* Posts by Chazmon

70 posts • joined 15 Apr 2011

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FBI probed SciFi author Ray Bradbury for plot to glum-down America

Chazmon
Mushroom

To be honest I slightly see their point. I went on something of a dystopian binge at one point culminating in Stand on Zanzibar by Brunner and I was cross for months! My girlfriend at the time asked what was wrong and I muttered something about being angry about the future people.

In the end I had to find something more cheerful to read (I went for C.S. Lewis' sci fi).

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PALE, MALE AND STALE: Apple reveals it has just ONE black exec

Chazmon

So let the usual debate begin.

Are they racist and misogynistic or simply hiring the best and resiting pointless tokenism?

To be honest only they know which and statistics don't really provide proof one way or another.

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BOFH: Why, I LOVE work courses. Please tell me more, o wise one!

Chazmon
Coffee/keyboard

'where accurate artillery shelling and friendly fire are just descriptions of the same thing.'

You owe me a new keyboard and a certain amount of professional dignity... (well ok just the first one)

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ROBOTS in sinister public-relations push ahead of coming WAR ON HUMANS

Chazmon
Terminator

Gotta love the nested acronym. I'm sure el reg could have helped them with that...

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SAVE THE PLANKTON: So much more than whale food

Chazmon

A couple of scientific distinctions:

Plankton is pretty much anything which cannot make headway against the current so this also includes jellyfish (and really weak swimmers)

Zoo plankton is the microscopic swimmy stuff (technical term)

Phytoplankton are the ones which photosynthesize and start the food chain (and shore up life on earth)

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ATTENTION SETI scientists! It's TOO LATE: ALIENS will ATTACK in 2049

Chazmon

prophetic writings

Given the expected physical characteristics of life forms from those planets they would fit the type described in the Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham.

I live near a river so naturally I am concerned.

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First look: Ordnance Survey lifts kimono on next-gen map app

Chazmon
Coat

Re: Spotted what's missing?

That bit largely is but by the looks of the bit around Brokenhurst it seems that is a feature. I am curious as how much is available offline as you can get fair battery life for a day's walk in airplane mode for most devices.

Mine is the one with a soon to be neglected map pocket

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DARPA: We KNOW WHO YOU ARE... by the WAY you MOVE your MOUSE

Chazmon

My mouse movements are very predictable. Generally to the top right of the screen whenever my boss comes in...

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The Invisible Library – a playful, timey wimey, spook adventure tale

Chazmon

Oook?

Conceptually sounds an awful lot like L space...

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DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides

Chazmon

And we thought powerpoints couldn't get any more dangerous!

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2000-08-16

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Behind the Facebook DRAG QUEEN CRACKDOWN: 'Anonymity soon!'

Chazmon

I can see a way this could work fairly easily from their perspective. You can have a pseudonym account so long as it is linked to a real one. The link would only be known to Facebook (and admen and law enforcement) so they still fulfill their legal and monetary obligations whilst allowing you to be anonymous to the rest of the users.

It doesn't help if you want to be anonymous from 'the man' or add brokers but then facebook probably isn't interested in your business. It would however work for those with stage names or those who simply do not want to be found by other members of the public.

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Google swallows SMARTSPOON manufacturer Lift Labs

Chazmon
Pint

smart spoons

I like those smart spoons. Nothing grand just making people's lives a little bit better.

I hope they develop a beer holder next.

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Gaming supremo creates maps that turn real world into Sim City

Chazmon

You could use this for all kinds of lovely things I'm thinking the good: Real time disaster relief coordination. The bad: Real time invasion coordination. The ugly: Real time celeb stalking (which is probably the most likely!)

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A-level results: Before you smile at that jump-for-joy snap...

Chazmon

I have two degrees, went on a course recently and there were a couple of sparkies there pulling in three times what I earn. Having said that they probably work three times as hard...

If your smart and motivated you will succeed regardless and vice versa.

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Fanfare of trumpets as LOHAN reveals mission patch

Chazmon
Pint

A more apropriate receptical?

