229 posts • joined Friday 30th September 2011 20:44 GMT
Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.
Four-ways work atleast. Mini-roundabouts are accident generators. There's nothing like coming into one when the yahoo coming in the opposite direction decides to make a left the wrong way 'round - in the US going clockwise around the circle instead of counter-clockwise. Little aware that they are the cause, they scream about right of way, despite traveling the wrong way in the lane.
My own favorite traffic "calming" measure is the widened divider at a non-stop intersection, which causes traffic to swerve toward the Class II bicycle lane. I call these setups "bicyclist elimination zones." It offends every traffic engineer I've tried it on too!
Pretty sure ...
"Without radical progress in reducing the speed of the Mars journey ..."
I'm pretty sure you would want _increased_ speed. There are several propulsion systems being studied that appear to be practical and would decrease trip significantly once they are deployed.
Always my favorite. Tom Baker was also excellent, but not to my mind as good as Pertwee, who had a sense of style that I liked. None of the Doctors were ever bad per se though, so its down to personal preferences.
Re: The Tooth Fairy and Molten Salt Thorium Reactors
Read more. There are other types of Th reactors that don't require fuel in the form of rods. Wikipedia isn't always your best source. For instance, look up the first operating Thorium reactor and why it was closed down. No miracle involved at all.
Open source is not inherently safe, just safer. For instance, no matter how clean the code is, a back door could be inserted into the compiled executable through the compiler or assembler, if they were compromised before being compiled. It could even be lurking in the code in the hardware on the compiling system.
Re: Cool..but also oddly disturbing
We toss ours over the fence into the county forensic science center's lot.
Re: Cool..but also oddly disturbing
"We also known from the history of the Earth that there isn't space for multiple sentient species."
No we don't. What we know is that there does not appear to be "room" for multiple *technological* species. That is a very different kettle of fish. We occupy a singular ecological niche based upon our dependence on externals to survive. That would place us in direct, ecological competition with any other species that required tools and extracted materials for basic survival. But, there are plenty of species that are highly intelligent, yet do not need recourse to tools to survive. Some, like some crows are capable of manufacturing tools and even your common west coast scrub jay is bright enough to manipulate environmental objects to bring food into reach. I've seen them do it. They are not however dependent upon tools. Very different situation.
Re: Cool..but also oddly disturbing
Life only evolves once it appears. You might say that the distinguishing characteristic of life is the manner in which it adapts and evolves.
One of the problems with any guess at the occurrence of life and intelligence in the galaxy is that up until the current generation of 'scopes, we had only our own planet and our own solar system as sample. The reasonable hypothesis was always that the solar system was not atypical, even if we could not see any planets out there. If that was true, was the earth atypical? No real answer, but the fact was, the earth IS atypical in the solar system. But is it atypical because life is present, or is life present because the planet is atypical? What we now know is that the most unusual aspects of earth are due to the presence of life. The evolving knowledge base suggests that life is much more likely to be common than to be rare. As regards intelligence, there are plenty of nominally intelligent species on earth. Human's stand out because we adapt through "extrasomatic" means: tools, clothes, language, etc. Now we find that not even those are strictly limited to humanity, merely the scope with which we depend upon them. Bayes theorem says, given the new data we have, that we are no more unique than earth like planets are.
Mmmh, punch cards
The mention of punch cards and the delays really took me back. I recall seeing a woman walking toward the computer center with two large boxes of punched cards. Not sure how many. If it had been paper, she would have been carrying at least a thousand sheets. Give the sive of punch cards maybe twice that many? Anyway, she tripped on a bit of poor pavement and all those cards went flying. She just sat down on the sidewalk and wept.
Tchah. "Real" humans use tools. Says so right in the manual.
Re: In Idaho...
In Idaho, three quarters of the population are still puzzled by the absence of a dial on their cell phone.
WP's file format was at least easy to clean up. Word in comparison was and is a nightmare when it breaks. The thing I didn't like about WP was that it would accumulate orphaned formatting codes. By default deleting text didn't delete the formatting. A document could grow astonishingly. I had an employer who asked me to look at his document because although it was only 4 pages long, it was terribly slow to print. I opened view codes or whatever it used to be called and discovered that 90% of his doc was orphaned codes. I deleted them and things worked fine. He almost fainted though when he saw the size of the new document. Thought I had deleted most of his work.
