Bugster in the mud ...
Does spray from the front wheels plaster the passengers?
2601 posts • joined 19 Oct 2007
Google and Apple are both lock-in vendors. Anyone with a clue has known this for years. Googleization refers to a way of defeating the spirit of GPL Version 2, so they could hardly be more famous for systematic lack of openness.
For those of us that care about the freedom to do what we want with our kit, there are products on the market: http://www.openmoko.com/product.html
20 years ago, most of the roads near home had no speed limit. Now most of the big wide major roads are 30 with a few 40's. 20 years ago I paid attention when driving. Now, there is a real danger of dozing off at the wheel.
Some of the narrow windy back roads still have no limit. Occasionly you can find a boy racer's wreck in a ditch. More please!
All the ISP's I have had contact with say "We do not support Linux". They all supply a CD and say you have to install the software (malware/adware?) on it. Every single time I have thrown the CD in the bin without opening it and connected with Linux without any hassle whatsoever. I would be shocked it Talk Talk were any different, but I will take your warning at face value and avoid Talk Talk unless someone who knows better speaks up.
Asus do not need to have outstanding Linux support for every WIFI chip. They only need to select one of the chips that is well supported.
As for Windows 7, MS did say something about chopping it up so a subset of it could run on a mainstream computer. Perhaps Asus are basing their decision on a sneak preview of XP7^W VistaSP3^W Windows 7. I have yet to hear any advantage for the customer in Windows 2017 over Vista. Asus could save themselves some time and money by sticking with Linux/XP until hell freezes over^W^W^W MS release something better.
If a phone cannot receive on a frequency, it will not transmit on it. The towers encode the power they use in the signal so phones will select high power at the edge of a big cell and low power at the edge of a small cell. To make a cell phone transmit with maximum power, reduce the power at the tower to the minimum that the phone can detect and lie about the power output of the transmitter.
So it seems the locals have a slight preference for foreign troops over the taliban. Perhaps one day they will get to choose none of the above.
£0.04/mile X 100miles X 500 charge cycles = £2000
After about 500 charge cycles the battery is knackered, and a replacement may well cost about £2000. Looks like the cabs are getting free electricity.
If the electricity is free, put it on overhead cables so cabs (and buses) work like bumpem^W dodgem cars. Then you can save the cost of moving and replacing hefty batteries.
Workers on high voltage power lines have worn conductive clothing for years. Some of the thread is replaced by wire. The clothing does not look taser proof.
For the person who has not heard of PC Plod: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plod
For everyone else: Police Link Officers for Deaf people
Some Kentuckians are betting on the stock market. Some of them are betting on changes in the interest rates. Almost all of them are betting on the value of the dollar. Judge Thomas Wingate should lead by example: sell any shares, give all his money to charity and live as Jesus intended: http://bible.cc/matthew/6-26.htm.
At last, a reference to Wikipedia on the register without saying wackypedia. At least one person at vulture central has seen that there are some good articles there.
By all means, introduce people who are interested in command lines to less, but consider <shift><page up>.
@CN Hill: Linux has GUI interfaces for almost everything. For some purposes, the command line is a better choice. As far as I know (I have not used MS software for about a decade) Microsoft have taken the choice away from you, so you cannot easily perform some tasks from a command line interface in Windows. Next time you are suffering from the death of a thousand mouse clicks, remember that I could accomplish the same task in seconds from the command line.
Linux forums can be unfriendly to newbies. There are several possible reasons. A small minority of penguinistas do not want a bunch of computer illiterates encouraging malware authors to target Linux. Sometimes a script kiddie is being rude to hide his ignorance or to feel superior. The most common reason is that the newbie has not demonstrated any effort to look for existing solutions. Unfortunately not all penguinistas point newbies at http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
If you want things to happen automatically, without having to reach all the way over to the mouse, then the command line is to first step to learning how to create scripts. Here are some resources I wish I had found when I first met the command line:
When you read the manual, it is displayed by a program called 'less'. Learn what you can do with less by typing: "man less"
The next step is to learn what you can do with the manual. Type "man man".
Command names can be a bit cryptic, but that last page should have told you the solution. Try: "man -k cifs"
The GNU project has issues with the man pages. They prefer the info pages. Type "info info" to learn how to read them. If you know vaguely what to do, but need a reminder of the details, the man pages are the best choice. If you are exploring unfamiliar territory, the info system is more useful.
Very often, newbies (and Gurus) collect together related infomation into a tutorial (a HOWTO). Check out the Linux documentation project (http://tldp.org/). Before diving into one of the documents (find the right one in http://tldp.org/HOWTO/HOWTO-INDEX/index.html), check the date. If the one you are interested in is two years old, you can safely assume that no-one has updated the HOWTO because modern software tools have made the task trial.
