* Posts by Jimmy2Cows

2117 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Feb 2015

The alternative to stopping climate change is untested carbon capture tech

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Carbon capture isn't the only solution

It's not a binary choice. There are other alternatives to consider. Some of them cheap, quick and effective.

Ocean iron ferilisation is one such. Small scale experiments showed increased kelp growth and vastly improved fish stocks. The local biology absorbed carbon from the ocean, which in turn absorbs it from the atmosphere. It was off Alaska I think, and the local salmon stocks bloomed in the year after the experiment.

It's literally dirt cheap and scales easily. But despite provable successes it doesn't get the required attention of funding because it's not doing anything to reduce CO2 production.

Same as planting trees. The planet has lost something like 3 trillion trees. Restoring a substantial chunk of those would suck vast quantities of CO2 from the air and lock it away. But again, that doesn't reduce those demonic emmissions.

Swarms of reflective or light blocking statites could orbit at the Earth/Sun Lagrange point to reduce incoming sunlight by a tiny percentage. Doesn't need to be huge. Less than 1% is enough to drop the temperature quickly. If it goes to far, program the swarm to eject some of their members. If it's not enough, add more to the swarm.

All these solutions could be implemented relatively quickly, if we collectively wanted to, without crippling our economies, without spiralling energy costs, without rushing to electrify everything before individual countries, never mind the world, are actually ready for the vastly increased demands on their electrical grids.

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Re: Carbon sinks

Empress trees are fast growing, and are reputed to capture up to 10x the carbon of other species.

The issue is planting enough quick enough. Hundreds of millions per year. That needs a lot of people, and people are relatively slow. Also expensive, if not volunteering their time. You'll be hard pressed to find millions of volunteers able to commit a significant chunk of their time for months on end.

Drone planting schemes are a possible solution. Automated, fast and cheap. The tech is already in development.

Scientists suggest possible solution to space-induced bone loss

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Re: ...treatment for brain changes and other detrimental health effects of space exposure...

Finally! It's about damn time!

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Re: ...treatment for brain changes and other detrimental health effects of space exposure...

Many, many such proposals over the last several decades. NASA doesn't seem interested, which is a bit surprising but I guess their budget is too small so they have to prioritise. At this rate the Chinese or Musk will do it first (actually there are proposals to thether a pair of Starships in bolas formation and spin 'em. Once Starship can launch without annihilating its launch pad and RUDing itself mid-flight, that is - rocket engineering is hard and it's early days for Starship).

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Re: ...treatment for brain changes and other detrimental health effects of space exposure...

I liked Bab5. They should show it again.

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Re: ...treatment for brain changes and other detrimental health effects of space exposure...

Yeah rotation radius is important to get the spin speed at or below 1RPM, which is generally accepted as the perceptible motion limit for most people. Depending on where you look on the web, calculations vary from around 200m to over 900m.

But you don't have to build a Bab5 sized station to get that effect. A pair of small habitats separated by a long tether is enough. Spin up the pair around the centre of the tether. Same effect for minimal build mass (and associated fab/launch/deploy/maintain costs and complexities).

That's enough to prove/disprove validity. If it pans out, scale up to larger, connected habs, and eventually fully cylindrical stations (O'Neill cyclinders etc.) from there. Attach big rocket motors and you have ships with artificial gravity. In theory, at least.

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...treatment for brain changes and other detrimental health effects of space exposure...

It's long past time we spun something up in orbit to test whether centrifugal artificial gravity can actually counteract these (and other) microgravity effects. The whole "humans to Mars and beyond" concept is a lot more viable if it works.

China to set standards for the metaverse because it's not sure what one is

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Re: have taken advantage of the popularity of the metaverse

What popularity is this? Though the entire concept had been a massive overhyped flop.

Australia to build six 'cyber shields' to defend its shores

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"...just as you can't go into a car yard and buy a car that will not be safe to use..."

It's a false analogy, though. There are plenty of used car places selling dodgy, unsafe cars. Every day, all over the world.

If the minister insists on using car analogies, the minister needs to pick a better one. Still, this is from the country that insisted laws of parilament override laws of mathematics.

UK judge rates ChatGPT as 'jolly useful' after using it to help write a decision

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Re: The correct way to use these tools...

That's fair, as long as it is used that way. Like any tool, you have to know how to use it. Use it wrong, and you can quickly land in a whole world of hurt.

Trouble is, people are lazy and there's a high probability of slipping into bad habits and assuming the output will be right because it always has been so far, and missing the times where the input parameters weren't quite crafted as well as you thought.

