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* Posts by Barely registers

57 posts • joined 22 Jun 2009

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Just when you thought you were alone in the bath: Hi-res mapping satellite ready for launch

Barely registers
Black Helicopters

25cm limit

If I read it right, 25cm resolution is the limit "for sale".

I find myself wondering what the _actual_ capability of these sats is?

Fetching coat, and hat, and dark sunglasses.

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LOHAN acquires aircraft arboreal avoidance algorithm acronyms

Barely registers

GOT WOOD

Gets Out The Way Of Obstructive Deciduousness.

/contrived

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Facebook 'manipulated' 700k users' feelings in SECRET EXPERIMENT

Barely registers
Coat

Finally, a good excuse....

to ditch FB.

It was Adam Kramer's comment "it was in 2012, and we've come a long way since then" that really sent the chills down me.

You do know that the more recent mobile phone versions have your permission to read your texts, right?

Coat, leaving.

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Ditching renewables will punch Aussies in the wallet – Bloomberg

Barely registers

14GW of renewables capacity....

equals how much actual reliable baseline load?

I actually want to know - references gratefully received, ta.

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IBM accidentally invents new class of polymers

Barely registers
Boffin

Terry Pratchett gets the patent though...

From "The Long Earth" with Stephen Baxter:

"He was after all the founder of the first 'serendipital laboratory'. The logic was that since so many important new discoveries in science were made by accident, then the process would be speeded up if you set up a situation in which a very large number of accidents happened and watched the results carefully."

Kudos though to the researcher who at least thought "that's interesting..."

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The Reg Quid-a-Day Nosh challenge: What's the point, exactly?

Barely registers
Boffin

Balance of nature

Wiping out malaria - I'm all for that.

As I understand it, we either destroy the parasite itself and/or the vector that it spreads by. My question is, what would happen next?

If the parasite is eradicated, how will the balance of nature shift? I've found a fair few examples of what could happen if mosquitoes themselves were wiped out, which was interesting on its own, but nothing about whether losing plasmodium falciparum would have unintended consequences.

Note - I'm _not_ invoking the precautionary principle here.

I think sickle cell disease would drop markedly, as there would be no further evolutionary benefit in having it (it's less fatal then getting malaria, it seems).

Anyone got any other theories?

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Global Warming IS REAL, argues sceptic mathematician - it just isn't THERMAGEDDON

Barely registers

If this was Wikipedia, that reply would look like this

"issued by the GWPF who are ALL IN THE PAY OF BIG OIL" [citation needed]

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Pine trees' scent 'could prevent climate change really being a problem'

Barely registers
Flame

Actually, we're cutting down the trees because

then we can burn them in "CO2 neutral" biomass power stations.

(having shipped them across the ocean in bunker diesel powered ships).

You know it's fucking stupid when even the Guardian quotes people calling it an insanity.

May 2011 http://science.time.com/2011/05/10/why-does-the-ipcc-want-us-to-cut-down-trees/

April 2012 http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/apr/02/eu-renewable-energy-target-biomass

May 2013 http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-22630815

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Mystery 'doughnut' materializes in front of Mars rover: 'OH MY GOD! It wasn't there before!'

Barely registers
Mushroom

If it moves again....

then _that_ would be news.

And then nuke it from orbit.

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Boffins claim battery BREAKTHROUGH – with rhubarb-like molecule

Barely registers

Re: Optimistic - Given the right components

>> sugar, custard and ... a little strawberry jam

Agreed - anything to take away the taste of the rhubarb.

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Boffins agree: YES we have had an atmospheric warming pause

Barely registers
WTF?

Ozone causes (a) warming (b) cooling (Delete as politically expedient)

(a) Warming:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125192016.htm

(b) Cooling:

http://www.nature.com/news/ozone-hole-treaty-slowed-global-warming-1.14134

(c) More money to research the problem

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WIN a RockBLOCK Iridium satellite comms module

Barely registers

WHAP BAP

"We Have A Problem" Ballocket Abort Panel

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Going lo-tech to avoid NSA snooping? Unlucky - they read snailmail too

Barely registers

Re: Encrypted email

Because their public key is in the certificate which is digitally signed by a higher certificate authority that you _do_ trust.

It all comes down to trust, and right now, I've precious little of it.

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If you've bought DRM'd film files from Acetrax, here's the bad news

Barely registers
FAIL

DRM? Obligatory XKCD reference follows

DRM lifecycle flowchart - http://xkcd.com/488/

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Climate-cooling effect 'stronger than volcanoes' is looking solid

Barely registers
Boffin

The next step...

""The next steps will be to carry out modelling studies to quantify the impact of Criegee intermediates on climate and to quantify the level of alkene present in various environments.”

