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Comment: Re:Build refineries in ND (Score 1) 183

by Zeinfeld (#46802907) Attached to: Obama Delays Decision On Keystone Pipeline Yet Again

There is plenty of capacity in St Louis and room to build more.

The cost of the pipeline is much more than the cost of a refinery. The 'surplus capacity' claim is total nonsense. The tar sludge isn't anything like the crude that the existing refineries process. There would have to be major upgrades in any case. And building a two thousand mile pipeline costs a heck of a lot more than any refinery would.

Comment: Re:after november... (Score 1) 183

by Zeinfeld (#46802895) Attached to: Obama Delays Decision On Keystone Pipeline Yet Again

The decision was made years ago: No pipeline.

Not announcing the decision stops the Koch bros and the Keystone corp from starting their appeal. Its like an administrative filibuster.

There is already a pipeline that runs to St Louis, the only reason to build the second pipeline is to sell the sludge to China. Having that option available will allow the price to be jacked up when the sludge is sold to the US market as it will fetch the international price which is a lot higher than the refiners currently pay in St Louis.

There is absolutely no reason for the US to OK a pipeline that will increase the cost of supply to the US market. The only reason the GOP backs the pipeline is that the Koch bros stand to make $100 billion from the increase in the value of their shale tar sands.

It is a purely tactical decision because nobody outside the GOP wants the pipeline built. Everyone who wants the pipeline will vote GOP in November whatever the decision. Obama could make a short term political gain by announcing that there will be no pipeline but that would allow the appeals to start. Better for the country to wait until there have been some GOP deaths on the SCOTUS.

Comment: Re:Is this really a problem? (Score 1) 176

by fnj (#46802799) Attached to: Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

I figured you would say that. The trap you fell into is that economy of scale is about manufacturing, not consumption. If you had to mine one tonne of iron and process it into steel ingot, it would cost you a lot, but the process is globally run on such a vast scale that it is very cheap. But the idea that if you buy a crapload of steel they will give you a special price is silly. Nothing you do is going to affect the global scale of the industry.

Comment: Re:Random thoughts... (Score 1) 176

by fnj (#46800579) Attached to: Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

There is a problem or two with hydrogen fuel cells, which is why everybody who played with the idea before long shelved it, or put it on the back burner "for later", sort of like fusion power.
1) They are phenomenally expensive.
2) They require exacting thermal management.
3) You can't just "turn them on" with a click like an electric motor, or even with a handful of seconds cranking like an internal combustion engine.
4) No practical way to store the fuel.
5) Kids, they don't last forever any more than internal combustion engines or batteries do.

Comment: Re:Possibly Worse Than That (Score 1) 214

by fnj (#46783907) Attached to: Click Like? You May Have Given Up the Right To Sue

Wrong, GM will use it as a way to bash people into submission. When someone talks about suing and gets noisy enough, GM will send them a very powerful letter explaining to them in the most confusing way possible that they're already agreed to not sue them and that suing them would break this contract which would result in a counter suite from GM.

Go ahead. Try that shit on me. I'm begging you.

United States

FBI Drone Deployment Timeline 33

Posted by samzenpus
from the when-and-where dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The FBI insists that it uses drone technology to conduct surveillance in 'very limited circumstances.' What those particular circumstances are remain a mystery, particularly since the Bureau refuses to identify instances where agents deployed unmanned aerial vehicles, even as far back as 2006. In a letter to Senator Ron Paul last July, the FBI indicated that it had used drones a total of ten times since late 2006—eight criminal cases and two national security cases—and had authorized drone deployments in three additional cases, but did not actually fly them. The sole specific case where the FBI is willing to confirm using a drone was in February 2013, as surveillance support for a child kidnapping case in Alabama. New documents obtained by MuckRock as part of the Drone Census flesh out the timeline of FBI drone deployments in detail that was previously unavailable. While heavily redacted—censors deemed even basic facts that were already public about the Alabama case to be too sensitive for release, apparently—these flight orders, after action reviews and mission reports contain new details of FBI drone flights."

Comment: Re:Is it dead? (Score 3, Insightful) 110

by gstoddart (#46770943) Attached to: Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

same endurance as ARM-based tablets with similar battery capacities while running a full-fat desktop OS rather than a phone OS with delusions of competency.

I don't know about you, but the last thing I want on a tablet is a "full-fat desktop OS".

It's not a freaking desktop. I don't use it like a desktop. I don't need the bloat and overhead of a desktop or a desktop OS.

If you want a full-fat desktop OS, get a Windows tablet or a laptop. Because until I can get a tablet with 1TB of storage, I'm not wasting several hundred megs of it on a piece of software which has been steadily growing bigger for the last decade.

The average app I download on Android is well under 30M. And, for me, that's a selling point.

And, really Android is essentially Linux. Are you suggesting Linux is lacking competency? Because Linux has been running efficiently on smaller systems for 20 years now.

Comment: Re:Is it dead? (Score 0, Troll) 110

by gstoddart (#46770813) Attached to: Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

They may be power-hungry (although not that much anymore), but from my experience in doing ports, the best ARM SoCs barely have the performance of 12-year-old x86 processors.

Meh, one of the things I like about tablets is that it finally forced people to scale back the bloat and make leaner software.

A full featured piece of software in 25MB? Count me in. Your 4GB bloated install, not so much.

And, really, my now 1.5 year old Android tablet is a dual core CPU with enough juice for what I need it to do.

The last thing I want is Intel ushering in the new era of going back to bloated software which demands absurd resources. Microsoft is already doing that.

Seriously, design something new and interesting. Don't just keep shoe-horning the x86 architecture into everything because you don't have anything else.

Comment: Re:Is it dead? (Score 2, Interesting) 110

by gstoddart (#46770623) Attached to: Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

No need to run x86. So why push x86 into the portable space?

Kinda what I was thinking. x86 is now ancient, and unless things have changed a lot in the last few years, tend to be pretty power hungry.

So, I guess if I want to run Windows on it, or legacy software, or have no real battery life this could be a good thing. And, really, who expects to run legacy software on a tablet?

Or, Intel could actually try to make a lightweight/low power chip meant specifically for tablets and not try to further saddle us with an architecture which is already long in the tooth. But, apparently they've grown beyond the 'innovating' phase of a company, and are well and truly into the 'flogging a dead horse' phase.

If you're going after Chinese white-box tablets, you're not aiming very high.

Me, if I saw a tablet which said "Intel Inside", the tablet would still be inside the store when I left. Because, right or wrong, my perception is it's going to suck power, and it's probably going to be geared to people who want to install Windows applications.

No thanks.

Behind every great computer sits a skinny little geek.