88 posts • joined Monday 29th January 2007 05:38 GMT
And the drinkers are wrong about this?
And by what standard have these psychologist made the judgment that staying up later, better socialising, more/better sex is not worth the downside? Why is "fights" listed as a downside? Some people *like* to fight. Why is it that it's a terrible thing that "work" and "study" are affected? As if the most important thing in the world was labouring for the complex.
I hope that it's not the psychologists themselves who are making the value judgments. I suspect not. This study comes to us through a series of filters.
Soaking the mining companies for money is a great idea anyway. If they can afford a load of TV ads complaining about the tax, they can afford the tax itself. These mostly foreign-owned companies can bloody beg for permission to strip out our minerals and flog them to the chinese, as far as I care. You really think they'll just pack up and go home if there's a tax hike? a) They won't, and b) so what if they do? The minerals will stay there, and become more and more valuable as time goes by.
People have this odd idea that money taken as taxes simply vanishes. It doesn't - it goes pretty much straight back into the economy, and anyone who thinks that government spending doesn't count as part of the economy is an idiot.
Likewise, people who think that governments "waste" money have no idea what a circus private enterprise tends to be. At least governments don't pay 50-million-dollar bonuses to people who fail at their jobs.
Damn libertarians. Idiots.
There's definitely a link between computation and energy consumption - it takes a certain amount of energy to "know" a bit of information at a given temperature. Can quantum machines bypass this limit?
Or, as with the univere's speed limit, does Mother Nature always have a gotcha no matter how clever you try to be?
A prime number has only one *prime* factor - itself. 1 does not count as a prime number, because it would bugger up unique prime factorisation.
Factoring a large number into primes may or may not be difficult.
What is difficult is factoring a composite number whose factors are all large primes. Even if there's only two of 'em.
"He said that solar power devices used to generate hydrogen by electrolysis would give you 20 times as many joules per acre."
Surely he meant Watts per acre? And shouldn't it be Watts per Hectare, or foot-pounds per acre? Horsepower per acre? Anyone?
Rings a bell
"How my vegan children and I will laugh from our intellectually and compassionately superior platform as he dies a slow death as his colon struggles to expurge his over burdoned diet of meat and dairy products"
Interesting that this compassionately superior individual will laugh as someone dies a painful death. I (and anyone else who runs an anti-christian webside) get similar mail from compassionate and concerned christians, gloating about my enevitable eternal torment.
Religious folk all got the same mnindset, regardless of the details of what they happen to be religious about.
I reckon my Piaggio gets better milage - about 3l/100k at the moment.
And hydrogen fuel is a joke, greenhouse-wise. It just moves the combustion from a few metres from the wheels to a power station 100s of ks away, with transmission losses etc etc.
Nuclear Fusion is humanity's only hope. Without it, this current time will be the never-to-be-repeated golden age. In a couple of centuries, anything made of plastic will be a priceless antique.
I, for one,
I, for one, welcome our new symbiotically ephemeralised overlords.
Whenever I meet a "Canadian", I always exclaim "Wow, a Canadian! So you can speak french?"
Sorts out the fakes, quick smart.
When abroad, never eat meat unless it is *piping* hot. Grilled rat from a street vendor is safer than goop in the hot food bar at the hotel, that has been sitting at incubation temerature for hours.
And I'm sure that grain-fed rat is delicious.
The AU was tremendously important back before we knew the size of the solar system in absolute units. A planet's orbital period is a function of distance. By comparing the orbital period of a body with an earth year, we know the distance form the sun in AU, without actually knowing that distance - if that makes sense.
I worked out a couple of years back that it's pointless to pay twice as much for an extra 10% clock speed. The thing slowing dow your computing experience these days is bells and whistles in the software. Eclipse is a big offender, here.
The democratic party is not a "private institutiuon" - it is a registered political party. Heck - over here in Oz, elections in labour unions are run and regulated by the Australian Electoral Commission.
One rule for me, another for everone else
"I also remain firmly against compulsion or taxation as a method for changing behaviour; it's far more effective to make people want to do something"
By "people" I'm sure you mean nice middle-class people like yourself, and would never dream of applying that sort of silliness to the kind of people who break into your house and twock your xbox.
The point is: some kinds of behaviour are beneficial for the person that does them, but bad for everyone if everyone does them. For instance: driving SUVs. Regulatory laws exist in order to make society nicer by, shall we say, negatively incentivizing these types of behaviour.
Compulsion and taxations are excellent ways of changing behaviour, especially in relation to things that most agree are good things to change. They take away the "why should I not X when everyone else is doing it anyway?" factor
It can be done
One could easily design a system to be both anonymous and secure, using cryptographic certificates.
At the polling place you pick up a ballot, marked with a unique serial number that is signed by the body that prints the ballots.
You take this to an electoral official, who checks your id. They generate a document saying that you (elector X) picked up ballot form Y, and a random number Z. This document is then SHA hashed - we will call this "the hash". They store electronically a statement saying that You picked up a balot, the hashed code above, and this is signed by their code.
