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Thread: Stuff you just don't get.

  1. #4801
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    The heuristics in credit ratings always seem like "magic" to me.

    I work at a bank. One of the systems I deal with caches (remembers) CR results for a customer for some length of time. This is to avoid calling the rating service "too often" per customer as number-of-checks is itself one of the rating factors, and this could negatively affect the customer. (Many CR checks implies frequent lending attempts implies maybe attempts are getting rejected etc.)

    But if the systems calling the rating service are aware of the factors and use that knowledge to modify their own behaviour ... it all seems to get a bit observer effect to me.
    Measure once, cut twice. Practice makes perfect.

  2. #4802
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    I plug my phone into my laptop and the phone asks "Trust this computer?"

    As if I would plug my phone into the PC of some random stranger because I like living dangerously.

  3. #4803
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    I plug my phone into my laptop and the phone asks "Trust this computer?"

    As if I would plug my phone into the PC of some random stranger because I like living dangerously.
    Your phone doesn't know that. It doesn't know how week or strong your personality is, or how gullible you might be. You should be thankful for that!

    I, on the other hand, plug my phone into my computer and it says "Looks like the USB port isn't working." And here I thought USB-C was supposed to be reliable!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  4. #4804
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    I plug my phone into my laptop and the phone asks "Trust this computer?"

    As if I would plug my phone into the PC of some random stranger because I like living dangerously.
    Well, people* plug their phones into all sorts of devices just to charge them, and don't necessarily want that device to gain access to their photos and other personal data. Trusting a random device just to get a charge out of it potentially lays your phone open to "trustjacking" or "juicejacking", though I think those are just concepts demonstrated by ethical hackers, so far.

    *By which I mean, "people who are not me and probably not you either".

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  5. #4805
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    If I'd have a need to plug my phone into random stranger's USB ports for charging (which can be a valid case) I'd make sure to have a charge-only cable with me instead of a data cable. It would make it orders of magnitude more difficult for hackers. And those who can hack my phone through a charge-only cable, could likely far easier hack it via wifi or bluetooth.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  6. #4806
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Your phone doesn't know that. It doesn't know how week or strong your personality is, or how gullible you might be. You should be thankful for that! ...
    Oh, sure. And with your weak and gullible personality you'll probably lie to your phone anyway.
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  7. #4807
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Your phone doesn't know that. It doesn't know how week or strong your personality is, or how gullible you might be. You should be thankful for that!
    I'm so not thankful for that.
    I'm of an age, now, that seems to provoke salespeople in computer shops into tilting their heads to one side and asking, in a slow, clear, sing-song voice, if I'll need someone to visit my house to set up my newly-purchased tech for me. That's quite annoying enough, thank you, and I'd rather not have the tech itself doing the same thing. It's really just the latest iteration of Microsoft's Clippy The Talking Paperclip popping up to say, "Hello, it looks like you're incapable of finding your own bottom with either hand, a torch and a map. Would you like some help?"

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  8. #4808
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    Clippy might have been more popular if he'd talked with that nineties 'tude instead of being the Mr Soft Skill that he was.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  9. #4809
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    Clippy might have been more popular if he'd talked with that nineties 'tude instead of being the Mr Soft Skill that he was.
    Well, I had to look up what a "soft skill" is. My Google search was greeted with a People Also Ask:
    What are the 7 essential soft skills?
    What are the 12 soft skills?
    What are the 9 soft skills?
    What are 10 examples of soft skills?

    It seems that Matteson et al. might be right:
    ... the concept of soft skills lacks definition, scope, instrumentation, and systematic education and training.
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  10. #4810
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    Basically, it's any subject where your exam result depends on the professor rather than your answers. [/shots fired]
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  11. #4811
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    Basically, it's any subject where your exam result depends on the professor rather than your answers. [/shots fired]
    In medicine, we called them "non-technical skills". Mine were assessed yearly by a popular vote. Sorry, "360-degree appraisal process".

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  12. #4812
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    Yes, that smells very much like soft skills.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  13. #4813
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I'm so not thankful for that.
    I'm of an age, now, that seems to provoke salespeople in computer shops into tilting their heads to one side and asking, in a slow, clear, sing-song voice, if I'll need someone to visit my house to set up my newly-purchased tech for me. That's quite annoying enough, thank you, and I'd rather not have the tech itself doing the same thing. It's really just the latest iteration of Microsoft's Clippy The Talking Paperclip popping up to say, "Hello, it looks like you're incapable of finding your own bottom with either hand, a torch and a map. Would you like some help?"

