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* Posts by Pompous Git

3130 posts • joined 24 Sep 2014

Uh-oh! Microsoft has another chatbot – but racism is a no-go for Zo

Pompous Git
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careful with labelling calling climate change proponets conspiracy theorists
Because that's what they are? I have yet to come across one who can explain why Oke's Boundary Layer Climates, the standard tertiary text, contains no mention of CO2, or why there is no more recent tertiary level text that does. Or why the world map of climate zones is virtually identical today to what it was a century ago. Tasmania has a temperate maritime climate and a hundred years ago it had a temperate maritime climate. Oh noes, the sky's falling in, the sky's falling in!

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Pompous Git
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Re: How can it not be gamed into saying something sexist, racist, whatever-ist?

Anti-Semitic, yes, but not anything actually racist. nb - Jews (just like say Muslims and Christians) are a religion and not a race.
Semites are the Jewish and Arab races. Anti-semitic means anti-Jewish and anti-Arab. How is that "not anything actually racist"?

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Pompous Git
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forging an emotional connecti

Microsoft has been working on forging an emotional connection between people and bots
Presumably the "bots" being Microserfs. Of course many of us were singularly unimpressed by the "emotional connection" forged by repeated forced downloads of w10.

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Blue sky basic income thinking is b****cks

Pompous Git
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Re: idleness

We need to provide training classes for those willing to do them. It can be exciting to learn new skills and to do volunteering jobs.
I had friends teaching secondary school students in the 70s who taught their working class students relevant skills they would need when they left school. Boy, did they get into trouble for doing that!

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Pompous Git
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I am not too sure people are willing to be submitted to a fully robotic doctor.
But would a robotic doctor forget to administer anaesthetic and tell you: "I was distracted!"?

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Pompous Git
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Re: Mixed feelings

Controversial but how about paying them to do state sponsored work
Slavery works well in the USA:
[prisoners] can be forced to work under threat of punishment as severe as solitary confinement. Legally, this labor may be totally uncompensated; more typically inmates are paid meagerly—as little as two cents per hour—for their full-time work in the fields, manufacturing warehouses, or kitchens.

American Slavery, Reinvented

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Pompous Git
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Re: Mixed feelings

What about the sort of smart clothing one might require for a job interview?
Mrs Git purchases most of her clothes from Op Shops and looks very smart indeed. Typically she pays $5-10 for items that cost north of $100 new.

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Pompous Git
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Re: Mixed feelings

These are the people who choose to have a kid, get a council house/housing benefit, and live on what the state provides. This is completely unacceptable, as it means other people are working to support them in their idleness.
So we need to force those who would wish to be idle to work so they can displace those in work, forcing them to be idle. IOW maximise unhappiness/discontent. Why?

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Apple ordered to cough up $2m to store workers after denying rest breaks

Pompous Git
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Re: Should the courts hold an entire huge company...

you must of missed when apple got rid of it's dealers and franchises when it open up the apple stores in the US.
Indeed, I must "of". For some reason events in LALALand have little relevance to those of us Living the Good Life in southern Tasmania.

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Re: Should the courts hold an entire huge company...

Jerry Pournelle is also a science-fction writer of some fame.
The Mote in God's Eye is my favourite novel of his.

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Pompous Git
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Re: This:

21 THOUSAND workers at ONE store in the last 9 years?????????????
Those long queues outside the store for product launches had to come from somewhere ;-)

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Pompous Git
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Re: Should the courts hold an entire huge company...

This case is in California USA were they do not do franchise.
These many long years ago, Jerry Pournelle of Byte fame (Chaos Manor*) had an Apple computer that generated an error message. On contacting Apple, he was told he had to go to the supplier of the computer for assistance. When he told the fruity firm's representative: "That's you", he was told he could only get support from an Apple franchisee. (The nearest was several hours drive away IIRC). Things must have changed in the intervening decades.

* Chaos Manor is in Studio City and last time I checked that's still in Los Angeles, California.

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Re: Should the courts hold an entire huge company...

Last time I checked apple does not do franchises .
Oh yes they do. In Hobart, Tasmania at least. And for many years a monopoly franchise what's more.

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Riddle me this: What's green and freezes cloudy penguins?

Pompous Git
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use all of its other features to mange [sic] Linux backups.
Why would you want something to eat your backups?

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EU dings Sony, Panasonic over rechargeable battery cartel

Pompous Git
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Re: covered lithium iron batteries used in mobile phones

Hopefuly lithium ion batteries will fair better !!!
Not fair of me perhaps, but fare better might be a better way to phrase that :-)

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Is your Windows 10, 8 PC falling off the 'net? Microsoft doesn't care

Pompous Git
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Linux

Re: A New Record!

Oh yeah. Switch to Linux.
Your advice is a tad late in coming, but have an upvote anyway ;-)

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Pompous Git
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Nearly 18 months ago...

... The Git swore he would never have anything to do with w10 again. The stove he loves almost as much as the food cooked thereon needed repair. The manufacturer (Thermo Rossi) is in Italy, the nearest repairman is 4,129.8 km away. Fortunately, The Git's friend Tony has manufactured two tiny replacement rollers for the malfunctioning oven door.

Unfortunately, payment was: "Can you fix my daughter's laptop computer?" W10 was shite when I briefly looked at it over a year ago and it's still shite. I did manage to get boot-time down from five minutes to 30 seconds. But I feel disgusted rather than elated.

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Re: Reboot pray repeat

The cost is part of a new PC or an Enterprise licence
Or in The Git's case, the cost of all his Internet bandwidth, fixed and mobile, caused by several unwanted pushed downloads from MS.

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Pompous Git
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Re: @Wade Burchette, re: Intelligence vs Wisdom.

Game shows are carefully designed to NOT show up the contestants and always include a number of simple/easy questions.
Clearly you have never watched Hard Quiz. It’s great fun to hear Gleeson say, "You were really hopeless just then, weren’t you? You should have chosen a topic you knew something about. Now get out of here!"

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Re: @Wade Burchette, re: Intelligence vs Wisdom.

trivia game show guests would be geniuses... and they definitely aren't.
Like Barry Jones? Back in the 1960s "he famously claimed that, in the future, there would be more computers than cars in Tasmania. Nationwide, people responded with laughter and ridicule. Australians thought the claim was absurd and nonsense." What an idiot!

Disclaimer: Jones taught the teacher who taught me critical thinking in 1968.

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HPE 3PAR storage SNAFU takes Australian Tax Office offline

Pompous Git
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We understand this is the first time this problem has been encountered anywhere in the world...
Nope. I never heard of an untested backup failing either? Ever...

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Nice NBN rival you built there. What a shame if someone taxed it

Pompous Git
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Re: User pays?

Or maybe you live there because you don't give a ... about "necessities" of "civilized" life.
Franklin has two gourmet restaurants, a wine and cider bar that also serves food, a gourmet fish and chippie, two pubs for them that prefers counter meals, a post office, a hairdresser, a ships chandler, a wooden boat building school, a river with lots of fish, and the bowls club has a bar as well. I couldn't wish for better company than the local denizens and I can certainly live with the nearest supermarket and the gourmet Japanese restaurant being 10 minutes drive away.

You townies sure are good for a laugh :-)

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Pompous Git
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Re: User pays?

If you live far away from infrastructure, you should have to pay for the privilege.
The Git lives 3 km from the telephone exchange and is on FW because he's remote. The Gitling lives 3 km from a different telephone exchange (in the city) and has FTTN. I get 10 Mb/s and the Gitling gets 40 Mb/s. The Git has to pay several times as much per GB as the Gitling. I'd say it's a case of rural dwellers subsidising city dwellers.

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Trump's 140 characters on F-35 wipes $2bn off Lockheed Martin

Pompous Git
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Re: The new President

should change his name to

Donald Tweeter

Might breathe a new lease of life into this.

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Pompous Git
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Re: 400 billion? Try 1.5 trillion

I could be the weapons system that bankrupts the American Empire.
You're not cheap then... Or short on ego.

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Pompous Git
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"when The Orange One made his pronouncement"

"I am not a man of etiquette, I don't know manners. I simply call a spade a fucking spade, because that's what it is." -- Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (another orange one).

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US think-tank wants IoT device design regulated, because security

Pompous Git
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Paris Hilton

Some penetration testers...

Now there's an interesting way to make a living! Penetration testing the wifies of blokes silly enough to buy those wifi-mattresses :-)

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Take that, creationists: Boffins witness birth of new species in the lab

Pompous Git
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Re: Why try to 'convince' creationists?

What about all the followers of other religions that the Christians have either killed or converted.
The problem isn't so much Christians slaughtering the followers of other religions as slaughtering the heretics within their own. Roman Catholics versus Protestants for example. Note here there are some 32,000 different sects in Christianity. Muslims mainly follow two flavours of Islam: Sunni and Shi'ite and they cheerfully slaughter each other. Then there are the peace-loving atheists like Joe Stalin who slaughtered 10 (or was it 20?) million for strictly rational and atheistic reasons. So it goes...

