* Posts by LeeE

419 posts • joined 12 Apr 2012

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CIA boss: Make America (a) great (big database of surveillance on citizens, foreigners) again!

LeeE
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The Democracy Myth

"People seem to be under the illusion that voting for anyone is actually going to improve anything."

Democracy is the name of the practical administrative solution to the problem of collecting and collating the views and opinions of a self-governing and populous society where the population is too large to be consulted individually. It is intended to work via the election of representatives, each representing the majority view of the group they represent.

It fails, primarily, because of the party system, within which all of the parties have colluded to make the cost of standing prohibitively high for all those who are not independently wealthy or supported by one of the parties.

So if the representatives do not actually represent their electorate is there a democracy?

If it is the case that we don't have a real democracy then It could be argued that participating in what is being passed off as a democracy is condoning and perpetuating the problem.

The only solution I can see is to do away with the party system and only allow independent representatives. This would certainly slow things down (legislation etc), which many would consider to be a Good Thing, and might encourage the electorate to actually think about what their particular candidate is saying instead of just voting for a party view.

Trouble is, the parties are running the show and will not give up their positions voluntarily and I can only see things changing if everybody refused to vote.

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Boffins link ALIEN STRUCTURE ON VENUS to Solar System's biggest ever grav wave

LeeE
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Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

@JB(NB) Yup - you're right - definitely suffering from memory fade.

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LeeE
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Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

"If the fluid is moving and the phenomenon is stationary *, then it's surely it is being propagated." [my emphasis]

How can something that even you describe as 'stationary' * be regarded as propagating?

But if you're going to use that criteria then you'd also have to say that the surface of Venus is being propagated.

Hmm... no idea why the superscript tag also seems to be inserting an underline today.

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LeeE
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Re: Will nobody think of the tax payers?

"gravity wave - a wave propagated on a liquid surface or in a fluid through the effects of gravity."

Only problem with applying that definition to the phenomenon observed on Venus is that the 'wave' is stationary and so isn't 'propagated'.

My best guess (lacking data) would be that it's an amplified mountain wave, the amplification coming from the combination of the high density and speed, and therefore momentum, of Venus's atmosphere. Purely a guess though.

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Lord of the Dance set to deliver high kicks at Trump’s big ball

LeeE
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A similar volume is also depicted in one of the Neil Gaiman Sandman graphic novel stories (iirc, on a shelf labelled 'Unwritten Books" in Morpheus's library).

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UK, you Cray. Boffins flex ARM in 'first-of-its-kind' bonkers HPC rig

LeeE
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Re: Fun to watch

Dunno about 'fun' but I'm very interested to see how it goes.

Although seemingly primarily based on Arm, with that mixture of Arm, x86(Xeon and Phi) and GPU it seems more like a test/evaluation system. I can't see a good reason to incorporate all of those technologies in a single system unless it is to compare the different processor architectures within the same system architecture, so perhaps testing the system architecture as well as Arm technology.

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Smart bombs, smart bullets – now guided smart artillery shells, thanks to DARPA dosh

LeeE
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Re: The USA way of doing things

Just a comment re the USA aspect: I recently saw a UK Raytheon job advert for people to work on their targeting toolset.

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Windows 10 memory management changes to give Hyper-V more headroom

LeeE
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Hmm...

"In Windows 10, you’re probably running several applications (web browsers, text editors, chat clients, etc) and most of them will reserve more memory than they’re actively using."

Whilst I can't help wondering why they can't just allocate the memory that they need, requesting more if/when they need it, it does explain a few things.

It's difficult not to interpret that as an admission of laziness and poor coding over effort and design.

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Apple vs. Samsung goes back to court, again, to re-assess the value of a rounded corner

LeeE
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All corners...

All corners that are not cutting edges are rounded (and if you look closely enough i.e. through a high powered microscope, even cutting edges will have some rounding).

Thus, all corners on all material objects are rounded, the only difference between any of them being the radius of the rounding curve. Unrounded corners can only occur in mathematics and geometry.

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Home Einsteins help turn up 13 new pulsars

LeeE
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Re: How the hell does a star change its rotation?

Starquakes seem to be the generally accepted reason for 'Glitches', where the rotation rate of a neutron star suddenly increases, but cannot be the solution for sudden slow-downs in rotation rates, let alone reversals.

