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* Posts by Paul Williams

33 posts • joined 14 Sep 2007

Tesla drops veil on TOP SECRET solar Superchargers

Paul Williams

Re: What we need...

Sure, government has been funding fusion research - but at a pathetically low level compared with the amount we spend on trying to blow each other up....

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Buffalo bundles USB 3.0 AND Thunderbolt in single drive

Paul Williams

Is there a bottleneck?

Is there any controller/flash chip that can deliver the sort of speeds that will max out these connections?

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Bitcoin collapses on malicious trade

Paul Williams

So you can arb BitCoins?

If the value of BitCoins is significantly different between exchanges then that opens up arbitrage trading - free money for some, a nightmare for most, since it destroys value.

Its also suggests that the BitCoin market isnt terribly efficient.

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Georgian granny disconnects Armenian internet

Paul Williams

Bzzt. Wrong

The internet was never designed to withstand a nuclear war.

That said, it *was* designed to offer resliency in the event of broken links, so the notion that entire countries are dependent on a single cable seems to be a fail.

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Southampton Uni shows way to a truly open web

Paul Williams

Isnt the issue more to do with data whose privacy level may change dependent on use?

I may not care if someone knows any one of my bank account number, mothers maiden name, or the name of my first pet - they're all harmless, but i would certainly be concerned if someone were to know all three of them, for example.

So how do you reconcile the openness of a geneology database, the openess of the postcode system, and a facebook field that lists what pets you have?

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Fukushima's toxic legacy: Ignorance and fear

Paul Williams

Loving the bias...

That Wind v Nuclear article....it proclaims not one person has died in a nuclear incident, compared to wind turbines...and then in the latter counts deaths of people killed while transporting parts or falling off them. Presumably the death of the worker who fell off a crane in Japan should be chalked up as a death for the nuclear industry then? Or people who've died while constructing power stations? Or deaths in Uranium mines?

Notice also how the article seamlessly moves from 'fatalities' into 'incidents' after the first item....

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Fukushima: Situation improving all the time

Paul Williams
Stop

Miising the point...

Go to a mother of a young child, give some milk for her baby, then tell her that it contains radiation levels 10% higher than normal.

Thats insignificant - even more so when you consider that 'normal' levels have massive safety margins. And yet, chances are she wont give that kid the milk.

Most Reg readers are nerdy types - they understand that the leaks at Fukashima were, in the wider scheme of things, harmless. But to say that is to miss the point. - Nuclear powere in the near future is dead - no-one will want nuclear stations near their home, not because Nuclear power is dangerous, but because nearby residents think it is.

While Lewis's facts are straight and intentions are honorable, articles like the ones he's come out with this week actually make the situation worse - because when people are afflicted by the sort of cognitive dissonance created by being told nuclear power is safe on one hand while seemingly seeing reactors blow up and smoke pouring out on the other, they're going to assume that the narrative is spin - after all - they just saw (what they thought was) a reactor blowing up....and the day-by-day revisionism doesnt help - 'Nuclear reactors are great'....'Nuclear reactor problems arent as bad as they seem'...'No chance of containment breach'...'Containment breach is harmless'...its a sequence Alastair Campbell would be proud of.

It would have been better to wait until the situation has calmed down, and then produce a dispassionate careful analysis of what happened, what went right, what went wrong, and what we can learn, and what inputs we can take into the future of nuclear power elsewhere in the world.

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Fukushima update: No chance cooling fuel can breach vessels

Paul Williams
Stop

Havent we been here before?

Given Lewis's track record I expect Japan to be a glowing car park 24h from now. Poor show.

Stop - because he should.

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End of the line for ID cards

Paul Williams
WTF?

Why destroy the drives?

Given that the process is likely to be:

1. Wipe data x times (x dependent on how paranoid you want to be)

2. Verify that the drives are now blank, byte by byte

3. Physically destroy drive

Then why not stop after 2 and repurpose the drive?

If you've verified at a suitably low level that the data is unreadable then surely thats the end of the story and you can resuse the hardware?

Seems very wasteful. Can someone enlighten me?

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US Navy achieves '100 mile' hypersonic railgun test shot

Paul Williams

Odd...

'The ONR wants to achieve lab trials at 64 MJ, potentially offering 200 mile range with projectiles striking at Mach 5, before trying to build an actual weapon.'

Surely that already *is* an actual weapon? You wouldnt need much of a projectile to make being hit by it at Mach 5 rather annoying, to say the least...

What are they firing at the moment? Teddy Bears?

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Default judgement FAIL: ACS:Law muffs up in court

Paul Williams
Paris Hilton

LDM

Well, she's got her knockers....

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Fox News outs Beatles as 'Manchester's favorite mopheads'

Paul Williams
Troll

Im sure it wont be that big a deal.

After all, Scousers are famed for their level-headedness....

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Falklands hero Marine: Save the Harrier, scrap the Tornado

Paul Williams

The reason the argies wont retake the falklands...

...is nothing to do with Harriers, or Tornados. Its to do with the Tomahawk equipped subs in the South Atlantic that we didnt have in 1982.

How do you think the Argentinian High Command would react when we asked them which window of their headquaretrs they'd like a missile put through?

Not to mention the Typhoon detatchment on the islands themselves.

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Mexican Twitter-controlled botnet unpicked

Paul Williams

Is filtering really that difficult?

Surely its pretty simple to distinguish between the inane ramblings of a real twitterer and the very specific commands used to control a botnet?

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Google boss turns Wave demise into success of sorts

Paul Williams
Thumb Down

FWIW I agree with him

Some of the most successful things ever invented have been because someone, somewhere, took a risk, and by standing on the shoulders of failed predecessors.

Its a shame that such an approach becomes increasing difficult now, thanks to companies keeping one eye on their share price and another on sneering articles like this one...

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Indonesian parliament gets smut eyeful

Paul Williams
Paris Hilton

'pulled off to launch the muck-attack'

Very good.

Paris, obnov.

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'Eternal' sun-plane still aloft after 7 days, aiming for 14

Paul Williams
Thumb Down

Ah, but

'there has been a time in the evolution of everything that works when it didn't work'

Complaining that its operating in favourable conditions seems churlish. If the Wright brothers had launched their plane in the middle of a hurricane and it had been destroyed then what would have been achieved?

The progress of civilisation has always been in incremental one.

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Job sites slam domain name land grab

Paul Williams

Cool

Im planning on setting up a company named 'Steve'. It will be AWESOME.

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Feed curry to sheep, boffins suggest

Paul Williams
Flame

Easting curry reduces flatulence?

I mean, really? Are they sure?

Maybe they had the experimental thingummys connected the wrong way round, or something?

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The emerging cloud alternative

Paul Williams
FAIL

You need to post the link more.

Its not obvious where I can download the PDF.

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US sea-bottom sensor net powered by 'stroking buoys'

Paul Williams
Alert

Thanks....

...now I need a new euphemism detector.

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Virgin rejects $1m space sex offer

Paul Williams
Paris Hilton

$200k a pop...

...so they were planning 5 'pops'?

Paris, because, well, obviously....

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El Reg slips into women's-fit tees

Paul Williams

Tsk...

All women on the internet are men, and all children on the internet are FBI agents. FACT.

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Two Shuttles hit by fuel tank problems

Paul Williams

@Heavy Landing

Could they go up, bolt the module onto the ISS and *then* do a rescue?

I guess it would depend on why a rescue was needed, and wether it was time criticial (oxygen leak, for example), or non time critical (catastrophic damage to heat resistant tiles...)

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Boeing gets new raygun-on-a-lorry contract

Paul Williams
Paris Hilton

Not quite....

"but these have the inevitable downside of spraying thousands of cannon shells all over the surrounding area as they do their work - which is unlikely to win over hearts and minds among the neighbours."

Actually, no. Most area protection system use projectiles designed to self destruct long before they return to earth, for precisely this reason.

(Paris, because she too blows as she goes down....)

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AI prof: The robot terrorists are coming! Aiee!

Paul Williams

Erm....

Why would terrorists spend millions (if nt billions) on mechanized robo-killers when its far easier to fill a rucksack with some Miracle-Gro and send some poor schmuck onto a tube train?

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DARPA continues military AI air-traffic project

Paul Williams

@Stu Reeves

A mistake doesnt necessarily need to be a catastrophic one - any violation of pre-programmed 'golden rules', such as maintenance of separation could be considered a 'mistake'.

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Boffin says Astronomical Unit should be binned

Paul Williams

The AU is merely a handy comparison unit...

....used only for estimation.

No-one would ever use it "for scientific and engineering usage".....

Surely he's not suggesting that scientists and engineers would use such strange units as AUs per millenium, rather than m/s?

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IBM explores 67.1m-core computer for running entire internet

Paul Williams

Stands a good chance...

...of being able to run Vista, I'd say.

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Cameron blames Labour naivety for NHS IT woes

Paul Williams
Thumb Down

'Records should be kept locally by the patients GP'

,,,right. So the GP now has to understand security procedures, backup procedures, hardware requirements etc, not to mention that for electronic records to be of any use they need to be accessible by others, such as if Im admitted to A&E, so you need some kind of permissions system.

Cameron is clueless.

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'Beer Hunter' lifts 40,000 pints of Guinness

Paul Williams

Hmmmm

So 40k pints have a value of 46k?

So why is it that in my local a pint of Guinness is £2.90?

Reckless profiteering? Surely not!

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US Army xBot programme halted by IP fracas

Paul Williams

Why dont they both just pull out...

...and let Cyberdyne become the preferred option?

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Storm Worm linked to spam surge

Paul Williams

'Russian Teens fingered'

Well that should get the hits flowing. You couldnt resist, could you?

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