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Comment: Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (Score 1) 808

by McFly777 (#48887593) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

I had a 1992 Integra GS-R when I graduated and got my first engineering job. I had to get rid of it when I had my second child as the child seats wouldn't fit.
**sniff** I miss that car. . .

The only problem with it was when both the wife was in the car and the air-conditioning was on, at which point you had two choices accelerating from a stop: either you didn't put quite enough gas in and it was dog slow, or you put just a little more at which point you lit the tires. There really was no happy medium with it. The third option was to momentarily hit the A/C button off, accelerate reasonably but still energetically, and then push it back on once you were done shifting.

Comment: Re:It is not about science, people... (Score 1) 666

by McFly777 (#48875973) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

(hard to vote for something that contributes to global warming after you've acknowledged that global warming is real.) This amendment is the Democrats fucking with the Republicans, pure and simple.

While I will agree with the statement that this is essentially just political maneuvering, I will disagree with the assertion that creating a pipeline will contribute to global warming. (beyond the actions of the construction equipment) In fact, one could argue that a pipeline reduces the amount of CO2 emitted by the trucks/boats needed to carry the oil otherwise. (both extremely small compared to the amount of oil/carbon flowing IN the pipe) What the pipeline might change is where the oil being refined is coming from. I, for one, would rather give Canada the money than some ISIS supporting nation in the mid-east, or some dictator in South America. (just two examples) My assumption being that the demand for oil is relatively constant, and that one is merely changing the supplier.

Comment: Re: More proof (Score 1) 666

by McFly777 (#48875693) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Or perhaps they are simply scoring points on your demonic ignorance? :D

I for one am happy to remain personally ignorant of the doings of demons. Demons are not something which I wish to experience.

(other than perhaps the daemons which make my Linux box run quite nicely... what a difference the 'a' makes!)

Comment: Re: Scientific question (Score 1) 666

by McFly777 (#48875501) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

An anonymous coward wrote:

While I don't necessarily agree with your apparent conclusions, I think this exposes a good point. Climate change is pretty easy to predict knowing that we are pumping CO2 into the air at an alarming rate and the science tells us that is bad.

Unfortunately, because we have data from so little of he Earth's history, it is difficult to see. As a result there are a lot of people making up "facts" and falsifying studies to convince everyone, so of course you are going to have those people unwilling to believe after being lied to repeatedly.

These exaggerations and outright lies are working against the cause to educate people on climate change. People need to stop trying to push the "OMG we're all going to die the day after tomorrow if we don't do something now" mentality and have a serious discussion about why we need to drastically reduce our CO2 production.

I really wish I had moderator points right now, but as I don't, the best I can do is quote them and say that this is one of the most reasonable statements I have seen summarizing the situation.

As for MY opinion, I really don't know... I am not convinced by the "evidence" of warming, and the way it has been pushed (and who by) makes me automatically suspicious. On the other hand, there is some sense that we should at least be cautious and responsible in our actions; we should be good stewards of the earth for future generations.

As an engineer, efficiency makes sense. On the other hand, many of the touted "efficient" vehicles, etc. don't really deliver when you consider the larger impact beyond the vehicle. (ie the Prius) Note I am using vehicle efficiency as an example only. The same can be said about many other items/fields, like photovoltaics, etc.

Comment: Being Alive Shown to be Deadly. (Score 5, Funny) 348

by McFly777 (#48856309) Attached to: Regular Exercise Not Enough To Make Up For Sitting All Day

Being Alive Shown to be Deadly.

After several years of exhaustive research, scientists have found that the greatest single contributor to death is being alive. "In 100% of the cases, the subjects death was preceded by a period of being alive," said one researcher. Even after eliminating other potential contributors, such as accidental death, suicide, etc. and adjusting for the age of the subject, the statistics remain strong. "If you are alive today, then you may die tomorrow."

With the rise of Obamacare, these findings could become even more vital, due to the potential effect that such details could have on the total cost of the program. "I think the insurance industry has known this for years, and has been keeping it away from public knowledge," said one official under condition of anonymity. One possibility would be to establish initiatives to curb the spread of being alive. "By reducing the number of people who are alive, we could significantly decrease the number of deaths, regardless of cause. This could amount to trillions of dollars in government savings, but I am not sure if the general public would be willing to give up on such a well established habit," he continued.

