* Posts by Dave 126

7500 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Flock of sheep ends NZ high-speed car chase

Dave 126
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NZ Rally

I was watching a NZ stage of the World Rally Championship a few years back. The camera was mounted in the cab of a car that was absolutely hooning it down a mountain road. At that speed, there was a small speck of white in the distance, that within the blink of an eye was a flash of red across the windscreen.

"And that was one of New Zealand's 30 million sheep" observed the commentator.

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Apple's Tim Cook rocks up at Vatican - one week after Schmidt

Dave 126
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For anyone unsure if Bibbit was joking or not:

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/thoughtful-animal/once-upon-a-time-the-catholic-church-decided-that-beavers-were-fish/

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Four Boys' Own style World War Two heroes to fire your imagination

Dave 126
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IT angle:

From Wikipedia:

He also took an umbrella with his kit as a means of identification because he had trouble remembering passwords and felt that anyone who saw him with it would think that "only a bloody fool of an Englishman" would carry an umbrella into battle.

Hahaha! I believe there was a Reg article about the password problem yesterday. Love this gent's solution, so much better than 'send a password reset link to your stored email address'.

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Dave 126
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Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown

His episode of Desert Island Discs is here. It's well worth a listen for his sense humour, as well as his amazing life. He's still as sharp as a tack.

I loved the story of him illegally looping around the Forth Bridge in a Navy Spitfire... the police didn't know the Navy had a Spitfire so fruitlessly chased up the RAF, thus he escaped a severe reprimanding.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04nvgq1

And whilst I'm at it, here's Louis Armstrong's episode. Just because.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p009y1rb

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Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016

Dave 126
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Re: IoT

I've seen home automation done right, in some very expensive homes. Window blinds in a bedroom, linked to a control panel by the bed, that sort of thing.

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Dave 126
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From Hamlet

Hamlet: Do you see yonder cloud that’s almost in shape of a camel?

Polonius: By the mass, and ’tis like a camel, indeed.

Hamlet: Methinks it is like a weasel.

Polonius: It is backed like a weasel.

Hamlet: Or like a whale?

Polonius: Very like a whale.

'Methinks' is just a different way of writing 'IMO'. There similarity of cloud shapes to other objects is clearly subjective, not objective. Also, Polonius is coming across as a bit of a sycophant.

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Dave 126
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Re: 4G

>Civilised parts of the country have more interesting things for you to to do than play with 4G phones

Er, the point of having a faster connection is that you spend *less* time waiting for your phone to display the information you need, not more.

>I can't be the only person who has their phone set to "prefer 2G" the majority of the time can I?

If you have a Sony with 'Stamina Mode', or a newer Android version on any phone, the phone will effectively be in 2G mode whenever the screen is turned off - i.e you'll only receive calls and SMS. It's great.

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Dave 126
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Re: Augmented reality

The Google Night Sky app is a nice use of AR, helping people take an interest in the sky at night. It will highlight constellations and planets etc.

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The last time Earth was this hot hippos lived in Britain (that’s 130,000 years ago)

Dave 126
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Re: So what are we supposed to think?

>Preventing things from going extinct is BAD if evolution is GOOD.

That's not how it works. And in any case, it is diversity that is considered good and resilient, not evolution per se. This isn't just for the benefit of the birds and beasts, but for us humans too - look at the Irish Potato Famine if you want an example of the hazards of a monoculture.

>So we need to make up our minds and take our pick.

That's based on a false premise.

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Dave 126
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Re: @Dave 126

>The people who have the most to lose from our disbelief are the ones who invested in carbon credits, renewable energy and their trading. It is already proven that without impressive taxpayer subsidy, wind and solar can't stand on their own. That's who is "grabbing power"!

There will always be people who will attempt to turn any situation to their advantage. That is human nature. There will always be bureaucratic mismanagement. That too is human nature.

