58 posts • joined 19 Apr 2011
I Saw this Coming 20 Years Ago!!!
The name "Beta Pictoris" struck a chord when I read it. So I searched my hard disk for a Sci-Fi novel I started writing as an undergrad over 20 years ago, and as it happens in my novel a team of explorers is heading from Earth to Beta Pictoris. As I recall, I picked it at random among nearby star systems... very freaky coincidence.
Re: IPCC blaming heretics again?
Carbon dioxide is not only plant food... most of it ends up in the oceans, which makes the ocean more acidic, which makes it harder for corals and shellfish with calcium carbonate exoskeletons to build and maintain their shells.
You may be able to paint sea level rise and even atmospheric temperature rise with a swath of "no consensus" but there is absolutely no doubt at all about how increases in atmospheric CO2 cause increases in ocean acidification.
Seafood supplies a large proportion of the protein in the diets of billions of humans. Do we want to play Russian roulette with that?
Can we please have skydivers parachute into this stadium... dressed as sperm a la Woody Allen's "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex"... PLEASE????
"Burst into Flames?" -- More El Reg Sensationalism...
Your use of "burst into flames" to describe the two Tesla fires is wildly inaccurate. In both accidents the drivers were warned by the vehicle's onboard monitoring system that an unsafe condition had occurred and in both cases the drivers had plenty of time to calmly pull over and exit the vehicle. In the first instance, no "flames" actually occurred (only heat and smoke) until the fire department erroneously punctured the battery casing.
Elon Musk is correct to point us to the much greater risk of carrying around 40 liters of a highly volatile, flammable hydrocarbon in tanks much less well-protected than the Tesla's batteries.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
Just don't leave the country
"wherever in the country I happen to be..."
Yeah, just don't try leaving the country. I found myself in Japan on a two-week business trip expecting to power-watch all the seasons of Breaking Bad I had just "bought" on Amazon Instant Video only to be slapped with a "This content is not available in your location" message. Needless to say, Amazon support claimed "licensing constraints" and couldn't help.
Another Proprietary Box
Remind me again why I should invest in yet another proprietary hardware architecture when I can just use Open Stack Swift to build Petabytes of cloud storage from commodity drives in commodity enclosures?
A HUGE Improvement for RSI Sufferers
For those of us who have lived through RSI (and continue to live with it) having a point/touch device that replaces the mouse and doesn't require you to constantly take your hand off the keyboard, reach out to the side, manipulate the mouse and then put your hand back on the keyboard, is a real necessity. The "trackpoint" on the old IBM Thinkpads was a good device for achieving this. I'm hoping the Haptix delivers a similar mouse replacement with the added advantage of understanding many more gestures. I've already ordered mine.
BTW, they exceeded their $100K goal already.
Re: Phones off during taxiing??
No, he's being sarcastic. Please adjust your sarcasm detector...
Re: One phrase
Yes, because terrorists who are trying to remote detonate a bomb in the hold will certainly not do so if the flight crew tells them to shut off their phone.
I'm a pilot too... when I get the annoying buzz in the headset I do two things: (1) check my flight bag to see that I've turned off my phone; and (2) yell at my first officer to shut off his damned phone.
Passengers cannot get close enough to avionics systems to interfere in this way. If you're getting that annoying buzz, the offending phone is almost certainly on the flight deck. Well, unless you're flying really small fry like a Cessna 402 where they let passengers sit in the right seat!
Re: "10km above the Atlantic"
Don't fret... if you're on a two-engine aircraft then your flight path is never more than gliding distance from an emergency landing site.
A Boeing 767 has a glide ratio of about 22:1 assuming zero thrust (i.e. both engines are shut down). That means from 36,000 feet you can glide a distance of about 150 miles (apologies for the Imperial units; we Americans are keeping the British traditions alive).
I recall the case of Air Transat Flight 236 which glided to a landing in the Azores after a fuel leak (and poor decision-making by the crew) led to complete fuel starvation over the Atlantic.
Re: You don't have to turn you phone off
You, sir, have made an intelligent and reasonable argument that I hadn't thought of before. And on a Reg forum.
A pint for you...
Re: Not just radio signal safety
Hehe, yeah... I was once yelled at to shut up during the safety briefing by a Qantas sky nazi... I was translating the safety briefing for my Japanese clients.
Re: Not just radio signal safety
Sure, "my plane didn't crash" is an anecdote. And as we all know the plural of anecdote is not data.
However, there are roughly 30,000 aircraft operations per day in the world. Cellphones have been ubiquitous for at least 15 years. We KNOW that not everyone shuts down their phones in flight. Yet airline safety is at an all time high. No plane has every crashed due to cell phones. And crashes from all causes are at historic lows.
