* Posts by Mike Bell

642 posts • joined 3 Aug 2007

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Get another loan, fanbois, the new MacBook Pro and iMac are here

Mike Bell
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Re: yawn

...as opposed to predictable sheep like yourself, who peddle their unfounded prejudices without a moment's hesitation for rational thought. Well done, anonymous bottom feeder.

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Apple storms to top spot in stagnant Chinese phones market

Mike Bell
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Re: Grow up?

That's an idiotic assessment in its own right, Mr. Damage. But it is fair to say that idiot taxes abound in all walks of life; it's what capitalism is about.

Camera manufacturers put high end sensors in mid-range models, but deliberately cripple them so as to set a price point discriminator in their pro cameras. Who's the idiot there, you or the camera manufacturer?

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Pop-up pest MacKeeper patches 0-day remote code execution vuln

Mike Bell
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My Mac works perfectly well without this kind of software. Custom url scheme? Whoa, no thanks. It's just about tolerable to have a custom iTunes url scheme, but not for something like this.

Adverts for 'memory cleaning' utilities are an annoyance, too. With Yosemite, the OS will try its hardest to use all available RAM, because that's why it's there. But many users are still stuck in a Windows XP mentality mode, and panic when they see all their RAM in use, so they're sitting ducks for this kind of ad. Such software invariably causes problems rather than fixing anything.

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SOD TABLETS, if you want to get anything done travelling get a ... yes, a LAPTOP

Mike Bell
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Re: I know that I'm a bit dim...

Or connect the iPad to a smartphone for Internet access. I'm doing that now, on the train.

That won't help if you are shooting in Camera RAW, mind. Raw files are typically in the tens of megabytes, which is going to take an age to upload anywhere, even on a decent ADSL connection.

If you can get by with basic shots taken on an iPhone, or even on the iPad itself, these normally get uploaded to iCloud pretty quickly.

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Three's 'Home Signal' femtocells fail, restore mobile black spots

Mike Bell
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Re: Three in Touch versus Home Signal

It would be far more useful if Three were to enable Wi-Fi calling, which comes out of the box with the iPhone 5c and greater, rather than lumber the user with a proprietary app to install.

But, since they don't seem to realise it's 2015, and fail to provide Visual Voicemail, I won't be holding my breath.

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Apple to devs: Watch out, don't make the Watch into a, well, a watch

Mike Bell
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Like having a DSLR with the kit lens welded on

Nope. It's more like having a Canon DSLR that has hardened paint to stop you tampering with the Canon logo to make it look shit.

Rolex make nice looking watches. They would not want their brand to be associated with arbitrary cheap after-market watch faces. Apple are in a position to enforce such compliance, and it's no great surprise that they are doing so.

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Apple Watch HATES tattoos: Inky pink sinks rinky-dink sensor

Mike Bell
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Nothing like a sample size of one...

...to get Apple bashers frothing at the mouth in the morning.

In the absence of such world-shattering news, you might consider getting hold of your own tooth-drilling kit for a bit of amusement.

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Yahoo! Mail! goes! titsup! in! Blighty! due! to! mystery! error!

Mike Bell
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Yahoo! Mail is not experiencing an outage

I'd like to know how Yahoo! Mail can experience anything. Does Roger Penrose know about this sudden leap in computing technology?

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Love-rat fanboi left bobbing for Apples in tiny Japanese bath

Mike Bell
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Glug

The white gadget is an 'Airport' wireless router with internal backup disk.

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Sysadmins, patch now: HTTP 'pings of death' are spewing across web to kill Windows servers

Mike Bell
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Re: Raise your hand...

IIS is slowly dying off altogether

Nope. Despite a short term blip, it's Apache that's been trending downwards for a number of years.

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Revealed: The AMAZING technology behind Apple's $1299 Retina MacBooks – a lot of glue

Mike Bell
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Re: "Sir Jony's juice"

Which bit of "Apple offers a battery replacement service for all MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro notebooks with built-in batteries" do you not understand?

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Mike Bell
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Re: "Sir Jony's juice"

Non-replaceable batteries condemns this equipment to be trash after a few years.

No, it doesn't.

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Apple splats Safari flaw affecting a BEELLION iThings

Mike Bell
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Re: where's the fix for iPhone 4 iOS 7.1.2?

No. iOS 8.x is only available for iPhone 4s and later, iPod touch (5th generation) and later, iPad 2 and later. Not the 3GS.

