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Comment: Re:Not surprising.-- Universal Service Fee (Score 1, Flamebait) 94

by mc6809e (#48917879) Attached to: FCC Fines Verizon For Failing To Investigate Rural Phone Problems

If this was a Libertarian Paradise, you probably would pay $500 dollars a month for landline service while someone in a densely populated urban area would pay $5 a month.

Why would that be so bad?

People that want rural living should pay for rural living and should not force urbanites to subsidize their quiet, peaceful life on the farm away from the noise of the city.

The US government has spent the past 50+ years using subsidies and regulations encourage people to get out of the cities.

What has it accomplished except to gut cities and spread asphalt everywhere?

Comment: Re:Discussion is outdated (Score 3, Interesting) 488

by mc6809e (#48899691) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

I have to agree, but it's too bad in some ways, IMO.

I used to get so much joy programming the metal or tinkering with the assembly that came out of the compiler.

Doing that is still possible, but it doesn't pay the bills.

The dream of abstraction is a bit of a nightmare for those that like to get into the guts of the machine.

GPU programming is another example, though Mantle allows the programmer to get a bit closer to the hardware.

Comment: Re:Some people say it's too pricy. (Score 1) 114

by mc6809e (#48881609) Attached to: NVIDIA Launches New Midrange Maxwell-Based GeForce GTX 960 Graphics Card

But I'd take this in a heartbeat over an AMD counterpart. The maxwell chips are leagues ahead of anything AMD's got.

WIth one exception: the R9 280x when used for DP floating point compute.

For about $250 you can get an R9 280x that in one second will do one trillion double precision floating point operations. That's about 10x faster than the Maxwell cards.

With such a card AMD should have had the scientist/engineer space for GPGPU locked up by now.

But, you know, they're AMD, so...

Comment: Re:Awesome, I shall buy one in a year (Score 4, Informative) 114

by mc6809e (#48880859) Attached to: NVIDIA Launches New Midrange Maxwell-Based GeForce GTX 960 Graphics Card

Personally I love the GTX 750. It gives the biggest bang-for-the-buck and running at about 55 watts max or so it usually doesn't require a larger power supply. It can run completely off motherboard power going to a 16-lane 75 watt PCIe slot.

It's the perfect card for rescuing old systems from obsolescence, IMO.

The only trouble you might have is finding a single-slot-wide card if your system doesn't have room for a double slot card, though in my case I found a double-slot card that I could modify to fit in a single-slot of an old Core 2 Duo E8500 system.

And heat doesn't seem to be a problem at all, even with the mod I did. The low power of the card means less heat. Even if heat becomes a problem, the card is capable of slowly clocking itself down, though I've never seen that yet, even running Furmark.

Comment: Re:Yep it is a scam (Score 1) 666

by mc6809e (#48872909) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Sub freezing temperatures aren't necessary.

In the UK, for example, for every one degree drop in temperature below 18C, deaths in the UK go up 1.5%. The risk of heart attack and stroke seem to increase with dropping temperatures.

And in the USA, the mortality rate is highest in January.

Vietnam shows a similar pattern.

+ - Holder's end to federal property seizure greatly exaggerated

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "A few days ago there was a /. story titled Eric Holder Severely Limits Civil Forfeiture. A close look at Eric Holder’s announcement on Friday that he was ending the use of federal law to seize private property turns out to be greatly exaggerated.

Holder’s order applies only to “adoption,” which happens when a state or local agency seizes property on its own and then asks the Justice Department to pursue forfeiture under federal law. “Over the last six years,” the DOJ says in the press release announcing Holder’s new policy, “adoptions accounted for roughly three percent of the value of forfeitures in the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program.” By comparison, the program’s reports to Congress indicate that “equitable sharing” payments to state and local agencies accounted for about 22 percent of total deposits during those six years. That means adoptions, which the DOJ says represented about 3 percent of deposits, accounted for less than 14 percent of equitable sharing. In other words, something like 86 percent of the loot that state and local law enforcement agencies receive through federal forfeitures will be unaffected by Holder’s new policy.

The story also notes how the press, especially the Washington Post which led with this story, teamed up with Holder to overstate the impact Holder’s order would have."

+ - Interior of burnt Herculaneum scroll read for first time 1

Submitted by Solandri
Solandri (704621) writes "When Mt. Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79, it destroyed a library of classical works in Herculaneum. The papyrus scrolls weren't incinerated, but were instead carbonized by the hot gases. The resulting black carbon cylinders have mostly withstood attempts to read their contents since their discovery. Earlier attempts to unfurl the scrolls yielded some readable material, but were judged too destructive. Researchers decided to wait for newer technology to be invented that could read the scrolls without unrolling them.

Now, a team led by Dr Vito Mocella from the National Research Council's Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems (CNR-IMM) in Naples, Italy has managed to read individual letters inside one of the scrolls. Using a form of x-ray phase contrast tomography, they were able to ascertain the height difference (about 0.1mm) between the ink of the letters and the papyrus fibers which they sat upon. Due to the fibrous nature of the papyrus and the carbon-based ink, regular spectral and chemical analysis had thus far been unable to distinguish the ink from the paper. Further complicating the work, the scrolls are not in neat cylinders, but squashed and ruffled as the hot gases vaporized water in the papyrus and distorted the paper.

Full paper in Nature Communications (paywalled)."

Comment: Re:Yes. (Score 5, Insightful) 227

by mc6809e (#48806347) Attached to: Lawrence Krauss On Scientists As Celebrities: Good For Science?

The problem is that too many people think "science" is whatever a person credentialed by some authority professes.

That's wrong.

"Science" is more properly a way of thinking. A "scientist" should be anyone willing to put the evidence offered by reality above intuitions, guesses, dogma, culture, and any other authority while also being open-minded to all possible explanations consistent with reality. It's a skepticism, even skepticism of one's own theories -- "a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty" as Feynman put it.

Sometimes even credentialed scientists forget that.

Comment: Re:Quarterly forecast (Score 1) 153

by mc6809e (#48777765) Attached to: Fewer Grants For Young Researchers Causing Brain Drain In Academia

When the distant future is only next quarter, this kind of thing happens.

I don't think this is a business issue. This is really more about one especially self centered generation looking out for itself and controlling most of the funding mechanisms.

If it were a race or ethnicity or religion it would be an obvious example of favoritism.

But they're the baby boomers so they get a pass, mostly because the people in a position to call out such BS are themselves baby boomers.

Comment: Re: Perfect? Really? (Score 3, Insightful) 340

by mc6809e (#48771651) Attached to: Researchers "Solve" Texas Hold'Em, Create Perfect Robotic Player

Most importantly, no one is even close to solving no limit -- where you are allowed to vary your bet size. That changes everything.

To the average joe poker player, I'd say what's most important here is that the perfect solution is only for a two player game.

Things become much more complicated when players>2.

Comment: Re:Free? (Score 4, Insightful) 703

by mc6809e (#48771619) Attached to: Obama Proposes 2 Years of Free Community College

That is a lie. Why would you pick classes that wouldn't transfer?

When I taught at Tri-County Tech, nearly all of my student's credits would transfer to real schools. Our classes were stupid easy and you got credit for some very hard college classes. It was a great scam for the students.

The real scam is that all this free and easy money doesn't go to education. It goes to educators -- educators all too willing to just take all that extra money to provide classes that are "stupid easy".

The students are just mules that move the money from tax payers to professional educators.

Comment: Re:Propaganda (Score 1) 560

by mc6809e (#48720155) Attached to: 2014: Hottest Year On Record

I think it's a little too early to completely rule out a connection.

The greatest variation in solar output over the course of a cycle is in the blue to ultraviolet part of the spectrum and that happens to correspond to frequencies of light that are the most penetrating to sea water.

It's possible then that the extra energy during previous vigorous sunspot cycles accumulates in the ocean over the course of many cycles and is slowly released later.

A weak cycle now might at the moment be partially masked by the release of decades of accumulated energy.

Comment: Re:Fine (Score 1) 293

by mc6809e (#48661625) Attached to: Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

The spectrum is not that limited. I live in an apartment building and can see over 30 different wireless networks. I have absolutely no issues with my own wireless.

You can't compare the two situations.

What you're seeing are beacon frames. Even if 99% of them are trashed by noise, your wireless networking hardware will remember the 1% that get through and log the AP's information.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner

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