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Comment Re:And in other news... (Score 1) 625

Since the NSA was fragrantly violating the rights of the public

'Fragrant Violation' is attractive young ladies violating speed limits and getting away with it when pulled up by the police. Thinking that when the NSA violate anything, they might do so fragrantly is somehow worse than believing astrology to be a science

Submission + - Apple Wins Patent For Solar-Powered MacBook (

Lucas123 writes: Apple today was awarded a patent for a MacBook that would use photovoltaic cells embedded as a layer behind electrochromic glass to generate power from light to power and recharge the laptop's battery. According to the patent, the electrochromic glass, or switchable glass, could be placed in a light-passing state or light-blocking state where the interior of the MacBook's display would be hidden from the exterior view. In other words, the rear panel could appear opaque or translucent. In the light-passing state, the rear panel would allow images or other light output from light-emitting diodes or other light sources, Apple stated. Apple proposed that the solar cells would be capable of producing from 100mW to 1W "or even more" in order to charge the laptop's battery or power the computer while it is in use.

Comment Re:WRONG UNITS IDIOT (Pedants' corner now open) (Score 2) 1010

1] 1kWatt hour/ hour is 1kWatt, of course.

2] It is a kWatt, abbreviated kW, not a Killowatt or Kw. The unit Watt is named after a person and all units named after people have an initial capital - and the abbreviation is also a capital. Multipliers of 10^6 or greater are capitalised. multipliers of 10^-3 or less are lower case. 'k' and 'kilo' for 10^3 is the odd one out, being lower case.

If anyone chooses to criticise the placing of the apostrophe in "Pedant's", bear in mind that if you post here, you will make the apostrophe correctly placed.

Comment Wrong analysis at work on this one (Score 1) 509

> I work with a developer who is 10 years my senior, but still doesn't understand how to write concurrent code and cannot be trusted to use a revision control system without causing a mess that somebody else will have to clean up. On top of that, he is really resistant to the idea of code reviews

This is not a skill set issue. Really it is not.

This is an attitude and competency problem.

Added to which, if you start off with the wrong analysis that it is a skill set issue and mix age in with your analysis as a probable root cause, you are likely to start down the road of making damaging assumptions with adverse implications for other employees and devalue perfectly good software engineers unnecessarily

Comment Gut feeling: Centres of charge and mass (Score 1) 171

No idea whether this is garbage or has already been taken into account.

In large scale orbiting systems, equivalent measurements relating to size are based on centre of masses, where the masses also govern the force controlling the orbit.

In hydrogen atoms the masses still determine the orbit, but the forces are mediated by the charges rather than by the masses directly as gravity, which may not be in the same place as the masses and may be to some extent free to move in relation to the centre of mass

Looking at this classically - which is very wrong of me - in both electronic and muonic hydrogen, the centre of charge of both the proton and the electron or muon rotate about a fixed point in much the same way as the centres of mass in a 2 body orbital system move around a fixed point between the centres of mass at distances governed by the ratios of the squares of the masses. But in the atomic system if the mass of the proton and its charge can have different centres, the mass of the proton can remain more nearly in the same place, leaving the proton's centre of charge some freedom to orbit the proton's centre of mass and placing the mass centre of the proton nearer the combined charge centre of the orbiting proton and electron or muon pair.

Given that the muon is much heavier than the electron, the orbit is smaller thus the combined charge centre of the proton muon pair will be much closer to the centre of mass of the proton. This means that the protons centre of charge always remains closer to the centre of gravity. Thus the centre of gravity of the proton is not needing to move so much in a muonic hydrogen atom

Or maybe the centres of mass and charge of a proton are separated by a fixed distance and in muonic hydrogen, the mass does not need to swing around so much to accommodate the orbit.

It would be hell to solve in classical mechanics - never mind quantum mechanics.

Submission + - UK 'virtual ID card' scheme set for launch (

evrybodygonsurfin writes: The UK Government will announce details this month of a controversial national identity scheme which will allow people to use their mobile phones and social media profiles as official identification documents for accessing public services.

People wishing to apply for services ranging from tax credits to fishing licences and passports will be asked to choose from a list of familiar online log-ins, including those they already use on social media sites, banks, and large retailers such as supermarkets, to prove their identity.

United Kingdom

Submission + - Scottish Scientiests Create World's Smallest Smart Antenna (

judgecorp writes: "each generation of smartphones actually has more dropped calls and worse battery life than the last, because antena design has fallen behind. says Edinburgh-based Sofant Technologies. The firm has made a tunable, steerable RF antenna using micro-electro-mechanical-system (MEMS) which it says will change all that. It's based on research from Edinburgh University and is designed to get the best our of LTE/4G."

Submission + - YouTube Alters Copyright Algorithms, Will 'Manually' Review Some Claims (

thomst writes: David Kravets of Wired's Threat Level blog reports that Google's Thabet Alfishawi has announced YouTube will alter its algorithms "that identify potentially invalid claims. We stop these claims from automatically affecting user videos and place them in a queue to be manually reviewed.” YouTube's Content ID algorithms have notably misfired in recent months, resulting in video streams as disparate as Curiosity's Mars landing and Michelle Obama's Democratic Convention speech being taken offline on specious copyright infringement grounds. Kravets states, "Under the new rules announced Wednesday, however, if the uploader challenges the match, the alleged rights holder must abandon the claim or file an official takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act." (A false takedown claim under the DMCA can result in non-trivial legal liability.)

Submission + - The M22 globular cluster has a dark side (

brindafella writes: "Astronomers using the Very Large Array radio telescope in New Mexico have found two black holes in M22, a 12 billion year old globular cluster located only about 10,000 light-years from Earth. These are each several times the mass of our Sun, and are actively feeding from nearby companion stars, as confirmed by X-ray observations using the Chandra space telescope. The astronomers expect to find other black holes."

Comment Re:It's Just Gigawatts (Score 1) 568

As I see it, it is unfamiliarity with several concepts. In general, people will be much more comfortable with understanding Horsepower as a rate of delivery of work and will probably have a better understanding of Horsepower than Watts in terms of meaning, quite aside from the question of the magnitudes. I doubt that the majority know that Horsepower and Watts represent the same type of quantity in the way that metres and feet do. But even when people understand Horsepower, they are mostly stumped on relating it to energy - only remembering that it was something dealt with in an otherwise forgotten physics lesson. Journalists are universally flummoxed. Having said that, I am surprised it passed muster for Slashdot.

Comment Inappropriate media (Score 1) 191

Isn't there a write up somewhere? Wouldn't it be better to link to a write up? I don't want to spend 4m19s watching some dumb video with sound in space and fancy graphics. Spoken narrative is too slow. A write up and a diagram or 2 is enough to convey principles, which is what interests me.

Comment Re:How did they do it? (Score 1) 426

I am guessing, but I think it was a long time in preparation. With the UK broad gauge, the difference in gauges was large enough that track could be laid in mixed gauge, so the actual changeover could be years of dual gauge operation. For the Southern US, the gauges were too close to permit mixed gauge, I would think. An easy way to do a quick change would be to spike the sleepers [US = ties] on one side only left and right on alternate sleepers when laying track to the broader gauge. Gauge would be held by stretcher bars every few sleepers. On changeover day, the stretcher bars could be taken out and the left and right rails complete with sleepers slewed together and the unspiked sides of the sleepers spiked to the new gauge.

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