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Comment: Re:Well duh. (Score 1) 292

by samwichse (#48101577) Attached to: Former Infosys Recruiter Says He Was Told Not To Hire US Workers

My office hosts a lot of visiting international workers. Mostly from China.

It's pretty clear after working with them for a while and listening to them talk that American = white to them.

It's very weird, because my cube-mate (right across from me) is black. They would say to us both... inappropriate things like: "Americans have such pale skin" and we would both just kind of look at each other in bafflement as to what to say to that.

Sam

Comment: Re:Ion Thruster (Score 1) 48

by samwichse (#48101519) Attached to: Send Your Own Radiosonde 90,000 Feet Into the Sky (Video)

JP Aerospace thought enough of the idea to study it and run computer simulations:
http://www.today.com/id/502538...

About 2/3 down the page under the heading "Getting to Orbit"

""What if you flatten it out and give it a little bit of aerodynamic shape, and point it up a little bit so you have some of that thrust turned into lift?" Powell asked. "As you climb up, your drag is dropping, and now you're accelerating. The question comes, can you get aerodynamically clean enough, while still supporting the lift enough to slowly get faster and faster ... to get all the way to orbit? Is there a drag-power combination to do that? We think there is. It looks like there's a wide margin.""

"To achieve orbital flight, the craft would require a spaceworthy propulsion system — something more substantial than helium and propellers. Powell would turn to the type of continuous-thrust ion propulsion system used on NASA's Deep Space 1 and the European Space Agency's SMART 1 moon probe. Based on computer simulations with different configurations, he contends that such engines could drive the mega-balloon to orbit in three to nine days."

Comment: Re:MPG estimates based on driving like an idiot? (Score 1) 402

by samwichse (#48096927) Attached to: Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines
No, they're claiming that the UK test cycle is overly optimistic (which is very true!), the article with the original data is here, and contains a similar chart for the EPA cycle. Spoiler: it's dead-on accurate, most people do indeed drive like idiot jackrabbits:

http://emissionsanalytics.com/beware-the-danger-of-downsizing/

USA
Eng(L) Var    Real MPG
1-2    2%     34.0
2-3    -1%    28.2
3-4    0%     21.5
4-5    3%     20.1
5-6    -3%    17.5
6+     1%     16.9
Avg    0%     23.0

Comment: Re:Why are EPA estimates inaccurate? (Score 1) 402

by samwichse (#48096895) Attached to: Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines
The EPA tests aren't inaccurate though. The original article (not the one Slashdot linked) has more data, including a comparison with the same test cycle data but using the EPA cycle vs real world MPG. Spoiler: it's almost dead on accurate:

USA
Eng(L) Var    Real MPG
1-2    2%     34.0
2-3    -1%    28.2
3-4    0%     21.5
4-5    3%     20.1
5-6    -3%    17.5
6+     1%     16.9
Avg    0%     23.0

Source:
http://emissionsanalytics.com/beware-the-danger-of-downsizing/

Comment: Re:Its the TEST! (Score 1) 402

by samwichse (#48096869) Attached to: Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines
If you look at the original article, not the one slashdot linked, you'd find a comparison to the EPA test cycle numbers at the bottom. The EPA test cycle appears to be about as spot on as I would ever hope for:

USA
Eng(L) Var    Real MPG
1-2    2%     34.0
2-3    -1%    28.2
3-4    0%     21.5
4-5    3%     20.1
5-6    -3%    17.5
6+     1%     16.9
Avg    0%     23.0

Comment: Re:Not guaranteed memory problems (Score 1) 191

by samwichse (#48020409) Attached to: The Odd Effects of Being Struck By Lightning

Indeed, people installing aftermarket battery sticks in Honda IMA hybrids learned the hard way: each stick of 6 D-cells slides through a pair of rubber matrices supporting the 20 sticks. Aftermarket installers were first just throwing the bare sticks into the matrices, and the batteries after a time would sometimes smoke and catch fire.

Turns out the plastic shrink wrap on the outside of each cell became important to insulate the batteries from the carbon black in the rubber at the 180V the system could hit. It looked like window dressing, but wasn't. Fun times. I bet lightning (at WAY higher voltage than 180) would go through rubber like it was steel.

Comment: Re:Terrific counter to Monsanto's herbicide messag (Score 1) 308

Yes, so wrong you say. Knee! Jerk!

"Professor Jane Mt. Pleasant of Cornell University studied the polyculture of corn, pole beans, and squash. She found that these plots grown in the traditional Iroquois way yielded about 25-40 bushels of corn per acre. This compares poorly to the 100-bushels per acre average for modern New York State famers. Then she added the value of the beans and squash from the same plots. The total yield of the three sisters system was 4.02 million calories per acre compared to the 3.44 million calories per acre."

We plant crops the way we do to make them labor unintensive to harvest. If you knew anything about ecology you would grasp that a monoculture is pretty much never going to take full advantage of a site like polyculture.

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982

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