* Posts by tojb

205 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Oct 2010

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OpenAI's ChatGPT has a left wing bias – at times

tojb

nobody asaking about logic here

Large language models are quite good at logic (not infallible, but better than most humans). There are examples of them passing various exams, including US state bar exams, and A-level maths, which are designed to test reasoning skills above all. These systems are not just parrots, but contain information about the structure which words and sentences need to have to make sense together.

All that has been discovered here is that opinions associated with tories, republicans, and the Brazilian right wing are... stupid.

Smallsats + solar sails = Photos of exoplanets at 1970s digital camera resolution

tojb

Re: How do you stop?

solar orbit at that range is almost stationary in terms of angular and linear velocity... Pluto takes 248 years to go 360 degrees. So I guess it would be a case of slowly gaining angular velocity by relfecting incoming light at an angle, and slowly losing radial velocity by pulling out of the gravity well. Sounds painful but possible.

What is Google doing with its open source teams?

tojb
Terminator

Some ai stuff

https://arxiv.org/abs/2010.07067 g helped develop a nice neural network for shortcutting tedious quantum mechanics calculations. And alphafold of course, this has made a big splash in protein folding science

European telco body looks into terahertz for future 6G comms

tojb
Meh

Not optimistic

5G is already a little high up the spectrum for my preference. Safety studies have focused on ionisation (obviously not happening) and heating (would be welcome today, if only!).

What's missing is that the "molecular absorption" talked about can include highly specific resonance modes of individual biomolecules that you and I require to keep on working normally. Biomolecules are always in motion, dynamics are part of function, and I don't want that to be disturbed even in the slightest.

Let's say that the 6G chip you put in your dog or something emits a synch tone at a well defined frequency every 10 minutes at high power. What if that synch is precisely the resonance to unfold your lysozyme or similar? At autopsy it will just look like another case of the mysterious amyloid disease epidemic that has been building for years. No smoking gun, so therefore decades before it gets fixed, if ever.

Look like Bane, spend like Batman with Dyson's $949 headphones

tojb
Thumb Up

Good idea

Air quality regulations in EU and globally are behind the science. Metal and metal-oxide nanoparticles arise from exhaust, tire dust, and steel industry as well as from natural dusts in dry conditions. They are flat-out terrible for long-term health, to an extent underestimated in the last big wave of standards-setting in the seventies due to slowness of cumulative damage and lack of decent science to show etiologies at that time.

Electrostatic filters are standard technology to control this type of dust, already applied (half-assedly) at many factory and foundry stacks. The mask still looks stupid though, I want one that looks *more* like Bane.

Integration with cycle and mb helmets would seem like a good idea.

You get the internet you deserve

tojb

Re: Curated web already a thing for many people

I've had the hilarious case of my own Wikipedia article handed back to me wholesale as an assignment submission.

tojb

Re: Wikipedia

I've had a ten-post run of swimming upstream against reg commentards that went something like that. Many know something about electromagnetism, some understand a little bit of physics generally, but zero are ready to add to that knowledge by hearing about the weird but very real corner cases where electromagnetism interacts with biological systems. And no I am not about to doxx myself by citing my PhD or even linking my own publications.

Windows Subsystem for Linux now packaged as a Microsoft Store app

tojb
Terminator

Uninstalled wsl2 today

Unlike wsl1, wsl2 doesn't give a consistent Mac address but creates a new one for your card every reboot. This plays hob with licence verification for paid software running on the Linux subsystem, as well as with per-device authentication for secured networks. Complete fail.

Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to 11 years in prison

tojb
Windows

And the bum tests?

Is this conviction for losing money from VCS and hedge funds, or for selling a bunch of bum blood sugar tests that endangered lives? The article seems to be focused on the former?

Twitter is suffering from mad bro disease. Open thinking can build it back better

tojb
Windows

Cost of twitter ~40Bn US.

Musk's next payday from Tesla (currently tied up in court by shareholders, but likely to get most of it): ~50Bn US.

Musk can afford to own twitter debt-free and run it as a hobby. The whole situation is insane, but it is entirely feasible for him to keep it on the road.

Windows Subsystem for Android declared ready for prime time

tojb

Re: WSA or ASW?

Indeed! Came here to bemoan the insane bloat of adding a windows compatibility layer to my fave mobile os. Seems it's actually just a rubbish vm tool for Windows. Hey ho.

