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An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man

supernova87a be less willing to put up with inefficiency (341 comments)

The thing I hate the most in the world is stupid lines making people physically wait and waste their time for something. Especially when there don't need to be lines, and the problem is caused by dumb behavior, not genuine lack of resources (aside from intelligence).

Have a look at this video, which shows how Toyota helped apply pretty simple principles to reduce the wait for food after disaster hit with Hurricane Sandy in NYC.

You start understanding that the average person in charge of group processes generally have no idea how much of people's time they're wasting. Which could be avoided with some simple steps, and very little additional cost.

3 days ago

FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

supernova87a goes two ways (284 comments)

When the people and organizations in government demonstrate trustworthiness, we will trust them to keep the keys.

about a week ago

Antiperspirants Could Contribute to Particulate Pollution

supernova87a wrong crowd (70 comments)

The Slashdot audience is probably contributing less than average to the environmental problem of antiperspirants being used.

about two weeks ago

Why the FCC Will Probably Ignore the Public On Network Neutrality

supernova87a then fund the study (336 comments)

Not to say that there isn't lots of money and influence-making behind the scenes, but a key problem with policies that are desired by corporations but disliked by individuals is that the corporation can and will pay for evidence to be created supporting their position.

Evidence has a loose definition, of course, and a responsible regulator will do their homework to tell the difference between shoddy evidence and strong evidence. But when evidence is submitted that explains how a policy decision plausibly leads to [xyz] effects, that wins real points.

What is sure is that on the other side, even millions of people getting together won't produce hard evidence that a court/rule-making body can rely on. In the end, even millions people's opinions will only amount to a few soft statistics.

Filling this gap on the "people's side" is somewhat the role of academia/thinktanks/non-profits to fill, but in a fast moving industry they are unlikely to move faster than a corporation that wants to back something.

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Is There an Ethical Way Facebook Can Experiment With Their Users?

supernova87a Re:what "rights"? (141 comments)

Oh, so you mean they weren't actively deciding which 20 out of possible 100 stories to show you, before the experiment?

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Is There an Ethical Way Facebook Can Experiment With Their Users?

supernova87a what "rights"? (141 comments)

Forgive me for raising a stupid question, but what expectation / right do we have to expect that Facebook is a certain way, or behaves in a certain way? Or shows you content without adulteration? It's not a fundamental government service, or anything we even paid for, after all.

For all we know if could be designed as a parody website, and shows us things that our friends looked at, modulated by some sarcasm filter.

Everything that Facebook shows us is an experiment. And you object because they adjusted the experiment slightly? You don't have to approve every time when your homepage feed loads up, showing you stories that were determined by some algorithm,so why should Facebook seek your approval when something slightly different is shown? Because they adjusted the thresholds for displaying stories by 5%?

Stop trusting other people's websites so much, and expecting anything from them, for that matter. When Facebook is declared to have a public service obligation, maybe then you can demand these things.

about three weeks ago

Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

supernova87a um... (481 comments)

I think the line is: "what has an octopus ever done for you?" Not much, by most reckoning.

about three weeks ago
top Blame Tech Diversity On Education Pipeline, Not Hiring Discrimination

supernova87a Re:I'm glad SOMEBODY finally said this (227 comments)

In the name of equality and giving people the opportunities they deserve, I think that we should also be crusading to improve the balance and representation of Asians, whites, and Northern Europeans in the NBA and NFL.

Also, females make up an unacceptably low proportion of prison inmates. That needs to increase.

about three weeks ago

Facebook Apologizes To Drag Queens Over "Real Name" Rule

supernova87a yeah, the integrity of Facebook is at stake (280 comments)

Kind of hard to believe Facebook really is trying to protect the integrity and reputability of its users, and applying rules to people equally. Mark Zuckerberg's dog has a fucking account -- tell me how that's ok?

about three weeks ago

Factory IoT Saves Intel $9 Million

supernova87a umm. details? (50 comments)

"...CPU tester modules in a semiconductor manufacturing line at the plant were retrofitted with sensors. They then sent data to Mitsubishi Electric C Controller gateway devices powered by Intel Atom chips. After some filtering, the data were then processed using software from Revolution Analytics. Putting the data results into practice resulted in a reduction in component failures, increased equipment uptime and productivity, according to Intel....."

Could someone who actually knows something about what they did write the fucking article please? I have no idea what was improved using this technique by reading these sentences which are the only concrete part of the entire story linked.

about three weeks ago

Japan's Shinkansen Bullet Trains Celebrate 50th Anniversary

supernova87a oh, for another golden era of public transport (111 comments)

It is rather pathetic that in the first year of operation, 1967, the shinkansen achieved speeds of 137 mph while here in the US 45+ years later, we have yet to approach this average speed on our fastest line (Northeast corridor).

Admittedly, Japan benefited from a dedicated, grade-separated track, and new-build greenfield infrastructure that made efficiency and continuous improvement possible. As well as concentrated population centers with good local feeder public transport systems that could support expensive high speed rail. And ownership of the rails that allowed them to route and sequence traffic in a predictable and orderly way.

Ok, I admit that's a lot of favorable conditions that helped.

But still, you come back home to the US and wonder how we are still #1 with such shitty, shitty public transport systems, and public policymakers who care so little / are clueless about what it takes.

You take the shinkansen in Japan, or even a suburban line in Munich for that matter, and you have such a fast, quiet, vibration-free ride that you come back embarrassed about USA infrastructure. Try to take public transport to your flight at La Guardia, or the Amtrak Coast Starlight (SFO-LAX, which sometimes involves a bus), or the Boston Green Line squealing like a pig under Park Street like it's being tortured, or run away from the Chicago CTA crashing into O'Hare, and you get a sense of what it's like to be in last place among first world countries. Or for that matter, Chicago selling off it's public street parking infrastructure for 99 fucking years to the highest bidder. What moron was in charge of that one? I would hardly bet on what 5 years from now looks like, and they sold it off for 99 years.

It makes you disappointed in how dim is our current shadow of the earlier greatness that built this country.

about three weeks ago

Man Walks Past Security Screening Staring At iPad, Causing Airport Evacuation

supernova87a Re:actually Australia does have some sanity (217 comments)

I didn't think it was. Interisland/commuter terminal has similar levels of security, despite the fact that the planes couldn't do damage to anything of importance if they wanted to...

about three weeks ago

Man Walks Past Security Screening Staring At iPad, Causing Airport Evacuation

supernova87a Re:actually Australia does have some sanity (217 comments)

Are you willing to pay $15 on your ticket to fund the small airport screening process then that has to be staffed and trained fully, just for 4-5 flights per day?

about three weeks ago

Man Walks Past Security Screening Staring At iPad, Causing Airport Evacuation

supernova87a actually Australia does have some sanity (217 comments)

I will say though, that I credit Australia for having some rational procedures regarding security.

For example, there are some regional flights that arrive into Sydney from airports that cannot support full security screening. (on regional jets or turboprops) Instead of causing US-style security craziness and cost, after arrival they dump those passengers directly out into the non-sterile terminal public area (and then make them go back through security if connections are needed).

This in contrast to US security, which cannot be compartmentalized, and forces everyone in every small podunk airport to be screened, at huge cost and bureaucracy / apparatus / unionized idiot workforce creation.

Of course, this is partly because Australia has a few international / regional airports versus the US which has airports and connections galore. But still, you would think that in a place like Hawaii, for example, the US could try this approach and be more sane about applying various levels of rules.

about three weeks ago

Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

supernova87a moron "journalist" (517 comments)

Can we stop quoting articles by Computerworld's idiot writer, Lucas Mearian, and rewarding such a shitty journalist with more airtime?

Gems like this shouldn't be allowed to see the light of day: "For the SW Utility, the all in average retail rate at 10% PV penetration is 23 cents/kWh (1.8%) higher over the first 10 years of the analysis period (i.e., from 2013 to 2022) than it is without PV."

$0.23 is the rate, not the difference in rate. For fuck's sake.

This is the same "journalist" that just the other day was posted here, talking about "The system is capable of producing up to 1,600 cubic liters of water per day"...

about a month ago

Japan's Mt. Ontake Erupts, Stranding Hundreds of Hikers

supernova87a 15 sec (41 comments)

If I saw that cloud erupting, I would basically mentally prep myself for death -- that cloud had the look of one of those fast moving steaming hot pyroclastic flows. So lucky for them it wasn't...

about a month ago

IBM Solar Concentrator Can Produce12kW/day, Clean Water, and AC

supernova87a link to a genuine source, not this shitty article (268 comments)

My head is about to explode with the level of pure units stupidity by this article's author. He should be banned from the profession of writing...

about 1 month ago

Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

supernova87a good news (155 comments)

Good for Tesla. And justly bad for entrenched sleazy car dealer interests.

The auto dealer protection laws were put in place to prevent local dealerships / franchisees from being screwed by automotive manufacturers at one time in history. Now they themselves wield that law to screw automotive manufacturers and the consumer.

Let them be screwed by a more innovative company again, and the tables be turned to the side of the consumer for once...

about a month ago

Uber CEO: We'll Run Your Errands

supernova87a Re:Urban Fetch (139 comments)

Well, not that it won't have some of the same pitfalls (and I think this is dangerous territory for them to be getting into), but most delivery companies start by trying to build the infrastructure for a delivery service with no other business to support / justify such an infrastructure.

Here, Uber already has a significant infrastructure that serves a somewhat profitable business, that it's trying to increase the utilization of. Like taxi services offering package delivery (but which you rarely hear about anyone using).

about a month ago

HP Buys Cloud Provider, Gets Marten Mickos To Head Its Cloud Division

supernova87a a blip on the way to slow death (35 comments)

HP is a drowning man, desperately grasping for any lead, imaginary or not, that might save them. The leadership bankrupted and hollowed out a solid line of printer products and other devices, in order to prop up stupid, non-distinctive hardware whose design was phoned in to imagine grabbing some market share with no other purpose. Their PCs, laptops, tablets are a joke. The major purchaser of their equipment are corporations who buy because they extract big discounts from a struggling company with little direction on where to make the important investments.

Buying a position in the cloud will be a small hiccup on the way to significant slashing of their portfolio, whether they do it voluntarily or because they're forced to soon. HP is too late to the cloud game, where others have already rolled out products and services that customers actually want. They would have to bring a rockstar team to make this a piece of their business that sets them apart, and invest enough to catch up and turn helpful levels of profit. Otherwise, they just bought a huge commodity business that lets them say that they're "getting into cloud in a big way", which will turn into a quiet side pursuit within 2 years...

about a month and a half ago



Cat has uncanny ability to fortell patients' death

supernova87a supernova87a writes  |  more than 7 years ago

supernova87a writes "The New England Journal of Medicine has reported on a cat with an uncanny (and perhaps disturbing) ability — the ability to predict within a few hours when a person is going to die. Oscar the cat, has been correct in 25 consecutive cases so far on the geriatric dementia ward where he resides in Rhode Island. The sight of him curled up next to a patient signals the nursing staff to call family to accompany their loved one, as death is imminent. Is it biochemical, feline alertness, or just warm blankets? BBC, local sources, and others have picked up the story."


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