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Comment Re:So what should we do? (Score 1) 323

Sometimes in life, ubiquity and commonality trumps design logic. Look at the qwerty keyboard scheme. At this point, there's so much momentum in that layout, there's really no point in trying to "improve" it for the vast majority of people. I certainly have no desire to try to rewire decades worth of muscle memory to change schemes. The "save" icon is another one that occasionally get hipster designers foaming at the mouth - a floppy disc, for pete's sake, which kids under sixteen probably have never even seen in person. The imperial system in the US was also far more difficult to dislodge with the metric system than many believed. The steering wheel, petal arrangement, and more or less standardized shifting levers are just another example.

Whatever benefit you think switching schemes gives you, there's an argument to be made that it may not be worth the short-term pain during the transition. It's tough to know where that boundary lies, I think. Metric vs imperial? Yeah, I'm sort of sorry we didn't switch. Changing the behavior of a car's shifter? Probably not worth it.

Comment Re:So what should we do? (Score 1) 323

The "standard" automatic shifter layout has been around for many decades. I can't imagine there would be any patents still valid that prohibit its free use. At least, I certainly hope not, or our patent system is broken far worse than I fear.

If anything, I would suspect the opposite - that this new design scheme was patented, and the auto maker was hoping to popularize it as an exclusive feature that the competition doesn't have. Nothing wrong with that, but it seems like greater care should be taken when screwing around with long-standardized core operational controls.

Comment Re:So what should we do? (Score 1) 323

I recently drove my dad's car when dropping my folks off at the airport, and noticed that the gearshift was bifurcated. P-R-N-D, and then you had to shift the lever over to explicitly use specific gears. Given that the 99% use case is just putting the car in D and stepping on the gas, this makes a lot of sense to me.

The *worst* design was my mom's car, which, instead of stopping automatically at D after pressing the release, like my car does, instead stopped at the location just below it - either second or third gear, I can't remember which at the moment. Who the hell would purposefully design something like that?

It's especially easy to stay in the wrong gear if you're not used to the sound and feel of the car you're driving. And with an automatic, drivers are trained to NOT have to look at the RPM gauge, so unless they can hear the difference, I can't really blame people for making this mistake.

Comment Re:And for what? (Score 1) 274

It would be stunning. Observe a huge chunk of the galaxy and even be able to see planets around other stars. A entire complex of radars and telescopes, awesome stuff. Close to the horizon though, so that earth and solar observations could still be made and streamed live. A planetary effort.

Comment Re:And for what? (Score 1) 274

So it can be done. That is all that counts, so why waste money on a 'temporary' make do solution, when there is something much more worthwhile to achieve. A galactic observatory for scanning to a depth never before achievable and across a broad range of space. A truly effective early warning of impact system, a great planetary observation base and the likely ability to see planets in nearby star systems. It is feasible right now, it just requires the will. Perhaps a little less focus on killing each other in wars and a bit more focus on space will take use much further.

Comment Re:VR will be huge. Contrary opinions will be joke (Score 1) 51

You are completely ignoring psychological comfort. Imagine how long a typical couch potato would be willing to watch an idiot box if they had to stand up to do it or if they had to continually twist and flex their neck or it caused nausea. I write this from a lazy boy rocker recliner with a customised over bed table to hold my desktop, in the lounge with a nice view out the window and a big screen TV. Yeah, comfort counts and VR doesn't really cut it, in those stakes but hell, I don't care either way. You know what, lets run a test, grab some people and make the use VR 8 hours a day for a week and see what they feel like, hmm, OK? (now ramp that up to a month or how about 8 hours at work and 4 hours at home).

Simple immersion 3D video and sound are going to be difficult enough to make comfortable with extended use, without demanding people will never be allowed to rest their heads or even entire body (stresses building up in the neck, affects the persons entire physiology).

Sure likely to be fun with limited use but extended use will be hugely problematic. Simple immersion systems with no motion just cheaply extending the usability of a smart phone, turning the small screen into a very big screen, fairly cheaply with a huge improvement in usability but still likely to have limitations on extended use due to discomfort.

Seriously knuckle head, you can't seriously expect anyone could possibly believe people would accept TV if they had to wear a face mask to watch it and not be lounging about with their family, in the lounge room munching, oh yeah forget that bit huh, drinks and munchies, oh my, what will you do (hmm grope around making a mess or stop every time you had a thirst or hunger, oh yeah, that will go down well with the typical gamer). Let alone getting stoned whilst drinking and playing VR, more than the screen will be technicolor http://www.urbandictionary.com....

Submission + - Why Stack Overflow Doesn't Care About Ad Blockers

Press2ToContinue writes: Forging a bold step in the right direction, Stack Overflow announced today that they don't care if you use an ad blocker when you visit their site.

