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Comment: Re:Advanced is good enough (Score 1) 220

by TrekkieGod (#49405803) Attached to: How would you rate your programming skills?

Although I've been a pro for 3 decades, I wouldn't want to be called an expert. The latest fads...

Expert doesn't mean all-knowing, nor does it mean you encompass knowledge of every last detail in the field. What it does mean is that you have the training and experience to be relied upon for advice by your peers. That's it. An understanding of what you don't know is a prerequisite for being an expert. Otherwise you'll give bad advice instead of saying, "that's not my area of expertise, go ask someone else."

Are you someone your peers go to for advice, and is your advice considered reliable by them? Congratulations, you're an expert.

Comment: Re:That's unpossible. (Score 1) 212

by TrekkieGod (#49106435) Attached to: The Best, and Worst, Places To Drive Your Electric Car

Let me know when you figure out how to burn something without producing heat.

The amount of heat matters. Internal combustion engines are ~40% efficient at absolute best. Electric motors are ~98% efficient.

They're both producing waste heat, but one is producing *a lot* less per mile driven.

Comment: Re:Literally? (Score 2) 645

There's a pretty big difference between targetting locations strategically and torturing / killing a prisoner that has already been rendered unable of doing you harm.

If you want to have an apt analogy, I say our treatment of Guantanamo prisoners and other "enemy combatents" that we've so labeled for the sole purpose of not extending them the rights of prisoners of war is the valid one. I agree that behavior is despicable, and it doesn't get enough attention.

Dropping bombs on combatants is absolutely fair game. It's not pretty, I don't like that we have to, but war necessarily involves killing people. Anyone purposefully bombing civilians is not ok (collateral damage is often unavoidable, but we must aim to minimize it). Anyone torturing or killing prisoners, civilians or otherwise, is not ok on either side.

Comment: Re:Communication has never been secure (Score 1) 562

by TrekkieGod (#48842139) Attached to: Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

The USA founding fathers lived with the knowledge that they would be held accountable for what they said and wrote, and today it's no different.

You mean people like Madison and Hamilton, who wrote the Federalist Papers under a pseudonym to keep their authorship of them secret?

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 272

by TrekkieGod (#48722613) Attached to: How Civilizations Can Spread Across a Galaxy

We probably could but it might take devoting the entire worlds GDP for a decade or so and there is noway that would happen. We need the technological advances so that it would approach affordability.

I agree with you that there's a lot we could accomplish if we were willing to spend the money, but I honestly think we're still at the stage where this is a technology problem, not a resources one. I don't think we can build electronics that could function for 1,000 years, so I definitely don't think we have a system that can keep life support active for humans in a generational ship for 1,000 years...right now we're seriously questioning our capability of shielding astronauts from radiation on a trip to Mars. Resource-wise, we have extremely efficient methods for recycling water and air on the ISS, but our best still requires resupply missions with both of those resources. We've tried experiments like Biosphere 2 to run a fully self-contained environment only to see CO2 levels fluctuate and oxygen levels drop dramatically to the point they had to start pumping oxygen in out of concern for the researchers inside. Many species sealed in started dying off outright, except for things like ants and cockroaches which actually thrived, because cockroaches thrive anywhere. This wasn't a case of not having enough money to do it right, they did everything they thought was necessary to keep the place completely sealed...we just learned during the research process about a lot of things that weren't accounted for.

Don't get me wrong, I think we'll eventually get there. But I think right now if we discovered this all life on this planet would die off in 100 years and the only hope for humanity was a 100% confirmed habitable planet 16 light-years away and put every single one of our resources for the next 100 years to try to get a generational colony ship built and launched 100 years from today...well, I think our species is done for. We'd launch something, but everyone aboard would die before they make it as far as Saturn.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 3, Insightful) 272

by TrekkieGod (#48721717) Attached to: How Civilizations Can Spread Across a Galaxy

Even with current technology we could theoretically make a 16 ly journey in somewhere around 1,000 years.

No, we couldn't. We don't have the technology right now to build a multi-generational ship. We don't even have the technology right now to send an unmanned probe that would still be powered by the time it got there. We don't even have the technology right now to build an unmanned probe that would shut itself down and bring itself back up after 1000 years. Hell, it's hard to find a motherboard from the 80's that doesn't need capacitors replaced before it can be booted up again.

Who knows what kind of technology we'll have in 300,000 years, though. And the closest the destination, the more likely something can actually get there.

Comment: Re:There is a set of speeds and driving conditions (Score 1) 128

by TrekkieGod (#48680517) Attached to: Tesla Roadster Update Extends Range

It's true but... There's a guy in Ottawa who's been blogging about his Nissan Leaf through 3 winters... One technique he uses to extend winter range is to pre-heat the interior of the car by plugging it in at home/work, even if only a 120vac outlet because the interior of the car will already be warm by the time he gets in to drive. Then he keeps the interior relatively cool while using the seat heater and steering wheel heater to keep himself comfortable. https://canadianleaf.wordpress...

Oh, there's all sorts of way to extend winter range dramatically, what you describe being one of the most effective ones. However, since I was replying to someone who was implying the driving conditions to achieve advertised range may be unusual, I felt it would be deceptive on my part to give him the range I can achieve through careful finagling instead of the range I get if I just get in the car and drive without any special considerations.

Comment: Re:There is a set of speeds and driving conditions (Score 5, Informative) 128

by TrekkieGod (#48677357) Attached to: Tesla Roadster Update Extends Range

"There is a set of speeds and driving conditions where we can confidently drive the Roadster 3.0 over 400 miles"

42 mph , downhill with a tail wind...

