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Comment: Re:Irrelevant... (Score 1) 164

by thegarbz (#46802131) Attached to: Obama Delays Decision On Keystone Pipeline Yet Again

Except that there's no profit to be made in distribution. Even refineries all over the world are struggling to make profits.
Most oil companies derive some 60-70% of their profit from digging the crap out of the ground. Refineries needs to be spectacularly well placed to make a profit refining which is becoming more of a rarity reserved for some of the super-refineries around the world, like the Reliance facility in Indonesia which was the catalyst for closures of some 7 refineries in the Australiasian region over the past 5 years.

The rest of the profit is customer mark-ups at the bowser and selling of ancillary goods and services (BP's biggest profit margin is on coffee not hydrocarbon). The oil companies spend many millions on R&D on the design and layout of stores and co-location with companies like KFC to maximise non-hydrocarbon products that actually make money in the retail sector.

At the bowser, distribution of oil to refineries, and product to the terminal and then to the bowser makes up some 4% of the cost of petrol.

Comment: Re:Yeah, sure. (Score 1) 93

by thegarbz (#46802057) Attached to: L.A. Science Teacher Suspended Over Student Science Fair Projects

Based on all the supposedly really dangerous crap we did in the 80s I think we should be lucky we grew up at all. When I was a kid our Chemistry set had chemicals in it. Could you imagine? Nothing like today's "safer" alternatives.

And remember if you every feel like questioning anything or applying logic, just stop and think of the children.

Comment: Re:Sick Society (Score 3, Insightful) 93

by thegarbz (#46802043) Attached to: L.A. Science Teacher Suspended Over Student Science Fair Projects

No it's not anti-gun, you're talking about a country who believe their right to own guns trumps all other rights thanks to a document written many years ago.

This is all about thinking of the children. It would have been no different if they made little mini bombs, or used fire, or anything else that they should be teaching in chemistry these days. I wonder what it would be like if they distilled alcohol at the science fair. God forbid they use little magnet toys for something.

After all we're talking about a country where toy magents are banned even from adults because it killed 2 kids, but rifles are available off the shelf to suit kids.

Comment: Re:Stoplight Acceleration is very fast. (Score 1) 155

by thegarbz (#46801973) Attached to: Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

There may be a difference in perception too especially when compared with turbocharged 4 cyl cars. The electric car produces maximum torque from the get go, other cars typically need to get into their powerband to get some real pull, once in the powerband though they'll take off. Then there's the whole avoiding gear change business.

It is quite possible that an all electric car will give worse 0-60 times while at the same time feeling far more powerful at take off.

Comment: Re:Does the math work out? (Score 1) 155

by thegarbz (#46801927) Attached to: Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

I'm pretty sure the repair parts operation at a modern OEM makes far more than the original cars.

Anecdote time. Note that this example uses a GM car but is representative of stories I've heard from other manufacturers. My father has a 2002 Holden Astra Convertible. About 4 years ago the hydraulic hoses that control the roof ruptured spraying oil everywhere. The car was taken to the Holden dealer who suggested we replace all 4 hoses. Cost of the OEM parts is $500 per rubber hose. Yes that's right, rubber hoses holding hydraulic fluid. Additionally it would be another $1000 for installation for a total cost of $3000 to replace 4 hoses. After a bit of searching he found a local hydraulic shop that manufactures and installs metal replacement hoses and will even fit it in the car for you. $300 for all 4 hoses installed.

A year later the latch that hooks into the roof (another plastic part) broke meaning the roof would close but never actually latch shut. Holden wanted $900 for the replacement part and again close to $1000 for installation. Another quick search turned up an engineering firm across the country which manufactured the same part out of steel, 2 for $200, and a local garage installed it for another $200.

Yes it's just an anecdote but due to two minor failures GM would have essentially charged 50% of the second hand value of the entire car to replace a handful of crap quality plastic parts.

Comment: Re:Overcoming hardware limitations with software (Score 1) 114

by thegarbz (#46798201) Attached to: Google's New Camera App Simulates Shallow Depth of Field

It's about camera software. You view that it isn't about photography is outright indefensible.

From the first line in the fucking original source:

One of the biggest advantages of SLR cameras over camera phones is the ability to achieve shallow depth of field and bokeh effects

YOU are wrong. Now please take your pointless and irrelevant argument elsewhere.

Comment: Re:Better idea: Improve cell phone camera lenses. (Score 1) 114

by thegarbz (#46797735) Attached to: Google's New Camera App Simulates Shallow Depth of Field

You know what would give a great shallow depth of field? A better lens in the camera. A lens with an aperture that could open up to lower f-stops would give a REAL depth of field effect, plus it would make the camera just plain better at taking pictures -- better low-light performance, less noise in high ISO speeds captures.

A typical phone camera has an aperture of around f/1.8 to f/2.5. You care to tell me how you would get past the laws of physics to improve on this? I mean the lens is already nearly a ball to focus light on such a tiny dot. One could increase the sensor size but then the lens would need more physical separation to the sensor making the thickest component in a phone thicker still.

Software AF is simple contrast detection. Every phone I've used has the ability to select the subject to focus on, so why would this have any baring on depth of field.

Comment: Re:Overcoming hardware limitations with software (Score 1) 114

by thegarbz (#46797715) Attached to: Google's New Camera App Simulates Shallow Depth of Field

I hear comments like this all the time. The reality is you've changed your FoV so you're now taking a completely different picture. If you want all other things staying as equal as possible, then to take the same photo on an APS-C camera as a Full Frame camera you'd need to switch to a narrower lens and step back from the subject. Oh your subject - camera - background ratio now changed, and so has your depth of field.