While not strictly a controlled study, the evidence is overwhelming.
If you want to be safe, turn off your cell phone while DRIVING, and don't worry about it while flying.
It's always amazing
As an American i watch the cricket-derived sport baseball more often, but the physics is the same (although I believe a baseball has a higher lift component due to the stitched seams--a comparison of the characteristics of baseballs vs. cricket balls should be next on the agenda for the Oz boffins). It always amazes me to see a breaking ball or a changeup suddenly just die and drop down.. or a slider drift away from the plate at the last minute. And don't get me started on the knuckle ball.
He who lives by the sword...
...dies by the sword.
At this point, it shouldn't take a genius to figure out that tech companies face enormous cost and uncertainty under the current patent system and they should declare a "truce", band together and eliminate software patents altogether.
Re: Not the perfect food..
Hehe, reminds me of the time our CTO unveiled our new logistics process management software with a PowerPoint slide:
"Introducing Fish Bowel!"
Admittedly, English was not his first language...
Re: Is May 21st the new April 1st?
Upvote for using "Jungian" in a Reg comment.
Re: Engineering tolerances?
If this is the scenario you worry about you should never leave your home.
Re: am I strange?
Try First Class
Re: am I strange?
Cosmos Rocks! It's what got me into science as a kid...
Re: A few theories
ILS localizers operate at between 108.10 MHz and 111.95 MHz, while the marker beacons operate at 75 MHz. These frequencies are nowhere near the 800 MHz and above used by cell phones. For a cell phone to cause interference in such a specific way that the ILS avionics interpreted it as a valid signal but at 15 feet below the actual glideslope signal would be impossible. Your worst case is it would cause interference and the ILS would lose its lock on the glideslope leading to a missed approach.
Re: Surprise surprise
You're oversimplifying the argument. It's not that ONE PERSON accidentally left their mobile on during a flight and the plane was fine, it's that, statistically, on every flight there are several mobile devices that have not been turned off. This has been going on for at least ten years. That's about 10 million flights during that time period with no cellphone-related crashes. In fact, the New York Times reports that air travel is the safest it has ever been, despite the proliferation of small transmitting devices and their inevitably being left on during flights.
IEEE Spectrum magazine ran a sensationalist piece of crap story where some industrial accident experts tried to extrapolate from data regarding mobiles being left on during flights that there was a 2 to 1 chance of a mobile causing an accident in the next 5 years. That was 10 years ago. The cover story they used regarding an "unsolved" plane crash had been definitively solved and available for all to see in the NTSB accident database for years before the article was published.
The Enterprise Email Market is Ripe
I'd say there are plenty of enterprises out there who are thoroughly pissed off with Exchange server and users thoroughly pissed off with Outlook to create fertile ground for Notes to be a viable alternative. Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with Outlook. It has some great features but lately Microsoft has focused every new upgrade on moving the buttons around and changing the UI so that you have to re-learn everything (even eliminating my most-loved keyboard combinations such as Alt-E + S for Paste Special which is now Alt H S V for no apparent reason). Microsoft is clearly moving the Outlook client in the direction of being almost indistinguishable from the Outlook 365 web version running on a tablet. Unfortunately, I do most of my work on my tablet at my desk with an external keyboard and display, and I want easy keyboard navigation which is far more productive than taking your hand off your keyboard constantly to use the mouse. Also, anyone who takes longhaul flights knows you can't fully rely on web apps sitting in the "cloud" when you have no connectivity to the cloud.
So, lots of people are open to a new player. It really depends on how the new Notes works. The hype coming from IBM sounds great. I'm going to check it out.
Re: Now we need a new interpreter for this high tech gobbledigook
Where have you seen a source that confirms there was flames? I saw some photos of melted batteries but you don't necessarily need open flame for that. Just interested...
Simpsons Did It
Chiaro Networks built this ten years ago. They had a petabit-class all-optical router actually working in the field in 2003. Problem was, no one needed anything that powerful back then. Too early to the market, run out of cash, dead.
Yes, I'm sure he literally thought spy satellites were crying on him. It was a joke...didn't you see the smiley face?
Re: I'll argue the difficult
Unfortunately the fanbois will be voting all these comments down, but it remains the truth. The iPad is a great media device but you can't do real "work" on it. If Microsoft is able to hit the sweetspot and create an OS that lets you use your tablet the way you use a laptop today then that would be a game changer. I know a lot of people love to hate Microsoft but it's not as if they're idiots. Windows is still the leading desktop OS by far, and the XBOX is the most popular gaming console in the world... they must be doing something right.
If they can pull this off it will make life much easier for a lot of people so I'm not ashamed to be hoping they'll succeed. If they can produce great tech, then hating it just because they're Microsoft is a bit short-sighted.
