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Comment: Re:The Search for Life (Score 1) 27

by Kjella (#49506487) Attached to: If Earth Never Had Life, Continents Would Be Smaller

Seems like this could have drastic effects on how we search for life. Not only are we looking for planets in the Goldilocks zone, but we now know that if we see too much water it could be a sign that there an absence of life.

I don't think we'd have any clue how much water there "should be" since that depends on the stellar material that created the planet, asteroid impacts and so many other factors we wouldn't know. So practically no, I don't expect this to affect how we search for planets with life and we don't have nearly enough information to consider probabilities. For all we know ocean worlds might be the norm, no life as we know it survives without water so the most obvious place to find life might be in water. Land seems a lot less essential, really.

Comment: Re:Without cheque deposit, you can bank in a brows (Score 1) 239

by TheRaven64 (#49504087) Attached to: Google Responds To EU Antitrust Claims In Android Blog Post
Hmm, this sounds like a US bank thing (cheques are pretty much gone this side of the pond). The main feature of the app is that it can be the second factor in two-factor authentication for the web-based banking, so you don't have to carry around the chip reader device. It's also a bit more convenient for quickly paying someone that you've paid before or checking your balance on the go.

Comment: Re:Searching (Score 1) 237

by Kjella (#49502441) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Features Would You Like In a Search Engine?

and nothing else.

Stop adding 'features' to things that don't need them!

YMMV, but that's one of the reasons I really like google. For example converting units, what's 53F in C again? I could get a thousand hits that could give me the formula or a conversion table or whatnot but just "searching" for it saves me a step or two. I often use it instead of the built-in calculator just because it's already up. I suppose it could go overboard with Clippy-isms but I haven't felt that has been the case.

Comment: Re:So much for long distance Listening (Score 3, Insightful) 234

by Kjella (#49502397) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

TETRA or P25 on a power for power basis with older analogue equipment works well over 3 times the distance where analogue becomes unintelligible.

Outside. I know particularly the firefighters have complained about poorer coverage inside buildings, which is usually where their life-saving work is done. Details...

Comment: Re:Scientific American begs to differ (Score 1) 320

by Kjella (#49502287) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

Some ten or fifteen years ago, Scientific American published an article about the positive correlation of "general intelligence" with virtually every measure of success in life. Like earning enough money to be comfortable, having the emotional intelligence to have a successful marriage, etc.

It's rare to find an objective measure where being stupid is a good thing, unless you're the cop who figured out the criminal mastermind's plan and got assassinated or similar corner cases. Even if you're not in a position to excel you're not going fail and I'd argue it's just as much your objective successes like a steady job and organized life that puts you ahead of the deadbeat drifters when it comes to finding a mate, tests show your EQ can suck despite a high IQ.

Obviously the lack of material goods can cause unhappiness, but most of us have the basic needs covered. The rest is pretty much a state of mind, are you happy? I'd be happier eating junk food if I didn't know all the crap it does to my body. I'd enjoy T&A more if I knew it wasn't a biological preference to easy child birth and ample breast feeding. And it certainly doesn't get better if you end up where it doesn't matter because you and everyone you knew will be dead and building a pyramid for a tomb is just stroking your ego.

I generally find my happiest moments are when I'm too preoccupied or suitably intoxicated not to think too much. Just existing in the moment, feeling good, having fun, enjoying the ride, savoring the taste. If you "pierce the veil" more or less and realize you're playing an RPG to get level+1, skills+1, armor+1, weapons+1 to fight monsters+1 or lather, rinse, repeat what used to be fun just loses all interest. I guess you can call it a more general form of suspension of disbelief, the suspension of further intellectual inquiry. If you're happy, stop thinking. You're only going to ruin it.

Comment: Re:About half (Score 5, Informative) 234

by Kjella (#49502115) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

Ooh, found my answer, "20 % of private cars are equipped with DAB radio." So 80% aren't. I think 80% of people are going to not like this once it happens.

That doesn't even begin to cover it, many people have an FM radio that they occasionally use for example at cabins or whatever, more than 80% will probably have to replace some radio. And note that they asked for "digital listeners" not "DAB listeners" meaning if you use your smartphone or tablet or PC to listen to radio, you get counted in favor of DAB even though you don't use DAB.

Actually this (Norwegian) is the truth, in 2014 about 64% of the population listened to radio daily and only 19% on DAB. There's no numbers for it but even less exclusively used DAB. I don't have a DAB radio. It sucks for any kind of battery-driven device, meaning just the kind of remote places and mobile appliances where you'd want radio. We'd do better just upgrading so we'd get 3G/4G coverage everywhere rather than DAB.

