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Comment Re:Turning Green is the least of your worries (Score 1) 203

What is more important is verifying that no-one is running the red light when you enter the intersection. Which in the US is an all too common occurrence.

Where snow is common, the first one or two seconds of a green don't count anyway. You've slid through a just-turned-red intersection once or twice yourself, you know somebody else can too. So you learn to pause just a moment. This habit doesn't completely clear during the summer, but it comes back come winter time again.

Comment Re:Glad to see it's bipartisan (Score 3, Interesting) 212

What do you think would Clinton "shake up?" She is the epitome of the status-quo!

There are several shake ups coming in November / January.

Let's look at the Senate. It's likely to swing Blue. This alone won't mean much because the House is likely to remain Red, but it's certainly going to change legislative agendas, which are important. Speaking of the House, with Trump at the top of the ticket, there will be downballot implications, some Republicans are going to have turnout trouble leading to Democrats taking some seats. I haven't seen any polls I believe in, but I think the House stays Red but with a bigger percentage Blue than before. That's a change that means more bipartisan cooperation will be necessary for anybody to get their personal agendas to see the light of day.

I can't see a Hillary executive changing much in terms of foreign policy, so full credit for "status-quo" there. Despite my preferences, she's likely to continue to antagonize Russia with anti-ICBM batteries and unified exercises close to Russia. She stands a chance of using executive orders to continue to shape the immigrant and minimum wage debates. And her ability to sign into law what the new Senate and the increasingly bipartisan House is important.

On the topic of Hillary being status-quo. Based on the rhetoric of the Republican Party for the last 2-3 years, a status-quo is in fact a shake up. All the stonewalling that's been done in Congress, all the scapegoating, all the blaming, and they can't get the American people to put them back into power. Heck, they need to tend to their own house as they realize 12 candidates can't make it through the primaries without a crazy making it out as the candidate. Then if you count that Hillary is almost certain to name at least one Supreme Court Justice in the next 4 years (with some guessing up to three!), this is going to be a "status-quo" that remains in place for a long time. Even if it's only Ginsberg and Breyer getting replaced with younger equivalents, that's a big deal. There's a 54% chance of a conservative justice kicking it in the next four years, so that's an even bigger deal.

Comment Re:There are limits... (Score 1) 183

A computer though, I have no idea how most people could last 5 years.

I'm typing this on a work issued 4.5 year old HP Probook 6455b. I've got an AMD Turion mobile processor and it wasn't fast when I got it. Two years ago, I tried to trade it in for a faster model. IT slapped some piece of crap slow SSD in it and refused me a new machine.

It's not fast. I can do some engineering work on it (CAD, statistics), but most of the time it runs Firefox and Chrome to get to Google Apps where the corporate IT infrastructure runs. For what modern work often is, 5 year old hardware is sufficient and I've decided the SSD is "fast enough" and it's not work arguing with IT.

Comment Re:Economics of those challenges? (Score 1) 245

Another angle: even if you don't need money, there are plenty of engineers who do - google can afford paying for these things full sticker.

Google is not avoiding paying one team, but several. Not only are they avoiding dealing with exclusively a firm at random, who, lacking financial competition, is likely to build in a decent profit margin, but they're soliciting from several teams who understand the nature of the competition. Regardless, they're catching a price break. Successful companies often get that way by avoiding paying money they don't have to. In this way, they're not ending up with an "average" design, and not only are they getting the "best" design, but they're getting a whole pile of designs. Any chance they see to pick design elements from a few of the "almost best" ones to make the "best" even better, that's something they can leverage.

I'm still puzzled by the economics of these prize driven challenges. Look at the winning design: (pdf) []. R&D costs of it (including expertise, etc) well exceed $1mil. And having a lot of teams working on their designs... Assuming that there are at least 3 other good teams means then expected payout is laughable $250k...

The $250k is only a small part of the payment. Look at the biographies at the back of that PDF. This team isn't doing it for the cash, they're doing it for the publicity. They might want to get Google to conduct business with them more regularly, perhaps even manufacturing these boxes for them, but they really want the wider engineering market to see what they're doing as innovative. This isn't some cheapskate bully firm screwing an individual graphic artist by offering only publicity for their hard earned work (and nobody cares about it), this is GOOGLE. This publicity is worth something. In their portfolio, they can now put "Winner of the Google Little Box Challenge" and they'll shove that in any prospective client's faces. I don't know if this is going to help them seal any deals or get higher profit margins, but I'd expect it's one of those two.

Comment Stupid question... (Score 1) 428

I have a stupid question... If the fat mass fell by a mean of 0.3 kg, and the fat free mass fell by a mean of 0.6 kg, what's making up that fat free mass? Water would be an easy culprit, but does that indicate that less sugar resulted in less water retention, or that the subjects also decreased their sodium intake concurrently? I think it's easy to blame sugar for some of the effects, but I'm not convinced it's the only variable that was changed.

Comment In car navitagion is done better elsewhere (Score 1) 417

Like everyone else, I think the in-car navigation is done better by anyone else. Tom-toms, Garmins, or in my case, Waze on my phone.

What if the in-car entertainment system had a set of APIs that could be controlled by an external device like a phone? That external device could then have a variety of different apps that could use the APIs, even set up several competing apps to take advantage of them. If car companies write off the tiny incremental income from the people who use the services, or even offset it by having their own branded apps cost money, perhaps they could concentrate on making those APIs secure and decrease the impact of successful hacks?

A car company that was able to do that successfully would have quite a selling point to people who were in BYOD and security.

Comment Re:As much as possible (Score 1) 350

In windows multiple desktops was always a nuisance

If you're referring to what I think you are, have you checked out VirtuaWin? It's not perfect (specifically with PowerPoint -- don't leave it open in one desktop and open an existing document in another -- all other apps I've used have worked well), but it's a fine product with excellent utility.

Comment Distributed environment? (Score 1) 76

Every now and again, we read about some average Joe who discovers a new object. If I could cough up $300 and have my computer watch my telescope every night, all night, and compare objects to known objects, I'd do it. If there were 1,000 systems throughout the US, 10,000 throughout the world with cheap $300 telescopes, I would think there would be some progress toward making sure big objects were seen.

I understand that big, fancy telescopes with top of the line imaging is where all the deep space science is done, and I know that cheap $300 telescopes won't see any new planets, stars or exoplanets. I'm just thinking that a distributed network wouldn't have cloudy nights and could classify the night sky in near real time.

Comment Re:Cell (Score 1) 338

That core was basically the Intel Atom of PowerPC architectures.

I agree with all of your sentiment, and most of your statements, but this one I have trouble with. Atom is basically an original Pentium, slightly modernized. To get that out of PowerPC, you'd need to start with a 603 or so, and bring it into a 2005 age. 603 migrated to 750 and 7400. But since the 7400 was essentially a 750 with a vector unit taped to the side, the 750 would suffice as an Atom-esque core. The die size of the 750 class machines in 90nm supports this.

The PowerPC core in the PS3 and 360 was derived from Power4, a server class processor, with bunches of stuff taken out and re-pipelined. The core was made in-order, the pipeline was brought down to allow the frequency to be amped up. The area of the PowerPC core in the Cell is about the same as the entire die (core and cache) of a 750 in the same 90nm technology.

Comment Re:Honestly, rifles are not the problem (Score 4, Insightful) 651

Pistols are also the best self-defence weapon

Dogs are the best self-defence weapon. Their barking scares away countless intruders. They're armed even when you're not home. THEY GO AROUND CORNERS. They can be recalled, do not kill instantly, and can quickly recognize friends by smell.

20 years ago, my dad and I came home from a camping trip a day early, but late at night. If my mom had been armed, she would have shot at both of us. Instead, the dog woofed to wake her up and then went to go greet us.

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