Nojay

Nojay

  • Commented on "Tomorrow belongs to me"
    British manufacturing exports rely a lot on importing raw materials such as steel and aluminium which have just suddenly gone up in price which means an increase in the ticket price for exports real soon now. We also import a...
  • Commented on The unspeakable truth
    Locally dumping changed stuff back into the ocean WILL cause changes. I've just been rereading an After-the-Fall milSF story where the main character has seen images of a coastal city from the Golden Era. He can't understand why the...
  • Commented on The unspeakable truth
    The load-carrying capacity of the Japanese mama-chari is usually taken up by a couple of kids front and back (they're sometimes wearing helmets, the pilot never). Mama-chan is texting on her keitai (cellphone) while eating a burger and/or chatting to...
  • Commented on The unspeakable truth
    There's a story, possibly apochryphal about a support call to an American software house about a piece of property management software they had sold in Britain. The year of construction field in the database required four digits and no leading...
  • Commented on Updating a classic
    A fan group I used to hang with over in the States had a surfeit of people called Bill (including at least one lady). They got issued numbers when together, but one of them used his number more generally. He...
  • Commented on Updating a classic
    I had a couple of early Kodak digital cameras; they weren't bad but they weren't brilliant either. They did offer a couple of innovative concepts such as a developer group and an API for people to write programs to use...
  • Commented on Three Unexpectedly Good Things VR Will Probably Cause
    Part of my informal guidance was never be an alpha or beta tester for any VR gadget which includes the words "force feedback", synonyms such as "haptic", or any mention of embedded motors. So no teledildonics for you, then?...
  • Commented on Three Unexpectedly Good Things VR Will Probably Cause
    I once saw someone walk into and trip over a low railing into gravel while staring fixedly at their smartphone screen. It didn't help that it was dark and their regular night vision was wiped out by the brightly glowing...
  • Commented on A purely theoretical dilemma
    Actually when the experimenters got it wrong they destroyed or severely messed up their entire local universe, not just the planet....
  • Commented on A purely theoretical dilemma
    I would prefer to die than live in a hive mind. You offer is acceptable to us. Signed: Galactic Federation....
  • Commented on PSA: 5-Point Writer's Block Checklist
    Robert Sheckley wrote a bunch of satirical SF, short stories as well as novel-length stuff (some of it fix-ups). Mindswap is an Odyssey, The Game of X puts a Bob-Howard-like character into a James Bond world etc. etc. Pohl and...
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    From an educated European's perspective, the USA is a bit of an odd duck in the first place. A common currency but State budgets and income tax/sales tax/property tax collection authority? How does that work? A largely unelected Supremem Court...
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    The Guatemala/Belize affair never actually came to a shooting match, thanks to the Royal Navy and an impressive bit of naval aviation and bluffing. in the 1970s Belize (British Honduras as was) was being threatened militarily by their neighbours, Guatemala...
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    "It's impossible to prove a negative, but I'll try. If you look at Latin America since the second world war, except for the Falklands war, the wars fought there have been civil wars or US interventions. Outside of the Falklands...
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    Traditional British foreign policy with regards to Europe was to maintain the ability to fight two simultaneous wars with European nations, mostly at sea. In times of peace it was "Wogs begin at Calais" and the foreign affairs focus was...
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    The Cold War cost the regimes both sides of the Rhine a fortune in defensive spending over a period of several decades, probably more in terms of consumption of wealth than a real conventional war would have. Absent a politically...
  • Commented on Some notes on world building
    The AGRs have an intrinsic lifespan problem involving cracks developing in the carbon moderator blocks in the core. Too many cracks too close together and the reactor will not pass licencing inspections. The cracks are cumulative and the blocks can't...
  • Commented on But it's not April 1st yet!
    First thing to do, and it's reasonably affordable is to make a baseline backup of your existing pictures collection onto an external hard drive or two. That done, find a good home for the backup away from where you live...
  • Commented on But it's not April 1st yet!
    Nine out of ten kids won't get anything out of the Bit, nor would they get anything out of a Raspberry Pi. One kid in ten will, and sparking that interest when they're at school is worth a lot to...
  • Commented on But it's not April 1st yet!
    Folks don't talk about ATM security issues relating to the software because ATMs are not connected to the internet which blocks 99% of the possible attack methods. The attacks that have been noted tend to be insider jobs carried out...
  • Commented on Deploying the monomyth in Space Opera
    The unspoken tradeoff in the frozen-human-embryos-raised-by-AIs colonisation concept is that the first half-dozen generations and more are going to be severely broken with a lot of violence and antisocial behaviour in the first hundred years or so due to a...
  • Commented on Deploying the monomyth in Space Opera
    Would that have been 3 Para's chaplain, circa mid-80s perchance? I recall reading that their chaplain had been expressly instructed by his Bishop to leave his target rifle at home when he shipped out with the Regiment to the Falklands....
  • Commented on Deploying the monomyth in Space Opera
    The excellent manga/anime series "Planetes" has radiation-induced cancer as a common ailment of folks who spend a lot of time in space. Treatments for cancer are better than today-standard but not that much better....
  • Commented on Defining space opera
    Properly designed and built (and expensive and space-rated) ion thrusters will give an Isp of a thousand and more. The xenon-fuelled thruster on the SMART-1 lunar probe had an Isp of 1600 and that flew over ten years ago. As...
  • Commented on Defining space opera
    Reasons. The EPRs were "state of the art" designs back when they were first designed and they had some sales before they were mooted for the UK. They've had a very problematic build history -- The French keelplate EPR at...
  • Commented on Defining space opera
    The UAE are also building four nuclear reactors because the sun doesn't shine all day. The gas (and oil) under the sand can be sold abroad for money rather than being burned locally to provide electricity and fresh water. The...
  • Commented on Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera
    One of the Vernor Vinge short stories had the tricksy humans orbiting a giant warship around an alien planet. It was piloted and manned by one person who was mostly bored out of his skull since it wasn't actually a...
  • Commented on Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera
    We have an active-cooling worked example in the SR-71 where the fuel is used as coolant before it is burned in the engines. This isn't for stealth reasons but simply because of the skin-frictional heating effects of high speed flight...
  • Commented on Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera
    The Grendels were created by Dr. Jack Cohen who knows a bit about biology and reproduction. They may be unlikely but they're not totally implausible....
  • Commented on Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera
    OTOH the cloud of gas doesn't have to absorb: it's enough for it to disrupt the focus of the beam and so bugger up the concentration of energy. (Which it will do pretty much regardless of what it's made of...
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