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* Posts by John Smith 19

9556 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Copyright troll Prenda refuses to explain legal strategy

John Smith 19
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"Most of the people from Prenda Law had already testified, by submitting sworn statements as evidence. One of the lawyers was deposed for a whole day

The substance of most of those statements have proven to be deliberate misleading or outright false."

IANL but that sounds like the definition of perjury.

Can anyone confirm?

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Obama seeks $100m to unlock your BRAIN's secrets

John Smith 19
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Meh

*Actual* use for this project will be

The ability to study exactly how that Coke ad you're watching (or the cola you're drinking) is perceived will be very valuable for the next generation of advertising.

No. I'm not joking. Some of that work has already taken place.

The goals may be noble but let's see who really benefits.

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US funds Europa mission

John Smith 19
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It's an exciting mission but very tough

However one of the interesting little factoids from the NIAM's presentations was that using a solar sail could have cut the 35 transit time from Earth to helipause of Voyager to about 10 yrs (with the same science payload mass).

This was a design mfg on Earth and unfurled in space. Later presentation described on orbit construction machines which could (in principal) make a very light weight framework as it would not have had to survive launch loads.

Perhaps they should start backwards with the question "How big a rocket can we get our hands on and what does that give us in terms of payload to Europa?"

Thumbs up for this. Let's just repeat Europa has liquid water on it in large amounts. While Mars seems the most Earthlike (size, gravity) there is a lot of real estate in the solar system.

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John Smith 19
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FAIL

"Why send probes, send people....."

Spoken like someone with no idea of how far away Jupiter is.

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Card skimmers targeting more than ATMs, says EU

John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: Funny Stuff

"3) Liability for fraud lies with the bank, unless it can be proven that the customer was at fault - this includes a stolen card with PIN being used, unless the bank can show that the customer wrote down their PIN."

That statement, and posting AC, got my down vote.

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Why do they even call it a backup appliance? Just call it an EMC

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Things to think about for a backup system.

How many parts have to fail to render your media unreadable?

Can you remove the media from the box and stick it in another box and read it there?

Do you buy backup because it's cheap or because if your primary system f**ks up it's all that's standing between you and either personal or company bankruptcy?

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Rocket boffinry in pictures: Gulp the Devil's venom and light a match

John Smith 19
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Boffin

Things *might* be under review.

http://www.bis.gov.uk/ukspaceagency/news-and-events/2013/Mar/access-to-space-what-will-the-uk-need-in-the-future

Don't get too excited. It's a study, not an investment programme. They are asking questions at this point.

The UK actually has 2 test ranges at MoD Arbopath (Cardogan bay) and South Uist (Outer Hebrides)

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John Smith 19
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Re: Anybody working on superguns?

"These look like very cheap ways of launching things into low orbit - though you wouldn’t want to live next door. You can largely replace the first stage of a rocket* with these and use really cheap and controllable fuel on the ground."

This one comes up on a regular basis. Using EM launch on the Moon is a viable option. People forget you have 2 problems. If the gun supplies all the velocity you're limited to bulk cargo as there is no real experience building engines that can survive 1000g (what you seem to be talking about is more like an EM launcher or mass driver, not a combustion gun which have much higher g forces).

And 1000 mph equates to about 444 m/s. That's M1.3. Orbital velocity is about M23. Where is the other M21.7 coming from?

Perhaps you would like to review your numbers?

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John Smith 19
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Re: Why no mention of Sergei Korolev?

"It's a pity that this otherwise excellent article fails to mention Sergei Korolev, who was as great a rocket scientist as Werner von Braun."

And somewhat ironically put in a lot more jail time as well.

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John Smith 19
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Boffin

Re: Obligatory

This is available as a free PDF.

It's a bit tough to follow if you don't have some chemistry background but very entertaining.

I had not realised there were any compounds that could make an Asbestos fire blanket catch light for example.

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John Smith 19
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Re: I aim for the stars

"Is that perhaps why the UK is the only nation to have voluntarily given up a space program?"

No.

Because in the late 1960's a government commission of the "Great and the good" IE with f**kall knowledge or understanding of space concluded that a)Space was not that big a deal to HMG b)Funding an independent launch vehicle was quite expensive (around £10-20m for the development programme at a time when Concorde was on course for a few £Bn) c)Those very nice Americans would sort out any requirements for future payloads.

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ROBOT COCKROACH SWARM unleashed in Sheffield lab

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Always looks cool but probably more flexible to do this in simulation

Problem is if you decide (late in the day) you want to add some new kind of sensor you've got a lot of hardware to fiddle about with.

One of these ideas that appeals to lecturers but less so to their students, who get stuck with the upgrading.

