299 posts • joined 15 Aug 2008
Re: So what is the correct unit in the Register's System
The Jimmy Wales is not an unvarying unit* since he might adopt, or give up, the 5:2 diet or suffer an injury that prevents him exercising.
*Yes, I know Wales is not invariant either but the percent change is minimal compared to the potential % change in the J Wales.
Yours a Physiologist
How to hijack your actual Android too
I can just see it, Google Mark 1 Androids 'your friendly home help' sent to the shop will be hijacked by QR codes stuck on lampposts and the like, just lurking to be logged by the cameras used for vision. This will not be a documented feature of course but a 'clever' way to deliver upgrades and online servicing of the units.
Icon chosen as the closest one to that red light that goes on in I Robot.
Office 2004 for Mac no longer runs under 10.7 after the upgrade from 10.6. Libre Office is now useable even if it does still take far too long to load, so no point in paying for the upgrade.
I have warned the rest of the family wife uses PC's and kids might well run various versions at home and at work.
Oh and I'm reminded why I never liked Outlook so never more than glanced at it, let alone set it up. Thunderbird does just fine and dandy.
Hypoxia All The Way
I'm with the corrosion and gradual air leak hypothesis. I'm a physiologist by training and in 2nd year undergrad physiology respiratory lab on the hypoxia station run by a medically qualified member of the academic staff your status is monitored by getting you to do sums, long division, complex multiplication that sort of thing. The staff member watches you because it's not that you suddenly get them all wrong at a certain threshold but that you get more wrong or you just slow down.
Hypoxia explains the lack of motive, it explains their turn for home. Confusion might explain turning the coms off, intending to turn them back on again but not getting around to that. Everyone is unconscious, they then lapse into coma and know nothing further until the plane crashes and they die, all unknowing. Oh and nobody is wearing a lifejacket either. Nobody is awake and concerned enough to call home.
It is my understanding that hypoxia detectors on planes work on threshold changes and slow changes might not trigger the oxygen masks, at least until it's too late.
The silver lining is nobody suffered. They all went to sleep and didn't wake up.
Re: Multiverse? So 1990's, THIS universe is someone's simulation
The problem with the simulation idea is that even from inside the simulation you can observe information entering and leaving the simulation mediated by whatever device the simulation is being run on. Now you might posit black holes as being the out buses, but where is the incoming data stream? and wouldn't you expect either the cosmologists or the boffins at the LHC noting such an information flow? IANAP, just a Biologist but when you add up all the debris of an LHC collision the energies have to add up.
BTW this also deals with religious claims that god 'sustains the universe' such claims have real world consequences we should be able to see in the data. Absent those consequences we don't need the absence of dead pixels in the sky to indicate we are not living in a simulation or being dreamt by some deity a la Bishop Berkeley.
Re: Allow me to comment on another country's practices
Mrs Muscleguy used to refer to herself as a wff: well formed function. Back when she was doing CompSci and using a mainframe running VAX. I was expected to confirm that assessment you see.
So if I were to refer to her online as such no trouble would ensue as it would just be a trip down computer memory lane.
If the desire for sexual congress with a jetpack ever overwhelms you then help is at hand:
Not technically a jetpack, it's a double cowled fan personal helicopter running off a 2-stroke petrol engine, for reliability. It has a number of advantages over an actual jetpack, asbestos trousers not required, integral parachute, much longer flight times and much more actual control. Not sure how amenable it is to coitus but you could buy one and see.
Re: Balancing Imbalance
Had you gone to NZ or Oz in that state someone would have sold you the Auckland or Sydney harbour bridges in double quick time. It's sad that the Information Age has killed the skilled art of kidding the gullible. Used to be great fun in NZ youth hostels with assorted World Travellers.
If this Kiwi girl was a lawyer, I think I might know her, but not in the Biblical sense, way out of her league.
Re: As for another King product -
I think a Mr W. Shakespeare sometime resident of Stratford on Avon has prior art on the 3 witches concept and Mr Pratchett's acolytes should know this.
As for King 'something wicked this way comes' would seem to be appropriate.
Re: This event that's happening now happened a long time ago
But surely nearby non nova stars and other high energy sources bounced photons, neutrinos, cosmic rays, x-rays and other stuff off the superposition thus observing it by interaction even with no conscious observers around.
There is a reason why in order to demonstrate superpositions we need still relatively small objects kept in hard vacuums at close to absolute zero, shielded from vibrations and in Faraday cages. As soon as the universe is allowed to interact with superpositions they tend to go 'poof'. No observers need apply.
