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Comment: Re:Why start now? (Score 1) 24

by smitty_one_each (#47812645) Attached to: An honest utterance
When proper faith in the Almighty is replaced by a belief in the state, e.g. Al Gore:

From the standpoint of governance, what is at stake is our ability to use the rule of law as an instrument of human redemption.

But this is only a distilled expression of the lousy theology exhibited in the Second Bill of Rights. Managed liberty is not liberty; Progressivism/Statism/Socialism (you have to understand that these greased pigs resist all labels) is but an ersatz substitute for the real thing, and must be rejected.

Comment: Re:Sigh... (Score 4, Interesting) 319

I think Putin is crafty and Machiavellian is a great way to describe his choices.

But with that said, we don't have to assume Putin to be insane or foolish to concern ourselves with nuclear escalation. His gradual conquest of the Ukraine is a calculated risk that essentially says to NATO, "I bet you haven't got the balls to stop me, I can take what I want."

He's moving slowly and boiling the frog in the water slowly so that he can get what he wants with slower and safer escalation...but it's still escalation. He's planning to push until he himself is convinced that NATO is actually willing to go to war to stop him.

Basically, he's started a nuclear game of chicken, and the worst part about nuclear war is that the best outcome goes to the one who issues the first strike since it's hoped to at least partially blunt a portion of the counter-strike. In a nuclear missile crisis, you can't know when the point of no return is crossed because at that point, there's no response to the opponent's latest gesture of escalation, at that point the missiles are simply fired without notice to reduce the enemy's response time as much as possible.

I don't expect nuclear war to be imminent right now, but with the trajectory Putin is taking, I expect that he won't stop until he's pushed us all to the very brink of nuclear war, and the risk is that Putin may accidentally push us just a hair too far and find us in a situation that even he cannot de-escalate from since he won't know when he's overshot his limits.

Comment: Re:Learn from History, Please (Score 3, Interesting) 63

by Solandri (#47810393) Attached to: SpaceX Challenges Blue Origin Patents Over Sea-Landing Rocket Tech
The USPTO really needs to insist that patents be for an implementation of an idea, not the general concept. That was the problem with the Wright Brothers' patent - it basically covered the concept of moving surfaces as flight controls, even though the Wright Brothers' implementation via wing warping was something nobody else did nor does today. It hindered U.S. development of aircraft enough that by the time WWI came about, the U.S. was technologically behind the rest of the world partly because of the patent.

Likewise, if Bezos wants to patent an implementation of landing a rocket at sea, by all means he should be free to do so. But he should not be able to patent the concept of landing a rocket at sea.

Comment: Kodak had the right idea decades ago (Score 4, Interesting) 123

by Solandri (#47810213) Attached to: New HTML Picture Element To Make Future Web Faster
For this solution to work, not only do you need to implement a new HTML element and get the servers and browsers to support it, people uploading photos (or their servers) need to generate and store multiple size versions of the same pic.

Kodak pretty much solved this problem in the 1990s with their ill-fated Photo CD format. JPEG encodes pictures in sequential 8x8 pixel blocks. So once you set the image size and encoding quality (which determines files size), everything from that point on is committed to those settings. By contrast, Photo CD encoded a low-res Base version of the picture (512x768). A double-resolution version (1024x1536) called 4 Base is then created by doubling the size of the base and storing the (compressed) delta from that and the resized original photo. The process is repeated for 16 Base (2048x3072).

Essentially, whereas JPEG stores the picture in sequential translated blocks, Photo CD stores the picture in zoomed blocks - kinda like a fractal. If you want the low-res Base version of the picture, you only have to read the first part of the image file. If you want the med-res 4 Base version, you read further along the image file. If you want the high-res 16 Base version, you read the entire image file. (Speaking of which, there was a fractal-based compression algorithm. But the licensing fees were so onerous it never went anywhere.)

Despite Kodak's eventual demise, they were at the forefront of digital imaging (why they held on as long as they did - they owned most of the digital photography patents). And their engineers put a lot of time and thought into the Photo CD format and future-proofing it.

Comment: Re:Discrimination (Score 1) 573

by Pharmboy (#47809923) Attached to: Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

That is a Foundation issue, not something we at WER can do much about. I think they have spent a great deal of money and resources on the issue, but I've yet to see anything come of it, to be honest. Child rearing is probably to blame in part, if we are honest and accept that our culture still has a divide between the genders. Men tend to have a bit more free time, and perhaps that is the threshold: free time. I notice a lot of unemployed people editing, for example.