"The truth is: we don’t care if our users use ad blockers on Stack Overflow. More accurately: we hope that they won’t, but we understand that some people just don’t like ads. Our belief is that if someone doesn’t like them, and they won’t click on them, any impressions served to them will only annoy them-- plus, serving ads to people who won’t click on them harms campaign performance."

"Publishers can’t win by forcing ads — especially low-quality ads — in people’s faces. Think scantily-clad women selling flight deals, weight-loss supplement promos or wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube-men promoting car dealerships."

It's possible that this declaration by SO might help to clarify to advertisers that it is the overabundance of low quality ads that practically force the public to seek out ad blockers. But seriously, what is the likelihood of that?

Comment NASA.gov has good Mars info (Score 1) 467

Mars is of course getting a lot of attention lately, so the Mars section on NASA.gov is pretty good. Most of it in the Mars is pretty straight, without arguing about global warming, adding adjustments to make the data fit the model or whatever.

I'm sure you can find your way around mars.jpl.nasa.gov, but here's one page to start with. Many people are rightfully concerned about measuring the polar ice caps on earth. When reductions were measured in the north* that was considered major evidence of global warming. Here NASA talks about the same thing happening at a much faster rate on Mars. NASA measured the reduction at 3 meters per Mars year.


Note again I'm not saying this effect accounts for ALL or even MOST of the warming on earth. It seems to account for between 15%-60% of it, probably close to 30%. The majority is very likely carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, with deforestation being a problem we should keep in mind.

* Some say we should ignore the 30% INCREASE in polar ice on the south pole. Polar ice only matters when it fits your campaign pitch, perhaps.

Comment Energy mix indeed (Score 1) 142

> There's an energy mix for a variety of reasons.

Exactly. One big reason is that some of the stable, reliable sources aren't as clean as we'd like (coal, natural gas, nuclear), while the clean sources are either not as reliable (wind, solar) or available only in very limited locations and amounts (hydro, geothermal).

The mix allows us to use the cleanest stuff when and where it's available, then throttle the slightly less-clean stuff like natural gas to meet demand, with something very steady like nuclear providing a base level that meets minimum demand.

If you're interested in the mix, here's a paper that may interest you. Of course all figures in the paper are cited to reliable sources. It seems like _maybe_ you don't care for math at all, and if that's the case this paper isn't for you. If you don't mind just a little math, this paper goes over many different sources in the mix, discussing the costs and benefits of each, and how they can be combined.

The figures for solar-electric have improved a bit in the last 2-5 years, so the solar-electric number in the paper are very slightly outdated. The conclusion hasn't changed though - solar electric is a good supplemental source, not a reliable inexpensive source capable of providing the bulk of of energy needs.

The paper, if you're interested and don't mind some fairly easy math:

Comment Re:The basic question is answered...but still... (Score 1) 467

Don't worry this change has nothing what so ever to do with climate. This is all about "science that can be easily commercialized". So basically they have stuck a typical right wing dick head fuck wit in at the top and if doesn't produce commercialised profit ie government pays for the research, corporation buy the patent on the cheap and then sell rights to that patent for maximum profits, it won't get researched.

So take vermin control. No research on natural programs that control the problem with limited expenditure by Australians and 100% research of chemical agents that can be patented and the patents sold to foreign corporations who will then charge Australians top dollar for it. No fucking way can you invest in research only to effectively give it away for free, that is crazy, just ask any right wing idiot. They hired a right wing fuck wit and it is down to business, forget about Australians saving money, it is all about making the maximum possible corporate profit out of Australians, fuck curing any problems, lets just focus on treating the symptoms for ever, profit first, profit last and everything in between profit (yeah, I have a pretty low 'opinion' of what is going on and those involved).

So the new CSIRO is not about preventing climate change but all about how to profit out of everyone's suffering, sick, sick, sick.

Comment My understanding of cubed. Your journal entry is s (Score 1) 142

Your journal entry and some of your other posts indicate that you're an intelligent person.

I'm intrigued why it's hard for you to understand that Y = X^3 means that as X changes, Y changes a LOT. That when Y equals X cubed, a large value X means a VERY large Y, and conversely a small value for X means a comparatively tiny value for Y.

Really, your other posts seem like this arithmetic shouldn't be hard for you. A strong wind has a LOT of power. A light wind has almost no power in comparison. It makes wind farm design a bit tricky. It also means that wind can be a really good way to reduce natural gas generation when the wind is good, and doesn't provide significant power when it's not windy. I'm really surprised you're having trouble with this, you're definitely not stupid.

Comment Oh, all the other planets have forest fires. Ok (Score 1) 467

Okay, so you're explanation is that all of the other planets have big forest forest fires over the last few decades. Okay.

Or are you saying that the rest of the planets (and their moons) have volcanoes, which cause them to warm up? Which do you think best fits the data?

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