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Comment Re:Its always been like this (Score 1) 326

Not disputing your point, but providing information: (...) It's called the Freedom to Roam.

More like disinformation, almost all significant rights to live off the land belong to the land owner. Here in Norway the freedom to roam gives you the right to do what would normally be considered trespassing in the US, but you can't make any long term campsite, cut down any trees, do any hunting and hardly any fishing in lakes and rivers without paying fees. You can fish on the coast and collect wild berries and mushrooms, herbs and flowers with relatively few restrictions but they're made to discourage any significant commercial use and would also practically make it almost impossible to live off.

It's primary function is that you can roam in nature - walking, biking, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, cross-country skiing and so on. A secondary function is that you can stay a while for say sunbathing or camping out in a tent, you can also collect dead branches and such for firewood but not leave much of a permanent mark. Being able to collect some of nature's produce is a tertiary function and usually only those resources that'd otherwise go to waste, if it's a commercially viable resource there's usually restrictions like salmon fishing or moose hunting. Living off the land pre-agriculture was very tough to begin with, within the modern confines it'd be even harder.

And you'd probably starve anyway, because most people today aren't very familiar with the old ways of preserving foods like drying, curing, smoking etc. which are absolutely essential to survive the ups and down of a hunter-gatherer society. And just the fact that you were a tribe averaging your luck out across many individuals, hopefully at least somebody caught or found something. Agriculture and domestication brought a relative stability to food supply while the natural supply is extremely seasonal.

Comment Re:Why is this x86 and not 64bit? (Score 1) 98

Sometimes the internal CPU data bus can be 128-bits, 256-bits, or 512-bits, but the external data bus on the board is 64-bits. There isn't anything to stop the two being different sizes except the bus protocols for sending and receiving data. This applies to the address bus as well. Some 8-bit systems got around the memory limitations of 64K by having a hardware page register that could select a particular bank of memory visible through a virtual "window". PC's from 1990's used segmented memory where everything was accessed in 64K segments.

Comment Re:They don't need to be up there (Score 1) 98

Different GPU's would have different levels of efficiency for various tasks. This would depend on cache sizes, float-point precision, number of parallelized logic units, queueing, cross-bar switching, and all sorts of other parallel processing tweaks. Data flow design isn't any different from getting as many customers through a Disney theme park as fast as possible.

Whichever GPU is faster is going to do most of the work.

Comment Re:Its always been like this (Score 1) 326

Poverty is a huge driver of overpopulation. Poor people tend to have more kids to provide for them in their later years. Countries with prosperous economies that are broadly shared tend to have much lower birth rates than poorer countries. That's because raising new humans is a lot of work; if people don't feel like they need to do that, they won't. China, of course, is an exception due to their one-child policy.

And often combined with poor access to contraception, a patriarchy where you want sons to get married not daughters to marry away and a shoddy health care system which means not all your kids might grow up. Even when those things are no longer true it takes time for culture to change and in the meantime you get a huge population bump. That's why we've gone from 2 billion people in 1927 to 7+ billion and counting.

Comment Re:More and more cores? (Score 4, Interesting) 98

They'll do research and try and raise clock speeds, but the amount of heat required and the amount of cooling required is proportional to the square of the clock speed. The faster you try and change the state of something (electric charge), the more heat is generated. They might be able to switch to optical computing then the heat problem goes away. Maybe they'll get more efficient CPU's with fewer transistors and more parallelization.

But, it's far simpler to just add more cores as transistor sizes shrink by a half every year or two. That's guaranteed.

Comment Re:There is no left (Score 1) 362

If you ever saw a Californian phone bill, you would see that there are about a dozen taxes all tacked onto the phone bill. Some pay for 911 services, others pay for universal service (federal), then there's the state sales tax, local sale tax, state excise tax, local wireless 911, state wireless 911, and a few others.

Even if you buy a new cellphone, you'll find that theres a state code that requires that all cell phones are taxed on the full retail amount, not the actual discounted purchase price.

Comment This could be really useful for docks and ferries (Score 5, Interesting) 104

One of the most time consuming parts of a short journey is getting the passenger doors aligned with the port-side gangways. Unlike airports, it's not the gangways that move to the plane, it's the vessel that must align with the portside. Sometimes the portside gangway can move up or down, but many times, the crew have to tie down these mini gangways with ropes when the tides and ballast tanks aren't enough. It takes several minutes of maneuvering to get the ship aligned with the dockside, sometimes even having to reverse and try again, especially in heavy swells. If they could get GPS down to several inches, combined with the sideways movement that many catamarans have, docking could be done automatically.

Comment Re:And the 4 combinations are... (Score 2) 51

"The results suggest that four common drug combinations may cause a potentially fatal heart rhythm." ... Um, which are? May be important in here.

I wouldn't get your panties in a twist just yet. Even though the methodology is interesting there is ** NO ** statistical analysis of the data so I'm presuming that non exists and this is one of those many, many "associative" studies that don't pan out in practice. To their credit, they try to correlate the drugs with some sort of plausible biochemical pathway but without any sort of kinetic data, it is impossible to determine if these things actually do happen and if they do, to what frequency.

The combination of ceftriaxone (an antibiotic) and lanzaprole (a Prilosec clone for acid reduction) is extremely common in a hospitalized setting. If there was any reasonable clinical correlation we would likely have seen something by now.

It is food for thought, good for a bunch of grants but I'd still buckle my seatbelt and stay away from errant meteors.

Comment Re:Who still uses pagers? (Score 2) 281

You can still buy brand new Motorola Minitors. v and 6's are current. Yep, they're old tech and voice besides. The new once have a bit of memory so you can replay the page which was the biggest issue with the old analogs.

I just delivered four brand new ones to some ER docs. The youngest one looked at it a bit curiously. I think it's the first time he's seen a pager.

Comment Re:Smart! (Score 1) 183

IF there was an actual store that did that I would go in there once a week, fill my cart up, have the cashier ring me up, bag the groceries and then flip out and storm out when they refused to take the cash

And you could do that once. The second time you'll get banned from the store. The third time they call the cops on you for trespassing.

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