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Comment: Re:Why not? (Score 4, Interesting) 672

Desalination plants are NOT clean. The pollute the heck out of the ocean around them. It's not like you just produce pure salt and water out of those things. You produce clean water and as a byproduct you get a slurry of super salty brine mixed with all kinds of chemicals that speed up the desalination process and then you dump that slurry back out into the ocean because that's the most economical way to do it.

Comment: Re:The gold standard for fast, painless executions (Score 2) 590

I had partial nitrogen exposure due to a leak that had happened in an industrial nitrogen tank I was transporting. I did pass out, but I can tell you there was zero pain involved. It actually felt completely euphoric. I wasn't gasping for air or anything like that (though I did realize what had happened and I got the hell out as quick as possible, so I never went under), but even realizing what had happened didn't give me a sense of panic, and afterwards there were no lingering effects. I really think this should be the preferred method of execution. It's simple and demonstrably painless. If I had to die suddenly, I would prefer that to practically any other method.

Comment: Re:If it were me... (Score 1) 590

Pure nitrogen inhalation is quick and painless. I've been in a situation where nitrogen was displacing normal air and the feeling right before you would pass out is one of euphoria. There's no pain at all and unconsciousness comes *very* quickly.

Added bonus, nitrogen gas is super cheap.

Comment: Re:Ten seconds? (Score 1) 590

I used to work around welding and cutting torches, transporting tanks of acetylene and nitrogen around. One day a fresh nitrogen tank sprung a leak in the back of my truck. When I dropped the tailgate I felt a whoosh of cold and I got extremely light-headed in the few seconds in took to get clear of the invisible cloud. And that was in a well-ventilated open air area. Any kind of enclosed space and I would have passed out in seconds for sure. It wasn't even remotely painful though, almost purely euphoric.

As far as ways to die go, you could do much worse. The only group of people who would be distressed by it would probably be fighter pilots since they're trained to recognize and work around low oxygen situations.

Comment: Re:need super precision numbers? (Score 1) 157

There are many options for arbitrary precision floating point computations. You can easily go to 1024-bit precision (or more) with some easy to find classes for C++ or Java (or write your own). For performance purposes, it's slightly better to go with fixed point arithmetic (especially when your data has known boundaries), but you can get quite reasonable performance from floating point too.

Comment: Re:Kill them all. (Score 1) 336

The only way to make it work is with an inhuman amount of brutality. It is within our power to eradicate their entire territory with nuclear weapons, and I promise you, nothing will rise up there to take its place (not for a few hundred years until the radiation dies down anyway). The rest of the world may then turn against the United States, but the ISIS problem would be 100% solved.

In other words, no, it never really works. That level of violence is self-defeating. ISIS is finding that much out themselves though, because all their Muslim neighbors (and *especially* Jordan) hate them with a passion. I agree that the U.S. needs to help put a stop to them, but cancers like ISIS do tend to get killed off pretty handily by the rest of the world.

Comment: Re:could not keep watching it (Score 1) 145

by ImprovOmega (#49192337) Attached to: A Critical Look At CSI: Cyber

the NSA can use coffee cups to playback conversations from half an hour ago because of reverberating echoes still trapped inside the cup.

(I just made that up, CSI writing team: give me attribution please.)

On last week's episode of CSI Las Vegas they had a no-audio web cam quality recording of two guys chatting in a green house and they used (I shit you not) vibrations from the leaves to rebuild an audio of what the two were saying. I face-palmed so hard.

Comment: Re:It's all crap. (Score 1) 145

by ImprovOmega (#49192279) Attached to: A Critical Look At CSI: Cyber
I love the episode in one of the later seasons where Horatio is stranded in South America (part of the Mala Noche story arc) and he's given a gun with like 8 bullets in it then proceeds to face off against 10 guys armed with automatic weapons, already drawn and trained on him, and he *still wins* and makes it back to the United States. It was ridiculousness cubed, but it was all part of the fun of that show.

Don't panic.