* Posts by Dodgy Geezer

1138 posts • joined 27 Jul 2007

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Pavegen: The Company that can't make energy out of crowds tries to make money out of them

Dodgy Geezer
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Sir George Iacobescu...

...is not a mathematical moron. He studied Civil and Industrial engineering at Bucharest University. After graduating, he worked as a structural engineer in Romania, his first job designing pump stations for a state-run business. This was behind the Iron Curtain where, if you didn't get the maths right, you and your family suffered.

So he knows that it's rubbish. Which is why he's not putting any money in. But you have to ask the 1M$ question - why is he praising it?

And the answer to that is the same reason that scientists are falling over themselves to claim that 'Climate Change' will kill us all, and that politicians are claiming that war in the Middle East is what the West should be encouraging, and that the Saatchi brothers are claiming that Tracy Emin is a great artist. It's because humans have a 'herd mentality' and they follow weird, provably wrong ideas all the time, because social pressure stops people saying that 'the Emperor has no clothes'.

Charles Mackay wrote a book about it. Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds . You can pick up a copy from Amazon for only a few pounds...

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Fake Cisco box pushers cuffed by Intellectual Property Police

Dodgy Geezer
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I wonder what 'fake CISCO kit' is?

It might be a box with a Cisco sticker on it, but with completely different cheap low-quality insides.

Or it might be a Cisco unit made by the same factory which makes Cisco kit in China, but one which was made in excess of their order and then sold by the factory without Cisco getting paid a license fee.

Or one of several other combinations...

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Boffin: Will I soon be able to CLONE a WOOLLY MAMMOTH? YES. Should I? Hell NO

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Anyone for lunch?

...The solution is obvious. Let’s farm pandas. Let’s farm endangered animals - and, to make it sustainable, lets eat them too ....

That's already been proposed, for rhinos. There are some very successful rhino farms.

These are hated by the environmentalists, who are trying to get them closed down. Because every environmentalist knows that the important thing is not the survival of the species, it's the survival of the environmentalists. And environmentalists WANT to have a load of cuddly animals on the verge of extinction - they get lots of grants that way....

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Getting eaten by people is by far the best evolutionary strategy for a species

...The problem with farming them is they don't like f*cking very much....

Exactly the problem that farmers and breeders are set up to solve....

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Dodgy Geezer
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What a load of Dodos' eggs...

...There are many animals on the edge of extinction that we should be helping instead.”...

What's so special about animals that are going extinct? In case the scientist in question hasn't read Darwin, let us point out that this is how evolution WORKS. Species develop to fit an niche, then die away as that niche dies. Trying to stop extinction is trying to stop evolution.

Humans change niches. We are already responsible for several species going extinct, but also many new species developing, as we make new environments in which they can live, or breed them for a specific purpose. So questions about mammoths are moot - we have already done everything which has been proposed. Just not with animals that size... yet...

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GCHQ's cyberspooks had Nudge Unit envy – leak

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Sounds like the basis for Evelyn Waugh's other novel...

...Then, the Actual Agency, that do the real high flying stuff. Stuff that you *would* be killed if you found out about....

Alas, this bit doesn't actually exist. It is made up by the other, far more powerful and secretive section, which you don't even cover in your item.

This is the Budget section, which is tasked with maintaining the existence and budget for the Security and Intelligence services, even though WW2 and the Cold War (which originally provided the justification for their existence) have now long since finished...

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Why SpaceX will sort out Sunday's snafu faster than NASA ever could

Dodgy Geezer
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Pity we aren't allowed to have the money to put up the British equivalent of Space-X - the Skylon....

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NSA slapdown prompts Privacy Int'l to file new lawsuit against GCHQ

Dodgy Geezer
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Listen carefully...

... I shall say this only once...

...PI said that GCHQ is starting to see itself as “above the law”....

The security apparatus of this country (which includes GCHQ, Security Service and Secret Intelligence Service) is a hangover from WW2.

