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+ - Gravitational anomalies beneath mountains point to isostasy of Earth's crust

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang writes: Imagine you wanted to know what your acceleration was anywhere on Earth; imagine that simply saying “9.81 m/s^2" wasn’t good enough. What would you need to account for? Sure, there are the obvious things: the Earth’s rotation and its various altitudes and different points. Surely, the farther away you are from Earth’s center, the less your acceleration’s going to be. But what might come as a surprise is that if you went up to the peak of the highest mountains, not only would the acceleration due to gravity be its lowest, but there’d also be less mass beneath your feet than at any other location.

+ - Rand Paul wraps up NSA "filibuster" after 10 hours->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp writes: After standing on the Senate floor for more than 10 hours in protest of the National Security Agency's sweeping surveillance programs, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, wrapped up his so-called "filibuster" just after Midnight on Thursday morning.

NSA illegal spying and data collection of innocent Americans must end. Thank you all for standing with me. #StandwithRand

— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 21, 2015
The senator and 2016 presidential candidate staged the talkathon ahead of the Senate's consideration of legislation to extend the NSA's authority to collect phone records in bulk. The controversial surveillance program — which has been deemed illegal by one federal court — is supposedly authorized by Section 215 of the Patriot Act. That section of the law is set to expire on June 1, giving Congress little time to renew it.

Paul started his "filibuster" against an extension of the Patriot Act on Wednesday afternoon, even though the Senate was actually in the middle of debate time on an entirely different issue — trade authority. Paul's efforts likely slowed down Senate business — lawmakers are trying to finish a few important bills before taking off for a weeklong recess — but the Senate is still expected to take up legislation to deal with the expiring NSA program.

Link to Original Source

Comment: If the headline is posed as a question, the answer (Score 4, Insightful) 359

by rwa2 (#49736885) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Solve a Unique Networking Issue?

... is no.

The thing you propose sounds fine. But do they really want to upgrade all of the pumps at once? Sounds like a great way to brick an entire facility.

The only "improvement" I could think of would be to set up some kind of cheap router that can do MAC address filtering, that way you can set up the router to allow only one of each pump to show up as that one silly IP address at a time on a switched network. But then you'll still be able to only do one at a time.

The "right" way to do this is just throw money at the problem and attach a real computer to each pump, with a separate interface to talk to the static IP. Maybe something as small as http://www.fit-pc.com/web/prod... or just some generic mini-ITX board in a telecom chassis or whatever.

Comment: Curious... (Score 4, Interesting) 1060

by Loki_1929 (#49731983) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

What happens to those who were making $15/hr or $16/hr? They're likely frequenting places full of minimum wage workers and their costs will now rise - inevitably - to at least some degree because of this. Further, they've all now been reduced to minimum wage (or close thereto) by the stroke of a pen.

Beyond that, how many jobs will now cost enough that automating them starts to make good financial sense? How many people with little to no skills - especially those without a good education who are most in need of steady legal employment - will find that their lack of marketable skills make them not worth hiring at this higher price point?

This is the kind of feel-good thing that bring down the middle class, raises some in the lower class (those lucky enough to ride the wave), and leaves behind large swaths of the most vulnerable people. What's going to happen is that people with little to no marketable skills in surrounding areas will get hired at the state or Federal minimum wage, gain some valuable experience, become more valuable employees, and then move or commute into LA to take jobs from poor, undereducated residents. This is an anti-poor measure masquerading as a hand-up. It will drive the middle class further down the chain (by negatively impacting their purchasing power), reduce the number of available jobs for everyone (and especially for residents), and drive many of the poor right into the ground.

Mark my words, within 5 years of this taking effect, all or nearly all indicators of poverty will worsen in LA.

Comment: Three skills (not exactly tech skills) (Score 3, Informative) 298

by timholman (#49728229) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Skills Do HS Students Need To Know Now?

