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Comment: Re:escalators too (Score 1) 698

by ZwJGR (#32834044) Attached to: Should Cities Install Moving Sidewalks?

Having two lines on escalators, people standing on the right and walking on the left, has been the de facto standard everywhere I have been (so most of Europe), and I'd assume most of the civilised world does similarly.
In the UK and central/western Europe where I've dealt with them most often, this courtesy is often pointed out by signs, and people standing in the way will be asked (politely or not) to move across, or sometimes if not just shoved out the way.

As for lack of escalators on England railways, it's simply not possible to put escalators everywhere, due to both cost and spacial issues (particularly as most of the rail infrastructure in the UK was built by the Victorians, who didn't really do escalators, and liked stairs).
That said newly built lines/stations tend to be quite accessible.

Comment: Re:400M goes to who? (Score 1) 215

by ZwJGR (#32277234) Attached to: Nine Chip Makers Fined $400M In EU For Price Fixing

Ya, price fixing sucks. But let's be real honest shall we?


Sorry, but "let's" is correct, "lets" is not.
It is an abbreviation of "let us".

I think concluding that this ruling will cause prices to fall due to increased competitiveness is being a bit optimistic. It simply isn't in their best interest to be competitive or seek to outprice each other, seeing as they are essentially all selling the same thing and profit margins need to be maintained.

Comment: Re:The chart is mis-labeled (Score 1) 295

by ZwJGR (#31148786) Attached to: Where Microsoft's Profits Come From

Office 97 had a few bugs to do with table layout, amongst other things (I forget exactly what, but it annoyed me at the time). This was especially noticeable when loading files created with newer versions of office (ie. your document now looks like something out of geocities rendered in IE 5).
Nested tables behaved especially badly, some of the defaults were a bit silly and when things went wrong they tended to do so rather gracelessly.
Also there were a fair few text layout mechanisms it didn't or only half-heartedly supported, which subsequent versions dealt with nicely (once again, they annoyed me back in the day, but damned if I can remember exactly which they were...)

If you changed that to say Office 2000, I'd be more inclined to agree.

(Personally I use Office 2003, and see no reason whatsoever to upgrade to 2010...)

Comment: Re:Oh, come on... You can't have it both ways. (Score 1) 512

by ZwJGR (#28467641) Attached to: Beamed Space Solar Power Plant To Open In 2016?

I hate to disappoint you but solar output isn't measured in degrees Celsius.
Trying to argue that 2.5 times solar output means 40C x 2.5 = enough to produce steam, just makes you look like you haven't a clue what you are talking about.
The output is generally measured in Wm^-2 (1000 on a sunny equatorial day more or less), and as frankly the vast majority of microwave radiation would go straight through a human obstacle and out the other side anyway, if you are worried about being being caught in the beam being boiled alive or whatever, you've missed the point a little.
If they were just using a solar collector and focusing device (ie. a big mirror) in orbit à la shitty films like Die Another Die then yes, it would be an issue (the temperature to output power per area ratio would still be in absolutely no way linear though).

Mostly, you seem to have forgotten in general that the Celsius temperature scale has an arbitrary zero point, so doing any kind of multiplication on it will almost always give you a rubbish answer.

As for using other kinds of liquids/thermal solar collection, people do that already in deserts (on a medium scale) and there's absolutely no need for having orbiting mechanisms to increase throughput. Just use focusing mirrors on the ground.

Frankly the idea is a bit of a waste of time in my eyes. There's plenty of empty sunny desert where solar collection systems can be set up. Cheaper to create a 10km^2 grid on the ground that produces much more, than to try and put a 0.1km^2 array in orbit and try to beam power down somehow...

Comment: FAIL (Score 0, Offtopic) 62

by ZwJGR (#27771465) Attached to: Web Analytics Databases Get Even Larger

Slow news day alert!

The topic in question is blindingly obvious to anyone who has heard of this newfangled "Internet" thing, and frankly is not worth an article in the first place.
Furthermore, such a blatant error in the headline and summary is simply ridiculous. Do the submitters or editors not reread text prior to submission? This is sloppy /. reporting at it's finest... For shame.

Comment: Move Elsewhere... (Score 1) 242

by ZwJGR (#27748371) Attached to: EFF Sues Apple Over BluWiki Legal Threats

While I support the course of action which BluWiki have taken, it is not at all surprising that apple will act in their usual reprehensible manner.

Reverse engineering/cracking/technical discussion/anything-your-corporate-overlords-raise-their-eyebrows-at groups, would do better to simply speak outside of the legal reach of such entities. Either by not having discussions in public, using channels not often trawled by our overlords (IRC, etc.) or locating the server/parent corporation in safer waters, so to speak.

If no-one could read their discussion without registering or without being added to the group/whatever, apple probably would not have found it or bothered to cause a fuss. This is by no means ideal though.
Probably more practical, if they had just bought some web space in South Korea or something, instead of using unsafe webspace based in the US, they'd be home free and probably get better service to boot...

Comment: Oh noes! (Score 1) 422

by ZwJGR (#27615059) Attached to: Louisiana Rep. Preps State Bill Banning Human-Animal Hybrids

All we need now is a big parade of furries, kin, "recreational livestock farmers" and medical researchers to protest against such an evil bill.... *cough*, yeah...

I frankly don't see that what's so bad about hybrids, it's not like animals in the US have any rights whatsoever anyway, and any hybrid actually formed would likely get a better deal in life than most animals...

If it can be used to save/improve/whatever human (or other) life, then, surely that's a good thing...

Probably done by the same bunch of narrow-minded old religious interfering asshats who think abortion, stem cells and the teaching of science are the scourge of the earth.

Comment: Hmm (Score 4, Insightful) 134

by ZwJGR (#26670707) Attached to: PC's Waste Heat Could Add To Processing Power

"Provided that the thermal memory is well insulated", that basically means putting it on a different piece of silicon/on something else entirely, which kind of defeats the object as I see it.

While I haven't looked at this in great detail, it strikes me that achieving anything near useful density is going to very difficult due to entropy, and the simple fact that putting very small volumes at slightly different temperatures right next to each others quickly leads to a relatively uniform temperature distribution.

This sounds somewhat improbable/unfeasible to me...

It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - McDonalds Cook Arrested: Burger Too Salty

Submitted by
SuperJew writes "A McDonald's worker was arrested yesterday outside of Atlanta because the burgers were too salty. A Union City, GA police officer took two bites and vomited. The cook, Kendra Bull, said the salt & pepper accidentally spilled into the meat mixture, but the manager continued cooking it anyway. Police investigators took photos of the offending sandwich and hauled Ms. Bull off to jail. The charge? Reckless Conduct. What's next? Arresting the guy at Best Buy becuase they overcharged a cop for a TV?"

+ - Consumer rip-off on mp3 player batteries? 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I have been looking into mp3 players to upgrade my 1GB iaudio 5, with more storage. Out of all the brands I have checked; none of the hard drive based players have user replaceable batteries. All of the major manufacturers offer a "service" for replacement, starting around $60USD + shipping. This is 1/4 to 1/5 the price of a new player. Both my cell phone and digital camera have batteries that I can replace; why not the mp3 players? Are we as consumers being ripped-off?"

+ - Vista problems reaching mainstream press

Submitted by
mcgrew (sm62704)
mcgrew (sm62704) writes "The tech press has been talking about Vista's shortcomings for quite a while now; Slashdot has posted numerous stories. Today I saw a "Tech Talk" in the St Louis Post Dispatch, one of the US' largest mainstream newspapers. The article is about a "normal" (i.e., non-geek) user's woes. From the article:

After his initial computer purchase from a local retailer, he tried starting Vista and had no luck: It gagged on other preinstalled software, and the retailer had no remedy. He received a replacement laptop.

On our colleague's second try, he ran into a wall with Microsoft, which insisted through its online validation process that his copy of Vista was not legitimate. About a third of all new Vista owners with valid copies of the OS already have suffered through this. The retailer assured our colleague that his Vista was valid but replaced his laptop again anyway to solve the problem.

Armed with yet another new laptop, our colleague escaped repeats of the first two problems but hit a new bump: Vista refused to acknowledge his computer's peripheral devices, even though Microsoft's own hardware compatibility list said it should.

He returned to the retailer and this time asked for his money back. He says he might try buying his first Mac with the refund. "There's only so much I'm willing to put up with," our colleague said. "I just wanted the [expletive] computer to work, you know. Isn't that all anyone wants?"
I notice that he returned the second computer because of MS' onerous DRM, which insisted that the OS was counterfeit. I'm aghast that one in three valid copies are flagged as "pirated". Note: I'm not a Mac user; my OS of choice is Mandriva."

All great ideas are controversial, or have been at one time.