* Posts by Muscleguy

465 posts • joined 15 Aug 2008

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Google's first custom smartphone chip, transferring neural networks across languages – and more

Muscleguy

Re: Remember folks: Hoots Mon!

Except here in Scotland we are planning two trials of Universal Income. But hurry, after we vote Aye next time and we are in the EU and you are Oot we may have to put up a Trump style wall to keep riff-raff economic migrants from Engwalland from flooding us.

Don't say you weren't warned. Be an Engwalland serf or a Free Scot living in the People's Communitarian Republic of iScotland (TM).

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Legends of the scrawl: Ordnance Survey launches augmented reality tool for maps

Muscleguy

You may recall that very recently the oil pipeline from the refinery to, amongst other things, Auckland international airport in NZ was cut by a digger. Or more accurately at some time in the past a digger scraped the pipe and corrosion did the rest.

Domestic flights were cancelled (other travel options available) to keep international flights going (no other options). That pipe is a single point of failure in a very narrow part of the country (Auckland is an isthmus). A country prone to earthquakes and Auckland is a still live volcanic zone. A new volcanic cone could erupt anywhere.

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Google faces $10k-a-day fines if it defies court order to hand over folks' private overseas email

Muscleguy

Re: Maybe the company should relocate

Here in the UK of course if you for eg have a nice private email provider in Iceland and plod wants to see your emails they will simply make you give up the username and password or else. Else being jail time AND fines until you do.

No foreign file storage problems here. Now while we're holding your balls, cough.

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Boss visited the night shift and found a car in the data centre

Muscleguy

Re: Mini - not really

Back in the day at my residential halls in Southern NZ there was a tradition of pranks. One guy came back from a short trip away to find his car (memory says a mini but might not have been) in his room, on the second floor.

It had been disassembled then reassembled in the guy's room. He had to reverse the process to get it out.

You could do that to cars, and motorbikes in the day, they were user repairable. I can't even get the spark plugs out of my wife's car.

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Yes, British F-35 engines must be sent to Turkey for overhaul

Muscleguy
Happy

Hoots Mon!

The SNP man there asking penetrating questions on behalf of everyone. Note the SNP does not nominate peers and will expel any member who accepts a peerage so ermine is never in the back of an SNP MP's mind. They do not play the Establishment game. So they get to ask awkward questions and not care about the personal consequences.

The question is, what will you for such people when we have become Independent? rely on Plaid Cymru?

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Japan finds long, deep tunnel on the Moon

Muscleguy

All your bases are bilong to us.

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Brit spooks 'kept oversight bodies in the dark' over data sharing

Muscleguy

Re: How is this "oversight" If the only way you knonw what they are doing is what they tell you?

My thought too as a rank amateur but one with friends who are database experts and someone who has had cause to interrogate databases. If the data are unstructured to that degree how the hell do they search it efficiently? Or do they just dump a load of stuff on poor minimum wage grunts and make them sift it?

I realise it is hard to accurately categorize stuff, especially in an automated manner. But surely they can do better than 'unstructured'?

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Man prosecuted for posting a picture of his hobby on Facebook

Muscleguy

Re: Police Scotland = Morons with time on their hands

BTW thanks for noting that crime is at an all time low in Scotland. It was on an upward trajectory but then we get rid of the New Labour/FibDem govt and elected the SNP instead and ever since the trend has been downwards. The graph is quite remarkable.

So, yes, Polis Scotland to have time on their hands and that is a certifiable, gold plated, absofuckinglutely GOOD THING.

Got that?

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Muscleguy

Re: Police Scotland = Morons with time on their hands

Problem is to own or buy an air rifle in Scotland you now need a license, not as onerous as a firearms license but necessary nevertheless.

I strongly suspect you need to know this to get why a confused polis might have gone too far here, doubtless in ignorance about airsoft.

The question is rather why when the realised it was all a bit of fun neither they nor the Fiscal service called a halt. I doubt the defendant will get his legal costs refunded. Though at least here in Scotland having been acquitted he can request his dna to be removed from the record. In Sassenach country that will stay on the Police database in perpetuity.