It seems like these tools don't know they're hallucinating. Or if they do know, users aren't being told at the time. If ChatGPT reliably informed you every time it made something up, that would alert you to check the responses. The fact it doesn't report this, doesn't even realise, or worst of all knows it has hallucinated but doesn't tell you (and I've no idea if that is happening) is what makes it so truly dangerous in high risk situations.

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Re: The correct way to use these tools...

The problems happen when they don't know how to review the output.

"It got it right for something I already knew" does not mean it will get all future outputs right. Assuming otherwise is extremely dangerous. If you have to review and research each output to be 100% certain it's correct, you're not really saving any time. Just opening a big can o'worms (or prying it open wider).

Scientists trace tiny moonquakes to Apollo 17 lander – left over from 1972

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Re: SI police strikes again

Sometimes front gardens, too.

Beijing freezes social media service for a month for letting kids see smut

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Re: Digital nazis taking away internet services.

Oops. Rein in, not reign in. Grievous error, spotted too late.

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Re: Digital nazis taking away internet services.

There's a sensible middle ground between opressive state overreach and digital wild west. It's arguable which side of that the UK is on on any given day, but we're never near the middle ground.

The concept of actually doing something, rather than just making noise for political points, is laudable. It's possible to reign in social media's worst traits without going full-on CCP.

Ford, BMW, Honda to steer bidirectional EV charging standard

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management options that'll restrict EV charging to "grid-friendly" times of day.

Ah, the societal sleepwalk into a dystopian nightmare continues. Need your car for work, a trip, shopping, taking a friend or relative to a hospital appointment, or any of the other thousands of reasons why people might want to use their car, only to find it wasn't charged because the grid said no? Well, tough titties.

Or worse, it was charged, but you forgot to unplug it or turn off the upload feature, and now there's not enough juice to get you where you need to go. Who cares if you're going to miss that urgent medical appointment, family holiday, work meeting or whatever. It's all for the Greater Good (TM).

Why are we even allowing this to be considered? Government wants to force everyone to go electric, then refuse to ensure the necessary infrastructure is provided to support it all, leading to wasteful (charge, discharge, recharge) but cheap (for the utility) solutions like V2G, and giving energy and grid providers undue and excessive influence (by which I mean, any influence) on how the public organises their own lives.

When is it enough?

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So it's sleep, eat, work, eat, repeat. You might be happy with that, but most people want more out of life.

DXC Technology named as participant in bid-rigging cartel

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Thumb Up

something described as “entertainment solutions”

Sounds like a euphamism for blackjack and hookers. I guess miners get bored and lonely, too. It's nice their needs are being acknoweledged as part of the bids.

Dropbox limits ‘all the storage you need’ unlimited plan, blames abusive users

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Yes, how dare anyone use an unlimited storage plan as though it were unlimited. Cypto is a blight on the modern world, for sure, but that doesn't make them leeches of a plan that claimed to have no limit. And that's the real issue here. DropBox is just using crypto a scapegoat to deflect from their own lying incompetence.

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Re: so why the hate?

"Hate" is perhaps a bit strong. But basically it's because they advertised unlimited storage and then bitched about it when some users took them as their word.

If they don't like people violating their T&C's by subletting storage, they should take specific action against those users. Otherwise it's the usual "unlimited (but not really)" marketing scam. Which should be outlawed as blatant false advertising.

Microsoft wants Activision so badly, it's handing streaming rights over to ... Ubisoft?

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Thought the same thing, though it wouldn't be a shock. More like MS has just openly stated their next acquisition target.

Hacktivists attack Japanese government over Fukushima wastewater release

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Re: Fukushima is/was a massive balls up.

The likely lifetime exposure to people living in Fukishima prefecture is about the same as receiving a single full spine CT scan. Any increases in cancer rates and other radiation-induced diseases are unlikely to be detectable above background rates. I.e. it was a massive fuss about basically nothing.

The massive balls up was the complete panic overreaction and forced removal of 150,000 people from land that was perfectly safe and will continue to be.

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Natural tritium

What's the betting these Anonymous goons have no idea that tritium exists naturally in water, everywhere, though at lower concentrations than the waste. Or they know and don't care, because they want an excuse to be vandals.

Diluting tritium in sea water at between 1250 and 3750 litres per litre of waste water will reduce the tritium concentration to natural background levels. That's not a huge dilution. If TEPCO were to spread the discharge over a wide area the concentration increases really would be negligible. But this is TEPCO we're talking about, so they'd probably cheap-out on it and hope the sea dilutes it for them.

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

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Re: 15,000 sq ft central London site??

Almost like Zoom can't be arsed, or doesn't know how, to build the collaboration tools to support those kind of explorations and mockups remotely.

