Same here. Had a T42 sitting on a high lab bench doing a big database update and somebody knocked onto the concrete floor. Aside from a hairline crack in the corner it landed on, it was perfectly fine.
Well, I was agreeing with you, but I took a slightly more skeptical position with respect to science fiction enthusiasts' actual knowledge of science. You suggested that science fiction writers might be in a slightly privileged position in comparison to artists because they have more of an understanding of nature. That may be true of *some* science fiction authors (e.g. David Brin, who is a working scientist), but by in large the science fiction community displays what to my mind is a deceptively superficial knowledge of science.
Take the lithium deuteride example. Yes, I agree a sci-fi writer is more likely to know offhand that it's used in thermonuclear bombs than an average artist. But that is really just a piece of technology trivia. It's not *working* knowledge. What's the difference? Working knowledge allows you to make valid inferences, or at least leads you in the right direction. As far as the author was concerned "lithium deuteride" might as well have been magic pixie dust. He didn't realize that it's usefulness is as a way of packing a lot of hydrogen (or rather deuterium) atoms into a confined space -- the very reason LiH is of interest for storage and transport of hydrogen to be used in fuel cells. If he *had* understood this, he could have done rough scaling calculations on th required mass for his hypothetical warhead. That would be an example of working knowledge; although it wouldn't man he knows anything about economics, or biology (often a weak spot in sci-fi in my opinion).
So in my opinion a science fiction author is not in a *privileged* position relative to an artist to have an opinion about things like economics; nor is he even in a privileged position relative to an artist to have an opinion about science. Not necessarily. For one thing I think you're selling short the intellectual abilities of artists. But the sci-fi writer certainly has a right to have and express opinions; they just aren't any more credible *because* he's a sci-fi writer.
A triumph of the human spirit, of technology, of ingenuity, sure - but mainly, an overwhelming triumph of project management.
And then NASA changed their management. And the new management dropped "belt and suspenders" "managing for Murphy's law" in favor of "managing for success". And they launched Challenger when the solid-fuel booster O-rings were too cold to seat properly, over the objections of the engineers.
And the space program was put on hold for 2 2/3 years.
What's so wrong with installing linux on a real laptop?
Modern laptops come with remote administration tools built into the chips on the board. (The vendors tout this as a feature, simplifying administration of a large company's workstations. It's easier and cheaper to build it into everything than to be selective, so it's in the machines sold to individuals, too.)
One example: Intel Active Management Technology (AMT) and its standard Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI), the latter standardized in 1998 and supported by "over 200 hardware vendors". This is built into the northbridge (or, in early models, the Ethernet) chip).
Just TRY to get a "modern laptop" (or desktop), using an Intel chipset, without this feature. (I suspect the old Thinkpad is how far back they had to go to avoid it.)
You can't disable it: Dumping the credentials or reverting to factory settings just makes it think it hasn't been configured yet and accept the first connection (ethernet or WiFi, whether powered up or down) claiming to be the new owner's sysadmins.
If the NSA doesn't know how to use this to spy on, or take over, a target computer, they aren't doing their jobs.
Some of the things this can do (from the Wikipedia articles - see them for the footnotes):
Hardware-based AMT features include:
Encrypted, remote communication channel for network traffic between the IT console and Intel AMT.
Ability for a wired PC (physically connected to the network) outside the company's firewall on an open LAN to establish a secure communication tunnel (via AMT) back to the IT console. Examples of an open LAN include a wired laptop at home or at an SMB site that does not have a proxy server.
Remote power up / power down / power cycle through encrypted WOL.
Remote boot, via integrated device electronics redirect (IDE-R).
Console redirection, via serial over LAN (SOL).
Keyboard, video, mouse (KVM) over network.
Hardware-based filters for monitoring packet headers in inbound and outbound network traffic for known threats (based on programmable timers), and for monitoring known / unknown threats based on time-based heuristics. Laptops and desktop PCs have filters to monitor packet headers. Desktop PCs have packet-header filters and time-based filters.
Isolation circuitry (previously and unofficially called "circuit breaker" by Intel) to port-block, rate-limit, or fully isolate a PC that might be compromised or infected.
Agent presence checking, via hardware-based, policy-based programmable timers. A "miss" generates an event; you can specify that the event generate an alert.
Persistent event log, stored in protected memory (not on the hard drive).
Access (preboot) the PC's universal unique identifier (UUID).
Access (preboot) hardware asset information, such as a component's manufacturer and model, which is updated every time the system goes through power-on self-test (POST).
Access (preboot) to third-party data store (TPDS), a protected memory area that software vendors can use, in which to version information,
.DAT files, and other information.
Remote configuration options, including certificate-based zero-touch remote configuration, USB key configuration (light-touch), and manual configuration.
Protected Audio/Video Pathway for playback protection of DRM-protected media.
Additional AMT features in laptop PCs
Laptops with AMT also include wireless technologies:
Support for IEEE 802.11 a/g/n wireless protocols
Cisco-compatible extensions for Voice over WLAN
This just happens to be one I'm familiar with. I don't know whether (or which) other chip makers (such as AMD) have similar "features" built in as well (though I'd be surprised if they didn't, since they want to sell into big companies, too).
Well, if you outlawed every form of argument a simpleton can misconstrue, you might as well cut your own tongue out.
Literature is great way of raising questions. It's a lousy way of *answering* them. You should never walk away from a book convinced of anything, whether it is science fiction, historical drama, or a Harlequin romance. That's because an author controls the domain of discourse in fiction. He creates the fiction world and as much of its history, natural science, and society as suits his purpose. He can produce a socialist utopia or a Galt's Gulch, whichever serves his story -- or his biases.
As for the science fiction fan's supposed knowledge of nature, I'd be suspicious of it. While it's true that sci-fi fans often have familiarity with physical science and technology that exceeds the general public, that's hardly a ringing endorsement. In my writing group, I recently critiqued a manuscript in which Shiite terrorists, working under a Wahhabist imam, build a lithium deuteride super-warhead and launch it on an ICBM into equatorial orbit to cause world-wide destruction of electronic equipment via EMP. Now virtually *every* aspect of this scenario is demonstrably *wrong*. When I pointed this out, the author's reaction was "It doesn't matter." Now there's something to be said for this. All he really needs is the set-up for his post-apocalyptic adventure, and it could just as well be magic and pixie dust as EMP and lithium deuteride. But I feel that as far as you explain anything, that explanation ought to hold water.
The thing about scientific literacy is that it isn't knowledge of a bunch of random, disconnected facts (e.g. lithium deuteride is used in thermonuclear warheads) as it is a capacity to figure things out, like whether it is remotely feasible to take out the entire world with EMP from a single warhead. Basic fact-finding and simple computation.
Well, that's enough information to confirm that DNA is not involved. While the methodology may be intrusive and problematic from an informed consent point of view, it's not as alarming as the police randomly stopping motorists to add their DNA to a surveillance database.
FINALLY! Someone got to the bottom of this!
The cops are really just perverts, collecting your spit for their nightstick activities.
You know, there are other detectable substances in saliva and serum besides DNA.
If this is in linux, this might have something to do with ACPI. The firmware has a table called the DSDT (Differentiated System Description Table) which basically tells the operating system how to turn integrated peripherals like network cards off and on when going to sleep or waking up.
One peculiarity of the DSDT is that the ACPI specification allows it to include different instructions to different operating systems, and this is a common source of problems in linux installs. Some manufacturers (Toshiba) deliberately sabotage non-Windows operating systems in their DSDTs. Others simply deliver DSDTs that are untested and potentially buggy in non-windows operating systems.
Anyhow, an OS can switch devices off an on itself using ACPI, so I think ACPI may trump BIOS settings. One way to test this is to boot with ACPI turned off. If this fixes the problem of the mic being available even when disabled in BIOS, then you have and ACPI/DSDT problem. If not, then it is a design flaw in the machine's design (e.g. turning the mic off in BIOS simply turns the gain to 0) and you wasted your time reading this post.
Why can't I buy a webcam with a lens cover and no microphone, or a physical on/off switch for the microphone anymore?
