just the unintentional ones ...
If government agents insist on prying guns from Americans' cold dead hands then they will just have to watch out for people armed with hot tubs.
2601 posts • joined 19 Oct 2007
Anyone else remember "redundant array of inexpensive disks" morphing into "redundant array of independent disks"? "Netbook" is the marketing term used in the hope that people will forget that the XO was a small CHEAP computer.
It is good to see the SCC is on its way back from near extinction. The big question is does it come with a Pixel Qi daylight readable LCD or an X86 emulator and Vista SP2.
Like some of the other commentards here, I upgrade my PC's a few components at a time rather than buy complete new systems. I would love to add some crapware to my next purchase to reduce the costs. Anyone seen a distributor offering crapware as a separate component?
I support Microsoft's right to rent out third rate software at exorbitant prices. If you do not like Microsoft's license, don't use their software and get your money back from the distributor.
Most chip sets have one USB2 interface, a few USB1 interfaces and lots of USB ports. When you plug a USB1 device into a port it is assigned a USB1 interface if there is one left (If not, it trashes the performance of the USB2 interface). All USB2 devices share the 480Mb/s of the only USB2 interface. A modern hard disk can use all the bandwidth in USB2.
If you plug a ten of USB2 hard disks into a USB3 hub, they get almost 480Mb/s each. This is not a feature I would use every month, but some people might like to use their hi-res webcam while backing up.
If the latter, two spare batteries would be much cheaper. When was the last time you had no access to the mains for two weeks, but still had a signal on your phone?
Fuel cells were proposed as a way to power laptops. (Laptops were the precursor to notebooks and could be used on your lap without overheating.) Methanol boils of 65⁰ and has a flash point of 79⁰C. Fuel cells for notebooks could be spectacular.
The rumour is they did have one backup:
Just before a planned upgrade, the techies started a new backup - on top of the only back because they did not have anywhere else to put it. After two days, the PHB got impatient and was not prepared to wait another four days for the backup to be completed (LOTS of data). She decided to halt the backup and proceed with the upgrade.
When your PHB won't shell out for a second set of backup media, you know your setup is being cost cut to shreds.
Didn't you know ID cards prevent swine flu? They also smooth sharp edges, stop heavy objects from falling and prevent global warming.
If you were a Labour politician, who would you be more frightened of: an angry man with a gun in Afghanistan or a taxpayer in the UK? Do ID cards make sense now?
Taking individuals to court may not be cost effective. Sending threatening letters in bulk offering out of court settlements works very well - especially if you do not pass any of the proceeds on to musicians. Anyone know if it is just the civil court actions that will come to an end, or do the threatening letters stop too?
Music distributors finally discovering that most people are not a bunch theives. How long has this taken? Next thing you know, they will remove the advert for downloading films from new DVD's.
As there are free trail versions of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office, then why not go a step further and have a free version of Vista that people pay money to change to Windows 7? If this became a common feature of Dell/HP machines then I would look at there sites to see if they sell anything I want, and perhaps recommend them to others.
Getting to 100,000 feet is cheap. Accelerating to orbital velocity is expensive.
Before launch, the shuttle and boosters have a mass of 2030000kg. Lifting all that to 30500m requires 607GJ. (Slight over estimate because you would not need a full external tank if you start from 100,000 feet.)
Without the external tank and boosters, the shuttle has a mass of 109000kg. Magically accelerating only that to the velocity of the international space station (7680m/s) without any rocket fuel requires 3200GJ. In real life, over 90% of the initial thrust is used to accelerate rocket fuel. This percentage falls as the fuel is burned, but you need much more than 3200GJ when you include accelerating some of the the fuel to some of the final velocity.
You might save 5% on the cost of a space shuttle if you had a free ride to 100,000 feet. You are looking for a payload of about 200,000kg. Here is what is/was/might be available:
Payload: 160,000kg Currently incomplete and out of money.
Payload: 40,000kg. Zeplin/helicopter hybrid currently under development.
Payload: 83,000kg. Currently in pieces under the sea.
Payload: 72,000kg. Currently in pieces under the sea.
Payload: 10,000kg. Currently not functional. (LZ-130 scrapped after 129 went down in flames)
Payload: 2000kg. The biggest I could find that actually flies today.
I doubt that any of these could get close to 100,000 feet.
" readers are unlikely to buy a legit version of a book once they've read it. "
People already use illegally distributed music as a way to try before they buy. This results in more sales because people can be sure that they are buying something they want to keep. Some people buy illegally distributed DVD's because the proper one has not been released yet, then they buy a proper copy when it is released. Why should it be any different with books?
If you do not want your book collection to disappear when manufacturers decide you have to buy a new reader, go with a company that does not treat you like a criminal.
... is that is should last just longer than the guaranty and cease production after a year so a replacement battery can cost as much as a whole new gizmo.
Unless manufacturers agree a standard shape, voltage and charger interface then I will stay with AA's wherever possible.
Lithium ion and lithium polymer batteries are useless at low temperatures. There was a lot of laughter here when commentards found out that a mini-sub was powered by a crate full of D batteries. That only had to work down to 0 centigrade. I have not seen batteries quoted for really low temperatures, so you might be looking for some sort of thermos flask for the batteries.
Looks like you spotted the problem with GSM: at altitude, many cells will be within range. The network operators will not be happy if you broadcast to a dozen cells at once. I have not done APRS, but I suspect it has some of the same challenges for the power supply as GSM. The average power may be reasonable, but the radio needs to take sharp bursts of power. This means you will need short leads and good contacts between the radio and the battery. Some kind person replaced my gold plated folded sheet metal contacts with helical steel springs (inductors with a huge contact resistance). That was sufficient to prevent the GSM module getting the sudden bursts of power it needed.
For release, I would go test the following in a freezer: Connect the balloon to the decent module with fuse wire and break it with a large current. Go nuts on the current because the fuse wire will get covered in ice. Use multiple methods for deciding when to release: GPS reports target altitude, GPS reports minimum acceptable altitude and consistently descending, time limit and remote control from your radio (you never know - it might still be working).
Read the instructions for your GPS. Many of them are optimised on the assumption that you must be on the surface of the earth, and that you want the signals that have been reflected off buildings (Reflected signals cause multipath error, but that may be preferable on the ground when the direct signals are blocked). There are often manufacturer specific 'NMEA' commands that will reconfigure a GPS for use at altitude.
Passive antennas will work at very low temperatures - if your GPS can use a passive antenna. If you have to use an active antenna, check the specs to find out if it will work at low temperatures. Read the real instructions for the antenna. The salesman will tell you what he thinks you want to hear. There are good signals at altitude, and plenty of satellites will be in view, but the kit will be working below the tested temperature range while covered in ice. Many GPS antennas assume they are stuck to the top of a car, and need a ground plane (sheet of metal about 30cm in diameter) to work according to spec (this include plenty of antennas for hand-held GPS devices). Use a coating that repels water: you can get them in spray cans (Often very poisonous. Read the instructions carefully and do not use indoors). Spray all the electronics as well (except the connectors).
It is safe to assume your GPS and your radio will not work at the same time. If you cut the weight by removing the RF shielding from you GPS, radio or CPU then none of them will work at the same time. Make sure you can send the last __valid__ GPS fix. If the parts work individually, but not when packed together, add small capacitors connecting each connection between modules to ground. If you cannot keep the GPS and radio antennas apart, point the radio antenna's weakest transmission direction at the GPS antennas worst reception direction. The frequencies are very different, but putting a powerful radio transmitter right next to a very sensitive receiver is always asking for trouble. GPS likes short antenna cables - especially if you use a passive antenna. The really thin light weight cable is poorly shielded and will pick up too much signal from everything that can confuse the GPS.
Install python and the python imaging library (PIL), and run the program at the end of this comment on the big tiff image. It turns every over exposed pixel black. Some of the stars might emit more blue light than red and green, but all three components are maxed out in the bright stars so you cannot tell. You cannot even be sure of the colours of the stars that are not over exposed. You would have to find out if the picture is really made of red/green/blue components - it could easily be infra-red, ruby-red, red.
