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Comment Re:6 months in? (Score 1) 89

So, since the book contains instructions and reasons for filtering water and the pages get consumed as filters, what happens when you are 6 months in and half the book is gone? Why not just make a big stack of filters and a small pamphlet on how/why to use them?

It's perfect for any kind of outdoor survival book. If you manage to survive long enough to filter 100L of water, you probably can find time to memorize the information on the next page.

Comment Re:If people look for a "Rock Star", walk away! (Score 1) 80

As somebody that in some respects would qualify as a "Rock Star", people looking for one are an immediate red flag. Not only are they buzzword-users, they likely messed something up to a serious degree and are now looking for a person to clean up that mess. Quite often, that will not be possible with the border conditions given, and the pay will often suck in addition.

Well, maybe they are overusing a buzzword, but more importantly, rockstars can recognize other rockstars and prefer to be among their own kind. Everybody wants superman but why would superman want to work for you? If they really are that good then money isn't a problem for them. Superman wants to roll with the Superfriends because it is annoying to constantly work with people who can't or won't be as effective/productive as Superman. I might not be a rockstar but I work with some heavy hitters. You could double my salary but if my current boss and coworkers wouldn't be working with me, I would be very hesitant to take the offer. Every one of them is in the top 5% in the industry at what they do. Maybe that's just what happens when you make Superman VP of operations and let him handpick his team.

Comment Re:Smart... not what you think it is. (Score 1) 686

And while we're at it, you might as well mention that we've overloaded the definition of the word 'smart.' A successful surgeon is skilled. A PhD is persistent (the closer I got to PhD, the less respect I had for them). "Smart" is a word with so many meanings that it's practically meaningless for closer investigation.

My definition of 'smart' is someone who is good at recognizing patterns related to whatever it is they do. That includes analyzing their own mistakes and improving their response to similar future situations. I would agree that many PhD students don't have these qualities.

Comment Re:Get rid of protection to increase diversity (Score 2) 337

The quickest way to increase diversity is to get rid of discrimination protection. It is very risky to hire someone from a protected group. If they are not a good fit for the company there is a substantial legal risk to firing them and overhead for carefully creating a paper trail to CYA. It is much easier to hire people from non-protective groups. If they don't work out you fire them and try someone else. Of course for businesses they like the H1-B's the most because if you fire them they get deported which really puts them in a position of power.

There is a substantial risk in firing anyone. My company creates a paper trail for anyone who isn't performing. Making a bigger paper trail for someone in a protected group would be discrimination. We treat everybody the same. Not performing? We'll try to help them. If they can't help themselves, we start building a paper trail. The people who can't be bothered to help themselves usually make it pretty easy to document their ineptitude.

Comment Re:The only reboot/reprise/sequal (Score 5, Insightful) 168

You really need to watch the behind the scenes features for Fury Road. Sure, there was some big obvious CGI (the giant sand storm) but for about 90% of the movie, the things you expect to be CGI (the car crashes, explosions, insane stunts) are real, and the CGI is limited to fleshing out the wasteland background and erasing some safety equipment.

It is a breathtaking movie precisely because it is so real. Action movie fans have been saturated with CGI for so long, we hardly know what the real thing is anymore. Most recent superhero movies have been a big yawn for me. It's all fake and the actors are not really in a scary situation. Nothing brings out good acting like actually driving at high speed through the desert with actual explosions and crashes all around you.

Comment Re:North Korean Industry: Precision but not Accura (Score 1) 236

The Unified Korea actually set a Timezone of +8:30 GMT back in 1910. In 1912 when Japan took over, it was reset to Japanese +8:00 GMT. After liberation, South Korea briefly for a year or two went back to +8:30 for a few years in the 50's I believe, but reverted to Japanese +8:00 for economic reasons.

What possible economic reasons could there be? A 30 minute time difference isn't going to make the slightest difference to businesses. It isn't like clocks are sold with fixed time zones and sharing a time zone means they only have to design 1 model.

