Re: Android data robbery
I have a portable computer, which I keep in airplane mode unless I need a phone. Saves data allowance and annoyance.
251 posts • joined 14 Jul 2007
I worked at a nuclear physics lab in the Sixties, where we had a CDC 3100 mainframe. The mains power was somewhat noisy, but the real problem was a door. It was intended to keep radiation out of the control room, and it was HEAVY - solid Ferrocrete about six feet thick. It ran on rails, and was driven by an electric motor, and every time we opened or closed the door the computer would complain bitterly. So the lab finally got a rotary converter - a motor/generator set with a decent amount of flywheelage. No matter what went into the motor, clean power came out of the generator, and everybody was happy.
I would LOVE to be able to use Linux on my computer. I've tried the current versions of Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, and Zorin Linux, and not a one of them will work. Years ago, Zorin Linux worked. Then I tried a clean install of the next version, and -- nope. They all are asking for files that aren't on the distribution. And those files aren't easy to get to, without a working Linux.
As a consolation, I can use Raspbian on my Raspberry Pi, and it's based on Linux. Apparently they now have a version that can run on a PC. I'll try downloading it.
I once worked for a museum that was given to the occasional Bloody Purge where they would -- release -- a third of the staff. We got a new director, whom nobody loved. He felt the same about us. Short story, they made me useless for about a year, then fired me for being useless. I remember keenly what I thought when I was given the news of my firing: "Oh wow, a vacation I don't have to come back from!"
A year later, I ran intp the girlfriend of one of the other people who had worked there. "They just fired him!" she said. "They made him useless for a year, and then just fired him."
I laughed, and laughed, and laughed, then told her: "That's just what he was saying about me, a year ago."
Long ago, I was told to collect the sounds of heartbeats for as many animals as possible. I took the electronic stethoscope and the tape recorder and went to the zoo, where I'd arranged to meet a cooperative zookeeper. Most animals were uncoooperative, but I got quite a few recordings. The two scariest animals I met were the ostrich -- and the wombat. Those beasts got claws.
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1903 was awarded to Niels Ryberg Finsen "in recognition of his contribution to the treatment of diseases, especially lupus vulgaris, with concentrated light radiation, whereby he has opened a new avenue for medical science." -- nobelprize.org
Scientists are reporting development and successful initial testing of the first practical "smart" material that may supply the missing link in efforts to use in medicine a form of light that can penetrate four inches into the human body. Their report on the new polymer or plastic-like material, which has potential for use in diagnosing diseases and engineer new human tissues in the lab, appears in ACS' journal Macromolecules. -- https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111116143049.htm
Then there are the two people from Arizona who each took a teaspoon of fish tank cleaner -- which did indeed contain chloroquine phosphate. Even if that was all that was in the tank cleaner, a teaspoon of it would be a massive overdose almost certain to kill. Nobody can speak so clearly that an idiot can't make a Darwin Award of it.
I'm still using 5.1.1 on my phone. For decades I've wanted a pocket computer, and now I have one! (The keyboard ain't so great, but I can live with it.) It works. Why should I change anything? Of course I usually keep it in airplane mode, and only turn it on when I want to make a phone call, or am expecting one. It's a great pocket reader, though, holds music, and kinda works as a camera.
Still using Win7, too, and Office 2003. They work. Life can be perilous out on the bleeding edge of technology -- if I don't need it, why should I buy it?
I had a blind friend with a speech-output computer - an XT-286. (I don't know how many people have told me there is no such thing, but there was.) There was a special board that handled it all, and a special word-processing program that fed it. The manual (and the company that produced it, the program, and the board) were lost to the mists of time. I decided the easiest thing to do was simply to keep the thing running, and with the occasional part replacement it did. Worked for about thirty years, and in fact outlived the friend (may he rest in peace).
Boeing's problems are not all from management and/or software. What about the stray tools rattling around on the tankers they (try to) sell to the air force?
The problem is that the bosses and the workers don't live in the same building any more. Neither knows exactly what the other is doing.
I have never flown an airplane. However, I have operated a large bit of tech with a lot of control functions and alarms. Operators NEED a switch or button to shut up the alarms, because otherwise they can't even think, let alone solve the problems. It's not so bad when one alarm goes, but when there's a cascade of problems and a cascade of horns, buzzers, honkers, and god knows what ...
The worst single day I've ever had with teaching computer (I was the only computer-literate in the place) to a secretary. She had thoroughly absorbed the lesson of the typewriter: hit return at the end of the line. No amount of demonstrating, explaining, pleading, or exhorting did any good. I gave up in despair, and went away.
An hour or two later, I was called before the Director. I had made that secretary cry. I was later told by the other people in the office that she'd asked me because she was afraid to ask the director.
"From Japan’s Edo Period (1603-1868), there’s He-Gassen, or, “the fart war.” This centuries-old scroll, dated to approximately the 1840s, depicts an epic battle of gas between booty-baring men and women on horseback and on foot. Even a cat gets caught up in the fray at one point. The powerful gusts of human wind depicted can break through boards and traverse wide battlefields."