Re: Maintaining a straight path
The point is that if you are also paying attention to your phone then your chances of collision go up. When half the pedestrian population is paying attention to their phone of course your chance of collision will go up even if you are paying attention because there are too many others to monitor and predict the paths of.
"Those measurements lead to a very detailed discussion of kinematics and other exercise-related stuff that make the innards of a CPU seem comfortingly simple. "
This biologist thanks you for that one. Wetware is much more complex than hardware though it is much more predictable than it likes to think it is. While trying to log in to my bank yesterday was anything but predictable.
Re: Fueled by sugar, but fuel is not flammable...
Since the maltodextrin will be in solution then you will first need to dry it before you wish to ignite it.
As a biologist the man problem I can see will be keeping the unit sterile. The environment is full of bacteria, fungi and assorted protists who will happily chow down on maltodextrin. Since the cells would have to be refillable since they are not electrically rechargeable (yet) then that provides an ideal route for infection.
Being unable to use your battery because something ate the charge is going to be a problem. I also wonder what the range of operating temperatures that enzyme has.
Slid maybe, as it is nowhere near round enough to roll. Except there's a step up onto the rock pavement it is lodged on, difficult for a sliding object which would be more likely to come to a rest in the dusty stuff in between. There is also no trail from a sliding/rolling object visible which is why the ejecta or flipper from a wheel interaction is favoured.
IOW the scientists ran your hypothesis through the bullshit meter and discounted it early in the process for the sort of reasons above. I am not a planetary scientist but that is how most scientists think or should think. They explicitly point out they discounted the idea of rock throwing Martians. That one would not have taken long.
Re: I thought I'd seen it all...
That is a bit of historical revisionism. The transparent, colourful RevA iMac preceded the first iPods by some months. Those did quite a bit to redeem Apple's bottom line and was the first outing for Apple from a certain Jonathon Ives.
Sure the iPods and latterly iPhones and iPads respectively have not hurt the bottom line either, but it was funky desktops for home users that were Jobs' first big success. After he killed the clone market of course that caused the initial haemorrhage.
That is an excellent point. I can see lots of corporates deciding that letting their workers have an iPhone is a bad idea. Maybe when that starts to hit Apple's bottom line they might reconsider.
I'm now feeling happier that my machine is, just, too old to run Mavericks. Didn't stop the Apple Software Updater installing the software to mediate the upgrade process to Mavericks though.
Our B&Q still has ONE checkout desk and I use that regardless of the queue as a form of protest at lost jobs. Checkout jobs may not be wonderful but they are still jobs. Our Sainsburys has yet to install even one self checkout but I expect it is only a matter of time. I will boycott it when it comes in. The Co-Op show no sign of introducing them and I have never been asked for ID there. It might help that I'm a member and carry my Co-Op card at all times so they know who I am.
Re: Some rules do need to be tightened
Plane you are sedated on has undercarriage deployment problems and has to hard land. Sparks are created and the plane begins to burn. Awake passengers disembark down the slides. You and your fellow sedated people die from smoke inhalation in your sleep. That is if the g forces in the hard landing don't injure you of course.
The authorities want you to be awake and alert on takeoff and landing for good reasons.
Re: The only part of this that bothers me is
It also only applies in England and Wales. Here in Scotland your DNA must be wiped from the record if you are not charged or found Not Guilty. Just one little way in which Scotland is already a different country. Today I walked the dog across a farmer's field (responsibly) because there is no law of trespass here in Scotland, which is why we didn't need the access to the countryside much fought for Down South.
Re: A weakness in the forensic tools
You may have noticed in these prosecutions that the police will occasionally say that suspect X used 'sophisticated computer techniques'. Meaning anything other than a plain vanilla operating system and browser. My Firefox install with AdBlocker, Ghostery and NoScript would qualify as 'sophisticated' in the eyes of plod. If I am not up to no good why should I need such add-on?s is the attitude.
I expect every reader of El Reg would justify that appellation.
Re: Cool..but also oddly disturbing
"Man has been here longer than 200,000 years. Footprints of Dinos and Man were found in Glen Rose, Texas."
Step away from the creationist magazine and logoff from answersingenesis. They are rotting your brain.
Not to mention the creatards interpret that somewhat differently. Remember the Earth is only 6k years old? so the supposed footprints indicate that dinosaurs were alive in the near past, which means they were in the Garden of Eden and the Ark, though religious opinion differs on the last point. Some suggest they didn't make the Ark and drowned in the Flood, you know the one that all the necessary water for has disappeared.
In the Genesis story there is also no information for how the platypus was categorised.
