* Posts by Steven Cuthbertson

25 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

ESA unveils billion pixel camera that will map the Milky Way

Steven Cuthbertson

If I'm reading this right...

The ESA say that the two telescopes are at a precise 106.5 degree angle to each other. This means they can use this as a reference point that shows where the imaged stars are _in relation to other imaged stars_. Using this data the ESA will produce a relatively accurate 3D map of star positions (and velocities) for a huge number of stars. It's not a design for stereoscopic imaging of single objects, but a method of fixing the location of objects in relation to other objects for the production of maps that can be displayed stereoscopically.

Of course, I may _not_ be reading this right...

(Sometimes I look at what humans can do with our technologies, and think "we are so cool!". Then I look to what we do to each other and other animals, and I despair. Is that just me?)

Spaniards bemoan 'joke' speed limit cut

Steven Cuthbertson

4/3rds? Not 1/2!

It's more a case of her not liking motorways and wanting to be off them ASAP, whereas I enjoy the drive and don't mind going more slowly. That and the fact that she has reactions like a cat, and I have reactions like a 4 day old corpse.

And (I forget who it was said it above) it is possible to benefit from others wind-break effect without tailgating.

Beer, 'cos there's 40 of them in the bucket that fills the bath...

Steven Cuthbertson

Letters (& numbers)

120km/h = 74 mph, give or take.

110km/h = 68 mph, ditto.

Alonso? A man who spends his life in fast things will be bored at 110km/h. The rest of us? Not so much...

In terms of fuel savings, a quick Google throws up some figures. At 60mph the power needed to overcome air drag and rolling friction is in the region of 25hp. At 70mph the same vehicle now needs about 40hp. There's obviously going to be a fuel saving. It's also non-linear, a vehicle travelling at 40mph has a figure about half that of a vehicle travelling at 60mph.

Steven Cuthbertson

mph and mpg

When my partner lived in Newcastle, she'd travel to see me at about 80mph. She'd get about 40mpg. I'd do the trip in the same vehicle, at 60mph, using other traffic as wind-breaks, and get >65mpg. Speed may not 'kill' as much as it used to, but it certainly has a greater cost!

Cobalt-barrel machine guns could fire full auto Hollywood style

Steven Cuthbertson

Possible problem?

If your barrel is radiating high IR, you're a definite target for IR-seeking thingy-bobs...

BT ad banned for 'misleading' customers over broadband speeds

Steven Cuthbertson


I've never watched that advert and thought of the estate agent using the premises' broadband. I've always made the assumption that he'd be on a 3G modem, and the advert was fundamentally dishonest and misleading because of that. Then again, it's an advert. Who expects truth from adverts? They are usually viewed with the same level of honesty and integrity as politicians.

And please, please don't get me started on the redefinition of the word 'unlimited'....

Futurologist defends 'malevolent dust' warning

Steven Cuthbertson

It must be the monster...

who screwed the calculation. It's 99.9001% (1000/1001 * 100)

Still pretty good though. Better than 85% and no evidence.

Serpent imprisons rattled Yorkshire family

Steven Cuthbertson

Sid & Toad

Sid swallowed Toad.. He didn't bite him. (Sadly, I have the book of poetry, and the two vinyl albums of spoken/sung poetry from the book..)

Steven Cuthbertson

Sid & Toad, #2

Toad didn't die, or get bitten... Toad 'hopped into a hollow stick' and when he realised where he was he started hopping, making Sid a very poorly snake, easily captured by Cpt. Beaky and band.

Son of Transputer powers new Amiga box

Steven Cuthbertson


Perhaps you mean Timberwolf?

'Draw Mohammed' page removed from Facebook

Steven Cuthbertson

Aww, diddums is upset.. AGAIN!

Religion needs to get a grip on reality (I know, oxymoron...) If religions kept to themselves, live and let live, and stopped trying to force their worldview on me via too many means then I would be much happier. People have a right to free speech. People do NOT have a right not to be offended. If Muslims find it offensive to draw an image of their prophet, then fine. They do NOT have the right to tell me, as a non-muslim, that I can't draw the same image. "But it upsets them" - so what? I don't have to 'respect' their religion insofar as it infringes on my rights of free expression.

Keep your religion yours. I don't want anything to do with it!

Clive Sinclair weds ex-lap-dancer fiancee

Steven Cuthbertson
Thumb Up


Wow, the MK14... my first ever computer. Everyone laughed at me when I got it... They still do, me being balding and not a multi-millionaire.

Congratulations Clive, may your poke have many bytes still to come.

Tiger Woods' alleged mistress publishes X-rated texts

Steven Cuthbertson

Not the only numpty...

