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Comment Adblue tank not so small... (Score 1) 195

I'm not quite sure where the "Adblue tank too small" can come in. My (German) car's Adblue tank holds enough for at least 11000 miles (18000km) of driving, which is the farthest I have driven it between services, where it is filled up. A work colleague's non-German car (with higher fuel consumption, it's an SUV) still runs about 10k miles between Adblue fill-ups. Meanwhile Adblue is very cheap if you go to a service station that caters for goods vehicles. Of course you can pay a huge premium for some dealer brand-name Adblue - that's like going to a name brand PC dealer and buying their manufacturer brand USB cable instead of some other one.

So, I'm not sure how much this holds water. Or adblue.

Comment Re:Try Berlin next time! (Score 1) 420

Berlin Tegel or Schönefeld?

Tegel has security at the gate so you would have to go through security screening there. Schönefeld perhaps not (I don't go there much), and if you don't leave the secure zone of most airports in Europe you do not need to be re-screened if you transfer, exactly like in the USA.

Are you sure your ESTA was not checked electronically? Most airlines will integrate their departure control system with the CBP ESTA system so that passport details can be checked with the CBP to ensure there is a valid ESTA at time of check-in or boarding, and if this check is successful then you will notice nothing as you board the aircraft. Only if the check fails will your boarding be denied, as in the case in the story above.

Comment Re:No visa (Score 4, Informative) 420

Even if you are eligible for a visa waiver, you have to get an electronic authorisation to travel from the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation.

I.e. you have to pass a check to have your visa waived, before you can try to have your visa waived, and your approval can be withdrawn at any time. Neither ESTA nor even a visa is reliable, you are still at risk of being refused (and losing your money on hotels, flight tickets, your business, travel, or study opportunity, etc). The USA (and some other countries) cannot be trusted to be reliable in this, the USA in particular.

Comment 60 minutes to collect that? Ridiculous! (Score 4, Insightful) 270

The form estimates it will take 60 minutes to fill in. Only a very parochial American, like Trump, could find out all their travel, passport, and social media details within 60 minutes.

Anyone who travels for work, or lives in a smaller country near other countries, or likes personal travel, will take 60 minutes to find their travel history for the past year, or less. It would take days of work to collect 15 years of details.

I estimate that most of my work colleagues would find it impossible to collect travel details for 15 years, or social media handles for 15 years. They might not even remember where they lived 15 years ago.

This is an impossible task to complete precisely for most people. It is also impossible for the US government to verify that the person has submitted all the information asked for. Therefore it is both unreasonable for the applicant and wasteful for the US government.

Comment Almost all the Constitution applies to all (Score 1, Informative) 128

All of the US Constitution applies to citizens, resident non-citizens, and visiting non-resident non-citizens - except being able to vote or to become President. Those are the only parts of the Constitution (as amended) that limit to whom they apply based on citizenship. The rights, for example, of freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, of freedom from lengthy detention or cruel and unusual punishment, of trial by jury only after indictment, protecting free speech, strictly defining treason, and so on apply to foreign residents and visitors as to citizens.

The current US President (Trump) and his administration are wilfully ignoring this fact. The previous US President (Obama) and his administration followed the Constitution on this matter in nearly all (but not every) case.

Therefore this bill should apply to Americans also, and it might well be deemed unconstitutional not to extend to visitors a protection afforded to citzens in line with a Constitutional right.

Comment Re:Tech companies can't use tech to collaborate? (Score 1) 303

There's no suggestion that the remote workers can't collaborate well or that IBM can't use the technology to do so. This move is stated to be based on an assertion by an upper manager that her people will work better in the same office, and that's an unsupported assertion. This stated reason may not even be the real reason (as noted in several comments here, this will cause people to leave the company, which may be convenient for her).

Comment Furby circle burble (Score 1) 254

Back when Furbies were new, several colleagues and I put several of them in a quiet meeting room in a circle, and waited for them to quieten down. We then said something to one of them, and left them to it. This was around 1997.

The chance of a Furby replying to another Furby signal, sound, etc, is not quite 1.0 so the loop gain of the circle was less than 1, but it still took hours for them to finally stop burbling at each other. Being nerds, we were amused.

Getting talking automata to talk to each other is not new :)

Comment Beijing city can't fix its pollution itself (Score 5, Informative) 95

Beijing itself is fairly clean for a developing economy capital. Most of the cars are pretty new, there are not too many two-stroke tuktuks or scooters, etc. There aren't that many factories within city limits, as most were all closed or moved for the 2008 Olympics. The pollution isn't generated in the city. That's why you see the dramatic video online of "smog sweeping in" - it arrives from elsewhere, you can see it at higher levels in the air already, it doesnt'tcome from the street level. It's actually uncanny being in Beijing when the smog is bad because you can't see any source, no "that truck is belching smoke" or "that chimney is putting out smoke". It arrives from out of sight.

The problem is the surrounding Hebei province which has many of the coal and iron ore mines of China, and much heavy industry and processing of the ores using coal. Beiing can't enforce pollution controls in Hebei and the industrialists in Hebei don't care at all while they make money. For a USA equivalent, imagine if if Connecticut, Long Island and New Jersey were covered in dirty industrial plant while New York City was trying to improve its air quality. They wouldn't succeed.

It's nice to see Beijing trying to clean up its air, but it won't improve anything until Hebei province has a similar enforcement and it is effective.

Comment Keep precious things in the house (Score 5, Insightful) 303

Bear in mind that a smaller outdoor structure will not be as secure as a larger dwelling (and property insurance may not cover anything valuable in it, you should check). You will also need to keep it heated in winter, if you are anywhere it gets cold, or the equipment will suffer (from condensation, if nothing else).

I would not recommend working next to a rack of gear, it's noisy. There's a reason we have machine rooms and offices and they're not the same space.

So, what I suggest doing is to install insulation, heating, cooling, network cable, power, etc, as you have described. Then install whatever seating, desking, etc, that you might like. Then install basic networking gear (that you aren't going to be too upset with losing in case of a burglary). Then install a suitable display screen (when a 27" 4K display costs ~$600, perhaps you could cope with losing one to a burglary - depends how well off or how well insured you are, and what your local crime rate is). Use a laptop to compute with and take it indoors when you're not using it. Leave the rack of compute gear inside too, in a room you are not in most of the time. Don't leave any data storage out there, put that in your house also.

Obscure the windows in this outhouse while you are not using it; blinds, curtains, or shutters (locked or interior, so the burglar can't just open them and take a peek). Do not be seen loading the outhouse up with gear either, or someone may make a mental note and come back later, when you are out.

It sounds cool, but bear security in mind.

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