* Posts by Palf

63 posts • joined 10 Sep 2012

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UK boffins: We'll have an EMBIGGENED QUANTUM COMPUTER working in 5 YEARS

Palf
Unhappy

Why do they keep torturing us with promises of a quantum computer? It's downright sadistic.

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Beyond the genome: YOU'VE BEEN DECODED, again

Palf
Pint

Re: A damn fine article

Hear, hear - kudos to the author. It's a massively complex subject and this is yet another baby step, and as such was heroically described.

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Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers

Palf

Nobody mentions space-based solar power, and you should

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space-based_solar_power

Launch costs will have to come down below $200/Kg for this to be viable.

Therefore railgun.

Thinking Big Picture like this will generate new industries that are of direct benefit to all of us.

In the meantime, aneutronic fusion is a desirable near-future goal - perhaps Focus Fusion will win the day.

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Ex-NSA lawyer warns Google, Apple: IMPENETRABLE RIM ruined BlackBerry

Palf

Well, first of all to that despicable little NSA shit - go boil your head.

These people have lost touch with reality. I wouldn't normally be concerned, except that they are doing it on our tax dollars to the tune of billions, and are seemingly immune from being axed as an institution. Where are the politicians with the balls to toss the NSA on the garbage heap? We did fine without them before. NASA or the health care system could use that money.

The thesis of this idiot appears to be that if there's data that they cannot snoop, then it's a terrorist network. That way lies a 1984 society. It is a price most of us are unwilling to pay.

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Trips to Mars may be OFF: The SUN has changed in a way we've NEVER SEEN

Palf

A web of solar-powered lasers for lightsail propulsion would be good. Crisscrossing the solar system. First Moon <-> Earth and then Mars <-> Earth. Can be pretty fast, and you don't need to carry tons of fuel, so you accelerate faster.

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NASA tests crazytech flying saucer thruster, could reach Mars in days

Palf

The elephant in the room is the inescapable fact, true for all propellantless drive ideas, that it is not only a perpetual motion machine, but that it can be made to generate free energy forever. This can be seen using very basic school physics. Constant input power generates constant thrust (it is claimed) and thus we get constant acceleration. Thus total input energy increases linearly with time, but output (kinetic) energy increases quadratically with time. It should now be clear that if you put this device on a wheel, there exists a breakeven speed above which free energy can be continuously obtained.

Therefore Shawyer is talking out of his arse when he says that the stored energy drops as the machine goes faster. Physics demands there be no preferred frame of reference, so pray tell, Roger old chap, how the cavity knows its velocity relative to its original rest frame?

I believe the thrust measurement is an artifact of induced patch charges. The only way to truly settle the debate is to do a space-based test.

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German government orders local CIA station chief to pack his bags

Palf
FAIL

If the Germans were serious, they'd toss out the American military bases. I know the people don't want them.

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Piketty thinks the 1% should cough up 80%. Discuss

Palf

Re: Some well made points

Iff a > b also

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NASA preps flying saucer ballocket flight

Palf

I get the LSD bit...

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Britain'll look like rural Albania without fracking – House of Lords report

Palf

The sun uses nuclear fusion and puts out 10^26 watts continuously. Just a hint.

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UFO, cosmic ray or flasher? NASA rules on Curiosity curiosity

Palf
Alert

Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy fame has posted an animated gif of the left and right NAVCAM views, showing that it's in one and not the other. Normally that would be the end of the argument, but not necessarily in this case. That's because we're looking at irregular terrain and the occlusion details differ between left and right cameras.

There's also the issue of simultaneity between the two cameras; then the left camera showing nothing would mean that the flash only began in time for the right camera to grab it.

Either or both of these caveats argue for Curiosity to live up to her name, and to get the hell over there and check it out. But this is NASA, so they won't.

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Final Windows XP Patch Tuesday will plug Word RTF vuln

Palf

I wouldn't put it past Microshaft to deliberately leak something damaging to XP into the wild.

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GRAV WAVE TSUNAMI boffinry BONANZA – the aftershock of the universe's Big Bang

Palf

Re: "expansion of space briefly exceeded the speed of light "

Coz it surfed on FTL spacetime. Whheeeeeeeeeee!

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Palf

OK - now we know that FTL spacetime expansion is real, it's time to roll our sleeves up and build that space drive!

Pass the hacksaw, Mabel...and careful with that axe, Eugene.

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Moon flashes Earth after getting pounding from MASSIVE meteorite

Palf

And this is why moonshine can be dangerous

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CERN outlines plan for new 100km circumference supercollider

Palf

What if there's nothing there except turtles all the way down...

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Elderly Bletchley Park volunteer sacked for showing Colossus exhibit to visitors

Palf

A way overpaid pompous arse, that Standen. Boot him out.

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Picture this: Data-wrangling boffins say they have made JPEGs OBSOLETE

Palf

Could a new video standard, superior to HEVC, be in the offing? If so, I'll work on it.

