* Posts by Esme

1102 posts • joined 24 Oct 2007

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British boffins make touchless computing tech on the cheap

Esme

Just ned the free-floating holographic display now..

- and I can pretend I'm on the bridge of the Rocinante! :-)

Russia fines Google $374 million for letting the truth about Ukraine be told

Esme

Re: The court also claimed some material promoted extremism and/or terrorism

And you seriously think we haven't heard about the "Russian World" concept, or abut Russian attempts to Russify the people of every country they have ever invaded?

Sure, I know that other countries have done similar things - but that doesn't make it OK for any of them to do so. Also, please note, many of us residents of the UK are properly horrified at what our ancestors did , re The British Empire. - a dark, malodourous part of our history which was shameful, and a root cause of much of the troubles around the world today.

However, just because some of my forbears did terrible things amd screwed up the world doesn't make it OK for Putin to do so now. You appear to think that anyone critical of Russia's current actions is blind to the failings of their own nations. This is not so. I'll never forgive Blair for getting the Uk involved in the Middle East due to claimed "weapons of masss destruction" that didn't actually exist. At the time I said that there was no legal basis for us to go to war, and that it was a mistake for us to get into that war (I'm highly critical of anay UK politician that thinks we should automatically back the USA. Absolutely not, IMO!, and yet Blair - who hd legal training did just that and got us involved in an unjust war the arsehole. Take each case on its own merits.). And now - here endeth my engagement with Russian trolldom in this thread.:-)

Esme

Re: Gosh, really ?

No, you halfwit, he's saying that the Ukrainian military hasn't DELIBERATEY targeted civilians. But the Russian military is deliberately targeting civilians as a matter of policy. Is that clear enough for you?!

Esme

Re: Gosh, really ?

Really? I check media from a wide range of sources (incuding RT), and bewteen them, they tend to be keen on reporting about places where tragic things are happening, such as civil wars, atrocities against civilians, etc.

Funny thing is, whilst I'd heard abut lots of other things - situation in Yemen, Rwanda, attacks on albinos in parts of Africa, Chnese Sinificationof ethnic minorites, entrenched racial discrimination in the USA, UK troops convucted for war crimes whilst on deplyment etc, etc - not once di anything crop up about Ukraine attacking anyone in eastern Ukraine - until Feb 2022, when Russian diplomats started screaming about it, and claiming "the West" had been ignoring it.

The same Russian diplomats who have been caught in numerous egregrious and contradictory lies, spouting frankly nonsensical counterfactuals. The same diplomats who complained about Ukraine supposedly not complying with an agreement when Russia had already breached the UK Charter multiple times, to whit, the invasion of soverign states.

For example - Putin claims that Ukraine is not a real country. When the USSR collapsed, the rules of the Russian Federation allowed for states within the former USSR to apply for, and be granted, independence, ie: to become sovereign states. Ukraine so applied and was recognised by the world, including Russia, as a sovereign state. Russia clearly has no qualms about breaking not only international law, in that it invades sovereign nations whenever its leaderships feels they want to, but it has no qums about breaking Russian law either.

Further example - Russia claims that it is Ukrainians killing Ukrainians, and that the Russian military is only making precision attacks against Ukrainian military targets. Well, if Ukaine was so intent on attacking its own citizens, why would it wait until Russia invades to start doing so? It could have done so any time it liked, for one thing, but for another - it is not a credible claim. As for the Russia using precision attacks - that's complete bollocks, and there are mountains of evdence to show that the Russian military is so poorly rquipped and trained that it probably counts any shell that doesnt land on Moscow as a precision attack. )oh, and let's not forget about Putin's deliberate bombing of several flats in Moscow in order to blame them on Chechen terrorists as a pretext to invade Chechnya)

Then there's the whole "de-Nazification of Ukraine" thing = this from a country whose armed forces are daily targeting and murdering and abusing foreign civilians very much as if they are using the Waffen SS as exemplars. Again, there is mountains of evidence of this, despite not merely implausible but actually impossible claims by Russian leaders and diplomats.

Do I think Ukrainian = good, Russian = bad? Not in general, no. I don't doubt that there's the odd bad'un in Ukrainejust as there is in every country. And I don't doubt that the average Russian is a decent sort that just wants to get on and have a hopefully happy ife, same as the rest of us. But the Russian regime - THAT is where the problem lies.

Decades if not centuries of corruption in the various Russian regimes have resulted in Putins Mafia-esque regime. The country which was supposed to be the worlds second superpower, and with a military capable of quickly crushing the armed forces of any non-superpower have come a cropper in Ukraine. Why? Because of officers overreporting unit strengths, funds intended for maintenance and mdernisation fo equipment mysteriously vanishing , raw conscripts that havent even had a decent amount of training being told they are going to a training exercise in Belarus but actually thrown into combat lacking warm clothing, adequate food and adequate weaponary and ammunition for the job.

Yep, the USA also seems to feel it can and should throw its weight about whenever it wishes, if the last century is anythng to go by, but (a) I cant recall it ever having systematically targeting civilians instead of military targets, (b) it doesnt threaten journalists with 15 years of imprionment if they say something that the government doesnt like. I have been and am highly critical of the USA's over-inflated view of itself; an arsenal of democracy it may be, but a shining example of democracy it is not, IMHO. But in any case, two wrongs do not make a right. And, if Russias stated claims about why it intervened in Ukraine are tru, why has it so blatantly inconsistently lied abot just about everything to do with its invasion of Ukraine since?

If Russians feel upset that people in Europe and our allies don#t believe Russian claims, tjat is the fault f the Rusian leadership. They could have brught the outrages they claimed were occurring against ethnic Russians in Donbas to teh attention of the worlds press, and requested tat the UN and international humanitarian agencies look into the matter and do something about it. They did not. Instead, Putin took it upon himself to order the Russian military to invade Ukraine and then started telling the rest of the world stories about why he felt they had to do so. To date, I have seen no evidence that his claims are true. Like his boyfriend Trumps claims abut a "stolen election", Putin told lies to try to get what he wanted, and is telling lies to try to cover up why he wasn't successful. He should've stuck to a criminal career, because he's utterly crap at leading a nation or directing a war. And the Russian people deserve far, far, better from its leadership than Putin and his crnies are capable of delivering.

Get over it: Microsoft is a Linux and open source company these days

Esme

Have Microsoft changed? No!

I'm a user. If I go to buy a computer, i want to install whetever damned operating system I want on it - and I do NOT expect to be charged for the cost of having an OS I neither need nor like pre-installed on the thing!

Get back to me when MS has told retailers to stop adding the MS Windows tax to the computers they sell. As well as anything tat makes it awkward/difficult/impossible to install your OS of choice on PCs.

