1768 posts • joined 12 Jul 2007
Over a km more??
If it's now done over a km more than the previous record ("That's over a kilometre more than the Lunokhod 2 the Soviet Union sent to the Moon in 1973 managed"), and it moved less than 50m on it's last jaunt ("Opportunity went for a 48 metre trundle on July 27th and in so doing saw its odometer tick over to 25.01 miles (40.25 kilometres)"), doesn't that mean that it actually broke the record a long time ago?
In fact if it's moving at 4.2km a year and that's pretty even throughout the year, it's broken the record about 3 months ago.
Re: I love alternate realities...
"I love alternate realities...
... mainly because they highlight aspects of 'real history' (whatever that is ;-) that are usually left aside."
Also because they highlight how thin the line is between two completely different outcomes.
"Testing like this will be a boon to insurance companies looking to save on payouts"
The very reason for the existance of insurance is to share risks over a large population size, so that for unkown risks, the unlucky do not suffer too much for their bad luck because they are isupported by the lucky who never/rarely have to make any claims.
Sure, if healthcare outcomes become very predictable through genetic research, health insurance companies will make high-risk individuals essentially uninsurable and they will cut on payout costs in the short term. But then low-risk individuals will just opt out of buying health insurance at all since they won't need it. So in the long term they are destroying their own business because healthy individuals are the ones they make profit from.
"they will recover the $10m"
according to internationally approved accounting standards, any such fines can be classified as normal business expense and therefore used to decrease tax liabilty. Apple fine $10mln, they have $10mln less profit so pay $3.5mln less tax. In practice I think there are other loopholes/shenanigans that allow even more to be recovered.
That's why the big banks aren't too bothered about the megafines for Libor fixing etc
Re: Not sure about this
"in searching for planets with Earth like conditions they're not only looking for planets which may already have life, but also planets which could support us were we one day able to reach them"
Re: H2G2 style
"didn't necessarily drop straight out into space"
but to land on a habitable planet it would have to have passed through the atmosphere. No burn-up on re-entry? I mean, it could stretch the imagination that the lightsaber survived re-entry, but the hand??
"The hand ends up on a desert planet"
This HAS to be joke. (please?)
Re: It's the beginning of the next Maunder Minimum.
"Jake's *point* is valid."
No, Jake is conflating 2 different issues. Just because the sun temporarily reduces it's output does not mean that man-made global warming doesn't exist. It only means that warming will temporarily stop or even reverse... but the solar cycle is a relatively short one and will soon increase again from the minimum, which means at best it will just buy us a few more years of 'normal' temperatures before the heat is turned back up.
Re: You jest!
" if the BBC is the highlight of Europe then things must be grim."
I can confirm that things are pretty grim. I get a couple of hundred channels in 4 languages from 6 different countries. It's mostly unmitigated rubbish interspersed with very rare good films or series (action, crime or comedy is my thing), and I think it's pretty much in line with what the survey is showing ie about half of what's watchable is US-produced, and most of teh rest is UK-produced (though I'm not sure if BBC or not)
The highlight of having so many different channels is there's a lot bigger variety of sports to watch (which usually also can be enjoyably watched in an unknown language, unlike most other programmes)
Re: It's more than that
"Car electronic security is poor to abysmal in general"
Very true, which means
1) It's not surprising that teh Tesla was not 'uncrackable', though without any further details it's not possible to understand how serious any issues are
2) It's great that Tesla are following attentively and taking feedback on board rather than the usual "no comment" or "our car is unhackable under normal conditions" BS that I've heard from BMW etc
Re: A quote from Hawking
"how do we "park" the telescope when it reaches 550AU?"
We start decelerating it very very gradually as soon as it's past the half-way point. Not sure if practical but it might be possible to harvest a tiny amount of energy from the ambient radiation to do so. Even if infinitesimal amount of decelaration is possible, it's happening over the course of decades. And keep onboard fuel / nuclear reactor power for final braking and manuevering.
@TheOtherHobbes - Thanks
That is freaking cool - so if I understand this correctly, using something like FOCAL, we could in principle observe pretty closely any planet/star etc as long as our scope is exactly lined up, AND it does not matter how far out it is, we can still achieve the same view... ie almost infinte magnification - that's a hell of a counterintuitive tech.
"sort-of almost achievable with current technology."
Given that Voyager is about 125au out right now and a FOCAL telescope would need 700-ish au out, whatever we can launch with current tech would still require decades before any results could be seen. Nevertheless, this is definitely a project to embark on.
