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Comment But iodine is restricted due to the drug war. (Score 1) 33

It is common knowledge that [iodine] was used widely in hospitals for decades, and supposedly(?) resistance is not built up to it.

But iodine, and most iodine-containing medical preparations, are heavily restricted, due to the drug war.

Seems they're used in one step of turning pseudephedrine into meth. So, though they're not actually BANNED, the drug warriors put so much red tape on them that most chain-store drug stores just dropped them as unprofitable.

(I found this out when the fallout from Fukishima was approaching the US west coast, and I tried to find some iodine supplements for my family to dose up on, to reduce the risk from radioiodine, before it got here. Surprise! None to be had.)

If anybody knows of a chain store in California or Nevada where I can buy potassium iodide supplements or tincture of iodine, over the counter, please let me know.

Comment Wrong agency! FTC, not FCC (Score 2) 31

The FCC is not the right agency to review mergers for anticompetitive issues. FCC is about tech, not competition.

The relevant agency is the F *T* C (Federal Trade Commission).

Now maybe they need some legislation to give them a budget bump and/or a juristictional tweak/clarification if they're to (once again) take on the telecom giants over antitrust issues. But if so it's high time that was done.

Comment Re:Heat (Score 1) 201

I would be more interested in this if it worked the other way, warming my house.

There are lots of designs for doing that. Look at any renewable energy bulletin board (such as fieldlines.com).

Common thread is:
  - Black (or otherwise visible light absorbing) target.
  - In an insulated box.
  - With a glass window (that does NOT have an infrared reflective coating)
  - And some way of transferring the heat from the black target to the house air.

Glass is opaque to infrared and passes visible light. Sunlight goes through, is absorbed by the black material, and heats it (to the tune of about a kilowatt per square meter at noon). The material re-radiates, but it is far too cool to re-radiate in the visible spectrum. So it re-radiates in the infrared, which doesn't escape through the glass and is thus re-absorbed.

It's called "The Greenhouse Effect". B-)

In one of my favorite designs the black target is a series of tubes consisting of used aluminum drink cans with the tops and bottoms removed, painted black. They're very good at absorbing light, because it takes multiple bounces down the valley between the tubes, giving the paint many chances to absorb it. A 4" computer fan pumps air through the box to extract the heat.

But there are LOTS of other designs. Including houses with large south or south-east facing windows and overhanging roofs that shade them in the summer but not in the winter (to rough-tune the absorption). The floor, walls, furniture, etc. serve as the visible light absorber.

My ranch house works like that - a little too well. In the afternoon it will git to 90+ degrees when it's single-digit temperatures outside.

Comment Re:Too good to be true. (Score 1) 201

It's a neat idea, but what happens in the winter?

Put a cover over it.

Glass is good. It is pretty much opaque to far infrared. Instead of seeing the cosmic background temperature of a few degrees kelvin, it will see the temperature of the glass - which is about the same as its own temperature. So the radiative heat flow will be just about zero.

But ANYTHING opaque to infrared will do the same.

Another approach: Instead of coating the house, coat a radiative cooler to make chill water, and pump that through a heat exchanger in your forced air heating/air conditioning system. Don't want cooling? Don't pump the water. (Adjust how much you pump it to regulate your temperature.)

That's not "no power", but pumping chill water is very little power, and you need to circulate the air anyhow. Most of the energy cost of air conditioning is refrigeration, and you still get that for free.

Comment RTFA. They DID try it on people. (Score 1) 164

RTFA. Then follow the link to the paper. They DID try it on humans. Worked reasonably well (though the sample was small so it was more "does this maybe work on people, too? Is it worth a big study to check?" rather than "do all the results reproduce in people just like mice or are they quantitatively different in THIS way?").

Interestingly, they used a proprietary commercial boxed Fasting Mimicing Diet - L-Nutra's ProLon (Developed by a team including a USC Davis professor specializing in gerontology and life-extension) - on the human experimental subjects.

Comment Market distortions. (Score 1) 491

Thanks to rent control, I'm paying $300 per month less than market rate.

Market distortions can make it financially disastrous to move, as compared to staying in the same place.

Rent control is one.

