1428 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009
Re: Space elevated....
Snapping a tethered cable space elevator near the bottom would do very little - it would simply start to slowly drift, and you'd need to grab it again within a few days or it might go too far away from your 'base' complex.
You'd need to break it much further up to do much damage - but break it far enough up and it'll wrap around the entire globe...
On the other hand, physically snapping the assembly near the base of a Space Fountain or Launch Loop would disintegrate quite spectacularly, as the dynamic stabilisation energy gets dumped into the remains of the base.
More to the point, how'd you build it?
I genuinely can't figure out any method of building a launch loop, and they don't seem to have a proposal either.
Even assuming enough of the appropriate materials and budget, it still appears impossible to actually assemble one of those!
I like Space Fountain idea because it's buildable.
Yes, like all infrastructure-to-orbit concepts you still need an unreasonable budget (although less unreasonable materials), but it does have a clear method of building it - and one that we've been doing for a while in bridges and skyscrapers. Build the foundation, build the top and slowly jack it up.
A launch loop seems to need to be complete before it can support itself - so how do you put it together?
His insurance company may have said to forget it.
And probably did.
It's not worth their hassle to get it back, and it looks better PR-wise to say "Ok, keep it" anyway.
Although the new owners may well be in trouble with the Iranian authorities, as it would not surprise me if handling stolen goods was a strict liability offence over there, unlike in the UK.
Re: Windows is always without a problem
For example, Windows 7 occasionally decides to disable the volume control.
So you can drag it up and sounds happens, but it immediately fades it back to zero.
This will continue to happen until you reboot, when it will have set all volume controls to zero (masters and per-application), but now lets you raise them - one at a time.
There might be some incantation to fix that, but I haven't found it and the hundreds of Windows help fora appear clueless as to why.
Seems to be related to other MS software - like MS Messenger or MS Skype.
There are many other similar issues. Not surprising, as no software is perfect, but it is strange that they are so readily glossed over.
Re: Absolutely true for me
I give up mmeier, either you can't read or you won't read.
MS are copying tablet functionality and styling on the desktop.
That means they are making the desktop look and behave like a tablet.
That is the problem, and that is why it's stupid.
They are very different. No matter how good it is, you simply cannot put a tablet or phone UI onto a desktop and expect it to be useful, just like you cannot put a good desktop UI onto a phone or tablet and get something useful.
This kind of UI design is my day job - I build touch interfaces - and their core rules are the antithesis of the decades-accepted rules of keyboard & mouse desktop GUI design.
Win8 breaks those rules, and breaks many of the universal UI rules as well.
If your employer moves to Win8 this year, you should update your resume because that company is unlikely to be long for this world.
A few testing machines, certainly. However, a general roll-out anytime soon would be a disaster for most businesses.
Win8 actually causes a world of pain with a lot of professional 3rd party software and drivers (can only install in "Safe mode"! WTF?), and most corporates use some of that kind of software - not everything is Office.
Aside from that, retraining the staff and the lost productivity would cost a fortune during the transition period. It's simply too different.
- Mostly side effects of the "MS own your computer now" attitude.
Re: Vista Part II...?
Why did you "upgrade"?
What was key feature in Windows 8 that you didn't already have in Windows 7, that you felt was worth your $40?
Because if a prospective user can't answer that question, it doesn't matter what it costs - it's too expensive.
Even if something is free, it still costs time. If you don't gain anything, why spend the time?
- Incidentally, you can actually buy a whole computer for that $40 these days.
Re: Absolutely true for me
mmeier, what makes you think that?
It didn't work for Vista, it didn't work for ME and it didn't work for Bob.
In the past, Microsoft ended up having to release a new version with a different name - and even though Vista is actually ok now, nobody touches it with a bargepole.
Why is Windows 8 going to be any different?
In every other industry, if the incumbent market leader radically changes the UI, the customers always think "Well, if I've got to learn something new anyway, might as well look at the competition".
And in many cases, the incumbent loses huge amounts of market share.
In the case of Windows, it looks very much like the radical change of UI is making people think "You know, I don't actually need a new PC. One of them tablet thingies does what I want."
