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Comment Re:Curly braces = good. Indents = bad. (Score 1) 157

I don't know about everyone else, but I find it *immensely* helpful to write debugging statements without indentation. This makes it so that they stand out from the normal statements among which the debugging statements are inserted. This is the reason I won't even consider using Python.

Just stick "# XXX" comments around your debug code. Many editors automatically highlight XXX so prominently that it's just as easy to spot as unindented code.

Now, all you Python-indentation-style lovers, consider how you would code this kind of Go initializer:
        arr := [][]int{{1,2,3},{4,5,6}}
(This declares the variable 'arr' as a slice of slices of ints and initializes the variable.)

You mean, like:
arr = [[1,2,3][4,5,6]]
What's the problem?

Comment Re: Yeah but there's a whole world out there (Score 1) 827

"As little as possible" is quite different from "none at all". Yes, there might be some bilateral agreements or international contracts where the U.S. could look at and ask: Do we really need that, or could that be cancelled? But international trade ("commercial relations") is not possible without agreements. International travel is not possible without agreements. And the enforcing of agreements needs some leverage against those who are in violation with the agreements.

The U.S. navy for instance had their first big encounters in fighting piracy (those at sea, not the intellectual property one). And it wasn't just the Pirates of the Caribbean. Much more important was the fight against the piracy in the Mediterrean. Pirates there, mostly operating from the northern coast of Africa, would not just capture the ships and make booty. They would capture the people also and sell them into slavery. Even U.S. citizens were captured and sold into slavery in northern Africa, and through the whole of the Osman Empire. And how does a fleet operate in sea waters far away from their home coast without any agreements with the states and kingdoms bordering to said sea waters? And be it only for the fleet to be free to get into an harbour and replenish their water and food, repair their ships and buy spare parts. And this was just the first half of the 19th century we are talking about!

You seem to totally underestimate the amount of entanglement you need to get even basic trade routes working.

Comment Re: Yeah but there's a whole world out there (Score 1) 827

It was inevitable. The U.S. started out as an immigration country, so entanglement was already the base it was founded on. Forbidding any entanglement would have put if off for about another two years. You can always tell how all-encompassing the entanglement is by just looking at the names of the food you eat. How much "white protestant english" food you've eaten today?

Battling the entanglement is fighting windmills. And disentanglement is wishful thinking. All you can do is trying to get the entanglement into clear structures.

Comment Re:It's missing the full picture (Score 1) 198

Somehow your definition of Energy so vastly differs from mine, that the conversation becomes meaningless. Energy according to my definition doesn't vanish. We can always tell how much energy our not-so-closed-system gives to the environment (it gives us an idea how much cooling our fuel cells need).

And the process of splitting water into Hydrogen and Oxygen is well-understood: You just take an anode and a cathode and put them into water. As soon as you connect both to an electric energy source, Hydrogen bubbles will rise at the cathode, and Oxygen bubbles will rise at the anode. This process is called electrolysis of water. The Hofman voltameter was already invented 1866 -- 150 years ago. If you catch the Hydrogen at the cathode, you can store it and later use it for a fuel cell. The amount of energy needed is also easily calculated. The potential difference between anode and cathode should be 1.23 Volts, and the amount of Hydrogen you gain is directly proportional to the amount of charge you transfer between anode and cathode.

Comment Re:It's missing the full picture (Score 2) 198

Oh, I like people who think that the Third Law of Thermodynamics is the same as all Four Laws of Thermodynamics.

I was talking about the First Law of Thermodynamics: U_system = Q - W.

One way to put it is: In the case of a thermodynamic cycle of a closed system, which returns to its original state, the heat Q_in supplied to the system in one stage of the cycle, minus the heat Q_out removed from it in another stage of the cycle, plus the work added to the system W_in equals the work that leaves the system W_out.

Another way to put it is the Law of the Conservation of Energy.

If we increase the energy of a system consisting of Hydrogen and Oxygen by separating molecules of water, we need the same amount of heat and work (Q_in + W_in), as we get when we reduce the energy of the system later by putting Hydrogen and Oxygen together (Q_out + W_out). We can do this by burning the Hydrogen, but then (as you rightly state) we only get 45% back as W_out, everything else leaves as heat Q_out.

As of today, we have fuel cells that increase W_out (as electrical output) up to 70% (SOFC, Solid Oxid Fuel Cells), so only 30% gets converted into heat.

Comment Re:It's missing the full picture (Score 1) 198

Actually, it costs about the same energy to separate hydrogen from oxygen as it will release when united again. There's that nice thing called Laws of Thermodynamics. Hydrogen in this case is a way to store energy, not to generate it. So whenever you have surplus energy, you store it by generating Hydrogen, and then you release it in the fuel cells of the train to power it. The amount of energy you can store by generating Hydrogen is by far higher than Lithium-Ion or even Sulfur-Air batteries.

Comment Re:I think that they are missing the point (Score 4, Informative) 210

But that's not what that study was about. According to the NY Times text, 500 people were selected and put on a weight loss regime for six month, and each of them lost weight. Then they got split in two groups where one group keeps track of the weight loss regime via a website and another one via the tracker. And the tracker people lost significantly less weight during the next year.

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