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Australia Repeals Carbon Tax

TranquilVoid Re:Dissappointed (291 comments)

I think you misunderstand the concept of a mandate. It is used when a party wins an overwhelming majority in the lower house to suggest that the upper house, where the party has a minority, should capitulate on a particular issue. I.e. suggesting the checks and balances should step aside. It has nothing to do with complaining about losing in a democracy.

Personally I think a mandate almost never exists. In a representative system you might say that all elected members have a mandate to vote as they campaigned.

about 1 month ago
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Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

TranquilVoid Re:Thanks for pointing out the "briefly" part. (461 comments)

Very informative. The density of the German population makes sense, but can you explain why Germany, a nation with a lot of manufacturing, would have less troubles than the US with balancing?

P.S. I'm hoping the answer is their lack of strong sunlight, for delicious irony.

about 2 months ago
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Robert McMillen: What Everyone Gets Wrong In the Debate Over Net Neutrality

TranquilVoid Re:Everybody is wrong... (270 comments)

All caches have a non-zero miss change, it doesn't mean the concept is useless. In this case it could still work. If it predicts your Sunday night show 80% of the time, then for the 20% miss you'll have to stream from the original server. However if the 80% applies to all customers then network congestion has been significantly reduced and your streaming can work at HD.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where's the Most Unusual Place You've Written a Program From?

TranquilVoid Re:Forum admin disput (310 comments)

It's not stated but my assumption is that the admin was removing his/her sig.

about 2 months ago
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Sifting Mt. Gox's Logs Reveals Suspicious Trading Patterns

TranquilVoid Re:Gox used margin trading & fractional reserv (143 comments)

How does fractional reserve work with Bitcoin? If they loan out some deposited coins, fair enough, but if the original owner draws on it they cryptographically need that exact coin, not some other random one.

Or do depositors hand over the coins to the exchange for a virtual account, destroying the signed-ownership benefit of Bitcoin and replacing it with trust in an institution?

about 3 months ago
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Places Where the Silicon Valley Bubble Could Pop

TranquilVoid Re:I Read TFA... (107 comments)

It's worse than that, half the posters don't even read the post they're replying to, they just want to say their bit.

about 4 months ago
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What It's Like To Be the Scientific Consultant For The Big Bang Theory

TranquilVoid Re:Not for Nerds (253 comments)

Spot on, it's basically a modern version of Friends with a few popular science references. It's not about science, it's character and relationship-based and easily digestible.

about 4 months ago
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How Concrete Contributed To the Downfall of the Roman Empire

TranquilVoid Re:Roman empire killed by geometry and resources (384 comments)

Without military force, [they] developed the art of religious coercion and control, and the Roman empire eventually became the Holy Roman empire.

Perceptions are interesting, my understanding was completely the reverse, that as the empire declined the church had to pick up the slack of looking after the population, and so developed the attributes of a state rather than being a pacifist religion.

And the money continued to flow to Rome, for centuries....

A good point, it helps explains how the empire survived for centuries after its territory had ceased expanding. I think we see the same effects today within former colonial powers like Britain and France. The trade connections don't disappear just because they no longer officially own the country.

about 4 months ago
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How Concrete Contributed To the Downfall of the Roman Empire

TranquilVoid Re:Economic reasons (384 comments)

the myth tells people what they want to hear: A good morality tale, supporting their own particular morality.

To be fair we're all subject to this. Everyone has a particular understanding of how the world, and people, work, borne of years of experience. Any story that goes against our understanding is naturally suspect, and rightly so in most cases. Imagine if you adjusted your view of the world to accommodate every Facebook story on the miracles of coconut oil or what have you.

about 4 months ago
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Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

TranquilVoid Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (304 comments)

The people of Crimea however should get to decide where Crimea goes. The only thing Russia can do is either offer to annex or refuse to offer to annex if the Crimean people wish to be part of Russia.

How far should this be taken? Should the majority-Ukrainian sub-districts within Crimea get to decide if their sub-district is part of Ukraine or Russia? How about individual Ukrainian households within Russian-dominated sub-districts?

Managing populations is messy and there is no clear moral principle around geography, but Crimea was a Ukrainian state, under a constitution that required a nation-wide referendum. The question is, at what point are things so bad that you should violate another country's sovereignty?

Russia clearly did more than offering to annex. They actually ran the referendum after sending their military in semi-covertly, ensuring history books will forever question the legitimacy of the vote.

about 4 months ago
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Elite Violinists Can't Distinguish Between a Stradivarius and a Modern Violin

TranquilVoid Re:Sorry about the loss of the magic (469 comments)

It is actually about 'playing in' the wood. This is more noticeable with acoustic guitars (and violins) - they will sound radically better after even a few months of playing due to the vibrations changing the wood. I suspect it softens the wood allowing the instrument to vibrate better across its entire mass but don't know the details.

There are diminishing returns, and I do agree that thinking a 70 year old guitar is intrinsically better than a 5 year old guitar is mostly psychological.

about 4 months ago
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Elite Violinists Can't Distinguish Between a Stradivarius and a Modern Violin

TranquilVoid Re:Modern audiophiles are no different. (469 comments)

since even passing the sound over an HDMI link will cause the signal to be degraded

Can you explain this? I would have thought the signal would remain digital and at its original sampling rate.

about 4 months ago
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Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

TranquilVoid Re:And yet they supported Obama (564 comments)

If you actually believe in people's rights to have private views that are not acceptable to some, then you have to accept that they will take action based on those views. That's the whole point of having views and protecting people's non-mainstream opinions right?

This would be insightful if you clarified that you meant political action. Clearly, you are not allowed to physically disrupt a legal gay wedding any more than you can lynch a black person simply because your views call for it.

But I do agree, there's no point in saying "this is a democracy, so you are free to believe A so long as you never tell any one nor act on it". Future mind-reading tech would soon reveal what that 'liberty' was really worth.

about 4 months ago
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Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

TranquilVoid Re:And yet they supported Obama (564 comments)

Sort of, the problem is that the people don't want their leaders to represent all of society. They want them to hold the same personal beliefs they do and really believe in their agenda. So we get

"The only clear solution is X, because of A, B and C. Opposing arguments D, E and F are completely stupid and my political opponents are crazy." instead of

"I have come up with a solution I believe is the best compromise for all parties. It is a slightly better compromise than my opponent's."

You will note that in the ideal situation, personal beliefs are irrelevant. Eich was not in an ideal workplace.

about 4 months ago
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OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

TranquilVoid Re:April Fools stories are gay (1482 comments)

Don't anti-discrimination hiring laws override freedom of association for businesses? A business can't refuse to hire a qualified employee, whether CEO or cleaner, based on their race, religion, sexual orientation or political views, so it makes little sense to boycott a company for following this law.

about 5 months ago
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OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

TranquilVoid Re:April Fools stories are gay (1482 comments)

Any criticism could damage their reputation, their ability to get work

The argument is that people should be allowed to express opinions and criticise opposing opinions, but not discriminate in hiring practices based on those opinions (this is professionalism). You are trying to argue this is an inconsistent position because people will discriminate and therefore, by their own argument, criticism could not be allowed either. It doesn't follow, it's a confusion of 'should' and 'will'.

What you are actually trying to argue is that some opinions are so blatantly wrong or harmful that they should be banned, or at least not be able to be publicly expressed, and that non-discrimination policies should not apply to those opinions.

about 5 months ago
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OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

TranquilVoid Re:April Fools stories are gay (1482 comments)

People blithely unaware they're acting much the same as those who opposed civil rights laws in the first place.

I don't think it's hypocritical be to 'intolerant of intolerance', but you're spot on here.

Ironically, the Mozilla employees calling for his resignation have actually created a discriminatory workplace. He is a single employee at the company whose political/religious views led him to make a private donation. The fact that his role is CEO is irrelevant. The employees are saying "We want our hiring policies to discriminate based on political and religious views".

about 5 months ago
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Book Review: Money: The Unauthorized Biography

TranquilVoid Re:What a bunch of hooye, total garbage (91 comments)

Money is merely a tracking device

The question is, what is it tracking? Money has intrinsic value because it is useful, so this has the possibility to distort the 4 goats = 1 cow equation. There's also the problem that bartering can occur. Maybe this circumvents the tracking, but I think of money as an IOU, so you could say it tracks debt (which doesn't change when bartering happens).

about 5 months ago
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Famous Paintings Help Study the Earth's Past Atmosphere

TranquilVoid Re:Clutching at straws (126 comments)

observations of the atmosphere at all levels show warming consistent with even decades-old models of AGW

This is surprising as old models cannot take into account recent efforts to reduce emissions, or at least reduce the rate of increase of emissions.

Unless of course all that policy has had a negligible effect, but that can't be right - a quick scan of my local supermarket reveals that 90% of products are now environmentally friendly.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Consider Elegant Code?

TranquilVoid Re:Duff's Device (373 comments)

Sort of related.  If I add some meaningless drivel here then slashdot won't consider my comment to have too few characters per line.  Somewhat ironic that a story about elegant code forces code to be condensed onto less lines.

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  int i;

  switch (argc - 1)
  {
    case 0:
      printf("No args\n");
      break;

    case 1:
      printf("One arg\n");
      if (strcmp(argv[1], "hello") == 0)
      {
        printf("Hello yourself!\n");
        break;

        for(i = 0; i < 5; ++i)
        {
          case 2:
            printf("Two args\n");
        }
        break;

        case 3:
          printf("Three args\n");
          break;

        default:
          printf("More args than I can count\n");
          break;
      }
  }

  return 0;
}

about 5 months ago

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