* Posts by Jimmy2Cows

1949 posts • joined 6 Feb 2015

Wireless powersats promise clean, permanent, abundant energy. Sound familiar?

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Re: Modern, safe nuclear power as a baseload / backstop is a possibility

It's utterly essential, and let's not kid ourselves otherwise. There is absolutely no way at all that renewables could provide the kind of steady baseload most countries need to operate normally.

Even technical issues of ultra-long-distance transmission could be solved, we're still talking about an unprecedented level of international cooperation to ensure the power flows unhindered. Just imagine the political leverage over countries whose power flows through yours... no nation would ever submit to such risks.

The only realistic option is local generation, perhaps trading across immediate borders with neighbouring countries. Therefore that local generation needs to be constant, reliable and fully adequate for current and future needs, lest the natives start getting tetchy after a few weeks of rolling blackouts and being unable to wash their laundry or take a shower when they dare to want to (the end game for so-called smart meters... far cheaper and easier to get the public to pay through increased bills for their own personal remote off switches than have the utilities actually build enough generating capacity).

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Re: Lets do the maths

Wish I could upvote this more than once.

Flushing roulette: Southern Water installing digital sewer monitors to prevent blockages

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Re: Sounds like a pile of shite to me...

It does seem extremely low. 30k of sensors amounts to about £266 per sensor, including hardware and software development, comms networks, installation, support and maintenance. Not expecting many, if any, will bid for that pittance.

And maybe that's the point. Offer a deliberately low contract that sounds big to the great unwashed, then when no one bids Southern Water can say "look, we tried to get this sorted out but no one would bid on it" and then they don't have to spend a penny (badum tish) more on it.

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Re: It's 1984 - but with toilets

Aaah, to be in the Land of The Free.

But in all fairness we in the UK pay for all those operations too, just we pay it all as the water bill, instead of separate billing for each. You Yanks seem to suffer what is essentially a pooping tax. Hmm. Let's not give our governement and water utilities any new brilliant ideas.

Amazon delays return to office work until 2022 at the earliest

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Re: Amazon delays return to work

Rampant abuse of their warehouse staff and abject failure to protect them from COVID effectively is yesterday's news. Amazon may be hoping most have forgotten that and will now get all warm and fuzzy over this latest corporate largess.

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Sadly, far too many people seem to think wearing a mask and getting a jab is somehow a massive state overreach that vastly impinges upon their personal freedoms.

And don't even get them started on how masks and vaccines can not only protect them, but also others around them. The very notion of doing something that, by side-effect, protects others seems to evoke frothing, rabib rage.

Strange. Very strange.

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Re: It'll be a long time

I love how these people espouse such strong viewpoints, insisting their way is the only way and everyone else is completely wrong, yet choose to remain anonymous.

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Re: Return to Office

Certainly not only possible in the office. It just needs a minor change of thinking. There's no need to throw up artificial barriers then say it's too hard and can't be done.

Pinging someone with an IM is exactly the same as going over and tapping them on the shoulder. In both cases you can't see whether they are truly working or not, and the only way to know if they don't mind a quick chat is to ask.

Sat typing does not always mean "working", and sat not typing does not always mean "not working". WFH hasn't changed that.

SpaceX Starship struts its stack to show it has the right stuff

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Re: Nothing to see here

Your handle seems apt. Unless you're making a done-to-death joke.

No. Scratch that. Even if you're makng a done-to-death joke.

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Don't forget dealing with the other end...

After all, what goes in, must come out.

Apple is about to start scanning iPhone users' devices for banned content, professor warns

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And of course, we'll never get it wrong, and send your details to law enforcement without checking, since we're not allowed to check as that could risk viewing illegal images.

But don't worry, the police will definitely verify what's found really is illegal before smashing your door in at 4am and terrifying your children. Because somebody needs to think of the children.

South Korea to test grenade-launching drones

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Re: The second one is of more interest to me....

Just sharpen the rotor blades.

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Re: Anti-ransomware software ?

Isn't "Anti-ransomware software" simply another term for "a decent working backup and DR system"?

Because even the best "anti-ransomeware" software powered by ground unicon horn, rocking horse poop and finely powered fairy dusy will miss the ransonware at some point, and relying that as your get-out-of-jail-free card is a false crutch which I can see beancounters using an excuse for even less investment in proper DR. An excuse that will bite them sooner or later. Bite them hard.

Microsoft to require proof of vaccination from on-site staff, pushes back full reopening

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Careful what you wish for

I'd rather the NHS crumbles, than have the country descend into mob rule or some totalitarian nightmare state

If the NHS does crumble the country would likely go that way anyway. Millions of people suddenly unable to attain basic healthcare or treatment for any serious or lifethreatening condition, because they can't afford it, would not be happy. Wouldn't end well.

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Re: hold up

You keep pitching this argument.

Percentage might be small, but absolute numbers are high. Very high. And only not even higher because of things like lockdowns, masks, distancing, hand cleaning.

And please don't give, for instance, Sweden as an example of why that stuff wasn't necessary. Sure, they didn't lockdown, but the vast majority of their citizens took it on themselves to wear masks, distance and so on. There's no proof that would have happened elsewhere.

Where do you personally draw the line between a percentage that is worth trying to keep alive, and a percentage that can just go die because it's only a low percentage?

COVID can be just as debilitating. Long COVID is a thing, it can be disasterous, and many hundreds of thousands of people in the UK along have been suffering its effects for over a year. No one knows how long that will last. Perhaps their entire lives.

And just what exactly is your problem with doing something because it could help someone else? You seem to have an almost violent aversion to it. Can't require people to take a vaccine because it could help others not get the disease. Weird outlook. No one is forcing you to get the vaccine, but at some point if you want to mingle with the rest of society, it's worth maybe giving a shit about the rest of society.

US labor official suggests Amazon's Alabama workers rerun that unionization vote

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Given so called "right to work" in multiple states, Amazon could just dump their staff right now and "bring in the robots" anyway. Strike or no strike. The fact Amazon hasn't done so (yet) shows how fallacious your argument is.

UK chancellor: Getting back to the altar of corporate dreams (the office) will boost young folks' careers

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If I owned a company I'd want me workers to be where they are most productive and least stressed.

Conditions of "productive" depend on the work, but unless you're a factory floor worker, shop floor worker, cleaner, security guard or the like, pretty much every office job can be done at home just as well. Occasionally you might need a site visit for say IT problems, but even most IT can be remotely managed these days, be it cloudy or on-prem.

Complaints about it being harder to communicate with colleagues are bogus. Calling someone on Skype/Teams/Zoom is no different than walking over to that person in the office. If they're busy they'll let you know either way. If they're not busy, being remote makes zero difference.

Possibly its actually slightly more productive because you're not wasting the time walking over and back.

The arguement you can "see" if they're busy is also bogus. Just because someone's banging away at the keyboard doesn't mean they're too busy for a chat. They might welcome the diversion.

Just because someone's not obviously wokring and staring into space doesn't mean they're available for a chat. They might be thinking deep and hard about a problem and not welcome the interruption.

Ever wondered how much data web giants generate? Singaporean super-app Grab says 40TB a day

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Bubble bobble

The online food delivery segment seems to be the one to watch, as it experienced 96 per cent year-on-year growth from Q1 2020 to Q1 2021.

Couldn't be anything to do with a certain pandemic spanning that growth period, could? There's a good chance that will pretty much plateau now, with spikes and dips corresponding to local lockdown/unlocking. Watch that growth mostly evaporate when things eventually return to normal (yes, "when", not "if").

Tesla battery fire finally flamed out after four-day conflagration

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Re: Extinguishers...

Build separate (empty) pools, one per pack. Remotely closeable drainage to stop them filling with rain water (yeah even in Aus). Once a fire starts, flood the pool.

Does increase construction and deployment costs though, and all the concrete needed to make the pools somewhat dents the eco credentials of these battery schemes.

Question though. If the lithium and electrolyte therefore aren't consumed, will they later spontaneously combust if the pool is drained?

Dell won't ship energy-hungry PCs to California and five other US states due to power regulations

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Re: We need to take action...

We need to take action - smaller families, reduced travel, less meat consumed, fewer power- guzzling computers.

Bollocks. Utter bollocks.

We have the technology to resolve all current issues, and provide plentiful energy, food and water for everyone, now and in with future projected population growth, without needing to burn a billion tonnes of carbon to do it nor return everyone to tthe dark ages.

But the kind of, dare I see it, freedom, those solutions provide do not control the populace through fear-mongering and forced action. Politics is built on control and fear of something bad happening if you don't don't what they say. Take away those levers of control, and political power is lost. Which is why the obvious solutions (mass tree planting, nuclear power, vertical farming, agricultural-scale greenhouses, ocean fertilisation which vastly increases local fish stocks) will never be implemented at the necessary scale. All are proven to work, but vital political control is lost.

What you're advocating isn't societal progress, it's a forced return to an agrarian lifestyle, and will lead to vast resentment and social upheaval.

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Re: 6 states is not 50

Will high-performance workstations and gaming rigs become the new contraband? Will we start seeing gaming Speakeasys with flip-over tables where there's a decent PC on top and shitty one beneath? Prohibition went really well. Why not try the same with computing.

Welcome to California, Sir. Anything to declare? Any food, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, medications, firearms, ammunition, money over $10K, Dell desktop PCs?

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Re: "Save you money" BS...

I do like baiting the smart meter providers on this one, when they call offering this magical device. So how does it save me money? Umm.. err... see your consumption... ummm... turn things off... use less... ummm...

My things are on because I want them on, or need them on. I consume what I need to consume. My bill tells me how much I'm using. Don't need a dumb smart meter for help with any of these.

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Re: As a Californian, all I can sat is "Who cares?".

Lobby your state gov to force local electrial utilities (PG&E?) to maintain their transmission hardware properly, and to allow brush clearance under power lines (details are a bit hazy... something about it being illegal to cut down trees, therefore brush clearance is basically impossible within the law).

Apparently transmission line breakages falling onto the uncleared brush below is a/the major cause of Cali wild fires, and PG&E have gotten away with barely maintaining their stuff for decades.

Meanwhile Cali suffers rolling blackouts whenever the wind picks up, in case more lines break and more fires start, and the switch to renewables means unreliable baseload. I suspect a lot of reasoning behind these power reduction mandates is because it's easier and cheaper to force people to use less power than it is to build and maintain proper, reliable electricity production and supply.

Australian court rules an AI can be considered an inventor on patent filings

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Thumb Up

Re: do we really need light emitting food containers?

Yes. Yes we do.

How else can we find our sandwiches in the dark? What...? Use the light switch!?! Are you nuts? Soooooo 20th century. Who has time for that?

No, I haven't thought it through. No, I don't care. Give my light emitting food container!!1!One!!1!

Wanna use your Nvidia GPU for acceleration but put off by CUDA? OpenAI has a Python-based alternative

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The idea that ShotSpotter 'alters' or 'fabricates' evidence in any way is an outrageous lie

The idea that ShotSpotter missed a real gunshot resulting in a murder couldn't possibly damage company and software reputation in any way now, could it? What about past convictions based on similar "evidence"... could they be in jeopardy? Wouldn't half make the cities, cops and company look bad if those all started to unravel.

Hey, Feds! Dig into these guys. Dig deep.

Twitter uses HackerOne bounties to find biases in its image-cropping AI model

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Should have asked the TV advertisers

The saliency algorithm employed by Twitter uses machine learning to crop images around the first spot eyes most frequently fall. In fall of 2020, some users complained the image cropping favoured light skin over dark, and women's legs and breasts over their faces.