However, these human failings say nothing about the validity of climate change one way or another. Indeed, as I said before, the logic of 'Who Benefits?' cuts all ways. If you are saying that some groups benefit from promoting a belief in climate change, then you should be able to accept that some groups benefit from promoting a denial of climate change. To be selective in how you apply your logic is intelectually dishonest.

So, we should all be looking at the evidence without it being filtered through interested parties. That is easier said than done, I grant you, given that it is a complex subject. It becomes even thornier, given its very real geo-political implications. We've had wars over oil, trade dealings with unsavoury oil-producing nations, massively polluting manufacturing states, aid to countries where it seems unfair to deny them the same access to cheap energy in their development as we once did... the list goes on.

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Dave 126
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Re: So what are we supposed to think?

>So what are we supposed to think?

Thinking is a process, not a destination.

Think. Read. Look at the diagrams. Read more. History, economics, sociology, biology, evolution. Information theory, philosophy, mathematics. Brush up on how statistics are used and abused. Read the works of the sacred cows, and of the iconoclasts and heretics. Psychology - who is a nutter? What are their motivations and biases? Draw parallels. Take a walk. Talk to different people in the pub. Play music loudly. Read more. Smell the flowers. Beware of conclusions that suit your circumstances. Draw some pictures. Think.

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Dave 126
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Re: So what are we supposed to think?

>The real issue seems to be OMG! Change is happening! We're scared of change! We must stop it!"

That depends on where you live. For some people right now, climate change is a real threat, and their fear is valid.

For sure, there will be some areas of the world where climate change, in any direction, will be bring some benefits- greater crop yields, for example. However, is the scenario is rapid change, even those short-term beneficiaries might quickly find their good fortune reversed.

If you live in an area that has always had high winds, for example, or heavy snow, your architecture, infrastructure, methods of farming and customs will accommodate such events. With rapid change there is less time to adapt.

Further more, there likely won't be a smooth transition from the status quo to a new scenario. Complex adaptive systems have pesky tendency to be turbulent during times of transition. You might have few years of heavy flooding, and adapt to that, and then find that you have a drought... so there wouldn't be any one optimal adaptation.

And even if you are sitting pretty, there will be a knocking at your gates from poor sods who have found their lands uninhabitable.

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Dave 126
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Re: So what are we supposed to think?

> and if a bunch of ugly insects and a few cute, furry, things can't cope - well that's life!

Stephen J Gould has addressed that issue in an essay, and for that matter, so has Frank Zappa in his song 'Dumb All Over'.

The biggest victims of rapid change will be us and our descendants. Short term business thinking dictates efficiency, and efficiency is the enemy of redundancy and contingency plans - just look at the supply chain issues caused by earthquakes in Japan or floods in Asia.

And for sure, there is a similar pattern mature ecosystems - competition leads to specialisation and an inability to evolve to fit a changing environment quickly enough.

For sure, we could nuke or poison our planet back to slime and within a mere half billion years there could be some interesting multicellular fauna.

Personally, I'd rather myself and my descendants to have the resources to have some fun.

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Dave 126
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Re: Bring on the warming!!!

The thing about Complex Systems, is that they are, er, complex. There could be a rise in the global temperature yet if the Gulf Stream, for example, when out of whack then Britain would get a lot colder.

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Dave 126
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Re: Back in the 70's...

>Back in the 70's... ...I remember quite a bit of angst about a new ice age and the chaos it would cause for humanity

Indeed, Arthur C Clarke wrote, in 1956, a short story set in that scenario. Later however, as a keen scuba diver, I don't he much liked the idea of ocean acidification, either. Still, his role was to facilitate our own thinking about different possible futures, not to lay down a predictions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Forgotten_Enemy

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Dave 126
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>It's a power grab and people know it.

Okay, so you invoking the line of reasoning of "who benefits?". So far, so reasonable. However, were you to wield that approach as the undiscriminating blade that it is, you would acknowledge that fossil fuels have benefited - in terms of money and power - some fairly unsavoury groups and individuals. And the thing about money and power is that it is used to retain and gain more money and power.

