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Comment: Re:Land costs (Score 1) 356

by VorpalRodent (#49241957) Attached to: New Solar Capacity Beats Coal and Wind, Again

Have there been any studies regarding the climate impact of solar installations themselves? Cities, with all their concrete and glass and whatnot, affect their local climate. It seems like adding a crap ton of shiny things across huge swaths of land would have a similar impact (or, when in an urban area, exacerbate the effect).

I'm neither a climate scientist nor particularly familiar with the research on the effects of urban areas, and while CO2 emissions have a global impact, I'd be interested in the tradeoff of a lessened global impact alongside a stronger local impact.

+ - What Are the Rational Pros and Cons of Homeschooling 1

Submitted by VorpalRodent
VorpalRodent (964940) writes "I went to a private school for about 6 years, then completed my education at the local public school, going on to get a couple undergraduate degrees and a postgraduate degree. My wife dropped out of high school and got her equivalency many years later. Now, she wants to homeschool our son.

There is a significant body of literature which indicates that homeschoolers outperform their traditionally schooled counterparts academically, regardless of the level of education of the parent, and she certainly cares more now that she's older. I don't like anecdotes, but I certainly haven't seen the research borne out in any of the people that I know who were homeschooled, and more importantly, it seems like the only reason my wife wants to homeschool is because she doesn't want to let go.

Our son would be going into Kindergarten this coming year. I'm interested in some rational discussion on this, since it seems like the only viewpoints I've ever seen on the matter are "Better academics" vs. "Social interaction", both of which are gross oversimplifications. It doesn't help that I can't find any statistical information on post-schooling outcomes."

Comment: Re:soo.... (Score 2) 327

by VorpalRodent (#48514797) Attached to: You're Doing It All Wrong: Solar Panels Should Face West, Not South
This may not be what you intended, but I really like the idea of a modular solar farm. I pay up front for one or more solar panels to be installed in a desert somewhere, managed by a third party, then get dividends from the power that is produced and sold. I'm not directly affecting my local power bill, but I'm contributing to a solution and offsetting my bill from the power generated. It would work a whole lot better than trying to capture sunlight during my 6 months of winter (or fighting the neighborhood covenant that believes all solar power is an eyesore).

Comment: Nifty Overview (Score 4, Interesting) 37

by VorpalRodent (#48270839) Attached to: Hacking Team Manuals: Sobering Reminder That Privacy is Elusive
Questions about government overreach and whatnot aside, the analyst's manual is quite a nice read on how mundane intelligence analysis can be. They've apparently got a very nice application for establishing persons of interest and automatically creating a directed graph of who knows whom based on address books / calendars, but the rest is still human analysis. I particularly liked the pictures which clearly showed location information as being "somewhere in this two block radius".

Comment: So...? (Score 1) 168

by VorpalRodent (#48213899) Attached to: Austin Airport Tracks Cell Phones To Measure Security Line Wait

I don't see the need for a tinfoil hat here. If my phone is actively searching for a network, and the airport is using that information in a way that doesn't identify me, doesn't make my phone think it should be sending any other data, and generally makes my experience better, I don't see a problem. They're even letting me know that they do it.

I love my privacy, but this use seems perfectly sane. Yes, they could hire a Walmart greeter to sit on a stool and watch the line, periodically holding up a chalk board with an estimated wait time. But then we'd be decrying the creepy guy who keeps staring at us in line.

How about we actually see how some innovations play out before deciding that the airport is going to stalk us?

All the simple programs have been written.

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