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World's Largest Amphibious Aircraft Goes Into Production In China

nukenerd Re:Why? (85 comments)

the only reason flying boats fell out of use is the range of land based aircraft increased sufficiently that the ability to land and refuel on the water was no longer a strength, and the ability to have a streamlined fuselage is an efficiency and speed advantage over seaplanes.

That's two reasons. How about also the fact that more dry land runways were built as time went on.

You also need to consider the imperial background of the Great Powers. The British Empire (and the French and US Empires too) included large numbers of small islands in the Caribbean and the Pacific, each with a post office, a local government official, a bit of trade, sea around them, a jetty, and no airstrip. The flying boats were ideal for carrying the post and lighter trade items which got there faster than by the monthly (if you were lucky) cargo steam ship.

Once these places got their independence, typically in the 1950's, they were no longer an Imperial responsibility but neither could they support a commercial air service of any sort at the time. End of flying boats.

2 days ago
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World's Largest Amphibious Aircraft Goes Into Production In China

nukenerd Re:Why? (85 comments)

The Hercules, aka Spruce Goose, is not amphibious: it's a seaplane, period.

What is the difference? I'm interested.

2 days ago
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Verizon's Offer: Let Us Track You, Get Free Stuff

nukenerd Re:Let me get this straight... (75 comments)

They're offering me discounts on stuff I probably don't need

My daughter (aged 10 at the time) filled in a paper-based marketing survey on the promise that you would get rewarded with 1000 GBP (but I'll use $$) in vouchers. Seemed too good to be true, but they were true to their word! A thick wad of vouchers came. The vouchers were something like :

.. $100 off a new Rolls Royce
.. $100 off a new house
.. $50 off recarpeting my whole house
.. $50 off having a swimming pool installed
...$50 off a world cruise
.. $5 off some hotel in Singapore
.. $5 off at some restaurant in the North of Scotland
.. $1 off beauty treatment at some place in Northern Ireland
.. $1 off a life subscription to a church magazine
.. One penny off budgerigar food
.. and so on

I had the last laugh though. Everything my daughter put down was a joke, like saying (in my name) I kept weasels (some people do). I got free copies of a quarterly Weasel magazine for the next two years

about a week ago
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China Has More People Going Online With a Mobile Device Than a PC

nukenerd Re:Long live the 'desktop' and mobile 'laptop'. (58 comments)

I own what was once a state-owned apartment in a decent sized Chinese city ... The place has two bedrooms with a combined tv/dining room. Both bedrooms are reasonably sized .. with space for a desk and chair. I don't see why they cant put a computer on the desks?

Sounds like a rabbit hutch to me. Maybe fine if a computer is the only thing you need room for, but some people have other parts to their lives.

about a week ago
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Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

nukenerd Re:advertisement doesn't work (394 comments)

Correlation != Causation, always. When a company does an advertising campaign they very often persuade shopkeepers to stock more of their stuff "Because there is going to be a big demand for it when the public see our advertising". Therefore, someone buying at random, like I buy soap for example, is more likely to pick up the item in question just by chance.

OK, you could say the advertising does have an effect as its existence is a lever to get shopkeepers to stock more of the stuff, and I don't doubt that some buyers are influenced, but IMHO the effect is not as great as the admen like to assume.

about two weeks ago
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Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

nukenerd Re:You dorks (394 comments)

Your entire post is wrong based simply on the fact that soap operas are a thing

That's in the USA. Adverts are confined to their own time slot in the UK, and when that comes around it is generally clearly recognisable. It is the point at which I flip through some other channels and watch the BBC news for a few minutes, or even cat videos (anything is better than ads, and there is a channel that's mostly pets doing funny things).

Funny, but in the UK soap operas are still called soap operas, but most people don't realise how the term originated.

about two weeks ago
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Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

nukenerd Wrong (394 comments)

FTFA :- "Everyone gets that advertising is what powers the internet, and that our favorite sites wouldn't exist without it"

Wrong. My favourite web sites are my own ones, and they have no advertising.

about two weeks ago
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$10 Million Lawsuit Against Wikipedia Editors "Stragetically" Withdrawn

nukenerd Re:Wikimedia SCREWED UP (51 comments)

Anyone can criticize after a mistake was made. It requires true subject matter competence to predict and warn.

What if the GP had not heard of this case until now? Regard it as predicting and warning for future cases.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

nukenerd Re:How Many Employees are Required? (272 comments)

If you opened a CLI in W95 and typed "ver" it would reply "DOS 7".

no it would not. ..... It says "Windows 95. [Version 4.00.950]" I just booted [it] to double-check.

