* Posts by Muscleguy

405 posts • joined 15 Aug 2008

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Angry user demands three site visits to fix email address typos

Muscleguy

I've had to change a password because a non alphanumerical character in the password works on the Mac desktop/laptop but not from the Android phone. I determined it was this character causing the problem. I presume an incompatible ASCII code between the two systems.

As a result any password that might have to be inputed in both systems does not have non alphanumerical characters, lowering the security of them. Frankly it puts me off doing stuff on my phone.

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Apple drops dongle prices to make USB-C upgrade affordable

Muscleguy

Re: Positively Rhapsodic...

I can't remember which came first but since they are located right next to each other calling one lightning and the other therefore thunderbolt or vice versa was pretty obvious.

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What a bee-lief! UK's asian hornet outbreak is over ... for now

Muscleguy

Re: Hardly surprising.

My experience would confirm this. We had a mild winter last, mild and wet here in Dundee and for the first time since we moved in here mid '99 I did not have to deal with a queen wasp trying to nest in our shed. When we moved in there was an apricot/plum sized nest hanging from the ridge beam.

Worst was the spring after a really hard winter when I was dealing with the nascent nest on the roof beam when I realised there was another, more established nest in the wall above the door, right behind me.

This winter seems to shaping up for a hard one so the wasp killer spray will get deployed again next spring.

In the summer if I'm in the back garden in the suburban quiet I can often hear a rasping sound which turns out to be a wasp chewing wood from one of the fenceposts. So long as the nest the paper is destined for isn't in my shed or garage I let them be.

I'm not surprised they target our shed. It is light, dry and out of the wind and the inside is ALL wood and unpainted or finished. A wasp paradise.

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BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it

Muscleguy

Re: Once upon a time detector vans existed

Back in the lab in the '90s we once did a back of the envelope calculation of the number of identical patterns from independent injection events you needed to conclude a transgene pattern was real and not influenced by where in the genome it had integrated*. The answer turned out to be 3. This also includes no expression where you had mutated a binding site in your transgene enhancer which abolished expression. I was doing a bit of that but nevertheless acquired at least 5 before accepting the result.

it works because the genome is so large.

*Which assumes integration is essentially random. Not entirely true and sequence dependent as we know from the gene therapy on people with SCIID immune deficiency where the transgene in their bone marrow gave them leukaemia. But for all practical reasons it is not unreasonable.

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Lost containers tell no tales. Time to worry

Muscleguy

Re: dev0ps

It is possible. BUT it requires people to do CompSci/Business double majors etc. My youngest is in bioinformatics a similar thing where she speaks Bio and Comp natively as she did a double major in Biochem and CompSci (with some creative timetabling at a NZ university which is very flexible about such things). She is currently doing a PhD in bioinfo while working parttime as a bioinformatiion for the local Ag Research institute who have recognised her fairly unusual native skills base.

You see unlike the Biochem grad who does a postgrad in CompSci, she learned to speak and think in both spheres at the same time and demonstrated the effectiveness of that by graduating well.

The world is full of people who have converted themselves but we need some native bilingual people as well. Yet the universities are VERY slow in designing courses. English universities are very inflexible so there will have to be defined courses. She did ask Stirling Uni here in Scotland but they said the timetabling was impossible. So, she went back to our Alma Mater in the city of her birth, treated as a local for loan etc purposes.

In our time we knew a very clever woman who did a double major in Biochem and Law, just as Biotech was taking off. Last heard of over here in Blighty earning BIG bucks as a specialist corporate lawyer who could talk to the scientists.

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Gillian Anderson: The next James Jane Bond?

Muscleguy

Re: Tom Hidlestone?

I deliberately didn’t watch it, I’ve read and quite enjoyed the book and didn’t want to spoil it as the adaptation inevitably would.

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Password reuse bot steals creds from weak sites, logs in to banks

Muscleguy

Fruity

Apple do it. Very annoying when yet again the password I know I saved no longer works and I have to vary it during the password reset.

