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Comment: Re:Excuse me? (Score 1) 122

by AliasMrAlias (#45378971) Attached to: GOCE Satellite Is Falling To Earth But Nobody Knows Where It Will Land

RE fuel: Not really; GOCE only has an ion engine which has nowhere near enough (instantaneous) thrust to effect a controlled re-entry (over realistic timescales)

RE prediction:Again, not really - there are too many variables; you can get a landing ellipse once re-entry has begun but before that, for a satellite this size, its really hard to get a handle on things more than a few days in advance.

Having said this, the initial article is a tad misleading, they'll be able to say pretty accurately soon if not now. It's probably fine.

Comment: Upgradabilty (Score 5, Insightful) 591

by AliasMrAlias (#43348469) Attached to: If I could change what's "typical" about typical laptops ...

Not soldering everything together would get my vote. The option to include a discrete graphics card or better processor at some point after purchase would be very welcome. I have a desktop I keep up to date and use a broken down second hand dell for any work that requires mobility (meetings, class etc) because I see no point in investing in a piece of kit I can't improve later on.

Comment: He was also a racist mysoginist (Score 1, Troll) 130

by AliasMrAlias (#42234671) Attached to: Sir Patrick Moore Dies Aged 89

He was a fan of Enoch Powell (a racist)
He was anti equality legislation for women and non-white people
He was at one time a BNP supporter (British National Party - racist)
He wanted to ban women from the BBC

I wish all the fawning articles on the net today would mention some of this

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Moore#Activism_and_political_beliefs

Google

+ - Google Cools Its Data Centre With Toilet Flushes -> 1

Submitted by
judgecorp
judgecorp writes "Google is cooling its data centre in Douglas County, georgia, using "recycled" water that has been through the bathtubs and toilets of the surrounding community. So called "grey" water is perfectly adequate for the data centre's cooling system which relies on evaporation (the wet T-shirt effect), says Google."
Link to Original Source

+ - DIY augmented reality head-up display->

Submitted by mkwan
mkwan (2589113) writes "A PhD student in Melbourne, Australia, has built an augmented reality head-up display using a baseball cap, an Android smartphone, and off-the-shelf optics. It won't win any awards for style or practicality, but it's a fun way to use Wikitude. All we need now is a Terminator-vision smartphone app."
Link to Original Source
Science

+ - Physicists Discover Evolutionary Laws of Language 2

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Christopher Shea writes in the WSJ that physicists studying Google's massive collection of scanned books claim to have identified universal laws governing the birth, life course and death of words marking an advance in a new field dubbed "Culturomics": the application of data-crunching to subjects typically considered part of the humanities. Published in Science, their paper gives the best-yet estimate of the true number of words in English—a million, far more than any dictionary has recorded (the 2002 Webster's Third New International Dictionary has 348,000) with more than half of the language considered "dark matter" that has evaded standard dictionaries (PDF). The paper tracked word usage through time (each year, for instance, 1% of the world's English-speaking population switches from "sneaked" to "snuck") and found that English continues to grow at a rate of 8,500 new words a year. However the growth rate is slowing, partly because the language is already so rich, the "marginal utility" of new words is declining. Another discovery is that the death rates for words is rising, largely as a matter of homogenization as regional words disappear and spell-checking programs and vigilant copy editors choke off the chaotic variety of words much more quickly, in effect speeding up the natural selection of words. The authors also identified a universal "tipping point" in the life cycle of new words: Roughly 30 to 50 years after their birth, words either enter the long-term lexicon or tumble off a cliff into disuse and go "23 skidoo" as children either accept or reject their parents' coinages."

"There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum." --Arthur C. Clarke

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