top WikiLeaks Releases the Secret Draft Text of the TPP IP Rights Chapter
Capitalism is a great system for allocating capital, when well regulated. Otherwise, it becomes a winner-take-all game, as economic power, begets more economic and political power, in a reinforcing feedback loop.
Markets are a great economic system, but a really crappy religion. Will it be power of economic and political winners that takes us down, or will it be computers and robots who forget the three laws?
If we're going to continue on with some semblance of democratic citizen rule we need to understand and embrace the discussion about power .
top T-Mobile Ends Contracts and Subsidies
It would be, if there really were competition. As with so much in the U.S., this industry is dominated by a few giants. If there were 5000 companies or even 20 to choose from, we could see real competition. How is it that texting still costs more than voice, when it's a fraction of a percent of the data volume and quality concern? Oligopoly, baby! It's the American way! It will continue to be so, as long as we refuse to enforce antitrust laws, allow corruption of money in politics, and allow for regulatory capture by wealthy corporations.
about a year and a half ago
top Laser Fusion Put On a Slow Burn By US Government
Almost true, but not quite 99.9%. Solar is king, ultimately, but Geothermal is a princely addition, and tidal might be interesting. Really, ALL of our power comes down to concentrated solar (wind, wave, fossil, PV, thermal...), gravity (tidal), geothermal (natural radioactive decay), or nuclear fission. The dark horse here is geothermal, which is massive compared to our needs, and is available most anywhere--not limited to Idaho and Wyoming, as many might think.
top PressureNET 2.1 Released: the Distributed Barometer Network For Android
I imagine they've considered outliers in aggregation of the data. You particular phone may be all that, accuracy-wise, but with sufficient data points, one could readily get to a point near the precision & accuracy limits of the phones' sensors.
top Would You Put a Tracking Device On Your Child?
Hmm. maybe slashdot should have a preview button.
do something basically but not strictly required
Stats on missing children
top Would You Put a Tracking Device On Your Child?
1. Invention (RFID, GPS,
2. Headlines: Big child scare or threat or actual harm: MANY MANY children were kidnapped or lost last year!!!!
3. Voluntary application: Get your kid chipped, and we'll be able to reconnect you or let you know where they are! Safer, with peace of mind!
4. Coerced application: For your child's safety, to your child must get chipped.
5. Mandatory: This has turned out to be a pretty good idea. In order to claim your child tax deduction, fly on an airplane, vote, e.g, you must have an SSN and RFID #.
6. Generation 1 accomplished.
Inevitable? Yes, unless our trajectory drastically changes. Police are now using portable fingerprint scanning devices ($300?) per copy. Why not an RFID scanner?
top 350-Year-Old Newton's Puzzle Solved By 16-Year-Old
Interesting timing. I was just talking with my wife about how amazing it is that a 10 or 11 year old kid in the outfield can solve this problem in the outfield in the moments after a ball is hit, and then run to that position to catch the ball. There is a lot of correction happening until the catch, but the main calculation is pretty quick. Also note that most kids step IN as their first reaction, even when it's going to be over their heads, but the good ones do not, and they track the ball amazingly well.
This includes top & bottom spin, lateral spin (slice & hook) on the ball, and other interesting complexity. While the visual pickup and transfer to the computer are very difficult for a computer, it is bordering on trivial for a competent ball player.
top In Nothing We Trust
Money is power, power molds our government institutions and corrupts our democracies into a putrid facade of what it was intended to be.
Money is ONE source of power. There are many others, which,, depending on the context, can be far more important.
Sources of Power are offered up for your consideration.
top Lack of Vaccination Sends Babies In Oregon To the Hospital
You must be an anti-free-markets Communist or Socialist? Which is it? -Alan West
top Ask Slashdot: Open Source Tax Software?
I have a simple solution that would make nearly ALL of this go away.
Create a new " File Under Constrained Key, Yourself" rule that states that ANY and EVERY person responsible for creating or modifying tax law, regulation or code shall file such taxes without benefit of professional help or outside reference besides the tax forms themselves (contrained key). I imagine the tax code would become simple faster than you could say, "Go F*** Yourself!" The name could be our little inside joke, but the principle is completely serious.
top PlayStation 4 'Orbis' Rumors: AMD Hardware, Hostile To Used Games
That would be a certain business failure, because everyone here already gets sarcasm just fine.
top The Himalayas and Nearby Peaks Have Lost No Ice In Past 10 Years, Study Shows
CITE YOUR GODDAM SOURCES... You. You have to be the first.
top Do You Like Online Privacy? You May Be a Terrorist
like saying breathing is a sign of being a terrorist, because terrorists breathe.
What you're referring to is really
Positive Predictive Value of a test. When you have a low percentage of actual positives (terrorists, in this case) in a population, and a something less than 100% PPV test, then NEARLY ALL of those caught in the dragnet are false positives.
The insidious part is that nearly every target, being a false positive, is not just that a waste of resources to pursue, but that to the extent false suspects are hassled, they may become irritated resisters or sympathizers, fraying the fabric of a watchful citizenry. If I'm falsely suspected, hassled, randomly selected for special screening every time I fly, and
treated like a bad guy, I'm going to be far less likely to want to help the "good guys." If you're legitimately trying to catch criminals and terrorists, casting a wide, intrusive net (like suspecting those who want privacy or those who breathe) only makes the job more difficult and less effective.
top Is E85 Dead Now?
Corn-based fuels should never have been considered as and end-game. The whole point is to build out the infrastructure while R&D drives us to next-gen feedstocks such as cellulosic or algae. Hemp has been mentioned as well, but folks tend to think about the oils (and other fringe benefits?) more than the cellulosic angle, which is probably more important. If we hang our heads and call it a scam or a failure, it means we've lost sight of this as a stepping stone to a potentially highly sustainable fuels end game. I don't think we can *afford* to abandon the vision. What's the alternative, with peak oil crossing increasing global demand? Suck it out of sensitve areas of the arctic? THAT is a predictable failure before it begins. We cannot outrun the numbers on petroleum, and we cannot deal with climate change effectively unless we confront this. We MUST work through the next stage in the game plan.
top World's Worst PR Guy Gives His Side
When I was a kid, someone once told me something I never forgot: "No matter how 'bad' someone thinks they are, one day they're going to run into someone who is much more 'bad.' If they think they're the baddest guy around, that will be a *very* bad day for them."
Seems Christoforo used to think he was the baddest guy around.
top News Corp. Hacking Scandal Spreads To Government
It is called *espionage*.
Many countries frown upon spying on government officials, even to the extent of imposing life imprisonment or execution.
Given corporations' statuses as people, it would seem logical to try them based on the laws of the country in which they operate.
I'm not a proponent of the death penalty, so would instead ask that News Corp, if/when found guilty, simply be locked up for life, just as any other "person" would be.
I defy anyone to challenge that logical conclusion.
top Massive Solar Tower Planned For Arizona
EnviroMission has apparently been at this a while, including a
similar project in Australia that was going to be online by 2005, er, 2008, but which may be so much hot air...
Technically interesting and probably feasible, but a non-trivial project to take on.
top Massive Solar Tower Planned For Arizona
Is there a form of viable power production that doesn't require a mechanical generator of some sort?
Yes. It's called photovoltaic. No moving parts, plus it can be installed close to end users in appropriate amounts for affordable costs and last 30+ years in production environments with negligible transmission losses, while producing power that coincides remarkably well with the demand cycle, and can provide individual energy self-sufficiency.
This tower sounds cool as well. It's nice to have passive processes that continue to produce power for decades with few nasty externalities.
top Instant Quantum Communication Is Near
Instant Quantum Communication Is Near...
...and far ...and everywhere in between.
And that, son, is all you need to know about quantum communication.
top Leaked Cables Reveal US Thinks Saudi Oil Reserves May Be Overstated
Yes, eventually, we will have a president who understands that we need as much oil as we can get, at any
price we have to pay. Heck, if fracking for natural gas has been so good for our aquifers, why not jump in with both feet and grab that oil? No thank you. I prefer my water unflavored and non-flammable.
The point somehow is sadly missed that extraction of every last drop of oil may not be a goal for which we should be striving. Yes, we need a transition plan, and fossil fuels will be a part of that plan. In these decisions we make today, will we consider only our immediate easiest path, or what we're leaving for the next generations, e.g., polluted aquifers, dead rivers and seas, and disrupted climates around the world? Burning all the fossil fuels we can find for our immediate needs, and leaving future generations screwed is completely immoral.
Buckminster Fuller likened our foundational use of oil instead of renewable energy as equivalent letting our abundant (solar) paychecks fall on the ground while we live high on our savings. We should instead be using that savings to switch foundations and begin living on our abundant daily paychecks.
My prediction is that we will not figure it out in time because we'll be unwilling to get out of our comfort zones. We will instead follow a classic overshoot and collapse systems pattern that is enabled by delayed feedback loops, and reinforced by masking the true cost of using fossil fuels. We needed to get serious about renewables decades ago. When dropping supply curves and rising demand curves cross, prices won't be changing incrementally, a few cents at a time. It will mean sudden, dramatic, and far greater oil price increases than most people would every dare to imagine. The economic carnage of delaying will make the cost of doing it now seem like the missed opportunity of the millennium.
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