The starquakes are believed to occur in the outer non-degenerate matter crust of neutron stars due to long-term cooling [of the neutron stars]. As the degenerate neutronium core cools it contracts and this occasionally leaves microscopically small cavities between the thin outer crust of 'normal' non-degenerate matter sitting on top of the neutronium core. Eventually though, these cavities will collapse and, because of the intense gravitational forces, when they do collapse you have immense quantities of mass accelerating at of thousands of 'G', resulting in the starquakes.

Because this is the result of contraction, the result can only be a speed-up.

I think any apparent reversal of rotation of a neutron star must be due to observational error; even a slowly rotating neutron star will have an enormous amount of rotational inertia and it's difficult to imagine any scenario that could both nullify and then reverse that inertia, excepting perhaps, collision with another neutron star. But then if we can see the neutron star in the first place, before any reversal occurred, then we'd also see a collision, if it occurred, because it would be a highly energetic event.

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AI shoves all in: DeepStack, Libratus poker bots battle Texas Hold 'em pros heads up

LeeE
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Re: The use of games to train and test AI is prolific

Whilst I'd agree that "The rules of Poker really aren't that difficult" Texas hold'em is one of the few card games where you don't need to hold the best hand to win; you just need to convince your opponents that you hold a better hand than they have and although this is largely done by the way that you bet it's not the only factor when you're playing against other human players who, simply by the virtue of being human, are influenced at a subconscious level by body-language (even whilst being aware of, and employing that factor as part of their own game play).

However, if the inputs to the AI don't include that factor then it will put a human player at a disadvantage because that factor is one of the most important aspects of human game play.

What make me question the value of what they've achieved so far though is that they're only really handling the end-game i.e. the one vs. one heads-up phase, where skill and tactics become less relevant and the randomness of the cards you've actually been dealt become the greatest factor.

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You know what, maybe Tabby's star ate a planet, ponder space eggheads

LeeE
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@YAOFM - you've actually answered your own question in your parenthesis "(when it expands as it dies)".

Any body with non-zero mass distorts the nominally flat space-time around it (in theory, to infinity) producing the effect of Gravity. The degree of distortion is at its greatest at the surface of the body and decreases with distance from it in accordance with the inverse square law principal, creating a gravitational gradient, the steepness of which decreases with distance from the originating body.

The upshot of this is that any body within a gravitational gradient will have a greater gravitational force acting on one side of it and a lesser gravitational force acting on the other side of it, creating an internal tension within it due to the imbalance of the forces and with the degree of imbalance, and therefore the internal tension, being relative to the steepness of the gradient; a steep enough gradient will pull anything apart.

However, the steepness of the gradient is not only dependent upon the mass of the body but also its size; for two equal masses, a smaller, more dense body means that you can get closer to all of its mass than you can for a larger, less dense body. For example, if we take two bodies that have the same mass but one body is 1unit size in diameter and the other body is 2 units size in diameter it means that we can get to within 1 unit distance of all of the mass in the smaller body but can only get to within 2 units distance of all the mass of larger sized body. Thus, we can be in a steeper gravitational gradient with the smaller body than we can with the larger body, even though they have the same mass.

Now when a star expands, as it starts its departure from the main sequence, it doesn't increase in mass (it'll actually be losing mass) so as it increases in size its density will drop and the maximum steepness of the gravitational gradient it can produce will decline; by the time that Sol expands to the size of Earth's orbit the steepness of its gravitational gradient in the vicinity of Earth will actually be a bit lower than it is now and, so Earth won't be pulled apart.

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You know how cop cars pile into each other in old comedy movies? That's how the Moon was built, say boffins

LeeE
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Re: Earth-like

"Perhaps Theia was also made from Earth-like material?"

The current thinking on the Giant-impact hypothesis seems to be that it resulted in thorough mixing of both parent bodies. If this is the case then both the Earth & Moon are comprised of the same mixture Proto-Earth & Theia. In other words, Earth-like material wasn't Earth-like material until the collision and mixing.

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Could YOU survive a zombie apocalypse? Uni eggheads say you'd last just 100 days

LeeE
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Re: Yes. [running & hiding]

Might already be too late: judging by the amount of blatant propaganda being directed at western society by their own governments it would seem that they pretty much already regard us as unthinking zombies.

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New Android-infecting malware brew hijacks devices. Why, you ask? Your router

LeeE
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Re: Interesting choice of targets...

I would agree that from a sociological point there are many sub-cultures within China but that's why I qualified it by saying "From the point of view of mobile phone technology and use..."

