* Posts by Jesrad

43 posts • joined 19 May 2008

Seagate UK customer stung by VAT on replacement drive shipped via the Netherlands


Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

On the contrary I think I have been paying a lot more attention to this issue than I needed to, out of sheer fascination for the area and its history.

For instance I find it interesting how you completely obviate the importance and scope of the joint-rule arrangements that came from the GFA. Schooling, policing, energy, water, health, migration controls, agricultural policy alignment and coordination, etc. As the direct successor to Sunningdale, the treaty introduced a great deal of such joint, cross-border, power-sharing and mutual legal entanglement institutions, governance bodies, arbitration processes and mechanisms. So I am not buying your "it had nothing to do with anything" claim in the least. And maybe I should have evoked that level of complexity right away instead, fine.

There simply was no way to unwrap all of these complex, wide-ranging arrangements, and carve a border harder than anything that had existed there before, without voiding the treaty of basically 100% of its substance (and causing major constitutional headaches in both countries). That is why the Irish side of negotiations so firmly pressed the issue. And, Irish interests being European interests, and the EU being one of the signed guarantor of that treaty in the first place, obviously there was no going back on it.

So stop making this all about the IRA, that is ridiculous, and probably unhealthy too. Brexit was threatening many aspects of current NI-RoI governance if it was allowed to erect a border across Ireland, the peace process was secondary to it (and ideally should not even have come to the fore).

"The UK team took far too long to realise that the negotiations were with what amounted to a hostile power."

I think you are projecting here.

"No one in the mainstream UK parties is willing to "threaten the peace process", which is why the EU's move over the vaccines should have been taken as a golden opportunity to let them have as much rope as they needed."

That is delusional. Someone unfamiliar with the NI protocol forgot to recontextualise the exemption for NI in the draft document, Ireland pointed out the mistake and got it corrected. At no point was the UK in any position to "give the EU rope".


Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

"Basically, we have been told that we have to have an internal border or the IRA will start killing people again."

That's not true.

The conundrum was that in order to have divergence of import-export regulations from the EU, the UK needed to put down a border somewhere. The British representatives in the negotiations proposed to not put a border until the divergence would actually start (May's backstop) and the EU was fine with it, but your House rejected it. Then Boris offered to put the border in the Irish Sea, and managed to con the DUP in NI with a promise that he wouldn't actually enforce this border - and they bought it hook, line and sinker.

That neither party proposed to put the border across Ireland was not just because of the risk of reigniting the Troubles (they still might reignite soon anyway, if the DUP can have its way...), but because that would deprive the Irish citizens of NI of their rights to do business and trade freely with Ireland (and the EU). And that would be a violation of the GFA, of which both the EU and the USA are guarantors. The status quo of NI people being able to both, Schrödinger-style, be British and do business with GB while also being Irish and doing business unfettered with Ireland, was forcibly broken by Brexit. One half had to give way to the other, it happened to be the British side that gave way so NI remained in the EU in all but name.


Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

"While this is outside the EU"

NI has effectively remained a part of the EU in all but name.

Web prank horror: Man shot dead while pretending to rob someone at knife-point for a YouTube video

Thumb Down

Re: Wait for it...

Stop moving the goalpost. You are just making my point that self-defence is nowhere near granted by courts when you shoot a burglar invading your home, not even when they start punching and kicking you or threatening you with knives. You will be facing the full burden of proof if you do, same as the criminals.

Save for a few countries, Europe tends against anything like a Castle Doctrine, the authorities' official advice is all too often that you are expected to hide and run from attackers no matter the circumstances, and to never stand your ground - or you will get sentenced.


Re: Wait for it...

