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Comment: Re:In other words ... (Score 1) 265

by nickserv (#45982097) Attached to: Engineers: Traffic Studies Use Simulation Software, Not Lane Closings

they have not been able to even shake the media from it, and the general media usually is quite friendly to the current administration, and has been since the beginning.

This because government has structured their relationship with media to be "access oriented." So, if you cover the White House or another branch of government, and you don't print the talking points that government wants you to, then you will see your access to officials and press briefings reduced, you will be marginalized and even pushed out. The relationship between government and the media is far too cozy.

Comment: Re: There must be a very good reason... (Score 1) 579

by nickserv (#45809087) Attached to: Utilities Fight Back Against Solar Energy

Over the past 5 years the move to solar has had a massive and expensive impact on generators with many large plants needing to dramatically upgrade and improve their turbine control systems, and in some cases augment their production capability with smaller gas turbines which can react quickly to changes in load. This is not due to peak demand vs base load, but due to Solar and Wind suddenly making the entire grid unpredictable.

*There was a good report released a while ago by Energex which covered the effect of Solar PV on its grid and the problems experienced by generators. Worth a read if you feel like a google.

Sounds like some solid free market job creation there.

Comment: Re:Overly optimistic (Score 3, Funny) 90

by nickserv (#45755993) Attached to: Smooth, 6.5 Hour Spacewalk To Fix ISS Ammonia Pump

I'm wondering if one of those problems was ending up with extra bolts at the end that don't match up to any of the empty spots....

I used to do this as a kid with old typewriters dad would bring home for me to take apart and put back together. There would usually be parts left over at the end but because everything still worked dad said I had made the machines "more efficient."

And yea, the lack of interest in space even amongst the geek community is appalling.

Comment: Re:Sorry, but not here (Score 4, Insightful) 337

by nickserv (#45440837) Attached to: Prison Is For Dangerous Criminals, Not Hacktivists

The USA's engine is money. Call it capitalism. Somewhere the idea was coined; "Anything for money.". Because they don't understand what capitalism is really about or why it would work. So, there are a great many schemes in the country revolving around income. Crime is a booming industry, ask any commercial prison. You can find them everywhere.

Not just money but control. There's no way to rule innocent people. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, they must be made. This is done by making so many things a crime it becomes impossible for people to live without breaking laws.

Comment: But But... (Score 3, Interesting) 93

by nickserv (#45256793) Attached to: Celebrating a Century of Fossil Finds In the La Brea Tar Pits

I thought the world was only 6,000 years old?

Richard Dawkins on Real Time this weekend said, "People who believe the earth was created 6,000 years ago, when it's actually 4.5 billion years old, should also believe the width of N America is 8 yards. That is the scale of the error."

Comment: Re:Hangings (Score 1) 1160

This really doesn't seem like an insurmountable problem. i.e. don't have a firing squad, mount the guns on tripods and do a test firing to ensure their aim.

Indeed, it wasn't much of a problem for Walter White to take out a whole gang with one machine gun mounted on a turret. :D

OK, silliness aside, a couple turret mounted guns that are laser aimed at a restrained convict would remove humans nearly completely from the equation. The only one with any guilt to bear would be the one who pushes the button to start the timer and you could have it where only 1 of the 3 buttons gegins the timer to fire the guns.

That aside, I am personally against capital punishment and it's yet another example of a barbaric practice that pretty much the entire rest of the developed, sensible world has moved past.

Capital punishment has, in the past, been practised by most societies.[2] Currently 58 nations actively practise it, 97 countries have abolished it de jure for all crimes, 8 have abolished it for ordinary crimes only (maintain it for special circumstances such as war crimes), and 35 have abolished it de facto (have not used it for at least ten years and/or are under moratorium) .[3] Amnesty International considers most countries abolitionist, overall, the organisation considers 140 countries to be abolitionist in law or practice.[3]

As usual, check out the group of fine countries the US is a member of in this practice... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment

Comment: Re:firing squads have one blank. (Score 1) 1160

Killing someone is cheaper than letting them rot for life in prison, feeding them, housing them, guarding them and perhaps even risking parole at some later date.

Considering the lengthy and mandatory appeals process that death row inmates typically go through and, given that it takes about 10-15 years to complete the process, while all this time the person is locked up on death row which are likely the most expensive cells in prison, I question whether there really is much cost benefit at all.

Comment: Re:News for nerds (Score 5, Insightful) 218

by nickserv (#45232805) Attached to: 87-Year-Old World War II Veteran Takes On the TSA

This is a non-story.

TFA says nothing like the guy ever challenged the TSA. It was his daughter he challenged pointing out the sign that people over 75 don't have to take off their shoes. He's just not taking his wallet out for anyone and therefore getting the full search but he doesn't resist or try to engage the TSA. The author / daughter even says he very likely can't hear a word the TSOs say to him. So, exactly how does that qualify as him taking on the TSA?

Newsflash /. editors, yes we have no love for the TSA but, we're not stupid and don't appreciate totally misleading story titles!

Comment: Re:Oh, I totally agree... (Score 2, Interesting) 791

by nickserv (#45120127) Attached to: Nokia Design Guru Urges Apple To End Cable Chaos

It doesn't appear owners are very happy with them... http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD818ZM/A/lightning-to-usb-cable?fnode=3a
Also, Apple discussion forums are pretty scathing but happy people don't post there.

You'll find similar ratings on a majority of their other adaptors and cables, stuff made for a pittance and sold for $25+. Check out the fail that is Mini-Display Port (-> VGA or HDMI) for example.

On the upside, they do try new things and bring ideas to market. I've thanked Apple numerous times for the Mag-Safe power connector which they definitely popularized. (Whoever said the iMac popularized USB is wrong.)
Also, I thought I blew a MacBook Pro a year or 2 back when I plugged in a Chinese knock-off adaptor. The PSU brick popped right away and the notebook instantly powered down. It turned out to be OK but that's an experiment you don't retry so after that I always buy the less crappy, safe and warrantied chargers from Apple. A chip in the cable may have come in handy there, otherwise it does seem like a money grab.

Comment: Re:Asia is out of control (Score 1) 110

by nickserv (#44959417) Attached to: Existing Drugs Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Bugs

Indeed, they should!

I should have mentioned in the OP that education on issues like this is severely lacking here. So, from the patient's POV, I think there's an expectation of antibiotics for 2 reasons. Today people are used to getting them for everything and there was a time when they were thought of as a cure all / wonder drug of sorts and that thinking persists. I know far more about the challenges doctors face around this issue than I do about patients' expectations. However, I'm confident a controlled study would show that the vast majority think antibiotics are good for *much* more than they are. I think it would cut across all social and wealth classes too because the education systems here are very poor at delivering even the basics let alone proper health and biology.

I doubt results of the same study in a 'developed' country could be called 'acceptable' either but, I would expect it to show more awareness and an awareness curve that closely tracks income / education.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

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