Or are you going to tell me all camera are equal because if you over expose your image by 100 stops you get a perfectly white frame on every camera?

Comment: Re:"subject" (Score 3, Insightful) 114

by thegarbz (#46797703) Attached to: Google's New Camera App Simulates Shallow Depth of Field

And, of course, shallow depth of field is a huge fad, and there's an entire generation of kids who won't ever be able to tell where they were in any of their childhood pictures.

Wow lets step back a bit. Though I guess someone called the automobile a fad at some point.
The battle for wider apertures dated back to post war. The 1950s was all about big lenses, wide apertures. I fondly recall using a Canon R mount 50mm f/1.2. Not a very sharp lens but provided incredibly narrow depth of field. Mind you it wasn't until the FE mount in the 80s they managed to get a 50mm f/0.95, something which Leica managed quite a lot earlier on their M series cameras in the 1960s.

Now that the history lesson is over, how about an art lesson. Depth of field is used to direct attention. If you want someone looking at a subject rather than the image on the whole you can isolate the subject by blurring the background. I did this on my holidays and I'm going to look back and think about what I looked like at the time who the hell cares where I was. If I wanted to take a photo of where I was I would do so. Now on the flip side, why the hell would you want to ruin a perfectly good photo of the Pantheon or some other wonderful place by standing in front of it? Why would you want to give up artistic control to some passer by telling them to look through the viewfinder and push the button.

You seem to know the technical details of how something is done, but not have a clue of why someone would do it. Go to your grandpa and ask him if he used wide apertures when he took photos. You'll likely find him don his oversize framed glasses and say "Kid, I was the master of bokeh before it was cool."

Fad indeed.

Comment: Re:That has happened quite often here in the US. (Score 1) 167

by thegarbz (#46797601) Attached to: The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper

Changes such as these are actually not too rare; I suspect that in most cases, the substitutions work exactly as expected, but when we're discussing infrastructure elements of this scope a single failure is not merely troublesome but often catastrophic.

I would say it's worse than that. Changes such as this are actually pretty common. Actually I can't recall a single project I've been involved in where a contractor hasn't proposed some kind of design change. Contractors deal with what is possible and what is there. Engineers deal with what is theoretical and what is shown on drawings.

- Build a tunnel? Submerged rock that wasn't anticipated, contractor suggests slightly altering routes.
- Specify an exotic metal with a weird shape? Contractor says it can't be manufactured / transported to site within the timeframe, suggests slightly different design.
- Contractor builds anything at all which doesn't line up (which always happens), the contractor will ALWAYS suggest an alternative before accepting that they need to rip it out and start again.

The trick is ensuring you get the correct sign-offs in each case. In this case it looks like it was but the expertise wasn't here to recognise the problem. In the case of the Hyatt Regency Skywalk listed in this thread the sign-offs were not correct.

Comment: Re:The power of EULAs only goes so far (Score 1) 214

by thegarbz (#46792561) Attached to: Click Like? You May Have Given Up the Right To Sue

Yes true. I was not implying what could be legally enforceable in a contract, but what would legally constitute a contract to begin with.

Case law is full of examples where a contract is completely void if it was not read and signed under the full understanding and normal method of entering a contract. That is to say I can't simply write even legally enforceable text such as "By signing below you agree that I may contact you for advertising purposes" on a receipt for a hammer you just purchased. Even though reading and signing a statement like that is legally enforceable, it needs to be a contract separate from any other function such as signing a credit transaction, signing for a parcel, or hitting like.

The only way a contract is enforceable is if it's separate, hence the tick boxes allowing opt-in or opt-out for advertising and other "commercial material" when filling out forms not related to you wanting to get said advertising.

Comment: Re:Weak? No, it is not. (Score 1) 310

by thegarbz (#46792523) Attached to: Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

Erm there's a lot of Asians who would like to say something about your example. Mind you I'm a massive fan of Sashimi, Sushi, Steak Tartare, quite often I also eat it with ... salad. Yes unbelievable I know. I have no idea how I'm still alive either.

We can eat almost anything RAW though I agree about the rice part. RAW rice digests as well as nuts and corn, which is to say it doesn't at all. That said as for my cat, why the hell would you feed a cat RAW rice? If you cat has a stomach virus you're supposed to feed it cooked rice. I'm not sure you'd even get a cat to eat rice without cooking it in chicken stock. Oh and you live in some weird area if you think wild Apples aren't edible. Sure they don't weigh 100g like the one from the shop but have you ever thought of just eating two of them?

Your comment not only doesn't make sense, it actually goes against common dietary advice. Go eat some salad, or better yet join the latest health food craze and buy a juicer and make raw vegetable juice. It's delicious and nutritious. Except for kale, juiced or not juiced that tastes like shit, I don't care how good it is supposed to be for you.

Comment: Re:Get off my lawn time.. (Score 1) 61

by thegarbz (#46792477) Attached to: New Facebook Phone App Lets You Stalk Your Friends

The problem is that life doesn't happen. How do you form a spontaneous meetup? I don't live in a country town. There could be 30 of my friends at my local shopping centre all day and I wouldn't bump into any of them. There's some 40 cafes within 2km of here, about 4 different cinemas, two of which are megaplexes and will show popular movies every 1 hour, hell even on the more esoteric side there's 3 bowling alleys within that 2km radius as well.

The modern world is massive and we are spread thin. I tend to let life happen too and I end up with constant exchanges afterwards like
"Yeah we went to see Captain America."
"Oh really? We saw it at the same time but at %other shopping centre%."

The whole point of the world of information sharing is to get people together so that life can happen. I would say it's been probably about a year since I last bumped into someone randomly and changed plans so we could have a quick coffee or spend the afternoon together.

Your fault -- core dumped