Re: Cool..but also oddly disturbing
I've never understood the attraction to uploading my intelligence to a machine, even if such were possible*. My biological body is self healing in a way no machine can be and new Biotech allied with nanotech and 'printable' organs mean eventually we can be kept going for some time. There is a promising drug that might be able to halt Alzheimers, Parkinsons and MS as well because they seem to have the same reasons for the cell dying.
Have you never heard of metal fatigue? the effects of UV on plastics? It is more likely that we will create biological machines. AI will be easier with designed and arranged neural nets than trying to replicate them in silico. We already have implants that interface with biology such as artificial retinas. Those have potential in putting biology in robotics as well as fixing us.
*As a biologist with more than a passing knowledge of neuroscience I just love it when physics/maths/compsci people talk about consciousness as though it were a digital computer that can be 'read' in any real sense of the word.
Re: Cool..but also oddly disturbing
The evidence wrt the other hominids is rather that we fucked them and they became us. If you have any non completely African ancestry you will carry Neanderthal sequences. New Guineans carry some Denisovan DNA and there are sections of some East Asian genomes that suggests another input, perhaps another erectus descendant we haven't recognised or sequenced yet. We have Denisovan genomic sequences but only finger bones so far so we don't know that they looked like.
There may be no pure bred Neanderthals or Denisovans or Erectus left but that doesn't mean they left no descendants. Having Neanderthal sequences doesn't bother me, does it you?
Re: Cool..but also oddly disturbing
There is an argument that the funghi are more advanced than we are. They have completely severed their link with the sea. They have no extracellular space, so their cells don't swim in a small piece of an ancient sea like ours do. It's also why 'shrooms are high in potassium and low in sodium. So are the interiors of our own cells.
A smartphone, better and healthier than a cigarette case and stops bullets just the same.
This is just a variant of 'the ciggie case my beloved gave me saved my life' stories from lots of decades ago.
Re: Maybe it's me...
it isn't just you. I've been wondering the same thing. But then I'm not on twitter or facebook etc and have no need to check my email 24/7. As a runner I can see the attraction of a heads up display so I don't have to look at my pace watch to get HR/Pace/Distance info. But they would have to be as lightweight as my current plastic lensed glasses and be impervious to rain, including lenses water/hail/snow doesn't stick to. After all at the moment I can take my glasses off without loss of information during showers/rain (they tuck neatly into the small of my back held with one arm outside my waistband).
Though $1500 for that functionality and just for when I'm running is rather high. I can upgrade my pace watch for very much less.
Re: I suppose,
" Is there really enough unsecured wi-fi around that they can do that?"
I've just checked and the completely unsecured wifi's hereabouts seem to have gone quiet. However the ones that are visible use the vendor's default name and are openly broadcasting. What's the betting they are also using the default login and password? 'Unsecured' covers a multitude of sins.
Our wifi does not broadcast, uses MAC address filtering and the default settings have been changed.
I'm not naive enough to think that gives us cast iron protection, any more than the locks on the front door will keep out anyone really determined.
Re: He flashed his badge
How do you know the manager didn't call him on his claim to be a law lecturer and his Uni ID with 'Faculty of Law' on it was all he had? You use what you can and have to hand.
I have had my PhD for 20 years and I'm always Dr. when I'm complaining and it often works too.
It's the human societal equivalent of puffing up your fur and making yourself look too big and nasty to fuck with.
In this case he was going into bat for someone else using his BigMan persona (noting this is Scotland he was in).
Re: Probably a *lot* simpler if they stopped all this *extra* rubbish and just tracked 1 thing.
"Free movement of EU nationals within the EU is a noble idea but how do you do resource planning if you can't even answer the question how many eligible people are in the UK (or indeed anywhere else) for govt services without being able to count all those in, and all those out?"
You do know the UK Govt just canned the census? you know the exercise that gives local authorities details on who is living where, the number of under 5's so schools can be planned etc?
We have free movement within the UK as well and we muddle through.
We arrived pretty much unannounced to the authorities (as returning Brits we needed no visas) yet once we found somewhere to live getting the kids in school was no hassle. Mind you no academies back then, no idea how it work these days. Do you apply to your local academy AND the LEA or what? We live in Scotland now which is why I ask. No academies, still all LEA schools. Means one secondary that is having it's buildings demolished and rebuilt gets to inhabit a mothballed school in the interim. Same one another school that burned down got moved into during the rebuild. How do you manage that for an academy? answers on a postcard to Mr Gove.
Re: Let's face it, they're stuffed.
That works elsewhere too. Going back to NZ before Xmas the eldest could only afford to get one passport renewed so opted for the UK one so she could come back to her job (important). She rocked up to immigration in NZ, NZ citizens queue, presented her expired passport listing her place of birth, NZ. No problem, waved through with a smile and the usual 'welcome home' that greets returning Kiwis. Can you imagine that here?
