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Comment: Re:The best quote from the article (Score 0) 778

by Required Snark (#48034777) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures
Do you know what the word "hypothesis" means? I think not, based on your reply. Factually, I drew no conclusions. I never claimed to do any "studies" either. I quoted a very well known historical figure, who was obviously stating an opinion. When I agreed with him, saying that this had been going on a long time, I was agreeing with his opinion. Two opinions, one of them from a dead man.

I now think (one more opinion) that you are saying things that give credence to my hypothesis.

Why do you make this so easy for me?

Oh that's right, the subject is stupidity. Now it makes so much sense.

Comment: The best quote from the article (Score 5, Interesting) 778

by Required Snark (#48034239) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

Then again I could just recall that John Stuart Mill was moved to remark to the House of Commons: “What I stated was, that the Conservative party was, by the law of its constitution, necessarily the stupidest party. Now, I do not retract this assertion; but I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.” (My emphasis).

Note that this has been true from the time of Mills, 1806 - 1873, so it's not a recent phenomenon.

I would hypothesize that there is a direct correlation between conservatism and stupidity; the more extreme the conservatism, the stupider the person.

Comment: Re:Getting kinda tired.... (Score 1) 200

You know why the appropriately named Anonymous Coward is whining about "one political party or another"? It's because he, she, or it is pathologically paranoid about any statement that might conflict with it's deep insecurity. Any statement that can be construed in any way as a disagreement must be attacked.

And then there's the pretense of not naming a specific political group. Hmm, I wonder who they heck it is referring to? The Amerian Conservative Party (2008), American Freedom Party (2010), Justice Pary (2011), Objectivist Party (2008), Pirate Party (2008), or Unity Party of America (2004)?

If the list seems biased to the right, it's because I decided to pick political groups that were started in the 21st century, and you have to go back to the 1980's to find anything left wing.

So who could it be? Starts with a D, ends with a C, has 10 letters including the vowels a,e,i, and o: D-m-cr-t-c Party. I'd like to buy a vowel, Pat.

Comment: So who do you think the final buyer is? (Score 1, Insightful) 44

by Required Snark (#48031289) Attached to: Four Charged With Stealing Army Helicopter Training Software
Given all the "they deserve it", "it's not stealing, it's only copying", or comparisons to Civilization, who do you think they could sell it to? EA?

For anything coming out of the US Army, think China, Russia, India, Israel, the UK, France. It might be real military espionage, or straight commercial thievery. Both are bad.

In the military context, any inside information is a potential military advantage. I've had to look this up twice in the last week or so, so this time I'm not going to bother, but the Chinese hacked into BA on the F-35 project, and it cost a lot of time and money to recover. And that assumes that somehow you can recover from that kind of vast breach, which is not clear.

For the commercial military market, knowing about your competitors/vendors is a big economic win. It's a competitive advantage for bidding or knowing how to upgrade you product. Just because someone is an ally, that doesn't mean that they don't want to know all your secrets. Jonathon Pollard is serving a lift term (a nominal 30 years) for spying for Israel. It's alleged that some of the information he leaked ended up in the hands of the Soviet Union as well.

This isn't a bunch of fanboys getting into a game company network and getting artwork from a hotly anticipated game. It's billions of dollars and lives on the line. Grow up, whiny fanboys.

Comment: Re:Addon, not integrate (Score 1) 114

by Required Snark (#48024765) Attached to: Tor Executive Director Hints At Firefox Integration
"This entire article is rumor and unsupported speculation". Remember, this is Slashdot. Without rumor and unsupported speculation it would be like the internet without cat videos.

But don't forget the importance of hostility, prejudice, flamebait, personal attacks, counter factual claims, obstinate stupidity, outright lies, and vendettas. Slashdot has a lot more to offer then simply overreacting to mindless rumors. There is a wealth of egocentric antisocial behavior on display. Slashdot thrives as a community of dysfunction where the verbal equivalent of apes flinging feces is the normal mode of communication.

Frankly I come here to observe the zoo like behavior. And I'm fully aware that while I'm looking at the animals, they are looking back at me.

Comment: Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser (Score 3, Informative) 126

Sierra Nevada Corporation, aka SNC has a real nice web page with a whole lot of very pretty pictures.

They also have a very extensive Wikipedia entry for the Dream Chaser which goes into minute detail about every contract they have received and every milestone they have achieved. It is so detailed and gleaming that it was obviously crafted by someone in the pay of SNC.

However, it you read the whole thing you can find some very interesting information in he very last section listing their technology partners.

It turns out that Lockheed-Martin is responsible for "airframe construction and human rating of the spaceplane". SNC has designed a lifting body capsule, and hybrid rubber/NO rocket engine. Based on the partners list, it seems that they are acting as a systems integrator, and everything outside the design and rocket is not in house technology.

So if NASA is making the step to commercial human rated spaceflight, are they better off choosing companies who have already demonstrated orbital launch capabilities, or someone that does not even have the ability to build their own space capsule? When something goes wrong (and something will) imaging the finger pointing in the SNC scenario. This explains why NASA made the safe choice.