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Boss of Irish-based R&D hub: Man, this place is the back of beyond

John Smith 19
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Meh

Capitalism without bancruptcy is like religion without hell.

But as others have pointed out you moved your operation there for the low taxes and you weren't bothered by the infrastructure then.

I'd have to admit that a city that does not have good links even with its capital is not doing well.

That would be something like Birmingham not having a direct flight to London.

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Paul Allen gets out wad, plans investments in Silicon Valley firms

John Smith 19
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Happy

So were the i4i dmages against MS upheld?

Biggest patent infringement vedict upheld on appeal ever.

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IT Pro confession: How I helped in the BIGGEST DDoS OF ALL TIME

John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: I wonder if most other servers were as "badly" configured as Trevor's?

"Yes they are. Wide open is the default setting for Bind. Even DJB and MS wwere wide open last time I looked"

I was thinking the the human alerting of exceptional behavior and the auto throttling until the cause was investigated.

That part of his configuration.

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John Smith 19
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I wonder if most other servers were as "badly" configured as Trevor's?

Actual human being alerted to suspicious behavior

Auto throttling of bandwidth cutting in even before a human response.

I think if they had the answer would be "quite a lot better than what actually happened."

Hopefully this will have given various sysadmins a wake up call to review their configurations and tighten up their procedures ( Unless the proverbial PHB puts their foot down and insists it cannot be changed because it would inconvenience the CEO)

This presumes some of them even realized they were involved of course.

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Jobs' first boss Nolan Bushnell: 'Steve was difficult but valuable'

John Smith 19
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Re: +1 +1

"Homer - thanks for bringing to light again that scummy dastardly deed. It says so much about character."

Think of it as a dry run for his work in avoiding a mult $Bn paternity suite by claiming he was firing blanks, no way was the girl his etc.

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John Smith 19
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Re: @Ross K (was: @Homer 1 (was:Misplaced admiration))

"My portion of Silly Con Valley's rise & fall & rise & fall & rise & fall & fall[1] & possible current upward trend[2] is in the works. Working title "40+ Years of Labor for THIS? (Subtitled "Why I bought a horse ranch ...")".

Unfortunately, when it gets published it'll out me here on ElReg ...

No aggrandizing here. Rather, putting history into perspective.

[1] Not a typo.

[2] Manufacturing is returning to TheValley ... Slowly, but it's definitely on the upturn.

House Rules Post your own message "

Now, if only you could process individual chips of Silicon in the way that you could thick film or thin film hybrids.

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John Smith 19
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Happy

Thing is

You can be a soap dodging techie but you catch more flies with honey than vinegar

If you're happy with your cave in the basement that's fine. But if you want occasional interactions with other people (some of them possibly of the female gender) and a shot at a pay rise you will have to embrace personal hygiene.

Jobs lasting legacy?

Persuading large number of people to buy the wolds most overpriced PC hardware.

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John Smith 19
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Re: @Homer 1 (was:Misplaced admiration)

"Steve was a friend of mine. In that era, I always sat upwind ..."

I doubt such people have friends.

They know people who can do things for them.

That's rather different.

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John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: There are plenty of Steve Jobs running around.

"If you hire Woz(es) you also need someone to actually exploit them in order to have a product. "

Indeed. And when it came to ruthless exploitation Jobs was indeed the goto guy.

It's so difficult to find those charismatic borderline psychopaths that are still just this side of serial killer or ponzi fraudster.

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A lightbulb that does IPv6: You know you want it

John Smith 19
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WTF?

So every light bulb will have its own IP address?

Are you f**king kidding me?

Somebody need a few whacks with the clue stick.

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John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: Are we really talking about putting the network gubbins in a bulb...

"It's ad-hoc self-organising mesh topology is good for covering sprawling, constantly-changing sites."

Is that a fair description of the average house?

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John Smith 19
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Happy

@rampant spaniel

"Interesting, thanks for the tip! I remember having small halogens in desklamps, small odd shaped bulbs with two little prongs. I haven't seen them as more conventional bulbs, will have to go get some!"

I'm writing this by the light of one. Standard fitting, lights as fast as an incandescent. Fully as bright.

Mercury is an environmental and neurotoxin. It's very nasty (and if the bulb was warm it will have a Mercury cloud to disperse.

You do know where the expression "Mad as a hatter" comes from, right?

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Giant solar-powered aircraft to begin cross-country flight

John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: I , for one, am fascinated with this

"Just like first combustion planes had laughable performance, but looking at them ,someone with vision could imagine their amazing future ..."

True but they had a reason to innovate which drove many cycles of engine and structures development.

It was roughly 24 years between the Wright brothers at Kill Devil hill and Lindberg flying the Atlantic.

