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Comment: Re:Republican Hypocrits (Score 2) 97

by dwywit (#49760473) Attached to: TPP Fast Track Passes Key Vote In the Senate, Moves On To the House

Yeah, then there's all that BSE nonsense that we in Oz are mercifully free of. We don't want anyone else's beef, we have enough. Trade should NEVER override biosecurity concerns.

A report on the ABC news ( yesterday tells of the carrot and stick approach taken by the US - "let us export our beef to you or you won't get access to our domestic sugar market".

Our situation requires very careful consideration - we have a reputation for disease-free agricultural produce. Just about every country that wants access to our markets promises that none of the diseases affecting their own products will ever make it into the wild in Australia because reasons. We don't want NZ apples, we don't want asian seafood or bananas, and we don't want US beef - although some of those things are already here.

It's true that protectionism isn't healthy long-term, but there are valid reasons to ban the import of some items. We don't want to face the consequences of the (for example) banana industry being devastated by imported disease.

Comment: Re:This isn't a question (Score 3, Informative) 536

by dwywit (#49760393) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

Milestone might be the wrong word, but this result stands out. The citizens stood up to the catholic church, and reminded the clergy about the principle of separation of church and state.

The church's arrogance has come back to bite it, as people now see through the hypocrisy.

Well done, my (distant) Irish relatives.

Comment: Re:It may not last. (Score 1) 65

by dwywit (#49749081) Attached to: Australian ISP Offers Pro-bono Legal Advice To Accused Pirates

I used to think that about Westnet, at least. A few years ago, you'd call tech support, tell them what sort of internet connection you had (ADSL, Cable, satellite, etc), and you'd get switched to a call centre located in Australia staffed by people who didn't have difficult-to-understand accents.

Westnet was very popular with remote/rural users because their satellite was good, and the satellite tech support was good - outstanding, actually.

My most recent tech support call to westnet gave the usual "we are experiencing a high volume of calls, we'll get to you in approximately" .....wait for it... "forty-six minutes"

Get fucked, westnet. I know Telstra/bigpond are the big bad guys, but I've never waited longer than 20 minutes on the queue, and it's usually about 5 minutes or less.

P.S. I agree about dodo.

Comment: Re:Speaking as a former yearbook adviser (Score 2) 375

by dwywit (#49746557) Attached to: Student Photographer Threatened With Suspension For Sports Photos

It makes you wonder if they've had that opinion from their own advisor, and realised they might have to pay the student to be able to use the photos in their yearbook - so they try to bully him into a deal to use the photos for free. Threaten first, to frighten him, then back off with a new deal - "You sign the yearbook publication rights over to us, and we'll forget about the lawsuit"

Comment: Re:Camer was owned by the school (Score 1) 375

by dwywit (#49746523) Attached to: Student Photographer Threatened With Suspension For Sports Photos

"The school owned the camera he used. Therefore all work from that camera belongs to the school. If he had used is own camera, then they are his to keep.
Just like in the work place, any personal data on company computers used on company time belong to The Company and not you."

You're new here, aren't you?

Comment: Re:USA in good company... (Score 3, Interesting) 649

by dwywit (#49703173) Attached to: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Gets Death Penalty In Boston Marathon Bombing

He's going to die eventually, and he thinks he's going to paradise. Why not let him rot in jail for the next 99 years, i.e. no chance of parole.

Execution just brings him to paradise that much sooner. If I understand it correctly, it's going to cost society more to proceed through the death penalty appeals process, than it will to imprison him for the rest of his life.

He probably doesn't want to die just yet, but he would expect the welcome of a martyr in paradise. Just make him suffer in jail in a country he hates, and make sure he gets a news feed to keep the anger burning away.

In other words, give him the chance to realise he's wasted his life, and he's not getting to paradise any sooner. Such despair is a suitable punishment.

Besides, why are individuals punished for premeditated homicide, but it's OK for the state to do it? You're only reinforcing that it's ok to kill people (and yes, there are justifications for self-defence, whether on a personal or country-wide basis).

Comment: Re:Pay the musicians even less?!?! (Score 1) 167

by dwywit (#49670541) Attached to: How Spotify Can Become Profitable

I pay ~USD$70/year for ad-free on Live365. It's a service I'm 98% happy with; some stations have started to "offer premium products of interest to our listeners" - I mean, if I wanted to know about organic skin care cream, I'd look it up. I really don't see the link between organic skin cream and celtic music. I pay so I don't have to listen to ads, and those stations that start advertising anything beyond CDs or digital downloads quickly lose their place in my "favourites" list.

I've even told them I'd pay more IF AND ONLY IF the extra could be sent straight to the artists and not the middle men.

Comment: How powered off is "powered off"? (Score 1) 184

by dwywit (#49657081) Attached to: Enterprise SSDs, Powered Off, Potentially Lose Data In a Week

There's full shutdown, there's power left on at the wall, there's hibernate with wall power left on, there's sleep. Lots of laptops come with (toshiba, for example) "sleep-and-charge" where they will supply current to USB ports while asleep. I rarely do a full shutdown on laptops or desktops, would this be enough to avoid the problem?

Or would there need to be a BIOS feature to ensure current supply to SSDs as well as USB ports?

Comment: Re:Talk about creating a demand (Score 3, Interesting) 334

by dwywit (#49567007) Attached to: Why Our Antiquated Power Grid Needs Battery Storage

Well, yes, even the sun will run out one day - but I hope we as a species will have taken appropriate steps well before that happens.

Seriously, yes, even fissile material is finite, but it's a step in the right direction.

I use lead-acid batteries, 1320ah of them, and I'm off-grid, so I don't know very much about grid-tie systems and the issues they raise. I'm just saying it's possible to live with batteries, and there are even some advantages. They do need periodic replacement (every 8-9 years in my case), but much of it is recycleable, so it isn't just dumped in a landfill. I believe the price of lead in the last few years makes it much more attractive to recycle lead-acid batteries.

Comment: Re:Talk about creating a demand (Score 3, Interesting) 334

by dwywit (#49566833) Attached to: Why Our Antiquated Power Grid Needs Battery Storage

Not sure I understood you - did you mean that $13K is roughly equivalent to your conventional electricity bills over the lifespan of a Tesla battery?

It's not just about cost, either upfront or total costs over the lifespan of panels/batteries/whatever.

You could even step back from the issues about pollution, CO2, global climate change, and look at it this way:

Fossil fuels are a FINITE resource. Even coal will run out, and eventually oil and then coal will become very expensive to extract. Doesn't it make sense to take steps to transition to nuclear and renewable energy sources while conventional fossil fuels are cheap?

We should build nuclear stations with the very best and safest technology - they can handle the large-scale demands of industry, and be a backup for domestic baseloads. It's possible to supply great gobs of electrical energy via PV when the sun is shining - we have to manage that energy, sure, and it's going to cost more than we already pay, but with smart enough controllers, your domestic battery will supply you with a reduced but adequate supply during grid outages. Wouldn't it be great to have lights and refrigeration when the grid goes down? Put it another way: when the grid goes down, sometimes it's for long enough that the contents of your refrigerator and freezer have to be dumped. How much does that cost to replace, and how many times would it need to happen to make a $13K battery worth the cost? Doesn't have to match $13K in actual foodstuffs - what about the convenience factor?

Committees have become so important nowadays that subcommittees have to be appointed to do the work.