2544 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007
Some things I know, many things I don't
I honestly do not know (meaning with scientific certainty) where the climate is heading, and what is causing such changes as are observed (and data can be confusing). I do know that climate was very much different in the past, both much warmer (for much of the fossil record), and much colder (pleistocene, anybody?). I know that solar activity plays a role, and I know that many other factors including greenhouse gasses and water vapour are important. I do not know all the precise mechanisms or which factors are most important (let alone which weight to assign to each factor). This is actually why this field of science is scientifically interesting. Unknowns are interesting, knowns are comparatively boring.
Despite all this uncertainty about the degree to which mankind may be contributing to change, I do know one simple fact: it is foolish to squander limited resources. Using up fossil fuels in wasteful ways, when oil and the like are also needed to manufacture more durable products, is not tenable in the long run. I agree we cannot suddenly all go back to the caves and shiver in the cold, but we can and should find alternatives, not so much to reduce pollution or CO2 emission (which in itself may make sense), but simply because at some point fossil fuels will run out. As these fuels become more expensive, it just makes (very selfish, perhaps) economic sense to be less wasteful.
I am open to suggestions about what the best alternatives are, and where we can make savings in use
Just my tuppence worth
to be a quantum computer depending on who looks at it.
Legislation through Congress before summer?
Now there's an optimist speaking.
Re: American beer?
Haven't had American beer for quite a while so cannot comment on latest developments (had some fairly decent stuff in a bar in San Diego in 2008). It is not readily available here, due to its horrible reputation. I must say the last time I tasted American Budweiser (1996 or so) it did not compare favourably with the original Czech Budweiser from Budvar. When next I am in the US, I will be quite happy to change my mind over US beer (though I will need to have a statistically significantly large sample ;-), all in the interest of fairness ).
Belgian Trapist beers are far more popular here, and for good reason. Friends from the US thought beer with 5% alcohol by volume was strong. One Westmalle Tripel (9.5% alcohol) later they new better
This depends on the optics used. HUD and similar systems can produce images at infinity. HUD are considered safer than using the dashboard in Mach 2 fighters, it should be safer on the road, in principle. The Google glass display is well inside the 20-25cm near focus of most people, so it must use a similar "focus at infinity" optical solution as well.
Fair enough, there should be strong safeguards.
I could imagine making computerized goggles (google-goggles? (sorry)) which include night-vision, and which might assist the driver in paying better attention to dangers. It would be a shame to oust those. A HUD could be used for this as well, of course.
Banning ALL wearable computers sound a bit knee-jerk to me.
The needle is only there when they observe it consciously, before that, the needles' waveform is spread out over all possible haystacks.
Sorry, couldn't resist. Mine is the one with the original manuscript "Towards a Quantum Mechanical Interpretation of Homeopathy" in the pocket
Re: Interesting piece
At the moment we are using a small group of 64-core Opteron compute servers just to develop new algorithms for big images, we also have a 3280 code cluster we use for testing distributed memory algorithms. This is our research side, production computing will be done elsewhere.
Re: Interesting piece
We also run into problems of processing the data rapidly once they are in the processing nodes. Our big data typically consists of fewer HUGE chunks (gigapixel and even terapixel images), compared to many applications where the number of chunks is huge, but each chunk is fairly modest. In all cases there are big issues in feeding the data efficiently to the processing nodes, but in our case there is an additional problem parallellizing the actual processing, once it gets there. Fun problem, really.
Sounds like an interesting event. I have been a bit tired of the "big data" and "data mining will solve all your problems" hype. A more realistic discussion on aims, possibilities, difficulties, and limitations, that is very good news.
We have been doing some fairly big data work (in astronomical data sets and remote sensing), but until now did not use the term "big data". If people start using the term sensibly, I might start using it.
World class attraction
That phrase immediately sets of alarms. If you have a world class historical site, WHY do so many idiots feel the need to foist their vision of "a world-class attraction" on it. Sure, you can add meaningful entertainment to historical sites without spoiling it (I remember a castle in France which had installed a series of games in the courtyard, all either old, or meaningfully linked to the history of the place (like a simple game with toy crossbows, or an old variant of skittles). Really good sites allow at least a degree of exploration, allowing you to make up your own mind, and don't force one particular vision and one particular style down a visitor's throat. Why should Bletchley Park have problems with the different approach and attitude of the museum.
