* Posts by cshore

7 posts • joined 2 May 2013

Australia considers joining laptops-on-planes ban

cshore

What they are really admitting is...

...that they are incapable - still - of detecting explosives in luggage. Why on earth do they bother scanning everything and everyone that goes on a plane? What exactly are they looking for? If they can't reliably detect explosive substances, then they should stop pretending they can.

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D'oh! Amber Rudd meant 'understand hashing', not 'hashtags'

cshore

The only one I am ware of is Heidi Allen (C South Cambs) who has a degree in Astrophysics. Cambridge also used to have Julian Huppert (who had a PhD in Biochemistry and was an active research scientist) but he lost his seat in the Lib Dem apocalypse.

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cshore

Time to quote CP Snow...

"A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is the scientific equivalent of: Have you read a work of Shakespeare’s?

"I now believe that if I had asked an even simpler question — such as, What do you mean by mass, or acceleration, which is the scientific equivalent of saying, Can you read? — not more than one in ten of the highly educated would have felt that I was speaking the same language. So the great edifice of modern physics goes up, and the majority of the cleverest people in the western world have about as much insight into it as their neolithic ancestors would have had."

OK, he was talking about physics but his point remains valid about science and technology in general. It's OK to be completely ignorant about them and still be regarded as well educated and qualified to run the country.

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Cambridge wheels out latest smart city platform, ready for devs

cshore

Re: Hmm...

Of course. Still in the usual place. As is Gardies.

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Tolkien 'almost became WWII code-breaker alongside Alan Turing'

cshore

Why Tolkien didn't become a codebreaker...

... because the UK declared war on Germany, not Mordor.

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Rise of the machines, south of Milton Keynes

cshore

Re: Tremendous place, this museum

The story about Coventry has been, I think, comprehensively debunked. There is no evidence that the target of the raid was known before the afternoon of that day when the German navigation beams were switched on and converged over Coventry. There were messages warning of an imminent raid but three targets were given, no definite date was specified and the cities were given codenames. The codename for Coventry was not worked out until after the event.

Sounds trite but, as the saying goes, "you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs." In order to win the Battle of the Atlantic, the information that the U-boat codes had been broken had to be protected. At all costs. And, yes, that meant some convoys were not completely protected. War is a nasty business.

But, it is indisputable that the knowledge of Colossus which emerged in the late 70's and continues to emerge today, completely rewrote the history of the birth of electronic computing.

That aside, thankyou so much for this article. BP is a world-class site aned deserves all the attention it can get. Anyone with a remote interest in computing and history will be completely enthralled by the place.

Chris

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Why next iPhone screen could be made of SAPPHIRE - and a steal...

cshore

Glass?

Surely it's completely wrong to describe it as "aluminium glass", or even to describe it as glass at all. Glass is an amorphous solid, sapphire is a crystal. "Glass" is just a handy word in this context for "substance which is hard and transparent."

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