Re: A quote from Hawking
"these super space telescopes"
I'm curious as to what's the theoretical limit (if there is one and it's known) of what we are physically able to see from Earth or Earth-orbit based telescopes:
1) what's the minimum number of photons/weakest wave power signal that we would need to detect to be sure that another planet has such-and-such atmospheric composition, such-and-such mass, density etc etc
2) Given the minimum from (1) that we would need to detect, how much needs to be emitted from the source at a given distance.
And combining both points, is there a hard limit on how far away we can detect any of this.
Re: I need an explanation..
A lot of legislation is written in this way, the law sets out a framework and then leaves it to external agencies to determine the details. It allows some flexibility which is good. It also in theory allows certain calls to be made by domain experts instead of know-nothing politicians, but in practise the appointed officials are just puppets to the know-nothing politicos who appointed them.
eg drug law mentions class A, B, C drugs but leaves it to an external agency as to what drug is in what class. This determination is more political than scientific, for example alcohol and tobacco are equivalent to many class A drugs in terms of harm/addiction, but are not classified at all. Weed is as close to harmless as a substance can get, but many countries classify it as class A (same as heroin), just because politically the decision-makers want to be seen as 'tough on drugs'.
Planning/zoning laws are another good example
Re: [Obama] promptly passed the buck and said it was up to Congress to get it done.
"While President Obama came out in favor of unlocking, he promptly passed the buck and said it was up to Congress to get it done."
Obama didn't "pass the buck". The US president does not have any authority to pass new legislation. At most he can get his staff to draft a law, get one of his supporters in Congress to propose it, use his influence to push the law along etc, but ultimately it comes down to a vote in both houses of Congress, only they can turn proposed legislation into actual legislation.
Re: Actually, this may not be a bad idea...
"Sometimes retro tech is far better then high-tech"
Sure, but why typewriter? Just get a modern PC with encrypted HDD + word processor that's not (and has never been) connected to the internet or any network + a printer directly attached to it, remove/destroy any other USB, network, DVD etc drives/ports, and physically secure the location. You get all the security benefits of a typewriter with none of the 'retro tech' drawbacks
Re: "extended stay in shelters.”
West Bank limited non-violent means has at least raised the relevant issues in Western Europe and even some parts of US are waking up to the fact that their tax dollars are subsidising an Israeli land-grab.
But as I said, it's a long process. Gandhi returned to India in 1915 and was leading Indian National Congress in 1921. India did not become independent till 1947. Unfortunately neither Abbas nor anyone else in Palestine is of Gandhi's calibre as a leader.
Re: "extended stay in shelters.”
"When they threaten Israel, Hamas really underscore how much they are powerless"
Which is exactly why the only way Palestinians will get anywhere is by non-violent resistance Ghandi style. Currently Israel has the luxury of the excuse that they are protecting themselves from a deadly enemy who wants them dead, while at the same time they are so much stronger than this enemy that their casualties are minimal, they take land from Palestinians at will, bulldoze their houses, build walls around etc, all can be doen in the name of their own security.
If Palestinians use a non-violent strategy, Israel will no longer have any excuse for what is a blatant land grab. It's a long-haul strategy and a tough one to keep to after all the violence there, but the only one that has a chance of succeeding. Hamas can never win a physical fight vs a far stronger Israel.
From Android systems ermissions page - https://developer.android.com/guide/topics/security/permissions.html
"Applications statically declare the permissions they require, and the Android system prompts the user for consent at the time the application is installed. Android has no mechanism for granting permissions dynamically (at run-time) because it complicates the user experience to the detriment of security."
This is complete BS. It's no more complicated for users to grant permissions once at first runtime than once at install time. The document also makes no mention of why permissions are 'all-or-nothing'. Why can't I install an application but give it only a subset of permissions it asks for? Every app should be able to run gracefully even if denied certain 'optional' permissions. (Of course some permissions will be essential for some apps depending on their function, but in this case it's up to the developer to explain why certain permissions are needed)
Re: Yup.. rubbish permissions handling in Android
So, anyone know what permission handling is like on Windows Monile?
People who are really into producing and distributing kiddie-porn should be locked up for a long, long time. However I hope that anyone nabbed for "possessing indecent images of children" was done for actually indecent images, not for pics of their nekkid nephews/nieces playing in the bath, sketches/drawings in which age is ambiguous/indeterminate etc
Re: Even a "harmless" site is still a potential attack vector
It would help if every single friggin' website didn't want you to create an account with password for no reason at all except to nab your details and spam you with rubbish. For example e-shopping site - it's conceivable that I might buy 1 item from a site and never return. They only need shipping address, email, credit card for the one transaction, after which they don't need to keep any of this data. BUT they insist on capturing and storing all this data, pretending it's for my convenience just in case I ever buy anything from there again, when in reality it's for their convenience to grow their sales, send out spam, have a digital willy-measuring contest about 'number of registered users' etc
"32.9mpg? For a hybrid?"
