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Comment Re:Launch from balloon (Score 1) 22

to get into orbit you need to be going sideways fast enough that as gravity pulls you down you miss the edge of the earth 100k ft (20 miles) still has enough atmosphere that that's hard (esepcially with a non guided rosket, just fins, that can't go up then pull that fast right turn). Launching above 100kft also requires extra federal oversight that makes it a whole extra magnitude of effort

Comment Homeopathic Pollution (Score 1) 668

So let's just assume that homeopathy actually works they way they claim it does, they dilute stuff throw away 9/10 of it, dilute it again, and it gets stronger and stronger at each dilution ..... what happens to that 9/10 they throw away? it goes down the drain, into the sea where it gets diluted way more, and presumably becomes far stronger, the ocean must be full of horribly strong medicine for all sorts of things, a quite dangerous place to go.

Mind you it's also full of diluted fish-poo too .....

Meanwhile I'm off to make some 150 proof homeopathic beer ...

Comment Kdenlive (Score 5, Informative) 223

I've found kdenlive is great - I've had to make a couple of small videos recently,it was a breeze with a couple of minor hiccups

1. As mentioned figuring out how to do transitions was hard - they're there, just hard to figure out

2. Ubuntu .... grrr .... their last distro has broken libraries (libav+melt - broken for lots of video editors, not just kdenlive) you can happily edit away but when you try and make the final stream, no audio -apparently all they need to do is to rebuild their binaries

Submission + - OneRNG open source hardware entropy genrator (

taniwha writes: Moonbase Otago is pleased to announce its Kickstarter campaign for OneRNG — an open source hardware entropy generator, is already 3/4 funded after 3 days.

OneRNG is a USB key in the same form factor as a USB flash drive, it's an entropy generator, it makes random bitstreams suitable for feeding to your computer's encryption systems to make better and faster keys to make interception of your communications more difficult. It has two entropy sources, an avalanche diode and an RF noise source, either or both can be used

OneRNG is also open hardware, that means all of the design, both hardware and software, is Open Source — you can inspect the hardware and software to make sure there is nothing hidden that stops it from functioning as promised. It also means that you can inspect a unit after shipping to make sure it has not been tampered with, both by lifting its lid to look at the components, and by inspecting the embedded firmware both to make sure that it contains what you think it does and also that it is cryptographically signed with a valid key.

Because you don't truly own your own hardware unless you can reprogram it we're also offering device programmers for those who want to take the existing software and make it better or their own.

Comment Re:And many, many more (Score 1) 942

I lived through the conversion as a kid, really it wasn't hard, school work (all those conversions, all that manual long division,) went away and got easier. We had dual speed limits up for 4-5 years.

in practice when you switch to metric you switch to natural units - a pound is about half a kilo a pint about half a litre (american pints are smaller) - you don't buy a quart of milk you just buy a litre, you go to the butcher and you ask her to cut you half a kilo of meat, no one asks for 0.23kg, that's silly

In the transition you use some useful equivalences: 2 inches are ~ 5cm - 3 yards ~ 1m, 30miles=50km 50miles=80km 60miles=100km (speed limits are easy unless for some weird reason you've chosen to use numbers that end in 5 rather than 0) 2pints ~= 1l (in the US) 1pint=600mL(in the UK, but half a litre will do for lots of day to day stuff), 2lb ~ 1kg

"cups" are am interesting issue: cups in the UK and US are different by about 20% (because the pints are different) so recipes sometime don't work well between them today, the metric cup used by everyone else is an intermediate size, as a result european recipes tend to work slightly better in the UK and US

as far as fluid ozs are concerned they're just such a mess they're best avoided

Comment Re:Sounds smart, but is it? (Score 3, Interesting) 125

it's certainly different but not revolutionary, I worked on a core that did this 15 years ago (not transmeta) it's a hard problem we didn't make it to market, transmeta floundered - what I think they're doing here is the instruction rescheduling in software, something that's usually done by lengthening the pipe in an OoO machine - it means they can do tighter/faster branches and they can pack instructions in memory aligned appropriately to feed the various functional units more easily - My guess from reading this article is is that it probably has an LIW mode where they turn off the interlocks when running scheduled code.

Of course all this could be done by a good compiler scheduler (actually could be done better with a compiler that knows how many of each functional unit type are present during the code generation phase) the resulting code would likely suck on other CPUs but would still be portable.

Then again if they're aiming at the Android market maybe what;s going on is that they've hacked their own JVM and it's doing JIT on the metal

Comment Re:Uh what? (Score 4, Interesting) 180

I've always thought that what happened in NZ sort of just proves human nature (not pakeha or Maori, just humans) - the Maori showed up with well developed cultural systems for managing fisheries, having island hopped through the Pacific for maybe 1000 years before they came to NZ - what they didn't have was rules, or experience managing moa, or forestry and as a result burned a lot of it down to get at those tasty moa - basically the same thing the Europeans would do when showing up somewhere new - exploit it like crazy - I'm sure if the moa had lasted longer, maybe if NZ was a bit bigger, people would have figured out how to manage moa - numbers would get low, a tapu would be proclaimed, after a while it would be lifted and the moa population would have stablised ..... by the time people figured it out it was probably too late

Comment Re:So why not build them in the US, then? (Score 1) 40

here's a link to a Sparkfun blog article on the "pit/valley of despair" that small hardware companies face:

Basically you make a few things by hand for yourself, and your friends, or you go to China and Manufacture (with a capital "M") there's nothing in between the two that's economical, though I do think that's changing with the arrival of cheap pick and place machines (another fallout from the 3D printer revolution)

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.