* Posts by jmch

2363 posts • joined 6 Mar 2017

Russian military uses Chinese drones and bots in combat, over manufacturers' protests

jmch Silver badge

Re: This is something that needs paying attention

"A small drone with a pistol or hand grenade glued to them can't take on a fighter jet."

No. But conversely, can a fighter jet take on a drone? Technically I guess yes, but at a ridiculous cost-to-benfit ratio. The aiming capabilities of their weapons systems is either against other large-ish fast-moving targets (making the relative velocity far smaller), or against giant stationary surface structures. Definitely not for targeting tiny objects made mostly of plastic with almost invisible radar / heat / metal signature.

Even if you can lock on and take them out, it's costing you more in mission fuel for a jet than a few dozen drones, without even counting the cost of the rockets/missiles, and that of the fighter itself + maintenance.

UK launches 'consultation' with EU over exclusion from science programs

jmch Silver badge

Re: Reap what you sow

But...but... surely now that the riches are flowing into an independent Britain, it can afford to pay for it's own research without needing EU funding......


DARPA seeks a few good AI coders to help America find its own rare minerals

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Re: And the answer is..

Now, that's a new spin on 'bitcoin mining'!!!

Oh Deere: Farm hardware jailbroken to run Doom

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Lamborghini and tractors.... that's a juxtaposition I never expected!!!

jmch Silver badge

Other tractors???

With all the grief John Deere gets you would think some competition would be in order! Are there really no other tractor makers in the US or foreign-made ones imported???

Nuclear power is the climate superhero too nervous to wear its cape

jmch Silver badge

Re: I have been on about this since I was a teenager

Very interesting link, and not something I had ever considered.

However surely if we lob anything towards the sun, it doesn't really matter if it goes straight there or if it takes a really really long tome to arrive. *disclaimer* - launching nuclear waste into the sun is anyway a really bad idea!! But - if theoretically we ever wanted to, maybe we could find a trajectory that doesn't need a very big delta-v to enter where the waste would just loop around the solar system for a few centuries before eventually spiraling into the sun

jmch Silver badge

Re: Volcanoes ?

"Geothermal works just fine, but doesn't scale."

Current technology allows us to pick low-hanging fruit where the earth's crust is warmer close to the surface. Otherwise you have to dig very deep to 'only' get heat that's enough for municipal / water heating (which is still good). A lot of research is being done into improving drilling technology to be able to reach depths (IIRC 10km+) where it is consistently hot enough (250-300 C) to produce 'high-quality' steam that can be used in current steam turbines to generate electricity.

We already have the capacity to do so (deepest drilling is over 12km) but at the moment it's expensive and difficult. The great promise of the technology is that if it could be made economical it would essentially solve energy forever (since there is enough heat in the earth's crust to provide all humanity's needs for millions of years)

jmch Silver badge
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Re: Volcanoes ?

"a volcano submarine"

YES!!!! We absolutely need one of those!!!

jmch Silver badge

Re: Safer than people think

"There is not a 1,000 square mile exclusion zone anywhere except due to nuclear"

Due to extremely cavalier 'safety' measures taken on a reactor that was already very unsafe by design, yes. The chances of anything like Chernobyl happening to a new-built recent design nuclear reactor, in any real scenario, as close to zero as makes no difference.*

And what, pray, is your obsession with this exclusion zone? Is it that no humans or other life can live there? (actually they can). Is it that humans have chosen not to take up residence there? (they equally can't reside anywhere in or around a windmill farm, solar farm, submerged by a hydroelectric lake etc). Is it that there are dangerous levels of radiation in it (there aren't, except for a much much smaller zone)?

It's just a number you're throwing around that is based on some bureaucrats decision that has no relevance to the debate over whether newly built nuclear reactors can/will be safe.

* yes, I am tempting fate, am I not?

jmch Silver badge

Re: Deaths are not the only metric

"Solar. Wave. Geothermal. Wind. Hydro.

It's significantly cheaper overall, even when storage is included."

That might be the case, but there is still not enough of it, and can't be enough of it without covering a huge %age of land under them. Not sure if the 'cheaper' includes subsidies as well. Either way the more that are built (on the optimal brownfield sites), the more costly they will become, because of shortage of wasteland to build them on (so having to build them on greenfield sites or more expensive industrial land), and shortages of raw materials.

the only one of those that might do the trick is Geothermal, if current advances in deep drilling technology reach a major breakthrough.

jmch Silver badge

Re: "Of all the non-carbon energy options we have..."

