* Posts by Kernel

69 posts • joined 13 Nov 2011

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EU law bods: New eCall crash system WON'T TRACK YOU. Really

Kernel

Re: So this puts more ambulances on the road?

Well, if this had happened in one New Zealand city I would say the reason for the 3 hour response time would be that the ambulance was busy picking up ambulance service management types from the pub after a night out and delivering them home - vastly more important than dealing to the merely sick or injured, apparently, as the crew were told that the taxi job had to be completed before the call was handled.

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Sick of the 'criminal' lies about pie? Lobby the government HERE

Kernel

Re: Can we have full declaration of major ingredients too?

But then the pub would also have to admit that the beer is typically 95% water - and so far I've not found much support for that amongst my pub-owning friends.

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Globe-spanning SEA-ME-WE 3 sea cable feared cut, broken or ...

Kernel

Re: NSFW?

Ho hum, here we go again.

South East Asia - Middle East - Western Europe 3.

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Kernel

Re: later cables

Yes, the chances of one cable being laid over another are slim - for most of the ocean - but near popular landing points, especially in South East Asia, the cable maps show as fine a rat's nest of overlaid cables as you could hope to find anywhere.

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Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts

Kernel

I've spotted an excellent business opportunity

There's quite a successful pub that I frequent - I've decided I want a bit of that action, but rather than build my own pub with all the attendant hassles I'll just go along to the existing one and demand access to one set of taps to run my business from.

Works for me!

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Why did men evolve map-reading skills? They were PAID BY BONK - study

Kernel

Just a wild guess

but I suspect that in a real life hunter-gather society there is a very good reason for not being too keen on asking directions - anyone who knows the immediate area better than you is a likely to be a potential competitor and possibly even an enemy.

Common sense would suggest you don't go and deliberately introduce yourself to such a person.

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Rich techbro CEOs told to SLEEP ROUGH before slamming the poor

Kernel

It's very perplexing

I've never really been able to understand why those who were at school with me and left at the minimum leaving age (15), with no qualifications, shouldn't, 45 years later, be in the same financial position as myself.

Surely the 3 years of additional education and 42 years of on-the-job training, tertiary education and experience in my chosen field (not to mention at least another two weeks of classroom based training before the end of the year) have nothing to do with this obvious social injustice?

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Eye laser surgery campaigner burned by Facebook takedown

Kernel

Re: i don't want to sound unfeeling, but..

I agree - it's hardly a coherent argument against laser surgery.

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HOT WET ALIEN world discovered in constellation Cygnus

Kernel

Re: Cloudy thinking

It's only on this planet does the assumption that cloud = water vapour hold true.

Depending on the temperature of the particular planet in question clouds could be formed of a number of substances, such as hydrogen, methane, ammonia, nitrogen, even mercury in a vapour state - to name just a few.

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Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables

Kernel

Re: This article "glanced" over the repeaters

If you knew anything about submarine cables you would be aware that any fiber cable with an economic capacity doesn't have repeaters, they have amplifiers.

The amplifiers have no ability to extract any data from the analogue payload signal, they don't even know - or care - what the bandwidth of each wavelength is. The only signal an amplifier can interact with, other than making it louder, is the supervisory channel which terminates and is re-originated at each wmp - and that's on a separate wavelength to those used for the payload.

As for those who want to install a sneaky underwater tap - all the DWDM equipment I've worked that is suitable for submarine use has the ability to enable alarms that are designed to specifically monitor for un-authorised (by the cable operator) tapping of the fibers.

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Smart meters in UK homes will only save folks a lousy £26 a year

Kernel

Had a smart meter for a several of years now

The electricity retailer that I get my supply from fitted smart meters to all their customer's premises in the area several years ago - we, as consumers (not to mention the environment), are saving because they no longer have to employ people to drive around all day reading meters, plus, as a bonus, the electricity company no longer needs to hold a key to my home to get in to read the meter - and, if I have the urge, I can go on line and check my electricity consumption per hour, which has revealed that for about 22/24ths of each day a 1.5kW supply is more than adequate.

Interestingly, the lines company is now fitting their own smart meters to each point of supply, presumably so they can check that the retailers are owning up to the full amount of leccy they've on-sold to the end user, since there are multiple retailers in the area.

