67 posts • joined Wednesday 23rd March 2011 12:53 GMT
Re: Follow the science
In any normal ecosystem the old or ill animals are picked off by predators (why chase/fight/kill a strong animal when you can pick off another for far less effort?).
We have removed any semblance of a natural predator for the Badger, and as a result those specimens remain as a a reservoir for disease in the population.
bTB or not, the badger population is massively and artificially high, and an artificially high density of Badgers will of course increase transmission of bTB between badgers. So no, it's not the only vector, but keeping badger populations at a sensible level has been shown to reduce incidence of TB in both Badgers and Cattle - which can only be a good thing.
Along a similar line, some of the Deer Sanctuaries run by the more happy-clappy members of our nation had some of the most mangy, sickly herds in the country until they finally accepted that leaving deer to die of old age is neither natural or good for the health of the herd as a whole.
Additionally, in times where food becomes scarce, having sick animals in the herd reduces the food that can go around, malnourishing otherwise the healthy members of the herd, making them more susceptible to the diseases that those sickly animals are harbouring!
Re: I'm on the fence on this one
"Will killing badgers help TB in cattle? I'm not so sure. Will it be a massive cost? Yes. Will it be a total bugger? Yes. "
Not really. Farmers and pest control types already spend plenty of time hunting foxes, rabbits, deer and various bird species to protect livestock and crops. If licensing for badgers is rolled out, then anyone with fox calibre or better can just knock off badgers at the same time. This cull will cost money because it's a targeted event, but integrated into normal pest control activities it will cost next to nothing.
I have to say I have found it amusing how many people have been shocked at the idea of people being out in the countryside shooting "How long till they shoot someone!?!?" They ask, apparently unaware that each and every week tens of thousands of farmers and pest controllers go shooting, but they have to hold fire on badgers and can only take what's on the relevant Natural England General Licence.
Have you ever tried to catch and vaccinate a badger? Not really a fun evening...
Now multiply that over the vastly over-crowded Badger population in the UK. As a taxpayer I don't see it as good value at £600 a go...
The problem is there remains a lack of good research either way - the Krebs study which so many papers draw on is pretty much junk. The basic methodology fails, and even if it didn't, hunt saboteurs and badger lovers have spent a lot of time vandalising the traps that were laid, which means the "culls" in those studies often represented very few badgers actually caught. Plus there were problems with land access, performing a cull across the entire study area, etc.
The shooting-based cull should actually remove a decent number of animals, so the effect of a genuine cull can be established (because as I say, the reports that protesters are quoting are ones which were compromised in the first place by protesters vandalising the traps amongst other things!).
Even if it doesn't work on the TB front, heck, it reduces the population of Badgers from their unnaturally high levels on account of the top-level predator is banned from preying on them...
Or a t-shirt with a picture of Optimus Prime on it...
Re: Well-intentioned but ...
Have a look after the WWDC. I noticed last year Amazon dropped the prices on some of the "old" models after the refreshed models were announced. Apple try and wind down supply prior to the WWDC (Airs are in short supply at the moment, so they'll almost certainly get a refresh), but there's always a few bits of surplus stock that get marked down if you're quick.
Re: This guy
"Customers for $90,000 cars are in limited supply. At some point, Tesla will have sold as far in to that market as is reasonably possible."
Funny. Lots of companies specialise in high performance, and unlike Tesla, have no plans to develop cheaper models. For instance:
Ferrari; Maserati; Lamborghini; Gumpert; Morgan; Noble; Bentley; Rolls Royce; Aston Martin; Maclaren; Porsche; Bugatti; Koenigsegg; Ascari; Pagani
No reason they couldn't pursue a high-price, high-performance business model if they wanted to.
Fiennes got frostbite and had to drop out, but the rest of the team are still plodding along. They've been posting some really rather spectacular photos to their blog and Twitter feed.
One of the (many) science projects on The Coldest Journey trip is White Mars - looking at human performance in extreme conditions to understand how well (or not) humans will fare on Mars. There's also a variety of geophys studies, and one about the diversity of extremeophile bacteria down there.
Re: Want One
And derp, Thrust SSC didn' have tyres, but aluminium allloy wheels. Still excessive downforce would break stuff, or drive it into the ground.
I gather Dieselmax made a nice change of pace, getting to tootle round at a relatively sedate 350mph!
Tis wheel-driven that one as well, so a proper car (The Dieselmax team limited their effort to cracking 350 precisely because of the difficulty of finding appropriate tyres. They want a crack at 400 if they can get some rubber that will be safe).
Re: Want One
My Dad works at JCB and got in on a talk Andy Green did (as he drove their Dieselmax streamliner for them). His summation of Thrust SSC was that it was basically the same as the Tornado he flies for a living minus the wings. As far as design and aero goes you're in a very low flying plane with the wheels touching the ground just enough that it counts as a car for record purposes (and you don't take off), without overdoing the downforce so much that you blow the tyres (though obviously Bloodhound is going with solid wheels).