I'll also never forgive MS for (IMNSHO) holding back and crippling the development of personal computing for so long.

Misguided call for a 7-Zip boycott brings attention to FOSS archiving tools

Esme

Re: I like 7Zip.

Yup. And Whilst I wouldn't like to bet against Putin having delusions of modern Tsardom, AFAIK there's a significant amount of oil and gas was spotted a few years ago in Donbas, in the sea of Azov, and around Crimea. <sarcasm> I'm sure Putin was desperate to liberate the opressed hydrocarbons from their opressors, so that's all right, then, eh? </sarcasm>

To add my two penn'orth to the argument going on in this comments section; I grew up during the Cold War, and nuclear warning sirens being tested now and then was a part of my childhood. Whilst I didn't undertand what was going on to the extent that I do today, I didn't hate the Russians - I hated the Russian leadership and was highly skeptical about the American leadership, both for essentially making so many millions or billions live in fear for so long.

Putin is emhatically NOT a master of propaganda. He and his propagandists are making stupid errors that no one good at propaganda would make. But because he is a dictator, he does have full control over Russia's media, so the only news most Russians encounter is what Putin wants them to hear, and like it or not, that's going to at least temporarily convince some who are subjected to it on a daily basis that there must be at least a core of truth to it.

However - the Russian regimes self-contradictory lies are catching up with the. More and more Russians are spotting the contradictions and questioning the official line as to what is happening. More and more are becoming aware that Russian asualties have been heavy, that loved ones aren't going to be coming home, and that raw conscripts were pushed into combat inadequately equipped and supplied as cannon fodder. Unsurprisingly, more and more are getting angry that young Russian lives are getting carelessly thrown away in this manner. In short, word is spreading in Russia that Putin's version of events is far from truthful, to the extent that anger is starting to overcome fear.

As for whomever claimed that Russia will eventually overrun Ukraine; I have reason to doubt that you understand the situation there or military matters in general very well.

In brief, if the Russian armed forces were what most people (myself included!) thought they were and were supposed to be ie a well equipped, well-trained and well-lead modern army then I'm pretty sure that Ukraine would have fallen completely under Russian control inside a week or two. But there is just so much evidence of the complete and utter incompetence of the current Russian military at all levels, and of corruption misappropriating funds that were supposed to maintain and update equipment mysteriously finding its way into individuals bank accounts, that no, there is no way Russia could win this war even if it could afford it for much longer, which I rather doubt.

Ask yourself - why did the Russians employ Wagner Group? What competent modern superpower would NEED to? And please don't trot out the "The Russians haven't put their best into the front line yet" because they did, right at the start - and they were heavily defeated by the Ukrainians to the point of being no longer capable of combat operations, so they were pulled out of the fighting. Sure the Russians do hve a Professional core amidst the sea of conscripts, as well as those who can operate artillery and rocket systems, but it's armed and competent boots on the ground in the frontline that take and hold territory - and that's something in very short supply in Russia, currently.

The thing about those with a thuggish criminal mentality is that they think that ll it takes to get their way is to send some heavily armed lads around to put the frightners on the intended victims (or kill them). Which , to my surprise, appears to be what has happened to the Russian military. Instead of being a professional modern fighting force, it has devolved into a criminal gang commanding a core of professional troops amidst a sea of corrupt thugs commanding barely trained conscripts. It's not an army - it's a Mafia gang writ large.

Whatever hit the Moon in March, it left this weird double crater

Esme

Re: Bouncy space junk?

sorry, no. That sort of thig could only happen in the kind of low-velocity impact we#re familar with in everyday life, but the imct velocity involved would have turned any single object into a combination of hot metal mist and small chunks of debris on initial impact. It will definitely have been two massy objects t have formed two craters.

Google engineer suspended for violating confidentiality policies over 'sentient' AI

Esme

Re: Emergence

Well, aye, but us humans are composed of particles of matter, each of which, individually, isn't even alive. And yet, organised in that nebulous subset of all possible ways to organise them that we recognise as "human", with the trillions of interconnections between our neurons (biological electro-chemical devices), somehow, somewhere along the evolutionary path from unicellular life to us (and quite a few other creatures too) sentience emerged. And last I heard, we have no idea of how, or even of what exactly sentience is.

So, whilst I'm not convinced that the subject of the article is actually sentient, I don't buy arguments that it could not be sentient "because it's just bunch of hardware and algorithms", either. IMO, so are we, it's just that we run on biological hardware rather than non-biological hardware. I'd feel happier about the subject of AI and our efforts to create it, if we better understood how our sentience and sapience worked.

Small nuclear reactors produce '35x more waste' than big plants

Esme

Re: I'll take the bait

What about all the slagheaps from underground coal mining? Or the damage caused to the ecology by open-cast mining of coal? Why arent there huge outcries from the public about that/

What about the ecological effects of manufacturing, transporting, maintaining and decommissioning all of those wind turbines, solar cells and come to think of it, solar furnaces?

I've had a long term interest in methods of power production (and by long term I mean over 4 decades), and when you look into them properly not one of them causes zero problems whatsoever. In general, it's notionally a case of considering the pros and cons of each method of energy generation right from manufacturing the components needed through to recycling decommissioned kit, or dealing with the waste generated if it cant be decommissioned. And those in favour of more widespread use of "greener" energy (like me) can be just as prone as those in favour of nuclear power (also me) to ignore, or not know about the cons of non-nuclear energy production.

The thing that opened my eyes to this was when I finally got around to looking into hydroelectric power, which is bad in multiple ways! First there's destruction of habitat to create a lake where none existed before. Secondly, there's all that concrete used to build the dams. Thirdly, the earthquakes caused by some of the larger dams are of some concern. Fourthly the amount of methane created by anaerobic decomposition of organic material drowned by the dam of . Fifthly, the ecological disturbance caused to rivierine creatures by building a ruddy great dam they can't get past. Fifthly, the effect on silt deposition at the rivers mouth, and the impact on nutrients entering the sea. Sixthly - if the water trapped by the dam isn't managed carefully, water supply to places downstream can be badly affected. And finally - water-table levels can be changed due to the effects of dams. If you happen to rely on wells to provide your water needs, this could be quite the problem if the water table drops significantly.

