871 posts • joined 24 Oct 2007
Re: We don't need no education
@Bombastic Bob Hmmn. From this side of the Pond, seems to me that if the US has a very expensive educational system and yet gets poor results therefrom, that surely argues against having a privately run educational system, as companies inevitably charge as much as they possibly can for whatever service they're providing, in order to enrich shareholders. Whereas government is supposed to act in the best interests of ALL the citizens it represents, not just the wealthy few. (although given the US voting system is so open to abuse by wealthy organisations, I guess one could argue slightly the other way, but so far as I can tell the states individually have the same problem as the US as a whole, there..)
Still not seeing what your problem with the notion of human-created climate change is, Bob. Year on year, more data supports that we're having a warming effect on the climate, putting more energy into the system, and thus helping to drive more extreme weather events. One can work out the average amount of heat generated by (or on behalf of) each human on the planet, and as our population increases unless the power/heat generated goes down, the overall effect is to add heat to the planet, affecting our climate and weather. then there's the effect of gaseous pollutants, changes in albedo due to land use, etc. ..
Given that there were just 3,000 million people on the planet when I was born, and there's now more than that number of extra people on the planet, and that the rate of urbanisation has increased even faster, it just doesn't seem credible that there's be NO effect on weather/climate, Bob, which is the stance that you appear to be taking. And as someone not directly involved in the field (but with degree-level education), I have to apply Occam's Razor - if the bulk of scientists doing climate science say that human activities are causing effects on the climate that would not otherwise have happened, then the bulk are probably right, because so many capable minds have looked at the evidence, done the mathematics, checked, re-checked and come to the same conclusion.
Heck, I've had a turn-around in my own thinking about the size of population we might be able to feed thanks to a paper on urban farming that I've seen recently. To my extreme surprise, it does indeed look like technically we could feed far more folk than I'd thought. Whether or not we'll have the political will or let factionalism overcome simple humanity and do so or not is another matter, but technically, I can see that we're not necessarily as doomed on the feeding folk front as I had thought - because I've seen compelling evidence to the contrary.
Still not seeing compelling evidence against human-created climate change, though, Bob...
So THAT explains it!
I wondered what the heck had happened at the BBC this last year or so.. this requiring a sign-in malarkey for every durned thing, I contacted the Beeb to ask why they were requiring a login in order for folks to use iPlayer when they hadn't for years, and they deliberately ignored my point and woffled on about 'personalisation' etc. SoI asked why one shouldn't be able to use iplayer exactly as before (ie: without signing in) if one doesnt want to have a 'personalised' experience, and they ignored that too. And I see that now teh buggers are requiring a login for the weather page if you want it to remember more than one location. And no response whatsoever to my pointing out that any large database will inevitably leak and/or get hacked.
Well, sod that - so I'm going TV-licence free, havent watched TV in months, and can't use iplayer now anyway ('cause I refuse to set up an account). But at least now I know what's happened at the Beeb - Aunty has been swept off her feet by a large supply of chocolates and is hooking up with a paramour that'll break her heart whenever Google wishes.
Sigh. This future world's more shite than I'd've expected back in proper time. Can I go back to my own timeline now, please? :-}
(exit stage left to the proper universe, whilst old biddy mutter-grumbling)
Re: Ahh...the old 'drain the power...
@AC - it's OK, we know what to do with non-functional users around here..
Cattle-prods, the answer to so many of life's little problems...
Women beat men to jobs due to guys' bad social skills. Whoa – you mad, fellas? Maybe these eggheads have a point...
@Brewster's Angle Grinder - there's a caveat to that; other studies have shown that hormone levels in 'average' people tend to be have slightly negative effects compared with folk whose hormone levels (whether of testiosterone or oestogen) are unusually low. One study I saw even appeared to show a slightly higher normal IQ in folk who are hormonally nearer the middle than average males and females.
So it could well be that the testosterone per se doesn't induce fairness - it;s the dragging of the average hormonal environment to the centre that does. (I would add that my personal experiences seem to confirm this)
Re: A good read?!
Feminism is not about belittling men; it is about improving the lot of humanity. That it is called feminism is because the world the movement was born into was one that was so heavily skewed against women. My grandmother was born legally a chattel of her husband, my mother never had any chance of similar pay to men, whilst I never quite reached parity with male employees for doing the same work - this in the UK. Violence against women is rife worldwide, and this needs to stop, as does harmful attitudes towards men and what their role in society 'should' be. Yes, Le Guin's writing was feminist. I do wish those who criticise feminism would take the trouble to actually find out what it is about!
