Did you know...
Gary Numan is actually older than Gary Oldman?
74 posts • joined 2 Aug 2010
"Samantha has to slip out now because she needs to go to the supermarket to buy something for dinner. She's very fond of Mr Sainsbury's steak-in-ale but this evening, by way of a change, she's looking forward to trying Mr Dewhurst's tongue in cider."
Humphrey Lyttelton* 1921-2008, and much missed.
*OK so he won't have written it, but it's all in the delivery.
...with an amplitude that exceeds existing bounds at EeV energies"
Been saying that for ages. Only last Friday down the pub, for instance. "Lads, " I said, "there's no way these high-energy particles originate from the Milky Way. You wanna know why? Cos they'd have to have a dipolar component of anisotropy with an amplitude bigger than our galaxy can manage. That's why not. And as for that Donald Trump..."
I am familiar with Singer's work. He is indeed a very stimulating read, and I highly recommend anyone to give it a try.
I respectfully disagree with practically everything he has to say.
Just to comment on a single point: I think you'd be doing well to find a measure more objective than whether an organism is H. sapiens or not.
I honestly hadn't considered that and I find it depressing that I might have given PETA more credit than they deserve. You may well be right.
I don't believe this is anything to do with copyright per se. It's PETA's attempt to begin to establish a legal basis for the extension of human rights & freedoms to animals. If you can successfully argue that a monkey can own copyright, you're part way to showing it's a person. You've got the thin end of the wedge in place and can then start hammering away at it, extending the concept to areas such as rights to life, freedom etc.
I find this deeply disturbing. Human rights - which not even all humans currently enjoy, let's not forget - are far too precious and hard-won. They exist precisely to differentiate us from the rest of the animal kingdom. If you grant animals the same rights as humans, you don't raise the animals up - you devalue the lives of humans. This is very dangerous territory.
Protect animals, by all means. Legislate against cruelty. But leave it at that, for all our sakes.
On my Windows 7 box KB3179930 - the rollup with the .NET stuff in it - has come up as an optional update, despite the description mentioning that it corrects security issues.
Whereas an update to correct time zone information in Novosibirsk is listed as important despite me being in the UK.
Go figure, I suppose.
If you haven't a clue what you're up against, then how would you know that you are unprepared?
Because it's a 4000+ft mountain at 57 degrees N on the west coast of Scotland with absolutely nothing to stop the Atlantic weather barrelling in. In March, for pity's sake. None of this is secret information.
In other words: Common Sense.
"There's nothing wrong with spontaneity."
Just with understanding what the word means, I guess?
Oh please. I can decide, on the spur of the moment, to go climb a very big, tall mountain, and because I am an experienced mountaineer I know I have a reasonable chance of coming back alive.
Equally I could decide, on the spur of the moment, to swim the Channel, which I've never done and have no idea how to do. That would be bloody stupid, wouldn't it?
So you've never done anything on the spur of the moment.
There's nothing wrong with spontaneity. What is very, very wrong is heading off into a situation when you don't have the first f*#$%ing clue what you're up against. This story serves to illustrate the saying, "fools rush in..." extremely well.
I've climbed Ben Nevis in mid-summer and there was snow, thick fog, and a wind chill to well below zero*. That I came back without assistance is because I knew those conditions were a possibility and I was prepared for it. Nobody should be up there at this time of year without survival gear and at least some training.
* On the plus side, at least there weren't any midges
I have a couple of Nook devices and I love 'em. Really nice little bits of hardware.
They have always been thoroughly, utterly, totally let down by B&N's appalling online store. It does not surprise me one bit to hear they botched their web site relaunch too.
I've been waiting, waiting for them to see the light and realise where they've been going wrong with digital sales, but clearly they never had an inkling.
And I'm sure they'll have to do better than maintaining access to the "vast majority" of what I've bought from them. There must be consumer laws governing this sort of thing?
