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Comments

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New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

RockDoctor That is an insane failure of driver training (205 comments)

It also has an optional 'pull-down conversation mirror' that lets drivers check on kids without turning around."

A driver who even thinks about turning around to check on what the passengers are up to should lose their driving license until they've successfully re-passed their driving test.

That's why you strap them in. That's what you have other adults in the vehicle for. That's why you train the kids from before potty-training to not touch their seat belts on pain of straight back home and no fun for the rest of the day. That's why you train the kids over the same time scale to not distract the driver.

This is a technology which should not exist.

4 hours ago
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Researcher Finds Hidden Data-Dumping Services In iOS

RockDoctor Memo to Self : don't buy iAnything (94 comments)

Memo from Self : Like I was going to do that? After the last time I worked on a Mac?

4 hours ago
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UEA Research Shows Oceans Vital For Possibility of Alien Life

RockDoctor Re:Correction (88 comments)

The laws of physics (and chemistry) are the same pretty much everywhere

Where, precisely, do we know that the laws of physics are different from those we see here? "pretty much everywhere" implies that there is somewhere that isn't included. Where is that?

4 hours ago
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UEA Research Shows Oceans Vital For Possibility of Alien Life

RockDoctor Re:Correction (88 comments)

even at small fractions of light speed, remain expansionistic, and avoid completely eradicating ourselves or transcending as a species we could colonize the whole friggin galaxy in only a few billion years.

Billion? A few tens of million years.

The galaxy is about 100,000 LY across. If we can get to 1% of c, then moving out to cover the galaxy would take (order of) 10 million years transit time. Since you're using generation ships, then while you're in flight you can be preparing a colonisation ship in the centuries between stellar encounters and drop the settlers off (and along with them, your political dissidents, mutants and space-sick passengers and other problems) ; if they think the star is settleable (does it have asteroids ; never mind the planets for the next x generations) then they stop, otherwise they do some quick (decades) mining for consumables and then depart to catch up with the mother ship.

I'd guess that "we" could colonise the galaxy in 100 Ma. Of course, by then, the species would certainly have changed, and probably fragmented into significantly different species. Certainly cultures would have changed drastically.

But it's all SF for the next number of generations.

4 hours ago
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UEA Research Shows Oceans Vital For Possibility of Alien Life

RockDoctor Re:Correction (88 comments)

Hmm, well I suppose if you were under hard acceleration it probably wouldn't be healthy for anything caught in the exhaust at close range,

In some SF universes that is codified as a "law" of warfare. e.g. "The Kzinti Lesson : a reaction drive is a weapon in proportion to it's efficiency as a drive."

4 hours ago
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Can the Multiverse Be Tested Scientifically?

RockDoctor Re: String theory is not science (147 comments)

A lot of those early mathematicians were a bit on the crazy side, having come to that realization and not having any of the framework for coping with the idea.

Well, they could have just invented a god of mathematics and had done with it. But they were pretty smart cookies, so they'd probably have noticed the stupidity of admitting a supernatural explanation of any sort into their attempts to understand the natural world.

yesterday
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White House Approves Sonic Cannons For Atlantic Energy Exploration

RockDoctor Re:so long as the duration is... (271 comments)

Your analogy is wrong. You need to cut the top off the safe and then perform the rest of your experiment.

Air guns (they've never been called "sonic cannons" ; the author has been channelling early Hawkwind) are fired at a depth of 5~10m below water level, suspended from floats towed behind the survey boat. Normally there's a string of multiple hydrophones trailing along behind the air gun, held at a similar depth by tension between floats (pulling them up) and a hydroplane (underwater wing) pulling them down. Sometimes we lower a hydrophone (or several, for redundancy) into an existing well bore and lower it to the bottom, maybe as much as 7 or 8 km away from the surface, but we never lower air guns to that depth because they wouldn't work.

yesterday
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White House Approves Sonic Cannons For Atlantic Energy Exploration

RockDoctor Re:so long as the duration is... (271 comments)

Understand, I am pro oil drilling, pro nuclear power... and all sorts of other things you likely find unsavory. But this just seems wanton to me. I'm not a monster or an idiot... and this seems like madness.

