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Comment: Re:Informed by whom? (Score 2) 480

by nukenerd (#48939425) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

You sez:

I would also like us to use more nuclear power. My views on nuclear power are less informed than my knowledge of GMO is. However, my views on nuclear power are still FAR more informed than the average person

1. How do you know your view is "FAR more informed than the average person"?

2. You said you were "FAR more informed", so ...

2a. Who was the one informed you? 2b. And how do you know what you have been informed is correct?

I don't know about the education system where the GP lived, but generally those becoming well educated and capable in a specialist subject tend to be better educated and more capable than average in other fields. I am a nuclear engineer but did not even specialise in it until my third job. So I would claim similarly to the GP that (1) I am much more informed on subjects outside nuclear engineering, both in science and the humanities, than the average person. That is simply because I had a liberal education to a significantly further level than the average person. Even to be accepted on my course to study engineering I had also to have studied (and passed the exams in) sciences other than maths and physics, foreign languages (plural), English to the same level as someone entering a university course in it, and certain other humanities subjects. (2a & b) At that time I was taught these other subjects at a good school, and that knowledge had been confirmed by what I have seen and heard ever since.

Also a factor is the inherent tendency of scientists (in the broadest sense to include engineers) to find out about and question things, leading to more and more knowledge being acquired through life, knowledge which tends to be missed by the average person who is more likely to spend as much free time as possible being entertained.

Comment: Re:I have an even better idea (Score 1) 304

by nukenerd (#48895169) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes
You were a safe driver for 11 years but not as safe as one like yourself but who does not listen to the radio. Going by the data you have provided us you have a 1 in 11 chance of an accident per year, ongoing too if you keep listening.

Personally, I have always removed my car radios. Not particularly to avoid distraction, but because the space makes a handy cubbyhole, gives thieves less reason to break in, and because I don't like announcers having verbal diarrhea in my car.

Comment: Re:I have an even better idea (Score 3, Informative) 304

by nukenerd (#48895009) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

Driving isn't a right, it's a privilege.

No, it's not. Like the parent said, it's a necessity. Banning people from doing whatever they must to survive is neither effective nor reasonable.

So no-one can ever be stopped from driving where you live? In the UK there are quite a few classes of people not allowed to drive. Children, people banned for the more serious traffic offences, the blind and poor sighted, and older people who fail the driving re-test they must take periodically. How they get around is their own problem. One solution is not to live somewhere they can only reach by driving a car. I live in a remote area and I accept that one day, when I get old, I might have to move into a city.

Comment: Re:Hold your horses (Score 1) 211

by nukenerd (#48892253) Attached to: At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far
Dan East wrote :-

FTA, it takes around 1 nanoampere to ring the bell once. It rings around around 2 Hz. Thus it takes 2 nanoampere a second, which works out to 7200 nanoampere-hours.

What idiots modded this as "Informative"?

He seems to think that a nanoampere is a unit of energy. Then suddenly he converts " 2 nanoampere a second" to "nanoampere-hours" which in terms of dimensional analysis means he has somehow acquired a T (ie time) squared component from somewhere !

Comment: Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (Score 1) 820

by nukenerd (#48878667) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

If driving efficiency is your goal, step #1 is ditching the manual shifter. You don't have the remotest hope of beating the computer at that game anymore.

Wrong. Even setting aside the fact that an auto transmission has less mechanical efficiency. The computer cannot see the road ahead, it generally bases its decisions on the present moment, which can be wrong. My car is auto and it often makes wrong decisions about what gear to be in (I often override it).

In recognition of this, some up-market cars have started using GPS positioning so that the transmission can anticipate hills and bends etc, but even that cannot anticipate a traffic situation ahead.

Comment: Re:Quiet cars and proportion of accidents (Score 1) 820

by nukenerd (#48878499) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

If it really were a problem we should expect to see cars that are quieter than average involved in proportionally more collisions that cars that are more noisy. [But] I've not seen one speck of evidence that quiet cars get in more accidents due to their sound levels.

Might have something to do with the type of person who drives these cars. A kid who removes the baffles in his silencer (US "muffler"?) is probably the type who is more likely to have accidents than the type of driver attracted to a smooth, quiet car. An effect that might well outweigh the "safety" of a louder approach noise.