Worse, many are thinking "Those tablets actually do everything that new Windows  does anyway. They even look pretty similar."
So, by copying tablet functionality (everything full-screen, 'app store' etc) and styling on the desktop, Microsoft are killing the desktop.
If they don't wake up soon, the commodity desktop will die - and be replaced by piles of tablets.
Then the only thing people like us will be left with are enthusiast SBCs (RPi etc) and very expensive "Gamer" desktops and "Developer" laptops.
That's not a world I like the sound of.
Why would I think that paying some of my staff to investigate every single computer for every single piece of software installed upon it and checking every single line of small print (or even not printed at all) in a licence agreement that I can't even see let alone read was a "priority"
I'd have to be insane to even start, I've got a business to run!
Especially as the BSA who tell me I should do this are unable to understand simple statistics - 12% do X and 18% have done Y does not mean 30% do XY.
I find it shocking, simply shocking that the BSA should have such terribly incompetent statisticians.
It is simply bewildering that they still haven't changed their statistical management practice to correct this, it would appear that it would require a legal challenge.
Given the costs involved, you'd think the job of sorting out the BSA's own statistics would be a priority from the word 'ready' or 'set', let alone 'go'.
Perhaps the BSA do spend so much of their effort checking all their own software is properly licenced that they can't do their own core business?
Re: Where does the carbon go?
No, I want the press release to make it very clear what they actually did, and what they did not do.
This (and many other) press releases say "CO2 SOLVED!!!!" or "CANCER CURED!!!!" as many times as possible and try their damnedest to hide the "but it doesn't actually work", or even which step towards the goal has actually been achieved - the latter is particularly common for cancer-related press releases.
There's only one sentence in the release mentioning that the reactor doesn't actually work - it's as much of a one-shot deal as the existing one they say doesn't work and for basically the same reason as well - the rest is "WE SOLVED EVERYTHING!!! GO US!!!".
Where does the carbon go?
What keeps it at 1000deg C as you pump all that gas in?
What cools the resulting hydrogen to storage temperatures?
Heat exchanger from output to input will help, but not all that much as the gases are rather different.
This technique has the same problem as steam reforming - it takes a very large energy input to turn a very energy-dense fuel into much less energy-dense one - except worse because you can't turn it off.
The fate of the carbon is even more important!
Reading the press release, it would appear that they have no idea how to get the carbon out or if that's even possible - sounds like instead of being stuck to the walls of the reactor it's thoroughly mixed throughout the liquid metal.
That would normally be called an alloy, and the only way to get that out is to react it - usually with oxygen. Oops, CO2.
All in all - interesting, but nothing like the "saviour" the press release makes it out to be.
They always get published in newspapers as "Woo! XXX fixed!" when of course, it doesnt even work yet - and so nobody is even starting the process of scaling it up to a useful size.
I hate and despise these kinds of press release. Right now, some students have just finished their degree project. Brilliant, they'll get a good honours or PhD. But nothing that will yet affect anybody else.
No university publishes press releases for "Student writes really good dissertation", this is no different.
End user self-service works in exactly one situation
Single-user of a very commonly needed resource.
In other words, personal webmail.
The moment the company needs multi-user, for example "All email must be @ company domain X", you must have a central administrator to select, register and maintain that.
Without that, it will fragment, break and/or expire, probably all three.
Would you let employees buy other infrastructure (chair, desk, company car, office building etc) without oversight?
What is so different about IT that you'd consider letting them buy cloud services that way?
It wasn't the Enigma machine which mattered, we had loads of those!
Much like grabbing a copy of the RSA algorithm doesn't let you break RSA, you have to find the specific key - not the general lock design!
It was the weather code book that made it much easier for us to consistently break German naval Enigma codes.
That book meant that we could know what the plaintext should be for the daily weather reports (because we had our own weather reports), and thus find that day's Enigma settings much quicker.
It's quite fascinating, and very irritating that the U571 film bore no resemblance whatsoever to the real events of U110 and Operation Primrose.
Perhaps the most amusing bit is that the USA didn't believe that we'd been cracking Enigma... Or at least it would have been amusing if that ignorance hadn't lead to hundreds of avoidable deaths.
Not everyone likes multiplayer.