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Inside Electric Mountain: Britain's biggest rechargeable battery

Muscleguy

Re: Worrying signs

Pumped storage is ideal for renewable energy. When the wind blows you use the power from wind turbines to pump the water back up. That is why Scotland is enlarging our pumped storage and retroftting hydro systems with pumped storage to handle the increase in our wind capacity (provided enough power for 75% of domestic power recently). When wave and tidal comes on stream to augment wind there will be base level generating capacity there that will generate power even when the wind is not blowing. The tides are also very predictable. The Pentland Firth between the Scottish mainland and Orkney is having tidal turbines installed. The Atlantic flows into the North Sea there, massive amounts of water move regular as clockwork.

Scotland has LOTS of tidal races, large and small. Look at a sailing guide some time, it gives tidal speeds for every passage. Necessary if you are kayaking about, no point trying to kayak between two islands if the water is flowing faster than you can paddle. Time your trip so the tide is flowing the other way or haul out and have elevenses while you wait for the tide to change. Turbines in even a significant fraction of such places could generate serious amounts of reliable power.

Though we might leave the Gulf of Corryvreckan as it is ;-)

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Airbus to build plane that's even uglier than the A380

Muscleguy

Re: Turn one into a passenger aircraft

Except the narrow aisles between the seats would still be there, wouldn’t they?

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Would we want to regenerate brains of patients who are clinically dead?

Muscleguy

Re: Braiiinssss

A physiologist replies.

1. heart attack patients whose hearts stop completely become organ donors or corpses.

2. Some heart function is better than none.

3. In extremis the body tries to priorities supply to vital organs, so heart itself, kidneys and brain. Arteries close and others open.

4. Your scenario assumes heart cessation, yet casual thought suggest that cannot be.

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How hard can it be to kick terrorists off the web? Tech bosses, US govt bods thrash it out

Muscleguy

Re: Confused thinking

My wife and I had a conversation on this issue years ago and decided that we were more worried about burning to death or dying of smoke inhallation in a fire than burglars, who are by and large not interested in doing lots of extra time for murdering householders. So, to get out of our house at night or any other time it is occupied you do not need a key.

That makes it easier for a burglar to enter, but not silently. I locked myself out a couple of years ago and couldn’t persuade a locksmith to visit at 5pm on a Tuesday. My garage was unlocked so I utilised a screwdriver, hammer and a card scraper and got myself back in. The need to do that again has been solved too. No ammount of careful pushing and wiggling worked, it took lots of noisy banging the hammer. A credit card was nowhere near strong enough. At night that is not possible unless the lock fails and our neighbours’ door (semi detached) is right net to ours and it can be hard to tell which door has been knocked.

So I reckon we are pretty safe. When the house is empty, a deadlock is engaged. I was lucky when I locked myself out that without keys I couldn’t engage the deadlock. A case of the wrong trousers.

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After Death Star II blew: Dissecting the tech of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

Muscleguy

Re: Actually pretty realistic

Homo erectus tech barely changed over a million years. The tools do change slightly in design terms but they are the same stone tools. We think they had fire. So a million years of sitting around the campfire knapping flints. THAT is technological stasis.

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Muscleguy

Re: Technological development

Indeed, the Roman and Chinese empires were advanced civilisations of their times yet has others have pointed out the Romans after developing stagnated and even regressed. The Chinese built at least one fleet of huge ships that seems to have reached the Eastern coast of Africa and may have crossed the Pacific. Yet after they returned another emperor overturned that idea, ordered the ships broken up and closed the society to outside influences.

The original Islamic Caliphate had universities and medical schools and hospitals for the mentally disturbed and made many scientific, mathematical and medical advances before an original instance of fundamentalism as well as the splintering of the Caliphate ended much of that.

So the history is that civilisations can stagnate and technologically regress, progress is not a given.

