481 posts • joined 28 Jul 2009
"*[In practice of course they don't. Long ago, my brother once had his opinion reproduced in the local paper. I asked him if he had actually said he was impressed upon meeting a former MP (recently elevated to the peerage). He was sure he hadn't.]"
I can confirm this, in a different context. It was 2002 and I was out and about (for reasons that aren't relevant here) in the Weald near Crowborough (which is, in turn, near Tunbridge Wells). I was parked in a lay-by, taking some pictures of the scenery when a bunch of people arrive in one car with another car following them. I got some pictures of the other car as they also took pictures of it (and, more to the point, as they abruptly and bluntly said I shouldn't do so)... As I found out later, the car turned out to be the next year's version of, as I recall it, the Honda Accord, so...
... Auto Express magazine gave me some money for the pictures and wrote up a blurb. The things they had me saying were quite remarkable, and were almost but not quite totally unlike what I had said to the reporter.
Re: I'm not sure
"On the one hand, the retardation of the general driving populace in this country is funny."
This sort of remark makes me think of something I saw one day on the A40 heading east from Oxford toward the London-bound M40 junction. It's a two-lanes-each-way dual carriageway, and on that particular morning, the right lane (the fast one) was crammed full of cars. The left lane featured a tractor well burdened by mowing machinery (not in use at that moment, but travelling at tractor speed). Approaching the tractor in the left lane were a handful of cars valiantly attempting to merge right to pass the tractor. One of them, of course, left it a bit later than the others, and there was a sudden burst of tyre-smoke from all four wheels, and then the car shuddered and there was a spray of assorted fragments from the front of the car and/or the back of the tractor. Car and tractor pulled off the carriageway, and my god he made a mess of the front of his car. (Didn't do the mowing machinery much good either.)
Re: Babcock the Canuck
Let me adjust that:
"North American Nomenclature".
In a certain soggy country north of France, "hockey" is played on grass, and "ice hockey" is played on ice. I don't recall a special term for a hockey-like game played in gymnasiums.
Re: A shame
"It's how we behave afterwards that define our character."
I believe the line you're looking for is this:
Lou Mannheim: Man looks in the abyss, there's nothing staring back at him. At that moment, man finds his character. And that is what keeps him out of the abyss.
Re: Best Ignored
See also http://xkcd.com/937/ for another view on the value of online reviews.
"Tornado Guard: set up alerts for tornadoes in your area. Average 4.9 stars" Sounds good, and wow, 4.9 stars. Let's look at what they said:
"5 stars, great interface, lets me set up loads of alerts"
"5 stars, lots of good features"
"5 stars, superb interface"
"1 star, did not warn me about tornado"
"again no idea where euro is on a uk keyboard"
Wikipedia says that the UK keyboard layout puts € on AltGr+4. I use AZERTY(*), where € sits on AltGr+E.
(*) Because I live in France and it's too much like hard work using different keyboard layouts. Because it's too hard getting UK-QWERTY keyboards over here, I switched over to AZERTY when I moved here back in 2009. AZERTY's main sin is having dead-keys for typing less common accents like circumflex and diaeresis (umlaut to you, Chuckles).
Re: Dense diamond
"Take a fail point yourself. Electron degenerate matter is unable to form any kind of chemical bond (because of the lack of electrons) and therefore unable to crystalise."
Did I mention chemical bonds or crystals? No. I referred to it as a "diamond" (in quotes), meaning a so-called diamond, because various people had called it a diamond, not because I thought it would be even slightly reasonable to call it such a thing.