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Mike Bell
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has found a since patched bug

Has? Surely he found it before it was patched. As he is credited with finding it in the Apple document that you link to.

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Apple swears that NO FANBOI will queue for its new gumble

Mike Bell
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Meanwhile back on Earth, El Reg are going to be reporting astronomical Apple Watch sales in a few weeks, and the Apple money-making machine will be confounding armchair economists once again. You know it's going to happen in your hearts really, don't you.

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Bonking with Apple is no fun 'cos it's too hard to pay, say punters

Mike Bell
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Re: incorrect transactions

You get a record of each transaction in Apple Pay. You might get a receipt, which you'll probably throw away, with contact-less card payment.

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Operation Redstone: Microsoft preps double Windows update in 2016

Mike Bell
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Re: Redstone? Sounds familiar...

Sounds a bit like what did for Jason Bourne.

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Tests show HTC, Sammy phablets BEND just like iPhone 6 Plus

Mike Bell
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Re: Bendy phones? Bendy phablets?

Bent iPhones: never really happened, did it? There's little point in over-engineering a gadget to cater for edge cases where lard-arses stuff it down their pants, or try to kill it in novel ways for the benefit of a few YouTube clicks.

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Microsoft drops Do Not Track default from Internet Explorer

Mike Bell
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Re: DNT = AdBlock Plus

DNT and AdBlock Plus are not the same.

For one thing AdBlock Plus is not available to every browser and device.

For another, there are many ways your activity can be tracked. See this El Reg article from 2010.

Does your browser pass the Unique browser test?

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Mike Bell
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Re: No

What's wrong with legislating so that privacy is assumed to be the case by default? If websites claim confusion because the user's intents aren't clear, that's tough. Unless DNT is false or absent in the browser's request header, websites should be obliged not to track the user, with punitive measures for failure to comply.

The site operators can easily provide instructions for idiots to permit tracking.

In my opinion, a move like this would be far more useful than being required to plaster silly warnings about cookies on websites. Come on EU, crack the whip!

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Got an Android mobe with a virus? Congrats, you're The One Per Cent

Mike Bell
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Re: Ouch

Settings | Privacy | Contacts

All the apps that have access to iOS contacts are listed there, and may be disabled on a per app basis. It's not 'hidden' and you have to grant permission before an app is allowed access to your contacts.

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Verizon: FINE OK, you can now rid your life of our stalker supercookies

Mike Bell
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Re: Another reason for using TLS every where

It's site operators and their affiliates who are predominantly responsible for 'targeted' ads, not ISPs. TLS won't help there.

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Half of Android devices open to silent hijack

Mike Bell
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Yes, there's something to be said for a walled garden.

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Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari EXPLOITED to OWN Mac, PCs at Pwn2Own 2015

Mike Bell
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"vulnerability involving an uninitialized stack pointer"

That's quite a feat. By that, I mean creating such a bug in the first place. I'm not sure how I'd go about doing that in any of my code, even if I wanted to.

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MacBooks slimming down with Sammy's new 3D NAND diet pills

Mike Bell
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Re: TRIM support as well?

Unlikely, if this guy is to be believed.

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A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK

Mike Bell
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Re: Not a universal view

Anybody's usage pattern will involve charging the thing up.

My MacBook Pro typically gets charged up daily, perhaps when I have it on my lap in front of the TV. And - by God - have I thanked the designers time and again when a twitchy cat has taken a leap in the direction of the charging port. The MagSafe power connector is a work of genius and does its job perfectly. It clicks into place in a super-ergonomic fashion, and protects the connector from all manner of accidental yanks.

Apple are crazy to ditch this.

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Apple Watch: Wait a minute! This puny wrist-puter costs 17 GRAND?!

Mike Bell
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Overpriced?

This Rolex sold for $1.16M. Was that overpriced?

I can't see myself buying an Apple Watch any more than I can see myself buying a Rolex. But the market decides what is overpriced and what isn't, not commentards here.

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Chappie: The AI tale that’s about heart, not intelligence

Mike Bell
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Re: Nice review...

I was looking forward to this movie, but I wasn't impressed. Cutesy 1980s voice synths aren't needed in a film like this. Hell, my Sat Nav has a better voice than Chappie. And why does he behave like a scared human, just because he looks humanoid? Daft. HAL he is not.

Sadly, it's too much like District 9 for comfort. With Robocop thrown in. You'll also get reprises of implausible psychopaths with SA accents. Oh, and Sigourney Weaver mutters a few words in a brief cardboard cutout role.

This doesn't bode well for Blomkamp's forthcoming Alien movie. He can do the action stuff, but he's repeating himself, and I sorely hope a decent screenwriter gets drafted in for that project.

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Boffins say Mars had ocean covering 20 per cent of planet

Mike Bell
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"Smooth, flat with very few rocks"

Pffft. Boring.

I want to see some close-ups of the Martian Caves.

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Apple Pay a haven for 'rampant' credit card fraud, say experts

Mike Bell
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Re: ApplePay is very secure

I dont get how Apple Pay is more secure than carrying your credit card in your pocket

But you don't just carry the card in your pocket, do you. You get it out and, typically, stick it into a reader where you start typing your PIN. Your PIN can easily be sniffed by someone watching over your shoulder, or putting the card in a compromised reader. Your card/PIN can be cloned and used quite happily in parts of the world where they don't use Chip & PIN yet.

Apple Pay uses secure tokens to ensure that your credentials are never divulged to anyone. Ergo: more secure.

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Mike Bell
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Re: Banks (and Apple) must be accountable for fraud

Apple should take some share of responsibility

They do. In return for their tiny cut on the transaction fee, Apple do take on partial liability, so it has been reported.

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Is light a wave or a particle? Beaming boffins prove it's BOTH

Mike Bell
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Either... Or...

Actually, the double-slit experiment, which has been around for a very long time, demonstrates quite convincingly that light exhibits both particle and wave-like properties simultaneously.

The interference pattern in this experiment clearly shows wave-like behaviour. But one may also reduce the intensity of light so that the pattern builds up over time, photon by photon, with the resultant impacts being very particle-like.

One way of looking at this is that the photon 'knows' that there are two slits available and - somehow - passes through both simultaneously, interfering with itself to produce a statistical pattern.

Then we're back to the old conundrum of finding out why a particular photon ended up in a particular place (no pun intended). Which is made all the more fascinating that, in Many Worlds, multitudes of possible outcomes actually took place.

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Forget 1,000 lashes for Facebook posts, Saudis now want to behead blogger Raif Badawi

Mike Bell
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Re: Trouble , nothing but trouble

Killing in the name of God makes no sense.

Actually, it makes a lot of sense, as it protects and entrenches religion by eradicating competition. Darwinism in action, but at a cultural meme level.

It's a nasty tawdry business. In my book, religion is about as useful to the world as Ebola.

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Tim Cook chills the spines of swingers worldwide

Mike Bell
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Re: OH RLY?

life is about doing the right thing. This has been a core value of our company for a long time.

Examples: A gazillion dollars in receipts is pretty good evidence they're doing the right thing by a lot of customers. Making their operating systems free. NOT selling your personal shit to advertisers when they very easily could. Giving me a new phone because I clumsily dropped the old one in a car park.

You can argue til the cows come home that their products are a) too expensive b) too inflexible c) too dominant, but you're never going to trip them up on the matter of personal privacy. Apple make stuff, and that's how they mostly make their money. You are not the product.

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NERDGASM as Apple announces 'special event'

Mike Bell
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Re: Assuming it's about the watch

I doubt I'd buy one either, but I don't think I could complain about nightly charging. Most people don't take their watch to bed with them. Yes, I said most, before fingers start twitching.

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Don't touch me up there! Photoshop creator appeals for 'ethical' use

Mike Bell
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Re: Defending Subsrcriptions

Assuming for a moment you could buy recent versions of all those applications - which you can't - the reason they are so expensive is because Adobe really love charging their customers, and to date the competition hasn't been that great, which has made it easy for them to get away with it.

The landscape is beginning to change, though. There are some great applications coming out that in some respects are better than Photoshop. For about 5% of Adobe's price. As I mentioned in another recent posting, we need Adobe to have some serious competition.

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

Mike Bell
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Silly Idea

Super-intelligent trans-organic aliens are probably reading Hawking's message with wry amusement.

No way will they let us monkeys out of our back yard.

And nor should they.

By the time our species is worthy of survival, we won't be humans any more.

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Samsung buys LoopPay ... to be better at bonking than Apple

Mike Bell
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Re: Another mag stripe dead-end?

Gradually being dragged towards Chip & PIN? In the US, retailers have only 7 months left to upgrade to Chip & PIN. After that, they're exposing themselves to much greater liability for fraudulent purchases.

Samsung's acquisition may be of use in other parts of the world, but it's a dead duck in the US, surely?

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(Re)touching on a quarter-century of Adobe Photoshop

Mike Bell
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Re: Need a good kicking

Hey, well done. They must have relented and allowed access to three-year-old versions. For a while it was extremely difficult to find that on their website.

Nice of them, isn't it, to let you buy old unsupported stuff. If you bought it a few weeks ago, don't expect to see any patches anytime soon.

As for wanting the latest and greatest, you are stuffed, mate. It's rental all the way for you.

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Mike Bell
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Re: Need a good kicking

@AC:

Have you been living on a desert island? Adobe made usage of Photoshop a subscription-only model ages ago. You can't buy Photoshop outright from Adobe any more.

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Mike Bell
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Need a good kicking

Adobe alienated many loyal fans when they went to their rental model and removed the user's right to buy a perpetual license.

They need a good kicking. I am hopeful that the likes of Affinity Photo will give them the stiff competition that they sorely deserve.

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iBank: RBS, NatWest first UK banks to allow Apple Touch ID logins

Mike Bell
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Re: Disaster

Is that long-life popcorn you've got in the cupboard?

There are a million far easier ways of committing fraud than trying to fool Touch ID using elaborate print-cloning techniques.

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Hey, NUDE CELEBS! Apple adds SWEET 2FA to iMessage, Facetime

Mike Bell
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Re: What's the second factor?

@Bradley.

No, you don't.

If you wish to enable optional two step verification, you may use another phone or another Apple device to receive a verification code. If you don't have such a thing, don't enable it.

A printed recovery key may also be used if the verification device is unavailable.

But in any case, there are limited circumstances in which it swings into action, as described here. In the main, when making important security changes or setting up new devices with your Apple ID.

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Mike Bell
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Apple's sweet and fluffy nomenclature is called Two-Step Verification, described here.

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Mike Bell
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Re: What's the second factor?

No. You can add any old SMS phone to your list of trusted devices. At runtime you can choose which device you'd like to use to receive a verification code.

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BBC bins pricey Windows Media, Audio Factory goes live

Mike Bell
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Re: And if....

@AMBxx

Interested. Where do the BBC use client-side Java?

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Basic minimum income is a BRILLIANT idea. Small problem: it doesn't work as planned

Mike Bell
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Re: We already have this

Educate yourself.

You don't have to look very hard to find out how the world's money supply actually works. Note the criticisms, in particular.

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Mike Bell
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We already have this

It's called the Fractional Reserve Banking System. Unfortunately, the money gets handed to the very rich rather than to Joe Bloggs.

When you borrow from a bank, they mostly lend you money that doesn't actually exist. With the government's permission, they are permitted to effectively print the bulk of it, conjured out of thin air as 'new money'. And yet, they collect back from you all of that new money plus interest. Ker-Ching!

Nice little earner for zero productive work.

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Jupiter Ascending – a literally laughable train wreck of a film

Mike Bell
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Re: Isn't it amazing that...

Kingsman is a wonderfully over-the-top bit of fun, saw it yesterday. It takes no prisoners – least of all itself.

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They've finally solved it: Schrödinger's cat is both ALIVE AND DEAD

Mike Bell
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Re: If you really want to know ...

Agreed.

From the article:

the wave function described in quantum mechanics suggests the cat exists in a superposition of dead/alive states simultaneously

A quick reminder: the wave function is a well defined deterministic function that describes the probabilities of things happening. The 'wave function' of the insurance industry describes very well how many cars will crash on Britain's roads in a given year. What it doesn't do is describe whether or not my car in particular will crash.

And so to the cat and its wave function. In many-worlds there are vast numbers of 'universes' containing virtually identical boxes and cats, some of which are dead, and others that are alive. The observers in a live-cat universe will see a living cat; the observers in a dead cat universe will see a dead cat. This doesn't mean that the cat is both dead and alive at the same time, just that the universe has obliged by giving us - somewhere - all possible outcomes. This strikes me as being a parsimonious and elegant description. No need to come up with the notion of an observer, and the eternal conundrum of why a particular particle decays 'spontaneously' becomes irrelevant.

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