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Comment: Re:you missed the point (Score 1) 348

by anagama (#46799479) Attached to: Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

Except that average 2% reduction figure you site comes out of the Government's and Corn Farmer's corn holes.

In Britain, where E10 is still up and coming, some car mag site did some testing:

We then put them through rigorous emissions tests using the E0 and E10 petrol to gain a clear picture of the effects of ethanol. E10 proved less efficient than E0 in all our tests. The average fall was -8.4%, equating to more than two extra tanks of petrol every year. Assuming both fuels were priced the same, it would represent an extra cost of £170.


In our tests, the 89bhp Dacia Sandero struggled most, returning an 11.5% drop in mpg. That's an extra cost of around £202 every 12,000 miles. The 99bhp Hyundai i30 was nearly as bad, managing 9.8% fewer miles on E10 than E0, an extra £16 a month.

The 134bhp Toyota Prius+ with its bigger hybrid engine fared better, using 6.4% more E10 than E0, while the 181bhp Mini Paceman was least affected by the ethanol; its fuel consumption increased by 5.9%.

E10 test conclusions
This would seem to suggest that more powerful cars cope better with a higher ethanol content, leaving small-engine models -- often bought by drivers on tighter budgets -- worst affected. It could explain why our results differ from the US Environmental Protection Agency's estimate; many US cars still use big V6 and V8 engines.

Comment: Re:So - who's in love with the government again? (Score 1) 348

by anagama (#46799313) Attached to: Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

I lived in Maine for a while in the 80s. During the winter I'd pour in a bottle of "dry gas" ... at least I think that is what it was called. If I recall, an 8 oz bottle treated 10 gallons (or maybe it was more than that). Even on the low end, that would be 1:160 mix (if it was good for a 15 gal fillup, that would 1:240). To get to 10%, even at the low end, I'd have had to pour in a gallon of the stuff per 9 gals of gas.

Comment: Re:So - who's in love with the government again? (Score 1) 348

by hey! (#46796433) Attached to: Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

I don't know if this is nuts. I'd have to see the full arguments on both sides, and so far what we have to go on is a one-sided summary.

If the *only* effect of the proposed regulation would be to increase beer prices, then sure, I agree with you 100%: government is being stupid. But if there's a good reason for the regulation, then I'd disagree with you.

Reading the article, it seems like the idea that this regulation will cause beer prices to spike dramatically seems a bit alarmist. The regulations would require brewers who send waste to farmers as animal feed to keep records. It seems hard to believe that this would significantly raise the price of beer or whiskey given that alcohol production is already highly regulated. On the other hand, it seems like there is no specific concern related to breweries. They were just caught up in a law that was meant to address animal feed.

If you want an example of a regulation free utopia, look no further than China, where adulteration of the food chain is a common problem. If the choice were a regulatory regime that slightly complicates brewers lives, and a regime that allows melamine and cyanuric acid into human food, I'd live with higher beer prices.

Fortunately, we don't have to live with either extreme. We can regulate food adulteration and write exceptions into the regulations for situations that pose little risk. Since presumably the ingredients used in brewing are regulated to be safe for human consumption, the byproducts of brewing are likely to pose no risk in the human food chain.

Comment: Re:And the attempt to duplicate their efforts resu (Score 1) 447

by squiggleslash (#46796069) Attached to: Commenters To Dropbox CEO: Houston, We Have a Problem

Not really, no. The "We're called racists if we say anything against Obama"/"Obama's a Kenyan Muslin usurper!" nonsense has been going on now for a long time. The AC's criticism is absolutely on the money. And ironically, you're attacking the AC for bringing up what you consider to be a strawman when you the "We're called racists just because we disagree with Obama" thing is a ridiculous characterization of what Democrats and liberals have actually criticized.

If you really want to do something about it, you need to counter-attack your allies when they try to pull either BS. Tell those who insist that Democrats are not highlighting actual racism when they complain about it to knock it off. And tell those who continue to push the Kenyan Muslim Usurper bullshit to leave, and stop self-identifying with Republicans. If you continue to call yourself a Republican, but also continue to allow such views to be associated with Republicans, you don't have a leg to stand on when you claim it's a "fringe".

Comment: Re:HP LaserJet 4M+ (Score 1) 671

by anagama (#46792615) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Well, the Federal reserve disagrees with you. Many banks still use MICR readers to sort and route checks, so not having that on your checks could very well slow down processing of those checks.

The extra cost for MICR toner is so negligible anyway, why wouldn't you make your checks as compatible as possible? The only real issue, as I mentioned, is that you can't get MICR toner carts for all printers, so you have to pick a printer with the availability of MICR replacement carts in mind (unless you want to fill your own carts).

Comment: Re:LaserJet II and LaserJet 3 (Score 1) 671

by hey! (#46791117) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

The most wear sensitive part of a laser printer is the copy drum. If I recall correctly the old LaserJets had the drum integrated with the toner cartidge, so you replace to most quickly wearing part of the printer four or five thousand pages. It's no wonder they lasted so long. The mechanical parts that move the paper through the printer are pretty robust, so I wouldn't be surprised if the printers go until the capacitors in the electronics dry up, or the internal power connectors go bad.