I play single-player games almost exclusively, and I like the fact that I can still play the copy of Dungeon Keeper (albeit in a VM) that I bought many years ago, and I love that I can still play Freespace 2 - lovingly updated for modern OS & graphics and expanded by a dedicated team of volunteers - that I've owned for almost as long.
If either had been reliant on their company servers, they would long since be completely unplayable.
A good single player game will still be good in 20 years time.
Why shouldn't I still be able to play it?
What right should the publisher have to say "Ok, you've had enough fun now. Game over forever."
Re: Similar mentality?
To be fair, in the UK that doesn't matter.
You do do those filings over dial-up speeds and it won't take much longer, and everyone in the UK can get dial-up speeds for very little money. If nothing else, one of those 3G dongles on pay-as-you go would suffice.
Aside from that, almost all small businesses have needed Internet connections for many years for other reasons, and payroll is very commonly outsourced.
Broadband on the other hand...
So you can write drivers in Java now?
Who would have thought that?
Oh yeah, you can't. And nobody even remotely sane would try to write for a sub-Arduino-scale device in Java.
The sensors in these containers top out at around 8 MIPs, many are smaller.
Almost everything that size is written in C these days, though some of the larger ones have moved to C++.
Re: won't happen!
It will happen. Look at the published pricing for extended support - that's clearly a "pay the salaries of the Win XP team yourself" price.
XP will die, Microsoft cannot afford to let it live.
However, the result will be a wave of Windows 7 installs instead of the Windows 8 (or Blue) that Microsoft wanted, and it will be reported as yet another nail in the Windows 8 coffin.
WinXP is dying and it's taking Win8 with it.
Clearly the wrong story
The graphs alone tell the very clear story "Blackberry users switched to iOS"
I don't see any other conclusions supported by the published data.
The missing background is that Apple released the iPhone 5, but which other major manufacturers released new flagship phones during the measured period?
Unless you annotate with the big releases the data is pretty meaningless.
Do you pull the GBL often?
Sorry, couldn't resist...
Re: A load of bankers
Very few businesses can be started or even expanded without borrowing money.
The startup costs for a business are very high - you need your premises, machinery and the ability to pay your staff in the first few months before you actually get paid for any of your products.
Without borrowing involved, everybody must pay cash-on-delivery of the product/service.
You are a start-up, so you haven't built anything to sell yet - where can the money come from?
The same thing occurs domestically - even ignoring the land, just the labour and materials to build a house costs a lot, and again you have to pay that before the house is actually built.
If its anything other than a detached property, it's got to be built in concert with other homes, magnifying the problem.
Very few people could manage to save £100k or so before moving out of their parents home, ask a hundred people to save most of that before a block of flats can be built? Not likely.
Credit is necessary once a civilisation goes beyond the hunter-gatherer stage.
Re: "So how do we solve the banking problem?"
Re: Dumb question
I gather that it's designed to get significantly harder to generate a new bitcoin as more are brought into existence, with a theoretical maximum number that could ever exist.
So eventually a new bitcoin will require near-infinite processing power.
Of course, that's assuming nobody finds a flaw in the algorithm or implementation before that happens!
Re: transformer using titanium rod as core
You know, that's just crazy enough to work!
Certainly easy to test, just take the rod and wind a pair of coils.
There's no need for an inverter, just rapid switching (kHz) of the DC output with a mosfet. The inductance of the coil will smooth it out and reduce EMI (which would be bad for the radio) - this is how isolating DC-DC units work.
Won't be very efficient, the
iron titanium losses will be fairly high as it's the wrong shape and the coils are necessarily quite far apart - at least the width of the rubber.
So you'd want the rubber to be as thin as possible for maximum
Are you insane?
Or do you think the Swedish politicians are?
For a start, that was a deportation, which is completely different - all countries have a fast way to send people back to their home country, even to refuse entry immediately, and the only way to avoid that is a believable asylum claim.
Assange is not a US citizen.
What do you think would happen to a politician found to have either signed off on or presided over a fast-track extradition to the USA for anybody, let alone Assange?
How many days would they survive after it became public?
They'd get the PM's "complete support" within hours, and be out on their ear within two days!
