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Comment: Re:Not a snowballs chance! (Score 4, Informative) 110

by Jane Q. Public (#49806051) Attached to: The Patriot Act May Be Dead For Good

"... it looks like the Patriot Act will be gone by Monday morning."

Correction: key provisions of the Patriot Act. What most people call "the Patriot Act" was actually a collection of bills and laws, only some of which were part of the Patriot Act itself.

So yes, technically most if not all of the Patriot Act would expire... but there are other sibling laws that need to go down in flames, too, before the damage done will really be repaired.

Comment: Re:It won't die (Score 1) 110

by Jane Q. Public (#49806029) Attached to: The Patriot Act May Be Dead For Good

not that i see a problem with that in the slightest

Let's also not forget that Obama ran for office on a platform that included "I will stop domestic spying."

And as soon as he got into office, he did the opposite. As OP states, he called on Congress to pass the so-called "Freedom Act", which was really anything but. It was worse than the original in some ways.

Comment: Re: And...and... (Score 1, Insightful) 96

by Jane Q. Public (#49806007) Attached to: Let's Take This Open Floor Plan To the Next Level

Thus combining rigid control with a complete extraction of personal dignity. Sounds about like what upper management is aiming for.

Honestly, what it reminds me of is government a la the Progressive Left:

"Hmmm... that didn't work. So let's try more of it."

4 years later:

"Hmmm... that didn't work. So let's try more of it."

Comment: Re:Hilarious! (Score 4, Insightful) 218

by lgw (#49798543) Attached to: Chinese Nationals Accused of Taking SATs For Others

Authoritarianism. Following orders. Lack of creativity. Willing to accept the system even when it's wrong.

The skill: "willingness to accept the system, even when it's wrong, and game it for your benefit" is central to engineering, accounting, law, and finance. Almost all of the goof jobs outside of medicine.

Children expect life to be fair. Adults accept that the world is imperfect, and work for success within it (not to say it's not also worth trying to change the bad parts, but in the mean time do something useful with your life).

Comment: Re:Exodus (Score 5, Informative) 639

by Jane Q. Public (#49797159) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?

As we leave the solar system radiation should decrease the further out we go.

Just no.

You are confusing Solar radiation with cosmic radiation... and they are largely very different things.

The "solar wind" is largely photons and other, relatively low-energy charged particles from the sun. (Note the word "relatively".) Which is GOOD for us here on Earth. Because cosmic radiation has a much larger component of HIGH energy particles. The solar wind interacts with Earth's magnetic fields in such a way as to shield it from the cosmic high-energy particles.

But it's the cosmic high-energy particles that penetrate far enough into the atmosphere to ionize particles of matter, which form nuclei around which clouds form. So... high sunspot activity generally means fewer clouds, which in turn means it gets hotter. When "solar storm" activity is low, more cosmic rays leak in, forming more clouds, cooling the weather.

Unfortunately, it is these high-energy particles which require the most shielding. And in general, cells are more prone to damage than radiation-hardened silicon chips.

Comment: Re:Scientists are generally trusted (Score 2, Insightful) 253

by lgw (#49794189) Attached to: How a Scientist Fooled Millions With Bizarre Chocolate Diet Claims

More to the point, it's impossible to independently (& personally) verify the data and claims of everything that you would like verified. There's not enough time in the world.

Very true. The rational man realizes this, and doesn't hold strong political opinions on the rest of it. We're all going to be ignorant of most science in the modern world - the time has long passed when the educated man could know all of the scientific knowledge there was. It's important to therefore set arrogance aside, and not try to tell others they're idiots, or force your uneducated opinion on others by law, unless you actually care enough to do the diligence first.

Far too many people mistake fashion for education. If you're going to call others fools for trying to stop the teaching of "evolution" in schools, call them fools because you took the time to understand the science, the counter-arguments, and why a smart, ration person could somehow not believe in evolution. Until you understand the other side, and why it's wrong, stay out of the argument. For the evolution case: if you had a solid biology class, this takes just a few days of reading the talk.origins site. It's not an undue burden, and otherwise arrogance about your uninformed opinion is just idiocy.

For newer fields like the climate change debate, it will take longer to dig up the details, as there isn't a handy website that collects all the pro and con arguments. For climate change, can read through the pro and con sites and understand where they're coming from, understand the Vostok ice core data for perspective, spend time pondering the satellite temperature data, and so on.

For any such issue, treat both sides as intelligent people who are in earnest in their beliefs and not trolling, and read enough to understand how this can be true. When you understand how intelligent people can disagree on the issue, and see where both sides are coming from, then you can act out of knowledge instead of arrogance, and stop polluting the debate with idiocy. If your only basis for argument is "everyone knows the smart people believe X, and the losers believe not-X", well, that's fashion, not knowledge. This pretty much applies to anything being debated politically, BTW, not just the science stuff.

Comment: Re:Threatens security (Score 1) 102

by Jane Q. Public (#49793161) Attached to: Do Russian Uranium Deals Threaten World Supply Security?

