1478 posts • joined 15 Aug 2013
A nuclear power station is really just an enormously complex steam engine ... with much more dangerous waste products.
Wrong. The waste products of nuclear power stations are a darn sight safer and more easily managed than the waste products of coal-fired power stations.
Re: Thorium Cycle Reactors
All nuclear reactor designs are absolutely amazing. All of them will produce astonishing power outputs cheaply and cleanly with virtually no problems, until they are built.
The same is far more true of so-called "renewable" energy sources.
Re: Interesting idea
Very true. But it's also massively more flexible and extensible. Need more leccy? Add a few panels or an extra turbine of some sort. Or spend £30+ billion and wait 20 years for a new nuclear station
All well and good if you have both the money and roof space to add a few more panels, and are prepared to severely ration your consumption over the UK Winter (just when more electricity is needed). But it's probably less than 20% of the population who would even be able to do it, let alone those who would find it desirable.
But if you think it's so great, I am prepared to try it. I'll let you convince my landlord and the owner of the block of flats I live in to allow you to put PVs on the roof, and you can then pay to install them. In return you can have all the money I'll save from having them in perpetuity. Good deal? While you're at it, you can swap my petrol car for an EV and negotiate with my council to install a recharging point somewhere I am guaranteed to be able to park overnight. Again, you get to keep all the money I'll save (less the amount I have to spend on the occasional journey that's as yet impractical to do in an EV).
Re: Interesting idea
There are a surprising number of people on this thread who seem to be resiting any and all change and clinging to the large infrastructure.
Maybe it's because we have done the arithmetic and plugged in some real-world figures. And discovered that for the vast majority of people it simply does not compute either from a practical viewpoint or a cost viewpoint.
Come up with realistic figures for (a) how many MWh the average household with an electric car would need per year and (b) how many MWh the average roof full of PVs will generate in the UK (at its half-life point). Then give a realistic estimate of the cost of the installation and its expected lifetime.
Then see how realistic and cost-effective your "solution" is. And that's without taking into account the vast proportion of flat-dwellers who have no roof and/or cannot park their car close enough to charge from the home, or do not have a roof suitable for efficient PV installation.
It's similar to the notion that we should all grow our own vegetables. All great when you are hand-waving, but not so great when you go into the details of carrying it out.
Re: Interesting idea
Another difference is that climatology is a science, where evidence makes or breaks theories.
Really? Such as the evidence that not a single climate model has correctly predicted anything at all, or the evidence that the historical temperature figures were shown to have been altered to support the theories?
If what science had predicted 15 years ago had been correct, the chair I'm sitting in would be 5m under water by now.
Yes, there is climate change (always has been, always will be). How much man's activities have contributed (if any) is still conjecture rather than science. But in any case it's beside the point. There is no way that Man will change our activities sufficiently to make a gnat's prick worth of difference, so we would be far better off planning how to live with the consequences than coming up with expensive schemes in a vain attempt to prevent the inevitable. And not everything to do with climate change is going to be detrimental by a long chalk - much will be an advantage.
Re: Interesting idea
I thought I'd point out, though, that if one builds a nuclear power station out of concrete (what else?), it isn't zero carbon.
Pretty much any form of generating station requires concrete (or equivalent) in its build. A nuclear station may need a bit more than a gas-fired station, but I should think the difference is trivial compared to the saving over the life of the station.
Re: Interesting idea
We need to stop thinking big infrastructure and start thinking small and scalable. In IT speak, let's start scaling out instead of scaling up because it's almost always easier and cheaper.
Huh? Small-scale production is less efficient and more expensive than mass-production in just about everything, and energy production is no exception. Individual wind and solar power sounds all very nice until you do the arithmetic and realize that it is an expensive way of generating insufficient power (apart from artificial government=taxpayer subsidies). You'll also find that you cannot build your own car, make your own clothes or grow your own vegetables any cheaper (or greener) than buying the mass-produced stuff. It might make you feel all green and self-sufficient, but that's just a foolish illusion. All you really get is a bit of self-satisfaction from the DIY.
