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Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For

ninjabus Re:Well (594 comments)

It takes a significant amount of extra energy to push through the lower atmosphere thanks to air resistance, so starting a burn at higher altitudes is ideal. In addition, acting as a plane allows the atmosphere itself to act as your propellent, further improving efficiency. Throw in the improved maneuverability on landing and you could guess why engineers would like a space plane design to work.

about a month and a half ago
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Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

ninjabus Re:Workforce vs. number served (720 comments)

This does reduce the workforce, nothing was stopping mcdonalds from implementing an order here - pay there system with two employees. Isn't that exactly how drive throughs work? It may not have been economical to do so, as people who walk into your restaurant probably have the extra time to spare.

about 2 months ago
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Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

ninjabus Re:Too bad... (610 comments)

Actually the peer reviewed science shows that nuclear energy has no net energy return. What this means is every dollar spent on nuclear energy is wasted. The study uses industrial standards for process measurement as a basis.

The site you linked to is bunk. They're using the 2nd law of thermodynamics to argue against mined resources. Let's see what they say: "From the Second Law follows that the generated amount of useful energy from mineral energy sources is insufficient to compensate for its coupled entropy generation, even if all useful energy would applied to that purpose." It's not possible for uranium mining to decrease entropy in the universe, so obviously it's not economically viable! You could say the same thing for breathing.

about 2 months ago
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Supercomputing Upgrade Produces High-Resolution Storm Forecasts

ninjabus Re:Have the solutions converged? (77 comments)

Based on the resolution increase, and the difference in computing power that was needed to provide that increase, we can make a few assumptions about their algorithm. There was an increase in computing power of 2.88 times, which achieved a better predictive resolution of 16 times. This tells us that they are calculating differences based on the perimeters of their smallest resolution. Create a square on paper, call each edge 8 miles. Now divide that square into 2 mile subsections. The increase in edges you need to do this (4 vs. 10, or 2.5 times more) corresponds nicely with the 2.88 increase in computational power. This implies that the news systems are likely running the exact same model as the old ones, except with a greater contour density.

about 3 months ago
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School Installs Biometric Fingerprint System For Cafeteria

ninjabus Re:Not about ease, about authority (231 comments)

Exactly. I paid for a school lunch using a similar account linked to a PIN 20 years ago. When a kid forgot their pin, the cashier looked their name up in a binder to enter it correctly. There is no need for account security if the maximum withdrawal rate is 1 lunch per day.

about 3 months ago
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Finding Life In Space By Looking For Extraterrestrial Pollution

ninjabus Re:Advanced? (95 comments)

At least these would be good chemical markers for extraterrestrial stupidity.

about 5 months ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

ninjabus Re:Crazy (778 comments)

It's not applicable to compare the states with the lowest minimum wage, any state with a wage lower than the federal limit of 7.25 defaults to it in most scenarios. Since there are 24 states with wages at 7.25 or lower, cherry picking the well performing ones is deliberately misleading.

about 5 months ago
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More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use

ninjabus Re:Bad statistics warning (367 comments)

I'm pretty sure headsets are more distracting than passengers, because a passenger can see when the driver needs to be concentrating and shut up.

about 9 months ago
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23-Year-Old Chess Grandmaster Whips Bill Gates In 71 Seconds

ninjabus Re:Dumb moves (449 comments)

I course, I pose and then immediately see rook e5.

about a year ago
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23-Year-Old Chess Grandmaster Whips Bill Gates In 71 Seconds

ninjabus Re:Dumb moves (449 comments)

I'm confused why Gate's final move is listed as a ?? blunder. I can't find any move on that turn which avoids checkmate.

about a year ago
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Experiment Shows Caffeine Boosts Long Term Memory

ninjabus Re:Memorization, or attention to detail? (123 comments)

I wouldn't be too surprised. Evolution as a tuning process is very effective, but it has issues about getting stuck in just-effective-enough configurations. We evolved to be fairly intelligent, but the body is clearly programmed for using less food energy than is currently available in modern times. There has been some speculative research linking the domestication of fire to increased brain mass. This isn't because larger brains meant we were smart enough to figure out fire, but instead because fire allowed us to digest more foods efficiently, increasing the nutrients our brains could use. Modern agriculture is another jump in nutritional availability, but our bodies haven't adapted to this yet. There could potentially be an extremely effective but inefficient neurochecmical pathway which evolution discarded because conserving energy was the strongest selective pressure, and the alternatives were simply good enough.

about a year ago
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How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?

ninjabus Re:I looked into charter schools a while ago (715 comments)

You can do plenty about bad students, just not through the schools. The strongest factors which correlate with poor academic performance are poverty and food scarcity at home.

about a year ago
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Tesla Updates Model S Software As a Precaution Against Unsafe Charging

ninjabus Re:Not going to fix anything (148 comments)

Maybe it's recursive, if the voltage is still unstable at the lower draw the car could lower it again.

about a year ago
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Massive Exoplanet Discovered, Challenges Established Planet Formation Theories

ninjabus Re:Of course planet formation theory will need fix (129 comments)

This object is in an ugly middle between being a separate star or just a planet. Are there any models that consider both star and planet formation as the same process? If we built our programs to model one or the other, it's easy to see why we wouldn't have predicted distant but non-fusing binary partners. Note, it seems that 650 AU is quite distant even for a binary companion, alpha centauri A and B wobble between 16-32 or so AU between them, and have a larger orbit than most.

1 year,12 days
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Over 20% of Online Black Friday Sales Came From Mobile Devices

ninjabus Price Checking (201 comments)

People were price checking purchases using their phones, not actually looking to buy online. If someone is shopping on a tablet, they really mean to buy something with it.

1 year,19 days
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Somebody Stole 7 Milliseconds From the Federal Reserve

ninjabus Re:faster connection and automated transactions (740 comments)

This is not a case of someone having a faster network. It could only have been done by insider knowledge. They beat the speed of light, so unless the Fed announcement was bad news I don't know how else that could've happened.

about a year ago
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Valve Announces Family Sharing On Steam, Can Include Friends

ninjabus Mostly Useless (263 comments)

So now my girlfriend can't walk out with my steam collection and the cat. Whoop dee-doo.

about a year ago
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My ISP...

ninjabus Why do all caps reset on the 1st? (290 comments)

If your ISP resets all of their user's download limits on the 1st of the month, they are admitting that the data caps do not exist to preserve network performance. If monthy caps were actually in place for technical reasons, the network would tank on the reset day as everyone's ability to download opens up again. Since this doesn't appear to happen, it appears that A: An insignificant number of users actually hit the download cap, which implies they hardly affect network performance, or B: The cap exists for the sole purpose of wringing more money out of these heavy users. The other option is C: Enough users actually ration their bandwidth to avoid hitting the caps.

about a year ago
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New System Propels Satellites Without Propellants

ninjabus Re:Cool, but not as awesome as the headline says (85 comments)

It's actually extremely awesome. Lets say a group of satellites is falling out of position. We could launch a single 'anchor' satellite loaded to the brim with propellant which would be able to effectively stabilize the rest of the constellation. That means the rest of the satellites can be launched with less propellant, making the system simpler and costs lower for everyone.

about a year ago

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