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Muscleguy

Re: AI must be harder than we thought.

If you recall R2 and 3PO persuade Luke the key to getting R2 to play the Leia hologram was to remove his restraining bolt. It was only after his restraining bolt was removed that he was able to leave the confines of the moisture farm and go looking for Obi Wan.

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Muscleguy

Re: It's not that unlikely

It depends on how quickly the tech moves. Very few if any dreadnoughts made it through the 1020s. The Hood (designed 1916, built 1920) was blown up by Bismarck because it's deck armour was too thin, built for an era before horizon or even over horizon fire was possible so the idea of a shell coming down almost vertically was not considered very likely.

Repulse was easily sunk off Malaya by shore based Japanese planes because it had few anti-aircraft defences. Much newer US ships were much better equipped in terms of air defences. I used to wargame WWII naval and these things mattered.

Also things like sonar and depth charge chutes could be retrofitted to an old destroyer without much obvious change to the outline. Yet the capability of the vessel for modern warfare would be greatly increased.

A really big problem was differential speeds. Having to steam at a reduced speed because you have older elements which could not otherwise keep up was a big problem. For the formation and cohesion of convoys as much as carrier battle groups. The engines got much better even as the superstructures didn't change much.

In terms of Star Wars, how much environmental degradation does a hard vacuum based star destroyer suffer over time anyway? Compared to something like an X-wing or Tie-fighter that is capable of atmospheric flight. Having made a few Tie-fighter models for a wee boy recently the stupidity of the design never ceases to amaze me. How does the pilot see laterally? the 'wings' get in the way. The obvious way to beat them is a flank attack.

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Big Brother is born. And we find out 15 years too late to stop him

Muscleguy

Aluminium beanie on order

How do you tell if your phone has been hacked? I'm asking perfectly seriously as mine is behaving strangely and considering the sort of people known to be being spied on domestically as a Yes Campaigner, member of SCND and active in RIC I would certainly qualify.

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Hapless Virgin Media customers face ongoing email block woes

Muscleguy

hmmmm

That might explain the uptick in spam from companies I have never had a relationship from in recent weeks then. From my p.o.v. the spammers are sneaking through the process. Not missing any obvious emails.

A bigger problem is companies that insist you login to your account before they will unsubscribe you from their email lists. This is why Tesco's emails live in my spam filter. They are not the only culprit.

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Boffins teach cars to listen for the sound of a wet road

Muscleguy

Re: trasmissive but refractive...

A distance runner in Dundee writes: the bits of the path that are not white crunchy frost are ASSUMED to be icy until when forced to negotiate them they are found not to be. Note here in Dundee at this time of year and throughout most of the winter I frequently run on unlit paths/roads in pitch darkness relying only on a head torch (a Petzl Tikka Plus2, a very good model).

I once ran 17.8miles almost entirely on white crunchy frost at at least -10c. The icy bit was the flooded bit of the cycle path I couldn't avoid. I was first one through that morning, probably due to the cold. Usually a cyclist had broken the ice before I got there. This time I had to do it. Thick stuff in water half way up my calves. I high stepped it so my foot was coming down perpendicular to the ice.

Further technical note: my twin skin socks meant 200m down the path from the water my shoes were squelching, my leggings were wet but my feet were dry. Another 200m and they were warm again. Now THAT is tech.

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NZ Uni EMC broke considered ditching EMC before SNAFU

Muscleguy

Re: Is that all?

Less than hitherto. The National Sheep flock has declined from a high of 70million in the mid '70s to more like 40million now*. The All Blacks have been playing through all that period so the two together will constitute less information than before.

*many low level sheep farms have been converted to dairy since there is much more money in milk fat than meat and wool. In addition with the Ngai Tahu Treaty settlement and market rents on marginal high country farms many have been abandoned to nature thus further reducing ovine habitat.

