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Comment: I don't know where you live (I assume the U.S.). (Score 1) 44

by Sique (#48184989) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: LTE Hotspot As Sole Cellular Connection?
But here around (Austria in Europe), we have providers that actually offer such services: An hotspot device hooked on LTE and a quite generous data plan. The device itself is not supposed to be mobile (needs a wall socket for power), but all the other components are there: see this or that.

Comment: I had one for a while. (Score 1) 236

It was a military surplus rifle that had been "sporterized" (mainly by cutting the stock down to a more civilian profile).

The Enfield has an interesting history: Back in the period leading up to WWII the British mmilitary had a good idea the war was coming. The army was armed mainly wiith the Lee-Enfield bolt action rifles and they knew they needed a good slect fire automatic/semiautomatic rifle to replace them, least they be outgunned. But they debated over WHICH design to pick for so long that, when the Blitzkreig brought the Germans into a faceoff with the British, the autos weren't yet deployed.

It turns out that the Lee-Enfield action has a number of features that make it VERY much faster to operate than other bolt-action military weapons of the time. The bolt has a very small throw angle. It has rear, not front, locking lugs (out where there's lots of clearance and little stress and opportunity for dirt to gum them up). The action is almost glassy-smooth. The bolt ball is located where it can be opened by the thumb, while slapping it closed with the palm, doesn't require accurate positioning of the hand, and guides the hand back to the correct position to fire, letting the user's attention remain on the target scene and sight picture. It cocks on closing (rather than on opening as Mausers do), dedicating essentially all the energy on opening to case extraction, rather than splitting it with spring-cocking and keeping the opening and closing work closer to equal.

The result is that, with a modicum of practice, a rifleman with a Lee-Enfield can achieve higher firing rates than the operator of a machine gun. (Machine gun rates are deliberately limited to make them easier to control and aim, avoid wasting ammunition, and reduce overheating, burnout, and jamming.) It can't keep it up as LONG, because the Lee Enfield has a small, fixed, magazine. But it can fire a couple fast, controlled, bursts - just what is needed in many situations - using a powerful rifle cartridge.

By comparison the Germans were armed with things like the recently developed "assault rifle" - a short-barreled select-fire rifle (for easy handling in cramped hallways or popping up out of a tank hatch), firing a low-powered cartridge. (Militaries had figured out that a gun should be designed to WOUND, not kill: Kill a soldier and you take one out of action - wound him and you use up him, his buddy, a medic, and a lot of infrastructure and supplies taking care of him and shipping him back home.)

The Blitzkreig stormed across much of Europe and encountered only limited resistance, typically armed with the likes of the slower bolt-action Mausers. Then they came up against the British. They knew the Brits were armed with bolt-actions and believed their own propaganda about their lack of resolve. So they expected to sweep them up as they had their previous encounters. They came charging out, and were blasted back, repeatedly, by withering fire. There are records of communications from the front where the officers were claiming all the Brits were armed with machine guns. (I hear one of these records is a recording - with the officer in question being killed in mid-message by a round from one of those Lee-Enfields.)

Comment: Re:Regulation or Legislation? (Score 1) 44

by techno-vampire (#48183015) Attached to: Brain Patterns Give Clues To Why Some People Just Keep Gambling
Anyway, since when was it necessary to study brain patterns to establish if someone is a compulsive gambler?

If you have to ask that question, you've not understood what the study was about. It's not about trying to find out if people are compulsive gamblers, it's about why they are.

Comment: Re:Units hurt the brain (Score 1) 58

by zippthorne (#48182409) Attached to: NASA Cancels "Sunjammer" Solar Sail Demonstration Mission

Pounds are units of both mass and force, which is a problem with the "standard" system of weights and measurements. Usually there is a distinction made if it is ambiguous and matters (lb_f or lb_m). It's my understanding that this is because the unit was named before the concepts of mass and weight were observed to be different, but that may be apocryphal.

The tragedy is that Europeans are apparently determined to screw up a perfectly good unit system by adding back the ambiguity in the creation of the kilograms-force unit (kg_f).

Comment: Re:May I suggest RTFA? (Score 5, Insightful) 236

by arth1 (#48181645) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

It's also bullshit. For a weapon this age, there are no patents, and parts can and are supplied by a multitude of vendors. The number of vendors that specialize on supplying parts for firearms that are no longer produced is quite high.
What I see is an unfounded belief that buying long-term non-OEM support will be more expensive than buying support for a new weapon. In the real world, it's the other way around - new weapons are far more expensive to support. Never mind all the other costs of switching.

Mark my words: Five years from now, there are going to be Canadian news articles about how the original budget was blown several times over.

My guess: Someone has been promised kickbacks and incentives, and the choice of a replacement has already been made. It will now be followed by a circus to "determine" that it's the best choice. And it will end up costing the tax payers a fortune. I.e. a smaller version of the F-35 scam. Follow the money trail.

Comment: Re:Solar insolation is 150,000 TW, we need 22 TW (Score 1) 348

by khallow (#48181281) Attached to: White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"
Good point. And there wouldn't be significant additional transmission costs since the concept requires lots of long distance transmission capacity anyway. I think there would still be some need for storage in your scheme, but existing hydroelectric probably would be more than adequate.

Reference the NULL within NULL, it is the gateway to all wizardry.