84 posts • joined Saturday 22nd September 2007 17:14 GMT
So the solution....
Must be to regulate the ammunition instead of the delivery vehicle. Anyone with a bit of ingenuity can make a dangerous (to the user) vehicle to deliver a bullet in a specified direction. Heck, they might even hit the broadside of a barn once or twice (without suffering injury). But without ammunition (which can be hand-packed today, I know), these plastic, pipe, prison, etc. guns are useless. So just make the ammunition hard to obtain. If that means people go back to black-powder muskets in an attempt to circumvent the rules, so be it. I'll take my chances staring down an barrel that isn't rifled shooting a lead ball that couldn't be described as spherical.
Re: @Eric Olson
I'm stateside, so our system is a bit different. For one, there were no qualifying assessments made before graduation. It was either successful completion of the classes required or not. Arguments about the merits and issues with the two educational systems aside, anecdotal evidence suggests that my education in data analysis exceeds the education my younger brother received when he obtained his computer and electrical engineering degrees. However, his knowledge of IEEE standards and the National Electric Code far outpace my own. As does his salary.
Not sure how psychology is taught in the UK...
But at least where I was 10 years ago, psychology was a statistics-heavy degree. It put you miles ahead most other graduates outside of the math department. Maybe it's the kind of attitude on display in this article that pushed psychology to fiercely legitimize itself through math, but statistical analysis and quantitative analysis are huge parts of the degree in many schools today, which has allowed me a career in IT and (currently) software business analysis (with no degree-based IT experience or training).
More broadly, t I think this is again a problem with the idea that people who are in school now should be literally placing bets on the usefulness of a specific degree 10, 15, 30 years from now. In 2000, the big degrees were in finance and pre-law, both of which now are suffering from massive over-supply issues. Right now it is Comp Sci and Engineering, two very specific skill-sets that are already showing signs of over-supply, at least at the entry-level. While "doing what feels good" might not be the best strategy, it seems those of my cohort who came out of college with no specific job or field in mind are doing the best and are the most satisfied with our jobs... excluding the teachers.
But that's my two cents.
Stay with me here...
Storms move along steep pressure gradients, typically caused by thermal differences. High pressure moves into areas of low pressure. A low-pressure system won't move west, east, north, or south without something pulling it along. If an increase in air temp throughout a given column of air above the polar regions reduces such gradients, blocking highs will become the norm. Such blocking highs would continue to cause continued buckling of the atmospheric flows, resulting in energy being shunted off in directions normally not seen.
Taken together, this is why the whole idea of "extreme" instead of "warm" weather is predicted by most climate models. With more energy in the system, it takes an even greater push to move highs along their merry way. This allows diversions of upper-air winds to carry tropical or polar air further into the temperate regions. Tropical air tends to carry moisture, polar air tends to be dry. In general, that means a pattern is formed and harder to break. That's not to say such things did not occur in the past. But should we just accept that by adding more energy to the system in a way the creates more equilibrium than before (polar areas are warming much more than tropical areas) is a good thing? It just creates a more sluggish climate that responds only to gross changes in energy, such as the changing from summer to winter, rather than smaller energy fluctuations. The climate works on a system of equalization, tropical to polar. Reducing that difference reduces variability and cements patterns. That's not a good thing.
Re: Scientific Terminology
While the media do certainly get a bit excitable when things like this happen, the facts are that the storm lost its tropical characteristics before landfall, which was later confirmed in post-event analysis. The National Weather Service, in fact, has been called to task for not only keeping its Hurricane and Tropical Storm Warnings active when the storm was in fact no longer tropical in nature, but also for confusing the subject by trying to explain in the text of those warnings that it wasn't in fact a tropical storm. According to the NWS, they didn't want to mislead the public into thinking that the phenomenon associated with tropical storms (storm surge, tornadoes, squall lines, hurricane-force winds, etc.) no longer were present just because the storm had transitioned from from tropical to extra-tropical.
It doesn't help that many homeowners policies for the coastal United States have extremely specific clauses regarding hurricane, tropical storm, nor'easter, and other storms that come off the ocean as opposed to from the land, which makes classification even more important from a legal standpoint, as usually if it's classified as a Hurricane, insurance moves from a replacement policy to a shared or large deductible (I think 10 to 15% of the insured value of the home) policy. That's quite different from a $500 deductible when your home is worth $150,000.
I know this is about old games...
But anyone else get a chance to play with the new SimCity a few weeks back? It seemed to have a similar amount of entertainment I remember from the original, without getting deep in the weeds like SimCity 3000 ended up doing.
Well, now we need something else to complain about...
It doesn't have a 10-key? Is Dell intentionally selling a crippled laptop in order to make Windoze machines look better?! </sarcasm>
Re: The future of home computing
Here across the pond, about the only thing the National Weather Service gets wrong to the point that people gripe is exact snowfall locations and amounts (perhaps not something you need to worry about in the UK, but here, there is a bit of a difference between 2" and 6") and tornado warnings that turn out to be false alarms. The former is because a slight shift (a dozen miles, if even) in the upper atmosphere can change both the type and the amount of snowfall, while the latter is erring on the side of caution, as tornadoes not just ruin your picnic, but probably put the sandwiches through the house down the street (maybe a slight exaggeration).
Maybe it's the island location that plays havoc with the weather forecast, or maybe the expectations are so high, it's absurd. Given than the NWS is able to predict the general path and area of impact of most hurricanes five days in advance within a 300 nautical mile error, I'd say we're doing pretty good. Just because it rains on you when you forgot your umbrella doesn't mean it's the end of the world.
Re: Is the opposite also true?
You don't? That's common courtesy up here in the Midwest.
But human health isn't enough?
