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Comment: Re:Where does the Fed claim to get power to ban th (Score 3, Interesting) 222

Yes it can. [Gonzales v. Raich]

The issue was not in dispute in that case:

Respondents in this case do not dispute that passage of the CSA, as part of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, was well within Congress' commerce power

In my opinion, by the way, Wickard v. Filburn, the New Deal era decision that says making something for yourself (i.e. growing wheat to feed your own chickens, or growing marijuana to use yourself) affects interstate commerce (because you otherwise might have bought it instead, affecting the price) and can thus be regulated, is a travesty that is long overdue for the Supremes to revisit and reverse, as they sometimes do when a previous court broke something substantial.

But even if you agree that feeding your own wheat to your own chickens is a suitable subject for federal regulation under the commerce clause, don't you think it's a stretch to say that affecting the price of a banned substance by NOT buying it on the illegal market is a legitimate reason for the Federal Government to ban your growing and consuming your own plants? Either way you don't buy in interstate commerce, so how can the difference in your behavior affect it? (Or was it Congress' intent for you to buy illegal drugs?)

Sometimes more than half the Supreme Court justices follow some argument to a point beyond sanity.

Comment: Re:Where does the Fed claim to get power to ban th (Score 3, Insightful) 222

The Commerce Clause?

Nope. (The powers it DOES confer were already alluded to in my posting.)

[The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

"Regulating" = making regular, setting standards, etc. It does NOT include banning whole classes of trade entirely.

If they want to PROMOTE drug and gun sales, that's fine. B-)

Comment: Where does the Fed claim to get power to ban that? (Score 3, Insightful) 222

Selling drugs and weapons are serious crimes and should be justly punished. Propz to GNAA

Let's devil's advocate a bit...

The Second Amendment clearly (to anyone who understands how English was used at the time) forbids the Federal Government from interfering, in any way, with obtaining and carrying weapons. (infringe ~ "even meddle with the fringes of") That includes gun trafficing, because stopping gun sales makes it harder to exercise the right.

The Tenth Amendment explicitly, and the Ninth Amendment implicitly, ban the Federal Government from use of any power not explicitly specified in the Constitution as amended. I don't see anything in there that explicitly gives the Federal Government to ban any drugs or traffic in them, or in any way regulate such traffic (beyond forbidding false advertising claims, setting standards for labeling, and the like). (Do YOU find any such power in there? If so, please point it out to us.)

So it could be argued that, by the Federal Government's own basic laws, these were NOT crimes and the "Dread Pirate" was a freedom fighter.

(I won't even get into the issue of the Anarchist claims that ANY government is necessarily illegitimate, coercively imposing its will on people who did not pre-approve this and are not attempting, themselves, to coerce others. The people who promulgated the Constitution were doing their best to get governments off people's backs.)

Comment: Re:Maybe this will end "extreme" couponing (Score 1) 86

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49801753) Attached to: Feds Bust a Dark-Web Counterfeit Coupon Kingpin

The store doesn't need these people. Why not just fix the policies to ban them without affecting regular coupon users?

Because the coupons are legitimate offers of a reduced price on a limited number of purchases of an item. An "extreme couponer" just happens to be accepting a larger number of them than a more typical shopper.

To reject a person who uses "too many" of them (while not rejecting ALL coupon use by ALL customers) may constitute consumer fraud on the store's part and get them into serious hot water.

Comment: There are reasons for 12-TET (Score 1) 101

by Sycraft-fu (#49799983) Attached to: Android M To Embrace USB Type-C and MIDI

It is a good balance between getting a good 3rd, 4th and 5th and not getting too complex. You have to go to 29-TET before you get a better perfect 5th and 41-TET to get a better major 3rd. Gets a little complex musically to represent and deal with all that, not to mention design instruments that can play it back.

So remember that ultimately music is all math, and as such some things do end up being "better" than others musically. I'm not saying we shouldn't have the capabilities to use other scales, I mean computers are more or less unbounded in their capabilities and samplers can microtune to any required setup, but 12-TET has a reason for its prevalence.

Comment: Re:Hilarious! (Score 1) 215

by TheRaven64 (#49798705) Attached to: Chinese Nationals Accused of Taking SATs For Others

The same is true of university exams. My undergraduate exams, for example, mostly required that you answer two of three questions per exam. To get a first (for people outside the UK: the highest classification), you needed to get 70%. Most questions were around 40% knowledge and 60% application of the knowledge. If you could predict the topics that the examiner would pick, then that meant that you could immediately discard a third of the material. To get the top grade, you needed to get 100% in one question and 40% in another. This meant that you could understand a third of the material really well and understand another third well enough to get the repetition marks, but not the understanding ones and still get the top grade. This meant that you could study 50% of the material and still do very well in the exams, as long as you picked the correct 50%. And some of the lecturers were very predictable when setting exams...

Comment: Re:Doesn't get it (Score 1) 287

What jobs do you imagine existing in 10-20 years that don't require some understanding of programming? I thought my stepfather, as head greenskeeper at a golf course might have had one before he retired, but it turns out that the irrigation system that he had to use came with a domain-specific programming language for controlling it. A lot of farm equipment is moving in the same direction. Office jobs generally require either wasting a lot of time, or learning a bit of scripting (hint: the employees who opt for the first choice are not going to be the ones that keep their jobs for long). Jobs that don't require any programming are the ones that are easy to automate.

But, of course, we don't need to teach our children to write. After all, they can always hire a scribe if they need to and there really aren't enough jobs for scribes to justify teaching it to everyone.