Comment: Re:Makes you wonder (Score 1) 106

by nukenerd (#48868557) Attached to: Gender and Tenure Diversity In GitHub Teams Relate To Higher Productivity
Not to mention the massive advances of the Industrial Revolution, continuing through the technical advances of the 19th and the first two-thirds of the 20th. Since then things have become pretty lame in the West, which now largely spends its time and money navel gazing, and wondering whether it is being politically correct enough. Which is why China and India are now getting ahead of the West, having no such distractions.

These things are to do with fashion. Currently, "diversity" is in fashion in the West, and whatever is in fashion is likely to attract brighter, younger people. If homogeneity were in fashion, that would attract brighter people. As a historical example, early medieval monasteries, about as homogeneous as communities could get (at the time) attracted the brightest young men. That is because they were in fashion at the time; and even if you did not want actually want to join one, you sponsored one if you were rich enough. The monks wanted to get away from the bustling, hedonistic, "vibrant", "diverse" society outside, which they saw as a world that would not last much longer, and was descending to Hell. Of couse, by the late middle ages many of the monks had become "diverse" and "vibrant" themselves, meaning that they had turned some monasteries into bawdy houses and drinking dens. One reason why Henry VIII could dissolve them.

The fashion for diversity might soon be over however, now that people are beginning to see how it works in practice, especially recently.

Comment: Re:I hope not (Score 1) 489

by nukenerd (#48853071) Attached to: Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

On the contrary, I think the BEST thing that happened to computers was to have a monstrously dominant OS to build upon.

It would have been the best thing to happen if it had been a decent OS. DOS wasn't it, nor was Windows before NT/XP. It was meant to be Unix. Even Microsoft meant it to be Unix- that is why they wrote Xenix. DOS, the "Quick and Dirty Operating System they bought in to fulfil their IBM contract because they had nothing else ready, was meant as a stop gap. But when MS did finish writing Xenix for the PC they only pitched it at the corporate and academic market and left the peasants up to their necks in the crap that was DOS.

Having a common platform to build upon was what allowed the golden age of the PC to explode.

I would not describe the dog's breakfasts that were DOS and Win 3.x and Win9x/ME as a "Golden Age". I would say there was a first Golden Age with the non PC, non Microsoft micros in the 80's when there was a DOS equivalent in CP/M, used on higher end micros. Then there was a second Golden Age that corresponded with the life of XP.

And the PC age did not exactly explode. As late as 1990 for example the Amiga 3000 was introduced, running Unix and superior to its contemporary PCs. It took about ten years for PCs to oust other micros, and for some time PCs were used mainly in clerical and admin roles. For home, non-PC micros prevailed for a long time, and techies ot work (when we could still make our own buying decisions) tended to use Unix systems for heavy lifting or things like Amigas for smaller odd jobs. At least where I worked.

Comment: Re:WTF (Score 3, Insightful) 121

This time the data was analyzed in real time and triggered an alarm so other radio-telescopes could look at it in other wavelengths, etc.

As it (or at least the interesting bit) lasted "the span of a millisecond", those other radio-telescope operators must have acted pretty quick.

Comment: Re:Time to abandon normal phones? (Score 1) 217

I live in the U.S ... cellular customers pay to receive the call.

That is absolutely barmy, barmy, barmy. How can anyone possibly be held responsible for paying for something they did not want and did not initiate? No wonder you get bombarded with calls.

Does the caller pay anything?

Comment: Re:Time to abandon normal phones? (Score 1) 217

People who sign up to it get on average twice as many nuisance calls as people who don't sign up to it

That is slightly misleading. Your link says :-

A survey ... found that those registered with the TPS did report a decrease in calls. But they still received an average of ten in the past month, compared with five for those who had not signed up.

In other words, people are more likely to sign up to the TPS if they are getting more calls in the first place. Not suprising. And then the calls they get are reduced. My experience with the TPS has been fairly good : calls certainly reduced. However, the TPS itself hardly seems to do anything (apart from keeping the list). I have complained about callers to them several times and never received any feedback. They say they issue fines of 1.5 million GBP last year -that's nothing.

Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell