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Comment Re:Insane government (Score 1) 467 467

Poland exports just 0.1 TWh to Germany per year, while Germany itself was importing 38 TWh. Thus even in situations of dire need (when Germany was importing electricity), Poland supplied only 0.3 percent of Germany's imported electricity, which renders your argument somewhat dubious. I guess Germany can do just fine if 0.3 percent of the imported capacity (non-withstanding the capacity Germany itself still has) are missing.

Comment Re: Looking more and more likely all the time... (Score 5, Informative) 419 419

But I'll still be willing to listen to reasonable follow-up experiments instead of dismissing out of hand. So we get to Martin Tajmar and his claims (also not peer reviewed, but at least it's at a conference). Tajmar is not the guy I'd choose as the most reputable source. He has a history of claims about...creative physics from poor experimental setups. That is, he claims to observe new physics, but people have consistently had a hard time reproducing his results. Go ahead and google the guy.

I did, and appearantly it was Martin Tajmar himself, who found the flaw in his gravitational gyroscope thesis, and published it: FiberOpticGyroscope Measurements Close to Rotating Liquid Helium. So whatever you think about the guy, a superficial Google result seems to put him at least as honest. If he makes a mistake, he is able to admit it.

Comment Re:When software has no bugs (Score 1) 252 252

I don't know about the U.S. (I remember having read about it though), but in Europe, getting a driving license goes down on young people's priority list. Many people feel that cars are too expensive buy, too expensive to maintain, and that a bicycle and a bus or train ticket get you wherever you want to anyway, so even the freedom aspect is miniscule. Autonomous cars which you hire for exactly the one trip you need them are the way to go. They arrive at your doorstep on time, and you just leave them there when you don't need them anymore. They don't occupy a parking lot most of the time, and if they do, it's not yours.

I might have been one of the early adopters of the trend, getting my drivers license only at age 27, because I really didn't need it before.

Comment Re:Insane government (Score 1) 467 467

I don't understand where this meme of "Polish coal plants selling energy to Germany" comes from, as it is not rooted anywhere in reality.

Germany in 2013 net-exported 34 TWh of electrical energy (buying 38 TWh and selling 72 TWh). And it imported 0.1 TWh from Poland while exporting 4 TWh to Poland.

Comment Re:Equitable pay? (Score 5, Insightful) 428 428

Many prices are open in public. If I want to know the prices my competitor offers, I just look up his price sheet. But for employees, appearently having a public price list is frowned upon, which gives employers an unfair advantage in the negotiation. Differently than the employee, the employer has perfect information, he knows how much he pays every employee. And thus the power in salary negotiation is very loopsided, as the employee has much less information about the market and the competition than the employer has. Thus salary negotiations in most cases don't happen in a free market environment.

Comment Re:Why pro-this or pro-that? (Score 1) 249 249

If they don't like the license I pick, then I'm not forcing them to use my code. It's a simple concept, really.

And it's only half of the concept, that's why it appears simple. People who don't use your code will not share their experiences with your, will never tell you about problems that could arise, about simple changes that might improve runtime performances, will not develop new uses for your code. One of the biggest reasons we have all that code sharing culture is because no single person is able to invent everything on her own. Yes, for a small project, it might work. But it will stay a small project for the rest of its life. By choosing the wrong license, you cut off a large part of the feedback loop that's necessary for any further development.

Yes, you can choose to have it that way. It's up to you. But then, your project will always be that obscure little hobbyist project which crawls slowly from version to version, if it crawls at all, and maybe even the most patient of your users will find a similar project, make the transition and enjoy faster responses on feedback, implementations of change requests, bug fixing and adaption to new use cases.

Comment Re:If race doesn't exist, how is this possible? (Score 1) 312 312

That's what I exactly don't say:

because there are no clear cut races of humans

Instead I was talking about arbitrary cutoffs where some genetic markers are allowed and others aren't, but they don't fit a racist agenda. You could for instance block off everyone missing both the immunoglobulin A allel and the immunoglobulin B allel, and then you allow access only to people with blood group 0. It would probably work, but your blood group is no indicator for the perceived race.

Comment Re:If race doesn't exist, how is this possible? (Score 1) 312 312

Maybe 23andMe will yield exactly that result? Because genetic markers are many, and because there are no clear cut races of humans, but rather a continuum of different sets of genetic markers, sites that use 23andMe to permit access will find out that they either have to loosen their criteria to enable access to all the people they want or they have to tighten controls to keep people out they don't want but at the same time exclude many which would fit their agenda.

Comment Re:They're worthless. (Score 1) 213 213

No. It's how it is supposed to be used.

Those LEDs are pure status LEDs and have no other means than to tell you how the next input will be interpreted by the computer. They are meaningless without input from the keyboard, and are only considered in the context of input.

Otherways you would also have to consider a monitor an input device because it tells the graphics card what the possible and the optimal settings are. But here again, those information is solely used in context with the output of the graphics card, thus it is not considered input per se.

Comment Re:Well understood phenomena works as predicted (Score 3, Insightful) 382 382

Statistics is collecting data and then make statements about the general characteristics of the data.

It's far away from wild guesses. Yes, you can do awful things that might appear to someone not looking closely like Statistics, but they really aren't. And you can draw conclusions from Statistics that are not really supported by the data, but again, it might look like Statistic, but it isn't.

Statistics are a very valuable tool for Science. Science is of course not just Statistics, it is much more. But Statistics have their uses in Science, and in many cases, there is no replacement. Thermodynamics for instance are purely Statistics.

Comment Re:approves an anti (Score 1) 446 446

There is a subtle difference between selective breeding and outright GMO, and there are the hybrids inbetween. And some people choose to ignore the differences.
  1. Selective breeding works only on the allels. Genes come in different expressions, called allels. Selective breeding chooses sets of allels. The actual genes remain the same. Thus you can revert most of the selective breeding by randomly crossbreeding different strands, and you get something pretty close to the original wild organism.

    If you need an analogon, selective breeding is like changing the configuration file of a customable program.

  2. Hybrids are crossbred between different species of the same genus. Some are fertile, most are not. Many traditional agricultural crops are hybrids. In most cases, the genes of the species within a genus are pretty close to each other, thus a combination of them can yield an working organism, albeit not necessarily a fertile one, so you have to hybridize every generation of the agricultural crop from their respective species, or you have to use asexual reproduction. (An interesting case in point are apples. You can't actually breed a typical apple, the ability to do so has been lost at least 2500 years ago. All strands of apple you can buy at a grocery store are engrafted and asexually reproduced.)

    The analogon would be using some program parts that were written for a different version of the same program.

  3. GMO introduces genes from completely unrelated species into an organism. It can thus combine genes that have evolved in different species for more than 500 million years. You can add virus genes into plants, bacterial genes into vertebratae, monocotyledonous genes into dicotyledons.

    An analogon would be cut and paste program code from completely different programming projects into your code and just hope it still compiles afterwards.

Comment Re:It's larger than we thought, lets call it a pla (Score 2) 134 134

Actually, the five classical planets (which we call Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) were known to all cultures we know of, thus we can call them "general knowledge", It has nothing to do with "European Aryan Übermensch". We can speculate that at least Uranus might have been discovered by other people than just Europeans, as the oldest known hint to its existence can be traced back to Hipparchos in 128 BC, but he didn't notice its planetary character. The discovery of Neptune with an apparent magnitude of 7.7 requires an optical instrument, as it is to dim to be discovered by a bare eye. Thus discovery of Neptune is restricted to cultures which were looking at the sky with optical instruments, which, as far as we know, leaves the Arabs and the Europeans.

Thus, you are wrong. Planets (at least the above mentioned five) were discovered by about any culture we know of, and rightly assumed to be different from stars.

Get hold of portable property. -- Charles Dickens, "Great Expectations"