691 posts • joined Tuesday 29th May 2007 21:16 GMT
Existential nihilism. Now there's a thought for Monday morning.
Is this another GCHQ job advert?
Re: Miss you Douglas!
As the Guide rightly points out, space is indeed really big. That's why suggestions that "[our local galaxy] is a major structure" are so parochial.
Notting Dale Itek? @Lee D - it's here
"Google knows nothing of Notting Dale Itek"
After a bit of a search on Google myself, I've found the article I wrote about it. Apparently the place itself was called a 'Technology Centre'. Maybe 'Itek' was the word Chris Webb used when he was talking about his plan to roll out similar setups across the country.
The article in Delimiter is well written by a determined journalist. Pint for the author.
"Eventually, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy came clean on the issue — most likely because I signalled I was determined to get to the bottom of the matter, and would pursue it through Freedom of Information requests if necessary..."
Parkinson's Law, and Other Studies in Administration (first published in 1957) is the source of this recruitment technique.
If an advertisement for a vacancy describes the work as easy and well-paid, then there will be lots of applicants. The selection process will thus be expensive and time consuming. On the other hand, if the job description makes the work sound too arduous then no one will reply, and the advert will have to be run a second time.
It looks as though someone in Microsoft management has come close to achieving Parkinson's optimum. The ideal advert recruits a single applicant who is just right for the job.
Notting Dale Itek?
Does anyone remember the Notting Dale Itek, a sort of free college set up in the 1980s by Dr Chris Webb in the Shepherd's Bush hinterland? He had begged, borrowed and stolen to get a whole lot of computers set up in a disused school together with a staff of a few IT instructors.
There were no formal courses and the pupils were local 'yoof', self-selected on a first come first served basis. The notion was that those who were bright enough to hear about the scheme on the grapevine and go along to enquire about it were bright enough to learn something about computing if they were given access to equipment and a bit of encouragement.
Apparently it did lead to a reduction in crime locally. And a proportion at least of those who studied there found their way into a career rather than remaining unemployed. However plans to roll out similar Information Technology Centres across the country faded.
This present venture seems to have some similarities.
Icon for those with no sense of humour.
Meanwhile, back in the UK ...
... it wasn't all that many months ago that Edzard Ernst was forced out of his post as Professor of Complementary Medicine at Exeter. He had had the timerity to assert that homeopathic treatments are biologically implausible and that clinical tests have shown they don't do anything at all in human beings.
Maybe people who buy expensive cosmetics and supplements are similar to those who go in for homeopathy. Maybe they mostly have more money than sense but prove to be useful 'friends in high places' when their suppliers are on the receiving end of flak.
Remember this is El Reg and the topic is associated with climate change.
Re: I wonder...
Were the replacements identical? If so there might not have been any need to dispose ot the original ones or sell them elsewhere.
India Pale Ale?
IPA, with a cellar life of two years, has it origins way back in the 18th Century. Maybe a cultural exchange visit to Burton on Trent might be in order.
"... taking shots of their shoes ..."
How do you recognise an extravert mathematician?
When he's talking to you he looks at your shoes rather than his own.
Re: Hmm... prints
As the Chaos Computer Club showed, it's not so difficult to leave someone else's fingerprints around the place.
And although a bit more tricky, it's not impossible to change one's own, at least for a limited period.
Re: ID "Do you trust...?
It's not just a question of 'do you trust the politicians...' but whether they can be trusted in the future and what they might do with powers entrusted to them by the people.
Re: Yes they do
Companies have been successfully prosecuted for way less...
Send a tumbrill for IDS.
A quick fix
All that's needed is to advertise a £3.99 CD on fleabay of 'how to hack your smart meter' with the suggestion that it can be reprogrammed to report reduced consumption. That will get security improved in very short order.
Transparently obvious - no covert cronyism here
The Register's editorial staff should be well aware that there was no attempt whatsoever to hide cronyism,.either in the selection of the panel of judges or in the selection process itself. Every stage was conducted openly and transparently.
Venture capitalists are included on the panel because of the specific expertise that they bring. Capital is a crucial aspect of any growth area and the flow of funds is a vital part of the developments that the EU aims to encourage in order to secure prosperity.
Clearly in a field such as this some of the participants will be known to each other. Clearly there is likely to be some degree of synergy in the selection processes. Indeed it is precisely to encourage such synergies that this competition has been inaugurated by the Commission; synergies which will help to ensure that future EU development funds are appropriately allocated.
Re: This seems like the opposite of open source...
The source code is out in the open for anyone who wishes to recompile it with improved facilities for government interception of their communications.
... renewables to generate synthetic methane
Pyrolysis of waste to syngas and biochar would provide simple and effective energy storage. However, with the rush to green energy most sources of renewable biofuel, such as municipal waste and wood chippings, have been consigned to combined energy/incineration plants for the next two or three decades.
Sirius Disclosure Project
Steven Greer's latest scam is a movie to be released on the 22nd April, presently promoted on the internet by a small army of acolytes. Initial funding was raised on Kickstarter. It promises to explain how knowledge given to us by extra-terrestrials has been suppressed by government and big business. However, with disclosure the era of free energy which these alien technologies provides is about to begin.
Greer has been promoting 'free energy' technologies for a decade or more; apparently making a good living from it. His movie might well stimulate a small spate of similar chancers seeking to hoodwink the unwary.
A bit of the past always tunnels through.
Re: Degree of difficulty to decode
I'd always thought that serif fonts were generally easier to read because they have additional redundant information, which make it easier to recognise glyphs from their distinctive features. That's why the classic book faces such as Caslon and Garamond were developed, which are easy on the eye. At low resolution, however, serif faces can be harder to read than sans because the details are inconsistently rendered and they look scrappy.
Re: Resurrecting dinos is out of the question.....
But I want a woolly mammoth, please.
Calling all greenshirts to the barricades
Although radiation levels from black lightning are low, they are not negligible. "Near the tops of the storms ... the radiation doses are equivalent to about 10 chest x-rays... However, near the middle of the storms, the radiation dose could be about 10 times larger, comparable to some of the largest doses received during medical procedures and roughly equal to a full-body CT scan." While this level of radiation does not present a major risk, it is better to avoid it if possible, particularly in the cases of the young and the unborn.
What is perhaps surprising is that the dose is very much larger than any "spikes" that come from living near a nuclear power station and which the UK greenies currently claim are so damaging. Why aren't they blockading every airport, claiming travel causes leukaemia? Or should we expect to see Chris Busby's Prophylactic Travel Pills on sale soon?
White Dot, who organise TV Turnoff Week and other events to help viewers kick the habit, is still going strong.
W.H. Auden ...
... writing about the complimentary situation, in The Quest, also reckoned that more than one factor is likely to be involved.
They noticed that virginity was needed
To trap the unicorn in every case,
But not that, of those virgins who succeeded,
A high percentage had an ugly face.
There have been several comments suggesting that German electricity generation is somehow green. It isn't. Despite massive subsidies for wind and solar generation over recent years, lignite and coal are still the major sources of electricity by an astoundingly large margin
Although not the only explanation for people's fondness for cats, toxoplasmosis does have an increasingly well-documented effect on behaviour. Parasitic infection could well explain some of the zany behaviour of "bipedal slaves" that is associated with cats.
Re: Are you sure it's Photoshop?
It's that Dove software again, telling it like it really is.
Another pint for release as open source code.
Re: Too right we are running out of gas.
Had we continued with nuclear energy we could have had much more than 5 MW. Not just for the last three days, when the wind started to blow again, but at 80% or better capacity continuously.
One of the reasons why the UK is close to running out of gas is that it's used to generate electricity during the two days out of three when there isn't enough wind.
Re: My electric toothbrush
A possible advantage of using transformer coupling is that it would be possible to step up the power. Although there would be 10% or maybe 20% loss through inefficiency, the battery capacity is presently not fully used.
Also it would be worth delaying the heating. If the heater goes on at the start this wastes power: both increasing the surface temperature unnecessarily, which leads to faster heat loss, and keeping things warm when the outside temperature is still reasonably high. It would be better to wait until the rocket has cooled somewhat and then turn it on.
Apply the Dove photo-restorer?
Announced just last week, Reg readers will recall that free software from the manufacturers of Dove "removes all manner of retouching". All we need is the movie version.
Re: Why not use the blast plate for the power connection
If there is a defunct cordless 'phone to hand which can be cannibalised, the connectors for recharging when it's in the cradle might be appropriate. Some have sprung pins designed to tolerate a certain amount of misalignment.
Use a transformer?
It would only require a few components to make something like an isolating power supply, running at 40 kHz or so, with each of the two transformer coils in separate halves of a ferrite-cored transformer. The two halves could be held together by Vulture 2's weight if they were to be mounted on the rubber pad at the end of the titanium rod.
Solar heating to 300 ºC doesn't incur too much loss but losses will increase quite rapidly at higher temperatures, particularly re-radiation of the captured heat. Meanwhile, the thermodynamic efficiency of the turbine increases with increasing temperature differential, so a higher input temperature is desirable.
In effect they use the solar heating to do the 'easy' bit and with this cut down consumption of gas by over a half. Losses are minimised and efficiency is maximised rather neatly. And presumably by increasing the gas flow it would be possible to run the turbine at night if necessary.
Oil is used because it can be heated to 300 ºC at atmospheric pressure, so, like the reflectors, the pipework is relatively cheap.
Re: My project...
This sounds neat.
In systems which have stored hot water it's possible to use two pumps and relay switching rather than the usual 3-port valve which tends to be prone to failure. The cost of an extra pump is similar to the cost of the valve, though non-return valves have to be included in each circuit and fairly careful design is needed to avoid unwanted thermal syphoning between the two loops when only one is in use.
The Chaos Computer Club
This isn't exactly new. As reported in the Reg back in 2008, the Chaos Computer Club took Wolfgang Schauble's fingerprint from a glass and distributed 4,000 latex copies with their magazine Die Datenschleuder.
Pint, in wiped glass, in recognition of their fine work.
Without us it would have crashed dear boy
"And not forgetting our scientists"
Wasn't Wernher Von Braun German?
Global warming is good for you?
It puzzled me almost as much to note that Benny Peiser is promoting this latest 'spores from space' nonsense as to see it given space in El Reg. It's not getting much coverage anywhere else and Peiser is presently head of Nigel Lawson's pressure group the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). So, other than perhaps spreading a bit of general disinformation, what's the link between space invaders and climate change?
Well, back in 2001, together with the late Fred Hoyle to whom he owes much, Chandra Wickramasinghe came out with a paper which said that the Earth would be covered in ice were it not for occasional collisions with comets. We will be safe in the meantime, however, because large emissions of carbon dioxide will help stave off the next ice age.
Presumable the oft-repeated claims that "scientists always used to say that another ice age was coming" seen recently on various blogs are part of the GWPF's latest PR efforts. And now that a comet is visible in the northern hemisphere, as any astrologer would confirm, it's a propitious time to repeat the claim that warming is good, floating it on a tabloid kerfuffle about extraterrestrial life.
Remember: global warming is good for you.
The mark! The mark!
Mention of the smoke coming off the newly landed meteorite and the injury of a female bystander didn't appear in the early descriptions. When I saw it I wondered that it was perhaps an attempt to drum up a bit of excitement, Wickramasinghe's latest claim having been met in the main with resounding silence.
The story seems to be based on the pub scene in The Quatermass Experiment where ... The barmaid picks up the lozenge shaped meteorite. The end melts. Smoke comes out. And then something leaps towards her face. Struggling and clutching her neck she is carried off by men in bio-protective suits and masks,.
They don't seem to make films any more where you have to hide under a cushion or behind the sofa.
Re: Cardiff? Oh, *him*, sure
Cardiff closed Wickramasinghe's department some while ago. He is now at Buckingham following a rearrangement.
The somewhat embarrassing claims he made from 2006 onwards, and the images of supposed 'spores from space', appear to have vanished from the university web site. The red rain in Kerala in 2001 was more than likely caused by industrial pollution from incomplete incineration of chemical waste from insecticide production.
His latest claims are presumably being made in anticipation of the comet Panstarrs becoming visible.
Re: "low lying Pacific Islands"
Perhaps visual observation alone is misleading. Data from NOAA is available here, showing clearly a rise in Californian sea levels over the last few decades.