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Comment: Re:Out of the public domain? (Score 1) 93

by rgmoore (#47550541) Attached to: Google's Mapping Contest Draws Ire From Indian Government

If you can see it from public property and tell what it is, it's (effectively) in the public domain, isn't it?

It may be practically difficult to prevent that information from getting out to people who want it, but that doesn't make it legal to do so. Plenty of governments continue to try keeping stuff secret even when there's no real hope of doing so.

Comment: Re:Multiple service entrances are not allowed (Score 2) 124

There are other cases when you can have multiple service entrances beyond different voltages. A building may have more than one by special permission if it has multiple tenants and no common areas where a common service could be located, or if it's too big to be practically served by a single service. And a building can always be served by multiple services if the electrical demands are larger than the utility can provide with a single service. A quick look says that multiple services are always allowed if the demand exceeds 2000 amps at 600V, which could happen pretty easily in a building large enough to hold 5000 workers.

Comment: Re:n/t (Score 1) 278

by rgmoore (#47484067) Attached to: The debate over climate change is..

You add steps to your debate that aren't in debate. Everyone accepts that there is climate change, and everyone accepts that it is due to natural causes (e.g. ice ages).

This is both sophistry and demonstrably untrue. Some people deny that the Earth is more than 6000 years old, so they don't even believe in the ice ages. This isn't just a bunch of isolated cranks, either. Young Earth creationism is popular among Evangelical Christians, including ones who have been elected to important positions in the US government.

More importantly, saying that everyone accepts climate has occurred naturally in the past is a distraction rather than an answer to scientists who are saying that humans are changing the climate right now. There is massive amounts of evidence showing that the climate has changed significantly in the recent past, that there are no known natural factors that could have caused that size of climate change, and that there is an obvious, human-created environmental factor that can account for the observed climate change. Bringing up the ice ages is classic climate denialism.

Comment: Re:n/t (Score 3, Insightful) 278

by rgmoore (#47468785) Attached to: The debate over climate change is..

Some people are still screaming that it isn't happening.
Some have said OK, but humans aren't doing it!

And a lot of the people saying those things are the same people. They go through the same series of denials:

  1. The climate isn't changing.
  2. The climate is changing but it's natural.
  3. Humans are causing climate change, but it's no big deal
  4. It's a big deal, but the suggested changes to deal with it are acceptable.

The worst part is that they'll concede points through the list of denials in one argument, and then turn around and go back to the top the next time they argue the point. Going through the series of denying arguments and reverting after the end of every argument is the key sign you're dealing with somebody who isn't arguing the issue in good faith.

Comment: Re:Colour temperature vs CRI (Score 1) 278

by rgmoore (#47453427) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

I would think you'd want a high CRI non-incandescent for color critical work. Yes, incandescent lights have a theoretically perfect CRI, but their color temperature is so low that the light they put out is very blue deficient. Many people apparently like that light and praise it for its warmth, but it's so lacking in blue that it distorts color perception at least as badly as a low CRI would. I'd rather deal with the small imperfections in the light from a 90+ CRI fluorescent or LED with a color temperature of 4000K or 5000K than the lack of blue from a 100 CRI incandescent.

Comment: Re:LEDs (Score 1) 278

by rgmoore (#47453385) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

You could always shop specifically for fans that have the kind of socket you want. Despite what you say, there are actually plenty of ceiling fans out there that still use medium base bulbs. You can even buy a fan and the light set separately, so you can get exactly the lights you want. But don't let that get in the way of a rant.

Comment: Re:What is life? What is a virus? (Score 1) 158

by rgmoore (#47428611) Attached to: Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus

Everything is a continuum.

That is an exaggeration. Things grow as a continuum, but they can get separated when the parts in the middle die off. You wind up with a branched structure because things really can get far enough separated that when the middle dies off they can't reconnect. For example, mammals really are distinct from other tetrapods because the forms that connected them died off and they've been developing in different directions ever since.