I was once in the Green Party for a few years bt left mostly due to becoming fed up with the dogmatic anti-nuclear fanaticism I encountered from some. Technologies generally improve over time, and the nuclear power industry is no different from any other in that respect. The failings of some of the first generation nuclear powerplants should indeed be taken extremely seriously; but that does not ea that all future nuclear powerplants will have exactly the same failings - indeed, there are designs of nuclear power generation in which it is physically impossible to have the kind of runaway event that happened at Chernobyl, not because of clever and intricate warning and shutoff mechanisms but because of clever and simpler design of how the things actually work making it such that there actually is no way that an explosive situation could happen short of strapping some actual explosives to the thing! (which I don't recommend, it'd void the warranty).

So far as I can see, it's likely to be difficult to provide enough power through to the end of this century without at least some nuclear power in the mix to supply a reliable base load. Unless, of course, humanity decides to drastically cut its use of energy. Call me a cynic, but even though I think that could be done, I'm betting it won't be, because history.

So yes, wind farms, solar farms solar furnaces, solar furnaces, solar thermal, wave power generation, tidal flow power generation, geothermal geenration, rethinking of homes to include better use of heat pumps for both cooling and heating of homes (plus, possibly, refrigeration and cooking purposes). We do not have the time to f**k abut trying one, seeing how well it does, then trying another, then another, etc and then finally pick one or two for the long term. The best option is to hedge ur bets and have a sensible mix of everything we can think of - AND do our best tocut down on our power usage.

Happily, the energy storage scene has seen several major breakthroughs in recent years, so the erratic nature of the supply of power from wind and solar may be less of an issue within a couple of decades - but it's unlikely to completely disappear for quite a while after that, barring the unforseen.

Starlink's success in Ukraine amplifies interest in anti-satellite weapons

Esme

Re: Would ground/plane based laser be effective ?

No.

If we assume that the modus operandi of such a laser is to try to use light pressure to slow the satelite without causing any physical damag, so that it de-orbits sooner than it otherwise would, the problem with that (from the laser owner's point of view) is that it's slow.

On te other hand, if the idea is to physically harm the target sufficiently that the target becomes inoperable, then debris is still going to be caused (yes, tiny droplets of vapourized metal and whatnot do count as space debris, as even though their individual kinetic energy might seem low, there will be a LOT of them. Essentially, you'd create a situation where everything in low earth orbit is being continuously sandblasted)

And building lasers sufficiently powerful to do either, and working out how to get the beam through Earths atmosphere with sufficient power to get the job done is a very hard problem. Moving the anti-satelite gear into orbit doesn't work because even though atmospheric power losses aren't an issue, you still need a lot of energy to power the thing. Good luck with creating a power plant for the sattelite thats both powerfu eonough to get the job done, and dmall/light enough to be practical to launch.

And, of course, if your anti-sattelite weapon is itself a sattelite, then it can potentially be targeted by unfriendly anti-sattelite kit. So you'll be needing many of them (quite aside from needing several simply to be able to attack sattelites at every potential altitude/inclination that you may want to attack), so those power plants, and the weapon itself had better be cheap. Solar power as an energy supply for this - you're just making your weapon a bigger and easier target, both for unfriendly actors and random space junk.

hitting sattelites with large EMP blasts to disabe their electronic without causing physical damage might work, so you'd need something like a high-powered narrow beam radar/microwave projector, but (a) you wouldn't want to heat the target up too much, because that could cause debris, (b) I'm not sure on this, but I suspect that if it isn't already possible, someone would soon come up with a way to harden their sattelites against EMP's, and (c) - still sizable power reuirements, and the pros and cons of having your anti-satellite system on Earth or in orbit..

Reg hack attends holographic WebEx meeting, blows away Zoom fatigue

Esme

Holography?!

Maybe I'm being pedantic, but to me that's not holography, it's 3D telepresence with some virtual reality thrown in that mimics the experience of looking at a holographic image or iage stream (exceeds it in fact, due to the VR part).

Sounds like fun to me, although it'd have to be very cheap for me to use it. Meanwhile, where's my proper holographic TV I was promised as a kid? Same warehouse as my personal spaceship?!

Sick of Windows but can't afford a Mac? Consult our cynic's guide to desktop Linux

Esme

Re: Control Your Own Upgrades

"This. Specifically the third requirement, despite the fact that Windows increasingly doesn't actually deliver on that front. No-one is going to make the jump unless they have a promise from an experienced friend that they will hand-hold and fix problems. With a decent distro, that support will not be a burden long-term, but I find it hard to believe that anyone can learn Linux from the interwebs painlessly."

- that's pretty much what some friends of mine did, and they're even more geriatric than me!

Esme

Re: Not be happy ... to reinstall my OS from scratch every year or two

Good heavens! Why on Earth do you reinstall Linux every month?! Unless you've some particularly niche reason, that's a horrendous waste of time IMHO!

With my Linux installs,, individual software updates get installed at some point after the system gently reminds me that something is updateable, and if I go to check on the updates it tells me what sort of update it is (security fix, bugfix, feature additions...). But actual complete reinstalls? I think the shortest time between complete reinstalls for me has been about 2 years,! In general, I only reinstall the OS if ether something or other has clearly gone astray (something's eating large swathe of diskspace, or has slowed the PC down to an intolerable extent, for instance) or if the distros tells me that for technical reasons it's going to be the most trouble-free way to update from one version of the distro I use, due to arcane reasons that maybe I could read up on if I could be bothered, but hey, I just want to use my PC, not understand every inner workings thereof (has happened a couple of times)!

Evn the coule f years I was using Windows before heading off for Penguin Territory, I didn't reinstall WIndows more than once or twice a year because I didn't need to - and that was back when Win98 ruled the roost!

We can bend the laws of physics for your super-yacht, but we can't break them

Esme

Re: ""Don't you know who I am?"

I got asked that a couple of times, both t the same job, but different people. One occasion was when we'd recently hd a new security system fitted on the door, as a few weeks earlier, someone had apparently managed to walk in, disconnect a PC then walk out again, completely unchallenged. So all staff were told that if you see somene that you don't know in the building to chllenge them, and if someone you don't know is trying to access the buiding, don't let them in unless you know who they are.

Can't recall the first instance very well, but the second one was a company director who was usualy at the London office. So I'd never seen them before, ever had occasion to know who they were, and, funily enough, as my days were rather busy doing my job, no I hadn't looked at and committed to memory the corporate website and memorised the faces of the twonks nominally runing the show.

So when I turned up to work one morning to find a besuited bloke I'd never seen before unable to get into the building, I was rather taken aback when he asked me by name to let him in. I just told him, "Sorry, no can do, company security policy, as I don't recognise you". To his credit (and believe me the directors of that particular company rarely deserved any credit) rather than get cross about it, he just seemed bemused that I had no idea who he was, and waited until the receptionist arrived and let him in If he'd been hostile about it, I'd have told him that I was simply following company policy, and if he didnt like it he could take it up with whomever set the company policy. Woudn't have been the first time I've told a director "no!"