In New Zealand a periodic stushie is brewing. A database of sorts for everyone born in NZ exists. At birth a heel prick of blood is blotted onto filter paper, tested for a genetic disease, labelled and stored for posterity. With sufficient reason and needing permission from a judge police can access that and genetically test it. So, if you missing in the bush, fall over a bluff or get lost and succumb to exposure and are not found for quite some time, it happens. Then the police can, if you have no kin, apply to test your baby heel prick to see if the body is yours. It has been used to see if blood spots at a supposed crime scene matched missing people (they didn't).

Not quite an online searchable database but an accessible data store nevertheless.

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The Google Home Mini: Great, right up until you want to smash it in fury

Muscleguy

Re: So, plays tunes you own, alarm clocks stuff you set and listens to everything you say 24/7

Sounds like my Amazon phone, except I denied the Google App permission to access the microphone, so saying 'OK Google' has no effect. But I have a multitimer app which is great. I use it a lot when cooking. At Xmas I was kitchen major domo, timing mutliple dishes.

In my previous Android phone running the older OS I managed to disable the entire Google App with no bad effects, the search bar vanished but that was good, I always use the Startpage shortcut. I tried hard to replace the bar with a startpage shortcut but it wouldn't go there.

In this latest phone when I disabled Google App it bricked the phone requiring a factory restart. No biggie, I'd only just set it up but it disturbs me. Isn't this the sort of thing the EU went after Microsoft for when they tried to bake Explorer into the OS?

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Google adds planets and moons to Maps, but puts bits in the wrong places

Muscleguy

Re: Bugger

I can see it now, the BFR arrives at its destination but there is no planet there. What has happened? They noted where the planet was when they planned the mission and then aimed for there.

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Aviation industry hits turbulence as Airbus buys into Bombardier’s new jetplanes

Muscleguy

Tell that to Air New Zealand who have to service tiny place domestic flights in NZ as well as glitzy long haul to the other side of the world. They have a range of small turbo props to do the smaller place runs to supplement the jets for the longer, more populous spine routes.

On the small routes, a bit like Glasgow to Belfast, cabins are not very pressurised as they don't fly that high. On approach they hand out boiled sweets, for the ears. Everyone takes one.

Last I was back I flew Auckland to New Plymouth in one. Had to cadge a lift to Hamilton to catch the bus back though as fog had closed the airport. No non visual radar assist equipment there.

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Crypto-coin miners caught toiling away in hacked cloud boxes

Muscleguy

Re: The only safe way to use of the Cloud ...

I'm reminded of an Eric the Penguin cartoon*. Eric says his password is INCORRECT because every time he puts in the wrong password or forgets it the system tells him his password is INCORRECT.

I have the 2017 calendar.

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Elon Musk says Harry Potter and Bob the Builder will get SpaceX flying to Mars

Muscleguy

Re: But it's a lousy analogy, Elon

And rescue was possible for the lunar astronauts? It took so long to prep an Apollo rocket for launch they would have run out of oxygen before it got there. If memory serves it took them roughly 3 days to get to lunar orbit.

Mars is a bit easier since as a planet with some sort of atmosphere and more varied terrain than an airless moon there is more sophisticated chemistry and geology available for making stuff out of.

The problem is that not having a mass of Mars stuff to pay with in advance developing the tech to utilise Mars stuff is going to be VERY difficult even though we have lots of data from the rovers. The killer in good enough industrial processes is what look like minor impurities.

Sometimes they can be good, like the titanium which contaminates the ironsands NZ Steel turns into steel. Periodically they have to scrape the titanium out of their iron furnace. But they actually make more dollars exporting the titanium than producing virgin steel for the domestic market. But it took a LONG time to develop the techniques to utilise ironsands involving experts and experiments in both the UK and Germany.

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Drone smacks commercial passenger plane in Canada

Muscleguy

Re: How is it different

I was dive-bombed by black backed gulls as a child in New Zealand. They were nesting on the waste waterfront ground I was crossing on my bike to go fishing at the wharves. That was bad, sharp taloned raptor? no thanks.

If I was being dive-bombed by a hawk I would turn and run or duck and cover as appropriate.

BTW in NZ we have Australasian magpies, large corvids and they get angsty when they are nesting and are not above striking humans and drawing scalp blood. So the risk there is non zero.

Further BTW gulls nest on the ground in NZ since no native mammalian predators.

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US Congress mulls first 'hack back' revenge law. And yup, you can guess what it'll let people do

Muscleguy

Re: erm isn't this what law enforcement is for?

