Re: the planet has billions of years to play with before the sun goes night-night
In the red giant phase the size of the sun is such that it engulfs the earth. That would then affect the earths orbit but it is then irrelevant.
128 posts • joined 1 Sep 2008
In the red giant phase the size of the sun is such that it engulfs the earth. That would then affect the earths orbit but it is then irrelevant.
She is a despicable person and I feel she should be punished but as a precedent does this make sense?
Does it make sense that manslaughter applies if someone tries to convince someone else to commit suicide but does not physically assist? Ultimately one person decided to take his own life. He may have been influenced by another but the decision was his. What if I publish a book in favour of euthenasia am I guilty for any subsequent suicides or mercy killings?
Logically how can it be involuntary manslaughter? The evidence was that her actions and the outcome were entirely volumtary, preplanned and what she intended.
as 'evidence' tht the NHSis not underfunded by comparison to teh health care systems of other similar european countries you produce a list of european countries which spend a higher proportion of GDP on healthcare, some substantially more and none that spend less. I am tempted to make a snarky comment but will leave it to other readers to consider which position your evidence actually supports.
I compared it to america because right wing politicians in paticular often hold up america as an example to be aspired to. Yes the various european systems are much better than the US which has by far the least efficient medical system in the developed world but the big picture is that the NHS is underfunded compared to say france and germany with only very slightly worse outcomes.
My main point is not that efficiency cannot be improved but that the only way that society will benefit from the full potential of increased medical technology is to spend more and that the efficiency of the NHS is not a significant factor in this.
PS. as an IT related aside Electronic Medical Record systems in the US for primary care typically have a feature which optimises doctors income by modelling insurance company algorithms that detect over/unneecessary treatment. They suggest extra services that doctors can be reembursed for to increase their billing but without triggering investigation/action from the insurer. Nice moral use of technology.
The NHS is by comparison to other health systems extremely cost effctive. It is far from perfect, it has many inefficiencies, it is resitant to change, it is bureaucratic and it is far too big to manage effectively but for all that it is cheaper than the alternatives. I used to live in america, there is a system that has severe efficiency and cost problems. The equivalent of my GP had a large office with around 10 poeple who simply processed insurance.
The reailty is that any gains to be had from organisation, culture or IT, and I am sceptical that they exist, are dwarved by the constant advances in diagnosis and treatment some of which safe money but overall add to the possible expenditure. In thsi situation yes there needs to be a fous on expenditure but as overall wealth increases the amount spent on health needs to increase and that is the only 'solution'.
Is it just me or should this be MIPS or perhaps MMAC/s? rther than FLOPS. I kept trying to figure out if INT8 was a new acronym for something other than 8 bit integers but no that is what it is.
Holes in a semiconductor act as if they have a positive mass because in this situation electrons behave as if they have a negative mass in exactly the sense described in the article. This is ancient physics. Yes a new area, Yes very interesting and impressive but not new.
'We could be stuck in the common market - which would stop us creating our own standards or adopting those from outside the EU'
As someone involved in product development and meeting standards for more than 30 years:
1. EU standards are currently dominated by Britain and Germany
2. Leaving the EU we will be forced like everyone else inside or outside the EU to meet EU standards, directives and regulations but with far less influence.
3. Britains regulatory industry which dominates europe with for example mor enotified bodies (and large ones) thn anyone else. These will all be forced to locate, at least formally, in mainland europe unless we stay in the EEA.
Big win, same regulations, less influence, business forced outside Britain.
Accidents usually happen when multiple factors come together but driving through a junction (ok intersection but I'm British) with stationary cars and restricted visibility from those cars at 38 mph is not good driving. I woudl go further and say it is dangerous driving certain to lead to an accident at some point even if legal. No doubt the other driver could have done better and technically the uber car may have had the right of way but if she checked the road she could see was clear saw the lights were orange and then turned thatis not unreasonable driving.
