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Comment: EOL or Maintenance Agreement (Score 1) 165 165

Requiring car manufacturers to "own" all of the possible software defects for the life of a car means that manufacturers will have to put a limited life on some of these systems. Otherwise each car they make will have a potentially infinite cost. "You want anti-lock brakes after 5 years? Here's the maintenance fee... and you can expect that to rise by 10% per year."

Comment: Re:Never underestimate (Score 1) 173 173

Ah, I remember fondly the old days of MUD code in C, written to support 15 flavors of UNIX, MacOS, and 3 flavors of DOS. The #ifdef's on the socket code could go on for miles.

Yes, and today we have POSIX and we code for that. And we use Boost ASIO to hide the Windows/POSIX differences from the application developer.

Comment: Re:At the cost of the tax payer (Score 3, Insightful) 226 226

No. This is crony capitalism. Free trade is great for everyone, with government's role being to make sure it stays "free". Nobody outside of the two major political parties will tell you that crony capitalism is good for anybody except the cronies.

You mix "free trade" and "capitalism" in your sentences as if they were interchangeable and equivalent. They are not. The U.S. had capitalism without free international trade for a long time -- and still does. Free trade only helps the traders. It just means that the taxes that were levied on duties now have to be collected elsewhere. It's a nice phrase for "shifting the tax burden" -- nothing else. Free trade does not magically lower the cost of government.

Comment: Re:At the cost of the tax payer (Score 4, Insightful) 226 226

No. This is crony capitalism. Free trade is great for everyone, with government's role being to make sure it stays "free". Nobody outside of the two major political parties will tell you that crony capitalism is good for anybody except the cronies.

This is capitalism in practice. Show me an example of capitalism that exists without cronyism in the real world -- outside of the economists' idealized computer models. "Pure capitalism" is the economists' version of the "perfectly spherical cow".

Comment: Whatever happened to... (Score 1) 308 308

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I was taught that back in civics class... a long time ago, in a country far, far away.

Comment: Re:This whole make your own gun is like the homebr (Score 1) 391 391

If we legalize the making of alcohol, tobacco and firearms, then what are we going to do with all the money we spend on the Bureau of Alchol, Tobacco and Firearms??? Add even more letters to their TLA to justify its existence?

This organization needs to be ended and its responsibilities folded into the Department of Commerce and the FBI.

+ - New Wind Turbine Has No Blades

HughPickens.com writes: The Guardian reports that Vortex Bladeless has developed a new bladeless wind turbine that promises to be more efficient, less visually intrusive, and safer for birdlife than conventional turbines. Using the principle of natural frequency and vorticity, the turbine oscillates in swirling air caused by the wind bypassing the mast, and then builds exponentially as it reaches the structure’s natural resonance. It’s a powerful effect that famously caused the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940, footage of which inspired David Yáñez to try to build a structure to harness this energy rather than prevent it. The turbine “floats” on magnets, which as well as significantly amplifying the oscillation, also eliminates any friction and the need for expensive lubricating oils or mechanical parts. “Wind turbines now are too noisy for people’s backyard,” says David Suriol. “We want to bring wind power generation to people’s houses like solar power.”

On the minus side the oscillating turbine design will sweep a smaller area and have a lower conversion efficiency. “The best wind turbine will collect around 50% of energy from the wind,” says Suriol. “We are close to 40% with bladeless turbines in our wind tunnel laboratory.” To offset this disadvantage, "you can put four, five or six 4kW turbines in the space of one conventional turbine, which need 5 meter diameter space around them,” he says. In fact, wind tunnel tests have shown they perform even better placed closer together as they benefit from the vortices each of them creates.

+ - First Ultraviolet Quantum Dots Shine In An LED->

ckwu writes: Researchers in South Korea have made the first quantum dots that emit ultraviolet light and used them to make a flexible, light-emitting diode. Until now, no one had succeeded in making quantum dots that emit wavelengths shorter than about 400 nm, which marks the high end of the UV spectrum. To get quantum dots that emit UV, the researchers figured out how make them with light-emitting cores smaller than 3 nm in diameter. They did it by coating a light-emitting cadmium zinc selenide nanoparticle with a zinc sulfide shell, which caused the core to shrink to 2.5 nm. The quantum dots give off true UV light, at 377 nm. An LED made with the quantum dots could illuminate the anticounterfeiting marks on a paper bill. If their lifetimes can be improved, these potentially low-cost UV LEDs could find uses in counterfeit currency detection, water sterilization, and industrial applications.
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