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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

Catmeat Monty Python Could Use This (609 comments)

This would be an awesome technique for Monty Python to promote their next box-set.

They could have unsolicited downloads this sketch onto people's devices. I'm sure everybody would be delighted to receive it.

5 days ago
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Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

Catmeat Movies as well (224 comments)

It's not just reading.


I think I only ever sit through a movie from beginning to end at the cinema. I can't remember the last time I watched something on a computer without dragging the progress-bar cursor past a bit I found less engaging.

about 5 months ago
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Physicists Produce Antineutrino Map of the World

Catmeat Submarines Move (75 comments)

Nuclear submarines move. So if the experiment is run for long enough, then the skew caused by having one pass by in the nearest stretch of ocean won't be a worry.

Saying that, I imagine various navies and intelligence agencies will be paying a great deal of attention to this research, if they're not already doing so.

about 6 months ago
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Goodyear's New State-of-the-Art Airship Makes Its First Flight

Catmeat Re:nitpicking nomenclature (66 comments)

They contain gasses in the envelope that is lighter than air but not enough to provide sufficient buoyancy for lifting the entire weight of the craft. They'd technically be still heavier than air and would require the engines running to leave the ground. I don't know if the Goodyear airships are lighter or heavier than air.

You're right, I believe Zeppelin NTs are several hundred kilos heavy on take-off, when carrying payload and full load of fuel. Though they can be lighter than air when landing with the fuel mostly gone. Of course the other big complication to trimming a dirigible is air conditions, which can change during the flight. Buoyancy increases significantly if an airship flies from warm air into a bank of colder, denser air and the craft will remain buoyant until the helium cools to match the air temperature. In the old days, air

All this is what makes vectored thrust a fantastically useful thing for an airship pilot. It gives better control and also means the pilot can vector thrust up to land when his/her craft is lighter-than-air. I'd say this is vital for keeping costs down, as it avoids venting helium for landing.

Although the usefulness of vectored thrust was no lost on the early designers. See this picture of a pre-World War 1 British military blimp with rotatable props.

about 6 months ago
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Is the World Ready For Facial Recognition On Google Glass?

Catmeat Re:As an organiser of events. (469 comments)

I'd love facial recognition. I have a really bad memory for names and faces, and I often end up in the embarrassing situation of meeting someone in the street who knows who I am but I only vaguely recognise their face and certainly don't remember their name. Having a prosthetic "face to name" system would save me from many embarrassing situations.

No, I'm fairly certain you have a memory for names/faces not much better or worse than anybody else.

It's just that people who appear to be better at it than you are simply more aware if its importance and, have gone to the trouble of employing various memory aids and tricks to help them do it effectively.

I'm speaking as a snowboard instructor, who must memorise the names of a class of 12 more-or-less instantly on introduction to them at the start of the first lesson. Because teaching a class without being able to address individuals by name is noticeably harder.

about 9 months ago
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Chinese Lunar Probe Lands Successfully

Catmeat Re:First (250 comments)

Interesting addendium to the interesting addendoim....the Daily Expresses' actual Muirhead picture receiver, that got plugged into the big dish at Jodrell Bank, still survives and is preserved in the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

Check here http://www.watermargin.com/vietmain/speed/speed.html if you want to hear what the signal from a Muirhead sounds like, and presumably what the people at Jodrell actually heard coming from the moon.

about 9 months ago
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I'd rather be spied on by ...

Catmeat Missing Option (324 comments)

Missing option (and most likely).

All of them.

about 10 months ago
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New High Tech $100 Bills Start To Circulate Today

Catmeat I feel sorry for North Korea (302 comments)

I feel sorry for North Korea - what are they going to do for hard currency now, unless can catch up with this?

Though saying that, the $100 is essentially an Asian currency as that's mostly where it circulates. Not a bad thing for the US - they get $100 for printing each one, the bills disappear overseas forever and so never contribute to US inflation.

about a year ago
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Existing Drugs Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Bugs

Catmeat Re:There, fixed that for ya (110 comments)

Here's a hint: Stop indiscriminately throwing antibiotics at everything that moves. It's precisely the over-use of these drugs that has created the problem in the first place.

Why would pharmaceutical companies want to do that? As maximising profit presumably requires them to maximise sales of their products, and hence maximise usage.

about a year ago
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Nissan Plans To Sell Self-Driving Cars By 2020

Catmeat Comercial Use (333 comments)

Will autonomous vehicles have to have a driver on board? If not then delivery companies would love the idea of sacking all theirs. The public might not like having to fetch their parcels from a truck pulled up on the street outside their house, rather than have them delivered to the door, but meh.

