* Posts by John Mangan

154 posts • joined 14 Aug 2007

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UK membership of Council of Europe has implications for data protection after Brexit

John Mangan

Re: Brexit means Brexit

"Open borders were allowed before with the Nordic Passport Convention, so there's no real reason that it could not be done again to keep the Irish border open."

But in that case what is to stop EU nationals travelling to Eire and just walking into the UK (via NI) without let or hindrance? Are we going to have full border control between 'the mainland' and NI?

Otherwise EU still has 'free movement' into UK but we don't have the same privilege.

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What's Brexit? How Tech UK tore up its plans after June 23

John Mangan

Re: This is the nub of it . .

"There is no possibility to "take two" of your options, either of points one and two exclude the possibility of three happening."

I tend to agree with you but I was trying to imagine that because of economic fears/breakup of the EU/any other of the Brexiteer's suggestions for why we would get special treatment we *might* manage a "two out of three ain't bad" agreement but even on this (unlikely) basis I can't see the 'leavers' being happy.

And that only leaves a break with tariffs/visas/etc. (WTO or EU-agreed) which hurts everybody, <Very sad face>.

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John Mangan

Re: @ Doctor Syntax

"So no I dont want to plough on ahead regardless, I want out of that doomed wreck"

. . . even if your Brexiteer heroes can't get a good deal for that exit. We're not talking about eternity here; we're talking about making sure that out economoy doesn't fall off a cliff before world+dog trades equally/more profitably with us. Even on a doomed wreck its worth leaving with a lifeboat or two. The rest of your post is just diversionary hand-waving.

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John Mangan

Re: YAWN

Well done on answering all/any of the substantive points above. I'm convinced.

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John Mangan

Re: @ Doctor Syntax

@SmartyPants - although I am on the same side of the debate as on this and agree with many of your points the recent 'Post-Referendum Brexit Debate' (on ITV?) showed the results of a poll with no significant change of voting intentions from either the 'Leave' or 'Remain' camp so I don't think it is clear that the result would change if the referendum was held again.

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John Mangan

Re: @ Doctor Syntax

"Nope. Moving goal posts again just because a majority gave the 'wrong' result is not democracy. Saying X,Y,Z must be agreed minimums or we will ignore the people is again another tantrum against democracy."

So, if even committed Brexiteers can't get a deal that is not entirely crippling for the country you would rather just plough ahead regardless? Wow!

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John Mangan

This is the nub of it . .

"All are waiting to hear what the rebooted Conservative government under Prime Minister Theresa May means when she says “Brexit means Brexit"."

One month on and NOBODY knows what Brexit means. There seem to me to be three planks for the Leavers:

- No free movement (take back control)

- No EU 'subscription' (take back control)

- Access to the single market (don't want to reallly f@ck the economy before the world comes banging down the doors now that 'Britain is open for business').

I cannot see anyway there can be a three for three deal worked out. So will the anti-immigrant leavers be happy if their bete-noir is abandoned or will the 'money wasted' supporters be happy if the other two are the deal?

And if we lose access to the single market (on current terms) how bad an economic shock will THAT be?

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Google tests its own quantum computer – both qubits of it

John Mangan

I really didn't properly understand all of that . .

but I got enough to be impressed.

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Capita redundo staff: We are free at last, free at last… at the end of this month

John Mangan

Re: Outsourcing

I'm torn.

In principle I can see the benefits of out-sourcing to employers and employees; areas of competence, possibilities for career progression, efficinecies, etc.

In practice, what you said.

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EU cybersecurity directive will reach Britain, come what May

John Mangan

Re: The UK's withdrawal from the EU will take at least two years.

"if UK has not done so within that period, it is automatically excluded."

That's not quite true - the deadline can be extended if ALL parties agree.

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Science non-fiction: Newly spotted alien world bathes in glow of three stars

John Mangan

Where did the 16 million year planetary age come from?

Is it concluded from the composition on the stars?

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Paper wasps that lie to their mates get a right kicking, research finds

John Mangan

"paper wasp queens"

- Wasp stings Queen

- Queen wipes bum with paper

- Wasp gets wrapped up in paper and thrown in the bin

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Encryption, wiretaps and the Feds: THE TRUTH

John Mangan

Re: Russia Snoopers Charter

That's it.

A Prime Minister is never elected as Prime Minister and yet every time a conversation comes up like this somebody trots out about the 'unelected Prime Minister' line. All the candidates are elected MPs eligible to stand for the leadership of the ruling party and therefore become Prime Minister. End of.

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John Mangan

Re: Russia Snoopers Charter

I was with you right up until this ". . .without the people voting for her as PM."

No, just no! Downvote.

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What Brexit means for you as a motorist

John Mangan

Re: Yawn.

"what happens is we are out with no deal.

and can charge WTO tarriffs in European imports.

So boosting UK economy."

. . . and get charged them in return. Noone wins in that scenario.

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John Mangan

Re: Yawn.

You know, I believe that Boris is bright enough (whatever you think of his schtick) to have known that negotiating a sensible and beneficial withdrawal that 27 other national entities have all agreed to (in line with their own national self-interests) would be a hideous game of russian roulette which really does lend weight to the view that he never expected to win and only wanted to undermine Cameron.

If that is true then I would guess right now, rather than planning for said sensible and beneficial agreement, he is tearing around the hamster wheel in his mind wondering how he can still be Prime Minister without shooting his political career in the head.

I want to see him get the job and i will stand an applaud while he chokes on it.

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John Mangan

Re: Yawn.

"I dont think negotiations with the EU CAN last more than 2 years unless everybody in the EU wants them to."

Exactly, if someone doesn't agree to extend and the talks are not complete then WTO rules come into force; 10% tarrifs on cars, 35% on dairy, etc. and apparently the rules are 'not favourable' for financial services (alarm bells anyone?).

Greenland took two years to sort out essentially fishing and they were far less deeply embedded in the EEA, as was, than we are in the EU.

Shortened talks do NOT work in our favour.

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John Mangan

Yawn.

Nothing is going to change for a lot more than two years (assuming that no country - out of 27 - is suicidal enough to spike extensions to the talks). For the next 2-10 years we will be locked in unending horse-trading and politicking. In the meantime we will continue to be members of the EU (but with no influence), we will continue to pay our subscription, immigration will remain unchanged, there will be no new money for the NHS or any other bribe that was offered.

By the time this comes to pass most of the 'leavers' will have forgotten they voted for it and will have moved on to blaming some other entity for all of their woes.

Oh f@ck!

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You can be my wingman any time! RaspBerry Pi AI waxes Air Force top gun's tail in dogfights

John Mangan

Friend or Foe?

They better make sure the identification system is un-hackable.

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Sharing your work cubicle with robots may not be such a bad thing

John Mangan

<with more "person-to-person interaction," >

<<Shudder>>

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Let's grow a baby universe in a supercomputer, watch black holes collide

John Mangan

I have a question . . .

"They are predicted to have formed in the early universe from massive dense clouds that collapsed straight into black holes without forming any stars and galaxies beforehand"

I have seen this mentioned a number of times recently and I'm wondering how is this supposed to happen? My vague memories suggest that as the gas collapses it heats, nuclear fusion starts, radiation slows the inflow of matter (or dissipates it into the outer reaches of the 'system'. Does this model depend on matter falling in such large volumes and so rapidly that it snuffs out the nascent star?

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Why you should Vote Remain: Bananas, bathwater and babies

John Mangan

Re: "Let's not be that third" - Why not ?

Think . . neither can afford to get both hands out the others pocket but if they both keep one hand each in then they both have a hand free for the third party.

It's really not that hard.

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John Mangan

Re: "Let's not be that third" - Why not ?

Read the line - does not get plundered *separately*

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Gravitational waves: A new type of astronomy

John Mangan

Re: How powerful is a gravitational wave close to the source?

@Ken Strain - Ken, it is indeed I. And I'm very glad to see you haven't had to correct any egregious errors on my part. It's been a long time and the memory's not what it was. I re-read my thesis after the announcement of the first detection and it really brought home how much I had forgotten..

Oh, and congratulations of course to everyone in Glasgow!

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John Mangan

Re: How powerful is a gravitational wave close to the source?

It's an interesting question - and I don't know the answer - but you need to consider that such a proposed planet has to be far enough away from both black holes not to have been ripped apart by tidal forces (which will be far more powerful than the tidal forces of any gravitational radiation emitted by the system) so I am going to say - at such a distance - still pretty negligible.

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John Mangan

Re: What a time to be alive

"I wonder how they arrange it so that, say, a nuke going off in North Korea doesn't disturb the mirrors by such a tiny amount?"

Basically the nuke will generate 'ringing' at one set of frequencies and the detector will be sensitive at different frequencies. Also if there a coincident signal at two or more detectors in the right frequency range there are plenty of seismometers (including at the sites of the detectors) to throw up a 'just check this would you?' alert. Then you look at amplitudes, frwquencies, attack, decay, etc.

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John Mangan

Re: Poor science - @Dr Mouse

"However, aren't there quite a lot of other variables to consider? If there's a large sun between us and the event (a sun which passed across the wave front) then wouldn't that distort the wave? So, I would imagine that large events produce such enormous waves that other objects in their path have limited impact but I'd also imagine that there will come a point where it is like looking at the waves on the shore... so many that it's basically noise with no useful information."

Not really. The waves are quadropoles and therefore will be pretty well unaffected by a 'monopole' object (not the best scientific explanation but I think gives a clear image of what is happening).

Also for your second point the waves are incredibly weak to start with, energy falls off according to 1/R^2 as they expand spherically and therefore 'soon' fade into undetectability. Also there is no 'shore' for them to be reflected from (current modesl, etc.)

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John Mangan

Re: Poor science

@John Sager - "gravitational radiation has only been measured by one method". Not entirely true. If you are referring to direct measurement I will grant you the point. However I believe that the energy loss of certain pulsars has been calculated to match what would be predicted by GR for gravitational radiation - so an indirect detection and not for the same sources.

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Cold space gas? Sure, supermassive black holes can eat that. Nom, nom, nom

John Mangan

And another question . . .

"Cold gas raining in . . " sounds like a purely radial flow which makes me wonder what conditions give rise to gas with no angular momentum?

Also, as the gas gets closer to the super-massive black hole presumably it is accelerated and compressed and so becomes 'hot'. So wouldn't any gas actually seen falling into a black hole be hot and, if so, how can anyone know that previously observed infalls weren't cold gas as well (originally). What criteria are being applied here?

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Mars One puts 100 Red Planet corpses colonists through fresh tests

John Mangan

Re: Anyone see the program Ascension?

Yes, it was shit!

On so many levels and for so many reasons.

Thanks for asking.

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UK Home Office is creating mega database by stitching together ALL its gov records

John Mangan

Re: RE: "one database to rule them all"

I truly wish I could believe that.

I tend to side with the view that most of these people are doing the best job they can and are looking at efficiency, savings, etc. but if anyone of a totalitarian disposition every does get into power with these tools to hand then we are all well and truly f@cked on a scale never before seen in human history.

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Would we want to regenerate brains of patients who are clinically dead?

John Mangan

Re: ick, ethicists

Agreed with you right up to the reckless, ill-considered

" In the short term, we should be reviving bodies left and right despite whatever horrifying outcomes are encountered due to damaged brain tissue. Hopefully they signed consent forms beforehand, but that is just a courtesy"

No, there have to be checks, balances and forethought!

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NIST readies 'post-quantum' crypto competition

John Mangan

Re: NIST is being prudent

Sometimes stuff can arrive sooner than you think - and betting that it won't would be much more of a mug's game than putting in a little ground work in preparation.

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John Mangan

The trouble with 'random' ideas . .

is that they are no use for the frequent, reliable transfer of information. Although what you are suggesting would probably work very nicely for a single communication, or set of communications, with a known other (who knows what tricks you are pulling) it would not work as a widely available communications system where standards have to be created, agreed to, implemented and therefore become common knowledge and easily reversed.

The reason we rely on maths is because it provides a known method for reducing structured information into essentially random data together with a key that can be shown to be breakable only by the application of 'n' clock cycles and that 'n' can be adjusted to whatever level of security you require (bugs and implementation errors excepted).

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John Mangan

Re: I find it heartening . .

To be fair it has been 'quite a few' if not yet 'many years'.

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John Mangan

I find it heartening . .

. . that before an encryption apocalypse is upon us there are already several avenues of investigation open because mathematicians (I assume) 'wasted' their time with developing branches of Number Theory that most people would look at and say, "What's the use of that?".

Anyone responsible for science funding should take lessons from these sort of developments.

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Mercury to transit Sun: Viewer discretion advised

John Mangan

Re: Can someone explain . . .

The magic of geometry . . a quick scribble reveals that little 7 degrees can throw Mercury up to 11 times the Sun's radius above/below our orbital plane. Apparently Mercury's orbit isn't as really, really close as I thought.

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John Mangan

Re: Can someone explain . . .

. . . or does a 'transit' demand it cross at least, say, 90% of the transited object?

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John Mangan

Re: Can someone explain . . .

But don't the relative sizes and positions allow for quite a lot of non-coplanarity and still let you see Mercury doing its dash?

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John Mangan

Can someone explain . . .

why, if Mercury whizzes around the Sun every 88 days, and Earth and Mercury both orbit in the same plane, and tiny, tiny Mercury is really, really close to really big the Sun that a transit only happens 13 times a century rather than, say, four times a year?

Thank you.

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One black hole, three galaxies, four BEELION solar masses – found by accident

John Mangan

Re: Simple question

Okay I'm definitely not an expert but:

There is a fundamental problem that universe is an archaic term for when we thought what we could see was all there was. That is no longer the case but we still call what we can see (by whatever physically allowed means) the universe. it is, by definition, the only one we can 'know' about.

There are, as you have surmised, several possibilities for other 'universes'. An incomplete list includes:

- universes beyond the observable horizon. There are some theories which allow some inferences to be made from movements of matter within our observable uinverse.

- multiple universes existing in various branes in the multi-dimensional M-theory

- multiple universes generated by (or causing indirectly) quantum weirdness (take your pick).

. . . . and others.

You have selected a specific sub-set of universes that you are happy with and arrived at a (possibly valid) conclusion based on that alone.

As one of the other posters alluded to there are very many books, programmes and web articles on these subjects and you need to do some investigation of your own before you can ask a question that others will find sufficiently well formed/defined to provide an answer to.

I don't want to come off as patronising because I am only too well aware how short my knowledge in this area falls but (I hope I'm not being too presumptious here) the general tenor of your question implies that you are not.

I probably should post this anonymously . . . .

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John Mangan

Re: Simple question

It's a simple question but the terms are poorly defined.

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'Cat-flap' pendulum offers 7x improvement for grav-wave detectors

John Mangan

Re: Noise Filtering

There are a whole array of isolation mechanisms. There are passive items like lead/rubber stacks, the mirrors are suspended on fine 'wires' to filter higher frequency noise. There are feedback mechanisms using laser beam sidebands to further reduce noise.

On top of that although the impression given is that a laser beam enters the arm, reflects at the end and then exits these arms are actually Fabry-Perot cavities and the light bounces back and forth 'a lot'. The reflectivity of the mirrors define the 'finesse' of the cavity and the 'finesse' also defines the frequency response to gravitational waves. So one photon hitting a bump isn't going to be a big deal.

There are also baffles along the tubes to ensure that scattered light doesn't get to re-enter the beam and (almost certainly) a whole host of other enhancements that weren't even thought of when I left the field nearly three decades ago.

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William Hague: Brussels attacks mean we must destroy crypto ASAP

John Mangan

I find myself wondering . .

. . .if 'terrorists' eschew encrypted communications because they fear they would raise a large flag over any device that sends such messages.

Surely easier and less conspicuous to post on facebook/twitter about "meeting at the 'cafe' on Tuesday. Bring your 'packed lunch'.", and get lost in the morass of other vacuous meanderings filling the intertubes?

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Labour: We want the Snoopers' Charter because of Snowden

John Mangan

Re: More and more . .

I hope you are right - and when the 'Republican Grandees' spoke out against him I expected it to increase his popularity; reinforcing his image as not part of the establishment.

However I fear that a lot of Trump support is based on narrow self-interest and buying into his promise to make America great and get rid of all the immigrants and stop terrorism. I'm aware of the Godwin risk but, in this case, I really do believe the parallels to Hitler are worrying.

However I then comfort myself by believing that Trump is nowhere near as bright as Hitler - which is no doubt how pre-WWII observers comforted themselves when Hitler was seeking election - by comparing him to $ARCHETYPAL_HISTORICAL_BADDY <sad face>.

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John Mangan

Re: More and more . .

I think provable fact is better than a guess - no matter how well founded. It's also a lot harder for governments to ignore said facts and dismiss them as conspiracy theories.

If the US or GB had an ounce of integrity Snowden would be summarily pardoned (by one) or offered asylum (by the other).

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John Mangan

More and more . .

I think that Edward Snowden should be lauded throughout the free world as a modern hero.

Whatever the result of this bill he has, at least, made us all (for a given value of 'all') aware of what is being done behind the scenes and how the government views the governed.

That alone is valuable information.

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Flying Scotsman attacked by drone

John Mangan

Re: Clearly impossible

It's ALWAYS the day for coming out with maths!

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IEEE delivers Ethernet-for-cars standard

John Mangan

When we had our house re-wired we ran CAT5 to every room and use it to convey phone signals to a couple of rooms..

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UK Snoopers' Charter crashes through critics into the next level

John Mangan

Re: This:

. . . . and family and friends? (You know, because you could imply things from collateral information).

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