* Posts by vtcodger

1364 posts • joined 13 Sep 2017


China's blockchain boosters slam crypto as Ponzi scheme

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: Ponzi scheme?

"I'm objectively interested in the reason for all the downvotes."

I've tried to make the same point in the past and while I didn't get a lot of downvotes, I didn't get many upvotes either.

And, in fairness, while Bitcoin and Ethereum seem to be pretty much as advertised -- i.e. monopoly money, but they are up front about it -- some of the other crypto based efforts really do seem to be pretty much 99.98% pure scams. However, IMHO they lack the finess and style of a well done Ponzi scheme. Charles Ponzi's original effort. Or Bernie Madoff who managed to become chairman of the NASDAQ in the early 1990s at a time when I believe he was doing little or no actual trading in securities.

(It is remarkably unclear how much money Madoff disappeared. Billions for sure. But somehow, no one seems to know how many billions).

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: Ponzi scheme?

"Not forgetting that they're not currencies either."

Except in El Salvador of course. OTOH, how many knit T-shirts (El Salvador's largest export apparently) does anyone need?

US senators seek input on their cryptocurrency law via GitHub – and get some

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: Like Bernie Madoff "Digital Asset"

Actually, crypto is quite different than Madoff's classic Ponzi scheme. Don't get me wrong. Cryptocurrency is an RBI (Really Bad Idea). But a Ponzi scheme it is not.

My understanding is that what Bernie Madoff did was to claim he had developed a sophisticated investment strategy involving using futures contracts to leverage mundane investments in S&P 500 stocks thereby achieving much higher yields than simply buying and selling the same stocks would yield. The scheme was exceedingly complex. So much so that no one understood it. It probably wouldn't have worked. Didn't matter. Madoff skipped that messy investment step. Buying and selling stock is risky. A man could lose money that way. Instead, he simply paid out "dividends" and withdrawals using money from the incoming investment stream and the existing capital pool.

That's illegal because it can rip off even relatively cautious investors.

Crypto mongers OTOH are quite open about how their business works. You print your own money and "investors" line up to exchange stuff with real world value for your freshly minted notes. But that's nuts? People would have to be crazy to exchange real assets for monopoly money?

Yep. Nobody said the world wasn't full of crazy people.

Crypto is really quite odd. And it's probably imploding. But it's nature is not misrepresented. And it's not illegal (except in China).

It's a crime to use Google Analytics, watchdog tells Italian website

vtcodger Silver badge

It's OK with the EU?

So if Google sets up an analytics server in the EU (or anyplace else not the US?) and makes sure that EU originated traffic goes to that server, Google's behavior is OK with the EU?

Intel withholds Ohio fab ceremony over US chip subsidies inaction

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: CEO in Training

I believe Intel's plan on this is to hold their breath until they turn blue. Then we'll be sorry we didn't accommodate their needs wants.

Totaled Tesla goes up in flames three weeks after crash

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: So when one of these things is junked ...

Discharging the battery seems an excellent idea although IIRC Lion doesn't tolerate complete discharge well. You won't be reusing the battery or its component cells if you don't manage the discharge properly. There's also the issue of getting rid of maybe 50kwh (180000000 joules) of energy without (further) damaging anything. I don't think this is something one would want to try at home.

Investors start betting against Bitcoin with short-trade products

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: Investors or gamblers?

"If I put £10 on Dobby to win the Grand National, am I investing or gambling?"

If blockchain is somehow involved, you are investing. Otherwise, you are gambling,

Former chip research professor jailed for not disclosing Chinese patents

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: Honestly, guys

If the CIA/NSA et. al. aren't the largest collectors of other people's data on the planet, a lot of we American's tax money is being wasted.

EV battery can reach full charge in 'less than 10 minutes'

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: Full charge in 10 minutes?

In fairness, Tesla demonstrated a fast battery swap. Once. In California. In order to harvest a healthy additional subsidy on every vehicle they sell there. But they don't actually offer a battery swap service at their charging stations. Presumably because you don't need to offer the service to get the subsidy.

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: Full charge in 10 minutes?

In addition to whatever technical problems exist with replaceable batteries, there's this economic problem.