He wouldn't fly a Tornado that close to the ground at 700-1000mph for fairly obvious reasons, yet that is exactly what they aim to do with these LSR beasts!
Nerves of steel that man.
They haven't ignored them. When I studied Ocean Science back in 2005, "Earth Science 101" (Year 1, Semester 1, the real basic stuff) covered the differences between Isostatic and Eustatic change pretty comprehensively (Eustatic = local mean sea level as a result of both Isostatic Sea Level Change and rise/fall of the landmass, with tides averaged out; Isostatic = actual change in the ocean levels as a result of changing the volume of the oceans).
It was looking at some of these improbable 30m tide marks that sparked off the development of glacial rebound theories in the first place!
For instance, the Isle of Wight appears to be suffering from sea level rise (BBC South Today love doing Global Warming stories about it). It's not, the south of the UK is sinking as a result of Scottish glacial rebound. One of my lecturers had a right hissy fit over that. He rang up every time they did such a story and gave the editor some abuse
"But we want a local global warming story"
"Well this isn't it"
"But we can't afford to fly to Bangladesh or the Netherlands and look at places within 1m of sea level which might actually disappear/become uninhabitable in the next century as a result of even quite modest SLR"
"Well stop with the bad science"
There are points which are *relatively* stationary because the tectonic plates are rotating around that point, or it happens to be at the middle of the see-saw as continents rebound. These are used as datums to assess actual isostatic changes. This is known, and has been for some time. It may be some older papers did not (or could not) account for it accurately because they didn't have good geode models (SRTM or ASTER (GDEM)). Our understanding of the manner in which the earth's surface moves (and subsequently affects the volume of the ocean basins and local coastal height above sea level has come on leaps and bounds just in the past decade or so.
Re: Awful experience
There's a clear benefit to tourists - not having to drive into and park in London/Birmingham/Manchester (and risk straying into the congestion zone in the former if you get caught out by a one-way system or no right/left turn where your satnav thought there was one). And that's before you address the cost of parking.
Depending what part of the country you're in, some railway journeys are quite scenic, but even now a lot are in cuttings or semi-urban areas with sound-control barriers lining the trackside - I just open a book (or the laptop if it's at a silly hour and I've managed to snaffle a table).
Re: Is Tim London based?
"It'll be a bit late by then, and we'll have wasted several billion despoiling the countryside."
Interesting comment. Having looked at the elevation and route drawings for a good chunk of Stage 2 (Brum-Manchester), an incredible amount appears to be either tunnelled or below grade (deep cuttings), meaning both visual and sound impact. From what we can tell it'll be less of a disturbance than the dual carriageway blaring noise across the valley, despite being much closer (our unbiased opinion based on a detailed reading of the planning documents, without the benefit of input from either HS2 or the rather rabid local luddites*, so we're not swung by anyone's propaganda).
As "big infrastructure" goes the impact will be far less noticeable than your average motorway or airport project.
* Not that they're not entitled to their opinion but it'd be nice if they could calm down enough to form some sensible arguments to support their case (such arguments do exist, both economic and for specific local environmental case studies) instead of bleating the same tired and somewhat hysteric "Environment, think of the children, it'll make the wildlife have miscarriages" arguments that were trotted out circa 1830.
"There may not be an economic case at the national level, but at the European level there's certainly a political dimension to HS2. It links the major UK cities into the european rail network. The whole project is built to a continental loading gauge and will be running continental freight as well as passenger services. This is because it's all part of the ongoing process of transport integration across the EU."
True, but as I understand it, HS2 terminates at Euston, and HS1 at St Pancras. Unless they're building a stretch to connect the two that freight trains can cut through, then presumably there will need to be an intermodal hub to lift European cargo from HS1, load it onto trucks or conventional trains and then transfer back to HS2.
And by the time you've done that you might as well just truck it or use the conventional rail network...
I would also suggest that Tim's a bit presumptuous in suggesting the work time lost in transport is nil.
True, people can get work done (depending what their work is), especially if it's local, or at least tolerant of a patchy connection (i.e. not working on a VM). As others have posted, mobile reception on a 100mph train can be patchy, and whilst First Class types might have some space, most people on the trains don't get a decent table space, or even a seat. Trying to use a laptop with a screen bigger than 10" on the tray tables is an ergonomic nightmare, with the angle of the seat backs usually rendering the screen half-shut.
I would also suggest that during a weekend city break I will spend more money if I get there by 10am than if the train takes till 2pm. I don't contribute much to the retail economy sat on a train... of course that relies on the tickets being adequately priced that I choose to take HS2 and not conventional rail (unlikely)
" it just goes to so that you can make a working gun out of practically anything, "
Well indeed. A gun is literally just a pipe, closed at one end, that directs the gas from an explosion in one direction, and puts a projectile between that gas and the outside world.
