65 posts • joined Thursday 16th August 2012 18:07 GMT
Can't find programmers? Unbelievable
The culture of bullshit dictates that hot air trumps true ability by an infinite margin, every time. In this country, any useless, second-rate middle manager rates himself higher than the most accomplished technical expert. The most mediocre entrepreneur or "hipster" who is unfit to run a corner shop yet opens a "business" backed by his money or his mates in high places to achieve some mundane aim, will treat technical staff as "boffins", in the pejorative sense of the term (skilled monkeys), nothing but an uncomfortable resource to be exploited and squeezed in order to increase profit margins. Then all of a sudden: "we can't get enough programmers!". Oh dear...
Re: Google and vocal chords
I'm not using someone's misfortune to make an unrelated point. I'm pointing out that occasional news about super-rich and powerful personalities, who seem ever so friendly and innocuous and victims of circumstances, but just happen to also be running massive, corporations which potentially threaten our freedoms, could be mere propaganda intended to make us view these huge and powerful companies in a kinder light than we should. They appear to be a smokescreen. It's not necessarily unrelated. I apologise if it sounds offensive to you, but if you consider the matter carefully, it shouldn't be.
Google and vocal chords
This business about fresh-faced Mr. Page and the other young and carefree co-founder of Google whose name I forget - is it some kind of soap opera or what? They are so cute and cuddly, you would be forgiven for thinking that it is really just a front to make people look kindly on what is a huge mega-corporation which strikes deals with governments and security agencies worldwide and which, apart from providing some very useful tools as bait, which are used by countless people on a day-to-day basis, engages in what we might see as very nasty business practices that seriously dent our freedom, and shamelessly uses our behaviour and day-to-day activities as a product from which it profits. Is this an unpopular thing to say, or do other people share this view?
This article mentions beef requiring 8 kg of feed to produce 1 kg of meat. But apart from the fact that the 1 kg of beef produced is more nutritionalistical or whatever the word is than 1 kg of feed, I recently spoke to a commercial vet who deals with battery farmed chickens and he told me that the ratio of kg(feed):kg(chicken) is between 1 and 2. So you would be better off eating chickens than eating insects (ratio of around 2), and less grossed out, than you would be if you follow the advice of the nutters. The only ones who would be less well off are the chickens of course.
I like the way they always claim that this kind of thing is "necessary to increase computer and digital literacy". You might believe from these boastful claims that they are planning to teach people how computers work so they can repair them / program them / administer them / use them to create amazing stuff. But no, rather than increase teachers' salaries, or improve the sports facilities of schools, or reduce class sizes, they are investing in electronic blackboards, digital examinations and methods of learning akin to media consumer activities. None of this is bound to improve people's abilities and knowledge. There's no evidence that cutting out or skimping on the basics improves people's abilities. But if creating a generation of idiots is the aim, then this is spot on. A generation of idiots don't need to know how to write, to read, to do algebra and arithmetic. They need to be able to use a TV and the Internet and answer clever multiple choice questionnaires about the social relevance of Rihanna or the teachings to be derived from TV documentaries.
Re: Inertial? no way -"Still, it would be WAY better to have that for a grenade launcher."
"Far more people in history have been killed with small, cheap weapons that with large, complex ones. If you must develop these things, make it so only governments can afford them."
If you "must develop these things"? Wow. And why would you want to let 'governments' have a monopoly on weapons? Do you think that it will make our lives better and lead to fewer people getting killed?
I know this is going to sound controversial - but I never understood the principle of people paying for television sets. TV is mostly about conditioning and FUD, i.e. subtle, fun but highly effective mind-control. And yet we keep getting excited about better, thinner, higher resolution ways of having our imagination and free-thinking propensities sapped away. We even think it normal to pay a yearly tax for the privilege. I suppose this is similar to paying tithes to the church - which my eccentric mind sees as the predecessor of today's TV.
Laptops and tablets
It was always strange seeing teenagers and golden oldies and housewives and other consumers using massive 15" laptops or even netbooks. It was such a contrived way of achieving their aim: which was to communicate, view photos and cat videos, "consume content". Now there are products for this that are less contrived and easier to carry around, and so consumers are opting for them.
Poor results? More than 9 billion dollars in just 3 months! Man I need some poor results like those. I dream of your poor results! I slobber at the thought of your poor results. My greedy but empty fingers itch to become miserly claws in anticipation of sharing in your poor results. Almost every person on earth, all companies, even the big banks would sell their own...well, the banks don't have grandmothers but if they did, you could just imagine massive pens full of millions of grandmothers, branded Barclays or HSBC Prime Stock, being sold off in bulk at markets throughout the world. This is A. Cowshed's vision of the world, as distorted by the comment "poor results" in the article.
The other day my daughter aged 10 came to me saying: I'm glad I won't live for a hundred year. Why? I asked her. "Because the world is going to be destroyed by CO2 and we won't have anything to eat and the land will be flooded by the sea and it will be terrible". "Don't worry about the CO2" I told her. "When I was 10 years old (more than 30 years ago), I was coming home from school scared and telling my parents that we were soon going to have another ice age, everything would be freezing cold, we were all going to die, and on top of that, the oxygen and the water would be running out soon anyway. Plus the Chinese were going to invade any moment. The things they teach kids in school, eh! No wonder education is compulsory.
Nokia didn't seem to care
I once had a Nokia 8300 (I think that's what it was called). This was the coolest smartphone I've ever had. Clamshell; keyboard; decent functionality; quality stuff. I had to give it away, though, because it had no 3G. e-mails would take ages to download, at a time when connection costs were charged per minute, not per Mb.
All Nokia would have had to do to keep people like me and attract others was continue improving this device, adding 3G, making it a little lighter maybe. Putting in a touch-screen? But they simply discontinued the model instead and replaced it by a huge monstrosity that tanked.
So: goodbye serious business mobile phone, hello toys: iphone, android.
If one day we can look forward to having supercomputers the size of an Ipad, what will the massive computing thingies of that day which are the size of a warehouse and cost zillions of US dollars be called?
Re: Not to defend Israel, but....
That's bollocks. Some of us don't care about this Middle East business, and don't take sides with disputes that don't concern us, but we do enjoy reading the comments when the topic crops up, because it's always interesting to watch people go bananas on either side.
Culture of bollocks strong is, with British government, Luke. Feel the bollocks!
Bastard scuba diving scum depriving our great people of their internet - we'll show them
Once upon a time there was a naughty President who elected himself and lorded it over his subjects for 30 years, backed by a powerful army. Then he got a bit too old and greedy, and he didn't want to go away, so there was a completely spontaneous and genuine revolution of the people and the army,,,against the police. This revolution ushered in a tremendously democratic government which then proceeded to secure the achievements of the revolution by passing laws which would make it impossible for people to challenge, criticise or remove them from power - in order to protect the fledgling democracy.
Some people grumbled. They dared to say that this was not good. That this was not what they'd "fought for in the streets". They started worrying that this government might "take away their newfound freedoms" or something like that.
But that's fixed now. We found the people who were trying to take away your newfound freedom, honourable comrades of the revolution, and we're telling it to you the way you want to hear it: on facebook. Three dastardly scuba divers with significantly non-Egyptian facial features were found at the bottom of the sea, trying to cut your internet cable. We are interrogating them and I promise you, we will find out who sent them, and deal with them appropriately. We'll keep you posted on facebook. Tada. YOUR friendly revolutionary gov.
Easy way out
Lack of knowledge about what's going on + lack of will or ability to develop suitable but highly complicated theory + support by famous people whose brilliance is authenticated time and again and must be taken for granted + ever so slightly lax standards in logic and experimentation = new religion.
Re: What a joke!
Dear Matt 21,
You are far too perceptive, you sussed me out in no time. I'm an American indeed. Or at least an aspiring American, an American in spirit, you might say. If someone were to offer me a green card, I would doubtless take it. Who knows, it could be fun.
I am also sorry to have intimated that the EU's bureaucrats take kick-backs and to have lied about not knowing how much they earn.
Re: What a joke!
There's no need to feel sorry or not sorry for Microsoft or the EU. Microsoft is a company making billions of $ in profits, selling the same stuff (albeit updated) to people again and again. They probably have loads of contracts with the EU. As for the EU, it's full of burocrats. How many are there? How much does each of them earn, tax free? How much do they claim as expenses? I don't know.
The eurocrats, who are skimming off masses of money from taxpayers in the EU, want a piece of the Microsoft action. They introduce a requirement for Microsoft to put up an annoying and time-wasting screen on its OS. Nobody in their right mind cares about this screen, it's more an inconvenience than anything else. Microsoft does or doesn't comply. Result: massive fine / kick-back. Everybody profits, Microsoft keeps its contracts, part of your cash ends up in the eurocrats' bank account but that's always happening and this way, you don't feel the pain.
There is a kind of cult of self and lack of imagination, with scientists wanting to be famous and have their picture in the papers (to paraphrase a famous aria composed in the 1980s). They will do anything to pander to one another and get bonus points. They desperately hang on to the flawed theories of their peers, using all their power, training and influence to try to justify them, while avoiding at all cost any departures from the established canon which can lead to banishment and excommunication.
Something else: the greatest threat faced by the USA nowadays is? Computer hacking. Compare that with the greatest threat faced by places like...Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, soon maybe Iran...These guys don't know how lucky they are, still living in the era of physical and military threats.
China, 1.3 billion people, an economy of around 11 trillion USD, an army of 2-3 million personnel, and...oh, they have hackers working for them; all their hackers operate from one crummy building in the suburbs of Shanghai; they are so powerful and unstoppable, they can do whatever they want and they're a massive threat to the whole of the USA. All that coming from just one little building in the sticks. Imagine what would happen if the Chinese decided to think big and rented out 2, 3 or even 100 buildings like that, or even bigger buildings. They could take over the world.
Dark matter, it makes up 95% of the universe, that's absolutely enormous. To give you an idea, that's 19-20 times more dark matter than the entire observable and non-observable "normal" matter in the universe.
And yet...bear in mind that for the time being, until proven otherwise, dark matter, all this enormity many times more extensive than the universe that we can see, exists solely as an imaginary device to compensate for holes in current theories in physics and astrophysics.
Just like those theories which require 9 or 13 dimensions to work, or vibrating strings, it's fancy stuff, but fundamentally, it's a sign that the basic theory is flawed and incomplete, hence extraneous and inobservable elements are brought in to try to compensate. It's mathematical trickery, it ain't physics yet. But hopefully it leads to better theories and better instruments and more in-depth observations in the end.
The boss of SpaceX is a billionnaire who founded Paypal or some oither similar, highly popular company. He does not design the rockets or the cars of Tesla. He backs these ventures using his cash. And he basks in the limelight and the glory. And he also can pull nice looking birds as a result.
This battery swapping idea is utter bollocks, the kind of idea that sees a sledgehammer used to break an egg, an idea which would be so wasteful and restrictive that it would send thousands of people down a path of enormous cost, lack of flexibility, and ultimately loss of their investment. An idea born of corporate types with little imagination but lots of contacts and hype. An idea that, by consuming such vast resources and delivering such a disastrous and ridiculous model, would probably set back the development of viable electric cars for many years. Thank goodness they've had to pull out of these two big markets. They can now focus on selling their bullshit to two small countries where that particular product is rife.
What is a geography? Is it in any way related to the old Anglo-Saxon vernacular farming term "bullshit'?
What about the bloke who is hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy?
Surely that would be eminently appropriate
I've just looked at the original article...
And I cannot help but wonder, what's a "minuscule topjes"?