32.9mpg? For a freaking super-sportscar?
Re: DerekCurrie Bravo Germany!
Wow @DerekCurrie, you actually got me to agree with Matt Bryant, that is a first!
Anyone thinking 9/11 was an internal conspiracy is batshit mental. The CIA, FBI and all agencies all the way up to the White House and Bush Jr simply dropped the ball on that one. What is disgusting is the way that 9/11 was used after the fact to justify abominations like the Patriot Act, Guantanamo and the invasion of Iraq.
Re: Conspicuous consumption at it's worst
As far as I know Dubai isn't just building mega-skyscrapers and vanity projects but also heavily investing in solar and working on a nuclear power station as well, they'll be OK for energy when the oil runs out.
I agree they might not be educating their children to look after any of the technical stuff that keeps life going, but if they can sustainably profit from other activities they can just continue hiring foreigners to do this work for them as they are doing now.
The "if they can sustainably profit from other activities" part is of course an unknown but at least they are willing to explore new concepts
Re: Conspicuous consumption at it's worst
But that's exactly why Dubai are spending their wealth rather cleverly. Instead of spending it on ever-more lavish palaces for the ruling classes, they spend in on project slike this which cost a bomb now but which become revenue-generators independent of oil production. By the time the oil runs out they can sustain the economy through health tourism, retail tourism etc.
I'm not sure if long-run the numbers stack up especially if less people go when the novelty wears off / there are other similair places to go and/or the running costs become too much. But in the meantime, kudos for giving it a go.
Other nations *ahem* have/had plenty of oil/gas wealth but precious little to show for it
Re: Thank you Formula E
@Hans1 - excellent post, I agree with pretty much everything you say... except this "I predict that electric cars will beat F1 cars in about 10 years". It doesn't matter that electric motors can be simpler and more efficient than ICE, the limiting factor is battery weight + range.
Firstly, even the best batteries right now have much less energy density than petrol. That means that at efficiency parity, battery cars need to lug around multuple times the battery weight as ICE cars need to lug around in the tank. Even considering lower efficiency of ICE, it still means that the battery weight is going to be many times teh fuel weight.
Secondly, as fuel is burned in an ICE car the weight is lost and the car gets lighter. The battery car can't just eject spent batteries*, and so has to carry around useless weight for much of the race. Of course the ICE car also has to carry around 'excess' weight compared to the electric in form of heavier engine, transmision and many other components that electric does not need, and of course electric can compensate using KERS-type systems to keep batteries as topped-up as possible... but I don't see that balance tipped within 10 years even with a lot of investment in battery tech.
Nevertheless, the closer we get the better!
* Or maybe it can? That would lead to some interesting "wacky races" racing, jettisoning used battery packs in the path of the car following you and/or shooting them at the car in front :)
Re: And what about electronic items WITHOUT batteries?
"What about batteries?" - but the other way round? If like AC above, you've had mucho hours on the road before the airport and your battery is genuinely dead, what then? Presumably since this is a security measure aimed at thwarting explosive devices inside, you won't be allowed to travel with it at all, which is going to lead to lots of complications, complaints and lawsuits*. Or will they have a set of power sockets for you to run off, including a multitude of adapters and power supplies?
The mind boggles - this is a REALLY bad idea. Why do they have explosive-detection kits if they're gonna introduce this BS?
*TSA don't care about Joe Citizens' laptop, but when this happens to some executive's corporate laptop stuffed to the brim with corporate scerets?
"and put the tablet into Safe Mode - even I don't know how she managed the last one."
Within 1 minute of my baby girl getting her hands on a phone or tablet it is guaranteed that she will have found/activated a function that I did not even know existed
"Could do food parcels and a drone delivery?"
in 30-50mph winds?
Re: Does the NSA have prior agreement?
In Switzerland they don't get to vote on every little detail BUT if any citizen wishes to raise a particular issue they just need to collect a few signatures and the matter will go to a nationwide referendum. That means 3 or 4 rounds of referendums a year, with a dozen or so referendums in each round.
However the paperwork and effort involved is more than worth the extra voice it gives citizens*. For example over the past few years, Swiss government has been trying to push through the purchase of billions of Francs worth of new military aircraft, one referendum later and it's been shot down. It's like those petition websites to Downing Street or the White House except that the petitionees are legally obliged to comply with the petition if enough people agree.
Sure, population of Switz is 8 million not 300 million, BUT if the US diverted a tenth of 1% of what it spends on wars to organise a proper democracy it will have plenty of resources to do so. Also, this is the information age, where's the proper e-voting??**
*Those who can be bothered, turnout is uually fairly low, but at least those who speak up are listened to.
**Of course fraud-proof e-voting requires some sort of voter regisrtation that cannot be spoofed, which is equivalent to a national ID cards system, which libertarians are against... how do you balance that one?
There's a reason that every major city in the world has 2 rush-hours a day, and that is that the vast majority of vehicle users are using them at 2 narrow time windows in the mornings and evenings. This means that the peak numbers of humans needing to move at the sme time will not be that far different from teh peak numbers of humans who own a vehicle.
To really reduce number of vehicles on the road, commuters will need to accept to share vehicles with others going (approximately) the same way, as currently the vast majority of rush hour traffic is 1 person driving a minimum 4-seater car. Just get an average 2.5 people per vehicle will halve traffic, greatly reduce commute times and leave commuters with a lot more free time (if they use the extra time themselves) or productivity (if they use teh extra time at work) or even both, since they are now free to follow pther activities than driving during the actual commute.
Google was a small startup search engine maker that disrupted the then-current search engine behemoths.
I'm not sure it counts as a small startup robocar maker disrupting the current car behemoths, as even if it's robocar division is relatively small as an individual entity it is still backed by a mammoth company with very deep pockets. Detroit could crush an independent robocar startup, they can't do that to Google.
Re: "Yo" is for schmucks
And people you really don't want to be messing with say "Ni"*
*at least until you get them a shrubbery
Re: Priced out
@Ledswinger - You're right, I hadn't considered that cash deposits are effectively a liability for the bank. But by the same reasoning, wouldn't any overdraft / loan to clients be an asset to the bank?
In any case, my point was not so much to argue on the exact semantics of what "100% reserve" means, it was more to point out that a bank run on the lines I was describing (you can only lend out exactly as much as the deposits you have) should still be a sustainable and solvent model, and definitely more secure long-term than lending out large multiples of whatever deposits you have.
Re: Slight snag.
OK, banks do lend out deposits but his main point is still correct, banks operating with fractional reserve (ie all of them) DO create money out of thin air. In your example, the bank has £1000 in deposits, it is lending out that £1000 deposited, and then also lending out £9000 that it created from thin air.
Re: Priced out
"you can't offer overdrafts if you're operating on a 100% reserve."
As has already been pointed out by another commenter above, "100% reserve" does NOT mean that the bank doesn't lend money out, it means that if the bank has £1mln in deposits, it can only lend out a maximum of £1mln. So unless half your customers are overdrawn to the amount of the deposits of the other half of your customers, no problem.
Re: I agree
"Life was far more comfortable and stress free 20 years ago"
For me it certainly was, since I was still a teenager back then :) The thing is, "comfortable" is something subjective, not quantifiable. It's true that in real terms, median incomes in developed countries are static or even less than 20 years ago. But 20 years ago it cost €1000 just to fly across Europe, now it's possible for €100 or less. All sorts of electronic devices either didn't exist 20 years ago or else you can get much better now for much cheaper. I'm not saying that this is all due to globalisation, but it partly is. And I'm not saying that everyone is better off due to globalisation, there are surely many people who lost out. But equally there are many people who are better off.
"Food is a higher percentage of budgets than 30-50 years ago"
Can you substantiate that claim? The graph below says otherwise.
"most of the creature comforts that first worlders enjoy have been bought with massive amounts of personal and governmental debt"
Unfortunately true, but more to do with greed and consumer culture than globalisation
"Globalization hasn't provided the few benefits we do enjoy and it has driven up the cost of everything else."
Globalisation in itself lowers costs, sourcing materials and services at the cheapest possible point is exactly the point of it. The costs aren't raised by globalisation itself, only by cack-handed implementations of it being pushed by big global companies, who effectively want to be able to buy cheap stuff abroad themselves, while putting barriers for consumers to go buy cheap stuff abroad directly themselves. Which is what the article is highlighting.
Re: I agree
<< "Free market and globalisation cut both ways."
Since when? Provide there examples of globalisation working out for the little guy*. >>
Thanks to globalisation, the 'little guy' can live an extremely more comfortable life than would have been possible 20 years ago. The price of food is extremely low, a much lower percentage of people's budgets now than 30-50 years ago, the general cost:quality ratio of most things has gone down.
However my original intent in the statement "Free market and globalisation cut both ways" was to point out that smaller, nimbler companies can (should?) be able to benefit from globalisation at least as much as giant behemoths. For example in the case another commenter mentions above, of some Adobe software being $$$$ more expensive is Europe than US, true globalisation and free market would allow anyone to set up a company to buy licenses in the US and sell them in Europe. For global markets to work properly they need to be properly open, not stitched up by the incumbents.
Re: I agree
I agree that suppliers should be able to set whatever price they want, and that this price is determined by the market. Any government intervention is over-regulation.
BUT for the market price to be fair, the markets must be open and non-monopolistic. That means that any company should be allowed to re-sell to a third party any software licenses it owns but does not use, and anyone should be allowed to buy kit abroad at 'foreign' prices and import them wherever they want, subject to paying any local taxes/duties. Abominations like DVD regions should be banned*
Free market and globalisation cut both ways.
*Not sure if it's the case in Oz but AFAIK in some countries it's legal to region-unlock DVD players and/or illegal to sell region-locked players
Re: Who cost the taxpayer £6M?
"so plod have overresourced"
You don't say?? 24-hour coverage with 8-hour shifts and 4 police officers per shift means you need 12 officers full-time, for 2 years (24 man-years). Considering backup for vacations, logistical support, additional call-outs etc, being generous lets round that up to 30 man-years.
That's £200k/year per officer, with another £350k for equipment and expenses (since the exact figure quoted was £6,350,099.96)
So seriously, where is all that money going???
Re: And why, oh why...
So, excuse the ignorance, but what does 'Common Carrier' status imply?
Jon Snow of Channel 4 News
You know nothing, Jon Snow
Re: No matter how hard you try
@Tom - Wow, you must be really dedicated to this football game if, in spite of it's dullness, you watch enough of it to claim that "It's natural state is dullness".
Or maybe, just maybe, you're not interested in it yourself, which is a completely different thing from it being dull.
Re: Jurassic period didn't have FOUR TIMES the atmospheric density !
Not to mention that wing area is 2D, and as far as I know Pterodactyls did not have extremely narrow wings... more likely the wing breadth is roughly proportional to span, so doubling the wingspan would approximately quadruple the wing area.
Re: woah there
I think th epoint of this quote
"I say, yes, go for hydroelectric, but don't make a ton of people needlessly homeless to do it."
wasn't "don't build the dam, there are people living there"
"go ahead and build the dam, but at least provide a home and pay relocation expenses to the people you want to move out"
Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe
So, build the dam, and cut down and truck out the vegetation in the soon-to-be-flooded area. Like this, no (or a lot less) methane produced, and some timber company gets a nice source of raw material (so it could be done at zero cost to the dam project).
In any case, hydroelectric is by far the best non-carbon energy source we have, it can scale up huge and is more-or-less on-demand, PLUS when grid-connected it can be used as a pumped storage to buffer the intermittency of other non-carbon sources.
Greenpeace being against this makes as much sense as them being against nuclear.
Re: Simple Counter-Measure
"design bots to generate yottabytes of garbage for topics you're not really interested in"
So that explains all the cats, then!
Erratic flight cuts both ways... A big part goalkeepers / defenders skills is anticipation / prediction of where the ball is going to. If apparent flight is very different from actual flight, they are disadvantaged. But equally, for attackers taking a precise shot or midfielders threading a through-pass, they want the ball to predictably go the same way every time they hit it the same way.
So it's not a question of erratic flight disadvantaging attack or defence, it disadvantages highly skilled players by adding randomness.
That's why I'm all for a more precise ball - it favours highly skilled players, whether they are attacking or defensive ones
Re: Smart house or Robobutler
"do people really want a mechanical. Copy of a human or simply a home environment that makes life easier?"
Really I want a home environment that makes life easier, but the way current homes are structured to be used by humans, humanoid robots are the best way to accomplish that.
Maybe in the future for example it's possible that anautomated delivery vehicle will deliver my groceries through a hatch in my home from where they automatically go into a cupboard / fridge / freezer, from where my autonomous chef will take them, combine / prepare and cook them, and my freshly cooked meal will pop out of a slot in the wall straight onto my table while I'm sitting in front of my TV. I wouldn't ever even need to have physical access myself to the fridge or cupboard?
But for the moment, we have doors and fridges and cupboards and furniture etc etc that are all designed to accommodate the human form so humanoid (-ish) robots are what works best (for now)
- NASA boffin: RIDDLE of odd BULGE FOUND on MOON is SOLVED
- BuzzGasm! Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS
- Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
- Worstall on Wednesday YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
- Plug and PREY: Hackers reprogram USB drives to silently infect PCs