* Posts by Richard 30

12 posts • joined 10 Dec 2009

Geiger counters are so last summer. Lasers can detect radioactive material too, y'know

Richard 30
Holmes

Invited here first!

These lovely people - proper British boffins - have been around since 2003 (possibly earlier) and their ultra-sensitive detection systems enable the DoHS to detect and identify radioactive materials and discriminate between the radiation signatures of bananas and strategic nuclear materials.

www.symetrica.com

The Great British Curry: Put down the takeaway, you're cooking tonight

Richard 30
WTF?

metal frying pan?

What other frying pans have you tried while drunken? Plastic? Wood? Gas / fluidised bed / Tokamak containment?

What's silent but violent and costs $250m? Yes, it's Lockheed Martin's super-quiet, supersonic X-plane for NASA

Richard 30

Re: Quibbling

3) (more musing than quibbling and I missed the edit window to it in) my personal theory is that Concorde was withdrawn because, post 9/11, the USA refused to permit a civilian airliner / flying bomb that was so difficult to intercept (flying fast and high, descending steeply to land).

Richard 30

Quibbling

1) in what way was Concorde inefficient 1960's technology? Newer is not necessarily better.... It outran nearly everything else in its speed class until it was retired (and would knock the F35 into cocked hat today) while merely sipping fuel. It was a thirsty monster to get to that speed, admittedly, but that was 1940's technology (thank you, Vulcan).

2) surely the proposed "nose job" is analogous to the new shinkansen train nose profile, for the Nozomi trains, which is one of the few good examples of biomimetic engineering. The inventor was allegedly inspired by the kingfisher's beak. The kingfisher solves the phase transition problem of diving from the air fast into water with a (poor attempt to use words instead of a picture) two-curved beak. The shinkansen needs this to reduce noise and resistance at tunnel mouths, where the train compresses the air in high speed running.

Utah fights man's attempt to marry laptop

Richard 30
FAIL

This is not arguing in the alternative (which is presenting one or more parallel lines of argument, each serving as a fall back to the main argument). This is reductio ad absurdam.

Micron sets a canary to watch over its stock in case of takeover

Richard 30

The clause is perfectly straightforward and as David Roberts rights, it simply prevents a shareholder being forced to [make a bid / make a regulatory disclosure](*) for the company because they cross a 5% minimum ownership criterion as a result of the company REDUCING its share capital and concentrating the shareholder's existing holding above 5%. If however they then purchase shares, they will be treated as having breached the 5% trigger in the normal way.

(*) It is not clear the consequence of becoming an acquiring party is but having to bid for an entire company on breaching 5% would be a little harsh so my lazy guess is it is probably a disclosure requirement.

Dongle bingle makes two MEELLION cars open to exploit

Richard 30

Access to CaNBUS is not needed for driver scoring

I run a VC fund. We looked at investing in a company (they turned us down!) who can get all the data they need from a smartphone app with no need for access to CANBUS. This business model addresses the issue that US cars all have a standard port that a dongle like this canplug into but in Europe, black boxes for telematics in car insurance are all model / manufacturer specific and expensive custom installations. They have backing from a major European insurer.

The apparent risks of selective monitoring and fraud in this approach can all be dealt with by requiring minimum usage and regular photo evidence of tachometer readings, MOT, V5 docs etc. and investigating discrepancies.

Be Your Own Big Brother: Going to pot

Richard 30

Well, now we have that cleared up, Delta-T in Cambridge make the kind of kit you need to emulate. I would provide the link as a courtesy but the fear of spam haunts the land.

Richard 30

You need to use a moisture probe based on permittivity, xj25vm. I could tell you who provides them in the UK but then El Reg would have to kill me (or at least this comment as the last two attempts to pass on this piece of useful albeit recondite information have been moderated to death).

Japanese earthquake sparks nuclear emergency

Richard 30
Black Helicopters

fighting fires with drinking straws

Very odd. Did the USAF really scramble to deliver a tiny payload of deionised water (it's a boiling water plant) or is something else going on? There doesn't appear to be a need to drop boron into a burning reactor core yet, a la Chernobyl, so is the USAF there to secure the reactor site, in case some terrorists turn up in the chaos to steal some hot uranium?

Street View's Wayne and Garth: The most excellent truth

Richard 30
Pirate

You missed the opportunity

to use the word Janners and confuse the Yanks, arrrr.

Overstock's Byrne claims $5m scalp over short selling

Richard 30

disappointing journalism and writing

1) how can you flood a market with anything non-existent? Perhaps this was supposed to be amusing but it reads more as idiocy than comedy.

2) What's wrong with naked short selling? Nothing. If you contract to deliver a share you don't own, you are on the hook until you do deliver it. It's no worse than contracting to pay money you don't have - which the City does all the time, indeed, which banks do whenever they offer instant access accounts. You could achieve the same result by spread betting with no requirement for physical delivery. It would still move the market price.

3) the legal action is over insider market manipulation, which is illegal in most markets. Market manipulation would be illegal with "naked long buying" too! Simply taking large undisclosed positions in companies can be market abuse.

4) Disclosure of short selling should not be controversial - but it would hardly help the company in question since it would make the short view more public.

5) Lehman deserved to go bust. As do the rest of the wall street bank and most high street banks. Fractional reserve banking is a fraud and leads to the mis-pricing of money (by artificially lowering the long-term interest rate at which capital is available, by luring in deposits with the promise of instant access which is impossible). If you want to complain about something, complain about Venetian/Genoese banking practices and maturity mismatches. Or stick to writing about IT.

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