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Comment Re:Counting water (Score 1) 331


So often people say this kind of crap about water and the **ENTIRE** point is water that is usable! It takes energy to make random source of water into water that we would call "drinking" water or water we would give to cattle, etc. Water doesn't just magically revert back into "usable" water once it is consumed. Granted that right now the major pusher for recycling water is the sun energy via evaporation. However, then we're at the whims of where the water falls and when. So we either have to get better at using the water when it randomly hits the ground (large collection pits and storage systems), or we need to get vastly better at moving water that's already hit the ground (national pipe work for moving water all over the US), or some combination of both.

Same problem can be said for wind power, we're just hoping that the wind is randomly blowing in some section of the planet we have mills in, but the plus side of that is the energy we generate from the random spots wind can be easily moved around on power lines. There isn't an easy moving around for water at the current moment. So while yes the absolute amount of water on the planet hasn't changed, the amount of energy it will take to get it back to the form it came from is high, but we don't notice it since we mostly rely on the free energy from the sun to take care of it and hope all of the plus and negatives just wash out in the end. At the rate aquifers are being drained versus the rate at which they can be refilled by nature, were in serious negative territory. Nature just doesn't move as fast as industry can produce. The reason we still stay afloat is because nature had a few million years on us to build those reserves.

Well, in case of meat production — or indeed any other Earth-bound activity — no water is lost. Zero. Nada. So, what is the quoted statement supposed to mean?

We are never going to run out of water in an absolute sense, that's just stupid. But we will run out of economically viable water, that's the entire point. When water becomes too expensive to actually buy/refine/return back into a usable form/whatever, it won't matter how much absolute volume of water is on this planet, you will have no access to it unless you have enough money for it. The same is true for crude oil. This planet will never have zero mL of oil on it, ever. Thinking otherwise is ignoring how absolutely massive the amount of crude oil on this planet is. However, we are quickly running low on economically viable crude oil. At some point, oil will become so expensive that the majority of people will choose another option or they'll be up a shit creek without a paddle. The entire point of anything is to try and get ahead of the curve so you don't find yourself on that creek.

Yes, parent said all of this already in their comment, but I feel that if it isn't S-P-E-L-L-E-D out, that some folks might not get it. We're past the point in which nature can resupply water sources as fast as we use them. We either need to resupply those sources or we need to get better at using the sources, because not doing either of those is slowly going to increase the price of everything that depends on it and for water that's a lot of things.

Comment Re:So wait, where do they get the sodium? (Score 1) 197

Wait isn't the process for sodium and chloride separation by electrolysis expensive by itself, and hence the reason we mostly use the Solvay process? Additionally, the Solvay process creates by-products that have no current use. Actually I think that's the reason Onondaga Lake is a superfund site today because they just kept dumping the by-product in the lake.

Do we have a clean, cheap way to separate sodium and chloride? Because I'm not coming up with one in my mind, but it's been forever since I studied chemistry.

Comment Have we all forgotten how things are played? (Score 1) 267

I'm just astounded at the number of folks on Slashdot pointing out "these things have been long time in the works, Trump played no part in this!" That's some USA Today level commenting. Yes, we all know, anything good and the President-elect takes credit, anything bad and the President-elect places blame on the current President. This play is about as old as all get out.

If anyone is on here stating the obvious thinking they somehow are revealing the lie, well my assumption is that the Slashdot users are a little more intelligent to not fall for the "look at what I did" game. If there's anything to note about this, is that it is starting to look like the majority of jobs that Trump aims to "bring back" to the USA are going to be low waged, we're missing one piece in the automation process, jobs that aren't going to on large scales do much for the economy. In order for Trump to make good on the infrastructure changes that he's aiming for and the tax cuts that he's aiming for, he's banking on 4% GDP growth (Note - From rightest leaning website I could find carrying it.) for every year he's in office. You can head over here to see what's been the going rate of change. You'll see lots of ups and downs that average over a year's span don't come out to 4%, ever.

