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Comment: Re:No surprise (Score 1) 109

A nice example of Poe's Law in action.

This could be a parody of the thinking of the corporatist shills, and apologists for out present plutocracy, except that the actual shills and apologists often say exactly the same thing, deaf to the ludicrousness of the messages they lip-synch with./p

Comment: Re:No surprise (Score 1) 109

No, misunderstand me. I'm not saying there should be less government control, just that it's done algorithmically.

Think automated DMV processing, automated welfare distribution, automated parolee management, IRS collections/auditing, and so forth.

Of course, the inevitable argument against this is that too much trust is placed into the programmers hands. This is why it would all have to not just be open source, but clearly laid out and audited by many many programmers and non-programmers alike. Further, the algorithms should have built in mechanisms for refinement and improvement.

As a guy who loves designing algorithms, and is very good at it, I must say you put w-a-a-a-y too much faith in algorithms. Even "open source" algorithms. Consider the Federal Government's determinant sentencing rules (with the Orwellian misname of "guidelines"). They are viewed with almost uniform horror by the judges that must use them to calculate sentences, even by Conservative judges who would be most expected to approve of the often Draconian result. There is nothing secret about these sentencing algorithms. Prosecutors are able to trigger whatever "enhancements" they wish by placing claims in the indictment regardless of merit.

Comment: Re:Fins - probably not. (Score 1) 216

by careysub (#49571839) Attached to: US Successfully Tests Self-Steering Bullets

I've never heard of a projectile being aimed like that. Do you have examples of it being used elsewhere?

Yes, it is a technique that has been developed for maneuvering re-entry vehicles for ICBMs (MARVs). Here is a Russian page with an excerpt from an English source about it: "There are multiple ways for the designer to provide maneuverable capability in a re-entry vehicle, 1. ...moveable flaps which can provide one, two, or three degrees of freedom 2. ...Control can also be effected by moving a mass laterally in the vehicle to offset the vehicle’s center of gravity.The resulting mass asymmetry is equivalent to an aerodynamic asymmetry."

Comment: Re:Easy fix (Score 2) 247

by careysub (#49571749) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues

That $11 figure is all over the Internet, but a better, in-depth, source is this one "Business Ethics: Case Studies and Selected Readings" By Marianne Jennings. In it we read that: “Among the design changes that could have been made were side and cross members at $2.40 and $1.80 per car, respectively; a shock-absorbent “flak suit” to protect the tank at $4; a tank within a tank and placement of the tank over the axle at $5.08 to $5.79; a nylon bladder within the tank at $5.25 to $8; a placement of the tank over the axle surrounded with a protective barrier at $9.59; the imposition of a protective shield between the differential housing and the tank at $2.35; improvement of the bumper at $2.60; and the addition of eight inches of crush space at a cost of $6.40.”

All of these individual fixes are less than $11. I do not know which of these by themselves would have been sufficient, but the absence of pursuing any of them is probably what led to the jury verdict.

Comment: Re:It made a lot of sense... (Score 2) 86

I admit to being pleasantly surprised by the actions that Wheeler is taking. I had been quite skeptical that someone so deeply tied to the two industries had not been completely captured.

(It is not never necessary to assume pay-for-play or some sort of soft corruption. People who work in an institution a long time typically adopt its points-of-view through familiarity and socialization if nothing else.)

Comment: Re:Summary is contradictory (Score 4, Informative) 45

by careysub (#49550091) Attached to: Mystery of the Coldest Spot In the CMB Solved

Something can be uniform and fluctuating at the same time. All that's required is that the fluctuations follow the same, regular pattern everywhere. I have no idea whether this is true for the CMB, however.

It is true. Further, the fluctuations are tiny - at the parts per million level. It took 28 years after the CMB was discovered to detect any fluctations at all, requiring a sophisticated space probe (COBE) to do it.

Asserting that the CMB is "not uniform" because of these fluctuations is rather like saying the Bonneville Salt Flats are not really flat at all since the surface has millimeter scale irregularities, or your polished marble dining room floor isn't flat since it has micron sized irregularities.

Comment: Re:But why is there only one spot like this? (Score 4, Informative) 45

by careysub (#49550075) Attached to: Mystery of the Coldest Spot In the CMB Solved


I think it comes down to this: why there is a big cold spot in the CMB? Because there's a big void. Mystery solved!

Except there's still the mystery of why there is such a big void in the first place.

