Some men do get periods ...
Three men in the UK got pregnant last year. In Australia, about 50 men get pregnant every year.
Hooded eyes are following my keystrokes. Hidden ears are analysing every shuffle. Deep inside its circuitry, my laptop is tutting and rubbing its silicon chin. I am trying to write another weekly column for a notorious IT-themed scandal sheet and my computer does not like what it detects as I tickle fitfully at the keys. …
At least 1% of the population of the world are actually, biologically, medically, intersex.
That's the same portion as people like diabetics, autists, redheads, etc....
Estimating the prevalence of intersex people is difficult, as there's no consensus on what is or isn't included. The conditions that genuinely involve some crossing of the sexes (chromosomal abnormalities, androgen insensitivity, genitals that aren't clearly male or female, etc.) appear in fewer than 1/1000 births. That's nowhere near the percentages of the population who are diabetic, autistic, red-headed, etc.:
Diabetes - 8.5% of the population
Autism - 1.5% of births
Redheads - 2-6% of Northern Europeans, 1-2% of all races
Gender is a grammatical concept. Even English is just hanging on to three (he, she, it) while Russian needs 4 - masculine animate, masculine inanimate, feminine and neuter.
And gender very definitely is a social construct. Why are ships "she"? Why does a French soldier (le soldat) become feminine when he goes on duty (la sentinelle)? Why do we (when being rude, i.e. not PC) describe fussy men as "old women"?
Liberalism, if it's a mental disorder, has got us from serf agriculture to the advanced parts of the modern world, so it has been a rather productive one. It helps to read the history of ideas rather than throw words around is if they had no meaning. Ask Diderot.
It's amazing how many songs you think are original are covers or, at least, written by someone else and made famous by others.
I am a huge Springsteen fan and still didn't know Blinded by the light was written by him for a long time. Similarly, Because the night.
Alice (co-)wrote Only Women Bleed.
The "other wrist" thing in the end comment is actually a point. If you put the watch on so the text is the right way up, the buttons are probably not usable or may act in the wrong direction.
iWatch has a right/left setting to flip the screen, but surprisingly it looks like Google Wear doesn't support this you need a separate app!
"I don't understand, neither my traditional watches or my smart thingy get rotated; I'm a 'righty' in terms of where I wear my watch, and I'm right handed.
Why does anything need flipping?"
First, the wristband being the wrong way was a joke that confused the salesmen because they didn't understand why anyone would want to put it on a different wrist than the one they designed it for. Secondly, most watches are designed to be worn on the left wrist and the winder or buttons are layed out for the most convenience when worn that way. Adjusting or winding a watch worn on the right-hand wrist becomes awkward.
I wear my Microsoft Band 2 on my right hand, display on the inner part of my wrist - it's a horizontal display and way easier to read when rotating my hand palm up. As a power saver it detects when you rotate your wrist to turn on the time display - the settings menu allows you to select which hand, and which way you are wearing it (inside or outside the wrist).
Yet another thing Microsoft got right about the Band 2 - shame about the durability of the band itself...
Before the menopause my wife used to complain about irregular periods as that was the reason I had to make emergency trips to garages to buy tampons on Friday nights before bank holiday weekends.
I started keeping my own calendar and it didn't need FFT to see what was going on - an almost exact 28 day cycle - my wife was just less organized than her reproductive equipment.
Why on earth do you need an IoT device to track your girlfriend's/wife's monthly cycle?
Am I the only one who knows 1) to keep head down, 2) do not respond to shouting and swearing with "Is it your time dear?" and 3) make sure that the loo seat is always closed and clean?
make sure that the loo seat is always closed and clean
I do that (well - the closed bit anyway) otherwise the indoor cats wouldn't be able to get to the cat kibble on the wide shelf above the main bathroom cistern..
The other cats use that path too - without bothering to wipe their feet after coming in from the garden. Hence the 'not clean' bit.
 Yes - I know it's an odd place. But, when you have one cat with an uncertain stomach that's sometimes set off by eating, it's a lot better if she pukes on the tiled floor in the main bathroom rather than on the carpets outside. Besides which, anyone who stays at our place is cat-tolerant (and in most cases, cat-friendly). And if they don't like it, they are free to not come and stay..
 Where the dog will usually find the 'output' and (mostly) clean it up. Just leaving a suspicious wet patch and the mostly-digested crumbled remains of last meals biscuits.. Dogs. There's a reason why I don't like dogs licking me..
 Our house is (mostly) maintained for the comfort of the horde of cats (I think 7 counts as a horde..). I was programmed by them from a very early age.
What's that all about then?
I was taught(ish) a lot of stuff at Primary and Secondary school which hasn't really come in useful since and is mainly forgotten. I include Latin and the more obscure parts of English syntax/grammar.