NIST thinks US public should weigh in on CHIPS Act programs

tojb
Terminator

AI for chip design?

Did I read that right, AI for chip design? Cos that's how you get skynet my friends.

Excel's comedy of errors needs a new script, not new scripting

tojb
Big Brother

Ever done bird?

Lot of people doing stir because of spreadsheet errors https://slate.com/business/2009/10/were-hundreds-of-criminals-given-the-wrong-sentences-because-lawyers-messed-up-a-basic-work-sheet.html . Nowdays they use an interactive document, with more text and fewer dynamic cells visible to the user, but still. Being a judge doesn't require smarts in particular.

California asks people not to charge EVs during heatwave

tojb

Re: Har Har

"If you can't make it work in California" California had brownouts and blackouts around 2002,2003 just due to shitty planning and organisation, there were no global catastrophes in those days on the scale we have now.

For all the money that's made there (by some people) Cali can be very thirdy-worldy sometimes, it is still part of America.

Facebook settles Cambridge Analytica class action for undisclosed amount

tojb
Terminator

Re: It is a measure of how desperate Zuckerberg is to avoid answering questions

You could tell from the footage of his grilling before congress that Zuckerberg very much does not like being questioned. A lot of memes were circulated making fun of his bland, robotic demeanour: the man was sweating like warm Emmental, clearly rigid with fear that he would be publicly exposed and held to account.

Nvidia will unveil next-gen GPU architecture in September

tojb
Headmaster

Dude... they fund actual university fellowships in the subject... https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/research/graduate-fellowships/

If you are paying for someone to do a research project at UCSD or similar, then you do that because you are committed to staying at the cutting edge of the field and getting an inside track on new developments. Sheesh.

California to phase out internal combustion vehicles by 2035

tojb
Happy

Re: Not going to happen

For a generic crowded terrace like you describe, the answer is combined parking meters / charge points. You swipe your resident's parking card at the meter whether you want to charge or not, and then while you've got your card out you have the option to plug in overnight for a slow fillup (5kW or so should give atleast 60kWh overnight).

UK chemicals multinational to build hydrogen 'gigafactory'

tojb
Headmaster

Re: Quick charging

"Dependable 300 mile class goods BEV vehicles?"

My van does 328 km between charges. Weight of a full load doesn't really impact that, the vast majority of cost for motorway driving is spent against wind resistance, not acceleration from standing. Hill climbs are 60%-70% recovered by regenerative breaking on the way down.

"toys for the very well off or fools with more money than sense"

I did have to pay a premium, my national government handed me a subsidy however, and with fuel costs the way they are I'm laughing very quickly and comfortably all the way to the bank.

Charge infrastructure is fine where I live and neighbouring countries, typically on a round trip to Brussels I stop for 30 minutes (max allowed length of stay) on the motorway at a fast-charge station, then fill up from near-empty on domestic mains when I get home. Village centres, supermarket carparks etc have less powerful chargers, placed on the assumption that people will be there for a run round the shops or something, rather than just a coffee in the service station. Price for a full recharge is around 15 euro, more than competitive with petrol. Occasionally you will even find a slow-charger that is provided free by the local council.

Research casts doubt on energy efficiency of 5G

tojb
Boffin

Did anyone think this was a good idea?

The physics of using higher frequencies (new bands added with 5G) doesn't stack up. Sure, you have a wider frequency band, that is bandwidth, right there, but hang on! We learn in high school that E=hf, energy is proportional to frequency. Plus, penetration as you move up from GHz to THz gets worse and worse, these frequencies are scattered by airborne particulates, and also resonate to collective atomic motion of water and biomolecules, so less range, so obliged to pump it up even more. Why won't people just ditch this stupid telecoms standard?

Academics horrified that administration of Turing student exchange scheme outsourced to Capita

tojb
Gimp

Why Turing?

Do students have to be gay, or *shudder* into computer science?

Is a history of unjust persecution by the UK govt. required if you want to apply?

tojb

Re: How do they do it?

Party donations, revolving door.

Technology has the potential to close the education divide. Key word: Potential

tojb

"learning journey" sheesh. Agree though, you can really tell the difference between a teacher who has a plan to instill key knowledge and one who is winging it and/or filling the time with platitudes and empty verbiage. Home lessons on zoom were abject sometimes.

