26 posts • joined Friday 27th May 2011 09:57 GMT
Re: New Zealand Insurance
You're right. I had a drunken conversation about it a couple of weeks ago with some friends that had spent a few years out there, and they put me right after talking to them about it last night. When you mention "medical insurance", injury claims (both genuine and bogus) make up the lion's share of the cost of insurance in the uk. In NZ, you're only liable for damage to property should you choose to drive uninsured. However, because car insurance is not mandatory, my friends said that buying private insurance was really cheap compared to the UK.
There's no dunce's hat icon here, so I guess face palming at my own original post is the closest I can get!
Car insurance is such a racket in the UK now. I wonder what the overheads of private insurers in the UK are, having to advertise, pay shareholders, and subscribe to comparison sites which feature irritating opera "singers". In New Zealand, a car's road tax also gives it 3rd party insurance for anyone to drive, covered for by the government.
"So what we have here is not, as everyone is saying, proof that 3D printers can be used to make guns. It's proof that they can't, and that 3D printing at the moment is basically pretty useless."
I don't think you should write off 3D printing as useless, just because it can't meet the material requirements to manufacture a firearm. Perhaps in a few decades time, when prices come down, and material technology applications improve then some more lethal weapons could be produced. All of this is for nothing if you can't get hold of a bullet:
Most of the other things you've said; I agree with, however.
Will desktops still have the confusion between desktop programs and Metro "Apps"? Will we still be peddled software through the Microsoft store?
This is just the "start" of a lot of back paddling...
they should simply call each console the Xbox, and then retrospectively rename each generation of the old consoles as ex-box, ex-ex-box, and my favourite; the ex-ex-ex-box!
Paris, because she's third generation ex-ex-ex....
Open source isn't always free.
But investing in getting an open source solution to meet your needs and training staff to use it will save you a whole world of pain in the long run when compared to locking yourself into the vice of proprietary closed source alternatives that can withdraw support any time they fancy.
This is good news indeed.
I love the big Office 365 advert bars either side of the "Linux and open source is all you need" article. Shouty Shouty....
$385k per occupant?
Is that what they pay to keep the in-house engineers, or patent lawyers?
I bike 4 miles to work every day. I generally have to shower when I get into work, and then again when I get back from work. I suspect a 4 minute shower is of far more note than the rest of my commute. Society has higher expectations of personal hygiene than they might have done 50 years ago. Tramp symbol, because that's my girlfriend's opinion of / reaction to me every evening I get home.
Unfortunate that my taxes and student loan get taken straight out of my salary before I can ever get the chance to withold them based on my strict Mayan religious beliefts.....
Re: My Vauxhall (Opel)..
I guess I should clarify that my post was not a criticism of Land Rover Defender security. It was more the fact that there were criminal gangs operating around a regular destination for me that were stealing these vehicles to order that put me off the £5k to £10k Landy decision. The solution shouldn't be a race to the bottom of the
food car chain; but on the other hand, I suspect the police have quite a job on their hands dealing with such crime.
Piracy flag because you wouldn't steal a car.....
Re: My Vauxhall (Opel)..
I was considering buying a Land Rover Defender last year, and am glad I did some research on the landyzone forums. Turns out there's a whole section on stolen Landrovers with a huge amount of those in the Sheffield/Derbyshire area where my parents live. Thieves were using flatbeds to lift the Landys over walls and other cars that owners thought would block them in ok.
Needless to say, I decided to buy another £500 Punto Mk1 to replace my broken Punto Mk1. A full fuel tank constitutes 10% of the vehicle's value. I can park it up anywhere and have few worries about it. Same goes for the old bike I've had for the last 15 years. Don't drive something you can't afford to lose.
I want an iPhone 5 powered by a wind turbine! Then I'll never need to carry a spare battery....
Re: NASA - missing a trick here !
Something along the lines of:
"This planet is patented by Apple"
I know, I know it's Friday, I'm tired and I'll get my coat.
'Grats to NASA for a genuine technological advancement!
Re: Really dull comment re synchrotrons.
Synchrotron light sources, such as used in this study, are not atom smashers. However, atom smashers can be synchrotrons in the case of LHC and Tevatron, for example. Apart from that, I was going to post exactly the same thing, hence the upvote.
The big atom smashers grab all the headlines and news whilst synchrotron light sources (also called radiation facilities) can often be overlooked. The amazing thing about these installations is how you can have well over 50 beamlines tangential to the ring all conducting their own experiments around the one light source. It really is a fantastic tool for science and engineering and well worth a visit to see the wide range of research conducted with it.
Re: Lunar Lander
While we're talking about such games, you should give Lunar Flight a go. It's the spiritual successor to Lunar Lander brought into 3d land with nice graphics and avionics.
I bought it for a couple of quid in a steam sale and it's great fun.
Re: Risk Vs Reward......
That's a fair comment. It partly depends on what degree of dismantlement constitutes "an engine strip". I drive a '99 Punto Mk1 16 Valve, and have had to change the timing belt & coolant pump (routine every 45k miles) and a thermostat that failed open when I bought it. I've done 10k miles in 6 months since the purchase without any problems.
