* Posts by Pompous Git

3130 posts • joined 24 Sep 2014

Alexa, please cause the cops to raid my home

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"I don't read tabloids so please, Vulture, keep rehashing the stuff that might be interesting."
Couldn't agree more. Especially since reading our local rag causes brain damage...

Uni staffer's health info blabbed in email list snafu

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"universities are strange places, and emailing 300 people in one go is a common thing"
This is very true. Strange thing happened at UTAS on Wednesday; email went down for several hours. The Hobart Mercury (aka The Mockery) yesterday reported that this was due to an "interruptible (sic) power supply catching fire".

Post-Brexit economy SAVED: Posh-nosh truffle thrives in Wales

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"Still cheaper than printer ink."
And tastes ever so much nicer than ink!

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Re: Northern Oak

"I don't know whether the article was saying that holm oaks don't like northern latitudes or whether they just won't fruit truffles at northern latitudes."

The home of Australia’s first black truffle Truffles grow in association with hazel nuts, not just holm oaks. We grow truffles here in Tasmania where they are considered a cool climate crop. Like Britain, Tasmania's Köppen Climate designation is temperate maritime. Just as when Tasmania was settled in the early 19th century. I fully expect the climate to change to temperate maritime again in the future, but unlike some refuse to panic about these unwonted "changes".

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"annual .... and 107.69mm of precipitation.

Has somebody got a unit wrong ?"

Perhaps you didn't notice but the article refers to "climate change". Wales is now a desert because climate change. If you claim it's not, then you are a filthy climate denialist. How dare you question experts?

Paradise Papers reveal Apple moved bits of biz offshore

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Re: meh@ MrBanana

"Ask yourself this, many companies, including Apple have run with losses and very low shareholder (if any) returns, for decades, yet not a single director has been found in breach of the rules. Why is that?"
Most likely because Apple were maximising share price. Capital gains are taxed differently to share dividends. My investment strategy over the last few decades has been to go for capital gains rather than income because tax issues.

How we fooled Google's AI into thinking a 3D-printed turtle was a gun: MIT bods talk to El Reg

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Re: I think I might have AI

"Daily miss-identification of objects are so common I seldom notice the mental correction later on."
And you know you have a problem when the guacamole scratches your face!

Who's to blame for the NBN? Hardly anyone remembers, or cares

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"Turnbull's buddies at Telstra also get Govt $$ to over service..."

In Japan you get a $AU15 Ethernet port to connect to their broadband. In Australia you get a $AU600 NTD with four Ethernet ports so you can connect to four RSPs simultaneously, as mandated by Conroy/ALP. In Japan, if you want to do that, you buy a device to plug into the provided single port.

KFC turns Japanese bath tubs into party buckets

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When you order in Japan...

... are you asked: "Would you like flies with that?"

The case of the disappearing insect. Boffin tells Reg: We don't know why... but we must act

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Re: Maybe now the Eco-idiots will embrace GMOs?

"This would seem to be a huge call to action for agricultural scientists to use gene splicing and editing to engineer crops that can resist insect attack without the need for pesticides."

No need to use gene-splicing; plants already got there without it.

Tomato’s Chemical Weapons From the article: "Tomato plants are capable of detecting defensive chemicals that their neighbors release into the air—and they use those same chemicals to fashion their own deterrents for the invaders, according to a study published last week (April 23 2014) in PNAS. A team led by Junji Takabayashi of Kyoto University in Japan studied how tomatoes respond to cutworms, a moth caterpillar, and a common pest.

“Plants can synthesize a wide array of chemical weapons,” study coauthor Kenji Matsui of Yamaguchi University told Chemistry World, “and the involvement of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in plant-plant communication has already been reported.”

(See “Plant Talk,” The Scientist, January 2014.) The researchers found that a plant infested with cutworms produces a compound called HexVic. Moreover, infested plants released another compound, (Z)-3-hexenol, which their neighboring plants took up and converted to more HexVic.

Plants downwind of infested plants were able to kill nearly 50 percent of invading cutworms. (Chemical-naive plants can usually fend off about a third of invading cutworms.)"

"As the article rightly states, organic is only an answer for those who can afford Whole Foods (aka "Whole Paycheck"). So I guess we need to starve 3 billion humans to save the insects, because GMOs are "evil"..."
Here in Australia, Uncle Tobys Vita Brits are available using organic wheat, or conventional. The price difference is less than 5%. In my local village, locally grown organic veg costs about the same as conventional veg purchased from the local supermarket that comes from the mainland. How does that equate to starving billions to death?

When I was involved in agricultural research, it was far from unknown for the control plots that received no pesticide to generate produce that was perfectly acceptable in the marketplace. Since there was a decrease in cost compared with the treated plots, surely "pesticide-free" (what most people think organic is, but isn't) should cost less.

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Re: PhD ... limited number of paid overseas trips funded by the employer ...

@ Paul Kinsler

As I understand it, my nephew was an employee of the CSIRO, as was his supervisor. The offer of the trip to the UK was made by his supervisor's superior(s) and he accepted not realising the consequences. His supervisor was not responsible for the budgetary allocation; he was just the usual recipient for overseas trips that just happened to be in the region of the world he had been born in. Presumably his superiors decided otherwise on this occasion.

Promotion to a position with a more reasonable salary was conditional on my nephew completing his doctorate.

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"Everyone knows it is Monsanto's pesticides that is killing them off."
The world's leading pesticide manufacturers Syngenta, Bayer, Dow and DuPont, and BASF presumably aren't. Has it occurred to you that you might be fucked in the brain?

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Re: PhD ... someone else published the results of an identical piece of research

@ Paul Kinsler

I gave the purported reason. The actual reason, according to my nephew, was that my nephew accepted an invitation to present some preliminary results at an overseas institution (a rather august one at that). The limited number of paid overseas trips funded by the employer of both my nephew and his supervisor meant the supervisor missed out on his annual paid vacation overseas. This has nothing to do with science per se and everything to do with the politicz of science.

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Re: malathion just a brand name

OK, pesticides containing malathion have been withdrawn for horticultural/agricultural use in the UK. This is odd given that its mammalian/avian toxicity is extremely low. Indeed, you can still purchase Derbac-M liquid (malathion) from your local pharmacy. It's used on children and adults to control head lice, crab lice and scabies.

While you might think that you can consequently use Derbac-M in your garden with impunity, think again. While it's registered for use on you and yours, it is not registered for use in the garden so you would be performing an illegal act.

When Patrick Holden visited me in the late 1980s, he mentioned that it was now illegal for British housewives to pour their washing-up water over the rose bushes to kill the aphids. If you wanted to kill aphids with soft soap, you needed to purchase registered for use as a pesticide soft soap. It's a crazy world...

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Re: malathion just a brand name

"Malathion Garden Spray does not contain organophosphate it’s just a clever brand name."
Malathion is C10H19O6PS2. Or are you saying you could register Methylated Spirit as a brand name and sell bottles of water as Methylated Spirit?

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"If the human population dwindled to 5000, almost every other species on the planet would breathe a sigh of relief."
During the last glaciation atmospheric CO2 fell to ca. 160 ppm. At 150 ppm photosynthesis stops in C3 plants. There are plants from that time in the La Brea tarpits that had lost the ability to generate sufficient energy for reproduction.

Thanks to humanity boosting "carbon pollution" photosynthesising plants will survive the next glaciation. It's likely they would not had we not returned the carbon in fossil fuels to the atmosphere.

It's also worth noting that there are many plants dependent on humans for their survival, Zea mays for example.

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Re: I've read this book

"Staple foods are wind pollinated."
Potato flowers are self-pollinating, but we don't grow potatoes from true seed. Yams, cassava, sago, meat, milk, cheese and fish are also staple foods where wind appears irrelevant to reproduction.

Don't eat Amanita muscaria or its close relatives. They are all toxic, and often fatally so. Some of them resemble Agaricus campestris so you might seek guidance before assuming those field mushrooms are safe to eat.

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Re: I am also aware of cycles that may be at issue.

"Like the 7 and 13 year cycles of locusts here in the US?"
If they are anything like the cicadas of Australia, those numbers are educated guesses.

Australian cicadas' lifecycles

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Re: is it another way of asking for more money?

"It is well known that most high quality scientific research can always be done for free"
Quite a lot of research is, if not free, done on the cheap. My nephew was into the last stage of his PhD and looked as if he was about to die of starvation. The pay was less than a typical labourer's. Then someone else published the results of an identical piece of research so his supervisor told him he'd have to choose another research project; his 4 years of work was all for nought. He told his supervisor to fuck himself and gave up on becoming a research scientist.

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Re: I'd like to see more [data]...

"Land use effects explored the fractions of agricultural area, forest, grass, and surface water in a radius of 200m around the plot location."
Bee foraging distance is 3–6,000m. Most insects are less, but 200m seems a rather tiny distance to choose. Similarly, land-use effects extend well beyond 200m. If there's cooking of the books, that's the place to start looking.

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Re: Technology is at fault

"There are still a few hard-working insects such as bees, but you won't see many at present because they are on strike"
Not true! They just decided there's no place like comb sweet comb and they're having a well-earned rest.

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Re: All things considered...

"We read and comment on articles highlighting all sorts of horrendous catastrophes (and this one is terrible), it's only our sense of humour that keeps us going."
And some of us even know the difference between anthropogenic and anthropomorphic :-)

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"Had 2 big frogs in the garden this year, don't have a pond, I'm sure someone can explain that one because I can't?"
Frogs only need water for breeding. Gardens, providing they are not too dry, can be excellent hunting grounds for insects. I even have them in the greenhouse once the tomato plants are tall enough to shade the soil..

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"But I have no moth number data, so all just guesses, the only certain thing I know is one local owl once killed one local bat, which is of little use!"

Don't be so certain. As a fellow agricultural researcher once said to me: "Every worthwhile research project begins with an observation by a farmer." So all it takes is for a scientist to ask "Why is it so?"

BTW, bats are voracious insectivores. A drop in bat numbers leads to an increase in insect numbers all other things being equal. (Which they never are in biology).

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Re: I'd like to see more

"in any case professional entymologists will have accounted for any natural cycles"

Not necessarily. Jim Steele gives examples of bad research in his excellent

Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmentalist's Journey to Climate Skepticism. One of the cases he describes is a conservation effort in the UK. To save the insects, farmers were forbidden to graze sheep where they bred. The longer grass lowered the soil temperature below that the breeding cycle of the insects needed to survive.

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Re: Maybe if they collected less insects, there would be more around...

"Personally I don't understand the whole desire for a grass lawn having grown up mowing the better part of two acres most weekends as a kid."
Me either. Mind you, 30 odd years ago I discovered that sheep make very tasty lawnmowers :-)

Props for mentioning some of the many alternatives to grass. Unfortunately, the alternatives aren't suited to high-traffic areas.

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Re: Maybe if they collected less insects, there would be more around...

"Where, please? I'd love a can of organophosphate fly spray."

It's a bottle, not a can. Will this do?

Malathion Garden Spray 500mL David Grays Aphid Scale Moth Tree Fruit Flies Pest

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Re: Maybe if they collected less insects, there would be more around...

@ Voland's right hand

Glyphosate kills grasses. Clover is resistant to glyphosate; it gets knocked back, but recovers. Spray your lawn with glyphosate regularly and you will end up with a lawn consisting of clover.

Some of the nasty effects attributed to glyphosate are due to the surfactant (wetting agent) mixed with it, for example killing frogs.

Plants in SPAAAAAAACE are good for you

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Re: Plants 'n things

"The U.S. Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station has a "grow room" off the hydroponic garden for this purpose. Gives people the luxury of greenery and humid warmth to enjoy."

Australia's stations too.

All our stations have productive hydroponics facilities. These ensure a steady supply of fresh and colourful produce for the table year round, and have the added advantage of providing a great recreational activity for expeditioners.

This is particularly important during the long winter months when there is little or no sun. Working in a brightly lit room surrounded by greenery provides psychological benefit for those who endure very short days in a landscape dominated by muted whites, greys and blues of the snow and ice.

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Re: RE: I see what you did there

See what I did there Bob? No caps and I gave you an upvote. Keep it up. Please...

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"Photosynthesis: carbon dioxide plus water equals sugar plus oxygen. In other words, excess humidity is drawn out of the air and turned into food."
You're not going to get much of a crop yield if you rely on water in the air! Nearly all a plant's water needs are met via its roots in the soil (or other substrate).

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"How does that work?"
I suspect the writer substituted "and" with "by". Near enough is good enough in gerbillism.

IBM broke its cloud by letting three domain names expire

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Re: "How about [..] the hosting company sends you multiple letters"

"I don't need a calendar app, I just need to read my mail.

I fail to see how this can be improved."

Exactly. I am in the process of thinking about letting one of my domains expire. I have been receiving reminders for nearly six months now! Get sick of constant nagging reminders? Just fucking renew!

"The guy responsible for registering the domain has left, the registration email account has been discontinued after a reorganization, and the swarm of managers in between have never wondered or even thought of checking how the domain names were managed."
Who'd want to do business with such a badly managed organisation? Hint: that's a rhetorical question...

Survey: Tech workers are terrified they will be sacked for being too old

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Re: Reply Icon I am not a number, I am a free man!

"But your name is Rich 11?"
And yours is Etatdame? A likely story...

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Re: This is worth waiting for...

"Dirty lyre."
You're just stringing us along...

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Re: Our generation

"Wasnt it our generation thatsaid 'dont trust anybodyover40' ?"

It was "Don't trust anyone over 30" and it was Jack Weinberg.

Don't trust anyone over 30, unless it's Jack Weinberg

Resellers on Surface: Yeah, go ahead and kill it. What do we care...

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"not the sort of thing you're likely to actually see in use everyday life as such, in the way that you're likely to see people with an iPad. "
Most of the people I've seen using iPads have been in front of me at music concerts where they successfully prevent anyone shorter than 10 feet tall seeing what's happening on stage.

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Re: Who Is Buying Surface ???

" Microsoft has not been able to put out one single product this past decade that they haven't subsequently stabbed people in the back with."
I'm trying to get my head around stabbing someone with a mouse!

Downvote not from me BTW...

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Re: In another thread...

"I don't see anywhere on that page where it says what OS it runs. Seems like a rather major detail to omit."
Ctrl-F, operating, Enter finds Windows 10. It's easy when you know how to use a computer...

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Re: In another thread...

"Hmm, nice but niche."
Very and pricey @ $AU4,324 delivered.

"CAD types, who can often have a use for a quality stylus, have usually gone for Windows PCs"
Indeed, but there is a significant number of artists using Corel graphics software. I'll be purchasing the Cintiq 27QHD display for a thousand dollars less. I don't need portability.

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In another thread...

I was assured the iPad Pro was the way to go. After a little searching, I came across this:

Wacom MobileStudio Pro.

DNA as storage? Old and boring. Boffins now chaining monomers

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Re: Eh?

But it's not "bioligical", though what it's tied to remains a mystery at this juncture.

Argh, my loafer just fell down the rope ladder! Yes, I'm in the Microsoft treehouse

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Re: Fresh air won't fix pissing your Integrity away

@ WolfFan

Yes, MS was a languages developer at first. Other products developed in-house include MultiPlan and Excel. IIRC in the early days of Macintosh, MS was making more money from MultiPlan for Mac than all their other products combined.

Software update turned my display and mouse upside-down, says user

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Re: use the mouse to move the pointer

"in my experience, for long-term use of the same tool, keyboard-only is always more efficient, including for image or video editing applications. Of course said application has to allow for keyboard control"
Try this then. Fire up CorelDRAW! Use a Wacom stylus/digitiser to sign your name. Now do the same again using the keyboard. Selecting and duplicating the first object is cheating.

FWIW I find having a rich set of keyboard commands and a pointing device to be more efficient than either device alone.

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Re: Oh noes

"I can see why you're called Pompous Git...

Left and right click must be odd if you use the mouse backwards no?"

Apple mice have only one button. I have two Logitech and one MS mouse here that have a scroll wheel, but no buttons as such. Like Nick Kew who comments elsewhere in this thread, the use of a mouse did not come easily to me. It's also worth noting that while it's amusing to watch a mouse-user manipulating a stylus and digitiser for the first time, I would never mock, or humiliate them. YMMV...

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Re: Oh noes

"I'd suggest that any user unable to tell which end of the mouse to hold is unqualified to use a computer in the first place"
So you knew exactly and perfectly how to use a computer before any instruction whatsoever? You're a complete fucking genius... I'll bet you invented the Internet as well.

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Re: Now it can be told...

"For desktops, a bluetooth dongle "
In the days before bluetooth, we had Back Orifice :-)

Cortana, please finish my sentences in Skype texts for me

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Re: I wonder how quickly 4chan will make Cortana a Nazi?

"It seems much more likely it is complications (or lack of success) from the surgery that is killing 1 out of 10 over-65s, not the anesthesia itself.


Indeed. But remember your original proposition was that it was unacceptable that some percentage of women die in childbirth. Inevitably some such deaths are due to such extraneous factors. What mechanism do you propose to exempt women from the consequences of ingesting drugs of addiction for instance? Or insistence on home birth for that matter? What about the mother who was killed when the taxi conveying her to the hospital was involved in a collision with another vehicle? You equated acceptance of such occurrences with racism. I find that bizarre.

Microsoft is Putin a stop to Russian-sanctions-busting IT resellers

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Re: When did theRegister turn into Faux News ..

"When are we going to impose sanctions on the US for destabilizing: Afghanistan, Iraq, Lybia, Syria etc, not to mention the overthrow of numerous governments in South America, Africa and Asia. Not to mention manipulating elections in Australia, New Zealand and taping the phones of their NATA allies."
We won't of course; the Coca Colonies will all fall into line to avoid being invaded; for their own good of course. Have a beer...

2019: The year that Microsoft quits Surface hardware

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Re: Thin margins are their own fault

@ robin thakur 1

Thanks for the heads up. Clearly the reviews I was reading were incorrect. I take it then that the stylus that comes with the iPad Pro does have the eraser on the end like my Wacom stylus then. I'm not the kind of artist who works with his media out in the open air. I use a camera rather than a sketchbook. My artwork is made indoors using Corel Painter and a 27 inch Dell monitor my son gave me, or pen and paper.

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