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How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

fremsley471 What's next? (150 comments)

Heard a radio discussion about which major piece of science would likely crack over the next fifty years. The answer came back as the Big Bang, with one of the participants saying [rather indiscreetly, IMHO] that it was Sir Martin Rees in a pers. comms. who suggested that it was full of holes and the area was ripe for a paradigm shift.

I once saw Fred Hoyle lecture on his Steady State Theory. He was awaiting the red shift results from a twin maser in some distant galaxy somewhere and we were assured that it would disprove the BBT. He was the single most beguiling speaker of my life. Came out fully believing, for the rest of the evening at least.

yesterday
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FBI Access To NSA Surveillance Data Expands In Recent Years

fremsley471 Stasi (52 comments)

I have complete confidence that my phone calls, email and web traffic are all 100% monitored and have been for sometime. Now the people who used to try and refute this accusation and call you a tinfoil hat wearer, just shout "Barbarians at the gate".

The next game has started. It's your devices' outputs they now want. If Orwell could have imagined the ubiquity of networked cameras and microphones, he'd never have had to invent the telescreen. If you've nothing to hide...

about two weeks ago
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What Language Will the World Speak In 2115?

fremsley471 Re:Chinglish (578 comments)

Very interesting, thanks.

In 1990, Russian was the second language (by far) in the recently opened eastern bloc, which I naively hadn't been expecting. We were found ourselves holidaying in Czechoslovakia alongside Russians- exotic people after decades of Cold War threats. It was a lack of any language in common except rudimentary sign language that impeded comms. But from a Finnish perspective very understandable.

Apologies for the imposition, could you answer one question? Is it true that post-war reparations meant that the Finns had to buy a train-load of timber a week from the USSR? It's a vague memory from a late-seventies tv programme.

about three weeks ago
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What Language Will the World Speak In 2115?

fremsley471 Re:Chinglish (578 comments)

French as a second language in Europe? Certainly not by 25 years ago, probably before. In my experience, the only countries where it was preferable to English, German or Russian were France, Belgium and Luxembourg. Travelling anywhere else with my 'second language', I was unintelligible anywhere that couldn't understand English. Felt I'd been sold a pup in school.

about three weeks ago
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The One Mistake Google Keeps Making

fremsley471 Re:Not quite without customers... (386 comments)

Agreed. I sort of assumed the TFA would have something called 'facts' in it, that people won't buy cars, or that the killer app for Glass just isn't there. But it's just hand-waving opinion-based clickbait. Sigh.

about a month ago
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Norse Security IDs 6, Including Ex-Employee, As Sony Hack Perpetrators

fremsley471 Re:This is impossible! (158 comments)

Bang on the money. The well reasoned arguments here: http://marcrogers.org/2014/12/...

were made before the DPRK link was fixed in the news cycle. It was then instructive to watch workings of the new McCarthyist cheerleaders, even (especially) here on Slashdot. People seriously writing 'the FBI have all the incriminating evidence, they just can't share it with you' type-comments.

The eleven years since the non-existence of WMDs may seem long time for the kiddies running the military's multiple personality software, but most people here won't ever buy that crap again.

about a month ago
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Did North Korea Really Attack Sony?

fremsley471 Re:Occam's Razor (282 comments)

No, Occam's Razor said the simplest answer is most likely true. The OP didn't go on a flight of fantasy, you did. Nation state hacks corporation with possible major diplomatic consequences over a B-movie? Pull the other one, it's got WMDs on it.

about a month ago
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Man Caught Trying To Sell Plans For New Aircraft Carrier

fremsley471 Re:What in the hell was he thinking? (388 comments)

Apparently, when Chile play Bolivia at football, the Chile fans delight in singing, "Vamos A La Playa" ("Let's all go to the beach") at the Bolivians.

about 1 month ago
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What is your computer most often plugged into?

fremsley471 Re:Are they REALLY surge protectors? (236 comments)

Are surge protectors a 110 V USA thing? Can't say many Europeans I've met have ever had one, except the super-cautious.

about 2 months ago
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Millions of Spiders Seen In Mass Dispersal Event In Nova Scotia

fremsley471 Cricket pitch (81 comments)

This year, I sat on camping chair at the edge of a cricket pitch on a fine July evening in the UK. Over the 90 minutes I and the other couple of dozen spectators were repeatedly brushing tiny spiders off our heads. Average height of grass, 1 cm, cf 1 m for those previously comfortable humans.

Only question is did we arrive in a normal migration cycle or did the appearance of a hundredfold increase in launchpad height stimulate the spiders?

about 2 months ago
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Electric Shock Study Suggests We'd Rather Hurt Ourselves Than Others

fremsley471 David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, 1739-40 (123 comments)

"`Tis not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger."

about 2 months ago
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In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

fremsley471 Re:The law comes to Deadwood. (489 comments)

My worry is that this is laying the foundations for criminalising the obfuscation of your online identity. "You used encryption? You must be a Twitter troll trying to avoid detection".

about 3 months ago
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In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

fremsley471 Re:see a dictionary (489 comments)

"...where entire debates have been erased on Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's watches"

Let me think, what's more likely? The established parliamentary record compromised or your memory being fallible? Tricky one for Ockham's Razor.

Although I'd be seriously interested if you have some proof.

about 3 months ago
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Maps Suggest Marco Polo May Have "Discovered" America

fremsley471 Re:John Cabot? (276 comments)

Not offended, just curious at the use of a quote for one term. Apologies if it came across that I was affronted in any way.

about 4 months ago
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Maps Suggest Marco Polo May Have "Discovered" America

fremsley471 Re:John Cabot? (276 comments)

Thanks for the correction- but why is Spaniard in quotations? It's not derogatory or euphemistic. It's the name for people from Spain!

about 4 months ago
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Maps Suggest Marco Polo May Have "Discovered" America

fremsley471 John Cabot? (276 comments)

If the journey were reversed, Columbus would have discovered the Azores. The first exploration by Europeans [who recorded their discovery] of continental North America in 1497 was led by John Cabot. He was always thought of as the discoverer of America until the early C19th (why would a bunch of British immigrants credit a Spaniard?).

Then came the War of 1814, burning of the White House, etc. and a wave of anti-British sentiment. Suddenly, the US's founding father became good ol' Christopher.

about 4 months ago
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UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime

fremsley471 Over-eager Press Office (391 comments)

The London Metropolitan Police Press Office released this statement. When challenged by a lawyer, they could only point vaguely to anti-terror laws and say things like "Do you want people to watch it". So it's PR people, probably with no legal training, who are making up laws on the hoof (and with no apparent correction from their superiors).

Fuller story here (free reg required):
http://blogs.ft.com/david-alle...?

about 5 months ago
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Australian Exploration Company Believes It May Have Found MH370 Wreckage

fremsley471 Re:Tech used? (293 comments)

They are using a vary basic form of technology called bullshit. 100%, unrefined. It's impossible to do what they say from 'satellite images'. If they had a large fleet of low-flying aircraft with extraordinarily sensitive magnetometers, it may just be possible. From orbit? Complete and utter bollocks.

about 9 months ago

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