288 posts • joined 30 Sep 2011
The pilot and passenger who originally found it estimated a diameter of 870 meters. As to cause, were I to speculate I would suggest pressurized methane beneath permafrost, with failure when pressure exceeded the strength of the permafrost. You can pick either melting permafrost or increasing methane and keep both sides of the GW debate happy.
Re: Giant Gofers
Many, many moons ago folks thought that the bones of mammoth were the remains of giant burrowing animals. Apparently that was the rationale for why all mammoth bones were found in burial contexts.
Re: Get a grip
Citation. .... "Journal of Common sense(1(1):1)
The sole reason that "special laws" are required is simply because the PTB refuse to reason analogically and apply the rational conclusion. Even a communication on paper is ephemeral and could be burnt or shredded by a rational criminal. The reality is that all information is subject to entropy and these laws are an attempt to repeal entropy for what is purported to be public safety at the expense of individual privacy.
Also, the whole "have you anything to hide" counter argument is inane. Suppose that you have a VERY good relationship with you wife, who is also world class. You're on the road, and she forwards you some explict selfies simply to make sure you remember where your interests are and keep you looking forward to getting home. That is not illegal in most jurisdictions; China and Muslim locales may be different. However, it certainly is not something you want some NSA or GCHQ squint drooling over.
You might be member of a nudist club, again not illegal, but they send a mildly encrypted newsletter periodically to let members know of up coming events, and may be it includes pix. Again, not something illegal, but as a politician the info is potentially embarrassing, AND if the news gets out you could lose a chunk of your constituency. Worse, you are expecting to vote on funding for the agency, a quiet visit from agency reps with a copy of info, not illegal but not something you want released, and there you have abuse, extortion in fact. In fact, the Snowden affair ought to make you realize that merely because some agency is supposed to be protecting you doesn't mean they are or really can. There's a reason why Washington, D.C. breathed a collective sigh of relief when JEH kicked off and it had little or nothing to do with fear of exposure of their illegal activities.
How many "A"'s in space.
Hmmm, I don't think Babcock has really thought about his question systematically. Consider, the earth is in space, English is both spoken and written on earth, as well as used by the occasional astronaut. Looking at only written English, "A" is estimated to have a frequency of slightly over 8% in written English - and note that many European languages also use "A," although they often call it "Ah". So the answer would have to be, a very large number of "A"s are in space. Unfortunately, without better data the figure will remain indeterminate.
Logic - logic - logic and a little history
The Elgin marbles, as just one instance, left Greece before the modern nation existed. The owners at the time, Ottoman Turks, were letting the marbles disintegrate, so in what way was removing and preserving them immoral? It is rather like agreeing that Argentina has some sort of legal, historical claim on the Falklands. There was no Argentina when the the Brits claimed the islands. So how could Argentina have any form of "claim" let alone a "moral" one? There is a flagrant historical ignorance in much of the politically correct silliness passed off as "morality." No one "go away" with anything. What the Greeks really ought to be demanding back is Constantinople.
What is really pathetic about this story is that there is currently no clear-cut Federal protection for fossils from the US. There are laws that lack regulations - agency policies - and whim. In effect Chinese fossils are safer in the US than the home - ah - fossilized variety.
... how common the "it shouldn't have been able to get off the ground ..." meme is in paleontology? Apparently the following dialog is very comon:
Paleontologist: I have a really large winged [brid/reptile/?]. How did it fly?
Physicist: What are the dimensions and mass?
Paleontologist: Wing span of 20 feet or more. Estimating from bone thickness, muscle attachment sites on the bones, and comparison to modern birds, about **** kg. The error in that figure will be pretty big.
Physicist: Tappity-tap, tap, tap. It couldn't.
It is pretty obvious that they got off the ground or off the water sufficiently well to appear in the fossil record for several million years. Pterodactyls and pteranodons did too, for that matter, and a few were even bigger. The problem couldn't possibly be the physics could it?
That, Stuart, is the question
The fact that the Amazon rain forest as far less extensive than at present has been known for some time. The kinds of earthworks described in the story appear in many other parts of the Amazon, notably in the north, Venezuela for instance. The simplest conclusion is that the rainforest was patchier. That patchiness would tend to increase diversity through isolation and "founder's effects," if the patches are large enough. If the rainforest were only metastable - varying between periods such as the present and periods of patchy, separated islands, the shifting between states might tend to pump selection, increasing diversity much more rapidly than we expected based on commonly held assumptions about speciation rates. Results from evolutionary algorithm implementations in computing suggest that such changes might be very rapid. The reality, is we are profoundly ignorant regarding all complex environmental systems on the planet.
Re: The rest of the world was heavily forested
In fact, that is not, well, true. Some parts were. Other parts, not so much. The western US for instance supported about one-third the number trees then that it supports at present. Available historical accounts indicate that this was probably true in the eastern US as well, but there's no photographic evidence there like we have for Yosemite. The change is that the present forest is composed of smaller trees growing closer together, in large part due to fire suppression actions since the 19th C.
Southeast Asia, which is pretty heavily enjungled (to coin a phrase) was less vegetated as well. In Thailand, the big complexes like Angor Wat and Angor Thom had to be supported by agricultural products don'tcha know. Currently, based on NASA studies, windblown dust from North Africa fertilizes Amazonia, and studies of oxygen production vs. CO2 fixation indicate that the Amazon just breaks even. Little if any excess O2 is contributed to global systems (again, this according to NASA).
Google - useless "improvements"
What is it with Google and the killing off of perfectly useable elements? Does anyone think that Google+ is really an improvement? All of a sudden everything has to be "social". Well some of us are still really, really antisocial.
I have never understood the concern with spoilers myself. You might know that "this happened" or "that happened," but the show is not about "this" or "that." It is about the process by which the story comes to "this" or "that." Only a complete lack of imagination can explain the thinking that knowing the "end" is equivalent to knowing the story. But then, I'm known to read stories back to front quite often, when the linear approach becomes too boring.
Re:... glass ....
Likely fiber glass, or is it "fibre glass" yonder? Plant fibers would explain the next. Human hair though, that sounds curious.
"A Himalayan polar bear would probably be much smaller than a modern polar bear. Large animals always become smaller when confined to an island, the Himalayas might as well be an island as far as that's concerned."
Explain this to the Kodiak brown bear please.
Re: Prejudicial? Let's be real here
The entire point of a civil trial is to prejudice the jury to your point of view, civil trials much more so than criminal trials. The sole reason for not calling names in a trial is not to protect the defendant but to protect the image of the lawyer acting for them. That lawyer doesn't want to be seen - publicly - for what they are - defenders of pond scum.
Re: If someone invented a device to extract kilowatts of electricity from the vacuum...
Eliminate patents altogether and go for trade secrets.
"Do sniper scopes have a problem with transmitting light in the wrong direction?"
In fact, they can. If you ever worked surveying using a transit or theodolite, then as the rod carrier, you can often tell the fellow on the instrument when the axis of the scope traverses your line of site. The viewing end of a rifle scope and the shooter's face should be well shaded, otherwise the optic can gather light reflected off the shooter's face and "aim" it down the scope in a beam at whatever what ever he is viewing. From a distance, the scope appears to disappear and an odd circular patch of light will appear. It won't be brilliant like reflection, but the oddity can attract attention.
Though I have forgotten the name of the software now, in the late '90s I bought a copy of an image enhancement program that was astonishing. It used a an algorithm based on fractal mathematics, and with an exemplar to work from, could yield some remarkable results that were at times on a par with television crime show fictional results. Running on a PC it was fairly slow, several hours in some instances, to render an image. I was pretty disappointed the next year when the company simply vanished. I have often wondered whether the whole thing was grabbed by guys in black helicopters.
The culprit is Microsoft and its historical Godzilla-eats-world approach to software. If the composition and finalization of documents in Word (or OO for that matter) followed a rational work flow scheme, these errors would be far fewer and fixes would be immensely easier. As is, you get software that assumes that it can do no wrong, and can do anything you need. Commonly the assumptions are wrong on both counts.
Re: What IS surprising ...
"...There are grown-up organizations using grown-up OSes and grown-up procedures ..."
Ah, but who is it that installs these OS's and implements these procedures? Oh, yes, the sysadmin. The beer's for the Sysadmin.
"That is why we'll always get over-hype of both potential disasters (SARS, swine flu,...) and over-selling of tech (superconductors, nuclear energy, wind energy, solar,...). "
The media are seriously to blame for much of this. You never read a news paper or watch a broadcast that emphasizes "things are great" or "40 Years After: How the Club of Rome Blew It," or similar non stories. Murder rates are emphasized as opposed to non-murder rates. In London the per capita homicide rate is lower than the rate CO2 is increasing. Sad, determined, minority activists are more story-worthy than millions continuing to live their lives. Media is not only entertainment, it provides politicians with "problems" with regard to which, they can be seen to be "doing something". AGW is brought to you for your amusement, not your edification.
Re: Marvin would love this news
"Scientists" that have been paid by those benefiting from denying anthropogenic climate change don't count..."
Since the vast majority of "scientific" opinions - or perhaps that ought to be scientific "opinions" - are paid by one special interest group or another, and many, mostly AGW advocates by both, your reasoning leads to the conclusion that we can ignore the entire issue and let the underfunded minority who simply want to known how things really work to get on with it.
One fact evident in the article is implicit in that stupid graph comparing two curves in complete different and unrelatable units. On the left, we have a temperature scale with a span of just over 2 degree C. On the right is a scale that is in 0.000001s / unit. The scale ranges have then been adjusted to emphasize similarity by rescaling until the apparent curves match, and so that the upturn looks serious. The most notable lack on the graph is any curve that shows how either of those "ought" to look, and that is because no one on this planet actually knows just what that might be. This debate is about as well informed as a brawl between blind drunks wearing ear muffs (so they can't hear each other) in a dark alley (in case one or more are only visually challenged).
Re: Some clarification
It could be argued that the requirement that males carry only a single X means that a much stronger filtering of disadvantageous traits on the X takes place in males. Both recessive and dominant traits on the X are expressed in males, meaning that any that are significantly disadvantageous or lethal are culled pretty aggressively by selective processes. This would moderate the effects of such genes in both males and females. The surviving genes on the Y are in fact critical to the species - well the whole class Mammalia - otherwise there would be a great deal more variation.
The XY pairing is an adaptive scheme that specifically, selectively modifies gene frequencies on the X by isolating and exposing both dominant and recessive traits to selective effects. This would be far more efficient than working through XX pairings where recessive traits are potentially masked by dominant. In fact it closely parallels the experimental method. Nature's laboratory so to speak.
Men tend to hunt, women to gather. Take that how you wish.
As I recall a poll in the mid-70s discovered that while a minority of Brits believed in God, a large majority believed in the devil, so it its pretty clear where us 'mur'cans inherited our approach to learning from. Not being religious myself, I am at a loss what the aitch-ee-double-broomsticks "belief" and "consensus" have to do with science. As far as I am concerned the jury is still out on the Big Bang, there are too many contending modifications from MND to String Theory being advanced to handle the original theory's short comings to think otherwise. Nor is there a handy guide to what properties the universe should have IF the Big Bang were wrong and Hoyle's steady state were really correct.
Concerning global warming, well of course, and laboratory experiments show quite clearly that CO2 traps LWIR energy and slows its departure from the planet. That might well constitute warming if, in the process of taking up the LWIR, the energy is converted to sensible heat. But, consider geological history and GeoCarbIV. How is it that vastly higher levels of CO2 in the past have not already triggered the apocalypse, or is someone going to insist that "man made" CO2 has magical properties that the natural stuff never had? The empirical evidence flatly disproves the hypothesis of anything seriously anomalous going on that never happened before. If CO2 were really as scary as the government funded types liked to make it out to be, we would be living on a planet that resembled Venus. Science is not about friggin' consensus and belief. It's about empirical reality, data, debate, argument and discussion.
Re: Small meteorite strike
All you do is take a new image of the area and run a difference between it and a previous image. They find new craters that way quite often on both Mars and the Moon.
Small meteorite strike
They need a scan of the location by a mapping satellite. I would say the best possiblility, given the geometry of the flash is a small meteorite strike between the more remote ridge and a slightly lower one nearer the rover.