I'm also getting very close to pulling the trigger that will see the installation of a third smart meter at home - the one that will record the amount of power I've sold back to the retailer from the solar installation I'm considering installing.

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City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub

Kernel

RE: what I would like to know.

"is

"All in all, researchers found 17 previously undiscovered religious monuments"

How do they know that?

They were just as likely to have been pagan cannibals for all we know."

From the point of view of those who built these complexes, yes, these are religious monuments - the pagans are the ones who are doing the modern research on the remains.

I recall reading a book some years ago that mentioned rituals associated with the dead and visiting the bones on feast days (who wants to skip school today and go on a picnic with great-grandad?) - the author suggested that Stonehenge and similar monuments were basically charnel houses.

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Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?

Kernel

Re: Realism

"Scots, wha hae wi Wallace bled,

Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,

Welcome tae yer gory bed,

Or tae victorie.

I think that the Scots will surpise you."

Not as much as the English surprised the Scots at Culloden, which is what this little piece was written about.

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Google's so smart it's discovered SHARKS HAVE TEETH

Kernel

Re: And how the hell is there an electrical current in fibre optic lines?

Power feeding is the answer you are looking for.

There are optical amplifiers fitted to each fibre every 60~70km which require DC power to operate (50V per amplifier), so a positive voltage is fed from one end and negative from the other - a long cable may have 25kV or more applied across its ends. The power is carried by the copper tube surrounding the fibres. This tube is interrupted at each amplifier with 50V being dropped across each of the series connected amps - kind of like xmas tree lights.

One of the interesting side effects of this is that somewhere near the mid-point of the cable the voltage on the power conductor is zero relative to the seawater outside the cable. This means that if a shark or other agency does expose the conductor to sea it is sometimes possible to move the zero volts point by adjusting the power feeding voltage at each end. This stops (or minimizes) current leakage at the fault point, allows the cable to keep working until a repair ship is on-site and reduces galvanic erosion of the copper tube at the fault point, which can ruin km of otherwise good cable in fairly short order.

Unamplified (hence no power feed) cables are possible - personally I've worked on one of 235km - but require the use of Raman pumps at the end points and are likely to have capacity restrictions due to signal to noise compromises imposed by the lack of intermediate amplification. My understanding is that the maximum length for this type of installation is under 400km.

Sorry, no I wasn't there on the Apollo mission - just work for a company that does submarine cables amongst other things.

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Space station 'nauts will use URINE-FUELLED ESPRESSO MACHINE

Kernel
FAIL

I don't think so.

So what they've actually developed is a coffee capsule machine that works in zero gravity - not really got a lot to do with espresso, quality or otherwise, has it?

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Skype to become 'Star Trek' style real-time translator, says Redmond

Kernel

@Lee D

"Sorry, voice just isn't there. It wasn't there 20 years ago, it's not there now."

How true - I fully agree with you, no-one should put any R&D effort into anything until it's been fully perfected.

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550 reasons to buy this book for your beloved: COCKROACHES of Oz

Kernel

Meanwhile, here in NZ

"...you will never find a native Australian cockroach in your home - "

That's all very well in Australia, but here in NZ I have a constant stream of large Australia cockroachs parading through the house - big sods, with a yellow stripe down each side - from Western Oz I believe.

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Middle England's allotments become metric battlefield

Kernel

Re: Get a life...

"Feet and fathoms are much better than metres for nautical (and aviation) purposes."

Back in the days when I could still afford flying lessons, I seem to remember that weight was in measured in kilograms, visibility was measured in metres and kilometres, height was in feet and fuel and oil quantities were in US gallons and quarts (Cessna 152).

I seem to recollect a number of years ago that a commercial flight in the US, using one of Boeing's fine products, had to make an emergency landing because one of the pilots had mistakenly assumed the recorded fuel load was in Kg, whereas it was actually in pounds.

Incredible as it may seem, given the stakes involved, aviation appears to be the one field of human endeavor that attempts to cater for all measuring system preferences.

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Ad-funded mobile carrier goes titsup

Kernel

Re: Good while it lasted

Ye gods! - what sort of a backward system do you have over there?

When I changed from Vodafone to Telecom NZ last year I signed the paper work at lunch time and my new phone was up and running by 10 that night (and it wasn't my job to seek any sort of code from VF, either) - you've still got all of Friday to get that number ported, should be more than enough time.

