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Comment Re:Yeah, Climate Change isn't real /sarcasm (Score 1) 306

But what they'll tell the voters is that Canada is paying for it.

Canada might actually be helping ... Sea Ice causes the Oceans to fall in level as it melts. Its Landlocked Ice (like Greenland) that causes levels to rise as it melts. Now, I don't know if anyone has done the math, Canada certainly has some of the latter going on as well ... I certainly haven't ... but maybe the melting in the Northwest Passage is giving it the Old College Try at least.

Comment It's not simply a Louisiana problem ... (Score 1) 306

Where Louisiana is going to come up against the biggest hurdle isn't it's own particular issue, but the problem with regard to the entire Eastern Seaboard, the Gulf, and to perhaps a lesser extent, but just as fraught with pitfalls, the West Coast.

This scares the living daylights out of the White House and Congress, because anything they do in Louisiana will be under a huge microscope, will set perhaps irreversible precedents, and is going to have other states lining up for the same treatment.

Paralysis is clearly the best option, from the Fed's perspective. They see a seemingly endless range of issues, they fear any response will bite them in the future, and, frankly, they can't afford to do much in the first place.; It's like a 30-state Disaster Zone they don't want to know anything about.

Comment Re: Really? WHY?! (Score 1) 292

Yeah and it's entirely funded by taxpayer money. So subway is essentially suing the people who they are selling allegedly half soy chicken. That'll earn them brownie points with the public.

CBC is far from "entirely funded by taxpayer money." They do receive some public funds (most recent ... $C 675 million - $US 506 million) vs. total expenditures of $C 1.62 billion - $US 1.21billion. The difference ... about a billion dollars ... is earned income.

Comment Re:John Carpenter's The Thing (Score 1) 1222

I find that there are few movies that I can watch more than once, but I've seen The Thing many times and will watch again.
The paranoia and fear among the characters is palpable, and there is no lame CGI.

Carpenter's version is good, but it's a remake of a film with multiple remakes. The original "The Thing" was released in 1951.

Comment Re:Bladerunner... (Score 4, Insightful) 1222


Like other great Sci-Fi (Fritz Lang's Metropolis, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Westworld (the original), etc) it remains entertaining to this day. Aside from being a great movie, the thing I find most remarkable about BladeRunner is that it is almost 30 years old but if you didn't know that, you might think it was made last year.

Comment Old News but thanks for the reminders ... (Score 1) 60

[Old News but thanks for the reminders] ... since some people haven't got the memo, and then there are those that love the counterfeits simply because they are cheaper.

This is an old problem, going on since before China became a manufacturing centre (ie prior to the Special Economic Zone creation of the late 1990's, and the full liberalization of enterprise in 2005 ... yes, it's only been 15 years since China didn't make squat besides t-shirts).

The IEEE and AES have been warning about counterfeit semiconductors for years. That is, take a 10 cent transistor, sand off the markings, and silkscreen or laser etch new markings representing a higher performance device that sells for ... wait for it ... 20 cents. And this has to be done in batches of thousands, because that's the quantities these devices sell at.

That's a lot of effort to make 10 cents per chip, less your production costs. It can hardly be a surprise that they would go for higher priced items given the opportunity.

I dabble in electronics. These days you need a good, temperature controlled soldering iron, because lead-free solders are a pain in the ass to work with, and without high temperature capable irons, and precise temperature control, you will simply get either bad solder joints or burn out the component you are eager to install, rendering it useless.

Now, the best soldering irons are made by a Japanese company, HAKKO. Weller makes some, a UK company called Antex is the preferred brand "over there" but if you are serious about the business, you use HAKKO gear. So, a nice temp controller unit and a nice iron with a few hundred available tip types is maybe $125 from them.

The older model, the "venerable" HAKKO 936, which dominated the market for decades, is still a popular unit. Trouble is, it isn't made and hasn't been for about five years, But, you can still buy "brand new" ones in the usual places. How can this be, you ask? Two guesses, one doesn't count.

Comment Re:I'm surprised it is not shipped from abroad (Score 1) 60

Are there really lots of US fake phone manufacturers shipping abroad...or is the problem that of fake phones shipped _from_ abroad?

One of the problems with the written word is it is subject to mis-interpretation by readers. I agree that the OP could have created a more concise and unambiguous headline, but it's also true that there is more than one way to interpret the words he did use.

One, as you did, might interpret it to mean that the fake phones "were shipped abroad", that is, from here to there.

