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* Posts by Daniel 18

11 posts • joined 1 Apr 2011

Ten serious sci-fi films for the sentient fan

Daniel 18

Contact?

Contact felt curiously nebulous and insubstantial. I managed to watch the whole thing, but really wondered why, afterwards. I would generally re-watch a classic SF film (like Blade Runner) but have never felt the urge to see Contact again.

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Daniel 18

Re: I refuse to be drawn into this thread!

Fifth Element is fantasy dressed up as science fiction.

Starship Troopers is an illogical, inconsistent mess. Is there a genre called 'botched movies'?

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Daniel 18

Re: @Tony

Firefly, and Serenity, are science fiction with a western flavour.

Outland is a classic western with an SF setting.

Entirely different.

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Register SPB hacks mull chopping off feet

Daniel 18

Yup.

That should definitely be 225-70-38.

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Daniel 18

Re: Ima 'Merkin

NASA's current excuse is that it's too expensive... but that's a one time cost. They've already lost one Mars orbiter due to non-metric measurements, and it will keep on costing them, unpredictably, in big ways and small, until they clean up their measurements.

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Daniel 18

Re: Any more American Bashers need to vent your spleens? Create your own topic!

The reason the metric system was adopted in Europe was that it made no sense for each country to have its own measurement system, all different. It was adopted by the French in 1795, and by virtue of its obvious advantages, gradually spread through Euorpe.

By 1875 two thirds of Europe had adopted the metric system. At that time it is extremely unlikely that trade with the United States was a significant consideration. At that point, the only major European countries not using metric measurement were Britain and Russia.

There are now only three coutries that don't (visibly) use metric, and of them, the US is the only highly industrialized one. Most US industry is, of course, converted to metric, but they don't mention the fact to consumers. Given growing global trade, metric measurement continues to be the best way to go.

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Daniel 18

Re: Metric and ICAO

Unfortunately, you never know if the person giving you the data... or the person who gave them the data... or their source... knows that. And you never know when someone along the way decided to be 'helpful' by converting to a 'better' measurement, in either direction.

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Daniel 18

Good measurement is metric.

Every time you see something that is about ships or planes that mentions miles, you have to ask yourself 'is that a statute mile or nautical mile?'. The same goes for aircraft. And there are at least seven or eight defintions of 'ton', more than that of 'barrel', two common sizes of fluid ounce, pint, quart, and gallon; several definitions of non-fluid ounce, and the mess goes on and on.

And the mental 'clunk' you get by having extraneous, ambigous measurements thrown into any account is just annoying, not to mention the wrong numbers trying to settle into your brain.

SI, only, all the way.

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Bromine bomb drops toxic mercury fallout

Daniel 18

Isn't this backwards?

The most effective route for elemental mercury poisoning is through inhalation of vapor.

Shouldn't the story be 'bromine from melting ice removes toxic pollutant from atmosphere'?

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Unix still data center darling, says survey

Daniel 18

'Unix for mission critical roles, Linux not so much' is misleading

While certain types of workload seem to be popularly run on Unix, often things like corporate databases, it would be misleading to characterize the Linux workloads as non mission critical.

Unix seems to be often favoured for database servers, applications servers, and often web servers.

Linux, on the other hand, is very heavily used in firewalls, filter proxies, DNS servers, DHCP servers, IP administration systems, intrusion detection, intrusion prevention, network monitoring, server monitoring, packet capture and analysis systems, FTP, syslog servers and similar infrastructure components. Obviously failures in some of these will be vastly disruptive to delivery of services. These days, scratch an appliance, and you'll find Linux under the hood.

If I had to classify the situation, it would be that Unix is currently strong at the applications level, while Linux is coming to dominate the infrastructure level.

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Fight global warming with Asimov-style Psychohistory - profs

Daniel 18

Let's jump over the hard science questions straight to an imposed conclusion???

The science is equivocal about the nature of global warming. The models have too many guesstimated variables, much of the data is dodgy, for one reason or another, and way too many people stand to make trillions of dollars off "Global Warming!!!".

We don't know enough about the variation of solar radiation, the effects of cosmic rays on the upper atmosphere, and the response of ecosystems to changes in temperature and carbon dioxide levels.

Many of the analyses are all about the 'costs' of global warming, and very few look at the 'benefits' of global warming.

Some of the data that has been put forward as evidence for warming has proved either totally bogus, or at least irrelevant and based on misunderstandings of natural processes.

And while there is an anthropgenic contribution, we are coming to the end of an interglacial period, when the climate tends to get unstable and unpredictable. It is not at all clear that what we do will dominate climate change, and are we really sure that we can control climate anyway? The world has been both a lot hotter and a lot colder than it is now. To think that we will somehow 'freeze' the climate smacks more than a little of hubris.

The whole idea that someone should decide what everyone should belive and then manipulate us into doing so is totally repugnant, even if (IF) everything that the climate alarmists say is true is in fact accurate. Better global warming than mass mind control.

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