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Comment Re:Middle ages warmer (Score 1) 185

Alaska, Sweden, Russia, win in a warmer climate.

If the thermohaline cycle stops, Europe turns into Canada, and Sweden and Russia will be in serious danger of turning into Greenland. Not a "win".

Similarly, if the California Current slows or stops, Alaska and B.C. Canada will get far colder, while Washington, Oregon and Northern California warms up.

It's an open question whether California will get less or more rainfall from warming.

Comment Re:Protect their IP? (Score 1) 69

What IP is being protected exactly, by preventing consumers from using cheaper, third party ink?

That's why companies made-up the term IP, so they can make up any imaginary property they wish to claim they own. You can't conjure up patents/trademarks/copyright out of thin are, but "IP" you can just go crazy with.

Comment Re:USPS (Score 3, Informative) 178

The USPS is not losing money as a result of its own operational costs vs income.

Yes it is.

the money the USPS is "losing" is being paid into a fund to pay retiree benefits for employees 75 years into the future

"the Postal Service would have lost $10.8 billion without the prefunding requirement."

And the USPS get lots of benefits:

"pays nothing in property tax, nothing in licensing or sales taxes for its vehicles and no state or federal taxes, even on its competitive products. It does pay federal tax on income from those products, but it pays those taxes to itself."

pay retiree benefits for employees 75 years into the future - YES, that would include costs for employees that have not even been BORN YET.

Completely false.:

"the law only requires pre-funding of obligations to actual current and past employees."

You're welcome.

Comment Re:Blocking is illegal, but this isn't... (Score 1) 164

Electronic devices would be somewhere far down the list.

Except these electronic devices can call 911 in the event of emergency, which gives them all manner of very special legal protections.

Second, we're not talking about a parking lot here,

That was only one of the two exceptions I referenced. The other isn't limited to parking lots.

Comment Re: meh (Score 1) 415

Military meals are designed with attention to the morale factor. Even the modern MRE is designed to help the soldier feel human in unfavorable surroundings. Apollo 10 was the first to officially test real bread. Gemini Astronauts smuggled aboard a kosher corned beef sandwich but it was stale and thus had too many crumbs which went airborne. By Apollo 10 it was discovered that nitrogen-flushed bread would stay fresh for 10 days. I'll have to try that.

Comment But then who audits the auditors? (Score 1) 171

The solution is pretty simple, but often skipped:
1) The reason for every search should be required and logged by the searcher. ...
2) The logs be randomly spot-checked by an auditor(s) who verifies the reasons given by interviewing the person(s) who searched.

But to check it the auditors need detailed access to the records. So who audits THEM?

This kind of question has been asked repeatedly since at least the Roman Empire.

(The U.S. answer to "Who guards the guardians?" , at least for direct abuse of person under color of law, is the Fourth and Fifth amendments and the "fruit of the poisoned tree" doctrine: Fail to follow the law and you don't get a conviction, because misbehaving police are FAR more of a problem for the population than even a lot of violent private-enterprise crooks going back to work. But while it does reduce the incentive, it doesn't block the behavior.)

Comment The invisible hand strikes. (Score 4, Interesting) 121

Not one organization I have ever worked for has seriously cared about IT security.

When it comes to rolling out new products, ignoring security is the norm.

This is because the "window of opportunity" is only "open" for a short time - until the first, second, and maybe third movers go through it and grab most of the potential customers. Companies that spent the time to get the security right arrive at the window after it closes.

This happens anywhere the customers don't test for and reject non-secure versions of the "new shiny" - which means enterprises sometimes hold suppliers' feet to the fire (if the new thing doesn't give them an advantage commensurate with, or perceived as outweighing, the risk) but consumer stuff goes out wide open.

Then, if you're lucky and the supplier is clueful, they retrofit SOME security before the bad guys exploit enough holes to kill them.

I expect this will continue until several big-name tech companies get an effective corporate death penalty in response to the damages their customer base took from their security failings. Then the financial types will start including having a good, and improving with time, security story (no doubt called "best practices") among their check boxes for funding.

Comment Re:Why not coax? (Score 1) 152

And the reason you cannot do this with radio is that the noise from the transmitter is greater than the received signal.

Actually you CAN manage it with radio - very difficultly, with very careful antenna design.

But the combined antenna has to be far from anything that reflects, absorbs, or just phase-shifts any substantial amount of the transmitted signal energy. If not, the discontinuity destroys the careful balance that nulls out the transmitted signal at the receiver. That gets you back to the "transmitter shouts in the receiver's ear much louder than the distant communications partner" case. So it's not very practical in the real world.

Comment Re:Don't worry! (Score 1) 171

The police officer's union is almost always worth blaming. So are a few others. In this particular case I don't really see that much wrong with it. Those are times most people don't want to work, but somebody's got to.

The problem is, some unions are excessively powerful, and others are so weak that they can't negotiate with their "adversary". And adversary needs to be in quotes, because many of them are in collusion with the bosses.

I don't have a good answer, but the breaking of (most) unions has just yielded unreasonable power to the corporations. Not that the unions always supported the consumers...(I said I don't have a good answer, there are lots of different situations, and most of them have multiple conflicting goals that need to be fairly balanced. But I can sure recognize that the current system is less than ideal.)

Comment Re: meh (Score 1) 415

but what are the chances of finding a good vintage of scotch to go with all of this breaded goodness they are going to be having up there?

Alcohol is definitely going to space. Ballantine's zero-gravity glass is made in cooperation with something called the Open Space Agency, which also has a design for an automated Dobsonian telescope. Ardbeg is going to space. And a vacuum still is an old science-fiction trope.

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