Re: @ toilet duk
My suggestion: if you're required to obtain one, do so and simply leave it at home in your drawer unless you're required by law to carry one at all times or unless life is deliberately made so difficult that carrying an ID card makes things incredibly easier.
It will be the latter. If everyone is required to have an ID card, then inevitably more and more services will require you to present it ("To improve your user experience"). Pretty quickly it will be needed to enter a train station, to buy prescription medicines, phones, booze or other age-restricted items. Slowly the requirement to present your ID card will widen, until so many everyday activities will require it to be presented that you will be forced to carry it. That's assuming that it does not become an offence to not have it to hand when the nice police officer demands to see it.
I know that you believe that you understand the words that you think you heard me say, but what you fail to realise is that the words I used were applicable only to the thoughts that I was having at the time I used them and may not apply to the processes that your brain was considering at the time you were hearing them. You will therefore need to re-assess your conclusions as to the knowledge I was imparting using an alternate frame of reference.
Re: actually driving a teenager to threaten suicide?
So yeah Google going with the SAME flow as their politics, stirring up 'the children' through some kind of manipulative tactic,
And? Two wrongs do not make a right. If Google's propaganda was *countering* political propaganda in some way then I may decide it was providing some sort of balance and so a good thing.
But it isn't - it is making propaganda to further its commercial interests and so we are being bombarded with (at least) two different streams of alternate reality.
Rehabilitation for sex offenders, unlikely, they have one of the highest percentages for recidivism across all the offender groups,
Complete misinformation. Sex offenders in fact have the *lowest* rates for re-offending (look up the statistics). Unfortunately people start believing the lies if they are told them often enough.
Re: @eDog - why should the taxpayers be on the hook?
IMHO police officers should be required to carry liability insurance, for when they do something like shooting an unarmed black man whose family sues for a few million dollars.
No - that would end up costing the taxpayer even more. The insurance companies will obviously set the premiums so that they still make a profit (across the whole country), and so the taxpayer will be paying not only for the pay-outs of the lawsuits but for the yachts and private jets of the directors of the insurance company as well.
Insurance for an individual makes sense (risk is distributed across all the policy holders). But insurance makes no sense whatsoever if you are a very large national entity because it is bound to cost more.
So how do you compare them?
So you have two different clocks separated by a large distance. I can see how you can measure a constant difference in time-keeping as the error would get bigger & bigger. But if a gravity wave goes past and one clock *momentarily* speeds up or slows down relative to the other, how do you compare the instantaneous time readings of 2 clocks separated by a large distance? The data from the clock to the distant observer cannot travel faster than the speed of light (which is not a constant in different mediums, and possibly is affected by gravity itself).
Re: There is no real option to turn off Location History once it has been enabled;
If you are some paranoid nutter that cares about this sort of thing, then don't turn it on
Paranoid? I may well want to use it for some things, but if you leave it on all the time it means that potentially anyone could get hold of your location history since you started carrying a Google device around with you. Maybe you think that's harmless - but what happens when your insurance goes up because they see that you regularly drive on statistically more dangerous roads, or visit places that are deemed a "lifestyle risk"? Or your employer can look to see where you went on that day you said you were sick (but really went to a job interview), or your nutty ex uses it to follow you around, or a burglar uses it to ensure that all household members a far away?
The correct way would be to leave it off unless I start using an application where I specifically want it to know my location.
Re: Not a good idea, Ohio
But certainly no government entity should accept currency other than that of the government they're part of, in this case the U.S..
Most "government entities" accept foreign currency in at least some transactions. You will find that the UK government accepts visa fees and airport taxes in foreign currencies for example.
