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Comment The Meaning of Human Existence (Score 2) 338

By E. O. Wilson, the myrmecologist/evolutionary biologist, explaining the evolutionary origins of humanity and the inherent conflict between self-promoting and group-benefiting pressures that make us what we are. Fascinating reading filled with tidbits about the variety of life on Earth, finishing with a rebuttal of scientific dogma that demonstrates the vibrant process of science. This book changed my view of the world.

The chapters in The Meaning of Human Existence are collected from earlier writings, giving the book a choppy feel. A longer, more detailed, less anthropocentric, but (at least to me) equally fascinating treatment of the material by the same author is The Social Conquest of Earth.

Comment Re:And so it starts... (Score 1) 414

With manual labor less in demand, the economy will need less people; paying people to not work is pointless and unsustainable.

Hmm... If you want to discuss unsustainable actions, let's talk about fostering an underclass effectively locked into perpetual poverty. What alternatives do you propose?. Note that this sort of approach (negative income tax) has been advocated by free market proponents including Milton Friedman.

Comment Re:Used to be that if you found *any* error ... (Score 2) 381

My check from Knuth, for finding an arithmetic typo in Vol. 2, is for the amount of $5.16 which includes accrued interest.

Regarding the original question: These books are fantastic, but they are challenging and the bit-miserly focus does not map well to today's typical programming needs. They are frankly too detailed and difficult for many readers. My advice is have a look at them and decide whether you need them to complete your life. If so buy the set and enjoy! If not, you probably won't miss them.

Just don't ask for mine. I'm keeping these books.

Comment Re:Motor whine (Score 0) 361

I can't be the only person who can already hear these things...

Maybe you can, but the friends I drove up to today didn't. They were in the roadway in a shopping center parking lot, walking across at a shallow angle. I slowed until it was safe to pass. I pulled up and joked: "watch out for maniacs driving silent cars!" They said they had not heard me driving up.

I'm definitely in favor of requiring these cars to be audible.

Comment Re:liars gonna lie (Score 5, Insightful) 278

Technically the NSA was not doing anything illegal with it's efforts to collect call meta data because they were not specifically barred from doing so.

The problem here is that NSA is a foreign intelligence agency, specifically prohibited from domestic intelligence collecting. So, it actually takes a great deal of effort to justify wholesale collection of data on US citizens by the NSA. The way they did it was by redefining the meaning of "collected" so that it no longer refers to data acquired through surveillance. Only data viewed by an NSA analyst is consideder "collected" under this scheme. Brilliant!

Of course, our foreign partners at GCHQ are said to have unfettered access to this trove of data, which remain conveniently uncollected until NSA sees it.

To make matters worse, this Orwellian justification for extra-legal domestic surveillance was kept secret from both the public at large and most of Congress. And top intelligence officials (I'm thinking about DNI James Clapper) lied to Congress about it when asked.

"Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious."

-- George Orwell, 1984

Comment Re:*The* Quickest, Not *Its* Quickest (Score 1) 175

And for the record, the Arial Atom is a production car that costs less then 150K that's faster. But since ass hats like yourself

Sorry, but saying "for the record" does not make it true. The Conditions of Sale for an Atom purchased from Sector111 (California dealer) include this: Ariel Atom 3s Are Not Considered To Be Federalized, Production Vehicles And Do Not Necessarily Meet Applicable FMVSS Criteria. Therefore, Ariel Atom 3s Are Not Available With 17-Digit VIN Or PIN Numbers.

Comment Re:In a country far far away (Score 1) 535

Go ahead and try running Autodesk Fusion360 virtualized, if you are so inclined. I run a different Windows only 3D CAD system under VirtualBox (2011 MacBook Pro host) with no problems, performance or otherwise, on small to medium sized models. My Windows CAD VM has no network and I like it that way!

Games are different story, Game performance and compatibility suck with VirtualBox. Parallels is better, with acceptable performance on a monster MacPro for those games that run reliably. VMWare fusion should be even better. In any case, I'm booting native Windows, using BootCamp, to run the latest Windows games.

Comment There is an official way to manage this... (Score 1) 370

No disrespect intended, but I don't know where GWX Control Panel comes from or what it might do to my system so I followed Microsoft's official instructions: How to manage Windows 10 notification and upgrade options. For those affected by this GWX malware, the process includes downloading and installing a not-automatically-distributed update (KB 3065987 or 3065988), setting a newly available group policy, and adding registry values.

The article is not exactly easy to follow - I do not recommend this approach to my non-techie friends and relatives - but it works, is officially sanctioned, and requires no extension of trust to a third party.

Comment Re:Equivalent to 500000 cars over what time period (Score 5, Informative) 240

... link it shows the "enviro-left" IPCC predictions vs actual temperature measurements. Not even close.

The Guardian addresses several of your errors interpreting this graph in this article. Perhaps the biggest error is the implication that the models predict specific temperature rises over time. In reality, the projections all included error bounds which, if included, would have show a very different picture.

I will note that those error bounds were pretty broad back in 1990. And that newer models are narrowing those bounds.

