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* Posts by kryptonaut

75 posts • joined 7 Oct 2010

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DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?

kryptonaut
Boffin

Lobsters

"The dolphins were immediately drawn to the magnetic barrels"

Had the dolphins been fed on lobsters before the experiment? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esakMUbzAIY

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TROUT and EELS in SINISTER PACT to RULE the oceans

kryptonaut

NASA said a 60ft space alien menacing Earth wouldn't harm us: Tell THAT to Nicaragua

kryptonaut
Alien

ULLA!

"The end of the cylinder was being screwed out from within. Nearly two feet of shining screw projected. Somebody blundered against me, and I narrowly missed being pitched onto the top of the screw. I turned, and as I did so the screw must have come out, for the lid of the cylinder fell upon the gravel with a ringing concussion. I stuck my elbow into the person behind me, and turned my head towards the Thing again. For a moment that circular cavity seemed perfectly black. I had the sunset in my eyes.

I think everyone expected to see a man emerge--possibly something a little unlike us terrestrial men, but in all essentials a man. I know I did. But, looking, I presently saw something stirring within the shadow: greyish billowy movements, one above another, and then two luminous disks--like eyes. Then something resembling a little grey snake, about the thickness of a walking stick, coiled up out of the writhing middle, and wriggled in the air towards me--and then another."

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What a pain in the mass! Euro craft Rosetta to poke its probe in 10-BILLION-tonne comet

kryptonaut

Re: Duck's arse

Could be risky, that's probably where the squeaker is.

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EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'

kryptonaut

Forgotten?

Surely a 'right to be forgotten' ought to entail removing the information at source. Merely removing a pointer to the information is more like a 'right to have a blind eye turned' at whatever it is that needs hushing up.

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Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton

kryptonaut
Unhappy

Re: Aww that's just unlucky

Well since it seems everyone is a terrorism suspect at some level, that excuse could be used rather frequently.

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MPs to sue UK.gov over 'ridiculous' EMERGENCY data snooping law

kryptonaut
Pint

Bloody hell!

Good to hear that at least two MPs have some backbone and are willing to act on their principles.

If I could add two beer icons I would.

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You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary

kryptonaut

Re: Eek!

But once the content has been created, artificially limiting sales to particular regions would result in lower revenue.

Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn't - I'd be surprised if the businesses involved were not maximising their revenue over the longer term. Maybe they see things from a different perspective from the consumer.

Whatever their reasons, if they own the copyright then it's up to them to market it as they see fit. It is not anyone else's right to distribute or take copies for free, no matter how frustrating it may be that it's unavailable to them through legitimate channels.

"But I really, really, really want it!" isn't a valid excuse to take something that isn't on offer to you.

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kryptonaut

Re: copyrightholders can't always (ever) maintain their state-granted monopoly

Clearly society values creative works, hence the urge for some people to obtain them through whatever channel they choose, illicit or otherwise. But as Bunbury pointed out above, if the professional creators are not adequately compensated for creating then they will stop doing it, and then only those who dabble will be left to produce inferior stuff just for the 'fun' of producing it. That's a race to the bottom, and everyone loses in the end.

As I see it, the purpose of copyright law should be to allow a creator to be able to claim enough reward for creating so that (s)he will go on to produce more works for everyone's benefit and enjoyment.

I think the 'lifetime plus <n> years' thing is unreasonably greedy and provides a kind of self-justification for people who rip stuff off - but I also think the people who insist that all copyright should simply be ignored are just as greedy, wanting to obtain for nothing the results of someone else's efforts.

Copyright is indeed a kind of state-granted monopoly, but if we as a society want to enjoy creative works, how else can we ensure that it's worth the creators' while to spend their time and money producing these things for us?

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kryptonaut

Re: Eek!

I can understand people wanting to view/listen to content that hasn't been made available by the relevant author/distributor/copyright owner, but I don't agree with this entitlement mentality that seems to say "I demand this content, and if you're not prepared to sell it to me at the price I'm willing to pay then I'm just going to take it anyway". Sometimes you just can't have what you want.

Making content is a costly commercial enterprise, and the content creators have the right to determine and control how they recoup their costs, just like any other manufacturer.

I sense downvotes coming...

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Cops nab suspect using CREEPY facial recog system

kryptonaut
Big Brother

Is a user of NeoFace...

...called a NeoFacist?

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In space no one can hear you scream, but Voyager 1 can hear A ROAR

kryptonaut
Stop

Re: Are we there yet?

On another note, just have to take care of our whales for when V'ger gets back.

They are not the hell your whales.

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Like frozen burgers, 'Bigfoot' DNA samples have a touch of horse

kryptonaut
WTF?

Mythical beasts

"One sample was a human hair [...] and a further four were wolves or dogs."

I think we urgently need to know if those last four samples came from dogs or werewolves...

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SLOW DOWN: Insecure-by-design software on road

kryptonaut
Boffin

Re: On Hwy 121, between Sonoma & Napa ...

Badgers and Hedgehogs crossing - resulting in a litter of powerful, spiny, black and white Badhogs. You don't want to mess with those things.

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Euro judges: Copyright has NOT changed, you WON'T get sued for browsing the web

kryptonaut
Alert

OMG Mirrors!

What if I accidentally put a mirror next to a newspaper, should I be fined for making a copy? What if nobody looks at it, is the copy still there?

And if there happened to be two mirrors facing each other, should I be fined an infinite number of times?

These questions must be answered, lest civilisation as we know it collapse into utter anarchy!

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Office website HACKED: Passwords, addresses, phone numbers slurped

kryptonaut
Flame

Ubiquitous passwords

This is happening too frequently. It seems every website you go to these days wants you to create a permanent account, with an associated unique (hence forgettable) password. I'm sick of it. The other day I wanted to buy my sister a Next voucher, which should have been a simple online process, but there was no way to do it without creating an account - so they lost my business.

Retailers - if someone placed a one-off order over the phone, would you force them to create an account? No? Then why would you do that for an online purchase? By all means provide an option for people to have their details stored with you for their own convenience (not yours) if they choose to accept the risk that you'll disclose (accidentally or deliberately) that information to others, but don't make it a prerequisite for business, or you will lose customers.

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Latest Snowden leak claims NSA bugged ALL mobile calls in the Bahamas

kryptonaut

Re: Snowden pah

Blimey, that's a blast from the past - thanks! :)

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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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