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Comment: Mistake? Suure... (Score 3, Insightful) 50

Step one: Release a bunch of 'critical' documents by 'mistake'.

Step two: Twiddle thumbs while terrorists / criminals abuse information released in step one.

Step three: Point to attack in caused by step two, argue that DHS should be exempt from FOI Request because 'national security'.

Step four: DHS can do anything they like without the public oversight.

Comment: Solar power and diesel generators. (Score 4, Informative) 234

by WegianWarrior (#47030459) Attached to: Why Cheap Smartphones Are Going To Upset the Industry
While I can't comment on the third world in general, I saw a lot of solar cell setups for charging cell phones in South Sudan - people even ran solar charging as a business; a solar panel, some car batteries, a black box of electronics and 3 to 5 South Sudanese pound for a full charge.
Also saw plenty of cell towers with solar panels and battery banks, with diesel generators for backup. Not as clean or tidy as plugging into the grid, granted... but it works. Was a life line for me for a year spent down there, and twice so for the people who lives their whole life there.
Just because you can't plug something into a national grid, don't mean you can't get power... often cheaper and more reliable than the grid too - at least in Juba.

Comment: Don't sound terrible new or efficient to me (Score 1) 73

by WegianWarrior (#44067593) Attached to: Sagita Displays Hot Air Powered Helicopter

An engine drives a compressor, heat is added to the compressed air and it's used to spin a turbine that isn't hooked up to the compressor? In that case it's the bastard child of a motorjet and a turboshaft - and looking at the temperatures involved it's unlikely to be terrible thermally efficient. They might be able to coax enough power out of it to drive a small chopper, and it might be cheaper and/or easier to maintain than a pure turboshaft engine... but somehow I think this will vanish into obscurity pretty fast.

TL:DR version: Two old ideas mashed together, unlikely to be 85% efficient

Comment: Communication is the key (Score 4, Insightful) 313

Caveat: I meet my Significant Other online, although not on a dating site.
The benefit of meeting online is that you're pretty much forced to talk, and talk, and talk. It's not like you can take them to a movie and then then make out in the back of the car - instead you'll have to show them that you're a likeable person they would like to spend more time with. Goes double when you're on different continents and all that... before either party gets on a plane both parties needs to be sure that they are comfertable with seeing this person they have talked to for a while. On the other hand, the guy you ran into in the coffee-shop who ask you out to see a movie may be the biggest creep in modern history - and if you let him drive you home he knows where you live :/
TL:DR; Online dating works because you must talk and reveal yourself to the other before meeting.

Comment: Re:Quality of years, not quantity (Score 5, Interesting) 1063

by WegianWarrior (#42557019) Attached to: US Near Bottom In Life Expectancy In Developed World

Knowing several people in various states in the US, ranging from middle-aged to old... I'm anything but convinced. It seems to me that compared to Norwegians (and most likely to everyone in Northern Europe) you work harder for longer for less pay, and have less to show for it at the end of your life. I don't think that most people enjoys working 60-80 hours a week, knowing that they can't afford to retire... meaning they will work until they drop dead.

To quote a comment that arose over a Christmas dinner a few years ago; "What do you call retired people in the states?" "Greeters at WalMart."

The plural of "stuff I know" isn't data, but in this case it seems like the data is backing up the stuff I know. You don't "pack more into your years" - you're worn out faster by an system built to benefit the rich, and even the rich seems overall less happy than most people I see over on my end.

Comment: The secret... (Score 1) 443

by WegianWarrior (#42486759) Attached to: Facebook Lands Drunk Driving Teen In Jail

...to do a crime and get away is simple: Don't tell the world about it afterwards - at least not until the statute of limitations have run out.

Granted, the easier solution for a blabbermouth would be not doing the crime in the first place - something I think is an even better idea for everybody when the crime is drunk driving.

Comment: Re:Other contries manages just fine without 'penni (Score 1) 362

by WegianWarrior (#42467737) Attached to: Canada To Stop Producing Pennies In 2013

Still boggles and confuses me - as I'm sure it would anyone who are used to paying the amount listed. I know for a fact that a fair number of visiting Americans are boggled and confused by the fact that we're not adding a sales tax on top of the price during check-out... but they tend to agree it's convenient to do it our way. YMMV off course.

Comment: Other contries manages just fine without 'pennies' (Score 1) 362

by WegianWarrior (#42467327) Attached to: Canada To Stop Producing Pennies In 2013

Here in Norway we been doing this for years: - The 1 øre and 2 øre coins disappeared in '74 - The 5 øre and 25 øre coins were withdrawn in '84 - The 10 øre coin ended being legal tender in '92 - The 50 øre coin was withdrawn May 1st last year. So while I can still recall putting a 5øre coin in my piggy-bank, there is now no coins circulating that is worth less than 1 Norwegian krone... but you know what? The wast majority of Norwegians pay by card anyhow, and the prices has not changed with the smaller coins going away. If you pay by card, you pay the exact amount. If you pay cash, it is rounded up or down to the nearest coin-value.

For those curious; after the retirement of the 50 øre coin, a purchase of 9.49 kroner is rounded down to 9.00 while a purchase of 9.50 kroner is rounded up to 10.00 - unless you pay by card, in which case you pay the exact sum owed. Off course it helps that the VAT is already added to the price listed - what you see is what you pay, but there is no reason why it shouldn't work equally well in places this isn't done (something which always boggles me when I'm visiting the US btw).

Comment: Not surprising if you think about it (Score 4, Interesting) 372

by WegianWarrior (#42448443) Attached to: Chromebook Takes Top Place In Laptop Sales On Amazon

It's cheap and do what most people want a laptop to do - check emails, surf the web and type up the occasional letter. It's also a good machine for geeks, since it's not locked down with Windows or OSX - meaning you can stick any flavour of Linux you want on it if you know how. In the current economic situation it taps into the same markets as the original netbooks - the 7" and 9" Eee - did; people needing a cheap machine to get online and geek-heads wanting a toy.

The danger is off course that the Chromebook will go down the same slippery slope as the netbooks fif; bigger screens, more beefed up hardware... until they are just another laptop.

Comment: Re:powers of ten - or powers of randon numbers? (Score 4, Insightful) 909

by WegianWarrior (#42445919) Attached to: USMA: Going the Extra Kilometer For Metrication

To quote the AC that got modded down: "How exactly are inch and the foot are more practical units for everyday use? cm and meter are used all around the world everyday and there's no problems with them."

Centimetres and metres are extremely practical for everyday use, as proven by the fact that most of the world use them without trouble on a day to day basis. And before you come up with the old and busted idea that you can't easily divide by three in the metric system - or at least not get a nice, round number - try telling me just how many inches a fifth of a foot is.. or a fifth of a yard.

Metrics are easier to explain, lets you convert between units easier and makes for simpler maths. The so called Standard measures do not.

Comment: powers of ten - or powers of randon numbers? (Score 2) 909

by WegianWarrior (#42444743) Attached to: USMA: Going the Extra Kilometer For Metrication

Ten millimetres to the centimetre. Ten centimetres to the decimetre. Ten decimetres to the metre. Ten metres to the decametrr. Ten decametres to the hectameter. Ten hectametres to the kilometer. I now some of these prefixes isn't in common use, but it does show that all you have to do is to mulitply by ten.

Twelve inches to the foot. Three feet to the yard. One thousand, sevenhundred and sixty yards to the mile - or more correct; eight furlongs, each of which is ten chains, each chain is four rods, each of which again is twenty five links. And just to show how well thought out the system is; each link is 7.92 inches long... So you either have a progression of 12-3-1760, or one of 25-4-10-8.

Tell me again why the so called Standard Measures are better than SI?

Comment: How about both? Was:Store? How about a repository? (Score 1) 91

by WegianWarrior (#42315463) Attached to: Raspberry Pi Team Launches Pi Store

To the casual, new-to-linux users, a "store" is going to be less scary and less intimidating than going through apt-get. Adding the store has not taken away the option of going through the repositories, just added another way of putting extra software on your RasPi.

That said, I'm not particularly impressed with the current selection of "apps" - even if it has a great time waster available in FreeCiv.

Comment: Well, duh (Score 4, Interesting) 158

by WegianWarrior (#42308457) Attached to: WW2 Pigeon Code Decrypted By Canadian?

Gord Young, from Peterborough, in Ontario, says it took him 17 minutes to decypher the message after realising a code book he inherited was the key.

Not hard to "crack" a code if you have access to the relevant code book - which a) GCHQ says they don't have, and b) can hardly be called cracking the code. The possible point of failure is - as I'm sure I'm not the only one to spot - if Mr Young has the wrong codebook; codes got shifted and shuffled a lot, and the wrong code book might give a plausible plain text that is never the less incorrect.

Gonna be fun to see what more comes of this.

Comment: Re:Why water? (Score 5, Informative) 49

by WegianWarrior (#41491067) Attached to: NASA Orion Splashdown Safety Tests Completed

Why is it that USA space tech prefers water splashdowns instead of dry land like the Russians and Chinese?

"Softer landings" doesn't quite cut it as a reason, for at the speed of the impact, water is just as hard as terra firma. Then there's the risk of crew drowning and/or craft loss thru sinking. That doesn't occur in dry land.

Because landing in water means you can get away with a higher landing speed without putting too many Gs on the astronauts - ref the Wikipedia article on splashdown. The Russians (né Soviet) capsules lands on land because the Russians have so much open space available, but that means they have to carry either a larger parachute and/or one or more braking rockets to lower the impact speed to something tolerable. AFAIK the first Russian capsules that the cosmonauts rode all the way down - the jury-rigged Vostok they called Voskhod - carried their braking rockets attached to it's parachute lines...

A capsule landing on land also needs to be sturdier to take the increased shock loads, both from the impact and from the application of the braking rockets. This means you either needs a bigger rocket to get it up there, or less internal space for the astronauts / cosmonauts to move about in. A landing on land may not sink, but it does run the risk of taking a roll once it's down - ref Soyuz 18a.

Another reason given for the American preference for landing in water compared to the Russian preference for landing on land is the location of the launch sites. An American early abort will dump the capsule in the Atlantic ocean, whereas a Russian early abort will see the capsule come down on the steppe. That said, the current Russian capsules are rated for landing in water, just in cause - refer to Soyus 23 landing on a frozen lake and punching through the ice.

The Chinese seems to favour a land landing as well, which makes sense considering their landmass, lack of a large blue water fleet and the simple fact that their Shenzhou spacecraft seems to be based on / borrows heavily from the Russian Soyuz capsule.

In short; landing on water lets you get away with a lighter spacecraft, and does away with the need for a very large parachute and/or braking rockets. This means you can get away with a smaller rocket, or carry more supplies for a given size rocket.

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