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Comment Re:flavor (Score 1) 329 329

You can complain as much as you like, but flavour is a secondary option to the majority of the world when it comes to food.

Mongolians dine on joints of meat thats been boiled for about 5 minutes. Give them the same 'meal' prepared with US meat and their reaction is 'this is tasteless!'.

Comment Re:I don't get it,... five a day? (Score 1) 329 329

I can only think of specific applications when this might be worthwhile, like where one has to remain mobile for some time and carry one's supplies in an area with very little water available, but that's a pretty unusual set of circumstances. You almost have to be a refugee or a forward-deployed soldier to involuntarily enter those conditions, and only militaries would have the supply capability to afford to intermittently replenish stock at that price.

If this gunk also hydrates you, maybe. Otherwise carrying liquid food around is a fair bit of bulk. MREs can be eaten dry and would weigh a fraction of what this stuff would weigh.

Comment Re: They aren't revolutionizing shit. (Score 1) 329 329

And they also frequently struggle with malnutrition. Because a vegan diet that is actually complete is unquestionably harder and more expensive than a non-vegan one. It is something you can only really reliably do in a first world country, where it is therefore an infuriatingly hypocritical exercise of privilege.

Try being vegan in Mongolia. Almost all of those fruit and vegetables have to be shipped from China. Not only are they heavily loaded with pesticides and herbicides they also cost quite a lot of energy to ship. And in winter... good luck with that.

First world people typically have zero idea of whats really involved in feeding most of the world.

Comment Re: They aren't revolutionizing shit. (Score 1) 329 329

I'm not vegan, but you don't have to be eating smoothies to be vegan. In fact, for a long time I made curries for my lunch which were vegan; they were very cheap to make in a big batch once a week. Some brown rice, various beans & lentils, onions etc, and spices. Tasty, nutritious, and cheap.
A lot of the poorest people in the world are de facto vegan, because it's the cheapest (because most efficient) way to eat.

What you are describing isn't 'curry' its dhal.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 107 107

I would not expect computers and/or computer science to improve the performance of students in SAT Mathematics, AP Calculus, and AP Statistics.

We use computers so we dont have to remember all that crap. The computer does the math.

I would expect it to improve reading, reading comprehension, written language skills, and logical thinking. That is what the student is learning!

Computing teaches any problem domain that you are asked to code solutions for.

The problem with initiatives like is that they generally try to engage kids by making things move on the screen. Most of that means doing very basic arithmetic in an esoteric firmat surrounded by Byzantine library calls.

If you want kids to do better in statistics, you shouldn't start with the paradigm of interactive entertainment, but with the far less abstract view of a computer as something that computes stuff. Kids might not like their schoolwork, but it's certainly relevant to them. Part of the problem teaching complex maths is that the mechanics of carrying out the underlying computations diverts attention from the "big picture" view. Procedural computing was designed specifically to address the problem of "can't see the wood for the trees" by separating the general algorithm from the specifics of implementation.

I think they are conflating programming and computer science. I think theres a lot of this confusion surrounding the discussion of this article, and indeed in teaching computer science at this level.

Computer science is only tangentially related to programming.

Most of computer science involves things like logic and discrete maths; state machines, turing machines, computation theory, set theory, algebra of functions, big-O notation and efficiency of algorithms. I majored in computer science and did very little actual programming. In fact I hated programming, still do. I can't comprehend people who program 'for fun'. But I did enjoy delving into the math that lurks beneath computing, discovering the limitations of algorithms (and hence of any methodical approach to a problem ie there are some problems that no computational process can solve, not because they are NP hard, its worse than that). Computer science introduced me to things like Chaitins algorithmic information theory and the first known uncomputable number (the halting probability), Goedels incompleteness theorem etc.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 422 422

The US rail network is not properly maintained. Many parts of the track have a top speed of 35 mph. Making the system run at 120 mph would significantly reduce time to market, and therefore reduce total cost. It would also make a great path for refugees, as the Chunnel has shown.

Refugees? You mean people escaping the USA, right?

Comment Staggering Amount of Money (Score 1) 179 179

As an outsider, who writes software for a living (proper, highly available transactional systems [finance industry but I do know some general stuff]). This amount of money is simply staggering. Even if we assume the published number (4.3B), 3% inflation, a relatively aggressive annualised ROI and 10 years over which to apply the costs, that turns into between 80 and 160 [20% ROI to 10% _annual_ ROI] million dollars per year in costs. IN COSTS. Even if you margin those costs at 33% (profit is already accounted for so the margin is on costs and risk) that's still 50 - 100 million dollars a year of costs to develop and support this system every year for 10 years. WTF kind of project are they planning? People have written software that changed the freaking world with a fraction of that amount of money.

Now having said all that, I have a little window on the way a different government developed their budget for an IT project. They knew that the new project would make 60 people redundant so they looked at the cost of those people, multiplied it by some number of years for the scope of the new system and went... There you go 30 million dollars.

  There is something very, very, very wrong with government.

BTW, There are about 20M veterans in the USA, give em all 200 bucks and let them keep scans of their own records on a freaking thumb drive. Backed up to, S3 or something. That might even actually work!

Comment Re:Driving? From London? (Score 1) 422 422

One can't drive from London to (continental) Europe that I know off. Ferry or train. through the chunnel, can bring a car over, but by that definition one can already "drive" from London to NYC.

"In 2004 Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin Group, used a Gibbs Aquada to set a new record for crossing the English Channel in an amphibious vehicle. "

Yes, you can!

Comment Re:Not going to happen (Score 0) 422 422

The vast majority of places we are... we are there with the consent of those governments.

But not necessarily with the consent of the people of those countries or locations. Like Okinawa for example. They kinda get sick of their kids being raped by your Marines. But their governments don't mind so go ahead, help yourselves to the Japanese schoolgirls.

Comment Re:International relations - Don't work that way. (Score 1) 422 422

Whatever point you were trying to make there, especially that Russians need to stop being assholes, doesn't work when everything you've based it on involves the US being even bigger assholes.

Actually, that's not true. International relations works by allowing everyone to be assholes while pretending that they're awesome.

This is because everyone in political power, in every country in the world, but ESPECIALLY the USA and Russia, are narcissistic personalities. Something that Karmashock was referring to when he said:


Look Russia... If you want to do business with the US, you need to make people like me happy. I know... you don't like that... but that's reality.

to make people like him (or Putin or Obama or any other person who could POSSIBLY become president of either country) happy you have to give them lots of ego-puffing, always give them what they want immediately and never ever criticize them.

"Is it really you, Fuzz, or is it Memorex, or is it radiation sickness?" -- Sonic Disruptors comics