* Posts by Alien8n

370 posts • joined 15 May 2007

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What's Russia smoking? Kremlin bans Wikipedia for dopey article

Alien8n
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Re: "local ISPs must block not just the offending article but the entire site"

"Why such restraint ? He should've simply banned the Internet, that would have solved all the problems, right ?:

What? And slash Russia's economy? (How much of their GDP is generated by scams and email phishing I wonder?)

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All aboard the Skylake: How Intel stopped worrying and learned to love overclocking

Alien8n
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The build I've just made (for my daughter's college course of all things) is an MSI Godlike motherboard with the entry level X99 CPU. The beauty of so many of these gaming boards is there's no need to worry about over clocking, it just does it all automatically for you.

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NASA dismisses asteroid apocalypse threat

Alien8n
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Don't forget the salted peanuts...

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Camera-carrying DOLPHIN SPY caught off Gaza

Alien8n
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Re: Bah!

David Brin, the only person I know to write a book containing a masturbating dolphin...

His Uplift War series though is excellent.

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China shutters 50 websites for spreading explosion 'rumours'

Alien8n
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Conspiracy theorists

Wish they could silence the conspiracy theorists. I've already seen one story that claims the site was nuked by the US in order to bring China "in line" with US foreign policy. Er no, when you ignite that much ammonium nitrate you do get an explosion that big.

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Put it away: Dwarf's 'supermassive' marvel is actually smallest thing boffins have ever seen

Alien8n
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Surely it's also dependant on location? A microscopic black hole forming in the depths of space would eventually evaporate, but what about one forming in the middle of a giant gas cloud? Would it survive long enough in the cloud to grow into something self sustaining?

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'Sunspots drive climate change' theory is result of ancient error

Alien8n
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Re: Here we go again

"warped out of all recognition"

I was wondering what had happened to Slaine...

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UK.gov makes total pig's ear of attempt to legalise home CD ripping

Alien8n
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Re: The problem with format shifting...

Actually that was from Kerrang, regarding the release of the double CD at HMV on Oxford Street in London. Guns and Roses turned up with a tank to promote the album. As for why I was reading that article, that might be the fact that I went out and bought the album for myself. May still have the magazine at home in a box in the loft...

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Alien8n
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FTFY

"I don't think they particularly care, it's unenforceable. What they want is the money from a new tax on recordable media and digital players without having to deal with content creators who expect to be paid for their work"

There you go...

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Alien8n
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The problem with format shifting...

The problem with format shifting being illegal is that it's unenforceable. To enforce the law as it stands would be to make criminals of the majority of the population. Ironically back in the 90's the record companies weren't even that bothered if Guns and Roses' release of Use Your Illusion is taken as an example. The record stores actively promoted copying of the album by selling blank tapes alongside the CDs. The idea being you'd by one CD and your mate would buy the other and make copies of each others CD. As for a levy, that was never meant to make up the cost of "lost sales" due to format shifting. That's a false idea anyway, if you're format shifting for personal use there is no lost sale, you've already bought the music. The whole idea of the levy was to cover the costs of "stolen" music, which is an intangible figure plucked out of the air by the music industry. Chances are even if you couldn't download it for free the music industry's sales would still have declined, because a lot of what is downloaded is music that the downloaders would simply have not bought in the first place. And the other argument against the levy is the simple fact it penalises the wrong people. It was argued that the levy should be placed on writable CDs and DVDs, which means the IT industry. I don't know about anyone else but I wouldn't be best pleased if my backup discs for Linux and files were paying for the neighbour's kids downloaded Eminem mp3s.

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An EPIC picture of Earth, sunny side up, from one MEEELLION miles out

Alien8n
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Re: British Summer Time

Need to compare against several frames, it's possible it's actually just an asteroid on collision course. Look carefully and there's one in pretty much each corner.

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Alien8n
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Re: @Doctor Syntax

I saw L7 just last month...

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Alien8n
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Re: Sir

Expectations were for a loss in quality from atmospheric and space weather effects, along with quality of sensors on the satellite itself. As it happens they've got lucky and the satellite sensors were at the higher end of the quality spectrum and the sensors and software can handle the atmospheric and space effects quite admirably. If you need an analogy it's a bit like buying a car with a stated mpg of 37 mpg and finding it actually does 37.1 mpg. It's not much, but it's better than expected.

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STARS SNUFFED in massive galactic whodunit

Alien8n
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Alien

I just had a thought (it does happen every now and then and sometimes they're coherent). The basis of Dark Matter is to explain how galaxies move due to the constraints of gravity. While I do believe Dark Matter is a valid theory of why galaxies move the way they do we may also be forgetting that gravity does strange things at the extremes. Hawking has made some wondrous insights into how gravity works (or doesn't) at the event horizon and beyond in black holes, but what is less researched is the possibility that gravity may also act differently at the super macro level. I could be completely wrong and our theories for gravity are 100% accurate, but it wasn't that long ago that Newtonian physics was found to be incomplete by Einstein. And all this is before we even consider the effects of multiple dimensions on space and time as we currently know them. It may even turn out that Dark Matter is dark not because it doesn't reflect light, but because it's actually not part of the observable dimensions of our known universe.

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Alien8n
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Re: The galaxies are going out, one by one...

If we can find where the dark matter is centred we'll finally locate Gallifrey. Hopefully before the time war wipes out the whole universe...

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German police ARREST SQUIRREL for stalking woman

Alien8n
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Re: Are they sure...

Fifty Shades of Grey Squirrel?

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Alien8n
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Re: Releasing Grey Squirrels

Send it by Yodel? No wait, it says "humanely"...

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ALIEN SLIME SHOCKER: Approaching comet probably NOT inhabited, say boffins

Alien8n
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Alien

Re: Alien vs

That's what the acidic blood is for...

Although that makes it a lot harder to create alien/robot cyborgs.

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Alien8n
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Alien

Re: Invoking the conspiracy theory argument

I believe the vested interest here is real scientific research based on observational experimentation. My guess is he won't be satisfied until every comet in the solar system is visited and checked for life because of course any one of them could be harbouring alien lifeforms. Saying that, if they all come back negative he'll probably just claim it's a cover up anyway. Personally, while it's possible, I don't hold much hope of life being found on a comet. Europa on the other hand is a very strong contender. But first we need to find that black slab that they buried on the moon...

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German army fights underground Nazi war machine hidden in Kiel pensioner's cellar

Alien8n
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Re: Indeed

"I've seen the odd Spitfire or Hurricane in private gardens/grounds too.

Seems the fickle finger of fate foretells that the losers armour has not to be seen?"

We have one flying around our village most weekends. Guy that owns it is the same guy who flew the spitfire in most of the 80's/90's war movies (most famously the scene from Empire of the Sun). He bought an industrial park near where I live because it still had the aircraft hangers from the 2nd world war.

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Reddit meltdown: Top chat boards hidden as rebellion breaks out

Alien8n
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Re: Here we go again

"It must be the 90s again - Compuserve is back!"

Reddit's terms and conditions include the soul of your first born child?

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Crowdfunded beg-a-thon to bail out Greece raises 0.003% of target

Alien8n
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Re: Scottish solution

Germany did invent one, but it wasn't very popular...

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Alien8n
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Federal systems

One of the big issues is federal systems don't work except as part of a single country. The EU is the worst case scenario, a federal system with disparate ideologies at local level. It works well in the US (to an extent) as each state is part of the bigger US ideology. It doesn't work in the EU as each country has it's own goals and ideologies and doesn't see itself as part of a bigger "nation". Even the UK's federal system (yes, it is a federal system now) doesn't work, with Scotland and Wales constantly begging for more money from England. For a federal system to succeed it has to be accepted that the money put in by the richer parts (in the EU's case, the richer nations) will by and large be given to the poorer parts. Unfortunately local ideologies are increasingly showing that the EU as a federal system is broken. When Westminster is complaining about how much money should go to Scotland how on earth can anyone expect them to accept that British taxes should be going to Greece and/or Eastern European countries?

