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Comment: Re:How does Net Neutrality as proposed solve that? (Score 1) 128

by Smidge204 (#47916333) Attached to: The FCC Net Neutrality Comment Deadline Has Arrived: What Now?

Well it's a shame then the FCC rules under discussion would have nothing whatsoever to do with that,.

Except this is exactly what it's about, and it's something that Comcast has already been caught doing. Allowing "fast lanes" would just be a way for them to legitimize the practice of stymieing competing services and/or extorting money from content providers.
=Smidge=

Comment: Re:Spoilers (Score 4, Informative) 128

by Smidge204 (#47912083) Attached to: The FCC Net Neutrality Comment Deadline Has Arrived: What Now?

This doesn't address what is the true threat: It's not about ISPs choking bandwidth to individual consumers, it's about ISPs choking bandwidth to their competitors.

For example, Comcast offers, internet, streaming video, cable television and telephone services.

If I, as a third party, want to offer telephone services that use broadband internet (VoIP), Comcast will be able to make my access to their consumers so crap that I can't compete with their telephone service. The only way around that would be to pay them for "fast lane" access which will also ruin my ability to compete as it cuts deeply into my budget.

The end user can have all the bandwidth the infrastructure can provide, and it won't mean a damn thing because my traffic, specifically, will be choked by the monopoly ISP guarding the gates.
=Smidge=

Comment: Re:Nobody wants this (Score 5, Insightful) 323

by jimhill (#47900017) Attached to: Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

Seriously, fuck this guy. His next step since he can't get anyone to buy his product voluntarily will be to explain to some legislators over dinner (his treat) and maybe a round of golf (ditto) why it's a good idea for them to mandate it. One way or another, our boy Scotty gonna get paid.

Comment: Especially: The paint. (Score 1) 113

by Ungrounded Lightning (#47895641) Attached to: Liquid Sponges Extract Hydrogen From Water

The gas bag itself was flammable; it wouldn't have mattered what gas was in it, when it disintegrated

In particular: The paint. It contained a mix of powdered aluminum and iron oxide pigments, in sufficient concentration to maintain a redox reaction.

You and I know this mixture as "thermite". It's really hard to get the reaction started - but an electric discharge can do it. (They tried to tether it with an electrical storm approaching. That would make one hell of a spark when the charged envelope comes near to connecting to the grounded mast - which is about when the fire started.) Once it's started, the reaction is essentially impossible to extinguish. The aluminum steals the oxygen from the iron oxide. The heats of formation of the two oxides differ so much that the energy released leaves the resulting elemental iron as an orange-glowing liquid and the aluminum oxide incandescent white-hot.

Comment: That is a misreading of the Supremacy Clause: (Score 4, Informative) 211

You are bound by the treaties your country signed.

Yes: You, and the states, and their courts, are bound by them (to the extent they are clear or were implemented by federal enabling legislation).

In fact, they have more legal weight in the US than laws passed by your own Congress.

NO! They have EXACTLY the same weight as federal law. Both treaties and federal law are trumped by the Constitution, and both are also creatures of Congress, They can be modulated, and destroyed (at least in how they are effective within the country) by congressional action.

The idea that they're any stronger or more permanent than federal legislation comes from a (very common) misreading of the Supremacy Clause:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

This says that the Constitution, Federal Law, and Treaties trump state law in state and federal courts. It says nothing about the relative power among the three.

The misreading is to interpret "all treaties made ... shall be the supreme law of the land ..." to mean that treaties effectively amend the constitution. This is wrong. You can see it by noticing the same kind of misreading also makes federal law equivalent to a constitutional amendment - which it clearly is not.

In fact the Supreme Court has spoken on the relation between the Constitution and treaties: In Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1 (1957), the Supreme Court held stated that the U.S. Constitution supersedes international treaties ratified by the U.S. Senate.

Treaties are abrogated, at the federal level, all the time, and there are a number of mechanisms for doing so.

