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Comment Re:This is an extremely important accomplishment. (Score 1) 77

Most programs run thousands of times, some programs will run millions or billions of times. If you actually calculated the global collective waste due to slow heavily abstracted languages running across the globe that cost is significantly than it would've been to write it properly to begin with.

Yeah, but that's a cost to the user who pays for the hardware, not to the company that writes the software.

Comment Re:Flying Cars Energy Hogs By Nature (Score 2, Interesting) 194

A fuel-efficient prop-driven VTOL looks something like the Cartercopter. Basically a plane-autogyro hybrid so you get the fuel efficiency and speed of a plane along with (almost) vertical takeoff.

The rotor gets spun up to high revs with heavy counterweights at either end whilst on the ground, then the power is disconnected and transferred to the rear propellor. Increasing the collective sharply on the main rotor causes a jump takeoff and the rotor acts as a wing at cruising speed. Neat!

When the technology matures, this could be a very common mode of transit as they're apparently very easy to fly, but getting costs down to 'flying car' level would be tricky as they look like being half a million a piece.

Comment Re:Defense? (Score 1) 368

Maybe they should just spend a few millions getting those young angry guys laid...

Interesting that you mention that. An article I read a while ago about the psychology of terrorism (in the Psychologist a year or two ago) pointed out that:

  • Some Muslim sects/countries allow polygamy
  • Birth rates being 50/50 Male/Female, polygamy inevitably leaves some men without a mate
  • Given women's preference for wealthy men and the time it takes to become wealthy, those men without a mate are likely to be young
  • Young men are genetically programmed to want sex
  • All Muslim sects/countries outlaw sex outside marriage
  • Some interpretations of the Koran promise 72 virgins (unlimited sex) in paradise for 'martyrs'
  • Young men without access to sex get angry and frustrated

Put it all together and in some places you have a recipe for suicide bombing that's difficult to combat. Getting them laid would be great if you can find a way of getting Allah to OK it. Getting polygamy outlawed and reducing income inequality would be a good second best.

Comment Re:Proxification? (Score 2, Informative) 289

You act as if the US stole freedom from someone. No. We're not perfect, we've got a hell of a lot to criticize, but give it a rest with the anti-American crap.

Removing a democratically elected leader in favour of a crazed despot so that you can keep getting cheap oil is stealing freedom from someone. The UK were just as much to blame for Iran, so it's not like it's just a US thing, but it was a seriously bad thing to do and still hasn't been put right. Your points have some merit, but the anti-American (and anti-UK) stuff is not un-justified simply because some other countries were/are badly run before/after the attempts to interfere with their governments. What would things have been like if we had left well alone?

From people I've spoken to, the anti-American feeling in Britain comes from a mixture of:
1. The US does do the things mentioned by the GP far more than any other country does. Killing civilians is always wrong and the reasons are rarely good enough to counterbalance the harm, so it winds people up to see it happening.
2. Americans often take the line that it's not such a big deal for other people/countries to be devastated like this, as if it doesn't matter or it was needed because they're not very civillised anyway (like you hint at above). To be fair, I think all people feel this way about their own country's military action, but seeing as the US does so much more military action these days, it just shows more. Still not nice to hear though.
3. The 'freedom' thing. Most people's definition of freedom involves being able to choose their own political leaders and to not get bombed, so it's clear to an impartial (non-American) observer that the Freedom often spoken about means 'freedom for us to live as Americans' and not 'Freedom for everyone to live as they choose without interference', which is what it should mean. It kind of adds insult to injury when people claim that e.g. Iraq was about Freedom, when it was clearly about Oil.

If US foreign policy shifts towards helping other countries for the sake of it rather than for strategic benefits, then I think the anti-American feeling will start to fade.

Comment Re:Have a great trip! (Score 1) 1095

Also, consider visiting Avebury and Stonehenge (In that order). Very atmospheric and arguably the oldest computing devices in the world.

For extra geek fun, read up on relevant archaeoastronomy first e.g. Gerald Hawkins so that you know what the scientific function of the sites was and can put it all into context.

Comment Meta-Bit-Torrent Protocol (Score 1) 94

It would be interesting to see someone develop a distributed site mirroring protocol so that anyone with a server can opt-in to being a TPB mirror by downloading the archive and then getting real-time updates from one or more mirrors as more torrents are posted. The same distributed network idea for the tracker index sites as gets used for the file downloads.

With it being so easy, the sites could go offline after very short intervals. Imagine several thousand TPB mirrors at any one time, each one only up for a week or so before being retired. Try and stop that!

Comment Won't work (Score 1) 219

I can't see this being very popular. If people care enough to sort out an external news source to email them, then they care enough to set up a proxy or VPN. Why settle for someone else's choice of news to be mailed to you when you can go and get your own?

The issue is not whether the censors can be evaded, it's the cost/benefit of bothering. Most people don't care enough to try.

Comment Re:How many soldiers die if 187 F-22s aren't enoug (Score 1) 829

I'm sure if we spent less on the military, and more on social programs that don't work that we'd be speaking German.

Germany in 1939 was the only world superpower, and was in the process of invading everyone else and making a serious bid for world domination. They needed stopping.

However, none of the over 20 countries that the US has bombed since then has been even remotely similar. How many of them were actually a threat?

Sadly, in the eyes of the non-US countries, the role of terrorist world superpower is now in American hands rather than German. If you disagree, you might want to remind yourself what terrorism is: tactics designed to coerce people through fear. As just one example, the 'Shock and Awe' policy used in Iraq in 2003 was described by it's designers like this:

Shock and Awe must cause ... the threat and fear of action that may shut down all or part of the adversary's society or render his ability to fight useless

The fact that it is done by a state, rather than a dispersed trans-national ideological group like al Qaida makes no difference - the effect is the same. Defence spending is a very good idea, but the military spending you're talking about is used to fight wars of aggression, often with little regard for civillian caualties. That needs to stop.

This whole pacifist, Utopian, lets hold hands while the rest of the world stabs us in the back makes me throw up a little.

What exactly does 'stabs us in the back' mean? Who's bombing who here?

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