Re: Coming home
If it hits Swindon, just so long as it doesn't destroy the statue of Lola Vavoom, all's well..
Re: Much more likely to die of other natural causes..
A pregnant wife counts as a helath hazard? Or do you mean if you had a pregant wife then you would go to sleep with a couple of mobile phones strapped to your head? 8-}
Sounds like a job for fatso
"Able Seaman Johnson! Come on, I'll collect the water in these buckets, whilst you take the full ones up top and dump the water over the side, hurry up now, there's a good lad!"
"Why's it gotta be me climbs all them stairs? You're rotten, Chiefy, you're a rotten rotten rotten, and I don't like it, and you're rotten!"
Re: Black arm bands for everyone
mmm freedom to starve on the streets and catch and of diseases that one wouldn't expect folk in a civilised first world country to get, because America is being ruled by money-grabbing sociopaths instead of any sense of social conscience : http://www.dw.com/en/poverty-in-us-set-to-increase-due-to-donald-trumps-policies-says-un-official/a-41819961
What kind of freedom is it when the system is so biased against you that you can't get out of poverty because employers are not paying livable wages, because government won't enforce that they do? Government is there to provide essential services and look after its citizens when in need, not happily watch them starve on the streets, Big John - or at least, that's the view in Europe. And I can tell you, here in the UK most of us are heartily sick of the over-influence of the US on UK politics. It's that sociopathic, uncaring "dollars first" attitude that has been eroding that which was best about the UK and making things worse over here.
The Tories attempts to push us towards the US model has brought us worse healthcare, worse public transport, greater homelessness, and worse unemployment. Yes, I can still recall when the Tories had the gall to lambast Labour with posters saying "one million unemployed -Labour isn;t working" - the tories would LOVE to have as few as a million unemployed nowadays! Tory policies don't benefit anyone but the already well off - as soon as poor folk are paying less taxes, rents go up, into the pockets of landlords. But as taxation has reduced, surprise, surprise, there's less money for public health services. Yet billions can be found at the drop of a hat to bail out corrupt bankers or give contracts for a slightly faster rail link between our major cities that benefits very few other than construction comany sharholders. Yet it would seem our Tories are angels compared to Americas Republicans.
Thing is, Big John, your Democrats are about on a par with what our Tories used to be - focused on capitalism, but with a social conscience. Whereas your Republicans just make nice sounding blather whislt funneling ever more money towards themselves whilst grinning and saying "woe to the weak!" amongst themselves. Trump isn't for the poor and downtrodden - he's a self-serving, multiply-bankrupt misogynist homophobic transphobic egomaniac that is set on nothing but self-aggrandisment, even at the expense of turning the USA into an international laughing-stock, even at the expense of impoverishing millions of his fellow citizens, even at the expense of destroying the democracy he is supposed to be in charge of. Parallels with Rome have been made by others, but Trump is no Caesar, except in his flagrant disregard for the existing constitution, the truth, and even reality - he is more like Caligula - mad, bad, and as all too many are finding out already, dangerous to know. Trump is more likely to break America than make it great. The barbarians aren't at the gates of the USA, they're internal - and Trump is their leader.
Re: I have been to a Sisters of Mercy gig...
Bless you, AC, for bringing TMT to my attention! Have a beer!
Cheap, secure, convenient - you can only have two of 'em...
IT, I remember when you and I were both relatively young and shiny. Ah, happy times! You and I had such fun together, I'd invent algoritms and code them for you, and they fit you so well, you ran so sweetly, and I adored you, and wanted to make you happy. I'd fondle your blue cabinets and massage your tape disks into place, and you'd mumble sweet nothings into my eyeballs. You were mine, I was yours, and we were happy together.
But now we're older, I got bigger as you got smaller, and you've turned into a promiscuous constantly nagging harridan with eyes for just about anyone but me. Well, I've had enough. I am a human being, not a doormat to bend to your every whim without any consideration of what I want. You may have come into your prime just as I have left mine behind, but I showed you far more consideration when you were young and in need of careful handling than you show me now that I am getting old and frail. I REALLY don't want to catch something nasty secondhand from one of your 'friends'. One can only take so much childish and abusive behaviour before one has to admit the relationship's broken, and I am calling time on ours.
I am packing my bags and buggering orft back to the mid-late 20th century, where I was much happier. You, 'dear', can go f**k yourself. Oh, I see you already are. Charming.