Legacy IT to blame for UK's inflexible benefits system

Esme

The fundamental problem here..

.. is people who seem to believe that other people exist for the benefit of companies, rather than the other way around.

Everything humans have ever created exists, at some level, for the benefit of one or more humans. Unfortunately, some of those things exist to benefit some humans at the expense of other humans - and the economic system is probably the prime culprit, as it positively encourages greed and other sociopathic behaviours. As a system it causes many to live in fear for their future ability to be able to keep a roof over their head, clothes on their body and food in their bellies - because it allows some people to not have those things for extended periods of time, no matter the detriment to their physical or mental health, whilstt allowing a few to amass mind-boggling amounts of personal wealth.

Whilst the design and implementation of an economic system that discourages sociopathic behaviour is a pair of decidedly non-trivial problems, it's the inerent values of the current economic system that is largely to blame for the apalling state of te benefits system in the UK, which is decidedly punitive.Notionally, if for some reason you are unable to work, whether temporarily or permanently, there are agencies and benefits that can help, all you have to do is to apply for them. In practice, you have to somehow know that they exist, and do whatever the system says that you have to in order to apply for and obtain those benefits, irrespective of your current ability to do what the system requires. And you are expected to magically get by for the months or even years it can take to obtain the benefits you have applied for, no matter that that delay may cause you ill health, homelessness, or even death.

It is an inhumane system that is not fit for purpose. It presumes, by default, that the applicant is claiming for something that they do not deserve, and for help that they do not need. Apologists for the system say things like "Well, we want to ensure that benefits go only to the deserving , rather than fraudsters". However laundable that aim may be, a system that presumes grift and refuses to give help to those in need in a timely manner because a tiny monority abuse the system is a system that punishes those that are in need of help for being in need of help. My experience of applying for PIP is that the only people who get it on their first attempt are either extraordinarily lucky to have had their need accepted at the first attempt - or they are very determined grifters.

The benefits system as it currently exists causes hardship and ill health before it ever provides help for hardship and ill health, most notoriously, it greatly exacerbates or even causes mental health problems. My health, whilst poor when I first applied for benefit three years or so ago, dropped off a cliff due to the strain imposed on me by a system that assumes by default that I must be lying about my need for help. It is only n the last few months that I have received all that I am entitled to, and that only due to the hard work of a good friend who helped with the paperwork and bureaucracy after my first claim was refused for no discernible reason, because I simply could not face trying to go through that process, and its appeal system, myself, unaided. In the intervening time, I have become unable to look after my flat properly and barely able to keep myself going - I am in a far worse state than whe I first applied for benefits, and so will now need more help than I would have had "the system" worked promptly. And I gather from workers at a charitable organisation that is doing its best to help me, that this is a common, not a rare, experience amongst those who come to be in need of help.

Something along the lines of a Universal Basic Income would help enormously to reduce the suffering caused by the current beefits system - at least you wouldnt have to worry about being able to keep a roof over your head and whether or not you're going to be able to afford to eat this week. But such a system isn't liked by a governemnt who sees "the economy" as fundamental to everything, who thinks that we must all serve the needs of the economy. Whihj makes their decision when, due to corporate greed , the entire banking system damned near fell apart, the government decided to give billions of pounds of taxpayers money to the very corporations that caused the problem, claiming that it ws needful to do so "to get the economy back on track" or some such.

There was another possibility - distribute those billions to the population in general - that would have had far better effects overall. Those in poverty and debt would have been able to decrease or possibly even rid themselves of their debt burden. People who didnt have debt would mostly have sent the windfall on holidays or goods, benefiting the consumers, the companies they buy from, the logistics chain, and the banks behind all that. But the government decided to go for the worst option, that of rewarding the miscreants who caused the problem at the expense of the rest of us.

I'm far from being the only one who sees the clear ethical failure of both the economic system as a whole and the UK benefits system in particular; and the government that is responsible for overseeing both. Ad why do we have government? For the benefit of the populace f the country, fundamentaly, and yet most politicians seem to think that its the benefit of corporations or the extremely wealthy few that matters most, and that the rest of us exist only to further the aims of the corporations and the wealthy few. And then they have the gall to express surprise and regret every time some sociopathic individuals cause yet more financial grief to others by abusing stock markets, employment practices, etc.

I don't have a magic fix fr it all, but it'd certainly help to start reducing the damage caused by current systems if it were drilled into everyone - enshrined in law, if posible - that businesses exist to benefit people, people do not exist to benefit cusinesses; and that the aim of a benefit system is to provide rapid and effective help to those in need. There will always be grifters, no matter the system, but that is no excuse for making the lives of those who are not dishonest a living hell due to the existence of a minority of bad actors. Amongst those bad actors are the very politicians who view the governments job as being to serve the whims of businesses., rather than the needs of the populace in general.

At this point some may be thinking that I am advocating communisim, but I really am not. That utter disaster of a failed political experiment only ever suggested tinkering with the current economic system, rather than replacing it wholesale with something better. We desperately need a better system than the sociopathic unjust one that has wrecked so many lives and brought the world to the brink - and possibly over the edge - of disaster, all in the ignoble pursuit of financial profit irrespective of everything else. It's time that collectively, we had a society and systems that have the well-being of the populace as its primary objective, rather than the well being of a construct that treats humans as disposable interchangeable parts that cost too much.

Fancy a remix? Ubuntu Unity and Ubuntu Cinnamon have also hit 22.04

Esme

Re: Just what the world needed - two more Linux distros

I use Mint for everything.

I am not an IT boffin like many (most?) of the folk here. Granted, I have programmed in early forms of BASIC, and learnt a it of machine code (which I now cannot recall) back when the 6502 was the greatest thing since the invention of the transistor, but I was a dabbler who rapidly got out of dabbling with sftware as things stared getting waaaay more complicated than I could cope with. SInce then, I've been a mere user.

So, since before the A500 Amiga was around, I have been just a user. I want stuff to just work, damnit! I was prepared to put up with a bit of a learning curve getting started with Linux, because Windows was so awful compared to using Workbench on the Amiga. And I ganed the impression that Linux might be more Amiga-like.

Whilst I did have some difficulties early on, they weren't as bad as the ones I'd been having with Windows, so I persisted. At some point (around the initial release of Ubuntu? No sure) I found that Liunx Just Worked (TM) aside from the sound occasionaly failing for reasons I didnt understand or care about, and a quick reboot solved the probem (for me) anyway.

