* Posts by Vladimir Plouzhnikov

3043 posts • joined 5 Jul 2007

Switch it off and on again: How peers failed to sneak Snoopers' Charter into terror bill

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Pardon me, I was just passing by when...

...somebody's just slipped a fiver in my pocket and asked me to present this wonderful set of proposals, of which I, honestly, don't know anything about. But they said I'll get another fiver when I do it, so here goes....

1
0

NASA greenlights SpaceX and Boeing to carry crew to ISS in 2017

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: Still a long way to go

But with SpaceX able to re-use their first stages and capsules (assuming it all works), they're likely to be very competitive with everyone.

Agree. This will be very interesting to watch.

0
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: Still a long way to go

The Sojus price seems to have risen a lot too. Now it's $70M, but early internet billionaires were able to catch a ride for $20M including use of the ISS.

No alternatives = a monopoly price.

It will be really interesting to see how the prices will change now, with a bit of competition.

Russians can easily go down to USD 40 or even 30 million per seat. What will SpaceX and NASA do?

I can see the rise of Orbital Miles, Advance Booking Discounts and special rates for carry-on baggage only - in spa-a-a-a-ace!

1
0

Snoopers' Charter amendments withdrawn – FOR NOW ...

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: CCTV rant

Yet, whenever a crime happens - the CCTV evidence is either unavailable or lost or inconclusive...

6
0

Doomsday Clock says 3 MINUTES to MIDNIGHT. Again

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: Dark matter asteroids?

Don't be a pussy - dark matter is made of wimps.

1
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: 7 billion people

Are you one of those "humanity is the cancer of Gaia" type of people? You know - "We need to cull ourselves so that the cute pandas survive - it's for the greater good", ah?

3
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: Stupid clock

enough nukes to kill everything on the planet several THOUSAND times over

Not even once.

Yes, plenty to kill most major cities but not nowhere near enough for complete sterilisation;

we really were very close for 50 of those last 70 years.

...and still are for that matter.

And for the rest of the useful life of mankind we'll always be. Because we will always have to work with ever more powerful and dense energy sources and there will always be a possibility of some major screw up (war or accident - doesn't matter). The ONLY insurance is for the humans to spread about widely enough, so that a disaster in one place could not kill us all (i.e. we need to boldly go ... blablabla ... the final frontier).

Therefore, this "clock" is a mind-numbingly irrelevant fear-mongering publicity vehicle which gives precisely zero of useful information and tries to push the public to think in the wrong direction.

5
0

'One day, YOU won't be able to SENSE the INTERNET,' vows Schmidt

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: "with your permission and all of that"

Permission_request = ""Do you grant us your permission to track you at all times and use your personal data for our own commercial purposes and to report your activities to the Government?"

Response = readuserinput(Permission_request)

if (Response = "yes") then

Permission_granted = .true.

else

Permission_granted = .true.

endif

4
1

Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: No one saw Zardoz?

I found it so boring that the massacre in the end felt like a merciful deliverance. Or maybe that was the whole idea?

0
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: Computer Games Movies

Not all are completely bad.

POP: SOT was quite a good fun to watch.

Then, while it's not official in any way, but the Children of Men borrows many scenes directly from Half-Life 2 and is an excellent movie...

0
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: Is this a tech site or not?

And viri coded without one.

Viruses

1
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: Gravity

I think the force in question was Gerorgie's manager pulling him away lest they got for free a few seconds of Clooney's precious shooting time in excess of the contractual provisions...

1
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

I like Pearl Harbor

All 20 or so minutes of it.

I watch only the action scenes and skip everything else.

0
0

Drinking to forget? OK. But first, eat a curry... QUICK!

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: Curry...

But that would not be the curry being lusted over on these pages, would it?

0
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Curry...

Is it that awfully looking anti-food, full of anti-taste and anti-flavour?

1
1

US military finds F-35 software is a buggy mess

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: This plane is becoming the Bradley IFV for the air

"Lockheed must be really regretting taking on that blank cheque government contract"

If the F-35 enters a procurement death spiral and gets cancelled, they still might.

