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Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

DerekLyons Re:Skeptics and Deniers (322 comments)

Deniers pretend to be skeptics. However, they are actually exactly the opposite: the distinguishing feature of deniers is not skepticism, but credulity-- they seen to credit pretty much anything they hear (or read on a blog somewhere)-- if it supports their pre-existing opinions.

And how is that different from the True Believer? Very few people who claim to worship at the altar of science behave in any way notably differently - tell 'em it's Science and if it supports their pre-existing opinions they adopt it as Gospel. Many people who claim to respect Science as little better than cargo cultists.

about half an hour ago
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Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

DerekLyons Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (322 comments)

I use that as an example because it is more clear-cut than the climate issue, where there are a lot of people who hold a spectrum of views which are probably somewhere between being very skeptical and being outright deniers, but for sure there are those who pretty clearly aren't interested in any science that says man-made climate change might be real.

Nobody with any sense denies that such people (those who completely ignore science) exist. The problem is that a lot of people, almost all of which should know better, wants to lump everyone who questions the dogma of climate change in with that minority. Which doesn't actually surprise me, as practically all religions behave that way - dividing the world into Us and Them. And make no mistake, nowadays science *is* a religion, a fetish brandished by many to mark themselves part of the tribe. Like the most fervent bible thumper, they don't really understand the world around them - but the Gospel according to Jaime and the Gospel of St. Niel assures them they are among the smartest and thus among the righteous and the saved.

36 minutes ago
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Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

DerekLyons Re:News at 11.. (322 comments)

Words mean things, and I wish people would use them the way I wish them to be used

TFTFY.
 
Because you don't actually want them used correctly or with the meanings they've long possessed, but rather in the manner you've rather narrowly redefined as "correctly".

46 minutes ago
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Marissa Mayer's Reinvention of Yahoo! Stumbles

DerekLyons Re:Core business? (191 comments)

What exactly is Yahoo's "core business"? Their webdirectory is defunct, search outsourced to Bing, and email largely been eaten by its competitors.

They still have a considerable gaming community. Their stock, business, and financial management pages are still top notch. Flickr, despite a couple of recent "hold my beer and watch this" moments is still strong in the photography community... Their front page still draws a huge number of hits.

The problem is less one of Yahoo than it is of hedge fund managers, stock "analysts", and you pretty much knowing nothing of Yahoo's business.

11 hours ago
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Marissa Mayer's Reinvention of Yahoo! Stumbles

DerekLyons Re:Missed the Boat by about 15 years (191 comments)

Yahoo fantasy football is still about the best around. Same with their sports apps. They bought up Sportstacular and haven't ruined it (it's actually gotten quite better since the acquisition), so those are great.

Yep. And their Stock, business, and financial management pages are top notch too... (to the point where Google has finally given up even trying to compete). Then there's Flickr, which, despite a few missteps, is still the largest and best photographic community out there. Etc... etc...

Yahoo! maybe not be where the cool kids hang out, and it's hasn't been on the tech hipsters hot list for over a decade... but it's far from down and out.

11 hours ago
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SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

DerekLyons Re:As long as they get close it's a win (81 comments)

A very negative point of view.

Only in the eyes of the completely clueless or the drooling fanboy (not there's much effective difference between the two) are facts "negative".
 

If you get it back in one or a few bits then it is a win over just just chucking it up there and knowing you have lost it (as most rockets do)

Since the goal is to recover it whole, no, getting back in 'a few bits' is not a win. It's a failure. That things can and will be learned from such a failure does not change this.

yesterday
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New Cargo Ship Is 488 Meters Long

DerekLyons Re:Not a cargo ship (113 comments)

Once again, when not using made up numbers, Green energies are the same.

Which is a very odd claim - since you produce no numbers whatsoever for "green" energy.

And you forget that natural gas isn't just a source of BTU's - it's also a major feedstock for a variety of industrial processes. (A significant portion of "oil derived" plastics are actually derived from natural gas.)

2 days ago
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SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

DerekLyons Re:As long as they get close it's a win (81 comments)

No, I missed the quoting the part that was (more-or-less, mostly less) correct. The parts I quoted were parts that you were wildly incorrect on, as there's considerable distance between what has been tested, and what they are testing. Even so, you're still wrong. Miss the target, by even a little bit, and it's a loss. Land hard and lose the vehicle (not due to sea state) and it's a loss. Tip over and lose the vehicle and damage or lose the barge (not due to sea state), and it's a loss.

