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Comment: It'll all be gone... (Score 1) 186

by tomdarch (#33239030) Attached to: Rupert Murdoch Claims To Own the 'Sky' In 'Skype'
Sure, Murdoch owns the "sky" in Skype, but you're not reporting on the fact that Stelios Haji-Ioannou and his "we sue over any use of the word 'easy'" wanna-be Virgin operation have laid claim to the "e" in Skype. That just leaves the "p", which, obviously, already belongs to Sean "P Diddy" Combs. But not to worry, the former Skype will be able to Trademark the null set, which is an extraordinarily powerful identity...

Comment: Re:What'd be the final goals? (Score 2, Interesting) 107

by tomdarch (#31610102) Attached to: Iron Alloy Could Create Earthquake-Proof Buildings
As an architect, I can say that you are thinking about this problem exactly how architects and engineers do, and you've identified most of the critical problems. Along with the fact that "falling stuff inside the building" (e.g. filing cabinets and light fixtures) kill building occupants, fire also kills many people in earthquakes. This "more stretchy" steel won't necessarily help with either of these. Most of our systems for limiting the spread of fire (like drywall, spray-on-fireproofing and concrete block interior walls) are very much "not stretchy" and will crack/crumble when the building frame deforms, leaving them useless for limiting the spread of smoke and fire when the shaking stops. This stuff may turn out to be great, but it won't make much of a difference any time soon, and it doesn't sound like it would be particularly "revolutionary."

Comment: Re:Heart Mate II Pump (Score 3, Informative) 465

by tomdarch (#29595951) Attached to: Artificial Heart Recipient Has No Pulse
My father-in-law has a HeartmateII. In planning a family vacation after his recovery, we called the airline we were flying to review the issues with his having the implanted device. Someone took a bunch of notes and forwarded them to some sort of engineering staff at the airline. The response was "It's no problem. He just needs to turn off the device at takeoff and landing." Bwahahahahhah! (In the end, everything went fine, and, no, he didn't shut off his pump at takeoff or landing!)

Comment: Safety comments (Score 2, Informative) 695

by tomdarch (#26283293) Attached to: Home Generators (or How DTE Energy Ruined My Holidays)
Sorry to be Captain Safety, but I just want to point out the obvious: 1. Be very careful when using a generator - they produce lots of carbon monoxide and kill several people a year. Don't run them in an attached garage - even with the door open. 2. Only a qualified electrician should make the kind of wiring changes that are required to add a generator to a house electrical system. The building code requirements are complex, but more importantly, the potential for a fire that would burn down your house is very real. Personally, I'd rather go without electricity for a few days than either die from carbon monoxide poisoning or have my house burn down. Enough with the doom and gloom - adding a generator to a house electrical system is done frequently and generally isn't exceptionally complicated. It's worth it to hire an experienced, licensed, insured electrical contractor to do it right.

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