* Posts by Fred

41 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Nov 2007

Virgin Galactic tests laughing-gas powered rocket motor


Off to the dentist, then the moon?

well - since my auto is equipped with HTBP, maybe I should stop by the dentists office for a bit of a top off, and then drop by Moon base Alpha.

Flames - well thats what will get me there - Right?

'Air fuelled' battery tech invented in Scotland


Dont forget...

<ensign> - Captain, that last shot disabled the main matter-anti matter reactor

<Captain>... Emergency Power Scotty!!

mines the one with the Di-Lithium (Li2?) Crystals in the pocket :)

Apple shareholders get 'say on pay'


As I recall...

It will be tough to reduce Steve Job's salary -

$1 / yr

Mine's the one with the greenback in the pocket

Private ID scans leave fetish club-goers feeling exposed



We the people -

stand within the ruins of once proud society,

it has become jail, a jail intended to out live us all.

GM Volt to get regular software-style updates

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Volt vs other Electrics

Aptera claims a 100 mile range on a smaller (10-13kwhr) battery pack than Volt (16kwhr)

Aptera claims (2h) 300 miles a gallon for their plugin hybrid, I have yet see a mileage number for GM's volt.

Miles Automotive (Canada), also claims 100+ miles (2 hours) running time for their electric.

Come on GM - give us crap is NOT going to fix your company


@Pete J

Steel has all the good things you mention


Aluminum (Al U Min e um), has similar traits, is lighter for similar strength, AND - it doesnt corrode in the same manner or speed as steel.

I dont know about the EU - but in the states - if there is a single snow flake in the air there are tons, metric or otherwise, of Sodium Cloride or Calcium Cloride on the roads. Either of which *eats* steel.

That said - many of the newer plastics, ceramics, and fiber compounds exceed both of these materials in strength to weight ratios, and they dont corrode at all. Although recycling them may be more difficult.

California to get 'space age' three-wheel EV


Some options NOT mentioned

the 2h (extended range electric) carries a small petrol generator - claimed at 300 miles (about 480 km)/gal

2h is to go into production a year or 3 after the 2e.

base price is 25k, 45k probably includes the 2h option - as the original pricing structure was set at 26k (full electric) and 30k (extended range) -all prices USD

As for safety - F1, indy car both have vehicles that are capable of travel in excess of 200 mph, weigh in at or under 1500 lbs, and *most* crashes drivers walk away.

Since the vehicle has 3 vs 4 wheels (in the US anyway) this classifies it as motorcycle rather than a car - the safety standards *are* different. OF COURSE. hard to get a (2 wheeled) motorbike with side impact air bags, or front crumple zones (duh!).

However, as stated - and there are many standard safety features - including airbags.

for those still curious or interested in seeing exactly what you are deriding :


(flash warning)

this is a short test drive video, and a discussion about the construction of the Aptera (www.aptera.com) by one of the designers/founders.

Finally - funding - google

Go - because this is the way to go

Amazon probed by US Mail

Paris Hilton

Junk mailers

If the USPS wanted to make up the deficit they find themselves in they could (and I expect other postal services could as well):

- STOP charging reduced rates for bulk (aka Junk) mail.

this would have the following benefits:

1 - less junk mail

2 - less paper etc in everyone's post box

3 - even at a reduced level of junk mail the postal service would still net more $ since ive seen bulk mail priced as low as $0.08 rather than the $0.43 for a first class letters I send.

even Paris can see the benefit of this - she already has enough credit cards

Ares I manned rocket section explodes in testing


Solid fuel????

The primary stage is to be solid fuel?!


once lit there is no off, there is no throttle either

Solid fuel is either on - full burn, or off

Seems like an accident waiting to happen.

Force 1800 superhurricanes snapped on far-off world


Seen it already :)

Anyone ever watch The Chronicles of Riddick :)

Isn't the 'prison planet' in a similar state ?

Flames -- well you can figure that out :)

Formula One kinetic energy recovery rigs debut

Paris Hilton

160,000 RPM !!!!

