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Comment: Re: big free-hand out from the sun (Score 1) 254

by bzipitidoo (#48275297) Attached to: Power and Free Broadband To the People

Kudos to you for doing a solar panel installation. I've been thinking of my own, but feel that it is still too expensive. I think it is still "big dumb engineering", though I understand solar has gotten much better in recent years. A 30 year or longer payback period is just too long for me. There is so much that can happen in 30 years: technological improvements and price drops, and you may move or die, or your house may be destroyed by fire, tornado, earthquake, flood, or termites.

What I mean by big dumb engineering is exemplified by the double pane windows. Save up to 50% on your heating and cooling costs, they say. How much to replace all the windows and glass doors? Why, only $10,000! I spend about $700 per year on heating and cooling, so the windows only save me $350 per year at best, which makes for about a 30 year payback period right there. I very much doubt I'd see a 50% cut in my heating and cooling costs anyway. A better solution is to put curtains on all the windows. Way, way cheaper, and looks nice too.

Anyway, I've read the first use of solar should be for hot water. There too, I've had no luck. One business quoted me an incredible price tag of $17,000 for their solar water heating system. They quickly rolled out discounts and tax rebates and the like, and got it down to $6000. Nope, still too expensive. I replaced the tank water heater with another tank water heater for $350 (it's nearly the lowest quality available, warrantied for only 6 years), hoping to buy more time for solar water heating to come down in price.

I've gone for much more modest improvements. Replaced incandescent lights with CFLs, and now LEDs. The 4 ft fluorescent tube has been improved from 40 watts to 32 watts and the diameter shrunk a little, and I upgraded to 2 of those when an old ballast went bad. There was this 80plus program to improve the efficiency of computer power supplies. My newest computers are small footprint and low energy, using only 30 watts maximum, and I set them up to sleep after 10 to 15 minutes of inactivity. Tube monitors and TVs are all gone, replaced with flat screens. Most of all, I've let the temperature swing more with the seasons, living with 83F in the summer, and 70F in the winter. I'd go even colder, but the rest of the family whines too much. All that has cut energy use by about 50%. Was using around 10,000 kWh per year, and now I'm at 5200 kWh.

+ - 'Ebola coffee cup' puts plane on lockdown at Dublin Airport->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Nowadays 'Ebola' has become such a powerful bogeyman any mention of 'Ebola' will sure to cause a massive panic

For example: An unidentified man who scribbled an Ebola warning on a cup of coffee caused quite a stir on a Dublin-bound flight. After putting the plane on lockdown for nearly an hour in the Irish capital, authorities determined that it was all a hoax

The incident occurred on Air Lingus Flight EI 433, which had set off from Milan on Thursday. Upon arriving in Dublin, passengers were held onboard for roughly 50 minutes until paramedics were able to investigate the matter

"As a precaution, the incident was fully investigated before passengers and crew disembarked as normal. The incident is now a matter for the gardai (police).” According to the Irish Mirror, a passenger who was on the flight got in touch with their daughter to say a man had written "Be careful, Ebola" on a coffee cup"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Pros and Cons (Score 1) 26

It's quite simple:

Neither HTTP, nor HTTPS with an untrusted certificate, are secure.

However, you don't expect HTTP to be secure. You do expect HTTPS to be secure. That's what the 'S' stands for.

Therefore, if a self signed certificate is used, and you haven't added your authority to your browser, the browser will warn you that something you expect to be secure isn't necessarily, and prompts you to check that you are, indeed, using the right certificate, and someone isn't intercepting your communications.

Every browser in the world allows you to add your own CA so you can use self-signed certificates without further prompting. If you've chosen not to, it's fairly reasonable for them to say "Wait, this guy has explicitly asked for a secure connection, but I have no way of verifying this connection is secure: I better say what I know and ask for further instructions."

+ - Iconic photo shots of Moon and Earth by Chang'e 5 T1->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "China's Chang'e 5 T1 space mission has sent back iconic photos of the Moon and Planet Earth

In the photo, The Earth hangs like a white and blue bauble in the black of space, distant and heart-achingly beautiful. You can see it here — http://planetary.s3.amazonaws....

The spacecraft's trajectory will carry it back to Earth at about 21:30 UT on October 31. Happy Halloween!"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Al Jazeera? (Score 1) 77

by PopeRatzo (#48274651) Attached to: Study: New Jersey e-Vote Experiment After Sandy a Disaster

Al Jazeera took over many if not most of the staff of the Arabic BBC world service channel that was shut down by the BBC as a response to Saudi censorship demands.

That's a good point.

