* Posts by Michael Chester

71 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Nov 2006


Watchdog bites bar over 'offensive' Facebook ad

Michael Chester

Re: @Someone Else Re:And E = F flat (The Musician's Theory of Relativity)

That would be general relativity. E=mc^2 comes from special relativity, for which the positulates are:

- The laws of physics are the same in all inertial reference frames

- The speed of light is constant in all inertial reference frames (or equivalently, Maxwell's Equations)

New account of Flight 447 disaster published

Michael Chester

I think that comes under "impact"

Secret US 'Jedi' ghost-copters kept out of bin Laden raid

Michael Chester

Not necessarily

It could have an emissivity of 0, meaning it also absorbs no light, and so is totally transparent to all wavelengths, or totally reflective at all wavelengths (unlikely, since it's "invisible to radar"). A team of navy seals flying with no visible support would certainly have a low radar signature.

Is the electromagnetic constant a constant?

Michael Chester

A couple ways of doing redshifts

Spectral lines are one, the other major one is finding some stellar object with a consistent spectrum, finding lots of examples of it, then comparing the shift of the entire spectral profile.

I would also presume that the shift in the lines is one that cannot be accounted for by redshift alone (i.e. it scales differently). Too late in the evening to have a look at the paper though.

Earth escapes obliteration by comet

Michael Chester

Terry Pratchett's Theory of Mobs

(from one of the Guards books, can't remember which)

The IQ of a mob is equal to the IQ of its stupidest member divided by the number of people in the mob.

Seems to work on the internet too

BOFH: Hordes unleashed... by a RAM upgrade

Michael Chester


It's old enough that it won't fit in their personal computers any more

CERN boffins re-running neutrino speed test

Michael Chester

Neutrinos != light

They would just pass straight through the fiber optic cable, and there's no good way of directing them which would allow you to send them in a circle (even the detectors are inefficient, since they interact so rarely with anything)

Better ATM skimming through thermal imaging

Michael Chester

WAY before that

I saw it in the game Cyberia (1994).

Now turn around real slow (but if you press the keyboard to turn rather than waiting for the cutscene you'll get shot)

First smut site erected on .xxx address

Michael Chester


"MetaCert makes a free browser plug-in that can block sites and insert mouseover warnings into search engine results, based on its hosted database of known porn sites.

Under its deal with ICM, every .xxx site will be automatically labelled as adults-only in this database."

Surely just add *.xxx to the database? Doesn't need a commercial agreement. Isn't that rather the point of .xxx in the first place?

Google: Our rapid load won't give you anything nasty

Michael Chester

Filter by date:

You can do this already (to a point)

Advanced search -> date -> past 24h, week or month (not complete choice, but generally good enough)

Google sued over – yes – Android location tracking

Michael Chester

And where you work to another 40 or 50 addresses

And how many people do you reckon are in both?

Love Bug malware-inspired film gets big screen premiere

Michael Chester

To be fair

this one just doesn't look worth watching anyway

Geeks break time machine record

Michael Chester

How to beat the record

1.Take each of the competitors

2. add something to the end of each to trigger the start of the next

3. done

Google opens peephole on mystery data center practices

Michael Chester

We do what we must, because we can

Just don't trust their attempts to get into the slimming dessert market...

Fukushima on Thursday: Prospects starting to look good

Michael Chester

I wish to propose another entrant

I think this is the best summary of events I've seen so far:


Hadron Collider 'could act as telephone for talking to the past'

Michael Chester

Not necessarily

It could absorb a load of energy when it enters the past, and emit a load when it starts to travel backwards in time.

Microsoft to Apple: 'Oh, yeah? Well, your font is too small'

Michael Chester

88% are the apple store

Which means 1 in 8 references are generic, or about a different store, which to my mind should be enough to prevent them getting a blanket trademark.

Google unloads Nexus S Gingerbread phone

Michael Chester

The magic is never getting beyond 1.6

Even the modders aren't trying to put a full version o 2.0 on there, though last time I looked Cyanogen had an experimental most-of-the-way-to-2.1 build for it

Unfeasibly vast amphibian found croaked on video card

Michael Chester

Bus != Greek

It's a shortened form of omnibus (for everyone) in Latin.

And the -ii form is wrong for everything (it happens when replacing the -us with -i in a word ending -ius e.g. radius-radii)

Also, technically octopus/platypus - octopodes/platypodes since these come from the Greek, but hardly anyone uses those.

I half-remember a poem about the plural of rhinoceros, but cant find a link to it


Plasma space-drive aces efficiency numbers: Set for ISS in 2014

Michael Chester

What's the mass of the thruster itself?

Would be interesting to work out how long one of these would take to reach some ludicrously fast speed, if you just bolted it to a power source and let it go.

Makes for a much more interesting bit of relativity revision than the standard problems I've been given...

Would also need the ejection rate of the fuel

On a side note, look at the second video from the bottom here: http://www.adastrarocket.com/aarc/VX200 , it even SOUNDS like something straight out of a science fiction movie!