Re: Slightly fruity comparison
You obviously either didn't look at that chart link or you didn't understand. Two Fukushima workers experienced potentially hazardous dose according to the chart (http://xkcd.com/radiation/) and that chart actually takes a darker view of the situation than other sources do. None of the surrounding population was. If you have had one or more sunburns during your life, you are as threatened as they are respecting cancer incidence. As regards bananas instead of thinking about the "world" eating bananas, considered walking by that bright yellow pile in the produce section. A shipload of the fruit can set off radiation detectors.
You can buy into the "be afraid" meme, but that won't protect you from radiation. You need to avoid bananas, long distance jet travel, ski vacations, brick, granite, medical scans, live at the lowest elevation above sea level you can, and absolutely avoid tans and sunburn. That of course leads to an entire raft of other health issues, since you need to be exposed to some ionizing radiation for your system to produce vitamin D. Happy paranoia.
Re: so here I am
"In the comments, looking for an explanation that will make sense of this to me. ..."
And you're looking for this on The Reg. eh?
You need to learn to count, or perhaps learn some geography. That big blobby spot south of the big northern blobby spot is another continent called "South America", because it is in fact south of North America. Even counting the Isthmus of Panama as part of North America, which might start an argument down there, there are only seven countries in North America that are south of the US. And in all of So. America there are - I believe - only 12 countries. There are only 21 countries in both continents combined. So, where does this "30+" come from?
Re: Truth or consequences
Going medieval on a bully can be an extraordinarily satisfactory experience, even you get suspended. One good out come is that word goes round not pester you 'cause you're one crazy offspring of biologically incompatible species.
Re: Truth or consequences
Off hand, it wasn't the "thought crime" that was the real issue. It was the "potty mouth" aspect, which plainly indicates the school failed to inculcate any degree of artistry or originality in his use of English. Of course it would bring the school into disrepute. With the whole range of the language Shakespeare wrote in, he's using f****** and c***? Pathetic. Of course, the headmaster's concern with "individualism" is pathetic too, though he really should have found the lack of linguistic originality to reassuring in that regard.
Re: more info please
So, the crater is somewhere between 443 million and 12,900 years old. That is one heck of an error margin.
Puns like that give me the Willis.
Re: That's nice then
"I've always wondered why people want to blame a small number of new arrivals to the American continent ..."
It's obvious, they weren't just the first Americans, they were also the first Canadians. Canada's fault once more.
Probably MS Word hickup
You know how it goes. You've been redacting crap all day. You've one last doc to complete. It's over and you can head for a beer! You tell the system to shut down. That aggravating message from Word pops up and you answer honestly - forgetting that there was one last redaction you hadn't saved.
Have you ever ...
... wondered why the SPCA really exists? Birds, especially ones that travel long ranges in particular would be easy to ban during a bird flu scare. The chicken population in China still hasn't recovered and they barely fly.
The difference between nation states and terrorist organizations is merely historical time spans. Nation states are mostly confident that they have the upper hand and don't need to brandish the stick often, while terrorists have not yet attained that goal, though the Taliban had some hopes in that direction some years ago. Read history and learn from it. Look at the War of the Roses, the English Civil War and Restoration, the American Revolution, why the Cajuns live in Louisiana, French Revolution, American Civil War, the Indian Mutiny, or the Boer War just to name a very few. The difference is merely that the governments of Nation States have terrified their populations into playing nicely by the rules and to mainly keep their mouths shut if the rules appear to be one sided. We are trained (brainwashed from birth) to see those outside pale and think, "there but for the grace of my nation state go I."
Did any of you lot actually read the article?