On the balot is then printed a barcode containing a message signed by the electoral official, indicating that some properly identified person was granted possession of the ballot. This mesage includes the hash. On the balot is also printed the random number that was included in the hash, but this is not done in a machine-readable way.
You then take this bit of paper to machine A, where you make your vote. Machine A prints on your balot paper a barcode ecapsulating your vote, the hash, and a signature by machine a. It also prints a human-readable vote mark.
You scrutinise this bit of paper. If your vote is recorded correctly, you take it to machine B. Machine B reads the barcode put there by machine A, checks the signature, asks you to confirm your vote, and if you agree, records the vote and prits on your ballot it's own signed certification that the vote was recorded. Machine B is run by an electoral official who is responsible for asking each person "does this balot show your vote". The machine reads the vote, shows the official the barcode that was read, and the official can check that the barcode read matches the barcode on the form.
OK. The electoral commision knows that you were issued with a proper ballot by a known official, but not which one it was. It also knows that some particular vote was recorded on each ballot, but not by whom, and that a known official witnessed that an elecor stated that the ballot contained their vote.
The ballot contains printed on it both facts, along with a random number.
You can then go to the website of the electoral commission, and check that the vote recorded for your ballot paper (which you have kept) is indeed the vote you put in.
If it isn't then it's possible to either determine that your vote has been tampered with or lost, or that you are lying.
Oil and control of supply
Youy don't need to control supply when you can buy as much as you wish by printing money. The problem with Saddam and now Iran is their plans to sell their oil in euro. The Iranian oil bourse opens this week, I belive.
So what else is new?
Yes, most people are pretty bloody stupid. This has always been the case. If you are reasonably bright, sometimes it's had to really grasp just how bloody stupid most people really are, but it's an insight we all come to eventually.
It's locic, innit?
"They don't know where it will land. Therefore it will either end up in water or on land. "
Not nessesarily. It could wind up on an ice shelf, or in a volcano. A nice symmetry there - one is water that is solid, and the other is land that is liquid.
The very phrase "Intelectual Property" is a magnificent example of propaganda. It begs the question without seeming to. Everyone who uses this now ubiquitous phrase tacily admits that ideas are *things* - like my shoes, or my house - that are rightfully someone's property. It's impossible to argue to argue that no-one has a right to sue other people for using a blinking cursor in their app without some idiot going "but IP is *property* and using someone else's property without permission is wrong". The question of whether or not the idea of using a blinking cursor *can* be "property" is precisely the point at issue.
So, good on these people for delegitimising these particular IP squatters (see what I mean?), but it's not the real problem.
"One plant would produce 2 Terawatt Hours of electricity every year"
Terawatt-hours? What the heck is wrong with petajoules? Why multiply everything by 3.6?
If you covered 90% of the sahara with solar collectors, it would alter the climate of the region. Potentially, there would be no sandstorms anymore.
What the world needs
What the world needs is some process that uses solar power to convert CO2 and water into oxygen and energy-dense, transportable hydrocarbons, that works way better than photosynthesis.Should be simple enough, as we are not burdened with the millions of years of trial-and-error design that the plants are.
My dream is to cover the entire australian desert with panels producing alchohol fom sunlight, air, andwater. What we don't drink, we can ship to asia. We'd all live like sheiks forever.
The main engineering challenge is desalinating massive amounts of sewater and pumping it into the desert.
And my imaginary alcohol-producing panels themselves.
The data could easily have been worth that much. How many hours of work? How many people working? How much per hour?
It stacks up pretty quickly.
For all you know
"If you haven't read it, shut up, you don't have a clue what you're talking about. For all you know, it could be incredibly offensive. "
Beaten to it again. For all we know, it really is a not-so-subtle canning of the building industry in general, and builders in particular.
And as for "no-one is forcing you to read it", if you are a 5-year-old in a school, someone most certainly is. Need I point out to all the libertarians and right wingers that teachers in state schools are employees of the government and agents of the state? People without means have no option but to send their children along to be indoctrinated, like it or not. So yes, I'd rather have them err on the side of caution.
The big one
Commercial farmin uses enormous amounts of syntheic fetilizer. Synthetic fertilizer is made from oil.
It's that simple. When the oil runs out, the "green revolution" will be over. Biofuels are the least of our worries. There will not be enough food.
Ditto. DON'T WORK FOR FREE. It's that simple. One of the nice things about being a contractor is precisely that no-one asks you to work for free. As to those silly enough to take a permanent posistion with a pay rate for a 37.5 hr week who discover that 8 and 9 hour days are expected of them - down tools.
This industry badly needs a union - particularly to protect the young-uns from these kind of abuses, because young-uns often are willing to work excess hours for free out of sheer enthusiasm. Same goes for a few other industries where people are often willing to work for the love of the job.
Electric power plants may be more efficient than ice, but what about the electric power plant -> transmission line -> battery -> electric motor ?
OTOH, yes, it's "always been" 40 years, and then we found more of the black goo, but 40 years ago we had not already scrutinised every inch of the earth's surface. Sure, there's proably more under the deeper oceans. But the problem isn't that the oil will run out, the problem is that it will become increasingly uneconomic to extract.
