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Comment: Ranked ballot voting and voting culture (Score 1) 1089

by WSOGMM (#49299065) Attached to: Obama: Maybe It's Time For Mandatory Voting In US

I vote occasionally. Here are some things that would encourage me to vote more:

1. Ranked ballot voting, top 3 choices. This would shut everybody up. Now your vote counts.

2. Online/electronic absentee ballot. I'm lazy. So are most people.

3. Transparency and availability of easy-to-read candidate data. Most of the time I don't know any of the people on the ballot. I want a brief overview of the candidate's stances on core issues as well as record of their past accomplishments. It would also be nice if potential conflicts of interest were listed.

4. Make voting-day a national holiday. If it's a part of the culture, it gains permanent respect. Quality voting is essential to our future. Take the day off? Sounds good to me!

Comment: Re:Location, location, location... (Score 1) 283

by WSOGMM (#45080937) Attached to: Scientists Boycott NASA Conference Because of Ban On Chinese Participants

Instead of having it at NASA, can't they just have it at the local Holiday Inn?

Those were my thoughts, too, but it looks like the legislation has been corrected (or at least "clarified"), as it was, apparently, not intended to be used that way.

Wolf said NASA officials may have believed that the move was needed because of extra temporary restrictions on foreign nationals after a potential security breach by a Chinese citizen at a NASA facility in Virginia earlier this year.

"I have ordered a moratorium on granting any new access to NASA facilities to individuals from specific designated countries, specifically China, Burma, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan."

I'm not going to lie, our "rivalry" with China kind of worries me sometimes. I wasn't around for the Cold War really, but it seems like we're heading for a second Cold War if we continue to restrict, contradict, spy on and threaten each other. It is undeniable that China is on the rise. They have a quarter of the worlds population. I don't want to start the first half of the century being hated by the Chinese (and everybody else for that matter).

Comment: Wait a second... (Score 1) 318

by WSOGMM (#45077237) Attached to: The Ridiculous Tech Fees You're Still Paying

I'm posting this from a hotel with pay-for internet access. I'm paying about $200 a night for two beds (so not too expensive, but expensive for me). As soon as I saw that the internet costs money here, I thought to myself, well shit, I won't be coming to the Hilton again. So yes, I would imagine that it does affect the amount of customers they get, but apparently not enough for them to lose money on charging for access. Fortunately the conference that I'm attending is paying for my internet.

As a side note, they don't offer any free breakfast either. :(


Comment: Re:That's sexist! (Score 2) 100

Males and females have absolutely no difference between them, despite the overwhelming experiential, physiological, neurological, anatomical, and hormonal evidence to the contrary, you sexist pigs, and how dare you even conduct this research into the issue! Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go open a jar of mayo for the little lady, though that in no way suggests she lacks the wrist and forearm strength to grasp and twist just as well as any man.

I find your sentiment absolutely discussing!!

Comment: The Volt is a cool car... (Score 1) 466

by WSOGMM (#44875815) Attached to: Can GM Challenge Tesla With a Long-Range Electric Car?

I dunno much about the Volt's angry slashdot history, but It seems like a pretty feasible way to transition to an electric car if you're worried about road trips.

Every time I pass one, it catches my eye. I'd say it's right up there in looks with the Model S, which also, in my opinion, looks attractive. If I had the money to choose between those two cars, I'd have to think about it.

Comment: Not trapped by radiation pressure (Score 4, Informative) 159

by WSOGMM (#44702115) Attached to: Scientists Create 'Fastest Man-Made Spinning Object'

Optical trapping can sometimes make use of radiation pressure, but that's generally not how you optically trap a particle, nor is that how they did it. Radiation pressure is characterized by absorption and reflection (like tennis balls hitting a wall). To trap a particle, you use refraction (when modeling the system with ray optics).

The change in index of refraction between water (or air) and your particle causes the light rays to "change direction" as they enter and leave the particle. There is a net momentum transferred to the particle in the direction of the focus of the laser beam, thus trapping the particle at the focus.

Comment: I don't think this has to do with "Net Neutrality" (Score 1) 555

by WSOGMM (#44430957) Attached to: Google Argues Against Net Neutrality

I'm not an expert with all this technology and stuff, but it seems that this does not "violate" net neutrality. I was under that the impression that net neutrality is concerned with the content of data sent/received, not with company policies that limit large amounts of traffic (or servers or whatever), regardless of the type of data being sent through.

Of course, a company could violate net neutrality by banning specific servers or censoring information that they don't like, but I don't see how splitting up your "business" and "residential" service has anything to do with freedom of information. Can someone explain to me exactly why this is a violation of net neutrality? It sounds more to me like many of you are upset because of false advertisement, or even simply because you think something should be free when it's not.

