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High Speed Evolution

overshoot Wolves and coyotes in Yellowstone (282 comments)

Nothing really new here.

Wolves, then seen as unreservedly undesirable, were eradicated from the Yellowstone region by the early 20th century. Between then and the end of the century, coyotes got larger and started hunting in packs, taking the ecological niche that wolves had filled and pursuing larger prey.

Then (1994) we reintroduced wolves to Yellowstone.

Even in the short time since, observed coyotes have gotten smaller and started acting less like apex predators and more like the sneak and scavengers that they are in other habitats where they're threatened by the apex predators.

That's a lot fewer generations than the reported adaptation of lizards in the islands.

4 days ago
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Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?

overshoot Re:Why South Korea and Japan can do it and USA can (291 comments)

The population density of the USA is low in large part because huge portions have no people at all. Yes, the internet access there sucks, but the bears and elk don't really seem to care. On the other hand, some parts of the USA do have very low population density but still have fat pipes.

about a week ago
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Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?

overshoot Re:No. (291 comments)

Around 25 to 35Mbps depending on the encryption method and how much load that crypt takes.

You say that like it's slow. It's an order of magnitude greater than most Americans can afford. Fiber vs. copper isn't the bottleneck, and neither is encryption bandwidth. The rates providers charge is, and when they switch to fiber the rates per Mbps increase, not decrease.

Of course, the rates per megabit increase regardless.

about a week ago
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Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?

overshoot It's not that it's not available (291 comments)

At least in large parts of the USA, it's that "broadband" isn't affordable. "Basic" DSL or cable, with download rates of less than 5 Mbps, cost upwards of $50/month. Higher speeds are proportionally faster -- and very, very few people even in the USA are willing to pay hundreds of dollars a month for download speeds far less than those taken for granted in other developed countries.

about a week ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

overshoot Re:Inequality isn't harmful (839 comments)

The correlation is not just in the USA, not just the past six years, for another.

And FWIW, the past thirty years have constant-dollar wages in the USA flat while productivity increased. (Household income increased due to increasing hours worked, mostly women.) The exception was during the 90s, when (despite predictions to the contrary) wages actually increased.

Facts on the US part readily available from the lovely search and visualization tools at the St. Lous Federal Reserve.

about two weeks ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

overshoot Re:It's just an academic exercise (839 comments)

No, I plugged in the wrong number. The actual per-family-of-four value (as you point out) is more like $80K (well above the median income.)

about two weeks ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

overshoot Re:It's just an academic exercise (839 comments)

As noted, all sources. Federal, State, and local.

I included links for that very reason.

about two weeks ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

overshoot Re:It's just an academic exercise (839 comments)

Fully half of the United States economy is socialized spending.

US per-capita government spending, all sources, is $12,100 per year (2014). US per-capita income (2014) is $53,960. Half of $53,960 is $26,980

Sources already cited in previous comments.

about two weeks ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

overshoot Re:Self-serving -- meh! (839 comments)

I have the impression that income taxes are comparatively low in the US whereas the corporate taxes are exceptionally high. Anyone who can comment meaningfully on this?

The statutory tax rate is 35%, which is the highest in the G20. However, there are so many exemptions, deductions, credits, and of course outright avoidance that the actual rate is close to zero.

Unfortunately, that "average corporate tax rate" includes some companies that actually get reamed and others (think General Electric) which are actually net recipients of money thanks to credits.

about two weeks ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

overshoot Re:Three things you can tax, and consumption is ba (839 comments)

You forgot a simple head tax. One head tax based on your place of residence (or split among localities if you have more than one residence over the tax period based on time spent at each). There'd be one of these for city, county, state, and federal paid once a year.

Have you run the numbers on this?

US government spending, per capita, is $12,101, so the canonical family of four would start off owing $48,400. Roughly half of the population would pay more in taxes than they earn.

Which, aside from value judgments, is going to make it necessary to increase the tax rate since those "takers" won't be paying much. Of course, increasing the tax rate will put more of them in the street, etc.

about two weeks ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

overshoot Re:Inequality isn't harmful (839 comments)

Inequality in itself is not harmful.

It does seem to be negatively correlated with economic growth.

What difference does it make to me that someone in Ohio is driving a Rolls Royce while all I have is a Nissan?

That depends, doesn't it, on whether the shift in income from wages to capital kept your income from growing over your working lifetime. If inequality has a net positive sum great enough for "trickle down" to lift all boats rather than just the yachts, well and good. If it's a negative sum (the top gets increases, the bottom loses money) then the picture changes.

This isn't an ideological question, but an empiracal one.

about two weeks ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

overshoot Progressive tax on consumption (839 comments)

Brilliant idea. That way, instead of spending their money on things that people have to make, the wealthy will invest in owning a larger share of the world by way of financial instruments which produce more income.

This will, obviously, reduce inequality.

about two weeks ago
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Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines

overshoot Re:metric you insensitive clod! (403 comments)

Please don't confuse measurements with spefications. Nor selection criteria and operational decisions.

about three weeks ago
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Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines

overshoot Re:Gallons per mile? (403 comments)

This is why we use MPG and why they put big numbers on the speedometer even though that 4 Cylinder would never make it to 120 MPH.

Considering how long Indy racers ran with four-bangers ...

Or for that matter, my Subaru with its four-cylinder Boxer is basically an updated version of the car that holds a long list of speed records for distances like 50,000 km -- at sustained average speeds of over 135 mph.

The real reason auto manufacturers put silly speedo ranges on is to keep the most common highway speeds in the upper quadrant of the dial, for quick reading and thus faster times getting your eyes back on the road. And, yes, I've worked with the auto industry on speedometers, albeit long long ago.

about three weeks ago
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Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines

overshoot Re:metric you insensitive clod! (403 comments)

The reason it's considered inferior is because it's inverted from what you really care about - what you care about is "how much fuel will it take me to get n miles".

No, what I really care about is, "can I make it to the next fuel stop with what I have in the tank." Which is not a problem in most of Europe, but is very much a problem in large parts of the USA.

And unlike the manufacturers' economy claims, I use the number on a regular basis instead of just when I'm planning to buy a car.

about three weeks ago
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Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

overshoot Re:Maybe driver vs passenger doesn't matter (364 comments)

Text messages aren't reliable enough for any life saving use

That must be why 911 systems are adding text capability.

about 1 month ago
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How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

overshoot Wavefunction collapse (770 comments)

This whole discussion is distorted by the framing around "belief." As long as the result of a scientific inquiry is "belief" it's reasonable (in the "sound reason" sense) to hold the issue open and speculate that Einstein's General Theory (or the current version of Darwin's) might in fact be totally wrong.

But that's where the denialists play word games. They talk about open minds, and how consensus isn't dispositive, etc. and then use that as an argument against teaching evolution in schools or taking steps agains AGW. Or, for that matter, against teaching heliocentrism or plate tectonics.

The "scientific consensus" may not be dispositive in any epistemological sense, but when it comes time to collapse the waveform and make a decision it's certainly the way to bet.

about 2 months ago
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Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

overshoot And what happens if ... (502 comments)

a European court issues an injunction under the European privacy laws against MS handing over the bits?

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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PICing Arduino

overshoot overshoot writes  |  more than 3 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "At the Bay Area Maker Faire this weekend, Digilent showed a couple of new Arduino family boards — but these are based on 32-bit PIC micros. The IDE is the standard Arduino one, GPL, but with support for both AVR and the PIC devices. The performance is nice, but the thing that got my attention is all of the serial I/O of the Max32."
Link to Original Source
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There really is a "stupid" gene

overshoot overshoot writes  |  more than 4 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "Researchers have discovered a gene in mice that reduces the ability to learn and remember. When researchers produced mice without the RGS14 gene, they were better able to remember objects they'd previously encountered and were quicker to learn mazes. Humans also have RGS14, so science has confirmed what we've always joked about: there really is a "stupid gene.""
Link to Original Source
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Speech gets (slightly) freer in UK

overshoot overshoot writes  |  more than 4 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "Simon Singh, the science writer sued by chiropractors in the UK for daring to call their claims "bogus," just won an appellate decision that his writings are "fair comment." Best of all, the Court was extremely critical of British libel laws and compared the standards Singh faced in the lower court as an "Orwellian ministry of Truth" and held that scientific disputes should not be fought in the courtroom."
Link to Original Source
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Jury rules in SCO v Novell

overshoot overshoot writes  |  more than 3 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "Looks like the obese lady in Utah is at least warming up: the jury in SCO v. Novell has returned their decision. It would seem that like Judge Kimball, they don't believe Novell transferred its Unix copyrights (whatever they may be, not that anyone knows by now) to CalderaThe SCO Group."
Link to Original Source
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LED wiring for new construction?

overshoot overshoot writes  |  more than 4 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "With any luck I'll be building a new house in the next year. Rather than wire it for 19th century lighting, I figured it was about time to plan ahead for LED illumination, complete with designed-in addressable color controls and all that. Which is all well and good, but the current house was preplanned for LAN, too — and I totally missed the boat on LAN wiring standards. I'd rather not repeat that little bit of history, but I haven't found any standards in the pipeline for 21st century home lighting connections.

Anyone have suggestions?"
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Mindwipe: we has it

overshoot overshoot writes  |  more than 5 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "How often have we all read science fiction stories where someone has the ability to "wipe" memory, perhaps down to tabula rasa? It's a pretty stock plot device, often used as a threat against a framed protagonist. Well, peeps, it might be closer to fact than we'd like. Apparently long-term memory is dynamic, and interfering with the "refresh" process just makes the past ... disappear. So far the experiments involve injections into specific regions of mouse brains — but we all know how technology advances, right?"
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First it was voting machines

overshoot overshoot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "Now it's breath sniffers. An Arizona Court has ruled that the manufacturers of a popular portable breath sniffer have to turn over the source code to the machine to defense attorneys in 23 criminal DUI cases. The decision was based on Constitutional grounds, and the Pima County Sherriff's department (not, please note, Maricopa County's comedy case) will be appealing. IANAL, but this looks like one to go the distance unless the manufacturer caves."
Link to Original Source
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Landshark Cage Match

overshoot overshoot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "From the "it couldn't happen to nicer people" division of the "a plague on both your houses" department: The Church of Scientology's premier Cruise ship seems to have an asbestos problem — that they've been literally sweeping under the carpet for more than 20 years. Asbestos lawyers all over the place must be cranking out class-action boilerplate at this moment for everyone who's been aboard since the ship was renovated two decades ago.

Popcorn, anyone?"

Link to Original Source
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What happened to OpenMoko?

overshoot overshoot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "Does anyone know what happened to OpenMoko? First they were going to have development hardware last December, then it slipped to February, with commercial availability in June, then the development units showed up in the summer but the consumer devices were going to be available in October. Well, my calendar says October was two months ago, the website hasn't been updated since July, and I'm still lusting after that phool fone."
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overshoot overshoot writes  |  more than 7 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "I hate to break the news, but the /. readership isn't all that important politically. The people who really count are the over-65 set, who have money and (more important) actually vote. Which is why I was totally floored last week.

I was chatting with my (over 80) mother on the way to a University graduation party for two of my kids when, in response to a rather innocuous comment, she let loose with a rant about how patents and copyright have to change before they ruin the country. Now, this is a woman who has been a Republican for her entire adult life and for years was a loyal party worker — by no means a child of the 60s (that's me, actually.)

So, I'll ask: how many of us have actually talked about the IP wars with our past-retirement-age family? Is there a profound public perception change happening that the noisy (as in, you and me) /. set haven't noticed because we're making too much noise ourselves?"

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