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Comment Last Post (Score 4, Funny) 86

That's it, I've had enough. It's easy enough to filter this kind of crap out, but /. just don't seem to bother. Yes, I could simply browse at a higher level, but I've usually got mod points and browse at -1 as suggested for very good reasons. But if /. aren't prepared to deal with the most basic levels of spamming then I can't be bothered helping them out any more. Email address deleted, password changed to a long random string that I don't know, sig changed to indicate account has been deleted. Bye everyone, most of the last decade or so has been fun, but frankly, I quit.

Comment Re:Antibiotic Placebo? (Score 2) 240

The pressures are generally quite the opposite under the NHS. It's generally a brilliant service, considering it's free to us (you could argue the tax angle, but frankly we'd still be paying the same taxes if the NHS was abolished, which the current government is trying to do in England and Wales).

The main pressure on doctors is getting through their long daily list of patients as quickly as they can, and they get their fair share of people who have self-limiting conditions - it's very common for somebody to turn up with a cold (eg a virus) demanding antibiotics, and a rushed doctor may simply find it easier to give them what they're asking for and send them on their way, rather than spend an hour trying to educate the patient, another hour calling in a colleague to give a second (identical) opinion, then dealing with calls from the local MP and patient pressure groups because they "tried to fob off a genuinely sick patient".

Which is why we now have massive problems with multi-resistant bacteria. It's a shoddy state of affairs, and the British public are just as much to blame as the doctors who gave in to their whinging because it was the only way to get them out of the surgery so they could see the child with suspected meningitis.

Comment Re:Nothing new (Score 1) 102

I've seen traffic lights in the UK fall back on flashing yellows - this was at around 2am in Edinburgh city centre, so traffic was moderate and it was mostly taxis (pubs and clubs kick out between midnight and 3am), it didn't seem to cause any problems at all. The driver commented that it actually seemed to be an improvement.

To cause a real gridlock doing this you have to assume everybody is using the same source of data, and only that one. Most traffic control systems also use mechanical detectors, car-spotting cameras and the like, you'd need to hack all of these systems to guarantee a gridlock.

Comment Re:Turnabout is fair play. (Score 5, Informative) 308

How can they tell? Because you're winning - and also because of your betting patterns. The original MIT Bringing Down The House guys got rumbled fairly quickly because of their betting patterns, so they switched to using a low-stakes gambler to do the counting who would continue to lose when the odds were in his/her favour, and they would discretely signal an accomplice to come in and bet big when this happened.

These days casinos combat it by using multiple decks of cards in a shoe which are changed before they've run through enough of them to give a good statistical idea of the remaining contents.

Comment Re:Turnabout is fair play. (Score 3, Insightful) 308

Casinos operate within things called laws. Yes, they have a mathematical edge in the long run, but this is a known factor (and in the UK at least, the long term odds have to be published). What these people did is illegal, meaning it breaks those laws (specifically, the ones about using a "device" to assist you - eg you can count cards if you want, that's perfectly OK, but you can't use a smartphone app to do it). Nobody is forced to go to casinos, and if anybody is seriously surprised that the odds favour the house then they probably shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a table on the grounds that they don't have sufficient mental faculties to understand what they're doing.

Submission + - Using Existing Nuclear Waste, Scientists Say They Can Power The World Until 2083

An anonymous reader writes: A team of scientists at Transatomic Power, a nuclear reactor design company with affiliation to MIT, claim to have developed a highly-meltdown-resistant reactor that runs on nuclear waste. Though the reactor only exists on paper and Transatomic Power will still need to secure some $200 million in funding, their design for a "Waste-Annihilating Molten Salt Reactor" will convert high-level nuclear waste into electric power with extreme efficiency.

Comment Re:tax dodgers (Score 1) 526

Britons are from Great Britain, the main island comprising England, Scotland and Wales. The British Isles is a geographical term meaning Great Britain, the main Irish (Eire & NI) landmass, plus all the little islands. Being from the British Isles does not give a specific nationality (as being from "America" does not convey your actual citizenship of the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil etc). You could probably call an Irish person a "British Islander", it's a technically correct term, but you'll piss them off in the process.

Comment Re:Adjusting mass (Score 1) 254

The Higgs field is what give particles mass (in part anyway), the Higgs Boson is an excitation in this field, so the actual discovery is the Higgs field via finding the associated particle. If we are able to manipulate the Higgs field (which is currently all in the realms of SF speculation) then yes, we might be able to change the mass of particles in one way or another, but I don't expect to see inertial dampeners or anything similar in the next few decades. I'd be quite happy to be proven wrong, but it's unlikely.

Comment Re:uh oh (Score 1) 225

Frankly, yes. He won't particularly care. North Korea, including "reservists" has the biggest standing army on the planet, three times bigger than the US military if you measure it in the number of soldiers.

Lack of access to guns isn't what's keeping the North Korean people in check, proof positive that a right to bear arms isn't a utopian solution to a dictatorial government.

Comment Re:Knows and Presumes are not the same thing (Score 1) 473

Exactly. That's the point. I'm not. Algorithms can believe whatever they want, but they're still based on naive, broad-ranging stereotypes. It gets worse - to take an example from the article, I'm also a fan of musical theatre, but somehow not gay....wonder how that works?

Comment Re:Knows and Presumes are not the same thing (Score 2) 473

Thanks to somebody signing up using the wrong email address (mine) internet advertising seems convinced that I'm looking for a long term relationship with a woman between 50 and 65 in the English midlands. Suits me, it saves a whole lot of suspicious looks from my 30ish girlfriend in the Scottish Highlands. I never even hit the confirm registration button. Honestly.

I also regularly search for terms on terms in Qu'ranic Islam (I'm an atheist but find it interesting) and nuclear technology (I'm a physics geek and that's one of my "things".)

The solution as far as I can see is to have really wide ranging interests.

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