These days, Linux works with no issues whatsoever, so far as I'm concrned, and has done for a umber of years. In that tie, I've helped quite a few folk fed up with Windows swap over to Linus, and they also have had an unproblematic experience. About all I had to do i most cases was be present as they did the Linux installation, to ease their anxiety about something computery that was new to them!

So sweeping statements like "so far away from a system that anyone could use" doesn't fly with me. If you're an average user, Mint or Ubuntu work fine. If you're very IT savvy like most of the fol here and you're having problems with it, then you're likely doing something with it that most folk wouldn't., or on bleeding edge hardware that most folk do not have.Or you could be phenomenally unlucky in some way, of course, in which case, comisserations. Even gaming on Linx is retty pain-free these days, using Steam - sure not all games designed for Windows will run on it, but then again, I don't recall people complaining that one console can' run software written for a different console either. And that is what a computer is to most folk - a magic box that runs the stuff it runs, just as with consoles. If they want/need to run Windows stuff, they're likely to just stick with Windows. Or have two PC's one with Linux one with Windows. No dual-boots or VM's for them!

As for the "why have more than one package manager?" question that someone raised earlier in this thread, my reply is why not? If you're less IT literate than I am, you'll likely go with the system default. But if for some reasn you don't like that, there are other options available. Personally, I tend to use Synaptic, but occasionally use the default software manager. ANd I always install Xfce because it's a nice simple ligtweight desktop (although I could happily throttle the nit that thought that enforcing extremely thin scrolbars was a good idea. Some of us have failing eyesight and our fine motor control isnt so good these days as well!)!)

Beyond the initial "which Linux is best for a noob like me?" question, I've not once heard a newbie complain about the lack of options Linux gives them - if anything, it's a welcome revelation to them!

So find it very peculiar indeed that people working in IT for their jobs seem to have more problems with Linux than yer average user does!

Heresy: Hare programming language an alternative to C

Esme

Re: It won't have Bugs

Nah, that's just FUDd

Android's Messages, Dialer apps quietly sent text, call info to Google

Esme

Re: Google is in bed with the NSA

In theory yes - but given that governments get to decide whether or not their secret squirrels collection of every bit of data they can get their paws on, by far means or foul - well, I wouldn't expect too much trying to prosecute, never mnd the time, monetary and legal difficulties of trying to get a prosecution

=

UK govt signs IT contracts 'without understanding' the needs

Esme

No shit, Sherlock?!

This has been evident for many years, at all levels of government - I witnessed one particularly egregrious f***-up in local government about 30 years ago. Wont listen or take advice from underlings that know what theyre about, try to insist that shit is pure gold, and then waltz off with a huge pay-off to mess up some other organisation.

Massive cyberattack takes Ukraine military, big bank websites offline

Esme

Re: Stop the provocations

Pretty Boy Putin (he of the homoerotic pictures) is known to have been shocked and upset when the USSR collapsed. And whilst he may not be unintelligent, he certainly is capable of stupid mistakes, as are we all.

I've no idea and no intention of trying to guess what PBP's aims are, but his actions against Ukraine have been and are a huge, and stupid, mistake. What would you expect to happen when about 2/3 of Russias military masses on the borders of a country Russia recently partially invaded? NATO ground forces in Europe are not a credible threat to Russia. The biggest threat to Russia is PBP and his posturing.

Privacy and computer security are too important to be left to political meddling

Esme

Thought police? No thank you!

If we could trust our governemnt to be and always remain "good" and its various security service to never overreach their powers,.. - but that is a fantasy world that does not exist. In the real world, governments can and do crack down on political rivals by abusing survellance powers. Members of police and security forces do abuse their ppowers for personal reasons.

Also, strong encryption is vital for doing any kind of transaction over t'interwebs. . Insisting on any kind of backdoor could well kill online business fasterthan just about anything else, once peoplegenerally become aware of its ramifications.

The there's the matter of just what have security services done with the internet surveillance that they have already? I amnot suggesting that it has ot helped them catch at least some criminals, but I seem to recall a number of terrorist attacks where it was stated afterwards that the perpetrators were "known to the security forces", which rather begs the question of why didn't they dosomething about them before they attacked innocents?

Most likely, I think, because due process of law is such that they didnt yet have the evidence needed to arrest the terrorists. So, either (a) if they cant do anything until the attack happens, what was the point of the internet surveillance, or (b) perhaps the laws need tweaking a little to allow reasonable intervention in such cases earlier? In neither case is backdoored encryption the answer.

Also, unfortunately, not all criminals are idiots. There are many ways that they could communicate nefarious intentions to each other without using any encryption (in the computery sense) at all. True, the methods I can think of involve two or more crimnals agreeing upon a sutable system then learnng it sufficietly well that they can exchange messages rapidly, but if they are sufficiently determned, that wouldnt likely put them off.

In any case, just on principle, individual privacy should be a right.. If Boris or anyone else thnks therwise, I suggest they fit themselves with a 24/7/365 webcam livestream to prove it.

UK pins hopes on 'latest technology' to whittle down massive National Health Service waiting lists

Esme

Just a thought...

Howsabout rejigging the NHS so that it is run exactly the way it was when i were a lass? Back then, you could walk into most GP surgeries without an appointment, and generally be seen within an hour. marvellous! And not a computer in sight. And no outside contractors doing cleaning - the cleaners were all NHS staff.

Now, I'm not suggesting that computers don't have their uses - nowadays we've sophisticated pieces of medical kit that rely on computing power in order to work. And I'm not suggesting that practices that are actually better now than they used to be back then be ditched, either. But I do think that taking a serious look at how the NHS used to work so well decades ago, comparing it to how its working now, and then trying to implement the best of both eras might help rather than just slinging money at IT and managers all the perishing time!

Esme

Re: AI says no

£350 could certainly feed me or quite a while - my food budget is £20-25 per week, so that's 14 weeks fod supply...

12-year-old revives Unity desktop, develops software repo client, builds gaming environment for Ubuntu...

Esme

Re: burn out

Good heavens, Bob, I'm autistic, with somewhat clunky social skills/understanding of social skills, , but I can only feel sorry for you if you dislike kids being taught consideration for others that much!

The USA clearly has a problem with extremism, primarily on the right wing at the moment, but I am aware that there are some pretty out-of-touch-with-the-real-world lefties over there too. I don't like lefty extremists myself, and most folk reckon I am a lefty myself (but only because I more or less am! :-} ).

Whilst I too think that the schol system (at least here in the UK as I experienced it umpty years ago) can indeed hold bright children back needlessly, the answer is not fr bright kids to ditch school, but to be allowed more choice over what level they are taught at, with no pride or shame attached to being taught at a higher or lower level than average for your age.

I was effectively self taught until I was finally able to start a degree course in my 30's - school short of college was way behind where I was from my own reading. Ill health at the wrong time prevented me from going to college, hence only trying for a degree the first time in my 30's. My second degree attempt, on a different subject, came in my 50's following redundancy. Both times I found it incredibly hard, not because I didn't have the intellect, but because I didn't have some of the study skills that education develops that allow one to thoroughly master a subject..

As for business - sheesh - one f my gripes about the second degree course that I took was that there was a compulsory business studies module whch I hadn't spotted when looking at the course prior to signing up for it. I HATE business. And as for such a module supposedly preparing me to be able to manage other people, well, as I said at the time, anybody putting me in a management role deserves the disaster that will follow. I'm not a business person, nor a management person - I'm a science (and history) geek. Why should I have to learn business crap when accountants and managers arent required to learn physics or biochemistry?

Not to mention that it's business-minded people, not scientists, who've got the world into the mess it's currently in.. Until such folk get it into their heads that business exists to benefit people, not the other way around, I suspect the moronic pursuit of money no matter the colateral damage/costs will continue to drag us all down.

But anyway - continual shouting is neither polite nor necessary, Bob, please turn it down a notch.. The rest of us here are neither deaf nor daft! Thank you. :-}

I own that $4.5bn of digi-dosh so rewrite your blockchain and give it to me, Craig Wright tells Bitcoin SV devs

Esme
FAIL

£81?

Correction: 1 Bitcoin is worth 8100 cow-burps. (it has negative value to the world as a whole)

Austrian watchdog rules German company's use of Google Analytics breached GDPR by sending data to US

Esme

Re: Max's wishful thinking

Such sad, how shame! 8-}

Boffins' first take on asteroid dust from Japanese probe: Carbon rich, less lumpy than expected

Esme

My word..

There's a lot of comments here from people with misperceptions about relevant bits of science.

First off, panspermia is a hypothesis, not a theory, - and it will remain so until such time as some kind of evidence supporting it comes along (if such ever does0

Secondly, panspermia is primarily about the notion that life might possibly get transported between stars via things like chunks of rock blown off the surface of some body that contained life. True, some seem to believe that panspermia accounts for how life got started on earth, despite the lack of evidence for that belief, but that's them. The interesting question is "is there a mechanism that could feasibly transport life from one body to another given sufficient time in which to operate?" and that question is a perfectly good one.

Thirdly, not only is space huge (D Adams, HHGTTG) and contains vast amounts of stuff (I know all the technical terms, me! 8-} ) amidst all the emptiness, but when bits of stuff get together at anything like what we think of as a reasonable temperature, it reacts with other bits of stuff really, REALLY fast. From our perspective, Deep Time s pretty big, but from a molecule's point of view, in terms of things that can happen to substantially change it, Deep Time is vastly bigger squared.

I think it's very likely that life on Earth evolved right here, with or without the help of organic molecules from space. But we've had a few major asteroid impacts on Earth since complex life evolved, there's nothing improbable about the possibility that some chunks of material thrown into space by the dino-killer asteroid may have still contained life forms of some descriiption, and given the astonishing durability of tardigrades, I wouldnt like to bet against such life being at no more than bacterial level. Could such life remain viable over the aeons it takes such a rock to collide with another body that could potentially either host it, or make use of the head start the organisms carcass provides? Very unlikely it may be, but we don't have actual evidence one way or the other yet.

But if life from Earth does in fact make it to a distant planet where it thrive and evolves further, then all I can say is that I hope our far distant descendants welcome their Tardigradoid Overlords! 8-}

NixOS and the changing face of Linux operating systems

Esme

A more easily understandabe file tree? Yes, please!

Much as I love Linux for a great many reasons, the one thing that has long been an annoyance to me, as a user, is its shambolic file directory tree.

Before of you very techhy old-timers blow a gasket at that - yes, history, things just grew, different people made different decisions about where stuff should live and it all somehow ended up with what we have today. I understand this (at least in general) and that hindsight is a wonderful thing. As is having a free operating system which I'm not even remotely capable of contributing code to.

However - I have, on occasion, had the experience of installing a piece of software called, say,"Fred" onlyto find that Fred doesnt subsequently appear in the menu system. OK, so I try typing fred into the command line. No joy. So I try Fred - still no joy. So I try searching for files with filenames including the string "fred" - and if I don't succeed then, I simply give up and ask the package manager to uninstall Fred.

I don't much mind if the core of the OS is in its own directory or even one or more hidden directories, but stuff that I can install via the package manager - it would be sooo nice to just be able to look in the Programs folder, find the relevant folder for whichever program is giving bother, and KNOWINg that whatever is amiss it's in THERE, not in some unknowable place due to the arcane whims of a software dev who may or may not have used whatever are considered best practices for where to put stuff.

That aspect of Gobo linux looks great to me. Not keen on the compile it yerself aspect though. But I hope their idea re the filesystem prompts other distros to also do something to make the directory system easier for mere mortals to comprehend!

Nextcloud boss: You gotta fight … for your right … to 'plug into Windows and offer the exact same service'

Esme

Re: Er what?

- or as close as rather lax governments laws will allow. I'm still astonished that the EU allowed the practice of customers being forced to buy PCs with Windows pre-installed - the "Microsoft tax" - rather than PC vendors being required to offer customers a choice of operating systems, or none. Sure, the majroity of customers may well have gone with Windows anyway, but at least they would have known that there are alternatives.

Esme

Re: Welcome to being owned

Hmm I don't think there HAS to be a default option; there SHOULD be a "here's a range of possibles , which would you like to use?" widget with a button for "Please pick one at random". - and if any costs are involved in using it, those need to be obvious prior to installation, current, and the user should be allowed to back out of teh installation, too.

As System76 starts work on its own Linux desktop world, GNOME guy opens blog, engages flame mode

Esme

Meh.

I used to use Gnome, way back. Then Gnome 3 happened, so i tried KDE. Bit fo a resource hog, but it seemed to work well. Then the KDE team decided that the backend had become a bit of a mess apaprently, an they decided to do a release of KDE that was broken.

Oookay. I've used Xfce before, I'll switch to Xfce. Many happy years later...

Wah, some bugger's tweaked the scroll bars to be insanely thin with no way to make them wider (I'm old, sight isnt so good these days, and neither is the steadiness of my hands). OK, so iI ecide to make a post on the Min forums, try to register so I can do that and... nada. SIgh. Iwishdistro creators would include a tool suc that one can send a comment to the devs re usability features without having to sign up to forums.

Never mind, i can always try one of the other lightweight desktops when I'm gaming, or Cinnamon or KDE other times. I wonder if KDE nowadays is as nice as it used to be beffore my bad experience with that one release? Hmm - might take a look-see tomorrow..

