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Comment: Re:Too good to be true (Score 1) 386

by Joe Wagner (#34976018) Attached to: Biotech Company Making Fossil Fuels With a 'Library' of Bacteria
I wonder if it is the company or the reporter who gave the wrong figures in the article. The article says:

By way of comparison, Cornell University’s David Pimentel, an authority on ethanol, says that one acre of corn produces less than half as much energy, equivalent to only 328 barrels. If a few hundred barrels of crude sounds modest, recall that millions of acres of prime U.S. farmland are now used to make corn ethanol.

A remarkable number, but as far as I can find Pimentel claims no such thing about BARRELS per acre, but I can find that number in GALLONS per acre per year, e.g., see http://healthandenergy.com/ethanol.htm. So 328 gallons of ethanol per acre = 7.8 barrels of ethanol per acre per year

Among his [Pimentel's] findings are:
An acre of U.S. corn yields about 7,110 pounds of corn for processing into 328 gallons of ethanol. But planting, growing and harvesting that much corn requires about 140 gallons of fossil fuels and costs $347 per acre, according to Pimentel’s analysis. Thus, even before corn is converted to ethanol, the feedstock costs $1.05 per gallon of ethanol.

Joule Unlimited's website does says "20,000 gallons of renewable ethanol or hydrocarbons per acre annually" ( http://www.jouleunlimited.com/news/2009/joule-biotechnologies-introduces-revolutionary-process-producing-renewable-transportation- )

So one thought has occurred to me. If this technology involves growing green gunk in vertical clear walled tanks, then perhaps they have chosen to talk about the yield per tank in terms of tank horizontal footprint, i.e the amount of light input coming in the side of 1 square foot of tank horizontal footprint could be many times the amount hitting just the top... I can imagine a tank fourteen feet tall, 3 feet wide, but only 4 inches deep. So its footprint is only 1 square foot, but it catches 30 square feet of light if at Boston's 42 degrees latitude (or heck, 60 feet if one reflects light in on the back side.)

Comment: Re:so... (Score 4, Informative) 58

by Joe Wagner (#34936314) Attached to: California Spam Law Upheld By Appeals Court

I am not a lawyer, so this isn't legal advice, just my experience. I have sued a number of times (and won) in small claims court, including in Santa Clara County -- where Mountain View is located as it happens. I know of someone in Florida who files small claims spam cases in California and flies in for the hearing. Nolo Press has a great book dedicated to small claims court in California Incidentally, in California lawyers aren't allowed to represent clients in small claims cases, although they are allowed for the re-trial if the defendant appeals a loss. As far as collections goes, handily enough VeriSign is also in Santa Clara County. So rather than chase down a spammer in some far off state to collect, you can just threaten to go down the road and seize a non-paying defendant's business property i.e. their .com domain name if they don't pay.

As the Nolo Press book explains, you can file two $7500 small claims lawsuits a year and an unlimited number of $2500 suits. California law awards $1000 per illegal spam. Santa Clara county even has specific rules for filing two or more small claims cases at the same time. So for example I filed simultaneously two lawsuits both against the defendants for 8 spam each per lawsuit. The two cases were heard at the same time and ultimately I collected $16000 plus interest. (In the course of the cases I also raised $40,000 for Second Harvest and the Darfur Stove Project charities...)

Comment: Re:yes.. (Score 1) 480

by Joe Wagner (#28956499) Attached to: Can We Abandon Confidentiality For Google Apps?
IANAL, but that's not really true. They do have possession of email as it passes through. If I send Google a subpoena, then at least for 15-30 days they'd have to retain copies of all the responsive emails that they receive. But clearly that's not the case, otherwise I'd subpoena monthly the opposing party and get a continuous copy of their emails. Law firms can hire any number of outside agencies to handle privileged docs, e.g. paralegals from temp agency, graphic artists, etc and not lose privilege.

Comment: Re:yes.. (Score 2, Interesting) 480

by Joe Wagner (#28952685) Attached to: Can We Abandon Confidentiality For Google Apps?

As they have explained it to me, once you voluntarily hand information off to an uninvolved third party, the veil of privilege is breached and it can be discovered.

IANAL, as well, but that statement is incomplete. You can clearly outsource at least one IT function: email, without risking privilege. Google's Postini is the the email service provider for many (most) of the nation's best and/or biggest lawfirms. (e.g. lookup the mx records of steptoe.com, chadbourne.com, perkinscoie.com, gibsondunn.com, bakernet.com, dlapiper.com, whitecase.com, sidley.com, mayerbrown.com). All *.psmtp.com.

Comment: Makes you wonder how realistic are the specs (Score 1) 146

by Joe Wagner (#28560961) Attached to: Land Rover Unveils "World's Toughest Phone"
Call me cynical, but when they claim two MONTHS of standby time and 18 hours of talk time, all on a 1850 mAh battery -- it makes me a bit leery. After all, no matter how efficient its electronics are, it still has to burn power transmitting packets. For example the Nokia 6205 on its 1020mAh BL-5C battery only gets up to 4 hours talk, up to 11 day standby. Spec for Nokia: http://www.nokiausa.com/find-products/phones/nokia-6205/specifications Spec for the phone, I think: http://www.sonimtech.com/pdf/xp3quest_ds.pdf

Everyone can be taught to sculpt: Michelangelo would have had to be taught how not to. So it is with the great programmers.

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