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Comments

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Fujitsu Eyes Wireless Gadget Charging For 2012

jabithew How many wireless charging systems do we need? (158 comments)

It would be nice if we could standardise this stuff. There are a few recharging matts* knocking around for sale at the moment, but all the systems are incompatible. Manufacturers won't build this into mobile phones etc. unless it's their own system or a standard.

Just when we're finally converging around USB as a standard charger, it looks like we're going to have half a dozen wireless charging systems (one for Fujitsu, one for Apple...).

*I do know that this isn't one of those, but it will still need infrastructure on the charged side.

more than 3 years ago
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Hawking Picks Physics Over God For Big Bang

jabithew Re:God, god, god.... (1328 comments)

Indeed. It occurred to me recently that something has to either not make sense or directly contradict observed reality to count as faith. Saying "I believe the sky is blue" is not an act of faith, but saying "I believe in life after death" is. This is because we can all see the sky is blue*, but equally most of us can see that the dead stay pretty dead.

*I live in London, granted, but we have our days.

more than 3 years ago
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Hawking Picks Physics Over God For Big Bang

jabithew Re:God = gravity, Gravity = God (1328 comments)

Gravity isn't required to love us or save us. Or to give a blind toss about our existence or be conscious in any sense.

Of course, arguably you could say the same thing about the concept of god, but that would a) dilute the word beyond meaning and b) neglect that "gravity" does not come with the same emotional baggage as "god".

more than 3 years ago
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Inflaton, Mother of the Universe

jabithew Re:inflaton? (163 comments)

Bullshit. It just means they can't own it straight away. They might still be able to afford it over the long term.

more than 3 years ago
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Monkeys Exhibit the Same Economic Irrationality As Us

jabithew Re:Irrational Market Behavior (254 comments)

The real estate market is a very bad example, as it is easily one of the most distorted markets available. Consider that in the first quarter of 2010, Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac guaranteed 96.5% of new mortgages*, which is an indicator of state support of home ownership. Politically it's been a goal to extend home ownership, potentially beyond what is economically feasible.

In London, my home town, we have other problems, with restrictions on space, planning slowness, nimbyism from house owners, the large swathes of the city which are listed in some form or other, and the green belt effectively preventing any kind of free market. New entrants cannot easily enter the market for a variety of reasons, mostly artificial.

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but if you look at the trading in futures or derivatives, they're much closer to a perfect market. And they still screw up because of "irrational exuberance".

*http://www.economist.com/node/16640249?story_id=16640249

more than 3 years ago
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Quant AI Picks Stocks Better Than Humans

jabithew Re:Bullshit (446 comments)

It helps prevent arbitrage, I guess. That's a good thing because it moves capital to where it is wanted/needed.

more than 4 years ago
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Mysterious Radio Station UVB-76 Goes Offline

jabithew Re:The reason (336 comments)

I have an alternate conspiracy. I reckon they're doing it for a laugh. Every now and then they stop it and broadcast gibberish, just to see what the reaction is. That sounds like the Russians I know.

more than 4 years ago
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UK Gov't Spending Details Now Online

jabithew Re:UK data release vs US annual reports? (56 comments)

This is raw data, not a spending report. We also have spending reviews; before the general election they were on the HM Treasury Site but now they've been archived. Without the legal requirements for clarity associated with private sector financial reporting, civil servants are able to hide key data in impenetrable waffle. It is also a rather different kettle of fish to the US; our government is ludicrously centralised and almost all spending is from Whitehall. The report is thus so broad in scope as to almost be meaningless. It also makes wading through this raw transaction data much more daunting.

more than 4 years ago
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'Peak Wood' Offers Parallels For Our Time

jabithew Re:I Hate to Be the One to Point This Out (604 comments)

because the Communist Manifesto encourages violence (read it and you'll see it)

I have. The point you raise is the reason the west European Socialists eventually turned into Social Democrats, refuting the doctrine of Revolution.

more than 4 years ago
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'Peak Wood' Offers Parallels For Our Time

jabithew Re:I Hate to Be the One to Point This Out (604 comments)

There's not much Socialism of a form Marx would recognise in Europe. There's a lot more Social Democracy.

I also dislike this argument "Oh, but we've never had true Socialism, just every single time someone tried to establish it it led to military dictatorship and starvation". It has a faint ring of no true Scotsman to it.

more than 4 years ago
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'Peak Wood' Offers Parallels For Our Time

jabithew Re:I Hate to Be the One to Point This Out (604 comments)

You could do worse than look at Jared Diamond's Collapse; that has some good stuff regarding peak wood (though he doesn't label it as such).

...did research to point out the horrors that Capitalism wrought upon the environment.

