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Comment: Re:And yet... (Score 1) 121

by DerekLyons (#47887479) Attached to: Publishers Gave Away 123 Million Books During World War Two

So many US Soldiers spend all their free time playing video games. (source: was in the US Army for 4 years)

Nothing new. Back when I was in the Navy (onboard an SSBN) in the 80's, it was movies or playing cards or zoning out with a cassette player and a set of headphones for most of the crew.

Excuse me? Reading for pleasure is one of those things that opens up your mind to new possibilities, that is a window into a new world, that doesn't result in the brainrot of modern TV programming.

Excuse me? Horseshit. It depends greatly on *what* you read. I'd guess that 90% of the readers on the boat read male romance novels - I.E. cheap westerns, Mac Bolan (and his spin-offs and clones), low rent spy thrillers, and dozen other kinds of complete tripe. Not all reading "opens your mind" or "doesn't result in brainrot". There's a lot of pure crap out there right on the same level as TV programming, and there has been ever since books became available to the masses.

Comment: Re:Discounted not free (Score 1) 121

by DerekLyons (#47887461) Attached to: Publishers Gave Away 123 Million Books During World War Two

. And at war time, reading books would have been a luxury both at home and at the battlefield. So selling them at the cost of production or at lost is more likely investing for the future loyalty of customers.

There's also the marketing angle - every company that contributed in even the smallest way to the war effort made damm sure to trumpet it in their advertising and promotional materials, both during the war and for a period after.

Comment: Re:Not just Reno (Score 2, Insightful) 436

by DerekLyons (#47887343) Attached to: If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

Germany is well on the way to doing this on the scale of a whole country.

Sure... if you squint hard enough and tilt your head at the right angle and ignore the 75% of their energy that doesn't come from renewables. Otherwise, not so much. It remains to be seen how far that number can be pushed.

Comment: Re:I dont know why this is a bad thing (Score 1) 193

by DerekLyons (#47883701) Attached to: The Documents From Google's First DMV Test In Nevada

All of the recent articles about autonomous cars seem to be trying to make people think they're terrible will never work and are a disaster waiting to happen.

I don't blame google for not wanting to publish all the details about it, its a research project and the media seems to have an agenda to make autonomous cars into the boogeyman.

No, not so much. The recent articles are more in response to the numerous [Google press release based] articles with headlines like "Autonomous car drives 10,000 miles safely!". So, yeah, I do blame Google for not publishing the full truth, choosing instead in favor of spin and hype. It's not a media agenda, or a conspiracy, it's called balance and investigative journalism. (Something everyone here routinely calls for - right until the spotlight hits their fandom. Then it's an "agenda" and a "conspiracy".)

Comment: Re:Every space program is for peaceful purposes (Score 0) 100

by DerekLyons (#47883043) Attached to: China Targets 2022 For Space Station Completion

Do you know what "scientific experiments" the cosmonauts were doing in MIR for all those years? Taking pictures maybe? (no maybe about it, that's why there were up there).

The were doing all manner of scientific experiments. And the pictures they took were of far too low a resolution to be useful. (Since they were made with normal handheld cameras.) The space station the Russians used for intelligence work was the Almaz series - the last of which was flown in 1976 and then cancelled because manned stations were much more expensive and had lower capability than unmanned reconnaissance birds. (Essentially the same reason the US cancelled the Manned Orbiting Laboratory.)

Is it a coincidence that the Shuttle's cargo bay was a perfect fit for US spy satellites?

No, it isn't, and everyone with a clue (a class which does not include you) knows it, so salaciously implying it was some kind of a secret is bullshit. The other thing that everyone with a clue knows is that the Shuttle never launched into the polar orbit such birds required and that while they did fly DoD missions, they flew about ten times as many non-DoD missions. (Refuting your nonsensical claim that they only purpose of the space program was for "espionage".)

Comment: Re:Complex nation (Score 0) 528

by DerekLyons (#47881513) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

Meanwhile we all act like blissful idiots by avoiding the real issues. Island nations often lack enough natural resources to provide a decent life for their populations. The type of government does very little to change that.

(Etc.. etc...)
The problem with your theory is that it runs afoul of reality (Or to put it another way, you're theory is bullshit) - there's plenty of island nations (many of them right next door to Cuba) who are doing just fine. The two nations that are worst off are Cuba (with a Communist government) and Haiti (with essentially no government). The nations that are the best off all have democratic governments. And it's worth noting that the nation sharing the same island as Haiti is both democratic and has one of the most vibrant economies of the region, and is the tenth largest in Latin America.

Comment: (Score 1) 528

by DerekLyons (#47881389) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

Why is this +5? Yes, frequently publishes propaganda, but this story is available on any number of alternative news sites, and is based entirely on a report from the Cuban government itself.

But you can't be bothered to provide a link showing the report and thus establishing that the alternative news sites aren't merely copying Seriously, nowadays being "available on a number of sites" is no proof of the accuracy or veracity of a report - too many sites (especially no budget "alternative" ones, but seemingly legitimate sites as well) copy and paraphrase from each other.

Comment: Re:Every space program is for peaceful purposes (Score 1) 100

by DerekLyons (#47881235) Attached to: China Targets 2022 For Space Station Completion

Every space program from the 1950's on has been primarily for two purposes: 1) Espionage 2) Missile technology.

The Mercury program was for espionage... how exactly? And the same goes for missile technology, missiles are pretty much universally solid fueled (except for a few legacy Soviet era weapons), space boosters almost universally liquid using solids only as booster (except for a few converted cold war era boosters).
Seriously, while the US and Russian space programs both rely on remote descendents of legacy military hardware, the technology diverged back in the 60's. Space programs want safe (which means liquids, meaning the vehicle is largely inert and thus safe to work around until late in the launch sequence), missile programs want storeable for decades and minimal maintenance issues (which means solids).

Comment: Re:No comments here yet... (Score 0, Flamebait) 471

by DerekLyons (#47875351) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

So my wife called to ask me to pick up "one more thing" three times and I didn't even know until I got back home.

I think seeing notifications would be mildly useful.

The problem isn't that you need to be notified... the problem is either that you're too stupid to know when you can or cannot know you've received a call, or if you do know you're too stupid to check your phone in a situation where you can't know if you've received a call. You don't need an iWatch, you just need to pay the ef attention to what's going on around you.

Comment: Re:True North? (Score 1) 260

by DerekLyons (#47855077) Attached to: Tesla Plans To Power Its Gigafactory With Renewables Alone

My guess, without having any particular knowledge, is that the factory will have some kind of internal grid system (fairly common), and aligning the factory with a compass direction means you can easily convert between internal coordinates and lat/lon GPS coordinates. Of course assuming you aren't converting by hand, it's not really hard to convert even if the factory were not axis-aligned.

Even if it has an internal grid system, I can't come up with a plausible why you'd want to convert from GPS to the internal grid. To be accurate enough to use GPS to locate yourself on the grid... well, unless the grid is good sized (at least 2-3 meters on a side) you simply can't, not in real time anyway. And once the building is closed in, the accuracy will likely degrade even further. Using GPS to establish the grid... well, again the compass heading of the grid is easy to correct for. There's no particular advantage to aligning to any particular compass heading because you can correct in software, and that's already common.

Comment: Re:Scary (Score 1) 174

by DerekLyons (#47852257) Attached to: Denver Latest City Hit By Viral Respiratory Infection That Targets Kids

(Different AC) What original AC is saying is that our current medicine doesn't resemble Star Trek style tricorder, hypospray, targeted transporter non-penetrative surgery that we might expect from a Star Trek future.

So, let me get this straight... you're unhappy with the present because it doesn't hold up to the predictions of a piece of fiction?

OS/2 must die!