Posts by John Neale

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21) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Will SETI ever make it public if ET signals are detected (Message 1764597)
Posted 13 Feb 2016 by Profile John Neale
I can John, but it would mean naming individuals which I can't do on line for obvious reasons. If you want me to pm you privately with names let me know.

I don't want you to name individuals, and that isn't the evidence I was seeking. The only objective evidence that could verify your assertion is a list showing the number of new posters on all the SETI@home forums for the past few years, per country.
22) Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : LIGO detected gravitational waves at last! (Message 1764596)
Posted 13 Feb 2016 by Profile John Neale
"Theory determines what can be observed" Albert Einstein
Gravitational waves were predicted by him in 1916 and observed in 2016

I think the Nobel comittee have some trouble here.
François Englert and Peter W. Higgs got a Nobel Prize for finding the Higgs boson about 50 years after they proposed the mechanism why the most basic building blocks of the Universe have mass.
Now gravitational waves 100 years after it was predicted by Einstein is now at last observed.
Who will get the Nobel prize? Einstein again?

It won't be Einstein, since posthumous awards are not permitted by the statutes of the Nobel Foundation.
23) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Will SETI ever make it public if ET signals are detected (Message 1763997)
Posted 11 Feb 2016 by Profile John Neale
However the southern Hemisphere is without a receiver. (for Seti@home)

For now.
24) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Will SETI ever make it public if ET signals are detected (Message 1763885)
Posted 10 Feb 2016 by Profile John Neale
For some reason Seti had an unusual influx of new posters in 2015 from a large number of countries worldwide.

Chris, can you provide evidence for this assertion?
25) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Will SETI ever make it public if ET signals are detected (Message 1763884)
Posted 10 Feb 2016 by Profile John Neale may even be referred to documents where the project already states they will share all findings with the public...

I can help with that. Here's the project's statement, and here's the more general Wiki.
26) Message boards : Number crunching : Nvidia GPU WU's (Message 1763462)
Posted 8 Feb 2016 by Profile John Neale
Is there any indication when Nvidia GPU WU's will be available through the normal download process (vs. optimized apps) for the general population?



They already are

And the relevant applications are listed on the Applications page.

However ... (read the second sentence).
27) Message boards : Number crunching : Lunatics Windows Installer v0.44 - new release for v8 (required upgrade) (Message 1760289)
Posted 29 Jan 2016 by Profile John Neale
I have been running the Lunatics Intel GPU app here and the stock Intel GPU app on Beta, on an HD 4600, using the most recent driver (version, dated 4 August 2015), without encountering any problems at all.

Thanks John, good to know that version works as well - at least for SETI.

If it's working, I'd leave well alone: but technically speaking, it isn't the "most recent". Looking on the Intel web site, I found

Version: (Latest) Date: 12/11/2015

Unpacking the zip, the internal documentation describes it as

Release Version: Production Version Intel(R) Graphics Driver: Intel(R) Display Audio Driver: Package: 514951 Operating System(s): Microsoft Windows* 7 64-bit Microsoft Windows* 8.1 64-bit Release Date: November 30, 2015

(separate 32-bit versions, and versions for Windows 10, are also available. The discrepancy between download version numbers/dates and driver version numbers/dates continues to irritate me.)

This is not a recommendation to upgrade: more a reminder to myself that perhaps I ought to test it, both here and at Einstein, before the next installer release.

I certainly won't upgrade at the moment. Interestingly, if I do try and update the driver, Windows (I'm using v8.1) informs me that it is up to date, which is why I referred to it as "most recent". A more accurate description would have been "more recent".

While I have your attention, may I ask you two questions? You have some hardware that is similar to mine, so you may have some experience that I could benefit from.

1. I'm running one task at a time on my HD 4600 GPU, and the GPU utilisation typically runs at between 93 and 94 %. Do you think there'd be any mileage to be gained in running two tasks (MultiBeam and/or AstroPulse) simultaneously on this card?

2. I have a four-core Intel Core i5-4210M CPU which has a clock speed of 2.60 GHz. My machine is an HP ProBook laptop, so I'm throttling the CPU temperatures to a maximum of 75 °C with the TThrottle utility. I am not reserving a core for the GPU at any time (whether running MultiBeam or AstroPulse). I haven't done any testing, but I do observe that CPU utilisation by the GPU app is fairly low for both types of task. Should I consider reserving a CPU core, especially when running AstroPulse tasks?
28) Message boards : Number crunching : Lunatics Windows Installer v0.44 - new release for v8 (required upgrade) (Message 1759968)
Posted 28 Jan 2016 by Profile John Neale
Thanks, Grant - that's one I can cross off my list.