Before that, I had a '93 Punto Mk1 8 Valve, which was notorious for head gaskets made of gummy bears. At 100k miles, I had to change the head gasket on that car, along with timing belt, water pump, starter motor, oil sump and exhaust manifold. I picked up all the parts pretty cheap and was able to do all the work with a friend on my drive without needing a computer interface to the engine. 12 weeks after getting it on the road, my g/f wrote it off, so I decided to buy the 16 Valve Punto as I know how to work on them now, having made all my mistakes working on the old car. It really is amazing what living by the sea in Scotland does to my car's entropy!
Back on topic, however, I have several friends that like to buy newer cars packed with sensors and electronics. Some of them have developed electronic faults that they have to go to the official dealers' garage to diagnose; with a few cases where they couldn't even work out what was wrong after £100's of tests. Having spent time and effort maintaining after my own car, I've looked back at some of the dreadful jobs some garages have done on my car, and I dread the thought entrusting the care of a complex auto-braking system to cowboys like them.
This feature creep of compulsory extras will bloat cars to the point where they start to resemble a certain piece of Apple digital media software....
Risk Vs Reward......
Or, in this case: Complexity vs Benefit. Bringing a complex system into every production car within 2 years from the current status indicated by the article:
"A number of car makers offer AEB as an optional extra - Ford with the new Focus, for instance - but many don't even do that, and it's certainly not standard."
Let it be an optional extra for people that want to pay extra for it. Let them develop the system (iron out the bugs, dare I say it) for at least a decade before it's rolled out onto every production vehicle as standard.
Personally, I drive a '99 car I bought for £500 with 105k on the clock. Good fuel efficiency, and I can strip it down and work on the engine myself. Adding more systems has a greater effect on maintenance and fault finding than it does on the initial purchase price...
Orders of Magnitude
Interesting reading this artcle next to another Reg article in a similar vein today:
Samsung slams down $1.9bn for mobile chip fab
Don't get me wrong, I work very much more in the hardware/electronics side than the software side, but there are over 3 orders of magnitude between these investments. I'm going to upgrade my 10 year old Nokia to an S3 later this year, with the Android operating system a big plus point in my opinion. $500k is much better than $0, and I'm sure a _lot_ of software development is being funded outside of this. I only hope that Samsung continue to support Linux, and am sure that they give back to the open source community a reasonable portion of the benefits they reap from its existence.
A smiling Tux, because $500k has made him happy.
Re: "within spitting distance of the ISS"
Olympic sized swimming pools per second is the SI unit used to measure the rate of spitting, not the range.
Re: War of the Worlds
Buried fighting machines?
Why spend resources on constructing a tripod army only to bury it and wait (presumably tens to hundreds of thousands of) years before actually boarding them and conquering the planet later on?
Of course, nobody managed to find said machines buried through mining, geological surveys, construction......
For me, the book was classic sci-fi: You introduce one novel element and keep everything else believable. In WOTW, Wells merely introduces a technologically superior race of aliens exist on Mars. The rest then follows with their dying planet, decision to invade Earth, <spoiler> falling victim to bacterial infection, because that problem was solved a long time ago on Mars and hence forgotton about </spoiler>. Spielberg moved it more to the fantasy domain for my personal taste. The special effects were great (the attack on the ferry was a great re-imagination of the Thunderchild scene). But just too much family relationship rubbish thrown in there.
Plus, on all modern re-interpretations, they have to introduce shields to the fighting machines because modern weaponry would likely smash Wells' imagined fighting machines to pieces. Better to tell the story in the period in which it was written.
Still more believable than teaching a caveman to fly a Harrier jump jet that's been kept in pristine storage for millenia...
I don't get hung up about it. I mostly play Eagle Dynamics' DCS flight simulations these days. A full A10C 3D cockpit with every button and switch controllable combined with a decent stick, throttle and IR tracker vs Tom Clancys HAWX on the playstation. It takes hours to learn how to fly a full pc sim to get the most out of it, whilst you can pick up the likes of HAWX and immediately start blasting away. Both games have their merits and appeal to different people.
If console games happen to get released on a PC for £2.50 (Portal 2 and Lara Croft Guardian of light spring to mind), then I'll have a go, and usually enjoy it; I even bought an Xbox 360 controller for the likes of GTA4. If a "triple-a" much hyped game is console exclusive, then meh...
Console and PC are marketing different games to different people with a little bit of crossover. It's just that console games are better advertised in the mass media whilst PC games tend to be marketed through enthusiasts' word of mouth.
black helicopters for Black Sharks on the PC....
I think these figures would be much easier to visualise if you would kindly convert 10 to 20 decatonnes into something more meaningful like African elephants, or Portsmouth-sized Olympic swimming pools.
Could be a pretty good application here; Catan, for example. The main gameplay/board on the telly with private cards/items on the controller for each individual player. You don't get all the fiddly little bits that get lost under the sofa and save the time it takes to set up/pack up a traditional board game. Also handy for people like me that can't fit a massive table in the house.
Still, all down to pricing....