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February 19, 2021

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Pooklord

Miracle breakthrough in rapid beer consumption

Reminds me of my year at Glasgow Uni, in which my fellow A/V clubbers, said I must drink a "yard of ale".
Which I did. I vaguely remember a very, very long glass or goblet.
It's all a bit fuzzy . . .

It was the 80's--if you remember it, you weren't really there, man.

Steve E

Covid-19: Totally Fixed Where We Are.

"Hopefully we're going to turn a corner soon."

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Our betters in Congress, raising pettiness to an art form.

Daniel Ream

Acapella idents

For people d'un certain age, you will never, never be able to hear the 20th Century Fox theme without immediately expecting to hear this.

asiaseen

Speibecken

The Officers' Mess toilets at RAF Gutersloh, which was a pre-war Luftwaffe base, were adequately equipped with these conveniences.

Daniel Ream

raising pettiness to an art form

Amateurs.

pst314

Wall damage detected.

So sorry the wall was damaged.

Pooklord

Wall damage detected.

I believe his head actually bounced backwards off those bricks, as well as knocking them down.

Pooklord

Argghh.

I messed up the italics.

Pooklord

Argghh! Argghhhh!!!

I will stop now.

Daniel Ream

Typical. David goes to bed and you lot trash the place.

pst314

Texas right now:

pst314

You first, you deranged weasel: Oakland CA Mayor Urges Residents to Take in Homeless: ‘Give Up That Airbnb’

NTSOG

Pooklord: "Argghh. I messed up the italics."

You're showing off! Stop it!

NTSOG

Homeless in California [and in other places]: when governments realised that they could [and should close institutions that were generally terrible places] they didn't provide alternative residential, outreach and community-based services for many of those who were milder in presentation, either in developmental delay and/or psychiatric presentation, but who still needed considerable support. Essentially governments took the money they saved, did very little and used the excuse of 'freedom of choice' of the individual to justify doing SFA. Now the Mayoress wants private citizens to provide accommodation to people who are likely very damaged and sometimes dangerous. To me that's a complete abrogation of the responsibility of the State.

JuliaM

@NTSOG: sounds familar. We have exactly the same situation over here.

Daniel Ream

You're showing off! Stop it!

[ Rights bar stools, glares at Pooklord. ]

David

Morning, all.

[ Notes suspicious atmosphere, oddly arranged bar stools. ]

Min

“First and foremost.”

Priorities. *eyeroll*

David

Attention, all he-persons.

Please update your files and lifestyles accordingly.

David

Today’s words are daddy issues.

She has pretty much the full set. The pronouns; the septum piercings; the unattractive tattoos growing in number; the ostentatiously ugly hair and its endless colour changes; the retro-ironic Far Side glasses; the mismatch of Twitter avatar and actual appearance…

Sometimes, it’s almost too on-the-nose.

Stephanie Richer

raising pettiness to an art form

If Linda Sanchez (D-CA) has the time to draft and introduce a bill like that, why shouldn’t Ted Cruz go and enjoy his pre-planned vacation in Cancun?

Joan

Today’s words are daddy issues.

She's a bit old for a nose ring.

David

She’s a bit old for a nose ring.

The adolescent connotations are somewhat symbolic.

There was a YouTube video some time ago – and which I can’t now find - in which an avowed feminist, possibly a student, loudly made some pronouncement that suggested, inadvertently, she had some, shall we say, baggage regarding her father. In response, in the clip, someone politely mentioned the concept of daddy issues. At which point, the feminist in question erupted in a full-on explosion of rage, wildly disproportionate to anything that had been said. Unless, of course, one assumes a nerve had been touched. Over the years, I’ve seen at least three such reactions.

It’s not unlike how, if you find the Twitter feed of a self-styled woke-ling and search for the word depression, you’ll very often find it, usually more than once. And much more often than chance alone would seem to allow. (I think it was Orwell & Goode or Battle Beagle who did a series of screenshots illustrating this correlation.)

