50 posts • joined Tuesday 18th August 2009 14:03 GMT
@James 51: The format is irrelevant, it's the size (in both inches and pixels) that matters. My wife and I both read loads of academic papers and they're all formatted for approximately A4. A kindle is about A6, and tables of data, complicated multi-line formulae or complex graphs become completely unreadable, both because of the size reduction and reduced resolution. If the e-reader also tries to reflow text that's supposed to be in a fixed layout the result is worse than useless.
I used to have an iRex Iliad that was A5 and that handled A4 PDF well enough for me, but my visual acuity is slightly freakish, and my wife simply couldn't read research papers on it. In the end it died a death, and they'd gone bust by that point. Nowadays I use a 10" cheapo Android tablet that is near enough A5 size, but it's heavy compared to an E-Ink device, the emissive screen tires my eyes faster than E-Ink and the battery life is ridiculously short in comparison.
There is a definite niche market in the research community for A4 PDF based document readers. Simple monochrome would do for 80-90% of uses. However, academics aren't renowned for their huge salaries and off shore bank accounts, so the price would have to be around that of a cheap 10" tablet to get any sales volume.
Re: Pens should be banned
"And who designs stones?"
Stonemasons. A venerable and ancient craft still going strong in the modern world.
Re: is this the same
Exactly right. BT offered to have fibre to every home and business in the land by 2000 if they could maintain their monopoly. Thatcher vetoed it. What's the current percentage who have fibre today?
Re: "I find it hard to believe that the life expectancy is as long as two years..."
Two years may be the average but the record time I know is 20 minutes from a manager being given a brand new, top end and very pricey laptop to it being a pile of useless junk. It had a docking station. The docking station had latches to hold the laptop firmly. Rather than undoing the latches to release the laptop, the manager (of the system programming group no less) decided levering it free with a big screwdriver must be the obvious and right thing to do.
Re: effect on birds
"I can think of a lot of much better reasons to pillory windfarms such as their devastating effect on local bird populations - especially raptors and other large predatory birds. Or the way they mash bats."
A few years ago Nature published a study of all US wind farms and bird mortality. The average result over the entire US was 0.5 bird deaths per turbine per year - vastly lower than the death toll caused by domestic cats or hunters. The reason why the "wind turbines slaughter birds" meme came about was because one of the earliest wind farms was placed in a pass in the Rockies that was the equivalent of the M25 for a species of endangered raptors, and they got sliced and diced in numbers high enough to affect the species' survival. That wind farm was shut down long ago, and current wind farms on migratory routes shut down as soon as radar sees large numbers of birds heading their way.
The real problem is bats. The pressure fluctuations near a turbine can make their internal organs rupture. That's why they're trying using ultrasound to keep bats away.
Geography is a bit screwed
Cambridge doesn't have a Hill Street, but it does have a Hills Road, and if they moved into Bridge Street opposite the Mitre and Barron of Beef, they moved into St John's College.
An increase of 3dB is twice the power. 10dB is 10 times the power. Bels are base 10 logs, decibels 10 times that.
Re: pronounce it as "squiggle".
Remembering Prince's little snit with his record label, how about "The computer scientist formerly known as Knuth"?
Re: replace all those copper cables that the metal thieves nick all the time
Wouldn't work. In many cases they're thieves because they're too stupid to do anything else. That's why they end up nicking fibre optic cables, thinking it's copper, and get a surprise when the scrap dealer tells them second hand glass isn't worth buying.
Why on earth is monkey so popular? Are they reshowing the old TV series or something?
Obvious why their borders are so heavily guarded
What with having the sexiest man in the world as their leader, *and* unicorns, if the North Koreans didn't guard their borders so well, they'd be swamped by people wanting to live there.
Wikipedia: Firstenberg was a Westinghouse scholar
and yet he's against electromagnetic fields. Sigh.
Moonies, Scientologists and Apple Fanbois ...
what a bunch of cults. (Good job this isn't the Grauniad.)
Warning - national stereotyping ahead
Shouldn't an Irish ransom virus zip and encrypt the contents of your waste basket/trash can?
Re: "Britain’s own geothermal investment are pretty puny"
@Andrew Orlowski: "MacKay's book is very out of date now"
Published 2009 - not exactly written in Latin. :-)
However, when it comes to geothermal power you're right about the new methods being better - the 2050 pathways document from DECC gives a "maximum technically feasible" capacity of 4-5GW. Technically feasible is always larger, sometimes much larger, than economically feasible, but even a GW or two is not to be sniffed at. The problem won't be the hippy type greens though, it'll be CPRE and Bill Bryson whingeing about how pylons spoil the rugged beauty of Dartmoor.
Anybody should be completely free to object to power infrastructure in their area, but only on the condition that they have smart meters fitted and can be cut off whenever the grid needs to shed load. Nothing like bringing home the consequences of one's choices. :-)
Re: Geo exporting
There's talk of a power interconnector between Iceland and the UK, and another to Norway. They'd both be long and across hostile seabed, but they're part of the proposed european grid.
"Britain’s own geothermal investment are pretty puny"
That's because the UK has sod all high quality geothermal potential. Around Dartmoor is the best place and even that's not great. If you want realistic figures, MacKay's book says the biggest estimate of geothermal capacity in the UK comes to 1.1 kWh/day/person, which is about 2.75 MW, or 4/5ths of fuck all compared to the national electricity base load of 20/40 GW (summer/winter).
Which is a shame, because when you've got it, geothermal is good.
Re: REAL cyborgs are those living daily with implants
I'm always amused at people's reactions when I point out that my pacemaker has more on-board compute power than the Apollo missions. Except for under-30s, who often ask what an Apollo mission was. :-(
I'm certainly more of a cyborg than Kevin "I got chipped like a dog, which gave me cyberpowers" Warwick.