I wouldn't trust the switch to actually turn off the microphone any more than I trust the switch that supposedly turns off the WiFi and Bluetooth to actually do so (rather than tell the software to not use them - for the normal stack.)
Even if it DID physically turn off the Microphone, remember that the speakers built into a typical laptop can also act as microphones. If the chip driving them is designed appropriately it can have a stealth listen-through-the-speakers mode.
Back when I had my TRS-80 Model 1 you could 'listen' to the 1.77 MHz Z80 processor do its thing on any AM radio nearby. Now get off my lawn.
In those days I carried a transistor radio and used it for debugging - (on stuff substantially larger than a TRS-80). It gave subtle insights into how much time the machine was spending in different parts of algorithms. (The ear and its post-processing in the brain is really good at picking this stuff out.)
The rise of multitasking, with fine-grained time slices, ruined this approach by cutting up the signal of interest and mixing it with bits from other programs running "simultaneously". Then the march of Moore's Law and its variants nailed up the coffin by cutting the run time of most stuff of interest down to such short periods that even a bat couldn't get anything useful from their radio-to-accoustic signatures.
But modern cryptography involves deliberately long computations, on machines that are otherwise so fast that other tasks are mostly idle,. So the technique rises from the grave...
... the trademark dispute between the two was settled with a pittance and an agreement by Apple, Inc. not to sell music. However, they managed to win over a judge when iTunes came out and then wrest control of the trademark away from Apple Corps
But isn't that also part of why the app and store is named "iTunes" - generalizing the iMac naming scheme into "iWhatever" - with no mention of the word "Apple"?
Well I hope it's a *bit* faster than that, since it looks (haha) like I'm going to get MD later in life just like my Dad.
I have the same worry. So far I'm doing OK (and taking my vitamin A) but it's still a worry.
(I also worry that, with the increasing governmental takeover of medicine, research on and deployment of new treatments will grind to a halt as a cost-cutting measure.)
I really wish we could the body itself to grow these cells, since obviously it was able to do it once before.
If you follow this link from TFA, you'll find that (as of last January) they've also been able to inject "precursor" cells into blind mice and get them to grow a new, fully differentiated, and possibly fully functional, retina in about two weeks.
(I presume by "precursor cells" they mean "stem cells that have been partially differentiated into pluripotent cells along the developmental path to retina tissue" or perhaps "harvested pluripotent cells from the same developmental stage".)
The new retina tissue definitely connected well enough to produce behavioral evidence of light sensitivity, though more work was needed to determine whether/how well it hooked up to the brain's image processing.
How many people here (a) have read the Divine Comedy and (b) worked as a programmer? I'm sure I'm not the only one, but we've got to be a pretty small audience.
Who do you think is the analog of Beatrice? Or Francesca da Rimini from Canto V?
Awesome! I didn't know that the Science Patrol made music videos.
Twenty or thirty years ago there used to be people called "journalists" whose job it was to (a) collect enough data so you could figure out what happened, and (b) write it up in an intelligible story.
Look at the linked story *critically*. How does the "reporter" know DNA was being taken? What is his source for this, or is he just guessing?
This story is basically rumor -- passing along what's on the grapevine. There's no actual reporting here. If there were, that would answer the questions a reasonable person might have. For example: are the researchers collecting DNA or not? And who *are* these researchers? Can we get a name please? Or an institution?
Back in the day a reporter would have identified the researchers and called them up for an interview, or at least a statement from the research institution's public affairs office. He'd look up the grant in the federal records and find out whether or not the researchers had been granted money to collect DNA and what they are being paid to do with it (yes, you can do that!). He'd may even have interviewed people on the institutional review board (required by US law) that approved the project.
But the "reporter" in this case did none of this. She appears not to have done *any* verification or independent research. A story like this would take a real reporter two or three days to nail down, not two or three phone calls.
I'm not saying some horrendous violation of civil liberties could not have taken place, I'm saying the writer of the article didn't do enough work for anyone to decide what did or did not happen. This is not reporting, it's *blogging* under a byline.