16 posts • joined 10 Nov 2011
That's not the only blooper. I assume El Reg's proof reader is having a few days off...
Like ISEE 3 before it
That space probe in the story is probably out of luck. Nobody will talk to it because NASA will have junked the "obsolete " hardware required to transmit a message decades before.
If it's really 2015 we're stuffed no matter what happens...
If blackouts are on the cards by 2015, no amount of pro-fracking hype is going to help as its mid-2014 now and it'll take a good few years to:
a) get permissions for exploratory wells in geologically suitable areas,
b) drill exploratory wells,
c) get sample data and analyse it,
d) if viable economically, attempt to get permissions and agreements for production wells,
e) if successful in d) build out infrastructure to support production wells (eg pipelines, distribution facilities, waste handling, etc),
f) drill production well sequence and start fracking.
Of course the extreme unconventional energy field a lot more than just fracking... you've also got Underground Coal Gasification and Coal Bed Methane proposals, all competing for time, resources and dwindling fossil fuel investment now that some big players are starting to divest from coal, oil and gas investments. We've dicked about so long over nuclear that its not going to have the first new reactor online until 2023 (just about ready to power HS2 in 2026!) and renewable build outs are constrained by cash, political power plays and the physics of low power densities.
Energy efficiency measures could have helped but again we've not been moving quickly enough on those as a nation. I think we'll probably find that those "accelerate" come the blackouts.
Non-GM blight resistant spuds already available
The use of GM methods to produce blight resistant spuds seems pretty pointless (not to mention expensive) given that the Sarvari Research Trust over in Wales have been breeding blight resistance in using multiple defence lines using conventional, non-GM techniques. Their Sarpo Mira, Sarpo Axona & Blue Danube varieties are widely available (I bought some from Wilkinson store in January for example) as there are no legal limitations to their sale in the Uk & EU.
I grew some last year & they grew well, taste good & store well. The only problems I had were that the slugs liked them too, and if allowed to grow on too long we got huge spuds but "hollow hearts".
Enterprise often means half baked
The marketing folk and salesmen seem to say "enterprise" when they want to stress something is rock solid reliable, scalable to large deployments and has a long supported shelf life. When we actually buy "enterprise" gear off them we often find its half baked code that needs multiple revisions to get it anywhere near stable, the scalability of their idea of "enterprise" doesn't actually match the size needs of our "enterprise" and support is a twisty maze of support calls all the same.
So if you're doing IT development or support for SMEs I wouldn't be too quick to run to spend cash you don't have on "enterprise" solutions anyway: they might not be as five-nines as you'd hope they'd be for the money.
So we've all got weak passwords stored in newer Cisco kit and they expect us to "gradually migrate to the new password type"? Jeez, thanks Mr Security!
Work bought me an Asus EeePC 1018P a couple of years ago, to replace a Libretto that I'd run into the ground. I don't drive and have to walk all over the site (and elsewhere) so something small and light that slips in a backpack with decent screen, keyboard and battery life and USB ports to run serial consoles were the main requirements. The 1018P has all these, runs Debian Linux like a champ (I believe it came with some version of Windows pre-installed but that got nuked from high orbit using the Deb installer the first time I turned it on!), and has a decent enough dual core CPU to make watching videos, etc perfectly possible.
For a network tech/sysadmin/programmer/webby chap on the move, a netbook like this is a definite requirement. I've tried tablets from various manufacturers (inc Microsoft's Surface RT) and the only one that comes close is the Asus Transformer, which seems to try to give you the best of both worlds. Now if it could just have Debian sneaked on there instead of Android....
The Leap Motion is interesting tech, but appears to only track hands/fingers. This hardly makes it a Kinect killer as the Kinect, when coupled to libraries such as OpenNI, can track multiple people as full skeletons. I guess it really depends what your doing though and what user input needs your applications have. The Leap might be great as a touch screen replacement for situations where you really don't want people to touch the screen (eg workshops where engineers have greasy, oily hands but still want to scroll through online manuals, control diagnostic software, browse pr0n sites, etc, etc).
Having Elon Musk on board must be a help for the company as well - there's an immediate and obvious tie in with wealthy folk buying Tesla EVs who may have properties with large roofs that can accommodate a decent sized solar panel installation with which to power the vehicle. Buy a Tesla - get a free SolarCity roof top power station thrown in to run it.
It does show the subsidies are a double edged sword though, especially if their withdrawal isn't planned and advertised well in advance (as the UK solar industry discovered last winter). And that doesn't just apply to renewables like solar and wind: the tax break subsidies for gas fracking announced by George Osborne may well stuff up that fledging industry as well if the multinationals get hooked on them and then suddenly have them reduced/removed.
A first year grad student getting a paper in Science? That's quite an achievement in and of itself!
If these guys are already all super-rich and don't need new investors for this venture, why are they bothering to tell people about it? One reason why folk like SpaceX big up their launches, etc is that it means that potential investors and customers can see that they mean business and potentially start giving them cash.
In the case of these guys surely it would have made more sense to keep it as quiet as possible so that they don't find that they've got competitors with red flags, or lots of Government folk trying their best to derail the plans early on? I can't see why they need a hype-event if they aren't looking for investors.
"Oh, and just in case you were wondering if Apple would ever cross a toaster with a fridge, they're probably not going to."
Yeah, right. I seem to remember that they weren't going to get into the record business either!
I'm one of those 170 million users and I do occasionally flick through G+ timeline on my phone to see what's happening with the few folk I follow there. But the fact that I got alerted to this Reg article by following a Twitter link might tell you something about my relative use of those two social networking systems. Twitter is part of my regular day-to-day net use, just like email. G+ is something I do at a loose end whilst waiting for a train when the Twitter feed is up to date.
Having said that, I'm beginning to see more folks and importantly organisations mentioning that they have a presence on G+ recently. This may be a case of "covering all bases" with the same material being posted to blogs, Twitter, Facebook, G+, etc or it could be more folk trying out G+ to see if it makes connecting with others easier/better/etc or it could just be a random blip and everyone will just carry on as before.
Re: No radioactivity?
From reading the AIP paper they did use deuterium and got a load of neutrons out. The aneutronic experiments are mentioned at the end of the paper, in the "bit we'll try next" section when they talk about using pB11 instead of DD.
If you find the homebrew vacuum exhauster doesn't work for whatever reason, you could always nip to your local preserved railway and see if some fool would let you attach your test chamber to the vac brake system on one of their locos.
I had my old laptop die on me a couple of weeks ago, so whilst on a temporary lash up awaiting my new replacement machine, I thought I'd try Ubuntu for a change and to see how "user friendly" it really is (I'm normally a straight Debian user these days, having switched from Fedora several years ago). I got the latest distro running and landed in Unity. I found it difficult to navigate round, couldn't work out how to move the launcher from the left hand side to and, as I actually needed to get some real work done, tried to find out how to switch back to a sane desktop. There were some folk saying that you could apt-get a package for a classic gnome experience but even when that was done it seemed awkward to use. So out came the Debian 6.0.3 netinst disc and back to the comfy I-can-get-stuff-done-now world of GNOME 2 based Debian.
When the new machine arrived, that Debian CD got some more action. And I'm not alone - a couple of the chaps at work have tried Unity and then gone back to older LTS releases of Ubuntu or other distros. I'm rather hoping that GNOME 2 is forked and we get a long term package appear in Debian for that.
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