Sort of, isn't it rather like the police having to get a warrant from a judge before searching the home and premises of a suspected burglar? Though it reminds of FindMyPhone incidents were the cops, despite being shown specific GPS data decline to intervene and suggest the aggrieved party go there themselves and attempt to get their property back,

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Microsoft faces Dutch crunch over Windows 10 private data slurp

Muscleguy

Re: Someone called yesterday from "MS security"

I'm fond of getting them in the karma, I ask if their mothers know they scam people for a living. I asked one guy recently if he was happy scamming people for a living and instead of the usual 'we don't scam people' spiel he said yes. I thanked him for being honest and we parted as friends.

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Essex drone snapper dealt with by police for steamy train photos

Muscleguy

Re: Fair cop?

Back in the day after a storm say men on little engines which can be lifted on and off the rails whose name I will remember would have to trundle along sections checking them. The same thing happens in NZ after earthquakes to check things like no rock fall in tunnels.

I imagine a lot of that work, at greater speed and area coverage could be done via helicopter. So if I were running NR (in my dreams) if they don't already do that I would strongly recommend they do so.

Those little engines are the motorised equivalent of the same much beloved of Westerns with two men and see-saw handle.

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GarageBanned: Apple's music app silenced in iOS 11 iCloud blunder

Muscleguy

Yawn

Has everyone forgotten when they moved from OS9x to OSX for desk and laptops back in the day? overnight lack of backwards compatibility. And long before that the move to Power PC chips and of course the introduction of Intel chipped Macs.

If you buy Apple expect to be made redundant, but the stuff still works. I have a truly ancient iPod Touch inherited from an offspring. The screen is visually damaged but still works for touch and the thing still connects to iTunes for song management on this much, much newer laptop running Sierra without problems.

We also have a still working Centris 650 desktop, formerly top of the range before Power PC chips happened. It needs a new SCSI HD and a means of doing system install (floppy drive is no longer functional) but the hardware still runs. It was the family's only computer for nearly a decade. We even used it for the first iterations of home internet when we got it, with an external 56K Modem of course. For space reasons we kept internet programs on a Zip disk.

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IT at sea makes data too easy to see: Ships are basically big floating security nightmares

Muscleguy

Re: How current is this?

Which is why in wartime they never put to sea without escorting vessels which screen it from incoming missiles, fire intercept missiles etc. etc.

Which makes the UK's new planeless floating games fields absolute sitting ducks since Blighty doesnn't have enough escort vessels.

Remember during the Falklands conflict Ark Royal etc had to sit so far SE of the islands as to out of range of Argentine aircraft that the Sea Harriers had feck all fuel over San Carlos Water to provide effective air cover. All the escorts were either full of troops needing to be landed or were escorting same.

This is why the phrase Carrier Battle Group was coined.

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Twitter: Why we silenced Rose McGowan after she slammed alleged sex pest Harvey Weinstein

Muscleguy

Except rape charges will trump the non disclosure agreements. Though how you get them to stick this long after the fact is beyond me. That's the problem with this, unless one of the actresses was under age then it becomes a 'he said, she said' thing. There will be no scientific evidence. Even if they can all describe how his dick swings to the left (for eg) this doesn't address consent. Did they kick and scream and were they heard by a third party will be as good as it gets.

Which is why these things are so hard to prove. There are defence lawyers in the states well versed in such cases. Remember they didn't get Slick Willy either, because consent.

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Someone liked dwarf planet Haumea so much they put a ring on it

Muscleguy

Re: One thing is sure

Reality in general, when you delve down to the small things whether at CERN or with a powerful microscope or a genetics database wonders appear unguessed at and certainly not in any holy book. The things I have seen as a mere biologist.

Not of biological import and artefacts of sectioning amorphous structures but I have large format negative plates of sections through developing mouse muscle in the electron microscope where the nuclei if the new muscle fibres (termed myotubes back then) resemble animals. I have a duck, rubber variety, swimming in an egg shaped cell, a rhino, a goldfish with flowing fins and others. By chance they were all found in mutant muscle not control muscle so they are my Micro Mutant Muscle Menagerie.

I've used the duck in talks I go 'and this is a maturing secondary myotube, notice this and that' pause 'and it is also a duck in an egg' which allows the audience to laugh.