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Chihuahua TERROR: Packs of TINY hounds menace Arizona

Kernel

Quite simple

They just need to release some pythons into the area.

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Mosquitoes, Comets and Vampires: The de Havilland Museum

Kernel

Re: Mosquito

I was able to see a Mosquito in the air during an Armistice Day fly-past in Nov., 2012 - an impressive aircraft, but for my money the best looking aircraft of WW2 would be the ME262.

The world's first operational combat jet, the only jet to see squadron service during the war, and as an additional plus it had a healthy speed advantage of the Mosquito, which would have probably seen the Mosquito become just another old aircraft if the war had continued.

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Google tells EFF: Android 4.3's privacy tool was a MISTAKE, we've yanked it

Kernel

Or you can root your device and sort the mess out yourself.

Running Android 4.3.1 (KatKiss 028 ROM) with Apps Advanced Permissons control, Adblocker to sort out those pesky ad-funded apps and Droidwall to sort any app that thinks it knows better than myself who gets to access the net from my tablet.

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New exploding whale vid once again shows true porpoise of internet

Kernel

Stinkers

I once read a book on the subject of commercial whaling, back in the days when real men stuck a sharp stick into the whale from a rowboat and then held on to the string with a firm grip.

It seems that sometimes the whale got away, only to die later from the wounds and, if it felt so inclined, at this point it would float around on the surface - often for many days. Occasionally a whaling ship would come across one of these 'stinkers', as they were known, and haul it in to reap someone else's just rewards.

The phenomena of a stinker exploding when poked at carelessly with a flensing knife was not exactly unknown, but it appears the crews were normally just too busy at the time to video it and post on Youtube.

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Another zombie 'bogus app' bug shambles out of Android

Kernel

Re: Easy fix.

You do realise that there are repositories of legitimate Android apps other than the Play store, don't you? - or perhaps not.

This isn't an Apple-like situation, where there is only one source allowed - downloading apps from somewhere other than Play doesn't automatically place an individual in the " retards that "shop" for warez" category.

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Slip your SIM into a plastic sheath, WIPE international call charges

Kernel

Re: A neat trick

Not necessarily true - last week I got a new phone.

On free phone plan, phone = $0, contract = 24 months x $49.00, total cost = $1176.00.

Buy phone outright = $299.00, same calling plan over 24 months @ $39.00/month, total cost = $1235.00.

Conclusion: do the maths - sometimes the obvious answer is not the correct one.

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Want to sit in Picard's chair while spying on THE WORLD? We can make it so – ex-NSA man

Kernel

"Make it so"

I suspect that the phrase that so many associate with Captain Picard, "Make it so", doesn't actually originate with Star Trek TNG.

The author Patrick O'Brian (1914~2000) puts it into the mouth of his Napoleonic era character, Royal Navy captain Jack Aubrey. The historical detail in the books of this series appears to be well researched, so I'm going to suggest the the writers of Star Trek adopted this from RN tradition, rather than inventing it.

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We made the iPhones, now we want OUR 'UNPAID' WAGES – student Pegatron toilers

Kernel

@ J G Harston

FFS! - did you even bother reading the article?

Repeat after me - "The student's issues have nothing what so ever to do with Apple, who are just one of their employer's many clients."

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Fibre system reach doubled in university study

Kernel

Re James 51

"Do submarine optical cables have repeaters? I can see how land based systems could be upgraded to take advantage of this but there might be a bit of a lag in adding it to global networks."

Modern submarine cables have analogue amplifiers as their submerged plant - they are protocol agnostic and so long as the signal fits within the amplifier's gain band they will work.

What this means is that in order to increase a cable's capacity you just need to replace the landing station equipment - and if you're lucky this might mean no more than replacing a transponder with a higher capacity one working on the same grid spacing (50GHz between lambdas) eg., replace a 2.5Gb/s transponder with a 10, 40 or 100Gb/s one.

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Bitcoin prices spike on Euro woes

Kernel
FAIL

@ Oliver Jones

"This won't stop with Cyprus, either - New Zealand is already considering taking similar action, and you can bet more countries will follow - especially when they can justify prior usage - and yet the frog still doesn't leap from the boiling water to save himself."

No NZ is not considering taking similar action - what is being considered is the possibility of putting legislation in place that would allow the action to be taken as a last resort should it ever be required - not quite the same thing.

