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* Posts by kryptonaut

58 posts • joined 7 Oct 2010

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QUIDOCALYPSE: Blighty braces for £100 MILLION cost of new £1 coin

kryptonaut

Re: It has one face...

Not only gills - if you look at the image you can see she has one grumpy mouth facing forwards for when she's talking to prime ministers etc., but below that she has a smiley mouth to be displayed to the peasants kneeling at her feet.

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Irish plod biro outrage invites Limerick Limerick challenge

kryptonaut

In Limerick town the judiciary

Decided to no longer issue the

Warrants for bail

If the constables failed

To purchase their pens more efficiently

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Very fabric of space-time RIPPED apart in latest Hubble pic

kryptonaut

Re: shopped?

If you mean the cross-shaped spikes on the brighter stars, these are caused by light diffracting off the supports for the secondary mirror on the HST.

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NASA robot plans mid-2020s trip: Europa. Wet, radioactive life forms (hopefully). Bliss

kryptonaut

Re: boffinery

Hadn't thought of that sketch for years! Just watched it on youtube - thanks for the reminder!

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Help! Apple has snaffled the WHOLE WORLD'S supply of sapphire glass

kryptonaut
Coat

Re: Shame about the Edge

You too?

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Another U.S. state set to repeal rubber duck ban

kryptonaut
Coat

Appeasement

This law is clearly intended simply to appease the masses.

It's a duck bill platitude.

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Google, Apple pop a cap in that Flappy Birds crapp app flapp

kryptonaut
Stop

Errmm...

Say, Haven't you heard?

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Coming in 2014: Scary super-soldier exoskeleton suits from the US military

kryptonaut
Happy

Liquid armour that turns hard on impact

Mmmm... custard...

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Two Brits face criminal trial for sending 'menacing' tweets

kryptonaut

Re: Do you send tweets?

I think some more interesting verb conjugations are needed. I would suggest:

"Sally normally tweets once a day",

"John twit Sally yesterday",

"He twote about something completely mundane",

"Has she twat him back yet?"

"No, she hasn't twotten anything all day"

"Oh. He probably should have Skyppen her instead."

"Yes, I Skope Sally last week - we Skap for half an hour"... etc.

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Jupiter moon Europa spotted spraying WATER into SPAAACCCEE

kryptonaut
Coat

Geezers

scientists were able to spot a number of distinctive geysers near the moon's south pole, something no-one has ever seen on Europa.

And by a curious coincidence there are currently also a number of distinguished European geezers near the Earth's south pole: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25354839

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OHM MY GOD! Move over graphene, here comes '100% PERFECT' stanene

kryptonaut

-ene

"We also suspect that they added "ene" simply because, well, it's the materials science suffix du jour."

The '-ene' ending in graphene and buckminsterfullerene has a meaning, by analogy with alkenes. From the Wikipedia article on Fullerenes:

The suffix "-ene" indicates that each C atom is covalently bonded to three others (instead of the maximum of four), a situation that classically would correspond to the existence of bonds involving two pairs of electrons ("double bonds").

Given that this new material has a similar structure to graphene, 'Stanene' seems to be a meaningful name - although I think 'Stannene' would avoid ambiguity in pronunciation and would be more in keeping with Stannic and Stannous.

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Furious Google techie on NSA snooping: 'F*CK THESE GUYS'

kryptonaut
Terminator

I've seen...

I've seen armies of machines DOS-ing Google. I've seen worms DOS'ing Google to find vulnerabilities in other people's software. I've seen criminal gangs figure out malware. I've seen spyware masquerading as toolbars so thick it breaks computers because it interferes with the other spyware.

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe... Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those... moments... will be lost in time, like tears... in... rain. Time... to die...

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Web-email king Mail.ru gulps $15k fine, fights govt demand to slurp data

kryptonaut
Coat

500,000 rubbles

Should have been a bit boulder.

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NASA's Jupiter probe wakes up after unexpected snooze

kryptonaut

Hams

I have no idea what experiment would involve hams beaming RF at the craft... unless this was attempts to revive it.

I think it was a misunderstood request for as many hams as possible to be beamed at the craft, so that Nibbler could produce more dark matter.

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Google: Thanks for the billions in revenue, UK. Here are your taxes, that's ... £11m

kryptonaut
WTF?

Does not compute

The company has previously defended its tax arrangements in the UK by claiming that it helps the British economy by hiring staff here, who in turn pay taxes to the government.

When I spend money at the shops I also help the British economy by paying VAT and providing employment for checkout staff, so maybe I shouldn't have to pay income tax either.

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Shopping list for Tesco: Eggs, milk, bread, tablets (the £60 7in Android kind)

kryptonaut

Re: A bit late to the party arent they?

Pedant note: Sixty notes will of course be £400, if you're talking about legal tender on the UK mainland.

Ah yes, sixty of those £6.66 2/3 notes :-)

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Java updates too much of a bother? Maybe online banking's just not for you

kryptonaut
Headmaster

Honing?

... part of an exploit kit honing in on vulnerable versions of Java.

To hone - to put a keen edge on a sharp blade.

To home in on something - to focus attention on, zero in on something.

To hone in on something - ???? Gah!!!

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Life … moves … in … slow … motion … for … little … critters … like … flies

kryptonaut

Re: For killing flies.....

They give you quite a zap if you stick your finger in them, and there's a singed smell in the air afterwards.

I know... but you have to try these things.

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kryptonaut

Songbirds

I've recorded songbirds and played them back at quarter-speed or slower - the amount of detail present in the song is incredible, far more than can be perceived (at least by me) listening at normal speed. I can't imagine the birds would bother with the detail if they couldn't hear it, so it seems clear to me that songbirds at least must experience the world at a different rate from humans.

And this clip of fighting goldfinches from BBC Autumnwatch http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00v0v4l (skip to about 1:20) shows that they must have vastly faster reaction times than we do.

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Spotify: If musicians don't give us their stuff they get pirated more

kryptonaut

Re: D'uh!

Do your friends also eat chocolate bars and hide the wrappers before getting to the supermarket checkout? Are they the sort who will happily let someone buy them a drink but never buy a round themselves?

Just because you can get away with doing something, doesn't mean you should do it.

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Neutrinos from another galaxy hit ice with black-hole force

kryptonaut
Boffin

Back-of-an-envelope calculation

The experiment detected two of these neutrino interactions in a volume of 1 cubic Km in two years, so a rate of about 1E-9 per year per m3

The global population is about 7E9, and let's say the volume of a human is about 0.07 m3 - so the global volume of human beings is roughly 5E8 m3

So you'd expect 5E8 * 1E-9 = 0.5 ultra powerful neutrino interactions with a human being per year, i.e. one every two years.

I read elsewhere that the energy of these neutrinos is about the same as a raindrop falling on your head - so every couple of years someone, somewhere will probably feel one of these cosmic neutrinos. Presumably they'll emit a small flash of blue light at the same time.

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Dark matter researchers think they've got a signal

kryptonaut

Re: luminiferous ether (or is it aether?)

It's either...

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Flexible flywheel offers cheap energy storage

kryptonaut
Alert

Gyroscopes in cars

Having played with toy gyroscopes as a kid, I have a mental image of the driver putting his foot down and the car just rearing up on its back wheels and slowly precessing round and round in ever wider circles, until it comes to a halt lying on its side.

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Most brain science papers are neurotrash: Official

kryptonaut
Boffin

What if...

If you put a neuroscience researcher in an fMRI machine and showed them pictures of their own brain working, would they find the part of the brain responsible for doing neuroscience?

Or would it induce some weird kind of video feedback loop like in the early Dr Who title sequences?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8Xm3EA3_XE

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Chinese boffins predict iPad-sized supercomputers

kryptonaut

Re: Supercomputer Ipad

HAL

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German boffins aim to burn natural gas - WITHOUT CO2 emissions

kryptonaut
Thumb Up

If it works with methane...

If it works with methane, would it also work with longer-chain hydrocarbons? Imagine such a device being used in a car or HGV engine, you could fill up with normal liquid fuel - easy to store and handle - burn the hydrogen, and the waste products would be water and solid carbon. Fill up with fuel, empty out the tank of soot (any diamonds in it? :-) ) at the same time.

I imagine a vehicle engine containing 1000C molten metal might be a bit intimidating though.

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US Air Force reclassifies 6 cyber tools as weapons

kryptonaut
Terminator

Preston

Wallace: Cyber what?

Wendolene Ramsbottom: A robot. Daddy created him for good, but he's turned out evil.

http://movieclips.com/PaJx-the-incredible-adventures-of-wallace-and-gromit-movie-cyber-dog/

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US Navy blasts drones with ship-mounted LASER CANNON

kryptonaut
Mushroom

Ulla!

"We'll send scouting parties to collect books and stuff, and men like you'll teach the kids. Not poems and rubbish - science, so we can get everything working. We'll build villages and towns and... and... we'll play each other at cricket! Listen, maybe one day we'll capture a Fighting Machine, eh? Learn how to make 'em ourselves and then wallop! Our turn to do some wiping out! Whoosh with our Heat Ray - Whoosh! And them running and dying, beaten at their own game..."

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LOHAN slips into tight rubber outfit

kryptonaut

Re: A space blanket wont help.

