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Google Gets Driverless License For Nevada Roads

joggle Re:Watch the road! (215 comments)

I only have anecdotal evidence, which of course isn't convincing but finding accurate statistics on this isn't easy.

When my dad was a teenager, he sneaked out of his parents' home then came back early in the morning (at 3am or so). His dad heard something and went downstairs, nearly shooting my dad thinking he was an intruder. He got rid of his gun the next day.

Even if you could find convincing statistics on accidental shootings, it wouldn't include the many close calls like that case.

I wouldn't mind owning a rifle, for target shooting or hunting. But if someone broke into my house, I'd rather have bear spray or pepper spray than a gun when confronting them. I think bear spray would probably be more likely to work (even if I miss, which isn't likely, being near the stream would probably disable the intruder), and I don't have to worry about killing someone (either the intruder or a relative), I don't really want to kill anyone if I don't have to. I've read many stories of people who have killed teenagers breaking into their homes who felt tremendous guilt later on even though they were legally defending their homes.

more than 2 years ago
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Google Gets Driverless License For Nevada Roads

joggle Re:2 people (215 comments)

My guess is because the license will be granted with the understanding that it's a research vehicle. Someone will likely want to be closely monitoring the output of the car's instruments, so this insures one guy can do that while the other focuses on the road.

If there wasn't this requirement, one guy could conceivably monitor the instruments and not pay attention to the road since the car is driving itself.

more than 2 years ago
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Google Gets Driverless License For Nevada Roads

joggle Re:Google Beta (215 comments)

Google has been testing fully autonomous cars in the Bay area for years without any incidents. I would hardly call it 'beta' in the sense of beta software. There's also a requirement that two people be in the car while it's running. It's not as if Google will let hundreds of these cars out on the streets of Nevada with nobody inside to stop them. Not only will Google have $1 million in liability coverage, the lives of two of their own employees per vehicle will be on the line. I'm not too worried about them getting in accidents (at least not of their own fault).

more than 2 years ago
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Philips Releases 100W-Equivalent LED Bulb, Runs On Just 23 Watts

joggle Re:I avoided all this... (529 comments)

Central heating with a modern furnace is much more efficient. I can't imagine how one would ever need 300 100-W light bulbs. I posted below an estimate showing that the same amount of work of those 300 bulbs could be done with 12 LED bulbs, using significantly less power (about 1/4th). Over the lifetime of the bulbs, you would easily save over $1000 using LED bulbs even if your electricity rate is as cheap as 0.12 cents per kWh.

more than 2 years ago
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Philips Releases 100W-Equivalent LED Bulb, Runs On Just 23 Watts

joggle Re:I avoided all this... (529 comments)

Using those 300 bulbs isn't free, unless for some reason you don't have to pay the power bill.

At .12 cents per kWh and a lifetime of 750 hours per bulb, it would cost you about $2,700 to use them. Tack on a cost of $1 per bulb, and you pay a total of about $3,000.

To get 750 * 300 hours of 100 W equivalent, you would only need about 12 of the LED bulbs. The cost of running them for that many hours would be $621. The article doesn't say how much the bulbs will cost, just more than $30. Let's double it to $60, then the cost of those 12 bulbs would be $720. You would end up paying a total of $1,321 for what would have cost $3,000 with incandescents, a savings of almost $1,700.

So it's your choice, either pay nothing down while paying more in the future, or pay more now but more than make up for it eventually.

more than 2 years ago
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Hybrid Car Owners Not Likely To Buy Another Hybrid

joggle Re:Because Hybrids Don't Pay For Themselves (998 comments)

People often look at the increased price and don't consider that they will also like sell it at a higher price. I bought a Prius in 2008 and it has only depreciated about $6000 since then, which isn't a bad depreciation rate over that time.

If I were to sell my Prius today I would certainly come out ahead financially than if I had bought a standard hatchback in 2008 and were selling it instead.

more than 2 years ago
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Tesla Reveals Its Model X Gullwing SUV

joggle Re:Because everyone needs a gullwing suv (306 comments)

That's a very different car than the Tesla. Not all electric cars are equal just as not petrol cars are equal. None of the stats for the Leaf are in the ballpark of the Tesla.

