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Comment Re:Scientists trained to ask "Why?" (Score 1) 491

I'm not sure how the engineering curriculum is designed around the world. From what I get here, engineers around the world are little more than glorified mechanics.
Where I come from, engineers take exactly the same classes in math and physics as the physicists and mathematicians, although not all of them. For example I did study electrical engineering (classified as an engineering 'science') at one of the major universities in Germany. Mathematical proof (problem solving) was the order of the day for the first two years. to build a scientific foundation of understanding. I was taught that this was the way to make sure your 'tools' work properly. After that, application became more important. You have your set of 'tools' of which you know by now, that they're working for certain problems and when they're not working properly, you've got the means to research and develop new 'tools' that solve the problem.

That's what is taught anyway, not necessarily what people actually do in the end.

Comment Re:What about the race of the escapee? (Score 1) 251

There would certainly be some who'd call it 'racist', but I don't know about everyone.

Thomas Sowell said something on this topic, and although you might not agree with him on other things, this doesn't make this quote any less true.

The word 'racism' is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything - and demanding evidence makes you a 'racist.'

Comment Re:I predict (Score 1) 1134

Yet neither "side" is unanimous. And we can't even really tell to which side the trolls actually belong to.
From what I've seen is that this whole discussion us full of straw man arguments, ad hominem, ad nauseam, circular logic, appeals to emotion and moralizing.
If anything this showed me again that arguing on the internet is mostly pointless.

Comment Re:No Kari??? (Score 4, Interesting) 364

Minority group perhaps, but that doesn't mean that they don't deserve encouragement.

Looking back at my time at the university there were very few female students. A true minority, if you will. Most of those women were rather geeky and talking to some of them revealed for me that they didn't have it easy growing up with their particular hobbies. The female geek seemed to have an extra hard time in society because they performed in a field that was somehow attributed to boys and frowned upon by other girls of younger ages, making them social pariahs, because they weren't interested in most of that "girly" stuff, that simply every girl at that age had to be in head over heels. Now I realize that this is clearly some sample bias, but combined with all the efforts universities take nowadays to encourage women to enter the STEM fields and their little success it made me curious.
These things lead me to believe that the lack of women in the STEM fields is mostly a result of cultural stereotyping, which begins at an early age. Most likely it starts at home with their parents, TV shows that their parents watch and so on. Therefore I think that Kari Byron did serve as a useful role model for people that deserve a role model, a women being successful doing geeky stuff while not being super boring. While you may question the "science" that was done on the show and find out that it is of little value to scientific literate people, they actually managed to reach a lot of the rest, perhaps got them curious and thinking about some of that rather mundane stuff.

Comment Re:Grades vs IQ (Score 1) 391

It may be trolls, people being "attention whores" or simply people trying to pull rank. They try to create a false authority while the argumentum ab auctoritate itself is often a fallacy, since a high IQ is not a validation for an argument. It's really hard to tell without strong indicators of their intention.

Comment Re:Grades vs IQ (Score 5, Interesting) 391

I've always thought that it was the other way around. Yeah, I can smell the sarcasm in this.
From my experience with internet forums, especially gaming forums, youtube commentaries, twitter and facebook, 98% of the observable internet IQs would barely scratch the three digit threshold. A lot of people appear to be well-read, yet basic logic seems to escape most of them. Non-sequitur, strawmen, false dilemma, practically the whole list of logical fallacies can be found there. Yet a lot of people are easily fooled and mistake a few fancy words for competence, which is probably why politicians get elected despite being dumber than a bag of rocks.
I'd say, that most of the internet has about the same average IQ as the general population. Some of US may be a bit more tech savvy, but that's it.

Comment Re:Translated into English (Score 1) 306

Upfront: I don't know the exact rules that are in play in Florida. Therefore the article could very well be a strawman by neglecting that all these practices are tied into this leasing business model.

When someone sells their excess energy over the electrical grid of a private entity, then they should be held accountable for maintenance costs, but also after all the subsidies an electrical company gets from the sate.
The thing with the energy prices is a little bit more complicated. But we can agree that a full market rate is bogus. There's a similar problem where I live. Power companies have to buy at a fixed rate which they dump on the end user by increasing the prices.
The problem that I see is that article makes it sound as if all kinds of lease agreements are illegal for PV, makes it sound like they make it harder for you to become independent, even if you only want to provide your own energy, without selling any.
Owning large, usable sunshine roofs is often used as an argument, because it puts other people, that don't own such property, at a disadvantage. But the basic logic behind those arguments makes it sound like I'm not entitled to use the rainwater, which is collected in tanks, because I can use rainwater for my plants instead of tap water. Therefore I should pay for maintenance of the water grid (which I already do for sewer maintenance, where I live). And as we're already there, then the plants I grow myself for eating and selling are also a bad thing. If I eat my own food and don't buy it from the market, then I'm hurting said market, and should be held accountable for logistic costs.
From this perspective it sounds like the big companies want people to stay dependent and convinced the government to enforce this by laws.

Comment Re:Translated into English (Score 2) 306

The article isn't about subsidies it is about the prevention from the common business models of leasing solar panels.
According to the article these lease agreements are illegal in Florida.
This does sound like distortion of the market, because a common practice, that makes it possible for home onwers to create their own electrical power and sell excess power to other people, is stifled by laws.

Submission + - NVIDIA found a way to quadruple display performance in low-res LCDs

mrspoonsi writes: Problem: how do they manufacture low-cost products with high-resolution screens? NVIDIA researchers have one solution — stack two low-resolution panels on top of each other to increase pixel density on the cheap. The solution is so simple it sounds ridiculous, but apparently, it works. Researchers disassembled two 1,280 x 800 LCD panels and rebuilt them into a single display with slightly offset pixels, a filter to weed out polarization conflicts and a bit of customized software to force the display components to work in tandem. NVIDIA calls the resulting prototype a "cascaded display," and in tests it has quadrupled the spatial resolution of the original panels (thanks, in part, to how the pixel offset crams an additional four pixels behind every one of the first panel's visible pixel).

Comment Re: Like China och USSR (Score 1) 512

Chinese sites remove comments themselves too. They get "guidance" from the government on what to remove. Sounds like the French situation is exactly the same: the government lays out laws saying what is and is not acceptable speech and apparently, virtually all comments on this particular conflict are unacceptable.

That's a strawman.
This is not an indicator for censorship on virtually all comments on this particular conflict. You don't know about the content of the comments. It could mean that virtually all comments on this conflict are in fact blatant anti-semitism, trolls and flames. Israel and Palestine has always been a very delicate topic, much like all political and religious debates. A lot of people that like to comment on these things seem to be strongly biased towards one of the sides.

For example you can check out the news section on RT.com pick one of the News about Israel and Gaza and scroll down to the comment section, which is not moderated, as far as I know. Have fun.

German Newspapers do practically the same thing as the French. The government only guides them to remove illegal content like, holocaust denial (which is a crime in Germany). Pretty much everything else is the websites exercising their own freedom of expression. It's their website, their comment system and therefore they're allowed to control its contents. This is very much like your householder's rights. If there's some guy on your lawn shouting something that you don't agree with you have the right to shoo him away but when he's on public property then you have no right to constrict his speech.
Most of our major newspapers mostly censor insults, trolls and baseless racism, at least from what I've seen. I can't provide any statistics to back this up. There's plenty of criticism towards Israel and the US, but on a civilized level.

Submission + - Bird flocks resemble liquid helium (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: A flock of starlings flies as one, a spectacular display in which each bird flits about as if in a well-choreographed dance. Everyone seems to know exactly when and where to turn. Now, for the first time, researchers have measured how that knowledge moves through the flock—a behavior that mirrors certain quantum phenomena of liquid helium. Some of the more interesting findings: Tracking data showed that the message for a flock to turn started from a handful of birds and swept through the flock at a constant speed between 20 and 40 meters per second. That means that for a group of 400 birds, it takes just a little more than a half-second for the whole flock to turn.

Comment Re:So what? they can be tapped to. (Score 4, Insightful) 244

Social Engineering.
Certainly, it's not as cost effective as other methods and requires elaborate planning. But no matter the technological level of advancement this has been, and most likely will continue to be, a very serious security threat. Simply because it targets a vulnerability that will be very hard to fix - our social, human nature.

Comment Re:No real surprise (Score 1) 710

That's not what I can read from his statement. But it's good that you formulated it as a question and not a statement. Less things can go wrong if you simply as a question. Even if it sounds condescending you can claim that it was simply out of curiosity.

Big Business in general is hardly interested in reducing energy consumption, because in the short term that would lower profit, and you know, you can't lower profit! Another way would be to lay off some of the work force. Most politicians don't like that because "jobs" are always a solid vote getter, and lower profit means less money from taxes, another inconvenience. So most governments just play ball with Big Business, creating these stupid carbon credits, that mostly benefit Big Business.
Neither does this mean that all those CO2 measurements are fabricated, nor that AGW as a whole is a lie, but it means that AGW was hijacked by Big Business and introduced into politics to suit their own purposes. Beneficial changes would be merely secondary effects, which are nice to have, but hardly a requirement.

Comment Re:Not surprising. (Score 3, Interesting) 725

Is this a case of belief vs. scientific fact? Technically we are are animals.
It doesn't matter if it's people, foxes or peas, for genetics the same principles apply to all living things that reproduce in the same fashion, as in two sexes that combine their genetic material into an offspring.
Agriculture has used selective breeding for plants and animals, that follows the very same principle, for ages with great success.

The big difference between us and 'lower animals' as well as plants is that we created a system of morals and ethics that mostly apply to us and not those other lifeforms. And since most of us aren't sociopaths unable to feel empathy we don't like the concept of eugenics applied to the human society because it would have very inconvenient consequences. I wouldn't want it. But all that doesn't change the fact that the basis for Eugenics is in fact scientific.

In 1750 Issac Newton became discouraged when he fell up a flight of stairs.