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Comment: Solar activity (Score 2) 34

I confirmed the effect of solar activity countrywide myself a few years ago...
I used to work in the NOC (Network operations center) for a major Telco. The job is pretty strait forward, there's an application that gets alerts from a vast and very diverse set of equipment all across the country and displays "alarms" when they are having problems. There are always alarms, but many are transient and a lot of the equipment will fix itself. Your job is to know what's bad, how bad it is and how to intervene if you need to. A remote in the backwoods of Georgia has a fire alarm... Call the fire department who will break down the door, hose down the equipment and put 10,000 people out of service for a week? Or notice that the same remote has a minor fan alarm thats not on your display because of the severity and know that what really is going on is the fan burned up and you can just send a field tech to replace it.

Anyways, that jobs a lot like war. Long periods of boredom punctuated by brief periods of terror. 100k people without 911 service wares at you. But in the slow times it's really boring so I was surfing one day and found this:
http://spaceweather.com/
It's a NASA website that shows the activity in space around the sun/earth. You can even download spreadsheets of past data.
This got me thinking so I exported alarm activity on the millions of pieces of equipment I watched for the same time period.
At first it didn't match up, but then I remembered there are local causes to. So I found some data on electrical storms and subtracted that...
Tada! I had a perfect graph showing the rise and fall of solar activity that matched nicely with my alarm activity. There were a few anomalies, but I'm not scientist. I could see that the effect was more negligible on our fiber networks, but still there. I attributed this to power fluctuations.

Excited I ran into my bosses office and told him to look at my charts. He said "That's fantastic! Good work! Really interesting! But useless I'm sad to say..."
I was baffled...
"Do you want me to block out the sun? This really is neat, but that's about it. We can't do anything about it."
I thought about it and finally agreed. It's is neat, but also unavoidable. At best we could use it to put more techs on staff on certain days, but that would be about it. And the fact is, there's ALWAYS someone on call... so, though being interesting, it's also irrelevant. About the most interesting part was that fiber made the issue go away... but we already knew fiber was better in just about all cases. This was just more proof.

Comment: Re:countermeasure (Score 2) 101

So... am I incorrect in thinking that a decent countermeasure would be to ground yourself in some way? Shoes with a hole in the toe... or if the put a grounding mat on the floor you could have a capacitor in your pocket...

I would imagine that alarms would be set off if you didn't discharge into the mass spectrometer inlet even if it was just a "test malfunction, redo test" alarm. Also, grounding yourself while touching a Van de Graaff generator can be a very painful experience which would (hopefully) be noticed by the operator...

And would give you a good excuse to refuse another test...

Comment: lol (Score 1) 81

The Television networks really like bullet holes in their feet don't they? I'm always amazed by their insane drive to live in the 1960s while the rest of us have moved on. If Aereo has wanted to really play unfair, they'd have moved to a country without copyright law, hid their Antenna arrays and VPN's the signal overseas to redistribute it. There'd be nothing the networks could do. Instead they offered them cash and are getting frowned on... pfft.

Comment: Re:There's something Germany can do right away... (Score 1) 189

by Charliemopps (#47427047) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart

Not going to happen. The US bases bring in a lot of money to Germany. Also, the Germans are in on it too. This is just a dog and pony show to pretend they're doing something about spying.

It's a tad more than that. These agreements are NOT equal. Germany knows there's nothing they can do about the US spying so they try to co-operate to avoid being targeted themselves. But really it's kind of an Uncle Tom situation, they thought they'd found a way into the house, but really they're getting whipped in the end just as bad as everyone else.

Comment: Re:Consipricy nuts, go! (Score 1) 91

Let me guess. All of you who claimed the US overstepped it's bounds in the previous Slashdot article will now claim that the Maldives is lying to cover for the US. Rather than simply just admit your knee jerk reaction was wrong.

I don't remember anyone spinning any conspiracies and this doesn't counter what everyone was complaining about. The US took the son of a Russian politician into custody during a military crisis without talking to Russia about it first. What would your reaction have been if, while on vacation to England (or any other country for that matter) John McCains kid was arrested and flown to Russia overnight? The uproar would be insane. The double standard we hold for other countries is a bit of a joke.

Comment: Sad... (Score 2) 139

by Charliemopps (#47424251) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

70yrs ago, England stood alone in Europe against the shackles of tyranny. A few years later, and millions lives lost, England prevailed. Little did they know at the time that less than a century later the same arguments made by the Nazis regarding an imaginary immigrant threat and terrorist would be used again by their own government. The government will save them from criminals, but who will save them from their own government?

Comment: Re:"Very Long Time?" (Score 4, Insightful) 78

by Charliemopps (#47421503) Attached to: Study: Why the Moon's Far Side Looks So Different

Unless you're a creationist. In which case the number is more like 6,000 years, which is still a pretty long time in my book.

Even most creationists think the earth being 6k years old is nuts. Most think science is right for the most part and it just explains "how god did it" Keep in mind, the age of the earth is no-where in the bible. The 6k figure came from some idiots counting up begots and such... most of the christians I've talked to about the subject simply don't care and if God wanted them to make a big deal about the age of the earth they're pretty sure he'd have put a line there "and the Lord sayeth the world is 6000 years old and woe unto he who talkith about giant lizards"

Comment: Re:Life on Mars? (Score 1) 262

No one will EVER live in a permanent space colony. Sorry.

This fantasy was promoted in an age where achieving terrestrial dominance through orbital trajectory of warheads was under intense and competitive development. It did its job.

Rockwell rode on the tail-end of this era, for the final boondoggle of the US Shuttle Program, in the 1970's. You won't see anything like that again.

Ever is a long time bub. If shit goes as pear shaped as scientists are predicting here... Rich people will be glamoring to get out. They've already bought up most of the islands, when those run out the new rich people will need somewhere to go to get away from the rest of us.

Comment: Re:Overreaction (Score 1) 262

When I was in Africa, the 2 malls I visited had 2 guards at every entrance with AK47's that did exactly that. We walked through as At one entrance a guard was a 60yr (I'm guessing) old african with grey/white hair, a velvet purple suit that looked like it was as old as he was, it had faded white fuzz in certain areas, he wore silver aviator sun glasses and his AK47 had an aged, glossy nickel silver finish. He stood motionless as we walked past. It was one of the most surreal sights I've ever laid eyes on. Sometimes I wonder what that guys story was... I bet it was amazing, good or bad.

Anyways, so yea, I wouldn't be surprised if they did check you for some sort of ID that guaranteed you could afford to be there.

Comment: Re:Nuclear can be OK if... (Score 1) 358

by Charliemopps (#47418779) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

Modern fission reactors are totally safe. The problem is we don't build modern reactors. The majority of the reactors we have are 40yrs old, and poorly designed. There are modern reactor designs that CANNOT melt down. Yet we don't build them. There are modern meathods for using and/or transporting waste, but people protest any plans to do something about it and force the waste to be stored in the most dangerous way possible.

I agree that we should invest more in Fission, but peoples irrational fears about Fusion reactors are no different that the climate change deniers irrational rejection of climate science.

BOTH the lefts fear of the word "Nuclear" and the rights out right rejection of science with regard to CO2 combined are going to be our downfall. If either side gave, we could solve this problem. Everyone likes to save money... have the feds build the plants, make the power cheaper than coal through subsidies, and viola, republicans will talk smack about CO2 all they want but when it comes to their electric bill they'll write that check all the same. Just like the democrats are currently writing checks for coal.

Comment: Re:I live in Montana. I'm looking forward to it. (Score 1) 358

by Charliemopps (#47418655) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

I live in Montana and I'm rather looking forward to global warming. This place is gonna be even more amazing when it gets warmer. I might even have to buy a summer home in the Yukon.

On a slightly more serious note, as Winston Churchill once said, "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else."

You do realize that it's not going to get warmer everywhere right? Many places it'll actually get colder. That's why they changed it from "Global Warming" to "Climate change" it was confusing people.

"Someone's been mean to you! Tell me who it is, so I can punch him tastefully." -- Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse

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