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Comment: Re:The main problem: they don't make sense (Score 1) 208

by Kohath (#47812661) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Delivery Drones

Want to get a package through Mumbai traffic?

Smaller vehicles, logistics, and the knowledge of local couriers.

Want to get a package to the balcony of a 60-story high-rise in Hong Kong?

Deliver it to the front door and take it up on the elevator.

Want to deliver packages to the houseboats of Amsterdam but can't afford the local wages?

Driverless vehicles. Or just charge enough to cover the cost of delivery.

Want to deliver medicine in Australia or Mongolia, where it's already economical to fly the doctor to the patient?

Doctors' time may be worth enough money to make flying worthwhile. Is a truck driver's time worth that much? Also, a bottle of medicine doesn't care if it takes an extra 12 hours to get where it's going.

And any drone that can carry a package a long distance will also have to carry a lot of heavy fuel.

Drones are an obvious win.

There will probably be some extremely rare cases where they make sense. Delivery to boats offshore, for example.

Comment: Re:Pumped storage and transport (Score 1) 218

by fyngyrz (#47812659) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

The advantage is that it will create a constant current in the canal.

Regardless of the length of the canal -- at least until evaporation becomes a factor.

The constant current can be leveraged to move boats, presumably fairly deep hulled so the really get in the way of the current, and said boats can carry whatever.

Two canals adjoining allows the boat to be moved from one to the other, and sent back to the other end, ad infinitum.

When you put a cork in a river, it'll go from the mountains to the sea, because the current carries it.

What I'm suggesting is create an artificial current using pumps. The two 'c's run in different directions, so you have a full transport loop.

All four ends are physically adjacent, so you only need one pumping station if you connect the two c's across one end.

Old time canals used donkeys and engines to navigate. This works like a river and a raft. You float to where you're going.

Comment: Re:The main problem: they don't make sense (Score 1) 208

by Kohath (#47812539) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Delivery Drones

What's wrong with driver-less 1-wheeled vehicles ?

They tip over? I don't know. Lets see a prototype.

Now, what's wrong with zero-wheeled vehicles, ah, wait, that would be too similar to a drone to fit into your world view.

They waste too much energy staying airborne and they are less efficient and harder to build and more risky to operate and less resilient to weather than wheeled vehicles.

Comment: Re:Pumped storage and transport (Score 1) 218

by fyngyrz (#47812513) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

> You're assuming you'll get free energy out of this?

Um... no... where would get such an idea?

Think about it. If you put a transport thing in there (think boat) with a nice deep hull, and there's a 5 knot current along the entire canal created by the transfer at the ends of the C, what will the boat do? Now add another boat at a reasonable interval, say another boat length.

Do you imagine doing this will slow down either the current or the other boat?

That's the point, and that's all I am assuming.

Comment: Re:Can anybody tell me, please (Score 1) 136

by fyngyrz (#47812481) Attached to: New HTML Picture Element To Make Future Web Faster

That depends on the DPI. My phone, very small indeed, is 1080x1920 (or 1920x1080 if I'm holding it funny.) One of the monitors on my 8-core desktop is 1280x1024.

The DPI difference between them is radical. Even so, any properly designed page will allow the user's browser to resize and reflow the content to fit the window if it's of any sane width (probably only wide enough to render the longest word in the content.) If it can't do that, the browser should hand you scroll bars. Be nice if the browser had a user setting "minimum width before scroll bars", too. That'd be a joy.

Fixed aspect / resolution webpages are horrible.

That, and "hover" menus and windows are the #1 reason why I surf away from web pages.

Tip to "designers": If I didn't CLICK on it, I didn't WANT it, and that means ITS IN MY FUCKING WAY

(cough) Sorry.

Comment: Re:Can anybody tell me, please (Score 1) 136

by fyngyrz (#47812357) Attached to: New HTML Picture Element To Make Future Web Faster

Desktop screens have had two sizes in the past 10 years to my knowledge: 4:3 and 16:9 (or close to it),

Irrelevant. All you really need to know is that pixels are square. It's been some time since we had to deal with non-square pixels. Everything else should be up to the user's browser window.

