Here’s the best argument against net neutrality that I’ve ever heard

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oRoG8SqChE

 

 

November 18, 2014. Tags: , , , , , . Politics, Technology. 6 comments.

The “sexist” shirt worn by rocket scientist Matt Taylor was actually made by a female friend who gave it to him for his birthday

So this rocket scientist named Matt Taylor lands a spacecraft on a comet – the first time that this has ever been done – and a bunch of people claiming to be “feminists” accuse him of “sexism” because he was wearing a shirt which depicts scantily clad women holding guns.

My first reaction to reading about this was that if these women are holding guns, they are not victims – they are empowered.

Then, when I looked at the shirt, I immediately saw that this was a richly detailed, beautiful, colorful piece of art. I know the difference between art and porn, and this is definitely not porn. It is art.

The shirt was handmade by a woman named Elly Prizeman, who is friends with Taylor, and who gave it to him for his birthday.

The people who falsely claimed the shirt was “sexist” bullied Taylor to the point that he cried on international television.

Prizeman said of this:

Dr. Matt Taylor is an amazing, kind, loving and sensitive person.

I never expected him to wear my gift to him for such a big event and was surprised and deeply moved that he did.

I made that shirt for his birthday last month as I make clothes just as a hobby and he asked if I would make him one.

He is a close and very loved friend so made sure I did this for his birthday present.

I appreciate that everyone is entitled to their opinion and having worked with people and events for a long time I have certainly learnt that you are never going to please everyone….

I am so proud of Matt and his achievements and the fact he is an interesting and very brave person to do what he did with the very sweet gesture he made towards my gift and to wear his individuality with pride.

It has certainly made history more exciting and bold.

The clothing industry has expressed interest in mass producing Prizeman’s shirt.

Here’s Taylor wearing the shirt. Click on the image to see a larger version. Image used under fair use and copied from http://www.theverge.com/2014/11/13/7213819/your-bowling-shirt-is-holding-back-progress

Matt Taylor

November 15, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Art and sculpture, Clothing, Political correctness, Science, Sexism, Technology. 3 comments.

Israel’s “Iron Dome” vs. Atari 2600 “Missile Command”

Why do they refer to a missile defense system as “Star Wars” when it’s actually a lot more like “Missile Command”?

This is Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defense system. Turn your volume control pretty low for this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e9UhLt_J0g

And this is the video game “Missile Command” on the Atari 2600:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4zF790DzyQ

Anyway, I think all those liberals who mocked Ronald Reagan for proposing something like this owe him a huge apology.

August 27, 2014. Tags: , , , , , . Military, Technology. Leave a comment.

I’m Jewish, and I disagree with the Muslim bashing that’s been going on

I’m Jewish by birth, agnostic by choice, and I have a strong interest in Jediism and Greek Mythology.

President Obama recently referred to

“… the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation…”

Well, message boards and article comment sections all over the internet are flying with all sorts of criticism of Obama’s claim. Sadly, many of these people are claiming that Muslims have contributed nothing whatsoever to this great country of ours.

But the fact is that Obama does have a valid point.
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July 30, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Barack Obama, Health care, Politics, Racism, Religion, Science, Technology. 27 comments.

Fireworks filmed with a drone

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9KZ3jgbbmI

 

 

July 7, 2014. Tags: , , , . Art and sculpture, Technology. 2 comments.

Fracking in Williston, North Dakota, drives unemployment rate to less than 1%, so Wal-Mart offers $17.40 an hour

A Wal-Mart in Williston, North Dakota is offering starting salaries of $17.40 per hour.

The reason that this particular Wal-Mart is offering $17.40 an hour has nothing to do with unions, social justice, compassion, or any other such thing.

Instead, it’s simple supply and demand.

In particular, the article says that fracking has made it possible to access oil which had previously been unobtainable. This has driven the unemployment rate to less than 1% in the city where this Wal-Mart is located.

This presents an interesting situation for anyone who favors higher wages while simultaneously opposing fracking, i.e, a large percentage of people on the political left. Tradeoffs are a common part of life, and I am interested in hearing what other people think of this situation.