No matter what evil deeds you might ascribe to elected politicians, their first and foremost priority is keeping their job, followed closely by getting re-elected.
They only do this kind if thing if they think nobody is watching - and frankly, the longer Assange stays in that embassy, the more likely it is that everyone will forget about him.
On top of that, it's much easier for the US to extradite from the UK than from Sweden, if that had been the goal then the Swedes would have been asked not to serve their warrant and the US would have gone for him direct. They didn't, presumably because the US justice people don't think they have a case, no matter what their nutjob senators say to the hoi polloi.
It's also pretty certain that had he gone to Sweden in the first place, he'd be out or cleared by now and able to do whatever he felt like.
Instead he's feeding his persecution complex, and much as the ambassador might be enjoying poking two fingers up at the UK, they aren't going to let him stay there forever. Sooner or later it will fit their goals to throw him out, and then he'll be on a plane to Sweden, where he will now be refused bail and have to spend any pre-trial time in jail.
Why not send people?
Because it's a one-way trip with current technology.
We don't yet have the capability to send a manned craft capable of landing on Mars and returning home.
Heck, we haven't even done that with an unmanned craft yet!
As for Europa - you'd cook.
Re: I , for one, am fascinated with this
Of course a 787 is reasonable.
As would a 777 or 747, but the 787 is supposed to be the most efficient.
Yes, the first commercial airliners carried about 20 passengers and flew much slower.
However, the modern traveller won't go back to that!
There isn't the airport capacity for many more aircraft, so they have to keep similar aircraft capacity - 200-400 passengers - unless you want international travel to be the preserve of the super-rich.
And would you be happy for the transatlantic flight times to double as well?
Not to mention that transatlantic at low speed also requires that these aircraft can still fly at night...
Re: I , for one, am fascinated with this
Instead of umpteen tons of fuel, you lift umpteen tons of batteries. No change there.
You also missed the point spectacularly - the thought experiment was very simply "Can solar power a commercial aircraft at cruise", and the answer is "No, there is not enough insolation".
- BTW, The 'bumblebees' thing is irrelevant - we're talking large passenger aircraft, not microscale insect sat on sticky, turbulent air. Yes, we know exactly how bumblebees fly and have done for at least a decade. They aren't solar powered either, they run on nectar and pollen.
If wishes were horses...
Zmodem, if you've got working perpetual motion machine, build it and show it to the US Patent Office.
I guarantee a working one would make you an overnight multi-billionaire.
However, you don't, and nobody does. Funding is not the reason, the reason is because they do not work.
Quite simply - if they worked, Rolls-Royce would be using them. They don't because they don't work.
Re: I , for one, am fascinated with this
Solar PV can't ever work for large airliners, here's why:
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is supposed to be one of the most fuel-efficient passenger aircraft yet developed.
It uses two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.
A single Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine delivers 39,400 kW at takeoff.
There are two of them, so your batteries have to be able to provide that 78,800kW during takeoff - no batteries can do that, but we'll ignore that for the moment.
For the sake of argument, let's say 1/4 that at cruise altitude.
Maximal insolation is 1.3kW per sq metre at the top of the atmosphere.
Let's give you 100% efficient PV cells. So your aircraft needs to have a PV cell surface area of approx. 15,100 m2.
Boeing's Dreamliner's total wing area is 325 m2, let's say 650 m2 for the full aircraft (bigger than reality).
Yet we're still only at 23% of the required power by using 100% efficient cells.
Oh dear. Not going to work then, is it?
Like helicopters, this technology is interesting and likely to be useful in specific situations (eg very long loitering drones), but it cannot replace the jet airliner.
Re: At the risk of being too pedantic,,
Same as on a commercial jet - the low-pressure external air is compressed to create cabin air.
It's obviously a special compressor on an airscrew craft as there isn't any bleed air from the jets, but it's still pretty simple.
Re: @Shane Kent - danny 14
Type the program's name?
What is this, a command-line shell?
Why have a GUI if you can't bloody use it?
Re: Nuclear, nuclear, nuclear, nuclear....
1) There's no such thing as a 500MW wind farm.
There's a wind farm with a nameplate rating of 2GW that can be reasonably expected to produce an average of 500MW. Not necessarily when we actually want it though.
2) Nobody really knows what it costs to dispose of the nuclear waste, because nobody has yet been able to build the long-term storage.
There are estimates, and it will reduce significantly if we actually build some new plants.
Hinckley C is a 3200MW
I see one flaw in the council's reasoning
Re: To google
More or less.
If the term has become genericised, it means it's in common usage to meaning a class of products.
That still doesn't mean Electrolux can call a particular model of vacuum cleaner a "Hoover", just that consumers are going to use that term to search for it.
The fun of trademark law is that if Electrolux did try calling a new model that, Hoover would have to formally request them to stop as otherwise they could lose the Hoover trademark.
Not seeing how that relates to new words in a dictionary though, probably just lawyers trying to justify their retainer - who have now Streisanded themselves!
Re: It must be us old fogeys with no perception of speed or distance
Convoy slipstreaming behind an "18-wheeler"?
Clearly only in America... I think that's the only place the big lorries have the same motorway speed limit as the cars. It really won't fly in the UK when you can SARTE and get there an hour later per 200 miles than in "manual".
Yes, it'll save a lot of fuel - but driving at 50 insteads of 70 saves most of that fuel anyway, and nobody does it.
Aside from the technology barriers, are you really going to wait for one of those to come along before starting your journey? Of course not! If you're happy to wait for a scheduled journey, you'll take a real train or a plane and hire a vehicle at the other end.
The technology needed to do this is a useful stepping stone to cars that drive themselves on motorways, but don't kid yourself that consumers will ever do it.
HGVs might, though. Many of them already slipstream anyway, I'd rather a computer was doing it.
The whole concept is a very scary thought for other road users though - getting safely on or off at a junction could be made very difficult by one of those formations.
Re: back to coal
I'm complaining because you've done the maths completely wrong.
TWh is a measure of energy (1 TWh == 3,600,000,000,000,000 joules), GW is a measure of power (1 GW == 1,000,000,000 joules per second).
The time component is important. How much energy has the installed plant actually generated? This is not a multiplier of nameplate rating, even with a capacity fudge factor, as the amount of installed plant has changed a lot during the last decade. It should be pretty easy to measure but the figures are hard to find.
Essentially, the problem is that Wind is getting more dangerous (more turbines in more dangerous locations), while coal, gas and nuclear are getting safer.
Also, 6 wind deaths is the UK alone. It's about 200 worldwide over the same time period - again, compared to 4 nuclear power deaths in the entire world.
I do agree with you that we should be shutting down our coal burning plants. I just think we need to be building nuclear to replace them - and the time to start building those nukes was about five years ago, instead of spunking all that money all over tiny wind and solar PV installs.
Re: back to coal
Where on earth did you get that number?
In the last decade, the reported nuclear-power related deaths in the EU are zero, and roughly 4 worldwide - a steam explosion in 2004 in Japan.
(There was also a fatal accident at the Matapuri research reactor and some errors in medical usage of radiation, but that's not nuclear power.)
During the last decade (to end 2012), Wind power has killed 5 or 6* in the UK alone - and far more in Germany.
So UK-wide for the last ten years, 0 nuclear deaths per GW and 1 wind death per GW expected capacity.
The reason is quite simple - almost all wind turbine work is at a height in areas with high winds and poor weather, and as there are a lot of turbines needed to have a decent output, there will be a lot of such work needed.
One recent study (2011) gave the following worldwide death rates:
Nuclear : 0.04 /TWh
Wind : 0.15 /TWh
By that measure, wind is more than three times as dangerous.
Yes, it's three orders of magnitude less dangerous than worldwide coal - but just because cliff diving is safer than bungee jumping doesn't mean we should all go do that!.
* Depends if you include collisions with offshore turbines. I think you should.
Re: back to coal
While nuclear might be more expensive to build than wind for 'nameplate capacity', nuclear produces the actual nameplate capacity at any time we want it to.
Nuclear power is also far safer than wind in terms of deaths per GWh.
Seriously, wind power is very dangerous, accounting for a great many deaths every year - mostly due to falls during build and maintenance.
