56 posts • joined 24 Jun 2011
Cluelessness raised to an occupation
"Even the legislators themselves are expressing concern at the lack of technical expertise they can access during House Judiciary Committee hearings on the bills and the speed with which they are being asked to act."
Never stopped them before - they usually pass laws without any burden of knowledge or technical insight.
It even goes so far as them not having a clue big enough to even ask the right people to help them - like when they wanted to get expert opinion on climate change and asked an author of science fiction to tell them, rather than the academies of science.
ah, my old S-III Landy and shiny Rangie
didn't as much prevent me from getting stuck as much as enabling me to get stuck in far more interesting ways and in far more obscure places.
While seatbelts and airbags have shown value, it isn't actually that clear that ABS has saved people on net.
It seems to have just encouraged them to drive with less care.
I think some folks have mastered the art of dealing with cognitive dissonance.
They will in the same breath condemn foreign hackers peeking into US assets and claim it as a just cause for military retaliation, and also cheer on hacks on Iran or a number of other sovereign states.
Perhaps this is a new subspecies homo credula
Mind you the whole Vietnam thing was based on people claiming that had been attacked but couldn't show any actual evidence for it - didn't stop them then, won't stop them now.
In a belief-based world, who needs evidence?
With the humble Palm I came pretty close to being able to toss my jotter away and have all my notes taken during meetings and on the train synch with my PC.
The funny handwriting wasn't reall a big obstacle but having to have a docking station in order to transfer was -although the infrared file transfer was pretty good.
I am still looking for something that can accept handwriting and drawings, and can replace the need for either dragging a laptop around or having a jotter
Ignorant debate remains ignorant
Debate may be a real thrill and a great manifestation of public discourse, but that doesn't mean it is always sane.
Part of the reason for this particular "debate" is the result of truly depressing levels of outright scientific illiteracy - a total failure in many people's comprehension of what the whole scientific modernity thing means.
We have collectively funded through taxes and whatnot, a truly gargantuan enterprise that we can loosely call "modern science", and it deals with matters of fact about the natural world and uses tools and methods matured over hundreds of years. It is the same enterprise that can put a probe on a planet millions of miles away, or has electron microscopy of things millions of times smaller than we can see with our eyes.
To this behemoth, we give the job of telling us what nature is up to, and it delves nature in mind-numbing detail, utilizing tens of thousands of highly trained people across the globe over decades.
It has peer-review processes that role up into a publication method, that itself rolls up into colloquia and panels and boards, etc., and finally at the global level, it occasionally spits up the best assimilation and synthesis of all that work as a consensus position.
By the time you get to a consensus declaration that tells you what the current or new default position is (and therefore the dominant theory against which all comers will be judged) it has done a level of work and integration that no other group or institution can rival.
The consensus position is always going to be the very best guess mankind can have to offer on any matter of the natural world, simply because to come up with a plausible alternative, one would have to mount a program of inquiry that approximates the effort that modern science has put into it.
The question has been as conclusively answered as the species can - and the answer is clear and published: the planet is warming, our activities are a significant cause, and we have an approximation of the quantity and rate.
Science has delivered an answer, and unless one can field an alternative to science, this is the best possible guess that our entire species is able to make.
Small effect eh?
Perhaps you think that because daily and annual temperatures swing by far more than that and your body is quite happy to encounter an ambient change of far more than a degree, it therefore can't be a big deal?
However, there are at least three effects that you might want to think over:
1. Sea, river, and floodplain levels
2. Agricultural logistic chains
3. Pest species
1. If you look at a map of the world showing population density, one thing stands out very clearly - most of us are very close to water. Our towns and cities tend to fit snugly with rivers, floodplains, and seashore. Even small changes in levels and flooding characteristics means massive infrastructural implications, and the effect of one degree in average global temperature implies significant rather than small changes.
There will be trillions of dollars of infrastructural changes needed on highways, rail lines, city fronts, and housing and industry located near rivers, sea, or on floodplains.
2. The whole agro-industrial logistic chain is finely calibrated and built around a climate that has been with us for the last few hundred years. It is no small matter to change what is produced in a particular region and re-tool either for a different agricultural product or to shift the same product production even a few kilometers. A change of but a few degrees implies massive retooling and movement of where crops are viable, where rail lines or ports must be, and where milling, processing, and other functions need to be.
3. One source of outbreaks is when a pathogen or pest that was contained in one area breaks into a new area. A one degree change in average temperature shifts boundaries by many kilometers, and results in spillover of pathogens into novel terrain. This has dramatic implications for species that have evolved or habituated to specific regions, but it also means that potential vectors will suddenly be exposed to things that link to us. You can look forward to novel outbreaks, often, until new stable patterns of resistance have been established.
oh for crying in bucket!
