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Comment: Re:Kill SLS (Score 1) 129

by Areyoukiddingme (#47540059) Attached to: SLS Project Coming Up $400 Million Short

...and the recent annoucement of layoffs there does not bode well.

It bodes quite well. It was the end of a review period and it was less than 5% of the work force. Specifically, the ones who really weren't cutting it. SpaceX has stated they expect to end the year with a 20% increase in head count, even after this week's trimming. In other words, they're choosy about who works for them. Not especially news. They wouldn't be doing what they're doing if their hiring practices worked any other way.

Comment: Re:wat (Score 1) 224

by Areyoukiddingme (#47539703) Attached to: Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists

Sigh... Sometimes I don't know why I bother posting on /. anymore.

Probably because you're a bloviating idiot who thought the death blow of your argument was 1/3, which is rational. Yes, I CAN produce a formula which is precisely and exactly pi: C/D. Having an infinite number of decimal digits does not make pi infinite. Represent it any of several other ways and no infinite series appears.

I suggest you listen to and watch a musician's description.

I'll be here waiting so you can prove me wrong.

Done and done.

Comment: Re:I still don't get it. (Score 2) 224

by Areyoukiddingme (#47527217) Attached to: Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists

Why is everyone so uncomfortable with the idea that something can be lost forever?

Because no one has figured out how to get the equations of quantum mechanics to work in only one direction without breaking them. And those equations are on really solid ground at this point, or your CPU wouldn't work.

If we're exceptionally lucky, rationalizing quantum mechanics and general relativity will finally reveal what time is and why everything in the universe appears to only proceed in one 'direction' in time. Don't hold your breath though. It's going to take a very strange kind of mind to figure that out, and such minds that are still in contact with reality are difficult to come by.

It just strikes me as fatuous and arrogant that humans think the universe has to work a certain rational, logical, way...

The equations of quantum mechanics work really well. The equations of relativity work really well. Plug either into the other and you get nonsense.

Anybody paying attention could conclude the universe doesn't work in a certain rational logical way.

Comment: Re:wat (Score 1) 224

by Areyoukiddingme (#47527081) Attached to: Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists

They certainly do! It's just not something you can model perfectly. And just because we can't create a perfect model - or completely understand a thing or concept doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

You got that backwards. A perfect circle is perfectly described with pi, which is irrational, not infinite. It's something you can model perfectly, because you can use this creature called pi in your equation, but it's not something you can manufacture perfectly since even if you're capable of Planck-scale manufacturing, you can't do sub-Planck-scale manufacturing, and there ends your quest for perfection.

Generally speaking the models are much more perfect than reality.

Comment: Re:Local testing works? (Score 1) 777

I'm your shareholder. And I have a zero tolerance for drunk bozos who drive the company into the ground that I own.

Oh what a wonderful fantasy world you live in. Where is this mythical responsible shareholder holding the feet of executives to the fire?


Fund managers are the only shareholders that get a seat at the table. YOU are not invited. YOU won't make it through the door, with your 150 shares. YOU would be mistaken for the hired help if you dared show up, and told to bring the coffee, because you're obviously not wearing a $3000 suit.

Meanwhile those wearing those suits are very best buds with the executives you would like to dismiss. They all went to the same schools together. They all played on the same sports teams together. They all raped the same cheerleaders together. It's a tight little club, and you aren't in it, so your opinion of executive performance amounts to a hill of beans.

Comment: Re: Black box data streaming (Score 1) 503

by Areyoukiddingme (#47487523) Attached to: Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

There are now reports of monitored chatter among the separatists where they figured out it was civilian instead of military after the shoot down.

Yup. And you can listen to it yourself here, complete with subtitles.

Slashdot readers who speak English and Russian are invited to comment on the quality of the translation.

Comment: Re:Why fly over a war zone? (Score 1) 752

by Areyoukiddingme (#47478007) Attached to: Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

So why do all the media call the SU-25 a fighter? Maybe it's just standard incompetence and ignorance, but you should always ask "cui bono?"

I'm going with standard ignorance and incompetence on this one. SU-27 is just too much like SU-25. Editing is haaaard.</whine> Witness the valiant (and consistently failed efforts) of our very own Slashdot editors.

Comment: Re:Slew of missing business applications (Score 1) 171

by Areyoukiddingme (#47472081) Attached to: Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

So there is no way that guest can use these systems to make requests, people still have to call the front desk to get more towels. Guests have no way of knowing about other services the hotel is offering.

Be careful what you wish for. If any one of those companies you named latches on to that idea, they'll create an app that interfaces with their system. And it will demand access to EVERYTHING in your phone, watch everything you do, spam the shit out of your entire contact list, and otherwise do its best to make the NSA look as benign as a curious neighbor.

Likewise for the app they don't just provide to the maid, but demand the maid install.


Comment: Re:Slew of missing business applications (Score 1) 171

by Areyoukiddingme (#47472001) Attached to: Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

All joking aside - I think you've accidentally mentioned the type of app that WOULD sell. If someone out there makes a male masturbation app I'm pretty sure they'll make a killing.

Judging by random photographs I've seen on the web, they exist. Of course they don't get approved for Google Play, but a determined Android device owner can go off the reservation and find something.

iOS users are, of course, out of luck.

Comment: Re:9. During huricane disaster = mega fail (Score 1) 171

by Areyoukiddingme (#47471995) Attached to: Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

Yeah id like to see 1000000 phones die, on day 5 of a major weather event

One assumes that if the device is still in the possession of its original owner, who installed that app in the first place, that they'll remember to disable it around the 4th day.

And if they don't, they get what they deserve. Security has its price.

Comment: Re:Wish I could say I was surprised (Score 1) 178

by Areyoukiddingme (#47443713) Attached to: Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted

...reproducing others' work is akin to re-writing a new software project - in software dev, it's a losing game.

Is it? Because this happens all the time, for both commercial and open source software. Especially in open source. Somebody gets a bug up their butt and decides to reimplement, from scratch, a duplicate of some perfectly usable, functional software. Because they didn't like the language it was written in. Or they didn't like the style it was written in. They want a functional implementation, not object oriented. Or whatever. It's rampant.

The analog when it comes to scientific studies would be to reproduce a result not to follow a procedure. Any scientist worthy of the chair he's holding down should have a deep enough understanding of his field to come up with a way to reproduce a particular result using a different approach. I think this should serve both purposes: it validates the result, and the process followed, being different, should qualify for publication in its own right. It should be obvious that such an approach is considerably more valuable than "do the same thing over again."

If that isn't possible, either scientists aren't thinking creatively enough, or the analogy is actually fairly poor.

Comment: Re:Thanks for the detail (Score 1) 389

by Areyoukiddingme (#47435955) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

Feasibility is debatable, but you've moved the needle. Certainly, if you happen to be in the middle of the wilderness where natural gas isn't available, batteries could be considered feasible in those conditions at least.

I said feasible. I never said reasonable. Not at current prices and current average incomes. But that wasn't what I was debating. I was debating the assertion that solar can not be base load source for everything, when clearly it can. Physics doesn't prevent it. Manufacturing doesn't prevent it. Finance only makes it difficult, not impossible, and it's actually not totally out of the realm of possibility even now. People, perhaps inadvisably, pay considerably more for a car than it would cost to equip their house with 5 days of battery backup. The purchasing power is certainly there for a large fraction of the population, or SUVs would cost a lot less. And everything I referenced when calculating actual prices and capacities is an off-the-shelf product. No lab vaporware required.

I never claimed pumped storage was necessary or even desirable. I'm not sure who did. I hadn't seen any such claim before this discussion.

Flood calculators are popular for visualizing the effects of sea level rise, so I wouldn't be surprised if you've played with one written in Javascript on a page that talks about "if sea level rose 6 inches, it would flood ...."

I haven't, no. I believe the more lurid tales of possible climate change consequences are nothing more than marketing of the "if it bleeds, it leads" variety. Bullshit, in other words. No reputable model predicts catastrophic anything, and for more than a decade now they've all predicted temperatures that are too warm compared to what the actual temperature now is.

No, photovoltaics and battery backups interest me for a much more important reason: energy independence. REAL energy independence, not some bogus "the nation is energy independent" irrelevance. I'm talking about personal energy independence. It's physically possible right now. Financially, it's iffy. If you get lucky and operational lifespans of the equipment you buy are on the high end of what's possible, you can pay off a current system and enjoy several years of zero power bills. Truly zero, with neither a utility bill nor a payment on capital equipment. As the equipment gets better and the price gets lower, that period extends longer and longer, and no longer requires you to get lucky with lifespans. There will come a time when it's a virtual certainty that I can achieve true independence, and maintain it indefinitely. That's when I pull the trigger (personal finances permitting) and get a pallet and a half of solar panels and a pallet of batteries delivered.

I predict it will happen before the decade is out, thanks largely to the efforts of Elon Musk.

Comment: Re:Thanks for the detail (Score 1) 389

by Areyoukiddingme (#47431719) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

From your reported power usage, it sounds like you're probably single. If the rest of your figures are correct, we'd have roughly a refrigerator-sized stack of batteries per person. Inverters are 0% efficient at no load (they waste 20 watts idling) to 90% at full load, so figure around 75% average efficiency, so 16-18 batteries per person rather than 12. Batteries lose capacity as they age. You don't want to replace your batteries every two years, but rather continue using them as their capacity decreases over five years, so we better go with 21 of those batteries.

Incorrect, thrice. When I wasn't single and there were three people living in this house, my electricity bill didn't triple. It didn't even double. I'd have noticed a doubled power bill, and I never got one. But it was higher. Let's call it half again as much. That makes it 16-18 batteries total for a family of three. I gather you didn't look at that page. Inverter inefficiency is included, so no change there. Battery capacity does indeed change, but since that count of 16-18 is actually massively oversupplying my nighttime needs, they won't be cycled 50%, let alone the 75% that seriously degrades operational lifespans. Add a desulfating charge controller and some tender loving care and a battery bank that large can last 10 years. When they finally do degrade far enough that my five full days of storage is in jeopardy, I don't dispose of them. I recycle them. Yes it would take quite a lot of lead to provide storage for the whole world, but the lead exists. If I don't like all that toxic lead mining, I can go with nickel-iron batteries instead. That'll take three fridges worth of storage, rather than two, but I have plenty of space in the basement.

Very likely though all this talk about lead is irrelevant. Nobody is making a nice handy turnkey fridge-sized lead-acid home energy storage unit. Tesla Motors, on the other hand, is apparently quite serious about making a nice handy turnkey fridge-sized lithium-ion home energy storage unit. With lithium-ion, we're back down to a single fridge worth of space for a family of three, and might even add a day to the storage capacity. Tesla's massively-parallel cell design and accompanying very sophisticated charge controller is still too new to get a good estimate of operational lifespan, but it's unlikely to be worse that what is achievable with other chemistries.

If you go into flood simulator software that's been loaded with the actual topography of the US and start placing dams on actual rivers and let it calculate the flooding based on real topography, you end up with about 80% flooded.

I'd like to see that simulation. I suspect it takes a supercomputer to render accurately.

So you've more or less demonstrated that pumped storage is infeasible. Why even talk about it then? Batteries are feasible.

Still not impossible to be 100% solar. Just expensive.

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