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Comment Re:Benny Hill? (Score 3) 122

Congratulations! You just disproved the theory that Americans (and especially us Texans) are the most arrogant people on Earth!

Talk about misinformed. We didn't "find it 20 years later". I'm 50. I watched Benny Hill and Monty Python with my folks in the 70s. I watched Red Dwarf in the 80s and 90s on PBS here in Houston. On November 8 I bought Red Dwarf series XI on blu-ray, less than two weeks after it finished airing in the UK.

Monty Python: Introduction to North America

In the summer of 1974, Ron Devillier, the programme director for nonprofit PBS television station KERA in Dallas, Texas, started airing episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Ratings shot through the roof, providing an encouraging sign to the other 100 PBS stations that had signed up to begin airing the show in October 1974—exactly five years after their BBC debut.

Comment Re:Does Tesla actually make a profit? (Score 1) 198

" the transmission line efficiency is about 50%"

You're way off on that one - How much electricity is lost in transmission and distribution in the United States?

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that electricity transmission and distribution losses average about 6% of the electricity that is transmitted and distributed annually in the United States. 1
...
1 Average of annual losses in 2005 through 2014. Estimated losses in 2014 for the entire United States were about 5%.

Comment Win10 Anniv Update was PAINFUL (Score 1) 110

A couple of months ago I'd gotten sufficiently fed up with Android that, when my Android tablet decided to reset itself again, a week or so before I was going on a trip, at the same time that Fry's had an Ematic Win10 tablet on sale, that I'd give Windows tablets a chance. The one I bought had 32GB of flash (plus a microSD card slot), and had 15.9GB of that free. I ran Windows Update, which told me that Anniversary Update was available and needed 16GB of free space; turns out that doesn't mean 15.9, nor 16, nor 16 with an empty 64GB SD card - I had to drag&drop enough different things over to the SD card to get about 18-19GB free on the built-in to get the update to run. But once it had enough space it ran cleanly.

The latest outrage from MS is that the email account I registered it with had the form "username+tag@domain.com", and MS has decided that to protect me from losing access to the account if I forget the password, they need to VERIFY that by sending it an email, which never arrives because they're confused by the "+tag" in the name field, so when I tried to add a different email by answering a bunch of bogus security questions with the same answers as last time, they sent the "VERIFICATION" email to the new address, I clicked on it, and the first thing it does is demand that I re-verify it by having them send a code to the old address. I have not given them a phone number to call, since I have no interest in giving them my real information; I'm tempted to borrow a burner for that, or see if they can send the code by audio to a VOIP system or something.

(That's not even counting that Windows 10 tablet mode is pretty lame, and works much better with a keyboard, and the nice ergonomically designed keyboard that came with the tablet died after about a month, but that's more a symptom of what you get for $70 on sale.)

Comment Re:This isn't really that hard to understand (Score 1) 680

The problem with climate science is that it's so difficult.

No, it is actually VERY VERY SIMPLE.
1. To show that CO2 has an effect on heat, get two glass jars. One filled with CO2, and one filled with air. Shine an infared lamp (or even just sunlight) on both jars. You can measure that the CO2 jar absorbs more heat, because it's hotter than the air jar. This principle has been known and well-understood for over 100 years, and you can demonstrate this in an elementary-school classroom.

2. To show that human industrial activity releases a shitton (ie. enough to affect the whole world's climate) is also relatively simple. Get in a plane, and fly over the Los Angeles basin. Just look at the carpet of constantly running automobiles, as far as the eye can see across many hundreds and hundreds of square miles. Wrap your brain around this happening 24x7, week after week, month after month ... for decades. Get on Google Earth, and look at the land-area we're talking about; and multiply that by all the major cities of the world. This is completely non-mathematical, but very easy for most people to visualize, if they've ever had the opportunity to fly over any urban sprawl area and just watch it happen. Maybe with a little observation of a car exhaust, and how the engine works, and what kind of volume of gasses it puts out while it's running. Also think about jet engines, and the volume of gas they put out as they're running, and think about the tens of thousands of flights happening right now, and every single day: again, 24x7. Non stop. For decades.

These two simple observations are obvious and plain enough that it affected me on a gut-level. No math required. It's plain and obvious. Not at all subtle.

Now: to observe the actual effects on the world, is not so easy. One way is to look at photos, over decades, of glaciers that have receded. If you've been alive for 30+ years (or longer), you know damn well that even though we've had a couple of harsh winters, it's certainly not like it was when we were kids. If you ask older people, they can tell you that things have definitely changed. But this effect is subtle enough that even the very old people who remember Minnesota winters 70 years ago, don't seem to be able to grasp how very different the climate there is now.

Comment Attack the Economic Position (Score 1) 680

They have very convoluted and complicated arguments against Climate Change.

On the Economic side, you hear that the Carbon Tax, and funding for research into renewables (and smart grids, and mass energy storage, and electric cars, and etc); will have a net positive effect on the economy. Yet when you're talking with a denier - they're arguing that any tax is going to cause economic devastation and abridge everybody's quality of life and standard of living, and that shutting down all the fossil fuel jobs will leave millions unemployed. Nobody questions this claim (in the newsmedia), and rarely are the economic arguments compared or scrutinized. This is also an important point that needs to be made to climate change deniers. Where renewable investment has been made, where carbon taxes were enacted, positive, measurable benefits have been observed. Most mainstream economists actually agree with this, but those arguments are silenced in the mainstream newsmedia.

Comment Keeps the annoying part, loses the useful parts! (Score 1) 92

As far as I could tell, the main reason people were annoyed about Google Glass (besides the ostentatious bragging of wearing $1500 glasses) was that somebody wearing them could be taking your picture at any time, without obviously holding up a camera or a phone or wearing a lapel-pin camera or having a pen-sized camera in their shirt pocket or something clipped to their backpack straps or whatever else. These glasses still do that, just not as well as a cheap camera or phone.

But the display inside the glasses, which made Google Glass more useful than a camera thing, isn't in these, and it's also missing the potential Google functionality of doing face recognition and telling you the name of the person you're looking at, which you forgot. Sure, somebody wearing Google Glasses could look like they're looking at you but really be watching cat videos or talking to somebody else, but cellphone headsets had given us those a decade earlier, and now there's Pokemon Go or whatever follows it.

Also, social views of always-connected cameras are changing, as a result of Black Lives Matter and other episodes of people recording cops behaving badly and the near-ubiquity of cellphone video. Yes, there are privacy tradeoffs we need to figure out (e.g. secure recording for your pictures doesn't have to also mean that Google or Apple iCloud has access to your data.)

Comment Obama Should But Won't - Will Merkel/EU/others? (Score 1) 375

Of course Obama should pardon Snowden, but we all know that ain't gonna happen. The real question is whether some EU country like Germany or some other country besides Russia will offer Snowden asylum. So far, none of them have had the guts, even Ecuador which is giving Julian Assange some slack, though most Latin American governments are too tightly tied to the US to offer protection against kidnapping as well as against official extradition or look-the-other-way rendition.

Russia's currently some protection for Snowden, but only while he's politically useful to Putin, and Putin's still in power. If anything happens to Putin, or to Snowden's usefulness (e.g. Putin wants to do a favor for President Trump), he's in trouble.

Comment Fixing Number Spoofing is Hard (Score 1) 120

Sure, it's just a simple matter of programming to re-architect the signalling system that's driven the phone companies since the mid-80s. Unfortunately, number spoofing has been an important feature for legitimate businesses - it lets them do things like always give you the number of their main office as caller-id, even if the person is calling from a remote office, or let you give the direct number of the caller, even if the call is getting routed through the company's main office PBX VOIP gateway. It also provides the ability to do a lot more complicated things. And (this mattered more back then than now) it let them run phone switches on processors that were made in the 1960s and 1970s, and with mainframes that might have 10 MIPS of CPU power (compared with the wimpy 1 MIPS VAX I was using in 1980.) My wristwatch probably has less RAM than that, but probably a much faster CPU, and my wimpy Android phone has about as much RAM as my VAX had disk.

And yes, within the next decade we may well have re-architected the world's phone systems away from the designs we used back then (and much of the implementation has changed radically already), but interface standards stick around a lot longer than implementations, and are a lot harder to get rid of.

Comment Re:Ads in the middle are far worse than at the end (Score 1) 316

I do have an ideological hatred of ads:
It is a unilateral renegotiation of terms. When they want to increase the length of ads, they do it. You get no say. When they want to increase the volume, they do it, you get no say. When they increase the (fucking annoying as hell and insulting) repetition, they do it, you get no say. FUCK ALL THAT. I pay a price to see a show, you show me the fucking show at that set price and that's that. That's the deal. You don't get to alter the terms of the deal, or I fucking shut off your media. Period.

That's what I hate about ads.

There is a set-dollar-amount that any ad is worth, because an advertiser pays for that. I want my cut, and I want it to be a stated term, up front. No changing it later, after the fact. I pay my bills, those fuckers need to pay theirs.

Comment Re:In other words, no useful improvements (Score 1) 249

Oh yeah - and just give me a single, simple networking indicator on the panel that says: 1) interface is on 2) getting good physical-layer signal 3) has a valid address 4) can ping it's lan gateway 5) can ping and tracert DNS servers across the net. 6) can ping and tracert major entities around the globe (google, amazon aws, microsoft). When the net's down, the first thing I want to know is where the fault is, and can I do anything about it. And it's always; "oh fuck open the terminal, now, do I ipconfig, or ifconfig, I don't remember, what net am I on? what's the gateway, can I ping that? can I see through the firewall? Is DNS fubared? . . . etc.

Comment Re:Just as long as tabs can be turned OFF by the u (Score 2) 249

Yes, keyboard navigation in OS X is a total shit show. Apps behave differently to the keystrokes, and some don't respond at all (if the window is "hidden" instead of minimized - why is there a fucking difference?, and if you use a laptop from the built in screen at home, and then use multiple monitors at work, good luck getting UI's and windows to scale right. So much broken.

Also, I know homebrew is nice and all, but OS X REALLY REALLY REALLY needs a decent package manager system. AND a FUCKING UNINSTALLER FOR FUCK"S SAKE. And a central way to find all of the places every app stores startup elements, configuration items, resources . . . etc.

This is all basic "list of main things every OS should do"; and OS X does not get these. Release after release.

Comment Re:With Experience of Similar Incidents... (Score 1) 596

all Teslas are automatic by default

"Manual" and "automatic" are terms used for describing how multi-ratio transmissions change which ratio is in use. Tesla only uses one ratio so there's no way to automatically, nor manually, change it. Transmissions that only use one ratio are known as a "simple".

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