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* Posts by Isn't it obvious?

28 posts • joined 11 Apr 2011

Bendy or barmy: Why your next TV will be curved

Isn't it obvious?

How are you supposed to wall-mount one of these?

Short of building them _into_ the wall, that is.

We have 3 TVs - all wall-mounted - and in none of the cases would a curved screen be suitable. They'd just create hazards.

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Hubble 'scope snaps 600-LIGHT-YEAR-wide pic of star-spawning nebula

Isn't it obvious?

Re: Stunning photo

Hundreds of G? I don't think so. A simple 1G acceleration will get them there in their lifetimes. (Note that in the Earth's reference frame they're already going nearly c in just a year, and from then on it's just a matter of increasing the time dilation factor.)

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BETHLEHEM-grade SUPERNOVA possible 'within 50 years'

Isn't it obvious?
Meh

Disappointing...

Here I started reading the article hoping that someone had identified a few candidate stars on the cusp of going supernova (and explaining the new science that meant they could tell).

It's just a statistical likelihood. Blah. There's been a statistical likelihood of an amazing comet display already in my lifetime, and I'm still waiting for that too.

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A steam punk VDU ?

Isn't it obvious?

I actually thought about this years ago...

..and the cutest idea I came up with was to use an array of typeballs (from old IBM Selectrics), each behind a mask, plus mirrors and lenses to enlarge the image of the "current" character into a display element. If you're very clever with the optics, you could use different light paths for various typeballs so you could position some typeballs behind others to compress the vertical and horizontal size of the display.

The Selectrics were entirely mechanical, and you could use any motive source to drive the main shaft (which positioned the head). It even encoded characters in binary, which would simplify using the inputs elsewhere.

Moving the current (writing) address from character position to position is a problem I didn't dig too far into, but you can at least read back the state of each character from the current set of positioning bits.

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Hybrid Windows laptop-slash-tablet fails to halt toilet-bound PC market

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

The Vulture 2: What paintjob should we put on our soaraway spaceplane?

Isn't it obvious?

Re: Register Red of course!

The BRG one is the only scheme shown that doesn't look like something cheap and Chinese-made that you'd find in a clear plastic clamshell on a rack in a crappy toy store.

Except for the orange-and-blue one. That one looks like it should have "Rabobank" written across it.

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ATTACK of the ROBOT BANKERS brings stock market to its knees

Isn't it obvious?

Not even fantasy - they are very real parasites

It's not like the bots are manufacturing money, or creating any real wealth. The only way for them to accumulate real money (and what else are they for?) is to insert themselves as the middleman in any genuine transaction and steal money from one or both of the ends of the desired transaction.

They need to be fast to get in ahead of any transactions representing actual interested parties.

The solution is both very simple, and utterly doomed: Require a nominal, but real, fee for every bid or ask submitted to the market. Say $0.001 for the sake of argument. A real person trying to sell a block of shares may need to ask 10 times - cost $0.01 - to get a matching bid. Even on a discount brokerage fee, $0.01 isn't worth worrying about. But one of these bots trying to game the market will make tens of thousands of bids (or asks) a second. That would then cost real money, on the order of millions of dollars per trading day per bot.

Boom, no more bots.

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Canadian family gives up modern tech to live like it's 1986

Isn't it obvious?

Saw this segment on TV yesterday

They're not limiting themselves to pre-1987 media; they specifically mentioned that the kids like watching <some Disney movie that passed out of my brain> and I'm pretty sure that was produced in the '90s. (The Lion King? Aladdin? I really don't remember.)

It just has to be available on video cassette, of which they have a massive library because basically everyone they know said "Hey, you want this junk? Have all of them!" :)

They also said they made the change as part of a move to a new house; the younger kid doesn't really know any better, but the older one apparently believes that they moved to a house that doesn't have tablets or computers.

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US military: 'Help us build the ROBO-WARFIGHTER OF THE FUTURE'

Isn't it obvious?

20ms is pretty slow...

...when you're talking about an incoming round at a velocity of around 600m/s (for an AR-15 to about 600m or an M16 to about 300m, based on the charts I found), it's going to travel 1.2m (through the armour, you, and the armour again) before the armour hardens. You'd need a personal radar in order for it to be useful!

Honestly, I thought they were further along with semi-liquid armour, and that it simply reacted to the impact of the bullet. Though as I think about it, it may be that it was too viscous in liquid state to allow fast movements.

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Continuous delivery: What works (and what doesn't)

Isn't it obvious?

Re: The fact is CD needs a lot of resources - and not everybody has them

And if you work on a core piece of an application that has 20+ downstream consumers in the build tree, and some of those pieces are maintained in different time zones, then even with advance warning and pre-agreement, you're going to go at least 2 days without a successful full integration build if you need to make certain changes. The core piece works correctly as committed, but each downstream piece (in stages, if the build tree is more than 2 levels deep) is going to have to write unit tests against the code changes and then commit their own updates; and so on.

And worse, if they discover bugs (e.g. performance/scaling problems with more nodes than they ever let on they were creating, or when they try to add 150 000 rows atomically into a table) then it'll have to feed back to the core team, who will need to replicate, debug and fix - all the while the deliverable isn't. Of course when core team gets the fix in, it's Thursday afternoon, and the downstream guys have gone home for the weekend...

I guess what I'm saying is that this might work for a group that produces a single piece of software, in probably less than 20 build stages, with a team that's not scattered across 8+ time zones. Like so much else, though, I don't see it as a panacea.

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Screw you, Brits, says Google: We are ABOVE UK privacy law

Isn't it obvious?
FAIL

Re: Nuts

All the people here hating on Google for not believing they should be sued in a foreign country should bear their opinion in mind when they get a summons to appear before the Islamic Revolutionary Court (Iran) for something they post here.

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Boffins claim Voyager has already left the Solar System

Isn't it obvious?

Obligatory Crystal Spheres reference

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crystal_Spheres

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Facebook's request to the flash industry: 'Make the worst flash possible'

Isn't it obvious?

Re: WORN

I thought that was mounted at /dev/null.

I put the JBoss logs there, and anything else that wants to write megabytes of garbage I'm never going to look at.

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Admen's suggested tweaks to Do Not Track filed straight into the bin

Isn't it obvious?

What good is a header, really?

Naturally, the ad-tracking networks will be only too happy to obey a header they wish didn't exist...

"Oh, I'm sorry, we haven't updated from Apache 2.0.64, and it doesn't understand those new headers."

I don't get how this is really supposed to help; maybe we should refer to it as the "I'm really mildly upset you're tracking me" header?

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Why are scribes crying just 'cos Google copied their books? asks judge

Isn't it obvious?
WTF?

My Preciousssss...

Holy crap the copyright maximalist shills are out in force today! To paraphrase, do you guys not understand US copyright law?

Newsflash: In the US (where this legal action is, note) copyright is explicitly (if perhaps, all too often merely nominally) a quid pro quo arrangement for the betterment of society, not a "human right" like it is in Europe. And fair use explicitly trumps copyright on that basis. Thus it is perfectly germane to be arguing about the bounds of author control versus the right of society to discover -> study -> learn from -> build upon any works in question, as that is the exact balance copyright law intends to strike.

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Anonymity ZUCKS: Facebook's Instagram to switch on face tagging

Isn't it obvious?

Re: I can't form a proper title

You may have seen it already, but there was a really well-written post on a similar theme a few weeks back: https://plus.google.com/112218872649456413744/posts/dfydM2Cnepe

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$1.5k per complaint. Up to 1,900 gTLDs. Brand owners, prepare to PAY

Isn't it obvious?

DNS is broken anyway

The whole point of DNS is 1) to provide human-readable names instead needing to know the (IP) address of sites and 2) to provide a logical reference to a domain so that fail-over, edge-caching, transition to new hardware or hosting, etc. can all be transparent to the users of the domain.

It worked fine when there were a few thousand entities on the net, since there was very little conflict on shared names. It's hopelessly broken when every company, no matter how small or local, wants to use its company name for its domain - because of the way trademarks are allocated, you'd need to add field-of-use and geographic extent to each trademark in order to get a non-conflicting domain name. "apple-computers.com" vs. "apple-records-uk.com" Some companies already do this, while the bigger ones just force others to yield them generic (non-restricted) trademark domain names. On the flip side, you have the problem of monopolisation of non-trademark words (e.g. sex.com).

And then you get into all the problems of typo-squatting, because you're relying on people accurately typing a domain name, in an environment that does not provide assistance (completion, matching close results, etc.)

What we really need is a mechanism where you could just type in what you're actually looking for - in whatever terms make most sense to you - and you could be taken to the site you want to visit, without having to worry about the exact text of its domain name. It could even offer suggestions ("Result for 'ford cars'; click here to search for 'frod cars'.").

The only thing we'd need to change is, instead of showing the domain name the result would take you to, it would show you the validated cert. for the site: "This site belongs to Ford Motor Co. of America." It doesn't matter then if the domain name is "ford.com" "fordmotors.com" or "fordmotorco.com" - and I'd argue that no user cares either, as long as it points to an official site of Ford's.

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Judge gives Google until Friday to dish on paid media

Isn't it obvious?

It's all about goodwill

I was going to point out that at least Google had tried to be upfront about the fact that there are a lot of people (though apparently none here) who are friendly towards Google, for whatever reason, at companies or organizations where Google spends or contributes money. Lotsa people still like Google (except here). Whereas Oracle just ignored the whole issue of favourable comments from people with indirect financial interests.

But then it occurred to me that Oracle probably doesn't have any goodwill it doesn't buy outright.

(Disclaimer: I know people who work for Google. They're a whole lot more open about stuff that's not explicitly private, and honest about mistakes and failures, than any of the people I know who work for Microsoft or Apple. I don't know anyone who works for Oracle. I've never worked for any of the above, but they've all complicated my job, in various ways, at different times.)

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Asteroid miners to strap 'scopes to new Virgin Galactic rocket

Isn't it obvious?
FAIL

Really very expensive

The SpaceX Falcon 9 costs 50-60M$ per launch and will lift 13 150kg to LEO. Which amounts to approximately 60 times the mass for only 6 times the cost! Plus you can launch _now_, not in 4 years.

I really don't get how all these companies (ULA is the worst) get away trumpeting the wonderful rockets they'll have in 4 to 10 years, when SpaceX has a better and much cheaper rocket right now.

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Japan and Vietnam push on with rare earth mining plans

Isn't it obvious?
WTF?

Where'd you find that image?

I've never seen a periodic table that didn't have Scandium adjacent to Calcium, although if you had oodles of horizontal space I suppose you could inline the entire Lanthanide and Actinide series... Not to mention listing Lutetium and Lawrencium under Yttrium... That's the most idiosyncratic periodic table I've ever seen!

(And what's with this "An" element between Radium and Lawrencium?)

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Earth bathed in high-energy radiation from colossal mystery blast

Isn't it obvious?

Hidden supernova?

I've wondered about what the observable effects would be of a supernova that's (mostly) obscured by a cold nebula (like the CoalSack nebula); might that selectively block most of the visible light, while letting other sufficiently energetic wavelengths and/or particles through? Or diffuse the light sufficiently for it to be lost in the general galactic glow?

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NASA found filming August's Mars landing in California desert

Isn't it obvious?

Re: Overly complicated

Well, you hardly want to be trying to drive around having to tote your descent stage with you. (Though sitting on your descent engine is fine for stationary landers like Viking.) So you either have to drive off of it (a la Spirit/Opportunity), which is a problem for a lander as large as Curiosity, or you need to arrive on the ground without it.

Actually, it's quite an elegant proposal; I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes. It's just too bad we'll never get to see the video the Martians take of it landing...

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NASA plans manned Deep Space Moon outpost

Isn't it obvious?
WTF?

Somehow I have a great deal of difficulty taking seriously anyone who writes a proposal like that without understanding the meaning of "cis-lunar." (L2 isn't there.)

It's not hard; "cis-" is the opposite of "trans-." (As in "Cisalpine Gaul" vs. "Transalpine Gaul" or "cis-2-pentene.")

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Billions of potentially populated planets in the galaxy

Isn't it obvious?

Radial velocity will also only catch an exoplanet candidate if Earth is roughly in line with its orbital plane. The gravitational microlensing approach is not as sensitive to the relative geometry, but it will also miss most exoplanets because of the time sensitivity (the exoplanet has to pass nearly between us and the distant star while the near star is transiting the distant one).

It's all statistical; you can make assumptions about the distribution of the angles of rotation of nearby stars, and hence their ecliptic, and you adjust your estimated population of planets based on the maximum number it would be possible to detect with each method.

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LHC results may solve riddle of how universe can exist

Isn't it obvious?

The truth of beauty?

Surely you mean "bottom?" "Beauty" hasn't been used for the name of that flavour in decades, as best I recall.

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Winning new UK pylon design may never be used

Isn't it obvious?

We mostly use lattice towers here (Ontario)...

...because they cost less. City-dwellers prefer steel column towers (like the winning design) because they're prettier; farmers prefer them because they occupy less of a field. They tend to get built only as a concession, because of the higher cost.

Typically, even then, angle towers (where the line bends) are still lattice towers, because it's much easier to build one that can support a lateral load without guying it.

The lattice towers certainly are durable; back when I was in university (late 80's) I found an in-service 115kV transmission tower that still had a visible 1929 installation date on it (the other towers on that line were probably the same age, but had too much patina to read).

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Level 3 pays $3bn for Global Crossing

Isn't it obvious?
FAIL

Bad math

Since, obviously 14.8 * 16 != 24.04, I checked; Nasdag:LVLT closed at 1.44 on Friday.

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