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Comment Re:Anything NK does is suspicious (Score 1) 285

"Because it worked so well back in 1940 with Japan.

Aggressive military dictatorships aren't always deterred by anything less than war. "

That has certainly been the case about USA.

"Can you think of a measure less than war that would have deterred Japan from its path of conquest in Asia and war against America? Surrender doesn't count."

Can you think that whatever happened 8000 Km west to San Francisco was not the fricking business of USA to start with?

What if other countries decided to mess in the other side of the world like USA did? What if USSR just declared war to USA because of what they were doing in South America just like USA did (under Pearl Harbor excuse) with Japan in Far East?

Please note that I'm not saying a word about the ethics of all these issues but just stating the fact that USA was a expanding colonial country under its influence sphere (Caribe, South America and Pacific) just like any one else, the only difference being that History is written down by those that win and it was USA the one that won.

"North Korea was at war with South Korea, the UN powers"

See? "UN powers"... what a nice euphemism for what obviously was a pulse between USSR and USA... again, tens of thousands kilometers away from USA frontiers.

"You're trying to paint a 60 year old war with a 10 year old brush"

Maybe because whatever are the current moving reasons for NK top cabals are, well... current?

"North Korea wants nuclear weapons for the power"

But of course yes! as if USA (or any other nuclear nation) wants them for the nice fireworks they could make on July the 4th, or something.

"By the way, did you take any notice of what happened to the "friends" of the USSR that went off script? East Germany? Hungary? Czechoslovakia? Afghanistan?"

Are you against my point or helping me to make it stronger? What happened to that other USSR ally, the one with ICBMs? China, I mean. Or Pakistan, for that matter? The point still holds: nations with ICBMs are dealt with in quite a different way than those without and maybe NK leaders have payed attention to that.

" I don't recall the US invading a friendly nation like that."

Maybe you need some more phosphorus in your diet, then, for the cases of Iraq or Panama are not so far away.

Comment Re:Excess (Score 1) 205

"Spain buys and sells from/to France and Portugal to stabilize its own grid.
No "country" in Europe is selling or buying power to "stabilize" its "grid. That is an utter misconception. Power trading is basically done for monetary reasons only."

You say that as if they were two unrelated things. Hint: they aren't.

Comment Re:Environmental concerns (Score 1) 205

"Why the hell are people investing in solar? The economics make absolutely no sense whatsoever."

For the one that lacks the knowledge, maybe.

Does Morocco have land to spare? By spades.
Does Morocco have sun to use? By spades.
Does Morocco have Uranium to use? Not at all.

Well, in fact Morocco *does* have plenty or Uranium reserves but being Sun renewable it makes all strategic sense to rely on solar and sell Uranium to other countries or even sit on top of it waiting for oil to be on shortage (but if too long, it risks the mythical 50 years of fusion to pass by and lose their oportunity).

Comment Re:Excess (Score 2) 205

"If Morocco is just across from Spain, why would Spain pay for the energy (i.e. cost of production, plus payoff of initial outlay, plus transportation, plus the company profits) rather than just build their own?"

What makes you think Spain doesn't have their own facilities?

With regards of why paying others instead of doing yourself, you could ask the same basically about everything else. And the answer is, of course, always the same: because of circunstances.

In this case:
* Morocco is at a lower latitude, therefore more sun.
* Morocco is less populated, therefore more land.
* Morocco has lower labor costs, therefore cheaper to build.
* Morocco has already built it so, from now on it's a sunk cost. Given that, about electricity, you basically use it or throw it away paying even a penny per kilowatt hour would rent more than not selling it, so that can undercut local production prices even more.
* And last but not least: basically because with electricity you use it or throw it away, buying and selling over large grids is an everyday no-event. Spain buys and sells from/to France and Portugal to stabilize its own grid. Morocco having the ability to enter that grid not only gives them confidence on their ability to grow in the future but will introduce euros into its economy since it will be probably net exporter in the mid term (being his electricity cheap and on surplus).

You are also wrong about Morocco being "just" 40km of ocean at best. That would put the electricity on Cadiz, at best. Santander, for instance, is another 1000Km to the North.

Comment Re:The basic question is answered...but still... (Score 1) 519

"The issue is the signal to noise ratio."

