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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

Cytotoxic Re:Hoax (986 comments)

Ha! Thanks. Cut and paste fail. That's what happens when you try to post while multitasking. At least I didn't accidentally post my luggage combination...

about a week ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

Cytotoxic Re:Hoax (986 comments)

Forget Europe, in the US the utilities are required to buy back excess power production from your alternative energy generation kit. At rates that are higher than their own cost of generation.

Here's a pricing sheet from one energy company.

Alabama has much, much less incentives for renewables than other states, so there is very little in the way of installation of things like solar panels.

Besides which, this guy lives in the EU where tax credits, buybacks and other subsidies are in plentiful supply. If it worked to generate electricity (which he does not yet claim to be doing) he would indeed be able to start earning money today.

about two weeks ago
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Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

Cytotoxic Re:Mustang Shelby GT 500 (393 comments)

It doesn't. Because large swaths of the city are depopulated the income is pretty much zero, along with the population. The 50 families that are making 65k on average are irrelevant in a neighborhood with another 350 empty homes. The city wants to close down entire sections and relocate the remaining residents to save on city services. Don't know if they will be able to make that happen. Shrinking population is pretty ugly - at least for a while.

But the cheap real estate and massive empty industrial buildings might attract a lot of growth at some point with the right governance. The question is will any of the infrastructure last long enough for the turnaround to happen. I don't think anyone is betting on it right now.

about a month ago
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MIT's Cheetah Robot Runs Untethered

Cytotoxic Not a cheetah (90 comments)

Exceptionally cool and really fast legged robot. I really liked the ability to alter its gait to bound over an obstacle.

But the defining characteristic of cheetah locomotion is not just the 70mph speed. It is the use of a long, flexible, back to power and lengthen the stride. This bot has a completely inflexible body and is solely powered via the leg joints. Not very cheetah-like. More like a sheep.

But sheep-bot is just not very cool. And if I had built the thing, I would have named it a cheetah robot too. Or maybe Mechanical Hound or Robot 451.

about a month ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Cytotoxic Re:The other question that needs to be asked (600 comments)

I'll bet that there was no test of any kind. It is likely the representation from the manufacturer of the fingerprint scanner.

about a month ago
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NSA Metadata Collection Gets 90-Day Extension

Cytotoxic Re:Fucking Government doesn't care about US (73 comments)

what part of the 10th amendment is so hard for people to understand? If its not written in the constitution itself, the federal government has no authority

I think they pretty much began ignoring that amendment before the ink was dry. They say social security is the third rail of politics, but the 10th amendment is even more off limits. Properly enforced, the 9th and 10th amendments would outlaw most of the activities undertaken by the federal government.

So no, not gonna happen. Not now, not ever.

about a month ago
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Invasion of Ukraine Continues As Russia Begins Nuclear Weapons Sabre Rattling

Cytotoxic Re:Sigh... (789 comments)

Actually that can be doubted since Russian has hundreds of armored vehicles fighting in Ukraine on the side of the separatists. That isn't how you facilitate "political dialog."

It is if you want to make sure the 'right' side wins the dialog.

about 2 months ago
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Invasion of Ukraine Continues As Russia Begins Nuclear Weapons Sabre Rattling

Cytotoxic Re:Why the fuck is this on Slashdot? (789 comments)

If you want expert analysis of the Russian government, what better source is there? It is an independent Finnish-owned english language paper specializing in the news of Russia.

Would you go to Izvestia or Pravda instead? Gazeta? Moscow Times might lean against the current government in Russia, but at least they are independent and able to publish critical commentary. You can't really expect the Times of London or the New York Times to have the same level of expertise in Russian politics as the Moscow Times either.

about 2 months ago
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Google's Megan Smith Would Be First US CTO Worthy of the Title

Cytotoxic Degree is not all that relevant (117 comments)

There is no doubt that she has the chops and anyone would be lucky to snare an executive with her background and talents. But the article's focus on what degree she has is just silly. The brightest developer I ever knew had a degree in chemistry. The best Director of development I ever hired was an Air Force tech. The best COO I ever worked for was a lawyer / polysci major with no business classes under his belt. The best Director of IT I ever had earned an associates degree and got her A+ certification to get her first job.