At the end of WW2 our military was not completely disbanded, but switched into providing defence during the 'Cold War'. Essentially, much of the military structure was kept going, which was good for those who had a job in it. So Britain ran these services, essentially as in WW2, right up to the middle of the 1990s, which was when the Cold War ended.

Since then, the people working in this area have been frantic to keep their jobs, and have tried to justify them by looking for other things to do - crime, or terrorism.

At this point it is instructive to look at the position that a Secret Service holds in a democracy. Normally, democratic institutions HAVE to be open - you can't run a democracy any other way. But in times of crisis - during a war when there is a danger of invasion, for instance, even democracies need systems to provide immediate executive action with no democratic balances. They may need to lock someone up who has committed no crime, for instance. The bodies set up to do this are by definition 'above the law' - they have no requirement to have democratic oversight or to abide by any legal restrictions. They can't be challenged in the courts. This is where the SS, SIS and GCHQ were born.

It is not true to say that these organisations are "starting to see themselves as above the law”. They were always above the law from their inception. The oddity is that, in the absence of any critical threat to the existence of the nation, these bodies are still trying to justify their existence, and laws are being bent to achieve this.

If you need an illustration of this, look at the court cases which the Security Service has tried to bring. Even with the benefit of draconian legislation and administrative banning orders, they usually fail. The way Security Service works is completely alien to the way, for instance, that the Police work. The Police investigate a case, suspect a person, amass evidence, arrest someone and pass the accused to a court. Security Service suspect someone, imprison them, and then try to extract information from them with no interest in due process.

There is certainly a current terrorist threat - though considerably less than the Irish threat in the 1970s. At that time the Police, suitably staffed and supported, were quite capable of dealing with it. That is what should be put in place today, and the wartime security apparatus closed down. We no longer maintain a Bomb Targeting Committee - in the same way we should no longer maintain an extra-legal state enforcement arm.

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Dot-sucks sucks, say lawyers: ICANN urged to kill 'shakedown' now

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: All of it is about money

... you are suggesting that instead of a discount for a long term registration, we pay extra?...

Yup. It's a tax on stupidity and not being able to do maths...

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Forum chat is like Clarkson punching you repeatedly in the face

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: M&S

I am reporting you to the police for blatant discrimination against people with size 11 feet...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Quite correct. He's far too big to bend easily. Did you see him trying to get into that small car...?

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Guardian: 'Oil reserves will soon be worth NOTHING!' (A bit like their stock tips, really)

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: You seem to be the one who doesn't know any economics

"Would our environment suffer if we stopped burning fossil fuels? No. Would we enjoy cleaner air and water if the whole world moved completely to renewable energy? Yes"

Would our environment suffer if we stopped burning fossil fuels? Of course it would. CO2 is plant food, silly!

Would we enjoy cleaner air and water if the whole world moved completely to renewable energy? Of course not! The only way that could happen is if the world dropped technologically back to the 1800s. Guess how clean things were then...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: The 80/20 rule, common sense vice religion

"Might even replace Clarkson as a tv spectator sport."

NOTHING can replace Clarkson as a TV spectator sport.

And at the moment the BBC are indeed trying very hard to ensure that nothing IS going to replace Clarkson...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: The 80/20 rule, common sense vice religion

"All that's required is a significant reduction in CO2 emissions..."

Er...no, it's not.

For the last 20 years our CO2 has gone up, but the temperature has stayed the same. The CO2-warming hypothesis is PLAIN WRONG.

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: There will be a need for Carbon stuff in the Economy

...Even the most fervent Greens I have met accept that for some things we will have to use some oil in our lives...

..but it should all be 'natural', of course...!

Votes to bring back Whale Oil?

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Woman caught on CCTV performing drunken BJ blew right to privacy

Dodgy Geezer
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Several people...

...have pointed out that the CCTV installation was not meant for taking candid shots of salacious behaviour to be sold to a TV station for entertainment.

