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Comment: Re:um, no (Score 1) 216

by spitzak (#48304777) Attached to: Scotland Builds Power Farms of the Future Under the Sea

That chart is very misleading. It says solar will use many times as much silver as current energy production. However the drawing makes it look like it will use many times as much silver as it would use of aluminum. Actually it will use far more aluminum than silver. Same error applies to every comparison of different materials, whether inside a given energy source or between them.

The text gets it right: "Solar needs much more silver and tin than other energy sources, albeit relatively little by weight". It also states "solar uses aluminum, and a lot of it, more than one gram for each kilowatt hour". Aluminum is a bigger problem for solar than silver, despite the incredibly misleading graphic.

Another strange mistake is that the relative use of stuff is biased by the current fraction being used. An obvious one is that it shows Nuclear power as using about 8x as much uranium as "the current power mix". But that is because the current power mix is about 20% nuclear! If "the current power mix" was 0% nuclear then the uranium circle would be HUGE.

A better graphic would be to show absolute sizes of the materials (to produce a given amount of energy), or perhaps multiply the sizes by the amount of carbon produced to make them.

Comment: Re:I call BS (Score 1) 265

by spitzak (#48265951) Attached to: Apple Pay Competitor CurrentC Breached

I believe you are correct.

I think the reason no store charges a credit card more than the cash price is because it will reduce sales. If you go to the store and see an object for $100 you might say "I don't have $100 cash on me right now, and if I use the credit card it will cost $105. So I will go away and come back tomorrow with $100 in cash." Then what happens is you either forget about it, purchase somewhere else, or realize you probably did not need the object anyway. The store has now lost an entire sale, which is a much bigger loss than paying the credit card companies cut.

People looking to buy gas probably will factor in the fact that they may run out of gas before they can acquire the cash, and thus will buy the gas anyway.

I think some other items like utilities where you pretty much have to buy from them will also offer discounts for cash.

Comment: Re:Opinion are wortheless (Score 1) 1007

by spitzak (#48247055) Attached to: Creationism Conference at Michigan State University Stirs Unease

The best scientific minds, in their times said the world was flat and that everything revolved around the earth.

Sorry you are wrong. The earth was known to be a sphere long long ago. It way predates the knowledge that the center of mass of the system was not inside it.

Showing your complete ignorance of history and science does not help your argument one bit.

Comment: Re:First taste of Mac OS X (Score 1) 305

by spitzak (#48173157) Attached to: OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review

It's an issue with their file system (HFS+), which has been made semi-case-sensitive. For example, you can do "mkdir tEsT\ dIrEcToRy" and you'll get a directory called "tEsT dIrEcToRy", maintaining the case that you types in. However, if you then type "rmdir 'Test Directory'" then it will delete it. Essentially, it's case-sensitive when writing but not case-sensitive when reading.

What it is doing is called "case-preserving". That's what Windows does too. It is always "case insensitive".

The problem with this is that the rule for whether two strings identify the same file is obscenely complex if you want full Unicode support (plus it will change as Unicode is updated). Most systems give up and only are "case insensitive" for a subset of possible case matches, such as only the ASCII letters. Not using the same rules in different places causes further problems. OS/X has a lot of problems by insisting on "normalization" of filenames, resulting in completely unexpected collisions and renames for files from Unix and Windows.

I think Unix has the best system: if the strings of bytes are different then they are different files. This moves all problems out of file system support and up to the application level where it is much easier to deal with.

Comment: Re:Open Source in commercial products (Score 4, Informative) 265

by spitzak (#48143579) Attached to: Confidence Shaken In Open Source Security Idealism

No, bash was NOT working as expected.

The expectation was that a bash shell function could be defined by starting an environment variable value with "() {". The purpose of the code was to do exactly that, no more and no less. Yes it did assume the string came from a trusted source and the idea is questionable, but that was not the hole.

The fact that the code could cause arbitrary commands in the value to be executed at startup was certainly not intended.

I think it is interesting that this bug was visible in source code for 20 years and until now nobody found it. This includes the black-hats. Not sure what this means...

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