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Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

gbjbaanb The WHO (379 comments)

"hope I die before I get old".... until I get old, that is, and then I expect to scrap life along as much as humanly possible.

12 hours ago
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Fork of Systemd Leads To Lightweight Uselessd

gbjbaanb Re:Funny inability to see alternatives (445 comments)

But the developers of X don't like X either, that's why Wayland has come about. Whether its been developed well is another matter, but X has reached its end of life. And you can still "remote desktop" with Wayland with just as much performance as X, because X nowadays sends bitmaps over the wire anyway thanks to the desktop compositors we all run now.

yesterday
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Fork of Systemd Leads To Lightweight Uselessd

gbjbaanb Re:launchd (445 comments)

which works fine, until someone changes them in the kernel requiring systemd to be updated to use it. Strange how Linus thinks an ABI for drivers is a very bad thing but its ok for systemd to directly call many kernel features.

yesterday
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Fork of Systemd Leads To Lightweight Uselessd

gbjbaanb Re:kill -1 (445 comments)

those users are also the ones ingrained with the 'boot up each morning and watch as a thousand bits of crappy pre-installed wares start up and pop messages saying ''X needs an update', or 'Y is protecting your system' or 'these hotties want to meet you'

Just because a couple of seconds shaved off the bootup time for a Windows laptop is advertised as a good thing doesn't mean it is - the time taken for all the other crap overwhelms it significantly.

You want faster boot up times, even with the latest and fastest boot system? Then buy a SSD.

yesterday
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Star Wars Producers Want a 'DroneShield' To Prevent Leaks On Set

gbjbaanb Re:British problem. British solution. (136 comments)

you really think the shots of the sky won't already be changed in post-production? Or that a nice summer day sky scene with airplane contrails would fit nicely into a Tatooine sunset scene?

2 days ago
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Star Wars Producers Want a 'DroneShield' To Prevent Leaks On Set

gbjbaanb Re:The Drone Wars (136 comments)

Its not the "individuals" that will be flying these - it'll be scumbags who want to tell you all the plot and characters and spoilers so by the time the movie comes out, you'll have seen it on various entertainment news websites.

So its not that its less valuable for the producers, but for the public who want to see this stuff as its intended.

I'm all for big business being brought down to size, but this is not the way to do it.

2 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

gbjbaanb Re:No, It Won't (323 comments)

That ration might be valid overall, or with old statistics but when used for young people, its skewed quite dramatically in favour of males.

I saw a documentary about it on TV (so it must be true :-) ). this one was mainly concerned with the chinese dating scene and online websites etc.

I may have got the ratio wrong, more like 12:10, or :2 in the worst areas.

In the early 1980s there were 108 male births to every 100 female, only slightly above the natural rate; by 2000 that had soared to 120 males, and in some provinces, such as Anhui, Jiangxi and Shaanxi, to more than 130. The result is that more than 35 million women are "missing". Though China is not the only country affected â" India's situation is similar â" it has by far the widest gap; its one-child policy has exacerbated the problem.

http://www.theguardian.com/wor...

3 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

gbjbaanb Re:No, It Won't (323 comments)

Google will tell you all you need to know.

It was mainly due to the EUs agricultural subsidies. Farmers wee paid to grow all kinds of excess food, safe in the knowledge that the government would buy it, regardless of quality or quantity. So they did, and no-one could eat it all.

Net result: masses of unused foodstuffs. They distilled the wine into ethanol IIRC, much butter was sent to African famine reliefs.

http://www.ecpa.eu/information...

An increasingly complex system of quotas and support prices was set up, with further crops included as the European Community expanded. This basic system led to the infamous "butter mountains" and "wine lakes" of the 1980s, with farmers being paid to produce goods for which there was no market and which were then bought up for intervention storage and later sale at (lower) global market prices.

Additional instruments such as quotas for milk and other produce were introduced to limit production. "Set aside" was another innovation, with farmers being paid to keep a certain percentage of their land out of production

It got to the crazy state where you could be a farmer and get paid a lot for *not* growing crops. There was a joke at the time for an application form where the applicant promised not to buy any land and not to farm any pigs in return for a large subsidy.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/...

4 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

gbjbaanb Re:Maybe we if stopped giving Africa food (323 comments)

Before the white man came with his ships....
those tribes were continually at war with each other, slavery and there was terror and violence all the time. Even in the times of Egypt and Rome it was so.

I think the people living happily in cities like Lagos would like to disagree with you. Its not a continent populated with mud huts or crazed dictators, its a lot more 'ordinary' than that. You might visit an African city and find its not much different to one of your own.

4 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

gbjbaanb Re:Familiar story line (323 comments)

The best story on those lines is The Mote in Gods Eye by Larry Niven.