I think that in the test, the space blanket might have reduced the heat transfer to the heatshrink somewhat due to trapped air pockets. But I think it would be far better deployed on the outside (ideally with as little contact as possible between the heatshrink and the space blanket) so that the silvery non-radiative surface is presented to the sky, rather than the efficient black radiator made of heatshrink.

If you still want the sandwich, at least put another layer of space blanket on the outside so that the external surface won't radiate so much. At altitude, radiation will be the main factor causing cooling.

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Software bug halts Curiosity: Nuke lab bot in safe mode

kryptonaut
Alert

Redundant Brain

Used to belong to Abby someone... Abby Normal... I'm pretty sure that was the name...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yH97lImrr0Q

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Banged-up Brit hacker hacks into his OWN PRISON'S 'MAINFRAME'

kryptonaut
FAIL

Poor database design

"GhostMarket's treasure trove of information was used to steal £15m from 65,000 bank accounts worldwide"

If only they'd used a 32-bit int, they could have accessed over 4 billion accounts and stolen almost £1 trillion.

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Big Blighty telcos ordered to block three BitTorrent search sites

kryptonaut
Stop

Re: Internet should be free from meddling by the media cartels

Anyone is free to create something and stipulate conditions under which it may be used.

If I create an album and say "help yourselves, this is publicity for my upcoming tour" then that's fine, go ahead and copy it to your heart's content. But if I say "This took me two years to create and I would like to be paid for that, so if you want to be able to listen to it then you have to pay me <x> for that privilege" - then that's what should happen. If you don't want to pay me, don't get the album. That's the deal I'm offering, you have no right whatsoever to change it.

Just because you are able to copy something for free, doesn't mean you have the right to do so. That right may or may not be granted by the originator of the work.

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Security audit finds dev OUTSOURCED his JOB to China to goof off at work

kryptonaut

Re: Now on to the second best programmer in the company

I think Eve might know something about it.

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NASA aims Curiosity's percussive drill at pink, veiny target

kryptonaut
Coffee/keyboard

Re: I can't help thinking.....

<--- this!

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ROGUE PLANET WITHOUT A SUN spotted in interstellar space

kryptonaut

AB Doradus Moving Group

I think I have one of their albums on vinyl.

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Windows 8 security is like a swiss cheese flak jacket - sez AV firm

kryptonaut

Re: As any fule no

For some reason I could never get to grips with that game. Nice graphics, cool sounds, but my memories of playing it go something like:

"Beeeoooowwwwwwww..." "FFFttt! FFFttt! FFFttt!" "chshchshcshshchchsh!!!" "Err Err Err" [Little aliens dancing on the wreckage of my ship]

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Finns look to bring Phorm style stalker ads to UK radio streaming

kryptonaut

Re: What's the alternative to ads?

Yes, advertisers doing antisocial things is irritating. I think a large part of the resentment comes from feeling powerless to let them know how irritating they are being.

Surely if the service is able to track individuals, then it should be possible for advertisers and the broadcaster to get simple feedback from listeners. If a number of people switch off when a particular advert is played then the station is going to be unhappy with the advertiser as they are driving down audience figures, and the sellers of the product are going to be unhappy with an ad agency that irritates potential customers - so there would be market pressure on advertisers to make more audience-friendly ads.

That could be augmented by individuals opting to provide information about what ads they prefer to hear, so for example male geeks might get fewer ads for beauty products (unless they ask for them). Everyone would win, nobody would need to feel they were being spied upon.

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kryptonaut

What's the alternative to ads?

Yes, adverts are annoying because they are not the main reason most people listen to the radio (or consume any kind of media really). But few people want to pay subscriptions for stuff, so how should radio, TV, websites, etc. be funded? Levies on receiving equipment are not popular, and any central authority collecting payments and distributing it to broadcasters would inevitably be accused of unfair bias.

My opinion is that anyone can choose to offer a service with conditions attached, and if you don't like the conditions you just don't use the service. So commercial radio broadcasts adverts as well as regular content, and if you want to listen to it then you get ads, that's the deal. If you want to have a TV in the UK, you pay your licence fee, that's another deal. (It's the same with music - if someone owns copyright on an artwork and stipulates that you can get a copy of it in exchange for a certain fee then that's their right, no matter how annoying it may be or how tempting it may be to copy it without paying.)

Anyway, given that ads are not going to go away, surely the best thing is for each advert to bring in as much revenue as possible, so there will be a need for fewer of them. Making ads more relevant to consumers is one way to achieve that.

Targeting feels creepy but it needn't automatically be sinister, and it can have benefits for both sides. As a slightly geeky male I'd be happy to see more ads for gadgets and tech instead of makeup and hair-care products or kids toys, for example.

