* Posts by MonkeyCee

794 posts • joined 16 Apr 2013

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Senior judge: Put AI in charge of reviewing social media evidence

MonkeyCee
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Re: Magic Wand

"A lot of victims of false allegations have been in the news recently (probably a consequence of and backlash against actions taken when the warcry was "more rape convictions"), which is probably what provoked the speech."

I've only noticed a couple of stories, and false accusations usually get a lot of press (especially about sexual assault), in part because if a criminal solicitor get someone off a serious crime, then they would like other potential clients to know.

One case (as mentioned elsewhere in the comments) was mainly about the prosecutor and investigators either missing or attempting to bury evidence the defence was relying on. So less about false accusations and more about incompetence, which was blamed on there being "too much data" to go through.

While false accusations can fuck up a person's life, the flip side is that almost every sexual predator has been accused multiple times before they get caught. If they are even moderately intelligent they can game the system (eg John Worboy's parole).

"more rape convictions"

I personally think this was more of "stop dumping sexual assaults to duke the stats". Rape and sexual assault is one of the few serious crimes against a person that you can make "go away" by persuading the victim to not report it or be prepared to go to court*. Or you make it a specialist crime, then ensure you don't have enough specialist officers to investigate, then let the files quietly rot away. One NZ police district went six years without a child sex crime investigator, so they simply didn't investigate any complaints. No investigation, no charge, no conviction, no crime.

* In NZ there was a case were the cops claimed, repeatedly, that the victims were not prepared to go to court, hence why they didn't do anything. Even when one of the victims gave them copies if her letters saying exactly the opposite, they continued with the "after we strongly discouraged them they didn't want to go on, so we dropped it. Not our fault".

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Hahahahahahahahahahaha...

"As so many call it AI, now people think it is actually AI... but it isn't."

While I agree with your sentiment, at least the beak was specific with what he meant, rather than saying "AI" or "with technology". So at least some of the judiciary are more on to that the gentlemen of the press :)

He also seems to have used an almost exact definition of machine learning. Which is certainly one of the aspects of AI, but is certainly not intelligent by any means.

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New Windows Server preview ships with an AI crystal ball

MonkeyCee
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Re: Question

" I can't immediately see how it would benefit our sort of setup."

For your use case, probably not. Even GUI-less desktop installs may not be worth it as a time saver, depending how different each box is from the next. You're probably only re-imaging your server a couple of times of it's life, so again seems hardly worth it.

When you're deploying at least 10 servers, and expect to be re-imaging then every six months then it should prove a time saver.

Personally I dislike using a GUI over a remote connection to do any admin where a misclick would be costly. Even when the daft buggers who set up the OU decided that naming groups (and everything else) along the lines of job_title_tool_ location_ waffle_biscuit_test and job_title_tool_ location_waffle_biscuit_prod, since they are harder to differentiate between with either a GUI or text based.

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'90s hacker collective man turned infosec VIP: Internet security hasn't improved in 20 years

MonkeyCee
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Nostalgia

"Anyone else have a wonderful sense of nostalgia about those 10-15 years from '85 to 1998,"

Yes. On account of being nearly 40 now :)

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Capita admits it won't make money on botched NHS England contract

MonkeyCee
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Re: Hmm

@codejunky

I'm pretty sure the only way to read the article is to conclude that the project is running over cost (or failing to make expected savings), and that Crapita have decided to carry the bag in order to gain more down the line.

They've admitted that neither they nor the client knew what they where doing before they started, and it was rushed purely on a cost basis. Oh, and the assumption that a client who "doesn't know" won't have some steaming pile of crap for you to clean up (by accident or design) implies that you've never taken a contract in your life.

You'll notice that the project is making *exactly* the predicted savings (60M), whilst Crapita is taking a hit of roughly 120M for the same period. So making sure the flagship project works and provides "savings" is clearly just silly accounting.

"Another way to read that is Crapita saved the tax payer $140m."

They saved 140M on their tax bill.

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National ID cards might not mean much when up against incompetence of the UK Home Office

MonkeyCee
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ID isn't the problem

@jmch

I've said it before, there's not any point having a "no ID cards!" attitude if the environment is one when many essentials (shelter, work, healthcare) require you to present ID.

For all the huffing and puffing that the British do about this, there didn't seem to be any real objections to the creation of this environment. So either people did not realise what was happening, or felt that the objections to ID checks would be silly.

In the Netherlands we've got a digiID system, where you have a central ID, and pretty much all other services require you to use that to authenticate and confirm stuff. I've not got an actual ID card (passport and GBA suffice for most things) and I've only been asked for my papers in reasonable circumstances.

@ubermunchkin

"Beyond the privacy implications and the simple, there is no way I'm prepared to give the government that much data about myself "

That seems an odd attitude. Either the government already has that data on you, by being born in the UK. More so if you're on the electoral roll, have a passport, drivers licence, own property etc. Oh, and if you have a bank account or mail delivered to your house or are the chief tenant.

So the only way the government doesn't have information on you is if you're not from the UK, entered illegally and live illegally while not working, driving or renting. Which seems pretty much an edge case.

"It's also important that government backend databases are not all automatically linked to each other"

Nah, that would be helpful and stuff. They'll just keep feeding into GCHQs central database of goodies.

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Wires, chips, and LEDs: US trade bigwigs detail Chinese kit that's going to cost a lot more

MonkeyCee
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Re: War, what is it good for?

"Next week he will probably leave NATO"

That was actually the biggest WTF moment for me at the G7. The Russia stuff has some basis in realpolitik, since they are a world power, so ignoring them doesn't make their nukes and armed forces go away.

But when the US president says "I don't see the point in NATO" and "why would we defend another NATO member" to the heads of the state of other nations it indicates that either he really has no fucking idea of how the world works (which is pretty scary) or that he genuinely believes that the US interests are not served by promoting freedom and democracy or supporting like minded allies.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Every one

"The most famous is don't fight a land war in Asia"

That's the second :) first is "don't march on Moscow"

Although "don't fight a trade war with Asia" is a pretty good modern take :)

As mentioned elsewhere, does anyone know how you can have both the world reserve currency and maintain a trade surplus at the same time?

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... Aaaand that's a fifth Brit Army Watchkeeper drone to crash in Wales

MonkeyCee
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Re: what are they doing?

"Sorry sarge, it got in my sights just as I was firing.."

The story I heard from my Grampy was that they would nominate some rocks as target practice, and then "discover" the mistake later. Or indeed the sheep was going for the throat, so I had to give it the bayonet....

