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Comment: Re:This isn't scaremongering. (Score 1) 489

by Koreantoast (#47928745) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

We do have something similar, although it is called Texas.

Not really. Less than 20% Texans are polled to be in support of secession. That falls in line with the national average of all US citizens who want their states to cede, from New Englanders wanting to join Canada to Silicon Valley types fantasizing about their own libertarian utopia.

Comment: Re:Other side of the story. (Score 1) 118

by Koreantoast (#47893257) Attached to: Software Patents Are Crumbling, Thanks To the Supreme Court
While it is a bit complex on the surface, the USPTO's metrics are pretty straight forward: an X level patent examiner should be able to examine Y number of patents in a given quarter. Some patent applications take longer than others, but it all averages out in a year. Meet the minimum requirements, and you get paid. Exceed those requirements, and you get a bonus. In my opinion, its probably one of the most meritocratic agencies in the entire Federal government. All the time tracking issues revolves around the second time card they keep to try and fine tune what Y should be for X, but I didn't get a feel that the situation was so bad that it would significantly impact the numbers.

Comment: All politics is domestic (Score 1) 534

by Koreantoast (#47881413) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

As foreign policy goes, the US' policy on Cuba is probably one of the single most stupid and short-sighted foreign policies there is.

All politics is domestic, and Cuba is the same. As long as there is a very vocal community of Cuban expats that have an axe to grind with the Castro-created regime, the United States will not be lifting sanctions. I think as that generation gets older and fades away, we'll see an easing, but while they're still alive and politically active, change will not happen. Cubans Americans after all make up a large and politically active faction in a crucial swing state (Florida).

Comment: Compare to US and Gulf of Mexico (Score 3, Interesting) 199

by Koreantoast (#47871201) Attached to: China's Island Factory
The Chinese love to call hypocrisy, about "Well, the US does blah blah blah..." However, look at the Gulf of Mexico, a good comparative example to the South China Sea situation. See, in the Gulf of Mexico, the United States may actually have a strong position than the Chinese, with greater amount of shoreline touching the water and greater military superiority over its neighbors. There's oil in those water, rich fisheries, and its a critical body of water for American security interests. Yet unlike the Chinese, the Americans didn't scoop up the entire region like a hollowed out grapefruit and tell its neighbors FU. Instead, they sat down, from a position of power no less, and negotiated equitable maritime boundaries, not just with friendly nations like Mexico, but with hostile states like the Cubans. However, the Chinese are different, proving quite greedy and trying to essentially annex other nations' EEZ from Malaysia and Brunei up to Korea and Japan. It's a sad state of affairs, and it only serves to unite China's neighbors against it. With actions like that, they really shouldn't question why their neighbors fear them.

Comment: Re:Another building full of robots? (Score 1) 157

by Koreantoast (#47820589) Attached to: Reno Selected For Tesla Motors Battery Factory
Unfortunately, that paradigm for large manufacturing employment doesn't work anymore. Even if you could convince every executive in the United States to follow it, the costs would be so high that they would no longer be competitive globally. They would be driven out of business by more nimble and cheaper foreign competitors that either use advanced automation or dirt cheap third world labor. What an automated factory like Tesla is doing is salvaging what it can, keeping what few jobs are left in the United States.

Comment: Re:why the focus on gender balance? (Score 1) 579

by Koreantoast (#47784205) Attached to: Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia
The problem is that Wikipedia is supposed to be a repository of human knowledge, and the community has created an environment that is hostile to fifty percent of the human species. Now one could argue this doesn't matter as much when it comes to topics that are dominated by men or, a bit more of a stretch, topics that are gender neutral, but if they are finding hostility from men on articles about female sexuality, womens' clothes, gender in the workplace, etc. then there's something seriously off right now.

Comment: Re:As someone who went to NC State (Score 1) 595

by Koreantoast (#47748045) Attached to: New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs
Some corrections needed here:

1. SAS wasn't created as an undergrad project, it was a large, multi-university and government agency collaboration with Professor Goodnight, at that time a member of the faculty, one of the researchers.

2. Universities spinoff new companies all the time: this is hardly the first or last time that students and faculty at a university have used their research to start new companies. Nor is NC State particularly unique in this IP clause, and this clause hasn't stopped start ups in the past or present.

3. Goodnight was a statistician, not an engineer (different colleges).

4. Despite your implications that there's bitterness between the two, Goodnight and NC State have very strong relations and a history of collaboration; just this past year, he's got at least a million in scholarships for future statisticians at the university. There's also a lot of research funds, support and materials that flow between him and the university, the Statistics department in particular. I would go so far as to argue that the Statistics department's reputation and ranking are in part driven by the success of SAS.

Comment: Re:There's more to EU transport than cheapness (Score 1) 341

by Koreantoast (#47677085) Attached to: Berlin Bans Car Service Uber

No, these guys are copping a whole lot of shit for trying to offer no-standards transport in nations that have minimum standards for their public transport services... The EU has a lot of consumer protection laws designed to look after their residents (now there's a thought), a concept that is completely foreign in the US where it seems that only company profits matter.

Gross oversimplification for someone trying to score cheap points and apparently has not been following the adventures of Uber in the United States. The constant, very public fights that Uber has been having in cities across the United States are those very same types of "minimum standards for public transport" that you refer to in the EU.

Comment: Maybe Sentor Feinstein is connected to terrorists (Score 1) 266

Who knows, maybe the President will come out and say that Senator Feinstein and her congressional staff are connected to foreign terrorists and thus a legitimate intelligence target. Why else would he continue to stand up for Director Brennan? Even in the political cynic in me is surprised that the White House didn't sacrifice him just to make the attention go away.
Power

Harvesting Energy From Humidity 89

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-not-the-heat,-it's-the-dizzying-electric-shocks dept.
rtoz writes: Last year, MIT researchers discovered that when water droplets spontaneously jump away from superhydrophobic surfaces during condensation, they can gain electric charge in the process. Now, the same team has demonstrated that this process can generate small amounts of electricity that might be used to power electronic devices. This approach could lead to devices that can charge cellphones or other electronics using just the humidity in the air. As a side benefit, the system could also produce clean water. The device itself could be simple, consisting of a series of interleaved flat metal plates. A cube measuring about 50 centimeters on a side — about the size of a typical camping cooler — could be sufficient to fully charge a cellphone in about 12 hours. While that may seem slow, people in remote areas may have few alternatives.

Comment: Importance isn't gaming but ease of selling childr (Score 1) 131

by Koreantoast (#47448397) Attached to: Chinese Couple Sells Children To Support Online Game Addiction
What gets me about this story isn't that they sold their children... you're going to have one or two parents out there in any society that are so screwed up in their heads that they'd contemplate such an option to fund whatever addiction they may have. The significance is that it's so easy to do so in China.

Real Users never know what they want, but they always know when your program doesn't deliver it.

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