Have you even tried searching ? A quick Google session will net you plenty of cases where European citizens got jailed for shooting a burglar in clear self-defence. Here's a sample selection from my minute of searching:

https://www.dhnet.be/regions/charleroi/37-mois-de-prison-avec-sursis-pour-avoir-abattu-un-cambrioleur-5acdc3e7cd702f0c1ad422be 37 months of jailtime for shooting a knife-wielding burglar (Belgium)

https://www.evasionfm.com/actualite-53704-etinehem-un-homme-condamne-apres-avoir-abattu-un-cambrioleur.html Sentenced for murder after shooting a burglar (France)

https://www.ladepeche.fr/article/2018/11/06/2901417-herault-homme-avait-abattu-cambrioleur-libere-apres-an-prison.html One year spent in jail for shooting one of 2 menacing burglars who were assaulting him and his wife (France)

https://www.thinkspain.com/news-spain/30392/jail-for-man-83-who-killed-violent-burglar 2 and half years of jail for shooting the burglar assaulting his wife and sister-in-law (Spain)

https://www.bfmtv.com/police-justice/7-ans-de-prison-pour-le-buraliste-d-albi-qui-avait-tue-un-cambrioleur_AN-201504020081.html 7 years of jail for the shopkeeper who shot a burglar (France)

You can survive the migration from Windows vCenter server


T'was easier done earlier with the 6.0U2m

The VCSA migration is apparently less perilous when going 5.5 to 6.0, than all the way 5.5 to 6.5.

The checklist I've accrued after a number of failed attempts to 6.5:

Check your DNS (forward and reverse)

Remove vUM

Revert to self-signed certs for the transition, you'll customize them again later

Check your DNS, I mean it

Keep either IPv4 or IPv6 net config on the source vCenter server, not both

Make sure your vCenter's vNIC portgroup is ephemeral if on a vDS, or duplicate it into a standard vSwitch

Ensure the SSO admin account (default) is in the DCadmins SSO group (default too)

Check your DNS, FFS

Oh sh-itcoin! Crypto-dosh swap-shop Coinbase empties punters' bank accounts


Re: Visa confirms Coinbase not at fault

No shit. A simple retailer can't issue "forced transactions" of the sort reported by the victims' banks, only the network itself can.

Shall I hold my breath waiting for the article to be updated ?


Re: Cryptocurrency

Update posted by Coinbase:

"We have determined that the erroneous credit and debit charges are the result of Visa reversing and recharging transactions. This was not done by Coinbase. We are working with Visa to ensure all affected customers are reimbursed.

Over the last few months, large banks and card issuers requested that card networks change the MCC for purchases of digital currency. Visa changed the MCC for digital currency purchases to a code that allows large banks and card issuers to charge consumers additional fees."

More details on what exactly is meant here: https://www.thebalance.com/what-s-a-credit-card-cash-advance-960691

TL;DR: last year VISA and major banks implemented a new MCC that allowed them to charge "cash advance" fees when their card holders buy cryptos, by unusually re-qualifying those transactions as ATM cash withdrawals.

Where's your God^Hregulation now ? Oh right, it is busy polishing a few banksters' dicks so they can rear-end you better when you make purchases with a credit card. But, hey, let's bash on libertarians for no good reason, because muh political agenda.

CHEAT! Volkswagen chief 'deeply sorry' over diesel emission test dodge


Any chance all the software does, is avoid triggering the burning of diesel particulate accumulated in the filter WHILE the car is undergoing emission testing ? If that is what is really happening here, then it's an absolute non-news.

French woman gets €800 a month for electromagnetic-field 'disability'


"In a statement on Wednesday, Étienne Cendrier, Robin des Toits spokesman, hailed the news as a victory, saying: “We can no longer say that it is a psychiatric illness.”

Well he is free to delude himself, but the court statement clearly swept aside claims that it has to do with electromagnetic waves. What the judge granted, is that the syndrome is really harming the claimant - she is not pretending to be sick, she really is so sick she cannot hold a regular job. AFAIC it's all just nocebo effect, given how the sufferers are only harmed by antennas they can see (whether those are powered on or not), and never by those hidden from their sight.

What is making the claimant sick is an entirely different issue, which was not addressed by the court. In fact I haven't heard of a single success in assigning damages in civil court over any claim of harm from electromagnetic waves. At most, there was one case of mobile mast installation being postponed until final decision by a court over alleged "potential future harm".


Re: Not implausible

I get that a lot from my old Macbook. Plug it in, let it warm up, then slide your hand over the flat part left from the trackpad, and you will very strongly feel the "field" (as you call it). It's a very weird feeling - it's as if you're rapping your hand over a wood plank that is vibrating quickly, except your skin reports it as smooth contact.

And it does not happen when the laptop is running on battery or when you and the power line are both properly grounded, because it's actually poor grounding leaking a little power back and playing with your nerves. Nothing to do with RF. And the effect is so much stronger on the Macbook just because the entire case is made of metal and conducive.

Try and test it ! It's fun, at least as long as you don't get burns.

Doctor Who's tangerine dream and Clara's death wish in Last Christmas


"The theme seems to be 'The Cranky Doctor Meets Fictional Characters *winkwink*' It's worn more than a little thin already."

If the next season does not introduce a mega-villain who has, for some yet-obscure but nefarious reason, been seeding past History with actual incarnations of famous but entirely fictional characters - up to and including the Doctor himself ? - I'll be disappointed.


Re: Dr Jr

Ah, but Dream Crabs are not parasites. They're predators that chew slowly.

Lies, damn pies and obesity statistics: We're NOT a nation of fatties


Re: As a fatter person

One persistent myth in nutrition that needs to die, is that calories' total net "offset" determines weight loss or gain. It's the other way around: those calories that get snatched from your bloodstream and sequestered in your adipocytes become unavailable for doing anything. In simpler words, fattening up makes you lethargic or increases your appetite to compensate for the calories locked away (or a combination of both).

The good news is, it works both ways. In the study detailed here: http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2011/02/01/fat-kids-and-thermodynamics/ giving an insulin-blocking drug to obese kids spontaneously made them spring outside and play instead of staying in front of the TV. All because the same calories that used to go stack up in their slab had become available for their muscles to use up.


Re: Statistics

Thanks for mentionning this. I too healed from obesity and diabetes on a LHCF diet, no more health problems now. And so did the dozen people that I got along on this.

The core of the argument in the article is that Brits eat less and exercize more and more to the recommendations of their gov, yet see no health gain. Figures, maybe the gov advice is wrong in the first place eh ?

The problem is that science has been early-fossilized by state intervention, as a government appointed panel of experts just cannot admit being wrong on anything, ever. They've steadfastly refuse to incorporate any of the results of recent medical research on the subject and keep alive myths from the 60s and 70s. Same thing is happening across the Channel, ever since France initiated a massive public health program in 2001 which has had exactly zero net impact on french waists and arteries: http://www.contrepoints.org/2013/02/06/113904-manger-bouger-12-ans-dechec-constant-des-politiques-publiques-de-prevention

Read The Gods of War for every tired cliche you never wanted to see in a sci fi book


I didn't even know about this book, or author for that matter.

I think I'll go re-read Andy Weir's 'The Martian'.

My big reveal as macro-economics analyst: It's a load of COBBLERS


"as we can also see at present the European Central Bank isn't doing anything of this sort. They actually raised interest rates in the middle of the recession: just like the Fed did in the 1930s. They've not done any QE"

Have you been in a coma the last few years ? Of course the ECB eased the monetary supply: it may not have directly bought treasury bonds from the EU member states, but it did indirectly have them bought by the european banks using newly created euros - which amounts to the same as what the FED did. The only difference is the FED depresses treasuries' rates (and indirectly all other bonds' rates) while the ECB is boosting bank funds' liquidity.

In the time the FED's balance sheet grew by 2 trillion dollars, the ECB's grew by almost the same amount: 1.755 trillion dollars. How is that NOT a QE ?

Women are too expensive to draw and code – Ubisoft


Re: non story

"Female meshes abound. Add an extra mesh option with the same animation rigs, and job done."

A fine job indeed, too, if you assume the long, tedious, extra work of remaking the textures for that mesh, and also for every single apparel option, accessory, weapon, etc. that comes in the game and will combine with it - unless you're fine with insulting every female gamer in the world with a very non-matching texture of a guy's face and musculature superimposed (and way off) over a gal's body...

A fine job, yes, surely, with a wrong-scaled mesh that will look silly using animations made for a mesh where the joints are off, the bones are different length, the centers of mass (and thus, inertia of body in movement) are off, the attachment nodes for weapons and accessories are off and the wrong scale, etc.

