* Posts by Jerome Fryer

37 posts • joined 17 Jun 2008

Do svidaniya Roscosmos. By the way, any idea where that 92 BEEELLION rubles went?

Jerome Fryer

Re: The wonder of it all

The Soviet record for deaths and injuries is better.

NASA did manage to get to the Moon and back multiple times without loss of life (and the Apollo 13 incident indicates how risky these missions were), so arguably achieved more.

Kiwis rally against 'snoops' charter' law

Jerome Fryer

They could have passed retro-active legislation, as they have done in the past. So the past illegal activities become legal.

Fairly surprising that they didn't do that in order to further their state-sponsored terrorism of Kim Dotcom.

Not anonymous because: anonymous -- yeah, right; and I'm fine that the gummint' know they can get stuffed over this spying BS as far as I'm concerned.

Stay away from the light, Kodak! Look, here's $406m to keep you alive

Jerome Fryer

Ah, so it was YOUR fault!

I used to work for a company that was burdened with similar management genius.

All problems arising from poor management were invariably the fault of the last engineer that had resigned. The one possible exception was the new hire who resigned after three hours (which I am fairly sure was our staff turnover record, and quite possibly the smartest person ever hired).

On the hunt for a new ampere

Jerome Fryer

Re: Leave well enough the frick alone please.....

The point of all this "diddling around with miniscule values" is that the inaccuracies are problematic for those using more cutting edge technology -- the present definition is simply not good enough. Any redefinitions will indeed be so small in relative terms (much less than parts per million) that the change would have no effect on most applications.

It won't affect my work, as we run a 'third tier' electrical calibration lab where our uncertainties are orders of magnitude higher than the probable corrections -- higher level labs may have to account for a redefinition to maintain their relative uncertainty levels, however.

Just because something is a useless exercise to you or I in our mundane activities does not mean it is a worthless exercise for everyone.

Congress plans to make computer crime law much, much worse

Jerome Fryer

The problem of Anarchism is not within Anarchism

The essential problem with Anarchism is that other, predatory, "isms" are already established and they can wield all of the power that they have taken from the people to hammer down such threats.

It is the same problem faced by Communism. Indeed, prior to the experiment of the USSR it was assumed that Communism could not work unless it was an internationally dominant system. A political system based on accrual of power and putting that in the hands of a few representatives of vested interests ensures that such systems have a "competitive advantage" over Communism, Anarchism, or any similar people-based system. The USSR (and the PRC) "adapted" to that problem by becoming the same type of power-based system, albeit with different economic approaches. Dictatorships of one sort or another (with or without lawyers to quibble over laws -- laws that can be changed at the stroke of a pen should they prove to yield an unsatisfactory outcome for the powerful) are always going to have efficiency advantages, especially when it comes to application of coercion or violence.

So you can go ahead and laugh at Anarchism, but keep in mind that you are the modern equivalent of those medieval peasants who would enthusiastically support their social betters and God-appointed masters. Humanity will either progress to more democratic and, frankly, more sane social systems or slide back into a renewed dark ages. You are simply a vacuous cheer-leader for the later, even if you don't comprehend that.

(BTW, I am an Anarcho-communist in terms of what socio-economic model I consider best. Yeah, I know -- go have a lie down and try to let your brain un-lock from the incomprehensibility of such a rejection of arbitrary power over "lesser" people...)

Health pros: Alcohol is EVIL – raise its price, ban its ads

Jerome Fryer

Banning advertising works. It was done here for a few years and drove down alcohol abuse considerably. But pushing this legal drug is, of course, a business; and the businesses were not happy with political interference in their right to sell as much alcoholic beverages as possible. Now we have prolific advertising, most sponsorship of sport is done by the alcohol industry, and they have 'alcopop' drinks targeting younger demographics.

Pricing is probably irrelevant, and would simply be yet another regressive tax. Price sensitivity to illegal drugs is minor, so I see no reason why legal drugs would differ.

While they're at it, how about banning ALL advertising? Think about how much of society's resources are wasted in trying to convince people to buy stuff that they don't need or want.

Global warming still stalled since 1998, WMO Doha figures show

Jerome Fryer

It's a diverse cabal of "scary people"

... and communists.

... and terrorists.

... and atheists.

... and people who read "The Guardian" (those few that aren't communists and / or terrorists and / or atheists, obviously).

... and any other "scary" people (are homosexuals still officially "scary"?)

Jerome Fryer
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Re: David Rose is even worse than Lewis Page

I can only recall the the one video where potholer54 singled out Lewis for squashing, but he did note that Lewis is a serial offender at misrepresenting facts.