1
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: This makes you realise:

I wonder, do the downvoters mean they think that F-4 was good or that F-16 is bad?

0
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: This plane is becoming the Bradley IFV for the air

It was a politically muddled failure before it even begun. People at Boeing clearly saw the writing on the wall and presented their ugly, obviously half-arsed concept demonstrator and de-facto self-eliminating themselves from the tender at the early stage.

5
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: This makes you realise:

F-4 was a bit crap actually. A poor design, initially, which they tried to remedy by add-ons and kludges. End up just good and cheap enough to be a successful product (in terms of sales volume).

F-16 is a piece of art though....

3
4

Elon Musk SNOWED UNDER with Googley DOLLARS for Space Internet

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: could be worse...

Abort!!

- BAD COMMAND OF FILE NAME.

1
2

Wizard of Oz OFFICIALLY 'most significant movie' EVER, says PNAS

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Bullshit

Using the same methodology and counting the number of references to it in literature and in everyday life we will, I'm sure, find that bovine excrement is the most significant substance in human civilisation.

3
2

FERTILISER DOOM warning! PESKY humans set to WIPE selves out AGAIN

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: Sounds like a no-brainer to me?

Michael, the answer is in the sentence you quoted - just point it out to them.

They are not "noble farmers", they are businessmen and have to balance the books. If you'll tell them that they can cut costs by using less fertiliser while maintaining the same output they will do it. Not for Gaia or for the future of the civilisation but for their bottom line.

0
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: Even if true, addressing individual symptoms is not going to work.

"There are too many poor people. The only suggestions I can think of are:

a. get the poor people onto birth control so they only have 3-4 children.

b. every year there should be a poor cull, where rich people pay to bash in the heads of several poor children (with a tip of the hat to Tim Brook-Taylor)."

Just wait for these countries full of poor people become richer and the problem will sort itself out without your inventive genocidal solutions.

But then, of course, these previously-but-no-longer-poor people may stop trying to immigrate here, so who is going to work then?? Oh, bummer!

0
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: LERN TWO PHUQUEING SPEL!! LOL

Oh, my... next you'll tell us that red is a color?

6
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: Even if true, addressing individual symptoms is not going to work.

That's just tough, citizen. Don't be reactionary.

3
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: Even if true, addressing individual symptoms is not going to work.

That is nonsense. The planet + appropriate technology can easily sustain 10 times, probably 100 times more people than we have now.

If you put ALL the world's population into a city with the population density of Paris it will cover just about half the area of France, leaving the rest of the planet for food, mining, power generation, waste processing etc.

Global "overpopulation" is an imaginary problem.

The "overpopulation" only affects the "developing" nations because they have not reached the necessary cultural and technological levels to sustain their numbers and to bring the living standards to Western levels. Once they do - the real problem will be the SHORTAGE of people.

6
4
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Sounds like a no-brainer to me?

If farmers are using too much - just point it out to them and I'm sure they will stop immediately.

No sane farmer would willingly sink money into the ground for nothing (unless paid to do so by the EU, of course :-P )

11
1

Facebook worth more than Portugal? Hell, it's worth a LOT more than THAT

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

The value is actually negative

Not only advertisement is in itself a cost for the economy (in the same way as the employees wages are) but 99.9999% of all ads are completely wasted because they are automatically ignored, blocked, disregarded or actively disbelieved by the intended audience.

Add to that the hours wasted by employees of productive businesses, which otherwise could have been spent on doing something useful and it is clear that FB is a huge net cost to the worldwide economy.

It's a world-wide informational equivalent of waste heat. I postulate that the informational death of the Universe will occur when all free information in the world will finally sink into Facebook so no more useful information will remain. I am also afraid that it will happen much earlier than the heat death of the Universe :-(

3
0

'If you see a stylus, they BLEW it' – Steve Jobs. REMEMBER, Apple?

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Stylus

Stylus by itself is not a problem (am writing this using one, after all) but a stylus needing a battery - it sure is.

3
0

Firefox 35 stamps out critical bugs

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Aha! Firefox-35.

Is that the F-35 that the US are so crossed with the Chinese for stealing?

1
0

Alabama tops US teacher-pupil sex league

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Oh, moon of Alabama

Show me the way

To the next little girl

Oh, don't ask why

Oh, don't ask why

For if we don't find

The next little girl

I tell you we must die

I tell you we must die

I tell you, I tell you

I tell you we must die

I don't know, why is everybody so surprised?

9
1

I'll build a Hyperloop railgun tube-way in Texas, Elon Musk vows

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: Problemo?

For normal operations the pods can have a breathing system with a ram air intake in the front and an "outfart" in the back. The tunnels will operate in reduced pressure, not deep vacuum, so there will still be plenty of air to compress for breathing (it is the same principle as in aircraft cabin pressurisation systems).

For breakdowns - just unseal the tunnel. The pods can be fitted with a bypass airduct for pressure equalisation between the tunnel in front and behind them.

1
0

LIFELESS BEAGLE on MARS: A British TRIUMPH!

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: Curiosity

I propose a manned mission to recover the images from the lander. As a secondary objective, the crew can take even more pictures while they are downloading the stuff from the Beagle 2.

2
0

Go Canada: Now ILLEGAL to auto-update software without 'consent'

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Sometimes

Governments can do a good thing.

Purely by accident, no doubt, but still...

5
2

Missing defective BEAGLE FOUND ON MARS! Amazing claim

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: And boy was that some backbreaking work

I'm sure all will be revealed in good time as their Kickstarter campaign to fund the sequel has been successful.

1
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Cute design but risky

The petal opening system always looked terribly dodgy to me from the engineering point of view. It had to generate a large torque with very tiny actuators. Just look at the pic here.

Any deformation when it plopped on the ground or some sand in the hinges could make them stuck.

Or, even more simply, the battery has run out of charge while opening the petals one by one.

3
0

The elegant, strange and fascinating world of Three Body comes to English readers

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

@Brid-Aine

Thanks for the heads-up.

Just read it and it is indeed an interesting, absorbing and thought-provoking book. Hope the rest of the trilogy will be published as well, and soon!

0
0

What will happen to the oil price? Look to the PC for clues

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Let's imagine - where would the productivity gains come from for fracking?

One can slightly improve the drilling techniques but not by much and any such improvements are as equally applicable to conventional wells as to the shale.

Perhaps the fracking fluid manufacturing can benefit from some economies of scale - but in reality it won't. At least not in the US, where every company seems to like to keep the composition of the fluid a patented commercial secret.

One can aggregate small independents on a large field and save something on improved efficiency of the gathering pipeline network and, maybe, on admin.

There are alternative methods of fracturing being developed - like plasma acoustic resonance but they can also offer only marginal economic improvements.

That's about it, right?

In each well you have to start from scratch - you have to drill down and sideways, then you have to pump the liquid to crack the shale, then you recover the well fluid and separate the oil out of it. If you make 10 wells you multiply the cost x10, if you make 100 wells you multiply the cost x100 - there are no savings with increasing the number of wells.

Also, the nature of fracking is such that its costs per barrel will always be on par with or higher than EOR conventional, which will always be higher than simple conventional. So, if conventional oil were to disappear, the market price can only go up, above the next cheapest alternative.

I think if you want to find a manufacturing analogy in hydrocarbon production, you need to look at synthetic oil. It can be scaled up indefinitely or it can be perfected for an efficient decentralised production. But it depends on the cost of energy - give it a fusion power plant and you can have oil as cheap as water...

1
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: Umm, but

Do you mean that the cost of hydrofracking has fallen so much that it became economic for shale oil extraction and that it will fall further with incremental technology improvements?

I am skeptical. I think that the main reason why the use of fracking has exploded so much recently is due to the meteoric oil price rise over the past 10 years or so. If the prices remain at the levels they are now (below $50/bbl) for a few months I expect to see fracking-dependent companies getting out of business in large numbers.

Let's wait and see. I hope I will be proven wrong.

6
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Drilling *any* well onshore usually costs USD 5-10 million.

But shale fields also require prospecting and proving of the reserves and a test well can just as easily happen to be dry. Yes, the shale prospectors in the US are using relaxed rules and a sleight of hand, reporting different numbers to the SEC and to the investors, to embiggen their reserves but at some point the chicken will come home to roost.

On the production side, while there may be a lower risk of a dud well in a shale field where someone else has already started demonstrable production, the cost of extraction will still be very high. It is called "tough oil" for a reason...

I think I get the idea of what Tim is saying - that the need for massive upfront investment for centralised conventional oil extraction is being replaced by decentralised operations individually requiring lesser capital outlays to start-up.

That may to a certain extent be the case but a) these decentralised operations are coming with much higher life-time extraction costs, so they need higher market price to be sustainable and b) the initial capital requirements are really not that much lower per barrel of reserves than for other conventional operations, especially if you consider the need for additional hydrofracturing-related and transport infrastructure.

P.S. One more thing where I disagree with Tim - unlike with mainframes v PC manufacturing, where the latter benefited from economies of scale and mass-manufacturing efficiencies, the fracking technology is not going to be affected by those. No matter if you have 10 fracking wells or 1,000 - you will not reduce your per unit extraction costs. It will always have high production costs (some wells higher than the others - just like conventional) and so the use of fracking will not lead to price deflation. On the opposite, fracking will continue to act as the incremental barrel, flushing supply when the market price rises, getting bankrupt when the price falls back again.

9
0

Computers know you better than your friends

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

I know what I like

And I like what I know

Getting better in your Facebook, stepping one beyond your show!

Mwahahahaha...

1
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: Other uses?

They will. And all the terrorists will be able to evade detection by liking a few pictures of cats per month and friending their local synagogue.

0
0

Professor's BEAGLE lost for 10 years FOUND ON MARS

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Wwas then never heard from again

The little lander detached from Mars Express on schedule, but was then never heard from again.

Someone in the launch team forgot about "requires 4 AA batteries, not included" warning on the box...

7
0

SpaceX drone hovership ROCKET LANDER BURN: Musk to try again

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: Boldly going etc....

"how the lander knows where the barge is"

It uses a barge poll?

Sorry...

7
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: God speed-

No but it's about as fast as Dialectic Speed.

0
0
Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: Ran out of hydraulic fluid?

Hydraulic fluid leaking all over a flaming big rocket?

Sounds like a prelude to Great Balls of Fire...

2
0

Hawking and friends: Artificial Intelligence 'must do what we want it to do'

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

"Our AI systems must do what we want them to do,"

That smells of slavery and exploitation. Just you wait until they unionise!

1
0

French Google fund to pay for 1 million print run of Charlie Hebdo next week

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

"So; Google supports needling, taunting and provoking Muslims."

I wonder who is behind this post?

Some yahoo!?

1
1

Saudi Arabia to flog man 1,000 times for insulting religion on Facebook

Vladimir Plouzhnikov
Silver badge

Re: "right to freedom of expression"

Perhaps in Europe. In the UK, everything which is not explicitly prohibited is allowed.

No, it's not that. I mean that, as a matter of technical principle, all individual's rights exist by the grace of the government.

In the absence of civil society (and therefore a government) your rights are determined by your physical and mental strength. You have absolute rights to grab and try to hold on to anything you like if you can defend it. But anyone with a bigger, err... right can grab that thing and take it away from you. That will be his right.

In a civil society there is a government which is the strongest person of all and as such they have rights over everything and everyone. For practical considerations (to maintain social cohesion, to motivate workforce etc.) the government may grant individuals certain rights (thereby diminishing their own) or they may not.

So, any rights an individual citizen has, have a priori been given to him by the government. Not by virtue of him being a human or because he was born with a beautiful eyes or through the charitable disposition of Gaia or anything...

1
1

Forums