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Comments

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Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus

Gareth Iwan Fairclough Re: Master Strategy (149 comments)

Yes I am. The devil would have more style.

There's been a "whooooosh" somewhere along the line here....

4 days ago
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Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus

Gareth Iwan Fairclough Re: Master Strategy (149 comments)

The "King"'s too busy fighting world poverty.

Are you sure he isn't the devil in disguise?

4 days ago
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The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads

Gareth Iwan Fairclough Re:I agree (140 comments)

Oh poppycock. It wasn't until well after the battle from second hand observations of the Germans boasting about how crappy the British shells were that it was known how bad they truly were. And if you believe during even a lengthy battle as this that it was determined that somehow Xlbs of concrete rather than Xlbs of AP shell would be better I've a bridge to sell you.

I'm not saying that. What I am saying is "gunners were seeing their shells were hitting but not doing anything, so they thought something along the lines of "Fuck it, lets use the concrete ones instead, they couldn't be any more useless than the normal ones!" and found out that they were rather more effective.

In a stand up fight, "smashing through armour with something that shouldn't be able to do that" beats "barely scratching armour with something that is supposed to get through" any day.

5 days ago
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The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads

Gareth Iwan Fairclough Re:I agree (140 comments)

How about ones that don't explode?

Oddly enough, training shells were used by desperate gunners during the battle of Jutland. The normal shells weren't penetrating the armour of the German ships, but the concrete filled training shells were punching right through, dealing surprisingly heavy damage.

about a week ago
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"Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery

Gareth Iwan Fairclough Re:I'm curious (184 comments)

What was wrong with the F-22 that the F-35 was going to fix?

I am out of my element a bit here, but my understanding is that the F22 is an air superiority fighter only, whereas the F35 was supposed to be a multirole aircraft (air-to-air and air-to-ground) with (optional) VTOL features, (which no version of the F22 has) all in the same airframe. It was supposed to be the Windows 8 of fighter aircraft, a single airframe to take the place of a bunch of other craft.

...and apparently, it works about as well as you would expect of those types of solutions...

And, it was (giggle) supposed to (snerk) be (Bwaaaa haa haaa) affordable. Sorry, I can't say that with a straight face.

Pretty much. It has similarities to the relationship between the F-15 and F-16 development projects. One was built to do one thing, the other was built as a response to it when it started getting out of control. A kind of "Little and large" relationship. Though now the f35 has gotten out of control...sheesh :(

about a week ago
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"Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery

Gareth Iwan Fairclough Re:Watch the F-35 get blown out of the skies (184 comments)

By a dedicated but somewhat mass produced Russian missile, should a major conflict arise.

Or the dozen "good enough" fighter jets that swarm it.

about a week ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

Gareth Iwan Fairclough The kirk variant... (701 comments)

"Warp speed!" or just a simple "Move out!"

about two weeks ago
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People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

Gareth Iwan Fairclough Re: user error (710 comments)

If you're British, you have a larger gallon. And you're driving a smaller diesel engine, as opposed to a larger gasoline engine for Dayze!Confused. And his car is 7 years older, which might also impact fuel efficiency (both by age and by technology level).

That, and we generally drive far shorter distances here in the UK. None of that "1000+ mile car journey" stuff over here!. I also have a ton of hills to worry about as well as a mountain right between where I live and where I work. The hills themselves wouldn't be an issue, but no-one around my home town seems to know just how a gearbox works. On the way up, they just put their foot right the way down and hope for the best, instead of dropping down a gear. On the way down, they'll keep it in uber high gear while practically sitting on the brakes and wondering why their brakes aren't working as well as they should (hint, "brake fade").

about two weeks ago
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How Deep Does the Multiverse Go?

Gareth Iwan Fairclough How deep? (202 comments)

Very.

about three weeks ago
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My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

Gareth Iwan Fairclough Bulbs? (278 comments)

Honestly, I've only ever had one and that was a freebie. That was 5 years ago and it works. I haven't bought any up until now simply because I already had a stack of the old fashioned filament bulbs to use up first and even then, they've been lasting 2-3 years before popping. At current usage rates, I won't have to buy any household bulbs for another decade or so, assuming there is no disaster that destroys the bulbs.

about three weeks ago
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Cassini's Space Odyssey To Saturn

Gareth Iwan Fairclough Re:Fear Mongers Didn't Want to Let Cassini Fly (45 comments)

nonetheless and ignoring possible character flaws, does his calculation hold water? that's the only thing I'm interested in.

Considering that there was only 33KG or so of plutonium 238 in its RTG, I would say "hell no, no no no no no, never-in-a-million-years-absolutely-not" and I haven't even seen MKs calculations. That amount, even if the RTG broke open and scattered the Pu238 over a city, would be far to dilute to do any harm at all.

about three weeks ago
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Cassini's Space Odyssey To Saturn

Gareth Iwan Fairclough Re:Fear Mongers Didn't Want to Let Cassini Fly (45 comments)

Now you mention it, no, I don't remember that. Maybe concerns were expressed and I didn't notice in the excitement and anticipation. Maybe those concerns weren't as widespread as you remember. In any case I don't think that should be the takeaway.

I do. It was incredibly big news at the time. I also recall similar protests about Galileo in the run up to that launch.

about a month ago
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Cassini's Space Odyssey To Saturn

Gareth Iwan Fairclough Re:Fear Mongers Didn't Want to Let Cassini Fly (45 comments)

Huh, I had overlooked the name when reading the article, just read right though to "some physics prof thinks NASA is wrong and it's actually super-dangerous". Didn't realize it was Michio Kaku, which is indeed surprising.

It wasn't surprising to me in all honesty. The man is very intelligent yes, but when it comes to nuclear energy he simply will not look at the facts. I've read a few books by him and every single one has had some mention of nuclear energy in it and all of those mentions could be paraphrased as "Nuclear fission reactors are bad and you would be bad for thinking they could ever possibly be good". In fact, I recall that he dedicated an entire book to that very message.

about a month ago
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Programming On a Piano Keyboard

Gareth Iwan Fairclough Hmm... (57 comments)

I wonder what would happen if someone took this concept and reversed it, what would currently used code sound like?

about a month ago
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Geothermal Heat Contributing To West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melting

Gareth Iwan Fairclough Re:And who will be pushing the accelerator (387 comments)

No [r] way!

Kenya imagine a worse country-name pun than that?

Oman that's awful!

I think you and Brunei will get along just fine. Honestly though, some of these puns will end up Jamaican me crazy.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: In What Other Occupations Are IT Skills and Background Useful?

Gareth Iwan Fairclough Re:Supply Chain (158 comments)

Good to know. I'm going to study that at university from this September. I suppose I should get in some classes programming etc while I'm there. Thanks!

My wife is in Supply Chain Management as an analyst, and here are some of the ares of IT that she feels would help her do her job better (and once the kids are in school she may have time to work on them).

Databases are by far the most important area of IT for someone working in SCM. Understand how database schemas work. Know basic optimization techniques; you probably won't need to implement it yourself but you may need to intelligently discuss this topic with your DBAs. Know the difference between OLAP and OLTP (and not just the definitions).

Simple programming knowledge will also help immensely. Sometimes you need to manipulate data in a way that your BI tools won't allow. The difference between an SCM analyst/planner that has full control over her data and one that doesn't is immense. You will often be fighting against intuitive solutions with data driven solutions, and usually that will be hard. So far my wife has had to rely on me when she needs something done and can't get developer resources assigned at work. Usually the result is a couple hours of work on my part to allow her to solve a problem that would have literally been impossible for a team of dozens without the use of custom code.

Okay, so either "learn some coding skills" or "get with a programmer" and I'll be good. Hah! Seriously though, thanks for the heads up. I'll probably be erring on the "get with a programmer" side of things due to my background in logistics from my time in military, a career where IT skills were...non-existent generally.

Though I did make a nice bit of cash on the side building and repairing PCs etc for people on the camp.

about a month ago
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Robotic Exoskeletons Could Help Nuclear Plant Workers

Gareth Iwan Fairclough Re:Not really needed (29 comments)

Nuclear plant workers get very little exposure to start with. There are robotics used for underwater tasks. So there really is not a nuclear power market for such things. There could be some cleanup tasks from old government defense waste sites, but tool as described are very niche use items.

Yeah. There are only so many S.T.A.L.K.E.R.s around who can afford them after all.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: In What Other Occupations Are IT Skills and Background Useful?

Gareth Iwan Fairclough Re:Supply Chain (158 comments)

Supply Chain Management is a field that tends to be on the tech heavy side but unfortunately most people working in it do not have an CS/Programming background. Having that background would give you a leg up if you can get hired. There are some interesting problems in this field like linear optimization and forecasting to keep you busy.

Good to know. I'm going to study that at university from this September. I suppose I should get in some classes programming etc while I'm there. Thanks!

about a month ago
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UK Ballistics Scientists: 3D-Printed Guns Are 'of No Use To Anyone'

Gareth Iwan Fairclough Re:Can't the Brits get it right? (490 comments)

It's the ammo used. The Brits used 9mm or similar caliber ammunition. Most if not all 3D printed guns fired successfully in the US and Canada used .22LR. Not an ideal caliber for defense, but far better than nothing. The plastics currently in common used simply can't take the pressure of standard hangun calibers. But as a last ditch single shot weapon a .22 is better than nothing. This video is pure propaganda. Trying to scare off people from printing their own untraceable undetectable guns. Perhaps .22 LR isn't readily available in the UK? But this does not prove these are not viable. Just that the British authorities are so worried about losing control over the serf's abilities to defend themselves that they have taken to making propaganda vids to scare them into remaining helpless.

Guns and ammo are very difficult to get hold of legally in the UK. Even .22LR. In fact, outside of a military base I haven't seen a gun of any kind in the UK for years.

It's possible to get one or two types of gun, like say a double barrel shotgun, but that's about it. It's also a huge pain in the arse to get the necessary permits from the police who also have the right to pull short notice "inspections" of your property where the weapons are stored and often revoke permits on the spot for the silliest little thing that the officer inspecting perceives as "wrong".

about 2 months ago

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