Although there may be many different sociological sub-cultures within China, the phones being used across those sub-cultures won't differ greatly and, being China, will mostly be accessing local (Chinese) services which, even if they allow for different sub-languages, will operate in the same way for all of those sub-cultures: this seems likely to result the different sub-cultures using their phones similarly.

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LeeE
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Interesting choice of targets...

...and by that I mean the Chinese, not the routers.

It makes some sense too. From the point of view of mobile phone technology and use China represents a single large culture, so the malware authors only have to do one thing well and concentrate on just fooling that one large culture to get a lot of hits.

It remains to be seen whether it'll be deployed further afield and whether it will be as effective.

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Elon burning to get Falcon back on the launchpad

LeeE
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Fuelling the fire[ball]

I don't think we need to look very far, or to unlikely or obscure sources, for the source of the fuel for the fireball; it would have been the kerosene RP-1 propellant.

It would appear that the COPVs used to pressurise the LOX tanks are actually embedded within the tanks but the outer composite wrap was not sealed against penetration by the LOX that surrounded it.

A pressure vessel needs to satisfy two functions: to maintain separation between what's in the vessel and what's outside it, and not to rupture under its rated pressure, and to achieve this Space-X relied upon the impermeability of the aluminium liner to maintain separation and the tensional strength of the outer wrap to withstand and maintain the internal pressure. However, whilst the buckles in the liner may not have significantly reduced the strength of the PV, as that was being provided by the wrap, any buckles in the liner would not have been static as the conditions around it changed; as either the Helium or LOX pressures changed and/or solid LOX formed next to them the buckles in the liner would have been stretched in some areas and compressed in others, eventually resulting in a rupture. As the Helium COPV was at a higher pressure than the LOX, when it ruptured it would have over-pressured the LOX tank in which it was embedded and the resultant failure of the LOX tank would have almost certainly have damaged the rest of the plumbing, including the fuel lines.

Re inflammability of Oxygen: when something burns it is combining with Oxygen in a process that releases heat. The most common example of burning we see in day-to-day life is that of combining Carbon with Oxygen, with rusting probably being the second most common example.

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Folders return to Windows 10's Start Thing

LeeE
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Re: Unbelievable

Didn't like KDE 4 but then found Trinity TDE fork of KDE 3

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Twas the week before Xmas ... not a creature was stirring – except Microsoft admitting its Windows 10 upgrade pop-up went 'too far'

LeeE
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Re: M$ Long History

My first impression on seeing the W95 UI was that it had adopted many features of the AmigaDos 2 UI.

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Europe trials air-traffic-control-over-IP-and-satellite

LeeE
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Re: Am I missing something here?

I concede that you're correct - it's been a long time since I read up on SSR and my memory or initial understanding was flawed.

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LeeE
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Re: Am I missing something here?

I've got to insist that SSR isn't radar insofar as the information gained by SSR is not derived from the reflected transmitter signal, regardless of which mode is being used (the difference between the A, B, C, D & S modes used by SSR is the timing of the interrogation pulses - the individual pulses themselves contain no information and are identical but the difference in timing between them tells the aircraft transponder which information is being requested).

If you're going to define radar as any means of obtaining information about the state of an aircraft then any method of communication that enables information to be passed from an aircraft to the ground would qualify as radar, including voice comms, engine monitoring data and even ADS-B (as ADS-B can be received by ground stations - ADS-B is the primary source of data for websites like Flightradar24 and Plane Finder).

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LeeE
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Re: Am I missing something here?

"Repeating back "Turning to 270" doesn't mean that the pilot has done it, but it does mean that the pilot has heard the instruction and at some level understood it,"

Actually, simply repeating the order back is not a guarantee of understanding at any level and is really no different to clicking 'OK'.

I would also argue that there is less potential for misunderstanding with a written instruction when compared with a spoken one, especially when you take accents and individual pronunciation in to account. And, for what it's worth, what's to stop them using voip?

And as for whether "the message was [even] seen" I'm really not sure what your argument is here; are you suggesting that a pilot would simply click on an 'OK' acknowledgement button without understanding what it was (s)he was okaying? This seems to suggest that because the pilot is presented with an 'OK' button they will immediately, and without any thought, forget that they're flying an aeroplane and believe that they're actually just re-installing some drivers or clicking through the license. This scenario just isn't credible and neither is any objection based upon it.

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LeeE
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Re: Am I missing something here?

I think that you probably are, a little bit, but that's because the article is a bit misleading.

