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11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

zippthorne Re:Dont worry, they will just take it from somewhe (322 comments)

Therefore the cities are completely independent and self-suficient and rely on neither the crops themselves nor the resources obtained in trade for the crops.

3 days ago
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Dr. Dobb's 38-Year Run Comes To an End

zippthorne Re:When nearly all of your readers block ads... (155 comments)

I would even be willing to put up with all of those things, sometimes, if they would only serve the ads from the same servers as the website. It's the mid-tens. Navigating the web shouldn't be slower and more frustrating than it was in mid-nineties.

3 days ago
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Dr. Dobb's 38-Year Run Comes To an End

zippthorne Re:Reason: drop in value of advertising revenue (155 comments)

Wrong premise. Click-throughs were always dubious, and a silly way to measure the impact of an ad. When was the last time you bought something through a movie poster or billboard?

3 days ago
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Touring a Carnival Cruise Simulator: 210 Degrees of GeForce-Powered Projection

zippthorne Re:Naval terminology (42 comments)

How do you know? Maybe they're talking about a separate room filled with CAD workstations.

3 days ago
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11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

zippthorne Re:Dont worry, they will just take it from somewhe (322 comments)

Did you notice what's not on that list? Cities. All of the urban and suburban development in California accounts for less than 10% of the state's annual water usage (the vast, vast majority is used for agriculture), and the number is dropping every year, as more efficiency and water recycling programs come online.

Sure.. That agricultural usage is completely unrelated to the cities.

3 days ago
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Spanish Media Group Wants Gov't Help To Keep Google News In Spain

zippthorne Re:Price of leveraging fiat government powers (191 comments)

Or, maybe google offer create a fee structure for listing something in google news that covers the IP cost plus a reasonable administrative fee.

5 days ago
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French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

zippthorne Re:So basically.. (295 comments)

Yet on money, only Uber drivers will be doing that....

about a week ago
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New Mexico Levies $54M Against Energy Dept. For Violations At Nuclear Repository

zippthorne Re:Rah rah nuclear power! (36 comments)

Yes, thank you for your post, Coal industry.

about two weeks ago
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A Case Against Further Government Spectrum Auctions

zippthorne Re:Dedicated vs. unlicensed shared use like WiFi (66 comments)

It's not the wild west. Device in that category still have power and other requirements and must be type-certified by the FCC. The low power (really low propagation...) requirement is precisely what allows an "unlicensed" band to be able to exist, but is a hindrance to things like cell-phones or broadcast anything if you want to have good coverage without having to put stations literally everywhere.

I agree that for those purposes the spectrum should be leased rather than sold, though. It both provides a mechanism for us to evaluate whether a use continues to be valuable and to sunset particular uses (through choosing not to continue the lease after the term is up.) The leases should be auctioned, though.

about two weeks ago
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Using Discarded Laptop Batteries To Power Lights

zippthorne Re:American wastefulness at its finest (143 comments)

Blah blah blah, I don't understand the concept of opportunity cost therefore people should ignore the expense of replacing equipment that is a little wasteful of a resource that is currently very cheap.

You don't need a 1kWe monster for day-to-day tasks, but if you want to have one for special tasks (computer game playing might be a hobby of yours, and is certainly less energy intensive than other hobbies you might have. Auto racing, for example), it might not make sense to also have an 80W computer for general use.

To pay off a $300, 80W machine in this scenario, at US prices you'd need to have like 3000 hours of low-intensity computing tasks. That's the break-even point assuming you're comparing it to a 1kWe monstrosity. If your gaming machine is closer to 500W (still pretty beefy, I'd think, and plenty of quad cores will fit into a balanced machine with that kind of power usage. At least a high mid-range device), it's closer to 6000 hours for break-even.

And it gets worse. It's unlikely that your 1kW monster is actually going to use the full power of all of its components when doing the general tasks, further eroding the advantages the smaller machine has.

about two weeks ago
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The Fastest Camera Ever Made Captures 100 Billion Frames Per Second

zippthorne Re:faster-than-light propagation of non-informatio (122 comments)

You can, but you're sending information from yourself to the moon. If there are two communication stations and you flick your dot between them, they can't communicate with each other using the dot.

about two weeks ago
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You're Doing It All Wrong: Solar Panels Should Face West, Not South

zippthorne Re:obviously they should track the sun (327 comments)

Why mount it on the roof? Cut the panels into attractive leaf-like shapes and mount them on several poles driven securely into the ground, pour a patio in between the power flowers. You can put your energy garden anywhere on your property*.