Everything new is old. TV advertisers have known for decades where eyes most frequently fall in an image, using that knowledge to place their product accordingly. Clue... when the image contains people, often where viewers first look is at features of sexual and/or physical attractiveness.

Twitter has simply re-discovered basic human nature. It's not an algorithmic bias, they just chose the wrong algorithm to detect where to crop around. Should've tried to locate faces, then go from there. Which, as we've seen over and over, has other problems if using AI for detection.

I've got a broken combine harvester – but the manufacturer won't give me the software key

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Re: No power

...could also = damage and/or fire if for some daft reason the active cooling is actually required. Can't see why it would be required, but what do I know.

I'm feeling lucky: Google, Facebook say workers must be vaccinated before they return to offices

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Re: Liability

Don't be silly. But, bosses already can and do withdrawn employment from people who do dangerous things in their own time.

Caught drink-driving? That can cost you your job pretty much immediately. Run someone down whilst drink-driving? Definitely out on your arse.

People generally have the right to make their own choices. But society has a collective right to call out some of those personal choices if they endanger others.

Does your concept of "freedom" trump the right of others to not be unwilling infected by what can be a fatal virus, and can certainly cause life-changing problems (long covid)? Personal freedom is never absolute, there's always some tempering so everyone isn't a total twat to everyone around them. Sometimes laws, sometimes just being a decent human being with some basic consideration for others.

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Re: I'm not sure

0.02% is I believe the average IFR, and yes, that is a small percentage. It's also a global average, and varies considerably by region. And it's possibly that low because of massive global lockdown. Maybe it would be the same without lockdowns, we don't really know and don't have a time machine or transporter to an alternative reality, so we are where we are.

But as a number out of 7.9 billion people, that's 158 million people. Which is less small. Or are you happy for those 158 million to avoidably die, as long as you're not one of them?

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Re: I'm not sure

The primary purpose is to protect oneself from severe illness and death from COVID-19.

A useful secondary effect is to reduce spread by not becoming highly infectious and passing it to others.

Protecting others is simply a natural consequence of that secondary effect.

At the personal scale, it's not the primary purpose. But at regional or national scale it has to be a consideration. Employers also have to consider the health and safety of their staff, and whether you agree with that or not isn't really relevant. They'll have done the risk assessments and cost-benefit analyses and concluded it's best to require everyone coming on-site to be vaccinated.

I note they've not said anything about terminating employment for refusniks. Just saying they'll have to continue working remotely. So far; that may yet change, and that probably would be a bridge too far.

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Re: FREeDomZ

Honestly, I take the same attitude for people who get sick and/or die from any self-induced problem, be that alcohol, smoking, drugs, poor diet, failure to exercise, or ignorance-based vaccine refusal. Our health service is backed up enough as it is, without people's own stupidity making it worse.

Especially when one's personal choices can have dire consequences for others around them.

Personal freedom is coupled with personal consequence and societal responsibility. The rest of society shouldn't have to suffer or receive a worse service because some choose to exercise personal freedom while not accepting personal consequences.

Windows 11 comes bearing THAAS, Trojan Horse as a service

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Re: emphasis on the last syllable


Survey of astronomers and geophysicists shines a light on 'bleak' systemic bullying

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Which only goes to prove how subjective the whole thing is.

Telling someone to do their job is not bullying. Telling them repeatedly to do their job, if they're still not doing it, is still not bullying.

Telling someone repeatedly to do their job, when they are doing their job, that's probably bullying. It could also be simple management misperception, looking at the wrong KPIs or whatever.

Anyone on the receiving end of that may well feel like they're being bullied, even if they really aren't.

That's why this kind of highly subjective survey, with no definition or data control, is not so helpful.

Without defining the framework or any data validation, it's impossible to see how this survey could possibly yield informed, balanced, policy decisions.

