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Comment: Re:FUD filled.... (Score 1) 212

It sounds like this transformer had its center tap grounded and was the path to ground on one side of a ground loop as the geomagnetic field moved under pressure from a CME, inducing a common-mode current in the long-distance power line. A gas pipeline in an area of poor ground conductivity in Russia was also destroyed, it is said, resulting in 500 deaths.

One can protect against this phenomenon by use of common-mode breakers and perhaps even overheat breakers. The system will not stay up but nor will it be destroyed. This is a high-current rather than high-voltage phenomenon and thus the various methods used to dissipate lightning currents might not be effective.

Comment: Re:sure, works for France (Score 2) 279

A negotiation in which you, presumably, had them over a barrel. You can bet your employers are kicking themselves for letting you become essential enough to be able to negotiate such a deal. I'm speaking from some experience, since I "negotiated" a 3-day workweek after mass layoffs and indescriminate outsourcing, the results of which finally proved to them that they indeed needed me there.

+ - Letter to Congress: Ending U.S. Dependency on Russia for Access to Space 1

Submitted by Bruce Perens
Bruce Perens (3872) writes "I've sent a letter to my district's senators and member of congress this evening, regarding how we should achieve a swifter end to U.S. dependency on the Russians for access to space. Please read my letter, below. If you like it, please join me and send something similar to your own representatives. Find them here and here. — Bruce

Dear Congressperson Lee,

The U.S. is dependent on the Russians for present and future access to space. Only Soyuz can bring astronauts to and from the Space Station. The space vehicles being built by United Launch Alliance are designed around a Russian engine. NASA's own design for a crewed rocket is in its infancy and will not be useful for a decade, if it ever flies.

Mr. Putin has become much too bold because of other nations dependence. The recent loss of Malaysia Air MH17 and all aboard is one consequence.

Ending our dependency on Russia for access to space, sooner than we previously planned, has become critical. SpaceX has announced the crewed version of their Dragon spaceship. They have had multiple successful flights and returns to Earth of the un-crewed Dragon and their Falcon 9 rocket, which are without unfortunate foreign dependencies. SpaceX is pursuing development using private funds. The U.S. should now support and accelerate that development.

SpaceX has, after only a decade of development, demonstrated many advances over existing and planned paths to space. Recently they have twice successfully brought the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket back to the ocean surface at a speed that would allow safe landing on ground. They have demonstrated many times the safe takeoff, flight to significant altitude, ground landing and re-flight of two similar test rockets. In October they plan the touchdown of their rocket's first stage on a barge at sea, and its recovery and re-use after a full flight to space. Should their plan for a reusable first-stage, second, and crew vehicle be achieved, it could result in a reduction in the cost of access to space to perhaps 1/100 of the current "astronomical" price. This would open a new frontier to economical access in a way not witnessed by our nation since the transcontinental railroad. The U.S. should now support this effort and reap its tremendous economic rewards.

This plan is not without risk, and like all space research there will be failures, delays, and eventually lost life. However, the many successes of SpaceX argue for our increased support now, and the potential of tremendous benefit to our nation and the world.

Please write back to me.

Many Thanks

Bruce Perens"

Comment: Re:Local testing works? (Score 3, Insightful) 778

by Rob Y. (#47502289) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Why is it so hard to grasp the concept that public policy is a balancing act? Just because I say today's minimum wage is too low, doesn't mean you get to extrapolate and say that my argument is equivalent to suggesting a $25 minimum wage, and that would be a disaster, so no increase at all. That's asinine. But it's exactly the argument that so many right-wing pundits are making - and that you're parroting so faithfully here...

Comment: Re: Local testing works? (Score 1) 778

by Rob Y. (#47502221) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

The drop in labor force is not a drop in minimum wage jobs. Those are being added at a steady clip - that's part of the problem. Those 'giving up' are giving up on trying to find a job that they're qualified - and not yet ready to stoop to the minimum wage jobs that are available. Y'know, the ones you're only supposed to take when you're still living in your parents' basement...

+ - Pranks, hoaxes, manipulation: Virtual Unreality on Wikipedia-> 2

Submitted by Andreas Kolbe
Andreas Kolbe (2591067) writes "Kids confess on Reddit that in order to wind up a classmate named Azid, they added his name to the Wikipedia article on Chicken Korma. Two years on, and Azid is established online as an alternative name of the dish. A prankster twice changes the name of the inventor of the hair straightener, and both names are now widely credited with the invention online. Another kid writes in Wikipedia that coatis are also called Brazilian aardvarks, and incredibly, the name catches on in newspapers, even a university press book. Governments around the world seek to control Wikipedia content through anonymous contributions. Misinformation and propaganda on Wikipedia spread like a virus into other publications: how pranks, hoaxes and manipulation undermine the reliability of Wikipedia, and indeed the fabric of consensual reality."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:"here on the Android side" (Score 1) 42

You have a point. Of course, there are differences. This gives you desktop apps on ARM, unlike Windows RT. And the mobile apps you get are Android ones - i.e., there are mobile apps. The joining of the two is just as awkward (perhaps even more so) than in windows 8. But at least you're getting the apps you want - and oh, by the way, it's all free. It would be nicer if they somehow managed to run Android apps windowed on the Debian side - kind of like Windows 9 is promising to do...

Comment: Re:Local testing works? (Score 5, Insightful) 778

by Rob Y. (#47495531) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

This whole attempt to steer the discussion to one of illegal immigration is a cute trick, but it skirts the real issue. The minimum wage (which hasn't been adjusted for inflation in decades) isn't enough for someone working 40 hours a week (whether picking fruit or stocking aisles at WalMart, etc) to live on without some form of public assistance. So either:

1) Accept this - and lobby for public assistance to make up the difference instead of against it.
2) Accept that the wage needs to be raised, because it's more important to the American ideal for a full time worker to be able to support themselves - if not themselves plus their children, than it is for employers to be able to squeeze every last bit of profit from their labor.
3) Admit that you're okay with America not being a place where all people who work can afford food, shelter and health care (i.e., perhaps not The Greatest Country On Earth (tm)).

But the point of the article is that the argument that 'raising the minimum wage will kill jobs' has been disproved. To continue to scream it is to lie. But many of those are the same ones still touting that 'lower tax rates raise revenue' - despite the fact that that's not really what the Laffer curve says - and experience shows that we're on the part of the curve where that's not true anyway. In other words, it's a lie, based on a fantasy and/or propaganda - in the face of actual experience that demonstrates the opposite. That letting gays marry will destroy marriage and hurt children. I could go on...

Comment: Re:Evolution (Score 1) 253

by Bruce Perens (#47485313) Attached to: New Treatment Stops Type II Diabetes


You make it sound like starving people are getting fat too.

If they are becoming obese, the particular individual has a surplus of caloric intake, if only for this year or month. This is not to say that they have proper nutrition. So I am not at all clear that the fact that there is obesity in the third world is confounding evidence.

Comment: Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (Score 1) 125

Easy. Because they all still have big businesses selling Windows desktops and laptops - and don't dare piss Microsoft off too much. That plus the fact that Linux lacks 3rd party app support - but so does the Mac to some extent. Essentially, though, there's not a big enough market for such a thing - certainly not big enough to invest in the capability to offer phone support. Between Windows desktops/laptops, Macs, iPhones/iPads, Android phones and tablets and Chromebooks, there's a lot of competition out there for a new platform. And they can still sell their hardware to Linux fans. Unfortunately, that means Linux fans still have to pay the Microsoft tax.

A continuing flow of paper is sufficient to continue the flow of paper. -- Dyer