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Pompous Git
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Re: frog becoming a giraffe

@ Vic

Well-known as The Paradox of the Stone; smoke enough weed and you'll believe anything :-)

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Pompous Git
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Didn't geneticists also note that only a small fraction of our genetic code is actually in active use
Back in the days when The Git was in Big School studying genetics nearly 50 years ago, it was clear there were two types of DNA. Only a small fraction was used to generate RNA, the rest was labelled "junk" DNA because it appeared to have no such function. Later, it was discovered that the "junk" was far better conserved than the useful stuff, so it was renamed "silent". Unravelling what DNA and replicated genes do and don't do is a matter of ongoing research.

In the meantime, the movement of genes between unrelated organisms was discovered. It would appear that horizontal/lateral gene transfer (HGT/LGT) plays a far more important role than point mutation of genes in situ. As an example there's a cnidarian (jellyfish) with perfect lenses, but lacking the necessary retina and brain to process visual information. Dawkins' account in The Blind Watchmaker has the retina and brain come before perfect lenses, not after.

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Pompous Git
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Re: Creationists ?

If it was written in 1615, that was probably written AFTER he was forced to repent before the Pope for writing Starry Messenger ...

IOW, that was likely written under duress.

Bellarmine advised Galileo to refer to the Copernican system as a mathematical theory only in 1616. This was the year that De revolutionibus orbium coelestium was temporarily placed on the list of prohibited books pending revision to the front matter. Why would Galileo have been forced to write condemning his friends Cardinals Bellarmine and Berberini (future Pope Urban) the year before the judgement? Galileo stated that they "determine in 'hypocritical zeal' to preserve at all costs what they believe, rather than admit what is obvious to their eyes."

Galileo's Letter to Christina: Some Rhetorical Considerations

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Pompous Git
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Re: Most of the creationists I know also believe in evolution!

Anyone wanting to understand evolution should read 'Richard Dawkins - The Selfish Gene'. It sheds a very interesting light on the principle of the survival of the fittest.
Anyone who wants to understand the Received View of evolution. This is the account that Dawkins believes and he is at his best as a writer in this book. Dawkins takes too much for granted, however.

Quoting from the wiki-bloody-pedia:

Prigogine traces the dispute over determinism back to Darwin, whose attempt to explain individual variability according to evolving populations inspired Ludwig Boltzmann to explain the behavior of gases in terms of populations of particles rather than individual particles.[22] This led to the field of statistical mechanics and the realization that gases undergo irreversible processes. In deterministic physics, all processes are time-reversible, meaning that they can proceed backward as well as forward through time. As Prigogine explains, determinism is fundamentally a denial of the arrow of time. With no arrow of time, there is no longer a privileged moment known as the "present," which follows a determined "past" and precedes an undetermined "future." All of time is simply given, with the future as determined or undetermined as the past. With irreversibility, the arrow of time is reintroduced to physics. Prigogine notes numerous examples of irreversibility, including diffusion, radioactive decay, solar radiation, weather and the emergence and evolution of life. Like weather systems, organisms are unstable systems existing far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Instability resists standard deterministic explanation. Instead, due to sensitivity to initial conditions, unstable systems can only be explained statistically, that is, in terms of probability.
Prigogine's The End of Certainty: time, chaos, and the new laws of nature is a very rewarding and challenging read.

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Pompous Git
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Re: Meh...

It's this kind of lazy shifting from one thing to another that I was crtiticising in my comment, because it makes it easier for the nut-jobs to make it look like scientists are shifty and slack with standards of evidence.
There's plenty of evidence that "scientists are shifty and slack with standards of evidence"; Richard Dawkins for example. In The God Delusion ascribes atheism to both Albert Einstein and Martin Gardner, both of whom professed to believe in God, without providing a shred of evidence.

The statement of his that infuriated me the most was: "I would like people to appreciate science in the same way they appreciate the arts." IOW it's OK to look, but you're not allowed to ask pertinent questions.

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As I understand it, it isn't that you can't observe some change with very small organisms, its that you have a big problem with small populations of large organisms producing enough beneficial mutations at the rate required.
That's a minor problem compared to the one identified by the Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Susumu Ohno. In his classic book Evolution by Gene Duplication he pointed out that in order for a gene to evolve some new function, the gene would first need to be replicated lest the organism lose the gene's original function. The replicate gene can then mutate to generate the new function. But since that gene is no longer expressed, it is no longer subject to selection pressure and thus is likely to be lost. Natural Selection is an efficient mechanism for deleting "unnecessary" genes.

