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Comment: Re:Unnatural aspect ratio (Score 1) 189

by hey! (#48441543) Attached to: Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

There's no such thing as a "natural" aspect ratio, because sitting with your eyes glued to a monitor isn't what we evolved to do.

Years of designing software have taught me one thing, which is that interfaces have to suit the task. When I'm writing or reading, I like a vertically oriented monitor. When I'm watching a movie, I like wide aspect ratio monitor. When I'm programming, I like a moderate aspect ratio landscape monitor, but very, very big. Bigger than I'd want to read a book on or watch a movie on.

So every monitor used for every kind of task is necessarily a compromise, but some monitors may be just the thing for a certain task. Maybe there's a task or mix of tasks where an 19" x 19" sqauare is a good compromise, or a single task where it's ideal. They seem to be pitching it at CAD users. I can see that. I've got my bridge drawings in a rectangular area on screen, but I still have another generous rectangular area for property sheets, tool palletes etc. When I'm working on my tower I arrange things into vertical rectangles.

Or this thing could be a nutty idea in search of a use. But there's probably one out there.

Comment: Re: It's still reacting carbon and oxygen... (Score 1) 142

by dgatwood (#48438297) Attached to: Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas

- the nuclear plants require a lot of sweet water for cooling, 24/7, and the world is running out

Not really. Only once-through nuclear plants require large amounts of fresh water continuously. Most plants use cooling towers instead. Some plants don't even use water in the recirculating parts of the cooling systems (e.g. molten salt reactors).

Also, once-through reactors, if designed to do so, can use salt water instead of fresh water.

- it's pretty much unflexible regarding any peaks or lows in consumption

Only because they aren't designed to do so. You can significantly reduce the output of a plant very quickly, but you can't speed it up quickly, currently, because of the buildup of Xenon-135 as a fission byproduct, which is a strong neutron absorber, and the only way to get beyond that is to pull the fuel rods out far more than is safe, and once the uranium fission restarts, the Xenon is quickly destroyed, resulting in a rapid increase in neutron levels in the core, which would overheat the reactor before you could bring it under control.

However, there are a couple of designs that don't suffer from that problem—integral fast reactors and molten fuel reactors both allow the xenon to be separated from the fuel. And I think pebble bed reactors could also be readily made to be largely immune to this effect by cycling in different fuel pellets in while the xenon in the recently used pellets slowly decays.

- the latest generation concrete housings' carbon foorprint takes a decade to offset

I think your numbers are way off. According to David MacKay, spread over a 25-year lifespan, it only comes to about 1.4 grams of CO2 per kWh. In other words, it offsets its construction cost compared with coal in just a little over a month, by my math.

Comment: Re:Nope... Nailed It (Score 1) 177

by bluefoxlucid (#48434731) Attached to: It's Not Developers Slowing Things Down, It's the Process

Actually, this is all stuff known to project managers.

When a project is initiated, the Project Manager first creates a Project Charter. This is done by identifying stakeholders (people doing the work, people affected by the work, people receiving deliverables... any individual or group who affects, is affected by, or perceives itself to be affected by any activity or outcome of the project) and gathering preliminary project requirements. Essentially, the project manager talks to the stakeholders to roughly determine what we're trying to accomplish, how we're going to accomplish it, how much we want to spend, and how much time we're willing to take. That's written up as the charter.

After this, real requirements are gathered. Work is broken down in a Work Breakdown Structure, a hierarchical decomposition of deliverables in which each level is fully broken out into lower levels. The entire project is level 1; level 2 is the major deliverables (Including project management itself, as well as phases or components, testing, validation, documentation, hand-off, and final project closing); and those are broken out into the deliverables which make them up. The final level of deliverables is the Work Package, a complete unit of work which can be understood and managed. Work Packages are broken out into Tasks and Activities--things to do which can be assigned, and which are required to produce the Work Package.

To do all of this, the Project Manager must consult the Project Team. The Project Team will know what components go into building the deliverable output as requested. The project team will be able to estimate their competency and experience with the various components. The Project Manager will use historical information to come up with rough scheduling and budget numbers for each Work Package and Task; but the Project Team will raise issues such as that the historical information was in a wildly different context, that the people who did the work are not on this project, and so on, which means that the work may take more or less time. These factor into the baseline schedule and into the management and contingency reserves (the extra time allotted based on how likely a task should take--in theory, a programmer can write a decompression module in 4 hours, but it's 90% likely to take less than 5 hours, and a 90% success rate is targeted, so we budget 4h with a contingency reserve of 1h).

In the end, the engineers will inform the project manager of what can and can't be done, what effort goes into it, how long it may take, and so on. The Project Manager will have stakeholders prioritize deliverables, and then have them select which deliverables to cut from the project if they can't make time or budget. If the engineers tell you they simply can't build this in 5 months, you either give them 7 months or you give up enough requirements to shave 2 months off the project. You could also identify underutilization of resources in non-critical paths, and crash or fast-track the schedule by assigning more people to those tasks which may be done in parallel rather than in serial.

That's what managers are for.

Comment: Re: wont last (Score 2) 266

Because people are simple, and everything is both simple and complex. I can explain to you how to solve poverty; the solution is simple, but incredibly nuanced. It's a very short list of policy features, but it avoids an incredible number of policy features that would create sub-optimal or even destructive results. It relies on a handful of economic concepts which, when explained, amount to massively complex interconnected systems, which in turn come down to simple human behavioral psychology, which in turn becomes incredibly complex when examined deeper.

People are often keen to take the simplistic--supply and demand versus competition--and claim simple behaviors. Supply of houses? Prices will come down because more houses can be built, more apartments can be offered. This explanation ignores risk, ignores the cost risk of building more housing such that supply exceeds demand, ignores the nuanced scarcity of housing (there's plenty, but you can only get a given apartment or house at a given time, and they're all non-fungible), and ignores that people will routinely pay the common above-cost price even if some other market player has the same good cheaper. Prices don't just continuously drop when competition shows up; prices can even creep upwards in a competitive market, as competitors learn that a $500 good and a $515 good both sell, and then everyone sells it for $515 until some competitors start selling it for $530 and don't take a loss in sales volume.

People don't like this. They say, "No, you would lower your price to attract more business. If one person did it and then had more business than he could handle, and the others didn't drop prices, another competitor would enter the market at the low price." That doesn't fucking work.

Comment: Re:yeah. Except RAM, CPU, and bus bandwidth (Score 1) 97

by hey! (#48434165) Attached to: Intel Planning Thumb-Sized PCs For Next Year

Well, branch prediction doesn't get you much when most of your CPU cycles are going unused. Caching stuff in RAM can be a big win -- under certain circumstances. If adding more RAM means you can increase the probability of a cache hit significantly, good for you. But the fundamental fact remains that if a system is performing well enough, making it more powerful has limited practical utility.

I speak from decades of experience working with database sytems. It's wasteful to take a shotgun approach to performance improvement. You need to find where the bottleneck is, then widen that.

Comment: Re:Build their economy? (Score 1) 142

by bluefoxlucid (#48433701) Attached to: Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas
It seems to me a local utility can either generate power, mark up over cost, and pay taxes on profits; or import power, mark up over cost, and pay taxes on profits. These are the same. They claim they would lose jobs, but wasteful spending creates economic strain and reduces the total eventual jobs: in 5 years, moving to the cheaper option would provide a stronger and more robust economy.

Comment: Re:To America? Yes. To the GOP? No. (Score 1) 233

by squiggleslash (#48432843) Attached to: Does Being First Still Matter In America?

He's right and you're wrong. Those two issues are not the primary purposes of the Federal Government, and even if you had been technically right (you're not, ICC is of considerable more historic purpose), you would have been handwaving as claiming two issues are "primary" does not eliminate the other unsaid issues.

Comment: Re:To America? Yes. To the GOP? No. (Score 1) 233

by squiggleslash (#48432799) Attached to: Does Being First Still Matter In America?

I'm bemused by his answer to be honest. I was making a light hearted comment about someone's attempt to justify a party position ("Against big gubmint") by launching into a dubious official-justification "Trying to protect the constitution" rant.

So I drew a parallel with #ethics!!?!1!, and got a massive MRA rant in response, as if the intent was to make the thread symmetric. Apparent Reason 1 -> Dubious Official Position 1 -> Dubious Official Position 2 -> (Whitewashed) Apparent Reason 2.


BTW Shadow, FWIW, the tactics of your fellow MRAs/channer trolls/opportunists/dupes lead me to actually sit down and watch Anita Sarkeesian's video series the other week. Well, I had to. And yes, it will impact some of my work in future, she makes some excellent points. Me, myself, probably won't make a difference to you, but I know plenty of others who have done the same. And by coming out into the open, you've also made it easier for us to see you, for me to, for example, warn my daughter (when she's old enough, I'm not going to scare the shit out of her right now) about the extremists in your group who write articles like "How to get away with rape" and "How to break a woman".

So thank you - to you and the people you defend and associate with - for making it easier to arm my daughter, and for ensuring I, and legions of other men who seriously had thought sexism against women was nothing like as serious as it is, open our eyes and start fighting for equality.