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Comment: Re:Here's a better idea (Score 1) 567

by cusco (#49513591) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California

Magical market approaches only work when there is some possibility of an actual market existing. Water supply is a natural monopoly, there is no real way to have more than one source available to a residence unless you're willing to tear up the streets and run several thousand miles of pipes. Any sort of "market-based" approach to water supply in California are likely to replicate the Aguas de Tunari privatization fiasco, where the water company executives had to run for their lives because of the (justifiably) irate customer base was coming.

Comment: Re:An what about volcanoes and plate tectonic? (Score 1) 55

by cusco (#49512467) Attached to: If Earth Never Had Life, Continents Would Be Smaller

The amount of water subducted into the mantle makes a big difference in what is "brought up from below". Water-containing rock melts at a much lower temperature than unaltered rock, is lighter, is less viscous, and would "float" above the heavier original mantle material. The volcanoes above the subduction zones are much more active because of the rock's water content than they would be otherwise. The less-viscous mantle material means that the smaller plates above it, like India, move around more easily than the larger, more stationary plates like Asia, causing uplift events like the Himalayas, Andes and Rockies.

Comment: Re:Erosion? (Score 1) 55

by cusco (#49511427) Attached to: If Earth Never Had Life, Continents Would Be Smaller

Insightful? What idiots marked this insightful? Plants may prevent erosion short-term, even on an archeological time scale, but on a geologic time scale they accelerate erosion because they break up rocks so efficiently. Make big ones into small ones, and even if the roots hold it in place for 10,000 years that smaller rock is going to start heading for the ocean.

Comment: Re:photo too blurry (Score 1) 78

by cusco (#49480289) Attached to: New Horizons Captures First Color Image of Pluto and Charon

The first space probes were not supposed to carry cameras because it was thought that there would be little useful data returned from the visuals. Fortunately boosters and transmitters had sufficient extra capacity to add cameras, and the project scientists were quickly shown to be wrong.

Comment: Re:Strictly speaking... (Score 1) 417

Really? What brand did you get? We have a Samsung, and use half the amount of soap we normally would, and adjust the amount of washing time down ~40% from the default. We don't work in restaurants or dig ditches, but even with all the gardening and remodeling we do we never have any problem with clothes not getting clean. And almost any low-flow toilet manufactured in the last 15 years, including the cheapest Home Despot brand, will work better than the old 4-gallon flushers. My brother and brother-in-law are remodelers, they put a lot of them in, and haven't had a complaint about them for a decade.

Comment: Re:Strictly speaking... (Score 1) 417

So the answer is to just continue increasing CO2 emissions and population at an exponential rate because it's inconvenient to do otherwise? Large scale agricultural failure is going to be a lot more inconvenient and a lot more expensive. Third World peoples aren't going to be mired in poverty as much as they're going to die in droves when food gets priced out of their reach.

Comment: Re:I'm a little baffled (Score 1) 121

by cusco (#49447855) Attached to: Has Google Indexed Your Backup Drive?

Did something like this deliberately once on an internal network, because the person needing access to the files was too inept to follow even the most basic instructions but too highly ranked to ignore. It was supposed to be temporary, but I then **forgot** to turn the security back on in the morning. A month later one of my bosses noticed she could get into HR data that she wasn't supposed to access and raised a red flag. Oops. Thank all the gods that our network didn't have remote access yet.

Comment: Re:No kidding ... (Score 1) 88

by cusco (#49425445) Attached to: Research Finds Shoddy Security On Connected Home Gateways

Much of (if not most of) the medical equipment was never intended to be put on the larger corporate network. For example MRI devices were supposed to write to a DVD and be sneaker-netted to wherever the images were to be analyzed because transferring that much data over a 10 megabit network was unreasonable. Gigabit networks changed the scenery, and manufacturers just slapped a network interface on them and foisted the security issue on hospital IT staff.

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