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Comment: We are winning! (Score 1) 168

by kosmosik (#47434963) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

I am not US taxpayer so I don't give a shit how much such bullet costs. All I know that sometimes the SEALS or other special ops. unit serves to protect civilians. Hard to belive but that is its function. Put aside "the bad terrorists" and just focus on some scenarios in which such weapon would be extremely useful despite its cost... like I don't know... maybe it is some stupid Hollywood style example but - Maersk Alabama incident. AFAIK snipers did excellent job then and if such weapon could help in such situations I like it.

Comment: Re:Actual savings? (Score 2) 116

by spitzak (#47365425) Attached to: Renewable Energy Saves Fortune 100 Companies $1.1B Annually

You are certainly correct that the savings are due to increasing energy efficiency.

However it is not from putting in LED lights. They were already using fluorescent lights so this is not helping anywhere near as much. Also LEDs are not that cheap yet. It is from free things: getting all the monitors to go into power-save mode at night, turning down the heat or AC, etc.

Comment: Re:so the 88% is 99% free (Score 1) 304

by spitzak (#47357895) Attached to: Ninety-Nine Percent of the Ocean's Plastic Is Missing

You are confused because two percentages measuring different things are not equal?

88% of the ocean contains plastic debris. The density of this 88% is low enough that this other paper thinks it is only 1% of the plastic that should be in the ocean.

There now, that was not that hard, was it?

Comment: Re:His choices... (Score 4, Interesting) 194

by spitzak (#47352557) Attached to: The Internet's Own Boy

The meme "information wants to be free" is supposed to be read like "water wants to flow downhill". That statement does not mean water has a mind and actively thinks about flowing downhill. It also does not mean dams to stop the downhill movement are immoral or wrong. What it is saying is "a dam is expensive and will not magically appear without active input by a concerned party".

Comment: Re:Stupid argument (Score 1) 441

by spitzak (#47350627) Attached to: Researchers Claim Wind Turbine Energy Payback In Less Than a Year

It does look like the chart resets at midnight, and the "Click here to view yesterday's output" leads to a different graph which has "Small Hydro, Biogas, Biomass, Geothermal" added to the bottom. I would judge that one as showing a low end even smaller than you state, less than 30% of a 1000MW tick, so perhaps 250MW. It says the highest end is 3592MW at midnight (higher than the 2600 at midnight this morning). That is a ratio of 14.4:1 actually, higher than you claim.

However the chart does show that the output is pretty predictable. Some of the contrarian posters here seem to think it varies every minute, which may be why they seem to avoid posting otherwise informative charts like this. I personally doubt land-based wind is going to ever be anything more than a trivial amount of our energy. Offshore is much higher and perhaps more consistent, but solar or nuclear is really what will work.

Comment: Re:Free lottery weighted by karma? (Score 1) 404

by spitzak (#47308747) Attached to: San Francisco Bans Parking Spot Auctioning App

That's just silly. There right now is a much more efficient "lottery", which is "the one looking for a parking space that happens to be nearest the vactated space takes it". This obviously minimizes the driving and waste over any other scheme.

Also pretty unclear what should happen in your scheme if the "winner" does not show up.

Comment: Is this really "outsourcing"? (Score 2) 274

by spitzak (#47308517) Attached to: China Starts Outsourcing From<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... the US

If the manufactured items stay in the USA (or are shipped to any place where it may be cheaper than shipping from China) then this is just putting the factory where the product is being used and is not really "outsourcing". The term "outsourcing" should be limited to when jobs move to follow cheap or available labor but otherwise defies any business logic.

The article is not clear on where the factory output is going, or where the raw materials come from. There is one mention of a glass factory who's "site puts Fuyao within four hours' drive of auto plants in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana." All the others don't seem to say whether delivery to the USA is part of the reason for the relocation.

Comment: Re:International comparison? (Score 1) 308

by spitzak (#47302453) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Lawrence Lessig About His Mayday PAC

Saudi Arabia is blank in that table for "World Bank GINI", which is otherwise the most populated. There is the "GPI Gini" but only a few countries have that, and there seems to be little correspondence to show where Saudi Arabia may be inserted.

Sorting by "World Bank GINI", you are right that at the low end there are a number of former Soviet republics mixed in with the expected EU countries (Denmark, Sweeden, Norway, and Austria are lowest). I think the history of these countries may make them somewhat unusual. Much more relevant to your point is some unexpected ones, such as Egypt and Iraq, nearer the low end.

The other end of the table is more interesting. It is pretty clear that lower income inequality is a requirement, though, as you state, not the only requirement, for democracy.

Comment: Re:International comparison? (Score 1) 308

by spitzak (#47299743) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Lawrence Lessig About His Mayday PAC

I'm curious as to what you are referring to as non-democratic nations with "low income inequity". North Korea has a very high level of inequity when you include the government elite. It does not matter if there are huge hordes that are starving equally, since there is a non-zero number not belonging to that set.

Weekends were made for programming. - Karl Lehenbauer