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Google's Project Loon Can Now Launch Up To 20 Balloons Per Day, Fly 10x Longer

nukenerd Re:Space mining (114 comments)

Wouldn't it be possible to get some helium from Jupiter ?

Try the Sun. It makes loads of it and it's nearer too. Bring some back for me.

3 days ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

nukenerd Re:how much does that cost to build? (418 comments)

I don't think half the rail proposals I see in the US make any sense. A big reason why is: not elevated, and not fast enough! If its not elevated, why take it? It's merely a glorified bus with dedicated lanes.

You are not making sense (ie I don't understand what you are saying). Is this American language? Elevated, what's that?

In The UK, in most big cities, it is crazy to drive a commute by car and nearly as crazy to use a bus, even with dedicated lanes. The dedicated lane system breaks down at junctions, and there are stops every few yards where scores of people get on and off, all fumbling with money or payment cards. For a fit person it is quicker to get off and walk. Anything involving the public road is just slow, slow, slow. You talk about "slow" commuter trains, but they are going at the speed of light compared with road traffic.

Not quite knowing what you mean by elevated, perhaps you are thinking of trains as things sharing the road with cars. In the UK we call those trams, and trains are things with their own dedicated infrastructure, whether at ground level, on viaduct or in tunnel, with nothing else in the way, such that the only restriction on speed is the engineering.

about two weeks ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

nukenerd Re:But is high speed rail a *good* public investme (418 comments)

yeah, it's called "public investment", each person pays a little bit so that everyone can use the thing, think "public roads"

Unfortunately, a real and serious difficulty with high-speed rail is that each person doesn't pay a little bit, they pay a small fortune, while in practice only a relatively small number of people will ever benefit directly from the faster travel times.

And you can say that about road and motorway building too. Living in rural Wales I don't get any direct benefit from new motorways or road widenings in, say the Midlands; nor do most people living in Newcastle or Scotland for that matter. I could even do a reductio ad absurdum of your argument by extending it to say that even if I do use a 3-lane motorway, I get no benefit from the two lanes I am not using. Building HS2 is like having more lanes of motorway.

Whether there is really any benefit in building either motorways or high speed railways is another matter. I have always doubted it. When I see a motorway I am always left wondering how it is that so many people can be in the wrong place and needing to get somewhere else. Usually, when these things are built, people just start travelling longer distances, like my company centralised (closing its regional offices) in the 1980's when a lot of new motorways were completed (the M25 in particular) - explicitly because "travel times were reduced". In fact it took longer to reach most destinations from the central office than it had done from the nearest regional office before they were closed. Staff numbers were not reduced anyway.

about two weeks ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

nukenerd Re:stupid germans (418 comments)

Can any other country boast a top political leader who has a STEM leader . . . ?

Mrs Thatcher had a chemistry degree and before full-time politics she worked in food technology. But the irony was that she came to preside over the destruction of Britain as a leading technical nation. It sems she hated technology.

Psychologically, I have seen this explained as, her having changed careers (science to politics), she was inclined to look back in contempt at her former one. A bit like her having made it into a man's world (as political leadership was back then) she famously looked back in contempt on other women. You can imagine her wanting revenge for having once been the lab junior, making the tea for the others etc, as we all did once.

about two weeks ago
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Debunking a Viral Internet Post About Breastfeeding Racism

nukenerd Re:Most people don't object to public breast feedi (350 comments)

Humans don't naturally expose a huge amount of breast, since they don't become large naturally. It's only with the advent of adequate medicine and an abundance (excess?) of nutrition that some women find themselves large mammaries

On the contrary, from your argument, it sounds like it was small breasts that were unnatural (underfed and ill). In fact, I have known obese women with small breasts, and slim women with large ones (if you don't know any women, look in some porn websites, you will find all combinations).

Let's just say you're not doing well with your arguments since you're not very well informed about the subject of women. (Which should have been obvious, this being /. and all...)

Actually he was talking about dogs, mostly. His point about women was that they stand upright and their front has breasts on it (of some size or other) if they are of post-puberty maturity - do you dispute that?

Perhaps you prefer Homer Simpson's description of women : "Like a refrigerator, - about 5'2" high and give you beer". It leaves the breasts out of it.

about two weeks ago
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Debunking a Viral Internet Post About Breastfeeding Racism

nukenerd Re:Most people don't object to public breast feedi (350 comments)

I've fathered 2 children so far through sexual reproduction. And at no point do I remember breasts playing a fundamental role in that process....... you could just as easily argue that my steady job, calm demeanor, personal hygene habits, and social skills are all fundamental in sexual reproduction.

I find women's breasts a huge (sorry) part in my sexual "process", and if it is only Western society that has caused that attitude (as some have said here) then - bring it on. Many women themselves are also turned on by their own breasts, as part of their own arousal. I had a busty GF who would get a breast out to admire it herself in a public place if there were no people about - I would tell her off about it. You are missing a lot if women's breasts mean nothing to you (or your partner); I am feeling sorry for you..

However, some women do not have much to show in the breast department, so it is just as well that there are guys like you who will be quite happy with that.

about two weeks ago
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Debunking a Viral Internet Post About Breastfeeding Racism

nukenerd Re:Astonishing grasp of the obvious (350 comments)

I know a woman who refuses to ever wear a wedding ring. She doesn't like the European position of women as property, and the band as a shackle.

Is she unattractive perhaps?

I know women who are not married but do wear one most of the time because it is at least a partial deterrent to unwelcome men pestering them. Not all men are deterred, but it does make a worthwhile difference, they tell me. They are attractive women.

I (male) am married but I don't wear a ring because women don't "pester" me, and I am not sure I would not wlecome it if they did. Women don't tend to pester men anyway unless they look like Brad Pitt in his prime.

Thus it is largely a practical matter. How you get the idea of it meaning "property" out of this is beyond me. Does a necklace mean property too? A bracelet? Most women like jewelery anyway (some wear rings on all fingers and toes), and it all needs to be attached by some kind of "shackle" or it tends to drop off.

about two weeks ago
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Linux Foundation Comments On Microsoft's Increasing Love of Linux

nukenerd Re:Step one. (162 comments)

What I'd like from MS is an apology and a statement that they will take their company in a new dirrection.

Not enough by miles. How about they let a team of independent financial assessors evaluate how much they were able to over-charge customers by virtue of their monopoly position, and cost other companies. Then pay refunds to all those people and entities.

about two weeks ago
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Linux Foundation Comments On Microsoft's Increasing Love of Linux

nukenerd Re:Step one. (162 comments)

the real issue is the corrupt standards bodies, sure it would be great if MS stopped but it would be better if those corrupt people were ousted so that you dont just get somebody else coming in to manipulate them.

You are showing incredible ignorance. It is Microsoft who corrupt them. It is not as simple as corruption by handing out bribes. With Microsoft occupying the posiition it does, the corruption is more based on fear - of potential loss of business.

In the OOXML affair, it was noticed by Microsoft that companies in the relevant field could join the national standards committees fairly easily. They therefore got their partners around the world ( a "Microsoft Partner" has a formal association with Microsoft) to join these committees in sufficient numbers to outvote the existing regular members.

The regular members were not corrupted, they were outvoted. In some countries, the dozen or so regular members arrived on the day of the vote at the usual small meeting room to find it already packed out with newly joined "Microsoft Partner" members. Some of the regular members could not even get in the door. These new members were never seen again after that vote.

Being a Microsoft Partner is essential for the business of many of them (they get pre-views of software and technical support. They would not dare to ignore a Microsoft request such as joining their national standards committee, so no money was being handed out. Perhaps extortion is a better word after all.

5 isnt an issue. even with secure boot they mandate that it must be able to be disabled, locked/broken bootloaders and closed drivers are at the behest of hardware manufacturers, not microsoft. you just seem a bit confused on who develops what.

No confusion here. The point with secure boot is that while it can be disabled if you have the technical nous (don't worry, I shall) it deters a casual user from trying out Linux and parhaps liking it. That is what Microsoft are after and they have a part in the affair.

about two weeks ago
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Linux Foundation Comments On Microsoft's Increasing Love of Linux

nukenerd Re:Step one. (162 comments)

Nobody is saying what microsoft did is ok, but the incompetence of the ISO has allowed this to happen

Perhaps incompetence; it was the fact that no-one had ever forseen that anyone would play the dirty trick that Microsoft did. I hope they have fixed it.

I am interested in yacht racing under rating rules. The yachts can be of different design, but there are rules to make the yachts competative with each other. Like you can have a certain sail area but of any aspect ratio. But every now and then someone turns up with a yacht of a design that exploits a loophole in the rule, and everyone (often even the owner) agrees it is cheating and the rules are soon amended to block the loophole. It is similar in F1 car racing.

That is what Microsoft did - found a loophole - but the result has been far more catastrophic than a wrong yacht winning a race.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Losing the School Markets To iPads and Chromebooks

nukenerd Re:Not really... (219 comments)

We still use desktop PCs running Windows and Office, as it's what the real world uses (for now, at least).

Even if the "real world" is still using Windows and Office by the time your kids get into it, do you seriously believe that that they will still be the same versions and have the same UI as they do today? Look back ten years and see how things have changed since then. Even the concept of files and directories has changed.

True, some things have not changed, but those things (the Internet, keyboard layout) are common to all systems anyway.

Besides, I think you are seriously under-rating you pupils' ability to adapt (which differs from the ability to moan). I saw the change at work when everyone first got a desk PC, as opposed to a few techies sharing a mainframe terminal in a special room. We all went on a two day course - engineers, clerks, typists, workshop foremen - and they took to computers like ducks to water. And that was a change from pen-and-paper and forms to PCs. Yet you are saying your pupils could not adapt from Word to LibreOffice, say, if they needed to. If so, I think your teaching must be making their minds too narrow somehow.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Losing the School Markets To iPads and Chromebooks

nukenerd Re:free market (219 comments)

"We have to teach the students what they will be using".

How is this stupid? Seems pretty sensible to me, Linux vs. Window notwithstanding.

Because at best it is a self-fulfilling argument. If not at best, it is untrue, because in future people will be using Windows less and less.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Losing the School Markets To iPads and Chromebooks

nukenerd Re:Nonsense (219 comments)

Microsoft licensing isn't really an issue

It must be the crap software itself that is the deciding factor then.

about two weeks ago
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How Alibaba Turned November 11 Into the World's Biggest Online Shopping Day

nukenerd Re:Good luck in Canada (115 comments)

War holidays often focus on soldiers and veterans. But what about the soldiers that fought on the wrong side? Are they villains, or fools, or victims? And how do we even know which side(s) were the wrong sides.

Firstly, I do not know what you mean by a "war holiday". A USA thing? There is no "war holiday" in the UK, just ceremonies on 11.11, and also the nearest Sunday. I agree that a holiday does not sound appropriate.

As for the soldiers on the losing side, as I live in a country that was on the "winning" side in both WWs, I have no idea what they do in countries on the "losing" side. There is nothing to stop them remembering their dead too. AFAIK, cemeteries of German dead in France and Belgium are treated with respect.

I cannot see whether the right side won or not comes into it. That issue is not raised in the UK ceremonies; it entirely about remembering the dead. But generally it is assumed that the "right" side always wins in history, because they wrote the history books and whitewashed the dirt. Just look at the invective raised if anyone suggests Hitler was right (this is not Godwin, because this thread is about the WWs). Yet because Stalin "won" WWII, it was not until two generations later that it was recognised fully what a shite he was, probably worse than Hitler, but we will never fully know.

about two weeks ago
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How Alibaba Turned November 11 Into the World's Biggest Online Shopping Day

nukenerd Re:It is a lot more than just Canada (115 comments)

This is a Chinese custom, which is not part of the British Commonwealth.

RTFA :- "This year, Alibaba has decided to take its 11.11 promotions worldwide " [My emphasis]

Fine, in China.

But in a large part of that "worldwide", 11.11 is the date for remembering the dead of Wars from WW1 onwards. And those wars were not just about the British Commonwealth - that is what the "World" means in "World War". Even the Chinese were involved, actually. Tsingtao

A really really bad choice of day for a consumer promotion. It certainly won't work where I live. In the UK, 11.11 is not a holiday (that would not be appropriate), but is among the top four or five days of the year that has a special significance.

about two weeks ago
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Dealer-Installed GPS Tracker Leads To Kidnapper's Arrest in Maryland

nukenerd Re:For some values of secretly (271 comments)

If the car buyer tries to remove it, the dealer is alerted.

How would the dealer know? Hire a car for a day and transfer it to that. Keep it running on a battery during the transfer.

about two weeks ago
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Dealer-Installed GPS Tracker Leads To Kidnapper's Arrest in Maryland

nukenerd Re:Typical!! (271 comments)

There are only so many places where always-on 12V power could be tapped into ......... On a really modern vehicle it's even worse in some ways (for the person hiding an accessory) because just about everything, both switches and devices, runs back to the body control module, so one can't really tap off of any of that stuff and must go back to the fuse panel.

Depends on the car. Some modern cars have a 12v ring main running round the car, and also a light signal cable, both visiting all devices. The signal cable tells the devices when to turn on and off. It saves running heavy cables alongside each other to the various rear lights, for example, and hence the total cost of wiring. So plenty of places to tap that 12v.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Makes Office Mobile Editing Free As in Freemium

nukenerd Re:It is to laugh. (98 comments)

Excel has always been the killer app, ..... It remains my favorite geeky-drawing program: the best graph paper ever.

Who even uses Word any more? Do people still print things?

You move in different circles from me. I have never known anyone personally who used Excel. At work I am among engineers of the nuts-and-bolts type who use their corporate Microsoft desktops for nothing but email and reading/writing reports in Word. The managers spend their days creating PowerPoints. I suppose the finance department might use Excel but I don't know any of them personally. And we print things; at every meeting or training course I go to I am handed wads of it - copies of all the PowerPoint slides for a start (it is assumed that we will study it later LoL!).

about three weeks ago

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