"hydropower could be expanded quite a bit without building new dams"

Would you care to expand??

jmch Silver badge

Re: I have been on about this since I was a teenager

"With the total cost of such reactors you can build a huge amount of renewable stuff + the storage required."

"Without the hot air" is about 15 years old now (withouthotair.com , look it up!!), but all of the points made in it are still valid and more importantly, the basic numbers haven't changed much. "huge amount of renewable stuff" - enough to replace the energy generated by fossil fuels without using nuclear - means covering pretty much every single square km of undeveloped land in the UK* with solar panels, windmills or growing feedstock for biofuels. It's not that it's not possible, it's that it's not a solution that society (least of all most environmentalists) are willing to accept.

There are, broadly speaking, 4 basic options available to humanity:

1) continue burning fossil fuels and accelerate the climate catastrophe

2) switch as quickly as possible to pure renewables (environmentally disastrous, massively costly, still would have intermittency problems)

3) switch to pure renewables and significantly scale back energy consumption (even scaling back consumption by half, which would be a gigantic drop in economic output and quality of living, would still require so much land use as to be environmentally disastrous, and costs would still be massive in the face of economic collapse)

4) switch as much of fossil fuel power to nuclear as quickly as we can to have baseload nuclear, and build as many renewables as is practical to support given the intermittency.

4) is the only solution that can preserve both the environment and our quality of life, at least until (if) breakthroughs in geothermal or fusion power allows us to truly have power that is both reliable and clean.

*pretty much the same holds true of most other countries

jmch Silver badge

Re: Bang On - except the death stats

1000 sq miles is what you would cover with water after damming for a big hydroelectric installation. And it's not the worst case disaster scenario, it has to happen! (though to be fair, lake can be used for boating / fishing)

jmch Silver badge

You're right, anyone who can install some solar capacity should, its at the point where its worth it. But not everyone can, and we still require baseload, which is better produced by nuclear than fossil fuels.

The trade ban that wasn't: US allows 94% of restricted tech exports to China anyway

jmch Silver badge

Re: rogue ???

Upvoted you, but wanted to point out that all the vetoes on the Security council make it particularly dysfunctional...

... US vetoing any attempt to give Israel a vague slap on the wrist or even a scolding word for the de-facto apartheid system in the west bank

... Russia being able to invade Ukraine without censure from UN

... China with Nepal and Uyghurs etc

Philippines orders fraud probe after paying MacBook prices for slow Celeron laptops

jmch Silver badge

Re: celeron

These were schoolkids' laptops, I doubt they needed to do anything more compute-intensive than a video call. It's not that the celerons weren't up to the task (maybe they were or not, it's not really covered in the article). But more that this spec of laptop is closer to $500 than $1000.

The supplier sure made a killing - not necessarily fraud, it could quite possibly be gross incompetence on the part of the government procurement. Either would be par for the course for any government.

Dinobabies latest: IBM settles with widow of exec who killed himself after layoff

jmch Silver badge

"the judge asserts there's little value in making those documents available as they won't serve to help the public assess the court's function ..."

I am guessing that the judge is constrained by certain laws and/or procedural rules that determine whether they can officially release this data (eg based on the wording, that docs can only be released if they "help the public assess the court's function"). Because there IS absolutely a huge public interest value in releasing the documents!

Otherwise those IBM executive emails are ripe for a Wikileaks / Panama Papers-style release

NASA wants a hundredfold upgrade for space computers

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Extra redundancy

There is stuff up there in space that was launched in the 1970s and is still in communication with NASA. Of course Voyagers are extreme case, but it's to be expected that NASA can launch log-term missions now that will still be operational in 2050-2060. With that in mind it's good to load as high capacity as possible, with lots of built-in flexibility that can later be upgraded with software updates, similair to what they did with Hubble.

Elon Musk 'buying Manchester United' football club

jmch Silver badge

"...that doesnt particularly stop them buying whoever they want, and that has been the Problem for years at Man U. They havent had any sort of team or transfer philosophy in place..."

That sums it up nicely. They've spent over a billion pounds on 'flavour-of-the-month' players, mostly chosen by the purse-holders and against the wishes/recommendations of the managers/coaches, and selected mainly for the potential to increase the club profile and sell shirts rather than how they fit into the team. They keep offering gigantic contracts to rubbish players to "keep their value" rather than have them run down their contracts and leave for free, but in reality these are paper-only assets since no other club is willing to buy a Man Utd reject nor pay their massive wages.