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Muscleguy

Re: 15% growth

Well the sheep genome is done, but the move now is GBS, genotyping by sequencing since with barcoding you can now sequence multiple fragments in the same lane, so one per animal, or many SNPs per flock type of thing.

My youngest is currently engaged in a bioinfo PhD at Otago whilst being part time employed as a bioinformatician at Invermay and thus is involved in GBS projects for a number of species. Not sure if sheep are currently on her to do list, she was doing some sheep stuff a while ago.

Just like mess expands to fit the available space so data expands with technology. In my PhD at Otago I had a nifty device where a coloured marker pen fitted into a tube with a button at the top linked to a mechanical counter. Using different coloured pens I could count different myotube types without losing count across an entire muscle in huge physical photomontages of electron microscope pictures. Back then I even had to take the pictures by hand, winging the overlap by eye as the formvar on the slot grid supporting my section stretched under the beam. The film had to be loaded and the chamber evacuated for each film. I did have technical help to print the pictures and we did have an auto processing machine. The lab area outside my office had two shielded rooms (Faraday caged) for electrophysiology recordings) their roofs were below the rooms high stud and the space was used to store tightly rolled bundles of muscle montages.

As I was leaving after submitting they were installing a heat printer with a control which would montage your sample automatically. Now I bet I could count the profiles on a screen without having to print a damn thing. Increasing productivity and therefore data acquisition. Each montage was a subset of one point on a line graph or part of a bar on a bar graph.

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No, seriously, NASA will fly a probe through Saturn's moon plumes

Muscleguy
Boffin

Re: Geothermal Energy Controls Earth's Climate

Not far south of me in Pitenweem on the southern Fife coast (The East Neuk to be precise) if you clamber over the bay at low tide you come to a place close to the low cliff where the fossilised stump of a cycad is exposed. Nearby are some rocks with the trackways of giant centipedes across them.

But to destroy your contention we simply need to turn our eyes upwards (i.e. to later time periods) and see a line of hydrocarbon in the form of coal in the cliff face.

Oh and oil companies employ electron microscopists to examine oil samples for micro fossil fragments (bits of leaf, pollen grains) of the sort you find not uncommonly in coal.

I have as a souvenir of my PhD days a sweatshirt with a penguin in a scarf using an electron microscope and the legend 'South Campus EM Unit: the most Southerly EM unit in the World". That status was briefly threatened by plans to put an EM (on very sensitive dampeners) on an oil prospecting ship around Antarctica. But then the Big Ice got made a Science Park and it didn't happen. Which is how I know about that stuff as I wondered why an oil company might want to do that and looked it up.

The precise organism bits they find tell them how old, from which epoch, the deposit dates. If it is too early or too late (Carboniferous is favoured, clock the name) then the deposit is unlikely to be large.

Note too that evidence of early life in the form of carbon grains means it probably got going not very long after the crust cooled enough. When exactly did this fission occur then?

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Muscleguy
Boffin

Re: Contamination

The environment around the Saturnian moons is one of hard radiation, made more concentrated by Saturn's electric field lines. Any life outside that radiation filtering ice cap will not have any sufficiently intact genetic material (however it is encoded).

Note the environment is much, much nastier than, some, of those tardigrades, in dehydrated estivated form, survived outside the ISS, briefly.

Said life will also be freeze dried in very short order by the hard vacuum. It seems to this biologist something that is unlikely to be evolvable to survive from an ocean entirely enclosed in an ice cap. Note it will be different from getting encased in the ice itself. In that situation life tends to create little droplets of water around them through the heat of respiration.

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Porsche-gate: Android Auto isn't slurping tons of engine data, claims Google – but questions remain

Muscleguy

Re: FTFY

We have a friend from university who created a company that makes and sells new engine chips for hot Honda hatches that makes the full range of the V-Tech engine available. He did it by reverse engineering the standard chip from a bought Honda.