OK fanbois, downvote me!!
No need to be bigoted
Yes, he is clearly clueless and drinking his own coolaid, but that's what CEOs do. If they don't truly believe in the "vision" of the company and its products, then who would buy them?
I'm not sure what you mean when you say salesmen create nothing and just make money off other people's products. You could say that about every employee who isn't directly involved in production. Look at those support techs... they don't create anything, they just make money fixing other people's products! Look at that janitor. He doesn't create anything, he just makes money emptying the trash of the real workers who create the products! Look at that supermarket, they don't create anything, they just make money selling other people's products!
Every company has a multitude of functions which are essential to the product being created, marketed, distributed and sold. If you think salesmen are so useless, I challenge you to build a successful company made up entirely of developers.
Re: For someone who lives in a big city
You've hit the nail on the head. Even with an external keyboard I can't get any real "work" done on my iPad. I use it as an entertainment device, to play games, read books, watch TV & movies, listen to music & audiobooks... and it's great for that. But when I have to create a financial model in Excel or a presentation in PowerPoint I need a real PC.
Perhaps when CPU performance and memory on tablets are on par with laptops you could conceivably use them as a laptop replacement by connecting a keyboard, mouse and external monitor but today that's not realistic.
Re: That's a nice win for American and for punters, who can hope it translates into lower fares.
Eva and Cathay benefit from regulated monopolies enforced by their governments... not a fair comparison.
Re: No one knows for sure
Cellphones and PEDs have been around for 20+ years and have never caused problems despite billions of flight hours. Do you know something we don't or is this purely an unscientific "better safe than sorry" argument. If you feel that way, you'd better stay at home all day in a padded room!
Re: pax were right!?
Actually, you are right. There has never been a single verified incidence of personal electronics interfering with aircraft systems. That includes "intentional transmitters."
Judge Koh's Karma
Pilot of Judge Koh's Airplane: "Ladies and gentlemen, we have a serious problem that I can only fix by opening up the manual on my Samsung Galaxy Tab. Unfortunately Judge Koh sitting in seat 3D has banned them."
Judge Koh (being beaten): "Mmmfff, patent rights, ooph, protecting innovation, arrgh, are you on crack?"
Re: Please spare me
True. The probability of an evacuation is so astronomically low that preparing for it is like waking up every morning and practicing the Heimlich manouver just in case you have to save a choking person that day.
On the other hand, you're just sitting there not doing anything anyway and repetition does improve retention!
Re: Old News?
Ha! "Bankruptcy"... that's a good one.
The airlines have all used "bankruptcy" as a way to reneg on their contractual committments to employee retirement benefits and healthcare.
(I'm the son of a retired AA mechanic who worked there for 35 years. His retirement benefits as promised in his contract were slashed leaving him and my mother struggling to make ends meet.)
Re: Lower fares?
They are not replacing approach plates with the iPad, only the aircraft operating manual. They will still need paper copies of all of the navigational charts needed for IFR flight including approach plates.
--I'm a pilot too!
It's unlikely they'll carry paper backups. More likely they'll have two iPads (for redundancy) with the third backup being radio communication with base.
It all Comes Down to Whether you Love or Hate Assange
It seems to me there are two possibilities:
1) Assange is a common rapist who is crying "political persecution" to claim asylum and avoid facing charges.
2) The rape charges are a pretext to put Assange in jail to silence him. Once in jail he will be charged with additional crimes or possibly extradited to the US to face more charges and longer sentences in order to keep him silent forever.
All of the writing, blogging and commenting I've seen on this proves one thing. No one can really know which of the two scenarios is the truth, but everyone seems to take a strong opinion based solely on whether they like or dislike Assange. El Reg clearly has a personal dislike for Assange which colors all their coverage of the case. As for me, I find it curious timing that Assange is suddenly charged with rape by a US ally just as he's pissing off the US and its allies. Also, I find it highly unusual that the UK Police would mobilize anti-terrorism forces if he were really just a "common rapist". Does the UK pursue all extradition requests with this level of zeal?
The peripheral facts seem to point towards witch hunt, but no one can be sure. A third possibility is that both scenarios are true... he really is guilty of rape AND the US is capitalizing on this in order to obtain his extradition. J. Edgar Hoover made a career of taking out his enemies with "focused" prosecutions like this. The same thing happened recently to Elliot Spitzer in the US...
Re: I've got to say
Well, he would say that the charges are a pretext to take him out and silence him. The fact that the UK has deployed counter-terrorism forces to arrest him would seem to indicate he is a bit more than a common rapist.
What a Mind Fuck
Gives new meaning to the phrase "Mind Fuck"...
