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Comment: Re:2% by 2012? (Score 1) 240

by mcbevin (#29735123) Attached to: New Jersey Outshines Most Others In Solar Energy

Finally, there is no country in the world that gets more than 10% of its electricity from wind farms.

What, except for Denmark which is over 20%? And Spain which is slightly over 10%, with a few other European countries such as Germany expected to pass 10% in the next few years.

I don't have anything against nuclear power, but obviously wind has its very important place in a sustainable future making up 20%-30% (up to eventually potentially around 50% as the grid becomes able to support it) of all power generation, while leaving the rest for nuclear, solar, etc. Wind has competitive cost comparable to nuclear however you spin it, and obviously less risks.

I could agree that nuclear still has a place in the near to medium term future if you consider the risks of nuclear to be in any case preferable to burning coal (as I do), but I don't follow why your support of nuclear has to translate into criticising (somewhat inaccurately) the very valuable place of wind power in our future.

Comment: as a small iphone games developer ..... (Score 2, Interesting) 440

by mcbevin (#29398183) Attached to: Indie Game Dev On the Positive Side To DRM

This DRM/security etc stuff that Apple has for the iphone has only been a royal pain in inconviencing me during my development of the games ..... however as soon as any of my games have been released, pirated copies have instantly appeared on the internet/bittorrent. The existence of these hacked copies is not really something that has bothered me at all, but in any case, the point is, that all this DRM only tends to inconvenience the honest user/developer, while not stopping the 'thieves' anyway.

The same logic of DRM only inconvencing honest users without stopping piracy has also applied in my experience with CDs (the last CD I bought in a shop had copy-protection mechanisms preventing me from ripping it, so I had to download it illegally just to put it on my computer+mp3-player, which made me realise there was no point left in legally buying the things), DVD-region-based-restrictions (I live abroad, and I stopped renting DVDs in germany and switched to downloading movies, as I got so sick of the DVDs available in germany mostly not having the original-english audio at all due to licensing crap) etc

Comment: Re:That's curious (Score 1) 141

by mcbevin (#29082021) Attached to: 14-Year-Old Wins International Programming Contest

What's also worth mentioning however, is that the quality of education in some of these post-communist countries has now plummeted - I was in the Ukraine a year or so ago and the stories of the quality of 'university' education there are shocking (in one computer science paper the entire 'assessment' for the paper was to translate parts of a computer science textbook from english to ukrainian so the professor could publish it under his name and get recognition for that .... which meant that the students became experts in running translation software - often translating english -> russian, and then russian -> ukrainian, using translation software, as direct translation software didn't exist, with surely extremely entertaining results).

What's most telling about the drop in quality is that many other countries will now recognize university degrees from the Ukraine only if they were obtained _before_ the fall of communism there.

But yeah, so I'm not sure how much the quality of the education systems in these countries relates to their performance in such competitions - I attended the world programming contest (a different but similar event) twice and remember the Russian programmers were really a league apart from us, however I did hear tales that their teams had really been training full-on for it for a long time, whereas I guess for us the we were primarily focused on our degrees or other things, and the contest was more a side-interest, and thus it reminded me more of soviet athletes pumped with steroids, that is, I wouldn't neccessarily expect those Russians to have received better overall educations than us, but possibly the Russian universities/government saw the competition as a way for them to gain prestige (whereas US universities which had once dominated the competition didn't tend to do so well but didn't really care so much for it either).

What is now proved was once only imagin'd. -- William Blake

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