I believe that early versions of W95 did respond with "DOS 7", and I wrote that on the basis of a review I read in a PC mag when it first came out. Perhaps they were reviewing a beta. Must admit I never used W95, but I do have W98 in a VM, just tried it, and it does indeed respond with something like you say :-)

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

nukenerd Re:How Many Employees are Required? (272 comments)

To be fair, Windows has had an issue that many other OS's haven't really had. It had to maintain compatibility with a ridiculous array of third party apps

I don't believe that MS gave a shit about the compatability of legacy 3rd party apps with new versions of Windows. It was the 3rd parties' problem, as likewise compatible drivers were the hardware makers' problem. With the MS monopoly, the 3rd parties had to keep up or die.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

nukenerd Re:How Many Employees are Required? (272 comments)

Windows 95, was based on the DOS architecture.

Right, just like Linux was based on the LILO architecture.

Windows 95/98/ME were basically DOS architecture plastered with layers of cruft to get over the memory limitations and to get them to run some stuff in a half-arsed 32-bit way, and a GUI. If you opened a CLI in W95 and typed "ver" it would reply "DOS 7". They were Windows for DOS, and a train wreck.

They were swept away by NT/XP, which were a new and separate pedigree, long after Windows for DOS should have had its life support switched off.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

nukenerd Zero (272 comments)

I wish

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

nukenerd Re:They need exactly 63 999 employees (272 comments)

At the time Bill Gates made that absurd comment he was right.

Much as I dislike Gates, I have to point out that it is generally accepted that he never said that particular gaffe.

[it was enough] For the applications people were making at the time.

It was still stupid, even if it was enough for apps at that time, because it was an architectural limit. The architecture put stuff like display memory and BIOS extensions in fixed areas above the 640k instead of leaving it open ended. The tacky XT/AT addressing scheme was 20-bit and could actually reach 1024k, but only the lower 640k was working RAM, with that fixed stuff above it.

Would not have been so bad if the PC makers and Microsoft had not been so slow to abandon this primitive architecture.

about two weeks ago
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French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

nukenerd Re:Barbara Streisand award (424 comments)

the sort of thing that you're proposing (negative reviews of something you've never tried) that would have me cheering in the court.

I did not comment about the food or service. In my "review" I asked people to boycott the place because of the fact that they had sued a critic. So whether I had ever tried eating there is irrelevant. Seems clear to me.

I must say though that some of the other negative comments, which were clearly also triggered by this sueball issue, were along the lines of "the food is shit" etc. I would not do that : that is dishonest.

about two weeks ago
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French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

nukenerd Re:Barbara Streisand award (424 comments)

I've just left a negative review on Tripadvisor, and see that many others are doing the same. Join in!

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

nukenerd Re:Wind? Solar? (710 comments)

... nuclear is dirty. Until there's a failsafe solution to radiation leaks and nuclear waste storage, it will always be perceived as dirty.

Even if there is a "failsafe solution to radiation leaks", whatever you understand by that, people will remain against nuclear as long as the scaremongers bang on about it, which is their plan of course. As a nuclear power station engineer, with particular responsibility for safety, I can tell you that the plants already have failsafe features against radiation leakage to the extent that they are safer than most other human activities.

As for waste storage, it is a political problem, not a technical one.

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

nukenerd Re:user error (710 comments)

[I drive] with the cruise control on at every possible time (most cars have a feature that allows you to nudge your speed slightly faster/slower, which is more fuel efficient than disengaging it in order to adjust your speed.)

Eh? Why more efficient? Cruise control does nothing you can't do with your foot. Not on my car anyway, where the cruise actuator pulls the same throttle lever as the throttle pedal does.

And by the way, modern cars are so low emission that some of them actually clean up the air around them.

Miraculous, the Second Law of Thermodynamics broken at last. So they suck in CO2, breathe out Oxygen, and shit carbon bricks do they? I must be getting out of touch with progress.

about two weeks ago
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Public To Vote On Names For Exoplanets

nukenerd Re:Why so many restrictions? (127 comments)

I'm pretty sure that the Americas were named differently once. Well, the native population will simply have to get used to a new name

Actually, untravelled natives do not usually have a name for where they live - they don't need one, it is just "here". "Britain" was so named by the Romans, not the Britons. "England" means the "Land of the Angles", not the sort of name you give to your own place but is what a non-Angle would say.

In the UK, the most common names for rivers are "Ouse" and "Avon". They simply mean "River" in old languages. When I was a kid I lived by the River Wandle. Unless you were explaining it to an outsider, no-body ever referred to it in speech as "The Wandle" it was always just "the river".

about two weeks ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

nukenerd Re:Why? (753 comments)

The thug prowling around in the woods can take and spend my $20s

How many $20's do you take with you into the woods?

about two weeks ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

nukenerd Re:Why? (753 comments)

Why would you ever want a cashless society?

So you can audit and authorize where it goes. I can't audit a guy stealing cash from my wallet.

Audit all you like, you still might not get it back. Hell, they can't even stop most large-scale internet scams when you would think it easy to audit the trail.

A mugger could take at most about $50 from me (its equivalent - I am in the UK in fact, and in a rural area where muggings are almost unheard of). However a plastic card scam might lift about three orders of magnitude more than that.

about two weeks ago

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