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Drone Maker Enforces No-Fly Zone Over DC, Hijacking Malware Demonstrated

Half-pint HAL Re:NO FLY ZONE (157 comments)

Plus the extra weight of the radio and the antenna. Tiny, perhaps, but not inconsequential.

yesterday
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Snowden Documents: CSE Tracks Millions of Downloads Daily

Half-pint HAL Re:You owe Snowden a favor (103 comments)

Clemency? That can't happen, because it would legitimise his leaks. Right now, not only is he considered unreliabl by many on simple grounds of being "a traitor", but he's in exile in Russia -- Russia! -- so anyone with a slight hint of right-wingedness will be disregarding everything he leaks.

yesterday
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Snowden Documents: CSE Tracks Millions of Downloads Daily

Half-pint HAL Re:They said they weren't doing it.. (103 comments)

Why be partisan when in all major democracies, the two major parties are practically separated-at-birth twins?

yesterday
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Snowden Documents: CSE Tracks Millions of Downloads Daily

Half-pint HAL Re:I rather be a paranoid than be totally un-prepa (103 comments)

You don't think it's ironic that the same kind of paranoia you have about the government, is the kind of paranoia fuelling these kind of sweeping 'nets' of privacy violations?

Ah, but that's what they want you to think...!

yesterday
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Drone Maker Enforces No-Fly Zone Over DC, Hijacking Malware Demonstrated

Half-pint HAL Re:Can someone explainn (157 comments)

Also, as the drone has to compensate for wind, the drone can tell you what the wind strength is, so you don't have to estimate it from sighting a tree.

yesterday
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Drone Maker Enforces No-Fly Zone Over DC, Hijacking Malware Demonstrated

Half-pint HAL Re:NO FLY ZONE (157 comments)

That should keep everyone happy.

Apart from every quadcopter pilot whose flight time would be drastically reduced thanks to the second radio constantly drawing current, even when out in the middle of a desert.

yesterday
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Drone Maker Enforces No-Fly Zone Over DC, Hijacking Malware Demonstrated

Half-pint HAL Re:Err... (157 comments)

You can't "perfectly legally" fly an unmanned aircraft in an unmanned aircraft no-fly zone.

yesterday
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One In Five Developers Now Works On IoT Projects

Half-pint HAL Re:I'm 4 of 5 (245 comments)

The job of TFS is to tell me whether or not I am interested in TFA. If I have to read TFA to understand TFS, then TFS is NFU. [No F***ing Use.]

yesterday
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Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

Half-pint HAL Re:Armchair engineering at its finest (243 comments)

The main car would need a cable for the full length of the building. The problem with cables (if I understand the article correctly) is not the infeasibility of the length, it's the weight that comes with it. The point of counterweights is to have roughly similar weights either side of the fulcrum (ie the winch), but when there's a lot of cable, the long end is going to be heavier than the short end. My point isn't to reduce the cable length of the main car, but just to compensate for the change of weight as the cable moves from one side of the winch to the other.

yesterday
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Computer Chess Created In 487 Bytes, Breaks 32-Year-Old Record

Half-pint HAL Re:Its even more impressive... (195 comments)

Only if you do a one-for-one mapping of instructions. The x86 can take advantage of more sophisticated opcodes (eg MULT) to cut down on the number of instructions and its general purpose registers to reduce Load and Store calls (with the associated address bytes). I'd expect x86 to be shorter, if programmed correctly....

2 days ago
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Computer Chess Created In 487 Bytes, Breaks 32-Year-Old Record

Half-pint HAL Re:Dodgy record (195 comments)

Which is exactly his point. Even 16-bit x86 processors have more general-purpose register space than z80, so there should be fewer memory calls required. x86 has a more sophisticated instruction set (z80 has no multiplication instruction), so program the exact same algorithm in the two assemblers and you will get a smaller program in x86 than in z80.

2 days ago
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Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

Half-pint HAL Re:Why use a cable? (243 comments)

"more energy efficient for shorter runs". We're talking about elevators, you know, those things that stop every 3 vertical meters.

No we're not. We're talking long-distance elevators. Or do you think someone will ever get to the top floor of a 1km high building if the car stops at every floor. Every time you're almost there, you'll have to stop for a pee break then wait for the car to come back.

Various skyscrapers have extremely high capacity lifts -- the Petronas Towers have double-decker lifts with a capacity of 52 passengers.

2 days ago
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Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

Half-pint HAL Re:Why use a cable? (243 comments)

Hell, from an IT perspective you reach the limits of multimode fiber risers pretty quickly.

Yeah, but the lag on the satellite broadband suddenly drops away...

Actually, if you're building a tower that high anyway, you'd be just as well using it as a pseudo-satellite broadband provider -- the horizon is over 100 km away when you're a kilometre up. You can serve wireless internet to a small country from up there....

2 days ago
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Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

Half-pint HAL Re:Worthless (243 comments)

In addition, the floors serviced by the express elevator will also be the floors most likely to be a final destination -- eg the restaurant floor or the viewing gallery

...or in the case of a building over the height of 1.6 km, the "Mile High Club".

2 days ago
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Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

Half-pint HAL Re:Elevator scheduling (243 comments)

You have failed me for the last time, Admiral.[Chokes Admiral Ozzel using the force.] You are in control now, Admiral Obvious.