TomJ

On the Yard of Ale, for those unfamiliar with the glass it is (unsurprisingly) about a yard long, with a wide mouth tapering down to a narrow bottleneck which opens to a bulb at the bottom and typically contains 2 1/2 pints, though larger variants are available, as are half yard glasses of the same shape and of various capacities. The key bit of technique is to start rotating the glass once the bulb starts to empty, to prevent air locks forming and causing the beer to flow in fits and starts, with a big surge coming and buggering up your drinking.

At a few charity rugby matches I have been the drinker in a Yard Sweepstake; people pay a pound, pick a time they think it'll take to finish it and whoever gets closest takes half the pot, with the other half going to the charity. I have done a sub-30 sec yard, although only the once, which while good enough for club standard is nowhere near Olympic qualifying time; the world record for a 2.5pt yard was under 5 sec at RAF Upper Heyford. While former Aussie PM claims once to have held the record, do not make the error of a couple of Ausie tourists who saw a UAS mate of mine down a yard in a Bath pub to commemorate his first solo and challenged us to a race. The error was not so much the challenge, but choosing to attempt a yard of lager...

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Today’s words are daddy issues.

Doctorate of Philosophy in American religious history.

My scholarship* encompasses a variety of topics including religion and popular culture, religious and racial hatred, apocalypticism, religion and gender, and horror.

According to our scholar* The US is controlled by the KKK (all 5000 or so of them). Usual boilerplate ensues.

Attention, all he-persons.

Does that apply to transmen, or just the real ones ? I need to fill out my scorecard correctly.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

On the Yard of Ale...

On a similar note, there is the German boot, the largest of which are 4L (IIRC) and the trick is also to turn the thing sideways lest the air that gets trapped in the toe suddenly dump the contents onto the luckless.

Sam Duncan

“Reminds me of my year at Glasgow Uni”

Oh? Whereabouts did you live? Without giving too much away to the interwebs, I've spent my whole life in the roughly-where-the-BBC-used-to-be area. I grew up with a new bunch of students appearing in our building every September. (And seemed to go from them always being much older than me to suddenly being much younger without ever appearing to be much the same age, for some reason.)

David

The key bit of technique is to start rotating the glass once the bulb starts to empty, to prevent air locks forming

[ Rummages for pen and paper. ]

TomJ

At one of the clubs I played at back in the Beforetimes such a boot was used in a game whereby one drank from it, then passed it on; you could drink as much as you liked from it in a single go, but if the next person could finish it in one, you had to buy the next bootfull of beer...

Farnsworth M Muldoon

On the lab grown meat front...

pst314

Attention, all he-persons.

I am reminded of the feminist sf of the 70's that approvingly depicted the extermination of men. Widely praised by all the "thinking" writers and reviewers and editors.

pst314

At What Point Do We Realize Bill Gates Is Dangerously Insane? "What this comes down to, though, is that Bill Gates has been so rich for so long that he’s spent the bulk of his adult life without anyone telling him he’s wrong. That has the same corrosive effect on character and sanity that you see in the case of kings and dictators."

Related: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Behind ‘Anti-Racist’ Math Push.

pst314

On the lab grown meat front...

That is truly depraved.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

At What Point Do We Realize Bill Gates Is Dangerously Insane?

March 11, 1995 with the release of Microsoft Bob.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Behind ‘Anti-Racist’ Math Push.

That explains Windows 10.

Meanwhile, as the man says, pick a side.

In lighter news, an excellent 4K upgrade rendering of an old video.

anon a mouse

On the lab grown meat front...

Smells...fishy.

(I'll let myself out, now)

PiperPaul

an excellent 4K upgrade rendering of an old video.

That's awesome!

Squires

If I were going to eat a celebrity it sure as hell wouldn't be Ellen DeGeneres.

asiaseen

Lab grown meat
Take, eat, This is my body which is given for you: do this in remembrance of me

Puts a whole new meaning into Sunday lunch

pst314

Take, eat, This is my body which is given for you: do this in remembrance of me

Yes, when they are offering a celebrity's flesh that blasphemy does seem to be part of the perversion.

Daniel Ream

I've met Bill Gates a couple of times, back in uni, when he used to come to my alma mater to speak to prospective comp sci recruits. He's very much the stereotypical borderline-autistic computer nerd, and The Hayride does have a point: what made Microsoft such a powerhouse in the 1990s was that there was something of a cult of personality around Gates and when he decided to redirect the company's focus in toto he could, because people would follow him without question (and if they didn't, they got fired).