That really is precisely what the article links to suggests - or not - depending upon the reader's initial view. The slight elevated risk of cancer actually would simply bring the worker life expectancy to near population normal rates. Without sorting out nuclear-plant workers from the general population first and then comparing the Fukushima workers specifically against that subpopulation no effect would be detectable. Even using the subsampling would be problematic because the effect on the rate is "slight." The fact is that without a much larger population of exposed workers the measurable effect will be lost in statistical noise. Also, different types of radiation present different hazard levels. As long you don't ingest or inhale alpha emitters, alpha radiation is nearly harmless. The outer layers of the skin, which are basically a dead armor, will be sloughed off and no effects should actually enter the living part of the system. UV from sunlight is more hazardous.
The effectiveness of the evacuation is in fact unknown. The exposure of the population would be in general lower than that experienced by the workers at the plant. The given the size of the evacuated population, the statistics would very likely reveal what affect the exposure might have had, if they had remained in place. As it is, some people might have had their lives shortened by the exposure, but you would never be able to say which. Instead, we really do know how many died because of the evacuation and who those were. Personally, I'm not sure which is better.
Re: The US Gov Bureaucrats have chosen their course
In fact, and I say this in great embarrassment, being an American, the US in general tends to lag behind but slavishly follow British trends. The result is that our anti-gun laws lag Britain's by about 50 years are catching up rapidly. We came up with the NSA after seeing how cool GCHQ worked. Cameras monitoring public areas are increasing in numbers but are still far, far behind the completeness of coverage in Britain. Random police checks are bolder now, again following Britain's lead. Indeed in Texas they have apparently taken to roadside body cavity searches in some counties, which may an innovation even by Britain's standards. I have a friend who wanted to spend time in the British Museum - having acquired a Classics degree - in the lat '90s. He was held and questioned at Heathrow for several hours - apparently because they suspected his red hair might indicate an Irish-based anti-British sympathy, which he indeed had developed by the time they let him go. In the US there is a growing movement to target people with turbans, though the majority of these are Sihks and despise Muslims. So, we may catch up yet.
Re: @Facebook and @Google
"For any septics reading, on the world map ...."
Gotta watch them "septics" dontcha know.
Re: anything that goes through a US controlled satellite is slurped.
Pretty sure the US military has been supplying satellite communications bandwidth to Brazil for years.
Re: America is not the land of the free
The US constitution, or more the Bill of Rights, is about all the country has going for it. What's not worth a bean is the average citizen of the US, who couldn't care less about their constitutional rights until they accidentally find them selves interred in Gitmo by mistake, or gagged by some one who sued because of hurt feelings over some non-pc utterance. The "Constitution" is "the law" in the sense that Kipling wrote of in MacDonough's Song. Read it, understand it. I've spoken with Vietnamese immigrants who had a better grasp of the constitution than most high school graduates and more than half the lawyers you'll meet.
Re: NT owes a lot to OS/2
You obviously never browsed through the system files from early versions of NT. A very larger number contained "OS2" in the name. When MS and IBM broke up, they each walked off with rights to use major chunks of the OS/2 code they had jointly developed to that time, and they did. MS brought out NT while IBM continued to work on OS/2. It was the early, basal layer of OS/2 that actually owed a great deal to VMS. The common GUI elements of both Win95 and NT were first implemented in OS/2, which, with 3.0 had a superior GUI to Windows. I used both and OS/2 was much more like one of the better Linux desktops than Windows with a graphical terminal window and a macro language far superior to what was available in the DOS terminal. It had for instance a superior terminal mode. MS wanted to completely eliminate the terminal but so far has failed miserably.
Microsoft's dominance came about through the fact that it gave away Office with new systems for several years. The company had the MS "tax" on CPUs to lean on as a revenue stream and by "giving away" Windows and Office with a new computer could then rely on user laziness and inertia to lead new customers to register and then pay for "upgrades" = bug fixes.
Actually, years ago - well decades really - the electric universe idea even got play in Scientific American. Some of the empirical elements such as Alfven Waves are still important ideas and were observed for instance on the sun in 2011. The most important proponent of the idea was Hannes Alfven, who won a Nobel in 1970. Details of the structure of objects like the "Red Suare Nebula" - http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110323.html - are less difficult to explain using EU concepts than when using standard gravitational model ideas. So, no, not one guy working out of his basement. Just a non-mainstream theory that doesn't get much respect these days.
