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Comment: Re:Cut the Russians Off (Score 1) 827

by Lawrence_Bird (#47803031) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

You seem to have drunk the Kool-Aide if you believe that the west (aka, EU, US) have had no involvement in the ongoing (over a decade) political instability in Ukraine. Here are just a few oldies but goodies

And of course there is the very long history of CIA and MI6 meddling in the internal affairs of, well, just about every country in the world.

Comment: Wrong Units (Score 1) 136

by Lawrence_Bird (#47802931) Attached to: Radioactive Wild Boars Still Roaming the Forests of Germany

Becquerel is a measure of activity and does not tell you anything about the nature of the radiation. It is a stupid measurement. Rem or Sievert would be more useful.

Radioactivity is often expressed in becquerels per unit of volume or weight, to express how much radioactive material is contained in a sample. But the unit of volume or weight is not fixed, so we may see becquerels per kilogram (Bq/kg), becquerels per litre (Bq/l), becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3), or becquerels per cubic centimetre (Bq/cm3). Of course we need to pay careful attention to this because 100 Bq/cm3 indicates 1000 times more radioactive material than 100Bq/l, which in turn indicates 1000 times more than 100Bq/m3.

So the becquerel is a useful measure of the amount of radiation emitted by a substance, but it tells us little about the effect of that radiation on our bodies. To understand that we first need to measure the amount of energy from the radiation absorbed by the body (called the absorbed dose). This is measured in joules per kilogram, or a special unit called grays.

But absorbed dose alone does indicate how much damage is done to the body, since different types of radiation cause different amounts of damage. So the absorbed dose is multiplied by a weighting factor (1 for beta and gamma radiation, and 20 for alpha radiation). The result is called equivalent dose and it is expressed in sieverts. This is essentially a measure of the amount of potential damage to the body from a given amount of radiation. Since one sievert is very large, we usually hear of the much smaller millisieverts (1/1000 sievert) or microsieverts (1/100000 sievert).

Comment: Don't discount a plant (Score 1) 360

What better than to gin up TERROR! in a war weary US/UK population than planting a laptop with naughty bio-fetish dreams.

1) Nobody looked at the laptop for months. Really? Honest? Didn't even bother to check that for intel from your competion/enemy in Syria? Oh, Mr Journalist? Here maybe you like this, we are just using it for door stop.

2) Put laptop in hands of semi-credible news magazine looking for a big scoop to boost image.

3) Sit back and watch Fox News make it the number one story for the next 60 days while government(s) figure out how many troops are going to go where.

4) Announce troop deployment because of TERROR!

Now.. perhaps it is all legit. But to ignore the plant angle is to be led down the WMB path again with blindfold on. And nobody does this kind of stuff better than the UK, a country with a long and sordid history of using "journalists" to plant fake "information" to justify government actions and policies.

Comment: Re:Cut the Russians Off (Score 2) 827

by Lawrence_Bird (#47776827) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

So.. assuming it is "true" (and if you take at face value anything Ukraine or Russia says you are an idiot) and we apply your idea of penalties, are you also willing to apply those to western nations (ie, US, UK, France, etc...) who have use air assets to bomb other countries, sent special forces into another country (invasion!), sent military "advisors" to help rebels/"freedom fighters", etc? Or shall we just ignore the hypocrisy of it all?

Can only imagine if Ukraine were some country bordering on the US/UK/France/Germany and a similar unstable political situation existed which was at least in part fostered by Russian political meddling (as opposed to Western in Ukraine). The tanks and planes would have rolled the border long ago.

Comment: Isn't this obvious? (Score 1) 247

by Lawrence_Bird (#47764629) Attached to: Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory

Ok, I don't have the time to RTFA right now but isn't this completely obvious? Nuclei, atoms, molecules all vibrate (if not more) all the time. From the macroscopic point of view these all are so tiny as to be an insignificant error in any measurement of location but none the less, the "error" does exist.

Comment: Re:What is it good for? (Score 1) 36

by Lawrence_Bird (#47738393) Attached to: Google Announces a New Processor For Project Ara

The POTS were live and the IP down because POTS are powered by the local exchange while IP bases equivalents are unpowered except in the customer's home.

While it is true that some areas with POTS still failed (Battery Park), most were ok.

Telco response to this is they are considering incrasing the size of the standard backup battery to an amount that still does not even cover one day of outtage. But why should they care when they have for all intents become cable companies?

Comment: Re:Okay... and? (Score 1, Informative) 316

by Lawrence_Bird (#47738369) Attached to: For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit


They are paying taxes on them. In the domiciles abroad. Near the end of TFA is:

The report also found that “28 these corporations reveal that they have paid an income tax rate of 10 percent or less to the governments of the countries where these profits are officially held, indicating that most of these profits are likely in offshore tax havens.”

It is conveniently politically correct to refer to other countries with lower tax rates as "tax havens". The reality is if the US tax rates were at (or at least near) the foreign rates than funds which could be repatriated would be. Note the word could. No company would bring home 100% as they are operating businesses overseas and need to invest there too.

Comment: What is it good for? (Score 2) 36

by Lawrence_Bird (#47736389) Attached to: Google Announces a New Processor For Project Ara

I've heard and read a lot of people say how this will let them keep their phone a longer time but to me that doesn't seem likely. Too many things need to be replaced as the phone ages. Seems to me much better suited to customization of the original purchase, much like build options on a car.

Comment: UK moves into German territory (Score 1) 391

by Lawrence_Bird (#47728347) Attached to: UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime

Germans can't read Hitler's stuff because.... omfg they might get naughty ideas and start killing jews again!
Brits can't watch videos made by terrorists because... omfg they might be come scared! or radicalized! Crusades 2014!

I long ago decided never to set foot in the UK again. Not that the US is any wonderland but the UK (with Australia right on its heels) is a complete pukefest now. I'm not even sure what comes after the "Daddy" and "Mommy" state but the UK is certainly flirting with it.

Comment: Re:Defeats the purpose (Score 1) 232

by Lawrence_Bird (#47720857) Attached to: Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

But it already did stop if you are waiting for a response when the person returns.

Why are you (and others) assuming I am waiting for an immediate response? Perhaps I am the pointy haired boss telling the vacationing employee "this is your next assignment, start when you finish XYZ" "this came in and has ramifcations for your project" "John here is the results of the marketing survey"

Why should the person sending those info/requests be forced to say "oh I can't send those now, John is away and his email gets deleted. Let me mark it down on my calendar to send all this when he is back. Hopefully I remember all the details that are fresh in my mind now too".

Deleting e-mail sent to you because you are on vacation or otherwise unavailable is the height of arrogance.

Comment: Re:Goddammit! (Score 1) 97

It is very sexy to posit PBTSM. And those physicists working in SUSY have seen their world continue to close in as the acceptable SUSY parameter space continues to shrink so there is a vested interest in keeping hope alive.

Just as Diract started out with a g of 2 and then QED improved on that and others further, I find it far more likely someone finds a higher order correction which has been overlooked than PBTSM.

Mystics always hope that science will some day overtake them. -- Booth Tarkington