A large part of the cost of an EV is the battery. And batteries get tired over time -- especially if they are abused by whatever it is their particular chemistry doesn't tolerate well. Too many quick charges. Too many deep discharges, etc. So if you haul into the charging station with your brand new Whizbang Dominator and swap out the battery. You may get out of there in a few tens of seconds. But if you've you've swapped a brand new battery for a battery that is near end of life and worth a tiny fraction of the battery you exchanged for it, you're also leaving with your wallet many thousands of dollars/euros/pounds/drachma lighter.

Maybe there's a way around that, but I'm not sure what it is.

Oh yeah. And I doubt your new car warranty covers that replacement battery. Or any damage it might cause if it fails before your next swap.

Crypto market crashes on Celsius freeze, inflation news

vtcodger Silver badge

As you can well imagine

As you can probably imagine, it's a busy day at https://web3isgoinggreat.com/

Last five headlines:

. Tron's algorithmic stablecoin (USDD) wobbles

. Crypto.com and BlockFi announce layoffs

. Binance pauses Bitcoin withdrawals for 3 hours due to "stuck" transactions

. Terra investors file class action lawsuit against Binance.US

. Lido-staked Ether (stETH) loses peg

And so it goes.

EU lawmakers vote to ban sales of combustion engine cars from 2035

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: In other words...

"Corporations are poised to make enormous profits on this EV thing."

Of course they are. That's what corporations do. But I suspect (and hope) their visions of vast fields of low-hanging profits waiting to be plucked are delusional.

I direct your attention to the Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV. It's the best selling EV in China at the moment. Roughly 50,000 units in March 2022. It seats 4, goes 60 mph (flat out) and is a bit less than 3m long. (Sticker) range 75-110mi depending on the battery selected. It sells for between $4000 and $6000 depending on the configuration. That, my friends, is likely the future of EVs -- electric VW bug equivalents, not electric Roll-Royce equivalents.

Of course the US/British/EU version will cost much more. It will need to actually meet safety standards and it needs a quick charge capability. And probably a few other things. But the car companies probably are not going to end up rolling in vast wealth from profits on the sale of $12K-16K cars.

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: In other words...

"are we going to have flying cars at last ?"

Probably. A few. At least there will likely be some vehicles you can drive to an airport, fly to some other airport, then drive into town for lunch. They'll probably be mediocre aircraft and worse cars. And they'll be expensive. And most likely, you'll need a pilot's license of some sort to fly one.

And they probably won't be battery powered. Fossil fuels have significantly higher energy densities than any battery we can currently conceive and for early personal flying machines, weight is surely going to be critical.

So yes, there will be flying cars, but no you and I won't have one in the driveway.

Which is OK by me. People mismanaging massive vehicles in two dimensions is scary enough. No need to add another dimension to the mix.

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: In other words...

Battery tech isn't standing still. But it's also not advancing especially quickly. LOTS of money has been is and will continue to be spent on battery R&D. Will batteries be better in two decades? Yes. Are your expectations realistic? Probably not very.

Recommended reading: Tom Murphy's articles at https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/ Murphy is a physicist at UC San Diego who for many years has driven electric vehicles and run his household largely on solar power. But he does that largely by living in a very mild climate where heating and cooling needs are minimal and by consuming far less energy than most of us in other areas as well. His opinions are worth taking into account. He is not all that optimistic about the non-fossil fuel future.

What keeps Mandiant Intelligence EVP Sandra Joyce up at night? The coming storm

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: Fiddling about around the Edge whilst Rome burns ..... a recipe for guaranteed disaster

Actually, I believe the lipstick is extra and you need to buy a subscription. But not to worry, there's a free coupon in the crate for a two week supply,

IBM AI boat to commemorate historic US Mayflower voyage finally lands… in Canada

vtcodger Silver badge

Sticking with tradition

The ship's namesake in 1620 wasn't trying to go to Cape Cod. It was trying to go to Virginia. And its voyage didn't go all that smoothly either. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayflower

Seems to me that tradition has been upheld.

