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Comment: Re:You owe Snowden a favor (Score 1) 99

by Half-pint HAL (#48930607) Attached to: Snowden Documents: CSE Tracks Millions of Downloads Daily
Clemency? That can't happen, because it would legitimise his leaks. Right now, not only is he considered unreliabl by many on simple grounds of being "a traitor", but he's in exile in Russia -- Russia! -- so anyone with a slight hint of right-wingedness will be disregarding everything he leaks.

Comment: Re:Armchair engineering at its finest (Score 1) 242

by Half-pint HAL (#48928783) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator
The main car would need a cable for the full length of the building. The problem with cables (if I understand the article correctly) is not the infeasibility of the length, it's the weight that comes with it. The point of counterweights is to have roughly similar weights either side of the fulcrum (ie the winch), but when there's a lot of cable, the long end is going to be heavier than the short end. My point isn't to reduce the cable length of the main car, but just to compensate for the change of weight as the cable moves from one side of the winch to the other.

Comment: Re:Its even more impressive... (Score 1) 191

by Half-pint HAL (#48926129) Attached to: Computer Chess Created In 487 Bytes, Breaks 32-Year-Old Record
Only if you do a one-for-one mapping of instructions. The x86 can take advantage of more sophisticated opcodes (eg MULT) to cut down on the number of instructions and its general purpose registers to reduce Load and Store calls (with the associated address bytes). I'd expect x86 to be shorter, if programmed correctly....

Comment: Re:Dodgy record (Score 1) 191

by Half-pint HAL (#48926097) Attached to: Computer Chess Created In 487 Bytes, Breaks 32-Year-Old Record
Which is exactly his point. Even 16-bit x86 processors have more general-purpose register space than z80, so there should be fewer memory calls required. x86 has a more sophisticated instruction set (z80 has no multiplication instruction), so program the exact same algorithm in the two assemblers and you will get a smaller program in x86 than in z80.

Comment: Re:Why use a cable? (Score 1) 242

by Half-pint HAL (#48923799) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

"more energy efficient for shorter runs". We're talking about elevators, you know, those things that stop every 3 vertical meters.

No we're not. We're talking long-distance elevators. Or do you think someone will ever get to the top floor of a 1km high building if the car stops at every floor. Every time you're almost there, you'll have to stop for a pee break then wait for the car to come back.

Various skyscrapers have extremely high capacity lifts -- the Petronas Towers have double-decker lifts with a capacity of 52 passengers.

Comment: Re:Why use a cable? (Score 1) 242

by Half-pint HAL (#48923761) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

Hell, from an IT perspective you reach the limits of multimode fiber risers pretty quickly.

Yeah, but the lag on the satellite broadband suddenly drops away...

Actually, if you're building a tower that high anyway, you'd be just as well using it as a pseudo-satellite broadband provider -- the horizon is over 100 km away when you're a kilometre up. You can serve wireless internet to a small country from up there....

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl

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