129 posts • joined Thursday 17th May 2007 11:51 GMT
"But you can call me Brian"
Am I the only person who instantly thought of the confused.com advert :)
Branching out a bit; I believe it's true that following Indian independence, the Indian parliament debated what language to designate as the 'official' one for government purposes. But because Hindi is primarily spoken in the North, and one or more of the other proposed languages (escapes me temporarily which ones) were predominantly in use in the South, they couldn't agree on an 'indigenous' language for the whole country, so went back to English.
Happy to be corrected on how this went down by others more knowledgeable.
Vernor Vinge. Localisers. That's all. (Google it :-)
I call Sonic!!!
Nice to get a Narnia reference thrown in the mix just to cause a millisecond pause - "Where in LOTR is that? Is it something Galadriel said once?"
I for one welcome our new Motie overlords!
OK, what was the point of the flashing light? Did it have a "This vehicle is reversing" sound too???
Next it'll be compulsory to have a guy in a spacesuit with a red flag space-walking in front of it ;-)
Can't resist - Heinlein's "Rolling Stones", every sci-fi asteroid mining ref ever. Where's Klondike Pete on his rocket scooter?
I'm going to dust off my copy of Heinlein's "Rolling Stones" in homage to this.
Goosebumps - seriously.
Reality catches up with sci-fi
Vernor Vinge - "A Deepness in the Sky" - one of the best portraits of what this technology will bring.
Perhaps I missed something, but if the area where these are targeted is so remote you can only get there by helicopter, and the infrastructure is so basic you have to power the laptop from solar cells, how do they 'learn to use the Internet'? Satellite modem???
Angry iPhone users
Thought it was going to be a new game - like Angry Birds...
Bid for oldest instance of this
OK, sad I know, but my earliest experience of this was with a Sharp MZ80K running BASIC from tape in RAM, and we got (heaven only knows where!) a memory map for it which allowed this exact thing. Really cool part was, you could write the hacked BASIC back to tape, so everyone had their own boot tape with their favourite messages.
@Reason for visit "Imperialism"
Likely apocryphal, but I guess many of us have heard the story of the guy filling in an Australian port-of-entry form; under "Criminal record:" he wrote "I didn't think one was still required".
Story goes he was put back on the plane.....
I have to say this gets to me every time - probably I'm not the only one who was watching the MSL launch last weekend shouting "Yes!" at the screen when we saw the fantastic live video of separation from the booster. Don't forget to keep following the story about the efforts to reactivate Prospero...................
Love the Cosmic Trilogy reference - Lewis's best book/s, bar none.
Prospero - British satellite program
Thought there was something about this at RAF Cosford (went there a year or so back) but can't immediately find it on the Web site.
"Rockets in Ursa Major"
... and the headquarters has to be at Mildenhall ;-)
Um, pedantic I know...
... but technically, anything that happens on another body in the Solar System can't be "geological" or "subterranean" as both of these mean stuff on our own planet. Hence terms like 'selenology', 'areology'. I have no idea what the corresponding terms are for Titan, if they've even been invented.
I think if you try this out with flour and ball bearings, you can prove that *all* impact craters are circular regardless of the angle of impact. (If it's not an impact, more of a 'skip', I guess this doesn't apply).
Read this to see the logical outcome - another great book from Vernor Vinge.
Hmm, possible. Pigment = chemical; different pigment = different chemical; different chemical plus same case plastic = different properties; case cracks during assembly?
You never know...
Anyone notice that it's flying over Enola Drive? Clearly this is a US heavy bomber returning from nuking Nagasaki that has been time-warped by the radiation.............. Philadelphia Experiment, anyone?
Surely the last thing it's about is 'where do you want to run your stuff'? Does anyone care - or know - where the reservoir is that holds your water supply? Or which power station is generating your electricity at any given moment? The real questions are; is it there when you turn the tap switch? Who's responsible for making sure? How much do you pay, and how much choice do you have over cost versus service? What if something goes wrong, do you trust somebody else to fix it? I use a battery in my digital camera because I want portability and I can buy batteries in the supermarket when I need to; but I plug my TV into the mains because I don't carry it about with me. Surely these are the things cloud computing is supposed to be about, not 'where'?
D**m I feel old
This is making me depressed. Flew into Paris last month, saw the Concorde on its podium, and now this. I remember the first Shuttle flight, remember the tragedies (you know how you can picture exactly where you were when you got shocking news?), now seeing the last landing....
Not a dead donkey
We can argue about the niceties of 'sold' versus 'shipped' (FYI most 'consigned stock' supplier agreements treat stock shipped to retail stores as 'sold', this is standard business practice). But certainly the iPad is not in the position reported by, ahem, one of our competitors, who a few years ago bought into a large quantity of a product variant tipped as 'the latest thing in fashion branding'. The comment their purchasing director made after a few days' of minimal sales was "We have enough of these things to pave a road." How we larfed!
That brings a tear to my eye... When I was a tiny tot we went there and that piece of punched tape was the most amazing thing I had ever got from any trip, anywhere.
I now live just a few miles from Jodrell - haven't been for years, but smile every time I see the dishes while driving past. We'll certainly make a point of going when the new stuff is open.
Still can't beat those good old 50's British sci-fi novels from the Hoyles, either.
Now all they need to do is bolt one of these to each side of a bigger plane and Colonel Quaritch is in business...
What are they doing to their iPhones?! We have lots here, and I've not heard of anything like that replacement rate (one guy dropped his from a significant height onto something very hard, smash, but that doesn't count as a reliability problem to me!).
First thing I did was get a hard shell and screen protector for my 3G, bulks it out a bit but it's pristine after a year....
Larger and hungrier birds...
Believe me, there are plenty of falconry centres with birds that meet this description. Two reasons why they don't use them - firstly they're worth a lot of money, and harder to replace than the bog standard Harris hawks or even than the peregrines. Secondly, the bigger birds are more inclined temperamentally to take some 'unplanned shore leave', and might not be too careful about discriminating between bunnies (fair game) and an old lady's beloved Yorkie :-)
Total rubbish - look at the failure of many large-scale IT systems intended to interact with the public and/or hold and process key data on large numbers of individuals on behalf of public bodies.
We need to learn an awful lot of lessons from our own failures and the difficulties with (for example) US automated polling, before we should dare to put this anywhere near the process we use for choosing our government.
The real answer is to keep the manual systems and make sure competent and sensible people make robust plans and preparations to operate them. If people turn up at 1 minute to 10 at night to vote and legally they have to shut the doors, TOUGH - this is not a problem to be 'solved' by IT.
Cambridge railway station
... is, if I remember rightly, slap bang next to the local dog food factory (I'm not kidding, look it up on Street View). A fitting location for them, I feel.
Bird singing on a branch
Greg Bear's "Forge of God" and "Anvil of Stars" go into considerable detail about the strategies required to survive in a universe populated by many races with variable intentions - worth a read.
Robert Heinlein used this idea in his novels, calling it 'trinary' - instead of one and zero, his scheme had values zero, 'unit' and 'pair'. He also proposed that future storage should be on a 'tell-you-three-times' basis (or 'tell-you-six-times' for really critical info - reminds me of Arthur C Clarke's Ramans). Though I think that Heinlein got the 'tell-me-three-times' from Edward Lear ('what I tell you three times is true')?