* Posts by Voyna i Mor

2040 posts • joined 3 Nov 2015

US Navy suffers third ship collision this year

Voyna i Mor
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Re: AIS

"Which I really don't understand, if you see a RADAR contact without a matching AIS return the first thing you're going to do is investigate it."

If you think it might even just possibly be a USN guided missile ship I would imagine that is the last thing you would do. For two possible values of last.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

"There are only 2 types of (steerable) vessels : power and sail."

For a long time many if not all vessels of any size were both. Most yachts still are. The separation is recent.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: What do they all do? @SkippyBang

"You may be thinking of -steam gives way to sail, sail gives way to rowing boats."

This does not, of course, help on a river when someone in a canoe turns suddenly into the path of 25 tonnes of narrowboat. Because they think they have automatic right of way. Though the desire to get out a loudhailer and shout the rules at the idiot is strong, it is also impracticable.

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Bad data and new IT system bugs help knock 66% off Provident Financial share price

Voyna i Mor
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Up until the crap IT system, it was supposedly working very well.

During the Coalition period (remember it?) the pressure started to mount on payday lenders. Under the present government (since 2015) it has been people like local councils who have been employing ever more vicious debt collection tactics (like charging people with no money £420 that they haven't got to send the bailiffs in to find they are living on the floor.) As I understand it, Capita has outsourced considerable council debt collection and employs its own bailiffs, so it makes more money by letting people get into arrears and then charging for bailiffs.

Much as I dislike the Provident, it is very expensive to lend money to people with poor credit ratings due to the high default rates and cost of collection. It's a vicious circle.

So you would think the government...what am I saying? This government is actually encouraging payday lenders and Capita's bailiffs by getting people onto universal credit - causing severe delays in benefit payment. It then discourages private landlords from letting to tenants on UC because the rent is paid to them, not direct to the landlord.

And then Provident's systems go down.

For some people this is actually going to be a tragedy when Provident goes up again and starts dunning for its money, because some of them will have spent it on inessentials like food and clothes for the children.

Welcome to modern Britain.

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Can North Korean nukes hit US mainland? Maybe. But EMP blast threat is 'highly credible'

Voyna i Mor
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Re: gamma/x-ray emissions

"Plutonium is very unstable with even small changes in temperature."

I liked the entry in Smithells which shows the phase changes in plutonium with temperature and observes that the specimen was self heated.

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Private sub captain changes story, now says reporter died, was 'buried at sea' – torso found

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Something worth remembering

"Half mile? On one hill walk I could see someone drinking from a stream while a sheep pissed in it about 30 yards upstream."

Rule 34, probably.

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German court reveals reason for Europe-wide patent system freeze

Voyna i Mor
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A slight reversal then

These days we depend on Germany for democracy and resistance to tyranny.

How long is it going to take us to learn the same lessons?

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The sky is blue, water is wet and UK PC shipments are down

Voyna i Mor
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"Yeah, it has nothing at all to do with the fact that PC sales are falling everywhere"

Read the article. Down 3% in rest of EU, down 11% in UK.

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Wisconsin advances $3bn bribe incentives package for Foxconn

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Good Work

"One of my heroes was E F Schumacher, the economist (Small is Beautiful etc). So right on say many things. In one of his books, called 'Good Work', he suggests that the capital cost of creating a new job shouldn't be more than one year's salary for that job."

The problem with the Schumacher approach is that you can't build a modern society using it. How much does a press tool cost? How much does a plant to turn out a new pharmaceutical cost? The last capital project I was involved in was small, cost around £250k and created 4 jobs. But it paid for itself in a year.

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Voyna i Mor
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Protectionism

Foxconn see the writing on the wall for a dose of US protectionism - and get Americans to pay to help them overcome it.

It's becoming painfully obvious where the best business brains are these days (Foxconn is Taiwanese I believe).

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Facebook won't change React.js license despite Apache developer pain

Voyna i Mor
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Future

I await the day when Facebook has to expend lots of time and money on monopoly suits all over the world.

