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Comment: wrong (Score 1) 5

by Bill Dog (#47446431) Attached to: 1k words

That Left vs. Right is only or mostly a distraction is a Leftie/Libertarian tactic. They are of course highly distinctly opposing philosophies, even if the extreme divide between the philosophies is not fully represented in Congress.

I don't know about the banks, but corporations are only trying to buy favor in regulations and subsidies, so that they can be more successful. This is tyranny in that it's anti-competitive and hurts the average citizen, but is nowhere near where the vast majority of the tyranny we're experiencing nowadays is coming from: The GOP's progressivism towards more and more perfect national security, and the Left's progressivism towards more and more perfect outcomes in almost everything in general.

TL;DR: That cartoon pushes the standard commie line that the institutions of capitalism are our biggest problem.

p.s. What it does get right is that, since neither major party cares one whit about libertarianism, in that sense it's meaningless which one you vote for, because neither will advance that cause. (But then that's hardly the only meaningful factor, whereupon there becomes a huge difference between the parties.)

Comment: Re:a thought (Score 1) 11

by Bill Dog (#47446369) Attached to: Fun with SQL Server 2012

Another thought is this: I've written my share of T-SQL in the same spirit as this. And that is, what I have come to philosophically consider to be doing too much on the database side. An RDBMS's strong suit is retrieving data, not string manipulations. And your requirements for the data to be built into a string and of a certain format is really a business rule, where even if you're not doing a tiered architecture physically, it isn't a best practice to mix business layer concerns into what is logically the data layer.

I'm to the point where I consider the T-SQL language's non-DML/non-DDL stuff to be only as a last resort, such as needing to send already formatted data into say SQL Server Reporting Services, where you might not have middle tier(s) and the luxury of processing the data via any other means before it gets presented. But for application work, I want to start using the database to do just enough calculating to identify what data I want retrieved, and then the rest of the crunching that needs to be performed being done in C# or whatever (which will typically be more expressive and efficient for this).

Then in your case you wouldn't have the recursion going on in the database side to construct the string.

p.s. Over time the DBA's can alter the indexes on tables, and the SQL Server query analyzer can adopt different cached data access plans depending on the amount of and distributions within the data. So timings can change, so if you were already close to a limit...

Comment: a thought (Score 1) 11

by Bill Dog (#47445631) Attached to: Fun with SQL Server 2012

In SQL's order of operations, ORDER BY is done after SELECT, where in that 2nd query the string is built up, and then somehow some sorting is supposed to happen. It could be harmless or fouling things up, and it might not be what you want judging from the 1st query where the string is built in Sequence order.

Comment: Re:Wow. (Score 1) 181

by Rei (#47444479) Attached to: Rocket Scientist Designs "Flare" Pot That Cooks Food 40% Faster

That I actually have done ;) On a 60-degree slope down into a deep canyon nonetheless! Also there's manmade objects and yes, *gasp* trees in some places ;) The country isn't totally treeless!

But yes, it's not exactly a very practical solution for Iceland. I'd really prefer something more designed for both roles, hanging and on the ground.

Comment: Re:Silly season much (Score 1) 113

by Safety Cap (#47444365) Attached to: Chinese Couple Sells Children To Support Online Game Addiction

Who says you can't have a second child after you sold the first one?

Peasant Han: "Honest officer! Our child was sold into slavery over a year ago!"

Officer Zau kicks over the wood stove, lifts open a patch of the tile floor and shines his light into the darkness below. A dozen eyes shine back.

Officer Zau (screaming): Zui cha. Chaqu. Yongyuan!

Officer Zau unholsters her Type 15 pistol, takes aim at Han and puts her finger on the trigger.

(fade to black)

Comment: A scary idea, if true (Score 1) 7

by Safety Cap (#47443969) Attached to: Trying to remember a conspiracy theory

I recall an old Science Fiction story along the same lines, back in the early 80s.

The protagonist was a young man in a third-world middle-eastern shitehole. He was tired of war, of losing friends and families, when he had a revelation: the "Blue Hats" (UN) were neutral, so if he joined their "army" he'd be relatively safe and wouldn't have to fight any more.

So, he obtains a discarded steel pot and paints it blue. Reveling in his newfound "immunity," he convinces his friends and neighbors to do the same. Even the other side starts doing it until everyone is a Blue Hat -- and peace breaks out for the first time in living memory.

I forget how it ended, but the gist was that the First-World was using the Third-World as a "live culture" of warfare, to keep the former's own troops trained and budgets justified. The old sides were eventually convinced to go back to fighting one another.

Comment: Re:Wow. (Score 1) 181

by Rei (#47443739) Attached to: Rocket Scientist Designs "Flare" Pot That Cooks Food 40% Faster

Are you talking about a Hennessy? I love mine. And I live in Iceland, where it's harder to use. I have no clue where you're getting that they're heavy. Unless you're comparing the regular nylon version to a silnylon tent, rather than nylon to nylon, silnylon to silnylon. The one-man silnylon versions are in the ballpark of 800 grams, including the fly. You kind of have to adapt them to use them as tents on the ground, though, they're not designed for that (but it is possible). Another criticism of them I have is that underside insulation seems to be an afterthought, and I'm not a big fan of their insulation kit (there's no reason it should be foam, I'd like a self-inflating mat). Their snakeskin packing system works well, but you can't pack up the hammock with the insulation on it; honestly, I'd love it if I could have my sleeping bag, hammock, and insulation all roll up as one element. And if had been designed to work both a tent and a hammock from the beginning, the insulation could double as a sleeping pad.

