, there's a more-than OK softair broomhandle Mauser that would make an excellent chassis for it that can be had for less than 10 dollars from Amazon.
In related news: Mainframes still plugged in despite press reports circa 1990 and Cobol alive and well and running vast amounts of financial operations despite grumpy 1986-era CS graduate wishes.
Next up: wither three tier client server (the technology of tomorrow)?
Re: Re. Caesium
"portable pulsed X-ray generator"
Just out of interest, how small could one of those be packaged down to using actual technology usable outside of a Star Trek episode? I'm thinking the term "hand grenade" is somewhat optimistic.
I seem to remember during GWB's reign there were hysterical fears of a suitcase nuke making it into some crowded metropolis. Then we changed administrations and took a reality break.
Then there was that whole "cook up Mother of Satan in an aeroplane bathroom using household chemicals" nonsense that had various people in a tizzy for months and filled up I dunno how many hours of congressional hearings.
Color me not very scared, but maybe I lack the imagination to properly assess this NHG threat you warn of.
I do not believe this is IBM technology on the cutting edge because nowhere is it mentioned that to work it must be cooled by liquid helium to work at all - a signature feature of all IBM bleeding edge technology since I dunno when.
I dunno what you guys are doing to your tapes. My olduns work about as well (i.e. not that well) as they ever did. Even in its heyday, my Roland Microcomposer would only accept a tape it had produced that day two times out of three, even using a top of the line Tascam deck and studio quality cables.
I reckon all these tales of tapes self destructing were started by the Blank Tape Consortium in league with the fledgling CD Cartels. Yes they do, but not anywhere near as drastically as claimed in my experience. I wouldn't bet the Bank's archived data on them, but expect an old program to load? You betcha.
I was laughing out loud at this once the terror weapon had been activated and I pictured the mad jihadi trying to get people to stand still in front of the smoking Small Change Gun Of Eventual Small Scale Mahem while at the same time avoiding being shot by someone with a real gun.
Let's hope Mr Terrorist actually tries to use this beyond dumb idea instead of just getting the airport support staff to plant actual weapons on the planes.
I've no doubt taxpayer money will be wasted on this nonsense as politicians convene think tanks and enquiry panels to carry them up to the Christmas break.
"So... er... it's like... not a major crime ring bust, is it?"
Oh I dunno, a hundred thousand quid ain't exactly your Del Boy League, and it would keep me in reasonable comfort for about five years if I just stuffed the notes under the floor and pulled out fistfuls when the bills came due, and it would buy a very decent education and leave no long-term debt hanging around one's neck.
The trick is to not lose sight of the zeroes when big amounts are being discussed in words.
Re: tl;dr - ST:TNG's crappy analogue source makes digital compression harder
Not to rain on your PAL is Better parade but the dithering artifact seems to match up with the DVD compression scheme, correcting every time a full reference frame is decoded and gradually wandering as repeated digital best guesses in the absence of actual information are not fit for purpose.
The actual DVDs played on the same set produce no artifacts at all, which suggests that the additional levels of squeeze needed to fit the digitized signal into whatever crap the cable company wired-up with is to blame.
The irony is that this is experienced on BBC America (who only seem to be able to program ST:TNG from years ago, the same 12 episodes of Top Gear and several days of Gordon Ramsay, the worlds biggest waste of TV bandwidth).
You have a calibration error in that drawing. When I left the UK in mid '84 they were still using non-metric measurements for everything except petrol and packaged food.
Those mines and undersea bits on the left should be labeled in yards and fathoms. Not only that, there is no double decker bus shown for height comparison.
Also: How far away is Skaro? I imagine that it represents a data point that swings way above the Empire State Building and way below the bottom of Loch Ness on a given day. By episode two all these data points are moot.
"Because astronomers and astrogeologists design rockets when they're not working on astronomy or astrogeology, right?
I bet in your world, network engineers design nuclear reactors too."
Because we need scientists who could put geologists next to what these astral voyeurs can only guess at (and argue about renaming) we should be putting money into research to make that happen instead of another bunch of telescope-toting guesstimaters.
I do not acknowledge that people who wire computers together are "engineers", so I'm going with "no" to your assertion. I reserve the title "engineer" for the people who design the stuff the network not-engineers plug wires into and the people who design the things that happen inside the wires (and, by a curious coincidence, people who design nuclear reactors).
And yet, a real scientist who did proper science and discovered useful things thought differently as far back as 1983. You can check it out in "Mirror Matter", cited in a recent Analog article as a prime resource for any new SF author wanting to write about "throw stuff out the back to move forward" rockets and do so convincingly to a knowledgeable hard SF audience. Robert Forward wrote that one. He has a PhD in real science and although he also likes to rename things we already have perfectly good names for, he once made the stuff he was renaming as part of his living and learned quite a bit that might surprise you. He also writes about very complicated stuff in a very accessible way, rather like Einstein did.
Physics includes a bunch of stuff you are taking for granted but ain't necessarily so - if we do the science to make it happen.
Your memory is playing you false. The old 405 line TV was not foggy, at least, not where I lived. We got significantly better reception than when we were forced to switch to 625 line service as the signal for it was much weaker, requiring amplifiers and other nonsense to pull in properly.
I'd rather the occasional bad picture from adverse weather than what I have now - piss-poor digital cable TV that pixeleates every time you look at it wrong, has compression artifacts in the picture that make some shows unwatchable (ST:TNG suffers from a sort of active dithering effect on the backdrops that distracts the eye from the foreground) and requires the control box be rebooted every two weeks or so for the channel information to be properly displayed.
You can't judge the quality of the broadcast from restored footage recovered from the sludge the BBC archived.
I blame the scientists and still do because your confounded NERVA is unworkable outside of a daydream today and it does nothing to address all my other points. If the idea were screamingly good private industry would be falling over themselves to use it. In space no one can hear you breaking the noxious emission laws.
Much easier to argue about Pluto not being a planet instead of figuring out a way to get there and have a look.
As for "scientists": 8op 8ob 8op (Thrrp).
a) K-9 was several times more annoying than Tegan, and should have met with a 16 ton weight shortly after wheeling on stage.
2) Wot, no Japanese "moon man" robot? I was pretty impressed with that one, and hoping the designers would add a punch response to the "try and push it over" test.
Well, if our current crop of so-called "scientists" could get their collective finger out and do some proper science instead of lounging around eating crisps and thinking up new names for things their granddads discovered we might actually be able to tootle over there and have a look.
And by "tootle" I mean get there and back in a time frame that doesn't make the question moot 'cos no one cares anymore, in a spacecraft that not only looks like a proper space ship with fins and paint and stuff (none of the space-invader cardboard & tinfoil nonsense of Apollo if you please*) but also shrugs off solar flares and has a proper sick bay so the whole mission isn't crimped by toothache or appendicitis.
* Unless it all comes together to evoke a Chris Foss Flying Junkheap, in which case you get a let on coolness grounds. But it still has to have solar flare proofing and a proper sickbay.
I read the article twice and still don't understand what it is about.
To paraphrase Don Washington: "Alas, your speech is too cunning for me."
I have given this more thought in the last few hours than in all the time the original series was on and I was watching it. I think the difficulty is in separating the Doctor character (and the actor portraying him) from the stories he appeared in.
For example, I always cite Davidson's doctor as the one that killed interest in the show for me, but when I thought about it, it wasn't so much the actor as what he had to work with. Insipid plots, stupid costume, tedious banging on about cricket when there was a lull in the action and surely the least memorable companions.
I never got to see Colin Baker other than once, and I saw that they had just taken the Davidson version and turned the "Stupid" knob up to 11.
I liked McCoy as an actor, but never really wanted to watch his doctor doing what they had him doing with the dreadful selection of people he was dragging in his wake.
I usually cite Hartnell as my favourite, but that is because I remember "An Unearthly Child" and the fact that they had to repeat it the next week before the second episode because so many people wrote in and complained they had missed it, and because William Hartnell looked like my grandfather . The episodes with Hartnell haven't aged well, unfortunately, and his acting was not stellar much of the time, probably due to his illness. I wonder what he could have done with the part if he'd been ten years younger.
Ecclestone stands out for me as light years ahead of the pack. The lone Dalek episode is probably the best Dr Who story I've ever seen (at least until the soppy ending). I'll never forget Ecclestone's terrified "Not possible!"
But I think, against my own expectations, having just watched a Dr Who special on BBC America and done a bit of thinking, Tom Baker takes the cup for me. The plots weren't great much of the time. Some of the companions were asking for a shovel in the snoot. But the actor brought the character alive in a way I don't think anyone else has managed.
If you'd asked me a few days ago this would not have been my choice.
But El Reg and the BBC America Who Hysteria of late have me thinking about it again.
Re: Rose inaccuracies
You missed "annoying accent".
And "Had Irritating Mother (with annoying accent)". Never was a cyberization so well targeted or so well-received.
I'm hoping the new doctor continues the trend of keeping well clear of Eastendersland.
"the man who quietly appropriated Unisys IP to build it, thereby precipitating all sorts of trouble a few years later when the truth became known"
I fix it for you Meestair Fawlty.
Who cares how some old geezer who was important when radios had valves thinks it should be said anyway? He probably likes his "s"s to look like upside down fishhooks as well. Doesn't mean we should all learn Latin or only use petrol with lead in it.
8op 8ob 8op (Thrrrrp )
So...you have invented a device that can detect someone combing their hair less than 5m away?
I have two of those already. I call them "eyes". As it happens, they will also detect the same mysterious force if the target combs their hair in the dark. Because of all the sparks.
Re: Dear China,
You don't hear so many American politicos pining for the Chinese Way of late.
Can't imagine why...
Now I f only they can be talked out of this "Dart" madness we can close the window on XSS attacks for good.
Personally, I always wondered why the Doctor didn't hit Tegan in the face with a shovel. What an annoying whiny woman. The Tegan/Fifth Doctor combo was more than I could stand and this marks the point I stopped paying any attention to the show.
Re:Getting busy with cartoon characters stretches my suspension of disbelief
No thank you.
Difficult not to veer into politically incorrect stereotype land on this one.
F*cking ASBO stellar object, irresponsibly chucking around mid-table transition metals with no regard for the universe at large.
I predict an uptick in Second Life sign-ups once this device can be bought from Target.
Actually, all the Japanese have done is find a way to avoid the costs and physical exertion needed to "entertain" a Realdoll.
At least with the manual alternative you get *some* exercise.
Praise the Japanese and pass the Doritos.
So NASA has no "scan media on Earth before it goes into orbit" policy, or are the astronauts just breaking the rules here? The answer would appear to be simple in either case: Instigate the policy tootsweet and make breaking it a Swift Kick in the Hurtybits offense.
Re: Oh, dear...
"Are you seriously equating being snobby about western perceptions of childish anime characters in Japan with oppression of women in unspecified countries ending in -stan?"
Who says anyone is being "repressed" in the scene I described, or that I envisaged it happening anywhere in Asia?
I think you are the one with a loose grip.
So not so much a cure for hangovers as a cure for a fake hangover induced by taking a drug invented by the bloke who claims to have invented the cure.
I call shenanigans on whoever wrote that bait-and-switch headline.
Re: Why always so wrong
"but you have to consider them in your integrations as if they were actually there, but weighted by their complex-valued probability (inversely proportional to their mass for a given dt and all cases subject to quantum number conservation) "
But their description is accessible to just about everyone and yours is only understandable if you have a PhD in advanced blither (or alternatively, three years experience writing Wikipedia Mathematics pages).
Ohhh it's all fun and games until the Earth drops into the Sun thanks to all the "free" slingshot maneuvers.
Dalek was absolutely great - up until the very end. I looked hard but didn't see the shark until it was well and truly jumped. The story up until then had been wonderful. Chilling, absolutely suspension-of-disbelief worthy and it made my kid (who had laughed out loud in public when I had described the terrifying Dalek a couple of years before) shin up and over the back of the sofa. The best part was when she moaned in real terror: "Oh no, it can fly!"
The ending sucked balls though.
What happened afterward was predictable and an object lesson in "more is less". CGI ranks of Dalek hordes flying toward the screen in underwhelming waves of "meh". The possible exception to this was the Dalek Looney Bin, though it was a tad far fetched even in Dr Who terms. I liked the fact that the clues were there for a viewer to figure out rather than the answer being the result of some blither recited on the last but one page of the script to Make It All Didn't Happen.
The Cyberman reboot was sheer brilliance. The story was better than average Who and the costume one of the best SF monsters I've ever seen on any sized screen.
Blink was a very well plotted adventure, and for once the time travel theme was not used as a way of excusing blither for plot. I'll not argue the reviewer putting it at the head of the list.
Ecclestone was the best reboot doctor to date. Shouty Doctor and Wet Doctor won't be missed much, but Ecclestone left an absence that was felt strongly.
All in my opinion, of course, which shouldn't need saying but always does.
I notice one feature wasn't mentioned in the article. The iPad air, according to the Apple website, has a face camera that features (and I'm quoting directly from their own blurb) "Backside Illumination".
Difficult not to love people who could come up with that feature. I shall be keeping a weather eye open for young women using the iPad Air as the evenings draw in. Gruntgrunt.
re:Why not boost them into a higher Orbit
For the same reason spinning the ISS for gravity is not done and MIR was not used as a Mars-Earth shuttle: Science.
Now, go research the subject for a couple of hours and be less under-informed. Start by finding out how much fuel is needed to get into "higher orbit".
Once you understand the diminishing return of that, look up "space trash" to understand why crashing satellites back to Earth is better than leaving them in orbit.
Re: Ancient Chinese proverb ...
You stupid sod. I nearly choked on my coffee. Have an upvote and a bill for screen cleaning.
Bitcoins NOT accepted.
To paraphrase the American Guest in the Waldorf Salad episode:
"Never tried it. Never will".
I'm hoarding jars of pickles, cans of fruit & veg and barrels of nails. When it all goes tits up I'll be able to trade for whatever I need at premium exchange rates irrespective of the fiendish Chinese, scheming Russians and red-bottomed Chechnyan ladies infesting the interwebs.
""TIFF graphics format files "
As in: Tagged Image File Format graphics format files?
"But NASA did have viable plans to divert such dangers if they are spotted soon enough."
The ideas floated in the article as examples suggest that NASA define "viable" rather differently than I do. In my version, the word means "workable in the actual universe I live in".
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