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Comment Re:Silly questions ... number of items irrelevant (Score 1) 497

Late reply, I know, but there's something bugging me in your comment.

I agree with the general jist of what you're saying, but it sounds like you're suggesting that most devices "draw power". Regulated switch-mode gear is the only thing I can think of off the top of my head that will perform like that.

There's a common minsconception that "decreasing the voltage increases the current", which is normally the opposite of what happens.

Most high-powered devices that a normal user plugs in are relatively ohmic. An 1800W electric kettle, or George Forman grill does not endevour to draw 1800W. Rather, it has a relatively constant resistance (within the operating range), which affects the current that is drawn. An 1800W resistive load is just an 8 ohm resistor. At 120V, it will draw about 15A for a total of about 1800W of power. If you drop the voltage down to 110V, the current draw will drop to 13A, for a power of 1430W. Inductive loads, like your fridge or induction cook-top behave similarly (ignoring power factor).

It's if the voltage *increases* that cause problems with resistive and inductive loads.

Comment Re:Of course they did (Score 5, Informative) 268

Just look at what's happening in other countries with different systems of election.

Lets see:

  * Australia. Lower house is representative preferential, upper house is technically preferential too, but with a proportional bent (multi-seat voting). While there are two main parties in Australia, neither has a majority in either house. Until recently, there was a viable third party - a role slowly being taken up by the Greens at the moment. Lower house has a significant number of Independents. There are a number of instances of seats being won by candidates who polled quite badly on their primary vote, but were outright preferred over the major parties.

* Holland. Bicameral proportional system, with 10 parties in each of their two houses of parliament. Neither house is controlled by a majority. In fact no *two* parties could even band together to form a majority in either house.

* New Zealand. Unicameral proportional system with direct representation: Single house with 50% representative FPP seats, and 50% "list" seats which are granted to parties in such a way that parliament becomes proportional. Again, currently two main parties, but neither has a majority of seats. Parliament is made up of 8 parties in total.

* Switzerland. Bicameral proportional: 6 parties in each house, with the greatest proportion being 31%.

Compare with:
  * USA: Bicameral FPP with separate executive. Each house is made up of exactly 2 parties. One party, "the winner", holds an absolute majority, while the other party, "the loser" holds virtually no power. The only saving grace is the split terms of the senate, where you might get lucky and have each house independently controlled ("a tie"). In such cases, the two parties are said to "compromise", by filibustering.

Comment Re:Of course they did (Score 2) 268

No, it's your forefathers that are to blame.

While they got heaps of stuff right, FPP voting breeds two-party systems. It's a classic moral dilemma: People who vote for "the better of two evils" get more power from their vote that people who vote for a third party.

No, you guys need a preferential or proportional system - then you don't have to throw your vote away for the sake of making a point.

Comment Re:Slightly related question (Score 3, Informative) 85

Ahh, I've answered my own question by re-reading TFA. They accept payment by WebMoney.

To those that answered "they use stolen credit cards", seriously, just think that through. Just because they're criminals, does not mean they're stupid. That they're not getting caught suggests they're not *that* stupid.

Comment Re:Guess what ... (Score 2, Interesting) 608

There's certainly an element of that in there, but I think it's more thought out and planned than you suggest.

If a company has 100 staff, all being paid 20% below "market" rate, it'll cost them 20% more to bring all their salaries up. By leaving your pay where it is, they're calling your bluff and assuming they'll get it right most of the time.

If they give you a payrise, then their line that no-one's getting pay rises this year won't stick so well, and they'll need to give more people payrises.

If 20% of people leave because of the pay, and they need to hire replacements at market rate, increasing the total salary costs by a whopping 4%.

Sure, *we* know that the productivity of new hires will take ages to match those they're replacing, but try telling a manager that a 20% increase in costs is better than a 4% increase.

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