For vegetarians, read telephone sanitisers, marketing executives and hairdressers.
Re: @anomalous cowshed
I thank the honourable rh587 for his insightful comment, and I would like to mention the fact that I was myself thinking about Columbus and his sailors and those of many other ships in similar circumstances when I made my unpopular comment. Their lot was perhaps as hard or even harder than that of tomorrow's astronauts. However, they travelled in the hope of finding and exploring and owning new lands full of promise and wealth, and it was considered that there was a likelihood that they would achieve this. Whereas we are shooting people at a place which we already know is a barren desert - i.e. when you get there, there's not even a remote chance that it will be a lush wonderland for you to lord over and enjoy. You'll be stuck in a tiny capsule and if you wander outside, you'll have to do so in a constraining space suit. You're spending all this time in a tin can for nothing, in practical terms.
As for biting my hand off, I would rather these worthy geologists and astrobiologists left it alone as I have done nothing wrong to them. If they want to bite their own hand off, that's another matter, it's entirely up to them. I believe that this is what the honourable commentard intended to allude to, rather than any purported mass attack on my hand by thousands of zombified geologists and astrobiologists.
"Some people spend 2 years travelling around the world"
They spend 2 years travelling round the planet, breathing air, drinking water, meeting women/men, looking at lots of interesting things, having fun, incredible experiences, being able to move around, feeling utterly free and meanwhile, being able to decide to go home at a moment's notice, and get back safely in a matter of hours or days at most. The year and a half in the space ship is far more likely to feel like being in a prison cell for 18 months than travelling around the world. You are most unlikely to see or experience anything interesting, and if you do, it will probably mean the end of you. The best thing would be to put you to sleep on the way to and back. But you're still throwing away part of your life.
How do you know it's worth every second? Do you spend 9 months at a time stuck in a small tin can UNABLE TO GET OUT? Would you feel the same if you did? You would probably be seriously traumatised and claustrophobic if you had to spend a day in such an environment.
Re: @anomalous cowshed
When I put "Their lot was perhaps even harder than ours", I meant "even harder than the astronauts", sorry
Re: Do what? !!
Quantum computers sounds like boll*cks to me: an idea that is touted around but never properly explained with practical and concrete concepts. Other terms that come to mind are 'whalesong' and 'snake oil'. What is a quantum computer? In what way does it differ from a normal computer? How is it made? How does it compute (I mean really as opposed to in some poncy fool's mind?) What are the results to be expected from given inputs, apart from mere bollocks? What are the speed increments over standard technology? How come it's so clever? How come it's so complex? That's what we want to know, and until such a thing is understandable by reasonably clever computer literate people then I say it's bollocks. Or we're all thick and some fancy 'researchers' in laboratories, with access to media time, are cleverer by several orders of magnitude.
Sorry to change the subject but 9 months to get to Mars, and 9 months to return...that's a long time. That's a year and a half of someone's life, to go spend some time on an arid, airless desert containing nothing but the tightest practical limitations to our freedom. Is it worth it?
Is this the next Wikilik self-promoting actor? Somebody who goes on the run from 'authorities' and somehow has the time and the ability to keep the press updated about the progress of his situation.
first impression upon reading this article
Bollocks, with all due respect.
Re: Very strange stuff
Wow commentards! A planet with still some hydrogen fusion in its core, and an atmosphere, and no star in sight. And gravitation causing high temperatures too. I like it. Keep the downvotes coming!
Very strange stuff
(a) How can something without a star be a planet
(b) How can such a 'planet' have an atmosphere
Think about it.
Sinclair QL flopped? Oy!
What are you talking about? Those were the days, that was a seriously cool machine for programming, in my opinion. I saved up all my money from several years of summer jobs to buy one. ThenI wrote a computer game that was published in Sinclair QL User magazine (Stellaris), I made £ hundreds on royalties. My parents used it for over a year to run their business, using a primitive mailing / word processing program that I cooked up for them.
How much power does a normal LCD screen consume?