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* Posts by Robert Fleming

10 posts • joined 30 Jun 2007

Pentagon in orbital solar power plan for world peace

Robert Fleming

blood

> if it's just American blood we're on about the exchange rate is pretty good

Tasteless even for The Register.

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Microsoft drops South Korea anti-trust appeal

Robert Fleming

Re: Bloat?

> Doesn't the competition (like Apple) also ship the "bloat" of which you speak, in this case, an instant messenging application?

I believe Apple is allowed to do this because, in so doing, they are not leveraging a monopoly in one area into another area. (They don't have the monopoly on OSs.)

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The Pirate Bay absconds with domain name of its nemesis

Robert Fleming

@jeremy

> a comment that says " you can't hide behind sovereign law" must come from an american

With this kind of reasoning, I could prove that jeremy is a transsexual prostitute.

@ Adrian Jackson:

>(Okay, yes, I know some US beer is drinkable these days. Vast majority still isn't, though...)

Juding U.S. beer by Budweiser/Coors/Miller is like judging European beer by Stella Artois. I think most Americans know better than to do that.

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US study says Taser cattleprod guns are safe

Robert Fleming

uninformed opinions

Has anyone here been tased? It's a bit like grabbing an electric fence. It's not especially painful -- it just makes you unable to control your muscles for a second or so. My brother, a park ranger, volunteered to be tased in a (U.S.) police academy, for the demonstration to his class. It's not as bad as everyone's making it out to be. I'd much rather be tased than pepper-sprayed. At least with the taser, when it's over, it's over. With the pepper spray, it takes a long time to wear off.

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Pilot sacked for footie star on flightdeck shocker

Robert Fleming
Dead Vulture

typical British reaction

...welcome to the UK

...astoundingly narrow and unsurprisingly British

...sometimes UK law make me wonder where it all went wrong!!

...ah well, at least you guys are giving us a fucking laugh in the U.S...

...Jesus would be locked up today in the UK

...Anyone wonder Britain is so hated by every country except Britain? (politicians excluded....)

Oh wait, these comments are from the stupid homeless-in-Florida story. Folks, please keep in mind there are stupid people everywhere. The U.S. has five times the population of the UK, so naturally we have five times the number of people at both fringes of the bell curve. Try not to hold it against the rest of us, and we'll do the same.

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UK, Germans, Dutch slam EC Galileo plan

Robert Fleming

Re: " ... United States (of America)"

Mexico is officially "Estados Unidos Mexicanos." I remember hearing there was some south-of-the-border resentment at the common assumption that the U.S.A. is the only group of united states in all of the Americas. Surely that's what motivated Mr. Page's specificity.

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Microsoft: no plan to appeal EC verdict for now

Robert Fleming

@Antoinette

If Microsoft made car stereos:

Let's start by assuming that Microsoft has somehow (legally or otherwise) achieved a monopoly in the car stereo business. Suppose Microsoft stereos are pre-loaded in 95% of cars.

Now imagine that Microsoft comes out with a new stereo that is basically the same as the last one, except that this one uses a secret new wiring interface for the speakers (it doesn't work with old speakers), and only plays CDs that conform to the new, secret Microsoft "enhanced" CD format. Microsoft is willing to license its new wiring interface and CD format to speaker manufacturers and record labels, but it's going to go ahead and include a *free* set of shitty speakers and stack of re-mastered Britney Spears CDs with each stereo, because they know shitty speakers and Britney Spears are "good enough" for most people. By the way, this new stereo costs twice as much as the previous version (but that has nothing to do with the freebies they're throwing in).

Then the next version comes out, which comes with a free Zune, which can sync up with the car stereo (and iPods won't work). This new in-dash unit costs twice again as much, but that has nothing to do with the included Zune.

The problem with the car stereo analogy is that it's Microsoft (the radio manufacturer) that's the 800-lb. bully -- not the car manufacturer. And the problem is not that Microsoft has a monopoly on desktop operating systems -- it's that they're illegally leveraging that monopoly to impose their inferior products in other markets, as they emerge (media players, web browsers, virus scanners, etc.).

This bundling strategy distorts the free market conditions that are the keystone of pretty much all western economies. An optimal free market would allow all actors to make all of their buying and selling decisions independently (e.g. buy the OS that has the best *value*, separately buy the web browser that has best *value*, etc.); this arrangement generally benefits the consumer by creating the best products (in each category) at the lowest price.

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Russia plans 2025 Moonbase, 2035 Mars shot

Robert Fleming

Re: False economics

All the "AND gates" in the world will not accelerate a spacecraft to 10 km/s. It still costs on the order of $10,000 to put a kilogram in orbit -- unchanged since the 60s.

It's not the "high altitude" bit that's hard/expensive.. it's the "high speed" part.

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NASA comp fails to produce flying cars

Robert Fleming

panic button

What airplanes can do when they need to pull over to the side of the road suddenly:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballistic_Recovery_Systems

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UK could get privileged access to American kill-tech

Robert Fleming

JSF VTOL revolutionary?

The novelty with the JSF is that the lift "engine" is not actually an engine -- it's just a fan, driven by a shaft from the low-pressure turbine in the primary engine. In contrast, the Yak-38 had two engines dedicated to VTOL. The advantages are lower complexity, lower noise, lower weight, and lower exhaust temperature and speed (less surface damage).

Is the JSF more "brute force" than the Harrier? Basically the Harrier takes its raw thrust and steers it downward. Since the thrust needs to act through the center of gravity during VTOL, the four nozzles are up at the midpoint of the aircraft, instead of at the rear. This precludes afterburning and moves the engines forward, giving the Harrier its characteristic, front-heavy appearance. This, and the large engine inlet area compromise performance in the high-speed forward flight regime, limiting the Harrier to subsonic speeds.

VTOL prefers a high bypass ratio (think of a helicopter), i.e. a large fan. With the JSF, you have a single engine, but with two fans, each optimized for its respective flight regime: the high-bypass-ratio (1:1 !) lift fan, and the low-bypass-ratio (0.2:1) forward fan at the engine inlet. This is why the JSF has twice the vertical lift as the AV-8B.

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