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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

pepty Re:Peak Water (374 comments)

I happen to own (along with 500 acres with a well on it) a significant portion of 860 acre-feet of water rights in a rocky mountain state and I grew up in CA, so I'm fairly familiar with the way water works out west.

If you think the only cost of ground water in the west is digging a well and pumping it out, you likely don't live in the west. Essentially all the water in most western States is used by whomever owns the water rights.

Surface water is regulated and priced that way in CA, but California law gives the groundwater rights to whoever owns the overlying land.

2 days ago
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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

pepty Re:Better late than never, Slashdot (374 comments)

Those laws aren't very unique. CA currently has zero laws regulating groundwater pumping, AZ seems to be planning to regulate it - just as soon as the wells go dry.

4 days ago
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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

pepty Re:Peak Water (374 comments)

What natural price are you talking about, exactly? The natural price for ground water is the cost of digging a well on your property and pumping the water out from under your (and your neighbors') property. The price only goes up to the extent you drain the aquifer and need to dig a deeper well.

4 days ago
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Drone Search and Rescue Operation Wins Fight Against FAA

pepty Re:comments are now underway on just this issue (77 comments)

I take it you specified bystander so as to avoid mention of Roman Pirozek taking off the top of his head (yes, he died) with an RC helicopter. Hobby RC aircraft are already regulated: where and when they can't fly, etc. The new FAA regulations don't need to exclude hobby RC aircraft, just deal with them at the minimum level needed to protect people's safety, privacy, and property.

about two weeks ago
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Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

pepty Re:i'm glad to work for free (394 comments)

TV used to have 52 minutes of content for 8 commercials.

Now it has 42 minutes of content for 18 commercials. And in some cases 39 minutes of content for 23 minutes of content (by over laying the credits of the prior show with commercials).

I mostly just don't watch it any more.

But I've also gotten really good at not seeing the commercials. At first I had to try but now it's like I can sort of go blind and deaf to the commercials until the show comes back on.

I'd be willing to pay for cable TV per hour - with a simple stipulation. Say they get to charge me $2 per hour of original (never seen before on cable, broadcast, in theatres, etc) content. I charge them $2 per hour to watch the commercials, and promotions for the channel/network/whatever also count as commercials. So 42 min content - 18 min commercials = 24 minutes (80 cents) they would net per hour from me. Repeats would work the same way, but with figures of $1 per hour of content/hour of ads.

about two weeks ago
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Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is

pepty Re: "the market" = biz managers (192 comments)

Look at the most popular and longest running TV shows over the last 50 years and there not crap. Mostly, it's original or well excited ideas, not drivitive crap.

Less true now than earlier.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_watched_television_broadcasts_in_America#Most_watched_U.S._TV_series

The most popular TV show in the USA from 2003 to 2011 was American idol: definitely not original or exciting.

about two weeks ago
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Intelligent Thimble Could Replace the Mouse In 3D Virtual Reality Worlds

pepty Re:10 of them for a virtual keyboard (65 comments)

How difficult is it for most people to memorize relative finger positions as opposed to absolute positions on a keyboard? How much lag will users experience transitioning to some other interface each time they get to a character they haven't memorized?

about three weeks ago
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When Beliefs and Facts Collide

pepty Re:Generalization Fail (725 comments)

All of the Democrats in the house believe in gun control. But then again, so do all of the Republicans:

http://www.politicususa.com/2013/12/03/gop-house-decides-2nd-amendment-limits-approves-gun-control-measure-voice-vote.html

The republicans are much better at drawing people together based on commonalities in what they hate and fear than the Democrats. That has worked best by pushing simple yes/no good/bad simplified versions of issues - like gun control - and burying the complications.

about three weeks ago
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When Beliefs and Facts Collide

pepty Re:Factual beliefs? (725 comments)

religious zealots are the ones who see most clearly that science functions as a religion in modern society

In the sense that science and religion both underpin the way people see and interact with the universe, other people, and many of their attempts to control both. Sort of how apples function as oranges if what you are doing is holding a piece of fruit or chucking it at someone's head. Eating them are somewhat different experiences though.

about three weeks ago
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Study: People Would Rather Be Shocked Than Be Alone With Their Thoughts

pepty Re:Bears? (333 comments)

If you're in CA, CO, or one of the other drought stricken states you might want to skip the lighter. If you've gotten yourself lost, you probably shouldn't be setting a signal fire:

http://www.kpbs.org/news/2013/oct/24/ceder-fire-san-diego-ten-years-later/

about three weeks ago
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How Did Those STAP Stem Cell Papers Get Accepted In the First Place?