Three skills that will be invaluable to any HS student later in life:

(1) Good writing, i.e. being able to write well enough to communicate ideas effectively and convincingly (requires a lot of recreational reading, by the way, which doesn't seem particularly popular among the younger generation nowadays).

(2) Being able to stand up in front of an audience and give a good presentation.

(3) Knowing how to touch type.

Invaluable at age 18, and equally invaluable at age 68, no matter what direction your career leads you in.

Comment: Re:And OP is retarded. (Score 1) 334

by rwa2 (#49725815) Attached to: Stock Market Valuation Exceeds Its Components' Actual Value

An IPO is where you get stock in exchange for investing in actual production. ...

I was able to buy it because someone broke the rules.

Thanks for that story! Yeah, it sounds like that was pretty lucrative, and that's why they have those kinds of rules to keep the plebs out. Good that you were able to get in.

I did manage to pick up a bit of Boeing stock while I worked there in the early phase of my career. Yes, I broke a lot of risk guidelines by investing substantially in one stock that also happened to be my employer. It's certainly time to "make good" and sell it off now, since it easily overshadows all of my other conventional managed/index funds, even though I had originally allocated a smaller fraction to it than anything else. But I'd also just as soon hold on to it for many rationalizations:
* BCA used to go in fairly predictable 7-year cycles, but since they merged with their defense wing, that smoothed things out a bit. Also helps that the defense side tends to have revenue during wartime and the commercial side tends to have revenue during peacetime.
* I still have plenty of smart friends on the inside so I'll have some warning when they jump ship. For now it sounds like they've been happy with the trimming down of the top-heavy management hierarchy from the time I was there.
* They're quite good at spinning the media to keep their stock prices elevated.
* As the largest US exporter, they're probably too big to fail(tm), so I'm not too worried about them going under suddenly without some kind of US taxpayer intervention :-P

At the same time, I wouldn't buy any more stock at current prices :P And since it was from an early phase of my career, it's not even really all that much money to spend time worrying about.

Education? I have a degree in one field, and work in another. I don't need education.

I'd love to invest in education (well, I sorta did by marrying a teacher). But there are lots of indications that we're in an educational loan bubble right now which has both driven degree prices way up so high that the students you invest in will likely never be able to pay you back.

So your argument is left to pedantry, the kind where you want exclusive ownership of the now genericized "engineer" tag. well, fire up the coal engine on a choo choo train or shut the hell up.

Eh, this is one of the few pedantic things that I feel ought to worry us. "Financial Engineering" is a disparaging term that drags down all engineers in ABET-accredited fields. A lot of us work in the public trust, and are held accountable for our fuck-ups, even choo-choo or building HVAC engineers. Financial managers who know how to use "the calculus" to do risk management and manipulate the market to jump off the roulette wheel while it's high and leave the mess to everyone else are just plain sociopaths.

Comment: Re: And OP is retarded. (Score 1) 334

by rwa2 (#49724043) Attached to: Stock Market Valuation Exceeds Its Components' Actual Value

<shrug> isn't that exactly what the rich people with all of the money do? :-D

"real" rich people, I mean... I realize that a lot of people who "live richly" are actually in massive debt. As they say... owe the bank a million dollars, and they own you. Owe the bank a billion dollars, and you own the bank.

Comment: Financial "Engineering" (Score 1) 334

by rwa2 (#49724029) Attached to: Stock Market Valuation Exceeds Its Components' Actual Value

ABET does not consider "Financial Engineering" to be an engineering field... it's just a bunch of quants setting up a house of cards so they can stretch the value of whatever assets they have available to be worth 15 - 30x more on paper once all of the banks finished loaning everything to each other. Packaging all of the portfolios of sub-prime loans to dilute the risks, and then setting up the rules and insurance so their initial investors get the guaranteed payout and the rest of the public investors that they've convinced to buy into their portfolio gets stuck holding onto the defaulted mortgages. And whatever it is that HFET people do to take a bit off the top of "normal" trades everyone else is trying to conduct, or by feeding wacky headlines to various news feeds to make some of these HFET algorithms flash crash parts of the market so they can buy in low. It stinks, and I resent having not many other viable options for what to do with my 401k savings, but what else can we do with them?

An iPhone is objectively more valuable and useful than the equivalent pile of raw materials. And if one iPhone is 100x as valuable as the raw materials, then 10 iPhones are 1000x as valuable as their raw materials.

From what I've heard of the stock market, it's not really that simple... Sure an iPhone is worth more than the sum of its parts, but Apple is special and has managed to market their brand so people will pay more than what their products are worth. That makes it sound overvalued to me. And Apple is also good at squeezing their suppliers while cornering the market with 1-2 year exclusivity agreements, so if they sell 10x more iPhones, that doesn't necessarily mean a 10x increase in the revenue of all of their suppliers. Not to mention that if the market analysts project that they could grow their sales by 10x, but they run into some supply chain snags and "only" grow their sales by 9x, they've failed the market and all of their stock prices tumble.

Buy stock in a company that makes stuff. It's not a good investment because "stuff" isn't all that valuable anymore to people in the era of 3D printers and rapid manufacturing, but hey, if it makes you happy...

Heh, yeah, investing in companies that make 3D printers and do rapid manufacturing would make me happy :-D . On one hand, it seems to be a good idea to turn stock market investments into useful "stuff" just before it crashes. On the other hand, even useful stuff that no one can afford to buy from you because their savings and investments were wiped out by a stock market crash isn't going to help you make ends meet :-/

Comment: Re:The UK, trying to beat China, NK at their own g (Score 1) 118

by Loki_1929 (#49723809) Attached to: GCHQ Officials Given Immunity From Hacking Charges

Did you think rights just floated down from the sky, mana from heaven?

No, they're inherent to the fact that we're living, sentient beings with dignity and value.

All rights are given.

No, rights cannot be "given" because something given can be taken away. Privileges are given and privileges can be taken away. Rights are inherent (see above) and can only be infringed inasmuch as we allow them to be.

That doesn't mean that, as you claim, there is no such thing as the word "rights" and every time anybody says "rights" they really meant "privileges."

Strawman; no such claim has been made. Precisely the opposite. On the other hand, sometimes people say "rights" when they mean "privileges" and vice versa.

It does mean that words have context, and that the meanings don't always align with extremist principles.

There's nothing extremist about living, sentient, valuable individuals having rights. Whether you believe they're inherent to the existence of that individual or endowed upon them by their creator is irrelevant. In either case, the individual is naturally provided with their rights as a fundamental component of their existence. Once this is understood and accepted, it becomes obvious why no law or act of violence can rob you of your rights; rather, merely infringe upon their free exercise. As limited creatures, we lack the requisite ability to alter the fundamental nature of mankind.

Put another way: you can prevent me from exercising my right to self-determination or my right to self-defense, but you cannot eliminate those rights. You can - at worst - kill me.

Comment: Re:Get into manufacturing (Score 1) 334

by rwa2 (#49722993) Attached to: Stock Market Valuation Exceeds Its Components' Actual Value

Sounds cool!

Maybe "insults" was poor word choice. It's just kinda strange to see people with strong math skills get sucked into doing stuff for Wall Street when the system is clearly rigged not in your favor. Rather than something, you know, useful to everyone. And then the rest of us are just stuck with 401k savings plans (if we're even that lucky) that we can't really do anything else with, other than play the market and hope someone doesn't screw it all up for us (even though that's exactly what everyone else on the market is there to do).

Yeah, I did have a good "accounting for engineers" class for my MS degree, it was easily more interesting than the other systems classes. Was taught by a brilliant Arthur Anderson guy who was laid off after the Enron scandal, ironically enough. Didn't cover much of the stock market, of course.

Anyways, just hold onto your butts for the next crash, I guess.

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340

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