Re: "El Reg was unable to contact Mossad for a comment"
Expect to see a bit more focus on fibreglass cars in the motoring section ...
2081 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007
Expect to see a bit more focus on fibreglass cars in the motoring section ...
"Is anyone seriously looking at Arthur C. Clarkes space elevator ?" -- JimmyPage
Short answer: yes
It's not entirely Clake's idea, and actually dates in some form from late 19th Century. Kevlar, IS2R would be strong enough to build one on the moon, but not on earth -- but carbon nanotubes may eventually make it feasible.
My brother did his research and bought me a copy of that shirt. I shall wear it tomorrow. Hopefully no-one will be offended!
... since I can't remember when
Sorry if I'm boring people with the repetition, but you can get best of both worlds --- my son has an 16GB i7 ThinkPad from ebay -- cheap and hard-to-break. It has a small SSD dual booting Linux and Win7, and the content goes on a 1TB Hybrid HDD in a CD slot caddy. All that cost under £350.
For £100 he got a Village Instruments eGPU box and put a £150 desktop GPU card in it. Now he has a boring and not particularly thief-attracting box that he can take to lectures and lug round the campus, but when he gets back to the dorm he plugs in the eGPU (via PCI-Express slot) and has a very acceptable (for < £600) gaming rig.
You can actually get the eGPU output back onto the laptop screen (although it halves the frame rate --- although we're still talking Black Ops 2 on decent settings at nearly 60fps), and the box isn't too unportable to say, take on holiday. But given that gaming benefits from other not-very-portable items (full size keyboard, room to move a mouse, larger monitors) I'm really not quite sure why the eGPU scene isn't busier ...
... El Reg will be next!
"England voted and chose steady hands and smart minds over vacuous left-wing ideas."
Smart minds read articles fully and respond; vacuous idiots mistake obloquy for exposition.
"Quite disappointed to find this sort of left wing clap trap in the register - reads more like something out of the socialist worker." --AC
Quite depressing that you and your upvoters think that simply calling something "claptrap" is an effective counter-argument. It also suggests you didn't quite read the article in its entirety, or at least that you didn't quite understand it.
... massive screen wipes!
"Do British IP addresses have TZ offsets?"
Well, he's using 'IP address' as a metonym for a DHCP lease, so ...
... yes, until 25 October. Then no. Until 27 March. Then yes. ...
I think there are a few terms mixed up here. First of all they have used 'certainty' as in 'degrees of certainty' when they could have just said "computational algorithms produce results indicating the probability that a given event [e.g. rain between 12:00 and 13:00 in Hyde Park] will take place"
The second paragraph seems to mean this: "Some customers prefer to make risk-based decisions, on the basis of probabilities: e.g. these customers will benefit from being told that the probability of the aforementioned event is 56% rather than being told 'it will rain' simply because the probability that it will is better than evens"
I noticed when I visited the USA that many people seemed happy with a forecast of "there's a 30% chance of snow" whereas the standard British response to this on a TV weather forecast seems to be "well, will it or won't it?" so I think they may have a cultural issue on their hands as well.
When I was a scientist (a theoretician, my lab coat was reserved for teaching practicals and looked like I'd stepped out of a laundry detergent commercial), I was told that there were plans afoot to replace lab rats with lawyers, because:
1) There's only a finite number of rats in the world
2) Lab scientists can get attached to their rats
3) There's some things a self-respecting rat just won't do
I thought you were worrying about a stray hair in the boot there for a minute ...
There it is again ... the supercilious attitude of those stating "X isn't funny" as a fact when it is quite clear that some people find X funny. You may not find The Big Bang Theory funny, but it really isn't because you are cleverer than every single person who does; you just have a different sense of humour. (NB: I'm not saying TBBT fans are cleverer than you, either.)
As for your own attempt at humour, spotting the jokes "long before the canned laughter man hits the button. Weeks before in some cases" ... really, don't give up the day job. This sort of unoriginal, highly formulaic prose lends very little to your implied claim about having a much more sophisticated appreciation for comedy.
[Edit: and doesn't everybody know that TBBT is filmed live without canned laughter?]
"(The Big Bang Theory is not funny and nor was Friends)" ---cambsukguy
if you can sit through an episode of either without laughing at least once, I'm not sure your opinion on what is funny is going to be of much use to me. It might be a bit easier to see where you are coming from if you told us what you do find funny.
It's really not going to be that long before some consumer devices hop directly onto 3/4G data services. Securing your router is not going to help you much here.
"Such a far cry from my youth when our only forms of entertainment on a long trip was a coloring book, license plate bingo, and staring at the scenery" -- AC.
Tell me about it. One of my teens recently complained because there had been about 10 seconds of stuttering in an HD movie he was live-streaming to his tablet as we drove 200miles at around 70mph.
