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Comment Re:Gas (Score 1) 60

OPEC has been surprisingly stable compared to historic cartels, largely due to the Saudi dominance and willingness to bear the brunt when the inevitable cheating occurred.

They're playing a different game now, though: that shale isn't going away, and the price of producing it is a ceiling on the cartel price.

*All* cartels eventually end by cheating; some just get there faster than others . . .

(And the *real* key to the Debars cartel was somehow convincing people that the least desirable gemstone, the plain white wine, was the most desirable and only thing to put in an engagement ring . . . before that, diamonds were *less* valuable than rubies, sapphires, etc. . . .)


Comment Re:More and more cores? (Score 4, Interesting) 78

They'll do research and try and raise clock speeds, but the amount of heat required and the amount of cooling required is proportional to the square of the clock speed. The faster you try and change the state of something (electric charge), the more heat is generated. They might be able to switch to optical computing then the heat problem goes away. Maybe they'll get more efficient CPU's with fewer transistors and more parallelization.

But, it's far simpler to just add more cores as transistor sizes shrink by a half every year or two. That's guaranteed.

Comment Re:There is no left (Score 1) 343

If you ever saw a Californian phone bill, you would see that there are about a dozen taxes all tacked onto the phone bill. Some pay for 911 services, others pay for universal service (federal), then there's the state sales tax, local sale tax, state excise tax, local wireless 911, state wireless 911, and a few others.

Even if you buy a new cellphone, you'll find that theres a state code that requires that all cell phones are taxed on the full retail amount, not the actual discounted purchase price.

Comment Re:Its always been like this (Score 3, Informative) 281

Citation please? beyond a few islanders that lived with abundant food surrounding them in regions with warm climates all year around I don't know of any that this is true for. In fact it used to be more common to work 365 days a year.

Here is a citation that contradicts your "common to work 365 days":

During one period of unusually high wages (the late fourteenth century), many laborers refused to work "by the year or the half year or by any of the usual terms but only by the day." And they worked only as many days as were necessary to earn their customary income -- which in this case amounted to about 120 days a year, for a probable total of only 1,440 hours annually (this estimate assumes a 12-hour day because the days worked were probably during spring, summer and fall). A thirteenth-century estime finds that whole peasant families did not put in more than 150 days per year on their land. Manorial records from fourteenth-century England indicate an extremely short working year -- 175 days -- for servile laborers. Later evidence for farmer-miners, a group with control over their worktime, indicates they worked only 180 days a year.


Would You Bet Against Sex Robots? AI 'Could Leave Half Of World Unemployed' 281

Machines could put more than half the world's population out of a job in the next 30 years, according to a computer scientist who said on Saturday that artificial intelligence's threat to the economy should not be understated. Vardi, a professor at Rice University and Guggenheim fellow, said that technology presents a more subtle threat than the masterless drones that some activists fear. He suggested AI could drive global unemployment to 50%, wiping out middle-class jobs and exacerbating inequality. "Humanity is about to face perhaps its greatest challenge ever, which is finding meaning in life after the end of 'in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread'," he said. "We need to rise to the occasion and meet this challenge."

Comment This could be really useful for docks and ferries (Score 5, Interesting) 97

One of the most time consuming parts of a short journey is getting the passenger doors aligned with the port-side gangways. Unlike airports, it's not the gangways that move to the plane, it's the vessel that must align with the portside. Sometimes the portside gangway can move up or down, but many times, the crew have to tie down these mini gangways with ropes when the tides and ballast tanks aren't enough. It takes several minutes of maneuvering to get the ship aligned with the dockside, sometimes even having to reverse and try again, especially in heavy swells. If they could get GPS down to several inches, combined with the sideways movement that many catamarans have, docking could be done automatically.

Comment Re:Gas (Score 1) 60

But you see, it isn't even "oversupply."

Rather, it's "decreasing but not eliminating the artificial supply constraint."

Even today's prices are higher than they would be without the cartel.

That said, the world changed with the Saudi policy of letting prices go below our production cost.

Oh, dear, they'll sell us their oil for less than it costs to produce our own. I'm terrified.

And don't throw me in the briar patch, either . . .


Comment Re:This is a big bitchslap to Mozilla (Score 1) 270

This is a server on which developers develop web apps. Having access to multiple browsers on the server itself is useful. Not all servers are DMZ servers where reduction of attack surface is the key point. Many are "crash and burn" servers where people can do their job without worrying about causing damage.

Comment Re:This is a big bitchslap to Mozilla (Score 3, Insightful) 270

Yea, Chrome gets a bad rap for how much resources it uses but, it actually has a good reason and, as you pointed out, if it starts hitting your system's ceiling, it starts scaling back.

That's not acceptable. A web browser isn't the only, or even main thing I use my computer for. I don't want my VM to be unable to start because Chrome has used all the memory it could find, less a small bit.

It's not cooperative. It assumes that all memory available has been made available for it only.
Chrome is like a self-serve cafeteria where some people are gluttons who hog all the food, and latecomers only get crumbs. It might be legal, but it sure isn't playing nice. We shouldn't have to have guards standing at the food stations to prevent greedy bastards from ruining the experience for others. Taking all the biscuits and putting one or two back isn't generosity.

Firefox isn't much better. One of my users forgot to close a browser window on a server before going on vacation, and just periodic auto-refresh had caused it to gobble up a quite a few gigabytes of RAM - a large portion of the server's RAM. The server has extra RAM because of disk caching, to the benefit of all users. I ended up having to implement cgroup memory limiting because of Firefox.

Comment Re:Is there a greater risk of micropenis? (Score 1) 134

I am 3.7% Neanderthal (top 99th percentile).

Given that H.S.Sapiens and H. (S.) Neanderthalensis share 98.5% of the genetic material, it would be difficult to be more than 2.5%,or less than 98.5%, depending on how you see it.

What you probably mean is that you have 3.7% of the genetic markers that have so far been identified as being inherited from Neanderthals. Which is a completely different thing from being 3.7% Neanderthal.

I haven't tested my DNA, as there are large privacy concerns with the available testers (none I have found agree to destroying the test and all results except what they send you), but given that I have a large head, big joints, gap behind my wisdom teeth, and hail from where the largest concentration of Neanderthal-inherited DNA is, it wouldn't surprise me if it's up there.
I'm okay with that - it's part of being human.

Comment Re:Never seen so many allergies in people (Score 1) 134

This is quite humorous! Americans eat raw meat.

Yes, but only beef. Never pork, lamb, goat, horse or any other meats. Certainly not poultry, as the US seems to be able to keep salmonella out of their poultry production. (Which is why Spaghetti Carbonara is almost never made with raw eggs in the US, and don't get me started on the atrocity called egg nogg over here),
And most Americans would never venture past beef, pork, chicken and turkey anyhow. Sometimes fish, if it's breaded thickly enough, fried, and with enough lemon on it that you couldn't tell it from tofu.

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