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Mazda Says Its Upcoming Gas-Powered Cars Will Emit Less CO2 Than Electric Cars

MancunianMaskMan Re:Do electric cars actually produce CO2? (330 comments)

passing neutron (= beta radiation)

beta radiation is high-energy electrons, not neutrons.

Beta decay happens in certain nuclei, upping the atomic number while keeping the nucleon count constant. A proton flips into a neutron and the spare electric charge flies off with the electron, which has comparatively little mass.

Neutrons are emitted during fission events, a nucleus splits (roughly) in half with a few neutrons left over. These neutrons are generally "fast", i.e. high-energy, and the "fast" in fast breeder refers to the fact that these fast neutrons are used for breeding rather than slowed-down ("thermal") neutrons.

about three weeks ago

Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad

MancunianMaskMan Re:Correction (465 comments)

This is indefensible behavior. Apple are being assholes.

Quite the contrary. The Customer is in the wrong, since she did not stipulate to be buried clutching her iPad but instead to pass it on to other beings.

She can't be of the One True Apple Faith, thus she's a heretic.

about a month ago

The Mammoth Cometh: Revive & Restore Tackles De-Extinction

MancunianMaskMan Re:just buy an costa rica island to put them on (168 comments)

mitochondrial + nuclear DNA would make an actual mammoth

No biologist here either but I believe it's technically correct, but still useless. If elephants are anything to go by, which are social creatures, a mammoth calf would have to learn a lot about its habitat from its parents, geography, what to eat, what not to eat, etc. It can't learn that from an African elephant. A zoo animal is all you would get.

about a month and a half ago

Invention Makes Citibikes Electric

MancunianMaskMan Re:Destroys the tires (166 comments)

I went around on a Velosolex some time in the late eighties, some people thought they were cool and retro then, and you could by them new. Horribly dangerous to ride on anything but a straight line or VERY SLOWLY.

  • Weight distribution all wrong
  • Front wheel drive unforgiving
  • Front tyre adapted for roller but not good on the road

This was a petrol engine but I can't imagine that electrics now win out on power/weight either, at least not with a useful range.

about a month and a half ago

Who's On WhatsApp, and Why?

MancunianMaskMan my daughter (280 comments)

she's 16 and uses whatsapp all the time because it's cheaper than SMS. I guess they get their demographics by analysing word frequency histograms, age being inversely proportioal to LPS ("like" per sentence)

about 2 months ago

Why Improbable Things Really Aren't

MancunianMaskMan intuit (166 comments)

Verbing weirds language. Seriously, constructs like this stop my reading flow. Please don't.

about 2 months ago

At my current workplace, I've outlasted ...

MancunianMaskMan noobs (177 comments)

count(*), decode(sign(emp_id - 16562), 0, 'me', -1, 'past it', 1, 'noob')
from employees
where emp_status = 'A'
group by decode(sign(emp_id - 16562), 0, 'me', -1, 'past it', 1, 'noob')

more "noob" than "past it"'.

about 2 months ago

India To Build World's Largest Solar Plant

MancunianMaskMan Re:I love numbers but.... (253 comments)

if you love numbers you do a quick calculation : 4*10^9W for $4.4*10^9: that's 1.1 US$/Watt, and once you google about a bit for "dollars per watt powerplant" or something, you find it's a pretty competitive price.

about 2 months ago

Chinese Professor Builds Li-Fi System With Retail Parts

MancunianMaskMan Upstream (155 comments)

could anyone in the know enlighten us how the uplink is supposed to work? TFA doesn't clarify.

about 5 months ago

Boston Dynamics Wildcat Can Gallop — No Strings Attached

MancunianMaskMan Re:Only one purpose (257 comments)

I consulted Wikipedia about bone names: in a cat (and many outer quadrupeds) the tarsal joint forms what is the "knee" in our legs, and the metatarsals are the lowest segment of the leg. The joint happens to point backwards, and consequently it looks "right" to us, and a robot with its knees pointing forward looks "creepy".

The Boson Dynamics people obviously found that it's somehow beneficial to have that joint pointing forward rather than backward, and they have the freedom to engineer it that way. Nature doesn't have that freedom: Evolution frequently "chooses" second-best solutions where the "design penalty" is small, because evolution always works in infinitesimal steps, there is no chance of atop-to bottom rewrite, the process doesn't cater for that.

Take that, "Intelligent Design" believers.

about 6 months ago

Congress Reaches Agreement ... On Helium

MancunianMaskMan Re:Dispensing our reserves? (255 comments)

If He were a little more expensive, a helium recovery system would be economical. Those machines are feasible in most scientific institutions in Europe, University physics and chemistry departments typically share a mains of helium reflow pipes, leading to a huge rubber bladder, and when that's full (once a day or whatever) they spin up the compressors and liquify the stuff again.

about 6 months ago

Congress Reaches Agreement ... On Helium

MancunianMaskMan Re:Dispensing our reserves? (255 comments)

This is America. ..our healthcare system the envy of the developed world.

I'm not envious, I live in the UK and our healthcare system works fine, thank you very much - and it's much cheaper per person.

The government is hard at work wrecking it at the moment but, the NHS being the biggest organisation in the country, a wrecking job like that takes time and it's still going strong.

about 6 months ago

Car Dealers Complain To DMV About Tesla's Website

MancunianMaskMan Re:Sour Grapes (364 comments)

What is this kWh you speak of? Surely you good honest-to-god Texans measure energy in foot-pounds (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feet-pound-force) rather than in the "SI" blasphemy units?

about 7 months ago

Cadillac SRX Converted Into Self-Driving Car

MancunianMaskMan The main challenge (149 comments)

Oh man i'd love this: I'm not even allowed to drive as i'm an epileptic and my partner would love it too, she can and does drive but if she didn't have to she'd be glad to be driven around by the car.

But the real challenge is to find a manufacturer who's willing to dodge the sueball coming at them if one of those things goes wrong, even if it is (and it will have to be, and will be) 10 times safer than any human driver. Legal problems are going to snuff out this baby at birth.

about 7 months ago

OmniCam360 Camera Cluster Lets You Choose the Viewing Angle

MancunianMaskMan 360 deg: Pah, not good enough/ (66 comments)

I need a camera with \[ 4\pi\mbox{steradian} \] solid angle viewing

about 8 months ago

Paypal Rolls Out Photo Verification Trial In UK

MancunianMaskMan Re:Extraneous middle man taking cut. (61 comments)

Among the alternatives you list, one stands out as merely "unpopular" rather than having sound reasons against it.

about 8 months ago

EUV Chipmaking Inches Forward

MancunianMaskMan ASML (32 comments)

ASML aren't a "light source maker", they don't "make" anything actually. They research and develop technologies, integrate stuff from different suppliers, and have contractors bolt it together. And then they sell it and train people to use it.

And they're good at it so pretty much every chip maker buys their kit.

about 8 months ago

Fedora 19 Alpha Released

MancunianMaskMan Re:You lost me at... (83 comments)

Gnome 3.8 comes with "Classic mode" which re-introduces features like the top-left App menu and the window switcher panel at the bottom of the screen, but built on Gnome3 technology.

It's a bit like Windows 8.1 re-introducing the Start menu.

Maybe one day we'll wake up and the Gnome shell and Windows 8 were all a bad dream.

about a year ago

FCC Issues Forfeiture Notices to Two Business for Jamming Cellular Frequencies

MancunianMaskMan Re:Tip of the iceberg (350 comments)

wow, if they were real sophisticated their fake cell site would connect to a fake copy of Amazon, where every price check goes in favour of the store you're in!

1 year,16 hours



Google buys Boston Dynamics

MancunianMaskMan MancunianMaskMan writes  |  about 4 months ago

MancunianMaskMan (701642) writes "Could we get deliveries by BigDog rather than Jeff Bezoes' much-ridiculed parcel drones?

The BBC has a brief story: Google has bought the engineering company that developed the world's fastest-running robot and other animalistic mobile research machines. Boston Dynamics, which builds robots for the US military, is the eighth robotics firm acquired by Google this year. Robotics expert Noel Sharkey said the move was "a big surprise" but could push the industry forward."

Link to Original Source

Space rock found in Russian lake

MancunianMaskMan MancunianMaskMan writes  |  about 6 months ago

MancunianMaskMan (701642) writes "The BBC has this story about the meteorite that fell from the sky 8 months ago:

Divers working at a Russian lake have recovered what may be a 570kg chunk of the space rock that exploded over Chelyabinsk earlier this year.

The object is thought to have plunged into Lake Chebarkul in central Russia leaving a 6m-wide hole in the ice.


MancunianMaskMan MancunianMaskMan writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MancunianMaskMan (701642) writes "It looks like someone big is going into the fray with Microsoft, as the BBC reports . (Tesco is the biggest UK retailer, and has 31% market share of the supermarket sector). From the article:
Tesco is to launch a range of budget own-brand PC software, in a move that will pitch the grocery giant against the likes of Microsoft and Symantec. Tesco said it would offer six packages, including office software, security systems and a photo editing tool. Britain's biggest retailer said each title would cost less than £20 (US$37), challenging what it described as the current "high" price of PC software.


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