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Comment Re:You keep using that word. I don't think it mean (Score 1) 307

But there'd be no reason to. Industrial power is different because you're paying for infrastructure built just for you, so you pay based on peak usage, not KWh. Water hookups just for outdoor use may have non-potable water, or more commonly, you pay normally for the water but you don't pay for sewer (which costs 3x in some places).

For data, the only difference is "upstream" vs "downstream", which is quite significant. Charging based on the of the data shouldn't fly (that should be the whole point of net neutrality regs, reality aside). Backhaul is all price-per-GB anyhow as I understand it.

Comment Re:Does Sony also provide... (Score 1) 101

The eye has higher effective resolution than Apple has led us to believe with their "retina" marketing. This article shows how human eye can see 530 ppi resolution in a 20 x 13.3-inch print viewed at 20 inches.

Which is hardly news in the print world. Most fonts are passable, but noticeably less than perfect at 600dpi. Some fonts still don't quite work right at 1200dpi. Of course, that's without anti-aliasing. Grayscale at 600 dpi can do a pretty good job of representing print if the anti-aliasing is well done.

Comment Re:Sans-Serif (Score 1) 119

Because more people access Google from their tiny telephone screens, where the serifs get lost anyhow.

Small screens still have lower resolution than print, to be sure, but with reasonable anti-aliasing any modern small display will never "lose the serifs". But serifs are an odd on a title/header font anyhow - they're a tool to make it less fatiguing to read large blocks of text, irrelevant to logos.

Comment Re:Thank the Lord... (Score 1) 289

is all just a figment of those libbbbbrul billionaires' imaginations..

Well, TFS really doesn't clear anything up.

Let's review: "weather" is what we call "convective (and evaporative) cooling of the Earth's surface".
* The steeper the temperature gradient in the lower atmosphere (poor insulation), the more convection happens, and the more "interesting" weather we get.
* The shallower the temperature gradient in the lower atmosphere (good insulation, or radiative heating of the upper atmosphere), the less convection happens, and the less "interesting" weather we get.

So, global warming caused by the Sun getting "hotter" will cause bad weather, as that's more heat at the surface and (nearly) the same temperature at the top of the atmosphere, so a steeper gradient. Global warming caused by any sort of atmospheric change, making the atmosphere effectively a better insulator, means boring weather.

What we've seen the last 10 years has been 10 straight years of record-uninteresting hurricane seasons, and satellite temperature data showing warming only in the lower atmosphere and actually cooling in the upper atmosphere. That all holds together, and is IMO the first real, non-doctored evidence of an atmospheric effect on global warming. The theory that the atmosphere has been getting worse at about the same rate the Sun has been "cooling" (in its usual cycle) isn't crazy, as convenient as it may be as a "rescue our theory" ass-pull.

Worse weather would be expected as the Sun cycles out of it's recent lull in activity, but worse weather is not a sign of man-made global warming: rather, the opposite.

Comment Re:A free search engine (Score 1) 152

Banks started selling securities again and we ended up with the Great Recession.

The causation there isn't what you imply, not at all. The two banking-related problems were (1) mortgage-backed securities were not required to be traded as standardized instruments on an exchange like normal securities (if they had been, we likely wouldn't have had the mess), thanks to thorough corruption of regulatory agencies, and (2) we bailed out the failures to the tune of trillions.

No one except straw men confuse "corrupt regulatory agency" with "free market". We didn't need any new "bank regulations", just the long-established rules of the exchanges, which are about as "free market" as will ever exist in the world. And then the bailouts turned a disaster into a 5-year-long catastrophe. The more one supports the free market, the more one depends on the governing effect of failure.

Comment Re:Mission accomplished (Score 1) 395

Do you really trust a steel plant to run it's own nuclear reactor? Sounds like a superfund site in the making. There's no reason to think that carbon will get too expensive: proven reserves have continued increasing every decade, and the economies of China and India seem no closer to really taking off a scale.

OTOH, I'm not sure fusion will be any better, since with fission contamination of the plant as a whole seems to be a harder problem than intelligent fuel management, and fusion seems likely to have the same problem. I guess with fusion if you could get the whole thing small enough to transport intact, you might make something work.

Comment Re:You keep using that word. I don't think it mean (Score 1) 307

You can even use 20 or 100 GB if you tether. But 1TB and more is really not typical *private* internet use any more.

HD movies tend to be in the 4-8 GB range if you don't cheat on quality. 200 GB is just 1 person watching HD movies. 2 TB is just 1 person torrenting everything he sees out of some strange (but seemingly common) compulsion.

If people want to serve websites or torrents, they should not do it on their phone.

A data plan's a data plan. It's not for you to say what the data is for.

Comment Re:You keep using that word. I don't think it mean (Score 1) 307

someone is using their phone to feed data to a PC I'm having a hard time seeing how they use 2TB a month.

Yes. Indeed. That word "tethering" in TFS? Now you know what it means.

People with capped cable have been using their phones to get uncapped data, and perhaps going overboard for as long as they can get away with it.

Comment Re:couldn't hurt (Score 1) 264

We moved on from hieroglyphs since writing by hand was so tedious anyone bothering could be assumed to be serious in unclear cases. Since writing and sending messages has moved on to an everyday form of personal communication, it also requires a concise way to express tone and emotion a non-professional writer can manage.

Excuse me if the following sounds a bit exasperated, but you do realize that people actually communicated informal messages to each other written form BEFORE texting, right?

You went off the rails there. The earliest writing was only used professionally - there just wasn't any vocabulary (at least none surviving) for anything but accounting. Using writing for sending messages from place to place was an evolution, and not an instant one. The earliest messages seem to be accounting/business related as well, from tax information to contracts to customer complaints. Since you had to send a human messenger anyway, who was perfectly capable of memorizing long and detailed messages, sending a written message with him was a somewhat specialized need.

It was only with the growth of the idea of using writing to send a message through time, and/or in multiple copies throughout the land, did written language become expressive enough to be useful for "informal messages" in a way that the person carrying the message wasn't. Laws, histories, treaties, and so one required more vocabulary than common trade objects, numbers, and "promise to pay".

Even if we include common and nearly universal body language gestures like nodding, shaking the head,

There's a girl in my office new enough to the US that she still shakes her head from side to side as an affirmative gesture, which is common for at least a billion people. Everything's arbitrary.

By the way, the one emotion/tone that has frustrated writers for centuries is irony/sarcasm. Many have proposed a simple symbol for this, usually a backwards question mark. But for some reason no such mark has become standard. That's perhaps the only "emoji" I have ever felt the need for in writing.

I find it interesting that this is also indicated by tone of voice, well within the normal sort of thing modern language captures. We use punctuation and accents in many ways in many languages to capture tone of voice. Isn't it odd we don't already have something for sarcasm?

Comment Re:Mission accomplished (Score 1) 395

To generate enough power for the whole planet to live at US energy consumption levels (i.e., for everyone to have a good standard of living), you'll need to cover a significant percentage of the land area with solar panels. This is not completely impractical, though you'd need a panel with nothing rare in its construction and a very long lifespan, but it hardly seems ideal. It's also not going to work for industrial power (most of which doesn't even involve electricity today), because you need dense, reliable generation of thermal energy.

Fossil fuel use simply won't go away, at least for industrial needs, until we have small-industrial-scale nuclear plants of one kind or another, and fission doesn't seem promising for that. Orbital solar could work, but it seems farther out than fusion.

Comment Re:Hang on a minute... (Score 1) 743

Maybe mixing su with systemd is like mixing PCP and acid

Mixing Linux and systemd is like a remote control on a chainsaw: the idea may sound neat for 2 seconds, but then you realize nothing good can come of this.

"It's going to get out of control. It's going to get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it."

Comment Re:Okay, if they think that will work (Score 2) 87

Yep, what made the movie work was that it was actually good Sci-Fi, as action movie Sci-Fi goes (which has little enough to do with written SF). Good character development, a bit of actual suspense, you cared about the characters, etc. Even without the parody stuff, it was better than the Star Wars prequels or half the Star Trek movies.

It was genre-savvy satire, more than simple parody, and it was good. Not sure how you could turn it into a series though, unless they're going to make the Galaxy Quest series that was the backstory to the movie, which could be fun for one season.

"Is it really you, Fuzz, or is it Memorex, or is it radiation sickness?" -- Sonic Disruptors comics