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Comment: Re:Tsunamis! (Score 2, Informative) 100

by M-RES (#31509088) Attached to: Scottish Wave Energy Plans Move Forward

Tidal generators don't create 'calm' zones, because tides aren't driven by a pushing force, rather by a pulling force (lunar gravitational pull), so water is merely dragged across/through a generator and continues to be dragged after it has passed the 'obstacle'.

Wave powered generators such as the Salter Duck did leave calm zones behind them as they absorbed the waves' vertical kinetic energy in long arrays strung out perpendicular to the direction of the waves' travel. However, these designs were dropped a long time ago in favour of 'snake' designs which harness as much energy but without causing these calm areas behind them.

Sea Snake on YouTube

Comment: Re:Solution (Score 2, Insightful) 690

by M-RES (#31342036) Attached to: $1M Prize For Finding Cause of Unintended Acceleration

Why shouldn't you be doing it? That's not what I was taught when racing cars in my younger years...

One of the problems these days is people aren't taught how to drive properly - they have to hold the steering wheel in the wrong place (ten-to-two when it should be quarter-to-three), they're told to only ever hit the brakes to slow down when they should be changing down a gear and using engine braking to keep the car under control and pre-load suspension and brakes more safely, they're taught never to cross their hands on the steering wheel when it's imperative that you DO cross hands when it's called for. Basically, most people these days are taught to drive like a complete spack so that they never have enough skill to drive fast (and, I'd imagine, so that never have a chance to get away from police who HAVE been taught correctly).


Debunking a Climate-Change Skeptic 807

Posted by kdawson
from the so-many-notes-mister-mozart dept.
DJRumpy writes "The Danish political scientist Bjørn Lomborg won fame and fans by arguing that many of the alarms sounded by environmental activists and scientists — that species are going extinct at a dangerous rate, that forests are disappearing, that climate change could be catastrophic — are bogus. A big reason Lomborg was taken seriously is that both of his books, The Skeptical Environmentalist (in 2001) and Cool It (in 2007), have extensive references, giving a seemingly authoritative source for every one of his controversial assertions. So in a display of altruistic masochism that we should all be grateful for (just as we're grateful that some people are willing to be dairy farmers), author Howard Friel has checked every single citation in Cool It. The result is The Lomborg Deception, which is being published by Yale University Press next month. It reveals that Lomborg's work is 'a mirage,' writes biologist Thomas Lovejoy in the foreword. '[I]t is a house of cards. Friel has used real scholarship to reveal the flimsy nature' of Lomborg's work."

Comment: Re:Let's face it (Score 1) 342

by M-RES (#30969706) Attached to: UK Gov't Says "No Evidence" IE Is Less Secure
No, the supporting factor is the likelihood of being able to engineer a user to do something stupid, as that tends to be the most common point of entry for an attack. The target size makes no difference, it's the average 'stupidity' (or naivety) of that target that makes the returns worthwhile for the effort expended in attacking it.

Comment: Re:Missing the point (Score 4, Insightful) 342

by M-RES (#30969678) Attached to: UK Gov't Says "No Evidence" IE Is Less Secure

I was going to mention this very issue and you beat me to it. I know people who work in local government, both as 'users' of the in-house systems and 'sysadmins' on those same systems, and they all tell me how outdated their setups are. They're by and large using IE6 across the board, because the browser-based apps they use work in IE6 and if there's the slightest glitch in updating the browser they won't touch it - they just don't have the budget to deal with the issue and test it rolled out across such huge networks.

If it doesn't work someone would have to take the blame and we all know how civil servants do everything they can to avoid having any responsibility whatsoever for any decisions, hence the 'committee'. The committee provides plausible deniability wherein any single member can say "I didn't agree with the decision, but the committee decided...".

Welcome to the cosy sheltered world of civil service. People who work there genuinely couldn't survive in the 'real world' of private business/industry!

Comment: Re:Uh, no. They didn't. (Score 1) 531

by M-RES (#30957416) Attached to: Has Apple Created the Perfect Board Game Platform?

But it's NOT easy to carry around - it won't fit in a pocket, so it'll mean one hand always full, or carrying it in a bag. If you're going to do that then you may just as well carry a netbook or other small laptop or tablet with more functionality at a lower price point.

If you want a device you can easily carry around and share (!?), then the it's overpriced and underspecced - bad value for money.

At current exchange rates it's nearly 400 GBP. Alternatively I could buy a Dell Mini 10v for just over half of that and install OS X more or less without modification. And then I could run whatever software I like without Apple vetting it first to decide whether or not they deem it suitable for me to run that software. And that's the clincher - the software issue! Shame really...

Comment: Re:Bullshit level: High - Storm likely. (Score 1) 322

by M-RES (#30722892) Attached to: Tech Tools Fostering "Mini Generation Gaps"

A text message is probably cheaper than a voice call

You're shitting me right?

Text is one of the most expensive ways to communicate. What you can say in a 10 second conversation may take a multitude of texts back n forth. Given that a phone call costs an initial 'connection fee' plus the length of call only, but texts are charged 'PER TEXT', it means that your call is paid for once and by only one party in the conversation and with a short conversation that can be a small charge, whereas a texted conversation is charged per response to both sides, thus earning the phone company possibly 10 times as much! Texts are a huge scam - they bundle x number 'free' in with monthly tariffs to persuade younger people to may more than they should for phone service rather than dropping their price to a representative level (virtually free) on PAYG deals. Corporate scam scam scam.

Comment: Re:Bullshit level: High - Storm likely. (Score 1) 322

by M-RES (#30722726) Attached to: Tech Tools Fostering "Mini Generation Gaps"

And this shall be your downfall... ;p

Seriously, the only real POINT of using email is that it's asynchronous. You don't HAVE to answer immediately and to be honest, you can even pretend you 'haven't received it yet' if you need to stall for time, which is why it's so useful in deadline-oriented businesses. If email has replaced phonecalls. then your company are wasting a lot of time with staff typing rather than speaking - even the fastest touch-typist would struggle to key as many WPM as speaking quickly.

For me it's all about context. If I need to speak to someone instantly I phone them or check to see if they're logged in to Skype or somesuch. If I don't need an instant response or I need a reply ASAP but they're otherwise engaged (in a meeting for instance) I email or text. If I don't get a timely response I follow up with further or alternative contact.

The perversity of nature is nowhere better demonstrated by the fact that, when exposed to the same atmosphere, bread becomes hard while crackers become soft.