... imports hay from California. That will be costly this year. You can bet that if they don't waste arable land raising animal feed, they won't waste acres on paper fiber crops either.
Re: Dangers to Projects ... isn't an honorable way to act.
And there you have it.
Look at themselves?
"...Apple need to have a damned good look at themselves here."
I always thought they were a bunch of narcissists any way. I doubt that they would see anything that didn't please them.
The anger of the unrealistis and the uninformed
You really need to actually read those books that mention Kissinger. If you don't learn from history, the only alternative educational system is hard knocks. Since possibly Nixon or Kennedy at least, there has been ample historical evidence that the president has come to be more and more the target for political darts, a scape goat, and has effectively nothing to do with running the country. The candidate runs for office, wins and then is informed in a secret briefing, "you are now owned." If you think about the campaign of John McCain, it seems pretty clear that he chose Palin as a running mate not because she was female, but because she was a lunatic and would guarantee he lost. A friend had come by and whispered truth about being president and he responded, "no thanks." The US government, like the UK's, consists of political mayflies who come and go, and career bureaucrats who aren't responsible to anyone. Complaining about the "promises" this president didn't keep is a waste unless you are willing to complain about the promises every president since Kennedy failed to keep.
Re: Ah yes, Colbert. Another unfunny guy.
One of the sad realities of the US these days is that the educational system really has failed. It persists in (mistakenly) encouraging every one passing through that their opinion is legitimate. I'm fairly sure this approach is behind the statistical rise in autism in the country. Psychological tests simply aren't sophisticated enough to differentiate between the actual condition and mindless self-centered egotism, but psychologists are certain their confidence in their tests is legitimate. The schools also fail to teach students to identify irony when they read, hear or see it.
Re: Detectors at beaches - Rocky Mountains????
Ah, that would be the Sierra Nevada,Klamath and Cascade mountains. The Rockies don't contribute any sediment to California beaches. On the other hand we have the Sierra Nevada which are largely granitic and thus embarrassingly radioactive. The Klamath Mountains are geologically similar and the Cascades are volcanic, and as everyone knows, or should, the energy that drives vulcanism is radioactivity.
Strontium (Sr) 90 has a half life of a little less than 29 years. If figure that Sr 90 generated by Fukushima has a point origin in time, then each since the Fukushima media disaster there has in fact been LESS Sr 90 around that can be attributed to the reactor. There's also the matter to dilution to consider. As Lewis Page pointed out, the actual amount of radio decay is only measurable in terms of decays per tonne of sea water. So, in California, where I live an breath, the only manner in which I could be exposed to Sr 90 would be through ingesting it, i.e. via sea food. And, given the extreme dilution provided by the Pacific Ocean, significant biological amplification would only occur via a route that included critters preying on or scavenging large filter feeders - whales, in other words. So frankly, speaking as a Californian, I am not concerned about radiation from Fukushima in any form. At the time of the earthquake, I explained why I was so relaxed to several acquaintances, pointing out that you pick up a bigger dose walking past the banana display in the market. A couple of them DID stop eating bananas, but the rest went on with their lives. No one was willing to give up sea food. The truth is that an article in the SF Chronicle is comparable to one in the Grauniad. For some peculiar reason the writers seem to believe that their audience consists of folks from the same small pool of worriers that spits out folks convinced that the mathematical sign of any human contribution to climate change is settled science as well. There is a reason news paper circulation is in trouble.
The allusion is self-evident. The BoFH is not. So while being beguiled by the obvious, you are plainly mislead.
Re: "He used my access to make you a domain admin?!"
I thought better of Simon. Obviously he was unwilling to confess that either "the boss" got him so pissed one night he was able pry the information out of Simon, or, like one of mine, he just said, "your access or your job. I own those machines, not you. So cough up the access." The handiest way of curing that attitude is to monitor the system and, when he starts traipsing around where he shouldn't, booby trap the system so he panics and screams for help. You then respond, "you're the admin. What did you do?"
They probably should have just had a sit down and chat with the ghost of Georg Cantor.
Re: It happens with snail mail as well
Happened to me here in the US as well. In fact, I received a late notice post-marked two weeks before the actual bill. I sent the total balance on the card - less the late payment amount, xeroxes of the cancellation stamps on the envelopes, which included their internal stamp when mailed, the card in pieces, and changed banks. They tried to collect the late payment for six months. I simply sent them copies of the envelopes with cancellations and no money.
Finally a real human called. Our discussion ended when the person admitted that if the customer is lead to expect a regular billing, and does not receive it - and the company insists on the bill stub being returned with the check before they will credit the payment - that if they, for some reason, delay mailing the billing, then despite my agreement to pay on time, I cannot, since THEY set the the "acceptable" conditions for receiving the payment, and they failed to be timely themselves. In this case they told me I was late before they actually sent out the bill. So they forgave the late payment then spent several years trying to lure me back.
Lesson learned: read the fine print. If they insist on conditions that cannot be met unless they fulfill their own responsibilities, as set out by their very own lawyers, before you can make a payment, then it is their problem.
The Mormons and the Seventh Day Adventists have sponsored a great deal of research to show that caffeine is bad for you. The bias was doctrinal (neither group uses caffeine because their understanding of their founders instructions was to avoid caffeine (coffee AND tea), though "Mormon tea" contains ephedra. The studies were often "justified" by the observation that coffee was addictive, caused jitters and heart palpitations in the extremely wired, and headaches for those enduring withdrawal. The puritanical reasoning was that "it's a drug (and the drinkers really enjoy it), therefore it MUST be bad for you."
The rebuttal research was often funded by coffee industry money and by folks who really wanted their morning coffee (or tea). But their initial views were often more or less summarized as, "caffeine isn't 'that' addictive, so it really isn't a strong drug, and its more harmless than alcohol." They were largely hoping for a "mostly harmless" finding. So, the discovery that there really did appear to be benefits to coffee and tea were actually a surprise to both groups. You will note that the wikipedia entry is considerably more negative in the initial paragraphs, but then is described as mostly harmless - even pregnant women can consume up to two cups a day of a drug that is labeled as both a teratogen and a mutagen. So, clearly the debate goes on.
The irony is that while the evidence that caffeine is harmful to individuals is mostly absent, socially it has been considered a threat for several centuries. It has been outlawed far more often than any other drug until the drug wars of the last century.
Re: Very interesting read!!
One of the ironies here is that in an article about the use of prior art to invalidate a claim, we see the old saw about Galileo and his telescope. That the earth revolves around the sun is a self-evident fact to anyone who spends time observing the night sky for a few years and bothers to consider even briefly the fact that the "cycle" of the stars is slower than the cycle of of the sun. It is simply the simplest way to understand what you see. Ptolemy had to postulate multiple independent shells, a complex view that needed several miraculous elements to operate unseen before it could make any sense. The alternative view is much simpler, since it all can be drawn from everyday experience. Omar Khayyam considered the sun the center of the system long before Galileo and reached that conclusion using only the Mark 1 eyeball.
Re: probably should have left it
I can tell you that there are big organizations that will call employees in to let them know "we are going to reduce your pension/ rehire you all to reduce seniority/ *&^% you over in general because we can and want to..." and then tell you, "you are not to discuss this with anyone." Healthcare providers can be particularly egregious that way. "We particularly do not want you discussing this where patients may hear you. They might mistakenly get the idea that we really don't give a flying &*^T$%# about their care or safety (well we don't but they don't know and don't need to)."
The pay was not "market based." You probably should take a few remedial reading lessons. Oracle was not proposing to have the Indian employee work in India, where 50K a year would indeed be good pay, but in the US, where it is not that thrilling, at all. Being Irish, Spandow's family history, like mine, probably has some stories of just how difficult it could be to Irish in England or the US merely because of your last name. The odds are that the Indian employee was considerably better educated than the louts in HR any way and was worth a great deal more in a real "market" than an HR would be.
A market is negotiated. When HR sets the pay scale unilaterally, biases offers based on hopeful ignorance, and won't negotiate in in good faith, there really isn't a "market." In fact, the market ower should all on the other side. Oracle is proposing to "buy" skilled labor to produce a product that none of the HR staff or - likely - company management are competent to produce. Unions came into existence to deal with that kind of crap.
