90 posts • joined Tuesday 8th December 2009 08:39 GMT
I didn't realise "ceteris paribus" was being abused in this way. Marshall never intended it to be used as anything other than a tool for investigating complex interdependencies (i.e. similarly to the physical sciences trying to focus on one variable while holding others constant). It isn't really a get-out clause at all when you're talking about formulae for actively influencing the market.
The long term response is predictable.
Manufacturers will be obliged to bake backdoors into your systems either at the hardware or OS level.
If we aren't already that far.
The upside for Hitachi is...
...that their nuclear business is about to go Pfut in Japan but they're able to jump ship.
The main thing holding back renewables is battery capacity to smooth the generation/supply imbalances. That's a technological problem. The Germans are extremely good at solving difficult technical problems, and appear to be making good progress with this specific problem.
This is why the German government announced (last week was it?) that they're now expecting 45% renewables by something obscene like 2025. Incredible.
If there's a worry there, it's that it'll make Germany (once again) a very difficult place to fuck with militarily. It's easy to bomb a couple of nuclear power plants and make a country go dark, but much more difficult to bomb hundreds of thousands of solar roofs and wind turbines :-)
It's not just a big distance to cross... there's a lot of history
When you consider how long life on earth has been around compared to galactic/universe time scales (difficult to find enough noughts), what are the odds that two occurances of "life" (however you wish to define it) would overlap in time, let alone space?
irrelevant tech fixes
This is where the power of a name/brand becomes apparent.
The u.s. controls the dns system. Eventually they will block the pirate bay dns entry, and the majority of people won't be able to find it - despite spiffy server setup.
I do not, incidentally, look forward to this day. We are already teetering on the slippery slope.
Macaulay also painted a ridiculous picture of another group of people's motivations to further his own prejudices.
Greens are the new Puritans. Orlowski is the new Macaulay.
I suspect he understood you deliberately misspelled it. It was sarcasm. Anybody with half a braincell ought to be able to discern this.
Twitter went down for a couple of hours. The world didn't end. Nobody died. Nobody really cares. This means that the business decision (if it was one) to set the slider somewhere towards the "chancy" end of "Utterly Impossible to Take Down" (law of diminishing returns anybody) and "It'll all be fine, don't worry about it" wasn't actually SO awful. They carry on making money, running a business, and can continue to grow.
While we're on sweeping generalisations, I'm guessing you've never had your own startup which you've steered to success - by finding compromises between what you should do, and what you can actually afford, have have resources for.
It's all about privatisation - and brown envelopes stuffed with cash.
Well, we all know how Crapita and friends promise the world to governments, and how well they then actually deliver on time, on budget, and within their SLAs. Don't believe for a moment that *anybody* in government thinks this is going to work.
It only makes sense if you aim to provide an increasingly miserable, flawed, and inefficient service under the banner of the "NHS" such that full privatisation is seen as the "only way out" - conveniently providing time for the multi-nationals to get used to running the system at the same time so they know best how to carve it up and cherry pick. That'll be Tory policy on the NHS then.
But don't worry, we'll end up with a super efficient U.S. style heathcare system - with 15.3% of GDP being spent on healthcare while the uninsured die in anonymity and ignominy, as opposed to the terribly inefficient communist NHS which means the UK spends only 8.2% of its GDP on healthcare with dramatically better average outcomes for those who aren't fortunate enough to be wealthy or in well paid jobs. (http://www.who.int/whosis/whostat/2009/en/index.html)
Re: Oh, the sophistication of your whit! You have truly attained new heights of humour!
1) The "local culture"? Really? Know much about the origins of fox hunting do we?
2) mmm.... long slow painful deaths to be treated with contempt. I think you've just about summed up why fox hunters are treated with contempt for their treatment of foxes. But I guess, other animals don't count for much in your world.
3) Really. That's so stupid. Didn't you get the bit about Christian bigotry, arrogance and ignorance? I'm not in whichever prettily painted little pigeon whole you've put me in. I can guarantee it.
4) Shaky? Why? Care to address any of the arguments I made? Care to say why?
Re: Oh, the sophistication of your whit! You have truly attained new heights of humour!
That come as a personal recommendation does it?
If that's your most original comeback, I don't think it's done you much good though has it.
Got anything grown up to say?
Oh, the sophistication of your whit! You have truly attained new heights of humour!
... for a five year old.
People, what's wrong with you? This stuff *was* funny in the playground, but then, as time goes by, you ought to have:
*) started developing a sense of empathy for the suffering of other children (around the age of 7, generally)
*) as educated adults exposed to Science rather than unfettered religious human centric superiority, bigotry and ignorance, cottoned onto how closely related all animals are to one another - both biologically, and psychologically. This is where your empathy ought to be kicking in a bit to cover other living creatures - our only companions on this little pebble spinning through space.
People that are indifferent to other people's suffering are psychopaths. If you are indifferent to the suffering of living creatures then I'd say you're suffering the same malady - which seems to be common among a lot of reg readers.
"Oh, it's just a joke". Really? What you find funny says a lot about your values. Propagating the idea that the world is ours to do with as we please because it's our god given right - and that sadism is fine as long as it's not people that are being bated and made to fight to the death - is about as funny as the cancer our anonymous contributor wished on Lewis Page.
SHOCKING REVELATION! HOT NEWS!!!
Lewis Page is being contrary! His article flys in the face of established research, using research which doesn't agree with him when read properly! Reaches new heights of Trolling, or new depths of something else!
and this is for...
... sustainably improving humankind's individual and social quality of life? ...or covering the material costs of an consumerist/expansionist ideology at the expense of the only world we've got?
The Capitalist Party
The important thing to notice is that China is a one party state. This party is no longer Communist, it is Capitalist, in the rawest sense. Just as during (the more catastrophic) collapse of the U.S.S.R. those in key positions within the party have made a killing, and now they intend not only to hang onto it, but to multiply it.
It should not be in the least surprising when China starts passing the harshest "IP" laws in the world, as monopolising the rights upon ideas is not just a part of censorship, it's part of the system of self-enrichment and social domination a single party state relies upon. It is a continuum.
No doubt this is why elReg is so keen on harsh IP laws, being a well behaved Tory leaning rag.
Apple are getting away with enforcing far more trivial ideas...
...because they have the patents.
Part of the problem with ideas like these though, are that they are elegant and only "obvious" after you've seen them - that's the hallmark of a good idea (it's not just a hyperlink).
I'm surprised these guys went to talk with anybody, anywhere in the U.S. without some intimidating legal backup. I'm even more surprised they had backers - unless their business plan was precisely to honey trap Google.
But of course Lewis, you know best.
Abstraction and Encapsulation
Abstraction and Encapsulation are what we do, right? All the time? Repeatedly, recursively.
What is SaaS offering:
* "Big" components that have teams supporting them
* Processing power
* Lots of network latency :) (aka. universal accessibility from any device)
In how many scenarios do you actually need those first three things? Not very often. Only the fourth seems universally relevant, but I could just as easily imagine your own personal infrastructure providing universal access in a self-organised P2P style.
The only way I can see it becoming mainstream for development is if the components/functionality being offered as *radically* better than you can get in an off the shelf library, and it's *cheaper* - which in the case of FOSS is going to be difficult.
I mean, I get the "dream", but I'm still missing why anybody thinks it (whatever it wants to market itself as today) is going to extend beyond being a Channel to serve consumer/business apps (which will still be developed the "traditional" way).
The decline and fall of an apple....
... is it already happening? non-announcements, competitors biting at their heels, little in the way of vision of excitement - more of the same, and in this case, less.
The difference between the Commission and the Parliament
The Parliament (with our elected representatives) has reviewed the EU's relationship with the US on data protection three times and found it woefully lacking.
The Commission, on the otherhand, is rather like the civil service. It acts in its own interests - which means the interests of whoever will offer the individuals involved the cushiest directorship or stuffed brown envelope.
This is why we have representation in government (not that they actually fulfil their purpose, sadly).
Similar experiences here...
To be fair, I only used GIT when it was "shiny and new" - but real world usage was so different to all the "it's so easy, stupid" use cases that were out there at the time. At the point where I'd lost several days due to problems with rebase, and had to start digging into the GIT source code, I had one of those blinding flashes of the obvious - "it's not worth it" - and walked away.
Perhaps things have changed, but on the otherhand, it was built for distributed open source projects. For small team driven closed source projects (which accounts for quite a lot of software development I think)... it struck me as a sub-optimal design.
Re: Extinction happens all the time
Sure, it's all random and meaningless... but isn't it *interesting*? Isn't it *exciting* to see what has emerged from sheer chance? Wouldn't it be the opposite of utterly selfish and murderous to give other lines of evolution (which ultimately all represent a family to which we belong) a chance to continue surviving and changing?
It seems the two things which made us what we are, were a single point evolution in the density of muscle networks around the lips (leading to speech) and a wierd inheritable disease which slows down new neural connectivity (giving us time to learn)... these are things which can happen to pretty much any other line as well given time (or genetic engineering).