Honestly, bicyclists are worse than drunks
I would rather see bicyclists off the streets until they start obeying traffic laws. They ignore a stop sign and Darwin has his way, but the driver of the vehicle somehow or other is at fault. I think the police ignore bicycle traffic violations because either the assume bicyclists are too poor to bother with, or that they are a self-correcting problem. They're worse in the country when you common around a curve headed downhill with a ton of hay in the back. You can meet 20 or 30 out for a ride and taking up the whole road. And bicyclists texting!!!
Re: wrapping your motor around a [..] telegraph pole
Ah, but is there actual telegraph wire on it, or is it really a telePHONE pole?
How to survive the country life
First, if you're from the city, stay there. If you simply must move, - e.g. the FBI has shipped you off for witness protection, then learn how to slack. That means don't drive fast on country roads. They have curves, and thanks to your stupid driving you'll miss one real soon, and some poor farmer will have to fix the fence to keep the cattle in BEFORE he calls 911 for you. Next, don't drive fast because you're sure to run into some local who stopped to have a chat with a pal and didn't pull out of the road - it IS the country y'know. Also, don't lobby the county to straighten the roads and fair the curves in the roads. They can't remove all the curves. So you drive faster, which is what you wanted. However, that just makes the clean up after the accident easier since the fire department can simply use a hose, and the family can save money on a very cheap empty casket cremation.
When it comes to guns, do take that hunter safety course. Don't carry a chambered round - the former vice president is not someone to emulate. Do clear the chamber BEFORE looking down the barrel, and be sure you target practice using a back stop. If your neighbors think you are shooting at them, - well, they have guns too and might shoot back.
Being an American
I'm saddened to say that even though this appears to be an improvement, until the majority of that "1 in 5" can actually explain the idea coherently, the improvement is a snare and a delusion. The sad truth is that even most American biology teachers are unable to point to the natural phenomenon that Darwin and Wallace singled out as the mechanism that leads to speciation. They are also generally astonished to hear that Darwin almost never used the "term" evolution, and didn't name his theory with the word, but then they have generally never read Origin of Species either.
Re: Passion is one thing
" Passion is one thing
But why do people believe it's ok to cross the line into abusiveness?"
And submitting crap code ISN'T abusive? You need to examine your priorities. Linux is used in a wide range of very critical applications from core networking to military. Sharp's "you shouldn't be mean to me" attitude glances aside form the fact that she and her people are quite literally making life harder for - abusing that is - numerous others, thousands, in fact. By that standard, Linus isn't even intemperate, and Sharp ought to go into politics where she can do more harm more efficiently. It's evident that she is not "leading" her team, or holding them to any kind of quality standard.
Re: But did you damage
Good point. Here in the USofA the use of 4X4 mode is often by citiy types getting to the ski areas. 4-High is definitely useful in bad weather, though you encounter the occasional knot head who ignored the advice about maximum speed. They don't understand why the vehicle smells bad now and has smoke leaking out from under it.
Re: Gotta hand it to the yankees, though
Won't work. Yankees is a baseball team.
Re: Gotta hand it to the yankees, though - not really, long tradition we inherited
Let's see, who was it that coined the term "Great Game?" I'm sure it wasn't an American. You also have to admit that nearly everything we know about espionage - and well just about everything we know - came from Britain don'tchaknow. Pretty sure the US wasn't involved in the shenanigans that lead up to WWI, that was all over there in Europe. I suspect that only way to "take hypocrisy to a whole new level" would be to push historical ignorance in the same direction. Then there is GCHQ which, as my history books say, was founded for signals "intelligence" after WWI and became GCHQ in 1946. Did a whole raft of useful work in WWII as well out of Bletchley Park. I rather suspect that the idea of Echelon came from that inspiration, and from that ultimately PRISM. The only thing special about this situation is that the maroons that run things here in the US0fA were too cost conscious to demand funding to do work in house. Besides, weren't the Germans kvetching about GCHQ snooping just a few days ago?
