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Comment: Everybody skips the interesting bits (Score 4, Interesting) 296

by HangingChad (#47375241) Attached to: Site of 1976 "Atomic Man" Accident To Be Cleaned

Not only did Harold get a dose that was way beyond the LD50 for humans, he lived for 11 more years and died of unrelated causes. His pastor had to convince people he was safe to be around.

Harold was far from the only Tri-Cities nuclear celebrity. There were also stories about guys who would drop their pants and squat over reactor vents until their balls got a little burned. Think of it like a nuclear vasectomy. I never documented any of those stories but there were a lot of them and worse.

One thing I did personally document was that, adjusted for age, the cancer rate for people who worked at Hanford was not statistically higher than that of the general population.

I achieved my own personal notoriety there by accidentally leaving my dosimeter in my shaving kit and leaving that on an orange Fiestaware platter that was so hot it would light up a pancake meter on three scales. A few weeks later I get a panic call from Rad Services asking if I'm okay. Hehe. God, I hated that place.

Comment: Bigger than a tiny house (Score 4, Insightful) 118

by HangingChad (#47372091) Attached to: Chinese Company '3D-Prints' 10 Buildings In One Day

Those structures are bigger and sturdier than a tiny house with the added advantage of being made from recycled building materials.

The real question is structural strength and integrity and what agents are they using to make the mix dry fast. The Chinese could be using some nasty chemicals that wouldn't fly in building materials over here (Chinese drywall anyone?).

Still, if the units end up being even roughly equivalent to poured concrete, I could see living in a printed house, no problem.

Comment: Re: Sue them for all they're worth (Score 1) 495

by ScrewMaster (#47369997) Attached to: Microsoft Takes Down No-IP.com Domains
Actually, I read that the proceedings were _ex-parte_ ... No-IP wasn't even informed that there were any proceedings. Consequently they had zero chance to defend against this forfeiture. And that's exactly how Microsoft wanted it. There's more going on here than malware. My guess is that Microsoft's big media buddies want to use Microsoft as a front for domain seizures under cover of "protecting the public", without having to get their hands dirty or take any PR hits.

Comment: Not news for anyone in the business (Score 1) 121

by HangingChad (#47360575) Attached to: Happy Software Developers Solve Problems Better

Talk about a headline from the No Screaming Shit Department, of course happier programmers are going to do a better job. There's no motivation to do your job well when you're miserable. That's why the team dynamics are more important than individual skill. I've seen one hot-shot programmer with great coding skills and horrendous personal skills totally undermine the team dynamic. No amount of skill makes up for being an arrogant ass.

Comment: Re:Malice? more like incompetence... (Score 1) 495

by danheskett (#47357965) Attached to: Microsoft Takes Down No-IP.com Domains

Agree this is extremely sloppy. In fact, it's tempting to take the motion, replace the parties, and file it against Microsoft against some unsuspecting judge, with regardings to the next broken update that Microsoft pushes down the wire to Windows or Office. It is functionally identical to the claims they make and demonstrate.

It's also just not true. There is no irreparable harm that justifies exigency, the ex parte motion making, or the TRO. The harm is of course reparable. There is nothing stating why it had to be granted today. No real reason.

Comment: About time (Score 2, Insightful) 276

by HangingChad (#47310555) Attached to: Federal Judge Rules US No-fly List Violates Constitution

It's okay having a no fly list but not having a way to appeal being on it is an abomination. The irony is that sometimes actual terrorists are allowed to fly so they don't get tipped off the US is watching them. That's downright brilliant there. If the US is going to ban someone from traveling, they need to admit it and provide an appeals process.

Comment: Re:Should the US government censor political blogs (Score 1) 308

by danheskett (#47298983) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Lawrence Lessig About His Mayday PAC

The people arguing about disproportionate influence are doing a bad job. Disproportionate influence is poorly stated way of saying "disproportionate access". People with lots of money have additional access to the levers of influence than others. You can still have idiots like Karl Rove and his "maths" spending a quarter billion dollars and still loosing badly. And you can still have idiot billionaires like Zukerburg and Murdoch trying to reform immigration, despite it's overall unpopularity.

Comment: Re:Should the US government censor political blogs (Score 1) 308

by danheskett (#47298959) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Lawrence Lessig About His Mayday PAC

In your theory, the tort is not that you can't donate to Democrats, it's that you can donate to Republicans. It's a clear cut equal protection clause. The government must have a compelling state interest in regulating the donation to Democrats but not Republicans, otherwise, it fails equal protection and is unconstitutional.

It is not a 1st amendment issue either under current law or any previous interpretation of it.

Comment: This is what a right is (Score 5, Insightful) 128

by danheskett (#47296269) Attached to: Prisoners Freed After Cops Struggle With New Records Software

I see this is an unmitigated good thing. Accused of a violent crime or not, we are all endowed with the right, recognized and protected by the Constitution, to due process, and a speedy trial.

IT problems don't abridge that right. Police officers having a tough day don't abridge that right. The learning curve doesn't abridge that.

Comment: Useful Technology (Score 5, Interesting) 99

by HangingChad (#47280017) Attached to: Smartphones To Monitor Schizophrenics

As someone who used to answer the 911 psych calls for our volunteer FD in a rural area, a voluntary app like this could be really useful. Where we lived back then first responders were the only regular checks a lot of the psych cases ever got. By the time someone called 911, they were way off the sanity reservation. Then law enforcement got involved and packed them off to primary care. They'd stabilize on their meds, the hospital would cut them loose because they didn't have insurance, sometimes with a couple days worth of meds, and we'd start the cycle all over again. Anything that would alert medical personnel that someone was having a problem and find a way to get them some help before we got a call that they were chasing cows around in the pasture bare ass naked would be a good thing.

I learned that rural areas are full of crazy people because the cost of living is lower and they could be crazy and not bother as many people. It was kind of surprising to find out how many of our neighbors were genuinely, seriously out there howling at the moon loony tunes (technical medical jargon).

Comment: Re:Laws of Physics have become Heresy? (Score 1) 649

by Alsee (#47274709) Attached to: Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

you think we should ban a classroom discussion of the 2nd Law?

I think it should be MANDATORY to teach the 2nd law of thermodynamics in any physics education. I wish your teachers had been more clear on it. Your notion of the 2nd law is clearly flawed or incomplete, as it would prohibit the natural formation of highly ordered snowflakes from chaotic water vapor, as well as prohibiting countless other common physical processes.

The 2nd law of thermodynamics says that the total entropy of a closed system tends to increase, with overwhelming probability. It does not apply to any system subject to a flow of energy an outside source. It not prohibit one location or object in a system from increasing in order while other objects/locations in that system have an equal or larger increase in disorder.

The earth is receiving energy from the sun. The enormous entropy increase within the sun easily "pays for" the ongoing creation of order and complexity here on earth. So long as the sun shines, that energy flow can and does fuel natural self-organizing physical processes. You can see this in snowflake formation, the self-organization of hurricanes, the development of an individual organism, as well as the genetic evolution of a population. There is no violation of the 2nd law here. The sun's energy input pays for, fuels, these self-organizing natural processes.

What branch of Science did you say you were from?

Computer science, with an active interest in physics and science in general. Computer science deals extensively with Information Theory, the ways that information can measured, processed, transformed, and CREATED. Evolution is not merely a "theory", it is an applied science. Evolutionary Algorithms is a field of computer science where complex, ordered, useful, problem-solving information is CREATED by replication with mutation and natural selection of "digital-DNA". I have personally witnessed the fact that evolution can and does create complex useful new information. It is an applied science put to active use in one way or another by a majority Fortune 500 companies. It is quite common for evolution to create designs better than the best "Intelligent Designs" by human engineers. One particular case comes to mind of one team that applied evolution to jet engine design, which evolved an engine more fuel efficient than any human engineer had ever been able to achieve. And there is at least one company solely dedicated to filing patents on valuable innovations generated via evolution.

Here is a grossly oversimplified illustration. Roll one hundred dice. The chances of them all coming up 6 is effectively zero. Now apply evolution. Take that random result and REPLICATE it, and lets apply one MUTATION re-rolling one random die. Now SELECT (keep) the set with the higher total, and kill (discard) the set with the lower or equal total. After approximately 3000 replication-selection steps you will have a perfect set of all 6's.

This process works even when you do not have a pre-determined target. All it requires to work is that you have some means of measuring which set of DNA is "better" or "worse" than another. Evolution will generate whatever information is required to satisfy the selection criteria.

But as I said, that was a grossly oversimplified example. Evolution's power to generate information is exponentially increased when there is a population with sexual reproduction (genetic recombination). This has been mathematically proven by the Schemata Theorem (J. Holland 1975). I won't attempt to explain it here, but a Google search on schemata theorem turns up 122,000 results. It is a seminal paper, widely cited by subsequent scientific work in mathematics and computer science and biological evolution. It mathematically proves a major principal whereby population evolution is almost infinitely more powerful than the trivial dice example I gave above.

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Comment: Re:Laws of Physics have become Heresy? (Score 1) 649

by Alsee (#47271809) Attached to: Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

Oh joy, an "engineer" who doesn't have the faintest clue what the fuck the 2nd law of thermodynamics says, and doesn't seem to have much grasp of anything else in science either. I sure as hell hope you don't "engineer" anything safety-critical.

Now the 2nd law of thermodynamics says: "All natural systems (e.g. nature) progresses from a state of order (creations) to a state of chaos (puddle of mud)".

Riiiiiight.... that's what it says..... which also means snow is impossible because chaotic water molecules in the air cannot self-organize into beautiful complex highly ordered snowflakes.

Jeremy Connell Ministries: Snow, it doesn't exist.

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