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Comment section 44 of the terrorism act may have been used (Score 1) 544

for the police officer to take his camera/phone away. the police officer presumably thought he had rights under section 44 of the UK terrorism Act but this has been declared illegal by the European court of human rights, the government is appealing this but its likely to lose. The most sensible thing is to make a direct complaint to the Police complaints authority.

Now having said that the space where the photograph was taken specifically forbade the man from using any form of camera, now if that place was considered public as in their was pubic right of way then it is illegal restrict photography but it is legal if it is on private property

this area of law is complex and one of the best place to get detailed information is which supplies a downloadable pdf with the relevant sections of law

Comment Diesels in the Uk (Score 1) 349

Buying a car second hand obliviates the extra cost

I always buy diesel when i am abroad,

are you sure that the tax is the same on both as diesel is typically about 4p a litre more expensive?

Btw for those of you stateside I am currently paying £1.40 a litre which means I'm paying about $8 a gallon

Comment Re:No soot with modern diesels (Score 2) 349

first off i drive a 15 year old B4 IZ Passat in the UK, its a 1.9 common rail design and I love it being a diesel, it designed for German roads so does 80mph in 4th and bimbles along in 5th. But it does have smoke and particulate issues and thus is banned from many central area of German cities which will rapidly roll-out across Europe in the next few years.

You may already do this BUT
I thought I should point out an issue with your particle trap - RTFM - you must run it at high revs with a cleaning agent every so often to burn off the particles in your particle trap. If you fail to do so it WILL become blocked and it's an expensive and obviously unnecessary garage bill.

BTW the reason Diesel is expensive is because everybody uses it, gas/petrol is a side product from production. Although VW don't like people doing it, its perfectly possible to run your car on vegetable either fresh or recycled but you must remember to change the fuel filter after a while as the veg oil tends to dissolve the gunk in your fuel system and leading to it ending up in your fuel filter

the one thing i hope is that European and far east manufactures will start selling you in the states the sizes of engine we get over here. The latest 1.6litre blu-motion (urea additive) passat's have a higher list KW than my 1.9 passat and I have no problem doing 110Mph on German unrestricted autobahnen and that was with 4 people on board and a load of luggage in my station wagon.

Btw i get about 10 miles per litre on average in my 1.9 passat station wagon that based on mostly urban sometimes highway driving. So that's a bit less than 40 mpg (US) - not bad for a 15 year old car that has driven to the moon (~240,000 miles)

Apparently VW has worked out that hybrid diesel makes sense as diesel typically need bigger batteries anyway, so apparently hybrids will increasingly be seen as will the regenerative braking ideas derived from formula 1.


Submission + - Radioactive turd, meet punchbowl (

dyshexic writes: Charles Stross writes that If the reports are true, then:

a) Reactor 1 at Fukushima Daiichi melted down within sixteen hours of the quake (about eight hours after all active cooling was lost),

b) TEPCO management knew about it,

c) The press were systematically nobbled (an early report of the meltdown was withdrawn),

d) Going by his rather extraordinary remarks during the subsequent weeks, the Prime Minister, and presumably the rest of the Japanese government, were systematically misled by TEPCO.

I'm taking this report with a pinch of salt for the time being, because the IAEA reports on FD #1 don't reflect this account, but if the PM wasn't briefed then it would be unsurprising to learn that the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) were also kept in the dark.

(A second reason for taking it with a pinch of salt is that the residual thermal activity after a 450Mw reactor is scrammed is around 1-2% of full power — around 4-8Mw of heat. A BWR contains fuel rods probably totaling on the order of a hundred tons of metal, and some hundreds of tons of water: is the residual activity (sufficient to boil roughly one ton of water per hour) enough to account for a meltdown — which implies raising the temperature of the fuel rods from their operating temperature to over 800 celsius — so soon after shutdown?)

The best case is that this report is false. (And right now I really hope this is the case.)

Worst case: if the report is true, then TEPCO management is so dysfunctional that they thought they could sweep a fricking' complete core collapse meltdown and primary containment breach under the rug. ("Disgust" isn't a strong enough word to describe such conduct, if indeed it's what has been going on. "Wondering when the arrest warrants will be signed" is beginning to get there.)

Just so it's clear what I'm talking about: seeing an elderly reactor undergo a reactor meltdown in the wake of an extraordinary one-in-500-years quake and a tsunami exceeding the worst case projections by 500% is unfortunate. Lying about it for two months afterwards, however, would be criminal. One is a natural disaster, the other is human misfeasance.

Update: Per Atomic Power Review, TEPCO have released a much more thorough report:


Submission + - Meltdown occurred at Fukushima No. 1 reactor 16 hr (

dyshexic writes: Management at TEPCO appears to have covered up a full Chernobyl style meltdown at Fukushima No. 1 reactor either with the compliance of the Government and/or Newspapers. Apparently it happened within 16 hours of the quake and it also explains the size of the evacuation area.
The News has now broken across various news agencies in Japan


Submission + - Dropbox Lied About Security (

lee1 writes: "Dropbox faces a possible FTC investigation because of misleading statements it has made about the privacy and security of its 25 million users' files. The cloud storage company previously claimed that it was impossible for its employees to access file contents, but in fact, as the encryption keys are in their possession, this is false. The complaint points out that their false security claims gave Dropbox a competitive advantage over other firms offering similar services who actually did provide secure encryption."