It was clearly a waste of good gin.
Ah the joys of theory vs reality
It is true that in general the world's population is on average better off now than 100 years ago, yet the divergence between mean and median has increased and the median has moved leftward steadily releative to mean income. Curiously though, the same basal level of poverty is still the start point for that spread. That is, the poorest people to day are precisely as poor as they were a century ago and precisely as well equipped as ever. You need only look at the poor in Indian cities, the "troll" populations lurking under bridges and overpasses in the US, the slums of Rio de Janeiro to verify that the truly poor are in fact not better off now than they have ever been. Dirt poor remains dirt poor and has seen no "relative improvement." What really has changed is the spread between the wealthy and poorest. In the US the "one percent" is largely a product of those "efficient markets." Likewise, the wealth "created" really is not primarily goods. The fractional reserve banking system permits banks to issue money. Not the government - banks. If you worry about inflation look to your bank and the interest it charges vs. the interest it pays you. That spread really is inflationary.
Go ahead. Dig it deeper.
Re: Radio astronomers bleating for the front page...
Key to getting to where you want to go efficiently is knowing where you are. That is true in reality and metaphorically. If you think that 1066 hasn't any impact on your life today, maybe to you need an English class and discover why we raise cattle but eat beef, or why people have "sex" these days rather than do what the Anglo Saxons did. If you think that dinosaurs are relevant to your life, maybe you should try operating a car without oil - I know, oil isn't composed of dinosaurs, but you want to consider how to _find_ oil, and how dinosaurs and other extinct critters might help in that. "Ooh! Shiny!" isn't just the way the future manifests, it also how the future of thousands of animals was truncated quite abruptly in the La Brea tar pits. Thousands more saw the mired animals, and thought "Ooh! Easy food!," instead of considering whether that tar could be a problem for eaters as well as eatees. In fact, if you really aren't willing to learn from the past, your future is very likely going to be constrained to grumpy crotchiness about all this new fangled stuff because all that new fangled stuff is built using knowledge gathered in the past.
Re: NSA Snoops on YOU
You want to consider the origins of Hotmail. It and Yahoo Mail and AOL (I think) all became operational in the mid '90s. Before that we had netcom.com and a couple of other services that have since vanished away, or we connected through a local ISP. As I recall a lot of us thought that ideas like AOL, Yahoo and Hotmail and MSN weren't all that bright an idea if you were really interested in anonymity on the internet. I recall explaining to a lot of hand-waving little dears, while manning the hell desk, that you really didn't need to be a "member" of Yahoo or AOL, that a web browser and a knowledge of the http address a search engine like Altavista were all you really needed to navigate the web, and that they could quite easily use the email address the company had assigned them for any email communications they needed to make. That was got me started reading BOFH and User Friendly.
Candidates - neglecting the obvious
The obvious would be a private black-hat firm specializing in deniable espionage with contracts including the US, China, and others. The targets might be a client list as well.
Win95? - bah
I suspect the author may not be old enough to remember clearly. At the time Win95 came out, the most notable thing about the interface was the slavish way it copied OS/2 (3.0 IIRC). I actually had an argument with a Winfant that ended when I showed him my system and explained just how long it had been installed. Win95 was not particularly attractive. The capabilities of the interface were comparatively limited. It didn't have REXX. If it had a BSOD hick up, reinstallation might be your only choice, while with OS/2 you could step back through configuration changes and software installations until things worked. Files didn't remember what created them. The text editor didn't suck, and you could easily shift to another if you liked. Yeah, you can do that in Windows now, sort of, after a fashion. The thing is, it was default behavior in OS/2 in 1994! Unless you had a hardware failure, you never lost your system. Files remembered what created them. The text editor didn't suck, and you could easily change the default to another if you liked.
Re: Did Simon forget
My favorite was an elderly couple whose son had given them a used computer. They were keeping their household books on it. Called out to upgrade the software for their book keeping and discovered that the son hadn't bothered to explain what a floppy disk, or that their computer had a floppy drive. They had been under the impression for three years(!!) that the slot in the front of the computer was for ventilation.
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