66 posts • joined Sunday 30th May 2010 02:06 GMT
> I thought the Australian change in packaging also coincided with a massive increase in tax on cigarettes.
No, it didn't, see page 20 of the KPMG report.
Simple English Wikipedia
A possible literacy resource:
It is aimed at adult non-native speakers, as well as children.
I thought microkernel architecture was largely discredited, due to poor performance. Even Darwin, which has its roots in the Mach microkernel, was forced to adopt a more monolithic design, and is now described as a "hybrid".
Re: So how does it get onto the system?
> actually it does when you have wine installed, that's a bug
I tried it in Chromium just now. If you navigate to a .exe file, it automatically downloads it for you, then one click on an unlabelled "open" icon at the bottom of the window is all it takes to execute arbitrary code. There were no warnings.
Re: Problem with this idea...
We get a lot of comments on El Reg saying "I installed Linux for my Mum and she loves it." So presumably there are some naive end users.
How does this reduce CO2 emissions?
It's best thought of as an efficiency measure. The carbon gets burnt twice, so you get approximately twice as much useful energy per tonne of CO2. So the CO2 emission per unit energy is cut in half.
Re: $1.3Bn?? Considering what Iridum spunked on this that's a bargain.
They're pitching it at mobile backhaul. The end user would just have a phone.
Why I'm not donating
Firstly, before I donate to something, I like to know what is going to be done with my money. The questions are vague. It's implied that economic modelling will be done, but not it's not specified what will be modelled and what techniques will be used. You could answer the question in any number of ways. It's like asking an essay question without specifying the word count.
Secondly, I can pretty well guess what the results will be, since I read international studies with similar goals around the time the NBN was first proposed. When you try to do a cost benefit analysis of broadband, the concrete benefits are small, and the far-future benefits are ill defined, so the error bars are large. There are inconvenient facts the study could point out, like the relationship between price and penetration and the effect of poor penetration on social benefits. But the ABS has had data on that since the NBN was proposed, so surely any political impact of such data has already run its course.
Thirdly, I'm pretty convinced that neither the broadband policy of Liberal nor Labor will lead to collapse and downfall of Australian society and industry. They differ in scale, not direction. The same cannot be said with such confidence about other causes that I might be willing to donate to.
Evidence that the US wants to arrest Assange
> Why do you assume that the US does want him?
Maybe on the basis of the evidence?
It seems strange to me that so many commenters here are talking about this as mere speculation.
Like MichaelGordon says, the existence of gravitational waves is proven to several decimal places and is not disputed. But it's easy to forget that when grants for scientific megaprojects are on the line. "Testing Einstein's theory of relativity" is a nice thing to have on your grant application, perhaps better than "it's like a telescope except with terrible spatial resolution and a million times more expensive"
Re: Butane is pointess
You could try following the link. Obviously the guy is aware of the prior existence of devices that use the Seebeck effect, since he just bought one off the shelf. As for carrying butane, that is just for testing. As he says himself: "[...] if you use gps tracking the phone is empty in half a day. If you are away for one week, that means 14 recharges and a lot of batteries. If you can power the phone by using only wood, then you only need to bring my 400 grams and a lighter."
Re: Any distro recommendations for use on an old Thinkpad 365XD?
Time to put that one out to pasture, I think. It wouldn't be much use for anything other than nostalgia, and more recent computers do just fine at nostalgia thanks to DOSBox etc.
If you really can't let it go, you could try http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Installation_instructions_for_the_ThinkPad_365 . Apparently you can make it into a very bulky and power-hungry MP3 player.
Re: Weird physics
> Heat _is_ light .. just at a lower frequency.
Um, not exactly. Heat is energy transferred from one body to another due to the two bodies being at different temperatures. The mechanism of the energy transfer -- whether it is infrared light, visible light, kinetic energy, etc. -- is not relevant to the question of whether or not it is heat.
