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Comment: Re:Dinos (Score 1) 298

by jbengt (#49440569) Attached to: Did Natural Selection Make the Dutch the Tallest People On the Planet?

Maybe because the US, Liberia, and Myanmar are the only 3 countries in the ENTIRE WORLD that have not officially converted to metric.

On the contrary, the US officially defines feet, inches, pounds, etc. in SI units (and has for quite a number of years). So in that sense, the US is on the Metric system.

Comment: Re:Kind of makes sense (Score 1) 83

by jbengt (#49437603) Attached to: Collision With Earth's "Little Sister" Created the Moon
You got it backwards. They had been asking: If the moon was made by collision of two different planetary bodies, why are their compositions so similar to each other? Previous studies have indicated that mixing of the materials from the two bodies doesn't resolve the issue. Now a study has come out with simulations of solar system formation showing that a potential Thea and a potential Earth often have very similar compositions, therefore the similar composition is not inconsistent with the collision theory after all.

Comment: Re:Get over it ! (Score 2) 370

by jbengt (#49422463) Attached to: How the Pentagon Wasted $10 Billion On Military Projects

Besides, $10 billion is literally less than what Americans spent on Starbucks coffee last year alone.

So, I'm not allowed to argue against excessive Starbucks spending, either?
Personally, I'd rather argue against both. (I have no problem losing a good argument, if you can convince me $10 billion was really worth it for the experience, but I don't think any one in this thread has the actual information to know one way or the other.)

Comment: Re:Get over it ! (Score 1) 370

by jbengt (#49422397) Attached to: How the Pentagon Wasted $10 Billion On Military Projects

Phase I is a prototype/proof of concept. After that, the government project managers make a decision about whether the product is good enough to warrant Phase II funding. If it is, they go ahead and fund it. If it's REALLY good, they do a Phase III which is basically a commercialization.

Problem is, most of these got well beyond Phase 1 without a chance in hell of ever getting to Phase 3, and still got plenty of funding that would have been better spent in Phase 1.
(Additionally, I would argue that you may need another Phase category - basic research/proof of concept would be Phase 1, and a prototype more of Phase 2)

Comment: Re:Be...cause... (Score 1) 157

Is it because they're whores and will do anything for loose change? That's pretty much my standard answer for any headline in the format "Why is blank blanking?"

Actually, in this case, TFA gives a different answer: Because McCarthy has been pushing patent reform legislation.

Comment: Re:It depends (Score 1) 486

by jbengt (#49337785) Attached to: No, It's Not Always Quicker To Do Things In Memory
RTFP before you complain, it already addresses your concerns. The point is about assuming that disk write will be slower, when, in real life, some specific programs can be sped up by writing directly to disk. They mention that the OS takes care of disk buffering for you and note a lot of stuff that is happening behind the scenes in memory, especially with immutable strings in high level languages.

Comment: Re:Do we want 100% crimes solved? (Score 1) 163

by jbengt (#49227107) Attached to: On the Dangers and Potential Abuses of DNA Familial Searching

they have a DNA-sample . . . from the crime-scene, for which no matches exist in police databases. Currently they have to look for him the old-fashioned way — and the sample is only useful to (in)validate the people.

Unfortunately in this case, they did not use the sample they had to invalidate the suspect they wrongfully convicted, but instead came up with a theory on how three men assaulted and murdered the victim in her small apartment room and only one of them (the one they couldn't identify) left physical evidence.

Comment: Re:Evidence indicates otherwise (Score 1) 279

by jbengt (#49221583) Attached to: California's Hot, Dry Winters Tied To Climate Change

Errr.... prices dropped because DEMAND dropped. And why did demand drop? Because consumption dropped

Wrong . . . Prices dropped because SUPPLY rose. And why did supply rise? Because prices rose enough to make hard-to-get oil worth investing in. So, don't expect prices to stay low when fracking investments, etc. decline.

Comment: Re:Key word: Cape Cod (Score 1) 267

by jbengt (#49180197) Attached to: The US's First Offshore Wind Farm Will Cut Local Power Prices By 40%

if they sell at the local rates of ~14cents a kwh (24 in the winter) they aren't making any money by selling power to the locals because its really 14-24cents kwh for offshore wind, there is no profit margin there.

$0.14 per kWh has little to do with it. They are saving money because they can shut down the expensive ($0.40 to $0.50 per kWh) diesel generators that is their only current generating source. The cost of the wind power generated is well below that regardless of connecting to the mainland or not. Also, they plan to sell excess wind power to the mainland through the cable - that's wind power that would be wasted otherwise, so even at a losing rate of "~14cents a kWh", it's a gain to bottom line (assuming the cable is going to be there, anyway). If the cable to the mainland was the only valuable part of this, why wouldn't someone have financed the cable without the wind power?

Get hold of portable property. -- Charles Dickens, "Great Expectations"