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Comment Re:Solar panels, really? (Score 1) 409

Things are done like they are for a reason.

The tents are air conditioned with diesel-powered ECUs because people get heat related illnesses when they are not. They aren't kept at 68 degrees F - more like 80-85, but it's better than 105-130F outside. The ECUs also act as heaters in mountainous environments - Afghanistan, for one.

A TOC (command post) is a tent complex surrounded by concrete barriers and/or concertina wire. It's powered by generators. The wire and barriers are to stop potshots from firearms and to offer some protection against mortars/grenades/rockets. The wire isn't intended to harm, it mostly sticks to your skin and clothing and prevents you from going inside the post. The generators are used because they fit inside the perimeter.

Reflective blankets aren't used because the reflective blankets stick out like a sore thumb from the air, or the ground.

Insulation is not sprayed on the tents because they, you know, move...

Solar panels - envision putting a solar panel outside the perimeter. Envision carrying around solar panels and setting them up where you operate. Impractical from a logistical standpoint and could not be secured efficiently against attack without extending the perimeter to perhaps double or triple the circumference, with all the associated costs in additional manning for force protection. A nonstarter.

The same arguments apply to LSA - the places soldiers live - but with some modification. Some are fixed and might be amenable to alternative power sources, but the perimeter guard issue rears its head again. You can't beat generators for portability.

You were on the right track with the thermostat but then you went off course after that. Reflective blankets are actually used in our tens, under a layer of tan fabric. The tents are actually very energy efficient. Solar panels are not really an option as regularly occurring dust storms or indirect fire would regularly mess up the solar panels, and would be a logistical nightmare. Tents that are to remain stationary are regularly foamed, not only because of the insulation it provides, but because it also keeps the high level of dust outside. This is a link to the types of tents and ECU's we use:

Classic Games (Games)

What Pinball Looks Like When the Stakes Are High 133

siobHan writes "The PAPA World Pinball Championships recently concluded in Scott, PA (near Pittsburgh), as covered on Slashdot already. The organizers recorded full 1080p/60 HD video of the playfield during the final games, and have uploaded the entirety of the crucial deciding game, with commentary (direct link to just the video). The winner of this game received $10,000 for his skillful play."

Google Confirms Chrome GPU Acceleration 186

An anonymous reader writes "Google is already experimenting with GPU acceleration in its latest Chrome developer builds. Chrome 7 can separate different layers of a webpage into CPU and GPU processes and combine those layers using the GPU as long as the browser is now launched with certain switches. Chromium 7 has also a new Labs feature that reveals that Google is thinking about moving tabs from the top of the browser to the left side. It seems that Chrome will be catching up with Firefox 4 and IE9 in terms of hardware acceleration soon."

Just Where Is The Lincoln Memorial, Anyhow? 650

John3 writes "Searching Google Maps for the Lincoln Memorial is returning the location of the FDR Memorial instead. Conservative bloggers smell a conspiracy since Glenn Beck is holding his 'Restoring Honor' gathering at the Lincoln Memorial tomorrow (August 28). Notes for the map listing on Google state 'This place has unverified edits'; so, did someone claim the listing and edit the location?"

Happy Towel Day 122

An anonymous reader writes "While Douglas Adams continues his attempt to set a new record for the longest extended lunch break, geeks all over the universe pay tribute to the beloved author by celebrating the tenth edition of Towel Day. Towel Day is more alive than ever. This year Richard Dawkins, one of Adams' best friends, has tweeted a Towel Day reminder to his numerous followers. The CERN Bulletin has published an article on Towel Day. There has been TV coverage and there will be a radio interview. The Military Republic of the Deltan Imperium, a newly formed micronation, has recognized Towel Day as an official holiday. In Hungary several hundreds of hitchhiker fans want to have a picnic together in a park. And there's a concert, a free downloadable nerdrap album, a free game being released, the list goes on and on."

Comment I'm in Afghanistan (Score 1) 176

You can get a Roshan cell phone, they're very afordable. They are available at Bagram Airfield at the West PX Complex and many merchants outside of BAF can get you phone cards. Some FOB/COP's depending on where you go may have spawar phone's at the MWR center that are cheap but I like the freedom of a cell phone. Also if you have a DSN and whoever you're trying to call has a phone number withing the area code limits of the base/post you can have the base/post operator transfer your call to them. Hope that helps, hooah!

What Spoils a Game For You? 214

MTV's Multiplayer Blog is running an interesting piece about what constitutes a spoiler in video games. The interactivity of a video games, argues the author, often makes it necessary to spoil or reveal at least general characteristics of a game during a review or other informative article. He says, "I believe that writing about games is overly careful. I believe that game scripts, game plots and game endings have been given a pass because critics tend to avoid them or address them with the most ginger touch. I'd at least like the discussion about spoilers to cease being so binary. There is room between avoiding mentioning a plot event and reporting its main details. There is value to addressing anything and everything that is most interesting in a game, and value in doing it with words that express meaning rather than those designed to mask it." So, what do you consider a spoiler for a video game, and how do they affect your enjoyment of the game?
Classic Games (Games)

Submission + - Homebrew: The Barriers and Predictions

Croakyvoice writes: DCEmu have an article up that discusses the coming of mass market homebrew. It looks at the past by discussing the barriers and looks to the future by looking at where each console might be going. " Over the past few weeks I've explored the mass market homebrew options on the Sony PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox 360. Today I finalize the 'Here Comes Homebrew' series by looking at what was preventing mass market homebrew and, for everyone's amusement, sticking my neck out with a few predications; appropriate on the eve of GDC."

New Controversy over Black Hat Presentation 144

uniquebydegrees writes "InfoWorld is reporting about a new controversy swirling around a planned presentation at Black Hat Federal in Washington D.C. this week. Security researcher Chris Paget of IOActive will demo an RFID hacking tool that can crack HID brand door access cards. HID Corp., which makes the cards, is miffed and is accusing IOActive of patent infringement over the presentation, recalling the legal wrangling over Michael Lynn's presentation of a Cisco IOS hole at Black Hat in 2005. Black Hat's Jeff Moss says they're standing by their speaker. A news conference is scheduled for tomorrow AM." Update: 02/27 20:10 GMT by Z :InfoWorldMike wrote with a link to story saying that the presentation has been pulled from the slate for Black Hat, as a result of this pressure.

Submission + - Windows Genuine Advantage gets more lenient

Troglodyte writes: Microsoft is revamping its Windows Genuine Advantage program so that it generates fewer false positives. WGA now has a third category besides "genuine and "not genuine," called "not sure." From the article: "While Microsoft has not responded to requests for comment, it's quite obvious what is going on here: Microsoft has added 'not sure' as a way of cutting down on the number of false positives associated with WGA. As many as one in five PCs were failing WGA checks, but this new setting should both reduce this and give Microsoft the chance to investigate further the kinds of things that are landing folks in the 'not sure' category."

Submission + - Neo Geo, MSX and PC games on Wii Virtual Console

Wowzer writes: "Recently Nintendo of Japan showed the Neo Geo logo on their Wii Virtual Console page. From the article: "SNK Playmore will start its support with Neo Geo games [in Japan] in the summer of 2007! No pricing or specific games were announced, nor does anyone know if MSX and Neo Geo games will become available to Americans or Europeans." The MSX games Eggy and Aleste will be available as early as Spring 2007 in Japan. But Americans aren't left behind with its first two casual PC games Jewel Quest II and Sproink hitting the Wii Shop in Q1 2007 as well."

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