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Comment: OMG, THE TERRORISTS WILL WIN!!!!!! (Score 3, Funny) 73

by Required Snark (#47900973) Attached to: NSA Metadata Collection Gets 90-Day Extension
It's critical that the constitution of the US remain invalid for another 90 days because if the NSA doesn't have their anal probes in the asses of every person in the world then

the terrorist will win and Osama Bin Laden will return from the grave and institute Sharia law and take away our bacon cheese burgers and beer and NFL/NBA/MLB and get rid of all the booze like prohibition and make everyone bow to Mecca five times a day and keep girls from walking around in shorts because you know THEY HATE OUR FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment: What they actually accomplished (Score 2) 113

by Required Snark (#47892111) Attached to: Liquid Sponges Extract Hydrogen From Water
This is from the Science article summery.

The electrolysis of water using renewable energy inputs is being actively pursued as a route to sustainable hydrogen production. Here we introduce a recyclable redox mediator (silicotungstic acid) that enables the coupling of low-pressure production of oxygen via water oxidation to a separate, catalytic hydrogen production step outside the electrolyzer that requires no post-electrolysis energy input. This approach sidesteps the production of high-pressure gases inside the electrolytic cell (a major cause of membrane degradation) and essentially eliminates the hazardous issue of product gas crossover at the low current densities that characterize renewables-driven water-splitting devices. We demonstrated that a platinum-catalyzed system can produce pure hydrogen over 30 times faster than state-of-the-art proton exchange membrane electrolyzers at equivalent platinum loading.

Or in even simpler terms

Photosynthesis splits water to provide protons and electrons for plant growth; oxygen is a by-product. When chemists split water, they're also more interested in making fuel, and the simplest product is hydrogen (a combination of protons and electrons). One challenge is keeping the reactive hydrogen and oxygen product streams separate. Rausch et al. present a scheme that captures the protons and electrons in a molecular cluster of silico-tungstic acid. Later, they expose the cluster to platinum, coaxing the acid into releasing hydrogen. Eliminating the mixing risk increases the potential for household use.

Note that platinum is still required, but it works 30 times more efficiently. Also the pressure needed is much lower.

Comment: Re:What the fuck is this submission even about? (Score 0) 8

by Required Snark (#47887183) Attached to: Two Bit Circus is 'a Big Band of Nerds' (Video)
Oooooooh, something you don't know about on Slashdot. Scary scary. CRAFTED, Two Bit Circus. Obviously Beneath Your High Standards. Wouldn't it be horrible if you were reading something on Slashdot and actually learned about something new? Much better to only read posts about things that you are completely comfortable with, since you already know everything you will ever need to learn.

Ick ick ick. Clicking on a link to find out what's going on. Too complicated and confusing. Better to keep sucking on that thumb so at least one hand will stay where it is safe. Here's a suggestion. Suck on one thumb, jam the other up your ass. Then both hands will stay safe and you will know where they are. Just remember to not swap up the the thumb assignments. Or not, if that makes you happy.

Comment: Re:Where are the HD photos of the excavation site? (Score 3, Informative) 92

by Required Snark (#47878443) Attached to: Who Is Buried In the Largest Tomb Ever Found In Northern Greece?
The big reveal images have already been negotiated with some major media outlet. Nat Geo, NBC, CBS, ABC, or BBC, and similar outfits in other languages.

Archeological research can get a boost from media coverage just like any other endeavor. Do you really expect that they're going to let the first bozo with a camera let all that hype potential go to waste? Expect press conferences and specials on TV. For example, this could be a great fundraiser for PBS.

Wake up, it's the 21st century. Publicity is golden, no one in their right mind lets an opportunity like this fizzle out.

Comment: Racial Profiling Much? (Score 2) 142

by Required Snark (#47856089) Attached to: Private Police Intelligence Network Shares Data and Targets Cash
Guess what racial/ethnic backgrounds the cops/self professed thugs have vs. the people they steal from? It's an easy question to answer. Case in point

Nevada county settles suits on I-80 cash seizures Tan Nguyen of Newport and Michael Lee of Denver said in lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Reno they were stopped last year on Interstate 80 near Winnemucca about 165 miles east of Reno under the pretext of speeding. They said they were subjected to illegal searches and told they wouldn’t be released with their vehicles unless they forfeited their cash.

The suits accused the same veteran deputy, Lee Dove, of taking a briefcase full of $50,000 in cash from Nguyen after stopping him for exceeding the speed limit by 3 mph in September, and seizing $13,800 and a handgun from Lee during a similar stop in December.

... Nguyen was given a written warning for speeding but wasn’t cited. As a condition of release, he signed a “property for safekeeping receipt,” which indicated the money was abandoned or seized and not returnable. But the lawsuit says he did so only because Dove threatened to seize his vehicle unless he “got in his car and drove off and forgot this ever happened.”

The day after Nguyen had his money taken, the sheriff issued a news release with a photograph of Dove pictured with a K-9 and $50,000 in seized cash “after a traffic stop for speeding.”

