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Comment: Re:The Drone Wars (Score 1) 119

by gbjbaanb (#47958363) Attached to: Star Wars Producers Want a 'DroneShield' To Prevent Leaks On Set

Its not the "individuals" that will be flying these - it'll be scumbags who want to tell you all the plot and characters and spoilers so by the time the movie comes out, you'll have seen it on various entertainment news websites.

So its not that its less valuable for the producers, but for the public who want to see this stuff as its intended.

I'm all for big business being brought down to size, but this is not the way to do it.

+ - Why Banana skins are slippery wins IgNobel->

Submitted by gbjbaanb
gbjbaanb (229885) writes "This year's Ig Nobel prize was won by Japanese researchers investigating why banana skins produced a frictionless surface compared to apple and orange peels.
(apparently "The polysaccharide follicular gels that give banana skins their slippery properties are also found in the membranes where our bones meet." so its not all fun and jollity)

Other prizes were awarded for noting that dogs only defecate when aligned with north-south magnetic fields, and that 'night owl' people are more likely to be psychopaths than early risers. Yes, that probably includes you."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:No, It Won't (Score 1) 313

by gbjbaanb (#47944085) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

That ration might be valid overall, or with old statistics but when used for young people, its skewed quite dramatically in favour of males.

I saw a documentary about it on TV (so it must be true :-) ). this one was mainly concerned with the chinese dating scene and online websites etc.

I may have got the ratio wrong, more like 12:10, or :2 in the worst areas.

In the early 1980s there were 108 male births to every 100 female, only slightly above the natural rate; by 2000 that had soared to 120 males, and in some provinces, such as Anhui, Jiangxi and Shaanxi, to more than 130. The result is that more than 35 million women are "missing". Though China is not the only country affected â" India's situation is similar â" it has by far the widest gap; its one-child policy has exacerbated the problem.

Comment: Re:No, It Won't (Score 1) 313

by gbjbaanb (#47940749) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

Google will tell you all you need to know.

It was mainly due to the EUs agricultural subsidies. Farmers wee paid to grow all kinds of excess food, safe in the knowledge that the government would buy it, regardless of quality or quantity. So they did, and no-one could eat it all.

Net result: masses of unused foodstuffs. They distilled the wine into ethanol IIRC, much butter was sent to African famine reliefs.

An increasingly complex system of quotas and support prices was set up, with further crops included as the European Community expanded. This basic system led to the infamous "butter mountains" and "wine lakes" of the 1980s, with farmers being paid to produce goods for which there was no market and which were then bought up for intervention storage and later sale at (lower) global market prices.

Additional instruments such as quotas for milk and other produce were introduced to limit production. "Set aside" was another innovation, with farmers being paid to keep a certain percentage of their land out of production

It got to the crazy state where you could be a farmer and get paid a lot for *not* growing crops. There was a joke at the time for an application form where the applicant promised not to buy any land and not to farm any pigs in return for a large subsidy.

Comment: Re:Maybe we if stopped giving Africa food (Score 1) 313

by gbjbaanb (#47940705) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

Before the white man came with his ships....
those tribes were continually at war with each other, slavery and there was terror and violence all the time. Even in the times of Egypt and Rome it was so.

I think the people living happily in cities like Lagos would like to disagree with you. Its not a continent populated with mud huts or crazed dictators, its a lot more 'ordinary' than that. You might visit an African city and find its not much different to one of your own.

Comment: Re:No, It Won't (Score 1) 313

by gbjbaanb (#47940513) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

especially given China's 1-child policy, and human nature.

the Chinese youth are divided 2:1 in favour of males, and the young females that survived the 1-child policy aren't too interested in being breeding machines, they're more interested in careers and independence. So the Chinese population will continue to grow, but at a slower rate, and then I imagine there will be a mass push for immigration to China when the old population dies off and there's no-one to replace them.

Africa.. they say the population there will grow a lot, and I imagine a fair bit of that will be true - some African countries are quite rich, so they can afford to import food from the rest of the world, including Europe that happily overproduced during the 80s (remember the butter mountains and wine lakes?) but also they might just get their act together and get a decent crop from the very fertile areas, Zimbabwe might be a basket case today but they were very productive when the "white man" owned and managed the farms. Once the nutters go, they could be productive again.

Comment: Re:Simple set of pipelined utilties! (Score 0) 377

by gbjbaanb (#47927511) Attached to: Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

Most old philosophies do remain true - if they've managed to stand the test of time, then its usually because they're still relevant.

Most of human nature, physics and the "way things work" are philosophies that are still true, no matter how much some people want to reform them or reinvent every wheel.

In this case, a complicated mess of overly entangled components is pretty obviously not a good thing, regardless of what the unix philosophy says about doing complex systems right.

You want an example... if you want to build systemd, you must first build dbus without systemd dependencies, then build it again after building systemd with the dependencies in place. This is because systemd requires dbus, but also exposes it as a service managed by systemd.

Comment: Re:well said! (Score 3, Interesting) 377

by gbjbaanb (#47927271) Attached to: Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

There's still value in understanding the traditional UNIX "do one thing and do it well" model where many workflows can be done as a pipeline of simple tools each adding their own value, but let's face it, it's not how complex systems really work

and this - complex systems *do* work this way, lots of small pieces interfacing with each other is the way complex systems work. Whether its a GUI app where each control is an independent object, or an internet where each website is independent or a business where labour is divided up into divisions or departments.

What happens when you try to make a complex system that is a tangled web of interconnections that have too many dependencies with each other is a system that does not work.

DRY, SOLID principles are all current buzzwords, but the truth behind them is that complexity is managed by standard interface protocols that allow components to be practically self-contained. UNIX got this right.

Comment: Re:Not about ease, about authority (Score 1) 230

by gbjbaanb (#47904257) Attached to: School Installs Biometric Fingerprint System For Cafeteria

and possibly more importantly (to the parents) the kids can't go tot he local fast food joint and have burger and chip for lunch every day.

For £20k though, the school could have just asked the parents to fund a lunch account of roughly the amount each kid costs to feed. Then they wouldn't have to give them lunch money and the kids would get lunch without having to bother with money.

Comment: Re:unlikely (Score 3, Interesting) 195

by gbjbaanb (#47898409) Attached to: The Future According To Stanislaw Lem

not necessarily. That just applies to us, and its a fallacy to assume that others are like us.

Imagine an alien race so super intelligent that they consider they've already invented everything, they don't actually invent it until they have a need for it, and frankly, talking to the chattering money-boys on a distant planet just hasn't been something they need, strangely enough

Comment: Re:getting high (Score 4, Insightful) 195

by gbjbaanb (#47898353) Attached to: The Future According To Stanislaw Lem

your high is different to mine.

Some people might smoke pot, others get drunk. Some gamble and others fuck as much as they can.

And some have "making money" as their high, some have "screwing other over in power games" as theirs.

But there's also going to be someone who likes doing stuff as their personal meaning. Even in a society based on self-interest and personal abuse, there's going to be a few Crazy Eddies.

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.