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Comment: Re:Aerial or underground ? (Score 1) 321

by hjf (#48466437) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

Where I live, both 13.2KV and 220V wires used to hang from the same posts. 13.2KV ones much higher. During a storm with heavy winds, I used to see them swing and arc and boom - power was out. Until the storm ended and then they restored power.

In the 90s they did a massive rebuilding of the distribution grid. All 13.2KV lines were buried and all 220V "naked" wire was replaced with insulated, quadruple, "twisted" cable hanging mostly from house fronts (mostly city houses one right next to another).

This eliminated almost all of the storm problems. No more wind or lightning knocking down power. Sometimes yes, you hear a very loud thunder and power goes out but that's most likely the product of a direct or very nearby hit that makes protections trip.

Unfortunately now we have other problems. Growing pains. Too many new apartment buildings taking a lot of juice and the grid isn't being upgraded. On very hot days power goes out and you have all sorts of brownouts and blackouts. This is sheer corruption: every apartment building, over a certain number of houses, is supposed to have its own 13.2KV->220V transformer but they just pay some power company officials (yes, state-owned company) and they hook em up to 220V. Suddenly you have 60 new houses sucking juice from the already loaded transformer...

Comment: Re:Flip Argument (Score 1) 1026

by misexistentialist (#48457863) Attached to: Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting
You're skipping the part where the cop initiated twice, backing his car up and engaging from the seated position, and then getting out of his car after he was clearly outmatched. He drew his gun in a fistfight before his life was threatened, then he initiated an armed pursuit after the fight was over. If you could see yourself following this sequence of actions you are either dumb or crazy, and without a badge you would get 20 years, Wilson would get on the stand and say what a danger to the community you are.

Comment: Re:Waiting... (Score 1) 139

by Animats (#48455329) Attached to: Here's What Your Car Could Look Like In 2030

OK, here's a site with an interview with IDEO's designer. It has the key pictures without the UI from hell.

This is the Eric Schmidt vision of the future. People will still go to offices and have meetings. They'll just have better cars and presentation tools, and better delivery services for physical stuff.

Will we really need that many office workers? That's the huge question. Given the head counts at newer companies, probably not.

Comment: Waiting... (Score 1) 139

by Animats (#48455281) Attached to: Here's What Your Car Could Look Like In 2030

3% loading...
Page with 3 icons loads. Click on first icon. Background sound loop of birds chirping with wihite noise and gap at the end of the loop starts. That's all that happens.

Firefox 33 on Ubuntu reports: Media resource could not be decoded.
TypeError: e[0].play is not a function main.js:1
TypeError: e[0].pause is not a function main.js:1

Don't they test their code?

Comment: Re:I bet Infosys and Tata are dancing in the stree (Score 1) 185

Plus he has a net worth of over $12 million, he'd get more from the interest than all the rest of that stuff put together.

That's peanuts. As I said above, Billy Tauzin got $2 million a year from the drug industry after he let them take as much as they want from the Medicare fund in the Prescription Drug Bill.

GWB got $15 million from speeches, but he's got a long way to catch up with Bill Clinton, who got $100 million.

As the parent said, if Obama pleases the right people, he can make a lot of money after his term expires. This writer is cynical enough to believe that there's a quid pro quo.

Or as Bill Moyers said: Maybe Obama hasn't sold out. Maybe he's just one of them.

Comment: Re:Perspective (Score 1) 318

the "I'm alright Jack, screw you" attitude of a *lot* of people - weirdly enough those who often really *aren't* alright,

You hear this line from many comfortable people, who being set for life, are eager to screw over everyone else with high taxes and regulations to make themselves feel even more superior. If you think you have too much sell your house and give the money to charity. Nah, your humanitarianism will look more like imposing a 25% VAT on toilet paper and doubling the price of gas for the good of the little people. Businesses cut back on hiring, can't afford anything extra in life after taxes to support government bureaucrats making 300% the average income, but thanks for the free healthcare, almost as good as they get in prison!

Comment: When cars are self-driving and shared (Score 1) 453

by Animats (#48445261) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

...they'll all be owned by Uber.

There's a network effect for shared vehicles. Availablility is best if you have one big pool of cars rather than lots of little ones. So there will be a single winner in that space for each city.

Imagine Uber having the power of GM and Google combined. Run by the current team of assholes.

Comment: Re:that's because (Score 1) 369

by CRCulver (#48445121) Attached to: Blame America For Everything You Hate About "Internet Culture"
The idea that the French work a significantly shorter work week than Americans is a largely a myth. The French do enjoy longer annual leave, but I suspect that in the US, the productivity gains resulting from a little more rest at certain points in the year would more than make up for the lost working time.

Comment: Re: So low carb vindicated again (Score 1) 249

by bill_mcgonigle (#48441817) Attached to: Doubling Saturated Fat In Diet Does Not Increase It In Blood

hey, it reduces end-of-life welfare costs by killing off the population more quickly. The "food pyramid" is good policy if you're a sociopathic bankrupt program.

I got a full blood panel before and after doing a ketosis diet for four months. All my numbers were much better, but to be succinct my total relative risk metric for coronary heart disease (1.0 is average) fell from 0.8 to 0.3. I was using a half gallon of heavy cream and several cups of coconut oil every week. Some bacon and steaks too. Plenty of nuts and cheese.

Most people see similar results. None of these blood tests are new science. All of these studies could have been done in 1980. I wonder if they were.

Comment: Re:Amazon Elastic Cloud? (Score 1) 244

by Animats (#48439281) Attached to: Does Being First Still Matter In America?

decades ago, Cray Computers were assembled by people (housewives) who were allowed to spend no more time than they could be maximally effective in, using wires cut to millimeter-precise lengths.

Yes, and there's a Cray I at the Computer Museum here in Silicon Valley, upholstered base and all. You can sit on it if you like. It's not useful for much else.

All modern supercomputers are composed of a large number of microprocessors. The interconnects are faster than with ordinary hosting/cloud operations, but the CPUs are the same. The biggest supercomputer in the world, in China, is 3,120,000 cores of Intel Xeons, running at 2.2GHz each.

The question is whether the problem you're solving needs tight interconnection. If not, you can run it on a large number of ordinary computers. Weather may not be that tightly coupled; propagation time in air is kind of slow.

Comment: Re:What do they spend the money on? (Score 1) 161

by BZ (#48438847) Attached to: Mozilla's 2013 Report: Revenue Up 1% To $314M; 90% From Google

Browsers are pretty complicated, yes. Things like low-latency high-performance VMs, hardware-accelerated video pipelines, plus the details, like actual HTML parsing, CSS layout, a network stack, and so forth. Also, what matters is not just the complication but how fast you're trying to change things, and people are adding new things (flexbox, more complicated CSS layout modes, mode DOM APIs, etc) faster than ever before.

But also, in addition to a browser Mozilla is working on FirefoxOS, which involves a whole separate bunch of developers, since it's not like the browser developers are writing things like the dialer app for FirefoxOS. Also, you need QA, not just developers.

And yes, Mozilla has 1000-ish employees, for what it's worth.

It's not just Mozilla. If I look at I see on the order of 600 committers with commits in the last month. And that's not even counting whoever is working on the non-open-source parts of Chrome. And not counting, again, QA and so forth.

And the worst part is, this is not a new development. Microsoft had over 1000 people working on IE6 in 1999, according to

So yes, browsers, complicated.

Comment: Re:I bet Infosys and Tata are dancing in the stree (Score 2) 185

Eventually Obama is going to be a civilian again. If he pleases the right people, he (or his immediate family) can make tremendous amounts of money as a lobbyist, consultant, guest speaker, etc...

Just look at the money that Chelsey Clinton earns from her array of jobs at various consulting, investment, educational, media and humanitarian companies and organizations. Her success was handed to her on a diamond platter as political thanks to her parents.

I don't know if Chelsea Clinton's employers are getting anything, but there's some truth to that.

For example, Billy Tauzin, the Republican representative from Louisiana, made sure that the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill would prohibit Medicare from negotiating cheaper prices with the drug companies, the way the health care systems do in every other country. After he left Congress, he went to work for the drug industry lobbying organization, PhRMA, for $2 million a year. Pretty good investment. PhRMA paid a few million dollars, and got back billions in higher drug prices. That's why all those new drugs cost $100,000 and more a year.

Comment: Re:How's this going to work (Score 4, Funny) 161

by bill_mcgonigle (#48438087) Attached to: Mozilla's 2013 Report: Revenue Up 1% To $314M; 90% From Google

With 90% of their revenue coming from Google yet they just signed a 5 year deal with Yahoo how is this going to work out?

I guess we'll see, but Yahoo is probably guaranteeing at least as much revenue as Google, for the opportunity to be the default search engine.

So that gives MoFo five years to have FirefoxOS take over the smartphone market.


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Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others. -- Berry Kercheval