Waterfox: A Firefox fork that could teach Mozilla a lesson

Esme

Re: I'd love to try Waterfox, but there's a problem...

I have never built anything from source, and have no interest in doing so because I dont have the knowledge to understand the pros and cons of doing so. And I'm a science and history geek, rather than an IT geek, I'm really not interested in compiling stuff from source. I prefer to spend my time reading up on latest discoveries, and honing my own hypotheses , rather than learning a task that, in the fullness of time will become unecessary, one way or anther. :-}

Esme

Re: I'd love to try Waterfox, but there's a problem...

Ahem. Try reading what I wrote again, Liam. I am VERY well aware of the differences between the way Linux does things and the way that Windows has! It's one of the many reasons I switched to Linux many years ago!

I was trying the rung s of the trust ladder. Top rung - is it in the reo? No.

Next rung down: OK, I trust the technical knowledge of my fellow commentards that it's worth trying, so I'll try the official website. Idownload teh offical tar file and hit the WTF. It's possible that the missing information is somewhere inside one of the files, but no, I am NOT going to look through them all. I appreciate that developers may not have as much time as theyd like to put thingsin .deb packages or to create install instructions, but that being the case, given my level of knowledge, I am content to miss out on the joys of thatp iece of software until it DOES have such things.

Rather ironically, the other browser that got a fair amount of mention, Palemoon, also doesnt have a .deb package in the Mint repo, and does, apparently, expect folk to just run an executable, no installation required. And that's too fard own the trust ladder for my liking, ta very. The distro package system is one of the thing s that really sold me on Linux. It is SO much better than trwlingthe web for software that does x and havig to trust to luck and malware checkers that it isn't a carrier for some kind of nasty.

So - thanks, but at this time, I'll stick with Vivaldi (which I am enjoying using immensely compared to the every-increasing annyances of using Firefox.).

Esme

I'd love to try Waterfox, but there's a problem...

I'm a long-time Linux user, and in terms of technical knolwedge I'm somwhere between yer average User and most of the El Reg commentards. And I'm getting old, and worn out, and really don't want to fiddle around with things too much.

My preference is for using software from Mint's repository. I'm good with installing a .deb file downloaded from elsewhere. I've had plenty of experience (admittedly, mostly in the deep past, now!) of unpacking tar or zip files , identifying the executable and giving it the permissions needed so that it can do its thing.

Last week, after two days of getting used to Vivaldi and comparing it with Firefox, I ditched Firefox and am now a happy user of Vivaldi. Yes, Chromium etc, but I'm old, worn out, and (remaining) life is short. It works. I can set it up howI like. The experience thus far has been excellent.

I downloaded Waterfox. I unpacked it, and... WTF?! it isn't obvious which is the executable, looking at filenames. OK, so lets go RTFM - I check the website. No installation notes. Which is the point at which I give up.

I've tried and used a great many browsers over the years, from full-fat to len ones like Lynx et all. I'm mystified as to encountering such a situation! On the plus, out of curiosity I checked to see what browsers the Mint repository knows about and spotted Elinks, which I'm also trying now :--)

If any of you clever bods can either explain to me how Waterfox can be made to run or where the missing documentation on such is, I'd still like to give it a go. Until then - ithe donload forit is just wasting sace on my hard drive!

New World: Grindy? Check. Repetitive? Check. Fun? We hate to say it... but check

Esme

I just checked on Steam - no mention of availability for anything other than Windows. Hope that helps!

A Windows 11 tsunami? No, more of a ripple as Microsoft's latest OS hits 5% PC market

Esme

Re: but those are hard-core factual numbers.

Exactly - it's a reasonable guess that every single pre-built PCI've everowned (all of which have been refurbs) were initially sold with Windows on them, due to MS getting away with outrageously monopolistic practices. And yet, every single one of them, once in my possession, was running Linux instead. Where exactly has my use of Linux been recorded? I

very much doubt that those "market share" figures have much merit outside of seeing the overall market share of Microsoft and Appale amongst Microsoft and Apple users. And theyre almost certainly more accurate n teh Apple side of things than the likely spuriously high numbers for MS.

I'm not claiing that Windows isnt still the most widely used OS - but I have good reason to doubt that it's quite as dominant as "market share" figures claim.

Google's 'Be Evil' business transformation is complete: Time for the end game

Esme

Re: Without journalism, you get guaranteed corruption

It's not like we've been given a lot of choice though. The corporates simply decided that making content free for the consumer to access whilst generating revenue from advertising was the way to go, and that was that - no options.

"Walled gardens" have had their ups and downs, pros and cons, criticisms and praises, and are fine for some things (like, say, a streaming service that specialises in science content) but have obvious potential problems iff they cover the gamut of education, entertainment and news.

I once thought that something like the TV licencing system here in the UK might be a way forward, but whenI stopped and thought about it, the problem is that the BBC was a trusted content provider tasked by the government to produce quality programming - and until a few years ago, I;d say they did a pretty fair job of that. But trying to apply that model to the internet - pay your "licence fee" to your ISP, and a portion of that goes to content creators... the problems are obvious. .

Al I can do is wish the youngsters good luck in the. years ahead with trying to reclaim society from sociopathic corporate interests. Whilst tackling climate change and the current trend towards right-wing extremism that doing the rounds again....

Nobody cares about DAB radio – so let's force it onto smart speakers, suggests UK govt review

Esme

Also..

When it started, DAB was crap - when it was working the quality was similar (to my ears) to that of FM with good reception, but as many have noted above, DAB didnt deal with minor interference gracefully, making it painful to listen to. And it was a LOT more expensive than an AM/FM radio

Last few times I've tried using the FM radio I have in recent years, it worked fine. I'm also poor, nowadays, but do have a PC and an internet connection (I bet you guessed! 8-} )

So first of all, if its simply a matter of content, then t'internet is available, and i do not need DAB for that. The quality is utterly consitent via the internet, too. But suppose I wanted the proper listening to a radio experience sans t'internet, and found my FM radio no longer worked - why would I even think of buying DAB, given my initial experience thereof? (NB: I'm not claiming that DAB now isn't up to snuff; I have absolutely no idea what it's like nowadays)

When it was released, DAB was a very poor solution to a problem that didn't exist for the overwhelming majority of users. In the meantime, the internet has overtaken DAB and provides a better solution than DAB for most, I'd wager. And I would hate to think that anyone who has no desire to own a computer has no option but to buy DAB if they wanted radio to listen to, given how nasty it can be to listen to if you live in an are where reception is patchy.

