* Posts by nederlander

44 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Jan 2011

Google unveils Nexus 7 tablet, Android 4.1 and Nexus Q



Several people, in a room, each with a google tablet, taking turns to play music on that ball thing..

Really google? REALLY?

Anyway - what about my massive collection of pirated films and music?



mexican workers.

Tumbleweed-plagued Google+ is minus Bejeweled and Wooga


I suppose G+ has the unique advantage of being well integrated with all of Google's other services. It's useful for me even though none of my friends are on it, but I still wish they were.

I left facebook because it treated me like the product rather than the customer. Of course, I WAS the product, which is fine, as long as you make me FEEL like the customer. G+ is better at that.

The true, tragic cost of British wind power


typical economists view

The point of renewable generation is not to make electricity cheap, it is to avoid dangerous climate change. What price do you put on dry land?

I agree that a carbon tax would be the best way to tackle climate change. Strange that the author seems to agree, while touting how gas is so cheap. Of course gas would be prohibitively expensive, were a carbon tax in place.

As for nuclear, its impossible to compare cost as no one knows how expensive nuclear energy is. The private companies now vying to build ten more reactors in the UK will not be expected to pay for the disposal of the spent fuel they create! The construction and hundred thousand years of maintenance of the mythical Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) will be left up to the tax payer, long after the new nukes are in operation and generating ten tonnes per day of highly radioactive spent fuel. Now I'm open to the idea of more nuclear power in the UK, but not until the operators are prepared to take on the full cost of the operation. Perhaps a carbon tax would make nuclear competitive on price to the extent that EDF could actually pay for the broom to sweep their piping hot uranium under the carpet.

Ubuntu 12.04 hits beta, brings smooth Unity for marching masses


I use unity all day every day and I like it.

I do have some niggles though.

I had to turn off the disappearing launcher because I kept accidentally invoking it and that (unconfigurable) 2 seconds before it disappears is a long time when the button you are trying to click is underneath it.

The fucking scrollbars. They wouldn't be so bad if they worked but sometimes, like in eclipse they just don't appear when you want them. (Thanks for the tip anon, I'll try it. If it works I'll love you long time.)

Why does the global menu go invisible? What possible good could that do? Maybe this will make more sense with the HUD but right now its just irritating.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime Android Tablet


yes but..

Can I replace the battery?

Mullumbimby’s plan to save the world peters out


hold on..

I'm no rossi apologist, I think the likelyhood is that he is a self deluded showman, however, I don't get your NASA argument. The only amazing thing about Rossi's claims is that the coulomb barrier can be overcome at low temp/pressure. That is the part that someone from NASA seems to agree with. If we assume that that is true then rossi having a (semi-) working boiler based on the phenomenon is hardly a great leap of the imagination.

Also not sure what your point was about money. AFAIK no one is asking for money.

The only rational position we can take given the information that is public is to reserve judgement until conclusive evidence is given to vindicate or debunk rossi.

Ten... remastered videogame classics


Missed one..

How is Another World not in this list??


Cracked emails again deployed against climate researchers


What Taxes?

have been raised as a result of climate change policy?

'Devastating' protocol flaw could paralyze Bitcoin system


You say that spending drives the economy - enriching is all. You could equally say - spending drives the economy - giving us all more work to do. Of course it a person's rightful choice whether they should work hard and get rich in money or work less and be rich in time. The problem comes because if everyone chooses the former we end up destroying our habitat much quicker. The monetary system should not encourage either type of behaviour - that should be down to free personal choice.

Our current system in which continuous exponential inflation is built in, is not compatible with that free personal choice.


Why should people be incentivised to spend money? This is exactly the kind of thinking that makes unmanaged currencies appealing to me. As a previous poster said, money should be a simple accounting system, not used as a way to encourage (or discourage) consumption.

Bitcoin isn't yet really useful as a currency because so few people accept it as payment, but it's still more appealing to me than business as usual. Look at the situation: All money is created as debt, that debt must be repayed within a limited period plus interest so the total amount owed is always greater than the total value in circulation, therefore the only way to service today's debts is to create more money and the ever accelerating cycle continues. The really dire consequence of this is that because the debts grow exponentially, so must the rate of value creation (economic activity) required to service them. Exponential economic growth is required at all times if the system is not to collapse. Of course in practice, economic activity means chopping down trees and burning coal, so you can see how constant acceleration of it is a bad (not to mention impossible) thing.