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Alien8n
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Joke

Re: Technically

Would that be the Greek entry?

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BOFH: Don't go changing on Friday evenings, I don't wanna work that hard

Alien8n
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QS 9000

I used to work for an electronics company that had QS 9000 certification (for use in cars) and one of the rules was once you started testing something you had to keep testing it, there was nothing about stopping testing. Which was really stupid when you realise one of the things being tested was the ambient temperature in a tin roofed shed used for storing plastic moulding compound. Yes the compound needed to be kept within a certain temperature range, no there was no chance in hell of ever maintaining that temperature range during summer with the tin roof in direct sunlight.

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Creationist: The Flintstones was an accurate portrayal of Dino-human coexistence

Alien8n
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WASP?

White Anglo Saxon Pterodactyls?

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Manchester car park lock hack leads to horn-blare hoo-ha

Alien8n
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Renault

My Renault Laguna has a dodgy fob, to lock the car you have to lean in the back seat, hit the central locking switch in the centre console and then exit via the back door. Unlocking is via the passenger door using the emergency key, leaning in and hitting unlock on the central locking switch (the key only unlocks the passenger door, not the other doors). However it does come with an excellent anti-theft device. A Renault badge...

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BOFH: Getting to the brown, nutty heart of the water cooler matter

Alien8n
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Caddyshack

Ah, the immortal fake turd...

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Traumatised Reg SPB team barely survives movie unwatchablathon

Alien8n
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Pint

Plan 9 from Outer Space

The original yardstick was actually so bad it became a cult classic and is actually watchable because it's so bad. You could not feed me enough beer in the world to persuade me to watch Battlefield Earth however. Have more beers*, you clearly didn't drink enough if you can still remember watching these films...

* There are beer movies (Transformers, Iron Sky etc) and then there are full alcohol poisoning movies...

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Apple taxpayers swarm to stone-age iPhone 6+ purely for the bigness

Alien8n
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Re: You ignored the best-in-class camera

Having a great camera does not make it a great phone however. I'm reminded of the SE Satio. Probably one of the best cameras ever put into a phone (at the time), however the phone itself was an unusable pile of junk.

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Alien8n
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Re: Well my Phone's a Nexus 5 and my Tablet's an iPad Air 2

My tablet choice was entirely based on what streaming capabilities were available at the time. Lovefilm only streamed to the iPad when I bought it so that's what I bought. I wasn't going to buy a generic tablet that couldn't use the one app that I actually wanted. It's a great little gadget to take on holidays, load it up with a couple of films and away you go.

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Alien8n
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As an end user I like consistency. Having used both Android and iOS I prefer iOS simply because of it's consistency. With Android I would expect to be able to pick up any phone and know how it works. However my experience is that every update and every OEM has a different UI making a new phone a learning curve each time. This is something mirrored in their respective desktop OSes. OSX has remained relatively consistent over time. Even Windows has been fairly consistent (if you forget about Windows 8). Linux however is the buffet lunch of OSes, with a multitude of flavours. And even after you've chosen your main course it then asks you how you want it presenting with the various incarnations of Gnome and KDE.

Now for a desktop OS I don't mind that choice, I'm geeky enough that I'll dig around inside the UI to find out how it all works. But for a phone? I want stability, knowing that when I pickup an upgrade in 2 years time I'll know exactly where everything is.

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Apple Watch fanbois suffer PAINFUL RASH after sweaty wristjob action

Alien8n
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Re: In fact, warning does make sense

"Be suspicious, however, of anyone who claims to be allergic to "all nuts". Because most of the things they'll say they are allergic too aren't actually the same thing at all and it's incredibly unlikely that they are allergic to ALL "nuts"."

This is true, ask anyone what the most common "nut allergy" in the UK is and most will state peanuts. However from memory the most common allergy in the UK is actually to hazel nuts. The other half however seems perfectly fine with pretty much any nuts apart from almonds.

And god help you if your other half is allergic to brazil nuts and you fancy a bit of nookie after polishing off the chocolate coated brazils you got for Xmas.

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Strange alien-like life zones found beneath Antarctic glacier

Alien8n
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Re: Masters of existence

I do believe that Lemmy and Keith have discovered the chemical makeup of the fabled fountain of youth by accident. Unfortunately there's no way to tell which exact combination of illegal narcotics and Jack Daniels is the correct one to duplicate their efforts and as many celebrity deaths will attest random experimentation to unlock the secret formula is ill advised.

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DRM is NOT THE LAW, I AM THE LAW, says JUDGE DREDD

Alien8n
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First copy...

I remember the first copy I ever read, had a Dan Dare storyline in it from the mid 70's. Not sure why it was in the house. After that the first series I remember reading (and then continuing through to the 90's) started with Block Mania. Since then I collected a few older issues (such as the first Nemesis the Warlock issue) and continued through to the death of Johnny Alpha. Gave up after that (with the occasional issue now and then) as I found the current format to be nowhere near as good as the old format. Might just be me but it doesn't seem to be as good value anymore, each issue now seems thin in comparison to the older issues (never mind the cost of them now) and the story lines don't seem to be as good, with the exception of Dredd and the infrequent classic characters returning.

Did enjoy Nikolai Dante though, so there are some good new characters. I'll probably just pick up the graphic novels when they come out now.

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Alien8n
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Re: The really sad thing?

Same here. I lost a load from the 70's and 80's when I moved south. My 90's collection I had to sell due for financial reasons a few years ago. Got a good price though, think I got about £80 a box for them (at least 2 boxes worth)

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LA schools want multi-million Apple refund after kids hack iPads

Alien8n
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Re: Technology for technology's sake

"I learned a lot from the alt.binaries.pictures newsgroups, including the fact that some of them should definitely not be viewed while eating."

Hamsters and duct tape springs to mind...

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RELICS of the Earth's long lost TWIN planet FOUND ON MOON

Alien8n
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Alien

Re: Front row seat

How many Michael Bay's in a George Lucas? (That's no moon!)

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Don't be stiffed by spies, stand up to Uncle Sam with your proud d**k pics – says Snowden

Alien8n
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Coat

NYPD

Amazed no one else has spotted the obvious joke about the NYPD being upset about Snowden's huge erection.

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Virgin Media goes TITSUP, RUINS Tuesday evening

Alien8n
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Had that round here, VM van came round the next day looking for the source of the outage. As I'd walked home from the pub the night before I was able to point him to the the green box about a mile down the road that had all the switches pulled out of it by drunken idiots the previous night. Everything was back up and running as normal about half an hour later.

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Alien8n
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Re: Failure

It could be worse, the entire card processing network for UK's banks is routed through a single exchange in Paddington. As we found out a few years ago when the whole system went down due to a fire in the Paddington exchange caused by the flooding of the exchange.

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Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

Alien8n
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Re: My wife's car has automatic headlights.

Not sure why someone would down vote simply pointing out that there are circumstances that require a heavy foot when pulling out onto a road with a blind corner. Certainly hitting the brakes could be fatal not only for the driver pulling out but also for the pillock coming round the corner *after* you've pulled out of the junction. Or are you supposed to be psychic and sense the vehicle coming around the blind corner and thence waiting until after they've passed? As I said, to be fair it's pretty much the only time it's necessary, but it does happen.

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Alien8n
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Re: My wife's car has automatic headlights.

You might be surprised just how often hitting the accelerator to get out of a situation happens. To be fair it all depends on the road, but it's not billions to one. I had a commute many years ago that pretty much guaranteed once a week having to slam my foot on the accelerator seconds after pulling out of a junction due to the pillock coming round a blind corner too fast. First time was quite scary given said pillock was in an 18 wheeler and I'd been driving less than a month at the time.

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Apple Watch is like an invasive weed says Gartner

Alien8n
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Re: "Indispensable"...?

You can get sapient pear wood wallets? Does it come with little legs to follow you around when you leave it in the taxi?

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Sir Terry remembered: Dickens' fire, Tolkien's imagination, and the wit of Wodehouse

Alien8n
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It was through afp that I got to know him personally, he was always willing to chat with his fans. I have a signed photo of him from the convention in '96 holding the Podling (aged 3 months) which he duly signed "I don't sign small children". This was an in joke as the saying went that he'd sign "anything except a blank cheque, but even that was arguable" and behind me was another fellow afper with a pen for him to sign my daughter with. My only regret in life is turning down the offer to go for a curry with him when I had the chance.

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Boffins find Earth's earliest Homo in Ethiopian hilltop

Alien8n
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Have an up vote for that :)

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Alien8n
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Joke

Homo Erectus

So we've found another link from early humanity to Homo Erectus. When do we find fossils of Homo Limpus?

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Alien8n
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Re: "the dinosaur was holding a placard with “Ban the Bomb” written on it"

A most excellent book and actually gives an alternative scientific view of how the Discworld works. Shame he never revisited the Strata universe. Or maybe he has, with each Discworld book...

I've often wondered how much Douglas Adams influenced that book, very Magrathean in many respects.

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£280k Kickstarter camera trigger campaign crashes and burns

Alien8n
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Re: The case

@dropbear it really depends on 2 things, volume and complexity. I'm not sure how many they were expecting to sell but they don't seem to be at the volume to justify that kind of expenditure. I could be wrong though as a lot does depend not only on the cost of the moulding but also the plastic being used. For the electronic components we used to encase it was a one shot deal. If there was any error in the process the whole lot was straight in the bin. But as said, we were doing over 20,000 a day and each "shot" was 60 devices, dropping 60 devices in the bin because the compound had messed up wasn't a big deal. For this case though my guess would be they'd use a basic plastic, if it messes up you just recycle it and reload (a lot of plastics for moulding are that simple, just stick it in a shredder and pop it back in the press). The finish on the final product can also be chosen to lower the costs, make it a matt finish and you can use cheaper materials for the mould.

Then there's the whole point of a kickstarter. In effect it's still a prototype, but what you're actually investing in is the research into DFM (Design For Manufacture). This is the research into the processes and materials for rapidly ramping up production. Sure you may only be making a few 100 or 1000 but the kickstarter enables you to develop the process for making 10s or even 100s of 1000s. The question for this product though is would they ever have had enough demand to warrent doing this level of work at this stage, or should they have gone generic this time and funded another kickstarter for the mark II version for researching the DFM? I'll freely admit I have no idea, but it's entirely possible they close to the point where DFM research would be required. Heck someone makes the generic cases, it shouldn't be too hard to find someone to make the new cases.

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Alien8n
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Alien

Re: The case

A standard case design would make more sense for a limited run, not sure how many they were expecting to sell but the costs of machinery and moulding plates certainly aren't cheap. When I did engineering the plates alone for the circuit encasement were chrome plated and came in at the thousands of pounds. Fine when you're making 20,000 a day off each set of plates, not so good if you require 10 or 20 a day. Then there's the expertise required to maintain the equipment, setups etc. It's not a simple plug and play, each design needs calibrating to the correct temperature and pressure for injection. Research into different moulding compounds was a painful slow process, where even the outside temperature and humidity (for some insane reason they stored the moulding compound in an outside shed) affected how the compound flowed.

Tip for any injection moulding companies out there: Always store compound in an internal, climate regulated store room with a 24 hour embargo on use for first use. It stops a lot of reject devices when the shift changes...

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