* Posts by Michael Thibault

927 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Nov 2008


Size does matter, chaps: Oversized todgers an evolutionary handicap

Michael Thibault

Re: Cock size

"…at least three possible reasons for this: (1) it's functional (more effective impregnation); (2) it's for show, like a peacock's tail; or (3) it's a side-effect… I think reason 1 seems implausible owing to the lack of evidence for a functional advantage…"

There is, perhaps, a distinct (4th) functional advantage you've not considered: a penis is a convenient -- you might say 'handy' -- bed-warmer, a radiator of heat. In certain states, certainly. Coupled with widely-observed diminished levels of lower-body blood circulation in women…

Don’t fight automation software for control, just turn it off. FAST

Michael Thibault

Re: Even in the extremely unlikely event that fully autonomous vehicles ever become viable

"Somehow, I suspect my '65 Sunbeam Tiger and '69 F-250 will be on the road far sooner than my neighbor's '17 Tesla and '18 Cadillac Excursion. And the farm trucks & tractors (all diesel, with mechanical fuel pumps) will probably not skip a beat."

Until the fuel in the tanks is consumed. After that, they're as useless as the Tesla and the Caddy. Your car is a system, most of which you don't own or control.

"Are you ready?"

Pumped. Bicycle tires, I mean. All set.

Michael Thibault

Re: A bit tough

"A plane crash is exactly how I do not want to die. Too much time to think."

The problem is not the amount of time, but how far afield your mind can wander.

Michael Thibault

Re: We had crashes because the autopilot disengaged without the pilots noticing...

"…pilots still have (or should have...) the proper training to take control…"

This almost sums things up. I'd add: it seems you can fly a plane only if you have a complete understanding of how control surfaces make it possible to fly it, but you can use the automata within without understanding how that works.

Michael Thibault

Re: Even in the extremely unlikely event that fully autonomous vehicles ever become viable

"There will come a day when…"

Time to invest in Red Barchetta's.

If you guessed China’s heavy lifter failed due to a liquid hydrogen turbo engine fault, well done!

Michael Thibault

Re: “local structure anomaly”?

That would be the "complex thermal environment", then? --->

Birds can feel Earth's magnetic fields? Yeah, that might fly. Bioboffins find vital sense proteins

Michael Thibault

Re: re. "... and even mole rats."

"... there's nothing more embarrassing than going around in a circle when you're digging a long tunnel"

Unless you're building CERN, of course.

I'll just leave this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1STIAm1uZ8g 8:30 and onward, ho!

Hookup classifieds ad sheet Backpage.com seized in Feds shutdown

Michael Thibault

Re: Meat market

"LEO will now lose an easy source of leads that could have been followed to at least help those being trafficked"

I understand why you'd suggest this. However, if there's no end-game being considered, the argument becomes 'the LEOs are compelled to keep trafficking via these channels going so that they can at least monitor things to the point where picking off the most egregious offenders remains possible'. Not the best approach. Your assumption is that LEOs won't (soon) round up the overwhelming majority of 'customers' via this tactic. Not an unreasonable assumption, but the tensions hinted at above will remain until a broad and deep sweep occurs.

Michael Thibault

Re: Hookup classifieds ad sheet Backpage.com seized in Feds shutdown

"… covered by the same US law that Twitter, Youtube and Facebook use about not being responsible for user generated content."

They all became responsible for the content when they implemented filters/algorithm/fatwas/proscriptions/etc. on content. Laissez-faire -- acting as a purely neutral conduit -- is what gets them free and clear of responsibility for the content of the pipe.

Furious gunwoman opens fire at YouTube HQ, three people shot

Michael Thibault

Re: 'Well for a start I'd ban religion'

"The US constitution has been amended dozens of times before so no reason why that couldnt (sic) happen."

There is: any amendment requires a 2/3 majority in both houses, followed by ratification of 3/4 of the state legislatures (i.e. 38 states, currently). Those conditions would apply even if you wanted to amend the amending formula, which effort would likely meet with as much opposition as would an attempt to repeal -- or even amend -- the 2nd (e.g. change "shall" to "may"). The second amendment won't ever be repealed. It won't ever be amended. Forget that avenue entirely. It's a lost cause. What you're left with is reason. Apply that. But don't get all shirty if you can't convince individuals to give up their guns. And don't manipulate people with emotion and think-like-the-children. They're on to that tactic.

Michael Thibault

Re: Of all places

"make open carry illegal and concealed carry highly restricted"

Not "make open carry mandatory, with concealed carry having a high threshold for the permit"?

Hold the phone: Mystery fake cell towers spotted slurping comms around Washington DC

Michael Thibault

Re: Fake Everything

"With the antichrist now in power, this is the Anarchy in the U.S.A."

The antichrist has been in power for decades. Don't fret, though; "we're slow figuring things out".

Fermi famously asked: 'Where is everybody?' Probably dead, says renewed Drake equation

Michael Thibault

Re: Not useful

"And we have to assume that other civilisations will be the same."

So, what you're saying is that they also have the Drake equation in mind, and have figured out that the smart thing, on the cosmic scale, is to minimize the 'thickness' of the EM shell being emitted from the relevant location, in order to better hide the fact of their existence -- and that we are doing the same.

In other words, the Drake equation's very development leads to behaviours which limit, then conceal, and -- finally -- absolutely eliminate the very signal most-likely to successfully remotely confirm the fact of intelligent life.

Folding the Drake equation peregrinations into the Drake equation makes it go 'Poof!'. Now we know.

Stephen Hawking dies, aged 76

Michael Thibault

We are stardust, we are golden.

Universally famous 'rock-star' physicist goes on swan-song tour.

Info Commissioner tears into Google's 'call us journalists' trial defence

Michael Thibault

Re: Quite right too.

Yes, well, given that the majority of humans carry a television studio in their hip pocket and an unending supply of opinions in their head -- "others" it is.

Jupiter has the craziest storms seen yet, say boffins

Michael Thibault

Eye of Sauron? Missed that. But what is the weasel doing there at the south end? Or is that a stoat?

Intellisense was off and developer learned you can't code in Canadian

Michael Thibault

Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...


The horror! The horror! Exterminate the brutes!

Michael Thibault

If you look carefully*, you'll notice that in Murcan Nglish, "bias" is fast becoming the past participle -- hence, also the adjectival form. That was the point of my post. And, yes, you were intended to catch it. I don't support the change, of course. Nor the broader trend.

The comprehensibility of on-line text is declining rapidly. You'd think by now the principle outlets would route textual submissions (e.g. comments) through a spell- and grammar-checker, then pass the proffered text back to the poster -- with red-lining -- asking for a few changes to be made for clarity, readability, etc. … It would not be difficult to programmatically assess posts for 'reading level' and add posting delays in inverse proportion to that metric. With fair warning, of course.

* e.g. https://www.reddit.com/r/linguistics/comments/227ns7/why_is_bias_replacing_biased_as_an_adjective/

Michael Thibault

Obviously, you're bias.

It's bad, and getting worse. And the rate is accelerating. It's all so very sad.

p.s. Ahem: "Queen's".

Hypersonic nukes! Nuclear-powered drone subs! Putin unwraps his new (propaganda) toys

Michael Thibault
Black Helicopters

Re: Possible scenario

"…a wounded soldier takes two other soldiers to evacuate, thereby removing three soldiers from the battlefield instead of just one."

Assuming anyone gives a fuck about casualties (i.e. where "dead" is just the variable time waiting for the gates of paradise/Valhalla/etc. to open). And, for reasons of economy, and to work around the fact of armies marching on their bellies currently, the meat-bags will shortly be replaced with automata and machinery remotely controlled, so the round to be defended against is the largest the holdovers can carry in their short sorties toward the gates.

However, there's still a place for the smaller round in a domestic setting, particularly urban ones.

Boffins baffled as AI training leaks secrets to canny thieves

Michael Thibault

Re: Sir! It's the machines!

Of course we're remembering, "Crisp". Your fate will amuse even you!

Does my boom look big in this? New universe measurements bewilder boffins

Michael Thibault

Re: Light

"I bet yore a dark sucker!"


Amateur astronomer strikes it lucky with first glimpse of a Supernova

Michael Thibault

Re: A flash in the pan

Yeah, here today, gone tomorrow.

The YouTube crackdown on fake news: Promoting bonkers Florida school shooting conspiracies

Michael Thibault

Re: Getting tired of this "blame the messenger" campaign...

"We can blame the messenger because they are not a purely neutral conduit."

Does YoutUbe strictly need to make the Trending page so central to its interface? Could it not bury it even one layer deep, so that it must be sought out, rather than be the landing page or the linked page adjacent the Search field? It's a conscious decision to foreground Trending. The Trending page appeals to the lazy, the sheep, the swallows. Its existence and prominence is a conscious effort to capture attention, thereby traffic, thereby revenue. That should be obvious, uncontentious. To add to the responsibility, the algorithms -- which do now, and probably always will, require human intervention -- are themselves an enticement for YT itself to meddle -- via tweaking --, and to meddle means they are taking responsibility.

The article closes with:

"At some point, YouTube has to stop hiding behind its automated algorithm argument and adopt some degree of responsibility for what appears on its platform and the role it plays in highlighting its worst examples."

At some point, YouTube has to abandon its automated algorithm and free itself entirely of any degree of responsibility for what appears on its platform -- leaving nanny-statism to the state or, by providing users, in the aggregate, with the means to better regulate what they themselves can see on the platform, making responsible users of YoutUbe users themselves.