But we already have tried something like this : China's one child policy has reduced (and will reduce further) their population. Now we just need India and possibly Bangladesh, Indonesia and Brazil to do the same.

4 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

gbjbaanb Re:Not a problem... (323 comments)

Sincerely - One of the tens of people who live in the Midwest.

TFTFY :-)

4 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

gbjbaanb Re:No, It Won't (323 comments)

especially given China's 1-child policy, and human nature.

the Chinese youth are divided 2:1 in favour of males, and the young females that survived the 1-child policy aren't too interested in being breeding machines, they're more interested in careers and independence. So the Chinese population will continue to grow, but at a slower rate, and then I imagine there will be a mass push for immigration to China when the old population dies off and there's no-one to replace them.

Africa.. they say the population there will grow a lot, and I imagine a fair bit of that will be true - some African countries are quite rich, so they can afford to import food from the rest of the world, including Europe that happily overproduced during the 80s (remember the butter mountains and wine lakes?) but also they might just get their act together and get a decent crop from the very fertile areas, Zimbabwe might be a basket case today but they were very productive when the "white man" owned and managed the farms. Once the nutters go, they could be productive again.

4 days ago
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Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

gbjbaanb Re:Simple set of pipelined utilties! (380 comments)

Most old philosophies do remain true - if they've managed to stand the test of time, then its usually because they're still relevant.

Most of human nature, physics and the "way things work" are philosophies that are still true, no matter how much some people want to reform them or reinvent every wheel.

In this case, a complicated mess of overly entangled components is pretty obviously not a good thing, regardless of what the unix philosophy says about doing complex systems right.

You want an example... if you want to build systemd, you must first build dbus without systemd dependencies, then build it again after building systemd with the dependencies in place. This is because systemd requires dbus, but also exposes it as a service managed by systemd.

5 days ago
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Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

gbjbaanb Re:well said! (380 comments)

Repent or be tormented forever by a Daemon

by the daemon called systemd....

5 days ago
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Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

gbjbaanb Re:well said! (380 comments)

There's still value in understanding the traditional UNIX "do one thing and do it well" model where many workflows can be done as a pipeline of simple tools each adding their own value, but let's face it, it's not how complex systems really work

and this - complex systems *do* work this way, lots of small pieces interfacing with each other is the way complex systems work. Whether its a GUI app where each control is an independent object, or an internet where each website is independent or a business where labour is divided up into divisions or departments.

What happens when you try to make a complex system that is a tangled web of interconnections that have too many dependencies with each other is a system that does not work.

DRY, SOLID principles are all current buzzwords, but the truth behind them is that complexity is managed by standard interface protocols that allow components to be practically self-contained. UNIX got this right.

5 days ago
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School Installs Biometric Fingerprint System For Cafeteria

gbjbaanb Re:Not about ease, about authority (230 comments)

and possibly more importantly (to the parents) the kids can't go tot he local fast food joint and have burger and chip for lunch every day.

For £20k though, the school could have just asked the parents to fund a lunch account of roughly the amount each kid costs to feed. Then they wouldn't have to give them lunch money and the kids would get lunch without having to bother with money.

about a week ago
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The Future According To Stanislaw Lem

gbjbaanb Re:unlikely (196 comments)

not necessarily. That just applies to us, and its a fallacy to assume that others are like us.

Imagine an alien race so super intelligent that they consider they've already invented everything, they don't actually invent it until they have a need for it, and frankly, talking to the chattering money-boys on a distant planet just hasn't been something they need, strangely enough

about two weeks ago
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The Future According To Stanislaw Lem

gbjbaanb Re:getting high (196 comments)

your high is different to mine.

Some people might smoke pot, others get drunk. Some gamble and others fuck as much as they can.

And some have "making money" as their high, some have "screwing other over in power games" as theirs.

But there's also going to be someone who likes doing stuff as their personal meaning. Even in a society based on self-interest and personal abuse, there's going to be a few Crazy Eddies.

about two weeks ago
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Kickstarter's Problem: You Have To Make the Game Before You Ask For Money

gbjbaanb Re:Kickstarter's Problem (215 comments)

ok, then Kickstarter's problem is that it doesn't strongly enforce these terms.

If some of the founder projects who basically hopped off with the cash were brought before court and made to explain where all the money was in a fraud case, then we'd probably have a lot more people ready to trust KS. As it is, I don't think anyone has been fully refunded for projects that failed. Maybe KS is expecting the backers to go legal themselves, but I see it as KSs responsibility - they do the leg work (and take the fee) so they should be much more involved in all these projects.

about two weeks ago
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Kickstarter's Problem: You Have To Make the Game Before You Ask For Money

gbjbaanb Re: a reputable team (215 comments)

I guess many people don't recognise anyone's name except for a couple of really high-profile guys like Braben, Molineux or Carmack.

http://rtf.utexas.edu/faculty/...

He's not a complete duffer though, seems he has done stuff. That seems fair enough to me, even though I would like to see credit given for the rest of the team behind those games.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Why Banana skins are slippery wins IgNobel

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  3 days ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "This year's Ig Nobel prize was won by Japanese researchers investigating why banana skins produced a frictionless surface compared to apple and orange peels.
(apparently "The polysaccharide follicular gels that give banana skins their slippery properties are also found in the membranes where our bones meet." so its not all fun and jollity)

Other prizes were awarded for noting that dogs only defecate when aligned with north-south magnetic fields, and that 'night owl' people are more likely to be psychopaths than early risers. Yes, that probably includes you."

Link to Original Source
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So black you can't see it.

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 2 months ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "A British company is developing a new material that’s so black it absorbs all but 0.035 percent of the visual light, making it the darkest material ever created.

Of course, apart from making album covers, it conducts heat 7 times better than copper and is 10 times stronger than steel.

the pictures are the best, it looks like its sitting on some foil, but its grown on the foil which is all crinkled and bent — only people who have seen it say that it looks smooth because so little light is being reflected."

Link to Original Source
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AMD's new gfx API Mantle offers 40% framerate improvement over OpenGL and Dx

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 8 months ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "AMD has a new low-level graphics API to take on OpenGL and DirectX. It works by reducing the amount of overhead involved in most graphics operations and getting closer to the metal which results in some substantial frame rate improvements, especially on CPU bound systems.

AMD have been talking about the possibility to hand over control to Khronos Group in the future and that they have a SDK scheduled later this year which will make it possible for Intel and Nvidia to start working on support for Mantel if they want to."

Link to Original Source
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Fight ash dieback disease.. on facebook

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about a year ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Remember folding@home and similar massively distributed programs that tried to get enough computing power to help fightr diseases, the latest one is a little different. In the UK, Ash Dieback disease is has been imported from the continent and is killing all the native ash trees, so researchers have created a crowd-sourced game to match genetic sequences of resistant trees.

Computer systems to match thousands of sequences are difficult to do, but humans are very good at pattern matching, which is why the game was created.

And released on Facebook to reach a wide community, who can play an entertaining puzzle game without having to pay for a single f*** sheep (or leaf). About time."

Link to Original Source
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Interplanetary Internet tested on the ISS

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "At last — we have a new Internet protocol (eat your heart out IPv6) — called DTN (for disruption tolerant networking).

This "interplanetary internet" has been used by an astronaut at the International Space Station (ISS) to send commands to a robot on Earth and will be used primarily for communication with distant nodes."

Link to Original Source
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Windows 7 finally overtakes XP

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Microsoft Windows 7 has finally overtaken the 11-year-old Windows XP operating system on web-based market share figures from Netmarketshare

So what does this mean for Windows 8? Another 5 years before it has as many installations as Windows 7, does that mean that writing Metrp-only apps on a OS that doesn't have critical mass will be as successful as Silverlight?"

Link to Original Source
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Nokia sells Qt to Digia

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Finnish software company Digia announced today that it is acquiring the Qt software business from Nokia. Digia plans to pick up where Nokia left off, continuing Qt development but renewing the toolkit’s focus on cross-platform support."
Link to Original Source
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Apple assisting the trade in stolen iPhones

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Need a new iDevice? Simple — first steal one, then 'accidentally' break it and take it to your nearest Apple store and present it for warranty repair, and an Apple 'genius' will hand you a brand new one, no questions asked.

So Apple could help make stolen iPhones useless to the thief by locking them, or they could be encouraging thieves who know they'll get a brand new one to sell on. More worryingly, this will invalidate your insurance:

Charlie Durrant was a victim of iPhone theft. After her handset was stolen last year she reported the theft to Apple and her insurer. However, when she requested a replacement phone, her insurer told her that one had already been issued in her name. The thief had taken advantage of Apple's lack of checks. ... "someone had just gone in and got a brand new one, making my insurance invalid.""

Link to Original Source
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European eID announced

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "On Wednesday, the European Commission published a strategy document aimed at setting up systems to protect children online. In the document — but not in the accompanying press release nor the citizens' summary — the Commission mentioned that it will soon propose a "pan-European framework for electronic authentication", full details will be announced on 30th May.

The launch of the strategy follows a push to strengthen internet security in the EU. It also outlined legal measures to make it easier for people to use a single e-ID for online services across borders, which would underpin a move toward a pan-European framework for electronic identification, authentication and signature (Pefias) framework."

Link to Original Source
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Amazon accused of bullying small firms, and inflat

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Online shopping giant Amazon has been accused of artificially inflating prices by banning firms that trade on its website from selling goods more cheaply elsewhere on the internet.

Amazon has ordered them to ‘maintain parity between the terms on which you offer or sell each item through Amazon’ and the amount they charge for the same product on other sites."

