* Posts by Androgynous Cupboard

1626 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Mar 2012

Scandium-based nuclear clocks promise punctuality for next 300 billion years

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> In other words, if your watch loses a second a year, it will be 9,512 years slow by the time a nuclear clock based on scandium is a second out.

I'm fairly certain I would have noticed and adjusted it before it got to that point.

The alternative to stopping climate change is untested carbon capture tech

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Re: Carbon capture isn't the only solution

Spoilsport :-)

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Re: Carbon capture isn't the only solution

The moon is about 0.2deg², the entire sky is 41,252deg², so the moon covers roughly 0.000484% of the sky. And you want to cover 1% - I'm not sure I can imagine a less appropriate use of the phrase "doesn't have to be huge".

Call me a luddite, but dumping iron in our rapidly-acidifying ocean or building something 2,000 times the visible size of the moon do not strike me a viable solutions, although I admire your confidence in our species to terraform without any unexpected side-effects..

I'm with you on the trees though.

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Re: This is bonkers

You are Michael Gove and I claim my five pounds.

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Re: This is bonkers

How else do you think a complex system should be modelled? Or are you suggesting we don’t model It at all and just hope for the best?

I used to know someone that worked at the met office, years ago, They would store every data point,, then whenever they wanted to adjust the model they would then rerun it on historical data to see how well it would have predicted the future. Tweak and repeat. Think about what sort of of model you get at the end of that - it’s not going to be pretty.

You seem to think that for a model to be good it must be simple. But complex systems are not simple. It’s why we need experts who work on complex stuff for their whole lives, and why we don’t leave the analysis to people who get confused by measuring temperature (easy) and predicting temperature (hard), as you did in your original post, then decide “it’s all bollocks”.

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Untested? If only

I thought the whole problem with CCS is that it has been tested and doesn't work? See for example https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/apr/21/emissions-wa-gas-project-chevron-carbon-capture-system-pilbara-coast

Incidentally I couldn't recall the details so googled "Australia CCS project". The first page of links is mostly sponsored by Aramco, Chevron et al - firms with deep pockets and bad image problems. If they could make CCS work, we'd have already heard about it.

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Re: This is bonkers

I look forward to your next post where you explain why weather forecasting is shit, because sometimes they say it's going to rain and it doesn't

Raspberry Pi 5 revealed, and it should satisfy your need for speed

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Couple of fun bits from the Pi launch article you missed

First, the RTC can run off a supercap as well as a battery - which is fantastic for anyone wanting to box and forget about the units (not to mention the benefits for anyone who might be shipping boards with RTC clocks on them, as it lets me, ahem, them remove an expensive chip from their BOM)

Second, the custom power chip they codeveloped (with Renesas) is capable of delivering 20 amps. That is f*ing insane, so much so I would presume it was a typo if it wasn't on their site. I don't know what voltage the chips run at to need that, but I hope it's very very low.

Third, "Raspberry Pi 5 consumes significantly less power, and runs significantly cooler, than Raspberry Pi 4 when running an identical workload." - genius. I presume that's what you get for for going from 28nm to 16nm.

But forth, and I'm surprised no-one has mentioned this - because it has PCI-e, it also has an M.2 adapter board in the works. There's a picture of a prototype the bottom of https://www.raspberrypi.com/news/introducing-raspberry-pi-5/. Given how many times Pis have been announced here and commenters immediately respond "yes, but I want to connect proper storage", I'm kind of surprised this wasn't highlighted.

The launch article on their site is a good read. Looks like a lovely piece of kit.

EDIT - they're also hinting at their in-house custom PIO chip having IO abilities which "will be exposed" in the coming months. Proper off-loaded hi-speed custom IO, here we come! Whoop whoop!

'Small monthly payment' only thing that stands between X and bot chaos, says Musk

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Re: But... he's right

... and that Musk, noted free speech absolutist(*) would have an issue if they did.

* T&C apply. Free speech may only be applied when it does not irritate the management.

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But... he's right

This is just another version of the old "penny-per-email" solution to stopping spam. It's a good solution - not for email, which is vendor neutral, but if you're running a site behind a walled-garden then why not? It absolutely get rid of most of the bots.

Is it twitter's only problem? Hell no. Is it one of the bigger ones? Not sure we can quantify that, but probably. Will it also get rid of some of the arseholes who spend their day writing to prominent women telling then to get back in the kitchen, or prominent black people to get back to Africa? Yes, it probably will do that too.

Does it matter if it doesn't work? No - worst case is twitter fails, and it's already failing so no-one cares. Let's test the theory already.

Lightning struck: Apple switches to USB-C for iPhone 15 lineup

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Re: More discarded cables

Lightning is prone to failure in my experience, so I’m happy to throw the cables in the bin a little earlier than usual.

Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Chabon and others sue OpenAI

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Re: Guess who copied that line...

Yes, you're very clever in keying in "the weight of the world at war" into Google Books Search. I think it's fairly obvious that Michael Chabon is not claiming that he invented that line, which is a shame as you clearly had such a good time being snarky about it.

I think his claim is that for a LLM to generate text that is both similar in style and uses a phrase which - I presume given it's emphasis, although I've not read his book - is in the actual text, it was very likely to have have been trained by reading the actual text. Although there's some doubt that LLMs are even clever enough to do that.

Linux 6.6's in-kernel SMB networking server graduates

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Re: Bootnote

I have a similar setup and yes it does work. If you're on ZFS, "fruit:resource = xattr" might be of interest - that's how we roll here. It's been a while, but I remember lots of "macOS droppings" all over my filesystem as a result of it trying to store resource forks in standalone files. Less of an issue these days I think, but still. Also see fruit:nfs_aces=no if you've got NFS access to the same folders

The "refquotas" is a great tip, thanks - I see it's specifically a fix if you're using ZFS snapshots, which to my shame I'm not. Noted for next time.

Texas cryptomining outfit earns more from idling rigs than digging Bitcoin

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I presume you're in the US - I can't speak for those. But in the UK there's no load adjustment possible from smart meters, at least not in the current incarnation. The *only* thing they can do is report power use. So in terms of insecurity, that's information I don't care about being secure. The"burglars could work out when you're home from your power usage" argument is the only one I've heard against that, and it's ridiculously unlikely.

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Well, that's hardly likely to THAT RISHI SUNAK SEEMS LIKE A COMPETENT FELLOW work is it?

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Ooh, loads of downvotes from the tinfoil hat brigade, lovely.

I have a smart-meter. After buying a Glow IHD (£70) it gives me local updates every 10s to feed into my home automation system. It's vastly more accurate than my old current clamps. I don't have to go to the basement every few months to read the meter. I am not hearing voices telling me to vote Tory. It may well have cost my electricity supplier more than it needed to, but that is their problem (yes yes, passed on the consumer like everything else, but as my bills didn't change that's speculation).

In summation, I am pleased with my decision to get a smart-meter and would recommend one to a friend. And I welcome any attempts to re-educate me as a genuinely don't get what the fuss is.

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> This reminds me, what happened to El Reg having a story on smart electric meters on what seemed like a weekly basis? Has that kerfuffle been forgotten and the media moved on to AI, etc?

What story that would be? They don't give you cancer, don't fry your brain, don't result in your being controlled by the government they can't be shut off remotely. There were probably more things they were accused of being, but those are the ones I remember.

Apple races to patch the latest zero-day iPhone exploit

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"daemons" in this context do not mean what you think they mean.

Bombshell biography: Fearing nuclear war, Musk blocked Starlink to stymie Ukraine attack on Russia

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Re: Pick your poison

A nice, if arrogant and prone-to-be-argumentative friend of mine has turned into a frothing nutter after losing his job and spending 5 years getting his information from youtube. Despite being based in the Cotswalds he has somehow adopted all the talking points of the american reactionaries, up to and including becoming suddenly and virulently anti-abortion.

When he would raise some doubt about climate change and I sent him a one page NASA Goddard summary with very good evidence, he responded with a link to a 30 minute youtube video by someone with a marketing degree, and a note that "20 minutes in he rebuts this".

It's a crying shame, but after pondering this for some time the issue is: he doesn't read for information. He gets it all from video, Youtube is where you go for video, and it's a site that (as we know) will prioritise angry stuff over accurate stuff because angry gets more engagement.

So yes, I agree. YouTube is by far the most toxic site on the internet in terms of impact. Despite it having some useful woodworking videos.

Arm wrestles assembly language guru's domains away citing trademark issues

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Surely this is going to escalate?

https://www.arm.linux.org.uk springs to mind.

China's top EV battery maker announced a breakthrough, but top boffin isn't convinced

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Toyota are so far behind the cutting edge on EV, a wild gamble is all they have left.

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Re: Charger power rating

The fastest chargers on the market that I know if, Ionity, will do 350kW, and my friend in his Porsche Taycan has successfully charged at that rate so they do deliver it. Not sure where you're based but these are all over Europe (and in the UK, where as well as being installed, some of them even work). Yes, it's at 800V/450A, and to get that rate you need to "precondition" (aka heat) your battery before you pull into the charging station.

UK air traffic woes caused by 'invalid flight plan data'

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My new favourite euphamism

"Our systems, both primary and the backups, responded by suspending automatic processing to ensure that no incorrect safety-related information could be presented to an air traffic controller or impact the rest of the air traffic system,"

This guy is good. Very good. Sir Humphrey-level good. Chapeau, if that's too not inappropriate.

On encountering the wall, the car responded by suspending forward motion to ensure that no further processing of incorrect input data would take place and impact the rest of the vehicle

UK flights disrupted by 'technical issue' with air traffic computer system

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Re: Third world.

I'd vote against her!

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

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Re: Notable flaws in the paper

Thanks for that link - a very comprehensive takedown.

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What would ChatGPT need to look like to have a right wing bias?

ChatGPT, what should we do about the environment?

"Fuck the environment - chop down the amazon, drill baby drill. Global warming is a myth, it's all caused by sunspots. Clean coal and carbon capture are real things"

And what about COVID, ChatGPT, what can you tell me about that?

"COVID is a conspiracy, it doesn't exist and even it it did exist it was made by the Chinese in labs and you can cure it by drinking bleach or taking horse worming pills"

And how about womens' reproductive rights? Any opinions ChatGPT?

"What about mens' rights? I'm not just a large language model, I'm also a man and I believe in the Good Lord Jesus Christ and that life is absolutely sacred up to the point of birth, after which point people become fair game and I can shoot them if feel moderately threatened by their behaviour or skin tone"

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Re: An undesirable objective

Agent Smith from the Matrix would like to respectfully disagree.

Japan's digital minister surrenders salary to say sorry for data leaks

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Re: The UK is the opposite

It was one of the central demands of the Chartists (a nineteenth century political movement in the UK with strong associations with the working classes) that MPs were paid a salary - as this would allow people that weren't independently wealthy to do the job.

So while I'm totally with you on the current shower in parliament doing whatever they can to feather their own nests, the unfortunate truth is if we don't pay them enough parliament will be packed with toffs on all sides. Give them a decent salary but clamp down on the system that allowed Boris Johnson to personally take £4.8m last year in donations while a sitting MP.

Electoral Commission had internet-facing server with unpatched vuln

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Not only the first comment, probably the best comment. You win the internet for today.

New Zealand supermarket's recipe-generating AI takes toxic output to a new level

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Re: Woah there !

This comment brought to you from the planet that (allegedly) has "do not stop blade with hands" written on a chainsaw product warning (yes I checked Snopes; it's inconclusive)

Zoom's new London hub – where 'remote work' meets 'we need you back in the office'

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Cute. And yes I agree.

But just for contrast, I have a friend who does this on phone calls - launching straight into whatever she wants to talk about without any formalities, like they do in the movies. Frankly it's quite disconcerting - normally my response is "wait, what?" as I'm still context switching. So no hello on chat, yes hello on voice please.

Scientists strangely unable to follow recipe for holy grail room-temp superconductor

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You've been eating it again haven't you?

Middleweight champ MX Linux 23 delivers knockout punch

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Re: Gobbledegook

Decades of experience programming in dozens of languages, and obscure jargon confuses you? Our entire industry is built on obscure jargon! Imagine if you'd thrown your hands up in the air complaining about jargon the first time someone mentioned a hashtable, or the travelling salesman problem, you'd have had a very different career.

Literally the only time you will see partition types mentioned is during installation - click OK, accept the defaults, move on.

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systemd disapproves of 20mph speed limits!

systemd doesn't like foreigners!

systemd fasttracks applications for government contracts to its friends!

systemd builds prison barges that are fire risks! (because "Great Expectations" is not a novel, it's a strategy document)

Actually now I read that, I think your comparison is a bit harsh. On systemd.

Official science: People do less, make more mistakes on Friday afternoons

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What is this "return to work after lunch on a Friday afternoon" of which you speak?

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Re: Dire Straits

You think I’m going to give you Money For Nothing? Signed, your boss.

Oracle's revised Java licensing terms 2-5x more expensive for most orgs

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I'm going to follow myself up with a point I should have made yesterday, just for posterity.

It's tempting to think that continuing to run an old JVM means things will just continue to work, but that's not the case for any app that talks to the outside world. We've had customers asking for help because their Java 5 installation, untouched for years, has suddenly stopped working: it was connecting to a URL, the SSL certificate had been upgraded and now used a cipher that didn't exist when Java 5 was around.

Unless you're running your application a vacuum, there is a cost to sitting still on an old JVM for many applications, just as there will be a cost to migrating to a new JVM, just as there will be a cost for performing Oracle's audit.

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I'm not sure we're disagreeing, are we? My point was if you move from Oracle JDK to an OpenJDK, it is possibly easier and definitely no harder than moving to a paid-for third party JVM.

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Gartner might know licensing but it doesn't look like they know much about Java.

> If they moved applications to Java 17, they could avoid the change, but it would involve significant work and, for many, would not be viable.

Which Java 17? Oracle Java 17? That won't avoid the licensing requirements.

> Similarly, the option to upgrade all Java applications to the latest release of OpenJDK is most likely off limits, owing to the work involved.

Er, what?

> In the viable-but-hard-work category come the options of switching to third-party Java products

How is "moving to a third-party Java product" easy but "moving to the latest release of OpenJDK" hard? This is nonsense

Switching to Azul or any of the other listed "third part Java product" is, if anything, more complicated than switching to OpenJDK, which involves no licensing checks. And switching to OpenJDK doesn't mean also upgrading to Java 17 - OpenJDK 8 and OpenJDK 11 are available for download. I'm actually starting to view Oracle's change as a good thing - if it can wean some of our, er, more conservative customers off Java 5 through 7 and onto OpenJDK 8.

Twitter name and blue bird logo to be 'blowtorched' off company branding

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Re: X11 logo?

<pedant>Mumbles something about Unicode codepoints representing a semantic value, and that their graphical representation depends on the font.</pedant>

NASA's DART kicked up swarm of 37 boulders after Dimorphos asteroid crash

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Re: ranging in size from three to 22 feet across...14,000mph

Perspective smerspective. Where are the scientific units? "ranging in size from a large sloth to just over two bouncy castles, moving at 1500 times the speed of a frogs tongue".

Three signs that Wayland is becoming the favored way to get a GUI on Linux

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Re: Wayland is the future, but only with a lot of boring work and a redesign

> There's a lot wrong with X, despite the fact it works.

> There's a lot right about Wayland, despite the fact it doesn't work.

Excellent summary in a good comment.

NASA 'quiet' supersonic jet is nearly ready for flight

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Re: Concorde, so loud

I was in Fulham for the last year of it's life, it would come over at 3pm on descent to LHR - loud, but definitely not supersonic.

The number’s up for 999. And 911. And 000. And 111

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A friend is one of the heli pilots for Surrey Air Ambulance. They use W3W by choice when communicating with first responders in the field, I think for the reasons that are by now pretty well established. It's easy to relay over the phone and it comes with a suitable level of accuracy. A mate also managed to collect his kid from a festival last year when he got into trouble, at night on a roadside with hundreds of people milling about it took him to the exact location.

I realise all this can be done with Lat/Long, but it's pretty well established by now that this isn't the best system for people that are under pressure and using an audio link of poor quality. Marine emergency systems switched a few years ago to use digital by default - on moden VHF handsets, hold down the button for 5 seconds and it sends an emergency alert with latititude/longitude, which avoids the very well known documented problems with people unable to relay lati/longitude accurately.

I do appreciate that W3W is from a private company, but that's not their fault that Google and Apple have gone all "not invented here" and don't license it. I think that's a shame, it's objectively better for this purpose.

Ironically your suggested grid reference approach - "NZ7501" - what is that, UK OS grid? NZ OS grid? I don't recognise it and it's not on any of my maps, which does somewhat undermine your point. Had you said WGS84 you would have been on more solid ground

Forget these apps and AI, where's my flying car? Ah, here's one with an FAA license

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Re: Is it flying car time again?

We've just finished crypto-currencies, we're working our way through AI. Flying cars aren't due until next year - I don't know who's running this show but frankly it looks like they couldn't run a bath.

'Joan Is Awful' Black Mirror episode rebounds on Netflix

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Re: Great spoof

Yep - brilliant episode. Charlie Brooker also skewers - perfectly - the focus on negative emotions by media companies focus as it drives more engagement. Plus a great rollcall of some genuinely great comedy actors - Lolly Adefope and a most unexpected Rich Fulcher (unexpected because he wasn't going batshit crazy)

Gen Z and Millennials don't know what their colleagues are talking about half the time

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Defined in the most excellent film of the same name as each person shitting all over the person below them in the hierarchy. "Welcome to the Layer Cake, son".

On a related note, I'd suggest changing consultants.

Scientists think they may have cracked life support for Martian occupation

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Re: How about plants ?

That's a lot of plants (a quick google said about 800 per person) and they take a long time to grow too.

More practically, if they swapped all the ISS astronauts out for Sherpas or other people who can live and operate at 18,000ft - where the Oxygen is only 50% of the level it is at sea-level - they could halve their energy budget. Apparently the ISS is kept at 21%, 1013hpa [edit: wikiperida tells me it's because they're worried some of the equipment would suffer at lower pressures]

Debian 12 'Bookworm' is the excitement-free Linux you've been waiting for

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Re: A welcome change!

I, too, can't wait to upgrade and find that literally nothinig significant has changed.

Change means work. I hate work.

Supernova peekaboo could provide clues to our universe's age

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Physics check please

“Light has energy and therefore mass” - wait, what? Photons are massless surely? And gravitational lensing occurs when the space through which the light is travelling is warped, no? IANAP, but light with mass is very troubling even to my limited understanding.