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Comment Re:Why not variable gauge trucks? (Score 1) 426

Thanks to contributing to the discussion by repeating my point and adding nothing.

You're welcome, although I was mostly commenting on the "As for adjusting the track for each train... are you high?" sentence, since swb was talking about adjustable wheelsets, asking why not make the trucks adjustable? Point taking about gauging my writing before posting. My train of thought must have derailed somewhere...

Comment Re:Why not variable gauge trucks? (Score 1) 426

Trucks, i.e. bogies, not tracks. There are adjustable wheelsets, although it's more common to change the entire bogie. Also, 1435 and 1524 mm tracks can coexist on a four-rail track; this kind of solution exists, for example, between Sweden and Finland:

Comment Re:Faster Solution (Score 1) 1139

Such trains have existed for decades already in at least Finland and they certainly haven't killed airlines. Even though there are many advantages: You can put all your stuff in the car when leaving home and at your destination you get to use your own, familiar car instead of a rental car that would also cost more.

Here's a link. Also, pictures of car and truck carriers being switched at the station, waiting to be coupled onto a night train.

You can see three types of vehicle carriers; the blue and white double decker with an open upper deck, the red and white fully enclosed double decker, and the flatcar truck carrier, which is also used to haul charter buses. All of these are loaded and unloaded with an end ramp, and can be driven through. They are set out for unloading, and loaded ones are picked up, i.e. the loading has to be complete about an hour before the train arrives. The vehicles are held in place with their own parking brakes plus wheel chocks.

...and no, they haven't killed airlines, but they certaily are booked to capacity. However, there have been talks about closing down some provincial airports because of insufficient customer base (a few thousand passengers per year). It seems that fast rail connections have made the airlines somewhat redundant, and one airline's messing about (charging for flights and then not flying) has not done much to help, either.

Comment Re:Alternate solution (Score 1) 1139

My 20-year-old van with one passenger has a lower carbon footprint than someone traveling on high-efficiency highspeed rail. Why?

Your van isn't moving?

Because the energy put into building the van is already spent and done with. Not true for the HSR.

Ah, but how can someone travel on something that hasn't been built? Besides, you can run an electric railroad with close to zero carbon emissions. (e.g. Switzerland; coal was and is an import, but hydroelectric power was and is abundant, hence they went nearly 100% electric pretty early.)

Comment Re:Deal killer (Score 1) 646

But what drove me to sell the thing on eBay was the glossy screen. Gloss makes it absolutely impossible to do any work with any bright light source over my shoulder. I do a lot of work in a terminal, and a black background is just impossible to read. So I switched them to a light background. That actually wasn't easy because the Terminal in OS X at the time (10.4, I think) made it really hard to switch colors--I had to download some sort of plugin to do something that X11 terminals have been capable of for years. Even with a light background, though, it was hard to do work if there was a lamp behind me and impossible to do work if there was a window behind me.

If your MacBook was the original edition (came with Tiger and CoreDuo CPU), you should have had a choice between glossy and matte displays. Besides, the colors of the Tiger can be configured in the window settings.

Comment Re:The Senators' rocket design dictates a payload (Score 1) 342

Yeah, but "75mT"?


The "mT" thing is technically deprecated if I understand correctly, but for whatever reason is still quite common in aerospace circles:

At first I read mT as millitesla, which felt somewhat weird as a measure of carrying capacity...

Comment Acronym nomenclature (Score 1) 244

A = Acronym
LA = Long Acronym
TLA = Three Letter Acronym
ETLA = Extended Three Letter Acronym
METLA = More Extended Three Letter Acronym
WMETLA = Way More Extended Three Letter Acronym
SWMETLA = Seriously Way More Extended Three Letter Acronym
TSWMETLA = Totally Seriously Way More Extended Three Letter Acronym
RTSWMETLA = Really Totally Seriously Way More Extended Three Letter Acronym

Comment Re:14+14 years (Score 1) 331

When Linux reaches the public domain, would people have the right to distribute modifications in binary form only?

Certainly. Let's say the copyright period were 28 years. If somebody wanted to release binary-only modifications to Linux 1.0 (released in 1994) in 2022, they would certainly be free to do so. Or if somebody wanted to create a proprietary, binary-only Linux kernel, they would only have to trail the GPL kernel by 28 years.

The point of doing either of the above would be...?

Comment Re:2010 vs 2K10 (Score 4, Insightful) 206

I understood the possible "efficiency" gains when people your write "2K" or "2K3" for the years 2000 and 2003, respectively, but I have recently seen at least one advertisement using "2K10" for 2010.

Except this is a constant source of amusement for somebody who's used to seeing resistor values written in short form where the magnitude symbol (R, K, M, G) replaces the decimal point. Examples: 2K = 2000 ohms, 2K3 = 2300 ohms, 2K10 = 2K1 = 2100 ohms, etc. By the same logic: year 2K3 = year 2300... hmm...

Comment Re:VOIP sucks. (Score 1) 426

Sure: In an emergency can I cobble together something to send out a communication that doesn't involve me fabricating a processor?(...)

For any infrastructure, there should be at least the possibility of a contingency plan that could operate using 1940's technology... ideally with a fail-safe involved as well. Anything else is bound to come back to haunt us sooner or later.

If you're interested in communicating with people over long distances with extremely simple technology, I seriously suggest you look into getting a ham license. It's not very difficult, and you can make yourself useful when other communications networks are down. See for further information.

73 de OH8HTH

Comment Re:lol = laughing out loud? WTF? (Score 2, Insightful) 274

From the filed doc:

...a group of databases may be provided that each define one or more shorthand terms. These definitions may be structured in the database as shorthand terms paired with longhand terms. For example, one database may define the shorthand term "LOL" to mean "laughing out loud." Another database may instead define "LOL" to mean "lots of laughs." A database may also include multiple definitions for a given term. For example, a user's personal database may have two entries for the shorthand term "OMW" including "on my way" and "oh my word"

IOW, they have managed to patent a dictionary? Prior art, anyone?

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