I took them to the NMoC at Bletchley to make them appreciate their kit (and their connectivity) a bit more; it was meant as revenge but they actually loved it.
"Real Cat often referred to as the-thing-that-keeps-crapping-all-over-my-garden-instead-of-its-owners'." --- Doctor Syntax
Not pleasant, but better than the alternative you appear to be suggesting; at least you can frighten the cats off with a water pistol ... oh, hold on, new IoT thought ... off to Kickstarter ...
"HOWEVER, poor security doesn't necessarily obfuscate who the attacker was any more than if there had been good security ... the level and quality of the security that was breached is tangential ..." --- Badger Murphy
I disagree: the higher the level of security, the more restricted the pool of potential culprits. Some attacks are so sophisticated (Stuxnet?) that they are almost certainly nation-state sponsored; on the other hand, a very poorly secured system can be successfully attacked by a much wider range of attackers, including script kiddies and people emailing executable trojans. It must therefore be true that it is harder to justify allegations that a nation-state has attacked you if your security is of a level amenable to much less highly resourced attackers, unless you have very significant evidence of the origin of the attack.
"None of them are in the slightest bit interested in any of us, they have neither the wherewithal, the time, or the money, and never will in any western democracy." -- Otto is a bear.
Somebody missed their history classes.
"Do you really think any government would leave a communications channel completely unmonitored"
Yes, I'd like to think that they don't have microphones in my house. Are you actually presenting a serious point of view? The words in your post look cogent enough but your arguments make pretty much no sense at all.
First you were arguing that people should be guilty unless they could prove their innocence (negative proof fallacy, as well as fundamentally opposed to good jurisprudence); now you're arguing that because agencies have done bad things in the past they should really be allowed to carry on doing it (fallacy of relative privation, maybe some others).
I'm expecting a zig-zag to some form of cultural relativism next ...
"you're a smart bunch, but some of us have seen the other side you don't" --AC
How fscking patronizing ... "I'm in possession of secret information that shows that I'm right and you are wrong." You really expect to persuade anyone of anything with that sack of horseshit?
"I value other peoples opinions on this ... we will always have a different opinion ... that's all from me on this."
I really fscking hope you don't do anything significant for national security. What a total dimwit you are.
"Many of us grew up in countries where terrorism was a daily threat, we lived with it, we didn't let it affect us" --- big_D
Absolutely. Not only were the IRA and the Baader-Meinhof gang a real and credible threat where I grew up as a child (JHQ Rheindahlen), but the far bigger threat was the sick, authoritarian society just over the wall that was going to roll tanks over Europe and take away all the rights we had fought so hard for. Unfortunately, we didn't see the sick authoritarian society approaching from the opposite point of the compass ...
... zinc whiskers? Or would that also be a problem with these liquid coolants?
I disike the prefix "cyber-", quite possibly for many of the same reasons you do. But it's here and it's going to stay; language evolves, quite often in ways one deprecates, but one has to accept it. And I might even agree that most people using the term "can probably be safely ignored" - but this is Bruce Schneier; so it's unlikely we can so easily consider him a member of that category.
"... you are usually free to discard the ISP provided router ..." -- AC
It's usually possible, but for a non-zero number of large ISPs, it's a breach of your contract conditions. Most likely they will just not provide you their support (not a huge loss) but they could conceivably degrade your service for the remainder of your contract without you having much recourse.
According to this page from the US Department of State, there were 16 deaths of private US citizens at the hands of terrorists, worldwide: 12 in Afghanistan, 3 in Algeria and 1 in Lebanan. NB: 0 deaths in the USA.
Now I think there were more than 16 deaths caused by children aged 5 or under in the USA that year but it's tricky to track down (wonder why?) and I'm on my coffee break so time is limited. But there were definitely more than zero (the number of Homeland deaths) --- in April 2013 alone I've found, in the time it takes to drink a latte, Brandon Holt (6), NJ; Josephine Fanning (48), TN; and Caroline Sparks (2), KY. --- I did put the hrefs in an earlier version of this message but lost it when I accidentally hit the back button. But if you Google the name and state in each case you will find the stories.
I also found this statistic on CNN: "In 2010, 13,186 people died in terrorist attacks worldwide; in that same year, in America alone, 31,672 people lost their lives in gun-related deaths, according to numbers complied by Tom Diaz – until recently, a senior analyst at the Violence Policy Center. "
"Unfortunately the bad guys are growing exponentially"
Ah, poor little frightened child. There have always been "bad guys", but they are most certainly NOT "growing exponentially". For goodness' sake, a few bods from this forum could cripple significant amounts of UK infrastructure in a week; your so-called "Bad Guys" just aren't that frightening.
Anders Brevik: Lone nutter killed 77. Virginia Tech weirdo, ditto, 32 deaths. GermanWings shithead pilot, 150 deaths.
