Richard_Kennaway

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Multimodal Neurons in Artificial Neural Networks

They also document the fact that the multimodality allows for "typographic attacks", where labeling an item with a particular text causes the network to misclassify the item as an instance of the text.

"These are not the droids you are looking for."

Tap Water and Filtration

I think the main difference between UK and US hot water systems is the pressure. They both involve pre-heating a tank. In the UK it's common for the hot water tank to be at atmospheric pressure, so the pressure at your hot taps is from the height of the tank above them. In the US, the hot water system is more usually sealed and at mains pressure.

Why aren't we all using Taffix?

I notice that Taffix is no longer available on Amazon co uk. It's still available on eBay co uk for around twice what it was on Amazon.

Why aren't we all using Taffix?

As far as I can make out from internet browsing, the ingredient that does the work is hypromellose (short for hydroxypropyl methylcellulose). It's a cellulose compound whose powder, in humid conditions, takes up water and turns into a gel. This gel on the inside of your nose forms a barrier against infection.

I am not a chemist, pharmacist, or doctor, but here are my best guesses for the functions of the other ingredients. Benzalkonium chloride is a surfactant, which might help the hypro form a gel layer, and also an antimicrobial agent. I do not know if it would affect viruses. Citric acid + sodium citrate might be a buffer against pH changes. Or perhaps an anti-caking agent. I would guess that the menthol is to give a pleasant sensation, and so you can "feel it working".

Being in the UK I can order Taffix from Amazon co uk, though I'm not sure I will, as there appears to be a far cheaper product that does the same thing. That is "Nasaleze Cold & Flu Blocker", which is also mainly hypromellose. Another hypromellose product is "Vicks First Defence Nasal Spray". Those products make no mention of Covid, so it's possible that the Very Serious People have not yet noticed that they should be stopping people from buying them. There is also "Nasaleze Travel – Germ and Virus Prevention", but I can't see how it differs from the other Nasaleze. Same price, same ingredients.

Prices: As of today, Taffix is £51.99 for 1000mg. Nasaleze Cold & Flu Blocker is £8.95 for 800mg, less than a quarter the price of Taffix. The Vicks is a liquid, not a powder, but the price is £6 for 15ml of 1% hypro = 150mg, more than three times the cost of Nasaleze. Given that these are all basically the same thing, it looks like what you're paying extra for with Taffix is the field-testing against Covid. As for how many doses these represent, the Nasaleze says that the 800mg bottle is 30 days supply, but that would depend on how often you use it.

Obviously, these only protect against infection through the nasal tissues, and do not affect the result of breathing viruses into the lungs. I have not seen any information about which route is more important.

I have ordered the Nasaleze; it should arrive tomorrow.

How can I protect my bank account from large, surprise withdrawals?

That depends on your deal. My roaming arrangement is capped at so many GB per week. If it looks like I'll need more, I buy more as I need it. No bad surprises.

No bad surprises. A principle not only for money, but for life.

What's your best alternate history utopia?

The ancient Greeks also had sailing ships, metallurgy, and even steam engines of a sort.

More generally, one can always look at the past and find reasons for how things were. That does not demonstrate that they could not have been otherwise. One can also look at the present and find reasons for how things are. But there have always been those who have seen how things might be different, and made them happen.

How can I protect my bank account from large, surprise withdrawals?

This is why I only use automatic charging for things where I can reliably know the general magnitude in advance.

Automatic: subscriptions (to magazines, software, Patreons, etc.), my mobile phone (for which the flat rate usually covers my entire usage), my ISP (another flat rate).

They bill me then I pay them: utility bills, credit cards.

I don't find it an inconvenience to make the manual payments. On the contrary, it is helpful to me to have this regular contact with what I am spending.

Open & Welcome Thread – February 2021

A rock. A question. A command. A mistake. A dream. "2+2=4" spoken by a zombie. The output of GPT-3. Simulacrum level 4. The fit of water to a puddle. The peacock's tail.

What's your best alternate history utopia?

One Eliezer, a member of an obscure tribe in the Middle East, found himself dissatisfied with all religion, and especially that of his own people. He pondered deeply over the question of how to attain real knowledge of the world, and wandered through many countries observing how such things proceeded there. Eventually, having arrived at tried and tested conclusions about what methods systematically lead towards truth, he fetched up in ancient Greece in the time of the great philosophers. Here, it seemed, there might be some few people capable of understanding what he had discovered. He was successful in persuading them to take seriously the idea of working with their own hands to experiment and observe, to "entangle themselves with the world", and got SCIENCE!! started two thousand years earlier.

According to Plutarch in "The Obsolescence of Oracles", when Eliezer visited the oracle at Delphi it prophesied, "HE IS HERE. THE ONE WHO WILL TEAR APART THE VERY STARS IN HEAVEN. HE IS HERE. HE IS THE END OF THE WORLD." The oracle never spoke again.

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