How I used Space Shuttle tech to insulate the living room

Michael Chester

Look at the article

Specifically the piece holding up a brick, and the section: "Despite the fact that it is prone to shattering, it is very strong structurally. Its impressive load bearing abilities are due to the dendritic microstructure, in which spherical particles of average size 2–5 nm are fused together into clusters. "

Just because it looks fragile, doesn't mean it is. Things start to behave oddly when they have meaningful nanoscale structure

Apple files patent for iPad weight loss

Michael Chester


The exact specification of materials is making this more restrictive if anything, and the diagram of the layering is for the fact that they are exposed at the corners (not read it in detail, but would presume something to do with how it wraps around/is attached at the corners of the case).

It's like complaining that with a new motherboard design someone was trying to patent copper tracks, just because the materials are specified, doesn't mean apple will own the rights to the materials, for fairly obvious reasons.

In fact, you could make something the exact same shape and method, from a non-layered material, and this patent wouldn't cover it, or you could still use the same materials apple are proposing, but make the frame out of something else* (though it could in theory cover papier maché given the wording of claim 1, but only if you make a frame and it's cover separately, then glue them together (e.g., not if you build the layers up on the frame itself, or if the frame is made from anything other than more papier maché))

*which they presumably can't patent since this is how most of the other stuff made of this kind of material works.

Co-op cashier's breasts overcharged for fruit and veg

Michael Chester

The density of much of the human body is approximately that of water

Though in this case, probably slightly less, so you'd get an overestimate, but it would still be a good first approximation.

Blogger faces terror charges for 'naming MPs'

Michael Chester

I'll wait for someone else to google that i think...

It's probabloy out there, but best not to look on a uni network

Zuckerberg admits fallibility over Gmail block

Michael Chester

Emails are bad, but numbers are fine?

Anyone with an android phone (and presumably others), can get the facebook app. An undocumented feature of this is the "facebook phonebook", which will give you the phone numbers of all your facebook friends who have theirs up on their profile.

Personally, I'd much rather someone had my (easily filterable) e-mail, than my phone number (my e-mail is visible friends only, my number isn't on there at all).

BOFH: Join the club

Michael Chester

Not catalysts

That's an experiment demonstrating oxidation. The difference in oxidation energies between the iron and aluminium means that the aluminium violently takes the oxygen from the iron oxide, hence the fierce reaction.

The magnesium is there for 2 reasons: firstly, the activation energy for the thermite is quite large, so having something easily lit that burns hot enough to ignite the reaction is a plus. Secondly, the magnesium ribbon burning down gives the teacher time to get away from the reaction before it starts

Hackers claim to pwn Conservative Party website

Michael Chester
Big Brother

I saw this

Was on /links on B3ta when it was happening, and someone posted a link to the thread as it started

It was a trivial SQL vulnerability, from (rough) memory, typing

') OR ('1' = '1

(quotes may be in the wrong place, don't know any SQL) into the password field was said to allow access (didn't try it myself)

Various defacements, from the subtle (a couple words added in to completely change the meaning of a paragraph) to the.... less so (putting nazi logos up everywhere and having a large bit of text saying **** you). Mainly the latter once someone posted the vuln on /b/.

Unfortunately, this being the internet, where things are easy to fake, and the Conservatives unlikely to be forthcoming on this (would have been more public if 4Chan had done it middle of the UK day), posts like this and the screen caps above are likely to be the best you'll get.

Russian spy ring bust uncovers tech toolkit

Michael Chester

Possibly the opposite

I have a polish friend called Anna, which is pronounced as Anya, so the Anya may be the anglicisation (at least for pronunciation) and Anna the original name

Budget to cost over a million jobs: Official

Michael Chester
IT Angle

Other alternative headline

"Budget to definitely cost 600,000 jobs, lack of certainty from treasury over private sector* means that the actual impact could be double this in either direction: Official"

*and quite rightly so, it is, by definition, not government controlled

Not quite as snappy, I'll admit

NASA: Civilization will end in 2013 (possibly)

Michael Chester

Your BOTE is wrong

The warning is the time gap between the light speed signals reaching us and the slower particles reaching us, so the total time is 8+15minutes to travel 8 light minutes, so about 1/3 c


Steve Jobs dubs Google's 'don't be evil' motto 'bulls**t'

Michael Chester
Black Helicopters

Do evil differently

Google: Make something fairly good, subsidise it heavily (through the advertising you can put on it later), price the rest out of the market.

Apple: Make something at best alright, price it as if it's the second coming, rely on the hype machine to ensure it sells like the second coming too.

no evil google icon yet?

Stranded Hartlepool pair refuse coastguard rescue

Michael Chester

No law against suicide

Leave them a radio in case they change their mind though, once the first one succumbs to the waves, the other may well see sense.

Reminds me of the joke about the preacher in the flood:

"Oh lord, why did you not save me?"

"I sent 3 boats and a helicopter, what more do you bloody want?"

