* Posts by Kris

25 posts • joined 18 Dec 2007

'Alien megastructure' Tabby's Star: Light is definitely dimming


>> Not to mention, Drake's equation - the chance of observing THAT EXACT MOMENT of someone building this ridiculous structure (rather than it not being built yet, it being already built, or it already having blown to pieces long ago) is basically zero

Depends how many stars you have to observe... And you only need to get lucky once.

Also, do you not think that a civilisation capable of building such a structure might have a pretty good understanding of the inner workings and life-cycle of the star they are targeting? And do you not think that they might have needs or motived which escape you?

Just because it's probably not, doesn't mean you/we know anything at this stage.

JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!


Re: If i had a vote

Someone on newsnight last night used the argument that you couldn't have a fair democratic union with England because England's 50-odd million drastically outweighs the interest of Scotland's 5 or so million.

Good luck with your new euro buddies then.

Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to hefty bills


Re: You know all this talk of things being more expensive

... which is why they probably should have set the bar at 66 or 75%.

Has any region ever gone independent without 95%+ of people voting for it?

Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display


Re: "should certainly bolster sales in time for the new school term"

""The only people I know who stubbornly differentiate "school" and "uni" are 18 year olds who are very, definitely adults now, thank you.""

The only people I know who stubbornly differentiate "school" and "uni" are 18 year olds who are very, definitely adults now, thank you.


Re: "should certainly bolster sales in time for the new school term"

Yawn. £1000 for a portable, reliable laptop with desktop-class performance can be a perfectly good investment for a uni student over their already expensive multi year studies.

Canon offers a cloud just for still photos, not anything else. Weird


Re: Free Storage.

Hope you don't lose it or have it crash on you.

Microsoft Surface 3 Pro: Flip me over, fondle me up


Microsoft are clearly one of the few companies who can afford to iteratively (and expensively) shove a product down people's throats until they eventually start buying it...


Re: "Surface ***3***. i.e. this is our 3rd attempt after 2 dismal failures"

> It's extremely rare to get it right first time.

Keep telling yourself that.


Thanks guys- first time I ever mention that I like/own a single apple product, and my first ever downvotes. I see how this works ;)


My 2013 Air is probably my fav techy thing I've ever owned, and my first apple product. There's a slickness to the hardware and OS which is hard to grasp if you haven't used one for a few weeks. I skimmed this article and didn't think much of the hardware, then saw that it was running windows 8. Really, are people masochists?

The hardware is far from the biggest problem here. I don't think it was just the dodgy stand stopping people buying the surface 2.

We got a couple dumb win8.1 laptops for test stations at my company, and to say that I regretted not paying the extra for bottom of the line apple laptops would be an understatement. Unfortunately, by the time it had finished updating itself over and over again and oem-installed nagware had been uninstalled and dismissed, I'd missed by opportunity to return them. I didn't want to go over to the dark side, but who has time for this nonsense?

Btw, does any PC manufacturer deliver a totally working, secure, pleasant and non-bloated PC that I can take out of the box and actually work/create on without drama and security or trial-offer dialogues? Seriously, take my money... well, if you're priced somewhere between the crapo ones I bought last month and an Air.

Anyway, back to the surface. As much as I love (and I almost mean love) my Air... laptop screens are too low. They're not ergonomic for extended sessions. You neck aches and it spoils your evening.


Google's JavaScript-slaying-improving Dart lets fly with version 1.0


Will never fly

Google goes dark for 2 minutes, kills 40% of world's net traffic


Bing went down for 10 minutes the nigh before

No one noticed.

Samsung Mega 6.3: Enter the PHONDLESLAB


Re: watching movies....is more productive

OK I could have chosen my words better, but still- seminars? video tutorials? plenty of usage cases related to work/study and leisure which all benefit from having "the biggest screen which isn't a pain in the ass", a definition which varies from person to person,


To all those commenters who seem to dismiss a large phone out of vanity reasons (i.e. not wanting to "look like a knob" with a big phone held to their ear),

Have you tried a Note2 size phone for a day or two? Presumably you accept that watching movies or replying to emails is more productive on a small tablet than it is an GS3 sized phone? Shock horror- these things are also nicer on a 5.5-6 in screen than they are a 4.8-5.0 screen, and for millions of people this justifies a slight size increase.

