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Comment Re:Christie is ideal (Score 1) 560

Saying "even to me" means that you support that way of thinking. Don't hide behind "I'm explaining other people's thoughts".
You have to realize that supporting the "at least he's honest/straightforward" way of thinking in any way is detrimental to the wellbeing of a representative democracy.

Real honesty is when politicians say: "Well, I can't really make any promises. There are a lot of factors influencing this and I will probably gain new insights in the future which will give me a more complete picture of the matter, which in turn might lead me to another solution than the one I currently believe is the best one. I can promise that I will try to select a solution to the best of my ability at any time in the future."
"We're going to deport all those illegal immigrants."

The problem with the first one is that everybody chews up the guy saying such things as 'having no vision' or 'being weak' or whatever shortsighted qualification the primitive brain comes up with. Nuance doesn't sell.
The second one may sound very straightforward, decisive and 'leader-like', but it locks the speaker to a specific action, which removes all opportunity of using new insights (which may determine the action to be unwise). Promising the attainment of specific results ("We're going to let the economy grow by 3% next year") is also extremely problematic, as there is no way to guarantee it will come true.

So, what can you do, as a politician? True honesty gets you ridiculed and keeps you from getting elected. Making a lot of promises will get you elected, but will bite you in the ass in the future (many choose this path anyway, trusting that they can take or mitigate the bite). What remains is trying to dance around the issues and promise as little as possible while sounding as if you know what you're doing and are a great person.

My point is that public opinion breeds political speak. Stop lamenting the 'straightforward' assholes and start praising the truly honest politicians.

Comment Re:Christie is ideal (Score 1) 560

That is a pretty appealing proposition even to me

Oh, for fuck's sake. You people are on Slashdot as well?

You are as moronic as Trump is. Just because you can relate to swinging an axe does not mean it's the best way to build a nuclear reactor. Moreover, if you really think that Trump is not 'saying political speak', then you are as naive as a 1-year old. If there is one guarantee in politics it is that the populists always end up being the ones who realize the fewest of their promises or just royally fuck up their country sooner or later.

There is a reason why matters on a national scale generally require complex nuanced solutions (or slave labor, slave labor always works) and that is that running a country properly is fucking hard. Talk is cheap.

Comment Re:Christie is ideal (Score 5, Insightful) 560

At first I thought that Trump was deliberately put into the picture to draw the playing field towards 'the right', i.e. make one guy say the most outlandish stuff so that the previously outlandish things the rest said actually seem reasonable (and conversely, making the actually reasonable stuff sound silly and far away from reality).

But the completely baffling thing to me is that there are actually droves of people in the US that not only support Trump, but actively defend his words and say asinine shit like: "He's a true American. We need a guy like that for president" and: "The media are making him sound racist". I remember being very surprised that a moron like Bush Jr. could become (and stay!) president, but this is definitely a new low for the US. Trump hasn't been elected yet, but the fact that so many people like him and support him is already deeply, deeply disgraceful.

Comment Re:I suggest we confuse the primary Uber benefits. (Score 1) 154

the lower prices Uber charges on average

This may be a fair point. People will forgo a lot if stuff is cheaper. I'm not sure whether it is cheaper in all places where it is popular though, so I dare not conclude anything here.

because there's a feedback system

This may also be it. Taxi's in my country are generally very clean, very recent Mercedes Benzes, but when you take/order one, you don't have the faintest clue whether the driver drives like a moron (actually, you sort of do, because many of them do so). Even entire taxi companies aren't commonly or easily compared in quality (to the extent that you even have a choice).

But I have to say that I've found the process of arranging a taxi very cumbersome almost every time. Calling them on the phone, explaining where you are, where you have to go (possibly in a foreign language) or finding a place where taxis are/hailing them while kind of trying to ascertain whether (or accepting that) they are going to suck is just terrible.

Personally, given the choice of taking a regular taxi using an app that allowed me to arrange the ride or going via Uber, I would probably choose the regular taxi. In my country at least. In a different country I'd have to weigh whether I'd trust the country's (public) regulations on the taxi industry more than Uber's (private) 'regulations' of its drivers.

If the regular taxi app had a reliable feedback system (and the price wouldn't be ridiculous), it would be regular taxis for me, hands down.

Comment Re:Furthermore, Saudi Arabia must be destroyed (Score 1) 394

Love them or hate them, they are a stabilizing force in the region. With them gone or impotent the region is going to change, fast.

Exactly. Why anyone would want to see the Middle-East destabilized even further by 'destroying Saudi Arabia' is beyond me.

The best thing that could happen is for countries that mainly depend on the sale of oil to gradually reform their economy and wean themselves off their oil income while they still have the cash to do so (too late, Venezuela). The world already has enough crappy economies to deal with.

Comment Re:A step forward, but... (Score 1) 394

But "holy grail" is rather overselling it, I suspect.

Even when practical, we're still talking very big, very expensive plants that depend on a long supply chain for all its parts, the high-purity fuel

1. That is not necessarily true. It's probably true for the near future, but AFAIK not fundamentally.

2. Solar is fundamentally dependent on accessible sunlight in copious amounts. I was recently made aware that in the event of a supereruption or other incident that decreases incident sunlight worldwide, a society mainly dependent on solar energy would have immediate and serious power issues. Besides that, solar becomes less useful the farther away from a star you get. Finally, solar fundamentally scales with the area of the receptors.

The latter two issues with solar are obviously more longterm issues related to space travel, but the first should be a real concern for earth-based panels.

Don't get me wrong: in principle I think that solar will be our next dominant source of energy and that it will impede investments in fusion, but when it comes to marking fusion as the holy grail, I tend to agree with TFS, as I deem it much more future proof. I agree especially because solar has passed the point of economic viability and thus no longer requires (public) investment. Widespread solar is going to happen soon, with or without them. Fusion, however..

Comment Re:Sensitive? (Score 1) 76

So roughly 100x200 'sensels' on 130mm x 230mm (~5inch x ~9inch). Straight dpi is thus: 20dpi.
Now that assumes a perfect point source, not a finger. The force sensitivity has 4096 levels, apparently ranging from 5g to 5kg. You're not going to push anywhere near 50N with your finger so not all those levels will be relevant. With some processing over multiple sensors, though, the precision could increase quite a bit.

They quote ~0.1mm themselves, which would imply about 250dpi precision in the horizontal plane, which is not stellar.

(Please correct my math if I made a mistake. It's been a long day.)

Comment Re:Leaving society, retreating to basement? (Score 1) 149

There is nothing nerdier then a discussion of a fictional railroad you control via software.

Technically, it's not news for nerds. Don't get me wrong, I don't really mind topics such as these on Slashdot (although I do find them less interesting and very niche-y: there are thousands of 'nerdy' hobbies for which there are undoubtedly dedicated forums where these kinds of topics are much more appropriate).

I was mostly pointing out what I perceive to be hypocrisy when it comes to referring to the Slashdot tagline as the norm for which topics belong here.

Comment Re:Why? What advantages does this have over ZFS? (Score 1) 132

You can explicitly mark (parts of) the pool as being duplicated (copies=x), which gives you the checksumming capabilities (but reduces your max storage space, obviously):

I have a server I use mainly for remote backups of my important data. It has a single 3GB disk for the data in a ZFS-pool with copies=2 for the entire pool. With deduplication disabled and regular snapshotting and scrubbing enabled, it gives me a good amount of security on the availability of my data.

(Yes, I am acutely aware that I should have installed at least one other disk, but I had already put the server in its remote location when I started to get into setting up ZFS. I'll get around to it some time)

Comment Re:Why? What advantages does this have over ZFS? (Score 1) 132

That's a terrible argument.

The fact that we've had crappy storage systems in the past that mandated backups is no reason to state that it should always be like that.

A good file system(tm) should protect against the weaknesses of the underlying physical media, it should provide snapshots, it should provide (configurable) redundancy, and it should support geographically separated redundancy.

Especially the last one is very much a work in progress for the DIY-self-sufficeint-user, but we should and will get there in the very foreseeable future. Services like Amazon S3, Bittorrent Sync, technologies such as Tahoe-LAFS ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... ) and ZFS show the direction in which we're going. That direction is one in which (incremental) backups exist by default, disk failure is easily overcome and even a data center being blown up does not cause data loss.

Clinging to our old ways is safe and wise in many environments (better the devil you know), but considering it to be the norm for the future is just silly.

Comment Re:Magnetic beads? (Score 1) 60

I found the following description of the exact mechanism of sepsis very informative:

The most interesting bits:
"When working properly, the innate immune mechanisms are rapidly mobilized in the region of a new infection. At the height of the response, invading microbes are overwhelmed, deactivated, and destroyed. Next, local debris is removed; the pro-inflammatory molecules, the activated complement, and the activated clotting factors are neutralized; and the production of new pro-inflammatory molecules stops. In other words, a typical inflammatory response has a rising phase leading to local activity; the local activity then automatically tapers off and ends.

The inflammatory response must be terminated because it is imprecise and it causes collateral damage: it injures or destroys nearby tissues as well as the invading microbes. Therefore, in a typical inflammatory reaction, when the local attack is over, the activated cells and molecules are neutralized by a wave of deactivation molecules.


Sepsis is an atypical inflammatory reaction in which the pro- and anti-inflammatory balance is off kilter, with the pro-inflammatory processes dominating.

A well-studied example is the amount of protein C in the blood. One of the anticoagulation pathways that normally keep the coagulation system under control depends on the availability of sufficient activated protein C. A characteristic of patients with sepsis is that they have an unusually low level of activated protein C in their circulation. This deficit allows the coagulation system to deposit fibrin widely, making it more likely that small clots will form throughout the vascular tree.


In certain cases of sepsis, there is an additional force contributing to the system-wide spread of inflammation. Molecules produced by some microbes accelerate the septic reaction, making it especially rapid and severe (Neviere, 2013a).

Classic examples are the bacterial toxins:

Endotoxin is a lipopolysaccharide in the cell wall of Gram-negative bacteria. When it gets into the circulation, endotoxin strongly activates the coagulation and complement systems throughout the body."

It seems that the magnetic beads with FcMBL would do very little with regard to low levels of protein C to prevent sepsis, but (helping) in taking care of the *toxins and the pathogens themselves is something that would help prevent sepsis and would aid in treating infections in general.

I think the best way to look at this is thus as an augment to (instead of an improvement of) the innate immune system, allowing it to properly deal with high-volume infections, especially when it is weakened. In RPG-terms, these magnetic beads give you +50 Immunity to pathogens ;-)

Comment Re:Magnetic beads? (Score 3, Informative) 60

cellular debris

Just a minor correction, FTA:
"This is because it uses the Wyss Institute’s proprietary, pathogen-capturing agent, FcMBL, which binds all types of live and dead infectious microbes, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and the toxins they release. FcMBL is a genetically engineered blood protein inspired by a naturally occurring human molecule called mannose-binding lectin (MBL), which is found in the innate immune system and binds to toxic invaders, marking them for capture by immune cells in the spleen." (my emphasis)

My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income. -- Errol Flynn Any man who has $10,000 left when he dies is a failure. -- Errol Flynn