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Submission + - Locating Malaysian Flight MH370: Technical details from the Satellite Operator (

highways writes: So just how did they narrow the flight path of doomed Malaysian Flight MH370 to being several thousand kilometers to the west of Australia?

New details have been published as an open-access paper in the peer-reviewed Journal of Navigation by engineers from Inmarsat, the satellite picking up periodic "handshakes" from the flight.

For those that like a few more facts and data than your average cable news viewer, this paper is for you. It goes into the details on how the handshake signals were processed to obtain a likely trajectory.

Comment Re:Sad truth (Score 1) 145

If you were a queen (who in the 21st century still won't enter the House of Commons and only talk with the House of Lords)

This extends from 1642, where King Charles I demanded the heads of five of its members. Since then, the monarch has been banned from the Commons and may not enter.

Comment Real-time Kernel Patches Synchronisation? (Score 4, Interesting) 142

If the target for a long-term stable kernel is embedded systems, then I would suggest having some sort of arrangement with the real-time kernel patches which typically don't release with every kernel.

If, for example, 2.6.39 was chosen as a -longterm, it's unattractive for many embedded developers without the option of the -rt.

Comment Climate Scientists at RealClimate have already... (Score 1) 672

RealClimate (some of whom were the target of the so-called "Climategate" emails) has done this, or covered betting markets several times.

In 2005, they compared the rhetoric of a sceptic to the odds they were willing to bet on. Take a guess as to whether they were consistent.

In 2008, they proposed a bet on a specific paper with specific scientific reasons. Guess what? No takers. And they would have won.

Comment Re:Remember when you're reading this... (Score 3, Informative) 214

A little more than two years ago, we were worried whether our dams would run out - you can see some pretty graphs here.

Disturbingly, when the dam was finally full again after 8 years of drought in October, the state opposition leader John-Paul Langbroek called to increase the water storage level at the expense of flood mitigation. The main dam (Wivenhoe Dam) can hold 225% of it's nominal capacity for flood storage. It's currently at 190%.

The dam is a earth embankment dam and is not design to spill. If so, it may erode the dam and potentially cause it's failure. Hence, there must be a controlled release, even while the flood conditions are occuring and it's a fine balancing act between holding back more rain and flooding downstream.

In general, it is considered that the flood mitigation capacity (about that of Sydney Harbour) will knock about 2m off a flood peak. There would be many more people currently swimming without it, even before it's expected to peak in about 36 hours.

Comment Muscle Power and Equipment (Score 1) 214

For the locals from BrisVegas, please consider donating muscles rather than money (or persuade someone else that has muscles to donate).

Last night, there was a good response to call for people to fill sandbags. Post-flood, there will be a much needed effort to clean the mud from more than 40,000 homes and streets (at current estimates).

You can register at but it's busy (a good thing!) so be patient.

If you have specific offers of heavy lifting equipment (e.g. excavators etc), the Lord Mayor has opened this email for offers: lordmayor (you know what's here)

Comment Re:They have a headstart (Score 1) 238

> Intriguingly (I think atleast), it is constitutionally impossible for the British government to grant independence to Canada, because it's not possible for one government to do something irreversible that the the next government can't undo. So, technically, the UK must still regard Canada as a colony...

Even Australia is legally separate from Britian, despite the "Queen of Australia" being the same person as the "Queen of England".

Only one step to go before we finish the job...

Comment Some background: The Satellite Itself (Score 5, Informative) 119

It's worth taking a read of the satellite itself. Apparently, the accelerometers themselves (3 pairs of them) are mounted to within one picometre (that is micro-micro-metre). Gravity measurements are to within 10^-13 G. All pushed ahead by a cool xenon ion engine :)

That's some serious engineering precision. A bit more than your average accelerometer in your iPhone.

There's a bit more on how it works in this article.

Of course, the raw data looks a lots uglier than the beautiful image of the final result, but if the research is for climate change, then manipulating raw data is what they do best ;)

Comment Application: Mean Sea Level for your GPS Receiver (Score 1) 119

The other application of the Geoid is that it is essentially the "Mean Sea Level" across the globe.

This is essential for you GPS Receiver - the height calculated by a GPS receiver is the height above a theoretical ellipsoid that has pretty much the same shape of the earth. However, the geoid is used to calculate the difference between this "Ellipsoidal Height" and the "height above sea level" that is reported by receivers - sometimes known as "undulation". Without it, Brisbane, Australia would report being about 40m above the water when out on the Bay in a boat.

GPS Receivers typically use a lookup table for it, but can be calculated from scratch using a geoid model such as EGM96 using Spherical Harmonics. Of course, there is an open source implementation of it in C and MATLAB.


Submission + - Will Windows 8 Server Support Solely 64-bit CPUs ? ( 1

rosemaryno writes: The next major talk going on about Windows Server is that, it will exclusively support 64-bit processors, opening up a little bit on the successor of Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft revealed. Windows 8 Server, or Windows Server 8, will not work good with 32-bit CPUs, just as its forerunner, and also will not support the Intel Itanium architecture. The senior technical product manager of microsoft, Dan Reger, has already exposed publicly that they have already built the last version of Windows Server which is designed to work with Itanium CPUs.

Windows 8 server will be the last version of Windows Server which will support the Intel Itanium architecture. Reger has also mentioned that SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010 are also the last versions to support Itanium.With Windows Server 2008 R2, the last to support the Intel Itanium architecture, customers should look up to upgrade to future versions of Windows Server. Reger has given customers few Guarantees that this huge decision would work towards smoothness in the transition as much as possible, which can only be good news, considering that Intel plans to offer at least two more generations of Itanium CPUs.

Itanium’s currently supporting products remains unchanged. The recently-released Itanium 9300 (‘Tukwila’) processor, and Microsoft’s support for these products will prolong – following the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy. Normal support for Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems will end, in accordance with that policy, on July 9, 2013, while on the other side extended support will prolong till July 10, 2018.

The expected development of the 64-bit architecture has led to the foundation of processors and servers which will deliver the scalability and consistency needed for today’s ’mission-critical’ workloads. Just few weeks back, both AMD and Intel have released their new high core reckoning processors.

Regarding windows 8 client, there hasn’t been any similar announcement yet. While some guesswork indicates that the successor or the heir of Windows 7 will be the first operating system from Microsoft to grip x64 architectures exclusively.

More of it, the software giant has yet to reveal any plans in this regard for Windows 8 orWindows Server 2008 R2 which is designed to support the business-critical capabilities.

At this point in time, when microsoft drops the support for 32-bit CPUs, the best choice for customers is to run the basic vanilla version of Windows Server 2008.

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