Re: Not all sciences are created equal
Maybe I should have qualified that with "highly reactive experimental chemistry is most fun to watch"?
- fixed it for you.
584 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007
Maybe I should have qualified that with "highly reactive experimental chemistry is most fun to watch"?
- fixed it for you.
Mental Euclidian arithmetic is also rather useful for anybody who needs navigation skills: think pilots and many sailors. Calculating drift, or working out your heading from a map is purely Euclid in action. Think a modern pilot doesn't need these skills because GPS? How about emergencies caused by electric power failures or when a CME takes out the GPS, Glonass and Galileo constellations?
How is it ever going to cross the road
Thats easy: it just reaches up, presses the signal on the crossing and waits for the green light like any other pedestrian.
There are only two tiny, insignificant problems: it doesn't have a robot arm and button-pushing finger OR an eye to see the "cross/don't cross" lights.
A license plate as sole ID is unlikely simply because many drones don't have the panel space needed to display an N number with even 25mm (1") high letters and on top of that it would be unreadable from any useful distance. That said, having the reg. written on the side of every drone is still useful as passive, on-ground ID if you're looking for a lost drone or if a cop thinks you've been a naughty boy.
I'd guess the more likely solution would be some form of low powered transponder or simply a device that broadcasts the reg. every 5 secs or so. Either should be cheap enough to mass produce because it only needs a range of at most 2-3 km (1-2 miles). Using one of the longer range IOT radio link modules would hold costs, weight and weight power use down. As a sweetener, it could double as a finder for downed or crashed drones.
...love it. Noted for future use.
Agreed: a useful service in theory, but in practice it will only be useful for the bigger and more powerful drones and is unlikely to have much impact on the casual, know-nothing drone user.
I worry about its apparent intent to use a 'radar feed' to handle deconfliction with manned aircraft. This gives me the impression that AA really don't know just how bad low-altitude radar coverage is even in the UK: so was I until I saw the Vulcan vanish from the trackers as it headed south from Rutland Water en route for North Weald the other Sunday. And low-altitude coverage is very poor over much of the US (UAT, which relies on it, is unlikely to work anywhere in the mountains or away from city airports without billions being spent on additional secondary radar installations).
Another worry is that they seem unaware of the FLARM receiver network. This makes gliders, which generally don't show up well on radar, trackable over much of the UK and quite a bit of Europe. FLARM has other uses too: because the transceivers are small, light, cheap and use little power (600mW), they are practical for use on microlites, balloons, hanggliders and parascenders, all of which are pretty much radar-transparent and generally don't carry transponders. As a result, these don't currently get tracked.
I don't think hacking or MIM issues need be a problem: end-to-end encryption will sort that out. In any case, unless AA use cellphones for realtime UAS contact, they'll end up either using satellite links or spending a fortune on relay stations simply to get round the same low-altitude coverage problem that caused the Vulcan to drop off the radar during its last tour.
Yes: first agriculture, then writing.
However, science trumps mass production. Look at history: the Enlightenment and associated discovery of the scientific method was well established before the Industrial Revolution took off.
BUT, science would have been nearly impossible without numeracy and the associated branches of mathematics. Algebra and geometry were understood by the ancient Greeks, but numeracy requires the concepts or number and positional notation. The latter is very important: adding XVII to LXIV is bad enough, but very few Romans could have multiplied them and it would have taken a genius to do long division. In fact, even arithmetic never really took off until the Indians invented the concept of Zero and hence decimal positional notation. So, IMO, the first few Great Inventions were
1) Agriculture, 2) Writing, 3) Integers, 4) Positional number system, 5) Mathematics, 6) Science, 7) Engineering
Book keeping and commerce was able to be understood by many people once the positional number system made simple arithmetic easy. Science laid the foundations of engineering, which in turn supported building large ships and global commerce. These, along with accountancy, helped to set up overseas empires and then the Industrial Revolution. All this was up and running long before computers were invented, and they preceeded the relational database (and IDMS!) by 30 years.
A Hammerhead Shark Laser Razor with nice blue headlights for eyes would do nicely.
The one-eyed concentration on global warming by commentards, deniers and Lewis Page is starting to piss me off. There are other good reasons for doing something about increasing CO2 levels that are being ignored.
1) CO2 emissions are increasing the acidity of the oceans, which is definitely harmful to creatures with carbonate skeletons. This is known to be harmful to reefs and plankton, so will have an impact on food supplies, DMS emissions and (possibly) oxygen levels. Plankton make DMS and photosynthesize oxygen. DMS has a role in controlling cloud cover. As we're hell bent on deforestation (trees are good oxygen sources) we may need all the photosynthetic plankton we can get.
2) The Northern hemisphere jet stream is being disrupted by something: this seems to have a lot to do with the recent weather changes, droughts, etc. that afflict the northern hemisphere. What's causing this? For all I know it could be connected with oceanic heat content changes.
I'd like to see more attention paid to these two effects and how they are linked to fossil fuel use and a little less to the rate of change of global temperature.
I agree that the user should be allowed to choose what to block: the problem is that this particular ad-blocker gives the user no choice other than using it or not using it. By contrast, all the ad-blockers I've used allow the user to choose which advert-sources they want to block, which is a much more nuanced approach.
I started adblocking for two reasons: (1) I hate animated ads and (2) many advertisers are cheapskates whose slow servers make page loading a right royal pain.
What makes you think that damming the Hetch Hetchy valley and piping the water to SF didn't deprive the Central Valley around Modesto of water? As far as I can see the Tuolumne river used to deliver all the water from Hetch Hetchy to the Modesto area and thence straight into the Delta. I see that SF gets 15% of the Tuolumne's original flow. How does that compare with the reduced flow into the Delta that all the fuss is about?
FYI, I know CA quite well though am not so familiar with the way the terms NorCAL and SoCal are used. Nor do I know if there's any accepted term for the middle bit which includes at least part of Central Valley, or is that whole area simply known as Central California? I know the Central Valley fairly well from Tehachapi up to Williams, particularly the areas around Taft and Sacramento.
That Congressman also (deliberately?) blinkered himself by considering only the Delta and the Central Valley. To me, what the good burgers of SF are currently doing to the farmers in the Central Valley looks like a rerun of what the inhabitants of LA did to the farmers in Owens Valley back in the 1920s.
Bottom line: Southern California is and always has been at best a semi-arid region and subject to droughts. The sanity of city dwellers demanding unlimited water for parks, lawns and uncovered swimming pools or farmers asserting their right to grow water-thirsty crops like almonds or oranges is, at best questionable. Both groups clearly put "I WANT" far ahead of any consideration for the environmental limitations of where they've chosen to live.
El Reg's tame climate denier isn't saying anything new. Wake me up when he does.
The total sea level rise due to melting all the ice on Antarctica and Greenland has been known for a long time and so has its timing. This says that climate rise this century will be a few centimeters at most, simply because the thermal conductivity of ice is rather low. So, about all warmer winds and water round the icepack can do is melt the surface of the ice a bit faster without having much effect on the bulk temperature of the icepack. The resulting slow melt rate can cause only relatively slow sea level rise for the next century or two.
Quite. Labour needed to be rid of the last traces of the Teflon-clad, self-regarding NewLabour crew to have any chance of being electable. Now that shower have been given an unmistakable message it may become a credible opposition.
You don't need *any* ports open in your firewall or a static IP.
Use fetchmail or getmail (getmail is better because it doesn't have fetchmail's bugs) to retrieve your mail from your ISP's smartmail host via a POP3 link. No open ports needed in your firewall because getmail opens a connection to the smartmail host.
Your MTA (Postfix in my case) is set up to send outgoing mail via your ISP's smartmail host, so once again no open ports because your MTA opens the connection. Doing this avoids getting your mail blacklisted because it has come from a user's IP address: blacklisting user IPs is quite common, especially if they are dynamically assigned addresses.
The rest? My copy of getmail passes mail directly to Spamassassin. What comes back marked as spam gets quarantined and the rest is passed to Postfix for delivery via Dovecot.
I wrote my own mail archive, based on PostgreSQL. Feeding that is automatic: all incoming and outgoing mail goes through Postfix, which BCCs a copy to the archive. The archive is fast because its a database: it can find any message in 10 secs and optionally deliver it to my mailreader. That's certainly faster than I can ferret through a large mailbox regardless of whether its an IMAP store or not. Details at www.libelle-systems.com if you're interested.
Its not Solaris, but it might could be Greg Benford's "Timescape" appearing 17 years late.
...an ornithologist I met in India, who was there to study vultures, knew next to nothing about their flight performance or how they operated in the sky, though she was an expert on their species and breeding habits.
As far as I know, the first study of how African vultures flew and searched for carrion was made by Philip Wills, a well-known British glider pilot, in 1936. He flew with them extensively and was able to deduce just how good their eyesight was from their preferred flying height and the way they spaced themselves out over the veldt. - "On Being A Bird", Philip Wills pp-26-28.
Its very difficult to make anything fly in a straight line without some sort of autopilot because even tiny wing warps mean that a gliding model will fly in a more or less constant circle. The centre of this circular flight path drifts with the wind, so the distance a balloon-dropped glider lands from its launch point is entirely due to the direction and speed of the wind drift it meets on the way up under the balloon and then, after release, as it glides down.
I received the letter telling me about it. In the data protection section it said something like 'we have no plans to share your information...at this time'. I opted out, but to do that I had to go to my local doctors surgery in person.
You need to do more than that: read the small print.
I did and, as a result, sent separate opt-out requests to my GP surgery and to the hospitals I've been treated in and so who hold (part of) my medical history. The hospital personnel understood exactly why I was contacting them and registered my opt-out without questioning it.
Everybody who cares about the privacy of their medical data, i.e. not letting it get into the hands of the insurance industry, needs to do the same.
...if I understand an unexplained feature of this printer - the scanner - I'm guessing you could use it to help print, say, a gearbox case with metal bearings embedded in its plastic walls. The scanner could be used to measure the bearings' external dimensions to allow for production tolerances so they would not be loose in the finished item. It could also avoid waste by checking the position and alignments of the bearings before starting to print.
The Future of Jobs, 2025:
No need for a report. The simple answer is that he has no future, having been dead for some time. I thought you'd have known that. Did you researcher johnnies mean "The future of Employment" by any chance? Idiots.
Yes, but in this case Snowden was entirely the wrong target. The people who should not have been hired were the arse-covering managers who refused to listen when he tried to report security failings to them.
Dunno about Aaron Alexis: was USIS supposed to be screening for homicidal maniacs as well as doing security checks?
And, who should take the rap for outsourcing security to a private company? It sounds like such a stupid thing to do.
I was a bit surprised that Linus didn't think that the OS could ever be truly hardened. Perhaps that is just a limitation akin to Godel's theorem?
What Linus said.
Bugs aside, it may be possible to formally prove that an OS can't be fully hardened unless the hardware fully implements hardware rings of protection as used by MULTICS and VME/B and that firmware, hypervisors, OS, and application code are partitioned to take full advantage of the security the rings of protection provide.
Yes, I'm aware that MULTICS and VME/B are ancient OSes and that,of the two, only VME/B is still maintained, that current Intel chips provide a reduced set of rings of protection (4 instead of the 8 used by MULTICS and VME/B) and that the likes of Windows 7 only uses two of them. They could do better: VME/B ran user code at level 7 with user data at level 8 so a program could not write to its code or be made to do so and could not access inner rings except via secure system calls. This level of code protection is totally unknown to Windows 7 (where the kernel runs at level zero and everything else is lumped together in level 2. Dunno Windows 8 & 10 do, but I'd hope the answer is 'better than that'. The same hope applies to Linux, BSD and the Apple OSen.
Can anybody point at current hardware with more rings of protection than Intel chips or at any OS that uses all the levels provided by its target hardware?
Isn't it about time any OS worthy of the name got hardened by making full use of the hardware's rings of protection. Just doing that would reduce the attack surface by quite a large amount.
That is another piece of good space-related news in the last seven days. The other is the fantastic pictures coming back from Rosetta.
I really hope this works out. If so its yet more vindication for Arthur C Clarke's vision. See his 'Prelude to Space' for one of the first realistic accounts of an SSTO space plane.
Oddly enough, yes, there are some governments and companies that can do a good job. Here's an example.
I'd been having a problem renewing a passport (no, not a UK one, but I'm not about to say who in case it embarrasses somebody who doesn't deserve that). The initial part of the online dialog was plain text (no problem there - nothing private involved at that stage), but Firefox 39 refused to start an encrypted connection for the next section (inputting details of the old passport), with the error page making it obvious that this was due to FF39 refusing to use an outdated cypher and the server insisting on it. I had a brief e-mail interchange with the sysadmins, who agreed this this was a problem that would be rectified. They also said that their change process couldn't do the update within my timescale and suggested a temporary workround which got the job done. Result.
Thanks, El Reg, for the article that highlighting the fact that the FF39 release forced the pace by deprecating the older and most broken SSL cyphers. I just didn't expect it to be so immediately useful.
This short (two e-mails each way) and very helpful exchange with the sysadmins in the passport office proves that some governmental departments are helpful and responsive, and will fix problems when brought to their attention.
I just wish I could say the same about HMG and the numptys running it. The latter don't have the brain to recognise that a clueless, tech-free bunch like GDS will never do anything except squander money.
Doesn't taste that good Bones.
It has to be better than that stuff most USAian restaurants sell as lettuce.
Fonzi Scheme ? definitely not!
Ponzi Scheme? possibly.
..and, if you're using RedHat Fedora 20+ or equivalent, the command is "dnf update" because dnf has replaced yum.
Is there a number you can call to report them for booting/towing?
Probably not. All parking areas seem to be managed by the lowest bidding private firms these days. They don't have towing vehicles because employing somebody on a zero hours contract with a book of parking fine tickets is so much cheaper.
I think this also has a bearing on last year's Government cull of valid Blue Card holders. Every disabled Blue Card holder costs us money by getting free parking, dontcha know, so if we tell the Govt its costing them money the dozy sods will believe us and put a stop to it.
Why does that beggar belief?
Cameron, Millibrand and Obama are all identikit Blair clones: they all have very similar backgrounds and education, think the same way and do the same things for much the same reasons.
Are robots better than humans for certain types of surgery? is the prime question that should have been asked and answered. The rest is nice-to-now but irrelevant by comparision.
IMO if the robots vs. humans surgical failure rate wasn't measured, then the source material is garbage and the El Reg article is scarely better because it apparently didn't address this point.
...but Amazon isn't a search engine in the general sense that Bing or Google is: it's just an in-store product finder that I'll consult to see if Amazon or one of their concession-holders stock the thing I'm looking for.
I'm with the judges on this: if I go to a shopping site and ask for a specific branded item I expect to be told whether they have it or not and the price if they have one. If I've asked for a Samsung Note 5 I do not want to be offered an MS Surface 3 or an iPad: I know what I want and all I need to know is 'We sell it, the price is £££££ and we've got 99 in stock' or 'Sorry, we don't sell that'.
Of course the situation is different if I've asked a generic question such as "Do you have 10 inch tablets"? In that case and only in that case I'm expecting to see a list of all the items that match the request.
I dunno, single level storage, which is what you're talking about, works pretty well and has been around for a while. It first surfaced around 1970 as IBM's Future Series project, which was canned for marketing reasons, later surfacing in the 1979 as the System/38 and getting a refresh in 1988 as the AS/400 series. It currently lives on as the POWER 7+ series. The hardware has changed, but the operating system, OS/400 and the single level storage system that supports it are still there.
