171 posts • joined Monday 22nd June 2009 16:17 GMT
Decades ago, our group moved into a set of temporary trailers, while a building was being renovated for us. A year and a half into the six month stint in the trailers, I was able to upgrade my office from an interior office to an office with a window, and <gasp> a thermostat. No more suffering from a horribly cold or a horribly hot office (usually at different points during the same day). Life was good...for about two hours. Then, the endless stream of people along the same duct started showing up, complaining that their office was too hot/cold, and could I please increase/decrease the thermostat. I finally decided that the best way to handle this was to let them fight it out outside my office door (and, make a small fortune selling tickets to the fights!). Eventually, we were moved out of the temporary trailers (We were only in them for about 6.5 years of the six month period.), and, as they were demolishing the trailers (or, should I say, finishing demolishing them, since they were pretty well demolished by the time we moved out of them anyway), they discovered that the heating duct attached to the heat-pump controlled by the thermostat on my office wall had never been attached to anything!
P.S. True story!
P.P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the thermal lining and ice in the pockets.
Re: Some plastics do stink
P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the bottle of Mercaptans in the pocket.
For a better approach, why not use Ethanol and Dry Ice? (And, if things get too bad, the techies can resort to drinking the coolant!). Note that this isn't unprecedented (Err, the Ethanol and Dry Ice, not necessarily the techies drinking it, although that has been known to happen, too!).
There are some mainframe manufacturers who have resorted to using Helium as a cooling agent (e.g., "TCM"). Plus, there has been some work done on using Liquid Nitrogen immersion as a cooling agent for overclocked systems.
Large electrical generators are frequently cooled by Hydrogen gas (It has a low viscosity, so as to not interfere too much with the rotating components, and conducts heat well. Of course, one has to have a very good seal on the bearings, else one runs the risk of the "Hindenberg Effect".).
P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the Kentucky bourbon and Dry Ice in the pocket.
Oh, you mean the Aurora:
Re: @Anonymous 14:01
And, don't forget that, when the engines started, they blew green flames out the back.
They have an SR-71A at the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, USA:
I met one of the SR-71 pilots a number of decades ago, Major Brian Shul, and even got him to autograph a copy of his first book "Sled Driver". His story is quite an interesting one:
And, how many of those (L)users actively suppress the ads, or passively ignore them? How many of those users have disposable income to blow on the advertised goods, versus being 12 year olds spoofing their age, and with no money? How many of those (L)users have the attitude that "I'd never buy anything from a company that advertises on a site like this!"
P. S. How long before FB succumbs to the dark side, and starts allowing pr*n images, to attract even more (L)users?
I just installed Firefox 23 this morning.
I haven't been able to print anything successfully since they took the IBM 1403N1 printer out. Now that was a printer!
P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the print chain in the pocket.
Interesting comments, but maybe I can shed some enlightenment.
Note that most drive-through order systems require some way of sensing that a car is present (else the order taker has to listen constantly to noise in their headset). That may be via a magnetic loop sensor in the pavement. These are notorious for not sensing smaller vehicles, such as bicycles, motorcycles, and horses, as well as pedestrians.
As for taking a horse inside a McDonalds, there are usually (health department) restrictions that only service animals may enter. However, horses can be service animals!
P.S. I'll get my coat, it's the western style duster, with big pockets that I can fill with burgers while riding my horse.
I always seem to get those terms, inside and outside, mixed up. After all, it's easy to get confused. Which side of the line am I standing on? Is that the inside or the outside? Isn't it all relative?
P.S. I also have trouble with the concept of left and right. Maybe that's why I had such trouble in kindergarten? ;-) I ought to be a shoe-in for a job with an intelligence agency!
P.P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one that's inside-out (or, is that outside-in?).
Looks like the rest of FB users may be locked out now, too. It's throwing an error screen when I try to connect:
Sorry, something went wrong.
We're working on getting this fixed as soon as we can.
Facebook © 2012 · Help
I think Morgan Freeman would make a good doctor.
Re: Sonic Screwdriver
There are companies that can analyze/reverse-engineer a surprising number of "secure" chips. Here's one, for example:
And, while these guys are legit, there's probably dozens of illegit or university lab students who could/can/are doing the same thing.
P.S. Yeah, I've got some experience in the computer security field, too. Can't say what exactly, though. ;-)
Re: Redirecting V1s
V1s are, apparently, somewhat rare. There is one mounted on a pedestal outside of the courthouse in Greencastle, Indiana, USA:
I happened to be unaware of this fact, and, while driving through Greencastle one night, almost ran off the street from the amazement of seeing it!
I seem to remember that one technique for bringing down V1s was for a pilot to edge his plane close to one, and insert a wing under the V1's wing, and flip it. Apparently, the control system in the V1s wasn't able to cope with the device becoming inverted.
Re: British Intelligence
Originally written in memory of his girlfriend, who had just been killed in a plane crash in Canada. Later, it was given to Violette Szabo, for use by her while on assignment in occupied France (which, sadly, ended rather badly for her). :-(
I seem to remember that Hamburg and Dresden suffered a bit of "marshmallow roasting" from firestorms:
Of course, the Soviets had their own urban renewal plans for Berlin.
Re: A question for rocket scientists on El Reg...
The problem is that, unless the two subcritical lumps are mechanically constrained when bumped together, the criticiallity will, almost certainly, mechanically separate them before an explosion can result. Remember the two "Demon Core" incidents, and how the two criticiallity incidents only killed two people:
P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the Iodine tablets in the pocket.
Rise Of The Machines
Don't they know that they can't stop the Rise Of The Machines? Resistance is futile...
Of course, governments can promise that they won't design/build such machines. And, they'll stick to that promise, at least until they get wind that some other governmentis building such machines, at which point, an arms race in autonomous killing robots will occur.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the badge that says "I welcome our new robot overlords".
Re: Defuse The Situation
Might be good to release a batch of them in North Korea. Not only would it give the Nork's military something useful to do, but it would also be a new food source. That would have to be a win-win situation!
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the "Tastes like chicken" labels in the pocket.
Unborn to actively avoid flying through the middle of thunderstorms
So, when can we see a rule from the FAA/etc. restricting unborn pilots from flying their aircraft through the centers of thunderstorms?
P.S. Mine's the one with the pockets full of prophylactics.
The scariest scenario may be that NK mounts one of their nukes on one of their missiles, and flies it well over SK or Japan, whereupon they detonate the nuke, causing a nuclear EMP. Given the electronics in both SK and Japan, such an EMP could do an INCREDIBLE amount of damage. :-( Plus, it wouldn't be a direct strike, nor would their be any direct casualties. That could create a bit of a political nightmare, since there's no equivalent retaliation in kind (An EMP doesn't damage a 15th century feudal society.). Plus, if NK spouts off that it was a nuclear reactor powered satellite that only exploded because SK/Japan/USA shot it with a missile...
P.S. Mine's the one with the dosimeter in the pocket.
Re: Won't somebody think of the history?
They'll also believe that we worshiped cats, based on the number of "cute" cat photos that have been posted to Facebook, Pintrest, etc.
P. S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the kitty litter in the pocket.
Maybe she was an environmental terrorist who was trying to smuggle Cane Toads?
P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one making croaking noises.
Oh, such as the boss's phone line becoming short circuited with the 68 KV electric transmission line that runs down the road outside the building? Can't imagine how that might have happened. Perhaps it was one of the neighbourhood kids that was flying a kite with a wire instead of a string, a wire that just happened to be anchored to the boss's phone..
Compilers in their own language
I have worked on a compiler that was written in its own language (one of the infamous PL/x compilers, see wikipedia). Having a compiler compile itself was an excellent test of the compiler. Can't say much more about it, though.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the punched cards in the pocket.
Drat, I gave away my PDP-11/03 decade or two ago. Of course, it was only a /03 model, designed for industrial process control, and, as such, only had 4K (or so) of RAM. Plus, it didn't have a fancy blinking-light console, instead being relegated to a dual gray box. But, it was a cute machine. About killed myself lugging those Rx-05 drives down to the basement.
Hmm, isn't there a PDP-11 simulator available out there somewhere? And, I have a feeling that the simulator probably runs faster than the real PDP-11.