Holy Shrapnel, Batman!!!

What happens to the stored kinetic energy (in the fly wheel) when the auto takes a wrong turn and ends up embedded in nearest barrier??

Some 80's(?) work on storing energy in flywheels found that 3 or 4 METERS of steel reinforced concrete was needed to stop/contain a fragmenting steel flywheel of a few hundred stone, and only spinning at a few thousand rpms.


Depending on spin direction, it might make taking some turns a bit difficult (see BMW drive shaft driven motorbikes - they turn left REALLY well -- read that as will slam you into the ground)

Paris - because even she knows to stay away from things spinning THAT fast. :)

Coppers nab more mobe-yapping drivers



For those who dont see the simple logic in shutting down the phone after 12kph (8mph)

there could be easy exceptions for emergency numbers (in the states 911 - no clue what it is over there).

again - as I said earlier -



a FINAL solution to this

ALL phones have a GPS (or something similar) in them -

require the phones to SHUT OFF if traveling more than :

12kph (~8mph)

this allows talking while walking, or even running and the ability to call the office/Missus when caught in a never ending line of stopped traffic.

BUT - stops talking while driving -

Simple - sorted -

implement please

Texting worse for drivers than drink or drugs


Solution - talking too

ALL cellphones are now equipped with GPS -

lets USE it.

The GPS can be used to determine the velocity of the phone.

If (velocity > Max_Allowed_Movement_Speed)

Disconnect_Call = True

Allow_Incoming_Call = False

Allow_Outgoing_Call = False

Allow_Emergency_Call = True

Disconnect_Text_Message = True

Allow_Text_Outgoing_Message = False

Allow_Text_Incoming_Message = False


<all of above = true>

end if

Max_Allowed_Movement_Speed = 8 mph/12 kph

this speed allows usage in stopped (very slow) traffic, while walking, running.

Reg readers rage at comment icon outrage


Tinfoil Hat

need something besides a black heli :)

Chinese boffins crack invisible-shed window problem


seeing though invisibility

the meta materials are very specific in the frequency of light that they make 'invisible'.

So if you create a large band width meta material, you could create a small frequency gap (IR, or UV come to mind for visible light cloaks) pass through, then frequency shift that light, or use goggles that "see" that frequency.

This is your "peep hole". No black spot, no floating eye balls.

FBI sets out case against anthrax 'rogue scientist'

Black Helicopters

Funny thing - Facts AFTER death

If the FBI's case was "so good" - why wasnt he charged (long ago)

Could it be rather that he was a handy schmuck to foist this off on? especially since he "committed suicide" and cant defend himself.

Or maybe he *was* involved, was asked/blackmailed/paid to give the material to someone else in the Gov't employ (possibly covertly).

either way --

the timing is all too suspicious

NASA spies liquid in Titanic lake


More Seriously

This means that it is no longer a requirement for probes, and other space faring craft to carry all the fuel they need.

It is reasonable(?) to be able to send a craft to Titan/Saturn and DESIGN in a return trip; DESIGN in a stop by for a 'top up' for extended exploration of the Saturn (or other) systems.

Of course SF stories talk about fly-bys of gas giants to scoop Hydrogen from the top of their atmospheres for fuel, and an un-manned craft *might* be able to do this - BUT - our gas giants have a sufficiently large gravitational pull, and electrical/radio/radiation emissions that it would seem more likely to to lose the craft.

Titan is a much smaller world and therefore has a much smaller gravitational well,

and (as far as I know) no, or FAR FAR less emissions, making close approach reasonable.

I doubt that a "pipe-line" from Titan to Earth would ever be financially reasonable - but it might be useful for extended trips around the solar system

The return of Killer Chlorine

Paris Hilton

@ Jeff -- MRI

Well, being that I am in the US (not UK) I was unaware of that side issue.

But as a humorous (further afield) story...

I live in a city with has 2 very large universities. One is CMU you get to guess where I live now : ), and a number of smaller ones. Plus a massive health care system, spun off from one of the big Universities.

