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Comment Re:Should have used APPS! (Score 1) 109

what does luddite actually mean?

A follower of Ned Ludd.

Some of Ned's mates smashed up automated weaving looms because they made a lot of weavers redundant. The plot was not very effective.

Eventually, the drop in price of cloth made by automated looms enabled the export of cloth to make England so rich it could afford an Empire*, and even the poor could afford to wear clothes. However, that was after two or three generations of abject poverty.

*Empires cost a lot of money. Sure they make a lot for a few, but in general, they eat money cos of the cost of the military.

Comment Re:Slapping time (Score 1) 635

would like to postpone it and separate the vaccines from each other in order to prevent autism in their children

I would like to postpone it to give my children super powers. However, I would not

  • a)because it wont give them superpowers
  • b)because they may die or be permanently damaged by not having the vaxines

Yes, I have met people who had polio, smallpox, etc., and NO there was never any link to autism whatever. It has been shown that the story came from a combination of bad data and a pathetically useless understanding of basic statistics. (Which is shared by most journalists).

The whole festering pile of dung was made worse by the BBC charter requiring both sides of a story to be represented equally, regardless of the fact that one side is the position of a gang of gibbering nutcases, and the other is presented by the people who went and found out the facts. (I am not sure this problem is completely fixed).

Unfortunately, in America You have the right to remain stupid

Comment Re:Bad regulation is bad, but some rules are OK (Score 1) 343


Never had the joy(?) of doing a hardware design spec, but I once spent about a year of my life on the software design and spec for a major contract.

Even (especially!) standards as complex as the definitions of programming languages come with dates or version numbers. Fortran 66 is not Fortran 77 is not Fortran90 is not Fortran 95 is not Fortran2003 is not Fortran2008. Close, and there's probably a common subset in there somewhere, but they aren't the same.

Ditto for any other programming language with an ISO standard -- the year is part of the standard number. (Although curiously, C89 and C90 are the same language, because the 1989 ANSI C standard (X3.159-1989) was adopted as the ISO standard (ISO/IEC 9899:1990) in 1990.)

So yeah, if you're spec'ing something as part of a billion-dollar project, hardware or software, get the details nailed down. At the very least, stick in verbiage to the effect that "all standards named here-in, unless otherwise specified, shall refer to those current as of the date of this specification."

Comment Re:"after billions of dollars in budget overruns" (Score 1) 343

And "clean" is also relative

It is when you consider the amount of mining, separation, transportation and disposal of the energy-equivalent amount of coal and ash -- 1 cubic centimetre of uranium is about the equivalent of a mile-long train load of coal.

(Or the amount of mining, refining, etc, etc, to manufacture and install the equivalent in solar panels or wind turbines.)

Most people have no comprehension of the energy density of nuclear vs chemical fuels. This might help.

(Fun fact -- the trace thorium in coal has more potential nuclear energy than the chemical energy of burning the coal.)

Comment What's that in Libraries of Congress? (Score 1) 343

promised to generate enough power to light up 1.3 million homes.

So how many megawatts is that? (And no, given the name of the plant, searching for "watts" doesn't help.)

And are we talking trailer park homes or mansions? Does "light up" include heating/cooling, running the electronics, etc, etc.

Who comes up with these freaking units, anyway?

(Grouchy because /me hasn't finished first cup of coffee yet.)

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