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Comment Re:Oh Look (Score 1) 118

Sometimes I wonder why science is a religion for these people since they obviously have some kind of emotional need to destroy what it produces?

Same reason that many religious people do the same -- to prove they're "better" at it and satisfy their own ego, regardless of what their own faith supposedly teaches them.

Comment People also say that about voting for incumbent (Score 3) 289

People say, I am am beginning to agree, that voting for the incumbent office holder is throwing your vote away. If that is the case, then you only have two choices: The main party challenger or the third party challenger.

Therefore, voting for the third party is not throwing your vote away. Its voting for one of your only two options for not throwing your vote away.

Comment Re:14c/kWh (Score 1) 377

...the primary cost is up-front installation, and maintenance costs are virtually zero thereafter.

This is more true of photovoltaic panel ("solar cell") systems, where the panels themselves are the largest cost, the only moving parts in the system are slow-motion, low-load sun-tracking motors, and where maintenance consists of washing dust off the panels from time to time. Sunlight is converted directly to electricity in a single solid-state device.

Solar thermal power plants are more complicated beasties, with a lot more moving parts. In the facility described by this article, moving reflectors focus sunlight on a network of light-absorbing pipe containing some sort of heat transfer fluid; this array of pipes carries hot fluid to a central location where it is used to boil water, which in turn drives conventional steam turbines to generate electricity. The whole thing has miles of pipe through which substantial volumes of very hot liquid must be pumped, and will be subjected to frequent swings in temperature due to passing clouds and unavoidable day/night cycles. It's a nontrivial bit of engineering that will be subjected to some very real wear and tear.

Sure, your heat source is free sunlight, but one shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that maintaining the plant will only have a negligible cost.

Comment Re: Maybe there is hope (Score 1) 745

Fair enough - I live about 75 miles somewhat west of you most likely, and while I don't mind the occasional foray into North Jersey I definitely would not want to live there.

Maybe 10min from a farm is stretching it, but the suburbs of many cities in the US are not nearly so congested as the NYC metro area. I also generally prefer the outer suburbs - not the areas just outside the city limits.

While I usually work from home, if I need to drive into the office it only takes 20min during rush hour. Even a commute of that length is annoying, but it is nothing compared to my coworkers who live in Jersey.

Obviously all of this is a matter of preference. Many of my coworkers doubtless consider me a hick. :)

Comment Why? (Score 3, Insightful) 118

What's the actual value (not market value, actual value) of BlackBerry? What are they going to get for that ~$5bn? It seems to me BlackBerry aren't competitive in the handset market any more and don't stand any chance of becoming so any time soon. They are pushing BBM for other platforms now, are they trying to pivot and become a messaging company? Again, I don't see how they are competitive or how they will make money.

Comment Re:7790 gets no love (Score 1) 75

Because most users don't care about power - they care about cost and performance. The reviewers are comparing to cards of similar cost.

The cost is only comparable if you don't factor in having to buy a new power supply or whatever.

I had a video card die, and a decent portion of the costs to replace it went into a power supply because the best bang-for-buck GPU was just not going to work on the power supply I had in the system (which could only supply a single PCI-E connector - and didn't really have much headroom to use an adapter). I had half-considered downgrading just for that reason.

By all means make the comparisons, but pointing out the power angle would be useful in a review.

Comment Re: Maybe there is hope (Score 1) 745

They already did. Silicon Valley is basically one giant suburb. There's no skyscrapers there. The only urban Google location I know of is the one in NYC across the street from the Chelsea Market.

Everything I've heard about Silicon Valley suggests that it is a complete zoo traffic-wise, with most having to live an hour away due to costs/etc. If anything it seems worse than a city, like half of New Jersey.

By suburb I mean someplace where you don't have to drive more than 10min to get to a fully operational farm, but where residences and medium-sized businesses are plentiful.

Comment Re:Erm, ok... (Score 1) 239

So see it this way then: you conflate bias and variance, which is a big no-no in experimentation:

Er, no. My comment was about a person's perceptions. This has nothing to do with reality; People's perceptions are highly skewed based on expectation and personal biases. One of the first things they try and teach you in any art class is overcoming this; You have to throw away your ideas about what something should look like, or you'll never get past stick figures. Instead, you draw as though you are seeing this thing for the first time. We intentionally take everyday objects in class and hang them upside down, or throw it in with a pile of junk, and the sole reason for doing this is to break this need for the rational mind to enforce its expectations on even the simplest of perceptions.

A person cannot, without training and significant self-awareness, overcome these biases, these expectations, these preconceptions. And while you might think art and science are on opposite ends of a spectrum, they are very much alike -- science is about accurate observation. Curiously, so is art.

I've looked at the data regarding popular sources of news and the biases they have at the institutional level; The author of Freakonomics did a TV interview about it. While admittedly it was not a robust and extensive study, it was certainly a lot more effort than anyone here has put into it -- and he found that Fox News and the New York Times were about as equally biased relative to average (zero point).

Now I've been modbombed into oblivion for daring to go against the rabid hipster crowd here on Slashdot that wants to make Snowden a hero and suggesting that The Guardian is a biased source of news... but I will continue to say so no matter how many times someone goes through my comment history and blows all their mod points on me.

People despise having a mirror held up to them -- everyone. Every. Single. Person. On this website considers themselves above average, intelligent, thoughtful, and blah blah blah. And when they come across evidence that goes against this, they get very vindictive. To me, nothing confirms the veracity of my statements like this reaction does. Even you managed a strawman here, and you seem at least somewhat more thoughtful than the other guys imagine themselves to be.

Personal biases are incredibly hard to see, and even more difficult to overcome. They are cognitive shortcuts that very often serve us well in everyday life -- but these shortcuts are overused and eventually move into the subconscious, where until they are dragged kicking and screaming back to conscious thought, they will sit, quietly distorting every perception that person has. There are monks living up the sides of mountains that spend their entire lives trying to transcend this glitch in the human mind. There's a reason racism, sexism, religion, etc., are all so prevalent -- this is not easy. If it were, I wouldn't ever need to post anything on Slashdot ever again; We'd all be reasonable and unbiased people... and there'd only ever be a couple of comments in each story. -_-

But we aren't reasonable, and we're biased as hell. All of us. Me, you, the person reading this. It's human nature to have them, just as it's human nature to hate people who point it out.

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