Google suggests Islam is nothing

Michael Chester

Doesnt look like it

Otherwise surely "istanbul is", "island is" etc. would bring nothing up, plus it also seems to happen for mispellings that would lead it to suggest islam

Top Gear tops iPlayer hit list

Michael Chester

Africa was discovered well before then

Most of what was north of the sahara was part of the Roman empire, so there definitely would have been trade well before 6th C. Plus the existence of Africa would have become rather obvious by the 8th century when the Moors (from modern day Morocco) took over Spain.

Personally, I was shocked and appalled by the use of the very historically inaccurate dragons, which is obviously just pandering to allegations of anti-draconic bias in BBC programming.

US data firm blows s**t out of server

Michael Chester
Gates Horns

Nice server...

It would be a shame if something.... happened to it

Feds bust cable modem modder kit maker

Michael Chester


"Give them several billion dollars.

and let them do it again."

Good point, but those several billion dollars are now worth approximately sixpence.

Society bible lectures students on etiquette

Michael Chester

Two necessary thing sto bring when moving in:

Tea and bacon.

Tea so you can offer people a cuppa as they move in.

Bacon so you can do bacon sarnies for breakfast as they realise that none of them brought any food.

The people on your floor will be friends for life after that.

Russian's Bulgarian airbags burst mid-flight

Michael Chester

Eddie Izzard quote time


"hi, my left breast has just exploded, do you have a pillow or something that I could use to even it out? thank you"

Judge backs Halifax in Chip and PIN clone case

Michael Chester

@Andus McCoatover

Simple(ish) solution:

1. Go to bank (management if possible), or, if they don't co-operate, lawyer (who will be able to sort it in such a way that it's admissible evidence).

2. Put money on card,

3. give card to bank/lawyer, ensure that no replacement is issued.

4.a) If money disappears, then you can show that its not you doing it (unless you clone cards yourself...)

4.b) If the money is only going just after you visit the pub, take banker/lawyer out drinking, using your card but with them taking it before and after

5. ????


University emails 'blocked from Hotmail'

Michael Chester

Not happening here.

E-mails happily flying back and forth between my hotmail account and my uni (Oxford (the proper one)) account. Goes to junk mail on my old account, with the filter set to standard.

Stargazers spy elusive binary black hole system

Michael Chester

This is either really good, or really bad...

Either great or terrible news for those looking for gravity waves. On the plus side something like this should kick out a ton of them (from my limited understanding, I will be sure to confuse a tutor with this later), on the down side, something like this should kick out a ton of them and we haven't found any yet (unless uni life has kept me further away from the news than I think)

Man U fan pwned in Facebook honeypot

Michael Chester
Thumb Down

well deserved

Married man, meets "woman" on internet (over facebook? so got added by someone random and decided to chat?), decides to meet up on a remote farm, deserves whatever he gets to be honest, lucky it was a bunch of pranksters.

'Faith-based' investment firm fingers holiday's most sinful games

Michael Chester

Some problems with the list

I was going to start with the number of demonic references missed, got up to 4 (starting from the bottom going up on the full list), before i got to: "Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers"



(Got to 9 for deminic references in the end, though i didnt know some games, and let a few off)

Also, Oblivion is on there twice (as Elder scrolls IV: Oblivion, the. and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion) and scores differently (7 and 8, aparrently picking up a point for drugs somewhere),

US couple sue over McNudes

Michael Chester
IT Angle

Not just the staff

Yokel leaves phone with bluetooth turned on and no security. Geek comes in with phone program that can search other phones who leave their bluetooth unsecured. finds phone left in office, steals pics, and contact details for wife, which happen to include address,

Employees sue for unpaid Windows Vista overtime

Michael Chester

Easy solutions:

To 1: hibernate or sleep the computers, or just sort them out a bit so they run better, or just use a faster booting OS.

To 2: Stop hanging around waiting for your comp to shut down when you aren't getting paid for it you numpties

'Ruggedised, weaponised' raygun modules now on sale

Michael Chester

@ Greg Trocchia

So that would be about 10d4 + 10 then? (side note: seeing as the laser will probably do reasonably consistent damage, its better modelled by a large number of small dice (e.g. 5d4 = 5-20) than a small number of large dice (e.g. 1d20 = 1-20))

Batman sues Batman over Batman

Michael Chester


Just build the next theme park there, how much better free publicity could there be?

Google fixes world's most stupid bug

Michael Chester
Thumb Up

Not the first Googlebug

When Chrome first went public, if you typed in %evil into the command line it would crash the entire browser. One of my friends rigged up a page on hi site to see if this could be done just by visiting a page, and it could. So of course he did the responsible thing and put it on an "about Chrome" page in his site, which just displayed "goodbye"

First Amendment rescues Grand Theft Auto's 'totally nude' strip club

Michael Chester


Isn't there a right to parody under Merkin law that Rockstar could hae just as easily defended themselves with?

Inmate hacked prison network, broke into employee database

Michael Chester
IT Angle

Wait a sec....

"connected through the prison's network to the internet solely so that it could obtain updates to its Windows operating system"

Surely if it wasnt connected to the internet there would be no reason to need most of the updates (which generally fix network security flaws)..... Once an OS is stable enough to run, it can be left unupdated on a non-networked computer, especially one just used by the inmates.