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Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

Brickwall Re:Behind the curve (1040 comments)

How does going from $10 to $15 become a "5% increase in costs"? Sounds like 33% to me. And since many companies operate on a net margin of less than 5%, a 5% rise in wage costs (i.e. going from $10 to $10.50) would, ceterus paribus, mean their profits would be wiped out.

about 7 months ago
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Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

Brickwall Re:Behind the curve (1040 comments)

Absolutely agree! WalMart's biggest advantages are tremendous internal logistics and huge buying power (forces suppliers to cut costs and prices if they want to do business with the WalMartians). But they fall down on service and quality - I bought some pedestrian things there, like underwear and socks, and their George brand doesn't fit me at all. I don't hate Walmart like some seem to; there are some things it sells that are a good product at a good price. I don't make it a habit of shopping there, though.

about 7 months ago
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Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

Brickwall Re:Pffft (723 comments)

In Soviet Russia, snow falls on you! ... er, no, that's not it.. In Soviet Russia, you fall on snow! .. no, that's not it either.. In Soviet Russia, Eric Snowden falls on you! .. there, got it!

about a year ago
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Australian Team Working On Engines Without Piston Rings

Brickwall Re:Nice idea but... (368 comments)

It's in the same general range as all primarily petroleum based fuels which are liquid at room temperature and atmospheric pressure

Er, wasn't that the OP's point? No current battery, flywheel, natural gas, etc. provides the energy density of liquid petroleum, regardless of the refinery technique. People use oil for transportation because it's easy to transport and handle (compared to, say, LOX), and the fuel weight to payload ratio is very small. We're not stupid, as they said in Trainspotting...

about a year ago
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New Views of Supernova 1987A Reveal Giant Dust Factory

Brickwall Re:Friggin' supernovas AGAIN. (39 comments)

Mellow out, man. All you need is a really, really big Roomba..

about a year ago
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The Golden Gate Barrage: New Ideas To Counter Sea Level Rise

Brickwall Re:Or... (341 comments)

Or maybe put the brainpower into exposing the global warming farce. So far.. ZERO of their predictions have come true, they have been found guilty of egregious perversions of the scientific method (cherry picking data, transforming data to fit their models, etc.), perversion of the peer review process, and of course, just making stuff up (Himilayan glaciers, anyone?). Remember the melting Arctic sea ice and all the poor drowning polar bears? This year, a whole bunch of boats that thought they were going to cruise through open sea are now caught in the ice in AUGUST. Arctic ice block Whenever I see the line "3,000 scientists agree with the IPCC report", I start ROFL. More than half of them have no training in metereology - they were anthropologists, sociologists, etc., who haven't done arithmetic, let alone math, since grade 10. David Suzuki, who is making millions of dollars a year from this nonsense, made his bones studying the mating habits of FRUITFLIES. Clearly, that makes him an expert on climate. (I note that the hypocrite has 3 homes, and insists on limousines for his paid appearances, which he naturally jets to.) Global warming folk can get back to me once they have a model whose predictions for the future, as opposed to the past, come close to matching what is measured.

about a year ago
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Wrong Fuel Chokes Presidential Limo

Brickwall Re:Um... (612 comments)

As any Canadian knows, you can get most cars out of the snow if they have a manual tranny. Automatics just spin the wheels. But the real reason automatics became popular was commuting. Standards are fine for driving in the country or on the highway - on a twisty, hilly road, the standard can actually be more fun. But sitting in traffic jams, constantly playing with the clutch vs. just easing your foot off the brake becomes wearing when you have to do it for an hour or so.

about a year ago
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Digging Into the Legal Status of 3-D Printed Guns

Brickwall Re:Why does 3d printing matter (404 comments)

You should also realize that the right's gun fetish clouds their judgement at the expense of common-sense gun regulations

Oh, balderdash. I'm 56, never owned a gun, and haven't held one since I was 16 (target shooting with a .22). But when I see/hear/read about DHS/ATF/IRS buying billions of rounds of hollow-point ammo, guns, Kevlar suits, explosion resistant vehicles, etc., when I read about the increased use of drones for surveillance AND the floating of the idea of armed drones, I begin to wonder if the government is more concerned with the perpetuation of the government than it is the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of the citizens who nominally control it. Since the feds have pretty much thrown away the constitution in recent years (Bush/Obama both - I'm not on either one's side), and have harassed the public with salt/soda/fat bans (either real or proposed), etc., the list of grievances for the average private sector American is getting about as long as the list in the original Declaration of Independence.

You can call them any derogatory term you like, but I think people who are stockpiling guns and ammo privately are just trying to protect themselves against an on-rushing police state. And the amorphous left wants to disarm them because those busybodies realize that their dream of controlling every aspect of our lives, from the food we eat, the soda we drink, the lessons we learn, the jobs we hold, to how much of our own money and property we're allowed to keep is made much tougher by having an armed populace.

about a year ago
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Digging Into the Legal Status of 3-D Printed Guns

Brickwall Re:Why does 3d printing matter (404 comments)

Succeeded in their effort to ban large sodas

Are you unaware the ban was declared unlawful by a judge?

about a year ago
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Digging Into the Legal Status of 3-D Printed Guns

Brickwall Re:Why does 3d printing matter (404 comments)

The Bernank prints $85 billion per month. There's lotas money to pay DHS/ATF/IRS thugs (and equip them with bullets, automatic weapons, Kevlar, and explosion resistant vehicles).

about a year ago
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30 Years of the Apple Lisa and the Apple IIe

Brickwall Lisa (171 comments)

I worked on an Apple Lisa in Ottawa just after it was introduced. Like a lot of Jobs' ideas, it was a good concept that needed better, faster CPU's and denser, cheaper RAM. Think of the Newton - what is the iPhone but the Newton repackaged into a smaller form factor with superior hardware and telecoms added? I still think, if it hadn't been for Jobs and the whole Lisa/Mac lineage, I'd still be staring at c:>

about 2 years ago
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Hiding Secret Messages In Skype Silences

Brickwall Obviously... (79 comments)

"A group of researchers from the Institute of Telecommunications of the Warsaw University of Technology have devised a way to send and receive messages hidden in the data packets

Using Reverse Polish Encryption, no doubt.

about 2 years ago
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Why Girls Do Better At School

Brickwall Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (690 comments)

I had the good fortune to go to a mixed jr. high, and then an all-boys high school. The difference between the two, as far as being male is concerned, was staggering. The slightest cutting up, disruption, etc. at the jr. high was followed by a trip to the principal's office, a path I trod many a time. Naturally brilliant, I was bored to tears most of the time because of the dullness of my fellow students, and my outbursts were a way of keeping my sanity. While I got excellent marks, I was still branded a troublemaker.

In my last year of jr. high, my father challenged me to write the scholarship exams to a prestigious boys' school. I won one. And so I left a co-ed school for a male one. The atmosphere was completely different; moments of rowdiness would be tolerated by the master (there were no female teachers), but he would then instruct us to settle down, and the class would continue. Unlike the 45 minute periods at jr. high, our periods were only 35 minutes. The school realized that teenage boys have to get up and move frequently, which is why we still had recess each morning - unheard of at the public high schools. We also had an hour for lunch, giving us time to play ball hockey or basketball or touch football, and burn off some energy so that we could sit through the afternoon.

Wolfing down your lunch in ten minutes, playing 50 minutes of basketball with all the intensity teenage boys can muster, and then racing to class, tieing your tie with one hand whilst carrying your books in the other - it was thrilling. We would, literally, stampede through the halls in a way that wouldn't have been tolerated at public school. We were FREE to be BOYS, and I would not give up the memory of those days for anything.

With no girls to show off for, we competed at everything - academics, sports, arts, clubs - without fear of being labelled, for example, a 'browner' or a 'jock'. Many of us were a bit of both. The school encouraged you to be an "all-rounder", and while classes ended at 3:15, you were expected to participate in some extra-curricular activity until 4:30 or so. My friends at public high school envied that; most of their teachers were out the parking lot 10 minutes after the last bell.

Teenage boys, adjusting to the suddenly changed levels of testerone in their bodies, don't fit well into the female-dominated "sit still and be quiet" mode prevalent in the co-ed school. They need space and more importantly, time to move and burn off some of that raging energy. Women don't understand that at all, which is why so many bright young boys are being mis-diagnosed with ADHD/ADD/whatever, and being put on drugs because they don't fit into women's world view.

