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Comment: Not zero cost. (digression on my sig line) (Score 1) 29

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48465363) Attached to: NASA To Deploy Four Spacecraft To Study Magnetic Reconnection

Make a basic income available to everyone (funded by the Fed, not the taxpayer, at zero cost).

The point is that it's not zero cost. Every penny of money "funded by the Fed" comes from your and my pockets - sometimes with a big multiplier - by paths that are not as obvious, but just as costly, as a tax bill.

The biggest one is inflation: If the Fed just prints money, it dilutes the rest of the money. Your wages go down (though the numbers don't change.) Got retirement savings? They go down, too. Your investments go down - but the numbers make it look like they wen't up, and the government taxes the fake "gain". Everything you buy gets more expensive.

Comment: Fusion power applications? (Score 1) 29

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48462139) Attached to: NASA To Deploy Four Spacecraft To Study Magnetic Reconnection

It will be interesting to see whether this research on the phenomenon in the large scale produces insights useful at the smaller scale of fusion plasma confinement.

In case it's not clear, magnetic reconnection is a phenomenon of magnetic field/plasma interaction. (Without the plasma and its currents (or extreme accelerations like those around black holes) the magnetic field wouldn't be simultaneously twisted up and bent around so it can reconnect differently.

I see two ways this might apply to plasma confinement in fusion systems:
  * It may give insight into the details of plasma instabilities and lead to ways to suppress them - enough for a practical reactor.
  * It might lead to a way to use the phenomenon deliberately, to produce a (probably pulsed) past-breakeven plasma confinement, along the lines of Dense Plasma Focus.

Comment: More than half were minority owned, too. (Score 1) 1079

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48461993) Attached to: Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

The hit is taken by the store owners and their landlords. [Insurance usually has escape clauses for riots.]

Just heard on the news that more than half of the stores destroyed last night in Fergusun were minority owned, too. (I think it was actually "black owned" but I'm not sure.)

IMHO the main point of the burning is so that, once the stores have been looted, the evidence of who did it is largely destroyed. Video survelience tapes, fingerprints, serial number records, ...

Comment: Re:I just don't understand (Score 1) 1079

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48456227) Attached to: Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

To heck with the local charges - why the hell hasn't Holder's Justice Department filed federal civil rights charges against the officer?

They're working on it.

They generally hold off on those until the state's criminal justice aparatus has had a chance to product the verdict they want. They'll file once the state system has "failed". Like maybe this week or next.

Comment: No. The store owners take the hit. (Score 1) 1079

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48456185) Attached to: Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

Black Friday starts tonight. Insurance companies to take the hit.

No. The hit is taken by the store owners and their landlords. Insurance policies generally exclude damage during riots, along with other civil insurrections and wars.

The net result of rioting that involves looting and/or store trashing is stores that move out or go out of business. Lots of little family businesses are bankrupted, while the big box store chains look at all the red ink and don't reopen. (That's why the Koreans were on the roofs of their stores with guns during the Rodney King post-verdict activities in Los Angeles.)

Think there's a shortage of decent-paying (or paying at all) jobs in Ferguson? Just wait... (This is what happened to Oakland, California, which is mopping up the last holdouts tonight "in sympathy with Ferguson".)

Comment: Re:The "Protesters" (Score 1) 1079

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48456149) Attached to: Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

Lenovo's stupid touchpad destroys the posting, just as it's being posted, once again:

They're not interested in any kind of justice. They're only interested in revenge.

And loot.

Christmas is coming up, after all. Time to do a little shopping. You can afford a lot more stuff when you apply the five-finger discount.

Assuming you don't get captured or shot, of course. But so far the cops are just standing back and letting the looters go at it. The hundred forty plus shots reported (at last count) are all attributed to the "protestors". (No word on whether any are from those defending themselves their families, or their property from looters and vandals.)

Comment: Re:The "Protesters" (Score 1) 1079

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48456131) Attached to: Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

They're not interested in any kind of justice. They're only interested in revenge.

And loot.

Christmas is coming up, after all. Time to do a little shopping. You can afford a lot more stuff when you apply the five-finger discount.
attributed to the "protestors". (No word on whether any are from those defending themselves their families, or their property from looters and vandals.)

Comment: My take is tech makes radios sound like noise. (Score 5, Insightful) 299

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48453589) Attached to: Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

I also subscribe to the "great filter" theory. About 25 years after the radio was invented, we were busy gassing each other in trenches, followed closely by a global pandemic, then mass genocide, then teetering on the edge of nuclear war. That's not a very wide window for aliens to notice our presence, if they rely on artificial radio waves to detect intelligent life.

My take is that technological improvements make radio sound like noise after a few decades. Early radios systems are very simple things which have signals (CW, AM, FM, ...) that are very distinct from electrical and thermal noise. Their signals were both drastically different from, and drastically stronger than, the background, enabling simple detectors to separate a signal's information from all that chaff.

Modern radios (such as spread spectrum systems, especially OFDM) squeeze nearly the Shannon Limit out of precious bandwidth (and also be frugal with transmit power) by using nearly all of it to carry information. This makes them virtually indistinguishable from a celestial object with a little extra heat (buried among things like stars, which have a LOT of heat).

It was only about 120 years from when Hertz and Tesla started making easily detectable radio waves to the Analog Television Shutdown, a significant milepost in the decommissioning of easily detectable radio signatures. I expect that, within anther few decades, the Earth will be emitting very little that might be recognizable as a radio signature of intelligent life, unless we expend a bunch of energy sending such a signature deliberately.

So my solution to the mystery expressed in the Drake Equation is that L (the length of time for which such civilizations release detectable signals into space) is short, not due to the falls of civilizations, but to economic incentives to use the aether only in ways that are no longer noticeable at a distance.

