rich!

rich!

  • Commented on Upcoming travel
    A friend of mine just got German citizenship, because a parent was part German. The friend speaks no German. And has lived in London for 15 years. Frankly, it seems every non-UK European country has just ....stretched... their citizenship requirements...
  • Commented on Three Unexpectedly Good Things VR Will Probably Cause
    As for funding yes, it's just where does it go? And how long does it take to negotiate all the contracts? As an example, the European Commission funding programme, Horizon 2020, has a requirement that the time from funding call...
  • Commented on Defining space opera
    Can I be with Jack Vance here, and expect that "there's an opera company on board a starship" is the minimum requirement for a book to be called 'Space Opera'??? And we generalise from there. Is it Wagner or Elgar?...
  • Commented on Warlords and eunuchs and slaves, oh my! Picking the problematic for The Aldabreshin Compass
    That's about a dozen CJ Cherryh books. The ones where the lead cooks flour biscuit in the morning. Every morning....
  • Commented on Warlords and eunuchs and slaves, oh my! Picking the problematic for The Aldabreshin Compass
    Yet possibly the best fantasy novels ever written are set in the perspective and mindset of a peasant who is sent to solve a problem in his village by going to Peking to find a fallen scholar who may be...
  • Commented on Excuses, excuses
    Presumably the fact that M4 is supposedly Turing-complete doesn't hurt. M4 is a lovely tool for building structures on top of text files. It's Turing complete in the same way that Minsky register machines are - "you don't want to...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    @DeMarquis: 20% of UK tomato consumption is produced in glasshouses. The rest is imported. Whereas strawberries are almost all grown in polytunnels, and almost never in soil. Farmers have a 7000 year history of optimising process technology, but Wired doesn't...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    @Graydon: For things like PV/wind feeding ammonia production, overall efficiency is less important than capital cost and availability of primary sources. Every farmer can run an ammonia still; only the Texans can pump oil....
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    CPU/GPU comparison: In a European project, we're building a complex robot as the starting point. Many partners are contributing code. Most of this code runs now, and you'd think questions like "how many 3GHz 64bit CPUs do we need" and...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    Quick comments on some things I know: Greenhouses in the UK/Europe cost £/EUR 1M per hectare to build. They run on hydroponics but no-one bothers calling it that. ("drip irrigation", "growing in media"). Prime drivers were not being able to...
  • Commented on Two Thoughts
    It was a presentation of current work in UCL Civil Engineering at an advisory board meeting. Seems to be recruiting. Grant summary here: http://gow.epsrc.ac.uk/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/M017702/1...
  • Commented on Two Thoughts
    What was that comment about using bamboo again? There's some interesting work going on in using bamboo to make high-performance trusses automatically - FEA modelling coupled with 3d scanning of the stalks, precision cutting and assembly......
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    through the soil My favourite comment from a potato grower: "Can you give us a way to see the crop before we harvest it?"...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    1. Rows make life easier for robots. One of our projects is predicated on modern growing patterns being different from historic ones, which make it feasible. 2. Precision ag isn't quite that yet. 3cm localisation of seed planting in an...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    There's some really interesting work in the precision agriculture community on weed control using machine vision. Use precise application of weed killer and reduce the amount used per hectare by 99.997%, at which point you don't need to use weedkiller....
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    This doesn't strike me as a good environment to automate, because the automation is a sunk cost, and it's not clear that you can make a cheap robot that can handle the tasks of an increasingly chaotic farm environment We're...
  • Commented on The Evil Business Plan of Evil (and misery for all)
    Back in 1992, me and a mate who read Robert Anton Wilson a lot had a chat. Our well-grounded friend interrupted us to say "I understand all the words and phrases you're using, but you're not making any sense". Talking...
  • Commented on Brontosaurus BDSM, Werewolf Marines, and Serious Social Issues: Self-Publishing in the Wild
    ARM demo'd a 3-chip stack - Cortex CPU, wireless interface, solar panel - at 1mm3 total size a year or so ago, so I would say that the button would be easy to do......
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    Electrons don't have to move at the speed of light. So why not bridge the ocean, not with cables, but with bulk freighters carrying hundreds of kilotons of aluminium powder? Oxidize at one end to generate electrons; return AlO2 to...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    by way of example, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness are alive and well though that's rather more due to them following good anti-sniper practise than them not being targetted, by all accounts......
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    given the rightward trend in Canadian politics, we may well be greeted with open arms. a rightward trend seems more likely to lead to being greeted with shoulder-borne arms......
  • Commented on Oh dear
    On the "requires up-to-date certification to do electrical work" issue. When the IEE introduced this requirement, many members complained at some length in the letters pages of the house magazine. The response from the members of the committee was, paraphrased:...
  • Commented on The Curse of Laundry
    Best place to put the Laundry? Above Wood Green Shopping City. Lots of car parking, "apparently residential", and plenty of crawling horrors already installed. (Long term Haringey resident)...
  • Commented on Metacommentary
    When I googled Epping Forest, I got lots of links about the Epping Greens trying to preserve it, so you've lost me there. Charles I, Richard Cromwell & James II. Wait, the Green party were politically active in the 1600's?...
  • Commented on Metacommentary
    publicly campaigning [[citation needed]]??...
  • Commented on Metacommentary
    They want to take away the gurdianship of some of the most precious green & open spaces around London ( I am particularly concerned about Epping Forest - very close to me ) and thus, effectively allow it to be...
  • Commented on Metacommentary
    Right, sorry didn't see the "no spare pods" comment. Bad supply chain management/naval engineering design......
  • Commented on Metacommentary
    Just two comments: 1. Most of the electric thrusters used on ROVs now come from one San Diego company, because they build them so well. From touring their production line, I can't imagine (a) why you wouldn't carry a spare,...
  • Commented on Metacommentary
    I heard today that it takes 6 months before someone can put on a sterile containment suit without cross-contamination. Though that's to protect the environment from the person rather than the person from the environment....
  • Commented on The morning after
    The book "Bandit Country", a history of the South Armagh region, has a fabulous photo of the "Slab" Murphy family standing across the border in the middle of one of their fields. The same book suggests that the constant flow...
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