I note that CCTV operators have to register under the Data Protection Act and have a code of practice covering this sort of thing, which seems pretty obviously broken to me. If she had complained to the Data Registrar I think she would have won her case easily.

The other justification I found fantastic was OfCom's argument that "this was not a private occasion, but occurred in a communal lift, accessible to all residents and visitors.. But it seems obvious that once the doors had closed the occupants had a reasonable expectation of privacy until the lift stopped, which usually gives one a 5-10 second warning. If OfCom are going to treat 'communal provision' as meaning that there is no privacy expectation, what about public lavatories, which are communal and accessible to all residents and visitors...?

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Hurry shipmates - the black hats have hacked our fire control system

Dodgy Geezer
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Wrong way around...

...Dr Kevin Jones, head of Airbus' cyber security research department, cited an attack last year on a German steel mill as evidence of the necessity of pro-actively defending infrastructure....

It shows the necessity of designing it bloody properly in the first place!

But I don't suppose we'll get any competitions for that.

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Hated smart meters likely to be 'a costly failure' – MPs

Dodgy Geezer
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It's not actually intended to be a workable policy..

..It said the policy problems "are symptomatic of a national programme that the government has left largely to suppliers and failed to drive forward effectively".....

'The government' had no idea of what Smart Meters were, of what they might be used for. They were just told by lobbyists that 'Smart' meant 'Good', and that 'demand control' was a good green thing. No one said that 'Demand Control' meant turning off people's electricity supply when it was convenient for the suppliers, rather than investing in more power generation.

However, I don't think there is any concern about delivering these things on time, or at all. The lobbyists argued for loads of taxpayers money to be spent - politicians started becoming directors of firms that profited, and the money rolled in. They just want to keep money rolling in - the last thing they want to do is deliver and kill the goose laying the golden eggs....

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SpaceX lofts two all-electric ion-drive comsats to Clarke orbit

Dodgy Geezer
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Nice to see...

...someone talking about a Clarke orbit.

Now tell us whether Skylon could do this even cheaper, and we'll start to see some of the British contributions to space flight...

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Don't pay for the BBC? Then no Doctor Who for you, I'm afraid

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: I would gladly pay the BBC, if they only let me to do so...

...Why does the BBC force me to VPN's and other goofy means to get their content???...

We won't forget 1776 in a hurry...

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Dodgy Geezer
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I don't have a telly..

...Don't pay for the BBC? Then no Doctor Who for you, I'm afraid...

...and I don't watch Dr Who either. But if I wanted to, I'm sure that I could. Without paying anything to the BeeB...

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Ads watchdog: Er, what does woman in her undies have to do with ‘slim’ phone?

Dodgy Geezer
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We DO..

...have the first amendment. And all the others. Because we don't have a written constitution, we can change anything we like.

I have nothing but the deepest pity for any country that has a written constitution, and hence has to try to mould 18th century thinking and concerns into 21st century situations. How's that one about the federal government not being able to regulate state commerce working for you? Or the 3rd, 12th or 18th amendments?

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Dodgy Geezer
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A minor alteration...

...much of the ad focused entirely on an actor in her underwear...

"...much of the ad focused entirely on an actress in her underwear..."

There. Fixed that for you. I'm allowed to say that word, because I'm old enough to know better....

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HAWKING ALERT: Leave planet Earth, find a new home. Stupid humans

Dodgy Geezer
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Just a slight change...

..."I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be space and that it represents an important life insurance for our future survival," said Hawking, ...

"I believe that the medium-term future of the human race must be space..."

There. Fixed that for you...

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Inside GOV.UK: 'CHAOS' and 'NIGHTMARE' as trendy Cabinet Office wrecked govt websites

Dodgy Geezer
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Remember CCTA!

The government HAD a competent internal computer consultancy in the 1980s. CCTA.

This was closed down for political reasons. They were told what would happen as a result. They didn't listen....

