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Comment Re:what? (Score 1) 218

You're forgetting the 3rd option:

Horribly insecure code that's too complex (or obfuscated or just plain badly written and possibly poorly commented) for most people to bother looking at, much less fixing & for those that DO bother, they submit a fix/patch which goes ignored or rejected by the maintainer. This, of course, followed by no one bothering to fork the project b/c no one has time for that. This is where most open-source users whine and complain about features, design flaws, and bugs while devs and fanboys tell them "If you don't like it, fork it and do it YOUR way." as if that were a trivial thing just anyone can do in their spare time... b/c we all have such amazing coding skills and free time to take on such an enormous effort by ourselves.

Comment Re:High vs Low (Score 1) 336

LENR is most useful for nuclear waste cleanup and NASA missions as it primarily generates heat. The best we can get out is something like 3x the energy put in -- which is great, but considering it's heat and not electricity, there's loss in capturing that energy and putting it to use. (unless you actually only want heat) In space, it's perfect -- especially for say... Mars exploration. Still, NASA can use good old radio-isotopes instead just fine. Why bother with a LENR setup when plutonium will work without any fancy LENR reactor?

LENR seems to depend on neutron capture and electron capture (to create neutrons from protons) followed by some neutron decay back into protons which effectively transmutes some metals into other heavier metals. This isn't fully understood, but it's not surprising either. Our atmosphere converts Nitrogen into Carbon 14 from cosmic neutron bombardment all the time. I can only guess that there is some chemistry which coupled with pressure and electricity allows the proper alignment of electrical fields between some elements and deuterium to induce a form of fusion.

Some alkali and alkaline metals, given enough energy, may more readily transmute than others. Most of the experiments involve deuterium permeating an alkaline metal at high pressure under an electric current.

The reason it's done at low temp and has little usable output is b/c it doesn't involve directly fusing protons or nuclei with protons -- it's all neutron capture, electron capture, or nuclear decay / radioactivity. There's also very little fission.

LENR is fascinating, but I have serious doubts it could ever be used as a large scale power generator. It's not exactly easy to create or maintain compared to a nuclear fission reactor, and it'd have to be enormous to match the output. We'd be better off using solar panels and solar heat collectors for the effort.

Comment Re: What a load of BS (Score 1) 572

I don't know about this. Clearly, she directed an aide to strip the classified header off of something, but that was AFTER the aide tried to send it multiple times through other approved channels (secure fax). We don't know whether it was actually done or even if the header was appropriate to begin with. If anything, this shows that the correct way to send it was attempted several times before resorting to this measure -- so, it wasn't that stripping the header and sending it unsecurely was the status quo -- at least at that point from the aide's perspective.

I don't condone that in any way, but it alone doesn't sound like a pattern of intentional malfeasance. I do agree that the personal control of the server was intended to dodge FOIA requests and perhaps severely hinder and possibly circumvent the Federal Records Act and National Archives regulations. It's still to be determined if she knowingly sent or received classified info via the personal e-mail server. As for whether or not it was more secure on her system or the government's system... well.. the government's system WAS hacked -- so, arguably, classified info might have been more secure on her personal server than the government's. Regardless, if it was KNOWINGLY stored on her personal system, it would be a violation.

Keep in mind that often things that are not classified get stamped as classified to go through certain channels b/c those channels are ONLY for classified documents. (like say... a secure fax or internal e-mail system) It's possible the info was not of a classified nature to begin with. It's anecdotal, but interviews from govt officials privy to such things have stated their superiors would ask for info via a certain system that is only for classified info, so they gave that info a classified heading just to send it the way their superior preferred, not because it was actually classified. The govt has multiple systems for relaying different levels of info and apparently many are lazy and just want everything sent via the highest security classified system.... or they like that it has more restricted access and makes them feel superior, etc.

Comment Re:Not doomed (Score 1) 159

The problem isn't even that -- the root problem is the entire reason for the market segmentation is to extract as much money as possible from individuals around the globe who have different disposable incomes in terms of US Dollars. The content creators/distributors would be happy to release everything globally simultaneously if it meant that they'd still get the same amount of money or more from the deal. Thing is, they won't. People in Russia, China, and other various countries in Africa an Asia aren't going to pay the same for a DVD in US Dollars as someone in the USA, parts of the EU, or Australia -- or rather some would, but not the same percentage of the population as in those countries. As long as the content is released globally simultaneously with no regional restrictions, you're essentially saying that there will only be one price -- because anyone can shop around to buy it at the lowest price if prices are set differently (except for perhaps shipping).

Price affects the number of people who buy your product or service. Generally, if you raise it, you lose customers, drop it, you gain... but maybe not enough to make up for the loss in volume. They are happy to segment the world so that those with larger disposable incomes pay more for the exact same product which they'll also sell at a lower price in another area to extract the most money from that area as well and so on.

Price discrimination is an ancient technique for extracting money from customers. Just look at your local theater - perhaps it has regular price for adults, cheaper tickets for children, and also cheaper tickets for students, veterans, and/or elderly. It's the same service, but with different pricing in an attempt to get the most money from different market segments. Global distribution without location restrictions would dissolve price discrimination -- except perhaps unless they were to release only the languages and subtitles for a region and require higher payments for wealthier regions. Say, you want the English version w/ English audio and subtitles... well, that's $50 for a Blu Ray of that. If you want the Portuguese version, that's cheaper, but there will be no English track or dubbing included so the USA will still pay $50 for theirs while Brazil likely pays less for the Portuguese version, etc.

Comment Web Split (Score 3, Interesting) 61

Wouldn't the proper way of describing this event be something more like "African portion of Internet splits away briefly?" My understanding is that the continent's infrastructure was separated from the rest of the global web, but that doesn't necessarily equal NO internet access. It's entirely possible many in South Africa and other countries barely noticed the disruption.

If North America's internet connections to other continents went down, we'd likely say that international services "went down" as many of us would still have access to everything we regularly access every day. I'd still be able to access Gmail, Netflix, my online services from most businesses, etc. We wouldn't be writing about how North America's internet "went down."

Comment Re:Israel won't like it (Score 4, Informative) 229

Israel has no official religion, and its demographics include a 16% Muslim population and a 20% secular (atheist) Jewish population. It's hardly a theocracy with over a third of voters not identifying as Jewish (religion-wise) -- America is predominantly Christian and fits the bill a bit better than Israel.

However, I do agree that it was a huge time bomb to plant the Jews in the heart of the middle eastern holy lands surrounded by Muslim nations. But, that was intentional. Christians NEED Israel to exist so that the temple can be rebuilt as a harbinger for the apocalypse. Christians have a vested interest in keeping Israel around because the New Testament's end-times prophesies mention its existence. That's why the Republicans (largely evangelicals) strongly support Israel. It's not about the money or the oil in the region (we use Saudi Arabia, Egypt,and others for that). It's all about keeping the holy land in Jewish hands as a self-fulfilling prophesy of the Bible.

Comment Re:Funny (Score 1) 172

That's really odd considering that NZ is the same region code as Australia, Mexico, and all of South America for DVD and Blu Ray. A lot of new release Blu Rays are selling for about $15 US in Mexico (about 50% less than the same title in Region 1 USA/Canada). My guess is that shipping is a big factor... but, then again, they probably make those Blu Ray disks in Asia, so shipping to Oceania shouldn't be an issue.

Maybe NZ is just wealthy enough to pay more?!?!? Try buying from Mexico or Brazil on E-bay instead since you're the same region. :)

Comment Re: What if you're on US "soil" abroad? (Score 1) 172

That's not a good definition of ironic. Being incorrect while thinking you were correct just because that's how you learned it isn't irony --unless there's more to the story that you aren't telling us. Expecting to be right when you're in fact wrong alone isn't ironic. Otherwise we'd be drowning in irony every time we make a mistake.

If you had used "intensive" instead of the proper "intents an purposes" (which is a common mistake btw, no worries) while purporting to be an English professor who hates when people can't express themselves properly, THAT would have been irony. (because a snobby supposed know-it-all being wrong about something they should be an expert at is ironic)

Here's a better definition: "happening in the opposite way to what is expected, and typically causing wry amusement because of this."

A marriage counselor filing for divorce would be an example of one type of irony.

A lot of sarcasm is another form of irony -- b/c of the opposite meaning of the words said. There's also situational irony, dramatic irony, and others.

Comment Re:Regions and business strategy (Score 1) 249

Business 101 -- try to extract the most money possible from each customer. This works best when you segregate customers. IE -- get the rich guy to pay more if you can.

Give you an example:

A lot of college books sold in the USA are hardback books that cost upwards of $75. (sometimes as high as $125). You can get a used one for cheaper... OR you can find a paperback "international version" online that's being used in India. Same book, just paperback vs hardback and a slightly different title. Sometimes pictures in the book are black 'n white instead of full color, but that's rare. So, you can get this paperback international version through say... ebay for only $35 including shipping.... from some random bookstore in India which is likely making a killing in profits even w/ that low price.

So, why the 2 prices and 2 different versions?!?!? Because in the USA, college is expensive and paying that much for a book is relatively small amt compared to the cost of room, board, and tuition. In India, the book publisher would not sell any books if they sold only hardbacks at the full price, so they make cheaper paperbacks that are a bit smaller, lighter, cheaper to make... but have the same content. They still sell them for a profit, but not as high a profit as the hardback versions in the USA.

Same for lots of things. Different regions are willing to pay different prices even for the same quality, and if you can restrict selling between regions, you can extract exactly however much each is willing to pay so long as you make a profit.

Say I make something for $5, and I can sell it to Americans for $50, Australians for $45, Europeans for $40, Asians for $20, and a few other countries for only $7. I still profit from each region, and you might think I'm making more from the Americans than the Asians... but you'd probably be wrong. Sure, each American gives me $45 profit and each Asian only $15, but there are a billion more Asians than Americans. You have to factor in price and volume. You may ask why even bother to sell to some countries for only $7 -- well... b/c if the choice is don't sell to them at all or make a small profit, why not make a small profit? As long as the countries I sell it to for $7 can't re-sell it to Americans or others that regularly pay more, then they aren't cutting into my profits.

Comment Re:Some members (Score 1) 249

Because it's not the content provider's faults necessarily. Writers, actors, directors, musicians all have contracts which usually spell out at length how the content provider can distribute the work. If something says it's explicitly for US distribution only with an option to discuss pricing for other regions... well... they're going to restrict its distribution to the US only -- at least unless it's worth their time to call up everyone involved in the production that has a stake in it & negotiate pricing with them for the new region or distribution channel.

Say you have the TV show "Friends." Well, the actors got paid so much per episode plus they get so much EACH time the episode is played in syndication (usually starts 5 to 6 years after the first viewing) on US television. Plus, they'll get paid a percentage of the DVDs domestic and global... and so much in syndication in EU and other countries (different amts per country). Then, you have streaming rights per country... and if those rights weren't negotiated up-front, then you have to call everyone in the show and have them agree to a new contract for that new method.

I swear, it's that complicated. Hulu once had 7 seasons of a show online, but was missing one episode -- because a song was in that episode and they couldn't get the rights to the song for streaming that episode, so they left the whole episode out. Good luck w/ the multinational stuff as just streaming rights alone are complicated.

