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NASA Launching Satellite To Track Carbon

RavenousRhesus Please Refrain: A Public Service Announcement (190 comments)

Don't write or post stories about stuff like this until after it's basically a done deal. The more air time and attention it gets, the more it reaches the public consciousness of the unwashed masses. Unfortunately, a significant portion of those unwashed masses includes supporters of climate change deniers in congress with the power to continually reject funding for such scientific endeavors. Once this rabid supporter base gets a taste of something like this it has a good chance of spreading to become an epidemic, basically forcing the aforementioned deniers in power to move against it.

So, please, for the love of science, keep stories like this on the down low until their basically about to launch (most of the funding is already spent), sharing it with only your closest and most trusted scientific allies. Let your giddy fancy slowly evolve to the point of nerdgasm as a close precursor to the final objective. Then, and only then, is it safe to share this news with those who cannot or will not appreciate it.

about 2 months ago
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Google Using YouTube Threat As Leverage For Cheaper Streaming Rights

RavenousRhesus The spectrum of the monopoly (197 comments)

Google grows. Google more and more often takes business steps that are increasingly monopolistic, duh.

I, for one, would be interested to see some sort of psychological study to see at what point on the spectrum from start up to monopoly the general population considers a company to be more a monopoly than just your standard, run of the mill company.

Personally I think Google has crossed that mark. They are certainly not a textbook monopoly, but they behave far too close to one for me to have a positive view of them despite all their positive innovation.

about 3 months ago
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Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

RavenousRhesus U.S. also sucks at geography (688 comments)

...South American countries such as Chile and Mexico.

This just it, basic geography skills also lacking.

about 3 months ago
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NASA's Plan To Block Light From Distant Stars To Find 'Earth 2.0'

RavenousRhesus Mutliscope (92 comments)

Why not make the shade a sphere (or at least sphere-ish)? Then you could have multiple telescopes use it to image different stars simultaneously, then have the telescopes reposition. This way you could also scale it up in the future by adding more telescopes if it proves to be a fruitful enough project.

about 3 months ago
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First Transistors Made Entirely of 2-D Materials

RavenousRhesus Re:getting real sick of this (137 comments)

No, electrons are actually considered subatomic particles by physicists.

about 4 months ago
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First Transistors Made Entirely of 2-D Materials

RavenousRhesus Not informative at all... (137 comments)

2D does not refer to an "absence of a degree of freedom". Things denoted in "*number*D" or "*number*-D"format are referring to a number of spacetime dimensions. No one in any field of math, science, or engineering ever relates degrees of motion to "D"s. Sometimes it is abbreviated DOF, but never just *number*(-)D as that is reserved for dimensions.

about 4 months ago
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Astronomers Solve Puzzle of the Mountains That Fell From Space

RavenousRhesus Re:Doesn't Gravity Affect Angle of Repose? (51 comments)

I didn't read the reference material either. All I did is read the reference section and see that they are references a paper with "granular materials under reduced gravity" in the title. It's by no means a stretch of the imagination to assume that this scientific paper actually uses the results of a referenced scientific paper in its own analysis. That's kind of how the process works.

about 4 months ago
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Astronomers Solve Puzzle of the Mountains That Fell From Space

RavenousRhesus Re:Doesn't Gravity Affect Angle of Repose? (51 comments)

Iapetus has only a fraction of Earth's gravity (Iapetus radius 735 KM, Earth radius 6371 KM, you do the math, after figuring out the relative density for yourself). Wouldn't a hugely smaller gravity significantly affect the angle of repose they carry on about in that referenced scientific paper? I doubt you can compare the angle of repose of rounded particles (or snow and hail) on Earth with that of a very small _and airless!_ moon.

But I'll leave that to the astrophysicists to work out.

From the references in that exact article you criticize (but clearly didn't read):

"Kleinhans, M. G., Markies, H., de Vet, S. J., in 't Veld, A. C., Postema, F. N., 2011. Static and dynamic angles of repose in loose granular materials under reduced gravity. Journal of Geophysical Research 116, E11004."

So, yes, I'd say they did take into account the low gravity.

about 4 months ago
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Astronomers Solve Puzzle of the Mountains That Fell From Space

RavenousRhesus Nope (51 comments)

Erroneous. It was our space overlords running an experiment.

about 4 months ago
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Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

RavenousRhesus Short-sighted (937 comments)

Open your eyes to the more distant future where all new cars are self-driving and only antiques require drivers. Then we can lay blame of self-driving-car-on-self-driving-car accidents with the manufacturers.

about 8 months ago
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Tor Usage More Than Doubles In August

RavenousRhesus Re:So is this because... (186 comments)

Either way, it's a bunch of people saying "fuck you" to the NSA.

The NSA can eat shit ... and so can the USA and their "spy on the world" bullshit.

You want to understand why the rest of the world is starting to lose patience for America? The NSA and their spying is a pretty good example -- self entitled assholes who think their wishes trump everything else.

The rest of us have no interest in giving up our rights for your benefit. Just because you guys are giving up all of yours doesn't mean we need to, or should continue to respect you.

Protip: every country spies.

1 year,1 day
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UCSD Lecturer Releases Geotagging Application For "Dangerous Guns and Owners"

RavenousRhesus Re:1 2 3 4 I declare flame war (976 comments)

That way, kids [are] less likely to go rooting through bedroom drawers.

That's asinine. Since when do educated kids not snoop around for things to play with and get into trouble?

Also, the parent keeping a gun in a bedroom drawer and not locked in a safe with a child in the house is doing it absolutely wrong.

about a year ago
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UCSD Lecturer Releases Geotagging Application For "Dangerous Guns and Owners"

RavenousRhesus Guns Vs. Bibles (976 comments)

I question how the motivation behind developing this app differs from, say, developing an app to allow others to publicly geotag homes of people believed to belong to a particular religion or political party.

How is it different? The public is legitimately concerned with its safety when firearms are involved. While someone wielding a Bible or campaign pin could technically kill you, it's VASTLY easier for someone wielding a gun to kill you.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Getting Hired As a Self-Taught Old Guy?

RavenousRhesus Re: Start your own (472 comments)

"average" has many meanings, the simple median, mean, and mode among them. In this case, and in most others where you care about position within a distribution the median is the "average" that is actually relevant - the amount made "by the average Joe". The mean will almost always be biased significantly higher due to extreme income inequality.

Incorrect.

Mean - average Median - the center value Mode - the largest group.

Mean is a strict average, and is thrown off if the distribution isn't even. Median is the middle. Half the people are making more, half are making less.

Mode is what the majority of people belong to.

You can't derive "the average joe" from any of those figures. Mode might give the best guess, but if's just the population with the largest grouping.

Mean and Median can be fooled quite easy by large populations at the extreme - mean is easy to see why, Median just means the center value and it reveals nothing with the distribution.

What you really need is the income distribution curve and figure out what the standard deviation is. If everything is a nice Gaussian distribution, the mean, median and mode will be identical. But once things get skewed, all three figures will be all over the place and the numbers are rather meaningless.

Small correction: mode would be the range that the plurality of people belong to, not necessarily (and not likely) the majority.

To a broader point, the median household income is far from meaningless. You just have to have an understanding of what it represents. Yes, that means knowing that 50% of the subject population make more; and 50% make less meaning that, if that stat is taken alone, you can really only tell if you're in the top or bottom half. The more factors you start to look at, the better the information you can gleam about where you fall in the population.

Probably the best example is unemployment. What would a lower median income and higher unemployment/underemployment tell you? It means the jobs aren't necessarily paying that much less than in other places with slightly higher median incomes, just that there are a lot more people making very little on unemployment/underemployment. However, if there's a higher median income AND a higher unemployment/underemployment, you could say that even the lower level jobs in the area are paying pretty well, you just might have a harder time finding one.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Getting Hired As a Self-Taught Old Guy?

RavenousRhesus Re:Start your own (472 comments)

Being successful in life has little to do with one's genetic material and a lot to do with one's environment. A person's being on the lower end of the socioeconomic scale is not in and of itself a valid reason to say his or her genes are inferior to those that live more privileged lives.

about a year ago
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Microsoft Reputation Manager's Guide To Xbox One

RavenousRhesus Re: Damage control (611 comments)

Also the facts that A) it does not ban game lending and B) the Kinect is only always-on by default and can, in fact, be turned off.

about a year ago
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Microsoft Reputation Manager's Guide To Xbox One

RavenousRhesus Re:Damage control (611 comments)

Meh. It's cheaper than a PS3. Adjusted for inflation it's cheaper than an Xbox 360 would have been at launch with Kinect. The only real issue with the price IMO is what you get in comparison to the PS4.

And adjusted for inflation a gallon of gas should have cost $3.11 when the 360 was released, but it didn't. It cost $2.20. You can't use inflation to justify a single good's price change. That's not how it works or how it's intended to be used. Plus, why compare present to past when you have a perfectly good present to present comparison to make? The fact is an XBO will cost 25% more than a PS4 (minus a PS Eye). Each consumer is going to have to make up his/her own mind as to whether or not it's worth that 25% higher price tag.

about a year ago
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Man Of Steel Leaps Over Record With $125.1 Million To Mixed Reviews

RavenousRhesus Lex Corp? (364 comments)

*Spoiler* (sort of)

I wonder how many people were numbed by the never-ending action and missed Zod kicking the Lex Corp tanker at Superman.

As if anyone would make a Superman reboot and leave Lex Luther out of the multi-movie arc.

*End Spoiler*

about a year ago
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Microsoft Reputation Manager's Guide To Xbox One

RavenousRhesus Re:Spin it all you like guys ... (611 comments)

...privacy issues with the always-on Kinect...

You lost right there. How are people still unaware that the Kinect is always-on only by default currently - though that will likely change with all the hostility towards it - and has been explicitly said could be turned off (thus, by definition, NOT "always-on").

about a year ago
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Microsoft Reputation Manager's Guide To Xbox One

RavenousRhesus Re:Damage control (611 comments)

Lots of people are pissed over the price...

^This. Price is so much more important to the average consumer than "I have to plug this thing into my modem/router? OK." If the PS4's Eye was a mandatory bundle with the PS4, the price difference wouldn't be that big of a deal at $40ish; but the full $100 difference will definitely push a lot of consumers to the PS4, especially considering that neither one will let you play your current game library at launch.

about a year ago

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