Technology does widen the education divide. But not always in the way you expect

tojb

No substitute for paper

I've been glibly informed that my child's shocking handwriting won't be a problem for him, and that there is no need to teach joined-up anymore to anyone, because he can just use a computer.

By an education specialist with a pencil and a notebook physically in their actual hand at the time. Computers already exist, we keep notebooks next to them to organise our thoughts, sketch diagrams, etc, there is no reason for that to change and offering it as an excuse for lazy teaching (days spent blathering on about rights, fairness, citizenship etc etc instead of learning to be effective whether as a tyrant or as a just and kind sovereign, no matter) is the great educational scandal of the age.

Wireless powersats promise clean, permanent, abundant energy. Sound familiar?

tojb

Re: Whenever I hear these lunatics

Sure, but some of the people who are stuck in crowds are stuck there every day. For a small number it is 24h.

Waving this away as only hurting city folk, commuters, stockbrokers and the braying herds is selfish, and I hazard a guess symptomatic of someone who has been working at home in a leafy village for a while: Boring Lives Matter is a slogan I am now going to adopt, it has the advantage that the T-shirts are already made.

tojb

Re: Whenever I hear these lunatics

OK, so nobody cares about the numbers, they'd rather believe that there is no effect after 2-3mm skin. I wonder why I bother.

For the contention that absorption is too high for these things to be used indoors, or near trees, or whatever I have to ask then what would be the point of them in that case? I suspect that near-THz 'hotspots' will be used indoors in large venues like airports or bullpen-like offices, callcentres, trading floors etc, where they are overlooking crowds of stuck people. It seems like that is what they are for, although some gee-whiz tech companies are promising high bandwidth (but high latency) outdoor vertical communication to a satellite network I'm hoping that the '5G' part of what they advertise is just pure marketing.

tojb

Re: Whenever I hear these lunatics

Great to hear someone who will look at the physics. Lets put numbers in, field strength to observe a harmful effect from the paper was 8e-7 V/m.

Take the attenuation coefficient as 100 /cm (order of magnitude for water). Start with field strength 5V/m (handset near head). That gives a depth of order millimetres (follow exponential absorbtion F/F_0 = exp( - mu * d ), d works out as 15.8mm in order to observe the harmful effects documented in Singh et al (probably why they picked the field strength they did).

Average adult male skull thickness is 6.5mm, so you are looking at getting into brain even before thinking about reduced absorption for bone versus soft tissue or bulk water. Bear in mind that most of you is near/at the surface: people are really pretty small and funny-shaped.

tojb

Re: Whenever I hear these lunatics

@DS999 >> Where are the double blind studies showing it is a problem?

Valid point, but on the other hand, the benefit of the newer higher-frequency bands is highly marginal, giving higher bandwidth (requiring higher wattage) in a small open-ish area only per station. Do you care that much about watching HD holovid on your phone while stuck in an airport? Can't just read the paper, or watch regular HDTV?

Why aggregate proteins, stressing peoples metabolisms and giving a tiny number of them some nasty amyloid disease? These things are subtle, slow, and only fatal after a 5-25 year lag. It is just isn't worth waiting to find out. If we look at the risk factors for amyloid disease, junk unfolded protein lying around is a big one. Either it aggregates itself, or it overloads the so-called JNK pathway which is responsible for clearing stuff away. The linked article is one of many looking at interaction between insulin and ABeta via the JNK pathway, I've just brought it in as an example of what I'm talking about https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnagi.2017.00118/full

tojb
Paris Hilton

Re: Whenever I hear these lunatics

Handy isn't it that having heard that anecdote somewhere saves you the trouble of making a critical assessment of the science. https://journals.aps.org/pre/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevE.103.042416

tojb

Re: Casual reference to 5G sceptics as 'wingnuts': author already is on wrong side of history

I've tried very hard not to call people ignorant in the course of this thread, unless its really been rubbed in my face - perhaps consider doing the same? If you believe it would be easy to know as much as me, then consider showing it by making an intelligent response. Also, ask yourself what kind of person reads past the abstract in Phys Rev E articles, which are not general physics but specialist literature in soft matter / biophysics.

In the title of the paper they call it 'microwaves' which is too vague for my taste, as that is often used to mean anything from kHz to GHz. Technically we should call the upper end of the 5G spectrum "SHF" or "EHF" however nobody uses those designations, so THz in my opinion is fine although yes, it is not quite a whole THz.

tojb

Re: Casual reference to 5G sceptics as 'wingnuts': author already is on wrong side of history

@Art Slartibartfast

As you said, "mostly". The IR-ish, millimetery, version was shown in the paper to couple to biomolecule dynamics. Disordered excitation of these frequencies is just heat, thermal vibration, not a problem; however pumping a single mode disproportionately strongly can break things.

tojb

Re: Casual reference to 5G sceptics as 'wingnuts': author already is on wrong side of history

@Fred Goldstein:

I know its not really about THz, sorry I was just using the term loosely as "between microwave and visible". The experiments showing destabilisation of lysozyme were done at 10GHz and 8e-7 V/m. The reason that the range-limited hotspot-type networks you talk about provide such terrible penetration is that these frequencies couple not to chemical excitations (they are not ionising radiation) but instead to vibrational modes of molecules, so meat or anything wet absorbs them strongly, arguably they should be referred to as an extension of the infrared.

In disordered form this type of radiation is just heat, so the only problem is feeling warm, however irradiation at a well-defined spectral window (as opposed to the flattish spectrum of the sun) can drive organised vibrational excitations leading non-covalent assemblies to break up, typically in a way that is reversible but nonetheless far from ideal.

tojb

Re: Casual reference to 5G sceptics as 'wingnuts': author already is on wrong side of history

@Alan Brown, you can find no evidence of risk through heating or ionisation as much as you want, that says nothing about risk from protein unfolding. Expecting DNA damage from THz radiation is obviously never going to happen. Protein unfolding diseases are subtle, nasty and above all *slow*.

I'm taking a risk commenting as the inchem link won't load, but if it is anything like the two or three other reviews listing no harm caused by obviously-harmless means then it is a dead letter.

tojb

Re: Casual reference to 5G sceptics as 'wingnuts': author already is on wrong side of history

Protein unfolding with (weak) radiation requires hitting a resonance, so precise frequency band matters. New spectrum regions around the THz are being opened with 5G. "I don't need to read the evidence because I work in a field that has remarkably little to do with biomolecule dynamics".

tojb

Re: Casual reference to 5G sceptics as 'wingnuts': author already is on wrong side of history

They also include experimental Raman data, and yes it was very important to do the whole experiment as well as just the calculations.

tojb
Childcatcher

Casual reference to 5G sceptics as 'wingnuts': author already is on wrong side of history

It is pretty easy to show protein unfolding from ultralow 5G-like irradiation:

https://journals.aps.org/pre/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevE.103.042416

harm from this type of effect is slow to manifest and won't show up on cultured neurons in a petri-dish after half a day, you need to irradiate a large population of human beings for a period of years in order to have an epidemiological datapoint sufficient to alter public policy (remember, literal megadeaths were needed to shift attitudes in relation to atmospheric pollution from domestic coal burning). If you can be bothered understanding the science however, you will prefer to let that epidemiological datapoint be someone else, preferably a long way from your house.

In the cited paper calculation matches experiment in unequivocally showing undesirable effects, but notice how they don't mention "5G" in the abstract because scientists don't want the fuss of robofetishists and techno-utopians uniting to call them out as cranks and crazies. Such people won't bother getting on sci-hub to download the full text so Singh et al can harvest a moderate number of citations, and say "I told you so" in a few years, all without being accused of rocking the boat.

Scientists reckon eliminating COVID-19 will be easier than polio, harder than smallpox – just buckle in for a wait

tojb

Re: Covid 19 Horse manure

So many problems with this post:

1) Covid is not harmless to kids, acute symptoms are less but risk of lasting damage is about the same as for adults.

2) Catching it post-vaccination depends on the effectiveness of the vaccine, but also on the amount of exposure. If you are getting hot guffs of mutant strain every time you step outside then your vaccination is now of much reduced benefit.

3) "The virus is a political tool used to gain power by the left" sheesh... it is beside the point but maybe the Chinese did let it out on purpose, although it is much more likely due to incompetence and poor hygiene. Something tells me they are not the 'left' that you are talking about anyway, you are imagining Hilary Clinton or lizards or Trump not-secretly in league with the Russians or something. Anyone for pizza?

tojb

Polio officially remains only in Pakistan

But somehow I don't think that the taliban are keeping up with their jabs over the border in Afghanistan, look forward to a new epidemic of this horrible disease.

8 years ago another billionaire ploughed millions into space to harvest solar power and beam it back down to Earth

tojb

Re: Hmm

Geostationary is pretty far out, so it can be nighttime on the ground without the satellite being in shadow. For most of the year, equatorial tilt should take the satellite out of shadow 24h/day. The longest time to spend in shadow is only 72 minutes/day, at the equinoxes.

EE and Three mobe mast surveyors might 'upload some virus' to London Tube control centre, TfL told judge

tojb

Can't have directed energy and inverse-square falloff: pick one! If it is mostly in-plane (sensible for a mast) then expect 1/r.

Ransomware victim Colonial Pipeline paid $5m to get oil pumping again, restored from backups anyway – report

tojb
Mushroom

Pretty cool though

Russian hacker gang.... called “Darkside”... takes down oil supply to the eastern US.... I feel like I’ve already seen a bunch of movies like this.

The torture garden of Microsoft Exchange: Grant us the serenity to accept what they cannot EOL

tojb

Re: If there was an alternative to Outlook

Er, gmail works better and also has chat, calendar, linked but separate various other functionalities

tojb
Thumb Up

Still better than TEAMS

Exchange/outlook might have its flaws but it is still a better means to manage online collaboration than MS Teams :-D chin up MS exchange devs!

There's no 'I' in Teams so Microsoft issues 6-month warning for laggards still on Skype for Business Online

tojb
FAIL

Worst app, forced down your throat: Microsoft is here again!

Actally bluejeans is straight up malware, so teams is the second worst.

Incoming Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger reveals he was offered board seat before sudden pitch for top job

tojb
Windows

Zero chance of getting back what has been looted

Technological lead in hard terms of process size has been handed on a plate to TSMC, with AMD in second place. In this time many large fortunes were taken out of intel through such devices as bonuses and share buybacks (directors inflating the value of their own share comp). A lost decade of under-investment won't easily be recouped, and once you start to serve up a company like cherry pie the actual useful employees will be too busy complaining at the size of their slice to make the heroic effort of even trying to save it. Carl Marx having a bad hair day there.

UK's AI fairy tale sets out on its yellow-brick roadmap

tojb
Terminator

AI here is code for "bot farming"

Its quite annoying for those of those who do AI research that the term in relation to government is now code for farming twitterbots or generally manipulating the masses over social media. Really that sort of thing is not very impressive or interesting, although consequences can be dramatic, sure. Please call it what it is el Reg, rather than falling for the govts line that e-sneaking and social media trawls are "AI".

The Battle of Britain couldn't have been won without UK's homegrown tech innovations

tojb

Re: The war is over, the empire is gone

Nazis are everywhere... worldwide more and more people are held in camps under appalling conditions for the sake of the political capital to be made by abusing them, or the fortunes to be made (in some cases) by appropriating their territory and assets. Uighurs, Mexicans, Sirians, Rohinga, Palestinians, I can't even be bothered to list them. Tyrranical and racist police states never went away and are in resurgence right now.

Unexpected victory in bagging area: Apple must pay shop workers for time they spend waiting to get frisked

tojb
Big Brother

Re: Good

It seems that most of the theft is done *from* employees, by Apple.

Brown pants moment for BlueJeans: Dozens of AV tools scream its vid chat code is malware

tojb
Thumb Down

2020 Bluejeans really is malware now

Having uninstalled this app using synaptic, and rebooted, I find *four* processes running under the name "BlueJeansHelper --hidden". Looks like malware to me.

Move over Ceres! There's a new, smaller dwarf planet in town called Hygiea

tojb
Coffee/keyboard

Re: Carbon-rich: role of VDW forces instead of gravity

apparently

tojb
Alien

Carbon-rich: role of VDW forces instead of gravity

As a C-type (soot and hydrocarbons) body, Hygiea could be stabilised by collective quantum dispersion forces acting at a level comparable to the tiny gravitational force associated with such a small thing.

https://arxiv.org/abs/1002.2478

On earth it is often a massive ball-ache when powders spontaneously clump and jam, the physics behind the whole thing is quite finely balanced and tricky.

https://powderreg.com/en/home-2/

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