I don't see the need for any action by HM Gov on this. If broadcasters cant make money from a medium, they'll stop presenting content on that medium, and that medium will die a natural death. (sheesh, I'm sounding like a cheerleader for capitalism now! 8-} *) If both are viable, why the need for any action? If one isn't, why try to force people to use it? (shrugs)

* (for those that dont know me, I'm a Pinko Greeny that has no truck with communism and doesnt understand why more folk don't see that something NEW is needed to replace the obviously broken current economic system (not to be confused with any political system!))

Nothing says 'We believe in you' like NASA switching two 'nauts off Boeing's Starliner onto SpaceX's Crew Dragon

Esme

Even if Starship/Superheavy doesn't work out, I can't see the SLS getting much use now. Now SpaceX has proven that booster reusability is a perfectly achievable thing, and has the track record in actual use to prove it, anything in the same payload to orbit category that doesnt involve reusable boosters is at best obsolescent, if not actually obsolete - and a damned sight more expensive as well.

Yes, having more than one supplier of launchers is definitely a good thing for NASA to have, but given how Congress tends to pare NASA's budget to the bone, NASA cant affford overly expensive "options" that exist mainly due to the whims of politicians wanting work for companies in their home state. The other aerospace companies need to pull their fingers out and start producing products that can match or best SpaceX products. Even Blue origin, which started out working on re-usable boosters, has been overtaken and left in the dust by SpaceX!

Reason 3,995 to hold off on that Windows 11 upgrade: Iffy performance on AMD silicon

Esme

Re: Good to see

A corporation with multiple billions in the bank unable to afford testing their OS on a range of kit? I think not! Linux appears to be able to handle most kit its thrown at, and I've never yet heard of Linux performing less well on a PC than Windows does on the same hardware. This despite MS and hardware vendors working to make "sure" everything is Windows compatible, etc. Clearly MS is doing things wrong/badly. I dont think they care about the quality of the product they emit because of userlock-in in some cases plus they know that the less IT-able tend to stick with what they know.

How not to train your Dragon: What happens when you teach an AI game sex-abuse stories then blame players

Esme

Methinks someone's degree in computerscience needs revoking

-assuming he actually passed in the first place. I bet Brigham Young isnt happy abut one of its alumni being responsible for creating porn!

Microsoft's problem child, Windows 11, is here. Will you run it? Can you run it? Do you even WANT to run it?

Esme

Re: Want to run it?

Steam on Linux is pretty good. I tend to mainly play strategy games like Civilisation V or Stellaris, or sandbox games like Kerbal Space Program; first-person shooters/adventure games aren't my cup of tea. My main disappointment is that few of the Total War series of games will run on Linux.

Aside from Steam there is also free software called PlayOnLinux which puts a reasonably user-friendly UI on Wine, which allows one to run Windows software on Linux - maybe. See WineHQ website for a list ofWindows software that users have been able to get to work on Linux, and how well (or badly) it runs via Wine. Wine can require a fair bit of messing about to get programs running if you try using it directly, though; unless you like tweaking things to get stuff to run well (I don't!), I'd stick with Steam or Play on Linux.

We're all at sea: Navigation Royal Navy style – with plenty of IT but no GPS

Esme

Re: Reg units need not apply

No; it was a matter of practicality, to make working out one's position easier. A nautical mile was originally definied as being 1 minute (1/60 of a degree) of latitude.This made calculating your position easier, as if you'd been sailing west for 24 hours at 10 knots from your last definitely known position, then you'd theortically be 4 degrees further west, now. of course, you'd have to apply corrections for any currents encountered.

Hence one nautical mile being 1852 metres - due to how we measure angles and the size of the Earth!

This is AUKUS for China – US, UK, Australia reveal defence tech-sharing pact

Esme

Re: Shenzen, Shanghai, Beijing

The subs are to be nuclear powered, not nuclear armed. Which means they can stay at sea and underwater far longer than a diesel/electric sub can, but any warheads will be conventional chemical warheads. Which is all a hunter-killer sub (a sub designed to kill other subs) needs to do its job

And frankly, given the capabilities of modern technology, I'd''ve thought that even ballistic missiles with non-nuclear warheads (were such to be deployed) would give potential enemies pause for thought. They might not be capable of as much widespread indiscriminate devastation as nukes, but their capacity for localised targeted unpleasantness is quite good, and the threat to civilian populations, if used against them, ought to be enough to make any government think again about unnecessary warmongering.

Spring tears down math geek t-shirt listing because it dared to mention the trademarked word 'zeta'

Esme

Re: Crazy

I look forward to anyone trying to ban the use of any Greek letters in books on astronomy! (The brighter stars in each constellation being assigned letters of the Greek alphabet in descending order of brightness, for identification purposes) 8-}

Esme

Re: "The Greek alphabet is currently protected legally"

No - it consists of ideograms, not letters. And for your own sanity, don't even think about Japanese (a mix of Chinese ideograms, and two distinct syllabries, no less!)

Chinese developers protested insanely long work hours. Now the nation's courts agree

Esme

We could do with less people on the planet though. The world population when I was born was about 3 thousand million, and back then estimates of the "carrying capacity" of earth that I saw ranged between 1 and 5 thousand million.

On the plus side, we have low-power technologies that weren't available back then, and we understand a lot more about climate and ecology than we did then. On the down side, power usage per individual, overall has gone up, and our impact on the climate and ecology is worse than we realised back then.

Given that , globally, we have shown ourselves to be incapable of taking long term problems seriously until its far later than would be desirable in order to make preventative action non-disruptive and relatively cheap, then, collectvely we need to pull our fingers out and start addressing the problems NOW, not several years hence, and that includes discouraging people from having more than 2 children per couple.

But I doubt that enough effective measures will be taken in time before things go horribly awry. Which is frustrating, as we have the knowledge and technologies to actually do something about it already. just not, apparently, the collective will, as a species, to do the sensible thing.

Mines the one with the little ray of sunshine in the pocket!

Boston Dynamics spends months training its Atlas robots to perform one minute of parkour almost perfectly

Esme
Terminator

I, for one, welcome our new robotic overlords..

8-} That was amazing!

Cassini data from last decade reveals insights into 'diffuse' nature of Saturn's core

Esme
Pint

Outstanding work!

My word, the subtle methods our boffins devise to extract more information out of data collected for an entirely different purpose never ceases to amaze me. Nice one!

Pi calculated to '62.8 trillion digits' with a pair of 32-core AMD Epyc chips, 1TB RAM, 510TB disk space

Esme

Re: Not every where

it's precisely 2 for a circle circumnavigating the universe in a straight line in a space of positive curvature!

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