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Comment Re:It's what they say (Score 1) 111

I think The Economist said it best when defending a cluttered desk. Interestingly, they found that those with a messy desk actually found it easier to find stuff and to organize ideas than those with a clean desk. Mainly because a cluttered desk actually better reflected a physical map of a person's mental state and proved to be a more efficient organizing principle.

Comment Re:Insanity. (Score 4, Informative) 126

From the article, they were planning on lighting up urban areas only. The mirrors wouldn't be large enough to light up more than a city, and the light would only have been the equivalent of a bright moonlight. And cities already have electric illumination at night. So this would only be substituting current electric night time lighting in city centers with the reflected light, which would have the advantage of cutting energy costs. The idea was being pitched as an energy saving measure for city centers. It's not so terrible if limited to urban centers.

Comment Re:Integration (Score 1) 547

Integration is not an experiment that succeeds or fails. It's life, and people and even entire populations change across as little as fifty years

It depends how you measure integration. You're looking at it in terms of language, which immigrants adapt to in the span of a couple of generations. However, for most immigrants the most important aspect of their culture is their religion. And even older immigrant populations in the United States have not easily changed their religious affiliation. Otherwise how would you explain Minneapolis' large Lutheran population (scandinavian migration) as opposed to the majority Catholic population in Boston (irish catholic immigration)?

Comment Re:Easy Fix (Score 1) 353

They can also continue to offer iPhones as display models only. The only difference would be customers would be able to complete their purchases of iPads and Macs in-store, whereas for iPhones they'd be directed to the online site to order their phone, which would be shipped out-of-state.

Given that Apple stores operate mostly as showrooms, it will hardly make a difference in their business model.

Comment Re:Bullshit ... (Score 1) 189

While people are quick to pick on the ATF, and I don't defend them for installing surveillance cameras, if you read the article they were actually the only ones to explain what they were doing. However, they only seemed to be responsible for a handful of the cameras

The vast majority of the cameras belong to other agencies - FBI, local police departments - and neither they nor the local utility company on whose poles they are installed would offer any explanation, asides from providing a heavily redacted spreadsheet informing that the existence of other cameras are exempt from disclosure due to ongoing investigations. This, despite the cameras themselves being viewable from the street.

Comment Re:So.. 1.5% of the population... (Score 2) 388

The problem these guys have is not gonna be that their plan is stupid, it's gonna be that getting a bunch of Libertarian internet activists to a) actually follow the fuck through and move to New Hampshire, b) show up to vote in boring off-years elections when nobody actually votes, and c) all vote the same fucking way even if both candidates disagree with them on some issue; is pretty much the definition of impossible. Especially c).

Which is why if they really wanted to make the most of their voting power they should be voting third-party Libertarian candidates into power instead. Given their numbers, and the fact that NH only has 3,300 voters per representative, it would be trivial for them to elect a couple of dozen third-party candidates in office. The problem with libertarian politics in the US is that they've made a devil's bargain with the Republican party. Social issues, foreign policy, immigration, privacy rights and internal security - on all these issues Libertarians fundamentally disagree with Republicans. It's about time Libertarians realize that their alliance with Republicans has only served to dilute their message to the broader public. Get a significant number into the state legislature, and they'll be a third party that will have to be taken seriously.

Comment Re:Cost vs Benefit (Score 1) 386

Yes, politics, corruption and violence would never allow any country in North Africa to develop a solar power plant... Except it's already being done. Morocco is not only building a massive solar power facility in the Sahara, with melted salt to store the energy, but is also developing power lines to export the electricity to Europe under the straight of Gibraltar.

Comment Re:Seems reasonable (Score 0) 197

I would say if the tenant is renting it out and able to make a profit it is only possible if the landlord is renting below market value. The tenant is merely exploiting the difference between his listed rental price and the market rental to make a profit. In a city with no rent control laws, landlords can always raise the rent to the market price.

The real issue here I suspect is the rent control laws, that force landlords to offer below market rates to tenants - and tenants savy enough to realize the bargain they are getting just sublet their units at the market rent for an easy profit.