Meanwhile, the worst Director of Development I ever had was an MS of CompSci with an MBA. Guy was a tool and an idiot. The worst COO I ever had was an MBA with top grades from a top school. The worst CFO I ever worked with was a chemistry major. OK, that one kinda goes against my point. Forget about him.

  Still, my point stands:

If you are still worrying about your degree 20 years out of college, you haven't done anything.

about 2 months ago
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NASA Telescopes Uncover Early Construction of Giant Galaxy

Cytotoxic Where's the pics? (25 comments)

You gotta love science infotainment.

The discovery was made possible through combining observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, ESA's Herschel Space Observatory, and the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

All of those great imaging systems, but we don't get to see any of the images used? Instead we are given an artist's rendition of a galaxy core forming as the lead image. But where's this extreme redshift galaxy?

For those who care to see something real, NASA did include an image of GOODS-N-744 with labels so you could see the fuzzy spot for yourself. I guess you have to wait for the article to be published to see the data from Spitzer and Herschel.

about 2 months ago
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Oregon Sues Oracle For "Abysmal" Healthcare Website

Cytotoxic Re:Reputation (212 comments)

I don't know about that. The Super-Conducting Super Collider was abandoned after sinking a ton of cash. So was the FBI's Virtual Case File project, which sounds like a dead ringer for the Oregon website project.

about 2 months ago
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It's Dumb To Tell Kids They're Smart

Cytotoxic Re:They always told me I was so smart... (243 comments)

Or even different skills. Not every great system administrator is a great manager. I gave my best SysAdmin a shot at being the Director of IT infrastructure. He not only failed, he was miserable. So we put him back in his old job and moved up a young lady who had less training and experience, but more ambition. She worked out wonderfully.

Not every great player can be a coach (look at how it worked out for Magic Johnson). And not every great coach was a great player (Dean Smith, Mike Kryzewski)

about 2 months ago
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BBC and FACT Shut Down Doctor Who Fansite

Cytotoxic Re:They messed with me once too... apk (186 comments)

in the run-up to the new season they ran a show that specifically touted the input from fans, including fan-produced content like episodes and trailers. The new season's opening sequence was created by a fan that they discovered from a demo opening sequence he posted on the internet. Seems they are at least a bit schizophrenic about such things.

about 2 months ago
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"MythBusters" Drops Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci

Cytotoxic Re:Ob XKCD... (364 comments)

Interesting that he chose dentistry. Over at Science Based Medicine I learned about the new Science Based Dentistry group. They are a few years behind the medical field, but this group is trying to push for more scientific rigor in the field of dentistry. In the podcast that introduced me to the Science Based Dentistry folks they actually mentioned the fact that most of the "best practices" of dentistry have not been rigorously studied. They pointed out a recent study that demonstrated that flossing doesn't actually help prevent gum disease and didn't really provide any benefit to dental health. Completely against the "conventional wisdom" - and to be honest pretty much completely against common sense. Apparently this was the largest and most rigorous study on the topic ever performed. Since it isn't my field of interest, I didn't follow up, but I still found it very instructive that something as "scientific" as dentistry is so weak on clinical studies.

Medicine has its own problems in that regard. Most primary care level doctoring seems to be experience based and informed by science, more than purely scientific. Sadly, I ran into the result of this just this week. My pediatrician recommended what she termed an "herbal remedy" that they had samples of in the office. She wasn't sure if it worked, but she offered a free sample. I told her I suspected woo, but took it anyway. Once I got the box in hand I could see that not only was it based on completely made-up herbal history - it was a 5C homeopathic preparation of the herbs in question. Pure, unadulterated snake oil. Really a sad state of affairs.

about 2 months ago
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Entire South Korean Space Programme Shuts Down As Sole Astronaut Quits

Cytotoxic Re:begs FFS (186 comments)

The only inevitability is that the term "begs the question" is now and will remain ambiguous.

