Specialist

Specialist

  • Commented on Bread and Circuses (circumlunar version)
    You have my curiosity up. Which rebreather(s) did you work on? (Full Disclosure: I did a pool dive on Peter Ready's PRISM prototype, several years ago, when they were letting lots of people dive it, so they could find out...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    It depends on the plasma globe. There used to be (probably still is) a BIG one in a museum in downtown Phoenix AZ. The jolt from that one into my fingertip on the globe was very noticeable, and a bit...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Zimbabwean dollars still exist in physical form. They are legally valueless. However, as a warning that it CAN happen here, they are quite important. I'm looking at a 10,000,000 Zimbabwean dollar note, date of issue 1 Jan 2008, as I...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    "Which is funny, because there ain't no such thing as a "Nobel prize for economics"." http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economic-sciences/laureates/1976/press.html "The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the 1976 Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel to Professor Milton...
  • Commented on Paging Agent 007
    Because the original inquirer may not want to click on a link, I'll give away the punchline. The Tesla battery pack weighs 1323 lbs. Call it 600 kg, close enough....
  • Commented on Book day!
    "What's interesting is that the Laundry doesn't seem to have much in the way of heavy duty stored magic items (think the Elves Mace of Blasting) not sure if it's just because banishment bullets are cheaper, or if there are...
  • Commented on Book day!
    "Like how many FANGs will be created on purpose from high level math students?" I was wondering when/if anyone would raise this question. Back when "Forever Knight" was on TV, it hit me that there is a small human subpopulation...
  • Commented on Book day!
    Amy Acker, especially in makeup somewhat similar to "Illyria" vs. "Fred Burkle", could work VERY well as Mhari....
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Nightmare Stacks
    The Blackbird flight test program stopped once it had demonstrated that it could meet the objectives. It reportedly did not go so far as to determine a maximum reachable altitude. Actual records are probably (almost certainly) still classified and I...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Nightmare Stacks
    "EG someone could make something like a time bubble and hide for eons? Or say hide the UK until the horrors eat everyone else and move on?" It has been done. Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War", "Marooned in Realtime". The...
  • Commented on Rejection Letter
    Work has been done, successfully, on designing formally-verifiable hardware, including verifying the design and the final silicon. It was not done at or by Intel, to the best of my limited knowledge, and it was done a lot of years...
  • Commented on Rejection Letter
    I've been out of the loop, on vacation, for several days, so please pardon the late entry. The root of the problem is OEMs basing mission- and safety-critical embedded systems on consumer-grade operating systems built by the company that gave...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    It has been done. "A Wrinkle in Time", Madeleine L'Engle, 1963 I believe. You have reinvented/rediscovered Camazotz....
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    I've worked in FORTRAN (both FORTRAN IV and FORTRAN 77), various assembly languages, LISP (relatively briefly), Ada, C, C++. I've had to read JOVIAL and PASCAL. A long time ago I did a #include processor in EMACS macros (!). I've...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    Actually: C assumes that a programmer should be able to do anything he wants to do, and makes it easy. Ada observes that, 99% of the time, when a programmer attempts to do certain things, he is making a very...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    As I remember it, the Atari ST machines came in two flavors: 520ST and 1040ST. They shipped with 512 KB and 1024 KB, respectively. They also shipped with MIDI ports standard, which is why I bought the 1040ST. I was...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    Uh, not quite. PASCAL was originally developed on the CDC 6400 at ETH-Zurich, long before the Cyber 170s came along....
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    PASCAL had pointers from the beginning. I have seen it reported that, in 1982, Wirth stated explicitly that PASCAL had been designed for general-purpose programming. It is true that it was used heavily for teaching in the 1970s, it being...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    Wirth's original definition of PASCAL (ca. 1970) contained a CLASS declaration, that essentially declared an array of objects of a particular type that could be accessed with pointers. Each class so declared created a pool of objects that could be...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    C, C++, and assembly language (all flavors) are the only programming languages I know of that permit the perversion known as "pointer arithmetic". Ada provides "access types", which have semantics essentially identical to pointers in every language except C and...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    Correction. ATM frames contain 48 payload bytes, not 64. It was a political choice. One group wanted 32, one group wanted 64. They compromised on 48....
  • Commented on Placeholder? Placeholder!
    I've run CONSIDERABLY more than 20 pages through my cheap desktop inkjet printers, with no issues other than ink refills. The previous one lasted several years and I have no idea how many pages before developing a problem that, while...
  • Commented on Placeholder? Placeholder!
    One of Fred Saberhagen's "Berserker" short stories had that particular mnemonic as a critical plot device....
  • Commented on Placeholder? Placeholder!
    I have two artificial hips and a hardware store in my left ankle. I set off every airport security screening metal detector on the planet. Everywhere I've been but the US, it is not a problem. They wand me, confirm...
  • Commented on Placeholder? Placeholder!
    You understand correctly. Further, you don't WANT to use graphite as your moderator and water for your cooling. If you lose your cooling, you still have your moderation, and the nuclear reaction continues. This is the runaway mode that resulted...
  • Commented on Some notes on the worst-case scenario
    You said "Interestingly humans are most comfortable at 28-30 degrees Celcius." You might want to ask your source for clarification on that claim. (That's my polite way of saying "You're out of your mind!") 28-30 Celsius is 82-86 Fahrenheit. Maximum...
  • Commented on Facts of Life and Death
    It is known to me that the US Consumer Price Index was modified during the Reagan Administration to remove the cost of housing from the index. Ostensibly, this was because nobody could afford to buy houses, so nobody was buying...
  • Commented on Facts of Life and Death
    "Most major economies are currently at or close to zero inflation, or even deflation." How would you tell the difference between zero inflation and zero REPORTED inflation, if the economic indicators that are supposed to measure inflation have been very...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    Well, maybe management needs to learn about Cohn's Law. "The more time you spend reporting on progress, the less time you have to make progress. Stability is reached when you spend 100% of your time reporting on the zero progress...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    Tom Demarco, in "Peopleware" (1987), points out that programmer productivity has been repeatedly shown to be best when programmers are in offices with doors that can be closed, and worst in open plan "sea of desks" spaces. I would be...
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