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Comment: People worry too much. (Score 1) 250

by hey! (#48446699) Attached to: Blame America For Everything You Hate About "Internet Culture"

It's OK if some people like different things than you.

French people liking to discuss politics online doesn't make them snobs. It just makes them people who like discussing politics online. And I know some very smart and politically involved Americans who are suckers for a cute dog video. Perhaps they'd be up for more poliltical discussion if every two years they were deluged with sly, dishonest, soul-suckingly stupid political advertisements. In France, with a population oif 63 million, presidential candidate spending is limited to 30 million dollars. My state has 1/10 the population of france, and the two leading candidates inthe last Senatorial election spent 85 billion -- and that's in an off year. So we Americans get exposed to a lot more unsolicited political communication than the French do.

But let's suppose that all things being equal, the French enjoy a good political argument online more than Americans do. So what?

I think resentment -- or even excessive concern -- over people who like different things than you is a sign of insecurity. When someone gets to the point where they insiste everyone join their side or be branded a fool or a snob, that's defeinitely someone who's seeking the safety of the herd.

Comment: Re:Bullshit Stats. (Score 1) 482

by hawk (#48442705) Attached to: As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines

There are lots of reasons, ranging from education requited, ease of rentry/exit, flexibility, working conditions, schedule, and many more.

But when you actually control for choices made by worker, experience, education and specialization, and so forth, something like 99% of the difference is explained.

But that makes for boring press releases . . .

hawk, economics professor

Comment: Wrong real question (Score 1) 482

by hawk (#48442697) Attached to: As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines

Speaking as an economic professor . . .

It's not hard to explain why Amazon or any other employer would pay women (or greens, or redheads, or . . ) less. Of course they want to pay less.

What we cannot explain is why on earth they would pay white males more than a purple woman with green hair . . .

doc hawk

Comment: Re: So low carb vindicated again (Score 1) 224

by bill_mcgonigle (#48441817) Attached to: Doubling Saturated Fat In Diet Does Not Increase It In Blood

hey, it reduces end-of-life welfare costs by killing off the population more quickly. The "food pyramid" is good policy if you're a sociopathic bankrupt program.

I got a full blood panel before and after doing a ketosis diet for four months. All my numbers were much better, but to be succinct my total relative risk metric for coronary heart disease (1.0 is average) fell from 0.8 to 0.3. I was using a half gallon of heavy cream and several cups of coconut oil every week. Some bacon and steaks too. Plenty of nuts and cheese.

Most people see similar results. None of these blood tests are new science. All of these studies could have been done in 1980. I wonder if they were.

Comment: Re:Unnatural aspect ratio (Score 1) 287

by hey! (#48441543) Attached to: Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

There's no such thing as a "natural" aspect ratio, because sitting with your eyes glued to a monitor isn't what we evolved to do.

Years of designing software have taught me one thing, which is that interfaces have to suit the task. When I'm writing or reading, I like a vertically oriented monitor. When I'm watching a movie, I like wide aspect ratio monitor. When I'm programming, I like a moderate aspect ratio landscape monitor, but very, very big. Bigger than I'd want to read a book on or watch a movie on.

So every monitor used for every kind of task is necessarily a compromise, but some monitors may be just the thing for a certain task. Maybe there's a task or mix of tasks where an 19" x 19" sqauare is a good compromise, or a single task where it's ideal. They seem to be pitching it at CAD users. I can see that. I've got my bridge drawings in a rectangular area on screen, but I still have another generous rectangular area for property sheets, tool palletes etc. When I'm working on my tower I arrange things into vertical rectangles.

Or this thing could be a nutty idea in search of a use. But there's probably one out there.

Comment: Re:Huge Change (Score 1) 41

by mbone (#48438713) Attached to: CERN Releases LHC Data

I was told, at a NSF meeting not many months ago, that CERN never makes its data openly available and never would and that US scientists should just plan on getting European collaborators if they want to work on it.

Now, if we just get ESA to start releasing the Rosetta data...

Most of the instruments (e.g. electronics) have a large US contribution. CERN operates the ring, but the instruments are "clients", which are international research teams. That was the vision of CERN after the second world war -- bring leading science to Europe, and make research in Europe attractive. Particle physics was chosen back then.

Yes, that is what I meant (and, even, what I said). To get the data you had to join one of the teams and collaborate with the other scientists in the team. Now, apparently, you don't.

Comment: Re:How about we beta test on Venus? (Score 1) 326

I ran some numbers on this, and concluded it would take a good while to cool Venus - you would have to get rid of the clouds somehow to make the cool-down reasonable, and that means an intervention beyond just the shade. There will be plenty of opportunity for note taking and even PhD theses during the process.

Comment: Re:How about we beta test on Venus? (Score 1) 326

You're forgetting one important thing: any shade large enough to provide sufficient cover for either planet will also effectively be a giant solar sail. Reaching a given location in space would be relatively cheap and easy compared to keeping it there in a useful orientation.

There are two proposed solutions to that

- have a swarm instead of a shade - i.e., lots of little shades, which makes the orbital dynamics (and probably the manufacture) of the system much easier to manage.
- put the shade not at the Lagrange point, but a little bit sunwards, where the solar gravity, planet gravity and the shade radiation pressure give an orbit period matching that of the planet. There, the shade can be pushed by the Sun's radiation pressure and still be in static equilibrium.

Comment: Re:How's this going to work (Score 4, Funny) 149

by bill_mcgonigle (#48438087) Attached to: Mozilla's 2013 Report: Revenue Up 1% To $314M; 90% From Google

With 90% of their revenue coming from Google yet they just signed a 5 year deal with Yahoo how is this going to work out?

I guess we'll see, but Yahoo is probably guaranteeing at least as much revenue as Google, for the opportunity to be the default search engine.

So that gives MoFo five years to have FirefoxOS take over the smartphone market.


I'm sorry, that was wrong.

Comment: Re:In an unrelated news item... (Score 2) 301

by bill_mcgonigle (#48438053) Attached to: The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Population count (507 mio. vs. 319 mio.) and GDP (18.4 trio. US$ vs. 16.8 trio. US$).

Given their superior regulatory environment, why does the EU only make less than 70% per-capita of what the US makes? Especially given that many US-headquartered companies are recognizing most of their revenue in Ireland.

Comment: Re:We've been doing it for a long time (Score 1) 326

The whole global warming scare made it abundantly obvious that the current state of science (plus politics) is incapable of intelligently managing the climate, or perhaps even managing it at all, much less intelligently.

But, hey, look what Harvard Economists have done with engineering the economy! Can't we have some ivory tower academics "fixing" the planet too?

But seriously, an upper-bound projected sea level rise of 4 inches is completely unprecedented, so we should seek to thwart the productive capacity of humanity, and whatever happens, don't put one tenth of that money into ensuring clean water for every human on Earth, eliminating malaria, or building fusion reactors. Where the regulatory victory in that?!

Comment: Re:How about we beta test on Venus? (Score 3, Interesting) 326

Well, an Earth sun-shade would need to block at most a few % of the sunshine falling on the Earh, while for Venus (if we want to cool the planet off this millennium) we will need to block all of the Sun's rays for a while, so the engineering is a bit more difficult. Add to this the detail that the Venus Lagrange point 1 is quite a bit further away than the Earth's, and energetically harder to reach, and I think a more reasonable conclusion is that the Earth would be training wheels for Venus, and not vice versa.

Your own mileage may vary.