Nothing new or novel is being done here; the point of this test is just to prove equipment and procedures for ATC over IP via satellite.

It's in the second paragraph of the article, where it says: "Such tracking will be rather more precise than current methods, which rely on radar near or over land but have little or no data about where planes are once they fly over oceans. Air traffic controllers are therefore conservative when assigning flight paths, just to be on the safe side." that the misunderstanding starts.

Currently, commercial aircraft are tracked via a system named Secondary Radar, which isn't really radar at all; ATC broadcast a non-directional radio signal which, when received by an aircraft, tells that aircraft to respond by broadcasting back to ATC its own position, direction, alt & speed etc. Thus, it's really no more like radar than being downstairs at home and shouting to someone upstairs to ask if they've left the bathroom.

The break in communication that occurs when the aircraft is over the ocean is because the broadcasts between ATC and the aircraft are direct and more or less line-of-sight (for reliability - long-ranger range radio is possible but less reliable as it's effected by atmospheric conditions). So the only new thing here is using IP via satellite for ATC instead of direct radio.

As for the controllers being more conservative about spacing, just to be on the safe side - I'm afraid that the wording seems to suggest that it's an informal measure that the ATC controller has decided to take at their own discretion when it's actually the formal procedure.

And as for "just hitting the 'OK' button on the screen does not confirm to the controllers anything other than the message has been received" - well, simply saying "Turning to heading 270" doesn't confirm that the pilot has performed the action either.

Note that there's nothing actually new about IP via satellite on aircraft; it just means it'll be carrying ATC along with whatever the passengers are browsing.

One assumes that the encryption used on the ATC traffic will not be subject to government backdoors.

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Turns out there's a market for marijuana... plants' video surveillance

LeeE
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An advert...

...is what it seemed like on to me.

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Facebook's internet drone crash-landed after wing 'deformed' in flight

LeeE
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Re: Vne of 25 kts at landing approach height? Really?

Hello Martin, I think that part of the problem here is that the terms 'spoilers' and 'airbrakes/speedbrakes' are often used interchangeably because their effects overlap.

Whilst the primary purpose of a spoiler is to reduce lift and increase the sink-rate, it will also increase drag which must, were it not for the increase in sink-rate, also reduce airspeed to some degree1; the primary purpose of an airbrake/speedbrake though, is to reduce airspeed, but the resultant reduction of airspeed will also reduce lift and thus also increase the sink-rate.

I think you sum it up very well with: "The airspeed may increase, stay the same or decrease as the brakes are opened dependent on the design of the aircraft." and the examples you give show this. (just out of curiosity, are you aware of any gliders that have both spoilers and a fuselage-mounted speedbrake? I would imagine that the pop-up propeller on some self-powered gliders is sometimes used as a speedbrake when the pilot doesn't want to use the spoilers).

[1]* Increasing drag takes kinetic energy out of the [glider] system which, unless you counter it by replacing it from your reserve of potential energy derived from gravity and altitude i.e. by descending, means you have to slow down.

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LeeE
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Re: Vne of 25 kts at landing approach height? Really?

Reading through the NTSB report, the most salient points of which are included in the article anyway, it seems to me that it wasn't so much a case of exceeding Vne but commanding a flight surface deflection that exceeded the VA (Design maneuvering speed) limit i.e. at the speed it was travelling, the commanded elevon deflection produced more force than the airframe could sustain.

The root cause of this was commanding a nose-down attitude to regain the glideslope when the aircraft was gusted above it and this commanded node-down attitude inevitably resulted in an increase of both the vertical descent rate and the airspeed, taking it to VA. However, regaining the correct vertical descent rate once the aircraft got back on to the glideslope required a nose-up attitude and the degree of up-elevon commanded to achieve this, whilst it was at VA, broke the aircraft.

I think it has to be said that commanding a nose-down whilst on the glideslope, in close proximity to touch-down (and the ground) and whilst already in its maximum drag configuration, which meant that it had no further way to reduce airspeed, was not a wise move because the increase in both the airspeed and vertical descent rate was predictable; the autopilot landing routine should have known this and either landed further down the runway, if it thought there would still be enough runway left, or gone around if there wasn't.

The fix, as mentioned in the article, is to fit an airbrake so that instead of needing to command a node-down to regain the glideslope the airspeed can be reduced, which will bring it back on to the glideslope, without increasing the vertical descent rate or exceeding VA.

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Elon Musk wants to get into the boring business, literally

LeeE
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Re: Easy.