WRT YouTube: potholer54 is a good resource for debunking denier nonsense, and greenman3610 also has a good channel where he presents the facts in a clear manner.

Jerome Fryer
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Re: Stats 101

Total failure to grasp something is helped a lot if you have no idea what you are looking for.

I have almost no understanding of cricket or baseball at all, so maybe I can get a gig on here pontificating on cricket and / or baseball in the same manner that Lewis gets to on climate change?

(Before you complain about "Where's the IT angle?", I'm sure that cricket and baseball have statistics that can be put in a spreadsheet and randomly fiddled about with -- then I can fail to comprehend what that data really represents and provide ridiculous commentary.)

Glorious silicon globes could hold key to elusive PERFECT kilogram

Jerome Fryer

Intercomparison is used

The method used to determine the IPK 'shrinkage' is intercomparison between the other master masses. Theoretically, several other masses could be experiencing an increase in mass, but the statistical likelihood points to the IPK slowly vanishing.

There are significant problems with the 'this here block of stuff is a kg' approach, however, and the point of the exercise of replacing a physical object (an artefact) with a repeatable process to determine a kg mass is to avoid those problems. Should you then desire to have a unit kg (to a theoretically arbitrary accuracy), regardless of where you happen to be, you can produce one through the magic of science -- or more than one.

(And also make the SI consistent with the idea that anyone should be able to produce the base units and thus derived units. So, if you should happen to misplace the IPK, the entire global economy isn't suddenly thrown into chaos because a base unit has vanished. And you probably think it is inconvenient when you misplace your keys...)

October global temps above average for 332nd straight month

Jerome Fryer

Antipodes also warming

Antarctic ice overall is reducing, mass being lost inland on the continent. The ice sheet advancing slightly further into the ocean is partly due to atmospheric disturbance from that lovely ozone hole we have down here, partly due to where that inland ice is going.

It's all quite complicated, but the up-shot is that there is just as much warming down here. (The atmosphere and oceans mix over time.)


Kim Dotcom offers free internet with own submarine cable

Jerome Fryer

Would require extraordinary legal contortions

Extradition would be tricky, since they have royally f*cked up the initial arrest (illegal arrest, illegal search and seizure, illegal transfer of his property to the FBI, and on and on...). Also a few wee errors on the part of the local internal spooks have surfaced, in terms of illegally spying on him. (Can't spy on legal residents without some "national security" nonsense, that they didn't have -- spooks claim to have been unaware of Dotcom's residency status so thought spying on German bloke was OK; well, how could the security establishment have feasibly managed to check such publicly available information? Make a phone call to the Department of Internal Affairs? F*ck those gummint' bureaucrats!)

Depending on how much Dotcom's business ends up being assessed as worth, he may be able to simply buy his own submarine cable outright once the NZ taxpayer reimburses him for our government's addiction to Uncle Sam's dong...

Come to think of it, he should just buy a political party then buy himself into government.

I for one welcome our potential hefty German submarine cable-owning overlord... etc.

Huawei says US stance is 'protectionism'

Jerome Fryer

Rogue equipment vendor

So, no NSA backdoor in Huawei equipment, then?

In any case, inspection of these devices can only guarantee security if the entire system is understood and can be reviewed at the binary level. There are far too many ways to insert "undocumented features" in various components to make a simple review of firmware (presumably using Huawei supplied libraries) capable of assuring a clean device.

Better to silently monitor the data stream from the equipment when hooked up to teh intertoobs to see if anything interesting happens.

US climate-change skeptics losing support

Jerome Fryer

The usual strawman tactics?

"1 - Why ignore the Sun?"

It *is* factored in. Pretending that it isn't is an absurd lie -- absurd because it has been in a period of lowest activity during the highest spikes in global temperature. (Less energy input from the Sun leads to *higher* temperatures?)

"2 - Why does the increase in CO2 not result in recent warming?"

It does. Thus we see warming tracking CO2.

"S - But it's been 16 years with no warming now...."

No, it hasn't. Even ignoring correcting for the usual El Nino / La Nina cycle it has *still* increased. When the known cyclical fluctuations *are* factored in the trend is still increasing, as predicted by the various studies.

You'd do better to read what the scientists are saying yourself instead of basing your opinions on deliberate quote-mining mixed with either incompetence in data interpretation / or deliberate manipulation.

The earlier response:


The response to the re-hashed lie:


(Now go ahead and claim that the scientists -- who get paid the same regardless of what their conclusions are, BTW -- are somehow the liars while the professional liars -- sensationalist journos, politicians, and right wing "Think Tanks" -- are breaking with form and presenting the truth; without any qualifications to even comprehend the data they are looking at.)