Comment: Re:Window size and pixel density in what header? (Score 1) 136

by fyngyrz (#47812283) Attached to: New HTML Picture Element To Make Future Web Faster

> A single combination of web browser and operating system can be used on both low DPI displays and high DPI displays.

If the image is wider than the window, you get scroll bars; also, browsers can resize. It's not the server's job. We don't have a bandwidth shortage. We have a decently flexible content shortage. If you know it's a mac or a PC, you know it's got a desktop range of pixels. Likewise any particular smartphone. There's no mystery here worth noticing.

Don't resize images with the viewport. That's very annoying. They should reflow with the window according to the browser's settings. If you set a constant width, then you're asking for scroll bars if the window can't fit that width. This all works very well. It has for a long time. Stop trying to make it not work.

Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should do something. You could make both the text and the background black -- but you wouldn't, right? Because it's highly unfriendly, to say the least. Well, so is locking the user's browser view to particular widths and heights and sizes and positions. HTML was intended as the content provider; the browser intended to be the content formatter, using only hints -- lines, paragraphs, font styling, etc. The closer you can get to that in web page design, the better web page designer you are, because then the user gets to fit the thing into the window the user wants it to be in.

Every time I run into a page that makes me resize my browser to make the damn thing work, I curse. Every time. Every time some whackjob decides that menus should drop or windows should open when my mouse pointer crosses some object, I curse. Every time I run into some page (like's) that won't run its cart or checkout through the usual standard ports and protocols, when everything else from Amazon to the tiniest little retailer and back to EBay will, I try to find somewhere else to shop.

Stop trying to be clever with the page. Instead, be clever with what you put on the page.

Comment: Re:Sue the bastards (Score 1) 405

by pspahn (#47811739) Attached to: In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

Heh, and studies have also shown that an increase in per student spending is not reflected in test score improvement, again, studies that were repeated in the UK and France.

You can certainly increase spending from $0 to $X for a specific demographic group and see an improvement in test scores. I am not questioning that your side-case of an Hispanic student that didn't exist 40 years ago would see an improvement over zero. Also, didn't you consider that because of readily accessible information now that you would expect to see a natural rise in test scores because of the Internet? I would think minority demographics would be seeing dramatic changes here as there is less of a need to rely on an ineffective, over budgeted, over crowded, and under staffed school district.

We are in an age where the cost of education should be going down dramatically. And really, it is, just not in the antiquated and over-administered public school system. That shouldn't be much of a surprise and if you are satisfied with current spending (or feel it is not adequate enough), consider that it has doubled (again, adjusted for inflation) since the 70's and that if current practices are continued what would you expect to see in 2040? Doubled again?

Lastly, I am not here to "present evidence" to you. This isn't a courtroom, IANAL, and I would assume if you were interested enough that you would be able spend 15 seconds to Google something for yourself and become informed.

Comment: Re:Unreal... (Score 4, Informative) 462

Regardless of political preferences... I simply can't imagine in what form those threats could have been made. Phone call? Letter? Email? How can anyone be so [IMHO, unrealistically] stupid to mention using nuclear weapons knowing that every word in today's communications is being recorded and would be published by the opposite side?

It was made during a verbal question and answer session some days ago. You can read a transcript of the full thing, without western media's blatantly selective quoting and bias, right here. Do go read it for yourself. The press has been having a field day with taking individual sentences out of context, in many cases not even mentioning that Putin was responding to questions from Russian citizens, to make it look like he's issuing press releases about Ukraine specifically. It's the most amazingly dangerous set of selective quotations I've ever seen. In this case Putin wasn't even talking about Ukraine!

I copy/pasted the full question and answer in a post below. But you can easily find it in that page. It's a long answer to a relatively vague question that asks (amongst other things) about how Russia can avoid being drawn into large scale conflicts. So right at the start he says he doesn't want to be drawn into any large conflicts, he doesn't think it's going to happen and that he thinks nobody has any intention of starting a large scale conflict (er, he might want to re-evaluate that given the noise coming out of NATO). Then he goes on to point out that Russia can defend itself, and talks about the "nuclear deterrent" (same language as the UK uses), and then states again that it's for defence.

