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Comment: Punctuality. (Score 1) 87

by crazyvas (#48044085) Attached to: Japan's Shinkansen Bullet Trains Celebrate 50th Anniversary

One thing that has always impressed me about the Shinkansen is its near obscene punctuality:

Quote from :
The Shinkansen is very reliable thanks to several factors, including its near-total separation from slower traffic. In 2012, JR Central reported that the Shinkansen's average delay from schedule per train was 36 seconds. This includes delays due to uncontrollable causes, such as natural disasters.[14] The record, in 1997, was 18 seconds.

Comment: Re:Article is about Measurement (Score 2) 206

by thrich81 (#48037753) Attached to: Antarctic Ice Loss Big Enough To Cause Measurable Shift In Earth's Gravity

You aren't quite right that the satellite gravity scientists are just using climate as a "hook" to display their techniques. A major reason for the launch of these very precise gravity satellites is to use gravity to monitor the movement of water (not just ice) in and around the Earth. Hence the name of the GRACE satellite -- Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment. The NASA GRACE fact sheet is at -- http://earthobservatory.nasa.g... with more details.

Comment: Re:Less 'stuff' might not mean less ice (Score 3, Informative) 206

by thrich81 (#48036481) Attached to: Antarctic Ice Loss Big Enough To Cause Measurable Shift In Earth's Gravity

"is it possible that the ice has actually thickened and displaced more of the denser sea water?" -- not in this case. The geographic precision of these satellite gravity surveys and complementary ground and airborne surveys in the area constrain the loss of mass to ice over the land. In addition it is possible to estimate the change in ice mass on the land by other techniques and they are in agreement with the gravity. There is a good (but long) discussion of the recent observational techniques and results for the ice sheet mass balances in Greenland and Antarctica here:

Comment: Re:Contagiousness (Score 1) 445

by Bob9113 (#48035243) Attached to: Ebola Has Made It To the United States

I'd feel better if some smart people from the CDC or WHO or USAMRIID were trying to figure out what us different this time.

Good post and all, but on this specific point: Go ahead and feel better. All three are. The people there with the right expertise are probably working extensive overtime, owing both to the vigor of their superiors and their own intense desire to beat this thing. We know they are; we intentionally imported two victims early on, so we could get more data to work with.

Comment: Do Not Go Gentle, Rage! (Score 5, Insightful) 114

by Bob9113 (#48035059) Attached to: The Executive Order That Redefines Data Collection

the term "collection" as redefined by Executive Order 12333 to allow basically every information dragnet, provided no-one looks at it. "Collection" is now defined as "collection plus action." ... This leads to the question of aging off collected data/communications:

No it does not. Do not go gentle into that good night. There is no reason whatsoever for us to accept the giant leap into unconstitutional territory and debate the fine points left to us, settling for scraps of liberty from dictators who have derived no just power from the consent of the governed. Rage against this machine until you die or it does.

Comment: Re:FP? (Score 4, Insightful) 799

by Maddog Batty (#48034901) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

Go and ask any timber merchant for a bit of 2 by 4 and they will know what you are talking about but then ask them for what the actual size is. They will give you two answers, one for sawn timber and one for plained timber. The answers they give will be in millimetres and neither will be anything close to 50.8mm x 101.6mm. The length will also be given in metres.

Comment: Re:OEMs cannot write software (Score 1) 413

Currently I am using the local calendar adapter for Google calendar, from F-droid. Works well. There is a similar CalDAV adapter too - doesn't it work nicely with owncloud? I was hoping to use it some day.

The issue I'be had with it is that it doesn't really do merging, it does 'server always wins'. This means that if you delete an event locally, on the next sync it will reappear. It's fine for new events created on the device and for events created elsewhere if you just want to view them on the device. I use owncloud on the server and iCal on my laptop and editing things on either of those is fine.

Anyway, that was my point. Google and the other big 4, really do good UI - much as I hate to expose my data for their inspection.

The reason I stopped using the search engine was that they made a UI that pissed me off enough to make me quit. I've not found Google UIs to be particularly well designed in general - I could file a few hundred UI bug reports on the general Android system, including a lot that are regressions.

Comment: Re:IOT (Score 1) 117

by TheRaven64 (#48025969) Attached to: World's Smallest 3G Module Will Connect Everything To the Internet

One use case that's often touted for this kind of thing is having appliances that can work on spot pricing for electricity. Over the course of the day, you get spikes from solar and wind (and tidal and so on) production when electricity is cheap. You get periods when power plants need to reduce capacity for maintenance when it is expensive. There are massive power storage facilities that profit from this: there is one near where I used to live that pumps water up a hill into a reservoir when electricity is cheap and then lets it flow down again and generate power when it's expensive. Now imagine if your fridge or freezer could get this information in real time and could run the compressor a bit more when electricity is very cheap, then use the cooled coolant to keep your food cold when the price goes up.

Almost 50% of the electricity generated in the USA is wasted because the supply can't adapt to demand fast enough. There are some very big savings to be made by having demand adapt to supply.

Comment: Re: It's sad (Score 1) 413

It's not abusing anything Google apps work better and use less resources than the competitors which is 1 reason why they are doing this.

Really? About the only Google app that I haven't replaced with something better (and open source, so money / distribution rights are not an issue) is Google Play, and that's only because my bank and a few other companies only make their app available via Google Play.

Comment: Re:OEMs cannot write software (Score 1) 413

A few of the HTC apps were nicer than the AOSP versions and the same is true of the Motorola ones. The problem for people who don't drink the Google kool-aid is that hardly anyone is working on the AOSP versions of most apps. If you buy a new Android device, there's no calendar app that can talk to a CalDav server (which, for example, any iOS device and most open source calendar apps for desktop can do out of the box). F-Droid has one that is designed to, but it has a terrible UI and doesn't integrate nicely with the rest of the system. There are a couple of sync adaptors, but Google has increasingly broken the sync APIs for things that are not Google.

Comment: Re:It's sad (Score 1) 413

by Xtifr (#48022701) Attached to: Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

Remember when simply bundling IE was a monopoly abuse?

Saying that MS "simply bundled IE" is like saying that John Dillinger "simply withdrew money from a bank".

Google is behaving in exactly the same way

Only in the sense that I'm behaving in exactly the same way as John Dillinger when I withdraw money from my bank. :)

(The difference, in case it's not obvious, is that when I withdraw money from my bank, I don't do it in a way that violates any laws.)

Disobedience: The silver lining to the cloud of servitude. -- Ambrose Bierce