Again total crock of shit. Australian Uranium export laws http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.... Not only is mining totally and strictly regulated (no matter who the hell owns the mine, they can not even stick a shovel into the ground until approval is gained from local, state and federal government), it can only be sold to countries the Australian government has specific agreements with and is restricted to energy use only http://www.world-nuclear.org/i....

100% irrelevant to the topic I was discussing, which was ownership of U.S. uranium interests by Russia. Not only is Australia a completely different continent, its politics are also completely different. Similar in some ways, but definitely not the same.

It is the US government that is seeking to directly control the mining and export of 'AUSTRALIAN' Uranium because 31% of worlds resource and Australia already exports Uranium to China and the US. There are a whole bunch of Uranium resources yet to be touched.

Again, completely irrelevant to the topic under discussion. If I lived in Australia, I'd object to sales to China OR the U.S.... but especially China.

Comment: Re:Answer (Score 1) 333

by lgw (#49792799) Attached to: How Much C++ Should You Know For an Entry-Level C++ Job?

That's not C++. That's "C with classes". (No true Scotsman uses C++ that way!) There should really be a new C standard that adds classes, C++-- or something. (BTW, a sure sign that people don't understand C++ is when they argue that the STL is slow.)

It's funny to hear game devs argue that C++ is too abstract, and then in the next breath wonder how they're ever going to get their code to use more than one core. I hope you're not that guy!

I'm in a different world. To me, performance means infinite horizontal scalability. Clarity and performance of work distribution across N machines (for arbitrary N) is where the fun is. Counting cycles and optimizing bytes got boring when machines got fast (a Raspberry Pi blows away the mainframes I started on).

Comment: Re:Answer (Score 1) 333

by lgw (#49792719) Attached to: How Much C++ Should You Know For an Entry-Level C++ Job?

Only catch exceptions that you can fix is the rule. If you can't actually do something useful about an exception, why would you catch it? There's nothing worse than Pokemon code!

catch(...) make perfect sense in one place - in main(), followed by logging the exception and terminating the process.

The whole point of this entire mindset is to stop checking for errors individually after each call. This lets you eliminate about 2/3s of your lines of code, all boilerplate, and reveal the actual business logic of each function by sweeping away the clutter. But there's a whole crowd of devs who like the clutter. They're not actually very good at coding, but mindless repetition they can do. This mindset is anathema to those guys. RAII without exceptions leaves half the clutter, and so doesn't achieve the goal.

Comment: Re:suckers (Score 1) 122

Nuclear is not the only solution, nor is it particularly attractive when solar can achieve the same goals, without the side effects.

How do you claim absence of side effects?

Solar farms are already observed to fry birds and blind pilots. Not to mention the huge amount of landscape they consume. And in high latitudes, not only to they take up even more (and more ecologically sensitive) area, they aren't even usable a good part of the year. In my area, they don't even come close to competing with other sources for cost.

Comment: Re:Answer (Score 1) 333

by lgw (#49792635) Attached to: How Much C++ Should You Know For an Entry-Level C++ Job?

If you don't really need to make systems calls, that's absolutely the right answer IMO. I only favor C++ if I need to do platform-specific messing around with filesystem behavior, or low-level netcode. As soon as you need to do any sort of bit-twiddling, or you care at all about asymptotically-constant-time performance improvements, Java stops being useful (and I always prefer C# to Java where practical - same functionality with half as many lines of code).

I really don't see the point of using C (or C-style coding in C++) outside of kernel-mode stuff, however.

Comment: Re:suckers (Score 1) 122

This has been studied and the result was that there is a localized heating effect in a small area immediately downwind of the wind turbine which is rapidly lost in the noise of the already-chaotic system in precisely the same way that the butterfly effect is bullshit â" if an entertaining thought exercise.

This causes me to think you haven't understood what the Butterfly Effect actually is. It says that slight differences in the initial conditions of some nonlinear systems can have a profound effect on later outcome. It doesn't apply to all chaotic systems by any means, nor does it necessarily mean a persistent change... just a big one. Nor, just off-hand, would it seem to apply to your windmill example at all.

You might be interested to know that the Butterfly Effect has made a profound contribution to weather and climate modeling. Without it, we would not know even the relatively small amount that we do know.

The name "Butterfly Effect" was intended as an analogy to how it works... it isn't to be taken literally. But it does work, and is observed in the real world. If you doubt that, I strongly suggest you avoid flying in a modern jet.

Comment: Re:Answer (Score 1) 333

by lgw (#49792569) Attached to: How Much C++ Should You Know For an Entry-Level C++ Job?

A new hire from college is not a "beginner", at least not anywhere I've worked recently. If you choose to interview in C++, you had better know the basic STL classes (string, vector, map) as well. Sure, it's rare to see an interview question that would probe RAII/resource management for entry-level, but knowing that stuff coming in would really help. (We don't care what language someone is good in for an entry level job, but they have to demonstrate some depth in one language of their choice.)

"Morality is one thing. Ratings are everything." - A Network 23 executive on "Max Headroom"