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Comment Re:$240/month? (Score 1) 1043

Yep. I spend less than $200 on my family of four, and we eat fresh, nutritious food the vast majority of the time, and this includes my kids' school lunches, which they bring from home (our area hasn't yet gone off the insanity cliff of banning home-brought lunches from school and forcing kids to eat deep fried USDA-approved garbage).

Comment Re:Hubris (Score 3, Interesting) 309

"Mosquitoes are entirely dispensable."

Tell that to the spiders, frogs, lizards, birds, fish, and the thousands of other species that evolved to subsist primarily on mosquitoes.

Also tell it to the aquatic plants that would suffocate and die if not for the mosquito larvae eating the detritus and other waste that would otherwise film the surface of stagnant lakes and create a gas-exchange barrier preventing the passage of nitrogen and oxygen.

The list goes on, but extincting the mosquito would have devastating environmental consequences.

Comment Re:STILL not NEC or NFPA compliant (Score 1) 195

First, the OP's rant aside, NEC does define a "continuous load" as any load that is connected to a plug-and-socket connection for a period exceeding 3 hours. (article 100 definitions)

Second, the NEC requires that a circuit breaker be rated at 125% of any continuous load that may be connected to it (210.20A), which means that a branch circuit with a 15A breaker may only support a continuous load not exceeding 12A.

If a Tesla is plugged into a socket for more than three hours, then it may not draw more than 12A continuously, regardless of voltage or power factor. So, this calculation must be done at minimum grid voltage and actual power factor.

The US national power grid service specification is 120V +/- 5%. At the minimum voltage of 114V, and assuming perfect power factor, a 1.4kW load draws 12.28 amps, which exceeds the continuous load limit for a 15A branch circuit.

It is therefore a violation of the NEC to leave a Tesla plugged into a wall socket (dedicated or not) for longer than 3 hours if it is drawing 1.4kW that whole time. (It is also a violation to leave a space heater on 'high' for longer than three hours if it is drawing more than 12A).

Also keep in mind that the limit is 12A, regardless of power factor, so really if the Tesla is drawing 1.4kW and the power factor is not corrected, its current consumption may be considerably higher.

Comment Re:Net Neutrality? (Score 1) 229

No, because what is effectively happening is that the sponsoring company is giving money to the end user to pay for the overage.

The sponsor is effectively paying the consumer to view their content. That is not at all like a sponsor paying an ISP for preferential treatment of its data. Not at all.


The Internet's Network Efficiencies Are Destroying the Middle Class 674

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Joe Nocera writes in an op-ed piece in the NYT that the same network efficiencies that have given companies their great advantages are becoming the instrument of our ruin. In the financial services industry, it led to the financial crisis. In the case of a company like Wal-Mart, the adoption of technology to manage its supply chain at first reaped great benefits, but over time it cost competitors and suppliers hundreds of thousands of jobs, thus gradually impoverishing its own customer base. Jaron Lanier says that the digital economy has done as much as any single thing to hollow out the middle class. Take Kodak and Instagram. At its height, 'Kodak employed more than 140,000 people.' Kodak made plenty of mistakes, but look at what is replacing it: 'When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only 13 people.' Networks need a great number of people to participate in them to generate significant value says Lanier but when they have them, only a small number of people get paid. This has the net effect of centralizing wealth and limiting overall economic growth. It is Lanier's radical idea that people should get paid whenever their information is used. He envisions a different kind of digital economy, in which creators of content — whether a blog post or a Facebook photograph — would receive micropayments whenever that content was used. 'If Google and Facebook were smart,' says Lanier, 'they would want to enrich their own customers.' So far, he adds, Silicon Valley has made 'the stupid choice' — to grow their businesses at the expense of their own customers. Lanier's message is that it can't last. And it won't." The micropayments for content idea sounds familiar.

Comment Re:The transformation is startling (Score 1) 539

Here's the thing about tyranny. It's like being a frog in a pot. By the time you suspect you might "trend toward tyranny," you're actually living in full-blown tyranny.

Tyranny creeps in first where you can't see it, and it surrounds and envelopes you before you realize it has already taken over your life.


Australian Team Working On Engines Without Piston Rings 368

JabrTheHut writes "An Australian team is seeking funding for bringing an interesting idea to market: cylinder engines without piston rings. The idea is to use small grooves that create a pressure wave that acts as a seal for the piston, eliminating the piston ring and the associated friction. Engines would then run cooler, could be more energy efficient, and might even burn fuel more efficiently, at least according to the article. Mind you, they haven't even built a working prototype yet. If it works I'd love to fit this into an older car."

Researchers: Global Risk of Supervolcano Eruption Greater Than Previously Though 325

rbrandis writes "The eruption of a 'supervolcano' hundreds of times more powerful than conventional volcanoes – with the potential to wipe out civilization as we know it – is more likely than previously thought, a study has found. An analysis of the molten rock within the dormant supervolcano beneath Yellowstone National Park in the United States has revealed that an eruption is possible without any external trigger, scientists said."

Congressman Accepts BitCoin For His US Senate Run 165

SonicSpike writes "U.S. Representative Steve Stockman, a vocal opponent of Federal Reserve policy, told reporters that he wants to promote Bitcoin, whose most fervent evangelists tout as an alternative to fiat currency. To do so, he is now accepting Bitcoin for his Senate campaign against incumbent John Cornyn of Texas. The announcement was made last night at the launch event for the NYC Bitcoin Center, located just up the street from the New York Stock Exchange. Center founder Nick Spanos a real estate developer and Bitcoin enthusiast says the Center itself is still in something of a planning stage, existing more as a statement about Bitcoin itself, though he plans on hosting a hackathon later this month."

Coca-Cola Reserves a Massive Range of MAC Addresses 371

An anonymous reader writes "GNU MacChanger's developer has found by chance that The Coca-Cola company got a range of MAC addresses allocated at the OUI, the IEEE Registration Authority in charge of managing the MAC addresses spectrum. What would Coca-Cola want around 16 million MAC addresses reserved? What are they planning to use them for? Could this part of a strategy around the Internet-of-things concept?"
United States

US Customs Destroys Virtuoso's Flutes Because They Were "Agricultural Items" 894

McGruber writes "Flute virtuoso Boujemaa Razgui performed on a variety of flutes, each made by himself over years for specific types of ancient and modern performance. Razgui has performed with many U.S. ensembles and is a regular guest with the diverse and enterprising Boston Camerata. Last week, Razgui flew from Morocco to Boston, with stops in Madrid and New York. In New York, he says, a US Customs official opened his luggage and found the 13 flutelike instruments — 11 nays and two kawalas. Razgui says he had made all of the instruments using hard-to-find reeds. 'They said this is an agriculture item,' said Razgui, who was not present when his bag was opened. 'I fly with them in and out all the time and this is the first time there has been a problem. This is my life.' When his baggage arrived in Boston, the instruments were gone. He was instead given a number to call. 'They told me they were destroyed,' he says. 'Nobody talked to me. They said I have to write a letter to the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. This is horrible. I don't know what to do. I've never written letters to people.'"

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