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Comment Subsidies in the USA are *ALWAYS* privatized (Score 2) 1145

One of my clients has 13 subsidized foreign (!) workers. In round numbers, he pays them $4/hr, you pay them $8/hr, but they only actually get $8/hr, because $4/hr goes to an NGO "acclimation and training" scam. I'll have to check to see if Greenstein is running it (and/or arranging their grossly overpriced 3-to-a-room housing).

Comment Re:Sounds bad (Score 1) 79

In the Russian borrowed word "radio", the Cyrillic characters a and o look identical to the same English letters (the rest are completely different).

The Russian word "radio" should be in (the specific Russian Cyrillic subset of) Unicode/UTF, while the English word "radio" should be in Unicode/ASCII.

Mixing and matching character sets in URLs or email address typically indicates "intent to confuse". Within text, it usually just confuses translators and spell checkers.

Comment Re:How is this the FCC's business? (Score 1) 70

So, you are not from the USA. While the US Congress directly accepts bribes, it usually doesn't directly disperse the associated thank you dollars back to the corporations.

In this case, thank-yous were paid by stuffing the FCC with lawyers working for Comcast and Verizon (currently on 'accrued salary, bonus and commission deferred until 2017' status).

It is these experts in Telecommunications Law (that could not explain the difference between RJ11 and an Internet Tube) who will determine that all schools and libraries should use Comcast, Verizon, or both, for installation and service.

Comment Re:2-year CFLs (Score 1) 278

Our house was built in 1995, and we lost exactly one recessed incandescent flood out of 24 in 18 years. In the last 18 months we've lost 5 of 20 CFLs. Four are still incandescent because those areas actually needed light, and, e.g., "equivalent to 100W" really means "almost equivalent to 50W" thanks to the usual practice of industry-written standards and regulations.

It's not costing us much directly because the bulbs are almost free after local electric company rebates at Costco (and those 0 lumen bulbs don't draw much wattage) but the $250 electric bill doesn't pay itself (nor does it ever seem to pay for added capacity). Thus, as invariably happens in the USA, mock-capitalists have purchased the rights to game the system and get rich off of what started out as a noble (or at least equitable) idea.

I built out the basement with real fluorescents (some commercial, some European (i.e., non-compact residential types)), and, despite being much older technology, their average life has been much better - far exceeding the advertised 20,000 hours for always-on fixtures, and at least equaling it for those turned on/off several times a day (roughly relative to the quality of the ballast).

Pointless anecdote: A frostless incandescent bulb in almost daily use near the basement coal chute in the house my father was born in outlived his 75 years by at least 5 on each end, and was still working when the house was sold.

Comment Re:test gear that was made in USA in the 50s and 6 (Score 1) 702

Thanks for the memory jog.

I used to have at least one for my tube work in the 60s, 300V or so but I don't recall the specifics. In a quick run through eBay nothing clicked. But I did see where someone was selling filament supplies w/digital displays ... that's just wrong.

My entire 'B' bench is 70s gear that just keeps on working (HP 1742A scope, 5302A counter, a brace of Simpson 260s, Fluke 1910A, HP-19 calc, etc, all bought new, most still with the original manuals filed in the same cabinets as the few Photofacts I kept). Even more impressive is that nothing is worth anything because everyone else's gear is also still working fine.

Submission + - OMG! Nokia mobile devices bought by Microsoft, as predicted by everyone (

AnotherSeattlePrgmr writes: As predicated by everyone in the entire world, Microsoft finally bought Nokia's mobile phone and services division. Stephan Elop will head the new mobile division at Microsoft. I'd say that now Elop must be the most likely CEO candidate. I do however believe that he's not coming in to prepare Microsoft itself for a sale.

Submission + - Bush-Cheney began illegal NSA spying before 9/11, says telcom CEO (

An anonymous reader writes: Contradicting a statement by ex-vice president Dick Cheney on Sunday that warrantless domestic surveillance might have prevented 9/11, 2007 court records indicate that the Bush-Cheney administration began such surveillance at least 7 months prior to 9/11.

Genghis Khan, History's Greenest Conqueror 279

New research suggests that in addition to being one of history's cruelest conquerors, Genghis Khan may have been the greenest. It is estimated that the Mongol leader's invasions unintentionally scrubbed almost 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere. From the article: "Over the course of the century and a half run of the Mongol Empire, about 22 percent of the world's total land area had been conquered and an estimated 40 million people were slaughtered by the horse-driven, bow-wielding hordes. Depopulation over such a large swathe of land meant that countless numbers of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests. In other words, one effect of Genghis Khan's unrelenting invasion was widespread reforestation, and the re-growth of those forests meant that more carbon could be absorbed from the atmosphere." I guess everyone has their good points.

Capcom 'Saddened' By Game Plagiarism Controversy 163

Capcom's recent release of action platformer Maxsplosion for the iPhone caused indie developer Twisted Pixel to call Capcom out for copying the concept from their successful Xbox Live game 'Splosion Man. Twisted Pixel said they had no plans for legal action, since they were "too small to take on a company like Capcom." The indie studio had even pitched the game to Capcom for publishing at one point, but were declined. Now, Capcom has released a statement denying that Maxsplosion's development team had any knowledge of the meetings and saying, "MaXplosion was developed independently by Capcom Mobile. Nonetheless, we are saddened by this situation and hope to rebuild the trust of our fans and friends in the gaming community."

The Story of My As-Yet-Unverified Impact Crater 250

tetrahedrassface writes "When I was very young, my dad took me on a trip to his parents' farm. He wanted to show me 'The Crater.' We walked a long way through second generation hardwoods and finally stood on the rim of a hole that has no equal in this area. As I grew up, I became more interested in The Crater, and would always tell friends about it. It is roughly 1,200 feet across and 120 feet deep, and has a strange vibe about it. When you walk up to it, you feel like something really big happened here. Either the mother of all caves is down there, or a large object smashed into this place a long, long time ago. I bought aerial photos when I was twelve and later sent images from GIS to a geologist at a local university. He pretty much laughed me out of his office, saying that it was a sinkhole. He did wish me luck, however. It may be sinkhole. Who knows? Last week I borrowed a metal detector and went poking around, and have found the strangest shrapnel pieces I have ever seen. They are composed of a metal that reacts strongly to acids. The largest piece so far reacted with tap water and dish-washing detergent. My second trip today yielded lots of strange new pieces of metal, and hopefully, one day the truth will be known. Backyard science is so much fun. And who knows; if it is indeed a cave, maybe Cerberus resides there."

FBI and NYPD Officers Sent On Museum Field Trip 70

In an attempt to "refresh their sense of inquiry" FBI agents, and NYPD officers are being sent to a course at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Art of Perception hopes to improve an officers' ability to accurately describe what they see during an investigation by studying art. From the article: "Amy Herman, the course leader, said: 'We're getting them off the streets and out of the precincts, and it refreshes their sense of inquiry. They're thinking, "Oh, how am I doing my job," and it forces them to think about how they communicate, and how they see the world around them.' Ms Herman, an art historian, originally developed the course for medical students, but successfully pitched it as a training course to the New York Police Academy."

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