Comment Re:I'm not renewing prime this year... (Score 1) 79

Our household spends a lot of money on Amazon, but we are not going to renew Prime this year. I ahve been rodering thing from Amazon since the 90s but my satisfaction level with the company peaked a couple years ago adn has been sliding down since. The reasons we are cancelling are varied: - Items listed as having Prime often do not arrive for 5-6 business days. This is typical for larger items. It annoys me that Amazon lists tham as prime (to me this means item will arrive 2-3 business days), and their practice of having fine print about extra handling time for some prime items is abrasive. Just don't list it as Prime if it won't be shipped for 3-4 days! - The streaming video options are weak and I don't like the picture quality - "Prime day" is a joke - They raised the annual price of Prime 3x since I signed up - Items shipped prime from Amazon have shown up obivously used or broken multiple many times over the past year (much more often than before) - Amazon's support people were really hard to deal with when things in the above bullet point happened - As far as I can tell "super saver" shipping usually only takes one additional day (and sometimes none) to arrive compared to prime - I have been finding better prices on many things from retailers like Costco and Walmart compared to what Amazon offers - Amazon uses a variety of tactics to make the camelcamlcamel plugin not work relably to show price history on an item. Maybe I will regret the decision and we will sign back up, but we are definitely going to try living without it.

Same here. I haven't had used or broken items arrive yet, but I am completely fed up with the 2 day delivery promise turning into 5 days or longer after I order an item. Especially frustrating when I order a bunch of things for a project, plan on starting the project on day X, then one item somehow doesn't arrive until the next week. I may still be eligible for student prime rates but it still isn't worth it. I live in Houston; there really is no excuse for the shipping delays. Maybe Amazon has subcontracted out a little too far, and therefore lost control. It doesn't matter, we're going to try to live without prime.

Comment Re:Smashing idea (Score 3, Insightful) 140

In a no-holds-barred fight, they have a HUGE bullseye painted on them, and will be easy to take out.

Easy being a relative term.

Keep in mind that in World War II, the Japanese had lots of bases on little tiny islands. And it took hundreds of thousands of Marines to take them away.

The only reason this was done was because carrier aircraft of the era didn't pack anywhere the same punch as land based aircraft. Land based aircraft didn't have the range to hit Japan from areas under US control and return to base. In-flight refueling was still very experimental. Island hopping is no longer necessary. These rocks are small enough to completely obliterate in an afternoon by air anyway. Anybody left is not going to be in a position to threaten high-flying aircraft or ships.

Comment Re:Why can only humans read and write? (Score 1) 172

Can someone explain to me why none of the great apes that supposedly share so much with humans in terms of cognitive ability can be taught how to read and to write, not merely as a parlor trick that the creature utilizes so that it will receive some reward that might satisfy an immediate physiological craving such as hunger, but as a technique that the animal might use to communicate its own thoughts and ideas to others (can an ape write a creative story with a beginning, middle, and end, for example?), and in particular, be able to teach this ability to successive generations of apes who may then even surpass the ability of their own instructor? An ape that could read could then teach itself how to do many more things than what it currently knows simply by reading about them, rather than having to be explicitly instructed by someone else... it could learn the rules to a game like chess, for example.

Language is not the only indicator of intelligence. Fu Manchu (the chimp, not the movie character) not only figured out how to use a tool to pick a lock and escape from his exhibit, but also was intelligent enough to realize that he needed to keep his escape tool concealed from humans. In other words, he intentionally and deliberately deceived them. Nobody intentionally taught him to do that. Some animals do practice deception, but not usually in regards to unnatural (manmade) constructs like locks and lockpicks. Children are incapable of deception until they are about 3 years old. Children under 3 also generally can't pick a lock unless they see someone else do it first.

Monkeys aren't people, but some of them are genuinely more intelligent than a 3 year old human.

Comment Re:Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 1) 904

I expect a standard for big-rigs to be developed where there are modular battery compartments on the underside of the trailer for conventional van trailers, such that the truck pulls up, the batteries under the trailer and under the tractor are swapped, and they're on their way again. Depending on how they're designed they might also make for good under-ride protection, so cars can't drive under the trailers and get trapped or crushed.

