I once named a new system with a spurious acronym that also happened to be an abbreviation of my name. It stuck. And although I’ve moved to greener pastures at a different company, that system (and my name with it) lives on.
1354 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Oct 2010
There were very good reasons to permit BYOD in the past, and those reasons were mainly down to the dominance of Windows and the difficulty of finding admins who were skilled in the management of Linux / Unix / Mac computers.
Years ago I had a job writing software for Vaxen, and I really wasn’t prepared to fart around with Windows on my desktop machine. I gave my employer an ultimatum - either let me bring my own machine to work on (a blue and white G3 running macOS 8.6 for those who are wondering) or find someone else to do program your Vaxen. Thankfully, they saw sense.
Nowadays, non Windows machines are so common that the skills to administer are also common, and non Windows machines can also be purchased with business friendly deals. And now my employer is quite happy to buy me (and my entire team) Macs. So no need for BYOD any more.
I’ll settle for moderating what is demonstrably false, and leave what is morally abhorrent alone. For example, a claim that a political party is a deep state shill, or that vaccines are an attempt at controlling the population, or that the NHS will be funded by x many billions because of money saved by Brexit, or that anthropogenic climate change is a hoax are examples of things which should be moderated (because they’re demonstrably false).
On the other hand (and speaking as a cyclist, and hence I can get away with this example without fear of insulting a group to which I don’t belong), if a political party made the manifesto promise to ban cycling and lock up those ‘perverts’ who continue to practice their sport I wouldn’t propose moderating that - if that’s their honest opinion then they should be free to say it (and let people know exactly what they stand for)
If you wait until they’ve actually proscribed it then you’ve left it too late.
But you make a very good point about the requirement for a bar that needs to be passed before the content is deemed of danger and needs to be removed.
Perhaps what is required is for social media platforms to be legally required to employ professional moderators, and for those moderators to have legal training. I can still see objections - not least what constitutes a social media platform? Would The Register, through its forums, fit the requirement? Is it a matter of reach? Would Truth Social therefore not be required to be moderated (too small). It’s a minefield.
By that argument, you’re happy for prejudice of all kinds to be spread via social media in the name of free speech, or for lies to be propagated which might adversely impact the outcome of an election. By ‘adversely impact’ I don’t mean that the elected party is one that I disagree with, I’m fine with that - that’s democracy - but an election or referendum should not be won under a cloak of lies. People must always be clear about what they’re voting for - I wouldn’t want to buy a bottle of ketchup and discover that it’s actually a bottle of red paint.
If a social media platform isn’t prepared to police speech, shutting down prejudice and stopping false advertising then it’s no kind of free speech at all. And that’s exactly what Popper was talking about.
Just from half remembered physics books, this makes sense to me. Antimatter is a misnomer. Antimatter is still matter. It isn’t a case that Antimatter + Matter = 0 (because the annihilation produces energy - lots of it, and if antimatter was truly the opposite of matter the annihilation would produce exactly nothing.)
‘Antimatter’ is just matter with opposite spin.
I am, however, upvoting you. Good points all.
Actually, I have no problem with Nuclear at all, per se. But for nuclear to be workable, in my view, we need to invest in it continuously - and prioritise the production of energy over weapons.
As far as I can see, which is based on what I’ve read - and not on particular personal expertise, the technology for ‘clean’ nuclear exists (where clean is defined as waste which is lethally dangerous for hundreds of years rather than hundreds of thousands of years), and with investment (hybrid reactors, which are currently largely theoretical) we could get that number down to years. In which case, let’s grab the opportunity with both hands. BUT, if I’ve understood correctly, these reactors have not received the investment that they need precisely because they are rubbish at producing the material required for an atomic weapons program.
But, even with clean energy, it seems to me that we should be a little less resource greedy in order to enjoy a cleaner and less polluted planet. Will your life be worse off if you don’t have a car with a massive frontal area? Will you be poorer if your TV, microwave, games console etc are actually fully turned off at night rather than on standby (of course not - actually you’ll be marginally richer)? Will you be worse off if you walk or cycle short distances rather than hopping in your car (nope - you’ll be fitter)? What about limiting the accessibility of AI (we’d be forced to use our brains, which seems like a good thing to me)? And yet, suggest any of these simple measures for measurably improving your life, everyone’s life, and anyone would think you’d lobbed the first grenade in a culture war.
So yes. New generation nuclear. But yes save energy too.
Now if the AI can either come up with a nuclear power source which doesn’t generate any waste, or a way of safely disposing of the waste, we’d be on to a winner.
If it can’t, then I think I’d rather limit the spread of AI (and block chain etc) in order to protect the environment. Save it for applications that really need it rather than wasting it on bot nets and helping spotty yoofs with their homework.
The trouble is that it’s all too easy to lose reputation - but it’s the devil of a job to regain it again.
I used to have a BMW - 530i - and it was a very nice car. Would I buy another BMW now? Well no. It seems that a modern BMW is a car that rusts, catches fire, and drains its drivers pockets through weird subscriptions.
Musk has done a number on Teslas reputation (and I’m guessing it’s Musk who mandated thin paint and poor build quality in order to maximise profit)
Volvo have ditched saloon and estate cars in favour of silly SUVs that will seldom if ever go off road (yes, I know, it’s not a reputation thing - but still. My next car will not be from them)
Skoda used to be the butt of all jokes and VW have rehabilitated that brand. So it can be done. And VW and Skoda still make proper cars. So top work, the ladies and gentlemen from Wolfsburg.
The remarkable part of this story isn’t that they did the wrong thing in the first place, but that they apologised for it when caught. I say kudos for that at least.
In this febrile global climate, apologising for doing the wrong thing is becoming an increasingly scarce trait - and it betrays a lack of moral fibre.
No. I dispute that. But, even if it is true, unless you have a time machine, what has happened in previous elections is largely irrelevant. You can’t vote for it. What matters is what’s happening now.
And to be clear, I want there to be a sensible right wing party to provide balance. And I genuinely feel sorry for the millions of moral, upstanding, right of centre people who’ve been disenfranchised by the modern GOP, Tories etc.
Right wing political party in making shit up shock horror. All this is is an example of the fundamental unfairness of 21st century politics. Left wing parties are expected to be moral, upstanding and honest. When they live up to this ideal, they’re accused of virtue signalling. When they fail to live up to this ideal (as, being human, they’re inevitably wont to do once in a while), they’re eviscerated for it.
Right wing parties are expected to be venal and dishonest. They trade on it, encouraging their servant media outlets to promulgate the lie that “all political parties are alike really”. And so they’re allowed to claim that Brexit is a good idea, or that they can make America great again, or that they’re morally upstanding and fiscally responsible. Or, as in this case, they’ll build a nuclear reactor every year and give everyone unicorn steak forever more.
The sad thing is that there are still plenty of people who believe this rubbish.
The sadder thing is that politics, as with many things, needs balance. And we need a credible right wing party which can provide a cogent counter argument to the policies of the left. However sensible the policies of the left are, we need sensible arguments from the right to ensure that the ramifications are fully explored. And that just isn’t happening right now.
AI, BlockChain - for any new tech we need to consider whether it can be productionised in a carbon neutral manner - and, if it can’t, refine it until it can. The time for dicking around is long gone. If it’s new and not carbon neutral then we can’t afford it. If it’s old and not carbon neutral then replace it with something carbon neutral as a soon as the technology can be developed.
The use of fossils fuels is catastrophically stupid and short sighted. The ecosystem of this planet as we know it is coming to an end, and with it the lives of many, even most, species. The majority of us may not survive.
You might have swallowed the right wing and big oil lies, and that’s a shame if you have. You really need to educate yourself on the real state of affairs. But if you’re right that renewables are massively damaging too then we have only one option - and it’s none too palatable. We need to massively reduce the population of this planet (one child per family, globally - which would be virtually impossible to achieve) and return to an agrarian society. Nope. I’m not keen on that option either. Which leaves…
Investment in renewables, geothermal and a new generation of nuclear. But fossil fuels belong in the dustbin of history.
The same can be said of fossil fuels and climate change. Who cares if the drinking water of Africa is polluted by spilled hydrocarbons? Who cares if Bangladesh and island nations are flooded?
Well, clearly not big oil.
The truth is that we should all care. And yes, mining for rare earths is polluting but…
If you’re that concerned, don’t buy a new computer. Or phone. Definitely don’t buy a new car - even one with an internal combustion engine.
But… a lot of the rare earths that we need have already been mined, and dumped as toxic spoil by mines worldwide - many of which are now disused. And enterprising businesses have spotted this - and are now mining the spoil heaps. It’s a double benefit - the world gets rare earths, and the pollution gets cleaned up. The scarcity might also encourage us to get better at recycling too - reduce landfill, reduce pollution, put disposed of material back into circulation.
And, as has been said before, it’s relatively easy to recycle these materials. It’s much harder to trap CO2, or methane or clean up millions of barrels of spilled oil.
Re: Lamborghini going EV ?
Every time I see one the only thought I have is how ridiculous the driver looks. Could be the most beautiful woman or most handsome chap in the world - as soon as they get into a car like that they instantly look like a bellend.
In my mind, they don’t project power - they project powerlessness. If you want to see power in motion, look at a runner or a cyclist. A car just doesn’t do it for me.
