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Comment: Re:Voting? (Score 4, Insightful) 225

by Fat Cow (#35036558) Attached to: What Exactly Is a Galaxy?

It doesn't seem like the definition of a scientific term is something that should be left to a democratic vote. Public opinion with regards to science is never a good thing to rely on (creation vs evolution, naturalistic healing, etc).

It's not really a scientific term. No theories depend on the definition of a galaxy.

Comment: Re:Not more "safety features" please (Score 1) 157

by Fat Cow (#34096250) Attached to: Vans Drive Themselves Across the World

Do you have a reference for this decrease in US traffic deaths and some indication that the decrease was caused by these safety features?

I ask because I've previously read (in a book called "Risks" that I can't find on amazon) that only seat belts clearly increased safety, all the others were marginal, statistically insignificant or made things worse. Their hypothesis was that people drove more recklessly to compensate.

Comment: Re:Not a chance. (Score 1) 120

by Fat Cow (#33811312) Attached to: Facebook Patents Location Social Networking

When they brought it to market is irrelevant. It looks like they filed this patent in 2007, which predates foursquare.

However it was filed after dodgeball. From wikipedia, dodgeball required you to text your location rather than auto-detecting it from the gps. The claims in the facebook patent specify auto-detecting your location so it doesn't sound like dodgeball is prior art.

Was there something prior to 2007 that was already doing this? Maybe brightkite or loopt?

Comment: IMAP with maildir backend (Score 2, Insightful) 385

by Fat Cow (#33489288) Attached to: Best Way To Archive Emails For Later Searching?
I migrated all my old personal emails to gmail using IMAP. You can use this to migrate between different on-disk formats like maildir, mbox and pst. I had all my email in yahoo and pulled it down using POP to a maildir, then used an IMAP mail client to copy it across to gmail. Then I regularly back them up from gmail to an on-disk maildir format using mbsync. I picked maildir because it's open and seemed better designed than the alternative, mbox. It's not completely standardized though. I've seen PSTs become corrupt so I try and stay away.

Comment: Re:Stimulus? (Score 1) 280

by Fat Cow (#26627327) Attached to: $6 Billion Proposal For High-Speed Internet Grants

Here's my theory...

There's less incentive for the wealthy to start new businesses if their customers in the bottom 50% don't have any money to spend on the service.

People in the top strata always have money. They're currently "investing" it in low-interest low-risk investments like treasury bonds. We need them to invest in high-return/high-risk ventures like new businesses. Giving them more money doesn't help the situation because they already have money, we need to give them more customers.

I think we're on the other side of the Laffer curve.

All great ideas are controversial, or have been at one time.