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Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

captain_nifty Re:How is that startling? (299 comments)

The fed controls the other governing bodies through the simple means of money.

Do you want that federal funding for your state, better not enact laws against the will of the federal masters.
Local cops want some new tech from homeland security, better have policies in place that meet federal standards. (oh and sign this NDA)
Want federal funding for interstate highways, your drinking age had better be 21.

Originally the constitution prevented this by preventing the fed from directly taxing the people, limiting the amount of money they had, the federal income tax is the source of this problem, give enough money to the fed and you give them power over every policy imaginable.

The fed may not be the ones in your face daily, but they are the ones directing a large number of locally enforced policies.

4 hours ago
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Ask Slashdot: Minimizing Oil and Gas Dependency In a Central European City?

captain_nifty Re:Generator and fuel (250 comments)

Chemical batteries are also, generally the cheapest most compact method to store electricity, which is what you need to run servers, if all you want to do is store energy, hot water is a better method.

All the other storage methods have huge losses when trying to get electricity out, requiring larger and larger storage capacity to deliver the required electricity.
.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Minimizing Oil and Gas Dependency In a Central European City?

captain_nifty Generator and fuel (250 comments)

If it's 24 hour semi-reliable power you want for periodic short (up to several days) grid outages than the easiest method would probably be a small generator and a stored supply of fuel. (not the most environmental but it works)

Some will suggest solar with your roof area, which you are obviously aware of, but if you want 24 hour power with that you will need a large battery bank which is going to cost you more and take up a large amount of space.

As far as heating the cost effective method is to add more insulation, and if you're running servers you have a ready made electric heat source.

about three weeks ago
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Ken Ham's Ark Torpedoed With Charges of Religious Discrimination

captain_nifty Re:Don't get mad, get even (451 comments)

Best idea ever!! It would have to have better rides though or no one would go to Evolution Land.

about a month ago
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Senators Threaten To Rescind NFL Antitrust Exemption

captain_nifty Re:Live by the sword, die by the sword (242 comments)

Ah a Kids in the Hall reference, that takes me back.
One of their greatest sketches ever...

I'm crushing your head!

about 2 months ago
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Russia Pledges To Go To the Moon

captain_nifty Re:The Moon is a weapons platform (197 comments)

It would take a lot of laser energy to destroy a good sized rock, and the moon has no shortage of rocks.

about 2 months ago
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A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

captain_nifty Re:Exploited procedural loophole (419 comments)

A simple work around is to alter the phone number on the card to a number you control.

Then the retailer could call the number receive the code from your accomplice and provide a valid false code.

about 4 months ago
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My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

captain_nifty Dice Market Research? (278 comments)

So is Dice selling statistics on light bulbs or something, two light bulb polls in the recent past makes me wonder.

about 5 months ago
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New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel

captain_nifty Re:Why not just burn the ammonia (380 comments)

Ammonia has odd burning properties, it's combustion temperature in air is lower than its ignition temperature it won't get hot enough to keep itself burning.

To fix this you can inject a small amount of hydrogen to aid combustion, which is mentioned in the article.

about 5 months ago
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Small Genetic Change Responsible For Blond Hair

captain_nifty MUTANTS AMONG US! (125 comments)

Although their powers are not very impressive.

about 6 months ago
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Favorite Star Wars Movie?

captain_nifty Episode V (457 comments)

As a kid it was all about Hoth with the imperial walkers, the AT-ATs were about the coolest thing ever, but as I got older I appreciated the better acting/chemistry between actors and storymaking decisions that still make it my favorite star wars movie.

The prequels fell short, in my opinion George Lucas needs limits, for the first movie, he had no money, for the second and third this was still more or less the case, and most importantly Lucas didn't direct them. Give him a room of yes men and have him direct and you get the prequels, not bad movies, but not great either.

about 7 months ago
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Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.

captain_nifty Start Menu? (1009 comments)

Will they bring back the start button.

They spent ~20 years training a generation of business computer users that the lower left corner is where to go for the menu.

Their UI was so ubiquitous that they got a key added to almost every keyboard manufactured.

