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Comment Re:DC is more dangerous (Score 1) 360

this experiment is fine if you're doing little LED lights and laptops, but if you're running something like air conditioning or a washing machine you're building a fire hazard and a mortality risk

AC and DC are both dangerous. We chose AC because it was cheaper at the time. These days you can do low-current MPPT for a song, so you can convert between DC voltages relatively efficiently. But just generating AC from DC was expensive at the time when we had to choose between them.

for our modern world where some people only care about their laptop and smartphone, it does indeed seem silly and wasteful to convert to AC then back to DC, especially if you've ever tried charging electronics in a car.

Well, they do make converters specifically for that purpose, and they are not so inefficient as using the cheapest possible inverter which fits in your soda can hole coupled with your laptop's normal power supply. Also, cars really ought to go 48V already, what year is it anyway?

You can kill an elephant with AC! AN ELEPHANT!!!!!!!!

Comment Re:I don't get it,... five a day? (Score 1) 379

I can only think of specific applications when this might be worthwhile, like where one has to remain mobile for some time and carry one's supplies in an area with very little water available, but that's a pretty unusual set of circumstances. You almost have to be a refugee or a forward-deployed soldier to involuntarily enter those conditions, and only militaries would have the supply capability to afford to intermittently replenish stock at that price.

If this gunk also hydrates you, maybe. Otherwise carrying liquid food around is a fair bit of bulk. MREs can be eaten dry and would weigh a fraction of what this stuff would weigh.

Comment Re: They aren't revolutionizing shit. (Score 1) 379

And they also frequently struggle with malnutrition. Because a vegan diet that is actually complete is unquestionably harder and more expensive than a non-vegan one. It is something you can only really reliably do in a first world country, where it is therefore an infuriatingly hypocritical exercise of privilege.

Try being vegan in Mongolia. Almost all of those fruit and vegetables have to be shipped from China. Not only are they heavily loaded with pesticides and herbicides they also cost quite a lot of energy to ship. And in winter... good luck with that.

First world people typically have zero idea of whats really involved in feeding most of the world.

Comment Re: They aren't revolutionizing shit. (Score 1) 379

I'm not vegan, but you don't have to be eating smoothies to be vegan. In fact, for a long time I made curries for my lunch which were vegan; they were very cheap to make in a big batch once a week. Some brown rice, various beans & lentils, onions etc, and spices. Tasty, nutritious, and cheap.
A lot of the poorest people in the world are de facto vegan, because it's the cheapest (because most efficient) way to eat.

What you are describing isn't 'curry' its dhal.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 2) 116

I would not expect computers and/or computer science to improve the performance of students in SAT Mathematics, AP Calculus, and AP Statistics.

We use computers so we dont have to remember all that crap. The computer does the math.

I would expect it to improve reading, reading comprehension, written language skills, and logical thinking. That is what the student is learning!

Computing teaches any problem domain that you are asked to code solutions for.

The problem with initiatives like code.org is that they generally try to engage kids by making things move on the screen. Most of that means doing very basic arithmetic in an esoteric firmat surrounded by Byzantine library calls.

If you want kids to do better in statistics, you shouldn't start with the paradigm of interactive entertainment, but with the far less abstract view of a computer as something that computes stuff. Kids might not like their schoolwork, but it's certainly relevant to them. Part of the problem teaching complex maths is that the mechanics of carrying out the underlying computations diverts attention from the "big picture" view. Procedural computing was designed specifically to address the problem of "can't see the wood for the trees" by separating the general algorithm from the specifics of implementation.

I think they are conflating programming and computer science. I think theres a lot of this confusion surrounding the discussion of this article, and indeed in teaching computer science at this level.

Computer science is only tangentially related to programming.

Most of computer science involves things like logic and discrete maths; state machines, turing machines, computation theory, set theory, algebra of functions, big-O notation and efficiency of algorithms. I majored in computer science and did very little actual programming. In fact I hated programming, still do. I can't comprehend people who program 'for fun'. But I did enjoy delving into the math that lurks beneath computing, discovering the limitations of algorithms (and hence of any methodical approach to a problem ie there are some problems that no computational process can solve, not because they are NP hard, its worse than that). Computer science introduced me to things like Chaitins algorithmic information theory and the first known uncomputable number (the halting probability), Goedels incompleteness theorem etc.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 451

The US rail network is not properly maintained. Many parts of the track have a top speed of 35 mph. Making the system run at 120 mph would significantly reduce time to market, and therefore reduce total cost. It would also make a great path for refugees, as the Chunnel has shown.

Refugees? You mean people escaping the USA, right?

Comment Re:Driving? From London? (Score 1) 451

One can't drive from London to (continental) Europe that I know off. Ferry or train. through the chunnel, can bring a car over, but by that definition one can already "drive" from London to NYC.

"In 2004 Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin Group, used a Gibbs Aquada to set a new record for crossing the English Channel in an amphibious vehicle. "


Yes, you can!

Comment Re:Not going to happen (Score 0) 451

The vast majority of places we are... we are there with the consent of those governments.

But not necessarily with the consent of the people of those countries or locations. Like Okinawa for example. They kinda get sick of their kids being raped by your Marines. But their governments don't mind so go ahead, help yourselves to the Japanese schoolgirls.

Comment Re:International relations - Don't work that way. (Score 1) 451

Whatever point you were trying to make there, especially that Russians need to stop being assholes, doesn't work when everything you've based it on involves the US being even bigger assholes.

Actually, that's not true. International relations works by allowing everyone to be assholes while pretending that they're awesome.

This is because everyone in political power, in every country in the world, but ESPECIALLY the USA and Russia, are narcissistic personalities. Something that Karmashock was referring to when he said:


Look Russia... If you want to do business with the US, you need to make people like me happy. I know... you don't like that... but that's reality.

to make people like him (or Putin or Obama or any other person who could POSSIBLY become president of either country) happy you have to give them lots of ego-puffing, always give them what they want immediately and never ever criticize them.

"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer