* Posts by Brian Hall

34 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Apr 2007

NASA: ALIENS and NEW EARTHS will be ours inside 20 years

Brian Hall

A copy of you is not you, even if it thinks it is. There could be any number of those, all with that illusion, of course.

Boffins find MEXICAN WAVE pattern in random climate wobbles

Brian Hall

Notable that C&W explicitly make their model falsifiable, and make predictions. Unlike the squishy IPCC which makes fudgy projections and then retro-revises them when observations come in on another track entirely.

Hubble spots ALIEN NAVY world – and it's pelted with GLASS RAIN

Brian Hall


If there's a hot wind out from the daylit side there must be a cold wind in, to replace the atmosphere that left.

Only global poverty can save the planet, insists WWF - and the ESA!

Brian Hall

Re: Just wondering if they propose ..

No, but celibacy, perhaps. I prefer forced sterilization for malorthographers.

Brian Hall

Feudal Dreams

Martin Durkin has some penetrating articles on the subject; try http://www.martindurkin.com/blogs/greens-warning-history-volume-one -- The Greens: A Warning From History to start. The good ol' days weren't.

Microsoft researchers build spam filter for HIV

Brian Hall

"Instead of trying to every possible variable and possible correlations the reapplied spam filtering algorithm created the basis of a more elegant search. "

Thangkew, Yoda. Much English speaking you don't?

Radio hams pick up Mars rover Curiosity's signals

Brian Hall

Jeez, enough with the ESL grammar, OK?

"For reception of MSL James Miller has G3RUH remotely tracking and the receiving computer and reconfigure the system has automatically received at the rising MSL in Bochum."

Say what?

Soot warming 'maybe bigger than greenhouse gases' - NASA

Brian Hall


It's all so bass-ackward!


Warming good, Cooling bad (historically speaking).

CO2 trivial ( arxiv.org/pdf/0707.1161v4 ), which is unfortunate since we might need some warming quite soon.

Big Bux and Power Plays have driven the Green/Climate agenda from early on. It is now irredeemably compromised.

Boffins build World's tiniest 'laser'

Brian Hall

Who dat?

Enquiring minds want to know. Who or what are Phsyicists? And why should we care what they think?

Obama: 1m electric cars on US roads by 2015, please

Brian Hall

Tesla Power

Tesla Motors should have that many on the road by then on its own. So far, selling the Roadster and even hotter Sportster, and later this year the Model S sedan, and a year or two later a family 5-seater -- all 100% electric, 250MPG, with ranges from 150-250 miles per charge-up, increasing rapidly as battery tech improves ( it could jump a factor of 10 in the next few years as nanowire fabrication takes off ). Cost about 2¢ (1p) per mile, all-in, to drive (assuming use of off-peak reduced power rates for charge-ups).

Final Arthur C Clarke novel on the way

Brian Hall
Thumb Down

Many little steps do not a large one make

I found that reading Brian Herbert was somewhat less numbing if I skipped about every third paragraph.

As for Gentry, I diagnose incurable didactic verbosity. Not conducive to leaps of imagination and visionary projection!

Microsoft targets online Office bundle at US cheapskates

Brian Hall
Dead Vulture

The target suckers are ...

Doug Glass:

"aimed at the consumer rather than business market". Duh. You had to read three sentences in to notice, though.

Anyhow, I think the demographic they're aiming at is aging rapidly. It'll be interesting to see who uses this, and for how long.

Boffins invent 42GB DVD

Brian Hall

Byte Me!

A "universal" RW machine that could handle/write-read CDs, DVDs, & BRs this way would be a gift to the storage world. All media with 8X the storage? I'd finally have to give up my HDDs, I guess. ;)

Brit firm levitates floating chair

Brian Hall

Double the fun.

Sounds like a fun ShareChair!

Thais rate rat 'better than chicken'

Brian Hall

IT's Obvious!


IT Angle http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/it_angle_32.png

It's a metaphor for the marketing of the $100 laptop. http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/linux_32.png


Alcohol makes you smart enough to study it

Brian Hall

Those little grey cells ...


Obviously you've had a few too few or many. That should be "borne out", not "born out". The former means carried or supported, the second means popped or produced. Sort of.



Aussie scam artist rides bank computer glitch to $9m overdraft

Brian Hall

Good work if you can get it.

Ironically, just under the dateline a little El Reg ad link:

"Find your perfect job - click here from thousands of tech vacancies"

Withdrawing millions from a bank account; I can do that!

Brian Hall



the bank would have had to add more than one zero to his OD limit to get that high; I'm thinking more like 7 or 8 of them!

Brian H

Gunplay fingered for internet slowdown

Brian Hall

rasp, or straw?


how, precisely does it help cables to "berry" them? Enquiring palates want to know ...

Waste computer edict finally hits UK

Brian Hall

Off they go ...

Clearly what's needed is a promo tour, with a good slogan. In other words:

Don't junk it, give your PC to the Don't Junk Kit junket!

Teenagers prefer mobiles to sex

Brian Hall

How about both?

Try iGasm!

gadgetcandy {dotcom} /archives/2007/04/igasm.php

Government clears road for human hybrid embryos

Brian Hall

Man and Superchimp

I want retroactive chimerical therapy; an infusion of chimp muscles would be just the thing to let me take care of certain problem individuals ...

Met staffer arrested over Al Qaeda terror report leak

Brian Hall


Now, Steve, first things first. TB was pushing interventionism, hard, BEFORE GW got elected. So, who's whose lap-poodle?

Will bloggers get the blame for DoH mess?

Brian Hall

Friendly Fire

There's a really nasty pattern to this kind of thing. Concerned employee or user probes problem, reports difficulty, is put up against the wall and shot.

One would think that the Goal is to Not Know, and if you force Them to Know, you are a Violator and must be Punished.

The End of this Road is Ignorance Reigns Supreme!

All Hail Ignorance!

Scientist says nerve gas nastier than you thought

Brian Hall


Clearly, Mr Page, your cognitive abilities have been compromised by your past profession. Have your ventricles checked today!

Microsoft satisfaction rates slip

Brian Hall


If the hangups in copying and deleting in Vista are as severe as some are reporting, we may see negative numbers in M$' near future...

Pushing users over the thrashing threshold is an M$ specialty.

No end in sight for Vista's Long Goodbye

Brian Hall

Index me not!

Indexing, huh? Could be. Anyone remember that horror called Fast Find? MS seems to have a vapour lock on the whole subject.

Gutsy eBayer touts 'Royal Marine surrender kit'

Brian Hall

As Monty would say (and did sing):

Brave Sir RM ran away

Bravely ran away away

When danger reared its ugly head,

He bravely turned his tail and fled

Yes Brave Sir RM turned about

And gallantly he chickened out

Bravely taking to his feet

He beat a very brave retreat

Bravest of the brave Sir RM

Canada announces monster solar plant

Brian Hall


Diego, that was addressed to DAVID, who proposed growing and burning trees, at 17:06 GMT.


actually, pondscum is great stuff, and can do wonders for the atmosphere -- and can even generate hydrogen when forced to operate anaerobically (without access to oxygen).

I actually suspect that there is a complex set of interactions and "triggers", here. Detailed climate records are showing more and more "fast flips", which seem to be the result of hitting tipping points in combinations of variables. It may well be that we can stimulate or avoid some of the nastier possibilities by our behaviour, within the overall patterns of "natural" forces.

As an interesting example, some have suggested that the startup of agriculture 4-8,000 years ago may well have aborted or delayed a "scheduled" major advance of ice sheets. But of course you can get too much of a good thing. The other major consideration is that "normal" is what we're used to and adapted to -- right now. Even if that's not an actual usual geological climate normal. So we may be trying and hoping to preserve a very unlikely and precarious balance or pattern that we just happen to be living through.

