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Comment: Re:Why ODF? (Score 1) 160

ASCII is more than 30 years old, it's 51 years old, and I'd bet $10,000 that it will be readable by nearly every computer in another 51 years. UTF-8 and UTF-16 are also highly unlikely to be unreadable anytime during my lifetime since they've been in use for 21 years and are open standards with many real world implementations.

Comment: Re:I wonder how long it would've taken NASA? (Score 1) 42

by afidel (#47517395) Attached to: SpaceX Releases Video of Falcon Rocket's Splashdown

which we keep buying/making to prop up the ICBM industry with civilian dollars.

More like to feed dollars to Utah as demanded by their powerful senior senator. (ATK's Thiokol unit is based on Utah and Hatch has been seated since 1977 and his predecessor served from 59-77)

Comment: Re:a question.... (Score 1) 55

by afidel (#47516981) Attached to: Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

River birch survives just fine in my climate here in Northeastern Ohio, we average 1.5m of snowfall and regularly see -23C temperatures with dips about once a decade down to around -35C. We're at the extreme northern end of their range though so it would probably be a crap shoot as to whether it would grow.

Comment: Re:a question.... (Score 1) 55

by Rei (#47516505) Attached to: Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

That's not what everything I've read about the disaster has said. The mountain has gone through cycles - whenever it collapses, the river gets moved away, and the slides stop for a time, but eventually it wears away the footings enough that it falls again. They'd even tried to prevent landslides there by manually shoring up the base back in the 1960s, but it just flowed over their reinforcements.

The waterlogging of the soil is also a necessary factor too, mind you - not saying otherwise. :)

Comment: Re:a question.... (Score 1) 55

by Rei (#47516433) Attached to: Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

I had paperbark birch seeds, which are also pretty water tolerant (though not as much as river birch), but none sprouted - ironically I think the seeds were too wet when I stratified them (same with my maples). Isn't river birch (B. nigra) a warm-weather birch species? I've got some cuttings of random local birches from a neighbor but I have no clue whether any of them are water tolerant enough to take swampy ground. Also birches don't usually get that tall so I don't know how expansive of a root system they'll put down. The abundant local species B. nana (dwarf birch) grows (nay, volunteers) readily here almost anywhere that sheep don't graze, but it's just a shrub, I doubt it'd do the trick (though it's probably better than just grass). It can take wet soil, although not totally swampy conditions.

For the wetter areas I also have about a dozen or so western redcedar seedlings - they're not as swamp-tolerant as dawn redwood and western recedar, but they're still reportedly quite tolerant of wet or even waterlogged soils, and they should be more cold/wind hardy than those two (wind is actually the big issue, it doesn't really get that cold here). I've also got a number of other pacific northwest trees with varying degrees of standing water tolerance. Oh, and a species or two of tasmanian mountain eucalyptus (don't remember which ones) that tolerate fairly swampy ground and should at least stand a fighting chance against our winds.

Basically, I'm just going to plant a ton of stuff and see what survives. ;)

One plus is that where the ground is persistently wet and at landslide risk, it is slowly flowing water, it's not standing. It's constantly replaced by fresh, cold ground-filtered water, so there's probably not as much risk of root rot as might be common otherwise. But there's still the oxygen issue. That and the damned sheep, but I'm working to fix that issue once and for all...

Comment: Re:110 or 240v (Score 1) 232

by drinkypoo (#47515275) Attached to: Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

It seems contradictory that they're worried about power factor, and also want to force contestants to output nice clean sine waves. Best way to get a PF of 1.0 with cheap switching power supplies, is to send them a square wave...

The challenge is a challenge. The goal is clearly to produce usable power, not to need more filtering. While the requirements for this contest don't require grid-tie, that's something that can be implemented later.

Comment: Re:Similar argument for desktops (Score 1) 149

by afidel (#47515199) Attached to: Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Rests On Battery Drain Claims

Especially in Windows 8 where you just assign the connection as a metered connection and most of the background stuff gets turned off without diving any further into the system. (Yes I know tech sites like to bag on Win8, and in many cases deservedly so, but there are genuine innovations that are useful contained in it)

Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them.