BTW I upvoted you. Improvement is possible, the question is how much will people want?

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John Smith 19
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Black Helicopters

Re: I love stuff like this..

"Seems to me the tech will eventually be put to use in some kind of drones rather than for passenger/piloted flights."

What makes you think it hasn't already?

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John Smith 19
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Boffin

Re: At the risk of being too pedantic,,

Well when the 2 person Voyager team flew around the world they used the tech of the Gemini programme with bags they dropped over the side when over open country.

Outside of general aviation things get a bit involved for long flights but they have to be faced.

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After Leveson: The UK gets an Orwellian Ministry of Truth for real

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

So far "regualtion" has been down to who can afford a libel case to bring them to heel.

That's not regulation as I understand it.

And I think protecting it by Royal Charter, so no Minister can unilaterally start fiddling with faster than you can say "Statutory instrument" is a useful move.

Here's the thing. You can lay most of the blame at Rupert Murdoch's New International operation and its corrupting influence on media, the Police and politicians. But no one stopped (or tried) to stop it happening.

Now we'll see how this works out. Maybe most outlets will simply not sign up and take their chances with the aggravated libel damages. You did it to yourselves.

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John Smith 19
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Re: No shit, Sherlock

You might also factor in the ongoing love fest that all political parties have had Rupert and have allowed his free reign over cross media ownership so the owner of the Sun and the Times gets to won Sky (all operating in the UK) without any serious control.

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John Smith 19
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Re: Boo hoo

"The first purpose of any newspaper* "

A fact known even to the readers of JK Rowling.

Newspapers (like all media outlets) are businesses after all.

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John Smith 19
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Re: There's no need for press regulation per se

"What you're doing is what I describe in the piece. Find a victim - pin their corpse to the front of your bulldozer, and steam through the crowd.

It's pretty shameless."

True.

But when we talk about how the British press is "kept in check" or some such by the law of libel only if you're rich enough to afford it.

That's like Americans going on about how they have the best healthcare in the world, with the (unspoken) addition the company has a decent health plan or you can afford it directly.

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Scan your branes LIVE IN REAL-TIME, thanks to GPU-surfin' boffins

John Smith 19
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Odd there have been no other open source load sharing libraries before.

Hopefully this could go much further.

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John Smith 19
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Astonishing.

In the 1970s CT scan processing was an early candidate for using massively parallel (well thousands) of bit serial processors. Good idea but never took off.

Now you can get literally 100s of times that power in (by medical hardware terms) tiny sums of money.

With enough resolution and political will every politician could be inside one when they speak. Instantaneous confirmation of lies (or a sociopathic character that literally cannot tell a lie from a truth).

The possibilities are endless.

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Printed electronics firm prints more money in quest for safer poultry

John Smith 19
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Meh

The actual comparison should be with Plastic Logic

They have spunked invested something like an order of magnitude more cash in this area to get (apparently) less result.

For those who don't get what the big deal is over thin film or thick film technology.

1)Flexible, not brittle substrates (unlike both) 2) Transistors mfg in situ (unlike thick film) 3)Significantly safer materials 4)Designed for very high volume production and disposable use 5) Typically mfg temperatures in the low 100s of C, rather than the 700-900c firing temps of hybrids. 6)Much lower clock frequencies than thick film (but above what I know of the SoA for thin film).

Interestingly they also seem to working on making an on substrate clock. This is very tricky but the ability to deliver a high quality clock without a separate quartz chip is a major step forward.

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Rubbish IT means DEATH for UK Border Agency, announces May

John Smith 19
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Flame

Home Office -> Root of most evil?

ID cards

Spy-on-the-internet

Border Agency

I've heard stories of BA PC's taking 30 mins to boot. But surely this is a UL?

I propose Operation Clean Sweep.

Round up the management staff

Nuke from orbit.

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John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: Ok here we go again

You missed ID cards and their spy on everyone database.

Well at least one of those hasn't been adopted by the current government

Yet

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Experts agree: Your next car will be smarter than you

John Smith 19
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Joke

Ah SARTRE

Proving that in future hell will be other people.

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John Smith 19
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Big Brother

Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

" I do worry about "big brother" getting mixed up in the equation though."

And on past experience you damm well better be.

Whenever someone spunks this idea out (2nd or 3rd time round for this I think) the government approach always turns out to be a)big b)centralised c)holds stupid amounts of data for absurd lengths of time d)outsourced

QED clusterf**k waiting to happen.

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John Smith 19
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Happy

Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

"They're called cabs and buses."

Some are even called <cough> "trains"

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The UK Energy Crisis in 3 simple awareness-raising pictures

John Smith 19
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Happy

Re: Build Nuclear

"Pensions

Social Security

Health

Education"

You missed defense.

