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Using Naval Logbooks To Reconstruct Past Weather and Predict Future Climate

es330td Re:true and faithful account (102 comments)

Those people sank, and we do not have their log books. :-P

How nice of them to self select their data out of the dataset via the Darwin Process.

about a month and a half ago
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Scotland Builds Power Farms of the Future Under the Sea

es330td Re:This article needs fact checking (216 comments)

So TFS is still correct that it's about a 1000:1 ratio.

Absent evidence to the contrary he got lucky and does not get credit for it.

about a month and a half ago
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NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

es330td Re:Compelling, but a mix still better... (399 comments)

However I'd argue in a truly remote environment where no external help is to be had, that the raw strength a few very fit males could provide could be useful in an emergency.

Just send up a container in advance with a couple Caterpillar P-5000 Work Loaders.

about 2 months ago
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Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

es330td Re:What's the big deal with intelligence? (366 comments)

Really? You want a kid with no ambition? One that will happily work at a dead-end job and bum around with his friends rather than put in the effort to be a better person.

As you go throughout your day, look around you and try to keep track of people in so called "dead end" jobs as a proportion of the people you see. The world in which we live depends on a certain percentage of the population doing those jobs: garbage truck worker, toll booth operator, road maintenance crewmember, janitor, etc. While I certainly hope that my children excel, it is more important to me that they be happy doing whatever it is they are doing. I am reasonably successful and come from a family of very successful people. My father is content to know that me and my siblings were given opportunities and support and that what we ended up doing was much less a measure of our success than our qualities as parents, spouses and members of our community. As long as my kids choose, rather than settle, I can support them in what ever they do.

about 2 months ago
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Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

es330td Re:Scarier still.... (366 comments)

They say that if you are young and vote Republican you are heartless but if you are older and vote Democrat you are stupid. Not sure which gene controls that...

about 2 months ago
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ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

es330td Re:I LOVE READING PROPAGANDA (981 comments)

The only reason we dropped behind China recently is because they ramped up their manufacturing so much.

It also doesn't hurt that they have roughly three times the US population. If everyone there bought 1% more manufactured goods the change in GDP would be greater than the total annual production of some entire countries.

about 3 months ago
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Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

es330td Re:Whelp. (139 comments)

My son (currently 6) is obsessed with a creature called the Terror Bird. Standing ten feet tall they were apex predators in South America. I would be plenty scared of a meat eating bird that big.

about 5 months ago
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How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

es330td Re:Known this forever (212 comments)

While I can see a need for putting together and rehearsing a plan for "after" I would like to see the cost-benefit analysis on hardening the infrastructure. There are a lot of things we *could* do in life, like making planes more protected from missile damage we don't do because the likelihood of the event being protected against is so low relative to the aggregate cost to implement said solution. Are we prepared to build EMP shielding into every electronic device, thereby increasing the cost of life in general to protect against a very unlikely event? (Note I am not advocating one way or the other, simply asking the question.)

about 5 months ago
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With New Horizons Spacecraft a Year Away, What We Know About Pluto

es330td Re:We know it's a Goddamned planet (128 comments)

So the mnemonic device to remember the names of the planets will be about 60% as long as War & Peace.

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

es330td Re:waste of time (380 comments)

There really is no excuse for 30 years of innovation... for gas mileage to have gone down.

The only way this works is if cars remain exactly the same while improving only the engine technology. In 1981, the Honda Accord was 175" long, 64: wide and weighed 2,083 lbs. The 1.8L engine made 75hp. A current Accord is 191" long, 72" wide and weighs 3,287 lbs. Its 2.0L engine makes 154hp. The power-displacement ratio of the engine went up by 84% but the weight went up by more than 50%. As long as people want faster/bigger/more we will eat up any efficiency gains to have more comfort. Only when forced will the average person use efficiency to decrease consumption.

about 6 months ago
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Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March

es330td Re:Nice to see. (216 comments)

Batteries are already good enough.

...for many applications. For a significant portion of people's driving needs battery powered vehicles are great. For the rest they absolutely fail. No amount of money will get me to trade the 4x4 diesel used at my family's ranch for existing electric car technology. The qualities that make liquid fuel attractive cannot be touched in this application. I can carry a whole Prius battery pack of energy in a couple external cans of diesel on my trailer.