They don't make headlines because they get lumped in with general construction deaths, and they only claim one or two victims each time.
Re: Burning Gas = Electricity
Wind's not as predictable as you think.
While wind penetration stays low (10% or so), it's fine. Push it much higher and it becomes almost completely unpredictable.
It means "used"
Unnecessary, redundant and/or excessive verbiage is a well-known and necessary requirement of consultancy communications.
It's clear that MS want to kill the "legacy desktop" for several reasons:
Firstly, because they now call it the "legacy desktop".
Secondly, because they castrated it in Win8, removing a lot of the really nice features of the Win7 shell.
Thirdly, because they deliberately made it impossible to stay there without installing a third-party shell. There was clearly no technical reason for this whatsoever, because said 3rd party shells do exist.
This clearly indicates an intention to remove it entirely, and given the features of WinRT, the timescale looks like "the moment Office works in TIFKAM".
Re: How to predict share prices.
Actually, Nokia were already sinking when Elop took over. And yes, looking back it was probably because they were the market leader that they spent so much of their energy infighting instead of producing quality goods.
He merely threw almost everyone overboard, manning the pumps or not, ripped down the sails and then set fire to the powder store.
If he's lucky, the powder is wet. Otherwise...
Re: He's very good...
Steve Knox, I must disagree with you.
English Literature doesn't change all that quickly, so assuming he hasn't forgotten more than 3/4 to 7/8 of what he knew then, he still knows a lot more than me on that subject.
After all, the famous dead authors haven't written anything new lately.
It's not like technology, where last year's cutting edge is now really out of date, or even physics, where the theories of any given decade are likely to be proven as lies-to-children during the next.
Re: I can see it now...
More seriously, I always considered the text to be simply displaying Terminator's internal monologue.
Much better cinematic method than an audio monologue as it emphasised the difference between a human monologue (traditionally done with a voice-over) and the high-speed robot monologue (multilogue?) of the Terminator.
What I'm not sure about is where the idea of a robot's monologue being shown as text and diagrams came from. It has become very common though!
Is my film critique showing? Damn.
Seems like a waste of palladium to me
Much better uses for it than sat on someone's finger.
Personally, I'd rather be able to breathe the air than look at a shiny thing made artificially dull by spray-on concrete.
I'd be happier if they used man-made Pd though, "forged in a nuclear furnace" seems likely to be a selling point in this market, given the crazy "so hard to manufacture" talk that always comes with designer jewellery.
Re: Advanced Boffinry
Rocket surgery must be more difficult.
I mean, it's not brain science.
Re: Clever people make. Clever people break!
I think it'd be more than a little bit disturbing watching somebody blend a smoothie using a kitten, or drinking a kitten...
Re: Toolbars disappearing?
So it was impossible for Microsoft to put the menu down the side, where a 16:9 monitor has tons of wasted space?
They certainly made it impossible for a user to put their toolbars there.
Gold sprung contacts onto gold pads
Sorry, I missed the last thread!
They provide 1A (and USB data) in our application, tested in a multitude of low-altitude environments around the world. They're intended for 'industrial' phone charger type applications.
Zero disconnect force. To be more accurate, a little less than zero...
I'll dive through the WEEE bin on Monday, see if we have any in there and drop you a photo.
Probably because there are far, far more of them, most are run by average consumers and they are left running 24x7.
The majority of the commodity hardware sat on the actual Internet or in the DMZ (as opposed to NATed) is running Linux, simply to get a network stack.
ADSL routers, switches, firewall appliances, Internet-webcams - that kind of thing.
Comparatively, there are very few Windows PCs directly on the Internet anymore - it's only really servers these days, and one would hope the admins of the majority are sane and competent.
In most cases the idiocy is probably the device manufacturer, leaving telnet or SSH turned on with a default password.
Very few home users are going to check the security of the WAN port of their home ADSL router, and they aren't going to try SSH or telnet attacks when fitting a webcam to watch the kids from work, they'll just forward the ports or even put it in a DMZ.
- Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
- Analysis Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
- Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
- Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
- OK, we get the message, Microsoft: Windows Defender splats 1000s of WinXP, Server 2k3 PCs