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Comments

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San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

mikael Re:BS (355 comments)

Pre proposition-13, another hazard was "market-value adjustment" (MVA) of property taxes. Your neighbor decided to turn a sideyard into a ten storey condo. Initially, neighbors didn't complain, but then they were hit by a massive property tax increase because suddenly their acreage gained the market value of a ten-storey condo. So they protested, and height limits were put on buildings.

2 days ago
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San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

mikael Re:The bay area used to have affordable housing (355 comments)

It has been well documented. "The Exploding Metropolis" by the editors of Fortune magazine goes beyond a "ludicrously long article" and is an entire book dedicated to the whole subject (there are probably online versons which can be previewed or downloaded):

http://www.ucpress.edu/book.ph...

The unfortunate thing was that whenever incredible amounts of money were spent on providing decent high-rise accommodation for the poor (just as much white as black), the residents would take it upon themselves to crowd in as many relatives as possible into one apartment, use wide hallways as playrooms and storage space and yet others would get bored and decide to go elevator surfing and end up breaking those systems. Some even decided to play games by jumping down the waste disposal chutes in the middle of the night. In the UK and USA, we've ended up having to spectacularly demolish such buildings because of these problems.

The physical energy cost of transporting building materials like concrete upwards means that only the wealthy can afford to live in condominium blocks.

2 days ago
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How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

mikael Re:whine (223 comments)

That's one thing - any single item task is going to be broken down into sub-tasks and assigned to different people if not groups accordingly. And then those tasks may not be completed in sequential order. Then there's going to be one crunch-time for everyone when the last task is complete and things don't work. So it's a really nice thing if they can get one knows-everything-about-everything guru to complete that job.

2 days ago
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Using Supercomputers To Predict Signs of Black Holes Swallowing Stars

mikael Re:Impossible (31 comments)

So, traveling to the event horizon of a black hole is basically a short cut to the end of the universe. Of if you are lucky, the restaurant at the end of the universe.

4 days ago
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First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands

mikael Re:Useless (184 comments)

Maybe we could feed the animals food with extra glow in the dark genes. Maybe even the people too.

4 days ago
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FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

mikael Re:SAR (217 comments)

You mean like Magdalena Glinkowski, who went hiking up into the Mt. Tamalpais when the weather forecast was 90% chance of rain?

http://napavalley.patch.com/gr...

5 days ago
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FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

mikael Re:It's been a lot longer than 2007 (217 comments)

The FAA are like a Home Owner Association.They'll use the catch-all clause "Every resident must not cause a nuisance or annoyance to the other residents." if they see something they don't like. Most of it is common sense like: all aircraft flights above 500 feet might have an approved flight plan. Any piloted flying vehicle must be air-worthiness approved and have a maintenance log. Any remote control model must remain in line of sight of the operator".

But then they have a problem with remote controlled vehicles with cameras, because they are out of line-of-sight,, but the operator can still see using the remote camera. That goes into a sort of gray-area, so they haven't made any rules up yet. Perhaps there should be a camera on a pole behind the model so the operator can see the state of the model relative to the surroundings.

5 days ago
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Fruit Flies, Fighter Jets Use Similar Evasive Tactics When Attacked

mikael Re:Anyone (65 comments)

They are sensitive to sudden positive high-pressure air flow; flapping of a wing, motion of a bird. A continuous negative high-pressure air flow won't activate them.

about a week ago
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Fruit Flies, Fighter Jets Use Similar Evasive Tactics When Attacked

mikael Re:What's awesome... (65 comments)

I'm not sure they can discriminate between a predator and non-predator. They go by smell to find food and partners. Just about anything that is a dark shadow or moves relative to the background is a potential predator - either they get squished or eaten,

They do vision by a method called "optic flow". Imagine everything you see is projected onto a hemispherical dome (like one of those IMAX theaters). The only way you can tell how the camera is moving is whether the picture rotates around a single point, a particular area of the picture gets larger or smaller and any combination of the two. How quickly different parts of the picture move tells them how near it is.

about a week ago
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The New 'One Microsoft' Is Finally Poised For the Future

mikael Re:A possum playing possum (270 comments)

The interesting thing about the home computers vs the IBM PC and clones was that the home computes (Atari ST, Amiga, Apple) were ahead of the IBM PC in terms of connectors (MIDI) and display capability (GUI's), but it only took a couple of graphics and audio boards (Soundblaster) for the PC to catch up.