New York to get first right-to-repair law for electronics

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: Great, but. I wonder how-effectively it'll be enforced

Another real problem that I and I imagine most folks who try to repair their stuff run into from time to time is repair parts that are on the parts diagram, have a part number, maybe even have a price published, but aren't available. And that isn't necessarily the result of malice. My understanding is that what happens is that when specialized parts for machines are made or ordered from a supplier, a certain number of spares are made/ordered. After the parts are made, the tooling is reconfigured for the next order. Those extra parts are the repair parts. Ideally, there are just enough of them that the parts bin is empty when the last device in service is scrapped many years in the future. But no one is smart enough to guess the exact number of spares that will be needed for the next X years. And tooling up to make more spares would be expensive so it doesn't often happen. So sometimes you need to cobble together a substitute or find a used part.

Maybe someday in a better world, 3d printing will solve this problem. But 3d printers that can make a wide variety of parts on demand at reasonable unit cost probably are a good many decades away.

Clipminer rakes in $1.7m in crypto hijacking scam

vtcodger Silver badge


$1.7M? Hardly worth noticing. If I am to believe what I read at https://web3isgoinggreat.com/ $1.7M is a mere pittance. These crypto people wheel and deal in tens, hundreds, thousands of millions of dollars on a daily basis. Of course it's all imaginary supported entirely by happy thoughts. But they do think BIG.

Watch out for phishing emails that inject spyware trio

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: So, you're not opening an email in Excel

"Because of course I'm going to open this attachment from some random stranger I've never met."

YOU probably won't do that unless the file content is obsfucated in some way and your OS somehow allows what appears to be a simple text file to invoke Excel. But if you have any significant number of employees, it's almost certain that a few of them can be prevented from doing so only by denying them access to email and/or Excel or by amputating their fingers.

Experts: AI inventors' designs should be protected in law

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: 'Creative' Artificial Intelligence

Arthur C Clarke once said "A patent is a license to be sued"

And he was certainly right to some extent.

How do you sue an AI?

Cloud security unicorn cuts 20% of staff after raising $1.3b

vtcodger Silver badge

Gypsy Curse

Obviously a gypsy curse is in play here. Here's a link to a dude who says he can remove gypsy curses. https://spellshelp.com/articles/gypsy_magic/how-to-remove-a-gypsy-curse/

I'm sure that a $8B company will not even notice the cost of hiring him. Might even be tax deductible (although I think tax deductible only matters if you have actual profits).

IBM-powered Mayflower robo-ship once again tries to cross Atlantic

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: What is the actual goal?

The web site -- https://mas400.com/ -- appears to have been put together by a professional communicator and is therefore somewhat incomprehensible. But my best guess is that this is an early prototype of an autonomous marine research vessel. Think a lunar or Mars rover type thing designed for Earth's vastly more dynamic environment. I think that the eventual objective might be the construction of a fleet of autonomous rovers that can collect data on the oceans without requiring a research vessel the size and cost of a tech titan's yacht.

And to its credit, it's managed to travel considerable distances without sinking or running into other ships or running into fixed objects like Ireland or Europe. So maybe it's doing OK.

For the curious, there are (or were last year) some schematic drawings of the boat and its layout plus some other technical data somewhere on the internet.

Foxconn factory fiasco could leave Wisconsinites on the hook for $300m

vtcodger Silver badge

"File a lawsuit ..."

Yeah. Except Foxconn has lawyers too. And they'll probably argue that the folks in Wisconsin failed to live up to their side of the agreement in numerous ways. And the Wisconsinites probably did fail in some ways because it was a complicated deal. And the case will drag on for years. And so will the appeals. And the appeals of the appealate decisions. And the appeals of the appeals. And eventually everyone will get tired of the case and will settle for some deal that will cost Foxconn a lot less than what they originally promised to pay but will allow everyone to claim victory.

Indian stock markets given ten day deadline to file infosec report, secure board signoff

vtcodger Silver badge

How fun

I think maybe if you are an Indian IT worker, grabbing a begging bowl and setting off to wander the countryside is probably beginning to look like an attractive alternative future. Better perhaps than living in constant fear of what short-deadline task the government is going to impose on you next.

Safari is crippling the mobile market, and we never even noticed

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: Screen size will always be the limiting factor

"but none of that overcomes the problem of, well, it's a tiny screen (in the grand scheme of things)."