So yes, it does matter if they miss, it does matter if they land hard or tip over - because the whole goal of the test is to demonstrate a successful pinpoint landing. You don't really seem to grasp what's being tested here and why.

2 days ago
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SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

DerekLyons TANSTAAFL (81 comments)

However, the cost of not having to rebuild the rocket every time is much more significant. Even if they can only reuse it a few times, that's a lot of production cost being saved.

The money saved by not having to produce a new vehicle is offset by the money spent on fixed infrastructure and on recovering and refurbishing the vehicle for the next flight. Airline travel is as a cheap as it is because they've gotten between-flights maintenance down to essentially zero (basically only emergent work) - the expensive refurbishment and refitting occurs at intervals of months to years. (And the amortized costs of the facilities for doing so are spread over a large number of aircraft and a very large number of flights.) The Shuttle was expensive as it was because between-flights maintenance costs were very high. (And the amortized costs of the infrastructure were spread over a very small number of vehicles and small number of flights.)
 
So, if a first stage (new-in-box) costs $x million and refurbishment costs $.9x million (including the amortized portion of the fixed costs), then it'll have to fly ten times just to break even. The break even point calculation is very sensitive to flight rate, flight interval, and the number of vehicles in the fleet. The hope is, over a long time frame, to reach civil aviation levels... but there's a long way to go between here and there. (Particularly in light of the low flight rate of F9 launches that have sufficient spare payload capacity to allow them to be recovered.)

2 days ago
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SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

DerekLyons Re:As long as they get close it's a win (81 comments)

If they can show over a couple attempts that they get close to the target then they can move to doing this over land. They have already proven they can do this in Texas many times.

There's a reason why they're flying all these attempts over water - they haven't done it in Texas even so much as once. The flights in Texas have been "take off, go a short distance up, then land more-or-less right back where you started" - which isn't the difficult part (so far as flight control is concerned, it's more of an engine control problem) as small errors have no time to propagate. The difficult part (from the flight control POV and the reason they are testing on a barge) is the boostback and retro burns, where even small errors in attitude and delta V propagate into significant errors by the time you hit your hovering gates (and is thus an engine control *and* a flight control problem). Another issue, also not tested in Texas, is the aerodynamics and flight dynamics of the returning stage (especially in the high speed regime), and indeed these issues caused a problem on the first attempt.

So no, coming close isn't a win. They're going to have to demonstrate pinpoint recovery a number of times before anyone is going to let them even consider attempting it over land.

2 days ago
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Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

DerekLyons Stupid conclusion in TFA (593 comments)

From TFA:

So while a shortcut down a sleepy street might not be a problem in a place like Des Moines or even Detroit, it's a different story in a city that last year was again ranked No. 1 for the nation's most time-consuming traffic jams.

Why wouldn't it be a problem for those of use not living in Trendville? It was a hell of a problem here in a town much smaller (37k) than either Detroit (681k) or Des Moines (203k) where cars would speed (during non rush hour) down a neighborhood street or pack it bumper to bumper (during rush hour) to cut around a stop light - especially when the elementary school one more street over was letting out and the area was filled with kids walking home. It finally took a kid getting hit (though thankfully not seriously injured) before the city stopped "studying the problem" and got around to blocking one end of the street.

3 days ago
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Sir Richard Branson Quietly Shelves Virgin Submarine Plan

DerekLyons Re:No so easy as throwing money at it, is it? (47 comments)

The Apollo programme was 4% of GDP, by itself.

4% of the Federal budget, not GDP - and even then, it only touched that value for two years.

4 days ago
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The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

DerekLyons Re:Sigh (566 comments)

Books are portrait, I'll give you that. But you unfold them into a landscape A5-ish or large book with multiple columns (because of the difficulty of printing very near the gutter in the middle).

The sheets of paper are flat when they're printed - it's no more difficult to print near where the gutter will be when the pages are folded and cut than for any other part of the sheet. But that nitpick aside, though they open to landscape, with few exceptions (full page spreads) we deal with them as two side-by-side portrait format chunks.
 

Photographs? Mostly landscape and certainly specified in landscape size and cameras are mostly designed for landscape operation (except when making portraits - for which we shockingly use them portrait!)

