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Comment: Re:Why not force frackers to use salt water instea (Score 1) 420

It's obvious why we don't drink it.

But... What's the long term cost on desalination vs building a secondary water distribution network? There's no reason we can't shower in filtered salt water, no reason we can't flush toilets with it, no reason we can't wash cars with it. No need to maintain residual chlorine in it, either, just disinfect it at the source. Want a swimming pool? Fill it with salt water (salt water pools are becoming more popular anyway, they're apparently cheaper to chlorinate). Hook it up to all the outside faucets, and if anybody tries to water their lawn, it'll either be self-defeating or they can switch to salt-tolerant grasses.

I'm sure plenty of industrial processes could run on salt water too - certainly not all of them, but I'd bet it's a large chunk.

It's not a solution where the runoff and treated sewage end up in freshwater rivers, but for cities that drain into the ocean, it's not a problem.

Comment: Re:The way to prevent verbatim notes (Score 1) 191

Exactly. And THAT is the real advancement in lecture-based education that technology permits. There's no reason to take notes at all if the information is available, and today it can be, with very little difficulty.

And while not perfect (there is some potential for interaction lost) it also removes the need to be physically present for every lecture. I just finished fixing a server problem for one of my clients from home, didn't waste any gas, didn't waste any drive time, and now get to look at Slashdot until the next call comes in. My physical presence wasn't needed, only my brain and a working net connection.

Why do we think education should be any different?

Comment: Bullshit. (Score 1) 191


Pure, unadulterated bullshit.

I'm sorry, taking notes longhand for me is an exercise in self torture. If I try (and I haven't tried since junior high school, I got a laptop in high school to end that stupidity) I have moderate to severe pain in my hand, unreadable notes, and no memory at all whatsoever of the lecture.

With a laptop, I can reasonable notes, meaning a few key words or phrases to jog my memory of what the lecture was about. I don't bother with a word-for-word transcription, if I wanted that I'd turn on audio recording. With a laptop, I can listen to and look at what's going on with the lecture, I don't have to stare at the paper to make sure I'm staying close to the lines.

As I've said for years now, if it's worth writing down, it's worth NOT writing it on paper.

Comment: Re:How? I'll tell you. (Score 1, Insightful) 380

by DarkVader (#46234999) Attached to: Rand Paul Files Suit Against Obama Over NSA's Collection of Metadata

Well, it actually IS society's money, without society money wouldn't exist. And spending money is what keeps the economy going, cut the federal budget too far and you cause a depression.

And it's time to undermine the federal system even further. Let's do away with the antiquated notion that the Senate should be connected to the states, and district the country so that each senator is representing the same number of people. It's insane that New York gets the same number of senators as North Dakota. And while we're at it, let's take away drawing of districts from the states, they've proven utterly incompetent at it. Let's district with an automated system to completely eliminate gerrymandering.

And let's come up with a way to make federal government even more direct, it's time for federal referendums.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 218

by DarkVader (#46134889) Attached to: FCC Wants To Trial Shift From Analog Phone Networks To Digital

I've got UPS power, and I've got the ability to run power from an inverter in the car. I've got cell phones. And I've got ham radio.

I will not pay for POTS service, since when I last had it, it wasn't used for anything but telemarketers to call me.

Oh, and I live a block from the fire station, where they have paramedics. :)

Comment: Re:It doesn't offer free shipping (Score 1) 298

by DarkVader (#46130867) Attached to: Price of Amazon Prime May Jump To $119 a Year

I dunno. All of the prime stuff is also free shipping anyway, so long as it's over $35 on your order and you don't mind it not getting there in two days. I'm not usually that impatient, so everything is free shipping, stuff shows up in 3-4 days, and I don't have to pay for prime.

And now that they've started charging sales tax, I'm definitely not paying for prime, I'm buying from alternate sources whenever I can. Sales tax adds damn near 10% to the price.

This is the theory that Jack built. This is the flaw that lay in the theory that Jack built. This is the palpable verbal haze that hid the flaw that lay in...