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Comment: Re:Same Thing Almost Happened to Me (Score 2) 536

If wired broadband internet is a critical feature of any house you buy, verify before you buy.

What verification steps can you possibly take beyond what he did? Hack into their computers to determine if there really had been service at that address?

Obviously, all that is necessary is to order the service, rather than fruitlessly engaging in this ridiculous "verification" ritual. Schedule the damn install, and see what happens. If they show up, you can reschedule. If they don't, don't buy the house.

Comment: Re: Security theater (Score 4, Informative) 224

by TubeSteak (#49330397) Attached to: $1B TSA Behavioral Screening Program Slammed As "Junk Science"

The problem here isn't the science, it's the pork.

Pork has nothing to do with it and the science isn't all that bad.
The problem is that SPOT is a diet-version of Israel's behavioral screening program, which is what makes it a waste of money.

SPOT leaves out the naked profiling that Israel uses and it also completely neglects the intrusive (and lengthy) questioning of travelers.
Basically, the two pieces that make it at all effective.

To summarize, the Israeli system could never be fully transplanted into the USA because
1. It profiles based on race, religion, and country of origin
2. It is manpower intensive
3. It puts security before anything, including your family of 5 missing their flight.

Comment: Re:Hasn't been involved with Greenpeace since 1985 (Score 1) 573

by TubeSteak (#49311381) Attached to: Greenpeace Co-Founder Declares Himself a Climate Change Skeptic

So the headline should read, "Oil industry funded think tank announces that a guy who used to belong to Greenpeace is a climate denialist."

Oh come on, give The Heartland Institute some credit.
They were also big players in the "tobacco doesn't give you cancer" and "taxes will give you cancer" movements.

Comment: Re:Internet? (Score 1) 67

Maybe this is for mobile phones, but even then if a mobile phone can get to Facebook then it can obviously get to anywhere else on the internet.

The detail you're missing is "free"
Facebook either pays the mobile operator or creates a (advertising) revenue sharing partnership so that mobile access to Facebook is free to that telecom company's customers.

Pretty much exactly what the concept of Net Neutrality is intended to quash.

Comment: Re:solar and wind are just proxies for natural gas (Score 1) 437

The math is very clear. What isn't clear to you is the history of nuclear power. The only reason the US invested so much in nuclear power in the 1950s is because someone massively overestimated the need for fuel for bombs. A single plant could have produced enough fuel for nuclear weapons, yet we built 110 or so of them. It really isn't fair to ask why solar hasn't quiet yet overtaken nuclear because of the massive investment in nuclear from 1940-1970. Had a fraction of the capital invested in nuclear been diverted to solar R&D in the 1950's, you better believe solar would be everywhere you could imagine now, and cheaper than spit. Only since the call for alternative energies has commercial interests taken up development of solar power. In the last 10 years alone, there have been massive advances in solar manufacturing processes and the efficiency of photovoltaics. Give it 10 more years, and nuclear will be a joke, unable to compete with solar, which is very nearly at cost of energy parity right now. Solar isn't perfect, and is no free lunch. But it is simpler, available to anyone and not just rich governments to implement, and as I said, in very short order solar generated energy will be cheaper than nuclear generated energy.

Comment: Re:solar and wind are just proxies for natural gas (Score 4, Insightful) 437

Nuclear power is the answer. I know someone is going to point out the nuclear waste that comes from nuclear power now.

Yes, waste is a concern. But the real concern is the economics of nuclear energy has never made any sense. It is outrageously expensive, and never has a nuclear power plant been able to have been built without massive capital from governments. An individual can install wind and solar and other alternative energies on a local scale. There are solvable problems involved. Eventually, the problem of energy storage will be solved. But the problem with nuclear power, which is that is the most expensive form of energy ever conceived, will never be solved. Nuclear energy proponents ignore this, but it is the only thing standing in the way of your dream of nuclear power being the solution to the world's energy needs: its just too damn expensive. Money wins every time.

Comment: Re:LiDAR solves for vegetation (Score 4, Informative) 31

Which class of laser are they using which can penetrate the canopy of a jungle?

The standard is 1064 nm infrared and 532 nm green (actually 1064nm doubled).
The IR is absorbed by water, hence the inclusion of a 532nm wavelength laser.

With a high enough pulse rate, you can penetrate multiple layers of canopy and get excellent resolution.

Also for the larger areas covered it seems like a fixed wing design might be more appropriate.

Fixed wing solutions are neither better nor worse than any other solution.
Planes need a plane, an airfield, a mechanic, fuel, a pilot, and an operator for the LIDAR system.

The benefit of using an octo-copter is that all you need is electricity to charge it.

Comment: Re:Fossil fuel divestment makes for smart money (Score 1) 190

by TubeSteak (#49264151) Attached to: UN Backs Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign

In the last decade coal consumption has sky rocketed.

Past performance is not an indication of future returns.
China is embarrassed by the choking pollution from its coal plants and is either replacing them with cleaner energy or moving them to the middle of no where.

Mar 5, 2015

The [Chinese] National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in its annual report on Thursday that it would implement policies aimed at reducing coal consumption and controlling the number of energy-intensive projects in polluted regions.

China is trying to strike a balance between improving its environment and restructuring away from an economy dominated by energy intensive industries like steel making and construction towards one focused more on consumption and the service sector.