Comment: Re:What they don't tell you (Score 1) 405

by Kelbear (#47809601) Attached to: Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

"We did not evolve eating carbs"

I'm confused, do you mean processed sugars or something rather than "carbs"?

I mean, carbs are all over the place. Fruits, roots, grains, etc. We had definitely evolved eating carbs, Isn't the trope of monkeys loving bananas suggestive of carbs as being a part of man's early diet?

Comment: Re:Diet is very important. (Score 1) 405

by Solandri (#47808505) Attached to: Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

because an enormous part of the problem is the percentage of our food today that is processed, and the percentage that contains vast amounts of sugar (and particularly high fructose corn syrup).

I realize this is a common tenet of anti-farm conglomerate arguments, and I am all against farm conglomerates. But this tidbit simply isn't true. HFCS is not mostly fructose as the name implies. The most common forms used in soft drinks and processed foods are 55% fructose, 42% glucose. Or 42% fructose, 53% glucose. Your body breaks down sucrose (e.g. natural cane sugar) into 50% fructose, 50% glucose. So for all intents and purposes they're the same thing once your body gets a hold of them.

It's just called "high fructose" because it has a larger percentage of fructose than normal corn syrup, which is mostly glucose.

And while we're on the topic, carbs are just lots of sugars linked together into a longer molecule. Heck, wood/cellulose is just lots of sugars linked together (in a form which is extremely difficult for animals to break down; ruminants do it by chewing it twice and digesting it 4 times, termites do it with the assistance of a special kind of bacteria in their gut). It is extremely difficult to avoid sugars in your diet even if you eat no simple or processed sugars. Bread is sugar. Rice is sugar. Noodles are sugar. Potatoes are sugar. So it's quite misleading to blame things on the "vast amounts of sugar" in processed foods. (Unless you're talking at the caloric level, and taking into account all forms of sugar like starches and carbohydrates.)

I suspect that's why the low-carb diet trumped the low-fat diet. Those on the low-carb diet were restricting their intake of sugar (in the form of carbs), while in the back of their minds they were conscious about avoiding too much fat. Those on the low-fat diet figured since they were avoiding fat, everything was ok so they piled on the carbs.

Comment: Re:Now I just have to ... (Score 2) 391

by Rick Zeman (#47807935) Attached to: In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

But amid all the despair and hopelessness, people were working indefatigably to stabilise the nation and alleviate the prevalent tumult; and on 28 August 2298, the sedulousness of these committed inidividual was recompensed.

Zow. This guy was supposed to be a "language-arts" teacher. I think we can clear the Sherifs department of any charges of overreacting, Patrick McLaw is obviously a danger to himself and society.

"It was a dark and stormy night...."

Comment: Re:Here is a map that shows the ash coverage. (Score 3, Informative) 110

by argStyopa (#47805581) Attached to: New Computer Model Predicts Impact of Yellowstone Volcano Eruption

First, I'm not sure if you made that yourself, or what, but that's just a circle of X radius around Yellowstone - that might be useful if the Earth had no atmosphere, I guess?

Prevailing winds and jet stream guarantee a more distributed pattern downwind, significantly different than a simple circle.

BTW, the original article is missing pretty much anything of substance, and is written atrociously: "...In the Midwest, a few centimeters of ash is projected to be plummeted while coastal cities will have a few millimeter of ash buildup..."
" be plummeted..."?


And an actual article that explains that whole "sciencey" stuff:
Their slightly more substantive version of the above paragraph:
"...In the simulated modern-day eruption scenario, cities within 500 kilometers (311 miles) of Yellowstone like Billings, Montana, and Casper, Wyoming, would be covered by centimeters (inches) to more than a meter (more than three feet) of ash. Upper Midwestern cities, like Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Des Moines, Iowa, would receive centimeters (inches), and those on the East and Gulf coasts, like New York and Washington, D.C. would receive millimeters or less (fractions of an inch). California cities would receive millimeters to centimeters (less than an inch to less than two inches) of ash while Pacific Northwest cities like Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, would receive up to a few centimeters (more than an inch)...."

Repel them. Repel them. Induce them to relinquish the spheroid. - Indiana University fans' chant for their perennially bad football team