Comment: Re:2-year CFLs (Score 1) 278

by rgmoore (#47417703) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

I wonder how much of that is because of the way you're using them. They give a lifespan estimate, but that's making some very broad assumptions about how you use them. Those estimates about how many years they'll last are based on you using it for so many hours per day but only turning it on a few times per day. If you turn the light on and off many times per day, as you might in a bathroom or if you're using an occupancy sensor, the filaments will wear out a lot sooner than the projected lifespan. If you're really turning the lights on and off a lot, LEDs are probably a better choice.

Comment: Re:Kids mix fine with LED's (Score 1) 278

by rgmoore (#47417319) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

Their energy savings is not that much better than CFLs...

That depends on what you consider "much better". The newer LED bulbs at big box retailers like Home Depot are now using around 1/3 less power than equivalent CFLs. That's not the same kind of savings you get from switching from incandescent to CFL, but it's still substantial. If power costs more than about $0.10/kW, they're probably worth the increased up-front cost.

Comment: Re:Three years and counting (Score 1) 278

by rgmoore (#47411987) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

Sometimes, the cheapest and most efficient LED bulbs are in the blue end of the spectrum, especially when the color temperature doesn't matter too much - like a flashlight.

In that case, it's not so much the color temperature as it is the spectrum. The color temperature tells you what temperature of blackbody radiation your light source most closely resembles, but it doesn't tell you how closely it resembles it. Our eyes work best with light that has a distribution similar to blackbody radiation, i.e. with a wide, smooth distribution of wavelengths. If the distribution has sharp spikes, it can cause things to look the wrong color compared to what they're expected to look like. This is most obvious if you get one of the LED lights that uses a mix of pure red, green, and blue to simulate other colors; you can get something that looks like white if you look directly at the lights, but nothing they shine on looks right. That color shift is what CRI (color rendering index) is supposed to measure.

Lights have to have a CRI of at least 80 to qualify for Energy Star, which means that most household lights are now fairly decent. Cheaper lights and ones not intended for general illumination may go for higher efficiency at the cost of lower CRI, which is what you're probably noticing in the light from flashlights. High CRI (90+) lights are available, but they're usually a bit more expensive and less efficient.

Comment: Re:Dirty power (Score 1) 278

by rgmoore (#47411839) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

Generally speaking, anything with lots of parts has more points of failures.

Maybe that's true in general, but in the specific case of lighting, incandescent lights obviously have a much shorter life span than CFLs or LEDs. There's plenty of reason to think that incandescent lights do badly with power spikes. My experience is that they're a lot more likely to fail when you turn the light on than any other time, which suggests susceptibility to power surges. It's just that replacing dead incandescent lights is a regular activity, so the occasional failure due to power spikes is much less noticeable than for a light you expect to replace once or twice a decade.

Comment: Re:Dirty power (Score 1) 278

by rgmoore (#47411367) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

I wouldn't be so sure that energy efficient lights a lot more sensitive to dirty power than incandescent lights. It's just that incandescent lights have such a high background failure rate. If a CFL or LED light dies, you assume there must be a problem with it because their rate of natural death is so low. With incandescent lights, you would have a hard time telling whether one died because of bad power or because it's just given up the ghost.

Comment: Re:the real question is... (Score 1) 228

by rgmoore (#47378825) Attached to: Nathan Myhrvold's Recipe For a Better Oven

The extent to which the FDA makes US food crappy is ludicrous.

And you know this because you've read the relevant sections of 21CFR? I actually have, and I can tell you that the FDA does not for the most part force food to be crappy. In many cases it allows food to be crappy by setting standards primarily for safety rather than quality, but most kinds of food can be produced to higher standards than the FDA minimum. There are only a few cases- cheeses aged for less than 60 days and made with unpasteurized milk being the most commonly given example- where the FDA gets in the way, but they're the exception rather than the rule. And, BTW, the FDA is not the relevant authority for meat, which is regulated by USDA.

Two can Live as Cheaply as One for Half as Long. -- Howard Kandel