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Comments

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Of the following, I'd rather play ...

rgmoore Re:Chess (273 comments)

Nobody knows for sure. There was a recent analysis that purported to show that the King's gambit is a loser for white, but even that wasn't a completely exhaustive analysis. Instead, the analysts decided to prune any line that resulted in a sufficiently lopsided position as presumptively winnable, which reduced the analysis to something tractable. But even that was for just one possible line of play, and one that was considered relatively easy to analyze. Nobody has come anywhere close to solving the whole game.

2 days ago
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Of the following, I'd rather play ...

rgmoore Re:Chess (273 comments)

You must not have looked very far, then, because checkers- also on the list- has no random element, at least when played from the standard starting position. In some tournament variations, the starting position is chosen randomly from a few positions with the first few moves already made, but beyond that it has no random element.

In any case, it's not clear that inclusion of a random element is a bad thing. One of the drawbacks of chess is that the lack of a random element allows it to be analyzed in depth in advance. That places a huge emphasis on memorizing standard opening libraries, which seems counter to the point of individual strategic skill. In contrast, games with a random element can't be analyzed to the same depth in advance. That forces players to adjust their strategy on the fly rather than relying on somebody else's analysis.

2 days ago
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Brookings Study Calls Solar, Wind Power the Most Expensive Fossil Alternatives

rgmoore Re:And when you include end-of-life costs? (409 comments)

All of which are difficult and expensive due to protests and alarmist by the anti-nuclear crowd.

Yeah, those crazy alarmists worried about what might happen with nuclear power. Everyone knows that nuclear power is perfectly safe, and people who suggest accidents might leave large regions uninhabitable for generations are a bunch of stupid hippies.

about two weeks ago
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My degree of colorblindness:

rgmoore Re:What would true color vision be like? (267 comments)

And our noses give a truly enormous amount of chemical information, but have extremely poor time resolution. BTW, I'm not sure about our eyes being the highest information rate of our senses. Our sense of touch puts out a huge amount of information, but we're very good at filtering it.

about two weeks ago
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Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

rgmoore Non-residential users (502 comments)

A lot of power usage isn't residential, either. Some light commercial users may be able to get away with off-the-grid solar solutions, but I don't think it's going to be practical for industry, which is a huge user of electricity.

about two weeks ago
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Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

rgmoore Re:Sure, but... (502 comments)

I don't think the gigafactory is really what you need to solve the storage problems for practical off-the-grid solar. Electric vehicles are hauling their batteries with them wherever they go, so they need ones that are as light as possible for the energy capacity, even if that drives up the price. That's why Tesla is concentrating on expensive lithium technology. Off-the-grid storage couldn't care about weight, since the batteries are just sitting there. It mostly needs batteries that are as cheap and reliable as possible, which mostly means old-tech lead-acid.

about two weeks ago
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Google's Mapping Contest Draws Ire From Indian Government

rgmoore Re:Out of the public domain? (96 comments)

If you can see it from public property and tell what it is, it's (effectively) in the public domain, isn't it?

It may be practically difficult to prevent that information from getting out to people who want it, but that doesn't make it legal to do so. Plenty of governments continue to try keeping stuff secret even when there's no real hope of doing so.

about three weeks ago
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Bad "Buss Duct" Causes Week-long Closure of 5,000 Employee Federal Complex

rgmoore Re:Multiple service entrances are not allowed (124 comments)

There are other cases when you can have multiple service entrances beyond different voltages. A building may have more than one by special permission if it has multiple tenants and no common areas where a common service could be located, or if it's too big to be practically served by a single service. And a building can always be served by multiple services if the electrical demands are larger than the utility can provide with a single service. A quick look says that multiple services are always allowed if the demand exceeds 2000 amps at 600V, which could happen pretty easily in a building large enough to hold 5000 workers.

about three weeks ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

rgmoore Zero Wing! (701 comments)

Take off every "zig"! You know what you doing. Move "zig". For great justice.

about 1 month ago
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The debate over climate change is..

rgmoore Re:n/t (278 comments)

You add steps to your debate that aren't in debate. Everyone accepts that there is climate change, and everyone accepts that it is due to natural causes (e.g. ice ages).

This is both sophistry and demonstrably untrue. Some people deny that the Earth is more than 6000 years old, so they don't even believe in the ice ages. This isn't just a bunch of isolated cranks, either. Young Earth creationism is popular among Evangelical Christians, including ones who have been elected to important positions in the US government.

More importantly, saying that everyone accepts climate has occurred naturally in the past is a distraction rather than an answer to scientists who are saying that humans are changing the climate right now. There is massive amounts of evidence showing that the climate has changed significantly in the recent past, that there are no known natural factors that could have caused that size of climate change, and that there is an obvious, human-created environmental factor that can account for the observed climate change. Bringing up the ice ages is classic climate denialism.

about a month ago
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The debate over climate change is..

rgmoore Re:n/t (278 comments)

Some people are still screaming that it isn't happening.
Some have said OK, but humans aren't doing it!

And a lot of the people saying those things are the same people. They go through the same series of denials:

  1. The climate isn't changing.
  2. The climate is changing but it's natural.
  3. Humans are causing climate change, but it's no big deal
  4. It's a big deal, but the suggested changes to deal with it are acceptable.

The worst part is that they'll concede points through the list of denials in one argument, and then turn around and go back to the top the next time they argue the point. Going through the series of denying arguments and reverting after the end of every argument is the key sign you're dealing with somebody who isn't arguing the issue in good faith.

about a month ago
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My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

rgmoore Re:Colour temperature vs CRI (278 comments)

I would think you'd want a high CRI non-incandescent for color critical work. Yes, incandescent lights have a theoretically perfect CRI, but their color temperature is so low that the light they put out is very blue deficient. Many people apparently like that light and praise it for its warmth, but it's so lacking in blue that it distorts color perception at least as badly as a low CRI would. I'd rather deal with the small imperfections in the light from a 90+ CRI fluorescent or LED with a color temperature of 4000K or 5000K than the lack of blue from a 100 CRI incandescent.

about a month ago
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My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

rgmoore Re:LEDs (278 comments)

You could always shop specifically for fans that have the kind of socket you want. Despite what you say, there are actually plenty of ceiling fans out there that still use medium base bulbs. You can even buy a fan and the light set separately, so you can get exactly the lights you want. But don't let that get in the way of a rant.

about a month ago
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Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus

rgmoore Re:What is life? What is a virus? (158 comments)

Everything is a continuum.

That is an exaggeration. Things grow as a continuum, but they can get separated when the parts in the middle die off. You wind up with a branched structure because things really can get far enough separated that when the middle dies off they can't reconnect. For example, mammals really are distinct from other tetrapods because the forms that connected them died off and they've been developing in different directions ever since.

about a month ago
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Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus

rgmoore Re:Well (158 comments)

oh forget it, this meme is no longer funny.

Nobody else around here lets that kind of thing stop them.

about a month ago
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My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

rgmoore Re:2-year CFLs (278 comments)

I wonder how much of that is because of the way you're using them. They give a lifespan estimate, but that's making some very broad assumptions about how you use them. Those estimates about how many years they'll last are based on you using it for so many hours per day but only turning it on a few times per day. If you turn the light on and off many times per day, as you might in a bathroom or if you're using an occupancy sensor, the filaments will wear out a lot sooner than the projected lifespan. If you're really turning the lights on and off a lot, LEDs are probably a better choice.

about a month and a half ago
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My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

rgmoore Re:Kids mix fine with LED's (278 comments)

Their energy savings is not that much better than CFLs...

That depends on what you consider "much better". The newer LED bulbs at big box retailers like Home Depot are now using around 1/3 less power than equivalent CFLs. That's not the same kind of savings you get from switching from incandescent to CFL, but it's still substantial. If power costs more than about $0.10/kW, they're probably worth the increased up-front cost.

about a month and a half ago
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My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

rgmoore Re:Three years and counting (278 comments)

Sometimes, the cheapest and most efficient LED bulbs are in the blue end of the spectrum, especially when the color temperature doesn't matter too much - like a flashlight.

In that case, it's not so much the color temperature as it is the spectrum. The color temperature tells you what temperature of blackbody radiation your light source most closely resembles, but it doesn't tell you how closely it resembles it. Our eyes work best with light that has a distribution similar to blackbody radiation, i.e. with a wide, smooth distribution of wavelengths. If the distribution has sharp spikes, it can cause things to look the wrong color compared to what they're expected to look like. This is most obvious if you get one of the LED lights that uses a mix of pure red, green, and blue to simulate other colors; you can get something that looks like white if you look directly at the lights, but nothing they shine on looks right. That color shift is what CRI (color rendering index) is supposed to measure.

Lights have to have a CRI of at least 80 to qualify for Energy Star, which means that most household lights are now fairly decent. Cheaper lights and ones not intended for general illumination may go for higher efficiency at the cost of lower CRI, which is what you're probably noticing in the light from flashlights. High CRI (90+) lights are available, but they're usually a bit more expensive and less efficient.

about a month and a half ago
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My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

rgmoore Re:Dirty power (278 comments)

Generally speaking, anything with lots of parts has more points of failures.

Maybe that's true in general, but in the specific case of lighting, incandescent lights obviously have a much shorter life span than CFLs or LEDs. There's plenty of reason to think that incandescent lights do badly with power spikes. My experience is that they're a lot more likely to fail when you turn the light on than any other time, which suggests susceptibility to power surges. It's just that replacing dead incandescent lights is a regular activity, so the occasional failure due to power spikes is much less noticeable than for a light you expect to replace once or twice a decade.

about a month and a half ago
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My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

rgmoore Re:Dirty power (278 comments)

I wouldn't be so sure that energy efficient lights a lot more sensitive to dirty power than incandescent lights. It's just that incandescent lights have such a high background failure rate. If a CFL or LED light dies, you assume there must be a problem with it because their rate of natural death is so low. With incandescent lights, you would have a hard time telling whether one died because of bad power or because it's just given up the ghost.

about a month and a half ago

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