Another, as probably the poster intended, was to indicate that the fake phones "were shipped abroad", as in they originated somewhere offshore with no mention of the final destination. Maybe it would be clearer if we substitute something for phones. How about, "A bunch of Americans were robbed abroad by pickpockets." Make sense now?

Comment Re:Sentences (Score 1) 129

Nobody's goling to jail for 80 years; to think he may is to misunderstand American justice at work.

The 80 years is the stick; the carrot is the plea bargain. If you refuse to cooperate they may try you with whatever relevant charge and with the prosecution's sentencing recommendation of 80 years, but there will be some rather attractive options given the accused. If he pleads guilty and admits his role, they probably will counter with a maximum of ... well, who knows, but for the sake of argument ... ten years. That may involve going to court with a lesser charge, or reduced counts, or whatever technical requirement is needed to get a 10 year outcome. The prosecution will recommend the sentence; the defence will (of course) agree, and they present that to the judge. Faced with a joint recommendation, the Judge pretty much always goes along with it.

Then there is the sentence itself. No-one in America serves the sentence they are given, with the exception of natural life sentences. It is actually against the law to not offer time off for good behaviour ... it's constitutionally protected as a right against cruel and unusual punishment. "Time Off is Time Served" ... you can't be sent back to jail if released due to actual time served and "good time" that adds up to your sentence.

How much time off varies by state and also the Federal system has guidelines as well. The Federal system is the most stingy. Calculating the reduction is so complex that in many cases even prison officials can't tell you the actual release date with good behaviour included (partly because it requires predicting future behaviour, as the reduction is earned per 30 day period of actual time served); one day they figure out you are due to be released, and the next day you're out is often how it works.

But for non-violent offenders, it can be as much as two thirds of actual time served. So a ten year sentence could be fully completed in as little as 3 years and a number of months. And, because good time and actual time are treated identically, that means you are eligible for parole after serving some portion of your sentence, which in this case would be some portion of three years and some months.

Finally, because so many involved in the Justice System are elected, it serves the purpose of "law and order" politics to publish long sentences in the press, when the actual amount of liberty deprived the offender is much less, which is almost never followed up on in the press (with the exception that if an individual re-offends they may list the previous crimes he was convicted of, and the sentence, and the release date, which inevitably illustrates the above is true).

Some jurisdictions give time off merely for showing up at the jail, that's how people in the news like Lindsay Lohan serve 30 day sentences in four hours. But generally speaking most states allow 10 days per month served, plus often additional days if you do things like take a prison job or complete some program, and in some states you can earn up to 20 days per 30 days served. The Feds tend to be closer to 5 days per 30, but you can still earn extra with them as well.

Comment Re:We've known this for years (Score 1) 352

I'll buy that for Indiana, but it makes no sense for Arizona, whose economy is based on mining, tourism, and old people.

Casinos don't borrow money? Once you get past a certain amount of funding, you aren't dealing with the local bank anymore, you need New York to raise the funds. The entire Mining Industry worldwide is dependent on Stock Exchanges to raise capital. And "Old People" have more assets in New York-based investment firms than any other demographic.

Comment Re:We've known this for years (Score 2) 352

The areas that do not implement DST do so precisely because farmers don't want it.

It's business interests that drives it ... if New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and in Canada Toronto didn't implement it, the other areas that need to be in contact with and in sync with the plethora of Head Offices based in those cities wouldn't lobby to implement or keep it.

Comment Easy alternative to dictionary words (Score 1) 415

A simple alternative to using simple dictionary passwords (appropriately, eg to unlock a more secure password manager) is to get out a map of the world, pick some region you are willing to become familiar with, and choose the name of a town or other small, obscure feature.

You will always be able to re-read that passphrase if forgotten, by searching the same regional map, and it almost certainly won't be in a language dictionary (assuming you choose wisely) as cities and town are normally not included in dictionaries save for large, well known ones.

So, instead of Zagreb (Capital city of Croatia), perhaps choose a small town near there that isn't a Croatian dictionary word, and use that. Say, "Sesvete"

Check that it isn't a dictionary word (with a Crotian dictionary) ... you don't want a town whose English translation is "Brother", for example. It will be in the dictionary.

It might take a half hour of playing around to get a decent example, but after that you have a non-dictionary word you can remember, that few, if any, others will guess, and of moderate complexity. You could also use it as a component of a more complex password that has the usual features (uppercase + lowercase + numerals + symbols).

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.