Bitcoin is different. There is no central bank to create and lend money. There is always enough money in the economy to pay off all debts (should there be any.) There is no need to grow the supply exponentially so there is no need to drive constant economic growth. Money becomes a simple accounting system, not a driver of human behaviour. This is a system fit for the stable, or perhaps declining economy that is a physical inevitability.

Ubuntu republic riven by damaging civil wars


I Quite Like Unity Too

Its fast sexy and minimal, yes, it takes some getting used to (like any UI paradigm) and it has its glitches, but its early days and these will be ironed out.

Having said that, I'm not here to evangelise, use whatever distro you like.

Googler squeals: 'We don't get platforms'

Thumb Down


Facebook isn't successful because of its constellation of products, it's successful because of four or five core in-house features which were executed well and along with some luck allowed it to reach critical mass.

In fact, Facebook's constellation of products is one of the prime reasons I closed my account.

Samsung, Google delay next-gen Nexus launch



The real reason for this is the iPhone 5 announcement which will be happening on tuesday 18th.

iPhone 5 a no-show at Apple's 'Let's talk iPhone' event



Anyone think they are saving the iPhone 5 announcement for just after the Nexus Prime comes out?

Faster-than-light back with surprising CERN discovery


740KM tape measure anyone?

Surely all this result shows is that the receiver is 20cm closer to the transmitter than was thought.

No pain, some gain: Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot examined


When I were a lad...

we chiselled our calculations on rock with our teeth. Unity makes things easy and beautiful. Bloody outrageous!

German tap-to-pay telco allies don't need no stinkin' banks


Slow, baulky, irritating and they don't smile.

Not at all like their human colleagues then.

Linus Torvalds dubs GNOME 3 'unholy mess'


Sorry guys...

but Ubuntu isn't aimed at you. It's aimed at normal people.

And the idea that Torvalds has any idea what the average user wants from their computer is laughable.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1


a post

This is obviously designed as direct competition for iPad hence the otherwise strange decisions regarding interoperability and upgradability. Its hard to see who this will appeal to though, since those idiots will look no further than momcorp.

Google erects Colombian 'g.co' URL shortener for Google+

Paris Hilton

the moronically gifted

Isn't that exactly the type of person the advertisers are interested in?

Interwebs IDE hits the mother Node



..is for girls.

Brussels acts to ensure arrival of new, unknown legal highs


Legalise and tax?

Do you realise how many wealthy and influential toes you would be stepping on if you diverted the profits of this industry towards the public sector? Mark my words, that will never happen. To quote a Holmes villain "It's too good a thing to let the public into."

ARM daddy simulates human brain with million-chip super


being the bat

@Nigel 11

The thermostat can sense the results of its own actions. Therefore it is self aware.

There is no point (outside art, or worse - philosophy) of defining self awareness in a way that requires one to _be_ the subject in order to determine the extent of its self awareness. A useful definition of self awareness is one that can be determined by an independent observer.


Brain in a jar?

OK time for my usual AI rant..

1) There is nothing inherent in neural networks that skews towards any particular type of behaviour (such as pair bonding, aggression, communication with other agents, territoriality, pain response, etc.) If such behaviours were desired, a lot of work would be required in the design of the network topology and learning algorithm in order to increase the likelihood of them arising. So don't worry sci-fi nuts - there is no chance of accidentally creating either a monster or a ickle baby.

2) Yet again the importance of embodiment has been overlooked. Until you have a billion sensor, billion actuator robot body there is no point in creating a billion neuron brain.

3) Finally, self awareness isn't anything special. A thermostat is self aware.

Rant complete. Thank you for your patience.

Schmidt sees NFC terminals everywhere


touch to borrow

God forbid that a subject be given several seconds to think between exposure to advertising and completion of the suggested purchase.

Another brick on the accelerator of planetary destruction, sorry, human progress.

EFF backs away from Bitcoin


something is open to abuse?!! Shut.. down.. EVERYTHING

Money was never intended to be a means of identification. A ten pound note is no more traceable that a bitcoin, presumably then, anyone who uses a tenner must be a shady scoundrel?

