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Jeffrey Zients Appointed To Fix

MichaelPenne Re:It's NOT going to happen (250 comments)

Especially because he said 'the website'. Imagine counting every line of HTML in wikipedia as a 'line of code'.

Things get pretty big pretty fast when you do it that way.

about 9 months ago

Jeffrey Zients Appointed To Fix

MichaelPenne Re:Surprising (250 comments)

Right, read your Constitution. Advise and consent is for Cabinet posts, not every freakin' job in the Govt.

about 9 months ago

Jeffrey Zients Appointed To Fix

MichaelPenne Re:Somewhere 10,000 contractors get a call (250 comments)

It mostly replicates a system that is working well, with known failure points and workarounds.

In Mass. but the Netherlands uses a similar system also. They spend less, have lower mortality, and greater life expectancy than we do.

It's totally true that the ideas underlying the ACA have been hashed about since they were first proposed by the GOP in 1993's HEART act, tested in the real world, and proven.

The idea of making people register in order to view plans though, that was just bad web application design, no argument there. PHB wins that one.

about 9 months ago

Jeffrey Zients Appointed To Fix

MichaelPenne Re:Apollo 1 (250 comments)

Now thats a freaking good point. I've had UnitedHealthcare and BC/BS and their websites have always been horrible. Just suxors.

about 9 months ago

Fifteen Years After Autism Panic, a Plague of Measles Erupts

MichaelPenne Does anyone know why CDC censored themselves SV40 (668 comments)

That pre 1963 Polio vaccine was contaminated with SV40 virus? CDC soon yanked the warning, and it only exists now on the Internet Archive.

Given that vaccines Drs want to give to kids have increased 3x since 1980, and many are for non-lethal diseases like rotavirus or for things like Hep B that a baby is highly unlikely to contract, and given that drug production is imperfect, I think many parents have legitimate concerns and being ordered to unquestionably follow their known-to-be-imperfect doctor's advice feed the backlash against vaccines.

Dr. Sears has good information for parents who want to take an informed, balanced approach:

1 year,5 days

Scientists Explain Why Chairman of House Committee On Science Is Wrong

MichaelPenne Re:data sample question (476 comments)

Mod parent up please - that is a very good video:)

about a year ago

Book Review: The Human Division

MichaelPenne Re:Many classes of non-human (115 comments)

Lots of Scalzi's aliens eat humans. Some find us delicious.

Most of the 'sensible' interplanetary war stories start with cheap, easy FTL and fewish habitable planets. In which case conflict is likely for species that can use the same planets. Of course its a HUGE leap to cheap easy FTL.

One I remember that didn't have cheap/easy FTL had a species flee their dying home planet on a slower than light colony ship, and end up here. They wanted to come down and party with us, and we didn't want them to.

about a year ago

CO2 Levels Reach 400ppm at Mauna Loa For First Time On Record

MichaelPenne Re: Why not? This proves Warmists are wrong. (497 comments)

"I wish (ha, and a pony) that those with a political agenda would not misrepresent science as being in anyone's 'interest' or misquoting scientific papers to show one thing when the full results show something completely different."

Yeah. Where did you see that happening?

about a year ago

CO2 Levels Reach 400ppm at Mauna Loa For First Time On Record

MichaelPenne Re:CO2 at an active volcano? Who wudda thot? (497 comments)

Your link says correctly that what heats glass greenhouses is not the greenhouse effect caused by carbon in the air.

The mythbusters demonstrated that containers with higher CO2/Methane levels grew warmer than a control. How exactly were they off-base?

"So hard that it has never been empirically tested,"

That is about as solid falsification as any lab experiment - if one had to put an entire system into a controlled experiment in order to test a hypothesis, most of what we call science would be impossible - we test hypotheses about gravity, gas pressure, genetics, etc. in controlled lab experiments, but for some reason we can't test the effect of carbon on infrared light??

If the lab experiments demonstrated that carbon had no effect on heat, we would need to re-examine the whole theory. But what is possible to reproduce in a lab does support the theory, as does historical data (insolation, global temperature, and atmospheric carbon levels from the Carboniferous period, etc) as does insolation vs. heat data from other planets (Mars, Venus, etc.).

