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Comment Re:Erm... We already have HVDC arteries (Score 1) 346

There is a national grid, or rather two of them, east side and west side. The split is roughly from Montana down to Texas. It's been like that for decades. Are they talking about upgrading it or what exactly do they mean? Power is sold back and forth all over the east and all over the west.

There are 3 continental grids: East, West and Texas.

Comment Re:Not without storage (Score 5, Informative) 346

Nukes don't vary output well. Thus storage is needed in a nukes only system.

This is a common misconception based on old nuclear designs that were designed specifically to be base-load-only. Fukushima was one. Nuclear power is extremely flexible and has minimal constraints due to technological reasons. France is 75% nuclear and has load-following generation III reactors capable of daily load cycling of 50%-100% capacity at a ramp rate of 3-5%/minute.

The new AP-1000 is a gen III+ reactor rated to change from 30%-100% at a response time similar to coal or gas turbines. There are many other different and smaller reactor designs that could easily be used to supplement the large reactors, as a complete power solution.

There are many valid arguments against nuclear, but this isn't one of the stronger ones.

Comment Re:Trees in desert die? (Score 2) 88

OMG, trees in a desert are going to die?

Most of California isn't a desert, and most of the desert parts of California don't have trees (because, you know, it's a desert).

It's not a desert yet. If the drought continues and they continue to pump every last drop out of the ground it might become one.

Comment Re:"Supposedly"?! (Score 5, Informative) 151

The reason why consumers "prefer" bigger phones is not because people want a change of clothing with bigger pockets... but the faster CPUs and such require more area to deal with heat.

Of course, I've been told by someone in the industry that nobody would give up CPU and RAM for a smaller phone, but it would be nice to have a phone about the size of an iPhone 4.

I work in the industry. I can tell you that the size is due to the display. It's not primarily due to heat dissipation. The manufacturers are convinced (based on trends and sales) that people want big phones with 5" or larger screens.

Comment Re:Dam failures and ecosystem loss... (Score 1) 232

Wind power has only a small impact on the environment, and the area it is spread out over is largely empty. The environmental impact is minuscule.

The environmental impact of wind is still being studied, however the turbines are not very attractive nor quiet when you are near one, and as you say they are spread over a very large area. There is early evidence that the sound of the turbines does cause stress to wildlife. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24597302.

It is known that animals also avoid power line corridors (very unfortunate as these are typically considered as beneficial animal corridors during environmental assessments). http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/12/animals-powerlines-sky-wildlife.

The impact of animals avoiding large areas of wind farms and crossing the new power lines is unknown however probably not miniscule.

Nuclear is far better understood as well as far more localized. The newer reactors are much safer than the ones that failed in the past. Even after a disaster the animals are thriving. http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2015/1011/Wildlife-thriving-in-abandoned-Chernobyl-zone

Comment Re:Reflexive, symmetric, transitive... (Score 1) 148

Users should only [reuse passwords] where the compromise of one password does not result in the compromise of more valuable data protected by the same password on a different system.

So if I have access to a highly sensitive system, it's OK to reuse that password on a system with lower value data.

OK - got it.

I am pretty sure (hoping) you are being sarcastic because that is not what the quote says at all. It is only ok to re-use a password when both systems have equivalent levels of data value.

To provide a car analogy: It is perfectly fine to use the same key for both my Toyota Corolla and my Ford Focus. However also using that key for my Aston Martin would be unacceptable.

Comment Re:XP? OK. But, Office? (Score 5, Insightful) 192

Office 2003 is arguably still the best version of Office. I have co-workers who still use it and I've used pretty much every version since 4. I don't disagree with them, although I have personally transitioned to 2010 for compatibility. Newer versions don't provide much additional usability and make certain things more difficult such as removing the ability to select chart curves directly from the legend. Why??

Comment Re:Delivering the Mail (Score 2) 327

You need certification. here

Your link appears to be based on Australia laws. In the US no license or permit is required to fly an ultralight aircraft. However everyone should receive training. The autogyros are extremely stable due to their design but of course unexpected things happen.

As to the craft itself, I cannot tell from the article if it is an ultralight copter or a traditional one. Auto-gyros are somewhat difficult to achieve the ultralight weight restrictions but not impossible.

Comment Re:Don't Blame the DoE (Score 1) 201

The DoE doesn't pass any laws; it enforces the ones passed by Congress. And as it's a cabinet-level department, Congress approves all cabinet appointees, so blame them on both fronts.

The Department of Education (or ED, not the "DOE") is run by the executive branch. You seem to have skipped that part for some reason. True, the laws and appointment are granted by Congress, however the day-to-day operation and many details of "how" the law is to be implemented do not reside with them.

Speaking with 10 years of experience in public K-12 schools, blame lies with the superintendent. Superintendents are the leaders of a district, and they can and often do set a strong tone of expectations that are carried out by administrators, including principals, which then trickle down to teachers and support staff. There's no doubt in my mind that the superintendent, tacitly if not directly, created this cheating culture in Atlanta. We can blame the law all we want for encouraging the genesis of such an environment, but that's like blaming cheese for mold growth. Yes, an optimal environment was created for this cheating scandal to take root and grow, but it was disgusting school leaders like Dr. Hall that caused it to happen.

I agree with the principle of this (pun intended), but I also think that laws can be implemented in ways that do not encourage cheating on this scale. It's not just the Atlanta school system trying to game the system and get more money and raises (presumably that is the end goal?). Look up Philadelphia, Clarksdale MS, and Louisiana - those were what I found just with a quick google search.

Comment Re:And why not? (Score 2) 227

When a hydroelectric scheme goes right, it renders a large area of land uninhabitable.

When it goes wrong, it renders a different large area of land uninhabitable.

Still, when done right, better than a lot of other options.

Nuclear is better than a lot of other options (possibly all options), when done right. Unfortunately due to regulations, we aren't making reactors with less nasty waste. Unfortunately due to a small number of old reactor failures we aren't replacing them with new, safer ones.

Nuclear has the deck shuffled completely against it on all sides. I don't think it will survive - at least in the US and any other country that the US opposes.

Comment Re:Makes sense. (Score 1) 629

Google can't push out updates to the handsets. The carriers by law mandated that only they can update and test the devices. You as a citizen and owner of the device cannot do this yourself either.

I'm not sure how this statement can be true. Apple is not a carrier and directly provides iOS updates and bugfixes to older handsets for several years. Their oldest supported device is the 4S which came out in 2011.

I am curious if you have a reference that shows that Google and their partners such as Samsung are legally prevented from doing the same. I can and do blame them for their disinterest in security patches.

Comment Re:What IP address ranges are in the US? (Score 1) 234

If you're making a parallel with the wizard then maybe but one would normally abbreviate to 'Aus'

Exactly. "Land of Oz" is the slang reference that I first heard when I was visiting. At the time I was traveling with backpackers (including locals, not just foreigners), so maybe it was just a humorous joke and in less common use than I thought. I'm sure no official document would spell it that way.

Thanks for the insight!

Comment Re:What IP address ranges are in the US? (Score 1) 234

Trust me, no one here spells it with an Oh-Zed.

You've never heard it referred to as Oz?

I have heard those 2 letters used in conjunction as reference to Australia many, many times during my travels there.

Now the term "ozzies" is somewhat new that I haven't heard before. Could be a recent development.

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