    Grant Hutchison
    I totally understand that. It's like when young female store clerks call me "dear" or "sweetie". But the fact is the salespeople don't know you. They've learned, rightly or wrongly, that people of our generation often DO need that kind of help. Many of us don't. In fact, we pretty much created the world they're living in. Some of us. And some of us, didn't. Would you like to know how many times my wife asked for help with her computer and phone today? It's not her fault that she wasn't able to go to school beyond high school. And maybe it's my fault that I didn't do better at increasing her education the last 40 years. At least, unlike many others of our generation, she isn't fooled by much of the political stuff going on.
    Oh, and can anyone tell me why this dang computer often switches to the previous screen or something in a different window without being asked? My elderly brain would thank you.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  14. #4814
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I totally understand that. It's like when young female store clerks call me "dear" or "sweetie". But the fact is the salespeople don't know you. They've learned, rightly or wrongly, that people of our generation often DO need that kind of help.
    It's not the question I mind (they're obliged to try to sell their tech support to customers, after all), it's the default ageist assumption and the unconscious patronizing attitude that goes with it. The "soft skills" are poor, to use a phrase I've just learned.
    Just before the Current Unpleasantness I went tech shopping with a young friend who'd asked me to tag along for advice, because he was setting up a home cinema, which I'd just finished doing for myself, and he'd admired the result. When he'd settled on the stuff he wanted and collected all his cables, he went to place his order. The assistant said something to the effect of, "You're happy setting this up yourself? We offer a set-up service if you want it."
    But when I'd bought my stuff in the same shop, I was asked (and I quote), "Now, are you going to need our clever tech wizards to come and put all the bits together for you?"

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  15. #4815
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    I used to let pots and pans drip dry on the stove top. When the house burned, I apparently washed an iron skillet and some metal objects that weren't iron were left on top of the skillet. The non-iron items melted into a slab inside the iron skillet. Theoretically, either these items weren't the aluminum I thought they were or there was no oxygen in the house when they melted. I don't understand which.
    Last edited by Solfe; 2021-Oct-13 at 04:17 PM.
    Solfe

  16. #4816
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Theoretically, either these items weren't the aluminum I thought they were or there was no oxygen in the house when they melted. I don't understand which.
    I don't think I'm tracking that one. YouTube is full of videos of people melting aluminium items in steel containers in the open air.

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  17. #4817
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I used to let pots and pans drip dry on the stove top. When the house burned, I apparently washed an iron skillet and some metal objects that weren't iron were left on top of the skillet. The non-iron items melted into a slab inside the iron skillet. Theoretically, either these items weren't the aluminum I thought they were or there was no oxygen in the house when they melted. I don't understand which.
    Melting points:
    - Aluminum: 1221 F
    - Cast iron: 2200 F

    I've accidently melted aluminum pans in my ceramic grill.

  18. #4818
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    Melting points:
    - Aluminum: 1221 F
    - Cast iron: 2200 F

    I've accidently melted aluminum pans in my ceramic grill.
    I didn't know they were that far apart in melting points. 600 C vs. 1200 C is huge. I also don't get why my brain does Celsius for high temps and Fahrenheit for low temps. Weird.

    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I don't think I'm tracking that one. YouTube is full of videos of people melting aluminium items in steel containers in the open air.

    Grant Hutchison
    I don't get out much lately, not even to Youtube.
    Solfe

  19. #4819
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I don't get out much lately, not even to Youtube.
    Fair enough. I don't watch YouTube myself, except for searching up videos for specific reference purposes (like now). But my point was that aluminium melts quite cheerfully in the open air, in a steel container. So I wasn't tracking why you felt the only possible explanations were "not aluminium" or "no oxygen".

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  20. #4820
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    What does it take to get aluminum to burn?
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  21. #4821
    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I used to let pots and pans drip dry on the stove top. When the house burned, I apparently washed an iron skillet and some metal objects that weren't iron were left on top of the skillet. The non-iron items melted into a slab inside the iron skillet. Theoretically, either these items weren't the aluminum I thought they were or there was no oxygen in the house when they melted. I don't understand which.
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  22. #4822
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    What does it take to get aluminum to burn?
    A large surface area. Powdered aluminium burns quite nicely. Then again, so does powdered iron.

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  23. #4823
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    A large surface area. Powdered aluminium burns quite nicely. Then again, so does powdered iron.

    Grant Hutchison
    The Thermite reaction used to be quite well known, it was used to weld railway rails.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
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  24. #4824
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    The Thermite reaction used to be quite well known, it was used to weld railway rails.
    Used to be, my friend set off some homemade thermite in his basement. It did not go well.

    Oddly, this is a different friend than the guy who used his parent's coffee grinder to grind up Estes rocket motors.
    Solfe

  25. #4825
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Fair enough. I don't watch YouTube myself, except for searching up videos for specific reference purposes (like now). But my point was that aluminium melts quite cheerfully in the open air, in a steel container. So I wasn't tracking why you felt the only possible explanations were "not aluminium" or "no oxygen".

    Grant Hutchison
    I really was under the impression it couldn't be done due to oxygen. I've tried melting aluminium cans or tubes, but never an ingot of aluminium.

    I'm now fighting this battle with the number of I's in aluminum. When you spell it, it seems right. When I spell it, it seems right. I there is a song about this by BNL.
    Solfe

  26. #4826
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  27. #4827
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    A large surface area. Powdered aluminium burns quite nicely. Then again, so does powdered iron.

    Grant Hutchison
    Heck, the chemistry set i had at age 10 or so came with a sample of iron powder and instructions to sprinkle it onto a flame to see it burn.
    It also had an experiment that produced chlorine gas. Won't be seeing that one these days .
    Oh, and an oxy-acetyline torch cuts by literally burning steel.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  28. #4828
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Heck, the chemistry set i had at age 10 or so came with a sample of iron powder and instructions to sprinkle it onto a flame to see it burn.
    It also had an experiment that produced chlorine gas. Won't be seeing that one these days .
    Oh, and an oxy-acetyline torch cuts by literally burning steel.
    Yes, I got a pretty fancy chemistry set for my big Christmas present when I was eight or nine. Lot’s of chemicals and experiments, glass tubing, an alcohol burner, and so on. I heated and bent glass tubing, once I managed to give myself a good gash when I hadn’t heated enough, it broke and I got a shard in a finger. It took quite a long time to heal. It was also easy to buy a wide variety of chemicals and more glass tubing, rubber stoppers and so on at local hobby stores. I did quite a bit with my chemistry set over a few years. I kept it permanently set up in a work area. Back then, chemistry was my second biggest science interest behind astronomy. I didn’t go very far with chemistry when I got to the university though.

    Now, well, I saw a “chemistry” set some years back. No burner, I think all the chemicals were non toxic, and there weren’t many. I don’t think there was even glass. It looked like a joke. Plenty safe, no doubt, but virtually useless for education.

    And it’s much harder to buy extra equipment - might be used to make drugs, after all, and don’t expect to find a large selection of chemicals at a hobby store. I’ve read there are still ways to get a fairly wide number of chemicals and things you can use for equipment but you have to be careful that you don’t raise law enforcement suspicions with buying patterns (I’ve seen claims some types of unusual purchases are reported to law enforcement) or your house may be raided.

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  29. #4829
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    Even a substance that burns in normal air more easily than aluminum might still be able to melt instead of burning in a house fire. The local oxygen level tends to decrease because there's something else nearby using up the oxygen.

  30. #4830
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
    Even a substance that burns in normal air more easily than aluminum might still be able to melt instead of burning in a house fire. The local oxygen level tends to decrease because there's something else nearby using up the oxygen.
    Normal burning, including house fires, can get iron red hot at about 800 C. That will melt aluminium, tin, lead, and some bronzes but not copper (about 1200 C) or iron, even higher. The natural convection will bring in plenty of oxygen unless the fire is specially contained, as in a furnace. If you blow in extra air, charcoal (carbon) will heat up enough to melt copper or iron. Big enough natural fires can induce inward winds to raise the burning temperature, but that is exceptional. It is why we were stuck in the stone age so long!
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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