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Comment: Re:Hide your cables (Score 1) 470

by dkf (#48466295) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

Not if you have a short circuit. In that case the cable is gone.

What's the likelihood of that happening, versus the likelihood of something happening to an above-ground cable? Note that you should be thinking about putting the cable well down so that you're unlikely to hit it by accident, just like with water and sewage infrastructure (though even more like gas, if you're in an area with it piped in). Heat dissipation isn't a big deal with domestic supply; you use reasonably thick cabling and aren't really carrying that much current in the first place in normal service.

Comment: Re:Anecdote (Score 1) 321

by rinka (#48464625) Attached to: LinkedIn Study: US Attracting Fewer Educated, Highly Skilled Migrants

Hmmmm... Interesting.
here's an Indian (entrepreneural) perspective.

Let me start with a few stories:
The founder of Snapdeal (an India focused ecommerce company) wanted to do a startup in the Valley but didn't get a visa. So he decided to stay back and do his startup in Bangalore. Snapdeal is now valued at ~$10B and is challenging both Amazon & Flipkart here. Their YoY growth is 6x.

Zomato started of by consolidating its presence in India and has now gone multi-national (15 countries and expanding). They haven't gone to the US yet.

There are quite a few startups happening here that are focused on India, the rest of AsiaPac & EU regions and a lot of these have just begun to scale. These startups have started taking the cream of the Engg folks who would have otherwise gone to Infosys, Wipro and from there on to the US.

In fact, I know of a couple of headhunters who place US engineers with Indian startups in India. It is a trickle now and I think it would be good to cherry pick the better ones from out there. There are lots of seriously good engineers who we can use.

As an entrepreneur/co-founder myself (of an early stage in the enterprise space), it makes a lot of sense for us to be India and AsiaPac focused - We have a large market that we would convert first. First of all it is so much easier for us to sell in my backyard and then I honestly don't have the time to wade through all the Visa & other issues that the US would throw at us.

The only reason I would consider the US is the size of the market which will be important to me once I've consolidated and have become profitable. The market that is right in front of me (India and then China) is large enough for me to grow to be a fairly large entity.

Comment: Re:Are they REALLY surge protectors? (Score 1) 233

by dkf (#48448373) Attached to: What is your computer most often plugged into?

I think there's probably less of a problem with voltage drop in electric power circuits built to European standards (and even more so with the massively over-specified UK standards) as the higher voltages mean there's less current in the wire and so less of an impact due to the resistance of the wire itself. That eliminates a lot of the local problems (e.g., due to having kitchen appliances) or reduces them to the level where the switch-mode power supply can usually compensate easily.

I don't know whether the quality of the power delivered by the utility is better. It is for me, but I'm not that far from a major hospital and a major Grid node (and the wires between are underground). I don't pretend that that extends to anyone else other than my immediate neighbours.

Comment: Re:"Random" (Score 1) 78

by dkf (#48448039) Attached to: Study: Space Rock Impacts Not Random

And, similarly, "chaotic" is not an explanation, either.

Would you accept "inherently impossible to predict any significant length of time ahead"? It's all very well to pick on the reason for the unpredictability (be it quantum uncertainty or extreme sensitivity to initial conditions because of non-linearity) but at a functional level, the outcome is similar: some stuff just can't be predicted in detail long term, and will continue to be like this whatever we do.

+ - What Does The NSA Think Of Cryptographers? ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "A recently declassified NSA house magazine, CryptoLog, reveals some interesting attitudes between the redactions. What is the NSA take on cryptography?
The article of interest is a report of a trip to the 1992 EuroCrypt conference by an NSA cryptographer whose name is redacted.We all get a little bored having to sit though presentations that are off topic, boring or even down right silly but we generally don't write our opinions down. In this case the criticisms are cutting and they reveal a lot about the attitude of the NSA cryptographers. You need to keep in mind as you read that this is intended for the NSA crypto community and as such the writer would have felt at home with what was being written.
Take for example:
Three of the last four sessions were of no value whatever, and indeed there was almost nothing at Eurocrypt to interest us (this is good news!). The scholarship was actually extremely good; it’s just that the directions which external cryptologic researchers have taken are remarkably far from our own lines of interest.
It seems that back in 1992 academic cryptographers were working on things that the NSA didn't consider of any importance. Could things be the same now?
The gulf between the two camps couldn't be better expressed than:
The conference again offered an interesting view into the thought processes of the world’s leading “cryptologists.” It is indeed remarkable how far the Agency has strayed from the True Path.
The ironic comment is clearly suggesting that the NSA is on the "true path" whatever that might be.
Clearly the gap between the NSA and the academic crypto community is probably as wide today with the different approaches to the problem being driven by what each wants to achieve. It is worth reading the rest of the article."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Google doesn't have a monopoly on ANYTHING. (Score 1) 324

by dkf (#48439917) Attached to: The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Google doesn't have a monopoly on search. Not even close. The only reason they get used is because they're the best. The second that they start sucking, people will leave in droves. It's pretty fucking far from tyranny when any user can go elsewhere. That's not a monopoly.

Google has a much higher share of search in the EU than in the US, so the EU is far more interested in keeping a close eye on what they're doing. That said, the story was about something that the EP is pushing for and they're not exactly the most influential set of people ever (they've got budgetary powers, the ability to vet the Commissioners, and the ability to revise proposed legislation). What's more, it would probably be possible to split the search side from the rest of Google enough to satisfy at least some of the EP without breaking up Google entirely. (Satisfying the whole EP? Might as well ask for something that satisfies the whole of Congress.)

+ - Molecular Clusters That Can Retain Charge Could Revolutionize Computer Memory->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Computing devices have been gobbling up more and more memory, but storage tech has been hitting its limits, creating a bottleneck. Now researchers in Spain and Scotland have reported a breakthrough in working with metal-oxide clusters that can retain their charge. These molecules could serve as the basis for RAM and flash memory that will be leagues smaller than existing components."
Link to Original Source

+ - Harvard Scientists Say It's Time to Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

Submitted by merbs
merbs (2708203) writes "Harvard has long been home to one of the fiercest advocates for climate engineering. This week, Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences published a research announcement headlined “Adjusting Earth’s Thermostat, With Caution.” That might read as oxymoronic—intentionally altering the planet’s climate has rarely been considered a cautious enterprise—but it fairly accurately reflects the thrust of three new studies published by the Royal Society, all focused on exploring the controversial field of geoengineering."

+ - James Bond-inspired LASER WATCH will burn through objects from a distance ->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The 1,500-milliwatt laser in this thing is powerful enough to pop a balloon or even light a candle.

Because the laser is so powerful, the battery on the watch will only last between 5 and 10 minutes. But that’s 5 minutes of awesome laser arson.

Which has got to be better than being able to read your emails or check stock reports on a tiny screen. Sorry, Apple."

Link to Original Source

+ - VW Bus Powered By Attached Solar Panels--Proof of Concept for Solar Vehicles ->

Submitted by mlamonica
mlamonica (3770375) writes "When I heard the CTO of healthcare startup Vecna built a 1966 Volkswagen bus with solar panels on the roof, I thought it would make for a fun story about his side project. But I found that his work is much more: it's a proof of concept that solar-powered cars--that don't require plugging in to charge--can work in certain applications. One key to engineering such a vehicle is having it run directly from the panels, bypassing battery charging and the associated losses as much as possible. Story has photos of the bus."
Link to Original Source

+ - Former Missile Silos Turned Into Luxury Disaster Survival Condos->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "When a major natural disaster or nuclear war strikes, survival will be the main priority for most us. For some, though, the biggest problem will be deciding whether to watch a movie or go for a swim. Residents at the luxury Survival Condo resort will be safe, secure and not short of entertainment."
Link to Original Source

The bogosity meter just pegged.