Mind you an island nation 3hrs flight from anywhere else and no internal borders is easier to control entry and exit than here. Mind you more than one major criminal has disappeared, probably via fishing boat and last year an Austrian guy who had overstayed for 20 years or so was finally caught. He lived in his car, travelling about doing odd jobs to avoid detection. He got recognised and shopped by a member of the public.
I'm not surprise that Steam is listed as impossible. That has been my experience too. I tried it for one game then decided to buy it standalone and didn't go back, even deleted the Steam app from my system.
Then I start to get automated emails from them that someone has tried to access my account. So I contact Steam support about it and suggested they closet the account as an easy remedy. No dice and no solution to the person/people repeatedly trying to hack it. Just suggested someone got confused, yeah right.
Re: Force all users to act as relays?
Note I have my Boys Brigade Drill badge which requires you to command a squad so I have issued that command in my time. A long time ago, but still. For the record you About Turn to the Right.
Re: Force all users to act as relays?
Squad! About, Turn!
During my PhD, back in the late '80s/early '90s so before anything net other than email and usenet my thesis was stored on 3.5" 'floppies' (1.4Mb eventually). I had three sets:
A daily working set (didn't always have my own computer with a hard drive)
A travelling backup set that was updated daily and lived in my backpack (in a plastic disc box)
A home set that came in once a week to be updated.
The lab postdoc told of guy back before computers were available for such tasks who gave his handwritten thesis manuscript to a typist to type up, as was common practice. She put it on the back of her moped and set off across town. When she got there only a few pages were left. This was my motivation for backing stuff up. As well as an incident during my honours year (we were the first year to use computers to produce our theses). I took a 400k disc out of a computer, put it in my lab coat pocket and demonstrated a physiology lab. When I went back it would not work. Fortunately I had a backup but I lost a morning's work.
"Beyond that who would benefit from a very compact high efficiency heat transfer system?"
Better than a Peltier you mean?
My experience has been that you usually have the odd bit like a dowel or a screw cover extra rather than something missing. I still have a collection of same.
Re: Tin foil hat time
Oh fine, provided you keep your eggs in the fridge so it knows about them. Or do you only make recipes from fridge ingredients? My cooking tends to require storecupboard ingredients and at the moment how will my fridge now which of the herbs in my garden are harvestable?
Though thinking about it that might be why I forgot to put the walnuts in last night's salad (not a Waldorf). But then it did have fresh herbs from the garden in it too, and I don't keep carrots in the fridge. Can you imagine the faff of having to swipe the barcode and reweigh everything you ever use?
I just keep my iPod Touch handy for building a shopping list on. It's slightly more convenient and flexible than pen and paper we used to keep in the kitchen for that purpose.
Which reminds me, I need to add icing sugar. My wife is apparently offended by having golden icing sugar dusted over her raspberries.
Re: Tin foil hat time
Tesco only know how much milk you drink if they are your sole supplier of bovine excretions. Is going outside to the shops really so hard?
Note that Sainsburys has so far failed to notice that my habitual purchase of FairTrade instant coffee has ceased (in favour of the Co-op's excellent range). Similarly I now buy no marmalade or jam from them after discovering how good the Co-op's versions are (higher fruit content).
They keep giving us vouchers for dog treats though we only occasionally look after a friend's hound. But that my allegiance over several products has moved has seemingly not been noticed.
Your faith about the level of their analysis is thus misplaced in my experience.
Re: Bluetooth Underpants
With integrated penylplethysmograph with output monitored by your significant other?
Until recently I was using a Nokia 3330 that had been used and discarded by both my teenaged daughters and survived. They kindly put it in a non lurid case before passing it to me. I currently use a Nokia 100 I bought for NZ$25 rather than pay NZ$60 to have the 3330 unlocked for a NZ sim while back before Xmas. The 100 is a great little phone, smaller and lighter than the 3330 with a newer so better battery.
Any phone that can survive my daughters (the eldest has broken two iPhones of late) is proven indestructible.
Not pedantic enough
Demons are only fallen angels in the Judeo/Christian theology. As the quote in the article notes, daemon had an older parentage amongst the ancient Greeks. For eg that was the sense Phillip Pullman used the as in his books.
@Euripides Pants "So I choose not to be a test case. This leaves more corn syrup and incredible soy substitutes for you to enjoy."