Can I humbly suggest that a better "next step" would be to do some experiments that will get you some data to input into a model ?

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NASA-backed fusion engine could cut Mars trip down to 30 days

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Boffin

Commercial power generation potential?

As I understand it at the moment, this system uses the fusion energy to convert a pellet into a 30km/s projectile.

So why is this not a possible power generation system?

Fire that projectile into the equivalent of a sand trap, and it will dump its kinetic energy as heat. There's your equivalent of the coal furnace / gas turbine / nuclear reactor. Pump water around it, get steam, add a turbine and voila - electricity. If the fusion is effective enough, you've got a system pushing out more usable power than went into it.

I'm not saying the engineering is simple, but isn't the premise sound?

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US Air Force reclassifies 6 cyber tools as weapons

Barely registers
Black Helicopters

Quick - use the second amendment....

If it's a weapon, does that give American citizens the rights to use them under the "keep and bear arms" term of the Second Amendment ?

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LOHAN fans drawn to magnetic coupling

Barely registers
Coat

Magnets - electro magnet?

I may show a shocking lack of grasp of the physics of magnetism here....

Use a small electro magnet on the truss and a small "bar" magnetic stripe (like a shower door seal) on the LOHAN, separated by a non-stick membrane. Push current through the electro magnet to attract it to the bar magnet.

At the point of ignition, reverse the current in the electro magnet, providing an actual repulsive force to disconnect the power supply.

The electro magnet means the magnetic join can be made very strong, reducing the risk of premature separation, but there will be no static magnetic attraction to be overcome on launch. Indeed, you might even get a push forwards.

Or I'll just get my coat.

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Information teleportation goes large-scale

Barely registers
WTF?

I know I've misunderstood this, but....

To summarise: Scientists go "Woo Hoo!" at sending information via photon over fiber optic.

Honest question - what is the signifcance of the breakthrough here?

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Boffins build program to HUNT DOWN CO2 polluters where they LIVE

Barely registers
Thumb Down

Can't reduce what you can't measure

... and you can't _measure_ what each building is producing, only _simulate_ it with a model.

Unless the model knows the construction, air-con thermostat setting, level of occupancy and level of insulation, it can't do even that in any meaningful way.

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Register SPB hacks mull chopping off feet

Barely registers

Re: Kill it with fire

Nothing - just two birds, one stone, and all that. Both excercises (metric and lane change) need new signs. Let's do both at the same time.

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Barely registers
Megaphone

Kill it with fire

Yes, god yes. Consign these unholy Imperial abominations to the darkest of the depths. Lead the way, and maybe, just maybe, we can drag the rest of the world kicking and screaming out of the mire and into the light.

And while we're at it changing the road signs from miles to km, let's drive on the right hand side of the road too.

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Boffins suggest orbital dust-up to combat climate change

Barely registers
Stop

@nomnomnom Re: Not radical, at least nolt compared to what is actually being done

My bad - the 23W/m2 reduction would of course be over the daylight half of the Earth only. However, this is the same half of the Earth that plants photosynthesise on. Given the fierce fight for light in the plant world, I suspect this would be a significant problem.

I don't get how you end up at 4W/m2.

I started with 1360 W/m2 Total Solar Irradiance (TSI)

Times 1.7% for rock dust reduction

Times 0.5 to spread the effect over to the dark side

Times your 0.7 (for planetary albedo of 0.3 ?)

gives 8.092 W/m2

still 3 to 4 times the effect the IPCC claims for AGW effects.

Thinking things through a little more though, the overall 1.7% reduction will not be evenly spread across the light spectrum of the TSI. The visible wavelengths (including blue and red light at which photosynthesis is most attuned) will be dispersed more than, say, infrared (which can penetrate dust clouds more effectively, depending on dust particle size). Thus I would expect plants to suffer effects greater than a flat 1.7% reduction in daylight.

I would like to claim first dibs on the precautionary principle on this one, especially given the near impossibility of sucking a dust cloud out of vacuum if the Earth did get a chill.

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Barely registers
Facepalm

Re: Not radical, at least nolt compared to what is actually being done

"1.7% barely noticeable".

Not by us, maybe, but seriously, you think removing some 23W/m2 over the surface of the earth isn't going to be noticed? The IPCC reckons anthropogenic warming results in from a net energy imbalance of the order of 2 to 3 W/m2 - one tenth of the proposed cut.

So. Considered it. It _could_ solve the problem by killing off large swathes of plants, hence food, hence people, hence CO2 production.

Bewick - step AWAY from the modelling computer.

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Motorola outs Razr phone with Intel Inside

Barely registers
Devil

Rectangular, with rounded corners

Must be an iPhone(y)

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Eco-nomics: Was Stern 'wrong for the right reasons' ... or just wrong?