Given the situation there, it will get a lot worse before it gets better (if it ever does - note the 30 years that Liverpool spent out in the cold)... which is great for neutrals!! It will never not be funny to see them swatted aside by a team put together at a tenth of the price !!

Black Hat and DEF CON visitors differ on physical risk management

jmch Silver badge

Re: The eternal circular debate on masks.

No need to be sorry for holding a valid opinion, I am not sorry for sticking to mine.

Both of your analogies are flawed as they involve a high volume of liquid at high pressure that can absorb through the towel/pants. But what we are really talking about is fine particulates that the mask is designed to filter out. Normal breathing from an infected person will introduce some particles in the surrounding air, but not at pressure (that only happens with coughing/sneezing in which case whoever is doing that should do that into a tissue or elbow). Good ventilation or being outdoors can manage this just fine.

Masks for everyone is required in settings where there is a high infection rate and / or in environments like hospitals where there are a lot of vulnerable people around. Mandating masks when infection rates are not particularly high is not necessary as those that need/ want protection can wear a mask themselves.

All of this has of course to be combined with basic consideration - test if not feeling well, stay isolated if tested +ve or not feeling well and still untested, handwashing, proper mask-wearing, all of that. But mandatory measures should be the minimum necessary.

jmch Silver badge

Re: The eternal circular debate on masks.

"What a mask does is stops you from spraying everyone around you with saliva and phlem that contains virus, infecting them. "

Logically, if a mask can stop salivary etc particles at point of exit of someone infected, they can stop the same at potential entry points of someone not infected. So voluntary mask wearing seems reasonable in situations where infection rates are low, as is the case now.

Twitter unveils US midterm election integrity plans, upsets almost everyone

jmch Silver badge

Re: world leaders and politicians should be held to a higher standard when tweeting

"every accusation... is actually a confession"

The "by a Republican" part is redundant.

GitHub courts controversy by suspending Tornado Cash developers and reneging on cookie commitments

jmch Silver badge

Re: free expression, assembly, and association

free expression = free speech

jmch Silver badge

Re: emoji

But, as stated in the article, Github was NOT required by law to kick them off, as they were not mentioned persons in the sanctions. Github IS curbing their freedom of speech (although since it isn't the government doing the curbing, it is not protected under the 1st amendment)

Microsoft's fix for 'data damage' risk hits PC performance

jmch Silver badge

"Linux is much better."

For most people, an OS is only as good as the software it supports.

Moving to a new OS is tricky enough without having to find replacement apps for every bit of software you need, if even such software was ever developed (as in many cases for many industrial controllers and niche applications). Even if a suitable replacement app exists, you have to relearn how to use it, it has to support all your existing files and play nicely with all the other software you have.

For many people who only need a browser and basic office tools, moving to linux should be fairly easy, otherwise it can get non-trivial very fast.

What is needed is to start teaching kids linux at school alongside or instead of windows

US car industry leads the world in production cuts over chip shortages

jmch Silver badge

"crank windows, manual seats"

I'm pretty sure it's possible to have electric windows and electrically moving seats without needing any chips. It's just a motor actuated by a switch, surely no 'logic' needed!!

jmch Silver badge
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Re: Here's an idea -

Hear, hear!!!

I've nothing against having a screen big enough to be easily read, but all essential information should go on the part the driver can see through the steering wheel, and all controls should be actual buttons/knobs/levers with tactile feedback which can therefore be operated without having to look. Besides that the rotary knob + button is FAR easier than a touchscreen control even if you can focus your full attention on the screen!!

President Biden signs CHIPS and Science Act into law

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"There isn't a research and development problem ... There IS a manufacturing and workforce issue"

This sums it up perfectly. Companies didn't move manufacturing overseas because they couldn't find any competent people or couldn't build factories, they did it because local competent people were more expensive than the competent people abroad, and local regulations made building and running factories more expensive than in places with less regulation.

The bill is framed as an investment in technology, but it's actually state funding to offset the additional expenses that fabs have to operate in the US instead of abroad. It's not really a handout to Intel etc because their extra income will, in effect, flow to all their US employees and contractors/suppliers*.

Same with the similair EU chip funding. I'm not saying its a bad thing, its actually good to be more self reliant for technology (also for energy which is another parallel issue).

*Distinct from pork, because it has a targeted end goal deemed to be useful to local society and not just to the reelection chances of some congresspeople/senators

Burger King just sent spam receipts to customers

jmch Silver badge

Taste test

So did the customers prefer the spam or the whopper?

