* Posts by Francis Boyle

1753 posts • joined 29 Jul 2007

'It's back to the drawing board...' Innocent axions found not guilty of dark matter crimes

Francis Boyle
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Well,

that's the problem.

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576-megapixel 'Zwicky Transient Facility' telescope sees first light

Francis Boyle
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576-megapixels

is only 32K. Probably be the big thing for next Christmas.

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Brace yourselves, fanboys. Winter is coming. And the iPhone X can't handle the cold

Francis Boyle
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I was going to suggest using the official scale

but I just checked and apparently the El Reg unit of temperature is the Hilton. Compared to that the Rømer scale is positively up to date.

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Teensy weensy space shuttle flies and lands

Francis Boyle
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Finally found it

The 'real Steve Austin'.

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Francis Boyle
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The lifting body spaceplane lives on

Nice to know Steve Austin didn't lose his legs in vain.

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US government seizes Texas gun mass murder to demand backdoors

Francis Boyle
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Sovereignman.com

Now that'll be a level-headed, balanced site utterly devoid of any agenda.

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The NAKED truth: Why flashing us your nude pics is a good idea – by Facebook's safety boss

Francis Boyle
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Ah, the old "women like bad boys" fantasy

The reality is that the real 'bad boys' i.e. psychopaths have one very powerful weapon in their arsenal - they lie. Then they lie again. And they keep lying until they get what they want or tire of the game. Look up 'psychopathic charm' if you want the details. Faced with someone who is prepared to say whatever it takes, and knows how to say it well, very few people, not just women, have any real defense. Yes, you may know that they're bad boys but they're not trying to fool you. To the mark, they're a wonderful person who is just misunderstood.

Telling the victim to fix the problem themselves doesn't wash it. You may think you learn from the experience and I'm sure many women do. But again, we are dealing with psychopaths here. They explicitly target people who they detect are vulnerable. Blame them.

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Francis Boyle
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So your solution

to the problem of privacy is just not to do anything that requires privacy.

Bank details please.

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Facebook's send-us-your-nudes service is coming to UK, America

Francis Boyle
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Yes

And it made Edwin Land a fortune.

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Scientists think they've found primordial goop whence life first sprang

Francis Boyle
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Re: Pointless critcism

Well I can speak for Ray but on my planet science starts with "That's interesting".

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Our oldest mammalian ancestor named after British pub landlord

Francis Boyle
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Re: "the early Jurassic period in the Cretaceous era"

"TEETH WILL BE PROVIDED"

(One of his best.)

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Francis Boyle
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"the early Jurassic period in the Cretaceous era"

I'm no paleontologist but to I now enough about the subject to be completely baffled by this.

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Dumb autonomous cars can save more lives than brilliant ones

Francis Boyle
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Re: But WHEN are they better

If it's 500% better then it's not going to be "likely to kill you" in any determinable situation. Yes, it will be more dangerous in some situations but, by definition, those situations will be rare, or the danger won't be great. So no different from the current situation where some conditions are clearly more dangerous for human drivers.

Yes, people are terrible at evaluating risks and tend to overestimate rare risks with serious outcomes, but most of us are fine with taking greater risks in some circumstances (or no one would ever speed let alone drive while tired drunk etc).

*Will a reduction in the number of fatalities per hours driven by a factor of 5 do?

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Francis Boyle
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Re: Better than the next guy

"However, if an autonomous car does the bulk of the driving, and leaves the unusual driving to the human, you could argue that they are making driving more dangerous. Because in such situations, the human will have less driving experience than previously."

You're ignoring the fact that most of the cases you cited have little to do with driving skills per se. (They simply involve driving slowly and using common sense. Or telling the car what to do.)

Driving in snow is the exception. But then, while it may be something autonomous vehicles have difficulty at present, unless I'm missing something critical, it's the sort of thing that computers can be very good at given the training/programming (follow the road, keep control of the vehicle and don't hit anything).

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Francis Boyle
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Re: Better than the next guy

You're conflating two very different cases here. If a car is designed to safely stop and refuse to proceed autonomously because it detects a situation it can't cope with, then at most it's an inconvenience. If you are talking about cases where the car finds itself in a situation where it is unable to extricate itself safely, it only needs to be better than the average driver. The premise of your final sentence is spot on. It's just that the conclusion doesn't follow.

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Boffins: Sun's red dwarf neighbour is looking a little thick around the middle

Francis Boyle
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I agree

It shameful how we're outsourcing our jobs to the Centaurans when so many Earthlings don't have jobs*. MEGA (Make Earth Great Again)

*This possibly might not be happening.

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Giza geezers' muon-geyser visor reveals Great Pyramid's hidden void surpriser

Francis Boyle
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See Holtsmark's link above

It's a conventional helicopter design and very small. With a bit of work it could probably be made to fit into a 3cm tube

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Francis Boyle
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Re: Do things the hard way...

They're going to need something to transport the drone down the borehole so it shouldn't be too difficult to arrange to send a antenna with it. They'd probably also need to come up with some way to recharge the drone unless they can arrange a bulk discount.

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Slashing regulations literally more important than saving American lives to Donald Trump

Francis Boyle
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Re: Can I get this fitted to my bike?

I've just taken up cycling again after many years, and I would be first in line. Scratch that, what I really want is a device that will warn me in advance that a car door is about to be flung open right in my path.

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Francis Boyle
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You elected Trump

Those laws are needed.

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Francis Boyle
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Re: Ex post facto

An Ex post facto law is simply one that changes the legal status of an already performed action, so not really anything to do with grandfathering as such. It's not really surprising that it's unpopular since it means a government can't make a person a criminal by fiat (even if it's mostly used to declare politicians not criminals).

I like to have a dig at the Merkins as much as anyone here (did I mention Trump sucks) but not requiring safety devices on vehicles that were never designed to be fitted with them is hardly an unreasonable practice.

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Francis Boyle
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Re: All vehicles within 4 years?

@Yet Another Anonymous coward

I don't know "crash in India" (not a lot to go on there) but in the Russian charter case, as you say, that one of the pilots followed the instructions from the ATC rather than trusting the TCAS. The problem was that the TCAS was right (and could have prevented the collision) and the ATC was wrong. I'm not sure how you could spin that as an argument against ADS.

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'The Queen' is showing Geneva how to be polite on public transport

Francis Boyle
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Re: Japan

That's probably the reality but the good folks in L.A. think it's more like this.

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Sex harassment scandal scoops up Silicon Valley's Slimy Scoble

Francis Boyle
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Re: Common Thread?

In the USA it seems to be the District Attorneys more than the police who are bought and paid for. (When the police are corrupt it's usually just that they fancy a margarita.)

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Francis Boyle
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Somehow

I don't think it's "feminist types" who are reading 'The Rules'.

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Uber's revolting sexism, the movie

Francis Boyle
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Re: Who would pay money to see it?

Yeah, I decided not to see 'Dunkirk' after I accidentally read the ending on Wikipedia.

Seriously though, why does making a movie about much discussed current events (rather than yet another superhero flick) demonstrate a lack of thought.

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Red (Planet) alert: Future astro-heroes face shocking adventures on Martian moon Phobos

Francis Boyle
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To El Reg

Don't worry about them above. Just give us mho' puns.

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Didn't install a safety-critical driverless car patch? Bye, insurance!

Francis Boyle
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Re: It really

"How exactly are we going to produce the giga-watts of electricity needed to power all these cars?"

You make charging at night when the grid has spare capacity significantly cheaper.

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Yes, British F-35 engines must be sent to Turkey for overhaul

Francis Boyle
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Nice plane

Pity someone was careless and got the steps embedded in the fuselage.

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Hackers can track, spoof locations and listen in on kids' smartwatches

Francis Boyle
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It's a thing

and it's on the internet.

More seriously, if it's not a conventional computing device (and I would count all smartphones as such) it presumably counts as an IoT device.

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Capgemini: We love our 'flexible, flowing' spade

Francis Boyle
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Can't be bothered making the obvious dick joke

It's fine. The old one is a bit cheesy like something you'd find in ab 80s porn mag but I can't see the problem with its replacement.

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Neutron stars shower gold on universe in big bang, felt on Earth as 100-second grav wave

Francis Boyle
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Re: Ah, a golden shower joke

And it's only Tuesday. It's going to be a good week.

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Essex drone snapper dealt with by police for steamy train photos

Francis Boyle
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Yes, it's sad to see what Britain has come to

when its people can no longer exercise their ancient right* to fly drones anywhere they please.

*It's in the Magna Carta somewhere, isn't it.

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'There has never been a right to absolute privacy' – US Deputy AG slams 'warrant-proof' crypto

Francis Boyle
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Well come on

Why would an honest citizen need matches?

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Francis Boyle
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"they"

can state what they like and make whatever laws they like but until the Orange One suspends the Supreme Court it won't do them any good.

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How much for that Belkin cable? Margin of 1,992%?

Francis Boyle
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I on the other hand would rather not spend several hours faffing around trying to fix a problem only to discover it was due to an intermittent fault in a dodgy cable. Call that a subjective measure of quality but it's important to me. In fact I have a general rule: software's buggy enough as it is without the additional complication of random hardware failure so paying a bit extra for known good hardware is money well spent.

Of course, cables are a bit of a special problem. With the exception of that Google guy they're not something people tend to review. Then again there was a time that was true of PSUs.

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After seven-hour operation, the ISS has a new 'hand'

Francis Boyle
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It's grabbing spacecraft

not making lattes. Sure you could probably design it so it could last 800 operations but then it would likely cost $250 million and be less reliable. And when $100 is the sort of money you're paying for a single launch there's not a lot of incentive to see how far you can stretch its life with duct tape and WD40.

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Boeing borgs robot aeronautics biz Aurora Flight Sciences

Francis Boyle
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Re: Will not gain acceptance

You mean like these. Most of them are not airport shuttles or the like.

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Computers4Christians miraculously appears on Ubuntu wiki

Francis Boyle
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Re: @Pompus Git

You must live in a rough neighbourhood.

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Forget the 'simulated universe', say boffins, no simulator could hit the required scale

Francis Boyle
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Re: But when no one's watching...

Why assume anyone is simulating consciousness? Maybe whoever is running the simulation is simulating a universe, that is they are simulating the fundamental laws of physics (whatever they are) and consciousness is just something that happens. On my reading, it's this sort of simulation (perhaps emulation would be a better term because the idea is that the simulation is function identical to the real thing) that the paper is arguing against, not the Matrix type which is really just a video game on steroids and can use all the workarounds people have been talking about.

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Francis Boyle
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Citation needed

Ninety per cent of all quotations on the internet attributed to Einstein were in fact Churchill misquoting Mark Twain.

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Life began after meteorites splashed into warm ponds of water, say astronomers

Francis Boyle
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The answer is "Who put God there in the first place". A bad answer of course but that's because it's a bad question.

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Musk: Come ride my Big F**king Rocket to Mars

Francis Boyle
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I'm not buying any of this

Not just single stage to orbit, but single stage to orbit while carrying a second stage and/or a massive interplanetary module (I assume it's or even if the article suggests otherwise). This is so far beyond what anyone has achieved so far (and its not like they haven't tried) I have to suspect musk has let something very potent go to his head.

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Tarmac for America's self-driving car future is being laid right now

Francis Boyle
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What's a "self-driving car license"

Serious question. I can't see how a licence (as distinct from vehicle registration) makes any sense in this context.

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Firemen fund sues Uber for dousing shares with gas, tossing in a match

Francis Boyle
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Does Firemen's relief

involve the polishing of their poles.

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Limp Weiner to get 21 months in the hole

Francis Boyle
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Meet the Weiner

That photo was perfectly chosen though perhaps some should point out to the man that none of the colours in the rainbow flag represent Photophallosexuality.

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Driverless cars will make more traffic, say transport boffins

Francis Boyle
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possibly

And yet every week right here we have stories of manufacturers of a technology that has become ubiquitous struggling to survive on paper thin margins. For every Apple their will always be a dozen Lenovos, Dells, and Samsungs.

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Francis Boyle
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or just

fully integrate them into public transport.

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Don't panic, but.. ALIEN galaxies are slamming Earth with ultra-high-energy cosmic rays

Francis Boyle
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Must have

How else could you create someone capable of being so wrong and yet so completely meaningless at the same time?

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Australia commits to establish space agency with no budget, plan, name, deadline …

Francis Boyle
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True but largely irrelevant

since as article points out there isn't much prospect of Australia developing a launch capability in the near future. This is about the technology (or at least it should be). You can build the technology anywhere.

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