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Comment: Bah! Just a toy (Score 2) 14 14

You could always make these guys an offer. They might be interested in offloading it.

One supersonic nuclear bomber. Excellent for doing the shopping, dropping off the kids or penetrating soviet air-defences to deliver some instant sunshine.

Well maintained, 2 careful owners. Comes with a spare set of keys and owners manual.

Pick-up or will deliver for $10,000 a mile.

Comment: One commercial system... (Score 1) 409 409

There is a system that's been on sale in Australia for a number of years - it is available in the US and Europe also. It's called C-Bus. The product comprises switches, controllers, relays etc and is available primarily in a wired configuration but there are wireless products available also.

It's main use is really in the commercial sphere due to the cost but it is used in high-end homes also. Whilst the hardware is commercial, Clipsal have recently published the serial protocol specifications [as used by the serial interface, not the device communication protocol itself].

For a look at the product range see here. {That isn't a Clipsal website but it gives a good idea of the product range}. Providing it's installed and wired correctly it is extremely reliable and easy to maintain. It also scales very well.

Comment: Re:But does it work? (Score 1) 707 707

Not quite. If you blow positive on the road-side machine they arrest you and take you to the nick. You are then breathalysed again with one of these. If that is STILL positive then you are charged with the offence and then normally bailed to appear in court. If it's negative then you are given a bit of a lecture and then told to bugger off and don't do it again.

The result of the machine at the station IS recognised by the court so that's enough to get you banned.

There has been challenges to this in the UK but the UK Judiciary isn't quite a flexible as US courts so the chances of that defense working are pretty well zero unless the coppers cocked up and didn't calibrate the machine that night or something.

As for the blood sample, the police will ask if you want to have one taken so it can be checked [you can have a sample as well]. You don't have do but it's worth doing as it just MIGHT get you off the hook if the result is borderline.

Here in Oz they have Booze Buses where they block the road and breathalyse whoever they feel like. If you blow positive they have everything nicely ready in the bus including the accurate machine etc. ready for customers - and they LOVE doing it at 8:30 in the morning also.

Comment: My wife looked after her (Score 4, Interesting) 158 158

My wife [a senior nurse] came home from work one day about 4 years ago saying that she and her staff had been looking after an old lady on a ward at Epsom General Hospital. One of the surgeons pointed her out and said she was rather special since had named the planet Pluto. Apparently the old lady was very pleasant and polite but hadn't told anyone of her claim to fame.

Not really believing this story I googled a bit and found a name. My wife refused to tell me the name of the woman but when I said 'Venetia Phair' she was very surprised as she thought the whole thing was a massive wind-up.

Comment: Re:Yeah ... (Score 1) 432 432

You sir, are an anonymous fuckwit. Many educated people [including myself and my wife who is a nurse] were worried about the MMR debate. Many recent UK governments have badly screwed up health problems [mad cow disease, salmonella etc.] After some thought, we decided to go ahead with the normal vaccine as the single vaccines would have exposed our daughter to even greater risk. In the end the original study was discredited but my point is; when the government and authorities screw things up enough, even people with common sense and education doubt what they are being told.
Transportation

Wave Powered Boat to Sail From Hawaii to Japan 152 152

CaroKann writes "In the middle of May 2008, Kenichi Horie, an adventurer known for such feats as paddling a pedal powered boat 4,660 miles from Hawaii to Okinawa in 1993, will be sailing a wave powered boat from Honolulu's Hawaii Yacht Club to the Kii Channel in Japan. The boat, a 3-ton catamaran named the Suntory Mermaid II, works by virtue of the fins located at the front of the boat. These fins "generate thrust force by moving up and down like the tails of dolphins and whales and absorbing the energy of the waves." The system can propel the boat no matter which direction the waves come from. Because the wave propulsion system absorbs the energy from the waves, a passenger on the boat will experience a smooth ride. With a top speed of about 5 knots, the journey is expected to take about 2 to 3 months."

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

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