Aussies crowdsource a business case for central bank digital currencies

jmch Silver badge

Re: Use case

Good analysis, I mostly agree.

Re a) in a world where crypto is widely accepted, there is no need to transfer to/from any fiat currency, but of course the point stands that someone is taking a cut

b) that's news to me - I would guess that for large transactions in the thousands, or large volumes of transactions to/from an account that would be the case, but if there is regulatory reason that it takes 1-2 days for a small IBAN transfer that is clearly over-regulation

e) the theory of central banks controlling inflation by controlling the money supply is a nice theory. In practice this is abused by governments over-printing. True inflationary control means matching the amount of currency to the amount of goods and services on the market, so the price of goods and services is stable. But central banks aim for constant inflation (even if the aim is very low inflation) because the capitalist system depends on it (if your tokens are devaluing it encourages spending rather than saving). This is based on the flawed model that equates constant economic growth with higher living standard and happiness*.

Even if the model that aims for minimal inflation were a valid one, central banks still fail to stick to it, because every time there's a crisis, governments cannot resist the temptation to print money rather than take tough and unpopular decisions. It is also very unhelpful that many people do not know the difference between rising cost of living and inflation (which is only 1 out of many possible causes of the rise of the cost of living), and many journalists and politicians speaking on the subject also seem to not know the difference!!

*Although that's a completely different debate

jmch Silver badge

Use case

What would be a real-world use case for a cryptocurrency that is not a scam?

The use cases for existing cryptocurrencies seem to be:

a) cutting out traditional financial institutions who take their cut from every transaction, and having a pure peer-to-peer transfer mechanism. But while this cuts out traditional gatekeepers, there are still transaction costs on a crypto network (sometimes quite high)

b) cutting out traditional financial institutions who take days to execute a transfer, and have an immediate (or quasi-immediate) transfer mechanism. As pointed out in the article, this can be improved at least locally within a country by upgrading the traditional banking systems. Something that also needs to happen internationally.

c) allowing poor people access to banking services. Traditional banks are only willing to deal with people who have some money, so they can extract fees. Many people in the developing world have no access to banking services eg loans. Crypto allows a person to use their mobile phone as a cash wallet without having an intermediary hold the money in custody. There are pluses and minuses to this, but of course when someone doesn't have a lot of money they might prefer total control over what little thy have than deposit it at a bank. People with thousands / millions, on the other hand, are probably happy to have that deposited or invested with a reputable financial institution for a reasonable fee. Having a mechanism where network users can do peer-to-peer lending in a controlled (non-loan-shark) environment could be a good use case.

d) anonymity, although in crypto by definition the accounts are public the account holder can be anonymous. There is some scope for anonymous money transfers to happen, especially for people under repressive regimes, but lets face it a lot of the people wanting the anonymity want it to avoid tax or for criminal purposes. This is pretty much by definition a use case that no user would sign up to a central bank cryptocurrency for.

e) inflationary control, ie not allowing the network to arbitrarily generate tokens and thus devalue existing tokens. I don't think any central bank digital currency could offer this or would ever want to offer this.

Basically, apart from point c) there isn't much that uniquely requires a distributed peer-to-peer financial network. Although I certainly hope that pressure from cryptocurrency and new 'digital-only' banks starts steering traditional banks offer such 'luxuries' as real-time money transfers and non-extortionate international transaction rates

Clean up orbit first, then we can think about space factories, says FCC

jmch Silver badge

Re: "has the potential to [..] mitigate climate change"

I'm not sure if whoever proposed that is thinking on the lines of - if we can harvest material from asteroids and do some space refining and manufacturing, we can avoid having to do that work on Earth and then send the finished articles up (including saving all the energy requirements by harvesting solar energy in orbit). One thing that this type of analysis usually forgets is that cooling is a problem in space, and processes that require massive amounts of heat need to be completely re-thought (if they are indeed possible). In any case we are probably a century or two away from that capability.

If we are talking about what I think we are, ie potentially sending up one giant rocket 'tanker' that can refuel other satellites and extend their life, that's an interesting idea (and probably workable in a couple of decades), but will do eff all for climate change

jmch Silver badge

Big problem with limited solutions

'Cleaning up the orbit' is all well and good to say, but how do you clear 100 million pieces of 1mm-size debris, not to mention however many more smaller ones?? Can't vacuum them up, catch them in nets, can't even locate them, and to catch them you have to match their speed even if you could find them (which, for the smaller ones, you anyway can't).