The storage basis for OS/400, which has remained fairly much unchanged since the AS/400 first appeared, is that all data and running processes share a single, flat address space which was originally mapped onto RAID5 disk arrays. The main processor of course has a chunk of RAM, but this is best thought of as a page store: there is virtually nothing in it that isn't a copy of a disk block or page (the two are synonymous) and files/databases are best thought of as memory structures that have been written to disk.
I'm not an IBM fan, but I have spend a fair time using S/38 and AS/400 kit. It worked well and was very reliable, so I'm here to tell you that single level storage is not a problem.
PS: the other well-known system that used single level storage was the Palm - remember them?
Since care.data has now failed twice thanks to its utter failure to understand the needs of both patients and, it would seem, most NHS medical staff, its about time for heads to roll. Getting rid of everybody from project manager level upwards would be a good start. For a follow-up, Government will be doing itself a huge vavour if it also bans them from all government-related jobs in perpetuity.
The best group VR set-ups I've heard of are the old Fightertown simulators in CA. You and your friends got to 'fly' in a set of networked ex-USAF flight simulators, each with an accurate full-motion or fixed cockpit and flight model mounted in a 360 degree multiprojector dome. You could all see each other in the projections, radar, etc and use simulated radio comms. That setup is apparently dead and forgotten but successors, e.g Flightdeck, are providing the same level of experience.
I don't see how anybody can do better than this type of dedicated scenario system until whole body climate-controlled haptic force-feedback suits, suspended in 3D motion sensors are available and affordable. If these are to be realistic, they must provide realistic simulation of running, rock-climbing, driving, sky-diving etc, all without leaving the frame the suit is mounted in. And, of course, they must be networked with enough bandwidth so that you and friends can share a realistic group experience complete with contact with each other as well as the surroundings.
Will such a system be developed? Probably. Will it be affordable outside military, medical or professional athletic training? Probably not this decade or the next.
That said I haven't seen a bio/resume for her and the CIO so just an assumption
Career summary is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katherine_Archuleta
She looks to me like a pure political appointee.
In summary: she worked at a Denver law firm, but there is no indication of where she got a law degree or if she has one. She worked for the Clinton administration, was Executive Director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation and was National Political Director for Obama's 2012 reelection campaign before being made director of the OPM in late 2013.
The article's author may like to revisit paragraphs 4 and 5 because, while both essentially describe the same condition, the apparent outcome is different. I may be a bear of very little brain, but I find this confusing.
One or two of Larry Niven's short stories and novelettes painted a picture of the mines of the future being situated on the landfill of the present. In other words, current manufacturing can be seen as digging stuff out of the ground, using it for a bit and then re-burying it ready for future generations to dig up, thus forming their Known Reserves.
Is there any validity in this viewpoint? If so, it would be interesting to know when this new type of mining might become more economic than the traditional approach.
The Glasflugel Libelle is IMHO one of the most elegant gliders ever built. That thing just looks stunning from every angle. Absolutely - I thought that as soon as I set eyes on one. Not only that but, with the exception of weak airbrakes, they handle as well as they look and slip really well.
The only downside is that it's too sleek and compact for me to fit comfortably. Bad luck, but there's still hope for you. One of our instructors has an H.205 Club Libelle, which he likes a lot. The cockpit is a lot roomier, the canopy is hinged, it has powerful trailing-edge brakes and they cost about half the price of a Standard Libelle and look a bit like a Schumanised H.301 with a T-tail. The only downside is a fixed main wheel, but from what he says, the effect on XC performance is minimal. If you want to know more, you can find my e-mail address on my website (linked from Lester's article).
I swapped hands to take the snap because on small cameras, whether 35mm film or digital, the position of the shutter release forces you to use your right hand when shooting single-handed. This photo was taken with a Ricoh GR1.
All gliders are set up for right-handers but in practise you use both hands: right on the stick and left for the trimmer, air brakes and twiddling knobs on the panel. Many gliders, including the Standard Libelle, have the undercarriage retract lever on the right, so flying left handed is no big deal for their pilots. I do that twice every flight, raising the main wheel after release and, somewhat later, lowering it before joining the circuit for landing.
... looks like BS to me. I can't recall *ever* having to wait while a sales terminal of any type reboots. OTOH I frequently have to wait while the last customer paws through their wallet searching for last week's cash rebate or tries to find their loyalty card.
There's a slight clue there about what needs changing to speed up the checkout line.
T34 was way superior to PzKpfw IV (better armament, larger tracks)
Quite, and this was acknowledged by General Guderian, who almost got shot when asked by Hitler what he needed to win the tank war, by answering "A T34 factory". At that time the Germans didn't have the technology to build T34s.
It was the first tank to have fully welded hull and the first to have a gun turret mount that was wider than the chassis, and hence carried a bigger gun than the Panzer IV. It used Christie suspension, as used by faster amour and those wide tracks helped a lot - there are photos showing T34s driving easily past a Panzer IV that had sunk immovably into the same bit of softish ground.
Now, in the UK do we hear voices of dissension or derision about the Raj and what England did in India to the Indians?
Arguably, the Raj was at least neutral and probably beneficial in its overall effect on the Indian subcontinent:
- it left a unified country where it had found a warring collection of kingdoms, principalities and empires.
- it left a common language. Many Hindi speakers won't speak Tamil and vice versa, but both groups can and will talk to each other in English.
- Indian Rail is an immensely valuable legacy of the Raj, along with the Post Office and a democratic system of government.
 IMO the Partition was the Raj's biggest mistake. Would the Taleban exist if Partition hadn't happened?
I have spent time in India, travelled in most parts of it, and have read a fair bit about its history. As I've never been to Africa and so have no relevant experience, I won't comment on that topic except to remark that no European countries seem to have behaved well there.
Never used a Transputer, but saw a demo or two.
It was impressive all right: I've seldom seen revolutionary new hardware vanish so fast or so completely.
... all UK news sources refused point blank to carry any election broadcasts or propaganda until the party concerned had published a fully costed manifesto and its balance sheet.
I like Java, but their premise of "There would be no banking if Java didn't exist" is ridiculous.
Exactly. Banking runs largely on COBOL.
Grace Hopper deserved far more time than she got:
- first to show that a computer could handle text
- wrote the first assembler (before she did that you programmed entirely in numbers)
- involved in the development of MATH-MATIK and FLOW-MATIC (forerunner of COBOL)
At least they got her involvement in COBOL correct.
As others have said, C should have replaced Java in the series and, given that this was a British radio series, there should have been at least a nod to BCPL, which was developed at Cambridge University, because the C genealogy as described by Brian Kernighan is:
For sure all the curly bracket block-structured languages have C in their ancestry just as all the block structure languages that use begin..end can be traced back to Algol 60.
A $10M fine on a profit of $770M is just over 1%.
Thats just a brush with a feather duster that they'll never notice. If the FCC was serious they'd bong them 25% of last year's profit.
...and impractical for a few other reasons other reasons, such as COST and time constraints.
Assume that a drone with a book dangling from its claws can manage 60 mph and has the typical drone endurance of 30 minutes. This sets two physical limits:
1) it can only deliver within 15 miles of its take-off point because its range at 60 mph is 30 miles and it is flying an out-and-return mission.
2) The delivery flight will take 15 minutes from take-off to delivery. This leaves just 15 minutes to receive the order, pick and pack it and get the parcel to the drone port. Otherwise they can't meet the 30 min order-to-in-your-hands target. For this to work reliably they'll need a warehouse at every drone-port.
So, far from letting them sack their current delivery drivers, this cunning plot is likely to need even more people to staff the matrix of warehouses and drone-ports covering the country: these will include delivery drivers to keep the drone-ports stocked with best-selling items, a crew of pickers and packers plus drone operators and mechanics at each drone-port and, of course, a management team for each drone-port.
Doubling or quadrupling the drone's range and/or performance doesn't make a lot of difference to the practicality of this delivery method.
So now we're going to be deluged with encrypted spam!