* Posts by Dodgy Geezer

1101 posts • joined 27 Jul 2007

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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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Dodgy Geezer
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It used to be the case...

...that the police would do all the hard work necessary to obtain read solid evidence. And if they didn't have it, they couldn't arrest their suspect.

Now they seem to arrest people and manufacture their case later...

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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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Government locked into £330m Oracle contract until 2016

Dodgy Geezer
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A slight addition.

...the centres could save up to £600m per year...

...where the words 'up to' clearly include the figure '£0'...

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Furious GTA V gamers seek similar ban on violent, misogynistic title: the Holy Bible

Dodgy Geezer
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You can find...

...but it does make the point that you can find violence against women in far too many places if you look for it....

...violence against men in quite a few places as well. And violence against animals, aliens... you name it.

Humans can be violent creatures. But worse, I think, are the people who manufacture fake outrage because they know they won't win an argument, purely in order to suppress any debate and to enforce their will over others...

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Whitehall at war: Govt’s webocrats trash vital digital VAT site

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Sounds to me....

...So I am surprised at the praise for CCTA from Geezer....

The detailed history of CCTA is a little more complex than can be presented in at three-sentence comment. There was opposition to it from a number of sources.

Remember that machine computing was effectively invented by the British Scientific Civil Service - mechanically with Naval gun-laying and electronically with cryptanalysis work. This meant that early computing skills lay with the government organisations which had 'boffins' (using the archaic term!) - typically the military and associated services. Systems developed by these staff were typically one-off specialist installations which could not be replicated, and which cost huge amounts...

CCTA could see the commercial future of computing, the huge expansion it would undergo, and the need for structured organisation, maintainability and de-mystification of this novel skill. That was why it developed structured methods such as SSADM and CRAMM, and why it tried to drive the use of open standards in government, formal computing qualifications and bulk purchasing.

This was opposed, not only by industry, but also by the few pre-existing departments with skilled staff, who saw CCTA standards and methods as threatening their unique position of being able to spend large sums on specialist equipment under their own control without worrying about interoperability or standardisation. Look at the disaster that was the Foreign Office 'FOLIOS' project for an example of how some departments tried to avoid CCTA, and the problems that resulted....

The above is necessarily a simplistic comment, of course, and CCTA did not get everything right all the time. But it could see where computing was going, and tried to put the UK government in the best position to take advantage of it. The tragedy was that this was not understood by its 'customers'...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Sounds to me....

...like Cabinet Office has tried to re-invent the impressive internal government computer consultancy that they once had - the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency.

CCTA was a small division of world-class computer experts retained by HM Treasury and later the CO, to provide support for departments and develop methodologies. They created PRINCE and ITIL, amongst other things. They were also instrumental in the development of BS7799, which became the ISO 27000 series of security standards. In those days government computing worked.

They were closed down as a result of lobbying from outside industry, who wanted to take over government computer service provision, during the Thatcher/Major era. A great loss....

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Euro spacemen clear Ariane 6 for liftoff

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: I see that ...

Score 0 for research.

Skylon timescale is entirely dependent on funding. Reaction Engines have said that if they had full funding, they could deliver a vehicle in 2020. Exactly matching the Ariane. But, of course, they won't be given any, and instead will just be kept 'in long-term plans'. As they have been since the 1980s.

If you don't know how to Google, try these URLs:

http://sen.com/news/skylon

http://spacekate.com/2014/skylon-the-answer-to-uk-space-dreams/

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Dodgy Geezer
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I see that ...

SKYLON is nowhere.

I wondered how ESA would manage to avoid funding an all-British proposal. Just ignoring it seems to be the preferred option...

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Is EU right to expand 'right to be forgotten' to Google.com?

Dodgy Geezer
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None needed...

...I was a paedophile mass murderer but it was only the once...

Really? Me too.....

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By the Rivers of Babylon, where the Antikythera Mechanism laid down

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Been in the museum where they have this object

7 thumbs down?

That touched a nerve! There are a lot of people here who don't understand political theory...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Been in the museum where they have this object

... For the frankly nauseating elogy (sic) of state control, consult Plato....

Er...State Control is a LEFT wing Socialist concept. Far Right Wing attitudes are libertarian, and 'social control rejecting'.

Note that Hitler's party was termed the 'German National Socialist Workers Party'....

