385 posts • joined Thursday 14th June 2007 11:42 GMT
Re: What will Planet Earth's attention span be?
You ask, "[What] is going to happen to those poor bastards when [...] the necessary endless succession of re-supply ships stops rolling in?"
That's entirely the point of establishing pilot Mars colonies: that they become self-sustaining. The intent is that the need for constant resupply reduces to the point of occasional shipments providing things like medical supplies, raw materials not easily available on Mars (many can be scavenged from the lander) and extending the equipment manifest to improve autonomy.
Much of the current research and mission design is targeted around what is needed to achieve this.
Delighted to see Surrey Satellite as the TV relay partner - a great bunch of people.
The proposed water collection and purification experiment may possibly be the most important ever done on Mars. We can learn all we can about whether there's some form of primitive or microbial life now, or in the past, but these tests will tell us the most profoundly relevant fact of all: can humans survive there?
...come up to the lab and see what's on the slab.
I see you shiver with antici...pation.
But maybe the brain is really to blame.
So I'll remove the cause but not the...radiation...
-- Señor Frank N Furter (on a bad night)
And let's think about the planet for a moment...
That supergiant - assuming it's a gas giant, which seems reasonable - is about a seventh of the mass necessary to collapse and undergo stellar ignition, according to a recent research paper, which puts the tipping point at about 75 Jovian masses.
Re: Are there any guides in electronic format?
I'm afraid it doesn't work quite like that, Austhinker! There's a number of groups of fungi types that are visually very similar, and can only really be distinguished by spore print, and microscopic examination of spores. (To get a spore print, leave a cap, minus stipe, on a piece of card that's half-black, half-white, under an upturned bowl, overnight. Then carefully lift away the bowl and cap, and you can see the spore print on one half or other of the sheet - so long as you've made sure there's no breeze to disturb the spore pattern.) The problem is that, in several of these groups, there are both eaters and deadly poisonous mushrooms.
A portable guide would be handy to help novices identify the most easily distinguished eaters - the ones that can't be mistaken for harmful fungi - but it would be no good for taxonomy of the majority of look-alikes, and could lead to tragically incorrect identifications.
In France, every pharmacist has training in mushroom identification, and provides a free service, checking trugs of fungi for safety. Sadly, here in the UK, we're not so blessed.
Welcome to the ranks of foragers!
Hey Lester - delighted that you decided to give foraging a go, after we'd nudged you a bit. :)
A few years ago now, my wife and I were visiting some ancient monument in Derbyshire when we spotted a gap in a chain-link fence nearby. Well, you've got to explore, haven't you? So we did, and ended up in a narrow defile of a valley. It looked like one of those improbable pictures in a mushroom textbook! All it needed was little numbers next to each clump of mushies. We counted about 35 different varieties, of which six were definite eaters, and a couple were delicacies. Oh, and one or two that would have sent you to your own private world for a few hours...which is why we reckon the chain-link was beaten down...
Coding's an essential life skill
Sure, if burger-flipping - or, apparently, writing clue-deprived op-ed pieces in the Torygraph - is your bag, that won't matter. But here's the thing: we teach our kids chemistry, geography, history, and much more like this. How many of them will become professional chemists, geologists or archaeologists? They're far more likely to end up doing some degree of coding at some point than any of these professions: programming is becoming a life skill. And yet - chemists need to create molecular simulations; geologists model stratigraphy for minerals discovery; archaeologists work with and understand geophysics plots, and process aerial images for suitable sites. If we don't train children to treat programming as a natural go-to skill (pun unintended) for solving problems, we tie one hand behind their back, and put a mitten on the other.
It seems ironic to call an Ubuntu distro "Trusty"
after Canonical started having Dash send its local search results back to the Mothership for monetisation...without bothering to let anyone know first, or get an opt-in.
Re: Move along, nothing to see here!
@AC - I work in satellites. As I'm posting under my own name, I can't discuss details like specced SEU or safe mode event frequencies, except to say that we certainly do a lot of defensive coding to prevent disruption, and to recover from more serious events without more than minimum downtime.
Move along, nothing to see here!
Going into safe mode is nothing unsual for spacecraft. In a harsh radiation environment, they're subject to frequent "single event upsets" (SEUs). Well-written flight software detects these, and either repairs the damaged data if possible (by "voting" between redundant copies), power-cycles the affected system if not, or - in more substantial cases - having the safety processor drop the whole system into safe mode, from which the subsystems can be brought up, one by one.
As I think I predicted in an earlier posting here, the Sun's rather weedy "solar maximum" in this 11-year cycle has turned into a double-peak, with a lot of activity in the past few days. Click on this link to see an animation of the GOES X-ray images for the past 24 hours. It's quite impressive at the moment.
I wouldn't be remotely surprised if Juno hit the edge of a small solar storm and was briefly incapacitated. I'd be astonished if it was due to the efforts of the radio hams saying "Hi!", though!
> > [ ] Great signal reception
> > [ ] Excellent data rates
> You may want to have a word with your network provider about these.
Thanks, but when other models on the same network have no problems acquiring and retaining a good signal, have less drop-outs in conversation, and can sustain a higher and more stable data rate, the numbers speak for themselves. I'm an Android developer. I routinely carry three, maybe four, phones (from the roughly ten I have) when I travel, so that I can do comparison tests. The comparisons don't favour the HTC One.
> Since when has any mobile phone come with a headset worth talking about (or with, for that matter)?
The HTC One comes bundled with a Beats by Dr.Dre headset. It's one of their selling points. Whilst it was working, it was the best-sounding bundled headset I've ever used, by a country mile.
So all that's left to tick is:
[ ] Great signal reception
[ ] Excellent data rates
[ ] Compass that doesn't fail after two weeks
[ ] Headset that has more than one button
[ ] Headset that survives having the cable rolled over once by an office chair
Because mine certainly hasn't got ticks in those boxes, I'm sorry to say. It's a great device in all other respects, but they forgot the "phone" part of it when they were designing.
The article isn't differentiating between the GNU Hurd kernel and the GNU Toolkit (the Unix-compatible command-line programs and gcc compiler). Together they comprise GNU. The distinction between the two is important. Hurd itself - which promised much, and delivered little and far too late - is now more-or-less rendered irrelevant by the upstart Linux, but the GNU Toolkit runs on Linux and many other systems.
And a little historical point: the article says: "By 1991, the GNU team had written enough useful stuff to encourage volunteer developers to port the GNU sources to Linux". This is not incorrect, but, in fairness to Stallman and the FSF, the GNU Toolkit was mature enough as far back as 1986 that it was a complete and usable product. At Acorn, I did the world's first ARM port of the GNU Toolkit, onto the BSD Unix kernel. It wasn't exactly trivial, not helped by some truly dumb coding techniques* in parts of the Toolkit, but the result was eminently useful. Fortunately, the code quality in the GNU Toolkit has improved a lot since then!
(* For C fans: using chars as negative indices from the ends of buffers in EMACS didn't work out so well when ANSI allowed the signedness of chars to be a compiler writer's choice.)
Don't worry about it!
The NSA and GCHQ will ensure that the crypto's flawed and, as soon as the weak points are discovered, it's back to the usual free-for-all. See, they are working for our benefit after all!
Re: Not a huge surprise
No, they're maintaining life-critical services. And if Yellowstone goes pop, it's going to be critical for quite a lot of life...
Not a huge surprise
Mars' surface has had a pretty turbulent past - and I'd always thought that "crater" did look more like a caldera than an impact site - and not just that region, either. Orcus Patera looks to me like an eroded rift caldera.
A lot of reports mention Yellowstone as being an ancient supervolcano. That is is, but don't presume that ancient means extinct. It's far from that, and by most measures it's overdue another eruption.
Doesn't need TOR-cracking abilities
It's easy to make woo-woo noises and be scared of the NSA for tracing the server, but that's probably not how it happened. Once the Feds had enough information to identify Ulbricht - and he certainly doesn't seem to have been too discreet about it, if the testimony's accurate - they would have subpoenaed his financial records, worked out to whom he was paying hosting fees, and then followed due process in/with the host's country to track down the server itself. This is standard policing, not über-spookery: "Follow the money."
"Good value on a night out down the pub"?
Certainly lively enough. If he offers to shoot pool, ask which gun he's planning to use!
...and how can we - or McAfee, for that matter - know that the devices haven't been government-compromised during production? (By China, USA,... take your pick.)
Re: Commercial fusion may not be as far away as you think
I could probably generate 100mW with a few lemons and a handful of zinc and copper nails! Don't think that'd need a shipping container, though!
Commercial fusion may not be as far away as you think
In rather a surprise move, Lockheed Skunk Works has announced a demonstrable 100MW fusion plant (the article mistakenly writes "mW") , shipping container-sized, in four years' time, with commercial production within another four years. That means they've already solved the big problems, and they're going after the final tweaks. Now, we all remember Fleischmann and Pons, and all that, but this is genuinely promising: you don't get to make an announcement like that without Board buy-in.
