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Comment Re:Nuclear reactor cores (Score 1) 92

Ah, a rather different sort of core. For catching yours, you'll probably need a bit more than breathing apparatus.

But hang on a few seconds - your cores are already a happening event, so what have you got to achieve? Stop it going anywhere ; stop any nuclear reactions ; minimise venting of volatiles ; cool it down. For stopping the nuclear reactions, you need either boron by the tonne or cadmium (and of the two, cadmium is a poisonous heavy metal and boron a bio-not-particularly-nasty ; easy choice) ; IIRC. For cooling it down and stopping it going anywhere, you really need thermal inertia ; dumping heat you can do by running it into a bed of sand or anything with a high thermal mass, as long as it contains enough (dispersed) boron to kill the reaction. Arranging your flow paths so the the core separates into multiple smaller, isolated units to increase the cooling surface - would that make clean up harder or easier. Reducing volatiles - I guess you need to choose your mineralogy.

Can you make cement with 30% by weight boron? Or cement with an aggregate of a high-melting boron mineral?

I'm sure this has been well discussed before, but I don't know the state of the art, and after an 8 hour meeting today, I'm going to the bar!

Comment Re:Caps Lock used to power a huge lever. (Score 1) 687

and the keyboard default layout will never change because at this stage almost everyone in the (developed, at least) world uses a keyboard in that layout.

Dream on, Sunshine.

You describe your frustrations with switching between US and UK layouts. Well, I have that fun, because I'm a Brit and the client's laptop includes software (which I don't use, but "meh") which requires a US-ian layout. But, of course, the physical key caps are laid out in the Dutch pattern (about as different from UK and US as they are from each other. But I've got a Russian keyboard layout installed, for when I'm chatting to the wife from the other side of the world. Three month's ago the trainee (uses the machine on night shift) had German installed because she's German. The partner representatives - who also use the machine - had added Arabic and Turkish layouts. And the next job, we'll have Francophones along, so they'll probably go AZERTY too.

I doubt that a USian or British QWERTY layout is even a majority, worldwide.

Comment Re:Perhaps this can get us further down? (Score 1) 92

Do you think that is what stops us from drilling deeper? I always thought that the biggest problem was the drill strings. After all, a working bit only gets above 150 degrees (Centigrade, of course) if you've fucked your pumps and have a crack head on the brake.

Comment Re:Core catcher (Score 1) 92

Core catchers? As in the jamming sleeve that stops your core from sliding out of the bottom of the core barrel, after you've cut it?

I've seen dozens of them when I've been catching core (and I just had the lovely news that I'll probably be catching my next series of cores in breathing apparatus. Oh joy!), but I've never seen one that had significant signs of heat damage.

What sort of coring do you do that burns out catchers?

Comment Re:Does this work for any phone? (Score 1) 88

It is Qi so most will work it's pretty much the winner.

Care to back that claim up with some stats?

I've never seen any wireless charging technology in the wild, so I've literally no idea which one of the standards is likely to be the one that wins. From wiki-ing, I get that there are at least Qi,

Open Dots, a competing wireless power standard promoted by the Open Dots Alliance
PMA / Powermat, a competing wireless power standard promoted by the Power Matters Alliance
Rezence, a competing wireless power standard promoted by the Alliance for Wireless Power

All of which leads me to the inevitable XKCD.

I've chosen VL-bus over PCI ; SCSI over IDE ; parallel port over USB (1.0), I dodged the HD-DVD versus Blu-Ray question by realising that neither offered any real (to me) use case. I see no reason at all to dive into another standards war until all bar one of the competing standards are dead on the field of battle.

Just checking if my current phone has a wireless charge capability - it's that invisible a technology ... well, that's a surprise - my phone (Samsung, by coincidence) actually does have an official Qi-charging alternative back cover (or flip case). That's vaguely interesting. Since I'm travelling over the next few days for business, I'll see if I can actually spot the charging places. See if they're common enough to actually be a useful discriminator (i.e. let's coffee there not here, because there has Qi pads available and here doesn't.

Comment Re:Not the best summary... (Score 1) 195

It's the same problem as those people who are prescribed antibiotics and don't finish their full course: that's how you get antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Even with a population composed entirely of people who take the full antibiotic course, you'd still develop bacterial resistance, but you'd do it a lot slower. Unless your antibiotic dose is so high that you kill every single solitary one of the bacteria in your body, then the antibiotic will change the structure of the bacterial population by killing off the most susceptible strains first. Since most antibiotics have significant side effects at high doses (trashing gut bacterial populations, skin bacteria, sometimes out right toxicity to humans), the dosage is set at a level that will provide sufficient effect without excessive side effects. That dosage information one of the significant outputs from later stages of human testing.

Fisher and Haldane, and later Hamilton, set up the neo-Darwinian synthesis understanding of evolution with significant amounts of statistics because evolution is a thing that happens to populations, not individuals. You really do need to keep awareness of the underlying population statistics when you're thinking about evolution.

Comment Re:"Truthers" don't believe in *air* (Score 1) 321

I don't see why accidentally ending up in America because transport messed up should be funny. First day's flight was delayed by about 19 hours by snow. Next airport I missed my connection (unsurprisingly) and the office booked me to continue home through America. Had to book one of those ESTER things online in the half-hour between getting the flight details and having to get through the passport control (did the airport have wired network sockets? did they fuck - had to work out how to set up wifi on the laptop!), then got the third degree from the woman on the passports because I was travelling with my work gear and she thought I was an illegal immigrant or something. Totally stupid. Almost caused me another day sweating into the same clothes.

Very un-funny experience.

Comment Re:"Truthers" don't believe in *air* (Score 1) 321

before "assuming" fuck no - they're probably from the USA.

Normally a safe assumption on here. Not true in this case though. Been to America twice - once for a fortnight holiday, and once accidentally because of travel problems. Might go back, if someone pays my fees.

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 70

I sort of like all my wrinkles. Which is just, um, weird. My girlfriend freaks out about hers. I catch sight of mine in a mirror and it just makes me laugh, which causes her to lecture me about not making the laugh lines worse (which just makes it harder not to laugh).

"One man's wrinkles are another man's laughter lines."

It's probably not worth the effort of trying the line on your girlfriend. She's going to kill you for mentioning them anyway, though you might get a slightly quicker and less agonising death. Which might be a small gain.

Comment Re:BBC / other state broadcasters? (Score 1) 132

If the BBC opened up all their content online and then instead of using geoblocking, used geotargetted ads

There are minor outlets of the BBC that use adverts - they were annoying me in Turkey a couple of weeks ago - but the BBC as a corporation doe not do broadcast advertising. They do have appropriate infrastructure for trailers and internal advertising of next weeks Downton Pigs or Vetbum Abbey, which is probably coordinated with the advertising breaks on their affiliates international broadcasting. But for their core market, the BBC does not do adverts. That's why their more recent programming has included a 10-minute segment in at the end of each hour of programme time with things like "making of Dances with Whales" or "Being Eaten By Cats - camaeraman's diary" : it provides chunks of programming that can be detached from the editorial stream (maybe broadcast later) and frees up 10 minutes of screen time per hour for soap adverts.

Comment Re:BBC / other state broadcasters? (Score 1) 132

None of the broadcasters in the world is set up on the basis of serving the globe, not even "giants" like NBC, CBS, ABC, or the BBC.


And the interesting thing is with there being about 4 markets in the world (China - about a billion ; India, potential of a billion ; Europe at a half-billion ; North America, a third of a billion) then the broadcaster that doesn't get into those markets soon is not going to survive against it's global competitors. Particularly the ones that broadcast in common languages - Mandarin and English.

Comment Re:BBC / other state broadcasters? (Score 1) 132

The (mobile) consumer does through his/her connection fees.

The only thing that changes for (say) BBC is that they chuck out or switch off their Geo-IP management servers at their gateway. Where the data goes to after that isn't their concern. That's the point about IP being an unbiased transmission protocol.

Comment Re: Blocked (Score 1) 132

If it was published by a German publisher - or a publisher operating from a German address - does that bring it under GEMA's authority?

(I don't know the answer. I raise the point to illustrate the complexity of the problem, and to show what problems the EU is about removing.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: #44 Zebras are colored with dark stripes on a light background.