Link to Original Source
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Nokia sells 12 phones per second

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "no, don't worry Windows Phone hasn't taken over the world... this is the S40 "burning platform" success story.

What surprised me: To make S40 phones attractive to them, the software — and the hardware it runs on — now supports a wide range of apps, from the wildly popular Angry Birds game to instant messaging and apps to connect with social networks. Ms McDowell says that "a lot of work is being done to get such marquee apps" on to the S40 platform, to boost its attractiveness.

So why run a smartphone when a 'dumb' phone can do everything you want, including 3.7 million app downloads per day.

Last year, this low-margin business contributed about half of Nokia's profits."

Link to Original Source
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Spanish bank BBVA to use Google's cloud

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Spanish banking giant BBVA is switching its 110,000 staff to use Google's range of enterprise software.

The bank told the BBC it would use Google's tools only for internal communication, but the deal can be seen as a breakthrough in corporate adoption.

The customer and bank data will still be held on internal systems, but all communication will be via Google services, mainly driven by a need to serve the bank's increasingly mobile workers."

Link to Original Source
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Winner of Microsoft Excel World Championship

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "The world of competitive computing has another winner to add the the honour-rolls. This time its UK student Rebecca Rickwood who has beatuen 78 other finalists to be crowned best user of Microsoft's spreadsheet software, Excel 2007.

Sincere congratulations to Miss Rickwood, but please — find out about boys soon."

Link to Original Source
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the Longhorn dream reborn

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "Early this month, Microsoft dropped something of a bombshell on Windows developers: the new Windows 8 touch-friendly immersive style would use a developer platform not based on .NET. Cue howls of outrage from .NET developers everywhere, but here Ars Technica descibes what's more likely to have been going on and why Microsoft is finally getting its act together for developers."
Link to Original Source
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New runtime for native Android apps on Windows

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "A startup called BlueStacks has developed an Android runtime environment for the Windows operating system.

BlueStacks has overcome the performance barrier by building a native x86 Android runtime that doesn't have to rely on emulation. The company says that Android applications running on its stack will be highly responsive on Windows and won't suffer from the kind of lag that developers are accustomed to experiencing when using Google's emulator.

No product is availablefor download to the great unwashed, but partner Citrix showed a demo of the system at Citrix Synergy conference. An alpha of the runtime will be available for download in July."

Link to Original Source
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Skylon spaceplane passes key review

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "A revolutionary UK spaceplane concept has been boosted by the conclusions of an important technical review.

Skylon is a design for a workign spaceplane that uses revolutionalry engines that work as normal jets near the ground and switch to rocket propulsion in the upper atmosphere. The concept means the plane will not have to carry as much fuel and so will not need disposable stages.

Its estimated the cost of delivering payloads to orbit will drop from $15000 per kilo to $1000 making this the best prospect for commercialisation of orbit."

Link to Original Source
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Web standard gets EU funding

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  about 4 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "The BBC is reporting news of project Webinos, an initiative to provide a common platform for web applications that would sidestep current operating systems and allow devs to create web-based apps that would run anywhere — PCs, TVs, cars, mobiles.

The project aims to sidestep operating systems and proprietary app stores by providing a web-based approach.

The idea would enable a given app to work, for example, on a web-ready television, in a car and on a mobile, no matter the makers of the devices... Companies can afford to have an app on two or at most three platforms — they're extremely costly to develop and ensure the user experience..


Makes sense for all, except companies that thrive on having their own, proprietary systems to 'differentiate' themselves from the other proprietary systems."

Link to Original Source
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ISP's top data hog gobbles 2.7TB of data in a mont

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "In a rare turn of events, a Belgian ISP has released figure for its "super users" by bandwidth usage not to demonise them, but to show how good their network and plans are! 1 User downloaded more than 2TB, 7 others hit the 1TB mark.

Its only a matter of time before there's a competition for who can clog this network up with the most traffic :)"

Link to Original Source
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Want HiDef DrWho? Now its DRM only

gbjbaanb gbjbaanb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gbjbaanb (229885) writes "The BBC has been granted provisional approval to introduce copy protection for Freeview HD after they resubmitted an amended plan.

Quote:
"In view of the fuller submission provided by the BBC, Ofcom is currently minded to approve its request for a multiplex licence amendment subject to consultation responses, on the basis that in principle, content management is a justified objective which ensures that the broadest range of HD content is made available to citizens and consumers," said Ofcom's statement.
However, its not too late yet — you can submit your comment and tell them you'd like to be able to record broadcast HD TV.

I'm sure the 'content providers' will continue to sell content to the BBC, ITV etc if this is not implemented. They'll still take our licence fee money (or advertising) and sell us the content, but refuse to let us record or copy it, hoping we'll go out and buy the DVD/BluRays as well."

Link to Original Source

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