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Comment Re:powers of ten - or powers of randon numbers? (Score 4, Insightful) 909

To quote the AC that got modded down: "How exactly are inch and the foot are more practical units for everyday use? cm and meter are used all around the world everyday and there's no problems with them."

Centimetres and metres are extremely practical for everyday use, as proven by the fact that most of the world use them without trouble on a day to day basis. And before you come up with the old and busted idea that you can't easily divide by three in the metric system - or at least not get a nice, round number - try telling me just how many inches a fifth of a foot is.. or a fifth of a yard.

Metrics are easier to explain, lets you convert between units easier and makes for simpler maths. The so called Standard measures do not.

Comment powers of ten - or powers of randon numbers? (Score 2) 909

Ten millimetres to the centimetre. Ten centimetres to the decimetre. Ten decimetres to the metre. Ten metres to the decametrr. Ten decametres to the hectameter. Ten hectametres to the kilometer. I now some of these prefixes isn't in common use, but it does show that all you have to do is to mulitply by ten.

Twelve inches to the foot. Three feet to the yard. One thousand, sevenhundred and sixty yards to the mile - or more correct; eight furlongs, each of which is ten chains, each chain is four rods, each of which again is twenty five links. And just to show how well thought out the system is; each link is 7.92 inches long... So you either have a progression of 12-3-1760, or one of 25-4-10-8.

Tell me again why the so called Standard Measures are better than SI?

Comment How about both? Was:Store? How about a repository? (Score 1) 91

To the casual, new-to-linux users, a "store" is going to be less scary and less intimidating than going through apt-get. Adding the store has not taken away the option of going through the repositories, just added another way of putting extra software on your RasPi.

That said, I'm not particularly impressed with the current selection of "apps" - even if it has a great time waster available in FreeCiv.

Comment Well, duh (Score 4, Interesting) 158

Gord Young, from Peterborough, in Ontario, says it took him 17 minutes to decypher the message after realising a code book he inherited was the key.

Not hard to "crack" a code if you have access to the relevant code book - which a) GCHQ says they don't have, and b) can hardly be called cracking the code. The possible point of failure is - as I'm sure I'm not the only one to spot - if Mr Young has the wrong codebook; codes got shifted and shuffled a lot, and the wrong code book might give a plausible plain text that is never the less incorrect.

Gonna be fun to see what more comes of this.

Comment Re:Why water? (Score 5, Informative) 49

Why is it that USA space tech prefers water splashdowns instead of dry land like the Russians and Chinese?

"Softer landings" doesn't quite cut it as a reason, for at the speed of the impact, water is just as hard as terra firma. Then there's the risk of crew drowning and/or craft loss thru sinking. That doesn't occur in dry land.

Because landing in water means you can get away with a higher landing speed without putting too many Gs on the astronauts - ref the Wikipedia article on splashdown. The Russians (né Soviet) capsules lands on land because the Russians have so much open space available, but that means they have to carry either a larger parachute and/or one or more braking rockets to lower the impact speed to something tolerable. AFAIK the first Russian capsules that the cosmonauts rode all the way down - the jury-rigged Vostok they called Voskhod - carried their braking rockets attached to it's parachute lines...

A capsule landing on land also needs to be sturdier to take the increased shock loads, both from the impact and from the application of the braking rockets. This means you either needs a bigger rocket to get it up there, or less internal space for the astronauts / cosmonauts to move about in. A landing on land may not sink, but it does run the risk of taking a roll once it's down - ref Soyuz 18a.

Another reason given for the American preference for landing in water compared to the Russian preference for landing on land is the location of the launch sites. An American early abort will dump the capsule in the Atlantic ocean, whereas a Russian early abort will see the capsule come down on the steppe. That said, the current Russian capsules are rated for landing in water, just in cause - refer to Soyus 23 landing on a frozen lake and punching through the ice.

The Chinese seems to favour a land landing as well, which makes sense considering their landmass, lack of a large blue water fleet and the simple fact that their Shenzhou spacecraft seems to be based on / borrows heavily from the Russian Soyuz capsule.

In short; landing on water lets you get away with a lighter spacecraft, and does away with the need for a very large parachute and/or braking rockets. This means you can get away with a smaller rocket, or carry more supplies for a given size rocket.

