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Comment Re:We need this (Score 1) 150

Seriously, we need people actively looking into making those new type of batteries instead of just researching them and never do anything with the research, like we've seen for the past 5 to 10 years.

That's right! That's why my cell phone which uses more power than my cell phone of 10 years ago with a battery less than a third the size lasts significantly longer - because everyone's been "never doing anything with the research", right?

Good research results make news. Their employment in commercial products generally doesn't.

Comment Re:They actually want to kick appliances off. (Score 1) 147

I don't "misunderstand" anything, that is exactly what the device did. It didn't precool anything, it didn't ramp anything down, it just randomly shut off when too many people had their AC on (aka, when it was hottest). And in Iowa in July, even if you did know when it was about to go off and tried to "precool" (which I assure you, does not work well), you'd be burning up long before the AC kicks back in.

Comment Re:They actually want to kick appliances off. (Score 2) 147

If you're willing to lose your AC during the hottest part of the day, then you might as well not have AC at all. So there's no reason to get such a device, you might as well just sell your AC.

"Pre-cooling" a house does not work. In the hottest part of the day it was enough of a challenge for the AC to just keep up.

Comment Re:They actually want to kick appliances off. (Score 2, Informative) 147

I once lived in Iowa when I lived in the US, and my then-spouse signed us up for one of those programs without consulting me first. I just came home one day and the AC was no longer operating when it was hottest. Utterly, utterly miserable, and I had to wait weeks to get the thing disconnected. Why would anyone willingly choose to have one of those things in their home?

Comment Re:That's bullshit (Score 5, Interesting) 292

The only actual way to reduce teen pregnancy is to encourage them to stop fucking so much

You have figures for all the other methods. What are the figures for "encouraging them to stop fucking so much"?

The birth control available to them _does not work_.

The figures quoted say otherwise. True, the worst contraceptive you mention is successful with 72% of users across a year never having a problem, however the pill is successful for 91% of users (over a year), and the CDC includes reversible birth control measures that are more than 99% effective in the chart you mention.

It's also worth mentioning that the failures aren't necessarily a function of the devices themselves so much as user error. Condoms usually "fail" not because they break or anything else obvious, but because people who rely upon them frequently decide to chance not using them. Almost all versions of the pill can be rendered useless if combined with certain drugs - notably many antibiotics - and are more than 99% effective if used properly.

Submission + - Microsoft Bing uses Wikipedia (globally editable) data

RockDoctor writes: Though they're trying to minimise it, the recent relocation of Melbourne Australia to the ocean east of Japan in Microsoft's flagship mapping application is blamed on someone having flipped a sign in the latitude given for the city's Wikipedia page. Which may or may not be true. But the simple stupidity of using a globally-editable data source for feeding a mapping and navigation system is ... "awesome" is (for once) an appropriate word.

Well, it''s Bing, so at least no-one was actually using it.

Comment Re: Including this one? (Score 1) 344

but would it kill Microsoft to change the default behaviour to something more sensible (this can hadly be the only use case where this is an issue)

Science users with thousands of rows of data are a negligible market compared to beancounter-wannabes with a dozen (or maybe even up to 5 dozen) rows of data. So, to answer your question, yes it would kill Microsoft to change the default from behaviour that covers up common wannabe-beancounters errors.

Oh, the fuck-wittery of working round Excel v5 bugs like this to deal with combining hundreds of thousands of lines of data throughout the 1990s. And 2000s. And 2010s. And you an guess what I anticipate fucking with in the 2020s.

Comment Re:Light years (Score 1) 218

Why do astronomers use irregular units like "light years" and "parsecs"

I can't remember the last time I read an astronomy paper (NB : paper, not regurgitated shit in the popular press) which didn't use parsecs and/or AU as the primary description of astronomical distance (with , M-Earth and M-Sol in the mix). For parsecs, the reason is simple : what you measure when establishing distances is parallax, in seconds of arc. Hence PAR-SEC. No?

If converting to metres, then you need to factor in your estimate for the AU, but you only do that conversion when editing the final draft of the paper and the press release You do your working in parsecs. And if the estimate for the length of the AU in metres changes between your observatory time and publication date, then only that derived figure in metres (miles, Egyptian cubits, or whatever) changes NONE of your working or your experimental data changes.

Similar arguments apply to the masses and the AU. You can directly observe e.g. the timing of events in an eclipsing binary (in seconds or days after the start of your epoch of observation), and if you work in units of AU, M-Sol and M-Earth then you get your orbital parameters from those raw observations and Kepler's laws with no conversion factors. You only do the conversions for the proof copy of the paper - possibly not even for the initial copy to go to peer review.

Comment Re:Light years (Score 1) 218

Not an "arbitrary substance", but (1) the most common "substance" in the universe by volume, and (2) probably the simplest "substance" in the universe.

(1) and (2) are probably related, but that's way above my pay grade.

It's also quite a hard substance to get access to without space flight.

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