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Comments

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Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

supernova87a Re:Could have fooled me (132 comments)

I am canadian, and if we are the most scientiically literate. I really pity the rest of you.

If this is what passes for grammar and sentence construction in the most scientifically literate country, I really do pity all the rest of us.

11 hours ago
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Smartphone Kill Switch, Consumer Boon Or Way For Government To Brick Your Phone?

supernova87a reality check (298 comments)

The average person should worry much more about their phone being stolen than being interfered with by the government on their way to a protest. Maybe it's time to stop trading off the useful in the name of the hypothetical.

about a week ago
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Getting IT Talent In Government Will Take Culture Change, Says Google Engineer

supernova87a simple! all it takes is... (166 comments)

Sure, no problem!

All you have to do to create the environment for IT talent to want to work in government is to get rid of a culture of more importance on process than outcome, a culture of not getting fired even if you don't do any useful work, and power and advancement based more on perception and political maneuvering in front of people who don't know talent when they see it, instead of results. Oh, and constant interference by politicians who can't be bothered to appreciate what your work required, but are happy to use it as a tool for their own means.

I'm sure all that will be easy!

about two weeks ago
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The Fiercest Rivalry In Tech: Uber vs. Lyft

supernova87a an easy choice (125 comments)

One very simple reason I never use Lyft over UberX: Lyft refuses to put in a fare estimation tool.

So even if they could be possibly cheaper than Uber or a taxi, I'm not going to get in a Lyft not knowing even roughly how much it's going to cost.

I have no idea why they choose not to be transparent about even a rough estimate of my ride cost. Saying that the per-city rate table on their website satisfies that function is a joke.

about two weeks ago
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New Car Heads-Up Display To Be Controlled By Hand Gestures, Voice Commands

supernova87a Navdy will get their pants sued off (142 comments)

HUD is a reasonable tool to augment driving information. It makes sense for maps, directions, vehicle alerts. Does not make sense for "luxury" and distraction-causing activities like texting, videos, anything in that area.

Opening up this can of worm is so directly linkable to liability for accidents, that I would be surprised if this company survives the first lawsuit.

about three weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

supernova87a by extrapolation (778 comments)

Well if there are no ill effects, why don't we raise the minimum wage to $30 so that everyone gets to join in this wonderful phenomenon?

about a month ago
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DHS Mistakenly Releases 840 Pages of Critical Infrastructure Documents

supernova87a Re:link to the pdf? (50 comments)

Thanks so much!

about a month and a half ago
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DHS Mistakenly Releases 840 Pages of Critical Infrastructure Documents

supernova87a link to the pdf? (50 comments)

Does anyone have a better link to the document to download and view? The browser on that Muckrock site is supremely annoying.

about a month and a half ago
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Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

supernova87a show me why (1040 comments)

I object to the $15 minimum wage. It should be even higher, like $30. Or for that matter, why don't we make it $50 / hour, if it raises people out of poverty and makes their lives better?

Aside from supply/demand for labor, I see very little factual support for why a wage *should* be a certain level.

about 3 months ago
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"Going Up" At 45 Mph: Hitachi To Deliver World's Fastest Elevator

supernova87a public infrastructure innovation is not in the US (109 comments)

This may be a anecdotal comment, so take it for what you will, but I have noticed that Asian buildings and infrastructure technology are so far ahead of us in the USA that it is really embarrassing if you go there and come back and compare.

If you've ever gone to Taipei 101 for example, the elevators move so quickly, and without any vibration as they go up/down that you almost cannot tell if they're moving. Go to Singapore or Hong Kong, and watch how smoothly, quietly, and punctually their subway systems run.

Or go to China and be surprised that in even small-sized cities, you didn't realize that *all* their motorcycles are now electric and they leap-frogged the smelly gasoline phase of motorbike technology.

You come back to the US, and wonder how we're still (maybe) #1, with our rickety buildings and public transport systems. It's embarrassing. And people will say, well, "Who needs quieter, smoother subways? What we have is fine." Said while yelling because you have to cover your ears to not go deaf on the F train in New York City. And as you have to hold your nose as you walk through the piss-soaked, dark and dingy subway/bus station concourses.