I've known many genius computer programmers with similar personalities to Gates and there's an interesting commonality: all of them believe that every decision they make is completely based on rational analysis of all the data (note: not "all the available data", all the data) and not in any way affected by their emotions or other unrelated psychological issues; and as James Randi once said about scientists, they're very good at detecting error and very bad at detecting deliberate falsehood.

Most software developers have a very skewed idea of the physical sciences because the world they operate in is governed by very different rules. For instance, they tend not to have any understanding of the consequences of a destructive test because you can always reset the underlying hardware to a known state. You can't do that with an atmosphere.

Gates isn't insane. He's been presented with a technical problem that needs solving and he's solving it using the methods that have worked very well in the past. He's just well outside his realm of expertise, does not grasp he's being lied to, and is sufficiently ruled by his emotions that even if he were presented with ironclad proof that he's being lied to, he couldn't accept it.

an excellent 4K upgrade rendering of an old video

I have no idea what this process costs per frame but I'd love to see an enterprising publisher start applying this process to the myriad of 1970s-1990s TV shows that were shot entirely on videotape and for which no HD masters exist.

Darleen

used the excuse of 'freedom of choice' of the individual

It's a long history with lots of sources, but basically in California the ACLU was responsible for enforcing this "choice". It became almost impossible to commit people to institutions (regardless of quality), even residential ones unless you could satisfy the court the person was an imminent danger to themselves or others.

A few years back a rather notorious homeless encampment stretching miles down the Santa Ana River in SoCal was finally dealt with and they found the population roughly broke down to 1/3 homeless under a year and willing to use services to help find housing and employment (usually regular people in extraordinary circumstances), 1/3 mental or addicts who were willing to received treatments and 1/3 hardcore homeless - 3 years or more street living who were absolutely unwilling to "come inside". Whether mentally ill or active addict or just used to the lifestyle, these people were some of the last to leave the riverbank and all they did was migrate somewhere else to camp.

And exacerbating this issue is the last 10 years of California's increasing pro-criminal legislation which has seen thousands of criminals released from prisons, reduced sentences and certain crimes "decriminalized".

It is now the law-abiding who are locked up in their homes.

Daniel Ream

March 11, 1995 with the release of Microsoft Bob.

That explains Windows 10.

I'm always amused by people who think writing mass market software for non-technical users is easy.

pst314

It's a long history with lots of sources, but basically in California the ACLU was responsible for enforcing this "choice".

Yes indeed. Also culpable: pro bono lawyers at San Francisco law firms who made it impossible to prosecute and punish the criminally aggressive "homeless". (And it is a bitter irony that "pro bono" lawyers would work so enthusiastically against the good.)

Darleen

they tend not to have any understanding of the consequences of a destructive test because you can always reset the underlying hardware to a known state. You can't do that with an atmosphere.

^^^This. Which on of the reasons I cringe when I hear people unironically using "reset" for non-tech subjects. Little has startled me more than hearing politicians talking about The Great Reset. That's not how it works.

sk60

And finally, in D-list celebrity news, I believe this is called oversharing.

ALL THE INFORMATION!

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I'm always amused by people who think writing mass market software for non-technical users is easy.

Amazingly, though, non-technical 4 year olds can operate all the garbage on "smart" phones. I'm always amused by software writers who think they have a clue how non-technical people think, or do, anything and cough up trash like Microsoft Bob, Windows 10, and any version of Office after 2000.

Daniel Ream

Hating Microsoft because you can't use a computer is so 1998.

David

Amazingly, though, non-technical 4 year olds can operate all the garbage on “smart” phones.

[ Checks phone is free of stray dust particles, checks battery level, adjusts satin display cushion on which it sits. ]

Don’t listen to the nasty man.

Daniel Ream

I cringe when I hear people unironically using "reset" for non-tech subjects

I think it was Asimov who said that the danger was not that computers would begin to think like people, but that people would begin to think like computers. The utter savaging of basic science education and the rise of Internet culture means that increasingly people are thinking like software developers - "just turn it off and turn it on again".

