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Comment: typical ignorant American (Score 3, Informative) 198

The diesel sold in Europe is much better fuel than the one we dump into trucks and trains. Lower sulfur, for one thing, although we are catching up. Most environmentally friendly motor fuel is diesel (no, it is not the remote-polluting electrics; look at the output of, for example, the Four Corners power complex). Modern biodiesel burns clean and has a very low carbon footprint. Soot traps take care of the particulates.

Additionally, diesel fuel has much more energy available by volume or mass, is less flammable, and hygrophobic (doesn't pull water from the air into the fuel tank) than the lighter hydrocarbons (gasoline, methane, ethanol), or hydrogen (unless fused, of course)

I wish I could have purchased the turbo-diesel version of my Jaguar XJ, rather than having to settle for an XJ-R.

Comment: old servers as desktops (Score 1) 180

by dltaylor (#49222837) Attached to: Exploiting the DRAM Rowhammer Bug To Gain Kernel Privileges

So I'm not (quite) a paranoid nutcase for running server-class hardware, including always using ECC DIMMS. Current desktops are older Dell T3500s, with nearly top bin Xeons, upgraded supplies and graphics, plus, of course, 24GBytes of ECC RAM.

First big splurge on a desktop had a Tyan mainboard with the ServerWorks chipset (since Intel's were pathetic, at the time), dual P-IIIs, PCI-X, PLUS an AGP slot. Awesome, for its time.

http://www.tyan.com/archive/l_chinese/html/pr01_s2567.html

Comment: and when they don't? (Score 1) 127

by dltaylor (#49177413) Attached to: Physicists Gear Up To Catch a Gravitational Wave

There's as much knowledge to be gained from a well-designed experiment that fails, as one that succeeds. They should ALREADY have found gravitational waves with the multiple space- and Earth-based experiments that have been run, particularly with all the big number-crunching on old data that is happening now.

What do we learn about the nature of the Universe when THIS experiment also fails to provide evidence of waves of gravitational force propagating through it?

Comment: Re: Get some money (Score 1) 164

by dltaylor (#49156181) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Whiteboard Substitutes For Distributed Teams?

It rains in both places, and snow, although not so much on North Shore. The rain is just a bit colder in Amsterdam, but that's a reason to stay indoors and avoid sand in "naughty bits" (as a Californian, I learned, a long time ago, some techniques for that, but they're harder to remember when "under the influence").

Comment: non-rational scientists (Score 3, Informative) 196

by dltaylor (#49156155) Attached to: One Astronomer's Quest To Reinstate Pluto As a Planet

Even people in science careers are not immune to significant irrationality (I know, hardly Earth-shattering news).

When my grandmother was young, there were only eight planets, plus a few largish asteroids, then someone discovered another. As our instruments improved, we found many, many more "wanderers". We also learned how how their composition varied, and that there were more-descriptive categories to apply to the various bodies not only in this stellar system, but others.

It is utterly irrational to continue to collect Pluto into the same category as the eight other major rocky/gassy/icy Sol-orbiting bodies (the traditional "planets"), and NOT include the dozens of KBOs, TNOs, etc. that also orbit Sol https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Solar_System.

Comment: loved my Big Dumb Screen (Score 1) 370

by dltaylor (#49033701) Attached to: Samsung Smart TVs Injected Ads Into Streamed Video

I had a Westinghouse LVM-37w1. No tuner, no "smarts", basically a display with multiple inputs: 2 DVI, 2 Component, Composite AND S-Video, plus separate audio inputs that could be paired to the video. Nicely, the speaker cabling was external, so I could use it as "center" from my A/V amp.

The backlights eventually failed, but I looked hard for a simple replacement. Only thing I could find were commercial (ruggedized) displays at an order of magnitude more cost than the "TV"s of the same size/resolution. Can't use the TV tuner on cable (EVERYTHING is encoded), and the HDMI input doesn't let me assign which channel feeds the builtin speakers, so I had to add a center speaker.

At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.

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