* Posts by Martin

203 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Jun 2008


Research: Airliners can be more eco-friendly than trains

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per passenger km

It's going to make congestion in London a lot worse if they have 747s taxiing down the buslanes torepalce the tube.

NASA licences rat-wee based astronaut sports drink

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@Just wondering....

Signs on the cages saying "prudence", "recovery is just around the corner", "I have the full support of my party"

Judge backs Halifax in Chip and PIN clone case

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Ros Anderson's proof of how to do a man-in-the-middle attack on the super secure chip is a little artificial.

The real fraud that occured at Tescos and Esso stations just after the cards were launched was much simpler. The pin for the chip is the same as the pin for your magstipe+ATM. Just put a little recorder on the handset and you have the pin and a swipe of the magstipe and you have all you need to make an ATM card.

Having the same pin for both is simply to avoid the cost of upgrading all ATMs and tills to the chip - but it makes the card much less secure than it used to be.

Ballmer clashes with Obama over US tax rules

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@A key point

>If Citi reinvests its Asian profits in expanding to countries outside the US, say Eastern Europe >or Africa or South America, I don't quite see why they should pay a tax to the US.

It's when Citi (Bermuda) charges Citi (USA) a licence fee for every transaction, so that Citi (USA) makes a loss and the only profit is made in tax-free Bermuda that the government gets interested. This is what Dell,Google and MS did in Ireland to avoid paying tax in the UK and Germany.

Who will win the epic battle for the kitchen OS?

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A little behind the times?

So this is aimed at early adopters who really must have a computer in their kitchen - but still have a landline phone at home? why not just build it into a gramophone?

Tesla and Daimler plan joint 'affordable' e-car

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Not really absurd

>And I agree that a 911 is an absurb 'practicality' target

But it makes sense from a business point of view.

If you were a small Californian hifi company it would make a lot more sense to try and sell $10,000 audiophile amps than try to compete to make iPods.

Fiat/Hyundai/VW etc will knock out an electric vehicle for the masses but if you are first in the market it makes a lot more sense to pick the profitable customers.

Especially since the torque characteristics of an electric motor mean you get huge 0-60 acceleration.

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>And BEWARE of Daimler AG ... they looted and F'd over Chyrsler

So that's how Mercedes learnt how to build cars by copying the PT cruiser?

Lets hope they don't manage to snap up Vauxhall.

>WHERE does the electricity come from?

If harnessed properly, internet flames could provide 97.6% of our electrical needs.

A group of posters, specially selected for IQ, locked in a room and fed on Daily Mail and Fox news can provide an endless (if rather noisy) source of power.

How will sir pay? Facebook credits, that'll do nicely

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@Silly gifts

>There are tutorials to write apps that allow users to send fluffy kittens for free.

Don't they get stuck in the tubes?

It would be fun though - you could have a bot network sending millions of kittens to someone.

Imagine millions of kittens being delivered to parliament, certainly beats the gov.uk e-petitions.

(cos there isn't a kitten icon)

Irish politico in Facebook jub-rub outrage

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@I wish...

The scandal isn't the politicos smoking a joint in college - it's that the same lying b*ards then making it a class B drug the day before the scientific evidence came out in order to appeal to a few Daily Fail readers.

If the young lady was a British politician she would be busy calling for the licencing of mobile phone cameras to 'protect the children'.

BNP DDoS 'mega-assault' not actually mega in the least

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Freedom of speech

>If that's the case, then the hosting firm will *surely* also decline to host a website for Labour,

>Conservative, SWP or any other party.

I'm sure they would happily host any party's site that paid.

What they might object to is a site that is likely to get a huge volume of traffic being hosted on a cheap personal site package.

Otherwise all the people that are sharing a single copy of Apache running on the same cheap 1U server as the BNP site might reasonably complain.

Obama taps new NASA boss

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Yes it oes suck

The state aim of Nasa is to advance scientific knowledge. Flying aging senators to LEO and back or taking historic basketballs and schoolkids drawings with them is not science.

Their choice to have a ex-military, ex-astronaut as leader suggests that it is back to the 60s of having square jawed crew cut (although now racially diverse) heroes pointlessly going where everyone has gone before. In order to prove their superiority over 3rd world countries that merely efficiently and cheaply launch useful payloads.

Being a war time pilot is not a basis for leading Nasa, anymore than it is for being president. The USSR chose it's political and industrial leaders on the basis of them having fought at Stalingrad - that worked out well for them.

Atlantis crews begins second Hubble spacewalk

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It's had a lot of replacement parts, pretty much only the bodywork and the (faulty) mirror are original. It also sat in a box for 5years after Challenger blew up so it's even longer life than they are claiming.

They have also been lucky that it's been an unusually quiet solar cycle and so there hasn't been as much atmospheric drag as expected.