They'd prefer to "invest"[1] in a glitzy central London beehive an force the drones into line.

Perhaps if they hadn't laid off 15% of their workforce...

[1] By "invest" I mean "waste in the most pointless way imaginable".

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Re: Things that could have been resolved in minutes take hours.

Only if you want them to take hours as some kind of protest against remote working.

I've done full office, hybrid, and fully remote over the past 30 years, asking someone about something doesn't seem to take any longer for any of them. Mainly it's about mutual respect and not taking the piss.

If you're the kind of person who goes to find people and expects an immediate response regardless of what they're doing, it's a lot easier for remote colleagues to ignore you. Likewise if you're always badgering them about mundane trivial things that you could discover in 5 seconds of internet searching.

On the other hand, if you're requesting help but only when someone becomes available, instead of demanding it instantly, or if it's for genuinely difficult problems, I've found people respond in about the same time frame.

Experiment arrives at the ISS to see if astronauts can keep things cool

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Re: Not to mention keeping the stuff cold.

Keep the propellant tanks behind a sun shield, allow the tanks to radiate via IR into the cold vacumm of space (~2 or 3K as I recall) until thermal equilibrium. Voila.

Although, that might too cold, but you get the idea.

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Re: Tea

At last, we get to the truly vital questions about space travel that cannot go unanswered! Have a pint on me.

Next up, beer in space. We know liquids form a vaguely spherical blob, but what happens to the bubbles?

On the record: Apple bags patent for iDevice to play LPs

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Re: And there was I thinking ...

Similar expectations here: using the device cameras to read the groove modulation as the record spins and play the resulting tunes. Turns out it's just a record deck with a thunderbolt (or whatever connector) dock. Hardly inventive. USB record decks have been a thing for a long time.

Google's browser security plan slammed as dangerous, terrible, DRM for websites

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Re: A good idea, or not?

And that's Googe's image problem in a nutshell.

It might be a good idea (it's not) and they might be perfectly benevolent in their implemenation and handling (they won't be), but it's Google so no one outside Google will trust them. Ever. Probably most people inside Google don't trust them either (but they have to say they do, otherwise they'll be fired for disparaging the company).

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Re: anyone should be able to legally drive your car

Not sure you thought that one through.

Parking my locked car in public does not mean I expect any arsehole to take it for a joy ride. Anyone can see my car parked in public, but you can't (legally) get into it without my keys.

The car's locks and my keys are analogous to a website user account. Anyone can see the site, but you don't get into the private areas without an account.

If site owners don't want everything scraped, park the site in public so people can find it, but then lock the doors, and don't leave the keys lying around for anyone to find.

Ahh yes, who doesn't love mixed metaphors...?

Aliens crash landed on Earth – and Uncle Sam is covering it up, this guy tells Congress

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Re: can guess how the pyramids were built but don't have the ability to build them easily today

This has to be one of the most ridiculous things I've heard lately. If we wanted to build a pyramid today, it would not be difficult. Slow? Yes. Expensive? Also yes. Difficult? Not really.

The reason people aren't building pyramids todays is because they don't want to.

Roller logs, earthen ramps, and enough manpower is all you need to move big rocks. Sure, it takes a long time (decades), you need a lot of grunts, and it probably killed a lot of the workers though injury and exhaustion, but the ancient Pharoahs didn't really care about worker safety. No cranes needed. Just some basic construction methods and a lot of human effort.

These were life long projects. Start when you become Pharoah, hope to survve long enough to see it complete. Some didn't outlive their ambitions.

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Re: Not impossible, just ludicrously unlikely

Not just the technology, but mastery of the amount of energy needed to travel such vast distances (assuming they're not exploiting some physics loophole we've not discovered yet). Would make our largest nuclear reactors seem like firecrackers.

When you have that much energy at your disposal, there's no need for conflict with less advanced species. Just go somewhere without any natives. There's nothing on Earth, or even in the Solar System, that cannot not be found on countless other planets, moons, asteroids and comets throughout the galaxy, or synthesized from base materials.

That leaves scientific curiosity, tourism (Earth as an interstellar safari), ideology (religious zeal, master race etc.). Sure, there are sci-fi tropes where humans are a food source that cannot be found, grown or synthesised anywhere else (e.g. Wraith in Stargate Atlantis) but those are just plot vehicles. Any race that's mastered interstellar travel can surely synthesize any nutrients they need.

Google says public data is fair game for training its AIs

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Re: your

Hmm... upvote for the sentiment, or downvote for the egregiously incorrect use of "your"...

What's a simple pedant to do?