Someones ego needs deflation
Re: Somebody put it far better than I could...
Is Stephen Fry an AI?
He is, if AI stands for Amiable Idiot
(at least when it comes to many things technical)
So can they print rainbow ice-hockey helmets
In time for the Winter Olympics?
Re: In the words of Arnold J. Rimmer
I ATEN'T DEAD!
Yutu might recover, lets keep our fingers crossed. A few comments to those trashing the Chinese effort:
1. I personally have yet to put anything on the moon, so therefore, I feel I am in no position to criticise their effort.
2. If you have achieved anything similar, and you know what the reason for the failure is, then I am sure you have something interesting to contribute, please do so!
3. "Simply copying" technology is rather harder than people think. Many think it is as easy as the copy-paste method of writing essays many students try (and all too frequently get away with).
4. Lunar dust is very, very nasty stuff. I have seen how very fine desert sand can get into anything and foul up even very well-built camera equipment. Lunar dust is worse.
5. The mission has been a pretty decent success so far: they landed successfully, they managed to get the lander working well in a very hostile environment, and they got good data and some nice images to boot. I'll drink to that any time
I feel like banging some heads together to make them see sense. Stop squabbling, stop acting like 5-year-old kids in a playground, and be of service to the community. Colossus and the H-blocks are an essential part of world history. They should be open to the public, they should be part and parcel of computing history as well.
Re: This one will run and run....
Tulip? Where's mister Pin then?
Where's my -ing coat, the one with "The Truth" in the pocket?
Warp and cloak?
I prefer SEP field and bistromathics alternatives
Mine is the one with "Life, the Universe, and Everything" in the pocket
Precisely. If the method of a scientific paper is shown to be wrong, the paper is wrong, i.e. its conclusions are flawed or unfounded. Once you have shown a conclusion is unfounded, you can safely ignore it, because it has been demoted from conclusion based on scientific method to opinion. The opinion could be right, of course, but without scientific backing it is just that, an opinion.
Attacking poor methodology is good practice in science. Much as I hate to come to the defence of anything Facebook, the data scientists are correct in attacking the method
@ Charles Manning
I always tell my students when they have to do pattern recognition that adding hay does not make finding needles easier. Instead, use a magnet.
In almost all machine learning (or data mining if you will) good features that give a good (wide margin) boundary in the first place are what you should aim for. A few good (targeted) features in a simple machine learning tool generally give far superior results to poor features combined with more advanced machine learning methods. One key problem in this particular case is that you do not want (m)any false positives, (i.e. false accusations or suspicions), not just because of the risk of jailing or at least harassing innocent people, but also to prevent loads of unnecessary work for people following up on these false leads.
Thus any way in which you can reduce the probability of false positives is welcome. The simplest is to reduce the number of people under investigation in the first place. Using methods equivalent to the much reviled "wall-of-death" fishing methods, the risk of "collateral damage" as they might euphemistically call this is very real indeed.
Poor dusty rover
But what a tough little fella!! Next solar powered rover should be equipped with a shower (or blower or vacuum cleaner).
I'll celebrate its tenth anniversary in style this evening
They should simply have called the fashion police
Sorry, couldn't resist. I'll get me coat
No not the Armani one, the cheap one next to it please
Re: If it moves again....
Moving would not necessarily be mysterious. If something took a bite out of it that would have people running for the hills (or rather, have Opportunity slowly trundling up the nearest slope).
10 years ...
Out of a planned 3 months. Hats off to the engineers!
(the Barmah again)
Re: Antimatter information that is newsworthy:
True, but you MUST reverse the polarity of the neutron flux!! Otherwise the described method is dangerous, and could lead to the end of the universe (again, sigh)
Überprüfen ist sehr einfach!
Ich hab es schon gemacht. Alles ist klar. *
But then I was taught German at school (mandatory subject here in the Netherlands).
The fact that the German government encourages use of PGP does not surprise me. Sceptics (or realists if you like) might argue this just means they can crack that, but the German government's attitude to privacy appears to be better than some others.
*= Checking is very easy. I have done it. All is clear.
Re: I'll wait for Windows 9
Could I have a dry keyboard please?
Re: Taken for a Ride?
Not if they're large enough to bake.
I prefer poaching in white wine or a good fish stock
Mine is the one with Rick Stein's "Seafood" in the pocket
Nice idea indeed. I still get by nicely on my Transformer pad with 1280x800. Higher res is nice, but not essential for most of my needs. I would miss the keyboard of the ASUS if I switched to this tablet, however.
The money spent here is WAY less than on, say, a single B2 bomber.
Re: It's not just about websites though is it?
Reminds me of the BOFH episode in which he recalls setting the minimum required password length to 32 and required users of said VMS system choose a new one each day (which meant they really had to use the password generator which gave results described as "vaguely pronounceable line noise". Now that's trying!.
Extremely Embarrassing also fits
Re: nice comment
Peruvian Operating System would have lead to a completely different comment of course
Sorry, I'll get me coat
Re: Harpoons, eh?
Yes and the person who designed the harpoon was called Ahab
Is it me?
I have this feeling that the safest way to make money out of bitcoins is to sell mining gear. Bit like selling mining gear during the gold rush of 1849. Sure, some miners struck it rich, but the people selling gear were profiting from all mining attempts, successful ones and flops alike.
One Parakeet Fajita coming up
It might be best for that bird to disguise itself
They may be distant, but I'll give them a wave
The next time I look at M67 in binoculars (or through the scope).
It's the thought that counts
Very interesting read!!
Thanks for that
To quote the king of the swamp in the Holy Grail
"Let's not bicker about who killed who"
Good guys or bad guys? I counsel impartiality: Do not trust any politician
With it's capital Ajaccio? Lovely seafood there
Sorry, mine is the one with the tourist guide to Corsica in the pocket
Love the idea of having a wooden case. I have some birch plywood lying around which should be great for such a casing. Now to find a CNC router.
Re: Open question
It's called an alarm clock, made in China (just like the one next to my bed)
Sorry, couldn't resist. They could simply detect the end of the lunar night by the increased power of the solar panels. No clouds to get in the way.
Re: More important drink in the UK - Italian coffee?
Come and say that to my Italian PhD student (or my missus for that matter), you might get a response as depicted in the icon. ;-)
Curiously, people say I make very good coffee, but I will still opt for my tea (Keemun black for preference, or a good Assam or Darjeeling).
Re: More important drink in the UK
Can't be too bad, given that tea also contains caffeine. I do not drink coffee, unless the alternatives are on a par with the poetry of the Azgoths of Kria (i.e. to me coffee is worse than Vogon poetry). Last time I drank coffee was 1986, around Xmas. It was Italian coffee, which according to all others present was excellent coffee, so apparently coffee is just NOT my thing. I do drink gallons of tea (Olympic swimming pools?) and apparently have very good memory (anecdotal evidence of course, I know).
The positive memory effects of tea and coffee can of course be negated by that other favourite drink, depicted above
It is really the scale that makes the Tarantula unique
An absolutely awesome image from Hubble again. The Tarantula Nebula (seen quite easily with binoculars from the southern hemisphere) is spectacular in its scale, but several other star-forming regions in our galaxy are of course much closer (the Orion Nebula, for example).
Like the fact it sports Windows 7
and the fact is is so light. Other than that I much prefer the (beefier) Sony Vaio S series (the ones with nVidia graphics and 1600x900 res (CUDA user, and all that)).
Re: Never Mind The Bollocks
That sir, is a classic remark!
I am tempted
to strip out the win 8 and install a full-blown Linux on such a hybrid. My experiences to date with my transformer pad have been great, but a full LaTeX install and C(++) compiler would be nice on the road. My experiences to date with the Win 8 laptop have been less than stellar.
- +Comment 'Private Facebook' Ello: There's a reason we're in beta. SPAMGASM!
- NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
- WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
- Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
- Third patch brings more admin Shellshock for the battered and Bashed