djr

djr

  • Commented on Popcorn Time
    I'm dubious whether the UK would be welcome anywhere near any putative Commonwealth free trade agreement even, given its historical behaviour. Indeed. Brexit cognitive dissonance: managing to simultaneously think "Scotland wants independence? Don't let them have it. And if they...
  • Commented on Popcorn Time
    self-employed people don't get the notional fruits of NI payments — unemployment benefits and sick pay Notional fruits of NI payments are mostly the NHS and old age pension. Not having sick pay, etc., might justify a small difference between...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    Not relevant to Australia, but have you seen CycleStreets? They seem to be collecting data about cyclable routes, so avoiding sending you across a busy road, but not looking at integrating with other means of transport. I was surprised to...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    What you're describing isn't use of a sat nav, it's some sort of electronic map display. You're not supposed to be "analysing the relationships between elements in intricate static data" when you look at a sat nav, you're supposed to...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    ... a bank that rounded down, and kept the excess - and an average of 0.5p per transaction rapidly adds up. So the person who programmed that code changed it to divert that into his account. This featured in Superman...
  • Commented on The End of the British nuclear deterrent?
    To repurpose something you first have to have built it. Skylon is currently some impressive results from a heat exchanger on a test stand, it's not a vehicle. Even Reaction Engines don't think it will be flying during the Trump...
  • Commented on Policy change: future US visits
    Greece joined the EC in 1981. At the time, being a goal for ex-dictatorships was what the EU was about. This also sent a number of useful messages both to countries in a similar situation (Spain and Portugal both joined...
  • Commented on The dog ate my homework
    I've used Beyond Compare and ExamDiff and whatever the thing built into Tortoise are (in that order of preference). But my needs are very simple. I don't think any of them would be any use for a novel-shaped document, or...
  • Commented on The dog ate my homework
    You could ask whether it's better to monitor changes in a document by carrying all the information in the document (Word track changes) or by keeping different versions and comparing them externally (your favourite diff tool / Word compare documents)....
  • Commented on The dog ate my homework
    I assume that sending it back with a covering note saying "the changes are approved apart from removing all the italics - please put them back in" wasn't an option? Someone clearly has to do the donkey work of fixing...
  • Commented on Things Can Only Get Better! (Part 1)
    Coe was a middle-distance runner, not a player of team sports. The Olympics is much more about the individual events anyway. Samaranch stepped down from the IOC in 2001 - several years before London bid for 2012 - and supported...
  • Commented on Things Can Only Get Better! (Part 1)
    Greg, you seem to be accepting uncritically everything the Daily Mail ever wrote about the EU, and repeating it whether or not its relevant to the point being made....
  • Commented on Things Can Only Get Better! (Part 1)
    It would be an amplifier, you're right it doesn't create the mess on its own! A lengthy court case about whether we can un-trigger article 50 would extend the current horrendous mess by some years, and potentially lead to us...
  • Commented on Things Can Only Get Better! (Part 1)
    "a far away country ... people of whom we know nothing"...
  • Commented on Things Can Only Get Better! (Part 1)
    Greg, perhaps a bit less SHOUTY NO when you're immediately going to admit that you aren't really sure. A few legal scholars have argued that we could unilaterally go back on triggering article 50, but even they admit that it's...
  • Commented on Things Can Only Get Better! (Part 1)
    even if AT50 is triggered, we may quite probably, back away at the last moment How would we back away? Once AT50 is triggered, we're out in 2 years. The only way to stop it is by unanimous agreement of...
  • Commented on Things Can Only Get Better! (Part 1)
    According to wikipedia, "In the United States, about 99% of lead from used [lead-acid] batteries is reclaimed". And now I'm wondering about the overlap between people who have an old car battery in the back of their garage and people...
  • Commented on Things Can Only Get Better! (Part 1)
    On the other hand, the Business Insider article feels like a monarchists dream of how the country will respond to the Queen dying. I'm expecting more Queen Mother levels of "oh that's sad" rather than Diana-like hysteria....
  • Commented on Things Can Only Get Better! (Part 1)
    Mme Lepen will lack a strong majority to implement most of her terrifying program and will have to compromise a lot, which mitigates her potential damage. This has always worked just fine in the past and will definitely be OK...
  • Commented on Eleven Tweets
    Pick 2 diametrically opposed sources, average them. what falls out of the bottom of the reaction is the truth. If 2016 demonstrated one thing, it's that the obvious exploit of this algorithm can be used successfully to gain political power....
  • Commented on Duelling - Essentially a Bloody Stupid Idea
    This problem also exists with regular taxis, and doesn't seem to have stopped them being a viable business. Self driving taxis are likely to have internal sensors as well as external, and to get their users' credit card details in...
  • Commented on Duelling - Essentially a Bloody Stupid Idea
    All these discussions seem to create such contrived scenarios for when a self-driving car needs to "make moral choices" because this has nothing to do with almost all real-world accidents. In the scenario above, I'd expect a self-driving car to...
  • Commented on Facts of Life and Death
    A lot of the stuff in the City is well paid clerical work The UK does fairly well out of doing high-end admin work for foreigners - the City move their money around, big-N accountants count it, big-N law firms...
  • Commented on Facts of Life and Death
    Yes, the Tories are so far ahead in the polls that the only thing that would stop them from winning in 2020 is a severe economic shock, mass job losses, or a recession. And what are the chances that one...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    Miniaturisation: definitely. At the IAC conference that Musk made his announcement at there was an entire track on small sats. The underlying drivers are the same as iPhones and everything else: with modern electronics you can do everything in a...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    But as I said at 142, this also demonstrates that there isn't much demand for satellites twice as big at the current $/kg price: nobody is filling up an Ariane 5 with one big GEO satellite. (Though there is a...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    Who do you imagine will launch 500 tonnes of ball bearings for you? The US government would treat an attempt to deny them access to the GEO belt pretty much as they would treat an attempt to deny them access...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    "Currently the mass of a geosynchronous comsat is constrained by the payload of the available boosters" No, not really. The go-to launcher for comms satellites is the Ariane 5, which almost always flies with two payloads totalling just over 10...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    Military R&D goes into fighting the last war. The US already has the ability to move small groups of men and materiel to anywhere in the world within 24 hours. None of the problems the US has had in its...
  • Commented on Constitutional crisis ahoy!
    Not a chance - why would anyone volunteer to take a full share of the blame for whatever minor spoils of power the Tories are willing dish out? Remember that we have the Lib Dems as an example of how...
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