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Comment: Re: Altough I agree (Score 1) 61 61

MS is the grandaddy of the computer phone like device, having supported the enhanced phone since at least 2000. These devices have never sold, well, and presumably never made any significant profit. If MS did not quit the market after the KIN, nothing will stop them. Especially now that they have created an OS designed to make their users suffer. Windows 10 appears to continue the notion that in the not too distant future every person will be on a tablet, not on what we consider a computer today. And it makes sense because most of the world are going is going to be using a phone with a screen less than 10" as a computer in the near future. If MS alienates it's traditional high volume user base, and is not able to get a phone out, then where is the money going to come from? Not from the few respectability users that need MS products to run specialty verticle market applications.

Comment: Re:The project known as F-35 (Score 2, Insightful) 714 714

In the US these military projects are the primary method for conservatives to get pork into their district. No conservative is going to vote against wasting money on useless weapon systems. To be honest, not all of the money is wasted. Some of this money goes into basic research that results in actually useful technology that helps the US in long term competitiveness. Some of it keeps important firms from bankruptcy, firms we need for national security. But I think this could be done much more efficiently through well overseen civilian programs. To be further honest the pork here is bipartisan. While almost every states in the union get some of the money, most of it appears to go to Texas and California.And of course the executives a Lockheed-Martin are not going to continue the bribes to congress if they is no longer a program. And the jobs at the pentagon are going to be lost if there is no longer a jobs program to manage.

Comment: Re:Refill (Score 1) 181 181

I used to refill cartridges. It was no big deal. Now I just buy refurbished cartridges.

In any case, won't the store take catridges, even if you don't sign up? Sure you won't get paid, but why is that an issue.

if the question is how to get rich by recycling cartridges, that answer is to get a warehouse and postpaid return envelopes. Refill then yourself, list them on ebay, and watch the buck roll in.

Comment: it would be pretty to think so (Score 4, Insightful) 70 70

I suspect the primary reason for this is to maintain high ad prices by not charging advertisers for useless click. For instance, if I were to post this response on a mobile platform, I would first have to close the ad tab at the bottom so I could click the submit button. Sometimes instead of closing the ad, I click it. If the advertiser is getting charged per click, and google were the provider, this would generate revenue for Google while providing negative value for the advertiser, as it would tend to make me dislike the advertiser. This would tend to push ad rates down, which still would not compensate for the negative end user impression.

Comment: Re: Try it for yourself!n (Score 2) 815 815

To put in madly, June 2015 is when U.S. Conservative Chechens have come home to roost from a hand hugely overplayed. ACA subsidies have not only been held as valid regalutory measures, but required by the legislation. And now the confederate flag. The error in the logic is that most state houses do not fly other enemy flags. The only enemy flag some fly is the confederate flag. And instead of just keeping it on the down low, they made sure it was always in the face of everyone as a symbol of how whites are still fighting against the blacks or the Mexicans to whoever wanted to take over our country and rape our women. Both of these are strategic losses as a result of overconfidence. And it is a loss because the flag is no longer about heritage, which was a valid argument. The bigots have kept it at such a high profile, that it has lost its dignity. To be clear, a Deep South person, so oI see that some do see a heritage and history, but that has been destroyed by the boots. So as soon as NC builds a Hilter memorial and outs a nazi flag on it, we can talk.

Comment: before the 'bad science' complaints (Score 3, Insightful) 163 163

This change has nothing to do with health or whether one additive is more deadly than another additive. For all we know the new formulations are going to be more deadly to humans. I can't imagine that Trix can said to actually nutritional for any human person, although Trix Yogurt used to be one of the less offensive brands of yogurt like food stuff. This change has to do with market differentiation and convincing parents to pay a premium for name brand product that kids will eat. Now, if we are talking nutrition, I would say a mug of steel cut oatmeal with raisins is a good minimally processed food, that is cheap and nutritional to boot. But this was not my breakfast a little tyke because no one made me breakfast. There was dry cereal and a cup of milk and it was up to be to put it together. I ate corn chex mostly, which still has one of the shortest ingredient labels in the business, and BHT is the only thing that is suspect.

Comment: Why don't the boys play too (Score 1) 490 490

The way that I read this is that their are boy toys and girl toys and must make the girls learn to play with boys toys, because that is the real world, but we can't make the boys play with girl,toys.

That is really wrong because we should be tracing 'girl' skills. Learning and hacking cooking, for instance, teaching important skills. Learning to sew is much better at teaching hand eye coordination than video games. It is easier to teach if you pander to the boys, but doing so does not make one a good stem teacher.

Comment: Re:Give it some hints ... (Score 1) 424 424

you can give Google hints, you can do whatever, but two things are always going to work against you when you do non-mainstream or very narrow searches. First, google builds results by popularity. Therefore if something is not popular google is not going to have a good way to figure out which to put first. Second, the people pay a lot of money for SEO. When one wants a result that is not a certain basketball players penis, it is going to hard to get the results. Third, even if one is looking for the aforementioned item, google is under a lot of pressure to scrub results. While it does a good job on this in some ways, the SEO people are going to push bad results in front of good. What is basically going on here is that Google is broken. When I put in a search with few real results, what I get are link farms. When I put in a popular search, I still get a good number of link farms. When I am looking for obscure techincal items, I get links to sites that have every permutation of every word in such a way that it looks like there is real content there, which fools google into thinking it is a real site. Google is trying to add second and third order connections, but the reality is that the search has been as broken as alta vista for the past several years. And no, outside of a human curated search for certain disciplines, there is not credible substitute. Google has eaten all the search money, and there is no real research to fix it.

Comment: Re:Obligatory reading (Score 5, Insightful) 419 419

this is an engineering problem, and incompetent people should have nothing to say about it. One of the primary ways that we can identify incompetence is when someone say if we would have done this then the problem would have been solved. Engineering problems are complex, especially in space travel, and there is no way to know that, for example, a nuclear power source designed for a soft landing would have survived a hard landing. That is, in fact, the engineering problem on which the mistake was made after all.

To answer this specific engineering problem, plutonium is simply too dangerous and costly to use in space. The reason is that plutonium is actually very safe to humans except when breathed in as small particles, such as what might be generated when a launch vehicles catastrophically explodes on launch. In this case, the small particles will tend to be inhaled by animals, pass through the lungs, and pretty permanently become part of the body. The plutonium will then go though the 24,000 half life, which means over the lifespan of the contaminated human almost no Pu will decay. It will radiate and cause health issue for a lifetime.

Again, this is an engineering problem with very smart people working it. All engineering problem result in an engineering solution, and an engineering solution is always a compromise between competing factors, some technical, some emotional.

In hind sight it is always easy to poo poo an engineering solution. People who do nothing but push paper, like the readers or forbes, are the most likely candidate is simply say 'why did we do this'. They can ask that question because they have never created a practical device in their lives, therefore never have been part of the engineering process and therefore have never understood that the result is always a less than perfect but usually quite acceptable solution.

While the nuclear power proponents want us to believe that nuclear power is the solution to everything, history tells us otherwise. Even though nuclear power is very mature technology, there is little private funding for it. In the US Nuclear power plants are not being build because bankers know there is no profit in it, and government should no more subsidize a nuclear power plant than a coal fired plant. Both are mature enough to stand on their own.

Nuclear power cannot stand on it's own because it cannot generate enough profit. For instance, BP generates enough profits so that when the Deep Horizon rig failed it could cover the 13 billion dollar clean up. Fukushima is going to cost 10 times that much to clean up. Who is going to pay for that. They taxpayer. The US taxpayer for contamination that reaches US land and water. It is true that the readers of Forbes loves to make profits at taxpayer expense, but I don't think that it is a good idea. It is only free if you are not the one impacted.

Comment: Re: vim (Score 1) 257 257

My first real coding was in FORTRAN a little under 30 years ago. At that time Fortran was about how 30 years old and it's doom was considered imminent. Many people thought Pascal was the bee's knees but fortunately I you second language was C, probably chosen because it had a shorter book. Over the past 30 years, obviously, many firms have moved to ratfor and then pretend code to modern languages, so outside of certain applications it is not used. OTOH if one is looking for an example of a language that has long life and continues to have a lot of coders who can use it effectively, Fortan and C are the only two real candidates. Vi/Vim and EMACS are the major development tools to survive as well.

Comment: Re:$68 Billion for high speed trains (Score 4, Insightful) 599 599

Back in planet reality, fresh water is a finite resource. In the fantasy land that is especially inhabited by conservatives we just take fresh water from one place and move it to another, but where will it come from? Is Las Vegas going to give up it's water so that california can use it? If they did, be sure it would not come cheap. Water rights are paramount, and those with rights have the ability to charge whatever they want. Sometimes money can help. Las Vegas is building a new pipeline so it can tap the lower portions of the reservoir. That is a temporary solution. Rainwater reclamation for most structures would help a great deal. Desalinization would help, but would require a large amount of extra energy and would increase the cost of water a non trivial amount.

Which is the problem. People want a solution that will not raise the cost of water so they can continue to waste it. We cannot continue to treat water as an infinite resource that can be sold at cost assuming a near zero cost of production(actual cost is a few dollars per thousand gallons). Yes, we should have low cost for the first maybe 1000 gallons a household uses per month, but after that costs should be set by the market.

It is amazing how quickly even the most ardent conservatives becomes a socialist when they asked to pay for water. How the though of losing green lawns and swimming pools makes then forsake their Ayn Rand philosophy. The thing is that tier prices would provide the funds to exactly what so many conservatives want. it would provide funds to acquire additional water rights and build additional infrastructure. As a bonus these things would be paid for directly by those who benefit from them, not the general taxpayer many of whom probably are responsible water users.

Here is another thing that would make conservatives happy. There is water available but it is often being wasted on two profit crops, like Alfalfa hay. As mentioned, tared prices would free up funds to buy water rights. Paying farmer a dollar per thousand gallons of water would mean they would probably make more money than growing and selling the alfalfa.

Instead the socialists are winning because low water rates is forcing states like California to take that water away from farmers, thus threatening their livelihoods. I don't know why applying the solution that Cuba used to solve it's problem is preferable to good old capitalism.

Comment: Re:The Dark Age returns (Score 1) 479 479

This is the problem with education based on trivia. Religion is a set of fixed facts based on nothing but information inspired by the almighty, but at the end of the day is just the ramblings of sinners.

Science, if taught correctly, does not focus on the trivia. It focuses on the process, which sometimes promotes nonsense, like the Aether, but always provides a deeper understanding of the almighty by objectively probing the creation for clues about the nature of the deity, if any.

So no, science is not religion because science does not promote 'facts' as infallible or invariant.

Comment: Re:It is an issue throughout science (Score 1) 364 364

In the old times, observations were made, theories were developed, and that was it. This was called natural philosophy. Things could only be chopped so much. Fire was in wood. Water and air were everywhere. Things tended to slow down. Heavy objects fell faster. I matched the experience of people at the time. This history defines how we looked at the world for the first 2500 or so years of our history.

It is useful to note that some real things were discovered simply by applying mathematics with no direct physical evidence. That we revolve around the sun. That the earth is generally round. That the earth has a radius.

Then we begin to validate our experiences under controlled circumstances. We note that things do not fall dependent on weight, and things do not always slow down. We create the mathematical concepts of mass and force. We develop mathematical relations that say if we apply a force to a mass it will accelerate indefinitely. We also wrote an mathematical relations that said if we put a light bulb in a box it would produce enough energy to destroy the earth. This is classical physics, and it had problems, mostly that our experiences are limited.

So then two things happened. First the Earth was not destroyed by a light in a box, and some guy said this was because energy was quantized. It was a beautiful mathematical fix for a unreasonable mathematical prediction. Second, some other guy said that if a magnet was on a table and he walked by with another magnet, it was the same thing as he standing still with a magnet while the magnet on the table moved, and created a bunch of mathematical models that predicted a bunch of other previously unobserved phenomena. You see, the brilliance of starting with the math, developing something nice, then seeing if we can find stuff that is predicted in the those equations. It has lead us to think pretty equations are better, but that is because our observations have validated that more time than not, pretty equations are better.

Of course not everything we look for has been found, or can be said to even exist. Maxwel's equations would be much more pretty if we could find a magnetic monopole. Symmetry would be served it the graviton could be detected. On the other hand, the Higgs Boson does seem to actually exist, which aloows us to consider Newton as someone who simply did not just make a lucky guess, although it still does not explain why inertial and gravitational mass are the same.

Which is to say the job is not easy because the process one uses is going to depend on where you start and where you want to go. In modern physics, there is not always observations, or at least not observations based on our experience. It is true that if you lock a cat up in the trunk of a car all day, you will not know if the cat is alive or dead until you open the trunk and check. It is not true in our experience that the cat is both alive and dead. So pretty equations are another tool in our physics repitore. By investigating all implications of the equations, and if these implications represent reality, we prevent the unfortunate mistake of predicting that we can go as fast as we want.

Comment: Re:all will be tried to be robotized. (Score 2) 385 385

Many jobs can be automated, but not be cost effective. I imagine that as the cost of the fast food worker rises, for instance, the research on replacing that worker with a robot will also increase. It will be seen if robots are tolerated in what right now is a face to face encounter.

The telemarketer has already been replaced by robots, but robots are not tolerated so these jobs are still secure. It is the same reason that these jobs are still present in the US instead of completely exported to other countries. Consumer demand.

I still think that lawyers are doctors are going to see the greatest impact in wages and jobs. The salaries for first year lawyers, for example, have been fixed or falling for a decade according to published reports. As more data is collected on patients, and that data is correlated to outcomes, the heuristics and stochastic will reach a level where only the best diagnosticians will remain employable.

A fail-safe circuit will destroy others. -- Klipstein