Is the reason AMD are not rushing to release one that no-one would build a laptop based on one? There are a huge pile of Atom based toys. I have yet to find I single Nano based laptop.
I have locked my Intel laptop to minimum clock speed, and as long as do not do anything taxing, the fan noise is tolerable. (At full speed, the fan can drown out a passing goods train 100 metres away). A fanless Nano or something similar from AMD would be very interesting. No way am I buying another overpriced Intel box that is either slow and too loud or noisy and too slow.
Intel CPU's have a fast risc core and huge number of transistors to convert X86 instructrutions into risc instructions. ARM (and MIPS) are risc cores, so the do not need to waste transistors and power converting a legacy instruction set into something that can be decoded efficiently.
Intel and Via CPU's use power to get data to and from the north bridge. The north bridge uses power to get data to and from the memory. ARM (and MIPS) CPU's have a memory controller built in like AMD CPU's, so it only takes half the power to get data from memory to the CPU compared to an Intel or Via chipset.
These two advantages more than make up for the better manufacturing processes that Intel uses for Atoms. ARM (and MIPS) give better performance per watt than X86. Also you do not need to pay for the massively over-priced Inhell Inside sticker, so you get better performance per £ too.
The other advantage of ARM (and MIPS) is that closed source software vendors have difficulty supplying multiple variants of their binaries. Stick to open source applications and you can compile them whenever you change architectures (If you are too computer-illiterate to compile programs yourself, Gentoo automates the process for you). You will never have to wait two years and pay an buy the software again like you did when you went from x86 to AMD64.
ARM and MIPS have good economies of scale for devices. If PHB's understood the value of ARM and MIPS, we would see economies of scale for laptops (laptop: a notebook that will not catch fire if you cover the cooling vents by using it on your lap.)
Make a 6km tube with internal dimensions to match the roof of a mini. Stand the tube vertically in a deep part of the ocean. Put a mini-roof in the end of the tube, seal the edges and pile on a large supply of elephants until the roof is pushed down to the far end of the tube.
Provide photographic evidence or admit that that this 1600 elephants theory is wild speculation.
Take a look at the fluttering flag film. I have seen the clip with conspiracy theorists raving "There! Look!! It's Fluttering!!!"
At that exact moment there is an astronaut trying (in 1/6 gravity) to push the flag pole into the moon. The pole is shaking so the flag moves. I would happily lock these people in a vacuum chamber and not let them out until they can plant a flag without it moving. Anytime they complain that they want more air for the space suits I would tell them they cannot be in a vacuum because the flag flutters.
... it is not worth reading. Any competent lawyer should be able to hide get-out clauses around anything that looks like a binding commitment in such a long document.
There are plenty of ways to deal with huge privacy policies. How many millions of internet users live in Beverly Hills (zipcode 90210)? Who else puts the website's own contact phone number into the form? How many people have a date of birth that varies with the phase of the moon? How many people use a bugmenot address for confirmation email?
I remember some of the documentary. Getting hold of sinews is not that difficult. Preparing them for use in a torsion spring was prohibitively labour intensive. Perhaps there was an easy way to do it, but no-one remembers what is was. The 400 paces figure was almost certainly exaggeration. Modern materials can probably store as much energy as sinew.
The bad news is that once you have your sinew torsion spring, it is much easier to install that a modern one. If you soak the sinew, install it and tighten it up, it will get much tighter as it dries (but wont work in the rain). Modern materials behave consistently when wet and dry, so their is no easy way to set the machine up with the required initial tension.
If you are going to demolish the neighbours' houses with an ancient siege weapon, I would recommend a trebuchet. They have a much smoother throwing action, so they are less likely to smash themselves to bits. Trebuchets also have no recoil, so you can hit the same spot again and again without having to re-aim after each shot. (In real life, trebuchets could not bring down a castle wall. They were used to scare defenders away so attackers could undernine or advance siege towers. Cannons were used to similar effect and had the advantages of creating a loud bang and a spectacular fireball. Trebuchets were more accurate, had a higher rate of fire and were more powerful for the first few decades after cannons arrived.)
I am sitting in my hypersonic bomber, and ground troops call in an airstrike. I fly over and suddenly notice that the bombs are attached to the top of my aircraft. Its a good thing my aircraft can do a barrel roll or I would never be able to by those allies^W journalists^W people.
I am sitting in my supersonic fighter and a boat load of Somali pirates are rowing towards towards my carrier. They suddenly appear on my radar as they leap into the sky. A launch a missile and illuminate the pirates with my radar so the missile can stay on course. Its a good thing my fighter can do a barrel roll because my radar won't point upwards and those pirates are gyrating all over the sky.
I am in my space plane on my way to moon base alpha when all of a sudden there is a massive nuclear explosion at the base. There is a big heat shield on the belly of the plane. Luckily I can do a barrel roll and duck and cover behind that.
Seriously, is there a reason for a modern aircraft to be able to do a barrel roll?
Here are my top three. They encourage killing people abroad and are sufficiently depressing that they could drive some people to suicide:
The law is tight enough already. Successful suicide already carries the death sentence.
1) Technique for handling big merges: avoid if at all possible. Sun should not need to do a big merge. They simply needed a patch acceptance policy like: "Accepting a patch for the open version requires someone implement the same functionality in the closed version promptly if appropriate".
2) Caging free software: last time I checked, Sun's license was open source, not free software. If you contribute, Sun have the right to keep your contribution, modify it in secret and charge others for using it.
3) No idea. I did not like Sun's licenses. I got tired of reading new versions of the same license whenever Sun announced that they had dealt with the free software community's objections to their license.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I regret to inform you that we are experiencing some network problems. As we are unable to verify ID cards today, we cannot treat anyone on the national health. Please stop being ill for a few days until we have a system working again. Those of you considering private medicine, please remember that many private hospitals deal with complications and accidents by sending patients here. The security staff will not let the doctors into the operating theatre or drug supply cupboards until they can verify our ID cards, so this is not a good time to have an emergency.
Those of you wishing to seek medical attention abroad should remember that all flights have been cancelled for the last two days because the pilot's database was accidently deleted, and pilots are busy logging enough flight hours to re-qualify.
TonyB Liar will be remembered for contributing towards the deaths of thousands in Iraq all because of some fictional bio-weapons. Who is Gordon going to kill for some kickbacks from IT companies?
Power = Voltage x Frequency x Capacitance
Chips have capacitance. Tracks on a PCB have a little capacitance. Chip sockets have some capacitance. Connectors have capacitance for each half of the connection. If you can add more and more DIMM sockets, you have some nasty choices:
1) Put some huge power transistors on your CPU (and memory chips) to drive the enormous capacitance of a row of daisy chained DIMM holders - even when few DIMM holders are present.
2) Divide the frequency by the number of DIMM holders daisychained together.
3) Put bus drivers on each DIMM holder (expensive, power hungry and increases the latency)
In short, a modular motherboard is not competitive. A better way to go would be to reduce the number of connectors and sockets. This can be done by putting the DRAM on the same chip has the CPU. Much of the complexity of a CPU is there to deal with the latency of the chip package+chip socket+PCB+another chip package+northbridge+back off the chip package+PCB again+DIMM socket+DIMM PCB+memory chip package. Scrapping all that latency gives you a healthy chunk of space on your CPU for DRAM.
Now your CPU only needs connections for power, cooling and communication.
DC power may not be the best answer. If there was a standard voltage and if you do not mind asphyxiating a few techies when the liquid nitrogen boils, I would say low voltage DC through super conductors. The other choice is high frequency AC. Humans are far more resistant to high voltages at about 1kHz than at 50/60Hz, so you could use thin (expensive) copper cables covered in thick (cheap) PVC carrying a few hundred volts at high frequency without risk of electrocuting people. Converting the voltage only requires a transformer (smaller than you are used to because of the high frequency). Converting to DC still requires a filter, but the capacitors would be smaller than you are used to because of the high frequency.
A nice dream. Google have the income to make it happen, but I do not see them leaping into low margin standards based hardware development at present.
Which twit made the text colour in the comment textbox black, but did not set the background colour? My style sheet sets all backgrounds to dark blue because I find bright text on a dark background far easier to read. Noddy's guide to style sheets insists that if you change one colour, you must change them all. Other sites can get this right, so when some berk inflicts obnoxious colours on me for a specific selector I still get colours with a reasonable contrast. I wasted 5 minutes fixing this in my style sheet to make commenting less painful.
Rest assured this will never happen again. I would switch over to Lynx if it had tabbed browsing. (Lynx ignores all style sheets.) Next time I will experiment with dcop so I can get tabbed browsing in lynx by opening another session in konsole.
"Vista was always meant to be slower than a squashed slug. We will be executing the second phase of our operating system campaign next decade, as planned from the start. We plan to sell twice as many licenses for Windows 7. It will require a dual CPU main board, and you will need one license per CPU."
Had scripting turned off for years, and never downloaded any plugins, so perhaps I do not know what I am missing.
The new-look reg makes the basic mistake: change the foreground colour to black, but leave my choice of a dark background in the textbox. As a result I am trying Lynx today.
So far, so good. I think I will keep it as it is far faster, and I always get may choice of colours.
