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Comment: Re:Industrial accidents happen (Score 1) 154 154

The regular safety measures weren't in place because they were installing the systems, so most likely they had people working on different things and someone started testing their piece without realizing it was already connected.

Right. Standard procedure (not just with robots but with many industrial systems) usually involves the person working on the system installing a lockout tag on the controls, and anyone removing the lockout tag without checking with the person who put it on is in deep shit trouble.

Comment: Re:Environmentalists will cause the next nuclear a (Score 3, Interesting) 114 114

Every time nuclear power comes up someone blames environmentalists for the industry's problems -- in this case before the problems have manifested. It's an article of faith.

So far as I can see there's only ever been one plant in the US that's ever been cancelled for environmental concerns is the proposed plant at Bodega Harbor, which as you can see on the map would have been right on top of the San Andreas fault. In every other case projects have been shut down after serious miscalculations in the industry's economic forecasting (e.g. lower energy prices in the 80s than anticipated in the 70s), often exacerbated by poor project management performance. In those cases environmentalists were just a convenient scapegoat for management screw-ups.

You can see that because after the very largest anti-nuclear protests in history -- against Seabrook in NH and Diablo Canyon -- the plants were built and put into operation anyway. If a company had a plant under construction that it could make money operating, that plant would get built, even if thirty thousand people turned out to protest.

Comment: That's why decent PR is needed (Score 1) 213 213

This could be easily solved by having a single place (a web site and an app) where the scientific community at large shares with the public what's the current consensus, explained in the simplest terms possible, with links to credible resources to second level and third level of depth.

The site needs to be authoritative, and widely known as the single source from the community, so if anyone ever has a doubt, they know where to go to understand what the scientific community really think about a certain issue.

This does not mean by any means the absence of debate, or the constant change in views and information, but a place where the bulk of the community put their minor differences aside for the benefit of the common good and their own, by helping closing those gaps.

Comment: Re:Iran is not trying to save money (Score 1) 329 329

Well, you have to factor in the Iranian cultural mania for disagreeing with each other. The Shah couldn't keep them under his thumb, neither can the mullahs, who have their hands full disagreeing with each other.

From a tyrant's perspective Iran is ungovernable, which doesn't mean elements in the government don't give tyranny a go on a regular basis. It's an ideal setup for producing martyrs. The futility of cracking down means you have a little space to rake some muck before official anger overcomes reason.

Comment: strong encryption in Java without the policy files (Score 1) 132 132

I saw some Java code on stackoverflow that used reflection to disable the strong encryption policy check. It's useful when you're running code in PAAS systems that may or may not have the policy files installed. I thought that was pretty clever.

Comment: iOS users feel it (Score 1, Insightful) 302 302

I currently have a web radio transceiver front panel application that works on Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, under Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. No porting, no software installation. See blog.algoram.com for details of what I'm writing.

The one unsupported popular platform? iOS, because Safari doesn't have the function used to acquire the microphone in the web audio API (and perhaps doesn't have other parts of that API), and Apple insists on handicapping other browsers by forcing them to use Apple's rendering engine.

I don't have any answer other than "don't buy iOS until they fix it".

Comment: Re:Big giant scam ... (Score 1) 787 787

I distinctly remember it being promised that the F-35 would beat anything but an F-22 in air-to-air combat, at a fraction of the price. It was not part of the original concept for the system but it was definitely sold politically as being capable of acting as a poor man's F22.

I wonder about the helmet mounted display, whether that's something you'd consider absolutely necessary in an aircraft whose job is to hit surface targets in contested airspace.

Comment: Re:Big giant scam ... (Score 1) 787 787

As a supposed air-superiority platform, this is an utter failure.

To be fair, that was not the original justification for the thing. That was mission creep.

I think the original impetus was to have something stealthy that could do ground strikes in enemy territory. And it makes sense to do a naval version of the same thing. If they'd just focused on that they'd have been done a long time ago with a solid design, which of course in engineering nearly always turns out to be more versatile than you planned for. Adding STOVL and the whizbang helmet (cool as that may be) as necessary elements of the system turned this into an "everything for everyone" project, which almost always turns out less versatile than you hoped.

Comment: Re:Dogfights?! What year is it?! (Score 1) 787 787

Sure you can identify scenarios where the A-10 is useless. But in the last twenty years it's been extremely useful in a number scenarios we've actually faced.

The idea that a system ought to play every role in every conceivable situation is why the F35 performs none of them very well. In hindsight the idea of accommodating the Marines' need for a STOVL aircraft in the same basic design probably dictated too many compromises in the plane's other roles.

Comment: Re:Actual *real pilots* discussion on another foru (Score 1) 268 268

While there are wealthy pilots, most of us are of modest means. My (small) car is paid off so I spend the equivalent of its payment on my hobby during the on season, and that amount will go down once I finish my license. I won't need to buy my own glider outright, but if I do decide to do so, there are perfectly adequate specimens for sale in the $10k-$20k range.

Sure, and how much does it cost to store the thing, to have it launched, and do whatever else has to be done with a glider? I know powered aircraft are often white elephants in that respect.

As for time, I fly one day per week - sometimes two, sometimes zero. On the days I do fly, I still have time to mow the lawn, cook dinner, work on household projects, and even watch a movie with family.

I don't have a day a week to train so I could legally (under the sort of regime being proposed) fly my model aircraft. And they'd cost that same $10k-$20k once all the proposed equipment to do things like respect NOTAMs and restricted areas is put in. Because no one would make such equipment for hobbyists, they'd make it for the commercial market.

Comment: The vote is too late, it won't make any difference (Score 2) 358 358

They vote is too late, they will default. Yves Smith over at NakedCapitalism lays it out nicely.

"We described in detail how the referendum scheduled in Greece for next Sunday, July 5, is a cynical exercise in democracy theater. The Greek people are being asked to vote on a (draft) proposal by Greece’s lenders to unlock €7.2 billion in funds, the last portion of the so-called “second bailout” agreed by the Greek government in 2012. Tsipras knew at the time he announced the referendum that the proposal expired on June 30; that was the known-well-in-advance final date for the bailout terms to be agreed if each and every one of the 18 Eurozone countries agreed. We said it was a no-brainer that they would not agree; in Germany as with some of the other countries, it would require parliamentary approval to accommodate Greece’s too-late request, and there was no reason for any of them to cut Greece slack when the government has plenty of opportunity to schedule the vote in time, so it actually would inform the government’s actions.

Instead, Tsipras has already taken the decision to miss the €1.6 billion IMF payment due June 30 and the €3.5 billion ECB payment that falls on July 20, while falsely telling Greek citizens that they have a say in this momentous choice."

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com...

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