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Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

mbkennel Re:The Internet is our best weapon (271 comments)


| It is slow, but very sure to penetrate and destroy dictatorships and repressive governments worldwide.

Indeed, as a political tool, the largest success has been when very successfully deployed by ultra-fundamentalists to destroy dictatorships and repressive governments for the benefit of totalitarian religious repression and atrocity.

Other than that, has there been any political outcome successful by the values of Western states? I am unaware of any.

2 days ago
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Xerox Alto Source Code Released To Public

mbkennel Re:PARC monument (121 comments)

| If the original Macintosh had shipped with a Smalltalk interpreter in ROM, the world would be a hugely different place.

It would have been 2x as expensive and 5x as slow, and a flop.

All the original Mac programs were exceptionally hand-optimized 68000 assembly.

On his NeXT project, Jobs had Objective-C built in, whose object model is nearly Smalltalk, at a time when C++ was the overwhelmingly dominant object-oriented language. And so NeXT had the first major commercial operating system with a serious object-oriented API---and in 1989, programming and using the NeXT was so far ahead of everybody else other than the commercially irrelevant Lisp machines.

So I don't think Jobs was as ignorant as one imagines---he surely heard from people who knew the deep details.

2 days ago
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Xerox Alto Source Code Released To Public

mbkennel "general market" computers (121 comments)

meaning that they would be competitive and useful to the commercial and scientific markets simultaneously. IBM was thinking in the monetary sense, which makes sense as a business.

A small embedded CPU in a radiation-hardened box is a 'general purpose computer' by the theoretical definition but nobody would buy one to play games and do the wide variety of tasks a PC does today.

2 days ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

mbkennel Re:A better link for the story (566 comments)


"Overall, McGuire says the Lockheed design “takes the good parts of a lot of designs.” It includes the high beta configuration, the use of magnetic field lines arranged into linear ring “cusps” to confine the plasma and “the engineering simplicity of an axisymmetric mirror,” he says. The “axisymmetric mirror” is created by positioning zones of high magnetic field near each end of the vessel so that they reflect a significant fraction of plasma particles escaping along the axis of the CFR. “We also have a recirculation that is very similar to a Polywell concept,” he adds, referring to another promising avenue of fusion power research. A Polywell fusion reactor uses electromagnets to generate a magnetic field that traps electrons, creating a negative voltage, which then attract positive ions. The resulting acceleration of the ions toward the negative center results in a collision and fusion. "

The axisymmetric mirrors are obviously the traditional fusion mirror part of it, but there's some other recirculation technology which is the secret sauce.

The Wikipedia page on Polywell reactors describes a difference between "magnetic mirror" and "cusp confinement" mechanisms.

about two weeks ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

mbkennel Re:wow (566 comments)


Humans, the species, will biologically survive. That's not an issue.

Human technological civilization, supporting 10 billion people, could collapse with a 98% die-off. That's a big enough catastrophe for me and there's still 200 million left. (Far, far, more than the gorillas.)

And yes, large scale global warming (we are straight on 'worst case scenario') and nuclear war are the most likely potential catastrophes. Fighting over dwindling oil and cool could do it.

Many crops die with excessive night time temperatures.

about two weeks ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

mbkennel weapons applications (566 comments)


Of course you can use the strong neutron flux to make weaponizable Pu-239 from inexpensive U-238 lining the outside. You could more easily turn on and off the neutrons to enhance the desirable -239 production and less of the 240 production compared to fission reactors.

about two weeks ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

mbkennel It is serious but also concerning (566 comments)


It is now asking for partners.

"McGuire said the company had several patents pending for the work and was looking for partners in academia, industry and among government laboratories to advance the work.

Lockheed said it had shown it could complete a design, build and test it in as little as a year, which should produce an operational reactor in 10 years, McGuire said. A small reactor could power a U.S. Navy warship, and eliminate the need for other fuel sources that pose logistical challenges."

If it had something really excellent, they would't be looking for partners. The original deal for Lockheed was to make a reactor to sell to the Navy.

about two weeks ago
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Despite Push From Tech Giants, AP CS Exam Counts Don't Budge Much In Most States

mbkennel Re:what if there was a better monetary incentive (144 comments)

| For fuck's sake, you can make near $200k by writing shitty PHP right now.

No you can't. My employer hires in what is supposed to be the hottest, and hardest to hire, part of technology, now called "data scientist".

Entry level is about $85-90K in California. And this entry level means, PhD in hard science from a good university, and often a couple of years of postdoc at a major lab. No relocation paid either, local hires only. And there's never been a problem finding a pipeline of very good to brilliant hires.

about two weeks ago
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Code.org: Blame Tech Diversity On Education Pipeline, Not Hiring Discrimination

mbkennel the biggest underrepresented group (227 comments)


programmers over age 40.

Now the companies have no easy excuse about the 'education pipeline' or any such nonsense, when there are plenty of applicants with both experience, knowledge, and a strong intent and interest.

And yet.....

Somehow this discrimination, which is overt and very deep, doesn't ever matter.

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

mbkennel exactly the problem (352 comments)



Microsoft should be doing everything in its power to make the one brand that people like to be the powerful, single name.

Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 930 ------------> the Nokia.

  "Let me Google it(*) on my Nokia". Metro/Modern/Surface/WinPhone -> NokiaOS. There are NO WINDOWS on the interface!

The next brand down they have is Skype.

about a month and a half ago
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Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

mbkennel next version of windows (352 comments)

The next version of Windows should be called Windows and actually be Windows and actually improved, and not Surface. That stream will just keep going but nobody likes it.

"Windows" shouldn't be going on phones, tablets, surfaces, anything else that doesn't need to be.

MacOS was hardly as tainted as Windows but Apple didn't say the iPhone was a Mac when it wasn't.

about a month and a half ago
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Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

mbkennel Abject brand mismanagement (352 comments)


Microsoft has not ever understood one thing.

People ***HATE*** "Windows". Windows is associated with work, pain, crazy difficulties, nerds and viruses. The brand name has negative value.

So what does Microsoft do? They double and triple down on fucking *Windows*. They had the opportunity with the Metro to finally make people see Microsoft as going beyond Windows. "No this isn't Windows any more, it's not supposed to be Windows, and that's OK. We're more than Windows, so try it on its own terms".

And now with phones they kill the one name, Nokia, which people did have a good association with, in favor of a nothingburger which might as well be a suppository name.

about a month and a half ago
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How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

mbkennel funny you should mention the ocean (770 comments)


http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?n=57

The ocean heat content is a better (though delayed) measure of global warming than the atmosphere for the obvious reason it has a larger heat capacity and so 'physically' integrates over many fluctuations.

about a month and a half ago
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How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

mbkennel Re:Science creates understanding of a real world. (770 comments)

Here's a great example. It's just denialism.

| The problem with the AGW consensus is that prediction has yet to coincide with observed reality. The Solar cycles hypothesis do coincide.

That's simply empirically false.

http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

| Once folks start actually (or accidentally) start "performing" science and investigate all possible theories instead of FOTM (or FOT decade) we might get greater clarity. As soon as we start to remove lies from reports, get equal peer review time and otherwise move away from irrational religious science and get back to hard science we will be much better off.

You imagine hard science hasn't been going on and there are "lies from reports". It's just not true. Many physical drivers, including solar influence (which IS included in every serious analysis).

This has been a field of serious study for 50 years. Roger Revelle wrote in a report to Lyndon Johnson about various environmental issues that he estimated the effect from increased greenhouse gases would be visible by 2000.

about a month and a half ago
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How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

mbkennel Re:Science creates understanding of a real world. (770 comments)

| But that too is reviled but the same advocates of AGW.

Firstly, scientists are an 'advocate' for global warming the way a physician is an 'advocate' for cancer.

Secondly, the intersection between actual scientists on global warming and "anti-nuclear activists" is far from 100%.

What' happening in Germany is a crime. For a supposedly mature and intelligent country, what they're doing is making solar and wind compete with nuclear. The empirical result is that coal burning & CO2 is staying the same or increasing, and expensively nuclear is going down and solar up.

about a month and a half ago
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Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

mbkennel Re:So, where is ... (1134 comments)


Chivalry was also a man qualifying himself to the upper-class, powerful, father of the bride. Wealth and power that he would inherit for his own benefit should he marry the daughter. There was something in it for the man.

about 1 month ago
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The Argument For a Hypersonic Missile Testing Ban

mbkennel exactly, we already have them (322 comments)

called a IRBM. The dynamically optimal solution is obviously to go up out of the atmosphere as soon as you can to reduce drag, and then come down over the target. And since you're coming down, you don't need any thrust in that phase. So you just re-invented the ballistic missile. Von Braun figured this all out quite some time ago.<br><br>All the "hypersonic weapons" are ballistic missiles with slightly maneuverable (nonballistic) warheads.

about 1 month ago
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The Argument For a Hypersonic Missile Testing Ban

mbkennel What do you mean they "Will" become nuclear? (322 comments)

All IRBM's &amp; ICBM's have been hypersonic weapons since 1957.<br><br>How fast is a re-entry vehicle from a modern ICBM?<br><br>Here's what an attack looks like from the ground: hey, a moving bright white dot! (one one thousand two one thousand three one thousand) BOOM<br><br>It takes O(10) seconds to go from the top of the atmosphere to target level, three or four from stratosphere.<br><br>This is why missile defense is almost impossible.<br><br>Even in the video game (Missile Command) you always lose.

about 2 months ago
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FCC Warned Not To Take Actions a Republican-Led FCC Would Dislike

mbkennel Re:Lord, save us from corporatists (338 comments)

| Are they disappointed that the chairman of the FCC isn't just Brian Roberts, the CEO of Comcast?

Yes.

In fact, they are disappointed that the FCC exists as a nominally independent government institution. That they have to seduce potentially reluctant regulators, instead of the regulators sucking their cable ports with enthusiasm.

about 2 months ago
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FCC Warned Not To Take Actions a Republican-Led FCC Would Dislike

mbkennel chutzpah, meet hypocrisy! (338 comments)

chutzpah and hypocrisy, go together like a horse

*) Federal government regulating over the desires of State legislatures: Evil! Evil! Evil!
*) State government regulating over the desires of municipal legislatures: Motherhood, Apple Pie and the American Way!

about 2 months ago

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