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Comment: Re:The Real Solution (Score 1) 431

by Kiwikwi (#46749503) Attached to: UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

And indeed, Golden Rice has all the problems associated with GMO crops, which is why Greenpeace protests it.

- A biological monoculture, increasing the risk that a single pest can cause immense damage to subsistence farmers throughout the region.

- The possibility of unknown pleiotropic effects ("side effects") caused by the mutation.

- Gene privatization, with Monsanto and others already asserting their patents, requiring farmers to obtain a license to grow their crops.

Besides, malnutrition in the third world is the result of widespread poverty, which has numerous causes, none of which is Greenpeace GMO protests. Blaming Greenpeace for that is absurd.

Comment: Re:variables.. (Score 1) 256

by Kiwikwi (#46545111) Attached to: Firefox 29 Beta Arrives With UI Overhaul And CSS3 Variables

Everyone who needs and has a good use for CSS variables, and other more advanced functionality has already moved to SASS or something similar

Maybe, but you're missing two things: 1) CSS variables are not semantically equivalent to SASS or LESS variables; 2) CSS variables are available for runtime JavaScript manipulation. Sure, you can run LESS (and maybe SASS) in the browser too, but it's a bit overkill.

In fact, CSS variables complement SASS/LESS nicely.

Comment: Re:Watch the video (Score 1) 430

by Kiwikwi (#45871235) Attached to: Cairo 2D Graphics May Become Part of ISO C++

Skip to 1:15:00 and watch Herb Sutter explain why they're doing this stuff. http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/GoingNative/GoingNative-2012/C-11-VC-11-and-Beyond

I hate reading the comments on Slashdot.

Mod parent up. Take the 15 minutes needed to understand why this is part of a very interesting and important new development for C++, which can also be seen in the work already slated to go into C++14, namely to improve the C++ standard library to a level where it can compete with newer languages.

Notably, the goal is not to reinvent the wheel (which is why they're standardizing existing libraries), and portability is a must... which is why you should not expect e.g. a standard GUI library (oh, and people... graphics library != GUI library).

Comment: Re:So did we help with this report? (Score 1) 56

by Kiwikwi (#45752985) Attached to: Astronomers Discover When Galaxies Got Their Spirals

So is this the result of our effort?

Don't know, but scuzzlebutt posted an interesting link further up, at which you can read:

Scientists believe that on large scales the Universe is isotropic (the same in all directions). Thus, from our perspective, half of all spiral galaxies should spin clockwise, and half counter-clockwise. A recent analysis of the spin of spiral galaxies confirms this. The public classified over 35,000 spiral galaxies with spins both clockwise and counter-clockwise in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey as part of the Galaxy Zoo project.

Our time has not been wasted. :)

Comment: Re:Not Amazon's Fault (Score 1) 606

by Kiwikwi (#45736445) Attached to: Amazon Workers Strike In Germany As Christmas Orders Peak

From what I can tell, unions in Denmark share little in common with unions in the United States besides the name.

In some ways, certainly; e.g. the US teamsters having links to organized crime, something which has never been the case in Denmark, nor to my knowledge, Germany (to return to the subject of the article). A more important difference is perhaps that Danish unions and employers have a more amiable relationship than is the case in the US. Although in other areas, I'll wager that there's a strong resemblance.

Comment: Re:Not Amazon's Fault (Score 1) 606

by Kiwikwi (#45720667) Attached to: Amazon Workers Strike In Germany As Christmas Orders Peak

Yes, the US is larger; why should that be a problem? If anything, synergy effects should benefit a larger country?

You're right that the US has a higher per-capita GDP than Denmark, but that is a very narrow measurement of economic success, and is really besides my point; namely that Denmark has strong unions, and yet the sky isn't falling. We may be 22nd in per-capita GDP, but the credit rating is flawless and the foreign debt non-existent.

what about other EU countries like Greece?

It's not like Denmark is unique in EU; the union densities in Sweden (70% of the work force unionized) and Finland (74%) are even higher than in Denmark (67%), and these economies are also doing well, despite the financial crisis.

Greece (25%) and Italy (35%), on the other hand, have much lower union densities - and MUCH higher corruption levels.

Comment: Re:Not Amazon's Fault (Score 1) 606

by Kiwikwi (#45716747) Attached to: Amazon Workers Strike In Germany As Christmas Orders Peak

The lesson most Americans take from observing their unions is "Unions are bad." But perhaps the lesson you should be taking is that unions, like any organization, performs better when the mafia is not involved.

Once upon a time, the value created by the manufacture of many products far exceeded the labor costs to produce them. Many workers felt they were not receiving a sizable enough share of that value, so they formed unions and used the government (NLRA) to force the companies to pay them more. This did have knock-on effects on unemployment and labor force participation, but those were largely ignored.

How's this for a bedtime story? Once upon a time, Danish workers felt that they were not receiving a sizable enough share of the value of their labor, so they formed unions. Through unions, Danish workers obtained privileges such as a $20/hr. minimum wage, a 37 hour work week and six weeks of paid vacation every year. This immense increase in quality of life led to a higher level of education among the populace, as well as higher productivity. In fact, the model was such a great success that businesses even extended these benefits to non-unionized workers, such as me.

Areas with lower rates of unionization tend to have lower unemployment, and moreover tend to have more labor mobility.

Maybe in the US. Denmark has lower unemployment than the US and high labor mobility.

Comment: Re:I hope it works (Score 2) 289

by Kiwikwi (#45716157) Attached to: Standardized Laptop Charger Approved By IEC

Yup. Dell, at least, has an authentication chip in most of their chargers (the center pin in the typical Dell charger). The chip (or its wire) is invariably the first thing to break, and bam! laptop refuses to charge the battery, or even run the processor at full speed. This causes the weird behavior that the laptop speeds up when you switch to battery power. It also means that you have to ditch an otherwise fully functional charger.

The purpose of the chip is of course to prevent the charger from being overloaded, and not at all an attempt at extorting money from customers as well as frustrating third-party charger manufacturers.

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