It's 10th century technology!
Yeah sure, we've developed rifling, better sights, magazines and quick-loaders, improved tolerances on the machining, but it shouldn't surprise anyone that you can make a crude gun with a few hand tools (which will almost certainly last longer than a plastic printed thing and at less risk to your fingers/hand/face!). "Modern" tools like a simple lathe or bench drill enables quite a high level of sophistication, people have been bodging them together for a millennium.
Re: Fixes and stuff ....
Rubber truncheon? Modified cattleprod surely *krrzzzzzt*
Re: At least two sides to this story
"There are still villages and towns today which are derelict and depressed, and full of unemployment and all the social ills."
Mining is by definition a finite job. When that seam runs out you up and move to the next one - as per the abandoned mining towns across America. Mine a seam and when it's dry pack up and go.
Maggie hastened the demise of many a pit (as did the Labour government before her), but anyone still sitting around in a ghost town 30 years on and whining about how awful it all is has only themselves to blame - the mine was shut by politicians. Okay, that's not nice, but it's the same outcome as if the mine was worked out - you pack up, wave goodbye and find work elsewhere, not sit and feel sorry for yourself.
Re: Make of it what you will
Presumably the problem is that most medals of merit tend to be tied into medals of bravery - because meritorious military service traditionally means you did something brave/stupid in the face of adversity.
It may be that there needs to be a fork with the introduction of new medals (generally) for merit, separated from medals for bravery. At the moment, the awarding committees often don't have quite the right thing to give, so end up having to bundle in meritorious UAV pilots in with ground soldiers who did something exceptionally brave.
Although UAVs seem to be the hot topic now, no doubt somewhere along the line the Army will find themselves up against similar issues with remote controlled ground vehicles.
If someone does their job exceptionally well, or successfully provides close air support in a difficult scenario and saves lives, then they deserve to be recognised for their skill (and the troops on the ground don't give a rats ass if there's a pilot in the aircraft or not so long as air cover arrives and does it's job). It's just at the moment the medals for merit also get given out for bravery, which seems a bit of an oversight when one considers it.
Re: Make of it what you will
"In the US non commissioned officers are found flying aircraft, they are very much a more equal opportunities employer where anyone who shows the necessary aptitude and skill can do tasks that the RAF reserve for Officers."
Although if Apache Dawn is to be believed, their Apache crews are much less of an equals opportunity team ("Shut up, you're just a gunner") compared to the British Army crew relationship.
Seemed a bit of a culture shock to the British Crew who swapped Commander title halfway through the deployment to give the newer crew member command experience!
JCB, of yellow digger fame?
Not to forget lots of "little" automotive groups like Ricardo and ProDrive that quietly do a lot of world-leading work for race teams and other automotive groups globally (Ricardo also helped JCB convert their Dieselmax digger engine into an engine capable of setting a new Land Speed Record for diesel vehicles).
Also The Welding Institute, who have quite a similar business model to ARM - develop and patent welding and manufacturing techniques, then license them to people who actually make stuff. They developed the Friction Stir Welding process that Apple/Foxconn use to seamlessly bond the front to the latest iMac chassis, although the tech has been used for many other more useful and less aesthetic purposes, including spacecraft, ships, nuclear waste containers and suchlike!
"I first saw the dish from afar the top of Mow Cop when I was 10."
A brisk walk up Bosley Cloud also offers a rather fine view over Jodrell and out across the Cheshire Plains.
I remember being taken to Jodrell for my 11th birthday and a rather excellent day out it was too, will have to go again sometime and have a look at the refurbed visitor centre :)
Re: In other news... first new UK nuclear power station approved
Whilst you make good points about the power-factor and general unpredictability of wind turbines, a tsunami wouldn't actually affect an off-shore farm (unless they're built on an especially shallow sand bank or somewhere barely off-shore). The ships in the Indian Ocean didn't notice as the Boxing Day wave passed beneath them, raising sea level by maybe a metre over a horizontal distance of miles. The wave doesn't start to break (i.e. slow down and start stacking up on top of itself) until it gets near shore, specifically where the water depth is less than 1/2 the wavelength.
Of course if it breaks over a sand bar, then the ensuing wash up into the North Sea for instance could be quite harmful, as it would be to onshore structures, but wind farms shouldn't really have any problems surviving an unbroken tsunami wave. Of course the power house on the beach where the cables come ashore is basically screwed!
Re: In other news... first new UK nuclear power station approved
Difference between nuclear and wind turbines is that even if nuclear is as expensive as wind, we can turn it on at will. If the wind drops during the ad break in Corrie, then cue the rolling blackouts as 9 million people go and turn on their kettles...
With current (and near future) technology there is zero prospect of wind or solar providing adequately stable baseload. Tidal is predictable, which is good, but all that means is you can predict that slack-water will occur during said peak hours!
