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Road Train Completes First Trials In Sweden

TerribleNews Best of both worlds :*P (345 comments)

You get all the convenience of having to conform to the train schedule, with all the fuel consumption of a car (okay, according to TFS, 80% of the fuel consumption of your car plus 1/n*the fuel consumption of the lead vehicle, where n is number of vehicles in the road train).

about 4 years ago

Building Prisons Without Walls Using GPS Devices

TerribleNews Re:Already used in the UK (545 comments)

The article you linked has your answer only a few paragraphs in:

I uncovered confidential documents that revealed the tragic consequences of a tagging company's failure to act on a repeat offender.

The biggest problem with the current system is the disconnect between crime and punishment. That's the difference between the proposed scheme and jail (which can't be swift) and the British version (which simply isn't be enforced):

...and swift, certain punishment for any deviations...


That's not to say that there is no way that this can be abused, or that the American version will be enforced in practice any better than the British one or even whether this kind of "easy punishment" creates a moral hazard which will ultimately result in 90% of the population in a wall-less prison in the next decade. I'm only pointing out that the specific failure of the British system is something the OP has addressed in the summary.

more than 4 years ago

iPad Bait and Switch — No More Unlimited Data Plan

TerribleNews Re:Apple versus Microsoft (670 comments)

The problem isn't Apple (or AT&T). Steve Jobs didn't hold a gun to anyone's head and force them to buy anything. The problem is with braindead consumers who will buy anything because they are told. You really can't blame the company for wanting to take advantage of that kind of behaviour. This is not to say that there isn't something wrong with the way Apple works. And telcos are about the worst companies in the universe next to oil companies. But to blame them for making a shitty product that sells is unfair: the problem is with self-destructive consumer behaviour that allows those companies to continue on doing what they're doing.

more than 4 years ago

MATLAB Can't Manipulate 64-Bit Integers

TerribleNews A Heavy User's Opinion (334 comments)

As someone who uses math quite a lot in academia, I can tell you that I've never noticed the missing operators. I just don't use 64-bit integers. The reason *I* upgraded to 64-bit Matlab is because I kept running up against memory constraints. 64-bit Matlab can allocate much larger arrays. I am sure there are places where it would be convenient to use really big integers but I find it hard to believe that this is really a big headache for anyone; the main improvement with the 64-bit version is a much bigger memory space.

more than 4 years ago

Cleaner Air Could Speed Global Warming

TerribleNews Re:Sulfur aerosols also cause ozone depletion (344 comments)

So the trick is that the reaction that removes O3 from the stratosphere (where the Ozone Layer lives) proceeds really quickly if it has a solid or liquid surface. Putting more sulphate aerosol precursors into the atmosphere results in more aerosols. If they make their way into the right place at the right time, they can enhance ozone depletion.

more than 4 years ago

The iPad Questions Apple Won't Answer

TerribleNews Re:Answers (671 comments)

(Disclaimer, I bought the iPhone 2G and then the 3G and was thinking about the 3GS until the iPad arrived ;-)

Please hand in your Apple Fanboy Card and leave the meeting.

more than 4 years ago

Powerful Linux ISP Router Distribution?

TerribleNews Re:Hire someone who knows what they are doing. (268 comments)

I disagree, wholeheartedly. The secret ingredient to a successful business is elbow grease. The fact that this person has asked slashdot this question is not a good indicator of success one way or the other. The important thing is whether this person will be able to take a significant number of the suggestions provided and give'em the old college try.

about 5 years ago

Where the Global Warming Data Is

TerribleNews Re:Why are people getting so worked up (1011 comments)

The only source of truly uncooked data currently would be the raw satellite data, but NASA doesn't give that out until they massage it.

My research uses satellite measurements of trace gases and aerosols in the lower atmosphere. I can tell you that:

  1. at the bottom of that second link is the raw satellite data. It is free for you to download. Or anyone, for that matter. I always end my conference presentations with a proud note that any highschool student with enough hard drive space and a strong will could sit down and do the research I am doing. I don't know if NASA is as open with all their satellite products, but at least with OMI and MODIS and MISR and MOPITT they are.
  2. the "raw satellite data" as you call it comes in terms of spectral intensities of reflect and radiated light. Without several fairly advanced courses in physics, or a lot of time at a library with books from said courses, you would be hard pressed to do any kind of useful analysis. I have been working with this stuff for quite some time and I still use the L2 products.

more than 5 years ago

Landmark Health Insurance Bill Passes House

TerribleNews Re:What's in it? (1698 comments)

As for illegal aliens, 10 million of the so-called "40 million Americans without insurance" are illegal residents. I'd say it's a significant issue, and if you don't believe me then I'm going to bring my stuff over and setup my bed in your spare room (since you apparently think illegal entrance is a-okay).

Um, did you read the post to which you are replying?

Illegal aliens: This is a non-issue, made up to inflame the ignorant. The right way to deal with illegal aliens is through immigration law reform.

It's a non-issue in terms of a Health Care bill. There are other parts of law designed to deal with illegal immigration. The parent never said that illegal entrance is a-okay. However, by your argument, it's a-okay to deny coverage to 30 million legitimate American residents because there exist 10 million illegal ones.

more than 5 years ago

Study Says US Needs Fewer Science Students

TerribleNews Re:More articles like this please (551 comments)

Frankly, I'd just rather be rich....I'm willing to do just about whatever it takes to get there...

Look, if you'd really wanted to be part of the club, you'd have been born into a richer family. Sorry for your poor foresight in the womb.

Life is short, I'd rather live comfortably the rest of my years, rather than be poor, scraping for a living an idealistic...

Yes, and that is exactly why the system works. People, even fairly rational and intelligent people, are convinced that A) there is a way to get into the upper echelon of society, and B) that is the only way to be happy and/or comfortable.

The fact of the matter is, you are really unlikely to ever make it there and that there are many, many other ways to be happy. But most of those don't increase the GDP as much as working you like a mule until you die.

more than 5 years ago

Computer-Based System To Crack Down On Casino Card Counters

TerribleNews Re:Why don't they just get it over with? (597 comments)

It's not like making a game, with rules and all, really makes that much difference if they just decide that because you are playing the game by the rules, that you are somehow bad because you succeed? So, you can play the game by their rules, so long as you lose?!?!?

I'm sorry, I got a little confused there; were you talking about casinos or the entire financial industry?

more than 5 years ago

Incorporating Human Behavior Into Wall Street Mathematical Models

TerribleNews Re:Wrong Direction (300 comments)

I don't think you quite understand who works for whom, here. If the goal is to vacuum as money out of The Masses' wallets and into the pockets of the rich, then obviously the incentives should be for "investing".

And this is not some kind of conspiracy, here, this is simply a lot of people trying to act in their own best interests and, in the case of Wall St and Washington, succeeding. Unfortuately, because of the way our financial system is set up, that is at the direct expense of Joe Six-pack. Until your average person becomes a little more savvy and realizes that more than half The Economy is a Ponzi scheme, this will continue. Sadlly, it is likely that by the time Joe Six-pack gets wise, Wall St and Washington will have moved on to bigger and better money vacuums.

more than 5 years ago

Mixed Conclusions About Powerline Networking vs. Ham Radio

TerribleNews Re:It isn't just a hobby (343 comments)

And I would MUCH rather trust the organization of a relief effort to trained professionals -- like state, federal, and military emergency staff -- to a bunch of "volunteers."

You are obviously not from New Orleans.

more than 5 years ago

The Dilemma of Level vs. Skill In MMOs

TerribleNews Re:and baking is just knowing the recipe (463 comments)

If you are able to do something you have a skill in it. If you can pump gas into your car then you have a skill - pumping gas. Some skills are easier then others (pumping gas vs replacing your breaks).

...versus correctly spelling the names of common automobile components.

more than 5 years ago

10 Business Lessons I Learned From Playing D&D

TerribleNews Re:Real Life (257 comments)

I would say people act braver in RPG than in real life, because most of the stuff you can do in a game is beyond your normal capabilities. And even more important: If you die you can start all over. Beside a depression that your character died, nothing of consequence happens.

This is, I think, one of the most important real-life lessons. Most of the time when you do something in real life, nothing of consequence happens. It's only your media-fed, government-encouraged, over-inflated-ego-based fear of all the horrible things that could happen to you if you do something. If you ask yourself, "what's the worst that could happen?" and think really hard about just how bad that answer turns out to be, I think you'll find yourself having a lot more fun and doing a lot more stuff.

Don't take life too serious; you'll never make it out alive.

more than 5 years ago

Galactic Origin For 62M-Year Extinction Cycle?

TerribleNews Examine It For Yourself (221 comments)

Take a look at wikipedia's graph of extinctions from the article about the history of life. I haven't done any actual signal analysis on this data.

I would buy that there is a bit more energy in the per 62 million years signal, but I wouldn't call it clockwork-like regularity. If they came up with a p-value of 0.01, I'd say that there must be something happening, but I would expect a little more consistency out of a big cosmic event like the one they're describing.

more than 5 years ago

Nokia Developed Wireless Power-Harvesting Phones

TerribleNews Re:Why not solar? (246 comments)

The solar iPhone would be particularly galling for me, as an environmentalist: I would not longer, in good conscience, be able to tell soulpatch wearing, latté drinking ponces to stick their iPhones where the sun don't shine.

more than 5 years ago


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