My wacky idea is some sort of high-expansion quick-setting foam - spray it from a small can into a large blob and push it into a slow-ish orbit on the path you want to clear. The idea is that the relative speed of debris is small enough that it won't punch through but get trapped inside, and the slow-ish orbit means it will eventually de-orbit itself (or the large size means it can be externally manipulated). That sort of assumes that most objects are orbiting in the same direction (which is mostly the case for parent satellites so should mostly be the same for debris).

Of course, space is Huuuuge, even just the narrow shell of the useful orbital plane, but given that rocketeers can insert a satellite into a very precise orbital position, whose launch, trajectory etc are probably known years in advance, it should be possible to clear the path from some of the debris ahead of the satellite's launch

Real-time deepfakes can be beaten by a sideways glance

jmch Silver badge

"asking the person on the other end of Zoom to show you a side view of their face"

If that becomes standard practice, there very soon WILL be enough profile views of everyone's face to create a deepfake profile!!

Apple tells suppliers to use 'Taiwan, China' or 'Chinese Taipei' to appease Beijing

jmch Silver badge

Re: Can anyone answer the question, logically...

"look as hollow as Nato's promises not to expand up to Russia's borders"

To be fair, far from promising to not expand to Russia's borders, NATO was quite open about wanting to do exactly that. An absolutely stupid thing to do, of course, but never be it said that the US is discreet about it's f*ckups

jmch Silver badge

Re: Can anyone answer the question, logically...

Not sure it's logical but a) not wanting to lose face and b) Taiwan still basically claims to be the legi government of China.

I agree that the easiest solution is for both to officially recognise the status quo

jmch Silver badge


Not going into all detail but, Re 1)

'erecting the shell' is not the same as 'building'

This type of development, digging a giant hole and laying foundations takes 6 months. - 1 year. The building structure takes a week or two*. Plumbing, electricity, ventilation, tiling, plastering etc and finishing takes another 6 months - 1 year. Putting the walls and floors up is the easy bit.

Regarding the expressway, what you're saying is that China has built a motorway on mainland China that runs close to the coast by Taiwan. There is no tunnel

*plenty of Western firms can build a floor a day. They don't do 3 floors a day because they work 8 hours not 24, and they follow health and safety rules - it's not because they're not technically capable. That's a plus for the West not a plus for China

Bill Gates venture backs effort to bring aircon startup to market

jmch Silver badge

Re: SmOoThINg oF uSe RaThEr ThAn C0$$$t??

The problem with pumped storage is volume, both the metaphorical volume of electrical power and the physical volume of water needed. It's only practical in places where you can easily find height differences between plateaus (so must be a mountainous area that is still relatively accessible), and the area of (usually ecologically sensitive) land that would need to be flooded with water for the pumped storage is huge. Also, most of the low-hanging fruit for hydroelectric have long been dammed up and put to use (although quite possibly some hydroelectric-only plants could be rejigged to work as pumped storage with minimal conversion if they have space available for a 'low' reservoir).

jmch Silver badge

Smoothing of use rather than cost??

The more appliances such as these aircons, electric cars, domestic heat pumps etc can adapt to consume 'cheap' electricity, the smoother the consumption curve will be, until you will basically have a flat demand, and no 'cheap rate' electricity - at least not in the sense we now know it where night-time electricity is cheaper because of reduced demand. Instead what will probably happen is that the cost of electricity will depend almost totally on available supply rather than demand. This in turn means that when intermittent sources (wind / solar) are plentiful, prices will be low, which in a subsidy-less world would mean that wind/solar become less economically feasible to operate.

That in turn means that pricing will be being updated 'on the fly' (and appliances will be following suit). With mass adoption, that could lead to situations where the 'clever' appliances are all dumbly switching on at the same time as electricity gets cheap, electricity demand spikes as do prices, and said dumb smart appliances switch off again. Rinse and repeat. Only half joking there... there needs to be a bit more additional smarts into these 'smart' appliances. To our advantage, it will be decades before these appliances become commonplace enough to trigger grid problems.

And the great long-term benefit (assuming no stupid smart behaviour as above) is the smoothing of demand, which would reduce stress on the grid infrastructure.

China allows robo taxis – without backup drivers – in parts of two major cities

jmch Silver badge

Re: as an aside

"why do self driving cars almost always have the same design as a driven car?"

