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Comment: Re:Wait until those lamers find out... (Score 2) 371

There's a huge amount of space available - it's called a roof, and many people have them.

The PV panels on my roof are, to a certain extent, self-cleaning. They're designed that way, and it works quite well as long as they're mounted properly. Panels should be mounted at an angle roughly corresponding to your latitude (I'm at ~26 deg south), and rainfall is enough to keep them clean. I get up on the roof to inspect them every couple of months, and I clean them once a year or so. All it takes is a long-handled broom, and a bucket of water.

And speaking of efficiency, why do many people ignore the fact that you only receive about 40% of the energy in the coal when you turn on an appliance?

Comment: Re:I prefer (Score 1) 337

by dwywit (#47209647) Attached to: Cisco Opposes Net Neutrality

I was surprised to find in the configuration file of my Technicolour (Thomson) ADSL modem, a section already defining QoS, This isn't visible in the browser-accessible UI, but only when you "save" the configuration to a local hard drive, which option is also locked by Bigpong/Telstra unless you run a magic script. Anyway, it defines 6 queues for QoS, and it allocates VOIP traffic to the highest-priority queue, proceeding down the list until queue 5, which is the catch-all. There are various types mentioned, but HTTP, SMTP, and Telnet aren't among them, leading me to believe those protocols end up in queue 5, which is the lowest priority or "best effort" queue. This isn't my specialty, so I may have misinterpreted what it means, but I looked up the manual and it seems to confirm what I read in the config file.

Short version: Your traffic may already be affected by your own modem.

Comment: Re:Neat (Score 3) 217

by dwywit (#46810169) Attached to: Reinventing the Axe

Yup. I'd like to see it used on a piece of Ironbark - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I...

Hint: it's not the bark that feels like it's made of iron. There are some eucalyptus species with nice, straight grain, but many don't. You can expend a great deal of energy splitting ironbark, or you can use a chainsaw. Petrol and electric-powered logsplitters are also an option.

My father recalls being put on tree-felling duty in far north Queensland after returning from WWII, along with many others still in the services, while waiting for their discharge. They were dropping ironbarks to cut up and use as railway sleepers. He told me he doesn't feel the need to chop wood *ever* again.

Comment: Re:By reef... (Score 1) 277

by dwywit (#46139171) Attached to: Australia OKs Dumping Dredge Waste In Barrier Reef

You're right, and I wasn't clear about "already in the water". There's a difference between what we're doing to the water (e.g. the soluble fertilizer washing down from the cane farms into the estuary, and the large-scale transfer of natural sediments from the estuary to the reef/continental shelf), and the various solubles and particulates that would wash down anyway without our help, and have been caught by the mangroves for a LONG time.

We shouldn't be f*cking with the reef's ecosystem at all, but at least this will have some oversight by scientists.

Comment: Re:By reef... (Score 2) 277

by dwywit (#46139105) Attached to: Australia OKs Dumping Dredge Waste In Barrier Reef

Did you mean the dumping ground is the size of germany? No.

The spoil is a nutrient source, some of which are microscopic particles which won't just drop straight to the ocean floor - currents will send it hither and yon. If it washes over coral, the coral will react. Tropical coral DOESN'T LIKE strong nutrient loads. As another commenter has mentioned coral also doesn't like lack of sunlight - even highly dispersed particulates will reduce the sunlight reaching the coral.

The sand component will tend to settle quickly, but it might get carried onto living reef - I trust the scientists at GBRMPA to have studied this and account for it.

You simply can't make broad comments like "the size of germany" and expect to be taken seriously.

Comment: Re:By reef... (Score 1) 277

by dwywit (#46138493) Attached to: Australia OKs Dumping Dredge Waste In Barrier Reef

'Taint in the middle of the pacific. Hint: search for "great barrier reef marine park" on google maps.

It's also a rather fragile ecosystem that's already under pressure - some natural, some man-made.

OTOH, dredging spoil (mostly mud and sand) is *already* in the water, they're only moving it from the harbours/estuaries further out. There *might* be problem with nutrient load.

Comment: Re:ugly truth, they never stood a chance. (Score 1) 160

by dwywit (#46052093) Attached to: Lenovo To Buy IBM's Server Business For $2.3 Billion

System i is already hosted on x86 - see "Pure Systems". It's a great OS, with granularity of control I've never seen in *nix or Windows.

Back in the day, I used to think that it would be wonderful when PCs became powerful enough to run OS400. I'd still like to see it, even if emulated.

Comment: Re:Ok. (Score 2) 156

by dwywit (#45961415) Attached to: Chinese Firm Can Now Produce 500 Cloned Pigs Per Year

Ah, the ad hominem response. Please, educate me.

Is it impossible or even highly unlikely that cloned animals would be susceptible to a new strain of virus, and die in large numbers?

Is genetic diversity the best or at least one of the better defences against evolving disease strains?

Are monoculture crops susceptible to large-scale die-off when a new or evolved virus appears on the scene? Hint - Irish potato famine.

Is it smart to breed species that need long-term support to remain productive?

Tell me where I'm wrong. I never said cloned pigs (or monoculture crops) are less nutritious or tasty than traditional or conventional supplies, but I have concerns about the long-term viability of clones and monoculture in our food supplies.

BTW, I did say "I wonder" - that means I'm thinking about something. It's not an authoritive statement, my whole post was couched as a question, with some personal opinions thrown in.

Try using your brain to respond to my statements, rather than attempting to insult and threaten me - you'll avoid looking stupid.

Comment: Re:Gravity is not constant... (Score 1) 299

Sounds like the two-watch problem from 17th century naval navigation - if you have two watches, which one shows the correct time? So you use three or more watches to reduce inaccuracy.

How about a three or four-way balance? Instead of a simple two-sided balance beam, set up a triangular or square arrangement. If the reference kilograms are identical to the master kilogram, the balance will be level. If the balance is down in one corner, you've immediately spotted the item/s that aren't quite right. Of course, if you're using four items in a square configuration, and an entire side (two items) dips downwards, you're back to the original problem.

On second thoughts, this isn't a very good solution at all. Carry on.

Comment: Re:Ok. (Score 1) 156

by dwywit (#45958807) Attached to: Chinese Firm Can Now Produce 500 Cloned Pigs Per Year

Yep, and they'll be valuable for that purpose. I wonder what will happen to that value when the inevitable virus turns up/evolves that the cloned strain of pigs is susceptible to. If the cloned strain makes it out of the research labs and into food production (because the owner of the cloned strain decide they could make a lot of money selling the pigs for food), and one year they all die off because of a new version of swine flu or whatever, then logically the price of pork products will go up and up as demand increases on traditional sources.

I can't help thinking of the parallels with GM corn, soy, etc, and the folly of monoculture crops. Certain multinationals breed them for desired traits such as yield, resistance to herbicides, and even resistance to known diseases, etc. Sooner or later a virus will evolve that those strains of corn, soy, whatever, have no resistance to. Will cloned pigs that are bred for desired traits (such as fast growth or a certain fat content) require long-term support along the lines of dietary supplements, drugs, etc?

Comment: Lots (Score 1) 796

by dwywit (#45840655) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Books Everyone Should Read?

Just read lots and lots - but here's a few I like:

Known Space series by Larry Niven.
Anything by Anthony Burgess - e.g. A Clockwork Orange, A Dead Man in Deptford, Any Old Iron
The Prince - Macchiavelli
Canterbury Tales
Beowulf
Le Morte D'Artur, any of the Arthurian Romances
Peanuts collections
Calvin & Hobbes collections

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