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Comment: This assumes money = intelligence, nope (Score 1) 378

by PPalmgren (#47695343) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

Trolls will even pop up in small communities of 20 or less given enough time. All it takes is someone convinced enough in their view, at odds with the majority in the community, and stubborn enough to stand their ground and ignore rational argument (common among people backed into a corner). Human nature creates trolls, ananymity only makes the problem more visible.

Comment: Re:meh (Score 2, Insightful) 164

by PPalmgren (#47671821) Attached to: Giant Greek Tomb Discovered

I understand the frustration, hell, my first course in egineering, they devoted a big chunk to unit conversions. I just get aggrivated when year after year, story after story, someone starts complaining about units and we get a huge back-patting session where everyone congratulates each for not being from the US. It takes less time to press ctrl+t and type '5ft 6in to cm' in the top bar for a translation than it does to type out a whiny soap-box post like the type we commonly get.

There are two facts that need to be taken into acount when it comes to unit conversions. First, a story that targets a local demographic is usually going to be in the units that demographic relates to. This was a UK story, but even still, imperial units are commonly used even if they are 'officially' converted, hence the yards. A different matter could be made for asking the Slashdot editors to add them to summaries, but that's another tree to bark up. Also, partially in relation to the first point, a unit conversion of the US will probably not be fully implemented in our lifetime. Canada and the UK converted decades ago and the non-standard measures are still fairly common in everyday language and food.

I just get aggrivated when a story's comment section gets overrun with this crap. I find it obnoxious and off-topic. I don't ask for a conversion for perspective when people's heights or temperatures are posted in metric, I convert myself and expect others to not be lazy.

Comment: Re:Not Sports (Score 1) 39

by PPalmgren (#47669793) Attached to: Soccer Talent Scouting Application Teams Up With Video Game Publisher

Most large leagues, at least in the US sans MLB, have some sort of salary cap structure. This means one team can't spend beyond a certain amount on players in order to keep competition closer to parity, which makes the games/tournaments more exciting and hence drives revenue through more involved fanbases.

Comment: Re:meh (Score 3, Insightful) 164

by PPalmgren (#47669779) Attached to: Giant Greek Tomb Discovered

If you want rough estimates, its simple. If its in feet, divide by 3 for meters. If its in yards, yards = meters. No, its not perfect, but its close enough, within 2% margin of error.

Its not going to change any time soon, and no amount of bitching is going to make it change any time soon, so get over it. I find it funny that the bitching usually comes from Europe, where language is about 'cultural identity' but you have to speak english to be functional in larger businesses. Using the same logic, we should eliminate Dutch, Italian, Greek, Finnish, Swedish, and so on because they're a minority method of communication.

Comment: Re:Not so fast (Score 1) 322

by PPalmgren (#47625623) Attached to: With Chinese Investment, Nicaraguan Passage Could Dwarf Panama Canal

>So - you're saying the expansion is becoming obsolete before it's even been completed? Not to mention China would probably like to have shipping lanes to Europe that are outside direct US control. And Nicaragua would no doubt appreciate having a powerful economic ally interested in keeping it out of US diplomatic control.

Not obsolete for quite a while. The US East Coast is farily small volume in international shipping. When these new ships come out, they don't suddenly replace every ship on the market. They cost in excess of $100m each and take forever to build, a ship order of 8-10 can take 5 years and there's only a few companies capable of building them. Meanwhile, ships last up to 40 years. The biggest ships get used on the highest volume trade lanes (Asia-Europe, Transpacific), the previous bigger ships get pushed down a tier, and so on. It can take half a decade to a decade to build a shipping terminal, several years to deepen with dredging for a shipping terminal, and is incredibly expensive to upgrade equipment at current locations. The biggest problem with these big ships though is that they have to run near full capacity to actually be profitable to run, and you simply can't do that on the East Coast right now because of market segmentation and lack of volume.

The economic interest in central American canals is not about trading with Europe for China, they can do that through the Suez Canal which is closer, cheaper, and handles ULCVs. The market for the canals are the US East coast, the carribean, and northern Brazil. The ships currently on those trade lanes are not very big, but more importantly, less in demand than Asia-Europe trades, so it won't get priority on the new big ships. Any significant change in that dynamic would take decades, as would the infastructure to support it.

Comment: Not so fast (Score 1) 322

by PPalmgren (#47624461) Attached to: With Chinese Investment, Nicaraguan Passage Could Dwarf Panama Canal

The panama canal is already undergoing expansion and will be able to handle all but a few of the largest ship sizes and should be completed in about a year or so. Most east coast ports aren't dredged deep enough to handle the megaships anyway,and by the time they are, its likely the northern passages around Canada are expected to be open due to global warming. The biggest ships are only deployed on asia-europe routes not because of accessibility but because of demand. It also isn't much further of a trip from Asia to NJ via the Suez Canal rather than the Panama canal.

Comment: Re:Check out Detroit (Score 1) 100

by PPalmgren (#47607181) Attached to: Tesla's Already Shopping For More Office Space

Sorry, but this is not true. The main reason California has those warehouses is location, location, location. It is more expensive to do business in California than anywhere, but is required because Los Angeles and Long Beach are the two busiest port complexes in the US and the Panama Canal currrently can't support the ships that call the west coast. We get most of our imports from the Pacific in bulk shipments, then a lot of companies will warehouse them and create more localized loads for inland transport. This is why most large logistics centers are located near port cities or inland rail hubs like Chicago.

California, New Jersey, and New York have the worst state income and unemployment taxes in the country.

Comment: 'flat' is about touch interfaces (Score 1) 336

by PPalmgren (#47598883) Attached to: Windows XP Falls Below 25% Market Share, Windows 8 Drops Slightly

When looking at an icon/button with a flat edge vs. one with a beveled edge, the beveled edge gives the impression that the clickable area itself is smaller. This wasn't an issue with a cursor, but for touch you want the biggest possible touch areas for items without looking goofy. While its true that the area itself isn't really smaller, making it appear smaller makes people more hesitant with their presses which subconciously makes the UI feel 'slower.' I beleive this is why companies have migrated to the flat look.

Comment: The problem with soft science experiments (Score 3, Interesting) 172

by PPalmgren (#47598805) Attached to: Psychology's Replication Battle

There are plenty of good psychology experiments/case studies that produce a lot of really useful information and are repeatable (albeit over a very long period of time). The problem is there are also a lot of complete and utter ass psychology experiments. It is really really hard to produce a good study that provides useful results in soft sciences, and in cases of psychology, they take a very long time and sometimes a lot of money to complete. Yes, they have to account for a lot of variables and exclude them via statistical analysis, but the ones that do it right do it exceptionally well.

I used to think negatively on those types of studies until I actually took the time to read one while helping my girlfriend with a paper. I was amazed at the level of detail and the amount of effort they took to isolate the results into meaningful data.

Comment: Cost (Score 1) 343

To put it simply, the cost of fuel for a nuclear reactor is miniscule in the overall scheme of things. Coal, while costing less per ton, requires a LOT more fuel to produce the same amount of power.

Well, why is thorium a hard bargain then if fuel isn't a big deal? Yield. Money is spent on nuclear reactors in the buildout phase plus the monitoring/safety and maintenance of the plant, not the fuel. Using thorium doesn't significantly reduce these costs, but significantly reduces the power yield. You can only make reactors so big, and making more reactors cost more than making a higher yield reactor.

Comment: Antidepressants part of the problem? (Score 1) 88

by PPalmgren (#47573455) Attached to: Student Uses Oculus Rift and Kinect To Create Body Swap Illusion

"Fat? No, I'm efficient!"

Though I agree in sentiment, there's still the case that if you don't eat more than X weight of food, you can't put on more than X amount of weight.

The ones who are happy being fat, fine. The ones who are trying to lose weight and can't because of their "hunger"... that's the problem. Because it's hardly ever a celery that they pig out on, but chocolate and other high-fat foods.

It's still down, in the end, to a question of willpower. If you want to slim, you'll allow yourself to feel a little more hungry and - at the same time - find ways to cure the hunger that don't involve fat.

Your gut is just as adaptable as any other part of you - it can learn, given time. And though I don't want to trivialise the effort of losing weight, especially if you have medical conditions or even just suffer from the inherent medical conditions of being overweight (such as it being more difficult on your joints to exercise), there's still a willpower game at play here.

I'm sure there are people who struggle 24 hours a day against hunger and lose. And I'm sure there are a hundred times as many who win for as long as they want to and then give up. And I'm sure there are a hundred times as many again who say they are trying, and don't even bother.

There are weight-loss TV programs where they "stalk" the contestants. They know they could be watched. They know they have cameras in their house. They know they have to cut down. But still they have midnight snacks and go shopping for high-calorie food (if it's not in the house, at least you have to expend more effort than normal to go get it if you have a craving!).

Not everyone is a lard-ass. But equally not every overweight person struggles against an unbeatable desire to eat only high-calorie food.

I've found antidepressants have negatively impacted my ability to keep my body where I want it to be, as odd as that sounds.

I'm taking an antidepressant for OCD problems, and since I've been taking it, I've had a significant reduction in trichotillomania (hair pulling) as well as other OCD problems and face numbness from extreme anxiety. However, I find that the antidepressant has neutered the highs as well as balancing the lows. I find I'm more complacent with things that bother me about myself, muting the motivation to correct them, and also killing most of the endorphin rush from exercising. Its a vicious cycle, because as you gain weight you get upset about your weight/wardrobe, and thus the original reason you were taking the antidepressant is replaced by your new unhappiness about your weight. I've tried to ween off the antidepressant but the OCD came back with a vengance as well as crippling levels of anxiety because I'm no longer used to it.

Its like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Staying in shape was much easier without the antidepressant, but functioning and managing my OCD was much harder. I guess where I'm going from this anecdote is that the heavy use/overperscription of antidepressants may be causing others to get in this frustrating conundrum.

Comment: 'First hit is free' model (Score 1) 234

by PPalmgren (#47556121) Attached to: Free Copy of the Sims 2 Contains SecuROM

Lets be real here, the only reason they're releasing this for free is because The Sims 4 is coming out in a few months. With EA, there's always another motive.

Someone should write a limerick that highlights all the good game companies EA has killed or corporatized, it wouldn't be hard but it'd sure be lengthy. Oh how I miss the old Maxis.

Why do we want intelligent terminals when there are so many stupid users?