Which is interesting that China is still pursuing the Nicaraguan canal so it can more easily access South America's resources.
Before the canal, China was considering building a railway across Columbia as an alternative to the Panama Canal choke point.

Comment: Re:HOWTO (Score 1) 1081

by catmistake (#49260113) Attached to: How To Execute People In the 21st Century

and how many innocents had their lives taken by it.

This and this alone invalidates the death penalty in all circumstances, according to Blackstone's Formulation.

But it goes much deeper. Statistics prove the death penalty does not deter crime. Many have been executed, yet we still have murders and violent crime. Those who commit murder do not care about life, and thus the threat of a death penalty will not deter them from their committed acts.

Due to appeals, lawyers fees, court costs, the death penalty is far more expensive than keeping a convict in prison for life.

And the coup de gras, the death penalty is overwhelmingly biased towards killing black men, many whom have been shown to be innocent after it was carried out... the stats don't lie, the death penalty is racist.

If only those voting for the political Right would put their economic interests first, there would be no GOP, no nanny/police state, no unregulated out-of-control capitalist interests destroying our planet, and no inneffective, expensive, and racist death penalty.

Comment: Re:This ex-Swatch guy doesn't have a clue (Score 1) 389

the model that goes on sale on April 24th will be nothing like the updated version that catapults it to mainstream popularity.


Apple competitors have had an actual watch that is a phone, no tethering to any other device necessary, on the market already for a year or two, at least. Apple is obviously going that direction, but can't quite get it to be the size they want yet... so they left the obvious killer function out for now, and are misdirecting the expected criticism of the absence of this function with all this haptic feedback stuff, a flashy interface and oooo checks my pulse wow. When Apple finally does release an actual watch phone, everyone will act like Apple invented it or at least perfected it... five years after you could have had that function (but not slick Apple design) from another tech company.

IMO, the entire idea is flawed if Apple expects it to carry the company's success through another decade. Apple is a hardware company, not a jewelry company. Apple is completely ignoring its actual customers (education and home computing markets) to go after the high hanging fruit. I think Apple needs a product to compete here, but I don't think they should expect great things at the expense of their bread and butter products. Those that buy expensive watches know a thing or two that Apple apparently does not: a good watch is a good investment. There are no good digital watches that appreciate. They're not going to get the high hanging fruit, i.e. new customers that were former Breitling customers. They're going to get the same customers they've always had, their loyal customers Apple keeps ignoring. I know this because I have been a loyal Apple customer for more than 20 years, and I have salivated over each new product... brainwashed maybe... but this... idk what this thing is... I am so stunned by it, it has deprogrammed me. Its having the same effect on me as if Apple was releasing a rectal thermometer as their new flagship product, a beautifully designed thermometer that doesn't yet give you a temperature and only works in conjuction with your iPhone.

Comment: Re:LOL damage broadband investment (Score 2) 347

by TubeSteak (#49244143) Attached to: FCC Posts Its 400-Page Net Neutrality Order

Given that they have U-Verse in a lot of places, I believe they've actually been investing quite a bit.

They have been investing a lot, because laying fiber is very expensive.
But U-Verse is not in a lot of places.

If you look at where fiber has been brought to market (not just by AT&T), it's almost exclusively in cherry picked areas that can afford high prices.

Comment: Re:Moderated comments like Slashdot? (Score 1) 255

by TubeSteak (#49232079) Attached to: On Firing Open Source Community Members

Maybe have a slashdot-like karma system, where bad comments on the forums are modded down, and you build up good karma.

Then you have to worry about the down vote brigade. /.'s solution is many eyes and meta-moderation
Reddit's solution is to complain to the moderators. /.'s system is more open to injustice by dedicated trolls
Reddit's system, can have better outcomes, but requires manpower and trusted individuals.
Wikipedia's system requires politics and the ability to grind down the opposition.

There's no easy answer.

Comment: Re:Anonymous, eh? (Score 1) 255

by TubeSteak (#49232061) Attached to: On Firing Open Source Community Members

When rational thought becomes a religion the leaders and followers of that religion will go to war over any outsiders who dare question the religion well before they will attempt to straighten out the inconsistencies within that religion

And in case you are dense, I am equating the current foss environment with religion

From The Fine Article:

I have always stayed consistent on this topic: I believe all views and perspectives should be welcome if they are constructive and solutions-oriented. Feel free to rabidly disagree with me, but don't just come to me with complaints. Come with a desire to find solutions, and then we can work together.

Do you have any thoughts to propose that move the conversation from "here's a problem" to "here's a solution"?

Comment: Re:Profit Margins on the Apple Watch Edition (Score 5, Informative) 450

by TubeSteak (#49229363) Attached to: Reactions to the New MacBook and Apple Watch

Oh, and spot price is for 24-karat gold, each ounce of which makes 1-1/3rd an ounce of 18-karat gold. So... does one of these watches weigh 10 ounces?

Even better, the speculation is that Apple's gold watch is only technically 18-karat.
Why technically? Because the definition for 18-karat is that gold must make up 75% of the alloy's mass.

Apple patented a... not-alloy... that uses ceramic instead of metal. (PDF)
Since ceramic is significantly lighter by volume, Apple can use less gold and still meet the 75% gold-by-mass standard.

TLDR: Not all gold is created equal.

In Nature there are neither rewards nor punishments, there are consequences. -- R.G. Ingersoll