Darleen

"just turn it off and turn it on again"

pst314

I think it was Asimov who said that the danger was not that computers would begin to think like people, but that people would begin to think like computers.

That certainly sounds like something Isaac would have said, but an internet search says it was columnist Sydney J. Harris: "The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers." (But, as usual, none of the search results point to an original source. Grumble.)

pst314

Tell me again why I should believe that these people are sane?

Fred the Fourth

For most of my tech career I lived at the overlap of hw and sw development. So I got to reset the sw (yay.) And reset the hw (Yay!) which included boring things like the "900 lb. hammer test".
Sigh. I miss the olden days.

Fred the Fourth

My favorite hw from those days was a snark about an actual project called the "nuclear event detector". My manager posted a folder paper on his door labeled "Bob's Discount Event Detector, open to operate".
Inside it read "If you are reading this, there has not been a nuclear event."
Cold War humor...

Squires

Little has startled me more than hearing politicians talking about The Great Reset. That's not how it works.

It works just fine* for those who are a sufficiently dillegent users of Orwell’s memory hole and Rand’s blank-out.

I think it was Asimov who said that the danger was not that computers would begin to think like people, but that people would begin to think like computers.

IIRC the same theme popped up somewhere in Herbert’s Dune series.


* - This is fine: https://tinyurl.com/3tv5qqq7

WTP

I think it was Asimov who said that the danger was not that computers would begin to think like people, but that people would begin to think like computers. The utter savaging of basic science education and the rise of Internet culture means that increasingly people are thinking like software developers

Kinda feel both ways on this, but the industry in general is IMNSHO lost to the point that the comments above about Bill Gates apply to much of the leadership in even smaller and/or less cutting edge software organizations. In an effort to try to preserve my sanity by giving myself something deep-thinking to keep my brain occupied, I have been responding to a few of the numerous software recruiter emails that I get. For a while there, I thought I was blacklisted due to politics but maybe not...but not my point...Anyway, for a job with a major financial institution, one of the ones that begins with the letter 'C', they wanted me to take an on-line Java test. I hate these damn things as I have been in the business for 35 years, I have a very strong (too strong...thinking of dumbing it down) resume of various technologies. My ability to survive and such in this business has not been because I memorize details of things like which is the thread-safe one, HashMap or HashTable (actually I know that one OTTOMH but others...). I use Google (and before that, software manuals) to remind me about the minor details and such. I learn new tools (many, many new tools) via their Hello World examples and have often gotten things, even new technology things, to work where other people before me failed. With modern IDE's, if you make a minor syntactical mistake the IDE tells you the minute you type it out.

Now this test they wanted me to take had questions about "would this compile" (with some piece of code that no mature developer would ever write) and "are goto and null reserved words in Java". Can't think of a reason to use goto in Java and would likely fire anyone who did. Looking it up now, I see it was reserved but never implemented in the language...thus who the hell cares? What flipping difference does that make? 39 questions, apparently I only got 23 correct. Yet I have taken pure logic tests, only once explicitly for a job others on Indeed.com or some such, and scored exceptionally high. The one I took for a job I pointed out that some of their questions were vague/inaccurate. They were very impressed by this and thanked me for pointing out the flaws.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Hating Microsoft because you can't use a computer is so 1998.

In 1990 I could run Windows 3.0 (upgraded from 2.1) with Word, Photostyler, and Pagemaker simultaneously on a 386 with a whopping 2 megs of RAM and a gigantic 40meg hard drive, and can now (just because I wanted to see if I could) run a 32 bit Linux version with Open Office and GIMP simultaneously on an ancient Pentium with a whole 2 gigs RAM, so hating Microsoft because all their products have become bloated (22 gigs for a stripped down Win 7 OS alone, over on the Ubuntu partition, 1.12 gigs for the OS and all the open source programs) with crappy code and useless garbage* is 2021.


*(Pour one out for Clippy, RIP.)

Fred the Fourth

"Thou shalt not make a machine to counterfeit the human mind" IIRC.

pst314

"Thou shalt not make a machine to counterfeit the human mind"

Very close. Wikipedia quotes the prohibition in Dune as "Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind".