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Pompous Git
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Especially when it comes to events like the Cambrian period when there was an explosion of new species.
Not just species, whole phyla arose at a rate an order of magnitude greater than theory would expect. Well worth reading: Stephen Jay Gould's Wonderful Life and Simon Conway Morris's Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe. Conway Morris's work on the Burgess Shale fossils work inspired parts of Gould's masterpiece. Conway Morris is, shock! horror! a Christian. So it goes...

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Pompous Git
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Re: Another nail in the coffin?

Lamarck's Acquired Characteristics (now deprecated)
Were deprecated; now renamed "epigenetics".
In recent years, scientists have discovered that epigenetic changes–heritable changes that do not alter the sequence of DNA itself–play a major role in development, allowing genetically identical cells to develop different characteristics; epigenetic changes also play a role in cancer and other diseases.

The Australian molecular immunologist Ted Steele was dismissed from Wollongong Uni for research "supporting the theory of reverse transcription from the somatic (body) cells to the germline (reproductive) cells. This reverse transcription process enables characteristics or bodily changes acquired during a lifetime to be written back into the DNA and passed on to subsequent generations."

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Pompous Git
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Re: Creationists ?

Copernicus proved creationism was all wrong, so did Galileo
Citation please. You may not be aware that in his day Galileo was more famous for his sermons than his physics. He was pious almost to a fault.

for the holy Bible and the phenomena of nature proceed alike from the divine Word the former as the dictate of the Holy Ghost and the latter as the observant executrix of God's commands.

From Galileo's Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany, 1615.

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Pompous Git
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Re: Why try to 'convince' creationists?

When London's sooty atmosphere was at its worst they were much darker, to provide camouflage against blackened buildings.
Much like Kettlewell's famed peppered moths? Most of us probably can recall from biology class being taught how peppered moths developed a dark form in response to industrial pollution to protect themselves against predation by birds. Dark moths being harder to see against the blackened tree trunks.

Unfortunately, Kettlewell made it all up. Peppered moths are nocturnal and spend their days hidden in crevices on the underside of tree branches. The picture of the two forms, light and dark made a wonderful cover for Scientific American, but it was posed. Both forms, light and dark, existed before the industrial revolution. But it's good "story".

I believe the main predators are bats and owls.

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Pompous Git
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Re: Its not just the creationists ...intelligent design, my arse.

if genitalia had been designed with intelligence they'd surely be somewhere more convenient.
I once saw a play where Satan claimed to have invented sex. Satan said that God had intended to make everyone by hand until he came up with the idea of reproduction.

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Pompous Git
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Re: dogs cannot become cats

You might as well try to train a cat to bark
To turn a cat into a dog, soak in petrol and set fire: woof!

To turn a dog into a cat, put dog in deep freeze until well-frozen. Put dog through bandsaw: meeeow!

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Re: Its not just the creationists ...intelligent design, my arse.

I think, with Darwin and Dawkins and all the others in between, we have a good, solid road to reason as far as Evolution goes.

From Dawkins' The River Out of Eden 1995 pp 7-8

There are now perhaps thirty million branches to the river of DNA, for that is an estimate of the number of species on earth… Today’s thirty million rivers are irrevocably separate.

Emphasis mine. If species are irrevocably separate as Dawkins states, then there is no possibility of horizontal gene transfer (HGT), or hybridisation for that matter.

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Pompous Git
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Re: Another strawman argument

No doubt one of the Greek speculation enthusiasts had some concept that could be stretched to fit requirement 2 millennia ago.
Aristotle was a marine biologist, and a very good one. He gave us the term species in biology. Somewhat oddly, he saw evolution in an opposite sense to current thinking. For example, he thought that the great apes were descended from humans.

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Pompous Git
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Re: Another strawman argument

Article shows usual faulty argument that shuffling existing information is the same as generating new information.
Wish I could upvote that more!

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Pompous Git
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Several theories of evolution

1. It’s all just down to an amazing long streak of lucky events. We Know The Truth. Live with it. [neoDarwinists]

2. This is not the explanation for evolution. Evolution involves whole nucleotide sequences (horizontal gene transfer). [Panspermia advocates/Margulis et alia]

3. There is some undiscovered mechanism/mechanisms operating to skew the odds. That is, the process is not random at all. [Prigogine et alia]

4. God done it.

I can never quite decide between Prigogine or Margulis...

