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Comment: Re:I know you're trying to be funny, but... (Score 2) 713

by Spazmania (#47545359) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"

He's being a bully, pure and simple

Sticks and stones. I'd rather face honest anger than than a disingenuous veneer of reasonableness. And this isn't the first (or second or third) time in the last couple years GCC has been found to have optimized something into wrong code.

+ - 'Optical fibre' Made Out Of Thin Air 1

Submitted by Dave Knott
Dave Knott (2917251) writes "Scientists from the University of Maryland say they have turned thin air into an "optical fibre" that can transmit and amplify light signals without the need for any cables. As described in the research, this was accomplished by generating a laser with its light split into a ring of multiple beams forming a pipe. Very short and powerful pulses from the laser are used to heat the air molecules along the beam extremely quickly. Such rapid heating produces sound waves that take about a microsecond to converge to the centre of the pipe, creating a high-density area surrounded by a low-density area left behind in the wake of the laser beams. The lower density region of air surrounding the centre of the air waveguide has a lower refractive index, keeping the light focused, and allowing the higher-density region (with its correspondingly higher index of refraction) to act like an optical fibre. The findings, reported in the journal Optica, have applications in long range laser communications, high-resolution topographic mapping, air pollution and climate change research, and could also be used by the military to make laser weapons."

Comment: Re:Children (Score 1) 753

by Spazmania (#47463107) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

Taxes pay to print cash. They could pay to run the transaction system.

Cards could carry a monthly fee that covers up to some number of transactions.

Transactions consisting solely of splitting or combining cards could be made free while transactions consisting of the purchase of goods or services continue to carry a fee.

There are any number of ways to set up the system where one activity or another carries no fee. When I write a check I pay no fee. The bank makes its money off me other ways.

Comment: Re:Not surprising. (Score 1) 725

by Spazmania (#47445977) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

Shame you don't understand logical fallacies.

"Appeal to consequences" means an argument that something must be false because the consequences would be bad. I made no such argument. I said, "we'd better be damn sure we're right" before undertaking an effort with such negative consequences.

Unproven is not the same as false, nor is disputing unfounded conclusions the same as calling the conclusions untrue. This is one of the central fallacies that the alarmists have been perpetrating: that anyone who says, "hold on, it looks like you should investigate this a little more thoroughly" is a "denier" claiming that the hypotheses are false.

Climate alarmists may yet find sufficient scientific evidence to justify drastic action. I claim only that the ringing of the alarm bells is premature and I even suggest a form of acceptable evidence which, if found, would sustain the yet unproven claims.

Unfortunately science only works when scientists are at liberty to try as hard as they can to demonstrate counter-examples to your theory. The whole "denier" politics discourages folks from asking the questions scientists must ask in order to sustain or refute the hypotheses on the table. Your politics have gotten in the way of actually proving whether you're right.

Comment: Re:Last century stuff (Score 1) 753

by Spazmania (#47445825) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

Not exactly. When someone with good credit pays off his "cash back" card at the end of the month, the bank passes on a portion of the merchant fees. That's the "cash back."

Of course, if you use your card as an unsecured loan for longer than the billing cycle then you pay interest. And if you're late paying you pay late fees. You're a fool to do that in anything but a dire emergency, and your parents, friends and colleagues have warned you about it all your life, but you're free to live your life any way you want to.

Comment: Re:Useless coins (Score 1) 753

by Spazmania (#47445793) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

What would we like about the dollar coin? Except by sight it's nearly indistinguishable from a quarter worth, well, a quarter of what a dollar is worth. And when we see it... it's ugly. I want to see George Washington on my dollars, not obscure companions of explorers however worthy they may be.

I do think it'd be reasonable to replace the penny and nickle with a better designed $1 coin and a $5 coin. Then the new system of cash transactions in tenths of a dollar instead of hundredths of a dollar would make sense and the universe wouldn't end because of it.

Comment: Re:Regular People (Score 1) 608

by Spazmania (#47437503) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

No approach to "programming" for normal people ever has allowed normal people to go beyond the canned capabilities. Excel macros are as far out of reach.

But why would this be surprising or unreasonable? Most people can't change the oil in their car either, or replace the stereo. And most of those who can can't make engine repairs. It'd be absurd to suggest this reflects faulty thinking on the part of car manufacturers.

"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." -- George Bernard Shaw