What is it with people who think that the brain-fart that creeps across their calvarium is a worthy alternative answer to the question of global climate change than the consensus position that is the result of many billions of dollars and decades of diligent work of thousands of scientists.
Whether the science of the day has this particular issue right or wrong isn't the bloody point, the point is that this is the best guess that the resources of the entire bloody species is capable of at this time.
Unless one can field a similar number of scientists with budget, equipment, and wherewithal on par with what has led to this consensus position, it behooves one to shut the fuck up and stop whining.
The consensus position is the absolute best guess we can have, like it or not, and one has to a be peculiarly dim or arrogant to take an opposing stand.
Slide to the dark side
That's exactly what Myhrvold said he was going to do - set up a company that amassed a huge trove of patents so that anyone pulling a troll stunt would be sol because there would be a countering patent that was made available to the victim.
What seems to be happening though, is exactly the opposite plus a fair dollop of what amounts in my personal view to nothing more than a protection racket.
and they are upset over Jobs, because ...?
Since Jobs wasn't gay, Muslim, a priest that sodomizes boys, or any of the other things this bunch of loonies claim to be upset about, what exactly is their beef?
Or is it the case that a true nutter doesn't really need any logical reason other than "it's there".
I think you are missing the conjunction in the options list.
- Piss off the h4x0rs and maybe get hacked badly enough to disrupt business
- In which case: Declare bankruptcy, claim insurance, open a new company with a new name using the same hardware.
- Piss off Caesar
- Your kit gets confiscated, you go to jail, AND you go bankrupt
Yes, I can definitely see how being hacked is far worse than a few years of porridge and soap-kicking
Sorry Zuck, see you when you grow up
I left FB and won't be back until they outgrow their adolescent stage, or at least pupate and stop being worms.
Not that they don't have some nice gadgets and gizmos, but they just don't behave like they understand that it is MY data and that they are merely custodians that are being allowed to use some of it in ways that I must approve of.
Zuckster and his merry men just don't get that, they think that it is their data and that they are doing me a big favour by letting me play with their bells and knobs.
Until they get their heads straight on this, I don't care how many shiny new fiddlebangs they add.
... more like "ring barking"
cutting science investment is like burning the furniture to stay warm - either you intend to take a massive future backward step in standard of living, or you believe that paying more in the future is worth the short-term relief.
Generally the ROI for research gives a nation a multiplied payback for the investment.
A tablet is a couch-computer, nothing more
If by "couch" you mean production lines, telephone poles, and everywhere somebody is checking, auditing, or doing inventory.
While sitting on the couch with it may be handy, there are many business situations where fast switch-on and usable real-estate can allow a ward nurse to do rounds and write once, or a rock mechanic to check a stope, or a field engineer to check parts or instructions.
Yes, little bits coming off won't all share the same orbit as the thing from which they detached, either because they were expelled with force, collided with parts of the craft, picked up some drag, etc.
The orbital decay starts immediately precisely because of what you said - space isn't a perfect vacuum and there are faint forces like sunlight, solar wind, dust, & cetera. The instant it arrives in GEO it is starting its reentry. All of the stuff up there eventually comes down or goes away, depending on what happens to it.
None stays GEO forever.
The time for that decay to result in contact with the atmosphere or the planet can be measured appropriately in seconds, minutes, ... or many hundreds of years.
Yes, tipping point is very apt, and speaks to a probability curve regarding collisions based on population, distribution, and trajectories.
At a certain point the likelihood of a serviceable satellite getting dinged and itself shedding bits becomes high enough to create a chain reaction in exactly the same fashion as that of nuclear fission reactions.
It won't be a domino or arithmetic reaction, but a geometric progression because each collision has a high likelihood of resulting in several more bits of debris.
oh sweet Jeebus! GEO refers to ...
(a) an altitude at which Geosynchrony can be achieved with low additional energy usage i.e. thrusters, AND
(b) the orbits of bodies that have achieved an orbital speed equal to the rotation of the planet regardless of whether they use energy to stay there or not
Now that might sound like it is standing still but actually it means that it is belting along at a massive lick and could clobber anything that crosses its path going in, going out or traversing at any angle to its orbital sphere.
Loads of stuff comes in (literally tons a day) from space and includes things too small for the naked eye to see and things even bigger than Paris's inflatable head.
A fair amount traverses those orbits going up too, things on their way to Mars for example, and often shedding little bits ranging from paint flecks to tools to great big panels as they go.
On top of that, if a geostationary satellite sheds any bits, there is no guarantee that those bits will continue to share the same orbit, and can't start accelerating ever so slowly as they wind downwards back to the planet at ever increasing speeds for ever so long because of drag, collisions, or separation vectors. After many moons of a very modest acceleration some pretty amusing and entertaining velocities can be attained - in the order of many thousands of meters per second.
