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Comment: Don't hold your breath waiting for news of them... (Score 1) 74

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49351405) Attached to: Facebook Sued For Alleged Theft of Data Center Design

Most of the claims aren't listed so it's hard to draw a conclusion.

And don't hold your breath waiting for them to be listed publicly, either.

If this is over trade secrets, the alleged trade secrets, if legitimate, will still be secret. So unless/until Facebook gets a judgement that the claims are bogus, the proceedings will be under seal.

Even if they ARE bogus it may not be in Facebook's interest to publish them, either. They might be little-known enough that exposing them to their competition might make the competitive environent tougher for Facebook.

So don't be surprised if the "secrets" and the details of the verdict or settlement remain under wraps.

Comment: Gerrymandered a PRESIDENTIAL election? Say WHAT? (Score 1) 184

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49346483) Attached to: New Bill Would Repeal Patriot Act

... in the last election the powers of greed tried to elect someone who was neither conservative nor liberal but really a direct representative of the 1%. They spent 3 to 4 times as much money, made people stand in 4 hour lines to vote, maximally gerrymandered every district they could...

While your underlying perception is largely correct, your supporting argiments are not. You need to understand the system more if you want to be convincing,

Of particular note is bringing up gerrymandering. In virtually all the states the electoral college votes are chosen in a statewide, popular-vote, winner-take-all contest. Gerrymandering doesn't affect this at all. (Which is good for the Republicans, as the Democrats have been far more effective at it.)

As for spending: With the support of labor unions and the media empires, the Democrats get massive, uncounted, campaign subsidies, while the Republicans mostly have to pay for their own propaganda directly..

The big exception to that is Fox News: But IMHO they, and the party establishment, are what lost for the Rs the last time around. Fox was blatantly pure Neocon (the faction of Romney, the R establishment, and the 1%ers,) The primaries are where the parties' candidates are chosen. Fox's hilariously biased reporting and the R establishments massive (and often violent) cheating, alienated the supporters of Ron Paul, to the point that they would not support him - virtually to a man - and also alienated many Rs who observed this circus. Romney lost five states by margins smaller than the number of people who voted for Paul in primaries and caucuses. Had they not done this, Romney might still have won the nomination honestly, and received eJ.nough votes to swing those states.

So, yes, their money didn't buy them the election. But IMHO what really lost it was intra-party behavior so corrupt that major factions of the party's voters decided they could not be allowed to have control of the government's levers of power - even if the alternative was an exceptionally effective, avowedly-Communist, Chicago-Machine politician

Comment: Re:the US 'probably' wont use a nuke first.... (Score 2) 339

No, the alternative was to wait.

It should be noted that:
  - The Japanese, like the Germans, had their own nuclear weapons program in progress. (That was how they were able to recognize the nuclear bombs for what they were: Bombs were SOME of the possibilities they were pursuing.)
  - While they thought nuclear-reaction bombs were hard but doable, they were actively working on the immanent bombardment of the West Coast of the Untied States with radiological weapons - "dirty bombs" spreading fatal levels of radioactive material. (Remember that much of the US war infrastructure, including nuclear laboratories such as Livermore and the Navy's Pacific fleet construction and supply lines, were on or very near the west coast. The prevailing winds are from the west and able to carry fallout blankets to them.)
  - The primary reason for using TWO bombs, only a few days apart, was to create the impression that the US could keep this up. The Japanese had an idea that making the bombs took so much resource that the US could only have a very few. And they were right.

As I understand it went something like this: There was enough material for no more than two or three more, then there'd have been about a year of infrastructure construction and ramp-up, after which the US could have started with monthly bombs and worked up to weekly or so. If the US could have gotten to that point unmolested, Japan was doomed. But a LOT can happen over that time in a total war - and big projects can get hamstrung when the bulk of the industrial output and manpower has to be used to fight off conventional attacks meanwhile. The idea was to give the Japanese the impression the US was ALREADY that far along.

Comment: $12,000 with air conditioner? (Score 1) 78

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49335727) Attached to: Better Disaster Shelters than FEMA Trailers (Video)

12 grand with the air conditinoer and some unspecified options that don't prevent it from being stacked up like coffee cups?

For only a couple grand more I purchased, new, an 19 foot travel trailer, with kitchen, (propane stove, micrwave, propane/electric refrigerator) beds for five (if one is a kid) and two are friendlly - six if two are infants), which double as a daytime couch and bedding storage cabinet, TV antenna and prewire, air conditioner, bathroom with enclosed shower, closet, white grey and black water storage for two days if everybody showers daily, a week if they conserve, all hookablel to water and sewer if available, air conditinoier and furnace, lots of gear storage, two nights of battery power (though the microwave and air conditioner need shore power - the furnace runs on the batteries/power conditioner), hitch, dual-axle with tires, awning, etc.

This looks like a very pricey, very heavy, hardshell tent - with some lights, cots, and a big-brother computer monitoring system.

But I bet agencies would love the monitoring system.

Comment: My art is prior. (Score 3, Interesting) 160

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49332793) Attached to: Energy Company Trials Computer Servers To Heat Homes

My first unix box was an Altos. Don't recall exactly when I got it but it finally died in the late '80s.

The thing burned something like a kilowatt. It also had a four-inch muffin fan - blowing outward. While this sucked dust in all the openings, it was convenient for heat scavenging, AND exhaust. The latter was important in my non-air-conditioned college-town house.

I got a couple 4" drier vents, some drier vent hose, and a heat-scavenging diverter valve (which were big that year - for electric driers only!). Took the flapper valve and rain shield off one of the drier vents, yeilding a fitting that I mounted on the pancae fan's four mounting screws. It coupled the airflow nicely into the drier vent hose, which was essentially exactly the diameter of the fan blade shroud. A few 2x4s mad a wooden insert that went into the window in place of the screen unit, with the other vent in the middle of it. Hooked the two together with the hose, with the diverter in the middle of it, and the third hose segment feeding the hot air register.

In the summer the space-heater's-worth of hot air went out the window instead of into the house. In the winter the hot air fed the furnace distributon, providing a base heat supply to the house with the furnace coming on to "top it off" to the desired temperature.

Comment: Mandatory voting is a recipe for civil war. (Score 1) 1089

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49298305) Attached to: Obama: Maybe It's Time For Mandatory Voting In US

What makes anyone think mandatory voting would somehow fix thatWhat makes anyone think mandatory voting would somehow fix that?

In fact it would cause more problems that it purports to solve. In particular, it would greatly increase the incidence of violence in politics and, in particular, the likelyhood of civil war.

Elections aren't about being nice by doing what the majority prefer. Elections are about seeing how the civil war would come out, so you don't have to fight it. To do this they have to be a good enough MODEL of the war, and be run, if not squeay clean, at least honestly and transparently enough to convince the losers that, if they tried to reverse the result by violence, they'd lose THAT contest, too.

That means, among other things, that only people who care enough to fight should vote. Dragging in a bunch of people who could care less and are only voting because they're required to, dilutes the votes of those who care. If they also vote opposite to a group who care a lot and are percieved as a bunch of brainwashed non-threats, those people can easily convince themselves that they could win a war, make it stick, and are justified in fighting to reverse their oppression.

Comment: Re:non-existent fraud (Score 1) 1089

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49298253) Attached to: Obama: Maybe It's Time For Mandatory Voting In US

Voter fraud is when an actual voter votes multiple times or tries to vote as someone they are not.

Like the illegal alien who lived down the street from us, who showed my wife (whom he somehow thought would be sympathetic) the more-than-20 voter registration cards and bragged about how he went to a bunch of different polling places every election.

As opposed to election fraud, like the nonexistant guy who votes absentee and claims our house as his residence (whom we've been trying to get de-listed for at least four election cycles), the next-door neighbor who died of liver failure and is still voting absentee - despite her daughter taking the death certificate down to the registrar of voters, again on more than one election cycle, the several thousand "voters" who absentee voted from the same address in Berkeley, ...

Both, of course, are greatly aided by the "motor-voter law", which makes it trivial for anyone with a social security number (real real or fake) to pick up a mail-in form - or a box of them ("I'm working at a voter registration drive") - at any of several sorts of government offices (such as the Secretary of State's). Register yourself (voter fraud) or register a bunch of fake people (election fraud). It's doubly easy if your state has just-check-the-box absentee voting: Mail in a BUNCH of them and vote a BUNCH of times. Industrial-strength election corruption.

That's why there was such a flap about Obama's move to have the DHS issue Social Security numbers to illegals. Sure it's illegal for them to actually vote. But that's enforced even less than the laws against them being here in the first place.

Comment: Re:There's another law, too... (Score 1) 114

If you have to go to court against your employer to prove that all of the above are true (on your own dime), then you effectively don't really have any of those protections.

Why should you have to prove anything? Especially before you start?

You just file for your own patents, start your own company, and move on. If your idea turns out to be the foundation of a new industry or a disruptive game-changer on an existing one, and your (ex) employer is clueless, he might spend a bunch of HIS money to claim some of the proceeds once you're successful. Then you and your corporate lawyer get to watch the judge laugh him out of court - and maybe order him to pay YOU $ome buck$ on the way out.

Sure you might end up in court eventually. But that's the name of the game with patents on valuable ideas. All a patent IS is a license to sue.

Comment: Re:Unfortunately, it's still on piano (Score 1) 59

> And the German word for "piano" is "Klavier".

I don't know about modern German, but in Bach's time any keyboard instrument would be called a Klavier.

However, you are certainly correct about the Well-Tempered Clavier being by design particularly suited, more than any of Bach's other music, to newer instruments that were more closely approaching the modern piano than anything that had come before. That's the whole point of the piece, in fact.

Comment: Re:Unfortunately, it's still on piano (Score 1) 59

> I went to Bach's childhood home and they have a number of his harpsichords

Yes, but those harpsichords were probably all justly intoned for a particular key (not necessarily all for the /same/ particular key, mind you). Well tempered instruments were a relatively new thing in Bach's time, and the instrument most widely associated with well temperament (and later perfectly equal temperament) is the pianoforte.

Most of Bach's works would be better performed on some other instrument -- violin, harpsichord, or in a few cases the pipe organ. The Well-Tempered Clavier is the exception. More than anything else Bach wrote, it really does belong on the piano.

Comment: Re:Unfortunately, it's still on piano (Score 1) 59

The more you study Bach's work, the more you get the impression that he didn't really prefer one instrument over another. The man routinely took pieces that had been originally written for one instrument and reworked them for another. He made violin pieces work on the harpsichord, harpsichord pieces on the pipe organ, organ pieces on the violin, whatever. He really seems to have been more interested in the music itself than in the specific acoustic properties of any particular instrument.

Besides that, of all the works Bach wrote, the WTC specifically is probably the best suited for pianoforte. Virtually every other keyboard instrument available in Bach's time was tuned to a just intonation in almost every case, making them unsuitable to play this particular piece. A justly intoned harpsichord (or a set of justly intoned violins for that matter) would be fine for BWV1079 or 1080, but it clearly wouldn't work at all for WTC.

Comment: Re:It depends (Score 1) 307

Yeah, it depends.

I think I've had five power supplies go bad for every one other component that has failed. So if you count by the number of incidents, definitely PSUs.

But, when a power supply goes bad, you replace it, and *usually* the computer then works just fine.

If you count by the number of hours of my time that have been spent as a result of hardware failures, then obviously hard drives have caused me the most trouble. They're the second most common thing to go bad after the PSU, and you typically have to _at least_ do a full OS reinstall after you replace one, then install updates and applications. That's if the system in question didn't have any data on it that you have to restore from backup, or any significant customization...

Comment: Re:There's another law, too... (Score 1) 114

Sigh. I should have read your post a little more before replying.

In general, in the absence of a prior agreement to the contrary, what you wrote is true in most states.

But we're talking in the PRESENCE of a prior agreement to the contrary:
  - You hired on to do X, for Consolidated Widgets, a company that does X, Y, and Z and isn't interested in doing Q (any time soon).
  - When you hired on, Con Widgets had you sign a patent assignment giving ALL your inventions to them.
  - While still employed, you had a bright idea that's a major breakthrough for Q.
  - You develop your idea on your own time with your own resources.

In California, YOU own the Q invention, regardless of what your contract with Con Widgets says. (Con Widgets still gets your inventions on X, Y, Z, and anything you worked on in their labs.) California EXPLICITLY VOIDS the patent assignment terms in the former case.

AFAIK, in every other state Con Widgets would own your Q breakthrough, too.

Comment: Re:There's another law, too... (Score 1) 114

But this isn't a "quirk of California's labor law". This is true in almost all the States.

Really? Are you saying that, in most other states, the state law voids your patent assignment contract with your employer?

Remember: What I'm talking here is not "you invented it on your own time with your own tools". I'm talking "You SIGNED A CONTRACT GIVING ALL YOUR INVENTIONS TO YOUR EMPLOYER and THEN invented it on your own time with your own tools."

I've never heard of this anywhere except CA. I'll be very interested in what other states, if any, also do it.

And if they do it they should TRUMPET it, so inventors like me would be more interested in working there.

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."