* Posts by Roger Brown

15 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Nov 2007

McCain: Keep Shuttle flying, don't trust Russia

Roger Brown

experience is a wonderful thing.....

I've recently read that McCain is 70-something, which is supposed to stand in his favour in politics;

I don't know how old Putin is, and given the way he rose to power, he's been there for a long time, too;

Both of these lads are either old enough to have been active during the Cold War or have been influenced by it.....the middle of which is when NASA was created. With some people, the old ways are best because they're familiar, especially when the world changes around the people who don't like the new.

Trouble is, we now need new ways of thinking because all the change that we're creating with our consumptive habits and technology are going to leave us a bit short on the energy/power-supply side.....and we need to adapt to that before we're forced into it.

The ISS is the only space-based facility that the world has right now, and the shuttle-fleet is at least ten years past its sell-by date (never mind being a huge compromise on the original craft-design in the first place).

Given this context, there's hardly a surprise that politics may get stroppy about who's going to service the stations' crews or the station itself.

Phoenix chokes on 'clumpy' Martian soil

Roger Brown

Kim Stanley Robinson.....

.....would be worth reading at this point: Red Mars covered much of the discussion over a peopled-mission to Mars, including the time/boredom of the 6 month trip out and that they'd have to be self-sufficient upon landing......if they landed.

To my knowledge, the International Space Station is Expensive Step One in preparing for a peopled-mission to Mars, since the size of craft needed to get there properly is far too big to launch from Earth's gravity-well.

Before landing on the Moon, the new Nasa could only make educated guesses about the state of the Moon's surface from all those pictures they took. Sending robots wasn't an option then.

They are now. Robots will always go first, 'cos they're expendable and cheaper....and there's only so much room in each robot.

God makes you stupid, researchers claim

Roger Brown

Douglas, where are you?

I thought Douglas Adams sorted this out in the radio version of Hitchhiker's Guide years ago: God vanishes in a puff of logic.

Given the current state of world behaviour, who can tell where the intelligent ones are right now anyway?

Christian Bale signs for Terminator trilogy

Roger Brown
Thumb Down

if people are dumb enough to see this.....

While there's money to be made from re-hashing the same old tired crap, the studios will provide it. Doesn't matter how little sense it makes or how many ideas are stolen from other pictures (almost everything after Revenge of the Jedi qualifies).....the mass audience doesn't seem to care.

Pity that they don't put the same time and effort into something more complex and daring.....or, dare I say, original?

I'm wondering if James Cameron is laughing at all the idiots milking a cybernetic cow, or shaking his head and walking away?

MoD begins full UFO-files public release

Roger Brown

Terry Pratchett moment

As Terry Pratchett once remarked in one his novels (sic): it's amazing how good governments are at covering up UFOs when they're so poor at keeping anything else a secret.

NASA reveals Moon's rugged south pole

Roger Brown

comic relief?

Where's Douglas Adams when we need him?

Unlocking the iPhone for pleasure and profit... revisited

Roger Brown

iPhone in Canada

I am looking forward to having an iPhone, and I'll have to hack it 'cos I'm in Vancouver, Canada and Apple hasn't made any deals with the extortionist mobile-carriers here yet.

I want an iPhone mostly 'cos it's running OS X; half the features are useless to me as I won't be watching movies, sending many texts or even using the phone that often. I also have a digital camera that I rarely use.

I could do with the sat-nav system for work, though that's secondary.

Having this information about how to hack the latest is very encouraging....now I have to find the dosh to buy one.

GM sees future: Cars and drivers full of booze

Roger Brown
Thumb Up

start learning about horses; they've worked before

Well, 'Provoq'' it did....mostly slinging stuff at each other.

The fact is, there is no other power-source on earth that is as plentiful as petrol has been, as cheap to produce and buy, nor as powerful in any quantity. Nothing is going to replace it, and the faster we burn it off the quicker it'll be gone.

Nuclear is a non-starter, as most people noticed in the 80s (though few appear to have learnt from) because we still have spent fuel-rods lying around in badly-maintained facilities that are, in most cases, slowly leaking into watersheds. These are still lethal, and adding more to the existing pile will only aggravate the situation.

Sadly, the demise of petrol for the masses will not be like the demise of other resources; this one is going to change society on the grand scale.

Media convergence think tank seeks its inner Womble

Roger Brown

flowery frases

This 'think tank' is supposed to be dealing with communications-technology, and - by inference - what's being communicated over it.

Given the vague descriptions that provide instruction to the panel (of which any politician would be proud), they're already start out behind: I'm not sure what they're meant to be communicating.

Parliament's security staff lose parliament security data

Roger Brown
Dead Vulture


These are also the people who expect us to trust them enough to elect a new gang every four years......and enough people are dumb enough to do it.

Skype confirms / denies job cuts

Roger Brown


Nobody's caught the invisible footnote that also lies at the heart of most of the good religious books:

These statements are subject to misinterpretation without notice.

UK.gov loses driver ID data

Roger Brown

Not only in the UK

Hot on the heels of the missing CDs comes news that a courier in Canada has lost medical computer-tapes(!), sent from New Brunswick to Victoria, BC.

And these people expect us to trust them with National ID cards information?

Balls blames parents, computers for English literacy slide

Roger Brown

off track....suggestions?

Okay, the government's a joke (systemically) and the 'education' system's equally bad. Time to replace both of them......actually, that's long overdue.

With what do we replace them?

Think of why the education-system came into being: to keep illiterates from falling into the machinery or damaging the machinery during the Industrial Revolution. After that, the theory was that the system was supposed to prepare young people to go into businesses/industry. That might have worked in an era of low-technological change.

Today, only the young are adapting to technology; the older crowd (I'm 44) is still working out how to keep up with it, keep a job/house and pay for the younger crowd to do their thing.

The idea that education prepares anyone for going into the job is now almost a joke as the environment changes while the student's in school training for it.....so they have to re-learn everything that they learnt in the first two years before they are fit to work.

Most of the government labour has no idea of what technology is about or how to use it.....as we've recently witnessed; they're certainly not going to keep up the upgrading-race, nor pay to retrain people when the newest change happens.

I don't have any answers yet; I might have a direction to start looking into, though.

UK gov bans 'terror' suspect from science class

Roger Brown

fear-based reaction

This is illustrating that the fear-based culture we're imposing on everyone makes the 'terrorists' more creative and intelligent than those who're supposed to be 'protecting' us.

I'm more scared of the Western government system of idiocy than I am of being blown up by a terrorist.

Save the BBC - by setting it free

Roger Brown
Thumb Down

selling auntie?

You'll only need to look at TV in other countries to see the difference that BBC makes. I'd far rather pay for the content directly and not have commercials interrupting programming, having writers adapting their style to fit around commercials, or having the commercial-market dictate what sort of programming BBC can air.

Often, the most dangerous and innovative programmes are the ones that BBC can do because they're not beholden to advertisers. Those kinds of programmes often produce huge audiences because everyone else is terrified to make them for fear of offending someone. Then the accolades come, and everyone else has a go at copying them.

For now, I'm in Canada and cannot get BBC....for which I'm deeply saddened. Even with pounds waving in the air, nobody'll provide it to me.

Strikes me that the production problems BBC's having are directly connected to the cost of the structural empire and the talent. Being London-centric must cost the earth, and retaining those popular presenters also. Don't have a way around that, outside of allowing non UK residents to subscribe to BBC in the same fashion as residents do would probably drum up some much needed cash and make a few million people quite happy.