At which point a paint fleck can punch a rather satisfying hole in a duraluminium plate.
As far as China is concerned, well their response to the weaponization of space and GPS-guided munitions was to hint that (a) they could shoot stuff down if they liked, and (b) if they wanted to they could heave a busload of little ball-bearings up there and put a stop to people guiding things or threatening to launch stuff from up there.
Perhaps one should pay attention to this simple practical demonstration that if you bring your guns and grenades into the pool, they shall crap in it and laugh at you.
a frightful fiend Doth close behind him tread ...
... or maybe just a sleazy mob of patent trolls eager to feast upon his blood.
This stuff is going to eventually plug up the pipes and give us all constipation, while in the meantime China is going to thumb its collective nose and tell us that if you want to take advantage of your bright idea then produce something that competes for customers - don't go complaining that it is your idea.
Besides, the stuff that the patent office is patenting is patently silly.
all ur baseless r belong 2 us
but seriously, why the torrent approach rather than how they did it previously?
Are they doing this in response to impending legal action, attack, or is there some mundane reason - like this particular case has become boring and they want to clear the desk in order to give somebody new a bit of heartburn?
How about leaving the ribbons, rosettes, and deckchairs
... and fix the damned software!
Enough already with the furious pace of shifting functions around and trailing gossamer and spangles all over, and get some of the basic functions fixed.
The GUI is bad but we have now figured out once again where all the bits are and what they mean, so leave well alone and focus attention on making them work better and with fewer of those pesky "oh dear" banners that mean the app is busy crashing and wants to seek help from a mothership that never seems to be awake.
The big players themselves undermine trust
Not about SSL certificates, but ...
A few years ago I did a paper on trust and the web, and one of the big findings was that many of the people who shout the loudest about the importance of trust and web security are the biggest sources of confusion.
For example, it is common practice for the banks to farm out the marketing and application for credit cards and special deals on accounts to third parties. If you try to match the look and feel of the websites, the IP addresses, and email accounts, you will see that although the offer is branded as being from a particular bank, the rest doesn't match.
In other words, the bastards are undermining security by habituating people to exactly the clues that are supposed to warn of something fishy.
Tablets are primarily toys ... about 79% of the time
according to the results of some research I am doing, but drops to 61% when you ask about what people plan to do with them in the future.
That however masks that if you also ask how much time they are being used or will be used for work, the numbers of hours per week spent on work is pretty high and the number that people predict they will spend on work is even higher.
Personally, I want it primarily for work, but can't justify the $400+ pricetag for an experiment.
A $99 or $149 fondleslab from a well-reputed manufacturer is almost a no-brainer though.
As for people buying bargains they will never use - that's true enough and why people's garages are filled with junk and their expensive car stands out in the rain and sun.
ongoing value, upgrades, wtf?
What the devil does one need "ongoing value" and "upgrades" for in a fondleslab that one is going to use mainly for entertainment, websurfing on the coach, and reading on the porch?
It isn't a mainframe or a blade server, you won't upgrade it, and you won't trade it in on a newer model in a years time.
The average user will get solid use out of it for a few years and then consign it to the shelf with all the other gadgets when the next shiny trinket comes along at the same time that the wallet has a little bulge.
By all means, buy it if the price drops to the right point.
.... yes but will there be a drive to read it in ten?
We went through this same movie with 8" floppies, GCR tape, and countless other technologies that had miracle coatings and whatnot guaranteed for some huge number of years, or "life" (whatever that meant).
The problem was of course that unlike paper or even fiche that only require a modicum of technology, the others all require great hunks of technology that is almost guaranteed to be unavailable in the near future even if solar radiation doesn't flip the bits until they are a pile of gibberish.
One can read a clay tablet written in cuneiform that is millenia old, but good luck finding a DVD drive in another twenty.
The only response to this kind of hype is "bollocks!"
now what about their silly group moderation?
For some unfathomable reason LinkedIn have made it possible for the originator of a discussion or a moderator to not only delete individual posts and entire discussions, but to do so without any trace - no date-stamp, no imprint of who deleted it, or why.
This breeds a toxic culture of censorship that if left in place will eventually kill the beast.
Maybe it's because they are such young'uns and never saw the grand flamewars of Undernet and Efnet
are you always this daft ...
... or are you putting on a special show just for our entertainment?
Lynching somebody for theft would be (1) murder, and (2) murder.
These isles did away with stuff like mob lynching over a thousand years ago, you know magna carta and all that.
Maybe you prefer those geographies where people are still stoned for adultery, whipped for giving the overlord lip, and have their heads cut off for insulting the local deity?
Paris, because seriously, are you that air-headed?