Anyway - as some of you may be aware MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) was not always called MRI. It was originally called (and in speech I still do refer to it this way) NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) - sometimes an I was added (Imaging).

As NMR was being brought to market, there was a building built in which a company/research center was placed. The center had prominent signage -

"NMR Laboratory Research Center" -- or some such.

When passing through the community in which this center was housed one day - I find the roadway blocked by protesters. OK - protesters can be good.

Well these protesters obviously had absolutely ** NO ** clue - As they were protesting : The NMR center.

Why? you might ask would they protest a new imaging technic which can help lots of people.

They were protesting - all Carrying signs that said (or to this effect) :


"Close the Nuclear Research Center"

Paris - because EVEN SHE knows better

This protest (or other ones like it) is most likely the reason for the name Change to MRI from NMR.


@ James

What I remember seeing was:

- a Cyclist wearing a helmet appears more "professional" to the driver.

- the driver then gives the cyclist less room during an overtake.

- less room = more chance of contact between large 1+ tonne object and small <120kg cyclist

There is also probably an element of "... i'm wearing a helmet so I'm safer from damage, and can take more chances..." effect on the cyclist side.

IT Angle

@ Peter - It angle (or close)

see this article - some bored "researcher" determined they needed some extra exposure in the media -

so Cell phones are (again) a cancer danger -


YET - MRI is not even though the electromagnetic fields involved are 1000s (or more) times as strong.

Microsoft dishes up Mac Office converters

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>The first thing that any sane person forced to use Office 2008 does is to switch on "Always use [Office 2004] Compatability Mode", which means all your docs are saved in good old .doc format, which everyone can read. Why would anyone do differently?

yes - but - even on the Mac most people dont know their heads from.....

and MS sets the default to OXML (they do this on the trial versions too - both platforms)

So... until you actually send one of these to someone else you may not realize that it is indeed OXML, and if your running the trial version - which has expired..

Creek, boat - no paddle

Cambridge woman in £90m 'leccy bill shocker



SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission in the US) would want to take a look at a company that posted collectables of 180 million USD, then "disappears" that amount, not to mention 4.5 trillion.

if the numbers sat there over the end of a quarter (or other reporting period) they WOULD affect company valuation. Looks like stock manipulation to me :)

Does GB have such a an organization - to over see the stock exchange - to remove market manipulation? If so - has this organization looked into any of these companies?


@ R Gordon

Now that ** is ** a legally recognized unit of power usage : )

Aliens - 'cause who else has death stars ?

Quantum crypto targeted in attack of the clones



entangle the data stream, by attacker, using a known source.

Then - either

A you can get a result as the data stream is resolved (whatever that may entail) as the entangled data you kept is resolved as well.

B if the original source data is not resolved - ie they end user thinks that there was a compromise - then you can safely attempt to resolve the data yourself, as the original will have been thrown away. This may not give the exact key, but will/can provide information of the key system

EFF pushes court to block unmasking of anonymous MySpace user


What about...

those cases where 2 people have the same name??

do yo really think that there is only ONE George Bush? and that all other George Bushes agree 100% with the one who should not be president?

While I dont know the ass gov't official who is using public money to file what appears to be a private legal matter, no one seems to have taken the consideration that maybe those accounts are owned by people who's real names are the same - while at the same time NOT agreeing with the ass's agenda (such as wastefully spending public money on frivilous law suites).

Online payment standards fall on deaf websites


Discover has a useful service ---

you can go to their web site - login of course - and get them to give you a one time use CC number, with CV

you then use THIS value for your online purchase - use it once - forget it.

if it gets compromised - who cares it only works once.

Obviously not much use for subscriptions though

How ComScore can track your mouse clicks


As with most internet/privacy issues

this software ONLY runs on a PC -

use a Mac or *nix and then "driveby" downloads cant happen

US Congress questions legality of Phorm and the Phormettes

Paris Hilton

its about media - not caring

When (if) this becomes an issue covered by "big media" then this WILL be an issue. However, the media on this side of the pond is owned by the very corporations that stand to make the most from targeted adverts.

