Re: Mars will be OK
Roadside Picnic anyone?
(Arkady and Boris Strugatsky)
148 posts • joined 25 Aug 2007
Roadside Picnic anyone?
(Arkady and Boris Strugatsky)
Regarding evading the Grim Reaper see this:
Reminds me of the fate of the innocent sperm whale in HHGTTG.
It's a shame Rosetta will be destroyed, after all 67P will be back in six and a bit years and who knows what may have changed.
How about a project to build a working machine?
I bet you're at least the fourth person to think that.
Sheep - will it work on sheep?
It's not dead - it's sleeping.
That's a very large pin-head for just one fairy to dance upon.
I always thought there was something dodgy in my antikythera box.
Why does that remind me of a KSP Biomes map of Minimus?
Douglas Adams was right, again.
The Great Green Arkleseizure is the creator of the universe, as claimed by adherents of the faith on planet Viltvodle VI. The Jatravartids of this faith believe that the Universe was sneezed out the Great Green Arkleseizure's nose.
Beware the coming of The Great White Handkerchief.
@Andy The Hat
They are real! Perhaps, after the Clangers struggled and failed to move Philae into the light, they gathered around in a semicircle with their polished dustbin lids to reflect sunlight to warm her up. Right now, the Soup Dragon is preparing a fortifying feast for our Philae (and what a wonderful filly she is; congratulations to her breeders, trainers and jockeys). Keep up Rosetta.
The music trees have now started sending their music to Rosetta and the Iron Chicken is waiting in the background for a feast if everything fails.
If sufficient research is ever carried out they might find evidence that the larger impact was the result of an innocent Sperm Whale impact. The other crater will, of course, contain residue from a bowl of Petunias. Not impossible - just infinitely improbable.
I used to be able to view near earth space objects on Google Earth. It had KMZ layers for classes of objects and showed orbit data such as periapsis and apoapsis etc. I appears have been withdrawn, disabled or moved.
Does anyone know how to find it or it's replacement?
'... if you have to take me apart to get send me there then I for one won't go.'
... if some philanthropic hacker left something really useful on ATMs. I'm thinking something like an entry code to make the terminal play Pong, Space Invaders or Rocket Raid to pass away a few minutes now and then while waiting for a bus/train/taxi etc. For a bonus win it could credit the score in the currency of your choice to an account of your choice.
Stripped Dalek? When I read that I immediately thought of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (played by Kenneth McMillan in the Dune film) - big fat bloke, needed anti-gravity kit to move around.
Rama changed direction at perihelion but to where we don't know. At least it probably took note of the religious mania and political in-fighting between humans and 'phoned home. At least the missile to destroy it was diverted to the Sun.
Keep watching; the story's closing words were "... the Ramans do everything in threes,"
... waiting for Rama to return home after its rendezvous with Earth.
If I recall correctly LOHAN was to be a paper structure. Is the new 3D-printed version made from liquefied Papier Mâché or did I miss one its many evolutionary stages. Perhaps the link was broken when the use of PARIS was dropped.
The real test about life on Earth should be about The Mice. I suggest the next high-altitude LOHAN flight should include Playmonaut holding a small piece of cheese (hard cheddar should do nicely) to see if it becomes contaminated or even shows evidence of having been nibbled by a mouse. We've all heard of pigs in space - why not mice?
Congratulations. An RAF saying is that a good landing is 'one you can walk away from'. Navigation good too - If only it had landed about 2 miles further to the south-east the ground support and emergency vehicles would have got to it very quickly.
Keep it up!
Perhaps LOHAN should now be renamed LOH2AN (unless you have a good supply of monatomic hydrogen).
Perhaps someone could define current flow as how many electrons it would take to charge an electric car or how many it takes to drive a mile, kilometre, furlong, A.U., Linguine, etc.
I do hope the new version will be as much fun as the original and not be bloated to the extent that playability is sacrificed to just a demonstration of graphics programmers' skills. Sadly, a lot of modern games concentrate on excellent and jazzy graphics while managing to create a very impressive but ultimately boring game with little or no satisfaction.
I still have my ‘Beeb’ model B in storage complete with second processor and dual floppies (5¼ and 3½-inch) plus my library of discs – I’m going to open it up, dust it down and cross my fingers.
I like the M&S idea, then all you'd need would be a smartphone and some image processing software to differentiate colours and positions and, and then and ...
I feel the 'I'll get my coat syndrome lurking here'. Could have practical applications for the visually impaired though.
We've been using Smartwater in the UK for years. It's a DNA-like coded water based liquid which can be sprayed or painted onto anything. It's often used in banks and high-value stores often in invisible and unnoticeable mist form which covers people and items. Very difficult to remove as it's absorbed into clothing, other items and the skin - washing won't remove it; it glows under UV. Samples can then be forensically examined to determine its unique 'DNA' code. Users claim extremely high conviction rates. It’s commonly seen in warning signs particularly on security delivery vehicles where they claim 100% conviction rates.
With apologies to J. R. R. Tolkien -
One plug to rule them all, One Plug to find them,
One Plug to bring them all and in their Laptop fry them.
I drove through Cutler Ridge on the Atlantic coast some a long time ago on my way to the Keys. Back then the sign proudly announced
Cutler Ridge, Pop. 97, Elevation 3ft
I thought then that if a supertanker went by a bit too close and a bit too fast it would swamp a fair amount of Florida.