At best it indicates a lot of people feel there is a problem, possibly involving bullying, possibly involving people feeling hard done by. But that's all it indicates, which doesn't make it very useful and that's a shame. Genuine bullying at any stage of life is a problem which needs to be erradicated.

Activision Blizzard accused by California watchdog of fostering 'frat boy' culture, fatally toxic atmosphere

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I do not know a single woman in the game industry that feels HR is on her side.

I don't know of anyone in any industry that feels HR is on their side. Perhaps the C-suiters. For everyone else, HR protects the company and its executives from its workforce, not to help the workforce.

Exsparko-destructus! What happens when wand waving meets extremely poor wiring

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And a charred, smoking sparky? Or was he somehow spared voluntary electrocution?

Dog eats UK government's Hydrogen Strategy homework just as summer recess arrives

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Yeah good ol' reliable wind power, eh?

The amount spent on these wonderful renewables could have gone on stable baseload and energy independence for the UK, but no: steady, reliable nuclear evil, intermittent to non-existent renewable power good.

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Re: Enjoy the choice

The smart choice would be all of the above. But... politicians, smart choices... rarely seen in together in sentences unless interjected by "don't make".

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Re: Where does the hydrogen come from?

At least that's carbon neutral, in principle. But it's still an uncomfortable truth that most "renewable" providers would prefer not to mention.

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Re: Where does the hydrogen come from?

Hydrogen may be one solution to the fill-up time, grid-capacity and charging-availability problems of BEV, and so it could be a viable alternative for transport.

But it's a pig to store in useful volume and/or density, and likes to make its way through many solid materials. It's odourless and invisible when burning. Could solve those with a tiny amount of additives, but that may have other utility and environmental problems.

Personally I'd happily trade environmentally sound but less range for fill-up times and availablilty similar to current petrol/diesel. BEV are just about usable now, because hardly anyone has one. I sure don't go over the grid-capacity, charge times, charging availability, lack of off-road parking problems again that will come with mass adoption.

You're not imagining it. Amazon and AWS want to hire all your friends, enemies, and everyone in between

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Re: Space Rockets don't grow on trees

No orbits were molested by that phallic rocket. He just popped above the Karman line for a few moments.

Engineers' Laurel and Hardy moment caused British Airways 787 to take an accidental knee

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Re: Hang on a moment...

Smells like Boeing beancounters in action. Again.

"Logic" (I use the term generously) that perhaps went something like this: Why have the cost of machining two differently shaped holes and corresponding differently shaped pins, when a single hole and pin shape will suffice?

Classic failure to understand the vital reason for the differences. Just another line item to be cut.

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Re: Is there some special reason...

Someone already took steps. Which is why they couldn't find a ladder.

Badum tish.

Buyer of $28m Blue Origin space ticket has a scheduling conflict – so this teen will go instead

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Subtle distinction

Oxygen doesn't burn.

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Re: "Now I'll become the youngest astronaut ever because I'm 18 years old"

Does that include the time it takes to eat the pizza?

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Re: What is the word for someone who is definitely not an astronaut, but says they are?


Windows 10 to hang on for five more years with 21H2 update

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Re: PR disaster

Wasn't sure whether to upvote for cynically truthful predictive accuracy, or downvote for how depressingly tragic that is. In the end, I upvoted.

Cyberlaw experts: Take back control. No, we're not talking about Brexit. It's Automated Lane Keeping Systems

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Re: It's the driver. get your hands off!

I feel like maybe you're overestimating the quality of the training sets, and the abilities of ML.

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Re: Conflict

Uuuuuum... Yeah... Can we have some of what you've been smoking? It's been a long week.

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Re: Automation

The difference between simple and easy. The rocket equation is simple. Turning it into a working reliable rocket is not easy.

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Re: central control

Absolutely not. Just need vehicle to vehicle comms within a speed-dependent radius, and better sensors than just relying on cameras i.e. radar, lidar.

There's simply no need for some kind of overlord watchdog system to know where all vehicles are at all times. There's enough of that with ANPR as is.


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