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Comment Re:Deplete our Fresh Water supply? (Score 3, Interesting) 262

Whilst I agree with your comment that it won't deplete fresh water, your implication that it won't have a significant environmental impact is 'ridiculous, short-sighted, and causes more harm than good'.

Marine ecology is actually highly sensitive to salinity in the water - and this process increases relative salinity in the water. Whilst this won't affect the volume of fresh water available for human use, it will have significant impact on marine life living in the unique ecosystem that exists at a rivers mouth.

Rivers typically also wash a huge amount of nutrients into the ocean (from runoff, natural effluent and the like) - I have no idea how / if these plants will affect these nutrients, but as anyone who has ever fished at a river mouth will know, salt water fish follow that leading edge of 'brown' water to feed off the food washed down by it.

There will be an impact and - similar to Australian plans to pipe fresh water from parts of Australia with plenty to those parts with very little - there seems to have been very little analysis into the impact on marine ecology, and until that has been done, one can't say there won't be any impact. Why do people forget the fishies?!

Comment Re:It happens? (Score 4, Informative) 358

A statistician friend of mine pointed me to a study (that I have now lost) which showed some very interesting figures.

The premise showed that basically, if you selected 100 investment portfolios at random (possibly with some basic rules, I'm not sure), exactly the same proportion would exceed to the same extent as if you the proportion of stock brokers who beat the market.

The point is, if you missed it, that successful investors are no more than stastical effects :)

Now, in reference to 'plenty of economists & analysts were predicting the impending doom', a lot weren't. Pick ANY situation, and you'll have plenty of analysts predicting both ways - and the ones who turn out to be correct are invariably labelled insightful, when no doubt a lot of them are just lucky.

Comment Australia (Score 2, Informative) 180

Completely legal here - in fact, a lot of ISPs use it as a sales tool - they provide cheaper internet if you bundle it with their VoIP service to replace your home phone.

VoIPs becoming fairly widespread these days - many big companies especially are using it, and a growing proportion of home users.

Comment Re:1.6 Horsepower vacuum cleaners? (Score 1) 348

When I was selling vacs (no, not door to door, my uni job was @ an upmarket department store), there were basically three ways of measuring power, in ascending order of relevance, and also the number of people (including sales people) who new about them:
  • Motor power (watts). Doesn't tell you much at all.
  • Suction power at motor (watts). Better, but doesn't factor in inefficiencies like bag & hose length
  • Suction power at nozzle (watts)- best! But then things like nozzle size can obviously affect the actual suction power.

Most people didn't really know the difference, and many companies didn't publicise the last one because (a) people are dumb and might think 200 watt nozzle suction is worse than 1500watt engine power, and (b) because it'd show their machines are crap.

Example - dysons when I was selling them had lower engine power than, say, hoover(1200 vs 2000 watts iirc), but had comparable or higher suction power because the suction didn't need to get through the walls of a bag & a bunch of filters.

End my 2 cents.

PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - Interview: Castlevania's future

ferricide writes: "The latest game in the Castlevania series, Dracula X Chronicles, will be released for the PSP later this year. Thanks to Game Developers Conference, GamesRadar was able to sit down and have a lengthy interview with Koji "IGA" Igarashi. It started out as a discussion of that game (a pack which contains a ground-up remake of the 1993 classic and a port of 1997's Symphony of the Night) but which became more wide-ranging, concerning the development philosophy and future of the entire series."
Space

The Search for Dark Matter and Dark Energy 212

mlimber writes "The New York Times Magazine has a lengthy article on dark matter and dark energy, discussing the past, present, and future. 'Astronomers now realize that dark matter probably involves matter that is nonbaryonic ["meaning that it doesn't consist of the protons and neutrons of 'normal' matter"]. And whatever it is that dark energy involves, we know it's not 'normal,' either. In that case, maybe this next round of evidence will have to be not only beyond anything we know but also beyond anything we know how to know.'"
Announcements

Submission + - New Color Control Surface Mount Chip

Crilen007 writes: "This is an 8-pin integrated circuit designed to offer full-spectrum analogue color mixing to any three-color light loads, such as RGB LEDs, three NEON tubes (red, green and blue), three light bulbs and more. This circuit has a dial-a-color option as well as a color cycle function built in. This 8-pin chip will drive any size of light load."

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