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FYI: Web ad fraud looks really bad. Like, really, really bad. Bigly bad

Voyna i Mor
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Lord Lever

Over here the comment about 50% of advertising being wasted was attributed to Lord Lever. Two stories I like about him: one was that he was asked what ocean racing was like and said "try standing in a cold shower tearing up £20 notes"; the other one was that when the King accompanies him on a trip the Kaiser snootily remarked "I understand my cousin is boating with his grocer."

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Voyna i Mor
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"I still cringe at the memory of an IBM(?) advert that was heavily lying that, somehow, magically, NFC tags would allow you to know that a truck was on a certain road in the middle of the desert."

I still cringe that we had a sales guy at the time who believed it.

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So, Nokia. What makes you think the world wants your phones?

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Slow build up?

Yes, I thought that. When support becomes something buyers care about, new entrants actually have a benefit because they want new buyers, they aren't (like Apple and Samsung) in a get-them-to-replace cycle.

Nokia and the Essential phone may go head to head on this.

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Voyna i Mor
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"but they need to reestablish my belief in their longevity before they'll be in consideration."

And therein lies the [circular] problem.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: Realism without differentiation...Better audio is probably irrelevant to most buyers.

I'm fairly deaf and what matters to me is not audio quality (though it helps distinguish consonants, there is that) but volume. The sealed phones all seem to have rather quiet rings, in fact I had to ditch my Sony because while on headphones it was adequate, I was missing calls even on maximum ring volume. I've noticed that Chinese phones tend to have much louder rings but are not watertight, and I draw a reasonably obvious conclusion.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ ring volume 71dB

Sony Xperia XZ Premium 71dB

Apple iPhone 7+ 72dB

Oneplus 5 77dB

Xiaomi Mi 6 84dB

If the tradeoff is between volume and water resistance, then mine is the one with the plastic bag in the pocket in case of heavy rain.

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Voyna i Mor
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Realism

There's a lot to be said for a company that doesn't think that skinning a phone OS designed to work well with your choice of third party skin is necessary or smart.

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Russia's answer to Buckminster Fuller has a buttload of CGI and he's not afraid to use it

Voyna i Mor
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Re: obviously fake pix even for CGI

"the Communist Italian imitation Fiat lacked acceleration, couldn't climb hills, had a top speed of around 80 MPH downhill with a tailwind, and (shockingly for a Russian, sorry, Soviet, vehicle) didn't have a heater."

Exactly like the Fiat original, in fact.

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She's arrived! HMS Queen Lizzie enters Portsmouth Naval Base

Voyna i Mor
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Re: well..

"in that case an upside-down bathtub with a burberry paintjob and fur trim would've done the same thing these days"

I hope you mean a right way up bathtub, but otherwise I'm building one of those. I'm hoping to flog it to an engineering company in a marginal constituency for finishing, thus creating jobs.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: Worth it?

"in a large war these ships would fight integrated into a NATO fleet"

For about 40 minutes at which point the ICBMs would make the whole thing rather irrelevant.

Really we should be putting all our efforts into preventing a large war. One way to help that would be to stop buying arms from the US, the second would involve hitting our politicians repeatedly with some handy 4 by 2 until they stopped feeling the need to posture.

The first isn't going to happen while Liam Fox is alive, if he can help it, and there is not enough 4 by 2 in the world for the second to work.

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Oh, boy! Uber investors behind CEO sueball say Travis Kalanick won't let the company grow up

Voyna i Mor
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"The whole company is basically a bet that self-driving cars will be practical and legal before they run out of money."

And that Toyota, VW, GM and Ford, to name a few, don't use their considerable financial power to take that market. People already lease cars through organisations controlled by car makers. Car makers have big brand awareness. Once upon a time railways were vertically integrated, building their own track and rolling stock as well as operating services. It could happen again but this time for cars. One easy monthly payment gives you access to Audidrive (or whatever). Cadillac is already experimenting with such a scheme only for self-drive in the US.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: So, let me count the ways . .

"Anyone remember endowement mortgages? I got suckered into one of those by some shyster in a suit and ended up paying to get out of it 10 years later"

Back in the distant past (well, 1980) my father advised me to take out one. I paid my mortgage off after Black Wednesday thanks to inflation but kept the endowment going.It actually did quite well as an investment.

This is why there's the small print in 4.7 point at the bottom of financial documents saying things can go up as well as down. Predicting the future is always a gamble, unless of course you are a politician or banker with your finger firmly on the scales. And even then, events can catch up with you.

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Voyna i Mor
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"Silly Valley"

You missed out the "con" in the middle. You can read that in English or French, I don't mind.

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If Anonymous 'pwnd' the Daily Stormer, they did a spectacularly awful job

Voyna i Mor
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"If you're going to have free speech then unpopular speech needs to be protected just as much as popular speech (Voltaire and all that)"

Please, go away and read real Voltaire, not Internet Voltaire. He'd be the first one to be calling for the authorities to shut them down.

Voltaire was writing about opinions, not hatred. And he wanted all discussion to take place in an open and civilised manner between educated people. That meant that both sides had to be polite and mutually respectful. The far Right doesn't come near that. (Nor obviously does some of the far Left, but in this case that's irrelevant.)

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: eventually they realise they are on the wrong path.

"I wouldn't hold your breath"

Given what their spiritual ancestors did to Jews I think holding your breath around them would be a very wise move.

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Ancient IETF 'teapot' gag preserved for posterity as a standard

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Only barbarous savages or coffee drinkers ... would even consider instant 'tea'

"And socialists. Because socialists believe that "proper tea" is theft."

Non, mon brave, vous avez tort. M. Proudhon était français, donc il ne savait rien du thé, et il était un mutualiste / anarchiste, pas un socialiste. Mais c'est une erreur facile à comprendre, car il y a beaucoup de gens qui pensent que M. Corbyn est marxiste. Aujourd'hui, même les insultes sont lancées par ceux qui ne comprennent pas leur dérivation.

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Toyota, Intel, Ericsson team to get cars talking to the cloud

Voyna i Mor
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Re: A hackers delight

"Hack the cloud and send the 'stop now' or worse, 'disable' command to all connected cars.

"

This is just an example of why the security services must not be allowed any input. Nobody sane would include any such functionality without a "when safe to do so" override.

Hundreds of people, if not thousands, are working on these systems. I've been involved in technical safety committees and the amount of thought that goes into "what could go wrong" is enormous (we're not talking sociopathic Silicon Valley "disruption" here, but sober things like the IEEE and the IEC.). Yet random Internet poster assumes that because they can think of an undesirable failure case, none of those people who have spent years thinking about it in conjunction with others would have spotted it.

It is just possible, but very unlikely. As I say, the biggest risk is political or TLA interference, because they are the ones who do not think outside their very narrow boxes or understand the subject.

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Voyna i Mor
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"You simply can't accept most types of communication glitches that happen regularly."

If you drive around any large city you will see a large number of wetware communication glitches happening every day. Some of these cause accidents. One assumes that if an autonomous vehicle loses network connection it will revert to local autonomous mode and be very cautious. Rather than, e.g. as in human driver case, scream "there's a wasp in the car" and swerve around the road.

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Place your bets: How long will 1TFLOPS HPE box last in space without proper rad hardening

Voyna i Mor
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Re: What about computers at rest?

Surely the problem is that a high energy particle is going to create a shower of particles as it makes its way through matter so bits in the same block are very likely to be affected, hence bit striping (single bit wide memory in parallel).

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HMS Queen Lizzie impugned by cheeky Scot's drone landing

Voyna i Mor
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Re: If there's no crew on the ship to see the drone

"....the Police from criminals."

I thought the function of the MoD police was to keep passers-by from noticing the poor state of repair of military sites?

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Voyna i Mor
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"I find it hard to believe that the vessel was unequipped with this type of anti-drone weapon"

I'm sure BAe will soon be quoting for a hardened version in carbon fibre and Kevlar.

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Uber bros kill car leasing program after losing nine grand per vehicle

Voyna i Mor
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Re: There was am interesting program on TV a few days ago

"Uber are cunts. All of them."

I cannot possibly agree with this. One is nice, the other is nasty.

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Microsoft's Surface Pro 2017, unhinged: Luxury fondleslab that's good...

Voyna i Mor
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Re: UI must fully switch based on context.

"The problem is that you need a different design of application for touch and Keyboard/Mouse."

In Windows, yes. Chromebooks manage with a single interface rather well.

Last week I was asked by grandchildren to install a Lego application on a PC. It was over 400Mbytes. The problem was it had obviously been designed for an iPad and nothing at all had been done to make it PC-friendly. In fact it locked out everything else so when it needed BT access, it had to be closed completely to set up BT. It would have worked OK, I suspect, on Android but there didn't seem to be an Android version.

Lego is now permanently off my present list for being too lazy to produce a proper Windows version, but the sheer unusability with KBM was a bit of an eye opener.

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Voyna i Mor
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"Does it run Mint?"

This for me is the problem. I defended Microsoft up to W7 pro since when it has all been downhill. OK, I am old and crochety but I can cope with Android and Chrome OS. I put Classic Shell on 10 and get by but it can still be a PITA as it semi-randomly swaps from flay webpage controls to W2000 snap-ins. dlls disappear and stop stuff working. If I had to replace my laptop I would maybe pay £500 to get W10. But north of £2000? 911 prices, 911 bodywork, air-cooled Beetle engine.

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HMS Queen Liz will arrive in Portsmouth soon, says MoD

Voyna i Mor
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Re: tides and sailing ?

"Woopsie, "steam" doesn't work any better than "sail". HMS Queen Elizabeth is combination gas turbine and diesel powered."

In reality, both turbines and Diesel engines are powered by a mixture of steam,carbon dioxide and heated air. It is just that the gases are generated by burning hydrocarbons with oxygen. The "typical" hydrocarbon formula is n(CH2) + 2H, so about equal volumes of both gases are produced.

If you powered a gas turbine with a hydrogen/oxygen gas mixture, it would be a pure steam engine.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: I've been thinking about cheap ways to kill carriers.

"And following your carrier around with a tug doesn't display a huge amount of confidence in your carrier."

As I recall the Kuznetsov is rather overdue for a refit, and with one of those if anything goes wrong you can't just tow it to the nearest Lada - sorry, VAZ - garage. But it happened around the time that the Zumwalt had a highly embarrassing failure in the Panama Canal that resulted in it being towed. Sea water got into the drive shafts. Things happen at sea and it's well to be prepared for them if operating a long way from your base.

The Wikipedia article on the Kuznetsov is interesting and explains a lot about the background, including its special status. It's worth reading, in my view.

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Voyna i Mor
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"Keep your hands to yourself, laddie, or she'll set the corgis on you."

A friend of a friend was at a Royal Garden Party (No, I do not move in those circles) and espied some of the corgis. As she approached them the Queen Mother announced "I'd be careful if I were you, they can be a bit boisterous."

To which a well known voice from behind replied "What you mean, mummy, is that they bite!"

So...corgis are the equivalents of a carrier's destroyer escorts.

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Core-blimey! Intel's Core i9 18-core monster – the numbers

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Nobody needs more than 640K of RAM.

"Ivor Catt did some good articles in the 1980s on this."

Ivor Catt wrote some interesting articles but I wouldn't describe them as good.

His ideas got as far as the Ferranti F-100/L microprocessor which had an internal serial architecture. The trouble was, compared to the TI 9989, another military microprocessor of the era, it was treacle to liquid helium. I know because I was on a project which used both of them.

One place where Catt went very wrong was his assumption that power doesn't scale with clock speed. Another was that timing jitter wasn't fixable. With TTL and ECL there was truth in this; if you could clock an ECL circuit at 500MHz it would be hard to parallel due to timing problems and didn't use 10 times the power of the same circuit at 50MHz - because most of the ECL power consumption was its analog circuitry, even at DC.

The coming of VLSI and CMOS destroyed both of Catt's assumptions; it became possible to parallel 64 data lines with clock speeds in the GHz range, which he never foresaw. As CMOS power scales very roughly with clock frequency for given design rules, a good parallel one will always beat a good serial one.

It isn't a pity that Thatcher sold off INMOS but it was a disaster that she didn't save ICL. Politicians used to mantra that they couldn't pick technology winners, but for some reason that never applied to companies that made things that went bang, only to things that were slightly beyond the grasp of civil servants with degrees in Classics and a poor maths O level.

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WannaCry-killer Marcus Hutchins denies Feds' malware claims

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Let's make a deal

"The consequences of such action could only be described as catastrophic for the UK diplomacy"

I have not seen any evidence whatsoever that that would worry Boris Johnson for a moment. He does not strike me as having any concept of diplomacy whatsoever, unless nest-feathering is being diplomatic. On the other hand, keeping Assange in his present conditions and waiting for the embassy to kick him out acts as a warning to anybody else with the same ideas.

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Forget Iran and North Korea. Now there's another uranium source

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Centrifugal force? - Phew lad! This discussion is as old as Internet

But in classical mechanics it is extremely simple. There is no need to invoke complicated frames of reference. All we need to do is to consider things from the point of view of an outside observer.

It is clear that there is a force between the centres of mass. Applying Newton's laws, we can see that if there were not then they would continue in straight lines in the directions they had when the force was removed. Therefore the force which constrains them is attractive and between them, and is directed towards the centre of mass (for both objects). It is therefore centripetal. This makes no assumption about the relative masses of the objects.

If the centripetal force were somehow instantaneously to disappear both objects would continue to move at constant velocity. They therefore do not accelerate so there is no force on them.

A centrifuge works because the centripetal force operates on the pipette but not the particles in the liquid. They therefore tend to travel in straight lines which, owing to the rotation of the pipette, eventually causes them to reach the bottom, or as close as buoyancy permits. There is no centrifugal (i.e. outward) force to be found anywhere.

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Brit uni builds its own supercomputer from secondhand parts

Voyna i Mor
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Re: That's not the story

Hardware same, software different.

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Largest ever losses fail to dent Tesla's bulging order book

Voyna i Mor
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"The sales are increasing yet people still can't wait for Tesla to collapse and Musk to fail. As if it will give them a great joy to say "I told you so"."

Far from it.

A lot of us would like him to succeed, but we know enough about engineering and its history to know that pioneers usually fail. Economics is said to be the dismal science; engineering is about the affordable.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: Only one comment

Replying to the anonymous downvoters to my original post - I know a guy who was a troubleshooter for one of the big motor manufacturers. He therefore had his choice of virtually any company car he wanted. His important criterion was that the car had had to be in production for at least 18 months because that was how long it took to debug fully (and of course he saw the bug reports.)

Perhaps one of you will actually respond and explain how it is that an experienced volume carmaker can take so long to fix teething troubles while someone who has never had a volume product at all is going to fix the problems in six months? Even Edison couldn't walk on water.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: Not gunning for profit...And they're only just now shipping their "people's car".

The first Model 3s actually cost over £30 000, even at the pre-Brexit $1.50 rate. They are hardly a "People's car".

I want to know how Musk is going to take a car which loses money, and cut the price by $10 000 basically by using a smaller battery and putting all the other parts in but not turning on some of the software. The whole scheme has some of the smell of the original Volkswagen. Workers paid into the scheme and were promised them when they started to roll off the production line. Which they did not do.

Unfortunately there's no sign of a Major Ivan Hirst on the horizon.

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Voyna i Mor
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Only one comment

If Musk thinks they have six months of manufacturing hell, I conclude he has no experience of manufacturing. He is just starting to get the treadmill moving, and when he gets up to speed he will realise why volume car makers are so cautious.

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Four techies flummoxed for hours by flickering 'E' on monitor

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Also, light bulbs

"So we can look forward to all lab equipment being banned on the basis that they can be used to break the OSA?"

I was thinking more of Turnbull's claim that the laws of Australia trumped[stet] mere mathematics.

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Voyna i Mor
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Also, light bulbs

There was a house in Scotland where the light bulbs kept blowing. The mains voltage tested quite normal, there was no evidence of heavy surges or brownouts. There was no correlation with thunderstorms in the area. But eventually someone got suspicious and connected a loop coil to a scope.

How does the MOD communicate with submarines? On such a low frequency that if you happen to have a house in the way it can induce significant voltages in the wiring.

The MOD of course refused to admit that there was any such thing in the area, but oscilloscopes ignore the Official Secrets Act.

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Si vous comprenez ces mots, vous êtes français ou l'intelligence artificielle de Facebook

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Send three and fourpence

Unless the phrase is absolutely trivial - like "shut the door" - that's unlikely to be possible. Context helps enormously.

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