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Comment Re:Only half true article (Score 1) 256

Because no one wants to read about nuclear power plants being built anymore.

I do. It gives me a good feeling, seeing that there is still a country that hasn't succumbed to the whims of whiny hippies.

So essentially what you are saying is that nuclear power, controlled by totalitarian communist governments who killed hundreds of millions of people, gives you a good feeling because they can force it onto their people.

Comment Re:1 point for Obama (Score 1) 785

I think someone as adept in the spook world as Snowden is would likely have a hidden stash somewhere. But that doesn't matter wrt this argument.

What matters here is that there is a very real and significant possibility that he could do something more. As long as that possibility exists, he can not be granted a blanket pardon. He could certainly be pardoned for specific offenses for past activity, but first those need to be specified by indictment, which has yet to be done.

We could argue over whether the possibility is 10% or 1% or 0.01%, but that would be foolish. You cannot completely argue away the possibility, and there can be no blanket pardon under these conditions.

Maybe a car analogy is necessary here. Obama, and every sitting President, has the power to pardon Johnny Queue Publique at any time after JQP has been accused of stealing a car. But there is no provision that would allow JQP to be pardoned for a car theft that has not yet occurred. The President cannot give anyone a free pass to steal a car tomorrow. Not even President Trump will be allowed to do that, any tweets to the contrary not withstanding.

Comment Re:1 point for Obama (Score 1) 785

A serious technical detail in granting pardon to Snowden is that there is no way to determine if his "crimes" are completed.

With Manning there is no question that the acts that put him in prison are done and history. With Nixon there was a similar situation, since he could not have possibly continued his illegal/unethical acts after he was removed from office. But with Snowden ----he is still sitting on a lot of material that may have all kinds of consequences if it is released, or may even be affecting events now, without being released, if he is using some of it to blackmail someone.

I'm not saying that he is doing any of that or would do any of that. I'm merely pointing out that the kind of actions that he could be brought to trial for are not necessarily complete, so a blanket pardon should not be done as yet.

I can only see two ways Snowden could be granted a pardon. Either he is brought into the USA justice system and charged with crimes ---then he could be pardoned of just those crimes, even before the trial is done. But he needs to indicted for specific crimes. Or the other way is that he could be given a blanket pardon on his deathbed, when he clearly has no ability to do anything more.

I am glad that Snowden did what he has done and in my opinion he is a true American patriot. But the very system that he has worked to fix cannot grant him a blanket pardon at this time.

Comment Re:...Or Just Take Aspirin. (Score 2) 98

Excedrin and other APC preparations have only one benefit over plain aspirin swallowed with coffee: for some people, there is a beneficial placebo effect with certain brand names. More power to them.

However to some extent the placebo effect is dependent on ignorance that you have been given a placebo, so if you used to find that Excedrin worked better than aspirin with coffee, I may have just destroyed that benefit for you. Too bad. Find another sugar pill.

Acetaminophen (paracetamol, Tyelnol) is no more effective than aspirin (acetylsalicilic acid or ASA) in pain relief, and IIRC, does not potentiate with ASA nor are the two taken together any better than either one taken alone when taken in the usual recommended adult doses. But I'm pulling that from 30 year old memories from my days as an RN so someone could check on that.

There are downsides to both acetaminophen and aspirin.

Too much acetaminophen can irreversibly damage your liver, possibly leading to death or a liver transplant. Since the stuff is indiscriminately added to a huge number of pain relief compounds, it is possible to OD without realizing it, especially for those who think that since the Excedrin they took 15 minutes ago isn't taking care of the headache, they'll just take some Tylenol now, and maybe wash it down with Alka Seltzer Plus. Bye bye, sucker! (BTW, if you are contemplating suicide, don't do it with a couple of bottles of Tylenol. For if the paramedics get to you in time to pump your stomach and save you, you will live the rest of your short miserable life without a working liver, and that is hell on you, and everyone who has to breathe the stenches you emit.)

Too much aspirin can permanently damage your hearing, or kill you in a number of different ways, or turn you into a semi vegetable through bleeding into your brain. One thing is that an early sign of a mild OD is tinnitus, which is a high pitched whine from damage to your inner ear. It is generally reversible by abstaining from more ASA for a time. So there is that warning sign for some people (but maybe not for you and maybe not all the time so don't rely on it).