The new Reg layout means you can reduce the width of the browser, hide the adverts, and see some of the Paris picture you have on your desktop. Just for a moment, maximise your browser and you will find the "most wanted storage" panel. Click on Seagate free agent, and you will find shops with prices in £'s.
If I go out on a moonless night, I can normally read the LCD when on battery power - if I stay away from street lamps. Manufacturers seem to think their is some value in dimming the backlight to increase the battery life. In the real world, there is no point having a long battery life if you cannot see what you are doing.
Next time, get vulture central to spring for a <strike>holiday in the sun</strike> business trip to properly test the SCC's.
BTW - PVR cards often contain an MIPS core for mpeg encoding. If you have a background in embedded systems, (or LOTS of determination), you can set up a cross compiler and build even the most obscure open source software for your MIPS CPU. Most of it ports easily between CPU's.
Cost = (Non recurring Engineering) + (Unit cost) x (Quantity)
Price = Max( (Cost) x (1+(margin)), Min( (what you can afford), (what someone else charges)) )
Increasing the quantity increases the cost and can increase the price. To reduce the cost, you have to sell bombers to your enemies so they share the NRE. Unfortunately that increases the price (Sales tax increases the amount you have to spend, and now you need to spend more on defence because your enemies have get some return on their investment).
It is not that hard to come up with an idea like this. First you need a problem: in this case radiation therapy kills some good cells as well as lots of cancer cells. Designing a gene from scratch that repairs damage to DNA in non-cancerous cells is far too much like hardwork. It is much easier to find such a gene that already exists, and adapt it to your needs.
Next you need someone with an enormous budget. NASA are a reasonable choice, but DARPA seems more appropriate. (Remember the study that involved teaching monkeys to fly by electrocuting them when they crashed, then finding the smallest dose of radiation required to make them crash?). Department of homeland security also have money, but they cannot tell the difference between junk and science, so the competition is tougher.
There is a bunch of organisms called extremophiles that can live in harsh conditions. They are the obvious choice to start looking for any unusual genes. Your next step is to expose a selection of extremophiles with your radio therapy equipment. Any that survive are good candidates for further investigation.
Unfortunately, this is not that expensive, and does not require NASA. NASA would be interested in radiation hardening their astronauts, so the idea shows promise. While we are at it, vacuum is a bit of a problem. Some extremophiles can survive at high altitude. Get out your vacuum pump and test some likely creatures. Oops - too cheap try again:
There are cosmic rays in space that we cannot make on earth. At last - an excuse big enough to involve NASA. By this time you have experience in breeding extremophiles, and with a bit of selective breeding, you have the world's biggest collection of radiation hardened vacuum resistant animals. Time to make your pitch to NASA.
Bad news - they are not entirely dim - but they have their on motives. They need some <strike>excuses</strike> experiments to justify the space station budget, so they are interested in the experiment, but not funding your new swimming pool. Not to worry though - they are interested in publicising a successful experiment. You can ride the publicity to some less frugal investors, point at the startling abilities of extrophiles, say you have NASA convinced and get that pool after all.
Two objects approaching at near the speed of light:
If you move at the same speed as one of the beams, you will measure distance and time differently from someone sitting on the ring. As a result, you will get different numbers for velocities. If someone sitting on he ring thinks the beams have velocities of V and -V, then someone moving with one of the beams thinks the ring is moving with velocity V and the other beam is moving with velocity 2V/(1+V^2/C^2) where C is the speed of light. Simply adding velocities gives near enough the right answer if the velocities are small, so the simple (but wrong) formula is taught first and the real formula is left until later - if it is mentioned at all.
As for mutant powers, some tourist did try to look down the beam of a much smaller (linear) accelerator. He remarked on seeing some pretty colours (the particles directly stimulated neurons in his visual cortex). Afterwards he could not read minds, change the weather, blast things with his eyes, drain peoples lives or even survive a quick bout of brain cancer. Just goes to show how badly scientists estimate the ability of tourists to recognise real danger.
LHC accelerates protons towards its centre to make them go round in a circle. Accelerating charged particles emit light (called synchrotron radiation). As LHC accelerates protons hard, the light is at a high frequency: x-rays. I do not know how long it would take for the X-rays to kill you. You might have time to undo the big bolts holding a section of the ring in place, use a crane to lift that section out the way and then stand in the path of the protons - which won't be there any more as you just filled the ring with air and removed a set of focusing magnets and bending magnets required to keep the protons in the ring.
There are a couple of places where the bending magnets can be turned off to dump the beams. People desperate to change their appearance at will, catch birds with their tongues or levitate metal objects could try standing in front of one of the beam dump targets. It is not an experiment that I would expect them to survive for long.
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