A "female" character with very male grunt sounds when jumping, falling, hurting, etc. With lots of silly clipping, 90s style, with feet hovering off ground or ankle-deep in it depending on the action, "roller-skating" on invisible free-wheels as it walks and runs, with hands that lift or grab things at a distance by magic and wobbly fuse into walls and scales when climbing, etc. A testament to the long-standing quality of character animation in the Assassin's Creed series, indeed.

Mr Bailey I'm afraid you know very little of the video-game industry. I'm afraid you also know very little about female gamers, because offering a satisfactory variety of options for dressing a female character takes a LOT more work than just than fiddling with a male mesh and adjusting some proportions. And few things scream "shoddy" louder to girls than seeing leg / skirt polygon clipping on female characters in 3D videogames.

All men are part of a PURE GENETIC ELITE, says geno-science bloke


Re: Some clarification

Lyonisation ensures only one of the two Xs is enabled in each cell in women, so the supposed genetic superiority you allude to is very relative. Women have more bulk genetic data (volume) but less genetic diversity (number of genes) since most of the extra DNA is redundant to begin with, whereas the NRY genes on the Y chromosome hold genetic code that is nowhere to be found in any X.

Also, there's a misunderstanding about the evolution of the Y chromosome: as reported in Wikipedia, "with a 30% difference between humans and chimpanzees, the Y chromosome is one of the fastest evolving parts of the human genome". So, no, sorry ladies, men are actually further from chimps than women themselves are. What has had little evolution over the last 25 million years is the structure and gene composition of this chromosome, a proof of its remarkable stability and the reason why this genetic study is interesting news, even though the content of those genes evolved faster than any other piece of DNA we have.

No Notch niche: Minecraft man in rift with Oculus after Facebook gobble


I would have rather seen it bought by Valve.

Update your iThings NOW: Apple splats scary SSL snooping bug in iOS


Re: Utter f*cking idiots. Re. iOS 6.1.6

My 5.1.1 iPhone is unaffected. Oh irony.

Major new science: Women more nude, more often online


The whole study is worthless.

Men wear more clothing online because women judge their social worth rather than their sexual attractivity. Better clothes makes a man more attractive to the ladies. In virtual worlds, the physical body is arbitrary and everyone can be a Ken doll. The difference then has to express itself somehow, and often it does so through the wardrobe and gadgets show.


Re: Gosh, I wonder why.

"there is no government funding for parks and 'nice places' "

Actually there is, LL has a number of their own regions integrated in every continent, and most of it is parks and nice meeting places, and free building zones. There is in particular the vast sea that joins the eastern continents, for one. Little islands, a gorgeous lighthouse, and lots of ocean, all of it public access and use.

But your underlying point remains true: given the high price of acreage in SL there's little incentive for players to just have a lot of nice-looking land that is not put to commercial use. LL mitigated this a tiny bit but introducing quarter-price regions, but those just went to low-cost demand instead of feeding any need for more natural or just-for-the-beauty-of-it options.

There is simply too little granularity, because of the fixed 256x256m size of regions and hardcoded prim/surface values... which makes little sense, given how size of land and constructions is completely arbitrary beyond the absolute number of objects. There is no technical obstacle to making 32+ km sized single regions that have a very low prim count limit, and sharding those by the dozen on a single server. But they won't do it, somehow.

Another thing sorely missing from SL is that it's not making use of sunken-cost processing power, bandwidth and storage space: namely, that of the player base. Give them an option to allocate some of their already paid-for computer-hold, and they'll happily convert it to more virtual acreage. There are many distributed algorithms and existing, proven protocols, that could make it possible for the players themselves to host part of the Grid. The virtual reality Solipsis concept goes as far as having no central server at all, hosting its worlds entirely on the cloud-ified computers of the users themselves.

Official science: High heels make you sexy


Or the other way 'round

The researchers assume that the high heels make the wearer more feminine because they affect the gait and balance of wearers, but it could very well be the other way around: that the viewers have been taught by their environment that the specific gait and balance of walking in high heels are to be associated with feminity.

So which is it really:

high heels -> specific gait -> perceived feminity


specific gait -> high heels -> perceived feminity ?

US and UK spooks alerted over massive Swiss data leak


Good news overall then: one more IT position open in Switzerland !