Comment Re:Prediction (Score 5, Insightful) 249

IP rights are extremely complicated in the entertainment industry -- especially for older works where all parties didn't decide up-front what residuals would be from "streaming media" which didn't exist at the time of filming. Writers guilds, actor's guilds, and each and every person listed in the credits can get involved with how much they should get paid for what region, how, and when the film or tv show is aired. A lot of actors, writers, and directors want a cut of residuals as well as a paycheck up front. I have friends that are extras in lots of tv shows and movies and occasionally get paid bit parts. They get nothing when someone airs something they were in as an extra, but the bit parts -- if they're in the credits, they get a check every single time some network plays a movie they were in. They're called "residuals" and you better believe they're a complicated mess when 10 years down the line the production company wants to change the rules on distribution to include Netflix an/or a new country. How many phone calls are made to find each and every person in the credits for a work -- including "local jerk #3" to renegotiate his contract 10 years later? Have you seen how many names scroll by at the end of movies?!?!? Sure, for new works it's easier b/c they try to include future tech in the contracts, but it's crazy to expect a lot of entertainment producers to do the work to get the rights to distribute their own works through a different distribution channel than their contract allows.

I'm astonished Netflix even bothered going with so many countries for programming when just the USA and Canada was a nightmare to work out. They've probably been in talks for years to get approvals for other countries. The VPN/proxy ban was probably part of that discussion.

Netfix is not to blame, but the content providers themselves may not be to blame either -- they're bound by a lot of contracts, too. Follow the money if you want to know where this comes from. Lots of actors get X up front, a percent of domestic, and a percent of global through DVD, Bluray, theaters, syndication on TV networks, and many also have Netflix/Hulu/streaming percentages as well. The US Tax code is probably less complicated.

Comment Re:Aluminum Penny (Score 1) 702

dang it... 0.2 cents, not 2 cents... so, it would be more cost effective to go either pure zinc, pure aluminum, or a zinc/aluminum alloy rather than a copper/zinc alloy for sure. Still, not sure what the total cost to make the new ones would be -- just that the raw materials would be 1/5 a cent to make a cent. Factor in property, plant, equipment, power and other utils, wages, quality control, etc. Probably more.

Comment Re:Aluminum Penny (Score 1) 702

Aluminum is worth about 70 cents per pound right now (sometimes goes as high as 85 cents per pound). Zinc is also worth about 71 cents per pound as of today, though it has gone as high as $1.35/lb recently.

Pennies are mostly zinc, so I don't know how switching them to aluminum helps anything if their values are basically the same. Even if you make the penny pure aluminum like the Japanese yen, you'd use 1 gram of aluminum to make 1 cent. That aluminum coin would be worth almost 2 cents as scrap metal. It's still a loss.

Comment Re:Yes, it's time. (Score 1) 702

With the high cost of most metals, I wonder what the profit is on creating counterfeit coins. Seems like even the higher coin values would be a pain to make quality forgeries... making it not worth the time which could be spent on more lucrative ventures.

Comment Re:Penny (Score 1) 702

Change is hard. (pun intended.) But seriously, yeah... inertia of the old system is difficult to overcome. You can see in other countries how conversion to metric, for example, was done in phases and still isn't complete yet. Some global industries haven't switched at all. I was surprised at a lot of construction materials that have yet to go metric.

The US at least has learned its lesson with NASA and requires metric for a lot of science, medicine, and engineering. I wouldn't place any bets on swapping miles for kilometers in the near future, though a few places have tried to at least introduce signs that post both.

It doesn't help that the USA is a relatively large country with a huge, complex economy whose citizens (in general) rarely travel to other countries where they might regularly encounter use of the metric system in everyday life. (shocked at how many people have never even left their home state or seen an ocean) It's a chicken 'n egg problem with industries combined with a "why should we switch anyway?" attitude.

I'm just glad we have metric measurements on foods, drinks, and medicines. Can you imagine if doctors had to figure out how to mix up a solution for an IV without metric units? Hmm.. 1/4 teaspoon in a half pint. How many cups per gallon is that again?

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