If - and I emphasise "if" - they have pulled it off, this changes everything. The amount of radioactive waste generation will be orders of magnitude less than fission, it uses comparatively cheaply-obtained hydrogen isotopes, and it's fail-safe.
I was going to post almost exactly the same thing. I should imagine that the haemorrhage of seniors will stop just as soon as Ballmer and his "kill-the-rivals" strategies are out of the building. Some of the more talented ex-MSofties might even consider returning, once his death-grip's off the tiller, to help direct the ship off the rocks to which she's presently bound.
It's a phone
So what're the call quality and signal strength like? Is Windows Phone well-implemented, or are there glitches? How responsive is it? What are the bundled apps? (Other than imaging ones.) Is it something that you'd be happy using as a phone all day, or is it just a camera with some RF attached?
This is not a phone review, it's a camera review. OK, it's got an interesting camera. Got that. Given that I'd be using it for taking pictures maybe once a day, and as a phone *all* day, I know little more about what it's like in practice than before I started reading the article.
Perhaps the article's title should have mentioned that it's what Americans - and only Americans - think.
To be fair, IT Hack, the full answer might involve commercial secrets. AWS does try to be as open as possible about outages and their causes, particularly when the information might benefit the wider community, so that's the only reason I can think of - apart from embarrassment - why they might not want to spill the details.
One little typo fix, by the way.
I meant to type "My Little Jony", but Ive no way to fix the original post.
Re: What is left to do?
Well, how about:
1. One-charge-a-week battery duration under normal workloads. I'll accept two charges at a pinch;
2. Highly reliable signal reception - because modern smartphone makers seem to have forgotten that phones rather rely on getting a signal;
3. A slimline pop-out keyboard, so that (a) you don't lose half your screen real estate when typing; (b) you can actually use your phone/phablet as a laptop replacement for a lot of the time;
4. The return of the microSD slot.
And, yes, some of these will mean the case will no longer be razor-thin. I can live with that. I never needed to slice cheese with my mobile anyway.
When - and only when - manufacturers get these things right, it'll be worth returning to the added-gewgaws arguments.
Should have called it iPhone5TDS
...because retreads of the iPhone4 with little tweaks (fingerprints; My Little Pony-inspired UI) are getting seriously TDS. (Say it out loud!)
Apple - you used to be innovators! You used to be exciting! I used to respect your market-leading engineering and ideas generation, but now you're just monetising what you've got, without adding much in the refreshes.
C'mon Apple, you can do better - far better - than this. Even the die-hard fans are getting bored. No queues around the block this time for the iPhone5, I suspect.
Let me get this right: Apple claims 64bit apps will run more efficiently than 32bit apps. But that also admit 32bit apps will run more slowly because of the 64bit framework. So, when Apple compares 32bit to 64bit, are they doing so on the same platform? After all, if you slow down 32bit enough - whether or not deliberately - 64bit will be quicker.
My question, cutting through the smokescreen is:would a 64bit app running on a 64bit processor under 64bit iOS run more efficiently than a 32bit app running on a 32bit processor on 32bit iOS? Because without that, we don't know whether the shiny new A7's worth getting.
Sorry to hear it.
It's a testament to his skills as a flyer (and not without incidents) that he survived to die of old age! A remarkable pilot, a remarkable guy, and he'll be remembered fondly by many.
"Hewlett-Packard choked on Compaq"
Not half as much as it choked on Autonomy!
Not the thinnest; not the newest
Novalia (another Cambridge company) has been in the business of paper-printed electronics for some time. Their products are paper-thin, literally - way thinner than the 0.5mm of CSR's device - as the circuit and some of the electronics are directly printed onto paper using commercial offset litho printing.
(Disclosure: I'm a software/hardware consultant who talked with Novalia about working together, but I've not been asked to promote them, and get no benefit from the mention - they don't even know I've done so.)
We have initiated two hours of scheduled maintenance...
...followed by another hour of bowel-looseningly-unscheduled maintenance, and finally a pink slip handout to celebrate its successful completion.
We would like to apologise for the inconvenience...but for reasons beyond our control cannot do so at this time.
Don't really understand why this is surprising
Stars form through gravity-induced collapse of gas clouds, to the point where they are compressed sufficiently to trigger the start a fusion process. So the idea that extrastellar planets could form in a like fashion from dust clouds shouldn't be a major surprise to anyone. Clumping's an inevitability, since any dust cloud won't have completely even density, and the clumping process of anything heavier than fusion gases can surely only lead to protoplanet formation.
