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Comment: TFA is Wrong on Frigates & Destroyers (Score 4, Informative) 90

by vikingpower (#49709613) Attached to: On the Taxonomy of Sci-Fi Spaceships
Today, in today's navies and naval thinking, "frigate" and "destroyer" are different answers upon the question: "We can build a warship of a certain size, as we have the resources to do that. Now how are we going to use that hull ?" If the answer is "frigate"; then you dedicate a large portion of that hull to propulsion systems and fuel. What space remains is for weapons systems, electronics, and crew quarters. What you get: a relatively fast, maybe very fast, ship - with a limited choice of weapons systems. This is the choice the Dutch Royal Navy has been making for decades: they want to possess the ability to arrive on the spot soon, and to act far away from home ( e.g. in order to fulfill the Dutch NATO-assigned duty of participating in keeping the North Atlantic trade routes free and open ).

If the answer is "we want to deploy as much firepower as possible from that hull", then a destroyer is what you get. You have less space for propulsion systems and fuel, hence you can be on the spot less soon and operate not so far away from home - but each and every ship present makes a relatively large impact upon the scene. This is the current choice of the German Navy, which has to patrol the East and North Seas, relatively close to naval bases.

Comment: My watch (Score 1) 403

is a Seiko with solar cells as the dial background. The manual explicitly tells the owner to expose it, once every half year. to direct sunlight for about 8 hours. Which I didn't. The watch runs fine, within very small deviations from "official" time.

If my dead body falls in a place where the watch can receive some light from the sun, it will probably run on for a century or so, before some of its components ( capacitor ? ) fails in such a way as to keep the entire watch from working.

The only annoyance: it will display an entirely wrong date, as after each non-31-day-month the date needs to be adjusted manually.

Comment: Re:What is normal and how many were born? (Score 5, Informative) 220

Son of a former beekeeper speaking here.

In summer, a typical worker bee lives for about 6 weeks. 8 weeks, maybe 10, if she has one of the rare posts of guardians at the bee colony's entry, or is one of the even fewer bees that feed the queen. Bees literally work themselves to death. The replenishment rate is, during summer, 100%; this is taken care of by the queen. A typical bee colony has between 10,000 and 40,000 bees in high summer, then goes into winter with about 1,000 bees, clumped around the queen to keep her warm, and comes out of winter with 400 to 600 bees. We are talking about apis mellifera carnica here, the so-called Italian bee, which is the variety most commonly used by beekeepers.

An entire colony dying in spring or early summer is, normally, an extremely rare event, and indicates either an epidemy, or severe poisoning. Varroa mites are a known cause, but are a largely contained phenomenon now, at least in professional bee-keeping circles. What remains, is ... poisoning. Neonicotinoids or something else.

Comment: Re:Wait. Ssergorp lurking here. (Score 1) 34

by vikingpower (#49679663) Attached to: Uber Drivers In India Will Start Accepting Cash
This is the reverse of progress because Uber has the potential to push traditional taxis out of the market. It will then be impossible to wave down a cab, or to jump into a waiting one. You'll need an app for getting a taxi - and you'll be dependent upon one single commercial venture, operating worldwide. That is not progress. That is an ingredient for sheer misery.

Comment: Wait. Ssergorp lurking here. (Score 2) 34

by vikingpower (#49679183) Attached to: Uber Drivers In India Will Start Accepting Cash
Before Uber: person needs a ride. So they get a car that's available. It has "Taxi" written on it, and stands in line waiting at the kerb, or can be waved down. Person gets a ride, and pays in cash.

With Uber: person needs a ride. So they get a car that's available. It can be found by an app - without the app you're helpless. Person gets a ride, and pays in cash.

Am I missing something here, or is this ssergorp, the reverse of progress ?

The question of whether computers can think is just like the question of whether submarines can swim. -- Edsger W. Dijkstra

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