Ten technology FAILS

Thumb Down

Re: Second Life

SL is far from successful. I say this as a long-time player (8+ years). It had its peak somewhere around 2007, and since then its population and economy just kept declining: first-time users nowadays mostly take a look then leave forever, the long-standing (oligopolist) land business is surviving merely by siphoning off the capital investment from wide-eyed newcomers who believe they can just plop down a BIAB and start making money, persist for a few months then eat the cost and leave. The best a new business-oriented player can do now is mostly catch other newcomers' first few bucks before they go for good. Decline has turned the whole thing into a sort of big Ponzi scheme fed by a quickening life-and-death cycle of true end-users. In simpler words, SL is coasting on the momentum from its accumulated capital of better years.

Even at the height of it, you could count on your hands the number of players truly making a living from their SL activity (most of whom I met), and I was never one of them. I earned enough from SL to buy myself a brand new car though, so I can say I got close.

Its architecture is still unscalable, as it ever was. There have been improvements (making the protocol RESTful, for one) but it's still so bloated only a full rewrite of the server could fix it. And the UI suicide the SL viewer 2 was ? Just another nail in the coffin.


Re: Ah memories...

IIRC IBM had 4 private islands that had public access, that size of land amounted at the time to a front payment of $4500 plus a monthly fee of 4x$299 = $1196. They may have as many hidden regions too.

I bet they paid a lot more on staffing alone (providing content for the islands, which I remember was done through SL contractors - really the smartest option ; and populating the islands with at least a couple PR employees).

I had 5 such islands at some point. SL was never more than a game to me, and a lucrative one at that - it paid me a brand new car. I bailed out when Linden Labs announced it'd enforce both US federal regulations on sexualized content and casino games, and the EU's VAT to all european players.

What made us human? Being ARMED with lethal ranged weapons


Genetic evidence is so far inconclusive on exactly what amount and what form of interbreeding occured between Sapiens, Neandertals and Denisovans. We have significant shared nuclear DNA, but no shared mitochondrial DNA, with both of them. Some think that all female Sapiens were absolutely unable to conceive from N or D males for some reason, but not the other way around. IMO this is better explained by the overall one-sided migration of Sapiens outward from Africa combined with the old tradition of sending young adult males to marry into the neighbouring tribes to strengthen social ties with them and reduce interbreeding within the tribe itself. After all, the transition lasted much longer than all of recorded history, so that's plenty of time for a even such a slow swamping to show that much of an effect.

As for the disappearance of Ns we have not found any evidence of mass homicides occurring between Neandertals and Sapiens. The best archeological traces we have show that, basically, our ancestors migrated into Europe right after Neandertals went extinct there, or maybe just as they went extinct. The more probable cause of this extinction, IMO, is climate change, and I think this is also why Sapiens started migrating all over the world in that same period. Modern humans are savannah pack hunter-gatherers, evolutionarily speaking, so a warming world may have been an invitation to them. On the other hand Neandertals had specific adaptations to their environment, in particular cold weather.

Anyway, we don't know for sure.


Re: Nice troll

@hollerith 1

I cannot quite answer on the history of rape, but we now know war is a recent invention / trait of humans: in "the birth of war" published by Natural History (Jul/Aug 2003, Vol. 112, Issue 6), Ferguson&Brian estimate from skeleton remains that warfare or at the very least mass homicide appeared roughly 8000 years ago, at the same time as agriculture.


""When Africans left Africa and entered Neanderthal territory they had projectiles with greater killing reach," explains Professor Curtis Marean, an expert in stone weapons who was instrumental in the research."

Neandertals had already been gone, for maybe thousands of years, when this happened. Also, hominids as early a homo habilis made stone tools (Oldowan) over 2 million years ago. "Modern" human dates back a lot farther down the past than a mere 70k years.

Apple to ditch Intel – report


Re: You'd hope...

Interesting... I had exactly the opposite experience, installing Mountain Lion on my 2007 2.8 core 2 duo macbook gave it a second life, to the point that nowadays I'm using it over my other, core i5 macbook.

But I still resent Apple for integrating such fragile, short-lived optical drives in their laptops all along.


