230 posts • joined 7 Sep 2010
Re: This attempt by Apple to continue to pursue the issue over phones that are......
Well, nothing has changed in the last two years given that I commented thusly in Aug 2012 (but it would be equally applicable today):
.... [a hung jury] would be about the only way for the "lay person" to say: "We are fed up with you corporate titans using the legal system as the latest blunt instrument to attack each other when you could both be getting on with competing fairly and developing the next products because, yes, some of us like iThings and some of us don't but we'd like them _both_ to be available, please. Oh, and while we're on the subject of tech companies wasting time and money, WHERE'S OUR DAMN FLYING CAR?"
Re: "teenagers hogging the phone line "
I think you mean "That's so TwenCen" ...
Saying or writing it in full, like, just, like, takes too long, dontcha know?
Mr @AC - you are correct. I did indulge in a bit of googling after my post and found it eventually - surprisingly hard when you can't remember the name of the series, the titles of any of the books nor the author!
I remember reading an "aimed at teenagers" sci-fi series where some teens made themselves a space ship out of a hollowed asteroid and went off and had adventures, etc. Kind of "Enid Blyton in Space" I guess. But one of the books had them meeting up with an apparently abandoned space ship that turned out to be full of nuclear waste and heading for the Sun...
Can't remember what the series was called or who it was by though.
Re: “There had not been a single case of a shark biting one of the old cables”.
I've got a genuine chunk of used PTAT-1 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PTAT-1) cable at home. About 18inches that I sawed off the end of one of the branching units when it got hauled back up for the repair of an intermittent fault. Wiped out three hacksaw blades doing it - the high tensile steel in the middle is tough stuff! Doesn't look like it would ever bend but, yes, once you've been to the factory you can see it does...
Re: I was amazed at how SMALL these aircraft were
That's because it _is_ one of the test planes. The passenger seats, etc. were added at the museum to show ordinary mortals what the commercial version was like.
But, yes, I did look at those chutes and think "how bad would it have to get before _that_ starts looking like a good idea" !
+1 for (The) LARCH
Lohan Arborial Repulsion Coded Heuristic
and of course it has to have a function called HowToRecogniseATreeFromQuiteALongWayAway(...)
Hmm. I used to be a little put out by the implied irony:
"Why Don't You Turn Off The Television And Go And Do Something Less Boring Instead .....
.... After You Have Watched This Television Programme Telling You What That Should Be"
(but, yes, it was still good)
Was that the one with Doctor What - a fairly transparent but more educational rip off of Doctor Who?
"The sci-fi author is clearly a favourite for ... Hollywood fodder in general."
Who can forget "A Scanner Darkly" ? Hmmm, most people, it would seem.
(I liked it)
Re: Solid boosters?
Actually, this cropped up in the comments on a previous article. Apparently there _are_ options for aborting a solid rocket after ignition. Basically you fit a shaped charge ring around the top and bottom and cut both ends off. Once you've lost the nozzle and are venting at both ends there won't be any thrust - you just (!) have to handle the two minutes of fire coming out...
I don't know if this was implemented on the shuttle or not but I do know that they had a multiply redundant booster ignition system to ensure that they _both_ lit. Just one lighting was one of the nightmare scenarios...
Also, for a stack based system (i.e. Apollo, SLS, SpaceX) rather than Shuttle style, any crew compartment has to have an escape rocket system that allows it to separate and fly up to parachute height.
So there are options to work with solid boosters. Not sure they are good ones but they do exist.
Re: iODB2 Engine Data Reader - Cheaper option
I've got this combo too. Torque is very good. Problem is the ODB socket in my car is just above my feet so I'd worry about kicking the ridiculously big plug out if I left it in all the time ...
Re: A very lonely birthday party
unless, of course, the cake was a lie...
Re: @Adam T
@Ledswinger - thanks for the further useful info. I'm approaching this not just from a money saving point of view but also the challenge of how it could be done ideally. Hence my starting point would be to try and monitor everything and control everything and see what could be achieved. I take your point about the boiler over-provision though. I guess this could be partially remediated by having multiple thresholds around the temperate settings so that you delayed the switch on in one room until another room or two also wanted heat, provided the first room didn't breach some second threshold, etc. etc.
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions/recommendations (watchforstock, circusmole, Nigel Whitfield, et al). Looks like things have moved on a bit since I last looked in to this.
I did note that the nCube use the danfoss wireless controllable and thermostatic valve but I do really want the valve and the thermometer to be separate units. Having the temperature measured right next to the heat source is always going to be second best. I think you can disable that function of the valve in favour of an external control signal but then you are paying for a bit of electronics on each radiator that you are not using...