Re: 5000 times cooler... so simple
Or maybe "5000 times as much coolness". Coolness, when referring to temperature and not to jazz, is measured in reciprokelvins, and the thing that is 5000 times cooler has 5000 times as many reciprokelvins, or 1/5000th of the number of kelvins. "It is at one 5000th of the temperature of the Sun" would be a better way of saying it, but this seems to be another instance of a modern trend, that of using these sort of reciprocal units (coolness is the reciprocal of temperature, slowness is the reciprocal of speed, etc) in comparisons, so that "X is N times slower (cooler, smaller, etc) than Y" means that "Y is N times faster (hotter, larger, etc.) than X", or equivalently that "X is 1/N th as fast (hot, large, etc.) as Y". It's stupid, and it lives in the same house as "twice as hot" - this is often used to mean "at 40degC instead of at 20degC".
Re: Dense diamond
Take a FAIL point, dude. The "new kind of physics" you are seeking hides behind the terms "compact star", "electron degeneracy pressure" and more generally "degenerate matter". You should also take a tour around "Pauli exclusion principle" for a minor diversion and a bit of background.
And yes, the "diamond" is very dense. A white dwarf will have a mass of anywhere from 0.2 to 1.44 times the mass of the Sun, but packed into an object about the size of the Earth.
For more detail than you probably ever wanted to know, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_dwarf .
And join the "5000 times cooler" sinner in the corner. There's plenty of spare dunce hats.
I'd love to know...
... WTF "5000 times cooler" is supposed to mean.
If it is supposed to mean "surface at 1/5000th the absolute temperature" (the only thing we can actually measure about either its temperature or the Sun's), then it has a surface temperature of 1.1 Kelvin, which is, indeed, pretty cold, but seeing it at that temperature is basically impossible, and anyway the surface is described as being at 3000 K.
If, on the other hand, we follow the 3000 K surface temperature, then the 5000 times cooler idea leads me to accuse the Sun's surface temperature of being around 15 megaKelvin, which is grossly over the mark (around 5800 K). 15 megaKelvin is reasonable for the Sun's core, but that's actually just speculation, and "5000 times cooler" comparing the surface of the white dwarf to the core of the Sun is a highly questionable comparison. (I would normally be a lot more blunt about this analysis, but I'm in a charitable sort of mood today.)
Overall, then, whoever said this is guilty of sins against language and should go sit in the corner with a dunce hat on. For shame!
"These things illicit the same emotions of pity as wearers of bluetooth headsets.. that bad."
Methinks you mean "elicit"(*), but for me it isn't so much pity as a sort of diffuse contempt.
(*) "To elicit" is more or less equivalent to "to provoke", while "illicit" is an adjective meaning not licit, more generally carrying a sense of dodgy dealings.
I guess I'll add this to my list of pairs and triplets of frequently-confused approximately homophonic words, alongside ours/hours, you're/your, their/there/they're, accept/except, affect/effect, lose/loose and a host of others.
Re: Back to the Future
"go back to 70s mainframes IIRC"
I'd have to say you don't RC... Unless 1967 is part of the 70s... ;)
"The assorted slide rules might qualify as such until I get around to building a nice display case for them. Then its a collection. Or a hoard, hanging on the wall."
Back a few years, around 1977, say, I took an open-day type tour round the secondary school where I would be going the following school year. In one of the maths classrooms, they had a (one) (1) slide rule on the wall.
Of course it was six feet long, for demonstrating slide rule technique to twelve-year-olds...
Re: Nice idea
Re: automated trains, or, as suggested, urban mass transit.
Every working day, I ride a fully automatic mass transit system with no on-train staff. There are no drivers, no "close doors" button-pushers, no puke-stoppers, nobody. Occasionally orange-jacket staff will use the trains to move around the system, or green-jacket staff will invade them to hold a ticket inspection party, but they aren't on-train staff in the way you'd normally use the term.
Where am I? Lille, France, which is the first city in the world to use this particular combination of technologies (driverless automatic rubber-tyre people-mover/light metro). The VAL trains mean they can run trains once-a-minute during rush hour.
And they've been doing it since 1983.
"Looks fairly head on since its almost circular"
For impact craters this line of reasoning is more or less complete bulldinkey. Impact craters for all but the shallowest impact angles are round because the crater is caused by an *explosion* whose effects are almost completely independent of the angle of impact.
