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Comment Re:Smog producing (Score 1) 148

If you were forced to choose, smog (ozone/acid-rain) generally isn't as bad for your lungs as particulate matter (combustion ash which contains all sorts of industrial chemicals). Assuming this works as advertised as all...

Of course "clean" air would be better...

Comment Re: Net Negative (Score 1) 148

Smog is not ozone
Smog is the dirty air hovering over cities which also contains ozone

Actually, most regulatory agencies consider smog to be the result of sunlight+NOx+VOCs creating ozone or NOx and/or SOx +H2O making acid rain, so in a since ozone is Smog. These ionic-breeze-on-steriods towers will of course create some ozone (because some of the O2 in the air will get ionized and generate some affinity to create O3 in addition to some more indirect paths with N2 and CO2).

Much of the high dust/dirt particulate part of the air (aka dirty air), isn't generally considered smog except perhaps for the super-fine particulates (less than 100nm).
Particulate matter levels PM-10 and PM-2.5 (less-than 10um and 2.5um, which is what gives much of the "dirty-color" to the smog) are just called particulate matter, not technically smog, although such particulate matter are generally more hazardous to your health than smog....

Comment Re:Like it would have mattered (Score 1) 170

For a presidential debate that lasts only a few hours, I imagine the big 3 would gladly roll in a 4G-LTE COWs that can handle a few hundred journalists gratis. No service provider wants to get the reputation with journalists that they are unreliable for a big story like this. That would be death by a thousand small cuts of ink (and you never want to make enemies with someone who buys ink by the barrel)...

For 5K joe-averages at generic-medium sized entertainment venue, well, one COW won't do it anyhow, and it probably isn't worth cost in petrol...

Comment Okay, if big data the new coal... (Score 1) 75

Okay if big data the new coal, we should stop using it now because although it is currently cheap and plentiful with apparently many applications, we know eventually it lead us to the collapse of civilization.

Maintaining access to big-data will eventually cause political conflicts and maybe even wars, and continuing unrestrained usage of big data will eventually cause inconvenient problems in our daily lives that will make our world unliveable and our society unsustainable. The money exploited by the early adopters in the big-data industrial complex will dominate the political landscape and prevent us from doing anything about constraining this monster until it is too late.

If you could have put a cap on companies like the Peabody coal company back in the early days, you wouldn't ever hear statements like this today from coal company analysts...

“We have never seen leases of more than a billion tonnes and we are starting to see that under the Obama Administration.”

If the Obama administration's department of Interior can be bought-and-sold by a coal company with annual revenues of only $5B, what hope do governments have against big-data companies with annual revenues of $74B?

Any other analogies to coal people would like to say about big-data?

Comment Re:What's the _actual_ algorithm. (Score 5, Informative) 78

I already read the link a few hours before it was posted. There was zero details on the algorithm and no link to the actual research that I could see.

Well, in case you are interested, after checking around, it appears that this "algorithm" was a minor result of Mr. Helfgott's work to prove the ternary Goldbach conjecture (every odd integer n greater than 5 is the sum of three primes). Here's the preprint of the paper, I should warn you that it appears to be a very theoretical paper, one targetted at the Goldbach conjecture (not practical prime sieving), so there is not a fully fleshed out algorithm that you can translate into a computer program. I haven't gone through the paper in detail, but it appears to rely heavily on technique from a Messr. Ramare.

We start by adapting ideas from Ramare’s version of the large sieve for primes to estimate l2 norms over parts of the circle. We are left with the task
of giving an explicit bound on the factor in Ramare’s work. As a side effect, this finally gives a fully explicit large sieve for primes that is asymptotically optimal, meaning a sieve that does not have a spurious factor of exp(gamma) in front; this was an arguably important gap in the literature.

I cannot find a definitive paper about this technique, but is appears to be related to this earlier paper. Mr. Helfgott apparently just tightening the bounds which theoretically should create a better sieve algorithm. My impression is that I think it will take some concerted effort to create a computer algorithm out of this algorithm.

However, your mileage may vary...

Comment Re:This simply means we're succeeding. (Score 1) 232

Transportation is a different story, however, since one can't have hydroelectric damns on a train...

Did you know that electric trains don't need to carry their own power source? True story!

Because of cost of infrastructure, electric trains are really only viable in urban areas. You aren't going to electrify a rail between two cities and expect it to be cost effective... Passenger rail has a different set of economics, so when you do see electrified rail between cities, it's generally passenger only.

Comment Re:Why (Score 4, Informative) 128

Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc would get into the parallel networks, but it would be through the countries' gateways/filters. This implications of this are not good for the people in nations controlled by thugs.

