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IRS Misses XP Deadline, Pays Microsoft Millions For Patches 322

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-tax-dollars-at-work dept.
An anonymous reader writes "When Microsoft terminated official support for Windows XP on April 8th, many organizations had taken the six years of warnings to heart and migrated to another operating system. But not the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Only 52,000 of their 110,000 Windows-powered computers have been upgraded to Windows 7. They'll now be forced to pay Microsoft for Custom Support. How much? Using Microsoft's standard rate of $200 per PC, it'll be $11.6 million for one year. That leaves $18.4 million of their $30 million budget to finish the upgrades themselves, which works out to $317 per computer."

Comment: Re:Where are the farmers? (Score 1) 987

by PapayaSF (#46627319) Attached to: UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming

Plenty of food crops are grown in greenhouses. According to this, "The 2002 Census of Agriculture estimated a total $15 billion of greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture crops sold in 2002, including [...] $1.2 billion or eight percent food crops such as tomatoes grown in greenhouses."

"Some 1800 hectares of vegetables are grown in greenhouses" in Israel.

"In Europe and Israel, essentially all of these crops [peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and melons] are produced in greenhouses." Source.

Comment: Re:Two things that make me a "luke-warmist" (Score 1) 987

by PapayaSF (#46625891) Attached to: UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming

Have you bothered to look? [...] there are a number of models which do very well, both in terms of hindcasting and forecasting for the specific area they were created to model. Quite a few of them are overly conservative, meaning that they under-projected the deviations due to climate change.

Not according to the last chart in the article I linked to. The vast majority have vastly overestimated future warming.

I don't know of any models which assume only positive feedbacks

I never said "only."

The science behind both positive and negative feedbacks in the climate system is still a bit nascent, at least in terms of determining where the "tipping points" are, but the physics behind the feedback processes is pretty well-established at this point.

So, then which is the accurate model that "predicts" past climate so well that I should trust its predictive ability?

In the meantime, I am going to go on the premise that it is largely correct and change my lifestyle to address it, and urge others to follow suit.

After all, if climate science turns out to be completely wrong, I won't have any remorse for creating a better world as a result.

Clearly, you are not into the whole cost/benefit analysis thing, or you'd wonder if spending money to "create a better world" was worth it if it meant spending hundreds or thousands of dollars so that the average temperature 50 years was now was .0000000000001 degree F. cooler. And I say that as someone who has recycled for nearly 40 years.

Comment: Two things that make me a "luke-warmist" (Score 0) 987

by PapayaSF (#46624819) Attached to: UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming

I've always been more pro-science than many, but I'm still not buying the alarming projections for several reasons.

  1. 1. AFAIK, a grand total of zero of the IPCC-favored climate models work in retrospect. I.e., one should be able to plug in data up to (say) 1990 and get an accurate "forecast" of the climate from 1990 to today. If they can't do that, why should I believe they will be accurate about the climate 50 years from now?
  2. 2. This article sums up my other objection. The TL;DR version: the IPCC-favored models are based on more than a simple (and rather inarguable) "more CO2 = hotter" greenhouse effect. They all assume various kinds of positive feedback to amplify that effect. Yet, the historical record seems to show the Earth's climate is a fairly stable system, not dominated by strong positive feedback effects.

Comment: Re:Where are the farmers? (Score 2) 987

by PapayaSF (#46624583) Attached to: UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming

Our food crops are all massively bio-engineered. [...] They are all optimized for colder temperatures. We will may end up with greater biomass, but with less food.

So you're saying that food crops, when grown in conditions a few degrees warmer and with more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, will be less productive? I think operators of greenhouses would disagree with you.


NSA Hacked Huawei, Stole Source Code 287

Posted by timothy
from the whose-line-is-it-anyway dept.
Charliemopps (1157495) writes "New documents from Snowden indicate that the NSA hacked into and stole documents, including source code, from the Chinese networking firm Huawei. Ironically, this is the same firm that the U.S. government has argued in the past was a threat due to China's possible use of the same sort of attacks."