If the Carboniferous was cold or Venus was cooler than it is, we'd have verifiable evidence that carbon and other greenhouse gasses do not have a the same effect on a planetary scale as they do in the lab, but all empirical evidence we can gather, both via observation and controlled experiment, supports the theory of the effect greenhouse gasses have of planetary temperature.

about a year ago

CO2 Levels Reach 400ppm at Mauna Loa For First Time On Record

MichaelPenne Re: Why not? This proves Warmists are wrong. (497 comments)

The PDF simply reports the results of a study - I don't see anything there that suggests that soil erosion is going to stop global warming in the short term, its just a cool study, IMO, that helps everyone learn more about the complexity of the total system.

Do you think science be put through a political lens before it's published or talked about?

about a year ago

CO2 Levels Reach 400ppm at Mauna Loa For First Time On Record

MichaelPenne Re:CO2 at an active volcano? Who wudda thot? (497 comments)

Suspicions about CO2 as a warming agent are based on the effect carbon molecules have on infrared light.

Its not very hard to test the hypothesis:

And when that happens in the dry upper atmosphere where the planet's heat is radiated outwards, less heat is radiated outwards.

about a year ago

SOPA Creator Now In Charge of NSF Grants

MichaelPenne Re:ah the anti-NSF crowd again (307 comments)

Its a matter of speed and scale, if a violent individual has a gun, he can kill more people more rapidly than if he has a knife. Likewise if the individual has semtex. We make semtex illegal for a reason.

If guns were not a better tool for killing people than knives, then....

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Service-Heavy FOSS Hosting?

MichaelPenne Joyent (75 comments)

We use Joyent - very happy with their service.

about a year ago

For Businesses, the College Degree Is the New High School Diploma

MichaelPenne Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (728 comments)

The degree requirement screens out the people who can't commit to a project through to its completion.

Then I separate the mediocre from the reliable in the interview process.

I want brilliant and reliable people, and I find them, and I hire them :-).

about a year and a half ago

NASA Plans To "Lasso" Asteroid and Turn It Into Space Station

MichaelPenne Re:illogical - lots of sunlight (200 comments)

Presumably they would use sunlight gathered by solar panels for power to spit the H2O. I don't think the challenge here is to find the most efficient (in terms of using the least amount of energy) way to power the spacecraft- but rather to provide fuel the spacecraft can use in its rockets.

One could be much more purely efficient with a solar sail or the like, no conversion, but they don't accelerate very quickly and have some problems tacking.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Gently Keep Management From Wrecking a Project?

MichaelPenne Project business plan/budget? (276 comments)

I like large projects to have their own business plan- with resource costs (staff, office, etc.), and budget, and expected operating margin for the project as the resulting product/products are sold. Ideally inclide marketing and sales commission costs. This is a big deal to developer, but one of the benefits is that one can show to upper mgt. The effects of overstaffing on the margins. Also a good business plan would include the reason for all project roles, for all the people on the project (since their salaries all subtract from the profit margin). Then with a formal plan its much harder for an inexperienced manager to pad the resources for some pointy haired reason of his/her own as he/she should need to justify the reduced margins, etc.

about a year and a half ago

Blackboard Buys Moodlerooms and Netspot

MichaelPenne Re:they can continue for now... (95 comments)

It's important to remember that Blackboard bought 2 of 52 Moodle Partners. Others, like the company I work for, are completely independent of this deal. The Partner program gives good insulation to customers - if they don't like the Partner they are contracting with, they can switch to another one, or bring their Moodle site in house.

Some of the other LMS companies have an open source option, however none have a Partner program, so you have to choose between DIY or the commercial company that also owns the code. With Moodle, Martin Dougiamas, Moodle's founder, focuses on core development and his team is funded by contributions from the Partners. This means there are many choices for Moodle customers and the purchase of one or several of the many hosting/support companies in the Moodle Partner program won't change that.


more than 2 years ago

Microsoft Shows Off Radical New UI, Could Be Used In Windows 8

MichaelPenne Fixing the wrong problem (403 comments)

To improve Windows, MS should make it stabler, make it faster, and more exploit proof, and for goodness sake actually implement W3C standards in IE.
Otherwise the UI of XP/Win7 is adequate, thats not the problem - the problems are:
1. It crashes frequently (compared to other modern OSs like MacOS and Linux),
2. IE is a huge timesink because of lack of full standards support (though in my last big web project, IE8 was almost not a problem).
3. It is tragically vulnerable to exploits
4. It requires an incredible amount of processor and ram to run - and doesn't seem to really do much more with all that hardware than NT did with much less.

more than 3 years ago

Chrome May Drop the URL Bar

MichaelPenne That is a bad idea (343 comments)

I hope it doesn't make the cut. A simplified interface can be oversimplified.

more than 3 years ago


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