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BBC: SOD the scientific consensus! Look OUT! MEGA TSUNAMI is coming

Dodgy Geezer
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I've just watched...

...the Channel 4 docu-drama, showing how, if UKIP were elected, race riots and the collapse of the British economy would follow, with fascist gangs roaming the streets. This was broadcast in the run-up to an election.

But I bet if you complain, their response will be:

- It's only fiction, so it doesn't count as political comment

- the election period actually starts tomorrow

- can't you take a joke?

...and so the slippery slope proceeds...

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German minister photo fingerprint 'theft' seemed far too EASY, wail securobods

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: In a sane world

...In a sane world

...this should be the nail in the coffin of fingerprint authentication, at least of the cheap variety. What is the use if it is tuned to accept anything vaguely resembling the real print?...

A bit of explanation.

1 - Manual fingerprint authentication is done by an expert comparing all aspects of a fingerprint. This is a skilled job which takes a bit of time. Its effectiveness depends on the expert's skill and experience.

Automatic 'biometric' fingerprint recognition is done with a pattern matching algorithm (originally invented in the UK at RSRE for use in radar signal analysis) which identifies a few 'salient' points and matches these. With limited processing power and the need to avoid false negatives these matches may be quite poor and still 'pass'.

2 - There is indeed a question mark hanging over the whole of fingerprint identification. It has simply been asserted to be true that no two fingerprints are the same. But no one knows if this is true, or how good fingerprint experts are at distinguishing similar prints. It is just assumed that they are infallible and fingerprints are all unique, because that supports the justice system...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Agreed

...A fingerprint is a userid not a password....

No. If that were so, why not just type the ID in - it's cheaper and simpler.

The fingerprint is used as both an identification AND an authentication. It's much like a swipe-card pass, which has a name on it, but also gives the bearer the right to enter doors.

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DoJ's extra-territorial data demands: now Ireland is baulking

Dodgy Geezer
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I can pre-empt that advice...

..and now Ireland's minister for European affairs and data protection has asked the European Commission for its advice. ®....

1 - Bend over

2 - Say "Ready".....

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It's not easy being Green. But WHY insist we knit our own ties?

Dodgy Geezer
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Er...NO!

...The concerns about climate change seem entirely rational assuming that it is actually happening. But I really cannot understand what it is that they've all got against markets, the trade in them, that makes that division and specialisation possible and thus enriches us all....

1 - What is currently being done to address Climate Change is entirely irrational, and failing, and, if (anthropic) Climate Change were real, would result in the collapse of society in short order. Luckily, it's just a scam, and so the only problem is that we will lose a lot of money.

2 - The WHOLE raison d'etre of the Green community IS to close down international trade, all technology, and make us all MUCH poorer. That is the actual aim - and it is stated often enough. They want a world with fewer people, living a peasant existence, closer to nature. Think 1450.

Their belief is that we have advanced too far, are putting too much pressure on the world, and must retreat back to a simpler time. THAT'S what they have against markets, factories, communication , all the paraphernalia of a modern existence. I can't see how you can have studied Green documentation without becoming aware of that fact...

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Violin-fiddling boffins learn that 'F-HOLES' are secret to Stradivarius' SUPERIOR sound

Dodgy Geezer
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Learning something new...

...Violins carved from wood are relatively elastic:...

Wow! I didn't know violins were carved from solid. I thought they were assembled from a set of parts - back, front, sides, sound post, etc. I'm impressed at the way violin makers manage to get the wood thickness so even....

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Skin colour's irrelevant. Just hire competent folk on their merits, FFS

Dodgy Geezer
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Sounds good...

...Skin colour's irrelevant. Just hire competent folk on their merits, FFS...

It's just that people still don't want to hire people older than 50....

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Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Even a "harmless" site is still a potential attack vector

...they are like democracy (as per Benjamin Franklin quote): they are bad, but we are yet to figure out anything better....

