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Comment Re:Sounds rather slanted (Score 5, Insightful) 142

Spain *are* a much better team than Switzerland and this system would show that. Have them play a thousand times, and Spain would win the vast majority. So I'm not sure I see your point.

You do make a good point about Italy. However I'd be interested to see what the system actually says about Italy before condemning it.

Comment Too much work (Score 3, Interesting) 602

When the World Cup started, I thought of playing around with notch filters to remove the noise, but the whole thing just reeked of effort. The human brain is actually pretty good at filtering out noise if you give it a chance. Just watch the games and don't worry about the vuvuzelas and before long you won't even notice them. I don't. It's a lot like what happens when you live next to a highway.

Comment Re:Physician, not physicist (Score 1) 546

If the method of space travel being discussed doesn't result in high-energy collisions with hydrogen atoms in the first place, as is the case with a Star Trek like warp field (aka an Alcubierre drive), then he clearly isn't qualified. Every write-up I've seen on this guy's analysis, including TFA, is appended by notes explaining various things this guy omitted or didn't think of.

Frankly, whenever somebody claims to have proven that something is impossible, usually the only thing they have proven is that they are unimaginative dolt.

Comment Apples and oranges (Score 1) 437

By and large, people who make music are reasonably good at figuring out how to make decent music. They practise, they play for friends, they perform in small venues, they attract a following.

On the other hand, people who decide to write a book, often have no fucking clue how to write. Maybe they have a good idea, or an interesting story, or a unique perspective on certain events. But write a coherent well-structured book? Ha!

And the problem is, people think they can write. Let them all self-publish and many aren't going to believe they need professional help. Many musicians at least know they can benefit from a professional sound engineer, but how many first-time writers hire their own freelance editor?

Take book publishers out of the picture, and most auto-biographies would be unreadable. Large amounts of non-fiction would be unreadable, as would a surprising number of novels. Books that requires illustrations, would be filled with really crappy illustrations. Or none.

You think text books are hard to follow now? Leave academics to their own devices and see what you get.

Book publishers bring a lot more to the party than their music industry equivalents. They rewrite and restructure, fact-check, illustrate, do graphic design, obtain clearance for the use of quotations and excerpts, and translate to foreign languages.

I spent ten years writing custom software for book publishers, and I know that their's is one of the most complex and challenging businesses going. I'm not saying I agree with Macmillan's e-book pricing. But comparing them to the RIAA is ridiculous.

Comment Re:An Alternative (Score 1) 560

I get the feeling you really don't understand fandom.

People have natural tribal impulses, not to mention competitiveness. Belonging to a fan culture helps meet those primal needs. It doesn't matter if you are a fan of a sports team, a sci-fi show, a music act, or a political party. It's enjoyable to gather with fellow fans, and share a sense of pride, accomplishment, and belonging. Fans become emotionally invested, and it can become a huge part of their lives, and in my experience, almost always for the better.

And it's ridiculous to try and write off fans as being irrelevent spectators. If fans didn't exist and people didn't care about professional sports or entertainment or the democratic process, then those things wouldn't even exist. We only have them, because people do care, and watch, and pay money, and participate. And for that I am thankful.

Comment Re:So how do we DDoS Microsoft? (Score 1) 332

Why single out a relatively new service to hand the root of your domain over to?

Because that is the service that all of your internet-using customers will use to seek information about your company.

Maybe 'example.com' points to my mail server, because I am an email company.

Then that would be a stupid email company and deserves to go out of business.

I'm sorry, but if http://example.com/ does not bring up your company's website, then you are a dismal IT failure, and no amount of rationalisation or waving RFCs about will change that.

I understand and appreciate that there is often perceived to be a "right way" to do things in IT, but you still have to balance that against common sense, practical considerations, and user expectation. The "right way" may be right when seen within a specific and confined logical framework (networking 101), yet be completely moronic when placed within a broader context (business and marketing on the internet).

Comment Re:Valuable time in big cities (Score 1) 594

Is Toronto really that bad? I've lived all over Vancouver, and would have a hard time thinking of any residential neighborhood that isn't a few minutes away from a major grocery store. As long as you don't try to run errands in the middle of rush-hour traffic, and don't let brand loyalty rule your life, then I don't see what the problem is.

Comment Re:STFU (Score 1) 467

Sure, but what is the highest-energy hadron to be detected at ground level? High energy cosmic rays are detected by the fluoresence trails they leave in the upper atmosphere and the shower of particle debris that reaches detectors on the earth's surface. My understanding is that the hadrons in the particle shower generally are absorbed by the top 10% of the atmosphere, and what reaches the surface is mostly muons. I'm also going to take a wild guess and assume that the Large Hadron Collider will mostly be used for colliding hadrons.

Off the top of my head I can think of several significant differences between the earth's surface and the upper atmosphere. For one thing, there is a lot more of the earth's surface here at the earth's surface than there is in the upper atmosphere. There is also a lot more breathable atmosphere down here, as well as a lot more people. I'm surprised scientists haven't picked up on those differences. Speaking as a people, I am quite attached to the earth's surface, and very fond of its breathable atmosphere, and wouldn't want anything bad to happen to either.

The idea that something must be safe if it already naturally occurs in the upper atmosophere is demonstrably false. The upper atmosphere periodically sees nuclear sized explosions due to impacting meteors, and I'm pretty sure we wouldn't want to have those happening at the earth's surface.

It's worth noting that scientists were unaware that these nuclear sized explosions were occuring in the upper atmosphere until a few decades ago when the Defense Dept decided to share some of their satellite data. If scientists can overlook nuclear sized explosions happening above their heads, then you have to wonder what else is going on in the upper atmosphere that they don't know about. Perhaps these high energy hadron collisions are in fact horrifyingly dangerous, and we should be thankful that they are happening out of harms way in the upper atmosphere, instead of say, central Europe.

Just a thought.

Comment Re:Zero warning (Score 2, Funny) 162

If you were to test it on every rat in existence, leading to the total exctinction of the rat species, then blow up the earth, and kill every other sentient being in the universe, while ascending to godhood and changing the laws of physics so that salt water can no longer exist, then I think that would pretty much prove it. Your problem is that you're just lazy.

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