The life of ISS is a bit more political, it can stay up there as long as you are prepared to repair/replace bits and boost it's orbit.

UK.gov international net clean-up plan gathers dust

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@No one in the US cares, because no one in the US is as stupid as him.

His timing was just bit off, If the US (also) had a right wing authoritarian government that had run out of ideas, was facing defeat and needed a quick 'wont someone thing of the children' policy they would have leapt at it.

Wouldn't have worked - but at least someone would have answered the phone.

Dell punts £199 10in netbook

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1024 x 576

1024 x 576 is PAL 16:9 so probably a plant making these screens for TVs DVD players etc.

The Dell mini 9 is $200 on Dell.com outlet site and I'm visiting the US, but they will only sell them to you if you have a US credit card as well.

iPhone compass evidence surfaces

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Tilted compass

You can do a digital tilted compass but you need a 3 axis magnetic sensor and tilt sensors. It's tricky cos the way the maths works out an error in titl is 2-4x as big in heading ( God I'm such a nerd) it's also a bugger to cancel out the display and battery.

No sacred cows in NASA spaceflight review, chairman says

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@Here's a "Different Perspective"

>I mean really, what have we gotten from the billions spent on the shuttle and the ISS?

A republican California.

Do you want Boeing/Rockwell/Lockheed Martin to have compete commercially?

An unthinking programmer's guide to the new C++

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@I read a quote from

So there are now three different syntaxs to set a variable

int i = 0; // but you still can't do this in the ctor

i(0), // need to do it this way in the initialisation list

int i = {}; // useful if int is redefined I suppose

'Lunatic' Smith doubles ID card costs for Mancunians

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@Goverment idea of "Security"

You forgot:

6. Repeat

New Kindle: Wider, but still no broadsheet

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@What?? $489.00

>placed out of reach of the average consumer!!

But firmly in the reach of the more-money-than-sense consumer!

Noticed Apple/BMW/Rolex going bust recently?

French lead world in eating and sleeping

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Because they speak French

The French eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

The Japanese eat very little fat and also have fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

The French drink excessive amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

The Japanese drink very little red wine and also have fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

Conclusion: It's speaking English that kills you.

Apple brands UK tabloid 'obscene'

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Page 3 isn't porn

But it is illegal if the headline for the pictures of famous Ms Fox is correct

"Sam, 16, Quits A-Levels for Ooh-Levels."

Ron Howard accuses Pope of scuppering Dan Brown movie

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A good start

SO if God is all powerfull why does he allow Jim Carry movies?

Windows 7’s XP Mode — Virtually worth the effort

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Almost as good as wIne then ?

Could this finally be the year of the Windows desktop?

Apple moves to patent mobile color

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@Process can be patented

But their patent is claiming the idea of adding colour to make it coloured - not how to do it!

Can I patent putting your iPhone in your jean's pocket? Then apple can patent putting it into different coloured jeans.

Pudsey Bear refused UK passport

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Simple solution

Why not have replace everyones name with a number?

Then they could have a little card declaring that the were citizen12345678 - you could even tattoo it on their wrist (call it biometric)

London gym floors hoodies with Chav Fighting classes

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@Thats just too much

>I have to take exception to "fire an AK47 at the feet of an immigrant worker who's stolen your job"

I think it's terrible that we are reduced to using foreign guns to fire at the feet of our immigrants.

In my day we used proper British guns.

Goes off to write to the Telegraph......

Hire your very own Fred the Shred

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@Civil Servant in a Blender

No - but they do shred the bus the key was left on.

Security you know - can't be too careful.

It's US vs Europe as world e-car plug standard race nears end

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So I'll need an adaptor then

If I decide to take my electric car with me the US as hand baggage?

Gov systems found on 1.9m zombie botnet

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These machines are behind a firewall right

They only have official paid for software installed

They are only used for official government business, no looking at dodgy websites.

USB keys aren't allowed anymore.

They are managed by expensive EDS/Cap Gemini/IBM etc consultants.

Shouldn't somebody be fired when a machine gets a virus?

Spy chiefs size up net snoop gear

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There is a difference between being able to tap a limited number of international calls manually and a completely invasive fishing system.

Visit a website that had a GreenPeace ad AND your cell phone was in London duirng an Earth Day protest = better flag you as a possible anti-government activist.

Then we can check up if you apply for a government job, or log your car number plate if you go within 100mi of a nuclear power station.

Start-up Bee pledges 'affordable' British e-car

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Brilliant, just f***inkg brilliant...

Oracle stares into Sun for storage future

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@The only way the Oracle-Sun merger makes sense

Solaris is the most popular Oracle Unix platform.

Sun go bust / get bought by IBM - all those sites are suddenly shopping for new kit.