Jerome Fryer

Repeating the same article, when he knew it to be false

The first question and answer reported:



Q.1 “First, please confirm that they do indeed reveal no warming trend since 1997.”

The linear trend from August 1997 (in the middle of an exceptionally strong El Nino) to August 2012 (coming at the tail end of a double-dip La Nina) is about 0.03°C/decade, amounting to a temperature increase of 0.05°C over that period, but equally we could calculate the linear trend from 1999, during the subsequent La Nina, and show a more substantial warming.

As we’ve stressed before, choosing a starting or end point on short-term scales can be very misleading. Climate change can only be detected from multi-decadal timescales due to the inherent variability in the climate system. If you use a longer period from HadCRUT4 the trend looks very different. For example, 1979 to 2011 shows 0.16°C/decade (or 0.15°C/decade in the NCDC dataset, 0.16°C/decade in GISS). Looking at successive decades over this period, each decade was warmer than the previous – so the 1990s were warmer than the 1980s, and the 2000s were warmer than both. Eight of the top ten warmest years have occurred in the last decade.

Over the last 140 years global surface temperatures have risen by about 0.8ºC. However, within this record there have been several periods lasting a decade or more during which temperatures have risen very slowly or cooled. The current period of reduced warming is not unprecedented and 15 year long periods are not unusual.


Just in case you don't follow that reply: this means, "No, there was a warming trend -- you don't know what you're doing".

Fiddling with data that you don't understand will produce spurious results, and this rehash of an earlier failure to comprehend the data appears to be entirely politically motivated given that the Met Office already explained his errors and corrected him earlier.


US trounces UK in climate scepticism jibber-jabber

Jerome Fryer
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Who needs balance when you've already fallen over?

"That's completely wrong. The methodology (algorithms) are published and public. The source code is available."

Nah. Surely "peer review" is done by assumptions and vague guesswork, rather than considering the merit of the paper based on the facts -- just like the sceptics' critical reviewing techniques. Facts are just an annoying distraction from the predetermined message.


Ah well, those are only teeny tiny concentrations anyway, so what could possibly go wrong?

Besides, we need to use up all of the available oil in order to fuel our military-industrial complex to ensure that we are able to secure the oil that we need to fuel our military-industrial complex... Then when there is a severe water shortage in India and China we can sell them beer and fizzy drinks and get out of debt. See?

Everything is fine and all going to plan, do not question your beloved leaders (and definitely don't take a peek behind the curtain at the string-pullers as that makes them very cross...)

Romans, Han Dynasty, kick-started climate change

Jerome Fryer

Humans possess "reason"

"Natural" is, within the context of science, usually applied to processes that do not involve humans. The reason being that we are (at least supposedly) able to behave rationally and not be completely driven by instinctive behaviours.

So in the case of AGW we can *choose* to carry on as usual, then have some significant issues with water and food scarcity, or we can *choose* to modify our behaviour to prevent or alleviate negative future events.

We know that this freight train is bearing down on us (even the "deniers" / "sceptics" have given up disputing the data; they're just arguing that it is "natural" so will be fine -- a faith-based approach, apparently) so the only question is what we will choose to do. So far, we're assuming that it will just stop by itself, or that being hit by it will be less of an inconvenience than attempting to prevent that occurrence.

Jerome Fryer

Re: Mega-forcings of a few cooking fires.

Large volcanic eruptions put massive amounts of dust into the high atmosphere. This has a cooling effect on the climate, not warming.

(Yes, I know. Science is hard.)

New hottest-ever extreme temperature records now easier to achieve

Jerome Fryer

Re: Give it a rest Lewis

Do you know what an "outlier" is?

Key evidence in Assange case dissolves

Jerome Fryer
Black Helicopters

Re: Mission accomplished

Well, even with the CIA's resources you can't turn everyone.

Or perhaps they did?


UK: 'We're legally bound to arrest Mr Assange'

Jerome Fryer

Amazing how stupid governments are

First off, let's try a thought experiment.

Imagine that Wikileaks had disclosed information that embarrassed Ecuador, and they wanted to get their mits on JA for "evil-doing". JA visits a country with a solid past history of "renditioning" people that Ecuador wants to lay hands on, and a legal complaint emerges that would involve a moderate fine and a mandatory STD test should he be found guilty -- let's assume that Sweden is a stooge of Ecuador. The rest plays out pretty much as before, right up until JA takes refuge in the US embassy. The UK government are still obligated to arrest JA even if it means violating the US embassy, right?