The most transparent algorithm is none at all. It has no overhead, and no blow-back is possible because no responsibility is taken -- responsibility is specifically disavowed, and YT becomes a purely neutral conduit.


iPhone X 'slump' is real, whisper supply chain moles

Michael Thibault

"Apple are fortunate enough to be able to absorb a $10bn loss without flinching"

Apple are also comfortably in a position to continue selling the current iPhX -- dropping the price (i.e. the margin, effectively), step-wise, by increments, on a schedule, to clear out all stock, keeping the upstream production lines humming, and exhausting any current 'over-production' of screens. It makes some sense to do so; some profit is better than none, even if it isn't the 'usual' profit. And, of course, doing so would create a bit of buzz. Arguably, it is also a way they can get larger numbers than otherwise would -- at current prices -- to upgrade. (A Windows 10 move, with carrot, rather than stick). Much depends, though, on what's in the pipeline for new features, chips, etc..

James Damore's labor complaint went over about as well as his trash diversity manifesto

Michael Thibault

Re: controversial bro-grammer ?

"If I want to read opinion pieces disguised as journalism Goebbels style I will go to HuffPost."

Thanks for the tip.

Astro-boffinry world rocked to its very core: Shock as Andromeda found to be not much bigger than Milky Way

Michael Thibault

Re: Films / TV-shows ever dramatize the collision of galaxies?

"anime Gurren Lagann"

That's just silly! How can you throw something in spaaace, with any accuracy, when you aren't standing on anything?

Sorry, Elon, your Tesla roadster won't orbit for billions of years

Michael Thibault

Re: Douglas may have been right

"So how are you supposed to see it?"

In transit, obviously.

I'm here all week.

Three in hospital after NSA cops open fire on campus ram-raid SUV

Michael Thibault

Re: really?

This 50%/50m rule of thumb is still shy of acceptable, though -- at least for handguns, where there's less stealth involved and less prep/setup time involved or available, and less pavement as the backdrop to catch the misses. The bullets do keep going when they miss a particular man-sized target...

However, if they can come up with a smart-ass bullet that, when it misses its target, turns around, comes back, and taps its target on the shoulder, we'd be laughing.

Michael Thibault

Re: really?

"32/40 rounds, and that was at ranges from 50 to 300 meters"

That's got to be for a rifle; hitting anything at 50 meters - let alone 300 - with a handgun with a tenth that success rate is a back-slapping accomplishment, shirley? And is it really a crisis situation if you have the leisure of reloading 5 times?

Rogue IT admin goes off the rails, shuts down Canadian train switches

Michael Thibault

Re: First prize

It's a matter of scale, I guess; not HO-HO-HO funny, by my gauge. Still, your mentioning the humour might spur closer scrutiny down the line.

It took us less than 30 seconds to find banned 'deepfake' AI smut on the internet

Michael Thibault

Plausible deniability

Develop, within the porn industry, an arrangement where the body is provided by one person, the face by another -- with the upshots *cough* being that both the body-providing individual retains anonymity -- is thus spared public notoriety -- and the face-provider -- who could even contribute via 'face-capture' shooting -- is known not to have engaged in whatever 'sex' is portrayed in that film? It would create a remove, or distance, from the tawdry aspects -- if any -- of in-frame participation in porn film production.

Wish you could log into someone's Netgear box without a password? Summon a &genie=1

Michael Thibault

"execute arbitrary code on the router as root over the air"

I don't know where to begin!

It does occur to me that the bugs, backdoors, and flaws are not the priority. At all. The human(s) responsible should be identified, located, and beaconed. Every thing they've touched, before and after, should also be closely scrutinized. It's the only way to be sure.

‘I crashed a rack full of servers with my butt’

Michael Thibault

Re: Just finger trouble

" I managed to keep the button in, so the power stayed on."

A momentary grasp of reason saves the day!

Dori-no! PepsiCo boss says biz is planning to sell lady crisps

Michael Thibault

"bags of air"

Any product revision broadly in the category of food ('snack' or 'convenience") is a bit of legerdemain to raise the price -- typically by changing the portion size while keeping the price constant -- which is ultimately a scheme to increase remuneration to management for the important value they bring to the company by suggesting such revisions. There's something poetic about it all.

Michael Thibault

"going to hell in a hand basket"

Is it fair trade, though?

Michael Thibault

Re: Do project managers live in the world?

"these 'tool kits' usually fail"

These kits are glorified security blankets; they typically include large numbers of incredibly inexpensive-to-produce fiddly bits of little value and little use in order to pump up the item count to make it seem as though there's a deal to be had. The one or two included items that ever get regular use is what the purchase price is really buying -- functionally a price gouging almost without equal. Ultimately, they're a false economy -- pink or otherwise. And, on the subject of colours: pink is a bitch to coordinate.