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Open source sets sights on killing WhatsApp and Slack

Muscleguy

Re: Searching for old messages in different apps = nightmare

You could, put it in an address book, most email address books allow street addresses, phone numbers etc. Or you could save it s a favourite in Maps. I've just been to a friend's to pick up their dog in a city I don't visit too often. I know roughly how to get there and couldn't give the address, but it is there in Maps if I get lost or need the street address. IF I got dementia and forgot the route I could mount the phone on the dash and get it to direct me.

Took a wrong turn this morning and got a bit lost, sense of direction working as per normal but exactly where I was and how to get where I needed (no roads led in that direction) was problematic after I missed a turnoff. Could have used the phone but don't have a cradle for it.

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OnePlus privacy shock: So, the cool Chinese smartphones slurp an alarming amount of data

Muscleguy

Yawn

Yes it is pretty standard. I turned this stuff off on my Android handset long ago, and its predecessor.

I recently upgraded this laptop to Sierra which means Siri! Except, I looked at what I would have to release for Apple to slurp in exchange and went 'no bloody thanks' so Siri remains off. Startpage does me well enough and typing is less subject to misinterpretation than voice instructions.

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'There has never been a right to absolute privacy' – US Deputy AG slams 'warrant-proof' crypto

Muscleguy

Re: Pick One

The elephant in the room is that WhatsApp is perfectly readable. All you need is one of the devices which either sent or received the message. That is presumably what happened in the London Bridge/Parliament attacker. If you recall plod was all 'we can't read the WhatsApp message'. Then they arrest and question his missus, make her give up her phone pin and et voila! panic over it was just an "I love you, farewell' message.

As the case over US plod trying to make Apple put a backdoor into iPhones shows, if they have the phone they can get into it, if they need to know enough.

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Ghost in Musk's machines: Software bugs' autonomous joy ride

Muscleguy

Re: Really??

Here in Scotland such junctions are not uncommon, with the added wrinkle of corners, blind summits, fog, blizzards, ice etc. What happens is there are a spate of bad accidents, lives lost. The media get on their hobby horses, campaign groups are formed, local government is lobbied to lobby central govt (Holyrood in the case of roads). Since we moved up here to Dundee end of '98 ALL the fast roads out, to Perth, to Forfar/Aberdeen, to Carnoustie/Montrose have had grade separated junctions installed (on and off ramps, a bridge of some sort.

It is now much safer to drive at 70mph on a dual carriageway A-road in Scotland. Though when it advises you to slow, it might be a good idea to do that. Oh and the biggest, longest stretch of single carriageway on the A9 (Perth to Inverness) now has a long stretch of dual carriageway. Part of the project to dual the entirety of it.

I'm not sure there is such a national or even state program to invest in roading infrastructure. With the Tea Party they are instead focussed on paying ever less tax and wondering why their infrastructure is falling down.

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Three words: Synthetic gene circuit. Self-assembling bacteria build pressure sensor

Muscleguy

Re: Perhaps...

Mine loved it to bits. We still have the green stained skeletal prep of the chick embryo she manipulated so that it grew a mirror image wing tip. It sits in a glass vial in glycerol (the optical density means the other tissues of the chick embryo are transparent).

It was all done properly, I filled out a risk assessment and everything. A kind fellow Kiwi colleague took her to do the embryo surgery. I don't remember exactly but it is entirely possible there were genetically transformed bacteria on the open benchtop while she was there. See my post above on that.

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Muscleguy

I suggest you Google The Asilomar Conference. We have crippled and tamed and corralled bacteria so that they are entirely safe to use on the open benchtop. I have done so many, many times then gone home to my wife and kids. These are E. coli bacteria from our guts but they cannot survive there. They cannot survive without our specially formulated growth media.

The bacteria used for this sort of stuff are really, really crippled, stripped down genomes so they can be added to and manipulated.

As a Biomedical scientist I have absolutely and utterly NO fears about this work. None at all.

Ah, how I love the smell of coli in the morning!

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Calm down, Elon. Deep learning won't make AI generally intelligent

Muscleguy

Re: "AI is more artificial idiot than artificial intelligence"

Exactly. As a sometime Neuroscientist* I have to ask intelligent about what? This relates to consciousness as well, conscious of what? Consciousness is not a binary on or off, in toto or not at all thing. Think about yourself just waking up vs after that first caffeine hit or my morning exercises (unweighted squats, 20 supermen and some side planking with stars this morning; squats, 10pressups, 15 crunches yesterday).