That will require changes to the load limits in every state, or it won't be accepted by any trucking company. I am not involved in the trucking industry, but I had to load a semi with a bunch of my company's equipment several times. There are laws for loading on each axle, and the truck axle limits are different than the trailer axle limits. And every US state and Canadian province is different. My company's stuff isn't especially heavy but juggling the axle loads is a big pain. Many companies that ship equipment frequently (like my company) have sized their equipment for the max truck loads, based on the weight of the average step-deck trailer and the average truck. If you add even 2000 lb of batteries onto either the truck or the trailer it is going to be a problem for lots of people.

Comment Re:Jeremy clarkson does not approve (Score 1) 904

This quote got me:

"Electric cars will be better than any alternative, including the loud, inconvenient, gas-powered jalopy,"

Seriously, do people not like the throaty growl of a well tuned engine? Heck, even kids today put the coffee can mufflers for at least that type sound (I don't find it as pleasant as better, large engine sound, but to each his own.)

I've never driven an actual car, but I bought the Voltic in GTA5 without knowing it was an electric vehicle. Despite the speed and good looks, I hated it. Without the engine sound it just seemed... wrong somehow. I think I ran it out of battery also which didn't help my impression.

Comment Re:Likely a new gift for the NSA (Score 3, Interesting) 223

Weather guys want this after NSA's done.

I'm a weather guy - running cloud model code on Blue Waters, the fastest petascale machine for research in the U.S. I don't think we've managed to get any weather code run much more than 1 PF sustained - if even that. So it's not like you can compile WRF and run it with 10 million MPI ranks and call it a day. Ensembles? Well that's another story.

Exascale machines are going to have to be a lot different than petascale machines (which aren't all that different topologically than terascale machines) in order to be useful to scientists and in order to no require their own nuclear power plant to run. And I don't think we know what that topology will look like yet. A thousand cores per node? That should be fun; sounds like a GPU. Regardless, legacy weather code will need to be rewritten or more likely new models will need to be written from scratch in order to do more intelligent multithreading as opposed to mostly-MPI which is what we have today.

When asked at the Blue Waters Symposium this May to prognosticate on the future coding paradigm for exascale machines, Steven Scott (Senior VP and CTO of Cray) said we'll probably still be using MPI + OpenMP. If that's the case we're gonna have to be a hell of a lot more creative with OpenMP.

I'm not a weather guy, but my understanding is that a somewhat fixed weather model (set of calculations) is used to do a kind of finite-element analysis on small areas. With better computing and better radars, smaller and smaller areas can be calculated, which results in more accuracy.

With more computing power, could you not vary the parameters or constants used in the weather model, then run the finite-element analysis over the entire weather area again? You could be running hundreds or thousands of slightly different weather models, then apply some processing to figure out which is most likely- either by averaging together the 50% most similar outcomes, or by some other method. I don't think you could peak out a supercomputer with that method if you kept adding more parameter variations, although you may get to the point where adding more parameter variations doesn't improve accuracy.

Maybe that's an incorrect understanding, but we're getting closer to the point where we can calculate all possible outcomes simultaneously. I wouldn't have expected this to be the case with weather but computing has come a long way in the last 20 years.

Comment Re:Fantastic! (Score 1) 23

Oh man, I've been waiting for someone to figure out how to do this. Feels like the last critical piece of VR... "reality capture".

Imagine... - Experiencing a live feed of a skydiver/basejumper/surfer/other extreme sport, where you can look around naturally in 3D - A probe in space or on another planet - An immersive control system for robots - On and on. You can now tap into and share someone else's experience viscerally, either realtime or recorded.

This is basically Strange Days.

I'm less than impressed by 360 videos so far. I'll admit that I have seen only 2: bjork's stonemilker music video and Aram Pan's North Korea YPT tour video.

The North Korea video I appreciate more, because you can look all around a location that most people will never visit. However, with both videos, I feel like I am playing "where's Waldo" with the content. Having 360 degree videos is fine, but I feel like a "director's mode" on/off toggle seems to be needed for people who don't want to feel like they are missing something interesting. I don't have time to explore every last location in a video game, and similarly I don't have time to rewatch 360 degree videos just to check every angle for easter eggs.

Possessions increase to fill the space available for their storage. -- Ryan