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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

ultranova Re:So close, so far (505 comments)

What people disagree on what equality means (equality of opportunity vs equality of outcome for example).

But a systematic inequality of outcome suggests that the opportunity was not really equal. Every particular roll of dice is random, but if I keep getting all 1's and you all 6's, I'm going to take a good long look at that dice.

Of course even a system governed by a honest dice kinda sucks. Maybe we should try going for a point-based build instead?

yesterday
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

ultranova Re:So close, so far (505 comments)

Who needs competition anyway? Why go to the moon, why be the best at anything?

Indeed. It would be much easier to fling our nuclear shit at the Soviets like good screeching monkies, rather than impress the world with our feats of engineering.

Just out of curiosity, do you actually know what aggression means?

Sounds more like lazy people wanting to get carried by those they look down upon.

And this sounds like someone's having delusions of grandieur.

yesterday
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

ultranova Re:LOL ... w00t? (505 comments)

Barbie getting recogonized for her actions

Whatever this is, both Google and various dictionaries refuse to discuss it, so I have to ask... what the heck do they put into kid's books these days ?!?

yesterday
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People Trained To Experience an Overlap In Senses Also Receive IQ Boost

ultranova Re:neat tricks (59 comments)

"I make half a mil a year to align the corporate IT strategy with the CEO's vision... But the company would rather use me to fill a 50k chair".

Few leaders want underlings who are good at determining what their "visions" will actually look like once implemented.

yesterday
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Lessons Learned From Google's Green Energy Bust

ultranova Re:Simple (207 comments)

So why hasn't some company just built a fusion reactor and made untold billions of dollars?

Should fusion ever work, it's still nuclear. It still involves radiation, and produces radioactive waste - the reactor vessel will get activated over time. Greenpeace has already announced they'll oppose fusion power too.

So basically, even if someone had the technology, actually building the plants would be impossible, the enviromentalists have seen to that.

yesterday
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Is a Moral Compass a Hindrance Or a Help For Startups?

ultranova Re:Capitalism does not reward morality (191 comments)

In a free market capitalist economy markets discover prices that allow markets to clear, that means the prices adjust accordingly to the supply and demand for all things, including all types of labour and capital and land and other assets and resources.

This is the problem, actually. Historically and currently the supply of labour is greater than demand, thus the prices adjust to very low levels. This is bad for the people who get paid barely enough to eat (and not necessarily even that), and it's bad for the companies, since it means most people can't afford their products. So those companies downsize, which lowers demand even more (since there's now more unemployed people), which gives the companies need to downsize more, and so forth. The end result is a complete collapse of production systems out of lack of demand while people starve.

Basically, you're taking a pre-industrial economic model that assumes skill is all the capital you need, and apply it to post-industrial world where you can do nothing without lots and lots of money. Adam Smith assumed everyone who wants to can always find a productive job, shoveling horseshit if nothing else, but that hasn't been true for a while now. Capitalism is a system of optimally allocating labour; it can't handle a world where labour is no longer the limiting factor for production.

It is unacceptable to declare some form of moral authority based on theft and initiation of violent force.

All forms of ownership are based on willingness to initiate force against anyone who ignores your claims of ownership. All such claims originate from someone simply claiming something as theirs. That they've often passed through many hands over many generations doesn't change this fact. And that means that declaring some claims as valid and others as theft is simply a matter of convention; all claims of ownership are ultimately stealing from public domain. So stop treating them as some kind of revealed holy order and see them as they are: a convenience similar to, say, city limits, which absolutely can be adjusted without there being anything immoral about this (altough such adjustments need to happen in an even, fair and legal manner, obviously).

yesterday
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Is a Moral Compass a Hindrance Or a Help For Startups?

ultranova Re:Capitalism does not reward morality (191 comments)

Anything that reduces individual freedoms is less moral than anything that increases individual freedoms. Anything that reduces private property rights and self determination through these rights is less moral than than anything that increases private property rights and self determination.

The problem is, excessive focus on private property rights leads to wealth concentration which decreases self determination - and thus effective individual freedom - for most participants. Or possibly for all, since even the wealthy have their potential choices limited to those which acquire them more, or at the very least maintain what they alrady have.

This process led to the excesses that gave birth to both socialism and fascism during the Industrial Revolution. Any capitalistic system that fails to adress it is going to give birth to similar movements. And those which manage to suppress them yet fail to learn their lesson will collapse due to insufficient share of wealth going to the lower classes that they could continue participating in the economy even if they wanted to, which is currently happening.