Sometimes I feel like we're witnessing the slow decline of American technology / investment when it comes to public infrastructure.

about 4 months ago
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Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied On a Whole City

supernova87a Is it really much more than goes on already? (190 comments)

I'm sorry, but I guess I don't understand why this is any bigger deal than cameras on a street corner. Maybe it's having grown up in Baltimore with a police helicopter constantly overhead that's desensitized me.

Doesn't everyone just assume that when in public, everything you do could be observed by someone else? Now, if they were looking in people's windows, that would be a bit creepier.

about 4 months ago
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GoPro Project Claims Technology Is Making People Lose Empathy For Homeless

supernova87a Re:Helping the poor (320 comments)

You must be kidding me. San Francisco has more resources for homeless people than any other US city. Food, shelter (Tenderloin), treatment, charity. That's why they flock here. It's like we're asking for it. And indeed, people voluntarily come, or get sent by other cities to come here. Haven't you had enough of it?

about 4 months ago
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GoPro Project Claims Technology Is Making People Lose Empathy For Homeless

supernova87a Reality has an unfavorable bias? (320 comments)

Maybe, just maybe, showing how many resources and $ are being spent to give homeless people options, especially in San Francisco, only to have that money pissed away and people still soiling our streets and public transport systems, tends to decrease how sympathetic you feel towards the chronically homeless?

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

supernova87a Re:The Economist (285 comments)

I'm sorry, and maybe this is just an American bias, but the writing style of the Economist is highly irritating. I finish reading a third of it, and I feel like I've just been given a lecture. Then I toss it in the recycling.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are Tech Job Requirements So Specific?

supernova87a analogy (465 comments)

Take this analogy:

What if, as a condition of financially supporting your decision to get married / begin a family (with a boatload of money you couldn't pass up), your parents required that you post an ad to Craigslist and evaluate all reasonable potential spouses who replied? Despite you already having met the person you already want to marry?

I imagine you'd be pretty specific about what you were looking for too.

Not trying to trivialize the situation, just trying to illustrate that it's almost as complicated as dating. There's a lot of things about a candidate that can't be captured in simple qualifications or experience. And staying with a known quantity is way easier than searching for something that may even be better, but highly uncertain.

about 9 months ago
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Thanks to Neutrino Detector, We Might Get a Good Look At the Next Supernova

supernova87a willing to work, for observing time (85 comments)

It's good that the Japanese are funding this, because at the rate European and US basic research funds are going, I doubt we'll be able to detect much of anything by 2016...

about 10 months ago
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New York City Considers Articulated Subway Cars

supernova87a Doors between cars aren't the problem to be solved (237 comments)

More than doors between cars, what NYC needs to bring itself into the modern age is automatic train control and platform doors. It would allow a whole host of benefits, such as less reliance on human drivers (controversial, I know), air conditioned platforms, increased reliability, increased frequency, etc.

When you come back from Asia or Europe and see the subway systems they have, and see what we have in New York, you actually get embarrassed, and wonder how we're still #1...

ps. oh, please do all that, plus grind the rails properly so that I don't have to go deaf when the cars go around any type of curve...

about 10 months ago
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Carbon-Negative Energy Machines Catching On

supernova87a economics generally don't work out (228 comments)

There have been lots of these gasification setups in the past. Two problems are always:

1) Aside from a colocation with an agriculture / waste facility, you will have to scour a large radius to get the amount of biomass to burn reliably. There is significant transport cost to that.

2) For low grade biomass that you're talking about, you're incurring additional fuel and $ to gasify the biomass, to then burn it. This doesn't really make sense. If you're just generating power, you would probably just burn the biomass material itself. Maybe a stirling engine.

Very few applications using gasification have gone anywhere.

about 10 months ago
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Another Science Facility Bites the Dust, Temporarily

supernova87a Re:So the government is a victim of itself? (193 comments)

"Both sides won't compromise so it's both their fault?" What a moronic statement. I hope that if you ever get mugged on the street, the police will sit back and declare that it's your fault you got shot because you refused to compromise.

about a year ago
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Intel's Wine-Powered Microprocessor

supernova87a rich people problems (126 comments)

Unfortunately, places that have wine tend not be short on electric power either.

But I get the good intention of the demonstration.

about a year ago

Submissions

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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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