* Posts by Identity

363 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Aug 2009


Boffins show sleight-of-hand tricks to Corvids, find they are smarter than people


Bewilderbeast ...

AI biz borks US election spending data by using underpaid Amazon Mechanical Turks


How do I get so much done so quickly?

I do a really half-assed job!

Everybody dance now: Watch this AI code fool friends into thinking you can cut a rug like a pro


I also remember

a recent article showing how AI voice and face sync allow for people to have "said' what they never said. Blend these two and the possibilities are endless. What could go wrong?

Navy names new attack sub HMS Agincourt


I understand

that it was at the battle of Agincourt that the famous saying "pluck yew" became popular...

Mine's the plate armor...

German IKEA trip fracas assembles over trolley right of way


Probably not something you'd want

At my "local" IKEA (±2 hours away), they will already do the 'picking' for you: $98 for a $12 folding chair. Imagine if you had to pay for your portion of the AI tech on top of that! And then, if you want it shipped to you...

Having ended America's broadband woes, the FCC now looks to space

Black Helicopters

I should think

space is outside their jurisdiction!

Japan's Robo-Bartenders point to a golden future


Cat among the pigeons

I read somewhere that the English bemoan the beer that's lost when the head is skimmed. The Germans bemoan the space in the the glass that the head takes up.


Re: Heard in the pub I used to work in (working class - Scottish)

| Ah the seventies - where did they go?

They're hiding under the eighties.

Chinese whispers: China shows off magnetic propulsion engine for ultra-silent subs, ships



has anyone seen "Operation Petticoat?" Sub looks familiar...


We're not saying we're living in a simulation but someone's simulated the universe in a computer


Am I the only one

who sees a similarity between the image shown and the lines in human skin? (Look at the back of your hand closely...) For that matter, it also resembles the cracking into plates of dried out earth.

The universe is a wonderful thing!

PC repair chap lets tech support scammer log on to his PC. His Linux PC


I usually

ask them if their mother's know how they make a living.

Google Fiber goes full Wizard of Oz: We're not in Kansas any more


Re: If only my country still had a brain...

May I suggest you don't open a Google account (or close yours) and use StartPage or DuckDuckGo for search?


Reminds me of a Soviet joke

A butcher put a sign in his window: "MEAT TODAY!"

Quickly, a line forms. After 2 hours, the butcher comes out and says. "Comrades, there is meat, but not as much as we thought. Will all the Jews leave the line."

There is grumbling, but a number of people leave the line.

Another 3 hours go by and the butcher comes out again and says. "Comrades, there is meat, but not as much as we thought. Will all those who are not members of the Party leave the line."

There is more grumbling, but a number of people leave the line.

Another 2 1/2 hours go by and the butcher comes out again and says. "Comrades, there is meat, but not as much as we thought. Will all those who are not veterans of the Great Patriotic War leave the line."

There is more grumbling, but a number of people leave the line.

After another hour, the butcher comes out again and says. "Comrades, there is no meat."

There is a lot more grumbling. Someone is heard to remark, "Those Jews! They get the best of everything!"

Mine's the fur with the astrakhan collar...

P.S. In case you're tempted, don't get too upset — I'm Jewish...

President Trump-themed escort services may soon open in China


Re: More income that he won't pay Tax on???

"Will he make a state visit to China to hold 'The Apprentice' style interviews to vet the candidates?"

Yes. He will walk in on them while they're dressing and grab them by...

MIne's the one made by "The Emperor's New Clothes"

FBI boss: 'Memories are not absolutely private in America'


And don't forget

the Fourth Amendment:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

It has generally come to be seen that phones, etc. are today's equivalent (and more) of 'papers and effects.'

Lord of the Dance set to deliver high kicks at Trump’s big ball


Could it be

that this appearance is in lieu of the Rockettes who demurred at performing?

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


Cat among the pigeons

(or pigoons, for you Atwood fans...)

As Buddha or Joshu might say, the question is not rightly put. [As in, "Where does the fire go when it goes out?"].

Have you ever noticed how often problems go unsolved (or unaddressed, even) because of lack of money? Have you ever heard people complain of not having enough money? Have you ever heard people complain about taxes? about costs?

Of course you have. Give yourself a point for each yes answer...

Now, let's try thinking outside the box, despite centuries of history: let's do away with money!

Don't like taxes? You won't pay them!

Costs to high? Not anymore!

Problems? Class sizes too big? Infrastructure in need of repair or replacement? Miscreants robbing you with a pen or a gun? Welfare costs, including fraud? (Etc. Etc...) No problem!

So, just how is this supposed to work?

In order to partake of these benefits, every able-bodied person must devote, say, 20 years to doing something to benefit society. [Sorry, Mrs. Thatcher — there is such a thing as society.] This grants one the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Where today, we too often measure status by wealth, under this system, status would be measured by contribution. So who would do the miserable jobs? There are, believe it or don't, people who want to be, say, old age home carers, despite today's miserable pay, when they could be cashiers or baristas. And when you consider that, in America, by far the most common job is truck driver; what shall we do with the drivers when self-driving vehicles replace them? (HINT: they will not become coders.) You speak of the dignity of work? This does not replace it, but indeed makes it the point.

Of course, there is much more to say on this subject. You can find a much lengthier discussion at http://books.noisetrade.com/cacohen/the-root-of-all-evil


The UK's Investigatory Powers Act allows the State to tell lies in court

Black Helicopters

enshrining the status quo

That is all...

And for our next trick, says Google while literally wheeling out a humongous tablet ...

Black Helicopters

Seems like...

a perfect opportunity for industrial espionage. Thanks, IoT!

Here's how to see Tim Cook or SatNad strut their starkers stuff



If there's a new technology, you can be sure that sooner (rather than later) it will be put to use in the porn industry.

Man accused of $180k ass-based gold smuggling scam awaits verdict

Big Brother

Heavy, man!

Have you ever picked up an ounce of gold? That's gotta hurt!

Did he tell his lawyer, "There's more in it for you if you get me out of this"?

Star Trek's Enterprise turns 50 and still no sign of a warp drive. Sigh


Random thoughts

Back in the 70's, I had a girlfriend whose father was working for Battelle Corp. I was told they were working on an ion drive. How fast this would go is beyond me. Perhaps, in truth (and not sci-fi), the method for obtaining those distant reaches will prove to be generational ships (ones in which those who land are the offspring of those who left...).

However, it seems to me (simple observer that I am) that nothing can travel at the speed of light except light, and that anything that did would become light. (It is indeed said [by someone] that much light is made up of those beings who attained that speed and then lacked the wherewithal to become anything other than light. They were smart buggers and that's why, when we are faced with a difficult problem, we often put light on it...)

So, back to the beginning. If we are to attain speeds that would allow a 'naut to visit intergalactic space and return to tell about it, we must indeed exceed c without passing through it. There may indeed be a way to do it, but as they say, we don't know who discovered water, but we're pretty sure it wasn't a fish!

More gums than Jaws: Greenland super-sharks live past 400 years old


Shark dating

"using new dating techniques, the vertebrate has revealed its astonishing longevity."

I thought this date was exceptionally

a) boring

b) satisfying

c) going overlong

d) none of the above

Mine's the neoprene one with the tank...

West country cops ponder appearance of 40 dead pigeons on A35


Re: This sounds weird, strange and Fortean

This is what it sounds like when doves cry...

Bloke 'lobbed molotov cocktails' at Street View car because Google was 'watching him'

Black Helicopters

"maximum 20-year jail sentence and $250,000 fine"

Perhaps that sentence should be served in a rubber room with some fine psychiatric chemicals...

Crash this beauty? James Bond's concept DB10 Aston debuts in Spectre


For those who remember

In the Ian Fleming books, Bond drove a Bentley, which (said he) "went like a bird and a bomb."

Nippy, palaver and cockwomble: Greatest words in English?



Here in the US of A, palaver still means talk — a confab, if you will. (A typically American diminution of confabulation.) It is usually used about trying to reach agreement or sometimes as empty talk.

Terror in the Chernobyl dead zone: Life - of a wild kind - burgeons


Until we see

necropsies of the resident fauna, I think we know very little.


Re: Hmmm

Agent Smith: I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet.

VW: Just the tip of the pollution iceberg. Who's to blame? Hippies


Not only a perfect example of overstated bias, but

at times, verging on false. Take:

"This means that energy from burning hydrocarbons, whether fossil or biofuel, must be used and produced much more efficiently: nobody seriously thinks that the human race can power itself using renewables. (In any case, in practice the hippies are against non-hydrocarbon renewables too.)"

(emphasis mine)

Recently, Germany achieved generating almost 80% of it's energy from renewables.


As for nuclear, while I have in the past been against it, due to the waste problem, with the advent of molten salt reactors, I think we may have found a reasonable alternative to today's reactors. For those who think the waste is not a problem, I would point them toward the Hanford Reservation.



PETA monkey selfie lawsuit threatens wildlife photography, warns snapper at heart of row


It seems to me

that according to US law, an animal has no standing.

Flawless Dutch does for cuffed duo in CoinVault ransomware probe


"a relatively little used language"

OK, it's not English, French, Spanish or Chinese, but there are a surprising number of places around the globe where Nederlands gesproken is. Apart from the Netherlands and Belgium, there is South Africa and Namibia, Indonesia, certain islands in the Carribean and Surinam. Maybe I've even missed something...

Drunk Japanese warrior cuffed after NINJA STRIKE on shop robot



can't he pick on someone his own size? Or did he?

