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Comment Re:Makes sense (Score 1)396

To figure this stuff out, we gotta jump ahead to the endgame. The ultimate capitalist dream has been realized. Robots produce absolutely everything: food, clothing, and housing. And all the robots are owned by Scrooge McDuck, because he drove everyone else out of business with his superior robots.

McDuck is now fabulously wealthy and doesn't technically need to employ anyone. The populace is hungry, of course, but they don't have anything to offer McDuck in return... or do they? I've seen this scenario play out dozens of times in simulations. A single entity controls the resources needed for survival, and the people have too much time on their hands. The results are rarely pretty.

Comment Re:3500 degrees (Score 1)123

Does the following alternative explanation hold water?

As your target object gets warmer, it radiates more and more of that energy into its surroundings. The energy loss to radiation actually grows much faster than the temperature of the object. According to the Stefan-Boltzmann Law, the net loss of energy is proportional to (T^4 - Tc^4), where T is your target's temperature and Tc is the temperature of its surroundings. So as the target approaches the temperature of the lights it begins to give up energy to radiation just as fast as it absorbs it.

Comment Re:3500 degrees (Score 1)123

I had the same question. It seems to me that the only limiting factors would be total power (shouldn't it scale linearly with the number of bulbs?) vs. the rate at which heat is removed from the target location via thermal radiation or convection.

I suppose you'd also have to consider what happens when your target vaporizes, since you'd no longer have a solid object at the focal point to absorb the radiation.

Comment Re:Evil bugs (Score 1)266

So... not bugs at all, then, really.

Depends. It's a bug if the code is doing something different than what it's supposed to be doing.

If your sort algorithm is supposed to run in O(N log N) but it actually runs in O(N^2) then I'd call that a bug. Algorithmic complexity can be a requirement just as important as the output. After all, the output hardly matters if your users die of old age before the algorithm finishes.

If your code is performing unnecessary work then that might be a bug, depending on the author's intent. I've found errors in my own code which did not affect the results but resulted in inefficiency; stuff I hadn't intended to do, but by a stroke of blind luck just happened to produce the correct output in a different (read: slower) way.

It's not a bug when the code is simply not optimal. Performance is not the only consideration: there's development time, ease of maintenance, readability, etc..

Comment Re:Batteries from Nevada to Australia? (Score 2)274

Not necessarily. The Holtzman effect is sufficient to fold space on its own, and we wouldn't need to employ a guild navigator because there is no current prohibition against thinking machines. Computers can do the job cheaper!

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1)153

That might be true for transactions that stay within an exchange. But if you want actual confirmation of your transaction on the blockchain then that can take several minutes, or close to an hour depending on how many blocks of confirmation you need.

Comment Re:Fools and their money (Score 1)153

The spot price of gold is down over the last day. It is also down over the last month. It is, in fact, down over the last 6 months. You should check your sources.

Comment Re:Just delete Trump's account (Score 1)427

This is the relevant quote from Trump's speech on June 16th, 2015:

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

Comment Re:Well duh (Score 1)141

Replying to myself here: I suspect one of the reasons Amazon uses a multi-tiered approach to shipping is because it allows them to keep personnel costs lower. Instead of hiring enough people to handle high-volume days, they employ enough staff to handle the average volume and then use low-priority customers as a buffer to "catch up" when a surge occurs. High-priority customers always receive shipments on schedule, even during a surge, and the low-priority customers can't reasonably complain about the terms they agreed to.

Slower shipments certainly encourage people to upgrade, but that's not the reason they're slow. Free shipping is still a big selling point for a lot of customers, and Amazon's approach is just one cost-efficient way of satisfying that demand.

Comment Re:Well duh (Score 1)141

Intentionally delaying shipments would be a terribly inefficient business practice, and I can't imagine that Amazon could offer competitive pricing if it used that approach.

To intentionally delay shipping means that you've got warehouse employees standing around doing nothing when they could be filling orders. You run the risk of getting backlogged later when a sale causes a sudden surge in volume. You've also got already-sold merchandise using up valuable shelf space in your warehouse instead of making room for new inventory.

But if Amazon keeps their workers busy and it still takes 6 days to ship your stuff, then that's not an intentional delay. You're just a low-priority customer (as advertised). Either that, or they need to hire some more folk.

Comment Re:Seamless Playing (Score 1)204

Ditto! This is literally the only thing about VLC that bugs me on a regular basis. I grew accustomed to seamless playlists when I used Winamp more than a decade ago, and now many of my mixes are separated into tracks but there's not supposed to be an audible gap between them.

Comment Re:Recession is really a depression (Score 1)607

it went from \$2.09 per pound in 2006 to \$3.05 in 2015. That's annualized 3.2% price growth rate - quite in line with the official inflation.

I think something's off with your math. A 46% price increase over 9 years equates to a 4.29% annual growth rate. That's a lot higher than official inflation.

Comment Re:Read the second sentence too, idiot (Score 1)235

In case you're not aware, Windows installs updates when you shutdown or reboot. This can be rather annoying when you're in a hurry to leave.

Change your power settings (Control Panel > Power Options > System Settings) so that the power button on your machine acts as a "Hibernate" button instead of a "Shutdown" button. The system uses zero power while hibernating, and as an added bonus all your windows will still be open when you fire it up next time.

But yeah, if you haven't done that yet then updates might catch you at inconvenient times

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