Illegal? Yes (in most of the Western World anyway).
Unethical? Meh, a bit, but then arguably it's simply not practicable to conduct such research on this scale following normal consent guidelines. Maybe a BOINC project could work but even that's going to be '000s of nodes, not 00,000s.
But hey, no harm no foul. I'd hope any action by authorities would be to build on this research to go after the less benign individuals who it seems are already using this vector for malicious purposes.
As a taxpayer that would seem to be a much better use of resources than going on a witch hunt after this researcher for the heinous act of going "Hey, look at this!"
Re: anyone know
Different camera. They used the MAHLI Camera which is on a manipulator arm so it can get some distance from the rover (and the arm disappears when the image stitching is done, hence the conspiracy tards claiming someone simply walked up to the rover in the deep Arizona desert and took a photo of it), which is really a geology tool designed for macro shots of rocks and surface materials. The camera you can see in the image is the Mast Cam, which is it's navigation camera perched on a (relatively) tall mast designed for looking around at it's surroundings and plotting routes.
"To those en route, Microsoft explains how “some goods are banned completely” and cannot be brought into the country. That list includes narcotics, firearms, stun guns, obscene material and - yes - dead animals."
How queer, getting a foreign visitor's permit to bring firearms into the country is really quite straightforward. Of course the range of firearms you can have over here is limited somewhat (especially by American standards), but they're definitely not banned completely!
Re: I think theres a bit more to it than risk free and saves money.
"Then this is the way to go. New content on Netflix at release. If you have to wait, people will pirate it and will probably never pay for it (despite claiming otherwise)."
Absolutely. BBC America's broadcast partners couldn't work out why the Dr Who Christmas Special got such low ratings given the overall popularity of the brand. The realisation was that the stupid idiots (for reasons best known to themselves) were broadcasting it on Boxing Day. After Christmas Dinner, hardcore American fans would go and find a torrent that had popped up from the UK broadcast a couple of hours previous, and they'd be able to sit down by 6pm US time and watch the Special.
Now they just find space in the schedules for Christmas Day. No one needs to download it because it's on when they actually want to watch it.
Similarly HBO got bitten on the ass by not providing any semblance of a legal route for Game of Thrones fans outside the US. No DVDs, Blu-Ray, Lovefilm, NetFlix. Nadda. So everyone pirates it. This is 2013 after all. They seem to learning from their mistakes though, lets hope more big media follow suit.
Piracy is wrong, but this is 2013, and big media need to get with the decade and realise if they dick about releasing a show months ahead in one region, or not making it available through legal channels in a prompt fashion then it WILL be pirated. Being impatient isn't a good reason for infringing copyright, but in the real world, it happens. In 1993 with the new-fangled intarwebz one could have some sympathy for them being caught out by new tech. But we're now in 2013. They've had 20 years to adapt their business model. No sympathy at all. Especially when big media are rampant infringers themselves. Even on their own patronising anti-piracy films!
Re: "Researchers reckoned...
The general consensus is anything that was cut off on Blighty when sea levels rose after the last ice age and the Channel flooded is considered native - at the time there was little to no "native" ecosystem as most of the country was covered in half a mile of ice, obliterating previous habitats. That was 10k years ago.
By contrast, american deer species were introduced just 100-200 years ago, at the same time as the other top predator species were being wiped out within these fair shores. So yes, they are non-native.
Species very rarely just move between continents of their own accord (well, Europe/Asia yes because it's land. To America, not so much). Typically if an animal can get from one landmass to another, so can their predators. Part of the ecosystem moves with them. There are exceptions, but not many.
For instance, during the ice age, a lot of areas that are now sea became land. Man walked up from Africa, along with deer, other animals - and wolves.
Subsequently some of them were cut off when the channel flooded - a cross section of a functional ecosystem.
Conversely when we brought deer from America, we did not bring any wild cats or wolves along for the ride.
Re: I notice,
That's for the abbatoir vets and meat examiners to check.
It's not rocket science - they have to check farm animals as well and reject those with parasites or other defects. When you see rabbit or wood pigeon on the menu in one of the better gastro-pubs with a chef who knows their game meat, that came from a local hunter, via a licensed game dealer (a different qualification from being a regular butcher) who is trained to spot unfit meat.
Even "farmed" deer live their life out in the countryside, susceptible to ticks and disease.
"Why would you ever put them on a publically accessed net? Aren't there personnel on station to adjust the settings? Like 24/7 at a power plant?
Is he making a problem so he can sell us the solution?"
