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Comment at what price (Score 1) 451

Yes, and I will enjoy robot cars. Yet when I drive I am aware that it is only my competence that prevents me from dying or killing someone else. And, yes, every driver with enough miles under his belt has had occasional blind luck that saved him from doing either one of those. What bothers me is the general loss of physical competence in the population. People just don't know at a gut level how the physical world works. Drivers get some training in it and robot cars will take that away. Most people could not bring down a tree safely. Most people don't even know how protect themselves when they fall. I said I like the idea of robot cars, but the only way people learn about physical reality is through risk, injury, and possible death. An argument can always be made that an activity that encompasses these three things should be modified or banned. Is this good? John

Comment there are always excuses (Score 2) 653

If Google can withdraw from China, a huge market, then other companies do not have an excuse. They are in those countries because they can make money and don't really care what else happens. If Indiana fought back hard against them, they would just run to the federal government and, through the use of political donations and lobbyists, get their way. With a few exceptions, how can anyone defend big companies in this day and age?

Comment a peculiar result (Score 1) 517

I enjoyed your description of the shells going through and just leaving holes. That indicates one builds ships larger than necessary with lots more empty space. This makes it harder to hit something important. Possibly one might even build empty hulls with propulsion systems, just to give the enemy more targets. All depends on the value of the empty hulls versus the value of completing the mission.

Comment if you can see the color of the paint... (Score 1) 145

The dust causes a problem only when it becomes so dense as to completely obscure the paint. The dust will heat up from sunlight and also heat up from the radiation from the paint. As the dust heats it will radiate infra-red back towards the paint. As long as the paint supports some level of heat conduction 'horizontally' through the paint, those tiny areas of paint that are not obscured by dust will start to radiate more and more until heat equilibrium is again established.

A light covering of dust that covered 50% of the paint would have an insignificant effect.

To improve the paint, they should add a layer of water-repellant material. The material would have to allow the transmission of the paint's radiation, but that should not be a problem. That water-repellant layer would greatly enhance the breakup of deposition of dust, dirt, and 'stuff' on the paint into small and tiny clusters. As long as the human eye can see the correct color of the paint through the grime, the paint can likely function effectively.

Comment Re:Senator James Inhofe (Score 1) 282

Your response took thought. No easy solution exists. The Internet is still quite new, as far as human generations go. It has always been 90% hype and will likely remain so for at least another 10 years. More and more, though, the sub-cultures grow. Reddit is a very good thing. There are thousands of other small communities. Likely, over the course of time, information will disseminate differently than in the past. It will percolate through these groups, each of which has its own standards as to trustworthy speakers. At least we can hope. The US has historically careened towards its future, bouncing off every wall it could find before getting there. It does make for a wild ride. John

Comment Re:Senator James Inhofe (Score 1) 282

Global warming is happening. I agree. Many scientists and organizations have spoken irresponsibly, with great hyperbole of doom and gloom. Those that did got more attention. Those that got more attention are the ones more people heard about. Now that many of the things said have not come to pass does reflect on them. How can you say otherwise? People have enough distractions with jobs that don't pay enough. If they hear reports about something awful about to happen and it doesn't happen, what do you expect them to do? Even though global warming is happening, that sentence by Al Gore comes from a twisty lawyer knowing most people won't parse it properly. Don't let him off for saying that. He wanted attention and he got it. He, and others, deserved to be hammered.

Comment predictions and liars (Score 1) 282

When you hear a prediction, you ascribe a degree of confidence to it. If some of your friends say they will be on time to leave for the game, you can start walking to your car knowing they will pull in before you get to it. Others - for others you have back-up plans for going alone. The above statements were made by people representing themselves to be trustworthy in their statements. You can't know everybody in the world and have established personal opinions of their trustworthiness. You hope to be able to trust people with educations and in positions of responsibilities. These people and organizations made their statements. You may say they only made predictions. Very well, they were only predictions and they were not at fault when the predictions failed. That being the case, we must reduce our level of trust in them. That is what people are really doing when they call them liars. They are saying they can't be trusted. Considering the vehemence surrounding many of those predictions, how are people wrong to no longer trust them?

Comment Re:all hail the rich (Score 1) 504

For some reason Slashdot would not load yesterday for me. Two points. I would feel much different if there were not subsidies. These people get a government handout that people like me have to make up. Peak capacity is a problem. The utilities have to maintain enough on-line facilities to handle some selected peak capacity. Solar homes having a connection to the grid and not using it is like having a big house with an electrical system suitable for a small house. As long as no one turns on all the lights at the same time, everything is fine. When they do, demand exceeds supply and brownouts and blackouts occur. My bills will always reflect that cost. A solar home that has an even energy balance, does not, but the owners sure want that capacity available if something goes wrong. I like solar power, but most people go into solar power now because of financial calculation. I have little sympathy for them.

Comment all hail the rich (Score 1) 504

If homes with the solar panels had electrical storage systems and disconnected from the utility, the utility would not have a case. It's hard for me to understand why people attack the utility when the money types get a free ride paid for by those who can't cash in. The crowd that can afford the solar panels can afford to chip in to help support the utility. I live in an apartment. Why should my bills have to help cover the extra capacity needed when the solar panel people have a bad day and want the power.

Comment plants (Score 1) 250

You put small clips on the bottom of the cable trays. In a corner of the room you have a pot with a plant such as a philodendron. It grows up to the cable trays and along.

I've seen this done just using bent paper clips hanging from the frames holding ceiling tiles. It made for a great office with all that green overhead. Light-weight office plants won't bother the cables if they curl a bit into the trays. If someone is working in the tray, she can just cut off anything in the way.

The office I saw used philodendron, but there may be better plants; it depends on the green thumbs available.

Comment As long as I am the only one in charge. (Score 1) 662

I am in on this completely if car always remains under my authority. Driving is a waste of my life for the most part. I would not get upset at other drivers, I would not be aware of them. The parent is very right. However, being in a vehicle that can be taken over by government control makes me squirm. If the car only goes where I tell it and does not pull over for the police without my authorization, then the world will be great.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 851

This treats human beings as if they were replaceable robots. In many ways I look forward to a future where actual robots do much of the work. I would trust them much more than most doctors I have met.

There are times, however, when human compassion makes all the difference. These nurses that were fired, will their replacements be as good? If they are not, do you consider the fact that the replacements have the flu vaccine a fair trade?

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