* Posts by David Pollard

1072 posts • joined 29 May 2007

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How much of ONE YEAR's Californian energy use would WIPE OUT the DROUGHT?

David Pollard
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Seawater Greenhouse

Obviously you can't build these everywhere, but it's pretty neat when you can.

http://seawatergreenhouse.com/

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Amazon comes up with delivery-drone zones after watching Fifth Element all night

David Pollard
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Joke

The real problem ...

... is where to store the stuff after delivery until the purchaser comes home. I have come up with a concept specifically to deal with this aspect. My invention is called Safe Housing of Online Purchases, or SHOP as people will come to know it.

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Flash zero-day monster Angler dominates exploit kit crime market

David Pollard
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If only you could buy shares?

You can, but you have to know the wrong people.

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The French want to BAN .doc and .xls files from Le Gouvernement

David Pollard
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The Lawyer from Lima

Cheers again to David Villanueva Nuñez who championed open document formats for all government purposes a few years ago.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/05/19/ms_in_peruvian_opensource_nightmare/

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Cyber-security's dirty little secret: It's not as bad as you think

David Pollard
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Re: calling all Mathematicians

"... explain how 10 out of 1000 is equal to 100 out of 10,000,000."

You need to compare blogs.

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NASA boffins peer at Pluto: Could it be ... is that ... OATMEAL?

David Pollard
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Obligatory xkcd

http://xkcd.com/1551/

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Happy NukeDay to you! 70 years in the shadow of the bomb post-Trinity

David Pollard
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Pugwash and the Russell-Einstein Manifesto

Cheers to the memory of Jo 'Prof' Rotblatt, who did as much as anyone to curb nuclear proliferation and, together with scientists across the world, to explain to politicians and military chiefs that mutually assured destruction would be the inevitable result of nuclear war.

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

David Pollard
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Re: Jetisoned

On the basis of past publications that's not so improbable. The red rain in Kerala that in 2006 Wickramasinghe claimed was spores from space was more than likely incompletely incinerated chemical waste from the Eloor industrial estate.

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Dormant ALIEN SLIME LIFE frozen in SPEEDING comet will AWAKEN - boffins

David Pollard
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Re: Somebody call Quatermass!

Sadly they don't make boffins like that any more.

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David Pollard
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"... experiments conducted since the '70s suggest that it is rather difficult to get life going on its own."

On the contrary, although the processes are subtle and probably quite complex it looks to me as though several promising avenues are opening which explain aspects of abiogenisis; including, for example, the work of Jack Szostack and his team.

http://www.hhmi.org/scientists/jack-w-szostak

The problem with panspermia is that it still doesn't explain how life started. I'm happy enough with the idea that the potential for life and consciousness is everywhere in the universe without needing to dream up all manner of stories that can't easily be disproved.

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Will rising CO2 damage the world's oceans? NOT SO MUCH – new boffinry

David Pollard
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Meanwhile at the Alfred Wegener Institute

A report out today foresees "far-reaching and largely irreversible impacts on marine ecosystems" unless greenhouse gas emissions are curtailed.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150703135248.htm

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THIS TIME we really are ALL DOOMED, famous doomsayer prof says

David Pollard
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Megaphone

Obligatory xkcd

http://xkcd.com/1338/

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Noshing moth menaces misled into male-on-male mating

David Pollard
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Black Helicopters

Was this a USAF black op?

For detail see the 2007 Ignoble Peace Prize awarded to the Wright Laboratory:

http://www.improb.com/ig/ig-pastwinners.html#ig2007

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/jun/13/usa.danglaister

A similar plan by the CIA was also detailed in the 'Nine Lives' issue of Fat Freddy's Cat, incredibly enough based on another apparently genuine secret weapons programme some twenty years or so previously. Copies are a little difficult to find.

https://www.lambiek.net/shop/series/fat_freddy_s_cat/i_led_nine_lives.html

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Webmail password reset scam lays groundwork for serious aggro

David Pollard
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Re: So why

Because a local supermarket had free PAYG SIM cards and a half-price top-up voucher, so the relative anonymity plus security that this provides was not expensive. The 'phones too can be a little as £10, which isn't too bad for backup.

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Hey Google, what’s trending? Oh, just the death of journalism

David Pollard
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...

Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,

And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.

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US mega-hack: White House orders govt IT to do what it should have done in the first place

David Pollard
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Damage Limitation?

Articles published in the last couple of days suggest that the Russians and Chinese have decoded material leaked by Edward Snowden, and in consequence spies have had to be moved for fear they will be recognised. Is this part of a damage limitation exercise to shift the blame onto him for "significant" damage (see caption in link)?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/11673533/British-spies-removed-from-operations-after-Russia-and-China-crack-codes-to-leaked-Snowden-files.html

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'Boozed up' US drone spook CRASHED UFO into US White House

David Pollard
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Re: Not all there

"Please explain..."

Maybe through the addition of some sort of aerosol dispenser.

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Use snooped data in court? Nah, says UK.gov - folk might be cleared

David Pollard
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It's interesting to note that when it comes to difficult issues such as this - 'politically sensitive' is perhaps the phrase that's used - the MPs who are prepared to try to tackle them come from both sides of the House. For me this suggests that there may be a glimmer of hope. At least some of our representatives seem to have a sense of decency and fair play.

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Future Range Rovers will report pot-holes directly to councils

David Pollard
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Joke

Speaks volumes?

"That the Swedish system concentrates on icy patches and the British one on potholes speaks volumes ..."

Surely this isn't suggesting that in Sweden they fill the holes with water and let it freeze overnight?

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Teaching kids to code is self-defence, not a vocational skill

David Pollard
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@ Tachikoma

Your son is fortunate in that he has a dad who has fun with him, who takes the time and has the capacity to explain details and, perhaps most importantly, who can provide a background context in which computing can play a part.

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Soon your car won't let you drink. But it won't care if you're on the phone

David Pollard
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Re: Calibration? Public Servants?

"... I'm suprised our revenue hungry public servants haven't added another roadside tax to their schemes."

They have. A couple of years ago the Met took £30 on the spot when I was driving out of London. Parked up in the garage forecourt where I'd pulled in, two uniforms in a patrol car had watched me as I drove in and again as I set off. They couldn't have failed to notice that one tail light wasn't working. Nevertheless, only after I was back on the main road did they turn on the nee-nah and blue light to pull me over.

The MOT was current for another couple of weeks, but as well as the fine they gave me a ticket forbidding the use of my van other than to drive it directly to a pre-arranged MOT. It was night-time, the van was now stopped on a main road, and they wouldn't let me reverse fifty yards to the garage or drive forward to a parking spot. As it happens, there was a flatbed vehicle recovery truck also parked in the garage, though I'm sure this was entirely coincidental.

Thanks to a kind chap from the AA who had remarkable powers of persuasion at the local police station I was able to extricate myself from this without great expense, though I imagine many others are not so fortunate.

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NHS blows £5 MILLION on delayed Care.data

David Pollard
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The 'yellow card'

The 'yellow card scheme has been running for a few decades now to collate details of untoward side-effects of medications. There are options to use paper or the internet to file reports, though the interface for the latter is pretty ghastly.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_Card_Scheme

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Pavegen: The Company that can't make energy out of crowds tries to make money out of them

David Pollard
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... and for aeroplanes?

I seem to recall a similar sort of idea recently to extract electrical energy as the wings flex during flight and thus reduce fuel consumption.

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EU net neutrality could kneecap the Tories' opt-out pr0n filter plans

David Pollard
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Re: Oh dear

It seems to me to be a mistake to think that the EU is going to "rein in various national governments..." What is actually happening when they appear to be blocking national excesses is that the EU hegemony is preventing state authorities from wielding their own powers when they think this may curry popular support.

As for other excesses by national governments, it is a mistake to think that the EU will "get them under control". For, ultimately, like most political bodies, the hegemony's primary aim is to increase its own powers.

The appropriate means of control lies in the hands of the citizenry. National governments are still democratically answerable to their populace. Limited though local democracy may be, there is still greater accountability than within the narrow structure of EU control.

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Zuck can EFF off: Internet.org is SO NOT the INTERNET

David Pollard
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Pennies from poor people

I can't remember who coined the phrase, a decade or three ago, but it's rather apt: It's easier to make money taking pennies from poor people than pounds from the rich.

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Welsh police force fined £160,000 after losing sensitive video interview

David Pollard
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It's not the first time

Also in 2011, South Wales Police lost crucial evidence which led to the collapse of a trial of "eight former South Wales Police officers and two civilians ... at Swansea Crown Court accused of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice." A QC-led public inquiry was finally ordered in February 2015.

http://www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk/Inquiry-collapse-South-Wales-Police-s-Lynette/story-25998139-detail/story.html

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/new-qc-led-inquiry-launched-collapse-8725791

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US hospitals to treat medical device malware with AC power probes

David Pollard
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Joke

Pedantry is by convention somewhat to the right.

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Something's missing in our universe: Boffins look into the SUPERVOID

David Pollard
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Re: Yes, but

"Take all paths" - That's the problem. How can the photon's energy have more than one value?

Equally, how can the gravitational potential of a point in space be defined if it depends on which direction you choose to look?

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David Pollard
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Yes, but

Suppose there happened to be massive objects situated such that through gravitational lensing there were two (or more) paths available from wherever the photon started out in the distant past to a detector on Earth, one going through the less dense region the other(s) not. Depending on the path that the photon took, its energy would be different when it arrived.

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David Pollard
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I don't understand this at all

"The low mass helps explain the low observed temperature of the cold spot. Crossing the region, CMB photons lose energy ... Were the universe regular, those photons would recover energy from other mass exiting the region; the shortage of mass means the energy isn't recovered."

Imagine a photon traveling from afar and crossing a region of the universe where the density is different from the average. If this was a region where density is locally higher than average, the photon's energy would increase as it approaches and then decrease back towards its original energy as it moves back into the overall average density; as it 'climbs out' of the gravitational well. So why don't photons approaching a region of lower density lose energy as they approach and then gain it back again when they move away; as in going over a gravitational hillock?

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Transparency thrust sees Met police buying up to 30,000 bodycams

David Pollard
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Online face recognition?

Will these cameras be coupled into the rather large database that has already been generated of the untermensch of usual suspects?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/12/17/legality_of_coppers_facial_recognition_database_called_into_question/

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Google drives a tenth of news traffic? That's bull-doodie, to use the technical term

David Pollard
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What sort of traffic?

Presumably there is a big difference between the number of visitors and the number of page views. With traffic to the Reg, for example, many of the visitors who start from a search engine will simply read the one page, in contrast to regular readers who are likely to take in several pages when they visit.

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Can't patch this: Mozilla pulls Firefox encryption feature after just a week

David Pollard
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Re: 100% False Positive rate

Perhaps what's needed is an opportunity to log the details and check with a database/forum that other people have also seen the warning and/or that the owner is correcting the problem. That would go some way towards making the warnings meaningful to everyday users.

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Boffins: Large Hadron Collider NOW movin', we're getting down and crush groovin'

David Pollard
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Re: Ah, this explains the....

You've been watching Stephen Fry again.

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Tech leaders: Is your biggest threat North Korea or your own board?

David Pollard
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This sort of thing never would have happened when the moderatrix was around.

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It's the FALKLANDS SYNDROME! Fukushima MELTDOWN to cause '10,000 Chernobyls' in South Atlantic

David Pollard
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Send for Chris Busby

He has anti-radiation pills that can save the children.

http://www.amfir.com/AmFirstInst/Symposia/Fukushima/Experts/Busby/Chris_Busby_index.html

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UN inflicts 10,000 flat pack IKEA shelters on Iraq - WITHOUT TOOLS

David Pollard
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Buy One Send One Free

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Euro THERMONUCLEAR REACTOR PROJECT is in TROUBLE

David Pollard
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Meanwhile

If governments in Europe had not shied away from fission and hadn't spent quite so much on subsidies which don't actually keep the wheels of industry turning, then we'd be a good deal richer with more to invest in research.

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Hey, Woz. You've got $150m. You're kicking back in Australia. What's on your mind? Killer AI

David Pollard
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It's not the rise of AI that will do us in.

It's the insidious effect of deliberate dumbing down.

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Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

David Pollard
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Joke

Cowards

They waited until Jeremy Clarkson was out of the way before announcing this.

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Blockhead fugitive Snapchats himself into police custody

David Pollard
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Games People Play

Eric Berne described this type of scenario quite well with his Transactional Analysis psychology.

www.ericberne.com/games-people-play/cops-and-robbers/

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More than 260 suspects charged in UK child abuse crackdown

David Pollard
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Re: "the biggest UK inquiry into people allegedly sharing child abuse images..."

Is it too cynical to wonder that these enquiries are being publicised partly to counter the leaks about cover-ups of sex crimes? Headlines of 'crackdown on child abuse' take attention away from the crimes committed by people in a position of power which are still not being fully investigated.

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NYPD cop in court for allegedly hacking into the FBI

David Pollard
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How did he come to be charged?

Did he fail to cut colleagues in on the deal, or what?

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NHS England has some sneaky plans for Care.data acceleration

David Pollard
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Said it before and will say it again

With respect to both accuracy and security it's not a good idea to have two copies of the data.

There seems to me to be no reason why data for large-scale surveys and research cannot be pre-processed locally at the GP, clinic and hospital level and the essentially anonymous results then collated nationally.

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GCHQ: Ensure biz security by STOPPING everyone from TALKING

David Pollard
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Re: Yeah no problem lads

“Monitor all user activity" is unquestionably one of the hallmarks of GCHQ's style.

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UK.gov crackpots: Let's build vapourware-based sharing economy CITIES

David Pollard
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LoveHomeSwap

At first glance I thought this was perhaps a scheme to claim expenses for keeping a mistress, pairing MPs so that they could charge each other rent while hiding details of their actual residence.

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Boffinry listicle MADNESS: ONE THING you need to know about CHAMELEONS

David Pollard
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Re: "reflect a substantial proportion of the infrared"

It has to look good and be easy to fit and clean. I had wondered about using Pilkington's IR-reflective glass but that would be difficult to fit; especially as the stoves are already in place. A few layers of aluminium foil, crinkled to make airgaps and hidden behind the back, seems the best solution so far.

Chameleon wallpaper would be neat because it would turn red as it began to reflect, thus adding to perceived warmth.

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Universal Credit could take 10 YEARS to finish, says Labour MP

David Pollard
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Re: IT Angle?

"only a super computer backed implementation can work it out"

The problem is more likely to be that in a social welfare system, especially one that involves disadvantaged people, sometimes an element of discretion is appropriate. This can be difficult to codify.

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Forget viruses: Evil USB drive 'fries laptops with a power surge'

David Pollard
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Re: Beyond the fact...

Is it too far-fetched to wonder if the original story was viral marketing, sales of opto-isolated hubs having been a bit slack of late?

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