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Comment Re:Wht not sound? (Score 1) 128

>> Different mixes and levels for different apps

Weird... I wanted that feature, and that's exactly why I was installing PulseAudio for a year before Ubuntu picked it up as a standard. PulseAudio makes per-app mixing just work, whereas before Pulse came around I had never seen any OS do that since the BeOS.

Comment Re:North Carolina (Score 0) 108

> I live in Raleigh, NC, and for those who have a jaundiced perspective of the south I would like to say that this region is booming in terms of technology-centric business

You know, maybe it's because I've always lived to the south of you (Atlanta), but I never really applied the negative southern stereotype to North Carolina, not until you amended your constitution just a couple weeks ago.

It will be interesting to see how that decision affects the state in the medium term... stereotypes and reputation like that can have a lot of impact on whether companies choose to set up shop there.

Comment Electric Drive Train? (Score 4, Insightful) 582

You are assuming that EV will simply replace the current engine and fuel tank with an electric engine and battery... This is not what has to happen.

Currently engines are big and heavy so you only have one. You then have to transfer the rotational energy of the engine to the wheels. But Electric motors are very light and tiny. So why not have 4?

Put a small electric engine in each wheel and you eliminate the entire drive train... no more drive train losses and EV's are back up to 90%.

Your 72% efficiency only applies to ICE cars that have been converted to EV's.


Mitt Romney, Robotics, and the Uncanny Valley 501

Hugh Pickens writes "Brian Fung writes in the Atlantic that one of Romney's electoral problems is that he occupies a kind of uncanny valley for politicians, inexplicably turning voters off despite looking like the textbook image of an American president. Just as people who interact with lifelike robots often develop a strange feeling due to something they can't quite name, something about Romney leaves voters unsettled. As with the robotic version of the uncanny valley, the closer Romney gets to becoming real to a voter, the more his likeability declines. 'The effect is almost involuntary, considering the substantial advantages Romney enjoys from appearance alone,' writes Fung. 'But in person, his polished persona gives way to what appears a surprisingly forced and inauthentic character.' Political commentator Dana Milbanks adds that although Romney is confident and competent, in casual moments his weirdness comes through — equal parts 'Leave It to Beaver' corniness and social awkwardness. 'Romney's task now is to work his way out of the uncanny valley toward a more compelling style of humanity,' concludes Fung. 'But every day he lingers in it, the hill grows steeper.'"

2011 Was the 9th Hottest Year On Record 877

The Bad Astronomer writes "Last year was the 9th hottest year out of the past 130, according to NASA and the NOAA. That's no coincidence: nine out of the ten hottest years on record have been since the year 2000. It's long past time to face facts: the Earth is getting hotter, and to deny it is an exercise in fantasy."

Comment Re:Take that... (Score 1) 257

Direct observation of quasars and other celestial objects.

We can deffinetivly identify the direction of rotation of pulsars as well as a variety of other objects with accretion discs. From these observations we have determined that from our perspective, the orbital plan is esssentially random.

Since we know that angular momentum is conserved, it is safe to assume that the original stars that formed these objects had a random distribution of orbital plans relative to us.

Since we know stars have a random distribution of orbital plans, it is safe to assume that the planets round thoes stars do as well...

All based on direct observation.

Comment Re:And now lets word it to screw the little guy. (Score 2) 694

Actually, the military spending (Not just DOD) is actually ~60% of federal spending when you include everything related to defense including homeland security, CIA etc, military projects at NASA, veterans affairs etc plus the interest on the debts directly related to these projects.

Right now the DOD (only about half of all defense spending) is fully 50% of the world spending on military. The US is only 20% of the world GDP. therefore the CORRECT spending on the military is actually about 25% of what we actually spend...

Social security is not a problem. It is completely funded through payroll taxes.

Medicare IS a problem but the solutions is politically unpalitable... True comprehensive coverage of every single person with a reduction in actual benefits (primarily not offering MRIs when X-rays are sufficient)

Comment Re:Social conservatives amaze me... (Score 1) 569

> I dunno if we should mandate it on men. Then again, I don't think it should be mandated for women either, at least not without parental consent to opt in.

The problem with that approach is that the anti-vaccination kooks don't just make themselves and each other sick, they incubate diseases that affect everyone.

Comment Re:This is god talking to man (Score 1) 1345

As far as the levitical laws, for the most part we actually follow them today.

They described crop rotation, bathing, illness identification and structural fumigation. All these things we still do today.

Most people concentrate on the dietary rules but why are they bad? Most of the animals forbidden were generally poor food or even deadly. Pork for instance is still a meat that has a disease risk and still kills people every year.

How about the marriage laws? Remember, people often died young and a surviving wife's only chance of living was to remarry and so she was married to the closest male relative rather than a stranger. In this scenario people need clear rules on who can marry whom without inbreeding too badly.

How about the homosexuality... If you actually read the bible, homosexuality was only mentioned about a half-dozen times. The Israelites were forbidden to use sex, homo or hetero, in the worship of the lord and they were not allowed to use rape, homo or hetero, as a means of interrogation.

There are only a few parts of the old-testament law that I don't really get. The first is to not "Stew a lamb in it's mothers milk." I guess maybe they thought it was cruel or disgusting or something. The next is "Only wear clothes of the same material." I have to assume this was to keep the clothes from wearing out since different fabrics wear at different rates which tends to shorten the life of the garment over either material alone. But both of these are guesses on my part and really minor concerns.

As far as old vs new, there really isn't that much difference. You car comparing writings that are at LEAST 2000 years apart. When you compare the new testament to Malachi, the youngest old testament book, you find far fewer differences even though these are almost 500 years apart. There were other texts that did not make it into the bible that actually show a fairly smooth transition from genesis to Matthew.

As far as Paul vs Mark, there actually aren't many differences. Remember, Mark was reporting history (he even describes himself as a reporter) while Paul was taking the principles and creating an operating organization. There are aspects in real life applications that Jesus did not go into great detail on and Paul filled in those details.

Actually I really respect Paul because he taught that 'Jesus said this, I believe this, but it would be ok to do that.'

Excluding the Unitary Universalists who are not and don't claim to be Christian, what major differences are there between the various mainstream sects of Christianity? Excluding of course who it the earthly head of the church.

Comment Re:This is god talking to man (Score 1) 1345

Who said god is afraid?

Why is god an asshole? Since as you pointed out it was this knowledge that turned us from happy and innocent into what we are today.

I actually often say that pre-puberty is the best time of life. As they say, ignorance is bliss.

Did god forbid knowledge for his god or ours? Also if you recall, god cast them out of the garden NOT because of the knowledge but because they had access to the 'tree of eternal life.' Can you imagine the terror of immortal man as we are today...

Comment Re:Science is evil too (Score 1) 1345

I suggest you re-read your Torah, Bible, Koran and you Tipitaka.

The actual morality espoused is far from scary in fact I bet it is what you personally wish for yourself.

Now, like people can abuse science, people can make claims in the name of a religion that goes directly against the principles of that religion and because they are either a person of note or because the general social environment is unstable a portion of the population who are intellectually lazy will follow. This does NOT mean the religion actually supports this view.

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