That is true, but it is a much lesser mystery. The previous record-holder was the Canes Venatici Supervoid at 1.3 billion light years, and an Eridanus Supervoid has been the preferred explanation for the Eridanus Cold Spot (or, humorously, CAOE: "Cosmic Axis Of Evil) for years ("parallel universe collisions" was always an exotic explanation), but the existence of such a supervoid had not been confirmed. Dr. István Szapudi of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa has has just announced findings that measures this supervoid at 1.8 billion light years. This is moderately bigger than the previous record-holder (40% wider), but there are quite a few that are 400-800 million light years across. This looks rather like a power law distribution, often found in nature.

The Canes Venatici Supervoid is closer as than the Eridanus Supervoid (red shift z=0.118 vs 0.22, or 1.5 vs 2.5 billion light years) as well as being smaller so there are two reasons for the Integrated Sachs-Wolfe Effect to be weaker, but apparently there is no anomalous cooling for that void at all. I would like to see someone address that.

Comment: Re:Read The Fucking Constitution (Score 1) 302

Any time period less than infinity is limited.

And that is exactly the reasoning that the Supreme Court has used to uphold the legality of the copyright extensions. Since there is some limit, even though it isn't fixed, and keeps getting extended for the very same work, now long past the life of the creator, it is still "limited". If Congress passed an extension to a thousand years, it would still be limited.

Comment: Re:Oh Really? (Score 1) 302

Is there any work that is over 50 years old that still brings in big money? The proper solution is to charge an annual fee per work for continued protection of, say $1000/year after 50 years. I'll bet they won't want to pay that.

It is amazing how you have totally bought into the corporations most ardent desire: continual "ownership" of other people's work as if it was some inalienable right.

Copyright was invented as a limited term privilege to encourage artistic creation as a social good.

The proper solution is to revert to the original 28 year maximum duration and place all artistic works in the public domain after that time.

Comment: Re:Why the hate for VB (Score 1) 181

by careysub (#49515663) Attached to: Swift Tops List of Most-Loved Languages and Tech

...Almost always, a goto statement indicates sloppy design on the part of the coder. I think I have only come across one instance in my professional life where a goto was actually not a bad option (maybe even the best, or least worst option). And I've been coding for around 30 years now. Also, there is a reason why coders almost instantly fell in love with the object-oriented paradigm. Almost overnight, it cleaned up a lot of code. Granted, it is not a perfect paradigm, but it does seem to work well in a surprising number of cases. Just sayin'.

Structured programming constructs already did the heavy lifting on the Curse of the Go-To, a decade before OO languages became generally available.

But yes, with exceptions available (handling error breakouts in otherwise clean logic) the last reason to use a go to died.

Comment: Re:/farthermost/ (Score 1) 94

Stretch it to 2015 and throw in a bit of smoothing. It appears that "farthermost" and "furthermost" track each other in usage over a period of over two centuries, with furthermost always being more popular, and with both being in decline since 1920. Until 2000. Then the usages turn upward. We are an era of "further/farthermost" renaissance!

Comment: Re:not relevent (Score 1) 291

by careysub (#49455045) Attached to: Cannabis Smoking Makes Students Less Likely To Pass University Courses

And, Slate as a source for rational argument?? REALLY?????? They're about as neutral and unbiased on this subject as Jerry Falwell on The Ten Commandments or gay marriage.

And you have nothing to refute it. Cite errors? An alternate source that refutes? Anything at all? All you've got is an ad hominem attack. Pretty cowardly even for an AC.

Are you the same one lying about homicide rates in the post above?

Comment: Re:Actually, (Score 1) 291

by careysub (#49455031) Attached to: Cannabis Smoking Makes Students Less Likely To Pass University Courses


The shocking violence of prohibition days was only shocking becasue there was so little violence among the non-gangster population. In comparison to the violence associated with today's drug gangs, the violence of Al Capone and friends was trivial. The "Saint Valentine's Day Massacre" (1929) only involved the death of six mobsters (NOTHING on the scale of a typical Chicago weekend these days... and a modern Chicago weekend is more likely to involve dead innocent civilians)...

There is a word for this bit of historical 'explanation' - it is politely referred to as "B.S." Here is a very interesting long term graph of American homicide rates. It shows that there has been a long term (300 year) trend toward lower homicide rates, with two interesting spikes in the 20th Century.

One of these spikes is smack-dab in the middle of Prohibition, where the overall murder rate rose to 10 per 100,000. It rose again to this same level the late 20th Century (peak was in 1991). It has since dropped to half that. So, yeah, the 20's were very violent everywhere just like the late 80's and early 90's, and today we have much lower levels of murder despite "today's drug gangs".

How can you do 'New Math' problems with an 'Old Math' mind? -- Charles Schulz