Pitot Tubes are Already Heated
As a pilot I'm all for any reasonably-priced backup system that can prevent accidents, but pitot tubes are already heated to prevent icing even in light GA aircraft. While the pitot-static system can fail for any number of reasons including icing/contamination of the pitot tube or static port, clogging of the lines or instrument failure, pilots are trained to recognize these failures and fly using the remaining instruments. This is called flying "partial panel" and is a huge part of instrument training. And I agree with "Anonymous Coward"... the Air France crash was caused by pilot error. They had a working stall warning and ignored it.
Of course, if this device is cheap and reliable then why not use it?
IEEE Spectrum has become a rag over the past few years. You can almost guarantee that the "cover story" will always be some sensational non-scientific nonsense. I'm not at all surprised that they would print this tripe.
It's the Ocean Acidification, stupid
I'm amazed at the stupidity of people who say "Look, CO2 doesn't cause warming so CO2 is no problem!"
This completely ignores the problem of ocean acidification. It is indisputable that more CO2 in the atmosphere causes more CO2 to be dissolved in the ocean. It is also indisputable that this decreases the pH of the ocean. It is also very likely that rapid acidifaction of the ocean will lead to mass extinctions of species that can't adapt fast enough, especially organisms that have calcium exoskeletons that literally dissolve below a certain pH.
Whatever you think of the link with warming, you have to worry about ocean acidification. A world without seafood as an abundant protein source is a starving world.
This is to make mobile operators happy, not users...
I think everyone's got the wrong basic assumption. If you assume this "feature" is to make users' lives better then of course it's confusing since there are lots of problems as mentioned in these comments.
However, this feature is not for users, it's for mobile operators. They've long wanted to offload their data traffic onto WiFi to conserve spectrum. However, they needed a way to charge for it! If you want to manually look for free hotspots or get a Boingo subscription, etc. then you can do that now. The mobile operators are hoping that if they make it "automated" then they can have the best of both worlds and still keep your money.
Thanks for the one-sided article!
Thanks for the one-sided viewpoint of copyright we've come to expect from El Rag. I suppose no one ever abuses the DMCA to censor fair-use criticism, parody and educational uses. And I suppose ISPs always take the time and effort to really make sure the content is infringing instead of just blindly complying with all takedown notices.
The problem with the DMCA is that it encourages ISPs to just rubber-stamp these requests because there's no downside when they "accidentally" remove content that was actually not infringing, while there's huge downside if they refuse a request and it turns out the content actually was infringing.
Not everyone who opposes the DMCA opposes the entire idea of copyright just like not everyone who wants to protect P2P are "freetards" who believe that they should be able to download copyrighted content for free.
It's a complex issue... it would make a great article if you actually chose to do some research.
Non-Circular Launch Rail?
Your launch rail has a circular cross-section, allowing the plane to rotate along its bank axis during launch and potentially bringing the wings into contact with the truss. Why not go with an oval or rectangular cross section which would prevent the plane from banking during launch? Alternatively the rail could be shaped like an inverted "T".
Fermi figured all this out years ago. Given the age of the galaxy is over 5 billion years yet it's only a few hundred light years across, there has been plenty of time for any number of spacefaring intelligences to have colonized the entire galaxy several times over even without FTL technology. So why haven't we met them or at least seen signs of their past colonization? The fact that we haven't means that we won't.
Note that this "Fermi Paradox" doesn't mean intelligent life doesn't exist, it just means we will never meet them. All of the following "objections" actually support the hypothesis.
* Maybe they exist and we just lack the ability to detect them? Exactly...that means we won't meet them.
* Maybe they came and went and left no trace we could detect?
* Maybe there's a physical reason that makes interstellar colonization impossible?
* Maybe civilizations tend to destroy themselves?
* Maybe when civilizations reach a certain level they lose the desire to colonize and expand?
So, the fact that there's so many habitable planets so close to us makes it extremely unlikely that we'll ever meet extraterrestrial intelligence. It's been 5 billion years and with all those planets no life form has been able to colonize the few hundred light years to our solar system?
Most Consumers are Happy to Pay
Levine commits an amateur error when he confuses activists with the vast majority of consumers. Admittedly there are many activists who believe passionately that "all information must be free" but they are a vocal fringe. The vast majority of consumers are willing to pay a reasonable price to consume copyrighted content (as is evidenced by iTunes and Netflix's sales numbers).
The controversy occurs because content owners get greedy and try to bilk consumers. You buy a DVD of a movie but you can't use it when you travel overseas (region coding). You have to pay again to buy a new DVD when it's released on BluRay. Want to watch it on your iPad? Pay again! Want to stream it to your phone? Pay again! You're a Netflix subscriber? Don't try to watch those movies when you're traveling overseas! Until content owners offer a blanket, perpetual license to consumers, it will never be a balanced market.
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