I don't disagree because I think you are right. And I'd add that my wife's (mostly) elderly friends love smart phones ... except for the tiny print.

But isn't this exactly the problem that HTML was intended to deal with? "You give us the content with markup to tell us (roughly) what it is, and we'll figure out in the browser how best to present it." Is the difficulty in handling it a failure of HTML (and scripting as well) or of browser design? Could it be solved with different/better markup and/or browser changes and/or some training of Web developers?

"why do you think nobody designs or builds mobile apps using a mobile?"

The tiny print doesn't help, but a cheap pair of +6.00 reading glasses could fix that. At least with hi-res screens. I think the problem is more the lack of an input device suitable for easy typing and editing of a lot of text. Phone keyboards may be fine for posting on Twitter. But I think you'd quickly become frustrated trying to type a novel, an article, or a program of any size on a phone "keypad".

The Return of Gopher: Pre-web hypertext service is still around

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: doesn't solve ad bloat

"They'd be text-only"

Y'know, that might be fine. I sort of automatically ignore most ads in newspapers and magazines and even TV because they clearly aren't of interest to me. Don't need cat food. No cat. I'm moving on. Not currently in the market for a car. Moving on. Don't think solar panels in a rather cloudy and snowy climate at 45 degree N latitude can possibly be a good idea. Moving on. Once in a great while, they offer something of interest. I've even been known to buy stuff as a result of reading them.

I think text only ads (within reason) MIGHT be OK. At least, unlike the web's Javascript abominations, they probably can't infect my computer with nasty malware.

Deepfake attacks can easily trick live facial recognition systems online

vtcodger Silver badge

The Shaman was Right

Those damn camera thingees can in fact steal -- if not your soul -- your wealth.

BTW, anyone remember the Mythbuster's successful attack on fingerprint scanners https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythBusters_%282006_season%29#Fingerprint_Lock? My guess is that fooling facial recognition is going to be easier than fooling a fingerprint sensor. At least for the forseeable future.

And it's not like many, probably most, smartphone users haven't cleverly posted pictures of their face online.

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: Artificial Mimickry

"Artificial Stupidity" might well be more accurate, but I guarantee you that the Artificial Stupidity label will never make it past the folks in marketing. At least not until they are replaced by AI agents.

Intel plans immersion lab to chill its power-hungry chips

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: Not a new idea, correct

An engineer threw me off a CDC 6400 mainframe one afternoon in the 1960s because it had sprung a leak and he needed to check the plumbing. I hadn't realized until then that the 6x00 (and 7600 as well) were liquid cooled.

BTW, in the 1990s, overclockers experimented with running x86 chips of the time immersed in mineral oil. It worked pretty well, but was, I'm told, kind of messy as the hot oil tended to work its way under the insulation of wiring to the power supply, keyboard, monitor, etc. At the terminus of the wires the oil would seep out.

Google Russia goes broke after bank account snatched

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: Very bad idea

And the victors did grab a lot of German non-military assets. Thus leading to the famous incident where both the British (Rootes Group) and American (Ford) car makers turned down the opportunity to take over the VolksWagen Wolfsburg plant where the Germans were bringing the production line for the VW beetle back into service.

State of internet crime in Q1 2022: Bot traffic on the rise, and more

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: Spike on Skype

"one trying to sell me bank fraud software"

Would that be software to detect bank fraud? Or software to assist in committing bank fraud?

vtcodger Silver badge

Bad neighborhood

Cyberspace isn't safe. Who could possibly have known?

Shopping for malware: $260 gets you a password stealer. $90 for a crypto-miner...

vtcodger Silver badge

Surprise !!!

How do I know that the $90 remote cryptominer I bought from these fine folks isn't going to encrypt my disk and tell me that I have until Tuesday next to come up with 10.0 bitcoin if I expect to ever see my data alive again? It's not like they appear to be paragons of honesty and integrity. Maybe they are like vampires. Invite them in and you have a problem.

Email domain for NPM lib with 6m downloads a week grabbed by expert to make a point

vtcodger Silver badge

Sparse arrays

• Enumeration of array-likes includes the holes which all the builtins would skip. You shouldn't have holes in arrays. But if you have, that could be obscure breaking change that turns up who knows where and how.