Producers allegedly sought rights to replicate extras using AI, forever, for just $200

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Re: Right

Sure but that's a single or set of images in specific poses, or a video sequence doing a specific thing. Want photos/video of the same model doing something different, well you got to hire them again, negotiate a new fee or continue at the previous rate, but the model still gets paid for each new shoot.

Scanning them into an AI system that can replicate and animate them in any setting, for the rest of time, completely bypasses that rehire. And that's what makes it so completely different. It's an abhorent money grab by producers that knowingly and intentionally shafts the extras. Pure greed. No more, no less.

Brits negotiating draft deal to rejoin EU's $100B blockbuster science programme

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Re: Most of what people I spoke to 'thought' was regurgitated spin from right wing media.

Brexit voters were mostly right of centre voters. Most of what people I spoke to 'thought' was regurgitated spin from right wing media.

So your "evidence" of righ-of-centre is based on the people you spoke to. Nice. How many people did you speak to? Across how many different demographics, regions, politcal leanings etc?

Australia's 'great example of government using technology' found to be 'crude and cruel'. And literally lethal to citizens

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Re: seems quite sensible

Ah... you seem like the kind of genius who could work in government finance...

If you're deciding whether to pay benefits based on income over any period of time, you should only be looking at income during that period. Considering income outside that period is either gross incompetence or a deliberate choice to skew the result in favour of the government, either by indicating they need to pay less, or by indicating they have overpaid.

North Korean satellite had no military utility for spying, says South Korea

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Re: If this satellite was intended for weapons systems, these experts would have said so.

It's really not that hard to follow. They're not suggesting that's the intended use of the satellite.

They're suggesting it was a dummy, NK never had any intention of it functioning as its stated purpose, and it was only included in the launch to disguise an illegal* ballistic missile test as a failed satellite launch.

[*] Illegal in that it would have been in breach of UN Security Council rulings. But since NK has basically said "So what?" to all those rulings over the years, I have to wonder why bother with the pretence. Plausible deniability isn't really plausible. No one would believe them however strong any denials were.

Lamborghini's last remaining pure gas guzzlers are all spoken for

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Re: Ah yes - the "there aren't enough charging points" defence...

It's a valid defence when the government is trying to force mainstream EV adoption now. There's no way, not with current levels of investment in power generation and charging infrastructure, that this country will be ready for hybrid-only new cars from 2030 and zero-emission only new cars from 2035.

What will happen is people keep their older, more polluting, more worn out vehicles on the road for longer. Prices of used cars will probably go up, hitting drivers on lower incomes with a triple whammy:

Can't afford a new car.

Can't afford a newer second-hand car.

Can barely afford to keep their current car on the road as MOT failures are repair builds progressively mount.

As for generating capacity and adequate power delivery across the grid, well one need only look at the government requirements that all home chargers must be connected to a smart meter, and all new home chargers must support vehicle-to-grid discharging, to prop up the nation's power supplies because they've not mandated increased generating capacity along with the obvious increased power demand EVs will bring.

The biggest arguments against EVs are that the country simply isn't ready for them to go fully mainstream, and that there are many, many people for whom EVs simply won't be a viable option.

Bosses face losing 'key' workers after forcing a return to office

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Re: Because what I've seen is that the home office budget has exploded for everyone

My employer either pays fully, or chips in to the cost of office kit and an internet connection. It's a shame that's not the default for all companies. They were paying those costs anyway, makes no difference on the location. The only thing they don't help with are heating and electic bills. I can quite happily live with that.

Apple stomped all over NYC store workers' union rights, judge rules

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Re: would have just been implementing directives from above

In that case, the smarter ones would have some kind of paper trail showing these directives. The really smart ones would question the legallity of these directives, in writing (and should be relatively safe even in the US of A, since firing someone for not participating in a crime doesn't go over well).

They might be able to prove they were coerced into these illegal acts. If so, those "above" could be found culpable.

The less smart will only have verbal requests from above, and won't have questioned them. These unfortunate sods will be on their own, while their managers play the "no idea what you're talking about, such requests are illegal and would never have come from me" card.

Inclusive Naming Initiative limps towards release of dangerous digital dictionary

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Re: The world changes, language changes. That's great - let's get on with living the change.

Yeah, but this is changing the wrong things, none of which will make an iota of difference to the underlying societal problems they claim to be rallying against. Not using "sanity check" won't do anything about the current growth of real 0mental health issues. Not using "blacklist" or "whitelist" won't reduce actual racism. These are deeper problems, that need real, complex, long term solutions across multiple facets of government and society. INI is just muddying the waters, try to make themselves important while not accomplishing anything actually useful.