Re: There are no 'killer' Windows applications any more

In this age of dynamic binary translation and API wrappers, Mac users were able to play Skyrim the day it was released thanks to Wine-X or Cider "ports". Why bother installing a bloated OS into a VM when you can have your app running seamlessly and at quasi-native speed, directly in the native env ?

The move to Intel chips was a success back in the days mostly because Motorola (and to a lesser extent, IBM) had failed to keep up in processing power. It was painfully obvious then that Macs were lacking in performance and no Photoshop tricks could hide that sinking feeling in the fans' minds. The performance boost that came with the first Macintels certainly helped the architecture transition (universal binaries, Rosetta binary translation) go smoothly from the user viewpoint.

Somehow I doubt it would go as well, moving from Core iXXXX to Ax.

It makes more sense that Apple will fuse its OS X branches, until the very same apps can run on anything they produce using the same mechanism as before (universal binaries). Expect it to go a lot more smoothly than the Win8 transition on the Microsoft side. Then they can consider ditching Intel.

Did genetically modified food cause giant tumours in rats?


Yes it's a setup. Gilles-Eric Séralini is publishing this as a marketing strategy for his upcoming book and movie, both titled "Tous cobayes ?" ("We the guinea pigs"), set for release on the 26th this month.

If you read french this page has a lot of debunking and damning information about Séralini: http://imposteurs.over-blog.com/pages/Tout_ou_presque_sur_le_CRIIGEN-4536267.html

Curiosity landing live from NASA's JPL: How the drama unfolded

Thumb Up

Kudos indeed

Congratulations to them ! Hurtling a 1-ton rover over millions of miles and have it land in the right spot, at the right speed so it sticks and does not fall apart, is one helluva dart throw.

World celebrates System Administrator Appreciation Day


funny that

I was hired as Sysadmin, yet end up doing development in the majority of my work time because the actual devs here can't keep up and maintain the whole project's deployment and installation scripts by themselves. Turns out you can learn a new programming language's quirks and odds much faster, than learning an IT infra's inner workings.

Animal rights group protests seal clubbing in World of Warcraft


Hmmm, clubbed seals...

Clubbed Baby Seals.

Because feeding all those starving, endangered polar bears doesn't have to be boring.

I'll take the coat with the blood stains, thanks.

New-age cyber-attack inflicts major damage with modest means


Shaping the DNS return ?

If packet inspection for spoofing of the origin isn't practical, can't simple accounting help ? It seems capping total DNS responses per (potentially spoofed) origin would severly reduce the interest of using DNS servers as DDoS amplifiers.

MIT boffins crack fusion plasma snag



"Wickipedia says 50 years. Why the fuck you choose to use the term of 'tens of years' as opposed to the 50 year figure and then follow it up with 'only' makes you a figure fudging dumbfuck."

And your blindly trusting Yuppiepedia for checking on half-lives of waste products for a rarely studied fission reaction chain casts you as a failed troll and an internet idiot. One isotope (Zr) has a half-life of 30 years, another 27.6 (Xe), then 21.6 (Mo) and even less for the rest. Estimates are 1630 kg of waste products over 30 years of operation in a 100MWe plant. I guess you'll just have to try harder.


Look to Fission instead

I still think braking radiation dooms the ITER project and any form of magnetic containment fusion from ever producing net power.

Look to fission instead: there is a tiny but dedicated group supporting molten salt reactor using Thorium, which is very cheap and very abundant. Thorium is bred by the reactor into U233 then burned, in a continuous operation.

Molten salt reactors run continuously, no need to stop them to refuel or remove the fission products as they can be respectively dissolved and pumped out of the liquide fluoride while it is running. Plus it is not pressurized (it's typically run below ambient pressure for safety), and cannot fail à la Tchernobyl. And to top it off, its waste products have a half-life in the tens of years only. At an estimated 1$/W it should be very competitive with wind and solar power, too. Oh, and it can be designed around a breeding factor of exactly 1.0 so proliferation risk is seriously reduced, plus there exists not even plans for nuclear weapons using Uranium-233 anyway.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory had a working reactor of this type producing 7.4 MW for several years in the 60s. The design is compact and can be scaled down, in fact one such reactor was built and tested as the power plant for aircraft. Fuji has planned to build a 100 MWe such reactor (FUJI MSR) in the near future.