“This cash would have been used to purchase illegal drugs and now will benefit Humboldt County with training and equipment. Great job,” the statement said.

If you look at the information about the seizures it would be immediately obvious that the targets don't look like your stereotypical redneck sheriff. Surprise, surprise.

Want to smuggle anything? Look like a good old boy and have a NRA sticker on your car. For bonus points add some Tea Party crap. The cops will give you a thumbs up and send you on your way.

Comment: Re:Impact of foreigners on the education of Americ (Score 1) 161

by Required Snark (#47842465) Attached to: Getting Into College the Old Fashioned Way: With Money
Similar story outside of academia.

I have a friend who is a registered nurse and evaluates complaints about healthcare delivery. He has to write technical reports that refer to medical terminology and procedures. He is a native born US English speaker and writes well, and takes pride in his ability to communicate complex situations that can have important ramifications. For example, hospitals could loose accreditation or doctors could loose their licenses based on his reports.

His boss is a native speaking Chinese woman. She cannot write proper English sentences. She micromanages and rewrites his reports and turns his careful prose into hard to understand crap. She has a master's degree. She makes him less productive and degrades the quality of his work. Upper management loves her, and she get's paid more then he does. They like the fact that she is always finding fault, because it means that somehow they are the untrustworthy people who do the actual work.

So much for the myth of high quality US business practice.

Comment: Metapost (Score 2) 727

Metapost is a part of Knuth's TeX suite of languages. It is a graphic language that emits Postscript and supports spline line drawing. It was derived from Metafont, the font generation language for TeX.

First, Metapost is implemented as a macro language, so it is similar to C shell languages in the way it is evaluated. The symbols x, y, and z are predefined macros. For a location x the construct 3x is three times x. There are built in lengths, so 2cm and 1in are lengths. You can extend the language by defining you own macros for prefix or uinary and binary operations, which is the way that many of the operators are implemented.

The if and loop syntax

if boolean1 : expr1; else: expr2; elseif boolean2: expr3; fi

for i=1 step t until n: statement; statement; endfor

There are four levels of precedence. This is why multiplication by a constant can be expressed by putting a number in front of a value.

These are just some of the syntax features. The data types include splines, transforms, colors and numeric pairs for points. Built in operations can find points where two curves intersect and sub-curve sections between intersections.

It's fun in a strange fashion, and you can make some interesting geometrical pictures.

Comment: Re:Putin is the most out of control leader (Score 0) 789

Repeat after me:

Iraq and Sadam Hussein did not have anything to do with the 9/11 attack.

Iraq and Sadam Hussein did not have anything to do with the 9/11 attack.

Iraq and Sadam Hussein did not have anything to do with the 9/11 attack.

Iraq and Sadam Hussein did not have anything to do with the 9/11 attack.

Iraq and Sadam Hussein did not have anything to do with the 9/11 attack.

Bush and his war criminal cronies used 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq. They knowingly lied their teeth out about the existence of weapons of mass destruction. If you look at the history of the US right wing going after Hussein, just look at the writings of Bill Krystal before Bush was appointed to the Presidency by the Supreme Court of the Republican Party. They used the Al Qaeda terror attack as a justification Iraq and Sadam Hussein did not have anything to do with the 9/11 attack.

Do you think Putin would have as easy a time invading Ukraine if the US was not tied up in the quagmire of Iraq? Would ISIS (which is not a real name, it's actually the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), even have come into existence if the US hadn't invaded Iraq?

The damage done by Bush is far from over. I expect much worse to occur.

Comment: Putin is the most out of control leader (Score 2, Interesting) 789

of a major world power since George Bush.

Anyone remember that itty-bitty little mistake of invading the wrong country after 9/11 based on falsified intellegence?

On a scale of 0 to Iraq, how does Putin invading Ukraine rate?

Comment: Re:Figure, Figure, Figure (Score 3, Interesting) 240

by Required Snark (#47652805) Attached to: Patents That Kill
Since the end of the Cold War Russia and the USA have been following the same economic/political path: control by oligarchy/elites. In Russia the balance is that the government holds power over the oligarchs and they do the government's bidding. In the USA the government does the oligarch's bidding. Given a long enough time the two systems will differ only in insignificant details.

Russia never had long period of democracy, so the slide to authoritarianism does not have that far to go. The USA has a much longer democratic tradition (except for women, racial minorities, Native Americans, etc.) so it it taking longer to eliminate democratic forms of government.

Still democracy is slowly dieing in the USA, as evidenced by end of independent journalism, most criminal court cases being decided by plea bargains, the increasing costs of elections and the dysfunction of the legislative branch, the polarization of the Federal judiciary (the Roberts court decision on the Voting Rights Act) and the inability of the President to make deals with the Congress. (Note to Republicans: when there is a Republican President and the Democrats control the House and/or Senate, they will be just as unwilling to cooperate in running the country as in the current division of political power. Don't whine when you get bit by your own strategy.)

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James