Oh, I wish it could be Black Friday every day-aayyy, when the wallets start jingling but it's still a week till we're paiii-iid
I am really surprised
I am truly astounded that in this age where some snowflake or other will twist the meaning of almost any word in order to claim that it is offensive to some minority group or other, that the mere mention of the words, "Black Friday" does not lead to an immediate teeth-gnashing outcry from "those who know best".
Re: OK, but why ....
Even the meter reading cost argument is ridiculous. Pay by capacity, not by usage. Far cheaper to administrate - you just rent a sealed fuse of a specific size.
I can't see that is at all practical or fair. It would be pretty easy to have a high-power battery powered invertor to allow large peak loads even if on a low current supply. A 5 amp supply will allow you to use nearly 30kWh per day, and few households us that much 'lekky (unless they own an electric car).
Why is it okay for Google and Yahoo, but not Microsoft?
Because you don't pay to use Google and Yahoo. Micro$oft charge for their main products.
So basically people are complaining that traffic destined for Google may be stored, analysed and used for nefarious purposes by someone other than Google?
Ignorant people may be complaining about that, but that was not what happened. The only significant traffic that was mis-routed would have been SYN (connect) attempts, which went unanswered. Whatever request or data the person trying to contact Google may have intended to send would thus have not been sent. To anywhere. So the only data that would have been obtained was the fact that a connection request was made to Google from a particular IP address at a particular time for an unknown purpose - hardly something that is likely to be of any concern.
Possibly there was a bit of UDP data that got through (UDP does not require a connection be established before sending the payload - often used for live streaming video or audio for example), but in almost all cases there would be some sort of 2-way handshake before streaming the data over a UDP connection, so really no risk that Internet calls were being intercepted.
Why the outrage?
Both UK and US have been re-routing Internet traffic for decades in order to spy on their citizens, so it's a bit hypocritical to get all upset when someone else follows suit. (There is no technical reason for your Internet data to get routed to Menwith Hill).
In any case, if this was really deliberate (and it may well not have been), then it was simply a denial of service attack rather than a spying mission because it stopped any TCP connection being made, and no data is sent unless and until the TCP handshake has completed. Had there been servers in Russia, China or Nigeria accepting the connection requests and pretending to be Google, then it would have been far more sinister.
"... even if, as is routine these days, he will serve a maximum of half that time behind bars.
The word "routine" makes it appear to be something that is optional, and "these days" makes it sound as if it's a recent thing. Neither is true - sentences have comprised a certain proportion to be spent in prison and the rest out on licence for many decades (though the exact proportions have changed from time to time). The media always makes out that release from prison before the entire sentence is served is some sort of discretionary concession. It isn't, it follows mandatory rules of which the sentencing judge is well aware.
What am I missing?
Surely having your page file located on an SSD would achieve pretty much exactly the same thing?
Re: Too complicated
"That won't help tax companies that do sell stuff, or enable selling of stuff. eg. Amazon, Ebay."
The government gets sales tax from online retailers, which is effectively 20% of UK based *turnover*. Just how much more do you think the government ought to get? To my mind, 20% profit on all sales while doing fuck-all to either facilitate or earn it is far more than enough.
Maybe stop to think that maybe it is the huge amount of tax that UK citizens pay directly or indirectly that is causing recession and the lowering of our standard of living. At least 80% of what you earn is currently taken by the government in one way or another (just do a bit of arithmetic), and it's over 90% for many people.
Now while I understand that we need to pay the government to provide general infrastructures and services, I do not accept that the government is providing anything close to 80% of the needs of the average citizen. Just a few rough calculations make me pretty certain that the majority of our tax money must be disappearing into quite a few "black holes" and is *not* being used to benefit us (the ordinary citizen) in any way whatsoever.
Re: This will all come to a head someday.
In my opinion there should be a rule that states that wars can only be declared if the political leader of the country wishing to declare war must live for the duration with a civilian family in the target country, the location of which is decided by the target country and unknown to the aggressor.
