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Comment: Re:Remote Kill Switch. (Score 1) 425

Since GM runs ads about how they can remotely kill OnStar equipped vehicles, I am sure that if the capability exists in Tesla Cars, they wouldn't need a warrant to do it. They would only need authorization from the owner. Only time Tesla would need a warrant from the police is if the police are chasing the Owner and the Owner won't grant authorization

Comment: Re:Jurisdiction (Score 1) 173

I believe that this is a split from the 5th Circuit who ruled warrants are not required for this data because 3rd party doctrine. It can''t be a search of your private information because it isn't your information, it is Verizon's or AT&T or Sprint. It is about you, but it isn't yours.

Thereby increasing the likelihood that this will eventually make its way to the Supreme Court

It may be time for the Supreme Court to address this issue directly. But they ruled just a few years ago that pager records didn't require warrants.

Comment: But this is a light fire year (Score 4, Informative) 379

by weiserfireman (#47033971) Attached to: Studies: Wildfires Worse Due To Global Warming

Every year there are devastating fires somewhere. But we have to look at the acreage and number of fires.

Last year was a light fire year. About 20% lighter than the 10 year average.

So far this year, we are about 15% behind the 10 year average in the number of wildland fires. And we are about 50% behind in the number of acres burned.

Honestly, I still expect overall the world's climate will be getting wetter with global warming. There might be some regions that will get drier, but warmer oceans mean more evaporation. Warmer temperatures mean the air can hold more moisture resulting in higher humidity. Eventually that higher humidity has to result in more rainfall somewhere. But even if higher humidity doesn't result in rain, higher humidity does result in less aggressive fire behavior.
      I am not a climate scientist. I have a lot of people scoff at me when I say this, but they never explain how I am wrong. I can read the projections but the projections never seem to include the increased levels of ocean evaporation that I expect.

Comment: Re:Distillation versus Reverse Osmosis (Score 1) 420

Flash type vacuum distillation plants are very common and very well understood technology.

I can just about guarantee the desalination plant that Santa Barbara built 20 years ago was this type. Reverse Osmosis plants were brand new cutting edge technology back then.

Comment: Re:lol, wut ? (Score 1) 420

I was a nuclear technician in the Navy. We used Pressurized Water Reactors. My understanding is that most US commercial reactors are pressurized water reactors too.

Primary coolant loop is pressurized water. Primary Loop is pressurized and never boils, never produces steam. Pressurized so it can carry lots of heat without boiling. Water transports the heat to a Steam Generator in a secondary cooling loop. The water in the secondary loop boils and produces steam. The steam is used to spin steam turbines attached to generators and main engines.

Lots and lots of steam.

Comment: Re:And with that yoiu get POWER! (Score 4, Informative) 420

Their mothballed desalination plant won't be a reverse osmosis system. It will be an older flash distillation plant.

Probably steam powered. I ran and supervised the operation of 2 multi-stage 100,000 gallon per day flash distillation plants in the Navy. They have very few moving parts and were very reliable. They just took a ton of steam to operate. Steam for the ejectors that pulled the vacuum, and steam for the heating elements. Lots of electricity for the pumps.

But they are talking about a plant that can produce millions of gallons per day of fresh water. It will be very clean and soft too. Expect 0 hardness on the output. They probably will be adding minerals so the output has good flavor.

Comment: Re:A drop in the bucket. (Score 4, Informative) 420

So what you are objecting to the the Practice of Water Rights

Water Rights are a legal principle, not Federal Micromanagement. The water belongs to the person with the oldest rights to it first. Need isn't part of the equation.

The person who's water rights were established in 1849 have priority to the person who's water rights were established in 1999.

First come first served. Water Rights are inheritable and sellable. Those farmers have water rights that are older than the residents in the Cities. That is why they get first dibs. Not because they are propped up by the Federal Government. But because the process of water rights was established by Common Law, and supported by California and Federal Courts.

Comment: Re:A drop in the bucket. (Score 2) 420

Unless you can demonstrate that the oil companies are hauling water from Santa Barbara to frack wells in other parts of the country, I don't see how this is relevant.

Besides, I think what you are describing is an oil recovery technique, not fracking. There is a process were water/steam is injected into old wells to try and recover more oil/gas, but it has little relationship to hydraulic fracturing

Comment: Re:Obamacare exists because... (Score 1) 288

by weiserfireman (#46806435) Attached to: $42,000 Prosthetic Hand Outperformed By $50 3D Printed Hand

However -- because of the Supreme Court decision in the Obamacare case, the Medicaid expansion is voluntary for the states, and half the states (mostly Republican) refused to expand it. So in those states, poor people really are stuck. They do get kicked out of hospitals and get left to die of treatable conditions.

I live in one of those States that refused to expand Medicaid. I live in Idaho. I don't think we could have afforded to do it. Because of another Court case a few years ago, the State of Idaho now has to pay for education in Idaho out of the General Fund. It used to be mostly funded by property taxes at the local level, but now it is funded by Sales Tax at the State level. We also have a Constitutional requirement in Idaho to balance the budget every year. Approximately 60% of the State budget is now Education. Every other State Agency has seen their budget slashed by about 30% over the past 10 years.

And then the Federal Government orders the State to massively expand Medicaid. My State just doesn't have the resources to do it. It isn't because people don't care, we just don't have the income. 90% of the Students in my School District are on free or reduced lunch. Median Family income in my town is $31,000 per year. 20% of the people in my community live below the poverty line. There isn't a whole lot of room to add more taxes to expand another Government program.

If our State was doing better economically, there would be more support for expanding Medicaid. But we are all suffering. The idea of having to pay even more taxes is daunting.

The truly poor still have access to Medicaid in Idaho. The program didn't go away. It just didn't expand it to people above the poverty line.

Comment: Re:FAA & Public Safety (Score 1) 236

by weiserfireman (#46428453) Attached to: Drone Pilot Wins Case Against FAA

Requiring the operator of an RC Plane to be a "Licensed" Pilot if it is for commercial use, but any joe smuck if it is for hobby use seems to be a problem for me.

For one reason, Piloting an RC aircraft, from the ground, is a different skill set than Piloting a small plane from inside the aircraft itself.

Comment: Re:lack of attractive upgrade prices (Score 1) 860

by weiserfireman (#46411689) Attached to: Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

I do IT in a machine shop.

We have 3 machines that still have Windows 95 for their OS, 2 with Windows 2000, and 2 with Windows XP

These are not standard intel processor based PCs. They are RISC processors that run a real time OS that communicates with the machine PLCs, and Windows provides a nice interface for the operator to interface with.

Last time we got a quote, it was $14,000 to upgrade one of the machines to Windows XP. I am not sure they can even be upgraded to Windows 7. They still work, so why bother spending the money.

I have a Tool inventory kiosk that has Windows XP on it too. I could upgrade it to Windows 7 or 8, but I have no guarantee that the Kiosk will function normally if we do that. So we are not upgrading it. I have better things to do with my time.

None of the machines or kiosks have Internet access. I will take my chances that they are secure enough.

Comment: Re:SR-71 needed replacing (Score 4, Interesting) 216

by weiserfireman (#45305915) Attached to: Skunk Works Reveals Proposed SR-71 Successor: the Hypersonic SR-72

Shooting down a Mach 6 aircraft is extremely difficult.

Lets say an SR-72 was going to go the full length of Iran, and Iran had recently deployed S-300 missiles from Russia. The S-300 is considered a world-class air defense weapon (despite having never been fired in combat). It has a 5 minute deployment time and a 24 mile range.

Mach 6 is roughly 4,567 Miles/hour or 1.26 miles every second.

It will cover the 48 mile engagement envelope of an S-300 (24 miles each way), in 38 seconds. What this means is a missile site can't detect and engage the target. Someone has to detect and transmit targeting information to air defense sights in the path of the plane, so they can be ready to lauch, when it gets within range.

Just some moderate maneuvering and route planning, keeps the SR-72 out of range most of the time.

There was rumor that the SR-71 was detectable with long range radars, but stealthy to weapons guidance radars. Add in stealth characteristics and the task becomes even more difficult.

From looking at a map, the absolute longest flight path over Iran appears to be about 2000 miles. Meaning the SR-72, worst case, would only be over Iranian airspace for less than 30 minutes. If a plane came in over the Caspian Sea, crossed over Tehran, then turned for the nearest border, they could be in and out of Iran in less than 5 minutes.

All in all, a very challenging exercise.

Don't hit the keys so hard, it hurts.