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Comment Re:If you insist on keeping physical hardware (Score 1) 446

"Because anyone who's ever put a large pot full of water on the stove (for example for canning) can tell you that it will NOT boil off in half an hour."

One detail that's forgotten: BTU In short, a fireman can tell you that a hose, with 150ish gallons of water per minute coming from it, flowed into a fully fire-involved're going to see very little runoff for the first minute. The amount of water converted to steam instantly is way, way more than your pot of water can hold.

Most air in a burning house *at the floor* is below the boiling point of water. You can easily have a thermal gradient of several hundred degrees in a room. 150 degrees on the floor. 500 degrees at chest level, 900+ degrees at the ceiling.

To the original poster: offsite storage. Everything else is a game of mental masturbation.

Comment Re:This is silly (Score 1) 30

It's a good idea. It's been tried, though:

One of the problems with this idea is that it gives rise to the "superman" complex. Namely, that the wearer would charge into a zero visibility situation and loose situational awareness. When the unit failed/went dead/malfunctioned/leaked/whatever, you were thoroughly screwed, as it was like being plunged into a world of black ink.

I say "when" for unit failure because it really is a matter of when. Electronics exposed to the brutal conditions of firefighting will work....for a while.

Comment Re:Why uTorrent? (Score 2) 275

I don't know why ISDN has such a bad rap.

It's stable as hell, offers a guaranteed bit rate (albeit not that fast by modern standards), and is available just about anywhere in the USA. Mind you, what's a full T1: One form of it is 24(?) ISDN lines bonded together. I was on a 128k ISDN when I lived with the 'folks, as there was no DSL/Cable/Whatever. I torrented the hell out of that connection. Sure, it took some serious time to pull down a .iso of a movie. But it worked. It *always* worked.

Comment Re:War of government against people? (Score 1) 875

"You're a complete fucking idiot if you think your well regulated militia (which you ignore anyway) armed with assault weapons is any match for the government's military-spec hardware."

The Russians thought the same thing about Simo Hayha:

Never underestimate the power of one man defending what he believes in.

Comment Re:Dunno (Score 1) 747

" Letting them contract the disease and then tell them why they can't be cured of it, and may die, might have a much larger impact. Sucks that it has to put the rest of us at risk first though."


I've presented on vaccination (well, it was the Pharma industry in general, but vaccines are certainly part of that) when I had anti-vaccination folks in the group. Logic is out. Reason is out. I've had this one tossed at me: "You don't really think they took all of the mercury out of the vaccines, do you? They're just lying about it still being there". Or this gem: "Vaccination never worked. The diseases died out due to better hygiene and medicine". Scientific fact is in trouble when faced with "truth" like that.

So, sadly, it's going to take the undoing of the most significant public health victory in history to re-do what we knew 50 years ago. Legislation, insurance losses, fines...all good ideas. They don't do a damn thing in the face of "Well, I have a friend......"

Comment News? (Score 3, Informative) 159

As someone said, it's not exactly new. LAL testing has been boilerplate standard for better than 20 years now.

From a lab tech's point of view, LAL testing is brilliant. Mix 10mL of some sample that's supposedly "clean" into a premade LAL test kit. Snap the lid shut. Shake. Incubate for a day. If it changes color, it's positive for endotoxins. If it stays clear, it's negative. Simple as that. And being that the sensitivity is picograms/mL, it's great. Knowing the backstory is neat, too, from the tech's view. Which I am.

Comment The salesman has it (Score 1) 202

"If you walk into a Best Buy or any other retail store and head over to the TV section, what immediately hits you is the brightness of most of the LCD sets and the comparatively subdued brightness coming from any (remaining) plasma sets still on the floor. In the unscientific forced side-by-side comparison environment of a brightly lit store, the LCD panels just show better."

This is why.

I just (as in: 3 weeks ago) brought home a Panasonic TCP55VT60 plasma. I knew which model I was purcasing long before I walked into the store, but for giggles (and yes, this could be classified as me being a prick, but it was interesting), I walked into the Best Buy, was accosted by a salesman, and said simply that I was interested in a 55" TV that had terrific color rendition. He showed me every TV they had in 55" EXCEPT the plasma. When I asked about the TV we skipped over, he said (I roughly quote) "Nah, that's a Plasma. They are heavy, run hot, and the screens burn in after a few years, and they're just not as bright or as good." When asked why they have one, the answer: "Well, some people still like them, but everyone else has moved on", implying I'd be an idiot for even looking at it.

I realize that was just one salesman at one store, but it's that exact mindset that killed it. It's not price competitive, they are hot, and they do show like crap in the store. The 65VT60 they had in the store was set in Normal mode, and I noticed that more than a few of the LCD's were set to either Vivid or Showroom modes, really blasting the color out. Nevermind that the VT50's and 60's (and the ZT's, which are even a little better) are beating the very best of the Pioneer Kuro sets, long regarded as *the* gold standard in TV's, and getting them to display to 90% of their potential is a single setting away, no professional calibration or screwing around needed.

It's a unfortunate time for the few of us who give a shit about colour accuracy and black levels. I hope the OLED's are able to cover the gap pretty soon.

Oh, and I told Best Buy to fuck itself and bought the TV from a local chain for less, and with a salesman who wasn't a complete dipshit. And, as a completely unsolicited review, if you're considering one....yes, they are that good. In a brightly lit room, they're ok. In a dark room, they're jaw-dropping good.

Comment Re:XP rules! (Score 2) 426

"Or you could use the abortion which is XP64, which has shit driver support and compatibility issues."

XP64 wasn't quite as bad as an abortion. You wanna talk about abortive messes? Say hello to Windows ME. Nah, XP x64 was.....misunderstood.

It really was Server 2003 rebadged without the server bits. So driver support was easy....pull the drivers for Server 2003, and everything just worked. Sure, it would bitch that the driver wasn't signed right, but let it complain. I had half a dozen systems in my care that were XPx64....had driver trouble with exactly one of them, and even that took about an hour of screwing around before it worked.

It was a great OS, in a lot of ways. All the squishy goodness we get from an x64 system, the old familiar feeling of XP, and none of the horseshit that was Vista.

Comment Not completely news (Score 5, Informative) 314

"Notably, the fact that E-ZPasses will be used as a tracking device outside of toll payment, is not disclosed anywhere that I could see in the terms and conditions. "

In NJ, buried in the fine print, is a line that reads something like "other information may be obtained by the the Consortium at their discretion", which easily translates to: "We're going to use this to monitor traffic flow, and by doing that, we're monitoring you".

If you're driving on the Parkway (a New Jersey toll highway), there are plenty of places where you can see EZPass pickups buried in the road surface that are nowhere near the toll sites.

You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements. -- Norman Douglas