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Comment Ultimately Invalid (Score 1) 56

There are a couple of issues that invalidate these experiments.

1. The experiment participants know that if things go wrong they will not die. There is always the possibility of opening the door and going home. This will cause participants to take more risks and be more open to other people's ideas. If an idea goes horribly wrong in Hawaii no one dies. That is not the case on Mars.

2. Linked to that is the fact that they will be going home. Most people can deal with a bad situation for a defined period of time. Considering that there probably will be no return trip from Mars people will be less tolerant of issues. For most people the answer to "can I live with that for a few months" is yes. If the questions is "can I live with that for the rest of my life" the number of yeses is much smaller.

When every decision is life threatening and may be permanent there is much more stress than an experiment which can be ended at any time. Sorry but "do it wrong and we will die" causes much more stress than "do it wrong and we go home".

PS, Sure we could set up scenarios where the participants could die but then ethics get involved and no government would allow it.

Comment Re:If not for this, why do the tapes even exist? (Score 1) 270

Someone can look at them and that would be government officials who has been allowed to do it by court order. They unseal the boxes, take the tapes out, look at them, return them to the box and reseal them.

How does she look at it when she wants if someone else is looking at it?

I never said she could look at them. Just because she can not look at them does not mean that nobody can.

How does she look at it with an OCR that puts the aggregates into a table without copying it?

She can't without a court order as is the law.

Comment Re:In other words. (Score 1) 270

Of course, what this argument reveals, if accurate, is that voting officials are routinely able to determine supposedly secret votes, as they have access to the voting records they refuse to reveal to the public.

There is a huge gap between "can" and " routinely able to". For example, certain people "can" run a mile in under 4 minutes but not everyone is "routinely able to". In the instance of these voting records it would take a lot of work to link a vote with a person. Any government agency doing this would probably have at least one whistle blower who would publicize the effort.

Comment FTFY (Score 2) 136

99.9% of the discussions in a social environment are NOT about the facts.

Sorry but your friends are no like mine. Mine like to talk about facts and opinions of those facts. With mine I would say the ratio is closer to 80%.

Look it up and you find the truth. The discussion can move on.

Other outcomes are as follows;
You waste time supporting your conflicting opinions and the discussion gets hijacked over who is correct.
You accept the wrong fact and the discussion becomes invalid because it is based on a false premise.

Talking to others is what was important.

I like to learn things along with talking.

I always prefer to verify a fact when I can rather than assume what someones says is true. One person looking up a fact for 30 seconds does not end discussion it just moves it along. For example, last weekend I was playing board games at a pub. We wanted to play Settlers of Catan. We normally have four players and the standard rules are set up for that. Tonight we had five players. We used our smartphones to find the 5/6 players setup for Settlers. Without the smartphone we would all have been disappointing.

BTW, I have a form of autism that causes me to have a need to verify facts. If there is a controversy my mind fixates on it and it takes me out of the discussion. Verifying facts actually allows me to stay in the conversation.

Comment Re:12 grand for a trip to luna ? (Score 2) 72

Considering each sample is less than a gram over 1,000 can be launched in one kilogram for an income of over $12,000,000.00. Nice payback for one kilogram. Remember this is tagging along on a lander launch that is already paid for by other funding. One additional kilogram will not make much difference and it would be worth $12M.

Comment Phones on the table (Score 4, Interesting) 136

There is a new meme going around. At the beginning of the dinner everyone puts their phone face down in the middle of the table. The first person to pick up their phone without the consent of everyone else before the end of the meal pays for everyone. This leave the option open to do things constructive to the conversation, like checking on a late party member, while still not paying.

Comment Re:attention (Score 1) 136

Exactly, by using your phone during a conversation you are telling the group that they are not interesting enough to hold your attention. That is very passive aggressive. The better option would be to either remove yourself or actively try to change the conversation. Another option is to display patients and just smile and nod until the conversation moves on. No one like to think they are boring.

Comment Black and White (Score 4, Insightful) 136

These situations are not so black and white.

Good - Looking up contentious fact being discussed.
Bad - Shopping online while conversation is going on.
Good - Taking one picture to memorialize a special dinner.
Bad - Taking a picture of every plate of food one eats.
Good - Texting late guest to see where they are?
Bad - Texting someone completely unrelated to the event.
Bad - Talking loudly on one's phone while other people are having a conversation.

The problem is not that the smartphone is being but why the smartphone is being used. If the use contributes to the event I don't see an issue.

Comment Re:Storage (Score 2) 310

Demand is generally higher during the day, so at least for a while this will mean a less variable demand on other supplies, not more.

That is true until the daytime solar production approaches total daytime demand. Previously, base demand is supplied by coal and other slow ramping systems. During the day this base load supplies about 50% and almost 100% at night. The ramp up for daytime demand was handles by faster ramping systems such as gas and hydro. The problem comes when solar makes up for more than 50% of daytime usage. Without storage one would start ramping down the conventional production to make room for the solar production. It would then need to ramp back up again for night.

Moving water up hills (or not letting it down -- letting hydro reservoirs fill up) is quite a good storage option on this scale.

That would mean building reservoirs and there are a limited number of places that have enough drop to make it viable.

Demand can also be shifted to some extent. You can within certain limits, choose when to cool a refrigerated warehouse, or charge an electric car. I imagine tarifs that make electricity cheap in the few hours after dawn and expensive in the few hours after sunset, for instance.

That requires a lot of infrastructure that does not yet exist.

I've seen reports significant gains in efficiency of making diesel from CO2 and electricity, to the point where that may become a storage option.

This technology has yet to be installed on a large scale hence my point that more research and development needs to be done on storage.

All of these things could be done. My point is that there is too much emphasis on production and not enough one storage, demand shifting, etc. Too many people think that more production is the answer when it is only part of the solution.

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!