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Comment Re:Nuclear Power is unnecessary. (Score 1) 413

Electricity is actually 100% efficient for heating. You might lose a bit of energy that escapes as EM if the coil is glowing, but other than that it's 100% heat. You're right that, if you're in the US and your electricity comes from gas or other fossil fuels in the first place, it's inefficient. You go from gas -> electricity -> heat instead of going directly gas -> heat.

I live in Quebec, much colder than anything you get in the US, and well over two thirds of our houses are heated by electricity. However, 90% of our power comes from hydro. There are huge advantages to using electric, such as being able to assign a different temperature to each room in the house and very fine control.

There's nothing inherently inefficient about using electricity for heating, unless you use a very inefficient way of generating electric power (such as burning oil).

Comment Re:bullshit on cocaine's addictiveness (Score 3, Insightful) 360

That chart was made by asking health professionals about how each drug should be ranked. That's not a very good way of measuring addiction, because it depends on perception more than fact. Science is about observation, hypothesis and testing. Most studies done on the topic show that cocaine is about as addictive as alcohol.

For example, in a study in The Lancet, cocaine is listed as slightly more psychologically addictive as alcohol (2.37 vs 1.93), but physically less addictive (1.3 vs 1.6). In Health also published an article that lists cocaine as less addictive than alcohol. Most studies I've seen list them as relatively equal.

It's hard to get any serious and impartial studies done on the topic because there's such a strong political backlash, should the results be even moderately different than the official government stance.

I'm still not sure that legalization is the right way to handle the drugs issue, but I wish that the topic could be discussed with some objectivity. I'm not a drug user myself, but a large amount of my taxes go to paying for jail time for drug users, which I'm not convinced in the right approach. I just wish people stopped lying about it so that we, as a society, could handle the problem rationally instead of hysterical shrills.

Comment Re:yes: it's working for you (Score 3, Informative) 360

Cocain, unlike heroin, doesn't cause physical dependance. Basically, all the craving for cocain is psychological, much like marijuana. It is somewhat addictive, as some studies showed that 5% of regular cocain users become addicted to it, but it's not essentially any worse than marijuana. The problem is that it needs to be processed and costs more to produce than pot, so addicts have to get more income to sustain their habit (leading to more frequent or more ambitious crime if the user is poor). Heroin, on the other hand, is addictive on the physical level. Users who try to kick the habit by going cold turkey will be violently ill for days and can even die. I never really understood why those two drugs are often bundled together when talking about the consequences of drug addiction, because they are vastly different. Cocain and heroin use don't have nearly the same consequences.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 283

The point that people were making, and that you seem very intent on not getting, is that the e-ink kindle has nothing to do with android at all. It runs a custom linux build, but doesn't have any relationship with android, nor any shared code with android, unless you count the fact that android is also using linux as its kernel. Calling the e-ink kindle OS "android" makes just as much sense as saying that a Red Hat desktop PC is running android.

Comment Re:And the unions are pissed... (Score 2) 575

I think people in the tech sector have a skewed perception of a decent pay. Perhaps because the cost of living in areas with a high concentration of tech jobs tends to be high, I'm not sure. Wages of $25 per hour ($50,000 yearly assuming 40h work weeks) are well over the median US income, (around $37,000), so I'd say that this is in fact, "paid pretty well". Your examples of earning over $50 per hour would put you in the top 10% earners in the USA, so that's not merely "paid pretty well", but exceptional.

Comment Slashdot is dying, netcraft confirms it... (Score 5, Interesting) 339

Well folks, that's it, the beginning of the end. Instead of making sure the site stays attractive to hardcore geeks, the people who are managing slashdot are diluting its value by doing some blatant marketing pushes.

I've been reading slashdot daily for what, 8 years now? Between the stupid "vlog" and all the latest attempts at being something it should not be, I think I'm going to be done with this site soon.

Slashdot has always done only a few things, but these core qualities were done extremely well, making this site interesting for people like me.

1. Keep the signal to noise ratio high. The moderation system has worked well to keep the SN ratio relatively high. Browsing at +2, when not moderating, keeps the discussion fairly clean and interesting. It's degraded a bit over the years, but I feel this is still slashdot's strongest point. Compared to sites like digg and reddit, slashdot discussions are mostly sane, polite and flame-free.

2. By the virtue of point 1 above and being a site targeted at hardcore geeks, you often get to speak with people involved in the stories first-hand. Over the years, I read and participated in threads with some very smart, interesting people. On stories about solar powered car competitions, we had the participants pitch in. On stories about new wireless chips, we sometimes had the engineers who designed it comment. On stories about Star Trek, you had Wil Wheaton giving behind-the-scenes stories. This was possible because slashdot was a site where geeks felt comfortable having discussions. Over the last few years, slashdot has been slowly losing this quality.

3. Clean, clutter-free interface that doesn't attempt to be anything else than a good place to discuss news stories of interest to geeks. Geeks like function over fluff and slashdot delivers. It doesn't need to be ugly, just functional and not distracting. All the crap you've been adding to the site of late is detracting from this. Things like the stupid videos or the "pulse" poll; blatant advertising barely disguised as something else.

This is just one geek's opinion, but slashdot is slowly going in the wrong direction. I know that if you keep this up you're going to lose me as a reader, and I have the feeling I'm far from the only one.

Comment Re:Sure thing (Score 1) 280

Don't bother, the rest of the books are tainted by Card's religious zealotry. They are preachy, arrogant and generally terrible. Ender's Shadow, a retelling of Ender's Game through Bean's point of view is the best of the bunch, but it's still nowhere near as good as Ender's Game.

Having read them, I wish I had spent those hours reading something else instead. If you want to go with Tor, You have amazing series like Game of Thrones, or the Wheel of Time series.

Comment Re:Thanks to DRM, I stole your FIRST POST (Score 1) 332

That's because, ironically, you have to be online to enable offline mode. So it won't help you if you want to play a game but suddenly realize that your ISP is having connectivity issues. This has actually happened to me once, and I used my iPhone's network connection to enable offline mode and after that it was fine. I admit though, that if I hadn't had that option I would have been quite mad.

Comment Re:Thanks to DRM, I stole your FIRST POST (Score 1) 332

As i understand it you can't currently leave Steam in offline mode forever, after something like 30 days it'll want to connect and won't let you go back to offline mode until you do.

Not from my experience. Steam offline mode lasts forever, and it never bugs you to go online. I've had steam running offline on my laptop for well over 6 months (I hate it when it disconnects my desktop) and it never asked me to go online to play any game I've tried, and I have about 200 games in my collection.

Steam offline mode is just that, offline mode. The only check is done when you go offline, after that you can use it forever (or in my case, until there's a new game I want to play on my laptop that I have to download).

Comment Re:It should be throttled. (Score 2) 165

I think people are confusing arbitrary throttling with priority queues. What Rogers and Bell are doing is arbitrarily limiting the rate of p2p traffic to 25KB/s. This is just rate limiting. If, on the other hand, they would treat VOIP traffic as higher priority and process those packets first, possibly dropping the lower p2p traffic if the link is congested, that would be perfectly fine. Just don't rate limit p2p to 5% of advertised bandwidth for no good reason.

Comment Re:Parent post is ignorant (Score 1) 169

Not to be pedantic, but there are some carriers for which this is true. For example, in Canada, if you're with Bell Canada or Telus, if you turn off 3G you do lose the ability to make phone calls. This is because their network is CDMA and not GSM, and they only support LTE (so no Edge or even standard non-data GSM). I think there is now a CDMA version of the iPhone, but I have a 3GS phone with Telus that can't receive or place calls if I turn off 3G.

Comment Re:Why are they testing on HIV positive people? (Score 5, Informative) 365

I've worked with an organization providing care to the homeless a few years ago, and while being HIV+ is not a short-term death sentence anymore, it is nowhere near as easy to treat as you make it. Most patients can expect to spend about 3 to 7 years using drugs with only moderate side-effects, but after that, most start needing to use some stronger drugs. These can have very serious side effects, including vomiting several times a day, constant headaches, extreme dizziness, lack of appetite so bad that they have to force themselves to eat every meal, sexual dysfunction, etc.

I'm not a medical professional but from what I understand there are also strains of HIV that need the "strong" treatment right away, and people can even get multiple strains (I saw a few of those). Even with the medication being free in Canada, where I live, I spoke with people in their late 30s who stopped taking the meds because they'd rather have a few more years of relatively good life than living with the drugs' side effects.

We've made a lot of progress, but HIV is still a death sentence, just longer term. And you'll feel miserable for the better part of your remaining life. Not something to take lightly.

Comment Re:No vulnerabilities? (Score 5, Informative) 124

This doesn't give root, it just allows you to run a command within the context of the installed app. The app launches the web browser to pass data to and from a middleware server. So if the app itself doesn't have any specific access (including network access) it can still transfer data through launching a browser session.

It's more of a conscious decision by the android team. If you allow an application to launch an URL, then of course it can transfer data through the http session. However not allowing apps to launch a simple URL link would be very limiting, so they chose not to do that. I'm not sure there's a fix really, as this is a classic security / convenience problem.

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