* Posts by Voyna i Mor

3438 posts • joined 3 Nov 2015

The Large Hadron Collider is small beer. Give us billions more for bigger kit, say boffins

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

"However, if the same attitude had been adopted 100 years ago the whole of nuclear physics and modern electronics would have completely passed us by."

I think you must be getting as old as me, because 100 years ago nuclear physics and electronics were in a feverish state of development. Radio in particular had a huge boost from WW1.

It's easy to forget at my age that a hundred years ago isn't around 1880, when all the excitement was about steam engines and wild ideas about turbines.

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Re: £5000 USB cable

Actually a lot of the work on the CERN experiments is done in other countries, hence the interesting technical problems of relaying all that data. So forget the WWW, CERN has been driving big data for quite a while.

Back in the day AMD brought out the 64 bit Opterons and I was following the interesting discussion threads as people reported on what they were now able to do or asked for help. One from somebody at CERN was something like "Does anybody else have any experience of using a dual Opteron setup with 16 Gbytes of RAM and a 4-gigabyte row MySQL database?"

Nowadays you can easily run that on a thin and light laptop, and CERN I am sure is partly responsible. As late as 2010 I had people patronisingly explain to me that 64 bits wasn't really any better than 32. Because they'd never seen a big data set...

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: New name needed

I think we need a new naming system that won't run out so quickly.

Perhaps the next one needs to be the Not Very Small Collider, and we work on from there. If we reach the stage of bashing neutron stars together and close to lightspeed, we could call it the Actually Quite Large Collider.

It's a bit like all the towns that have a New Road that eventually won't be any more.

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: If all you have is a <strike>hammer</strike> <b>crank</b>

I guess if all you have is a crank, everything looks to you like a steam engine. Or a mangle.

(No html in titles seemingly)

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

This sounds snarky, but it's not meant to.

Have you considered what those physicists and engineers might get up to if there wasn't a supercollider project going? World domination from volcanic lairs, obviously.

Mind you, it might be an improvement.

It's the weekend. We're out of puns for now. Just have a gander at China's Moon lander and robo-sidekick snaps, videos

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: 21st century employment prospects in space? - human redundancy

"The ISS is a requirement, if we ever want to do more in space with humans."

I know it's an unpopular view but I don't think we will.

In the early days of science fiction everything seemed so simple - spaceships were just going to be like submarines with the pressure the other way round, some kind of anti-gravity drive would emerge magically. In fact the rocket laws haven't changed in the slightest, while we've come to realise how much radiation and stuff there is out there. Let's deal with the radiation on the way to Mars with big water bags. OK, we still have to get the water up there and propel it. At some point in every proposal there's handwaving around the sheer amount of energy needed. Space elevators - made of unobtainium with no safety factor.

Meanwhile the resource wars of climate change have already started in the Middle East, and you can say they are happening in the form of the murder and displacement of native peoples as illegal farming occupies more and more of the world. Exploitation economies want expensive oil and gas, development economies want it cheap.

I'm all for scientific exploration, if only on the offchance it enables us to avoid an extinction event, but I remain unconvinced that asteroid mining and the like is going to happen, due to the energetics on the one hand and human fragility on the other.

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: At least SpaceX didn't bin them a week before Christmas

Think about this.

A space launch program should be long term. That means proper plans for career development and a fit for purpose HR system. Staff needs should fit into long term planning which means headcount changes should be gradual and managed.

A 10% cut suddenly announced doesn't fill me with confidence that the management knows what it's doing.

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: Danger! <insert robot voice here>

Yes, that was what I noticed first. It shows how far things have come from Beagle 2.

The Chinese space agency really does deserve congratulations. This also, along with other recent missions, to my mind, shows why manned operations are increasingly irrelevant. Putting a man on Mars is really just about trying to survive radiation and terminal boredom, followed by dying anyway when supplies run out. It's about status. These robotic expeditions are about finding things out.

When we use an electron microscope, nobody bangs on about manned expeditions to the vacuum chamber, but we don't really get any closer to the specimen than if it's being analysed by a Mars Rover.

Huawei and Intel hype up AI hardware, TensorFlow tidbits, and more

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: Deepfakes

I know you're not supposed to comment on the physical appearance of politicians, but when they have obviously spent a lot of money on looking like that they seem to me to be fair game.

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: Deepfakes

Well, Tina Fey was a more convincing Sarah Palin than Palin herself was. I guess it depends how plastic the politician is in the first place.

Since Trump IRL looks like something left to decompose on a beach for a day or two and then dunked in fake tan, the bar is pretty low.

If I could turn back time, I'd tell you to keep that old Radarange at home

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: Pesky microwaves

"We used to have that problem getting TV across a sea path between NI and Scotland"

How did you deal with the signals having to travel 50 years into the past in the NI direction?

CES flicks the off switch on massager award… and causes a buzz

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: Nudist restaurants

"I suspect it was an indoor restaurant rather than nudist streetfood."

Well, I realise that. It's just that to my simple mind if you've come out of cold rainy streets, eating in a restaurant would surely come a long way down the list of things to do with your clothes off? A long way after swimming pool, sauna or Turkish bath, anyway.

Shoreditch though, who can tell what might succeed there? The last time I drove through there late on a winter evening there seemed to be an awful lot of young ladies around who were trying for hypothermia.

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Nudist restaurants

Isn't the point that nobody really wants to get undressed to eat somewhere like Paris which on the whole is cold and rainy?

It's not out of place in some Mediterranean naturist resort -but there it's just a restaurant, nothing special.

One assumes the attraction was supposed to be the frisson of naughtiness - but in 2018 that's surely not much of a motivator. In fact I think it's just a symptom of the fact that we have now reached peak peak - nowhere to go but down in any direction in search of kink. It'll be back to dinner jackets before long.

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: Osé

True, but I have the impression this device is to help get the pleasurable effects without the downsides of reproduction. In fact, it's just a small step on the way to a world with no men.

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

"Do they?

When they say "dahta"?

*sceptical face*"

There is more than one North American accent.

If someone from Kentucky - that's Kay-un-tah-kee to you - says "metadata" you'll just have time for a quick loo trip before they finish. While a proper Noo Yoiker will have it all out in an aural burp so brief the sound will be blue shifted.

I recognise the Dabbs version, but yours is surely more educated East Coast?

Smartphones gateway drug to the Antichrist, says leader of Russian Orthodox Church

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: Lost in translation

Ah, I had been wondering whether you were Fagot, Azazello or Behemot. Somehow I didn't have you figured for Helga.

Y'know how you might look at someone and can't help but wonder if they have a genetic disorder? We've taught AI to do the same

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: Get your Callipers out

Why look to 1930s Germany?

In the US, Indian Indians were banned from becoming citizens because they were not "caucasians". Then someone pointed out that according to the best racist science, Indian Indians were Caucasians. So it was then decided that they still couldn't be citizens because they were not "white".

The rot began in Germany in the 18th century with "racial science" but was enthusiastically adopted in the US. Had it not been, perhaps US industrialists would not have been so keen on Hitler and WW2 might not even have taken place in the West.

Hitler needed IBM and Ford.

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: aaaand another step to enable systemic eugenics

From TFA:

"Both training and testing datasets are largely made up of faces from Caucasian backgrounds, and the algorithm's performance may differ for people of other races"

Right there in TFA. "Caucasians"? "Other races"? Pure USA bullshit racism in one sentence. The USA loves its racism and doesn't want to be parted from it by mere biology and biochemistry, hence the Wikipedia article which is a mishmash of racist statements ("the neutrality of this article is disputed") and some extremely careful putting in the boot in a form that the racists won't notice is criticism.

How often does it have to be repeated that the "Caucasian" thing is pure pseudo-scientific garbage* and there's only been one human race since either the Neanderthals or the Hobbits went extinct?

I hope that sentence was a comment and not in the original research.

*It has its origins in an 18th century German trying to "prove" the superiority of "caucasians" over "mongoloids" - the German idea which, ultimately, led to WW2 in which the "mongoloids" got their chance to make their case.

If you've been dying to run some math on a dinky toy quantum computer, IBM may have something for you

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

How did they predict the development thing?

Is this like the early 1960s, when fusion power was just 20 years away*

Or like the bold prediction by [begins with g] that by 2015 as many digital as analog cameras would be sold?

I suspect the former.

*Seriously we were being bombarded as kids with propaganda about going into nuclear science and engineering - guaranteed big bucks. But our physics teacher, who had actually been in R&D and got disillusioned, was having nothing of it.

Dark matter's such a pushover: Baby stars can shove weird stuff around dwarf galaxies

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: What about the Bulgarian airbag angle!!!???

You have still got a few months to go before Nanny May tries to distract her elderly right wing supporters from the disastrous mess they've made of everything else by trying to stop people viewing Bulgarian airbags on line.

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: Mexican Wall of Shame

"Do you believe that your spelling is above average...;-)"

Did you read the "with a bad cold"?

Unfortunately I can't send real viruses over the Internet so you can experience the IQ-lowering effects for yourself.

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: Mexican Wall of Shame

I am unsure whether this is supposed to be a spoof of the article (and thus downvotable) or of the first post and thus upvotable). As T S Eliot remarked, you can't write a good parody unless you are a better writer than the person you are parodying. (Makes sense when you think about it.)

The problem here is that over the New Year (and with a bad cold) I discovered the Quora website, where people ask questions about physics and people answer them with "I'm totally unqualified to write about physics but this is my explanation."

This is an extract from one of them:

"The first major realization is that Energy and Force are actually the same thing. Force is really nothing more than an Energy Field. It is now understood that the Energy expresses itself as a field whether or not another particle is interacting with that field. In other words, Space is bent whether or not a particle is passing through it."

The same guy is of the view that mass doesn't exist, which is great news for him if he's standing right under an Acme safe falling from the tenth floor.

tl;dr: No matter how good a parody you intend there are people out there who will hold similar views to the ones you just expressed, and will not be backward in coming forward with them.

I'm onboard with a Manhattan Project that will create an AI to do Dunning-Kurger filtering of the Internet.

Stormy times ahead for IBM-owned Weather Channel app: LA sues over location data slurp

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: "To the contrary, the app misleadingly suggests . . ."

Misleading the court is just part of legal training; actual lying still has a few consequences. In a democracy.

Huawei or the highway: Chinese giant whacks marketing drones for tweeting from iPhone

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

"so the rivals need to catch up if they want to get their brand out there."

You don't get this protectionism thing, do you?

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

"Fining employees and demoting them for an incredibly minor mistake seems maybe a little bit over the top."

I can see you've never worked for a US corporation.

Not that long ago, two GM employees taking a non-GM hire car to a function could expect much, much worse.

As in a DCM ("don't come Monday")

My 2019 resolution? Not to buy any of THIS rubbish

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: "Hospitality"

Ah yes - "Gentleman of the Bedchamber." Gets to empty king's potty.

Until now, if Canadian Uber drivers wanted to battle the tech giant, they had to do it in the Netherlands – for real

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: If it weren't so crappy it'd be funny...

Douglas N Adams was surely the most accurate futurologist we've ever had.

Florida man stumbles on biggest prime number after working plucky i5 CPU for 12 days straight

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Re: Fermat primes

"Gauss showed that regular polygons with this many sides can be constructed with ruler and compasses."

For some value of ruler and compasses.

Apple blew my mind – literally, says woman: MagSafe plug sparked face-torching blaze, lawsuit claims

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: Her Lawyer quite obviously studied chemistry in the US education system

Our chemistry teacher would fail your comment,. She inserted a glass tube into a large beaker full of phosgene, turned on the oxygen and we watched as an oxygen flame formed in the phosgene atmosphere.

You can ignite reducing agents in oxidising atmospheres, and vice versa.

Oregon can't stop people from calling themselves engineers, judge rules in Traffic-Light-Math-Gate

Voyna i Mor Silver badge


You're not suggesting that the £350 million on the side of a bus caused chaos?

Bored IT manager automates Millennium Eve checks to ditch snoozing for boozing

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Re: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Worked, didn't it?

The only problem would be that the USPTO won't let you patent a perpetual motion machine.

Ready for Glasto-net? Cheap, local low-power networks up for grabs in the UK

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Don't try it near Glastonbury

That's the place where a free wifi trial in the town centre had to be abandoned because it was causing headaches and interfering with chakras.

Before it was switched on...

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: “What's the terminal velocity of such a spent rifle bullet...”

"Laden or unladen?"

Bin Laden.

Another expert in creating chaos with airborne things.

Thanks to the wonders of technology the malicious can now cause major disruption without even needing to take flying lessons.

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: terminal velocity

"The problem is that a bullet fired into the air will accelerate towards the ground at about 32 m/sec^2"

A confusion of American Customary Units and proper ones there. G is about 9.8ms-2 (it was meant to be 10 but you know how it is when you're doing a rush job and having to work Saturday overtime).

And it is a terminal velocity problem - apparently terminal velocity for a rifle bullet is about 90m/s, around twice the kinetic energy needed to penetrate flesh.

London's Gatwick airport suspends all flights after 'multiple' reports of drones

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: bbc quotes - Why would a foreign power waste time and effort inflicting chaos on the UK

Vladimir Putin has supported May's agreement.

One sentence in passing in a long press conference and he does more damage than any number of airport drones.

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: I wonder if...You think they might be developing an SEP field

Not my problem, fortunately.

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: I wonder if...

"And in the case of stupidity we should recognise that Theresa May, Amber Rudd, and Diane Abbott are boldly and successfully fighting back against the male domination of the craft."

Shocking that you felt it necessary to leave out Andrea Leadsom, Anna Soubry, Louise Mensch and that one whose name escapes me who swears at Corbyn - compared to all of whom Diane Abbott is a genius.

German cybersecurity chief: Anyone have any evidence of Huawei naughtiness?

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: Huawei - two syllables - I've been pronouncing it as "Steve".

It was Bruce till the Australians rolled over for the NSA.

Who's watching you from an unmarked van while you shop in London? Cops with facial recog tech

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: Funding cuts lead to this

"I, for one, voted Conservative so that I could destroy, in defense of myself and my family, the vehicles that are responsible for shortening the lives of at least 38,000 people per year without fear of legal retribution."

Could you explain how that was supposed to work? Where in their manifesto did they promise to remove all non-urea Diesels, and petrol cars more than about ten years old, from the roads?

But then I notice the US spelling and wonder if you're a troll. We do not have "defense" in this country. Nor, since we do not have the concept of punitive damages, do we have legal retribution.

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: Funding cuts lead to this

Downvoted presumably by people who haven't been following what is going on. The statistics on police numbers and crime rates are out there. Even the Mail and the Express have started to notice.

"Great. Big Brother Watch claims tech had 100% fail rate since May"

I think we could summarise that, given who has been in charge of the Home Office for many years, as "May has 100% fail rate since attempting to introduce tech."

Apple iPhone X screen falls short of promises, lawsuit says

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: Frivolity

"Anyway, anything that brings about the end of the notch is fine with me!"

The notch is a rare example of Apple getting it very wrong only to have the Chinese Android makers get it right (teardop notch, small screen hole etc.)

Voyna i Mor Silver badge


It's a frivolous lawsuit but they do have a point. AMOLED resolution is different from LCD resolution. Apple do overstate the visible area of the screen, for no apparent reason. They have always kept the resolution lower than the competition presumably to get faster graphics performance.

But that isn't why people buy iPhones and it really surely doesn't matter. So what happened to the principle of de minimis non curat lex? I suspect the short answer is an oversupply of US lawyers with enormous tuition fees to pay back.

The law (and insurance companies) have an important part to play in keeping down dodgy manufacturers, but unsafe cars are a bit different from rounded corners spreading from the case to the display of a mobile phone.

Virgin Galactic test flight reaches space for the first time, lugging NASA cargo in place of tourists

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: Don't forget the other fallen

"People die, it happens all the time. This generation seems to think any loss of life is unacceptable, and because of that, are needlessly risk averse."

You forget; in past generations it wasn't the shareholders (or the Pharaoh for that matter) who were expecting to do the dying.

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: Superficial Marketing Tosh = Virgin on the Ridiculous

"If you go further back, look at Richard Trevithick who offered rides behind his new steam locomotive on a circle of track, to those who could afford it."

So not much change there then, except the means of propulsion.

You've never been all the way round the Circle Line? You haven't lived.

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

"Now all we have to do is send the bearded prick up, setting the controls for the heart of the sun."

I think you may have missed the point that the thing can't even reach "space", let alone orbit or achieve escape velocity.

"Middle of Neckar island" perhaps.

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: Space, not quite as above and beyond as before

Oh, USA has a long record of this.

During the Gulf War 1 the Patriot missiles were not exactly hitting SCUDs. But it was OK; by the end of the war they had redefined "interception" as "being launched before the SCUD hit its target". Because it was important that the Israelis and Saudis didn't lose confidence.

The British Lancaster bombing campaign in WW2 was also much less effective than claimed.

Spending watchdog points finger at Capita for 1,300 shortfall in British Army rookies

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: I'm in the wrong business....

"Therefore, may I make a suggestion: Can we all club together to form Acme Contractors"

Well, the way things are going the MoD may indeed be needing a supply of anvils to drop on the enemy, because we'll just about be able to take on a few roadrunners.

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: TBF...

"Why governments keep doing the same thing - handing over public jobs to the same big companies who have no expertise and a shite track record - I really don't know."

Your cynicism level is obviously depleted. You need to read Private Eye for a bit till the depression becomes too much.

Godmother of word processing Evelyn Berezin dies at 93

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: Love at first sight

"It was a tedious process, a major undertaking for someone with crap handwriting"

A major issue was that engineering got the crap typists because things like reports and technical manuals are not as important as management memos about over-use of paperclips.

I acquired an early (tape to tape) microprocessor development system - once the light went on and we realised that plain text includes documents as well as source code, secretarial assistance became history.

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