AFAIC the profit motive is the most moral way to run a society because it is the most moral way to run an economy without stealing and without using collective violence against an individual.

Claims of ownership are backed by threats of violence, either private or collective. Property does not exist in a society that has truly forsworn violence.

yesterday
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What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

ultranova Re:I bet Slashdot knows better than any engineer.. (472 comments)

some of them might actually be certified experts.

But on the Internet, they're just screen names. So they need to use their expertise, rather than these hypothetical certificates, to back their arguments. Which might not be such a bad idea IRL, either.

yesterday
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What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

ultranova Re:Exploding Rockets vs. Nuclear Power (472 comments)

Spaceborn or would-be-spaceborn RTGs have crashed many times with no outcry or PR trouble for the responsible space agencies, I don't see any reason why this would be any different.

Because hysterics is nowadays an accepted way of doing politics. And because of that, there's a lot of people who jump at any chance, no matter how ridiculous, to make nuclear power seem scary, consequences be damned.

And let's face it, inability to send space probes to outer solar system is a pretty small consequence compared to climate change and economy permanently crippled by high energy prices, both of which are the inevitable consequences of succesfully opposing nuclear energy.

yesterday
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Microsoft Azure Outage Across the Globe

ultranova Re:Yawn ... (158 comments)

Sure, but when you have outages and stability issues which impact your business, is it really a good trade off?

Sure. You get to blame your cloud provider for their problems, and with luck for even some of your own. You get bonuses for the savings and a scapegoat for the costs. What's there to trade off?

2 days ago
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Three-Way Comparison Shows PCs Slaying Consoles In Dragon Age Inquisition

ultranova Re:Duh (215 comments)

Don't need to upgrade regularly anymore, huh? Go look at the system requirements on AC: Unity and tell me you can play that on even medium settings with a system that hasn't been upgraded in years.

Go loot at pretty much any other game and you can. That you can find always find a game that requires a high-end PC to run, doesn't mean that you have to upgrade. Especially not when the game in question has around 7 or so practically identical predecessors which run on mid-level machines just fine.

If anything, modern PCs with their multicore 64-bit CPUs are years ahead of game development, which still targets 32-bit machines by default.

2 days ago
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Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

ultranova Re:So basically (416 comments)

The Libertarian philosophy is the most self-consistent of all available. It requires the fewest "common-sense" exceptions to be practical.

Right. So you're okay with me opening an open-air nuclear waste dumb next door to your house? Or do you reserve the right to keep redefining "force" to cover everything I do which might negatively affect you yet not cover anything you do that might negatively affect me?

2 days ago
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Debian Votes Against Mandating Non-systemd Compatibility

ultranova Re:Debian OS is no longer of use to me now (525 comments)

You are personally going to migrate your employer's systems because you personally do not like something, something every single major distro is moving too, and the top kernel developers are already using?

Isn't that kinda his job? Institutional decisions aren't engraved in CEOs granite desktop in fiery letters by an invisible finger; they're always made by some agent acting on behalf of the institution. Which is actually a pretty fascinating process, the way personal convictions and institutional culture interact to give raise to them, and probably behind more than a few religious and secular cults. Which, I'm more and more convinced, is very relevant to the topic of both pro- and anti-systemd camps.

2 days ago
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City of Toronto Files Court Injunction Against Uber

ultranova Re:Toronto Municipal Gov't divided (167 comments)

Given that Uber is legal in a lot of places (and still done in places it's not), there should be plenty of statistical evidence that they get into more accidents per mile driven than "normal" drivers.

Do accident statistics have a handy "works for Uber" column now?

So, can you point me at the evidence that supports your statement, or were you just talking out your ass?

Do you have evidence that I have an ass to talk out of? Seeing how you apparently require evidence of such basic physiological facts as "people get tired" and "tired people make more mistakes".

Disclaimer: I've got no interest in this whatsoever.

So... why did you read this story and posted your comment? Did you get paid for it?

2 days ago
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City of Toronto Files Court Injunction Against Uber

ultranova Re:Toronto Municipal Gov't divided (167 comments)

Yes, and that difference is who is getting paid. That is literally the only difference.

