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Comment: Farmers != Farm Workers (Score 0, Troll) 33

The headline says farmers. The text says farm workers. Very much not the same thing. A farmer is the owner of the farm. A farm worker is generally a hired hand, often (though not always) a migrant, and if so typically from Mexico or farther south.

The story suggests that the multi-drug-resistant bacteria are the result of antibiotic treatment of the animals at the farm. This misses another possibility:

In Mexico, most antibiotics are over-the-counter, much like asprin here in the US. People who feel ill or have some infection often buy and take them. Typically they use them until they no longer show symptoms - then stop, rather than taking a full regimin and killing off all the bacteria. (Why take more of the non-free drug once the symptoms are gone? Waste of money, right?) This is a recipe for creating drug-resistant bacteria.

Of course if an infection is resistant to one antibiotic, a paitent is likely to try another, and another, and so on until they find one that works. THAT's a recipe for maintaining and improving the bug's resistance to the front line antibiotics while breeding resistance to others.

As a result, a substantial fraction of the workers arriving from south of the Mexican border are carriers of multi-drug-resistant baceria.

Meanwhile, a farming operation is likely to give a limited number of antibiotics continuously, so non-resistant infections are wiped out before they can develop resistance, and if they do develop resistance it will be to the particular drugs used, rather than the universe of antibiotics.

Of course, infected workers can infect livestock, just as livestock can infect workers. And infected workers can trade infections around, just as livestock can. (More so, since the livestock tends to be kept separated, to reduce both disease spread and breeding by unintended pairings, limitations that farmers can't impose on their workers - and would be unlikely to try even if they could.)

So it seems to me that responsible researchers would go a bit farther before reporting: Like by doing genetic testing on the strains of bug in the various workers and the livestock, and running models on the results to try to identfy whether the bugs are from the herd or the workers.

I don't see any such work alluded to in this popularized reporting. It seems to just assume that the bugs were developed on the farm and spread to the workers. I hope this is a disconnect between the actual research and the report, rather than an accurate characterization of the research.

Comment: Re:Multi-family units (Score 1) 79

by evilviper (#47898859) Attached to: L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

an apartment where she does share the building with up to 15 other families.

That doesn't preclude installing an antenna, it just reduces your options. Multi-floor apartment balconies and/or windows usually get pretty good TV reception. If previous occupants had DBS dishes mounted, you can stick an antenna on that J-channel. And landlords are usually reasonable. You can always ask for permission to install an antenna, explaining the non-destructive mounting option (chimney straps, non-penetrating root mount, etc.) you'd like to use, and promise it'll be less unsightly than what you'll do if they refuse.

Comment: Re:Of course they don't need the full spectrum (Score 1) 79

by evilviper (#47897537) Attached to: L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

Speaking of technical, it was only recently you can easily find actual frequencies used by TV stations (needed if you are using UHF wireless mics). After the DTV transition, I could not find actual frequencies used which drove me nuts because those that say it is same as NTSC are wrong

Umm, has had that info forever.

I linked to the FCC's DTV transition plan in my journal about OTA TV in 2007:

"FCC DTV tentative frequency assigments"

If you're talking about the center frequency, that's a very simple conversion. The Linux DVB package contains two text files listing center frequencies:


ATSC eg.:
A 57028615 8VSB
A 63028615 8VSB
A 69028615 8VSB
A 79028615 8VSB
A 85028615 8VSB

Comment: Re:Sharing channel == worse picture quality (Score 1) 79

by evilviper (#47897499) Attached to: L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

Sadly, even if we move to picocells, the antennas will still need to be "visible" and will still have some "size" to them due to the frequencies they need to handle.

Actually, wavelength at 800Mhz is only about 1ft (~30cm), so that's practical to hide. Hell, you could disguise it as a chimney or some other roof penetration.

My plan would be to mount them on telephone poles wherever available. There, they could just use business-class cable/DSL/FIOS service as the backhaul. Maybe that possibility would encourage Verizon to expand their FIOS deployment, since the big money is in cellular. AT&T's U-Verse fiber network could support it, too. Sprint/T-Mobile would be at a disadvantage, but maybe deals with local cable companies would help both sides compete. After all, where you need several picocells is right where there are already large populations, and already have wired options installed.

With that plan, cellular data could actually be both faster and cheaper than wired internet access.

Comment: Re:Sharing channel == worse picture quality (Score 1) 79

by evilviper (#47897427) Attached to: L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

I certainly don't need the mod points, but it's damn sad to see the ass-backwards moderation on this story.

This factually incorrect nonsense is +5:

While my correction actually got modded down:

Similarly with this thread, I'm clearly the only one who has provided information specific to the situation, and my comments get ignored, while generalized rants with terrible info are +5.

It's a crushing disappointment to see just what /. has turned into... I can only hope SoylentNews does better.

Comment: Especially: The paint. (Score 1) 113

by Ungrounded Lightning (#47895641) Attached to: Liquid Sponges Extract Hydrogen From Water

The gas bag itself was flammable; it wouldn't have mattered what gas was in it, when it disintegrated

In particular: The paint. It contained a mix of powdered aluminum and iron oxide pigments, in sufficient concentration to maintain a redox reaction.

You and I know this mixture as "thermite". It's really hard to get the reaction started - but an electric discharge can do it. (They tried to tether it with an electrical storm approaching. That would make one hell of a spark when the charged envelope comes near to connecting to the grounded mast - which is about when the fire started.) Once it's started, the reaction is essentially impossible to extinguish. The aluminum steals the oxygen from the iron oxide. The heats of formation of the two oxides differ so much that the energy released leaves the resulting elemental iron as an orange-glowing liquid and the aluminum oxide incandescent white-hot.

Comment: That is a misreading of the Supremacy Clause: (Score 4, Informative) 211

You are bound by the treaties your country signed.

Yes: You, and the states, and their courts, are bound by them (to the extent they are clear or were implemented by federal enabling legislation).

In fact, they have more legal weight in the US than laws passed by your own Congress.

NO! They have EXACTLY the same weight as federal law. Both treaties and federal law are trumped by the Constitution, and both are also creatures of Congress, They can be modulated, and destroyed (at least in how they are effective within the country) by congressional action.

The idea that they're any stronger or more permanent than federal legislation comes from a (very common) misreading of the Supremacy Clause:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

This says that the Constitution, Federal Law, and Treaties trump state law in state and federal courts. It says nothing about the relative power among the three.

The misreading is to interpret "all treaties made ... shall be the supreme law of the land ..." to mean that treaties effectively amend the constitution. This is wrong. You can see it by noticing the same kind of misreading also makes federal law equivalent to a constitutional amendment - which it clearly is not.

In fact the Supreme Court has spoken on the relation between the Constitution and treaties: In Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1 (1957), the Supreme Court held stated that the U.S. Constitution supersedes international treaties ratified by the U.S. Senate.

Treaties are abrogated, at the federal level, all the time, and there are a number of mechanisms for doing so.

Comment: Re:If it happened in China or North Korea or Iran (Score 1) 223

by Pharmboy (#47893669) Attached to: U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

As you point out, not all birds of a feather stick together. I'm not a Tea Party guy. I'm just not closed minded enough to judge a friend by their politics. If you only have friends that agree with your politics, you are probably narrow minded or take politics too seriously.

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