Comment: Re:So close, so far (Score 1) 555

by DarkOx (#48428465) Attached to: "Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

There is a world of space between telling people what they want to hear and " telling people your view of the truth bluntly". If you are qualified to offer an opinion and one has actually been sought you should offer your actual opinion, that is how you add value. If it differs from that of others you do so diplomatically.

For instance, lets say someone says, "I think we could deliver that in six weeks" and you know they forgot about issue $X. You don't reply "Well you forgot about issue $X so I don't think that will work."

You allow them to save a little face, and you say something like: "Sounds a little tight, I think you have underestimated how long $X could take, because we know it can fragile and will need extra QA testing attention"

They can cop to having for got all about X or not, you haven't completely shot their idea down but if they are a decent thinking person they correct the course. You know "a little tight" means "way the fuck off" and they do to but others might not need to known and you have not rubbed it in the face in even if its just between the two of you.

Just being some yes man does not do anyone any good though and those people usually only rise as far as the bottom rungs of the decision makers because eventually folks realize they just agree with everyone all the time and don't really offer anything.

Comment: Re:So close, so far (Score 3, Insightful) 555

by DarkOx (#48427679) Attached to: "Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

Which is insane, but if it looks like special treatment it usually is. Denying our own senses takes us away from reality, it prevents us from recognize something that actually is unfair when we see it. We spend all our time solving imaginary problems rather than addressing real ones.

There is this huge push to get girls into STEM, encourage them to do science and math etc; because what apparently they can't be expected form their own ambitions and desires in the presence of all the societal messaging.

Yet on flip side we don't see a big push to encourage boys not to enlist in the armed forces. Nope despite all the glorification war in movies (almost always shown be fought by men) GI Joe, video games where you play soldier clearly marketed almost exclusive to men and boys, men are still expected to think for themselves. The idea of encouraging our girls to go into this high risk line of work is given lip-service at most.

Oh sure there has been lots of news about women in the military but you don't see the recruiters chasing the girls down the side walk outside the local high school.

Lets face it if it was really about getting rid of gender stereotypes we would stop calling attention to gender stereotypes. Rather than going oh look "SHE is a successful software developer" we would start saying oh look "Jane is a successful software developer" We should put the emphasis on Jane and not her sex. We would not "find female mathematician" to speak to the girls in the class about math, we would find the best mathematician willing to talk about their work to class of students regardless of their gender to do it.

Kids are not stupid, showing Barbie "can be a computer engineer too" or having a chapter in the computer science text about "women in the field' or something does not play as "see girls can do computers" it plays as "see you won't be the only freak out there, girls can do computers but its still kinda weird"

Finally we need to stop framing thinks as women's issues that are not. Early voting for example. Pelosi tried to push the idea the women for some reason are unique in the obstacles they face getting to the polls, because I don't men apparently don't have events in their daily lives that make it hard to abandon their usual routines on a particular Tuesday, nope that's girls. Then we see how she treats a female fellow democrat that might happen to vote in away she does not agree with, the instance she seeks the right to vote by proxy. Hint she is denied.

So either women don't need special consideration for voting or the do which is it? Oh that right the answer is obvious they don't or if they do the need it no more and no less than any male. Still Nancy was perfectly willing to portray her gender as needing special accommodate when it was politically useful but she knows perfectly well the need is imagined, and discards the idea when its not politically useful.

Comment: Re:So close, so far (Score 4, Interesting) 555

by DarkOx (#48426823) Attached to: "Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

Yea, honestly the lesson I would want a child to take away from this book is that life isn't fair. Barbie is a bimbo she hasn't got to neurons to rub together but she is pretty and charismatic, she will be able find other people like boys in this book to sponge off and carry her anywhere she wants to go.

This isn't a gender thing either. Pretty boys gave the same advantage although it might show up a little later in life. I have worked lots of places and seen one male manager who is near totally incompetent leading a vastly less successful and productive team than his counter part and their team get selected for promotion to some role like director or CIO/CTO over and over again. Why because that guy was taller and better looking and maybe if he possessed any skills at all its knowing how to tell others what they want to hear.

People need to understand that they may come up against the Barbies and Kens out there and depending on the situation it might not be a fair fight. They might need to recognize they are Barbie or Ken and learn to lever that too.

Comment: Oh, for a successor to Open Moko (Score 3, Interesting) 54

I'm still waiting for a truly open-source, unlocked, user-controllable phone. Like a successor to Open Moko. (Building a closed platform on a base of open software doesn't cut it.)

Is anything out there or in the works?

(It's particularly acute for me just now: My decade-old feature phone started to flake out last week.)

Comment: I installed ubuntu 14.04 on my BBBs (Score 1) 573

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48421087) Attached to: Debian Votes Against Mandating Non-systemd Compatibility

I don't see why your BeagleBone black example is systemd's fault. It has a convoluted way of managing network interfaces because it uses connman, a network-management daemon from Intel that is not part of systemd.

I installed ubuntu 14.04 on my BBBs. (Had to upgrade the kernel a little later because the 3.13.0 kernel wasn't ported to arm-on-bone in time to go out with the original 14.04 distribution and the 2.whatever they shipped didn't handle a class of USB device I needed, but it's fine now at 3.13.6-bone8.)

Changing to a specified, fixed, IP address was just a matter of editing /etc/network/interfaces, which was commented well enough (in combination with the man page on my ubuntu laptop) to make it easy.

(Main problem was that DeviceTree overlays weren't supported by 3.13.0-6, so I had to hack the boot-time base device tree to reconfigure for the onboard device functionality I wanted, rather than just overlaying the deltas during or just after the boot procerss.)

The University of California Statistics Department; where mean is normal, and deviation standard.

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