Comment: Butter (Score 1) 840

Well, churning your own butter is easy. Just accidentally forget about the cream you were beating in your mixer. Done that before.

I'll do you one better. Although I have started with heavy whipping cream to make butter (on purpose), I have also gotten it accidently. I inadvertently purchased some non-homogenized organic milk (it was on sale). The cream had separated to the top of the jug, and the small bit of shaking on the drive from the store to home caused it to solidify into butter. Surprise!

I poured out the milk into a pitcher, cut the jug open to remove the solidified cream, and kneaded a bit of salt into it to make a very usable half-cup of butter.

Comment: Re:He's wrong (Score 1) 840

Funny thing is that when I read the original electrical tape splice comment, I assumed that he had soldered the wires before taping; probably because that is how I would have done it.

If you want a scary wiring story, and that about the previous generation who is supposedly so good at fixing things, I will tell you about the wiring in my in-laws' house. The hall light (3-way switched) stopped working. My father-in-law had installed the 3-ways about 50 years ago shortly after the house was built, because the contractor didn't have a switch at both ends of the hall. When I opened the switch box, I found that he had done the whole job by only twisting the wires together. (In case you haven't done the job, 3 way switches require you to join wire-to-wire at various points; not everything goes to a switch or other hardware with terminals.) At least he put some tape over the wires (which had long since lost it tackiness). Some corrosion between the loosely connected wires had interrupted the circuit.

As to using wire nuts in general, they work great in static situations like house-wiring (inside the boxes). Where they don't work as well is in dynamic situations like an appliance cord. Even in the static situation the nuts should be taped over as well, although you can usually get away without. (I'm not sure what code requires now.*) More important is to be sure you have the correct size nut for the number and type of wires being connected. Besides "biting" into the wire, the nut should apply enough compression to the set of wires to insure good contact.

*Disclaimer: Dammit Jim! I'm an engineer, not a licensed house electrician. So, I am speaking from the standpoint of what works, not what is legal WRT electrical code.

Comment: Select few... (Score 1) 320

by McFly777 (#48764905) Attached to: HOA Orders TARDIS Removed From In Front of Parrish Home

Well in the US most neighborhoods don't have a HOA anyways. They are a select few, and they setup mostly to keep the values of their homes, and insure a comfortable living environment. . . .

I disagree with the assertion (made by several posters, not just the above post) that HOAs are somehow unusual. It varies by locale, but in general any subdivision* created in the last 30 years has a HOA. The HOA is how the builder ensures that he can sell all the lots over the 10 year period he is building there, because the early owners aren't allowed to do anything that the builder thinks would detract from sales. Unfortunately, the HOA continues to exist after the builder is done and gone.

*Note that by "subdivision" I am referring to the case where a builder buys somebody's farm, and sells lots with homes built by that builder. Not the case where the farm owner subdivides his land and sells lots to private parties who then find their own builder to construct the home.

Yes, I live in a subdivision with an HOA. Although I've not had any problems with the HOA, I dislike it on principal. In particular the fact that every rule ends with "or other rules as may be given by the HOA board." As a result the current idiots on the board can essentially just make up any new rules that they want, without a general vote. And this covers everything from parking to what flowers you plant on your property. They could decide one day that they don't like roses, and demand that all roses be dug-up immediately.

Yes, I read the covenant when I purchased, but since the area which I live was all built up within the last 20 years, almost all property is HOA controlled in one way or another (except for buying a farm). It was a choice of buying a house with an HOA, buying one of the historic farm houses without an HOA -- typically with mold problems, buying farm land and privately building a house, or living in a rental. I didn't realize how much the existence of the HOA would irk me, or I probably would have gone with one of the moldy historic farm houses.

I understand the "you might affect my property value" arguments, but before I had to move for work, I lived for 15 years in a subdivision with no HOA (different state, older development). While I didn't always personally agree with my neighbors choices, none of them were atrocious. One neighbor put up a fence, but he asked me first. I didn't really want a fence there, but gave him my blessing anyway, since it was not an unreasonable request. Contrast to here where my neighbor put up a fence, after asking the HOA, but I had no input even though I am the one affected by it. I still would have said "go ahead," but I would have liked to have been consulted. Its just more "neighborly" somehow.

