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Police Recording Confirms NYPD Flew At a Drone and Never Feared Crashing

crunchygranola Re:Yay big government! (310 comments)

You are apparently referring to the Tea Party of 2010. The current self-identified membership seems almost entirely the hard right in the Republican Party.

Check out the vanishing support for the movement within the ranks of the Republicans .

about two weeks ago

Police Recording Confirms NYPD Flew At a Drone and Never Feared Crashing

crunchygranola Re:Yay big government! (310 comments)

Business does have the power to drop an enormous lawsuit on you and force you to wipe out your life savings trying to defend yourself, and if a judgment is obtained due their immense advantage in resources, they can attach your salary and assets for life.

They also have the power to put false information of your credit history, which is virtually impossible to expunge, and thus ruin your ability to buy a home, or a car, or a loan for any other worthy purpose, or even rent an apartment and even to deny you a job (since prospective employers invariably run credit checks).

Other than that, no power to ruin your life at all.

about two weeks ago

Alleged 'Bigfoot' DNA Samples Sequenced, Turn Out To Be Horses, Dogs, and Bears

crunchygranola Re:This does not disprove Sasquatch (198 comments)

True, it does not disprove Sasquatch - but it also does nothing to support it.

And on that "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" thing, that is in fact an informal fallacy. Absence of evidence (if you have actively been seeking to collect evidence with tools capable of doing so) absolutely is evidence, but not "proof", of absence in every branch of science.

If you go to a doctor and get a biopsy looking for cancer, and no cells are found, that is absolutely a valid indicator that cancer of they type being screened for, is not present (though the tests can fail sometimes to detect it when it is).

Environmental DNA/RNA sampling is a very powerful technique to detect the presence of species that are difficult to observe. Almost any physical remain left by an animal, even extremely small samples (feces, blood, saliva, hair, skin, tooth, nail, etc.) will allow detection of its DNA to be matched against libraries to determine its phylogenetic grouping, and species identity if known.

If over a reasonable amount of time no one can produce a sample bearing the DNA of a novel creature, then it cannot reasonably be supposed to exist.

about three weeks ago

There's No Wind Chill On Mars

crunchygranola Re:Wind chill on a space suit? (110 comments)

Wind chill works because of evaporation on the skin, right?

Wrong. The phenomenon know as "windchill", and is represented by "windchill factors" and such, has nothing to do with evaporation. It is the effect of forced convection on heat removal, the windchill tables were generated by examining the removal of heat from a dry cylinder. Evaporative cooling is an entirely separate phenomenon.

I don't think anyone is going to be walking around on Mars outside a biosphere, in a T-shirt. If you're wearing a space suit, wind chill is totally irrelevant or am I missing something?

Does your space suit need to only provide pressurized air, or must it be a parka too? This is an important question for designing and wearing the darned things.

According to the actual paper (TFP) on Mars (at -60 C) the subjective temperature in still air is equivalent to only -8 C on Earth. This is because the air is too thin to remove much heat, wind or no. BTW -- "still air" is actually only an ideal limiting case of windchill, when air speed is zero and you are yourself are not moving. Genuine still air is a very rare in the open in nature.

It looks like Mars is something like a happy medium in terms of air pressure for a really, really cold place. In a hard vacuum the loss of heat from your body through radiation alone is a problem, getting rid of the heat your body and equipment produce is a problem in orbit. On Mars the air is thin enough that it has limited ability to remove heat, enough to prevent over-heating, but not too much. Space suits use evaporating water to dump heat form the suit.

about a month ago

Plastic Trash Forming Into "Plastiglomerate" Rocks

crunchygranola VHS Tapes and the Boomers (123 comments)

I always thought that they should build Boomer retirement communities out of all those VHS tapes that were sold to them during the 80s and 90s. Where are they now?

about a month and a half ago

UK Ballistics Scientists: 3D-Printed Guns Are 'of No Use To Anyone'

crunchygranola Re:But... (490 comments)

Asks the German citizens who were told to register their firearms, but not to worry at all about the government ever showing up to collect them. Then the government showed up to collect them....

Now if only this were true rather than what it is - a lie.

Hitler actually relaxed gun laws, making them much easier to get.

about 2 months ago

Study: Royalty Charges Almost On Par With Component Costs For Smartphones

crunchygranola Re:so apple and samsung should just research it al (131 comments)


Along with the actual definition of "rent-seeking". Rent-seeking is when one spends wealth on lobbying to increase their share of some limited resource, without creating anything of value in return. The closest the term comes to patents is when a patent troll buys patents to increase its chances of winning a lawsuit, but even that's a stretch, because the purchase isn't lobbying. ....

Despite the poorly written lead-in sentence to that Wikipedia article, "rent seeking" is not limited to political lobbying, that is merely a common example of rent-seeking. Regulatory capture, in which regulators expect to be rewarded by industry after they leave their regulatory role is rent-seeking via quid-pro-quo, not lobbying, for example. It is the act of obtaining wealth by gaining control of a limited resource, not through productive activity, is rent-seeking, no matter how it is carried out, so yes, patent troll portfolios are rent-seeking without being any king of stretch.

about 2 months ago

Belief In Evolution Doesn't Measure Science Literacy

crunchygranola Re:Very true and that makes people uncomfortable (772 comments)

... I can walk outside and prove gravity. I cannot do the same with evolution.

In what sense would you have 'proved' gravity by walking outside? Did you "prove" Newton's law of universal gravitation? Unless you did some rather difficult to perform experiments when you walked outside then you did not. You could just as easily assert (with equal validiity) that you proved Aristotle's ideas that it was just the natural behavior of stuff to move toward the center of the Earth (with no equations providing any predictive value).

Proving evolution these days is really quite easy. The evidence is truly vast, all you have to do is look at the immense amounts of genomic data about the whole "tree of life". The systematic changes in genes as you move down through the phylogenetic tree proves evolution at a level of probability far exceeding any physical theory (indeed, no physical theory is ever likely to come close.).

about 2 months ago

Belief In Evolution Doesn't Measure Science Literacy

crunchygranola Re:Wait a sec (772 comments)

Your reply is a pointless cop-out. I'm not talking about one species versus another, or the totality of changes. I'm talking about specific, undisputed, relatively disadvantageous mutations, that never-the-less get passed-on and cascade through populations. A fact which invalidates your previous assertion about "based on fitness/utility" being a "fact".

To continue this conversation you really, really need to give at least one example of this "fact" you claim exists, otherwise it cannot be usefully discussed.

I notice the appearance of the word "relatively" now linked to "disadvantageous mutations". What do you mean by that?

Notice that the citation of "sickle cell anemia" above (and other cases of genetic diseases due to having two copies of a gene that confers advantage when present only once) do not support your claim at all. They are advantageous on average, and thus spread until an equilibrium is achieved (if such an equilibrium exists). Similarly harmful genes that only show up after reproduction ceases can spread through random drift since there is no selection mechanism removing them.

about 2 months ago

Is It Really GPS If It Doesn't Use Satellites?

crunchygranola Re:Not GPS (298 comments)

Sounds possibly similar to a gravity gradiometer, which is used for navigation in submarines. It measures the gradient of the local gravity field (its "slope") and with a gravity map you can map out your course, just as you could with a topo map of the Earth's surface.

about a month ago

Why Lavabit Shut Down

crunchygranola Re:The Gestapo owns the tubes now (304 comments)

When lambasting the ignorant masses, you should at least try to use proper English.

Ceded, not seeded you dumb fuck.

Actually the use of "seeded" makes perfectly good sense, and is in fact a very evocative phrasing - that the control will continue to grow and spread as the 'seed' sprouts and reseeds among the sociopaths.

You, though, are quite a nasty jerk.

about 2 months ago

Fusion Power By 2020? Researchers Say Yes and Turn To Crowdfunding.

crunchygranola Re:I'd not trust the authors too much. (280 comments)

I did not notice that my brother had logged in and switched identities since earlier. I am actually "careysub"

about 2 months ago

Fusion Power By 2020? Researchers Say Yes and Turn To Crowdfunding.

crunchygranola Re:I'd not trust the authors too much. (280 comments)

The article you cite seems rather crude and out of date, considering there are now various in depth design studies of reactors (and not just tokamaks) that carefully account for the amount of lithium needed and the rate of tritium production. That is now a large part of what such design studies work towards understanding and improving (it is obviously not a trivial problem).

True - but it showcases the underlying problem rather well. Do you have links to any of those studies of actual blanket costs and performance?

And the process does involve excess neutrons. If the blanket is made of litium-7, the reaction that produces a tritium releases another neutron. This can be helped by D-D reactions too, which while not useful by themselves for producing a net gain in power compared to the easy of the D-T reaction, you still get neutrons out of various deuterium only machines today. This allows designs that have projected 5-20% excess production of tritium.

No, the tritium fusion process does not produce excess neutrons exactly as I said, and yes, as I said, there are reactions that cause neutron multiplication (I did not treat this at length though, I just mentioned the best multiplier known). The multiplication in lithium is not large, and it is not clear that it can cover all the losses and end up with breeding break-even. I note that recent EFDA's (the European fusion consortium) recent press releases on the subject merely claim that they believe the problem to be "soluble". This PPPL study from 2010 estimates a net breeding ratio of exactly 1.0, which means fusion plants will require fission plants to breed their start-up tritium inventory.

about 2 months ago

Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans As Antarctic Ice Melts

crunchygranola Re:In a century... (784 comments)

For your information, "Clinton's surplus" was because of Republican Congress that didn't let him spend much money. It also was only possible because of the DotCom Bubble of the 1990s. Once that burst during Clinton's final year in office, the surplus vanished.

Now if your post had contained actual information, instead of made-up stuff.

CBO analysis shows that despite all the economic events that transpired after Bush's election, the U.S. Federal Budget would have remained in surplus (more than a trillion dollars) right up until the time of the Bush economic meltdown that began in 2007.

Legislative changes - the bills the Republicans passed and Bush signed - spent the entire surplus, and trillions more.

about 2 months ago

SpaceX Wins Injunction Against Russian Rocket Purchases

crunchygranola Re:Free market? USA says "lol no" EOF (166 comments)

I don't think anything involving a government producing things for its military can really be classed as "free market".

"Free market" as it is bandied about today has no defined meaning within economics - it is a general concept, usually employed as a political slogan. As Investopedia says Just like supply-side economics, free market is a term used to describe a political or ideological viewpoint on policy and is not a field within economics..

It is in the government's interest to introduce market forces into its acquisition system to create competition, and efficiency incentives, and avoid cronyism. This is what the bidding process does.

about 3 months ago

SpaceX Wins Injunction Against Russian Rocket Purchases

crunchygranola Re:Innovation vs rent-seeking (166 comments)

His explanation also falls apart about the over-spec'd trivialities.

A PC OS vs a Mac OS is a major difference in how the computer behaves, what software you can run on it. Such a requirements difference in a RFQ could easily be sustained.

An arbitrary monitor refresh rate cannot be shown to be a functionally meaningful requirement. A contract with such a provision would be laughed out of court if a losing bidder were to challenge it. If a bid request is steered to one vendor without a substantial, valid reason it is illegal.

about 3 months ago

C++ and the STL 12 Years Later: What Do You Think Now?

crunchygranola Re:Agreed (435 comments)

They added far too many features to the language in order to please everyone. Why? People who need high level languages have plenty of others to choose from.

Personally I got sick of it and its never ending increase in complexity and just stick with a sort of C with classes and the occasional use of the STL and thats it. In fact sometimes I'll just use plain C. If I need a language with really high level constructs then thats what Python was invented for.

No one's forcing you to use those features.

In a world where you only wrote your own code from scratch for your own use would that be true.

Very, very few developers live in that world. Most work is done by software teams which maintain and extend legacy systems, where a legion of programmers have come before you. Any feature that any of those programmers use/used, and has not yet been stripped out of the code base, you are indeed forced to use as well.

about 3 months ago

CISPA 3.0: the Senate's New Bill As Bad As Ever

crunchygranola Re:Eventually it goes through (132 comments)

They will simply continue to refluff the bill and push it on us again and again until it passes.

The US government is a corrupt oligarchy and needs to be torn down.

Yep. Much like the "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act", which was designed to make bankruptcy relief (used commonly by corporations to escape debt) virtually inaccessible to consumers. It was proposed in 1997 and rejected year after year until finally it passed in 2005. What the corporations and political establishment want, they will get - sooner or later.

about 3 months ago

How Concrete Contributed To the Downfall of the Roman Empire

crunchygranola Re:Elephant in the room (384 comments)

Gibbon's Decline and Fall of Roman Enpire is the greatest work of classical historical scholarship on Rome - assembling and synthesizing all ancient sources available in the late 18th century - but quoting him as the final authority on "why Rome fell" is grossly misplaced reverence.

Gibbon saw things through the lens of contemporary social standards and historical concepts then current. Since then historical methods have advanced, scholars have had time to examine each aspect of the problem in much greater detail, and Gibbon of course had no access to the vast data we now have revealed by archaeology and modern science.

about 3 months ago


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