Intel GPU drivers:

The wording on the installer interface says (as Dirk has quoted accurately): at least driver

Drivers earlier than that (with a lower version number than 9.18.....) are OpenCL v1.1 only, and will not work. Later drivers (like the version ten that Dirk is already using) should work, but I don't own examples of every version of the Intel HD GPUs, and I don't spend time testing each new driver release. What I do is to find a stable driver for my hardware, and use that to test the new applications before releasing them.

If driver was working stably and giving validated results with the previous applications, I think we can say that the same driver will give equally good results with the updated applications: there's no need to change it. If, at some future date, the minimum driver requirement does need to change, I will try to make that clear on the installer interface, in the release notes posted here, and in the internal supplied documentation.

The installation notes for Intel drivers in general are supplied as a courtesy to volunteers setting up an Intel GPU based BOINC platform in general. Some people (including me) have found that Intel OpenCL drivers are not supplied by default on all new computers fitted with compatible GPUs: and/or, the Intel automatic installers fail and say (falsely) that compatible hardware is not present on some machines.

As the opening post in this thread also says:

Many people have reported problems getting Intel's automated update and installation tools to work, but their manual installation instructions (requiring the download of the '.zip' driver package) appear to work on systems which reject the automated tools. A copy of Intel's ReadMe file for driver installation will be placed in the Lunatics docs folder for reference if you select either of the iGPU applications.

I have been running the Lunatics Intel GPU app here and the stock Intel GPU app on Beta, on an HD 4600, using the most recent driver (version, dated 4 August 2015), without encountering any problems at all.
29) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Weather Forecasts VIII & Wintry Weather! (Message 1759625)
Posted 27 Jan 2016 by Profile John Neale
Here in Johannesburg, our summer rainfall pattern has returned to something approaching normal, after a very hot and dry November, December and early part of January. We recorded a temperature of 38.9 °C earlier this month.

Right now, it's a mild, partly sunny 24 °C, with a 40 % chance of thunderstorms predicted for later today.

However, I will be travelling to Outokumpu in eastern Finland over the weekend for a three-week long business trip, and that will be the end of summer for me for a while!
30) Message boards : Number crunching : Lunatics Windows Installer v0.44 - new release for v8 (required upgrade) (Message 1758528)
Posted 23 Jan 2016 by Profile John Neale
Google chrome automatically flags it as an unsafe site as it says there isn't enough downloads from it to verify that it is safe.

Just have to tell it to ignore that and download anyway.

I experienced that yesterday, too. I was the third download of the 64-bit version.
31) Message boards : Number crunching : Your kooky computers (Message 1757966)
Posted 21 Jan 2016 by Profile John Neale
Have you set "If no work for selected applications is available, accept work from other applications?" to "no" in your SETI@home preferences?
32) Message boards : Number crunching : v7 WUs "Validation pending" (Message 1757458)
Posted 19 Jan 2016 by Profile John Neale
I hope you're correct. As I said, this program has never been able to keep my GPUs busy, so I've always run CPU tasks to keep my multiple, multi-core CPU systems busy, and the stuff that has been showing as pending is now getting quite old, and represents hundreds of CPU hours. I would be highly disappointed to find out that work was all for not.

I've estimated the total run time for the 17-odd SETI@home v7 tasks on your three machines that are either pending or inconclusive, and it comes to about 12 hours of computing time.

They will eventually be validated, but it could take many weeks, months even, for the last few to be processed and cleared. (SETI@home v6 took from 24 July to 7 December 2013 to decrease from 16,903 to 0 outstanding results. The last 1,000 results took from 31 August 2013 to clear.)
33) Message boards : Politics : The state of the global economy (Message 1757322)
Posted 18 Jan 2016 by Profile John Neale
As the last century has taught us:

Unfettered Capitalism is bad.

Intelligently Regulated Capitalism, with Strong Unions, is less bad.

Marxist Economies are worse than Capitalism.

Since The Left's Solution to Capitalism is, and has always been. an abject failure (Substituting one Corrupt Power for another Corrupt Power)...

Any 'New' solutions?

How about a social market economy? It's not new, though.
34) Message boards : Politics : Republic or Democracy? (Message 1757317)
Posted 18 Jan 2016 by Profile John Neale
[Bringing this Thread back on track...]

The US Government, under The Constitution, is a Republic:


John Witherspoon, signer - “Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state – it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.”

Zephaniah Swift, author of America’s first legal text - “It may generally be remarked that the more a government resembles a pure democracy the more they abound with disorder and confusion.”

Benjamin Rush, signer - “ a simple democracy … is one of the greatest of evils.”

John Quincy Adams - “The experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived.”

Noah Webster - “In democracy … there are commonly tumults and disorders … Therefore a pure democracy is generally a very bad government. It is often the most tyrannical government on earth.”

James Madison - “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

John Adams - “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

Fisher Ames, author of the House language for the First Amendment - “A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will produce an eruption and carry desolation in their way. The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness which the ambitious call, and the ignorant believe to be liberty !! NOTE … look at today’s sexual freedoms.

Gouverneur Morris, signer and penman of the Constitution - “We have seen the tumult of democracy terminate … as [it has] everywhere terminated, in despotism … Democracy! savage and wild. Thou who wouldst bring down the virtuous and wise to the level of folly and guilt.”

Samuel Adams – “… it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds …”


As stated by the signers, we are governed by Rule of Law.


If democracy is disordered, confused, evil, unstable, fluctuating, short-lived, tumultuous, disordered, very bad, tyrannical, turbulent, contentious and licentious, why has it been one of the central tenets of the foreign policy of the United States for a very long time?
35) Message boards : Cafe SETI : This year is going by quickly! (Message 1755961)
Posted 13 Jan 2016 by Profile John Neale
Wow and all I ever relied on was my good looks.

And your famous spear, surely? ;)
36) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Legendary Artist David Bowie Dies at 69 (Message 1755632)
Posted 11 Jan 2016 by Profile John Neale
I drove home from work this afternoon with the car radio on full blast as the local radio station played Heroes followed by Starman, in an unscheduled and impromptu tribute to David Bowie. I needed windscreen wipers for my eyes.

David Bowie was one of the most innovative musical geniuses of all time. RIP, Mr Bowie.
37) Message boards : Politics : Another Mass Shooting in the U.S.A. (Message 1751383)
Posted 23 Dec 2015 by Profile John Neale
I am an outsider, but there's something that I just can't get my head around.

On the one hand, from what I observe - for example, by watching the Republican presidential debates - American political discourse (in some quarters, at least) seems to be dominated by the apparent threat of "Islamic fundamentalist jihadist terrorism" on American soil. The recent attack in California stands out as an example. Several politicians are calling for drastic measures to combat this perceived threat, with at least one calling for a ban on all Muslims from entering the USA.

On the other hand, again from what I observe, America is (and has been, for some time) suffering from fairly regular "mass shootings" that are in no way related to terrorism (although there have been some cases that are considered terrorism, but are not perpetrated by "Islamic fundamentalist jihadists") - attacks on abortion clinics spring to mind, as do some others that seem to have been perpetrated by mentally unsound individuals who gained access to deadly weapons. There have been a number of highly publicised cases of mass killings in the very recent past. My observation is that the numbers of people killed (and injured) in mass killings not related to "Islamic fundamentalist jihadist terrorism" exceeds by far the number of those killed and injured by "Islam-related" terrorism.

I also observe that those politicians who are calling the loudest for the Islamic terrorism threat to be dealt with, are also generally those who support America's current gun laws.

If my observations are correct, why aren't the Republican presidential debates being dominated by a discussion around ways to curb the spiraling incidence of non-Islamic-related mass killings that is afflicting the USA?

(Apologies for any spelling deficiencies; here in the former British colony of South Africa, our spelling of English is closely aligned with that used in the United Kingdom.)
38) Message boards : Politics : "Evil is Evil" (Message 1747627)
Posted 8 Dec 2015 by Profile John Neale
This subject is dealt with in exquisite allegory in Sir William Golding's novel, Lord of the Flies, published in 1954.

A few quotes that touch on this subject:

Civilization is hideously fragile... there’s not much between us and the Horrors underneath, just about a coat of varnish. -C.P. Snow

Civilization: a thin veneer over barbarianism. -John M. Shanahan

And my favourite:

There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages. -Mark Twain, Following the Equator
39) Message boards : Politics : existance of god (Message 1736394)
Posted 23 Oct 2015 by Profile John Neale

Or if you have a hard time with this...


...if one were able to understand the concept at all...


...never once having the wit to understand...


Once one understands...


One can only know God ... when one can reason...

So, practically speaking (and I'm an engineer, so I deal in nuts and bolts rather than abstract linguistic gymnastics), what use is any god if, as I suggest, around 98 % of human beings who have ever existed have not had the capacity, by your hurdle, to "know God"?
40) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Scammer Alert!!! Phone number 99999423575 (Message 1734853)
Posted 17 Oct 2015 by Profile John Neale
I've had such calls from "Microsoft in Calcutta" on a few occasions. (Yes, they even track us down here in southern Africa.) For amusement, I play along with them, pretending to be (and sounding like) a complete idiot. I pretend to be doing what they ask me to on my computer, deliberately taking a few wrong turns and making them go back to repeat some of the steps (just to rile them up and waste a bit more of their time). Once I've been suitably amused, I will typically drop the idiot act, inform them that they've been had, and that they're a bunch of #$%&@!* criminals. This usually leads to a shouting match, and I try to end the call when the caller is in mid-rant!

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