#! /usr/bin/env python
from PIL import Image
i = Image.open('ejecty_star_big.tiff')
Image.eval(i, lambda x: (x, 0)[x==255]).save('overexposed.tiff')
If Microsoft haven't reproduced the crash or experienced any crashes with chkdsk on the stack reported in "any measurable number", how do they know that updating the chipset drivers fixes the problem?
For at least 20 years, Harddisks have hidden bad sectors from the OS by automatically mapping pre-reserved good sectors into their addresses. A fault in chkdsk /r itself is not something many people will ever bump into, but if chkdsk is exposing a bug somewhere else that other programs may trigger then there is a problem.
Clearly, the best way to solve this type of problem is to post a random 'solution' before getting clear results from a proper investigation, and to blame the people reporting the bug.
Mac OS X is only licensed for use on Apple hardware. Microsoft's Vista hardware compatibility site shows "Unknown" for iMac. (Is there a Windows 8 compatibility page?)
How can you compare prices for software that will not available for the same hardware?
Does the absence of a clear positive statement of compatibility mean there is no demand for Windows on Apple hardware? It could mean Microsoft are afraid of people comparing the two operating systems on common hardware.
Windows and all its software is expensive, so children learn that the only way they can use the software is to find a source of illegal copies. Some people never grow out of the habit, and extend it to music and films.
One reason Linux users buy so little software is that there is so little commercial software available for Linux that is better than what they can get for free. Programmers earn their living from copyright laws, and free/open source software depends on copyright. I have found that penguinstas have more respect for copyright than Windows users.
The bank and the Linux foundation earn their money by taking a percentage from each sale (normally absorbed by the vendor). The bank gets their best profit from people who do not repay at the end of each month. If the commission is not so high that vendors refuse to accept the card, and if the terms and conditions are fair, then the card look interesting as a way to support Linux.
Selling open source with lock-in is like trying to sell windows without support for legacy applications. Eventually even the most pointy haired bosses catch on and plan a migration away from lock in.
Google have enough money to develop their own operating system, but Microsoft have demonstrated that it is the limit of their resources. Anyone smaller would have to maintain their closed source patches to keep up with the rest of the world using F/OSS for free without the benefit of the largest share of the world's advertising budget or control of the distribution channel. Everyone trying to lock people into different closed source extended clouds would just be a re-run of the Unix wars.
Most of the free software crowd will not care, and the few who do will use Affero style licenses.
Pumped storage is profitable because it is used every day. To avoid power cuts, you would need easily 20x as much as we have now, most of which would only be used once every year or two. It would suffer the same economic problems as a once every year or two gas power station. Big batteries suffer from self discharge and some chemistries (like Lithium ion) are destroyed by deep discharge. Keeping a huge pile of batteries charged all year in case they might be needed for a day or two is costly.
I have yet to see what the wind power plan is for our next big storm. Are we going to build expensive windturbines that can withstand a storm that might turn up some time in the next ten years, or cheap ones that will all be blown to pieces on the same night?
A workable energy policy needs a variety of power sources, storage and not wasting power when there is a choice. If you want to do something constructive, check warming your water with solar power to reduce the energy required for hot water. Unless your home is in the Hebrides, solar heating will probably pay for itself and a wind turbine on your roof wont.
Just remember it could always be worse. Imagine "Biofuel Britain".
Can anyone explain to me why this is reassuring?
Now start thinking about what EATR would be made of: A cross between a tank, combine harvester and a biodiesel refinery.
I found some figures for an M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/m1-specs.htm
0.6 miles per gallon.
60 gallons per hour when traveling cross-country
30+ gallons per hour while operating at a tactical ideal
10 gallons basic idle
A mine plow will increase the fuel consummation rate of a tank by 25 percent
Big combine harvesters need almost as much fuel as a tank, but a small one can collect enough rice or wheat, and uses only about 5% of the power of a tank. http://www.tradeindia.com/selloffer/1759732/Combine-Harvester-Jiaolong-Type.html
While we are at it, making biodiesel requires more energy than you can get back from burning the resulting biodiesel. The only reasons for making it are to collect the subsidies for growing crops, chip fat would block sewers and because it is hard to make an aeroplane powered by batteries. If you rely on your enemies to buy fertilisers for EATR's hunting grounds you might recover more energy than the energy used to harvest and process a field of fully grown wheat or rice.