Open source does permeate Microsoft
The open source FreeBSD network stack has supplied the network code for Windows for donkey's years. :-)
Re: Anyone who really understands cryptography
You're quite right about using this source for Monte Carlo or simulation applications, it's a good resource for that, but the original article specifically said
"It is, however, very useful for applications like cryptography."
I just wanted to warn against thinking the ANU site could be safely used for cryptography.
Anyone who really understands cryptography
would never download supposedly random numbers from a web site. They might be lying about the randomness, they could be mistaken, or they could be completely genuine but the site has been hacked or its network connections compromised. Unless *you* control the random number generator you cannot trust it.
Dropping spanners on batteries
A mate of mine did that by accident once. I'll swear I ducked so fast my feet left the ground due to Newton's third law. The forearm-long chrome vanadium steel spanner was bent through ~120 degrees and glowed yellow hot where it wasn't embedded in the garage wall.
Barbie and the Three Musketeers
Lewis you bastard, did you have to mention that? I Googled for it in disbelief and now I've ODed on pink.
Aware but not interested.
"As brands continue to promote 3D, user awareness and interest is growing,"
I've tried 3D. It gives me motion sickness, which I don't otherwise suffer from, *and* a blinding headache on top. Depending on which article you read there are 5-20% of the population who have the same problems. The chances of nobody in a household suffering these problems drops as the number of people increases. If it's 10% who suffer problems a third of 2 parent, 2 kid households are going to have someone vomiting or whimpering when watching 3D TV, and that's before you consider how crap the programme is.
Icon for how I feel after watching 3D.
for those of us who had to do classical Greek.
Re: Guaranteed ROI?
Currently once you've done the paperwork your FIT rate is guaranteed and index linked for 25 years. Like all legislation, future governments can change it at whim, but the electricity company that actually pays you the money can't.
Six of one, half a dozen of the other
"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."
Jobs and Stallman both insist(ed) people Do The Right Thing, but with diametrically opposed ideas of what TRT was. The Perlers have got it right - there's more than one way to do it.
Make sure the backup is going where you think it is going.
One of our guys installed a SunOS based customer site which backed up to an Exabyte tape. The backup would verify the tape contents after backing up to ensure the tape was written correctly, and each day the customers religiously rotated the tapes and put them in the fire safe. One day they wanted to duplicate their data onto another machine, so tried to restore the backup tapes onto the new machine. Nothing on the tape. Nothing on *any* tape. Turns out that the backup had been going to /dev/rmt0 when the Exabyte was /dev/rst0 or somesuch name, i.e. the backups had simply been written into a file in /dev on the original machine. Fortunately they hadn't actually lost anything and it was corrected, but if the original machine had fried they'd have lost man years of work.
Can't be from the Yanks
If it was, the last two sentences would read:
We know where you live. And if we're wrong, we'll slaughter the innocent civilians living there anyway, and it will all be your fault.
Number of affected systems
The Rightscale post estimated that about half a million EBS instances were affected by the outage. If that's the case 0.07% is 350 instances.
warm beer loving Brits???
The British do not drink warm beer, we drink it at a decent temperature that suits the beer. It's only people whose major beer brands taste like they were excreted by a diabetic horse that have to freeze it down so they can't taste what they're drinking. That said, the Yanks do have some seriously decent microbreweries these days, and about time too.
Re: Prior Art
> Sun SunOS ND Boot + Root Partitions - late 80s
I was working on such systems in 1984, so make that early/mid 80s. We (or rather our parent company) had an agreement with Sun that meant we got Sun stuff before it went on general release to the world.
Lily of the Valley
Considering most of us probably associate this scent with our grannies, you do have to wonder about those who found it stimulating.
For those who prefer traditional units
38 atoms of anti-hydrogen would give an explosion equivalent to 2.7 attotons of TNT.
Collective noun for Lewises
A puissance of Lewises surely?
Is that initial quote in para 2 right? A topographical map does take account of geometric coordinates, a *topological* one doesn't.
"it was hard Sci-Fi giant Arthur C Clarke who first came up with idea of geostationary satellites."
1) Clarke didn't come up with the idea of geostationary satellites, that was first published when he was 11. He did come up with the idea of using them for relaying telecommunications.
2) He wasn't a hard SF giant at the time he published his idea, as he his first professional sale of an SF story was a year later.
Just tried it
and I'm not impressed. This was on an Android phone. First, it insists on having GPS on, which is going to eat the battery, even though a coarse position from cell bases would probably be sufficient. Second, the list of loos near my home seemed impressively accurate, but when I asked for them to be displayed on the map the positions shown were bizarre. The nearest, which is about 500m west of me was shown as about 500 m east, down an obscure side road. Parents with small kids are not going to be happy about getting a mystery tour of a local housing estate rather than a loo.
What a lot of jerking knees
To all those going "I won't pay $15 for an e-book", take a look at Charlie Stross' blog where he's waxing vexed about Amazon and talks about this. $15 would be a typical price on the first day. Just as physical books come out in expensive hardback first, then cheaper paperbacks, so the e-book's price would drop over time. Those who must have the book on day one pay for it, just like they do with hardbacks. Those who wait, pay less later. No different from the real world unless you're a deluded freetard.
How many fingers do they have in Portugal?
"Displax said a 50in sheet can track 16 fingers"
"a heavy esoteric element"
Surely that's Seaborgium?
I thought what I'd do was, ...
Someone in their branding agency is an anime fan. That's very like the Laughing Man logo from the 1st TV series of Ghost in the Shell, just turned on its side. See
Yes, I am a geek thank you.
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