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Comment: Re:Why speed only a little? (Score 1) 473

by Joey Vegetables (#47714197) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit
Speed matters greatly in parts of the U.S. which are fairly spread out. Even here in northeast Ohio, which is not, at 120MPH, commuting to any of the 5 or 6 major cities closest to me (Detroit, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Erie, Buffalo) would be a realistic option. At 30-40MPH, it is not.

Comment: Re:Why is everything gotta do with Israel ? (Score 0) 183

by Joey Vegetables (#47631735) Attached to: WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak An International Emergency
So anyone not approving of the state of Israel shelling civilians is automatically a "Hamas fanboi"? That is the classic example of the fallacy of the excluded middle. People with any sense of compassion tend to be appalled at the suffering of innocent people regardless of their ethnicity, and people with any sense of history know that neither side is exclusively to blame.

Comment: Re:Thanks for the pointless scaremongering (Score 1) 409

They believe, as I do, and as does CAMA, the missions organization I more typically support , that it does little good to heal the body and ignore the soul. CAMA is already in the affected regions, already working with the victims. We personally know some of the people who are there full-time as well as others who've been on short-term missions trips, many of them with a medical component since most people in west and central Africa do not have regular access to medical care.

Comment: Re:Vaccine is coming (Score 1) 409

That is often the case, but it really depends on the pathogen. Because most viral illnesses are self-limiting . . . the immune system clears them up if it is working properly and if the patient doesn't die first . . . vaccination even after exposure may still make sense. For instance, rabies can usually be prevented or at least made non-fatal if the shots are given shortly after exposure. Generally, a vaccine will be effective if (a) it stimulates production of sufficient antibodies in sufficient time to prevent the pathogen from overwhelming the victim; and preferably (b) if the severity of the side effects are not significantly more damaging than the disease itself, which is the problem that many people, including me, have with childhood vaccinations, which prevent old strains of very mild diseases (at least compared to, say, Ebola or smallpox), but also contain potent toxins whose effects are known to be harmful.

Comment: Re:It's gonna be funny when our cellphone Internet (Score 1) 78

by Joey Vegetables (#47248041) Attached to: EU, South Korea Collaborate On Superfast 5G Standards
Absolutely, in the U.S. where "laws" prevent competition. The results elsewhere will likely be better. Remember basic economics: in a market with enough buyers and sellers that none can exert inordinate influence on prices, those prices will tend toward the marginal cost of production. That doesn't happen here in the U.S. mainly because of regulatory capture - telecom regs are written by the telecom companies and are designed to hinder competition to the greatest extent possible.

Comment: Re:And hippies will protest it (Score 1) 396

by Joey Vegetables (#47247763) Attached to: "Super Bananas" May Save Millions of Lives In Africa
While starvation is uncommon in the U.S., malnutrition, especially among the poorest (which would be the working poor - they are generally worse off than people on welfare), is not. It is damned-near universal among the children of the working class, as well as the children of those with substance abuse and/or mental health issues. Almost every family in my church - and most of us are at best lower-middle-class ourselves - helps to feed other kids in our neighborhoods. We mostly have access to cars and such, which children and the poorest adults don't, and to places one can buy food that is reasonably healthful and affordable, which most people in the inner city, regardless of income, can't unless they drive. Now, there are always things to eat . . but . . NOT necessarily healthy things. Not for the inner-city poor, the vast majority of them children.

Comment: Re:Falling funding: Why fusion stays 30 years away (Score 2) 135

Your argument appears to be "we haven't solve the technical and practical challenges yet, so we never will." Progress is disappointingly slow; I'll give you that. The challenges are hard. I'll give you that too. However, given what human ingenuity has managed to accomplish just in the past 20 years, I think it is a very, very poor strategy to bet against it in the long term. Part of why we're not solving these challenges is that we're frankly not trying that hard. What we have now is still good enough for now. When that changes, when sufficiently larger players start taking fusion research seriously, I think the game will change pretty dramatically.