These days I gather it's part of the training of young officers to explain to a surly Welshman that he's down one sheep, and sort out the appropriate amount of reimbursement-by-form and by brown envelope. Good practice for when you're trying to win hearts and minds.

They also do escape and evade occasionally, where the locals are supposed to not help the runners. The Welsh having the typical amount of respect that one expects for being told what to do by a rupert tend to cook up an extra fruitcake to give out.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: what are they doing?

"Are they using these to spy on Brits? "

No.

We, like the rest of the "civilised" world have domestic agencies for that. Separation of army and police, all that jazz.

The Met has taken a leaf out of certain TLAs operations manual, and runs it's spy planes through front corporations with PO Box contact details to avoid having to discuss exactly how much of this targeted spying whatnot goes on.

Luckily there are some seriously beardy plane spotters out there, and a light plane with a camera dome in it's belly is somewhat noticeable. The people who make the camera;s also aren't shy about tooting the horn over their products capabilities, such as ANPR.

It's a technique that is certainly used in the US, and almost certainly by the other five eyes. Exactly how legal certain aspects of it are (stingray) are up for debate, but cops with a camera in the sky are generally accepted as being legal.

"why is the army flying surveillance drones over civilian areas?"

Easements, or it's crown land. I get a form letter from the MoD about my Welsh "farm" where they notify me when they are planning on sending some squaddies through, with who to contact if they fuck something up. Or "accidentally" kill a sheep, and then cook it up, as soldier have done since time immemorial.

They also have a standing notice that they might fly planes over, which is why it's not much good for anything other than subsidy collection. Well, any locals who want to keep their sheep on it can, in exchange for a spot of mutton once a year.

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Swiss cops will 'tolerate' World Cup rabble-rousers – for 60 minutes

MonkeyCee
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Re: Being sensible

"I'm arguing against government regulation of what I do in my own house."

Since this is about noise, it's surely about the impact that your actions have on other people. The advice is pretty sensible, especially the aspect of "what sounds loud/quiet to you may not for others" and it's very hard to tell.

So if you want to do what you like, move somewhere without neighbors :)

There are already a plethora of regulations about what you can and cannot do in your own house, many with obvious ties to general safety (no explosives, bottles of petrol etc) as well as zoning. Running a home office is usually allowed in residential areas, but a workshop isn't. So it's a case of drawing a line somewhere.

There is also a world of difference between how the UK governs and the Swiss, Germans and Dutch do it. The canton (or equivalent) has a great deal of power and authority over it's rules. So instead of a top down approach, one size fits all you get more detailed rules (and enforcement) and, IMHO, a better solution. It's also an awful lot easier to get a canton rule changed in Switzerland than getting a local council rule changed in the UK.

"I may not agree with those who would cause all this noise, but I will fight for their right to cause it as long as it doesn't go too far."

Well, pick one. Either you have rules about what is "too far", which is what the Swiss have, or you give a fuzzy definition that means enforcement is pretty much random. Or you stick with allowing everyone to make as much noise as they like, with no interference. So if you accept there is a "too far", you accept that the government DOES have a right to interfere, in that case.

What exactly is too far is of course up for debate too :)

I've lived in a place in Wellington that had apartment buildings on three sides. After the Christchurch earthquakes, two of the buildings decided to improve their earthquake proofing. This resulted in work being done without any effort at noise or dust dampening, with workers at the property line. They had noise consents 0800 - 2000 Mon to Sat, and broke them every single day. Well, except for Sundays for the first month, but then they where running behind.

We made a complaint every three days. We had a recording device installed (record was 104Db Sunday 0930 in a bedroom). We could get an hours peace if we called noise control, as the contractor buggered off shortly afterwards (noise control call the construction company first, who claim they have no idea what's going on). But then they just go on later to catch up.

These were all commercial rents, not a person's home. Yet nothing you can do, construction company claims it tells the contractors what hours they can work, contractors ignore you if you ask them, council shrugs and says "it's not a pattern of behavior, call noise patrol" and noise patrol are required to notify the works coordinator.

To cap it off, we got a recorder set up, and not allowed to file new complaints. Noise control totally agrees that not only is it unacceptable, it's actually dangerous. That 104Db reading was when a worker was cutting out mortar using an angle grinder roughly six foot away from the bedroom. But since there are two renovations going on at the same time, and both claim that no-one was working on Sunday, and we didn't take any pictures then it's not clear whose fault it was. Oh, and one of their companies claimed that we'd made the noise ourselves......

So with the options of "follow a bunch of rules" or "rules are meaningless and not enforced" I will prefer the first one.

But I live in the Netherlands, so have gotten used to there being many many MANY rules to follow. Although most of their rules for what you can do with a house are sensible, all the bullshit ones are part of your mortgage :)

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Intel confirms it’ll release GPUs in 2020

MonkeyCee
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Re: Single die vs plugin card

"Sure *gamers* will upgrade their GPU - but the really *big* market for GPUs is not processing graphics!"

Well, nVidia disagree with you there.

2019 Q1 results (Jan 2018 - Mar 2018)

Growth is change from smae period last year.

Gaming revenue: $1.7B, 68% growth

Datacenter: $700M, 71% growth

Professional visualisation: $250M, 22% growth

Automotive: $145M, 4% growth

Crypto miners: $290M.

So roughly two thirds of nVidia revenue (not just GPUs) is *only* processing graphics. Automotive is also processing graphics, but doing other stuff too, same as data centre. So counting dual use as not doing graphics, the majority use case is still crunching numbers for graphics.

"Once standard desktop software needs a GPU to perform well"

Did I miss something? Isn't that ALREADY the case, which is why CPUs have had a GPU on them for a decade or more?

The majority of GPUs I own are not used for graphics. But I'm a pretty odd case, and most of my usage of them doesn't need a lot of grunt from the rest of the system, as they are being run on hardware several generations behind (2Ghz Xeons, DDR3, x4 PCIe2 slots) since they get the same performance on shiny new kit as the bottleneck is still on the card itself.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Always good to have competition to rein in that nVidia/AMD duopoly

"run much more than a maxed out 1080 Ti card."

I wouldn't compare a 1080ti with a TPU. No-one who is planning on using one would substitute the other. Even Titans and Vegas are not really comparable, lack of precision and cost aren't really on the same scale.

Comparing a TPU with a Tesla is more viable, since they would be used for equivalent workloads.

You could possibly use half a dozen Titans to do Tesla like stuff, but why would you bother?