Equality before the law
"Nicked and torched someone's £25,000 car? Fine works out at £25K"
Whatever hapenned to equality before the law? Torch a poor man's car, you get a 3k fine. Torch a rich man's car, and your life is over. The penalty should be same, and if people insist on driving expensive vanitymobiles on public roads, then the fine for accidental parking dings should be no different to the fine for dinging average family transport.
As for thugs in schools - regrettably, schools serve two purposes, and one of them is keeping children off the streets and out from underfoot of the adult poulation. This means that decent normal people being educated in preparation for a useful life must, during those few years, spend time with young criminals. The law will not protect you from being criminally preyed upon by your peers when you are a teenager.
Chuck the criminals into a snakepit.
Bad memories of the '90s here in Canberra, when everyone was writing their own MS Access databases. Yes, it's so much easier and quicker for a user to hack something up in access or excel ... until you find that your organisation has come to utterly depend on some hunk of cruft.
It is as true as it ever was: if something's worth doing, it's worth doing well.
Isn't this old news? Haven't we been puting DNA for human insulin into microbes for years?
"If the soul has left (or was never there) is it immoral?"
We'll have none of tha cartesian dualism around here, thankyou. Tell me: if a soul is some sort of immaterial substance (ignoring the blatant oxymoron for a moment) that "leaves" the body at death, how is it that our material senses can make information evident to this "soul"? How is it that ingestion of alcohol can affect one's judgment?
If a blastocyst has a "soul", how come I don't remember being an amorphous ball of cells? For that matter - if a person develops Alzheimers, do they have a lousy memory when they get to heaven? Or does God kind of do a reverse edit? If so - are the memories really theirs?
Maybe Paris knows the answer to these conundrums.
My Next Mac
My next Mac will not be one of these. It will be a PowerMac with dual quad-cores and a truckload of memory. Laptops be damned. I got a 12" powerbook with a PPC and 3/4s of a gig. Run MySql, two instances of glassfish (DEV and PROD), The GIMP, and eclipse enteprise and the damn thing starts grinding to a halt. "Ewww! I'm running out of memory! Watch the beach ball while I swap memory for a minute!". Weak as piss.
"And as for black holes, I thought that NOTHING, not even LIGHT, could escape a black hole. Did science change when I wasn't looking? "
Yes, it did. A chap named Stephen Hawking was reponsible.
Worked out the site vulreability
My guess at the site vilnerability is that these "mom-and-pop" websites are copy-and-pasting dodgy example code from somewhere.
An odd idea of morality
"I don't see being assaulted as I'm working as a press photographer as an acceptable thing"
IOW: "But it's my job!". So let's see: any sort of behaviour (harassing people in public, chasing people through tunnels, chopping down pristine old-growth forests, harpooning whales, persuading people to accept dodgy home loans) is ok as long as someone is paying you to do it.
A 14-year-old is a child. End of story.
However - no sense blaming the designers of the system for "they should have known" not to build public transport a child can hack. 20 years ago, who was to know that kids would be able to hack (what was then) high-tech semiconductor control systems?
"It's putting the message out that this is a fun thing to do, which is not the case"
For heaven's sake. If you are going to preach, you mustn't blow your credibility by telling obvious lies. Of course it's fun! Reckless speeding is fun. Train surfing is fun. Unprotected sex is fun, too. We refrain from these things in spite of that.
So, Java is a bad teaching language, but C++ is ok? Or Ada?
If the kiddies are learning bad programming with a lack of rigor, meybe they ought to teach good, rigorous programming. Java is a perfectly fine language for this purpose. If their courses are too narrowly focused on web apps, maybe they ought to change the content of their courses, what they themmselves designed and are teaching. If you get my drift.
The problem is not with java. It is with sausage-factory "higher education" which is nothing but vocational training. Take their money, teach 'em just enough so they can pursue a career, and to hell with learning.
Yes, it all comes down to money, and to the way universities really work these days.
IMO: programming-for-money ought to be taught in technical colleges. It is a trade - you are building something.
Still got the scars
During the drought(s), they come down out of the hills and are an absolute menace on the streets. They will actually leap in front of moving vehicles to get away from them (!). I belive deer in the US do the same thing - the normal animal "pursuit avoidance" algothim being unsuitable for when a car is following you on a street.
Hit one on my scooter this October (Piaggio Fly 125). Roo was fine. I slid out and wound up with a broken ulna. I have a plate in it now, and the wrist is still not right - loss of mobility and nerve damage affecting sensation in the the 2nd finger.
personally, I see nothing whatever inhumane about a short, sharp blow to the back of the joey's head by swinging it against the towbar - provided you get it right first time. Maybe the ACT govt should run courses. Sign me up!
get a lawyer
"My bank allowed a large amount of money to be taken from my account .. a week after I'd given them (in person) a written request to cancel... the bank said they hadn't had my request ... and that they wouldn't do anything about it ... the company, they refused to refund me ... the bank then charged me lots of money for being overdrawn and kept me in the red for several months afterwards by continuing to charge me for being overdrawn."
Etc etc etc. Sounds like this advice is too late for you, but here it is: GET A LAWYER. Don't get given the runaround - threaten to drag the bastards into court. It's the only thing they understand.
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