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FDA Wants To Release Millions of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes In Florida

jdschulteis Re:Food Chain? Environment? (253 comments)

Lets see Myxomatosis - 99.8% of the rabbit population destroyed in 2 years

Over time the numbers of rabbits resistant to the virus increased and in 1995 the rabbit haemorraghic disease virus RHDV was released to again cull the numbers. Even in 1995 when RHDV was release the rabbit population was no where near the 1950s population which was destroying pastoral Australia.

Cane toads on the other hand - now that was a fuckup.

Clearly Australian scientists should be working on genetically modifying rabbits so that they will eat cane toads.

11 hours ago
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Computer Chess Created In 487 Bytes, Breaks 32-Year-Old Record

jdschulteis Re:The Real Question.... (199 comments)

Well, the real question is if this program was replicating the same rules as the one that was previously accepted and supposedly beat?

Like the previous record holder, this program implements neither en passant nor castling.

Unlike the previous record holder, this program implements queening, so it is both smaller and has an additional feature.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Makes a Great Software Developer?

jdschulteis Re:It depends (209 comments)

I'd give a slight exception for Haskell code, though. That might take a week to some people.

%$#@! monads, how do they work?

2 days ago
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Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

jdschulteis Re:Not really. (236 comments)

We barely have technology within our lifetimes to get one man to Mars on a suicide mission. Even if you pored all the resources of all mankind's wars it would barely be better and that's just to the nearest planet

We have the technology within our lifetimes to send multiple people to Mars on an extended scientific research mission and return them safely to Earth. What we lack is the will to expend our resources on such an endeavor.

That said, interstellar travel is orders of magnitude more difficult.

2 days ago
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UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

jdschulteis Re:It's also a load of shit (332 comments)

NTSC stuff is so bad when viewed on a large TV. It is amazing how blurry things look when you flip back and forth between the HD and SD channels. That is part of what lead to the rise of big screen TVs was actually having content for them. With NTSC, a large TV just meant a big blurry image. With ATSC it can mean a nice large image.

I had a 35" tube, needed to view from far enough away or it looked terrible. Went to a 50" class 1080p LCD, sized so with the wider screen the vertical height was about the same. HD looks good even from silly front-row-at-the-cinema close.

5 days ago
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NetHack Development Team Polls Community For Advice On Unicode

jdschulteis Re:UTF-8 Already Works to Name Your Pet (165 comments)

Yeah but how many wand charges does it take to engrave your pet's name? Huh?

That's why I always name my pet Elbereth...

about three weeks ago
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HTTP/2 - the IETF Is Phoning It In

jdschulteis Re:HTTP isn't why the web is slow (161 comments)

Personally I have no opinion about HTTP/2, but I have to say that this anonymous hit piece looks a lot like some IETF participant who didn't like how the process came out trying to create the appearance of consensus against it by pumping up the anger of the interwebs without actually saying what's wrong with the spec. When I see people making statements not supported by explanations as to why we might want to consider them correct, my tendency is to assume that it's hot air trying to bypass the consensus process.

It's also a bit annoying to see the IETF accused of having published a document advocating snooping when in fact someone floated that idea in the IETF and it was shot down in flames, and what we actually published was a document stating that snooping is to be considered an attack and addressed in all new IETF protocol specifications (RFC 7258).

What "anonymous hit piece"? Second link in the fine summary has a clear byline, Poul-Henning Kamp.

From the article:

HTTP/2.0 is not a technical masterpiece. It has layering violations, inconsistencies, needless complexity, bad compromises, misses a lot of ripe opportunities, etc. I would flunk students in my (hypothetical) protocol design class if they submitted it. HTTP/2.0 also does not improve your privacy.

I too would like more details, but I doubt he's just blowing smoke here.

about three weeks ago
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Extra Leap Second To Be Added To Clocks On June 30

jdschulteis Re:Investment oportunity (289 comments)

At some point the earth will stop spinning.

The one who will build a forecast model will know which side of the earth will be .... "sunny way up".

Appropriate investment decisions can be made to purchase a land in the twilight zone, where is not too hot and not too cold.

Some sources say, that earth is slowing down 1.7 milliseconds every 100 years. However the last leap second adjustment took place in 2012, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...

Anybody know a quick and dirty way, a good formula, that would tell us when the earth will really stop rotating?

The Earth will likely still be spinning when the Sun becomes a red giant, boils away the atmosphere and oceans and turns everything all melty, so the real (long-term!) investment deal is in O'Neill colonies.

about three weeks ago
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Extra Leap Second To Be Added To Clocks On June 30

jdschulteis Re:Better way? (289 comments)

How about instead of setting the time to 23:59:60, the value 23:59:59 happens twice. When we have DST, and the time falls back an hour, we don't switch to some odd non-existant number for an hour so that we don't have overlap. We just set the clocks back to 1 AM. So all the times between 1 AM and 2 AM happen twice when switching off daylight savings.

The times between 1 AM and 2 AM don't really happen twice on the day daylight time ends, they are simply ambiguous unless daylight or standard time is specified. (In other words, you don't know which of 2 possible seconds 1:42:42 AM refers to until daylight or standard time is specified.) Similarly, your proposal would make 23:59:59 ambiguous without some additional specifier, in which case why not just use 23:59:60?

There is no one perfect solution, which is why there are multiple time standards, including TAI and GPS which do not incorporate leap seconds.

Many programmers are ignorant as to the more subtle aspects of timekeeping.

It does not help that for many programs, it simply doesn't matter.

It is also very easy to slip assumptions that are broken by leap seconds into code. (Every minute has 60 seconds--wrong! Every hour has 3600 seconds--bzzt! Every day has 86400 seconds--fail!)

about three weeks ago
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11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

jdschulteis Re:But but but (330 comments)

The main problem with desalination plants is that they are a risky investment. If the drought ever does end then you are basically priced out of the market and you have these big expensive desalination plants collecting dust until the next drought.

Build desalination plants on barges. Move them to the most profitable locations as needed.

about a month and a half ago
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Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency

jdschulteis Re:Mass produce! (194 comments)

Solar panels = Small percentage of power production Small percentage * 1.22 = Small percentage, just a shade higher.

Its not a game changer. Its just a nice development.

Efficiency improvements, mass production, and making coal internalize the cost of CO2 emissions will eventually make photovoltaics more cost-effective than coal. Once that point is reached, solar will take over a large percentage of electricity production. This might not be the improvement that puts it over the top, but I think your dismissive analysis is a little too simplistic.

about 2 months ago
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Was Microsoft Forced To Pay $136M In Back Taxes In China?

jdschulteis Not Giving Full Name (57 comments)

Is not giving the company's full name commonly done in this sort of story? I'm wondering if this would be considered impolite in China.

about 2 months ago
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NASA Offering Contracts To Encourage Asteroid Mining

jdschulteis Re:Legal Issue (153 comments)

The US has ratified the Outer Space Treaty, so we don't own the Moon (the plaque on the lander says "We came in peace for all mankind").

Articles II and III of the treaty are pertinent:

Article II

Outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.

Article III

States Parties to the Treaty shall carry on activities in the exploration and use of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, in accordance with international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, in the interest of maintaining international peace and security and promoting international co-operation and understanding.

By Article II, the US cannot make a sovereign claim to an an asteroid and assign mineral rights as it does on other federal lands, unless it abrogates the treaty. By Article III, "use of ... celestial bodies, in accordance with international law", it seems similar to mining on the sea floor in international waters, which is governed by an international authority.

about 2 months ago
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We Are Running Out of Sand

jdschulteis Re:That was close... (264 comments)

I thought the article was about running out of sand for silicon semiconductors. Besides California falling into the Pacific Ocean after a big earthquake, a lack of sand would be the end of Silicon Valley.

No worries: silicon for semiconductors could be made from the fine, smooth, easily-blows-away desert sand.

about 3 months ago
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Sketches Released of New Star Wars Museum

jdschulteis Re:George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (65 comments)

George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

I bet I'll be the only person in the "More American Graffiti" and "Willow" section.

Yes, but I'll be nearby in the "Howard the Duck" wing.

about 3 months ago
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Birds Found Using Human Musical Scales For the First Time

jdschulteis Re:That explains it... (80 comments)

..I could have sworn I heard Whole Lotta Love blasting out of the magnolia tree across the street.

Turns out, it might have been a couple of bluejays getting horny!!!

The only thing missing was the sound of the thermin...

If you mean the descending sound in the chorus, I don't think it's a theremin. I've always thought it was slide guitar and volume control.

about 3 months ago
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MIT Study Finds Fault With Mars One Colony Concept

jdschulteis Re:Yesterday's news... (269 comments)

Why this conflation of space and science? We stopped sending people to the bottom of the ocean too, where are the Aqua Nutters?

James Cameron went to the bottom of the ocean just 2.5 years ago.

about 4 months ago
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The Greatest Keyboard Ever Made

jdschulteis I've Never Understood The Appeal (304 comments)

I despise the clicky, springy sound and the activation force is higher than I like.

In college, there were some terminals with Hall-effect keyboards that I liked, wish I could remember the model.

The Amiga 1000 keyboard was pretty good but the action was a little too light.

I'd take a Sun Type 5 over a Model M any day.

about 4 months ago

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