* Posts by itzman

1233 posts • joined 28 Jun 2011

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Goodbye Vulcan: Blighty's nuclear bomber retires for the last time

itzman
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Valiants Victors and Vulcans - the soundtrack to my childhood.

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WikiLeaks docs show NSA's 10-year economic espionage campaign against France

itzman
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Holmes

If you cant be gooid...

Be careful.

Of course everyone of note is spying on everyone else, of note.

The cardinal sin is getting caught, doing it.

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Supreme Court ignores Google's whinging in Java copyright suit

itzman
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Thank Clapton for open source

As this is exactly why companies end up supporting open source projects.

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Gates: Renewable energy can't do the job. Gov should switch green subsidies into R&D

itzman
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Re: Current Renewables are a Band-Aid

Would love to see this claim backed up with some hard data and plenty of details that spell out exactly what they mean by renewable sources.

Try http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/france

Some data on German exports and imports to France

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itzman
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Re: Stop proposing....

Nowhere NEEDS aircon. People lived everywhere before aircon.

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itzman
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Flywheel storage?

Er no, flywheels cannot handle it just fine.

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itzman
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Mushroom

Re: In addition

..." uranium, by all sensible definitions, is 'renewable'."....

Try telling Greenpeace that.

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itzman
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Re: He's close....

According to some other scientists, we are about to enter a new and destructive ice age.

According to some Christian sceintists, God is going to come down next week and sort out the sheep from the goats and then its barbecue time.

According to so Islamic Scientist, he alrday did and they are in charge of the barbecue, thank you very much.

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itzman
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Paris Hilton

we'd have answers to this problem (and literally millions of others) by now.

And had Mr. Gates pushed for a humanlike scalable AI years ago, we'd have answers to this problem (and literally millions of others) by now.

How quaint. So the assumption here is that the only thing that stops a new dream technology from appearing is that not enough people are employed to dream it up?

That if we - say - spent a trillion on 'scientists' and 'technologists' to create a perpetual motion machine, we would inevitably discover laws of physics that make it possible? Just by spending money?

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itzman
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Re: very old news, deliberately ignored for too long

And a real pity we don't have the benefit of 20yrs focussed research on cost and solving the storage&network problem, from people who don't have old industries to defend.

Well, we dont. We have something like 150 years of research into energy storage from people who have every incentive to make it work, because its a highly lucrative market and in no way competes with conventional electricity generation.

In fact it complements ANY energy generation...

The reaosn why we dont have any large scale energy storage at a sane cost is simply because there is no way to achieve it with known science, let alone technology technology, and unless you believe that new science comes into being because people wish it to, like magic or pixie dust, then spending billions on con men in laboratories won't make it happen any quicker either.

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itzman
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Thorium Salt reactors.

Not as clean, efficient, safe or from what I understand able to be used to burn up our existing nuclear waste stock piles as people think they are..

Slightly harder to make a safe weapon from than uranium 235, true, but are terrorists worried about getting radiation sickness themselves?

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itzman
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Re: nuclear

I am not clear as to what exact linkage you think there is between nuclear power and nuclear weaponry.

They dont use the same technology, the same elements or the same enrichment processes.

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itzman
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Re: Current Renewables are a Band-Aid

Scotland can announce what it likes. The fact remains that when the water in the damns is low, the wind ain't blowing and the sun ain't shining 100% of Scotland's energy does NOT come from renewable sources.

Or from Scotland.

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itzman
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Re: The richest pragmatist in the world.

it is even more important to keep doing back of envelope calculations on new technologies and new uses for old technologies to demonstrate they cannot ever work at all economically and therefore no not need billions invested in them.

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Boffins set networking record with marathon 12,000 km fiber data run

itzman
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Headmaster

Re: 12,000 km at, for example, 0.4 dB per km

0.4dB/km x 12, 000 km = 4,800 dB of loss not 48,000 dB...

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British banks consider emoji as password replacement

itzman
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Paris Hilton

The modern age ....

Seems to be one where the technology gets smarter and smarter so that people can get stupider and stupider.

Who remembers hand calculation with tables of logarithms?

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DON’T add me to your social network, I have NO IDEA who you are

itzman
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Re: LinkedIn is for people worried about their job security

So linked in is if you are worried about getting laid off, and facebook if you are worried about getting laid?

Sounds plausible.

So what is twitter?

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itzman
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Re: Nobody is immune...

My mail server now bounces everything from LinkedIn to [email protected]

I like it.. hmm I could do something similar here.

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itzman
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Headmaster

Re: Bit Sneaky. Reprinting That Particular Article During Dabbsy's Absence

Gramophone IIRC....

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itzman
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Mushroom

Re: Oh yes!

What icon, exactly, best expresses this sentiment?

Surely the one on this post?

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

itzman
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Re: Fine with me

The NSA has, so far, failed to detect a single terrorist attack despite its massive surveillance of citizens.

The history of the Uk's involvement with N Ireland terrorism is littered with incidents that made the papers and MI scuttlebutt about what really happened.

Murders by e.g. the Unionist paramilitaries of (largely unknown) IRA high command.

The mysterious early detonation of bombs and even weapons caches by 'inept terrorists'

The way in which the IRA high command eventually turned coats and joined a peace settlement.

The point about secret intelligence, is that it is secret.

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

Is a book worth reading that illustrates just how much of the secret intelligence war of WWII was devoted to disguising how much the secret intelligence agencies had actually penetrated the enemy intelligence systems.

And how much even when it was published remained secret. And a lot still is.

The problem with secret agencies is that you have to take them on trust.

There is an apocryphal story about a newly elected Harold Wilson calling in the heads of the security services and saying 'I am the duly elected representative of this country: Can you tell me the sphere of your operations?'

"No: Its a matter of national security"

"And who are you answerable to, if not me?"

"Can't tell you: National security".

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itzman
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Boffin

Re: Well, THERE'S your PROBLEM....

It's the only product you buy which comes with a 'known list of bugs' and nobody cares.

Er no, all products now come with a list of 'known bugs' in order to limit legal liability.

This microwave oven is unsuitable for the drying of pets.

Your mileage may vary.

Only those who buy software even remotely expect perfection, and no one in the engineering and manufacturing industry who has the least idea of the modern ideas of Quality Management expects any product to be perfect without continuous effort devoted to improving it - not till its perfect, but until all known and serious flaws have been identified fixed or documented into a 'limitations of use' type tome

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Industrial Wi-Fi kit has hard-coded credentials

itzman
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Re: It's a difficult crowd

plenty of peoiple might if they had set up secure tunnels etc.

Its total cobblers to talk about this or that piece of kit in itself being insecure, when what is required is overall security of whole networks.

I remember asking a security consultant 'what is the weakest link in their Internetwork security' and being answered 'the dial up modems to their windows PCS the staff plug into their DDI numbers in order to be able to work from home'

Because the corporate firewall denied them internet access...

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itzman
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Megaphone

The only options...?

...are to make sure the APs aren't accessible from the Internet, and are isolated from the business network.

Rubbish.

That's what vpn's and firewalls are for. To wrap insecure connections in secure ones. To create trusted networks across insecure networks.

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VMware unleashes Linux on the (virtual) desktop

itzman
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2018 will be...

..the year when no one installed any new desktops at all, except a few linux ones...

Seriously, its a rapidly diminishing marketplace compared with fondleslabbery et al.

So who is gonna chase it?

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Hardcore creationist finds 60-million-year-old fossils in backyard ... 'No, it hasn’t changed my mind about the Bible'

itzman
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Re: From a proud Bible thumper

Lotta faith there brother, that there is a God, and he has anthropic characteristics, has a morality and wouldn't act like a complete swine and give us insoluble puzzles to solve just out of malice.

Can't say I have that sort of faith.

If there is a creator, I'd tend to regard him her or it as being absolutely orthogonal to human hopes fears or endeavours one way or another. In short his attitude to us is about as concerned and compassionate as ours is to the social status amongst bacterial societies..

However I do applaud the attempt in a universe as universally uncaring and random as ours seems to be, to persuade ourselves that human existence has some meaning beyond sheer accident..

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itzman
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Re: Don't be hoodwinked by 'science'

Some philosophers have challenged some aspects of some of Poppers philosophy, but his main tenets have been upheld to be a pretty decent way to look at science all things considered.

Kuhn is less concerned with what science is, than how it develops.

Quine was an empiricist, and had his own axe to grind.

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itzman
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Boffin

Re: Don't be hoodwinked by 'science'

Your pint is made, but not well made.

In the end we can infer from our experience and infinite number of possible 'stories' of what the world is, and how it came to be (assuming we first assume time and causality as general principles).

Nothing is 'provable', except from an assumption (axiom) and formal proofs are just chains of logic that restate an axiom in a more complex way.

All science is inductive logic: All is in the limit unprovable.

Which is why Popper is careful to show that what counts, is not truth content, but utility.

Believing that creation is billions of divine angels obeying god's will, does not lead to CPU chips: Believing that creation is billions of quarks obeying immutable natural laws, does.

And our support for the 'reality'; of such models as a quantum style universe rests on the fact that derivations of it when applied, work.

mutatis mutandis both models in the limit tend to the same thing: replace Angels with Quarks, Gods Will with Immutable Natural Law, and the two statements are essentially transforms one of the other. The difference is primarily that the science is more detailed and more mathematical, and allows near exact calculations of the effect of 'god's will' on his 'angels'...

My point being the fundamental misconception that science gives the right answers and religion does not.

No, science gives us detailed calculable answers that work, and seem to be accurate. Religion gives us fuzzy answers that are of no practical use beyond giving us 'spiritual comfort' and the feeling that the life we find ourselves cast adrift in, has some purpose and meaning beyond a random accident of whatever it is, that is the case.

But the demonstrable truth content of either is, and always must be, unknown.

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itzman
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Paris Hilton

Re: Evidence.

>The really impressive trick was walking a few thousand light years in the direction of each extra-galactic object and dropping all those photons pointing towards Earth, ready to be observed by future astronomers.

Piece of cake if you are timeless eternal and omnipotent.

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itzman
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Unhappy

Re: Evidence. - @Arnaut

>Who are you supposed to believe? Bronze Age goat herders who used their left hand for toilet paper, or some scientists who are probably just making it all up?

The tragedy these days is that it is a tough call. For many many people.

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itzman
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Re: Evidence.

>Or God created them last Thursday, along with the gentleman in question and his memory of learning that the earth was 4000 years old.

No, I created them this instant, out of vague impressions and a definite feeling that I ought to exist, in some sort of existence, neither of which is of course true.

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itzman
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Big Brother

Re: Evidence.

A creationist believes that in this world there is only one thing that can be trusted, and that is the literal evidence of the Bible, that was given by God, to Man, to guide him through the temptations of life and keep him on the One True Path to salvation.

If the Bible says that the world is 6000 years old, then that is indisputable fact, and fossils are just Satanic temptations put there to trap people who have eaten of the Fruit of knowledge away from paradise into the sin of Thinking That They Know Better.

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itzman
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re: creationism makes perfect sense. As long as you ignore all of creation?

No, its a lot more logical than that.

I had dinner with some creationists once. I listened.

If you compare the scientific story of creation with the creationist's, they are identical. Except that where the scientific story extends the time lines back to an act of Creation knowns as the Big Bang, where all the time lines meet in a singularity, the Creationist time lines are simply truncated 5,000 years ago, when a divine act of creation brought everything into being, fossils and all.

Philosophically there is no way to establish the 'truth' of either...

Ultimately one uses Occam's razor, but the simplicity of one explanation or the other is once again a value judgement that differs acording to personal perspective. I find the idea of a Big Bang simple,. and it has excellent explanatory power. The Creationists found it incomprehensible, whereas the thought of a Divine Being who waved a magic wand and brought a complete world into existence was a lot easier to grasp...

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The 'echo chamber' effect misleading people on climate change

itzman
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Holmes

Re: Let's be honest...

"Computing is still, at best, an inexact science."

what. does. that. mean. ?

Its meaning free statement actually.

Computing isn't a science. Which is probably why computer scientists make such appalling programmers.

I suspect what was really meant was GIGO.

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itzman
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Headmaster

Re: but..

I suspect that volcanoes being deep climate modifiers and emitters of carbon dioxide, was the point..

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itzman
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Consensus is not science

the best human minds on the subject of climate are unanimous.....

Romeo Oscar Foxtrot Lima Mike Alpha Oscar....

I Lurve a good 'appeal to authority' with my elevenses..

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itzman
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Re: If it crawls it's biology, if it stinks it's chemistry and if it doesn't work it's physics

And if it bears no relation to reality at all its an over-simplistic mathematical model extrapolated way beyond valid limits and if it does work, its probably rule-of-thumb engineering.

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itzman
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Re: Political Bullshit

Why would a field of experts around the world be convinced that CO2 emissions are driving up global temperature if it's so obviously wrong?

How many are convinced? Really?

How expert really, are these experts?

How many would keep their jobs if they refuted Climate Orthodoxy?

Nearly all the scientists and engineers I know are DEEPLY skeptical. But they cannot speak out for fear of their pensions and their jobs.

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itzman
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Re: Ratfox

Because a population-wide survey is the proper way to know whether something is correct, as opposed to doing a scientific study, right? …Right?

Wrong: The point about that is to illustrate the articles main thesis, that what people believe is more a function of social organisation peer pressure and so on, than it is of the truth necessarily.

Without coming down on one or another side of the argument I would like to perhaps add clarification.

Science is ultimately one hopes about ascertaining - if not the Truth - at least a model of things that is not measurably inconsistent with it, whatever it may be.

Politics seeks to arrive at a group consensus of moulded opinion, such that what people believe becomes far far more important than what the truth actually is.

E.g one can see that studies that elicit the conclusions that '97% of people believe...' are in fact market surveys - political marketing, not science.

Whereas a study that claims 'in the last 27/21 years temperature changes did not correlate at all with CO2 increases to a 97% confidence level' is in fact trying to be science, in that it asserts a claim that can be refuted by data and its purpose is at least superficially to elicit truth in the world as opposed to what people believe to be the truth.

Climate science is an unholy mix of political marketing and some basic science: Its important to distinguish in which camp any of the statements made, lie.

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Driverless cars deal DEATH to Detroit, says Barclays

itzman
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Re: Yes/no

I think you need to look at the proportion of people living in large cities vis-à-vis those in towns: MOST car journeys are urban or suburban, and short.

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Private cloud has a serious image problem

itzman
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re: why would the toaster need to talk to the 'fridge'?

Obviously to tell it to deliver another slice of bread to the microwave for defrosting.

Unless of course it had a defrosted slice already in its JIT cache...

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Bog-standard boxty

itzman
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Headmaster

yeah well....

..at least we can spell 'site'..

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City of birth? Why password questions are a terrible idea

itzman
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What is the name of your pet rabbit?

I dont have a pet rabbit.

Actually the things I use tend to be stuff that is buried so far in my altogether too long past that no one else has a cats chance in hell of discovering them

I am probably the only person alive who remembers the name of the family cat in 1954....

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Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know

itzman
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Re: What would be the counters...

....to either a short-range drone or a semi-autonomous one that uses the encrypted military GPS, both of which would be jam- and hack-resistant?...

Take out the GPS sattellites.

us AA fire to disrupt the gyros.

Leaving just magnetic fields and radar /visual cues as ways of working out where the poor thing is!

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itzman
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Linux

Re: War. What is it good for?

I suspect the time has come for a philosophical understanding of the purposes of war.

1/. It used to be to capture land or goods and chattels from someone else, and in theory that requires no bloodshed at all. Its merely armed theft in principle, and could as easily become secret theft. Governments already practice this on their own citizens with remarkable success. What is a government but a self legalising protection racket anyway?

2/. As a means of removing a section of human population whose goods and chattels and actual occupied land you want. Ethnic cleansing, Apartheid and Jihad, and other 'final solutions' are the modern way to describe this process. As such as a means of relieving population pressure it has much to commend it. And can be bloodless on the part of the aggressors if they are sufficiently asymmetric with respect to technology and wealth.

3/. As evinced by Sheri Tepper's protagonist queen 'What is the point of dead heroes?' it is also a means of ridding yourself of otherwise unemployable testosterone charged Youths who instead of being nothing but trouble, can become Heroic Examples To Us All. In short, as the book delineates, the point of dead heroes, is that they are dead. An additional bonus is that the now more numerous womenfolk have to be a bit nice to the men that are left if they want any nookie. This is most beneficial to society.

It can easily be seen that in terms of the first two objectives drone warfare is infinitely preferable. It enables you to have power over them, without placing yourself in danger.

Only in the third objective is it at a disadvantage. Drones produce no heroes, dead or alive. Neither can their use be relied upon to decimate your own population to relieve socio-economic pressure on scarce resources.

(Well unless they are running a Microsoft derived operating system in which case all bets are off. Like the Sopwith Camel, which killed more allied pilots than enemy, in WWI, due to its quirky nature.)

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itzman
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Quadcopter tuirbines...

So a turbine carried aloft by a fleet of quadcopters beaming power via some kind of wireless transfer, is fanciful, but is not perpetual motion. Just highly unlikely to work.

No. it is fanciful and betrays an alarming lack of understanding of physics.

In order to extract power from mechanical energy as such, you need to maintain a speed differential by some means between the things used to extract energy.

A wind turbine does this by being firmly anchored to the earth. Any free flying structure cannot extract energy from a steady wind - it will be carried along with it. Any energy you use to keep it in one (geographical) spot will negate all the energy you get out of it, by definition. It is exactly the same as building a car that extracts its motive power from a non driven set of wheels in some way. A perpetual motion machine.

The only way a free flying structure can extract energy from the wind is by exploiting velocity differences in airflow. As sailplanes do, and especially (model) dynamic soarers, that can achieve remarkable energy gains looping through wind shear.

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itzman
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Devil

Re: Ummm, no.

You echo the comment made to be by someone in the transport business 'the only thing that isn't computer controlled NOW is the steering'

His vision is of driverless and ownerless cars, that are never parked, merely stop to take on or eject passengers.

GPS and traffic control systems run them end to end up motorways and at exactly prescribed speeds on minor roads.

Radar ultrasonics and infra red allow them to detect obstacles in all weathers.

Links to a global car net allow them to be tracked, cradle to grave.

Frankly given the aptitude of a significant minority of drivers, its probably the only way forward.

(I've used the spawn of Satan icon because it looks just like a car to me.)

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Look out, law abiding folk: UK’s Counter-Extremism Bill slithers into view

itzman
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Banning?

Banning Orders for extremist organisations who seek to undermine democracy or use hate speech in public places, but fall short of proscription

Well if its applied uniformly and fairly and in a balanced way, that should see most of the far left anti this that or the other movements, most of the anti this that or the other ecological movements and most of the ant this that or the other religious movements.

All of which might be a plan IF it were indeed applied uniformly.

And pigs might fly.

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Why OH WHY is economics so bleedin' awful, then?

itzman
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Alert

What do you call a system

..that is highly interconnected, with multiple time delayed negative feedback paths and non linear responses with respect to superposition of these effects, and which has had its localised feedback paths de regulated?

Chaotic.

What do we know about chaotic systems?

They may display long term averages but these are subject to change if they flip from one attractor to another. But mostly they are unpredictable to any large degree, and they are almost impossible to control. Especially when affected by things outside the scope of control anyway.

Economics gurus and politicians who act on their prognostications are all just a bunch of Cnuts trying to stem the tides of human economic affairs.

If there is one thing that has characterised the 20th century, it is the understanding of the difficulty of applying classical science to systems that dont fall within a narrow range of 'broadly linear'

Economics, climate change...examples of the types of systems that we can only prove that we cannot offer useful predictions on.

Gödel, Turing, Lorenz, the Quantum boys...all filling our theory maps with huge areas marked 'insoluble' , 'unprovable', 'Here Be Tygers' ...as the broad tenet of Western Progressive Thought continues in the blithe assumption that humans can control anything. World government (or as big a government as we can get) is the Answer To Anything, and if money runs out well simply print more!.

Hubris and Nemesis beckon...

PS why Brenda?

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Tesla Powerwall: not much cheaper and also a bit wimpier than existing batteries

itzman
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Paris Hilton

Dating adverts?

Not me sir, but I have adblock..

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