The Daily Signal reports:

Why One Walmart in North Dakota Is Paying $17.40 an Hour

A Walmart store in Williston, N.D., is offering to pay entry-level workers as much as $17.40 per hour…

… the historic oil boom in North Dakota has provided real, sustained growth in wages and lowered unemployment in North Dakota to 2.6 percent—the lowest statewide rate in the nation—and to less than 1 percent in Williston, which is near the oil fields in the western part of the state.

Those jobs are safe for the foreseeable future, too. Last year, a study conducted by the United States Geological Service estimated conservatively that 7.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil sit beneath North Dakota. Scientists have long known about these oil reserves, but two miles of solid rock precluded development. Recent advances in hydraulic fracturing and smart drilling technology have made production possible and triggered the present economic boom.

 

wal-mart $17.40 an hour

June 11, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Environmentalism, Politics, Technology. 2 comments.

Why has California chosen water shortages over desalination?

Israel has made the choice to turn its water shortages into surpluses by building lots of desalination plants. Desalination costs less than 40 cents per cubic meter, which is less than 1/6 penny per gallon. It’s so cheap that in addition to using desalinized water for residential uses, Israel also uses it for agriculture.

Meanwhile, California has chosen to have water shortages instead of building enough desalination plants.

Why did California make this choice?

February 1, 2014. Tags: , , , , , . Technology. 4 comments.

Video of modular robots

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oSavAHf0dg

November 27, 2013. Tags: , , , , . Technology. 1 comment.

Obamacare website can’t handle as much traffic as a website run by one guy in his pajamas

drudgereport.com is run by Matt Drudge, who runs the website in his pajamas from his apartment. I’ve visited his website just about every day since the late 20th century. It runs very well. His website has gotten as many as 45 million hits per day.

On the first day of the Obamacare website, it had 5 million visitors. It could not handle that amount of traffic.

IT experts who had analyzed the data going to and from the Obamacare website said the reason that people could not use it was because it was launching the equivalent of a “denial of service attack” against itself. They said the website was sending and receiving massive amounts of unnecessary data back and forth between itself and users’ computers. The IT experts attributed this to bad programming, and said that adding more servers would not fix the problem.

October 5, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Health care, Humor, Technology. 6 comments.

French politicians think Amazon, Google, and Facebook were created by government bureaucrats

When it comes to successful American internet companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook, the French government wants the European Union to  “level the playing field,” and thinks that government regulation is needed to “allow the emergence of alternatives in Europe to U.S. Web giants.”

What idiocy.

American internet companies did not become successful due to an “uneven playing field,” or because of U.S. regulations that “allowed the emergence” of successful internet companies. Instead, American internet companies became successful because they created great websites that gave their customers what the customers wanted.

All the regulations in the world won’t give France a single successful internet company. Successful internet companies are created by entrepreneurs and programmers, not by government bureaucrats.

Reuters reports:

France calls for EU to regulate Web giants to counter dominance

France is pushing for the European Union to regulate global internet companies like Google, Amazon.com, and Facebook more aggressively, to counter their growing dominance over online commerce and services.

In an interview published by Liberation newspaper on Thursday, France’s minister for the digital economy, Fleur Pellerin, said Europe needed new regulatory powers to intervene much earlier, to level the playing field in the internet economy and allow the emergence of alternatives in Europe to U.S. Web giants.

She said Europe needed to be able to act quickly, as soon as problems are identified, rather than getting tied up in lengthy and costly disputes that did nothing to help consumers.

“The current tools of competition law are totally unsuited to the fast-changing world of the Internet,” Pellerin said in the interview conducted in French. “To get out of this impasse, Europe needs a regulatory authority to act on an ex-ante basis, as soon as conflicts and abuse emerge on the part of internet platforms.”

September 20, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Police state, Politics, Technology, War against achievement. 1 comment.

Movie review: “Elysium” is implausible, because it’s based on a medical device manufacturer that does not employ any salespeople

Elysium has too many loud, noisy action scenes, and not enough calm, quiet, reflective scenes of thoughtful contemplation. It didn’t have any lines of dialogue that I can see myself wanting to quote in the future. None of the characters were particularly interesting. And if I was a child, I couldn’t see myself wanting to buy any of the action figures that might be based on this movie.

The machine that instantly cures cancer seems perfectly plausible. However, in the entire movie, we never find out the name of the corporation that manufactures this machine. And apparently, there is no team of trained salespeople traveling all over the world trying to sell this machine to hospitals in big cities. And that brings up the most unrealistic thing about this movie: Since when has there ever been a medical device manufacturer that did not employ any salespeople?

In this movie, there is no Bill Gates-type character who donates huge amounts of his own money to help the poor get medical care. In this movie, there are no rich people who massage their supersized egos by having entire hospital wings named in honor of their massive donations.

While it’s easy for me to imagine that a bunch of rich people would want to live in their own private space station, there’s no way that every rich person would want to live there – there would always be some holdouts who preferred to remain on earth. But in this movie, there are no holdouts.

If they wanted to make a point about poor people not being able to afford health care, the following would have been a lot more realistic: a poor person gets cancer. They go to the hospital, where one of these machines instantly cures their cancer. Then they get a ridiculously large bill that they could never possibly afford to pay. They lose their house. Their life savings is wiped out. They declare bankruptcy. That would be realistic.

But the idea that on the entire earth, there wouldn’t be even one hospital that had one of these machines, is completely ridiculous.

August 12, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Movies, Technology. Leave a comment.

EU considers requiring technology that would turn off refrigerators when windmills aren’t turning

The Telegraph reports:

Fridges could be switched off without owner’s consent to reduce strain on power stations

Fridges, washing machines and other electrical goods could be switched off automatically in British homes without the owners’ consent under EU proposals to help power stations meet demand for electricity.

White goods such as electric ovens would be affected by the proposals to fit all new appliances with sensors that could shut them down when the UK’s generators struggle to meet demand for power.

The measures proposed by the UK’s National Grid, along with its counterparts in 34 European countries, to install the controversial devices are backed by one of the European Union’s most influential energy bodies.

They are pushing for the move because green energy sources such as wind farms are less predictable than traditional power stations, increasing the risk of blackouts

The EU has set a target that 20 per cent of all electricity will be generated from green sources by 2012, but these are unreliable, making the task more difficult.

This would be a huge step backwards. The existence of electric refrigerators is one of the things that separates a first world country from a third world country. Nuclear power works even when the wind isn’t blowing, and is my personal preference for electricity generation. Giving the government the ability to turn people’s refrigerators off at will would be giving the government too much intrusion into people’s lives. It could also lead to spoilage and food poisoning.

May 8, 2013. Tags: , , , . Environmentalism, Police state, Politics, Technology. Leave a comment.

Inventor claims his cardboard bicycle is strong, durable, and waterproof, and will cost $20

Reuters reports:
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October 16, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Science, Technology. Leave a comment.

Scientific study proves that today’s pop music really does suck

It’s not just our imagination – pop music really has been getting worse and worse. And now we have a scientific study that proves it.
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July 29, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Music, Science, Technology. 26 comments.

The world’s supply of resources is getting bigger, not smaller

According to the laws of physics, the total quantity of mass and energy is fixed. Therefore, we cannot “create” new mass or energy, and we cannot “use up” the mass and energy that we already have.

But there is something else that we can do – we can invent, build, and use technology to increase our standard of living. For example, petroleum was worthless until someone with a brain invented a way to use it, at which point the petroleum became a valuable resource. Likewise, today we take rocks that used to be worthless, and turn them into computer chips that are worth trillions of dollars.
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July 5, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Environmentalism, Overpopulation, Politics, Science, Technology. 9 comments.

Germany replaces nuclear power with coal power, at insistence of environmentalists

In recent years, the environmental movement in Germany has persuaded the country to shut down one third if its nuclear power generating capacity.

Of that shut down nuclear capacity, more than 80% of it has been replaced with fossil fuels.
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July 5, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Politics, Science, Technology. 1 comment.

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