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Spanish Company Tests 'Right To Be Forgotten' Against Google

Sj0 This is a great step! (200 comments)

This is an exciting new step for us all!

Want to visit Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya? Don't worry! Nothing bad has ever happened there! Just think of the tourist dollars coming in (but not a lot of tourists making it out, but we'll be suppressing that.)

Want to finally put that nasty 9/11 behind us? Fantastic! We wiped the twin towers from history just like a church in the Soviet Union! Never happened!

more than 2 years ago

Should Social Media Affect Your Creditworthiness?

Sj0 Re:Just stop it! (344 comments)

Depending on the land taxes, it doesn't take much.

The city I'm in has ridiculously high land taxes, equal to 300 dollars a month. a fixed rate 30 year mortgage for $200,000 at 4% will cost about 400 dollars a month in interest, all totaled.

So we're talking $700/month already. My rent is 900/month,so all it takes is 200/month or 2400/year of house maintenance to completely wipe out any savings in equity. The house I'm in already needs major work that would cost much more than that if it were my problem. You're probably going to want to insure that investment too, further cutting into your principle.

more than 3 years ago

Chrome 15 Overtakes IE 8 For Top Browser Spot

Sj0 Re:here's a crazy idea (507 comments)

When the browser tries to dictate what websites you go to, then the web browser is faulty.

more than 3 years ago

Chrome 15 Overtakes IE 8 For Top Browser Spot

Sj0 Re:I could care less: Opera64's out 4 Windows! (507 comments)

I swear I can feel 32 bit applications thunking down when I run 64 bit OSes. In fact, it's one of the reasons I still use a 32-bit OS.

more than 3 years ago

Dell Ditches Netbooks

Sj0 Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (354 comments)

From where I'm sitting, computing works best with a 3 tiered approach.

1. Primary computing from a desktop computer for all sorts of base station tasks, such as file archiving and downloading or gaming.
2. Secondary computing from a netbook for tasks that require the flexibility of windows or linux on x86, but with the portability and safety of a 250 dollar netbook instead.
3. Tertiary computing from a smart phone for tasks that don't require great flexibility or controls.

Even though I travel a lot now, I still find this paradigm applies. My base station is still great for having physically secure, reliable, safe storage and high powered processing power; my secondary computing comes from one of the new breed of laptops with netbook level processing power (full size laptop with an AMD c50 apu), but only because I spend so much time away from my base station. Despite having great uses for both of my computers, my mobile phone is perfect for a lot of times I won't have a real computer in front of me.

Netbooks and tablets both attempt to fill the niche of secondary computing. Most people can't afford a desktop replacement for secondary computing, or they don't want to travel with an expensive desktop replacement, or they can't handle the size or power or heat of a desktop replacement.

more than 3 years ago

FBI Cybercrime Director Comments On Hacktivism

Sj0 Lawful neutral (254 comments)

This guy sounds lawful neutral. The law allows you to be "free", but only to the point that the law tells you to stop. If we lived in soviet russia, his attitude may still be lawful neutral, and we'd get off way worse.

more than 3 years ago

Researchers Create "Mighty Mouse" With Gene Tweak

Sj0 Re:Give to 1 area, ur taking from another (112 comments)

Not necessarily.

There are plenty of adaptions that make sense from a survival standpoint that don't make sense from a design standpoint. Immediately apparent, a body would limit growth in an environment where food is scarce. The increased protein required wouldn't hurt a rat in a cage fed a balanced diet, but could cost a rat in the wild its survival. Hence, despite having a more powerful body without real consequences, the mouse with this gene would be less survivable and thus the trait would be phased out over time.

more than 3 years ago

Dell Ditches Netbooks

Sj0 Re:ARM: apps. Atom: price per LCD square inch. (354 comments)

I tend to disagree. ARM will do much better in the next few years as android becomes more mature for tablets. The price point for such a device is plummetting, we're going to reach a point where it's too easy to sell a netbook with android on ARM.

more than 3 years ago

Dell Ditches Netbooks

Sj0 Re:next we'll hear that Dell is in trouble... (354 comments)

I'm running an Acer Aspire with an AMD C50 processor. Full size keyboard, big nice looking screen, and a powerful video card. Battery life is respectable. Probably could be much more with a third party battery. It ran me about as much money as the netbooks I've been buying left and right.

It's all about what you're using the machine for, but considering what I want this machine for (basically surfing the web during my many hours at airports), it works great, and best of all it doesn't run hot, unlike the V150 powered machine I had last.

more than 3 years ago

Should Social Media Affect Your Creditworthiness?

Sj0 Re:Just stop it! (344 comments)

You seem to have misunderstood me.

After paying rent payments for 360 months, I'll have more money than I would have paid towards the principle in my home. Therefore, after 360 months, I'll own a larger chunk of cash than I would have had equity in my home.

This means that after that 30 years, I could buy a house cash, and have a bunch of money in the bank, instead of having a house and being broke.

more than 3 years ago

Google Rolls Out Official Android 4.0 ICS Update

Sj0 Re:Android performance (92 comments)

If that were the sole case, then smart phones wouldn't be on the radar. qwerty phones are way cheaper than smart phones.

more than 3 years ago

Google Rolls Out Official Android 4.0 ICS Update

Sj0 Re:Android performance (92 comments)

The practices they used were faulty. That's why they were successfully charged in court for anti-competitive practices.

Thankfully, their product improved since they were convicted.

more than 3 years ago

Louis CK's Internet Experiment Pays Off

Sj0 Re:Pirate attitude (309 comments)

There exists such a thing as "Squatter's rights", where those who abandon physical property can lose their claim to it. Similarly, if a company abandons their property and refuses to sell it to me, I shall take their actions as relinquishing the responsibility and thus relinquishing the fruits of ownership.

more than 3 years ago

Should Social Media Affect Your Creditworthiness?

Sj0 Re:Perfectly reasonable (344 comments)

Actually, you're completely allowed to conceal facts. I've given a number of situations where this is true. I've even given situations where the law specifically protects secrets.

There's a powerful difference between "nice to have"s and "legally required to have"s. You keep using the word right, but a right is a very powerful and dangerous thing, and contrary to your belief, it isn't something that has basis in law.

For example, I'm not entitled to know the recipe and process for making coca cola. It is, in fact, a protected trade secret. Before buying a coke, or indeed before buying stock in coke, that information would be unquestionably relevant (to determining the value of your purchase, but just because it's nice to have, doesn't mean coca cola is ever required to tell you. You do NOT have a right to the information.

The entire stock market is based on the idea of getting the scoop on others who don't have the same information you do. In some cases it is restricted(insider trading, for example), but in most cases, the Warren Buffets of the world are rewarded, not punished, for buying securities at the wrong price and selling them at another much higher price. There is no basis to assume by selling a stock to Warren Buffett, you have a RIGHT to know the reasons he's buying the stock, which would certainly be an unquestionably relevant piece of information. The point of the stock exchange is to avoid an equal exchange of value, to try to get something that is actually much more valuable than the person selling it to you thinks it is.

more than 3 years ago

Why the NTSB Is Wrong About Cellphones

Sj0 Re:Might as well ban drivers if people are stupid (1003 comments)

Indeed; Yesterday, I needed to make it just a few blocks to the airport. To walk would take slightly longer than would be acceptable, so I called a taxi. The first service I called had me waiting 45 minutes, and likely would have had me miss my flight. Thankfully, the second service I called was much better, but what if there was no second service, or what if they were busy too?

The distributed nature of people owning their own vehicle means they can at least have some measure of control. The roads may be busy, for example, but at least you can make the choice to leave. By contrast, if you rely on public transit or taxi service, you're stuck hoping that the service doesn't screw you over, either by just not showing up, or in the case of public transit, by having badly laid out schedules that mean you spend several hours waiting for connections(happened a lot when I worked on opposite ends of the city from where I lived back in college. Nothing sucks more than spending hours getting to and from work simply because you spend 45 minutes waiting at 2 bus stops)

more than 3 years ago

Why Developers Still Prefer iOS To Android

Sj0 Are there actually statistics? (614 comments)

I've got a ton of paid apps on android, either because the apps I want are pay-only, or because I want to directly support the developer. I've got more apps on my android than I did on my Apple, in part because the former allows the apps I want to be created.

Are there statistics showing that more people are willing to pay on apple? There are free apps there too, after all.

more than 3 years ago

Why the NTSB Is Wrong About Cellphones

Sj0 Re:Might as well ban drivers if people are stupid (1003 comments)

City dwellers usually contribute proportionately less to humanity than people in remote areas.

"Don't worry guys! You don't need metals or food or raw materials for paper! Move to the city and sell TVs at Best Buy! Really *contribute* to the survival of the human race!"

more than 3 years ago

Why the NTSB Is Wrong About Cellphones

Sj0 Re:Might as well ban drivers if people are stupid (1003 comments)

Then the poor can get poorer and the rich can get richer, and politicians can act like its because poor people are stupid and undisciplined, rather than because politicians keep raising artificial barriers for them to find work.

Yeah, that's going to help the economy.

more than 3 years ago


Sj0 hasn't submitted any stories.



