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Comment Re:Vacuum tubes handle EMP's better (Score 1) 97

I see your anecdote and raise you another one: years ago, using an exploding wire disruptive switch in an LCR circuit (the C was 25 kV, 4 uF -- heavy but portable) and a really basic parabolic antenna, I permanently destroyed a portable CD player a few meters away.

Also, in military experiments, even diesel generators were disabled by EMP from a nuclear explosion when the stator windings shorted between turns. Your comment only applies to solid-state parts which are either 1) disconnected from wiring that has enough inductance, or 2) subjected to an insufficiently strong EMP. In two circuits with similar interconnect inductance, one using tubes and the other solid state devices, the tube one would be able to withstand an EMP several orders of magnitude stronger because a vacuum arc takes tens of kilovolts even in small tubes with heated filaments, whereas most solid state devices would be destroyed after a few volts.

Comment Re:Vacuum tubes handle EMP's better (Score 1) 97

If the wiring around the tubes had protection (say ultrafast spark gaps), the tubes would have come out unscathed, because even close-by electrodes in typical receiver tubes with the cathodes fully heated still need many tens of kV to cause a vacuum arc. A nuke-caused EMP can't directly cause that in a stand-alone tube unless you're in the blast radius -- the voltage was induced in the wiring. That means the damage to the tube comes from the wiring, not directly from the EMP, and so your comment is misleading.

Comment Re:Vacuum tubes handle EMP's better (Score 1) 97

The voltage spike was enough to cause internal arcs in operating tubes, vaporizing electrode material.

That they were operating is the first critical factor. Vacuum arcs between metallic elements that are not boosted by thermionic emission and are just driven by field emission require gradients on the order of gigavolts per meter, so even for small receiver tubes you'd need a difference of several million volts between the electrodes. With the cathode heated when the tube is operating, this is reduced by an order of magnitude. However, an EMP from a nuclear explosion that would generate something like this in an unconnected tube puts the equipment within the blast zone -- never mind worrying about the EMP. Thus, the second critical factor is the circuits the tubes were parts of, because induction into the wiring they were connected to is what it took to create a huge voltage differential between the electrodes -- which also tells you how to avoid the problem: ultrafast spark gaps, which, at least according to this paper can be as quick as picoseconds.

Comment I talked to the manager... (Score 1) 424

Jerry: Yeah, but that TruCoat--
Customer: I sat right here and said I didn't want no TruCoat!
Jerry: Yeah, but I'm sayin', that TruCoat, you don't get it and you get oxidization problems. It'll cost you a heck of lot more'n five hundred--
Customer: You're sittin' here, you're talkin' in circles! You're talkin' like we didn't go over this already!
Jerry: Yeah, but this TruCoat--
Customer: We had us a deal here for nine-teen-five. You sat there and darned if you didn't tell me you'd get this car, these options, without the sealant, for nine-teen-five!
Jerry: All right, I'm not sayin' I didn't--
Customer: You called me twenty minutes ago and said you had it! Ready to make delivery, ya says! Come on down and get it! And here ya are and you're wastin' my time and you're wastin' my wife's time and I'm payin' nineteen-five for this vehicle here!
Jerry: All right. I'll talk to my boss. See, they install that TruCoat at the factory, there's nothin' we can do, but I'll talk to my boss.

Comment Re:Easy solution (Score 4, Insightful) 424

California. As well as not banning direct sales by auto manufacturers, it provides more protections for employees (banning non-compete contract terms), limits on how short yellow lights can be at signals, and the state government is running a surplus.

That's what good, conservative governance will do for you.

Oh wait.

Comment I'm going to enjoy this more than I should (Score 5, Insightful) 424

If you were to ask me what I like most about electric cars (and Tesla in particular), it wouldn't be the economic or environmental benefits, or even the technology.

It's the way they are taking a long stagnant and mostly non-innovative industry and dragging it kicking and screaming into the 21st century. If the people who constantly preach about the free market truly appreciated the concept, they would know that in a legitimately free market, you either change with the times or you get kicked to the curb to make room for those who are actually innovating.

The more they resist, the more I'm going to enjoy watching them weep and wail as they slowly become irrelevant.

Comment Re:This would level the playing ground (Score 1) 359

The depreciation is $500,000 and only on assets above $2 million - and must be for business purposes.

That's only half. The owner can also expense $500,000 in the first year.

Not everyone was happy on January 2 when President Obama signed into law the American Taxpayer Relief Act, notably those whose first 2013 paychecks were smaller than the ones they’d received in 2012.

But the law gave Thoroughbred horse owners a reason to raise a glass in a belated New Year’s toast, as it enacted retroactively favorable provisions that had expired at the end of 2011.

“What was supposed to happen in 2013,” said Joe Bacigalupo, director of member development for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, “was that the bonus depreciation for 2012, which was set at a 50% schedule, would disappear entirely. The passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act extended it for 2013.

“There’s a significant improvement between what was expected to happen and what actually happened.”

According to an NTRA release, the bonus depreciation on purchases of race horses was reinstated at 50%, which was the 2012 rate. The expense allowance was increased to $500,000 for this year and retroactively increased from $125,000 to $500,000 for horses purchased in 2012.

Said Joel Turner, a member of Frost Brown Todd attorneys in Louisville, Kentucky, and a specialist in equine legal services, “These incentives are real.”

While conceding that the announcement of the retroactive provisions wasn’t great for tax planning, he said their beneficiaries will be “rewarded for legitimate reasons” and that the aggregate of benefits will mean that in some cases, 80% of the purchase price of a horse can be deducted in the first year.

“The ability to expense the first $500,000 and take depreciation on the next $500,000 means that essentially you’re almost getting a 100% write-off in the first year,” he explained.

Estimating the value of all aspects of the Thoroughbred racing industry to be worth about $4 billion dollars to his home state of Kentucky, Turner approved of the renewal of the provisions.

“Buying horses and writing them off was included in the law because of the ripple effect to the economy,” he said. “This encourages investment in assets.”

We're here to give you a computer, not a religion. - attributed to Bob Pariseau, at the introduction of the Amiga