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108 posts • joined 12 Apr 2007
Maybe I am missing something, but couldn't we just define the kg by saying something like 'a kilo is the rest mass of X number of Carbon-12 atoms'? Or, the mass-equivalence of the energy of X many photons of frequency Y?
Why are we using physical measures -- is there any good reason other than it is too hard to calibrate to the definitions given above?
I'm from Pompey too... I thought it was interesting to see that the University decided to map the London Blitz rather than Portsmouth bomb sites, but I guess they have their reasons. I hope that they do other cities too -- though terrible, the history is fascinating. I can vouch for the fact that my beloved Portsmouth took a pounding, which is now why she looks like she was hit repeatedly with the ugly stick :) PUP!
I've worked in finance for a long time, and this article seems accurate to me. I particularly had to laugh at the description of a change management form copied from "primordial times" as I have seen exactly this pattern!
That's not to say that there aren't successful centralised systems in banks and the like - I've had the joy of creating a fair number. Doing so usually involves reverse engineering logic and workflow out of guts of a creaking, megalithic spreadsheet though!
In my experience, the spreadsheet jockeys are smart people, who innovate and experiment via their sheets, and eventually the sheets end up being core to some new and maturing product or process. Only when operational risk gets way too hideous does anyone dare to wrestle control of these sheets off the traders (and even then, they don't always succeed!).
The resulting projects are fraught with technical and political difficulties. If you throw sub-par outsourcing partners, guarded SMEs, and very bolshy head traders into the mix, you get a recipe for projects which are very hard to deliver (I have the grey hairs and twitch to prove it!).
Beer - because the memories have come flooding back :)
"However, a student of history can tell you that it has been warmer in past times than it is now, and human burning of fossil fuels has had nothing to do with those periods."
Frustratingly enough, archaeological evidence & primary historical records are dismissed as "anecdotal" and "unscientific" by those who wish to play down pre-industrial climate change.
If I was a historian or an archaeologist, I'd be royalled peeved by the way the scientists treat evidence which they *should* be using to sanity check their models & theories.
Check out this 1999 article from the Independent - before it was anathema to say the olden days were warmer. How much more fun it was when you could just think it was neat that the Romans grew grapes in Lincolnshire, without getting shouted at by angry people!
*A lot!* +1
There really is no alternative to the JVM - it is the most ubiquitous platform going.
We really do write code on Windows PCs and deploy it to Linux servers, and it works great. I can only imagine how much of a pain it would be to have to cross-compile and worry about all that platform specific crud.
Sure, the Java language has some annoying features, but Java also has some of most comprehensive, well-tested and well-understood libraries of any programming language *ever*, and all the tools & community help you could ever want.
Java is the only industrial-strength cross-platform option.
If all you want is the industrial-strength part, then yeah, you *could* use .NET... but you'll have to junk it all when Microsoft decide it's time for you to move to "Visual-C# @Cloud", or whatever comes next...
Poor lady - even now you can tell she is more upset about losing the bloke than she is about losing the money! The disappointment and loss of happiness must be truly crushing.
Never underestimate the frailty of a vunerable human spirit, nor the cruelty of others.
There but for the grace of science, go I.
.. at the busiest stations etc, you will find that there are attendants who empty the rack (and keep an eye on the bikes by the side of it), so there are always free slots there.
The system isn't perfect, but they are working hard to make it function well, and so far I have found it great. As always with these things, you get to know the quirks.
Also, time is never critical on a bike - because if it was, you would pedal harder and get there earlier, right?
Off topic, but it appears to me that the technology in homes, cars and phones, has been ramping up at quite different rates.
Phones are massively high tech compared to the ABS ring-diallers of the 1980s - they have no wires, they have touch screens and on-board computers with hours of battery life in a few hundred grams. Similarly, cars have come a long way - they are now snug cocoons of comfort and safety, with a great deal of self-tuning intelligence & environmental control on board.
On the other hand, houses haven't really moved forward at the same pace. Which is a bit poor really, when you consider how much they cost.
My house has sash-windows for "environmental control", and the "self-tuning intelligence" is a thermostat (and even that is a bit faulty). The boiler clatters and bangs. The drain is a plastic pipe, and, er.. there isn't any other technology to talk about.
OK, so my washing machine kicks ass, but that's not really part of the house, right? And it's not networked :)
Why do you think this has happened this way? Wouldn't it make more sense to have our homes as a cocoon of comfort and safety (not that I'm advocating having 1980s cars again :).
Are we viscerally opposed to this kind of interference in our "cave"... or is it just that we want to have somewhere we can go were things won't "go wrong".
Did the Victorians feel this way too, and turn down amazing advances in the 1860s? Like the Electrochronotransmotivator - a device which sets the colour of your wallpaper to soothe your mood.
"If you travel to a country where you are required to have your national ID card or passport on your person at all times, then having a card as opposed to a passport is a significant benefit."
Not really - it's still a document that you have to carry, and makes you into a crook if you lose it.
At any rate, all your are doing is pointing out how flawed and unreasonable these laws are.... I'd like to say I'll never visit these authoritarian regimes, but there are a lot of them!
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