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Pompous Git
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"Random Mutation

Kevin Kelly, editor of Wired wrote:

…molecular biologist, Barry Hall, published results which not only confirmed Cairns’s claims but laid on the table startling additional evidence of direct mutation in nature. Hall found that his cultures of E. coli would produce needed mutations at a rate about 100 million times greater than would be statistically expected if they came by chance. Furthermore, when he dissected the genes of these mutated bacteria by sequencing them, he found mutations in no areas other than the one where there was selection pressure. This means that the successful bugs did not desperately throw off all kinds of mutations to find the one that works; they pinpointed the one alteration that fit the bill. Hall found some directed variations so complex they required the mutation of two genes simultaneously. He called that “the improbable stacked on top of the highly unlikely.” These kinds of miraculous change are not the kosher fare of serial random accumulation that natural selection is supposed to run on. They have the smell of some design.

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New genes or ancient genes?

From Trends in Genetics

The resulting data set… implies that much of the genetic complexity commonly assumed to have arisen much later in animal evolution is actually ancestral. The most surprising implication of these analyses, however, is that anthozoans have retained a substantial number of genes not previously known in the animal kingdom. Two possibilities remain to explain the presence of these genes in the anthozoan genomes:

(i) lateral gene transfer (LGT); or

(ii) conservation of ancient genes that have been lost from those animals for which complete sequences are available.

Although we cannot rule out LGT in all cases, we favor the latter explanation for most of these matches…

In many respects, the complexity of the anthozoan gene set does not differ substantially from that of vertebrates and frequently exceeds that of the model invertebrates Drosophila and Caenorhabditis… One possible interpretation of the counterintuitive genetic complexity of cnidarians could be that they are actually highly derived deuterostomes. However, this interpretation is strongly contradicted by a large body of phylogenetic data, which indicates that cnidarians are a monophyletic group basal within the Eumetazoa and forming the sister group to the Bilateria….

Four general conclusions emerge from this work. First, a link between morphological complexity and gene number is illusory. Second, the common ancestor of cnidarians and ‘higher’ animals (the Ureumetazoa) was surprisingly complex at the genetic level. Third, a small percentage of genes in the two anthozoans represents preserved ancient genes that were present in the common ancestor but have been lost in the ‘higher’ animals so far examined… Finally, gene loss has had a major role in animal evolution, and has been particularly extensive in the ecdysozoan model organisms… The remarkable genetic complexity of anthozoan cnidarians implies that most of the qualitative genetic differences between animals and other eukaryotes are ancestral…

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Pompous Git
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Lensky

Lensky did not demonstrate speciation in Escheria coli where speciation means reproductive isolation. Bacteria as Lynn Margulis noted are mighty promiscuous and will share their genes with bacteria whatever humans determine they should be named.

E. coli BTW diverged from its nearest ancestor (salmonella) 100 million years ago. How's that for gradual evolution? After 100 million years it's still E. coli :-)

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Pompous Git
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Re: Another nail in the coffin?

So no, there is no circular reasoning. Evolution is a fact and a theory. Anyone in disagreement is ignorant and/or a fool.
Fact = Something that has really occurred or is actually the case (OED)

Theory = A scheme or system of ideas or statements held as an explanation or account of a group of facts or phenomena; a hypothesis that has been confirmed or established by observation or experiment, and is propounded or accepted as accounting for the known facts (OED)

Your schema that "fact = theory" would appear to be self-referential (circular reasoning).

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Sony kills off secret backdoor in 80 internet-connected CCTV models

Pompous Git
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Re: Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

I've been avoiding Sony ever since the DRM rootkit.
I've been avoiding Sony ever since my professional monitor took 5 months to be fixed. I was yelled at on the phone for asking about progress 4 months after handing it over to the local Sony agent. Local computer dealer (Hobart) said: "You reckon that's bad. Mine took 5 months to be fixed and came back with a new fault that took another 5 months to be fixed!"

At least I got my money back on the DRM Sony music CD I purchased. The shop owner (Stefan)* said: "Since you're such a good customer, here's your money back!" and threw the banknotes in my face.

* Everyone in Hobart has a story about Stefan!

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Oz gummint's 'open government' strategy arrives at last

Pompous Git
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Now there's a turnip for the boobs!

That's an interesting choice of words for a formal government strategy, since it's plagiarised taken almost word-for-word from the Liberal Party's 2016 election platform.
Perhaps the headline should have been: Government to Implement Election Promise!!

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