Aircon is one example, but there are plenty of things that require outside connections - monitored alarms for instance. One could well envisage a scenario where neer do wells could cause chaos by tripping every monitored alarm in London. The monitoring firm (who would normally call the Police or their Security patrols) wouldn't know where to send Police or Security, and the noise pollution could cause substantial public concern or panic. Conversely it's conceivable that an alarm could be nullified with a man-in-the-middle attack or simply by being hacked into, allowing burglars access to a lucrative target at their leisure in the safe knowledge they won't be disturbed because the monitoring centre won't be getting any calls from the alarm box. Same could apply to remote access CCTV on campus sites and inserting a false video stream (21st century equivalent to putting a photo in front of the camera!).
Of course controlling your heating and lighting from your phone to "save energy" is pointless in a domestic scale. In larger buildings it might be a serious cost saving. One that would be offset by having staff wandering around turning them up/down in the evening and morning - far more efficient to monitor from a central location, which can also spot anomalous behaviour and call a service tech, ideally before the office gets to sweltering point and someone takes the time to put in a call.
No, when it's a widely recognised quote from a hit movie it's a joke.
When it's a tongue-in-cheek but random statement, then it's just the Police having a sense of humour failure in extremis and wasting public money in the process.
Re: Holodecks aren't just about processing power
"For real authenticity these monitors would need to be capable of parallactic 3D (not the simple stereoscopic pseudo-3D of today's TVs) so if you move your head to see around a nearby tree, for example, what's behind the tree comes into view. And that technology is quite a long way off yet"
Some of the 3D Virtual Caves are doing some pretty incredible stuff already. Of course you usually have to wear 3D glasses with ping pong balls hanging off so the computer knows where you are in the room, but parallactics are sort of around in some implementations. Think about it, in an FPS the game is giving you a parallactic image, with elements of the scene appearing or disappearing as you move around the map, and that's just regular gaming hardware. Okay, doing that in 3D is more complicated, and at a resolution that's going to fool the eye on close inspection (4K+), but with the bank of servers you would run a virtual cave off of, that processing power is there. To a point.
Of course in a "holodeck" you're looking for massive and seamless immersive worlds without sitting and waiting for the next level to load! Not just short demonstration rooms to walk around in.
With omni-directional treadmills on a gimble you can even run or walk in all directions, and go uphill/downhill etc. Of course the other tactile bits (like walking on gravel or a beach rather than a treadmill) just aren't possible without some sort of forcefield technology that can form a tactile surface. And THAT is a long way off!
Fooling the eye isn't all that hard. It's all the other stuff that provided the true "holodeck experience"
Re: Slowly closing the gap with Microsoft Office?
"Or pay a nominal sum of money to obtain commercial software that already has these features, along with support?"
£600 / license is a nominal sum?
I'll grant there are much, much, much more expensive software packages out there, but I'd not deem it "nominal".
That's 50-100% more than most people's computers cost in the first place! For a young design grad on £25k/yr (generous), that's 2.4% of their salary. As an SME employer, that's quite a bit to spend on them, especially after you've just spent at least that much on a workstation for them (or more likely, bought a senior designer a new toy to free up an old machine for the noob), and a desk, and lighting, and electricity, and floor space in the office. So the question would be "Do they really, really, really need that to do their job, or is an Open Source offering going to enable them to do their job just as well?
If they work in print and need CMYK all day every day, right now, the answer will obviously be no. If they work in web graphics, it could quite possibly be yes. Horses for courses.
Similarly, a young design grad like that probably doesn't need an office suite at all, but if they do, it'll be for very, very basic tasks, for which LO or similar will be more than adequate for, rather than spending another £150-200 on MS Office.
The thing with open source is it's usually developed by someone to fill a very specific niche. If that niche happens to be your job, then more general proprietary tools probably won't hold a candle up to it. The interesting bit is when broader stuff like productivity suites start butting up against the proprietary alternatives.
Re: Persuasive Arguments
"The UK will soon have a very large tanker fleet that could refuel a fleet of F-35B pretty much anywhere they need to go."
I see, and that tanker fleet will be able to operate off the carriers in support of F35B operations in, say, the South Atlantic?
If we were talking about RAF F-35Bs then you might have a point. But we're talking about naval deployments. The carriers can't carry any sort of refuelling aircraft because they have no cats and traps. Which means you're stuck with the standard range of an F-35B unless the Americans let us fuel off their naval tankers (except we'll be using incompatible drogue-and-probes no doubt) or you're within range of a friendly ground base anyway where you can operate FSTA/Voyager. In which case why are you piddling around with expensive carrier ops anyway when you could just fly the RAF into said friendly airbase?
The only thing that I agree with is that F-35C doesn't make sense either.
You're building huge mid-heavy carriers, which you would only pay for if you wanted to run CATOBAR ops from. And then you're not only fielding jump jet fighters (which only need a helicopter carrier like HMS Ocean), but not fitting cats and traps for ancillary aircraft such as transports and AWACs. Which begs the question why we're not building a couple of HMS Ocean variants with ski jumps. That's all we need!