Anyone from the serious hobbyist up uses landscape or portrait interchangeably as the composition demands. (The composition, not the subject.)

about a week ago
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LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

DerekLyons Re:the mysterious "us" (178 comments)

This will cost us billions of dollars in the private and public sector

who is this "us" he is talking about? because with just a little thought, you quickly realized these "billions of dollars" are just transfers from the (assumed) wealthy building owners to the less wealthy contractors and workers.

Who is this us? The not-wealthy lady running a photography studio whose rent just went up to pay for the refits. (And her customers.) And the not-wealthy guy renting an apartment. And the not wealthy family running a little convenience store. And that's just the not-wealthy renters. The not-wealthy owners of the buildings their businesses are in or they reside in aren't in any better situation. (This may come as a surprise to you, but people outside the 1% can and do own buildings.)

about a week ago
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Dad Makes His Kid Play Through All Video Game History In Chronological Order

DerekLyons Re:Baseball parents (222 comments)

I was thinking he sounds more like the kind of parent who forces his kid to do _________, so the parent can relive their glory years and bask in the reflected glory. Baseball, beauty pageants, dance, piano, football, video games... it the act that matters, not the activity.

about a week ago
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Liquid Cooling On the Rise As Data Centers Crunch Bigger Data

DerekLyons Re:I don't think the future is immersion cooling.. (24 comments)

You just set up a industrial park next to your data center, build in some heat transfer systems and offer the waste heat as value add for a bit of $ into whatever medium the customer wants (air, water, etc). In no time at all you will have all sorts of setups that require heat for their industrial use

Very unlikely. What comes out of a data center is diffuse, low grade heat. Maybe useful for running a dehydrator or drying system, maybe replacing building heating systems... but not much more as the temperature is too low.
 

This is one thing the Scandinavians and Germans have always understood, once you make the heat you might as well use it because it's damned foolish just to waste it. They use waste heat all the time for community driven heating and for all sorts of things and it probably ends up saving all kinds of money.

It's common in Scandinavia because of the climate - but not many people live in that cold of a climate. (The equivalent latitudes in the America's are way the hell up in Canada.) Geography matters.

about a week ago
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NASA Gets 2% Boost To Science Budget

DerekLyons Re:2% is nothing (121 comments)

With massive proven returns on the dollar we need to more than double NASA's budget.

[[Citation needed]] - from an independent source, not just one that repeats NASA's propaganda spin.

about a week ago
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Utilities Face Billions In Losses From Distributed Renewables

DerekLyons Re:They have good reason to be nervous (280 comments)

Depending on what kind of usage you want to cover

No it doesn't, it depends on the power usage of the house - unless you expect the residents to go into power saving mode every night and every time there's cloudy weather.
 

My household uses a bit less than 10kWh per day

Googling about, that shows you well below the American average (roughly 30KWh/day). And even with a full 30KWh battery... I haven't seen the sun in six days. (Not at all unusual for this time of year.)

Hence the ongoing need for baseload.

about two weeks ago
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Utilities Face Billions In Losses From Distributed Renewables

DerekLyons Re:The problem with short term thinking (280 comments)

Those utilities are not envisioning the fact that all that power savings that is "eating into their profits" today is energy they can sell to tomorrow's customers. Why? Because populations grow over time, and they grow quite quickly. Instead of bitching about the paper loss they think they are seeing, they should be celebrating the fact that they don't have to build more power-plants and infrastructure for 10-20 years and will be able to serve a much larger base with the same infrastructure.

The problem here isn't short term thinking - it's that you're utterly clueless. If the population goes up, capacity still has to go up - because the utility has to have the capacity to supply the grid when renewable sources aren't available. If you have twice the population, you have twice the night time load - and you need twice the daytime capacity available for cloudy days, for deeply cold days, etc... etc...

Not to mention that in many urban areas, a good chunk of that growth will go into apartments - which don't have sufficient roof space for solar to offset a significant part of consumption.

Renewable power sources are not magic, and they are a supplement, not a replacement, for baseload capacity.

about two weeks ago
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Utilities Face Billions In Losses From Distributed Renewables

DerekLyons Re:They have good reason to be nervous (280 comments)

If a car can have a 85KWh battery then why can't a house have a 10KWh battery?

I never said they couldn't - I said they'd be expensive. (And 10KWh isn't very much.)
 

The price of batteries is set to plummet due to mass scale production of electric cars which need the batteries

Which means that if you add additional demand for batteries for houses... the prices are going to go right back up. (Supply and demand, simple economics.) And even "plummeted" prices are still very expensive - into five figures.

about two weeks ago

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