And if it’s long distance transport that you want, just about any family car - even the cheapest - can do it more practically and more comfortably - and, in the right circumstances, faster too*.
* see who can transport a family of four, with all their gear for a holiday, faster - the supercar driver or the driver of a family car.
Yes. Exactly this. And there will be those who object with some kind of nebulous argument about loss of freedom - just as some people objected to the end of the incandescent bulb on similarly spurious grounds (one wingnut even going so far as to suggest it would cost him more in heating bills). Damn, I’m sure there were those who objected to the building of the sewers on the grounds that they liked throwing their shit out of the window, and the flavour it gave to the water.
Still. Thumbs up. Point well made.
Hmm. That may be so, but it’ll be a very limited number of people. And very few people need to play games or muck about on Facebook (they might want to do these things, but that’s a separate issue)
On the other hand, communications tools are key to the workflows of most people - especially these days.
You make an excellent point - but maybe in terms of reliability more than anything else. I maintain that any computer from this century can do anything you’d want to do provided that the appropriate OS is installed - Haiku for example is hugely efficient. But… if that computer is going to be used for work then whilst it may be capable of doing what it needs to it may not be able to do it reliably. Can no one wants a failed cap to blow their work away.
That said, and this isn’t about hobbyists, some people really do have limited needs - perhaps not even a need for the internet - but they still need a computer for their work. George RR Martin springs to mind as an example.
Still, have a thumbs up. Good point.
I guess it depends what you want to do with your old computer. Perhaps more pertinently, what do you need to do with it.
For example, you might want to play games - but you probably don’t need to play them. There’s a world of IRL entertainment out there, or you can lower your expectations of what a game is. Ditto video and music. You might need to fall back on physical media.
Can we throw social media out of the window? Please say yes! Once more, we can dump a whole heap of processing out of the window - and open up the utility of old machines still further.
For my use case, I want email, online banking, research (so Google, wiki, GitHub, StackOverflow), word processing, text editing, spreadsheet, C compilers. Basically, with the right OS, pretty much any machine from this century will cut the mustard.
Ditch online banking and you open up most of the machines from the 1990s too.
It wouldn’t be fast enough would it? I accept that the expansion memory will never be as quick as on-die memory, but I’d still like that RAM to be as close to the CPU as possible.
And this is 2023 - 192GB is no longer a colossal amount of memory. Especially when it’s shared with the GPU. For a workstation, I’ll accept 128GB as an entry level amount of memory - but I’d want to be able to expand it to more than a terabyte. If my 1989 SE/30 could take 128MB RAM (a colossal amount for the time), I won’t accept the use of the word colossal in 2023 for anything less than the ability to expand to 16TB RAM.
I could be up for a Mac Pro. It looks nice. I like the design, I like the performance, I like the specification…
Whoa! Jeeezus! How much?
And no memory expansion you say?
Yes. Which is to say No. I think I’ll give this one a miss. But halve the price and give it some DDR5 slots and I’ll bite their hands off.
Arguably, the modern computer industry runs on ARM - especially if we consider mobile phones, tablets and set top boxes to be computers (and I do). That’s before we even consider the dash to ARM in the server room.
So, whilst Intel is still very relevant, it’s the legacy, backward compatibility, platform which exists to support software from the past - and (for the time being) games.
I’d argue that it isn’t just about investing in low carbon energy, it’s also about not being so profligate in our use of energy.
‘Sleeping’ devices use a surprising amount of power. Games consoles particularly so. So don’t let the device sleep. If you aren’t using it, turn it off altogether. I’ve put a switch in each room that turns off all the sockets (because I’m too lazy to do them individually!)
‘Smart’ devices are generally wasteful and don’t add significantly to quality of life. There are exceptions like smart thermostats, which can actually save energy, but in most cases think before buying. Is it really going to improve your quality of life so significantly?
Electric cars are great, but not necessarily environmentally friendly. Use a bike for short journeys, and when buying a car don’t buy an SUV when a smaller car will meet your needs.
Bitcoin is a catastrophic waste of power. Let’s ditch it.
Do all of that (and I’m sure that there are lots of other ideas which could save power too), and we won’t need as much energy generating capacity of any kind. And if we don’t need it then we can’t be held to ransom over it - whether through energy prices or through enemy states threatening to turn off the oil / gas or blowing up the generating infrastructure.
Re: Alternative explanation for contract award
I’m still holding out for proper hardback passports with none of this new fangled biometric technology. And I want the RAF to re-equip with sopwith camels, the navy to resurrect Nelson and defend our interests with ships of the line, and the army to replace the tanks with horses.
Huzzah! We’ll show Johnny Foreigner and have the empire back in no time.