(In my book the aggressor is the country that first sends troops or fires weapons to targets outside its own country.)
Probably it's to eliminate C&C
One of the weak points of drones has always been the command & control link. Ground signals can not only be jammed, but the signal from drone to ground gives away its position. Hence why satellites are usually used for the link. But if the stakes are high enough to interest the big players, the satellite down-link gives away which satellite is providing it, and satellites, having no defences or any way to hide, can easily be shot down by nations with the technology to do so.
I suspect that the only reason that military satellites are not usually targeted is some sort of agreement between the major powers of, "We'll leave yours alone if you leave ours alone." Which would change if drones do enough damage to such nations.
But an "A.I." drone needs no C&C link. In reality the "A.I." instructions might be simply, "Blow up anything that moves within a designated area unless it is displaying the (secret) 'friend' symbol or signal.
You can see the diagram for yourself if you wish at:
It's not interactive! How useless. It would be much more fun if you could alter the signals and points with a mouse-click.
Samsung 'reveals' what looks like a tablet that folds into a phone, but otherwise we're quite literally left in the dark
I bought a phone-sized projector containing WiFi, Bluetooth and an Android OS and was very impressed - pretty cheap as well. It's perfect for occasions when you need to look at a reasonable size image on a very portable device. The LED projection is bright enough to see in shaded daylight up to about A3 size, and in a dark room will project very watchable movies on a wall or screen several metres in size. Battery charge lasts over 2 hours of continuous projector use.
So my idea would be a phone with a normal size display, but with a projector lens on the edge for when you need to see some reasonable detail or display something to a group of people.
Dutch cops hope to cuff 'hundreds' of suspects after snatching server, snooping on 250,000+ encrypted chat texts
On what grounds?
The article fails to explain on what grounds the people running the server were arrested and on what grounds the server was seized. AFAIAA it is perfectly legal in Holland to run an encrypted messaging site, just as it is legal to communicate using PGP. So what laws had the people running the server broken? I would have thought they were making sufficient money from selling such expensive hardware & services that they would not have needed to be involved in anything criminal.
Ready for January
You'll find that this is being offered at that price for the mandatory period so that they can legitimately advertise it having a "99.9% discount" during the January sales and still charge $13000.
Beyond the Moon? Sheer Lunacy!
Re: streams rather than downloads?
True, but streaming allows for a thinner pipe because the end-user won't have to wait for the download to finish before they can use it.
True only of the individual user's download speed (which was what was being measured). If you have 100 people all streaming movies, the total bandwidth needs to be the same as if they were all downloading the movie before playing it. Jitter & lag don't matter on a download, and can be compensated on a stream by having a large buffer (e.g. the movie starts playing after a few minute delay to get a decent amount buffered).
This revolution will not be televised – but it will be sanctioned: Googlers walk out over 'sex pest' executive scandals
In America you have the protected right to carry automatic rifles and guns, but take a novelty lighter to work and everyone gets upset.
I'm not quite sure that Americans are able to differentiate between the things that can hurt them and the things that can't. And the disease seems to be spreading ...
Re: Poor emotion driven article
You benefit from the continued stability that all this provides. You wouldn't be able to enjoy making as much money as you do without a vast web of support.
I'm willing to pay a fair price for such infrastructure. But the total amount of tax that gets taken in one form or another amounts to well over 80% of what I earn which is wa-a-ay outside the ball park. N.I., PAYE, council tax, VAT, fuel tax, road tax and the increased prices of goods due to the taxes imposed on the manufacture and supply chain.
You might also explain how bombing Iraq back to the stone age has in *any way* contributed to my wellbeing in the UK - and that's just one expensive venture my tax money was spent on.
Not moral? There is nothing moral about modern taxation, which is taking a greater and greater percentage of our income and spending it on things that are increasingly irrelevant to our standard of living, unnecessary and/or designed to line someone's pockets.