Also, a slave's life was not necessarily a poor one. For 'slave', nowadays read 'contractor paid board and expenses only'...

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SUPER-SUEBALL heading IBM's way in Australia

Dodgy Geezer
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No one will remember CCTA...

...the UK Government's Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency. Though you may remember some of the methodologies that they created, such as PRINCE and ITIL...

It was a centre of expertise for computing projects, set up in the late 1970s, run by civil servants and contracted specialists, which provided expert contract and project support to all Government computer projects. Since the staff there were all very experienced, and were negotiating ALL projects, they had the computer industry well under their thumb, and projects came in to time and budget - in the 1980s and 1990s.

The computer industry always lobbied against them, and finally got CCTA closed down in the late 1990s. Since then, government departments have been at the mercy of the big IT companies, who have been taking them for everything that we, the taxpayer, have.

If the Aussies had a CCTA, the State Government would not have been able to produce a poor specification for their project. They would not have been allowed to add and amend the requirement in an uncontrolled way. And if IBM had performed badly in supporting the project, it would have been pulled by the independent CCTA rather than continued by the embarrassed State Government.

Likewise, if we still had a CCTA, our computing projects would be run a lot better...

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Japan pauses asteroid BOMBING raid – still no word from Bruce Willis?

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: The only reason they've done this is that...

Yes... it's a bit like all food from that part of the world.

You have one, then a few years later you want another...

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Eat FATTY FOODS to stay THIN. They might even help your heart

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: ?

...So do they shrink or don't they?...

Read what was said!

1 - the waist sizes of the test group shrunk

2 - the amounts that they shrunk was small, and could have been random variation.

So the trial did not produce conclusive results for waist size alteration. Was that difficult?

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Dodgy Geezer
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I...

...Why gov food advice might have been wrong all along...

...have been working on the assumption that government advice of all kinds was wrong for the past 10 years.

In many cases it's just pointless, simplistic and non-applicable. But (and this has been increasingly the case recently) whenever it's advice driven by activists who have hijacked a government department) it's frequently evil....

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Social media data is RIDDLED with human behaviour errors, boffins warn

Dodgy Geezer
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No shit, Sherlock...

...in recent years, there has been an explosion of studies on human behaviour using social media as a barometer for all kinds of predictions about the world we live in now.

"Many of these papers are used to inform and justify decisions and investments among the public and in industry and government,"...

It's not only social media. There has been an explosion in fake science everywhere. It turns out to be easy to feed data from any source into a spreadsheet, and then fiddle with the statistical tools until you get a nice full-colour chart showing you what you want to see.

Activists everywhere are doing this, and then claiming that: "Science says that..." you should do what I say.

If only the educational system had taught people:

1 - to understand maths

2 - to be properly skeptical

But, alas, it's too late now. We have bred a generation of gullible morons and put them in charge of us. Our foreign policy and energy infrastructure are two illustrations of the result. Look for many more appalling similar messes in the future...

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Jacking up firearms fees will cost SMEs £3.5 MILLION. Thanks, Plod

Dodgy Geezer
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Two points...

...A Home Office mouthpiece ignored our questions and instead sent us a press release full of the dodgy stats, along with the statement: “We won't be adding anything further.”...

A question addressed to your friendly local MP should get the HO to disgorge...

...At this point it's important to note that firearm certificate (FAC) and shotgun certificate (SGC) fees do not offer shooters anything other than the ability to purchase a firearm or a shotgun, unlike angling licenses where the fee revenue goes towards maintaining rivers and so on. ...

Tell me about it. I used to fly radio controlled model aircraft back in the days when you needed a license for them. We were told that the cost of the license went to ensure an allocation of radio spectrum so that our aircraft were safe from interference. Then along came Citizens Band, and the government just sat there and did nothing. They kept taking the license money, though...

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Will security concerns scupper your BYOD policy?

Dodgy Geezer
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Why do journalists write about this?

... Workers should be made fully aware of the consequences to their personal data should the company decide to carry out a forensic examination of the device or perform a remote wipe, Honan adds. Guidelines to avoid shoulder surfing and eavesdropping should be handed to employees,...

Er... It's MY device. That MEANS that the company can't fiddle with it or tell me how to use it.

