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Desert Farming Experiment Yields Good Initial Results

JDevers Re:Economics (178 comments)

You might want to look at that list again. When you eliminate the city-states at the top of the list, the top nine are Bangladesh, Palestine, Taiwan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Lebanon, Rwanda, India, Haiti. Taiwan, South Korea, and The Netherlands are obviously doing OK, the others though are not exactly what I would call "amazingly wealthy." Over a quarter of the world's population lives in those listed places and I would hazard a guess that they account for a pretty substantial amount of the poverty too.

about 9 months ago

US Postal Service To Make Sunday Deliveries For Amazon

JDevers Re:what? (258 comments)

They do have an incentive to not waste, just not the same one as companies. The people working AT the company often have the exact same mindset as government employees, only shareholders have the "spend my money wisely" mindset.

about 9 months ago

US Postal Service To Make Sunday Deliveries For Amazon

JDevers Re:what? (258 comments)

It could also make it worse in other ways as well. To keep a company afloat, decisions are often made to take on tremendous debt to be "paid back when times are better" but often the debt load itself prevents the time from getting better regardless of actual revenue. Take a look at AMD if you don't believe that to be possible. Governments waste money and companies do as well, just how they do it is different.

about 9 months ago

Unmanned 'Terminator' Robots Kill Jellyfish

JDevers Re:Robots to kill moon jellyfish (149 comments)

If they ate the jellyfish used them for power and then used the elemental components to build more jellyfish killers, THAT is the best idea so far.

Hopefully they never run out of jellyfish...

about 10 months ago

'Zombie' Hormone Disruptors Rise From the Dead

JDevers Re:Tired of Zombies (67 comments)

That is so last year... 2013->the year of the wight!

about 10 months ago

NHTSA Gives the Model S Best Safety Rating of Any Car In History

JDevers Re:Five Star (627 comments)

Why would you compare it to BMW's cheapest entry level car? It is much closer to the 5 series in creature comforts, size, and target audience than any 3 series car and I think you will find they cost a bit more (55K base price for a 535i).

about a year ago

Duke Energy Scraps Plans For Florida Nuclear Plant, Forced To Delay Others

JDevers Re:Blame the government when the real cause is... (233 comments)

To be fair, with zero regulation, oversight, and no delays as well as only minimal safety procedures, nuclear would be the cheapest (but most dangerous) of all our energy options. Duke isn't really LYING, so much as stating the obvious truth and hoping everyone misunderstands...

about a year ago

Duke Energy Scraps Plans For Florida Nuclear Plant, Forced To Delay Others

JDevers Re:Let's clarify that one (233 comments)

How about this version...all THREE major nuclear accidents have been accidents. In order of ability to prevent and damage caused: one by a complete and total incompetence, one by faulty equipment and poor training, and one by design standards that were inadequate to an incredible natural disaster.

about a year ago

Duke Energy Scraps Plans For Florida Nuclear Plant, Forced To Delay Others

JDevers Re:Not the best place (233 comments)

True, although other areas also have problems. Generally you need to be on a coast for the massive amount of cooling water needed

Might want to look at a map of US nuclear facilities.

The majority are NOT on the coast, many are on relatively small we have these cool things like cooling towers, not all those plants pull cold water in and dump hot water into a water source directly. A nuclear power plant doesn't need any more access to deep, cold water than a coal plant of the same generating capacity.

about a year ago

Surveillance Story Turns Into a Warning About Employer Monitoring

JDevers Re:Alright then. Carry On. (382 comments)

It's not really that close to McCarthyism, more like "Hey, we got a call from your FORMER employer that you might have a drudge against that towards the end of your employment you were searching for some key words that implied you MIGHT be making a bomb. Tell us your side of the story and hey, if it is OK with you, would you mind if we searched your house to verify your side of the story?". Sure there are legitimate reasons why someone would search for those terms, which is why they knocked instead of breaking down the door. There is also a slim, but real, possibility that the guy was planning to blow up his former employer.

about a year ago

Training Materials for NSA Spying Tool "XKeyScore" Revealed

JDevers Re:How did the government pull this off? (347 comments)

Horrific analogy. A nuclear fission explosion is a one off device that is relatively simple for an industrial society to produce (the smaller it is the harder it is to do, but still relatively simple). A nuclear fission power plant is an entirely different animal and is much more complicated. A one time use "gadget" will always be much easier to make than something meant to run 24/7 for 90%+ of the year for many years. It is much easier to take gasoline, pour it on a hot surface, wait a few moments then ignite the gas in a fireball than it is to build a car capable of harnessing the same energy.

Nuclear fission actually DOES have a pretty good safety record by the way. The three publicized major problems are due to: 1. massive human error in judgement (Chernobyl), 2. major mechanical failures compounded by inadequate training and faulty assumptions (Three Mile Island), 3. gigantic earthquake and subsequent tsunami well in excess of the planned emergencies (Fukashima).

1 year,16 hours

GMO Oranges? Altering a Fruit's DNA To Save It

JDevers Re:Genetic Roullette (358 comments)

I agree with your point, but to be fair Round-Up (glyphosate) is an herbicide and not a pesticide. I know, sounds like semantics, but making good arguments but messing up the details makes your point less salient. Glyphosate is also one of the safest herbicides in wide spread use, numerous studies have shown little if any long term adverse side effects and while acute toxicity is a possibility it is extremely rare and almost certainly an issue of a accidental extreme exposure. Natural resistance to glyphosate is the REAL reason to not want it used so widely. It is an extremely useful herbicide and to apply it when MANY alternatives exist because it make life easier than those alternatives is poor agriculture.

1 year,3 days

Disney Algorithm Builds High-Res 3D Models From Ordinary Photos

JDevers Re:Primitive, useless tech (80 comments)

To be fair, Bladerunner is set in a future world where technology is both far ahead of ours and seemingly behind ours in many ways (almost steampunk like...but forward thinking for a 1980s movie). If the camera that took that picture was more advanced than those today, it would be very possible for this to happen. Imagine a small snapshot taken with an 800 megapixel camera and this is very much possible, especially if one assumes that the actual "photo" uses might also contain an embedded memory fragment with the full resolution image.

1 year,9 days

Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Store Data In Hard Copy?

JDevers Re:Hard Copy Okay (329 comments)

Alternatively, use either the OCR-A or OCR-B font, which are not easily read by humans.

Huh? Pretty, well no...but VERY readable. Simple monospaced block type. Not sure why it wouldn't be readable, especially since that was the original mission statement for OCR A and B, to be easily machine and human readable.

1 year,24 days

How Silicon Valley's Tech Reign Will End

JDevers Re:Except, you're dealing with introverts (395 comments)

And really, neither San Francisco nor Oakland are particularly urban anyway—they're just _more_ urban than Silicon Valley.

I agree that both are more urban than San Jose and it's suburbs and really Oakland isn't that urban, but if you don't think San Francisco is urban you are really limiting your definition. In the US, Manhattan, Chicago, Philly, and MAYBE Boston and downtown Miami are about the only cities more urban than San Francisco.

about a year ago

Google Maps Used To Find Tax Cheats

JDevers Re:But of course they do! (174 comments)

That proves nothing other than that the top 10% make most of the money, substantially more than 90% of it in fact. Why the fuck SHOULDN'T they have to pay more?

The top 15% in this country make $100,000 or more a year, that is a long way from "wealthy" in most people's books and it makes perfect sense that all the people who make greater than $100,000 a year should pay more than all the people below poverty level even if there are MORE people below poverty level.

If it makes you feel better, look up what percentage of their income the top 10% pay in sales taxes versus the bottom 50%.

about a year ago

Noodle Robots Replacing Workers In Chinese Restaurants

JDevers Re:And it begins (531 comments)

I agree with you for the most part, however your specific example doesn't illustrate your point very well. Your JOB was boring for great stretches of time, but you were AT work. If on the other hand you worked from home and only had to "work" when you had work to actively do, you could have spent that "wasted" time doing more productive things which you picked. Since you were actually at work, you were limited in what you could do.

My job is very similar, in a typical week I work less than half of the hours I am paid for. If I could do it at home, I would find MANY more productive things to do. Doing more things with my children would be at the top of my list, but being at work while not working directly impedes this. A large part of my recreational time is now spent vegetable gardening, it is both productive, healthy, and a great stress reliever. If I had more time I would spend more time doing this and be able to have a larger garden. Instead of being able to feed my family a large percentage of our daily meals for five months a year (summer basically) when it is easy, I would be able to feed them year doing a hobby. I believe I WOULD be able to recognize this idle time and be able to use it much more productively, but I also believe that many (most actually) people who instantly worked 20 hours per week instead of 40 or more would actually be less productive to society and their families than more.

about a year ago

Demand for Kopi Luwak May Be Threatening Wildlife

JDevers Re:phew (112 comments)

Even better, buy high quality green coffee beans from around the world and roast your own coffee. Mediocre beans roasted and consumed after a short wait of a few days taste better than the best beans that are months post roast, now high quality beans consumed fresh are tremendously better than any large scale commercial venture...home roasting or local fresh roasting is the only way to go if you actually crave good coffee. It is also pretty economical and fun.

about a year ago

Demand for Kopi Luwak May Be Threatening Wildlife

JDevers Re:Somebody has to say it (112 comments)

Well, it certainly doesn't help the WILD population of civet cats. Maybe when our alien overlords find that our feces is delicious when we are force fed massive quantities of sawdust you will understand.

about a year ago


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