This influence is in lobbying in Washington D.C, through to giving Putin leverage over his neighbours, through to the West turning a blind eye to Saudi Arabia's bad behaviour. Britain has historically played pretty dirty in this game as well.

Now, you are exhibiting some of the symptoms of unsound reasoning. There is a whole menagerie of cognitive biases that may skew your perspective until you actively learn about them and challenge yourself.

In the mean time, who exactly do think this is a 'power grab' by? And can you get a job with them?

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Blighty's Parliament prescribed tablets to cope with future votes

Dave 126
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Re: voice recognition

Eranu for yes.

Uvavu for no.

Also, Vic Reeves is made the Speaker of the House.

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Star Wars: Episode VIII delayed by six months

Dave 126
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Or so that toys and other Ep VIII merchandise can be sold in the run to Christmas!

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Dave 126
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Re: Whatever happened to John McTiernan?

He's fighting bankruptcy after spending ten months in prison for wire-tapping.

However, the cinematographer from Predator (and Patriot Games, Die Hard with a Vengeance) Don McAlpine is still working.

EDIT: MP3 of McAlpine being interviewed by Philip Adams. Theyhave history, since they were cinematographer and producer respectively of The Adventures of Barry McKenzie.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/don-mcalpine2c-cinematographer/4514790

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Dave 126
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>Or is the "Episode VIII" in that sentence a rogue one?

It's a rogue one. Rogue One will tell the story of how the Death Star plans that were the McGuffin from Episode IV came to be stolen from the Empire. Whilst Episode VII can be criticised for following E IV's aesthetic too slavishly, Rogue One can be a full homage without complaint.

It will be directed by Gareth Edwards, who made his name by making Monsters, a relationship drama set against the backdrop of an alien monster-infested quarantine zone in Central America. The monsters were rendered on his laptop, and many of the cast were just people he met in-situ.

Edwards was then given a massive budget to make Godzilla, which received "generally favourable reviews". Edwards' direction was praised.

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Dave 126
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It hasn't been released on Blu-Ray or DVD yet. There are no pirated copies of any screener DVDs (destined for critics and award judges) because SWTFA is not chasing any awards, and Disney know that any screener DVD would be quickly ripped and put online (as has happened with many recent films, such as the Hateful Eight and Room).

There is a case for downloading Star Wars films - if you already own E IV or V, then it isn't wrong to download the De-specialised Editions, because Lucas never released the original films in HD format without any added CGI rubbish. Instead, some fans camaigned for such a release took the project into their own hands.

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Boffins: There's a ninth planet out there – now we just need to find it

Dave 126
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Re: If Pluto is taken.

>I want a t-shirt with 6 sleeves, and 'I was abducted and taken to an ant-world, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt' on the front.

Pop over to Etsy.com and make a request! :)

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Dave 126
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Call it Glenda, after the mascot for Plan[et] 9 From Bell Labs.

But seriously, Planet names are weird. They are all Roman, except Earth, and strangely Uranus which is Greek. Many of the Solar System's moons are Roman or Greek, or else named after mythological figures from many cultures, Inuit, Gallic, Hawaiian, and so on. There are so many of them that we can assume the best names are already taken.

There might be worse ideas than to look to a synthetic mythology for a new planet name. Given Tolkein's day job, some character's from Middle Earth would at least sound right: Girion, Durin, Hirgon, Amrothos

http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/Page/Planets

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Middle-earth_characters

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It's 2016 and idiots still use '123456' as their password

Dave 126
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Re: No Support Stnadard there?

Easy fix: Kit the admins out with a Dvorak keyboard and they'll no longer use "t5r4e3w2q1". Easy!

[Alt text: Why was a type of keyboard that was designed to allow faster accurate typing marketed with a name that looks like a typographical error? Would it have been too much to ask of Dr. Dvorak that he change his name to Dr. Fast-Type?]

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Dave 126
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>"It's 2016 and idiots still use '123456' as their password"

Or

It's 2016 and smart people still haven't found a way to make authentication easy to use.

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Dave 126
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Re: Nothing wrong with insecure passwords

And just to prove my above point about insecure passwords on irrelevant sites, this is me, richard?, posting as Dave 126, because that idiot set his password to the obvious phrase 'horse pencils'. Clearly he doesn't consider TheRegister to be that important!

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Facebook Messenger: All your numbers are belong to us

Dave 126
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Headmaster

Re: When is a phone not a phone...

>- since when has a phone been more about productivity than communication?

It's just by historical contingency that we now call our pocket computers 'phones'. In an slightly different alternate reality they might have been called 'connected PDAs' or somesuch. Even before smartphones and 'feature-phones', people would use commonly use their phone as alarm clocks, calculators and torches.

You'll note also that we tend to drop the 'tele' from 'telephone' (dumb phone, smart phone, mobile phone, cell phone etc), so a mere MP3 player could correctly be called a 'phone', since there is no 'tele' (at a distance) involved. Heck, some people just call them 'mobiles'.

If I browse TheRegister or retreive my email on my 'phone', then the 'tele' part is present, but not the 'phone' (sound or voice).

(Icon: Not a grammer Nazi, but an armchair etymologist)

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Dave 126
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Re: Standards

> Something which can stand against Messenger or WhatsApp in functionality and ease of use. SMTP for messaging, if you like.

I don't know too much about it, but RCS - Rich Communication Services - might be a candidate. It's been in development for years by the GSMA, but nobody uses it. Google have recently bought into it, since they are competing with Facebook and Apple's iMessage.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rich_Communication_Services

http://9to5google.com/2015/09/30/google-commits-to-rcs-the-sms-successor-and-acquires-jibe-to-prove-it/

https://bloggeek.me/android-rcs/

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Dave 126
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>I will boycott them, just like I have been boycotting MySpace, and look at them now.

@allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

So you're the person responsible for the collapse of Friends Reunited! :)

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Florida cuffee surprised by pills in vagina

Dave 126
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Re: I know how they got there

>Yes, mine is the white lab coat, the one used during cavity searches...

Sir, we can't conduct this cavity search until you take your coat off.

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Dell drops next network OS on the waiting world

Dave 126
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Re: Not another-

> [X is] this decade's 'Turbo'.

Haha, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo was called Super Street Fighter 2 X in Japan in the 90's... showing yet again Japan was a decade ahead of us when it comes to technology!

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Eighteen year old server trumped by functional 486 fleet!

Dave 126
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>Unfortunately their staff are probably too NDA'ed to tell us.

Specific details yeah, but not completely NDA'd... BBC Radio 4 had a 15 minute documentary last year about the ancient code that banks run.

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Microsoft: We’ve taken down the botnets. Europol: Would Sir like a kill switch, too?

Dave 126
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Re: One uses the software

@Walter Bishop

I said that Linux wasn't an option for everyone at this time. I did not deny that Linux can be good idea for many people today.

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Dave 126
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>Interestingly, one of the reasons why Windows has done so well is because of the ecosystem it spawned. So whilst it might seem like a good idea for MS to do more, in fact it will only serve to destroy another part of the Windows ecosystem...

Yes, Windows has done well because it has spawned an ecosystem of productivity applications.

However, the idea that people choose Windows because it has a wider selection of anti-virus software than other OSs seems a bit of a stretch.

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Dave 126
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Re: Boom!

>Microsoft just thunder around like a monopoly: in their minds there is no need for trust because noone has a choice but to use them

So according to you, raising questions for discussion = thundering around like a monopoly. Oh well.

Ok Dougal, one more time...

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Dave 126
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Re: @Dave 126 - People who are thus tied to Windows

>People who are thus tied to Windows deserve to suffer ever increasing pain.

Eh?

The whole fucking point is that they, the users, have no fucking say-so in the OS they use; they are tied to their industry standard applications. What part of you fails to grok that, you pathetic misanthrope?

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Dave 126
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Re: Boom!

Eh?

Microsoft have raised a possible future tactic for the public to weigh its pros and cons.

They haven't enacted it, so how is it shooting themselves in the foot?

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Dave 126
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Re: Products become Services

Eh?

We're living in an age where a £30 PC can run a GUI desktop and traditional office applications, as well as playing HD video.

Phones, likewise. I'm seeing more 'bought outright' phones amongst Joe Public, like the One+ and Cubot, and also people keeping their 2-4 year-old phone and switching to a 'SIM only tariff'. At the moment, to tide me over 'til I can afford a new screen for my 'proper' phone, I'm using an Android 4 phone purchased unlocked from Sainsbury's for £25*.

For sure, there are parts of the world where £25 is still a hefty investment, but not in the markets that have bought IT gear to date.

*It makes phones calls clearly. Android instates my contacts without fuss. Battery is pretty good. It lets me text and email. All in all, a handy spare to keep around. Alacatel Pixi 3.

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Dave 126
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C'mon 'coder, you know that is not an option for everyone at this time.

Many industries, their software suites and workflows don't have Linux/BSD/OSX/Whatnot alternatives. One uses the software that one's clients and partners use.

People who are thus tied to Windows are right to express their concerns and criticisms.

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Hey, Intel and Micron: XPoint is phase-change memory, right? Or is it? Yes. No. Yes

Dave 126
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Re: But, but, but, ...

You use the 'joke' icon, but your point is sensible:

It really doesn't matter if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, swims like a duck, or eats like a duck. The diner only cares if it tastes like a duck.

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El Reg mulls entering Robot Wars arena

Dave 126
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Re: Vulturebot Futures Enterprises, can with a Will, stand and deliver Crazy Horse Salons

No more mugwump jism for that man!

It's Dry January, after all.

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Dave 126
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Re: Got a point there...

>Would an electromagnet count as an electric/electronic disabler?

And the enemy team unsportingly uses plate aluminium or austenitic stainless steel, the bounders!

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Dave 126
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Re: Bring it On

I've gone through the rules, and I can't see anything that precludes Sonic Resonance Weapons - the damage wouldn't be invisible (see the rules) is one can see the target robot being shaken apart!

Maud'Dib!

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Dave 126
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Re: I hope a lot of old favourites are back

All the expensive and long build robots were retired as the losers did not fancy getting theirs written off.

Indeed. In this day and age, teams could their robots built by the production company to their own (CAD) design, so that each team selected for competition has a couple of spare robots. Something like that.

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Dave 126
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Re: Close range but powerful...

The rules state that projectiles must be tethered, and that the tether is capable of stopping the projectile at full speed within 2.5 meters... so yeah, a captive bolt gun of the sort used for killing cows would be allowed, but not the one from No Country.

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Dave 126
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Re: Jihad bot

Prohibbited by rule 12.7.3

"Explosives

Explosives or flammable solids such as DOT Class C devices, Gunpowder, Cartridge Primers or Military"

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Dave 126
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Re: Take advantage of modern sensor accuracy

>Or just have a photo-diode on the top of the flipper at a point where if it's not in the shade, it won't activate the flipper.

Enemy robot is fitted with LEDs on its undercarriage.

NEXT!

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Dave 126
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Re: Web of Death

>Dual-wielded Super Soakers, anyone...?

That's so easy to defend against:

http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/conformal-coatings/0494714/

And also, the water-weapon approach might fall foul of rule 12.3 "Stopping Combat"

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Dave 126
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The Player of Games

>+1 for the sneaky IMB reference

Thank you, but it was Hope Spirals who started it!

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SpaceX: launch, check. Landing? Needs work

Dave 126
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Re: Get rid of the legs..

Begone! This site is Playmobil territory!

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