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Comment: Re:track record (Score 2) 293

by ratbag (#48938405) Attached to: US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

and all other UK cars are no longer UK

That's a slight overstatement. Whilst we focus on the niche end of car production, the following companies, inter alia, are still UK-owned and doing quite nicely:

Noble
Westfield
Caterham
(Bristol - not doing so well...)
Morgan
Ultima
McLaren
Ginetta
Caparo (really very niche)
Lightning

Not sure old Queeny would want to be driven in any of those, though. Her Majesty's R620 (http://uk.caterhamcars.com/cars/seven-620-r) would certainly make for rapid meet-the-peoples.

The UK also provides much of the engineering expertise and componentry used by the rest of the motor industry. Motor sports throughout the world are similarly dependent on the UK's engineers, even your IndyCars have been known to use UK-produced power plants and gearboxes.

Comment: Re:Normally I do not encourage piracy ... (Score 1) 385

by ratbag (#46161585) Attached to: HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

But no sensible sysadmin would go to a pirate site to get firmware updates, so I really would fault someone doing that. If there's no reliable source of checksums available without a contract, how on earth would we ever trust the pirated updates?

Comment: Re:Ten Commandments are "overtly Christian"? (Score 3, Interesting) 1251

The monument is overtly Christian - note the book illustrated top-left: http://peoplesworld.org/ten-commandments-monument-spurs-controversy-in-oklahoma/

Also note the voting record and recorded religion of the guy whose family funded it and who introduced the bill permitting it in the first place: http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/106671/mike-ritze#.UqZHmZGELK4

So the intent seems to be overtly Christian, even if the Ten Commandments are shared by many religions.

Comment: Re:Headline (Score 0) 338

by ratbag (#44562633) Attached to: Bill Gates Seeking Patent To Make Shakespeare Less Boring

Ok, we get it, you don't like Slashdot.

From the patent:

For example, upon analysis of the text, it may be determined that the origin of the text is from a Shakespearean play. A setting or location of 16.sup.th Century England may then be determined by the context analysis module 316

amongst other references to the Bard.

Comment: Re:A good start (Score 1) 385

because non-SI units are the most commonly accepted units in the US, it is logical to use those units to communicate.

And US scientists and engineers never communicate with colleagues, competitors or customers from (most of) the rest of the world who have embraced the future (circa 1795-1975)?

Can you see why a previous comment about "everyone different than me" tickles me?

Comment: Re:A good start (Score 1) 385

No, not a magic bullet, but a self-consistent, extensible, logical, location-independent basis for straightforward communication. Conversion of units doesn't scare me, it just seems a splendidly archaic and sometimes error-prone way to spend time. A quick trite example: without knowing where your interlocutor lives or works or chooses to base their unit system on, tell me how much liquid is in the gallon container next to my desk?

"Everyone different from me" is amusing, maybe even ironic, though I don't know where you hail from so I can't be sure.

Comment: Re:A good start (Score 1, Interesting) 385

Personally I think that part of the problem is the non-metric units that are still in use. By accepting that it is in any way sensible to use them, you've already given up on the logical, elegant approach to quantification. You've made it more likely that people resort to the "football fields" etc.

Comment: Re:Sad, but inevitable. (Score 1) 137

by ratbag (#44005317) Attached to: Kodak Ends Production of Acetate Base For Photographic Film

With regard to the long exposures, I've found digital makes one aspect of the process much, much better, and that's the oldest argument in favour of digital in general: experimentation is quick and cheap. I've started using Lee's Big Stopper recently and I'm pleased I can chuck away (without developing) 97% of my early work with it!

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir

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