Comment: Re:Wow. (Score 5, Insightful) 181

by Rei (#47442911) Attached to: Rocket Scientist Designs "Flare" Pot That Cooks Food 40% Faster

Not to mention that as a mountaineer, I'd think he'd care more about cooking efficiency than cook time. And while it's great to utilize the flame energy more efficiently, there's a far more significant optimization one can do - make insulated cozies that fit your pots. Bring to a boil, shut off the heat, put the pot it in the cozy and let it cook. For my pots, I made an underpiece and a lid that fits over each other, both out of aluminized foam; it works very well.

(Of course, he could be one of those people that doesn't eat any "cooked" meals, only the "just add boiling water" meals. In that case, then I guess it's all about the efficiency of using the energy from the flame

What I want to see in backpacking is a full integrated system. Where the tent is a hammock is a backpack is a ground cloth is a pack cover is a camp chair and so on down the line, where most components serve multiple uses. When I think about how much "fabric" and "rigid structures" I carry with me that if designed properly could be eliminated, it just seems like a waste.

Comment: Re:Ted Postol very bias opinion. (Score 4, Insightful) 324

by Rei (#47440615) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Actually, the key thing for them is "cheap". They need to keep costing sub-$1k missiles in the ballpark of these Iron dome systems - the more, the better. They might as well just omit the warheads to save money and increase range. Every $50k shot Israel fires with those systems costs 25 Israelis' annual tax contribution to the IDF. Every $55m system they deploy costs 27.500 Israelis' IDF tax contributions.

Palestinians are poor, but they're not *that* poor that they can't leverage those kind of lopsided financial ratios.

Comment: Maybe... (Score 1) 26

by Bill Dog (#47440581) Attached to: These secular priests just keep slicing on the drive

...scientist Chen thought his results were fake but accurate?

And therefore, in his mind, and according to popular thinking, would still be worthy of dissemination. That is, if he felt it was an important enough truth, that needed to be gotten out.

IOW, in a world where the mindset of "the ends justify the means" has taken over, can he be blamed? If the world tells him that that's nothing to be ashamed about in other cases, why would he and other scientists see it as unethical in science?

I hold him less culpable, and society more culpable. And even more than society, I hold people of integrity, however few there might be left, culpable for this aspect of modern society.

As a libertarian-minded Conservative, people have a right to do what they want, but they don't have the right to not be called out as the unwise that they are. We let those who are morally, spiritually, and intellectually compromised, who flock to (or rather who are driven to, re: RG's mentioning of who is ultimately behind the degradation of the human conscience) positions of influence over society, have their says without it being answered.

I blame the silence of the good. Imagine if every stupid and/or dangerous idea, that started to get traction, was swiftly followed up by people pointing out exactly how ridiculous and wrong it was, and thoroughly debunked it. Doesn't mean there still wouldn't be casualties, as far as lost souls and lost moral compasses and lost reason. I just don't think there'd be so many, if we didn't let B.S. prevail.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 3, Insightful) 324

by Rei (#47440537) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

No, in the case of Iron Dome, that's only PR too. They're shooting $50k+ missiles at $800 rockets. Even after factoring in that Israel's per-capita GDP is 20 times that of Palestine's, that's still a losing proposition, even *if* they had a 100% hit rate (which this article is suggesting it's anything-but) and assuming that you get the launcher, radar, etc for free instead of the actual $55 million per unit. It's in Palestine's best interests that Israel deploy as many of them as possible and try to shoot down every last rocket, because every shekel they spend on Iron Domes and missiles is a shekel they don't spend on jets, tanks, and bombs.

Comment: That said... (Score 4, Informative) 59

by Rei (#47437451) Attached to: Sand-Based Anode Triples Lithium-Ion Battery Performance

... the greater your capacity, the less cycle life matters. If you want an EV that battery that will run a 250Wh/mi vehicle for an average 20 miles a day for 15 years, then you want it to cycle through about 30MWh. If you use a 100 mile (25kWh) battery pack, then that's 1100 cycles. If you use a 200 mile (50kWh) battery pack, then that's 550 cycles. If you use a 400 mile (100kWh) battery pack, then that's a mere 275 cycles. Actually, the improvement is even better than that in the real world, because the greater your capacity vs. how far you're actually driving, the more you can cycle the cells through a less destructive state of charge range rather than doing deep discharges.

A lot of people picture battery packs in EVs backwards, they think that things like hybrids stress the packs the least, PHEVs moderately, and EVs the worst. But it's reversed. If you look at how big hybrid packs are vs. how much electric range they hold, you'll see that they're disproportionately large, even after you factor in any differences in Wh/kg. The reason is that because hybrid packs get cycled so much, they have to keep the cycling in a very narrow state of charge range, only allowing shallow discharges. So if you only have a narrow discharge range, you have to make your pack bigger to make up for it. EVs can discharge through much more of their pack because they need fewer total cycles and only rarely go down toward the lower end of their allowable discharge range. Some EVs also let you limit the max that your pack charges up to to further extend lifespan (it's usually destructive both to use the very top end and the bottom end of the discharge range).

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

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