They have since helped out the Honda racing team and now get the necessary info from Honda. But the point is that even without modern buses such things can be had if you are determined enough.

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Clueless do-gooders make Africa's conflict mineral mines even more dangerous

Muscleguy

Re: DHJ

Except Mozambique got better, so your doom and gloom scenario is neither inevitable nor intractable as you imply.

You may have missed the good news that Mozambique has been declared landmine free? The place is now so stable that deminers get to do work and nobody comes along and lays more of them. BTW the former deminers are all being retrained/educated in other skills. The HALO trust which organised this is run from rural Argyll here in Scotland. Do-gooding that worked.

Note that the possibility of the now redundant deminers turning to banditry is lessened by training and educating them.

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BBC joins war against Flash, launches beta HTML5 iPlayer

Muscleguy
Pirate

Interesting Pic

Did you choose a picture of Pacific Quay because it is emblematic of people switching off BBC completely? Up here in Scotland we don't like being lied to and Aunty Scot has been doing it for years.

Occasionally someone in CyberNatSpace will put up an egregious example sampled and I suppose if that starts off in HTML5 it is likely to stay there, so good from that p.o.v. But I don't expect to otherwise make use of it.

I used to be a fan of and defender of public service broadcasting BBC style. Then the Scottish referendum happened and we saw it in full on propaganda mode treating 45% of us as extremists and being as biased as hell. So to hell with Aunty, a pox on her and ALL her Great British crap.

BTW you need a CyberNat icon to warn the more delicate denizens of Englandshire so they can dutifully ignore me.

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Airbnb goes titsup – travellers and hosts flip out over lengthy downtime

Muscleguy

Re: Ya' sure it's not the revenge of non-air B&B owners?

And note for your own safety B&B's have to have wired smoke and incident heat alarms, if they have more than X rooms, sprinklers. They must have an annual gas safety inspection. Stuff like that. Your ABnB host? nada. Domestic properties do not encounter gas explosions all that often, but they do happen. Fires happen much more commonly.

Oh yes. Your B&B will have fire extinguishers. I have one, it's tiny and rather old. There's a fire blanket too. The smoke alarms aren't wired so that beeping that wakes you in the night? probably the battery empty signal.

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This new new chip will self-destruct in less than 10 seconds

Muscleguy

Re: no residual footprint?

Have you never wandered along a sandy beach and actually looked down? You can, in the well settled parts of the world usually find small pieces of glass that have been worn smooth by weathering.

Weathering is what you are thinking of. Those shards will weather into sand in next to no time.

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ALIENS on CERES? Nope – it's just dwarf's tucked away MOIST BITS

Muscleguy
Go

It's Here . . .

Spacecraft several million miles away beams images to earth of a planetary body and in short order a 3D model that can be rotated is let loose on the world for it's delight, entertainment, enlightenment and use. I like living in the future.

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West's only rare earth mine closes. Yet Chinese monopoly fears are baseless

Muscleguy

Re: The comic book element Thorium..

Yup, the UK will let India and China do the Thorium reactor development work. All our nuclear research is either going into reprocessing or sunk into the Fusion Dream at ITER. I'm very nearly 50 and fusion power has been 50 years away throughout my lifetime. I do not expect to live to see it. I hope to live to see Thorium become mainstream and safe.

I might even consider living near a Thorium reactor.

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Aussie bloaters gorging on junk food 'each and every day'

Muscleguy
Boffin

Re: There are 2 'Schools of Thought' on this

You're wrong on exercise and joints. Epidemeology has shown that statisticalky your joints are at greatwr risk from being a couch potato than an exerciser. I'm a 49yo distance runner, since 14yo, and my joints are just dandy.

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The Raspberry Pi is succeeding in ways its makers almost imagined

Muscleguy

Re: Log in

And NoScript for your browser. It might take a while to find the minimum set that will give functionality Y on site X but you have more peace of mind, and control.

Sites that insist on a date of birth. Take mine, add or subtract an integer from all the numbers. Hey presto. Easy to remember too, and No, I'm telling you the integer ;-)

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Muscleguy

Re: The human mind is amazing

Though can you imagine the flame wars between Leibniz's tribe and Newton's boyz 'n' girls?

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Magnet-wobble wireless charging system dishes out a respectable 10 kW

Muscleguy

Already Here

The buses on the routes around here in Dundee are electric hybrids with flywheels to recover braking energy which with the hills here can be significant. We live at the top of a 60m hill and the double deckers sitting at the lights at the bottom of the hill can turn the corner onto the main road and get up the shallow incline to the bus stop entirely on the flywheel. You can hear it. The bus company, a division of First Bus, says they are performing very well and saving significantly on fuel costs. They are also much lower in emissions. There's a narrow winding canyon like road in the town a lot of buses use (right by the central bus station) that can have very high PM10 etc levels with idling bus diesels, especially in the winter. So these buses decrease that output significantly.

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Alien dwarf 'star' flashes her dazzling brown rear at stunned space boffins

Muscleguy

Re: Hang on,

Ditto. Even though at a mere 20 light years it is in our galactic back yard but even so. The technological achievement of this is mind blowing. I was born in 1965 and remember the moon shots (we got to stay up late specially to watch, which helped it being memorable). To go from that to this in my lifetime is amazing.

If you can accelerated a probe up to a decent fraction of light speed you could even envisage swinging by this in someone's lifetime (to keep the project from being forgotten).

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Bloke cuffed for blowing low-flying camera drone to bits with shotgun

Muscleguy

Re: He should go free...

Not to mention that staring into the sky without a blink reflex puts your eyes in danger of excretory masses falling from cloacas of the feathered dinosauria that frequent the skies.

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Hole in (Number) Two: MYSTERY golf-course pooper strikes again

Muscleguy

Me Too

I'm a runner and I can assure you that the necessity to 'clear the decks' prior to setting out is even more urgent. My usual routes are also seriously deficient in convenient copses, the use of. Too much agrarian agriculture adjacent to the cycle paths. My personal temple is well trained by practice to evacuate twice a day to accommodate early evening runs in the week and first thing in the morning runs at the weekend. A decent diet is however required to achieve this, but then a decent diet is also required to support moderately intensive athletic exertions.

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Slippery, slimy find: LEGGY, WRIGGLY fossil shows SNAKES weren't legless. Or ARMLESS

Muscleguy
Boffin

One Squeeze Now

Boas today still have vestigial hindlimbs, or the males do, with little bones, though no hands, buried in their body wall. They do still use them for grappling with lady snakes during scaly nooky. So this is hardly unexpected. But by the sounds of it a very nice fossil example. Another gap created!

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Robot surgeons kill 144 patients, hurt 1,391, malfunction 8,061 times

Muscleguy
Boffin

Re: Wot?

In Science, rather than medicine I have used and seen/smelt the use of a good old soldering iron to cauterise and remove when doing animal surgery. Usually the non survival type, but male mice getting the snip usually have their vas deferens snipped out and the ends cauterised. That was certainly how I was shown to do it.

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Smartphones are ludicrously under-used, so steal their brains

Muscleguy

Re: "Why would I want my phone connected to the washing machine or cooker?"

"Speak for yourself - some of us are more than capable…"

Seconded, and that sports top these days needs to be washed without fabric softener long before it needs a delicate cycle. The technical sweat wicking ability of it is all in the weave and fabric softeners rearrange the weave and destroy the wicking. If you have been washing your sports tops or any modern sport/exercise gear in with everything else you have probably munged it all.

I co-opted the 'whites' partition in the washing basket for running gear and my technical under shirts and polos so they get washed together using the non softener detergent. A machine that might flag up a t-shirt in the general wash might be useful mind. Such things do happen on occasion, sadly.

