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Comment: Re:$70 max (Score 4, Informative) 515

No, this isn't good math.

Eurostar train tickets between London and Paris are usually more expensive than flying low-cost airline. People splurge on train in preference over air, not the other way round.

True, train take s 2.5 hours of moving and fligth 45 minutes of flying. But I can get to Kings X in 10 minutes on tube and be there 20 minutes before departure and on the other end I am at Gare du Nord, smack in the centre.
When flying, it takes me 1 hour min to each airport, then I need to pay the terrorist task by queing for another hour. Then we fly and then it is again 1hour min from Orly or CDG to get where I want.

Comment: Cost lies in power consumption and maintenance (Score 1) 145

The reason why 3 year old supercomputers are scrapped is because the power consumptions per flop becomes just uneconomical and the maintenance costs escalate (all kinds of failures increase dramatically after a few years).
So, unless they have real cheap maintenance guys (which they probably do) and super-cheap power (which they probably don't), it is not really worth it. Better buy a smaller modern cluster.

Comment: No one taking coffee seriously should buy this... (Score 2) 145

by PineGreen (#45676515) Attached to: Engineering the Perfect Coffee Mug

This is precisely one thing that irks me about living in the US. People get the coffee culture completely wrong, they even say things like "let's grab a coffee". In civilized countries, you never *walk* around with a coffee. You sit down, spend 10 focused minutes on an espresso and maybe conversation and then go on doing things with both hands. Walking around holding some significant fraction of gallon of coffee is just pointless - you get gorilla arm, you never enjoy coffee and you never enjoy a real break.

Comment: Re:Rose-tinted view indeed (Score 3, Interesting) 634

by PineGreen (#45162001) Attached to: British NHS May Soon No Longer Offer Free Care

Yes... Just fine. Those stories of long waits, or unavailable diagnostic care are just rumors, I am sure...

Yes, they are.

Believe me,I lived for 7 years in UK and now I'm in my 6th year in USA and it is incomparable. US system is just massively inferior - and I work for a big national lab and hold the most expensive insurance option.
So yes, I'd go back to NHS any moment.

Comment: Somalia? (Score 1, Flamebait) 701

by PineGreen (#43961457) Attached to: The Free State Project, One Decade Later

I don't know what these people are trying to prove. We know communism doesn't work, because we've tried it in eastern Europe. We also know that libertarism doesn't work, because take any failed African state and you see that people don't self organize into well-functioning society.
Besides, I really despise these smug libertarians, who thump their chests about liberty and privacy and are not even remotely aware how much they got from this society, not to mention they they are not willing to give any of it back in taxes... Big egos, little brain and compassion.


Comment: I don't believe 1% of computers give wrong answers (Score 0, Flamebait) 241

by PineGreen (#42332659) Attached to: Whose Bug Is This Anyway?

I think this is bull. I just don't believe 1% of computers give wrong answers. There are many reasons why precomputed table might differ - threading, reordering of floating point operations, etc. Basically, compilers guarantee certain precision, not by-bit determinstic result (unless you set up certain IEEE flags, which are not on by default).


+ - Web store requires immigration documents to buy a 3

Submitted by PineGreen
PineGreen writes: Recently I was trying to buy a laptop from a company that had good reviews online and the best price on the particular laptop I tried to buy. For some reason, my credit card did not process cleanly and hence I was asked to send them a scan of the credit card and my driver license. My driver license is still valid, but contains a note about the expiry date of my immigration status in the USA (which has since been renewed but the license does not show that). Even thought the driver license is acceptable for the TSA folk, the company is asking me to show them my immigration papers in order to buy a laptop. I find this somewhat infuriating. What can I do, besides reporting them to the BBB?

Comment: Hubble wasn't that amazing (Score 2) 133

by PineGreen (#37365774) Attached to: How the Webb Space Telescope Got So Expensive

Hubble gave us a lot of very nice pictures, but let's be realistic: in terms of science per dollar we've got much more from combination of WMAP and SDSS I and II. JWST just killed a whole lot of more interesting projets in the same way LSST is now threathening to kill amazing and cheap projects like BigBOSS.

They should still fly JWST, after all this money spend it would be stupid to kill it and interesting things will come out of it. But let's be fair about science: pretty pictures that excite public are useful for PR, but for real science you need better than that.

You can fool all the people all of the time if the advertising is right and the budget is big enough. -- Joseph E. Levine