(expensive) F-35B with (cheap) light ski-jump carriers
(expensive) F-35C / (cheap) F-18E/F with (expensive) CATOBAR mid-heavy carriers.
Building an expensive heavy (yet crippled) carrier for expensive jump jets is plain retarded.
Re: Why the love for all the US aircraft?
Oh also, spares are cheap and readily available and our pilots already know how to fly F-18s as the RNAS are flying the American's to keep their fixed-wing skill set in order until whichever year in the 2020s is deemed by the almighty at BAE an appropriate moment to actually deliver the F-35 (for a small delivery fee of course).
Re: Why the love for all the US aircraft?
Flyaway cost of an F-35B is $250m. So we won't actually be able to buy enough to field a full unit on the carriers.
Flyway cost of an F-18E/F Super Hornet (a far cry from the original F-18 Hornet) is $25m.
So for 50% the total outlay, we can have 5 times as many aircraft, which gives us full complements onboard, and oodles of airframes at home for training, so pilots are not squabbling over airframes for flying hours.
That leaves us several £bn of change to spend on Hawkeye/AWACs, light transport aircraft (with longer range and greater capacity) than whirlybirds, etc, etc, none of which will be usable on a non-Cats and Traps carrier. Which means we needn't have built big ones in the first place, and could just have had some new short carriers like our old ones.
At the end of the day, all likely future deployments involve humanitarian work, or beating up nations that won't shoot back (much). F18 is more than up to the task for the latter, and helicopters and STOL light-cargo aircraft (i.e. carrier aircraft!) are ideal for the former. Unless our masters are predicting a Pacific War against China, having the latest greatest jump-jet stealth plane that costs 10x as much and sacrifices payload, range and patrol time in return for stealth is pointless.
Re: All true
And the business is niche. Lets say Qualcomm are building a SoC and need a core. They license one of ARM's designs because they know it works and it saves them doing it themselves.
Lets say their total licence and royalty payment to ARM for that chip's fabrication run ends up at £1 per chip.
Well, Qualcomm also have to design the rest of the SoC that the ARM core is mounted on. Let's say that's £2. They might have to do some integration work for it's final application, another £1. Then they have to go and build a fabrication facility to make the chip and ship it, another £1.
Total chip cost = £5. Let's say they stuff an extra 50p or £1 on in profit for themselves. So Qualcomm's revenue per chip will on paper be 5.5x - 6x that of ARM's, but they have a shedload of extra expenses, and couldn't just pour the profit into R&D on their own range of cores, because they also have to do R&D on the fabrication processes, broader system design, etc. In my example above Qualcomm are making maybe 9-16% profit on each chip sold.
ARM by contrast (assuming this is a well-worn chip design that has passed the break-even point) are pocketing their £1 as pure profit that they can plough into their next gen product. And if someone comes along wanting to use that design, they can just roll out the plans at little to no cost (beyond lawyers fees to sort out the contract). A huge % of their revenue is profit.
If someone wants Qualcomm to make that SoC again, they have to go and physically make another one, with a 9-16% return on investment.
*Disclaimer, I have absolutely no idea what ARM's per-chip royalties look like, nor what the ratio in terms of ARM licensing cost compared to the other elements like SoC design/integration or fabrication run up to. My 1:2:1:1 ratio is plucked from thin air to make a point about why ARM generate far less revenue than the people who use their designs but are nevertheless wildly successful.
Re: I would imagine...
Errr, businesses have and do employ ex-cons and talented fraudsters to help secure their operations. You wouldn't hire a bank robber as a cashier, but you might hire one to consult on laying out a bank to make a robber's job harder and to help train the cashiers how to deal with robberies.
The most publicised example of a black hat going white would be Frank Abagnale consulting on secure documents and check fraud, but he led the FBI a merry dance for years and earned a reputation as a forger par excellence. He's not just a kid who managed to fire an SQL injection in some software whilst he was developing an app for it...
Re: Just consider one simple use case
True, but students usually need to buy their own textbooks. Spunking AU$4-6m on ipads when (in my experience), most university IT rooms are over-crowded and under-equipped with a dearth of basics like working printers seems like an horrific waste of money. You could lay out a series of superb IT rooms for that money.
Also, the joys of digital distribution means students are now required to buy textbooks "new", depriving them of the time honoured tradition of buying second hand from older students and flogging them on to the next generation (most academic textbooks are not updated on an annual basis and good for a few years).
Of course I suppose one can argue that with no print costs, and increased revenue from everyone having to buy new, the per-download cost of textbooks will fall, and authors can issue updates on an annual basis (or indeed with whatever regularity they like) without the publisher having to do another print run.
In other news, kangaroos might fly, probably on the private tropical island now inhabited by academic book authors who have seen digital sales go through the roof...
Re: And television sitcoms cause ...
