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Comment Re:No real surprise (Score 2) 710

Wish I had mod points to vote you up. Cheers for not blindly following dubious "science" and calling out those who do. Not only is it a shitty study with corresponding shitty methods and assumptions it vaguely admits as much (while keeping a sensational and contradicting talking point). The effect of people who are concerned more about global warming use more energy is "largely due to the effect of age, as older households were much more likely to agree with this statement, and also had lower energy consumption". When that effect was accounted for there was "only a weak trend" to show that people who care about the environment cut their energy usage... So when you account for the effect of "old people use less energy and don't give a shit about global warming" then you get the effect of ... people who care about global warming only do a little to reduce their energy usage.

This study is ridiculously pathetic and says more about its fake-spin-science-touting promoters than it does about anything.

Comment Re:Throughput? (Score 3, Informative) 80

Good question. According to their FAQ their satellites will be capable of delivering "gigabytes of capacity". Obviously that would be split among individual beams, and sliced up into smaller pieces for individual service providers and again for individual people. It is based on the Ka-Band which currently supports about 500 megabits per beam (with multiple beams).

Comment Re:Ping (Score 4, Informative) 80

The 150 ms / 300 ms round trip was the "simulated" ping time. They ran real ping tests over 24 hours to the most remote coverage location at the Cook Islands.

One was from Surrey, England to the Cook Islands and averaged 570-800ms round trip -- the other was from California, US to the Cook Islands and averaged 420-620ms round trip. These were performed once per second for 24 hours and can be found in Figure 5 of the research paper.

Comment Interesting, but N=1 and... (Score 5, Interesting) 284

From TFA:

Anil Seth, who studies consciousness at the University of Sussex, UK, warns that we have to be cautious when interpreting behaviour from a single case study. The woman was missing part of her hippocampus, which was removed to treat her epilepsy, so she doesn't represent a "normal" brain, he says.

Normally a scientist will not ethically be able to put deep brain electrodes in a person, but this was likely part of a larger experiment related to the hippocampus surgery. It will be interesting to see if similar cases present similar behaviors and more interesting if the same thing happens in someone with a full hippocampus.

Comment Re:Ghash.IO is not consistently over 51%, yet anyw (Score 1) 281

Is it 51% or 50%+1? There is a big difference. If it's 51% then DDOS as soon as someone gets 50%-1 would work to prevent an exploit. If it's 50%+ then now many false transactions could they make at 51% (or 50%+2) before the DDOS is activated? If it's 50%+ then maybe the DDOS needs to come at 49% or 48% by community agreement. It does set an unsettling precedent that there could be DDOS battles over percent hashing contributions.

On the other hand, maybe this is enforcement that a bitcoin fork needs -- explicit support for mining pools. Such that the ability to get to say 40% by any one actor (pool or individual) is explicitly guarded against. There could be some sort of enforced diminishing returns with viability consensus like transaction consensus. Surely if you are trusting transactions to hash consensus you could also trust "ability or degree to contribute" to the same mechanism. If no-one could get over 48% then no-one could get over 50%. Does anyone know if that's a possible solution?

Does a mining pool really provide the ability to perform a 50%+ attack? They aren't running custom clients are they? Would it require ALL members of the mining pool to collude in the exploit?

Comment Re:Americans are bad at math (Score 1) 290

Lets examine how much time $443 million will buy us for budget examination... The 2011 budget expenditures are an estimated $3.82 trillion. So $443 million out of $3.82 trillion is 0.000116 of our budget. or 0.0116 % of the budget. If we spread that spending evenly throughout the year then 0.0116% of the 8760 hours in the year accounts for 0.99 hours. That's right -- less than one hour. That $443 million dollars will buy us less than one hour of time for budget examination. The cost of the wars in Iran and Iraq, however, was over $1 trillion. That would have bought us over 9 days per year every year over the last 10 years.

Comment Re:Battery Comparison (Score 4, Informative) 103

Good point... The summary left off an important bit of information from TFA:

"Based on that technology, MIT researchers have made a button-sized power generator fueled by butane that can run three times longer than a lithium-ion battery of the same weight; the device can then be recharged instantly, just by snapping in a tiny cartridge of fresh fuel"

So... using this to convert butane to electrical energy it lasts three times longer than a lithium-ion battery of the same weight.

But if you look at energy density of the two fuel sources:

You find that butane/propane/gas/diesel is about 45 megajoules / kg and Li-ion batteries store about 0.75 megajoule / kg. Converted energy 2.25 megajoules (3x Li-Ion) out of stored energy 45 megajoules = 5% efficiency rate converting butane heat to electrical energy using this device.


Comment Re:Linux support (Score 1) 214

News flash: There is nothing preventing companies from developing DRM or closed binaries on linux. nVidia already has closed binaries, hulu (with drm obviously) runs on a linux OS. The reason companies don't support linux desktop is solely because the linux desktop market is so small that companies do not see a profit benefit in supporting it. So email your favorite(?) company and let them know you are a linux user and you would like for them to support linux.

Comment Rapid Keyword Searches (Score 1) 591

Replace the URL bar with a tool to support more than just one command? Isn't that what keyword searches are for? I find the firefox URL bar to be extremely useful when combined with keyword searches. Here's how:

Go to any search field for instance the google search box, right click and choose "Add a Keyword for this Search...".

Give the search a single character "keyword" (eg g for google).

Now when you want to do a search you can do the following sequence:

Ctl-L # access the URL bar
Keyword [SEARCH TERMS] # eg "g slashdot" will perform a google search for slashdot

These are some of the keyword searches I use most often:

p for pubmed
g for google
gs for google scholar
gm for google maps
w for wikipedia
d for duckduckgo
ed for english dictionary
sd for spanish dictionary

The URL bar is by far the most useful feature of Firefox!

Comment Re:How can it be tied to local time zone? (Score 1) 673

You and the GP are missing the point here. God, obviously, will borrow Santa Clause's sleigh. Santa doesn't deliver all the presents at once, right? It takes time for him to ride his sleigh across the sky. So *logically* God will be driving Santa's magic sleigh across the sky approximately 6 hours behind the sun. Or maybe he's hitching a ride with FSM.

Comment Re:Hydrogen (Score 1) 436

Ummm.. You guys do realize that "hydropower" means hydroelectric power? As in dammed rivers. Not "hydrogen power" as in hydrogen batteries? The parent is right, "hydrogen power" is just a form of portable energy. The GP whooshed. All of the alternative energies listed consist of converting a significant natural energy resource (like shining sun, blowing wind ... falling water) into electricity, with hamster power obviously being our most precious natural resource.

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