Another thought, how long after the technology becomes commonplace before the first non-suicide truck bomb? If I can think it up, then presumably the security apparatus can also, and is right now considering this possibility; it'll be interesting to see what rules and restrictions come into force to try and prevent it.

1 year,24 days
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Researchers Discover First Use of Fertilizer

Catmeat Rearrange the words (71 comments)

Rearrange the words of the headline and the story still makes sense...

>

First Researchers Discover Use of Fertilizer

about a year ago
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Boston U. Patent Lawsuits Hit Apple, Amazon, Samsung, and Others

Catmeat Summary of situation... (147 comments)

I think this nicely illustrates the situation.

about a year ago
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US Hacked Chinese University Network

Catmeat Re:Snowden is on a flight to Moscow (330 comments)

Presumably a deal has already been struck with the Russians -Âa debriefing in exchange for sanctuary.

Given his alternative is likely 50 years of solitary confinement in a concrete box in a Supermax, it's hard to blame him.

about a year ago
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Marriages Spawned From Online Dating As Satisfying As From Traditional Dating

Catmeat Digression (313 comments)

Online is just one of many ways to meet someone initially... it still takes a shitload of work to make it work.

Bit of a digression, but during the UKs recent Gay Marriage debate, an awful lot of conservative/religious commentators were spouting endlessly about how 'natural' marriage is.

If that's so, why do married people always go on about what hard work it is. Surly 'natural'='easy'.

about a year ago
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UK Passes "Instagram Act"

Catmeat Re:they are doing it backwards! (230 comments)

Can you imagine how pissed-off Disney would be if Song of the South , the full version of which has never been released on US home media, suddenly went public domain because it had never been released?

While that idea means companies wouldn't necessarily lose profit, the fact they would lose control (and the ability to suppress undesirable works) would mean they'd hate it and lobby heavily against it.

about a year ago
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Bruce Schneier On the Marathon Bomber Manhunt

Catmeat Re:If two people lock down a major city.... (604 comments)

Excellent points.

Unlike the 70's or 80's terrorist, the modern one is expecting to die or spend the entirety of their life in prison as escaping the law simply won't happen. So one would expect them to be looking for simple plans with a high chance of success to avoid their 'sacrifice' being in vain.

Instead, there does seem to be a succession of broken-up terrorist cells, who devise bizarre, baroque plots that take so long to plan and set up that they invariably show up on various intelligence services' radars, long before they're even close to executing their plan. I assume they're then carefully watched, and allowed to proceed just long enough to thoroughly incriminate themselves. In fact, one such bunch has just been sentenced in the UK - http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/apr/18/luton-terror-plot-four-jailed

I suppose the odd thing about the Boston two (assuming it was just them) is that they deviate from this pattern.

about a year and a half ago
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Bruce Schneier On the Marathon Bomber Manhunt

Catmeat Re:If two people lock down a major city.... (604 comments)

Our only real defense against terrorists is that terrorists are A) stupid and B) incompetent. Terrorists fixate on certain targets, such as airplanes. We all know that if you wanted to disrupt air transportation these days, the airplane itself is one of the least vulnerable targets, but they keep focusing on the airplanes.

There are excellent reasons for them fixating on airplanes. If you tale a look at the history of non-vehicle suicide bombings, you'll find they rarely kill more than a dozen or so people. I'm guessing, but I assume that's the ideal circumstance (from the terrorist's PoV) when he or she detonates the largest bomb that can feasibly concealed on the body, in the middle of the densest crowd.

A much smaller bomb smuggled onto a plane will bring it down, killing perhaps 300 or 400 – around a factor of 30 more.

about a year and a half ago
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Police Capture Second Marathon Bombing Suspect in Watertown, Mass.

Catmeat Re:Venting (773 comments)

Would you prefer your NATO liberators arrive in F-14s or Yugos?

You are aware the Grumman F-14 Tomcat was retired by the US Navy in 2006, and is now only flown by the Islamic Republic of Iranian Air Force?

I don't know about Yugos.

about a year and a half ago
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Seniors Search For Virtual Immortality

Catmeat Eternal Porn Habits (209 comments)

See Schneier: The Internet is a Surveillance State

So, not only is every action, every message, every visited website recorded. But it's also going to persist forever and will, ultimately, be probably be the most concrete mark made by your existence on this planet.

Though I'm not sure it'll be much use to future historians; I'm sure the information will be heavily paywalled as some deranged capitalist is bound to think the porn habits of people who've been dead 200 years still has commercial value.

about a year and a half ago

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