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Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG

RockDoctor Re: Ok, looks good (377 comments)

OK that could certainly be a problem. Time to shoot a few software patent lawyers and nail the bodies in the Reception rooms of computing science departments everywhere. Un-refridgerated. "To encourage the others"

2 days ago
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Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG

RockDoctor Re: Ok, looks good (377 comments)

What have licenses got to do with it? Unless you saw something in TFA which I didn't, it's Open Source, and Bellard has a solid history of liberal software licensing. Your images are yours. Other people's images, yes may be a problem. For user - submitted content, change your T&Cs to tell the users that all new content will be automatically converted into the new format. Make or get a tool to convert (incoming) JPEG images to the new format and tell your users to use it because the new format will load faster. Fairly rapidly - a few years there will only be a few hold outs. And they're your rump problem.

If you're running an archive site or service, then yes you've probably got a more complex problem.

Images from external tools. May be more of a question. But if this is a genuinely useful tool then your normal patching and upgrading should cover it before you're down to the rump of users.

2 days ago
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Raspberry Pi In Space

RockDoctor Re:Quick question (56 comments)

For instance, many ICs are manufactured with depleted boron as a semiconductor dopant and in the borophosphosilicate glass insulating layer.

Since you're talking about isotopically purifying a material, that's going to be a damned sight more expensive than normal-isotope-mix boron. You've got the relatively large mass difference working on your side - 7.7% mass difference (borane) compared to (238+6*19)/(235+6*19) = 0.08% difference (UF6) - but you're still looking at a pretty big job. Even simple heavy water is thousands of times more expensive than normal reagent grade water (11.8% mass difference for D2O versus H2O).

I hadn't thought about the (relative) reactivity of 10B from a radiation-sensitivity point of view. But we've been using it to date the exposure of rock surfaces to the sky for a couple of decades now, and a damned useful tool for archaeological and geomorphological studies it is too. It's up there with thermoluminescence for dating fire damage.

2 days ago
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Raspberry Pi In Space

RockDoctor Re:Hope he doesn't lose power (56 comments)

We have near 100 of these in the field and while I've bench-powerfailed them to no avail, out in the real world they die due to fs corruption.

Hang on, let's get that straight : if you pull the power when they're on the bench, then they don't fail, but if they suffer a power fail in the field they do suffer corruption and freeze/ hang/ fail to boot?

Obviously you've tried this, but are you sure that you're pulling the power on the bench while they're in mid-write? Because if you're doing ostensibly the same thing in two circumstances, but with different results, then I'd have to wonder if you're actually doing THE SAME THING both on the bench and in the field.

The way you've described it, it shouldn't do that.

Are the field and lab conditions - e.g. temperature - also the same. I could see temperature having a significant effect on write speeds on (flash) memory. It sounds perplexing. And quite worrying if your troubleshooting isn't replicating something that seems so simple. I know that troubleshooting can be a real time-sink, but if you're getting lots of these fails then the time to service the fialed field modules must add up too.

Are the Pis also under the same load conditions - data-logging, streaming, whatever - on the bench as in the field?

2 days ago
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Proposed Theme Park Would Put BBC Shows On Display

RockDoctor Sounds ... less than tempting. (78 comments)

Planned by beancounters, themselves hired by luvvies ; funded by sand-jockeys ; built on the Plains of Englandshire.

I'd rather boil my own head.

2 days ago
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Proposed Theme Park Would Put BBC Shows On Display

RockDoctor Re:Hyacinth ... (78 comments)

I for one want to meet Mrs. Bucket, ulp, sorry Bouquet ...

He's a builder and excellent folk-singer who lives and works in North Yorkshire. Answers to "Pete".

No, I'm not joking.

I had to have the programme explained to me, never having watched more than 30 seconds of the repellent waste of electrons, but once I'd seen enough to recognise the character traits of Bucket-gob (the original) and Mrs Bouquet (the fictional derivative), the comparison was obvious. One or other of the (original) script-writers lives in the same street.

2 days ago
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Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG

RockDoctor Re:Better comparison site (377 comments)

Fair question.

People who use JPEG for images with text in them should be burned at the stake, slowly. Partly because it would solve a significant chunk of the population bomb - there are a lot of them around. But mostly because it is just WRONG. However an image handling protocol which can handle text reasonably well and photographic images very well, would be a very good thing.

4 days ago
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Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG

RockDoctor Re:Ok, looks good (377 comments)

We have more bandwidth

You clearly don't have to pay for serious bandwidth. If you were running a significant site, you might have remembered re-processing your GIFs to PNGs, partly because of the threat of patent bullshit, and partly to reduce your bandwidth costs. And the effect works in the other direction too - on my work site (currently moving from West Africa to Turkey) we have 1Mbps available for all business and personal purposes of the up to 180 POB (Personnel On Board). That's not going to be upgraded - why would it?) But chopping a considerable chunk off the size of each photographic image loaded would have a considerable effect.

You may not have a use case for this sort of change. But other people do.

4 days ago
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Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG

RockDoctor Re:Ok, looks good (377 comments)

As soon as Photoshop and Firefox/Chrome start supporting it I can see widespread adoption.

Irfanview would be the crunch application for me. And yes, I might well make a new payment (I've already brought one copy) if it would fund the writing of the module.

Up to 14 bits/pixel/channel (does that include the alpha-channel? If TFA included it, I missed it.) would certainly be a major step up from 8bppc in JPEG, though I do occasionally handle data from 16bppc astronomical sensors, and I wonder about HDR photography, so I wonder if pushing up to 16bppc is feasible. We do have FITS for handling the astronomical data, and TIFF for medical up-to-32bppc imaging, so it's not necessarily unworkable. Actually, considering that this is, by design, a lossy format ... my worries are a non-issue. For serious work, you'd never use JPEG or BPG or any lossy format.

Bellard seriously knows his coding. Impressive breadth of contributions to the world over the years.

4 days ago
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Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG

RockDoctor Re:This really is a man's world... (377 comments)

(prepare to be offended!)

By what? The fact that the nips have been flashed over. Pathetic! (the entire waste of electrons over this).

4 days ago
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MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

RockDoctor Re:Just wondering... (416 comments)

Actually, the twin research (by Mengele, mostly at Auschwitz) wasn't much use. On the other hand, pretty much every piece of cold protection clothing and equipment that has been designed and put into production since the 1940s uses some results of the freezing-Jews-&-homos experiments (mostly at Dachau). They might not know that they're using those results - the whole industry is rife with re-inventing the wheel - but the basic research work was done by killing prisoners (for a variety of crimes which were variants of "disagreeing with the people with guns) in Nazi Germany.

Your point is fair, but your example is pretty weak.

4 days ago
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How One Man Changed the Ecology of the Great Lakes With Salmon

RockDoctor Re:chilean sea bass (118 comments)

How so? They just look like fish to me. Medium-sized, carnivorous fish. Don't seem to have any particularly objectionable habits.

about a week ago
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Uber Banned In Delhi After Taxi Driver Accused of Rape

RockDoctor Re: rename it (180 comments)

Those are some fair use cases. But I rather doubt that there would be enough business there to support several 40 G$ companies. But that is the investor's look - out.

The government (for all known values of "government") will want their pound of flesh or 20% VAT or 10% GST or whatever they call it. But they will want their tax, regardless of your wishes.

about a week ago
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Uber Banned In Delhi After Taxi Driver Accused of Rape

RockDoctor Re:rename it (180 comments)

So, if this concept of "free market" works (a big "if" ; Like I said, Adam Smith was an Edinburian, and thus remains suspect), the higher fares that you say are available through Uber will allow some licensed taxi-owner to propose to a token holder that he rent the token for $225/day, and the token holder will, in the spirit of "free enterprise", decline the extra $25/day and refuse to allow Uber into the city.