Quite how you do security in that situation beats me - this proponent seems to think that the way you do it is by giving your device to the company. Why can't someone point out that they're trying to square the circle?

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High Court: You've made our SH*T list – corked pirate torrent sites double in a day

Dodgy Geezer
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Today's laugh...

...Some cloud locker services are suspected of actively colluding with pirates and creaming off revenue from advertising, copyright cops once told us. ...

I'm sure that they are also suspected of hosting paedophile links, terrorist plans and climate-change denier plots. And any other smear the 'copyright cops' can think up. Perhaps they'll bring back Communism?

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DNA survives fiery heat of re-entry on test rocket

Dodgy Geezer
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Alas...

..this theory suffers from the way humans consider new ideas.

It was a theory pushed by Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe in the 1970s, and at that time it was laughed at, and therefore defined as nutty by the scientific establishment. Consequently, it should not be taken seriously by anyone, and limited or no research should be done on it. Certainly not until both the early proponents die, and Wickramasinghe is still alive.

Once he is dead, it will be ok to research it again, and, if it turns out to be true, there will be no need for any embarrassing apology.

Quite a lot of scientific advances involve waiting for the original proposer to die so that no one has to say "Dear me, how stupid we were then...". Wegener's Continental Drift Theory comes to mind.

Just thought I'd mention it...

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Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU

Dodgy Geezer
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As far as I can see....

...these appalling regulations and associated legislation will continue, until no one is allowed to say or think anything nasty again.

Won't the world be lovely then?

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BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity

Dodgy Geezer
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Simple Answer...

...I often wonder why it is that people bother publishing “research” papers that are obviously incorrect. Is it that they're getting paid to spout bollocks?..

No, it's simpler than that.

It's that people WANT to read that kind of thing, and they will pay money to do so. The newspapers do not exist to be a public service - they exist to make a profit. Bad news sells. Research papers which come to some fiddly technical balanced conclusion don't sell.

That's why we're effectively fed a load of lies. Because we like it...

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UK cops: Give us ONE journo's phone records. Vodafone: Take the WHOLE damn database!

Dodgy Geezer
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An Accident?

...Vodafone had indeed wrongfully disclosed more data than the police had asked for, but concluded the telco had not done so on purpose...

Last time I looked, UK law didn't allow for 'an accident' to be an adequate defence against a breach of the law.

Vodaphone cocked up. Therefore Vodaphone data protection procedures were inadequate, or were not properly enforced. Therefore they are in breach of the Data Protection Act, and a fine is in order.

That's what happens to everyone else. The fine needn't be large, if it was a true accident and they co-operated. But a fine it should be. Otherwise, what a precedent!

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Useless 'computer engineer' Barbie FIRED in three-way fsck row

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Life in plastic, it's fantastic!

...some fool repeated the received wisdom that the population will start to fall after reaching 9,000 million around 2050. Not going to happen. ..

"Some fool" was repeating the consensus opinion of the world's population specialists, who have been commissioned to do multiple studies into this area.

Perhaps you could tell us the basis for your rejection of all this work? Perhaps all the scientists are conspiring because they have been bribed by Big Oil?

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Dodgy Geezer
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I don't think this is sexist.

I think it's worse - I think it shows the classic view that the Arts graduates have of Engineering, and the Sciences generally.

The Barbie books are meant to show Barbie being successful. The people who wrote this obviously thought that they WERE showing Barbie as successful. They just didn't have the first clue about what a 'Computer Engineer' did.

And, being Arts types, they didn't feel the need to find out. They just decided it was something to do with computer games, and involved talking to geeks. So that's what they wrote.

You or I would have had a plot involving the school not being able to allocate classrooms or trace equipment, and Barbie putting together a database application to sort this out - testing and documenting the same. I really don't think that Arts students connect that sort of thing with computers at all. They just think that services 'happen'...

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THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS

Dodgy Geezer
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@ Psys.

...Re: ...for the nth time....

Building them and getting them to only explode in the direction you want them to is indeed engineering.

But getting them to fly to where you want them to is science.

Building them and getting them to fly ANYWHERE is engineering.

Deciding where to fly them and why is science.

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Dodgy Geezer
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Everyone seems to be buying..

...into the idea that Philae has gathered the data it was supposed to gather.

