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Comment: Re:So. (Score 3, Insightful) 125

However it obviously shows just how badly this country is broken. I'm not an alarmist, but it this simply isn't going to change with the current US government system. They have no REASON to change it.

The thing that's really broken is that we have government involved in this at all. Why, exactly, should only one cable company have been allowed to run wires to the houses in my area? Why shouldn't two or three of them have been allowed to do it? Why did the government mandate that there will be monopolies in cable, telephone, etc? That's ultimately the real problem: government took away my choice, so I can't vote with my wallet now. Now I have to plead to unelected FCC bureaucrats in DC to force my local monopoly provider not to throttle my service, when I could have simply voted with my wallet like I do with everything else.

It's probably too late to get to get the cable mess fixed now, but hopefully this can at least be a good cautionary tale moving forward: never, EVER let the government mandate monopolies in anything, whether it be public schools, post office letter delivery, utilities, media companies, mass transit bus service, healthcare, etc. It NEVER turns out better for the consumer, and you end up having to grovel to government employees that could not care less about you personally. Every area should be open to any company that wants to participate, and may the best one win.

A recent success story would probably be the opening of space exploration to private companies: what did NASA do in the last 30 years when it had a monopoly? What are private companies already doing in the 5-10 years they've been developing their technology? Look how far SpaceX has come with it's rocket technology. It will shortly have better, safer, more cost effective options than NASA ever did.

Comment: We care why? (Score 0) 50

by Crazy Taco (#47990231) Attached to: Water Discovered In Exoplanet Atmosphere

I still don't understand why we care about this. Water occurs naturally all over the solar system, from moons to planets to asteroids. One would assume that it's a safe bet it's common in most other systems as well, just like other basic chemicals are. And, that water will be in vapor form any time it is close enough to a star to be above 0 C, so again, one would assume that's common.

Unless we are commenting about water va-pour , as I'm pretty sure this is the first time in the universe that that's ever been mentioned. :)

Comment: Re:OK (Score 2) 268

by Crazy Taco (#47990195) Attached to: IBM Solar Concentrator Can Produce12kW/day, Clean Water, and AC

According to the article, it's 40 square meters, and the Sun gives up a max of 1.3KW per square meter, which means it has a maximum of 52KW output at 100% and a clear sky. 80% would be about 41KWh per hour. If you assume 3 good hours, that's over 100KWH per day or $5 of $0.05/KWH energy. Almost $2k per year.

The economics still aren't there. A clear sky isn't enough. You won't get the sun's max in North America due to angle of the sun, especially in fall or winter. Even in summer, the angle in most parts of the country is such that you wouldn't get the max. And, in most parts of the country you also have a lot of clouds and rain (desert southwest being the exception), and you also have a fair amount of severe weather that could damage the thing. I'd be surprised if you get half of your $2k per year figure.

So figure this thing can be built for 20k. And you manage to save $1k a year. It will take 20 years to pay off, and it probably won't last that long. So it's certainly interesting and might even be applicable in select places in New Mexico or Arizona, but in places like Minnesota, it has minimal practicality from a financial perspective.

Comment: Re:The whole article is just trolling (Score 1) 794

by Crazy Taco (#47989877) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

"Why?" is still a valid question;

No, it's not. The question "why" in this case presuposes some kind of purpose, without any reason to believe that such a purpose exists. Just because you can phrase something in the form of a question doesn't mean that your "question" makes any sense.

It's more valid than your position, which pre-supposes that there isn't a purpose. Science can't claim there is a purpose, and it can't claim there isn't one. Therefore why is a valid question, since it is at least possible there is a purpose. Saying, with no evidence, that "Science says there is no purpose" just proves the author's point that people are abusing science.

Comment: Re:The whole article is just trolling (Score 1) 794

by Crazy Taco (#47989843) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

The big bang is how the universe was created.

I think that's misleading at best, because at best we can only say that it occurred, not how/why it occurred. We don't know the cause behind it. Nor are we likely to ever know for sure, because we can't experimentally test it. And I think that's the point of the article: science makes very narrow claims in this area, and clearly defines parts of the origin as untestable and unknowable to science, yet people walk around acting like science has given us every answer: truth with a capital T, as the author puts it.

Comment: Re:Great idea! Let's alienate Science even more! (Score 1) 937

by Crazy Taco (#47989793) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

" but the important thing is that you have faith, not to be shaken, no need of proof, just faith." -WHY is it important to have "have faith". Placing importance on the non-rational is the problem, not a thing to be proud of

If you a referring to Christians, I think you may misunderstand what we are having faith in. When we talk about "having faith in Jesus", we aren't saying we believe without evidence. Jesus himself didn't withhold evidence... his ministry was confirmed by a huge number of public miracles, and we have a bunch of written eyewitness accounts that testify to that fact. The men who wrote them were beheaded, sawed in half, flogged, tortured, and crucified upside down, yet still they wouldn't take back their claims that they witnessed God in the flesh, and that all these things were true. If this was a lie, some of them would have recanted, but they truly, earnestly held it forth as truth, even though they gained nothing but pain and death during their lifetimes. Not one gained political power, armies, wives, or wealth from their stand; only beatings (at best).