Barely registers
Stop

Re: "But we can't escape economics; it's a discipline we're cursed to continue."

Economists..."They have no appropriate sense or respect for: 1.) the complexity of the systems they are dealing with, 2.) their own limitations, and 3.) that the systems will *always* react in strange and unexpected ways when one attempts to control them."

Also a neat summation of those proposing climate controls e.g. sea water cloud ships, iron seeding of plankton, space mirrors and so on.

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New nuclear fuel source would power human race until 5000AD

Barely registers
Flame

Re: tosh, again (@ Mephistro )

You are looking at big Bq numbers. It's the Sv number you need to look at.

That is why I did the conversion from Bq (Caesium) to Sv - Bq is the number of decays per second. Sv is the derived unit standardising the biological effects of ionizing radiation. You could shield behind a sheet of paper from something emitting 10,000,000 Bq of alpha particles, but not from something emitting 10,000,000 of beta particles or gamma rays - same Bq, different energies, different biological effects. Sv is the number to worry about.

Wikipedia (it's too late to go searching for more authoratative sources) gives an example that a single 140 MBq/kg of Cs-137 is lethal to dogs after 3 weeks. Assuming human/canine biology is equally sensitive to ionising radiation, then a 140,000,000 Bq / kg dose at my hefty 85kg is 11,900,000,000 Bq - some 922,480 times the does compared to the 12,900 Bq in the portion of battered fish in question.

That tells me that the biological effects of that radiological dose on my body are tiny. Really. Tiny tiny tiny.

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Barely registers
Mushroom

Re: tosh, again

Caesium enriched fish & chips eh? Tasty. Let's see now.

25,800 Bq / kg of fish - lets be greedy and have a half-kilo (11oz) portion, gives 12,900Bq.

1 Bq of Caesium = 0.013 microsievert (uSv) (source: http://www.ourfood-news.com/node/115)

12,900 * 0.013 = 167.7 uSv

The mighty xkcd chart (here: http://xkcd.com/radiation/ ) lists a flight from LA to New York at 40 uSV and a head CT scan as 2,000 uSv (2 mSv)

So, for a free bag of battered fish and chips (I _do_ live in Scotland, after all) with health effects of 2 return air trips across the USA, I might well take you up on your offer, if Lewis doesn't beat me to it.

If that's the effect of putting 6 nuclear reactors in an earthquake, then throwing a tsunami over it and blowing the roof off, then I think that's just incredibly safe.

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Amount of CO2 being sucked away by Earth 'has doubled in 50 years'

Barely registers
Pint

Does this show a negative feedback?

Would I be right to interpret this study that a new negative feedback mechanism has been uncovered, whose effect has varied over time? i.e. is there an effect by which more CO2 increases the sequestration of more CO2?

If that _is_ the case, what is the impact on the projections made so far by models? Would they be overstating future warming?

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How to screw LIBOR and alienate people

Barely registers
Flame

Getting to the truth

There are records of what Bank X lent to Bank Y and the rate of that loan.

There are records of what Bank X and Bank Y reported to the LIBOR committee, and the people that made those reports.

It is therefore a straightforward job to identify rogue reports, given access to the data.

It is therefore a straightforward job to identify those banks and individuals that reported rogue rates.

In the interests of national security (it's been used as justification for much less) demand those records. Identify, charge and prosecute. Get to work.

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Home Sec: Web snoop law will snare PAEDOS, TERRORISTS

Barely registers
Black Helicopters

Re: This is insane.

Agreed.

Where does SSL fit into all of this? If you enable it as default on Twitter and Facebook, then what can a snoop reveal except that you visited the site? It couldn't reveal which pages you visited, what messages you wrote and read, and so on, so what the hell is the point?

Unless SSL is an open book to those in the know...?

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Google asked to bin autocomplete results for Japanese man's name

Barely registers
Big Brother

Not registered here...

It's a nice touch by Google to say that, as the company is not headquarted there, they are not subject to Japan's law.

The USA can take down any site they like that has a .com TLD regardless of where the domain owner trades or resides. What chance google.jp being taken down by Japanese law enforcement?

Thought so.

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Melting Arctic leads to snowy winters

Barely registers
Meh

Re: Re: Weather vs Climate

From the supporting material, it looks like just 4 data points to me - 2007/8, 2008/9, 2009/10 and 2010/11.

Ok ok I'm being glib that 1 solid year of observations is 1 data point. But seriously, a climate study taking in just 4 winters? Color me unconvinced.

Does anyone know if this can this be used to generate snow forecasts (and hindcasts)?

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Barely registers
Meh

Weather vs Climate

We're inferring a simple inverse link between Arctic Ice and UK snow from 6 data points?

SURELY "more data required" ?

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Met Office wants better supercomputer to predict EXTREME weather

Barely registers
Stop

You want ANOTHER supercomputer?

Bigger and better than the £33m IBM supercomputer that you installed in 2009?

Yeah - you know - the one that consumes the same power as 2000 homes?

My tip - write a better program.

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Antarctic ice formed at CO2 levels much higher than today's

Barely registers
Mushroom

"No-one ever said it would". Apart from....

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/melting-of-antarctic-ice-becoming-unstoppable-1648405.html

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=antarctica-andrill-ice-sheets

http://www.desmogblog.com/antarctic-ice-sheets-melting-at-ever-faster-rate-due-to-global-warming-new-study

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-01-antarctic-ice-sheets.html

Glad that science is settled then. FFS.

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'Occupy Flash' web hippies aim to rid world of Adobe plugin

Barely registers
Paris Hilton

I LOVE Flash because...

I can turn it off using NoScript, so those bastard animated banner ads don't show.

Can anyone tell me how I'd do that in HTML5 short of http blocking the ad servers?

Paris? Flash? 'nuf said.

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LOHAN deluged with Reg readers' interjections in REHAB

Barely registers

A valid point

As the lid is to be held down by the vacuum, any explosive increase in pressure _should_ vent out the top rather than destructively forcing a way through a gauge.

You _do_ want to be sure that your vacuum vessel was in a proper vacuum though?

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Barely registers
Boffin

Valve before gauge?

A lesson I learned from my Uni life when working on a vacuum chamber was that the gauge should always be directly connected to the volume it is measuring.

With a setup not disimilar to what you have proposed, my lecturer one day helpfully closed the valve and shut off the pump to get some quiet in the lab. He later switched the pump back on but didn't open the valve.

So I stroll in, read the pressure gauge, see that all is well and activate the second stage oil vacuum pump. Result? A coating of soot over every square inch of the internals of the chamber as the oil cooked in the air that had seeped in to the vessel.

Be prepared to sacrifice the gauge, and put the valve between it and the pump. Who knows, if you log the gauge's output, you may get some interesting data.

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Does Cameron dare ditch poor-bashing green energy?

Barely registers
Mushroom

I have an answer

I suspect that was when someone at El Reg looked at the science and not the models, and came to a different conclusion to the consenseless.

Maybe I was skim-reading too quickly, but doesn't this article just deal with the economics? I didn't see any claim that climate change wasn't happening.

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CERN: 'Climate models will need to be substantially revised'

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Boffin

More solar activity = less cosmic rays

Your confusion arises because you have the first relationship back to front.

More active sun = fewer cosmic rays because the solar wind acts as a buffer, reducing the cosmic rays coming into the solar system.

Fewer cosmic rays

= less nucleation

= less cloud

= higher surface temperatures.

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Barely registers
Mushroom

So it's the Sun?

Who'd have thought it.

/troll

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Sweaties decode ultimate mystery of chips

Barely registers
Megaphone

Respect due...

"Scottish boffins", please.

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UK boffins to develop 'Solar Squaddie' electro-uniform

Barely registers
Grenade

It was a dark and stormy night...

and because they didn't carry batteries, none of their gear worked.

I foresee future wars fought on a "From Dusk till Dawn" basis of using sharp sticks until the sun comes up.

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Solution found for climate change: Nuclear war

Barely registers
Coat

Current global UAH anomaly is....

-0.02C

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/03/uah-temperature-update-for-feb-2011-0-02-deg-c/

Get your coat.

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Scientists crack spotless Sun mystery

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Boffin

"Scientist cracks mystery" - sounds confident to me

An interesting comment on the Nature site by a David Hathway is here:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v471/n7336/full/nature09786.html#/comment-18493

suggesting that the model, whilst generating observed sunspot behaviour, relies on a model of meridional flow at the start of the cycle which was exactly opposite to the flow observed at that time.

It seems the model ignored the reality. I got bad grades at school when I tried that, and I was't on anybody's payroll.

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Barely registers
Boffin

Put another way...

Scientist writes computer program which successfully outputs past measurements, yet makes no predictions about what cycle 24 holds in store.

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Japan plans space debris fishing trip

Barely registers

And the other 5% are...?

presumably perfectly functional satellites whose owners wouldn't take kindly to their investment being swept up in a fishing net and discarded?

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Police reject Labour MP's call for Bristol-wide DNA test

Barely registers
Black Helicopters

Nothing to fear = nothing for them to gain

Frankly, I would have something to lose - namely my rights to be left alone as a private individual.

"They" would gain _nothing_ from having my DNA, except the overhead of storing it securely and sucking up CPU cycles on _every_ search.

Lastly, just how does this MP actually know whether there is any DNA evidence to match against?

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