And it also is a big item.

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Bill Gates offers big bucks for better condoms

John Smith 19
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what is the HIV growth rate in the thrid world these days?

High IIRC.

I think this is an excellent idea. Making it work is going to be tricky but the payoff is huge.

HIV/AIDS and other STDs are a huge burden and barrier methods are the only real way that this is going to be stopped. It's sad someone gets these diseases and they cannot be cured but why should their wives/mistreses/prostitutes pay for their stupidity.

It'll be interesting if the get static from the swivel eyed loons religious right in America for this.

Thumbs up for working on a big issue that the US govt probably won't touch.

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John Smith 19
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Happy

"Odd that they didn't have a category for reusable condoms. Wait before you throw something at me, they use to exist before the latex condoms came into vogue, but they were terrible things."

Geronimo!!

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Lightspeed variable say intellectuels français

John Smith 19
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Very interesting. Surprising people have not looked into this before

Historically there has been the properties of the permeability permittivity (useful for capacitor design) of free space and the (derived) impedance of free.

All have measurable values but no one knew why they had those values (it's one of those "stop asking stupid questions, memorize the values and get back to work" conversations).

Given that it's been know the vacuum is subject to quantum fluctuations for decades it's surprising no one seems to calculated the implication what happens if a photon hits one (or more?) of these particles in transit. Just because they don't stay around for long does not mean that they are not "real" while they are here.

Even more amazing laser technology is at (or close) to being able to measure this effect.

Note that practically it would not change much. We would have to change the definition of the speed of a light in a vacuum to mean a vacuum with no virtual particles (which AFAIK is a complete abstraction).

Now if the rate and density of virtual particles remains constant then this just means you need to compute the speed of light slow down but if either varies then things could get muchmore interesting.

BTW GPS propagation already corrects for some quantum effects so this could improve navigation accuracy, especially over long distances or high speeds (but probably nothing moving slower than a serious fraction of the speed of light or ranges of several AU).

Thumbs up for picking up the ball and running with this.

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Nanowires boost photovoltaics sunlight capture by 15X

John Smith 19
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IT Angle

A few points

Like It's always good to have some kind of upper or lower limit for an algorithm so you can stop wasting time looking for better (because there isn't one) but it's good to revisit those boundaries to confirm they really are boundaries.

And in this case they are not.

Note this limit applies to single layer PV cells. If you stack 2 or more different sets of semiconductors you can (so far) hit 43% total. But they are hellishly expensive (built for comm sat use).

How practical this research is remains doubtful. Upside is you push the maximum limit on a single layer PV. Down side is you add tricky nanowire fabrication (UHV chamber needed?) and I'm not clear if the spacing between the wires writes off that area of the cell for light collection. Incidentally resonance

implies an object with electrical dimensions close to the exciting photon, which suggests this is a narrow band improvement. Of course if that narrow band is at the peak solar wavelength (around 500nm, unfortunately Silicons band gap is around 1100nm) that could be quite a useful difference.

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John Smith 19
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Re: it is possible

"At the moment, the thing that deters me from installing PV at home, is the cost and complexity around inverters and metering more than the cost and effort around the panels themselves."

So management costs, not technology costs.

BTW you might like to look at these hybrid PV/water heating panels as PV efficiency falls about 1% for every 4c rise in temperature

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Whoops! Tiny bug in NetBSD 6.0 code ruins SSH crypto keys

John Smith 19
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Flame

Every f**king time its the random number generator.

This IIRC is not the first time some network protocol relied on a number being "random" and it turned out it was not.

My instinct is despite it being an active research topic since the 1950s implementing the research is demanding and easily FUBAR'd.

Let me suggest that a)If you're implementing one and you do some tricky possibly non portable, possibly inefficient (but essential to algorithm correctness) thing you document it.

In the space shuttle flight software code they called these "alibis." If it's good enough for maintaining life threatening computer code it's good enough for you.

If you're reading it don't change it unless you really understand what's going on.

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Voda: Brit kids will drown in TIDAL WAVE of FILTH - it's all Ofcom's fault

John Smith 19
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Meh

So voda run adult entertainment companies.

I did not know this.

Because if they don't this sounds like some veryh creative interpretation of the wording of the Ofcomm ruling.

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John Smith 19
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Happy

Re: Operator A

"I for one would like to know who Operator A is - one that has garnered a lot of web commentary about it's pricing changes as well as new prices for it's super-fast mobile network?"

FOI request?

OftComm is a public body after all.

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Florida fisherman bags two-headed MUTANT SHARK

John Smith 19
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Happy

And so it begins...

The day the Earth fights back

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Is that rich melodic music I hear?.......

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