* Posts by Charlie 5

13 posts • joined 18 Nov 2009

Capita's top brass bags 20% rise - as IT bods shiver in wage freeze

Charlie 5

confidential matter between the company and its employees,

and the shareholders perhaps

US Navy blasts drones with ship-mounted LASER CANNON

Charlie 5

Re: Missing the point: SOLID STATE!

the power plant could well be underground.

The truth on the Navy carrier debacle? Industry got away with murder

Charlie 5

Dick Jones summed it all up in Robocop

"I had a guaranteed military sale with ED-209. Renovation program. Spare parts for 25 years. Who cares if it worked or not?"

Asteroid miners hunt for platinum, leave all common sense in glovebox

Charlie 5

Re: A lot of this will become reserve & deposit fodder

Over the long haul you are absolutely right but short term it makes sense to discourage anyone from landing a market-shifting quantity of a rare metal. For all the reasons in the original article it wont necessarily be in the interest of the miner to land it all in one go even if they were allowed to.

I think you might struggle to get an insurance policy on your re-entry vehicle if it holds more gold than the Russian national reserve.

The terrestrial market will be isolated anyway by natural factors or rather the barriers to trade between space and Earth have a naturally isolating effect.

As the market and technology mature then the import tarrifs will be less useful and harder to enforce.

Ultimately I think it should all be about assets being refined for use in space while encouraging finance from Earth until the market matures.

Charlie 5

A lot of this will become reserve & deposit fodder

Mining anything of any use at all in space will generate income whether it gets sent back to earth, consumed at source or turned into bars and boosted into a lagrange orbit.

The mere fact of its existence will create a market around it. Reserves of precious metals underpin a lot of economic activity and confidence in other economic activity.

I can buy a barrel of oil (or an ounce of gold) on the stock market that either currently exists (in a variety of states - crude, refined or secondary products) or has yet to be extracted from the ground. I can then sell it on without every having taken deliver or seen the product. I can even sell it on before it has been drilled.

Likewise I may decide to top up my pension by buying a few ounces of space gold that is orbiting the Earth as part of a larger refined deposit of space gold. Or decide to buy a share in a surveyed asteroid that is scheduled to be refined.

Space gold will have a value which is determined by the market. It may even have a special category as space gold on the basis that it may never actually be landed on Earth. Ever.

Chances are that there will be massive import tariffs on space gold or space platinum or space anything for the exact purpose of preventing Earthside markets from being smashed to pieces by supply surplus.

It would make sense to keep all that stuff up there to be traded (initially as derivatives) and eventually used in situ.

African kids learn to read, hack Android on OLPC fondleslab

Charlie 5

Sugata Mitra's work is awesome

I was very lucky to attend one of his personal lectures (a truncated version is on TED) and he is an inspiration. A great scientist and a very nice man too.

His observations about how humans learn will twist your melon. Recommended.

James Bond doesn't do CGI: Inside 007's amazing real-world action

Charlie 5

how many years is it since Dr No?

I need to find out

War-Droid: Smartphone app 'that could CALL IN drone strikes'

Charlie 5

Dougal, This is small, those are far away

using the known size of an object to determine distance from the lens has some risks associated with it.

Mars trips could blind astronauts

Charlie 5

micro gravity

If the lack of gravity is the main culprit then any manned mission would have to have a rotating section to keep the astronauts' feet on the ground.

Why do you say the rocketry currently beyond our capability?

With the right political will, humanity could have put people on Mars in the 1980s.

Read Zubrin's "The Case for Mars". It's all there

UK, US ink boffinry pact on laser fusion 'star power'

Charlie 5

Thorium's a better option

Cheap, cheerful, orders of magnitude safer, available since the 40s, not in hock to the warhead or the fuel rod makers, can be used to get rid of radioactive waste and the fuel stockpiles already exist.

What's not to love about Thorium reactors?

MPs slam 'unworkable' one-size-fits-all NHS care records' system

Charlie 5

not that hard

It could have been done so much more simply and for a lot less money.

All they needed to do was set a standard protocol for the structure, storage and transmission of patient records and then let the hospitals, GPs and patients choose the system which best suited them. The protocol gets a review every year to make sure it covers everything then. Each surgery, hospital, health centre can buy tech kit from Currys or DABS or wherever and you create a cottage industry of small businesses and developers to write the software.

You can still send an anonymyised copy of every transaction/record to the central database so they can have their stats analysis and Bob's your uncle.

Yank objects to Reg cherry-popping headline

Charlie 5

Why Jeff?

is that a reference to the movie X-change?

How the Dunning-Kruger effect will stop techies buying houses

Charlie 5

Surely Dunning-Kruger would be a terrific name for an advertising agency

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