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Comment: Financial gains over safety (Score 1) 397

by geogob (#48195003) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

Anyone considering the use of speed cameras for anything else than safety in high-risk areas is doing something wrong in my opinion. Just as much is it wrong to review their use by any other criterion.

In this case, both the review (based on financial gains) and the expectation of revenue show me that they are doing all this for the wrong reason. And I find that really sad. How wrong can that morally be, to install speed camera based on expected revenue... that's quite a low. I'd rather have a totally uneconomical speed camera in a high-risk zone like a school zone than where its going to be economical.

There is of course another side to this. It's quite possible that those who planned the installation of the cameras did it with the right idea in mind, but had to prepare those analysis for the twisted and lost management minds. Than it shows us another interesting thing... Either they totally overestimated the speeding issue, or they underestimated the dissuasive effect of those cameras (which means they work actually pretty well... assuming they are correctly placed).

Comment: Good times... (Score 4, Insightful) 239

by geogob (#48194775) Attached to: Facebook To DEA: Stop Using Phony Profiles To Nab Criminals

Facebook teaching ethics and rules to the DEA. That's a good one.
Good luck with that anyway, Facebook! If there is any response at all from the DEA side, it will most likely a strong judicial mumbo jumbo meaning "STFU, or... " along a unilateral NDA (you know, because of "or ...")

Maybe the best way to proceed if they do not comply would be to automatically put in parenthesis beside the account name a warning (This account may have been tempered with by authorities).

Comment: Re:He tried patenting it... (Score 2) 986

That a sustained 2 kW, which is nothing. Not even 10 A on a normal power line... it could even be "smuggled in" through lines disguised as measurement lines. Heck, you could even get that power in through clever use of shields and grounds... it would most likely remain undetected without good forensic work.

Comment: Re:Completely Contained? (Score 1) 475

by geogob (#48034093) Attached to: Ebola Has Made It To the United States

I can understand why some mods rated this informative. I'd personally would have at best rated it interesting; because I strongly hope no one will follow the informative expert medical advice from this or any other /. comment.

Furthermore, most of your advice is based on pure fantasy. You CAN get Ebola from asymptomatic patients, especially once the symptoms subside after recovery. You can also very well get Ebola from very short term contact. And, although Ebola is not airborne, if an Ebola patient sneezes in the same room you are in, you are likely to get infected from this patient through other transmission pathways.

Comment: Re:All is vanity? (Score 2) 200

by geogob (#47993481) Attached to: Why India's Mars Probe Was So Cheap

Maybe it was so cheap because it doesn't seem to do much

Although I do not share your view on this mission and on why its payload is limited, I believe you correctly identified the trick to limit costs: Keep and simple.

Management costs are not linear with mission complexity. As the payload and complexity increase, so does the risk of something going wrong, leading to increased costs in planing and designing the whole thing. Because the costs are higher, the pressure for success increases and the need to cross-check every detail arises, implicating even more costs. You fall in a upward spiral for costs. Interfacing/integration costs are of course also higher with more complex mission, but they are not as non-linear as management costs.

In keeping a mission simple, you may limit the management cost explosion. In a sense it is sad because it means you are so cheap, no one cares if you fail (other than you). As soon as the financial sources start to care, you get into NASA/ESA budget regions. So maybe it is the best way to proceed, making multiple smaller mission.

The Canadian ACE/SCISAT mission also achieved something similar. Its a very simple science satellite, with only two instruments. The costs were ridiculous and the time from planing to launch was extreme short. Considering it flew totally new and revolutionary instrument designs, I find that quite amazing. The mission as now significantly outlived its initial planning and is one of the most successful scientific earth observing mission. So much for those who think it has something to do with the costs of engineering in India. I doubt the Canadians engineers are much cheaper than the American ones. The key to success was to keep and small.

Comment: Re:His articles on PubPeer (Score 1) 167

by geogob (#47976149) Attached to: Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

Police may investigate under cover, but once the facts are there and clear, you get before the justice in an open system, where you confront your accuser and defend your position. A unbiased judge then makes a decision based on the facts. True peer review also follows a similar principle, or at least aims to. (I am the first to say that it doesn't work well and needs to be reviewed - I already said that - but the idea is nevertheless one if impartial review of scientific work).

What you are suggesting has nothing to do with policing, justice or peer reviewing. It's pure street justice and I'll have none of that with my science. Thank you.

In any formula, constants (especially those obtained from handbooks) are to be treated as variables.