I guess because up until now, the possibility of human intervention / driving was required. I guess given the right sensors and feedbacks, it would be possible for a human to do the driving completely remotely without needing any traditional controls (at least in an emergency and at low speed).

Either way I guess that driverless cars will in fact evolve into a way different layout once the need for traditional controls is gone.

Pull jet fuel from thin air? We can do that, say scientists

jmch Silver badge

Trains are expensive, yes, but they work in volume far larger than planes. Per passenger cost for trains is similar to planes over 100km-ish range

jmch Silver badge

Island hoppers can't really be replaced by trains, and boats are typically far slower for passenger transport. Faster boats are simply vomit-fests

Data brokers amass profiles of pregnant women – and, of course, it's all up for sale

jmch Silver badge

Re: I used to be nice to christians, not any more

In my experience, the vast majority of Christians might not (or might) have an abortion themselves but aren't that concerned about what others do. It's the fringe nutters that really care.

Unfortunately it seems that in the US, squeaky wheel gets the grease, and politicians respond to loud minorities far more than to reasonable people who keep to themselves

Scientists use dead spider as gripper for robot arm, label it a 'Necrobot'

jmch Silver badge

Re: Rise of the machines?

"Is the top of the can not sharp though?"

Surprisingly, no, though I am unsure of what sort of voodoo they work to make it so. The edge of the lid is also not sharp. I mean, neither is something you would want to push against with force, but they're blunt enough to rule out painful and bloody accidents. They also aren't sharp enough to slash any garbage bags (though in my case they anyway go to can recycling bin, no bag required)

"You need to practice your edging technique..."

That's in fact what I used to do when using a traditional opener (including the bit about levering the lid edge up with the last twist of the opener as suggested by the next reply from LogicGate), but with the new type it's far easier.

"The cans I hate are the ones with a ring pull"

Seconded!! (these can still be opened with a can opener, usually better and safer than with the ring pull)

jmch Silver badge

Re: What's the point?

"Yeah but most of the naturally grown brains turn out to be defective"

Correction - Most of the naturally grown brains work perfectly well. It's the training that's mostly extremely crappy!

jmch Silver badge
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Re: Rise of the machines?

I have one of those can openers which my wife bought at some point, probably just to have one. We mostly buy fresh food or jars, and the cans we get have pull-tops or the 'corned-beef-tin' key opening. First time I came to use it (no instructions of course), I had to work it out, and it was also weird as even while opening, it doesn't look as though anything is happening right until the whole lid is off.

But once started with it, I would never go back to a traditional opener, the way it leaves no sharp edges at all and the lid doesn't fall in is a great improvement on the old kind.

The 20-min vid is kind of overkill though :)

jmch Silver badge

"We, as a group, haven't reached the point of world-wide famine.

Yet. It'll happen, because humans as a group are incredibly stupid."

Global population is expected to peak within next 50 years and then start to decline. Smaller families are a natural by-product of more wealth. China's population is already shrinking, and as other countries in SE Asia and, eventually, Africa, grow richer they will follow suit. Global population is predicted to peak at 9-10 billion.

Yes, humans as a group can behave in incredibly stupid ways, but humans can also be resourceful, clever, and occasionally do some pretty awesome things. So it's a bumpy road, but I don't think it will ever come to world-wide famine.

Not that I'd be around by that time, anyway

I paid for it, that makes it mine. Doesn’t it? No – and it never did

jmch Silver badge

Re: Physical media is still the best

"Physical media is still the best " ( I guess the "that is in my personal possession and control" is implied )

Yes it is. The trick is keeping track of what is actually important to me that I want to download, secure and back up, and all the other digital gunk that just happens to be there.

jmch Silver badge

Re: TomTom Lifetime Maps

My first TomTom, which came with a vehicle I had just bought, came with map upgrades. Pity that the device came with 2GB memory, so the upgrades, while theoretically still available, stopped working when the map size became bigger than 2GB.

US net neutrality bill is only two pages long. And that's potentially a good thing

jmch Silver badge

Re: Once again they take the easy way out

"leave critical protections to the whims of future administrations"

yes and no. Technology moves so fast that it makes nonsense to codify certain provisions directly into law. Secondly, the law makes FCC "de jure" responsible for regulating carriers, not only "de facto". That means anyone believing the FCC is not properly regulating carriers can take that matter to court.

And, just generally speaking, I am a great admirer of writing laws that are short, simple, and understandable to the layman.


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