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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

Jeremi Re:The solution is infill. . . (453 comments)

Straight out of Agenda 21. Stack-and-pack all the people, allow ownership and taxation of property, but control usage from a central authority, and slowly ban development, and eventually humans entirely, from the vast majority of land.

As the human population approaches the planet's capacity, such authoritarian measures are going to proliferate, if only because the alternative is economic failure and societal collapse.

In a sparsely populated, open system (e.g. the Old West), there are effectively unlimited natural resources, so no formal resource management is necessary. Libertarian/individualist principles work fine there, as what group A does or doesn't do to the environment has limited effect on group B, who (in the worst case) is always free to find a new plot of land to live off of.

In a submarine at sea, at the other extreme, resources are extremely limited, and everybody depends on everyone else to keep the environment stable. Bad actors cannot be tolerated. Therefore, in submarines you will find only very authoritarian social systems, as more permissive structures would tend to get everyone killed in short order.

Population growth moves us steadily away from the "old west / do whatever you want" scenario and towards the "submarine / co-operation is required to stave off disaster" scenario.

Decry it as creeping socialism (or whatever) all you want, but you're looking at a symptom, not the underlying problem.

3 days ago
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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

Jeremi Re:But Car2Go has (453 comments)

[The ZipCar] will also still be there after you finish shopping.

That's a very good point -- but OTOH if you are worried about that, you also have the option of leaving your Car2Go car "locked" (and thus guaranteed to stay put) while you shop. You'll pay more if you do that, of course, but it's up to you to decide whether you prefer "cheaper" or "guaranteed available".

3 days ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

Jeremi Re:Who pays for the infrastructure costs? (516 comments)

Then you're living in a daydream. There simply isn't enough land for things like big solar farms to create that scale. Or wind farms. And, for ENVIRONMENTAL reasons, Hydro in at least the US is nearly as developed as it's going to get.

The point is, non-renewables run out. That's why they are called non-renewable. That means we will be transitioning away from them at some point, whether we like it or not.

Whether we end up transitioning to solar, wind, fission, fusion, or just to shivering-in-the-dark in an open question, but we will be transitioning to something, because once the oil and coal has been burned, it won't be coming back.

about a week ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

Jeremi Re:Who pays for the infrastructure costs? (516 comments)

What money is that? They already have sources of power as it is.

Residential power demand grows over time, as more houses are built, and/or people in existing houses start using more power.

When an area's peak power demand surpasses the capacity of the power company's existing power plants, the power company has to build more power plants; otherwise they risk brownouts or blackouts during peak usage periods (e.g. hot summer afternoons when everyone is running the A/C).

Building (and then maintaining) those additional power plants costs the power company money.

On the other hand, if the new houses (and/or some of the existing houses) add solar panels, that reduces the peak power demand, which means that additional peaking plants no longer have to be built, or maintained. That reduces the power company's future costs.

That's why it's not "charity" -- it's a win/win situation for both the consumer and the power company.

about a week ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

Jeremi Re:They WILL FIght Back (516 comments)

What about bird kills, though.

Bird kills do happen. The relevant questions to ask would be: (a) how much do wind-farm bird kills effect the bird population, relative to other sources of bird mortality, and (b) how many birds would die in the alternative scenario, where the wind farm is not built?

The answer to (a) is: not very much.

The answer to (b) would of course depend a whole lot on how society chose to produce its energy instead of by from wind. If society continued to burn fossil fuels instead, the likelihood is that climate change would wipe out a lot more birds than windmills ever could. OTOH, if society chose to build nuclear plants or solar plants instead, it's possible that those options would kill fewer birds. As with most hypotheticals, there isn't an easy answer; but pretty much every energy solution (other than energy conservation, which is very much underrated IMO) comes with some environmental cost, and of course bird conservation is only one of many considerations that have to be taken into account.

about a week ago
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Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

Jeremi Re:Signed by whom? (327 comments)

So if dancing pigs is as much of a support cost for companies as you claim it is,

How much of a support cost did I claim it was? I don't recall putting an actual value on anything. I only pointed out that a benefit exists. Whether that benefit makes the lock-everything-down strategy worth pursuing or not (for a given product) would depend very much on who the product's target-market it is and what the product is used for.

about a week ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

Jeremi Re:They WILL FIght Back (516 comments)

Wind power is a joke regardless of how you look at it. It's more environmentally disruptive than yesterday's technology and doesn't scale nearly as well

One interesting thing about Wind Power that is demonstrated by your Google Maps link is that once the windmills are built, the land around and between them is guaranteed to be left largely undeveloped for the lifetime of the site. That is to say, people won't build houses or businesses there, and not much else can be built there either since it would disrupt the wind flow that the turbines depend on.

Given that, the construction of windmills at a site might actually be an environmental plus(*), since it keeps creeping suburbia away and leaves 95%+ of the area unaffected..

(*) okay, an environmental lesser-of-two-evils, anyway. The environmental ideal would be no human presence on the land at all, but that's often not an option.

about a week ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

Jeremi Re:"eye sore" (516 comments)

I wonder if the greenies would complain if instead we put up a billboard.

Yes, and they'd be right to do so. A wind turbine may disturb a pristine landscape, but on the other hand it's also helping transition us away from our dependence on fossil fuels, so there is a compensating environmental benefit.

A billboard, on the other hand, despoils the landscape and has no compensating environmental benefit. From an environmental perspective, it's a total loss.

(of course if you'd like to have both your pristine landscapes and your wind turbines, than placing the wind turbines several miles off-shore might be the best-of-both-worlds solution to pursue. There's lots of wind there, and very few tourists)

about a week ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

Jeremi Re:Who pays for the infrastructure costs? (516 comments)

Is the solar install base REALLY going to be able to accommodate a 15-30,000% (fifteen to thirty THOUSAND percent) increase in deployment?

Note solar alone, but renewable sources will at some point have to take over the entire load, because non-renewables, by definition, will not be economically viable at some point.

The only question is when.

about a week ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

Jeremi Re:Who pays for the infrastructure costs? (516 comments)

Should the power companies be FORCED to just eat the fees of hooking up and stabilizing a power source that's only producing cheap power during periods where demand is lowest?

Sure -- they can use some of the money they save by not having to build and maintain more peaking plants, because residential solar will now handle that issue for them.

about a week ago
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How To Anesthetize an Octopus

Jeremi Re:Paralyzed yet Fully Aware (105 comments)

I've never been able to figure out why they execute people with drug combinations at all -- if the goal is a quick, humane, unembarrassing death, why not just flood the execution chamber with nitrogen or some other inert gas? By all accounts, dying of nitrogen suffocation is quick, reliable, and painless -- you don't even feel like you're suffocating, since that feeling is brought on by a buildup of CO2 rather than by a lack of oxygen. Instead, you just pass out.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

Jeremi Re:Signed by whom? (327 comments)

By whom?

For applications, a developer signs up with Apple (for $99/year) and part of what they get out of that is a private key that allows them to sign their applications. I don't know if the signing system for drivers is similar, but I don't see any reason why it couldn't be.

Can the owner of a Mac choose which code signing certificate authorities to trust? If not, how does that inability benefit the computer's users?

It benefits the user by allowing Apple to (largely) ensure that signed code on the user's machine is code that was written by a developer that isn't a known malware source. If the user could choose a different certificate authority, then every "see the dancing pigs for free" malware app could just instruct the user to choose SuperL33TChineseCertificatAuthority as a trusted certificate authority, and we'd be back to square one.

tl;dr taking the 'whom to trust" decision out of the user's hands means it is impossible for the user to screw that decision up.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

Jeremi Re:Why? (327 comments)

Why pay more for Apple to preinstall an SSD for you when you can buy the SAME BRAND if not identical model number they use and install it for usually HALF the cost or less than what they charge for the upgrade? Answer THAT.

So that if the Mac ever stops working, I can tell my Mom to just take it to the Apple store and they will fix it for her.

If the Mac contains a 3rd-party drive and it breaks, the Apple store will likely hand it right back to her and say "we can't support 3rd-party products". (At least, that's what happened last time I tried to save money by putting 3rd-party RAM into her Mac Mini) Then I will have to fly out and fix it myself, or temporarily remove the 3rd-party drive and replace it with the original Apple-supplied one, before the Mac can be made operational again.

It's worth something extra to keep the system entirely-Apple-supplied, so that there's no quibbling about who is responsible to fix what when something goes wrong. How much extra depends on how much your time is worth.

about two weeks ago
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Alleged Satellite Photo Says Ukraine Shootdown of MH17

Jeremi Re:If I was running counter-intelligence for the C (340 comments)

If anything is "obvious" here, it is that this is the propaganda equivalent of a False Flag attack. My guess is CIA/Mossad.

But surely the CIA/Mossad would be clever enough to realize that Anonanonaon would quickly figure out their False Flag strategy and expose them on Slashdot, so they'd know better than to try it... meaning that the only remaining explanation is that Russia put out the fake photo as a False False Flag attack, to make the CIA/Mossad look bad!

This is why you never go in against a Russian when death is on the line!

about two weeks ago
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Google Wallet API For Digital Goods Will Be Retired On March 2, 2015

Jeremi Re:Google's Paypal (105 comments)

I can't think of anyone else who abandons their own work so frequently and after its actually launched on the public, too.

I can think of one... Apple. Try bringing your $6,000+ quad-Xeon cheese-grater Mac Pro into an Apple Store for support -- the "geniuses" will all gather round to look at the fascinating museum piece, before they tell you that they can't help you with your "legacy Mac". :^P

google makes me laugh. a bunch of children who think they can engineer products. lol.

No doubt that explains why they are such a tiny company that nobody has ever heard of, with such a minuscule user base. Do I detect some sour grapes?

about two weeks ago
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The Military's Latest Enemy: Climate Change

Jeremi Re:history repeating (163 comments)

The point is that if you are unable to derive a good (predictive) model for a function (weather in this case), then you have no hope of modeling the integral of that function (climate)./quote.

My point is that the above is simply not true -- for example, despite the fact that at the quantum level events are happening randomly and unpredictably all the time, we are nevertheless able to use Newton's and Einstein's laws to predict the future positions of planets and spaceships with amazing accuracy.

In a similar fashion, climate scientists can predict long-term climate trends with much better accuracy than the weatherman can predict the weather, precisely because all the little random events average each other out over a large enough sample size.

about two weeks ago
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Police Body Cam Privacy Exploitation

Jeremi Re:We already have laws to cover this (301 comments)

And many people, incl. many here, want them on all the time, no exceptions, to prevent exactly that.

Of course, a dishonest police officer can always find something to cover the camera with, or "accidentally" put it on backwards, or "forget" to charge the battery, or any number of other subtle or not-so-subtle bits of sabotage.

The real endgame arrives only when both the police officer and any person (s)he comes in contact with are both recording video. In that case both parties will have an incentive to record everything, since otherwise only the other party will have (possibly selective/edited) video evidence to provide.

about two weeks ago
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The Military's Latest Enemy: Climate Change

Jeremi Re:history repeating (163 comments)

Climate is nothing more or less than the integral of weather.

Sure, in the same way that everyday mechanical physics is nothing more or less than the integral of quantum mechanics.

The statement is technically true, but also quite misleading, in that in both cases knowing something about the behavior at one scale isn't going to give you much intuition about how things behave at the other.

about two weeks ago
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The Military's Latest Enemy: Climate Change

Jeremi Re:history repeating (163 comments)

Now, with the rise of ISIS, a newly expansionist Russia, and the spectra of a waking dragon, the US officer core is saying weather is our biggest threat.

Ignoring the "spectra of a waking dragon" (whatever the hell that is), and fact that you don't appear to understand the difference between 'weather' and 'climate' -- can you point to the place in the report where it says that "climate change is our biggest threat"?

I suspect you cannot, and the reason you cannot is because you pulled that claim out of your ass.

about two weeks ago

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