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Comment The BIGGEST thing they could do... (Score 1) 498

The government could best encourage solar by streamlining regulations,

The biggest thing they could do is change the regulations on their subsidies, tax breaks, and the like to replace the requirement "installed by a licensed contractor" to "installed in conformance with the applicable electrical code, permitted and inspected where applicable". This would allow do-it-yourself installations, where done properly, to receive the same benefits as professional installations.

The price difference between a homeowner-installed and a contractor-installed system is typically larger than the subsidies. So the current programs amount to welfare for the government-approved contractors rather than the homeowners.

Comment gpg fingerprint (Score 1) 358

I'm trying to establish a chain-of-trust to the replicant project's files.

You have signed their key fingerprint, so if I can get a reliable .

I have 6781 9B34 3B2A B70D ED93 2087 2C64 64AF 2A8E 4C02 as YOUR (new) key fingerprint.

But MITM attacks could, in principle, have corrupted my downloading of that and/or could corrupt any handshake process I'm familiar with that we could reasonably accomplish over a Q&A over slashdot.

I'm in the silicon valley area. Is there any easy way to get in touch with you to confirm that fingerprint or obtain the correct one? Will you be appearing in person some time in the near future? Has it been painted as graffiti or a sign in a known place (and check periodically to be sure it's not modified)? Is there someone you know who is in the Silicon Valley area who is a public enough person to identify and who has your fingerprint and is willing to confirm it? Etc.

Comment A few bad reactions got some press. (Score 3) 193

You can become violently allergic to practically ANYTHING. (The immune system, in each individual, creates a large number of clones of cells making different antibodies by pseudo-randomly editing the genome making the antibody, kills off the ones that recognize the infant body, and amplifies the clones recognizing new stuff that appeared at the same time the body experiences damage.)

A few bad reactions to a few particular foods got a lot of attention - and overreaction. Which ones got the attention was mostly a matter of chance. So now the clueless bureaucrats are taking extreme measures against the handful of allergens that got the press, and the rest are completely off their radar.

They have zero tolerance for peanuts.
  - Do they have zero tolerance for shellfish? (Restaurants in Silicon Valley were very careful about allergies when I first moved here - because one had been informed that a customer had a shellfish allergy, fed her something containing shrimp, and she died.)
  - Do they have zero tolerance for milk? (Some milk reactions are an enzyme deficiency, but some are an allergy, which can be deadly. Also: a protein in cow's milk increases the risk of Multiple Sclerosis).
  - Do they have zero tolerance for tree nuts?
  - Do they have zero tolerance for wheat?
  - Do they have zero tolerance for honey?
  - Do they have zero tolerance for corn? (It would be convenient for ME if they did - my corn allergy isn't QUITE to full-blown anaphylactic shock level, yet, but it IS to the "projectile vomiting" and "three days of flu-like symptoms" level. But I won't try to stop others from enjoying corn.)
  - Do they have zero tolerance for eggs?
  - Do they have zero tolerance for fish?
And that's just the COMMON food allergies.

If they had zero tolerance for every food allergen that had caused anaphyliaxis, they'd have zero tolerance for FOOD.

Comment How do you stop it? (Score 2) 477

What if you just don't connect it to any network, ever?

How do you stop it from connecting? These days most laptops, at least, have WiFi, Bluetooth, BLE (really distinct from classic buetooth), and maybe other radio-networking capabilities (GSM, LTE, ZigBee, 6LoWPAN, 6LoWPAN-over-Bluettoth-4.2) built-in. Also infrared and ultrasonic-capable audio interfaces with microphones and speakers. Even with the ones that DO have a switch to turn the radios off the switch normally just tells the software not to talk on the radio - which the software is free to ignore.

(Not to mention that the remote-administration hardware/firmware built into the chips by the major manufacturers can, and does, listen on the radios these days for remote-administration commands, comes in UNDER the OS, and can't be disabled.)

Then there's the question of what good the computer is to you if it's NOT connected to a network?

Comment Re:"We have a profound opportunity to distort." (Score 1) 67

It will also vary depending on the performance of the vehicles immediately ahead of, oncoming-and-passing, or crossing ahead of the street view vehicle. Especially the first: The sensor will be running in the exhaust plumes of the vehicles ahead of the street view car, so the map will be a very non-random sampling.

On the other hand, the partculate and "volatile organic compounds" sensors will produce some very interesting data. The latter is what the federal standards call "unburned hydrocarbons" when emitted from an engine, and the output of modern engines is vanishingly small. But many species of evergreen trees emit them in enormous quantity, as part of their ongoing chemical warfare against insects that eat trees. That's what the blue haze around pine-forested mountains (such as "the Smoky Mountains") is about. You can literally destroy (by extreme and long-term contamination) an automotive conformance test cell (the room where they test the car's emissions), requiring it to be torn out and rebuilt, by placing a Christmas tree in it overnight.

