299 posts • joined 28 Sep 2011
Re: The simple answer is usually the obvious one
You're all wrong. My extensive research in this area leads me to believe the screw is in a state of quantum flux.
The behaviour of screws and screwdrivers while superficially similar are actually different processes, the screw as has been frequently observed is driven by pure malice and will strive to hide itself in the most awkward place and if possible will cause pain when located and does employ quantum effects to relocate without passing through the intervening space.
Screwdrivers however employ dimensional gyroscopy where the turning action generates a force at right angles to the axis of rotation but as it is unable to rotate along either of the other 2 normal axes the force builds up until the screwdriver can not store any more energy and it moves at right angles to all the normal 3 dimensions which results in it jumping forward in time.
Re: The simple answer is usually the obvious one
Pah, it's not a vortex or invisibility as any fule kno, what screwdrivers exhibit is defocused temporal stability which means they can jump into the future so they reappear in the exact place you have already searched several times.
A bit before my time but I seem to recall the refrain was "Electricity too cheap to meter", that worked a treat didn't it.
There is no reason to be profligate just because we have high generating capacity, anyway replacing all generating with nuclear wouldn't work as nuclear is only really suitable for the baseline generation we'd still need near-line generators that can be rapidly brought on line to meed transient demand or to fill in when there's little wind, this can be done with hydro or gas both of which can go from idle to generating in a few minutes, to take coal or nuclear from idle to full capacity can take hours or even days.
Anyway generating with fusion is only 20 years away and that will really be a game changer, strangely fusion has been "20 years away" for the last 30 or so years but we'll get there eventually.
Re: More efficient when colder?
Considering that heat of chemical reactions expanding gasses is what makes internal combustion engines work
No it's not, the expansion due to heat does have a slight contribution but the main force is the creation of gasses by burning liquid fuel, gasses occupy a greater volume than the progenitor fuels and it's that change that drives the engine.
A steam engine does utilize the expansion but that's a phase change not just gasses expanding as they get hotter.
11 year old SLK 320 for 5% - Great car if you only need 2 seats and don't do a lot of miles, mpg is pretty dire but car is super comfy.
even tho it was well over 6 months past the 1 year warranty
As you are a member of the peerage I must assume you live in the UK in which case the statutory warranty is 2 years (the influence of those evil Europeans, dreadful isn't it) so they had to replace it.
For design faults there is no limit to the age where the responsibility lies although some common sense is employed here.
Strangely few US based suppliers make it obvious that there is a statutory 2 year warranty, tacitly encouraging consumers to believe in the US style 1 year warranty.
Re: As for testing...
Or somebody who handles playing cards coated with nitro-cellulose (admittedly a bit rare these days but still extant) or a heart patient with a bottle of "Nitrolingual" (a mixture of ethanol, a few micrograms of nitroglycerine and a soupçon of mint oil) in his or her pocket or any of a dozen other potential false positives.
Another breakthrough from the centre for establishing the obvious.
So a single country with a population of over 300 million produces more programming than 20 or so countries with an average population of around 30 million and having to cater to half a dozen different languages.
In other news: Fire is hot.
Re: to the pub
"it's clearly in the wrong order and not very latin really."
Yeah, sorry about that but I learnt what little latin I do have from the Asterix books which when I think about it might not have been the most accurate source.
Re: Disk is a lot faster.
"The contemplated disk scheme is a very conservative RAID 1/0, and is still massivly cheaper than tape."
Absolutely, if you have a few hundred tapes. However if you have a few hundred thousand tapes the economics change.
It does happen, I used to work for a well known telecommunications company in one of their many data centres and we had well over 1/4 million tapes spread between on and off site stores. There were also about 20 cassette loaded drives (12 tapes per cassette) and 7 sodding great robotic libraries (1 stand alone and 2 interlinked clusters of 3) each with lots of drives.Really we weren't as interested in speed as data integrity so we just made do with lots of duplication but that also did help the speed of data retrieval.
We never had any problems with "the logistics of the tape-handler robots getting very ugly very fast" in fact the robotic libraries were a treat to work with, just load and forget (every bloody day), better than the cassette drives that ask for the cassette of tapes to be changed every hour or so. Got to have something for the tape monkeys to do.
It is rather generous but I suspect it includes controllers, cases, power supplies, cabling, replacements, an area within a building to stick it all, air conditioning, electricity and labour spread over a 10 year time scale. When you include all the costs over several years it is not a hugely excessive estimate.
Considering just the purchase cost of the hardware is rather naive.
Re: Disk is a lot faster.
You do realize that tape can be striped as well, totally negating your argument?
Also you'd need some backup for the backup if you were spreading a file over 200 drives and that way madness lies.
“This [Flape] combination of technologies when used for long-term archiving can save IT departments as much as 300 per cent of their overall IT budget over the course of 10 years.”
I spent some time seeing if I could come up with an even stupider way of saying "could save up to 30% of the budget" but failed, well done those chaps, good work but terrible writing skills.
Learn from history, or not.
"Legislate in haste repent at leisure"
Except this bunch of maniacs wouldn't know how to repent.
ad astra et ad taverna
(To the stars and the pub)
An ACME product?
Bloody clever of course but the name! Sounds like something Wile E Coyote would buy from ACME.
That's All Folks....
Re: Patent This!
How about instead of one spinning screen, have three (or more) transparent screens in front of each other with gaps between them, have the background on the rear screen the foreground on the front screen and everything else on the middle screen. No idea how to prepare a suitable image, I suspect they'd need some of those computer thingies to work out what's what.
Not full blown 3D of course but would give an impression of depth and perspective without having to spin something up, mind you to make this work I think the screens need to be more transparent than these early iterations.
Possible scientific merit
The beer outside the payload bay simultaneously boiled and froze
Never occurred to me that beer would have a triple point, determining that could be of some interest, I wonder if I could get sponsorship to find the triple points of a number of ethanol based beverages - There must be a good reason to do this apart from the necessarily comprehensive before and after taste tests.
300 American Dollars which will probably translate to 300 real English pounds or 300 of those big chocolate coins used on mainland Europe.
I know Apple users are gullible, but are they that gullible?
Re: We need a bigger shovel
No, there may be slight technical difficulties with the time machine bit, the trick would be to drill down, you're bound to hit high pressure magma eventually, as soon as you hit magma run away (very fast) and then wait for a while, perhaps do a bit of guiding the lava with fire-hoses possibly even squirting liquid nitrogen for rapid cooling. After all, what could possibly go wrong?
It's good that Google have offered to pay. It will be appreciated by the people concerned and probably go towards patching a hole in the fire station roof.
Yes I was being rather mischievous and I'm certain that Google will pay the full amount.
I'm also sure their accountants will consider it a one-off extraordinary expense that can be written off 100% against tax so tell me, who is really paying for it?
"promised to recompense emergency services for their time and effort"
No too specific are they? "Recompense" could mean anything from paying the full cost of the exercise to sending the participants a token (tax deductible) gift of some kind, I hope those chaps (and chapesses of course) enjoy their free Google tee shirts.
Special Friday Google related bonus quiz:
Q: What's the difference between cynicism and pragmatism?
A: What do you mean "difference"?
Re: better still
Just what you need for a mountain top observatory, lot's of radioactive rocks to cut down on the heating & lighting bills.
Using a fuel cell to break down ethanol then using the power liberated to turn an electric motor is not significantly more efficient than burning the ethanol in an ICE to get the motive force also the materials needed to make fuel cells are expensive and get spoilt quite quickly so a fuel cell would probably have a far shorter life span than a ICE.
Heart patients will often carry nitrolingual spray, which is just harmless nitroglycerine dissolved in tasty ethanol with a hint of mint oil. This stuff burns like petrol and without the mint oil could be a possible petrol replacement.
Re: " + the surname Thorpe."
AFAIK the reasoning behind the name octothorpe was that it 'looked' like a village surrounded by 8 fields.
Frank Muir: Well that sounds so attractively plausible I'll have to say (shuffles around desk for card), Bluff!
Robert Robinson: And you Patrick?
Patrick Campbell: W,w,w,well in that era they'd p,p,p,probably wouldn't use the prefix octo, it'd be hectothorpe so I'll have to go along with Fr,r,rank on t,t,t,this one, Bluff.
And so on until the Beeb canned Call my Bluff.
Rubbish software for Nooks
I bought a Nook HD+ last year when they dropped the prices and it was probably one of the best purchases I've made for a long time however the software they provide to browse their bookstore program is total crap, you can search on broad categories such as "Science Fiction" and there are some further sub-divisions such as "Space Opera" and the results are shown 24 to a page with no way to sort or save your place so a list of 40,000 books has to be viewed sequentially in no discernible order.