I don't think Franklin ever said anything like that, though the evils of democracy were frequently discussed by his contemporaries. He commented that democracy was like two wolves and a lamb voting on what they should have for lunch.

The quote nearest in meaning to your comment is probably Churchill's "...democ­racy is the worst form of Gov­ern­ment except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…" (House of Commons speech, Nov 1947)

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Ex-squeeze me? Baking soda? Boffins claim it safely sucks CO2 out of the air

Dodgy Geezer
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Given...

...that the scare about CO2 emissions is a scam, and that the new OCO-2 satellite has shown that human emissions are not able to be measured compared to the HUGE output from areas like the South American rain forest - why are we wasting time and money on this?

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Google mouthpieces: 'Right to be Forgotten' should NOT apply on google.com

Dodgy Geezer
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What makes something outdated?

The original complaint, IIRC, was about an old bankruptcy, which was not relevant to current business.

But supposing I'm doing a historical study on 30-year-old bankruptcies?

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Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Then we're fucked

...Non-renewable energy sources will run out sooner or later

Apart from the fact that things like Thorium won't, have you ever stopped to wonder why people have said what you have just said since the 1600s? And they've ALWAYS been wrong.

The reason, as Julian Simon carefully explained in the 1960s, is that technology does not stand still. People from 1600 worried about wood running out, and they could calculate just when that would happen. By 1850, they said, Britain could not have a Navy, and would probably get invaded. And yet, by 1900, we had the biggest navy in the world. No one in 1600 realised that you could use steel to build boats.

Future generations will use power sources which we know nothing about, because they haven't been invented yet. This development has been the case throughout ALL recorded history. And yet people insist on scaremongering - even after 'Peak Oil' was shown to be a fallacy.

If you still want to argue that we MIGHT need hundreds of billions of tonnes of hydrocarbons in 100 years time, I invite you to look at the surface of Titan....

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Bitter Lake: Know your enemy? Impossible, surely, when you don't know if the enemy exists

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: "a system of rewards that both keeps us passive and happy"

...I've always thought that UK daytime TV was introduced ....to give the unemployed something to do instead of rioting about what was going on....

If that were true, would it have been a bad thing?

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Doomsday Clock says 3 MINUTES to MIDNIGHT. Again

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Meanwhile the US Politicians

...Perhaps it might be worth sending all those Congress Critters and Senators to places where Climate change is real..

That would be La-La Unicorn land. Where most of the world's politicians (and AC's) are already...

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'It's NOT FAIR!' yell RICH KIDS ... and that's a GOOD THING

Dodgy Geezer
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Have we found Althruism?

... A split that's worse than 70/30 tends to get rejected. People will give up $30 of free money in order to punish someone they believe is treating them unfairly....We've discovered altruism in humans, not economic rationality...

Er, NO!

What you've discovered is a hatred of UNFAIRNESS.

The experiment simply presents an unfair division to a subject, and asks them if they want to accept it. Unsurprisingly, people say no when the advantage to them is small, but can be persuaded if the advantage is high enough.

If, for instance I was offered £1m under similar circumstances, I wouldn't turn it down, even if the offerer was going to get £99m. I would rationalise my unhappiness away.

You see the same sort of thing going on when dictators make people into concentration camp guards and mass murders by threatening them with death if they don't agree. Effectively, they are being offered their life as part of an unfair bargain...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Question:

You are right. As reported, the basis of the experiment is fatally flawed. It is critically important to work with a figure that each person considers to be minor...

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Feds dig up law from 1789 to demand Apple, Google decrypt smartphones, slabs

Dodgy Geezer
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Old laws?

...Now court documents have emerged showing just how far the Feds are willing to go to decrypt citizens' data. The paperwork has shown two cases where federal prosecutors have cited the All Writs Act – which was enacted in 1789...

That's NOTHING! There was a murder in London several months ago, and the suspect was charged under a law that stretched back further than the 10 Commandments...