What is it with these people.. remember Hugh Grant and the hooker who looked like she'd been smacked by a bus, and he was seeing Elizabeth Hurley at the time? They say the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, but really!

Ex-Army man cracks popular security chip

Steven Cuthbertson

Cracking the code...

I wish I could do this sort of thing, but the Times' crossword is beyond me, and with my aging synapses I don't expect it will get any better...

Note to Captain Kirk: Warp speed will kill you

Steven Cuthbertson
Thumb Up

Tau Zero...

I read this book way back when, and probably once a year since. It's a definite favourite.

Steven Cuthbertson

Very Old News...

This isn't new, or news. This problem (as fellow commentators have pointed out) has been known about for many years.

Are we going to have the same problem with 'news' that we have with patents? "I've not heard of anything, so I must be the first to (insert idea/patent)..."


The Bussard ramjet is a theoretical method of spacecraft propulsion proposed in 1960 by the physicist Robert W. Bussard.

Bussard proposed a ramjet variant of a fusion rocket capable of fast interstellar spaceflight, using enormous electro-magnetic fields (ranging from kilometers to many thousands of kilometers in diameter) as a ram scoop to collect and compress hydrogen from the interstellar medium. High speed forces the reactive mass into a progressively constricted magnetic field, compressing it until thermonuclear fusion occurs. The magnetic field then directs the energy as rocket exhaust opposite to the intended direction of travel, thereby accelerating the vessel.


Project Daedalus was a study conducted between 1973 and 1978 by the British Interplanetary Society to design a plausible interstellar unmanned spacecraft... The ship would be protected from the interstellar medium during transit by an erosion shield. This would be made from beryllium due to its lightness and high latent heat of vaporisation. Larger obstacles that might be encountered while passing through the target system would be dispersed by an artificially generated cloud of particles, ejected by support vehicles.

Pirate Bay prosecutors get jiggy with charge sheet - again

Steven Cuthbertson


Type in "Coldplay torrent" and you get 800,000 hits to torrents.. 800 times more than the Pirate Bay!

Definitely time to go after Google, you pussies..

Vodafone accused of talkingtoofastinradioad

Steven Cuthbertson
Thumb Down

Unintelligible babble

I for one hate the babble at the end of radio adverts to such a great extent that I no longer listen to commercial radio. I always think that anyone who believes there are no strings attached to adverts deserves to be disappointed when they hit the showrooms.

Bah, humbug!

Saatchi to promote foreigners' ID cards

Steven Cuthbertson

Do you want what you're going to have anyway?

"The mylifemyid website was created to inform us of how best to phase the delivery of identity cards to young people in 2010," said an IPS spokesperson.

I thought it was there to ask if young people thought ID cards were a good idea or not, not how to phase in something they must have...

Heathrow T5 security tackles Transformers t-shirt threat

Steven Cuthbertson

And the caves rang with laughter..

Osama and his cronies must be getting fed up with all the celebratory parties.. They've won, and now don't have to do anything even remotely dangerous. We've got self-perpetuating nitwittery.

What happened to our 'get on with things' outlook?

The New Order: When reading is a crime

Steven Cuthbertson

A broad brush...

"Under s.58 of the Terrorism Act 2000, a person commits an offence if they “possesses a document or record containing information”… “of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”."

Seems a bit broad? A train timetable could conceivably count..

Chinese boffins show off unbelievably tight ring

Steven Cuthbertson

@ Ferryboat

"Apparently the sticky-out atoms (see pic) alternate between skewing up and down with respect to the plane of the ring itself"

Fossett 'may never be found'

Steven Cuthbertson

Wrong Units

10000 sq miles is a square 100 miles on a side. A tad smaller than the UK, methinks...

'Cops help kill 32 Students', claims furious blogger

Steven Cuthbertson

Weapons of mass destruction?

How long before guns (especially automatics) are sensibly classified as WMD?

"Weapon of mass destruction (WMD) is a term used to describe a massive weapon with the capacity to indiscriminately kill large numbers of people."

We've seen that even little bombs have been classified as WMDs now, so what next?

At the risk of pushing the 'fat American' stereotype, should the definition read :

"Weapon of mass destruction (WMD) is a term used to describe a large(ish) (or not) person holding a weapon with the capacity to indiscriminately kill large numbers of people."

Senator demands US create morally superior light bulbs

Steven Cuthbertson

Are CFL bulbs better? Really?

CFL bulbs are worse than glass ones! Australia is wanting to ban incandescent bulbs, the EU are looking at it, and now the USA. Sod the real cost, let's look like we're doing something...


Nothing wrong with saving energy, but if we do it at the expense of the environment - what's the point?


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020