The Prius: Still costs more than its worth.

Sj0 Sj0 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

It's a 2009 Ford Focus SES, a very nice vehicle. MSRP of $17,865 [1]. 7.1l/100km combined mileage [2]. Judging from the intervals so far(5000km, 10,000km), it looks like Ford wants me to change the oil every 5000km. The oil change cost me about 50 bucks.

So, I figure my annual cost of ownership this way: To own a car, I need to pay for it, I need to pay for insurance, I need gas, and I need to change the oil.

I assume that I want the 5yr, 100,000km powertrain warranty to last the whole 5 years I own the vehicle, limiting the distance travelled to 20,000km/yr. I assume gas is about a dollar per litre.

vehicle payments before taxes: $3573/yr
insurance: $2100/yr
Fuel: $1440/yr
Oil: $200/yr
Total cost to own and operate the vehicle: $7313/yr

I bought a new car recently, and was running through the cost of ownership over the warranty period of the vehicle.

Compare to a 2009 Toyota Prius, another very nice vehicle. MSRP of $24,270 [3](This surprised me because it means the price went down considerably). 4.1/100km combined mileage [4]. The oil change interval appears to be every 8000km[5]. I'll assume the oil change will cost about the same.

So, I figure my annual cost of ownership this way: To own a car, I need to pay for it, I need to pay for insurance, I need gas, and I need to change the oil.

I assume that I want the 5yr, 100,000km powertrain warranty to last the whole 5 years I own the vehicle, limiting the distance travelled to 20,000km/yr. I assume gas is about a dollar per litre.

vehicle payments before taxes: $4854/yr
insurance: $2100/yr
Fuel: $820/yr
Oil: $125/yr
Total cost to own and operate the vehicle: $7899/yr

Prices would need to double -- that is, they'd need to hit an average of $2.07/l ($7.8/usg) for a year for the vehicle to be a break-even deal.

I know my conclusions from this data, but feel free to form your own.


Extinction: Why humanity must shrink to avoid it.

Sj0 Sj0 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

The human race has thrived on what is effectively borrowed time.

Fossil fuels are, everyone agrees, finite in supply. After we deplete our resources, they won't be replenished within the probable lifespan of the human race.

"Carrying capacity" is the maximum population an ecosystem can support before becoming unsustainable. You don't see it right away, but over time exceeding the carrying capacity of an ecosystem will cause the population to crash. For example, if an island has enough vegetation to sustainably feed 200 deer, you could get 201 deer and there wouldn't be an immediate destruction, but eventually the island would be stripped bare and the entire population would die out.

Once our reserves are depleted, the ability of the human race to feed itself will be restricted. We'll be suddenly trapped by the natural carrying capacity of the planet's ecosystems. It is essential that before then, the human race become technologically advanced enough to push the natural carrying capacity upwards to create enough food without fossil fuels, and equally essential that the human race manage their size to lower the target carrying capacity we'll need to reach with technology.

If the population keeps growing at the current rate and technology to increase the natural carrying capacity of our farming ecosystems without fossil fuels continues to be ignored, humanity will be destroyed.

We've got renewable power today. It's no magical source of infinite energy, even though it works extremely well for providing cheap renewable energy to places blessed to have the geography and the infrastructure.

Today, we exist in the numbers we do only because fossil fuels power our expansion. Without them, we'd have to rely on biofuels, which history shows us can't even provide enough power for a population a fraction of the current size.

Before fossil fuels were used to heat homes, wood was. That was the cause of deforestation in England -- with a much smaller population than today. After wood became impractical, coal was used. Similarly, after whale oil became much more difficult to procure, natural gas was used to light lanterns. Fossil fuels offset the fact that renewable sources of energy were all used in an unrenewable fashion. This devastation of renewable sources of energy was brought about by a population much much smaller than the population inhabiting the same area today. That's exactly the problem. Once the fossil fuels disappear, the population that was already sucking the natural renewable resources of the island dry is orders of magnitude larger, and will suffer. Even fish stocks have been decimated, leading to the collapse of fishing economies, like Newfoundland.

Many people will respond with their favourite pet vapourware technology. Year after year, we continue to be promised a flying car[1], but we don't get it. Don't rely on vapourware to provide energy for a population 6 times greater[2] than the one that deforested England[3] and brought whales to the brink of extinction[4].

I believe in technology, but I don't believe in miracles. I don't believe that technology is a perfect machine that will always provide us exactly the solution we desire. Much of the incredible advancement of the past couple centuries has been the elimination of biofuels in favour of cheaper fossil fuels.

We're far past the carrying capacity of natural or man-made means of collecting solar energy. At our current rate, the amount of food we need just to feed outselves will double by 2080[5]. This is before we think about the amount of food that will have to be grown for conventional biofuels. The problem is that using biofuels with current technology is terribly inefficient. "In fact, even if the entire corn crop in the United States were used to make ethanol, that fuel would replace only 12 percent of current U.S. gasoline use."[6]

There's no free lunch -- literally. No matter how you roll the numbers, there's a limited amount of energy hitting the earth, and once we've used up the fossil fuels, we've got to live with that energy and find ways to use it efficiently to keep our species going. Even look at the articles giving alternative ways to produce nitrogen fertilizer -- biofuels! Where do you think the nitrogen in those biofuels will come from? Nitrogen fertilizer! We need to manage the population because the free ride is going to end. Our choices are either be ready for it, or face extinction.

Our currently installed base of industry cannot support our race.

The reason we can support 6 billion people is nitrogen fertilizer. Nitrogen fertilizer is a "wonder drug" which causes plants to grow incredibly well. It's used around the world, but to give an idea of the effectiveness of nitrogen fertilizer, it was recently introduced to villages in China that couldn't support themselves. Suddenly they became capable of exporting huge amounts of crops using these chemicals. Nitrogen fertilizer is created almost entirely using natural gas feedstock. Thus, food is effectively a product of fossil fuels. Without nitrogen fertilizer, we wouldn't be able to grow enough to feed everyone.

Ammonia is the most important chemical containing nitrogen. It's a fundamental ingredient in fertilizer. Today, the raw ingredients to create ammonia are natural gas, steam, and air. As of 1982 (and industrial plants don't move very quickly, so it likely hasn't dramatically changed), natural gas, air, and steam is reacted with heat over a catalyst, creating the perfect combination of nitrogen and helium to produce ammonia, with water and CO2 waste products removed.

Electrolysis is a possible alternative method. It isn't competitive at the moment, just like most hydrogen from electrolysis processes (50-70% efficiency, greatly depending on size, and no matter what you're talking about obscene amounts of energy). At the moment, a fraction of a percent of the world's hydrogen supply is produced through electrolysis because of the problems involved[7].
So where are the problems?

1. Synthetic ammonia is the most important source of ammonia, which in turn is the most important source of nitrogen.

2. Current synthetic ammonia production for fertilizer relies almost exclusively on natural gas. In 1980, 14,686 kilotonnes of nitrogen contained in ammonia was created using the natural gas process. By contrast, all other sources combined accounted for 80 kilotonnes of nitrogen.[8]

3. Current ammonia plants are optimized exclusively for the use of natural gas as a feed stock. Substantial re-tooling would be required to use another feedstock.

4. Massive amounts of energy is required to use electricity as a substitute for hydrocarbons. This will likely require proximity to generators and will preclude the use of existing processing plants, which can run entirely with a water and natural gas supply. Current electrolysis plants are located geographically very close to hydroelectric dams.

5. Whether this is possible at all is highly dependant on other industries which are similarly addicted to petroleum and coal.

5a. The creation of cement currently involves a lime kiln which burns oil, natural gas, or crushed coal.

5b. The creation of steel involves the use of carbon created with hydrocarbons.

5c. The creation of many plastics directly requires crude oil feedstock.

5d. The purification of many metals requires acids with similar issues. Hydrochloric acid is produced almost entirely directly or indirectly from hydrocarbons. The nitric acid process uses ammonia directly as a feedstock.

5e. Many mines use gasoline, natural gas, diesel, and oil to produce power, and couldn't run without the mobile energy source.

5f. The cardboard boxes that these things come in rely on availability of Kraft paper, which uses oil or natural gas to recover process chemicals.

5g. The production of glass requires lime, which is created using a kiln, which uses oil or natural gas

5h. Wood fibres for structural components or for paper, heavily use fossil fuels as a portable source of power to remain viable.

It's easy to say "Oh, we'll just switch to something new", but that shows a naivety about just how important they are. Entire industries rely on oil and natural gas, and there's no substitute. Once oil started going up, everything did. Metals shot up, wood shot up, fibres shot up, food shot up. Imagine if there wasn't enough to go around now. Where do you allocate your resources? Do you make ammonia to feed people now, or do you make cement so you can build new ammonia plants so you can feed people tomorrow? For those who say "go nuclear", how exactly do you intend to build new nuclear plants without any process feedstock for the building materials, without a portable source of energy for mines in the far north to use?

Let's examine the energy cost of three heavily fossil-fuel subsidized critical industries, ammonia, Portland cement, and iron.

Nitrogen: 14.0067gmol1[9]

Hydrogen: 1.00794gmol1[10]

The reaction that creates Nitrogen is as follows:

1/2N2 + 3/2H2 = NH3

Therefore, for every 1g of nitrogen required, 215mg of hydrogen will be required.

The practical energy required for a hydrogen electrolysis unit is 50kwH/kg[11]

The world production of ammonia in 2006 was 124,000,000,000kg.[12]

So assuming of all that, (.215/(1+.215))*124,000,000,000 ~= 21,942,386,831kg of hydrogen would be required.

Therefore, assuming no other losses, the total power required to supply hydrogen to the world's present ammonia production and not have people starving to death in the streets is roughly ~21,942,386,831kg * 50kwH/kg = 1,097,119,341,550kWH

It takes about 2000kwH/tonne of low-grade iron.[13]

World production is approximately 1,544,000,000t[14]

Therefore, to maintain current iron production would require 3,088,000,000,000kWH.

Now let's replace the kilns in cement factories.

Currently, the low-end of cement kiln energy usage is 5.3GJ/tonne[15]

Google tells me 1 GJ = 277.777778 kWh

Therefore, an equivilent electric kiln would need to use 1,472.22222kWh/tonne

World production of cement is 1,462,470,000 tonnes/yr[16]

Therefore, assuming 100% efficiency, replacing the kilns in the cement industry would take 2,153,080,833,330kWh

Our energy use to convert these three industries to electricity will cost 6,338,200,174,880kWh.

Let's see how much power we have to play with:

2,600,000,000,000kWH generated in 2005 from Nuclear Power[17]

3,266,511,001,300kWH generated in 2005 from hydroelectric and renewable electricity[18]

So without hydrocarbons, we're looking at 5,866,511,001,300kWH of total installed electricity generating capacity.

In other words, we can't even convert these three industries to current nuclear


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_car_(aircraft)
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_population
[3] http://uk.encarta.msn.com/encnet/refpages/RefArticle.aspx?refid=781529809
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_whaling
[5] http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3500954.ece
[6] http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20070501faessay86305/c-ford-runge-benjamin-senauer/how-biofuels-could-starve-the-poor.html
[7] http://www.hyweb.de/Knowledge/w-i-energiew-eng3.html
[8] Shreve's Chemical Process Industries, p. 305
[9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen
[10] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen
[11] http://www.nrel.gov/hydrogen/pdfs/36734.pdf
[12] http://www.indexmundi.com/en/commodities/minerals/nitrogen/nitrogen_t12.html
[13] http://books.google.ca/books?id=I2mg2ine4AEC&pg=PA257&lpg=PA257&dq=iron+smelting+kWH/tonne&source=web&ots=bQ9sWRN_OW&sig=5imDbZzZq7ljrSIbV9NuzNUF-HQ&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result#PPA257,M1
[14] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron
[15] http://www.energystar.gov/ia/business/industry/LBNL-54036.pdf
[16] http://www.techno-preneur.net/information-desk/sciencetech-magazine/2007/sep07/Performance.pdf
[17] http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/electricity.html
[18] http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/international/electricitygeneration.html


Violence in Gaming: hype versus statistic

Sj0 Sj0 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I'm going to tell you something right now.

It's something Jack Thompson doesn't want you to know.

It's something the mainstream media doesn't like to talk about.

It's a dirty little secret that a cottage industry of, who sell themselves to TV stations who hope to strike fear in viewers, to clients who want to engage in frivilous lawsuits to capitalise on tragedy, and to small-minded special interest groups who want to erode our freedoms to pursue their agendas.

Ready for that secret?

The United States Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) counts five categories of crime as violent crimes: murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault. According to BJS figures, the rate of violent crime victimization in the United States declined by more than half between the years 1991 and 2005.

Isn't that interesting? In the years since Doom first came on the market, violent crime has fallen in half! Rather odd for a piece of work supposedly bringing about all this violence in the world.

Well, let's look at another year. Duke Nukem 3d and Quake were both released in 1996. Surely, with such ultra-violence, that year would have shown a spike in violent crime! Actually, there was a 4% drop in violent crime between 1995 and 1996.

But Grand Theft Auto, the game that has so corrupted our children that we can't possibly recover! The game is destroying America, and there's no possibility that the violent crime went down after this game was released! What's that? Violent crime dropped 2%?

I could keep going on, but the fact is, violent crime went down nearly EVERY year between 1991 and 2005, despite the supposedly crippling effects of video games, and despite the fact that more people started playing violent video games between those times than any other time.

Basically, there's nothing to defend. There's no violence epidemic being fueled by video games. This discussion, as far as I'm concerned, is over.

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