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Comment: Inconvenient truth? (Score 4, Interesting) 428

by TapeCutter (#47712315) Attached to: Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

I suspect oil/coal shills here.

I thought the same thing but a brief skim of their donor list indicates otherwise, an easy to find annual report is also not something commonly available for the myriad of FF front groups.

Having said that, the last line of the summary is oddly misleading, the phrase "but an environmental group claims" should read "but federal wildlife officers claim". It was the Feds who observed "a streamer every 2min", which by simple linear extrapolation is ~25k/yr, they became alarmed and requested the construction halt. Notice they have not called for a halt to operations. I think a closer look is certainly warranted and Federal Wildlife people would appear to be the appropriate group to be doing the looking. Where the environmental group actually fit into the story I'm not sure, if they were the ones who called in the feds, then good on 'em for not turning a blind eye to a politically inconvenient truth.

Disclaimer: Self confessed "greenie" long before greenpeace and science parted ways in the 80's.

Comment: Re:Time for medicare for all in the usa (Score 1) 165

by TapeCutter (#47707901) Attached to: Why Chinese Hackers Would Want US Hospital Patient Data
Same is true in Oz, overall an Aussie family of 4 pays about 1/10th of the price they would pay in the US for health cover and yet the US has statistically inferior health outcomes.

The US health system is a (sad) laughing stock of the western world, and is by far the most expensive for individuals. But at the end of the day the irrational fear of "socialism" amongst average americans has given them the inefficient private system they demanded.

Comment: Re:Kickstarter Goals? (Score 1) 98

Newsflash, the vast majority of investments and purchases made by individuals are driven by emotion and circumstance, logic is way down the list when it comes to real life decisions, what most claim to be logic is actually rationalisation of emotions. If what TFA claims is true then these people are merely rationalising a high risk investment with a secondary social motive, so even if they lose their money they can be satisfied that some nebulous "social good" came out of it. They are trying to set things up so they cannot fail to get some sort of "reward". Thing is we don't consciously think those things, we "feel" them when making a decision to hand over the money, or not.

Comment: Re:A lot of assumptions... (Score 1) 98

They're making wild assumptions about the genders of the backers and trying to drawn conclusions about that

No, they have a hypothesis that may one day be tested on the entire population in question, they formed their hypothesis on the basis of laboratory tests, Extrapolation is a perfectly valid method of making a prediction (and quite possibly the only useful method), corporations and political organisations all over the planet spend gazillions on the results of such "focus group" tests.

Of course nature is what it is and "the future" always reserves the right to to ignore our most confident predictions. In other words science is in the business of disproving its best answers by replacing them with better ones, it can never prove anything no matter how high you stack the data. If nobody has bothered with the question before then obviously the answer these people have is currently the best answer anyone has.

I was a teenager in the 70's, the social and behavioural sciences have come along way since Feynman pointed out their fundamental problem, the findings from the "Stanford prison experiments" during the same decade is an important, uncomfortable, and sadly underrated example of an early "law of human behaviour".

Comment: Re:Expert?? (Score 0) 432

by TapeCutter (#47691389) Attached to: Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?
We already have storage on the grid in the form of hydro, the notion we need to create a lot more storage for renewables is little more than propaganda from the FF industry. So called 'base load" provides a flat supply curve, consumers create a "roller coaster" demand curve with distinct peaks and troughs. When the demand is at it's peak they need to run gas turbines to make up for the slack, when demand is low they use the excess to pump water uphill. In some specific scenarios renewables are better suited to meeting the demand curve of a modern city than coal, for example solar on a hot day is at peak output precisely when the air conditioners are at peak demand.

Comment: US cops need to grow a set. (Score 5, Informative) 264

equipping all of their officers with riot shields/assault rifles, body armor, & armored vehicles they've ceased to be "peace officers".

Indeed, one of the first acts in the Irish/UK peace process in N Ireland was a military order for all UK soldiers to remove their helmets while on street patrol as a gesture of trust. The simple act of removing a helmet requires a hell of a lot more courage than shooting into a crowd with rubber bullets from atop of armored vehicles. Sure, the macho swat stuff must remain an option for serious incidents, but calling in a swat team with riot gear and snipers for a routine suburban drug bust is the hallmark of a coward.

Comment: Re:Check your arithmatic (Score 1) 211

by TapeCutter (#47686431) Attached to: Figuring Out Where To Live Using Math

To be honest, I was expecting something a smaller, affordable Midwest town or something

Rural people have much more need for a car than city people. Back in the early 80's I lived here, the town has been a ghost town since the mill closed down in the mid-80's, it's not even marked on google maps anymore. Sure I could walk out the front door and be at work, but as the AC/DC song goes, "it's a long way to the shop, if you wanna sausage roll"

Comment: Re:Duh. (Score 2) 235

by TapeCutter (#47686359) Attached to: Email Is Not Going Anywhere

With properly configured IM systems the employer doesn't see it unless the employee shows the content to them.

Don't kid yourself, it is their equipment, everything on it belongs to them. My employer monitors everything that happens on my desktop, email, IM, RDC, the lot. They have been doing so for the last 13yrs I have worked for them. I really couldn't care less, I have never known them to use it against any of their 180,000 employees although I'm sure browsing stats would be used if they had to cut back on staff for some reason. Stuff we want to keep for future reference is CC'd to the project's mailing list by the sender. Without email and vpn's I doubt I would be working from home 3 days a week, but I also doubt our PHB's are stupid enough to dump all that juicy email onto their competitors network.

Comment: Re:Duh. (Score 2) 235

by TapeCutter (#47686221) Attached to: Email Is Not Going Anywhere
IM has been around for a couple of decades now, if it was a superior replacement for corporate email then it would already be dead and buried. It seems to me that people who think email can be replaced by facebook simply don't have the work experience to know what the hell they are talking about.

The degree of technical confidence is inversely proportional to the level of management.