Comment: Re:Article doesn't go into details about quality (Score 1) 135

A lot of wisdom I do agree with. Regarding the storage problem - which I also agree to be the main bottleneck toward adoption of cleaner energy: why not use that energy at the point of production, to crack other hydrocarbons (biomass, corn husks, dirty coal, other carbon-rich waste), into liquid fuels using that energy, and store/transport these liquid fuels to the point where they will be used? I realize the process is not yet optimally efficient and not quite carbon-neutral, but it seems to me no worse and in many incremental ways better, than our current strategy of "burn whatever, just tax the crap out of it so we can bomb more brown people."

Comment: Caught one of these and felt bad . . . . (Score 1) 94

by Joey Vegetables (#47195209) Attached to: Study: Rats Regret Making the Wrong Decision
I feel really bad when I trap a mouse or a rat, which I had to do a couple days ago. I prefer nonlethal traps when they work, but sometimes they don't, and on Saturday I managed to trap one in a way that badly hurt but didn't kill it. I felt really bad. I understand that they are intelligent and sentient creatures. They don't belong in our food, and the diseases they carry don't belong in our home, so I do have to deal with them from time to time. But I so much wish that non-lethal traps actually worked, that I could just catch and release them in nearby woods. Alas, most of the time, that doesn't happen. :(

Comment: Re:Speed is not the only thing. (Score 1) 57

Agreed. It's completely irrelevant to most use cases. But not all. For instance, pro audio, which is a part of what I do, still benefits greatly from increased CPU speed as well as reduced cache latency. The tools I use have not been architected to take advantage of the immense power of modern GPUs. Eventually they likely will be, but, for now, every couple years' worth of CPU improvements does make a significant difference for what I do.

Comment: Re:Used to be billed to the boss... (Score 1) 135

by Joey Vegetables (#47173569) Attached to: Free Wi-Fi Coming To Atlanta's Airport
Back in MY day, we didn't have those newfangled computer doohickeys. We had adding machines and slide rules, and we liked them. "Innernet" was where you hoped the fish would go when you went fishing with a net. "Netflix" was what you would do if a bug got on your fishing net . . you "flicks" it off. A "color TV" was a huge thing that took half your living room, and the only thing "color" about it was the color of the cabinet; the picture itself was black and white. We had 3 channels, and we liked them. Now git off my lawn!!!

Comment: 3000km is not a lot in the U.S. . . . . (Score 0) 363

by Joey Vegetables (#47170843) Attached to: Group Demonstrates 3,000 Km Electric Car Battery
When I worked in one inner suburb of a medium-sized city, and lived in another, I commuted about 50km each way, 100km in total, and hence 3000km over the course of a little over a month. Commutes 3-4 times that long are not unheard of in larger cities. But for me, would have meant a battery swap about 10 times a year. I don't know how long the swap should take, but I do know I would not have time to visit a dealer - the closest being about a half hour away - anywhere near that frequently, even if it were a short and painless process.

Comment: Re:Can Cyborg Tech End Human Disability By 2064? (Score 1) 121

by Joey Vegetables (#47153593) Attached to: Can Cyborg Tech End Human Disability By 2064?
Like much of what tries to pass for modern science, nutritional research is tainted by the influence of those with a vested interest in the outcome. A healthy dose of skepticism is completely understandable. But there are things I believe we are learning. For instance, while it's been known for centuries that sugars and what we now recognize as high-glycemic starches tend to encourage obesity, it's only fairly recently that we've come to understand why. The role of various micronutrients, again long suspected to be important but not fully understood, is now coming into sharper focus. We're learning that many pesticides and herbicides are far more toxic to humans, especially over long periods of time, than was known previously. Many cancers, autoimmune disorders, and other illnesses are now known to be triggered by entire classes of substances previously regarded as safe. It is now known that we are actually symbionts, that our intestinal flora are such an important part of our normal digestive and immune system functioning that we cannot live healthy lives without them. These are just a few of the newer revelations off the top of my head, and I'm not in any way an expert in the field. So, here as in all areas, I try for a healthy balance of skepticism and openness. Truth does eventually come out.

To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley