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Comment: Re:Hmmm .... (Score 1) 110

by xfade551 (#47950501) Attached to: A DC-10 Passenger Plane Is Perfect At Fighting Wildfires
Well I suppose in-flight engine fires don't count, if no one dies...

I had a large group of buddies who got a "free week" in Japan in late August or early September 2000 (I don't remember precisely when) following an engine fire as they were flying back from Korea to California. As they were Reservists whose "2 weeks of training" already ended up being 3 weeks (before the incident), their civilian employers were none too happy! My flight was a fewdays later on a normal commercial airline, and I actually beat them home.

Comment: Re:Hmmm .... (Score 1) 110

by xfade551 (#47927567) Attached to: A DC-10 Passenger Plane Is Perfect At Fighting Wildfires
"The three-engine DC-10 entered service in 1970 as a passenger jet, and the last airplane working in that capacity, operated by Biman Bangladesh Airlines..."

Did anyone bother to check on World Airlines, which only flies passenger charter flights for the U.S. Military, and (mostly) flies in and out of military air bases? Before I left the Army a few years ago, I had the (dis)pleasure of riding their sketchy DC-10's and MD-11's several times. Also, neither of the two planes can cross the Pacific Ocean (California or Washington to Japan or Korea; and vice verse) in one hop, on those routes there is always a refueling stop at Anchorage or Honolulu.

Comment: Re:1024-fold (Score 1) 210

by xfade551 (#47893695) Attached to: SanDisk Releases 512GB SD Card
In case you haven't noticed, manufacturers of transistor based memory (flash, SRAM, DRAM, EEPROM, etc.) still use the 2^10 definitions. To this day, I still can't believe the marketers convince IEEE to make up the silly sounding names for the 2^10 definitions. If I had a say in the definitions, I would have tagged on subscripts of 2 and 10 to the end of the units to indicate the difference.

By the way, under both sets of definitions, 1024 bytes = 1 KB = 1 KiB. It's only for MB and higher that it diverges.

Comment: Re:That's not quick? (Score 1) 190

by xfade551 (#47731285) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?
Are those amp values load amps or breaker amps? Just running the raw numbers provided (and neglecting power factor) thats 145320 W coming into the rectifier and 49200 W going out... a whopping 33% power efficiency! 33% efficiency isn't all that much higher than a typical internal combustion engine.

Another problem with all of this is the cable sizes that are required... 120 Amps is 2ga. or (most likely) larger cable. Cables that size start getting heavy and stiff pretty fast.

At any rate, I here Teslas are fun to drive (at least while the charge lasts) and that's all that really matters, am I right?

Comment: Re:Talk of unit conversions is off the mark (Score 1) 164

by xfade551 (#47672919) Attached to: Giant Greek Tomb Discovered
When using computers, there is one way in which English measures are unbiasly superior to metric units, which is that the standard practice that subdivisions of the small length unit (the inch) are base-2 fractions (i.e. 1/2", 3/4", 5/32", etc), rather than decimal (i.e. 11.3 mm, 15.923 mm, 2.71 mm, etc. ...just examples, not conversions). Why is this superior? Numbers are represented in binary on a computer, decimals will not neccessarily convert without a small error. Usually the difference is negligible, but errors can build if you are adding a long series of values or multiplying by large numbers.

I'll concede that weight, volume and the large length measures can be a little confusing though.

Comment: No summer vacation = No time for major maintenance (Score 2) 421

by xfade551 (#47639421) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?
One thing that gets missed in this whole year-round school debate is: when is the school going to have time for major maintenance, repairs, and renovations? Many schools are already packed through to the brim (in terms of classroom capacity) so it's not like they can close down an area of the campus/building to get work down while class is in session; construction noise and construction zone safety are major factors too. Ever been on the floor above when a construction worker is using an impact driver into a wafer ceiling?? If you have, you have probably noticed it's louder and more annoying noise for you that for the construction worker. On the safety side, do you really think it's a wise idea to do a crane lift of a large HVAC unit while there are unwatchful, unrulely, or apathetic students down below?

Comment: Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (Score 3, Funny) 205

Technically, the notice is called a "Failure to Register with the Selective Service Notice". I had one forwarded to me after I had already been in the Army 4 years (I enlisted a little before my 18th birthday), and was already serving in Afghanistan. I called the contact number, and the exchange went something like - Me: "Hi,this is Specialist [MyRealName], U.S. Army. I received one of your Failure to Register notices. I'm kinda in Afghanistan right now, what am I supposed to do with it?" Helpdesk person: "Er, umm... our apologies... umm, Soldier. Uh... thanks for serving. We'll update your record. What's your Social?"

Comment: Re:Oddball (Score 4, Informative) 196

by xfade551 (#47360919) Attached to: The lightbulb I've most recently acquired ...
Just so you know (and a lot of people get this mixed up), 120/240V in the U.S. is not 2-phase power (with the exception of one small hydroelectric served area of upstate NY, which actually has some relic 2-phase generators)! You are receiving single-phase power off a 3-phase transmission system (typically, one residential neighborhood will be on the same phase), with a center-tapped/center-grounded step-down transformer providing service to your home. "Split-phase" is a more appropriate nickname for a center-grounded single-phase electrical system.

Comment: Re:Let's be fair (Score 1) 619

by xfade551 (#47276845) Attached to: 2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase
It's also sitting higher than the estimated combined value of all the earth's gold, silver, and platinum (already extracted and unproven reserves included) which is about $15T (source: National Geographic's "Secret History of Gold"; this special didn't relate that number to U.S. Debt, it was my own observation).

Comment: Re:Massive conspiracy (Score 1) 465

by xfade551 (#47263211) Attached to: IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation
So, if it was like the scenario at my workplace, at that same time period we were stuck with an obscenely low (50MB) MS Exchange inbox limit (since bumped to a "whopping" 100MB), which forces you to sort everything to local PST files (which default to encrypted-format), then had lowest-bidder full disk encryption on top of that (quite possibly GuardianEdge). The version of GuardianEdge in use at the time had a nasty tendency to crash harddrives... of my office of 28 persons, all 28 had an unrecoverable harddrive crash during that same time period. To compound things, GuardianEdge would also encrypt external USB drives, but the encryption key was stored on the internal drive. Personnal network partitions were also too small at the time to back anything up to the network.

But, in spite of all this, it's still way too "convenient" that these emails were lost.

"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!" -- Yosemite Sam