54 posts • joined 15 Apr 2011
10 things to get stolen during the festival season
The lamp is cool and I'm a sucker for LEDs however it requires 8 hours sunlight, IE 8 hours left outside where some passing rapscallion can nick it.
Re: Niven has this one covered
I see the likes of Google as facilitating 'freedom' with their tools and means of expressing oneself. Anything you give them in exchange is a net reduction in your security (of identity etc) by taking it out of your hands.
Niven has this one covered
To quote Larry Niven "F × S = k. The product of Freedom and Security is a constant. To gain more freedom of thought and/or action, you must give up some security, and vice versa."
The magnitude of these has changed beyond recognition in recent years in accordance with another of his laws; "Ethics change with technology."
Personally as someone who has read 1984 I think a lot of what saves us is our utter indifference. The system in the book only works due to the scary level of commitment from the government employees. At the moment we simply lack this (hooray for bureaucracy!). In the future? Not so sure.
If I sold my permacoin would I also be selling my chunk of stored data?
What kind of duty of care would I have for my data?
If my hard drive blows up do I also loose my coins?
I love the concept (especially as I have a super fast university internet connection at my disposal) and distributing valuable data is a great idea but I do not understand how you would release the value in the coins.
With the onboard connectivity surely some kind of manual 'reactions' style tinting could be incorporated and activated when something unsavory appears?
We could finally have some proper peril sensitive sunglasses.
I love the fact that hackers are becoming more determined. It implies that until recently they were just dabbling a bit on the side.
"Oh the phishing attack on HMRC didn't work? Ah well back to the allotment."
If you have the money...
Why play the video game when you can play it for real?
Spreading more wealth around by employing more people and selling higher value goods? Certainly!
Pint because I would hate to have to drink generic ale.
I recently read Waldo by Heinlein where the whole world was suffering from increased lethargy due to the number of rays floating around. Perhaps the modern popularity of computers is caused by this lethargy rather than the other way round? I think we should be told.
Mine is the one with a lead lining
The name of the game these days is collaboration.
In my department it is increasingly common for postgrads from the wet chemistry side of things to enlist the help of someone from computational. We get the best of both worlds, the wet chemists get to save a load of time on possibly fruitless avenues and the computational guys get more raw data to improve their models.
On a wider note it is becoming increasingly rare to not be collaborating, its just the way things are done now
Or it should be entitled. Teenagers exaggerate their coolness on anonymous surveys.
I'm looking for my tent itsh the blue one...
Well at least many interesting new collaborations will be formed when they drunkenly try and find their tents from in amongst the thousands of identical ones!
Clearly they were traded to them by aliens for the prime real estate on which they built the pyramids
Are you secretly hoping that the tube/ rod will be the point of failure so that you can run a headline along the lines of: Flaccid rod foils LOHAN?
If so you are going to impressive lengths for a pun!
I recently purchased a flat, the final holdup was a missing valuation report. I eventually got through to the valuer and they said they could send it by fax.
They could not send it to me (the guy on the phone) who has answered endless security questions by email but were quite happy to send it to a fax number they found online for my estate agent.
Why is this still considered secure?
Does the ISS vent CO2? Or is the replacement air just to replace that lost in airlocks etc?
How much does the air in this room weigh? is a classic problem solving question to ask budding young scientists in interviews. (They normally massively underestimate)
The poor sods who look at this stuff to establish if it illegal are generally students. Apparently it is student nurses that last the longest before giving up as it is revolting work. The time they last is more likely to be measured in minutes than hours and hours than days.
There is currently a lot of work going into creating detectors to spot when the same image has been modified or file type changed to save some poor sap from looking at it again.
The advice about hanging around the uni to get a feel for the buzz is great but impractical. I hung around my future university for a week in my gap yah and got a feel for the place (where I have now been for 6 years) much better than the open day facade.
If you want to know whats going on in our CS department hang around in the staff club on a friday evening where the sys admins drink!
How well the cheese browns is largely down to the pH as you are effectively denaturing proteins into tasty tannins and things. Mild cheese is in fact better for cooking than its fuller flavored cousins. This is the only reason to buy mild cheese ever.
I once messed around with the cheese on toast recipe and had cheese on corning pastie. It made my heart hurt but was totally worth it!
My understanding of American Law is weak but a couple of things spring to mind
If all of them settle for millions of dollars where does that money go?
IE will my ebooks get cheaper/ will I be partially refunded for those I purchased in the past?
The wonderful thing about ebooks is they are generally purchased electronically so someone must have records.
If the government gets the money id be tempted to say they don't need it but we all know that isn't true!
<-- the irony of a digital copy of Fahrenheit 451 is not lost on me
A fair few of London's tall buildings are clustered together but the best views can be had from the isolated ones.
I was fortunate enough to go up Queens Tower at Imperial College (all the way to the roof unofficially) and the views were amazing. Both should be preserved as iconic in their own way.
to quote Niven
X + Y = Z
Where X is freedom and Y is security
Z is constant. One always detracts from the other.
(This must obviously be used with the other law that states 'ethics change with technology')
The problem with this is in order to satisfy modern safety concerns the anode and cathode must be separated by some find of polymer membrane. This is almost always the rate limiting step and is a large part of why Li ion batteries are not as good as they should be.
Having said that it still represents a step forward. That particular technique for producing nano structures has been around for years but this is a nice commercial angle.
I for one am very happy to have the birds nesting on top of that eyesore of a tower.
The pigeon population on campus is being decimated on a daily basis! (and I happen to not be on vodaphone)
To choose to play monopoly...
...is to choose to go to bed in a bad mood (to quote an Indian friend of mine who we introduced to board games)
Even if it is a cool edition
nah its superintelligent forms of the colour blue.
Douglas Adams definatly had the most original aliens apart from the main cast of course
Can they not just train existing solar cells to hold thei breath?
mines the orange ocean survival suit
I read fahrenheit 451 for the first time only last week. Never before have I read a book with such pace and yet so poetic.
I wonder what the autoignition temperature of a kindle is?
Personal Ground Effect Vehicals
I have been reading a little about ground effect vehicals (or is it affect im never sure) and have decided they are pretty much the coolest thing ever. The thing is they seem to not have progressed since the cold war. So here the question:
Using modern materials (ultra lightweight composites, small high efficiency engines) would it be possible to build a personal transport akin to a hoverboard?
Im no engineer but perhaps something more realistic would be similar to a zapcat but without all the bouncing. Perhaps a job for the SPB?
Beer and milk shouldnt be much of a problem but road signs?
An awful lot of tip ex is required
I love these kind of physics articles because I always imagine them followed up by an article entitled:
Physicists admit they have been making it up for years
'it's all lies but thanks for the giant underground cycle track'
I do hope they continue to expand our understanding of the universe
very cool but with all their awesome technology surely they could have used a tripod!
Im not sure if its cooler than the using lights to play snake which I think was just good communication and a lot of people stood near their light switches.
well im shocked
I was genuinely looking forward towards a nice article about gravity or another natural phenomina starting with a g thinking the title was a cunning inuendo.
Turns out it was meerly descriptive, im not sure if this is a good or a bad thing!
Two thoughts on the subject of platinum
1. Who cares if the price plummets? We get loads of (arguably) the worlds most useful catalyst. Perhaps this will kick start the hydrogen economy? (perhaps a little optimistic but hey we can dream)
2. Lets say they only exstract a few kilos of the stuff, selling it as raw platinum wouldnt recoup their losses. Sell it in the form of jewelry, how much would people pay for a limited edition space platinum ring or necklace? You could probally flog off the raw rock as souveneers whats the going rate for asteroid these days?
Ok so no shortages of recomendations then!
Its nice to see so many recomendations that I have already read!
I worked my way through the 'chronicals of amber' as one great tome it was hard work and between the books often confusing but really rewarding. I would certainly recomend them again.
I recently got my hands on 'ringworld' and 'engineers' and am now certain why they are considered classics.
Im currently reading 'left hand of darkness' which like the 'disspossesed' is blowing my mind and certainly contributed to why I was late for work this morning!
Im now going to keep an eye out for 'Stand on zanzibar' as I read the sheep look up over the summer and loved it. On a similar vein il look out for 'the golden globe' having read steel beach a while ago.
As a piece of general advice for anyone wishing to do this I can thouroughly recomend Oxfam bookshops. My local one has a respectable selection of scifi at good prices and an in house expert in once a week. I was appalled to see teenage vampires have now moved into the section but I wont hold this against them.
Thanks to all who have contributed and please continue!
Sci Fi recomendations?
As someone who I assume is considerably younger than the average el Reg reader I would like to draw on your expertise to guide my science fiction reading habits.
To date I have read many of the 'classics' including dune, foundation trilogy, starship troopers, use of weapons and most of John Wyndam's material. I am also a big Niven and Pournelle fan and am almost all the way through their back catalogues. Ive read many others which I wont list here but wouldn't be supprised if they got recomended.
What would be really helpful is as well as naming the novel give me a comparison and why it is worth a read. I look forward to your recomendations
Biggest by salaries paid?
Id be curious to see who are the biggest in terms of salaries paid. I imagine the NHS who employ a high number of skilled people would still be pretty high but the likes of Foxcon and the Chinese army would be somewhat lower.
Obviously it gets confusing when you take into account top executives because of the various tax dodging schemes such as being paid in shares with only a nominal salary.
Just a couple of thoughts which popped into my head during a lecture on plane design. Why not have LOHAN as a bi-plane?
This generates additional lift without having overlong wings to worry about as well as allowing it to fly considerably slower which would be great for the on board camera.
It would also look awesome the playmonaught could even take a friend to play tennis with on the wing!
Paris because not only planes can be bi
A water proof phone would be great however in my experince with marine electronics (mainly small boat sailing and extensive kayaking) waterproof and capable of sitting in salt water for extended periods of time as well as put up with the vigours of knocking around in the back of a boat are two very different things.
I will take some convincing to part with my nokia 3310 in a sealed dry bag.
@Martin Gregorie - beat me there
Am currently reading oath of fealty (Niven and Pournelle) who reference Henlein in 1981 and started wondering why we don't have this kind of thing yet and then this article came up. Read enough sci fi and nothing comes as a supprise any more.
Mines the one with the keys to the remote control moon digger in the pocket!
I wonder what the prevalence of STDs among its users is? as everyone know macs don't get virus'
it makes sense
I really don't see why everyone is so supprised. The more energy they generate from other means the more of the black sticky stuff they can sell (or sit on and wait for the price to rise). They have a large amount of capital now why not invest it in the means to be self sufficient when the wells do run dry?
Add in the side benifits of a little bit of greenwash after all they are getting the kind of publicity that money can't buy with this anouncement!
I can see a pottential Dorethy L Sayer style detective story with a murder's alibi dependant on the discrepancy between the two times.
'How could I have murdered proffesor Andre? You can clearly see from this security camera footage that I was in the resturant eating pudding at this point....'
At this point something silly with flying cars and robots will happen as the story would have to be set in 2700.
If spinning blades are a less preffered option may I be the first to suggest fire?
I imagine a systematic flammable liquid spraying system followed by remote ignition and voila your grass is considerably shorter and neighborhood cats are as an added bonus probally going to avoid your garden for a while. Would need to be done less regularly than the conventional method therefore less maintenence.
@AC The funny thing about fees is that they are actually pushing more students towards the 'hard' subjects such as engineering and chemistry as they see the value in these courses.
I have a BSc in chemistry and still think at £9000 a year it would have been a bargain given the contact hours and expertese I could draw upon. For a philosophy degree with 3 hours of lectures a week im less convinced as are prospective students up and down the country.
Not a suprise but have they considered the positive effects of this? In a country where clear spoken English is seen as a premium such technology could force users to speak with something more akin to the 'Queen's English' (or the apple equivalent).
If Siri cant understand you chances are neither can a considerable chunk of the world.
It could be used in a similar way to Sugata Mitra's work in India who I was fortunate enough to see in person at last years ALT conference:
The relivant paper (possible behind a paywall)
well im glad this has been shown to work as they trashed one of my cameras when using it to film the process. Turns out electronics and bubbly water not mix!
assumptions make an ass out of u and mptions
I feel the following statement is a gross assumption:
He also pointed out that only "600 or so Roadster buyers have bought Model S sedans," emphasizing that the vast majority of Model S buyers are new to the electric car market.
What about all of us looking for a viable upgrade to our milk floats?
and there was me hoping the spb would be travelling across Aus in the traditional way; in an old bus with a giant sparkly shoe attached to the roof...
I never used to have a problem with the whole walled garden approach until two recent occurances.
The first was a presentation at a conference singing the praises of iTunes U. Can it be searched from the web? No. Does it attract many views? No (not when compared to youtube equivalents). The only positive benifit seemed to be the insubstancial 'Apple polish' and the small chance of being featured. I was most dissapointed when my institution anounced the release of their own effort.
The second was the most damning. I was writing a piece on the use of smartphones in education and wanted to cite a couple of iPhone apps due to their excellence and inovation. Could I? No. The best I could do was to cite a second rate website which reviews them.
I dont own a portable music player so I was quite happy to leave each to their own but with everyone running towards these walled gardens they are starting to worry me.
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