I have data on my computer that is almost forty years old. It's still valuable. I've had to go through a ridiculous number of format conversions to keep it that way. Some of it started out saved on TRS-DOS cassette tapes. Some started out on Commodore Scripsit cassette tapes. It's gone through TRS-DOS floppy disk to CP/M to MS-DOS, and I had to keep at it as the programs I used to record it went quietly into the sunset. Right now it's on a NTFS hard drive, and if I take it any further, it'll all be saved as RTF.
The thing is, I still use that data (I am, and live with, a novelist. They're word-processing files.) Some of the conversions it went through were only possible with a specific machine (Commodore 128) which was only available for a few years. If I'd missed out on that machine, the files would be gone.
So give some consideration to a bloke who wants his old kit back. Who knows how long it'll be for the files to become the digital equivalent of cuneiform? That can happen rapidly and surprisingly.
I have drive docks on my desktop PC. When the windows "update" was free, I cloned my hard drive onto another hard drive, then got Windows 10 on it. I can use either, without them screwing up the guts of the other. I keep them both up-to-date, but hardly ever *use* Win10. I don't know from dogs' breakfasts (I'm a cat person) but Win10 has some similarity to cat urp.
There's a filk song (Science Fiction Fandom version of folk) called "Radiation Blues".
Old H-bomb went off last Tuesday, by the Second Chance Saloon.
Ain't nothin' left but the jukebox, and it's playin' a mournful tune.
Just keeps on playin' the Radiation Blues.
Been drinkin' since last Tuesday, and I should be getting high,
But the dehydration's got me, and all I am is dry.
Just keep on singing the Radiation Blues.
There's a lot more of it, sung to the tune of "Frankie and Johnny". I have the lyrics somewhere, but I'm not going to search a filing cabinet and my storage for it.
The Parker Solar Probe holds the current speed record -- at a 15-million-mile perihelion, it was going 213,200 miles per hour. (This is a bit over .0003 c.) It will get closer, and faster, each time it goes by (using planetary gravity assists). At closest planned approach, it will be 3.9 million miles away, which should bring its speed MUCH higher. But it's only doing that because it's very close to the Sun, and if you'd try to use that velocity to get to Barnard's star, it simply wouldn't be there. The probe would use it up trying to get away from our Sun.
I played Spacewar on the PDP-1 at MIT, in '62 or '63. (The TX-0, which could be thought of as the ur-PDP, was in the same room. Next door was a paper-tape teletype which somebody had taught to play tic-tac-toe.) It was so much fun I ported it to the CDC-3100 at the university of Minnesota. There's an online emulator at https://www.masswerk.at/spacewar/minnesota/.
I've been a museum curator for several decades (now retired) and I estimate 90% of the visitors are very nice people. 9% are rather clumsy, and might break things. And 1% are pure brass reciprocating bastards who shouldn't have been allowed in the door. This is only a rough estimate, and I suspect social media has more of the reciprocating sort.
That's why I don't go on Facebook or Twitter.
I am not a pessimist. I am paranoid. My major jobs have required paranoia.
I ran and helped maintain a large Van de Graaf generator. It had high voltages all over the place. Bad things could happen if those voltages got loose. The machine even gave me electric shocks when I wasn't careful to keep me alert.
And then I joined the museum world. Let me put it straight: entropy is out to get your stuff. Your job is to find all the ways entropy can get in, and block them.
As for the glass being half full, or half empty? Forget it. The glass is twice as large as it needs to be to handle the drink.
The experiment could be in space, and still not cause permanent debris. Simply have two satellites, aimed carefully at a convenient very-low-orbit crashpoint over the Pacific Spacecraft Graveyard. The immediate debris would make a lovely display, which could be examined for trajectory, brightness and spectrum. That'd give a rough idea of what came out of the crash, size and material and all. Of course there would be things that headed out - but it's an orbit. They'll be back, to very-low-orbit. The whole mess would decay rapidly into the atmosphere, and we'd know where to watch for it.
I had an inverse experience of this sort. Way back in the 1960s, I had a night shift on the CDC 3100. (It had a magnificent 12K of 24-bit words!) It wedged. Nothing I could do made it work again. Frustrated, I began pouring curse-words into the console typewriter. Somewhere in all this foulness I must have done something right, because it began working again -- properly. The digital gods answered my prayer.
They really shouldn't stick grad students with the night shift, but I came out okay that time.
The problem with Jupiter's larger moons? First, they have their own gravity wells. Second, they are well within Jupiter's gravity well. Third, they are much further away than Mars. It'd take a lot of delta-V to get whatever you were mining to any Terrestrial point-of-sale. The moon and Mars are less habitable than Antarctica, but we do have bases in Antarctica. And you'd need a lot less delta-V to get to the asteroid belt from these smaller worlds. So have robots doing the grunt work -- but it might be wise to have humans there to repair the robots. Both Mars and the moon seem to have enough water to mine for fuel.
Besides, there are research opportunities. The far side of the moon has good radio silence, and lots of the time, no light pollution whatever. Mars is further out, so it'd be useful for VLBI and parallax studies. And liveable or not, they have raw materials to support the studies.
I don't think you DID read Bambi's comment right, though Bambi could have presented the comments more effectively. The argument was that men and women do not have the same capabilities; the mistake was in using examples involving superior male performance. I don't think anybody feels women would make better weightlifters -- but in my experience, women make better psychologists and doctors. Your mileage may vary, but I doubt it would vary enough that you would assemble a 50/50 Olympics weightlifting team.
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