You can choose not to believe him if you like. But the USA and UK also have "nuclear deterrents" and their so-called Departments of Defence routinely engage in offence at the drop of a hat. We routinely see far more aggressive language coming out of the White House. So I don't think anything Putin is saying here is particularly unique or unusual.

Comment: Actual full quote (Score 5, Informative) 462

Full transcript of this youth camp Q and A session is available here.

ROMAN SMAGIN: Good afternoon, Mr President.

I am Roman Smagin from Novosibirsk Teacher Training University.

It’s no secret to anyone that history tends to repeat itself. Historical events seem to unfold according to a cyclical theory. Over these last two years we have remembered and celebrated the historic choices that Russia made at important moments for our country’s destiny, such as in 1612, 1812, and 1914.

In this context, I want to ask you what view you take of the cyclical nature of history as we can see it in Russia. Also, I want to ask you about your view of historical memory, how it helps us, how it can help to preserve Russia’s political influence on the international stage, contribute to our society’s development, and not let Russia be drawn into a new open global conflict.

Thank you.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Historical memory is a very important part of our culture, history and present. Of course, we must draw on our historical experience and historical memory as we look towards the future. I can therefore say straight away that Russia is certainly not about to let itself be drawn into any large-scale conflicts. We do not want this and will not let this happen.

Naturally, we need to be ready to respond to any aggression against Russia. Our partners, no matter what the situation in their countries and the foreign policy ideas they follow, always need to be aware that it is better not to enter into any potential armed conflict against us. Fortunately though, I don’t think anyone has the intention today of trying to start a large-scale conflict against Russia.

Let me remind you that Russia is one of the world’s biggest nuclear powers. These are not just words – this is the reality. What’s more, we are strengthening our nuclear deterrent capability and developing our armed forces. They have become more compact and effective and are becoming more modern in terms of the weapons at their disposal. We are continuing this work to build up our potential and will keep doing so, not in order to threaten anyone, but so as to be able to feel safe, ensure our security and be able to carry out our economic and social development plans.

As far as cycles are concerned, yes, I think that the world’s development does go in cycles. This has pretty much been proven as far as the economy is concerned. There are economists here and they can no doubt explain it better than I can, but there are various cycles in the economy, small waves, large waves and so on, and any country’s development depends on the state of the economy. This is why economic growth and the transition from one technological level to another always have an impact on people’s lives and prosperity and on the social and political situation.

Just look, for example, at the way demand is growing in the European countries, and how hard it is to keep up with this constantly growing demand even at today’s level of technological development. This is a sign that there is a need for something else, that we must compensate somewhere for what we are not managing to achieve with the help of foreign policy and defence policy.

I hope very much that not just Russia’s historical memory but that all of humanity will prompt us to search for peaceful solutions to the various conflicts that are currently unfolding and that will arise in the future. We support political dialogue and the search for compromise.

Comment: Re:Can anybody tell me, please (Score 1) 136

by pspahn (#47811119) Attached to: New HTML Picture Element To Make Future Web Faster

I don't know, what is the rationale in asking such a long-winded question when you could have made it clearer by saying it in about seven words?

Why trust industry standards when they are so fleeting?

Maybe you'd rather have standards that last forever? Or possibly no standards at all? What exactly are you getting at?

Comment: Re:Client or Server side? (Score 1) 136

by pspahn (#47810529) Attached to: New HTML Picture Element To Make Future Web Faster

I don't think that you'd change the layout based on which images were selected. Everything would look exactly the same, just the byte-size/quality of the image file would be different.

You are mistaken. In fact, one of the reasons they decided on this method was so that the image is now from layout constraints. You might want to have the image be 400px square on one layout, while it will be 800x600 in another layout.

On top of that, if you are providing images of varying proportions, you don't really want some computer to auto-crop everything depending on the requesting device since the results will be artistically inferior to a trained human.

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra