Category Archives: Mathematics

VirtualBox Problem

OK, I took previous advice and installed VirtualBox. It seems to work, but I want to mount a physical drive to it. It’s NTFS, and when I try to load the vmdk file for it, I get a permissions problem.

Failed to open the hard disk file /home/pat/VirtualBox VMs/Windows 8.1/VirtualBox\ VMs\ Windows\ 8.1.vmdk.

Permission problem accessing the file for the medium ‘/home/pat/VirtualBox VMs/Windows 8.1/VirtualBox\ VMs\ Windows\ 8.1.vmdk’ (VERR_ACCESS_DENIED).

Result Code: VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR (0x80BB0004)
Component: Medium
Interface: IMedium {05f2bbb6-a3a6-4fb9-9b49-6d0dda7142ac}
Callee: IVirtualBox {fafa4e17-1ee2-4905-a10e-fe7c18bf5554}

I’m running VB as a user, but a user doesn’t have permission to do a disk mount (also, the drive itself, when I mount it as admin, shows it owned and grouped as root, probably because it’s NTFS). The file itself is owned and grouped by the user. Any suggestions?

The Global Warming Consensus Claim

Two years later, it continues to not stand up to even the mildest scrutiny:

Consensus has no place in science. Academics agree on lots of things, but that does not make them true. Even so, agreement that climate change is real and human-caused does not tell us anything about how the risks of climate change weigh against the risks of climate policy. But in our age of pseudo-Enlightenment, having 97% of researchers on your side is a powerful rhetoric for marginalizing political opponents. All politics ends in failure, however. Chances are the opposition will gain power well before the climate problem is solved. Polarization works in the short run, but is counterproductive in the long run.

In their paper, Cook and colleagues argue that 97% of the relevant academic literature endorses that humans have contributed to observed climate change. This is unremarkable. It follows immediately from the 19th century research by Fourier, Tyndall and Arrhenius. In popular discourse, however, Cook’s finding is often misrepresented. The 97% refers to the number of papers, rather than the number of scientists. The alleged consensus is about any human role in climate change, rather than a dominant role, and it is about climate change rather than the dangers it might pose.

But other than that, it’s a compelling argument.

Yet the warm mongers continue to repeat it, because it fits the narrative.

[Update a while later]

Thoughts from Judith Curry on climate change, Ted Cruz, and “the Stupid Party.”

I agree with her that Cruz’s statements were actually quite reasonable.

[Update a while later]

Don’t ask how bad a paper has to be to get it retracted, ask how bad it can be and still be published.

Use of the “97%” number, at this point, is a sign of someone who is either a liar, or profoundly ignorant about the issues. In either case, such people should not be taken seriously.

Climate Activists

You people lost the scientific argument. Get over it:

Essex said that there seems to be a cultural shift and that scientific arguments have deteriorated. Individuals in society have moved away from “civilized dialogues in which people have a collegial attitude and work together to try to find the truth.” Essex characterized the pro-climate change philosophy as a form of sophistry, catering to popular opinion rather than being concerned with the truth.

You don’t say.

3-D Printing

Finally goes true 3-D.

It’s finally starting to feel like the 21st century.

[Update a while later]

Aaaaaannnd, self-flying cars by 2017?

Seems a little optimistic, but if we’re going to have flying cars, they’ll have to be self flying.

[Mid-morning update]

Aaaaand, molecular 3-D printers. The future is looking very interesting. Both in the conventional and the Chinese sense.

[Late-morning update]

Aaaaannnd, lab-grown chicken meat?

That would be huge breakthrough for both earth and space. I’d really like to see it for pork, though. Technically, would lab-grown pork be kosher? Or halal?

Windows Question

I have an old Windows 7 installation on an old drive, that I can no longer boot because I changed the motherboard (it’s an HP OEM). While I haven’t tried, I assume that if I take a new licensed installation disk of 8.1, I could recover and upgrade to the new hardware.

Question, if that is the case, is it possible to copy it to an SSD, but without the data, just the Windows installation and the software (I’ve already got data backed up elsewhere). If so, how?

Harder question: If I can do that, can I do it to a virtual machine? I know I can do a clean install on a VM, but I’d like to recover the existing software on the old OS.

[Update a while later]

Well, from what I’m seeing here, looks like it’s not really feasible. The only way to recover the old Windows (as opposed to install a new one) is to dual boot. But I’ll probably recover the machine anyway, just to see what’s on it, and if some of the licensed software (like Malwarebytes) can be migrated to the new one.

[Late-evening update]

Look, here is my conceptual idea.

1) I copy the old Windows drive, then delete data, to eliminate everything that isn’t software.
2) I create a virtual machine with a sized partition.
3) I somehow copy the Windows drive sans data to the virtual partition.
4) I then try to update from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 using my Windows install disk (full license, not OEM).
5) I then hook up the old data as a network drive, so I’m not putting data on the SSD.

That’s the top-level plan. I’m just not sure how possible it is. I think that Step (3) is where the miracle occurs. Step (5) is a problem if I can’t get Samba working, and if I can’t get it working between a virtual and physical machine.

Odds Of Survival

I’ve often (only half) joked that there are billions of people alive who have never died, so why should we consider it inevitable?

Well, someone has actually worked out the ratio. Hey, 7% odds of survival beats zero.

Mortality Hourglass

[Update a couple minutes later]

Speaking of which Peter Thiel seems to finally be getting serious about longevity, not only funding non-profit research, but actually investing in companies pursuing it.