"900 Gunshot deaths"
What a meaningless term. it makes no distinction between deaths at the barrel of legally held firearms, illegally held firearms, or indeed suicides (in 2010, 66% of all firearm-related deaths in the US were suicides - banning all guns wouldn't change that, you'd just see the distribution of methods move to a more British environment where hanging, poisoning, drowning and jumping off high things become more popular).
- If you want to reduce homicides committed with legally owned firearms, then legislation might help - extra checks for depression, etc.
- If you want to reduce homicides committed with illegal firearms, legislation won't do squat - they're already breaking the law by just possessing them. That becomes the remit of law enforcement - Operation Trident type territory for guns & gangs units.
- If you want to reduce suicides by firearm (the most common type of death-by-firearm in the US), then you need to invest in mental health care. The two largest mental health treatment centres in the US are in prisons. If you're not wealthy, the only sensible way to get mental treatment is to get charged or convicted and referred to a criminal health centre. Which is rather shutting the door after the horse has bolted. You could add more checks for depression during firearm purchase, but people would just turn to other methods - as they did in Australia when they tried it. They went after the guns, not the root causes of why people were contemplating suicide in the first place.
Just saying "guns shot deaths - stop demz!" is an impossibility. It's a very varied issue, some cases involving criminality, some none at all. If Obama is going to go after it with legislation he's going to ignore two of the 3 major causes of firearm deaths (suicide and criminals) all for the sake of going after legal users and sayiong "we banned the bad gunz. vote fer us".
Yes, yes you do want to leave him with a limp.
A live prisoner is a burden on his colleagues who then need to medivac him out.
Or alternatively can be taken as POW and questioned, potentially providing a source of humint if you can entice him to volunteer more than the personal details the Geneva Convention requires.
War is about wounding, not killing (unless you absolutely have to). Once he ceases to be a threat, your job is done, and "being alive" does not necessarily constitute a threat.
Plus, as others have more than adequately mentioned, getting shot hurts. You may be able to carry on running in CoD, taking 4/5 shots to die from a "wimpy" 9mm, but in real life your average solider will be rolling around on the floor shouting "ow fuckity ow. You shot me!" whilst painting the decor a damp shade of claret.
Re: Web fads and video games@Captain Underpants
We had a big Dyson fan in the office to replace a tower fan in the corner. Went back after one day. They work, but to get any sensible airflow you have to wind them up, at which point the tiny fan in the base takes on the acoustic characteristics of a small jet engine. We got another generic, conventional fan for 25% the price of the dyson which was capable scattering papers across the office with narry a whisper.
The desktop versions might work better, but all in all a nice idea badly implemented, just like most of his other ideas.
Caterpillar have a similar system as part of their MineStar Package. They also do remote control dozers with a remote station but also line-of-site with a proper hand-held remote control :D http://bit.ly/TpxmW6 Basically big kids with grown up toys
I refer the good commentard to the voyages of Christopher Columbus, and later to the Challenger Expedition - the first dedicated Oceanographic Voyage aimed purely at surveying the oceans and collecting scientific samples (as opposed to moar gold). The sailors of the Columbus expeditions were literally sailing into the unknown, and although the Challenger crew had an idea where they were going, they were exploring the unknown - for 4 years. Humanity is full of explorers, and now we've mapped our own planet pretty well, we're doing two things - going to the deeps that we haven't mapped (c.f. Branson and Cameron's missions to the Marianas Trench), and travelling off the surface of this rock we inhabit.
There are thousands of geologists, astrobiologists, and the like who would bite your hand off for the chance to spend 6 months experimenting on the surface of Mars. The 3 year round trip is less than an Olympic cycle - and thousands of people put their lives and careers on hold for those sorts of periods to train for their discipline (I'm talking about the amateur/semi-pro athletes who make huge personal sacrifices to pursue their passion, not the fully funded types who have made a career of sport and don't need to worry about paying the rent, although once upon a time they were semi-pro too).
Who wouldn't want to be the next Neil Armstrong?
Also yes, even non-Martian astronauts train for years before they fly. Britain's sole astronaut won't get a seat until 2018/19 at the earliest, but he's training now, and has been for a couple of years, and that's just for ISS missions, which is only 250miles over your head.
Re: Rain + city = problem
Yup, cities cause their own flash floods. In nature, rain hits soil and soaks in, moving as groundwater at speeds of the order of linguni/day (or hits tree leaves/vegetation and evaporates, or drips down to the ground sometime later, thus being slowed further before it reaches a water course). In cities, it flows into storm sewers and is piped out at metres a second, usually into a river, causing a very rapid and very sharp peak in river levels shortly after the rain starts falling.
Rather than having to build huge storm sewer networks, many areas just require that new houses are now built with soakaways buried in the garden for draining roof run-off, rather than draining into a municipal storm drain. Similarly, car parks are increasingly built with buffering tanks or large soakaways fed by the drains from the car park, so water soaks away locally instead of into a sewer where it then needs to be taken somewhere and got rid of.
