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Comment: Re:1000 Yuan (Score 2, Interesting) 204

by The Evil Couch (#30621174) Attached to: China Arrests Thousands In Internet Porn Crackdown
The direct exchange rate is not nearly as interesting as actual buying power that reward represents to the average person in China. I haven't studied economics, so someone can totally call me out on this, but it looks like purchasing power of the US is roughly eight times that of China, according to the Wikipedia. Based on this slightly-informed conclusion, it appears that the reward is roughly 1,172 USD, 1,233 CAD, 725 GBP, or 818 EUR. That number seems much more persuasive.

Comment: Re:How convenient (Score 1) 346

by The Evil Couch (#30579672) Attached to: North Magnetic Pole Moving East Due To Core Flux
If you can't track a position that's accurate to within a relatively small tolerance, you cannot derive an accurate heading from it.

As a devil's advocate experiment, I'm going to determine the accuracy of the heading of a pair of GPS receivers (assuming a +/- 8m accuracy) mounted on the fore and aft of a supertanker (379m long).

Since the worst case scenario for determining the heading is that one is fully 90 degrees left of travel and the other is 90 degrees right of travel, we basically have a giant pair of right triangles that describe the error. The dimensions of the triangles end up being 8m, 189.5m, and 189.669m.

Unless I've totally fucked up my trigonometry from decades of disuse, I end up with a maximum error of 2.417 degrees, so the average error is probably about 1 degree. I suspect that for voyages of thousands of kilometers, that's a significant error.

Comment: Available? Well, kind of. (Score 4, Insightful) 291

by The Evil Couch (#30370640) Attached to: Google Chrome Extensions Are Now Available
From the summary:

The Google Chrome Extensions site is now open for Windows and Linux users

From my browser:

Google Chrome is up to date. (3.0.195.33)

From Google Chrome Extension site:

Extensions are not yet supported in this version of Google Chrome. Please download the Beta Channel of Google Chrome to install extensions.

I realize that this was posted by kdawson, but having "beta test" in the title or, at the very least, somewhere in the summary would have been great.

Comment: Re:Damage Mechanism (Score 1) 193

by OrigamiMarie (#30360278) Attached to: Zombie Pigs First, Hibernating Soldiers Next
I know a surgeon who lives in cold climates who says "You're not dead until you're warm and dead". Body processes really do slow down, including the destructive ones, when the body is cold. There have been enough instances of people waking up / being revived while they warm up after falling through ice that this saying exists in the medical community.

Comment: Re:It's ugly but it's the future of space explorat (Score 1) 260

by ColdWetDog (#30360200) Attached to: Virgin Galactic Unveils SpaceShipTwo

Considering that the US and Soviet Union test thousands of devices with much high yields with minimal environmental impact, using nuclear rockets aren't the doomsday scenario that people think.

Huh? Are you posting from the 1960's? There haven't been air burst tests in the US or the USSR for a long time.

Comment: Re:male genital mutilation (Score 1) 928

by Simetrical (#30359574) Attached to: How Men and Women Badly Estimate Their Own Intelligence

So do condoms. Also, the one study that showed anti-HIV effects was found to have used cherry picked population samples.

You mean like the three randomized controlled trials in Africa with multiple thousands of men that all were stopped early because they showed such a dramatic benefit to the circumcised group? Meaning, 50% the infection rate of the control group? See, e.g., here. The results might not be as drastic outside of Africa, due to different transmission vectors for HIV, but circumcision is definitely an effective measure to cut HIV in some important cases.

What's always bothered me is that people insist on doing it to children. If it's so helpful, then parents would naturally wait until the child is old enough to choose for himself. I've always suspected that the reason it's done to children is that it's a part of culture, and that parents know that when the child gets old enough to choose for himself, their reaction will be "Oh, HELL no.".

Parents already make far more momentous decisions for their kids, which can be equally irreversible. They can leave the kid watching TV all day so they get bored by real life, feed them only junk food so they get diabetes, and send them to a terrible school where they don't get an education and end up stuck with a menial and low-paying job for the rest of their life. But circumcising them is somehow a crime against humanity.

Yeah, people only circumcise their kids for cultural reasons. People also only object to circumcision for cultural reasons. It causes no more demonstrable harm than a ten-year-old girl getting her ears pierced. Any possible harm anyone can come up with is speculative, and certainly doesn't significantly outweigh its possible benefits. But some people freak out about it because of their ideologies and biases.

Comment: Teach me something I can't with a Google search (Score 1, Redundant) 186

by realmolo (#30358674) Attached to: What Do You Look For In a Conference?

That's it, basically. For IT people, finding information is *easy*. Why would I go to your conference, when everything you have to say is available for free from some website (and I *guarantee* it is).

I have yet to attend a conference that told me anything I didn't already know. The whole idea of a "conference" is pretty flawed. I want a *class*, with highly-qualified instructors that can answer my questions. I also want the class to only be attended by people that know why they are attending. Too many of the classes I've taken are filled with people that simply aren't ready for the class, and all the instructor's time is wasted answering their very basic questions.

What I'm saying is, you're doing it wrong. Nobody cares about a conference except as an excuse to take a day off and drink and meet women. If you aren't even offering THAT, then why are you bothering with it?

Comment: Re:No! Larger please. (Score 3, Insightful) 118

by The Evil Couch (#30253804) Attached to: Flexible, Color OLED Screens For E-Readers

Why is it they have to step forwards to color already? What I want is much larger greyscale displays with better contrast for cheaper. Seriously, give me a U.S. Letter size display with better contrast for under $100 and I will jump on the e-reader bandwagon.

Because that's a false dichotomy? They're going to need to go color eventually and there's no reason that research into both cheaper, bigger monochrome displays and color displays can't be done simultaneously.

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -- Bertrand Russell, "Skeptical Essays", 1928

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