Come to Europe, see the horrors Socialism has wrought on the environment. Look at Easter Island where an ism that no longer exists destroyed the ecosystem. I think, in the spirit of the sentiments expressed in your comment, it would be nice to leave the isms out of this.

more than 4 years ago
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Chrome Private Mode Not Quite Private

jabithew Re:Addicted. (234 comments)

Quite. Here in the UK the convention is that no Parliament may be bound by its predecessors, with the actual effect that we can change our "constitution" with a simple majority vote in the Commons. Considering the power of the party whips, and the tendency to one-party rule, we do effectively have an elected dictator.

Less so this time round, with the coalition, but even they have shown they can change the constitution with a simple majority vote and are willing to do so without an explicit mandate.

more than 4 years ago
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On Pennies:

jabithew Re:{take, leave} a penny system is useful... (594 comments)

Of course. They don't bring it to your house and demand money with menaces! The Royal Mail is craftier than that; they don't tell you what it is until you pay up.

more than 4 years ago
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On Pennies:

jabithew Re:{take, leave} a penny system is useful... (594 comments)

Here in the UK it's the recipient who normally pays. Every election some idiot candidate sends out leaflets with insufficient payment, so their potential voters have to pay to receive propaganda.

more than 4 years ago
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Paper Manufacturer Launches "Print More" Campaign

jabithew Re:Him and the Pope! (446 comments)

The Pope is German. Not that I think that helps much.

more than 4 years ago
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No Verizon Partnership For Google's Nexus One

jabithew Re:half a million? (206 comments)

Apple has (for all intents and purposes) one phone on one carrier.

Some of us live in Europe, you insensitive clod!

more than 3 years ago
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When We Finally Meet Aliens, They Will Probably Be...

jabithew Re:Much more primitive than we expect (648 comments)

It's all very well for you to get preachy sitting in a safe western home*. I should imagine the people living in poverty in Asia, Africa, and some parts of South America and Europe would all much rather we put our resources towards giving them a reasonable existence than this my-rocket-car-is-bigger-than-your-rocket-car nonsense.

*Ok, this is an assumption, but you're on Slashdot so it seems a fairly reasonable one.

more than 4 years ago
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Was Flight Ban Over Ash an Overreaction?

jabithew Re:From what I've heard, it really is that bad... (673 comments)

Of course, it's also pretty clear that Branson is angling for a handout here, not really deeply interested in science or public policy. He has a pretty big self-interest in convincing people that the cause of the shutdown was government overreaction, in which case the government should compensate the airlines; rather than having people believe that the shutdown was a necessary reaction to the volcanic eruption.

It is an interesting point though. European regulations, intended to stop airlines leaving passengers in the lurch because they over-booked a flight, have made airlines the insurers of last resort for people stranded due to natural disaster. The airlines have incurred a lot of costs, not just on lost business but also on having to pay for accommodation and food for their passengers while they've been stranded. They're also liable for reasonable alternative means of transport. There's a nice summary on the BBC.

While this is nice for passengers, the airlines themselves have no-one to lean on. As this is an act of God, the insurance won't pay out. The government closed the airspace, and is the normal insurer of last resort for natural disasters (see Chile, Haiti etc.). While the summary rags on "greedy airlines", this is not the fault of an airline having mis-judged its margins but an unprecedented restriction on normal business. I think that there is a good case, in moral terms, for at least having the EU refund the costs brought on by passenger rights legislation.

I'm not crticising the government for closing the airspace either, to clarify, I have nowhere near enough knowledge on volcanos or jet engines to form an opinion. I just think that we should note that the airlines have been forced into an uncomfortable, and I think unjust, position.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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British Hacker loses extradition appeal

jabithew jabithew writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jabithew (1340853) writes "British hacker Gary McKinnon has today lost his appeal to avoid extradition to the United States for hacking into the computers of several Federal institutions, while looking for evidence of UFOs. This is not quite the end of the line for Gary, as he can still appeal to the Law Lords and to the European Court of Human Rights. Nevertheless, there remain important questions. For the British; are we happy with the Crown Prosecution Service refusing to prosecute for the relatively minor offence of computer misuse so that the Federal government can prosecute for $500,000 of criminal damage? And for the Americans; how do you feel about your government pursuing a self-described loner with Aspergers looking for UFOs? And finally, in general, do Slashdotters feel that a person with a mild autism-spectrum disorder can have a fair trial in a foreign country? Mr. McKinnon's plight has been discussed here many times before."
Link to Original Source
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UK ASA to rule on probability of existence of god.

jabithew jabithew writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jabithew (1340853) writes "A while back the British Humanist Association ran a series of adverts on London buses promoting atheism/agnosticism. Christian Voice has reported the adverts to the Advertising Standards Authority because "marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove all claims." Quote Stephen Green of Christian Voice:

There is plenty of evidence for God, from people's personal experience, to the complexity, interdependence, beauty and design of the natural world.

It seems that the ASA has little choice but to rule on the probability of god's existence, or at least whether either Christian Voice or the BHA have sufficient proof on their side, as they have to investigate all complaints, no matter how frivolous they may seem. The full BBC report is here. As a Londoner myself I note that nobody complained about the myriad Christian adverts run on the buses."
Link to Original Source

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