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Comment: Why would they conserve? (Score 1) 171

What is the real incentive for any one to conserve the ground water? If some one owns a square inch of land, he/she gets to suck out as much as he/she can out of the "his/her" ground. It is private property rights, stupid. If the owner did not do so, the neighbor will do so. So all it takes is a few short term "my property, my way, you go to hell" people, and it will be a race to the bottom in the earnest.

Half the congress is corrupt and is paid to keep quiet. The other half makes some half hearted noises and then it too keeps quiet. Gutless administration is not able to arrest and throw in jail a defiant scofflaw who did not pay taxes for decades, who owes millions of dollars and a few rag tag militia with some rifles drove off the BLM officials.

How can there be any water conservation?

Comment: aaargh! pinheads in the IT. (Score 0) 230

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#47501829) Attached to: Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads
One of my friends was complaining about his VPN. Fellow has 50 Mbps/25 Mbps FiOS set up. But the corporate official VPN uses some strange protocol. Once the VPN is connected ALL the traffic from the local machine will go the corporate VPN host. The host sends the packet out. And the corporate VPN host connection is something similar 100/100 Mbps. But that connection is divvied up into fixed slices per VPN connection. Between 50 and 75 users at a time. So each connection gets 1 Mbps or 2. But the site is drawing ALL the traffic from all the VPN users. The damned thing crawls to snails place. So his pricey 50/25 connection is useless as far as the VPN is concerned.

Symmetric upload/download will help him a lot because he runs OpenGL 3D graphics clients displaying CAD/CAM geometry over this connection. So this automatic upgrade to 50/50 should be a great news for him. Except he is in ISP giveth IT taketh away situation. Should call him, send this link and rub some salt into his wounds. Schadenfreude never felt this delicious.

Comment: Plain business as usual. (Score 1, Insightful) 171

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#47500607) Attached to: California In the Running For Tesla Gigafactory
California was not in the running. Suddenly it is in the running. Looks like it is a simple bargaining strategy to extract more pounds of flesh from whoever is despo enough to want that factory. Expect 20 year tax abatement on property taxes, pledge to improve road/rail access to the factory site by local municipalities, some "flexibility" in enforcement of some regulations...

Or typical evil big business as usual.

As long as we coddle these "big" guys, they will take it all and come begging for more.

"An arm and a leg? That was last year? What are you giving me this year? How about the other arm and the leg?"

"Both arms and legs? That was last year? What about this year? Look, as business we are supposed to look for profit and not feel stupid things like gratitude. I hear the other state has both legs and arms. If I don't extract it from them, my shareholders will sue. So see ya."

Comment: Dumb idea. (Score 2) 156

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#47490199) Attached to: Japan To Offer $20,000 Subsidy For Fuel-Cell Cars
Subsidies will not make the product viable.

Electric cars has many inherent advantages. Maximum torque at zero RPM for the electric motors is a big one, removes the transmission and all complexities associated with it. Electric motors are far more reliable than IC engines. There are instances of traction motors, whose coils were wound and sealed in 1920s hauling street cars till they died circa 1960s. No oil change, no tune ups, no timing belt replacements... Charging them overnight from the grid would be like buying gasoline at 2$ a gallon.

Still the initial cost of a 100 mile range battery is so high, it does not break even for a long time. That is the major hurdle. Not range anxiety. If the battery price drops people will buy them. Car rental companies will come up with competitively priced plans to access gasoline cars for the few times a year people need the longer range. Third parties will develop towable battery packs or gasoline range extenders. U-Haul franchises might start offering battery swap stations. Range is NOT what killing electric car. It is the price of battery.

If/when that price breakthrough comes, you would find all the gasoline car companies stand line at Washington DC, holding their hats asking for more government subsidies for gas cars.

Comment: Motion sickness is protective. (Score 1) 154

The brain gets lots of sensory input. It has evolved some kind of input validation procedure. The inner ears are sending information about which direction is up and which is down. We are also getting visual input, from which you can deduce the "up" direction. The trees and shrubs in the jungle, pillars, walls of the building etc tell the "up" direction. The brain expects them to be in synch. When they contradict one another, it could be due to some poisonous thing one has eaten. So throwing up is a reasonable reaction.

Of course as with any evolutionary biology explanation, the brain did not reason it out. It the past the bodies that had a nausea response to contradiction between visual and inner-ear cues of direction of gravity survived better and passed on their genes to us.

Comment: Will have no effect in the company (Score 1) 382

All those people who can make a difference have are all gone, pushed out, cashed out or burnt out. It is PHBs all the way up and all the way down. What salary they save will be paid out as bonuses to the executives. It was going nowhere with N people, now it will get there faster with (N - 18000) people.

Comment: I got a fool proof method (Score 1, Funny) 278

I apply ROT-13 encryption on my passwords TWICE, and write down the resulting string in a post it note and paste it to the *underside* of the key board. Ha, ha, I am really safe. I can use this technique on all the sites, high value... low value... no value... INBD.

Comment: Re:Improving cooking is not easy. (Score 1) 204

oops hit submit too soon.

The flare pot looks nice and it might improve heat transfer. If the interior is also fluted, it would be very difficult to keep clean. The exterior flukes have nice large radius of curvature so should be easy to clean, but still not as easy to clean as the regular smooth pans. Food in contact with the wall might heat up too quickly and not transfer the heat to rest of the food. Food away from the wall might be undercooked and the food in contact with the wall might char. It is probably suitable for soups and broths. But for cooking rice and such not very liquidy food, heating the wall too rapidly would be a problem.

Comment: Improving cooking is not easy. (Score 4, Interesting) 204

Back in my undergrad days I worked on a ducted windmill and my friend worked on improving the firewood stoves used by typical rural south Indian womenfolk. A circle of stones with an aluminium pot on top was what he was trying to "improve". Did some clay based sealing of gaps and nice clay ring to set the pot on top with carefully created vents. All using plain stones and clay. Was able to raise the efficiency of heat transfer to the pot. No material to buy at all, just stones and clay.

Well, field trials revealed that he was too good and raised the temperature to nearly the melting point of aluminium! The flue gases and soot abraded the bottom of the pots and they started leaking in just a few sessions. The older inefficient method wasted firewood, but the pots lasted longer.

Comment: Re:Why highly paid CEOs underperform. (Score 1) 204

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#47438103) Attached to: New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture
Then the right thing to do is to realize that the company is too big to manage and split it into smaller pieces. That is the job of the board of directors. But the board and the CEO form a conspiracy to milk the corporation instead of providing true value to their customers. They give huge pay to CEOs, who in turn spend lavishly on the board. They nominate each other for directorships. This is corruption at the highest levels, and it is all legal because they are all private entities. Till the board is sued by the share holders for malpractice and held accountable they will not change.

Small investors like you and I may not have the resources to sue. But these giant mutual funds that own significant parts of these companies too give them too much of a latitude. If the giant mutual funds, Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab and a few more join together to form a Corporate Governance Auditing Board or something and hold the directors' feet to the fire, and fire them for incompetence and sue them for malpractice, then things might change.

Comment: Why highly paid CEOs underperform. (Score 5, Interesting) 204

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#47437405) Attached to: New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture
This is precisely why higher the CEO pay results in poorer performance by the company. All that pay, blinds the CEO, makes them think they are invincible, if the market is shoving that many billion dollars their way, they must be doing everything right. It sets up the eco system where flatterers, sycophants and yes men thrive insulating the CEO from real news and real feedback.

To think one man, with some initiative can change the culture of a company the size of Microsoft, with entrenched interests, history of turf warfare and empire building is blowing smoke. That company went through spectacular expansion and growth in the 1990s. All those very capable people, the ones who have the vision and ability and the guts to skate too close to or even past the edges of legal behavior have all cashed out, burnt out or pushed out. As the able ones leave, the fraction of PHBs who are clueless when there is not a de-facto monopoly increases. They are playing the same game that used to be effective when there was a WinTel monopoly on desktops, and desktops had the monopoly on computing.

A truly visionary CEO will realize this, break the company into pieces that will once again compete or perish and resign. But Satya Nadella is no Michail Gorbachev.

Comment: We are winning! (Score 5, Interesting) 188

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#47434485) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets
There is no question it is an amazing technology. As an engineer I can only say, wow!.

But as a taxpayer ...

And each bullet costs just two times the GDP of the entire village the terrorist is hailing from! And we will make up for it in volume too!

Some times I wonder if it would be cheaper to feed, cloth, provide healthcare and house all the Afghans than what we spent on military over there. Afghanistan hardly has 30 million people. Per capita income is 500$ a year. Just 15 billion dollars total. We spent 1 trillion dollars in the war over there. Our government is borrowing at historically low rate, 10 year t-bills go at 2.5%, the interest charges on that debt alone is 25 billion dollars a year!

I don't know if it would have worked. But the idea goes like, take a large well defended perimeter. Free food, clothing, hospitals and homes inside. Let people in after disarming them. Expand the area as more and more people move in. We might be able to take in 90% of the population inside, standing obediently at the breadline and the hospital waiting rooms. I don't know. May be an idiot slashdot keyboard warrior.

I owe the public nothing. -- J.P. Morgan