173 posts • joined 26 Sep 2009
MSM, Hokkien, Hakka, Cantonese or Wu, whatever he was speaking did at least give me the chance to confirm my theory that only certain types of pedantry are approved of here - I made the post in the expectation of getting at least one down vote, and that confidence has been fully vindicated. :)
Since El Reg is normally a pedant's paradise, I'm surprised that no one has yet asked this question: Why keep calling it Chinese? Presumably what he was speaking was MSM, Modern Standard Mandarin, aka Putonghua, etc. There is no one language called Chinese, and since Mandarin and Cantonese are mutually unintelligble yet use the same writing system (which CAN be called Chinese), calling Mandarin "Chinese" does a disservice to every other member of the Sinitic family of languages.
What's a mile?
The REAL problem with the measurements given is that they are not in official El Reg units. All this talk of miles and Earths is far too confusing, give me double decker buses and swimming pools, please
Almost, but not quite entirely, unlike
the reaction of the reviewer I, to borrow Arthur's words, "actually quite liked it." I definitely agree that the author tried a bit too hard to write like Adams in the first few pages of the book, but "after a while the style settles down a bit and it begins to tell you things you really need to know". I wasn't looking for an in depth biography, it was the analysis and background to the work that interested me most.
I was somewhat horrified to learn for example, that the towel I bought from ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha on signing up as teen in 1983 (and paying a ridiculous amount for after conversion from sterling, and shipping all the way up here to NZ), was one of only a couple of thousand made. Now I sort of wish it didn't look quite so much like a 30 year old towel!
I think the book achieved what it set out to do, and the author made repeated references to the other biographies available, so that readers looking for a more familiar personal focus could find it elsewhere. I certainly don't regret buying it, and I think most fans would feel the same.
Re: Go MOM...
That's a given. I'm expecting 40% of the comments on this article to be in that vein, if past comment threads are any guide. Simple, unalloyed compliments for a noteworthy technical accomplishment seem to be as difficult for many commenters here as said achievement was for the ISRO.
Holy Zarquon Singing Fish!
More than a dozen comments, and no one asked if two of those twenty were Frankie and Benji? Are y'all actually waiting for the dolphins to do a double-backwards-somersault through a hoop whilst whistling the "Star Spangled Banner" before acknowledging what it means when MICE start fleeing the planet en masse?
It must be Thursday
I never could get the hang of Thursday's headlines. I really do love El Reg's deliberately tabloidesque headlines, they often provide a great deal of amusement. This one certainly had plenty of the hyped angst such headlines love, leading off with that "Look out!" then casually mentioning in the very last paragraph that said threat is five years away.
I'm sure that Musk's minions are hard at work already making sure they're ready to mount a viable challenge to Blue Origin's 2019 product line. Seeing how far Space X has come in the last five years makes me think they'll be more than up to the task of providing a competitive alternative in another five.
Share and Enjoy
I'm loving my Kindle copy. I thought of El Reg when I read his spirited defence of non-SI measurement units, someone should email him the list of this august site's own system. I also bought the audio upgrade for the added fun of hearing Wil Wheaton reading the book. All in all, a very "splendid and worthwhile" e-book, to make an HHGTTG reference, obligatory when talking ebooks, science and humour.
This was exactly my reaction. Stupidly killing oneself is one thing, jeopardising the lives of hundreds of others quite another. That they tried to deny it even after the fact made it even worse, for me.
It must be Thursday (here), I never could get the hang of Thursdays (since all the obvious Sirius Cybernetics Corporation references have already been made). Except this one:
To be fair, most of the coverage has been much more of the "enlightened self-interest" type than " aww, altruism" type. It's the "enlightened" bit that's making him so exceptional, and that IS sad. The fact that so few others can grasp the concept that making the pie bigger is good for both piemakers and consumers is an indictment of our times. Also, corporate behaviour in regard to all things IP is so insane today that a quiet statement of moderation really does sound like a breath of fresh, rational, air.
Good point. At least, it might be, if every other country spending hundreds of millions on space exploration had totally eradicated poverty and social injustice already.
PLEASE tell me this sign is in Piningsfjord.
Re: 1.6 vs 1.9?
Thanks, that explains a lot. Obviously the reason that no one can hear you scream in space is because even there you can still be choked by red tape.
1.6 vs 1.9?
They are contracted for 33% fewer flights, carrying roughly 33% less cargo each time, and yet are getting nearly 20% more money than Space X? Is it just my shaky grasp of maths, or does this sound screwy to anyone else besides me?
A misspelling perhaps?
"both of which have enjoyed a balmy -67.8°C in "the coldest permanently inhabited place on Earth", as NASA puts it."
Perhaps "barmy" would be more appropriate here? Certainly for the residents, at any rate.