KB2952664 is a real bastard. It got onto my system a while back - I guess I wasn't paying sufficient attention - and now all efforts to remove it have failed. Every time I uninstall it, it immediately re-installs itself, leading me to think that it never actually uninstalled at all. This must break a pretty basic rule - surely all updates must be removable, in case they disagree with something?
I'm not sure why people are being sniffy about this one. SpaceX do appear to have achieved a soft landing almost dead centre on a moving target. The loss of the vehicle seems to be unrelated to the actual landing.
Yes, I know the rocket went boom so the result is the same - but faced with either having to engineer the whole landing system or having to engineer a better landing leg, I know which problem I'd rather have.
This is indeed the point. The Shuttle as a launch system turned out to be a white elephant, but the Shuttle's main engines were, and remain, a miracle of engineering. 46 engines were used in groups of three on a total of 135 flights, so each engine did an average of 8.8 flights - there was only one in-flight failure and seven on-pad failures and as we all know, none of these were catastrophic. All this from engines designed in the 1970s by men (probably were all men then, but I'm happy to be proved wrong) wearing ties and wielding slide rules.
Clearly rocket engines can be re-used regularly and reliably. Given SpaceX's record so far, I'd be surprised (and deeply disappointed) if they couldn't make engines of similar durability, and be able to make the economics work too.
Because I am not a rocket scientist, I wonder how many times you can fill & empty the tanks on one of these things before the repeated contraction & expansion degrades something to the point where it's no longer flight-worthy.
Or once on the pad, do they keep the tanks cold all the time (not full - just cold) to prevent such a thing?
Seems to me that B&N have misunderstood the problem entirely. The old tablets were fine, really - and the e-readers were excellent. Nope, the real problem is B&N's woeful attempt at an online store. To say it's clunky would be being rude to clunky things. It's slow, it's ugly, and when you finally give up and go to Google Books or the Kindle store you realise just how poor B&N's is by comparison. Finding things is difficult, and when you do stumble across what you were after, the "more like this" button usually tells you there's nothing more like this - even if you're looking at an Agatha Christie - and no attempt is made to offer things you might be interested in based on your purchase or viewing history. Reviews are sometimes from users, sometimes culled from the press, often not there at all. My wishlist does not sync from my HD+ to my Simple Touch, and is usually completely unavailable anyway. I could go on. And on. In short, B&N's online store appears to utterly miss the point of being online.
Who knows? Maybe if they offered a better shopping experience, they might sell more hardware to shop/read with. It's a shame because we could do with a bit more competition in this area, methinks.
at least you didn't vaporize an entire crew of astronauts because of a problem you'd been explicitly warned about
Yup, a tragic example of politics overriding engineering.
On the other hand, one thing that always deeply impressed me about NASA was that they already had in place their systems - such as the Flight Director polling all the various stations prior to making a major decision like launch/no launch, or of having only one person allowed to talk to the spacecraft - before the first Mercury flights. It all sounds obvious in hindsight but someone, somewhere had to think of all this stuff and then write the manuals. That's proper systems engineering, is that.
So, SPB: on the next live stream I want to hear Lester "Kranz" Haines polling each of his minions and securing a "Go!" from each before leaving hold of the balloon!
The whole Windows 8 adventure thoroughly perplexes me.
We all love touchscreens on our mobile devices cos they're great for the odd email or a bit of web browsing. Nobody (who's sane) expects to do much serious work on these devices. So why on Earth MS thought we'd all like to do our word processing, spreadsheets, computational fluid dynamics and so on through a touchscreen is entirely beyond me.
But then I'm not a highly trained, highly paid, top exec in the software industry. Just a guy who uses a PC every day.
"The ISS is a useless PR stunt. It does nothing to advance space exploration"
A little harsh perhaps, although I see your point - the ISS is a very cut-down version of what was originally meant to happen. However, building the space station has provided various space agencies with vast amounts of data on how to build very large structures in orbit and many hundreds of hours data on space walks. This is important information for anyone planning to go further afield.
Additionally, the resupply contracts have got private enterprise interested in space and that's the really crucial point - I suspect the reason we're not exploring the solar system is that until now, there's been no money to be made up there.
So yes, the direct contribution of the ISS to space exploration has been limited but, as is often the case with this sort of programme, the spin-offs have been good news.
Nicho makes an important point. Life != intelligence. There's been life on Earth for 3.5 billion years but H. sapiens only appeared 200,000 years ago.
It's also important to note that conditions suitable for life != life. It's true that life on Earth began pretty much as soon as conditions were right, but for all we know this is the only place in the universe where that happened.
However, I'm optimistic that the galaxy is actually teeming with life. Hopefully some of it has better TV than us too.
Jolly nice that they're going to build on the technical success of Curiosity (too early to pronounce on the scientific success), but...
"... another significant step toward sending humans there in the 2030s."
So that'll be about ten years after the Chinese then. I'll be almost 70. Looks like I'm never going to get that holiday on Mars promised to me by my Wonder Book Of Science when I was eight and a half.
... the best FPS I have ever played.
The graphics are naturally primitive by current standards but for the time they were really good, and what it now lacks visually it even now makes up for in terms of sheer fun. There's a mission progression that actually makes proper logical sense, a coherent plot (unusual for anything Star Wars), intricate levels - some of which require proper problem solving to complete, a real sense of "you're on your own now" in not being able to save progress during a mission, and while the weapons may in themselves be a pretty standard assemblage, there is huge scope for using them creatively to get past the next baddie. It's a shame that as the visuals have improved in more recent FPS, many of these elements seem to have been left out.
>> Sigh. Such a patronising response.
>Deliberately so. Because frankly you're not thinking it through.
Thought so. It smacked of green preaching. However it's my turn now - at least I'm not doing it anonymously - may I point out how muddled your thinking is?
Your solution to the problem of a battery car's short range and long recharge time is to have a second car. Fair enough...
... until you realise that if you're going to have two cars anyway it would always make more sense to buy two hybrids. Same purchase price and you end up with two cars capable of long range, ie better value for your money. The running costs wouldn't be that different given the way the price of electricity is going & the frequency with which you have to recharge a battery.
Nope, there's no good practical or economic argument for a battery car even if they are shiny and new and cutting edge and kind to the environment and everything. If you only have one car, you're stuffed for long range travel. If you have two cars, you get better value for your hard earned with a pair of hybrids (or diesels, or whatever).
>(Please re-read that so it sinks in, not everything in the world is designed specifically for you.)
Sigh. Such a patronising response.
These people who commute a short distance every day and for whom a battery car would be ideal - we never take days out? We never go on holiday? We never visit Auntie Jean in Truro for the weekend? We never, ever have an emergency while the car is charging up?
Yes, we could hire something for extra-commuting activities but why should we? Having spent all that money on a car, isn't it reasonable to think it should be able to cope with nearly all one's transport requirements (trips to Ikea excepted maybe)?
Battery cars are - in principle - a very, very good solution for short commutes. school runs etc. But for actual family use, they're not a practical means of transport.
You need to look at it not purely from an energy efficiency standpoint, but also from one of practicality.
It takes a couple of minutes to brim my car's fuel tank and then it has a range of about 450 miles. It takes an overnight charge of a battery car to give you a range in the region of 100 miles - so to drive from Manchester to London could easily take two or three days. If a battery-powered car could be produced that gave 450 miles from a three-minute charge, I'd be right there in the queue to buy one. I'm not convinced it's going to happen though.
The fuel cell, whilst certainly less energy-efficient overall, appears to be a more promising line of development from a practicality point of view, offering the possibility of a high-density fuel source that might be safe enough for the likes of us to handle.
The car has an Indian registration plate, yet appears to be left-hand drive (dashboard cowling just visible in a couple of the stills).
India drives on the left - presumably as a result of the British colonial past - and all new cars there are required to be right-hand drive at registration.
Not completely conclusive, as there are ways it could happen, but Occam's Razor suggests fakery.
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