Question: An array with holes is a "sparse array"? Or something different? I'm not sure what one would use a sparse array for as I've never used one or seen one used. But a lot of programming languages seem to support them so presumably there are valid use cases?

TurboTax to pay $141m to settle claims it scammed millions of people

vtcodger Silver badge

Paper tax returns

You can still file paper tax returns in the US if you choose. I think many (most?) can also file user fillable PDFs if they have a compatible browser, the winds are fair, and the force is with them. I opt for paper because our return is usually a bit complicated, the modern web is such a goddamn shambles, and I can take and archive pictures of the returns, spreadsheets and scripts rather than trusting that software to read the electronic returns will still be around if the taxman comes back with questions 3 or 4 years downstream. The latter thing, backwards compatibility, has actually been a problem for a few folks using commercial products in the past.

My state (Vermont) also accepts paper returns.

I don't actually have anything against user fillable PDFs and I'd probably use them if our taxes were just wages and a bit of savings/investment income.

SEC nearly doubles cryptocurrency cop roles in special cyber unit

vtcodger Silver badge

Unsecured Loan

I'm not quite sure how it works, but I think you just claim ownership of an imaginary asset like The Ark of the Convenant, then perform the proper incantations involving blockchain and encryption while turning three times widdershins. I think you can also pledge a real asset you don't actually own -- Niagara Falls or the Trans-Alaska Pipeline -- as collateral.

For hints on how others are doing it, try the Web 3 is going just great website https://web3isgoinggreat.com/.

Your software doesn't work when my PC is in 'O' mode

vtcodger Silver badge

"I wonder what response that would give if installed on a quantum computer?"

Possibly whatever sort of response you had in mind when you observed the result?.

Fedora starts to simplify Linux graphics handling

vtcodger Silver badge

If these people made cars ...

The kernel's fbdev device has been deprecated since 2015. It's a very old-fashioned mechanism for the kernel to display graphics on the system console

Wheels are a very old fashioned approach to transportation. If these guys were car-makers, they'd probably be planning to replace them with something else in the 2026 models. Maybe dozens of tiny feet. Or some sort of serpentine slithering device.

BTW, for those who, like me, have not the slightest idea what fbdev does, it appears to be a driver for the framebuffer. The framebuffer is an area of memory in the X86 architecture that contains a user accessible bitmap of the current video screen. DRM is a acronym for Direct Rendering Manager, not Digital Rights Management. And presumably what this change will do is gratuitously break the workflow of a few folks whose plain old software and perhaps custom hardware just works


. Old proverb "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"

. A. C. Clarke: Superiority ("http://www.mayofamily.com/RLM/txt_Clarke_Superiority.html")

Supercomputer lab swaps lead-acid UPS batteries for alkaline gear

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: li-ion

"The only viable system would be oxygen starvation..."

Uh ... Maybe. As I understand it, when Li-ion batteries are warmed much above 400C they go into thermal runaway. I don't think the internal chemistry uses atmospheric Oxygen, so I'm not so sure that depriving the battery of Oxygen will shut the fire down. But it will (probably) keep the packaging and anything else in the vicinity from burning. So maybe Oxygen starvation will help ... or not.

If not, what might work is something with high thermal conductivity to get the temperature down and poor electrical conductivity to keep from shorting battery terminals on adjacent cells. Which is to say, not water.

Someone around here probably actually knows how to approach a large Li-Ion fire. My inclination would be to get the hell away from the thing and let someone else deal with it.

US Space Force unit to monitor region beyond Earth's geosynchronous orbit

vtcodger Silver badge

The High Ground

"Controlling " space from orbit sounds like a great idea until you start thinking out the details. Unfortunately, the reality is that weapons in space are extraordinarily vulnerable to ground based attacks. And ground based attacks on objects in orbit are relatively inexpensive. At least relative to the costs of building and supplying an orbital fortress.

As an analogy, consider climbing a tree with a bag of rocks. Gives you a certain advantage over your enemy. ... Unless they have chain saws.