Firstly I'm not asking you to be a 'test case' just not try and veto my choice to make a rational, informed decision to do otherwise. Back at the start of GM we bought FlavrSavr tomato paste and good stuff it was too. But Greens and Luddites threatened to firebomb supermarkets if they continued to stock it (and note the police did nothing about those threats) so out choice to eat it was taken away. Here whenever there is a GM trial to answer questions of risk vs benefit they have to have major security systems in place lest people like you come and grub it up.
BTW it's not the glyphosate you need to worry about, it's the detergents it's formulated with that are necessary to get it into plants. But all are deactivated by soil bacteria and you do not spray a crop with glyphosate near to harvest, there is no point. You are clutching at straws and ignoring DOSE.
And if you think I happily eat corn syrup you are deluded. There is a middle road that avoids both manifest and provable harms, such as too much sugar and other high GI carbs and also the marketing hype that is 'organic' food. Sadly I often have little choice as many gluten free products are also 'organic'. I would gladly pay less not to have that label applied.
I remember when the 'organic' movement started to take off. We used to eat tofu, it was cheap. Then literally overnight the packets began to bear the label 'organic' and tripled, no hyperbole, in price. Same brands, just relabelled. So we stopped eating tofu regularly because we could not longer afford to and non 'organic' tofu could not be found. It's a marketing scam free of anything like an evidence base.
Yeah right, like spirits and witches and the evil eye were not blamed for illness caused by poor food choice in the past. Also millions of people have been eating GM food for a couple of decades now. Show me the bodies in form of attested epidemiology that they are harmful to humans.
How many billion person years of healthy GM food consumption will it take to persuade you it is safe? I ask this in perfect seriousness. It's getting long past time that we should be seeing people dropping like flies, in the US, China and elsewhere. Especially in comparison with organic freaks like you and you can bet the epidemiologists are watching. There's big interest and probably a professorship for someone to be able to prove harm from them.
Contrary to what you might think there is no central authority in biology that holds us all to the party line.
For eg I'm a sceptic wrt the BSE - vCJD link. My assessment is the mouse panels do not show what they think they do and the rise is simply because we started to look and tested everyone possible. If you seek you will find.
It's also funny because plants make their own pesticides and organic foods are even more chock full of them because they get no extra help. Not to mention that pesticide residues on food have fallen by orders of magnitude and if you tested conventional food with the techniques available when Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring it would pass as organic. We only know there are any there because ultra high performance HPLC etc are so absolutely sensitive.
Also GM food is no more dangerous than mutant food like the mutant cabbages: broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts etc or most of the apple varieties. And say away from seafood, they are chock full of lateral transfer genes from all sorts of creatures.
Oh and in the lab one day while trying to clone a chicken gene I sequenced one possible (from chicken tissue) that hit just two other things on the genome database: malaria mosquitos and humans. Two host species and a vector. So you and me and all chickens are genetically modified. Lateral gene transfer is so common in biology you can literally fall over it by accident. That is all GM is and it is in no way 'unnatural' Nature has been doing it since 3.5billion years ago.
Re: Hot Mac Pro?
If the heat moving capacity is as good as they claim then I can foresee a market for a clip on wire frame that allows you to cook on top of it. Just watch the pot noodles don't boil over . . .
Re: What they don't seem to realise is
Except as here in the UK the government simply puts you in gaol until such time as you cough the decrypt key, it being illegal and contempt of court to withhold such things. So not even encryption gets you out of this. It just blows back at you. At the very least they impound your devices and just get the keys from there and again your login please or you go into chokey until you do.
My wife has found an emulator for old style text adventures and installed it on her newish Windoze 8 laptop. Not what Microsoft had in mind for such machines and systems, not at all.
First define your pinhead
All you need to do is define your pinhead, then the number of angels that can dance on it can better be thought about.
Though in fairness this new method has done that, with their quantum dot. A unitary pinhead.
Paris because she is an angelic pinhead.
Re: Just define the number of electrons in a coulomb, stupids!
Presumably you missed the bit where the value differs depending on how you measure it? Since that is a problem there therefore must be no good or valid way to determine which value to choose. Not to mention if it is wrong then other calculations using much more tightly defined units will have the accuracy of the result degraded by the Coulomb.
Which is why they are trying to do it properly instead.
The Stupid Does Burn
To all those bleating about the flights only being for rich stupid people, well this is Bert Rutan's income stream from building the things for Branson (and getting a pile of testing done along the way). So since this is, partial, rocketry an Americanism is appropriate: The Stupid, it really does burn!
If I won the lottery I wouldn't sign up, no biology to speak of and I'm not too fussed about thrill rides. But that doesn't mean I need to deride those who do want to, or fail to see the benefits of fleecing them.
- Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
- Mounties get their man: Heartbleed hacker suspect, 19, CUFFED
- Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
- Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
- Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER