36 posts • joined 29 Apr 2010
Garbage In, Garbage Out
What more proof do we need that Facebook is garbage — as are the sites that use it as their commenting platform? It lives down to the lowest ideals of its founder.
The day a company starts worrying about hiring to meet ethnic and gender goals is the day it goes into decline. The best teams and companies where I've ever worked hired engineers and other staff strictly on ability to deliver the goods, with no regard to skin color or sex. The best thing technology companies like Google can do to assure their continued success is get rid of people like Laszlo Bock.
Re: Congratulations to the team ...
I didn't mention any names ...
Congratulations to the team ...
... but nowadays one is more likely to get a Nobel Prize just for looking good on television and being able to read a ghost-written speech from a teleprompter, without actually having achieved anything.
Not likely to meet goals
While 65,000 feet isn't outer space, it's still a harsh environment for man or machine. At the standard lapse rate the air temperature is around -170C, too cold for batteries to work well or reliably. The likelihood of a drone and its electronics operating there unattended for months or years looks pretty slim for anyone with an engineering background. Whatever. What's it to me if Zuckerberg throws away his firm's money?
USB isn't "universal" after all
When USB was introduced, it was supposed to eliminate the plethora of different interface connectors on PCs, but the growing plethora of USB variants, some of them now incompatible with USB 1.0 and USB 2.0, is taking us back to the "bad old days".
Re: The biggest problem with flying cars
At least, the general public shouldn't be allowed access to flying cars until autopilot technology advances to the point that flights can be made point-to-point without the occupant of the car ever touching a control, except for a power button to switch the system on before takeoff and switch it off after landing.
Re: Instant climate change
We already have something. It's called "rain", it's automatic, and it doesn't cost the taxpayers anything at all!!
Re: More money, please
You beat me to it. Gotta keep that grant money flowing, one way or another!
Right, Don Jefe. The chick looked just like the Stork!!
Re: 100 million years ago!
Not the theists. Just the literalists and those who believe Usher's silly chronology, which he concocted on the flimsiest of evidence and some very big incorrect assumptions. Theists have no problem with the Earth being billions of years old.
Clan of the Cave Bear ...
... is speculative fiction.
You automobile restyling analogy cracked me up.
Re: Stop bashing Vista
I had Vista on a Compaq Presario laptop, a warranty replacement for its immediate predecessor that came with Windows XP. I was forced to take it, although I asked HP to ship it with XP. It was absolutely horrible: It ran slow and HOT; the CPU fan ran at top speed almost constantly, so I "downgraded" the machine to XP and it's been fine. There are good reasons to bash Vista.
Why is Microsoft so determined to get people to stop using Windows XP? As Microsoft operating systems go, it's not all that bad. Heck, I'm still using Windows 98SE on a couple of machines, as well as MS-DOS 6, and I still frequently run DOS programs in the DOSBox emulator on Linux!!
Not so fast ...
I'm not exactly worried enough to sit down and fasten my seat belt.
Re: Oceans absorb heat
Bureaucrats and "scientists" working off government grants absorb money. They'll say and do anything to get more money, and that's a demonstrable fact.
Excuse me, I need to paper the shelves in my kitchen cabinets.
More drivel from the alarmists. Most weather forecasts are 50/50 beyond three days and pretty worthless beyond that, other than to tell me "rain is on the way", something I can do for myself by stepping outside and glancing at the sky. If we can't even predict the weather for more than a few days with reasonable accuracy, why should we believe anything that these charlatans pretending to be "scientists" have to say?
Re: Deflating cash cow
The RIAA didn't have a clever strategy even before the world economy tanked in 2007:
"We keep suing the b*st*rds and they STILL refuse to buy our products!"
Re: "The government would have banned Thomas Edison's light bulb"
No, Mr. Romney is correct. Swan's invention was and remained a laboratory curiosity. Edison's team invented the incandescent light independently, greatly improved on Swan's version, and made it mass-producible and affordable for the public. Moreover, Edison provided a complete system of electric power generation and distribution to power his new lights, which other light inventors did not.
Re: Grow Up
I dispute ALL of it. Read "Merchants of Despair" by Robert Zubrin (New Atlantis Books, 2012) and you'll understand.
Re: Michele Bachmann felt so outraged ... that she introduced the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act
Michele Bachmann isn't the problem. It's Bolshevik kooks like you who keep electing and re-electing Marxist-socialist apparatchiks to office that's the problem.
Incandescents aren't gone
Check out newcandescent.com. All the incandescents you want, now, in your old favourite wattages, for U.S. residents. Buy domestic; don't send your money to China.
Re: Rand Paul
You used the wrong icon when you posted. It should have been the "Troll" — as in "Bolshevik troll".
Re: More "efficient" but...
There's another "out" in the United States. It turns out the ban on 100W incandescent bulbs didn't include specialty bulbs, such as "rough service lamps". Larry Birnbaum, an American entrepreneur, bought up manufacturing equipment as GE and Sylvania were getting out of the incandescent business and is now shipping honest-to-goodness 100W incandescent bulbs for people who want them or need them. Rough service lamps differ from standard lamps in that they have a couple of extra filament supports, making them very slightly more expensive to manufacture. See newcandescent.com.
As an aside, Larry Birnbaum's surname is apropos: "Lichtbirne", literally "light pear", is the German word for "light bulb". Birnbaum means "pear tree". This "pear" tree is bearing a rich crop of light bulbs.
Re: Why one data point is not evidence.
Neither is the so-called "Centennial Light". One can achieve a similar effect with any contemporary incandescent light by running it at a small fraction of its rated voltage so that the filament barely glows.
Re: Grow Up
"... we cannot simply keep wasting irreplaceable fossil fuels on producing unwanted heat just for the sake of a bit of wanted light."
There are alternatives, such as clean, safe nuclear energy from thorium liquid salt reactors , but the environmentalist Luddites don't want that, either. It's been estimated that there's enough thorium in the Earth's crust to meet the needs of mankind for the next 10,000 years.
Sometimes the heat from an incandescent light is wanted, such as providing light AND heat to plants on a frosty night to keep them from freezing or keeping a pump house warm so that one's well doesn't freeze on a cold night. Try doing that with your fluorescent, electroluminescent or LED lamp.
"When ... electricity is rationed ..."
The idea of rationing is part-and-parcel of socialist governments that stifle innovation. Move away from socialism and embrace capitalism and free enterprise if you want abundance.
Not so fast!
The article makes it sound as if you'll be able to go to your local hardware store or home improvement centre next November and buy these things. Even though the article says they're going into production next year, I seriously doubt it. Five years from now is more likely. We've seen lots of pie-in-the-sky technologies touted in magazines in the last 40-50 years that NEVER made it to market, and many more that have taken a decade or more while mass production and reliability concerns were ironed out.
Electroluminescent film technology isn't new. It's been used for night lights and instrument panel backlighting since the the 1960s at least, although those early versions haven't been bright enough to use for general room lighting. They've all suffered from degradation in humid environments. Where they're theoretically supposed to last for 25 years or more, I've had to throw a number of electroluminescent lights away after 5-8 years as they turned black along the edges and the overall output of the lights decreased to the point where they weren't even good enough to use as a night light. It remains to be seen if that problem has been solved in this new, brighter version.
The hum and flicker problem with fluorescent tubes was solved long ago with electronic ballasts that switch at 10 kHz, far too fast for the eye to see and using components that inherently don't vibrate and emit sound. A wide variety of phosphors are available that emit everything from natural daylight to incandescent light color temperatures. Even the latest LED lights can't compete with fluorescents in energy efficiency. I expect fluorescent lighting to be with us for a long time yet.
Finally, to replace fluorescents, these lights would have to put out 50 to 100 times more light per unit area. Fluorescent lighting, although uniform and shadow-free, is surprisingly DIM. I've suffered with eye problems for decades due to having worked in fluorescent-lit office environments, and by actual measurement found their light output to be about 1-2 percent that recommended in the Westinghouse Lighting Handbook for paperwork at a desk. That, more than their color or flicker, will cause eye fatigue and eventual eye damage.
I'll believe it when I see it and after I've had a chance to measure actual light output in a realistic application.
Re: State intervention may well result in de-civilizatory effects
"... if you shove the benefits in their face and they ignore you, then it comes time for more drastic measures."
Nine out of ten totalitarian tyrants like Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Pol Pot, Mao Tse Tung, Kim Jong Il, Idi Amin, Muammar Qaddafi, Ayatollah Khomeini, Fidel Castro, and Hugo Chavez would agree with you wholeheartedly.
Irradiated turkey ... Mmmmm!
Actually, any turkey cooked in an electric oven is "irradiated" — by infrared electromagnetic radiation. If it's reheated in a microwave oven, it's done by even longer wavelength radio waves.
In paper maps and magnetic compasses we trust, along with an accurate crystal clock or wristwatch.
I'm waiting ...
From the article it's clear that electric cars aren't here yet, and won't be here for at least another 20-50 years, if ever. The problem is the lack of electrical power distribution and generation infrastructure. It's one thing to provide electricity to residences for lighting and ventilation, but another thing entirely to charge millions of car batteries. With the opposition to construction of new power generation facilities by the environmentalist Luddites and similar idiots who think electric cars are Nirvana, the necessary infrastructure is continuously receding into the future.
It's simpler than that.
50-year-old internal combustion cars don't even need a bottle of additive. All they need is a rework of their cylinder heads to install hardened valve seats and they're good to go on modern unleaded fuel. My brother makes his living doing that.
Been there, done that.
Burning wood chips in a reactor with restricted oxygen produces carbon monoxide, which is piped to the internal combustion engine. It runs, but it runs poorly with low power. Germans used this approach just after World War II when their economy was devastated, but quickly switched back to gasoline and Diesel oil when they became available again.
I'm waiting for the next generation ...
... computer, expected to be coal-fired.
Typical Obama Lies
Announce big plans while simultaneously sabotaging the means to carry out those plans. When will people learn that every time Obama opens his mouth, a toxic, foul-smelling gas comes out?
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