Sorry, I'm having a problem here. Something doesn't add up. There is money in the system that you've not described. (Or the principles of "free enterprise" and "capitalism" are inaccurate descriptions of the world. And we know, as an article of faith, that the latter can't be true - 300 million Americans can't be wrong!)

about a week ago
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Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

RockDoctor Re:6. Profit, too (367 comments)

Niven is one of the few that spend great detail on the non-humanoid aliens. Both anatomically and culturally.

In Known Space, true. Sadly, I'm ploughing through Niven's recent collaboration with Greg Benford ("Bowl of Heaven", ISBN 0765366460) and thinking very much along the lines that Charlie is. Much though I like Niven's work (hint: I found it on the "N" shelf, where I was looking, not on the "B" shelf where I wasn't looking), I'm reading it and thinking "the Emperor's New Ringworld". I'll leave the rest as spoiler - but I haven't finished reading it yet.

What do I think of Charlie Stross's work? I'd used up my kilogramme new book allowance before I got to the "S" shelf, otherwise I'd probably have succumbed to the temptation. The last time I met Charlie - at a Linux User Group meeting - I hadn't read any of his stuff ; when I meet him again, I will feel obligated to buy him a pint.

about two weeks ago
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Uber Banned In Delhi After Taxi Driver Accused of Rape

RockDoctor Re:Culpability? (180 comments)

An Indian male can apparently be turned into a rapist by merely seeing a clothing store dummy. How on earth can they be expected to control themselves when a real live woman is in a car with them?

The author of "Jesus'n'Mo" has, ummm, covered this already. http://www.jesusandmo.net/2007...

about two weeks ago
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Uber Banned In Delhi After Taxi Driver Accused of Rape

RockDoctor Re:rename it (180 comments)

Übermensch : man on top ?

about two weeks ago
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Uber Banned In Delhi After Taxi Driver Accused of Rape

RockDoctor Re:rename it (180 comments)

the taxi industry is one case which needs major reform.

In your country, that may be the case. I simply do not think that is the case in my country, and certainly not in my city.

about two weeks ago
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Uber Banned In Delhi After Taxi Driver Accused of Rape

RockDoctor Re:rename it (180 comments)

and the fee was a "suggested donation" (this gets around the professional driver legality which is killing their model), then I'd be a regular user

In this country, accepting payment for driving is "driving for hire". Regular vehicle insurance is for driving for "social, domestic and pleasure" purposes ("SDP"), which includes getting to and from work, but does not generally include driving as an essential part of your employment. So, you're OK for commuting to and from work ; you're OK for driving to the restaurant for lunch ; you're probably OK if you have to drive to the offices on the other side of town for a meeting. But if you drive around 3 clients/ suppliers collecting and dropping off materials for 3 hours a day, you're probably driving outside the terms of your insurance policy. Which means that you're driving un-insured.

Obviously, there are issues of verification. But the more driving you do, the more likely you are to fall outside the "SDP" categories.

There are a lot of companies who do things like hiring housewives to spend the time between school runs doing parcel deliveries in their cars. And there have been several cases of such employees (technically they're self-employed sole traders, individually responsible for their own companies following the laws) having a crash with a pile of parcels in the car, and this being spotted by an investigating police officer.
"Are you delivering these parcels for 'YouDeliveryCo', Mrs Bloggs?"
"Errr, yes. Is there a problem, Constable?"
"Can I check your insurance details, please?[Few minutes phone calls]I'm arresting you for driving without insurance. Your insurance doesn't cover you for driving for hire."

If your proposed "suggested donation" system started to happen, then you'd see exactly the same situation happening again.