I do have to wonder what the next two iterations are going to be? Wearable computing? Implantable computing?

about a week ago
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The New 'One Microsoft' Is Finally Poised For the Future

mikael Re:Trolling? (270 comments)

I would go for the Wacom style art tablet with a built-in screen, but still with a keyboard. That allows for additional interaction including tilt, pressure, and multiple stylus pens to be used simultaneously. I've tried explaining how to use a computer to some of my more senior relatives, and they immediately get all annoyed and panicky when I tell them to "grab the mouse, and pull it towards them". They panic at the thought there is a rodent on the table.

about a week ago
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Crowd Wisdom Better At Predictions Than Top CIA Analysts

mikael Re:Question of scale (136 comments)

Both the British and Americans used the same government contact for their information, but they didn't tell each other who that contact was. In fact, they had different codenames for the person. When they cross-referenced each others information, they got two confirmations.

about a week ago
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Crowd Wisdom Better At Predictions Than Top CIA Analysts

mikael Re:Seems fishy (136 comments)

Why do you think it is purely luck? When you have these wild discussion parties - things like "is a bright blob of pixels on a Mars Rover image a cosmic ray, a high-voltage dust-devil, light contamination of a camera box, a gas geyser", you will have an incredible combination of experts - everyone from geologists, ranchers, hill-hikers, photographers, astronomers. Geologists will tell you want can and can't come from the ground, ranchers and hill-hikers will tell you things they have seen and never seen, photographers will tell you what visual artifacts can appear on a camera, and astronomers tell you what can fall from the sky and can't, and what those falling things look like.

It's like solving a giant logic problem where everyone can cross off or tick what what they know. Eventually the set of possible answers reduces down to one or two.

about a week ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

mikael Re:Ability to design and write software... (578 comments)

Being able to program is only a small part of being a programmer or engineer or developer. First skill = being able to handle ambiguous specifications or even being able to extract them from the client or other engineers tactfully. Second skill = being able to write and document well structured code. Third skill = being able to herd a team of junior programmers towards the same goal.

Sometimes employers use different terms; software developer, application developer, programmer, junior programmer, senior programmer, senior engineer.

about a week ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

mikael Re:Tradeoffs (578 comments)

Highly-paid people still need to eat, drink (bars, cafes, restaurants), buy clothes, shoes (stores, sales assistants, sales managers), maintain their appearance (hairdressers, barbers, estheticians), keep healthy (fitness centres, doctors, dentists), and then they'll want to live somewhere pleasant (architects, landscape gardners), may want to explore their inner self (yoga instructors, meditation), learn new skills (community college), may want to be driven somewhere (taxi drivers, chaffeurs, limo services), want their homes upgraded (builders, painters, interior decorators).

about a week ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

mikael Re:moderns EDUCATED STUPID on equality (578 comments)

That was the idea of the dollar - one days wage for one days work. Split up into dimes, quarters and cents.

about a week ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

mikael Re:Right! (578 comments)

Programming is always becoming obsolete. Every time a new compiler, API comes out there's a boom time where programmers in a particular field are in demand, then once all that infra-structure has been built, applications have been ported, the industry moves onto the next level. In the early 1990's, you could get a job with knowledge of C, X-windows, X-toolkit and GLX, X.25 and ISDN were also in demand. By the late 1990's, you needed to know C++, Win32, MFC, Then web page design took off around 2000, so a new path opened up as web page designer. That needed knowledge of HTML, ActiveX. Now, big data is another path that has opened, and that requires knowledge of things like Reduction, Hadoop, So there is a constant need to retrain as you go along.

about a week ago
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Smart Car Tipping Trending In San Francisco

mikael Re:San Fran = the new Detroit (371 comments)

I've seen documentaries on the operation of modern car making plants. Car components are ordered automatically, they are then distributed to the correct area of the factory by automatic trolley systems. Robots lift up the parts, weld them in place. Windows are put in place by robot. Spray-painting is done by machine. Humans do things like final testing.

about two weeks ago
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Smart Car Tipping Trending In San Francisco

mikael Re:San Fran = the new Detroit (371 comments)

Detroit suffered from something called "Devil's night" where certain groups of people attempted to set fire to as many homes, businesses and other property as well.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Tony Benn, MP has died

mikael mikael writes  |  about a month ago

mikael (484) writes "The famous Labour MP, Tony Benn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Benn) has died at the age of 88. In his career which included Minister of Technology, he was responsible for the creation of ICL (International Computers Limited) and involvement in Concorde"
Link to Original Source
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Flu Pandemic may lead to websites being blocked

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mikael (484) writes "While corporations and businesses have been advised on how to allow employees to work remotely from home, there is still some uncertainty on how ISP's would be able to handle the extra flow of traffic. The Department of Homeland Security is suggesting that ISP's be prepared to block popular websites in order to prioritize bandwidth for commercial use."
Link to Original Source
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Scientists discover how DNA is folded within the n

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mikael (484) writes "Sciencedaily.com is reporting that scientists have discovered how DNA is folded within the nucleus of a cell such that active genes remain accessible without becoming tangled. The first observation is that genes are actually stored in two locations. The first location acts as a cache where all active genes are kept. The second location is a more denser storage area where inactive genes are kept. The second observation is that all genes are stored as http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2009/3d-genome.html ">fractal globules which allows genes that are used together to be adjacent to each other when folded, even though they may be far apart when unfolded."
Link to Original Source
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Volunteers recover Lunar Orbiter 1 photographs

mikael mikael writes  |  about 5 years ago

mikael (484) writes "The LA Times is reporting on efforts of group of volunteers with funding from NASA to recover high resolution photographs of the Moon taken by Lunar Orbiter 1 in the 1960's. The collection of 2000 images is stored entirely on magnetic tape which can only be read by a $330,000 FR-900 Ampex magnetic tape reader. The team consisted of Nancy Evans, NASA's archivist who ensured that the 20-foot by 10-foot x 6-foot collection of magnetic tapes were never thrown out, Dennis Wingo, Keith Cowing of Nasa Watch and Ken Zim who had experience of repairing video equipment. Two weeks ago, the second image, of the Copernicus Crater was recovered."
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Cities plan to replace street lights with LED's

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mikael (484) writes "The Pasadena Star News is reporting that a couple of cities including Pasadena and Los Angeles are planning on replacing sodium based street lighting with LED's. The new bulbs use between 40 percent and 60 percent energy and last four times as long. Los Angeles plans on replacing 14,000 street lights with LED's, while Pasadena aims to spend $528,000 to achieve this goal."
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Microsoft doubles reward for missing teenager

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mikael (484) writes "The Toronto Star is reporting that Microsoft has doubled the reward for information about a missing teenager to $50,000. Brandon Crisp went missing since Thanksgiving Day after a dispute over a video game. Over 400 volunteers are helping in the search."
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London seeks own internet domain

mikael mikael writes  |  about 6 years ago

mikael (484) writes "The Times is reporting that along with Wales and Scotland, London is seeking their own three letter domain (.ldn) in advance of the Olympic games in 2012. Could we see the start of every city getting their own domain?"
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National Library of Belarus

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mikael (484) writes "In June 2002, the president of Belarus commissioned the construction of a new national library, which was completed June this year. Constructed in the shape of a spherical diamond and covered by reflective glass and chrome, it has gained the nickname of the "Death Star". Another feature of this building is that it is completely covered by colored lights on every side, which allows for some amazing animations. Perhaps they should offer programming competitions for the best animation. EnglishRussia has some photographs of the building in Summer and Winter, along with a timelapse video. Although, some residents would have preferred the money spent on a shopping mall rather than a national library."
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Nikko introduces R2-D2 entertainment droid

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mikael (484) writes "The register is reporting that a Japanese company Nikko is producing an integrated projector, DVD player, iPod connection, and media card reader, all combined into the shape of an R2-D2 robot. http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/07/25/r2-d2_mult imedia/ http://www.youtube.com/v/N1h6onXX0dM No mention if they are going to provide a C3PIO unit to serve cold drinks and popcorn."

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