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* Posts by Stoneshop

3961 posts • joined 8 Oct 2009

Diary of a Not-spot: One man's heroic struggle for broadband

Stoneshop
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24GHz is license-free

and the gear is a bit under 10k euro per station. A bargain, really

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Stoneshop
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It's not the cable

it's the connection speed. 100BTx is limited to 100m, at 10BT you can get up to 185m (with a good-enough cable, of course). Signal reflection, propagation delay and crosstalk are what's limiting. Given that you'd be connecting to an ADSL line that does 2Mb/s on a fair day, downhill and with tailwind, nailing your switch ports to 10Mbit doesn't sound like it would stomp on your bandwidth.

For that matter, I've reliably run 85Mbit PowerLan gear over 200m of standard extension cord cable in a point-to-point setup. Effective speed was 3 to 3.5Mbyte/sec, so not too shabby.

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Stoneshop
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The first thing you do

is feeding a nylon cord through the hosepipe (just duct-tape a vacuum cleaner to the other end and feed in the cord), then with the actual cable you pull a second cord. This allows you, given sufficient diameter of the hosepipe, to pull a second cable if the need arises, although it's usually better to pull back the existing cable and feed it back in together with the new one.

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'ALIEN' LIFE FOUND in California

Stoneshop
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@thecake

You must be American.

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Stoneshop
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No energy?

It's got vast lakes full of methane, for crying out loud. The same stuff people on earth use to heat their homes with. But maybe they lack gas burners on Titan.

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Stoneshop
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Headmaster

Pedantry pedanticised

"the obvious and tangible mistake that Ford haven't actually made cars in Dagenham for the best part of a decade, "

That would tie in perfectly with the police response, which we all know to be timely and accurate, surely.

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We probe the Google anti-trust probe. Vigorously

Stoneshop
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Headmaster

The problem is

that you appear to fail to see "telll someone to buld a PC to measure" as equal to "build your own" as opposed to "buy cardboard box at $retailer with manufacturer-made computer in it".

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Stoneshop
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FAIL

"Nobody is forcing you to buy Windows."

Try buying a PC or laptop without some form of Windows preinstalled. There even was a time when Bill equated selling OS-less computers as an incitement to software piracy, because obviously noone in their right mind (or left) would be installing a non-Windows OS on them, and refusing to pay for crap that they'd not be using.

Yes, you can get a refund now. Which is a comparatively recent development. And of course you could build your own, which simply isn't for everyone, and somewhat hard to do if it's a laptop you need/want.

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Stoneshop
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WTF?

My existing Google account

is non-existent, and will remain in that state.

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Apple Facetime flings out frightening random calls

Stoneshop
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Designers and architects

should be subjected to the consequences of their design decisions. Of which "being woken up at 02:30 by a wonky program" would be just a minor nuisance.

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How to kill your computer

Stoneshop
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Alert

From http://www.cluefire.net

If being dropped out of an aircraft into what is, for all anyone knows,

a minefield is "moderately rough handling", what would constitute

"rough handling" or "very rough handling"?

-- David Richerby

Being shipped UPS.

-- Dave Brown

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Has CERN made the VATICAN ANTIMATTER BOMB for real?*

Stoneshop
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From a friend with access to the appropriate gear

"You don't burn books. So we took it out the back and shot it"

This was about a book by the founder of the cult of fictionology, but the same sentiment applies.

(I myself have treated that pile of dross with an angle grinder and an alligator saw. Unsurprisingly, he book lost)

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LHC boffins turn lead into quarko-gluotic Big Bang incrediblo-stuff

Stoneshop
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Oh yes they do, kindof. The scientifically advanced way

They simply feed the tinsel into the particle source whatsits,crank up the accelerator thingamajigs a bit, then continuously adjust the collision aim doodad so that the point of collision gradually moves along the entire length of the tunnel. You can see the result of those collisions in the pic in the article; if that's not festive I don't know what is.

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The forgotten, fat generation of Mac Portables

Stoneshop
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SCSI was no Apple first

It was an established industry standard already, although not really common in prebuilt desktop systems. Computer shops' price lists were not that much shorter for the SCSI section than for the others (MFM/RLL or IDE) though, so they sure were used by the DIY crowd. SCSI disks were only a bit pricier than the others then, too, otherwise Apple would not have chosen them. They then bastardised the SCSI standard to allow for cheaper cables ("ooh, with one ground pin for all those twisted pairs it will work just as well". Yeah, right), which did little to take away the SCSI reputation for being finicky.

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Stoneshop
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WD coexisting with any other brand

required deep, intense voodoo, and it made no difference if the bus was SCSI, IDE, ESDI or ST-506.