The phrase should be abandoned, IMO. Use "raises the question" for the one, and "assumes the conclusion" for the other, or "beggars the question" if your audience has half a clue.

Or "buggars the question" if it is a politician.

about 2 months ago
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3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

Cytotoxic Re:What? (393 comments)

That is all just ballocks. The number people care about when they buy a blanket is "how much money do I hand to the shopkeep." Yes, sales tax are "collected on behalf of the government". This is a distinction without a difference. If I collect 10 bucks for a blanket and send 80 cents to the local government it doesn't matter what you label it. If my cost of goods sold is $8 and 0.80 goes to local taxes that leaves a buck twenty for me. Of which the state and federal government take another bite - 13% for FICA, 8% for medicare, 30% for income tax - call it 0.60 just for the sake of argument. That leaves me with 60 cents in my pocket.

So you can whack it up anyway you like, put any labels on it you like, but the final result is that the government takes away twice as much from that sale as I do.

Most small businesses don't have special set-asides in the tax code that allow them to offset income with special incentives stuck in the code by their favorite congressmen. They don't pay taxes on gross revenue any more than you do. You have a line called "adjusted gross income" on your tax return. You get special interest set-asides for things like owning a home, having kids or being a refugee immigrant farmer who is an elementary school teacher. Big corporations get similar set-asides designed just for them, particularly if they are in insurance, banking, energy, farming or the automotive sector. Exxon pays the full tax rate based on their adjusted income, just like you do. The "unfair" part isn't what the final number is, it is in all of the special tax incentives that are put in place just for Exxon and their cohort.

about 2 months ago
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3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

Cytotoxic Re:What? (393 comments)

They money is redistributed, not eliminated. The people as a whole have the same amount of money regardless of whether taxes go up or down.

This is why the wealthiest counties in America are all clustered around Washington DC.

Here's the top of the list:

Falls Church City, Va.
Loudoun County, Va.
Los Alamos County, N.M.
Howard County, Md.
Fairfax County, Va.
Hunterdon County, N.J.
Arlington County, Va.

None of these DC counties were on the list in the 90's when government spending was out of control at nearly a trillion dollars. At 3 trillion, look at where all of the wealth is concentrated.

about 2 months ago
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3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

Cytotoxic Re:What? (393 comments)

All of that also assumes that there is no corruption, no good ol' boy's network, no cronyism. The bigger the pile of money there is to redistribute, the greater the incentives to corruption - which of course leads to more inefficient use of resources.

This is why the nutty people on the extreme left (those anti-corporation, anti-corporate-control nutballs) and the crazy extremists on the right (those anti-government, cold-dead-hand-gun-totin' crazies) have common cause in creating the smallest government possible. A government with little power and little wealth to spread around is not attractive to corporate lobbyists.

Of course, without all that lobbyist support they have a snowball's chance in hell of electing any of their candidates.

about 2 months ago
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3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

Cytotoxic Re:What? (393 comments)

I don't think libertarian means what you think it means. You seem to have replaced the "neocon" boogeyman word from the 90's with "libertarian". They are not the same thing. In fact, they are in many ways diametrically opposed.

Libertarians are those wackos who are so far to the left that they fall of the map. Or so far to the right. It's hard to tell. They have this nutty notion that if they want to smoke dope in their gay polyamorous collective while shooting guns and drinking unpasturized milk during their worship of the sun-god - well, they should be left alone to their own devices. Kind of a "if you aren't free to make stupid choices, then you have no freedom" sort of ideal.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Measuring the Speed of Light with a Valentine

Cytotoxic Cytotoxic writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Cytotoxic (245301) writes "What to do with all of those leftover Valentine's Day chocolates? — a common problem for the Slashdot crowd. The folks over at Wired magazine have an answer for you in a nice article showing how to measure the speed of light with a microwave and some chocolate. A simple yet surprisingly accurate method that can be used to introduce the scientific method to children and others in need of a scientific education."
Link to Original Source

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