I feel some down-votes coming my way...

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ROBOTS battle bunker-buster bank blast blaggers

kryptonaut
Thumb Up

How appropriate...

... that it should be investigated by inspector Bill Munnee

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Antarctic ice shelves not melting at all, new field data show

kryptonaut

New Jersey?

"Hatterman and his colleagues, using 12 tons of hot-water drilling equipment, bored three holes more than 200m deep through the Fimbul Shelf, which spans an area roughly twice the size of New Jersey."

'Twice the size of New Jersey' means as much to me as 'the area of Clavius' would mean to anyone who isn't a selenographer. Please don't use comparisons like this in an article that's dealing with technical matters, it makes it look as though you unthinkingly paraphrased someone else's text. I know I can google for the value, but you're not doing yourself any favours using units like this if you're trying to give the appearance of a scientific and reasoned argument.

For anyone who needs/wants to know, twice the size of New Jersey is (according to Google) 45,216 square km.

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Wind farms create local warming

kryptonaut

Re: Basic errors?

When pushing the blades in one direction, the air experiences an equal and opposite force - as described by Newton's laws, which could be called basic physics. So the air downwind of a rotating turbine will itself be rotating, causing the stirring mentioned in the article. When generating power, the more resistance put up by the turbine (i.e. the harder the wind has to work to turn the blades) the more stirring there will be.

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Crytek: Schemes to strike second-hand games biz 'awesome'

kryptonaut
FAIL

Resellability affects perceived value.

It seems to me that where there is a second-hand market for games then first-time buyers will be prepared to pay a higher price, in the knowledge that they'll get some back when they resell it.

If, after completing the game, players are going to be left with a fancy coaster, then I would think they'd be reluctant to pay so much in the first place.

Basically, the publishers already get their cut of the resell value (paid in advance too!), and if they prevent the second-hand market they'll have to drop their prices to compensate.

Smacks of short-sighted greed to me.

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Himalayan glaciers actually GAINING ice, space scans show

kryptonaut
Stop

Reading around a bit...

I think perhaps Lewis has not quite given us the whole picture. This article ought to be titled 'Some Himalayan* glaciers might posibly be gaining a small amount of weight"

*Well, near enough anyway.

From the summary of the original scientific article:

"The globally averaged mass balance of glaciers and ice caps is negative. An anomalous gain of mass has been suggested for the Karakoram glaciers [...] Here, we calculate the regional mass balance of glaciers in the central Karakoram between 1999 and 2008, based on the difference between two digital elevation models. We find a highly heterogeneous spatial pattern of changes in glacier elevation [...] The regional mass balance is just positive at +0.11±0.22 m yr−1 water equivalent [...] Our measurements confirm an anomalous mass balance in the Karakoram region and indicate that the contribution of Karakoram glaciers to sea-level rise was −0.01 mm yr−1 for the period from 1999 to 2008, 0.05 mm yr−1 lower than suggested before."

Or, paraphrasing somewhat, "Ice in general is melting faster than it is forming. Of course it's not melting absolutely everywhere, and in a particular area of the Karakorum region some difficult measurements and calculations indicate that on average glaciers appear to be growing slightly. Although they could in fact be shrinking."

I'd recommend reading the BBC article for a more balanced viewpoint:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17701677

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Russia and NASA plan to COLONISE the Moon

kryptonaut
Trollface

@ShelLuser

Not to worry, I think the man has already walked all over the woman.

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Apple land-grabs fuel cells for mobiles

kryptonaut

iPatents

Perhaps a parallel office should be set upto issue iMaginary iPatents for iMaginary iProducts.

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It's ba-ack. Exploit revives slain browser history bug

kryptonaut

Will this work in practice?

Surely once one website has tried to use this exploit, the cache will end up preloaded with the sites that were tested so the results will not be valid/reliable for subsequent trials?

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Jarmageddon: Marmite spill sparks biohazard threat

kryptonaut
Coat

Yeast extract?

Is there a rising sense of panic in the area?

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San Diego Baywatch rules out exploding dead whale

kryptonaut
Coffee/keyboard

Ow ow ow my sides hurt!

I can't believe I've never seen that video before. Utterly brilliant!

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Euro fraud cops crush garlic tax evaders

kryptonaut

Ban the stuff!

Garlic is evil and should be taxed into oblivion! I hate the way 99% of all 'convenience food' is laden with the stuff - enough to make your eyes water if you stand near the oven when cooking it, and all next day there's a foul taste in your mouth.

It didn't used to be like that, time was when we Brits would sneer at our continental cousins for stinking of the stuff, but now we're all at it. Tsk Tsk, what's the world coming to, I don't know.

</rant>

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