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Comment Next 50 ears is likely (Score 2, Interesting) 114

Telescopes keep getting better. Shortly we will be able to detect oxygen molecules of various types (02 is normal, but 04 is also possible)

Oxygen is by nature a very reactive element. It can't exist naturally in an atmosphere unless life is generating it. If there is any photosynthesizing life on a planet, it will create enough oxygen that we can detect it.

We should have something capable of doing this within 25 years, and it won't take more than another 25 years of looking to

Comment Re:Whew! (Score 3, Insightful) 512

Different kinds of averages: Mean = what you did. Median = the guy in the exact middle. Mode = the rank that has the most people.

In your example, Bill gates + 999 homeless, the Mean = muilti-millionaire, Median = homeless, and Mode = homeless.

In other words, your problem is caused entirely by choice of the type of average. The Median average is the kind we need to use for this type of problem.

Comment Re:Supply and demand (Score 1) 120

If you actually read my post you would see that credit cards would let you purchase tickets in advanced. In other words, the solution you "thought up" and wrote about (i.e. ID) was already in my post.

My solution was superior to yours as it still allowed for cash sales.

Comment Re:Supply and demand (Score 2, Interesting) 120

No. You got scalpers and bots because:

1) People refuse to let the free market set prices. Some events are worth more than the ticket price, otherwise no one would ever buy via a scalper. Instead they insist on a communist "Let everyone watch for the same price" method.

2) The people running the system do not suffer from the scalping, so they do not bother to institute simple methods to stop it.

  For example, simply set it up so that you can only buy tickets either a) an hour before the show using cash abd getting your hand stamped, or b) with a credit card - that must be shown to pick up the tickets upto an hour before the show.

So take your pick of solution - either make let the free market price the tickets (with time affecting the price today's tickets are more expensive than ones for next year). Or use real security to ensure that the purchaser watches the show.

Comment How they 'cut distance' travelled (Score 5, Informative) 359

If you ignore the first article (Gadget 360) and click through the report hyperlink to
  http://www.independent.co.uk/n...

Then you find out that by cutting left turns they increase distance per package, but reduce time per package. By reducing time per package, they managed to put more packages on each truck. Miles per truck goes up, but the number of trucks goes down far more.

This reduction in total trucks also creates a slight reduction in distance traveled whenever two pickups are close to each other. So while miles per package goes up, total miles travelled drops tremendously.

Comment Sounds like bad bosses. (Score 1) 156

If he didn't give or sell the information away ('hoarded"), then it sounds to me like he was simply lazy about proper security procedures, rather than criminal. I know lots of people that take work home with them and it sounds like that is what he did.

Yes, it was a potential problem, yes it was a violation of the rules. But I bet his boss was simply more concerned with results than with security and created a culture of "get it done and don't talk to me about problems." The boss was probably too stupid to realize that 'problems' included national security leaks.

Comment Wrong focus (Score 1) 311

Two major issues with the 'robots will steal our jobs'. sillyness.

1) Jobs do NOT depend on work that needs to be done, but on work we WANT to do. All we really need are 3 hots and a cot, 1 person can make that for 1,000, so less than 0.1% percent need to be employed. But there is no limit to what human's WANT. As I have said before, give all humans a sex robot and we will demand a second so we can have a threesome.

2) The real problem caused by industrialization/robotization is the requirements for re-training. When it comes to jobs, the demand will always be ahead of the supply, with the main limitation being training. When you look for work, the jobs that are not being filled always require training.

Comment Standard error (Score 1) 2

The thing you are describing is not an abuse of government power, but simply an error.

The world is not perfect, sometimes people make mistakes, and sometimes they cancel payments made to you, even when the payment was correct.

The same kind of thing can happen with any business, or person.

That is, you can personally cancel a check, even after it is deposited.

Yes this is bad, yes it screws over the poor victim. So does any other banking error. If the bank itself charges you any fees, you should be able to get them reversed.

Comment All about trust. (Score 1) 1

Read the Wikipedia page on Magic Quadrant. It basically answers your question.

To summarize:

1) It's geared toward investors, not buyers.

2) It's a black box, i.e. a trusted expert opinion, not a verifable fact.

That said, they are considered an expert for a reason and you know your employer trusts them. If you knew your wife loved Consumer Reports, would you suggest you buy a car that CR gave a poor rating? I wouldn't unless you had a lot of VERY good reasons. Same reasoning applies and be prepared to show your work.

Comment Only one purpose? That sounds stupid. (Score 4, Insightful) 145

I can think of at least 5 reasons for sleep off the top of my head, and several have nothing to do with the brain:

1) Eliminate unwanted memories, like this study suggested.

2) Reduce consumption during periods of low resources, enabling longer life. I.E. Consume fewer calories in winter.

3) Rest the body giving it time to repair minor every day issue without constant strain.

4) Time for the unconcious brain to do deep thinking and solve long term problems

5) To allow the body to expand all it's resources to fix major illnesses, such as Small Pox, because it literally takes EVERYTHING we got.

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