I expect some towns in remote, forested, mountain areas, where people move "for their health" and "for the clean, fresh, air", to get a rude awakening. B-)

But I doubt it will affect the extremely tight standards for automobile engines - except maybe to cause a flap that tightens them further. These days many engines are so clean that running then can IMPROVE the air quality in some places (such as portions of Los Angeles, with topography that created such a thermal inversion that a single settler's campfire could leave the whole valley filled with smoke for a day or more) by inhaling and burning far more hydrocarbon and particulate pollutants than they create.

Comment Lots of room for methodology issues. (Score 2) 304

The lack of accidents and crime are more likely related to a general trend in crime going down from before they started turning off the lights. ... Give me at least one full year worth of data so I can compare it to the prior year, and have half of the country keep their lights on so It can be compared to the same time frame as well.

Hear, hear!

There's lots of room for methodology errors. Here's another:

Comparing murder rates between Great Britain and the US is complicated by differences in reporting. The US bumps the murder stat when there is a body and evidence of foul play. G.B. bumps it when they have a conviction.

Do they do that with other crime? If so, stable stats in the absence of street lighting might mean that any rise in crime is compensated for by a fall in identifying, apprehending, and convicting the criminals responsible. (Indeed, turning off the lights might easily result in LOWERED crime statistics at the same time it was causing a drastic increase in actual crime.)

Comment What hospital is that? (Score 1) 54

I'm an anesthesiologist. I put people to sleep for cardiac surgery. My hospital does around 400-500 hearts a year... and we don't kill any dogs.

What hospital is that? I'll want to avoid it if I ever need heart surgery.

Seriously: How does your cardiac unit's mortality and morbidity rate stack up against those of hospitals where practice surgery on live animal, models, at least where the surgeon is new to the procedure, is more common?

Comment Re:Animals (Score 1) 54

I'm an anesthesiologist. I put people to sleep for cardiac surgery. My hospital does around 400-500 hearts a year... and we don't kill any dogs.

So maybe I'm not up to date, or things are/were different in research hospitals.

My personal info was based on stories told by my mother, in about the '60s, when she was a special duty RN at the University of Michigan hospital, often handling cardiac recovery.

My favorite was the one where the UofMich hospital cafeteria, which had been purely open seating, established separate rooms for the staff to eat after an incident where patients' families overheard, and were traumatized by, a cardiac surgeon's response to a question. Asked how his operations the previous day had gone (referring to his experimental and/or practice surgery on a collie and another dog), he said "The blonde lived but the old bitch died."

The kids and adopted dogs story was from my wife. The surgeon in question was Dr. Albert Starr in (at least) the '60s through '80s. He was at St. Vincent's and also flew, with his team, to operate at a number of other west coast hospitals, university and otherwise.

Comment Animals (Score -1) 54

A possible solution would be better simulations so that a student can learn by doing. I think it is a very different than working on a cadaver or simulated patient using conventional methods.

You obviously aren't familiar with surgical departments or you wouldn't have missed practice surgeries on live animals.

For instance: a typical cardiac surgeon, shortly before EACH operation on a human patient, does a practice operation of the same procedure on a live dog.

One pediatric cardiac surgeon was much beloved by his patents and their families, because (with parental permission) he would let the kid adopt the practice dog, rather than sending it to be destroyed. The kid would wake up from surgery with the new puppy beside him, with the same bandages, etc. (and a day or so farther along in recovery). The dog having been through the same procedure and having helped save the kid's life even before they met made for very strong owner/pet bonds. (There's always a live, healthy, practice dog. If the dog dies (or is severely damaged) the assumption is that the procedure failed. You DON'T do a procedure on a human if it just killed a dog. You analyze, adjust the procedure, and repeat until success.)

Getting skills up does NOT require, or usually involve, a lot of practice on JUST advanced simulations, cadavers or, live patients. The live patients are just the last step, when the skills are already finely honed, and the animal models provide immediate feedback, real situations, and automatically correct modelling of mammalian life processes.

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 1) 382

Why don't publishers put the ads in a section of the page that can allow the rest of the page to load and render before the ad loads and renders?

Because you could stop the loading once the content you wanted was rendered, thus skipping the ad.

So the pages are set up so the ad loads and renders first.

Comment Re:Who wrote the summary? (Score 1) 247

Given how wide Slashdot's readers are, I suspect the reason why people are picky is because there's the expectation that a lot of people reading will be not native speakers--and having been a regular of IRC chatrooms where we were chatting in English purely because it was the sole language everybody knew, it was hard to miss sometimes that while people fluent in a language certainly can 'fix' missing words...this required fluency.

Frankly, this is the first time I have had this problem. I've been posting on BBSs, IRC, Usenet, Compuserv and usually, the only thing I used to get dinged for is spelling. As spell checking has gotten better, I have been able to "see" the way the word written correctly looks like, and more often than not, notice that it is "wrong", but usually can't tell you why it is wrong.

How well do modern STT options work? I was a selective mute because it took years to get it to where my speech could be understood--it was simply less frustrating to not even try to talk--so I'm very wary of attempting to get a computer to understand my speech.