I guarantee nobody has ever made it past page 10 of 1,600 and they wonder why they don't sell much, curiously their web site does have some "sort by" options.
Re: Lord Sumption
And his wife would be Con short for Connie, "Lady Con Sumption" has interesting connotations (Lord Notation is another one)
Life, don't talk to me about life!
Let's hope it has a hackable or open API, it would make a splendid GPP prototype to emulate Marvin however I think there was a slight spelling error, this thing has has a brain the size of a plant, and a really small one at that.
When a poacher is given a job as gamekeeper he is normally expected to give up the poaching, not in Russia it seems.
How will it pay the toll over the Severn Bridge
This is Google we're talking about, they already know everything about you so taking the toll directly from your bank account (plus 5% handling charge) would be trivial.
Of course the guided coin cannon might be tricky, alternatively arrangements with the toll operators shouldn't be impossible, but less entertaining.
I can see these becoming common for town and city use but for rural and motorway journeys I'm not convinced.
My main worry is of legal responsibility, say you have a "platoon" of 20 cars hurtling along and one somewhere in the middle has a catastrophic blow out, with the between car distances proposed I don't see how the following cars can avoid a mighty smash-up which would invariably spread into the other lanes, a huge disaster that insurers will not be keen to pay as with no driver in control ultimate responsibility is hard to apportion.
Re: Slap 'em with a small fine
What, per book sold?
explain what "Off-Axis" means in this context
Ejections from rotating bodies tend to occur from the poles like a pair of searchlight beams, on-axis means being in line with one of the poles and getting washed with whatever is sprayed out.
Not just Li
Lithium batteries don't just contain Lithium so while there may be no shortage of Lithium the same is not necessarily true for all the other elements required. There are many different chemistries of Li battery some use Chromium, some Vanadium, others Silver, Cobalt or Manganese for the cathode or electrolyte and there might not be quite so much of these elements.
Re: Space is big. Very big...
More than 100 billion galaxies
That's the "observable" universe the debate over is the universe finite or infinite is still unresolved, if the universe is infinite then other life is guaranteed, even if it's just a duplicate of us.
"A duplicate?" - It works like this: there are only so many ways to combine atoms to form a galaxy, it's a big number, very big, vastly incredibly big, but it's not infinite so in an infinite universe there must be another Milky Way galaxy with another Earth and another George W. Bush - damn, it's not all good then.
Personally I doubt if the universe is infinite because of the Pauli exclusion principle, but that's a whole different barrel of quantum weirdness.
Re: Password strength
It check all the words in dictionary and Celebrity names.
Pairs and triplets.
all the words in the dictionary? quickly? Maths again I'm afraid, my spellcheck dictionary has over 100,000 words but let's say a password centric dictionary has just 20,000 words that gives 8,000,000,000,000 triplets and 400,000,000 pairs but it's worse than that as each word needs an all caps, all lower case and lower case with a starting cap versions, then number prefixes and suffixes means for just that lot at 1,000,000 guesses a second would take about 15 years.
To have any chance of working in a reasonable timeframe you'd want to limit the dictionary to 2,000 to 3,000 words max (2 to 7 hours using the same assumptions). So that's a few hundred celebrities, a couple of hundred common names, stuff likes signs of the zodiac, towns and cities, names of sports teams, lots of swearwords and that leaves space for about 1,000 to 1,500 common words. With a little common sense it should be trivial to think of a password that's reasonably resistant to dictionary attack. It helps if you can't spell properley (sic).
A dictionary attack might want to try substituting zeros for O's ones for l's etc - I couldn't be bothered to work out what proportion of words on average have letters suitable for substitution but I'd imagine it would probably double the time taken.
Really unless you use a really stupid short password the chances of it being guessed are pretty slim, after stupidity the dangers are mainly:
1) social engineering where you are coerced probably unknowingly to disclose your password or reveal enough for someone to make a good guess.
2) multiple use of the same or similar passwords for disparate purposes.
3) theft of login database contents.
As for writing the passwords down, yes absolutely, if someone has gained access to wherever you keep them then your passwords are probably the least of your worries.
You would think a 16 character all upper case password would be weak, very weak. But look at the maths, before trying all 16 letter combinations a black hat would need to go through the 15s, 14s, 13s, 12s, etc down to perhaps 4 characters.
There are 43,608,742,899,428,874,059,776 ways to arrange 16 upper case letters so even if the password was AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA (pretty stupid huh?) the attacker would first need to eliminate all 1,677,259,342,285,725,925,376 15 letter combinations which at 1,000,000 attempts per second would take just over 53 million years. (and 2 million years for all 14 letter jobs and so on).
Plainly this is not a problem one need worry about, the real dangers are social engineering and use of the same password for several purposes. Also anybody who writes a login which allows unlimited rapid password guesses should be taken out and shot.
Having said all that there is no reason to ever use weak passwords and ones with real words like "bestjetpilot" can be found with dictionary attacks that utilize multiple words.
The real danger is from hash list cracks where if the hash method is known it's easy (if time consuming) to build a database where you generate millions of hashes and store every unique hash and it's progenitor password. Then if your black hat gets a stolen list of hashes all he need do is look up in the database for a match, the password will probably not be correct but if it makes the same hash it will be accepted.
Re: Delusions and Dreams. An Economic Know-Nothings in the FT
the successful answer to a problem of too much debt is very unlikely to involve more debt.
If the borrowing is used to service existing debt then you are 100% correct as that just leads to a death spiral. However borrowing to spend on infrastructure puts money into the economy, generates employment in construction and construction supply industries and if managed correctly is a way to climb out of debt - it worked for the US in the 1930s with massive infrastructure projects like the Hoover Dam which was started in the depths of the Great Depression.
Of course the key words there are: "if managed correctly" which is unlikely given the calibre of politicians these days.
German accent don't you know:
Light Amplification by Ztymulated Emission of Radiation.
Re: You are living in The Twilight Zone!
With impending sponsorship, welcome to "The Twiglet Zone" where everything is mysterious and too salty.
Re: Do you really see the ads anymore?
I don't know about you but I no longer see the ads anymore
Me too, so much in fact that when a site I visit had some important information displayed in a style resembling a banner I just couldn't see it, my brain thing considered it an advert so told my concious mind thing to ignore it, so much so I phoned the company to find out the same information.
So a word of advice to web designers, don't use advertising conventions to convey important information.
Re: "Memory Stick"
I always thought the correct term was "FMST" as in:
"Where is that Fucking Memory Stick Thing?", an oft heard refrain.
"Begs question why they can sell these Chips so cheaply in a USB Shell, and yet demand so much more when you lob on a few more of these things in parallel on a 2.5"/3.5" form factor."
Probably because the chips in sticks are cheap slow devices while in SSDs they are pricier fast high duty cycle devices, also because they can charge more, got to make some profit somewhere.
Re: Good stuff
Somehow I doubt if this will fit on a single floppy disc like the original Elite did, I suspect a game that needs a truck full of discs for the universe might not be hugely popular. Otherwise a great idea.
Re: re. mirror
The trick with mirror armour would to have layers of tiny corner reflectors which would send the beam back to it's source before ablateing.
Shiraz is not to all tastes, for Essex "Chardonnay" might be better, The City would flock to "Krug" while the US equivalent would be "Krystal", the Home Counties would relish a version called "Burgundy", the possibilities are endless!
Re: But why are we translating it literally?
The derivation of "Bees Knees" is simple, it's a corruption of "Business"
Can Tor be trusted anyway?
The Onion Router:
The term "onion routing" refers to layers of encryption - Layers, geddit? Somebodies been watching too much Shrek.
But who were the notorious anti-establishment anarchists who created this beast I hear you ask.
"Originally sponsored by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, which had been instrumental in the early development of onion routing under the aegis of DARPA"
Hmm, not exactly the freedom and openness promoting entity one might hope. Given Tors provenance I'm reluctant to trust it 100% and am amazed that anybody else does either.
"We can simply deactivate the key from a lost or stolen device, and you can create a new one."
So that would mean chopping off a finger and growing a new one with a different fingerprint, to the best of my knowledge mammals can't do that, reptiles can. Perhaps David Ike was right all along.
Re: I guess Apple needs to
"Kind of explains why Apple customers are are higher educated.............."
There is no rule saying a fool cannot be well educated and there is no shortage of rich idiots. Education is NOT the same as intelligence.
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