As far as evilness goes... meh. Evil, to me, is synonymous to greed. And, to varying degrees, just about everybody in our country and every other country is greedy. It comes with the territory. ;)

Comment: Re:Yawn (Score 1) 367

by WSOGMM (#43635195) Attached to: Observed Atmospheric CO2 Hits 400 Parts Per Million

This measure of potent greenhouse gas in the atmosphere should spark renewed discussion about the use of fossil fuels.

No it won't. It's not like politicians and the public have been just sitting on the sidelines, waiting util a value about 400 PPM was observed. I don't believe the public really doubts that atmospheric CO2 is increasing, and so a wonky measure of it is pretty irrelevant to public sentiment.

I think you misinterpreted the use of "should" there. It's not that it should happen, as in it likely will happen, it's just we have an obligation to do it.

People have HEARD (and accept) that we're pumping too much CO2 into our atmosphere, but very few people have taken serious effort against it. As I'm sure many slashdotters would agree (hopefully I'm not stretching myself too far here), renewed discussion of fossil fuels in public forums, media and government needs to happen. Our population is large enough to affect an entire planet. Following our reckless impulses and immediate desires is NOT an option, and we should work [our asses off] to change that.

Comment: Practice problems... (Score 1) 279

by WSOGMM (#42891979) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Really Short Time Wasters?

For example, if you're interested in physics, pick a section out of Halliday's Fundamentals of Physics PDF, read it, then later during another break take a look at an example or practice problem. Hell, practice the method of Loci memorization technique. You'll get something out of that if you stick with it.

Really, just pick anything you're interested in.

Comment: Re:How do they measure this? (Score 1) 76

by WSOGMM (#41254389) Attached to: Florida Researchers Create Shortest Light Pulse Ever Recorded

I won't explain it, as I don't feel like reading through all of it right now, but someone else is welcome to! And now it's easy to find.

Emission of pulse:

It's actually called Double optical Gating, not Grating, as the article called it.

Detection: Phase Retrieval by Omega Oscillation Filtering

Comment: Re:Then I've evolved to not buy EA games... (Score 3, Interesting) 274

by WSOGMM (#41243423) Attached to: EA Exec Won't Green Light Any Single Player-Only Games

There is abslolutely no reward or interest in fighting against/being beaten by anonymous opponents which have otherwise no personal connection to the player. I love quake, command and conquer, etcetera, but only in the same way as I love chess, and I would never even contemplate playing chess against someone I had never met in person, because that would be boring; a soulless challenge, so pointless that I may as well play against a computer.

I very much disagree. I like having a consistently large player pool with which to compare my play. Many of the people you play in online games have already gotten good enough to beat or compete with the best computer opponents. Facing a human player, in my experience, provides a new and unique challenge, even if you can't see their face.

There are also often large gaps in skill between friends that play games. The discrepancies between friends gets taken away when you play against a large player pool. Who cares if you're best at a game between 4 people? How about in the top 1% of 500,000 people?

I love to play with my friends, but I love it even more when we can play against an anonymous online multiplayer base. In CoD, for example, we can work together as a team and find a position together against incoming forces. It makes it even more real. Almost like real war.

I'm not sure what makes your challenges inspring and meaningful, and what makes mine soulless and pointless, but I have more fun with online multiplayer games than with games that don't connect. When I'm home alone late at night, and the house is dead silent - lonely even - there's something eerie about playing bots -- add the online part, and suddenly it fills the house with *just a little* more presence.

Some people become obsessed with online games, and perhaps I can see why it would be a diversion, but I am willing to bet that the vast majority of people are only interested in playing games against the people in their own existing social circle, and could not give a damn about massively multiplayer, always online bullshit - and that to lump every gamer in that crowd would be a disastrous folly.

Be careful where you lump every gamer. There's a reason why many of these games actually have a

vast majority

and why EA is willing to bet on it.

Comment: Judging accuracy (Score 1) 74

by WSOGMM (#40762243) Attached to: Contest To Sequence Centenarians Kicks Off
From TFA:

Clifford Reid, chief executive of Complete Genomics, worries that it will be difficult for the judges to assess the accuracy of the newly sequenced genomes. “The technologies participating in the competition are the only technologies for judging the competition,” he says, adding that he is hopeful that contest organizers can come up with “a clever solution that makes everyone happy”.

Couldn't they just give all of the teams a set of identical DNA (for instance, the teams unknowingly share the DNA of 10 individuals) and compare the sequenced genomes to get an idea of how accurate they are?

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. -- Albert Einstein