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Comment Shocking!! Indeed Very Shocking!! (Score 4, Insightful) 164

What shocked me indeed was the headline of the posting.
We have seen enough of these "This will shock you" in tabloids and lately even on CNN.
I am shocked to see this at Slashdot on consecutive two days.
Yesterday there was some other headline about how some rubber band shapes shocked scientists.

Let me read the headline and let me decide whether I want to be shocked or not. Why are you telling me that I will be shocked?
Pathetic!! Real pathetic!! Nothing turns me off more than the following three types of headlines.

"What this person said will shock you"
"XXX did what to stop XXX ?"
"The five things every should ..."

Slashdot is turning into tabloid. Instead of printing about trashy reality shows and gossip about royal families, they somehow find things related to technology. That's the only difference.
Slashdot, this had been a major turnoff.


Comment Beta feedback (Score 1) 60

Cons -
1. Pictures? Really? Come on guys. That's bad, real bad. Don't want it. I come here for content and good discussion. Pictures are not required. I don't even think formatted text is required. Ability to post text and hyperlinks is good enough.
2. Lots of white spaces. Waste of screen real estate.

Pros- Will think more and post.

Comment Re:I love numbers but.... (Score 1) 253

I agree that the peak power will be available only on peak summer on fine days. But disagree that the difference between peak power and average day power will be that much (4000 MW to 700 MW). The location they are talking about is desert with average annual rainfall . I would say 95% days in a year there are full sunshine with almost none or very little cloud. The summer is so hot that if you hang up soaking wet clothes, they will be dry in two hours. So without any data, I am going to venture and say the plant will operate at or close to peak efficiency for good amount of the year.

Comment Re:It'll work if you want to suceed (Score 1) 397

There is one stark difference between how all other groups immigrated to USA and how blacks immigrated. All other ethnic groups immigrated by their own will. Blacks were brought here forcibly for slavery (excluding the blacks that immigrated here in last few decades).

That immigration was demeaning and traumatic.

This is not to say they should not work on going forward and focusing on progress instead of victimization. I am just pointing out a big difference that makes that harder.

Comment A Reflection (Score 5, Insightful) 126

Indian here. I was in India when the newspapers were brimming with the news of how USA denied the technology to India. Ironically the desire in India grew exponentially when the technology was denied. Suddenly everyone from politicians, scientists, engineers, and even the street food vendors and Bollywood actors were interested in India developing cryogenic engine technology. Many of them couldn't pronounce cryogenic correctly. 99.99% of them didn't have a clue what it really was or what would it mean to their life if India were to develop cryogenic engines.

This psychological effect is extremely powerful. An Iranian friend told me once "I don't want Iran to have nuclear weapons in general. But if USA and Israel do not want Iran to have nuclear weapons, then I want Iran to have nuclear weapons." It's all about sticking it to the big bully, proving yourself. Suddenly it gives a point to the people to rally around.

And the resentment it causes when people realize that someone else is controlling them is so powerful and pervasive that I think it needs consideration in foreign policy design.

I am not saying go on handing over technologies to nations. But Americans vastly underestimate this type of resentment. The future potential cost of such resentment should be adequately considered while deciding what is in the best interest of USA. If you really have to do it, then at least launch adequate PR effort.

Comment Or they could just move? (Score 1) 341

Why build a exorbitantly costly structure that needs to never fail, to fight a battle against an enemy that will never give up?
Why not just make a plan to move away?

It's not like you have run out of land. There is plenty of land in California that's barren.

No matter how big all these companies are and how big cash they have, they are there to make profit using their product. They need to remain focused on the product and not get into construction business.

Comment Re:Female programmers (Score 1) 608

Very interesting argument. I agree that men and women are different. But still I think we need to have these arguments. Here is why.

My roots are in India. I am in US for a while now and can speak on both cultures. I see some stark differences in the way these cultures treat women.

I am in no delusion about the status of women in India. There are bunch of problems and overall woman's life in USA is better. I agree that.

But there is one major difference in the ways these cultures treat women. In India, a woman can be respected with all her feminine values. In USA, a woman can be respected only if she fits well in the male values. I know that in India a woman can shed a few tears, display emotions in public and still be respected as a strong leader in her field. Good luck to women in USA doing that. This is why India and even Pakistan have had a female chief of the country before USA. because to get to the top, women don't have to be what they are not.

