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Comment: No big deal (Score 1) 70

by Animats (#47726537) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

This is a straightforward industrial electrical installation. There's a pad-mounted distribution transformer and meter provided by the power company, a weatherproof load center provided by the customer's electrical contractor, and the Tesla supercharger control unit and outlet stations. No big deal to install. There's a comparable installation at every large standalone store.

That's a small charging station. Here's the build-out of a bigger one. Black and Veach, which does infrastructure construction for the energy and communications industry (substations, cell sites, etc.) is doing the job. They see it as a lot like building out cell towers. (If you watch that video, you may wonder why the transformers and switchgear are on raised platforms. Probably because there's a flood risk at that location.)

Installing a gas station's underground tanks, which today are dual tanks with leak detection, is a much bigger job. There's a big excavation, lots of plumbing and wiring, and several different trades involved.

Earth

Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic 171

Posted by samzenpus
from the biggest-heatsink dept.
vinces99 writes with news about a study that may account for a slowdown in air temperature rises. Following rapid warming in the late 20th century, this century has so far seen surprisingly little increase in the average temperature at the Earth's surface. More than a dozen theories have now been proposed for the so-called global warming hiatus, ranging from air pollution to volcanoes to sunspots. New research from the University of Washington shows the heat absent from the surface is plunging deep in the north and south Atlantic Ocean, and is part of a naturally occurring cycle. The study is published in Science. Subsurface ocean warming explains why global average air temperatures have flatlined since 1999, despite greenhouse gases trapping more solar heat at the Earth's surface. "Every week there's a new explanation of the hiatus," said corresponding author Ka-Kit Tung, a UW professor of applied mathematics and adjunct faculty member in atmospheric sciences. "Many of the earlier papers had necessarily focused on symptoms at the surface of the Earth, where we see many different and related phenomena. We looked at observations in the ocean to try to find the underlying cause." What they found is that a slow-moving current in the Atlantic, which carries heat between the two poles, sped up earlier this century to draw heat down almost a mile (1,500 meters). Most previous studies focused on shorter-term variability or particles that could block incoming sunlight, but they could not explain the massive amount of heat missing for more than a decade.

Comment: Re:Correction: (Score 0) 228

by Trailer Trash (#47724937) Attached to: FCC Warned Not To Take Actions a Republican-Led FCC Would Dislike

Hint: Republicans don't just do this with the telco industry.

And yes, they are far worse than the Dems. Grow up.

This is my favorite part about Democrat voters. They don't claim their party has anything good about it - it's just "better than Republicans".

If that's your best reason to vote then, please, stay home on election day.

Comment: Re:Correction: (Score 2, Insightful) 228

by Trailer Trash (#47724929) Attached to: FCC Warned Not To Take Actions a Republican-Led FCC Would Dislike

this time Chief of Staff Matthew Berry, speaking at the National Conference of State Legislatures, has endorsed states' right to ban municipal broadband networks

He's endorsed the right of the people in each state to get bent over by massively-corrupt telcos with their monopolistic behaviors - by reinforcing their monopolies - all in the name of a free market (despite the fact that it's anything but).

FTFY.

Those telcos are forced to provide service to everybody at the same price, which means they make a profit on tightly packed businesses in the city and that offsets their losses on the more widespread customers out of town. If the city comes in and serves only the tightly packed businesses, they can easily offer the service at a lower price and still make money or break even, and the telco ends up losing their profitable customers and therefore their ability to offset their losses elsewhere.

I'm not against "municipal broadband", but they need to be held to the exact same standard as all other carriers in the same area. That might well mean offering service to out of town customers, also.

I didn't understand the fuss until last time this came up and someone in the industry explained it quite clearly in a +5 post.

Open Source

At Home with Tim O'Reilly (Videos 5 and 6 of 6) 5

Posted by Roblimo
from the original-members-of-the-open-source-movement dept.
Today's videos are parts five and six of our casual interview with Tim O'Reilly, founder of O'Reilly Media and one of the most influential open source boosters around. (You supplied the questions. He supplied the answers.) We had a lot more to say about Tim Tuesday when we ran parts one and two of our video interview with him. Yesterday we ran parts three and four. (Today's alternate Video Links: Video 5 ~ Video 6.)

Comment: Unit Tests! (Score 1) 468

by Greyfox (#47723693) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?
One of my biggest advances as a programmer has been writing unit tests for everything and the associated decoupling of code required to make unit tests for everything actually work well. They reveal weaknesses in your design early on, before fixing them is too bad, encourage reusable code, encourage you to keep your design simple and increase the degree of certainty you have when you deploy something. I haven't quite jumped on the test-first bandwagon yet, but I'll write a class and then write its unit test. If the unit test reveals that more functionality is needed or that I need to change something, I do it then.

Comment: Re:Pick a different job. (Score 4, Interesting) 468

I work in a unionized software shop. It's awesome during bad times. In good times one is tempted to think it's better in fast-and-furious start-ups, but then one compares one's salaries and benefits and realizes, "no, actually, union shop is still better."

Comment: Where to begin (Score 4, Interesting) 468

  • Project management, specifically the importance of not being a bottleneck.

  • How to design a solution on my own time before I code a solution on company time.
  • Differential diagnosis of bugs (see #2 of the link above --- although I learned this skill later in graduate school and have applied it multiple times since.)
  • Code for readability and correctness first, efficiency later. Code that is "too clever" will never be maintained (except by you).
  • I really enjoy programming as a way of automating tasks and not for other reasons --- which makes me better as a systems administrator than as a software developer.

Man must shape his tools lest they shape him. -- Arthur R. Miller

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