Also, no cars are more efficient at high speed than lower speed no matter what kind of motor they use. Wind resistance is the main reason for fuel use above 30 mph or so (unless it's a monster car that gulps gas even when idling), and this resistance goes up with the square of the speed of the car. If the car is going 50 miles at 100 mph, it's doing a lot more work than a car going the same distance at 50 mph, so of course it will impact the range of the car if you're going faster.

more than 2 years ago
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Tesla Reveals Its Model X Gullwing SUV

joggle Re:Because everyone needs a gullwing suv (306 comments)

Probably not as bad as you would think. Electric motors are very efficient at giving high torque, while for a gas engine it's really inefficient when doing the same.

The assumption was a steady 55 mph, so is certainly the maximum possible range, so I'm sure the actual range would be less if you were driving in the city.

more than 2 years ago
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Tesla Reveals Its Model X Gullwing SUV

joggle Re:Because everyone needs a gullwing suv (306 comments)

Umm, no. The Tesla Model S has a range of 160-300 miles, depending on the battery pack. All of the current models of Corvettes have a faster 0-60 though (from 3.4-4.2 s depending on model).

more than 2 years ago
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Some Critics Suggest Apple Boycott Over Chinese Working Conditions

joggle Re:Good luck getting the protestors to support tha (744 comments)

I think you're misreading my comment. I argued that it's too late for tariffs. You seem to agree with me that tariffs are a bad idea.

I simply said, in response to the previous poster, that tariffs by China on our goods wouldn't matter because we export to them quite a bit less than they export to us. What does matter is just our own action of putting tariffs on products imported from China because Americans consumers would have no choice but to pay it.

more than 2 years ago
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Some Critics Suggest Apple Boycott Over Chinese Working Conditions

joggle Re:Good luck getting the protestors to support tha (744 comments)

Why would we care? We don't export much to China anyway. On its face it would hurt them more than us.

At this point, it would hurt us too without a doubt. For most consumer products, there's no choice but to buy something made in China, regardless of tariffs. The time for tariffs would have been 20 years ago when we still had domestic consumer production.

more than 2 years ago
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2011 Was the 9th Hottest Year On Record

joggle Re:Denial. (877 comments)

The rest is a mixture of pseudo-science and politics.

Fact is that nobody knows why the Earth is getting hotter.

No, the study of the Earth's climate is hardly a pseudo-science. It is a hard science based on observation, computational models, making hypothesis and testing them. There have been satellites collecting observations for decades, surface measurements for over a hundred years, and ice core samples going back thousands of years. We can directly observe the output of the sun on the surface as well as in space, the concentration of various gasses in the atmosphere, etc.

How in the world is that a pseudo-science?

There's politics involved because it would be expensive to try to take corrective action. The change would need to be done on a massive scale, which is going to necessarily require the involvement of governments. The ozone hole would have never been closed if not for the governments of the world agreeing to stop producing CFCs.

What amazes me is that people think we can't affect the climate when we just recently formed large holes in the ozone later, passed policies to stop it, and those policies worked and mitigated the ozone hole at the poles. Clearly, the actions of humans can have global impacts.

The next argument is that the climate is always changing. While that's true on a geologic timescale, it isn't for a human timescale. We have never seen such a sharp increase in the concentration of CO2 gas in the atmosphere, even going as far back as ice core samples allow. What non-human reason could possibly be behind such a sharp increase that has never before occurred? In addition, we have good estimates of how much CO2 is released into the atmosphere every year and this amount is sufficient to account for the increased levels of CO2.

more than 2 years ago
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Another Stab At Sorting Hybrid Hype From Reality

joggle Re:First Anecdote! (633 comments)

That pretty much matches my experience with my Prius. The mechanic at the Toyota dealership told me that they still haven't had to replace the brake pads on any Prius (and this is at a large dealership in Boulder, CO that sees tons of Prius cars).

