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Comment: Re:citation needed (Score 1) 225

citation needed ...
because the broken window fallacy still holds

Indeed.

Using the Obama administration's own numbers, a couple years back, for how much they spent for each job "created or saved", and taking the US median income at the time for the cost->jobs destroyed estimator, I got about a 5:1 ratio. Five destroyed for each "created or saved".

Or more: Thats what would happen if they got the money by taxation. The other options are still worse.

The problem is that the VALUE for the government spending comes out of the economy somewhere else:
  - If they tax it, they just suck it out directly.
  - If they borrow it, it competes for investment money and real job creators don't get to create real jobs and/or have to close or downsize when their funding dries up. (This has an additional multiplier: They have to pay it back, with interest. So it kills still more jobs later.)
  - If they print it, it devalues the other currency. The same number of dollars are spent, but less value is spent. Less jobs are funded as a result.

Unfortunately, the anonymous flaimng lefties only see the obvious jobs "created or saved" and not the "invisible men" laid off or not hired as a result.

Comment: TFA betrays Ray Henry 's ignorance of planning. (Score 5, Insightful) 225

There is no reason the design of a waste hauling train should wait until a site is identified, thus delaying the removal of the waste from many scattered temporary storage sites. The hauling design and the site identification can proced in parallel.

Indeed: The characteristics of the hauling solution may limit the selection of sites to which the waste could be hauled with acceptable levels of safety. That would argue for the design to PRECEED site selection.

Comment: UUCP Mailnet (Score 1) 610

by Ungrounded Lightning (#47789663) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

I still have several machines that interchange mail with each other and the Internet via uucp mailnet. I poll an ISP twice an hour (or use an alias to force a poll if i don't want the mail to wait.)

I even check my personal mailbox on that domain every couple months. (Every three weeks or so I get another offer to buy my domain name, which has been around since the list of machines that exchanged email fit on three typeset pages.) But you wouldn't BELIEVE the amount of spam that accumulates on an account that has been around since before the first mass mail-merge spam scripts were offerd for sale. (I think I still have a saved copy of that original piece of spam - advertising spam software.) The spammers STILL include that address in their mailing lists.

If the NSA or ISIS ever kills the connected Internet, UUCP mailnet will still work, merrily bucket-brigading email among the hadnful of machines whose mail transfer agents still interconnect by routes that don't just hand the mail off to an Internet hop.

Also: Back when we ran mailing lists over UUCP, the polling delay limited the deluge of mail when someone on the list accidentally forwarded his mail to the list. This gave us time to catch it manually and suspend the account before everybody was buried in repeated messages. B-)

Comment: Eight Megabytes And Constantly Swapping. (Score 1) 610

by Ungrounded Lightning (#47789629) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

vi for me, too.

Not that I have anything against emacs. But I bought my first unix computer in the 80s, and it only had two megabytes of RAM and used an early member of the 68xxx series that couldn't do demand paging to act like it had more. This was too little to compile and run emacs.

After about three years of heavy bulletin-board participation I had the vi commands "wired into my brainstem". I tried emacs several times over the years and each time discovered that certain common things I did (and still do) with vi took about twice as many keystrokes.

Once I tried using its vi emulation mode - only to discover that it (the version at the time) had TWO of them, in true emacs kitchen sink style, and each had different deltas from getting the vi commands right. With only one I might have gone on to use it, and learn the deltas, while edging into native commands. But with two, and no obvious selection, I didn't bother.

Nowadays I use vim, which is close enough. (Especially if you tell it to act like vi in a couple important places.)

Comment: Re:Take 'em to small claims court. (Score 1) 353

This is going to go no where unless he can get an independent expert to certify that his measuring technique is accurate.

We're talking small claims court here (where proceures are much more relaxed due to the small amount of the dispute) and civil procedure (where the standard of proof is "preponderance of evidence", not "beyond a reasonable doubt".

Also: A suitable expert shouldn't be THAT hard to find, and (with open source and things like the Raspbery Pi and Beagle Bone available for platforms), independently engineering a meter to check the first one should be quick work - and something a customer of another ISP might want to do, as well.

Heh. Once it's done it could be published open-source, bringing the tool into the hands of the technically-literate masses. A couple thousand small claims cases a month might be more effective than a class action suit for getting their act cleaned up.

Comment: Re:That almost happened a while back. (Score 1) 141

by Ungrounded Lightning (#47774975) Attached to: Underground Experiment Confirms Fusion Powers the Sun

A pitty, thugh. By the time this was discovered I had done an outline for a five-volume fiction cycle, working through at least four genres, based on the sun going "putt" from time to time. B-b

The Arthur C. Clarke sci-fi novel "The Songs Of Distant Earth" (1986) used the Case Of The Missing Neutrinos as the opening premise [followed by "the sun is about to nova" and humanity having] a few hundred years to develop interstellar-travel technology before the Sun went nova. 'Twas a good story.

Indeed it was.

In mine, though, there was nothing wrong with the sun at all. It's just that the high neutrino flux makes other physical phenomena more apparent and (by book three) usable at a practical level. FTL interstellar travel IS developed by the fifth book (when things are fully sorted out), which is in hard science fiction space-opera form.

Of course, by that time "magic" is hard science (though its engineering is more like animal husbandry), religion has merged with psychology, and one of the crew members (or is he the FTL engine?) is (and must be) a literal god. (For the engineering crew chief think "Scotty in Druidic Robes"...) Using a god plus a nuclear reactor for the engine leads to complications (but not the ones you're probably thinking of right now).

No, not like Clarke's story at all. More like Keith Laumer collaborates with Larry Niven. B-)

Comment: Take 'em to small claims court. (Score 1) 353

Take them to small claims court.

Ask for the difference between the billing tier your meter says you should be in and the one they charged you for. Dump your data in a reasonably clear format and show and explain it to the judge. Be prepared to swear that it is correct.

If they overcharge you next month, do it again.

Keep it up until they fix the meter so the agreement is close enough for you to be happy with it (or until the judge gets tired of it and issues an order - either to you or them - to make the cases stop.) It's not barratry - no matter how vexing to the utility - if the suits are legitimate, with real grounds asking for restitution for real damages, nor if the the suits are repeated because there are new instances of the tort.

First time through, ask for all the months for which you have data that shows overcharging. (If you can demonstrate a rule for the systematic overcharging, ask for the overcharges back to the instalation of the system, but be prepared for the judge to reject that.) Up to the small claims price and time limits, of course.

Be polite to the judge. Assume he's smart enough to understand this if you explain it clearly. (Judges don't get to be judges without being smart and good at figuring these things out.)

Comment: That almost happened a while back. (Score 2) 141

by Ungrounded Lightning (#47772063) Attached to: Underground Experiment Confirms Fusion Powers the Sun

The other interesting result would be if the expected neutrino type was not detected by this experiment, invalidating the hypothesis. This would raise further questions such as: is there some other mechanism powering the Sun? Is there something deficient in our understanding of neutrinos that prevented us from detecting them despite them being there?

That almost happened, in the early days of neutrino dectection - before things like old mines full of purified water and 3-D arrays of photodetectors running for months at a time, and you could count the number of detected neutrinos on two hands (in bi-quinary so you could go a bit higher than ten). This was when the detectors could only detect the type of neutrino directly generated by fusion reactions, and before the discovery of neutrino oscillation, when it wasn't yet clear whether neutrinos had no, or very very little, rest mass.

Early numbers, and their error bounds, made it clear that there weren't enough neutrinos being detected. (This was known for years as the "missing neutrino problem".) But the earliest ones WERE about right for a situation where all the stars EXCEPT the sun were running by fusion and the sun was out.

That may sound odd. But there was a very cute explanation that made it plausible:

The gradual gravitatonal collapse of the sun, as heat is radiated away, could power it for millenia. It's nowhere near enough to power it long enough to explain the fossil record, but it IS enough to have kept it running for historic time. Meanwhile, if a fusion reaction were to start up near the center of such a ball of collapsing gas, it would also take many years for the heat to make it to the surface. Neutrinos (which go through the sun like marbles through a light mist) are about the only signature of what's going on in there NOW.

But suppose, instead of fusing continuously, stars were reciprocating engines. They might run without fusion for centuries, or millenia, until they were compressed enough to "light up" at the center. Then the fusion heat and reaction products might make the reaction ramp up. They'd burn for a little while (which would heat them up and expand them mabye a few inches), until the decreased density and/or reduction in fuel and/or accumulation of reaction products "put the fire out" again. Repeat for the life of the star.

In this scenario, if our sun happened to be between "putts (and the very nearest stars didn't happen to have an unusual distribution of where they were in their cycles), you'd see the same neutrio flux from the rest of the sky as if all the rest of the stars were running continuous fusion. That's because it's the average of stars that are "on" and "off", and comes out to the same amount of total fusion and neutrinos.

Of course later data, both larger samples and detectors that could "see" the other neutrino types, put the kibosh on that model. A big part of it was the discovery of neutrino oscillations, allowing a stream of neutrinos that started out as one type in the sun to arrive as a mix of the three types. (This means that neutrinos have a non-zero rest mass, fly slightly slower than light, and thus experience time and are ABLE to change from one type to another.)

A pitty, thugh. By the time this was discovered I had done an outline for a five-volume fiction cycle, working through at least four genres, based on the sun going "putt" from time to time. B-b

Comment: Re:And there is the matter of (Score 1) 141

by Ungrounded Lightning (#47771985) Attached to: Underground Experiment Confirms Fusion Powers the Sun

But, again, neutrino oscillation can't nullify these results, because oscillation only makes neutrinos harder to detect (by changing their "flavor"). It doesn't create neutrino signals where none originally existed (at least not in this sense).

Sure it can: By "oscillating" other flavors of neutrino into the type they're looking for, when they weren't there in the first place (or not in sufficient number).

They'll need to look at the ratio of the various types and back-calculate to eliminate other possible signals, or combinations of them, to see if there is a way for other (possibly unexpected) reactions to produce a signal that looks like the ones expected and/or observed.

Comment: Re:Travel trailers have dual use. (Score 1) 191

by Ungrounded Lightning (#47753497) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Prepared Are You For an Earthquake?

This is interesting stuff. Where do you recommend buying thi s equipment?

Since we buy new we have shopped reputable dealers. Since what we wanted was small and self-contained we were able to find a dealer with something suitable already on the lot that he was having trouble unloading, so we got it at a good price.

The trick is to research the manufacturers on the net, first, to find out which have a track record of producing good products.

It's been a while since we last bought one, so our research is out of date and you'll have to do your own. There is some turnover in the industry, so a company that is good for decades may cheapen their product, merge, or go out of business.

Our current one is by Sunnybrook, which has since merged into another company. (Pity: They did great trailers with solid aluminum framing, great layouts, and high quality throughout. Only problem was the imported tires - which we replaced with Goodyears after a few thousand miles.)

Before that we had a Prowler from Fleetwood, which has since gone out of business. (They had had a great rep, but our instance, and others from their last few years, had issues with water leakage.)

Comment: Re:Travel trailers have dual use. (Score 1) 191

by Ungrounded Lightning (#47745369) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Prepared Are You For an Earthquake?

Considering you're talking about multiple properties already, I dont think your cost scale exactly matches everyone elses.

Even (especially!) in Silicon Valley you don't accumulate multiple properties by being spendthrift.

How much did you spend on your hobby equipment? Or your last couple vacations?

Even in pricey California you can buy a good NEW travel trailer in the 20' range, loaded, for about $15k. That will sleep four if they're friendly, two quite comfortably. If you're willing to go small you can get into the $7k range. Special order skipping the microwave, oven, and air conditioner can drop it further. Buy used for far less, if you know what to look for, are willing to accept the extra maintenance risks or put in a bit of sweat equity fixing it up, and you can get to silly price levels. (I wouldn't, though, due to allergies.)

The trick is "travel trailer", not "RV" or even "Fifth Wheel", and going small. (You can easily drop the price of a medium-sized house for one of the class-A land yacts.) Pickup campers, on the other hand, tend to live on the pickup truck because it's such a pain to remove it, so the rig might as well be an RV.

In addition to the price difference, the trailer/tow vehicle combo beats the heck out of RV in the long run: The house and the runing gear wear out at different rates - with an RV when one dies they both do. Unhooking the tow vehicle gives you a vehicle at your camp. Keeping it small also gives you the ability to camp in a lot more places than something large (like some federal and state parks of the more wilderness sort, which have twisty roads and small campsites tucked into out of the way places.)

The trailer/RV/whtever approach may not make sense JUST for earthquake preparedness. But if you find camping or cross-country travel enjoyable (and are getting a bit too fragile to do it with tents), using the money you'd otherwise have spent JUST stocking earthquake supplies can make the camping budget far more managable. It also lets you get two benefits for ONE chunk of your time getting things set up.

(I also find it's lots of fun to set it up with techie toys. B-) )

Comment: Re:say it again (Score 1) 239

by Alsee (#47744635) Attached to: Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

No "fact checking" will ever be allowed on many subjects, such as "Auschwitz", where even total myths are allowed to remain as though they were "facts". References are only made to other myth-supporting documents to support the articles. Anything that fails to support the myth is deleted.

You will instantly and consistently get shut down on Wikipedia.

The reason for that is that you are a Truth Crusader. It doesn't matter if you are Right or Wrong. Wikipedia shuts down Truth Crusaders on EITHER sides of any issue by simply declaring that Wikipedia is not a place to debate, or resolve, matters of Truth. Wikipedia pages are not filled with "Truth", Wikipedia content accurately reflects the content of "Verifiable Reliable Sources". If "Reliable Sources" consistently state something which happens to be false then Wikipedia is going to ACCURATELY report that that is what Reliable Sources say.

(Some might comment on the contradiction of "Reliable Sources" which contain false information. The world is an imperfect place, and no one can expect perfection in anything. The definition of "Reliable Source" is a set of criteria that establish a broad class of sources as reasonably reliable in general, independent of the fallibility of any particular source on a particular thing. So yes, a Reliable Source can be wrong, and Wikipedia will accurately reflect that wrong information up until the point when other Reliable Sources correct that information.)

If you want to wage a Truth Crusade exposing the "myths about Auschwitz", then Wikipedia is not the place to do it. Wikipedia does not and will not lead on that subject, nor will it lead on any other subject. Wikipedia follows. Wikipedia follows Reliable Sources. If and when you convince Reliable Sources to expose myths about Auschwitz, Wikipedia will gladly update to accurately report what those Reliable Sources say.

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