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Comment Re:It's really too soon for this post. (Score 4, Informative) 118

I also thought that going back to barge landings seemed like an unnecessary complication, as I was under the impression that the reason the first two attempts were at sea was because that proof-of-concept was needed to get permits for a ground landing. Today during the webcast, though, they clarified that for polar orbits such as this, they need to launch from Vandenburg in California, and there isn't a convenient piece of ground to land on.

Comment Re:Hydrogen next? (Score 4, Informative) 175

In hard drives, the fill gas is used to lift the heads, not for cooling. The idea is that the thin film between the head and platter forms at a shorter distance in helium, so everything can be made smaller and closer together. As another poster pointed out, at room temperature/pressure, helium is monatomic while hydrogen forms H2 molecules, which are larger than the helium atoms.

Comment Bad Intent (Score 1) 123

I think it's somewhat telling that the example was WhatsApp. Even if we stretch the idea of "new technology" to include a chat service, it's just that: a chat service. It's a product that literally cannot affect anyone unless they consent by instructing their device to accept these messages. What regulation could possibly be necessary?

Comment Re:"Advanced battery technology" is a flashlight b (Score 4, Informative) 209

The idea on many small battery cells is that the standard size makes them available from multiple suppliers, reducing risk, and the gaps between the cells due to the packing fraction provide a conduit for cooling.

Telsa does have a lifecycle plan to refurbish packs from cars for use in the home; at least in the press photos, the home packs are a different form factor, so I wonder if they break up the packs to cull outright broken cells and then reconstitute the good ones into wall units. Since the breakdown is a function of electrode area, having the area in smaller pieces might help with reuse.

Comment Re:What about other life goals? (Score 1) 130

I used the unpaid example to draw a sharper contrast. A large block of time off is generally unavailable under any terms, except at companies like FB (or apparently everywhere in Europe) that explicitly call out child-rearing.

Since you seem to know of the system: If European democracies have a state system for paying for the leave, did the debate include proposals to allow payments for other avocations?

Comment Re:What about other life goals? (Score 1) 130

Let me turn that around: Should child rearing be restricted to those who can demonstrate that they won't raise them to be horrible? I know plenty of complete jerks who had a parent stay at home.

In any case, if this leave is special because it appeals to a higher purpose, then there are many other higher purposes that I can think of that are equally deserving of paid leave. An engineer could take time off to educate underserved populations, or to apply their skills to solve basic problems in developing areas. Even the assistant manager at McDonald's has skills with logistics and sanitation that could be applied to standing up a soup kitchen.

Comment What about other life goals? (Score 2) 130

Allowing employees to take a big block off to get started on what may be the biggest achievement of their life is great, but what about for people whose aspiration is something other than being a parent? Even a guaranteed job after an unpaid sabbatical is a rare benefit. A generic "life goal" leave is, I would think, even cheaper to offer since the leave can be planned in advance to avoid crunch times (not that parents can't plan, but it's a rare one that seems to).

Comment Now if only the memory pressure metric worked (Score 1) 231

My concern with any memory management strategy under Windows is that even the current, disk-based virtual memory system is horrible at determining the "memory pressure" statistic. Under Windows 7, when I have a memory-intensive operation running, I'll hear the disk grinding away paging the whole time, while the system monitor shows physical memory usage at 60%. Even if the other 40% is disk cache, I'm pretty sure the foreground process should take precedence.

The other frustrating scenario is in sleep mode: after an overnight sleep,you can watch the physical memory line go from near zero back to where it was before the sleep as the disk grinds away paging things back in. That's hibernation, not sleep! My suspicion there is a feature which gets the machine hibernated while sleeping, to recover in the case of a power outage. The feature pretty much kills the usefulness of sleep, though, if every wake is a wake from hibernate.

Long story short, I'm pretty sure that this new compression feature means that Windows will simply keep itself to an even tinier corner of the physical RAM, while wasting CPU cycles in addition to disk accesses.

Comment Water cost is regional ... (Score 1) 62

Water use certainly is an environmental impact factor ... if the data center is located somewhere where water is scarce. If the metric doesn't take into account where the center is located when evaluating externalities, then it's not really doing its job. Sure, blowing through millions of gallons a month is a problem in California, but in upstate New York it's not really an issue.

Comment Re:No different than any other home brew (Score 1) 66

I wouldn't say that this is quite like homebrew. Wild yeast in your beer might just make it taste a little different. Wild yeast in your insulin bioreactor will either kill off your modified strain and ruin the batch, or at a minimum introduce unexpected byproducts that will mess up separation. Oh, about separating: you can drink beer and wine straight. To get an injectable product you need some precise chemistry to separate the insulin from the dead yeast, leftover growth medium, and alcohol. Moonshiners have very favorable boiling points on their side, and still sometimes screw up and make a batch of poison.

Comment Re:From the TFA (Score 1) 334

It's not right, but you stand by it? They say you meet some reprehensible people on the Internet, but holy cow. What other evil acts to you stand by?

Imagine how this would work out in your neighborhood: The guy down at #5 finds some dog poop on his step. He's seen you with dogs a lot, so he asks if it was your dog. You respond that you don't actually have a dog, but that as a veterinarian, you often see dogs. The situation here is the same as if your neighbor came and accused you of letting your dog defecate on his steps every time it happened, even though he knows that it couldn't have been you.

In the real world, all societies need defenders who will protect them from the wild. A free society is predicated on those defenders being able to differentiate that which is suspicious from that which is actually hostile or criminal.

Comment Re:From the TFA (Score 1) 334

So, what hypothetical threat are the DHS agents protecting America from? I would note that, in all 40 instances, she was eventually allowed into the country, and in none of those instances did she commit a crime before leaving again. Perhaps the first time, her associations overseas might raise questions. But hopefully, somewhere in those multiple hours, they worked out that she is a journalist, and that communicating with people is part of her professional work.

Comment Re:Good for greece (Score 3, Interesting) 1307

Everybody inflates these days, because it's just easier to pass a silent flat tax on wealth than anything on earnings (realistically it's probably recessive, since the wealthy are likely to have a greater share of their wealth in investments more resistant to inflation). Modern central banks also feel an obligation to inflate their currencies at accelerated rates in times of recession. The thing is, a tourist economy is going to experience recessions that lag those of the industrialized nations where the tourists live. In this case, the industrialized nations who dominate the Euro got through their recession, sounded the all clear, and turned down the tap. Problem for Greece was, they were a couple of years behind.

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