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Comment Re:BBQ prior art (Score 4, Informative) 39

The difference is that spontaneous fire tornadoes are pretty chaotic and inefficient. Red and yellow fires with lots of partially burned hydrocarbons. These folks are excited because they've managed to arrange an airflow around the fuel that results in much more complete combustion, hence a blue flame like in your furnace or stove.

Comment Re:1995 (Score 1) 225

To be fair, ethernet went through the 10B-2 phase, which gave you all the disadvantages of TR, but let you use much less expensive wire and much less of it. I remember walking the length of the network at my first job, carrying a terminator, unplugging each device in series to figure out where the problem was.

Comment Re: Clintons have killed tons of people (Score 3, Interesting) 705

The fact that the Clintons have abused their political office to enrich themselves massively is self-evident from their net worth and their control of the Clinton foundation.

Essentially every member of congress makes an absolute shit ton of money during their first term. Speaking fees, legal stock market trading on confidential information, there's all kinds of things congress has decided to allow themselves because they "don't amount to corruption," in a quid-pro-quo sense. Not saying it's good; just saying it's normal.

But such claims of graft or unethical behavior are usually brought up by one party because they think their candidate is less tainted. In this case, the Clintons have been in public office for 30 years; they and their foundation have been subject to public disclosure of their financial records for much of that time. The Trumps have made their money by selling their name and managing mob-controlled construction projects and has kept his finances strictly private. DJT, in particular, has made a special point of emphasizing that he doesn't do anything unless he gets paid. How is he going to get paid as President?

Comment Re:Why online? (Score 1) 100

There are relatively few online games which involve "solving puzzles to move to the next level".

I agree, unless they're talking about specific types of online games (eg, Lumosity). I think it's much more important that games - online or not - encourage you to focus on one activity for an extended period. Much different than, say, television, which gives you at most 8 minutes before a commercial break. Online games may have a more extended pseudo-narrative, covering several levels or encounters. Focus. Long-term memory. Those sound like good academic skills.

Comment Re: Hell (Score 1) 100

"Academic performance" is only paying attention to that part of the body of knowledge that will appear on the tests on Fridays and the Final.

Most of the professors I know are, or at least started out, genuinely interested in seeing student absorb new information and gain new skills. An incessant barrage of "Will this be on the test?" and "What should I know for the test?" type questions gets them trained pretty quickly to cater to those students who only care about the test. Other students hear mostly questions related to what's going to be on the test. It all sets up a horribly pathological positive feedback loop where once-enthusiastic teachers come to believe that students only care about the test, so they pre-emptively answer questions about test content, giving the rest of the students the impression that the tests are the only thing that matters.

Never mind the headaches associated with trying to give a 'participation' grade to reward those students who actually are interested, ask good questions, and do work that's not reflected in the tests. Or the tears when a test question is not exactly like one of the practice problems.

Comment Re:Frighteningly easy? (Score 1) 242

If there were 1,000 police watching the demonstrations that would be no difference than if the helicopter recorded everything.

If there are 1000 police at a protest, then it's clear to the protesters that LEO is observing. A small drone, high above is effectively secret. LEO presence discourages (you can say intimidates) peaceful protesters from getting out of hand. A drone flying high overhead has no preventative role, it can only be punitive. Maybe more importantly, if an LEO sees you, there's small chance he will recognize you. If he recognizes you, there is small chance he will remember you next year. A drone flying over a protest, then next month's protest, and so on, with automated recognition, gets to build a database of "usual suspects." Exercising your right to free assembly and free speech should not make you a suspect.

Comment Re:Luddism by any other name (Score 3, Insightful) 242

I guess law enforcement shouldn't be able to use aircraft or cameras. Maybe they shouldn't be able to use cars or computers, either.

A large part of your privacy derives from the cost of individual investigation. Back in the day when a wire tap involved a human making physical connections and a transcriptionist listening to every conversation, taps were infrequently used, and used only when an investigator was pretty sure it would be fruitful. When surveillance meant sending a team of officers, in shifts, to personally watch their suspect, they were already pretty sure they'd get good information. Budgetary constraints are very strong. If "wiretap" is only a matter of keying a few keywords into a database, then the only limits to frivolous investigation are the police actually following their official procedures and the judge. Rules or laws are not enough to keep law enforcement from stepping on your rights, or to make citizens good, safe drivers.

Comment Re:It's a bit difficult (Score 3, Informative) 69

Everything you're talking about is focused on the electrical state of the cells, which is a tiny but easily measured part of their computational state. Even synaptic communication involves a mixture of neurotransmitters with other small molecule messengers and proteins that don't affect synaptic potential directly. Nevermind the more general diffusible factors. A neuron model that replicates only the electrical behavior of a neuron is going to miss most of the learning capacity.

Comment Re:Obligatory (Score 1) 80

I have about a dozen empty cottage cheese containers next to my front door each with a lettuce plant. This is enough to keep me in lettuce all summer and I spent literally zero dollars on the system and maybe five minutes combined over the last three months.

Sounds like you live in an area with plenty of natural rain. Some of us would have to pour water on those containers at least every other day. It may only be a couple of minutes, but it adds up over a couple of months, and you have to remember.

Comment Re:Vote with your vote (Score 1) 191

Political campaigns do not query the Do Not Call list. Since campaigns are not covered by the Do Not Call law, why would they?

Because the Do Not Call list is a large database of valid phone numbers connected to people willing to take personal action in support of their beliefs. These are exactly the people most politicians want to connect with.

Comment Re:..doesnt factor in connection cost. (Score 2) 174

However, for me, my cable is nearly always bundled with internet in a fashion that makes it nearly or as expensive to just have cable.

I have the exact opposite experience: I buy internet, and Comcast throws in cable for something between zero and negative $10/month. If the only thing I used my internet for was netflix, it would add $1/hour. If I use my internet like Nielsen claims people watch TV, it costs $0.35/hour.

Hell the biggest reason I have cable at all is for sports.

I suspect that sports explains the majority of the cable-netflix differences, both in the number of hours watched and the premium paid for those hours. Sport have an inherent immediacy: they're very valuable in real time, but hardly worth anything even an hour or two late. Movies, TV series...as long as you watch them within a day or two of your friends, it doesn't really matter.

Comment Re: Sinking ship (Score 1) 176

You can't BUY knowledge...

This is not true: the Encyclopedia Britannica is only $29.95, and if that's not buying knowledge, I don't know what is.

If Money can buy Knowledge, how is it that Trump/Drumpf is so ignorant???

No one has packaged a gold-plated, diamond crusted encyclopedia yet. <--Free business plan! I require no royalties for use of this idea.

Comment Re:a BAD sports team will pay for GOOD players (Score 2) 176

The same argument is often made about lawyers, programmers, and a number of other jobs that pay a lot.

You can't really lump six-figure programmers and lawyers in with eight-figure CEOs. There are plenty of CEOs in the six-figure range, but those aren't the salaries that raise eyebrows or questions.

The thing is though, people ultimately get paid what somebody else thinks they're worth, usually in order to retain them as employees to prevent them from going elsewhere.

The argument from the executive suite has always been that an eight figure CEO earns his compensation in ways that are hard to quantify. This makes the salary itself a badge of competency. How do you know someone is a great CEO? They earn $10M/year. Anecdotes aside, this study suggests that high salary alone is not actually well correlated with performance. If you can find a similar study, that shows the highest paid lawyers lose more cases than those paid less; or that all of those $10M/year programmers produce worse, slower code than their $100k/year counterparts...

(now, presumably, it is only the largest companies that can afford an eight figure CEO, and so maybe their growth or performance is structurally limited)

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