Well, there are a lot of issues. The signal to noise ratio is one that would only mean a problem to joe-sixpack/armchair debater.

But there's also the public focus on results more than paradigms. We know almost for certain than human activity is strong enough to be significant. We know that most of the impact of human activity comes from greenhouse gases. We know quite a lot of the "bricks" that enter into the equation: greenhouse effect, overall energy in the atmosphere, ability of oceans to buffer carbon emissions, impact of big ocean currents in climate, albedo... but we still lack deep knowledge about how this all integrates in an holistic manner and how each part's dynamics impacts the others so when scientists can say "something big is about to happen, and it'll be due to our human activity" politicians, the press and, as a consequence, Joe Average insist on "don't tell me how the team is playing, tell me the score" and of course they pay a lot more of attention to the one selling a score than to the one saying our defensive game is awful and we should invest more on it.

Of course, those that are happy with the statu quo use all this to muddy the waters so the statu quo remains for as long as possible just like creationists use the holes in the fossil record to negate evolution or tobacco or oil companies did in the past abusing discrepancies on cigarettes or lead impact on health to completely negate the issue.

And to make things even worse, there's also people that see something to gain misrepresenting as "scientific facts" what scientists didn't really say whenever they see they could also climb to the top (it's not only big oil companies the ones deserving sucking society, do they? After all, if joe sixpackers are gullible enough to pay attention to the stupid things oil corps say to protect their business they'll surely be gullible enough to send money in my general direction too, won't they?)

Comment Re:If it's "settled", it ISN'T "science" (Score 3, Interesting) 519

" I'd also suggest that if you really want to find out what's going on, follow the money. There's lots and lots of grant money out there for people in that field, but only if their results match what the politicians need to push their agendas."

I really find astounding this argument appears once and again. It's like... hippies hold all the money, not the big oil corps.

I imagine in the seventies was more or less the same: health problems with tobacco? It's an hoax. Just follow the money. There's lots and lots of grant money out there for people in that field, but only if their results match what the politicians need to push their agendas.

The money and therefore, if any, the politicians being bought is in the side of the oil corps.

Comment Re:Weighed Response (Score 1) 285

"There haven't been US nuclear weapons present in South Korea for a very long time and North Korea knows that."

Except:
1) USA owning ICBM capability (the same capability is so awful for NK to gain, only orders of magnitude stronger) makes the need to deploy nukes on South Korean soil moot.
2) Of course there have been and currently are nuclear weapons present, both in North Korea and Japan, since territorial waters are still part of a country and USA's navy had and still has deployed ships, both over and underwater with nuclear capabilities on that countries' territorial waters as well as in the free waters surrounding them.

Comment Re:so what? (Score 1) 285

"Legally they're still at war with each other."

So if they are at war, who can be surprised that NK are arming themselves to the teeth?

"The US respects the armistice, but NK will likely start the war up again if they ever think they can get away with it."

As in "the US of A would never start a war if they ever think they can get away with it?" Not from Philippines to Irak, passing through Cuba, Mexico, Vietnam, Korea, Grenada, Panama... and that's not counting covert operations all through South America, Africa or Asia.

"The US doesn't just use it's military as casually as most think, typically it waits for a large group of allies to urge it to take action"

No, sure it doesn't.

In the end, of course North Korea's government is a bunch of nut crackers playing with fire but this doesn't make USA any less of a freaking bully.

"so really what's the difference other than a pedant's circle jerk."

It was *you* the one marking it was not peace but an armistice. Now that you are shown wrong it becomes "a pedant's circle jerk"?

Comment Re:Anything NK does is suspicious (Score 2) 285

"Bar their ships from any port, deny them all trade, inform their population, remind them of what they once achieved and can achieve again."

Because it worked so well back in 1940 with Japan.

"They are a totally paranoid government"

Not that you aren't right in your assess about North Korean leaders but I miss the most straight idea: that amid all their paranoia and psychopathy they are honestly scared about what happens to non-nuclear countries once USA tells them "you are not my friend" and how different it is when the one at the receiving end is an ICBM-capable country.

Comment Re:Require that patents be defended (Score 1) 134

"I build a house without a contract. If you like my house and want it you have to pay me for it."

*If* I want the house. Nobody owes you nothing just for having built the house.

"Patents are just a bank for your ideas."

Unluckily, no, it's not "just" a bank for your ideas. On one hand, no, patents never have been about ideas, but about implementations. On the other hand, somehow you have an upper hand even if I reach to the same implementation by myself.

"Otherwise all the smart people that come up with ideas have to spend the majority of their time marketing/finding buyers"

You see? just like any other company out there. "Oh! but I don't wanna spend my time marketing/finding buyers!". Well, that's what being salaried is about.

"Patents, when granted to things that are non-obvious/prior art etc, can be a huge time saver freeing up the creatives to continue to innovate"

Hirings, when granted to [engineers, beancounters, clerks...] can be a huge time saver freeing up the engineers, beancounters, clerks... to continue to go with their engineering, beancounting, clerking...

Comment Re:Require that patents be defended (Score 1) 134

"you spend your time coming up with good ideas that someone else can use to do so, why should you work for free?"

Don't work for free. Just work for whatever you arranged in a contract.

"Are you saying working with your hands/mouth is more valuable than working with your mind?"

No. I'm saying that unless you agreed in contract a compensation for your hard work, nobody owes you nothing for your hard work.

Comment Re:Lost ability? (Score 1) 310

"How anybody could expect them to go to Mars when they've not demonstrated the ability to go to the moon in 43 years?"

NASA already demonstrated that *with a ton of money* and *limited political interference* can go from basically zero to the Moon in about ten years... on technology from the sixties.

It seems not such a big leap to think that NASA could send people to Mars in a decade on XXI century technology. The highlights above, on the other hand, are what seem to be lacking.

Comment Re:What could go wrong (Score 1) 405

"It has, in fact, the simplest of ways: legislation.

I take it you have zero experience with trying to pass any legislation even remotely controversial?"

I do. That's why I tell it's easy; it just depends on the moment and the government: it just takes for an absolute majority in congress.

"Now you're on the right track, carrots usually work better than sticks with these types of things. Although this can also backfire too since anything involving tax incentives will get twisted by the opposition as "welfare for the rich""

Now, it's me the one saying it is you the one with zero experience. We are talking here about the French government but you seem to be talking about USA. Need I to remember that current French government is a coalition of a socialist majority with a far left minority? I don't think the right wing on the opposition wold use a "welfare for the rich" argument, given the case.

Anyway, my argument is that for a government to do something, there's always an easy path: legislation -that's exactly what governments are for, not that such a path is sensible or even doable, given a government in minority or how it is "sold" to the public, nor -much less, that passing a legislation on forcing solar panels on new (or old) buildings would make any sense.

On the other hand, maybe the French government hasn't pass legislation forcing solar panels but they already passed legislation on energy savings for new buildings (i.e. increased thermal isolation) so it isn't so far fetched.

Comment Re:Electronic Engineer Here (Score 1) 220

"You may as well be very honest developers, I have no reason to doubt that. But in some industries, things are simply very subtle."

And even those very honest developers demand the biggest/fastest computers available and automatically think everybody else do the same: you end up with "hello worlds" that require 4GB of RAM a two-core 2GHz CPUs just to boot up.

Comment Re:Electronic Engineer Here (Score 1) 220

"I've designed electronic products for over 25 years, and not once have I ever purposely designed obsolescence into a product, nor have I known an engineer who has (We are talking industrial/scientific equipment)"

Maybe that's the reason.

"I'm not sure how you would do it for an electronic product short of firmware date methods."

Easier than it seems. On one hand, pay attention to the target audience for these devices: a lot of times a dying battery is enough reason to trash away a phone, or just adding more and more resident apps and claiming the phone is "too slow for modern times". On the other hand, there's no need for sophisticated analysis, just designing for the "good enough". I.e.:
-This chipset is too packed and it'll run 20ÂC over its designed temperature, so it'll eventually fry.
-How soon?
-Probably somewhere between two~three years.
-Good enough.

Or:
-This component is quite sensible to voltage variabilities: once the battery starts getting old, it'll fry it.
-That gives us about two to three years, right?
-Probably yes.
-OK: go ahead.

Or:
-This micro-usb is low quality: if somebody uses it frequently to charge the phone or to take it in and out of his computer, it'll brake in no time, I mean 1000 to 2000 extraction cycles.
-That will give us two to three years: ahead with it.

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