In general people either have the budget, so want the best in the smallest form factor (TPU or Tesla), or don't and then want the best bang for buck (retail GPU).

It will be interesting to see what Intel come out with, whether they are aiming at the retail or industrial end of the spectrum.

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Korean cryptocoin exchange $30m lighter after hacking attack

MonkeyCee
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pedant alert...

"No, currency has intrinsic value because the government says it does."

Just to split hairs here (because I'm 99% sure you mean the same thing) you mean money rather than currency, which is a specific form of money.

The reason the money has value is because the government will only accept payment of it's taxes in that form.

The US goes a bit further, in that *any* transaction must be valued in dollars, and be potentially taxable (if you've gained them). So if you trade a chicken for a spanner, you have to agree a "fair" value for that in dollars (fair as in the IRS agrees).

The IRS views *any* crypto trade as requiring this, hence why it's very easy to make a net loss trading if you're in the US if you're not paying attention to when you losses and gains occur within a tax year.

Oh, and the US also requires you to use USD for any oil trade. Anywhere in the world. Hence why everyone has to hold USD reserves.

So much of the intrinsic value of the USD is that if you stop using it, then you might well end up ousted from your shiny gold palace and at the end of a rope.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Success of fiat

"Fiat currency and government debt are not the same thing. "

They are intrinsically linked. Specifically to the government bonds, which is what a sovereign default is. Refusing to pay your debtors for a specific loan is quite different to refusing to pay for a bond maturing. All fiat currencies are debt based. If it's not, it's flat rather than fiat.

It'll get waaay off topic to discuss how bonds and money work, but feel free to look it up.

"Though a loss of confidence in the government can be more serious."

If they default, then they've lost the confidence. If a government's bonds are not 100%, then there is a confidence issue.

We've had flat currencies before, and for quite long periods of time. Tally sticks in the UK for example. The creation of private central banks is what pushed us to using fiat, since it's all about borrowing and lending. The first central bank (Bank of England) took it's initial deposits from it's owners in tally sticks.

Fiat didn't just "come along" it was a deliberate creation to make bankers money, by lending to countries rather than individuals, and allowing governments to spend future tax revenue immediately. Once you're on the fiat tiger the only way to get off is to default, which can be made rather difficult depending who your bonds have been sold too (see Argentina).

Most people would actually be happy with flat rather than fiat currency, since it's a lot harder to inflate or deflate. The banks would not, and in general governments would not either, as it requires balancing of the books. It's also a lot harder to fight wars if you've got to pay for your rhiney toys upfront, rather than over the course of 70 years.

"Many governments have defaulted on their debts, but their currency has survived perfectly fine."

Any examples of this? Economies certainly survive (being based in the real world), but usually the currency takes a hit, and is often replaced or re-issued, which is very much a case of the currency not surviving.

"often create new ones and allow people to bring their existing holdings across"

But that's still a failed currency, and a default. Even when the government pays 99% it still counts as a default, hence why Greece has technically defaulted more times than it has truly defaulted*. In the same way as moving from a theoretical commodity based currency (gold standard, sterling) to a fiat one without a complete redemption and re-issuance is also a failed currency, although no-one wants to admit it.

"I don't know why you complain about seigniorage though."

Did I? Must have missed that :) I've not got a general problem with it, as long as it's useful. So seignorage from currency issuance is fine, since the smaller notes and coins can have negative seignorage. My issue is that I dislike hidden taxes and subsidies, and non-physical seignorage takes it's value from the current issuance.

I wouldn't characterise Bitcoin mining as seignorage, since it also does the processing of transactions. The same way bank fees or differences in interest rates between loans and deposits aren't seignorage.

"Sure the US government makes a bit of money from printing dollars. "

Not really. They make it ctrl-p dollars, printing currency is expensive :)

The main way the US makes money is petro-dollars. Hence my "magic checkbook" comment. The US issues dollars, and then requires that everyone hold them, in order to trade oil. Thus they never get redeemed, so you can keep on writing cheques on the basis that no-one is going to cash them, just pass them around.

If a country starts bucking this, then they are in for a spot of regime change, or if to big, then sanctions.

"Crypto currency is just fiat money with nobody in control. "

That's a contradiction. Fiat requires an issuer and controller, as yourself has specified several times in this discussion. The issuer can vary the rate of issue, and the controller can impose rules on the currency.

Depending on the crypto in question, some are certainly fiat (devs in charge), some are flat (like BTC) and some are a mix (masternodes). If the devs can issue more coins, at whim, without any restrictions then it's essentially fiat. If the rate of issuance is impossible to change, then it's essentially a flat currency. Flat doesn't require anyone being in charge.

"But the Eurozone was saved by it."

What? Nah bro :) Greece could have (and can) go to the wall and it should have little to no economic effect on the rest of the Eurozone. It was politically untenable, sure, but the same applies to the acceptance of amazing works of fiction known as the Greek public finances. The other EU governments took on the Greek debt (banks forced to buy out retail bond holders, then haircut on bonds, then governments bought out the banks' bonds) rather than allow Greece to leave the Euro.

It was a political move, in part to stop a precedent and then having Spain or Italy trying it, which could potentially wreck the Eurozone, and partly because there's a strong resistance to central control of the Euro by increasing the power of the ECB.

There are problems with all forms of currencies. The biggest one (IMHO) for fiat is that it's controlled by unelected central bankers who are incompetent (see various financial crises), corrupt (ditto) and unaccountable.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: I'm forever blowing bitcoin

" is intrinsically worth a lot of money."

Just a side note on intrinsic value. It's actually a bad thing when money (or any subset, such as currency) has intrinsic value. It should function as a medium of exchange only, else there will be oddities in the process.

Coinage is the classic example, many coins are worth more for their metal content than their face value. Since they also can cost more than their face value to make (materials plus tooling) you'll just be losing value. There are laws against this, but any time copper or nickel shoots up in value, then certain people will hoard nickels, dimes and tuppences (the ones without a steel disc in them). While it's unusual you can still find silver coins in the USA in regular usage. Always nice to get more back in change than you paid :)

So it's important that money doesn't have an intrinsic value, otherwise it buggers up a lot of the workings. That we use something inherently worthless as a way of ascribing value is very confusing.

In much the same way that when you understand how money supply works, either you should feel worried ("what will happen when the peons discover this?") or angry ("wait, ctrl-p and there's now more money?"). There's a good reason you don't get it explained in school, except with regard to Weimer Republic.

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MonkeyCee
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Success of fiat

"Which is why they've been so successful throughout history."

What!!!!

