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Comment Re:Therewhile ... (Score 1) 322

Here in the US, trains slow down for at-grade crossings to 30 kph.

I don't know what crazy lines you're riding but the only time that is done is if it is an unprotected crossing (no gates or flashing lights). I can only conclude your US rail experience is from tourist railroads.

Meanwhile, in upstate NY trains regularly go 110MPH through crossings (not my video)...

Comment Re:What ranges are these? (Score 1) 304

Travelling is written with two Ls in British English.

Not just British English: my American English spelling book back in (3rd?) grade specifically mentioned that for this "set" of words (including cancelling/cancelled) double "l" was acceptable. Since it looked and felt better than single "l", I chose it as my preferred method of spelling. Until some common US English spell checkers started flagging it as a misspelling, no one seemed to ever have any problem with it.


Submission + - IT Pros Get Rowdiest At Company Holiday Parties? (

ericatcw writes: According to ChannelWeb UK, IT guys (and gals) are the most likely "to embarrass themselves" at Christmas and holiday parties this season. Nearly 40% of the 2,000 workers surveyed by Avaya — admittedly, in the UK — admitted to drinking too much while 27% said they "snogged" (kissed) their boss during holiday gatherings.

Submission + - Is it worth investing in a high-efficiency power supply? (

MrSeb writes: "If you’ve gone shopping for a power supply any time over the last few years, you’ve probably noticed the explosive proliferation of various 80 Plus ratings. As initially conceived, an 80 Plus certification was a way for PSU manufacturers to validate that their power supply units were at least 80% efficient at 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of full load. In the pre-80 Plus days, PSU prices normally clustered around a given wattage output. The advent of the various 80 Plus levels has created a second variable that can have a significant impact on unit price. This leads us to three important questions: How much power can you save by moving to a higher-efficiency supply, what’s the premium of doing so, and how long does it take to make back your initial investment? ExtremeTech investigates."

Submission + - 19 yr hacker reveals how the results of a state election in Brazil was altered (

Bruno Cassol writes: "Accompanied by an expert in data transmission and a police chief, a young 19 year old hacker showed how — through illegal and privileged access to the intranet used to transfer election results — intercepted data and modified results benefiting candidates over others. All without anything being officially detected."
The Military

Submission + - Why Iron Dome Might Only Work For Israel ( 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."


Submission + - LA Metro to Harvest Energy From Subway Trains (

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.

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