Where does that difference come from? Because Indians have as many gods as goddesses and Americans have only one male god? I don't know. But we must have arguments to explore differences like this. Can you respect a woman only if she can become a man without a penis? Or can you respect woman even if she modifies the role of a CEO / President to suit her feminine nature and value? That's the question needs to be answered.

Comment Re:The dilema ... (Score 1) 427

I don't understand insightful rating of the above post. Just painting a giant worldwide organization in one broad stroke - corrupt. The picture is more complex and less sensational than that.

Yes, there have been several cases of UN corruption. But UN has done some awesome things, especially UNICEF. It's completely crazy to see this whole discussion painting UN as useless dumb-asses. I am not defending bad things in UN. Just protesting clubbing good things with bad ones or insisting that there are not good things.

Comment Re:NSA (Score 1) 251

Totally agree with the NSA effect and the examples you gave. Let me add one more example similar effect of how a false media report can skew perception. The Prius recall due to accelerator getting stuck. I drove Prius for years before the recall news. But never felt any issue. After reading about it, I felt a couple of times my Prius was accelerating. Since I forgot about it, never been an issue.

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 1233

Yet there is something different about Islam and other religions.

I would say it's not the existence of fanaticals, but the lack of liberals that separates Islam from rest of the religions.

In every other religion there is a strong liberal, self-critical voice. That voice always projects a different perspective, takes down the edge of extremist propoganda.

I log on regularly to Muslim forums and I see that there is no liberal voice there. They continuously post links that show how Muslims are targeted in non Muslim world. But they never hear about how non Muslims are targeted in Muslim world. If you try to make such argument, your credibility is already destroyed in their eyes. Many over there actually believe that 9/11 was orchestrated by US government.

The treatment of Muslims in non-Muslim world is distrusted and occasional discriminated. The treatment of non Muslims in Muslim world is horrible. It just never makes it to press.

Comment Re:Proud? (Score 1) 1233

In defense of founding fathers, the founding fathers may have been ok with things that are not accepted today. But what is more important is they set the country in the right direction. The direction where eventually as a society you figure out what's wrong and are empowered to take steps to correct it. Knowing what we know today, most likely the founding fathers would not have tolerated slavery.

I am not born in USA. Transplant here. But I am well familiar with American history and I think the founding fathers did a great job. Having said that the whole National security paranoia today scares me. This country is freaking separated by thousands of miles of sea from rest of the troublesome world. Only two neighbors up and down. They are pretty laid back and pose no danger. Can't you guys relax a bit?

I am a bit nervous as I am typing this as well. NSA, hello, if you are reading this, I am not your guy. I am rather interested in finding loose women on earth than virgins in heaven.

Comment Re:No incentive to lower costs (Score 1) 827

There might be a component of costs that is not in control of the universities. But a large part is.

I did my Masters in a US university and in the two years I was there, they destroyed two big dorms in perfectly good condition (I was living in one of them before they told me to leave and I had many friends living in the other and we were not aware of any problems or safety issues). Also they rebuilt a portion of the stadium and did some major renovation to another building. I was told the total construction budget was upwards of $800 mil over eight years or so.

Granted I didn't talk to the engineers behind those projects. But none of the students or faculty had heard of any problems with those structures. Those structures were in daily use and one day we just saw notices that they are going away. I could never figure out why those construction expenses took higher priority than giving scholarships to more students.

Comment Re:Lawsuit will be thrown out but.... (Score 1) 684

So how do you feel about this? Leaves bitter taste in your mouth? How can the world be so unfair?

Good. Stay with that feeling for a moment. Soak yourself in it.

Now you understand how I felt when I realized I was born in a much backward country and just by being born in a developed country I could have gotten much better life. That unfairness is how I have felt my entire life, since when I realized that fate handed me an unfair deal. That's how 80% of the world feels that lives in third world countries.

If you are trying to tell me that USA citizens deserve all the credit for making USA such a great country, I will beg to disagree. 50% of people don't even vote. Your ancestors discovered this millions of miles of pristine land which is safely separated from the rest of the world from thousands of miles of water bodies. They kicked out the original inhabitants and made it their own. They made great use of the resources and safety. I will grant you that.

But you can't say for sure my countrymen would not have done what you did if we were in your place.

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