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Comment: Re:Camel = Horse designed by committee... (Score 1) 638

by crunchygranola (#48031757) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows 10

Windows ... not at all. It provides a familiar interface to a collection of hardware and software.

By changing it so that customers hate it, MSFT make people want to "upgrade" even less.

Worse than that for the Wintel duopoly - they are suppressing sales of new machines. I have a home Windows computer which I keep to run Windows-only apps for my family that I would like to upgrade, but no way am I buying a system with Windows 8. I could buy a system with Windows 7 still, but I have to pay extra for a limited selection - basically a "business system", when all I want is a cheap little box.

So that old system still limps along, waiting for the day when I can get a replacement that the family won't loathe, meanwhile Wintel are throwing away a sale.

Comment: Re:No, who cares? (Score 1) 266

by crunchygranola (#48023297) Attached to: Could We Abort a Manned Mission To Mars?

Worth noting also that a machine with modern sensory equipment and software is going to be far far superior at spotting the "unusual" something as it makes it's way to point X.

A big part of the reason I'm not convinced is because of how much boosters of unmanned-only exaggerate the capabilities of such machines. There's no current machine that can beat a pressure-suited expert on the ground.

Can you cite a single manned space mission that conducted science that a similarly equipped robot mission could not?

Or are you just doing wishful thinking?

And merely having better sensory equipment (when that actually is the case) doesn't mean a better ability at spotting the unusual.

I wouldn't say "merely". Having better sensory equipment pretty much guarantees it will be better at spotting the 'unusual'

In the meantime, the current desultory effort at studying Mars, means we'll lose at least a whole generation of researchers long before we get to human-level science acquisition on Mars.

The Mars Science Laboratory mission (which included the Curiosity rover) cost $2.5 billion. The most optimistic plausible manned Mars scientific mission cost and timeline I have seen is $100 billion and 20 years. A large scale robotic scientific 'attack' on Mars could reduce the incremental cost of robot missions significantly, so in that same time frame 50 or more robotic missions could be mounted, each of which would have an expected operating life on Mars of a decade or so (based on current experience). The human mission might land 4 people on the planet for 18 months.

I submit that 500 years of operation of 50 sophisticated intrument platforms that never sleep, located all over Mars, would put the accomplishments of 6 man-years at one location to shame.

Comment: Re:Technological Limitations (Score 2) 266

by crunchygranola (#48022883) Attached to: Could We Abort a Manned Mission To Mars?

North America was successfully colonized with stone age technology. When the Europeans arrived, there were already people living in most every environment, even on the shores of the Arctic ocean, surviving with stone age technology. The European colonists could just ask about the plants etc and the only advanced technology they needed to support their lifestyle was blacksmithing and ship waning (carpentry). What made it hard was that they showed up to steal and conquer an already occupied continent.. How can you compare colonizing Mars and colonizing N. America?

Right you are, but you are just scratching the surface.

The real problem with the English colonialists was that they were a group of English playboy-aristocrats and their man-servants arriving without any supplies or equipment. Seriously. These people had no relevant skills or equipment to survive. The fate of the colony was decided before they left port in England.

The Spanish, with their crews of illiterate seamen, did better - when they weren't abusing the natives to attack and kill them and deny them supplies.

The only colonization on Earth that remotely compares to the colonization of Mars is the colonization of the South Pole. There all supplies have to be flown in, you are entirely dependent on an enclosed base for survival, and if it is the wrong time of year, and you get sick, you might just die for lack of appropriate treatment.

Comment: Re:How about giving Tibet back to the Tibetans? (Score 4, Insightful) 84

Tibet is strategically important to China, and I don't foresee them just giving it up because some hippies are holding protests. Tibet holds a huge supply of freshwater that flows into China. It has nothing to do with religion or politics, just natural resources...

Because unless they subjugate Tibetans, imprison and torture them, and try to eliminate their culture the water won't flow into China anymore?

Imperialists (and their apologists) always have these "reasons", even when they are tissue thin fig leaves.

China could pull of Tibet entirely, and they would still get their water. If the Tibetans tried to cut it off in some way, for some god-knows-why reason, China could shut the project down with one short military operation, and make the Tibetans regret ever trying it.

No need for maintaining a brutal occupation.

Comment: Re:Big Brother, 2014 edition (Score 0) 208

by crunchygranola (#47998441) Attached to: Drones Reveal Widespread Tax Evasion In Argentina

Given the ever growing taxes in various countries (US included) I find it harder and harder to blame tax-evaders....

The overall US tax burden (all taxes, all levels of government), as a fraction of the GDP has shown no growth over the last 33 years. It has been 35% of the GDP, with ups and downs, but oscillating around this fixed line.

Sorry, but no matter how many times you repeat the "ever growing taxes" lie, it does not become true.

Comment: Re:Critical to the tech community? (Score 1) 260

by crunchygranola (#47968799) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Throws Pal Joe Green Under the Tech Immigration Bus

...You aren't a Republican by any chance, are you? Not being part of the "reality-based" community seems to be an indicator for that.

All of the talking points seem to be there:

  • "... the people who created my job. The latter have my thanks..." = You should be grateful the Job Creators even gave you a job.
  • "Shark Tank shows that business is alive and well. We don't have to work for them - we can compete with them..." = Or you should be a Job Creator yourself, reality TV proves there is nothing to it!
  • "If you can't compete with the company, and you can't compete with the indentured servant, then you must defend this question: In what way other than to the investor class are you valuable?" = You can't dethrone a corporation by yourself, and don't like having you wages depressed by admitted servitude, then you are worthless...
  • "I specifically reference Heinlein's "Time for the stars", where the irreplaceable are specifically replaceable. " = reference to Libertarian fiction to bolster case.

Comment: And If Slapping One Label on Eight Is Not Enough.. (Score 1) 222

by crunchygranola (#47921577) Attached to: Schizophrenia Is Not a Single Disease

We have "Schizo-Affective Disorder" in which we get to claim that the various "schizophrenias" and the various mood disorders are just one big unhappy diagnosis!

Makes things easy for the diagnostician - just one diagnosis, and you can prescribe lithium and anti-psychotics to everyone. And then you can pile on more drugs to treat the side-effects from the drug combinations you started with. And then of course, there are the side-effects of the side-effect treating drugs. Eventually you can work your way up to one or two dozen drugs at once.

Seriously - I have relatives that have suffered from this sort of diagnostic abuse.

Comment: Re:Scientific Consensus (Score 1) 770

by crunchygranola (#47858087) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

"Global Warming is Proven Science" -Today "Global Cooling" - 1970s

Which "consensus" is right? Then or now? Or is it just another "immature fields of study" that needs more funding?

Ah, the false premise fallacy. Sorry, there was no "global cooling" consensus in the 1970s. Just one of many falsehoods trotted out by climate deniers.

The Wikipedia page on this exposes the lie nicely. But you will just keep repeating it won't you?

Comment: Re:Science creates understanding of a real world. (Score 1) 770

by crunchygranola (#47854891) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

And, there you have an important piece of the global warming puzzle that many seem to miss.

Kids in chemistry class may have problems understanding basic chemistry. But, the experiments are laid out, the theories, the laws, the hypothesis are all there - everything is made available so that a juvenile layman who is willing to make the effort might become a novice chemist. And, the learning continues through the second year of chemistry, right on through their college and/or university years.

And notice that is is only after you taken those years of chemistry study that you are in a position to weigh-in on complex topics in chemistry, or the evaluate them at a serious level. But you can understand the basic facts of complex chemical issues at more elementary level with lesser degrees of learning, but only if you have applied yourself and learned.

Now - where can we find the layman's textbooks on manmade global warming?

The fundamental sub-disciplines of physics, chemistry, and statistics that go into the climate science all have readily available layman's textbooks (as you concede yourself). The IPCC report is an excellent place to understand the scientific evidence for AGM, it provides a comprehensive and accessible survey of the science of the field. If you haven't read it then you only have yourself to blame. If you have read it and you fail to understand by reason of ignorance (not hitting those layman's textbooks) you have only yourself to blame. If you read it and simply reject what it says because... why? You don't like its conclusions? Then again, you have only yourself to blame.

Oh - we have to take the word of the "consensus". Interesting. As has already been pointed out, the moment one stops doing science, and begins to preach to the masses, one is no longer a scientist, but a politician.

Really? Who "pointed this out"? Passing along scientific findings to "the masses" is what we call education. Interesting that you detest that. It explains a lot about your post.

Or, a priest of the new religion of Global Warming.

Thanks for tipping your hand - your mind is closed, and you blame others for your ignorance.

Comment: Re:Finlandization... (Score 1) 138


It is hard to believe that a near miss by a SAM would be given less attention by the captain than a malfunctioning coffee maker and even harder to believe that this incident was not reported. If a SAM exploded 20 seconds away from my DC-10 full of passengers whose lives I'm responsible for that would sure as shit get my attention if I was the captain and you can bet your bottom dollar I would report it to somebody....

It really is hard to believe, yes. For example, let's say it is the inclination of the pilot to day "we're okay" let's just forget about it. Does he know the airplane suffered no damage at all? How? When the plane goes in for maintenance are there going to the mysterious fragment holes in the tail or wings? These might endanger plane safety, and even if not the unreported incident that created them would end his career. Is he and the copilor going to bet that the plane really is unscathed?

What about the passengers? A warhead detonating nearby would be noticed by them. What happened to their reports/complaints?

Comment: Re:the 1% trying to rewrite history (Score 1) 363

Amazing how people think there's an amount of money beyond which you can't spend.

I could spend $80 billion in a few years (a decade at most). I'll have islands (perhaps Ireland itself :) that I'll own...

That is called real estate investing. It is not spending. You still have the original asset in a different form.

The Universe is populated by stable things. -- Richard Dawkins