Not much to spit and fume about there, I know. Sorry.

Brian Hall

Picky, picky


Sugar cane is a far simpler crop to use to generate alcohol than corn. The additional processing for corn, especially since so far only the kernels can be used, pretty much wipes out any eco-benefits. Hopes are being pinned on developing yeast or bacteria that can break down stalks and leaves to get at the much more tightly bound starches etc. there. But no luck yet.


Burn, you said? Going to trap the CO2 somehow, or just let the good ol' atmosphere reprocess it, like usual?

My preference is to put solar panels on the Moon and microwave the energy back to Earth.

Brian Hall


Sorry Diego, I mis-named you. Short circuit with another latino guy (my apt. building manager). Heh.

Dell finally switches on PC network in Glasgow schools

Brian Hall


I imagine the classes would be far better off if they were run by the most e-savvy students. Taking turns, with Teach' sitting at the back and learning, it would be far better than the mischievous chaos that is likely to be the case as is.

UK airline pilots spot giant UFO

Brian Hall

Time and distance

Simon, I think you have to be a bit more explicit and basic for anyone with jazz' evident level of education and comprehension.

Jazz, light-years measure distance. 1 light year is the distance light will travel in one year. The nearest star, e.g., is just over 4 light-years away, or over 20 trillion (10^12, or million million) miles. So if you travel at 1/10 light speed, or 18,600 miles per second (about 67 million mph), it will take you 40 years to get there. OK?


Engineers write defence against aliens manual

Brian Hall

Pellegrino's Postulate

In 'Flying to Valhalla' (Valhalla, if you recall, is an afterlife of eternal joyful warfare, to which only warriors are admitted), Dr. Charles Pellegrino reveals all. The predator hypothesis says that any dominant race must have evolved as a predator, and therefore will prefer to pre-emptively attack any threat. It will therefore assume any other technological civilization will have the same impulse. It will therefore strike first; what this means is that it will launch a near-C (~.92 C seems likely) missile or two down the throat of any EM source it detects.

These are planet-busters or at the least eco-busters, and can be detected coming in only by their gamma shock wave. But they follow the shock wave closely; when you see a signal from 1 ly away, the missile is actually (1-.92) = 1/12 of that distance, or 1 light-month. When you see its signal at 5 light weeks, it's about 3 light-days away. When you see it 1 light day away (about 4x as far as the far edge of the Kuiper Belt), it's actually about 2 light-hours out. When you see it 2 light-hours out, it's actually about 5 light minutes away. When you see it 5 light-minutes away, it's actually about 13 seconds away, just enough time to bend over and kiss your ass good-bye!

Our broadcasts are 50-100 ly out by now (depending on what detection threshold you prefer), so any techno-race within 25-50 ly may have launched long enough ago to have their missiles arriving any day, now. Unless, of course, space has been almost completely successfully sterilized for some distance out by one surviving (?) planet. [There won't necessarily be one; since there's no "dodging", two last planets could launch at each other any time within the period between older-society launches and the arrival of those missiles. If younger-society gets its launch away before dying, older is doomed, too.]

So, we are either the last because everyone else has wiped each other out, or our package(s) are in transit, or, we must hope, no one is close enough to have detected us. [This is a faint hope, however. Even a very distant society, if they develop technology before we kill them will likely have plenty of time to launch.] Of course, our only rational course is to tool up our own near-C missiles and get ready to launch as soon as we detect a planet with even the potential to spawn someone like us. If we wait, they might [and in any case will likely] catch up enough to launch before we can get them.

In a universe of paranoid predators, non-paranoia is insanity, you see. If there even MIGHT be such a predator race out there (even just one), we must destroy any civilized or potentially civilized species we detect. So must they. I.e., since detecting EM is far too late for any except nearby planets, we must aggressively search out planets with life and techno-society potential and either sterilize them or knock out any potentially sentient animals that have evolved. So, PASSIVE SETI is very important. Sending signals out is suicide. Only instant pre-emption is safe and sane.