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Comment Re:did you forget about scrubbers? (Score 1) 388

It is true that they have invented scrubbers that solve most of these problems. But said scrubbers are incredibly expensive to run, making coal the single most expensive form of energy around.

There is not a single 'clean coal' plant that is currently making money. They are all run as loss leaders to 'prove' coal be be clean.

Comment Coal is the single WORST way to get energy (Score 5, Informative) 388

1) It produces more radioactivity than all other energy sources, including Nuclear power. (A small percentage of coal is thorium, which settles around wherever you burn the coal.)

2) It takes more work to mine it than all other sources (including uranium - though it does require less processing).

3) It takes more work to ship it from it's source to the plant than all other energy types.

4) It produces more carbon pollution than all other sources. Coal is basically pure carbon plus some nasty impurities. Oil and gas are Carbon + Hydrogen + some other stuff. Carbon burns to Carbon Dioxide (or worse, monoxide). Hydrogen burns nice and clean, turning into water.

5) Coal contains trace amounts of mercury, which when burned makes it's way into the atmosphere, then rains down into the oceans. Nasty stuff. No other energy source has this problem.

6) Coal mining has some nasty problems, including black lung disease and sometimes starts underground fires we literally can NOT put out.

No sane person mines coal for energy if they have any other energy source. All others are safer and better. Burning oil, gas, or wood are all better. Nuclear is better. Tidal, wind, solar, hydro, are all better.

Coal mining should only be used after you have burned all your forests up, mined all your uraninum, pumped all your natural gas and oil, and the sun has gone out.

Comment Re:Simple solution: Unpaid Mechanical Turk (Score 1) 172

"Fake News" does not just mean not true. That is called slander and libel. Nor does it refer to just true facts that are not "news." (Then it would include all of sports reporting).

Instead the term Fake News was created because of people avoiding the libel and slander laws by taking a fact and stretching it all out of proportion to reflect something that a certain mindset will either love or hate.

In this manner, the clear and obvious successor to " Pravda", called "RT", achieves its goals of lying to America and the west without being held legally responsible. In America, rather than the government, it is the political parties that desire to slander and libel people, so we get Conservative Breitbart and Liberal Huffington Post.

In other words, BIAS is exaclty the source of all Fake News. It doesn't mean that all biased things are fake news, it just means all Fake news comes from bias.

While it is true that fake news becomes profitable, that only happens after fake news creates it's own market in a feedback loop.

To get those feedback loops start, you need the bias.

So use the essential ingredient to root out the problem.

Submission + - Are accurate software development time predictions a myth? (

DuroSoft writes: For myself and the vast majority of people I have talked to, this is the case. Any attempts we make to estimate the amount of time software development tasks will take inevitably end in folly. Do you find you can make accurate estimates, or is it really the case, as the author suggests, that "writing and maintaining code can be seen as a fundamentally chaotic activity, subject to sudden, unpredictable gotchas that take up an inordinate amount of time" and that therefore attempting to make predictions in the first place is itself a waste of our valuable time?

Comment Poster does not understand Algebra (Score 3, Interesting) 344

Look, 100k/4 = 25k = low salary. Not unusual at all. Similarly if you have 10 children, but only make 200k, your freakin' POOR.

The basic problem is our culture tries to measures wealth by income rather than net worth.

You can not compare the salary of a young, healthy, single orphan with a married couples supporting two sets of sick parents and multiple kids.

We need to reset our definition of wealth to be based on cash, stocks, mutual funds and real estate in the bank. This means the IRS should ignore your salary and base your taxes on what you own. Ignore the stuff in your IRA and give a set amount to ignore (just as we don't take the first 10k of income for a single person). Start it at 1% and gradually raise it to a max of 5% if you have more than a couple million in the bank.

If we did this, we could get rid of most of the complexity of the tax code, because it is all based on not overcharging the poor, which this system does automatically.

Comment Simple solution: Unpaid Mechanical Turk (Score 1) 172

Step 1. Find a good set of sources of a variety of fake news. At least one conservative (Brietbart), Russian (RT), and Liberal (Huffington Post) to start.

Step 2. Set up software to track everyone that regularly reads any of those three as your secret mechanical Turk testers. Everything those people like, post, or otherwise support will be fake news.

Step 3. Create a solid scoring system based on your testers.

Basically, use the stupidity of the users against them. Once you find people stupid enough to believe the fairly obviously low production value of fake news, you have your testing machine.

You just have to make sure you get all strains of bias. If new strains show up, be sure to add them to step 1.

Comment Re:Vigilante definition (Score 1) 108

Yes because that is their mission. Your complaint is that they are too EFFECTIVE.