Has anyone here been asked if they're offended by these terms? Know someone who has been asked? Know someone who knows someone...? How many degrees of separation need we go through to find someone INI has actually asked about this? Remembering that with something like 6 to 8 degrees of separation you can pretty much reach everyone on the entire planet.

INI should at least be doing wide scale, unbiased research on how many people are actually, genuinely offended by these various technical terms when used in their precise technical context. Of course, that means first understanding the technical context of each term, then providing that exact context and nothing else, when asking people; things they clearly don't care about.

But really they should directing their ire at the underlying problems, and stop bring race, gender, mental health, slavery and all the other worldly problems into things that have nothing to do with those problems.

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Re: It's not black & white...actually it is, but not for the reason you may be thinking

Now, now, you can't use rational reasoning, science and logic to push back against stupidity like INI. True meanings, original sources for concepts, even accurate context, are simply irrelevant to these people. The more you counter them with reasonable debate, the louder they will shriek to drown you out.

It's misguided censorship of the worst kind. A small group of people deliberately ignoring actual intent and context, being offended on others' behalf (whether or not those others actually give a damn) and trying to force the world to bow to their way of thinking. All the while never doing anything to actually solve the underlying societal problems of racism, mysogeny, slavery, violence etc.

Amazon confirms it locked Microsoft engineer out of his Echo gear over false claim

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Re: have you learned your lesson ?

Given his "backup plan", it seems unlikely he will ever learn his lesson.

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Re: I grew up with "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me."

Times change, and we have known for at least 20 years that that simply isn't true. A lot of bullying is "just words" but leaves far deeper and longer lasting trauma than a punch in the face.

But none of this case comes anywhere close to that. Some ecotistical Amazon driver, seemingly with a massive chip on their shoulder, misheard an automated "Can I help you?" from a doorbell and went so overboard they were able to have someone's Amazon services cut off with zero prior investigation to establish if the claim was even vaguely true.

It's a situation that should simply never arise, and needs to be stamped hard with a very expensive lawsuit, so Amazon and the like are disincentivised from playing Judge Dredd with users' accounts and services following a single baseless allegation.

Decision to hold women-in-cyber events in abortion-banning states sparks outcry

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Re: And will there be minors in attendance for the drag show?

And will there be minors in attendance for the drag show? And why have a drag show at a cyber security conference?

Learn to read and actually comprehend.

Big_D wasn't saying there would be a drag show, but asking would having a trans speaker somehow make Tennesses authorities and/or locals consider the event to be a drag show.

This typo sparked a Microsoft Azure outage

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Re: Doesn't fit in a "sprint". Doesn't get done.

Classic case of manglement totally misunderstanding the purpose of a sprint.

Users accuse Intuit of 'heavy-handed' support changes on QuickBooks for Desktop

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Re: With which bit of 'perpetual'

The bit where a user only pays once and can use the product forever. Intuit clearly considers ownership an outmoded concept. Except when it comes to owning its users - Intuit has them by the proverbials and damn well knows it.

Amazon finds something else AI can supposedly do well: Spotting damaged goods

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Damaged goods truly rare occurrences, or no time to actually check...?

Maybe if Amazon warehouse drones weren't under so much pressure to maximise throughput, they'd have more time to check the state of each item.

BMW adds games to the 5 series but still ain't the Ultimate Gaming Machine

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Re: Oh my.

So everyone should stay in their own little bubble, huh? Never dare venture more than half their car's range before heading for home.

And please don't say "public transport" is the answer to longer journeys. It completely is not. If it were, there would be far fewer cars. Myriad reasons why public transport is not a magic silver bullet, from convenience and dependability, through comfort, cost, availability and journey complexity.

BT is ditching workers faster than your internet connection with 55,000 for chop by 2030

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Re: "AI to take over in customer services"

Council building already has the space, power, public liability insurance etc. already provided and covered by the council. Doing it elsewhere would mean having to cover those costs, which could easily raise the price per head way higher than £50-£100.

This is a public service to the local community. It's being held in a council building that exists and is usable whether course is run or not. The council should be all for that, not trying to cream profit from it.

NASA's electric plane tech is coming in for a late, bumpy landing

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Re: My plan

Because schemes that force people to not do something want to do have always worked really well.

Who are you to tell anyone they can't fly more than twice a year. As in: one family holiday, one business trip, one visit to friends or family members abroad.

You know nothing of the reasons behind the travel. You seem to making an assessment that because you personally think something is excessive, everyone else must adapt to your way of thinking. Usually by some sort of authoritarian means. Issuing vouchers is still an authoritarian restriction.