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Comment: Re:Out of the public domain? (Score 1) 90

by rgmoore (#47550541) Attached to: Google's Mapping Contest Draws Ire From Indian Government

If you can see it from public property and tell what it is, it's (effectively) in the public domain, isn't it?

It may be practically difficult to prevent that information from getting out to people who want it, but that doesn't make it legal to do so. Plenty of governments continue to try keeping stuff secret even when there's no real hope of doing so.

Comment: Re:Multiple service entrances are not allowed (Score 2) 124

There are other cases when you can have multiple service entrances beyond different voltages. A building may have more than one by special permission if it has multiple tenants and no common areas where a common service could be located, or if it's too big to be practically served by a single service. And a building can always be served by multiple services if the electrical demands are larger than the utility can provide with a single service. A quick look says that multiple services are always allowed if the demand exceeds 2000 amps at 600V, which could happen pretty easily in a building large enough to hold 5000 workers.

Comment: Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (Score 1) 369

by David Jao (#47530167) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate
First of all, the number claimed in your link is 95%, not 97%. Second of all, try making even basic efforts at fact checking. For example, your article claims 99.7% of poor families have refrigerators. This is plainly untrue -- homeless people don't have refrigerators, and they make up 10% of poor people. The numbers in the article are clearly unreliable and agenda-driven, which is not surprising, considering the source.

Comment: Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (Score 2) 369

by David Jao (#47528909) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

For those with access to a supermarket, a combination of lack of time, lack of education, and lack of ability to delay gratification that causes people to eat junk food. Not money.

None of the above. For most poor and even lower-middle class families, the limiting factor is lack of access to food preparation equipment and facilities. Low-income housing often lacks a kitchen. Even if you have a kitchen, one often lacks appliances; trying to subsist on unprocessed food without a refrigerator or a stove is difficult to put it mildly. Families near the poverty line move from place to place a lot, often on short notice in response to evictions. There's no way they could maintain possession of bulky appliances under such circumstances, not to mention an adequate inventory of cookware.

Poor families are really living on the edge, much more than you realize. Once you get to the point where you can't afford a security deposit for an apartment, a lot of options close off. Food preparation is one of them.

Comment: Re:Should the United States accept more foreigners (Score 1) 369

by David Jao (#47528883) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

Food prices are high, but all of my meals (which are nutritious) cost $1-$2 max, usually closer to $1. You just have to know how and where to shop. Of course, this is the US, which is a first world country...

It is not enough to know how and where to shop. You also, generally, need a kitchen and appliances (stove, refrigerator, etc.) in order to produce nutritions $1 meals. Many poor and even lower-middle class families simply don't have these things. The kind of housing that you can get for cheap is going to be one-room boarding houses with limited access to food preparation facilities. You're lucky to have even a shared kitchen. As for appliances, they're not actually very expensive -- an iPhone costs more -- but poor families generally move far too often (usually involuntarily) to maintain possession of bulky items.

Comment: Re:But (Score 2) 110

The quickest numbers I could find say that at the scales of large power-plants, the generator is very efficient, but the turbine not so much, around 50%. This would put the system as a whole at around 40% efficency sunlight -> electricity. That's competitive with the best solar voltaic systems tested in the lab, and 50-100% better than practical systems on the market. Assuming their system really does scale up to power plant sizes, of course.

Comment: Re:laying off...but needs more H-1B's (Score 1) 282

Believe it or not, there was a time, not too long ago, when a company was defined as a collection of employees and shareholders, rather than exclusively as a collection of shareholders as is the case today. Back then, the definition of what's best for a company included employee welfare as well as shareholder welfare. A company was considered successful if it generated employee wealth as well as shareholder wealth, rather than the exclusive focus on shareholder wealth which prevails today. Companies had planning horizons of decades, which you need in order to offer retirement pensions, which were also commonplace. At some point, all of that went out the window, and except for a few big winners, we are all the poorer for it.

Comment: Re:n/t (Score 1) 278

by rgmoore (#47484067) Attached to: The debate over climate change is..

You add steps to your debate that aren't in debate. Everyone accepts that there is climate change, and everyone accepts that it is due to natural causes (e.g. ice ages).

This is both sophistry and demonstrably untrue. Some people deny that the Earth is more than 6000 years old, so they don't even believe in the ice ages. This isn't just a bunch of isolated cranks, either. Young Earth creationism is popular among Evangelical Christians, including ones who have been elected to important positions in the US government.

More importantly, saying that everyone accepts climate has occurred naturally in the past is a distraction rather than an answer to scientists who are saying that humans are changing the climate right now. There is massive amounts of evidence showing that the climate has changed significantly in the recent past, that there are no known natural factors that could have caused that size of climate change, and that there is an obvious, human-created environmental factor that can account for the observed climate change. Bringing up the ice ages is classic climate denialism.

Comment: Re:Sony playing catchup with Microsoft (Score 2) 277

by bad_fx (#47471663) Attached to: Sony Forgets To Pay For Domain, Hilarity Ensues

How on earth do you figure this is a "blow" in the console war? Are you suggest that Microsoft was somehow behind this? Or is everything that gets reported on and is related to Playstation\Xbox now some sort of insidious plot to discredit one or the other console?

In reality it sounds like pure incompetence at Sony (and the same in the story you link about Microsoft) and I think when many people are affected by this sort of thing it's fair enough that it's covered on tech sites. It doesn't have to be part of some 'console war' that you parenthesize with apparent disdain while at the same time perpetuating the idea.

Comment: I don't see what you are saying (Score 4, Insightful) 37

by pavon (#47470545) Attached to: Two Big Dark Matter Experiments Gain US Support

We'll have more information about the gravity attributes and locations of dark matter,

Both of these experiments aim to detect collisions of dark matter particles with their respective detectors, and if found give an estimate of the particles energy. Neither are astronomical surveys that would tell us anything about the gravitational properties or distribution of dark matter.

Comment: Re:n/t (Score 3, Insightful) 278

by rgmoore (#47468785) Attached to: The debate over climate change is..

Some people are still screaming that it isn't happening.
Some have said OK, but humans aren't doing it!

And a lot of the people saying those things are the same people. They go through the same series of denials:

  1. The climate isn't changing.
  2. The climate is changing but it's natural.
  3. Humans are causing climate change, but it's no big deal
  4. It's a big deal, but the suggested changes to deal with it are acceptable.

The worst part is that they'll concede points through the list of denials in one argument, and then turn around and go back to the top the next time they argue the point. Going through the series of denying arguments and reverting after the end of every argument is the key sign you're dealing with somebody who isn't arguing the issue in good faith.

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