Regarding emissions, I am going to have to argue that the jury is still out on that. While the battery powered car itself has zero emissions, the power had to be generated someplace. While some are quick to jump in to offer solar or wind power, iirc charging a Tesla S is the equivalent of adding half an average house's load on the power grid in off peak hours. Solar and wind work best when the sun is out, so other power sources will be required when it is dark out. That means coal, nat. gas or my favorite, nuclear. As of today, electric cars displace emissions, not eliminate them. Electric cars are part of our transportation future. A perfect alternative they are not.

about 6 months ago
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Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March

es330td Re:Nice to see. (216 comments)

He doesn't have to work for an oil company to hold this opinion, though "always" is an awfully long time. Personal transportation presents one main problem to overcome, that the energy to power a vehicle must either be carried on the vehicle or delivered to it. Unless we want to all drive slot car racers, vehicles must carry their fuel, the optimal fuel being determined primarily by two factors. The first is the energy stored per unit of volume, the other is the amount of energy stored by weight. As of today, liquid petroleum is the optimal maximization point of the combination of these two factors. Lithium-ion batteries are very poor energy storage in comparison being beaten by a factor of 40 by weight and ten by volume. I certainly think that we will see improvements in both of these, but I hold the opinion that a different technology will be required to compete with liquid energy.

about 6 months ago
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Greenland Is Getting Darker

es330td Re:20cm of stupidiy (174 comments)

Did you actually read the wiki article to which you linked? As stated in TFA, "...many of the "subsidies" available to the oil and gas industries are general business opportunity credits, available to all US businesses." The value of subsidies specifically targeting fossil fuels is only a small fraction of the total subsidies received. If you take away the subsidies available to all businesses we can just lower emissions by crushing the economy at large. I'm sure Silicon Valley would love to see the R&D expense credit go away in the name of eliminating fossil fuel subsidies.

about 6 months ago
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Future of Cars: Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Or Electric?

es330td Re:Electric. (659 comments)

but it is just a matter of time before there is a breakthrough in battery or power supply technology

Why do you think this is true? Further, even if there is a breakthrough in storage technology, some other factor may make it unusable, e.g. toxicity, chemical instability, throughput, scalability, cost, etc. We have reached a point that we are pushing the limits of the elements themselves. The entire model for electric cars depends on the power to weight ratios available only with rare earth magnets. I am all for thinking about what could be possible, but if you bank on technological breakthrough you will find yourself broke.

about 7 months ago
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Steve Jobs Defied Convention, and Perhaps the Law

es330td Re:Just the cost of doing business. (311 comments)

Limited liability is in respect to the owners of a corporation, not the employees and management. If a company goes belly up, no avenue exists to contact shareholders and say "You owe $50.82 per share to satisfy the obligations of the company." Until true A.I. exists, people still make all decisions and individuals should still be held responsible for their decisions, even if said decision was directing a corporate action.

about 7 months ago
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Steve Jobs Defied Convention, and Perhaps the Law

es330td Re:Just the cost of doing business. (311 comments)

The only way to fix this is for the people behind decisions to face penalties. Whether or not a corporation is considered an entity, a real person makes every decision, and only holding the people behind a decision to break the law responsible will fix this kind of behavior.

about 7 months ago
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Women Increasingly Freezing Their Eggs To Pursue Their Careers

es330td Re:Making a Safer World... (342 comments)

IIRC, when a woman is born she has all the egg cells she is ever going to have. When she ovulates one of them finishes developing and is released. Consequently, it only makes sense that the longer they stick around, the more likely an egg is to degrade. Men, on the other hand, make new sperm by the millions constantly, so the sperm he contributes are only recently created.

about 8 months ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

es330td Re:Why do people listen to her? (588 comments)

I thought the SAG card came with a certificate making the holder an automatic expert on any topic on which he or she chooses to speak. For goodness sake, these are the Beautiful People. Aren't they supposed to be superior at all times?

about 8 months ago
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UN Court: Japanese Whaling "Not Scientific"

es330td Re:Route for the Whalers (188 comments)

When the activists boarded the whaling ship I was praying the people on the whaling ship would simply throw them overboard. I know the Sea Shepherd had Zodiacs deployed to pluck people from the water if needed, but I promise you anybody that went in that water will think very long and hard about risking having that happen a second time. It was obvious that many of the people on the Shepherd thought this was all fun and games but a quick dose of reality in the form of freezing water would probably change their attitude. I also thought the whaling ships needed someone on board with a 12 gauge shotgun to take out the bags of rancid butter being flung at the ship. Unlike most flying targets, those were large and slow moving and should have been easy to blow open.

about 9 months ago
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The Highest-Flying Wind Turbine

es330td Re:Helium (143 comments)

Just make sure they are tethered so they don't fall on a populated area.