Then TFA's writer has achieved his (her? I forget which) purpose of spreading FUD about what has been a routine technique in other parts of the world for decades, with appropriate mitigation strategies in place.

yesterday
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White House Approves Sonic Cannons For Atlantic Energy Exploration

RockDoctor Re:So It Has Come To This (271 comments)

Sharktopusnado, I'm afraid.

yesterday
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White House Approves Sonic Cannons For Atlantic Energy Exploration

RockDoctor Re:Even regular sonar wreaks havoc on marine life (271 comments)

Agreed. There are other forms of diving injury that whales (and other non-human air-breathing divers) suffer from, but they're generally chronic and cumulative. Crush injuries to bones with isolated fluid-filled cavities which can't equilibrate fast enough, for example. Humans get the same, which is part of the reason that sat divers take several days to get to depth.

yesterday
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White House Approves Sonic Cannons For Atlantic Energy Exploration

RockDoctor Re:Even regular sonar wreaks havoc on marine life (271 comments)

The sound is so excruciating that whales will surface too fast and get the bends

Whales don't get "the bends" (in the sense of decompression sickness). When they dive, they stop breathing (Doh!) and the air in their lungs rapidly compresses until their lungs have collapsed and the air is in the (relatively non-absorbent) bronchae and cranial air passages. Then, when they come back up, there isn't the excess of nitrogen dissolved in the blood that needs to exsolve and forms the bubbles that cause decompression sickness.

What gives human divers decompression sickness is that we breathe air while we're at depth. That allows our bloodstream to equilibrate with an effectively unlimited supply of nitrogen at depth, whereas the whales (dolphins, seals, penguins, etc) have only the one pair of lungs full of air to equilibrate against.

Don't worry, you're by no means the first person to get this wrong. I've had to talk other trained SCUBA divers through the maths before.

There are other forms of diving injury to which whales etc are subject, but they're not "the bends." And while they leave marks on the bones (as they do on human divers too), they're not enough to incapacitate the animals (though they can destroy a commercial diver's career).

yesterday
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White House Approves Sonic Cannons For Atlantic Energy Exploration

RockDoctor Re:The White House isn't stupid.. (271 comments)

Without the oil that came from the fracking boom oil would probably be at $150/barrel or higher

The overwhelming majority of the "fracking boom" is drilling for gas, not oil. Yes, it is possible to frack shale (as in the gas boom) for oil, but it's much, much less common than fracking for gas.

Of course, in conventional (i.e. non-shale) reservoirs, hydraulic fracturing to enhance oil (and gas, but more rarely) production has been going on since the 1950s without arousing any particular attention. Of the about 200 wells on my CV, dozens of them have probably been fracked since I drilled and steered them. I wouldn't know ; it's not a question I'd ever waste my time asking.

yesterday
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White House Approves Sonic Cannons For Atlantic Energy Exploration

RockDoctor Re:Other loud noises (271 comments)

I'd think it obvious that an air cannon isn't going to produce sound levels equivalent to an atomic bomb.

Considering that air guns are powered by air compressors typically driven by diesel engines consuming a couple of gallons per hour, the average power isn't that high. The peak power is higher, because the guns fire in pulses, using the air as a storage medium.

The oscillating bubbles created by air cannons are practically microscopic by comparison.

For seismic analysis, particularly for differentiating between oil-filled rock, gas-filled rock and water-filled rock, we need lots of high frequencies in the projected sound, so that we can measure the difference of absorption at different frequencies. To get those high frequencies, we need bubbles of relatively small size. That constrains the power we can put into the water. Producing bigger guns will produce more power, but will not answer our geological questions, and so would be a waste of money. We'd have to run multiple surveys (big guns versus small guns) across the same area, almost certainly causing more harm than doing one survey.

yesterday
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White House Approves Sonic Cannons For Atlantic Energy Exploration

RockDoctor Re:They already do this elsewhere (271 comments)

See my comment up-thread. TFA is ill-informed and written to generate FUD, not to inform people. These aren't new techniques, and procedures for mitigating the effect of seismic air guns on sea life - particularly cetaceans - are well-known and used throughout the industry.

yesterday
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White House Approves Sonic Cannons For Atlantic Energy Exploration

RockDoctor Re:Hoping this is not as bad as it sounds (271 comments)

But in the absence of being able to issue warnings in "dolphin language"

The "cetacean communication experiments which were stopped were ones attempting to teach dolphins (I forget the species, but only one species) to speak English. Work to understand the communications of cetaceans continues to this day.

Your "dolphin language" phrase implies that you think there is one "dolphin language" ; what we're pretty sure of is that there is one language per species ; there are 40 "dolphin" species in 17 genera (closely related groups), and about the same number of other cetaceans. We're pretty sure that some species have multiple, geographically constrained languages - "dialects" if you will. So your "dolphin language" suggestion implies learning to speak something like 100 distinct dialects, some probably very distantly related to others.

Big task.

yesterday
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White House Approves Sonic Cannons For Atlantic Energy Exploration

RockDoctor Re:Hoping this is not as bad as it sounds (271 comments)

See my comment up-thread.

You don't know the procedures that have been followed for years. I first approached my Boss about getting qualified as an MMO in about 2005, but he couldn't see a business case for it - I don't have the time in my regular employment to spend 1/2 hour doing nothing but sweeping the horizon with binos.

Shame - I'd have liked to get paid for a week of going whale-watching.

yesterday
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White House Approves Sonic Cannons For Atlantic Energy Exploration

RockDoctor Re:Hoping this is not as bad as it sounds (271 comments)

Those figures sound broadly comparable to regulations that I've seen controlling the exposure of diving workers to loud noises in their work place (pneumatic tools, stand-off distances from explosive cutters, that sort of thing). I didn't memorise the details as I didn't need them, but those figures sound broadly comparable.

yesterday
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White House Approves Sonic Cannons For Atlantic Energy Exploration

RockDoctor Re:Hoping this is not as bad as it sounds (271 comments)

There's no point to sitting in one area and pulsing the same place over and over.

There is - if you're doing "Seismic While Drilling". You can bump up the signal to noise ratio at your hydrophone 5, 6, or 7 kilometres below the seabed, without having to use huge air gun arrays (the compressors and air banks for which take up a lot of deck space ; deck space is always at a premium).

However, TFA is about shooting area-wide seismic coverage, not SWD. Because of the turning circle of (say) a 5km long, 16-wide array of streamed hydrophones, you keep them in constant motion. If you didn't, the hydrophones will get displaced from their required relative positions. Positioning typically needs to be precise to tens of centimetres. (Yes, many companies use (D-)GPS to confirm the positioning of the hydrophones, and record those positions for every shot.)

yesterday
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White House Approves Sonic Cannons For Atlantic Energy Exploration

RockDoctor Re:Hoping this is not as bad as it sounds (271 comments)

I mean, people have been detonating underwater *atomic bombs* - how do you think that compares to the sound of a pop of air?

Just to put this into perspective : the air guns are suspended over the side of the drilling vessel about 20m from the side of the vessel ; if they're streamed behind a seismic boat, they're in the order of 100m behind the boat.

Shocking as it may seem, we don't design equipment that will damage our other equipment. Which is why the energy released from air guns is considerably lower than (for example) that released by a depth charge or a torpedo.

yesterday

Submissions

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Micro$loth to sack 18,000 workers

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  5 days ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "The Grauniad is reporting that Micro$loth are planning to sack 18,000 people in the near future. I'm sure that'll make them feel better. The sacked people, of course ; it'll be devastating to the managers who hand out the redundancy notices."
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International game tournaments segregated by sex/ gender.

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about three weeks ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "The Grauniad is reporting that a finnish heat of an international gaming competition is being segregated into male and female branches in accordance to international rules.

The International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) want "eSports" to be recognised as equivalent to physical sports. And that, it seems, requires that competitors be segregated on grounds of sex. Which may be appropriate for pole vaulters, but not necessarily appropriate for ePole vaulters. This leaves the organisers of national heats of eSports in a rather invidious position of having (in this case) a tournament only open to "Finnish male players."

So, support gender equality, or support the recognition of electronic sports as having the same status as kicking balls around? Pick one."
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French Railways order the wrong size of train.

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about 2 months ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "The BBC are reporting that SNCF, the French national railway system, has ordered several thousand new complete trains, but then discovered that they are

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27497727

to fit into many railway stations.

For reasons that are not explained, the railway owning company (RFF) had to measure the sizes of it's platforms to find out what size they were (which begs the question of, why didn't they know the sizes of their stations already?), then tell the train operating company (SNCF) what size trains to buy. But RFF only measured the sizes of stations built in the last 30 years, and since discovered that stations built previously were noticeably different, and the new trains wouldn't fit into older stations.

At least they were both using metres, not cubits versus roods.

[The French] Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier blamed an "absurd rail system" for the problems.
"When you separate the rail operator from the train company," he said, "this is what happens."