Yes, there is an implication of the above. If you share a car with a buddy for the weekend to go walking/ cycling/ away/ whatever, you're skating on the edges of "driving for hire". And it's true : you are skating the edges. If it is something you do every so often, then it's just not going to be detected. But if you're doing it often enough to make a living at it, then you're almost certainly going to have enough crunches, grinds and scrapes that your insurance company is going to notice. And yes, the insurance companies do talk to one another, and yes, you did agree to them doing that when you signed up for your current insurance policy. (If you scored the condition out, they'd decline the policy. And they talk to each other about declined policies too.)

about two weeks ago
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Uber Banned In Delhi After Taxi Driver Accused of Rape

RockDoctor Re:rename it (180 comments)

Since the cities core is fairly wealthy, they are willing to pay more for a cleaner, quicker, and more reliable service.

So, since higher fares are available through Uber, the higher-standards (self-imposed) licensed taxi drivers are moonlighting to Uber and buying out their own tokens (or whatever the system is locally)?

It's a serious question. OP here, and locally we're debating whether to allow Uber into our country and city (an alternative would be to let one of Uber's competitors in, if they actually agree to improve adherence to our existing taxi standards system). One would hope that the theory of the "free market" would prevail, but since the theory of the "free market" originated just down the road (Smith was from Auld Reekie), we've always been decidedly sceptical of it (weird folk in Edinburgh. You'll have had your tea then?)

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Uber driver accused of rape in India

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about two weeks ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "BBC News are reporting that a 26-year old Indian woman is alleging rape against a driver for the embattled Uber transport-managing company.

In a post on the Uber blog, one "Saad Ahmed" implicitly admits that the driver was a Uber driver, the the lift was arranged through Uber's service, and that the full range of Uber's safety mechanisms had been applied to his employment, and by implication, that Uber accepts some culpability for putting this (alleged) rapist into contact with his (alleged) victim. (The police have reported that medical evidence is that a rape took place, though who performed the rape remains an allegation.)

Going on previous Uber performance, can we expect the driver to be working again tonight, and the spokesman making such inconvenient admissions to be unemployed? That would sound about the level of PR skill of Uber's senior management — as currently constituted. They've managed to turn me from a potential supporter to someone who will be voting against Uber being allowed into my city or country."
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Danish researchers develop oxygen absorbtion/release chemical

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about two weeks ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "Contrary to recent stories such as a "tankless SCUBA system" which depended on Unobtanium to filter oxygen from sea water, a team at University of Southern Denmark have been developing a range of materials that can reversibly bind onto oxygen, and then release it under different conditions. While still a distance from full implementation as a system, this is the sort of chemical that would work for breathing systems.

Very sensibly, they talk of initial uses in fault-tolerant circumstances such as providing enhanced oxygenated air from portable systems rather than going straight to highly critical (if attention-grabbing) products.

The compounds in use are a whole family of cobalt-organic compounds with some inorganic components. By varying the inorganic components they can change absorption and desorption rates by factors of around a thousand, suggesting ways that the necessary charge and discharge cycle could be achieved."
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Life insurance restrictions for Space Tourists

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about a month and a half ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "Reuters are reporting that there are changes afoot in the terms of life insurance contracts which will require additional premiums for "space tourists". While not likely to be a disabling issue for the industry — the statistics for astronauts dying in flight are not that bad — it is an issue that people considering such a jaunt will need to address. Obviously this has been brought to the fore by the unfortunate crash of the Virgin Galactic craft under test."
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Car thieves and insurers vote on keyless car security

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about 2 months ago

RockDoctor (15477) writes "The BBC are reporting that Britain's car thieves, rapidly followed by Britain's car insurance companies, have been expressing their opinions on the security of keyless car entry and/or control systems. The thieves are happy to steal them (often using equipment intended for dealer maintenance of the vehicles) and in consequence the insurance companies are refusing to insure such vehicles (or to accept new policies on such vehicles) unless they are parked overnight in underground (or otherwise secured) car parks.

So, I guess I won't be considering buying one of those for another generation. If ever."
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Micro$loth to sack 18,000 workers

RockDoctor RockDoctor writes  |  about 5 months 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 5 months 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 10 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 a year 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 a year 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 a year 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 a year 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  |  about a year and a half ago

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  |  about a year and a half ago

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  |  about a year and a half ago

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?"

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 10 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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