Man says he lost $500,000 in virtual currency heist


Why so angry?

"Don't you get it? Bitcoin is inherently unsafe and unregulated. It could collapse tomorrow and you could be left with nothing. "

No regulation is better than bad regulation. The fiat monetary system is possibly the greatest failing of the human race, and the bungled attempts at regulation would be laughable if they weren't so harrowing.

There is nothing inherently unsafe about Bitcoin, like any type of cash, its important to store it securely.

As for collapse, my analysis is that in the long run, Bitcoin is probably less likely to collapse than any other currency. For now though I have not spent what I cannot afford to lose.

Thumb Up

Why I use Bitcoin

I am not against paying taxes, I'm proud to pay tax because I realise that tax isn't me giving my money away, but everyone pooling our money to spend on things we all need.

I use Bitcoin because I'm a saver and I don't appreciate every central bank devaluing my savings by printing money. I don't want the value of my hard earned cash to be at the mercy of the broken system where stability depends on continuous exponential economic growth.

Stand by for more big, windfarm-driven 'leccy price rises

Thumb Up

Wholeheartedly agree.

That's right Lewis, lets all save money on electricity, we can spend it after we are extinct.

Would putting all the climate scientists in a room solve global warming...


say wha?!

Hold on.. what money has been squandered on climate change?

Some money has been spent on developing homegrown industries, including (mostly) nuclear (and to a much tinier extent), solar, wind and ocean, but all this pales into utter insignificance when measured against the bill for bailing out the financial system, that spent on weapons of mass destruction etc.

Squandered on climate change indeed. I ask you.


what do you expect from a bunch of hairdressers?

I think its all rather irrelevant as people by enlarge will never accept voluntary restrictions on their consumption to solve something like this. Each person measures the importance of themselves having a hot bath or a holiday in Thailand verses the tiny (even it it were certain) impact that said action will have on climate, and concludes that their own comfort is far more important. Its the kind of 'one more wont hurt you' attitude that an alcoholic has to whisky. There's no point getting angry about it, its human nature, one might as well get annoyed with gravity.

Damn gravity!

Mines the organic hemp woven cardigan.

Whitehats break out of Google Chrome sandbox



do you expect from a commercial operation that holds valuable information? They could tell google about it, leading to an immediate fix and destroying the value of the information, or they could sell it to the highest bidder (who will presumably use it to spy on people and shut down nuclear power projects in hot countries.)

Let's face it, this is worth more than $3000. Come on google, get out a big bag of bling, we don't want anyone spying on us but you.

Natty Narwahl: Ubuntu marine mammal not fully evolved

Thumb Up

Works for me

Any unfamiliar OS paradigm takes some getting used to. God knows I've never got over the hump with OSX which is supposed to be intuitive.

I'm finding some things a little slower so far with Narwhal, like I find the global menu confusing because it's not what I'm used to, but everything else works, its very fast, it hasn't crashed and its new and shiny - for those reason's I will give it a chance.

Also the 'windows button' function is totally great - searches so many categories so fast. If I type 'gimp', not only do I get to launch gimp, I also get a list of recent files from gimp, each with a thumbnail - very handy.

I'm sure there are a few wrinkles yet to iron out and I look forward to seeing that over the coming months. Congratulations to the Ubuntu team for this innovation (or at least for stealing some good ideas.)

Save the planet: Stop the Greens



Infinite, carbon free, cheap energy would, in the medium term be worse for life on earth than quite severe energy restrictions. The global economy is a linear system that turns natural resources into irrecoverable waste. The only limitation to its growth is the energy supply. More energy just means we'll kill ourselves quicker.

On the other hand a limited energy supply (which can only be imposed by nature - it would never be self imposed), could result (eventually) in a stable and sustainable level of human population and activity, which might just be good for everyone.

The most important thing to realise is that we human's have no control over our behaviour, so there's no point in worrying about any of this. What you are observing is a natural phenomenon that occurs all the time in many types of system - growth, overshoot, collapse.

Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Ubuntu seeks Android-packin' Windows deserters


I'd like to drop windows but..