In fact, we're not just talking about rocky planets here. If the gas density in the cloud is too low to clump enough for fusion initiation (about 30-50 Jupiter masses for hydrogen, or 10-15 for deuterium), the same mechanism within gas clouds should result in gas planets.
Re: What did he expect?
@Dan He didn't create another account, and it's by no means clear that his original demonstration was with consent.
If you read his blog post, from which I drew the quote, you'll see that he posted to the timeline of someone who was (or is) at the same college as Zuckerberg attended. Whether or not with her permission is unclear, but, since he wasn't in her friends list, it's not unreasonable to suspect it was not.
The only responsible way to demonstrate a vuln like this is to use two mutually-unfriended accounts, both under the control of the tester. Far from being the only recourse left to him, posting to Zuckerberg's timeline was a publicity stunt by Shreateh, and someone with an IT degree ought to have the security nous to realise that it was inevitably going to backfire.
What did he expect?
Attacking the Facebook CEO's page? That was never going to end well.
In his blog, he says, "i has [sic] no choice than to post to Mark Zuckerberg's timeline". This is far from true. If he wanted to demonstrate it, he should have created a new FB account, and used that to post images into the timeline of his own home page, or onto that of someone high-profile with whom he'd agreed the stunt.
Wromg! Wrong! Terribly, horribly WRONG!
Tell you what, why not try to improve the efficiency of mercury delay line memory? Or ferrite cores?
Memory with moving parts belongs in the previous century. Just one small tap, and heads plough into platters. Motors fail. Stray magnetic fields wipe years of data. And they need power - lots of it.
Now they're trying to work out how to make the disks spin faster. That's going to increase the chance of platter failure due to internal mechanical stress. And you're still going to be waiting for the heads to traverse the platters, though, and for the data to arrive under the heads - just slightly less time because of the increased rotational speed.
In a world where SATA3 is considered too slow for the newest solid state memory, trying to speed up mechanical hard disks is a huge leap backwards. By the time they've got it to a commercial standard, I sincerely hope that the descendents of Winchester disks will be as obsolete as the drum memory that inspired their invention - and not before time.
What's not clear...
...is how the new devices differ from existing technologies in terms of write durability. Samsung talk about reliability, but this could equally well refer to whole-device failure: they make no assertions about the mean time before failure per cell based on number of write/erase cycles, and this raises my suspicions.
Re: DAB? I'll just get out of my car first...
Well, Ford's web site still has DAB as a £350 cost-extra for Mondeos, for instance - I checked that before posting. If they're rolling it out as standard, it hasn't hit their product marketing material quite yet, but it's a welcome advance.
We've been waiting for this for sooo long!
Here's hoping that the inventors don't drag the market by charging larcenous prices, and instead price it to become the dominant persistent memory model so fast that it makes flash obvious as the outmoded, clumsy, unrealiable technology it already is.
Re: But how much will it cost?
SATA probably will be far too slow. Expect devices direct-coupled to the board, on the address bus, perhaps with some cache RAM.
DAB? I'll just get out of my car first...
So - how many car radios handle DAB? Exactly. I'd bet that a lot of community radio's listened to in the car, but 95+% of car users don't have a DAB radio.
And that's the way it's likely to stay, for now. Few people are changing their car radios - not least because many of them these days also run the in-car displays, and users don't want to lose that. Even brand new cars don't have DAB: I just checked the Renault site, for example. Not one mention of it.You want a Ford Mondeo? DAB will be another £350. Fancy it? Me neither.
I'd love this to change. The extra range of stations is great, even if the "burbling water" in low signal areas isn't. But for the time being, the sensible place for community stations will remain the limited range of FM frequencies still being made available, and this DAB experiment is likely to remain just that - an interesting experiment.
I'm grateful to Limbaugh.
He's great at signposting the right directions in life.
No, really. Whatever Limbaugh says, do or think the opposite, and you won't go too far wrong.
Maybe if their supposedly fast cable data connections weren't so contended that it's like using a 2G mobile connection at peak times, they might retain more users?
Just a thought...
LOHAN shouldn't suck wet caps!
You've got a monster electrolytic capacitor on that module - but wet caps aren't a great idea in near-vacuum; they've a tendency to pop. For space hardware, we don't spec electrolytics, and replace them on COTS hardware with solid equivalents.
If it's being used for power storage and smoothing, which seems likely, you might want to work out a battery-based replacement.
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