Also, it's not that hard to be better at journalism than any of the US cable news outlets. There are several non-US sources that are more reliable, I have found.

Comment: Re:This is related (Score 1) 231

by dgatwood (#48272635) Attached to: Ebola Forecast: Scientists Release Updated Projections and Tracking Maps

Careful there. She has no symptoms, so she is very unlikely to be contagious. IMO, it is fine for her to ride her bike, because she won't be interacting with anyone else while doing so. I would be concerned if she rode her bike to the corner store and bought milk, however, because near-zero risk isn't zero, and symptoms don't go from zero to deathly ill in a couple of seconds. There's a period of time between when a person technically becomes symptomatic and when that person notices the symptoms, during which his or her ability to spread the disease increases from essentially zero to being fully contagious.

Comment: Re:This is related (Score 1) 231

by dgatwood (#48272567) Attached to: Ebola Forecast: Scientists Release Updated Projections and Tracking Maps

She, knowing something about the subject, assumes she knows everything about the subject, and believes that there is no need for her to be in any quarantine whatsoever. Unfortunately, people with that attitude are at the highest risk of spreading disease, because when they start showing symptoms, they're much more likely to believe that their protective measures cannot possibly have been breached, and to thus assume that they have a minor stomach bug until it gets more serious, by which time they have spread it to other people. In short, her behavior strongly suggests that the folks calling for quarantines are absolutely correct in doing so.

This is not to say that the way they're handling the quarantine is correct. It isn't. There's no risk of exposure from her going on a bike ride, any more than there's a risk from the guy up at Stanford going for a jog, just as long as they avoid any direct contact with other people. So she's right that the absoluteness of the quarantine is pointless and unnecessary. That doesn't make the quarantine itself unnecessary. After all, in just the first couple of weeks of Ebola on our shores, several medical workers have already shown poor judgment, and have put people unnecessarily at risk by doing so.

Comment: Re:This is related (Score 1) 231

by dgatwood (#48272393) Attached to: Ebola Forecast: Scientists Release Updated Projections and Tracking Maps

The total number of Ebola transmissions in this case? Two nurses who took care of him during the times when he was VERY infectious and a minor breach in protocol could mean infection.

To be pedantic, those two nurses were the only Ebola cases resulting from that patient. It is possible to contract Ebola and remain asymptomatic, so there is probably a small chance of other transmission events besides those two, depending on how careful they've been at testing for antibodies.

Comment: Re:This is related (Score 1) 231

by dgatwood (#48272215) Attached to: Ebola Forecast: Scientists Release Updated Projections and Tracking Maps

The science, so far, suggests that people aren't shedding virus (infective) until they start developing symptoms.

That's not precisely correct. As I understand it, the symptoms of a virus are largely caused by the body's reaction to shedding (when cells explode and send viruses throughout the body), so with any virus, you do start shedding prior to when you show symptoms, by definition. In Ebola's case, there's not a lot of time between those two events, assuming your immune system is working normally, but "not a lot of time" is not "zero time".

I find it regrettable that the CDC use exaggerated statements like "zero chance" to counter panic. It would be more accurate to say that there have been no reports of Ebola spreading from someone who is not showing symptoms, which means it is highly unlikely that someone would catch it in that way, in large part because IIRC the viral load in semi-external fluids like sweat, tears, and saliva is relatively low even when symptomatic, and the symptoms that spread other bodily fluids haven't kicked in at that point.

Put another way, IMO, there's no detectable risk if a potentially exposed person goes out for a jog or a bike ride, so long as that person doesn't interact with other people. However, that doesn't mean the person shouldn't be quarantined to prevent interaction with other people, but rather that the groups overseeing the quarantines should make allowances for certain zero-exposure activities.

Comment: Re:This is related (Score 1) 231

But the fact that she has tested negative doesn't say anything about whether or not she needs to be quarantined.

Yes it does - because if she is asymptomatic and do not test positive for the virus she cannot spread the disease and thus quarantine accomplishes nothing.

Those who oppose any form of quarantine keep invoking "science" for their support, but then they also keep bringing up the fact that this nurse "tested negative" to validate their views. Makes me think that they don't really understand the "science" as well as they think they do.

Actually, the situation is quite the opposite - science says what I said above is the truth. It's the people advocating for quarantine of individuals who are asymptomatic who don't grasp the science.

I find it very depressing that so many here on Slashdot are defending quarantine - yet heap scorn on the TSA for it's security theater... because their lack of scientific literacy means they don't realize the two are the same thing.

A CONS is an object which cares. -- Bernie Greenberg.