But even though you may know for a fact Jesus existed, you still have to trust his promises. You have to have faith that his word is true, that he will keep his word, forgive sins and give salvation. And I don't think that's 100% without evidence either, but that's more along the lines of what specifically we have to have faith about. We can be pretty certain he lived from material historical evidence, but forgiveness of sins is not something you can show materialist evidence for. You have to step beyond the materialist philosophy and take that by faith, trusting in Jesus' word.

Hopefully that's at least somewhat helpful. I know this issue often gets confused, especially in discussions like these.

Comment: Re:Great idea! Let's alienate Science even more! (Score 1) 937

by Crazy Taco (#47989701) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

The problem is even atheists still feel a need to believe in *something*. Which is silly. Planting Science as your God still means you have a God and are not an atheist.

Because people like you cannot comprehend the difference between faith and belief. You might have faith that Jesus Christ died for our sins. You might believe that also, but the important thing is that you have faith, not to be shaken, no need of proof, just faith.

I believe that there will be a sunrise tomorrow morning. I do not need faith for that belief. I have celestial mechanics to tell me that will happen, which can be proven beyond a doubt.

My belief that the sun will rise tomorrow morning, does not make it my religion.

That's a pretty odd statement to make. You don't know if there will be a sunrise tomorrow morning or not. You assume there will be, because there always has been one in the past, but you really don't know that. You claim you know it for a fact based on celestial mechanics, but that really means nothing unless you know, for a fact, everything about the universe that can ever be known.

Here's an example: We may tonight be hit by an asteroid that no one saw coming, and there may be a dust cloud that completely obscures the light of the sun for a very long time, preventing sunrises (by the way, asteroid impacts are celestial mechanics, but again, unless you know absolutely everything in the universe, including the location of every celestial body, you can't apply your celestial mechanics to every object and account for possible event). And what if it's a really large asteroid, capable of disturbing the Earth's orbit or breaking apart part of the planet? That's less likely, but not completely impossible.

And it would be very arrogant enough for us to claim we know everything about stellar mechanics. The sun could explode tonight, for perfectly natural reasons (some natural process that we don't know about), and that's the end of sunrises permanently. The sun could be destroyed at this very moment, though we won't know it for at least eight minutes.

So while you claim you know for a fact that there will be a sunrise tomorrow, your statement is based on faith as well. Even if the odds of probability are in your favor, you do not know FOR A FACT that there will be a sunrise tomorrow, because you do not have sufficient knowledge or information to make such a grandiose claim. You are taking it on faith, just like everything else. Don't let the gains of knowledge that science has provided puff up your head into thinking you know everything, or you will be guilty of abusing science in the same manner that the article was pointing out.

Comment: Re:Lost in a dump. Lost in Dartmouth. No differenc (Score 1) 209

To researchers, academics, students and even everyday folk in Canada's most populous areas (Alberta, Ontario and Quebec), it really makes no difference if the material is in a dump somewhere, or if it's in obscure, out-of-the-way towns or cities like Sidney and Dartmouth. It's just about as inaccessible either way.

Inaccessible? Because they suddenly don't have the Internet in Canada, which according to the article, is how 95% of the documents in that library were being requested anyway? Seems to me they've made it accessible not just to Canada's most populous areas, but to anyone anywhere in the world.

Comment: Re:Colo? (Score 3, Interesting) 285

by Crazy Taco (#45321915) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Simple Backups To a Neighbor?

One other note: this works as long as you have any semi-private place at work where you can put the drive. It could be a desk drawer or something else. I don't see any reason why there is a requirement that it be stored at a site you "own and control". Just put heavy AES encryption on the backups as I do, just in case the drive falls into other hands. Then your only real risk is financial loss of the disk itself. I know other people at my workplace that all do the same thing. And if you want heavier security and don't mind paying for it and taking extra time, a safe deposit box at a local bank is a good fallback, and certainly much cheaper then a colo. You'd have to have pretty deep pockets for colo space and the bandwidth to back up to and from that location, making it impractical for most people.

Comment: Re:Colo? (Score 5, Interesting) 285

by Crazy Taco (#45321895) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Simple Backups To a Neighbor?

A colocation center? Do the initial backup locally then use something to replicate changes in the future?

Too painful and expensive. This can be made much simpler. I have two sets of backups I keep: an internal 2 TB hard drive for local backups, and a pair of 1 TB external drives for off site backups. Every Monday, I unplug the external drive at my house as I head out the door for work. At work, I put it into my locker and retrieve the other drive, which I bring home with me when I leave for the day. When I get home, I plug it into the vacant USB and power cord, and presto: it's online and ready for backup! My software (I use ShadowProtect Desktop) does a full backup of the machine every Sunday night, so Monday mornings it is always ready for the swap again. It's a very quick and painless way to have offsite backups without spending a fortune on comparatively slow Internet bandwidth.

Your code should be more efficient!