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Comment: Re:UPS (Score 1) 212

by the_other_chewey (#48453549) Attached to: What is your computer most often plugged into?

I just get basic APC UPSs and I've never had one cause me a moment's trouble. [...] You just have to test on occasion and replace batteries as needed because they WILL fail silently -- if the battery is dead, you won't know until the power goes out and your machine goes down.

That's what apcupsd is for. Acceptably easy to configure, and then it just works.
It'll warn you if the self-test considers the batteries too old and due for replacement.
Also, it'll do a controlled shutdown if the power is out for too long and the UPS is running
low - a feature I've tested but never needed, thanks to a slight UPS capacity overprovisioning.

Comment: Re:Deficit eating (Score 1) 323

by the_other_chewey (#48397665) Attached to: MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

The deficit they're talking about is around 1% to 2% of the annual production.

Right now, yes. The deficit they are talking about is 25%-50% of the annual production.

I can't see this working for more than a handful of years even under the assumption of large
stockpiles - "rolling reserves" attenuate the problem of age, but not the one of consumption.

Comment: Deficit eating (Score 1) 323

by the_other_chewey (#48397387) Attached to: MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate
How is this supposed to work? Are they just printing more cocoa beans?

I can imagine demand rising a lot, but unless there are huge cocoa reserves
somewhere (which I doubt in the case of a perishable) in the order of multiple
yearly harvests (global production seems to be somewhere around four million
tonnes), I can't see how this demand is going to be met with actual chocolate.

Comment: Re:RTGs not feasible for small probes (Score 1) 223

by the_other_chewey (#48388593) Attached to: Comet Probe Philae To Deploy Drill As Battery Life Wanes

Pacemakers don't use RTGs, they use non-thermal radioisotope generators, like betavoltaics that harvest the current created by escaping beta particles.

That's only true for the Promethium-powered ones with a Betacel unit. I think the number of
actual thermoelectric ones still "in the wild" using Plutonium is about the same.

Comment: Re:Oh yeah, that guy (Score 5, Informative) 289

by the_other_chewey (#48216713) Attached to: Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

He's not in England. He's in Ecuador.

No he isn't. He is in the Ecuadorian embassy, in London, England.

The embassy is their sovereign soil, by international treaty.

No it isn't.

Contrary to popular belief, diplomatic missions do not enjoy full extraterritorial status and are not sovereign territory of the represented state.

If the English police set foot in there to deport him to Sweden (as they would do if he left), that's an invastion of their territory.

No it isn't.
It would break a very important international treaty though, and likely
lead to lots of diplomatic problems.

Comment: Re:Everybody Panic! (Score 2) 421

by the_other_chewey (#48125705) Attached to: Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

Do you even know how this case of infection occurred?

I don't. You, however, speculated about contaminated suits which "still have to
be taken on and off, and that's when health workers seem to get infected."
Which really shouldn't happen.

you're the one who says he knows, or rather knows enough to know there was a systemic problem and not one merely attributable to failure to follow established protocols.

Please tell me where I said that.

Huh? Plane flights? Are we still talking about a controlled clinical environment in a big American city?

There are only about a dozen BSL-4 facilities in the US; if you want to establish the principle that patients must be treated in such a facility, you will be moving A LOT of them.

1.) I don't. My video example above was meant as a "look at how the pros do it".

2.) You do expect "A LOT" of Ebola patients in the US?

you seem to think every metro in the US has a world-class biohazard facility and infrastructure, and has plenty to spare on a wild goose chase of isolating minimally-virulent ebola patients, and you can't seem to understand that your fears are based completely on your own speculation and snap judgement. Your conceptualization of this disease, and the means required to contain it, constitute the textbook definition of cargo cult science.

Hm? What part of "don't mix clean and unclean environments" is cargo cult?

Also: I'm not afraid.

Just to clarify: I'm not talking about the Ebola outbreak as such, and arbitrary
patients. I'm talking about this one specific case of an infected health worker in
a proper clinical environment.

Comment: Re:Everybody Panic! (Score 3, Insightful) 421

by the_other_chewey (#48125477) Attached to: Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

So basically you're just anxious, because none of this "seems right" in complete absence of empirical evidence?

Somebody in a modern clinical environment who supposedly knew what they were doing got infected.
That right there is empirical evidence of something not being right.

And in your sample of 10 (or 20, who knows!) one person became ill, because, we dunno, but it sounds fishy.

It doesn't to you? "Well, they have to take off those contaminated suits, and some will get infected while
doing that. Shit happens." really isn't the right approach here.

What recommendations would you make, if you were, say, a public health official? Everyone who develops illness has to be treated in something akin to a BSL-4 facility?

No, but how about "don't mix clean and unclean environments, and follow proper decontamination
procedures while moving between them, and before undressing"?

Have you any idea how many plane flights that would require, just to cite one small aspect of the logistics?

Huh? Plane flights? Are we still talking about a controlled clinical environment in a big American city?

And all this to protect from a disease vector that's completely unsubstantiated in the literature?

Or do you do like Judge Clay Jenkins, and personally go to the family's house in shirt-sleeves and drive them to a new home? Which approach is more appropriate? Which one balances our available resources against the actual concrete threat of the disease? Which one is actually workable?

You're losing me here.

Comment: Re:Everybody Panic! (Score 1) 421

by the_other_chewey (#48125349) Attached to: Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

BSL-4 is a standard that only applies to laboratories, the same standards aren't necessarily applied to clinical environments, and in the case of Ebola are major overkill.

I mostly agree, but I'd still expect strict precautions to be taken to prevent the mixing of
clean and contaminated environments. That includes not taking contaminated objects (suits,
gloves, whatever) out of the containment area.

Ebola can't travel through the air, so positive pressure suits aren't appropriate, and they still have to be taken on and off, and that's when health workers seem to get infected.

So WhyTF are they taking off undecontaminated gear?

People who "test positive" for Ebola are not contagious, only people who have symptoms are, and they can only pass the disease through contact with bodily fluids -- this usually implies touch, since hemorrhagic fevers cause people to give off all kinds of gross effluent, but it's just not like a "virus" one gets from casual contact, like, say, rubella.

And still somebody got infected. Somebody who knew they were dealing with an infectious
and lethal disease. This should never have happened. You're not making me feel better about the
competence of those involved.

The fact is, Ebola isn't that contagious -- HIV is more virulent, and these two are nothing compared to the influenza or SARS. It's bad that health workers can get it, but this is still one person, so on a completely epidemiological basis it's really not a big deal. Characterizing a single case as somehow indicative of the safety of these procedures is sensationalism.

Well, yes and no. I'm not really concerned about it "getting out". And while it's obviously not enough
for proper statistics, it's more than enough for concern for the health workers: How many people were
treating this patient? 10-20?

That makes for a 5-10% infection rate amongst people who knew what they were dealing with, in a supposedly
first-rate facility in a highly developed country. And the infection happened despite Ebola "not being that contagious".


Comment: Re:Everybody Panic! (Score 4, Interesting) 421

by the_other_chewey (#48124721) Attached to: Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

well no, I bet a dollar there was a tear in his suit. Simplest explanation is always right.

Be prepared to lose a dollar. The protocol for donning and removing the protective gear is very complex, and very hard to get perfect. When putting the suit on, it's possible to get gaps between the goggles and suit without even knowing it.

Goggles?! - Proper biohazard suits are full-body and pressurized, with a full-head hood and absolutely
no openings in the vicinity of the head. Or any place on the front side of the body for that matter.

And when taking it off, a tiny flap of the contaminated suit brushing against a clean surface is almost impossible to detect.

Eh, again? - There's a multi-step decontamination procedure before taking off the suit.

Taking off a still-contaminated suit would be a major fuckup, and a (potentially) contaminated suit should never
be in an environment where any "un-suited" contact can happen.

Have a look at how this works at the BSL-4 level (skip to about minute 13).

What kind of amateurs are running this place?

Comment: Re:Corroborating Hieroglyphics? (Score 2) 202

by the_other_chewey (#47772897) Attached to: How the Ancient Egyptians (Should Have) Built the Pyramids

It is estimated the Great Pyramid was built in just over twenty years. So say 7500 days - which means placing 320 blocks a day assuming you work 365 days 24 hours a day. Pretty sure the Egyptians would be limited to daylight hours work, so they'd need to cut & move at least 500 blocks a day.

What? No! The limitation to daylight hours meant they had to be faster per stone,
but it didn't suddenly double the amount of stones needed.

A 2.4 million stone pyramid built in 20 years is built at an average rate of 229 stones
per day, completely independent of the length of the work day.

There is no opinion so absurd that some philosopher will not express it. -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, "Ad familiares"