Take this $15m and make us some ultra-energy-efficient superconductor chips, scientists told

vtcodger Silver badge

Ones? Zeros?

and they store logic values of zeroes and ones

Real distinguishable ones and zeros? Not quantum? How 2020.

British motorists will be allowed to watch TV in self-driving vehicles

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: Too early.

I'm pretty sure you are correct. Most expressway driving is pretty straightforward and, I think, well within the capability of modern hardware and software. Without AI let me add. The few exceptions like proper lane selection in cases where multiple expressways intersect at a point are so few that it may well be possible to hard code proper handling. So, I think we'll see autonomous long distance trucking in the not too distant future.

The trick is recognizing and dealing with exceptional situations -- construction zones (They may need better and more machine comprehensible signage) accidents (Please don't run over the nice policeman waving a flashlight at you). Confusing lines on the roadway. Stuff on the highway. WEATHER, tumbleweeds, critters. There are probably some situations that are so out of the ordinary that the only reasonable action to to pull over and try to get a human to help.

Urban and suburban driving. Much harder. Maybe Waymo and the big auto companies can master it. Eventually. Musk? Could happen I suppose. But I think betting on AI is probably wishful thinking.

vtcodger Silver badge

Clippy behind the wheel

you actually just have to solve real-world AI

That's assuming that:

1. Real world AI is a solvable problem.

2. An autonomous vehicle with judgement as bad as that of many humans -- a very likely result of AI that "works" -- is acceptable.

3. Manufacturers will not be sued for a zillion dollars every time their product kills or maims a human being.

Personally, I don't think Clippy really ought to be given a driving license any time soon. Maybe not any time ever.

Intel: Our fabs can mass produce silicon qubit devices

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: "manufacture qubits at scale"

This link might provide some insight into what Intel is talking about -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spin_qubit_quantum_computer Or not.

WARNING -- The article deteriorates fairly quickly into physics-speak. If you, like me, have only the vaguest idea what a Hamiltonian operator is, you'll probably find the latter part of the article utterly incomprehensible. But the initial part does seem to indicate that one can probably do quantum computing using single electrons manipulated within structures that are within the capability of modern semiconductor fabrication technology.

Departing Space Force chief architect likens Pentagon's tech acquisition to a BSoD

vtcodger Silver badge


As one who had a couple of decades experience with military systems, let me opine that the US is probably well rid of this guy. Yes, military gear is often a decade behind the times and a bit klunky. That's because it's highly desirable that military gear work after, for example, falling off a truck in a rainstorm and being run over by the next truck in the convoy. And it has to work reliably in Alaska in the Winter and Death Valley in July and in tropical jungles. Do not try that with the stuff you buy at Best Buy or Amazon. As a result, designs are conservative. And in most cases, they have been tuned over many years/decades to be increasingly rugged and reliable.

And where cutting edge technology is really needed, the military is perfectly capable of fielding it although they mostly do not tell us common folk about it. Consider the U-2 and SR-71 spy planes. Where is the commercial equivalent of those? There isn't one. No market. Are surveillance satellites today superior to Google Earth? I don't know and probably couldn't tell you if I did know. But my guess is the government stuff is probably vastly superior to what's available commercially. And note that the military continues to launch classified satellites. Maybe that's just for show. But more likely they have sophisticated payloads that do things that commercial satellites don't do today and won't do for decades. If ever.

There is, BTW, a perfectly reasonable mechanism in place for buying commercial stuff where it meets military needs -- things like office PCs, or cleaning supplies. It's called Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) and it's been around forever -- or at least since WWII. It can, and sometimes does, deal with more complex gear if there is an actual need.

Intel commits to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: Why is this HOAX still being treated like it is RELEVANT?

@Bombastic Bob: Bob, you might want to look at Modtran. There's a web accessible version at http://climatemodels.uchicago.edu/modtran/ Make sure "Looking Down" is selected (Looking Up is incoming radiation). Set everything other than CO2 to zero. As any fool can plainly see CO2 does take a big chunk out of outgoing IR. Since outgoing IR is how the Earth dumps heat, the Earth will almost certainly have to warm a bit to make up for the effect of CO2. I have some technical quibbles re Modtran but I, and most other climate skeptics, agree that it's not utter garbage. BTW, the other greenhouse gas that causes a substantial notch to the right of CO2 is Ozone not Methane or NO2. We probably don't want to get rid of Oxygen even if we could. Methane? Now THERE is your overhyped greenhouse gas. Even if you multiply its concentration by 200 to bring it up toward the current level of CO2, it doesn't have a huge effect compared to CO2.