"Just use sufficiently powerful lasers to melt the rockface,.."

Although I don't have any numbers, I think you'll find that relatively few tunnels are through solid rock; most long tunnels seem to encounter a variety of soils, clays and unconsolidated, or broken/fractured rock. Breaking in to underground springs and rivers is also fairly common in tunnelling.

I'm not confident that your lasers will be able to seal and thereby support tunnels in these ground conditions.

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Beauty is in the AI of the beholder: Young blokes teach computer to judge women by their looks

LeeE
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Deeply Flawed article

The article starts with: "Chinese researchers claim to have taken facial recognition to the next level – by predicting the personality traits of women from their photos alone."

However, both the title of the paper and the extracts included in article do not support this assertion:

The title "Automated Inference on Sociopsychological Impressions of Attractive Female Faces" actually says what the paper is really about: an automated system that mimics what people do.

The extracts also support this:

"A non-acquaintance female face can be judged unanimously as being physically beautiful, and yet different observers may associate this face with approval or disapproval connotations, using labels (or stereotypes) like pure, sweet, endearing, innocent, cute, on one hand, or indifferent, pretentious, pompous, arrogant, shallow, frivolous, coquettish, on the other," the paper states.

"As these labels are loosely binary quantization of social attributes of trustworthiness, dominance, innocence, and introvert-extrovert, here is another case for the old, cross-culture belief that facial appearances are symptoms of innate traits and behavioral propensity."

Both extracts are referring to how people make an association between appearance and personality; nowhere are they claiming that these associations are correct.

It would have been an interesting story if hadn't been so badly misrepresented.

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'I told him to cut it out' – Obama is convinced Putin's hackers swung the election for Trump

LeeE
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Re: DNC - Remove the mote from your own eye

@CM - Just a minor heads-up re the title of your thread: You've incorrectly alluded to Mathew 7:4: in the King James version of what is probably the most widely read work of fiction so far created.

"Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?"

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Top CompSci boffins name the architectures we'll need in 2030

LeeE
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3D integration in silicon

“shortening interconnects by routing in three dimensions..."

I think that there may be a couple of potential problems with this idea.

The first problem is intrinsic to highly 3D silicon; as the number of layers in silicon is increased, to build up the depth, it becomes harder to cool the device as the heat produced by inner layers has to be routed through the outer layers.

The second problem is that the interconnects can only be shortened if they take a 'straight-line' direct route between layers but this would result in the interconnect passing obliquely between and through layers and any oblique interconnect will occupy significantly greater areas of both the layers that it joins as well as other layers that it passes through.

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Russia's bid for mobile self-sufficiency may be the saviour of Sailfish

LeeE
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Re: Market size?

@AC - "[Russia's] a massive country, but with a population of less than 150 million, most of whom are very poor, I question the potential market size."

Sorry to be blunt, but the ignorance displayed by this comment, and its up-voters needs a response.

Russia has a population of ~146 million people, ranking it as the world's ninth most populous sovereign nation. For comparison, the U.S.A. is ranked as the world's third most populous sovereign nation, with a population of ~325 million, so about 2.2 times that of Russia, which is by no means a 'massive' deferential. However, China, with a population of ~1.38 billion, and India, with a population of ~1.3 billion, ranking them first and second respectively, make every other country look 'small'.

With regard to poverty, the available World Bank or CIA numbers for the percentage of people living below the national poverty line, for the four countries mentioned above are:

China: 6.1% (CIA)

Russia: 12.7% (CIA), 11% (World Bank)

U.S.A: 15.1% (CIA)

India: 22% (World Bank)

From these numbers it would seem that a relatively high level of poverty is not a barrier to mobile phone take-up.

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HMS Queen Lizzie to carry American jets and sail in support of US foreign policy

LeeE
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Re: U.S. has used Harriers...

"And if you;re using the Harrier in a non S/VTOL manner, why put up with the other compromises like the brick-like aerodynamics, the heavy airframe, and the severely anhedral plan that contributes to hugely unstable handing?"

The Harrier was designed for Close Air Support (CAS) & Fighter Reconnaissance (FR) from front-line operating bases and this dictated most of its design features. CAS requires low altitude performance and FR requires manoeuvrability.

As far as I'm aware, the Harrier is always operated in STOL mode (rolling short take off and short landing) from land bases because there's little to be gained from conventional long roll take offs and landings. S/VTOL (rolling short take off and short/vertical landing) is used from ships for obvious reasons.

