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Submission + - NetHack Tournament Includes New Version (3.6.0) (junethack.net)

jonadab writes: For the first time since the release of version 3.6 late last year, the NetHack Cross-Variant Summer Tournament includes the new version of the game. Two of the public servers participating in the tournament are hosting it. NAO has the unmodified Dev Team release, and EME has a lightly patched version with the popular status colors patch. Several clans are gearing up to play. The tournament runs during the entire month of June (UTC).

Comment Re:When I was a kid... (Score 1) 324

I've been wondering about that. I've got a heat pump, and one down side is that it fares poorly when the weather is significantly below freezing. It's been a wicked couple of winters around here in the Mid Atlantic, and it would have been nice to tap into a huge store of moderate temperature just a few feet below ground.

Comment Re:EVs aren't that much better (Score 1) 630

Many countries are phasing out coal in favor of natural gas, which pollutes less and (due to fracking) has dropped considerably in price. It costs around $1.99 per gigajoule today (http://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/weekly/).

Note also that not all environmentalists are in favor of ending nuclear energy. New nuclear plants are being built now, approved by the Obama administration: "DOE’s investments in nuclear energy help secure the three strategic objectives that are foundational to our nation’s energy system: energy security, economic competitiveness, and environmental responsibility." (https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/11/06/fact-sheet-obama-administration-announces-actions-ensure-nuclear-energy). There is indeed a quandary among environmentalists because the issue of nuclear waste is contentious, but many in the environmental movement recognize that nuclear power can be part of an overall strategy in reducing carbon emissions.

Comment Re:Compaq copied APIs from IBM (Score 4, Informative) 405

Compaq reverse engineered the BIOS. It did not copy the text of some file that defined the API. I don't think that the INT operations even had fixed names - they had numbers. So a BIOS call would be documented as http://stanislavs.org/helppc/i...
INT 16,0 Wait for keystroke and read
This exact operation can be described using different words e.g.
On Int 16,0 the system will pause until a keystroke is pressed and the value will be placed in AH.
I understand the issue in Oracle v. Google to be exact copying of some number of interfere files. Such files did not exist for BIOS as far as I recall.

Comment Gripe: Math versus Science (Score 1) 267

Science is respected for its reputation for certainty, and Math is seen as the purest (and thus most certain) of the sciences.

This bugs me. Math, on its own, is so "pure" that it has no connection to the universe whatsoever. Aliens don't appear in pure math. Neither do electrons, polymers, or three-toed sloths. Math is purged of all real world things. Math can't predict anything about the real world. Even the simplest tautologies, like "two apples are equal to two apples", requires extra real-world semantics to apply an abstraction like "equal" (which has many different definitions) to actual things like "apples".

So when people say "according to math", they're aspiring to a certainty that it doesn't earn. You could say "according to science". Science will always incorporate some form of math. But it's not identical, and if scientific claims seem "weaker" than math claims, we just need to live with that. Because we don't, in fact, really truly mathematically "know" anything about aliens. Not even a probability: our probability estimates are themselves subject to enormous amounts of guesswork.

Sorry for the distraction, but this bugs me. The article itself doesn't seem to be of much merit; it's all old news. So I'm gonna gripe about the headline instead. Thank you for your time.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 238

It's a bit more complicated than that, but the conclusion is correct.

You're describing a local hidden variables theory, in which the particles already have a definite value at the point where they were entangled. That doesn't quite describe reality; with some subtle experiments you can see that they interact in ways slightly different from ones that are already set. But that difference still doesn't allow you to communicate.

Comment Re:What about the Methane???? (Score 2) 84

The wells in that region produce mostly crude oil and natural gas. Crude oil is easy to store in tanks, put into tanker trucks, and otherwise get off the well site to the market in a variety of ways that you can use from day 1 of drilling the well. Natural gas must either go into a pipeline, be vented into the atmosphere, or be flared (burned) into the atmosphere. Pipelines can take years to catch up to drilling (not really due to regulation as others have pointed out, but rather due to rapid drilling for profitable oil outpacing thousands of miles of pipeline construction to sell much less profitable natural gas, along with lack of enforcement of regulations intended to restrict flaring to a certain time period after drilling a new well). So a lot of gas has to be vented or flared. Venting is considered worse than flaring for the atmosphere (because methane is a worse global warming gas than CO2 as you pointed out), so it all gets flared. Perhaps flaring burns the methane but not the ethane, or at least not all of it, which is why ethane is the problem we are focusing on here?

Comment Re:Local maximums = Global minimums (Score 1) 382

I wonder what it would take to make it safe down to 40 meters, the limit for recreational divers. Use your phone as your dive computer and to take pictures while you're down there. They already make wireless regulators; they can't be hard to adapt to Bluetooth. (I have no idea what the range of Bluetooth is under water.)

Comment Re:Local maximums = Global minimums (Score 1) 382

Is anybody making a phone with no jacks at all? Just wireless charging and Bluetooth headsets? That would give you a great opportunity to really seal the device.

Right now not having a charging jack would prove a bit of a pain, but for a specialized heatseeking kind of market I could see people getting into a really ultra-thin phone completely devoid of the need to accommodate any connectors.

Comment Re: Dangerous (Score 1) 155

You can think of a heat pump as a reversible refrigerator. In cooling mode, it works just like a refrigerator: the compressor compresses gas, lets it radiate heat of compression outside, then pumps it inside to evaporate.

The remarkable thing is that you can turn the process around to heat the inside instead of the outside. You compress the gas outside to make it hot, then pump it inside to release that heat. A carefully-designed valve causes it to go from liquid to gas, or reverse, depending on where you want to absorb heat: outside, even in winter, the evaporated, chilled gas can be warmed up by the outside air.

The trick is getting the right refrigerant, which turns from liquid to gas and back around the temperature you want. I dunno why they've chosen CO2 here, but I suspect it has to do with the ambient temperatures in Alaska.

Comment Re:spin (Score 1) 211

Which is the point where you've broken copyright law. Photocopying books is, well, copying them.

Unless you're engaged in a fair use (or fall under certain other exceptions), in which case the copying is perfectly legal under copyright law. Which turns out to have been the case here.

And thanks to Google clearing the trail, it'll be easier for others to do the same thing, if they're inclined.

Comment Re:Only $1 million? (Score 1) 429

Yeah, I suspect that they're pretty aggravated by it. It does have the advantage of keeping her name in the news at a time when she might otherwise vanish, and "all publicity is good publicity", but I don't know how much her staff are enjoying those sour grapes.

It shouldn't have come as a complete surprise, though. She's always had high negatives, though it's disappointing that so many of them come from concerted Republican campaigns to smear her. (Remember that Barack Obama had a fightthesmears.com site set up the minute he won the nomination.) It's unsettling to have liberals repeating Republican talking points, in addition to creating their own.

It set her up for there to be some kind of opposition. And the Democratic party has been taking its liberal wing for granted for quite some time, allowing centrists like Obama and both Clintons to get their votes knowing that they'd be unable to get more than the palest pink liberal agenda items actually achieved. I happen to be a left-leaning centrist myself, and think that's about the right thing, but real leftists are understandably upset.

In the end they have the opportunity to realize that they've dragged one candidate a bit left, and get that candidate elected over a far-right candidate. That would be a win, and if it's not the win they were hoping for, it's also the one that doesn't have every Republican and half of the Democrats upset at going too far left. We'll see if they'd rather have half a loaf than none.

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