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Comment Re:Coal workers (Score 1, Informative) 504

You miss the point. Obama through ACA (obamacare) helped the miners by increasing their healthcare benefits and providing the families of deceased miners with benefits. They hated him with passion in return, now they stand to lose those benefits. They are decent hard working people, but this doesn't change the fact they have been brainwashed to absurd levels and because of that every choice they make ends up hurting them. There is no future for coal and not because Obama hates miners, but because it is no longer economical, even with the subsidies and underhand tricks that are being played out. It cannot sustain the Appalachian region economy. Yet most people in the region consistently vote for representatives that promise them to bring back the old coal jobs. They even elected Jim Justice for governor of West Virginia. This is the guy whose mines repeatedly placed miners lives at risk by skirting safety regulations. Then he screwed them again by not paying millions in fines, local taxes and severance fees.

Comment Re:What about at night? (Score 1) 504

What about it? This is a problem that has both modern and very old solutions. Long time ago when nuclear was generating excess power at night when demand is low, people made pumping hydroelectric plants. They used excess power to pump water uphill during the night and reversed the flow to generate power during peak hours. With solar they will pump water during the day and generate power during the night. We have thermal solar power plants that can store heat in molten salt for night time generation. We have utility size batteries that can store power for night time use.

You seem to forget that solar is not the only renewable. We also have wind which is as competitive as solar. While the sun doesn't shine at night, the wind keeps blowing.

As we use less power during the night we need to generate less, so photo voltaic solar plants coming offline during the night can be compensated by storage, wind and hydro. And I would love if we maintain and develop nuclear power for baseline generation. Unfortunately this is getting more and more expensive.

Comment No matter how clueless we are ... (Score 4, Insightful) 259

... machine learning is the solution. And cancer is not "like a computer virus that invades and corrupts the body's cells". That is how an actual virus works, hence the analogy by which the "computer virus" term came to be. Cancer is more like when a bit randomly flips in RAM and then by pure coincidence this causes a memory leak within an infinite loop that spreads shit all over the place until everything comes crashing down.

Comment Re:Brought to you by SJWs (Score 4, Informative) 128

What I wonder after reading this sorry story is: was Holmes aware that she was selling snake oil all along, or did she start out with the genuinely belief that her company could make the technology work? I'm willing to believe the latter: they did try, but the longer their breakthrough failed to materialize, the more they had to shift their efforts towards keeping up appearances, or "controlling the narrative" as it's called.

Holmes new the technology cannot possibly work. According to the articles I have read on the topic (including the one in Vanity Fair) she was told so directly by her professors at Stanford when she approached them with the startup idea. Her chief scientist was telling her that the thing is not working. What did she do? She stuffed her board with people who new nothing about biology, chemistry or engineering. The job of her second in command at the company was exclusively to suppress information leaking out. So yes, she new what she was doing: scamming people out of their money.

The VF article also tells a disturbing story how friends and political connections of her father basically propped up the company, gave it legitimacy and suppressed inquiry through legal threats (David Boies) and by using their commanding position in the military (Gen. James Mattis).

Comment Probably no, but then who can tell for sure? (Score 1) 470

Eradicating an abundant species that is in the middle of a food chain tends to impact the food chain above it. Anything that feeds on mosquitoes or their larvae, as well as any animal that feeds on the animals that eat mosquitoes may be impacted. It will also depend on the specific ecosystem where the mosquitoes are being eliminated. Tropical forests with their diversity of insects will be less affected (although highly specialized species like Gambia fish will go the way of the Dodo bird without mosquitoes). Tundra ecosystems where mosquitoes are large chunk of the insect biomass will be hit harder. You can also have effects that are hard to anticipate. For example, caribou migration routes are effected by mosquitoes (caribous like us tend to avoid being attacked by large swarms of insects). This in turn affects where lichens are being eaten and where caribous fertilize the soil with their dung. It may sound as cliche, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and we have very compelling evidence that pathogens, including the ones spread by mosquitoes, affect the evolution of their hosts. On the other hand, what are the chances that wiping out couple of the hundreds of mosquito species will have a major long lasting impact? All the consequences and their impact are hard to predict, but easy to verify once they happen (at least the short term ones). The best approach would be to eliminate locally mosquitoes in various environments and measure the effect on the ecosystem. If nothing bad happens than let's scale up and eliminate more of them (yeah I know, humanity's ability to agree on long term systematic approach and execute it to completion is not one of its strengths). For a while we will not have to scratch ourselves, then some other bug will fill the niche (blood is too tasty and filling meal, to be left wandering around).

Comment President Trump (Score 1) 409

Because of Hillary we are going to have president Trump. Reading through the articles it appears that her defense boils down to her being complete moron. She has hard time recalling anything (really she did not recall training, there must be a paper record if she took it), and she thought the common prefix for classified paragraphs, "(C)", was indicating alphabetized order (seems her version of the English alphabet consists of a single C letter repeated over and over again).

Comment Re:Mental illness (Score 2) 396

My understanding of the UCLA copyright policy is that the rights are divided by the university and the people who created the code (staff, students). The university has the largest share. I am not sure students are always entitled to a share. It will probably depend to a large degree on how involved the supervisor was in developing the code and how much the student contributed intellectually to the project. There is a quote in LA Times that suggests that the professor was more involved than usual with the work of the student:

Klug, who was described by friends as a kind and caring man, worked diligently to help Sarkar finish his dissertation and graduate, even though the quality of Sarkar’s work was not stellar, one source said. “Bill was extremely generous to this student, who was a subpar student,” the person said.

Passing code and data from one student to another is a normal and common practice that ensures continuity of the project, reproducibility of the research, etc. This guy is clearly nuts.

Comment Not if you can avoid it (Score 1) 982

I was just dealing with the fallout of a forced win7 to win10 upgrade. Windows 10 is more resource hungry - particularly RAM. The recommended 2GB are a joke. You need 6GB for it to feel usable. It also lacks drivers for ubiquitous hardware modules that are not that fresh. In my case it was NVIDIA G210M card with hybrid engine - this is the setup where the laptop switches between discrete and integrated graphics, depending on the power state. The lack of support was something I could live with - just use the old windows 7 driver. Except I can't, because updates are now mandatory and automatic. Windows 10 insists on updating to the latest and greatest nvidia driver, which fails causing the OS to use the default VGA driver and produce grotesquely distorted picture. So buying new PC with windows 10 is ok. Upgrading an old system, particularly a laptop may be very frustrating. Failed updates sometimes result in unbootable system, which in my case could only be fixed with clean install. Did I mention that you have no control over the updates??? The come the privacy issues, which are discussed at length by others.

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