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Comment Re: There must be a very good reason... (Score 1) 579

Over the past 5 years the move to solar has had a massive and expensive impact on generators with many large plants needing to dramatically upgrade and improve their turbine control systems, and in some cases augment their production capability with smaller gas turbines which can react quickly to changes in load. This is not due to peak demand vs base load, but due to Solar and Wind suddenly making the entire grid unpredictable.

*There was a good report released a while ago by Energex which covered the effect of Solar PV on its grid and the problems experienced by generators. Worth a read if you feel like a google.

Sounds like some solid free market job creation there.

Comment Re:Overly optimistic (Score 3, Funny) 90

I'm wondering if one of those problems was ending up with extra bolts at the end that don't match up to any of the empty spots....

I used to do this as a kid with old typewriters dad would bring home for me to take apart and put back together. There would usually be parts left over at the end but because everything still worked dad said I had made the machines "more efficient."

And yea, the lack of interest in space even amongst the geek community is appalling.

Comment Re:Sorry, but not here (Score 4, Insightful) 337

The USA's engine is money. Call it capitalism. Somewhere the idea was coined; "Anything for money.". Because they don't understand what capitalism is really about or why it would work. So, there are a great many schemes in the country revolving around income. Crime is a booming industry, ask any commercial prison. You can find them everywhere.

Not just money but control. There's no way to rule innocent people. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, they must be made. This is done by making so many things a crime it becomes impossible for people to live without breaking laws.

Comment Re:Hangings (Score 1) 1160

This really doesn't seem like an insurmountable problem. i.e. don't have a firing squad, mount the guns on tripods and do a test firing to ensure their aim.

Indeed, it wasn't much of a problem for Walter White to take out a whole gang with one machine gun mounted on a turret. :D

OK, silliness aside, a couple turret mounted guns that are laser aimed at a restrained convict would remove humans nearly completely from the equation. The only one with any guilt to bear would be the one who pushes the button to start the timer and you could have it where only 1 of the 3 buttons gegins the timer to fire the guns.

That aside, I am personally against capital punishment and it's yet another example of a barbaric practice that pretty much the entire rest of the developed, sensible world has moved past.

Capital punishment has, in the past, been practised by most societies.[2] Currently 58 nations actively practise it, 97 countries have abolished it de jure for all crimes, 8 have abolished it for ordinary crimes only (maintain it for special circumstances such as war crimes), and 35 have abolished it de facto (have not used it for at least ten years and/or are under moratorium) .[3] Amnesty International considers most countries abolitionist, overall, the organisation considers 140 countries to be abolitionist in law or practice.[3]

As usual, check out the group of fine countries the US is a member of in this practice... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment

Comment Re:firing squads have one blank. (Score 1) 1160

Killing someone is cheaper than letting them rot for life in prison, feeding them, housing them, guarding them and perhaps even risking parole at some later date.

Considering the lengthy and mandatory appeals process that death row inmates typically go through and, given that it takes about 10-15 years to complete the process, while all this time the person is locked up on death row which are likely the most expensive cells in prison, I question whether there really is much cost benefit at all.

Comment Re:News for nerds (Score 5, Insightful) 218

This is a non-story.

TFA says nothing like the guy ever challenged the TSA. It was his daughter he challenged pointing out the sign that people over 75 don't have to take off their shoes. He's just not taking his wallet out for anyone and therefore getting the full search but he doesn't resist or try to engage the TSA. The author / daughter even says he very likely can't hear a word the TSOs say to him. So, exactly how does that qualify as him taking on the TSA?

Newsflash /. editors, yes we have no love for the TSA but, we're not stupid and don't appreciate totally misleading story titles!

Comment Re:Oh, I totally agree... (Score 2, Interesting) 791

It doesn't appear owners are very happy with them... http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD818ZM/A/lightning-to-usb-cable?fnode=3a
Also, Apple discussion forums are pretty scathing but happy people don't post there.

You'll find similar ratings on a majority of their other adaptors and cables, stuff made for a pittance and sold for $25+. Check out the fail that is Mini-Display Port (-> VGA or HDMI) for example.

On the upside, they do try new things and bring ideas to market. I've thanked Apple numerous times for the Mag-Safe power connector which they definitely popularized. (Whoever said the iMac popularized USB is wrong.)
Also, I thought I blew a MacBook Pro a year or 2 back when I plugged in a Chinese knock-off adaptor. The PSU brick popped right away and the notebook instantly powered down. It turned out to be OK but that's an experiment you don't retry so after that I always buy the less crappy, safe and warrantied chargers from Apple. A chip in the cable may have come in handy there, otherwise it does seem like a money grab.

Comment Re:Asia is out of control (Score 1) 110

Indeed, they should!

I should have mentioned in the OP that education on issues like this is severely lacking here. So, from the patient's POV, I think there's an expectation of antibiotics for 2 reasons. Today people are used to getting them for everything and there was a time when they were thought of as a cure all / wonder drug of sorts and that thinking persists. I know far more about the challenges doctors face around this issue than I do about patients' expectations. However, I'm confident a controlled study would show that the vast majority think antibiotics are good for *much* more than they are. I think it would cut across all social and wealth classes too because the education systems here are very poor at delivering even the basics let alone proper health and biology.

I doubt results of the same study in a 'developed' country could be called 'acceptable' either but, I would expect it to show more awareness and an awareness curve that closely tracks income / education.

Comment Asia is out of control (Score 5, Interesting) 110

Over prescription of antibiotics is a huge problem here in Asia mostly due to cultural face saving practices. In the West when you go see a doctor you are sometimes, probably not often enough, told to just go home, stay hydrated, rest and that you don't need any medication because there's no medication that can really help.

In Asia however, when someone sees a doctor they expect to go home with something. Even though the doctor's advice is 'respected' it would be a loss of face for a patient seeking treatment to be told to just to go home and rest, no medication is needed. It's hard for Westerners to understand, and IMHO serves very little purpose in today's society, but Asians would view coming home from a doctor without medication as the doctor not doing their job. Also, by not providing some kind of medication the doctor is basically, in the Asian mind, telling the patient "you are wrong, there's nothing wrong with you" which would be a big loss of face for the patient.

There's also a cultural service and purchasing custom that applies but it's much more esoteric and difficult to describe. Briefly, there's an expression "buy 10 buns, get 11 bags" because everyone is conditioned that a transaction is not complete until the goods or services are delivered well and completely packaged. It's a nice polite custom and all but you should see the dumbfounded look on many vendors' faces when I tell them I do not want a plastic bag for my purchase(s). It may sound irrelevant but it comes into play at the doctor's office in terms of, the service transaction is not complete until medicine is delivered.

So, doctors here are not able to go against the cultural grain, even though they know medically and scientifically that antibiotics will do more harm (in the long run) than good, the cultural conditioning is too strong so they always prescribe and 9 times out of 10 it's antibiotics. I was a paramedic in the US for years and I know treatments are highly relative to cultures. I've got no problem with cupping or coining or other 'treatments' that appear to be absurd when viewed through the filter of my culture but, none of those practices have an international impact.

Over prescription of antibiotics is a very significant international problem and Asia is doing the world a huge disservice by allowing it's cultural customs to influence medicine to such a degree in this matter.

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