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Astronomers Search For Dyson Spheres of Alien Civilizations

jpyeck Re:Let me predict.... (686 comments)

And that is the likely goal!

Remember, it is the Templeton Foundation (they of the Templeton Prize) funding this research. This is just a wild-goose-chase that will add another pseudo-argument to the quiver: "See, Intelligent Design it is plausible. "Science" has looked for Dyson Spheres and didn't find any! Therefore we must be alone in the universe and therefore we must be the special unique creations of God."

They even get to pretend to be impartial because they funded it. Ugh!

more than 2 years ago

Solar Company Folds After $0.5B In Subsidies

jpyeck Re:Stop (694 comments)

Having spent 2 days at a Renewable Energy conference talking to power generators, utilities and distributors recently, this is exactly what I asked of the people who are justifying building these projects.

  1. Are these projects (wind, solar, landfill gas, waste-to-energy) cost effective without subsidies? ANSWER: No
  2. Can the industry place some monetary present-value-of-future-worth on the reduced environmental impact from renewables? ANSWER: No

Unfortunately, while it seems logical that we should be able to take into account our children's children's fresh air/current coastline/climate/etc., nobody seems to be able to do this. Without some significant technological leap in efficiency or materials, it appears renewables cannot compete on a purely economic calculation without government subsidies. Unfortunately, that means we are dependent on the changing political will of each subsequent congress/administration.

What was particularly telling was the chart I saw showing MW of Wind Generation added per year. There would be significant installations (100s of MW) in one year, then almost nothing the next, because the Federal Installation Tax Credit was not renewed that year. The next year the installations spiked again due to new tax credits. The following year, bupkis, due again to no tax credits.

more than 3 years ago

Google+ Already At 10 Million Users

jpyeck Re:Will Invite (1223 comments)

Jumping on the bandwagon...
I would appreciate an invitation please, if you have some left. jpyeck[at]gmail
Thanks in advance!

more than 3 years ago

Apple's App Store Accepts 'Gay Cure' App

jpyeck Re:No objectionable material? (794 comments)

There are more targeted organizations to give your money to than a church if your goal is to help the needy. United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross come to mind. When you give your money to a church, however, you lose control of the end goal of your money. Presumably, some fraction will go to administrative costs (pastors would fall under this category) in either case, but churches do not exist solely for charitable causes. Your money will in some measure be supporting the message and recruitment of the churches next generation. This is the same issue with having the government handle your charitable money... the organization in question has many goals and once they have your money, they can funnel it wherever they want. For me, it is important to separate the message (potentially something like this anti-gay application) from the charitable action.

more than 3 years ago

Slashdot Launches Re-Design

jpyeck Re:The horror! (2254 comments)

Scrolling isn't bad on my rooted Nook Color in Dolphin HD 4.2. The top bar seems to follow me with a major lag though.

more than 3 years ago

Apple Files Patent For Display Mouse

jpyeck Re:Aren't there already products like this? (156 comments)

Who wants to look away from their monitor to figure out which icon they are clicking? There are plenty of multi-button, context-aware mice out there already. This seems wasteful and distracting.

more than 3 years ago

When Should I Buy an Android Tablet?

jpyeck Re:You didn't say what you were going to use it fo (396 comments)

Although I think I'm convinced the consensus, even here, is "wait", I'll address your question for the crowd.

Some of the things I would like to use it for:

  • Dock in my car for GPS/Navigation
  • Dock in my car for OBD2 data feeds via Arduino hack
  • Carry at work for lab notes and PDF drawing pull-ups
  • Home automation panel via Arduino hack
  • Books and Wired mag
  • Surfing Slashdot when the kids and wife have the PCs all tied up!

more than 3 years ago

When Should I Buy an Android Tablet?

jpyeck Re:Save it instead (396 comments)

I'll reply to you to address all the "save the $" and "6 mo CD" comments.

I've already set aside >2x the amount I'm willing to spend on this "treat", plus payed some debt down.

This exercise is trying to maximize the remaining bang-for-the-buck.

more than 3 years ago

When Should I Buy an Android Tablet?

jpyeck Re:The iPad is out of the question (396 comments)

My daughter has an iPod Touch. It's just a bit too small for my older eyes and big, fat fingers.

That said, it is what got me researching.

I know the iPad2 will be fabulous, but as I said in the submission, I need a little more hackability. I picked up an Arduino kit for Christmas and have seen some interesting stuff integrating those two platforms.

P.S. FWIW, I don't need to mow lawns to afford the iPad... I could get the 3G version now with the money I have reserved for this.

more than 3 years ago

Obama Highlights IPv6 Issue

jpyeck Re:Deadline (congrats first post) (442 comments)

You need to upgrade to the "29 or" version of your "6 to 4".

BONUS: You're more likely to get laid if you use this in your college dorm.

more than 4 years ago

Thieves Use Vacuum To Siphon Cash From Safes

jpyeck Re:You can make this stuff up. (173 comments)

I've already seen the bumper sticker for that: "Mean People Suck"

more than 4 years ago

Rackspace Shuts Down Quran-Burning Church's Sites

jpyeck Re:This is the problem with Hate Speech Laws (1695 comments)

First, let me be clear that I wholeheartedly agree with you that this is a question of freedom, and neither side is legally restricted, either from burning the Quran, or building a mosque near Ground Zero.

The point is the same that I try to convey to my young children: we have the FREEDOM to do a lot of things, but there may be CONSEQUENCES to your actions that are negative. I think this is why you have Petraeus and Obama weighing in on this subject. If it was ILLEGAL, you'd have the FBI knocking on your door... as it is, it is UNWISE, so you have people publicly suggesting you don't do it.

more than 4 years ago

Researchers Say Happiness Costs $75K

jpyeck Re:Mathmatics of dissatisfaction (772 comments)

And what kind of management are you doing that wears out your shoes? Can't you manage-by-email or manage-by-powerpoint?

more than 4 years ago

Ray Kurzweil Does Not Understand the Brain

jpyeck Re:Uh (830 comments)

He's doing the calculation the wrong direction!

The genome contains enough information to build the brain from raw materials. However, this data has already been losslessly compressed by countless generations of evolution. We would need to discover the evolved compression algorithm to "unpack" the 800 million bytes into the 3.2 billion bytes (using his factor-of-4 ratio) in order to begin understanding it.

more than 4 years ago

The Unstoppable 'Tech Support' Scam

jpyeck Re:And ... (312 comments)

You actually get to talk to a person on the phone?

more than 4 years ago

BP Says "Top Kill" Operation Has Failed

jpyeck Re:long history of cutting corners (768 comments)

Of-course this is just of top of the head and maybe stupid

^^ This ^^

30 years ago, drilling a well at this depth was not possible. Drilling technology has advanced to the point where drilling at this depth is now possible. Technology has also advanced to the point where the "same shit they tried 30 years ago" is even an available option at 5000+ ft down.

As an engineer, I take offense when people come up with stuff off the top of their head and assume that teams of professionals haven't considered the same options and rationally analyzed the feasibility.

I can assure you, all the crazy ideas you can possibly consider, and more, are being discussed among the engineers at BP who actually have experience in this industry. Yes, this spill is horrible. No, I can't believe BP doesn't want to have this fixed ASAP. The engineers on the front line simply don't have time to address the media, therefore you are left with execs so far removed from the actual work that they look like incompetent boobs

more than 4 years ago

IBM Creates World's Smallest 3-D Map

jpyeck Resolution? (90 comments)

To what scale is this a "map of the Earth"? At some point this will become so small a 3D map of the Earth is going to be indistinguishable from a sphere.

more than 4 years ago

Switzerland Passes Violent Games Ban

jpyeck Re:Yay! A violence-free country! (294 comments)

I saw them a handful of times in Hinwil, ZH from our office building. I do believe we were near a depot though.

more than 4 years ago

Switzerland Passes Violent Games Ban

jpyeck Re:Yay! A violence-free country! (294 comments)

Sarcasm noted, however...

Having lived 2 years in Switzerland, their security is assured very proactively. Every male 18 to 40ish is required to serve in their military. It's not unusual to see tanks rolling down the street midday, on the way to training. Soldiers are often seen on the trains in full uniform, with weapon, off to their weekend on-duty. At a colleague's home, his service rifle was propped up in the corner next to his Swatch collection. Police with automatic weapons are obvious on their patrols at the airport in Zurich.

The Swiss may be conservative, but afraid of violence, they are not.

more than 4 years ago



Signs of Life Found in Lake Vostok

jpyeck jpyeck writes  |  about a year ago

jpyeck (1368075) writes "Lake Vostok, Antarctica's biggest and deepest subsurface lake, might contain thousands of different kinds of tiny organisms — and perhaps bigger fish as well, researchers report.

The lake, buried under more than 2 miles (3.7 kilometers) of Antarctic ice, has been seen as an earthly analog for ice-covered seas on such worlds as Europa and Enceladus. It's thought to have been cut off from the outside world for as long as 15 million years. But the latest results, reported in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, suggest that the lake isn't as sterile or otherworldly as some scientists might have thought.

More than 3,500 different DNA sequences were identified in samples extracted from layers of ice that have built up just above the surface of the lake."

When should I buy an Android Tablet?

jpyeck jpyeck writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jpyeck (1368075) writes "I've deliberately avoided the smartphone craze, due to the fact I've never utilized any phone (landline or otherwise) enough to justify the monthly fees. But the geek in me craves the "smart" part of the equation, especially since I got a bonus this year-end that is burning a hole in my pocket. The iPad is out of the question because I need a bit more hack-ability in my gadgets. I am drooling over the Android Honeycomb demo from the CES. I've had my eye on the Galaxy Tab, though it sounds like it won't support Honeycomb. The Xoom looks great, but who knows when it will come out? The consensus seems to be "wait a few months for Honeycomb". If you were me, with limited patience, would you buy an Android tablet now? If so, which?"

Join the Steorn Knowledge Development Base and c

jpyeck jpyeck writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jpyeck (1368075) writes "Not sure if this is an April Fool's Day joke or not, but this came via email today:

Following the success of its recent live demonstrations of Orbo technology at the Waterways Visitor Centre in Dublin, Steorn is delighted to announce that its online development community will open for membership on 1st April 2010.

Orbo is a new technology from Steorn that provides free, clean and constant energy at the point of use. Orbo is controversial — it is an "over-unity" technology, meaning that it produces more energy than it consumes.

The Steorn Knowledge Development Base (SKDB), as the online community is known, is a collaborative environment designed to share, explain, employ and expand the science, engineering and intellectual property comprising Orbo technology. In short, it is ground zero for the Orbo revolution.

The SKDB will be the sole medium for the dissemination of Orbo technology and its future enhancements. All developments and improvements to Orbo technology will be shared amongst the members of the SKDB for further research and development.

The main focus of the SKDB at launch will be on the solid state electromagnetic configuration of Orbo, the development of which Steorn has recently completed.

Anybody willing to pay 419 Euros (564 USD) to find out what Orbo is?


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