I have an android phone and I run ubuntu, but I still keep windows 7 on the dual boot for two reasons. Firstly there are no decent games on linux. Secondly, I like to do a bit of programming in my spare time and java+eclipse just isn't as good as C#+VS. The java language and framework seems to be languishing while C# moves on in leaps and bounds. Death by committee I suppose.

Microsoft breaks own world record for IE nonsense


author be trippin'

Nothing wrong with native support for HTML5, or any standard. As long as you support the standard and not some bastardised version.

ChromeOS takes this to the limit, the operating system existing solely to support the browser.

Wind power: Even worse than you thought


My car averages only 25% of its top speed. Should I crush it?

I welcome the report as it's always interesting to see real world data. (A rare privilege in the energy industry.) However, I found Lewis' analysis a little lop-sided as he failed to take some important factors into account.

1) The report only covered on-shore wind power which is a minor and outdated sector, much more beset by unreliable/low wind, and much more constrained in turbine size than offshore.

2) Wind sector has received some government support but nowhere near what the nuclear industry has received.

3) In criticising the 25% capacity figure, Lewis failed to compare wind to nuclear. What is the average output of a nuclear power station, compared to nominal capacity? I'd be willing to bet its about 25%.

Wind power has its problems for sure, but they include neither the long term contamination of the bioshpere with radioactive isotopes, nor the extinction of the species due to climate change. For that I commend it.

Artificial leaf produces electricity through photosynthesis


Hold on.. let's do the maths

Its the size of a playing card, 10 times as efficient as a leaf, how long would it take to harvest enough energy to power a third world home for a day?

Suns energy reaching the ground at noon on the equator ~1KW/m^2 = E (as far as I recall, can't be bothered to look it up now)

Typical efficiency of a leaf ~ 2% = e (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthetic_efficiency)

Area of device = 0.005544 m2 = a (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playing_card)

So under perfect conditions this thing is producing a * e * 1000E = 0.01W.

Let's be mean and give our african family a mere 0.01KWh of power per day, which might give them light for a few hours if they use LEDs, then their daily energy consumption would require

10 / 0.01 = 1000 hours of noonday sun.

This is why trees tend not to do too much.

Back to the nano-mechanical future


a question of scale

Anonymous Coward,

Presumably at that scale, the cantilever it is far too small to be bend under the kind of deceleration it would encounter on being dropped. I mean, if you drop an ant it doesn't go splat.

No ants were harmed in the production of this post.

Fukushima situation as of Wednesday


Informative but..

I found the article interesting and informative, much more so than anything I've found elsewhere on this topic. I'm convinced nuclear power is relatively safe during the lifetime of the plant (especially when compared to coal, which will probably make us extinct.)

What I have against Nuclear is the long term. It seems inevitable to me that within the thousands of years that spent fuel will remain highly dangerous, it will be exposed to the water cycle, to the atmosphere and will become finely distributed within the bioshpere. We certainly cannot rely on there being well educated and funded technicians tending our waste continuously for such a long time. None of our storage (or other!) technologies have been (or can be) tested on the timescales involved. Sea level changes, ice ages.. you get the picture. Creating nuclear waste is a very irresponsible way to get rich in the present.

FOSS maven says $29 'Freedom Box' will kill Facebook

Paris Hilton

swing and a miss

I would suggest that the average user doesn't care enough about privacy to bother with this.

Can you imagine Paris taking the time to configure exactly which of her banal status updates and indiscrete photos are available to exactly whom?

Your mind's '.brain' jpeg-like picture file format probed


Circular logic

"But such .brain pictures, stripped of much of the information on flat bits, are still good for subsequent recognition of objects, faces etc."

“Psychological experiments have shown that subjects can still recognize line drawings of objects when flat edges are erased. But erasing angles and other regions of high curvature makes recognition difficult,” says Connor.

Of course they can still recognise them, if you remove the straight edges the .brain compressed form remains roughly the same. The fact that a human finds it easy to recognise a compressed image is not a fair test of whether the compression format is good for subsequent recognition in general, for instance, by a computer that isn't using .brain.

Mid-Atlantic Ocean temperatures peaked in 1998


somewhere on the planet got a bit cooler..

And there was me thinking that ever increasing rates of consumption were a bad idea! Silly me, time to buy a 4x4.