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Comment: Re:Science is Anti-Family (Score 1) 294

by PPalmgren (#49775169) Attached to: Study: Science Still Seen As a Male Profession

It all boils down to one thing: money. As a short-sighted capital-driven economy, R&D has been relegated to a governmental and academic endeavor. The only way to change the cutthroat hard resarch environment would be to increase demand, either via government/taxation or via private investment. The latter will only really work if someone creates something like a R&D corp that shows clear long-term ROI, so for now we only have science industries like the chem/pharm companies providing those types of positions.

Personally, I think hard sciences being so heavily coupled to the academic framework harms the opportunities in the hard sciences. The university funding system and their internal positions/rewards systems are a perverse divorce from reality. While it is important to expose young minds to these innovators, the grant politicking and nonsense really bright people get bogged down with limit their real research and progress. On the flip side, separating hard science funding from education would make it an easy target for politicians, possibly making the situation worse.

I wish there was an easy answer, but like all things in life...

Comment: Re:flat as a pancake: invasion pending (Score 1) 234

by PPalmgren (#49774429) Attached to: Microsoft Tries Another Icon Theme For Windows 10

Everyone is doing flat for one reason: touch. Look at a beveled button vs a flat button of the same size. To the layman, and you'll notice this if you ever have to help a PHB with a computer problem, they don't realize they can click the bevel and think only the center of the button is pressable. This is a natural reaction to something that looks that way. Something flat, on the other hand, gives the impression that pressing the corner will have the same effect as pressing the center.

If you look at the evolution of touchscreen keyboards on smartphones, you'll notice the bevels started wide with gaps on keys, and the bevels slowly faded away with the gaps getting smaller / non-existent to more accurately portray the acceptable key-press area to the user. This isn't done because of some industry-wide UI conspiracy, its done because they tried several options and users liked the flat style more. Apple and Google pay big money to study what people like more, as does Microsoft. The flat UI is just the logical extension of these previously discovered preferences.

Comment: Re:So basically (Score 1) 827

by PPalmgren (#49737385) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Passenger cars don't effect road maintenance much, but they are one of the big drivers for capacity. Higher capcity needs greatly impact the road budgets, and higher capacity needs increase maintenance costs regardless of vehicle-induced damage (weathering is a significant factor in road degradation).

Comment: Re: Anecdotal evidence (Score 1) 241

by PPalmgren (#49720319) Attached to: How Windows 10 Performs On a 12-inch MacBook

Gas station war, what a great analogy. I find it rediculous but its impossible to look away from, just like a trainwreck.

The thing that perplexes me most, as someone who dislikes the apple ecosystem, is usually discussions about purchases after an apple product review. I'll read the comments about how apple A in review doesn't meet the person's need, nor does the apple B they were considering, but they'll choose apple B. I mean, when I make a purchase decision for let's say tablets, I look at the iPads and look at the alternatives. Some people are so far into the Apple garden that they don't even realize there's a fence and consider other options, their only options being iPad A, iPad B, or iPad C. I always try my best to think in another person's shoes, but I simply can't comprehend that kind of behavior.

What it really comes down to is those fanatic-types are unbearable to discuss merits/downsides with, because they don't consider anything outside the apple ecosystem as an option. I guess there are the opposite of that camp as well. Tribalism at its worst.

Comment: Re:Maybe people are not desperate (Score 1) 294

by PPalmgren (#49718475) Attached to: The Solution To Argentina's Banking Problems Is To Go Cashless

Large companies are currently afraid to do business in Argentina because of the political climate. Its viewed in a similar fashion to Venezeula - you can invest there and make a good return, but your assets might vanish tomorrow. Sadly, this may become a self-fulfilling prophecy - economic pain by the fear results in the seizures companies fear so much.

Comment: Re:Won't save most of the 4000 lives (Score 1) 615

by PPalmgren (#49717685) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

Sorry, but that's like saying a 10 story apartment building and a 100 story skyscraper require the same engineering. They dont, and the reason we dont have 500 story skyscrapers runs up against physical limitations of materials.

Truck stopping distance has to do with brake and tire technology. A 10% reduction in stopping distance can mean a 50-100% increase in cost and maintenance. Cold hard economics is making the decisions until tech improves more.

Comment: Re:You assume the "professionals" really are.... (Score 1) 615

by PPalmgren (#49717585) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

Cars tend to be the 'ass' in assume with regards to truck. I say that because cars tend to expect trucks to accelerate, decelerate, and react at the same speed all the time. Well, there's one big problem, and that big problem is mass. If you see a 53' truck on the road or a 40' truck on the road, it could have 5-10,000 lbs cargo (empty container) or 60,000 pounds of cargo. Most of the time when that dragass truck is accelerating slowly at a light, its not because they're milking their working hours, its because the petal is on the floor and the thing is having a hard time moving. This, unfortunately, applies when stopping as well.

There's no easy way to tell where on the weight gradient a truck falls from an onlooker's point of view. I think this is why we have so many accidents around them. If there were more advanced turn/brake signals, like varying light intensity for brake pressure or something, maybe it'd help, but the critical mass required for such a change is almost impossible to acheive.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional driver, but I work in the transportation industry, so I've seen their struggles.

Comment: Re:Markets, not people (Score 1) 615

by PPalmgren (#49717453) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

Supercarriers tend to have crews of about 20 people. The actual travel is the easy part, its the ongoing day-to-day that is important. For example, a containership can have around 15,000 containers. Some contain hazardous material, some contain frozen or temperature sensitive goods. A single hazardous or refrigerated container (reefer) can take out a whole ship if not controlled or monitored, so some of these guys are tasked with a job called 'reefer monitoring' where you check temps regularly. These reefers are plugged in or run on something called 'gensets' which run on fuel, so power/fuel has to be monitored. The engines in these ships exeed a combined 100,000 horsepower, so there is constant monitoring and maintenance of those behemoths. Then you have the supervisor and a few other odd jobs.

To summarize, having a few people available to handle routine maintenance and emergency response far outweigh the cost of a single accident or emergency and are able to fix problems quickly rather than causing days of downtime. They get paid pretty well too, there are schools that train people specifically for that type of job.

I honestly don't think we'll see full transportation automation until 2060ish, with highway automation becoming mainstream in 20 years. The job loss wont be as quick as the summary expects.

Comment: Re:Assuming you are not just trolling..... (Score 1) 150

That would be the case...if it were stationary. The object on earth is stationary and then gets a lot of velocity imparted as it launches from earth...problem is earth orbits the sun at 67,000 mph. So to hit the sun, you have to neutralize a lot of velocity relative to the sun. The object put into space from the earth doesnt fall toward the sun, it is falling around the sun. The orbit wouldnt 'spiral in' by a small change in velocity, it jsut makes it elliptical like a comet.

Comment: Re: Anecdotal evidence (Score 1) 241

by PPalmgren (#49717001) Attached to: How Windows 10 Performs On a 12-inch MacBook

I think what people get concerned with - and this is a real problem - is not that you like what you bought, but that many people like it because they bought it. There is a rationalization/bargaining internal dilemma in purchasing. A simple experiment selling or taste testing the same exact cake for three times the price gets better reviews for the more expensive cake. It may not be you, but there really are a chunk of apple fans that end up in that trap, and they tend to be the most vocal and by far the most annoying in defending their zealotry. I think its why many people see 'the cult of Apple' because the behavior of those few is very cult-like.

Not saying its you at all, just saying that that's where the distrust and skepticism of Apple user's opinions come from.

Comment: Think back to when you were twelve (Score 1) 361

by PPalmgren (#49696949) Attached to: What Happens To Our Musical Taste As We Age?

Every set of parents thinks their generation of music is the best, and that all kids should have to listen to all of it because they don't appreciate true good music. That was the same situation in the 30's, the 50's, the 70's, the 90's, and now. I'm 30 and love my 90's music like my parents loved their 70's music.

The only thing I dislike about music today is this push that you have to be part of the 'culture' of the music to appreciate it. I love fast, heavy music that my brain has trouble keeping up with. Unfortunately, this means I can't go to a concert without feeling like an outcast unless I cover myself in piercings and tatoos, and get ridiculed for my passive listening style. It also means I get ridiculed for hating the unbearable growls that have infiltrated various sub-genres of metal. The further these sub-genres go is also the more likely that you'll be ostracized for liking any other type of music, and I listen to a good variety.

There's a good satire song that kind of describes how I feel about a lot of music 'culture' - Rock n Roll Lifestyle by Cake.

Comment: Re:Discrimination (Score 1) 170

Fortunately, hes playing the right position if he wants the least head trauma possible. Of all the positions, lineman have to deal with the smallest velocity vectors of any (well, besides kickers). Concussions are far more common among 'skill positions' where players are frequently moving at high speeds and a target/are targeting for tackling. Offensive Lineman just push players or prevent players from advancing...kinda like a Sumo wrestler.

A CONS is an object which cares. -- Bernie Greenberg.