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* Posts by Carl Zetie

62 posts • joined 21 May 2007

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Galileo can't do the fandango: Two Euro GPS nav sats sent into WRONG ORBIT

Carl Zetie

Took a wrong turn at the Basingstoke roundabout?

"Recalculating route..."

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Google pulls Gaza games from Play store

Carl Zetie

Not just me then

I was beginning to think I was the only one expecting a Paul Gascoine story

/Autocorrect fail: "Paul Gasoline"

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You're inventing the wrong sort of tech for bad people who want to buy it. Stop it at once

Carl Zetie
Coat

Re: Human nature doesn't change

Roger Bacon was a Franciscan, so what does that make Francis Bacon?

(It helps if you read that in Dennis Miller's voice).

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How to catch a fraudster – using 'top cop' Benford and the power of maths

Carl Zetie

Yes please Re: More!

When I was taught statistics it was from the dull and dry perspective of "work out how likely something is to happen". It turns out that in real life, a much more interesting question is "here's what actually happened, work out how likely it is that it was random". Not only is that great for detecting fraud, it's also a basic tool of science; for example the discovery of the Higgs Boson basically boils down to "here's the decay events we recorded, how likely is it that we'd see that distribution of events without a Higgs Boson in the mix? Vanishingly small? OK, that's the discovery."

More of the same, please.

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EXPOSED: bizarre quantum sibling LOVE TRIANGLE

Carl Zetie
Boffin

No, this doesn't undermine Einstein

No, there is not "information transfer" faster than the speed of light. The effect here seems to be non-local, but we've known for a long time that QM is almost certainly non-local*.

In order to transfer information you first have to entangle the particles, then separate them (slower than light), then do your experiment, then bring the results back together to compare them (slower than light).

The subtlety that many people miss, including the Uni of Waterloo's PR department, is that the entanglement results appear completely random when considered separately, and there is no information /until you bring both sets of results together/ and measure the correlation between them. This last step is still slower than the speed of light.

So no, this doesn't undermine Einstein. If anything, it underlines how brilliant he was to deduce such a basic principle of the universe even before QM was understood as it is today.

*There's still a slim hope that locality can be rescued -- even Bell's Theorem doesn't completely rule it out -- but it does require other sacrifices in our understanding of reality that are probably even worse.

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BuzzGasm: 9 Incredible Things You Never Knew About PLIERS!

Carl Zetie

Needle nose pliers

Needle nose pliers should not be used to remove nose hair. It's a complete misnomer.

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London: Hey Amazon, wanna slip your speedy packages down our tubes?

Carl Zetie
Boffin

Distribution? How about the Post Office Railway?

The London Post Office Railway is still down there under the city, although it was mothballed a decade ago. Maybe somebody should use it for Same Day "Delivery" of purchases to pick-up locations around the city. Hard to believe it wouldn't be more efficient than fighting through London traffic.

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Black hole boffins close in on gravity waves

Carl Zetie
Headmaster

Gravitational waves, not gravity waves

Pedant point: correct in the article, incorrect in the headline, it should say "gravitational waves". Gravity waves are something else entirely, i.e. a meteorological phenomenon that produces seriously cool cloud formations (worth checking out on Google Images).

Having said that, the term "gravity waves" is used loosely all too often so El Reg is far from alone.

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Standard Model goes PEAR-SHAPED in CERN experiment

Carl Zetie

Re: Standard Model DOES predict asymmetry

@DavCrav is correct. CP violation doesn't give enough asymmetry by a couple of orders of magnitude.

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The Germans are coming - Software AG borgs LongJump

Carl Zetie
Stop

Re: When I was a lad!!

I guess that also puts paid to my plan for Basic Application Development As Software Service (BADASS).

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Handwriting beats PowerPoint's teaching power says MIT boffin

Carl Zetie
Holmes

Open University 2.0?

Has anybody thought about asking the Open University for some advice? They've been doing this for several decades now, even if they started out with boring old telly broadcasts, not exciting new MOOCs.

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US insurer punts 'bestiality' to wide-eyed kiddies, gasp 'mums'

Carl Zetie
Facepalm

The clue is in the name

Like most American lobbying groups, you have to assume that they are the opposite of what the name implies. There aren't a million of them, and they mostly aren't "moms".

As for their affiliated organization, the American Family Organization is in favor of families... so long as they comprise a churchgoing working father, an obedient stay-at-home mother, and a gaggle of well-scrubbed kids that were conceived by pleasure-free sex within marriage. Anything else is not a "real" family.

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MEGAGRAPH: 1983's UK home computer chart toppers

Carl Zetie
Unhappy

Two things make me feel old

One, remembering most of those machines and two, not being able to tell the colours apart.

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Musos blast US copyright bods: 'ARTISTS MAKE LOUSY SLAVES!'

Carl Zetie
Megaphone

Angered down in Anchorage

Is it just me or do most Web 2.0 businesses rely on somebody else not getting paid for providing content?

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Global warming still stalled since 1998, WMO Doha figures show

Carl Zetie
FAIL

Dishonest headline is dishonest

Checks byline: Yep, Lewis Page.

Checks story: Yep, headline wildly overstates reality

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Jubcropgate: El Reg in snake-fondling nude nipslip outrage

Carl Zetie
Go

Finally some nipples!

Thank goodness. I thought we never going to see any naked breasts on the internet.

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John McAfee blogs for help, offers $25K reward for neighbour's killer

Carl Zetie
Holmes

Book to follow

Working title: "If I did it".

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FTC shuts down five US robocall operations

Carl Zetie
Stop

Follow the money

Some telecom company is providing phone service to these people, and making a lot of money while turning a blind eye to the tsunami of outgoing calls. It's absurd to think that they don't know what their customer is doing -- how many customers do they have that generate that volume of outgoing calls and the corresponding billing?

Allow the telecom company to require a bond from companies that want an exceptionally large number of outgoing lines, then hold the telecom company jointly responsible if they fail to police their customers, and this problem would be solved almost immediately.

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Jaws restored Blu-ray disc set review

Carl Zetie

Shark still looks fake

That's all.

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The cooler side of the Big Bang

Carl Zetie
Facepalm

Re: Cosmic solution? Entropy and gravity Cosmic strings

D'oh. "...starts out in a LOW entropy state", of course.

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Carl Zetie

Cosmic solution? Re: Entropy and gravity Cosmic strings

By the way, I wonder if this theory could help solve the problem of how the universe starts out in a high entropy state. In its initial state without spacetime (and therefore gravity) the universe adopts a high entropy state, i.e. a homogeneous soup. At some point spacetime crystallizes, gravity "switches on", and finds itself with a a very low entropy state for a universe that has gravity. Neat?

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Carl Zetie
Boffin

Re: Oh inflation

The bigger problem with inflation is not explaining why it happens, but why it stops. That's one of the reasons the original inventor of the theory is now turning against his own theory.

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Carl Zetie
Boffin

Entropy and gravity Re: Cosmic strings

One of the (many) confusing things about entropy is that opposite things happen with and without gravity.

As you correctly note, in the presence of gravity, matter clumps and entropy increases. A black hole represents the maximal entropy that a region of spacetime can contain. (It's best if you read that in Stephen Hawking's voice).

But in the absence of gravity, the highest entropy state is one where all the stuff is homogeneously spread out -- much the way entropy is taught in 101 science classes. And what these guys appear to be arguing is that in the very early universe there are no spacetime dimensions, hence no gravity.

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HP to spin off webOS division as Gram stealth subsidiary

Carl Zetie
Headmaster

No, it's American

In American, it's OK to verb any noun.

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Climate was HOTTER in Roman, medieval times than now: Study

Carl Zetie
FAIL

Re: Hea(r)t-warming

Of all the dumb things that denialists say, this is by far the dumbest. Are you seriously suggesting that CLIMATE scientists don't take into account variations in solar activity? Seriously, that's your position?

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Olympic Wenlock plod cops condemnation from Amazon wags

Carl Zetie
Coffee/keyboard

Re: Oh, the possibilities

You owe me a keyboard, although it might be worth it for the sinus-clearing effects of hot coffee.

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Report: SAP exec charged with $1,000 LEGO bar-code caper

Carl Zetie
FAIL

Re: What a Falcon ijediot

Except no. He is stealing them to play with them, he's stealing them and selling them on eBay.

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Carl Zetie
Headmaster

Never has the Pedantic Grammar Nazi icon been more deserved

No. The official answer on the Lego website is that neither "Lego" nor "Legos" is the correct plural: "Lego bricks" is.

In reality? My American friends are about equally divided between "Lego" and "Legos".

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Cameron 'to change his mind' on the one thing he got right in Defence

Carl Zetie
FAIL

Missing the point entirely

The question isn't "what kind of expensive toys should we launch from our even more expensive toys?". The question is "why do need any of this BS anymore?". It's called the Department of Defence, not the Department of Flying Sorties Over Unsettled Arab Countries. A proper defence review would ask what exactly we're defending these days... and promptly slash the defence budget by about 80%.

It's the 21st century, not the 19th. We're not at war with our neighbors, and never will be in any foreseeable future. There is no credible possibility of invasion (and even if there were, carriers would hardly be relevant). We don't have colonial interests in Africa. We don't have a need (other than ego) to project power in the east. We're not responsible for protecting shipping lanes in the North Atlantic. The Cold War is over. Our entire defence posture is all about propping up vested interests in power, and pandering to the national ego.

The age of large standing armies and navies in Europe is over. Get used to it.

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Chinese fossil analysis suggests new hominid species

Carl Zetie
Boffin

Re: Species?

re. your 2nd paragraph: Actually, no. The most recent genetic analyses DO show differences.

There are genetic markers present in everybody EXCEPT Africans that apparently came from Neanderthals and that account for about 2% to 4% of our genetic code (and because these markers are everywhere outside Africa, that interbreeding must have happened very soon after leaving Africa.

Similarly, there's good genetic evidence that the homo sapiens that reached Asia interbred with the Denisovians before continuing on through to south east Asia and the Australias.

And there's even emerging evidence that there might have been other archaic species still living in Africa after homo sapiens began its migration out, and that the homo sapiens left behind interbred with those species in the same way.

As for the rest, well, the concept of species is actually pretty vague and less useful once you accept the reality that populations evolve continuously across time and space.

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1TB USB stick shoved into Swiss Army knife

Carl Zetie
Facepalm

Didn't think their cunning plan all the way through.

Now you can store all your mobile apps and data on a device the TSA won't let you bring on a plane. Brilliant.

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New account of Flight 447 disaster published

Carl Zetie
Headmaster

slang with more context

Yes, literally it means "whore". When used of a person, the closest English equivalent is probably "bitch", in the way it might be used by American rappers: a denigrating, disrespectful term for a woman, and an even more insulting term for a man who is totally "owned" and powerless.

ObTrivia: there was a 1990 anglo-italian-french movie starring Timothy Dalton called "La putain du roi", and although IMDB says otherwise, my memory says that when I saw it, the title was translated as "The King's Bitch".

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Japan, Russia in plan for elephant to birth CLONE MAMMOTH

Carl Zetie
Headmaster

Would that be...

...a thundering heard of mammoth?

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Neutrinos still FASTER THAN LIGHT in second test

Carl Zetie
Headmaster

Eventually...

In case anybody is wondering, when Jacques Martino said "eventual systematic errors" he meant "possible systematic errors". It's a very common mistake when native French speakers speak English as a second language because the French word is "éventuel" (the French call words like that "faux amis" -- false friends).

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Obama says his birthplace is 'in Asia'

Carl Zetie
Coat

Bears repeating

Bears

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Results in on why life, the universe and everything exists

Carl Zetie
Boffin

Before anybody asks about CP violation...

Yes, there are known processes involving the Weak force that produce a small excess of matter over antimatter, but the resulting imbalance is orders of magnitude too small (maybe 11 orders!) to account for the observed disparity.

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Lost cities found beneath sands of Sahara by satellites

Carl Zetie
Boffin

Don't forget...

...the Irish, too. Irish monasteries played a large part in preserving written knowledge through the Dark Ages.

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LaCie LaPlug

Carl Zetie
Headmaster

Wrong name

Surely it should be LePlug? Plugs are male.

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Can general relativity explain the OPERA neutrino result?

Carl Zetie
FAIL

Not even wrong

@Jim O'Reilly: I was going to type a long reply to your comment, but after getting past the first erroneous claim I came to the conclusion that you're making so little sense, you're not even wrong.

-- relativity has no problem explaining how particles with non-zero mass travel very near the speed of light. If it didn't, we wouldn't even have the LHC or the Tevatron, because that's exactly what they do: accelerate particles to near the speed of light.

-- particles with mass greater than zero never travel *at* the speed of light, and relativity explains why, so the only 'oops' here is your claim

-- "these particles never move slowly"? What does this even mean? Neutrinos move at a variety of speeds depending on their energy.

-- "not rest mass but energy"? Um, obviously what we see is the mass attributable to energy. You may have heard of a little equation that goes E=mc^2?

-- photons *are* fundamental particles. But neutrinos are not remotely like photons since, among other things, they have mass.

-- "All of this confuses the quantum model": The only thing that's confused here, I'm afraid, is your understanding of physics.

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Seven Dwarfs password gag declared Fringe's best

Carl Zetie
Facepalm

Eating for two?

When my wife was pregnant she gave up caffeine and alcohol, so I had to drink for two. Honestly, there were some nights I wasn't sure I could finish the whole bottle. And was she grateful?

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Man matches machine in Jeopardy! showdown

Carl Zetie
Terminator

I wonder how many non-techies...

...watching this think it's really a human player or team with a fake robotic voice (i.e. a mechanical turk, not that non-techies would know that term)? How many of them get what an impressive achievement this is?

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Or a rigged demo."

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Chaps tolerant of girl-on-girl cheating by other halves

Carl Zetie
Boffin

Bollox

The normal human reaction against cheating is rooted in the basic evolutionary drive to reproduce, i.e. to propagate our genes. The worst thing that can happen to a man, from that brutal perspective, is to expend his time and energy raising another man's child. If she's cheating with another woman, not only does that fear not arise, it may be even less likely that she would ever cheat with a man.

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Raygun dreadnought project reports 'remarkable breakthrough'

Carl Zetie
Joke

"We need our best minds on this!"

"Get India on the phone!"

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Lost ancient civilisation's ruins lie beneath Gulf, says boffin

Carl Zetie
Grenade

Bahrain is not Dilmun

You seem very certain of Bahrain being Dilmun, despite the fact that it is inconsistent with pretty much all the references to Dilmun in Mesopotamian texts. For example (courtesy of Wiki):

Hymns regarding the Sumerian god Enki of Eridu in Sumer speak of his assaulting and deflowering Dilmun's maidens as they stand by a river bank, he reaching out of nearby marsh to clasp them to his bosom. Of Bahrain, Failaka, and the eastern littoral of Arabia, none possess marshes and a riverbank. Dilmun, furthermore, is said to lie "in the east where the sun rises," a situation that does not apply to the eastern Arabian littoral, Failaka or Bahrain, all of which lie south of Sumer and Eridu.

So, apart from not having marshes and not being to the east of Sumer, Bahrain is a perfect candidate...

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Carl Zetie
Coat

A currant lawmaker wouldn't give a fig

Presumably this is the source of the various Arab Sultanates?

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World of diamonds bigger than the Ritz discovered

Carl Zetie
Thumb Up

+1 headline

Props for the F. Scott Fitzgerald reference

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Wikileaks hit by second DDoS

Carl Zetie
Grenade

Oh, great

Now I've got that song stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

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Leslie Nielsen dead at 84

Carl Zetie
Dead Vulture

Surely

you can't be serious?

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Has CERN made the VATICAN ANTIMATTER BOMB for real?*

Carl Zetie
Coat

I think Dan Brown's villain...

...was trying to make an Antipope

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UK border police seize £500k from Nigerians' hand luggage

Carl Zetie
Coat

Apparently they needed help...

...getting their money out of Nigeria.

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