One day, hopefully soon, they will sort out hard wearing, smart, technical trousers then I can pretty much stop wearing cotton.

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Ant-Man: Big ideas, small payoff

Muscleguy

It was a lamb vindaloo monster, which is why it had a sheep's jaw. You are confusing it from the time they did the same thing to a chicken dish and ended up with a dinosaur.

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Your gadget batteries endanger planes, says Boeing

Muscleguy

Re: Fuck this...

Try travelling to Australia by cruise ship from Blighty, very hard. You might be able to do it with a content crossing of North America in the middle of it, then island hopping across the Pacific in stages. Maybe you have months of unused holiday accumulation your employer has allowed to allow such a venture but most people do not. Cruise ships do not, by and large, travel routes set up for long distance travel of that sort. The age of travel by liner is over, long over.

I understand some commercial vessels, container ships etc, have cabins available for long distance travellers. But the environs, fare and entertainment are not up to cruise ship standards. The writer AL Kennedy hates flying and uses such means, but she is essentially self employed and can essay the experiences into paid newspaper articles, short stories and the like.

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Behold: Pluto's huge ICE MOUNTAINS ... and signs of cryovolcanoes?

Muscleguy

Re: mostly...

Except Pluto, god of the underworld has him in his clutches. Only Orpheus has returned from Hades. If you recall your Greek myths Charon is the ferryman over the Styx. So to escape Cthulu will have to persuade Charon to ferry him, and Charon is on the other side of the Styx and does not ferry anyone, other than Orpheus, back the other way. I rather think instead that Charon is rowing around Pluto laughing at Cthulu's impotence.

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What do you MEAN, 'Click on the thing which looks like a Mondrian?'

Muscleguy

Re: Click on the Save icon...

At some point the yoof are going to wonder why on road signs cameras are shown as ancient bellows jobs, phones as old corded circular dial machines, trains are always steam engines and presumably old people will look antediluvian when instead of sticks they are equipped with mindcontrolled robotic exoskeletons.

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Muscleguy

Re: Explain anything

That is secondary to the modern thing where everyone is doing the jobs of three and has no time to read things properly so they skim looking for keywords and respond robotically. That this means you and I have to make them more frazzled by sending more emails, including ones that insist that all the necessary information has been sent (included below).

A related problem is that customer interface operatives are often not technically competent or educated. So when you or I seeking to be precise and helpful use technical terms it just confuses them. I remember ringing the help desk of the university IT dept 'the DNS is not resolving' I told the guy on the other end. 'What?' was the response. They obviously hadn't got up to that bit in that student's course and he wasn't curious enough about it to have learnt it otherwise. And I was merely a technically conversant scientist trying to use the net to do my job and being frustrated.

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Muscleguy

Re: £££s

My opinion of The Knowledge was not encouraged on arrival in London by aeroplane early on a wet Spring Sunday in '93. Six of us were crammed into a black cab from Heathrow bound for a B&B in a side street in North Finchley. It seems the Knowledge only extends to main roads beyond the North Circular and this individual had to resort to his A to Z to find the place.

Later on I would see them on their mopeds with clipboard on the handlebars training for it. But only along the main road to Burnt Oak. I never saw one go down any of the actual residential streets where people might want to go. If you are a visitor who doesn't know the area, you are not going to be much help, are you? Which is why you engage a supposed professional guide . . .

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ALIEN SLIME SHOCKER: Approaching comet probably NOT inhabited, say boffins

Muscleguy
Boffin

Wickramasinge has form as long as any kook. Way back in the '80s he and Fred Hoyle noted a weak correlation between flu outbreaks and earth passing through some dust cloud causing micrometeorites. Except of course it only accounted for the Northern Hemisphere, can you say Hemispherecentrism professor? And if that wasn't enough shortly afterwards virologists demonstrated that most seasonal flu is the result of mixing of bird and mammalian flus in pigs. There used to be millions and millions of pigs living in people's backyards with chickens all over Asia. Bird flu has done a lot to change that, people in Asia are neither stupid or have death wishes.