I'd say that it a moral *duty* of any person or organisation to avoid paying a penny more to our government than is absolutely unavoidable.
You may or may not know that income tax was introduced by the UK government as a *temporary* emergency measure that was promised to be withdrawn at the end of the Napoleonic war. IMO it is the government that has behaved immorally, not those who legally avoid paying tax.
Welcome back, 'ping of death', it has been... a few months. Now it's Apple's turn to do the patching
Re: "it may be possible to exploit the buffer overflow to execute arbitrary code in the kernel"
Safety critical computer systems should be running dedicated firmware with no way of being updated or altered except via a dedicated engineering port that is normally not connected. It should *not* run on a generic OS with a few apps tacked on. You won't find any aircraft auto-pilots or engine management systems running Windows or Linux.
Re: "it may be possible to exploit the buffer overflow to execute arbitrary code in the kernel"
I wonder when we will see "may" change to "is".
Probably never. Any bug that results in a buffer overflow or similar is tagged as being a possible path to malicious code execution. In practice however, it is one thing to get your binary into a (usually unknown address of) RAM, but another thing entirely to get the CPU to actually execute it. And yet another thing again to get the code to do anything more serious than crashing the system.
So in 999 cases out of 1000 the risk is far more theoretical than real.
Re: Jury 'duty' moral quandary
A High Court in England is for civil trials, not criminal trials, but I'm not sure if it's the same in Scotland. So maybe he will be judging the merits of a copyright lawsuit, or deciding whether a particular tree is depriving a neighbour of too much light, or perhaps whether the travel agent should be held responsible for Gary becoming sick after only 4 litres of foreign lager and a dozen olives.
When people cannot get any legitimate income, they will automatically turn to less conventional methods. Therefore the government policy is effectively outsourcing the benefits system to organized crime which will be only too happy to step in and fill the gap. Instead of the tax-payer funding the lifestyle of single parents, their kids will now be able to do their bit via various self-funding initiatives that will also help their community by filling vital gaps in the sex and recreational drug supply areas. Also helping to narrow the gap between rich and poor via various wealth redistribution schemes aka "Faganism". Which is also excellent vocational training which will help the teacher shortage by cutting down on the number of pupils attending classes. A win-win all round.
Re: "Ethernet is so much better"
Nobody has yet mentioned Token Ring. The Big Blue alternative.
Or the differential coax pair method using BNC and TNC connectors used by Wan installations. Which used 75ohm coax so existing Wang cabling could not be re-used for Ethernet ...
But coax *shudder* - so glad it died out as a networking solution. Ethernet is so much better.
Novell *did* run over Ethernet, just using a different protocol than IP (it used SPX/IPX IIRC), though you could configure it to use IP as well. It's just that at the time Novell came out the normal Ethernet cards were 10base2 (coax without switches), but Novell was perfectly OK on the later 10baseT and later physical links.
Great new search feature!
I expect that not only does it index your entire HDD (taking a mere 10 hours during which your PC is too slow to be used), but it saves the index to "the cloud" so it is never lost. Also allowing anyone else + dog to search your HDD without your knowledge, even if your PC is not switched on. Handy for when the wife wants to buy you some porn that you've not seen. You can easily turn off that feature by going through 15 menu items that don't appear to be in any way related, instructions for which are clearly documented in 6-point type halfway down a 10000 line document on an obscure page of the Microsoft web site. Hidden beneath a pop-up EULA. But it switches itself on again after every update (and if you sneeze a bit hard).
Works the other way also
Leave your phone at home (or elsewhere) while you go out to commit an armed robbery, and it will provide you with a pretty reasonable alibi these days ...
Better yet, ship it to a friend in a distant city, who ships it back to you upon receipt, and your alibi gets stronger (ship it connected to a power bank if its battery would not otherwise last long enough).