This suit, although filed by SNC, seems like an attempt by Lockheed-Martin to get a chunk of the billion dollar pie. What do they have to loose? Their name isn't on any of the legal paperwork, so they can pretend to be out of the loop. Meanwhile the congress-critters from Lockheed will be fighting it out with their counterparts from Boeing behind closed doors. This won't be decided in the courts, or in any public forum.

It's not about public policy or access to space, it's about corporate profit. If you want to know why NASA seems so screwed up, just follow the money.

Comment: Or utilities could take solar more seriously (Score 1) 491

by Required Snark (#48008379) Attached to: Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit
Just a thought. If distributed individual and business installations are able to cut into electric utilities profit, maybe that same technology could benefit the utilities bottom line. Maybe instead of being an all or nothing winner take all big vs small capitalistic scrum, there could be a viable middle ground. Utilities could sponsor business/household solar and share in the rewards. Not everyone can or wants to install solar, so the utilities could be part of the solution.

I know that the idea of cooperation makes the Slashdot libertards brains hurt, but society rarely prospers when entrenched special interests dictate the rules so they gain more power and money. This can happen on the left (see the current mess in Argentina), but in the US the problem is on the right. All the major players (banks, big pharma, aerospace, telecom, entertainment/media) use regulation to create captive markets and guaranteed profit. No capitalism in sight.

So the challenge is to take a highly regulated critical infrastructure sector and make it transition to a different energy generation model that includes renewables like wind and solar, as well as local generation. Unfortunately, the current campaign contribution driven hyper partisan political landscape makes this highly unlikely. When you see an energy sector dancing to the tune of the Koch brothers, it's hard to be positive about the future.

Comment: Re:Abstract from paper published ACS Nano: (Score 3, Insightful) 26

by Required Snark (#48007791) Attached to: New Graphene Research Promises Reliable Chip-Level Production
This is significant progress, but "better" does not mean good enough. Consider the following:

"150 and 300 mm wafers reveals >95% monolayer uniformity". If I understand current process yield amounts, a single layer that is only 95% good is not sufficient for large scale manufacturing. You need lots of layers, and the yield goes down with the product of the percentages for each layer.

"26000 graphene field-effect transistors were realized". On 100mm or 300mm? Compared to current density for VLSI it's many orders of magnitude off.

"About 18% of devices show mobility of >3000 cm2/(V s), more than 3 times higher than prior results ". Wonderful, but prior art was only 6%. What are the values for the other 82%? Are they useful at all?

"polycrystalline graphene". Are their any currently deployed polycrystalline graphene transistor devices? I thought that to make graphene really shine it needs to be more uniform then polycrystalline, hence more a single crystal structure.

So if you think that university press releases are bullcrap, then wanna-be company press releases are significantly lower on the food chain. Cockroach crap? Flea crap?

Comment: Paulson at Goldman-Sachs then Sec Treasury (Score 4, Informative) 198

by Required Snark (#48006987) Attached to: The Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes
Paulson, appointed to the Secretary of the Treasury by Bush in 2006, spent over 35 years at Goldman-Sachs starting in 1974 and ending up as chairman.

Can your say conflict of interest? I knew you could.

It has been pointed out that Paulson's plan could potentially have some conflicts of interest, since Paulson was a former CEO of Goldman Sachs, a firm that might benefit largely from the plan. Economic columnists called for more scrutiny of his actions. Questions remain about Paulson's interest, despite having no direct financial interest in Goldman, since he had sold his entire stake in the firm prior to becoming Treasury Secretary, pursuant to ethics law. The Goldman Sachs benefit from the AIG bailout was recently estimated as US$12.9 billion and GS was the largest recipient of the public funds from AIG. Creating the collateralized debt obligations (CDO's) forming the basis of the current crisis was an active part of Goldman Sach's business during Paulson's tenure as CEO. Opponents argued that Paulson remained a Wall Street insider who maintained close friendships with higher-ups of the bailout beneficiaries. If passed into law as originally written, the proposed bill would have given the United States Treasury Secretary unprecedented powers over the economic and financial life of the U.S. Section 8 of Paulson’s original plan stated: "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency." Some time after the passage of a rewritten bill, the press reported that the Treasury was now proposing to use these funds ($700 billion) in ways other than what was originally intended in the bill.

Although TIME Magazine had him as runner up for the Person of the Year in 2008 they also listed him as one of the "25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis"

Comment: Re:Goldman Sachs All Throughout the Obama Admin (Score 1) 198

by Required Snark (#48006887) Attached to: The Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes
Your are wrong, wrong, wrong. Wall Street is fundamentally dependent on the Federal Funds Rate which is set by the Federal Open Market Committee which is a part of the Federal Reserve System, AKA The FED.

To say this isn't "regulation" is pedantic nonsense. It is the single most important tool the FED has for regulating the economy. To say otherwise is like saying that the gas peddle on a car is not a "regulation", even though it is the basic control to increase the speed of the vehicle.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?