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Comment: Ground for appeal? (Score 4, Interesting) 78

IANAL & IANA (I am not American) but aren't you meant to be sentenced based on what crime you are convicted of? Seriously the QLD Chief Justice (Highest Judge in QLD) withdrew from an appeals hearing of a convicted child abuser & murderer because he had had a meeting with someone who lobbied for harsher sentences for child molesters.

If the sentencing judge references other non-case related matters surely that would affect the standing of the ruling and open up appeals?

Comment: Re:Do people really take this risk seriously? (Score 1) 234

by NoOneInParticular (#49794255) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone

So let's all build arcs then. Our invisible friend in the sky might at any moment decide to flood the earth again. He did it once, so it's probably overdue.

In short: "no matter how unlikely" can be extremely unlikely. That's when we use reasoning instead of blanket statements.

Comment: 20% to 40% ??? No. Just no. (Score 4, Insightful) 502

by fyngyrz (#49793209) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

To avoid the 20% to 40% power loss when converting from DC to AC

...they're doing it wrong. DC to AC conversion is easily achieved in the high 90% range. For instance, a typical solar inverter is around 95% efficient. And you can do better, it just gets more expensive (although that's a one-time cost, whereas energy loss is a constant concern.)

Someone is pushing some other agenda here.

Comment: Still awesome (Score 1) 412

by fyngyrz (#49793145) Attached to: What AI Experts Think About the Existential Risk of AI

Sure. Did it to myself decades ago. Offspring of my genetic line aren't of the least bit of interest to me; perfectly happy raising kids of other birth who needed parents (5 so far, mostly excellent results.) Plus that whole "all the bareback sex with my SO we want, any time" thing is awesome.

Which, again, is just how I approach feline guardianship. Don't need new kittens from them. Plenty of kittens out there that need to own their own human.

Comment: Nothing to do with Climate Change (Score 4, Informative) 113

Seriously guys. Learn to read!!! The Montreal Protocol was all about reducing ozone depleting chemicals from being released into the atmosphere with a particular focus on CFCs. There is NO LINK to climate change in this treaty and climate change had nothing to do with the decision to take it. There was a growing hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica, to the point it was stretching over Australia. CFCs were directly linked to the growth of the hole and cutting their use has dramatically improved the situation re the size of the hole.

There continue to be releases of other chemicals that have been restricted, especially from fire fighting equipment. But CFCs made up such a huge component and their use dropped so much that that alone has made a measurable impact.

Really this is exactly the same as restricting the emission of sulphur because it lead to acid rain.

Comment: Re:Leaders (Score 1) 109

What possibly makes you think this means they don't know what they are doing? Change the question to "Patent Law, Industrial Relations, Marketing, Geophysics, etc" and the GOOD leader is the one who can turn around and say "I don't know, but I can ask someone who does".

In any large organisation where IT is critical then a good leader should have someone they can trust who does know IT to tell them what they need to know. To parse down the huge shit-tonne of noise and distil for them the key points. This is the same for their legal department, their accountants, their customer service, their logistics etc.

The job of your top leader is to pull disparate teams together and achieve a goal. That means that they need to offset the demands of multiple divisions, their challenges and opportunities against each other and decide which path is the best. None of that requires more than a high level understanding of each area.

Comment: Re:what's reassuring about this (Score 1) 61

by Harlequin80 (#49787073) Attached to: SpaceX Cleared For US Military Launches

I agree with you about the F35. I think it is a terrible waste of money. So far it isn't even lining up as being particularly good. That said the f111s were getting very long in the tooth and needed significant upgrades to remain viable. The biggest problem, as I see it, with the F35 is it is trying to be everything to everyone. Instead they should have built 2 different planes. One an air superiority fighter and one ground attack.

As for the China threat, the issues will come around territorial claims. Have a look at what is happening at the Spratly Atoll in the South China Sea. At the moment there is a bunch of shallow reefs that are claimed by pretty much everyone. China has moved into the region and started building artificial islands there and outfitting them with landing strips and deep water ports. The US is concerned by this for two main reasons. The first is that they are legally required to defend Taiwan and Taiwan has a claim on those Islands, which means the US could get dragged in. The second is that allowing China to claim territorial control of the South China Sea means China will take control of one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

I don't think China will attach the US or vice-versa on purpose. But I can see nasty scuffles happening through grandstanding between both sides.

Comment: Re:what's reassuring about this (Score 1) 61

by Harlequin80 (#49786385) Attached to: SpaceX Cleared For US Military Launches

While I think the f35 is a complete waste Australia needed a replacement for the f111s and the super hornets are only a stop gap. Because of our geography we need a decent airforce to protect the country, too much land and too much coast. If you accept that Aus needs a military at all then you have to accept we need a decent fighter platform.

Comment: Re: This seems foolproof! (Score 1) 94

by Harlequin80 (#49779853) Attached to: Russian Space Agency Misused $1.8 Billion, May Be Replaced

Let's completely ignore the fact that it was a rail and road project. Not just 28 miles of road. Also lets ignore that the project has 46 bridges and 12 tunnels with the tunnel lengths being 30 miles.

Was the project over budget? Absolutely. But it was a rushed project because of olympic deadline. When you build something you can built on time, on budget or to quality. Pick 2.

The road also ran essentially along a river bank through a mountain range.

Comment: Re:How about driverless engines anyway? (Score 1) 288

by Harlequin80 (#49777933) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

Automated trains are very common around the world. Lots and lots of subways are automated, sections of Japans Metro are for example. At a larger scale RioTinto's iron ore operations use driverless trains for bulk carrying of ore from the mines to the ports in North West Australia.

Comment: Re:This isn't a question (Score 1) 620

by NoOneInParticular (#49775683) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

So what do you suggest we do if a person is incapacitated, and doctors need someone's direction to perform life threatening surgery or not? Ask a random person in the hallway, or ask the person that is legally designated as the spokesperson?

I much prefer an elected government to decide upon these kind of issues than a religious tradition based on the necessities of living in the desert.

Comment: Re: This isn't a question (Score 1) 620

by NoOneInParticular (#49770751) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

Because that's uncharted territory for law. Suppose there are three people in a marriage relationship, and one gets mortally sick, say in a coma. Who of the two others will represent the spouse, particularly when they are in disagreement. How would divorce be handled? Do the two left need to remarry, or does the contract allow to be continued? How does the estate get split up? How does alimony work? How would inheritance work? How would pensions work? What if there are 4 people, 10, 50? How would all this be structured legally?

Even in contract law, it's a big shift to go from two parties to more than two. Too much needs to be sorted out with too many institutions. That's why 2 consenting adults is the best we can do at this point.

Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky

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