Last, a quotation from the article: "The 1990–2012 data have been shown to be consistent with the [1990 IPCC report] projections, and not consistent with zero trend from 1990"

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 1) 296

So, my understanding is that Apple is refusing to create a version of iOS that would allow FBI to crack encryption on this one phone because then it can be used to do the same on other phones, right?

In A Message to Our Customers Apples Tim Cook described the software ordered by the judge as a "backdoor" and explained that "once created, the technique could be used over and over again". What exactly he means by "technique" is unclear: It seems to suggest that any weakened version of iOS Apple supplied to the FBI might be installed on other phones. Some observers have suggested that even if the software checks the phone's hardware ID, it might still be compromised. There is merit in this argument given the difficult job of designing and verifying highly secure software coupled with at least one new potential channel (hardware ID spoofing) for attacking these iPhones.

However, I think Cook's argument is actually broader: That the larger risk is the Pandora's box opened by setting a precedent forcing them to undermine the security of their product. If the United States succeeds here, how long will it take for other countries to demand the same access? I find the international implications on the privacy of journalists, dissidents, etc. acting in (even more) repressive countries very worrisome indeed.

OK. Three more things. First, we have good reason to believe that the US National Security routinely lies to the American people and our elected representatives about the value of their security intrusions. "Terrorism!", "think of the children", never mind that the FBI acts illegally (spying on congress, anyone?, Stingray surveillance?) and openly desires to routinely thwart our electronic security. Second, Apple has a lot to gain by proving the security of its products through this fight. Trust in products from US electronics companies is falling due to revelations of pressures to add backdoors (among other things), and the FBI's failure to access this phone is the best kind of evidence that Apple has not compromised it. Third -- and this is complete speculation on my part -- it is entirely possibly that Apple has previously received even worse orders to compromise security, but secretly, under the auspices of a National Security Letter, and that this is really a proxy fight against a secret court with no appeal process.

Comment Re:Feel the bern! (Score 5, Informative) 212

You just happen to be a member of the crowd to which Bernie is playing. And, obviously, he is doing a good job of it.

Don't ever make the mistake of trusting him. Every action he takes that is not subject to public scrutiny will be a betrayal, as is true of every politician (that succeeds).

Nonsense. Sanders has had a remarkably open and public political career. He has answered questions from the public for an hour every Friday for years on the Thom Hartmann Show and his answers are reassuringly consistent and are backed up by his voting record. Plenty of Republicans in Vermont trust him because he does what he says he will. With regards to the surveillance state, Sander's has been outspoken in his opposition to pervasive data collection, voicing support for Edward Snowden's whistleblowing. Here's and article comparing his stance on NSA spying to that of Secretary Clinton.

I have observed that Sanders has generally narrowed his message in his campaign rhetoric, and specifically seems to avoids nuances of electronic security and privacy during the debates.

Comment Re:Hogwash (Score 1) 75

I respect the source you quoted (Union of Concerned Scientists). Here are some key findings from that paper:

"Nearly half (45 percent) of Americans live in BEST regions—where an EV has lower global warming emissions than a 50 mpg gasoline-powered vehicle, topping even the best gasoline hybrids on the market."

"Some 38 percent of Americans live in BETTER regions where an electric vehicle has the equivalent global warming emissions of a 41 to 50 mpg gasoline vehicle, similar to the best gasoline hybrids available today."

"About 17 percent of Americans live in GOOD regions—where an electric vehicle has the equivalent global warming emissions of a 31 to 40 mpg gasoline vehicle, making some gasoline hybrid vehicles a better choice with respect to global warming emissions.

Assuming constant miles per person driven across different regions, the average global warming contribution of BEVs works out to be equivalent to cars with 43-53 MPG fuel efficiency - significantly better than your original numbers, and good enough to legitimize green claims for BEVs in the US market.

Comment Re:Hogwash (Score 1) 75

It's true about electric cars in general, where I live in the USA they get about 35-40 mpg equivelant.

Source?

My i3 is rated at 138 MPGe (that's city driving which is 90+% of its use). As I said, carbon generated when recharging from a coal-burning power plant is far worse than that MPGe number suggests, but 35-40? Maybe in India (which burns mostly coal). Doubtful in the US.

City mileage for Teslas run about 2/3 that of the best BEVs. Still good mileage by most people's standards, and off the charts when compared with similar performance gas powered cars. The i3 vs. Tesla numbers turn around on the highway, with Tesla slightly outperforming the boxy BMW due to lower drag and stable speed (less acceleration of its extra mass).

In my experience efficiency for BEVs has a very different feel than gas powered. Regenerative braking is a small player in the overall efficiency of a car in real world driving - BMW claims about 3% energy savings. Academic papers show savings of up to 10% (presumably in repeated start-stop conditions) for normal electric cars, and better with special purpose vehicles. Getting back to my main point, an electric car's efficiency is far more dependent on drag and road incline than other factors. Quick acceleration kills a gas car's mileage, but barely affects my EV's range.

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