Patrick Brown

pst314: Wikipedia quotes the prohibition in Dune as "Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind".

We'll soon see about that...

David

She played an empathic alien, you know.

pst314

She played an empathic alien, you know.

She is getting what she deserves, as she descends into obscurity. No more fan boys panting for an autograph while she wears that bodysuit uniform at Comic Con.

NTSOG

"Bill Gates has been so rich for so long that he’s spent the bulk of his adult life without anyone telling him he’s wrong..."

That appears to be Zuckerberg's problem too: he thinks he's far more powerful and important than individual nations.

Captain Nemo

She played an empathic alien, you know.

Yes, and she was the most useless crew member on that show. Wesley Crusher was less insufferable.

David

Woke activism, distilled.

Via Damian.

Cloudbuster

Regarding D-list oversharing, *singing* "His penis got diseases from a Chumash tribe!"

Sam Duncan

“March 11, 1995 with the release of Microsoft Bob.”

Free Software advocates would make the case for January 1976.

“In lighter news, an excellent 4K upgrade rendering of an old video.”

Weirdly, it actually makes it look even more '80s.

“as James Randi once said about scientists, they're very good at detecting error and very bad at detecting deliberate falsehood.”

Thus, the Great Pandemic. If The Scientists had taken the advice of that Hong Kong protester not to trust China because China asshoe, we wouldn't be in this mess.

“That's not how it works.”

As Nassim Nicholas Taleb put it (quoted from memory), “Mainstream economists have this idea that the economy is like a machine. It's really more like a cat.”

“In 1990 I could run...”

I was an Amiga diehard. As late as 2005, I was running a web browser (among plenty of other stuff) in a graphical desktop from a 120 megabyte hard drive. And it booted in about 20 seconds.

Truly, Computers Are Broken (and We're All Going to Die).

Daniel Ream

I'll just leave this here.

As humans age, their neuroplasticity (and hence ability to absorb and process new information) declines precipitously. This is why children can pick up multiple languages easily but mature adults struggle.

It is common for software/hardware professionals who were once capable of easily absorbing any new innovation and of keeping the entirety of "the tech field" in their head to age out of this state and struggle with new concepts or paradigm shifts in the state of the art. When this happens, many such professionals demark any tech prior to that point in their lives as "good" and anything after as "bad", "unnecessary", "poorly designed", or "misguided". This is referred to, tongue-in-cheek, as "suffering from a terminal case of Stoll's Syndrome".

Pooklord

Sam Duncan

I stayed in the Queen Margaret Hall residences--I don't have the address handy, but I do remember you would walk through the botanical gardens, cross a busy intersection and go a couple more blocks, iirc, before turning left and going up a hill (?) to get to the main campus.

I really loved my time there. Maybe shouldn't have drunk so much, but it seemed every social occasion had lager and little glasses of whiskey. I recall one social event just for foreign students put on by some religious organisation and even it had trays of whiskeys.

[pours little glass of gin, loses present self in happy reverie, whilst reminding himself to stay from the italics]

David

whilst reminding himself to stay from the italics

[ Points to enormous, illuminated sign. ]

[ Resumes nonchalant wiping of bar. ]

pst314

This is referred to, tongue-in-cheek, as "suffering from a terminal case of Stoll's Syndrome".

My goodness, I haven't heard anything about/from Clifford Stoll since Silicon Snake Oil was published in 1995. I have no idea what he's been saying since then. What do you know?

I do vaguely recall his experiment comparing the reliability of snail mail vs. email, and it seems to me that email has become vastly more reliable in the intervening 25 years: in the few cases where an email was lost the sender received a message to that effect.

On the other hand, I do recognize that ebooks have some disadvantages (and with an infinite budget I would purchase both print and Kindle editions of most books) but ebooks have made more books available and have made it possible to quickly preview a book.

Karl

a 120 megabyte hard drive

Hard drive? Luxury. I 'ad a BBC Micro wi' cassette tapes!

Karl

BBC Micro

Casette tapes? We were lucky to have punched cards. And we 'ad to punch our own 'oles wi't tip of our noses.

David

Someone fetch Karl’s carer. He’s getting overexcited again.

Karl

Punched cards

Punched cards? We used to dream about punched cards. We 'ad stone tablets and a chisel.
And every afternoon, around about teatime, Moses used to come down from t'mountain and whip us to death.

Karl

But you try and tell the young programmers that today. They won't believe ya'!

Karl

Aye.

David

[ Fetches sedative darts, blowpipe. ]

Karl

😀

WTP

And a lowercase 'l' for a one...

https://dilbert.com/search_results?terms=We%20Didn%27t%20Have%20Zeros

Karl

Careful now!

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Bill Gates, self proclaimed expert in all things, amazed by a sewage treatment plant.

exdemocrat

Also culpable: pro bono lawyers at San Francisco law firms who made it impossible to prosecute and punish the criminally aggressive "homeless"."

very true. as i recall from my days in Big Law, this was largely driven by the firms' drive to recruit top law school talent by promising recruitees they could indulge their juvenile sense of social justice if they came aboard. all that 'pro bono' work was in fact fully paid for, of course: by the (padded) fees charged to its regular business clients.

Steve E

Careful now!

Yes. I've long believed that in a dark, air conditioned basement there's a lonely Commodore 64 with thousands of wires attached to it...and it's at the heart of everything.

TomJ

A chap I know designed a language the only uses blank characters.

No, really.

pst314

Punched cards? We used to dream about punched cards. We 'ad stone tablets and a chisel.

You had chisels?

fnord

After watching several clips of Marina Sirtis on ST panels I came to the conclusion that she was a nasty piece of work.

Same thought on Garrett Wang.

NateWhilk

My goodness, I haven't heard anything about/from Clifford Stoll since Silicon Snake Oil was published in 1995. I have no idea what he's been saying since then.

Not too long ago he did a few videos on the Numberphile channel, including this one one on the first fully electronic calculator. No microchips, just single transistors and other components. And an ingenious way to implement memory. https://youtu.be/2BIx2x-Q2fE?t=77

pst314

A chap I know designed a language the only uses blank characters.

What's next, a Klingon version of Cobol?

pst314

We were lucky to have punched cards.

That reminds me: I recently reread Arthur C. Clark's 1955 novel Earthlight. It mentions punched cards and paper tape, and yet it still reads well thanks to Clarke's skill.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Rare film of software development at Microsoft.

Karl

Klingon programming.

pst314

Klingon programming.

Karl, I am going to drag you into the Correction Booth--just as soon as I finish laughing.

Sam Duncan

“I stayed in the Queen Margaret Hall residences”

Oh, yes. I know the place. Over Kirklee way, next to Kelvinside Academy. They rebuilt it about 20 years ago, but a Queen Margaret Hall is still on the same spot. And your recollection of the route doesn't fail you. It really is a great area for walking. I've often said it has the air of a university town almost like Oxford, Cambridge, or St. Andrews (Durham, maybe?) that's been swallowed up by a great city.

Bad News Quillan

And an ingenious way to implement memory.
Posted by: NateWhilk

From George Dyson's fascinating book "Turing's Cathedral" on early computing:
"In March of 1953 there were 53 kilobytes of random access memory on planet Earth. [They] were unevenly distributed among [a] dozen machines...Each island in the archipelago constituted a universe unto itself."

These kilobytes were stored in, among other methods, "acoustic delay lines" consisting of ripples in 5 foot tanks of mercury.

The above is a condensed quote. The book is well worth reading,
about a rich and strange time.

--Bad News

NateWhilk

Klingon programming.

I remember seeing that on segfault.org. I actually found the page backed up in my archives, "last modified" 11/10/99! Here's the info: "Posted on Thu 28 Oct 06:40:21 1999 PDT Written by Martib Hepworth maxsec@usa.net"

NateWhilk

And yes, I am an old fogey.

pst314

NateWhilk, thanks for posting that, and thereby restoring credit to the originator. (I get very annoyed at people who post things without attribution.)

Daniel Ream

I have no idea what he's been saying since then. What do you know?

The magnitude of the self-own becomes apparent when you realize that the book claimed the Internet would not, and architecturally could not, be used for things it was actively being used for at the time of the book's publication.

To his credit, Stoll has been good-natured about the whole thing and freely admits he got just about everything wrong.

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