Nobody else is phasing out FM or even planning to phase out FM. This is just Norway going off on its own crusade urged on by commercial interests of 10+ new channels, fuck whether it makes sense to throw out millions of radios. On the bright side, I expect this to lead to a massive interest in building out 3G/4G coverage as ex-FMers give DAB the middle finger. Streaming with Spotify + offline playlists is likely to be the new "radio".

Comment: Re:Buyer's remorse (Score 1) 321

by bluefoxlucid (#49496077) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

Affects child development. The pattern looks like autism, but nobody's drawn that conclusion; what they have concluded is that electronic devices are more interesting to children than the real world, and cause them to develop emotionally stunted, withdrawn, and more interested in things than people. It's notable you can identify an autistic infant by watching if it's interested in human faces or in objects.

So, yeah. Interactive electronic devices, TVs with robust entertainment content, and so forth draw the attention of children and disrupt their social development. It's believed a similar, but weaker, effect occurs on adults. This is generally framed as "electronic screens are bad", and I don't feel like typing out term papers about what's actually being said because I like to take science for what it is: a pile of important data that must be analyzed for subtle patterns to derive better conclusions on one side, and a simple and complete conclusion useful to engineers but useless to scientists on the other.

You can debate the science if you want, but it's out there, and people have used it to engineer systems of education and general guidelines for the upbringing of children. Such engineered guidelines haven't been scrutinized as scientific principles, but neither has a Boeng 747.

Comment: Re:Buyer's remorse (Score 1) 321

by bluefoxlucid (#49495481) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

Yeah, the hypothesis phase is the start of the scientific method, and it involves intuition and making shit up.

It's more like having the scientific understanding of how lithium ion polymers behave with regard to electron potential creation, and how electrolytic solutions work, and then selecting an electrolytic solution and a lithium ion polymer and putting them together to build a battery. At the end of the day, you've done some work, taken some measurements, made some tweaks, gotten consistent results, patented your Li-Polymer cell, and started manufacturing and selling it in products; it works; but you haven't gotten any science down saying it works the way you believe it works. All you can do is spout about the science that you had for precursor, the things you slapped together, and the results you got.

This might surprise you, but a lot of things are held on the thin branch of slapping a bunch of well-understood science together. Many drug treatments, for example, are held together by science that says certain biochemical effects are useful in a certain way, and science that shows the drug has those effects; we often come back with the conclusion that an entire class of drugs with a long history and variants both ancient and modern are actually totally ineffective because of this.

To put this into context: we have hard science showing that exposing kids to electronic screens is bad. Science backs up that exposing children to electronic screens is bad. We don't have science examining, say, Waldorf Education, which avoids exposing children to electronic screens until they're like 7-8 years old, against new-fangled high-tech Apple Elementary School with iPads all over the place. We've looked at scientific evidence showing that exposure to electronic screens is harmful to child development and determined that a school of education should avoid doing exactly that, in the same way that we've looked at science suggesting antimony should not be in a child's diet in significant quantities and concluded that diets without antimony are better for kids than diets with antimony.

Comment: Re:Sadly, I don't see an "out" for AMD (Score 1) 125

by Kjella (#49493901) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

Sigh, where to begin.

AMD has .28 nm chips. Intel is down to .17 nm and skylark with .14 nm is just around the corner!AMD has .28 nm chips. Intel is down to .17 nm and skylark with .14 nm is just around the corner!

Not .28nm, just 28nm and Broadwell is made on the same 14nm process as Skylake.

Only saving grace is ATI graphics. If nvidia gets a hold of .17 nm chips then it's game over too.

They haven't called it ATI graphics for 5 years, but now I'm quibbling. What's important is that both AMD and nVidia makes their GPUs at TSMC and so have access to the exact same technology if they pay.

I was a loyal AMD user too. I tried and stayed til last year. It is frustrating but an i7 4 core with 8 virtuals with hyperthreading really sped uo my games compared to the 6 core./

Hyperthreading has little to do with it, the step down with pure quad-core (i5-2500k, i5-3570k, i5-4690k) has usually been far more cost effective for gaming. Four Intel cores simply beat eight AMD Bulldozer cores.

AMD needs to leave [x86] and go all ATI to stay solvent.

They're in the same boat on graphics, the last major new architecture was GCN in 2011 and it's way overdue for a replacement. So that depends, have they actually invested in a new architecture? With their R&D money going everywhere else, I don't see how.

Get hold of portable property. -- Charles Dickens, "Great Expectations"