Michael Cain

Michael Cain

  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    Cashiers don't exist in any of the major fast-food chains. You order from the touch-screen menu, or you don't order at all. The only fast-food chain I visit at all regularly put in touch screens about a year ago. They...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    As I was reading the description of the uploaded minds panicking, or suffering some other reaction, I wondered if there would be software/data analogs of various mood-altering drugs? Something in the emulation environment that acts like one of the selective...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    California, like most of the western states and a few of the eastern ones, has ballot initiatives. The voters can put an amendment to their state constitution on the ballot and approve it and the legislature can pound sand....
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    Some folks whose opinions I rate note that on Monday the Supreme Court is due to rule on whether or not to gut the EPA in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency. They're predicting that other states -- notably California...
  • Commented on Abolish the monarchy!
    I've been following the staff presentations to the board of directors, and I will say this: if you go down my list of things they need to do to get to no-carbon (and their customer base is strongly no-nuclear), they're...
  • Commented on Abolish the monarchy!
    As a sort of counterpoint to "the US electric grid can't be good because profits" theme. The city where I live now -- pop 180k and growing explosively -- owns and operates the distribution network on a nonprofit basis. Together...
  • Commented on Roe v Wade v Sanity
    For reference, seven (count them, seven) states have no-bullshit abortion rights laws. At the time of the map, Colorado was unrestricted because it had no state laws one way or the other. This spring the state put an unrestricted right...
  • Commented on Roe v Wade v Sanity
    My conspiracy side suspected Roberts trying to scare Gorsuch straight. And Kavanaugh. I think Roberts still worries somewhat about how history will view "his" court, and wants to avoid, "Then after three justices lied to the US Senate in order...
  • Commented on Roe v Wade v Sanity
    AIUI you can only be extradited if the crime you are accused of is a crime in both nations. Abortion isn't illegal in the UK, so it wouldn't be extraditable. This comes up from time to time because US prosecutors...
  • Commented on Roe v Wade v Sanity
    ...the last time the Dems had a 60+ majority of the Senate (filibuster proof) and a majority of the House and a democratic President was the 95th congress: 1977-1979. 2009, when the Democrats used it to pass the PPACA (Obamacare)....
  • Commented on Holding pattern 2022 ...
    A bit of reading this afternoon -- Inventing accuracy : a historical sociology of nuclear missile guidance -- tells me that 400 ft accuracy for the late model Tridents required doing a star fix somewhere along the trajectory, and wasn't...
  • Commented on Holding pattern 2022 ...
    In fact it's very good; never mind bloody Apple, the military have been working on it hard since the days when it was all mechanical and even decades-old implementations can produce staggeringly accurate results. See, for example, nuclear ballistic missile...
  • Commented on Holding pattern 2022 ...
    The Moskva is at least nominally equipped with the equivalent of the US Phalanx system: six rotary cannons, each pair with an independent target acquisition and tracking radar. These should have been capable of tracking and destroying two Neptune cruise...
  • Commented on Bad news day
    I assume that if Russia has indeed been dropped from SWIFT, Putin's next move is, "So, not going to pay your utility bills?" and turns off the natural gas spigot....
  • Commented on Bad news day
    Reports are that not only is Nord Stream 2 construction complete, but the pipeline has been filled with gas and can begin deliveries the day after Germany says go....
  • Commented on Bad news day
    maybe Kazakhstan China has invested a lot in infrastructure in Kazakhstan, and has a border with them. I assume Putin is still taking phone calls from Xi, who would tell him to leave the Kazakhs the hell alone....
  • Commented on Oh, 2022!
    After the takeover of McD-D by Boeing, Boeing lost the plot completely -- largely because the board were taken over by McD-D directors who followed the McD-D Way, not the Boeing Way, and McD-D are primarily a defense contractor, not...
  • Commented on Quantum of Nightmares
    Main rotor blades are big and move fast (tips approaching Mach 1), and show up on Doppler radars… One of the stories told by old timers in US Navy weapons procurement regards a radar-guided anti-aircraft gun. The gun operator held...
  • Commented on Quantum of Nightmares
    It'll take another generation to work out how to breed tritium in sufficient quantities to run a reactor, and then maybe we get to a prototype designed to deliver base load. The prototype is called DEMO, the planned follow-on to...
  • Commented on Omicron
    Yeah, I got a pile of spaghetti Fortran from the Naval Postgraduate Institute in 1977. At the time, it was the fastest code in the world for solving linear network flow optimization problems. After benchmarking it on a set of...
  • Commented on Omicron
    Unlike Word, displays ALL formatting codes. Ah, the WP "Reveal Codes." I had a job once where I was responsible for hundreds of pages of reports that had to be updated each legislative session, all done in WP. I inherited...
  • Commented on PSA: Publishing supply chain shortages
    (A 747 may literally be worth less than the contents of its own cargo hold if it's full of new iPhones — 500 grams each in their packaging means 200,000 units per 100 tonnes, at an average $1000 retail each...
  • Commented on PSA: Publishing supply chain shortages
    I also buy fiction for those reasons. And also because I can control the formatting. I have just had too many books with odd fonts or spacing or such, and at least for fiction, want it formatted my way....
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    I think the US had plans, at least, to build gas-cooled power reactors at one time. I don't know if any were ever actually built or operated though. Fort St. Vrain in Colorado was a high-temperature helium-cooled reactor that ran...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Labyrinth Index
    Oh, also: when you're in a meeting and suggest tabling an issue, in the USA that means postponing it for later consideration. In the UK? It means the exact opposite -- it means the item is now on the table...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    You don't want to do that for real time control systems or phone calls... Long ago, when the Bell System in the US put up the first satellites for telephony, one of the rules for network design was that overseas...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Finland, or anywhere with a continental interior climate basically, warrants winter tyres for sure. And hills. I've lived in Colorado for 30-plus years, but down on the plains just east of the mountains. Front wheel drive and all-season radial tires...
  • Commented on Lying to the ghost in the machine
    I have a Zoom meeting every couple of weeks. It's an outgrowth of a weekly brunch that got killed by Covid. I hardly ever speak because I can't get a word in edgewise trying to be polite and let the...
  • Commented on Lying to the ghost in the machine
    Re the monovision thing... due to strabismus that wasn't treated soon enough when I was a child, my vision developed switching back and forth between eyes as necessary: bi-ocular rather than binocular vision. Also very heavily right-eye dominant, and the...
  • Commented on What happens now?
    FWIW, the term for the head of a board that I've heard in common use is "the chair", which sort of solves the problem. When I was on the staff for the budget committee of my state's legislature, we had...
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