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Comment Re:Good for greece (Score 1) 1307 1307

No, inflation is not good. Deflation is not good. A government/central bankthat spends its time actually understanding the how money flows through the economy (as opposed to spending its time convincing everyone that it understands these things) would aim for a combination of interest rates, QE, and out-and-out printing money that makes the inflation as near zero as possible with maybe half an epsilon's worth of safety margin in the positive direction to keep the banks from freezing up.

Comment Re: It's that time... (Score 3, Interesting) 342 342

I was responsible for the servo of an optical tracking mount with moving dome and powered cable wrap (no manipulator arms, just four axes of motion, three of them coaxial) and I still made sure to pump out about 100kbytes/sec worth of telemetry for all the moving machinery that was there. A 5 or six axis robot should probably be pumping out at least that much of telemetry.

The second real question is what their data retention polcy is so that human error can be isolated from electromechanical fault and software fault.

Comment Re:So don't put warnings on the windshield. (Score 2) 195 195

Mod parent up.

Even the multi-function displays in the middle of the instrument panels on *all* cars made in the last three or four years is too much. Old fogeys like myself, at the crusty old age of 29, have gotten used to associating a particular spatial location in an automobile's console with a particular piece of information so that it's second nature.

This is how the mind is wired to absorb information from the world at a very basic level. Want to see what the weather it is? Look up. Want to see if you're walking on steady ground? Look down. Want to see if there's danger or prey out there? Look around.

Same in a car, or fighter jet for that matter: Want to see the time? Look at where the clock is. Want to see what radio station you're listening to? Look at where the tuner is. Want to see how much gas you've got? Look at where the fuel gauge is. This is constant-time lookup. If you have multifunction displays that *change* where these basic things are, now you've upped the cognitive load on the driver in that he now has to keep track of what state the display is in rather than just glancing in a well-remembered spot.

A proper heads-up display, and a proper desktop GUI, smartphone app, etc, preserve this feature so that you can see what you need by looking where you remember. Incidentally, this is a large part of what 'type rating' is on commercial aircraft, and aircraft manufacturers frequently retain large commercial customers by laying out the cockpits of their newer models the same exact way as the old one, with the selling point that pilots don't need to be retrained to figure out where they need to be looking and where their hands need to be in the new cockpit.

The point is, a good HUD for a car will show the same thing in the same place all the time. Just projections of dials and needles if I had my way. No popups, no text to read, no nothing. If there's something wrong with the car, a single idiot light that says 'check engine' will do it, because you're not going to diagnose it yourself while on the highway. That way it actually does save you time and keeps your gaze closer to the road.

But yeah. If you've got bells and whistles and distractions in your field of vision, of course it's unsafe. Most people are probably smart enough to ignore the popup message crap polluting automotive mutlifunction displays, by keeping their eyes up. If the crap follows them there, that's not an usafe display mechanism, that's unsafe human interface design. </rant>

Comment Re:Non story, headline should read (Score 1) 213 213

Well, there is a story, but it's more about a single point of failure between the generating plant and the customer. No failover transformer? No spare on site? Did the old one give up the ghost of old age when it should have been rotated out and rebuilt a long while ago?

Comment Re: More religious whackjobs (Score 1) 286 286

I run the park, therefor I am an expert. I am the CEO therefor I know the business best. I am the emperor, therefor I am not naked. Appeals to authority only work when the audience has just fallen off the turnip truck within the last minute.

Comment Re: More religious whackjobs (Score 1) 286 286

True, but/and the reason for keeping the state and church apart is so that you the free citizen can run your life in a way compatible with your understanding of God, for there is no real meaningful godliness without a real chance at failure. If the church has a say in public policy, that takes away some of your ability to make the correct choice.

Comment Re: More religious whackjobs (Score 0) 286 286

This is true. Daniel Inouye used to rule those mountaintops with an iron fist. I hear through my grapevine that he nixed an upgrade to make some of the military's satellite tracking telescopes up there back in the 80s because the automation would have cost some of the native Hawaiian telescope operators their jobs.

Comment Re: More religious whackjobs (Score 3, Funny) 286 286

Illegal my ass. We occupied and annexed it fair and square, replacing tribal savagery where might made right on the scale of every day life with actual laws and courts and civilized institutions. The fact that we also brought modern religion (that is to say a small-L liberal judeo-christian tradition) to replace this "the colors of the wind" bullshit is all the more icing on the cake.

Comment Re:This again? (Score 0) 480 480

TL;DR; if White didn't understand the issues with his setup the first time around (vacuum wasn't the biggest), I don't trust him to make a meaningful measurement this time either.

The biggest question I had wasn't whether this would work in a vacuum, it was whether this was really an "anomolous" electromagnetic torque against the steel vacuum chamber due to improper shielding of the RF the thing radiates out combined with the effect of piping the RF in from outside the balance (ie the wires carrying the RF lines stiffenning in a weird way when carrying current).

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