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Comment Missing the point.... (Score 1, Insightful) 470

Monsanto continues to push the argument over to whether modified genes are safe. The logical argument against GMOs is not that there is anything wrong with modifying genomes, but in what we have modified them to do, which is to be raised in soils heavily laden with chemicals, Round Up in particular. This has caused a massive increase of such chemicals in our diet. They have been linked to cancer, autism, and a slew of gastrointestinal problems.

Comment Re: Just wondering (Score 2) 333

"Money" as I think you are meaning being an apportionment of the value of all resources is neither finite nor infinite. Since our own actions can effect future suplies and can affect the relative value of those supplies. This is the economic principal of productivity. The reason that programming is now seen as more important than other fields is that the productivity of our capital investments is limited by the intelligence of the user. Current technology on a hardware basis is more than capable than the human brain, but nobody has yet managed to program AI efficient and adaptable enough to replace human intelligence. When that happens, the rate of advancement will go from the order of c^x to cx^x.

Comment Nothing to see here. (Score 1) 802

This is how it is supposed to work in our justice system. Before they knew that there was any pron on the drives, you cannot be forced to self incriminate. Once they know there is something there, (in this case by guessing his password on one drive) it is no longer a matter of self incrimination but one of degree, and you can be forced to reveal the password.

The same holds true for a combination lock. If they know you put something illegal in there, through a recording or whatever, they can force you to open it.

Comment Cutting up all your meat? (Score 4, Funny) 217

The typical nature of nerds is such that we generally behave oddly in public perception in cases where expected behavior does not match optimal behavior. The example of cutting up a whole piece of meat therefore makes no sense, because it is not optimal behavior.

If you were to cut the meat into little pieces prior to eating, the meat would be cold by the time you were eating the final pieces, which is clearly an unacceptable outcome. On top of this the piece of meat makes logical sense to nerds as some sort of stack or queue. Cutting up the meat is akin to converting the stack into an array before operating on the data. Since you are intending to not sort but eat the pieces, an operation which can be run on either a stack or an array, this clearly makes no sense.

Also I have never heard of this so called "American Style" of eating, whereby the fork is tossed from hand to hand. We do not do that here in Ohio, so I don't know just how "American" it can be. Sounds more like something they would do in Texas.

Comment Military (Score 2) 325

I see glass as a military device more than anything right now. A simple HUD with the locations of allies overlaid on an aerial map, plus features such as IR camera and text commands. The key feature that makes glass so useful in such an instance is its hands-free nature. This would apply anywhere you are using both hands. The problem is that for most civilians it is not such a hassle to take your phone out.

Comment Why is nobody talking about labs?! (Score 1) 841

Labs are a serious issue in my mind. Not for engineers, but for science majors. They break the entire credit hour concept of college. If a normal class is 3-4 credit hours, labs are always 1, but then often require a 5-10 page paper every week, plus the 3 hour lab period. Schools normally require just enough lab classes so that you have 1 per semester, but then with scheduling difficulties, students inevitably have to take multiple labs in the same semester at least once if they want to finish in 4 years. Most students have a part time job, which means this just is not feasible.

I know several people who have gone through this process only to either:
A) Find that they could not get student loans for a 5th year which they would need to get the degree. or
B) Simply dropout or change majors to complete in 4 years.

These people are genuinely interested in science. When did science become exclusively about writing papers?

Comment Re:Paid customer services are a pain (Score 1) 413

I have recently quit WoW, and I dont think that either of those is the problem with WoW. Paid transfers are IMO a good thing, they may have a few too many lower pop servers, but I think that is more a function of loosing subscribers. Neither are raids too hard, unless you are just talking about the hard modes, which I would agree with.

The biggest issue they really have right now is that they killed the leveling experience. They will not get any new people when what people see is that this game is easy enough for a toddler to play. Any class at any level up to 80 can kill an elite mob of their level, something that should at least take a pocket healer, if not a party. In the past, if you found yourself either on a bad realm or unable to progress in raid content, you could always level a new toon, and play a decently satisfying single player game. Now you would rather just unsubscribe than reroll.

The second problem they have is the whole concept of hard modes, which they have gotten locked into. Players want some form of story progression. Quickly progressing through the current raidbosses only to have to fight the same raidbosses with more health and damage is quite simply boring. On top of that, for many of the hardmodes, success had little to do with ability and much more to do with whether or not the boss randomly does two things in a row that automatically kill at least one person, which would cause DPS to be too low to kill the boss. Boss hits everyone for 80% heath, boss hits specific player for 50% heath .4 seconds later. Everyone on vent was frustrated, but everyone knew that it was the designers' fault, not the player. RNG FTL.

The final problem I'll mention and what killed it for me and many in my guild were daily quests. For many of us these are the straw that broke the camel's back. Blizzard had plenty of feedback from the Argent Crusade faction grind that players don't like to be forced to unlock crap with repeatable dailies. They basically copied that exactly for the Firelands patch, without putting in any way around it. For instance, while there were repeatable quests for many factions, you could just wear a tabbard and do 5-mans to grind rep, which was much less painful. With the Firelands patch Blizzard was basically saying to us, "Hey I hear you enjoy doing chores!"

Comment Re:Thermocouple? (Score 1) 407

First the thermocouple would transfer heat, so it would not gain you any extra power. The only reason you may want to use a thermocouple would be to cool the bottom some, so that people can service the turbines easier. But it would not do enough to make it worth it.

I do not think it would be expensive, iron and constantan, you would make the entire chimney the thermocouple. But the problem is the height of the chimney.

Such a thermocouple could generate around 2 mV at 35 degrees difference C. The power that voltage generates is dependent on the resistance of the thermocouple (P=V^2/R). I am using p=3E-7 as a rough average resistivity between the iron and constantan (I know that's a vast oversimplification not accounting for temp etc). If the chimney was say 1 meter high and had a crossectional area of 4 m^2 that would mean that the total length for the resistance (up and down) of 2m and an area (half the chimney) of 2m^2. Those would just cancel and R=3E-7. Therefore power would equal a whole 13 watts.

Now while 4m^2 might be fairly accurate for the crossectional area of the this chimney, it needs to be 800m tall, so we only get 17 mW. 17 mW is not cooling anything much at all.

Comment Re:With all their profits, maybe they should build (Score 1) 298

I just took a look at last year's 10k. Their EBITDA (a decent approximation of how much more money a business could have spent, but chose not to) for their wireless segment was 21.8 billion. They invested 9.2 billion in upgrades to their long-term wireless assets. I could not find any further breakdown of the wireless assets to determine which of those are actual infrastructure versus office buildings and whatnot. AT&T could be spending triple what they do on wireless infrastructure without losing money on wireless.

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