Look, fiat is a very useful tool, but describing them as successful throughout history indicates a profound lack of knowledge of the subject. If your currency is the default world currency (by hook or crook) then you enjoy massive benefits, as you've got a magic checkbook.

For a start, almost every losing side in a war issued fiat directly or as bonds, and then defaulted on them when they lost. Article 14 of the US constitution I believe wiped all the debts issued by the Southern states during the civil war.

Many changes of power (French revolution, Russian revolution, Denmark in 1850) resulted in all existing sovereign debts being discharged.

In more recent times, Greece and Argentina have defaulted on their debt repayments, forcing people to take a loss. Even when issued in euros, there's no explicit guarantee of the German's to cover Greek debts.

"Fiat currencies are backed by governents and the whole economy that uses them."

And can also be fucked by other governments. Venezuela and Zimbabwe as recent examples. Both *had* an economy and have/had a sovereign fiat currency. Yet those currencies are not so successful, leading to printing and inflation that impoverished everyone who held their wealth in those currencies.

One of my crypto mining buddies is from there. You can mock BTC and ETH as being "impractical" but he's been feeding his extended family from the proceeds of his GPUs for several years now. Because the local fiat is worthless, and foreign exchange is heavily controlled by the government, having any access to USD makes you (relativly) very wealthy. Although in this case it's the difference between starvation and mild malnutrition.

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MonkeyCee
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Assets and commodities

"Bitcoin value dropped more than $10k from what I heard on the radio,"

Don't trust what you hear on the radio then. It's down about $500 from it's recent price. It's down 10k from it's highest price ever.

You'll notice that financial reporters will give this sort of detail, since it's important. You'll hear "the pound dropped TODAY versus the dollar" or "down from it's six month low, Brent crude is trading at $75 a barrel". Once a price movement is significant enough to make it mainstream, then you get the need to make silly numbers (lost 10k! Half it's value! 1145%!) sp you should always double check those figures.

"Your mistake is calling it an "asset". It is no such thing. "

It's pretty much exactly the definition of an asset. It's legally an asset where I live (NL) and you might well find it is one in your jurisdiction. It exists, it can be owned, people trade it, government taxes you on those trades. Bish bash bosh, it's an asset.

You are completely correct that scarcity alone does not make an asset have any value. In fact, almost all assets have no "intrinsic" value*, their value is entirely due to other people wanting them, and being prepared to exchange stuff for it. Gold has almost no intrinsic value (but might gain more if it could be used at a few hundred bucks per kilo), wheres platinum (roughly same price as gold) has multitude of industrial uses.

"(Bitcoin) It isn't even useful as a currency any more due to the ridiculous transaction fees "

Depends if you're doing 1-1 transactions or many-many. But yes, not much good for micro transactions**. But it is used for almost all transactions with other cryptos, in particular anything which doesn't have a USD pairing, It functions more as the "reserve" crypto, which all others are valued in. SO it's both as valueless as gold, and used for a similar financial purpose.

"Perhaps someday something that bears some resemblance to bitcoin will gain broad acceptance"

Nah, I doubt it. Using blockchain to make SWIFT more secure, or for making transactions to be settled sure, but currency and banking are national security issues, so decentralised lack of control is not really helpful features.

* base value is pretty much "does it solve any of my essential needs?" so food, shelter, clothing. Thus an investment property can provide somewhere to live, farmland can be used to feed yourself. It's the "stuck on a desert island" kind of thing

** between two wallets anyway. Transferring between two coindesk accounts is free and quick, and where most of my BTC based income gets paid into.

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New York State is trying to ban 'deepfakes' and Hollywood isn't happy

MonkeyCee
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All fakes, not just deepfakes

So this law would apply to fake pictures too, I presume? Since there seems to be a plethora of photoshopped porno pictures out there, then this would apply to them, surely?

And if it passes, what about offensive memes using a persons likeness?

Either way, you'll end up with one of two things. Either the first amendment will trump it, as long as the produces make some sort of disclaimer (parody, satire, entertainment only), or you get to censor any and all pictures and movies.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: "A letter written by Lisa Pitney, vice president of government relations at Disney"

"performing with several barnyard animals."

Don't know about your local laws, but that stuff is illegal around here.

Had to have the "talk" with more than a few professionals who should know better that sending "funny" porno emails might not get them canned, pictures of bestiality (and other such depravities) will not only get you canned, but prosecuted and put on the sex offenders register.

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Tesla undecimates its workforce but Elon insists everything's absolutely fine

MonkeyCee
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Trees

"given breakthroughs being made in using (possibly renewable) power to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and use it to create hydrocarbon fuels,"

I'm pretty sure shrubs and trees aren't exactly breakthroughs, but they use solar power to capture CO2 and can be then used as hydrocarbon fuel :)

Bamboo and willow charcoal, or whatever we're clear felling these days :)

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MonkeyCee
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Re: sustainable, clean energy

"It's also the safest form of energy."

It's not that simple. Many nuclear projects are covered by national security, and they simply do not publish the deaths and injuries. Taking that to mean "there were no deaths and injuries" is what a lot of pro-nuke types use. Allowing for a reasonable estimate of deaths in construction, mining and refining it is pretty safe (relative to hydrocarbons) but with a big question mark over disposal.

The equivalent would be to declare hydro power the safest form of energy, as long as you ignore dam failures.

Same goes for reactor meltdowns. Once it goes wrong, you can get it to a stable (ie not blowing up) state, but you're still left with a pile of radioactive steel, as well as a mess of fuel rods.

If you want some scary reading, check out the status of B30 and B38 at Sellafield (nee WIndscale). Storage ponds with unknown amounts of fuel rods, cladding and parts from a meltdown, from the 70's, with a hopeful cleanup date of 2050. Not disposed off, just sorted, refined back into uranium, plutonium and 3-5% "sludge of doom". I think they've stopped dumping waste in the Irish Sea, but it's a difficult and unsolved problem.

Even the most optimistic views on a reprocessing still result in 2-3% of highly radioactive material that we can't feed into a nuke, and is problematic to store (it's a mix of materials and isotopes). Currently we mix it with glass and fuse it all together, then stick it in shielded containers.

With the current waste stash at Sellafield (~200 tonnes) that's several tonnes of sludge of doom. With a half life equivalent to roughly the existence of homo sapiens. I'm not sure anyone is able to estimate how safe that is.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: sustainable, clean energy

"actually this is partly because there are various subsidies for oil / coal / renewables and none that I know of for nuclear"

Have a closer look then :) nuclear is one of the more heavily subsidised power generation industries, because national security. The disposal and cleanup costs are borne by public funds with private contributions. No-one will insure them either (hundreds if not thousands of years of liabilities) so again public funds will cover that.