Re: In Space, No-one Can Hear You Explode
Thanks for this! When I read the headline I thought, "Big whoop-de-doo - given the speed of sound in a near-total vacuum, I and my trusty walking stick can still beat Mach 1000 easily" :)
Re: It's 0 for 2
Oh yes, I know the SR-71 was definitely a military plane whose photos were intended for a kill wall not a Facebook wall, but it was still nice to be able to pretend otherwise. :)
An interesting approach - using high-speed impact to kill the malaria virus. (and its host, but omelettes and eggs) :D
It's 0 for 2
As impressive as it is, it loses to "the older, more pedestrian" model in two important regards in my authoritatively subjective opinion:
First, it's nowhere near as beautiful - of course no aircraft is, since the SR-71 may be one of the most beautiful machines ever built.
Second: It's intended to carry weapons. I loved that the gorgeous Blackbird only shot photos. It allowed the conscientious objector in me to admire it pretty much guilt-free. Aesthetically and ethically, there's a lot less for me to admire about the SR-72.
Why an unlit torch? Putin can teach geese to fly and wrestle bears all while discovering priceless archaeological artefacts, surely he could have thumbed his nose at physics and chemistry and invented a torch that would burn in space?
Because of my cerebral palsy my posts are often riddled with typos, so I almost never comment on those of others, but somehow there is something so fitting to this topic and so very Magrathean about the concept of a "rouge planet" that I had to applaud this serendipitous slip. One hopes that the sea there is exactly the right shade of pink, with plenty of fjords to give its continents a nice baroque feel.
I absolutely LOVED this quote: "“They are very small, each with diameter less than 50 times the distance between the Sun and Neptune" - an object with a *diameter* of up to 200 BILLION kilometres is "very small". As a much, much better Gooner than I once reminded us, "you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's peanuts compared to Space"
Thanks! I understand the economic significance of the US market, but given the status Apple has as a religion there, survey results like this are totally predictable, hence my query.
I read this a few times and couldn't find any information about the size of the sample, or its geographical parameters. Is this a global study, or a US-only one? If the latter, then its newsworthiness ranks only slightly below "study finds the Earth is an oblate spheroid".
Re: "It's unmatched as a source of near real-time reliable information"
"What am I doing here?" - My apologies, I missed the memo requiring users to choose between El Reg and Twitter. So did El Reg, if it's Twitter presence is any indication. As - salaam alaikum.
Twitterphobes are twits
I'm not fond of change, and so it's nice that I can always rely on smug, sneering derisive comments to be the norm on any article about Twitter at El Reg. Patronsing pronouncements about its pointless are practically Pavlovian it seems, and I'm pleased about this, because it's hugely amusing to read people shooting their mouths off from positions of such profound ignorance. Every time there's a significant earthquake swarm here, as in the last hour or so, Twitter demonstrates its great usefulness. It's unmatched as a source of near real-time reliable information, and the value of this service not only makes a mockery of those who mock it, it makes the work of those trying to reduce the spam content valuable and appraceiated by those of us who don't need to to reflexively jeer at something just to feel superior.
Re: Radiation Levels Still a Problem
Set up shop on Phobos or Deimos? Given their tiny size and close orbits that sounds even more difficult to me, especially with the larger of the two having a decaying orbit.
Re: Purple Vulture
And if there was such a badge, perhaps my stupid typos like "ration" for "ratio" could be corrected. :(
Re: Purple Vulture
With an up:down ration of about 18:1, I heartily endorse this idea! :)
I'm never going to qualify for a badge, as I don't comment enough to come close. I try to live by David Byrne's sage mantra, and so if I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed. Nevertheless, my cerebral palsy does cause me to make more typos than I'd like, and there are occasions when I wish I could edit them. I think it would be nice if a brief edit window was opened to commentards with a sufficiently high upvote percentage, say 95%. Anyone with such a ratio is highly unlikely to resort to trolling via edits, but would likely enjoy the granting of the privilege as recognition for the overall positive reaction to their contributions.
Oh and, yes, this is obviously a self-serving plea, but not quite THAT self-serving - my upvote ratio is not yet at 95%, so I'm not saying "give it to me, now!", just that such a target might be something for less loquacious commentards to enjoy aiming.
Re: "Invites" is a verb.
An obscure little tome calling itself the OED begs to differ:
"invite, n. view full entry 1615
...The act of inviting; an invitation...."
Re: The 24/7 noise from NZ will be deafening
"The deference the New Zealand governments gives their judiciary is remarkable" - in fact, our Govt HAS been scrambling to make legal what its intelligence agencies have been doing in this whole sorry mess. Specifically, as a result of publicity generated by Dotcom's case, it has been established that our GCSB ( think tiny, low-budget NSA) has been spying on NZ citizens, something it is expressly forbidden to do. Solution? Change the law, to let them do so in future.
The last word
Will never be spoke, but Stan Carey is, as always, excellent on this very issue
A new Google Mantra?
No longer "Don't Be Evil", now just "SHARE AND ENJOY", perhaps? (Only the top half, of course)
Re: Anyone not liking the Samsung spin on Android
Yes, I was VERY excited to hear about this new release - so much so I'm now seriously thinking of upgrading from my S3 earlier than planned. A de facto Nexus S4 is the best of both worlds, imo.
Re: I don't understant people who want removable batteries
It seems we have different definitions of "hassle". I always have a battery pre-charged, and swapping batteries takes me, with one hand's usability significantly impaired by CP-induced hemiparesis, less than ten seconds. That's less hassle for me than having to find a socket, especially since I don't drive and thus don't own a car (buying one just use as a charger would be too much hassle, I think).
For different folks, I guess. I read so much about the Galaxy's "cheap plasticky construction" but I'm very happy with my S3's construction precisely for the reasons that seem to be dismissed as of less worth than "luxury engineering" - its replaceable battery and expandable storage. Give me a plastic shell that comes apart to allow swapping out a battery and a microSD slot over a shiny metal unibody ANY DAY. I hope that Samsung keeps bucking the trend for a while longer, so that when I replace my S3, I can do so with a phone that still offers both a replaceable battery and expandable storage.
Brought of the gravity well?
Isn't LEO still very much IN the gravity well?
Re: Fundamental dichotomy
"welcome to the long history of literature that preceded the Internet" and just what exactly do these elitist "book-lovers" have against the long history of literature that preceded the invention of books by millennia? Why not a collection of codices, scrolls and cuneiform (or stone) tablets? The idea that one's choice of reading MEDIUM says anything significant about the quality of one's reading MATERIAL is the sort of concept for which the word risible seems to have been specifically tailor-made.
Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?
It's the same here in NZ, at least with my local library. When they first announcedd they were getting into ebook lending I was very disappointed that the Kindle was not supported. Then I saw the selection of books available and realised I was missing out on precisely nothing.
Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?
I'm not a hardcore techie, but I do know who Neil Gaiman is (The Doctor's Wife was a great episode) and I did consider my options before buying my first Kindle a couple of years ago. I have yet to see any signs of being trapped in "proprietary DRM-saturated Hell". Amazon's range of available books continues to grow, Calibre continues to make adding books from non-Amazon sources a total doddle and I continue to enjoy reading on my Kindle while experts keep telling me I've been enslaved by a malevolent megacorp.
Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?
I'm sure you would love the Paperwhite. I traded up to one a few months ago and love it. I really liked my Kindle keyboard, but the Paperwhite is even better, and reinforced my preference for e-ink over reading on backlit devices like my S3 or Nexus 7.
Re: They haven't caught up to real books
Someone asking a genuine question about ebooks out of a desire to be informed, rather than just slagging them off reflexively and demeaning their users' intelligence and taste in literature? That makes you seem positively out of place in this comments thread!
To answer your question strictly from my own experience with reading 35 or so of Pratchett's books on my Kindle and Nexus 7 - every ereader app I've used had no trouble mixing font sizes, so that Death always spoke in small caps. I've also read books with Hindi (devnagari) included and had no display issues. The ability to change font size, page size and line spacing is one of many features that make ereaders much, much better than one would believe if one only listened to the braying of the naysayers dominating this discussion.
Re: ebooks -- no thanks
"ebook" does not automatically equal "DRM". It's still true that the overwhelming majority of ebooks are DRM-laden, but the range and number of DRM-free ebooks is growing. The developers of Calibre actively promote the sale of DRM-free ebooks through their facebook page, one of the many reasons I enjoy using their product.
Re: They haven't caught up to real books
What reader are you using - my Kindle's Pratchett novels are littered with highlighted passages, as are the epub editions I use on my Nexus 7 with Aldiko or Moon Reader.
Thank you very much for that clear, concise explanation.
Can someone reduce my ignorance?
If I were a character from the HHGTTG series, I'd be know-nothing-bozo the non-wonder dog, so I hope someone will have pity and throw me a scrap of a clue on this one:
I thought sound waves travel faster in a denser medium than in a less dense one, but the illustration shows that wave accelerating from 350 m/s to 1150 m/s when it reaches the much thinner part of the atmosphere. Clearly I was asleep during the relevant lesson, so what am I missing here?
Re: Ave Kindle, te morituri salutant
I use Calibre A LOT, but at times its epub to mobi or azw can be patchy, so some epubs I read as such using Aldkio on my Nexus 7.
Ave Kindle, te morituri salutant
As a creaking, senescent 45-year old, I was horrified to learn that my preference for reading on my Kindle is just one more proof that Blinky's rider will soon be speaking to me in ALLCAPS. Either that, or a marketing division need another excuse to justify their existence. I read a lot on my Nexus 7,but only when my Kindle is charging or, more frequently, if the book is an epub that requires using Aldiko rather than Kindle. As others have pointed out, it is far more likely that the sales stagnation of e-readers is a reflection of the "if it ain't broke don't waste money upgrading it" axiom than of time scything the market.
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