Submission + - SPAM: Solar-Powered Airplane Completes First Ever Flight

liqs8143 writes: "Solar Impulse, a fully solar-powered airplane has completed the world's first international solar-powered flight. After a flight lasting 12 hours 59 minutes at an altitude of 12,400 feet, using no fuel and propelled by solar energy alone, Solar Impulse HB-SIA landed safely in Brussels, Switzerland.

After the landing, plane's co-founder Bertrand Piccard said:

Our goal is to create a revolution in the minds of the people . . . to promote solar energies — not necessarily a revolution in aviation.

Compared with 2003, energy efficiency has increased from 16 to 22 percent. And the cells are now half as thick.

The project has a total cost of $88 million which is funded by mostly-Swiss partners and public donations."

Link to Original Source

Comment challenging scientific assumptions =/= fact free (Score 3, Informative) 962

popper's analysis of science is weak. It's based in the idea that their are 'facts' and that these facts are truths. If we accept certain axioms such as that we are not living in 'the matrix' etc then we can all agree that yes the sun is 'above' the earth, that planes fly, that this conversation is happening on server somewhere. Anybody who understands anything about the philosophy of science will understand and accept these things. The issue with popper is that he fails to recognise that the creation of scientific truth is a human endeavour and thus subject to human flaws, a far better analysis of the production of science is produced by Bruno Latour in Science in action - see Google books Perhaps the OP should widen their circle of scholarship before making such muddle-headed comments PS Sokal may have got a paper published in social text, but various scientific journals have accepted papers from people that show they are equally as gullible to accepting papers devoid of logic or proof. The problem with peer review is that it is peer review: ideas that are only acceptable to ones peers will be published. Challenges to the current orthodoxy typically have to be publicised through journals outside the mainstream view

Comment Re:Oh my (Score 1) 630

I'm sure if i looked around the numerous scientific fields I could find stupid comments made by scientists. I suspect that the author misunderstood the lesson or was so blinded by his faith in science that he misquotes Feyerabend "that there is no such thing as scientific method and that physicists have no better claim to knowledge than voodoo priests" but then again I have never been taught by Feyerabend and if Feyerabend had said something so stupid then he is deserving of ridicule

At the start of my masters programme in the history and philosophy of science and medicine we were reminded of one key thing. I will paraphrase my professors here "planes fly, humans don't" Science clearly works, we live in a world of technological innovation but that doesn't mean what scientists say they are doing is what they are actually doing.

The scientific method is all very well, the problem is that it is being performed by humans, who have a tendency to see correlation and to see that as confirmation. A better place to start with an analysis of science would be bruno latours science in action

Another place to look might be at the apparent failures in the scientific method - where an apparently strong signal overtime falls back into background noise. The issue here is not fraud but merely that what is published, what is funded has more to do with human failings and the need to provide clear evidence in fields where given an environment where all aspects of all conditions are controlled the organism will do as it damm well pleases


Submission + - Femtocells Used To Create Miniature 3G Basestation (

An anonymous reader writes: Femtocells could be used to create miniature 3G basestations on USB devices, according to Picochip

Femtocell maker Picochip has unveiled its vision for putting an entire 3G cellular basestation on a USB dongle at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Recent advances in semiconductor technology and signal processing, together with the advent of USB 3.0, make the concept of a USB femtocell a realistic possibility, according to Picochip. The company claims its picoXcell technology will allow operators to add HSPA+ home-basestation capabilities to appliances such as residential gateways, cable modems and set-top boxes via a USB device.

Femtocells – such as Vodafone’s Sure Signal – beef up 3G network strength in the home, using broadband for the uplink to the Internet, and have been touted as a way to solve the problem of 3G ‘not-spots’. Picochip claims that femtocells can also deliver faster data services, improve smartphone battery life and enable a variety of innovative ‘home zone’ services.

“It may sound incredible, but within a matter of months we’ll be able to fit a complete 3G basestation on a USB dongle,” said Rupert Baines, VP of Marketing at Picochip. “The last year has shown just how versatile femtocell technology is.”


Submission + - Apple criticised over charity payments ban (

nk497 writes: Apple is coming under increasing pressure to allow charitable donations through apps on its hardware. The iPhone and iPad maker has faced calls to allow donations via apps for several months, a move which would require a change to the company's guidelines that insist donations must be collected via a charity's website or by text message. The UK government is even getting involved, with Minister Nick Hurd saying: "I’d like to understand it from Apple’s point of view... It seems it could be a leader with this and I don’t understand why it is dragging its heels."

Submission + - Microsoft announces Windows for ARM (

comm2k writes: Microsoft has announced that the next version of their OS — dubbed Windows 8 (scheduled for 2012) will also run on ARM. Microsoft demoed running a build that ran Powerpoint and Internet Explorer on a Qualcomm Snapdragon system. Steve Ballmer said "This announcement is really all about enabling a new class of hardware and new silicon partners for Windows, to bring the widest possible range of form factors to the market...".

Submission + - BBC Astronomer Misses Meteor During Live Show (

krou writes: BBC astronomer Mark Thompson wasn't having a good night for the BBC's Stargazing Live show. He turned to the camera to complain of poor cloud visibility and a lack of activity in the sky ... only for a meteor to shoot past in the background. A rather sheepish Thompson said, 'I must admit I was oblivious to it. I think I'm probably the only person in the entire country who didn't see it.' (YouTube video of the original live footage).

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