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Comment Re:70CM (Score 1) 60

Yes, we do. I figured to hit him with an easier argument that the military uses that band as well. The portion between 420 and 430 MHz is used for Land Mobile Radio (think Taxis cabs, busses, and other businesses) in Canada and the Hams can't use it north of Line A (CONUS) or east of Line C (Alaska). There are other geographical restrictions in that band.

Education

Brown Signs California Bill For Free Textbooks 201

bcrowell writes "California Governor Jerry Brown has signed SB 1052 and 1053, authored by state senator Darrell Steinberg, to create free textbooks for 50 core lower-division college courses. SB 1052 creates a California Open Education Resources Council, made up of faculty from the UC, Cal State, and community college systems. The council is supposed to pick 50 core courses. They are then to establish a 'competitive request-for-proposal process in which faculty members, publishers, and other interested parties would apply for funds to produce, in 2013, 50 high-quality, affordable, digital open source textbooks and related materials, meeting specified requirements.' The bill doesn't become operative unless the legislature funds it — a questionable process in California's current political situation. The books could be either newly produced (which seems unlikely, given the 1-year time frame stated) or existing ones that the state would buy or have free access to. Unlike former Gov. Schwarzenegger's failed K-12 free textbook program, this one specifically defines what it means by 'open source,' rather than using the term as a feel-good phrase; books have to be under a CC-BY (or CC-BY-SA?) license, in XML format. They're supposed to be modularized and conform to state and W3C accessibility guidelines. Faculty would not be required to use the free books."
Science

Promiscuity Alters DNA and Boosts Immunity In Mice 91

An anonymous reader writes "Scientists from the University of California, Berkeley found that promiscuous mice have significantly stronger immune systems than monogamous mice, suggesting that promiscuous mice may have developed more robust immunity to protect them against the disease-causing bacteria they are exposed to from mating with multiple partners."

Comment Re:5 days no government, is that so bad? (Score 3, Insightful) 85

They have the power, they just can't get it where they need it without equipment overheating. Since it is a busbar overheating you can't just switch over to emergency power to fix it, you have to route power around the issue which is not economically feasible in this case except for the emergency services systems which can use their redundant power supplies.

Comment Re:Simply amazing (Score 1) 90

All it takes is some skill in working with the TIA which is the video chip. The CPU does all the work and the TIA sends that to the TV. Graphics processing occurs when the electron beam is scanning the screen and other processing is done during blanking. Some developers narrowed the playing field sometimes to allow more time for non graphics processing.

Comment Waynesboro, Pa USA (Score 2) 421

Currently it is 92.5 degrees at the high school weather station. When the storm came through we lost power twice, but only a matter of milliseconds each time (UPSes switched over and lights flickered). My family does have a generator that we can use if there is a long duration power failure.

My biggest advice for purchasing a generator is to know how to size, maintain, connect, and most importantly for portable models store the generator. When sizing the generator, take the following priorities in order. (NOTE: THIS LIST DOES NOT TAKE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT INTO ACCOUNT, THAT IS PRIORITY ZERO!) First, you want to maintain your refrigeration of food, cooking can be done with non-electric methods. Remember, you can disconnect a refrigerator momentarily to run the microwave if you have enough capacity in your generator. Second thing you want to look for is cooling of people, if cost of the generator is a problem, rule out air conditioning and use fans during the outage if possible, otherwise you may want to look at dropping some of the lower priority loads. If you must have air conditioning and you have a central air conditioning system, use a window unit in one room temporarily and live out of that room for the duration of the outage, this reduces the cost of the generator substantially. Third priority is lighting at night. This is best provided by incandescent or halogen lights as CFLs and LEDs can be damaged by power fluctuations in smaller generators caused by refrigerators and air conditioners starting. Fourth on my priority list is battery charging for communications, The idea is to charge batteries later at night when your generator load is lower. Get a jump start pack and charge that up and use the lighter sockets in it to charge the cell phones during the day. Don't worry about cordless phones, that is a very low priority in this situation use a wired phone on the landline. Everything after these four priorities are considered luxuries. TVs, PCs, even your router and modem are very low on the list. A transistor radio will serve you well to bring news and information.

In our household the extreme heat means we are running air conditioners harder than normal and in the case of the bedroom units, starting sooner than normal. The obviously affects our electric bill.

Preparation for a long duration outage in my household simply means we will have to take the gas cans out of the area to get gas for the generator. If out power dies, at least two of the local gas stations will be down as they are served from the same substation and it is very unlikely that the line between my house and the substation would be knocked out as the line is short (I'm about a block from the substation).

My advice to the city dwellers that don't have power or air conditioning in this heat is to simply get out of the situation. At a minimum go shopping at the mall during the daytime and best find another place to stay.

Protecting electronics and data is actually of minimal concern to me as my equipment is protected by a UPS and my data is backed up with the most critical backed up in multiple places. I do recommend an off site backup of some kind though. I have not seen any damage directly related to this extreme heat in any of my equipment or any other equipment that I've seen.

My method of beating the heat is simply cranking up the A/C and drinking more water. My home has air conditioning, my car has air conditioning, and my office has air conditioning.

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