Comment: nature does it too (Score 1) 245

by McFly777 (#48753673) Attached to: Bill Gates Endorses Water From Human Waste

Growing up in SE lower Michigan, most of the municipal water was provided by the Detroit metro water supply, which for years was considered one of the best (quality) water systems in the country. (perhaps not so anymore, based on some recent news articles) The water is collected from the middle of Lake Huron, north of Port Huron. There are thousands of cottages along the lakeshore, with many of them having septic systems which empty into the lake. However, sunlight is good at sterilizing water (eventually), and there is a LOT of water in the Great Lakes (~20% of the world's fresh water), so what goes into the pipe is pretty good, even before the filtering and chlorination process.

  I still wouldn't drink the lake water unprocessed, but I never had any concern about swimming/skiing in it. Which inevitably means I swallowed some, as I am not a very good water skier.

Comment: Re:For safe integration with existing air traffic (Score 1) 129

When the 3 lb drone gets sucked into the helicopters turbine engine, and that helicopter crashes, who pays for what?

I get your point, but it is probably an extremely low risk for a helicopter. The drone would get knocked down by the rotor-wash long before it got to the intake. A more likely example would be a fixed wing aircraft flying into a drone, but that doesn't fit the hypothetical story as well.

I don't recall what the numbers are, but there is an airspace floor, which pilots of "real" aircraft are not supposed to fly below (except for takeoff and landing, of course). Keep the drones there.

Comment: Re:For safe integration with existing air traffic (Score 1) 129

Of course, once you mandate the smoke canister, parachute, etc. you have mandated that the drone will be quite large, just to carry all the mandated gear. Getting hit by a 2 oz. quadcopter, is going to hurt a lot less than getting hit by the smoke canister carrying one, even if it has a parachute.

Comment: Re:Can I buy an editor? (Score 1) 129

The original "editor" had it correct, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

And what is wrong with the word "myriad?" It means "a countless or extremely great number." I suppose one could say that it is hyperbole, but one can lean on the "extremely great number" part of the definition, or if desired, add another word to make it "seemingly myriad."

(Ok, "several" may be more readable/accurate/etc., but it is nice to read words above a 5th grade level every once in a while.)

Comment: Re:The real reason? (Score 1) 187

by McFly777 (#48501583) Attached to: Music Publishers Sue Cox Communications Over Piracy

Ok. I'll take a stab, although I admit I am probably not the best one here to do so.

If Cox et al are common carriers, then the advantage legally is that they are not responsible for their customers bad behavior, as they have no control over it. Much like the phone company can't stop you from transacting an illegal activity over the phone. However if they are common carriers, they also can't discriminate between your traffic and Netflix (for example), to give Netflix higher (or lower) bandwidth. This is a disadvantage to cable co ISPs as Netflix, etc. is taking away from their HBO sales, On Demand, etc. This restriction is (to some*) known as Net Neutrality.

* I say "to some" because recently I have been hearing "net neutrality" used in a somewhat different way recently. A way in which I can't quite get my head around. This was from specific radio commentators, who I usually happen to agree with. Since they were speaking about specific legislation, and since several of them seemed to be operating from the same (strange) definition, I am not sure if the term has recently been redefined in the proposed bill, or if they just all got the concept wrong in the same way coincidentally. I would not put it past congress-critters to have redefined the term such that it means almost the exact opposite of what it used to mean, but I would not put it past the commentators to have misunderstood either.

Comment: Re:*sighs* (Score 2) 333

This can happen regardless of color. As I understand it, the kid had removed the orange tips from the "gun" which is supposed to help the police know that it is a toy.* Orange tip or not, I can remember specifically telling my son that he was NOT to point his cap-gun at ANYONE, and he was not allowed to play with it in the car as we returned from Disneyworld, where we had purchased it.

* Re: the orange tips, I have always wondered how often (or why don't) criminals paint the tip of a real gun orange, just to gain that moment of hesitation on the part of the police.

Comment: Re:Gender discrimination is cool now? (Score 1) 333

If the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) had been passed in the 1980s, then this little government side-show would be black & white unconstitutional....

An interesting choice of words, especially considering the 14th amendment and '60s civil rights laws, etc. which did pass; yet we still have Ferguson today.

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