As seen in Beijing this past week, soot, black carbon, fine particulate matter, etc., isn't a global warming issue. It's a direct human health issue. Black lung is a very well-known disease caused by coal dust and that isn't even as fine as the combustion products that come from diesel. In polluted urban centers, black lung or similar symptoms are appearing among the people living there.
Honestly, if we can't even be bothered to take action to clean up the air so it doesn't shorten our lives and worsen lung conditions, why would finding that reducing it might decrease global warming by a small bit spur us into action?
Re: Correlation != causation
Unless you read the study and went through the data and mathematics, you can't assume all Dr. Chen did was make a pretty graph with depression on one axis and drink preference on the other, slapped on a regression line, and called it a day.
More likely, this variable was isolated using a variety of statistical tools that approximate making all other things equal and took into account the other known risk factors for depression.
Of course, it's possible he did just make the graph, since I haven't read the full text either. But the fact that it's being presented at the annual AAN conference likely means that it's not designed the same way that someone competing in a high school science fair would have done.
Re: Blackboard patent
Like it or not, folks, but patents as originally envisioned in US Law did not require the "realization" of a product, production of a product, or successful commercialization of a product. The express purpose was to protect the inventor, creator, etc., from having their theory "acquired" by someone with deeper pockets or more patience.
A patent's purpose is to allow some person or group the chance to take an idea to market without having to worry about having it stolen, copied, or otherwise infringed upon by another market player. If, as in this case, a market participant is found to have infringed upon an awarded patent, they must contest the awarding of the patent; failing that, they need to prove that they did not do so knowingly. In the case of Marvell, the findings to this point show that they not only infringed on an awarded (and therefore publicized) patent, but did so knowing they were infringing. This is how patent law is supposed to be used.
The reason for all of this is that back before the commercialization of invention and creation, a person in the garage or shed would conceive of a new way of doing an existing process or an entirely new way of doing something. However, working out of said shed might preclude them from "creating" a product, or perhaps they are not savvy enough in the materials. A patent protects that person from being robbed blind by someone else the inventor entrusts with the secrets, the process, or just the idea in hopes of commercializing it. If the inventor wants to sell the patent to someone else that's their prerogative, hence licensing agreements and the like.
Re: "D-OR" - Not Quite Correct.
Wow... that's quite a statement there. I won't delve into whatever personal grudges you might have against Senator Wyden or the Democrats, but I'm pretty sure they don't have a place in this specific discussion.
As far as the profits to Google... I don't know. They make their money on click-through ads for the most part, so unless the law also mandates some kind of Google advertising on each data use app, I'm at a loss as to how this would improve Google's bottom line. But if you have evidence, I would love to hear it.
Re: More "efficient" but...
Considering that GE is easily getting around the "ban" of the 100W by using a slightly lower watt halogen bulb, I'm not sure you'll have a problem with either the heat or the lumen output. The "ban" is really just a requirement that a bulb put out a certain amount of light per watt. Since the bog-standard bulb, unchanged for the most part since tungsten was discovered to be a prime filament in 1910, can't keep up with that at the 100W level, it is being phased out. That's all there is to it.
Re: Double Fail
When at home (the place most likely used to check more sensitive accounts like banking and email (access to all the things) ), having long passwords written down isn't really an issue. As long as the place is secure, which a private residence typically is, you don't have problems.
The work environment or you laptop bag is probably the place where written down passwords may cause problems. But even that can be foiled a bit by substitution, reminders that only you could determine, or even just keeping the reminders in your wallet.
And finally, as has been pointed out numerous times, taking a less popular song lyric (so maybe the chorus from a deep cut on an obscure band you like) and then using the first letters, mixing in capital and lower case, then tossing on something at the front that makes it unique for that specific website (and can get around stupid limitations placed on it, like no special characters, short lengths, etc.) will probably be about as secure as we can get.
I'm not sure I want to go the route of a encrypted USB stick that has a very strong password and the passwords in a text file or something, that you copy and paste, in the hopes you avoid keyloggers (wouldn't it be simple enough to also log clipboard information?). But that is one of the things that the linked NY Times article proposes.
10minutemail, however, was an awesome find. I can't believe I went that long without it for all those stupid websites that want a verification email, but otherwise have no reason to contact me ever again.
Re: Not a fan
I wonder how much has to do with changes by the wireless companies, though. Here in the States, Verizon (and others, since they aren't an industry leader so much as an industry optimizer) has done away with the ability to purchase a phone with new two-year contract regardless of how much was left on the old contract. Instead, if you aren't "upgrade eligible", you pay full retail with the option to "trade-in" and sell back your old phone. However, it's rarely enough to cover the difference between full retail and subsidized prices (my old-tech HTC Incredible will fetch a whole $16).
So you are locked into that two year upgrade cycle unless you have lots of cash in your pockets. A Galaxy S3 with 32GB will set you back $100 less at retail price than a 32GB iPhone 5. Is that $100 really worth it since the two devices are comparable in many ways if you strip out the stupid brand loyalty wars? And even if you like your iPhone 4, but want a larger screen or better battery, can you really stomach that retail price? If you were going to upgrade regardless, maybe you figure that while the iPhone 5 is nice, it might be worth it to give the Galaxy S3 or RAZR HD phones a chance (I kind of like my wife's new RAZR HD) since they cost less. I just don't see the cost-benefit to upgrade, unless the refresh of the iPhone 5 ends up being more than just an Intel tick (die shrink, same architecture).
With the way I use my phone (less phone, more media, internet, calendar device), though, the Galaxy Note 2 might be a better option for me, and that's something Apple, in terms of size and features, can't compete on right now.
Re: Retail Paper Prices vs Cost of Production
Is there any legitimate reason these days to print anything out that isn't meant for archival or storage? Even businesses are catching up to the concept of paperless, though usually that's more to do with limiting liability (very difficult to subpoena old emails that were never printed and have a 36 month deletion policy when you called all your clients muppets and described the toxic products you were selling them) and making sure there are no traces of poorly thought-out business plans or processes (under the disguise of ISO 9001 compliance).
This laser could make things less lucrative for companies like Iron Mountain. Along with their archiving business, they seem to throw in on-site shred bins that really just provide them with tons of paper they can pulp and sell to the highest bidder for recycling. Clearly this must be profitable, as their clients seem to be encouraged to tell their employees that even personal records and other destructibles can be brought from home to ensure identity security.
It's one thing to use cherry-picked data to build a case supporting one's bias...
But quite another to take data from another group and applying bad logic to support your bias. The stats, unless there is more in the NPD survey than reported, do not support the basis of the article. With the data presented, it states that in Q4'2011, people who never owned a smartphone were more likely to buy an Android-based phone than any other, while people who already owned a smartphone were... more likely to buy an Android-based smartphone, albeit at a lower percentage.
However, there are no listed statistics to back up the assertion that people who owned an Android-based phone were turning away from the OS to purchase an iPhone. Comparing two disparate groups and stating that it demonstrates any kind of movement away from the Android is low IQ at best, outright pandering to Apple at worst. The only conclusion you can take is what is presented, which is that Android is winning the mind and market share of those who are new to smartphones, while Apple, with a head-start in the smartphone biz, is holding 43% of all upgrades.
A more salient question that would actually answer the question of loyalty is to compare pre- and post-upgrade phone choices. Only if after looking at the data and see iOS with a larger share of the post-upgrade user base than the pre-upgrade, could you conclude that Android has a problem retaining users. Until that happens, all we can conclude with the data in this article is that the author fails basic comprehension of statistics. And if the information was present in the NPD survey and was not included in the article as the basis for the conclusion, it shows that the author fails basic journalism.
We do realize...
That 11 billion US is less than what you would find between the couch cushions of the US economy,right? Saving that much is literally 0.1% of the GDP in 2009. To put it another way, that's a tad less than $40/year/US citizen, presuming that the savings quoted is yearly. Not exactly earth-shattering, or even enough to make most industries sit up and take notice.
And that's probably assuming that all the finds pan out, regulation stays away, and the US economy recovers enough to bother with manufacturing instead of outsourcing it to China and other locales.
I realize Andrew has a bone to pick with British government and society, but a proper frame of reference will go a long way in winning over hearts and minds.
Considering that water can be toxic and cause water intoxication, this isn't completely far-fetched. Too much water and not enough electrolytes will cause your brain to go wonky and eventually kill you. See the Wee for a Wii contest a few years ago.
So yes, this is a technically correct ruling. However, most people recoil in horror at technically correct, especially if they view it as being against common sense.
I realize we're all cynical bastards here....
But for the life of me, I can't even be that cynical. The masses, while unversed in the scientific method and the (hopefully) critical examination that theories go through, aren't that simple. In general, your average Joe happily accepts most scientific progress without so much as a bat of the eye. It's only when you try to violate their core beliefs (beliefs being the important word here), that they get bent out of shape. And for some (many), things like evolution or the impact of man on the global climate (for example, our dear friend Andrew O), strike them as utterly bonkers.
Because most of science is based on the null hypothesis, you do have to rely on things like probability (which even scientists have problems with) to present your case. Even a five sigma event means there is still a chance, however small, that you're being fooled by randomness or fuzziness. Therefore, most scientists qualify statements with things like "probable" or "statistically significant."
In the real world, where the rest of us mortal folk live, probable just means that you are pretty certain, such as in the law where the phrase "probable cause" is thrown around. We know of arrests, using the "probable cause" standard, that were later thrown out or resulted in the release of someone. But, because of the nature of science and not knowing everything, the shortcomings of language color the opinion of the man on the street.
But no, I don't think most people would immediately organize a book burning in the town square for all the false physics textbooks out there. In most cases, it's a failure of language and communication that causes the problem. That's why philosophers still have a use these days.
No need to be cynical...
At least here in the US, one of the best funded disease-based foundations is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (http://www.cff.org/). Likely they will throw large amounts of cash at any corporation willing to bring a drug to market (see the recent payment of $75 million over 5 years to a small biotech firm). And more importantly, this isn't a cure so much as a cocktail of drugs has the possibility of correcting the underlying defect enough to allow near-normal cell function. It's a similar approach to something the above biotech firm is doing with a number of drugs. It will make lots of money, as the genetic defect will still require daily dosage. Now, given that I hoover down 30+ pills a day for CF, I'll take a substantial reduction in that, especially if it's proactive therapy instead of reactive.
Also, at least in the US, CF drugs (and drugs for other "smaller" diseases and disorders) get what's called Orphan drug status, which means that there are greater patent protections to the developer, financial incentives, and often times expedited approval processes. The theory goes is that if you have a market of 50,000 for one drug, and a market of 5,000,000 for another drug, you're going to focus the time, energy, and money on the latter, cause if successful, you have a blockbuster (see dysfunction, erectile), while all you get for treating the 50,000 is a warm fuzzy feeling and a couple of bucks back for the effort. Is this the greatest arrangement in the world? No... but it's been extraordinarily effective at bringing quality treatments to those of us with rarer disorders.
And what I would be interested in seeing is if this kid found the same kind of drugs that Vertex has is Phase 2 and 3. Those were found in a similar way, using high-throughput computing to fold and shape proteins to see what might interact to existing chemical compounds.
The only concern is the water table...
Here in the good ol' US o A, two groups are getting in a tizzy over natural gas and fracking: Energy companies and NIMBYs. On the whole, both have valid points: The energy companies are engaging in "extract at any cost" behavior, even when going through aquifers and water tables, and the NIMBYs are a bit too NIMBYish. Sadly, our paralyzed governments are sitting this one out, so litigation is king.