Yes - they all basically just seem to be adding a bit of automation to the "turning the temperature of the whole house up and down a bit" control on a standard thermostat. What I really want (and what I suspect could really make savings) would be individual control of each room and each radiator. The use profile of bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, spare rooms, hallways, junk rooms and kitchens is very different (my house isn't that big, I'm just trying to be complete!) and a single thermostat, no matter how smart, just isn't going to be able to do a better job than individual room control.
The only one that seems to offer a bit of a nod in that direction is nCube (as they at least have radiator controls) but I still don't think they are quite there (certainly their website is a bit sparse on details).
Are there any systems where you can get: wireless, battery operated radiator valves without thermostats; wireless battery operated thermometer (for each room); wireless on/off control for the boiler; one smart controller (with webapp and/or mobile app) and; maybe a handful of basic room controls for simple overrides ?
Re: this probably sounds stupid.
well, there are two key questions here: what is the extent of your judicial reach and what is the extent of your physical reach? The US (*), for example, seems quite happy to extend its judicial reach well beyond it's physical boundaries, so why would "servers in space" be any different, especially when there will need to be ground control stations, etc. all over the place? And, secondly, the US and China have both been quite happy to demonstrate that their physical reach extends into space too as they have both deliberately downed satellites in circumstances that suggest that "showing that they could" was the primary purpose ...
(*) - not just picking on the US. The UK seems quite happy to attempt to export its libel laws across the world too...
Well, just from a practical point of view they must surely have to maintain a list of what was removed simply so that when that site gets re-indexed the "offending" links don't just get added straight back into the Big Database? So the key questions are to what extent partially exposing that list (by reference to chillingeffects, etc.) complies with the court judgment and, as mentioned in the article, to what extent they should/shouldn't keep details with the list of removed urls pertaining to the removal request.
Re: Biolite stove..
I'm probably being a bit dense here but, why didn't you want to charge your phone from it?
with the eerie green glow provided by "half life wife" ?
Re: GCHQ wants to know what NSA hasn't a clue about and isn't being recorded for reporting in leaks
I think I've finally worked out what this reminds me of. In Iain M Banks "Feersum Endjinn" there's an AI, or some such, in a tower, maybe on the Plain of Sliding stones? (don't have an e-copy with me that I can check). But I'm pretty sure it was producing messages like this ...
Based on appearance?
If it's based on appearance, then the Pierce Brosnan character from Mars Attacks! must be a pretty good archetype:
Re: Are we here because of Theia?
I vaguely recall a related theory that the presence of the moon (not just the impact that created it) also influenced the composition of the crust and that it has more of the heavier elements in it that it would otherwise. Hence us having access to metals/minerals/isotopes and all the other things that we need for "technology"...
Re: Great Article.
It's not always about science but I find "More or Less" on BBC Radio 4/World Service (and podcasts) is still happy to have a go at debunking dodgy statistics on almost any subject from any source. I thought they had done one on "peak oil", "reserves vs. resources", etc. - although I can't find it - but, for example, they did cover "peak population" and they don't mind quizzing politicians or charities about claims that are arguably or provably false. i.e. they are all about the facts and the reasoning rather than worrying about whether the claims are being made to support something that is considered "broadly good" or not.
I suspect their audience isn't really big enough to be making a difference though.
Re: Nice one again
You may also enjoy "Cryptonomicon" by Neal Stephenson. Part of the plot follows a slightly fictionalised/alternate-history version of the allied code breakers (Bletchley Park, etc.) as they deal with exactly this kind of problem.
And also worry about the reverse issue of trying to counteract their own possible revelations of information back the other way. e.g. having worked out how many tanks per week the enemy is building, what if you inadvertently change your behavior in such a way that the enemy can work out what you have done? Then they might start deliberately messing with the serial numbers to spoil your analysis whilst suddenly increasing production...
... is there anything it can't do?!
Well, actually, yeah there are a few things. But it still never ceases to amaze me especially when you see it coming up with things like this...
(and, of course, I am referring to the thing they are trying to copy rather than the - admittedly also very clever - thing that the researchers came up with)
if they do it right then they will only need another computer once ...
duh duh duh ... duh duh
duh duh duh ... duh duh
Edit: hmmm, not sure that's really worked with the "duh"s. I'm going for the Terminator theme, if that's not clear...
"There's no room for men like you in my force, Whitaker. I'm transferring you to the SPG"
Re: Wait! The GOVERNMENT did this?
It _did_ happen in the UK: http://search.theregister.co.uk/?q=minecraft+britain
Don't recall that there was too much seething, given that an intern at Ordnance Survey did it.
Re: This is great!
yes it did: http://search.theregister.co.uk/?q=minecraft+britain
Ah yes, the days when parents let their young teens read the first book and prepared themselves for the awkward questions afterwards. (*)
"Mum? What are ..."
<what's she going to ask? what's she going to ask!?>
" ... Tunisian Baggage Handlers?"