This is not true, as a glance at the Mission Aims statement will show you. Philae was meant to touch down on the surface, and then send back data AS THE COMET STARTED OUTGASSING on its way to perihelion. That would be next summer.

The initial data set is fine, and it's a great achievement to have placed the craft on the surface of a comet. But, because they were relying on solar power, and because of the poor landing, Philae will probably not be able to fulfill its primary mission.

Just thought I'd mention this...

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

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: three "disasters" so far - Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima

...it doesn't make sense to extrapolate, on the basis of 3 (three) disasters, that the nuclear is safe Build 1000 TIMES that many nuclear power-stations we already have on this planet - and see how many disasters happen...

So, you are saying that we don't have enough stations to make a proper prediction, and we should build more to get one - but we mustn't build more because we don't have a proper prediction...?

...if you advocate lowering safety standards (... common sense tells me that when you lower safety standards, you increase...of something going wrong,...

If your safety standards are currently at sensible minimums, lowering them will cause more accidents. If your safety standards are currently at stupidly high maximums, lowering them will cause few problems.

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Dodgy Geezer
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But the British/American governing classes, so fatally committed to renewables, often seem willing to listen to Google even if they won't listen to anyone else.

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

Upton Sinclair (1878-1968), I believe, rather than H. L. Mencken...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Then we're fucked

Oddly, non-renewable energy sources never run out. This has never happened throughout recorded history.

What happens is that humanity moves to other, better energy sources. For more information, read Julian Simon

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Then we're fucked

Titan?

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Then we're fucked

...Well, if you don't want the gas - I'll sell it to the Martians. ...

The Martians are already getting all the methane they want from Titan. Give us 50 years and that's where we'll be getting it from, too...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: reducing energy consumption

Don't worry, this is just the first stage - getting rid of the windmills.

The second stage of pointing out that CO2 is harmless comes later...

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Dodgy Geezer
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This is not news

The calculations behind this are NOT NEW. Some engineers have been saying this for 10 years or more. They have been ignored, sidelined and sacked if they kept saying it.

The only thing that's changed here is that society is slowly stopping vilifying people who raise these objections. This whole extraordinary popular delusion has cost humanity many billions - trillions before it will be finished, and has set back human progress by about 30 years.

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FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study

Dodgy Geezer
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I would say they're about the same sized problem for the world...

Climate Change - no problem

Obesity epidemic - no problem

...

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It’s PAYBACK time as HUMANS send a PROBE up ALIEN body

Dodgy Geezer
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Success?

..The unexpected success caught me by surprise.....

I suggest that you look at the mission aims. The idea was to put a lander on the surface of the comet TO FILM THE OUTGASSING PROCESS AS IT PASSES PERIHELION.

We have got a lander onto the surface, but it won't be able to do its main job come perihelion next year. I count that as a failure.

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Lights OUT for Philae BUT slumbering probot could phone home again as comet nears Sun

Dodgy Geezer
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A lot of people think...

...that getting data back from the lander means the mission was a success.

A glance at the mission statement will show you that the idea was to examine a comet as it passed perihelion and started out-gassing, from two positions - orbit and on the surface. Now, because of the bounce into shade, we effectively only have one observation position. Perihelion was when the most interesting science would have been done...

The lander is in a poor photo position. It's also in a poor solar power position, which has resulted in it being closed down fro lack of power. It might come back as the sun gets nearer, though intense cold can damage electronics and batteries. An RTG would have kept it warm, and at least enabled gas sampling experiments to continue up to perihelion in the middle of next year.

ESA are putting a brave face on it, but the mission has been dealt a heavy blow. It's interesting to note that they didn't use an RTG because Pu-238 is pretty rare now that the US stopped making it in the 1980s. ESA are actually commissioning research into making RTGs out of Americium, so that will improve matters.

The big lesson, though, it that it's hard to land on an object with very little gravitational force to help. No doubt that lesson will be applied to later missions...

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GOD particle MAY NOT BE GOD particle: Scientists in shock claim

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: While I agree with your post...

...Just tell UKIP's backers that it's an energy containment field for "Europeness" and they'll pay for the whole thing....

Actually, the same excuse would also guarantee large sums of funding from the European Commission. Their view of Europe is one where outside trade is rigorously excluded unless it follows their rules.

It could also be a method of stopping any dissatisfied country, like the UK, leaving....

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