@NeilPost: Neil, You might want to look at Modtran also. But instead of getting rid of the other gasses, leave them, but look at the affect of doubling, quadrupling, etc CO2. Yes, that increases warming a bit, but nowhere near as much as you probably expect. You might also want to look at the Paleomap project and specifically at the map of past climates http://www.scotese.com/climate.htm. we are living in probably the coolest period since the Earth seems to have frozen pretty solidly (for reasons we don't remotely understand) around 700 million years ago. It appears that there is plenty of upside margin for warming. Far more than the IPCC's 1.5C.

I wouldn't bother to argue about any of this, were it not for the fact that the climate hysterics seem determined to save a world that is probably not in need of salvation using a tool kit -- wind and solar -- that is almost certainly quite incapable of accomplishing what it is expected to do. I think that quixotic effort is likely to end badly and the price will be paid as always, not by the wealthy, but by the world's poor.

Blood pressure monitor won't arrive for Apple Watch before 2024 – report

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: it's not measurements

Paul. The errors appeared to be non-random, but not consistent -- which is to say the readings were fairly consistent on successive measurements -- as consistent as BP measurements ever are, but the direction and size of the error when compared to the Omron wrist cuff value varied from day to day. I've checked the Omron against conventional measurements and it's not all that bad -- off by maybe 5 mmHg typically, as long as one knows to keep their wrist at heart level while measuring. Not great, but much better than the notoriously inaccurate readings from the self-test devices sometimes found in drug stores.

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: it's not measurements

A couple of years ago, I bought a cheap Chinese Fitbit knockoff because it claimed to monitor blood pressure. The good news. It does. The bad news. It wasn't very accurate. Its estimate of pulse rate looked about right, but the systolic and diastolic BP were typically off by 10 or 15 mm Hg compared to an Omron wrist monitor. Not quite good enough to be useful I think. But kind of impressive. And probably indicative that a "wristwatch" BP monitor is possible with enough R&D.

BTW, it didn't/doesn't use a cuff. It shines a couple of bright green LEDs(?) when it's measuring BP.

China accused of cyberattacks on Indian power grid

vtcodger Silver badge

Re: Taking the eye off the ball

Can't say that I disagree all that much with your assessment of world leaders. But I would point out that most countries are at least nominally democracies now days. And in a lot of them, votes are actually counted reasonably accurately. If humanity is led by a collection of posturing chuzzlewits it's hard to see who, other than ourselves, is to blame.

China's digital currency comes to WeChat. Next stop: over a billion users

vtcodger Silver badge


After thinking about it for a while, I concluded that a digital currency needs either to keep track of all transactions or to somehow move itself from one user to another then wipe itself out on the first user's device. Not easy to do. Maybe there's another alternative. If so, I'd like to hear about it.

So we're left with ledgers recording transactions. Those can either be public, distributed (and probably encrypted) e.g cryptocurrency. The problems with cryptocurrencies are well know. It's really hard to envision them being usable for every purchase of a pack of cigarettes or bottle of cola for a human population of 7 billion plus. Or they can be managed by a trusted authority -- e.g. Mastercard, Visa, AliPay, WeChatPay, PayPal (Why on Earth would anyone trust PayPal?). e-CNY appears to be the latter with the People's Bank of China serving as the trusted authority.

I went searching for some meaningful information on e-CNY. I found next to nothing. The best I could find is this https://digichina.stanford.edu/work/lets-start-with-what-chinas-digital-currency-is-not/ which isn't very deep, but at least seems to have some actual content. It's points I think are:

1. China is taking digital currency (but not cryptocurrency which they have banned) seriously. It's in their long term plans.

2. It is still in its very early stages with a pilot project running in (as of March 2022) ten cities.

3. There is no current mechanism for internationalization of the e-CNY. And probably the only places you can spend any you somehow come by are in China.



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