The Harrier has exceeded the speed of sound in a dive (the supersonic P.1154 was cancelled) and everything I've heard about them indicates that their manoeuvrability is generally very good and their acceleration, perhaps unsurprisingly, is exceedingly good. It is, apparently, an easy aircraft to fly but vertical landings, whilst not difficult, do need regular practice - same as most other aircraft really. Because it's designed to operate primarily at low altitude, thanks to the CAS requirement, it will usually be on a par with most other aircraft it's likely to encounter, which are designed to operate at high altitudes, and their engines are just as thirsty at low altitude as the Harrier's Pegasus.

As for weight, the GR3 came in at 13,535 lb empty/25,200 lb MTOW rolling Short Take Off (STO), the AV-8B comes in at 13,968 lb/31,000 lb MTOW (STO). The (not really comparable) F-16 weighs in at around 18,900 lb empty/42,300 lb MTOW, the F/A-18 23,000 lb empty/51,900 lb MTOW and the (cough) F-35B 32,300 lb empty/60,000 lb MTOW. I've included the F-16 because it's a roughly comparable weight, but note that it lacks the much heavier landing gear that carrier borne aircraft need - in the light of those numbers I find it difficult to regard the Harrier as overweight - it's just a smaller aircraft and carries a proportionally smaller weapon load.

The Harrier's Pegasus engine dictated a high mounted wing; without anhedral it would have been too stable for its intended CAS/FR role.

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Pluto has massive underground oceans, say astro-boffins

LeeE
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Past and present

"Pluto may contain a colossal underground ocean"

It seems very unlikely that Pluto still has an underground ocean but it may well have had one a few billions years ago when the Sputnik Planitia was formed.

The assertion that there are two reasons why Pluto could currently have a liquid underground ocean is flawed. Firstly, tectonic activity is a consequence of internal heat, not a cause of it, and secondly, Pluto is so small that after ~4 billion years there will be hardly any radioactivity left.

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'Extra-supermoon' to appear next week

LeeE
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Re: That's no moon… It's a space station!

"A very, very powerful projector..."

Could work with a New Moon but at Full Moon your projector would have to outshine Sol.

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Stiff upper lips and sun glasses: the Chancellor bets on Brexit feeling

LeeE
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Re: What Chancellor Hammond meant to say

He also reiterated that Japanese conglomerate Softbank's June purchase of ARM was a signal that Britain is "open up for business sale".

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Whoosh! China shows off J-20 'stealth' fighters and jet drones

LeeE
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Re: Stealth..

Radar stealth is actually only of limited utility in fighters because it only confers a dubious and questionable advantage at ranges beyond that of electro-optical systems.

Electro-optical systems use Infra Red, which gives them a passive detection range of ~30-40km depending upon conditions, whereas active radar gives detection ranges of several hundred km. However, the use of active radar not only immediately alerts any enemy that you're looking for them before you are able to detect them (because the strength of the incident radar pulse received by the target aircraft will be far stronger than the reflected signal from the target aircraft that the radar needs to receive and recognise) but also acts as a beacon for your location.

Note that electro-optical systems using IR can work by detecting skin-heating - they don't need to see the hot exhaust plume from the engines - and so can detect an oncoming aircraft as easily as one retreating or flying across its path.

The options for radar stealth fighters, when engaging electro-optical equipped fighters, are either to retreat and maintain distances beyond electro-optical detection i.e. 30-40km, or close to within electro-optical detection range where their radar stealth is useless and where any aerodynamic compromises due to radar stealth might leave them at a distinct disadvantage. This is why non-radar stealthy but highly agile fighters, such as the Gripen and Eurofighter, and especially the Sukhoi Flanker variants, which are aerodynamically superior to all other current fighters, including the F-22, are still viable.

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WordPress daddy Matt Mullenweg says Wix.com 'explicitly contravenes the GPL'

LeeE
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Re: does the GPL apply to server side code?

In short, yes, the GPL applies to server side code, but that isn't the issue here.

The GPL says that if you distribute GPL'd code then you must also distribute any changes you make to that code. If, however, you run GPL'd code on a server as an application service then you're not distributing that code, at least as far as the GPL is concerned, and so don't have to release any changes you make to it.

This is regarded as a loop-hole because whilst the code itself is not being distributed, its functionality is [being distributed].

The AGPL licence addresses this loop-hole by requiring that the full source code be made available to any network user of the AGPL-licensed software.

