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New Year's Resolution for 2015

Bender0x7D1 Re:Choose the right diet (214 comments)

The NuSI web site deliberately contains little substantive information. The institute's purpose is to do objective research to determine the truth, and its directors are careful to avoid muddying the waters by publicizing their own views.

Sorry, but this is probably the biggest warning sign there is. If someone isn't willing to publicize their information/data/belief, there is probably a reason. Muddying the waters is the "perfect" excuse for this behavior because there is no way to refute/debate/review/analyze the information/data/belief for yourself.

about three weeks ago

The One Mistake Google Keeps Making

Bender0x7D1 Re:I'll buy a driverless car when... (386 comments)

Yes, but most driving is exactly getting from a to b. Daily commute. Heading to the grocery store. Moving kids to/from school and activities. Even heading to a restaurant or other entertainment. Most of the things you list are "occasional" at best and some, like a flooded road, are almost never encountered by the vast majority of drivers.

No, the driverless car is not a perfect replacement for a skilled and experienced driver. That doesn't mean it isn't useful, or better than 90% of drivers for 90% of their needs.

Here is a link for you: Perfect Solution Fallacy

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Software For Image Organization?

Bender0x7D1 Re:Cataloging write-only archives (259 comments)

Just curious - how often do you take out the albums? I have several albums (military pictures) that might see the light of day every 2-3 years, if that.

about a month ago

Once Vehicles Are Connected To the Internet of Things, Who Guards Your Privacy?

Bender0x7D1 The Cavalry (130 comments)

This is the reason the group I Am The Cavalry was formed.

about 4 months ago

Study: Antarctic Sea-Level Rising Faster Than Global Rate

Bender0x7D1 Re:What will it take? (302 comments)

So if there's less ice, it's because of global warming. But if there's more ice, it's because of global warming.

Yes. There is less ice in some areas due to global warming and more ice in other areas due to global warming.

Think of it this way: Imagine the entire planet heated up by 20C, we wouldn't expect to see any permanent ice outside of Antarctica. (The North Pole might get some seasonal ice, but the much warmer oceans would melt it fairly quickly.) Now, with all of the oceans that much warmer, think how much additional water vapor would make it into the atmosphere. When the additional water vapor ends up over the South Pole, it will be cold enough for it to freeze and fall as snow. As the snow accumulates, it compacts into ice and we end up with a LOT more ice at the South Pole.

So: Less ice everywhere but Antarctica due to global warming, but a lot more ice in Antarctica due to global warming.

(And, yes; I do realize that this example is a vast simplification - and overstatement - I just used it to illustrate the point.)

about 5 months ago

I'd most like to (personally) explore:

Bender0x7D1 Re:Montana (246 comments)

Would you have gone there in a recreational vehicle?

about 5 months ago

Yahoo To Add PGP Encryption For Email

Bender0x7D1 Re:Great (175 comments)

It absolutely does not matter who has your PUBLIC key. The entire point is for the entire world to have it. Now, the PRIVATE key - that you need to keep to yourself, and as secure as possible.

Note: I say "as secure as possible" because, at some point you are trusting an underlying layer to be doing their job correctly - be it browser, email client, PGP application, OS, or that rootkit that got installed.

about 6 months ago

Workplace Surveillance Becoming More Common

Bender0x7D1 A twist on 1984 (195 comments)

Obligatory reference to Manna

about 7 months ago

Lessig Launches a Super PAC To End All Super PACs

Bender0x7D1 Re:What is the point? (465 comments)

I don't think Hillary is going to win for one reason - she looks too old. Note that I didn't say she IS too old, just that she looks too old. As long as Republicans put forward someone 20 years younger, that isn't a crazy person (which may be difficult) she doesn't have a chance. This is also going to be a problem for her in the Democratic primaries.

Ageism - it's real.

about 9 months ago

IPCC's "Darkest Yet" Climate Report Warns of Food, Water Shortages

Bender0x7D1 Re:How do food shortages make sense for warmer cli (703 comments)

Your error is in assuming a simple, isolated system and ignoring the complexity of dealing with the horribly analog world of biology.

In general, there are two considerations for when, and how much, plants grow. The first is the amount of sunlight they receive (hours per day) and the second is the number of "degree days". Since duration of sunlight isn't going to change (at a certain latitude), let's focus on "degree days" first.

A "degree day" is based on the temperature of the day, so the higher the temperature - the higher the value. However, there are bounds for this. For example, corn needs at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but not more than 86 degrees Fahrenheit. i.e. - Below 50 means "0 degree days" and 92 will be the same number of degree days as if it were 86.

The problem comes in when it is far too warm which, for corn, comes in around 86 degrees. The plant hasn't adapted for growing in temperatures much higher, and will shut down growth; much higher temperatures will even cause damage to the plant. Here is a human analogy - a human might be able to run really fast and really far but, if it is 115 degrees outside, that isn't going to happen and any activity may result in heat stroke. A plant will be stressed in this kind of heat and will actually be damaged. In this way, too much heat will cause plants to grow less, and we will have lower yields.

However, since plants also depend on certain amount of sunlight, it isn't a simple matter of moving things northward (or southward in the Southern Hemisphere) to match temperature. All of the plants are also expecting a certain duration of sunlight. This isn't constant with latitude, so moving the plants north will reduce yield. (And more sunlight doesn't mean higher yield - plants also do things at night like release water vapor.) This means that we will have to reengineer our crops to match new conditions - which will take decades. (And crop genetics isn't a simple matter - companies spend billions on trying to make better species.) So, until we do that, we will have lower yields.

Also, many plant diseases like the heat (or like that they don't freeze to death in the winter - see Asian Soybean Rust ranges) - so they will enjoy millions of square miles of new territory - increasing the cost of production (herbicides and pesticides) and, since bugs and molds eat the plants, will give us lower yields.

The other problem is related to economics and infrastructure. Farmers have certain equipment to plant and harvest the crops native to their area. Plus, their fields have been designed for those certain crops. For example, they may be terraced in a certain way or be designed with a certain level of drainage based on existing weather patterns (temperature and rainfall). Renovating millions of square miles of farmland is going to be expensive and ridiculously time consuming and until it is modified to match new, prevailing weather patterns, will contribute to lower yields.

The other side to the economic coin is that decisions are not going to be made on a 50-100 year strategy. To operate next year, a farm needs to turn a profit this year. So, they aren't going to completely retool if yields go down 10% - it would make no sense. The capital costs would dwarf any profit from the new crops being put in. Therefore, they will operate at lower capacity and accept a lower profit - since it is still a profit. Sure, we will get changes when push comes to shove, but that will take decades as climate change forces them to change. Until that point - lower yield.

Moral of the story, we are looking at decades of lower yields as climate change really kicks in.

about 10 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Trust Bitcoin?

Bender0x7D1 Re:As Frontalot says (631 comments)

But that's the problem - Bitcoin isn't "real" money. If it were, there would be a huge number of regulations to follow, sinking it as an anonymous currency. However, if it isn't "real" currency, thefts and/or fraud will not be investigated by law enforcement agencies. So, pick what you want: An anonymous currency with no support of law enforcement, or a "real" currency where regulations such as requiring a photo ID to open an account apply.

about a year ago

Fire Destroys Iron Mountain Data Warehouse, Argentina's Bank Records Lost

Bender0x7D1 Re:Multi-tiered backup strategy (463 comments)

I don't see why archival storage should be much different. You should have at least two copies of everything in different locations, on-site and off-site. Basically, if you're shoving archival data in a third-party facility like this, you have no backups of your archives...