I haven't used computer based STT, but I am having good success with Android's version on both phones and tablets. I am going to have to see soon about getting some sort of STT running on Linux to see how good it is...I hope that I won't be forced to shift to Windows to get decent software....although in theory, the stuff Google is doing should be portable to Linux since, at it's base, Android is running on top of Linux. Android apps are really just like Java apps, as they run their own bytecode in a sandbox on top of something else, like the Linux kernel.

As for keyboards, I've found that HP, ASUS, and Lenovo's laptop keyboards work well for me, enough so that I've actually worn out a couple laptop keyboards. I also keep a cheap USB old-style keyboard in my Bin O' Cables. (I am not going out to buy a new keyboard in the middle of the night, thank you.)

I used to use a Happy Hacking keyboard, but I switched to using a KVM between two machines, and thus needed to switch to a USB keyboard. I am currently using logitech wireless keyboard & mouse combo as I was forced for a while to work in a very limited space, but I now have enough space to maybe move back to the HH keyboard, or buy a new mechanical one, and switch back to using a trackball.

Incidentally: Choose a craft or musical instrument you enjoy that requires deft hands, the skills do transfer! This is a way to try to force your brain to expand the region associated with your hands, as well as increase manual dexterity, and the skills will transfer. (It won't help your handwriting, though; my handwriting is and remains dismal in English. I have reason to suspect that'd require having to relearn it entirely but have seen no sign that anybody's done the research here...yet.)

I actually play guitar, and have played for about 20+ years. I'm no Jimmy Page, Jeff Martin or Alex Lifeson but with practice I can play along with some of the songs they wrote. :-) I also play synthesizer, which is a bit different from just playing keyboards...playing a synth involves knowing more than just what keys are what notes, but understanding things like waveforms, envelopes, LFOs and all sorts of esoteric "analog programming" to produce unique and intersting sounds.

This might also help you when your eyesight gets worse, since being able to work by touch is amazingly useful when you're working in the dark or in conditions where you can't see (well). Personally, I think it's a useful skill for anybody to have; if nothing else, being able to change a lightbulb in the dark has its obvious applications.

As it is, when I turn off the light when I go to bed, I don't turn it on again if I need to hit the restroom, and thus navigate in the dark. It's not much, but it gives me a feeling for moving around without sight. Luckily, Macular Degeneration tends to just remove the sight in the middle of the eye, so you get sort of a "reverse tunnel vision" type of blindness, that is, you can, see around the outside of your field of vision, but not what you are looking at directly. So getting around is one of the few things that is not as bad as for those with total vision loss.

BTW, it has taken me over an hour to write and then edit this....hopefully it's not too bad. :-)

Comment Re:How much is an AG these days? (Score 1) 256

But corporations are not people.

See my post, above, pointing out that corporations are groups of people, with all the rights guaranteed to people, who don't lose those rights just because they're acting together for a common purpose.

The legal system DOES, in some situations, treat corporations as pseudo-people. But that's just a convenient way to interact with the corporation's members/stockholders/what-have-you when they're acting together to advance the common purpose that the corporation was chartered to handle.

Comment Re:How much is an AG these days? (Score 2) 256

fuck off you right-wing scum.

In the immortal words of Red Skelton and Mel Blank: "He don't know me very well, do he?"

corporations aren't people.

Au contraire: Though they DO exhibit most of the characteristics of independent lifeforms, corporations are GROUPS of people, working together for a defined purpose. This is true whether they're businesses, schools, labor unions, churches, political parties, special-interest group, or whatever.

I assume we're agreed that people working together as a corporation shouldn't have any extra rights beyond the pooled rights of the individual members. But should these people LOSE any of their rights, just because they're working together?

Should spokesmen for a corporation with ten thousand stockholders, when speaking on issues related to the corporation's purpose, interaction with laws, and its stockholders' interests, have any less access to the ear of a legislator than the ten thousand stockholders themselves? A corporate lobbyist is just a representative of those ten thousand people when they're acting on this particular common interest.

The legal system treats corporations as pseudo-people because it's a convenient way to interact with the people making up the corporation when they're acting as a group.

Comment Re:Who wrote the summary? (Score 1) 247

Thank you very much for your suggestions!

I read up on Dysgraphia, and that does seem to describe some of my problems. I have a very hard time writing things out in longhand, and although I can express my self well writing on a computer, with decent editing, such that I have actually sold articles and been Editor-in-Chief of an academic magazine, writing on forums like Slashdot is where I run into "Language Nazis", and get flamed. I am seeing my doctor in a couple of weeks for a regular checkup, I will ask him about testing.

In reference to typing, I can type usually in the 60 wpm and in bursts up to a hundred...but I still have problems getting my ideas out, and a good keyboard helps...most new laptop keyboards suck galactic muffins. That is why I have and older IBM/Lenovo laptop. And on devices like phones, I do tend to use the STT options, I started that since I was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration, and I am slowly going blind...so I have go get used to doing things with limited sight. I also need to start learning to use a screen reader on the computer....

Thanks again for your suggestions!!!!

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