New Jersey Auto Dealers Don't Want to Face Tesla 342

Posted by timothy
from the what-we-need-is-more-regulation dept.
cartechboy writes "It feels like this story is becoming repetitive: X state is trying to ban Tesla stores, or the ability for an automaker to sell directly to a consumer. Either way, it's all aimed at Tesla. Now it's New Jersey's turn as a hearing today could end up banning Tesla stores in the state. Naturally Tesla's displeased with this and is crying foul. A rule change that is expected to be approved today would require all new-car dealers to provide a franchise agreement in order to receive a license from the state. Obviously Tesla (the manufacturer) can't provide a franchise agreement to itself (the distributor). The proposed rule would also require dealers to maintain a 1,000 square foot facility, the ability to show two cars, and service customer cars on site. Tesla doesn't meet that last requirement at any of its galleries, and most of the Tesla stores are located in shopping malls which mean they are smaller than 1,000 square feet. Tesla's arguing the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission is overstepping its bounds. Will Tesla be able to defeat this new rule in New Jersey as it has overcome issues in many other states?" (Also covered by the Wall Street Journal.)

Comment: Re:Already Lost (Score 5, Interesting) 353

Superb aircraft.

Oh, indeed. And the story of its origin is wonderful. In 1940 the British wanted North American Aviation to produce Curtiss P-40 Warhawks under license, but NAA thought they could make a better aircraft faster. And the first P-51 rolled out 102 days after the contract was signed, and first flew 47 days after that. It took a few years of upgrades and revsions to turn it into the best piston-engined fighter of the war, but compare that initial design and development cycle to the years and even decades it takes to get anything built these days.

Interesting tech note: the P-51's distinctive radiator/oil cooler actually added speed to the plane: cool air came in the front, and the hot air exiting the back added some jet-like thrust.

Comment: Re:Honestly, it seems justified. (Score 2) 387

by PapayaSF (#46385269) Attached to: Girl's Facebook Post Costs Her Dad $80,000

You don't seem to quite understand how the world works.

I don't think you do. A civil settlement is compromise, often in many parts. Neither side gets everything they want. A confidentiality agreement is one of those potential parts. If you remove that option, the parties will simply compromise in other ways. Most likely, it means a company would offer a smaller settlement, and be more willing to go to trial.

Also, you seem to assume that anyone suing a company is in the right, and every company in the wrong. Not so.

Comment: Re:Apple and Microsoft are so much alike (Score 2) 179

by PapayaSF (#46372577) Attached to: Apple's Messages Offers Free Texting With a Side of iPhone Lock-In

When I got my iMac it converted my photos from my camera to some iPhoto library from which it was quite difficult to take it out in simple jpg files.

File -> Export works for me. If you want to access a bunch at a time, they're in [your user directory]/Pictures/iPhoto Library.

And for those who haven't followed link about the "obscure workaround":

To do this, simply tap and hold on the undelivered message and a “Send as Text Message” option should appear in the context menu. This works even when “Send as SMS” is disabled in your settings, allowing you to decide when you’d rather send a text message for expediency or simply leave it to wait until the recipient’s device is back online.

I'm not saying that Apple never does lock-in, but both those seem like pretty weak examples.


Tesla Used A Third of All Electric-Car Batteries Last Year 236

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the elon-musk-hungers-for-power dept.
cartechboy writes "We've heard about Tesla building this new gigafactory to produce battery packs for its electric cars. Heck, the company's current bottleneck is its ability to get battery packs for its electric cars. In fact, last year Tesla used a bit more than one-third of the auto industry's electric-car batteries, and that was with only selling 22,477 cars last year. Tesla is expanding its model lineup as quickly as possible with the introduction of the Model X crossover next year and a compact sports sedan in 2017. With the rapid expansion of its vehicle line, Tesla is going to need a crazy amount of battery packs, and quickly. Thus, the Silicon Valley upstart is building the gigafactory to engineer and produce battery packs in much larger quantities. If Tesla can remove the battery production bottle neck it's currently facing, the only question left will be market acceptance of a mainstream electric car."

Comment: A huge social and ethical conundrum (Score 1) 160

by PapayaSF (#46280699) Attached to: Does Crime Leave a Genetic Trace?

On the one hand, nobody wants the poor to suffer, especially poor children. And nobody wants the government to decide who has the right to have kids. On the other hand, you get more of what you subsidize, and our society pays poor people to have children. How much crime, poverty, and general misery is caused by people who should never have children, and yet have children? (Often, lots of children?) People worry about "income inequality," but here's a not-insignificant source of at least part of it.

It's tempting to condition welfare on "no more kids" (sterilization), but that's never going to fly, and feels far too totalitarian. And yet, here we are trapped in a system of positive (the bad kind) feedback: Bad parents are paid to have kids, those kids (epigenetically or otherwise) transmit the same dysfunctional traits to their kids, and so society pays for more crime and poverty and misery. I don't have an answer, but I don't think enough people see the problem. They'll just blame their political opponents or capitalism or whatever.

Put your Nose to the Grindstone! -- Amalgamated Plastic Surgeons and Toolmakers, Ltd.