Joe Average has no incentive to drive 16+ hours a day. Joe Uber does. That means Joe Uber is going to get into more accidents, and requires a far higher level of skill to get the rate down to acceptable level. Furthermore, while it's of course nice to have cheap taxis, it also means that Joe Uber pretty much has to work those 16+ hours a day to make a living, and that's not so nice for everyone who shares the roads - and sidewalks, and occasionally a living room with a new hole in the wall - with him. So I, for one, wholeheartedly support limiting the supply to the level where Mr. Uber can go home after 8 hours and then mandating that he actually does just that rather than continues busting his ass at the expense of public safety.

And when you drive through a city, the taxi drivers are always the biggest assholes, cutting people off and whatnot, even when they don't actually know where they are going.

So do you think this situation would get better or worse by having a lot more and more desperate taxi drivers around?

2 days ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

ultranova Re:They WILL FIght Back (489 comments)

A wind plant does not require any 'wilderness'.

A wind turbine requires land that isn't otherwise occupied. In practice this means wilderness.

If in your case the bad guys cut all the trees, they made a mistake :)
I would in your case rather wonder why they did it, where the wood especially valuable? Did they want to gain new farmland?

How do you propose getting a wind turbine, or any heavy equipment for that matter, in the middle of a forest without clearing the trees first? For that matter, how do you propose building a tower for holding said wind turbine without clearing the trees first? How about power lines?

You have to clear an area for any kind of construction. Pretending this isn't the case for wind turbines is deception.

2 days ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

ultranova Re:They WILL FIght Back (489 comments)

Modern power plants don't employ that many people - it usually takes around 3 people to run a power plant so with shifts that's around 10.

What this actually means is that nothing gets maintained, nothing gets cleaned, no problem gets adressed until something blows, at which point it gets duck taped rather than properly repaired since ten other things are screaming for urgent attention. You can't actually run any kind of industrial site with just 3 people, except in the dreams of bean-counters. Not without the whole thing being a slowly unfolding disaster.

But that's okay, because when the whole thing finally reaches its climax, it's the poor bastard who happened to be present for the final stage who gets the blame, possibly posthumously. The economic geniuses who cut the personnel to unworkable level are safe with their bonuses. And that's all that matters.

2 days ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

ultranova Re:"eye sore" (489 comments)

It's many orders of magnitude better than living near the coal fired electrical generation plant that was likewise a few miles from my place.

I dunno. I used to live a kilometer or so of a coal (or possibly wood) fired power (municipal heating) plant, and in fact walked my dog right past it, and the effect was... absolutely nothing. I only knew the thing was there because I could see the smokestack.

2 days ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

ultranova Re:They WILL FIght Back (489 comments)

In many parts of the world, and no doubt in many parts of the USA, rooftop solar is already at parity if subsidies and externalised costs are taken into account.

Do these externatilities and subsidies include the cost of keeping coal plants at standby for nights and cloudy days, or are we talking about fully grid-independent installations?

Speaking of which, are there any plug-and-play grid-free kits, the way there are other appliances, or do people have to hack something together from separate parts? Because if solar (or wind, or whatever) powered homes actually becomes a thing, it would be to everyone's benefit to have a properly engineered factory-produced system handle everything; just connect power source on slot A, your house circuit(s) on slot B, and optional grid connect (for selling surplus power) on slot C.

2 days ago
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The Dutch Village Where Everyone Has Dementia

ultranova Re:We have one in the US, too (228 comments)

My objections to the ACA? It raised my premiums 200% for similar coverage. It forces everyone to have health insurance (or pay the tax penalty), meaning that insurance companies can charge what they want.

As opposed to what? The government mandating prices?

If you meant that insurance company profits peak at an unresonably high profit margin level, isn't that what the market is supposed to take care of?

2 days ago

Submissions

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Finnish HIV vaccine testing to begin

ultranova ultranova writes  |  about a year ago

ultranova (717540) writes "FIT Biotech, based on Tampere, Finland, has developed a vaccine it claims will cut the cost of HIV treatment to 1/10th of its current price and might eliminate the virus entirely. The vaccine is based on genetic engineering and will enter clinical human trials next year."
Link to Original Source
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Firefox 4 released

ultranova ultranova writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ultranova (717540) writes "Firefox 4 has been released. However, 100% CPU usage bug seems to be back (and severe enough that I was forced to downgrade back to 3.6 after half an hour or so), and the new interface is just different enough to be annoying; for example, "Open in new tab" and "Open in new window" menu items have been swapped around for no apparent reason.

In short, I recommend you don't upgrade at this time."

Link to Original Source

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