I chanced on IT as a career after leaving University with no prior training. Took me about 6 months to become a mediocre programmer and another 6 to decide that this programming lark was going to get very repetitive and boring very soon. So I turned to more detailed stuff about how computers worked. The rest, as they say, is history with a touch of geography thrown in from time to time.
Let us assume that today's cannon fodder exits the Higher Education scam (mainly designed to make the unemployment figures look good) at the age of 25 with no useful skills apart from flipping burgers or serving coffe which they learned in summer jobs. It looks as though they are going to be working until they are at least 75 so six months intensive training in an IT discipline should hopefully yield 49.5 years of productive work in IT. How is a programming course taught in Primary school going to significantly shorten the training? Unless they are actively programming at meaningful tasks all the way through including University nothing of significance is going to stick. What are they going to achieve and what is the short term reward? I very rarely progam any more because I have no need. I don't know anyone else not directly employed in IT who does either. IT has gone from being something new, exciting and arcane with high pay to being mundane stuff supplied for free (usually) on cheap consumer devices.
I also doubt that many of my contemporaries remember or use any Latin. This programming thing is, IMHO, just smoke and mirrors to deflect the eye from the real issue; not many 25 year olds with above average intelligence are going to look at the current IT marketplace and think "Wow! This looks like an amazing career with secure and highly paid long term prospects.". They are more likely to decide that in 5-10 years flipping burgers will be more secure and pay better.
I very rarely progam any more because I have no need. I don't know anyone else not directly employed in IT who does either.
It'll come back. Some companies are already starting to realize the useless numpties graduating from useless Indian universities can't program to save their lives.
And it's people like you who do not have Computer Science qualifications, who dumb down the whole system and allow off-shoring. The sooner that Software Engineer is given protected status the better!
"Only web development until you show me your Charter, Sonny."
Copula hock in lido mulitum
I think you will find that very few of the people who built the massive everyday support infrastructure in the '70s and '80s (including banking, billing) had Computre Science degrees or Maths degrees. Nor did they have computer specific academic qualifications. A lot of COBOL programmers, though, with training by the company.
When I started out as a COBOL programmer in the early '70s there weren't many CS bods around for at least two reasons.
(1) There just wasn't the supply.
(2) Their training was not in commercial programming. Spending time learning to write self modifying code in the smallest possible footprint to make the most of the limited capabilities of an obsolete last generation microprocessor does not make you a shoe in for writing clear, easily maintainable commercial code. In practice it was like taking on a badly trained horse. You had to break all the bad habits before you could start training with the good habits. Far swifter and easier to start with an untrained horse.
I think NASA has been looking for some help with FORTRAN? Maybe my mom want's to come out of retirement?
In schools, I think the skills should be measured, and then any student with a predisposition for the discipline should be exposed to the opportunities their skills would present. If they show interest, show them everything they can absorb.
"I don't know anyone else not directly employed in IT who does either."
All the mathematicians, statisticians, robotics engineers and data scientists I know all are not IT staff, but all can program to some degree because the computer is the tool for handling the data (and often collecting). So while most wouldn't be up to building an OS from scratch, almost all would be capable of building an application.
Most mathematical and statistical software needs at least some basic programming concepts in order to use effectively even as a student. You can (in theory) explore numerical math by doing it on pen and paper, but it's easier to see the difference between different techniques when you don't have to do all the calculations by hand. To do that you need to at least understand the basics of recursion and building simple methods.
I have to often explain this in a job interview, since while I can program (and expect to do some amount of it) I am *not* a programmer.
We were talking about this at a meeting yesterday. While any old robot can flip a burger, the whole process of cooking meals from start to finish is quite involved, especially in a restaurant - grabbing the right ingredients at the right time, topping up and adjusting quantities as required, tasting and re-seasoning, etc - and it looks as if it will be a long time yet before a robot can do this as efficiently as a human. I mean, you could spend a few billion on an AI to get it right eventually, but cooks do it cheaper, faster and they can do it now. No wonder so many millennials have opened cafes and restaurants.
Desserts are the biggest "brought in" item for most restaurants, always best to avoid dessert at low priced Italian restaurants as although they will typically do homemade starters and mains, the desserts will be often the same selection as the Italian restaurant down the road from same 3rd party Italian dessert suppliers
No, the one thing they can't consistently handle is something that is consistently INconsistent. Like shreds of lettuce and slices of tomatoes each different sizes and shapes. Or patties each slightly different in texture. I recall that why robots still can't harvest anything irregular and/or fragile.
I have a belt sander as well as a planer
Ohh! Look at your with your fancy andvanced equipment!
I have a hammer. A big, big hammer. (No, it's not a euphanism).
I guarentee, unless we are talking about late-90's vintage Cisco or Sun equipment, 30 seconds alone with me and Mr Hammer and the smart device will be a whole lot less thick.
 No - not the one in the funny trousers. I was going to try to make a Baggy Trousers joke but couldn't work out how to link MC Hammer and Madness..
Here on the Reg I think we all know where 'the thick' really lies... A slurpy Smartwatch is just a self-imposed... Open-prison ankle-bracelet for the 'Dumb Fucks' generation... (IoT-Hell / IoT-Hype)
"I'm not so paranoid to believe that it's all done with evil intent by some British-accented villain chuckling "excellent, excellent" while watching us on a remote monitor from his lair in a hollowed-out volcano."
Well that would just be silly. The Big Z has only just recently started the construction of the new Facebook HQ on Hawaii and he's far too uncouth to have properly mastered the accent yet.
The main purpose of Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Hey Google is in the collection of interaction data - to help form and inform the next level of AI. Any advantage to the "owner" of the device/app is purely coincidental. This being the case wouldn't it be better to have your voice pattern known during the early training stage for when the Skynet generation of devices takes over..... Maybe by having you voice associated with good pleasant things in the AI programming DNA at the primordial stage may prevent you being the "first against the wall when the revolution comes" ?
"I'm not so paranoid to believe that it's all done with evil intent by some British-accented villain chuckling "excellent, excellent" while watching us on a remote monitor from his lair in a hollowed-out volcano.
Of course not, thats a ridiculous suggestion. utterly unbelievable, totally not going to happen.
They'll have an American accent. Duh!
David McWilliams, 'Days Of Pearly Spencer' - That took me back! Thanks.
For some reason it also reminded me of Zager And Evans', 'In The Year 2525' -
Bugger. Now I'm going to have to work through Prelude's 'After the Goldrush"', Joan Baez's 'Rejoice in the Sun', and decades of haunting melodies. Maybe there's an App for that?
Everytime I hear\see that name I'm taken back to......
Governor Lepetomane : Thank you, Hedy, thank you
Hedley Lamarr : It's not *Hedy*, it's *Hedley*. Hedley Lamarr.
Governor Lepetomane : What the hell are you worried about? This is 1874. You'll be able to sue *her*.
"You're only allowed to be truly clever after you're dead: think Alan Turing, Louis Le Prince, Hedy Lamarr. How Einstein slipped through the net is anyone's guess."
He lived in a different age when scientists were respected. Mind you, in their day, the privileged classes probably also thought that the relative who spent all his time in a homemade lab or exploring jungles was probably bonkers.
The wild hair probably helped.
"You're only allowed to be truly clever after you're dead: think Alan Turing, Louis Le Prince, Hedy Lamarr. How Einstein slipped through the net is anyone's guess.""
By going to America and not being illegally gay.
Anybody who worked in a scientific role for the British Government was liable to be subjected to mushroom management (keep them in the dark and from time to time pour manure over them). Not only Turing but Cocks and doubtless others.
This article (Great one, Dabbsy!) got me pondering whether perhaps advertisers have started harnessing the power of Quantum in their ad-slinging. I recall making a comment in El Reg's hallowed web pages whilst I was in my last job about being bemused at being shown adverts to do with lingerie and red diesel not long after zapping Firefox entirely and doing a clean re-install.
Now the lingerie ad was too late - I'm well into the comfy-knickers part of my life - but the red diesel might have been prescient. I'd never have guessed back then that I'd be sitting here today one year into a horticultural degree, having learned how to drive a tractor along the way.
So in my case, advertising AI correctly identified what I was (female) but not when I was, whilst in Dabbsy's case, it identified when he was but not what.. - it's quantum innit?
I hate reports of this sort of development. As far as I can see, AI has yet to prove itself - it failed after much hype in the 1980's and that is enough for me.
Why would anyone want to entrust their health to such a dodgy piece of technology, and why would anyone want to be permanently plugged into a virtual doctor anyway?
Most people will see such an app as a 'bit of fun' but some people get hooked by hypochondria and I am sure it can make life a misery. We will all die one day, so it is better to enjoy life!
"I hate reports of this sort of development. As far as I can see, AI has yet to prove itself - it failed after much hype in the 1980's and that is enough for me."
Electric cars failed the first time round because lead acid batteries have such a poor charge to weight ratio. The idea that a continuously variable gearbox would improve fuel economy was raised before WW1 but CVTs didn't really get there till the 21st century. Gas turbine aircraft were also predicted before 1914 but machining and metallurgy didn't catch up till the 1940s. The fact that something did not work in the past is not a guide to its not working in the present, assuming technology has advanced in the meantime.
I don't know about you but in the 1980s I was working with sub-20MHz and tens of kilobytes. It was obvious that you couldn't do AI with something with much less computing power than a sea slug, but one thing that doesn't change is the hype industry.
This shitty code is in your medical devices, cars, industrial systems, phones, apps and most devices in your homes. It's present on every website you visit.
Insecure by negligence and stupidity, it's everywhere in your life.
But hey - psychopaths are running the companies that make this stuff & they don't give a shit. They are cutting cost to get paid. You are not the 1%, so fuck you.
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