* Posts by Heath Kitchin

4 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Jun 2007

Sony writes up UK e-book viewer plan

Heath Kitchin
Big Brother

will be a while yet

before I get one, if ever, unless the gready publishers wake up to the late 20th century.

I love the idea of ebook readers and would sorely like one for my wife who is a voracious reader but at £200+ for the reader plus the inflated prices for a LEASED copy of any books you want to read (at least anything still in copyright) it's just a waste of money.

I hear a couple of ebook reader makers are talking with local libraries to allow free checkouts of electronic format books on a limited time basis, just like for real books, and think that would be the absolute killer app for these. Forget advertising like "can hold 10,000 books" because that is 10,000 x ~£8 currently to fill it! A bigger seller would be a nominal (say less than £50) annual subscription for all-you-can-read services including magazines, newspapers and _recent_ novels, even with encumbered DRM that would be perfectly acceptable for me. With that I would buy two tomorrow.

BB as publishers are using that novel like a manual (and the recent amazon kindle kerfuffle).

Feds urge court to dismiss lawsuit protecting life on Earth

Heath Kitchin

black holes suck

There is a common misconception that a black hole will suck everything around it into it but black holes have no more gravitation pull than an equivalent mass of normal matter. If the moon was turned into a black hole the only appreciable effect we would see is less moonlight (and a small increase in background radiation as the moon-hole's event horizon eats any small amount of matter it bumps into). Tides would continue to act almost exactly as they had before as there is no more mass up there, it's just more concentrated (so some minute effect from it being a point rather than a smear of mass).

Black holes are so incredibly dense that if you were to somehow turn say a 1kg rock into a black hole it would be microscopic and incredibly dense but weigh no more and have no more gravitational pull than a 1kg rock. It would be so small, 1.5x10 e-27m by my calculation, that it could fall through the earth largely unscathed (atoms are in the order of 10 e-12m and are largely empty space). Where it did absorb some mass the energy released from impacts would act to accelerate it and most likely push it out of the earth into orbit, towards the sun or out of the solar system. This is 1kg. A black hole created by the LHC would be many orders of magnitude lighter so even less likely to bump into anything and much more likely to be shot off into space if it did. So even if it didn't evaporate (and there is good theoretical reason to think it would) we are not at any real risk here from tiny black holes of any origin.

Microsoft opens APIs and protocols to all

Heath Kitchin
Gates Horns

only the very newest

Credit to MS, they always seem to be able to spin things to their favour.

They are required to publish their APIs but notice they are only agreeing to release them for their very latest products. The products that they are having significant trouble pushing onto the public.

By opening up these APIs and not the ones for the products people actually use (XP, office 2003 etc) they will be able to meet the EU demand and make the new white elephant versions of their products more appealing.

I think the EU should not fall for this and demand MS publish the APIs for all versions of the products they support (as of now, MS can't be allowed to say they will then stall until support lapses so never publish them).

UK Gov boots intelligent design back into 'religious' margins

Heath Kitchin


I am regularly amazed at the kooks that come out of the woodwork when articles like this come out on a forum that allows comments.

To them I say: My invisible sky daddy is infallible and magical and loves you all despite your heathen "rationality".