So, was it really the Commies that caused the early 20th Century inequality collapse?


Well, that's one man's opinion...

It is, of course, very convenient and simple to develop a world view if you're selective about the facts you choose. I will not posit mine here (no doubt suffering from similar flaws), but I can mention some things forgotten.

During the earlier periods, the salaries of the heads of corporations (latterly known as CEOs) was perhaps 7x that of the lowest paid worker. Today it is many hundreds of times greater, and even more so, if you factor in cheap off-shored labor.

Before 1974, salaries and standard of living rose on a near-yearly basis. After 1974, salaries (excluding corporate officers and factoring in inflation) remained stagnant.

Prior to the 60's, most families were supported by a single (usually male-earned) salary. With the advent of the women's movement, women who felt they'd been getting the short end of the stick, entered the workforce in great numbers. Now, it's common — even necessary — for multiple paychecks to support a a family. It's my belief that while those 60's white male-based employers outwardly responded negatively, in secret they rejoiced at the near-doubling of the workforce, especially with cheaper labor. (Even today women fight for equal pay for equal work.) The trend for off-shoring continued the joy as corporations raced to the bottom to find the cheapest labor. (And why wouldn't they? It is the sole purpose of corporations to profit.) This played into the breaking of union power (which was not helped by some apparent corruption among unions — I'm looking at you, Teamsters.)

American wealth was boosted by huge infrastructure projects, not least of which was the National Highway System, which fostered trade and travel with it's concomitant growth effect on the economy. This was paid for with taxes. Somewhere along the line a general tax revolt ensued, egged on by the rich who admittedly bore a large burden. Without taxes and with the addition of huge defense expenditures (military-industrial complex, anyone?), today we are faced with crumbling infrastructure, which we could rebuild, but those think government should pay for nothing but defense object and we are at a stalemate. Obama's plans for such came to very little.

The Glass-Steagall Act was an attempt to protect the ordinary citizen from predation by monied interests. Even though Roosevelt (decried as a class traitor and blamed for just about any and every governmental or economic ill that ensued by my right-wing friends) was cool to the idea, it became the law of the land until it was repealed under Bill Clinton. (For those unaware, among other things, it prevented the combination of commercial and investment banking.) Not too long thereafter, the world suffered what we now term 'the Great Recession,' caused in no small part by those banks playing money games with the economy (there are many good histories of what happened.) We need mention only in passing Credit Default Swaps; slicing and dicing unsupportable mortgages as investments which the issuers, themselves, bet against; and interest-rate rigging — though of course there are many issues as deep. Average Americans suffered dreadfully and were further taxed with paying for a bailout. Those banks (the ones that survived) did very well, thank-you and their officers, even better.

I'm quite sure there's more, but I've gone on long enough...

Prof Hawking cracks riddle of black holes – which may be portals to other universes


Another Country Heard From

Perhaps 30 years ago, I read in a book by Freeman Dyson the theory that the other side of a black hole is a white hole, spewing matter and/or energy into another location, perhaps another universe. It has been posited that in another universe, the big bang would appear to be a white hole.

"The concept of a “white hole,” a hypothetical object emerging spontaneously from a singularity – or a time-reversed version of a black hole – was introduced by Igor Novikov in 1964, but without referring to it as a white hole. The following year the concept was independently considered by Yuval Ne’eman, who called the object a “lagging core.” The apt name “white hole,” which may first have been used in 1971, soon became popular while “lagging core” was forgotten. Contrary to the black holes, white holes or lagging cores are not believed to exist in nature. They were sometimes called “little bangs,” a term also used with somewhat different connotations (Hoyle 1965; Harrison 1968).'


The good burghers of Palo Alto are entirely insane


Re: I'm shocked!

@ TW — re: ERM

Presumably, whether developed or not, this other land you speak of is owned. If not by the City itself, such a required use would again be a taking. If you are saying the current owner(s) would be allowed to build low-income housing or a trailer park for same, there can be no objection — save for the rancor of the abutters should such a project be implemented.


Re: I'm shocked!

@ TW — taking in law

Not sure what you're referring back to, nor do I know UK law. In the US, while the point is somewhat moot, there are plenty of examples where it is.

• On the [New] Jersey Shore, landowners have been barred from building on land they bought for that purpose.

• In Massachusetts,Title 5 requires homeowners on septic systems, before the sale of their houses, to either hook up to city sewers (at their own expense, and with the ensuing sewer charges, where once it was free) or have their systems tested and certified by state-chosen contractors (again at their own expense which, 25 years ago, was $800). Should the system fail the test, it must be remediated (again at the owner's expense) or hook up as above. The Massachusetts Constitution states:

[ARTICLE X] "…no part of the property of any individual can, with justice, be taken from him, or applied to public uses, [EMPHASIS MINE] without his own consent, or that of the representative body of the people. "

(When I brought up this inconsistency during the hearings for Title 5, I was told there are some issues more important than the Constitution!) Apparently, this issue has been problematic for a long time. In the current legislative session, a bill has been put forward to remedy this:

Bill S.896

"An Act relative to due process to prohibit the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions from adopting environmental and developmental policies that would infringe or restrict private property rights"

I could go on, but I won't.