I think the design is simple enough that it would work quite nicely engraved onto a pint glass...

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The Register is HIRING technology hacks for the WORLD

Chazmon

I am looking forward to the article devoted to the spoof submissions sent in by commetards.

Good luck sorting through that lot!

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Top 10 tech essentials for the festival season

Chazmon

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.

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We're ALL Winston Smith now - and our common enemy is the Big Brother State

Chazmon

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.

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Chazmon
Big Brother

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.

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How Bitcoin could become a super-sized Wayback Machine

Chazmon

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.

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The future's so bright, Google Glass now comes with shades

Chazmon

PSS?

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.

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Look out, sysadmins - HOT FOREIGN SPIES are targeting you

Chazmon

determined?

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."

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Larry Ellison looks out from his island paradise and thinks: I wanna buy the LA Clippers

Chazmon

If you have the money...

Why play the video game when you can play it for real?

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Customisation is BAD for the economy, say Oz productivity wonks

Chazmon
Pint

Inefficient? maybe

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.

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Tinfoil hats proven useless by eleven-year mobe radiation study

Chazmon
Coat

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

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'Computer GEEKS' snatch NOBEL Prize for chemistry - without using chemicals

Chazmon

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

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Boffinry breakthrough OF THE DECADE: Teens 'influenced' by friends

Chazmon

Or it should be entitled. Teenagers exaggerate their coolness on anonymous surveys.

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10,000 app devs SLEEP together in four-day code-chat-drink tech orgy camp

Chazmon
Pint

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!

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Alien antique show: Egyptians wore JEWELRY FROM SPAAAACE

Chazmon
Alien

Clearly they were traded to them by aliens for the prime real estate on which they built the pyramids

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Flab-fighting LOHAN fettles fantastical flying truss

Chazmon

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!

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Did a bunch of bankers fax a stranger's sensitive privates to YOU?

Chazmon

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?

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Russian cargo ship drops off spacesuit puncture repair kit at the ISS

Chazmon
Boffin

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)

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Google flings another £1m at online child sex abuse vid CRACKDOWN

Chazmon

humans

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.

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Girls, beer and C++: How to choose the right Comp-Sci degree for you

Chazmon
Pint

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!

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Gourmet chemists sniff out ultimate cheese on toast

Chazmon
Flame

pH

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!

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Judge: Evidence will likely show Apple DID fix ebook prices

Chazmon
Flame

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

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BT Tower is just a relic? Wrong: It relays 18,000hrs of telly daily

Chazmon
Thumb Up

tall buildings

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.

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WikiLeaker Assange, Google's Schmidt and a secret 5-hour chinwag

Chazmon

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')

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Boffins build ant-sized battery, claim it's tough enough to start a car

Chazmon

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.

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Angry Birds fire back: Vulture cousins menace UK city's mobiles

Chazmon

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)

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What a card: Brit boffin Alan Turing stars in Monopoly tribute set

Chazmon
Go

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

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Watch out for the GIGANTIC ALIEN JELLYFISH, warns space boffin

Chazmon
Alien

nah its superintelligent forms of the colour blue.

Douglas Adams definatly had the most original aliens apart from the main cast of course

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US Navy uncloaks stealthy underwater solar cells

Chazmon
Coat

Can they not just train existing solar cells to hold thei breath?

mines the orange ocean survival suit

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Legendary sci-fi fantasy author Ray Bradbury exits planet Earth

Chazmon
Flame

RIP

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?

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Personal Ground Effect Vehicals

Chazmon

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?

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Pints under attack as Lord Howe demands metric-only UK

Chazmon
Pint

Beer and milk shouldnt be much of a problem but road signs?

An awful lot of tip ex is required

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Boffins cross atom-smasher streams, 'excited' beauty pops into being

Chazmon
Boffin

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

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MIT boffins play BUILDING-SIZED Tetris

Chazmon

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.

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US doc finally fingers elusive G-spot

Chazmon

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!

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Billionaire astro mining venture long on hype and timescale

Chazmon

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?

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