The really mind-boggling fact about this fiasco is the self-harm all of these governments are performing. Wikileaks publishes an embarrassing look behind the curtain at the type of nonsense that we all know goes on. Well, that's hardly crippling as very few of the public are unaware of the true nature of our beloved governments. But wait: now the US government decides that a crusade of vengeance against one individual is not only lawful and appropriate, but also decides that pursuing this course in the most damaging way possible is a smart move -- and the UK, Sweden and Australia are all equally happy to play this game. Wikileaks gives the public a glimpse behind the curtain, so the embarrassed parties lose it and tear some gaping holes in that curtain in a fit of pique.

I guess my real question is: how could such geniuses have ever lost control of those cables in the first place?

New Zealand softens software patent ban

Jerome Fryer

Re: The NZ Open Source Society

Surely you can figure that out. No?

OK then.

"Why doesn't the Minister grant the NZ Open Source Society the privilege of a face-to-face meeting?" The who? Do they make political donations?

"And why were the meetings with IBM Microsoft kept from the public?" Ah, now there's a nice friendly corporate with an abiding interest in our just and righteous political cause... Still, no need to mention it to the sheeple...

Jerome Fryer

Re: "Fisher and Pykel"

Yes. I'm amazed that anyone outside of the antipodes is vaguely aware of the existence of our local industrial giants... *cough*

Surprising not to see Tait mentioned. Given that Tait holds a big slice of the global radio comms market and is effectively a software developer that then builds hardware to put it in, I would have thought that they may have had an opinion.

Amount of CO2 being sucked away by Earth 'has doubled in 50 years'

Jerome Fryer

Who owns "The Register"?

Now, who owns them?

At least there is some even-handed (and accurate) climate change reporting appearing here sporadically now. You'll likely never see one from Lewis, though.

Kim Dotcom mounts freedom campaign

Jerome Fryer

Duelling egomania?

Even "egomaniac jerks" are entitled to due process of law.

This debacle was simply Mr Key doing his obedient poodle routine for Uncle Sam, and over-ruling rightful Police objections as to the (il)legality of the process. Crown Law Office assisted the minister in charge of making us look like a banana republic (aka "Minister of Justice") with pushing the operation through against Police objection.

I'd be interested to know whether the "SWAT on steroids" approach was Police making a point about the excessive stupidity of the operation, or whether the Politicians managed to find enough nutters within Police to put together what they must have presumed would impress our Imperial Masters. (Sadly, it's more likely the latter.)

By the way, how many millions in damages do you estimate we'll we be paying out to the "egomaniac jerk" after the courts toss this little operation onto the scrapheap alongside the other recent government over-reach cases? Do you think Uncle Sam will reimburse us?

More suspicious developments:


Nah, no political string-pulling in this case... It's all that evil fat foreigner being an evil-doer and panicking Hollywood's geriatric egomaniacs.

Renewables good for 80 per cent of US demand by 2050

Jerome Fryer

Re: Magic thinking?

1. The required technology is already in use. During low-demand you pump water back into the hydro reservoirs.

2. This is called a "smart grid". Also technology we already use.

3. Already done via "spot price" mechanisms. (Enron infamously gamed this mechanism to rob Californians.)

It is entirely possible to achieve, and developing countries like China and India are already getting it done. Western countries will lag behind because -- as is always the case -- existing industry is conservative (as in lazy) when they see no need to make changes.

One thing that doesn't seem to be clear: are they talking about current demand or have they factored in the reduction in oil and gas as supply tightens? An electric vehicle fleet would suck up quite a few additional ergs.

'Scientists' seek to set world social, economic, tech policy at Rio+20

Jerome Fryer

Re: @Bluenose

If nobody wants to buy your product how much is it worth? Nothing.

If your pension got put into garbage Ponzi schemes such as CDOs how much is it worth now? Nothing.

"Get a clue", yourself. Start with the fact that the world is a complex place and doesn't necessarily adhere to any form of political dogma or associated nonsense economic theory.

Only global poverty can save the planet, insists WWF - and the ESA!

Jerome Fryer


I thought this article was written by Lewis Page?



Certain people have serious issues with thinking outside of the little cultural box that they have grown accustomed to. While it should be obvious that humanity needs to sort out a "zero sum" energy and resource use system (before nature sorts it out for us) many people will absolutely refuse to admit to that physical reality.

Lewis has undoubtedly -- as per his usual practice -- mis-read and failed to comprehend what he is ostensibly writing about. Ignore such "journalists" (and the profoundly unqualified pundits that clog up TV "news") and instead look at the solid science and entirely reasonable conclusions in the source material that such people never fail to misrepresent.

Musk muses on middle-class Mars colony

Jerome Fryer

Re: Tobacco, rum, beads, or Martians?

So are you suggesting that humanity colonise Mars with convicts?

