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Comment 655,000,000 kilometres = 655 gigametres (Score 2) 57

This type of failure to employ basic SI prefixes really gets my goat! The metre is an SI unit so multiples should use the correct SI prefix. 1000 kilometres is a megametre and 1000 megametres (or 1 000 000 kilometres) is a gigametre. So the above stated distance of 655,000,000 kilometers from Earth should have been specified as 655 gigametres (or 655 Gm).

I know nothing of these "software upgrades" of which they speak.

Comment The Recording Industry was The Destroyer (Score 1) 617

The professional music business existed long before the recording industry made recordings of "popular" music widely available. Once such recording became available, it became fashionable to have heard the recorded artistes despite the fact that you could hear the same music, without the loss of quality inherent in the recording and probably performed by better singers and musicians at your local music hall or tavern. Once people started to direct their disposable income towards the recording companies instead of the local performers, the professional music business was brought to its knees. The recent availability of "amateur" performances is merely serving to restore the balance by showing that the artistes being foisted upon the public by the recording companies are very ordinary performers with no special talent and not deserving of an elevated share of the money pot. Moreover, although the poor quality of the early recordings is consigned to history, it is increasingly common to hear the strange tonal warbling that is introduced when a digital sound recording system is used to correct the poor vocal quality of the singer(s). So let us hope that the trend towards listening to amateur and live performances will continue until the blight that is the recording industry has been eradicated forever.

Comment Of course, 12 cannot be either AM or PM (Score 2) 185

AM (Ante-Meridian) meaning before midday and PM (Post-Meridian) meaning after midday, it is not possible for 12 to be either before or after midday because 12 is midday. Similarly, 12 midnight, being equally distant from the preceding and following midday cannot be labelled as either AM or PM. Thus, 12 may be referred to as midday, noon or midnight but never AM or PM.

Comment Inexpensive medical testing? (Score 1) 87

An (electronic) accelerometer can be constricted by attaching a resistive material to a vaguely flexible substrate such that the electrical resistance varies when the substrate is deformed (much the same as a strain gauge actually). In this case, the paper is merely the substrate and it is difficult to accept the claim that the accelerometer is made of paper.It seems rather akin to claiming to have made a paper-based computer - by sticking a laptop to a sheet of paper.

More importantly, precisely which medical tests require an accelerometer? Not being the sort of malingerer who spends a lot of time undergoing medical testing, I may have missed them but I'm pretty sure that no doctor has ever attempted to measure my acceleration. I know that older people often claim that time seems to pass more quickly. Perhaps time passing more quickly actually manifests as a measurable reduction in their acceleration and acceleration tests are a geriatric specialisation that I can look forward to as I get older. Perhaps the more senior SlashDot followers would care to comment on the efficacy of acceleration testing?


Nuclear Power Could See a Revival 415

shmG writes "As the US moves to reduce dependence on oil, the nuclear industry is looking to expand, with new designs making their way through the regulatory process. No less than three new configurations for nuclear power are being considered for licensing by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The first of them could be generating power in Georgia by 2016."

Comment Pourquoi sans English (Score 1) 502

Has anyone else noticed French words such as sans gradually creeping into English in place of perfectly good words such as without? I believe that this is not coincidental but rather the work of a dedicated group of French extremists who, by gradually increasing the proportion of French words in circulation, hope to replace the English language entirely within just a few decades. Par recognizer this behaviour, we can arret it before it gets out of main. Mai, si nous do not faites attention then pendant just a few ans, we could find qui French is the nouvel Anglais. Dit "non" maintenant a English avec Francais!

Diese Anmerkung ist auch auf Deutsch vorhanden.

Well it's lunch time and all the blinkenlights are working...

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"