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Comment: Re:Sounds Better? (Score 1) 433

by friedmud (#48594129) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

This isn't true for me. I really don't give a rat's ass about "toxins" (that's WAY overblown) - but I generally buy organic. Why? Quality. I'm not directly talking about "taste" (although grass-fed beef _does_ taste different from corn fed... but both are good!). I'm talking about average _quality_ of the food: i.e. how fresh it is, how well it is packaged, how it has been processed (or not), etc.

Yes, if you have two cows that are both high quality and you raise one organically and one non-organically and process their meat in exactly the same way and get it to the market and then to my table in exactly the same way: they are going to taste similar. _However_ that's not what happens.

Organic farmers are usually closer to where their goods are sold. They also give a shit about their product and aren't just some huge conglomerate - and their food is processed in smaller batches where more care can be taken. This means that (on average) I get higher quality food when I buy organic. Fresher greens, fresher (and better cut) meat, better spices, fresher produce, etc.

This is the same reason why people like to shop at farmer's markets: better quality food straight from farms.

As for the actual topic here: I know a lot of people are doing the Vinyl thing because it's "in" right now... but many people are also discovering that they _like_ the color added by vinyl medium.. and that it suits their ears. I'm not one of those people (digital FTW!) - but I can understand it.

Comment: Re:blah blah blah (Score 1) 105

by friedmud (#48560997) Attached to: Seeking Coders, Tech Titans Turn To K-12 Schools

No. Design is just as important as getting the right answer. More projects fail from bad design then from not working properly (entropy overtakes them until they can't add new features users want or the bugs start to creep in as new features are added due to poor compartmentalization).

Math helps. It helps a ton. Being able to use givens and rearrange a known set of variables to get to an answer is definitely critical. BUT - there is more to creating good software.

Starting early on how to think abstractly and to generalize with good interfaces is key so starting with high schoolers is not a bad idea at all.

Comment: It's because humans suck at judging risk. (Score 1) 523

by Robotech_Master (#48423313) Attached to: What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

Gregory Benford had a great column about this, all the way back in 2000. It also involved a nuclear powered satellite.

It's human nature to react more extremely to new things, especially if they seem "unnatural." This might have been a survival instinct in bygone days, when the hominid who noticed that bush was out of place could take another path and avoid getting eaten by the sabertooth tiger behind it. But like so many such instincts, it translates poorly into the technological era.

Comment: Sounds wasteful and stupid ... (Score 1) 61

by friedmud (#48241841) Attached to: Haier Plans To Embed Area Wireless Chargers In Home Appliances

Maybe not in the home... but think about public spaces. Put a few of these in a hotel lobby and everyone traveling through there can get a charge.

What about at Airports? Put one in the middle of each waiting area and all the passengers get a charge.

How about meeting rooms at companies?

Not too mention restaurants (Starbucks?)...

There are tons of places where lots of people congregate and they would appreciate getting a "top up" on the their batteries.

This is not a question of "if" only of "when"... and these are the first steps toward that...

+ - Designers & Dragons is the complete history of role-playing game publishers

Submitted by Robotech_Master
Robotech_Master (14247) writes "Evil Hat Productions is Kickstarting a four-volume history of the RPG industry that's already met its funding goal almost seven times over. Comprising half a million words altogether, it tells the story of pencil-and-paper role-playing games from their very beginnings, and you can read the e-book of the first volume for kicking in just one buck. $1 for the first e-book, $15 for all four, print volumes starting at $25 and up.

I've reviewed the first volume of it here. I found it extremely thorough and well-written."

+ - New recipe produces ammonia from air, water, and sunlight-> 1

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "Nitrogen is essential for all life. But even though nitrogen makes up 78% of the atmosphere, it's in a form that can't be used by living organisms. Instead it's tied up in nitrogen molecules made up of two nitrogen atoms that share a strong triple bond that's not easily broken. A century ago, two German chemists, Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, figured out how to sever those bonds with high pressures and temperatures and weld nitrogen atoms with hydrogens to make ammonia, thereby converting nitrogen into the starting material for a nitrogen-rich fertilizer that can be taken up and used by microbes, plants, and people. That process has been so successful that ammonia-based fertilizers now enable farmers to feed billions more people than our planet could otherwise support. But ammonia production also comes at a high environmental cost, as it is responsible for 2% of worldwide energy use and thus a massive greenhouse gas footprint. However, on page 637 of this issue, U.S. chemists report that they've come up with a way to synthesize ammonia from air, water, and sunlight. If the approach can be scaled up, it could offer a means for making an essential commodity without a major cost to the climate."
Link to Original Source

Comment: This needs to be seen (Score 2) 1

by Robotech_Master (#47377547) Attached to: Amazon vs Big Publishers - another side of the story

I feel it's really important that this piece get approved. The media is replete with Hachette, its authors and agents, and the various traditional publishing old-guard trying to stack the deck against Amazon. The other night the New York Public Library held a so-called "panel discussion" that was essentially an excuse to get together and bash Amazon. We need more people to hear the other side!

Comment: Re:Yes you are (Score 1) 634

by friedmud (#46964261) Attached to: Why Scientists Are Still Using FORTRAN in 2014

You can install PETSc without a Fortran compiler at all. Change that --download-f-blas-lapack to --download-c-blas-lapack and you're good to go...

In fact... MOOSE works on platforms without a Fortran compiler at all... although we generally recommend that you have one (so that you can still link in any legacy routines you've written in Fortran).

I'm not specifically against Fortran... I was just trying to say that most new computational science development at the National Labs is NOT being done in it. We've moved on...

Comment: Re:Because C and C++ multidimensional arrays suck (Score 0) 634

by friedmud (#46964221) Attached to: Why Scientists Are Still Using FORTRAN in 2014

Easily fixed with libraries like Eigen ( http://eigen.tuxfamily.org/ind... ) and many others.

Most of the better "frameworks" out there come with their own proxy objects for multidemensional arrays (like http://libmesh.sourceforge.net... )

Multidmensional arrays haven't been an issue (especially in C++) for quite a long time...

"Any excuse will serve a tyrant." -- Aesop