- they either own the web sites (MSNBC)

- or they are the ones placing the adverts (General Electric)

and so have a vested interest in keeping this (and many other stories) under wraps - or at least quite as is possible.

Paris cause she knows more about targeted adverts than most

Adaptec makes low-end RAID gear ROC hard

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Nearly useless

RAID 0, 1, or 10 - bah

RAID 0 lose a drive lose all your data

RAID 1 - a good backup is better - more cost effective and you can (in concept) recover [many?] previous versions of your data.

RAID 10 - at least if you lose a drive you dont lose all your data.

If your doing Hardware RAID - and NOT using RAID 3, 5 or "higher" you are

spinning your own platters.

MySpace stripped of myspace.co.uk domain victory


@ Go back to trademark law

exactly -

if I trademark a name "FreakyFridayFantasies" - both with and without spaces - today.

And some company starts marketing a product with the same name - then they are SoL (excrement out of luck). This **should** be no different with domain registrations, First registered - First served, REGARDLESS of what I do with the domain; Porn, ads, nothing, whatever.

To bring this back to the topic at hand - if Myspace (or apple as has been pointed out) failed to register their preferred domain name in the *.co.uk (or any other TLD) it should be that company's problem <end>.

That company then needs to enter negotiations, and pony up the bucks to buy it <end>.

BOFH: Licensing model


for those who read such bollocks


By reading this email, you agree, on behalf yourself and your employer, to release me from all obligations and waivers arising from any and all NON-NEGOTIATED agreements, licenses, terms-of-service, shrinkwrap, clickwrap, browsewrap, confidentiality, non-disclosure, non-compete and acceptable use policies ("BOGUS AGREEMENTS") that I have (or may have, or might in the future) entered into with your employer, its partners, licensors, agents and assigns, in perpetuity, without prejudice to my ongoing rights and privileges. You further represent that you have the authority to release me from any BOGUS AGREEMENTS on behalf of yourself and your employer.

Tesla Motors in dirty-tricks suit against Valley electrocar rival


What about...

my personal favorite -


or if your being finicky about actual production try :


Sorry - both sites use flash extensively

Fraud guardian LifeLock accused of fraud


even better

take the magnets from dead hard drives - grind them up - insert into envelope -

magnetic dust + automated letter opening equipment == ???

: )

pengy - cause he's cute

Students win appeal against cyberjihad convictions


@Susan - What about

>Ok, people, it's not that difficult. A freedom fighter fights against military and/or government targets. A terrorist targets civilians to cause, well, terror in the general populace.

And when the entire populace of the country is militarized? As in everyone MUST perform some (1yr 10 yrs whatever) military duty? are they "innocents" (ie invalid targets) after having finished their tour of duty? what about those in the National Guard, those on "call" but not on active duty - are they "innocents" (ie invalid targets)? or are they valid targets ONLY while serving (2 weekends a month or called to active duty)?

What about the Pentagon? was it a "Terrorist target" or was it a legitimate military target (on 9/11/2001)? what about the civilian workers inside? legitimate or not?

Regardless of your current country of residence - if your gov't starts running death squads (ala Central America circa 1980) - who is the terrorist?

What about the US revolution? Im sure the UK considered the 'US Patriots/founding fathers' terrorists. Where they?

CONTEXT and TIME - these are what defines the term Terrorist.

Flames - because its where the entire world is heading

US scientists puncture the ethanol biofuel bubble

Paris Hilton


Hemp (see wiki) - decriminalize it.

Grow it instead of Trees for paper, instead of (or as well as) cotton for clothing, instead of soy for food, and instead of corn for bio-fuels.

Less water requirements, less fertilizer requirements than many (or possibly any) current production crop. Faster growing, and more renewable (yearly or more so) than trees.

an acre of hemp produces 4x or more times the fiber of trees for paper, 2.5 x more fiber for clothing than cotton, the seeds can be crushed for oils which are as healthy (or more so taking into consideration growing requirements) as Soy.