Comment: Re:Impractical (Score 1) 549

by TheRaven64 (#49798347) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage
Why would I be stuck with the connector? For one thing, you can easily install adaptors - even if you'd rolled out USB A or B sockets, they'd still be supported everywhere and you can buy adaptors very cheaply. The main problem with a USB A socket (which is really the only one of the previous ones that you'd consider for charging) is the low power - it can only provide about 10W, even if you have some adaptor. USB C can provide 100W, and 100W seems like enough for a DC supply for quite a while.

But if I'd rolled out USB A sockets in 1995, I don't think I'd object strongly to replacing the faceplates on the sockets with USB C ones in the next five years, if the wires in the wall could supply the required power.

I have yet to see a USB-C connector yet, and I am usually a first adopter.

No one you know has a MacBook Air? Most of the next generation of mobiles are going to have USB C (Apple and Google are among the bigger backers), so expect to see a lot of them appearing.

Comment: Re:Important Question: WHICH DC? (Score 1) 549

by TheRaven64 (#49798309) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage
If you connect one of these to the existing AC main, then you're just moving the well wart into the socket. You still have one AC to DC converter for each device, and that particular device can only provide 2.1A at 5V, which is well below what USB-C supports (no charging a MacBook Air from it, for example).

Comment: Re:Even if you go DC, stay at 120V (Score 1) 549

Everything from your wall switches to your wires will cause you never ending problems.

Mechanical wall switches are still rated for DC. Houses USED to be wired for DC a lot. You only have to replace the stuff that was designed after AC was pervasive and wasn't engineered to handle DC.

(I forgot to mention that you'll also have to replace the light dimmers, too, along with most other electronic, rather than mechanical, switches. They usually use a current-zero-crossing turnoff device, and DC won't cross zero unless you force it to do so.)

Even if you replace your wall switches and outlets, your wires will degrade over time and develop holes and other blemishes that will cause a fire.

No they won't - unless they're wet (in which case you have bigger problems than galvanic corrosion). Electromigration at the current densities involved in house wiring is not an issue, nor is insulation breakdown. The wires and fittings will be just fine.

Comment: Re:Even if you go DC, stay at 120V (Score 1) 549

(DANG this stupid touchpad... )

An "inverter", by definition, actually has alternating voltage as a substantial output, or at least somewhere in the circuitry. A switching regulator has a cycling voltage, but it isn't an AC output, or even an AC intermediate.

But they're very similar.

(Also: I was going to mention, above, that the current supplied through the pull-down (or clamp-at-ground) switch is where the extra output current comes from, compensating for the lowered voltage with higher current for similar amounts of power. If the switches, inductors, capacitors, and wiring were all ideal, the driver and sensor circuitry didn't eat any power, and no energy was radiated away as radio noise, efficiency would be 100%.)

Comment: Re:Even if you go DC, stay at 120V (Score 1) 549

A down-stepping DC-DC converter is not an inverter?

Nope. But the pieces of the implementations are similar enough in function that it's close.

A typical DC/DC down converter involves two switches, an inductor, and both input and output filter capacitors, plus control circuitry to sense the output voltage and time the switches. (There may also be a VERY small resistor in series with the inductor to sample the output current if current regulation is necessary, but it's omitted for high efficiency if that's not an issue.) One end of the inductor is hooked to the output cap, the other through the switches to the input cap and to ground.

The pull-up switch is always active (typically a transistor). The control circuitry turns it on and the current in the inductor ramps up, charging the output capacitor at an increasing rate. After a while the pull-up switch is turned off and the pull down switch is turned on. The current through the inductor ramps down, but before it goes through a stop and reverses the pull-up switch is turned back on and the pull-down turned off. The pull-down switch may be a diode, which switches on as needed automatically, but for high efficiency it's usually another transistor, because it has a lower voltage drop and thus is more efficient.

The control circuitry varies the percent of pull-up versus pull-down time to keep the average output voltage at the desired level. The frequency may be controlled or may be allowed to vary somewhat.

So the waveform in the inductor is a sawtooth, and the current never reverses. An "inverter" by definition,

Comment: It is also still what computer music uses (Score 1) 101

by Sycraft-fu (#49794281) Attached to: Android M To Embrace USB Type-C and MIDI

If you compose music on a computer, you almost certainly still do it with MIDI. All the new highly advanced synths and samplers still use MIDI as their input for data. Everything from big dollar stuff like Native Instruments Komplete down to freeware. MIDI goes in, sound comes out.

In some ways it surprises me since you'd think they would get around to improving it (there are some things MIDI leaves to be desired) but on the other hand it does work well for nearly everything and there's something to be said about keeping things standard. You can literally take one of those old General MIDI songs and feed the data in to a modern sampler. I do just that all the time to remake old game soundtracks because I enjoy it.

Comment: Re:Even if you go DC, stay at 120V (Score 4, Interesting) 549

(Continuing after brushing the touchpad posted it for me. B-b) ... equipment at that voltage. (Small systems are often 12V due to the availability of 12V appliances.)

But back to inverters:

Current inverter and switching regulator (they're pretty much the same stuff) technology is SO efficient that large PC boards in computing and networking equipment may run the power through as many as THREE DC-DC converters, because you lose less power to heat as losses in the inverters than you would to resistance running it a few inches through a printed circuit board power plane.

So the '"20-40% loss" number seems to me to be utterly bogus.

(Consider this: A Tesla automobile IS AC motors driven by inverters from batteries. A horsepower is almost exactly 750 watts. If they had 20-40% losses in the inverters, how do you keep the car from being on fire after a jackrabbit start? Let alone recover enough power on braking to reuse on acceleration to make a substantial difference?) If ANYBODY knows how to handle inverters it's Tesla. B-) )

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang