806 posts • joined 29 May 2007
"A staging post for some upcoming alien invasion"?
I for one welcome etc...
A worrisome trend
Given that the GWPF started out, as their logo testifies, with a proclamation that global warming isn't happening at all, this marks a notable upward trend in their estimates. Extrapolating on the basis of this latest claim it rather looks as though by 2025 their estimate for warming will be around 3.4 ºC, slightly higher than the IPCC's present mean value.
Meanwhile, there is what looks to be a sensible review by Graham Readfearn over at the Grauniad:
A national escrow service is needed
Recently I've been involved with a survey for changes in NHS care practices for patients approaching the end of their life, the so-called Liverpool Care Pathway.
The suggestion seems to have been implicit that the NHS might hold Advanced Directives on their system. These have details of a person's wishes on care such as whether or not they are to be resuscitated should they suffer a serious stroke or similar. For a number of reasons I very much doubt that it would be appropriate for the NHS itself to hold such records, but some simple and preferably inexpensive way to keep such directives is needed.
What's needed is the equivalent of a locked box which can be opened if necessary by appropriately qualified medical authorities and which guards the data and reliably records whether it has been opened, and if it has also holds details of who opened the box and why. Besides an Advanced Directive it could also hold details of passwords and similar tokens. It shouldn't be too difficult to provide a one-way data path so that updates to passwords lists could be posted in as necessary as well as a means to allow appropriate access for executors and/or relatives in the event of accident or death.
And where did this ruse come from?
Wasn't the structure of Indian bureaucracy largely modeled on the British equivalent?
See e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-16737162
Might the LOHAN crew be able to blag one of these to power the heater?
I have a faint recollection of seeing something similar in a British publication on the internet not so long ago...
Re: Should this headline not
Do you call that a chin-chin situation?
El Reg and the Graun have been co-operating recently on security issues. Perhaps there has been a leak in the spelling department.
epidemiological research potential
Perhaps it won't be that long before data capture becomes a fairly standard part of illness management for many conditions; such things as blood pressure, temperature, pulse and a range of other more subtle measurements. Many diabetics, for example, routinely keep a fairly close watch on their insulin levels, and those with bad lungs monitor blood oxygen.
With open source software and data formats there should be sufficient uniformity for results to be pooled completely anonymously via the experts who provide personalised treatments; that is to say identifiable only as far as the medical practitioner in charge of treatment. Data logging could both improve the treatment for many conditions and directly collect data for research.
It's hardly reassuring
Given that the average temperature in the UK varies between about 5 and 15 ºC, the possibility of a 0.3 ºC shift is not negligible.
And looking at the satellite images of atmospheric water vapour content, the possibility of a "slight northward deflection of westerly winds in Western Europe" is not entirely encouraging, especially in view of the recent weather conditions.
Here's how a bacterium propels itself inside a cell
I didn't think they made them like that any more.
Gains may be offset by the "Wal-Mart effect"
Recent research in the USA seems to suggest that crime reduction initiatives don't work terribly well in areas where Wal-Mart stores have recently been opened. Presumably similar trends can be seen in the UK.
The conclusion seems to be that it can be hard to reduce crime in regions that are economically depressed.
Programmable touch screen anyone?
If someone were to write software that puts graphic buttons onto a cheapish touch screen and provide it with a range of get-you-started templates to suit different programs this might go down rather well. But don't Wacom tablets do something similar already?
When the time comes to test these devices, some of the journalists at the Guardian appear to be well qualified for such a task.
That's why prediction with hindsight can approach 100% accuracy.
Meanwhile, in the real world, models of one sort or another are what we use to see into the future.
Power to their elbow etc.. They've been working consistently to preserve and enhance civil liberties for quite some years now.
Re: How to opt out:
Although there's an argument that it's better to have one's records immediately available in case of emergency, this isn't always valid. My own experience, based on a couple of occasions in the last decade when I needed health care at the weekend, is that my treatment at the out of hours centre without my records was rather better than what my GP provided with them.
The Lawyer from Lima
Cheers to David Villanueva Nuñez who challenged incumbency with such clarity a few years ago.
His letter to Microsoft is a bit on the long side, but then dragon-slaying is rarely a swift process. If he's still around maybe he could be asked to come over here for a few months and comment on the NHS proposals.
Re: Patent avoidance
I thought the idea with patents was that you had to add something new to existing ideas rather than take something away. Oh, wait a mo...
Re: A message from the target of these 'improvements'
Maybe an FoI request would be in order to ask what supervision there is to ensure that lottery funding is used appropriately?
Didn't Siemens use their muscle to force the adoption of their protocols in the EU standards for industrial controller networks a decade or so ago?
It might not be quite right to cast them as the innocent victim. As I remember it British firms which used a different approach to theirs were likely to be forced out of the market by the new rules that were forced through.
Re: Promise the world - small claims
The limit in the small claims court used to be somewhat less than the current £10k. I was stung for £2k at a time when the limit was £1k; solicitors' fees were as outrageous then are they are today. However, recent experience suggests that albeit a bit tedious, the procedure does appear to work quite well.
Aren't the Australian spooks working with the American spooks together with the others who are part of the UKUSA agreement that Duncan Campbell explained to us yonks ago?
Re: Bad faith all around
It certainly wasn't quite what I envisaged when I donated an early British PC plus CP/M manuals and such to illustrate the development of personal computing.
It's just as well they don't have a nuclear weapons programme.
Re: C/o Titling Department
You forgot your coat.
Re: How much?
It does indeed require considerable experience and expertise to be able to spend such exceedingly large sums of money and to make catastrophic mistakes. Many of those involved have spent a long time training for this, climbing the ladder using the Peter Principle (aka, and developed into the Dilbert Principle).
Lessons of history
An elegant solution to American protection rackets running in the 1930s was to charge those responsible with the tax evasion in which they were also engaged.
Is Trusteer Rapport any good?
In the section on online banking, Cyber Street's first recommendation is to "Sign up to security software provided by your bank, such as Trusteer Rapport". Just a few months ago Reg readers seemed to suggest this may not be all that good.
My only experience of it is from sorting out a pc which was seriously snarled. Can other readers comment?
... claimed to have "overwhelming support"
Quite a few people engage in activities which do little or no harm to others and for which it could similarly be claimed there is "overwhelming support". The courts generally take rather a dim view of this argument if used for defence or mitigation when such activities break the law.
It's a plea for help
Working at GCHQ and NSA may be pretty awful for anyone with imagination, and also jolly boring most of the time. These coded messages are actually a plea for help for someone to write something a bit more challenging than the usual run-of-the-mill stuff they have to decode from trrrrsts, drug dealers, pr0n addicts and politicians.
Can someone give a ... reason
Because there will be less paperwork when on-the-spot fines are issued for such things as a failed brake light or having one wheel on the edge of a bus lane etc..
"Wind provides more than you think....."
The gridwatch site shows clearly how wind delivers only 25% or so of its maximum capacity, and how variable it is. Other generators are still needed for the 70%+ when wind doesn't work.
There is an argument that the losses and carbon cost of backup generators, which are ramped up and down to cope with fluctuations, and strengthening of the grid to cope with larger swings negate much of the 'green' benefit. Without local medium-term energy storage, which is probably further off than fusion, the scope of wind energy is really quite limited.
Can this be
Re: A useful Firefox extention
Firefox allows more than one profile, so it's possible to have a clean and a dirty one, using different shortcuts to start them.
Alternatively, using PortableApps for example, it's not too difficult to load separate copies of Firefox for different purposes, each of which has its own cookie store. Styles can be used to distinguish them when they are on screen and it's easy to delete them entire and replace periodically. This is not as good as using a sandbox, but would keep a large proportion of rubbish at bay.
BS5750 aka ISO9000
The fanfare here resembles that at the time when quality control was being promoted some years ago. This too was to have been a requirement for government suppliers and contractors. The cost of promotional seminars alone would have been sufficient to send a book explaining QC and how to set up the essential features to every small and medium business in the country.
... puts a whole new meaning on the word.
... just deluded themselves
It's said that a good liar will really believe the lie they are telling. Presumably there is a risk that self-delusion becomes irreversible.
"To prevent punters pulling out prematurely ..."
I see what you did there.
It would be handy if they can apply the technique to car bodies too.
Re: Reg units please!
As any ful kno, elephants don't fly.
Pointing out something much more damaging won't make Fukushima safe, but it might put the danger into perspective. 170,000 people received emergency medical treatment after the Bhopal disaster; 8,000 died within two weeks. The surrounding area still hasn't been cleaned up and there are still people suffering from this incident
As a whole, industrial chemicals do vastly more damage than radioactivity, but they just don't hit the headlines in the same way or cause the same knee-jerk panic.
"Scientists are coming to space ... infected"
It's not the end of the world if they take a virus up with them. The problems will start when they bring one back.
Max Tegmark was wrong
A couple of decades ago, Stuart Hameroff and Roger Penrose formulated their 'orchestrated reduction' hypothesis of consciousness. They suggested that the brain uses quantum coherent states for processing with repeated collapse of the quantum multiplicity providing a more or less continuous series of 'aha' moments.
Max Tegmark was one of their most severe critics, arguing that quantum coherence would only last for about 10-13 seconds in the warm wet brain, whereas thought processes observably occur in a timescale of ten or twenty milliseconds.
It rather looks as though Tegmark may have been wrong.
Re: Oi Google..
Best thing Microsoft ever did was their trackball. Then they stopped making them. I'm going to have to fit PTFE shims or something to mine to compensate for wear and keep it going a few more years.
The Moon's asymmetry
Isn't the crucial point that the Moon's density is higher on the side facing the Earth. Presumably, its the orbit and rotation having been locked for some while, the denser components have been steadily pulled more strongly towards and hence migrated towards the Earth-facing side.
Because the denser materials include most of the radioactive ones this side is a bit warmer than the far side.
I've been saying for decades that I'd happily have a container of radioactive waste in my garden that could provide background heating. It might not keep the asteroids at bay but at least it would help when winter comes along.
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