* Posts by Jack

17 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Brits and Yanks struck with embarasment embarrassment


The cost?

Think how much it would cost to translate all the books from the "old" english to the new. Or would we not bother and end up splitting the country into those who can read both and those who can't and thus are denied access to that wealth of information?

Nanotech researchers create the world's smallest writing


@AC 12.44

"From the sounds of it though, they can store information in a subatomic space by manipulating the space around it: that's like saying that I can park my car in a 2ft x 3ft parking space, providing I have the entire car park to myself."

Yes, except that in the same space they can store multiple bits by varying the electron wavelength. Which is more like saying, "I can stack 50 cars in a 2ftx3ft parking space, providing I have the entire car park to myself". (50 being a number i randomly picked from the clear blue as a smallish car-park). Whilst you still need the large amount of space, you can store more information like this than you would have done if you had used all of the space for lining up atoms.

@ whoever said 0.3nm is not subatomic, agreed, partially, it's 3 Angstroms, which isn't smaller than say, a helium atom, but is probably smaller than most atoms. Although you should never classically measure atoms, Heisenberg and all....

Quasar scrutineers use entire galaxy as telescope lens


@R Callan

If you pass a laser through hydrogen at high enough pressure you do indeed measure a shift in the wavelength, this is not friction however but Raman shifting/scattering, however I seriously doubt the pressure of interstellar hydrogen is anywhere like sufficient for this to be a major effect. That said, it would be an experimental limitation as you wouldn't be able to just equate pressure with distance.



What does Zeeman splitting have to do with red-shifting/doppler effects at all?

"@AC 17:24 >>> I understand that it's redshifted because it's moving away from us, and also that the further away it is, the more it's redshifted.<<<

Put like that it's circular logic that begs the question. That's not science."

Not necessarily circular logic because it doesn't necessarily follow that just because movement away causes red-shifting that an increase in distance will increase the red-shift. The increase in red-shift is due to an increase in velocity and only observation tells us that recessional velocity increases with distance.

Oh, and as for Hubble's constant, the generally accepted theory doesn't have it as constant in the way that say pi is constant, but it is constant (across the universe) at any given time. It changes with time in a calculated (by GR i think) manner, but yes, across a human lifetime it's pretty static.

Police collar kid for Wi-Fi pinching



Ignorance of the existence of the law is not a defence, ignorance that what you are doing is against the law sometimes is. e.g., handling stolen goods, if you are unaware that the goods are stolen then that is a defence. I haven't read the Computer Misuse Act so I don't know, but it is possible that being unaware that you have connected to someone else's network is a defence.

French firm intros remix-friendly music format


Am I understanding this right....

This is a little like midi where different instruments/recorded lines are stored as seperate tracks so that as well as choosing a "ska" remix of a song, you could in principle separate out the tracks and create your own mix and even strip individual tracks out of the song allowing you to say isolate the vocal line? That would be kinda cool. If you can just choose to have the file remix itself then it seems less so.

Filesharing teen gets damages reduced in ignorance claim



Downloading it is creating a copy that you have not been authorised to make surely, so yes.

@spegru - she didn't use ignorance as a defence, she used it as mitigation so no problem there, and you have afaik a right in the UK to not self-incriminate, it i your right to silence so I'm not sure what your issue is there either.

All that said, 16 is easily old enough to understand this and it would have taken more than the daughter saying "i didn't know" to convince me.

Do you know how much of your porn is extreme?


Let me get this straight...

"(a) an act which threatens a person’s life

(b) an act which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals,

(c) an act which involves sexual interference with a human corpse, or

(d) a person performing an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive),

and a reasonable person looking at the image would think that any such person or animal was real."

Does this mean that, regardless of extremity, any animated or CGI videos/pictures are entirely legal? Even regardless of how life-like they are, as long as they come with a little scrolling subtitle saying "this is animated". What a daft law.

Boris Johnson bans boozing on London transport


3 quid to travel 200 yards?

Walk! Fair enough really, there isn't exactly a real need to drink on the tube/bus.

The web rip-offs nobody cares about


Is it just me....

"Especially if it's not actually clear that a fraud has been committed, or if it's some kind of civil offence."

or is this a reasonably sensible line for the police to take? If there's no evidence that a crime has been committed then there is little point in investigating as there will be little chance of prosecution, and if it's a civil offence it's not really the business of the police anyway.

Sharp unwraps 'world first' Intel Atom phone


@andy gibson

I believe they have been mainly making lcd panels and televisions, although i do occasionally see the odd person (arguably very odd person) with a sharp mobile.

UK.gov delay means hacking laws are so last century



I don't see why classing a digital camera asa computer would be a problem in that sense, you should need requisite permission to delete photographs just as you would to gain control of a PC and delete files.

Brits split on ID cards



I'm pretty sure that under the law as it stands not identifying yourself to a police officer if asked to do so is an offence and you can be detained until such time as you are able to positively identify yourself (PACE Act I think), so there was really no need for that situation to have happened.

As for border control, there already exists an ID mechanism for that, it's called a passport and I can't see why an ID card would change the situation.

Euro lawyers see tortuous road ahead for Microsoft's Yahoo! bid



Pretty sure before you join the campaign you will want to protest that o and apostrphe abuse gets on your wick, not your wich.

And @Mike Kamermans, most of what you say is probably true, but the fact that they are two American companies won't stop the EU from having a say, if Microsoft wants to continue trading in the EU it will have to abide by EU trade laws, as was demonstrated with the media player debacle.

MPs squeeze science back onto select committee list

Gates Halo

@ P Lee

Whilst it isn't the job of MP's to follow the opinion of those that elected them it is their job to represent them, moreover it is the job of government and parliament to represent the people. That does mean that both in principle and practice you end up with some religious MPs. The UK parliamentary governmental system is structured to not leave too much power in any one individual so the presence of religious members, even in high posts in government shouldn't necessarily translate into religious policies being rigourously followed.

Also, not only is there no real assumption of secularity in government in the UK, the establishment of the church of england and the oath of allegiance presented as the standard option for MPs both entrench religion if not in government then certainly in parliament.

All that said, nice to know that the government does indeed have science policies and that there is a body to oversee it.

Microsoft to eBay name for $1m



Doesn't he play for Chelski?

BBC redesigns and 'widgetizes' homepage

Paris Hilton

@Dave Cozens

You can remove things you don't want.

If they are heading down this customisation route would be nice to be able to properly customise and not just have their pre-set colour schemes.