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Comment Re:Paris had cars? (Score 3, Informative) 405

Yet, [Houston doesn't] have the pollution problem of Paris, LA, Mexico City, or Beijing.

Are you sure we don't? I looked at some EPA data, and it seems like on our bad days (in August) we're up in the particulate range that Paris is in now. We also have a lot of trouble with ozone. I'm pretty sure LA's air quality is better than ours now, or at least was for several years.

I don't think comparing Houston to Mexico City or Beijing makes sense. They have a lot more people crammed into a smaller space with worse cars.

Comment Re:Where is the center? (Score 1) 269

There is no center. The expansion happens everywhere at once. A mediocre but helpful analogy is to the surface of an expanding balloon. Imagine drawing a bunch of dots on the surface. As the balloon expands, every dot moves farther from every other dot. There is no center -- or rather, *every* point looks like a center.

(Note that in this analogy, the universe is the *surface* of the balloon only. The 3D expansion of the balloon has a center, but the 2D stretching of the surface does not. It's a bit confusing, which is why it's a mediocre analogy.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_expansion_of_space

Comment Re:And the US could turn Russia into vapor (Score 2) 878

What I'm saying is, I don't think that even if the missiles were headed this way, Obama still wouldn't have the guts to give the order for a counter-strike.

He doesn't have to actually do it. All he has to do is project enough uncertainty to stop Russia from launching a first strike. That's enough for MAD.

Personally, if the missiles were in the air, I wouldn't actually retaliate, at least not massively. If the U.S. is already doomed, what benefit is there from killing 140 million Russians, almost none of whom had any say in the launch decision? We couldn't even enjoy watching Russia burn, since their missiles will arrive first. Maybe I'd launch a couple missiles at Moscow to try to decapitate their government.

Comment Re:Nice but pointless for me (Score 1) 377

I have a strong gaming rig and I won't bother with Titanfall for one simple fact: The PC version requires Origin to play it.

I've been going back and forth on this. I keep hearing it's really good, but I hate having to reinstall Origin for one game. I wish EA would stop holding their games hostage. But wishing for EA to be less greedy is pretty hopeless.

Comment Re:WoSaT (Score 1) 102

Credited in the titles as "55MPH Briefcase", but I don't think Jittlov ever got it going that fast.

Didn't he call it "killer" or something like it, because it was so difficult to control, especially on that down-the-hill run?

(I thought of it, too, buit posted following up something early in the discussion before seeing the WoSaT posting.)

Comment Hiding it lets it recur under new names. (Score 3, Insightful) 279

Nazi propaganda must be beaten, not hidden. The best way to discredit an idiot is to hand him a microphone and let him speak.

Further, hiding it makes it impossible for later generations to recognize the very seductive ideas when they reappear, later, without the "NAZI" label on them.

It's a classic example of the adage about being doomed to repeat history if you fail to learn from it. How can you learn from it if it's censored away?

Comment I must take issue with you on some of that. (Score 1) 747

The people who are the best in technical fields tend to have well developed social intelligence as well as being technically brilliant. These aren't either-or abilities. The lack of social or emotional skills is a cognitive deficit.

As one who moved to Silicon Valley (which looks to me like one big Aspergers ward B-J ) and socializes with many of the founders of the compter industry, I can tell you that there are a lot of unquestionably "technically brilliant" and wildly successful people who would be textbook examples of Aspergers' "sufferers".

My own opinion is somewhat between yours and that of the previous poster: I suspect Aspergers' people primarily do well with computers because it's a field where the "missing social skills" are not an impediment to success.

The various levels of social-skill blindness, and the resulting stronger focus on the functionality that IS present, may also help more with the programming somewhat (if only by reducing distriction from anthropomorphizing the machines), or it may simply be irrelevant. I suspect it helps some - more than lack of communication with the Pointy Haired Bosses hurts - but that any such effect pales before the "something interesting I can do" effect.

Yes, social skills can help in teamwork, organizing and finding financing for companies, and in finding problems that technology can solve and earn a profit doing so. (Example: Social media.) On the other hand, building technological prosthetics to help replace the missing functionality can also help lead to success. (Example again: Social media.)

Comment Booster doses (Score 1) 747

[reference to graph with post-vaccination bumps in Measles incidences and a recommendation for a second, booster, dose at the start of the third bump.]

Maybe this is just the half-time of the shots, and it's time to refresh? I.e. "2014, third dose recommended"

I suspect the second-dose recommendation was driven by the detection of substantial numbers of Measles cases among those vaccinated a few years previously, indicating that the immunity from one dose wore down after a few years.

I also suspect that we'll get a third-dose recommendation iff a similar number of cases is detected among those who had two dosesk (of non-defectivek vaccine, properly spaced).

The proper signal comes, not from the overall infection rate, but from the infection rate among those already vaccinated.

Comment How's that mass transit working out for you? (Score 1) 747

From an LA Times story:

Earlier this week, fears emerged that thousands of people might have been exposed to measles when a sick UC Berkeley student traveled on the Bay Area Rapid Transit system.

And from the story it referenced:

In yet another sign of the perils and irresponsibility of the anti-vaccination movement, thousands of riders of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system are being warned that they may have been exposed to measles -- a disease that was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000 but has since returned.The latest threat comes from an unnamed and unvaccinated UC Berkeley student who apparently contracted the disease while traveling in the Philippines during an outbreak there. Public health officials in Contra Costa County say people who rode BART during the morning or evening rush hours from Feb. 4 through Feb. 7 may have been exposed by the carrier, who is unidentified.

That could be hundreds of thousands of people.

(The estimate was later expanded to millions. Also, this "patient zero" infected four of his family members in addition to any he infected on the BART or elsewhere.)

There's more than fuel efficiency to consider when comparing mass transit vs. private automobile transportation.

Comment Consistent moderation? It's funny, laugh! (Score 0) 747

Slashdot moderators have absolutely no intellectual honesty.

Shashdot moderators have no CONSISTENCY. They are randomly selected and only get to moderate a small number of posts each.

Further, they each get to chose which postings they moderate. People with different idea systems and hot buttons will chose different postings.

To expect "intellectual honesty" in the moderators to be visible as some visible, rational, consistency among moderation of diverse items is to expect that the readership of Slashdot to be suffering from such extreme group-think that they all moderate identically (excetpt for their choices of what to moderate).

Comment Because if somebody breaks THOSE ... (Score 1) 143

Why don't we decide on a handful of strong PRNGs, and make every major OS use them exclusively,

Maybe because if somebody then breaks one or more of THOSE they have a zero-day exploit for EVERYTHING.

While we're at it. why don't we standardize on an operating system, and version, and stop all this diversity? After all, if a committee comes up with a pick how can any individual or team invent anything better?

Genetic engineering is getting to the point that we can soon modify our children so they all have the same immune system - the best one we can find in the wild or tweak up. Why don't we do that too? After all, you'd NEVER see a disease mutate so it's fatal to everyone with that flavor of immune system, would you? B-/ (You know, like the corn blight that was fatal to the cytoplasmic male-sterile corn that was virtually all that was grown in the US in the early '70s, and nearly wiped out the crop for a year or two?)

Of course the REAL reason is because it's a FREE MARKET. Companies who's management thinks they have a better design for a random number generator get to deploy their own choice, and the customers get to decide whether they want to trust their data and critical processes to that OS or switch to some alternative (either immediately or after they pick up the pieces from the LAST set of exploits...)

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