(slams door, walks away)
Re: Like all software
@Pu02 - I feel it'd be harsh to give you a downvote, so I haven't, but one of the things that was enormously pissing me off in the tail end of my recently-ended IT career was the fact that so many UI's were actually becoming less user-friendly over time. What they were becoming was more arty, showy, featureful, slower, confusing and user-hostile.
Re: Real High Virtual Roller Stakes Poker Play ....... for Phantom Ghost Hosters.
@amanfrommars1 - 'ere - you bin at moi zoider, young man? Gerrof ahtovit! It bain't fer younguns loik you!
@Rameses Niblick etc (lovely moniker, btw!) - no. Squirrels are called squiggles, because when they move fast they run in a squiggly kinda way, squiggle, squiggle, squiggle.... (says my inner 7-year old)
SQL is pronounced sequel by folk who are trying to get the job done and haven't got all day to worry about what some twonk thinks about how it should be pronounced.
GIF is pronounced with a g-sound identical to that in the word graphics, because that's where the g in it comes from. See previous reference to not caring about twonks with too much time on their hands.
I'm loving the change from being a helldesker to being a hort (note that T on the end!) which is what horticultural students are called - I no longer GIF a fsck how folk pronounce SQL. It's fun leveraging the synchronicties of object-oriented living! And who'da thunk my left boot makes a decent de-bugging tool? Hort's kinda like open source, too, as the answer to a lot of things seems to be to fork it!
Icon because I'm enjoying a nice glass of the college's very own sweet cider. First time I've really enjoyed using the products created where I work!
@frankly - I got made redundant recently and am now taking a degree in horticulture (YES! I've finally escaped the clutches of IT!). At least I'll be able to grow me own food if/when the UK economy collapses due to the dunderheadedness of HM Govt.
Re: How to solve Brexit.
It'd be way better if the HM Govt decided that cancellng Blue Streak was a bad idea, decided to get the UK a serious home-grown space programme again, and asked BAE to build Skylon using engines built by Reaction engines. Thta'd be BAE jobs saved, Reaction engines with firm orders for the future, the UK with a native launch to LEO capability, and money coming in from abroad with kit purchases and launch contracts.
But nooo, far better blowing billions on HS2... </sarcasm>
Re: I think I prefer...
Noes! Can haz LOLCODE!
Already been sorted. See 'plug nozzle' design. It's lke an inside-out bell nozzle; the plug in the middle acts as one side of the nozzle, and the surrounding atmosphere the other side. To keep the plug to a reasonable length, an aerospike nozzle can be used. This uses gas vented through a stubby plug - typically exhaust from the turbopumps that drive fuel into the reactio chamber - to from the pointy bit of the plug. Such nozzles automatically compensate for altitude from sea level all the way up to vaccuum.
We've known how to do this for decades. Since the 1970's at least.
Re: A, ey?
@BomgoJoe - nah, that's someone doing 'long eared rabbit' in the projector beam in a particulaly dull meetng, 'cause Powerpoint has mercifully died
@AC - I suggest that some of us are old enough - more than old enough - to remember proper billions (ten to the twelfth) and trillions (ten to the eighteenth) and that's why the values we say sometimes sound wrong to youngsters raised on governmentally-downsized billions and trillions.
Re: you should never wash a pair of jeans
Terribly sorry to have to correct Sir, but it is the job of Sir's valet to deal with the washing of Sir's jeans, not Sir's butler.
Re: It really needs to be sold globally.
@Telwaz - give one o'they boxes to me, and I'll show yer 'Granny proof', eheheh...
All of the above - and more
"Now over to you, dear readers. If it’s the battery, the archaic UI, the Apple tax, or something else that keeps you from an iPhone: let us know. Write in the No.1 missing feature for you in the Comments."
For a phone, I want battery life in days, not hours. I want a UI that makes using the functions I want of a phone pleasant to use, not irritatingly fiddly, I am not interested in making rich people richer at the expense fo myself and the poor sods actually making the device, and I want a device that is unequivocally MY device, not one effectively leased from one company and under the sway of another any time it likes.
For a pocket computer, I want a battery life of a couple of days if possible, but 6 hours minimum, and full control over the machine, with an operating system of my choosing.
