Whatever you think of Trump - and the polls are split - there is one thing you cannot deny: he is NOT Hilary Clinton.
239 posts • joined 14 Jul 2007
We're in a timeline where Dettol maker has to beg folks not to inject cleaning fluid into their veins. Thanks, Trump
Re: Screaming amounts of rampant twattery
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1903 was awarded to Niels Ryberg Finsen "in recognition of his contribution to the treatment of diseases, especially lupus vulgaris, with concentrated light radiation, whereby he has opened a new avenue for medical science." -- nobelprize.org
Scientists are reporting development and successful initial testing of the first practical "smart" material that may supply the missing link in efforts to use in medicine a form of light that can penetrate four inches into the human body. Their report on the new polymer or plastic-like material, which has potential for use in diagnosing diseases and engineer new human tissues in the lab, appears in ACS' journal Macromolecules. -- https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111116143049.htm
Then there are the two people from Arizona who each took a teaspoon of fish tank cleaner -- which did indeed contain chloroquine phosphate. Even if that was all that was in the tank cleaner, a teaspoon of it would be a massive overdose almost certain to kill. Nobody can speak so clearly that an idiot can't make a Darwin Award of it.
Commit to Android codebase suggests Google may strong-arm phone makers into using 'seamless' partitioned updates
Re: And how long will Google maintain/update versions ?
I'm still using 5.1.1 on my phone. For decades I've wanted a pocket computer, and now I have one! (The keyboard ain't so great, but I can live with it.) It works. Why should I change anything? Of course I usually keep it in airplane mode, and only turn it on when I want to make a phone call, or am expecting one. It's a great pocket reader, though, holds music, and kinda works as a camera.
Still using Win7, too, and Office 2003. They work. Life can be perilous out on the bleeding edge of technology -- if I don't need it, why should I buy it?
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to save data from a computer that should have died aeons ago
I had a blind friend with a speech-output computer - an XT-286. (I don't know how many people have told me there is no such thing, but there was.) There was a special board that handled it all, and a special word-processing program that fed it. The manual (and the company that produced it, the program, and the board) were lost to the mists of time. I decided the easiest thing to do was simply to keep the thing running, and with the occasional part replacement it did. Worked for about thirty years, and in fact outlived the friend (may he rest in peace).
Boeing's problems are not all from management and/or software. What about the stray tools rattling around on the tankers they (try to) sell to the air force?
The problem is that the bosses and the workers don't live in the same building any more. Neither knows exactly what the other is doing.
Bada Bing, bada bork: Windows 10 is not happy, and Microsoft's search engine has something to do with it
I have never flown an airplane. However, I have operated a large bit of tech with a lot of control functions and alarms. Operators NEED a switch or button to shut up the alarms, because otherwise they can't even think, let alone solve the problems. It's not so bad when one alarm goes, but when there's a cascade of problems and a cascade of horns, buzzers, honkers, and god knows what ...
User secures floppies to a filing cabinet with a magnet, but at least they backed up daily... right?
Re: Well if the US ships want the Chinese to keep out of the way
The worst single day I've ever had with teaching computer (I was the only computer-literate in the place) to a secretary. She had thoroughly absorbed the lesson of the typewriter: hit return at the end of the line. No amount of demonstrating, explaining, pleading, or exhorting did any good. I gave up in despair, and went away.
An hour or two later, I was called before the Director. I had made that secretary cry. I was later told by the other people in the office that she'd asked me because she was afraid to ask the director.
Welcome your new ancestor to the Homo family tree; boffins have discovered a new tiny species of human
There ARE classical references!
"From Japan’s Edo Period (1603-1868), there’s He-Gassen, or, “the fart war.” This centuries-old scroll, dated to approximately the 1840s, depicts an epic battle of gas between booty-baring men and women on horseback and on foot. Even a cat gets caught up in the fray at one point. The powerful gusts of human wind depicted can break through boards and traverse wide battlefields."
Old kit, old data
I have data on my computer that is almost forty years old. It's still valuable. I've had to go through a ridiculous number of format conversions to keep it that way. Some of it started out saved on TRS-DOS cassette tapes. Some started out on Commodore Scripsit cassette tapes. It's gone through TRS-DOS floppy disk to CP/M to MS-DOS, and I had to keep at it as the programs I used to record it went quietly into the sunset. Right now it's on a NTFS hard drive, and if I take it any further, it'll all be saved as RTF.
The thing is, I still use that data (I am, and live with, a novelist. They're word-processing files.) Some of the conversions it went through were only possible with a specific machine (Commodore 128) which was only available for a few years. If I'd missed out on that machine, the files would be gone.
So give some consideration to a bloke who wants his old kit back. Who knows how long it'll be for the files to become the digital equivalent of cuneiform? That can happen rapidly and surprisingly.