It is not clear what intelligence is, how it relates to IQ tests and what is actually being measured but what is interesting is that since IQ tests have been devised applying tests from earlier periods to later generations has consistently shown an 'increase' in IQ. This is 'corrected' by normalising all IQ tests so that they all have an average result of 100 and a standard distribution of 15 or 16. Therefore average intelligence is always 100 by design. This effect of constantly increasing results is known as the Flynn effect and may (quite recently) be coming to an end. The one thing it does not show (in my opinion) is an increase in intelligence but the limitations of the test. Saying the average intelligence is now 103 shows a profound ignorance of the defintiion of IQ tests and the history of changes in the response to tests. It is definitely not a new phenomenon.
I do not think tidal forces are in this case relevant. The problem is pertubations away from two body orbits caused by the gravitional forces between the moons.
Incidently there is an argument that tidal forces exist even for point objects. It is the result of the gradient of the force which exiists even in the limit of an object of zero diameter. This can be see by considering that a drop of water whose shape is governed by surface tension and tidal forces would not be speherial when orbiting mars but be elongated towards and away from the planet and that the elongation would be present however much the droplet is shrunk.
"Expect increasing accident rates as the years go by and appliances are designed more by the "industrial design" people and less by actual clued up engineers.
This applies particularly to software-based systems in recent decades; far too much software is not fit for purpose, defective by design, and yet it's extremely rare for anyone to be held accountable for providng or procuring stuff that isn't fit for purpose."
Yes a lot of poor software is and will continue to be created but not very little of it has any safety impact.
I would be surprised if the SW in a home appliance was required to operate correctly to ensure safety. It is still engineers who are responsible for making things work and pass the appropriate regulatory requirements. Demonstrating that the requirmenst for functional safety for SW are met is rightly very demanding which is why designers avoid it unless absolutely necessary. I do not know what you have against industrial designers but in the real world they work in a team with the engineers. My prediction is that despite an every increasing number of devices overall accident rates decline due to the slow accumulation of knowledge and experience and improvement of regulations and design.
I have not yet seen Rogue One but if it was merely poor it would be better than the force awakens.
The heroine was accceptable if uninspiring, the plot was a predictable rehash of the original, the death planet technology made no sense in the wider universe/military envionment but what destroyed it was the villan. A Villan needs to be believable and frightening. It is the Villan that the hero or heroine is measured against. The force awakens had was an unimpressive, incompetent petulant teenager who commits a murder that completely fails to convince from a character point of view. This aspect is reminiscent of Revenge of the Sith but the force awakens is significantly worse than even this movie making it the worst star wars movie so far (IMO).
"Hardly anyone insists on writing their own strtok(), printf()"
Hardly anyone insists on writing their own for no good reason but there often are good reasons. Printf is a large function, on embedded systems with limited memory this can be an issue and a cut down version with limited capabilities can help. Printf implementations often use dynamic (heap) memory which can be a major problem and printf implementations are not always thread safe, strtok() is rarely (never?) thread safe and you may not have strtok_r() available. Writing your own standard library functions may seem daft, and done for its own sake it is but there are often good reasons that make it essential.
To summarise a technically sophisticated attacker can cause serious consequences possibly death to a patient up to 5 metres away.
So what? A technically sophisticated attacker within 5 meters can kill anyone at all.
Why is this considered surprising or concerning?
A pacemaker is in the highes trisk category of medical devices (class III) and the design, risk management and testing will have been looked at in detail. The risk management will have included hacking scenarios but it was probably considered that if an attacker needed to be within 5 metres, needed special equipment and needed to be technically sophisticated the risk was acceptable. At the end of the day if any of us are targeted by a determined and sophisticated attacker who has physical access to us then we are in trouble.
Conservation laws, like the conservation of momentum that the EM drive would break if it works, can be derived mathematically, see Noether's theorem.
Yes but you have to assume Langragian mechanics or at least some action principle to do this and if you are going to make such a massive leap as conservation of momentum is broken then the whole basis of mechanics is undermined and you can forget an action principle/langragian etc. This is incredibly unlikely and the obvious explanation is just errors in the experiment. Arguing that you can derive conservation of momentum using Noether's theorem and symmetry is fine but to do it requires assuming a framework which is exactly what the observation if real would disprove.
An extraordinary claim like this requires extraordinary evidence and a single dodgy experiment with no peer review is not it. I think conservation of momentum will prevail.
"It may actually be additional proof that the universe really does have more than the 3 dimensions we perceive (as does the way a neutrino keeps rolling through various flavours when observed"
The neutrino oscillations show the neutrino has mass because otherwise it would be incapable of changing but why does it imply multiple dimensions? Neutrino oscillations does show, along with many other things, that our understanding of physics is incomplete. The unknown physics could include more dimensions but equally may not. I think it should be assumed we have the usual unless a convincing experiment shows otherwise. Equally if the EM drive really is an effetc that cannot be explained using conventional physics, and we should be sceptical, why does it imply more dimensions?
If output is constant then yes employment would go down but it is absolutely clear that this does not happen.
The world economy for decade after decade after decade stretching out to centuries since the industrial revolution has demonstrated that this idea is completely false. There is little in economics that is more convincingly disproved than this idea. New jobs expand as productivity increases the wealth and prosperity of society as a whole. We have record high levels of paid employment at the moment and as productivity more or less increases monotonically record high productivity at the same time.
"However, the industry, much like the aviation sector which would also benefit from computer-controlled pilots, is being forced to move slowly due to regulations and the irrational human fear from loss of control. "
Automatic pilots for routine tasks have been used in the aviation industry for a very long time but it is recognised that they have limits and human pilots are much better at handling exceptional circumstances, the comination is better than either alone so both are used. Generally the aviation task is easier because it is a much simpler less cluttered and more controlled environment, even so human pilots are needed for situations that automatic pilots cannot handle.
The same will be true for cars except there are probably many more exceptional conditions. At least one human has already died as a reuslt of an inappropriate level of trust in an automatic driving system. A healthy appreciation of the limitations and failings of human and automatic systems is a good thing. Regulations or irrational fear is not the limiting factor at the moment so much as immature technology. Some regulation is absolutely necessary and appropriate.
The issue to me is not the Asbergers but that ludicrous maximum sentance which will be used a a threat to coerce a guilty plea as part of the deepy unfair US 'justice' system.
That merely 'hacking' into a system carries this sor tof sentanc ewithout fraud or attemtps to injure or damage is ridiculous. Fraud itself should not carry this sort of sentance. If he was facing a maxium of 3 years if found guilty but a more probable 1 year then this would be a completely different situation and I would support extradition. 99 years for someone who commits a non-violent but illegal act of political protest is more commonly associated with the worst kind of military dictatorships. Excessive sentances should be grounds to refuse extradition.
"I've been following Ken Shirriff's blog as he helps to get an old Xerox Alto up and working. One of the (many!) things that impressed me with this machine, was that you could add new instruction codes to the CPU on the fly.
Sounds a bit like an early FPGA to me."
No it was a microcoded arhitecture with a writeable control store. Quite common in the era of bit slice and nothing like an FPGA in architecture or in the challenge of programming it (If you consider designing an FPGA programming).
Microcode is sequential programs albeit with very wide instruction words and a direct connetcion to the hardware. a FPGA is nothing like this basically a sea of bit level connection and logic resources.
What is this based on. Do you actually have inside knowledge? Why if it is that simple has it not been done? In every system I have designed the battery charge voltage limit is implemented in electronics and NOT software for very obvious reasons.
I call b******t.
Any hack which requires a physical connection to the CAN bus is not really a hack. I could 'hack' an old fashioned hydraulic brake by inserting a valve which could be controlled remotely and release all the hydraulic fluid on command.
The ability to do this sort of thing without physical access would be a concern but that does not appear to be present.
Your reply to my (anonymous) post: 'But theoretical physics is based on Mathematics, not observation. ' could not be more wrong.
Physics is and must be based on observation. If there is a conflict between theory and observation then the theory needs to change. There is some interaction becauus the experiments we perform are guided by theoretical knowledge and speculation but everything must be grounded on experiment.
In the case of WIMPs the theory (oe 'mathematics') is supersymmetry. The problem with supersymmetry is no supersymmetric particles have ever been observed and unles you adjust the theories to fit they should have been.
The idea that we have a perfect theory that nature conforms to and we need to just tick the boxes is totally wrong. The history of physics shoudl teach us humility, and if not that then the fact that our physical theories are incompatible with each other and break down at very small scales so must be incomplete approximations to reality.
WIMPs may exist or may not and if they do exist then they may arise from a supersymmetric theory or they may not. We do not know.
"One reason why I'm always wary of "experienced" programmers who were self-taught and came from a hardware or physics background for instance is that they can bash out code based on tutorials they've learned etc, but they don't really understand basics like what a pointer is"
My experience is the opposite that most CS graduates have no idea about what a pointer is, how a stack is used to pass parameters and allocate space for local variables and cannot function in an environment where memory and resources are not (mostly) automatically managed. A good way to test this is to give some example code that returns a pointer to a local variable and ask them to describe what can happen if you start to use that pointer. Most do not evn think it is a problem let alone give any sort of coherent description of why and what can happen. They can, to be fair, program badly in a scripting language and create web page but are incapable of real programming without extensive remedial education. Electronics and physics graduates however seem much stronger and quicker learners.
Actually in the fibre the light will travel at c/n where n is the refractive index and signals* will travel at the group velocity, which for fibre will basically be the same.
Actually it is very clear what the guy is talking about throughput and latency for specific connections and these absolutely can be improved at the expensive of others. The whole basis of the article seems an unfairly pedantic reading of what is said. All of us must have used language at least this loosely but with it actually clear what we mean.
* There are rare circumstances when even this is not true if we want to be even more pedantic.
You beat me to it. I am reasonably certain there is no such thing as a10" floppy disk. I remember 8" floppies, (they were very floppy) but I have never heard of a 10" and even google only seemed to return 8 inch versions. I think 8" floppies were teh first ever an dthey only got smaller from that point.
The EPO is not an EU organisation. If it was then these problem would not exist in the sense the president of the EPO would not be a president and could be sacked/disciplined in a normal way.
We should rememeber not everything with the word european in it is part of the EU and the UK has it's own share of dysfunctional organisations although this paticular saga does seem extraordinary.
John Brunner published at leat four outstanding novels. His career seemd to fade away for no obvious reason.
"It seems any regulation seems to be designed to prevent the use of these life saving devices, rather than improving quality."
This is nonsense. They certainly are not life saving devices. At best they are devices with no impact on health but with the strong potential for causing harm.
The purpose is to deliver an addictive pharmecutical to the user through the lungs. There are at least three potential risks, that there dangerous impurities, that the dose delivered is significantly higher than intended, that dangerous substances are generated by the vapourisation process (heating). The regulation that the register continues to rant against is very clearly aimed at controlling these hazards while allowing general use. It seems to me that the regulation is proportionate and sensible. It is reasonable to disagree with that opinion and with the detail of the regulation of E-cigarettes but unbalanced rants that compare regulation to the Nazis are not in any way reasonable. If there is going to be any error on the regulation of devices that supply addictive pharmecuticals with known hazardous effects into consumers lungs than I would prefer them to be on the cautious side.
I think he probably meant alum which certainly was used to aduterate flour.
Another common thing was to use copper salts to make pickled vegetables greener which definitely is not harmless.
"There is no way that the UK alone is going to get better terms than it gets as part of the EU which has a lot more clout in these situations"
Not only that but there will be overlapping periods of uncetainty for each country/block. Initially know one will know what is going to happen, then we will drop onto interim/default/de facto trading arrangements for each country, then there will be negotiations, finally there will be agreements. It will be tempting for countries to gain leverage by applying or thretening to apply punitive interim trading arrangements. Final agreements will take years, some will take a decade or more . It is very likely that there will be very few, possibly no, agreeements which are beneficial to the UK compared to the current EU based arrangements. There will be strong efforts to offusticate what the agreement means to save UK embarassment. Despite that the biggest damage will be in the long period of uncertainty. The uncertainty and poor agreements will be blamed on foreign governments rather than the predictable consequences of brexit.
The purpose of an e-cigarette is to introduce a pharmecutical into the body through the lungs. The most common pharmecutical is very toxic and addictive.
There are obvious hazards of overdose an dthe introduction of unintended chemcials into the body.
The idea that this should not be regulated in some way is crazy. Traditional smoking is known to be very damaging to health. We have no long term data but have good reasons to vapping will be much less damaging to health, but given what is known about nicotine even if there are no unexpected effects, impurities, acccidental over doses etc then there will still be a negative imapct on health. This has to be regulated in the same way there are food safety regulations for example. Those regulations were introduced because peoples health was being damaged in some cases dying.
The fact that vapping is probably not a dangerous a smoking does not mean that we should not make them acceptably safe. I cannot comment on thd precise quantaties and concenrtaions but the proposed regulations seem sensible and not at all onerous as evidenced by the fact that the article itself says that it will not seem like a crackdown.
I was prompted to read the regulations by the articles clear bias. They are in the main very sensible requirements on reporting, labelling and obvious basic safety requirments. The only thing beyond this are concentration and volume limits which as a non-vapper I have no idea about but there are clear safety benefits to having such limits. The fact that he regulation is so light show sthat he benefits of vapping are appreciated and a sensible approach has been taken.
The EMC regulations for e-cigarrettes are more onerous than these. Andrew seems to have lost contact with reality.
QMS standards like 9001 do NOT say that you must measure lines of code. They do say you should set measurable quality objectives and measure them. What you measure is up to you.
The problem is that it is very hard to think of good metrics for software development (or development in general). Even high level ones like delivery against original planned dates is difficult with dependancies on other groups, clients and changing requirments and environment.
I actually quite like numrical recipes at least the numerical parts but the code style is awful, not least in the use of single letter variable names starting with a and working through the alphabet as if the length of variable name was related to efficiency or memory usage.
The attitude of mind was illustrated when I tried to compile the code that goes with the book on a unix system. The numerical recipes code had a function called 'select'. This caused a lot of header file/linking issues with the completely unrelated POSIX call of the same name. Anyway after working around the issue I sent a nice e-mail describing the problems and suggesting that in time they modified all of the function names by adding a prefix to make the names unique or at least much less likely to conflict. The reply was that they considered the problem a bug in the OS I was using and they had no intention of changing!
Maybe not an example of awful coding but an example of an awful attitude.
The comment is just too perfect and makes no explanation at all as to the mechanism or what the minor glitch is. It is also extremely unprofessional in tone. If such a serious situation can arise from such a small change is the whole design/architecture inappropriate? How do we know if some other bug may not cause a similar effect through a shared mechanism?
As for the prediction of the demise of a client company and the transfer of blame to the victim rather than those who wrote the software, it will appeal to those of us who code for a living, it makes us feel important and superior, but I suspect that a real story is being exaggerated or just made up.
My experience of Openreach is that they are abysmal constantly missing promised appointments, then when arriving not having the ability to fix the problem and needing to call someone else, then missing some more appointments and only after several months fixing a line problem. When I complained I did not get very good mobile reception and therefore had no fallback phone or data services and that I would be charge dto us ethe visible BT network they suggested that if I changed to BT broadband as my ISP I would be able get free access on the visible BT hotspots.
They are a shockingly bad organisation who take unfair competition to new heights using their own poor performance to encourage transfer to BT as an ISP. It is difficult to imagine a successor organisation woudl nto be better.
Why did anyone down vote this?
The pilot let his son and daughter have a go at the controls. The son managed to disengage the autopilot and put the plane in what became a steep turn which the pilots could not recover quickly enough and the crash that followed killed everyone. Ironically the investigation decided if the pilots had simply let go of the controls the plane would have successfully recovered itself!
I like the idea of letting childen and others in the cockpit but everything has a risk. Children or anyone else who is not qualified handling the controls is perhaps not justifiable in terms of the small probability but huge severity of possible consequences.
"As far-fetched as this sounds, constructing such a large structure around or in a planet would be relatively easy with recursive manufacturing."
Except that with really large structures gravatational forces cannot be sustained by known materials which act like liquids under the immense pressures. OK it is science fiction so we can allow new materials or force fields but then why start talking about what is possible at all given we are free to postulate anything to overcome pysical limits (such as light speed!).
Star wars looks back into the past not the future because it is more emotionally satisfying. Battles are like world war II air battles or even earlier napoleonic wars type naval battles of attrition not smart weapons with a single hit kill capability. Swarms of small stealthed intelligent war machines are much more plausible but so what? They would not be fun to watch.
LynxOS is a nice OS (IMH) but it does not have a Linux Kernel.
It is a realtime OS with support for Linux APIs (amongst others).
I have not used a recent version but it was very reliable and a nice environment to develop in.
It is even worse because a known antenna as a source of entropy has a very obvious vulnerability. Thermal noise in a diode is difficult to gain phsyical access to but a huge antenna is anything but difficult to transmit to.
'Either way, blaming a rape victim is never the right way to go - just remember, there is only one cause of rape, and that is rapists'
At best/worst she is an alleged rape victim. The assumption she is a victim is prejudging the man in this case even after the man was found not guilty. The fact that this is done is a strong argument for anonymity for the accused.
Interestingly and at the risk of provoking a flaming the studies on the prevelance of false rape accusations are all over the place from 3% to 90% of accusations. It is an inherently difficult thing to measure (estimate) but what is undisputed is that the overwhelming majority of those accused are not taken to court and found guilty so on the presumption of innocence there is a massive problem of those accused being unjustly victimised.
Obviously a source of jokes but if the man concerned has no previous record then this strongly suggests a new neurological problem and that should be the main focus. Charging someone under these circumstances does not seem appropriate untill the likely medical problems have been investigated. He and his family have problems issues without a record of sexual offences.
Anyone who does not assume that all states do this is very naive. I am sure that the US does the same on a vastly larger scale. Whenever there is a significant national interest for any state it should be assumed espionage and possibly worse takes place.
The problem with the exampels for teh IoT as with almost everything I have seen is that the IoT makes products more expensive, functionally fragile, create security risks and does not add any benefits.
A smart iron is a great idea except that there is no need for the IoT but a machine readable ironing prescription on items of clothing. They already have human readable ironing prescription. IoT needs a machine readable unique item identifier or similar so has the same requirments on the clothing but adding the IoT has added no beenfit at all while complicating things and making the system more fragile. Using a smart phone's camera and bar code reading SW makes sense but then you just have a bluetooth connection to the iron and an App. Not really IoT at all.
The smart electric blanket, OK, but a better product has the body temperature cycle support built into the blanket, again why involve the IoT what is the benefit? I can only see downsides.
Well I use google as a sort of enhanced address bar even when I know the site I want becaus ei tis much easier.
If for example I want to go to Texas Instrument web site and look at the data sheet on a paticular component I can go to www.ti.com and then navigate through the product heirarchy or use the sites own search tools or I can just type TI [abreviated Part number] and then select the best looking link within www.ti.com. Google is much better at this than most sites and it is a consistent method across all sites.
The same is true of the guardian and other news sites. I can go to the guardian and struggle to find something or I can type a search for example "guardian left handed LGBT software discrimination" into google and go straight to whatver article I already know I want to read.
I only tend to type addresses when I want to go to the home page of a web site I know.
C and it's derivatives should be covered not only because it is probably the most successful and long lasting computer language, having a decade or two of general dominance and still being the language of choice for embedded systems 43 years later but because of the massive success of C derived languages, C++, Objective C, C# and Java to name just 4.
The fact that the last legal action was a win by the inland revenue is a matter of public record.
This undermines the entire article and makes the writer lookrather stupid.
I found the film grating in the way it distorted history for the sake of simplistic over dramaticisation (which was annoying for it's childish implausability as much as its innacuracy) but I still thought it worth seeing as long as you treat the plot as fiction.
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