<Jediwave>I am not the target audience you are looking for, Apple</Jediwave>
This has all the hallmarks of what I expected pocket computers to become back when I first started fooling around with them (I had a Sharp PC1211, and then other pocktables, like the Sharp PC1500 and Casio FX702) - and yes, I very much want something like this. I don't give a monkeys if modern phones have the same kind of computing power - in the condition they're sold they don't really belong to you. (And I've had a taste of what Android is liek tehse days from the secondhand Samsung tablet I purchased for use soley as a media player. It is bloody awful, and actually user-hostile in places, IMO) A Linux machine I can do useful work with and stick in my handbag? That'll do nicely, if executed well and not too horribly expensive. I await further news on this with interest!
Get back to your what, Dabbsy?
"Look, whatever, just let me get back to my box set." - you have a set of boxes? What are you a cat with kittens? Oh a boxed set of DVDs or BluRays you meant? Well why didn't you say so?!
(mutters about the youngsters today buggering the language...) <grin> Mines the one with the wooly hat and the OAP bus pass in the pocket.
Re: "...18 to 24-year-olds..."
I've had 78 and I'm 59.
Re: Iain M Banks lives!
If I were Elon Musk, I'd be sorely tempted to gift ULA a landing barge called "Catch Me If You Can" or some such, just for the laugh.
More like too many companies aren't willing to allow any kind of feedback from users of their products. I still shudder recalling efforts to give feedback to a couple of companies, both of whom assumed that absolutely everything any customer might complain about could be adequately answered by a FAQ, but theyd make you jump through multiple hoops and several web pages before it became apparent that their 'contact us' section didn't really hold any contact details at all, unless you fancied making an international phonecall to spend upwards of half an hour discussing with someone what you found problematic about the product in question and why - rather than being allowed teh ease of sending an email or completing a text box in a web form.
Re: I suppose it would not be considered friendly
@Neil Barnes - genius! Have an upvote from me. Hmmn, I think I know a chap who might know how to fake such stuff, I wonder if he fancies a free Italian meal? :-)
That wouldn't have been large enough to let astronauts experience more than microgravity, though, due to its small diameter. II'd love to see something like, say four Bigelow B330 units such that two form a cetral axis, with two on cables at right angles, spinning around the central axis. Use one of the two outer B330;s for plant experiments, and teh other for human experiments. Rig 'elevators' to transport astronauts from teh core two modules to the outer two. Not entirely sure whether that'd be dynamically stable, might need three or fout units out on cables, instea dof two, but you get the idea. You would, of course, ensure that each B330 unit had plenty of emergency supplies and an emergency 'scooter' so that if something bad like a cable snapping happened, folk in teh outer modules could get back to teh spoke modules, which could, if need be, be detached from teh rest and allow teh astronauts to await rescue.
Re: Surely men should be offered a free shot
Ahem - my namesake does NOT wear fishnets - it's stripey tights and more layers of petitcoats than you can shake a wizard's staff at. Hobnail boots is perfect, though.
Why can't phones have whitelists?
I've asked this before, but no-one's responded with an answer - not knowing how the phone system works, I'm genuinely interested to know why phones can't have whitelists, ie: all calls are rejected except those from given numbers. Is there some technical reason this can;t be done on either landlines or mobile phones?
Re: Sharp cutlery knives
I disagree - knife and spoon, so you can cut the damned spaghetti into small lengths that you can then spoon up!
Personally I prefer lasagna to spag bol for the very reason that it's less faff to actually eat.
Yes. I do realise that the civilised folk look somewhat askance at me at mealtimes, but I am at least a house-trained barbarian! 8-}
I recall a late-night conversation with my (also female) boss whilst between backup jobs on the mainframes we were running back in 79, when we jokingly discussed the possibilities of "remotely controlled 'joysticks' (fnar,fnar)" - we'd both heard of the term teledildonics by then.
Firefox isnt getting better in my experience
It's still managing to crash my PC every now and then, and more frequently than that, crashes itself, this on Linux Mint. And it;s slow. Mozilla needs to just fix the friggin' thing and then stop buggering around with it. I used to love Firefox, but nowadays it really annoys me, and I only stick with it because I can;t stand Google and thus avoid Chrome as much as I can.
Re: Existing Sentient claims
@allthecoolshortnamesweretaken - Yep, for at least a decade previously Mr Heinlein in his historical document "Starship Troopers" released in 1959 was writing about space marines.. I still have a NEL edition showing lots of white space-suited figures with red weapons 'on the bounce' during combat on the cover. Still one of my favourite books, and far, far better than the dreadful film of the same name.
