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Comment: Re:Hoax (Score 1) 986

Forget Europe, in the US the utilities are required to buy back excess power production from your alternative energy generation kit. At rates that are higher than their own cost of generation.

Here's a pricing sheet from one energy company.

Alabama has much, much less incentives for renewables than other states, so there is very little in the way of installation of things like solar panels.

Besides which, this guy lives in the EU where tax credits, buybacks and other subsidies are in plentiful supply. If it worked to generate electricity (which he does not yet claim to be doing) he would indeed be able to start earning money today.

Comment: Re:Mustang Shelby GT 500 (Score 1) 393

by Cytotoxic (#47935537) Attached to: Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

It doesn't. Because large swaths of the city are depopulated the income is pretty much zero, along with the population. The 50 families that are making 65k on average are irrelevant in a neighborhood with another 350 empty homes. The city wants to close down entire sections and relocate the remaining residents to save on city services. Don't know if they will be able to make that happen. Shrinking population is pretty ugly - at least for a while.

But the cheap real estate and massive empty industrial buildings might attract a lot of growth at some point with the right governance. The question is will any of the infrastructure last long enough for the turnaround to happen. I don't think anyone is betting on it right now.

Comment: Not a cheetah (Score 2) 90

by Cytotoxic (#47916035) Attached to: MIT's Cheetah Robot Runs Untethered

Exceptionally cool and really fast legged robot. I really liked the ability to alter its gait to bound over an obstacle.

But the defining characteristic of cheetah locomotion is not just the 70mph speed. It is the use of a long, flexible, back to power and lengthen the stride. This bot has a completely inflexible body and is solely powered via the leg joints. Not very cheetah-like. More like a sheep.

But sheep-bot is just not very cool. And if I had built the thing, I would have named it a cheetah robot too. Or maybe Mechanical Hound or Robot 451.

Comment: Re:Fucking Government doesn't care about US (Score 1) 73

by Cytotoxic (#47901749) Attached to: NSA Metadata Collection Gets 90-Day Extension

what part of the 10th amendment is so hard for people to understand? If its not written in the constitution itself, the federal government has no authority

I think they pretty much began ignoring that amendment before the ink was dry. They say social security is the third rail of politics, but the 10th amendment is even more off limits. Properly enforced, the 9th and 10th amendments would outlaw most of the activities undertaken by the federal government.

So no, not gonna happen. Not now, not ever.

Comment: Re:Why the fuck is this on Slashdot? (Score 1) 789

If you want expert analysis of the Russian government, what better source is there? It is an independent Finnish-owned english language paper specializing in the news of Russia.

Would you go to Izvestia or Pravda instead? Gazeta? Moscow Times might lean against the current government in Russia, but at least they are independent and able to publish critical commentary. You can't really expect the Times of London or the New York Times to have the same level of expertise in Russian politics as the Moscow Times either.

Comment: Degree is not all that relevant (Score 3, Insightful) 117

by Cytotoxic (#47794915) Attached to: Google's Megan Smith Would Be First US CTO Worthy of the Title

There is no doubt that she has the chops and anyone would be lucky to snare an executive with her background and talents. But the article's focus on what degree she has is just silly. The brightest developer I ever knew had a degree in chemistry. The best Director of development I ever hired was an Air Force tech. The best COO I ever worked for was a lawyer / polysci major with no business classes under his belt. The best Director of IT I ever had earned an associates degree and got her A+ certification to get her first job.

Meanwhile, the worst Director of Development I ever had was an MS of CompSci with an MBA. Guy was a tool and an idiot. The worst COO I ever had was an MBA with top grades from a top school. The worst CFO I ever worked with was a chemistry major. OK, that one kinda goes against my point. Forget about him.

  Still, my point stands:

If you are still worrying about your degree 20 years out of college, you haven't done anything.

Comment: Where's the pics? (Score 2) 25

by Cytotoxic (#47773029) Attached to: NASA Telescopes Uncover Early Construction of Giant Galaxy

You gotta love science infotainment.

The discovery was made possible through combining observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, ESA's Herschel Space Observatory, and the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

All of those great imaging systems, but we don't get to see any of the images used? Instead we are given an artist's rendition of a galaxy core forming as the lead image. But where's this extreme redshift galaxy?

For those who care to see something real, NASA did include an image of GOODS-N-744 with labels so you could see the fuzzy spot for yourself. I guess you have to wait for the article to be published to see the data from Spitzer and Herschel.

Comment: Re:They always told me I was so smart... (Score 1) 243

by Cytotoxic (#47741625) Attached to: It's Dumb To Tell Kids They're Smart

Or even different skills. Not every great system administrator is a great manager. I gave my best SysAdmin a shot at being the Director of IT infrastructure. He not only failed, he was miserable. So we put him back in his old job and moved up a young lady who had less training and experience, but more ambition. She worked out wonderfully.

Not every great player can be a coach (look at how it worked out for Magic Johnson). And not every great coach was a great player (Dean Smith, Mike Kryzewski)

Comment: Re:They messed with me once too... apk (Score 1) 186

by Cytotoxic (#47741493) Attached to: BBC and FACT Shut Down Doctor Who Fansite

in the run-up to the new season they ran a show that specifically touted the input from fans, including fan-produced content like episodes and trailers. The new season's opening sequence was created by a fan that they discovered from a demo opening sequence he posted on the internet. Seems they are at least a bit schizophrenic about such things.

Comment: Re:Ob XKCD... (Score 1) 364

by Cytotoxic (#47739967) Attached to: "MythBusters" Drops Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci

Interesting that he chose dentistry. Over at Science Based Medicine I learned about the new Science Based Dentistry group. They are a few years behind the medical field, but this group is trying to push for more scientific rigor in the field of dentistry. In the podcast that introduced me to the Science Based Dentistry folks they actually mentioned the fact that most of the "best practices" of dentistry have not been rigorously studied. They pointed out a recent study that demonstrated that flossing doesn't actually help prevent gum disease and didn't really provide any benefit to dental health. Completely against the "conventional wisdom" - and to be honest pretty much completely against common sense. Apparently this was the largest and most rigorous study on the topic ever performed. Since it isn't my field of interest, I didn't follow up, but I still found it very instructive that something as "scientific" as dentistry is so weak on clinical studies.

Medicine has its own problems in that regard. Most primary care level doctoring seems to be experience based and informed by science, more than purely scientific. Sadly, I ran into the result of this just this week. My pediatrician recommended what she termed an "herbal remedy" that they had samples of in the office. She wasn't sure if it worked, but she offered a free sample. I told her I suspected woo, but took it anyway. Once I got the box in hand I could see that not only was it based on completely made-up herbal history - it was a 5C homeopathic preparation of the herbs in question. Pure, unadulterated snake oil. Really a sad state of affairs.

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