Comment Re:Good but bad (Score 2) 230

Reading comprehension is a great thing... or possible you didn't RTFA (or the summary):

"(the bill) requires ISPs and mobile operators provide a "service which excludes pornographic images" unless the customer opts in, is over 18 and the company has verified that fact.".

So basically this bill - if it goes through - would require you not only to prove to your ISP that you're over 18, but also to pretty much ask your ISP "Can I pretty please be allowed to look at pretty women online?" (or pretty men, if thats your thing). And while it says noting in TFA about it, Im damn sure the ISP would not only keep a list on hand on who of their customers like to look at pretty women (or men) online, but would also refuse if they think it's possible that your computer might be used by under 18s.

Comment How to filter porn? (Score 1) 230

Since no one seems to agree to a simple, easily understandable definition of what pornography actually is, and software have yet to be able to recognize images with a 100% success rate... well, I guess the only sure way to filter out all the pornographic images is to suppress all the images on the various websites the user requests. Or mandate the use of a text based browser such as Lynx.

Next up; a bill to stop all the pornographic stories and words out there on the evil, evil interwebs...

Comment Re:Just like in Norway too (Score 5, Interesting) 473

Here in Norway we been doing this for years:
- The 1 øre and 2 øre coins disappeared in '74
- The 5 øre and 25 øre coins were withdrawn in '84
- The 10 øre coin ended being legal tender in '92
- The 50 øre coin will be withdrawn may 1st this year.
So in a little over a month there will be no coins circulating that is worth less than 1 Norwegian krone... but you know what? The wast majority of Norwegians pay by card anyhow, and the prices has not changed with the smaller coins going away. If you pay by card, you pay the exact amount. If you pay cash, it is rounded up or down to the nearest coin-value.

For those curious; after the retirement of the 50 øre coin, a purchase of 9.49 kroner will be rounded down to 9.00 while a purchase of 9.50 kroner will be rounded up to 10.00 - unless you pay by card, in which case you pay the exact sum owed.

Comment Re:"Trully recyclable" ? (Score 1) 182

It is our God-given right to throw plastic away. What kind of America would this be if I couldn't just chuck my non-biodegradable products into the nearest ditch!

A cleaner one?

Joking aside, if you really wishes to see how bad it can get when everyone uses cheap one-time plastic bottles, bags and wrappers and everyone just throws it aside after use, visit the semi-rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa. After a while you won't complain that the streets in town is full of plastic; you'll realize that the streets is a compacted mass of plastic and mud, flattened by thousands of feet and baked in the sun...

Comment Re:This (Score 1) 66

Manrating a rocket takes a lot of cash - both up front for the "paperwork", if you like, to prove that the basic design is safe, and for every single rocket built to that design afterwards. The latter covers both the quality assurance work to make sure that that one particular rocket is safe, that all the bits and pieces that goes into it is safe and to pay for the made-to-a-higher-spec parts that goes into it.
Manrating also adds to the time to build each rocket. I guess the US was too busy making sure they were able to fight two wars to be able to afford the time and money to make sure they had a working rocket and capsule to send people into space once the shuttle retired...

Comment Thankfully no American match... (Score 2) 1303

'There's no American plant that can match that.'

And that's because the US and most (all?) civilized countries have labour laws that are in place to provide certain minimum standards as far as health and safety goes... so your average US and European worker don't have to sleep in factory provided dormitories (and most likely pay a fair chunk of their paycheck for the privilege) and be forced to work 12 hour shifts.

Off course, labour laws in the west was prompted by things like the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire - in China such incidents are considered part of doing business.

Comment Re:Typical (Score 1) 218

I usually don't feed the trolls and the idiots, but I'm bored this morning...

On the most basic level, committing a crime in a foreign country puts you at odds with the justice system in that country; if you're a citizen of county A and commit a crime in country B and the police from country B catches (or extradites you) you will face court and possible jail time in country B, not in country A where you are from.

So while having the offended party (Marriott in this case) pay for his ticket to fly over might be considered entrapment in a number of jurisdictions, it's perfectly legal in the US. His crime was to hack the Marriott, his downfall was his stupidity to travel to the US afterwards.

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