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Ketil Malde
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There must be some important reason why Google insists on polluting my calendar with the birthdays of everybody I "know" in Google+.  I understand that this is a convenient feature, but who decided that the checkbox to include "Birthdays" should be grayed out, and thus impossible to uncheck?

The only function this checkbox now serves is to emphasize the fact that I don't control my calendars, Google does - and of course, that Google is willing and able to use this power.  Makes you wonder how Google managed to culture the perception that they hire /smart/ people.

I have more or less dropped out of G+, partly due to  flow of inconveniences caused by interface "improvements", but apparently, I need to delete my profile and/or remove people from my circles to keep using my calendar in peace.  Sigh.

Not being evil isn't sufficient, I'm afraid.

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XKCD is just amazing, sometimes.  Where does he get the ideas?  So, for interracial marriages, legislation was 40-50 years ahead of the population, for same-sex marriage, it is now trailing the population.

How did that happen?

It'll be interesting to see how Apple Pay works out.  Apparently, they are locking down the NFC chip to only this app (so apparently touching your phone to your headphones to connect is a luxury Apple won't offer their customers - yet, at least), so they want to keep things proprietary.

I always thought NFC and payments was a huge missed opportunity for Google, PayPal, and Samsung - they could have owned transactions by now, and provided privacy, security and accountability.  Perhaps the real question is whether Apple Pay will be available for other platforms as well?  I.e. is this just another feature to sell phones, or is Apple wanting to take over the - for lack of a better word - payment industry on a larger scale?

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Congratulations, Europe!  Clearly, no challenge is too big for this proud collaboration of nations. (Given, of course, that the Americans have done it already, twenty years earlier.)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/08/22/galileo_is_go_european_gps_system_will_go_live_for_all_promised_for_2017/

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"Electric bacteria, however, have done away with sugary middlemen."

So they don't have the Krebs cycle?  Or maybe somebody should consider a name change to "I fucking love virtual quantum plasma"?  Is there a non-kindergarten description of what this is about?

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This is remarkable, IMHO.

Issuing a “warning” – such as Israel’s so-called roof knocking technique, or sending an SMS five minutes before the attack – does not mitigate this: it remains illegal to wilfully attack a civilian home without a demonstration of military necessity as it amounts to a violation of the principle of proportionality. Moreover, not only are these “warnings” generally ineffective, and can even result in further fatalities, they appear to be a pre-fabricated excuse by Israel to portray people who remain in their homes as “human shields.”

So international law experts and the UN is condemning the warning of civilians of imminent attacks.  Would they seriously suggest Israel change this practice?

I'd also be interested in numbers to back up that it is not effective.  AFAICT, there's roughly one deaths for each ten Isreali strikes.  Seems to me that either Israel is striking very, very few houses or densely populated area, or the Gazans are good at avoiding the bombs.  How does this compare to e.g. the NATO/US bombing of Baghdad?

What's up with the civilian men killed in Gaza?

Looking at the numbers, there are now about 300 killed, one site claimed 71 children and 25 women.  UN says 75% (or sometimes 80) civilians among the dead.  Now, looking at the numbers, median age is 15, so we can work out the probabilities of getting killed.  Assuming two million inhabitants, and 50/25/25 for children, women, and men:

 * children: 71/1M ~ 0.007%
 * women: 25/0.5M ~ 0.005%
 * men: 200/0.5M ~ 0.040%

So if you're a man, the probability of being killed is eight times higher than for women.  We don't know the proportion of militants in the population, but assuming the 25% non-civilians are all men, we can subtract them, and get:

 * civilian men: 125/0.5M ~ 0.025

Still five times higher.  So what gives?  I can think of a few hypotheses, but I'll let you suggest some - please also link to evidence for or against.

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I could swear this table says that in fifteen years, Apophis - an asteroid big enough to have a name - will pass by us within a tenth of the distance between us and the moon.  Which I make out to be roughly in the orbit of geostationary satellites.

Somebody please tell me that I'm wrong?

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With an API and everything, surely there's some alternative/native client software for G+?  Google's web interface is pretty horrid, and I'm just tired trying to band-aid it into readability with CSS, and there's really no way I can fix the fucked-up ordering of posts or effectively search content or anything. I'm tempted to just give it up - but there's some interesting people posting and discussing a lot of good stuff. I would have bet good money that there would at least be a client for Emacs, but a quick Google didn't show up anything useful.  Suggestions?

https://developers.google.com/+/api/

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Noen andre som får assosiasjoner til da amerikanerne forlot Saigon?
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