In some areas planning regs - whilst encouraging development of off-road parking to reduce street congestion (such as turning a front garden into a parking space), mandate that such conversions use gravel, not an impermeable surface. Again, preventing that run-off becoming a burden on the drainage network.
Water management is a massive part of any modern building or civil engineering project, especially if you're paving a large impermeable area (like a car park). Consider a small one acre car park. Half an inch of rain (0.0127m), over an acre (~63mx63m) is more than 50 tonnes of water (~0.02 Olympic swimming pools). Most retail parks are much larger than that, and in the UK, we get a lot more rain. Tis a lot of water to get rid of.
Re: You missed another.
The "korean laser" was a orbital mirror reflecting and focussing sunlight, not a laser.
Of course that has it's own set of impracticalities, but you avoid the problems of sourcing a suitable power source, engineering for heat dissipation, etc that plagued Blofeld's diamond laser.
Re: "Never worked well anyway!" I do not have a huge quarrel with the trend towards............
"I do however have a considerable problem with snide gits representing the company concerned saying things like "And for those who are still are stuck in the past" by way of brushing off questions about that design decision."
Here here. These are desktops - they can afford to be a little more bulky than their portable notebook counterparts. Especially one which is built into a 27" monitor - that's a lot of body, even if it is uber-thin. It's a 27" desktop - it's not going anywhere, it can weigh as much as you like - makes it less nickable if anyone breaks in!
Aesthetically, I actually don't like the new thin profile so much as the Mid-2010 Generation iMacs (one of which I'm typing on), and it's not like you can actually tell the difference when you're sat in front of it...
Worse, from a pragmatic and usability viewpoint, given Apple have high penetration in the creative industries (one of the few industries they have any penetration in whatsoever), the inability to either rip media from a CD or DVD or indeed say, burn the media you've generated for a client to a DVD (so they can actually play it without buying a smart TV with USB port or fiddle with the right dongle to make it talk to their laptop) seems more than a little perverse.
Yes yes, I know, everyone has ipods or smartphones or unholy non-Apple MP3 players, but when you've been in the meeting rooms of Fortune 100 companies and their A/V provision is a steam-driven 25" CRT monitor with the world's first DVD player, having a shiny macbook with a slew of adaptors to DVI/VGA/HDMI is less than helpful. You actually need a spare copy on old optical media sometimes!
Mine's the one with pockets full of legacy hardware formats.
Not just rural areas
Working for an online publisher, we are bemused by the non-availability of anything better than 4Mbps in most of Stoke on Trent. A couple of exchanges are slated for FTTC in the dim and distant future, but many areas including new business parks still aren't. Same goes for Rugeley - presumably the Amazon Depot has it's own arrangement.
It's made all the more galling when you find exchanges such as Worplesdon and Brookwood - small villages in rural Surrey - or indeed Alsager - a little collection of houses north of Stoke have inexplicably had FTTC for ages. If the government are serious about encouraging business anywhere other than London, then they could do with leaning on BT to give the rural South-East a rest and deal with a few towns and cities north of the M4. The irony is we can get faster 3G speeds than we can get wired!
"Seriously, if you need a 30% tax break to write profitable video games (an unnecessary luxury, by any standard), then maybe you shouldn't BE writing video games."
I read part of the argument as being that modern games do not fit with a classic Development-Release cycle that most products follow. If I'm JCB, I spend money developing an excavator, then I spend money to build it before selling it and paying the taxman a proportion of my profit after deducting both my manufacturing and development costs.
In modern gaming, free additional content packs and such are a business expense and as such should arguably be counted pre-tax. However, they can't because of the >1yr nature of their release.
For instance I buy a game for £40. It cost £25 to develop and distribute, so the developer is taxed on their £15 profit. A year later, they release (for free) additional content worth £5.
Had that content been available and bundled with the game at release time, they would have made only £10 profit and only paid tax on that £10.
As it is, they've paid tax for £15 despite only making £10 on that game. Of course, one can argue that that is simply an expense of attracting users to stick with their product, which is true, but then it's not a luxury - it's expected of developers and people abandon products which are perceived as stingy and do not offer "added value" down the line. That means we put ourselves at a disadvantage since everyone else seems to be offering tax breaks, which would be a shame as we have some stonking good studios who have produced some of gaming's greatest franchises.
(I have deliberately left patches and updates out as that's the equivalent of a recall and the manufacturer obviously should be absorbing that cost, just as Toyota do, on a regular basis...).
Re: You don't own music
Quite. Valve let you do this on the Steam platform - you're entirely at liberty to gift games to other users. You can't play any more but your friend can. Of course if Steam goes bump then no one can play (unless they released patches to allow all software to run without calling home and authenticating), but they are at least addressing the matter of ownership, and the fact I can gift a physical disk to someone, so why not a license?