I'm shocked!

"given that it's the good burghers of Palo Alto – through their city council – who decide on which pieces of land you can build on in that fair city, then they're fucking insane to be paying for something which they themselves created for free."

Is TW serious? Since the current owner has undoubtedly paid for the property, for the city council (et al) to simply withdraw permission for anything other than the current use amounts to government seizure by eminent domain. Surely that does not jibe with Worstallism. In fact, the US Supreme Court (in Kelo v. the City of New London [strangely by majority of the liberal justices]) ruled that a higher tax value is sufficient reason for such seizure.

Not that I'm recommending this. Among the other problems with this week's screed is externalities. When we say, "for our wealth stock is, by definition, our capital, and GDP is the annual income that we gain from employing that capital. If we're getting less GDP from the same capital, or we've more capital producing the same GDP, then the society is becoming less efficient," we are saying that things like environmental preservation have no value, primarily because they are not monetized.

And I will say again that rises in prices (too often confused with value) are more often than not synonymous with inflation, and are not really growth.

Collective noun search for security vulns moves into beta testing


What about...


I voted for scourge as the most reasonable of the bad choices provided, but only to see the results, Vulns (already in use) is an excellent choice,

Boffins spot a SECOND JUPITER – the gas giant's baby sister



nubile |ˈn(y)oōˌbīl; -bəl|


(of a girl or young woman) sexually mature; suitable for marriage.

• (of a girl or young woman) sexually attractive : he employed a procession of nubile young secretaries.

Want Edward Snowden pardoned? You're in the minority, say pollsters


Re: Birds of a feather

See icon


Re: Scared yet?

Honestly, we do not have a democracy in America. It was meant to be a republic ("What sort of government have you given us, Mr. Franklin?"

"A republic, madam, if you can keep it.")

Unfortunately, we could not — it's now an oligarchy; some might argue a kakistocracy.

Copyright troll wants to ban 'copyright troll' from its copyright troll lawsuit


Re: Never Heard of Them.

Actually, it seems they are suing people regardless of whether they have partaken in any way.


Slightly related story

Don't know if this is true or not...

Australian Police have been unable to recommend a prosecution for the following scam:

A company takes out a newspaper advertisement claiming to be able to supply imported hard core pornographic videos. As their prices seem reasonable, people place orders and make payments via check.

After several weeks, the company writes back explaining that under the present law they are unable to supply the materials and do not wish to be prosecuted. So they return their customers' money in the form of a company check.

However, due to the name of the company, few people will present these checks to their banks.

The name of the company: "The Anal Sex and Fetish Perversion Company"

Global spy system ECHELON confirmed at last – by leaked Snowden files

Black Helicopters

Re: Nice Article (9/11)

One could, perhaps, be forgiven for branding me a conspiracy theorist (though after this article, you have to wonder). I would suggest the anyone interested look for the film "Loose Change," which is available free (and virally) online. Pay particular attention to "Operation Northstar,' which dates from when all this began.

So just WHO ARE the 15 per cent of Americans still not online?


RE: Follow-up: are you able to avoid Kim Kardashian if you stay offline?

Barely, if you avert your eyes from the tabloids at the check-out counter.

Your voter-trolling autodialer is illegal: The cringey moment the FCC spanks a congresscritter


Re: @IR

Alexander Cockburn wrote in The Nation many years ago (you can tell how many by the example) the following [paraphrased]:

The difference between Republicans and Democrats is, if a Contra were raping a nun, the Republican would say, "Go for it!" and the Democrat would say, "Now, you know that's not right. Ask her nicely and if she says 'no,' I'll help you."

US State of Georgia sues 'terrorist' for publishing its own laws ... on the internet


Is that so?

"It's also clear that Georgia did not put its finest lawyers on the case…"

What makes you think so?

BREAKING NEWS: Apple makes money


Re: Record profits yet Wall St says No

"apple have lost 90% of the smartphone market."

...and yet rake in over 90% of the profits in that market, so I'm not sure your stat is correct,

BTW: watch those caps!

Asimov's ghost! Oil and gas rigs could be taken over by robots



Assuming (and we all know what 'to assume' does...) they succeed, would they then employ the droids in all oil and gas circumstances, given that it is cheaper in long run (or so they assume...)? Oil and gas fracking has driven a lot of new employment in these here United States, such as the boom in North Dakota, which previously employed but a few bachelor farmers, used car salesmen and a sheriff or two.

What will happen to the roughnecks? Think of the children!