(genuinely happened to some family friends)
(*) As the article alludes, these were probably the first (or at least the first, successful) Young Adult/Aimed at Teens books that frankly discussed a number of topics that were formerly "behind the bike sheds"/"unsubstantiated gossip"/"things the older kids told you (or lied to you) about" areas!
I may have slightly lost track of the latest plan but I though Helium was very much the SPB lift gas of choice (for lots of good reasons involving proximity of rockets, ignitors, etc.).
But those tanks are bright red, which I thought was the tank colour of Hydrogen?
Bit like this perhaps? http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cray_X-MP.jpg
Re: Microsoft missed an opportunity here...
It's almost as if you read Trev's previous post :-)
He reckoned about $65 per year should hit the mark as an amount businesses would pay and enough to directly fund the necesary staff at MS. With the added bonus to MS of getting lots of people used to the idea of paying for an OS by annual subscription...
No way was the "eye-wateringly high" line an innocent and coincidental choice of phrasing!
... now you're just showing off.
That carbon rod ...
... is it inanimate?
It's a nice idea but I don't think our technology is up to it. Firstly you'd need an imaging system on it that could spot these objects from many AU away and secondly you'd need a pretty awesome propulsion system to get out of the earth's orbit around the sun and into a new perpendicular one.
More or Less ...
... on Radio 4 covered this, I thought, pretty completely: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01p8bs2
But, having just listened again, I don't hear them mention "pole" though ....
Interestingly the Romans seemed to like the idea of "metricated" multiples as there was a Roman mile of 60,000 inches (as opposed to the normal mile of 63,360 inches, obviously).
A level physics confusion?
So, I recall from A level physics (*) that you will always waste 50% of the energy if you charge a capacitor from a fixed voltage. Basic idea being that energy in cap is 0.5 x C x V x V but that the energy supplied from the fixed voltage source is Q x V = (C x V) x V. I guess these days you can use some clever electronics to break the assumption of fixed voltage, but even so there must be some losses, right? As well as the increased complexity of the combined cap/battery/electronics.
* - a while ago, deduceable from the fact that I also have a physics O-Level ...
What about Machine Mart? Where do you stand on that?
unfortunately that pub got turned into apartments. (let's see if a google streetview link works)
Re: "the currency helps facilitate criminal activity"
True that there are controls on cash entering/leaving the banking system (and in the UK too, as per Condiment's comment) but presumably you can still have a fairly significant chunk of the ecomony operating as cash that never enters/leaves a bank account? I wonder what the figure is of actual physical cash as a fraction of total ammount of currency (if that is even measureable) and whether you can establish a figure representing what fraction of that circulates entirely physically?
No matter how many times I read the headline, it seems that the use of "-'nads" (*) conditions my brain to mis-read "waking" and makes me think "hmm, didn't know sharks were in to that sort of thing. Thought that was dolphins".
Naughty headline writers forcing our innocent reader's brains to think of such things...
(*) Could also be "Banks", I suppose.
Re: Backup software for HDD and Cloud
Upvote for Cloudberry (and their technical support). I've used it for a couple of years running off WHS (and now from Server 2012 Essentials) to backup to Amazon S3 but it now supports loads of other destinations too. So kind of a double backup really: PC -> WHS/Essentials -> S3
Indeed - think about how many millions (billions? trillions?) of man-hours of development have led to the current state of safety for trains, planes and automobiles with regard to both their flamable fuel (which Tesla need to do again for batteries) and with things like crumple zones, body cages, etc. (which Tesla can just use as is).
Re: I was going to make a "Spare some piss guv?" joke
You could have gone with "Spare a penny, guv?"
Or is that just a UK-ism?
bit of a repost but:
How about using strips of foil that have a notch in them? If you align the clamps at each end of the foil to be slightly non-parallel then you can make sure that the tearing force concentrates at the notch. Bit like tearing a sheet of paper by putting a fold in it, making a small tear at the top and then just pulling the top corners.
Should be fairly robust and flexible on the way up if the rocket wobbles with respect to the truss but should tear with pretty minimal force when the rocket wants to leave.
Working both ends of the problem
Clearly I'm not an expert (as I shall now reveal with this question) but, as well as trying to mitigate the amount of damaging radiation that hits you in the first place - with lead, water, "force fields", etc. - what are the prospects for being able to just fix the damage?
Medical nano technology clearly isn't there yet, but is it within in the realms of plausibility (in the same kind of timescales that we are talking about for travelling to Mars, etc.) to imagine that you could have nanobots roaming within you that could just fix up a reasonable amount of the radiation damage or at least cleanly dispose of newly formed cancerous cells, etc.?
If only all the other agencies of the US government were as well mannered and discreet as the Californian Coast Guard...
Re: They used to be protected against the Irons.
Doesn't have quite the same ring to it though:
From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic a kettle curtain has descended across the Continent...
(*) - or churchillian, indeed
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