The last quote is ominous for the Britons who pay for the BBC, as our railway system is similarly divided up between track-owning companies (many) and train-operating companies (also many), thanks to the the Maggon and her cronies."
Link to Original Source

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Pentagon : scope of intelligence compromised by Snowden 'staggering'

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about 2 months ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "The Grauniad are reporting that a Freedom of Information Act request has revealed a report (or 12 pages of a 37-page report, the remainder censored) that

“the scope of the compromised knowledge related to US intelligence capabilities is staggering”

Well isn't that just terribly sad for them. My heart bleeds. Ed Snowden, if we ever meet, the first beer is my shout."
Link to Original Source

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A new class of plastics : recyclable thermosetting polymers.

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about 2 months ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "Plastics which form by chemical reactions in the presence of heat are very useful. They can be very strong, and if you incorporate appropriate "filler" materials (chalk, glass fibre, carbon fibre), they can have very attractive engineering properties. But .. that chemical reaction makes them very difficult to recycle, because the new chemical formed during the reaction will often char before it melts. We're not talking about thermo-plastic polymers here (e.g. nylon, polypropylene, PET), but thermo-setting ones including epoxies, phenol-formaldehyde resins, etc.

But no more : an international team have discovered a new class of polymer-forming reactions that produce a thermo-setting polymer, but they can recover the initial components by digesting the polymer with moderately strong acid (pH 2 ; I'd wear gloves. And glasses.), so after a component is used and obsolete, or broken, it can be separated reasonably easily into it's original components (including valuable reinforcing materials, such as carbon fibre) and these then re-used. That is a pretty big step forward."

Link to Original Source
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First diver dies in S.Korea ferry recovery efforts.

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about 3 months ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "The BBC are reporting that the Korean ferry disaster has claimed it's latest victim, a civilian diver engaged in body-recovery efforts.

Five minutes after commencing a dive to about 25m, diver Lee lost communication with other divers. His body was later recovered to the surface.

This is unlikely to be the final death. Last week another diver lost consciousness underwater, which is an extraordinarily bad situation. He had dived four times previously that morning. Several others have been treated with at a hyperbaric oxygen recompression facility after decompression events.

The initial search of the vessel is nearly completed, but the entire ship is to be re-searched. 40 bodies are still missing."
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Data security on the Internet of things - digestible version

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about 5 months ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "While it has been discussed on Slashdot before, the questions around data security on the "Internet of Things" may seem a little dry to many people.

The excellent webcomic 'Freefall' (by Mark Stanley) addresses some of these concerns in typical "Ha ha. But serious." manner. While the original Internet-controlled coffee machine might not seem so threatening, when it becomes a voice-controlled coffee pot, linked to your grocery account ... all of a sudden it doesn't seem so innocuous."
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Bitcoin plummets after Chinese block 3rd-party payment processors

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about 7 months ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "In order to use Bitcoin in the real world, you need to convert it into a convertible currency (Kroner, or Rupees, or Yuan, or even USD), a task that is undertaken by "third-party payment provider[s]."

Earlier this month, China's central bank warned that Bitcoin was "not legally protected," had no "real meaning", and barred financial institutions from using the currency. That ban was extended to 3rd-party providers on Tuesday (though with a deadline of Jan 31st / Chinese New Year), and last night 3rd-party provider YeePay complied with the ban. In consequence the Chinese Bitcoin exchange BTC China announced that they could not accept deposits in yuan ; overnight, the exchange's value for Bitcoin has fallen to half it's earlier values.

All the theorising about the value of Bitcoin in opening up a new economy is moot if users can't either put money into the currency, or exchange the currency for one that they can use in the Real World."

Link to Original Source
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The Empire of Evil develop technology ... without (obvious) evil intent.

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about 8 months ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "In a move designed by a PR genius, a conspiracy team of crack Iranian hardware hackers are developing a ground-steered drone for marine Search and Rescue work. Development plans include fully automating the flying and search-and-track capabilities. This will no doubt be followed up by a beefed-up version capable of dropping a "dirty nuke" in Central Park New York.

In deference to the expressed stereotypes of Slashdot, it is also impossible that these persons of the "brown" and "Muslim" persuasions to have developed this technology on their own, and must have stolen it from someone in the rest of the world."
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Falling GOCE satellite seen from Falkland islands.

