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Comments

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Study Rules Out Global Warming Being a Natural Fluctuation With 99% Certainty

ukemike Re:Deniers (852 comments)

The solution in the short term is to use the best methods to obtain petroleum based products, fracking, to keep costs down so we have enough research money to throw into things like geothermal electricity, battery technology, and geo-engineering solutions to removing CO2 from the atmosphere. That might have a chance. But simply complaining about those who are going about the business of making things better for us NOW is of absolutely no use whatsoever.

The first sentence makes a certain amount of sense. However it is important to point out that this is not currently happening. There is not investment on the scale needed to bring about alternate energy sources in the time frame needed. It is also worth noting that the only thing that has reliably increased efforts for efficiency or alternate energy is high petroleum costs.

The last sentence seems to assume that the petroleum companies are working on "making things better." They are not. They are working very hard to make things worse by continuing to produce oil gas etc. at the lowest possible cost and spending tons of money on propoganda with the goal of preventing society from taking the steps we need to take to prevent our home from becoming inhospitable to our species.

3 days ago
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70% of U.S. Government Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals

ukemike Re:Macroeconomics 101 (676 comments)

...When the federal reserve increases the supply of money, inflation is the net result. The net result of the fed increasing the money supply and inflation, is a tax on everyone who currently owns US dollars, as each of their dollars now purchases fewer real goods

Not exactly. The (money supply) times (velocity of money) equals (cost of goods), times (production rate).

So, if the amount of money increases but velocity of money and the production rate (amount of goods produced per unit time) stay the same, the result is inflation.

However, conversely, if the production rate increases but the money supply and velocity of money does not, then the cost of goods decreases-- that's deflation. (Note that this is production rate, not productivity: production rate equals productivity time population times employment fraction.)

A steady economy is one in which the money supply increases exactly at a rate equal to the production rate-- in this case, the cost of goods stays constant (assuming that the velocity of money doesn't change).

Very good, but our situation is a little more complex. Our money supply has been increasing so quickly that the government stopped publishing the numbers about a decade ago! Inflation on consumer goods has not kept pace as one would expect from these equations. There is a really good reason for this. The new money enters the economy via the financial sector, through the huge bailouts, the quantitative easing, and the purchasing of "troubled equities." That money has never actually entered the consumer economy. It has just been recycled in the financial economy. The only money that entered the real goods economy was through the stimulus which was tiny in comparison to all the other money injected into the economy. That is why the stock and derivatives markets have soared while wages have stagnated. That's why there is something like 50 times more value in total derivatives trades per year than the world GDP. There has been huge inflation in that sector, which in the absence of comparable inflation in the consumer economy, has enriched the participants in the stock and derivatives market at the expense of the rest of humanity.

about a month ago
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25% of Charter Schools Owe Their Soul To the Walmart Store

ukemike Re:Love the quotes (233 comments)

Taking 10 years off work to homeschool a child shouldn't be something that unusual

Yeah maybe it shouldn't, but seriously how many people do you know that have enough savings or income from a single parent to take a 10 year vacation?!? Personally I don't expect that I'm going to get a whole 10 years of retirement.

about 2 months ago
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DEA Presentation Shows How Agency Hides Investigative Methods From Trial Review

ukemike Re:How about "play by your own rules", eh? (266 comments)

You want to keep the public off your backs, quit playing all these bullshit "Big Brother knows best" games

I'm afraid that this gets it a bit backwards. The government, or really any concentration of power, will always push the limits of what it can do, will always break the rules, and will always abuse its power. The only way to prevent or even delay this from happening is to never get off the back of the government.

You leave them to their own devices for a minute and they'll abuse their power. You leave them to their own devices for 35 years or so (like we've done) and you'll discover you no longer live in a functioning democracy.

about 2 months ago
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Nobel Prize Winning Economist: Legalize Sale of Human Organs

ukemike Re:False equivalence much? (518 comments)

What problems? You seem to think that there's some "immoral" reason against the sale of organs. But we have here an example where something which is supposedly "moral' kills a lot of people each year through organ shortages.

Okay how about this problem: In a world where human organs are bought and sold, where do most of those organs come from? The poor. And since they will be expensive, where do they go? To the rich.

Here is another one: In the poorest corners of the world will people have children for the purpose of eventually selling all their paired organs?

Here's a hell of a problematic question: Who gets the money for a heart or any other single organ? And another: When it is legal to trade in some kinds of ivory it is hard to distinguish the legal stuff from the poached stuff. How will we prevent organ poaching? Do we really want to create a strong financial incentive to murder, or worse farm people for their organs?

Saving a life is not always the highest moral result.

about 3 months ago
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Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.

ukemike Re:9.1 (1009 comments)

Win 95 - crap
Win 98 - great
Win ME - crap
Win XP - great
Vista - crap
Win 7 - good
Win 8 - crap

So it's like Star Trek Movies, alternating good with crap. The question is, when they produce two steaming piles in a row will they throw their hands up and give it to JJ Abrahms to throw out everything that makes sense and replace it with lens flare and explosions?

about 3 months ago
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CES: Laser Headlights Edge Closer To Real-World Highways

ukemike Re:Regulate this (295 comments)

Its not the brightness, its the focus and alignment that is the problem.

It is simply not a reasonable assumption in the US that people are capable of properly aligning their lights. It is also not a reasonable assumption that people will recognize that their lights are badly adjusted or that if they do recognize it that they would pay someone to fix it. The evidence is abundant on any public street after nightfall. Therefore any light technology that relies on individual car drivers to properly adjust their lights to prevent unsafe glare, is an unsafe technology.

Now if there were abundant evidence that 55W halogens were not bright enough and accidents (not caused by other factors) were caused by insufficient light, then it might be another matter. But that simply isn't the case. Superbright lights solve a problem that didn't exist and cause new problems.

about 3 months ago
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CES: Laser Headlights Edge Closer To Real-World Highways

ukemike Re:Stronger headlights (295 comments)

Also, widen the angle of your side mirrors.

Of course this just brings all the assholes with overbright lights that are in each of several lanes to either side of you into view.

I think the solution is not to change the people being blinded. It should be to change the condition that blinds people. Everything brighter than a 55W halogen is just too bloody bright for safe use. Even when installed and adjusted correctly xenon and HID lights are too bright when going over a rise.

about 3 months ago
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CES: Laser Headlights Edge Closer To Real-World Highways

ukemike blinding lights (295 comments)

Two: what are you driving? I've got a... car. With the cut-offs in my HID projectors, 100% of my light emission is at or below the bumper level of a car in front of me. Even were I in an SUV, I'd be getting your trunk deck. Excluding anyone driving a monster truck, proper HID projectors aren't causing your problem. Unless you're driving a skateboard. Laying down.

Lots of arguing going on but the simple fact is that a very large percentage of lights on cars on the streets these days are entirely too bright. I don't really care if their high beams are on, their lights are poorly adjusted, or if their lights are improperly installed they are too bright and it is dangerous and extremely unpleasant. And regardless, even when adjusted and installed properly and not on high beams all it takes is going over a slight rise and presto blinding lights that are way too bright are shining in my eyes.

Laser lights will significantly compound this problem. They should not be allowed. I honestly believe that we should ban HID lights and go back to 55W halogens being the brightest lights available.

about 3 months ago
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Is the World Ready For Facial Recognition On Google Glass?

ukemike Re:Glass users! (469 comments)

I hope you're ready to get the shit kicked out of you, because that's inevitably what's going to happen. I can't really see how it isn't going to happen.

You don't get it. Give it a few years and Google Glass will be an option you can add at 60-Minute Eyewear or at Lenscrafters. Are you going to try beat up everyone who wears glasses?

about 4 months ago
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Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

ukemike Re:He was a pro-am, that makes it WORSE. (961 comments)

Regardless of any risk to others, it's insanely moronic to drive like that off-track simply because there's zero margin. You fuck up, you die.

Much more importantly, you fuck up, you may kill others. Can you imagine if he had hit a traffic light at a corner where a family was waiting to cross?

about 4 months ago
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Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

ukemike Re:I wasn't born yesterday (961 comments)

You know, some of us remember driving cars that didn't have airbags, antilock brakes, traction control, rear view cameras, auto felch, auto transmission, etc. Neither then nor now were those cars "too dangerous".