P.S. I'll get my coat; It's the one with the paper tape in the pocket.
How about this one:
Not to be overly gross, but didn't the Nazis have quite a bit of experience with burning human bodies? I seem to recall some reports describing how the bodies of fat people should be intermixed with those of skinny people to achieve complete combustion of the corpses. :-(
Ok, so how long until they get rid of the glasses and do this with contact lenses? (Ohoh, did I just ruin someone's patent application?) ;-)
Umm, when are they going to mount them on sharks? (You knew that someone was going to ask that question, didn't y'all?)
As for the screen burn-in problems, that's mostly to do with sputtering of the electrodes by the electron/ion current in a plasma display (And, there was a similar burn-in problem for certain monochrome CRTs, caused by the electron beam, for a static image, burning the phosphor coating.). That shouldn't be a problem for lasers, at least as long as they don't go with an ultraviolet laser, which could cause some burn issues (Ohoh, did I just ruin someone else's patent application?).
Or, use a ultraviolet laser, and paint a phosphorescent strip on your arm, allowing the laser to make the phosphorescent area glow/fluoresce, seemingly by magic. Perhaps image this with a optically filtered camera (on the other side of the glasses?) to perform the detection. (Ohoh, another idea publicly disclosed?).
Oh, yeah, don't forget that most laundry detergents include a "whitening"/"brightening" agent, left behind after the wash cycle is complete, which is actually a fluorescent material.
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the optical brightening agent on it.
Just wait until they have that Google asteroid being mined...
Then, they can drop the mining refuse onto the heads of anyone they don't like! ;-)
P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the tin-foil hat in the pocket.
Re: This will change things
The real trick will be when we can go to 4D! ;-)
I'd vote for the Nobel Peace Prize!
P.S. I'll get my coat; it's the one with the alternative reality glasses in the pocket.
Re: I feel conflicted.
Re: I'm wondering ...
Ah, getting the kids ready for a cashless society by training them to be dependent upon little pieces of plastic. Sounds like an excellent training ground to teach the more advanced of them to become hackers by reprogramming their little pieces of plastic. ;-)
As for the bathroom access, I still say that a few mysterious brown piles and yellow puddles would remove that requirement VERY rapidly (although the guys are probably better equipped to create those mysterious yellow puddles more easily; hey, is that a case for discrimination?!?). ;-)
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the waterproof pockets and the RFID card duplicator in it.
1.5 KW shouldn't be a major problem. For the past two years, I've been living in a travel trailer (caravan to the right pondians), using a single 20 Amp, 117 Volt electrical feed. That's not a lot of power. Yeah, I have to turn off the space heater when I turn on the microwave oven. Plus, I have a Propane stove and a Propane furnace, for when the weather gets really nasty (0F/-18C). But, you do learn to conserve power. :-) I've thought that such a lifestyle might be good training for a mission to Mars (After all, spacecraft are remarkably similar to travel trailers/caravans, and have a limited power budget, too!).
P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the heavy gauge extension cord in the pocket.
Heck, I remember running a simulation of such a gravitational system like that, back in the mid-1980s, on an IBM XT class machine, which shows that the planets could get flung out of the system.
Move it to Barrow, Alaska? I'm told that they have a lot of oil up there to spin the generators with, and they could certainly appreciate the waste heat from a system like that.
Heck, maybe Barrow, Alaska could become the new supercomputing center of the world?
P.S. I'll get my coat, it's the one with the ice cubes in the pockets.
Zombie versus Vampire
At least no one is using Zombie or Vampire as a password. Correct?
I wonder what kind of a NEMP that would have caused on Earth? Might have been, umm, interesting. After all, Starfish Prime did cause a bit of a blip in the power grid.
Oh, and there's a reason that one was called "prime"; because the original Starfish failed due to a rocket failure. Whoopsie! Of course, the Starfish test wasn't nearly as bad as the Bluegill test, which required four tries before it worked (Bluegill, Bluegill Prime, Bluegill Double Prime, and Bluegill Triple Prime!):
Ok, so what if there's a bit of Plutonium contamination of on Johnston Island? At least it's fate was better than that of Elugelab Island, which was an island in the Enewetak Atoll:
Better there than in New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Mississippi, Alaska, err, umm, oh wait...
P.S. Mine's the one with the Iodine tablets in the pocket.
Re: Of course... if the body were immersed in water..
I don't think it's that simple. There's an issue with the mass of the body compressing blood vessels and cutting off the flow of blood to various organs (especially the brain inside the skull). There are some mechanisms for counteracting blood pooling in various parts of the body (e.g., legs), such as pressure pants, but I don't know that there is anything that can be done for the brain.
I remember some "science" videos from the 1960s involving rats and fluorinert (or, whatever that Oxygen carrying liquid was). Sheeze, that's been a LONG time ago.
P.S. Mines the one with the bottle of Oxygen in the pocket.
I got a ride in a NASA centrifuge decades ago. It took me up to a sustained 3G. The effect was weird, but not too unpleasant, at least until I turned my head sideways. Then, I was hit with a violent wave of nausea (No, I didn't toss my cookies, but it took all my self control to prevent from doing it!). The nausea had something to do with the fluid in my inner ears swirling in an unaccustomed manner. And, I'm not sure how that could be counteracted, at least without a rather substantial dose of Dramamine or something like it.
One of the weirdest feelings was trying to lift my arm, which weighed three times the normal
I suspect I could have handed a considerably higher G, but I wasn't out to set a record that day.
Oh, the couch was reclined back at a rather comfortable angle.
P.S. Mine's the one with the beer in the pocket. Doesn't beer counteract space-sickness?
But, why hasn't anyone mentioned anal probing yet? After all, the aliens had to get a sample of human DNA to compose the original beasts with, didn't they? And, anal probing probably has less chance of contamination than oral swabbing, which is the current trend in DNA sampling (at least according to the TV show CSI).
So, the aliens show up, do a bit of anal probing to get a DNA sample of humans, then create a creature roughly similar, which they then release on Earth (Ok, so there was a bit of mutation in that DNA, whether intentional or unintentional). Such creatures then breed with human women, producing bigfoots.
Of course, those were the failed attempts (probably incorrect DNA mutations). The successful DNA mutations now work in the IT industry.
P.S. Mine's the one with "Genetic Engineering for Dummies" in the pocket.
I did my MS degree project on this, back in the mid-1980s. My conclusion? Electronics would win out for the computational elements, since electrons interact with matter a lot more easily than photons, at least at reasonable energy levels (All bets are off if the optical signal is strong enough to cause ionization, but, at that power level, all is lost anyway). Optical was the way to go for interconnects, whether long distance, to peripheral devices, or even between chips. There was some interest in optical for MIMD type computational operations (or even SIMD type computational operations), or for massively parallel operations, but these seemed doomed from the start.
There was a lot of interest, at least back in the 1980s, in crossbar switches for optical switching, rather than having to convert the optical signals to electricity, in order to do the switching, and then back to optical. But, while there was quite a bit of hope for using LCDs for such crossbar switching, nothing seems to have materialized. That might be an area of interest, especially since that could remove a lot of the power consumption in the routing function (Yes, some invention would be required.). Anyway, it may be an area of interest.
P.S. Mine's the one with the photons in the pocket.
Re: a barcode and an RFID
Wonder how many students will have to be strangled by those round-the-neck cords before they realize this is a Real Dumb idea?
P.S. Mine's the one with the strap cutter in the pocket.
Re: Random Swapping
After a few brown piles mysteriously appeared in the hallways, the bathrooms would be quickly unprotected!
P.S. Mine's the one with the toilet paper in the pocket (It pays to be prepared!).
Wouldn't it be better to send a man and woman aloft, rather than two men? That would allow them to see how zero gravity affects both men and women. And, so what if three come down? Might end up getting more data than they bargained for.
For that matter, in order to get a valid sample size, shouldn't they send six of each up?
P.S. Oh, yeah, I think they ought to send a 52 year old guy, and an 18 year old gal, just to get data across a range of ages. Makes sense, doesn't it?
P.P.S. Mine's the one with the parachute in the pocket. Eat your heart out Felix. ;-)
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