And then for no apparent reason they decided to change it.
UI design shininess should really take a backseat to legacy.
When will microsoft realize their real customers are businesses /governments/ large offices
They aren't going to get the new OEM computer market that they have had in the past because people aren't buying new computers.
They need to adapt to the changing market and their attempt to remake themselves as a integrated tablet environment has failed spectacularly.

Continuing a 3 year release cycle with drastic changes each time requiring huge amounts of emplyee training and modification of legacy apllications is going to kill the business market too.

Sometimes I feel a little sad watching the Redmond death spiral and waiting for the year of the linux desktop.

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many (Electronics) Gates Is That Software Algorithm?

captain_nifty Re:Just like any other software project (365 comments)

42 factorial... hmm.

1.4 x 10^51... yeah that ought to be enough gates.

about a year ago
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A Year After Ban On Loud TV Commercials: Has It Worked?

captain_nifty commercials? (288 comments)

Are those the things before youtube videos?

honestly who watches broadcast TV? I haven't since I built my first media center PC years ago.

about a year ago
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Why Letting Your Insurance Company Monitor How You Drive Can Be a Good Thing

captain_nifty Re:Safe = Slow = Low? (567 comments)

Those bumps on the road are so the blind can safely drive.

1 year,12 days
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Feinstein and Rogers: No Clemency For Snowden

captain_nifty Re:At which point (504 comments)

The most effective write in would be one that unambiguously shows your disdain for the process, this is normally done by voting for a cartoon character, say Micky Mouse or Donald Duck, but I think a more effective method would be to gather a large number of votes for a candidate that sends a very clear message to those in power who continue to violate the law in the execution of policies to increase their power.

Vote Edward Snowden for all federal elections!

1 year,24 days
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Study Shows Professors With Tenure Are Worse Teachers

captain_nifty Re:Moo (273 comments)

It would be better if Universities, get out of the Educating Kids for Jobs market, but strict educational research path.

We need to get Organizations to recognize non-College degrees as valuable education for their work. And save your College education degree for career paths in research and education.

The Undergrad classes, should be taught not in a University setting but in a Schooling setting outside of research. Not Dumb it down, but teach it with the expectation that people will use it to go to work in industry.

Perhaps this outside of research schooling you suggest could be provided to all in a publicly funded manner, and to make it more effective should be done early in a childs life, oh wait I forgot public K-12 schooling in America has become so simplified because Johnny might feel bad about not being able to read.

A high school diploma used to be proof of basic reading and mathematics abilities needed for employment. The solution isn't to add more education later in life to prepare people for the world, if public schools were properly educating people, the HS diploma would regain value and colleges could become institutions of higher learning, instead of High School part 2 that many are becoming.

about a year ago
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Peru To Provide Free Solar Power To Its Poorest Citizens

captain_nifty Re:Something wrong with this picture! (175 comments)

I'm guessing the northwest US.
Electric costs in the $0.06-$0.08 / kWh range (lots of cheap hydro, which is pretty green already)
Added to the incessant cloudiness/rain of the region and your PV generation rates go down too.

I ran the calcs as well and it was giving me about a 25 year break even time frame (with lots of pro PV assumptions) and most panels I saw were giving a 20 year lifetime (ie they would output less than 75% of their rated power after 20 years)

Bottom line it's not worth it in my area, unless you get some great subsidies.

about a year ago
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EFF Sues NSA, Justice Department, FBI

captain_nifty Re:good (333 comments)

"The simple fact of the matter, which so many refuse to accept, is this: you can NOT fix a corrupted system by working WITHIN that system...why? Because its corrupted silly!"

That's an assumption, not a statement of fact. If it were strictly true, then every government, everywhere, would simply slowly decline until the next revolution. I prefer to believe that the damage is not too deeply rooted to fix.

That sounds like an apt summary of history of world governments.

about a year ago
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Scientists Seek Biomarkers For Violence

captain_nifty Sounds familiar. (294 comments)

It's the Pax. The G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate that we added to the air processors. It was supposed to calm the population, weed out aggression. Well, it works. The people here stopped fighting. And then they stopped everything else. They stopped going to work, they stopped breeding, talking, eating. There's 30 million people here, and they all just let themselves die.

about a year ago

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