Re: Things that make you go "hmmmm" ...
It's astonishing, to me anyway, how many people cling to a random and arbitrary paranoid suspicion and then discard offers of evidence which might allow them to further explore the accuracy of their own opinions.
Re: Say it aint't so
Well, people like Cartman who're living in an ideological bubble (and therefore assume that their "enemies" aka. "other people not in their bubble" are also in similar spheres) seem to be missing the obvious in quite convincing fashion.
Unfortunately, for Cartman, logical deduction and evidence are not as important being, and staying, angry at the world.
It all depends how you define Race
Have you not noticed that every other surname of an "American" scientist making a breakthrough is Chinese? :-) Surveys of IQ (which, yes, are still subjective) rank your average Asian above your average European for that matter. So, at the genetic level, there's no difference, or perhaps Chinese people are on average just a bit cleverer. Is that racism?
Culturally, for millenia the backbone of the Chinese empire was a meritocratic civil bureaucratic administration. That culture produced more innovation, for a longer period of time, than any other empire in the history of man. Don't see any inferiority there.
On the other hand, since the "cultural revolution" massacred the nation's intellectuals and creatives in state organised and executed pogrom, you'd expect the shock waves to still be echoing forward through time. Stick your neck out? Not bloody likely.
That's how it was with the six Chinese PhD. students in my lab. Very, Very bloody clever. Capable. Imaginative. Creative as well. Curious. But very very cautious with letting on what they were really thinking about. Discussion of domestic Chinese politics? FORGET IT.
That's all changing now, and very rapidly. The Communist party is now, essentially, just red paint over the newly emerging capitalist classes. It is really the first truly modern capitalist nation to emerge, without any of the restraining influence of "democracy" as we know it. *THAT*'s what scares the crap out of me!
Perhaps this was an underling making a sneaky point...
...about how impartial and well informed the BBC's broadcast view on Syria really is.
Use of the word "Production"...
...is misleading. It's about as misleading as saying oil is "Produced". The U.S. government is not "producing" Helium. Nobody is, except the stars.
It is being released and captured. Nothing else. Oil or Helium reserves may be produced, but that's another story.
Put a sticker on it
A friend's wife was complaining that she wanted an Apple MacBook for her birthday (a couple of years ago), so he did just this. He bought an HP, stuck a *really crappy* apple sticker over the HP logo, and she was, and still is, very happy with it.
FSF call to respond
Free Software Foundation Europe has prepared recommended answers to some of the questions in the consultation (http://fsfe.org/projects/os/uk-standards-consultation.en.html).
The consultation itself is here... http://consultation.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/openstandards/
Wouldn't it be a tragic for people who want to be productive and share to be denied this by a***holes who are basically buying monopolist rights to lock down marketplaces? That's what'll happen with FRAND... as Fair and Reasonable is open to a *lot* of interpretation.
I think the HUD would be nice, if you could talk to it...
If you could just say "Search. Unsharpen. 3" e.g. to search for unsharpen and then pick the third result... or "Search. Unsharpen. 3. Apply 25%". That would be fun, perhaps even useful. Of course, it'd be even quicker with a combination of voice search, and eye tracking to select the appropriate result.
Not sure that's very fair. The Gaia idea is interesting (and was part of a general movement at the time of uncovering larger systems which we previously had more or less (intellectually) seen as something between "a given" and "background noise).
It is also a hypothesis, and not unreasonable. What's so crazy about the idea of multi-cellular life forms being part of a higher level multi-cellular life form? When one looks at the biology of us multi-cellular organisms (billions of tiny single-celled (and nested) lifeforms operating in the wierdest ways, well, I'm just blown sideways by the sheer complexity of the thing and how it can possibly exist at all!
The reason it isn't so easy to falsify is because there is no really accepted and working definition of life - there are just too many exceptions to every rule.
If, however, you were to take the definition of the living as something like "that which preserves its own identity" (Maturana and Varela I think) then I'd say that maybe the unexpected levels of self-regulation we *might* be seeing *might* be a symptom of "Gaia".
The joy of science is keeping and open mind, and then trying to pin down what's really going as best we can... and this is a fascinating topic with a lot of work left in it, I'd say.
Re: Lots of money to be made?
:-) That's a great tune! Well... I guess it's like the Gold Rush... once the hype's in place and everybody wants to get up there, it's the people selling the provisions and infrastructure that'll make the real money. That's what their play is aimed at achieving, right?
