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Comment Re: TracPhone: $7/month. (Score 1) 208

Oh rly? Which plan is that? The Pinocchio plan?

It's not really a plan. It's the $19.99 60-minute, 90 day refill card. With a smartphone, the minutes "triple" to 180, and you also get 180 texts and 180mb data. If you sign up for auto-refill, you get a small discount off that (and it becomes kind of a plan).

If your wireless needs fit that profile, it works out to around $7/month. I've saved a boatload of money going down that route, although I have needed to supplement it with a few data-only refills, which has only tacked on a couple of bucks per month for me on average. It does kind of rule out using any audio or video while not in WiFi range, and you can't yammer on the phone endlessly, but for me that's an acceptable trade-off.

Comment Re:More science (Score 2) 280

Over the time scale of the next century, only one input signal will dominate: the amount of added greenhouse gases. All of that other stuff either oscillates too fast or has an insignificant effect. Other signals that would have a big impact, such as changes in the earth's orbit that drive ice ages, or movement of mountain ranges due to continental drift, are too slow to have an impact over the next couple of centuries.

Relative to the greenhouse gas signal, the climate *was* very close to an equilibrium on a human timescale. It certainly isn't any longer; it's being strongly driven into ranges hotter than it's been for millions of years.

Comment Re:More science (Score 1) 280

The final color of mixing two buckets of paint is the integrated effect of chaotic stirring (and all of the world's supercomputers probably couldn't predict the exact pattern of those swirls). However, the final color can easily be calculated with high precision using a hand calculator. Integration has smaller error bars than you think it does.

Comment Re:Its pretty important... (Score 3, Informative) 307

So ironically, transporting the oil and gas out of the region is putting oil and gas production in jeopardy.

That would seem to be yet another reason to transition this country away from fossil fuels altogether. That would address both the erosion issue and the fossil fuel dependence at the same time.

As far as seafood goes, there's going to be a coastline somewhere, no matter how far it moves into the current state of Louisiana. The seafood will still come from wherever that is.

Submission + - What a Trip: First Evidence for Higher State of Consciousness Found (neurosciencenews.com)

baalcat writes: Researchers observe a sustained increase in neural signal diversity in people under the influence of psychedelics.

Scientific evidence of a ‘higher’ state of consciousness has been found in a study led by the University of Sussex.

Neuroscientists observed a sustained increase in neural signal diversity – a measure of the complexity of brain activity – of people under the influence of psychedelic drugs, compared with when they were in a normal waking state.

The diversity of brain signals provides a mathematical index of the level of consciousness. For example, people who are awake have been shown to have more diverse neural activity using this scale than those who are asleep.

This, however, is the first study to show brain-signal diversity that is higher than baseline, that is higher than in someone who is simply ‘awake and aware’. Previous studies have tended to focus on lowered states of consciousness, such as sleep, anaesthesia, or the so-called ‘vegetative’ state.

Comment Re:As a non-US resident... (Score 3, Insightful) 140

It's freaking horrible for US residents, as well. I just want to buy a service, I don't want to try to work through the calculus of how well the driver performed, how much I value it, how much the driver deserves, and how much social aggression I'll face if the driver thinks they've been shorted. I just need a ride. I don't need a passive-aggressive douche pressuring me to tip well on my way to the airport.

Comment BASIC cartridge on a Bally Astrocade (Score 1) 857

The Astrocade game console only had a numeric input keypad. Coding programs was like texting on a feature phone, but without any text prediction, and especially without switch debouncing logic.

The cartridge itself did have a 1/8" jack so you could possibly save the fruits of your labor onto a cassette tape, with some luck.

The game console had almost no memory, so BASIC programs were stored in every other bit of the video frame buffer, and palette tricks were used to make the raw program data invisible on the display.

Comment Re: MS pushing more into older OS or Linux/Mac (Score 1) 238

A few off the top of my head: laptop touchpads lacking full functionality, keyboards with Fn key functions not working, poor power management support. Some laptops still ship with WLAN hardware that doesn't work out of the box.

None of this stuff represents a complete dealbreaker, but it's a combination of factors that wears down the likelihood that I could adopt Linux on a personal PC. As a VM? Something I remotely manage? No problem. But when power management is so bad I only get half the battery life I get on Windows AND the screen brightness keys don't work AND I have to go make my own gesture to get the touchpad to middle click or something, it's pretty hard to say it's worth it.

Comment Re:Is anyone surprised by this? (Score 1) 145

Sure: Florida Stat. 501.204
"Unfair methods of competition, unconscionable acts or practices, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby declared unlawful."
https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/...

The definitions section of the statute lists what practices "may" be considered violative of the law (and the ones listed are extremely broad), but it does not restrict them to the ones listed.

Comment Re:Not exactly direct evidence (Score 1) 156

not that the images actually show us Dark Matter.

Most people are "electromagnetic chauvinists", because all of their senses depend on an electromagnetic field in some way. If a physical phenomenon doesn't create an electromagnetic field, many people refuse to believe that it could exist. However, nothing in physics says that everything in the universe has to be able to create an electromagnetic effect.

In fact, dark matter does slightly alter electromagnetic fields by bending it over cosmic distances (as well as moving normal matter around). This isn't too much less tangible than neutrinos, about which few people currently doubt.

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