Unless you are talking about the shot pattern of the array of craters. I'd give you that, sort of.
Re: Triffids - your time has come
"I read the book many years later, which was short, very dated, but alright."
I was amused recently by the thought of the expensive designer flat where Bill and Jo holed up for a while, because it might have cost 2000 pounds in rent for a year, and how that compared to my not-so expensive flat in a village between Oxford and Reading. Well, that and the flat I saw advertised in Finsbury Square (on the City Road north of Moorgate tube) somewhere around 2006. The rent? About 800 a *week*, or more than 41000 pounds a year.
Inflation, gotta love it.
"Secondly, The Pauli Exclusion Principle applies not only to electrons but to all particles."
All *fermions*. Bosons operate under different rules, and in particular are not subject to the PEP.
Re: Move the goalposts
"I have a name given to me at birth - as we all have."
Historically (maybe even now) this wasn't actually mandatory in England. There are still people who have no legal name, just a series of aliases.
Re: Gets worse before it gets better. But who said it'll get better
"Subways would benefit from automation right now because properly designed controls don't fall to sleep and drive twice as fast as conditions allow. Notice I said "properly designed"."
Come to Lille. The Lille Metro has, for *over*30*years*, operated a fully automatic driverless metro service. The driverless nature of the system means that the "headway" of the system (technical language for the spacing between consecutive trains) is one minute at peak times, which is a lot of trains per hour, and beyond the capabilities of human-operated trains. Lille operates the world's first system using VAL (Véhicule Automatique Lèger = Light Automatic Vehicle, originally standing for Villeneuve d'Ascq à Lille) trains, although there are now many such systems in cities around the world.
The headway of a metro / underground / subway system is strongly influenced by the nature of the control system, and automatic systems are always able to have a shorter headway than human-driven systems. The main cost-increasing aspect is the need for gates on the platforms to prevent people falling onto the tracks, as the automatic system cannot see obstacles that have fallen on the tracks.
Re: Hype marketing.
"Call it the 'V8' and Americans will snap 'em up"
Call it the 'V8' and it's tomato juice. "I coulda had a V8."
(Yes, I watched too much American TV in the 1980s...)
"DNT is great in theory, except it was doomed the minute Microsoft decided to make it on by default."
This is either hopelessly naive or hopelessly MS-bashing, more likely both. DNT was doomed the moment it was invented, even before the proposals were first published. The very first time I heard about the idea, I concluded that it was fatuously naive optimism on a scale that is rarely seen anywhere, and nothing in any of the subsequent discussions has inclined me to change that opinion.
Re: kill gazebo with broadsword
"The title, I remember watching a newbie (a term not known then) playing...
"you enter a woodland glade, a slender gazebo stands here.
"> kill gazebo with broadsword
Well, if it had said, "a slender bandstand stands here.", the user probably wouldn't have done it. Two nations divided by a common language and all that... (And let's face it, if you don't know what a gazebo is, you'd be forgiven for thinking, based on the sound of the word, that it is some kind of antelope or something.)
Re: Hold your horses ....
"And before getting excited we should glance at our calendar"
We should also note that Phoronix claims that its piece was written on 30 March...
Re: 沖縄国際映画祭 日本語 メールニュース
"We will now contemplate the awesomeness of having readers of Reg, and Dabbsie in particular, who also read Japanese..."
Speak for yourself. I used Goggle Mistranslate...
EDIT: Although the fact that I recognised 日本語 as being "nihongo" / Japanese-language tipped me off that there was a faint aroma of rattus rattus in the wind...
Re: Seperation of Powers (of thought)
'The technical route expected people to achieve recognition in their subject by research and publishing papers which IIRC reached the top of the tree with the title "World Authority".'
With respect, this is not as enlightened as you think. It imposes an alternative narrow path. Either you become a manager/bureaucrat or you become a publish-or-perish academic. Some of us aren't cut out for either of those paths. What about the third way, simply being very, very good at building software?
Oh, and 'The Soul of a New Machine' was written by Tracy Kidder. Gary Kildall (note two ells) created CP/M and founded Digital Research.
Behind the times...
Title: Domino's Tests Delivery of Pizza by Remote-Controlled Drone: The DomiCopter takes flight
Date: June 12, 2013
Right, then, I'm off.
Re: @ Aaiieeee
"This means when you want them they are usually hidden under something else"
Ah, so pliers are the cockroach of the toolbox then?
Re: no, just no
"but in what way will a turbine function better if it can read the inane tweets of the great unwashed?"
More to the point, perhaps, are some questions that arise from my interpretation, i.e. that the devices can feed *to* social media:
* Why is it necessary for an industrial turbine to tweet?
* What would the said turbine post to facebook?
* Do we have to fit the turbine with a camera so it can post pictures of the plant operators?
* Will the turbines start to post depressive existential poetry?
* If they do, are we allowed to attack them with heavy weaponry?
And don't forget the interesting possibilities offered by consumer-grade toasters that can post upward into enterprise level monitoring systems...
Re: My usual comment...
@ledswinger: *My* electricity supplier quotes 85% nuclear among the list of sources on the bills I get, which puts your numbers into a different light, I'd say.
'Course I live in France, but never mind that. (And no, I'm not French.)
Drinks cabinet (was: Re: Sir)
If you're planning to use the safe as a drinks cabinet, just watch out for Indio and his gang...
Re: simplistic idea
Hmm. Nothing could go wrong here, no, not at all.
I couldn't go abroad for a couple of weeks and forget the password, could I?
"..that's a radial engine, not a rotary engine. Rotary engines don't have pistons."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_engine says you are wrong. Back in the day, people tried all sorts of weird stuff, and in some ways the weirdest was the pre-1920s device called a rotary engine. It had its main use in aviation, and it somewhat resembles a radial engine. The principal difference is that a radial engine's block is bolted to the airframe, and its crankshaft to the propeller, while a rotary engine's block is bolted to the propeller and its crankshaft to the airframe. The result is that the whole engine rotates, whence the name. It suffers two main disadvantages: relative inefficiency at high power levels, and a heavy gyroscopic effect, which outweigh the main advantages - they don't need a separate flywheel because the rotating cylinder blocks act as an effective flywheel, and they are, especially in aviation applications, effectively air-cooled without further work..
More modern applications of the term "rotary engine" refer to pistonless internal combustion engines like the Wankel rotary, and of course a pedantic application of the term would include turbine engines.
And anyway, if you look closely at the website, you'll find that it is an orbital engine, info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbital_engine .
Profit and value-add...
"And to the economist the ability to make a profit means that whoever is making that profit must, by definition, be adding value."
Not in all cases. An arbitrageur makes a profit (he wouldn't do it if he didn't think he has a better than even chance of making a profit), but doesn't actually add value. He buys where it is cheap, and sells where it is expensive, but he doesn't modify the stuff he buys and sells.
You might argue about whether he adds value by changing the object from "there" to "here", where "here" is an attribute of value, and "there" is an attribute of 'non-value', but I think that's excessively nit-pickingly pedantic.
"Web filtering is already the default on mobile phones."
It depends on where you are and how awake you are.
Four years ago (nearly five, now) I moved to France. I picked up a pair (one for me, one for her) of PAYG SIMs from SFR, and discovered that they had a parental-control filter installed in the data plan.
How did I find this out? It blocked access to the servers used by the Google Maps app on WinMob6.1...
So how do I turn it off? Um, I would have had to write a dead-tree letter to SFR's relevant department explaining that yes, I'm a grown up (and had been at the time for nearly 30 years), so please let me look at dodgy stuff like Google Maps... (Not Street View, mind, just the map data...)
So what did I do? I walked downstairs to a different provider, who gave (sold) me a nice contract without (OK, I had to ask, but the dude could plainly see that we are adults, so no dead-tree was required) any such filter.
"remove the copyright and embrace the opensource."
Take one FAIL point.
If you remove copyright as a legal concept, you also remove the ability to place restrictions on the use of the copyrighted software (because it isn't copyrighted anymore, duh), and you end up throwing out the GPL (and other F/OSS licences) as well, so all that GPL software becomes public domain and I can incorporate it into a closed-source product without having to open my code up.
The key point, often forgotten or at least overlooked, is that all open-source software, whether GPL, MPL, ApacheL, BSDL or whatever, is just as copyrighted as Windows is... The only difference, in the end, is that the F/OSS licences place <== this list of restrictions on the copying of the software and the availability of source code, and closed-source licences place ==> that list of restrictions (including that the source code is not available except perhaps at huge cost). They can only do this because the software is still subject to copyright.
Caveat lector: I have a mild and semi-reasoned dislike of the GPL, especially v3. I'm not going to explain why here, because (a) it isn't relevant and (b) it is only semi-reasoned, and I don't care to discuss the unreasonable/irrational part.
No matter what the deal is with the statistics themselves...
... the problem is actually the merging of "tech" and "digital" businesses into one category.
The various company types whose inclusion in this unified category is ridiculed by commentators and by the article itself are not inherently the problem. That we consider them "digital" is in some cases semi-reasonable.
That they link "tech" (presumably (but not necessarily) what we'd think of as tech companies - software houses, hardware design, etc.) and "digital" (evidently all this internet-using stuff that doesn't design, build, etc. technology) as if they are a single sort of thing is just ridiculous.
And all the commentators who posted before me have overlooked this point...
Oh, and Zapata Corp, now Harbinger, was originally an oil company.
Re: "The chances of anything coming from Earth are a million to one," he said.
More to the point, perhaps, "nine times out of ten"...
Re: Escaped Plates
I once saw a lorry owned by Cosi-Bed (or with their logos on it anyway).
CO 51 BED
Re: What's an EXE?
"users of Androids"
Androiders have to worry about Whatsap voicemail messages instead...
"If you can remember the eighties, bad luck."
I remember the eighties, sure. They weren't so bad. Of course, judging by your selection of TV personalities, I probably remember a different eighties to you. Mine were populated by Ronald Reagan, Dan Rather, and so on because I lived in the US for most of that decade. (One stand-out memory I have is of Dan Rather having run out of things to say about the Challenger disaster, but then continuing to talk about it anyway. When two large buildings fell down in 2001, I was by chance in the US, and I was struck by a certain similarity in the news coverage. *All* the channels on the hotel TV were covering the aftermath, and *all* of them were stuck in that same loop of needing to continue talking but having nothing new to say.)
"มาลัย (which means "Garland of Flowers" in Thai)."
Curiously, Goggle Mistranslate claims that มาลัย really does mean "Garland". "of Flowers" is not specified.
Emulators, and history, and stuff...
Article: "it came with an emulator to run 16-bit x86 code on DEC Alpha, MIPS, PowerPC and SPARC"
I remember an interesting point that this caused.
Context: it is early 1998. Windows 2000 is visible on the far horizon, but it is still called Windows NT 5.0. Windows 98 is in late beta.
My employer (a British A/V supplier) is building up to releasing the first CD-ROM packaged version of its software, which will have installers for Win3.*, MS-DOS, Win95 (and Win98 when it comes out later in the year), and many flavours of WinNT3.*/4.0.
The question: given that we can ignore DOS because it doesn't do autorun of CDs, and given that autorun.inf doesn't have per-platform sections telling what to run, and given that some customers run Windows NT on Alpha, MIPS, and so on, how do you build a single .EXE for autorun?
Answer: you build it in Win16 and mark it as usable on Windows 3.1(0). Win95/98 will pick it up and run it natively. WinNT on x86 will pick it up and run it "natively" on WoW32. Win3.10/3.11 will be able to run it manually. MS-DOS will be able to run the same setup.exe if you build the MS-DOS installer in the real-mode "stub" part of the NE-format executable. OS/2 can run Win16 applications through its API emulation layers.
And Win NT on MIPS, Alpha, and friends will run the Win16 application through the x86/16 emulator.
Of course the structural difficulties of x64's compatibility modes mean that this no longer works - WinXP/Vista/7/8/8.1 on x64 do not run Win16 applications except in VMs - but equally the demise (for practical purposes) of Win3.* means that Win32 is a satisfactory API to target.
Re: The PS3 was and still is a top-notch product
"more than 4GB of system memory, which 32-bit chips are limited to. "
Tsk. Look up PAE, Physical Address Extension. This allows a compatible 32-bit processor to access memory beyond the 4GB line. And it was introduced on the Pentium Pro. In 1995.
The fact that non-server editions of 32-bit Windows don't exploit the capability (they do run in PAE mode, but limit physmem to 4G for driver compatibility and licensing reasons) doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
I always liked the cgs unit for capacitance.
In cgs units, a conducting sphere has a capacitance exactly equal to its radius.
Re: And we now why they called it the Xbox 720
I must admit to having wondered a bit about the folks suggesting XBox 720. But then I've read the Japanese manga "BTOOOM!" (might have the wrong number of Os in there, sorry), where the protagonist (and most of the antagonists) are unwilling participants in a LARP version of an FPS. The online version runs on the fictionalised "DXBox 720" which bears an uncanny resemblance to various models of XBox...
Re: Cool..but also oddly disturbing
"Perhaps there are forms of life that are neither plants nor animals?"
Or were you thinking of something less Earth-bound?
That said, the idea of hyper-intelligent mushrooms gives me pause, a bit.
"How are expenses a loss"
Presumably because they expended them ahead of the putative private sale (in the expectation of being able to recover the expenses by receiving the commissions and fees), and then the putative sale didn't happen. This in turn meant that the expenses were expended without any gain, and therefore lost.
Or something like that.
Not that I have much sympathy with them at all, since they presumably knew / could work out that the putative sale was illegal / counter to regulatory policy.
Short version: "Waaaaaaaa!! Nasty Twitter wouldn't let me make money doing something illegal with their shares!: Waaaaaaaa!!"
Re: The man who created a legend
"Especially the 2nd generation ones which, had SLOTS!"
Pardon? The 5150 had slots. It also had a PSU that was almost big enough to power the devices(*) in them, and certainly couldn't cope with a hard disk. That had to wait 18 months for the 5160 (PC/XT), which was otherwise much like the 5150.
The original AT (the 5170) came even later.
(*) Devices? What devices? Graphics card ("display adapter", up to two), serial and parallel ports, floppy controller, that sort of stuff. None of it was on the 5150's motherboard, except the keyboard and cassette port connectors.
Re: The N in DNT is NOT
"Which bit of DO NOT TRACK don't you ad-monkeys understand?"
Oh, they understand it *very* well indeed, all of it. They just don't want DNT to exist. In fact, they'd rather it had never existed. But being that it has existed, and does exist as a Work In Progress, they inevitably want to evade it, or neuter it, and are willing to promise to just plain ignore it in order to get their way.
For me, though, the whole idea stank of fatuously optimistic naive idealism, right from the very beginning.
Re: Repost from 1990s?
I first ran across this idea at the Zurich Stock Exchange in about 1996, maybe early 1997. They had 155Mbps ATM fibre running under the street between the main Exchange and the back rooms. As a backup(*) they had a laser/receiver pair on the roof of each building.
(*) Yes, they had a backup that was less reliable than the main connection. Free-air laser links are prone to not working well when it is foggy (so the fog scatters the laser). Pigeons that happen to fly through the laser path will cause the loss of signal for a small fraction of a second, but apparently fog is the real villain here.
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