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LIFELESS BEAGLE on MARS: A British TRIUMPH!

Dodgy Geezer
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I wonder...

..."Overall, I would say it has been a great success," the prof opined...

...what he would have said if it had worked...?

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Elon Musk: Wanna see a multimillion-dollar rocket EXPLODE? WATCH THIS

Dodgy Geezer
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Meanwhile...

...Skylon, the all-British revolutionary spaceship that lands on a runway, has no funds and is mired in EU bureaucracy...

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TERROR in SPACE: ISS 'Nauts end panic by switching computer off and on again

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: I wonder what it was?

Rare it may be, but there are a lot of high-speed sub-atomic particles zooming around outside the atmosphere. if one of those hits some other atoms where a bit is stored, you might get a change of value...

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Saudi Arabia to flog man 1,000 times for insulting religion on Facebook

Dodgy Geezer
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While you're at it...

...It's still possible that Badawi, 30, could be spared the flogging on Friday if international pressure is brought to bear on the government....

... you could try stopping 'dishonoured' daughters being killed, or the usual slaughter of journalists in Pakistan... Good luck with that.

This is not a 'religious issue' in the sense of a doctrinal one. It's a straightforward cultural difference. This is standard practice for the Muslim heartlands - Saudi, Syria, Iran, Pakistan. The two Muslims who attacked Charlie were not behaving in an unusual manner - for Pakistan, where there were 15 such incidents last year alone.

Two cultures with such major differences cannot co-exist peacefully. Unfortunately, 'multiculturism' is a sacred cow of the liberal left, so they find it quite easy to look the other way in places like Rochdale...

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30,000 people buy a box of BOVINE EXCREMENT

Dodgy Geezer
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One of our staff left to join a consultancy...

... I can assure you that gathering a small tin full of bullshit as part of the leaving do festivities was not an easy exercise.

But it was fresh....

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Thin plot, great CGI effects

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: no more Tolkein movies? really?

...That was a pretty shocking omission....

Actually, the battle for the Shire was by far the worst omission. It effectively 'Hollywoodised' and made nonsense of the entire meaning of the LOTR - a fate that Tolkein expected and dreaded.

Tolkein wrote the LOTR as an English myth. It was meant to illustrate fundamental features in the English character - in the same way as Irish or German myth underlies these respective cultures. The English are shown as parochial, stubborn, neither particularly intellectual nor romantic. And yet, when called on in dark times, they are capable of rising to the occasion and saving the world. And when they do, they gain nothing from this, and end up damaging their own land such that it is never the same again.

That's why the Battle of the Shire and the departure of Frodo are key parts of the cycle - missing one of them out shows that the film writers had no idea what the books were about. That, and the continuous refrain of Irish incidental music ...

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The future looks bright: Prepare to be dazzled by HDR telly tech

Dodgy Geezer
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The fundamental problem for Greens...

...“If the EU is going to pursue its energy consumption strategy, I think not. Even 800 Nit is going beyond its limits,” he says candidly....

...is that humanity keeps improving things, and they want to stop this. In every generation these nutters think that we have gone just too far beyond the ideal, and ought to be pulled back a bit to our grandfather's time.

Imagine trying to design cars to a limit of 20 hp (the 1905 Rolls), or aircraft to 110hp (Sopwith Camel). The only reason that they're trying to force down power usage is that windmills can't actually produce very much...

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So - you thought you knew all about the INSTANT COFFEE DUNES of TITAN?

Dodgy Geezer
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Reasons to visit Titan

...“Titan is a strange place indeed,” says co-author Nathan Bridges, rather understatedly...

One day, Titan will almost certainly become a major tourist/holiday destination. Because it has less gravity than the Moon, combined with an atmosphere about 1.5 times as dense as Earth's. So humans could simply strap wings on and flap their hands to fly....

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Irony

...Either they can never economically be reached...

Once, oil under the North Sea could not be economically reached...

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