Too complex to be true
I stated in the comments to the earlier article - if you have the resources to make a custom chip, then you would create a lookalike of a suitable chip that is *already used* on the MB, and substitute the bogus chip for the real one anywhere along the supply chain to the MB manufacturer. No board modifications needed, and nobody associated with the server manufacture will know a thing. The bogus chip would work correctly, but have extra functionality. Then there would be no outward difference in the motherboard and it could only be discovered by observing the unauthorised behaviour. Not even examination of the silicon would make it immediately apparent, because the bogus silicon could be marked with the correct chip ID and a bogus "new revision" number.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Embedding a chip in a PCB would require a completely new PCB fabrication process so is inherently unlikely (Everyone working in the PCB fab would have noticed all the new machinery and a complete change to the process flow). Unless the news agency can produce a PCB modified in the way claimed, I do not believe a word of it.
I think the point is that regardless of "I didn't know it was against the law" excuses, you are likely to still know what you are doing is likely to be with bad intentions regardless of your knowledge of the law.
Not in this day of 1000 new laws passed every month. If you were working in a charity shop for example, would you know that it is against the law to sell a pencil sharpener to a 15 year old? (It is a "Bladed article" which may not be sold to children - you'll see it has to be approved if you scan one at a self-service till).
Yet in the UK it is often said that "Ignorance of a law is no defence".
Ignorance *of the law* is no defence, but ignorance *of the facts* certainly is. e.g. it is no defence to say, "I did not know that it is illegal to possess cocaine." But it is a defence to say, "I did not know that the substance in my possession was cocaine."
The converse is also true. You can be convicted of being in possession of talcum powder if it can be proven that you thought it was cocaine.
In this case, the fact that the cleaners believed that they were in the correct house certainly is a defence.
"This is complete utter nonsense. A quick back-of-envelop calculation: The sun has an angular diameter of 0.0093 radians, so "focusing" the sun's rays from a distance is optically impossible"
Hmmm - never heard of parabolic reflectors???
It is perfectly possible to make a parabolic reflector that has a focal distance of several hundred kilometres. Besides, it has already been done - see the earlier reference in these comments to the Russian experiment.
Re: Global warming!!!!
"So, at a time the entire planet is trying to cool off here comes a geezer with a plan to redirect energy that was bypassing the Earth."
It would be perfectly possible for the mirror to reflect predominately the visible part of the spectrum, which would most probably generate less heat at the Earth's surface than is generated by the street lights (which generate heat themselves, and require electricity generated by a power station that gives off heat).
You sums are wronger than a wrong thing.
You completely neglect the fact that the Moon's reflected light is beamed out over a very wide angle, covering a far greater area than a complete hemisphere of the Earth. The mirror would be focussed to an angle of far less than 1 degree, designed to illuminate only a tiny fraction of the Earth's surface (so requiring many orders of magnitude less light than the Moon to do so).
Comparison with a telescope mirror is comparing apples to elephants. Telescope mirrors must be rigid to keep a precise shape, and so are thick & heavy. An illuminating mirror would not need to hold a precise shape, and would be made of extremely thin and light flexible sheets that are unfurled when in position.
Re: Eight times brighter than the Moon?
"and there's no way this could come anywhere near the amount of light you get from a full Moon."
Of course it can, and the article states that it will be 8 times brighter. The Moon is not only much further away, but most of the light it reflects does not hit the Earth. The mirror would focus 100% of the light it reflects onto a tiny fraction of the Earth's surface. (In fact the Moon, being convex, is exactly the *wrong* shape for an efficient light-mirror).
"So what happens to that radiation pressure? In order for the satellite to remain in its orbit, something has to counteract it. "
Not necessarily. It could be arranged that the pressure during one half of the orbit is exactly the same but opposite direction to the pressure in the other half of the orbit. In fact, adjusting the mirror "sails" during China's daylight period could be used to adjust the satellite's orbit, thus reducing or eliminating the need for it to have any orbital engines.