China is the modern day case study for a for a parallel internetwork-domain system (via the great firewall).

The ".com" and other country specific versions of Google, Facebook and Twitter are all blocked by this firewall. There is self-censored and, but Twitter hasn't decided to get into the parallel network game yet (and get in bed with the censorship)...

The result is not really theoretical, you can look at the current situation and draw your own conclusions

Of course this is just a scaled up version of what is done in corporations already. If you are surfing the internet from work you likely are on a parallel internet that has domains censored today. The real issues are simply the scale of censoring and the laws and forum for arbitration of conflicting interests (e.g., is and a conflict? how about and

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 273

This is about decorum and not ideology.

Ahhh, "decorum", another "go-to" excuse for censoring things that might be controversial or make someone feel bad, ashamed, or uneasy.

There's a place for decorum and then there are times it must be ignored in favor of the truth.

Except when it has trigger words/images, violates my safe zone, or contributes to an atmosphere of microaggressions...

Oh wait, wrong thread... ;^)

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 273

Why would they? The US wasn't in that war after all, it was just a civil war in Vietnam... /s

I'm afraid the US actually admitted to being a party in the Vietnam war (which ended via the Paris Peace Accords in which the US basically admitted to it).

On the other hand, I was in a conversation with a group of people just the other day about the NK bomb issue and mentioned that unlike the Vietnam war, the Korean war hasn't technically ended in a peace treaty yet, only an armistice/truce, and a Millennial had to google that in disbelief.. Sadly his only defense of not knowing there was still a state of war between NK/SK was that he remembered hearing about people like Dennis Rodman who went there...

Comment Re: Before the reboot (Score 1) 204

People keep saying there was no money. Harry Mudd sold stuff for money all the time.

The point isn't that people couldn't/didn't use money. It was that the vast majority in the Federation didn't use money because it was a largely post-scarcity society. For things that were still scarce, meritocracy or a simple FIFO with level of rationing was included. In the end, though, there's always people with the means to buy and get ahead of the line.

Many episodes in TOS point to a currency based system...

"Mudd's Women", Mudd babbles about miner's being rich enough to buy a planet or a starship...
"The Devil in the Dark" they also talked about the horta making the operation a 1000 times more profitable and making they embarrassingly rich
"The Trouble with Tribbles" there were credits for tribbles and drinks...
"Requiem for Methuselah" asserted Holberg 917-G (the planet) was purchased only thirty years earlier by Brack, a private investor...

All of this suggests some sort of monetary system that goes along with a socialist system to take care of basic needs with a number of super wealthy private concerns that are mostly heredity. I see no evidence of a Meritocracy or FIFO behavior for scarce resources, but basically a barter economy or cash on the barrel head.

My theory is that all you see in star trek episodes is the "star-fleet" view of an economy and if you have ever been in the active military in the US, you won't be surprised how some quasi-military economy works. For basic things (food/shelter), the military kind of operates post-scarcity (even though there's lots of scarcity) with on-base housing and PX. There's still currency/money, however, there are many things that you might want and probably can't buy with money in the military and barter (goods and/or influence) is the way to obtain those things. As a result, if you are a lifer, there's less of a reason to accumulate too much money and you spend your time figuring out where you want to be stationed and what type of promotion you want to get before you retire. If you are not a lifer, you either get out quick, or perhaps, spend your time making your self a nice landing zone for when you resign and use (or abuse) your military-contacts as a private concern...

That being said, the way the economy works in a quasi-military organization (like star fleet) says nothing about how the economy as a whole (like the federation) works...

Comment Re:rotten at the top (Score 1) 341

You find me a bank that's not making money! They were making money. They just weren't making enough money for the executives' liking -- so they were pressured into increasing their profits 'or else'.

Executives and senior managers got their bonuses, and the line staff ultimately got the shaft.

That's an easy narrative. I'm not defending the bank or the profit level they make, but we can start to see the consequences of extended periods of low (or even negative) interest rates. Banks really can't make historical amounts of money on the interest rate spread anymore (e.g., they used to skim 0.5% out of 2% interest rate spread, and now the interest rate itself is 0.5%), so they try to make it up in fees or volume to fund their branch bank infrastructure (salaries, rent, fixtures/furniture, maintenance, etc) and pressure those assets to pull their own weight...

Not saying the banks aren't greedy, or they are somehow desperate for money, but stuff list this are the early signs that the retail banks can't really support the historical levels of branch banking infrastructure with the money they are making now and it portends/illustrates the main issue that retail banks face today: a massive shift away from branch banking.

The writing is on the wall for branch banking (and the strip-mall retail space and entry level bank teller jobs that go along with it). The FDIC data shows record levels of branch bank closures the last couple years and accelerating. Many industry watcher are predicted a sea-change in the next 5 years and your friendly neighborhood bank teller job going the way of the telegraph/telephone operator of ages past and even more retail vacancies. They are waiting for a "Amazon" of fin-tech to roll over the dead corpse of the current retail banking business model.

Welcome to your online bank future. Instead a human pressuring you to buy more crap banking products, you'll be pestered by personalized pop-up dialog boxes when doing your online banking on your phone...

Comment Re:Stop linking to CNNMoney. (Score 1) 341

Had it read along the lines of "Math and big data applied in a racist manner", it would have been much closer to the crux of the article. Many seem to confuse math and the application of math.

But this is politics...

Math isn't racist, people (using math) are racist...
Guns don't kill people, people (using guns) kill people...
Companies don't discriminate against people, people (in charge of companies) discriminate against people...

Don't foul up the narrative with explanations ;^)

Comment Re:gasoline == old fashioned?? (Score 1) 226

Your experience is atypical.

Consumer reports says the average annual cost of running a used car rises to over $4000 per year by year 12 in today's dollars.

I agree electric is more expensive when gasoline is below $2 per gallon. They made sense when gasoline was $4 per gallon and likely to head up.

Ironically, the higher the percentage of electric cars, the lower the cost of oil and gasoline until the gasoline network effect collapses which is at least a couple decades away. This is because they eliminate demand for the most expensive oil and most expensive gasoline which sets the price for all the rest of oil and gasoline.

FWIW, I didn't say I only have a few thousand in total maintenance over 20 years, only ICE specific maintenance. However, I find $4000/year a bit hard to believe, unless it includes *all* expenses and gas.

I suppose amortizing consumables like brakes, tires, adding insurance costs, and assuming general wear/tear like a broken tail light, a broken windshield, shocks, a bad AC unit etc, could easily add up to another $1000/year plus on an older car, but these would likely be the same for EV and ICE cars.

It probably also assumes you drive around 15K miles/year. I average about 7K miles/year which is a typical M-F EV commuter car amount. That extra gas could be responsible for 1/3 of that $4K. Also probably assumes folks change their oil every 3K miles (rather than 7.5K which is what is recommended for a car of my vintage).

The moral of the story, with today's cost structure, the less you drive, the less paying the EV premium makes sense, yet until they get the range up on the EV, you probably won't drive a typical EV *that* much meaning the range where it really is better is a somewhat narrow band of drivers. If you want to draw an analogy to lightbulbs, ICEs are like Incandecent, EVs are like CFLs. The LED equivalent car technology probably hasn't been invented yet, but will be the one that really works.

Comment Re:gasoline == old fashioned?? (Score 1) 226

An electric car is no more expensive than an ICE car in the long term - an ICE car's fuel and maintenance costs are vastly more expensive while an electric car is more expensive up front (and has the long-term occasional concentrated maintenance cost of a new battery pack). I know Gen. Y'ers who own Nissan Leafs and Kia Soul EVs.

I have a 20 year old acura integra with an old fashion ICE... Paid $16K in 1996 (perhaps $27K for something similar today). Only ICE related maintenance (other than changing oil about every 7500 miles and 3 air filter over those 20 years) was a battery and most recently spark plugs (when it diped down below 25mpg). At about 100K miles (mostly commute miles on par with a brave range-limited Leaf class EV), say about $12K in gas (@ $3/gallon) and about a $1000 in twenty oil changes (@ $50/each), and say $1000 in overhaul for sparkplugs, airfilter, battery etc. Given electric car batteries seem to last about 10 years and cost about $15K to replace (presumably 2 times in 20 years or basically the price of the car)...

I still think at least for my experience, an ICE is still more than a standard deviation cheaper than electric (given they are about 1sd more expensive up front).

Of course I've had other vehicle ownership costs (e.g, emissions tests that always pass), and of course tires need to be replaced (ev's tend to be harder on tires, but I drive pretty hard on my car tires), Also living in Cali, AC is a must and that thing sprung a leak once (I guess I would just need to roll down the windows on the EV for a long commute) One thing that might be important to some, I don't get to drive in the carpool lane (doesn't matter for my commute), but if everyone had an electric car, that fringe benefit would disappear. At least my old ICE car has an old fashion key and not one of those hackable wireless keyfobs...

Maybe I'll buy something like a Bolt if it is likely to be no more expensive than ICE over 20 years, but until then, I think I'll see if I can make it 30 years for my Integra (my mechanic thinks it definitely possible)...

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