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* Posts by AdamT

237 posts • joined 7 Sep 2010

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BlackBerry slowly pulls out of power dive into toilet

AdamT

Re: Bravo!

I get the feeling AO has had that one ready for some time and so has been awaiting the vaguest hint of good news from BB even more eagerly than the staff, management and shareholders have been!

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Tearful LOHAN Playmonaut bids adiós to Spain

AdamT

Re: Bureaucracy till the last

I'm just trying to get my head around the idea that in time it takes them to jump through this wood related hoop presumably (tens of?) thousands of shipping containers are going to land in the US from all over the world and, oh yes, every single one of them is going to be sterile and, oh yes, honestly, every single one is going to have a totally genuine stamp and certificate to say so.

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Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts

AdamT

Re: "Sea-Me-We"... seriously?

Well, I worked on the first Sea-Me-We project in the early 90s (in a very minor capacity) and I can assure you we were making all the same comments and sniggering like 12 year olds then too.

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Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight

AdamT

Re: Thermos

Might be time to break out the Apollo 13 (mis)quotes: "... you're telling me what you need. I'm telling you what we have ..."

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MIT boffins cry havoc and let slip the ROBOT CHEETAHS of Whoa

AdamT

Re: @inventor of the ML (TLDW)

I'm also getting (literary) flashbacks to some of Walter Jon Williams stuff - "Voice of the Whirlwind" perhaps? The back story is that corporate mercenaries have been fighting on space stations and underground tunnels in other planets and it all goes (even more) pear shaped when the bio-weapons and cybernetic wolves are deployed...

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James Bond's metal-toothed nemesis Richard Kiel dies at 74

AdamT

Re: He said no to the Darth Vader part in Star Wars

Well, the name "David Prowse" was associated with three huge films but you wouldn't know what he looked like or what he sounded like - that's got to be a bit annoying for an actor! Especially as I vaguely recall that the re-dubbing by James Earl Jones was an afterthought.

Jaws may not have said much, but when he did it was his own voice ...

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Vote NOW for LOHAN's arboreal avoidance algorithm acronym

AdamT

(The) LARCH

When this choice ultimately wins and "lawndart" and myself get showered with gold coins (or whatever it is that we win) let's hope they can tell the difference between "AdamT" and "Adam T" ...

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Apple tried to get a ban on Galaxy, judge said: NO, NO, NO

AdamT

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?"

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Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE

AdamT

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?

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Cargo truck crammed with garbage explodes IN SPAAAAACE

AdamT

Re: Eureka!

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!

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AdamT

Re: Eureka!

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.

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Google's so smart it's discovered SHARKS HAVE TEETH

AdamT

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...

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World's only flyable WWII Lancaster bombers meet in Lincs

AdamT

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" !

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LOHAN acquires aircraft arboreal avoidance algorithm acronyms

AdamT

Re: offers:

+1 for (The) LARCH

minor modification?

Lohan Arborial Repulsion Coded Heuristic

and of course it has to have a function called HowToRecogniseATreeFromQuiteALongWayAway(...)

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Facebook goes down, people dial 911

AdamT

Re: GADSLBI

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?

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Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate history' story made into TV series

AdamT

Also ...

"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)

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Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket

AdamT

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.

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Top ten car gadgets: Get your motor running with new shiny-shiny

AdamT

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 ...

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One amazing reason why NASA boffins are celebrating Curiosity's 687th day on Mars

AdamT

Re: A very lonely birthday party

unless, of course, the cake was a lie...

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Home automation while it's hot: Winter warmth for lazy technophiles

AdamT

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.

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AdamT

thanks

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...

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AdamT

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 ?

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If Google remembers whom it has forgotten, has it complied with the ECJ judgment?

AdamT

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...

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AdamT

Practicalities?

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.

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Top 10 tech essentials for the festival season

AdamT

Re: Biolite stove..

I'm probably being a bit dense here but, why didn't you want to charge your phone from it?

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Move over, John Pilger, let us IT scandal-mongerers stick it to you

AdamT

with the eerie green glow provided by "half life wife" ?

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BOFH: On the contrary, we LOVE rebranding here at the IT dept

AdamT

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 ...

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So, what exactly defines a 'boffin'? Speak your brains...

AdamT

Based on appearance?

If it's based on appearance, then the Pierce Brosnan character from Mars Attacks! must be a pretty good archetype:

http://www.empireonline.com/features/film-by-film-pierce-brosnan/p7

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Evidence of ancient WORLD SMASHER planet Theia - FOUND ON MOON

AdamT

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"...

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You know all those resources we're about to run out of? No, we aren't

AdamT

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.

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Achtung! Use maths to smash the German tank problem – and your rival

AdamT

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...

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Boffins 3D-print biomimetic shark skin

AdamT

Evolution ...

... 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)

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Boffins build billion-synapse, three-watt 'brain'

AdamT

Re: Programming

if they do it right then they will only need another computer once ...

<RotM>

duh duh duh ... duh duh

duh duh duh ... duh duh

</RotM>

Edit: hmmm, not sure that's really worked with the "duh"s. I'm going for the Terminator theme, if that's not clear...

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Microsoft forms 'Special Projects' black ops team

AdamT

Re: SPG?

"There's no room for men like you in my force, Whitaker. I'm transferring you to the SPG"

(NTNOCN)

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Minecraft players can now download Denmark – all of it – in 1:1 scale

AdamT

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.

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AdamT

Re: This is great!

yes it did: http://search.theregister.co.uk/?q=minecraft+britain

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Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68

AdamT

Awkward conversations

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!

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Reg LOHAN spaceplane: Punch and Judy show in comedy non-explosive climax

AdamT

Hydrogen? Helium?

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?

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Eco-friendly fluid keeps SGI supercomputer cool and moist

AdamT

Re: Aesthetics

Bit like this perhaps? http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cray_X-MP.jpg

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The... Windows... XPocalypse... is... NIGH

AdamT

Re: Microsoft missed an opportunity here...

It's almost as if you read Trev's previous post :-)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/04/02/the_mathematics_of_trust/

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...

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Nominet bins Optical Express' appeal against 'It ruined my life' website

AdamT

Sarcastic Panel

No way was the "eye-wateringly high" line an innocent and coincidental choice of phrasing!

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Want to see at night? Here comes the infrared CONTACT LENS

AdamT

Graphene ...

... now you're just showing off.

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LOHAN team gears up for Punch and Judy show

AdamT

That carbon rod ...

... is it inanimate?

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ECCENTRIC, PINK DWARF dubbed 'Biden' by saucy astronomers

AdamT

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.

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Middle England's allotments become metric battlefield

AdamT

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).

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Battery vendors push ultracapacitor wrappers to give Li-ions more bite

AdamT

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 ...

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Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?

AdamT

Re: RS?

What about Machine Mart? Where do you stand on that?

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Roll up, roll up for the Commentards' Ball

AdamT

unfortunately that pub got turned into apartments. (let's see if a google streetview link works)

https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=39+Monson+Road,+SE14&hl=en&ll=51.477954,-0.047715&spn=0.000007,0.004549&sll=51.537794,-0.101624&sspn=0.55607,1.164551&t=h&hnear=39+Monson+Rd,+London+SE14+5EQ,+United+Kingdom&z=18&layer=c&cbll=51.477954,-0.047715&panoid=g5APZIJzrVnWGd3Z_WRAJw&cbp=12,355,,0,-5.94

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US Senator lobbies feds to BAN BITCOIN

AdamT

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?

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Blighty's banks prep for repeated kicks to cyber-'nads in Operation Waking Shark II

AdamT

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.

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