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+ - Venus May Have Active Volcanoes->

An anonymous reader writes: The European Space Agency's Venus Express spacecraft has discovered hot lava flows on the surface of Venus, providing the best evidence yet that the planet may have active volcanoes. "[U]sing a near-infrared channel of the spacecraft’s Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) to map thermal emission from the surface through a transparent spectral window in the planet’s atmosphere, an international team of planetary scientists has spotted localised changes in surface brightness between images taken only a few days apart (abstract)." Venus is fairly similar to Earth in size and composition, which suggests it has an internal heat source. One of the biggest mysteries about Venus is how that heat escapes, and volcanic activity could be the answer.
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+ - What technical reason is there for charging more for long distance?

sandbagger writes: I had to go on some business trips recently and, yep, the long distance bill was big this month. I was just in a neighbouring city less than 1,000 KM away. It's not foreign travel. It's all networked packets. In the old analogue days when signal boosting was required, I can see a reason but apart from inter-corporate pass through fees, what's the technical reason for expensive long distance?

Comment: Re:Elop just fulfilled his destiny. (Score 4, Interesting) 121 121

In hindsight, I am actually starting to feel that the Microsoft move was the right one exactly so that Nokia could make their handsets a takeover target. Devices were quickly becoming commoditized; Nokia had not managed to create a content ecosystem; and as yet another Android manufacturer they could not have brought much more to the table than companies like Samsung.

Of course WP hasn't taken off, but that Nokia managed to offload its handset business to MS in time was genuinely a positive thing for for company. Most importantly the patents were kept in the company, and the networks business seems to actually have more future growth potential for a strong engineering company than rectangles any Chinese firm can churn out at massive quantities.

I'm a happy shareholder since 2012.

Comment: Re:Everyone loves taxes (Score 1) 173 173

Incidentally, I just today read an article about some Finnish developers with experience developing big game titles in Silicon Valley. They had been thinking about where to set up their own business, and they chose to return to Finland. The reason to this is that despite pay being much higher in the US, the cost of living can also be high and things like daycare and education for kids are both superior and cost-effective here, despite them being paid through taxes. They even argued that the infrastructure we get through taxation should be a draw for knowledge-workers, especially if they're planning on a family.

I don't know about the American style of government, but the government-waste meme is not a natural law. Then again I fail to see how you could ever get to the point where we are in things like public education, as that would require individual steps to be taken that would be resisted as "Socialist".

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 278 278

This seems to be the exact problem with the ADA indeed. It feeds into this rhetoric of the disabled people being personally guilty of moral wrongs when the goal of the legislation is to enable them to function better in the world. If someone disagrees with the goal, then they do and I'm not sure they should try to sugar-coat it with the idea that they'd be in the chain to carry disabled people around when they go about their daily affairs.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 278 278

Social policies such as these generally work like that; they move people away from the individual charity-games that they would have to constantly rely on otherwise and give them an assurance that they can, at their own choice, do certain things. The majority of people simply choose that they'd rather just deal with this effectively like that. You may disagree but the difference to Victorian England is quite remarkable, let me assure you. It's a valid choice to just enable people to go about their business instead of having to be bothered by the immediate carrying-around...

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 278 278

At what point would I then become an "asshole" for always feeling "entitled" to being carried around personally to places, say, to my customer meeting a couple of days ago that took place a couple of floors up? Sounds like something I hear about from my friends who are knowledgeable about these issues as they stand in Africa...

The whole point of policies such as these is to, believe it or not, allow for independent functioning. It appears that there is widespread support in society to choose that it happens like this instead of people carrying me around in a set of small morality plays that take place all the time. Your solution is not realistic and frankly I suspect you'd be fine with the end result being me actually not being able to function in society.

Your suggestion about government paying for the modifications is actually somewhat like what happens over here, although of course there are guidelines for new construction. It is interesting to note that you may at least be amenable to the idea that costs like these need to be "socialized" beyond competitive pressures, which would otherwise give a strong incentive for individual actors to do nothing.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 278 278

The idea of "necessary" is a bit of a slippery slope, although I admit it can go both ways. You have your idea of it, someone else might find that me living at home and having someone bring my groceries is what is sufficient. For me it is quite necessary that there is an accessible toilet at my office. Being a consultant who often needs to deal with clients at their premises, general accessibility is a great thing to have.

I sometimes even need to go shopping for toys, and I do even have hobbies. Whether my purchasing power is sufficient to encourage access on a purely individual business basis, is questionable in particular if my achievement of said purchasing power would be strongly limited by lack of access in ... uh, necessities.

Interestingly, I'm quite pro-market in most things and really like seeing it when a market is created to cater to in particular special needs, but when the market fails to provide for some people's general participation in the world at large, I see no problems in democracy making decisions that mandate "mindless commerce" especially in cases where competitive pressures would discourage individual actors from stuff like providing access, which in the long term and in aggregate is beneficial in the total costs incurred sense. Environmental protection is another case in point.

It's funny how I am probably the most understanding of the "you can't fix everything at once by legislating" kind of thinking of all the disabled people I know, but the sentiments expressed here that it's perfectly OK for me to ask for people to carry me around is what make me want to take a hard turn to the left...

Every program is a part of some other program, and rarely fits.