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Comment: double reverse ungood (Score 1) 98

by Strange Ranger (#47725067) Attached to: FCC Warned Not To Take Actions a Republican-Led FCC Would Dislike

"that taxpayer-funded projects are barriers to future infrastructure investment."
Yes everyone can compete in the free market,
except for groups of geographically related people cooperating with their tax dollars. Can't have them competing.
That's the last thing we want for our infrastructure. People cooperating with their votes and tax dollars.

Comment: Chris Hadfield's Space Oddity missed by 3 votes (Score 1) 146

by billstewart (#47724647) Attached to: The 2014 Hugo Awards

It hadn't occurred to me to nominate it, and unfortunately didn't occur to enough other people, so it missed the short list for Best Dramatic Presentation Short Form by about 3 votes (usually only the top 5 nominees get onto the ballot, occasionally 6 if there's a tie or fewer than 5 if not enough works meet the "5% of nominations" threshold.)

An actual astronaut, in space, performing a classic science-fiction-themed song, named after one of the most influential SF movies? It so totally belonged on the ballot, because [expletive deleted] we're living in the future!.

Of course, a few other works I liked, and works I haven't read yet by authors I like, also didn't get on the ballot, but that's normal.

Comment: Re:Grammar Flaming As A lifestyle... (Score 1) 25

by billstewart (#47724531) Attached to: Interviews: Andrew "bunnie" Huang Answers Your Questions

First of all, this is English. You can do just about anything you want. Even more so if you're a descriptivist rather than a prescriptivist.

Second, using "they" as a non-gendered third person pronoun referring to a singular antecedent has been in documented use for at least 600 years. It's no worse an impedance mismatch than using a gendered singular third person pronoun, and no matter what your middle-school English teacher taught you, English grammar isn't Latin grammar, nor is it modern German grammar.

Third, you should be using lead-free solder these days anyway (and while it is a lot less cooperative, inexpensive soldering irons today are better than cheap soldering irons were when I was a kid.)

Comment: Re:Steve Jobs wasn't any different... apk (Score 1) 171

by Vitriol+Angst (#47721247) Attached to: Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year

Woz was very brilliant but he wasn't very practical.

Steve Jobs was a genius in his own right, but not necessarily the hacker/engineer of Woz -- but he worked very closely with design engineers.

His name is on hundreds of patents and that's not because he sat back and just signed them.

Woz alone would never have created anything like Apple, and Steve Jobs without Woz could not have either -- in life, we can't be good at everything, and it's a perfect storm if you can find people who can help you where you are weak.

But don't compare Jobs to Balmer -- that's unfair and ridiculous.

Comment: Re:Step #1 Find a Geek (Score 2) 171

by Vitriol+Angst (#47721201) Attached to: Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year

He just followed Bill Gates example;

Step #1, Join a group of geeks creating Basic

Step #2, Copyright their openly shared work and then sue them.

Step #3, Hire a hacker to steal CP/M and reelable the drive letters, then repeat the "steal IP and then sue them" procedure

Step #4, Repeat the taking of other's ideas and then buy their stock when it collapses then stop suing yourself.

Step #5, Act like a good lawyer repeatedly and have everyone call you a geek.

Step #6, Retire in luxury and donate some money to some causes instead of pointing out that a thousand other millionaires might have allowed other people to feel achievement rather than put someone on a pedestal who was just a savvy predatory capitalist.

Comment: Re:Fire (Score 2, Interesting) 128

by Rei (#47718877) Attached to: How Argonne National Lab Will Make Electric Cars Cheaper

Nuh uh! There are also compressed air cars - they only explosively decompress upon tank failure! ;)

At least with batteries, flammability or explosiveness aren't a fundamental requirement of how you're trying to propel the vehicle, just an unfortunate side effect of some variants of the technology (even not all types of li-ions are flammable). There's lots of people who assume that flammability is a consequence of electrical energy density, but that's just not the case. The actual charge/discharge lithium batteries via intercalating into the anode or cathode is more an atomic-scale equivalent of compressing air into a tank, you're having little affect on the substrate flammabilities and you're not even changing their chemical bonding, you're just cramming lithium ions into the space between their atoms. The flammabilty of some types comes from side effects, such as flammable electrolytes or membrane failures leading to lithium metal plating out; these aren't a fundamental aspect of the energy storage process.

Now, li-air, that involves an actual lithium metal electrode, and that is fundamentally flammable. Of course, so is gasoline. I have no doubt that they can reduce fire risks on li-air cells and keep them properly contained to prevent failure propagations. My bigger issues with li-air are its terrible efficiency, lifespan, and cost. I'm certain the latter would come down, and I expect that they can improve the lifespan, but I'm a bit uneasy about how much they can improve its efficiency. Right now, they're as inefficient as a fuel cell. : Who wants to waste three times as much power per mile as is necessary?

Comment: Re:non sequitur? (Score 1) 128

by Rei (#47718833) Attached to: How Argonne National Lab Will Make Electric Cars Cheaper

It is a non-sequiteur. The energy density of a li-ion battery doesn't even approach the theoretical maximum storage for the element lithium shifting between ionization states. That's hardly the only way this article is terrible, mind you. My head hurt every time they said the word "efficiency", it's like they were using it to mean everything possible except for actual efficiency. And if I read it right - who knows, the article is such a total mess - the researcher isn't talking about reducing battery cost, but increasing longevity. But maybe that was mangled too.

Comment: Get off my lawn! (Score 1) 190

by hawk (#47717915) Attached to: Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

Does this mean it's time to give up what you kids call "First Edition"?

Nah. I'm still not convinced there's a reason to use those new-fangled books instead of the three books, supplements, and a touch (but not too much!) of Arduin & Spellcaster's Bible.

damn newbies

hawk, off to nuke his dandelions

The bogosity meter just pegged.