Or some form of contractual requirement that you'll stay permanently, or for a long duration?

Mars seems somewhat inhospitable, compared to Earth (to put the situation extremely optimistically). We seem to be having a few problems here, so possibly "Mars colonies" is a bit of an over-reach at this point in human civilisation. Colonists can't simply chop trees to build log cabins, and fish, shoot game, and plant crops as soon as they arrive.

Dinosaur-murdering space boulder family found innocent

Jerome Fryer

Not a learn'd brain, though

Whoa! Someone's been reading denier blogs based on other denier blogs based on wildly incorrect news articles based on glosses of the actual scientific papers.

To think such a thing could occur on teh' inter-tubes!

These are pretty good sources, with information based on reading the actual scientific papers:



The BS on climate change that el' reg' writes up is actually a public service. It is a clear warning to anyone who may mistakenly believe that the other stories could be any more reliable.

Hammer Films has risen from the grave

Jerome Fryer
Dead Vulture

They really should give Christopher Lee another outing

Perhaps something along the lines of a vengeful old vampire hunting down a shabby, hairy, movie director with a dodgy grasp of editing?

Come to think of it, Peter Jackson would be perfect for playing Drac's more-or-less human familiar. :D

No vampire bat, so toss-up between vulture and Steve Ballmer.

British boffins perfect process to make any item '100% waterproof'

Jerome Fryer

Can this be sprayed on a person?

Just wondering because I'm a lousy swimmer, so being 100% waterproof could be handy.

Trousers Brown Counterpoint: Is Gordon right?

Jerome Fryer
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So it's all the Russians' fault?

Let me guess - are we compelled to nuke them then steal their energy supplies?

Do Mr Page's articles give anyone else "Dr Strangelove" flash-backs?

Bon-viveur boffin: Biomimetic bird, bat & bug bots are b*llocks

Jerome Fryer

Fairly obvious that natural structures are limited

The most efficient system for travel is the wheel, or some derivative thereof. You don't see too many animals scooting about on wheels, though.

Has this boffin figured in scale, though? Gravity and inertia become much less bothersome when you're a gnat, for example, compared to if you're an eagle. Ants have an awesome power to weight ratio, but if you scaled them up they'd be fairly crap. (Even if they didn't immediately expire from suffocation - let's ignore that for this example.)

Good macro-scale engineering may not be as effective at nano-scale. So trying to scale down macro stuff may not actually work that well.

Sony pulls PlayStation 3 software update

Jerome Fryer


I thought that "bricked" meant broken beyond repair - i.e. you now own a doorstop. As you can take the drive out and reformat it, it doesn't really brick the console. The RROD is a hardware failure, so it is a "bricking" event.

Surely backing up your console saves and other content is good practice? Hard drives don't live forever. (Can you replace a 360 hard-drive easily? At least Sony - notorious for requiring non-standard accessories for their products - seem to have been sensible about that.)

Heavyweight physics prof weighs into climate/energy scrap

Jerome Fryer

Thermal equilibrium

What I have always wondered is why the idea of introducing additional thermal energy into the global climate (burn fossil fuels, use radioactive materials, microwave extra solar energy from outside the main layer of atmosphere) is, in itself, not considered to be "a bad thing".

Given the Earth has a thermal equilibrium to maintain it seems obvious that introducing more heat (then trapping a larger proportion of it with a larger CO2 layer) is going to, well, heat the planet up a bit, eh?

It doesn't matter what method you use to cook the planet if the (most) important thing is to avoid doing so.

Californian boffins find Elixir of Eternal Youth

Jerome Fryer
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@ Franklin - humans are slow learners, and progressively slower

I'm not too keen on the idea of grumpy old gits* like myself hanging around way past our best-by dates.

For human societies to change (and hopefully improve, if we can learn anything from past mistakes) the older generations need to give way to the younger. The theory that it is a waste of skills and education seems fine until you try convincing a learned geriatric that some new-fangled idea is actually better than what they are convinced in their dotage to be the ultimate answer.

Would you want a generation that considered slavery to be perfectly fine to still be stinking up the planet? A generation that considered women to be chatel? The geniuses in the present ruling elites, currently sucking down the last of their oxygen, may not manage to damage the planet beyond repair before nature takes its course and they get replaced by slightly less clueless progeny - but you'd rather this doesn't happen?

Pah. Stupid young whipper-snappers with their "I want to live forever" intellectual onanism.

(* Well, technically I'm only 38, but I'm going on 70 for lack of tolerance for "young people today". Ah, it does the heart good to realise how much you despise their music, manner of dress and ridiculous conceited beliefs when you're no longer young...)

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