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Comment: Let's properly define the problem (Score 2) 276

by plopez (#48188645) Attached to: An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man

Problem: maximize profitability selling ice at a hippy poser wannabe festival. The constraints are:
1) Users must be at least minimally satisfied. No shouting, cursing, "line rage", or riots. The user must get a reasonable product with an acceptable wait time at an acceptable cost. The process should seem fair.
2) Costs must be minimized these include:
      a) cost of labor, this is probably the biggest cost
      b) materials cost, waste from melting ice must be minimized
      c) transportation and storage costs. No constant shuttling to and from the supplier who may be 100 KM away. Some transportation costs may actually amount to labor costs,e.g. the cost of a driver.
3) regulatory compliance cost mostly health and sanitation.
4) Losses due to theft must be minimal. This sort of implies cash on hand must be minimal. Higher sales may require banks drops for security reasons.

Let's begin...

Comment: Re:Business Continuity Plan (Score 2, Funny) 72

by plopez (#48153075) Attached to: Designing Tomorrow's Air Traffic Control Systems

"If the FAA was a private corporation this would never be an issue."

Q: Ummmmmm........ yeah. So Mr. AC, what have you been spending your time on?
A: Yeah, I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I'm working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch too, I'd say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.

Q: this continuity plan you are working on, does it generate any revenue?
A: Not really. I mean if the company gets bought out everyone will be laid off any way so it isn't really a priority. And if the company goes under it doesn't matter much anyway either.

Q: So why are you doing it?
A: Well, management told out client we have a continuity planning committee.

Q: So who reviews these plans?
A: Well we were supposed to have review meetings but first we had to finalize the requirements for the meetings. But that led to more meetings as we realized we really did not know what was supposed to be in the plan.

Q: So the plan is now in the works?
A: No, not really. People got pulled off to help with some other revenue generating projects.

Q: What do you say you do?

Comment: Re:Balance (Score 2) 79

by plopez (#48142809) Attached to: Navy Tests Unpowered Exoskeleton

Part of it looks like weight distribution and load balancing across the body. Weight lifter and back packers have learned long ago that managing heavy loads can be about distribution of the load and balancing (which is why I still think free weights are more effective as they rely on more muscles to control and balance the load). Then it looks like it might provide more leverage in some cases. Not a bad "low tech" approach.

Comment: Re:German illegal? (Score 2) 323

by plopez (#48141679) Attached to: How English Beat German As the Language of Science

If you take a clear unbiased look at US history this happens over and over. The US changed the language after breaking off from Britain changing 's' to 'z' in many spellings for example, the role of the Spanish in the western US is glossed over and contracts land deeds which by treaty the US was supposed to honor in the peace treaty with Mexico were voided, newly arrived immigrants were often banned from jobs and political office, Jews and Catholics treated as second class citizens, Japanese interred, black activists; such as the Black Panthers; assassinated, people of color are *still* trying to be barred from voting, and now it is the Muslims turn. Not too pretty.

Comment: Re:S[pace colonisation (Score 1) 269

by plopez (#48111363) Attached to: MIT Study Finds Fault With Mars One Colony Concept

Did you even follow the wikipedia link? google up "Haber process". If you want to support any colony of large size you will need some sort of crops which means nitrogen. There does not seem to be much in the soil or in the air, see the Haber process, so large scale Mars (or moon for that matter) are probably impracticle.

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