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Comment: Re:Math Pedantry (Score 1) 528

by Duhfus (#39151955) Attached to: North Korea's High-Tech Counterfeit $100 Bills

Furthermore, how would you not riot over your government doing something like that to you?

That is a good question, and I think it really depends on how much you already have. If what you have is mostly worthless and you are on subsistence living, then such a devaluation makes no real impact. I suspect a large number of North Koreans might be in that situation. The only effect rioting will have might be getting you executed.

Comment: Seems a bit like a made up story to me (Score 1) 354

by Duhfus (#39079201) Attached to: How Companies Learn Your Secrets
I am not sure if the story is really true or not, but it stopped being believable when it said "the manager called again after a few days to apologize". Really? He remembers the person who had come in a few days earlier complaining about (targeted, yes, but still) mass-mailed coupons? And he calls them to apologize again?

It would be nice to see managers like that at the stores I shop at.

Comment: A Few More Skeptical Points (Score 1, Interesting) 135

by eldavojohn (#32042952) Attached to: Life's Building Blocks Found On Asteroid 24 Themis
I am not an astronomer but there also seems to be a lot of improbable things in this story. Obviously it's odd to find ice and organics on an asteroid but not impossible. But it's the first asteroid (24 Themis) these two teams have independently looked at. It's evenly distributed on the surface as well which is also odd. And it has to be replenished from within -- which I think challenges a lot of assumptions about asteroids -- otherwise this water would have baked away a long time ago. These last two might be related in that the asteroid has a water table with seepage from the inside out that -- due to a lack of strong gravity or possibly the Yarkovsky effect -- is distributed fairly evenly.

I'm glad that two teams independently verified it but I'm a little concerned that there may be a flaw in the methodology of the reflection of the light. I'm sure they've accounted for everything but I'm just concerned because the only logical explanation is either our fundamental understandings of asteroids is largely incomplete (the first one they picked was laden with organic molecules where normally there are but a few traces) or the methodology of determining their composition falls prey to some unforeseen phenomenon/distortion in this case.

I'm sure I'm not the only one excited to see what the Japanese bring back from the Itokawa Asteroid.

Comment: Re:Why 2-legged? (Score 1) 151

by DrugCheese (#32041350) Attached to: Japanese Consortium Projects a Humanoid Robot On the Moon By 2015

If you don't have 4 legs, then you won't be able to do anything on the moon. Humans have 4 legs. We only walk on two of them, and call the other two "arms". They are smaller and lighter, but not that much lighter. Most quadrupedal mammals also have smaller, lighter front legs, which they happen to walk on. With them, just like with us, the rear legs are larger and heavier and provide most of the locomotive power.

Yes exactly. A two legged robots are useless if they don't have the extra appendages to help them maintain balance or regain their bipedalness after losing their balance.

Comment: Re:Were it not for Apple, (Score 1) 277

by Just Some Guy (#32020246) Attached to: Facebook Is Transcoding Video For iPad

It's like car enthusiasts telling everyone that they must drive sticks because they are more powerful and more in line with the nature of the technology,

As a side note, a friend of mine has a sub-11 second Mustang drag car. It, like most other dragsters, has an automatic transmission that you shift manually. That's not really a contradiction; imagine starting from a stop light with your transmission in "1", bumping up to "2" when your engine is almost at redline, then again to "D" when appropriate. Anyway, the advantage is that the automatic shifts much faster on average than a human can. A trained professional's fastest time might be shorter than an automatic transmission's fastest time, but the odds of even that professional being able to shift perfectly 3 or 4 times in a row are pretty slim.

So to extend your analogy, average drivers like automatics, enthusiasts like manuals, and many true motorheads like automatics. Well, average users like simple computers, enthusiasts like complicated, configurable interfaces, and many true geeks like simple computers. Don't believe me? Go into any highly technical conference and see how many Macbooks and iPhones you see. Those people didn't pick the simplified interfaces over the other options because they can't manage anything harder, but because they want to spend their efforts elsewhere.

Me? I guess I'm either a wannabe or an outlier because I'm typing this on Ubuntu Netbook Remix. Still, a lot of my equally technical friends love those "walled garden" systems.

Comment: Re:wagging the dog (Score 1) 840

by wall0159 (#32015738) Attached to: Pope Rails Against the Internet and Transparency

I sort of agree with you, but I think you're confounding two issues.
One is the tendency for anti-social behaviour to emerge when there are large groups of people and no one feels personal responsibility towards any one else. This is what I think you are referring to.
I'm thinking of something else, which is the tendency of people to tell themselves that they're good and in-the-right. I think this tendency is exacerbated by religion, because people think they're on God's side, etc. I think this can lead to people behaving in more selfish and anti-social ways. In the example of the mega-church you used, they might tell themselves that stiffing the little contractor out of payment for a job is ok, because they're doing God's work.

Support Mental Health. Or I'll kill you.

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