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Ten smartphones with tablet ambitions...

Kernel

Please do you research

The Alcatel One Touch brand is owned by TCL Communications - it is not part of the Alcatel-Lucent group.

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Ad-titan Google blocks Adblock Plus in Android security tweak

Kernel
Thumb Up

Yep - works for me - and it'll work for my wife too, once her Nexus 7 is out of warranty and rooted.

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Shocked jocks' O2 calls crossed with Brummies, now everyone's cross

Kernel

Re: You still have landlines in England???

"But, yeah, "I ain't Spartacus" we had the same when I was a kid, about 50 years ago. I seem to remember having to press a button on the top of the phone for some reason to make a call...Often picked up to hear the other party talking."

If memory serves me correctly, what you had there was specifically an "R-party" line - two subscribers per line, each of whom obtained dial tone by pressing the button, which placed an earth on one leg of the line to obtain dial tone. The call was then held by the loop in the normal manner.

By ensuring each party drew dial tone by earthing a different leg of the line it was possible for the exchange equipment to determine which of the two subscribers had initiated the call, ie., each party on the line had their own line circuit relays in the exchange - this allowed automatic metering for the call to take place.

I think (conventional) ringing was applied one leg to earth, so you only heard ringing for calls directed to you.

The other party line type was the "M-party" line - 5 or 10 subscribers per line, dial tone pulled by a loop on the line, a single line circuit so no identification of who the call was initiated by, coded rings (morse coded letters) and every subscriber received every ring.

It's been a while (40 years last December) and those days seem a long time ago - but yesterday a 40 year service award fronted up on my desk, so I guess I'm luckier than most of the people I started with back in '72.

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South Koreans pawn shiny tech for stress-free loans

Kernel

The tricky part

I can see one potential problem with this whole scheme - when does ownership pass to the end user when you buy a cell phone on contract?

Obviously there is the potential for each country to have its own rules about this, but I can see that if ownership remains with the service provider until the contract is completed and the subsidy repaid (a common sense idea?) then the pawnbroker is potentially not holding any form of security for the loan at all.

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Don't like your cell network? Legal unlocking ends TONIGHT in US

Kernel

Re: Don't buy locked phones....

Actually, as far as I'm aware here in New Zealand any phone you buy is unlocked, even if it is on a subsidized contract - although personally I've always bought from non-carrier sources so I can't confirm that for sure.

Interestingly enough a friend has recently bought an unlocked, AT&T branded, Samsung from some on-line source.

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Telecom NZ slashes cost of unexpected journeys

Kernel
Happy

Re: "West Island"?

Stop complaining - many NZers consider there are three islands making up our country - North Island, South Island and Mouth Island.

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Galapagos islands bombed with 22 tonnes of Blue Death Cornflakes

Kernel

Re:Seriously ,though

Not only has this been done on some small islands off the coast of New Zealand, but just a few km from where I live there is an "inland island" - part of a mountain which has been surrounded with a predator proof fence and all introduced mammals within the area have been eliminated - rats, cats, stoats, goats, possums, pigs, dogs, etc. - in fact the only remaining mammals in the area should be two very small bats.

This area has recently had kiwi and other ground dwelling birds reintroduced to it - it can be done.

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WTF is... RF-MEMS?

Kernel

The problem with impedance matching

It's all very well to match the impedance of an antenna to a radio's input/output stages, but anything less than a resonant antenna of the correct length for the frequency in use will waste power in the matching system.

I can easily match the output of my 100W HF transmitter to one of my VHF whip antennas, but all I'm likely to get for my efforts is a hot antenna tuning unit.

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UK.gov tries to close site giving home addresses of badger cull figures

Kernel
Coat

If only we could

"you would have to kill every hedgehog, rabbit"

That way we'd only be left with wild goats, wild pigs, wild deer, stoats, possums and a few other small mammals to eliminate from the wild, after which our native bird life might start to recover.

Mine's the one with two small bats and no other mammals in the pocket.

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New Zealand issues Hobbit money

Kernel

"That means you could plonk them down on a Kiwi bar and demand a nice cold Tui* in return. You'd be mad to do so, however, as the coins sell for well above their face value."

If you're daft enough to order a Tui then you'd probably be daft enough to buy these coins - most beers produced by NZ's two big brewing companies are flavourless crap, probably because the use of hops and malt in their makeup has been cut to the absolute minimum.

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How hard is 3D printing?

Kernel

Re: Dave 126

"I'm with you, Conel... RP was my dissertation subject more than ten years ago, and I still can't think of a convincing end-use that justifies the hype it has attracted in the last few years (with no real advance in technology).

Objects are usually better if mass produced (the tolerances of injection-moulded parts are incredible) and if you want to customise an object for a person (a hearing-aid, for example) taking a direct cast of the body part is usually the better option."

What I'm thinking of is a combination of the two - some have commented on how fast their dentist can produce a new crown - what I'm hoping for is a complete 'while you wait' set of new gnashers, rather than having to wait a week or so and make repeated visits.

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Google acts against prostitution app after complaints from Congress

Kernel

What about the rights of

those of us who live in countries where prostitution is legal - shouldn't we be able to access an app that makes it easier for us to locate businesses we want to deal with?

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ITU suggests replaceable cables for power supplies

Kernel

"But using a physical USB connector for supplying a non-standard voltage and current is just asking for trouble."

Not really - the PSU supplied with the Asus Transformer range of tablets has a USB 3 socket on the wall wart - if it detects a Transformer it supplies 15V, fails to detect a Transformer the same socket supplies 5V.

The only trap for young players is that if you want to insert a USB extension lead in the middle it needs to be a USB 3 cable to support the Transformer detection process, otherwise you just get 5V out.

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All you need to know about nano SIMs - before they are EXTERMINATED

Kernel

RE: Re:Erm

"If you really want to terrify yourself look up Single Wire Earth Return for mains power distribution. I lost patience looking up what I am sure is the same technique used for early submarine telegraph cables, which I am sure used one conductor and an earth return. "

Power feeding for submarine cables is still done this way - DC positive fed from one landing station, negative DC from the other end of the cable and the cct completed via earth.

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NASA funds sexy, stealthy, sideways supersonic flying wing

Kernel

@ Chris Miller

"I can't think of the incident you describe, but I can easily think of two recent incidents (the landing in the Hudson and the BA 777 into Heathrow) where the presence of a human pilot led to the survival of all on board, when pure automatics would undoubtedly have left everyone dead."

It's even easier to think of a much bigger number of incidents where the presence of a human pilot, particularly one who refused to believe what their instruments were telling them, has lead to the unnecessary deaths of all on board.

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iCloud blows away 15 million users for 90 minutes

Kernel
FAIL

Re: Monday, US time

"Is that like Tuesday everywhere else?"

Certainly would be where I live - for most of the day, anyway.

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Boy wrecks £22k worth of MacBooks by weeing on them

Kernel

Re: £22 K?

Having early this morning had the opportunity to observe at first hand exactly how much wee a 7 week old kitten can contain, I have every confidence that an 11 year old child could quite easily contain enough to destroy an entire container load of laptops if he so desired.

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Ice Cream Sandwich gives Android mobes brainfreeze – Sony

Kernel
FAIL

Re: I'd give anything to go back to Honeycomb

"Mines fine, but then I'm running the official Asus update, not some romantic from XDA with added extra sauce/spyware."

I'm running the official version too - but it doesn't alter the fact that many people (including myself) are experiencing issues such as random reboots, shutdowns and the inability for the device to have an uptime greater than 72 hours.

I suggest you actually go and read some of the relevant forums before making uneducated guesses as to what the actual situation might be.

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BMW recalls 1.3m motors over fire risk

Kernel

Re: Could someone explain to me...

The wire doesn't necessarily have to be thicker - the same overall diameter of high strand count cable could achieve the same lowering of resistance as a thicker wire with fewer strands.

It's a 1/R(total) = 1/R1+1/R2+ ......... +1/Rn thing.

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LOHAN's fantastical flying truss menaces kiddies

Kernel
Happy

An unsuspecting child

The most likely thing for a child, either unsuspecting or suspecting, to be hit from above by is a chuck of 'blue ice', should they be foolish enough to be playing outside under the approach path at most of the world's airports.

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Foxconn won't sue over fabricated radio brickbats

Kernel

And the impact on Foxconn will be?

Foxconn is a Taiwanese company, not a Chinese one - if all the publicity results in electronics assembly becoming uneconomic in China, Foxconn are perfectly free to open plants in the Phillipines (or any other country) to carry out the work.

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