You're a potential threat, and so should be forced to wait in line to be scanned, poked (sometimes), oggled and prodded by nasty bored small minded oafs, just like the obedient piece of meat you are.
"I'm not a threat, look I'm Naked."
You're a potential lunatic, psychogically unhinged, frightening the children by not being a threat, and therefore must be arrested immediately.
Rock meet Hardplace.
Re: Laugh? I nearly cried.
Thanks for the headsup at any rate. I don't know enough about IFR to hold an opinion, so I've written to ask a few people who'll know better. It's been a long time since I trusted anything that comes out of Monbiot's mouth.
As for risk assessment, I'm specifically talking about the risk assessments used to derive "worst case" scenarios, which if exceeded, lead to meltdown.
As for the impacts of nuclear disasters, there's shockingly little information out there about the scale of long-term civilian deaths caused by particulate contamination. The biggest scandal of all is that there have been no (that I or anybody I have ever spoken to am aware of) systematic and major studies into the impacts of Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Windscale (which was a dramatically larger event than made public at the time) and even now... Fukushima. Most of the hard data I've seen is coming from amateurs in Japan collecting and analysing the radioactive content of things like car air filters.
Re: Laugh? I nearly cried.
Why don't you try following the link I provided, then post your insightful critique.
As for the benefits of progressive technological society etc. being linked to cheap power... that's the most moronically simplistic statement I've read in a while.
Well that's a shock, they do! So... that's 1 MP out of 650. I can see why the Greens are causing the regime to tremble at the knees.
It's 4 out of 577 in France for that matter....
In the EU parliament it's 46 out of 754....
Still can't see where the Green's are getting their arm wringing power from.
Re: Laugh? I nearly cried.
Have you read anywhere in my comments that I'm anti-nuclear? or anti-science?
1) The reactors we have now are not safe - their risk assumptions are inadequate, so are their designs, so is their regulatory oversight, so is the responsibility of their operators.
2) The reactors we are about to build are only marginally better.
3) Providing more, and cheaper power for people to make more wasteful things, with any incentive to optimise on energy efficiency removed, is stupidly short-sighted.
The true costs of Nuclear, and doing it right, are astronomical. If that's the only option we have in the short - mid term, then we should bear those costs and do it correctly.
However, it isn't the only choice. Ze Germans will be at 35% energy from renewables by 2020 on current forecasts, while its labs and universities are cranking out fantastic improvements in fundamental and applied technologies at a cracking rate - because their government has the foresight to realise that this is another market in which their industry can become a world leader from day one!
More than that, the really HUGE scientific and industrial movement which is beginning to gather pace is the hydrogen economy. With those little solar panels on your roof, you can split rain-water into hydrogen and oxygen to fuel your house, your car, your computer, whatever you like. This is the real shift that so many people aren't seeing, and the reason why solar is so much more than just pushing subsidised energy back into the grid. (It's also very IT by the way, I was talking to a researcher last week working on nano-fuel cells for powering mobile devices... interesting stuff).
The British were the world leaders in the seventies. I doubt very much, if every last program hadn't been gutted both in the U.S. and the U.K. by the Regan/Thatcher axis, that we'd even need this discussion now.
What could possibly make you believe this?
The Greens have no power in the U.K.
Where are their representatives in Parliament? Totally locked out by First Past the Post.
Where is the strong arm of the 90's "grass roots" political movement? Infiltrated and broken up by undercover police spies who clearly don't mind a bonk on the job while they're at it.
Do the "greens" have any leverage in the U.K. at all? Economic? No. Through the upper social strata? No.
All power in the U.K. is held by those who already have power and the self-interest to use it for their own enrichment. The principles of the Labour movement are long dead. The LIberals are in their grave. The Tories are in the hands of the bankers.
You seriously, for one moment, think that the Greens have got the power to twist anything in the U.K. ? With what? Public opinion? What a joke.
Re: Laugh? I nearly cried.
Ever heard of the Black Swan?
I was raised down the road from Hinkley Point (nuclear power plant). There have been tsunamis in recorded history, in S.W. England, that were well beyond the design spec of Hinkley Point.
Think that's stupid? Watch this and see how well design assumptions for U.S. reactors hold up.
As for minimal contamination... you're misinformed, both about the nature of the contamination, its quantity, and its range.
Re: Laugh? I nearly cried.
You'd love to believe that cosy propaganda wouldn't you.