The only reason these are necessary is that the residents live in sparsly populated areas. If more people lived there the infrastructure cost of traditional electric delivery would be justifiable. From TFA, a turbine could power "dozens" of homes. In the biggest state in the US, a dozen homes is a rounding error in population density.

about 9 months ago

Submissions

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Doesn't all computing power help mine?

es330td es330td writes  |  about 7 months ago

es330td (964170) writes "

"Mining BitCoins these days requires a specialist rig featuring graphic cards so using low-powered embedded systems is not terribly practical. "Kudos to camera DVRs hackers for finding something worse (ie, very ineffective cryptocurrency mining) to use them for than surveillance,"

While I recognize a low power system is not likely to find the next BitCoin, isn't there at least a non-zero chance of any system mining to be successful? Nobody in their right mind wanting to mine Bitcoins would start out by saying "let's design our engine using a 386SX CPU" but offered a bunch of them for free, wouldn't it still make sense to add their compute power to the big picture so long as it is capable of running the software?

If the odds truly are zero (not almost zero) then what these guys did is a complete waste of time. If not non-zero then using surveillance cameras to mine Bitcoins is a big middle finger to TPTB and hardly "dim witted.""

Link to Original Source

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Alternative energy is people!

es330td es330td writes  |  about 8 months ago

es330td (964170) writes "From TFA: An Oregon county commission has ordered an incinerator to stop accepting boxed medical waste to generate electricity after learning the waste it's been burning may include tissue from aborted fetuses from British Columbia.

Sam Brentano, chairman of the Marion County board of commissioners, said "We thought our ordinance excluded this type of material at the waste-to-energy facility. We will take immediate action to ensure a process is developed to prohibit human tissue from future deliveries.""

Link to Original Source
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China's Underground Hotel: How many ways can this go wrong?

es330td es330td writes  |  1 year,15 days

es330td (964170) writes "China is legendary for its pollution problems; pictures of cities in China wherein the haze is nearly impenetrable are spread generously around the internet. I want to know how on earth they plan to keep particulate pollution from settling in this hole and effectively suffocating the hotel guests. The pictures all show clear blue water in the man made lake, but my guess is that short of creating an artificial tornado in the hole Google Earth will never see the lake at the bottom for all the pollution above it."
Link to Original Source
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Ask Slashdot: How can I find expertise for a game I'd like to develop?

es330td es330td writes  |  more than 2 years ago

es330td writes "I'd like to write a program that takes the old cannon game to another level, but instead of the path being a simple parabolic arc, the projectile will move through a field of objects exerting gravitational attraction (or repulsion) and the player will have to adjust velocity and angle to find the path through the space between launch point and the target.In an ideal world, this would end up as one of these Flash based web playable games, as that would force me to fully flesh it out, debug and complete the app. I doubt this will ever be commercial, so hiring somebody doesn't make sense, and I wouldn't learn anything that way either.

I have been programming for almost 20 years, but the bulk of my work has been in corporate programming, primarily web (Cold Fusion, ASP & C#.Net,) or VB6 and then C# Windows GUI interfaces to RDBMS. I have never written a graphics based game, nor have I ever written something using the physics this will require.

Once upon a time, I could program in C but I think I would be much better off to work with someone rather than try to roll my own unless good books exist to flatten the learning curve.

Any advice on how to proceed?"
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Advice needed on moving beyond the "elf" r

es330td es330td writes  |  more than 6 years ago

es330td writes "I've been doing network application design of some sort since 1995; my first full web application was a SQL Server 6.0 database running on Windows NT 3.5 with Cold Fusion 1.0 middleware served by O'Reilly's WebSite Pro. Since then I've done multiserver solutions using mixtures of Windows, Linux and AIX with code written in .Net, ASP, C, Perl & PHP. Although I can do all these things and many others, I am tired of writing code. The true enjoyment in my job is in the design of the solution. I like sitting down with clients, even the client is just a manager in another department, and analyzing their needs and processes and devising a solution. Once the problems are solved I can do the code but I'd rather just hand it off to some elf to do and move on to the next solution to design. I'd really like to find some kind of role that is more interaction with the consumer of the app and less of the implementation coding.

I am not expecting to make a move tomorrow, if it means taking a time to get a Master's degree or some kind of additional formal training I'm prepared for that, I just need to know what it is I need to be looking for in my quest.

I'm sure there are at least a few people who have taken it to the next level; is there any advice y'all can offer?"

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