I'm guessing they only keep a single copy of 13-year-old data because the cost/perceived value equation says they don't need multiple copies. I mean, how often does someone pull up detailed business data that hadn't been used in that long? (Summaries and stats, sure. But the detailed records themselves? Practically never.)

about a year ago

AI Reality Check In Online Dating

Bender0x7D1 Re:Surprised people still use... (192 comments)

I've used online dating sites, and found them quite effective. My girlfriend of over 2 years and I met on an online site. A close friend of mine met his wife on an online site. So, they do actually work.

I remember when I gave that idea a go and found I generally sent out tons of emails but rarely got any responses.

This probably means your emails sucked. Did you send a one-sentence email? Something like: "I saw your profile and you seemed interesting so I thought I would say hi." Where was your effort? If you want to meet someone, you need to demonstrate you are interested. Did you point out your similarities, common interests or things you both enjoy? You need to show that you aren't just some random guy spamming a hundred girls to see what will work. Does she have a cat or a dog? Even if you don't have one, you can mention that you used to, or you've wanted one, or ask how much the darn thing sheds. Just something showing it's personalized and, most importantly that you read her profile.

While I have met people online, I've definitely found my chances are significantly higher in person, face to face.

Again, that's probably because your emails sucked. There is no tone of voice, no body language or dimension to an email, so you have to do it all with words. This isn't easy, and a lot of people suck at it because they've never had any practice. However, most people (although not all) have a lot of practice interacting with people in real life - even if it is just to order something from Starbucks - making them better at communicating in real life than in an email.

If I were to become single again, I would be back online right away. It's a fast way to find people who are interested in similar things, and to meet a lot of people that you wouldn't in your regular routine. (When was the last time you went to a coffee shop on the other side of town just to see if you could meet someone new?)

about a year ago

The First 'Practical' Jetpack May Be On Sale In Two Years

Bender0x7D1 Re:What happens when it quits? (127 comments)

That's why it has a rocket deployed parachute.

about a year and a half ago

Medical Costs Bankrupt Patients; It's the Computer's Fault

Bender0x7D1 Re:Just curious (637 comments)

His authority as the head of the Executive branch.

He is responsible for enforcing the law. (Or not.) If Congress objects, they can impeach him. However, within his bailiwick, he is the supreme authority.

It's how the checks and balances of the three branches of government work. None is beholden to the others, but they can be stopped, blocked or removed by the others.

about a year and a half ago

Electrical Engineering Labor Pool Shrinking

Bender0x7D1 Re:More proof there is a STEM shortage! (401 comments)

And while tuition is going up, technology has driven the prices of course materials down significantly from the old days, when you were stuck with the single College bookstore selling at full price.

You aren't paying enough attention to textbook prices - or tuition. The rapid increase of tuition is far more than a full set of books would cost. Even a bad semester would be less than $1k of books, and tuition is going up by double digit percentages every year. In addition, while you can get a deal on some textbooks, the publishers are out to maximize their profits and spin new editions, or make sure there are shortages of old editions to offset the difference. Plus, sending free copies of the new editions to any professor who uses them in their class is a nice way to make sure used books are a dead end.

about a year and a half ago

Med Students Unaware of Their Bias Against Obese Patients

Bender0x7D1 Re:Fat Hatred (446 comments)

Except obesity also reduces life expectancy by 6-7 years. link

Therefore, you get 6-7 years of productivity from healthy people, which is worth far more than$31k. Plus, you probably get more productivity for all the other years as well. (Obese people have higher rates of absenteeism and disability claims. link)

about a year and a half ago

A Computer-based Smart Rifle With Incredible Accuracy, Now On Sale

Bender0x7D1 Re:Cancel? (551 comments)

But the big problem that the summery overlooks is that its just about as hard to put a laser range finder on a target as it is to put a bullet on target.