Care to read an alternative take on the wonders of the most modern passively cooled reactor design in the world (the Westinghouse AP1000)? http://fairewinds.com/content/fukushima-and-its-impact-upon-westinghouse-toshiba-designed-ap1000-atomic-power-plant
What about the alternatives? Those wonderful thorium reactors? They sounded like a good idea to me, until my brother and his wife (both research chemists engaged in research for the nuclear establishment, specifically in the fields of corrosion and containment) scared the living bejesus out of me about the toxicity of the waste byproducts.
Re: Laugh? I nearly cried.
If you take the axioms of the current paradigm as immutable - continual economic expansion based on the exploitation of limited natural resources... then your point of view makes sense.
On the otherhand, if you see humanity as having experienced a series of (often sudden) fundamental paradigm shifts, where all the old assumptions go out of the window - and accept that what we accept as given now is just part of the paradigm in which we were born... then you might have a slightly broader perspective on the options that are available to us as a species.
Your analogy just shows that you can't see an alternative way to progress, which is why you see more ecologically sensible alternatives as a form of regression.
Laugh? I nearly cried.
"But the mandatory aspect of the programme, and relaxation of supplier obligations and removal of an independent complaints service, made it appear suspiciously like a producers' racket."
That'll be nuclear power then.
In the meantime, Fukushima has shown PWR's to be faulty by design (containment vessel unable to withstand the pressure of hydrogen buildup), Tokyo was more heavily contaminated than is being reported, and the greatest dangers of Fukushima are still to come (the fuel rod stores, one of which went critical, are still in an impossibly dangerous state).
We need less power, and less consumption, with more efficient devices, and more intelligent energy storage (such as the proposed Icelandic hook-up reported here on elReg just a couple of weeks ago, which is all just a pale shadow of what Buckminster Fuller was proposing in the 60's with his global solar grid).
Bring on the tory downvotes.
What's the real story?
Two thoughts strike me as plausible :
1) Facebook knows that to maximise its IPO value it needs to get as many people aware of the fact that it's happening - to build maximum hype - and I'd say they've achieved that very nicely with the Instagram purchase.
2) Haven't seen it mentioned anywhere, but I wouldn't be surprised if the same V.C. are behind both Facebook and Instagram, or if not the same V.C. , then the same backer is behind the V.C. This means the money would basically just be going in a circle raising P.R. It also wouldn't surprise me if it was some meaningless stock swap.
Re: Now, that's strange
Is this a joke?
I've recently encountered a few quite fundamentalist Christians trying to make a distinction between Evolution (because evolution is *bad*) and Natural Selection (as something which doesn't create anything new, and therefore doesn't challenge the maker-power of God)... but I'm only just noticing how widespread this nonsense is becoming.
Would you care to define your terms, just to check you're on the same planet as the rest of us?
Class Inertia and its Economic Consequences
The majority of land in the U.K. is owned by, and benefits only, a few thousand families (the upper class). The majority of income derived from the world's second largest "offshore secrecy jurisdiction" aka. the "state within a state" of the City of London benefits only the same few thousand families (for whose sons the compulsory bankers bonuses are intended - it looks marginally better than a tithe enforced by the sword after all)...
Almost all the institutions which took over 150 years for the labor movement to win over to ownership "by the people for the people" under democratic control, have been returned within the space of thirty years to the "private sector" which effectively means (through chains of ownership which disappear once again into the CoL) the upper class.
What happens to the rest of the country - as long as they stay, and are kept, in the their place - really doesn't matter.
The structure of the country as it is now - which has remained unchanged for far too many centuries - will only gravitate back either to another attempt at military empire, or an impoverished country of serfs being ruled by a distant elite. I doubt it is capable of anything else given its dynamic of ownership and self-interest.
For all their many faults, by comparison, the Germans have moved on politically and structurally (thanks to the postwar political theorists from the U.K. and U.S. who couldn't get their ideas implemented at home!)... they are sharing more of the wealth, more of the information, more of the power. Anybody who spends some time living there can witness the robust, fault-tolerant, innovative country they are developing through careful tending of laws with the interests of all at heart, a ceaseless political discourse, and a voting system which allows alternative viewpoints to rapidly emerge and be aired.
We could be there now as well, and probably doing even better thanks to our openness as a people,
if we'd had a revolution a hundred years ago.
I don't want to feel so hopeless about the situation, but it is hopeless. Isn't it?
Re: It's a treaty, which is like a contract, except you can break it whenever you like.
Quite right. I haven't heard *any* outlet in Germany report this has as anything other than a Green Light for the treaty... however, threats depend on your paranoia, and the Reg is a corporate lackey.
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