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Comment Re:Do not buy Chinese made products. (Score 1) 337

But Amazon (according to people complaining) doesn't let you know which products are made in China. The fakes are mixed with the non-fakes, so you never know what you are getting. How do you solve this without personally watching the entire manufacturing process?

Comment Re:No smoking and clean water (Score 5, Interesting) 321

Or it could be lack of lead in our gasoline, or any of a number of other pollutants that have been removed. Or reduced sulfur rain. Or maybe it is the effect of Flintstone vitamins between the ages of 5-10 with long term effects. Every once in a while we see a new report that says 'Substance X causes 20% increase in Disease Y', which nobody had noticed before, or 'Eating more Z reduces chance of Disease D'. It would not be surprising if some substance (or potentially a mix of substances that interact in unknown ways) that were a contributing factor to many diseases. It will take many, many years of statistical studies to identify the relationships. Look how long it has taken for someone to figure out that BPA should not be used to make bottles you drink out of.

In addition to the idea that maybe we need better statistical understanding of environment on the human body, we also should be very careful with what pollutants we are putting into the environment. To pick a hot topic, what is the long term effect of microbeads in health care products, or fracking chemicals? We really, really don't know. This sort of thing should lead to a surplus of caution.

Comment Re:Yet we can't build houses... (Score 1) 152

Not really since these are apples and oranges. Technology continues to advance, making most consumer devices cheaper and more powerful. Food and clothing are also incredibly cheap from an historical point of view.

At the same time, real estate in many areas is not getting cheaper, because there is limited supply and the demand for those locations continues to increase. If _everybody_ tries to move to San Francisco, then the price goes up. However, there is lots of land and houses available for people in Detroit. Oh, you don't want to live there? Well, neither does anybody else. A booming sector of the economy pulls in people to the area that the economy is strong in, drives up prices, and makes it hard for the average person to live there. That's not a problem with our current economy, it's a basic result of every economy.

Comment Re:That's just too damn bad. (Score 1) 767

Not to mention how jarring the bumps must be for emergency vehicles. I am much more a fan of chicanes for speed control.

I asked my friend the firefighter, since our road is a snow emergency route and we were considering asking for speed bumps. He says that it doesn't matter to them (the fire trucks anyway). The vehicles are big enough and the suspensions are such that speed bumps are kind of irrelevant. They go over curbs fairly regularly. Perhaps ambulances are a different story though.

Comment Re:I predict.... (Score 1) 224

the ISS currently gets a resupply mission about once every 3 months.

I did some googling and tried to figure out what was in those missions and how much the resupply (versus experiments) weighed, but I can't seem to find anything. Just how much 'stuff' is needed very 3 months? What if we had to make it a year? Or 3. Now assume that we spend a more time making things last indefinitely / renewable, a la recapture of O2, using waste to generate methane for fuel, growing some of the fresh vegetable / fruits. Now, spend 5 years worth of launches sending the inflatable base elements and supplies ahead of the people. Use robotics (huge assumption here) to set things up. You should be able to create a mostly sustainable Mars base of a couple of people, with periodic resupply every year or two.

Comment Re:Gaming notebook... oxymoron... (Score 1) 86

I have a docking station connected to a really big monitor and real keyboard and mouse. Works great, only the graphics card is mediocre. With this, I won't have to suffer much about that either.

My only concern is heat dissipation. How is that going to work? Nvidia cards put out of a lot of heat.

Comment Re:what did they break this time (Score 4, Insightful) 227

And enums, apparently.

I understand having it consistent (which is their argument for the changes), but this just means that they they screwed it up in 1 and 2. Seriously, you change naming conventions from UpperCamelCase to lowerCamelCase? Now? That's the sort of decision that should be made (with reasons) when you are designing the language the first time; and then you have a group of really nitpicky, anal-retentive types go through the language to check for all the inconsistencies, and then you fix them, and then you release it. This whole thing screams amateur hour; yeah, I understand it a little more when python says 'oops, we messed up because there was a single guy who designed the language, and he didn't have a team behind him'. However, this is frigging Apple, and they have lots of people and money, and Swift was (I hope??) intended from pretty early on to be where people were going to go, so it should have been done right the first time or two.

Comment Re:Loss of jobs... (Score 2) 260

Computers do what we program them to do, and if the program doesn't do what we intended, we shut it down.

1. No, they have not been doing directly what we program them to do for a couple of years now. Nobody understands the networks that deep learning produce. Yes, we wrote the program that created and learned the network, but what comes out of the process and then is embedded into a operational system (object recognition, speech recognition, automated stock trading, learned arm movement) is beyond our grasp. We don't understand it and don't know how to fix it when it breaks other than re-training it. Further, while we're currently writing the programs that create and train the network, people are working on networks that create and train networks. At that point, we'll have absolutely no idea how the black box all works.

2. The programs do not do what we intend them to do all the time. They make errors (that we don't understand). However, we don't turn them off; we continue using them because they are useful. The financial world uses these sorts of networks all over the place and we don't understand them, but we cannot just shut them down. Flash crash in the stock marker? Well, just live with it, turning them off would be a financial disaster. Siri did not understand what you said? Well, just try again or type it in.

Comment Re: Oh crap! (Score 1) 39

Oh dear, the problem is that I had a hard time making sure that this was sarcasm. We've entered farce territory.

Here is Trump on the California drought:

When I just left, 50 or 60 farmers in the back and they can’t get water and I say how tough is it, how bad is the drought? There is no drought. They turn the water out into the ocean.

We’re going to solve your water problem. You have a water problem that is so insane. It is so ridiculous. Where they’re taking the water and shoving it out to sea. And I just met with a lot of the farmers, who are great people, and they’re saying we don’t even understand it, they don’t understand it, nobody understands it. And I’ve heard this from other friends of mine in California where they have farms up here and they don’t get water. I said, oh, that’s too bad, is it a drought? “No, we have plenty of water” and I said well what’s wrong and they said well we shove it out to sea. And I said why? And nobody even knows why and the environmentalists don’t know why. Now they’re trying to protect a certain kind of three-inch fish. But... No, no think of it. So nobody even knows why. And by the way the environmentalists don’t know why.

Comment Re:Say what you want about global warming (Score 1) 39

One of the points of the satellite data is that even if countries agree, then it is is meaningless without enforcement. Sulfur dioxide causes bad things to happen downwind, across borders. Countries that have agreed to monitor and control their emissions are saying one thing ("Yes, we're following our agreement") and letting the companies (sometimes country owned) do something else. So, what is the agreement worth?

Comment Re:There is no such thing. (Score 1) 327

That's a really stupid definition of 'renewable' then. What does it mean? Solar panels do not last forever, they decrease in output over time until they need to be replaced. Wind turbines need maintenance, and eventually they fail. so, hydroelectric is not renewable because in 100 years it will become silted up? Name one electricity source that has lasted a hundred years.

Comment Re:It's all about who subsidizes whom (Score 1) 1023

You can't survive on it when your pre-tax, gross income is less than the average one bedroom apartment costs per month, as is the case in Los Angeles.

Why can't you survive in a studio apartment, or a bedroom in a shared apartment?

Excellent question. What is the socially acceptable situation that people that work at McDonalds have to live in? I vote for a box in an alley. Too harsh? Ok, they can live in unheated worker dorms in the basements of office buildings. Oh, you mean that these so-called 'people' have families they are trying to support? Damn you and your needy requirements. Ok, all 5 of you into the studio apartment, but I better not hear a peep out of you.

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