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Comment Re:RTFA-ing is the Key! (Score 1) 365

I did read the article. Perhaps you should read one on the subject of syngas.

Syngas is a mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Syngas is not generally produced starting from coal, with is the topic of this story.

In other words the pilot facility they are describing would not be testing the coal process.

Comment Test (Score 4, Insightful) 165

Anecdotal observation here.

Went to Google and typed in Mumford. Guess what, no pirate sites appeared on the first page.

But there was a Wired article complaining about the "no unauthorized copying lending public performance etc. statement on the back of their latest album.

Maybe the RIAA doesn't want us noticing that the 'no unauthorized lending clause' has no legal basis.

Comment Re:My experience with French workers (Score 1) 1313

I have worked in France also, and in the US for a French company as well.

I had no particular issues with the day to day productivity of my French colleagues. They were generally talented and well educated, and worked hard. You do have to be aware their culture is somewhat different, but when you understand the differences there isn't a problem. I will say the French can be pretty thick about the idea that Americans have a culture too, and they need to be sensitive about ours like we need to be sensitive about theirs.

There were some issues with working in a French environment though. The holiday and vacation benefits raised costs of doing anything in France terrifically, not to mention the impossibility of doing any sort of layoff. Forget trying to do anything in August in France. The the whole country closes down. And there were constant strikes. I remember sitting on the TGV in the middle of a farm field for an hour on a run between Paris and Lyons because the railroad workers were having a work outage. And one day there was even a strike of duck hunters (WTF?) causing a traffic tieup in Paris. Driving in France? Well if you are used to driving in Boston you are about halfway there.

For an American working in the US for a French company it was pretty bad. The employment situation that made it impossible to lay off in France meant any cuts fell very heavily indeed on US workers. The French also have no laws prohibiting age discrimination, and while I was with this company the CEO came out and publicly stated that they were 'going young'. This meant firing everyone over or near 50 in the US. They ended up losing some age discrimination lawsuits as a result.

So I have some sympathy for the idea of not owning a factory in France, and I certainly would not want to work for a French company in the US. That was a terrible experience.

This clown really expressed himself poorly though. Costs aren't due to problems with productivity when the workers are doing their job. It's about strikes, vacations, taxes, labor laws etc.

I still have some French friends though, and love to travel to France.

Comment Re:A protective valve? (Score 4, Informative) 201

"Valve" is a generic term, slightly archaic for an electronic switch. Some vacuum tubes are called valves.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_tube

Since a transistor is simply a crystal triode, the terminology is reasonable.

http://www.beatriceco.com/bti/porticus/bell/belllabs_transistor.html

Comment Re:Liable Party in an Accident? (Score 1) 166

It's not unconstitutional. Or even illegal if there is an insurrection.

Posse Comitatus doesn't apply to the National Guard, Coast Guard or police forces.

It would only be illegal under PCA for Federal Armed Forces.

National Guard has it's own set of regulations, but surveillance is one of the things they are permitted to do in support of state and local police.

Comment Oh bullocks (Score 4, Insightful) 333

The summary is wrong. Folks, please stop reading the abstract, and read claim 1 instead.

This is what is patented:

1. A computer-implemented method comprising: selecting a file having a path name in a distributed file system, wherein the file is divided into a plurality of chunks that are distributed among a plurality of servers, wherein each chunk has a modification time indicating when the chunk was last modified, and wherein at least two of the modification times are different; identifying a user profile associated with the file; determining a memory space storage quota usage for the user profile; deriving a file time to live for the file from the path name; determining a weighted file time to live for the file by reducing the file time to live by an offset, where the offset is determined by multiplying the file time to live by a percentage of memory space storage quota used by the user profile; selecting a latest modification time from the modification times of the plurality of chunks; determining that an elapsed time based on the latest modification time is equal to or exceeds the weighted file time to live; and deleting all of the chunks of the file responsive to the determining.

Comment Re:Whos side should I be on? (Score 1) 284

Did you even read the MSDS? It isn't mentioned anywhere.

The purpose of the soap is to wet the surface of the leaf so the herbicide won't run off after being sprayed.

The tallow amine fatty acids are widely used in thousands of products besides Round Up. Including low irritation baby shampoo, liquid detergents etc etc. They are not considered hazardous except when fish or amphibians are exposed because they adsorb onto gills.Even then exposure is very unlikely because the soap adsorbs on soil and sediments very rapidly, generally before it adsorbs on gills.

You don't have any gills, right?

As I said before, the article and the study cited are flat out preposterous. The ignorance and lack of understanding of the science is appalling.

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