If the old Trumpster fire thinks he's going to get to his goal with repeating over and over the 8000 of jobs that are being indicated here, he's dead wrong. They're jobs, yes. However they do not pay enough, to move the needle much. Even if this was repeated every day dude was in office. Just to note, that Carrier deal that Trump thumps, I'll just give him the benefit of the doubt and call it 1000, we'd need roughly five of those per day for every day he's in office for the next four years to reach the GDP growth he's aiming for, if we strictly keep it to trying to grow the economy.

Comment Re:Waste of money (Score 1) 131

Cities are a terrible place to try to grow food.

If we're talking traditional farming, then yes, you are correct. However, I feel the idea is to not just stick to traditional farming. I can see specifically engineered plants growing much better in a climate controlled warehouse environments than out in the pastures. The plants might be more engineered to use gray water from the city, be better at using the specific spectrum of light being used in the warehouse, can better use the higher level of CO2 in the city than a regular plant, etc... I will say that everything about this though is still in the baby steps stage. I'm doubtful we will see any meaningful results of urban/vertical/whatever farming until several decades from now.

But if we just look at it right now, there's nothing incorrect about your statement, and there's always the possibility that this happy marriage of GMO and industrial farming is just pipe dreaming, but that's the risk in anything that is relatively new. So maybe I'm just a hopeless idealist but I think it's early in the game to just completely dismiss what's going on here.

Comment Re:"a pretty crazy idea" - ? Talk to Trump voters (Score 2) 52

So much this.

Trump won the GOP nod for a variety of reasons, but chief among them was his non-traditional and pretty much contempt for the entire process. He came off as the personification of Howard Beale, which after eight years is exactly what many Tea party splinters in the GOP wanted. They didn't want rationality, calm cool collective approach to upending the last eight years of the Democratic dictatorship. They were mad as hell and they weren't going to take anymore. Fast forward, once Trump got the GOP nod, the second phase was just to come off as less evil than Hillary Clinton.

For all the vile that came from Trump during the campaign, the continual hammering that kept coming in on Clinton, pretty much sealed the deal. Quick aside, yes that's what it means to be a weak FBI leader, if you get scared that withholding information till after an election might look bad, that makes you weak. Policy is policy and while I'm a big Snowden supporter, you still follow policy if the worse case is PR. Break it all you like though if you're in a moral dilemma. Director Comey's fear that there would be some backlash if he withheld that they found new emails on former Rep Weiner's system is one that directors need to be above. No matter what guy did, someone was going to come out angry, so best bet *would have been* to work on fact finding and reveal when the *facts* were actually there. As opposed to the chicken shit stirring the pot that he actually did. That's my two cents, end quick tangent. A lot of folks were convinced that even if this lady didn't indeed make millions doing favors for warlords, and her husband didn't vigorously and regularly rape children, she's still *the system* and for no logical reason what-so-ever or very weak reasons we shouldn't like *the system* because everything that isn't *the system* (the anti-system) can't be worse than *the system*. And that's where we're at right now. There's still a lot of folks who think, "The anti-system isn't going to be great, but at least it isn't going to be as bad as the system." It literally came down to the public trying to choose the lesser of two evils, and the public at large is not exactly the most ideal way a nation would want to choose that.

Now I don't credit Trump with the wherewithal to actively play the public. His Presidency is built on a combination of an incredibly angry population and sheer dumb luck that all his non-policy kept his nose slightly above Killary. Trump never hit on points or policy that anyone in the rust belt could latch onto, but people there knew the situation was bad, they were angry, and focusing on NAFTA gave them something to channel that into. A part of me thinks that Trump knows he didn't make it into the office on a concrete quality. That he got by simply because a lot of people disliked Hillary more. I think that upsets him and sends him into his Twitter frenzies. Either way, we're going to find out if the anti-system is indeed a better way or not now. At the moment, it looks like a hot mess. Who knows, the entire process might be like clay and the next four years serves to slowly shape up a new GOP with a populace tint, or it could be about as productive as running into a brick wall over and over again. I'm certainly interested to find out, but I'll still hold a lot of skepticism. As much as we hate politics, it's still a thing that requires a bit of knowledge to do right just like many other professions. So this ragtag group of folks lead by a guy who has zero experience at this, sounds like one of those wonderful underdog stories, but the cynic in me just feels like there is going to be a lot of "fake it till you make it" going on.

Your comment really hits on a lot of this. People are angry, people feel the government is incredibly ineffective, and they're tired of the crap that's been going on. So they're willing to take a huge gamble with some serious stakes. Nothing that we can't come back from, but definitely something that not done right is going to sting. Trump became the alternative because of his Jerry Springer like approach to getting mad and channeling other people's anger. Trump became the President because he was the alternative.

Comment Re: Change is bad (Score 1) 173

Yeap, I've been hearing "ooohh noooo!!!" On many other boards, pretty much because everyone keeps missing that the original UI will still be there and is the default. You literally have to opt-in for one of the new UIs. Distros will be setting which one of the UIs is the default option out the gate, lacking that, the current UI will be the default for the foreseeable future, unless there's some massive push to change it otherwise. However, I think it is disappointing that people are missing what I felt was the arguably more cooler thing. The UI is getting a port to Glade. There being only four UIs to offer isn't a hard limit, so (and this is the idealistic person in me talking here, not the realistic person who knows everyone will call it dumb) potential we could start seeing even more UIs being offered by the community. The path to do so has become, arguably, easier now.

Comment Re:Selling private repositories is their money mak (Score 1) 227

Perhaps this trend explains the mediocrity of today's products.

I don't think it covers all of it, but it plays a role in it.

Companies have moved past seeing IT as some magical resource and see it about the same way most first world nations look at a toilet. Unless it's really shitty, everyone just expects it to be everywhere they go and function good enough to get the job done. There a few out there that understand that it's something that plays a role in life three to five time a day and that when shit is serious, you're really going to enjoy having a top of the line as opposed to a "just good enough" model.

Comment Re:Good for them! (Score 2) 858

Well the Constitution vests the entire power of the Executive into the President and Vice-President, and they two alone run it.

Now of course, not even the people who founded the US thought two people could run the entire country, which is where Article 2 Section 2 comes into play. However, there is a stipulation. The President, if he or she wants to "delegate" a part of their executive power, they must do so with consent of Congress. The President just can't say, "Oh this person is going to be responsible for X, Y, and Z." Congress has to approve that handing of power over to someone.

Now I'm going to skip a whole lot of other stuff in the Executive branch like commissions and groups and "defer" actions and what-not. But those exist as well and have other rules and are established via a whole slew of different means. They all play vital roles in the grand scheme of things and you should remember that me skipping all of that, makes this a gross simplification. I know hate to simplify, but it's a lot and I'll just have to take the hits I'm sure I'll get like "Oh you forgot!". So just going to apologize for such a bastard version ahead of time here.

So anyway, these departments, the President gets to say when he needs one and Congress whips up a law establishing the official transfer of that specific power to such and such department (at least that's the extremely simplified version of that). Each department has a senior officer who is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, that's the Cabinet member (there also a whole lot of other ones within each department that have to get confirmed, I'm skipping them but they exist as well). That guy or gal gets to call the shots in the department on how that department is to carry out their function. The people the senior staff hires are Federal employees and do not require confirmation. Federal employees can be fired by the senior staff. However, Congress has passed laws about Federal employees and set up rules for when they can and cannot be fired.

Without getting too detailed, it boils down to you can only fire a Federal employee for "good reason". Now some would cite unions elbowing their grubby noses into the mix for that, some would cite holy whistleblowers and how they saved us for that, the real story is that it's a mix of all of the above really and makes for great history classes. Now what is "good reason" in some cases is pretty clear, you can't fire someone for exposing theft or corruption, in a lot of other cases it's less clear and requires a judge to step in, cue the Judicial branch. What Trump wants to do is remove some protections that Congress has given Federal employees. Now no one knows which specific rules Trump will target but it was made clear that he wants to "open up" the firing process to be a bit more liberal than it currently is. And based on the flavor of Congress/President mix that you have, those rules have changed a lot. Typically when Congress and the President are the same flavor you get the most changing in rules.