And only now that those incompatibilities are really a thing of the past it is that a single drive per channel gets to be the common configuration. Of course, as all hardware (as well as software) sucks, you'll be getting incompatibilities between controller and drive to make up for it.

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Stoneshop
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"Is there anything it can't do?"

So far no luck in getting it to do the dishes and feed the cat, but apart from that?

I've heard it's the single most manufactured IC ever.

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Stoneshop
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Much better than x86

with its totally fscked memory model.

For a while I wrote testing software for modules for voice response systems, which were 68k-based. Mostly C, but with splashes of assembler left and right. Pretty nice-ish all around, but the 6502 is still favourite.

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Stoneshop
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Boffin

Auxiliary voltages

probably for the RS232 port, creating -5V or -12V out of whatever voltage the battery supplies. Switched-cap supplies aren't the black art that switched-inductor supplies are, though. You can even build a quite competent one out of a 555 oscillator, with a few additional caps and diodes.

And glasss-cased SMD diodes (MELF) are rare now, but not at all extinct.

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Hadron Collider switches to heavy ions, tinfoilers wet pants again

Stoneshop
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Re: So...

Among other things, they've found it's a rather involved way to make piping hot custard with rhubarb crumble, and then only teeny tiny quantities thereof.

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Stoneshop
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@Harvey Trowell

You forgot the most important bit: does she wear glasses?

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Stoneshop
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Paris Hilton

So, they're pretty close to the Big Bang

After that, they can start looking for the Best one.

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Stoneshop
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Boffin

No holes in space-time fabric yet?

They don't have any cats at CERN?

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PARIS joins the 17-mile-high club

Stoneshop
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Headmaster

Title

"Is that the Mediterranean or the Atlantic?"

Yes.

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Stoneshop
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Puncture

Yes, that looks like the wing damage. And judging from its shape (detailed pic in the landing/recovery story), with two more or less straight edges at right angles, I'd say the wing hit one of the corners of the payload box. Supporting evidence is that it's the port wing, which can be seen tilting up on the release video.

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PARIS in 89,000 ft climax

Stoneshop
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Vertical launch

You'd then want the box vertical as well. With a short U-shaped loop protruding from the rear of the plane (grabbed by a pin just like on PARIS 1), both ends of the U anchored inside the plane, so that there are no knots, twists or ends to snag on the edge of the hole. I'm still thinking about a mechanism to keep the plane from swinging (excessively) relative to the box, which would not be susceptible to icing.

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Stoneshop
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@Parax

Same idea, different location (they do have more than one in that city)

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Stoneshop
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Parishute

I don't think it'd have effect immediately, especially not at 89k ft.

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Stoneshop
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You may want to ask

how well they work at 25 miles up. Burning requires not only fuel but also oxygen; the latter is pretty scarce already at the summit of Mt. Everest, let alone three times higher.

You'll also have the problem that controlling the resulting temperature (lithium batteries dislike overheating even more than freezing) will not be a simple task. Beef up the camera battery a bit, add a controller and a heating element, and you're set.

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Stoneshop
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Barcelona airport?

He should of course land right here: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=51-57,+rue+de+Courcelles,+Paris,+France+75008&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=57+Rue+de+Courcelles,+75008+Paris,+Ile-de-France,+France&ei=3wvQTMdzxofhBubvxYcH&ved=0CBQQ8gEwAA&t=h&z=16

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Stoneshop
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Boffin

The balloon

Immediately after the release you can see the camera view change from "swaying" to "tumbling", which would imply the main box is also falling freely.

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Stoneshop
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Indeed.

Some mechanism with a tensioned spring that can only pull back the release pin once the balloon bursts, most easily implemented, I think, with a cord running from the spring to the balloon.

And the plane hanging nose-down under the launch box will probably make it drop away faster, decreasing the possibility of a collision (as I think has happened, judging from the shape of the hole in the port wing).

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Stoneshop
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I'm no rocket surgeon

nor a brain scientist, but I don't see wind as much of a problem. You're launching from a balloon, which will be drifting with the wind; the plane itself has no propulsion and its (horizontal) speed respective to the surrounding air will not be vastly different from lower altitudes. Only air density and thus air resistance will be a factor.

Of course, if Chuck did indeed perform a steep dive from the release height to somewhere between 5000 and 10000 ft (165..330 double decker buses) his craft will have reached an appreciable aerial velocity which it would have retained initially when pulling out, but given the plane's aerodynamic profile and its weight it will have slowed down rather quickly and settled at a thrown-paper-plane airspeed and flight attitude.

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Stoneshop
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Boffin

Collision damage

Considering that the hole has two straight edges at right angles to each other, and it's on the port wing which tipped up as the plane banked after release, I'd venture the guess that it was caused by the wing hitting one of the corners of PARIS' box.

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Stoneshop
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Boffin

Just trim by moving weight

You have one end of the concertina pipe moving anyway, add weight to suit if you actually want to go that route. No fiddly mechanism to transfer the movement to trim flaps.

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Stoneshop
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Go

This one

http://www.dnt.de/index.php?dir=produkte/detail&id=52104&app_tv_current=

is maybe a bit bigger and heavier than the keyfob/spypen cams, (133g total, with the camera at 29g), but it has the advantage of having the actual recorder separate from the camera, which would help with weight placement and the keeping warm of the recorder battery.

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First tube station to get Wi-Fi next week

Stoneshop
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In what order

will they be doing the other stations? The last one should be, for obvious reasons, Mornington Crescent (alternatively known as Concerning Torments), but will they be following Trumpington's Variations? Tudor Court Rules? Standard?

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Stoneshop
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FAIL

Yes, stupid you are

HSDPA/HSUPA, or even just UMTS/3G is just the trick to connect some local network to the Great Wide Internet when there's no suitable cabling around. These,and their predecessors have bene around for a good ten years, and are pretty ubiquitous nowadays.

But if you can't grok those newfangled technologies, just wait for the bus that trails a spool of telephone wire. Alternatively, trolleybuses may have Powernet installed.

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Boffins mount campaign against France's official kilogramme

Stoneshop
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No definition

A liter of water (at 277K and 1*10^6Pa) is indeed 1kg, but try varying the temperature or ambient pressure a bit and you'll be sufficiently off to throw any semblance of precision out the window. And precision counts in definitions. So anything that doesn't rely on other measurements is to be preferred: [large_number of stable_atoms] is quite a bit better than [amount of fluid that goes in a container of some size at this temperature and that pressure]

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Stoneshop
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Which one?

"the SI units of meter, second, second, ampere etc"

The first second, or the second?

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Stoneshop
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Boffin

Chamfered

If the top and bottom had straight edges, you would be more likely to chip off a few atoms when you set it down. At least, that's the reason I can think of for doing it

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Stoneshop
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You may want

to get hold of the Superdupont comic, the first album. Okay, it's about the meter, but one of the stories is quite like your plot.

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Stoneshop
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So

Le Kilogramme is to walk the Planck.

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419ers threaten terrorism charges

Stoneshop
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FAIL

What?

No TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY FIVE THOUSAND UNITED STATES FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION AGENTS (ONLY) at the ready to lift you from your bed in the event of non-compliance?

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Ellison roasts HP chairman for 'absurd lie'

Stoneshop
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And this is a problem

how, exactly?

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Facebook comes down hard on Faceporn

Stoneshop
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FaceT

Some aspect of.

Or maybe the combined site for two of the A-Team's members.

Then of course being FaceTious means you might have to FaceTheConsequences.

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Man wins $650k for stripper shoe eye snafu

Stoneshop
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WTF?

Self defense?

The way I read the story, someone else, not the eyepokee, slapped the stripper.

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Ballerina canned for flashing her assets

Stoneshop
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FAIL

No need

the URL as given works fine, and is the actual URL of the article on the Wiener website. When you remove the ellipsis you'll get redirected to a page ... whose URL has them. Just a simple refresh would have been sufficient anyway.

And learn to spell Wiener, you twat.

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Stoneshop
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Go

Just do a page refresh

or copy/paste the URL, and it's fine. Probably something to do with the http-referrer which they decided not to like.

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Legendary steampunk computer 'should be built' - programmer

Stoneshop
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Interface

For output I'd expect it to be able to control whistles, the sound of which can be picked up and fed to a FSK (75 or 110bd, maybe 300bd) modem. The input converter could be any device that spits out paper tape or punched cards

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Stoneshop
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Boffin

A few from a list I got

AWTT Assemble With Tinker Toys

BOD Beat on Drum

BRO BRanch and Overheat

BWABL Bells, Whistles and Blinking Lights

BWOP BeWilder Operator

CAF Convert Ascii to Farsic

CRN Convert to Roman Numerals

DSI Do Something Interesting

DSR Detonate Status Register

DSTD Do Something Totally Different

DSUIT Do Something Utterly, Indescribably Terrible

DTC Destroy This Command

ENF Emit Noxious Fumes

ENG Enable Gravity

EOI Execute Operator Immediate [a fast version of another instruction]

EP Execute Programmer

EPI Execute Programmer Immediate

FLD FLing Disc

HCF Halt and Catch Fire

IDC Initiate Destruct Command

LTS Loop Till Smokes

LUM LUbricate Memory

RIC Rotate Illogical thru Carry

RLI Rotate Left Indefinitely

ROD ROtate Diagonally

RRC Rotate Random thru Carry

SPA Sliding Point Arithmetic

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