I also average about 45-46 mpg overall. I don't deal with too much congestion, but drive over big hills every day. The cold weather also hurts mileage.

more than 2 years ago
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America's Turn From Science, a Danger For Democracy

joggle Re:Danger for which democracy? (900 comments)

Actually, my math is a bit wrong. I should have divided by two since the 4096 great-great...grandparents would have had children as a couple. So the total would be about 150,000 (very roughly).

more than 2 years ago
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America's Turn From Science, a Danger For Democracy

joggle Re:Danger for which democracy? (900 comments)

Your math isn't correct. The question is how many 2nd cousins, 9 times removed do you have. You only calculated how many great-great-great...grandparents you have. What blows up the number is the 2nd cousin. How many great-grand children did those 4096 ancestors have? That's how many 2nd cousins 9 times removed you have. I estimated that each one had 4 children who went on to have more children on average, giving 4096*4*4*4 giving 262,000. Given how rough these numbers are, I rounded it to 300,000. Given how many people of the time had 4-10 children (not all of whom survived long enough to reproduce), I think that's a reasonable guess.

more than 2 years ago
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How Doctors Die

joggle Re:The Sanctity of Life (646 comments)

That's not worse. I saw a guy with Lou Gehrig's disease (a friend of my boss). He could only make a grunting noises and move his eyes, yet his brain worked as well as ever. He was completely trapped within his body with almost no way to communicate to the world. He was also in enormous pain all the time because of a problem that formed with his neck due to it not being properly stabilized for months.

My boss was with him once. The guy started making noises and it took a few minutes for my boss to get over to him. He didn't know what was wrong and was trying to tell by just looking at his eyes. He then looked over him and found that a large spider had crawled onto him. The guy was terrified of spiders but couldn't do anything while watching one slowly land on him then crawl around.

He needed 24 hour care and was costing his family a fortune while 'living' in this state. Rather than waiting for his lungs to stop working, he opted to have his feeding tube removed so that he could die. Nobody blamed him at all. It was terrible for his family and friends watch him living such a torturous existence and it was obviously terrible for him.

more than 2 years ago
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How Doctors Die

joggle Re:Ken Murray's blog (646 comments)

Then what's the difference when comparing to nicotine? It also forms a physical dependency and strong habits. Where would you draw the line between a 'habit' vs 'addictive'? Many smokers for years just called it a habit.

more than 2 years ago
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How Doctors Die

joggle Re:This is what's wrong with private healthcare. (646 comments)

There was an idea by a Republican congressman that was included in the original healthcare reform bill. The idea was based on what one hospital is already doing, which is to have doctors talk about end of life care with patients and their families so that their families could make informed decisions. Unfortunately, this was labeled 'death panels' and subsequently removed from the bill.

more than 2 years ago
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How Doctors Die

joggle Re:The Sanctity of Life (646 comments)

Try spending some time with someone with Lou Gehrig's disease or alzheimer's. You may change your tune.

more than 2 years ago
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How Doctors Die

joggle Re:Ken Murray's blog (646 comments)

Age is definitely a factor. If I was 75+ years old, I would hope not as much effort is spent trying to keep me alive as there would be if I was 30.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Recommended server specs for software development

joggle joggle writes  |  more than 6 years ago

joggle (594025) writes "My company is planning on replacing the old primary software development server with the new, latest and greatest server (mainly used for running gcc/g++ by 6 users). We are a Linux-based business and have been using both rack mounts and towers in the past. We haven't done a serious upgrade to our development server in years so I was hoping someone could give some advice on what to look for when building a new server. We have room for both a rack or tower solution and the price seems to be similar for both (at least at dell.com) so advice on which to choose would be appreciated. It seems like in the past that disk I/O has been the main bottleneck and probably will remain so. We are currently considering building a server with the following components:

Intel Xeon X5460 Quad Core (x2) — 3.16 GHz, 12 Mb cache, 1333 MHz bus — also considering Intel Xeon E5472 Quad Core (x2) which is 3.0 GHz, 12 Mb cache, 1600 MHz bus
32Gb DDR2-667 ECC RAM — we do a lot of virtualization
750Gb SATA3 x6 in a RAID 6 configuration (same as RAID 5 except it has two parity blocks so it supports 2 simultaneous disk failures)
250Gb SATA3 for primary disk (OS only)

The file system will probably be XFS on the RAID disks since it supports an optimization for setting the stripe size so should perform better than others on a striped RAID.

I think a slower processor probably wouldn't make much of a performance hit since disk I/O should still be the bottleneck. Any comments would be greatly appreciated."
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Halo 3 limited-edition disks are scratched

joggle joggle writes  |  more than 7 years ago

joggle (594025) writes "There appears to be a design flaw in the packaging used for the limited-edition of Halo 3. From the Associated Press:

Within hours after die-hard fans finally got their hands on a copy of "Halo 3," blogs brimmed with reports that special limited-edition packaging is scratching the video game disks.
The disks are popping off the plastic clips in the packaging and subsequently rolling freely. Microsoft has responded with a free replacement program for Halo 3 limited-edition disks but the customer will need to wait up to two weeks for the replacement disk. So be sure to check for scratches while still at the store if you preordered the limited edition."

Link to Original Source

Journals

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China's changing

joggle joggle writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I just read in this article that China is allowing foreign aid workers help in a disaster for the first time ever. This is great! There are some long-standing animosities in that region to this day and I hope this will help the relations in these countries and even give their populace more empathy towards their neighbors.

Now if only Burma's stupid military would get their act together and let foreigners help them out. I don't think this will happen though and many thousands of people are going to die that could have been saved just because the military doesn't want to take even the slightest chance that they'll lose control over their country.

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Coincidences

joggle joggle writes  |  more than 6 years ago

For a long time I've wondered about the significance of coincidences. How unlikely must a coincidence be before it should be accepted as some act of God/fate/whatever? It seems that if something, even if it can be explained by normal science, can occur at a rate that is absolutely beyond the realm of possibility (based on statistics) then perhaps this could serve as evidence of something bending reality towards its will.

For example: I grew up in Austin, TX and went to a day care during one summer at a place named Kids Computing (back in 1984). Years later I got a job programming in Boulder, CO (in 2001). After a couple of years working there I found that my boss was actually a worker at Kids Computing that summer while he was attending college at UT and we had actually first met when I was 5 years old 1000 miles away. What the heck are the odds of that? Especially when you consider he only worked there one summer, I only went there one summer, there was only about 5-7 staff members and there were only about 30 kids.

Another example would be the woman who hit a hole in one 14 times in 4 months. The odds against that are astronomical--it would be like winning the lotto 3 times in a row (or perhaps even less likely than that, it's difficult to calculate). All of the hole-in-ones had multiple witnesses with many of them occurring in competitions and the 14th in front of a television crew and caught it on tape. This seems like something MythBusters could test by building a ball-launching apparatus to shoot a golf ball with super-human control at the hole over and over again to see how often it could get a hole in one (making subtle changes in aim to get the perfect aim at the hole). If she was able to get a hole-in-one much more often than even this machine then surely it would have some significance, wouldn't it? (assuming MythBusters didn't screw up the experiment somehow)

While it's technically possible for something to occur, isn't there some point at which it's more likely that something is influencing the course of events than to believe otherwise? It's possible that when I flip a coin it will come up heads for the rest of my life. But if that happened, wouldn't that essentially prove that there is something beyond which we can currently explain occurring?

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What a speech!

joggle joggle writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Wow, that sure was one hell of a speech Obama delivered yesterday. I honestly don't know how he could have handled the situation better, other than delivering the same speech a bit sooner (although I'm sure it took some time for him to write it). I sincerely hope that people that were worried about his religious beliefs and political beliefs that stemmed from his church's influence are heartened and dissuaded from focusing so intensely on a few rants by his pastor's surmons. Many of us don't agree with everything our pastor/minister says all of the time (and if you do you're probably not thinking hard enough or your pastor/minister isn't trying to be thought-provoking enough).

