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Comment: Viewing tip (Score 3, Informative) 66 66

If you turn javascript off on (there are about 3 dozen(!) embedded sites; the list even scrolls off the NoScript screen), not only does the page load about 20 times faster, as a bonus you get the entire slideshow on one page and don't have to mindlessly click through one picture at at time.

Comment: Not a linear relation (Score 1) 243 243

Alkaline battery voltage doesn't fall linearly with lifetime, but undergoes a rapid drop near the end of life: In this curve, the battery has only 10-20% of its life left at 1.1v, and I've never owned any device that did not work down to at least that voltage and usually less. Whatever device in the example that stops working at 1.35v is very poorly designed and not something you run across often.

Comment: Alert! (Score 1) 226 226

Much better is the KentuckyFC guy who scours for interesting NEW physics ideas, discoveries, and speculations. Some of his stories were posted on slashdot in the past, but it seems this StartsWithABang guy has replaced him. So now I just go there directly.

Comment: Re:Peanuts compared to their value (Score 2) 202 202

What scares me is that with so many staff, the inevitable urge is to bloat the "user experience" with ever fancier and annoying "features". As far as I'm concerned the interface was finished quite a few years ago, and I would prefer that they just leave it alone. I can't stand their slideshows when I just want to see a single image, so I have Javascript turned off for the site, enabled only on occasion when I want to sort a table column or something.

Comment: Recipe for failure (Score 5, Insightful) 352 352

My step-daughter was literally math-illiterate upon entering college - very poor math SATs, couldn't multiply 1-digit numbers without a calculator, and didn't know that a+b commutes but a-b doesn't. I spent several hours a day 3-4 days a week with her, and through tremendous effort and lots of tears she earned all A's in Calculus 1 and 2 and Statistics. There is simply no way she could have even passed without my help (and a boost of self-motivation by a short stint in the real world earning near minimum wage with no college degree and no future).

Rich people will hire tutors to do the same thing. Poor people can't afford to and rarely have anyone like me around to help. So the rich will get ahead regardless of ability; other than a few exceptionally talented ones, the poor will get further behind, continuing the cycle of failure and poverty.

There is something about individual interaction that can't be duplicated with a computer or projection screen. A 50-to-1 student/teacher ratio with little individual one-on-one instruction is going to make things much worse.

Comment: Re:Google is becoming useless (Score 3, Informative) 375 375

Out of curiosity I recently tried to find out about a product, Power Innovator, whose annoying ads claiming to cut your electric bill by 80% keep popping up on various sites. While it is obviously a scam to anyone with the slightest knowledge of physics, they really have Google fooled. No matter what you type, "Power Innovator review", "Power Innovator scam", "Power Innovator ripoff", etc., every link, page after page, is a "review" or a page questioning "Is Power Innovator a scam?" each ending with a link to buy Power Innovator. I was unable to find any page clearly stating the obvious fact that it is a scam. I feel sorry for all the misinformed people who are sucked into this, and the company must be raking in a fortune of ill-gotten gains. This is a case where Google is completely useless.

Comment: Nuke Anything (Score 1) 353 353

For Firefox, I use Nuke Anything Enhanced 1.1 when overlays, ads, etc. on broken or poorly designed pages obscure the text I'm trying to read. Basically you right-click over the object and select "Remove this object" (and there is an undo). At first I installed it out of curiosity, but I'm surprised how often it is useful.

Comment: Re:uh... (Score 1) 215 215

Here's the deal. You want to legalize this stuff, go for it. However, don't expect anyone to pay for what you do to yourself. If you don't want government intervention you can't be a hypocrite and expect it to intervene on your behalf. If you can afford to buy drugs you can afford to pay for your own treatment.

While I don't have the numbers, I'd bet the cost of treatment would pale in comparison to the billions spent on the "war on drugs" and the cost of prosecuting and incarcerating a large percentage of the prison population.

Comment: Re:Still useful research (Score 1) 224 224

Mars sells a supplement, called CocoaVia, that contains the cocoa flavinols used by the study. This was a good reason for them to fund it. It is rather expensive at around $30 for 60 capsules with 125mg of the flavinols. Since you need to take 7-8 capsules per day to get the 900mg amount used in the study, that's about an 8-day supply.

Comment: Re:Facebook search is horrible (Score 1) 33 33

I find it hard to believe that the reason for Facebook's poor search is incompetence (although I won't dismiss it out of hand). Doing a decent search through a set of local records isn't rocket science. I would think it might take a programmer a couple of months, and they have thousands of developers and billions of dollars to play with. Instead, my guess is that they make the search perform poorly on purpose, to force you to scroll through pages and pages and thus view more ads.

Disclaimer: I no longer have an FB account, so I don't really keep on top of these things.

Comment: Re:Buses are already better. (Score 1) 257 257

My town (pop. 50K) has buses on 6 local routes that go around and around the town all day nearly empty. It is a serious money loser, but the town keeps voting to subsidize it because it symbolizes "green".

Only a small percentage of the population will have pickup and destination points close enough to these fixed routes to make it worthwhile for them to use, not to mention having to fit their schedules into the once-per-hour bus stops. So hardly anyone uses it.

What I have wondered about is whether these buses, combined with an Uber-type app, could simply service passengers on-demand, even driving to their houses. The software would plan optimal routes based on the current pickups and destinations, providing passengers with ETAs and so on. I'd probably start using it in that case, especially if the $2 fare was kept the same. Assuming many others would too, it might greatly reduce their losses.

Comment: Re:Can other students sue this group? (Score 1) 203 203

Imagine, as a thought experiment, if 90% of the people who owned Exxon stock sold it all. And no one else bought it because of principle. Exxon would continue to function, exactly as it is now, except the remaining 10% would get massive dividends.

True. Moreover, if 90% of the stock was suddenly put up for sale "at market" with no significant buyers (assuming potential buyers would shun it as a matter of principle), the price would plummet to near zero, well below even the cash assets of the company. The company (having no such principles) would buy up its own stock at a pittance. The remaining stockholders would then own the entire company instead of 10% of it.

Take it to an extreme and assume that every stockholder is swept up emotionally by the stigma of owning the stock and thus disposes it at any price. Then the company could buy back all of its shares for essentially nothing and be owned by no one! The board of directors would then have no stockholders to answer to and could vote to pay themselves multi-billion dollar salaries as well as to do far more evil.

If you want to influence the direction of a company, you would want to own as much of its stock as possible, not get rid of it. If you are extremely wealthy, you can just buy all of the company's shares and have total control over its direction.

Comment: Incoming port 80? (Score 2) 706 706

Does a "utility" mean that we could finally have true net neutrality and use the internet as it was designed, such as having unblocked incoming ports 80/443? I use alternate ports to route around this to access my files remotely, but strictly speaking I'm violating the ISP T&C by having a "server" at home.

However, I often want to access my home files from wifi access points such as hospitals where outgoing 80/443 are the only ports open (no outgoing ssh, etc. allowed). But my cable provider blocks incoming 80/443, so I'm completely cut off from my home files. I would rather not pay to put a TB of files on the "cloud" or pay some 3rd party service to reroute ports or whatever.

You're using a keyboard! How quaint!