# Posts by Flocke Kroes

2601 posts • joined 19 Oct 2007

### SanDisk makes sub-SSDs for sub-laptops

#### Cheap PC, CheapyC, Qi PC

There is some crap about trying to call them ultra-portable, and so charge a premium for compactness. For me, the advantage is the low cost, (I would prefer one with a decent size keyboard and screen) so pick a word that makes it clear that the advantage is the lack of cost.

For those of you who cannot read pinyin, qi is pronounced like the start of cheap, but while smiling. Which by some co-incidence matches the name of a company designing low cost daylight readable LCD screens (pixelqi).

### Daily Mail cites video game as proof of terrorist doomsday plot

#### UK government has a law in place to deal with this...

Quick: detain, question and deport Daily Mail staff for distributing terrorist publications.

### Irregular heart rhythm? Try a Taser

#### 50000V means very little

If a taser really put 50000V across people, they would die. A taser might have an open circuit voltage of 50000V, but that voltage almost certainly falls under load. What really matters is the current. The threshold of perception is about 100uA. 5mA is often safe. Prolonged exposure to 18mA across the chest results in suffocation in adult males. It is believed that a lower current will kill women and children, but as far as I know, tests of this conjecture have not been published. 60mA at 60Hz can cause ventricular fibrillation in adult males (this has been tested on children: 30mA is sufficient for them). Most adults will experience ventricular fibrillation with a current of 100mA applied between the hands. People are about ten times less sensitive to DC currents and frequencies above 1000Hz.

At a wild guess, tasers output short bursts of DC current. I hope they are current limited rather than set to a specific voltage.

A blanket statement like "Tasers are safe" just causes suspicion, and a bit of nervousness that policemen will not be told what type of situations make tasers a bad risk. I think one policeman with a taser is a cheaper way to immobilise a violent suspect than half a dozen unarmed policemen. How much are you prepared to pay for the safety of suspects and policemen?

### Apple patent filing suggests solar powered iPhone

#### Hail to the sun god: Ra! Ra! Ra!

Average insolation in mainland US is about 125 to 275 W/n^2. Call it 200W/m^2, use an experimental 40% efficient 5x7cm cell, use 80% efficient (modern) batteries and 85% efficient chargers (an excellent mains charger - solar power powered chargers are less efficient because the have to handle a variable input voltage). That would power a basic modern phone (no 3D graphics or GPRS) continuously with about 4hours/day of talk time (250mA at 3.7V transmit, 10mA standby).

If people want to spend their day pointing their phones at the brightest available light source, then we can just about make this work now.

Well done to Apple. This has most the attributes of a profitable patent: mass market, obvious, plenty of prior art. There are a few things they missed though. For real success, they should patent software for a business method and sneak it into an open standard.

### Electrosticky droid boffin in spider-gecko tech bitchslap

#### @physics?

My book shelves stay attached to the walls without using any power at all. Putting them up and knocking them down requires energy.

It is the same with electrosticky. The article gives no clue about the energy required to attach to a surface, or if it is possible to recover that energy when releasing a surface. The 100microwatts is for remaining attached.

[Also two 40cm shields may be a bit big, but four 23.1cm shields (keep three attached at all times) would also work.]

### The economy: A big Arab did it and ran away, claims PM

#### Why not get to work in a 4x4 full of concrete towing an empty bus?

Every weekday I walk past a queue of cars each carrying one person. About once per week I see a motorcyclist. I am sure many of the car drivers need a car once or twice a week, but it is cheaper to use a car all the time than to tax and insure two vehicles.

If Mr Brown wants to reduce fuel prices, he has to reduce demand. If you could switch your tax disk back and fourth between a car and a bike, I am sure the insurance companies would offer competitive a deal.

BTW, if you think oil managed by OPEC is a problem, just image how bad it would be with Gordon in charge.

### Tory proposes street-legal Segway legalisation

#### One use springs to mind immediately

Excellent, lets cancel all MP's travel expenses except for one segway each.

### Stem cell researchers claim victory in battle with Church

#### Mitochondrial DNA

Cells of people, cows, squirrels, penguins, plants and fungi contain mitochondria. Mitochondria contain their own DNA, and reproduce independently of the host cell. Mitochondria make adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is used to power most processes inside cells. AFAIK, Mitochondria are the only source of ATP (IANAboilogist).

I think the plan is to create embryos with human chromosomes (where most of the DNA lives) and cow mitochondria. I have yet to read anything that tells me the advantages of such embryos.

### DNS gaffe leaves spy agency totally under cover

#### If DNS and http on same/different boxes

If the DNS+http box breaks, people cannot read my web pages.

If my http box breaks, but my separate DNS server is working, people cannot read my web pages.

Where is the advantage to me of paying for a separate DNS box?

### Developing world buoys up software pirates

#### Who cares what the BS All. say?

26% of new PC's in the UK did not have to have the Microsoft virus removed before installing linux. No wonder Microsoft's BS All. has to spin these figures hard.

(2/3 most wished for laptops on Amazon do not come with MS bloatware ;-)

### Scientists discover galaxy's youngest supernova

#### @Tim Brown

2.5e6 years is far too short for any measurable change in the rate of supernovas.

There are stars made out of hydrogen left over from the big bang, and eventually such stars will be few and far between. When such stars supernova, the release huge clouds of gasses including a variety of elements - not just hydrogen.

The sun formed about 4.5e9 years ago, from gasses ejected from supernovas. The sun will supernova in about 3.5e9 years, and the gasses ejected will eventually form new stars. Stars are still forming in our galaxy, and this is not going stop any time soon. There will be plenty of supernovas to watch in the next billions of years.

(Maybe aliens put up some dust clouds to protect us from supernova ratiation ;-)

### Vendor touts notebook as desktop server replacement

#### Server disks in a portable?

2.5" disks move the heads of the surface before spinning down - the better ones will move the heads somewhere safe during free fall on the assumption that the drive is about to experience a shock. 3.5" disk life time limited by the number of times the heads can land on the disk before they get scraped off. 3.5" disks do not bounce anything like as well as 2.5"disks.

If you want this thing to work reliably, keep one drive shut down in reserve and set up the other two mirrored.

Think of this box as being proof against spyware and adware. It can be loaded down with crap, take part in a brute force password cracking botnet and still keep up with an eee pc.

### MS whips lens cap off WorldWide Telescope

#### MS users, welcome to the 20th century

Stellarium is a bit ambitious for my cheap laptop, but it did run without a fuss even if it was a little jumpy. I am sure it would work much better with a cheap graphics card. Kstars was very smooth.

A quick glance at the subversion trees shows modifications to each project as far back as 2002, so neither is particularly new.

http://www.stellarium.org/

http://edu.kde.org/kstars/

Laptop: Intel T7200 @ 2.00GHz, 945GM (G=graphics decelerator, M=64 bit data bus).

### Babbage's Difference Engine hits Silicon Valley

#### Beat this Lego photographing vultures...

http://acarol.woz.org/

### Dell promises replacement keyboards for wonky laptops

#### \THE \NEW \LOOK \FOR \CAPITAL \LETTERS

\many year ago, the left S\hiFT was next to Z. \it took me ages to get capital letters right when \ moved in between S\hiFT and Z. Fortunately, this change happened after it was common for terminals to be able to output lower case. (\old terminals marked real capitals with a \ in front.)

\the new layout, with \ where I expect the right \sHI\ft, just changes the capital letters that come out wrong.

It could be worse. Chinese keyboards lack |, which makes it awkward to use filters from the command line.

### What did happen to all those London mayoral votes?

#### @Mike Banahan

If MP's get paid in proportion to the number of people who voted for them, the base rate and expenses would increase to compensate.

I think MP's pay should be brought into line with teachers, nurses, firemen and the police. After that, if MP's want a type of expense, two of those groups should get it first. If they want a pay rise, it should be no higher then what the others get.

MP's get expenses for a London home. I do not see them returning those expenses when they are voted out. We have student loans. Why don't we have MP loans?

### Linux guru Hans Reiser convicted of first-degree murder

Reiserfs was useful for a while, but there were good reasons to pick something else before Nina Reiser disappeared suspiciously.

http://blog.linuxoss.com/2006/09/27/suse-102-ditching-reiserfs-as-it-default-fs/

### InPhase finally to phase in holographic disk

#### Why not go with the tried and trusted slogans

Use Microsoft Live Services or we will sue you for patent infringement.

Use Microsoft Live Services because soon you will have to pay for them even if you do not want them.

Use Microsoft Live Services or someone else will put up a shoddy site in your name.

We spent \$300,000,000 on advertising Microsoft Live. It's that good.

Microsoft Live - we will not let your customers go anywhere else.

Microsift Live. It is not like you have a choice.

Microsoft Live. Who cares if it is crap. We are the monopoly.

Trust Microsoft Live. Microsoft Live is your friend.

Microsoft Live shreds your e-mails at the first hint of a law suite.

(Picture a lion scratching himself and knocking over a chess board) Microsoft Lice has the beast spilling chequers.

### 21st century travel: building your own warp drive

#### Two warp drives, one at each end of the journey

If your spaceship can distort space, the distortion moves ahead of you at the speed of light. If you go faster, you enter undistorted space, and are limited to the speed of light again.

The solution is to put warp field generators at each end of the journey. Crank them up, and let them run until there is a path of distortion between the two generators. Although the gavitational waves are limited to the speed of light, the wave that is the sum of two components moving in opposite directions can have any velocity. You can then ride the crest of a wave at that unlimited velocity.

The other way is to use the lighthouse trick. If you light spins around once per second, 100,000km away the illuminated area moves at twice the speed of light.

Bad news is the generators would have to be enormous to avoid dispersion, so you would wreck the source and destination star systems.

### Hushmail open to Feds with court orders

#### Computer Science - Solving yesterday's problems tomorrow

This particular wheel was re-invented years ago:

http://www.gnupg.org/

Create your public/private key pair, upload your public key and others can send you e-mail only you can decrypt.

Find for your friends on the key server, and you can send them e-mail only they can decrypt. (Although plenty of people can

tell who you send encrypted email to.)

In the UK you must regularly change your key and erase the old private key because the police can demand your password. If you do not bother to change your keys, you are better off keeping you password secret if your e-mails explain how to make bombs.

### More gnashing of teeth after Microsoft update brings PCs to a standstill

#### Software not available for linux

Anyone got a clear spec for this unavailable software?

How much is it worth to you and your competitors?

Got a sample support contract?

A new open source project will not have the tested and proven track record you require, but five years from now when Vista2 is a real threat you will wish you had published your requirements.

### The first rule of Reg Club is...

#### Fairness and equal time

What is this rubbish about fairness and giving equal time to the opposing view? Does Richard Dawkins have to put flat earth theories on his web site? I do not see anything about the Church or Lucifer after a news report about the pope.

If I want to talk about that upstart operating system called Vista I should not have to mention that there is a tried and tested alternative that has been around since 1991.