What I think is interesting (some might say horrifying) is the proposal to fire people whose ideology doesn't match with the current administration. Now Trump hasn't said that exactly, but handing out questionnaires like the one talked about isn't building a lot of confidence. Typically, a department wants to rely on their staff to make informed decisions (which in theory is why some higher up employees in the Federal government but not the senior staff can go tell the President to get bent [key words here "in theory"]), have those bubble up to the senior staff, and then have the senior staff pass those on to either rule making or the Presidential consideration. If someone is in the department who doesn't agree with the majority ideology, typically their ideas just don't get "bubbled" upwards. Firing people because their ideology doesn't match up is just setting a department up for revolving door syndrome. Additionally, not having good professionals in your department typically means that the business sector will overtake the government on leading the way. This was long a criticism for technology and (personal opinion here, insert grain of salt) I still think the Government is still behind the ball on technology. So if you get rid of the real professionals from your department, it doesn't mean that suddenly the Government will get it's way, it just means that the private sector will soon be calling the shots instead of the public sector.

Anyway, I find it all amusing. If anything it'll be interesting wordmsithing to be soon had.

Comment Re:Good for them! (Score 1) 858

He can't fire an entire department without violating Civil Service laws that protects workers from politics.

You are absolutely right and if everyone thinks back to the RNC convention, Trump was not shy in stating that he's gunning to reform those rights and that he'll be placing them into his reduction of government spending and waste program. Now I don't think it's likely for Congress to grant the President this new power he'll all but for sure be seeking, but with the way Trump is playing politics, who the hell knows? They very well just might just do it, I mean we're giving him the nuclear launch codes, what's being able to remove dissent from the ranks in comparison? I mean, he might as well go the whole nine yards and get the 22nd amendment repealed as well, just for shits and giggles.

But yeah in all seriousness, Trump has had a few words on Federal employee protections. I'm skeptical he'll get it, but I'm not saying the chances are zero in this climate.

Comment Re:Good for them! (Score 5, Interesting) 858

Good point and brings up one of the rally cries Trump has made during the campaign. Reform of Federal employee rights. He's not been shy one bit about it either. He intends to remove the protections many of the civil servants enjoy under his soon to be purposed "Reduction on Government Waste and Spending" program. So yeah, they are protected like you said, but Trump is literally gunning to remove that very thing and fire anyone who isn't an ass kisser. So great point you bring up but already addressed. This proposal from Trump to Congress is all but a forgone conclusion. The bigger question will be if Congress will give the President this new power. Who knows, but if anything is for sure, it's that there will be massive amount of spin from every direction when it finally hits committee.

Comment Re:the question is (Score 1) 166

That's a mapping issue and you've hit on a weak spot with self driving cars. However, that spot is only weak initially. Once lawmakers realize that they can pass laws that force metadata to be made to maps or hell create standard maps for each state that the car has to accept, lawmakers will jump on it like flies on shit. We need to create a "no pickup" tag, we need to create a "5 MPH between 6am and 8am" tag, we need a "no taxis in this area between 3am and 5am" tag, and you can only imagine how "creative" lawmakers might eventually get.

So yeah, if the problem you speak of makes you ill, just wait till you see what the cure is.

Comment Re:Spinning even now (Score 1) 789

People who actually believe it are in the minority and are simpletons or mentally ill.

Yeah the problem with that, is even if that value is 1% or even 0.1%. That's a lot flipping people who suddenly have a reason to open fire on unsuspecting folks. That's not to say that they weren't already unhinged, it's just, why the heck do some feel the need to toss matches into lakes of gasoline? The lake of gasoline is bad enough as is, and yes most matches just get extinguished because they never hit a vapor before hitting the liquid. Still though, why rock the boat for the simple reason of f'ing with everyone? Where's the fun in it? I obviously will never understand 4chan.

Comment Re:No different from China (Score 1) 262

Once you reach a certain threshold of users, common carrier rules should apply.

That sounds like an issue of having clear rules. By all means might I redirect you to the US Congress website? I'm pretty sure that if the people who said they're tired of rules with the clarity of mud actually did something about that issue we might start getting lawmakers that actually thought out legislation rather than the typical knee jerk. But both the issue of people doing something about it and intelligent lawmakers are just wishful thinking.

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When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder. -- James H. Boren