Anything left over can be added to the residuals from corn, wheat, cotton and other current production crops for conversion to ethanol in fermentation process(es).


Alternatively, all of the above residuals can be converted via Pyrolysis (see wiki) to any or all of the following :

- synthetic diesel fuel

- bio-oil: can be used as a fuel, after removal of valuable bio-chemicals that can be used as food additives or pharmaceuticals.

syngas - (flammable mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen)

hydrogen - (remove the CO)

solid char - (charcoal for the barby) - also known as Biochar

Biochar - can be used as fertilizer

Paris because she's as confused as I am as to why this plant is illegal.

IPS leak suggests ID card fingerprint chop

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Just implant an RFID chip at birth in the back of the skull and be done

Bank turns London man into RFID-enabled guinea pig


a Hammer and magnet please

with these tools -every one of these cards I get will mysterously stop functioning

: )

Bush orders NSA to snoop on US agencies

Paris Hilton

Consider -

*Even if* congress blocks the extension or expansion of FISA -

this presidential directive gives the NSA the authority to 'wiretap' EVERY private (US citizen and not) communication with ANY govt body -

Local, state, federal

Paris - 'cause she makes more sense than the drivel Bush is trying to use to pass off this directive

Boffins: Antimatter comes from black holes, neutron stars


Here is a more complete explanation

For those who think that the matter/anti-matter interaction will destroy everything

mass of an electron/positron 9.10938188 × 10-31 kilograms.

E = M C^2

M = 2 x 9.10938188 × 10-31 kg ~ 18.22 x 10-31 kg

C = 300,000 km/s (rounded)

C^2 = 90,000,000,000 (9 x 10^10)

E = 1.6398 x 10-16 kg/meters (if I have my units correct)

This is : ~16.5x10-16 newton/meters, or ~12.16x10-16 Ft/lb (for us 'Mericans)

A fruit fly produces more force flapping a wing.


Black hole -

is a large gravity 'well', true not even light can escape the gravitational pull - BUT - just as every other object of mass - the force of gravity drops off in inverse proportion to the square of the distance from the source.

g = GM/D^2, where G is the gravitational constant.

The point at which the gravity field of a black hole is reduced too, or reaches (depending on your point of view) a required escape velocity equal to the speed of light is called the Schwartzchild Radius, or Event Horizon. Matter at this point or closer to the gravitational source of a black hole can not escape. Any distance farther from the gravitational source, and it is possible for matter to escape the gravitational field of a black hole.


How could a black hole/neutron star produce anti-matter.

1- possibility is, as has been stated before - the "vacuum pressure" of empty space produces virtual particle pairs - near a large gravity field, or potentially near a large enough magnetic field, the particle pairs can be separated, rather than being able to join back together and interact. One 1/2 of the pair enters the Event horizon for example.

2- would be Hawking Radiation - Black holes can evaporate (at least according to Steven Hawking). Hawking radiation is particle emission by a black hole, nothing I can find - quickly - indicates what form this particle would take. If the particle emitted is anti-matter, then it could escape the local area of the black hole along the magnetic field lines.

Both black holes, and neutron stars will have BOTH large gravity fields (duh) and magnetic fields.

Once separated, the magnetic fields will draw the particles apart. Electrons, as we should all know, have a negative charge - hence will be drawn toward one pole of the magnetic field, and Positrons (as we should be able to guess from their name and the fact that they are anti-particles to an electron) are positively charged and will be drawn toward the other pole.

Being very light and in very large magnetic fields, these particles will very quickly accelerate to speeds and energies needed to escape.

Most likely, the escape path will be along the rotational axis of the object - as this is usually where the magnetic poles also lie.

Hope this helps.

Chinese boffins in copper nanotubes acronym outrage


To Properly Image the Copper Nano-Tubes...

you very well might need one of these:

Proton Enhanced Nuclear Induction Spectroscope - (anacronym left to the reader)

The original Paper - (of the same name)

Journal of Chemical Physics, 1972 Val 56, Number 4, page 1776