I had two beautiful and bright daughters, who chose public school. Had I had a son, though, I would have pushed him for all I was worth to go the school. I know he would have been treated like a young man there, with the understanding of a young man's particular needs, and not have been pushed into a feminist/schoolmarm charicature of what a boy should be.

about 2 years ago
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US Firms Race Fiscal Cliff To Install Wind Turbines

Brickwall Re:Rent seeking (98 comments)

Your figures are close, but according to Ontario's ISEO, lowest hourly demand was just over 11MWh in November. Since our hydro capacity is about 1/3 of our nukes, that gives us about 15 MW of capacity before we get into fossils vs renewables.. You're right about coal - it's down to about 2%. But natural gas is cheap; its price right now is about 10% of what it was in 2007. It burns cleaner than coal or oil, and we have oceans of it in Western Canada. So of course the Liberals cancelled two gas plants just before the election to save their sorry hides. That's what I can't stand about McGuinty; he makes grandstanding gestures that will cost all Ontarians billions. He has run our debt up to about $240 billion; California, with three times as many people, has a debt of $620 billion, and many people think it's a basket case. We're proportionately worse off, and we're going to pay for it with higher taxes and poorer services over the two decades. Wasting billions on this foolish renewable scheme was just irresponsible.

about 2 years ago
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US Firms Race Fiscal Cliff To Install Wind Turbines

Brickwall Re:Rent seeking (98 comments)

Absolutely! Here in Ontario, our moronic provincial gov't guaranteed 20 year contracts to the wind and solar companies at $0.80/kWh. Meanwhile, our nuclear reactors are generating power at $.03/kWh. And because they guaranteed to buy all the wind power that's produced, they end up having to sell it at a big loss. Brilliant! What's worse is the wind turbines, perhaps because Ontario is in the centre of the continent, generate most of their power during the shoulder periods of power demand. At least solar has the benefit of producing the most power on hot sunny days, when air conditioning demand is high. What's the old saying? "First, God created idiots. That was for practice. Then he created politicians."

about 2 years ago
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Windows 8: a 'Christmas Gift For Someone You Hate'

Brickwall A candidate (740 comments)

Microsoft is no stranger to criticism these days

Regardless of what anyone thinks of MS products, (and I use Win7 everyday, and think it's perfectly fine), my candidate for understatement of the decade.

about 2 years ago
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Koch Bros Study Finds Global Warming Is Real And Man-Made

Brickwall And another study immediately contradicts Muller (769 comments)

Contrary to Muller's Damascene conversion, Antony Watt and pals have shown that the majority of NOAA sites in the US are poorly sited (i.e. too close to heat sources and sinks) and that, for some bizarre reason, the NOAA adjusts the results of their best sites upward to match the temps seen from their worst sites. As a result, according to Watt, they overstate temperature rise by about 0.15 deg C/decade.

NOAA overstates warming: study

more than 2 years ago
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Political Science Prof Asks: Is Algebra Necessary?

Brickwall Re:Political Science Professor (1010 comments)

I don't know what you think you've uncovered here.

Here's a clue: a "fairing" is a piece of equipment on the leading edge of certain vehicles designed to improve aerodynamics. One sees them on airplane engines and motorcycles.

And my sharper point is that people who are only good at English disparage math and science, while people who are only good at math disparage English (and all the humanities), while people, like me, who are good at both, despair at the two intellectual solitudes that have been created.

more than 2 years ago
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Political Science Prof Asks: Is Algebra Necessary?

Brickwall Re:Political Science Professor (1010 comments)

"how they fair inside their own class"

"Does knowing how one is fairing relative to immediate classmates "

While I don't know how either of you are doing in the real world, it's a pretty fair bet that neither of you would fare very well on an English test.

But I bets both of you can al-jabber with the best of them!

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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What's worse than American patent trolls?

Brickwall Brickwall writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Brickwall writes "Answer: Canadian patent trolls. A closely held Canadian company, i4i, was awarded $200 million by a (big surprise) Tyler, Texas court, over a dispute regarding i4i's patented way to process electronic documents in MS Word. It centres around a method of processing documents using embedded codes that provide instructions on how information appears. According to i4i's lawyer, "E-mails from Microsoft show they knew about the patent, and infringed to make i4i products obsolete.". The Bloomberg report was short on technical details, but if I understand the lawyer's comment, i4i is claiming that Microsoft changed their software, and that made i4i's product obsolete. So, if I patent something, and MS finds a way to change their product that coincidentally makes my product useless, I can sue them?"
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How do you submit a bug report to SLASHDOT!!

Brickwall Brickwall writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Brickwall writes "I recently received this email:

Comment By: Travis West (travis-w) Date: 2009-03-18 15:52 Message: Hi Kevin, Ah, I was afraid of that. That's from Slashdot, which is a sister site to SourceForge (we are both owned by the same comany), but I can't really affect anything over there. This link should be able to get you some help: http://slashdot.org/help Thanks, Travis West Support Guy SourceForge.net P.S., Support items set to status of 'Pending', will auto-close in 14 days if there is no response.

But of course, if I go to slashdot's help page, IT SENDS ME TO SOURCEFORGE TO SUBMIT BUG REPORTS! It's like dealing with the fucking government!

Here's the original submission; I'd appreciate it if someone could get back to me with either 1) the proper procedure to submit bug reports to /. not sourceforge, or 2) some idea if the problem I'm experiencing is unique or if it's been reported previously:

Initial Comment: Hi folks, Hope this is the right place to post this; if not, please forward it to the correct group. Whenever I log in to a conversation with a large number of comments, and I get to the bottom of a page (I display 50 comments per page), I see "(1) (2) (3)". I figure that when I click on "2", I'm going to go to the 51st comment; however, that almost never happens. Sometimes I'm redirected to the first comment, other times, I'm taken to a random comment, like the 12th or 21st, and have to scroll down to find the new comments. Sometimes it gets really annoying, when you click on 2 and 3, and still get redirected to the first comment. I can't figure out why this is happening. And a suggestion — at the bottom of the moderation page, there's a button "moderate", which finishes the session and then sends you back to the main page. However, when you meta-moderate, there's no button on the bottom of the page, and I'm never quite sure how to finish the session, so I usually end up either closing the window, or typing in a new address. Could you add a "meta-moderate" button on the bottom of the page (and maybe a "continue meta-moderating" for those who want to do more than ten M2's?) that would finish the session and redirect you to the main page? Thanks for your help. Kevin Bertsch"

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What's next - sharks with lasers?

Brickwall Brickwall writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Brickwall (985910) writes "Florida, faced with a problem of crocodiles returning to residential neighbourhoods after being relocated elsewhere, is trying to solve it by affixing magnets to the crocs' heads. news.aol.ca/article/florida-tests-using-magnets-to-repel-crocodiles/539488/ The theory is the crocodiles use the Earth's magnetic field for navigation, and the magnets may interfere with that. What I'd like to know is, whose job is it to put the magnets on?"
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Australian Climatologist Recants on Global Warming

Brickwall Brickwall writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Brickwall writes "An Australian scientist who developed the software to measure Australia's compliance with carbon emission limits now believes there is sufficient evidence to discard the carbon-emission/global warming connection. His most damning evidence: just like a greenhouse needs a roof to trap the heat, there should be a level in the atmosphere that traps the heat. However, despite thousands of attempts by countries across the world to find such an atmospheric "hot spot", all have failed. Details in the story here: http://www.nationalpost.com/related/links/story.html?id=756766"
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The Ice Age Cometh..

Brickwall Brickwall writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Brickwall writes "A noted geophysicist forecasts a coming ice age, noting that average temperatures dropped by 0.7 degree C in 2007, the fastest decline in over 200 years. He further notes that sunspot activity, which should have increased in the last two years, has been almost non-existent. Far from worrying about global warming, he thinks we should be preparing to deal with global cooling. The article is at http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23583376-7583,00.html."
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British Conservatives wish to ban plasma TVs

Brickwall Brickwall writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Brickwall (985910) writes "According to the Sun newspaper in the UK, Conservative politicians are considering a ban on plasma TVs http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2007420012,00.html THE Conservatives will propose banning plasma screens and other energy-guzzling electrical goods in a report to be unveiled next week. The proposals target white goods like fridges and freezers, as well as TVs, personal computers and DVD players that use too much energy or operate on stand-by. The ideas come from a Conservative group set up by David Cameron to develop policies to protect the environment and although the measures to make household electrical appliances more energy efficient are not binding on Mr Cameron, they are thought likely to be warmly received by the Tory leader. The group will also suggest scrapping Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of the nation's success in favour of a model that measures people's happiness drawn up up by Friends of the Earth."
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