Comment Re: In the US (Score 2) 347

I think you missed the part where this texan plumber's truck was featured in the Colbert Report, a segment which was rebroadcast primetime during the emmys, therefore making the subset of people who watched the video and and connected the truck to the business into the millions.

The article also mentions that Homeland Security and the FBI met with him and advised him to carry a gun due to the hundreds of daily calls and threats he was receiving. There is cause for him to be concerned with his safety here.

Comment Re:Before a human walks on Mars... (Score 1) 285

Before a human walks on Mars, there ought to be some humans born in Antarctica — an environment much more welcoming to our species than the red planet.

There already have been humans born in Antarctica. Both Chile and Argentina operate year round settlements in Antarctica. The Chilean settlement, Villa Las Estrellas, has the status of a town, with a primary school, bank,church, hospital and post office. The settlement of Antarctica is already starting, although in a very small scale.

Comment Re:The real issue (Score 1) 363

I've had the new edition trick pulled in most textbooks I was assigned in university. In my calculus classes, the new edition would essentially consist of swapping around the homework assignment numbers and shuffling sections around to make it difficult for students to follow using older editions.

Fortunately, I had a calculus teacher who was sympathetic to students and at the beggining of every class would release a table showing what the equivalent page numbers were for each edition for that day's material, and a table with equivalent homework assignment numbers per edition at the end of class. This allowed students to use older, cheaper editions if they wished

The irony was that that course had the highest percentage students buying new textbooks of all the courses I took in university, because students felt the book maintained value by being re-usable year over year through the teacher's equivalency tables for each edition, and so could easily resell them at the course's end.

Comment Same roles, different names (Score 1) 327

So instead of having jobs, in Holacracy people have roles. Each role belongs to a circle rather than a department, and circles are guided not by managers but by lead links.

So it sounds like you still have the same hierarchical management structure as before, out of organizational necessity. Except you've renamed the roles and the managers / lead links have the same added responsibility but no extra pay

Comment The gradualist approach will prevail (Score 2) 247

Business and practical considerations will mean that BMW's and other automakers gradual approach to automation will prevail. A gradual approach allows automakers to recoup their investment immediately, and allows automakers to fine tune their technology as each aspect of automation is rolled out. It is also important to note that regulatory agencies will react and set the rules for new autonomous vehicles on the road based on the technology that is on the road, so those carmakers rolling out the technology first - those with a gradual approach - will have a greater input on the regulatory nature of that technology. The risk for Google as that as the other automakers will end up defining that regulatory environment, their technology will be obsolete from a regulatory standpoint by the time it is rolled out.

As much as I like Google's approach from an engineering standpoint, the truth is Google is already being left behind in autonomous car technology. Other auto makers are already introducing various aspects of self driving - from automatic emergency braking, lane assist, adaptive cruise control - so that by the time Google has their self-driving vehicles ready for the market, the major automakers will already have a road-test, established and entrenched set of technology they're working with.

Comment Petitions are meaningless (Score 2) 216

It could present a political conundrum of sorts for the Obama administration.

How naive... they will respond as they always do with almost all these petitions - with a generic form letter statement that will provide vague reassurances that they are "looking into the issue", give no concrete plan for addressing the core demands while mostly evading the question. Anybody who thinks these petitions are worth the paper they are signed on and that the White House actually pays attention to them is deluded.

Comment Re:Well, that's embarrassing (Score 5, Insightful) 622

Well, just like how conclusive carbon dating of the shroud of Turin to the medieval period completely eliminated the throngs of faithful who believed in its miraculous origins

Or how the discovery of the Tomb of Jesus, which would appear to completely invalidate the ressurection and divine origin of Jesus, caused Christian worldwide to renounce their faith.

The faithful will continue to believe, regardless of the scientific evidence. And in this case, as the summary itself mentions, there's a perfect reasonable explanation for the date - the parchment could have been an older parchment that was re-used, which happened often enough in that time period. This will change nothing.

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