Here is a biodiesel processing kit rated for 600 gallons/day: http://www.extremebiodiesel.com/
It is not automated and it requires a supply of methanol and lye. If you add a wood chipper, fermenter and distillery to our combinetankrefinery, you get a supply of methanol. Lye can be made from wood ash.
Lastly, EATR needs to kill people. Normal ammunition requires some energy intensive chemicals. Manufacturing them inside EATR would add even more equipment to fit inside our giant complicated killer robot. The combine harvester and wood chipper would be excellent weapons if desecrating bodies was not a war crime. How about using excess biodiesel or methanol for a flame thrower? Is it OK to burn people to death? (Remember, with a few EATR's wandering around chewing up forests and nicking all the crops, these people would would starve to death anyway.)
If you are too lazy to compile your own browser, a web search for "lynx browser compiled windows" will give you several choices. Similar searches for links and w3m did not show anything convincing near the top, but I did find this:
There are plenty of media players and application installers. Gnote does exactly what Tomboy does, but uses native libraries so it is far quicker. If Beagle is installed it regularly thrashes your disks and wipes out the caches - even if you never use it for searching. If your machine takes ages to get going after being left idle for a while, try removing Beagle.
The promise does not apply to future versions of the specification, non-required optional portions of the specification, extensions to the specification or deviations from the specification - even when those extensions and deviations are required to match Microsoft's implementation.
I do not need mono, and I will keep it that way - at least until Microsoft earns a reputation for not abusing its near monopoly in operating systems.
If someone has physical access to a PC, then they can root it - no matter what operating system is installed. You can slow someone down by locking the case, glueing covers on the USB ports and changing the BIOS manufacturer's backdoor password. Using Linux (or a BSD) provides some protection from remote attacks - depending on what demons you leave running and how you configure them. You still need to lock people out of the server room.
If someone in command of one of the armed services decides to take over, he has to fight the other two. Looks like we will end up with and airforce that can only shoot at planes, a navy that can protect ships from mines and nuke a country and an army that can capture all the airbases and ports that survive the budget.
On the plus side, if this is our defence strategy the army will be able to demand decent pay and equipment.
"[Microsoft] said earlier this month it would deliver Windows 7 in Europe minus IE 8 to satisfy with European antitrust regulators"
I thought the European antitrust regulators have already said W7-IE8 is Microsoft's idea, not theirs, and is not a suitable remedy anyway:
The European Commission notes with interest Microsoft's announcement of its plans for Windows 7, and in particular of the apparent separation of Internet Explorer (IE) from Windows in the EEA. The Commission will shortly decide in the pending browser tying antitrust case whether or not Microsoft’s conduct from 1996 to date has been abusive and, if so, what remedy would be necessary to create genuine consumer choice and address the anticompetitive effects of Microsoft’s long-standing conduct. In terms of potential remedies if the Commission were to find that Microsoft had committed an abuse, the Commission has suggested that consumers should be offered a choice of browser, not that Windows should be supplied without a browser at all.
Imagine these people follow the money being paid for fake anti-virus software to a criminal in Russia or China. What are they going to do once they find him?
"The combination of Atom and D945G has been responsible for the creation of the market for 'nettop' desktop PCs that offer basic services such as e-mail and browsing the web at a low price."
Small cheap computers started with the XO-1, which used an AMD Geode. Eee (Is she still on the beach?) was an underclocked Celeron M. Acer Aspire 1 (Atom) was about 6 months later. The Atom was responsible for small cheap computers passing the size and price of a cheap laptop, but without the performance.
Distributors specify the manufacturer's part numbers of the chipset, CPU and the performance of the attached heat sink. Computer literate customers can check Intel/AMD/Via's web site for the chips' features, clock speeds, power dissipation and operating temperature. They can also check their favourate review site for benchmark comparisons.
No-one else will have a clue what they are buying and can be confident that the sales assistant is not conning them because he is equally clueless and is just following the deceptive script provided by his employer.
Are Intel's marketing team as clueless as a PCworld employee, or are they just trying to do what they can based on the ignorance and attention span of the average PCworld customer?
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019