Comment: Re:sure, everybody can (Score 1) 438

by Smidge204 (#47893915) Attached to: If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

Free kinetic energy? Where?

In the wind. There is no capital cost for making the wind blow.

There's a capital cost for building and maintaining the equipment required to tap that energy, but the energy itself is free once you've covered that initial cost.

Also, the Model S is not their "entry level" vehicle. That vehicle is still under development. Tesla aimed to cover the high cost of relatively low volume early production vehicles by producing their high end sport offering (Roadster) first, then their luxury offering (Model S). Part of the reason the gigafactory is such a big deal is it would help lower the cost of the battery packs, reducing the price of future vehicles.
=Smidge=

Comment: Re:It's not horseshit. It's happening. (Score 1) 438

by Smidge204 (#47892801) Attached to: If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

Basically you're saying that just because the presence of a knife in someone's chest correlates with their death, is no reason to assume causation between these two things.

After all, plenty of people have been stabbed in the chest and lived, and there are no witnesses, so even though the coroner has ruled out every other possible cause of death we can't say for sure the knife is the problem.

To bring it back: There have not yet been any proposed totally-natural mechanisms that account for the current warming trends we see. There are natural mechanisms of course, but none of them add up to what is being observed. The only explanation is that human activity is indeed significantly impacting the global climate. This should not be terribly hard to believe, considering the damage we do almost routinely; Lifeless sea floor in the gulf of Mexico, dozens if not hundreds of once flourishing species now extinct, entire mountains cut down, entire forests leveled, ect.
=Smidge=

Comment: The had them at least as far back as the '50s (Score 1) 275

by Ungrounded Lightning (#47881071) Attached to: California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

Now they have the guide printed on the box but I can remember when i was a kid they didn't.

Some off them had maps at least as far back as the '50s, and probably much further.

A classic was the "Whitman Sampler" - an assortment of their products with a handy map. In addition to being a tasty and relatively low-priced collection of their products, it let a family divide them up according to their individual preferences, and gave you the names of each, so you could (at least hypotheically) buy boxes of just the ones you like.

(I say hypothetically because I never saw boxes of the individual candies being carried in the stores that sold the samplers.)

Comment: Re:containment (Score 1) 296

by Ungrounded Lightning (#47872185) Attached to: WD Announces 8TB, 10TB Helium Hard Drives

But regardless of the pressure, when the helium leaks out, it will not be displaced by air. It will leave behind a vacuum. The helium will leak out, but nothing will leak in to replace it.

(Except maybe hydrogen, but there's not much of that in your local air.)

So your metal parts vacuum-weld and tear themselves apart starting at the contacting surfaces, and adding lots of hydrogen to the air around the drives just makes the parts become brittle on their way to failure.

Comment: And the original AC is wrong. (Score 1) 174

What original AC is saying is that our current medicine doesn't resemble Star Trek style ... We drop blanket bombs into our bodies with the expectation that the evil bits will die a whole lot faster than the good bits, and by the time the evil bits are dead, the good bits are still in a good enough shape to regenerate.

No that is NOT what we do for practically anything but chemotherapy for most cancers (where the difference from normal tissue is very small - a few mutations in signaling systems) and the main difference is that being stuck in reproduction mode makes them somewhat less robust.

Antibiotics are all about targeting one or another chemical mechanism that has one form in the target organism when its equivalen has another - or is absent - in human tissue. There are a LOT of drugs that have been discovered or designed, and the collection consists of enormous numbers of "magic bullets" that each target just one, or a small set, of systems found in particular pathogenic lifeforms, with either negligible, or far lower, side-effects on other systems.

Sure many antibiotics hit a wide range of NON-human life - pathogens and others - because THEY share susceptable versions of the target system or contain systems that are strongly side-effected. Sure the doctors sometimes have to pick drugs with bad side-effects because those are the best choices they have. But the characterization of antibiotic and antiviral drugs as "blanket bombing" has been out of date for more than half a century.

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