Re: Updating to Windows 10
I have drive docks on my desktop PC. When the windows "update" was free, I cloned my hard drive onto another hard drive, then got Windows 10 on it. I can use either, without them screwing up the guts of the other. I keep them both up-to-date, but hardly ever *use* Win10. I don't know from dogs' breakfasts (I'm a cat person) but Win10 has some similarity to cat urp.
Re: Dark matter/energy question
There's a filk song (Science Fiction Fandom version of folk) called "Radiation Blues".
Old H-bomb went off last Tuesday, by the Second Chance Saloon.
Ain't nothin' left but the jukebox, and it's playin' a mournful tune.
Just keeps on playin' the Radiation Blues.
Been drinkin' since last Tuesday, and I should be getting high,
But the dehydration's got me, and all I am is dry.
Just keep on singing the Radiation Blues.
There's a lot more of it, sung to the tune of "Frankie and Johnny". I have the lyrics somewhere, but I'm not going to search a filing cabinet and my storage for it.
Re: Getting a proble there?
The Parker Solar Probe holds the current speed record -- at a 15-million-mile perihelion, it was going 213,200 miles per hour. (This is a bit over .0003 c.) It will get closer, and faster, each time it goes by (using planetary gravity assists). At closest planned approach, it will be 3.9 million miles away, which should bring its speed MUCH higher. But it's only doing that because it's very close to the Sun, and if you'd try to use that velocity to get to Barnard's star, it simply wouldn't be there. The probe would use it up trying to get away from our Sun.
I played Spacewar on the PDP-1 at MIT, in '62 or '63. (The TX-0, which could be thought of as the ur-PDP, was in the same room. Next door was a paper-tape teletype which somebody had taught to play tic-tac-toe.) It was so much fun I ported it to the CDC-3100 at the university of Minnesota. There's an online emulator at https://www.masswerk.at/spacewar/minnesota/.
I've been a museum curator for several decades (now retired) and I estimate 90% of the visitors are very nice people. 9% are rather clumsy, and might break things. And 1% are pure brass reciprocating bastards who shouldn't have been allowed in the door. This is only a rough estimate, and I suspect social media has more of the reciprocating sort.
That's why I don't go on Facebook or Twitter.
I am not a pessimist. I am paranoid. My major jobs have required paranoia.
I ran and helped maintain a large Van de Graaf generator. It had high voltages all over the place. Bad things could happen if those voltages got loose. The machine even gave me electric shocks when I wasn't careful to keep me alert.
And then I joined the museum world. Let me put it straight: entropy is out to get your stuff. Your job is to find all the ways entropy can get in, and block them.
As for the glass being half full, or half empty? Forget it. The glass is twice as large as it needs to be to handle the drink.
The experiment could be in space, and still not cause permanent debris. Simply have two satellites, aimed carefully at a convenient very-low-orbit crashpoint over the Pacific Spacecraft Graveyard. The immediate debris would make a lovely display, which could be examined for trajectory, brightness and spectrum. That'd give a rough idea of what came out of the crash, size and material and all. Of course there would be things that headed out - but it's an orbit. They'll be back, to very-low-orbit. The whole mess would decay rapidly into the atmosphere, and we'd know where to watch for it.
And now for something completely different:
I had an inverse experience of this sort. Way back in the 1960s, I had a night shift on the CDC 3100. (It had a magnificent 12K of 24-bit words!) It wedged. Nothing I could do made it work again. Frustrated, I began pouring curse-words into the console typewriter. Somewhere in all this foulness I must have done something right, because it began working again -- properly. The digital gods answered my prayer.
They really shouldn't stick grad students with the night shift, but I came out okay that time.
Re: Start of a retraction
The problem with Jupiter's larger moons? First, they have their own gravity wells. Second, they are well within Jupiter's gravity well. Third, they are much further away than Mars. It'd take a lot of delta-V to get whatever you were mining to any Terrestrial point-of-sale. The moon and Mars are less habitable than Antarctica, but we do have bases in Antarctica. And you'd need a lot less delta-V to get to the asteroid belt from these smaller worlds. So have robots doing the grunt work -- but it might be wise to have humans there to repair the robots. Both Mars and the moon seem to have enough water to mine for fuel.
Besides, there are research opportunities. The far side of the moon has good radio silence, and lots of the time, no light pollution whatever. Mars is further out, so it'd be useful for VLBI and parallax studies. And liveable or not, they have raw materials to support the studies.
Re: If women are REALLY "equal"...
I don't think you DID read Bambi's comment right, though Bambi could have presented the comments more effectively. The argument was that men and women do not have the same capabilities; the mistake was in using examples involving superior male performance. I don't think anybody feels women would make better weightlifters -- but in my experience, women make better psychologists and doctors. Your mileage may vary, but I doubt it would vary enough that you would assemble a 50/50 Olympics weightlifting team.
In the 21st century, the finding of reasons to be aggrieved seems universal. Men complain about women, women complain about men, elites complain about deplorables, and hard-working deplorables complain about useless elites. And they ALL complain about their bosses.
Frankly, I think it's the bosses' fault.
What about the type K stars?
We live on a planet circling a type G main-sequence yellow dwarf star. In our region of space, about 7.5% of the stars are type G. Everybody talks about the type M red dwarfs. That's reasonable: there are a lot of them, about 76% of the stars in our neighborhood. But they don't give out much light. For a planet to be in the Goldilocks Zone, it has to be quite close to the star. It's probably tide-locked. Worse, red dwarfs are given to tantrums, with flares and radiation. I wouldn't want to live next to one.
Why is nobody talking about the type K orange dwarfs? They make up about 12% of the stars in our neighborhood. They're heavier than the red dwarfs, and give off more light -- and they're not nearly as excitable as the red dwarfs. There'd be more mass in the system, the planets would probably be larger, and they'd have more of a chance to keep their atmosphere. Why, they might not be tide-locked, even!
I certainly hope it's because everybody is so busy talking about the planets they don't bother going into fine detail about the stars.
UBI is not a good idea.
There is an old saying: "Idle hands are the devil's workshop." I don't know if that's one of the official Gods of the Copybook Headings, but it should be. Busy people, people with a job, don't have time to cause trouble. (Politicians and bureaucrats don't count there.) People who have nothing useful to do, will do SOMETHING. Some on the UBI will sit there watching TV. Some will be busily making more people to go on UBI. Some will discover an interest in painting and literature, or perhaps invention. And a lot of the rest will make trouble. Multi-generational welfare is not a pretty sight, and that is, at heart, what UBI would be.
Re: as autumn weather turns to winter
"As autumn weather turns to winter" speaks of countries that are busy having an autumn. In Australia, autumn also turns to winter -- it just does it six months differently than the northern hemisphere. Nearer the equator, things like "rainy season" get their chance to strut.
"Much of the world," I'd say, means "a pretty decent percentage." If they'd said "most", I could go with you. Remember, also, that the northern hemisphere has almost twice the land surface as the southern hemisphere does -- and that "winter" means different things to different people. I was in Thailand during their cold season, happily wearing short-sleeve shirts, but saw the occasional Thai going past in a light parka or heavy hoodie.
During the Carter administration, and continuing, the maximum speed allowed on American roads was 55 mph. Everybody hated it. As one traveling salesman said, "crossing Texas at 55 isn't a job, it's a career."
Highways are not one-size-fits-all, especially when the garment in question is a straitjacket.
Hey, you know why it's called the iPhone X? When you see Apple's repair bill, your response will be X-rated
Re: If iPhone owners are sheep, what are Android phone owners?
People who save money. I mostly use my smartphone for a reader, with calculator/camera function. Oh, and it makes phone calls. My current smartphone is an LG 16C with Android 4.4.2. It cost me about $20 new. If it breaks, I'll get something else, no guarantee needed. My tablet is an ASUS with Android. My preferred operating system is Windows 7. Life is calmer and cheaper behind the bleeding edge, and when I wanted more speed and power, I threw RAM and a SSD at the same ol' computer, and got it.
Over the years I've learned one machine language, three assembly languages, several versions of Fortran, and several versions of Basic. None of them work any more without a vintage machine or an emulator -- like the Red Queen's Race, it takes all the running you can do to stay in the same place. I'm tired of running. If it does my job and I can afford it, that's what I'll get. Android does the job, and it's cheaper than Apple.
Re: And now for something completely different:
If I were faced with using that illegible an image, I'd run it through GIMP to increase the contrast. I've seen too many sites use pale, pale grey text -- sometimes I have to highlight the text to read it. It's web design fashion these days, and I don't like it. I read entire novels on a smartphone with a 3-3/4 inch screen, so even at my advanced age, I'm visually capable.
A draft US law to secure election computers that isn't braindead. Well, I'm stunned! I gotta lie down
Re: As Always
Depends on the government, the enterprise, and the type of help needed. Waffle House is famous for getting restaurants up and running after a disaster, far faster than government aid. When the power's out, the power company is the one that gets the electricity grid back up and running, and in the meantime, major hospitals supply their own. In Minnesota, when the roads are covered with snow after a blizzard, all levels of government turn out to plow them. In New York City, I hear it doesn't work nearly as well.
Business or government, though -- they all charge us for their services. The government calls the charge "taxes". The main difference is the size and complexity. Government is a large and complex thing and takes time to set into motion. Businesses are smaller and more focused, and probably more nimble.