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Comment What I use (Score 1) 135

I have multiple devices - more than a typical hotel provides sockets for. So I carry a 4-way or 6-way power extension lead for my home-country's type of wall socket. Then I have all the usual chargers (my laptop; company's laptop; client's laptop ; generic USB charger ; camera battery charger) , which plug into that. This works if I'm at work in my home country, at a clinet in my home country, at a client in their home country, or at work in any other country (e.g., where the client is operating).

I additionally carry ONE adaptor each for home-country to US ; and home-country to European "Shucko" (which is mostly compatible with Russian). And I carry a multimeter and a screwdriver - but I carry them normally anyway.

In combination, this then gives me 4 (or 6) sockets to my home country, in any country in the world. Well, any country I've met so far. I've occasionally had problems with only having South African sockets available.

Comment Re:Ob (Score 1) 50

As I've said before, the reasons for "removing" "planet status" from Pluto (or, more strictly, defining "planet" and finding that it doesn't include Pluto) are not the reasons you give, but they are reasons.

For an accessible summary, see Hal Levison's "hand waving explanation." These may not be the criteria that you consider important, but the way to change that is to devote the couple of decades necessary to become a sufficiently respected voice in planetary science, and then to go and argue your case.

Hint : it's science. It is not a democracy. It is a meritocracy, with your merit being judged on the basis of your published work.

Comment Re:Who needs a startup? (Score 1) 22

[In voice of some millennials]

That way, when an anomalous result appears,

What is this thing you call an "anomalous result"? This can't happen to me. That's implying that I can't see an obvious problem before it happens, and that CANNOT be true.

[end outraged voice]

One of the things that you learn with experience is that you can actually be wrong. It's one of the things that a lot of people these days have to actually learn, because they haven't learned it in their pre-teen or teenage years.

For the last several years I've been introducing "Bright Young Things", recently recruited to a major company to work in managing the acquisition of data from the Real World. They too, despite being bright people, have to learn that they don't know everything, and that the Real World has things going on that they don't know about, and don't understand.

It's an education for them.

Comment Re:Who needs a startup? (Score 1) 22

... and he misses the point.

Plainly, from the scenario, measuring the humidity wasn't part of the original experimental plan. The experiment is already running, and what the lecturer is saying is that (some of) his students don't conceive that there might be something worth recording that isn't in the experiment plan. Realising that your plans may be wrong is the first step. THEN you go on to "well, what can I do about this.

You'd also be able to (probably) tell if there were a humidity effect by doing parameter-free ANOVA on your existing data, or attempting to back-estimate the humidity on other days of the experiment, in order to determine if there is an effect, if it's large enough to be detectable, and if it's large enough to be worth the £40 tool, the £130 tool, or simply taking a humidity report from the weather website.

Comment Re:Evil bit again? (Score 1) 105

You can only play it back on the device you recorded it on?

When I was looking for a PVR for TV, this is what I was told about the "record to USB" options.

What if that hardware gets upgraded?

You lose all your content. Tough shit. Read the fucking contract. If you don't have a hardware device that stores the content (possibly in a "disc" form factor), then you don't own it.

Comment Re:This is why (Score 1) 229

Let's say that I have a couple of petabytes of full-spectrum (21cm hydrogen through to gamma-ray) data files from a range of telescopes on Earth and in space, and my intermediate processing files ... that's a photograph, to a pretty close approximation. Are you going to recognise the format?

Marketing should have listened to Technical.

(It not an unreasonable example - a few years ago I did a practical astronomy course for the Open University when I had to face as couple-of-gigabyte version of this problem, and the problem of getting the dump from the working machines in the observatory to the other 4 members of my work group, in 3 countries, when I was the only one who had the forethought to bring a spare hard drive with me.)

Comment Re:Controversial? (Score 1) 125

You seemed to be trying to make a point the eugenics is only eugenics if it's carried out by government-level groups, and if it's carried out by individuals, then it's something else. That is not how the term was defined when it was invented by Galton, and since he invented the term and publicised it in the scientific literature, he got to define what it meant.

People do, at the moment, in most of the world, have some degree of choice over who they mate with and whether they have children. Of course, neither of those are absolute freedoms - in much of the world (but not all), the consent of both people is required ; in significant parts of the world, the right to access contraception is severely restricted, if not flat out illegal ; personally, I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised to see those freedoms further restricted as the right-wing continue their rise to ascendency into the next major war.

Comment Re:Controversial? (Score 1) 125

You are precisely wrong. You are conflating the fact that the German Nazi government promoted eugenics with the idea that the meaning of "eugenics" changed meaning at that time. Regardless of who chooses to do it or why (or even how), deliberately trying to change breeding habits to people to bring about a desired change in genetics is eugenics.

(Incidentally, at that time eugenics was very popular with other governments too. this was the era when the US and UK governments forcibly sterilised thousands of people in insane asylums, and for offences such as being poor. The testing of immigrants for IQ at Ellis Island was part of this move too.)

I'll expand on that "how" : there are two ways you can produce a change in gene frequencies in a population - you can cull some genes from the population (by sterilisation, or by murder - same outcome) OR you can try to persuade particular "desirable" groups to have more children - which is what Galton proposed in the 1870s and onwards, and deranged idiots like the "Quiverful" movement and the Catholic Church are continuing with to this day.

If you were a farmer, or a dog breeder, you too would be practising eugenics on the populations you control, though the term isn't generally used for non-human animals.

Comment Re:Controversial? (Score 1) 125

And while it [antibiotic-resistant bacteria] hasn't happened yet,

You need to be much more careful about how you say this. There isn't an antibiotic in use today to which there aren't some resistant bacteria somewhere. (There's an outbreak of resistant bacteria to the newest family of antibiotics - the ones that replace methicillins and vancomycins - in China at the moment.) What hasn't happened yet is that one bacterial strain has been resistant to all known antibiotics, and found in the wild. Yet.

Comment Re:This Is The Right Question/Answer (Score 1) 125

I'm certain the artist took some liberty with the colors, but that's an intriguing painting.

Black and brown, in various intensities? I don't see any liberties there. Those are the colours that were inferred in the first melanocyte-mapping papers from ... it was about 2005, wasn't it?

The descendants of the dinosaurs - birds, see signature - have a wide range of colours available. The other descendants of the ancestors of dinosaurs (mammals and the paraphyletic bucket called "reptiles") also have a wide range of colours available. An argument called a "phylogenetic bracket" suggests that the dinosaurs also had a similarly wide palette available.

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