I worked at a hell desk because my employer decided to tack on ISP to the various other services he provided - which mostly involved archaeological investigations. During the period while he was running the system up, we were drafted as "help." One new account holder called in and I took the call. He was upset because during the two weeks he had held the account, he had received no mail "from the E." He fully expected his mail box to contain all the typical crap the shows up in the standard snail-mail box. I signed him up for several spam sources and he was there after a happy camper. As far as I can see, Google+ (and most other "social" networking) is for people like him.
The sole reason I ever acquired a gmail address was as a means around send and receive attachment size limits on my "real" email account.
Re: Off Topic
Depends on where your reside. In the US your name, DOB, and a social security no., and your well on the way to a passport you never knew you applied for.
Re: Hate G+
No argument. One of the most horrible interfaces deployed in the last decade. What I want is antisocial networking: deFacebook, shoottheangrylittlebirds, noSpace, ....
Re: actively trying to invalidate applications by searching for prior art.
The true problem with "prior art" is that it often is not patented. All too often the "inventor" is a mediocrity who has *had an idea* and the experience is so overwhelming, he or she patents the idea simply because they have discovered their own personal brilliance. Corporations treated as people are even worse since their "creativity" is entirely parasitic - yeah maybe they did pay some shmuck to write a program or "design" a prism with rounded corners, but the "corporation," per se, never produced or invented anything.
Re: Haven't you seen Fringe ?
That, my lad, was a shaped charge, which was designed to direct the explosive energy at a specific target. A USB stick is a different form factor, and unless the "stick" was specially engineered, would pretty much result in an explosion into the compartment rather than directed into the bulk head.
Re: So what's to be done?
You may want to reread some history. The Sunni and Shiites have been in conflict longer than the Catholics and Protestants by several centuries. Various outside interests may very well have taken a hand in conflicts between the two in the hopes of an advantage here and there. That is not "engineering" a conflict, merely opportunism - well opportunism like throwing gasoline on a fire. The fire was already alight though, and there was and is no sign of it dying down.
Propeller avoidance - hmmm
"...never knowingly getting into anything with propellers...."
Never really considered how your garden variety jet air craft engine operates I see. Short of a ram jet or a rocket no plane propulsion system in use is lacking in canted blades on rotating wheels that pull/push air for either direct propulsion or to compress it. Real prop jobs also usually glide better too.
Re: Liveblogging "At the Fedoras of Madness"
OpenSuse 13.1 can be a problem. I actually forget what the problem was now - only a month - but that hang does have a fix, which, IIRC, has to do with the floppy driver. Unfortunately the fix is to manage the hardware BIOS settings at POST rather than a fix in the OS. It took me several days to track down the fix. The probelm is actually a zombie bug that has risen from older releases. Apparently the pain of discarding code once written can be so painful that the authors may fail to delete older versions with known bugs. They then resurrect the buggy code in "new" releases. The pathetic part of this is that this something Microsoft was notorious for, with particularly egregious examples repeated in the history of Excel's development over a span of nearly 10 years.
You think so?
"...spammers just trying everything@the_domain," Grooten told El Reg. "That’d be a huge waste of resources – and I’ve never seen it happen."
With a computer to roll the dice, the procedure is childishly simple and involves minimal work for the spammer. I've received spam where the cc list is open and it is quite clear that a machine is generating permutations of strings and firing off emails to each email@example.com in batches. By scanning the bounced "no-such-address" responses the list can then be refined to active email addresses. Someone who wanted to stay away from the strictly illegal side of things could then compile and sell lists of "good" email addresses. I've suspected this for years since I've received identically sourced spam simultaneously to different addresses that are specifically "purposed." Much of it was "legitimate" spam attempting to market some POS I had no interest in. Others carried payloads of trojans or viruses.
- Updated Hidden network packet sniffer in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
- Students hack Tesla Model S, make all its doors pop open IN MOTION
- BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
- PROOF the Apple iPhone 6 rumor mill hype-gasm has reached its logical conclusion
- US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account