Actually those cars were absolutely "too dangerous." Back then, year in and year out about 50,000 people died every year in car accidents (about 50,000 Americans died in the Vietnam war). Since the near universal placement of airbags and anti-lock brakes and the use of sophisticated crumple zones in contemporary cars, that death toll has come down to around 33,000. That's huge.

Just because you were both careful and lucky and didn't get hurt in traffic accidents then doesn't mean that the car was less safe.

about 4 months ago
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Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

ukemike Re:When you have a bad driver ... (961 comments)

This is a known drawback of ABS -- longer stopping distances in snowy conditions.

This is only true in a very unusual condition; when the snow is both heavy and deep.

In all other snowy conditions ABS is superior in breaking distance and in control. I know this from years of experience and personal experimentation. When I was young and reckless, living in Utah, my Dad had an Audi 90 Quattro that he sometimes let me drive. ABS was still only available on nicer cars then. It had a button for turning off the ABS. I experimented a lot with different breaking approaches and different conditions with and without the ABS. The only time I was able to best the ABS breaking distance was when the snow was very heavy and more than 6" deep. Now on a dry, flat surface under I was/am able to stop about the same distance without as with, because I have lots of experience including racing experience and I can modulate the breaking right at the edge of lockup. But the beauty and magic of ABS is that any numbskull idiot driver can break as well as Andretti in an ABS car 99% of the time, because all it takes is stomping on the pedal.

If my Dad known what I was doing with his car, he would have been pretty upset, but I still think it made me a better driver.

about 4 months ago
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Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

ukemike Re:When you have a bad driver ... (961 comments)

This is only true in the two very rare cases of deep gravel or deep heavy snow. In all other cases anti-lock breaking can do a better job than you can or I can, and often better than Mario Andretti can.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't There More Public Outrage About NSA Revelations?

ukemike Re:Deep down.. (610 comments)

Compared to that, what is the outrage over a Government agency sifting through metadata looking for people who want to hurt us and trying to stop them?

Government surveillance and overreach has NEVER been about protecting us from bad guys. It has always been about protecting the powerful from the rest of us.

about 6 months ago
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RMS: How Much Surveillance Can Democracy Withstand?

ukemike Hard question to answer (264 comments)

How much surveillance can a democracy withstand? That will be very hard to answer in the absence of a democracy to test it upon. Democracy, liberty, rights, etc., all that has been gone for some time now. We live in a nation that has the appearance of democracy without the substance. Over the last 30 years public policy has continuously moved in a direction opposite from what the overwhelming majority of people want. Polls have continuously shown for 30 years that people believe the minimum wage should be high enough to keep a family above the poverty line. The inflation adjusted minimum wage is as low as ever. Polls have continuously shown for 30 years that the overwhelming majority of people believe that deficits should be handled by bigger taxes on the wealthy and large corporations. During that same time taxes on the wealthy and big corporations have gone way down to the lowest levels since before the depression. There is no democracy only democracy theater.

about 6 months ago
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DOJ: Defendant Has No Standing To Oppose Use of Phone Records

ukemike Re:Really? (396 comments)

A little more background, courtesy of the Daily Mail. [dailymail.co.uk] The Slashdot summary is a bit vague, referring to "donating a small sum of money to an organization that the federal government considered terrorist in nature." Apparently Mr. Moalin once missed a telephone call from "Aden Hashi Ayrow, the senior al Shabaab leader," which makes it likely that a little more was going on than merely the donation of "a small sum of money." You may recall al Shabaab as the group behind the recent slaughter at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi. So to say "an organization that the federal government considered terrorist in nature" is to omit some rather important background. By any rational definition, al Shabaab is certainly a terror group.

What the guy actually did is completely irrelevant. Of course the government doesn't try to set a precedent like this in a case against a cute and loveable defendant. If this stands then the state has the power to get your private communications by any means and since a defendant somehow doesn't have standing to challenge the practice, evidence gotten this way can be used.
The only check against unreasonable searches and seizures has always been that evidence from such searches would not be admissible in court. Without that safeguard, for terrorist supporters as well as your mom, the 4th Amendment means nothing.

about 6 months ago
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Bill Gates Acknowledges Ctrl+Alt+Del Was a Mistake

ukemike Re:So why continue it... (665 comments)

*Start*+DirectionalArrow (Up/Down/Left/Right) Used to move, maximize, and restore a window. Try it, Start+Left will put a window at half of your left screen. SUPER USEFUL. USED ALL THE TIME. EXTRA POINTS ON A BIG MONITOR. This is the fastest way to move windows to a second monitor.

