323 posts • joined 15 Aug 2008
Re: Text editting
At school in New Zealand in 1979 first year of secondary we did all the 'options' in half year bunches. So I learned bookkeeping and touch typing on an old manual typewriter. The typing class was thus 50/50 boys and girls. But then NZ is a different country when it comes to gender opportunities. I got up to 30 words a minute on the manual.
Then fast forward to '87 and the period between been in the first class to write our honours thesis entirely on computer and starting my PhD I brushed up my skills with Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing on a 400k Mac floppy that was pre hfs, so all files had to be in the same directory as the program. I practised my skills by entering the references from my thesis from a card file to a Reflex database.
It's the education system, of more specifically the examination companies. Time was they employed ex teachers or those who wanted some extra cash. People who knew the curriculum backwards and thus could be allowed to exercise DISCRETION. But then the penny pinchers came in and made them into lean money making machines. They started paying peanuts and so the ex teachers gave it up and they had to employ monkeys to mark exam scripts. No discretion was possible.
The schools cottoned onto this and they now make kids rote learn the correct responses, in the 'right' form of words. Creativity and initiative are thus penalised at exam time.
A few years ago when the youngest was still at school she came to me with a biology worksheet that kept being marked wrong and she couldn't understand why. Me being a biologist she asked me if her answers were right, they were. So she took this to her teacher who told her that they may have been right but they were not in the correct form of words and the above was why it was important to learn them.
Another problem is ambulance chasing lawyers (NOT elfin safety). Business is scared of being sued by no-win-no-fee lawyers so all procedures must be seen to have been adhered to to the letter as anything not 'standard' is what the lawyers feed on (you didn't follow procedures did you?).
Between these two forces all initiative is squashed out of people. 'I can't do that, it's more than job's worth'. Sound familiar?
Hmmm, dodging duelling cycle couriers (easy to see/hear etc) vs having a delivery drone and cargo drop on your head without warning because too fat kids got too 'gamified' and forgot it was actual meatspace they were flying in? Which would you choose?
Also we are used to checking both ways when crossing the road, hard to do when you are constantly scanning the skies for falling drones.
Except the drone can fly safely at a much lower altitude than a crewed copter. Meaning a lower cloud ceiling than the copter is allowed to fly in. If you installed a radio beacon on the island with a receiver on the drone etc. It could then fly through pea soup fogs.
Hmm, a swimming drone battling waves and currents in a fluid as dense as dihyrogen monoxide (made denser by various salts, glycolypids etc) vs a flying drone battling currents in a largely nitrogen gaseous environment (okay occasionally made denser with the above mentioned fluid in gaseous or fine droplet form)? Which is the easier engineering and energetics challenge?
Re: Flaw in the argument
If you go online and are not fussed about last year's colours you can get decent running shoes for around or not much more than that £40 for one month's gym membership. My last pair of shoes (Asics gel pulse goretex) cost me £50. They were the last pair that shop had so were heavily discounted and they were in my size! You would normally pay a premium for the goretex versions but in this case they were the cheapest pair I could find. Roughly page 3 of the search, so not much effort expended.
As for running clothes, buy in the sales and only in the sales, online. Which means buying summer stuff in winter and vice versa. Much, much cheaper than the gym. Self motivation not supplied though.
The point is not so much if Internet-Mana get into the parliament* but what effect the revelations and accusations will have on the National Party's vote. Dotcom is not trying to become NZ prime minister, he is trying to bring down Key's govt in revenge and there's more than one way to do that.
*Mana are likely to get one Maori seat. Under MMP type elections getting an electoral seat despite not getting above the 5% party vote boosts your effective % and you get a couple of list MPs elected. So that they are polling at only 3.5% is only half the story of their electoral chances.
Sigh, as if no scientist ever saw a big pot of research money and how their research could get them some of that to do that experiment they have always wanted to do.
The science of immunology has come on in leaps and bounds in recent decades compared to when I was an undergrad. Why? well off the back of all the funding for AIDS research of course. A vast amount of absolutely basic science was done funded by AIDS money. Sure it needed to be done to understand the actions of the virus. But not all of it was strictly necessary, in hindsight.
Similarly a lot of good basic cellular biology is done in cancer research institutes and groups. Developmental biology (my area) too. Lots of oncogenes play vital roles during embryonic development and to understand their normal function . . .
Not all research funded by organisation X is absolutely focussed and enslaved to the absolute, iron clad, narrow aims of organisation X.
After all have humans not been gaming systems for millennia?
A biologist writes: Yeah right, so they are going to have a huge colony of Manduca sexta with a highly automated electrode implantation facility attached just waiting for a suitable disaster? Not the aftermath of a hurricane where the winds still tend to be on the high side, or during tornado season would be my bet.
A 'distributed aerial network' sounds a neat thing to have, right? But the devil is in the detail.
Oh, I really, really hope there won't be any of those windy helicopters or fan bladed micro-drones flying through the air while the mini mothra are deployed. It could be carnage out there: drones falling from the sky with hardware bugs.
Hmm, must have been some sort of Freudian typo. M is on the same hand but a different finger to I. Might have been some sort of autocorrect I suppose. Deionised is not exactly as common as a word as demonised. My spellchecker suggested demonised instead just then so that is explanation I'm going to go for. Dystonia or other nastier mental degenerations I could name and in some cases describe the genetic or physiological basis for notwithstanding.
Re: Ask Brick Top
Except it is VERY hard in the modern world to cut up a body without leaving tell-tale residues around the site of the dismembering.
I have done quite some pcr in my time and it is VERY sensitive. There was so much bluescript cloning vector in use in one lab I was in you could PCR it up by simply adding demonised water as a substrate. We had to limit the number of amplification cycles when testing which mice were transgenic and have more than sort of negative control or else all the lanes had bands in them and you were reduced to judging intensity . . .
If you are going to kill someone do it non messily where they live and transport the body to a convenient sinkhole in a vehicle you both have used before. You might, get away with it. Unless someone you didn't see, or a camera saw you, or in your panicked state of mind you too your switched on smartphone with you.
There are so many things to think about when you have killed someone and just one of them is needed to slip your mind and you are banged to right. So best not to go to the killing stage in the first place.
Re: Little Englander syndrome
I very much doubt you will either the first or last Scots émigré to return here after a Yes vote. As a Scot who left aged 6 for New Zealand and came back as an educated adult just in time to vote for the first Scottish parliament in 300 years I would welcome you hame.
The place will boom after March 2016. With a land registry at long bloody last the landowners will finally be able to be taxed and land reform will not be stifled by not knowing who owns what. If you recall The McLeod of McLeod tried to sell the Cuillin Mountains on Skye (his castle roof leaked you see) but it turned out after court cases and much trawling of mouldering documents that he didn't own it. Not even the aristocracy can look up a registry to see what they do and do not own.
That's just one benefit. I was chewing the fat with a neighbour on the issue (yes really) the other day. You would not believe how switched on to political issues the Scottish electorate is these days. Outsiders who have only recently engaged with the referendum are so far behind the knowledge curve it is no longer worth the time or effort to bring them up to speed with only 5 weeks to go.
I will vote Yes with you, and a lot of others, in mind. You won't recognise the place, in a good way. The Scottish people have learned how to hope.
If this survey is truly 'UK' and not just 'England and Wales' then it would be interesting to see the month by month stats for Edinburgh and if there is an uptick in August when large sections of the London Arts community and glitterati head for the various Festivals (there is more than one in Edinburgh at the mo).
In terms of 'target rich environments' Edinburgh in August must be like the West End of London at any other time.
I expect detecting a corresponding downturn in London would be futile as August is prime tourist season there too.
Re: Lets get this straight
Your reading comprehension is in dire need of an upgrade. How you can conclude that from the article when it contains absolutely clear statements like this:
"“Crimes such as burglary, theft from the person and robbery resulted in far more electronic equipment being taken than crimes directed against business such as shoplifting and non-domestic burglaries,” he concluded."
is completely beyond me. Is English your first language? If it is can I suggest you sue your English teachers at school because they have clearly failed. Add your parents to the list as well.
Christian my arse
You are conflating what people put on census forms with worship and belief. Note that in parts of Scotland religion is tied with identity and football, sadly. But you are more likely to see people of that stripe in fitba grounds than the kirk of a Sunday.
You may live in a rural area where the kirk is still involved in community cohesion but here in the cities congregations are combining and buildings being deconsecrated. Here in the East of Dundee there are a lot of deconsecrated churches AND up here in the postwar housing estates not a single place of worship has been constructed. A local kirk recently evicted the girl guides and brownies from their hall so they could lease it out to a commercial business. Too small a congregation, not enough income.
What new look?
I upgraded from 30.0 to 31.0 and my look didn't change. Mind you I don't use skins, they make my head ache looking at them.
I do have two gripes. After restarting from the upgrade every single window had at least one new tab spawned showing Abine.com and urging me to install their anti tracking software. I would close one only to have it respawn. Reloading a tab caused a new Abine.com window to spawn. It behaved like a virus. Yes I send feedback shouting my complaints. No response, no apology, no explanation.
The second one is now every new window doesn't have the bottom add-on bar. To get it I have to manually go up to the View menu, no shortcut. There is no preference for this.
Re: I, personally, am not surprised
Me too, I usually crash out of it as this means I have more chance of being able to choose which windows and tabs to reopen before doing so.
HOWEVER, today I upgraded from 30.0 to 31.0 and on reopening every single window had an additional tab from a company called abine.com offering do not track me add-ons. Closing them in about a third of the windows caused new ones to spawn. Now when tabs are reloaded some of them cause more respawnings. I have alerted Mozilla and requested they remove this crap they have installed.
Oh and now, just like this window, the bottom add-on bar is not there.
At this rate I will be forced back to Safari, oh the horror!
Opt Out more likely
So last week there I was a surfing away (A Scottish Indy website as it happens) and suddenly the site symbols on the browser tabs start turning into red V's. Smelling a Virgin rat (my ISP) I logged into my space on the website and there was their nanny software enabled by default, without me asking them to. I was unable to stop the damn thing. At least the person on the phones I eventually (after much menu choosing) was able to turn the thing off. I had to restart my computer to make it stick mind.
It isn't as though the house is strewn with children on the net. Ours are well grown and flown. Just two middle aged adults, both well web savvy and one of us has a CompSci degree (much underused).
BTW we need a Branson based icon.
Re: My hopes are dashed
Mostly they are 'my country right or wrong' types. I'm a biologist and I have perused job ads at Porton Down and the like and wondered. I have also worked with people who are ex that world and they my country etc patriots.
I'm a pacifist and anyway my skill set is not really a good fit for that stuff anyway.
Re: Swirling JDs??
I use the unpeated Caol as a winter aperitif whisky. It needs a decent dollop of water to open it up, but once you have my tasting notes would be 'honeyed melon'. A very, very, nice dram.
Re: Does this mean future raid teams will be skilled in knife throwing????
Touch screens can be head butted though. So no hands, no problem. Also I am ambidextrous so I would require two very good knife throws.
Re: We Were Promised Jetpacks
It is here and has been for a while now http://www.martinjetpack.com/
Technically it's a double cowled fan personal helicopter running off a hi-spec 2-stroke engine (for robust reliability) but it comes with a parachute installed and can run for much longer than an actual jetpack and you will not need asbestos trousers.
Start saving now.
Made in New Zealand.
Re: Surprised at all the little pieces
It is COLD at 30k feet. If you froze a household balloon then popped it, it would shatter too.
Since my WiFi does not broadcast said TV will have trouble connecting via WiFi. None of the neighbours have default passworded routers (I've checked), so the poor TV will have trouble getting online.
IOW you have to setup a Wifi connection, if you don't do so or bork it in software by sending it looking for a non existing proxy then you have the same effect as not connecting the ethernet cable. What do you think the effective range of WiFi is? YMMV in really dense housing instead of semi-detached suburbia like here but the point still stands. WiFi is not long wave radio.
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.
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