@macjules - y'don't want to be eating too many cabbages if you'll be wearing space-suits a lot - and don't even think about baked beans!
Re: They're both faultless...
@TRT - I thought you were channeling Kenny Everett!
Re: If you're all in favour of strong female roles...
@AntiSol - thumbs up from me. Joanna Lumley was absolutely fabulous as the Dr for her all too brief appearance in 'The curse of fatal death", played the part exactly right and IMO would make a good Dr Who in the actual series any time they care to offer her the part.
Re: Install Spyware
@EricM - I don't like beer, but you may assail me with a nice cup of Horlicks any time you like :-}
Re: Same here
@Voland's right hand - My brain misread that as a G4M2 Betty - if you actually ARE pootling around Europe in an antique propellor plane , may i just say how utterly envious of you I am? :-}
I did a quick search for the star by name and found this: https://arxiv.org/abs/1706.08781 where it remarks that the star " is one of the densest non-stellar-remnant objects currently known. These measurements are consistent with models of low-mass stars. "
Which is perfectly true. Starting with a planet the size of Saturn and piling extra mass onto it does not result in size growth to teh extent that you;d imagine, due to gravitational compression of the matter in the object. Similarly, one of the reasons larger stars are less dense than smaller ones is because the energy generated by the fusion proceses within make the thing swell like a balloon until the point is reached where radiation pressure and gravity balance out. A star only just massive enough to have any fusion going on at all would be very dense indeed, not generating enough energy to develop a greatly swollen photosphere, and probably the core would be the densest that matter can get short of being crushed into neutronium.
Best spacey-type series ever, no arguments!
Mine's the brown one, as it happens..
@bombastic bob - I'm well aware of the research on such matters, m'dear (I've read quite a lot of biomedical and psychological texts and research on the subject), but given some of my comments tend to the overlong, I was doing my best to keep it reasonably short, rather than write a dissertation! Well done, and have an upvote from me for a quite reasonable posting on the subject.
However, it's still true that on the whole, for most folk sexuality is not a matter of choice. If you're homosexual, the availability of potential sexual partners is much more limited than for heterosexuals, and social pressure can make it extremely hard to even locate suitable partners, never mind actually get together with them. I know that many women of my age who now identify as lesbian have been in heterosexual marriages before because they were lonely and saw no hope of being able to enter into a lesbian relationship, when they were younger. Extreme lonliness can drive one to extremes of behaviour, including going against ones innate sexuality, particularly with huge social pressure to conform pushing one in that direction. That doesn;t really equate to choice in the sense of free choice though, now does it?
The plain fact of the matter is that I'm just not terribly interested in guys that way, and that is NOT a matter of personal choice. I'm not anti-guys though, heck, some of my best friends are male... 8-} ;-}
I'm still in shock from the three-in-a-bed episode... 8-O
@kain preacher - yeah, that's what fuckwitted bigots usually presume, that being gay or trans is a matter of choice, AND that gay and trans folk want to recruit AND that children are so easily suggestible that they can be persuaded to be gay or trans. Which of course completely ignores the fact that if children were so easily persuadable there wouldnt; be any homosexual or trans folk as the amount of heterosexual/cisgender-normative material and role models out there waaaay exceeeds those of the homesexual-transgender ones. And I've yet to meet a trans person who didn't feel the condition they were born with to be a painful one that they wouldn't wish on anyone.
I recently had the amusing experience of having a Christian evangelical woman striking up a conversation with me on the bus, and somehow she got onto the subject of not being able to compliment other women in case folk think you're lesbian. She clearly hadn't 'read' me (I am a lesbian) . Somewhat startled, I told her I thought she was being paranoid, I compliment women on therir appearance without anyone reacting negatively, I said. Just because someone tells you 'that's a nice outfit you're wearing' doesn't mean they want to jump you, seems to me it's the ones fretting about being thought lesbian that have sex on their mind the most, I continued. 'Nice hat', I said as I got off the bus. Her face was a picture..
Logic doesn't tend to be the forte of bigots.
Re: Well given that said columns are basically a vacuum
@MHFW - egad, I do believe you've solved a major problem in astrophysics! So that's what dark matter probably is!
Nice one, Dabbsy!
Howsbout a message from the hereafter saying that the results have just come back and everyone that's been in contact with you should see their GP to get the jabs, pronto?
Nice name, but it's hardly new - the original virii's only purpose was to upset the users of the infected machines. It's just that modern malware has a new method of getting from machine to machine - the net.