To be fair to Tesla, the driving conditions for their range estimates are actually usually very realistic. I have a 60 kWh Model S, and I match rated range while driving 65 mph in the summer with air conditioning on. It gets significantly worse in winter, and it gets much better in nice 65-70 degree weather days.

Comment: Re:The Conservative Option (Score 2) 487

by TrekkieGod (#48098051) Attached to: Texas Ebola Patient Dies

An Ebola outbreak in the US is undesirable by pretty much everybody here, except maybe for people with stock in the companies producing cures and vaccines.

An Ebola outbreak in the US is also pretty much impossible. Listen to the experts, people: it's not a highly infectious disease. Lack of first world hygiene standards is the reason it's spreading all over certain parts of Africa. The virus isn't even airborne, you have to come in direct contact with the person who is sick or with their bodily fluids.

If Sgt. Monning caught Ebola, is because we've committed the absolutely stupid act of allowing people to go in to a patient's apartment, where he likely was sweating all over furniture and other items, without any protective gear. It's incredibly unfortunate, and whatever the outcome, hopefully we do the right thing in the future. Once a patient is identified, people only come in contact with them or their stuff while wearing protective gear. And we send in people to disinfect the areas of risk, like the victims apartment. Problem solved, Ebola virus contained. There's no need to do absolutely anything else that we're not already doing (which includes asking people coming to the US from areas of high risk whether they've been in contact with anyone who has had the disease).

Comment: Re:Ignobel Material .... (Score 1) 83

by TrekkieGod (#48066375) Attached to: It's Not Just How Smart You Are: Curiosity Is Key To Learning

... Really? This wasn't suspected, hadn't been demonstrated a million times over? Wow, curiousity an important factor in learning?! Who knew? OH, EVERYONE!

Sadly, there are some real researchers who still aren't funded.

I'm seeing a lot of posts like yours, and you're all missing the point. Of course interest and curiosity in a subject helps learning within that field. The interesting part about this study is that when you're brain is in that state, you're better at learning about unrelated subjects that you have no interest in. The point isn't that people remembered the trivia questions they were interested in better, it's that they remembered the unrelated faces better.

I experience this myself in a weird way. I have no better than average memory for day to day things. I don't necessarily remember what I had to eat for lunch two days ago. However, I was always a big movie buff and for some reason I remember details associated with watching every movie I've ever seen in the theater that have nothing to do with the movie itself. I remember which theater I went to, what day of the week it was, what time of day it was, who was there with me, where we sat relative to each other, where we went to eat before or after...I remember this stuff going as far back as when I was 6 years old. For a little window around the movies, I have an increased ability to recall details that simply doesn't exist at any other time.

Comment: TI-89 is allowed (Score 1) 359

by TrekkieGod (#47827061) Attached to: How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms

ncidentally, the other thing I don't understand about this is why anybody picks a TI-84 when they could have a TI-86. TI-89s are prohibited for standardized tests (because they have a Computer Algebra System), but TI-86s aren't and are better than TI-84s in every other way as far as I can tell...

I'm with you on there on the popularity of the TI-84 (and TI-82s back when I was a student), but the TI-89 absolutely is allowed in standardized tests. I used it back in the 90s when I was in high school on everything that a calculator was allowed for, including AP exams, and it doesn't seem like the policy has changed. Here are the list of allowed calculators for the SAT and Calculus AP exam.

If you think about it, the CAS really shouldn't be an issue. I mean, it's just as quick to set up a quick matrix in the TI-84 and invert / multiply to solve system of equations. Everyone I knew who didn't have a ti-89 was doing that. The multiple choice sections of those tests are designed to figure out if you know how to set up the problem. The non multiple-choice section of the calculus AP exam requires you to show work.

Comment: Re:What's a reboot? (Score 1) 252

by TrekkieGod (#47643519) Attached to: <em>Babylon 5</em> May Finally Get a Big-Screen Debut

What I liked about the B5 series was mostly the fact that it had Maciavellian politics and space battles where the fighters didn't fly like aircraft even though they were located in deep space.

Star Trek movies have always been about space battles and ridiculous action, even though people like to blame JJ Abrams for that one. That said, there are quite a few Star Trek episodes that do a good job of dealing with a social issue and/or politics in an interesting way.

I went off the Star Wars series after the "Battle of the Teddy Bears" in Return of the Jedi although I rather like the animated "Clone Wars" series.

For really good Star Wars, you have to go to the books. The same expanded universe that Disney announced is no longer cannon so they can "free up" their screenwriters or some other bullshit. Well, as far as I'm concerned, if I have to choose between the movies or the books to consider cannon in that universe, I'll pick the books every time.

The Star Trek shows I watched the most of was Deep Space 9 and Voyager which I rather enjoyed and which is probably even more heretical than saying B5 is better than ST.

I've emphasized Voyager there for you, because that IS heretical. I hereby authorize burning you alive at the town square.

I mean, c'mon. You just finished praising B5 for making an honest attempt of respecting physics and you finished by praising the show that brought to you polaric ions, nucleonic beams, metrion isotopes, psionic properties, and fluidic fucking space? Every problem in that show is solved with last minute bullshit technobabble. When TNG used technobabble, they had a science advisor on the show to fill in the words, so they'd have some connection, no matter how small and fleeting, to some real science. Voyager just made up works that sounded sciency and they used it as the Deus Ex Machina EVERY...SINGLE...EPISODE..

I'm a Lisp variable -- bind me!