Nunes FBI memo: Yep, it's every bit as terrible as you imagined

Michael Thibault

Re: How to get rid of fleas on your dog

You can "smell" DC all the way from California? Better than anyone between those points? You've got your beak in the underlying background evidence and the testimony to make the claim? OK, whatevs, dude. However, the stench might just as easily be localized to the bad actors in the narrative implied by (the perceived need to write) the memo. We'll have to await more information. Apparently -- and necessarily -- there is more than what's currently in the public sensorium...

Michael Thibault

Re: How to get rid of fleas on your dog

Indictments, so far, number zero (0). Directly-related indictments, that is. Collusion -- so far -- has not even been demonstrated. Collusion is not a crime, btw -- but conspiracy most definitely is. Remember that distinction. And the definitive take on vote-rigging? Well, let's acknowledge that, as in any election, there's a lot of bluster. That subject is open still.

Many seem assiduously to be avoiding the issue of the potential for procedural irregularities in the foundations of the process that set up (used advisedly) the Special Prosecutor's investigation (the one currently with RM as lead dog). This avoidance seems to me to be rooted in wishful thinking, a fevered hope that their least-favourite candidate -- now POTUS -- face almost any kind of misfortune...

Michael Thibault

Re: How to get rid of fleas on your dog

That you state:

"[Trump] has coerced Nunes and others..."

suggests to me that you believe it likely that a political outsider, a business figure largely shunned by the East-coast financial set, could beat out more than a dozen intra-party rivals in the primary, then defeat an experienced, familiar political figure, scion of a well-oiled, well-greased political dynasty going back several decades, endure nigh on two years of 90% negative press from the cozy-with-his-opponent media, to enter public office for the first time ever, as POTUS, facing opposition from within his own party, and, in just over a year turn (or, as you say, coerce) significant numbers of ensconced bureaucrats and seasoned, invested politicians to do his capricious bidding.

Trump is not a god. He's not an emperor. He's not a king. He's not a dictator. He's just the President of the United States.

Maybe he has a fortune of moral suasion with which to buy people's participation in his plans. If so, you can't nay say any such expenditures -- not in the slightest. But who knows?

Michael Thibault

Wasn't the Yahoo! story based on the very same questionable dossier?

Michael Thibault

You mean the Congress oblivious to the existence -- let alone the contents -- of the memo (and, therefore, the underlying testimony and evidence)? What would you expect instead? Prescience? Would you not consider it 'funny' if the first news of the Nunes memo had surfaced prior to the vote on renewing FISA? Would it not also have been possible, or even likely, in such a case, to politicise that sequence of events? Would it depend on whether or not you were in favour of renewing FISA or not? It is just legislation; it can be changed -- even rescinded. By a majority vote in the relevant chambers. As happens from time to time. Funny, that.

Michael Thibault

Re: How to get rid of fleas on your dog

>There's an old saying "where there's smoke, there's fire" and there's been an unbelievable amount of smoke over this issue.

And, from (y)our vantage point, how do you distinguish smoke from fog?

While I agree about "run it's course" et seq., wrongdoing can also be found that is procedural -- which, like it or not, favourable or otherwise, torpedoes any case that may be brought about by such an investigation.

Michael Thibault

Re: While the invader's tunnel is being destroyed

Did you mean: "Bend over, 'comrades'"?

Michael Thibault

Re: How to end an investigation into possible wrongdoings...

Demonstrate that its findings would necessarily be the fruit of a poisoned tree?

Or ask RM. He'll know Shirley... by now... at least!

Shopper f-bombed PC shop staff, so they mocked her with too-polite tech tutorial

Michael Thibault

Re: The worst customers...

"Good! *click*"

We need a Hug button. First one to hplasm.

Adobe will kill Flash by 2020: No more updates, support, tears, pain...

Michael Thibault

Re: Cuban

And disappear like smoke when he comes in second?

Nork hackers exploit Flash bug to pwn South Koreans. And Adobe will deal with it next week

Michael Thibault

Unfortunately, the bullet intended for Flash...

is moving slowly; it will take 1000+ days for it to arrive.

If Adobe were a tad more responsible they'd make the imminent demise of Flash a visible, obvious part of the update process. And start stripping functionality from it with each iteration. And build into it a suicide gene that completely erases the f*in' thing after the last day of 2020. And let users know that that's the future.

So you accidentally told a million people they are going to die: What next? Your essential guide...

Michael Thibault


Management material, right there!

Michael Thibault

Re: Cyber-attack

"I dated a thespian once..."

Admit it -- it was the lack of encores, wasn't it? No? Performance, then?