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Comment: Re:france is such a pathetic country (Score 1) 129

Many French People in rural France loathe the Parisiennes. When a car with a Paris Department number plate comes to my Village the locals suddenly become sullen and un-coopoerative towards the visitors. When the car leaves, life returns to normal. Even to a 'Les Rostbiff' like me they are far friendlier that they are to anyone from Paris.

The same is true in reverse too. I picked up quite a thick rural Normandy accent[1] when I speak French and discovered that everyone in Paris is a lot more polite to me if I speak French with an English accent...

[1] Cultural equivalents: For brits, think Devonshire farmer, for americans think deep south.

Comment: Re:2-year CFLs (Score 1) 228

by TheRaven64 (#47441893) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...
I took some with me when I moved about 10 years ago. I didn't the last couple of times I moved, because they're so cheap that it's not worth the effort to move them. I have had one fail in under 4 years, but most of the ones I installed when I moved into my last-but-one house were still working fine when I moved out 7 years later.

Comment: Hard to tell if it's working. (Score 4, Informative) 235

by Animats (#47438917) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Here's the promotional video from Rafael, the system's maker. If the Iron Dome launchers are in a position to hit incoming rockets when they're still in boost phase, they're clearly effective. When they hit, the ascending rocket's flare disappears. Israel has Iron Dome launchers both forward postioned near Gaza, for boost phase defense, and near cities, for terminal defense. For terminal defense, it's harder to tell if they worked. The incoming rockets are just falling at that point, and success requires blowing up their warhead, not their rocket engine.

Videos show the missile's warhead exploding. That's triggered by a proximity fuse. There's a spray of shrapnel from the warhead; it doesn't have to be a direct hit. Whether that sets off the incoming rocket's warhead isn't visible from the videos of terminal defense.The Patriot missiles used in the Gulf war were able to hit incoming Scud missiles, but often didn't detonate the warhead.

Comment: Re:Don't sweep it under the rug as collateral dama (Score 1) 152

Don't claim copyright on every video, this will make you guilty of perjury under the DMCA. Claim copyright on one video and then claim that every other video appears to be a derived work of that video. This is exactly the mechanism that the big studios use.

Comment: Re:Don't sweep it under the rug as collateral dama (Score 2) 152

The perjury clause doesn't say what you think it says. If I own the rights on work A, to file a notice on work B, I claim that work B infringes work A. The perjury clause kicks in only if I do not own the rights to work A (or represent the person who does). If work B doesn't infringe, then that's a matter for the courts. This is quite annoying, but it does make sense. It's clear cut if works A and B are the same, but not in the case that B is a derived work of A. A court has to decide whether the use of A in B counts under fair use or not.

The counterbalance for this is that the DMCA does indemnify YouTube if they respond to a counternotice and reinstate the work. If you, the owner of work B, think it does not infringe then you send such a notice to YouTube. I then have no further recourse against YouTube and must take you to court directly.

The problem here is that it's very easy to automate sending takedown notices, but very hard to automate sending counter-notices. Mass-sending of automated takedown notices was something that the authors of the DMCA didn't foresee and the act probably needs amending to require the notice to explicitly state (under penalty of perjury) the person who has compared the works and their reason for believing that they are infringing.

Comment: Re:Wish I could say I was surprised (Score 2) 171

by TheRaven64 (#47430255) Attached to: Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted
In the UK, university research departments are assessed base on the Research Excellence Framework (REF, formerly the Research Assessment Exercise [RAE]). Each faculty member is required to submit 4 things demonstrating impact. These are typically top-tier conference or journal papers, but can also be artefacts or examples of successful technology transfer. The exercise happens every four years, so to get the top ranking you need to write one good paper a year. The only incentive for publishing in second-tier venues is meeting other people who might lead to interesting collaborations.

Comment: Re:Wish I could say I was surprised (Score 1) 171

by TheRaven64 (#47430227) Attached to: Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted
Reproducing work is often a good thing to set for first-year PhD students to do. If they reproduce something successfully, then they've learned about the state of the art and are in a good position to start original research. If they can't reproduce it, then they've got a paper for one of the debunking workshops that are increasingly attached to major conferences and that's their first publication done...

Comment: Re:There's already a Tesla museum, in Belgrade. (Score 1) 76

It wouldn't have done what he envisioned, but it could well have proven to be the worlds' first VLF radio station.

Marconi already had VLF working, sort of, before Wardenclyffe was built. Marconi's R&D approach was to transmit across short distances, test and improve the hardware, then try longer distances. Over a few years, he slowly worked up from across the room to across the ocean. Less grandiose than Tesla, but more successful.

Tesla is said to have assisted in the construction of the 1913 Telefunken VLF station on Long Island, but the IRE Journal article doesn't mention him. Telefunken built a VLF antenna much the way one would be built today - a simple guyed tower resting on an insulator base, with wires spreading outward to a circle of poles. They only used 35KW, instead of Tesla's 200KW. The station communicated with a similar station in Germany.

Comment: There's already a Tesla museum, in Belgrade. (Score 4, Informative) 76

by Animats (#47428151) Attached to: The Oatmeal Convinces Elon Musk To Donate $1 Million To Tesla Museum

The Tesla Museum already exists.

Tesla did great work with AC generators and motors. Most common AC motors today still use approaches he invented. That's his legacy.

Wardenclyffe, though, is a monument to failure. From his patents, you can read how he thought it would work. He thought the ionosphere was a conductive layer. The Wardenclyffe tower was supposed to punch power through the atmosphere to that conductive layer, so that signals and maybe power could be received elsewhere.

The ionosphere does not work that way. Tesla's tower would have done nothing useful, although with 200KW at 20KHz going in, it probably could have lit up fluorescent lamps and gas tubes for some distance around. Since the location is now surrounded by a housing subdivision, rebuilding the tower and powering it up would annoy the neighbors.

The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist "Jack." -- H.L. Mencken

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