amckinstry

amckinstry

  • Commented on Paging Agent 007
    What would a Bond villain and President do, given then mess thats currently happening in Australia? https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jul/25/matt-canavan-quits-cabinet-over-dual-citizenship-uncertainty After losing two Green Senators because they still held dual citizenship, Australia has just lost a Cabinet minister because unknown to him, his...
  • Commented on Report on Seat 14C
    I know that this may be a shock, but look back at the movies from 1997 and tell me that was the same world as today. The difference is as staggering as 1977 to 1997, or 1957 to 1977. You...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    Could that be one reason for writing it in such a convoluted manner? Absolutely. The code was originally written on contract and then the contract extended to fix bugs. I was explicitly hired to make it possible to fire him....
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    OpenServer. Then cocked it up completely with a spurious requirement to deliver the UI via serial terminals, so chucked Tk out of the window and rolled their own widget server that could draw Motif widgets and a CURSES-based equivalent....
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    In the longer term (say, 25 years from now), all signs point to Vernor Vinge's concept of the "software archaeologist" to be justified: That future is already here, just not evenly distributed ... My job title is "Computational Scientist"....
  • Commented on Some notes on the worst-case scenario
    My understanding of the $70tn figure is that its mostly not _infrastructure_, but undrilled assets, ie. oil, coal and gas left in the ground. That $70tn is assets that disappear the moment we all agree to stop....
  • Commented on Facts of Life and Death
    86: Meanwhile, there has been a minor flurry of academic papers (and subsequent press releases and media articles) showing that NI joining the republic would lead to economic growth on both sides. I'm curious as to who suggested and funded...
  • Commented on Facts of Life and Death
    The subsidies for Northern Ireland are being cut - see http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-34913684 for example. (Now realise what a 400 Million cut means for a population of 1 million or so). Bits i'm aware of are, for example, cutting the number of...
  • Commented on Facts of Life and Death
    Its worth remembering that while Ireland IIRC is the fifth largest beef exporter in the world, Its a net calorie _consumer_. We import feedstock for those cows in the wintertime; its economically, not foodwise, productive. I can imagine much the...
  • Commented on Updating a classic
    At the tail end of a depression, when salaries have been frozen, your best have left and you are months into a death march, hire new Principal Engineers to come in on top of everyone, higher salaries than existing staff....
  • Commented on It could be worse
    I'm not sure about the "Everyone else is Clueless" part. To answer that properly, you need to first ask what they're trying to do, and for many being a 2nd fiddle copy of the NSA isn't it. One of your...
  • Commented on The present in deep history
    >> We have technical solutions, we don't have political solutions. Big difference. > I think you may underestimate the time scale. I think not. If we move we all the solutions we have now, we will fix the atmosphere in...
  • Commented on The present in deep history
    > Climate change, OMG. Yes, climates change, we get it. We've also got enough solutions proposed already that it's clear humanity will have a good handle on this by 2100; by 2200 it will be old news No. We have...
  • Commented on The present in deep history
    > but if that life is not inteeligent, as most life is & always was, will it really affect people & civilisation that much? Ok, agreed intelligent life is a different game, but I suspect we will have a very...
  • Commented on The present in deep history
    > 1. The great fossil fuel binge I'd go a bit further than looking at Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC) as this. Either we solve the problem (politically and technically) or we don't. Or put another way, Earth's climate is under...
  • Commented on In defence of Traditional (Eurocentric Quasi-Medieval) Fantasy: #1 I'll read what I like
    > That would be Britain 100 years ago. As soon as you travel more than 100 miles the accents change tremendously. Even 40 years ago, I met people from Wales and Scotland and could not understand what they were saying...
  • Commented on A different cluetrain
    I'd point out one other problem with science: the idea of repeatability. In my former field (ecology) there was so little money for experiments that it was considered bad form to merely repeat someone else's experiment. I'd note the word...
  • Commented on A different cluetrain
    Er what? University education costed 14k pounds per student? It would be closer to 14k *per year* per student, if it's anything like the OECD average. Additionally you have to remember the role higher education funding has in funding university...
  • Commented on A different cluetrain
    The demand for T-shirts is infinite, but the supply of super cheap labor is finite, and will, in another century or two, run out, at which point T-shirts will likely get more expensive - but the standard of living of...
  • Commented on A different cluetrain
    The USA has a university system that is now an example of how badly things can go wrong with loans; they are non-dischargeable and prices for university keep going up, although it is often hard to see why, except...
  • Commented on A different cluetrain
    On student loans, an eye-watering read is Andrew McGettigans "The Great University Gamble". As well as the implicit locking-people-into-employment role of the loans, they don't even make sense financially. The numbers in the book above (don't have a copy with...
  • Commented on Escape from the planet of the Ice Giants
    Whats the point of an LLP? Here (Ireland) one of the first things you learn in Business courses in college is "forget partnerships, become a limited company". Limited liability being the main explanation. Partnerships then are only used for those...
  • Commented on Space Robot Sad Trombone
    The Drake equation was an agenda. Its treated my many as this huge insightful thing. When Frank Drake originally wrote it down, it was on a blackboard at the start of a meeting on SETI. Its an example of a...
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    The question is, why this, why now? If its a negotiating stance, then what are they really pushing for? One of the things we learnt from Snowden is that, despite the deals Google, MS, Yahoo, Facebook et al had with...
  • Commented on Ask the Author
    Yes, a number of companies I work with / have worked with make a point of putting all phones into a metal biscuit tin during meetings. Me, I prefer the idea of using SIP / WebRTC (lumicall is your friend)...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    worldview is an interesting term if you think of it literally. In many ways, we have one, that our ancestors didn't. We look at Google maps,etc. and see the world, and are used to seeing maps. But from a local...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    It might be fun adding "languages" to the mundane SF blacklist. Its easy to imagine spoken language and dialect forking over space and time, while written language remains: eg. as with Chinese. Written works well as a one-way language, stable...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Its hard to imagine the difference in mindset within generations still alive. I'm in my mid-40s. I have inlaws who were among the last holdouts of rural electrification in Ireland, because for the first time in their lives, they would...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    I suspect that bad ideas that are hard (i.e., falsifiable) will be difficult to hold onto for long periods, while soft bad ideas (cultural assumptions, biases, best practices) are going to stay Yes, I agree. From an academic perspective...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    We're seeing the development of this already in academia: the non-retirees. Professors who have 'retired', but retain their labs, continue working, but don't hold any post. They retain an (honorary? depends) title, but not a chair. There is promotion into...
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