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Comment: Re:Garbage (Score 1) 413

by The Eight-Bit Link (#49347415) Attached to: How 'Virtual Water' Can Help Ease California's Drought

The problem is not that the water is moving into another basin, it's exactly as you described. Gone. The water you put in evaporates, and is gone. That becomes water that can't recharge the tributaries. Water that can't refill the great lakes.

But all this is talk. You seem to be a person who prefers concrete evidence. So, allow me to redirect your attention to another nation who decided diverting water was no big deal, and the fruits of their labor. The country is the Soviet Union, and result is the Aral Sea. They too diverted water, albeit rivers, to the desert to grow crops. What was the result? Salinity in the Aral sea jumped tenfold while the water collapsed to a fifth of what it was before they began. Now, the sea itself has become a desert, with regular dust storms whipping through. The rivers themselves dried up, with no water to recharge them, crops began to fail with a lack of water and rising CO2 levels. This is why Michigan, seven other states, and Canada have all decided the water should not leave their basins. Of course, your farm is so important. So never mind, let the construction begin.

Comment: Re:Garbage (Score 1) 413

by The Eight-Bit Link (#49341921) Attached to: How 'Virtual Water' Can Help Ease California's Drought

There's a difference between food and mass quantities of water. I don't know how much they talked about it in your school, but they hammered it home here about the water cycle. I can drink the water here with no problem, because when it leaves my body in its various forms, it returns to the source from where it came. In my case, it comes from the Huron river, gets treated for chemicals and pathogens, is piped to my house, then consumed in various ways. After that, it either evaporates as sweat, where it rains over the area, or goes down a drain, where it is processed at another plant to clear any chemicals and other unwanted matter, then sent back into the Huron. This entire process all happens and remains, for the most part, within the Great Lakes drainage basin. It's perfectly okay for me to drink water and water my lawn with this water since it all returns to the basin.

Now, move that water out of the basins of the great lakes. Can it return? No. It's gone. The cycle is broken, and slowly bleeds off. It will appear as if it has no effect even for a long time, but it will have an effect eventually.

As for the EPA, they are bullies. Technically speaking, sections of my neighborhood should be classified as a swamp and protected as such because the drains in our area would be better served working as bridge pylons, and we hope that they don't catch wind. And for the environmental static, I live in Michigan's own section of California, Ann Arbor. Have to say though, it is fun watching people try to justify their purchase of solar panels when they're not effective for half the year.

Comment: Re:Garbage (Score 1) 413

by The Eight-Bit Link (#49341657) Attached to: How 'Virtual Water' Can Help Ease California's Drought

Let's expand our comments and do a quick find for the word 'Detroit'. Aside from this comment, there are only two other occurrences, and they are both your comments. Please stop using ad hominems and strawmen, especially since you complained to someone else about using the latter yourself. We get it. Detroit dug itself into a really crappy corner. We have to live with it on a regular basis.

Now, as for the pipeline. I'd be very surprised if any sane person would undergo construction of such a pipeline before consulting the necessary agencies. I'd be even more surprised if the project didn't get shut down before they got anywhere close for not checking in.

Those solutions that you listed are perfectly acceptable in my mind, as they are not the numbers game that is 'virtual water', and they don't shunt the strain to remote systems. If anything, they may provide opportunities for tech advances.

Comment: Re:Garbage (Score 1) 413

by The Eight-Bit Link (#49336859) Attached to: How 'Virtual Water' Can Help Ease California's Drought

You seem to be flip-flopping about whether you want the water or not. Set aside partnerships and all. The great lakes are seeing an unusual decline in their water level, which may not sound like a big deal, but when you consider they hold 20% of the world's fresh water, a decline in water level ends up being a lot of fresh water.

Now, on to partnerships. Its not just Michigan that would need to be a part of the deals. The lakes are not Michigan's alone, though we do indeed touch four of the five. They happen to be international waters, which means you also have to talk to the Canadians about the water, as well as all the other states who touch the lakes. The militant politics, as you put it, have been trying to keep the system free of invasive species, and they are failing despite their efforts. Zebra mussels have moved in, after hitching a ride on bilge water form cargo ships. Fish population is down due to the mussels filtering the water and making it more difficult for the fish to hide and spawn. Asian carp pose a massive threat to the lakes, and they are creeping ever closer, where they will wreck the system with no natural predators to maintain population. That is a massive system to get wrecked, which will have a cascading effect across the whole area. And you wonder why we are so 'militant'.

Now, nuclear. This is exactly what I am talking about. Local desalination is a solution I can get behind, as it doesn't remove water from remote systems, and hand the problem to others. Unfortunately, we still have so much fear, uncertainty, and doubt surrounding nuclear, thanks to the mismanagement of Chernobyl and Fukushima. There'd have to be a big push for nuclear, pointing out how safe the energy really is and how far the technology has come. I do however see an opportunity to regain its popularity by restarting in California. It's the place where people think of when they think 'new' technologies, and introducing new reactors like the GE Prism there could be a big step forward for clean energy.

Comment: Re:Garbage (Score 1) 413

by The Eight-Bit Link (#49333365) Attached to: How 'Virtual Water' Can Help Ease California's Drought
Buying vs. taking is basically the same thing, except it makes those who took too much in the first place look slightly better. Next, the dryness. Yes, we do feel it. Not to the extent of others, but people have to spend egregious sums of money to have their wells redrilled when they feel the effects of drawdown. Now, all this water does make its way back into the system. Y'know, basic water cycle and stuff. But what happens when you take it out of the system? It's... gone. And doesn't come back. Water that worked in a system for thousands of years suddenly moves away, drying it out. And to what? An out of control system that's burning up all the water it can get its hands on? Rather than having one fucked system, you'd be creating two by delaying the inevitable. Now, let's look at real solutions rather than simply saying "They have too much, give it to us". The solution isn't to shuffle numbers, or stick it to farmers, or to say "I want that, give me that." Stop the zoning, invest in infrastructure to maintain your water, or other processes that don't burn other systems. Encourage growth to other areas that can maintain that kind of population, not to a desert that has completely outgrown its bounds. As for the infrastructure and traffic, the power just went out again, I'm not sure my UPS will last for the rest of this post, and I have to go get my wheels realigned. It isn't a picnic here either.

Comment: Re:Garbage (Score 1) 413

by The Eight-Bit Link (#49324651) Attached to: How 'Virtual Water' Can Help Ease California's Drought
Flip side, people in other areas, e.g. Michigan, do not want a bunch of people living outside their means in cities to come in and take their nice things. However, I imagine said states with water wouldn't object to companies moving in to share in the resources where they won't leave the ecosystem.

Comment: Re:It'd have to be a deep Steam sale (Score 1) 227

You don't need an Xbox Live Gold subscription for single-player or local multiplayer.

Except I get global multipulti for free on PC, as well as local LAN and for some games split-screen.

It'd have to be a really deep Steam sale for four copies of a PC game supporting LAN play but not shared-screen to be cheaper than one used $30 copy of an Xbox 360 game supporting up to four Xbox controllers.

Sometimes they are, but with Steam, you end up with four copies. At the end of the day, everyone gets a copy and can play on their own or with others.

If you prefer a laptop as your working PC, the difference between a working laptop and a gaming laptop can pile up even faster.

That depends if you intend to game on your laptop as well, which defeats the point of having a gaming rig.

Comment: Don't Go All-in at Once (Score 1) 452

by The Eight-Bit Link (#46716601) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?
Just as the title says. Start by first replacing the software on the computers with their open-source alternatives. Swap Outlook for Thunderbird, Internet Exploder/Chrome with Firefox/Chromium, Office with Libre. Then, have them use it for several weeks. Once people get comfortable, shift over to Linux. Otherwise, you're going to get lots of opposition due to the sharp change. I like Xubuntu, but in all honesty Mint or Elementary are probably your best bet for the least amount of shock.

Comment: Don't end POTS, the alternative sucks (Score 1) 449

by The Eight-Bit Link (#46619893) Attached to: WSJ: Prepare To Hang Up the Phone — Forever
I for one do not welcome our POTS replacing overlords. We had AT&T replace our old POTS connection with a box, for some reason (it's costing AT&T more money!). This box straight up sucks poop through a straw. I hate it. It's prone to crashing, and has to be powered. In our neighborhood, we have Detroit Terribly Engineered for power, and they can't maintain their connections worth anything. What made it so much better over the years was being able to get a corded phone off the shelf in the kitchen, plug it in, and get a dial tone which we then used to scream at DTE. It was a guaranteed bet that it was up, ready to react to your call at the drop of a hat. Does this box replace it? Not even close. It has several problems: 1. The signal strength is weak. Although it's an antiquated technology, I've still had to fire up a fax machine occasionally. The signal coming out of that dumb box is so weak we have to unplug the entire rest of the house in order to convince it that there is a phone connection. 2. It all hinges on the box. As I mentioned before, this box sucks. It's prone to crashing, which can't be resolved unless it gets power-cycled. I don't want to be in a situation where I can't call 911 because some box had a brain-fart. 3. It also needs power to run. This sucks too, because I had to go out and buy a UPS, since AT&T didn't give me one. This will last up to eight hours before finally giving in. With week-long power outages becoming more frequent, I don't want my access to services to hinge on how long the UPS can keep the box going. Sure, it's harder to maintain a web of copper. But the reliability is what made the landline the landline, so unless they have some magical solution which can give at least the exact same service as before, I want out.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."