I never knew this one. I tried it just a moment ago and I swear the heavens opened up and I heard the angels singing for just a moment. Bless you.

about 6 months ago
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Lavabit.com Owner: 'I Could Be Arrested' For Resisting Surveillance Order

ukemike Re:Inevitable consequence of unfettered capitalism (255 comments)

The USSR sucked. The USA sucks. They were the same thing but with "apparatchik" instead of "management" to label the guys running the show. Life under either is glorious for those at the top, and a shitty struggle for the average person.

I would disagree that "management" is running much of anything. In most companies "management" only manages means and methods the goals are set by the system. Profit, shareholder value, and whatever supports these goals, that's the task of management.
Literally a publicly held company by law must maximize shareholder value. There is no choice and there is no person deciding this. I believe that even massively rich industrialists that get neck deep in politics, like the Kochs, don't have the power to make fundamental changes unless those changes serve the god of lucre. Even the New Deal of FDR was needed to prevent the growing tide of socialism, and therefore served the purpose of preserving the system. The only thing that has ever changed things for the better is large numbers of people organizing and taking power from the system and from the rulers.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: When Is It OK To Not Give Notice?

ukemike Re:Sometimes people don't show. Plan for it. (892 comments)

No notice is probably the biggest middle finger you can give a company and still remain within the bounds of the law.

I assure you it is not. There are much worse things you can do without breaking a single law. Doesn't make doing them a good idea but no notice is really barely better than 2 weeks notice. Businesses should assume people won't necessarily show up the next day because sometimes accidents happen. I've had employees suddenly get very ill and from the perspective of the operations of business that is really no different. If a company is really screwed by one person not showing up then management did a terrible job of organizing the workload and sharing important information and that is the fault of the company.

You, and many others here, sound like you've never worked for a small business. I assure you that for small businesses having an employee quit is often a big difficulty. It often means that others have to step in and do the work of the person who quit until that person can be replaced and the replacement is trained. Small business isn't a football team with a backup quarterback waiting on the sidelines warmed up and ready to play. The margins are tight and there isn't money for extra employees. When someone gives 2 weeks that gives a tiny bit of breathing room for the employer to begin finding someone new, and is the minimum courtesy for a professional leaving a job. Quitting and walking out without notice is appalling rude. I can't blame people for leaving if they found something better, but the way they leave is often more revealing of character than anything else.

Luckily this is something that decent people just know, and just do. If you have to ask then I hope it is because you work for a terrible employer, if not, I hope you aren't applying for a job at my office.

about 8 months ago

Submissions

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Apple deluged by police demands to decrypt iPhones

ukemike ukemike writes  |  about a year ago

ukemike (956477) writes "

ATF says no law enforcement agency could unlock a defendant's iPhone, but Apple can "bypass the security software" if it chooses. Apple has created a police waiting list because of high demand.

Clearly the iPhone 4s has a built-in backdoor."
Link to Original Source

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Adrian Lamo Turns in Wikileaks Leaker

ukemike ukemike writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ukemike (956477) writes "Army Specialist Bradley Manning confided in convicted cracker Adrian Lamo that he had leaked the infamous video of the American helicopter attack in Baghdad that left 12 people dead, including two employees of the Reuters news agency. Lamo turned Manning in to the FBI. Wired's Threat Level broke the story of the arrest and Lamo's role. http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/06/leak/"
Link to Original Source
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iTunes Pirates Music?

ukemike ukemike writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ukemike writes "The Flashbulb, aka Benn Jordan, a recording artist, after learning that iTunes was selling his music without license, turned to bittorrent to distribute his music. "Many people that I'd meet at my shows would say that they bought my music on iTunes, yet I've never signed any sort of agreement allowing iTunes to host my music, and I've certainly never seen a dime of money for my albums hosted there.""
Link to Original Source
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Judge Strikes Down Part of PATRIOT Act

ukemike ukemike writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ukemike writes "From the New York Times...

"A federal judge struck down parts of the revised USA Patriot Act on Thursday, saying investigators must have a court's approval before they can order Internet providers to turn over records without telling customers.""

Link to Original Source

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