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about 8 months ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "The GOCE satellite was expected to fall out of the sky at the weekend, and orbital calculations before it last disappeared from the view of ground stations suggested that it came down in the South Atlantic.

The BBC post pictures from a Falkland Islands resident (Las Islas Malvinas if you're in Latin America) who saw a large, fragmenting fireball travelling in the right direction at the right time. Video is available. You'll need to travel to their home near Volunteer Point to view it. If you happen to have a satellite base station in your back pocket, they might be interested in borrowing it to be able to upload the video recordings. Don't bother to take a mobile phone.

Oh, nice tombolos along that waterfront."
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"Light Caber" to be replaced.

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about 10 months ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "In news not coming to you from the Star Trek universe, the so-called "light caber" is to be replaced. How this will impact future aspirant Jedi Knights is unclear, as they will have to manufacture new designs. Members of the Jedi Knight community who are experienced tossers may be little affected."
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Google 'Glass' to be banned while driving

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about a year ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes ""Stuff" magazine, a "gadget" oriented mag, is reporting that the UK's Department for Transport is planning to ban drivers from using Google "Glass", using the same law (1988 Road Traffic Act) that is used to ban drivers from using hand-held mobile phones.

While there are obvious parallels between the distraction potential of the mobile phone and of "Glass", there are arguments in the other direction that the speech-control aspects of "Glass" could make it less distracting than, say, a touch-screen SatNav. So, to ban "Glass" driving or not?

Typical fines for using a mobile phone while driving are £60 cash plus three penalty points on the driving license ; the points expire 3 years after the offence and if you accumulate 12 points then you've lost your license. Repeat offenders may experience higher fines and/ or more points. Around a million people have received the penalty since the mobile phone ban was introduced in 2003."

Link to Original Source
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Cyclist pleads guilty to manslaughter of pedestrian.

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about a year ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "The Grauniad is reporting that a San Francisco cyclist has pleaded guilty to a charge of "vehicular manslaughter" over a collision which killed a 71-year-old pedestrian.

Seemingly, the cyclist had run three successive red lights before finding himself "unable to stop" and ploughing into multiple pedestrians at a junction. "Unable to stop" plainly translates to "driving too fast" in this case.

Running multiple red lights, as the cyclist seems to have accepted by the plea bargain, is a mark of reckless irresponsibility on behalf of the cyclist, as is his admittedly excessive speed. Cyclists have obligations towards pedestrian safety in the same way that motor vehicle drivers have too."

Link to Original Source
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Wood-powered USB re-charger

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  1 year,15 days

RockDoctor (15477) writes "Out camping, and your smart phone has a flat battery, so you can't turn it on to discover that you haven't got a signal to call up a weather report to find out if it's raining or not? Well now you don't just have the option of opening your eyes and looking at the skies (hint :the big, round wet things are "raindrops" — Wikipedia may have a better description) ; now you can also feed some random bits of plants — twigs, cones — into a little camping stove, and while you're making a cup of $BEVERAGE$ the stove will produce enough electricity to recharge your power-hungry technology.

OK, I'm being a touch sarcastic about using it for a mobile phone. But as someone who likes week-long trips into the mountains, with camera batteries to re-charge, and GPS loggers to re-charge, and tablet computers which I use to record my geological notes also needing re-charge ... this is a technology that I may well be experimenting with. It's not without criticisms, valid ones, but it does have interesting potential. I'm sure the compounded wilderness experience of the techno-nerds of Slashdot can work out some criticisms of the idea.

In a sideline, it comments on the (in-)efficiency of thermoelectric electricity generation : for a stove peak power of 5.5kW, it can produce up to 4W of electrical power, for an efficiency of 0.072% (tech specs here). Hmmm, maybe photovoltaics on the lid of my rucksac would be better?"
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BBC gives up on 3-D programming.

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  1 year,18 days

RockDoctor (15477) writes "After spending several years on supporting the uptake of 3-D TV, the BBC has accepted that people don't want it, and are turning off their 3-D channels following an uptake of under 5% of households with 3-D equipment.

I can just feel the joy at not having wasted my money on this technology."

Link to Original Source
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Will Alibaba have a bigger IPO than Facebook?

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  1 year,29 days

RockDoctor (15477) writes "The BBC are speculating that the impending IPO of Chinese mega-B2B company Alibaba may have an IPO value larger than that of Facebook. Since Alibaba primarily put the manufacturers of physical goods into contact with the customers of physical goods, does this remind you that the world does exist outside of the Interwebz?"
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Retail 3-d Printers becoming available in the UK

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about a year ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "Well-known retail electronics/ gadgetry company Maplin are advertising the availability soon of retail build-it-yourself 3-d printer kits from German (I think) supplier Velleman. While this is quite expensive (£700), it's specs also include a fairly large build volume (20x20x20 cm).

While Maplin have never been cheap, they are one of the few places in the UK these days where you can get electronics parts on the "High Street" (more or less — dozens if not a hundred stores ; for electronics what Jessops used to be for cameras) without having a business credit card and a £1000/month minimum account spend.

So, if they're dipping a toe onto the 3-d printing bandwagon, then it's a good chance that widespread adoption is not far behind."
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XCom : Enemy Unknown (iOS) edition to be premium-priced

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about a year ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "BBC News are reporting that 2K Games will be marketing the iOS (iPhone and/ or iPad? I'm not an Apple-core.) at the relatively high price of £13.99 (20€ / $US17.99) compared to a more typical game price of £5.99 (etc. etc.). They discuss how effective this "premium-price" model will be, compared to the alternative "pile'em high and sell 'em cheap" model or the "give away the game and charge for buying a BFG9000" model.

Seems to me about the same price that I paid for the original game in ~1994, and I still enjoy playing that. Guess that makes me an economic dead end to the company though."
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US College students raise money for sex-change

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about a year ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "In a small and unusual outbreak of peculiarity, Yahoo is carrying news of an American college "fraternity" (approximately, a single-gender house owned by a student group, providing communal accommodation at universities that don't have student accommodation) which has raised thousands of dollars to pay for the gender re-assignment surgery of one of their first-year members.

According to the story, "Donnie Collins, 20, a sophomore at Emerson College in Boston, was born female but has been living as a male since he was 17..." and had joined a male fraternity (females go to a "sorority" ; it's Latin, live with it), but his health insurance (American for "citizen's medical service", approximately) wouldn't pay for the surgery to remove his breasts. So, the men in his accommodation grouped together to raise the money for the surgery.

Yahoo's editors (or Reuters, the source of the story) are obviously puzzled about the motivation of the fraternity men. But it seems obvious to me : the severed breasts are going to be mummified and nailed to the wall of the living room. Once the "girl" has gone."

Link to Original Source
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Road tunnel "cheesed off"

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about a year and a half ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "Life can be hard for roads and road tunnels : mountains press down on your shoulders, snow and ice dust your feet, and deisel and petrol fumes choke your lungs. But occasionally you can get really cheesed off. "the Brattli Tunnel at Tysfjord, northern Norway" has been closed and badly damaged by a fire on a lorry load of cheese. Which is moderately scarey and not terribly funny when you remember that a few years ago one of the trans-Alpine tunnels was closed by a similar lorry fire with several deaths and the tunnel closed for repairs for months.

On the other hand — the Mythbusters have tried building salami-powered rockets in the past, and may have a new material to evaluate."

Link to Original Source

Journals

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So, new toys. "Acheivements" and encouragement to contribute

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Well, pouring a little (more) petrol onto the fire of burning the religious seems to have garnered me another fan, one "thats1fuzzybug99" has increased my "Friend" count by almost 6%.
That would be wonderful. If I knew what it meant.
I wonder who some of the other 94-odd% are. Hopefully some are very odd!

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Politics and moderation.

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Doing some moderation and getting extremely pissed off by the endless maundering of (presumed) Americans about some internal political matters. Someone called Kerry Dubyah is contesting with someone called John Bush for the leadership of some body called POTUS (sometimes a related position called FLATUS is also brought into the "debate" to confuse matters. this post seems to be related to the gigolos/ babotchkas that the contestants use/ are used by. I think.)
I'm wishing for a moderating flag like "Parochial Politics" that would come at a level like "-99", so that such comments could be killed off at source, leaving the interesting (to nerds - this is "News for Nerds, stuff that matters" after all) stuff like the trolling, the flamebaits and the actual technical stuff where people can find it without wading through the dross. Might be able to get rid of the Iraq dross through the same method.

But how to put this forward to the "system" as a proposal? Still can't find a place to post such suggestions/ requests.

The idea is not /quite/ comparable to moderation though - things can move up and down a scale in the moderating system, but I envisage this as being more like a permanent flag. Sort of like the "green beard" method described by W.D.Hamilton.

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