*plan assumes that you have a yard.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Objective C Vs. Swift For a New iOS Developer?

zippthorne Re:You're Never an Idiot (211 comments)

Surely the less you learn about it, the more effective your knowledge will be...

about three weeks ago
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BlackBerry Will Buy Your iPhone For $550

zippthorne Re:Bah hah hah (120 comments)

Not selling phones in one country (and.. not refusing to sell phones, just not being allowed to) for the reason of protecting your customers' security when every other phone company had already caved?

Yeah, I'm sure that wouldn't have helped their sales anywhere else.

about three weeks ago
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Voting Machines Malfunction: 5,000 Votes Not Counted In Kansas County

zippthorne Re:know what I miss? (127 comments)

We had those in my state as well. They were awful.

First, they had a "master lever" so that people wouldn't have to think about their votes (except for the non-partisan races that people using the master lever often neglected...)

Even more egregious was that the commit action was tied to the curtain release lever, so people who needed help with something would sometimes (maybe as much as half the time...) pull that to open the curtains, ending their vote, and it was not reversible.

The final tallys had to be read from a paper tape, and I don't envy anyone trying to do a recount on miles of calculator ribbon.

Finally, they were gigantic and heavy, so we only had a few per precinct, leading to long lines everywhere.

I do not miss those machines.

about three weeks ago
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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

zippthorne Re:I'd love to have a self driving car, but... (454 comments)

There are plenty of self-driving trains, the surprising thing is how many aren't yet. Planes are essentially self-driving now, at least runway-to-runway. I don't see any technical reason why they couldn't be gate-to-gate. An airport is a controlled environment, so it should be easier to keep track of the ground traffic.

about a month ago
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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

zippthorne Re:Cars are just part of what's on the road (454 comments)

But a car that's on his property is more immediately available than one that's sitting in the depot in the larger town 30 minutes away.

about a month ago
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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

zippthorne Re:If you're not driving and not owning... (454 comments)

Because the cost of a taxi is mostly the cost of the driver. Cut that out and taxis become an economically viable replacement for more people.

No one can deny that there are a number of circumstances where taxis are more convenient that having to deal with your own car. Cost and other factors get in the way.

about a month ago
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Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

zippthorne Re:Squarer is better. (330 comments)

Which is nice if you don't do it that often. But.. why not just put an accelerometer in the monitor and have it report its orientation to the OS? If we can fit one in an mp3 player, we can fit one in a monitor.

about a month ago

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Putting your money where your keyboard is.

zippthorne zippthorne writes  |  more than 6 years ago

From my comment here:

Clearly, there are a number of people here and elsewhere that desire for easily duplicatable artistic works to be available for as large a number of people to enjoy as the ease of duplication makes feasable. At the moment, the regular market is not providing this, leading some to resort to black market solutions.

But the problem with the black market solution, and also the "get rid of copyright entirely" solution is that the pendulum swings too far the other way. Removing the ability for people to become professional artists would reduce the amount and quality of such works.

Creative Commons addresses part of this issue by providing a means for artists to donate all or part of their work to the public domain, but their scope and means are not adequate to the problem at hand.

What we really need is an organization (or many) charged with the task of buying works into the public domain. It should not be too difficult to estimate the total monetary value of the various works and thus the total remaining monetary value. If a rights-buying organization offered the remaining monetary value, a rights-holder would be irrational not to sell and realize the remaining value *now* rather than letting it trickle in.

Since there is little profit in this area, such organizations would probably have to be funded mostly by donation, and with limited budgets, would have to carefully choose the works purchased. I propose that one method would be to maximize the total lifetime monetary value of works purchased. Such an organization would eventually snap up the more popular works, but mostly quite a ways into the tail due to limited budgets. Another organization could buy "good" works, for whatever value of good that they choose, etc.

Such organizations could be established right now under the current copyright framework, and if people are as opposed to perpetual copyright as they claim to be, donations should be available in spades. So, where are they?

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