While it is somewhat true for all energy companies, all the nuclear generators are either state owned or state guaranteed.

Which make sense, because we don't build reactors for power generation, we build them so we can have plutonium. We don't have large scale thorium reactors because they (probaby) won't scale down small enough to use them to power a CV or submarine. So we have scaled up PWR becasue the public purse isn't going to pay twice when the priorities are weapons, small size and power.

It's also quite hard to accurately estimate the harm done by nukes. Even getting the figures for number of people who died in construction of plants is not possible. Or they are the only large scale buildings that are amazingly safe and no-one died or was injured during the construction phase. There's also not a clear way of costing the decommissioning, since it's mainly more can kicking than anything else.

I'm a fan of hydro dams, which are both fairly safe to build and operate. But when they go wrong they can kill tens of thousands directly, and hundreds of thousands indirectly.

"burying them in an unused mineshaft and sealing them in is as good as getting rid of them forever"

Except it doesn't. There are some places (Nevada IIRC) where you can do this, but many mines need to be pumped out otherwise you end up leeching into the groundwater. I live in an area that was heavily mined, and each year the council finds another excuse why they shouldn't have to pump as much of the old mine tunnels clear, preferring to spend more on water treatment after the mine water ends up in the aquifers.

Since many mine shafts are in areas that have been fucked over by the PTB, I wouldn't want them used as dumps. First we get to dig the coal out, but the profits go elsewhere. Then we get the heavy industry and coal power plants situated here, so coal dust in the mines then coal smoke above the surface, profits elsewhere. Then we get the mines and industry closed off, less pollution, and less jobs. Then it's "oh noes, we're not getting enough tax from you" so no more pumping the mines, leading to groundwater contamination. Next up we'll get to have all the nuke waste dumped on us, and again the profits from this will end up elsewhere....

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Undecimate?

Here's the definition by Websters:

Definition of decimate

decimated; decimating

transitive verb

1 : to select by lot and kill every tenth man of decimate a regiment

2 : to exact a tax of 10 percent from

poor as a decimated Cavalier —John Dryden

3 a : to reduce drastically especially in number cholera decimated the population

Kamieniecki's return comes at a crucial time for a pitching staff that has been decimated by injuries. —Jason Diamos

b : to cause great destruction or harm to firebombs decimated the city an industry decimated by recession

Two of three definitions use it as 10%, which also happen to be the first two definitions. There are also plenty of cases where losing 10% and drastic reduction are similar values.

It's not an etymological fallacy if it's also used (and understood) in the original sense. It's only the case if the original meaning is almost never used.

"The exception proves the rule" is a pretty good example, since the original meaning is "the defect demonstrates that the ruler is functioning correctly", but my experience is that it gets used in quite different ways.

"that anyone who uses it in a modernised, popularised version must be wrong."

Often it feels like someone is trying to use a $5 word they don't quite understand to make themselves sound more sophisticated. Which usually has the opposite effect, like calling all malware "a computer virus" or insisting your computer needs defragging.

Insisting that *your* version is correct because you use it is in a particular way is just daft. I'd also strongly advise against picking a word fight with writers or journalists, since non professional users of the language tend to be be quite sloppy and imprecise.

Here's Lewis Carrol's take on all this:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean- neither more nor less."

There's also nothing wrong with, when you come across a word you think means one thing, and can mean another, in finding out what is what. English was mongrel language even before being the lingua franca for the British and American empires, and the resulting word pillage :)

A few years back there was a chatshow on the wireless with a well known actor and a lady who runs a very successful logistics company. She summerised her business as "moving pallets* around" and the actor was genuinely confused, since he knew of an artist's palette** and a tasting palate*** but had never come across the wooden base. The ensuring clarifying conversation was quite entertaining.

* wooden platform for moving goods around, so a forklift can pick it up. Required for delivery any any piece of HP kit weighing more than five grams, along with two miles of plastic wrapping. Origin word means straw, then straw bed.

** board for mixing paints on or a range of colours. Origin word means spade.

*** flavors or tastes, also the roof of the mouth. Origin word means sense of taste.

7
3

Tech rookie put decimal point in wrong place, cost insurer zillions

MonkeyCee
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Re: Lira?

@James51 - I think the AC has the usual issue with economic and political facts. You can't trust what politicians appear to be saying, as the actual facts will screw with them.

The most common fallacy is the relating of jobs to industry. Obviously all industries involve some amount of labour, but the major gains in productivity and efficacy involve automating many tasks.

Thus UK industry is about average for a country of it's size, albeit without any specilised industry. The only reason Germany and the Netherlands have "extra" manufacturing is because they make a lot of the tools that go into factories. If you don't include them, then the UK, France, Germany, Italy et al are about the same.

The biggest shift, and this goes for the USA too, is that there is a lot less manufacturing jobs. Hence the perception "we don't make anything anymore" rather than "we make what we used to with ten people instead of 300".

There's also a difference in perception of what "manufacturing" is. Many people don't consider component manufacturing to be "proper" making stuff. Even when it's a moderately complex component, people will often equate assembly with manufacture. Hence the idea that China makes everything, rather than stuff is made everywhere, and then assembled in China.

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Oddly enough, when a Tesla accelerates at a barrier, someone dies: Autopilot report lands

MonkeyCee
Silver badge

Re: The right person to blame is the USA highways administration.

"This is why I'm very much a skeptic on autonomous cars , especially in cities like London"

My stepdad learnt to drive in London. He drives like he's under fire, with little regard for what the roads are signed as, but where you can fit a car through. My mum (now) drives much the same way, albeit with a steady stream of apologies for the assorted words of power being cast her way. Missed careers driving white vans or a minicab.

They do this because it *works* very well off peak, and quite well on peak. Mildly terrifying in the passenger seat, hence why I tend to hide in the back.

Since an autonomous vehicle will give way to someone driving like my parentals, who would want to be stuck in one when everyone notices they can just cut you up and your car will let them. Even if they don't normally drive like arseholes, if doing so will get you through faster they'll start doing it.

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Chinese tech giant ZTE is back in business – plus or minus $1.4bn and its entire board

MonkeyCee
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Trump doesn't get global trade

Well, when given a particular example he does. But not the general concept.

The ZTE deal is because high tech products, like microchips, are mainly made in the wealthiest countries. The most expensive parts of a computer or phone will most likely have been fabbed in the USA or Germany. The next few tiers will be split between those countries and other nations where the tech has been transferred (South Korea, Taiwan). So quite a lot of the manufacturing cost ends up back in the US and EU, even for goods manufactured in China. Thus harming Chinese tech manufacturers also harms US chip makers.

If it's about jobs, then it's assembly line jobs in China vs high end manufacturing and design jobs in USA. Again, the US gets the better end of the bargain.

Pretty much all globalised trade works like this. Each side benefits, each side collects taxes from some part of the process (usually on labour costs) and feeds it back in through assorted subsidies and public goods (transport infrastructure, laws, education, insurance). Because the system is organic, it adapts faster and better than any planner (or legislator) can create. So pulling it apart is quite complex.

Trump has a very narrow focus on exactly what a good or bad trade deal is, without apparently being aware of the nuance. Vehicle tariffs are, to a certain degree, meaningless in terms of long term production. If there exists a large tariff, then the manufacturers will make the finished car in the target country. An unfinished car attracts a lower tariff than a road ready vehicle. Or large enough tax breaks are thrown at a company, they build a factory. Hence most "foreign" cars in the US are made in the US.

The whole G7 thing was pretty weird too, Guess he doesn't like people giving him any sort of disapproval. Perhaps a small parade would have cheered him up :)

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MonkeyCee
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Trumpian diplomacy

"If he manages to fix the North Korean problem without a single weapon fired"

He'll take credit for it, but I suspect it's more a case of right time right place.

To be fair his grandstanding nature does make dealing with other highly privileged people living (and benefiting) living in la-la land possible. So credit where credit is due, giving NK a chance to back down without losing face is a great feat of diplomacy.

But it's much more about timing. The NK nuclear program has achieved it's primary aim. They don't need any more testing, relative to the cost of creating a new lab, no-one is of any doubt that they have functional mid yield nukes. Exactly what delivery systems they have are debatable, but you can pretty much guarantee no-one is going to invade you. Well, unless losing a serious chunk of your fleet or elite infantry.

There has also been a softening of the NK-SK relations, so there's a lot of will on both sides to come to a better solution. Hence why once the conference was on, whatever Trump said, it was going ahead. The US should be at the table (still at war with NK?) but if they didn't, then the two Koreas would have started settling things by themselves.

It's also in China's interests to have more of an accord. Hence why it's in the US interest to be at the table.

First good example of Trump shaking things up and getting them right.

1
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Nadella tells worried GitHub devs: Judge us by our actions

MonkeyCee
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Re: No, Microsoft, judge us by our action.

"High-tech solutions might exist, but they aren't necessarily the best answer."

I agree, however I'm studying robotics and AI, hence there isn't a lot of sympathy for my conclusions that the answer is manual labour or a mechanical turk :)

I figured the assertion was *probably* hyperbole, but it's not impossible to find well built robots with crappy software. We then write better software, and sometimes cram another sensor or two on, and make a useful robot.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: No, Microsoft, judge us by our action.

"solar powered raspberrypi robots that can clear fields of weeds and pests"

Do these exist? I've been trying to find non-military priced robots that can handle driving over fields and take soil samples. Ideally needs to be able to survive immersion in water, being trod on by a cow, or getting flipped over.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: At Jim Mitchell...

"It made me think "Well now that we know you can be bought, all we need do is haggle over price." "

I'm not sure what world you live in, but most of us exchange our time+labour+knowledge+experience for money. Typically this is called "a job" where we're hocking ourselves out for an hourly/daily rate. Even those of us who are self employed also rent ourselves out to other people.

Reasoning that since I'll do a disgusting job for a million bucks, I might do it for five bucks is pretty awful logic. There's a massive difference between haggling over a price within a sensible range, and giving people piss taking amounts.

If you go for a job interview for a dev job, and their first offer is minimum wage and no benefits, would you a) respond with a more reasonable offer or b) walk out, since they are wasting your time. But you'd still do the dev job. Hell, you'd probably even done a dev work for free, on something you enjoy.

There is also a world of difference between being paid "Fuck you" money* and five bucks. A million bucks might not cut it, so say five million.

As long as you don't get any fatal diseases, most people would accept fuck you money in exchange for sleeping with even the most revolting people. Some people would rather starve than "sell out", but you'd be amazed how often that changes once they get a chance to do it, rather than talk about it theoretically.

Same applies if you have built a business. You should have an exit strategy, one of which is when a big player comes in and offers to buy you out. If you've managed to not have any employees with stock, no critical employees, no VC and no debts then you *might* be able to refuse. Have any of those, then you might find that if you refuse the offer then you lose the whole shebang.

There's a quote from Empire of the Sun that is somewhat relevant here: "People will do anything for a potato"

* enough money that you need never work again. Unless you've got crazy expenses, house cost plus a million plus 50k * (80 - current_age) is a good guess.

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British egg producers saddened by Google salad emoji update

MonkeyCee
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Re: Platonic form

"Surely the platonic form of the salad is just vegetables / fruits"

I tend to be of the opinion that if it can be made in the cold section, it's a salad.

Since there isn't a formal definition of vegetable (we all kinda know what it means) it's quite normal for something to be both a fruit and a vegetable, assuming the fruit of the plant is what we eat.

You'll see it in some laws, where there is different tariffs for fruit and vegetables for example, that certain foods will be classified as one of the other, without regard for what they are scientifically, but to what they are in terms of savory versus sweet.

Other candidates for fruits in salad are cucumbers, peppers, snow peas* and avocado. As long as it pops, whatever that means... :)

* whole pea pods are fruit, individual peas aren't, as far as I recall

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MonkeyCee
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Re: A limp excuse of a salad

"UK 1950s seaside boarding house high tea?"

1980s UK restaurant. The "three course menu" had a starter choosing from orange juice, apple juice and pineapple juice. Inevitably out of pineapple juice too...

Side salad consisted of wilted lettuce. No fancy colours, other than the natural green to yellow range. No dressing. For once no grief for not eating all my greens, since I polished off my shoe leather minute steak with it's own weight of tomato sauce.

People can bitch about harvester and 'spoons, but what they serve is positively amazing compared to some of the delights on family holidays in my yoof.

My foreign wife has a very high opinion of harvester, on account of having her first eton mess there. Any attempt to convince her that the burgers are worse than McDOnalds falls on deaf ears.

Even their salad bar is nicer looking than that sad emoji salad :)

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WannaCry reverse-engineer Marcus Hutchins hit with fresh charges

MonkeyCee
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Re: Some poeple accept their duty

"If anyone thinks a jury is a good idea, remember, this country voted for brexit"

Which is actually a pretty good example of why the jury system is good, and a referendum with a narrow majority isn't, for deciding important things.

Assuming you have a jury of 12, and need 10 for a conviction (numbers vary). Based on the turnout and results, an "averaged" UK jury would have gone 4 guilty, 4 not guilty and 4 undecided. Based on some finger waving, guess work and what opinions people express, at most 1 in 4 of each of the voting groups might change their mind.

Thus you would have at most 9-3 split, with the 3 being steadfast in their views. If those 3 won't shift, then it's a hung jury. That's assuming everyone who could change their mind does.

Note it doesn't matter which way is guilty or innocent.

Anyways, the best bet if you have a jury trial is to be white, female and hire a QC. Not necessarily in that order :)

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MonkeyCee
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Re: What is it...@Grumpenkraut

"I really don't believe we have 21 verschluggener anti-Semites voting on The Reg so I too have to assume they didn't get your point."

In someways I'm quite glad that most commentards haven't come across enough coded racism to recognise it as such.

In case people aren't aware, some people also do it to their own name as a form of "I am Spartacus", so it depends on whether someone is suggesting something is part of The Great Zionist Conspiracy or that they are in fact part of it.

I'm curious, what'ts the equivalent symbol for "x is a lizard"? :D

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Who do you trust?

"I don't think Tommy Robinson would agree with you."

He fucked with a trial. Twice. After being convicted the first time, got a suspended sentence and told to stay away from court. Then did it again.

Contempt of court is a serious offence. Seen an ex-cop do it deliberately (twice) to cause a mistrial, and then get four years for perverting the course of justice.

What he was doing (filming defendants and publishing their details) can cause a mistrial. Thus if you want the accused to get convicted the last thing you want to do is allow the to get off on a technicality.

I don't understand why he gets any sympathy from anyone. He's essentially trying to allow some real scum bags off the hook, then blame the system for locking him up and not them.

The trials he is "reporting" on will get a bunch of media attention once they conclude, based on what happened with the other child grooming cases. I would also expect that while many of those accused will be convicted, there will be a few who are not, or at least not on the most serious of charges.

Of course, he won't get any attention that way. Hence why he's getting himself arrested, so he can claim he's being oppressed.

The right to a fair trial and presumption of innocence is something that extends to all people. We can't just wash our hands off it when the crime (or the colour of the defendant) offends us.

Once they've had that, and a court has found them guilty, then he can go all "journalist" on them. He can record and write all he likes, just not publish until the end of the trial. He could even have detailed the allegations *before* the trial started, but that's something an actual journalist might do.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: 93-98% conviction rate

"Sure, but are they really going to take people to court that they don't think did it?"

The system doesn't care. Once you've been charged, you're pretty much fucked. You either take a plea, push for a trial on the hope that it gets binned on a technicality, or go to trial and the prosecutor throws the book at you for "wasting" the court's time.

If you've got enough money to fight it, then that's also viable. But your attorney probably doesn't want that, the prosecutor doesn't want that, so your best bet is a plea.

Hence why 90%+ of federal cases go to a plea.

Plus waiting around for a trial can be a looooong time. Especially if you case is remotely political, so like this one, you'll get new charges added every six months or so, until you crack or waste your life in jail.

It's not exclusive to the US either, the whole Amanda Knox case is pretty much the same deal. Middle class black guy takes a plea since he knows he's fucked come a trial. Wealthy and politically connected white guy fights the case, aided by American girl-next-door.

5
1

In defence of online ads: The 'net ain't free and you ain't paying

MonkeyCee
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Everyday....

"Incompetent Over-Promoted Wanker Tells Me How To Do My Job Wednesday."

Round here it's every day ending in a y....

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Hmmm, we can already seize your stuff, so why can't we shoot down your drone, officials mull

MonkeyCee
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Re: I call bollocks

The "OMG teh border" is clearly political stunting.

Smuggling stuff into prisons is much more of an issue, and is highly prevalent. More reliable than throwing a tennis ball over the wall anyway.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: I would have done a full rant, but why waste the effort.

Surely the issue there is more the hand grenade than the drone? I mean, if you've prevented someone from using a drone, but they've got a ready supply of grenades, that still presents a rather more pressing problem.

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Don’t talk to the ATM, young man, it’s just a machine and there’s nobody inside

MonkeyCee
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Re: Ah FUBAR

The FNG is NFG :)

14
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Mailshot meltdown as Wessex Water gets sweary about a poor chap called Tom

MonkeyCee
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Re: Rostering is a poisoned challice, strong constitution and thick skin required

No need to go AC, I'm not moody about being corrected :)

I posted some advice on the use of the grocer's apostrophe a few weeks back, so invited the attention.

Since I'm dyslexic I'm always glad to have someone check my writing, as I make the same mistakes proofing as writing it. Although I've been bolloxing up where/were since forever, I still miss it.

@paulf - your situation sounds like one that can only really be done by the team themselves. From personal experience charity/volunteer work is absurdly politicised, with some people seeming to want to make as much hassle as possible. Perhaps because they've been fired from actual jobs when they've been that difficult.

I've also had managers who handled scheduling very well (for an after hours team) by making sure we where very clear about what was expected from the team, and as long as we met those criteria letting us sort our own rosters out.

In return we went the extra mile so he looked good to the rest of manglement, although he always answered my midnight phone calls with a deep sigh, since I'd only call if something was bolloxed enough that there would be a spot of blamestorming the next morning, and I wanted him to have his ducks in a row.

Since we worked through Friday work drinks where provided, he also made sure we got a bottle (wine or coke) or a six pack saved for each of us.

While I was sorry to see him go, and I've moved on years ago, he's now the COO. Nice to see competence promoted for once :)

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Rostering is a poisoned challice, strong constitution and thick skin required

"the poor sod writing the staffing roster is generally disliked by most people (the best one can hope for is mild indifference)."

When I got fed up with the shitty roster that was being produced for the service desk, my manager eventually said "do it your bloody self then" as the HR person took about a week each time to produce it, and was not receptive to our suggestions.

There where four shift times, 7-3, 9-5, 10-6 and 2-10. The HR schedule had us doing a fortnight of earlies, then a fortnight of lates, and there where often times when you didn't get two days off in a row (we did skeleton weekend shifts).

It took me a couple of days between calls to create a simple method whereby everyone got a 2 day break each week, and you where on either early or late shifts for 6 weeks at a time, with 2 weeks of normal shifts between them. It was also very easy to find your opposite number, so if you wanted you could swap shifts, so you'd just be doing earlies or lates in your 6 week periods.

New schedule was *very* popular with the rest of the desk, as it meant that people could actually plan regular activities in. For whatever reason, we weren't allowed to have only late or early shifts, dspite that being what most people would have liked. My system allowed you to do that for 3/4 of the time, as long as you could find an opposite number.

We where not allowed to use my scheduling system. Apparently doing a weeks worth of HR "work" in a few hours meant that I clearly hadn't understood the full ramifications, and thus not acceptable. Back to finishing work at 10pm on a Sunday and starting at 7am on Tuesday.

Years after I left, I ran into my old boss. Turns out that HR did end up using my system, only after the union got involved over the lack of weekends.

61
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1,300 customers of Brit bank TSB defrauded due to botched IT migration

MonkeyCee
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Re: Another false claim...

He didn't specify *what* he feels for customers, just assuring us that he totally does have feelings for them.Much the same way foxes have strong feelings about chickens :)

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Hear that? Of course it's Indiegogo's deadline for a Vega+ whooshing by

MonkeyCee
Silver badge

Re: gambling in hope

"does anyone else think crowd funding is just a new way of gambling,"

Not really, it's an alternative form of fundraising. Gambling involves a hope you'll get more out than you put in.

Traditional fundraising involves going to the bank, borrowing money from them, making the product, selling the product, then paying back the loans.

The ideal version of crowdfunding is selling to the customers, then making the product.

If the bank is doubtful of making their money back, having the customers pre-pay can skip the whole "prove you can sell something that doesn't exist yet" step for the bank. It can also convince an investor that a market exists, thus attracting other funding.

It does push the due diligence onto the customer.

In general I'll only put money down on crowdfunded projects if it's clear that the goods can be produced at the relevant scales required. There are some obvious candidates that scale perfectly well from making a few hundred sets to a few hundred thousand, such as card games. For books I think it's about 5k for a minimum run, again scaling fairly well. Board games can be a bit trickier, depending on what components are included, but again they are essentially cardboard print runs plus whatever counters.

However, with tools and tech products, there are things that you can produce effectively by hand or fully automated, and there isn't a middle ground. So you can get away with under a hundred orders or over 10k, but anything in between is going to be problematic.

The other issue is that people can be overly optimistic, especially if they've outsourced the production. Cost over runs, quality issues and getting sued can easily require doubling or tripling the RRP, so the nice engineer trying to give people a bargain won't slap on the expected markup, and is left stuffed when something goes wrong.

So you need to ensure you're paying enough that the creator has sufficient margin, on the assumption the goods will be of appropriate quality.

From personal experience flogging tat online, some people really don't believe in the last point. I've had stuff from CCGs going for pennies a card with buyers trying to haggle me down to a postage included total for less than the postage costs.

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MonkeyCee
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Nuclear fusion....

"Although looking at the Indiegogo page RCL have said first units to ship 15th of June but at this point who is actually going to believe them."

I presumed those delivery dates are set as CURRENT_DATE+14

In much the same way as profitable nuclear fusion is always 20 years away, but we'd like a few billion a year to make sure we get there. At least fusion reactions appear to occur, just not more energy out than in.

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Microsoft partners to fling out collabo-visual Ginormonitors this year

MonkeyCee
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Smartboard

What's the difference between these "new" devices and smartboards, which have been in schools for a decade or two now? 75" touchscreen seemed pretty normal when I was a site admin for a school ~12 years ago, albeit not cheap.

Biggest pain was having to ensure that there weren't any normal whiteboards anywhere near them, as supply teachers had a nasty habit of using marker pens on them. The little pricks, er, students tended to wait until the sub at gone off hunting for a marker (as the one on the board "didn't work"), written some guff up there, and tried to wipe it off with the "eraser" before pointing out the potential issue.

2
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In World Cup Russia, our Wi-Fi networks will log on to you!

MonkeyCee
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Re: Why would you even let Russia host the world cup ?

"Why-the-F*CK would you give a country like that the honor of hosting the world cup ?"

Because FIFA is well known for it's integrity, honesty and impartial decision making.

Russia winning the hosting rights was what caused the feds to investigate FIFA, since corruption is fine as long as it doesn't favor the other guy.

Bear in mind that your last three points are by no means exclusive to Russia, the UK, USA and France are certainly engaging in those activities. There's just less reporting on those activities.

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Four hydrogen + eight caesium clocks = one almost-proven Einstein theory

MonkeyCee
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Re: you must accept the scientific fact that placebo ... works.

"I'm not quite as fanatical about quack medicine as some"

Quackery results in people dying. That's my issue with it.

Deciding to not be treated is a perfectly acceptable response to many conditions. Coming from a family of doctors, it's interesting how often they will refuse treatments that impair quality of life.

Bear in mind much medicine was quackery up until maybe a hundred years ago, and the application of the scientific method is why you and I are alive today, it's a pretty big issue. Hence why Andrew Wakefield is a real scumbag, faked science is worse than no science.

While I find most scams offensive on some level, scamming people who are sick and looking for hope really pisses me off.

I'm not the biggest fan of religion either, but at least praying doesn't exclude you from trying medical treatment.

" I'd have total respect for them."

But the rest of the homeopaths wouldn't. You can't charge people for the shamanistic experience whilst admitting that it's all bullshit.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: This is why science rocks

"Yes, placebo has a measurable effect. Homeopathy is still bollocks."

Well, homeopathy is an effective placebo. So it does that just fine. it's also a great way to parts fools from their money.

Personally I like the German and Dutch method for dealing with it. It's considered a medical specialty, thus you cannot be a homeopath without having a medical licence. So while there are plenty of holistic healers, reiki practitioners and health food shops, there are almost no homeopaths.

It's also a good place for people who have the skill and knowledge to become doctors, but don't have the emotional stamina for it. It's very hard to tell how someone will cope with their patients dying, and for obvious reasons you're not encouraged to test this in their training.

So having the worried well going to see an overpriced GP is actually pretty good use of resources, since if someone will benefit from medical intervention the doctor can refer them.

The cost of homeopathic "medications" does make me giggle. Paracetamol are about 2-5 cents per 500mg tablet here, homeopathic medications are at least ten times that.

While I was living in the UK, my landlady asked if had any homeopathic medications, since her last tenant had, and according to her "therapist" these caused "interference" with her medication, requiring her to toss and repurchase some two grands worth of sugar pills.

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