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Interesting Links for 26-02-2012

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.

*awaits obligatory "Berwick is still at war with Russia" comment, armed with actual facts*

That Doncaster thing sounds remarkably like the classic comedy 'Passport to Pimlico'...

The whole "Apparently it's commonplace for the police to look up photos of people for fun." thing is really a "no shit, Sherlock" moment.

What the story is saying to me is that it's finally become so routine that they didn't even try to hide it, and the fiction that it wouldn't happen finally gave way.

Most people I know with jobs that involve access to data for a large chunk of the population have looked up people they know, even if they don't care about the type of data with reference to their friends.

Teller is awesome ""Even I—not exactly renowned as a public speaker" Hahaha.

That article says that lightbulbs and refrigerators are within a factor of three of the limits. THe next article in the series suggests, if I read it right. that cars are within a factor of two of the limits of efficiency, and I'd guess planes are within less than that.

This is significant because frequent air travel across and between continents is currently a luxury enjoyed by little more than 1% of the world population (1.6 billion trips a year by 1% of 7 billion could be done by the 1% alone if they did no more than one trip every two weeks). I've heard defenders of frequent long distance air travel claim that the luxury is going to spread to the 7 billion in the future, when "more efficient" jet planes will be designed. I don't think that much efficiency is left to find. The only way to spread the luxury of one flight per year to the median human, is to use a lot more fuel per year, cut the trips per year for the frequent flyers, or both.

Yup. Air travel has become more efficient, but there are definitely limits. I know the latest planes are using much lighter materials, but they can't push that forever.

The physicist who writes the "Do the Maths" articles says two things you can do to make cars more energy efficient are to shape them like a fish, and to just drive more slowly. So even the cars would look and act like zeppelins in the low energy future!

I'm not sure airships would ever really find a niche between faster aeroplanes and ultra-low energy sea-going ships for long-distance passenger travel. It seems one of the two is always going to be better than airships at whatever airships are trying to be. Plus they have that problem of buffeting around dangerously in the wind when you try to bring them to a safe landing.

Re that first link: so there *is* hope for Newcastle after all! ;-)

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