Snipers - Cowardly assassins, or surgical soldiers?



"ALL of LIFE is precious and sacred. nobody has the right to take any life of any form for any reason. period."

Well, yes, precisely. However people take their own life for lots of stupid (un)reasons day in and day out, and there is nothing you or I or the Gub'n'mint can do about this sad consequence of existence.

Soldiers on both sides of a war, to the exclusion of most conscripts (war serfs), intend to go out and get killed while trying to kill the other bastard, otherwise they'd spend their time elsewhere. Shooting them down brings them exactly what they want. It even has an aesthetic side: yes, I think there is something beautiful in the life arc of some stupid person meeting an equally stupid and timely death through a thoroughly free chain of thinking and acting, without malicious interference with his or her thinking and acting from outside, unto reaching the pointless conclusion.

Man's condition is stupid and tragic because he's free to develop his own purpose and justification for existing but incapable of perfection at that task, so fulfilling this existence one way or another will on average be just as stupid and tragic as we are as a species. The most we can do is to avoid one's stupid chosen purpose in life from affecting another's equally stupid chosen purpose in life, so as to maintain everyone's aesthetic standing. When applying this thinking to people bent on killing each other, it means avoiding collateral damage. In that sense, within this understanding of life, smart bullets and sniping are beautiful.

Of course, a duel at dawn between just the couple persons who'd initiate wars in the first place, would be even more beautiful. But those people tend not to play fair.

Miracle airship tech sustained by DARPA pork trickle


Solutions, solutions...

A simple solution, when using a rigid frame, is to inflate a balloon of air inside the buoyant enveloppe, which decreases the buoyancy by augmenting the density of the helium through simple pressurization. This is the typical solution used on modern airships.

There is another problem than buoyancy with airships, though, it is that of maximum velocity against lifting capacity. Lifting heavy loads requires lots of volume, and lots of volume mean big dynamic drag that reduces top speed. One solution was to use a dynamically-lifting shape for the buoyant enveloppe, as for the Dynalifter and its ancestors. But then it just comes down to trading maximum hovering altitude against top speed.

A solution to this problem is to use a variable-volume dynamically-lifting shape for the enveloppe. As the speed increases the volume can be decreased (pressurizing the lifting gas) and boyant lift exchanged for dynamic lift, saving on dynamic drag, when taking off the enveloppe can be expanded up to the ambient pressure, and when offloading cargo the enveloppe can be repressurized again to lose buoyancy and stay on the ground.

But there is currently no engineering method for building a volume-changing aerodynamic enveloppe that can self-pressurize like this.

Sikorsky announces first flight of 'X2' triplex supercopter


Re: Supersonic tips

Supersonic tips are a lot less efficient than subsonic, because of the energy lost to the shockwaves ; and because supersonic lift is an entirely different beast than subsonic lift, requiring another (usually thinner) type of blade profile to be worth the extra effort. In addition the supersonic schockwaves can cause serious damage to the blade's material, generating creaks and cavities, leading to early failure. At higher, hypersonic, speeds there may even occur various undesirable chemical reactions when the air molecules become ionised and possibly split into their atomic constituents, damaging the surface some more. That is, provided the friction heat hasn't already melted or burned the blades.

PayPal meltdown wreaks havoc on some ecommerce websites

Thumb Down

Re: Paypal probs

"Also did you all know that paypal in a mafia-like way withholds money if your company suddenly makes a lot of it. Claiming "Anti Terrorist " and " Money Laundering" they refuse to pay your money over to a real life account and of course pay you no interest."

This happened to me. I used to check out my gains from other websites onto my Paypal account annually, and as these gains took off last year, from 3000 to 12000$, all of it got frozen by Paypal upon transfer last february. I had planned to use the money to buy a new car and suddendly couldn't, in the end I had to take a bond.

What's really infuriating is, Paypal's dispute resolution procedure is completely broken when your dispute is with Paypal itself: there's no link to actual info, no email address for contact, no reference, and even when they send you a "case ID" it returns nothing when you search for it. I had to file a friggin website interface problem ticket just to get some of their guys to look at the info they had requested from me. In my experience they take over two days just to process emails, and it hardly helps anyway.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021