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Comment Re:Of course it is. (Score 0) 286

Sanctions are irrelevant too. They're not law or whatever; they're merely the opinion of some random majority of countries and since the world is not a democracy, North-Korea doesn't really give a fuck. Why would it? It's at war with a country that's on the opposite side of the world. I would start developing proper weapons too if I were at war with a country that has an rather long history of Not Minding It's Own Business Unless The "Enemy" Has Big Ass Rockets.

Comment Yes and no? (Score 1) 112

My "personal workspace" really is messy enough to inspire a reality TV series. But that's only when I'm not working. When I'm working, my field of view is effectively limited to my monitors, which are tidy like a cleanroom. That's exactly the reason why my workspace is a mess: I never see it:p

Comment Re:legalism is a crap philosophy. (Score 1) 582

In the Netherlands we used to have a lot of cyclists without lights. As in: well over half of the cyclists would bike around in the middle of the night, ignoring traffic lights on a pitch black bike. Maybe the law was too stringent?

Then we started seriously enforcing the law. Now a cyclist without lights is a rare sight and fatalities have dwindled a lot. What I'm trying to say: never judge the value of a law by how well people abide by it if the law is not properly enforced.

Comment Re: "just a century"? (Score 2) 412

Buildbots probably wouldn't consume planets; escaping from their gravity well would be much too costly compared to the alternatives. They probably would use asteroids instead, taking their time to tweak their orbits so they arrive at their destination processing plant with a minimum amount of energy. This would almost certainly not happen at an exponential rate. As with all mining, they would start with the low hanging fruit, causing production to become increasingly more difficult as time passes, prohibiting durable exponential growth.

Also, while I'm typing a comment anyway, the Dyson sphere would probably reflect raditation to several power stations within it. These might very well redistribute it by simply reflecting it back out, for example to stations in the outer star system, from where it can be redistributed to their mining sites (perhaps even simply blasting asteroids with radiation in order to control their orbits). This would cause the radiation from the Dyson sphere that Schafer expects to come from somewhere else entirely and probably not in a uniform way at all; we might very well not even be able to detect it or would perhaps discount short bursts of radiation reflected from asteroids as being noise. I can imagine their entire star system to look like a giant beautiful collection of laser scanners ;)

Comment Re:Environmentally unconscious (Score 1) 197

totally negligible

That might be true, but the continuous stream of valuable nutrients (especially hosphorus!) that used to simply be returned to the ground in the form of shit and bodies that are now either buried deeply or dumped in wastewater is probably huge. We cannot keep taking stuff from the environment and dump it in the sea or in graves and expect this not to have an impact. About 1% of the human body is phosporus. We contain 4% of total yearly phosporus. After burying a few hundred years worth of human bodies this starts to add up to quite a lot.

Comment This is not the sad graph of software death (Score 2) 210

The graph of software death looks much worse than this. What we see in this graph is that the number of open issues in this project grows linearly with the number of issues resolved. This is normal; the number of open issues directly corresponds to the size/complexity of the software. Many issues are likely not ever going to be resolved and in practice this is fine; for most software the economically optimum quality level is simply not "issue free".

Also, it is highly likely for software to gain features that are not going to stay. The bug count for such features will grow and make your graph look very sad. However, once the component is dropped and all open bugs can be closed, you will often see that a relatively large number of bugs were in that component. Without such information, it is impossible to tell what a graph is trying to tell you.

The sad graph of software death does not just have the number of open bugs growing; that's normal. It has the created:resolved rate itself growing. This might, however, be very subtle; perhaps even this projects' bug count is growing exponentially, but with a mere 15 data points it is impossible to tell.

So if your project looks like this graph, which I'm pretty sure it will if you're dealing with somewhat mature software that is continuously being developed, be happy about. You're just fine. Your software is not about to explode anytime soon. If, however, you see the created:resolved rate itself growing then you're in trouble.

Comment Nonsense (Score 4, Insightful) 474

This is nonsense. What Utrecht and Nijmegen are doing is simple welfare reform. It has absolutely nothing to do with basic income. I don't get how The Guardian failed to see that. Why these politicians keep calling it "basic income" is completely beyond me.

For real basic income, look at Finland; they're actually doing it.

Comment Germany (Score 1) 263

Let's not forget Germany already has the oddest photography laws of all western countries. It is the only country that effectively makes the art of street photograph illegal: you should have consent of all people in your picture, even in public places. All pictures of the Berlin Wall being taken down would be illegal if taken today. There's a reason Germany doesn't have Google Streetview.

In most countries, photographs are the property of the photographer and he can do with them whatever he wants (if it is not obviously damaging to the subjects). In Germany, that's not the case; photographers need consent not only to use pictures but even to take them. In that regard, Germany is unique and against that background, this ruling is no surprise. In fact it is completely consistent with the way Germany deals with photography in general.

Comment Re:Cold fusion is psuedo-science (Score 1) 344

If Rossi actually succeeded with cold fusion, he would be the richest man on the planet, instead he is a clown with a black box.

That's not entirely true. The same could be said about super-efficient solar panels. Instead, they don't make you an instant billionaire either. There's always the economic component. Whether Rossi's eCat works or not, it requires fuel, hydrogen, a fat powerline and probably some hard-to-get permits. I can imagine it is very expensive to keep it running for longer terms and I think hydrogen storage is going to be a major issue when running this thing any longer than a few days. For comparison: the hydrogen tank in a car like the BMW Hydrogen 7 drains empty in a matter of days.

There's no reason to believe it will be significantly cheaper than any of the renewable energy sources we use today. It might be eventually (if it works at all), though. However, for the eCat to make Rossi rich, he's going to have to do a shitload of additional research.

Comment Re:ah, scientists (Score 1) 184

When he advocated for the safety of leaded gasoline, he wasn't lying for financial gain, he was doing so because he believed it. The scientists protecting you from ozone holes or lead or snake oil are indistinguishable from the scientists that create the ozone holes or leaded gasoline in the first place, or the scientists that create better cancer treatments; it's only in hindsight that you know who was right.

When he was advocating the safety of leaded gasoline, that almost certainly wasn't science. It would even back then have been easy to see that. You can very well know who was or is right without hindsight.

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