* Posts by Richard 81

1104 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

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Boffins mix AI and chemicals to create super-fast lab assistant

Richard 81

From that setup, it looks like it's going to be pretty limited in terms of reaction conditions.

I read about this on the Beeb and was singularly unimpressed. Part of that was the claim that this will "allow chemists to discover new wonder drugs" or similar, as if chemists actually just throw stuff together in the hope that it'll a) react and b) produce something useful. Nobody with half a brain does high-throughput screening anymore.

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No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?

Richard 81

Re: ...why are you holding your phone like that?

I'm afraid I often say "can I get", without meaning to. I put it down to years of exposure to American television. Friends has a lot to answer for.

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Richard 81

Re: Slight variation

There is a special corner of Hell reserved for people who have speaker phone conversations in public, with especially creative forms of torment for those who hold such conversations on the bus.

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Crime epidemic or never had it so good? Drilling into statistics is murder

Richard 81

Re: The law is wrong

Changing the law in the way you suggest may have unintended consequences, e.g. making anyone who grabs a kitchen knife off their own kitchen counter defend themselves from a burglar a murderer, without any wiggle room to argue self defence. The law is already pretty strict on that; the act of opening a drawer to retrieve a knife, rather than it being on a counter, makes it far less likely that a plea of self defence will be accepted. Same goes for stabbing someone if they're not actually facing you.

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An AI a day keeps the doctor away... Neural net software gets better at clocking cancer tumors

Richard 81

Ultimate classification problem

Tumour or chiwawa?

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Motorola extends modular phone adventure for another year

Richard 81

A printer was already mentioned, but a card reader with receipt printer would probably sell.

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Richard 81

Re: Is anybody listening?

My Moto G6 Play has 2 and 3. I can use it throughout the day and it only drops to about 60% charge, and it takes an SD card. It's hardly a premium phone and definitely slows down when it's busy, but it's still pretty good for £160.

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Your parents love you, Cortana. That's why we bought you an upgrade

Richard 81

Ah Cortana

Or, as I like to call her: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Policies > Microsoft > Windows > Windows Search > AllowCortana = 0"

Maybe not as catchy.

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Want to know what an organisation is really like? Visit the restroom

Richard 81

@GlenP: How about getting one of those Greater Anglia signs apologising for the state of the toilets on their trains?

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Shining lasers at planes in the UK could now get you up to 5 years in jail

Richard 81

Cyclists having bright lights is fine. Cyclists having bright flashing lights is not OK. In particular it's not OK when in unlit areas and you're sharing the space with pedestrians, thanks.

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Make masses carry their mobes, suggests wig in not-at-all-creepy speech

Richard 81
Black Helicopters

It's like something out of Black Mirror.

So, one day my habit of keeping the GPS of my phone off to save the battery will get me in hot water? Great.

Presumably anyone who gets hauled before the beak and is found to have put their phone on airplane mode will be hanged immediately, just in case they did something naughty while the state couldn't see them.

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Blame everything on 'computer error' – no one will contradict you

Richard 81

I'm not sure I believe you

It beggars belief that someone can suffer so many separate technical problems in a single day.

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I've got way too much cash, thinks Jeff Bezos. Hmmm, pay more tax? Pay staff more? Nah, let's just go into space

Richard 81

If taxing people a decent amount to fund services like the NHS or to ensure that there is an effective safety net is communism, then call me a pinko.

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Richard 81

Re: Stalin treated his people ... pretty much the same as how they'd been treated by the Tsar

Certain parts of Russian (and neighbouring) society suffered very badly under Stalin, yes. But then other parts suffered very badly under the Tsar. Overall that whole region has suffered and become brutalised over the course of hundreds of years.

My point was, that engaging in a bit of socialism is not going to cause Western society to descend into a Soviet-like nightmare.

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Richard 81
FAIL

Ah the old joke that socialism == the Soviet Union. Never mind that the way Stalin treated his people was pretty much the same as how they'd been treated by the Tsar, going back hundreds of years. Or that the way Soviet Russia treated its neighbours was entirely consistent with how Imperial Russia had treated them. Obviously, ensuring staff are paid enough to live and that wealth is somewhat distributed throughout society, must surely result in a brutalised Soviet-like state.

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Birds can feel Earth's magnetic fields? Yeah, that might fly. Bioboffins find vital sense proteins

Richard 81

Re: Wonder what effect ethanol has on the proteins?

Are you proposing we get a pigeon drunk, for science?

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Richard 81

Re: How would it feel?

It could be like the way our inner ear tells us which way is up; you do feel a sort of pull but it's barely perceptible. Since no human has this sense, it's difficult know how it would feel.

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My PC makes ‘negative energy waves’, said user, then demanded fix

Richard 81

Wireless keyboard is fine, but largely pointless. Wireless mice are heaver, which give me noticeable pain in old carpal tunnels.

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Richard 81

"Negative waves, man!"

Henceforth, the offending user shall be known as Oddball.

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I say, I say, I say: What's the difference between a king penguin and liquid?

Richard 81

Re: What's average airspeed velocity

Spherical frictionless penguin in a vacuum.

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Why a merged Apple OS is one mash-up too far

Richard 81

Re: If it's done right...

Windows 10 being "awesome" is still a matter of opinion. On the whole I like it (love it, compared to 8), but there's still plenty to hate. The Start menu is still awful, so now I never even open it. I could do at home, where I have Start10 installed, but I've just got out of the habit. Also the new settings "app" is terrible; it's a massive pain to find the right options page to do anything. Thank God the old control panel is still buried in there. Cortana is utterly pointless, and is killed with RegEdit on any PC I work with. The notifications page might as well not exist, since I never look at it. Basically any of the bits that Microsoft are adamant should work the same on touchscreens and with a mouse are total rubbish.

