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Comment: Re:Is this really a problem? (Score 1) 163

by fnj (#46802799) Attached to: Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

I figured you would say that. The trap you fell into is that economy of scale is about manufacturing, not consumption. If you had to mine one tonne of iron and process it into steel ingot, it would cost you a lot, but the process is globally run on such a vast scale that it is very cheap. But the idea that if you buy a crapload of steel they will give you a special price is silly. Nothing you do is going to affect the global scale of the industry.

Comment: Permanency (Score 1) 97

by Solandri (#46802699) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Professional Journaling/Notes Software?
I mostly use OneNote (was using Evernote for shared stuff, but am transitioning that to OneNote now that it's free). The biggest problem I run across is permanency. If you write something on paper, it's pretty much permanent (unless the ink fades or the paper turns to dust). If you write something in OneNote, then later accidentally select it while typing something else and don't notice it, it's gone. For shared notes, if someone wants to cover up a problem, they could simply delete someone else's remark pointing it out.

The same characteristic makes it difficult to use these note-taking apps for event tracking. For certain tasks (e.g. customer relationship management), you want an immutable record of events which you can refer back to in the future. Worst case you may even need for it to stand up in a court of law. You get this permanency with pen and paper (at the cost of disorganization). You don't get it with OneNote or Evernote.

(Yes I realize for serious customer relationship management, I should be using real CRM software. But I just fix stuff on my extended family's computers, and have been bitten by accidental deletions more than once.)

Comment: Re:Does the math work out? (Score 1) 163

by swb (#46802671) Attached to: Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

After a bit of searching ...
Another quick search

How many hours, exactly, did he spend researching both issues? How much extra driving, phone calls, research, etc? How much auto repair know-how does he already have?

It's not like running around for two weeks looking for third party parts and installers is 'free'. A very large part of the price of the dealer is the fact that, yes, they do have access to everything for your specific car and the knowhow to diagnose and fix it the first time and in a timely fashion.

You're paying more for that convenience and so are most people. Cars are a huge headache and not having a working car is a worse headache, so people are willing to spend money to reduce the headache.

Comment: Re:Sick Society (Score 2) 133

by Shakrai (#46802603) Attached to: L.A. Science Teacher Suspended Over Student Science Fair Projects

As long as the NRA and RWNJ refuse to acknowledge that we have a gun problem, not a people problem, the deaths will continue and there will be nothing to stop it.

~300,000,000 guns, ~100,000,000 gun owners, with about ~14,000 annual homicides committed with firearms. Rhetorical question: What's 14,000 divided by 100,000,000 or 300,000,000?

It is a people problem. Studies have shown that the vast majority of first time murders already had extensive violent criminal records. Clearly the justice system is not doing these people or society justice, since there were ample opportunities to intervene before they took a human life.

It's also a socioeconomic problem, because crime is driven in large part by poverty. You want to cut gun violence? End the war on drugs, increase education and job placement funding, and start to look at seriously reforming our mental healthcare system.

Of course, all of those things are hard to do. It's a lot easier if you can just blame the guns, as though inanimate objects are possessed of powers of their own.

Comment: Re:Don't tell them that... (Score 2) 147

by Solandri (#46802213) Attached to: Why Portland Should Have Kept Its Water, Urine and All

We don't filter the water. We have an EPA waiver not to have to filter our water. Only one in the country, since the water up in the Bull Run Watershed is so pristine (no human activity allowed in the entire watershed area, over a hundred square miles, 1/3 of the water is supplied by dew drip off of fir trees).

That doesn't change the fact that fish, birds, frogs, etc crap in the water. This whole thing is the same reason a lot of people believe in homeopathy - the idea that extremely diluted quantities of a beneficial substance still carry the same benefits. Homeopathy is basically the converse of the disgust reaction we have to inconsequentially miniscule contamination - the idea that extremely diluted quantities of a harmful substance still carry the same harm. The ISS has one of the most sophisticated water reclamation systems ever made, whose filtration provides cleaner water than what you get out of the tap. But people are still "grossed out" over the fact that astronauts are effectively drinking their own pee. Out of sight, out of mind.

The environment is dirty, and our bodies are fully capable of surviving with that dirt. This incessant demand for absolute cleanliness is probably the cause of the rapid increase in allergy rates. The prevailing theory is that allergies are result of over-cleanliness. Our immune systems are supposed to gradually build up resistance and tolerance to all sorts of pathogens and contaminants. But our modern, ultra-clean standard of living deprives our immune systems of gradual exposure to those substances. Then when we encounter it for the first time, our body goes nuts and overreacts, causing an allergic reaction.

Our water comes from the source much cleaner than would come out of the filtration systems used in other cities.

The cleanest water you can get is distilled. You slowly raise the temperature to boil off contaminants with a boiling point lower than water. At the boiling point of water you're getting pure H2O. The residual is everything with a boiling point higher than water. While it's absolutely clean, it's actually bad for you because it lacks minerals and salts your body needs, and the lack of dissolved content means metal from the pipes carrying it leech into it at an accelerated rate. So it's instead packaged in plastic or glass bottles and sold in stores. Rainwater is effectively distilled, except it picks up a lot of contaminants as it floats through the air, then falls down to the ground.

The next cleanest you can get is reverse osmosis filtered. The pores in the filters are so small that nearly all contaminants are removed. Like distilled water, it's actually too pure. They have to add minerals and salts back into it for health and taste reasons. While it's too expensive to use for most municipal water supplies, a few cities on islands or in extremely dry regions do use them to provide tap water.

Then come the spring waters, which are naturally filtered through miles of sand and rock.

Comment: Re:Who watches the watchers (Score 1) 191

by Shakrai (#46802025) Attached to: Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

You're claiming that Reynolds v. Sims was a bad decision?

Yes, it was, because it allows the urban parts of the country to dictate policy to the rural parts. It removed a critical check against the tyranny of the majority. It has lead to three generations of rural disillusionment and resentment that has now reached the point where there are mainstream secessionist movements (because Reynolds v. Sims couldn't touch the structure of the United States Senate, just the State level upper houses) in several States.

Your perspective would probably be different if you lived in any part of New York outside of New York City, or Western Massachusetts, or Southern Illinois, or rural California, blah, blah, blah.

f you want to argue against it, please explain on what grounds you believe it to be a problem, and why what you would replace it with would not be worse.

Explain to me why it's acceptable for the United States Senate to be allocated based on geography instead of population, but not for the New York State Senate to be similarly allocated? What would be so horrible about creating a State Senate that granted each County two Senators while retaining the population based Assembly?

Comment: Re:First they get rid of shop (Score 1) 133

Lets burn the lawyers offices down.

The lawyers are powerless without the courts. It's the Court orders, backed by ... wait for it ... men with guns that make this environment possible.

Do you know why everybody is so jumpy and the cops are doing summary executions now? Because everybody is a criminal, everybody is a suspect, and the cops and the courts enforce these absurd laws rather than than defend the Constitution as a co-equal branch.

Hell, the Constitution didn't even make it past 1803 intact in design, and FDR accepted the Supreme Court's final surrender in 1937 from Chief Justice Hughes as a settlement to his plan to expand the Court with its cronies. Overnight, SCOTUS began finding all of Roosevelt's programs suddenly Constitutional even concluding that growing wheat for your family farm is part of "Interstate Commerce" and suddenly of Federal providence.

The problem now is that it's impossible for the People to know what the Constitution says because (supposedly) it doesn't mean anything until SCOTUS tells us what it means, which might well be the opposite of what we "think" it means (that is, the plain English meaning). The catch is that the Constitution is what authorizes the government in the first place. If the People aren't competent to understand their agreement with that government, then they weren't competent to create it in the first place and the grant of power is void.

Comment: Re:Sick Society (Score 2, Insightful) 133

This is not about science, it is about tje progressive anti-gun stance.

Seriously - stop spreading their propaganda. They explicitly want those in power to have all the guns they need. They just want the People to be disarmed and figure their friends will be in power.

This is not at all an anti-gun stance, it's a central-control stance. This gives them a sense of security, like those living under Mao or Pol Pot.

Comment: Re:Big Whoop. (Score 1) 41

by CrimsonAvenger (#46801811) Attached to: SpaceX Successfully Delivers Supplies To ISS

The first space station was designed by private industry (what, you thought NASA did its own design work?).

Apollo and Shuttle, which provided transport to Skylab and ISS, were designed by private industry.

And the only reason taxpayers are footing the bill for rockets to ISS is that NASA is the one that wants supplies sent up there. And can't do it on its own, since it has no spacecraft capable of reaching ISS.

Comment: Re:Not Uncommon for Portland (Score 1) 147

by CrimsonAvenger (#46801775) Attached to: Why Portland Should Have Kept Its Water, Urine and All

I keep thinking of places down south who need all the water they can get, and we're just wasting a whole reservoir full. That saddens me.

To put it in perspective, this is about two minutes worth of water use by the State of California. It's a long way from a significant amount.

Comment: Re:36 million gallons? (Score 1) 147

by CrimsonAvenger (#46801757) Attached to: Why Portland Should Have Kept Its Water, Urine and All

rough estimate, about 60 times the volume of the 3 main Library of Congress buildings combined

36 million gallons is about 140 million liters, or 140,000 m^3. 1/60th of that is about 2000 m^3.

Are the three main Library of Congress buildings really as small as 700 m^2 (call it 7000 square feet) combined? Or did you drop a decimal somewhere?

What is worth doing is worth the trouble of asking somebody to do.