. . . we'd all be very sad.
Eccles was right. I too have a piece of paper from the same show in 1957 and it still says 8 o'clock! Hasn't lost or gained at all.
I love my satnav - Thank you Edsger and McArthy.
I once programmed in Lisp and enjoyed it very much even if it did affect my speech for a while. I was also using FORTH at he same time but that's another story.
McArthy was a proper expert in his field and will be sadly missed, like many other unsung heroes.
RIP John McArthy (Black Border)
Divide that part of the world's surface, where the bits are likely to fall (that's most of it), into a grid and have a sweepstake or similar where you can predict a likely impact area. Score one point if it's in the sea or an unpopulated area, two points for a populated area and three for an impact on a human. Charge each entry a Pound, Dollar, Euro or whatever and share the total take amongst the winners, minus a small administrative charge of course. More fun than a lottery.
In earlier days (long before ISO), experiments with X-ray sources the radiation strength was quantified as so many 'Gillett’s'. One Gillett being the level needed to just pass through a standard razor blade. Stronger sources were measured using a staggered stack of blades on a photographic plate and the strength determined by counting the shadows.
I wired a torch bulb across a radio's speaker terminals and used a CDS sensor and amp. A bit muffled. The Mk II version placed the bulb in its original reflector - was able to transmit accross the street (at night). We didn't have LEDs then, or much in the way of silicon devices.
The idea is simple but you might find that at high altitude there's more light reflected from the clouds below than the darker sky above.
Just beyond and to the right there's a small blue plate on a post. It has a large white 'P' on in and underneath the words 'Permit Holders Only'. I expect the authorities towed the vehicle away and ordered it to be crushed for non-compliance.
They've been using Baa-codes to identify their sheep for a long time so they have plenty of experience.
Already done - read Carl Sagan's 'Contact'
Hey El Reg! This is surely a candidate for qualification as a Reg unit - lovely ring to it. You could even print the Vulture on it.
Votes for 'Sniglet' anyone?
Once upon a time some clever chaps in MoD (PE) decided to test a theory. It had the right feel to it and went something like this:
If one nation can design, develop, produce and maintain a weapon system for £X then the total cost for 'n' nations would increase by the root of the number of nations. For example, for two nations to the total project would be 1.7 time more expensive. And there's a nice 'but' here – they would share the bill which meant they would actually get the weapon system for half of the total. In other words they'd get it for %70 of the original solo-nation procurement (cost 1.4X). Tempting. Increase that to three nations and the total cost would be 3^0.5 or 1.7 times the cost shared which equals %58 of the single-nation cost. Even more tempting.
Extend the theory to four nations and they'd each share the total cost of twice the original or %50 each. The more the merrier because no single nation was responsible for the overall project costs and they'd all get part of a very expensive result at a good discount.
What they didn't expect was that government and industrial management and bureaucracy costs for each nation would increase steeply because of the complex multi-national relationships most and differing work practises. Each company would use its own standards methods, standards and work practises but English would be 'the Language' for everything; they'd need more committees and more complex management to deal with the three other nations. Why care – they'd still be paid and, with no single nation in charge, they couldn’t be told how to do things. With hundreds of companies involved came many hundreds of methods. Remember, there was no leading design authority. At the time it was not thought important – like buying a Sony TV for use with a Panasonic PVR.
The technical requirements were far from ideal – vague and poorly often worded but perfectly well understood by each company in their own context and so there was no end of confusion. It was clear the requirements had needed a re-write at a more 'atomic' (non reducible) standard. Fair enough but it didn't happen until after contracts had been let and of course everyone wanted more money to adopt the re-written requirements.
A central authority was necessary to make sure the bits came together correctly but the companies were often reluctant to divulge their rationale for the way they did things. This resulted in countless disagreements and a fair amount of bullying.
How on earth did the ISS turn into a successful project with more than 20 nations and world-wide input get off the ground? Answers on the back of a postcard please.
Eurofighter is still a very good weapon system, it's a pity it's been smothered and strangled – a bit like the rest of the UK I suppose.
Didn't Einstein say that?
Interesting demo - I expect there'll be a big following on the birdseed, sorry - birdbrain, site.
Congrats to the developers, it must have been fun developing it.
Tell us the name of the 'app' you're referring to for N8 UI?
One day when one of my daughters was two or three years old she looked glum. 'What's wrong dear?' my wife asked. 'My tummy's got a headache' she said.
Interesting how so many experts can jump on the content for criticism and so few applaud or even acknowledge the effort put in to making this work of art for our delectation. It must have taken ages - good camera work, choreography, editing and direction. How many rehearsals there must have been.
Congratulations to all involved - Encore, encore.
Here's a certain story http://www.phespirit.info/derekandclive/live_05.htm
I don't see why this idea shouldn't be commonplace in the not too distant future. If the purpose is simply to locate hotspots a relatively low pixel count will suffice. I can imaging a phone clipped to a shoulder strap with the video fed to a Head-Up-Display as used in so many applications today - attached to a pair of glasses or a hat. Add to that the phone's video recorder with GPS data and sound plus the ability to use visual and/or IR or even mixed imagery and you'd have quite a nice little self-contained low profile surveillance system. I'd have thought that mass production would make the cost of small quartz, ZnSe or other IR-transparent material lenses low enough for general use. An application for remote control would fairly trivial to produce.
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