New Scientist this week has an article on why expert systems might not result in the mass redundancy of white collar jobs. It uses as an example diagnostics, of metastatic breast cancer. Expert systems analysis of scans makes 7.5% of misdiagnoses, expert human doctors make 3.5% of mistakes. The thing is they make different sorts of mistakes. If you combine them, get them to mark each other's homework the error rate falls to 0.5%.

This apart from anything else evidence that if the expert system were intelligent (it isn't) then it would be an alien intelligence. It would also be a poor conversationalist, obsessed with breast cancer diagnoses to the exclusion of all else. Take it from a scientist who has had occasion to mix with the medical profession, we can talk about other things.

*for a start Muscle is an excitable tissue but I did my PhD in the Neurophysiology part of the Physiology Dept and my academic address was Centre for Neuroscience and Dept of Physiology. The Journal Neuroscience was part of my regular reading material.

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Boffins' bonkers fibre demo: 53 Tbps down ONE piece of glass

Muscleguy

Re: Ah, but in terms of resilience...

I'm pretty sure there isn't a fibre run of any sort across the slopes of Ngauruhoe. State Highway 1 does run across the high altitude desert to the East of the volcanoes but I'm pretty sure that is just copper wire strung on poles.

NZ's optical fibre backbone is still the pipe NZ Rail laid beside the North Island Main Trunk rail line which dives down and to the west SW of Ruapehu. It is vulnerable to lahars from that volcano such as the one which caused the Tangiwai disaster. But Ruapehu is not Mt Doom. Ngauruhoe is to the north, the smallest cone of the three.

The volcano you really need to watch out for is much less obvious. It's the large circular lake to the north of the Central Three, the Taupo caldera. Think Yellowstone in terms of potential size. A Taupo eruption would almost certainly cut the cable.

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Frustrated Britons struggle to locate their packages: Royal Mail tracker smacked

Muscleguy

I had one of those the other week. I was upstairs, thought I heard a light tap, looked down the stairs, noone at the door. Heard a loud but indistinct conversation on next door's doorstep, they get more parcels than us, I often have to take them in for them.

I checked again and a figure darkened our door, bent over. I descended and opened it to a startled delivery guy who was writing out a card to pop through the letter box. That light tap had been him 'knocking' on our door, the bell works and is permanently wired up, only the repeater in the kitchen is on batteries.

I've had to chase them down the driveway with the card, the sound of which is the first inkling that a delivery was being attempted. I am absolutely not deaf. They see no car in the driveway, my wife is out, and assume the house to be empty without bothering to find out.

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New coding language Fetlang's syntax designed to read like 'poorly written erotica'

Muscleguy

Re: OK, so if there are any coders

Don't code foreign until you've seen the locality.

/ancient NZ tourism ad featuring the aforementioned falls and knowledge of them.

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Let's go live now to Magic Leap and... Ah, still making millions from made-up tech

Muscleguy

Re: "Deluded"? How about "greedy" or "preadatory" or flat out "confidence trickster" ?

Admit it, you were thinking about Amber Rudd and encryption, weren't you?

Apparently it must be technically possible to both break encryption for the spooks AND keep it secure so internet commerce doesn't all fall over. Like having a lock everybody has a key to. It's locked but not very secure.

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Is that a bulge in your pocket or... do you have an iPhone 8+? Apple's batteries look swell

Muscleguy

Re: User swap battery

I perhaps hesitate to state this but the EU has the common charging cable thing sorted. Hence the cable for the latest phones.

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Foiled again! Brit military minds splash cash on killing satellites with... food wrapping?

Muscleguy
Happy

There's a big. long and flat runway on the end of the Kintyre Peninsula. It was the designated overfly landing site for the Shuttle. It is the preferred launch site for the space plane if it ever gets off the ground.

It is remote and flat enough that Musk could land one of his rockets on it.

So we already have the infrastructure. Also Glasgow has a thriving satellite design and build industry so we are players in the Space Industry. iScotland and present Scotland can do space too, it is not a conspiracy.

Yours a hard campaigner with RIC and staunch advocate for Independence.

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Splunk hits Oracle's Larry where it hurts: His failure to win America's Cup boat race

Muscleguy

Learning to sail

One of the reasons why Team NZ has gone monohull is so that the boat will require a crew of actual sailors who can put up and take down sails. IOW we will have spinnakers again.

This also means no cyclors, they will be banned. Too hard to get on and off to go sail handling.

So Larry will have to hire people who are actually good at sailing, rather than drag racing.

Foiling monohulls with spinnakers on the Hauraki Gulf. I can't wait.

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Azure fell over for 7 hours in Europe because someone accidentally set off the fire extinguishers

Muscleguy

Re: The insane thing about it is...

Doesn't have to be a server. I've just bought and installed new fans on this Mid 2010 Macbook Pro inherited from my daughter. The fan noise was becoming VERY distracting. The surgery was really quite simple. I've done far harder.

But oh, the silence! the lack of vibration! Bliss.

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Developers' timezone fail woke half of New Zealand

Muscleguy

Re: "tectonically tenuous"

New Zealand being the only above sea part of the continent of Zealandia owes its very existence to being tectonically tenuous.

It is what makes us more resilient than Australia, which sits smack in the middle of its continent and is not only not tectonically active it is eroding into the sea. Though occasionally a big dust storm will drop dust on New Zealand helping to keep Aotearoa above the waves.

BTW the phrase in NZ is the Shaky Isles.

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Computers4Christians miraculously appears on Ubuntu wiki

Muscleguy

Re: Direct link to Deity

Whereas my wife's SSRI's helped her depression. I could tell she was better when she could no longer stand the side effects and took the decision to go cold turkey and could not be dissuaded. Not the actions of a depressive.

My anecdote trumps your anecdote and that is the problem with anecdotes, it is top trumps ALL the way down. Remember the plural of anecdote is not data. Data is a proper study takes only particular and not too many salient points from each anecdote in forms which make those from different arms of the study directly comparable. Put too many features of the anecdotes into your data and the confounders in your stats multiply so fast your significance evaporates. IOW garbage in, garbage out.

I have designed experimental protocols and analysed a ton of results in very different forms. I'm published in Nature doing one sort of analysis nobody had ever even attempted before.

I also know that there is good data that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy outperforms SSRI anti-depressants in both efficacy and value for money in mild to moderate depression. Do you know absolutely for sure your priest knows nothing about CBT? or does not use methods incorporated into CBT? IOW you likely got the gold standard, best in class depression therapy there is, which works on a completely secular level too. If I were a priest seeking to help folk I would seek to do a course or buy a book on CBT. I would bet odds that seminaries around the Western world are teaching CBT even if not by name.

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Forget the 'simulated universe', say boffins, no simulator could hit the required scale

Muscleguy

Re: "To model just a few hundred electrons needs a computer bigger than the universe"

Musk's original claim was that we can simulate reality to details that look photorealistic so therefore simulation is possible ignores the fact that simulation games use things like ray tracing and are built from triangles etc which mean the Planck length in the 'photorealistic' simulations is HUGE compares with the Planck length we have measured in this universe.

It would seem to me that the Planck length would ineluctably have to increase for each level of simulation compared to the previous one to avoid the problems this paper details. The shortcuts you describe in effect very greatly, orders of magnitude increase the Planck length. There is no getting away from that.

BTW my wife was finishing up her CompSci degree in the department of the University of Otago which did the Americas Cup simulations and graphics in the early '80s which broke the ground of what had been possible so despite being a mere biologist I have an inkling of the technologies, methods and issues involved. The effective Planck length of those simulations would have been of the order of whole centimetres.

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The axeman strikes again: Microsoft has real commitment issues

Muscleguy

Re: OpenSource

You have really deep pockets, lots of connected people and the drive to do the music biz deals to provide content for it? That was always the problem. Apple being first and Spotify being good at what they do mean they have hoovered up the biggest and best stables of music for you to buy, rent or browse and Microsoft pretty much sucked in comparison.

So unless you can do the deals and provide better legal music you cannot afford to opensource it.

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Bad news! Astroboffins find the stuff of life in space for the first time

Muscleguy

Re: Bah!

At least we won't be misleading alien astronomers doing spectroscopy on our atmosphere an more with lots of it floating about. IF they can sniff the radionuclides from atmospheric bomb tests, Chernobyl etc that will be a bigger sign of fuckwit life.

Detecting those they will slap a 'Too Dangerous, Avoid and Quarantine' notice on us. I mean is the rise of smartphones behind the dearth of UFO sightings or have they shuffled off to leave us to our fate?

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Muscleguy

Space whale piss.

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Muscleguy

Re: Nothing new here...

Neither of them are idiots, the problem is neither of them are biologists and you should always beware of experts commenting outside of their fields. That is the problem with them. There's a similar problem with Penrose and consciousness and nobody should call him an idiot or stupid.

Another problem is with people like that you cannot tell them they are wrong and they become immune to rational criticism. Hoyle and Wrickramasinge postulated that seasonal flu (northern hemisphere only of course) was caused by meteorite showers just before the duck-pig-human transmission and mixing vessel reality got absolutely nailed down by the virologists. Yet they persisted.

Panspermia is nothing more than physicists trying to take over a branch of biology for themselves. The real problem with it is that it isn't an explanation because they cannot explain where or how life gets started in order to get spread about.

We have perfectly good ideas for how it happened on this biosphere, use a search engine of your choice to look up RNA World and inform yourself. BTW I have designed ribozymes, they are a biotechnology.

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Muscleguy
Boffin

Re: Word Salad vs Gobbledegook

A boffin writes: I do and I'm only a mere stamp collecting biologist. But they make you do chemistry as a prerequisite for Physiology* so I last did it fairly recently, 1984 in fact.

So it all sounds tickety-boo to me and you can quote me on that.

As to the problem finding a shortlist of bio-signature molecules that really just confirms that the boundary between chemistry and life is not a boundary but a fairly seamless transition. It used to be thought that only life could make organic molecules then urea got synthesised and organic chemistry was born.

*technically they wanted either first year chemistry OR physics but most of us did both. I have used both and a modicum of maths, you cannot do physiology without algebra and calculus is fairly handy even if the computers do that these days.

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Drugs, vodka, Volvo: The Scandinavian answer to Britain's future new border

Muscleguy

Re: I don't think this will work here...

Possibly not Glaswegians. The border in the West is not ideal for this. The Solway Firth indents a long way you see and the roads around Glasgow are pretty well cameraed up.

Be a bit easier to run it from Auld Reekie. Much better access to a lot of border. Best based just outside the bypass. Also there may not be a lot of formal roads across the Scottish borders but there are a plethora of 4wd farm tracks which do. You can get quite a lot of high value stuff on a ranger rover with a trailer. A backhander to the farmers on each side and Robert is your Mother's Brother.

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Muscleguy

Re: Probably won't work

Back in the day in New Zealand they used weight plates. So there I would be late at night sitting my bike on the plate and bouncing up and down trying to trigger them. On one occasion I put the bike on the stand, walked to the lights and pressed the pedestrian button for the other way, walked back and had a wait of about a minute before the lights changed.

They did also have early red light cameras. So best not to risk it.

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SpaceX spin-out plans to put virtual machines in orbit

Muscleguy

Re: "high-speed communications which is only possible from space"

Ah so that is why iPlayer ALWAYS buffers when it is fed to my Virgin box by a big fat optical pipe. Last ti __________________________me on Highly Im______________probable Premise II.

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Muscleguy
Pirate

All your satellites are bilong to us!

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Headphone batteries flame out mid-flight, ignite new Li-Ion fears

Muscleguy

Re: Recall?

Depends on the age of the machine. Our ancient (20 years at least) washer-dryer caught fire a couple of months ago during the wash cycle, so no dryer heat involved. The extra weight of wet clothes and water made wiggling it out from under the counter a Herculean task. I unscrewed the top from the back and lifted up the top and foot long flames erupted from it. I dunked it in the sink and turned the tap on then put it outside and dumped a load of convenient slushy snow on it.

When smoke began to issue my wife turned the machine off at the front but the smoke continued, she called me and I turned off inside the cupboard under the sink and unplugged it. Smoke continued.

Fortunately there was no fire in the body, just a mass of melted junction box, the power wires had shorted, their insulation wearing off with age. Good job we didn't set it on and go out. It would have set the counter top on fire before long. I cut the plug off and took it to the recycling centre and dumped it, top off with the other hulks. It was raining. I also pulled the power wires out of the melted block. Just to inhibit someone from trying to resurrect it. The selector arm had been nicely melted and warped too.

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