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Comment Re:Uh... let me think about it (Score 1) 473

She drove from Belgium to Croatia. She had to cross into 4 countries. With 5 different languages.

Just how far out of it do you have to be?

I once met a man who had been 40 miles off route. He had been hill walking, with a map and a compass. But he thought that the white end of his compass needle pointed north, not the red end. And the landscape he followed more-or less matched what he expected to within about 15 degrees of orientation (our magnetic declination at the time was just over 7 degrees ; it's barely over 3 degrees now). It wasn't until he had gone along two lakes (when the map showed that he should only have gone along one lake), and hadn't crossed either the road or railway line that he realised that something must be wrong. When he reached a third lake, he decided to try to re-trace his route. During that, I met him (I'd seen him earlier in the day with my binoculars and had wondered WTF he was doing), worked out what was wrong, put him outside a meal and a brew, then escorted him back to tarmaced road. I found out later that the local police had noticed his car parked up oddly and when he got back there they were thinking about launching a S&R operation for him.

You don't need to be stupid to end up in that sort of situation. A depressingly large number of people don't recognise when they're getting into trouble, and keep on digging themselves in deeper. Otherwise perfectly sane ans sensible people. Calling them stupid doesn't help.

(My lost man was an experienced hill walker, fit and well equipped. I put in a 10 hour working day making a geological map while he was on his meander through the countryside ; we were both solo.)

Comment Re:So, now is it finally legal to... (Score 1) 473

Typical overkill.

Two poles, a couple of lengths of rope, a combination padlock, and a sign painted on a bit of wood. Run the chain across the access road, from pole to pole. Connect the ends in the middle of the road with the padlock and the sign. Paint the sign saying "NOT A PUBLIC ROAD \n GOES NOWHERE BUT MR X's YARD \n If you want to see Mr X, combination in reverse of sign." Or words to that effect.

There's no need to be a dick to people who are simply misinformed.

A standard rant : it may be common to refer to this technology as "GPS", but that is wrong. It is sold as "satellite navigation" because that is a better description of what it is and what it does. There is a system that tells you your location - that is the GPS. There is a system that stores map data. And there is a system that uses the map data to calculate routing instructions to get between two locations on the map (one of which is typically the location returned by the GPS subsystem.

Here, the errors are either in the map data (you did get a system that uses OSM data, and keep it up to date? That way, you can correct the map.), or less likely an error in the route-calculating algorithm. Most likely it is the map data that is wrong, because that changes more often than either routing algorithms or the GPS system.

My wife and I actually refer to the free-standing satellite navigation machine as the "Deranged Idiot" as it's first version (since replaced by a pub quiz prize) had some seriously out of date map data - it showed roads as open which had been blocked off to prevent rat-running since before any GPS satellites were launched. The deranged company that sold the hardware would not accept map error information unless I' had signed up for a 2-year contract of their £30/ month speed camera database - which didn't even cover the country I was in, and didn't cover the northern half of the country it was designed in.

None of which affected the functionality of either the route-finding algorithm, or the GPS location-finding function of that aspect of the system. So here's some shit advertising for Road Angel - makers of the Deranged Idiot line of satellite navigation systems. Avoid them.

Comment Re:dmbasso is a pedophile (Score 1) 248

How would a policy of censorship or content deletion improve this situation

Because in some jurisdictions (e.g. the one I'm reading from), publishing libel is almost impossible to defend, and very expensive to even try to defend. So rationally, the lawyers of the new owners (sorry, in deference to long tradition, "our New Overlords") need to at least be aware of the threat profile of their new acquisition. What they then choose to do about it is then their choice, but they should at least be aware of the threat.

Comment Re: title (Score 1) 336

I hate to burst your bubble, but Hong Kong does belong to China [] since 1 July 1997.

Hong Kong was LEASED to the UK as part of war reparations after the British government sent it's army in to support their drug-running citizens.

The Chinese refused Britain's requests to extend the lease when it expired. As was their right, under the contract they agreed to - at gunboat point - 150 years previously. They were under no obligation to take Britain's opinion into account, or any opinions of the inhabitants.

Did people not READ the fucking contract, or delude themselves into believing that the state of the world was different to what they wanted to believe it was?

Comment Re:So what should we do? (Score 1) 564

Shouldn't people be engaging the PARKING BRAKE when parking the vehicle. You know - the one that utilises a straight mechanical linkage to the brake shoes, without any input from the vehicle. As if (shock! horror!) it were the DRIVER's personal responsibility?

Wouldn't that be ballistic?

Automatics are freaky. Having to tuck your left foot under the driver's seat to avoid trying to operate the clutch - very weird.

Comment Re:Solar Neutrinos First (Score 1) 120

While I treat StartsWithABang's constant Slashvertising for his advert server with the disdain it deserves, I think he does actually know his astrophysics. A pity he got laid off from his paying work and needs to whore himself to Forbes to put food on the table.

The problem with neutrino telescopy is that we don't have a neutrino-opaque material. So all our neutrino telescopes are whole-sky telescopes. The first generations of neutrino telescopes (e.g., the Homestake experiment that you refer to) had no direction sensitivity at all, but purely returned counts of neutrinos over the interval since the last purging.

When Cherenkov detectors came in, the cone of Cherenkov radiation would give you the orientation of travel, but not the direction of travel. For example, the Super-Kamiokande detector counted a pulse of 11 neutrinos from SN1987A with an accuracy of about +/-28deg, of which the first two pointed to the LCM (or it's antipode) with an accuracy of 18deg +/-18deg and 15deg +/- 27deg (the rest of the burst was "consistent with isotropy" ; the trigger time of the photomultipliers is about 50ns, which restricts the directional accuracy).

I can't be bothered to track down the accuracy of, say, ANTARES or ICE-CUBE ; but they'll be in the literature. On the basis that you try to half the imprecision with each new generation of equipment (otherwise it's not worthwhile building ore re-building), you'd expect precisions of around 7-10deg (one and ah half to two fist-widths at arms length), which is getting to the point of potentially being useful for pointing survey telescopes.

So, while we knew there were neutrinos coming into the detectors before SN1987A, observers had no way of knowing whether they were from the Sun, a supernova, or backwash form an alien's anti-gravity drive. The "SK eleven" (sounds like a bank robbery gang) were the first detections that astronomers could point at and say "we think these neutrinos came from there, for these reasons".

That's the science bit (and a little defence of StartWithAnAdvert's science, if not of his writing skills) ; for my own interest ... WTF is the current SN monitor system?

Well, unsurprinsingly, there is a paper on Arxiv. Oh, it's just from last week!

It is also important to determine the SN direction using the neutrino signal: the direction information can guide optical instruments toward the SN explosion and enable observation of the onset of radiation. Among the neutrino detectors operating at present, Super-Kamiokande (SK) is the only detector able to determine the SN direction using neutrino events.

Well, I'll take their word for it.

When the SN burst has less than 60 events, the golden warning will not be generated.

Oh, Japanese English! sorry, "Engrish!" It must be authentic!

The pointing accuracy estimated by the e nsemble study is found to be 3.1 â¼ 3.8â--¦ (4.3 â¼5.9â--¦) at 68.2% coverage for the Wilson (NK1) model at 10 kpc, where the range covers various neutrino oscillation scenarios.

Well bugger me! My wild-arsed guess above wasn't too bad!

And the final question ... how do I receive neutrino burst alerts? That is something I'm working on finding the answer to. but I deserve a pint!

Comment Re:Marketing vs real world application (Score 1) 117

Advertising must be "legal, decent honest and truthful" (at least, it does in this country), so if you read what is actually said in the advertising, and carefully understand it, then you have redress through standard consumer law if you have an issue.

Of course, part of the skill of advertising is to say one thing which readers will interpret to mean something else. But that is the fault of advert readers hearing what they want to hear for whatever reason.

I don't have to write advertising. But I do have to write technical reports that sometimes break extremely expensive bad news to customers. You'll be surprised just how keen people are to hear what they want to hear instead of what you're telling them.

Comment Re:Mostly for criminals (Score 1) 117

Additionally, a previous Phoronix article stated they only got remote access for testing this thing - so at present this is basically the equivalent of a Kickstarter promise.

That would be this article?

How do you make the equation "only getting remote access" EQUALS "the equivalent of a Kickstarter promise."?

The company are reasonably well-known (I looked at them several years ago when I was considering replacing my day-to-day laptop with one whose video chip hadn't just got static-fried), and they're very open about saying that they're evaluating options for building an entry into this market (see footnote). So they probably have a total of TWO systems at the moment - the one they're experimenting on, and a second one for testing and promotions and customer evaluation. So, are they going to spend hundreds of dollars shipping one of those two systems around a series of publicity sites, giving them (say) 2 days with the machine, and several times a week having to say "we DID tell you you need a 220V power supply. What, it's not booting ... describe the output form the BIOS ..." you're talking tech support hell, and you'll have crippled your development programme.

The alternative is to set the machine up with remote access via a VPN and displaying the screens remotely on their terminals. Then all hardware issues you have your own technical people on hand. Timing and benchmarking can be carried out just as well. IF the customer has (per my example in the footnote) a data library they want to do a test on, they can send you the hard drive in advance and book a slot on the machine to run their tests next Thursday afternoon.

Hang on - have you ever actually worked on a time-shared system? One where you prepare your job set one week, and get the tapes of the run and the error logs back a few days later? That's what I think of when I hear "workstation".

I see workstations like this hauled to site for data acquisition routinely - a few terabytes of new raw data per day, but you need to process it and incorporate it with terabytes of existing data from the surrounding area which has been subject to months of detailed evaluation and interpretation. Someone asked upthread what you'd need to use 128GB of RAM for : seismic data processing will eat that happily. And with a boat for data acquisition running about a half million dollars a day and a crew of 50-odd, you're not going to quibble at tens of kilo-bucks for a workstation or several.

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