Comment: Re:do they have a progressive view? (Score 1) 326

by anagama (#46790895) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

The Democrat label means nothing. If Nixon was running in an election today, they'd have to put him on the ticket with the greens or something. Even Obamacare is basically Nixon's health care plan with the liberal parts eliminated. These Democrat and Republican labels have become so meaningless, they should just change their names to Blue Team and Red Team. It's much more accurate to say that GOP ideology, as put in practice by DNC candidates, is the poison in the system.

Comment: Re:do they have a progressive view? (Score 1) 326

by anagama (#46790817) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

You aren't giving Texans a good name with the "tropes fed to you by your Democratic overlords" bit. Real liberals recognize that the DNC is nothing but the New GOP, and you falling into the party-labeling thing, suggests you haven't made that connection and still think of the Old GOP (i.e., parody of itself) as a conservative party or something or other. If you are representative of Texans, it demonstrates a kind of political illiteracy.

Comment: Re:A bit of background for slashdotters (Score 4, Informative) 339

by hey! (#46790777) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

This isn't a case "insisted upon by a conservative group". This is Mann suing a journalist for libel, and the journalist requesting info from the university under FOIA to prove his case.

That would be interesting, if it were true. Here's what TFA says:

The ruling is the latest turn in the FOIA request filed in 2011 by Del. Robert Marshall (R-Prince William) and the American Tradition Institute to obtain research and e-mails of former U-Va. professor Michael Mann.

"Del." I assume is short for "delegate". According to their website, the American Tradition Institute's tag line is "Free Market Environmentalism through *Litigation*" I assuming this means they aren't pals with Greenpeace, or even The Sierra Club, any more than the National Socialists in Germany were pals with the socialist Republicans in 1930s Spain.

Comment: Re:Why do these people always have something to hi (Score 4, Insightful) 339

by hey! (#46790657) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

Depends on what you consider "hiding the research". A fishing expedition through a scientist's personal correspondence is an invitation to judge his work on *political* grounds.

In science your personal beliefs, relationships, and biography are irrelevant. There are evangelical Christian climate scientists who believe climate won't change because that would contradict God's will as expressed in the Bible. These scientists may be regarded as religious crackpots by their peers, but that hasn't prevented them from publishing in the same peer-reviewed journals as everyone else. Since their papers invariably are climate-change skeptic, clearly they are publishing work which supports their religious beliefs. But their motivations don't matter. What matters is in their scientific publications.

In 1988, Gary Hart's presidential bid and political career were ruined when he was photographed cavorting on a yacht named "Monkey Business" with a woman that wasn't his wife. Now I didn't care how many bimbos he was boinking, but a lot of people *did*, which made it a political issue (albeit a stupid one in my opinion). Do we really want to use the coercive power of the state to dig through the private lives of controversial scientists?

It's a pretense that that would serve any scientific purpose. Maybe Mann is intent on overthrowing capitalism and creating a socialist utopia. That would be relevant if he were running for dogcatcher, but it's irrelevant to what's in his scientific papers. Scientists publish papers all the time with ulterior motives, not the least of which is that they're being paid to do research that makes corporate sponsors happy. As long as what's in the paper passes muster, it's still science.

Comment: Re:authenticity (Score 1) 55

by hey! (#46789973) Attached to: Lying Eyes: Cyborg Glasses Simulate Eye Expressions

What about acting? Or fiction? These are artificial experiences that evoke real emotional responses. Once the right buttons in your brain are pushed, most of your brain can't tell the difference between what is real and what is synthetic.

Granted, authenticity in human interactions is important, but it's overrated. Fake engagement often is a perfectly acceptable substitute. Situations where people put considerable effort into *seeming* pleasant usually *are* more pleasant than they would be if everyone felt free to paste their indifference to you right on their faces.

So this is a very interesting technology. What's disturbing about it isn't that people might be fooled into thinking the user is truly interested; it's that the user himself no longer puts any effort into creating that illusion. What if that effort is in itself something important? What if fake engagement is often the prelude to real engagement? Maybe you have to start with polite interest and work your way up to the real thing; I suspect the dumber parts of your brain can't tell the difference. If that's true, taking the user's brain out of the interaction means that interaction will automatically be trapped on a superficial level. This already happens in bureaucratic situations where employees are reduce to rules-following automatons. Take the brain out of the equation and indifference follows.

I suspect that the researchers are well aware of these issues; I believe that I discern a certain deadpan, ironic puckishness on their part. People who truly view engagement with other people as an unwelcome burden don't work on technologies that mediate between people.

Comment: Re:HP LaserJet 4M+ (Score 2) 671

by anagama (#46789593) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

I have a Laserjet 4L from 1994 or 95. Until about a year ago, I was still using it in my office to print checks -- it's one of the few printers it's easy to find MICR ink carts for. Anyway, it finally started making terrible screeching noises and so I replaced it because it would be a real pain to be without a check printer. Plus, the 4 page per minute print rate was getting sort of old -- but there is no question, that thing was built to last.

Comment: Re:Model M Keyboard FTW (Score 2, Funny) 671

by anagama (#46789513) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

November 6, 1989 is the date on the sticker on the back of mine.

I found it in a thrift shop while killing time walking around in a small downtown area waiting for an appointment. It was in a pile of used crappy bubble keyboards. I paid either $5 or $10 for it -- can't remember which. I should have asked if they had any artwork or old vases too.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.