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Hack us and you're basically attacking America, says UK defence sec

LeeE
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Re: UK MoD: "We're ready to fight it out to the last American!"

"...the Russians had aircraft in Syria, but they couldn't stand up to F-22 Raptors"

I wouldn't be too sure about that. Whilst the US has a good lead in radar stealth the Russians have quite a strong lead in passive optical IR which makes radar stealth a lot less important. Whilst the US aircraft will have a detection advantage at longer ranges due to being able to detect, but not be detected, by radar, trying to use that radar range advantage against the Russian aircraft will alert them to the fact that the US aircraft are present and are looking for them before they are actually detected, as well as providing a good indication as to the location of those US aircraft.

At shorter ranges the advantage switches to the Russian aircraft with their passive optical IR sensors and superior aerodynamics.

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LeeE
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Re: warning them not to target Blighty

"it [Nimitz class carrier] has constant air cover and satellite observation."

Constant air cover - yes. Constant satellite communication - yes. Constant satellite observation - no.

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LeeE
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Re: warning them not to target Blighty

"The Russian aircraft carrier a carrier ain't - it is an aircraft carrying cruiser (official designation) and is an ESCORT SHIP in this fleet group."

That's really just arguing semantics - the Admiral Kuznetsov is a 1000ft flat-top that can carry a total of 40 aircraft, up to 32 of which can be fixed-wing aircraft. For comparison, the Nimitz class carriers carry a total of 85-90 aircraft (fixed-wing & helis).

I agree that the Admiral Kuznetsov's primary role is as an Escort Carrier though - its SU-33s are primarily for air-superiority, although it seems that only about 35 were ever built, and they will be replaced by MiG-29Ks which, being smaller than the SU-33, may possibly increase the number of fixed-wing aircraft able to be carried.

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LeeE
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Re: "...sending their...Aircraft Carrier...down the English Channel in a show of force"

"The best route from their base in Russia for the Med is down the denmark straits and into the Atlantic."

Going via the Denmark Strait would be considerably longer and would also be a deep-water route, making it very easy for subs to tail them. As well as being shorter, the English Channel route would be a very tricky proposition, bordering on dangerous, for a submerged submarine due the the shallow depths, strong currents and numerous banks; a trailing sub would have to break off before the Dover Strait, so you'd need another to pick up the trail after the transit.

Although traffic levels in the English Channel are very high, that traffic is very well coordinated and there's little congestion - the traffic keeps moving pretty well.

So whilst it is a show of strength, it's not just a show of strength.

"They (The Russians) regularly send over Bombers to test our defenses."

It's really just propaganda to describe the Tu-95MS (the only Tu-95 variant currently in service) as a bomber - yes, it's a cruise missile carrier but it wouldn't be used as such in any contestable airspace, such as border regions, as it's far too vulnerable; it's primarily used for long distance recon and SIGINT.

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See that red spot on the chart? Sail over it and you'll find a Russian sub

LeeE
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Target search != target detection

"...anti-submarine warships use sonar pings to search for enemy boats, in the same way as radar detects aircraft."

GC has conflated two different ideas there.

Detecting enemy targets by active means, such as sonar or radar, these days at least, is a big fail; not only does it immediately alert whatever you're trying to detect to the fact that you're looking for it but also provides a beacon for your location long before you're able to achieve detection (this is simply because active scanning relies upon receiving a reflection that must always be weaker than the scanning signal - it's far easier for you to detect that you are being scanned than for the scanner to detect you).

Instead, passive scanning is used to detect when a target is present, at which point active scanning will be brought in to play to search for, or in other words locate, the target so that it may be engaged.

This is more of an issue for ships and subs though - aircraft detection and targeting systems are increasingly using passive IR as it can be effective over several tens of kilometres and is intrinsically accurate whereas passive sonar/hydrophones are both subject to the thermoclines mentioned in the article (there's no real analogy to IR in sonar) and are less accurate (sure, a homing torpedo can find its own target accurately enough from a passive sonar detection but the vessel that fired it will still be unsure of the target's precise location until the torp hits it).

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Divide the internet into compartments to save us from the IoT fail whale

LeeE
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Re: About bloody time

I don't think that compartmentalising or partitioning the 'internet' is the solution, or even really viable, because how do you control, or use the data coming from, IoT devices if you can't access them?

The real cause of the problem that IoT devices are now presenting is that the manufacturers of these devices want control but not responsibility. They achieve that control through proprietary software, that only they can update, but then refuse to accept the responsibility for it by failing to maintain that software and provide updates when problems are found with it.

It's pretty easy to see why the IoT manufacturers are doing this: exclusive control of the device gives the manufacturer exclusive access to the marketable data they acquire from it and control over its planned and ensured obsolescence.

The only solution I can see is a standardised IoT h/w platform, pretty much along the lines of the PC model, where all of the software can be maintained independently of the OEM or vendor.

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Spoiler alert: We'll bet boffins still haven't spotted aliens

LeeE
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"The distances involved seem to point that the signals would have had to leave the originating planet a very long time ago. Possibly back in the childhood of the universe."

The SDSS uses wide-angle telescopes and isn't able to isolate individual stars in other galaxies; the stars they're talking about will all be in our Milky Way galaxy.

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Hard-up Brits 'should get subsidy for 10Mbps'

LeeE
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Re: BB for the poor (Correction)

Doh! - bad maths - I subtracted monthly amounts for land-line and BB from weekly income numbers.

Dividing those two monthly amounts by four, as a rough approximation, gives £3 & £2.75 = £5.75/week instead of £23/week, so I actually have roughly £50/week for food and utility bills. Thought it seemed a bit too low at the time but didn't spot the stupid mistake.

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LeeE
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Re: BB for the poor

"Currently EE appear to be offering uLtd BB and free weekend calls plus a few other extras for £18.50 pcm"

Thanks for the heads-up, but the EE £18.50 deal (£1/month BB + £17.50/month line rental) is an 18 month offer. After that BB goes up to £10/month = £27.50/month (at current rates). Yes, I could go the constantly switching between providers route, but life is looking increasingly too short for the inevitable grief and disruption that would certainly ensue - one axiom I've learned from experience is: 'Nothing Ever Works Properly'.

I'm ok for h/w - been given a lot of old cast-off kit, newest were a couple of first gen i3 mobo+cpu+ram combos, which allowed me to retire my last P4 (spit!) systems. No problem with old cases to put them in. Also got quite a collection of spare used HDDs now, some with nearly 60k hours on them - smallish by current standards (80GB - 2TB) but big enough for my needs - OSs on small drives and data on bigger ones (or arrays/BODs of smaller ones - mhddfs has been a boon - slowish but can combine multiple hdds without losing the entire 'array' when one hdd craps out - just need to replace it and rsync from another of my systems to replace the missing stuff instead of a full restore - yep, currently got five systems with full copies of all my data). Second-hand ram is cheap enough from ebay

Keeping up to date with Microsoft is a non-starter though - no way I can afford the licenses for server & SQL. Good job I like Linux & Postgres.

Retirement for me is at 66, so another seven years to go - got three pension schemes, in addition to the state pension, but not enough to live on at 60. Funny how, on the very rare occasions that I do get a job interview, no one ever asks me "What do you see yourself doing in ten years?"

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LeeE
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Re: BB for the poor

@AC: I'm 59 and unemployed, despite >40 years IT experience, largely, I suspect, due to my age.

I live in a council flat.

I receive £73.10 per week JSA plus housing & council tax benefit. However, I have to pay about a quarter of my JSA payment back to the council as the amount of housing & council tax benefit I receive doesn't cover the full amounts. In part, this is due to being hit with the 'Bedroom Tax' because when I had to be moved from my previous flat, which was being demolished, I was re-housed in a two-bedroom flat (the second bedroom is 7ft x 9ft). I didn't request a two bedroom flat when I was being moved.

I do qualify for the BT Basics package, which gives me a land-line for £12/month (no free calls) and have a 3GB/month metered BB package at £11/month. Might be able to get a better introductory BB deal if I were prepared to keep swapping every year or so but needs to be with a Linux-friendly ISP.

This leaves me with about £32/week for food and utility bills.

Am I poor?

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Acronis: Yep, we're using blockchain for backup now

LeeE
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Re: I see.

All I saw was an advertisement.

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Red Hat eye from the Ubuntu guy: Fedora – how you doin'?

LeeE
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Re: Why oh why would you use Ubuntu

"It is not independent, Red Hat funds and supports the CentOS Project and owns the trademarks."

Not at the time I was trying to use it - RH only took over CentOS in 2014, possibly because, after trying obfuscation in RHEL 7 as a deterrent to CentOS, they decided it was easier to take it over.

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Report: UK counter-terrorism plan Prevent is 'unjust', 'counterproductive'

LeeE
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Re: Display

The winners They thought differently at Nuremberg

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