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NSA installed '50,000 malware sleeper cells' in world computer networks

Palf

The NSA have demonstrated beyond any shadow of a doubt that they are incapable of safeguarding the national trust - not to mention international good will. They should be disbanded forthwith. We did without them before. Accountability is a tenet of democratic government, and they spit on the idea.

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So, rocket boffin Dr Adam Baker: Will we live long and prosper in SPACE?

Palf

Rockets are so 1950s, someone said recently - and that's true. The going rate for launch-to-LEO is between $8K/Kg and $15K/Kg - say $12K/Kg average. The sad fact is that right now we have the tech to reduce that figure to less than $5/Kg and launch multiple times per day without destroying any hardware in the process. It's called a railgun, and for my money, it's the only worthy game in town. The ideal location is equatorial and uses a few Km of track for gee-hardened cargo launches, or over 100 Km for more sedate passenger launches. The US Airforce and Navy have been messing with this, but they are really only interested in making ballistic weapons, so they use insane energy densities - about 100x more than a commercial launch outfit needs. The principle is sound, and lacks only investment. Ecuador is a good spot - there are flat stretches leading to useful mountains to angle the launch correctly.

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So, Linus Torvalds: Did US spooks demand a backdoor in Linux? 'Yes'

Palf

Re: @ DJO Psudorandomosity

Too late. NSA hacked Americium-241 a decade ago. They found a backdoor into the weak force.

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Boffins: Earth will be habitable for only 1.75 BEEELLION more years

Palf

There's a ton of bollocks in that article. For one thing, in a lot less than a million years from now we'll be able to incrementally bump out Earth's orbit as far as we like. Or two hundred million? Makes no difference. That resets the clock to 6 billion years. Everyone relax :).

But there's something else. Neglecting other catastrophes, an entire galaxy is headed our way at breakneck speed - Andromeda. ETA estimated at around 4 billion years

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andromeda%E2%80%93Milky_Way_collision

We may need to get galactic before then.

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Elon Musk unveils Hyperloop – the subsonic tube of tomorrow

Palf
Thumb Up

I read the report and think that it has a good chance of success. It certainly puts the state-approved scheme to absolute shame, being cheaper to build (10x), faster (5x), cheaper ticket price (5x), safer, more energy-efficient, less environmentally demanding, quicker to build and quicker to board. I hope there are sufficient red faces in Sacramento this week (assuming that politicians are capable of experiencing shame) to kick them into action on scrapping that boondoggle they recently approved, which would end up costing not $68B, but more likely over $100B.

The aerodynamic control and the thermal issues may be problematic, but I see no technical showstoppers here. So let's get this show on the road!

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NSA gets burned by a sysadmin, decides to burn 90% of its sysadmins

Palf

Americans should petition their congresscritters to disband the NSA

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Curiosity team: Massive collision may have killed Red Planet

Palf

What can evolve in a billion years? On Earth, quite a lot. On Mars, maybe more.

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Tickle my balls, stroke my button and blow the fluff from my crack

Palf

I've been using a Logitech Trackman Marble for what seems like well over a decade, and don't want to switch. The thumb is the strongest digit, so natural for movement. It fits to the hand perfectly. And no scraping over a surface either - I detest scrapies.

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Google nuke thyself: Mountain View's H.264 righteous flame-out

Palf
Thumb Up

Re: VP9 may be in the same boat

Looks like the way forward is HEVC-DASH for mobile and thus for everything else.

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Palf
Thumb Down

Re: Bad timing last time?

The Chinese tried to counter H.264 (AVC) licensing with their own "AVS", which was basically a clone (what a surprise), and it fell on its arse. Earlier, Microsoft had tried the same thing with their own "VC-1" (also almost a clone) which fell on its arse. VP8 did too, as the article says. I therefore predict that VC-2, AVS2 and VP9 will all fall on their arses.

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Woolwich beheading sparks call to REVIVE UK Snoopers' Charter

Palf

Re: Here we go again...

I would say a little chat with their mullah is called for here.

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Honey, I BLEW UP the International SPACE STATION - in full 3D

Palf

Re: All this....

or a CGI-resurrected Patrick Moore discussing toad sexing. The possibilities with dead celebrities are endless

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IT bloke publishes comprehensive maps of CALL CENTRE menu HELL

Palf

Common shortcuts to get a human

are 0, 00 or saying "agent"

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Standard Model goes PEAR-SHAPED in CERN experiment

Palf

Re: Hmmm...

Like the Black Knight, I leap into the road and block your path leading to an attempt to confuse the Latin roots "before" (ante) and "opposite" (anti). You're not sneaking that one by us.

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Palf

Re: Sharing: Dream of Four-Dimensional State and Fivengtange-Dimensional State

Suddenly I'm back in the nineties in the early days of UseNet (sci.physics) with the Finn Hannu P, his amazing Space Potato and his little daughter who drew cosmic truths.

Apparently the guy is still going.

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PLAGUE of SEX CRAZED MONSTER GRASSHOPPERS to hit East Coast

Palf

Re: I see a new Syfy movie in the making....

Mutations - you forgot mutations. They need to be enormous and with those larger brains, group consciousness emerges and they all do something radical - like run for president or starting a company.

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So long, Hotmail: Remaining users migrated to Outlook.com

Palf

Outlook Express

KISS is my creed. That's why I prefer to open docs with WordPad rather than Word, detesting bloat and incomprehensible icon blizzards as I do. Same with email - for years, having had to leave my dear old Eudora (what a gal) - I've used Outlook Express and POP'd all my email accounts down into that. I like to have my email stored locally so it can't be lost, spindled, mutilated or distributed. I've had a Hotmail addy since the nineties, but because of the horrendous spam exposure I experienced, this got relegated to the junk exposure category, and remains my email slut up to the present day.

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AMD reveals potent parallel processing breakthrough

Palf

Re: Anticitizen#1

American logic: learning to shoot things is cheaper than providing its citizenry with health care.

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Palf
WTF?

Re: No more worrying about Graphic card memory

Yes - also it's unclear what degree of control the programmer has over CPU/GPU usage decisions. It would be nice to specify that compute-intensive inner loops be executed mandatorily on the GPU, for example. I get the impression that the GPU is auto-assigned only when the CPU runs out of puff, but that's just a SWAG.

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COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO: NASA rovers scrawl giant willy on Mars

Palf

I see Space.com is getting all snotty about this. That puritan streak still beats strong in every Yank heart.

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Applicants sought for one-way trip to Martian Big Brother house

Palf

It would be really boring without something worthwhile to do. So they need basic tools to build more stuff, like bulldozers, 3D printers, the ability to craft electronics and bowls etc themselves.

But if a bunch of hairdressers are sent, nothing will happen - Golgafrincham disease. "Have you seen my rubber ducky, Number Two?" and "We've decided to revalue the sand"

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Boffins build ant-sized battery, claim it's tough enough to start a car

Palf
Holmes

That's 7.4 * 10^7 W/m^3, about 10x the best Li-ion batteries (1500 W/Kg, 5 gm/cc)

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The Reg puts Vulture inside the Large Hadron Collider

Palf
Thumb Up

".. in a two-year process known as the long shutdown"

It's actually known as The Long Dark Teatime of the LHC..

“No private detective looks like a private detective. That's one of the first rules of private detection."

"But if no private detective looks like a private detective, how does a private detective know what it is he's supposed not to look like? Seems to me there's a problem there.”

― Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

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Earth-like planets abound in red dwarf systems

Palf

Re: If there is life out there, they're keeping quiet

The maximum advance time on us for another civilisation in this galaxy is around 9,000,000,000 years (9 BY) . The maths is pretty simple: the Milky Way is 13.2 BY old (close to the age of the universe), and the time to evolve from scratch is about 4 BY for our system. 13-4 = 9.

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Revealing new pics of galactic princess Andromeda

Palf
Mushroom

Beautiful but deadly. She's on a full-on collision course with The Milky Way, ETA 1 BY or so. Expect future classroom drills which include the injunction "Duck!". I guess we could start practicing right now...

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Google fills in the blanks on North Korea map data

Palf
Mushroom

All your base, your base, are belong to us.

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Record numbers of you are reading this headline right now

Palf
Pint

Bring on the Icons

Can't be iconoclastic without icons in the first place. So long live the icons and the shibboleths. Know what I mean?

"The internet without The Register is like a fish without a bicycle" - Anon.

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Is this possibly the worst broadband in the world?

Palf

I'm in San Jose California and I get 44 Mbps down and 6 Mbps up with Comcast cable. Along with the mandatory basic TV it runs me about $80 (50 quid)

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Linux kernel dumps 386 chip support

Palf

Re: 8080, bloody Hell!

8080? - pshaw. Around the same time GE MicroElectronics up in Bonny Scotland came out with the CP1600. Yeah, 16 bits in 1974. Stomped all over the 8086, but their marketing department must, in retrospect, have sucked mightily. I wonder who that was? Probably William McGonagle. He was writing poems instead of selling it.

Ah saw a CPU up on a hill

It's no there noo...

It's still no there noo.

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Sniff.. Phew! WORLD'S OLDEST CHEESE discovered in Poland

Palf

Re: What about knob cheese

Man has been cutting the cheese for even longer.

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The 30-year-old prank that became the first computer virus

Palf

Re: Dorian Gray all over again!

Word on the street is that he's been hacking his own telomeres.

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Ten badass brainy computers from science fiction

Palf
Stop

"Badass"???

So far so good with The Register's eschewing of American vernacular in a very positive, British sort of way - until this. Oh Dear.

Now admittedly, "Naughty Bottom" doesn't quite have quite the equivalent bite, but can you not do better?

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