2 days ago
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Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

Half-pint HAL Re:just put a motor on the elevator itself (243 comments)

yes, but the cable is only used as a triggering mechanism, used as it is obviously there and is simple. There is nothing stopping that triggering mechanism being anything from an acceleration fired mechanism, or pressure held open by the motors when they have power or any number of other methods.

The beauty of the current brake is that it engages immediately on failure, regardless of what the elevator is doing at the time. If the cable breaks, the car stops. If you rely on an acceleration fired mechanism, the car will have to start falling before the system knows to shut down, and that could lead to serious injury. Power failure is also only one failure mode -- the next issue is loss of traction. The current system has one mode of failure and a brake that is physically bound to it. There is no safety mechanism comparable.

2 days ago
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Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

Half-pint HAL Re: just put a motor on the elevator itself (243 comments)

Elevator brakes are one of the most elegant solutions known to man, and perhaps more crucial to the continued popularity of the cabled elevator. The brake is held open by spring tension generated by the interaction of the elevator and the cable. If the cable gets cut, the brake engages. That's it. Any other type of elevator would need a more complicated break system. Detection of fault conditions would be a separate action that triggers the brakes. That means delays, and the possibility of errors. It is practically impossible for a properly built cable elevator to plummet. You cannot say the same for any cableless concept design. One of the simplest ideas in legal liability is that if you opt to do something the more dangerous way, you're liable. You must have very good grounds to justify the risk.

2 days ago
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Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

Half-pint HAL Re:Armchair engineering at its finest (243 comments)

Ah, rampant speculation -- I'm game. I'm wondering about the possibility of a three part lift -- a car with two independent cradles. The first cradle is cabled for a third of the height of the building, and is left behind when the lift goes above that point. The second cradle is cabled for two-thirds of the building, and disengages once the car ascends above two-thirds of the building. On descent, the car reaches the cradles again and continues down. Each of the cradles is counterweighted to provide a displacement load for the shifting weight of the cable. Each cradle would have its own independent brake (as would the car), which would add extra safety mechanisms to the lift

Now I'm also wondering if there's some way of using waste water from the upper floors as additional ballast, carried partway down the building alongside the counterweights before being released into the sewage system on a lower floor. Or maybe a partially-passive aircon using a liquid medium that is cooled by high-altitude winds before being shuttled to the centre of the building for circulation.

2 days ago
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Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

Half-pint HAL Re: just put a motor on the elevator itself (243 comments)

Use just a little more creativity. One possibility: Have brakes that are actively held open; hold them open with a quick release mechanism; for the quick release, hold its release via the constant power. If power is cut, it'll trigger the quick release, which will release the stored energy in the springs. It doesn't take much to hold back lots of stored power. Batteries and capacitors could also be employed at various points. Basically, this isn't a problem.

The current system is very simple, and very reliable. The car is suspended from the cable via the brake. The tension generated by the weight of the car disengages the brake (because even when going down, the car still accelerates at less than the rate of gravitational acceleration. If the cable fails, the tension vanishes instantly, and the brake is engaged. This mechanism works instantly, even if the car is at rest when the cable breaks. Your suggestion works when the mode of failure is power loss, but in a self-powered electric lift, the loss of power would be less of an issue than loss of traction. The safety mechanism would only be able to detect loss of traction when the car is in motion, which means losing vital seconds as the elevator gains momentum, and therefore will result in needing a more powerful brake. And that means adding in more powerful, heavier systems to hold the break open, as opposed to the current system which just uses the weight the elevator already has. So now you're shifting more bulk again.

And all that for what? To create a lift that is far, far less efficient than the current model, because as the GP AC said, elevators use counterbalancing weights so that the only work they're doing is in moving the contents of the elevator -- the lift car and the counterweights practically move themselves.

2 days ago

Submissions

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Half-pint HAL Half-pint HAL writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Half-pint HAL (718102) writes "From Linutop.com:
Linutop is a Linux-based diskless computer. It offers a completely silent, low-power operation in an extremely small package. Its main purpose is to surf the Internet.
With Abiword, Firefox, GAIM, Totem media player and Evince PDF Reader, they expect to be able to sell the units to libraries and net cafes, and to developers of custom displays/interactive demos. No pricing information is on the website, but The Register reports a price of "280 ($368/£190)"."
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Half-pint HAL Half-pint HAL writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Half-pint HAL (718102) writes "The Register reports that a mobile software company has been granted a patent on customised dynamic content on mobile phones. From the article:
UK patent GB2408658 talks a great deal about notifying client devices using a special signal, such as an SMS, which then triggers the client to fetch information from a server using an HTTP connection — in exactly the same way as an MMS message. But the novel component of this invention is that when the client application contacts the server (having received the specially formatted SMS) the server puts together a package containing only the latest and most pertinent content for that particular user. This just-in-time generated package is then downloaded by the client.
Patent GB2408658 seems somewhat confused. How it works: user recieves notification of new content; user follows link to retrieve content; page is generated on-the-fly accounting for any changes (eg in sports scores) subsequent to the original notification. So is this little more than a patent on a link to a dynamic webpage? Where's the difference between this and — for example — an online wedding list?"

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