Aspirin washed down with a cup of coffee is as effective as any of the fancy brand name compounds in treating migraine and the aches and pains of daily living. Caffeine definitely potentiates the analgesic effect of aspirin, while also acting directly on the blood vessels that cause migraine pain. Plain coffee is the preferred way of delivering the caffeine, since it contains a number of other drugs that also have some benefit, and because a warm solution more quickly gets into the blood stream than a cold one laden with sugar, etc. This statement is true when the possible benefits of a placebo reaction to a given brand name drug are discounted--- but we have already destroyed that placebo effect for you with this post, eh?

Bayer aspirin is generally priced twice as much, or more, than just plain aspirin, but is no different from any of the rest once it is out of the bottle. Still if you want to enhance your pain relief with a bit of placebo effect, Bayer might well work better for you than the cheap generic stuff.

The Internet

Thousands Of Cubans Now Have Internet Access (ap.org) 70

There's been a dramatic change in one of the world's least-connected countries. An anonymous reader quotes the AP: Since the summer of 2015, the Cuban government has opened 240 public Wi-Fi spots in parks and on street corners across the country... The government estimates that 100,000 Cubans connect to the internet daily. A new feature of urban life in Cuba is the sight of people sitting at all hours on street corners or park benches, their faces illuminated by the screen of smartphones connected by applications such as Facebook Messenger to relatives in Miami, Ecuador or other outposts of the Cuban diaspora...

Cuban ingenuity has spread internet far beyond those public places: thousands of people grab the public signals through commercially available repeaters, imported illegally into Cuba and often sold for about $100 -- double the original price. Mounted on rooftops, the repeaters grab the public signals and create a form of home internet increasingly available in private rentals for tourists and cafes and restaurants for Cubans and visitors alike.

The article also points out that last month, for the first time ever, 2,000 Cubans began receiving home internet access.

Comment Re:Use Blender? (Score 4, Informative) 221

Yes, Blender. It is cross platform and on an adequate platform (multicore CPU, certain GPUs) it could possibly do what is wanted. It can also be extended using Python plug-ins, so it could be further developed if necessary. Blender can also use render farm technology so it can probably scale to meet any reasonably large job, its limitation being only the number of computers you can afford to use.

Since the person(s) inquiring about this had not mentioned Blender, I can only assume that they are either too lazy or too lacking in basic Google skills to do any work themselves. Learning to use enough of Blender's interface to manage its video editing tools is not something one can do in a weekend. Learning enough Python to create any necessary plug-ins is also non-trivial. The inquirers seem to want someone to make a one-button application to do what they want. I think they have a basic misunderstanding of what Free Open Source Software is all about.

The Internet

Virginia 'Broadband Deployment Act' Would Kill Municipal Broadband Deployment (arstechnica.com) 200

Virginia lawmakers are considering a bill called the "Virginia Broadband Deployment Act," but instead of resulting in more broadband deployment, the legislation would make it more difficult for municipalities to offer Internet service. From a report: The Virginia House of Delegates legislation proposed this week by Republican lawmaker Kathy Byron would prohibit municipal broadband deployments except in very limited circumstances. Among other things, a locality wouldn't be allowed to offer Internet service if an existing network already provides 10Mbps download and 1Mbps upload speeds to 90 percent of potential customers. That speed threshold is low enough that it can be met by old DSL lines in areas that haven't received more modern cable and fiber networks. Even if that condition is met, a city or town would have to jump through a few hoops before offering service. The municipality would have to pay for a "comprehensive broadband assessment," and then issue a request for proposals giving for-profit ISPs six months to submit a plan for broadband deployment. After receiving proposals from private ISPs, the local government would have to determine whether providing grants or subsidies to a private ISP would be more cost-effective than building a municipal broadband network.
Chrome

Latest Adobe Acrobat Reader Update Silently Installs Chrome Extension (bleepingcomputer.com) 144

An anonymous reader writes: The latest Adobe Acrobat Reader security update (15.023.20053), besides delivering security updates, also secretly installs the Adobe Acrobat extension in the user's Chrome browser. There is no mention of this "special package" on Acrobat's changelog, and surprise-surprise, the extension comes with anonymous data collection turned on by default. Bleeping Computer reports: "This extension allows users to save any web page they're on as a PDF file and share it or download it to disk. The extension is also Windows-only, meaning Mac and Linux Chrome users will not receive it. The extension requests the following permissions: Read and change all your data on the websites you visit; Manage your downloads; Communicate with cooperating native applications. According to Adobe, extension users 'share information with Adobe about how [they] use the application. The information is anonymous and will help us improve product quality and features,' Adobe also says. 'Since no personally identifiable information is collected, the anonymous data will not be meaningful to anyone outside of Adobe.'"

Comment Re:Human nature (Score 1) 100

We also know that this collusion was irrelevant to the Fukushima accident. We also know that collusion with regulators wasn't the cause of the accident at Chernobyl either. So no, "learned nothing" is an empty assertion.

Your opinion differs from the official report which states the nuclear industry "managed to avoid absorbing the critical lessons learned from Three Mile Island and Chernobyl" so, yes, it's an accurate assertion. Organizational failures led to the accident in both cases.

What neglect?

Cited from the official report "NISA’s failure to demand action, and TEPCO’s failure to act, together constitute negligence which led to the accident.", that neglect.

The research that indicated this was a problem was done in 2001. Which was kind of irrelevant in that the plant was originally going to be decommissioned starting in 2011.

A claim that you have consistently made with no evidence to support it, expecially considering the fact that Unit four was off-line for maintenance and refueling. I've searched for evidence to support your claim and found none.

Seriously, step through this time line, nuclear power decision making is very conservative and deliberate, precisely because hasty, impromptu decision making is considered extremely negligent.

I did, it's a full quarter of the time the facility has existed. Taking 10 years to not make decisions that would protect the facility is the nonfeasance that constitutes the neglect the commission is referring to.

They just haven't been that bad.

I think the people who have been evacuated from their homes and communities that pre-dated the plant would disagree. Perhaps the destruction of these communities is meaningless in the pursuit of nuclear power, as long as no one diea, it's ok to ruin their communities.

I see you are finally accepting the seawall and backup generator issues though I note your original prediction that the cleanup would cost $10 billion at odds with the Japanese Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry estimate it will be around $200 billion, so far.

Personally, I'd be really sad if the beautiful place I live was decimated by an accident like that, maybe that's not something you can relate to.

keeping in mind that both they didn't have access to your amazing powers of hindsight

Your ad homs are meaningless, they show me you have no argument.

Considering my assertions are similar to the conclusions the official report made, nine months later after examining the evidence the word you are looking for is insight.

Like Chernobyl, TEPCO did something stupid and placed the backup generators where they would be vulnerable to flooding and then failed to improve the seawall protection when new conclusions about tsunami risk was assessed, they had the hindsight of many professionals to draw on, TEPCO just ignored them.

Even your own criteria of "don't do something stupid" was met to agree that Fukushima shows that the Nuclear Industry learned nothing from Chernobyl.

I'm happy to say that it looks like Fukushima has finally turned a corner with the removal of the spent fuel rods from the spent fuel cooling pool no longer threatening the northern hemisphere with the fall out from a plutonium fire. I am certain that a restart of the Japanese nuclear industry is being considered. Lets hope this is something you can tell me I was wrong about.

The primary conclusion has been:

It is simple to look through you previous posts how many conclusions you were wrong about on this matter because of the conclusions you don't accept. Dogmatically skeptical, you transpose your idealism of nuclear power onto reality with as much zealotry as a religious fanatic. Social proof isn't proof and your "arguments" haven't held up to facts that we have learned about Fukushima.

Fukushima shows that the Nuclear Industry learned nothing from Chernobyl.

Comment Re:Oh FFS (Score 1) 218

I think the disconnect here depends on the context.

I've worked on web UIs where the amount of data is tiny.

I've also worked on AAA games where you have 16ms to process one game tick.

And I've worked at internet behemoths on backend code with massive datasets.

In the former, you don't need to worry much about big-O. You could implement exponential algorithms and get reasonable runtime behavior.

But in the latter 2 cases, you absolutely have to consider it at every turn. For instance, you simply can not run algorithms on a game with 10s or 100s of thousands of entities using pairwise comparisons of those entities, for O(n^2) time. You have to think very carefully about avoiding inefficient algorithms, and big-O is almost always going to matter more than whatever constant you're multiplying it by. On massive backend services, the whole approach used to gain scale is organizing data so that efficient algorithms can be used. You don't just slog all your data through 3 for loops or whatever.

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