Some say that it's 'only a speech' but they need to consider that politicians are payed to pass laws (or in the case of presidents, guide policy and give the final OK on laws passed by congress). A huge part of this process is communication, both between other politicians and with the public. Obviously judgement plays a roll and I feel that speeches reflect the judgement of the speaker, as would a book written by the person. Obama has by almost all accounts delivered great speeches, as have famous people of the past (Martin Luther King Jr., Gahndi, etc.). Great speeches by great men/women can strongly influence people and have a tremendous affect on policy and the course of a country. It allows them to organize great numbers of people (as Obama already has done) to press for change which, especially in democracies, has a significant amount of power.

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Is a fertilized egg a human being?

joggle joggle writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I know abortion is a touchy subject so I'm just focusing on one key question. Is a fertilized egg a human being and, implicitly, deserving of all of the rights of a human being? Many people, at least in the US, believe this is the case and are therefore opposed to abortion (and even birth control). They believe this because either a) their interpretation of the Bible and/or b) their knowledge that a fertilized egg may grow within a woman until it is undoubtedly a human being.

To me, there are a few problems with either belief. For one, there are significant differences between a zygote (fertilized egg) and a baby that is born 9 months after conception. A zygote may, in the course of development, split into two separate individuals. This is how identical twins are formed. No person in the world can split in two and be two function people afterwards. In rare cases two separate zygotes my join early in conception, even of the opposite sex, creating chimeras and hermaphrodites. In extremely rare cases a zygote may split and then join back together at a later time. This is also something that is impossible for baby's or any other human to do.

If there is a soul, when does it attach to the zygote? If it is at conception, then does this soul split in two so that each identical twin has identical souls or does a single soul somehow control both twins? Does a chimera have two souls or does one somehow disassociate with one of the zygotes when this occurs?

Another problem I see with believing a zygote to be a human being is the frequent occurrence of their death. For example, there are many women who have great difficulty of becoming pregnant. By pregnant, I mean that the zygote has attached itself to the uterine wall. This doesn't mean that they are unable to form fertilized eggs however. In fact, many can form them at the same rate as any other woman (one or two per month) but they simply can't attach to the uterine wall. Would it be ethical to form a human being month after month with the full knowledge that they have no hope to survive? Should their passing be mourned as any other fetus would be mourned if there was a miscarriage?

It seems to me that people who view zygotes as human beings do so when it is convenient for them. When they want to fight abortion or contraceptives they view it as the intentional destruction of human beings. However, when they consider an infertile woman (who may, in fact, not be infertile just unable to become impregnated), they don't consider it to be the intentional destruction of human beings even though the result is identical to a normal woman who is taking a contraceptive pill. And when it comes to technical problems, such as chimeras and identical twins, they throw up their hands and act as if this isn't contrary to their view for some unspeakable/unknowable reason.

While faith is often viewed as the antithesis to logic, I disagree. I believe one can have faith without obvious contradictions (in this case, their conception of what a human is). One thing I can guarantee: if your concept of a human is that of a being similar to the people that you see on a daily basis, a zygote is about as different as you can possibly imagine and your concept of human would have to be very general to be able to include both under the same term.

One other question: if it is a human being, how far are you willing to go to save it? One potential problem that can occur is the zygote may impregnate itself into the fallopian tube of the woman, threatening the mother's life. The zygote has no chance to develop into a functional person and must be aborted. However, if research was done it may be possible to move the zygote to the uterine wall where it could develop. Would such research be worth it?

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New Hampshire primary results

joggle joggle writes  |  more than 6 years ago I, for one, am happy about the results in New Hampshire. Not so much because of the specific people who won, but because it will keep the races close. There actually may still be a contest by the time we have primaries here in Colorado. Woohoo! I've been here since '96 and have never voted in a national primary when the winners hadn't already been determined.

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Disussion on who's the best candidate for president in '08

joggle joggle writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I guess it's time for another discussion about who's the best candidate for president in '08. I have a feeling that whoever gets elected will be far superior to what we've had for the past eight years. On the Democrat side:

My favorite was Joe Biden. He has decades of experience, is a great orator, is well-versed in both history and constitutional law (teaches a class on the subject at a university I believe) and I always find his interviews on Charlie Rose and Meet the Press honest, intelligent and insightful. Oh well, now on to who is still in the race:

I haven't made up my mind yet. Obama obviously has great charisma and is also a great orator and can deliver great speeches. He has a great intellect, but most candidates this year do anyway. I don't honestly know how good of a cabinet he will form though and am afraid he will be playing too much catch-up when he enters office. I remember that similar concerns were present when Bush Jr. was first elected and those concerns were allayed by mentioning how he would be surrounded by experienced officials. Ummm, yea, I don't think many people are going to bite on that in the general election (with very good reason). If he were to appoint Joe Biden as Secretary of State or Vice President I may consider it.

The big problem with Clinton is that she is so polarizing in the electorate. I know at least one person who would vote for anyone other than Clinton. Why? I'm not sure, but I know many others feel that way. Personally, like Bush Jr, I'm afraid she would have a rather secretive administration without enough public insight on how decisions are made. Generally speaking, I view her as being much too hawkish as well and have no doubt that she would be as willing as Bill Clinton to send our troops into skirmishes around the world at the drop of a hat (remember Black Hawk Down anyone?). I don't think Bill would now as he has surely learned from his mistakes, but I don't think he will try to overly sway her decisions on specific events around the world. As for getting bills through Congress I'm sure she would be rather effective as she has been a moderate senator and has been able to get support from Republicans on various issues. I'm not against making compromises, but I'm afraid she would be too willing to allow earmarks and other provisions to keep lobbyists happy.

I don't have much of an opinion on Edwards either way. He comes off a bit phony to me and it's difficult for me to believe that he cares as much about the poor as he proclaims. Both he and Clinton are hedge-fund managers (I believe, need to double check...) and I really feel that those funds need much stronger regulation. I guess I'll need to revisit the debates now that Biden is out and get more informed.

For the Republicans:

It's hard for me to imagine voting for a Republican this time around given how they handled the legislative and executive branches for so long. Why anyone would trust them now is almost beyond belief. Now onto the specific candidates (can't hold their party against them too much):

I think Ron Paul is interesting but not qualified to be president. If he were elected I doubt that he would be able to get much passed through congress given his almost complete lack of support in Congress. I think people tend to overrate the power of the President. Regardless of what he says he's going to do when elected, if he can't get the bill through Congress it simply isn't going to happen. I agree with him that earmarks need to be curtailed but I suspect his sincerity since he has been applying for (and receiving) many earmarks for his local district.

I used to have a lot of respect for McCain. However, he has brown-nosed the Bush administration in recent years so much that I've nearly lost all of that respect. I don't think he would be a bad president per se and would probably be much more reluctant to go to war than Clinton, I just am upset with how much he has changed since he first ran for president. Still, if it comes down to a vote between McCain and Clinton it will be a difficult choice for me since I really don't want to vote for a hawk (while McCain doesn't want to abandon Iraq, I strongly doubt he would have placed the troops there in the first place had he been president at the time).

Mike Huckabee would probably be the only other Republican I would even dream of voting for. We simply disagree on too many issues for him to be a viable candidate for me. I respect his intelligence and at least he has some years of experience being governor (although so did Bush Jr). I do find it funny that he keeps mentioning how the roads in Arkansas improved under his governorship. Umm, any road work AT ALL would have been an improvement--I've driven through most states in the country and Arkansas had, by far, the worst roads I had ever seen (back around '90-'93). And I think claiming the schools improved is kind of silly too since they were required, by LAW, to fund their schools more. That's like saying 'well the crime rate dropped because I was forced to keep criminals in jail'. Yea, props to you for following the law. Unfortunately for him, it seems to be next to impossible for a Republican to win the primary without promising to not raise taxes, ever, for whatever reason (or even re-establish taxes for rich oil companies that had recently been reduced).

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Continuing debate on who's best for president

joggle joggle writes  |  more than 10 years ago This is a continuation of a thread I started here (as Shaun and Just Curious).

Here is the list of things that I found ridiculous in the post and explained why previously:

  • (Detroit is) about as deadly as the entire war torn country of Iraq.
  • FDR...led us into World War II. Germany never attacked us: Japan did. In context, this was implying that WW2 was a war of choice on our part as the recent war in Iraq is. Umm, ya... I don't recall Iraq declaring war on us or bombing our shipments of supplies to our allies (our bombing our allies for that matter).
  • He mentions the war in Vietnam as a precedent. Well, I think virtually everyone believes that war was a mistake, or at least the way the war was carried out was a mistake. He's quite right that the war in Iraq is similar, though (dividing the nation, requiring a lengthy stay by a huge number of troops, being unbelievably expensive, etc.)
  • put nuclear inspectors in Libya, Iran and North Korea without firing a shot No, the inspectors where already in North Korea for over a decade and where recently kicked out, shortly after the invasion of Iraq.
  • It took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno to take the Branch Davidian compound. Umm, we don't really have Iraq (we have most of it granted, but NOT Falluja and Samarra). Also, that's not counting the amount of time it took to get troops and equipment over there. That's also completely ignoring cost, on which count the comparison is ridiculous.
  • We've been looking for evidence of chemical weapons in Iraq for less time than it took Hillary Clinton to find her Rose Law Firm billing records. We (meaning the US or the Coalition?) have been looking for chemical weapons since the end of Gulf War 1 (remember the chemical inspectors). They were eventually kicked out, but reinstated a few months before the second war. I don't recall how long it took to find these billing records, but on that count have they found the military records on Bush yet?
  • It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard than it took Ted Kennedy to call the police after his Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick, drowning Mary Jo. The Guard was mostly destroyed in the first war. In the second, they retreated/disbanded once the government broke down (after suffering enormous casualties I'm sure). Nobody denies that the US has a very powerful military, though. The question is how quickly can we secure the peace. If we simply wanted to 'destroy' the Taliban, we could have just dropped some bombs on their officials and areas where they were fighting other tribes and let the other tribes take over. The hard part is ensuring a long-lasting peace and establishing law and order without the need for a huge standing military to enforce it.

I'll get back to the latest posts from Pete on the next journal entry.

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Map project

joggle joggle writes  |  more than 10 years ago This is a starting point of discussion for a map project that I'm in the early stages of development. It would consist of a GUI client that would be distributed to users who would, in turn, provide updates for the central map database. One technique of update would be for them to receive aerial photos over which they would trace roads, deliniating speed limits, road type, intersections, etc.

If aerial photos aren't available or are out of date, perhaps users could provide new information for their local area using track information from their GPS. The GUI would facilitate this by uploading the NMEA from the GPS and plotting it over the existing map, where the user would make any necessary corrections (with tools to shift the track left or right so that it lies in the center of the road, smoothing the track, etc.).

I think this will be a fun project and anyone who is interested should post a note here. Once the GUI is somewhat stable, I plan on posting it to sourceforge. If transmitting the aerial photos breaks copyright, we might have to rely on the user to get the photos themselves or rely on them using their GPS.

Another way of getting info into the central database would be to provide a tool to trace over scanned photos. This would be identical to the aerial photos, except that it would need to be oriented correctly first using a couple of guide points on the map. This would be a handy way to get trails onto the maps which aren't visible from aerial shots and generally aren't already in the public domain (at least not in a vector format as far as I can tell).

A tricky issue is choosing the language and toolkit for the GUI. I love QT, but it isn't free in Windows (except for an ancient version which I suppose may work). I'm currently leaning towards C#, giving me an excellent chance to learn it :). Until mono is done, this would restrict the program to running in Windows. By leaving as much code as possible in a library, hopefully this won't pose too much of a problem.

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Record for longest good link in slashdot story!!

joggle joggle writes  |  more than 10 years ago This is a silly thing to post on, but I can't believe that all of the links from this slashdot story still work after almost 5 years!! Take a look at the story. Even the ftp links work. Absolutely unbelievable.

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Video of Ball laser experiment

joggle joggle writes  |  more than 10 years ago (this is a follow up to this post)

Unfortunately, Ball ran the last test of the laser last night (the test on Sunday and Tuesday were so successful that they didn't need to do any more tests). Apparently, there wasn't enough dust in the atmosphere for it to be very visible last night, explaining why I never saw it. Instead, I just took some shots of Boulder and the moon. They told me they were going to release a photo of the experiment to the media soon and probably post it on their website.

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Tags expired

joggle joggle writes  |  more than 10 years ago I had an unpleasant experience earlier this week. When I got back to my car after work on Monday (12/1), I found a $50 ticket on my windshield for having expired tags (they expired on 11/1). I never received a notice in the mail and completely forgot about it until seeing the ticket. After fuming about it for a day, I decided to contest it (the fine seemed rather disproportinate compared to my annual registration fee of $27). Turns out, if you update your registration immediately and contest soon after the ticket, they'll drop the ticket on the spot! Certainly worth a short bike ride to the municipal courthouse.

FYI -- always contest, even when you're guilty!

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The deaths of Qusay and Uday Hussein

joggle joggle writes  |  more than 11 years ago I must admit that I am glad that those two men are no more. While it would have been preferable to capture them alive, based on the detailed report by the military it seems that that outcome was almost impossible to achieve. They risked the lives of at least four men to retrieve them from the home twice without success when they could have easily blown them away from the outset using rocket and/or other munitions. With any luck, there will be a reduction in the number of seiges of Iraqi homes now that they clearly have better intelligence than before and will help speed up the transition of power back to the Iraqis themselves.

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My opinions of today...

joggle joggle writes  |  more than 11 years ago Well, I spent way too much time writing posts today, but it helped me clarify my thoughts on some issues. (Namely this, this, this, this and this). I especially enjoyed writing the last post as it really does fully describe how I feel about the US government and also was a good edification for the person I was writing to. Okay, that was conceited, but I'd love to provoke someone to give a reasoned response to my little essay.

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Continuing thoughts on the war

joggle joggle writes  |  more than 11 years ago Well, now that most of the fighting is over (for now), it looks like the military has mostly done it's job superbly, with the notable exception of failing to protect Iraq's hospitals and museums soon enough.

I bet that within a month Iraq's infrastructure will be close to where it was before the war started. That is, assuming that protesters don't kick the US forces out first. I'm concerned that some religous leaders there may encourage their congregations to fight the US before they have a chance to put a proper government in place, rebuild their infrastructure and police/military forces leading to an era similar to Afgahnistan in the early to mid 90s.

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More opinions about the war...

joggle joggle writes  |  more than 11 years ago To my surprise, a kid (I presume in junior high or high school) in the Philipines I was chatting with last night is for the war in Iraq! He thought Hussein was "stubborn." Given the protests going on over there, I thought nearly everyone was against it.

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My feelings about the war going on in Iraq

joggle joggle writes  |  more than 11 years ago Well, I have been giving this alot of thought lately so I thought it'd be nice to take some notes. First of all, I think the diplomacy by the Bush administration is some of the worst by an American government in recent memory. I also have serious doubts about his advisors as several of them, including Dick Cheney, wrote a paper some years ago encouraging the Bush I administration to pre-emptively attack Iraq.

I also feel that the economic sanctions that were applied to Iraq over the past decade were a HUGE mistake, just as it was in Yugoslavia. Sanctions just crush the people while boosting the position of the dictator and encourages organized crime. I really hope the US reconsiders sanctioning N. Korea as it will almost certainly directly lead to a very deadly war.

On the other hand, now that our forces are in Iraq, I don't see how they can possibly just retreat. If they do, I'm sure Hussein will order the executions/torture of many of the troops who so quickly surrendered (not to mention that citizen who helped tear down one of the paintings of Hussein) and probably persecute their families as well (again). I also strongly doubt that the Iraqi people will ever overthrough Hussein. They may overthrow his successor, but I'm sure it would be a very bloody endeavor. Also, the US and UK can't possibly indefinitely enforce the no-fly zones in Iraq, so something needs to be done at some point.

So, for now, I'm hopeful that this war will come to a quick conclusion with minimal resistance and the deaths/captures of Hussein and his 2 sons.

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