Another is, for homeowners, is Proposition 13 in California (and similar laws in some other states). Think of it as "rent control on taxes", designed to keep the skyrocketing housing prices from driving people out of their homes:
  - Stay at the old place - get taxed on the price of the house when it was bought (or Prop 13 went into effect) plus a small inflation adjustment.
  - Sell it and buy a new house in CA (or the same state etc.) - get taxed on the new house's CURRENT price, plus a small inflation adjustment - forever forward. Then there's being taxed on the hyperinflated price of the house you sold as if it were a lump sum of income, unless you take the once-in-a-lifetime exemption or one of the other income tax rules for switching houses without being bankrupted. And the new mortgage is at the current rates, too, and on a much pricier home.

Moving used to be much less of a financial hit than it is now.

Comment I'd like to see a Third Amendment defense, too. (Score 5, Informative) 118

Spying on the population was a big driver behind the THIRD amendment:

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

While forcing the colonists to provide housing and upkeep for the soldiers sent to oppress them was an economic issue, there was more to it than that.

A soldier "quartered" in a colonist's house also served as a spy for the crown and its army. He eavesdropped on the conversations of the family and visiting friends. He had the opportunity to view their records when they weren't home (or even if they were). He reported anything suspicious to his unit. His presence inhibited getting together with others to hold private discussions, especially about opposing (by protest or otherwise) anything the government was doing. He was a continuous walking search, fed and housed by the people he was investigating.

It seems to me that law-enforcement and intelligence agency spyware, such as keyloggers and various data exfiltration tools, is EXACTLY the digital equivalent: It is a digital agent that "lives" in the home or office of the target. It consums the target's resources (disk space, CPU cycles network bandwidth) to support itself. It spies spying on the activities and "papers" of the target, reporting anything suspicious (or anything, actually) back to its commander, to be used as evidence and/or to trigger an arrest or other attack. It is ready, at a moment's notice, to forcefully interfere with, destroy, or corrupt the target's facilities or send forged messages from him.

Spyware is EXACTLY one of the most egregious acts (one of the "Intolerable Acts") that sparked the American Revolution. I'd love to see the Third brought back out of the doldrums and used against these "digital soldiers" the government is "quartering" inside our personal and private computing devices.

Comment Enjoy your trip. (Score 1) 136

Last year I spent close on $3,000 in the USA. This year, I'm going to Sri Lanka.

Enjoy your trip.

Meanwhile, Trump will just have ICE deport three more illegal immigrant households, more than making up for the money you might have spent (even if you'd been giving it straight to the US taxpayers, rather than mostly to the megacorps that exploit them.)

Comment Re:Retarded headline... (Score 1) 55

With "buy" using a lowercase "b", it better indicates that "Snap" and "Snap Interactive" are two different entities. Not as good as the quotation marks I just used (which I've no frigging idea if that is a grammatically-acceptable use), but better than it is now.

Officially grammatical or not, putting the quotes around the two company names is how I'd have done it. It nicely clarifies the boundaries of the multiple-word names, making the meaning of the sentence obvious.

Comment Quotes 'cause an unconstitutional law isn't a law? (Score 1) 267

Because it isn't really illegeal becasue they changed the law after peoples sstarted doing it that's ENTRAPMENT

You're thinking of "ex post facto" - making an act illegal after it takes place.

I think that would apply to, at least, any rentals that were in progress when the law came into effect. New rentals might be a different matter.

This law amounts to a zoning/land-use law change. If the rentals were actually legal under the previous laws, they might remain legal as a "non-conforming use", despite the new law, until the property is sold to a new owner.

Also: If the new law has the effect of substantially reducing the property's value to its owner, the owner might be able to sue the city for the difference, under the Fifth Amendment's "takings" clause and the doctrine of "partial taking".

But IANAL and even if I were I'm not a New Yorker.

Comment Re:What is the problem?.. (Score 1) 341

Why hundreds of people were protesting isn't some kind of unsolved mystery that demands or even justifies law enforcement digging through the last decade of electronic personal data in order to "crack" the case. ... The root of the issue is the bullshit justification that a search warrant of this kind was even authorized.

What's that got to do with finding evidence for intent and/or conspiracy? Both are legitimate pieces of evidence to search for, in a place that is legitimate to search with a warrant, and such warrants may be properly granted if probable cause exists.

A group of identically masked "protesters" working together to commit felony assault and arson is just about the definition of "probable cause" for suspecting conspiracy and intent, and legitimately searching for evidence to nail the conviction.

Comment Re:"...which begs the question..." (Score 3, Interesting) 341

"Begging the question" is almost always used incorrectly...

Unlike, for instance, French (a "dead language spoken by millions"), which has a rule-making body with the force of law that can fine you (in some jurisdictions) for saying "hamburger" in an otherwise French sentence, American English is a living language.

That means what is "correct" is what the bulk of the speakers actually say. It changes from time to time. This is one of those times and one of those changes.

It is also a Germanic language, not a Romance language.

It's similar to the prohibition on ending a sentence with a preposition (which is a rule from Latin which academics keep trying to impose on English speakers, though the grammatical form always was legitimate in English and other Germanic languages). "Begging the Question" began as a mistranslation of a Latin phrase (attributed to Aristotle) that was incorporated as a technical term (for a particular logical fallacy) into a specialized academic vocabulary. But the phrase has ALSO come to be used for other things (which actually match the string of words more closely).

Some academics claim their subculture's first use makes it the only "correct" meaning of the phrase. But like other words and phrases in English, the common usage defines the (set of) "correct" meaning(s).

Comment Re:So now under Trump... (Score 5, Interesting) 341

Setting cars on fire, assaulting people, and breaking windows isn't "protesting."

Well, actually it can be a "protesting" tactic.

But being an "act of protest" doesn't make it any less a violent criminal act, or any less subject to prosecution and criminal sanctions.

It also doesn't make planning to do it in a group any less a felonious conspiracy.

= = = =

I'm waiting with bated breath for the new administration to follow the money back to Soros (busting people all the way along the trail) and find enough evidence to bust him as the kingpin of a criminal conspiracy. Wouldn't THAT cause consternation.

Comment Moore's law and partitioning repositories. (Score 1) 213

So buy a bigger disk. They're cheap.

That's not the problem. It's the time to process all those files every time you run commands like checkout status diff etc.

Are YOU really having speed issues now?

If not, don't expect to as your project grows, either. As long as the Moore's law variants apply and you don't add developers at an exponential rate, the machines will improve exponentially, wihch is faster than the repository grows. (Even if you DO add developers exponentially the output per developers drops off quickly.)

If you ARE having trouble I'd bet you didn't partition your repositories at project, application/subsystem, or API boundaries Git works fine if you have, say, one repository for the compiler support / standard library or vendor's SDK, another for your project's application, maybe a third for your-stuff specific libraries shared among multiple projects. You glue them together in the makefile common inclusions.

If you aren't crossing a repository boundary where you have separate components that have to interact across distinct release versions, you did something wrong. Even diverge-converge approaches won't give you a good way to test across those version combinations or protect you from change-storms unrelated to YOUR project - not just with git, but with any SCCS I'm familiar with. (And I've been programming - and/or designing digital hardware - for a living since computers were just switching from using tubes.)

Comment It's the hook to make your repositories break (Score 2, Insightful) 213

The whole point of git is that you have identical copy on your machine. Why take away git's biggest advantage?

Because it's biggest advantage is also one of it's greatest inefficiencies and frankly on a large project chances are you may not need it all. The whole point is you have an identical copy on your machine of what you're working on

So buy a bigger disk. They're cheap.

Why did they do it? It's obvious: it's the bait on the hook to get you to break git and your open source projects (even CURRENT ones) that compete with them.

By keeping you from having a full copy of the repository, they break git: If there are files that you didn't use in recent checkouts, they're not stored locally or not brought up to date when you pull. If something goes wrong externally - like loss or corruption at a cloud site (such as the recent lost-update debacle) you have no non-microsoft-git-internals-expert way to recover - maybe no way to recover at all.

You lose the ability to work offline. You lose the ability to look at history, or parts of the repository you haven't been to yet, without being back on line to a working and trustworthy external server, and so on.

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