top Building an Open Source Nest
Since I have a Nest (and love it), here's the scoop:
It doesn't have to be connected to the internet at all. It would work just fine as a standalone thermostat. Most of the functions would be harder to use (only so much you can do when you have 1 button and a wheel), but as far as I can tell they're all there.
The web access provides an easier-to-use interface to the Nest. I don't use it much - it did a good job of learning my schedule, so mostly I use the web interface to turn stuff on at the airport after trips. There's some reporting and statistics, but those are mostly fluff.
top Engineers: Traffic Studies Use Simulation Software, Not Lane Closings
And this is a perfect example of how, if you repeat your false story enough times, people will believe it.
The IRS office in question flagged groups from all over the political spectrum to determine if they were engaging in political activities that would prevent them from being tax exempt charities. Yes, they used "Tea Party" as a flag for further investigation, but they also used "Occupy". They were attempting to enforce the law passed by Congress, albeit in a very bad, possibly illegal way. For the record, they started these investigations after specific requests from Congress to make sure these nonprofits weren't breaking the law.
But the House very carefully tailored their requests to make it appear that only conservative groups were targeted, and attempted to supress testimony that demonstrated groups from all over the spectrum were affected. Once the full testimony transcripts were released, the press realized there wasn't really much of a story and mostly dropped it. But low-information voters like you never bothered to follow the story to its end.
top US Treasury Completes Bailout of General Motors
No, if GM had collapsed it would have taken the rest of the auto industry with it.
See, first GM goes down. Then the GM suppliers start falling, because they're close to the edge and GM defaulting on payments breaks them. There's no funding available to restructure, so they're all getting liquidated at pennies on the dollar (remember, we're in a massive banking crisis with a liquidity crunch). The failures cascade down the supplier chain, and then start taking out other automakers (because they can't get parts anymore). Pretty soon you've blown up most of the industry.
The correct anology isn't a a tree falling, making room for new, younger trees. This would be more akin to a massive forest fire (or even a volcanic eruption). Sure eventually you'd recover, but it would take years to decades and meanwhile it leaves a massive patch of utter devastation to deal with.
top Orson Scott Card Pleads 'Tolerance' For
Ender's Game Movie
Tolerance is not approval. I tolerate his view by allowing him to have it, and by allowing him to freely state his view in public without government interference. That's tolerance. I may think he's an idiot, or a bigot, or pond scum, but I don't stop him.
The tolerance he (and apparently you) want is actually a freedom from consequences. He should be free to say whatever he wants, but no one else should have the right to respond to him. He's an intellectual bully, wanting to hit at powerless groups, but running and hiding when they start to hit back.
about a year and a half ago
top Lincoln's Surveillance State
The Confederacy was never a separate nation, because they lost. They were merely territories in rebellion. Until you win (and convincing the other side to stop might be a win) you're not a separate country. Them's the rules.
And in any case, the definition of "civil war" most definitely includes pieces of a former country fighting against each other.
about a year and a half ago
top Why DOJ Didn't Need a "Super Search Warrant" To Snoop On Fox News' E-mail
Essentially, the reporter in question wrote an article just to say that we had a high-level asset inside the North Korean government. There was no new factual information in the article otherwise - just the need to out a spy in an article about North Korea responding to sanctions.
Similar to the AP case, where the reporter felt the need to out the fact that the British had an undercover operative inside Al Qaida who delivered them a sample bomb for analysis.
top Bezos Expeditions Recovers Pieces of Apollo 11 Rockets
That everyone is entitled to vacations
Have fun with your hobbies, no matter how weird
You know, positives.
top SimCity 5: How Not To Design a Single Player Game
I'll agree, but only if there's also a way for me to take money from people who make mindbogglingly stupid internet comments. I expect you'll lose a lot of money under that system.
top Dell Going Private In $24.4 Billion Agreement
The primary purpose of the deal is to repatriate a bunch of cash without having to pay corporate taxes on it. A lot of the money originally started in the US, but was hidden overseas. This brings it back.
The shareholders all get a premium on the share price, giving them their cut. Dell borrows a bunch of money to pay the shareholders, then uses their offshore accounts to pay the banks back, because loan payments are tax-free. And since it's all capital gains, the shareholders are all paying less on it than you pay on your wages. It's how the 1% rolls - good for them, not so much for you.
top The History of Visual Development Environments
Considering Turbo Pascal came out two years before the Atari ST, your timeline is quite a bit off.
top GNU Grep and Sed Maintainer Quits: RMS and FSF Harming GNU Project
The "printer thing" is actually a red herring. The act that started RMS on his path was a lot simpler - all his coworkers at the MIT AI lab left. Stallman had finally found a place where he was comfortable, then thay all left to try and make a little money. RMS threw a hissy fit and set about taking all their original ideas and releasing them as free software. His stated goal was to drive them out of business - either to punish them for leaving or maybe to force them back to the lab.
The printer story developed later, in an effort to make it seem not nearly so petty.
top Surfacestations: NOAA Has Overestimated Land Surface Temperature Trends
You're only a sceptic if you can be convinced (by reasonable evidence) that the original claim is true. Otherwise, you're a denier, and discussing the issue with you is a waste of everyone's time.
There are some classic signs that indicate you are a denier, not merely a skeptic. A general pattern is someone from completely outside the field making extraordinary claims that everyone else is doing it wrong. There's usually a conspiracy from the "experts" to shut them out. It's a constantly evolving theory, where the conclusions never change, but the reasoning always does. And, of course, there's usually a lot of funding from an organization with a vested interest in opposing the the original science.
Watt is really no different from the Intellegent Design folks or Jenny Macarthy and the vaccine-autism folks, and he's only a short step from the Time-cube guy.
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Launches On September 25
WoW was never a "hard" game. It took over the market because it was the easy, casual-friendly alternative. That's always been Blizzard's mo - take a solid concept, polish out all the pain points and then take over a market. They make good products, but "genuinely hard" almost never applies.
top US Labor Board: It's OK To Discuss Work and Pay with Coworkers On Social Sites
Actually, the NLRB was very specific. The entire point of the meme was to inform companies that their overly broad scial media policies would make a reasonable person believe they could not discuss their salary or working conditions. That's specifically against the law - a law he repeatedly sites in the memo.
The easy way around the issue is to include repeated disclaimers that no part of this policy will in any way restrict the employee's rights to discuss their salary or work conditions. But they don't want to point out those rights, for fear their employees would use them. So they whine that the NLRB didn't give them a template for exactly how far they can push the rule and obscure their employee's legal rights.
top Red Hat Will Pay Microsoft To Get Past UEFI Restrictions
Because there were several other paths they could have chosen to work with secure boot, but this was the most efficient? Because Microsoft is making a whole $99 to handle verification and signing for them?
Seriously, this is sad. Microsoft will sign a boot loader for them for basically no money. This isn't a "Microsoft tax" situation - Microsoft will undoubtedly lose money on the arrangement, even if it's $99 every time Red Hat wants to update their "pre-grub" bootloader, and not the one-time registration fee the article implies that it is.
top Navy To Auction Stealth Ship
Actually, she was quite the success. While we're not building ships exactly like her, radar stealth has been a significant concern of the Navy, and current ships are designed to minimize their radar cross section. Reduced crew manning has also been a really big push, as had improved roll stability. About the only major design feature not in use is the catamaran hull. and really, figuring out something is a bad idea is still a successful experiment.
top Navy To Auction Stealth Ship
It's a 30 year old ship that was never really designed for extended operations. It has a max crew of 12, and they're roughing it. It's slow, with no weapons.
Please describe exactly how you think this ship would be useful to the border patrol. Not "worth the cost to maintain an old, one-of-a-kind vessel", just useful.
top Navy To Auction Stealth Ship
It wasn't developed in competition with anything. It wasn't a warship, or really a working ship at all. It was a test platform for a bunch of different technologies. And, since the technologies being tested have since been incorporated into actual navy ships, I'd say it was a successful test ship.
Calling it a failure is nearly as stupid as calling the Norton Sound a failure. After all, they didn't build any more of her, either.
top James Cameron Begins His Deep-Sea Dive
The reason we didn't send a manned mission back is that there's really no point - a realization they came to on the first trip. The people in the sub can't directly interact with the environment in any way. They have to look at the world through cameras, and all work is carried out by robotic arms. Essentially, all you've done is take the control room for a remote vehicle and send it down with the robot. It's a lot of engineering work and no small danger for basically zero gain.
top US Research Open Access In Peril
Why am I not suprised that you managed not to mention the actual sponsor, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). Rep Maloney is the other sponsor, but the bill was introduced by Rep. Issa.
For reference, this is Rep. Issa's third bite at this particular apple - he was a cosponser on a similar bill in 2008 and 2009. Rep Maloney was also a cosponser in 2009.
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