Apple will be fine merging iOS and OSX, so long as the touchscreen mode looks like iOS does now and the desktop mode looks exactly like OSX.

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Facebook supremo Mark Zuckerberg has flunky tell UK MPs: Nope, he's sending someone else

Richard 81

Re: Rule Britannia!

Next time, I suggest using the "Joke Alert" icon. Some people wouldn't know satire if it hit them in the face with a salmon.

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BT: We're shuttering final salary pension scheme

Richard 81

"Pen-sun"? "Ree-tyre"?

What do these strange, archaic words mean?

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The Java release train is moving faster, but will developers be derailed?

Richard 81

Re: What's the point

Well sure, but I was really referring to the build-once-run-anywhere benefit of Java, rather than the download-source-from-GitHub-and-spend-the-next-week-struggling-to-get-it-to-build model of C/C++.

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Richard 81

Re: What's the point

Not interested in multi-OS support then?

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Suspected drug dealer who refused to poo for 46 DAYS released... on bail

Richard 81

Re: So...

Coprolite? I'm betting diamonds!

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EE: Data goes TITSUP* for Brit mobile customers

Richard 81

Yeah 25-40 years old isn't that little.

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UK mobile customers face inflation-busting price hike

Richard 81

Funny how whenever we have to pay someone else more inline with inflation, RPI is used, but when someone has to pay us it's always CPI.

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If this laptop is so portable, where's the keyboard, huh? HUH?

Richard 81

Maybe we should get in the habit of saying "start, full stop, com"?

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Facial recognition software easily IDs white men, but error rates soar for black women

Richard 81

Agreed. To be representative you really need to sample everywhere. Otherwise there are always going to be big gaps in its applicability domain. In this case Scandinavia is over represented, so it's going to be over trained on Vikings, while they've got just three really distant countries representing all of Africa.

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Why aren't you being arbiters of truth? MPs scream at Facebook, YouTube, Twitter

Richard 81

Get thine own house in order.

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FYI: There's now an AI app that generates convincing fake smut vids using celebs' faces

Richard 81
Childcatcher

The child angle

Pretty sure putting a kids face on a smut movie would put you on the wrong side of UK law already. Didn't those anti-smut laws our benevolent overlords pass a couple of years back include simulated acts and even animations?

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Richard 81

Re: FFS people get a grip

@AC: It was ever thus. Why else would people continue to buy the Daily Mail?

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Cortana. Whatever happened to world domination?

Richard 81

Re: I thought....

You mean "pretty cool character in the Halo series that became increasingly naked as the series went on".

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Richard 81

Cortana?

You mean that thing that I go into the registry to permanently disable as soon as possible?

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1 in 5 STEM bros whinge they can't catch a break in tech world they run

Richard 81

Re: Slight typo

Well you know what they say: "if your wan't something done, give it to someone who's already busy".

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Google Chrome ad-blocking to begin in February – but what is it going to block?

Richard 81

Giving the ad industry sleepless nights?

Personally I wish irritable bowel syndrome on anyone in the ad industry.

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5 reasons why America's Ctrl-Z on net neutrality rules is a GOOD thing

Richard 81

@OP:

You do realise Goodwin's Law has been extended to include references to "Snowflakes", right?

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At Christmas, do you give peas a chance? Go cold turkey? What is the perfect festive feast?

Richard 81

Starter?!

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Richard 81

Re: Goose

Yorkshire puds with every dinner.

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Millions of moaners vindicated: Man flu is 'a thing', says researcher, and big TVs are cure

Richard 81

Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

@Jason Bloomberg:

Indeed, statutory sick pay doesn't kick in until you've been off for four consecutive days (including non-working days).

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Meet the woman with a supernatural affinity for stiff lovers

Richard 81

Re: WTF???

Is this your first time here? I guess you've not seen the Bootnotes sections before.

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Richard 81

Daytime TV is always fluff like this though. It least this is less harmful to one's health than watching Jeremy Kyle.

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A certain millennial turned 30 recently: Welcome to middle age, Microsoft Excel v2

Richard 81

Re: Excel drives me nuts

Magic, but pretty counter-intuitive considering how copy-paste usually behaves.

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Richard 81

Re: 30 is not 'middle age'

Most dictionary definitions put middle age as 45-65. As a 32 year old I found the title of this piece utterly horrifying.

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Universal basic income is a great idea, which is also why it won't happen

Richard 81

@Tigra 07: But they won't be earning the same; if their pay is the same as their UBI, then they've doubled their income.

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Lord of the Rings TV show shopped around Hollywood

Richard 81

Re: Why not

@tfewster: The Watch books don't have too many of those though.

I don't tend to think "CSI: Ankh-Morpork", but rather "A Touch of Frost: Ankh-Morpork" but with even more humour. Unlike every other Discworld TV adaptation (of which The Hogfather is still the best), The Watch needs to actually be quite dark (as well as funny) and definitely aimed at adults.

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Richard 81

Well, pretty much every game based in the LotR universe had done that too.

Everyone seen Sexy Shelob in Shadow of War? I rest my case.

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Richard 81

Re: Why hasn't anyone done a Thomas Covenant series/film?

@AC: ...yeah I still don't see anyone going for it.

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Richard 81

It can't end up worse than The Hobbit movies. Seeing a Billy Connolly, as a CGI dwarf, riding around on a giant pig and twatting orks was the last straw. The third one was basically Warhammer: The Movie.

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