The latest we've heard is that even after being told not to for the last 10 years by the government, the energy companies continue to use diesel fuel as a solvent for many of their fracking operations. Now they are being sued, and trying to defend themselves with the ever-popular "We thought when you said not to use it, you meant that we could use it!" defense. Good times. Of course, it's only a problem with the fracking operations that aren't using the proper containment techniques, and nothing goes wrong. But a few water tables have been spoiled, or at least contaminated enough to require expensive filtration costs for the city or water authority.
But, 85% of the time, that doesn't happen (number randomly pulled out of my backside), so instead of putting some decent regulations in place (no diesel or other difficult to clean out solvents without some kind of insurance that will cover clean-up/mitigation costs, prompt reporting of accidents and "incidents" to local authorities, and transparent bidding/contracting processes), the energy companies are going whole hog where they were let in (rural areas, poor areas, etc), while being completely blocked in other areas.
The only other concern is that in some areas of the country that are a slight bit more geologically active than the area I call home, there has been increases in micro-earthquakes, usually detectable only by sensitive instruments or animals, with one or two real earthquakes (4ish on the scale) that might be attributed to fracking operations.
While I have no axe to grind myself...
This article was premature in the same way that most men are their first time out. We are just over 72 hours from the quake and tsunami, with nothing yet contained, and someone is going off half-cocked about how this is a win for nuclear energy concerns the world over. However, let's toss a little (boric) acidified seawater on this reaction.
First, as of 6 AM Japanese local time on Tuesday, officials confirmed that a third explosion had indeed damaged and weakened the containment of Rector 2, making any build-up of pressure in the reactor core that much more dangerous. Additionally, after the explosion, the radiation level climbed to at 11,900 μSv/h, which is approaching dangerous territory for anyone at the plant.
Second, Reactor 4 was suffering from a runaway fission reaction and nuclear material was actually burning in a fire, releasing much larger amounts of radioactive materials into the air than any previous situation at the plant. While Reactor 4 wasn't running, it still contained spent rods, which seem to be having a grand old time right now. (Update: While I was writing this, Japanese officials indicated the fire had been extinguished for now.)
Third, due to the containment breach, threat of further explosions, the aforementioned fire, and rising radiation readings, Japan was considering an evacuation of all workers from the site. Let me repeat that. They are considering a wholesale evacuation of all technicians and support personnel from the site, effectively ceasing any and all recovery and containment activity. In essence, the plant is being given up for dead, and it's entirely possible that Reactor 2, at least, will suffer a containment-busting explosion and/or meltdown, resulting in the release of uranium and plutonium into the air, let alone their decay products.
Fourth, if this does occur, a little known problem could be the cooling pools used to store spent rods. As Rector 4 is demonstrating, they still have enough energy left in them to burn and release radioactive material. The problem is that they are in cooling pools are lightly protected and poorly contained, and only have enough water over top of them to remain unexposed to air for a week or two. Clearly, a full-scale meltdown would make any kind of mitigation impossible, and they would soon begin burning and releasing even more radioactive material into the air at a rate much greater than the relatively contained reactor cores.
So, while I don't personally find nuclear power abhorrent or otherwise unpalatable, it seems like this piece was exceedingly short-sighted and resulted in the tarnishing of a reputation that had to this point been decent. It's unfortunate that someone clearly let personal bias trump the facts on the ground and didn't even let the events settle down to a point that experienced people in nuclear physics would say the threat was contained. Poorly handled by Mr. Page.
A better article would have been something like this: While we don't know the extent of the damage and fallout (har) of the Fukushima nuclear incident, we know that nuclear power is safe most of the time, assuming we aren't dumb enough to build on the coast in a tsunami-prone area that is very near a large fault. Such self-evident things, sadly, only become apparent after calamity strikes.
If there was a outed pool...
I would pick him to be the next one caught in a two-man grope fest in a public bathroom, possibly complete with snorting cocaine off some male hooker's twig. We have a wonderful history in the US of the most strident anti-gay voices being the most closeted folks in this great nation.
Here's the actual problem with the USPTO
They don't get any money from the US Gov't. Not one dime. Since 1991, it was set up to survive on the fees it charges for patent and trademark filing. However, they can't adjust their fees. Congress controls the fees, and hasn't felt it necessary to grant the USPTO's request to change the fees, the way it does fees, or any other number of options. In essence, they require Congressional approval to do anything, even though they get nothing from the government, and even had some of those fees appropriated by the government for "other priorities." Needless to say, it's an overworked, understaffed agency with no real authority.
Maybe it's different accross the pond...
But over here in the States, your typical Bachelor's degree requires that you attend a fair number of other non-major classes in order to start paying your student loans... err... graduate. I don't know about you, but I don't really need the 15 paperbacks from the English class of so-called classics (or professor's hobby horse), or all the text books from the Latin classes I had to take to satisfy my 2nd language requirement.
A whole other debate, of course, but that's what a Liberal Arts education does. I think I might have taken 15 classes related to my major directly or indirectly, plus another 20+ classes to satisfy the requirements for my BA. Most of those books I'll be happy to never see again.
To those who say, "Nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide..."
Sometimes, people are using the internet for more than porn and kitten pictures (shocking, I know). While there are sites like LinkdIn to use for "business" contacts, it's not nearly on the level that Facebook is. However, that doesn't mean you want to or should be mixing business and pleasure. Additionally, some people do try to keep their personal lives separate from the public and/or employment piece, if only to prevent someone using things unrelated to work against them (see the Tiger Woods saga... err... wait, you can't talk about that here... see the growing list of employers who use interns and such to troll for personal details like affiliations and memberships on the internet when considering you for employment).
Idiots who post pictures of the keg stand from last weekend and make it available to everyone have it coming when a spouse or significant other sees them also making out with the cute blonde who isn't them. A teacher who does not want to or is professionally restricted from being "casual" with students is entirely another. Should a teacher than completely avoid any form of online networking and become the 21st century equivalent of a hermit, on the off chance a student might find them? Or should sites like Facebook comply with common sense, user requests and the law to give users the control over who can see what on their profile? It's not like whatever you post on the site is prevented from being used in data mining operations if you set it to "Friends Only." Facebook can pretend to make money on it's dataset with the user in it.
It seems like little to ask, just like it's little to ask the old phone book companies to keep your name and address unlisted, or asking to be on the Do Not Call list to cut down solicitations. Not only that, but there is something to be said of the dystopian ideal that all information is free and freely given on the internet. But if it is, when some script kiddy steals your credit card info from a secure site that turns out to be anything but, are you saying, "Fair game, kid. Go spend to your heart's content?" No, you're calling the cops to nail both the little schmuck and the company you did business with to the wall, and then send them away to experience the tenderness of some dude named Butch in a prison shower.
Plus, do you really want to parrot the likes of Bush and Cheney and other American right-wing idiots by saying, "Let us pry into everything about you. If you're innocent, you should agree that our efforts to catch the 1 out of 50,000,000 who are a threat to you are completely in line." Granted, the UK is now known far and wide as the most frightening example of a self-inflicted police state. Let's hope everyone else can learn from that.
Speaking as the bright red spot in the middle of yellow and white...
It's easy to say that we should just pour money into buildling out the fiber network. However, there are some key things not already touched on. While it is true that there are vast stretches of the US that contain few residences and more cattle than people, I believe well over half of the US population actually does live within a close distance of a major city. Case in point, my state of Minnesota has a population of 5.2 million, giving it a density of 65 people per square mile (25 per sq km, for everyone else). However, the "metro area" of Minneapolis/St. Paul has 3.2 million people in it and only has about 1/10th of the state's land, which means that the other 71,000 sq miles has 2 million people. That area has 10 times the size and only 3/5th the number of people. And even in those areas, there are mini-cities that act as the urban area. So there are islands of population, with not much in between. For those in between areas, it's too expensive and a poor use of resources to spend all that time and money. Mobile phone coverage is only now getting to near saturation of digital bands, and those have been growing since the 80s. It's just a fact of life that if you chose to live in the middle of nowhere, you can't expect the same level of service. In some places, a township (land that isn't part of an incorporated city) contracts to cities, counties, or even the state to provide basic service such as police, fire, and emergency. In some cases, it's up to each landowner to contract out for the services, and to pay for build-outs of power, water, sewer, and paved roads to their land. Otherwise, you drill a well, have a gravel road, drain into a septic tank, and install solar and wind turbines to fill your power needs.
I know it's hard for even those in the densely populated parts of the US, let alone the very densely populated EU contries, that there are people who choose to be off the grid, and probably wouldn't use the services even if built to them. There are really no incentives for a multi-million broadband build out to some township of 15 houses and farms, when only two will actually use it, until they get the first bill.
The more I read about this stuff...
The more I think that the governments of the Western world are trying to let the criminals and terrorists win. That way, they can claim extraordinary powers on the grounds of it being a state of war. Thankfully, while the US does have it's problems and does seem to be trying to chip away at the edges of civil liberties, it's not as quick as the UKs decent in to the Orwellian nightmare. It does seems like 1984 is being read as a how-to manual rather than a warning by various members of the government class. At least as far at this goes, the US has the well-enshrined 5th Amendment, which specifically indicates that no citizen can ever be compelled to self-incriminate. And that part of it is not worded in ways that make it open to multiple interpretations, like the 1st, 2nd, and 4th, to name a few.
"...nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..."
I would suggest that all of you who don't want to live in a police state move further west, to the US or Canada, but you'd probably be detained either at the UK or US border for being undesirables in some way, shape, or form.
If you need me, I'll be buying land in the NW Territories of Canada....
It's an odd thing, us Yanks
Here I am a liberal, at least by most definitions used on both sides of the pond, and I find the actions by Jacqui Smith to be reprehensible, just as I have always found Michael Savage. I do realize that the US Constitution and the first ten rights, the Bill of Rights, are loosely based on the Magna Carta, with (slow) expansion to classes beyond the landed gentry. With that in mind, there is a reason for Yanks to be a bit apprehensive about what we see happening in Britain all the time when it comes to the treatment of the citizens by the government. So much of what we do is based on English law, that if you guys can water down what used to be a strong document, what could be done to the Constitution?
Even though I don't think anyone on the public list that Britain has "named and shamed" is worth much more than the sludge in a chemical toilet, I believe that as long as they don't try to incite violence or commit violence in the name of the their cause, they are free to spout off their crackpot theories. We'd even let Mrs. Smith talk around here, though most would probably cringe and ignore her, just like anyone with more than a primary school education does with Mr. Savage. The point here is that for an American, regardless of (most) political beliefs, the idea of the government making any moves that look to be suppressing or slandering a person is frightening, even if they are a foreign national. One could argue that Mrs. Smith, by putting him just on a "No Entry" list, isn't suppressing his voice, but it does look like the thin end of a wedge. One might look at it and think to themselves, "Should I ever voice an opinion that might be contrary to a ruling party's opinion in Britain, lest I get a lifetime ban as well?"
I don't condone Mr. Savage's actions at all, and he is just milking this publicity cow for all it's worth. He knows his crowd, and they are very... simple. They are very reactionary and likely to act rashly against anything they view as British regardless of how this pans out now. It might be as simple as boycott (which, given the median listener's income, probably means one less order of fish and chips from the local pub every month for every member of the Royal Family), to something as irritating as rude behavior to anyone perceived as being British in their area, even if they are a naturalized citizen of America, or downright harassment of travelers.
I don't know what kind of publicity it got across the pond, but after the French told Dubya to screw off and take his warmongering elsewhere (which went well), there was a fringe movement (including xenophobic bills in the House and Senate) to remove the name "French" from various legal definitions (french fries and french toast to be renamed "freedom" fries and "freedom" toast). That's the kind of followers that this idiot Mr. Savage has, and while it seems quaint and silly, for every 1,000 people who find it to be just harmless fun, there is that 1,001st person who takes it up as a personal grudge.
I guess it still is part of the American psyche that everyone is free (insomuch as you don't try to kill us, for varying values of "kill") and that outside interference in our policies of state or citizen actions are not tolerated (you have King George III to blame for that one, and the War of 1812 just reinforced it). "Don't Tread on Me" is more than just a rallying cry of the Revolutionary Amry and a former motto of the US Marine Corps, as it still does sum up the general US ethos when dealing with the world. Just don't ask me to defend the foreign policy of Dubya. The man wasn't much more than a jumped up brat with too much cocaine on the brain. Elections are such double-edges swords.
It was, now it's unknown...
They carbon-dated the shroud in 1988 or so, and the results proved to show that it couldn't be older than 800 years. But about 15 years later, some guy took exception to a paper contesting the carbon-dating results, but then went on to show in his own critique that the paper was right to contest the results. Apparently, the corner of the shroud they tested had cotton and medieval dyes from a repair job, invalidating the results. So now no one knows again. And honestly, even if it was from roughly 33 AD, crucifixion was a common enough practice that any number of people could have been wrapped in a shroud and then later found.
I never have clicked on a TinyURL link it my web life. There is something inherently absurd about following a link that you can't see the full path of. Also, it smacks of bad practice and terrible user education. Things like this just perpetuate the malware and spam problems. Bah. Where's my porch and rocking chair....
Lots of numbers being thrown around here, all assuming either the US or UK standard household plug. Be that as it may, it's possible they are also talking about a specific distribution model, a type of fueling station that is able to deliver industial levels of power through a "hose" to your "tank." Light on detail the press release is... but with the right equipment, it's probably possible to push a large amount of current through to a battery that is designed for maximum surface area to cut down on charge time. Now, whether the technology is actually there, doesn't cost as much as a house, and is reliable, that's a whole other matter. It's nice to dream, though.... and I tend to err on the side of dreaming big and seeing what can be done rather than focusing on what can't be done. Remember, it wasn't more than 50 years ago that the idea of a computer thousands of times more powerful than what they had then in a package that fit in a small box would have seemed ludicrous.
Morbid, I know...
But I thought that the link regarding people killing themselves in their sleep was going to link to the story about the man in Wisconsin, USA who slept walked out his door last night, into the icy grip of lethal hypothermia. I know... it's a heartless thing to say.
The source isn't that important here...
While the business model of RHT does rely on the filling of open positions in a variety of companies, they don't do themselves any favors by overstating the demand. And while some polling numbers might be able to sway the perception of something, I don't see a CIO looking at these figures, and thinking, "Gee, everyone else is staying steady, I guess that 10% reduction in force I was planning should be shelved." That's just not the case, as the CIO's decisions are driven solely by the other executives in the company and the business model and forecasts. The only CIOs and companies this survey might impact are those who were on the cusp of looking for new staff, but weren't sure. This might indicate that good help might come at a premium and not be worth it, or it might mean some talent will be available since some people are going to get laid off. It's a glass half-full or half-empty type moment.
In all, I would say that the IT market is better than other fields, only in that IT was still recovering in the US from the shellacking they got after the tech bubble burst and the outsourcing of back-end and coding work to India, so it was already pared to the bone. On-site support, however, can't be outsourced, and it seems that's what RHT focuses on, and that's borne out by the results of what CIOs say they are hiring for. I would stay away from the CIOs that are hiring and don't know why....
About that whole Mythbusters thing...
Actually, Mythbusters recently went and redid the bullet through the scope myth. After taking all the suggestions given in good faith by their viewers, even if misinformed, they tried again. Using Jamie's impressive skills at shooting through a scope, nothing worked. However, the ballistics expert they had on-site brought in a "secret" weapon for one last try. Out came an armor-piercing, tungsten-core round. One shot later, and they had a ballistics dummy with a pretty serious eye wound... and a bullet lodged 2" into it's brain. Now, there was no skull, as it was just ballistics gel, but one could make the assumption that the shot would have been a mortal wound without immediate medical attention. Keeping in mind how a sniper is supposed to operate, it would be quite likely they would bleed to death before a medic could reach them.
Otherwise, good article, and congrats on Cal for owning up to falling for the journalistic ploy of emotional manipulation. Misstating the intention of the article in the first couple of paragraphs is a cheap, but effective trick. Journalists are way more amoral and ruthless than your typical sniper.
Makes me hungry...
Pass me some tasty PETA members. I mean, while turkeys might be bright and have differing personalities, PETA consistently shows us they belong down at the bottom of the food chain with yeast and bacteria. And at least those two provide us with tasty beverages and cooking supplies.
Honestly, any group that thinks the American Humane Society is filled with animal-hating miscreants and has members who feel that eating yeast is animal abuse is obviously of negligible sentience.
One question, though...
If the light is being bent around you, how the heck are you supposed to see where you're going? I suppose if you had electronic means to view with, like radar, sonar, etc, that were not bent, but then you could still be detected by mundane means, and where is the high tech advancement in that?
A couple of things. First, any test of intelligence, be it the much maligned IQ test, or the SAT and ACT for American college candidates, or the GRE, MCAT, LSAT, etc for graduate studies in various fields in the US, is adjusted occasionally to make the 100, or whatever the numerical scale is, to be the median of the bell curve. This is either done by altering the test to make it more difficult (or easier if the sample is consistently scoring lower than the old median) or by changing the scoring scale. So it is quite possible that through revisions of the testing procedures and scoring that the median today would have been 1 or even 2 Standard Deviations above the median in the past. Plus, while we might think otherwise due to things like Darwin Awards and news stories, I think that the general intelligence of the population have increased from what it was 100 years ago.
As to the IQ test in and of itself. People consistently rail against it, hating the idea that some words and figures on paper foretell how smart or dumb you are. Couple that with the other pop psychology out there and the focus on "other" intelligences, whether as a way to get grant money or to really try to make those who are "average" or "below average" feel better, and you have the confusion that is present.
However, there is a vast body of research and test results that indicate that IQ is positively correlated (as one goes up, so does the other) with job performance, school performance, GRE, SAT, and GCSE scores, longevity, income, and emotional health, while negatively correlated with crime, juvenile offenses, depression, smoking, being obese, and traumatic injury.
Now, these all range from correlations of +/- 0.81 (technically accounting for 66% of the variablity seen) to as little as +/-0.19. However, they are statistically significant, even if the effect size can be anywhere from large to small. Again, this is correlation, not causation. It's very difficult to ascertain causation when you can't set up multiple groups and introduce variables and controls. There are ways, but they are math-intensive. Without reading the actual paper by this researcher, I can't say what conclusions were drawn and why, and if the press (even the Reg) is misreading, misstating, or distorting the research... or if there was a poorly written press release by the researcher or journal.
Really Mr. Smith...
So, accusing people of wearing a "mask" while posting online in an anonymous forum under a name that could apply to a couple hundred thousand people or more is not hiding something? Give it up. If you want to really be truthful, you could just post the relevant details, like your address, full name, tax status, income, and any other relevant details so people could appreciate just how wonderfully honest and truthful you are. You know, as should all the other CoSers who live in Clearwater, FL and on that boat called the Freewinds (currently sealed and docked due to a blatant disregard for US law and general human safety because it was stuffed to the gills with asbestos).
I mean, if you have nothing to hide, you should let it all hang out, right? That's why there are all the attempts to seal civil court records that are generally public domain or suing people into the ground using abusive practices. That's obviously the work of people with nothing to hide. If you really want to be recognized as a "religion." that's fine. But you realize it's public domain to be a religion. There is no copyright or intellectual property to be suing people over in court. The Catholic Church, everyone's favorite whipping boy, doesn't sue non-Catholics for use of the Bible in works critical of the Church's beliefs. They also have a clear hierarchy that is visible to anyone who cares to look. Who's the leader in theCoS? It is a board like a corporation, or one person. How were they appointed? Was it a vote, succession, anointed, name drawn from a hat? What texts do they use and what public policies do they support? Are they funding any outsides entities to do work on their behalf in the PR or Gov't spheres? What is the overall leadership structure? Centralized, decentralized, broken down by region, church, book sales, etc?
Those are questions that need to be asked, Mr. Smith, and claims to privacy indicate you have something to hide and crimes that you don't want aired, using your logic. Come clean, expose yourself to the sunshine you require of everyone else in the world when they dare speak a word against you. Just like every other real religion. Otherwise, remain a fringe cult, known for preying on the weak-minded, large-account suckers you do. Get all the negative publicity and weaken and demean your own reputation, doing more damage to yourself than all your critics could ever do.
To be honest, it's very entertaining to watch. It's like a slow motion implosion. I'm guessing the next "step" is that a high level "leader" will be thrown under the bus by the CoS to "prove" that they don't tolerate corruption and abuse of power in their hierarchy. That will obviously show that they are really a kind and gentle religion, with none of the maniacal grasping for power and influence that has dominated the other Western-sourced religions over the last 4000 years.
Until then, you will have no respect and people will be suspicious of your church and it's claims. And you will never achieve any type of status, other than fringe cult, and go the way of the thousands of other start-up religions that have sprouted in the warm, moist, and dark regions of the human mind and domain, just like mushrooms after a rain.
There really needs to be an eye-rolling type icon for the side. Paris it is, cause even she isn't weak-minded enough to join the CoS.
So the question is...
Does MSFT even pay taxes? I seem to remember an article either here or at The Inq, that stated that MSFT has bilked Washington, the state they are based in, out of hundreds of millions of dollars over the last decade. I suppose they might pay some kind of token tax to keep the IRS off their backs... but other than the payroll taxes that they withhold for their employees, what do they contribute to the tax stream?
Try shopping at Best Buy in Minnesota
Well, this was NJ... not exactly the birthplace of courtesy.
Minnesota is birthplace of the company. Same goes for Target. I only hear about these things happening outside of the Midwest. I walk into a Best Buy here, or any other retail store, and if I'm looking at things, I'll have a 5 second exchange with an associate, say, "I'm just looking," and I'm back on my way. This will happen in any department I go to, but only once. Total amount of wasted time, maybe 20 seconds. And I have often discussed the merits of products with other customers, and even with associates and supervisors, and never had a problem with giving a negative review.
I know both Target and Best Buy were known for years as being the only places where non-commissioned associates even bothered to make eye contact. When the other big box retailers came to town, they had to learn that's what we expected: No-pressure associates who were there when you needed them, but no more. I guess that doesn't export well to the rest of the country.
Now, I tend to get most of my gear online, but I still stroll around Best Buy to get an idea of what's out that I might have missed or how things look while working. But I still prefer the experience there to the other crap big box retailers... but what do you expect for retailers that are coming from places that require a whole city summed to get a 700 on the SAT? *cough*Wal-Mart*cough*
Over stateside, our wireless networks do work on a locked principle. We have a very well set standard of "buy a 2-year contract, get a phone for almost nothing." After that period, I believe that we could network hop, though since not all the providers use the same system, you are limited. With the vast geographical area, a provider that is awesome in NE might not be so good in the Midwest, and we have enough rural and underpopulated land that it isn't covered by major carriers without roaming, so you have local carriers, or regional ones. Same thing with broadband and other things. We have this "vast expanses" excuse that the providers keep using to justify the high prices for lower service than the rest of the civilized world... and to an extant, it's correct. I just don't think it's quite the premium they place on it.
But, this C Block is a little different. What it means if you don't have to have a licensed device, or there's an open license, that allows anyone to set up in that spectrum... I don't know if it's set up to require a fee or something to be paid to Verizon, but I think it means that Verizon can't lock anyone out if they are willing to play by the rules... though I don't know who sets those rules. So, this isn't just for cell phones, but anything that goes wireless, which before was TV signals. Though, I would be happy with a wireless signal that could penetrate the concrete bunker that is my apt building, so I can actually have reception.
There's an obvious answer for NJ and other states...
Simply decertify the machines and replace them. Losing contracts (the machines are pennies compared to the dollars made for service and support) will quickly open a company's eyes when the cash cows go to greener pastures. Make corporate greed work for you. Corporations do it all the time. It's called leverage. I fail to understand why states don't take advantage of the fact they provide massive amounts of money to these companies. Even a small state like NJ would seriously dent a company's bottom line. That's what Ohio and California did to ES&S machines.
I'm not sure if people actually read the article.
"The designer of the vehicle's foldable frame, Franco Vairani, explained to Reuters that hundreds of the City Cars could be parked around cities at charging points and available for hire with a quick swipe of the credit card."
So... this would be exactly like the supermarket carts/trolleys. You grab the next one in line and go. Then when you're done, return it to a cart corral or whatever. The issue I see is, do you have hundreds of workers that redistribute these carts across the city? I can see plenty of people taking other forms of transit to a shopping area or something, buying too much stuff to haul on the bus, and then they rent this City Car to get back home. In which case, the commercial areas have no carts left, and the residential areas have way too many.
I think the point being missed is that unlike biofuels, this is waste product that was already being produced, and will continue to be produced regardless of whether it can become profitable. The problem with biofuels as they currently stand is that they take food product out of the food supply or encourage the slash and burn of rain forests and marginal temperate lands to create more arable land, at the expense of plants that were doing a better job as carbon sinks. The prize goes to the person who can take waste from agriculture, like cornstalks, soybean plants sans soybeans, etc. and turn those into alcohols that can be burned for fuel, or takes native plants that have an annual life cycle, or perennial root system, such as sawgrass, and just mow it once in a while and make alcohols out of that. Those require little to no attention from farmers, no fertilizer, pesticides, or huge outlay of carbon-creating technologies to produce. They just happen, because they are native, and aren't food products, meaning that it does not impact commodity prices (see wheat, which is not being planted for crops like soybeans, and more commonly, corn, here in the US), and it becomes much closer to truly being carbon neutral.
As to cow shit, it happens anyway. We can get into some big ruckus about how cows shouldn't be kept, grain is better than meat, milk is cruel/indigestible, etc., but lets be honest with ourselves, eco-nuts.... people still want their meat, there are a large number of people who can process lactose without problem (myself and other people of N. European decent, as well as other locales around the world that started to drink animal milk after being weaned), and grass-raised livestock, besides being tastier, are again, taking plants that we don't/can't eat, and turning them into caloric substances that we can consume and get nutrients out of.
So normally, cow shit, when shat out, will sit in the sun or trench, release it's methane slowly, cause odious clouds to billow over freeways and towns depending on the wind, as well as run off into waterways and poison them with massive amount of phosphorous and nitrogen, causing vast algae blooms in water ways, lakes, and ponds, which in turn die and cause releases of methane and CO2 as it decomposes, and in lakes and ponds, can cause an O2 debt in the water in the winter when it freezes, causing huge die-offs of the fish. This can even happen in the summer for really polluted lakes in lakes that don't normally freeze over. Said fish die, and besides being a environmental disaster, can spread disease among birds and mammals who eat said fish, causing more problems along the food chain. See the issue?
So, take the cow shit, put it into an enclosed tank, add enzymes or other starter material to cause digestion of the shit, collect gases, which you can then use for a multitude of things, like powering your farm, selling to the grid, or in this case, power other people's homes directly. The dried materials left over from digestion, as in the article, can be used to create cow bedding (not 100% certain why, but okay...) or, as I've seen another farmer do, create flowerpots that can be placed into the ground to provide a planter than will be consumed by the plant as fertilizer. Also acceptable is to be spread on a farmer's field as a fertilizer to grow more food crops. Another ingenious use they are trying in the Midwest of the US is the connect a methane supply up with an alcohol fuel plant, and burn the methane to produce the vast amounts of electricity and heat needed to turn plants into alcohols. It's a little better than coal and gas, though nuclear would work too, as it's technically zero emission... at least gaseous emissions of CO2 and methane and CO. Mind the glowing 55 gallon drums, please.
So, this is the evolution of power production. I think the problem is people are expecting perfection yesterday, and can't understand why it hasn't happened yet. It's a process. Carbon neutral has existed since the 1950s... but people get all NIMBY when you propose a nuclear reactor to be built within 3 billion miles of them, and think they the waste will be piped directly into their children's cereal or something. But hey, I just think that if France can do it and they still aren't mutants (well, no more than before) then the US and UK should be able to figure it out pretty well.