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Comment: Re:Why (Score 3, Informative) 171

by TubeSteak (#48481901) Attached to: France Wants To Get Rid of Diesel Fuel

Why would banning diesel force people to buy electric (very limited range) and hybrid (additional cost) when gasoline cars are more plentiful, have a significantly greater range, and are cheaper?


Energy Minister Segolene Royal announced earlier this year that drivers scrapping diesel-powered cars to buy an electric one would be entitled to a bonus of up to 10,000 euros ($13,500).

The Europeans have never been afraid of using taxes and subsidies to push consumer behavior in the favored direction.
Which is why diesels are so popular over there, since the fuel taxes have favored diesel over gasoline.

IMO, this is a bit nuts, since modern diesels are really clean.
Ultra-low sulfur fuel allows for catalytic converters to limit NOx emissions and particle filters remove most of the carbon soot and fine particles.

I'd be interested in seeing the research the French looked at before making their decision.

Comment: Re:States too are districts (Score 1) 347

by TubeSteak (#48479235) Attached to: Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

Maybe, but the effects are less severe because state lines are enormously more difficult to change for short-term political advantage.

This is only tangentially related, but in the USA, many of the State borders are wrong.

Surveying was a significantly less exact science 200+ years ago.
Many of the borders were marked by specific trees, rocks, or waterways that have since moved or disappeared.
To add to the confusion, the surveyors didn't/couldn't always follow the original land grant instructions,
since making a perfectly straight line across several hundred miles of wilderness was nearly impossible.

By way of example, the Four Corners Monument (AZ/CO/NM/UT) is ~1800 feet East of where it should be.
The Mason-Dixon line (separating DE/PA/MD) is off by 800~900 feet in places.
They couldn't correct for gravitational effects that skewed their plumb bob and consequently offset their star sightings.

For the most part, these issues aren't very contentious, except where water is involved.
States fight like cats and dogs over water rights and access.

Comment: Re:Too late (Score 1) 190

by TubeSteak (#48478947) Attached to: Renewables Are Now Scotland's Biggest Energy Source

The way to get research funding in the US (and in lots of other countries) is to suggest that the technology has military relevance - with bullshit if necessary.[...]

[...] Development of solar panels and windmills weren't funded for fifty years over clandestine military budgets. God knows where they'd been today if they were.

Well, the good news is that the military has gotten enthusiastic about "going green" in a big way.

Thanks to extended wars in the mid-east, they've discovered that energy costs are making up a non-trivial part of the deployment cost. Nowadays, the Pentagon is actively defending solar/biofuel/battery research, because that will help free them from the tyranny of extended supply chains that lead to $400/gallon fuel.

The bad news is that Republicans are decidedly unenthusiastic about green energies and they've already done damage at State level private/public partnerships. Look out for fights at the Federal level, now that Republicans control both Houses.

Comment: Re:Hardball negotiations not an effective strategy (Score 3, Insightful) 179

by TubeSteak (#48476781) Attached to: Behind Apple's Sapphire Screen Debacle

I wonder, though, how much it has cost Apple in sales and good will to be putting out a product without the top-of-the-line screen.

It's cost Apple nothing. They're selling every iPhone 6 they can produce.
Here's what could end Apple's winning streak

Another fear is that iPhone sales could hit a wall in 2015 because of its success rate, RBC's Daryanani said.

The iPhone is on track to capture almost 70 percent of the high-end smartphone market ($300 or more) in the next few months, at which point the company could possibly face some market saturation concerns, said Daryanani, who has an "outperform" rating on the stock with a $120 price target.

"If you are looking at having 70 percent market share in the next few months, you have to ask where is the new opportunity or where are the new revenue drivers for them?" he said. "So you have a hit point where you run into some saturation in the market. In the next six months this could become an issue."

Apple PR flacks are talking this risk down, but other than smart watches, Apple doesn't really have room to grow in the USA.

Comment: Re:Jack Tramiel (Score 3, Interesting) 179

by Bogtha (#48476397) Attached to: Behind Apple's Sapphire Screen Debacle

That doesn't sound like this situation at all.

Apple loaned GT more than half a billion dollars to build the plant. When GT failed to deliver, Apple stopped giving them money. When GT ran into financial difficulties, Apple offered to give them more money and defer repayments to keep them afloat.

What did you expect Apple to do? Just keep on giving them more money indefinitely without getting anything in return?

Comment: Re:LMAO (Score 3, Insightful) 179

by Artifakt (#48476193) Attached to: Behind Apple's Sapphire Screen Debacle

The trust usually comes because the small company assumes the big one wants to make money by completing an actual product line and selling it - normally the way just about everybody thinks Capitalism works. The small company says to itself, well, they've got to have X (like Sapphire coatings for screens) to make money - they can't actively want us to fail and take steps to make us fail or they take a hit too. So what we have to do is deliver the component at the price where they still make money, and as long as we do that, we're on the same side. So the small company focuses on distrusting the contract clauses it thinks are rational to distrust, in ways that it thinks might allow abuses a rational but dishonest actor might try..
      It's like buying a car and thinking you can't trust the salesman to tell you the truth - only you should have somehow known the salseman wasn't the real salesman but a psycho-killer who had just slain the real salesman and the big thing he wanted wasn't to make too much money selling that car, it was your home address so he could pop by at 2 AM with his skinning knife collection. Most people don't go through life checking with NASA in case the persons they are dealing with are secretly space ailens.
            From the summary, Apple seems to have had control over the decision to install back up power supplies, and to have chosen to save money on them instead. That sounds like an Apple executive brought in a good quarterly bottom line and then got out before the product couldn't be made as specced, and to heck with whether Apple still looks good five years down the road. The big company takes a small hit, the little one goes bankrupt. Apple is by this definition exceptionally untrustworthy, just because they won't take as much damage as their smaller subcontractors, or individuals, but if that's true, then Capitalism is a system where the bigger a company gets, the less it should be trusted, just for sheer size, and smaller businesses and customers should rationally start distrusting sheer bigness. How about that, free-market types and Randroids, do we need stronger Anti-Trust laws? The other solution seems to be extreme paranoia. If great market share or rapid growth mean everyone should regard that company as exceptionally untrustworthy, they why doesn't it make sense for consumers to always pick a smaller competitor for everything?

Comment: Re:The article is wrong. (Score 5, Informative) 114

by TubeSteak (#48470945) Attached to: Bitcoin Is Not Anonymous After All

The IP you can trace a transaction back to is only the IP of the person that told you about the transaction.

Try reading the paper.

The crucial idea is that each client can be uniquely identied by a set of nodes he connects to (entry nodes). We show that this set can be learned at the time of connection and then used to identify the origin of a transaction.

The crucial
idea of our attack is to identify each client by an octet of
outgoing connections it establishes. This octet of Bitcoin
peers (entry nodes) serves as a unique identier of a client
for the whole duration of a user session and will dierenti-
ate even those users who share the same NAT IP address.
We showed that most of these connections can be learned if
the attacker maintains connections to a majority of Bitcoin
servers. Then we show that the transaction propagation
rules imply that the entry nodes will be among the rst
that report the transaction to the attacker. As soon as the
attacker receives the transaction from just 2-3 entry nodes
he can with very high probability link the transaction to a
specic client. Moreover a sequence of successfully mapped
transactions can help the attacker to track dynamic changes
in the entry node set, to keep the client identier fresh. The
cost of the deanonymisation attack on the full Bitcoin net-
work is under 1500 EUR.

/all spelling mistakes are in the original text

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