DARPA uncloaks unTerminator for $2 million robotics challenge


Re: Tethering has its own limitations

There's probably enough power density in petrol, which is what big dog runs off, I thought?

UK way behind pack on broadband speed in Europe


Depends where you are?

In suburban London, my "30 Mbps" virgin media connection benchmarks, any time I care to test it, at approx 28-31 Mbps .....

Google files patent for eyewear that SHOOTS LASERS


Re: Didn't think I'd ever say this - but why bother with lasers?

augmenting part of your visual area is still "augmented reality glasses" ...........

Hm, nice idea that. But somebody's already doing it less well


Thanks for the interesting article

Falling slinky displays slow-motion causality


Re: @Kris

Yes .... I don't doubt that the centre of gravity still falls as expected (since the top can fall faster than gravity, and the bottom of the spring slower than gravity...)


I'm starting to think that (on the instant after release) each "ring" is still holding up the ring below. i.e. that each small component in the chain is effectively still in equilibrium ....... each bundle of springy atoms is still holding up the next bundle of springy atoms .... and that the really slow "propagation" inherent to the slinky means that the "release" of tension takes ages to propagate down ....

After all, if you're sky diving, you could still push and pull on objects, regardless of the fact that you're not anchored to any thing.


Re: @John Latham / xyz Seems overcomplicated

It's not the same, no.

if it's sat on a table horizontally and stretched, then it will spring towards its centre again when released.

If it's hanging, then the bottom rings have round equilibrium between the "up" pull and gravity. If you turned off gravity, it would spring up from the bottom, much like when sat on the table.

But they're not switching off gravity, they're releasing the top. Therefore, you would expect that on the instant that the top is released, the bottom (which now has the same gravity pull down, but less force pulling it UP therefore balancing the gravity), should start to fall immediately.

I'm not pretending I understand this fully, but It intuitively makes sense to me that that the "top" rings, which were always being pulled by gravity and have now lost their balancing force imbued by being tethered, would "spring" down at a faster rate than the bottom rings which fall under gravity alone ....

Osun MushRoom Green Zero USB charger


charge discharge

Surely putting your battery through repetative charge discharge cycles is worse for long term battery health than topping up then running from external power for a few hours ?

Microsoft signs off on Windows 7



After being initially impressed that Microsoft had produced a functional, attractive AND sleek operating system, we stumbled upon annoyance after annoyance...

Old versions of certain programs not working, certain devices lacking drivers, some vista drivers working, some not.. Some new and critical programs crashing mysteriously, security utilities going haywire and not wanting to work with the in-built security ...

Then within the space of a week, both our Win7 boxes developed serious problems- one stopped booting, and no recovery/repair seemed to help it. The other generates garbled error codes, particularly when we try to shut it down (we have to hard power it off). We wanted to like it, but we've gotten sick of making excuses for it, and "oh, it must not work right in Win7" became an almost daily utterance. Back to XP again then...

LG designs double-sided TV display

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am I missing something?

I fail to share the authors enthusiam- this seems like a really silly idea

why would you want a display to show a different image on both sides? I can only think of tradeshows as an example of where this would be useful, and that's not a huge market. Plus 2 LCD displays back to back works just fine, really. It would have to be cheaper (or at least similarly priced), to be worthwhile. A shared display for clamshells? okay, but still, big deal?

Intel delays quad-core Penryns to pummel Phenom?



...when has intel (or amd, or anyone for that matter) turned down an opportunity to embarass the opposition. Either it's a great excuse to gloss over the Penryns being slightly later than hoped, or Intel feels that the PR gains are outweighed by the financial benefits of being able to sell 'existing inventory' at a higher premium than anticipated. One thing to bear in mind is that the new chips will command considerable premium- two months 'not' selling pricy Penryn chips has to be a sizable hit on projections? If Jan was the projection in the first place?

Google spanks memory, disk and networking vendors

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@Brian Miller

..because bringing a *machine* up from idle would take even longer than bring a disc up from idle. The article mentions "submillisecond" idles, which basically means highly erratic loads, where the machine is either "doing nothing" or "full out processing" while handling jobs taking as little as 10-100s of microseconds each. Sounds like database queries and on-demand web service apps to me. They want to 'sleep' components for the sub-millisecond gabs between these queries, to save power.

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