Now, some frightening terrorists:
Boston Marathon: guys with bombs and guns in a huge crowd, managed to kill 6.
Hebdo Attackers: 4 guys in body armour, AK47s, SMGs, and a fscking rocket/grenade launcher: 12 deaths.
On a militaristic level, that is pathetic. 3 deaths each? If I didn't care about what happened to me, because I was going to "heaven" or some other childish afterlife, I could kill more people in the supermarket armed with a kitchen knife, probably even with my bare hands, let alone fscking body armour and an AK. Yet we are terrified of these people, why? In 2013 more Americans were killed by toddlers than terrorists. We are absolutely not swamped by jihadis.
Of course, you MAY be killed by a terrorist. But your irrational fears aren't getting paid for with my liberty. If you hunt all sharks to extinction, you won't get killed by a shark, but the collateral damage would be colossal. Maybe you don't care about sharks, and maybe you don't care about liberty. But if you're going after either, you'd better have a more rational argument than "oh my god i'm so frightened..."
Indeed. If your testing finds that a majority of people prefer mode X, but a significant minority prefer mode Y, you introduce a feature to switch between the two and default it to X.
"...entirely clones. I've never understood how that can work in the long term." --- Mage
Although sexual selection does seem to offer some benefits, it is absolutely not a requirement for reproduction or evolution. If you are wondering how anything can actually evolve in the absence of sexual selection, well, mutation provides much of the heritable variety in large groups of organisms.
It's been a long time since I was a geneticist, but certainly when I was, it was not entirely clear what the specific advantages of sexual reproduction were (although it was clear there must be some). I think there are some reasonably hypotheses now. The Wikipedia page seems to be of a reasonable quality (in common with much of the scientific content) if you're interested.
... just going to the tattoo parlour
"Apple's update to the Watch software had alarmed some folk, who suddenly spotted that fewer records of their heart rate were being stored on the device.
Some fanbois suggested that Apple was grappling with a bug. Not so, apparently.
Yup, it's a feature, not a bug ..."
Non-pathological vendor approach: update has new feature; is explained in update release notes; perhaps even include a settings option which can change the default, albeit defaulted to the new behaviour.
PS @Mephistro, I agree that this may be to protect privacy during "private moments" (I can't see any other reason, surely if you really want to measure your pulse 24x7 you don't want to only measure it at rest. But I'm stunned at your suggestion that revealing such moments could be "the cause of lots of divorces?" Seriously?
"All publicity is good publicity....as long as they spell the name right ... Worstall"
Apologies; I know what it feels like to have your final consonant trimmed - at least yours is silent :-)
... the thinking man's Jeremy Clarkson (and I mean that as a compliment) - he just punches you in the face with his logic.
"Mr Ham has asserted that scientists cannot claim to have proof of their theories if they weren’t there at the time to observe those theories in action."
Also, all court verdicts are invalid.
"Pointing out to these people that the coalition had actually increased the national debt more in their term of office than the previous three administrations" -- John H Woods [sources: Govt figures reported by the Office for National Statistics, supported from comment I have read in the FT, The Spectator (both mentioned in my comment) and The Economist].
"This is a pretty dishonest argument though, in that the trajectory of national debt was set during the administration of the previous government" -- I ain't Spartacus [sources: ?]
You haven't even quoted enough evidence to support a disagreement with me, let alone call me dishonest. This is exactly the type of dismissive disengaged, blaming-the-others, political argument that I am railing against "Pah, these people are obviously stupid and/or decietful ... this is how it is ... it's quite obvious that this was down to the previous administration ..."
That is the meaning I intended --- no so much a mix of right and left leading to a "centrist" position, as John Sager suggested, but a scenario where one does not really define one's views by picking part of this 'left-right spectrum'. For instance, I'm a pretty committed environmentalist but despite (actually I would say because of) that, I am extremely pro-nuclear. I'm probably left-of-centre regarding healthcare availibility and educational opportunities, but in other respects I could be considered a right-wing small-state libertarian. I'm also an ardent supporter of British armed forces and believe the UK should project its military power overseas whenever it is justified (not too many of my Guardian reading friends would agree, I suspect).
In the article, Tim is separating the big-state/small-state argument from the austerity/stimulus argument, and this is an approach I find extremely encouraging: having a situation where you can evaluate evidence and engage in constructive and considered debate without the "All of those people just want to destroy our country" vs "All of those people just want to kill the poor" shouting which just generates a lot more heat than light.
Voting seems to me to largely a matter of feeling rather than thinking. I came across numerous people before the UK general election who supported a continued Coalition or a Conservative government on the basis that "there's no doubt that we are [as a country] a lot better off now" Most of them felt that this statement was, in effect, its own evidence.
Those few who felt any need for actual evidence would talk about "The National Debt", and how Labour governments borrowed recklessly whilst the Coalition had been more prudent and circumspect. Pointing out to these people that the coalition had actually increased the national debt more in their term of office than the previous three administrations combined was met with general disbelief, whether I quoted official statistics or those well known left-biased media the Financial Times and the Spectator.
I made it clear when discussing with these people that I didn't think the level of national debt, either in absolute terms or as %GDP, was the sole (or even a particularly important) indicator of the health of an economy, and that other arguments could be made in support of an argument that the Coalition had been more economically prudent. Very few people took me up on that, most preferred to stick to their guns by simply disbelieving my "claim" that the national debt had increased.
And this is the essential problem, not just with voters, but the people they vote in. Tribal allegiances appear to be more important than actually thinking about things, examining evidence and coming to conclusions. I would actually have preferred a totally hung parliament, so that things had to be achieved by people actually discussing things rather than the shameful school-playground-level tit-for-tat shouting show that seems to pass for sensible debate in the UK Parliament.
In this context, of course, it is easy to see why both parties prefer to conflate the two points that Tim has distinguished in this article. Labour won't come right out and say that they prefer a big state; that it would be better for the country and here are the reasons. Hell, they didn't even seem comfortable proposing anything other than a slightly milder austerity. (I bet most voters felt, bloody hell, if we have to have austerity, we might as well have the guys we can rely upon to give it to us!) The Conservatives, similarly, prefer not to say they advocate a small state, but to present it as the only reasonable choice for a functioning economy and pretty much to imply that anyone who disagrees with them is irresponsible and/or stupid.
The voters, therefore, catch on to simplistic arguments (which they mostly do not even understand) that show them that the political party with which they disagree must be composed of stupid, if not downright evil, people, rather than people who hold different views with whom it might be possible to come to some mutual agreements on at least some subjects. So we swing constantly between two suboptimal compositions of parliament with apparently no way out of this cycle.
My erstwhile boss had something like:
Q: "I hope you don't think you're going out dressed like that, young lady!"
A: "I'll go out dressed how I like, I hate you and you aren't my real dad anyway!"
Ironically when these Q&A pairs get funny enough, you usually can't resist telling someone else ...
it's called the audio captcha, e.g.
"Hello, please answer the following questions by speaking the answer or pressing the keys on your telephones. What is 2 plus 5?"
"What is 3 times 2?"
"Putting you through now ... *ring* *ring*"
Some people are really operating on the very edge - or beyond - their comfort zone when using a computer. I dealt with a cryptomalware case recently where a lady had phoned BT to complain about her broadband. Two days later 'BT' phoned her back and gave her 'lots of instructions' which she followed. "Wouldn't you?" she asked. "No", I said: "I wouldn't make modifications to my washing machine because people claiming to be Severn Trent Water had phoned me up"
The lady in question is not an idiot, far from it. But you have to be online these days, it's almost impossible not to be. And computers used to be so crap that often you did get help (from software or hardware vendors) over the telephone, so people are still in that oh-my-god-i-can't-do-it mode and are still prepared to trust a friendly and confident voice on the phone belonging to anyone who claims to be from any remotely technological company.
I'm not visiting your bloody website!
>>> oops I meant 21 Oct 15 (this year) thank you for your tolerance
... a hoax BttF date, rather than the real one (Oct 15 this year?)
"Motorbikes are faster, cheaper, and more efficient than most cars. They also get through traffic a lot better. The problems come principally from safety concerns, wet weather, and load capacity." -- LucreLout.
Perhaps there will be fewer safety problems when most of the cars are bots?
"No, hopefully your kids have learned their lesson and will stay clear of Windows."
:-) Dual boot; Windows used only for Windows-only games. Hopefully won't be necessary for too much longer ...
My kids had OEM W7, they bought the upgrade-only media for W8, and updated without a problem. Sometime later, the disk failed. I chanced my arm and tried to reinstall W8 on the replacement HDD using the media, even though it said it could only be used for upgrades. The install proceeded and initially appeared successful, but resulted in a non-activated (and non-activatable) copy of Windows 8 with a message explaining this was because I had used an upgrade, not a full licence. However, it turned out this copy of Windows could be "upgraded" (to itself!) with the same W8 upgrade media, and then it became active!
I wonder if they might make the same mistake with the upgrade to W10?
... how about a small battery powered Bluetooth device (belt buckle? pocketable widget?). Or an RFID-bearing piercing of some kind?
"100mb / month? Waste of time. What are the charges when you go over this?" -- x 7
Yes, maybe useful for geotrackers or low data devices, but phones? My mobile data usage is 10-30GB/mo, which Three provide, bless 'em, for £15. They even throw in 300 mins of calls and 3000 texts.