pepty Re:We should expect some wingnuts to say... (109 comments)

Until grants provide funding for reproducing old results, publishing a paper will remain the first step in getting the work reproduced. Typically by someone who needs the technique/result for their own work.

about a month ago
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How Did Those STAP Stem Cell Papers Get Accepted In the First Place?

pepty Re:The same way many global warming papers got pub (109 comments)

retractionwatch.com is great for the most influential journals but it's safe to say it's only catching a small minority of the infractions, and of those really only the ones published in english. One cynical solution: as grant money continues to dry up, scientists will realize that the easiest way to improve their chances to get their grant approved is to thin out the competition: exhaustively check their competitors' publications and old grant applications for plagiarism and fraud, then complain anonymously.

about a month ago
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Hierarchical Membrane For Cleaning Up Oil Spills

pepty Re:Solved problem (32 comments)

You know, I don't think I've ever heard of a mix of cash, lawyers, and lobbyists being referred to as "dispersant" before.

about a month ago
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Hierarchical Membrane For Cleaning Up Oil Spills

pepty Is this better for pour-over or French Press? (32 comments)

Solomon performed experiments showing the effectiveness of the membranes in separating nanoemulsions while maintaining integrity at high pressure. The team used various techniques — including differential scanning calorimetry, dynamic light scattering, and microscopy — to test the separation efficiency, showing more than 99.9 percent separation. Microscopy images show the membrane in operation, with dye added to the water to make the droplets more obvious. Within seconds, an oil-water mixture that is heavily clouded becomes perfectly clear, as the water passes through the membrane, leaving pure oil behind. As shown in the microscope images, Solomon says, “We’re not only getting rid of the droplets you can see, but also smaller ones,” which contribute to the cloudy appearance.

How much oil (weight/weight) can a piece of membrane hold on to? Can the oil be stripped off of the membrane so that the membrane can be reused? If the answers are "less than 1:1" and "no", this might still be useful as a final purification stage after most of the oil has been removed or for situations where you are trying to clear smaller amounts of more toxic materials.

about a month ago
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How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct?

pepty Re:Political/Moral (305 comments)

I think the right people were the ones who received a portion of each deal without actually having to hold on to the security/property itself or at least not for very long, thus minimizing their risks. Bundle the mortgages, shove out the door ASAP. See: Goldman Sachs.

about a month ago
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How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct?

pepty Re:Political/Moral (305 comments)

A lot of the money did just evaporate: securities became worthless, real estate lost 40% or more of its value. But for the actuaries/econ wonks planning the deals almost all of them were better off just being optimists. The worst that would happen is they would look bad (and get laid off) at the same time that all of their peers looked bad. If they tried to call the bust most would have gotten the date wrong. If they called it too early they would most likely be ignored then fired. If their client/boss had actually paid attention their investments would have quickly underperformed everyone else's: they would have been ridiculed and THEN fired. Sure they would have been vindicated eventually ... well after they were fired. If they called the bust too late: same results, more or less. A few would of course get the date right, but how many people get to be economists by drawing to inside straights?

about a month ago
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Shark! New Sonar Buoy Will Warn Beachgoers When Large Sharks Are Near

pepty Re:Has to be better... (55 comments)

Can it tell the difference between a shark and a dolphin? I guess if it mistakes a duck diving surfer for a shark it would be one way to cut down on the crowds.

about a month ago
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Nathan Myhrvold's Recipe For a Better Oven

pepty Re:the real question is... (228 comments)

Sounds like a great way to sell a $5000 oven that will regularly require parts and services to keep all of the extra features running - and of course the oven will be programmed not to function at all unless all of the features are working.

I like some of the features, but overall I would like a cheap reliable oven which minimizes heat transfer to the kitchen I am paying to air condition.

about a month ago
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Nathan Myhrvold's Recipe For a Better Oven

pepty Re:the real question is... (228 comments)

If I want a steak like a steakhouse, I want 800C

Prime rib or steak I get the oven as high as possible, leave a cast iron grill in there and then sear it fast.

So you burn the seasoning off of the grill before cooking the steak? The carbon will be burned off by the time you hit 800C (1470 F).

about a month ago
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How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct?

pepty Re:Political/Moral (305 comments)

Yup, but I don't think any were worried that suddenly looking for and then telling the truth would burst the bubble. They just knew that promotions, endowed chairs, year end bonuses, etc, were not going to be handed to the pessimists saying "you know that thing we're doing that's making all the money? Stop it. Right now."

about a month ago

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