Do you think the IBM HW salesman on the doorstep might have been offering some inducements to switch to DB2?

Boeing: Raygun dreadnoughts will rule the oceans by 2019

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Erm have they thought this thing through?

Chance of hitting an Al Queda stealth bomber = 0

Chance of hitting own side, allies, blowing up own ship etc due to 'computer error' = 1

No charges for terror arrest Tory

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@Wasting police time, again?

Now if he had been looking at a CCTV camera in a funny way or putting out rubbish that would have been understandable.

Brazilian ejected as lingerie arouses border staff suspicions

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3 tshirts in Newcastle?

Obviously overdressed

Who snapped first?

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I hope there will be a conviction soon

So this foreign terrorist (fund manager=same thing) illegally photographed one of our fine boys in blue who was either in fear of his life from a vicious football hooligan / helping an elderly gentlemen out of the way of vicious protesters (depends if you a sun/telegraph reader).

I hope they get this scum off our streets soon.

Whitehall to train pro-West Islamic groups to game Google

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So the government just has to buy up all the ad words for terrorism, extremism etc and redirect them to cornify and everyone will be happy and safe.

BMW opens up to haptic car doors

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Automatic brakes would be good

And they could fix the system that detects an amber traffic light and causes BMWs to accelerate.

Japanese porn at heart of Home-Office terrorism snooping

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Another cunning plan

>when trying to find out how to fight government warrants

So you click a link to complain about our benevolent dictators and get nicked for child porn.

BT does Italian Job on London traffic lights

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@Subterranean urban infrastructure

Doesn't have to be 'sub'

DSL failed at all the offices on our business park, no JCBs in sight, phones still worked etc. BT claimed nothing had changed at the exchange.

Turned out somebody installing a new phone line had decided to 'tidy-up' a junction box and manged to patch all the DSL lines to the exchange 1mile away, via a village 5miles in the other direction.

BT only checks the lines are intact and only do a DSL survey with a new installation - they have no system for dealing with anything that changes after a line is installed. It took a week of calls to different bits of BT to get us back online.

Most undergraduates 'show fear when asked to do maths'

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All school subjects are useless

I learnt all about gaciers in Geography but day to day I hardly ever have to make one.

BBC Trust moots new licence laws to cope with net

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@Isn't this really REALLY easy to solve?

Then ex-pats could also watch iPlayer.

I would happily pay the licence fee (or some percentage) to stream the BBC output - rather than paying $70/month for cable to watch Fox.

Pics show North Korean rocket ready to go

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Super secret stealth satelite

>They insisted it was up there, even though the US couldn't ever track it on radar

Yes but remember that many tin pot little third world countries are able to build up huge fleets of weapons of mass destruction that are completely invisible and undetectable even when you have taken the country apart.

iPhone finally gets Skype

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@iPod Touch?

The touch has been able to make and receive Skype calls for a while now - although you have to get a bit 'unofficial' to install it.

Irish boffins tackle cow-fart ecopocalypse with fish oil

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Cow evil geniuses a bad idea?

Isn't lack of fish oil the reason that all the little children can't read and write anymore?

If we start giving loads of it to cows won't they get smarter? Frankly a countryside ruled by the Evil Daisy and the herds of doom doesn't sound like a good idea.

Researchers poke holes in super duper SSL

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@I've always said ...

>I'd be more willing to trust a web site that had paid tens of thousands of dollars.

Like you would trust AIGwith your savings but not a local building society.

Street View ghost spooks Cardiff medium

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I never understood why the supposed spirits of tormented souls also have clothes.

Are these the ghosts of a pair of Levi's that died before their time?

Dell retreat from Limerick will leave 9,500 casualties

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@And yet...

>Ireland made a lot of hay while they were the cheapest manufactiring site in the EU

They were also a nice little tax haven. Eire has the lowest corporation tax in europe. Dell somehow managed to make a loss on every machine they sold in Germany while paying tax on them in Eire - they got a little telling off for this recently.

It's a shame for the friendly and helpful people in Dell's Irish SME office - but if your country is competing in the high tech manufacturing by simply being the cheapest workforce you had this coming.

Bletchley Park fires up replica Turing Bombe

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@1500 Valves

>I'm always amused that our friends across the pond call vacuum tubes "valves."

Because they are a valve - they control the flow of electrical current like a valve does any other flow. What's does calling it a tube tell you?

Of course what do you expect from a country that calls a sport where you carry an egg shaped object in your hand 'football' instead of 'handegg'

British International Motor Show cancelled

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@AC - Before ya know it, we'll be in a recession

>you have to say that the economy is exhibiting negative growth.

We are in an "Economic growth priority realignment situation" Didn't you get the memo?

We can't be in a recession the defence show is still on - and larger than ever.