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Comment: Re:Risk (Score 2) 160

by myrdos2 (#49330607) Attached to: Energy Company Trials Computer Servers To Heat Homes

But putting a giant toaster in your basement to then circulate the heat around? I'm pretty much certain the laws of thermodynamics would say that's a terrible way of doing it.

No less efficient than any other central heating system.

For central heating, the existing solutions would work far better than inefficient electrical appliances generating hear.

There is no such thing as an inefficient electrical heater, unless you're venting the heat outside or something. Because all the waste energy is given off as.. more heat. Plus the heat given off by these appliances is free, since the server company is paying for it.

Free heat
It's hard to beat
Even with forced air
It works a treat

Comment: Re:seems about the same (Score 1) 320

A disturbing trend I've seen is the tendency for a conference or publication to ask the author's recommendation for suitable people to peer review the paper! This largely defeats the purpose of the review, since the author can cherry pick reviewers he knows will vote to accept. Say, a colleague or associate. I don't think the "cherry picking" isn't even conscious most of the time. I mean, who else would you recommend? Someone you don't know?

The justification given by the publisher is that they need someone with the right expertise to correctly review the paper, since it may deal with extremely specialized knowledge. But I've found that asking authors for "peers" seems to be the default for many journals, rather than the exception. So you end up with these low-quality journals that boast a full peer review process, but seem to be full of papers of dubious quality.

But in the publish-or-perish world, any publication is better than no publication, so these journals persist, soaking up rejected papers or low-quality work.

Comment: Re:Coming: Revenge of the junk fees (Score 1) 631

by myrdos2 (#49142475) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

There's an optimal pricing for most services. Take cable TV - lower the price and a few more people will buy in. But, not enough to make up for the lost revenue from lower prices. Raise the prices and you'll get more money, but not enough to make up for the people leaving your service. Your pricing can deviate around that "sweet spot", but not by a huge amount.

That's why companies instead try to make their services shittier, by inserting ads and reducing quality and so forth. People are more willing to put up with that. But if you legislate that they can no longer provide shitty service, it doesn't necessarily mean the prices will increase accordingly. Even if ISPs start lowering their data caps, people will likely perceive that as "paying more for less".

I can't help but see this as anything but a win for the consumer.

Comment: Re:It'll never happen (Score 2) 333

by myrdos2 (#48933407) Attached to: The discovery of intelligent alien life would be met predominantly with...

would of easily had enough time in the billions of years that have passed to colonize every single planet a thousand times over in the entire galaxy

I take the more pessimistic view: it means that interstellar travel is so difficult that no species has ever managed it.

Comment: Re:Killer AI will kill journalists for slandering (Score 1) 227

by myrdos2 (#48830975) Attached to: An Open Letter To Everyone Tricked Into Fearing AI

We cannot build a computer that can model a bug's brain activity

True, but we can create machines that can more or less do what insects can do. Look at self-driving cars: they can make simple maps of their environments, recognize multiple pre-programmed objects (signs, other cars, pedestrians), and navigate around easy obstacles. If we were able to control a beetle with a couple hundred kilograms of computer hardware and sensors, we could probably come up with something roughly similar to what the beetle already does.

Comment: Re:smarter than many people I know (Score 3, Insightful) 111

by myrdos2 (#48821303) Attached to: Carnivorous Pitcher Plant "Out-Thinks" Insects

Delayed gratification is not about increasing the amount of work you do, it's about being able to plan ahead. I saved up my dollars from a summer job working on my Dad's farm, and bought a computer for $1400 at the end of it. My brother spent his money as soon as he got it, but when I got a computer he wanted one too. So he got some kind of 'lease to own' deal, which he was still paying back years later, long after that thing was an obsolete piece of shit. Ended up costing him almost three grand.

Who ended up working more? This is not a trick question.

The only thing delaying gratification achieves is that you get less years and less opportunity to be happy.

The opposite is true. The ability to save money, to be financially responsible, and to study for an education all reduce the amount of work you need to do over your lifetime. And it will tend to be more enjoyable, satisfying work.

Comment: Re:Nethack needs an upgrade (Score 1) 186

by myrdos2 (#48565179) Attached to: NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

It all depends on how long you've been playing. (And how long you've been reading spoilers) For those who play for conducts, the most common conducts are:

Never changed shape.

Never polymorphed an item.

Never wished for an artifact item.

Never wished for a regular item.

Genocideless.

So you see lots of five-conduct ascensions, since these five are relatively easy to achieve. Easier than say, weaponless. Or pacifist.

(Seriously-- Gehenna without any genocide scrolls? LOL! As IF!)

Heh. I'm guessing this is about arch-liches. They're dangerous, but manageable if you have magic resistance. You just stand on the upstairs and beat them to ...death. You can get magic resistance without wishing by: 1) sacrificing and trying to get Magicbane. 2) Playing a role whose quest item provides magic resistance. 3) Killing a gray dragon and making a suit of armor out of its scales. You can repeatedly loot the throne in the Castle while confused to attempt to summon a dragon, but their scales drop rate is lower than normal.

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil

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