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Comment Re:cool (Score 1) 119

TFA reports the data has been collected over two months which should give several repeated measurements over the same area and thus compensate for most variable things.
That noted, the project has been receiving science data from the gradiometer (known as the EGG) for about a year now with inly minor interruptions.

The GOCE is a spectacular satellite, as it's low 250km orbit means it actually suffers from drag. Hence the Xenon Ion Thruster which keeps it from falling down. Normally a satellite does not have to worry about aerodynamics, but GOCE even has wings to keep it stable.

Comment Re:Tinfoil hat mode (Score 2, Interesting) 248

The Norwegian mobile operators have been forced to blacklist a certain US number as numerous iPhones has initiated call diversion to this number. As it lacks the international extension all the calls wound up at one unlucky guy in a small town.
They confirm the issue, while Apple has refused to comment on it.

One translated source http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=no&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http://www.tv2underholdning.no/hjelperdeg/iphonemysteriet-apple-ikke-vil-uttale-seg-om-3206505.html&sl=no&tl=en

Seems the walled garden has a few leaks of the unwanted kind.

Comment Re:Cameras?? (Score 2, Interesting) 80

You probably do not realize that the images Google Earth uses are largely collected by private satellites?
GeoEye is one of them, for instance. DigitalGlobe operates several as well.

As for hefty infrastructure on the ground; there are companies selling ground station services. I work for one of them and it doesn't cost you much to buy a time slot to communicate with your satellite. Heck, we offer the complete process, you only need TCP/IP (or ISDN if you are conservative). The launch does not have to be too expensive if you piggyback on the Indian launchers. But of course, you have to build it first :)

And Iridium has a decent ground network for something like this (we actually happen to host some of it too).

Comment Re:Oh god.. (Score 1) 659

Questionnaires are tricky, very tricky. And the theory surrounding them is rapidly changing, Also there is a huge 'cultural' factor involved when answering the exact kind of of questionnaire as the one linked (rating something from 0 to 5 for example),
Americans have a tendency to rate things extremely good or extremely bad, rating it either 0 or 5 and rarely choosing 3. Norwegians tend to stick around the middle and rarely go beyond 4 on any rating ("thing can always be better or worse so I must reserve the most extreme option").
Cisco, for example, has such a questionnaire that their Silver and Gold partners must forward to some of their customer. In order to maintain their partner status they have to score X number of points on different topics, and they have chosen this threshold based largely on the feedback they have from American customers. In some countries even the best partners have no chance of even coming close to this number, due to the cultural differences when answering such questionnaires.
Also, people have become more accustomed to answering these questionnaires and might be less/more honest than they used to. Changes in how it is conducted might also skew the results (pen and paper at an institute vs. online questionnaire).

So things are more difficult than they might appear, thus I am wary of actually believing the numbers presented. I feel TFA touches too lightly on this before ranting.

Comment Re:Opt out? (Score 1) 351

The idea is good, but the suggested implementation is very bad.
We do oil spill detection in near realtime using satellites, and adopting it to detect a tsunami might be feasable. We detect and alert authorities usually in less than 1 hour from the oil spill is detected.
It can possibly be advanced futher by using floating sensors and AIS.

Organisation is not the hard part, it is already in place for oil spill detection and working great.

Comment Re:Shrimp free zone? (Score 1) 643

If you are that sensitive to it, then you ought to wear a mask at all times.
As you point out yourself, the hazard is not only there the brief moment the nuts are consumed. Someone could have eaten them earlier and the particles got stuck on their clothing. They are released again when people takes off their jacket inside the cabin and then you are dead anyways.

I'll start eating peanuts and blowing in the face of people I dislike. I might get lucky.

Comment Re:Peanut Hysteria is more of a psychological issu (Score 1) 643

Based on this, all you can say is that your allergie is real.

There are many, many ways you could have come into contact with nuts regardless of these M&Ms. What if a hand you shook earlier that day had been in contact with nuts? Or that hand touched the same doorhandle as you?
You even say that this happened at school, where one desk is used by several others throughout a day. Maybe someone ate something containing nuts a few days ago and there was some residue left on the desk. You could have contracted it via skin or gotten it on your fingers. Once on your fingers it's quickly transferred to some weak spot like eyes, nose or mouth.

The M&Ms are just indices, not evidence. And to you personally it's a reminder that you have to be careful. If it is within range that you can smell it, it's most likely also in range for physical contact and you deal with that.

And if it really is airborne, then how is buffer zones going to help? It can travel by air outside the zone and stick to clothing or hair and then drop off inside the zone.

Allergies are complex, that's why we have no cure. Some allergies are triggered by air (pollen), but that allergie is also very different from nut allergies. You react to different things. Also keep in mind that most allergies also cross react with other things, which we have not mapped out completely. Something else may trigger your nut allergie and nobody knows what. It is far too complex to tackle allergies by banning stuff.

Comment Re:The People Problem (Score 1) 595

Also, maybe I haven't been paying attention, but I've never seen an employer require a doctor's note for sick leave of any length. Maybe companies put language to that effect in their employee handbook in case they need it to deal with abuse of the system, but in 20 years working I've never known of anyone being asked for a note.

Would that mean *paid* sick leave?
I'm just asking, as that is the rule here. Also, many employers are part of a new program that gives you almost unlimited days of sick leave without involving any doctors. Instead of abusing the system, the trend is less need for sick leave. People became healthier.
Also, if your kids are sick it's covered by the same rules. We generally do not lose any income due to being sick.

Relevant Norwegian info: ~28-30% income tax and no health insurance needed (and very few available on the 'market').

Comment Re:Congrats TSA/Al Queda (Score 1) 888

* Photos: All electronic equipment must be switched off. I bet it's a digital camera?
* Music: Same goes. If you have the plugs in your ear you are most likely listening and you were not able to hear the attendants telling you ti switch it off.

right. and these devices were just fine for decades... the suddenly they became dangerous. i don't buy it.

No, they did not. But devices have evolved. Instead of relying on the flight attendant to identify every possible device which may contain a transmitter or rely on you knowing which transmitters are harmless (which the airliners themselves do not know) there is a blanket ban.
Anything else would never work today.

* Blanket: If there is an emergency that blanket will cost lives. Try exiting a seat row in a hurry when the person next to the isle has a blanket.

that's a better point. although she was sitting by the window. and even if that is the real reason, it should be _explained_. i think the attitude contributes a lot to make all the measures seem incredibly silly (not that most of them aren't ;) )

And sadly, very few passangers are able to understand these explanations.

Heck, I'm not so sure every flight attendant do. That's why they have rigorous procedures and are not to deviate.

Of course things could be explained, but also you should accept the fact that the procedures are made up of diverse experiences the industry has made of decades.

This is in contrast to the the security measures put in place by the TSA, which are irrational actions based on irrational happenings. The industry measures are a result of actual research caused by actual problems.

Comment Re:Congrats TSA/Al Queda (Score 1) 888

You have a few limited points.
* Photos: All electronic equipment must be switched off. I bet it's a digital camera?
* Music: Same goes. If you have the plugs in your ear you are most likely listening and you were not able to hear the attendants telling you ti switch it off.
* Blanket: If there is an emergency that blanket will cost lives. Try exiting a seat row in a hurry when the person next to the isle has a blanket. Same goes for any larger item of clothing and shoes. Shoes are to be on during takeoff/landing for the same reason.
These things have nothing to do with terrorist paranoia. You could argue how much a digicam or MP3 player interfere with the instruments, but instead of relying on you or the flights attendants to recognize what is dangerous and what is not, it is way safer to keep it all turned off.

I've worked with a wide range of airports and knows some of this from the inside. I also know enough to be confident that the security measures in place after 9/11 are not that hard to defeat.
I have also declined visiting the US because of the hostility you are faced with even when coming from an allied country, but that is unrelated to airport security.

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