Simon Farnsworth

Simon Farnsworth

  • Commented on On inappropriate reactions to COVID19
    The places where we should be producing meat are places like the hill farms of the Yorkshire Dales - land where the only thing that grows well is grass, moss, and other things that humans don't eat. And that does...
  • Commented on On inappropriate reactions to COVID19
    In the UK, the difference is between "setting", "streaming" and "special school". Special school is usually the worst option absent exceptional circumstances - you take children with additional educational needs and put them in their own school. This is the...
  • Commented on On inappropriate reactions to COVID19
    Also worth noting that tests, including the MENSA intelligence test, measure not just what is easy to measure, but also what the test creators thought was important to measure. And they suffer from the usual problem with metrics - once...
  • Commented on On inappropriate reactions to COVID19
    It dovetails with the human tendency to not think more than a step or two ahead; if we can fix the COVID-19 issue for me, then that's good for me. Lots of people will stop thinking about COVID-19 here -...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Labyrinth Index
    At least in theory, you could run "basic banking" on the model of the UK's NS&I; it's a government owned bank that is not permitted to issue loans, only to accept deposits. Deposits it does accept are treated as loans...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Labyrinth Index
    Bitcoin is a global ledger, where consensus is based on the hashes of the blocks in the ledger; a miner "claims" a block by finding the magic numbers needed to make the hash begin with enough zeros to have it...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    One thing to note is that something like Facebook's Cold Storage system is designed to be cheap to run for huge amounts of slow storage (access latencies measured in 10s of seconds). In the future, all of the Boomer and...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Given the tradeoffs involved, perhaps a system of liability similar to that of stolen bank cards? You are responsible up until the point you report the cobra missing, after which you've dealt with your liability. That means that a responsible...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    So how do you extend that analogy to cover Texas, too, which has had extreme cold recently? Isn't this just a one-off weird event, like Texas getting snowstorms? And in any case, the world is only getting warmer by a...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    That, and it's easy to report on sportsball as opposed to science. A sportsball report is a good summary of the highlights of the game, plus a final score; not trivial to do, but not that hard (indeed, there exists...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Unfortunately, sportsball in all its forms is often seen as "more important" than other news, and especially when it's international men's contests (as opposed to women's contests, which are often seen as second-rate, and have a nasty undertone of "look...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    That depends on how they're used. My local NHS trust does not use QALYs as a raw score. Instead, they look at QALYs gained from a given treatment as a proportion of QALYs you would have had if you had...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    It sounds like you've been given some TV installer rules of thumb, and not a proper introduction to RF. dB is a relative unit - a Bel (the base unit) is defined as log10(a/b), where a and b are in...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    Gain and signal are separate. Signal strength is usually measured as a voltage at the receiver input (equivalent to power, since the receiver input has a known impedance). Gain is a ratio between two power levels, and is used to...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    Thankfully not. I've been in a similar meeting, but it's ended with convincing marketing that we can tell the customer that we use MM:SS.s instead of MM:SS.sss because unlike $competitor, we spent the engineering budget on something useful, instead of...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    It would be nice to believe that such a failure couldn't happen, because the transmit specification for MSF60 only promises accuracy to ± 1 millisecond anyway, and it takes hundreds of milliseconds between ticks to allow you to resynchronise with...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    Exactly that. My local TV transmission site went from 500 kW for BBC, 250 kW for ITV + C4 to 100 kW for BBC, and 50 kW for others. That *should* result in slightly better coverage (9dB coding gain from...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    The big benefits of digital broadcasting accrue to the transmitter operators, not the receivers. The cherry for you is more channels - but you've already said that's not a bonus - and consistent quality (at whatever the broadcaster has decided...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    The gold standard is just a promise made by the ledger holder that's supposed to inspire trust in them. It's not a necessary step, it's just how we happened to establish trust in banks as ledger holders in the West...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    It's been an open secret for many, many decades (my grandfather told me about it, and it's something he knew about from his time in the Civil Service during WW2). That journalists are only reporting on it now is because...
  • Commented on Official Announcement: April Fools Day is Cancelled
    At every school I attended (I was a London-based child), PE *was* team sports. So was "Games". There were extracurricular sports teams, too, which played against other schools, but the curriculum for PE at the time had a heavy emphasis...
  • Commented on Official Announcement: April Fools Day is Cancelled
    If you search for "Multi-Skills Development in Sport", you should find resources that help you show it to colleagues. There are several UK bodies that issue "level 2 certificates" in multi-skills coaching, and some of them should have syllabuses for...
  • Commented on Official Announcement: April Fools Day is Cancelled
    My children are not yet 11, so are in primary school, but at primary level the current UK thinking is so-called "multi-skills training", not team sports. They still get "tasters" of team sports, but there are no established teams. In...
  • Commented on Lying to the ghost in the machine
    There's a couple of tricks that developers can pull off if the local system of governance is corrupt enough, which mean that insurance premiums stay low until the developer has made their cash and legged it. The first and most...
  • Commented on Lying to the ghost in the machine
    Again, following the research, even the psychologically disturbed are rational in their decision to commit a crime or not. Where they differ from the general population is in their perception of costs, benefits and probabilities, which moves it even further...
  • Commented on Lying to the ghost in the machine
    My reading of the research is that punishment does deter, but that the deterrent effect caps out as soon as the punishment on offer is at least as costly as the gain from the crime. If my understanding is correct,...
  • Commented on Lying to the ghost in the machine
    The "Conjoiners" in Alastair Reynolds' "Redemption Space" universe also have cranial crests, because they'd overheat their brains otherwise....
  • Commented on Lying to the ghost in the machine
    Our libel laws have a lot to do with it, too. It's relatively expensive to pursue an action for libel, and damages have always been relatively limited unless the libel is really bad (for public figures, the "actual malice" test...
  • Commented on Lying to the ghost in the machine
    I work with people who do this stuff for a living, and see two systematic errors made in the "tanks" story. First, the NN is being allowed to train itself against the whole image; normally, you'd do some sort of...
  • Commented on What happens now?
    The Conservatives see themselves as the natural party of competent governance - they believe that they are competent. And, TBF, they always have applied Singaporean style policies - mistreatment of low income workers to generate funds for the elite, focusing...
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