Not really. With a laser range finder you don't have to worry about wind. You don't have to worry about range (by definition). You don't have to worry about the smooth trigger pull since laser range finders don't usually have a multiple pounds of pressure activation button. You also don't have to worry about properly absorbing the recoil to avoid jerking the round off target.

about a year and a half ago

Why Working Remotely Needs To Make a Comeback

Bender0x7D1 If you can work remotely... (455 comments)

If you can do your work from home, it's probable that someone else can do the work from the other side of the planet. For less. So be careful what you wish for.

about 2 years ago



Dragon Age DRM Servers Down

Bender0x7D1 Bender0x7D1 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Bender0x7D1 (536254) writes "It seems BioWare is having server issues, leaving them unable to authorize downloadable content to their Dragon Age players. According to their forum players have been unable to access their content since Friday, and it may not be resolved for another day. Players are understandably upset about the issue, but are even more upset that there is no official comment by BioWare forcing them to rely on other players for information."
Link to Original Source

Hacking American Idol

Bender0x7D1 Bender0x7D1 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Bender0x7D1 (536254) writes "Since we have come to another season of voting for the next American Idol, I was trying to come up with ways to hack the voting. Some methods would be somewhat simple — someone managing a call center, corporate phone system, or even a class A network could arrange for hundreds of thousands of votes for one of the contestants. However, since these votes would come from a single location, or corporate entity, it would be relatively easy for Fox to detect this anomaly, and discard the votes. Another idea would be for an online community to select their favorite Idol using an internal poll and then have the entire community vote for that person. This would be similar to a small political party being part of a coalition government — they are too small to matter in the overall election, but can still determine which party gets into power. The question I have is: Are there any online communities large enough to affect the outcome of the voting and with enough solidarity to vote as a single group?"

Wii Top Console But For How Long?

Bender0x7D1 Bender0x7D1 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Bender0x7D1 writes "According to VG Chartz, total worldwide sales of the Nintendo Wii have surpassed those of of the XBox 360, and both consoles have been dramatically outselling the PS3. However, the next few months will see the release of many highly anticipated games, including Halo 3, (which has over 1 million preorders, and Grand Theft Auto IV. In addition, the 360 has recently undergone a price drop, and analysts predict a PS3 price drop for the holidays. With Wii shortages projected to last throughout the holidays, the question is: Will the Wii manage to stay on top despite the new games and price cuts?"

Wii Becomes Leading Console

Bender0x7D1 Bender0x7D1 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Bender0x7D1 (536254) writes "According to VG Chartz, total worldwide sales of the Nintendo Wii have surpassed those of of the XBox 360. It has been a long time since Nintendo held the lead in console sales and Sony, the sales leader of the previous generation, is lagging far behind in this current generation. The question is: Does the Wii have the staying power to keep outselling the competition, or will upcoming games like Halo 3 and GTA IV give the advantage to Microsoft and Sony?"

Bender0x7D1 Bender0x7D1 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Bender0x7D1 writes "CNN is running a story on how webcams are replacing exam proctors for courses that students are taking online. This is in response to the need to keep students from cheating but not wanting the inconvenience of having them go to a testing center. It does have some interesting features to help detect cheating, such as a using a reflective ball to get a 360-degreee image capture and some software that flags suspicious behavior. According to the article: "When the exam begins, the device records audio and video. Software detects significant noises and motions and flags them in the recording. An instructor can go back and watch only the portions flagged by the software to see if anything untoward is going on — a student making a phone call, leaving the room — and if there is a sudden surge in performance afterward." The article also admits that it isn't a perfect system, but should go a long way to keeping things even between traditional and online students."
Link to Original Source

Bender0x7D1 Bender0x7D1 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Bender0x7D1 writes "While Quake players have known this for over a decade, the average person is finding out that nailguns can really do some damage. CNN.com has the story that injuries from nailguns are up 200% since 1991 and says "weekend warriors" are to blame. Does this mean it is time for the do-it-yourself crowd to spend more time playing video games? Does it hint that in the future every home will have a BFG10K?"


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