There are lots of solid evidence that people dislike government because it is too good at what it does. Then they undermine the government and laugh and say "Hey, now that we have handcuffed them, they can't do anything right.!

Which is why I want to create one to protect us rather than spy on us.

Government agencies are actually more effective than businesses (two thirds accomplish thier goal, vs 1 third for small business).

The problem is that when a government agency fails, it has to keep trying, while a small business that fails goes bankrupt and someone else tries again in a year or two. But government does such important work that we frankly are not willing to go without for the year or two. So we keep the failed agencies around, which makes replacing it harder.

Submission + - The Myth of A Superhuman AI ( 1

mirandakatz writes: One of the most common questions about the future of artificial intelligence goes something like this: "I’ve heard that in the future computerized AIs will become so much smarter than us that they will take all our jobs and resources, and humans will go extinct. Is this true?" But the assumption that AI will render humans obsolete is serious hyperbole. As Kevin Kelly writes at Backchannel, "buried in this scenario of a takeover of superhuman artificial intelligence are five assumptions which, when examined closely, are not based on any evidence...If the expectation of a superhuman AI takeover is built on five key assumptions that have no basis in evidence, then this idea is more akin to a religious belief—a myth." Don't miss the full, impeccably argued debunking of this pervasive myth.

Comment Vigilante definition (Score 1) 108

Vigilante definition, from Online Webster:

: a member of a volunteer committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily (as when the processes of law are viewed as inadequate); broadly : a self-appointed doer of justice

Note the parenthetic comment - "when the processes of law are viewed as inadequate".

In this case, the processes of law are NON-EXISTENCE. It is by definition inadequate. Yes, this is vigilante justice, mainly because our governments have totally failed to properly regulate these issues.

We need a simple government agency to report internet based vulnerabilities. Once reported, the manufacturer should have one month to fix it - and push the fix out. With monetary fines for a failure to do that - calculated so that 1 vulnerability in 100% of their products cuts 10% of their gross profit (note gross, not net).

Comment Online ? Authors never shopped in real life (Score 5, Interesting) 247

Because I hate to tell you, but stores in Beverly Hills charge more than they do in Compton for the exact same product.

And their are these things called "sales" and "coupons" to differentiate pricing even at the same store.

Yes, online makes it a bit more obvious, and yes, smart people can kill the cookies that are more likely to raise your price than reduce it (they assume no cookie = new customer, so they offer lower prices).

Study should be redone, comparing price differential online with those off-line.

Comment Re:Flying cars invented in 1964 (Score 1) 148

Good design can reduce a helicopter's noise significantly - half normal which is close enough to a car.

While your points are valid, I don't think they are the main problems. The real issues are those I mentioned - speed and skill. No one wants a flying car that goes only 35 mph, nor do we want anything that takes a pilot's license.

Good autopilot AI - including take off and landing - is the real killer problem. It the one thing we have not been able to solve sufficiently. Once we have that, a solid self diagnostic program should be an easy add on, making everything else possible.

Then the question becomes money, which drops over time and increased sales.

Comment Flying cars invented in 1964 (Score 1) 148

They are called PPC's (powered parachutes).

They consist of a small 3 or four wheeled vehicle (car), with a big pusher fan behind it. Attached to the frame is an airfoil = i.e a square parachute.

The fan pushes the car on land, typically at speeds of up to 35 mph (high end). Once up to speed, the parachute is released, fills with air, and begins to act like a wing, providing lift.

It has wheels, an engine, can move on land, fits in a garage, and can fly. It is a flying car.

People do not think of it because it has a) very low speed and b) need at least a sport pilot license.

Granted, google is solving those two issues, but they are not creating the first flying car, they are merely making it commercially viable.

Comment We overestimate what they do and what is needed (Score 3, Interesting) 287

Humans need food, water, air, warmth, plus an earth like environment. Everything else is just luxury. But almost no one actually works at providing food, water, air, and warmth. We've already automated those jobs away. 90% of what we work to get are luxuries. There is no limit to how much luxury we desire.

Basically, as we automate our way to more and more luxury, I guarantee we will find specific types of luxury that automation can not easily generate. Those will become more expensive, as they need human labor. Slowly more and more humans will move into those jobs.

That's how the jobs called: chef, clothing designer, wine sommelier, actor, game programmer, etc. were all created.

Here is a list of some of the very few luxury problems that I doubt automation can solve sufficiently to eliminate the jobs.

Medical research, anything related to dating determining which book to publish, and employment finding.

These are all things that we have tried to automate away and failed and MISERABLY. Medical research is an art, dating web sites barely even try to do more than hook you up for sex, Harry Potter was rejected by multiple book publishers for being too long, most people find work through friends.

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