But undeterred, even by Fred Hoyle's death the professor has continued to see life everywhere he looks and to ignore the sequence evidence here on earth, EVERYTHING is RELATED to EVERYTHING ELSE. It's relatives all the way down, including the turtles. Even the archaea are related to the bacteria though the split is very ancient.

And of course the chance that a virus so well evolved to bind to human nasopharynx cells, avoid intracellular antiviral measures etc. etc. is just silly. We are surrounded by viruses all the time, plant viruses, bacteriophages (our guts are full of them), worm viruses, insect viruses, fish viruses, amphibian viruses, reptile viruses, feathered dinosaur viruses and mammalian viruses and only a very small fraction have a scooby chance of even infecting us, let alone causing disease. All are exquisitely evolved and adapted. And we are RELATED to all of them.

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Boffins demo 'memcomputer', plot von Neumann's retirement

Muscleguy

Re: @dESTROY aLL mONSTERS

Its not scalable or you do not understand or know how to make it scalable? They used to say that about valve architectures, then silicon came along. I don't think we are talking about fundamentals of the universe here but limitations in materials, fabrication and programming added to architectures.

Computers and computing is not some fundamental property of the universe unless you get really arcane in information theory that both leaves practicality behind and suffers from poverty of assumptions.

We also have and do have dedicated units in our computers. What is a graphics card but an optimised sub motherboard dedicated to one task? I remember the Mac SE 30 that had a maths co-processor added to the chip. I was doing 3D reconstruction (stacked dinnerplates, not solids) of mouse legs and the difference from a computer without vs with was in the former: input x.y,z go away and do something else, maybe get yet another coffee while you wait; the latter watch it in real time and cancel if you get the x,y.z wrong and go again.

So I don't see this as a motherboard architecture, I see this as a dedicated add-on unit for speeding up particular tasks or doing them more efficiently and thus freeing the CPU for other tasks. Imagine how much slower your device would be if the CPU was handling all the graphics.

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WHY did NASA probe go suddenly SILENT - JUST as it was about to send pics of remote ice-world?

Muscleguy

Re: Still bloody amazing

Agreed, but ESA with a probe ON a frigging comet and still doing science after a tumble and a spell in the deep freeze still have bragging rights in SPAAAACE.

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Engineers 3D-print ROBOT SEAHORSE, then SMASH it with rubber mallets

Muscleguy
Boffin

I for one wish to welcome our square prism toothed sucker equipped armored robot overlords.

What? That tail is just asking to become a robot tentacle and as we all know tentacles need suckers and once you have them then why not equip them with teeth/spikes/thorns like Vampiroteuthis infernalis.

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Let me PLUG that up there, love. It’s perfectly standaAAARGH!

Muscleguy
Pirate

Re: Spurs - In Wales

Bought this 3 Bed Betts Semi here in Scotland, there was a convenient socket in the corner of the lounge where we wished to site the telly, except it didn't work. Cue long cabled junction boxes. While waiting for the cable installation guy with everything pulled out of the way I pulled the relevant fuse for the downstairs sockets and had a look, cue a flash bang and the lights fused WTF?

A later crawl around under the floor and what they had done was run a spur to that socket from a standard light fitting, Doh! So, I tried unsuccessfully to insert the now disconnected cable end into a convenient double socket but it would not go. Bugger. However, there was a four way junction box screwed to a rafter with only two filled positions, on the downstairs ring. The cable reached nicely.

Then all I had to do was chase out the space for a double socket and we are long cable run of power cables at least free.

Best bit? Grey cable, so pre part P regs, into old style box. So it looks original. Sorted.

Oh and just pre part P I replaced the grey flex cable feed to the garage with an armoured cable. The grey flex had of course perished in the UV rays and should not have been surface mounted above the garden gate in the first place.

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