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The Military

Submission + - Why Iron Dome Might Only Work For Israel (thediplomat.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Many this week have declared Israel's American financed Iron Dome rocket defense system a success. Some have even gone so far to declare it a vindication of Ronald Reagen's 1980's Star Wars missile defense system. Pundits have even gone so far to assume the system could be sold to other nations. However, the Iron Dome may not be the game changer many are making it out to be.

Taking out unsophisticated rockets is quite different than advanced missiles: "...the technical and strategic challenges of shooting down ballistic missiles differ considerably from those of shooting down unguided rockets. BMD shares with rocket defense some common technological ground; both require fast reaction time and impressive sensor capabilities, and the Iron Dome project has benefited from technical work on missile defense. However, ballistic missiles in flight behave differently from unguided, sub-atmospheric rockets."

Power

Submission + - LA Metro to Harvest Energy From Subway Trains (vyconenergy.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Today the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority awarded VYCON Energy with a $3.6 million contract to install a flywheel energy recovery system at the Red Line Westlake/MacArthur Park subway station. The system will harness kinetic energy from braking trains then use the stored energy to help trains accelerate.

Comment Re:"Better yet, leave it to the private sector." (Score 1) 458

Almost all of the MTA's services are back to normal, with a few minor branches being bussed. Even if it is a shuttle bus public transit is still the most viable option.

However I agree that the NJ railroads are still unbelievably fucked. It's bad enough that they've had to borrow buses from neighboring states so I would agree that the rules are a bit different there - however this article was about NY. In fact the AG's plan might screw up NJ even more, now people who might have wanted to drive some upstate NY gas (no shortage) down to NJ residents and sell it at $20/gallon won't be allowed to.

Comment Re:"Better yet, leave it to the private sector." (Score 5, Insightful) 458

or for individuals to sell generators that they had bought before the storm at double their retail value.

By making that illegal it becomes better for someone who has an extra generator to simply not sell it. While the generator would be doing no one any good, it is still available to the person holding it in case he needs it - to him the $700 generator is worth $1400 (the risk of needing it and not having it is worth $700 to him) but by not being allowed to sell it at that price, he would be taking a perceived loss for no reason. I fail to see how this is better than allowing supply/demand to take over.

As for gas, keep in mind this is the NY metro area. Very few people actually *need* gas. If the prices at the stations were allowed to rise to $10, people who do need the gas would be able to get it, and people who don't would take the bus/railroad/subway. Right now, the commodity being sacrificed is time: people who have more time on their hands and can sit on a line for 5 hours are better able to get gas than those working 3 jobs. How is that right?

Comment Re:Not suprising (Score 1) 42

How about mandating exactly 6 characters and requiring a number and special character?
I wish there was some place to report piss poor password schemes for banks (BBB?), no amount of my complaining has done it, not even informing them that they are strictly my "just enough to use the ATM every week" bank, and my real money is elsewhere...

Comment Re:repeat after me... (Score 1) 42

Fundamentally, no phone can ever be a second factor for authentication purposes, period, so long as it is possible to enter your password or PIN through that phone.

Not at all. If you never enter your bank password or pin through the phone in the first place, there is no way a compromised phone will be able to obtain it. I do all of my online banking from a computer, so a second factor being the phone would work fine (unfortunately only the least important of my three banks uses two factor).

Comment Re:"Better yet, leave it to the private sector." (Score 4, Insightful) 458

you're going to buy that last can of chicken soup from your corner market rather than shopping around for a better deal further away

Except, when prices are allowed to rise, if you *really need* that can it is still available. If the store is forced to keep it at their normal price, the can would have been gone hours before you got there, to some random person who could have done just as well with a can of ravioli.

Comment Re:Obama (Score 1) 1576

Declare a national holiday so all can vote on a day off to eliminate the lines.

It's funny how governments and unions are the only ones who seem to be able to accomplish giving election day off... Federal employees and various autoworker unions got it as an actual day, state employees around here got a floater (which everyone uses the day after Thanksgiving rather than on Election day). I know no non-union private sector employee who actually got anything for it (though my sample size is fairly small).

I'd imagine that helps skew the results a bit...

Comment Re:Around your ass... (Score 2) 190

You can also tell when stores have a minimum purchase requirement for credit.
In many states it is illegal to charge more for a credit transaction, however it is not illegal to offer a discount for using cash... it would be interesting to see stores offer a "2% discount on all cash purchases!" deal.

Generally I pay cash at independent stores and credit at chain stores... if the price is the same, paying cash is effectively subsidizing those who would pay by credit. The credit card charge is built into the price, so those extra cents are straight up profit for the store.

Comment Re:Clusterfuck.... (Score 3, Informative) 162

This is one of those situations where the invisible hand of the free market fails miserably:

Company A: plans properly for contingencies, but has to charge $10 more per customer.

Company B: thinks they have planned for contingencies as well as A (but accredit the cheaper pricetag to their managerial prowess), makes the same claims about uptime as company A, and undercuts company A.

Company A goes out of business as B steals all of A's customers.

Disaster hits, but due to company A having gone out of business 2 years ago, B can legitimately say "no one could have planned for this!" and likely gets away with it...

Comment Re:HP Proliant MicroServer N40L (Score 1) 320

And in some places that get a little *too* serious, you end up with some stupid proprietary appliance that can't be rack mounted but the PHB swore was needed. And for that, you will have one of these. And in the extra space next to said proprietary POS, you can put something like the abovementioned HP server.

Comment Re:Agree 100% (Score 2) 661

I, too have a 28" 1920x1200... I had been looking for a better quality one (one which can letterbox 1920x1080 so that my PS3 isn't vertically stretched) but I gave up after realizing I can't even find something *as good* as the one I have. When this goes I'll probably do something weird like use a 1080p TV as my primary display and an old 20" widescreen rotated 90 degrees for web browsing / document viewing...

Your Rights Online

Submission + - RIAA Failed To Disclose Expert's Lobbying History to "Six-Strikes" Partners (torrentfreak.com)

concealment writes: "A month before the controversial “six strikes” anti-piracy plan goes live in the U.S., the responsible Center of Copyright Information (CCI) is dealing with a small crisis. As it turns out the RIAA failed to mention to its partners that the “impartial and independent” technology expert they retained previously lobbied for the music industry group. In a response to the controversy, CCI is now considering whether it should hire another expert to evaluate the anti-piracy monitoring technology."
Games

Submission + - Valve: Linux has everything they need (ubuntuvibes.com)

dartttt writes: In a presentation at Ubuntu Developer Summit currently going on in Denmark, Drew Bliss from Valve said that Linux is more viable than Windows 8 for gaming. Windows 8 ships with its own app store and it is not an open platform anymore and Linux has everything they need: good OpenGL, pulseaudio, OpenAL and input support.

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