You can't have a picnic without ants
And you can't have an internet community without trolls. What a troll wants is a rise, and obviously Eadon is doing pretty well provoking anger from the community here. He's not going to go away, but you could at least try not multiplying everything he says by 20, by posting offended replies to it. Just downvote and leave it at that. If an ant crawls on your picnic lunch, you flick it off, you don't burst into tears and then call the cops.
I don't see what it's got to do with privacy. Surely if you wanted to identify someone at a distance of 1km, you'd use a long-focus camera lens or a small telescope, not a million dollars worth of LIDAR equipment. To me this just looks like awesome technology.
Source IP filtering
Open resolvers are a problem. But so are the transit providers who are failing to filter the source IP addresses of traffic entering their network. If more providers did this, there would be fewer zombies capable of forging source IPs.
One–ten thousandth of a human hair = ?
Can someone convert that to linguine for me?
Quick, someone build 10 times as many power plants, the Internet needs electricity
Power usage of network gear has been growing exponentially for decades, because it was not a significant proportion of costs, so there was little incentive to optimise for energy usage. Now it has become a significant proportion of costs, so it's time to pick all the low-hanging fruit left after years of having R&D concentrate on other things.
The ICT industry can't afford to fund a massive expansion in the world's electricity supply. Traffic would not continue to grow if such costs were passed on to end users. This study shows an exponential curve extrapolated until it becomes ridiculous.
Definitely, the manpages are excellent, except for coreutils for which the complete documentation is here:
If you're writing C code, then the manpages of the Linux Programmer's Manual (the "manpages-dev" package in Ubuntu) are extremely useful, and often better as a first reference than the glibc manual. They're useful even when you're writing Python or Perl, since so many functions in higher-level languages are just wrappers for the C functions.
I use man2html to allow me to read man pages in a browser. It gives you some creature comforts like scroll bars, a variable-width font, and links you can click on. And if my local man repository doesn't have the command I need, I use http://manpages.ubuntu.com/ . You don't have to be hard core to be a good Linux admin.
Somewhere around 1%
Ubuntu's market share is probably somewhere in the vincinity of 1%, considering data such as this:
combined with this:
Recent discussion on this issue
Since it was not linked in the article, here is most of the recent discussion on this issue:
> Although you can't help wonder why the software engineers didn't build in some sort of safety feature whereby if it detects throttle open and brake signal at the same time (for say > 5 seconds), that it would significantly cut the fuel delivery so that the brakes would be able to overpower the engine and slow the vehicle.
That depends on the computer actually receiving something it recognises as a brake signal. If the input layer of the software was at fault, then that might fail. Maybe it could be done reliably with a separate microcontroller, but then if someone, say, modified the car to use hand-operated brake lever, the engineer who modified it would have to remember to connect the new brake lever to both the main system and the safety backup.
Re: Ignoring Wales - no surprise
He still has full access to the web interface
So he can ban users, demote admins, protect pages, etc. So, maybe he has slightly more power than the average editor. But unless he wanted to demote a thousand admins and install a few lackeys, he's constrained in what he can do by the limits of his influence.
@Charlie Clark: like spodula says, it does support pipes. If you pipe through gzip then the overhead of not using a binary format is minimal.
In case there is anyone reading this who, having read the manual and acquired a clue, still has an actual problem with backing up a MySQL database that they wish to solve: with innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit=1 you can take an snapshot of the data directory, e.g. with LVM. Then to recover, you just restore old data directory and start mysqld -- it will think it crashed, and will recover successfully. If you also enable binlogs and keep copies somewhere safe, you can replay them starting from the time the snapshot was made.
It's not exactly user-friendly, but it is cheap.
Wikitravel and WikiVoyage
The author seems to be unaware of the relationship between Wikitravel and WikiVoyage. WikiVoyage is a fork of Wikitravel, started by people who were unhappy with the way Wikitravel was managed by Internet Brands. WikiVoyage started outside of Wikimedia, and its community later asked to become part of Wikimedia. The recent announcement from Wikimedia marks the completion of this merger.
AM or Twitter
AM radio is nice in that unlike SMS, it makes a noise even when there's no emergency, so you can tell whether it is working or not. So it's kind of like Twitter in that respect.
AM radio towers are quite expensive to build, and listener numbers have been falling. So there is no guarantee that the ABC will continue to support AM radio indefinitely. Maybe in a few decades, satellite will be the best option.
Ubuntu for Android was just demonstrated, not completed. Canonical wanted phone manufacturers to buy support and trademark licenses from them.
I guess that never happened since nothing was announced in almost a year, and no source code ever released.
This new "Ubuntu for phones" seems to be the same kind of arrangement, except that they have reimplemented more of the stack. The blog post does not say that any manufacturers have signed up, only that Canonical is "ready to start working with partners".
If the image The Register used to illustrate this article looks familiar, it's because it's actually the same image used to promote Ubuntu for Android last February.
Actually she was very warm and friendly, calm and professional. Nobody guessed there was a problem. Yes, background checks should have been done, but you have to admit, it was tremendously bad luck for the Foundation. I think she was only the third employee to be hired in an accounting role.
Number of phone calls
Renesys describes the metric as a first approximation to the "the number of phone calls (or legal writs, or infrastructure attacks) that would have to be performed in order to decouple the domestic Internet from the global Internet."
Governments in developed countries have a fairly large capacity for making phone calls. If the government of, say, the Netherlands passed a law requiring a shutdown of international transit, I find it hard to believe that the need to make a few hundred phone calls would prevent its implementation. Major ISPs would prefer to shut down than face criminal charges, but even if they didn't, there are enough police in the Netherlands to visit every organisation with an AS number, if that proved necessary.
The Rensys article made the interesting point that the government of Afghanistan is effectively powerless to shut down the internet in that country. Perhaps a better metric could have been constructed by dividing the route diversity by some measure of government power.
Re: Couldn't they just put it on the 5th floor?
There is no 5th floor.
Yes, wireless sucks when you have IP packet loss, that's what MAC retransmission is for. The IP packet is only lost after the MAC layer exceeds its retry limit. You could make a test like this look a lot more flattering by disabling MAC retransmission in the baseline case, so that's the methodology data that I would be asking for.
Two species of venomous spider
There are many species of funnel web spider:
Probably a lot of them would have a lethal bite if you managed to convince one of them to bite the right person and then denied that person medical attention for a few days. Mouse spiders might be deadly also. It's just that there are only two species of Australian spider that have been confirmed to have ever killed anyone.
Re: "how does one use them as a crystal?"
If there are enough ions in the ring, you can read the ion positions without exciting the ring into a higher state, using laser pulses. The more ions there are, the greater the perturbation it can tolerate. However, a nonzero temperature does cause the "clock" to slow down. It's all in the paper.
Re: All about the temperature
I'm aware that the experiment was at ambient temperature. I am not referring to the temperature of the whole rocket before the igniter fires, I am referring to the temperature of a small quantity of fuel immediately after the igniter fires.
I drew a diagram to illustrate what I am talking about:
What is relevant is the temperature of the "warm fuel" that I have drawn orange in that diagram. If the vapour created by the hot electric match escapes too quickly, due to low pressure, that "warm" area won't get hot enough to sustain ignition.
All about the temperature
It sounds like most well-informed commenters are agreeing that the problem is the fuel temperature in the fuel contacting the igniter. It's hard to imagine the problem fundamentally being pressure. If the rocket could only burn at 1 bar then it's not going to do well once the blast plug has popped off and the thrust has settled down to ~2 lb, since that will only provide a pressure back on the fuel of ~30 mbar. If it's going to work at all, it has to be self-sustaining in a vacuum.
So the solutions come down to either:
1. Use a blast plug, to contain the flame and help it to heat the bulk fuel to the autoignition temperature.
2. Heat the fuel externally, e.g. with thermite paste.
My preference is for 2, since it won't waste energy popping off the blast cap, so it should give a higher final altitude, and it seems like there's less that can go wrong with it.
Well done to the SPB team, for finally bringing this experiment together and getting us some excellent results. We wanted to know if the rocket would burn at low pressure, and now we know. This is a milestone, not a setback.
Yes, I suppose Apple's market share looks better if you graph the reciprocal of it. It's a pity for the fanbois massaging the numbers that Apple started making an OS before Microsoft, otherwise they could extend the graph back to Apple's founding and watch Microsoft's relative market share plummet from infinity down to 19, instead of from 56.
Re: No safety goggles?
I'm guessing that photo was taken with a tripod and a long, long exposure. The beam looks like a solid line, a long exposure is the only way to get that effect. It usually comes out looking very nice, but there's a bit too much scattered light here.
To be used for paying for stuff, sure
Definitely a promising architecture. I don't have access to the Science article, but I found a preprint from the same group describing it: http://arxiv.org/abs/1012.2864 .
Maybe the boffins hope this technology will be used for securing bank transactions, but I bet their military backers instead want to use it for snooping on civilian communications using Shor's algorithm. DARPA, AFOSR (Air Force Office of Scientific Research) and MURI (a DoD grant program) are listed as funders.
Re: Desktop performance is not surprising
The price has dropped to $51 so the original product listing was deleted, and when I tried to go back to the same link, it redirected me to a different product. So I suggest going to the seller page:
Then search for some part of the product description which is "Dropship Free shipping 7 " Epad Android 2.3 RAM 256M ROM 4GB Camera Flash 10.1 WiFi 7 inch Tablet PC".
There are hidden screws under the corners of the self-adhesive screen cover.
Re: Desktop performance is not surprising
"No doubt Android could be hacked onto the device but it will never run 1% as nicely as the cheapest, cheapy Android tablet out there (you can find them for £50 now, with touchscreen and wifi) which can run the Play Store and use the Android logo legitimately."
I recently bought a generic 7" Android tablet from aliexpress.com for about $55 including shipping, to be used as a development platform. I was pleasantly surprised when I ripped the case off it and discovered that its only internal storage was a 4GB micro-SD card, with the whole system stored on it. I rooted it by mounting the card on my Linux laptop and copying in the necessary files. It has ethernet, wifi and USB.
On forums, people moan about how these things suck compared to an iPad, but to me, the possibilities are exciting. I'm planning on making it into a portable touchscreen-controlled media player, by attaching computer speakers. The sound quality from the headphone jack is good enough.
The Raspberry Pi sounded good to me at first, but the price ended up being much higher than they originally advertised, making it comparable to these cheap Android tablets. So it mostly became a choice between HDMI and a touchscreen, and the applications I was imagining favoured a touchscreen.
Sparkfun will sell you an Arduino ethernet shield for $45, a wifi shield for $90 and a 3" touchscreen for $85. If you're a thrifty geek, it's hard to beat repurposed consumer gear.
Sounds like a risk to me
You want to conduct your experiment at a pressure which is 7.5 times the intended operating pressure? I don't know much about rocket ignition, but whatever effect pressure has on it, I would expect it to be proportional to pressure. A factor of 7.5 sounds like a lot to me.
Yes, it sounds less if you take advantage of the exponential relationship between altitude and pressure, and express it as a height difference instead of pressure difference. But the rocket motor is not going to know how high it is, only what pressure it's at.
To put it another way, sea-level pressure is only another factor of 7 above the pressure you're proposing for the experiment, so in terms of pressure ratios, the experiment will be further from reality than it will be from sea level.
Here's my advice: head down to your local 3rd-year physics lab, and say to whoever runs the place: "hey, that's a mighty fine rotary vane pump you've got there, mind if we borrow it over a weekend? It will be used for the glory of Britain. Of course we will pay for any damage." Then be really careful with it.
Gardens aren't just empty space, they have things like swing sets, paddling pools, trees and sheds in them. Obstructions could cause problems for beacon-based optical methods.
The guy who suggested dead reckoning using wheel motion got downvoted, but it is a serious technique. Check out this article where 0.5% accuracy was achieved:
Recalibration could be done at close range to a fixed beacon, which would be simpler and cheaper than long-range positioning.
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