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Comment Re:They WILL FIght Back (Score 2) 516

Everybody knows wind turbines are eye sores. They obscure all the lovely smoke stacks.

That's good news, because this story is about rooftop solar.

In many parts of the world, and no doubt in many parts of the USA, rooftop solar is already at parity if subsidies and externalised costs are taken into account. In direct costs alone, the US pays around 50 billion dollars annually to subsidise fossil fuels. Internationally it's close to a trillion dollars.

Comment Re:It doesn't work (Score 1) 167

In addition to dogs children won't get it. If you give two children 4 crayons each, who has more? The answer is always the other does.

As usual, the bible has the answer.

First, "divide the living child in two" (1 Kings 3:25). This will give you four half-children, each with two crayons, and a blissfully quiet household.

Comment Re:Other prisons are the same (Score 1) 142

Australia's obviously not a prison anymore; it's not being run by a corporation.

Then why are we being constantly monitored, and why are our laws being written by US and multinational companies?

I don't remember what I did to deserve this treatment, but it must have been fucking diabolical.

Comment Re:Do we really need this? (Score 2) 47

I doubt they have an iphone 6+, and they probably have a candybar nokia, but cheap androids are only getting cheaper and will be in more hands as they do, especially when you have whatever idealist kids going around handing them out.

There's probably still a lot of the candybar phones still around, but it was the Huawei IDEOS 8150 that took on the laptop-killer role in sub Saharan Africa all the way back in 2011. They were a quiet revolution in that part of the world, with locally-developed apps for everything from agriculture to healthcare, from disaster response to business and more. This stand-alone WiFi library would be ideal for those areas.

Comment Re:Nothing. (Score 2) 209

Personally I'd be way more open to this stuff if it didn't want an internet connection. Ultimately I see very little practical application for any of this anyway.

I bought and am using a Ninja Block, and use it for keeping an eye on my vegetable garden (soil moisture), remotely controlling appliances, hot water etc when I'm away, home security, and simple stuff like switching on overhead fans from my phone. For me at least, it's a very practical tool.

Mine's connected to the internet so I can get alerts and manage my home from my phone, but I understand they can run air-gapped if you want to keep it off grid. In my case, given it's open hardware and open source, I'll take the risk.

Comment Re: hmm (Score 0) 135

Microsoft is too busy shifting merchandise to spy on customers.

Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users' communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company's own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian.

The files provided by Edward Snowden illustrate the scale of co-operation between Silicon Valley and the intelligence agencies over the last three years. They also shed new light on the workings of the top-secret Prism program, which was disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post last month.

The documents show that:

* Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new portal;
* The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on, including Hotmail;
* The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;
* Microsoft also worked with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit to "understand" potential issues with a feature in that allows users to create email aliases;
* In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;
* Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport".

Comment Re:Ninety Three Years (Score 1) 495

"Average life expectancy has actually been going down recently, at least in the US."

That is very interesting. Can you cite a source for your statement.

Life expectancy in the USA is going up, however the USA's ranking in global life expectancy rankings is going down.

Comment Re:100 year old survival knowledge in PDF files??? (Score 1) 272

100 year old survival knowledge in PDF files??? That makes zero sense.

Publish the books hard-bound on acid-free paper and then you've got something useful!!

How about publishing it to a free archive in a number of formats so thousands of people around the world can download and copy or print it to whatever medium they choose or find useful? Does that make sense?

Comment Re:If you can't beat 'em, troll them (Score 3, Insightful) 66

ORTC can be seen as a microsoft troll of google,

Not really.

Google is one of the ORTC group members and strongly supports it. If fact, ORTC doesn't erase the work done on WebRTC, it extends it, meaning developers won’t have to rewrite their RTC applications. The expectation is they will gradually transition towards using the ORTC API.

It's possible, though unlikely, that Microsoft's embracing of ORTC now presages their traditional extend/extinguish effort. It's far harder for them to get away with that these days.

Comment Re:When you are inside the box ... (Score 2) 289

Somewhat true, but really as another Australian it's obvious that our country is being increasing run by the USA

I think it would be truer to say that both the USA and Australia are being run by the same plutocrats. They're aggressively expanding their oligarchy worldwide, with collusion from most of the governments they interact with, including our own exceptionally sycophantic pack.

Comment Re:When you are inside the box ... (Score 1) 289

You mean like how we in the US can see that China and Australia indoctrinate just as much, albeit differently?

Sort of, though someone actually living in the US won't have much visibility of the reality of Australian or Chinese life. It's more valid to say someone from the US visiting or living in Australia or China would have that insight.

Comment Re:When you are inside the box ... (Score 5, Interesting) 289

You acting superior because you're from somewhere else is equivalent to an American acting superior because he's an American.

It's not about acting superior, it's about being able to see the system with clarity.

People who work within a system for their whole lives adapt themselves to it, and either find workarounds for aspects that restrict them or learn to conform to the restrictions. If they don't, they don't thrive or sometimes even survive. Someone coming from outside, from a culture with different (though sometimes overlapping restrictions) will feel those constraints more strongly, as they haven't adapted so closely to them.

So for an Australian (like me or Assange), or a Chinese (like Taco), the American socio-political constraints are clearer, and the flaws more glaring, not because we're better, but because we've grown up outside them.

TLDR: Sometimes it's easier to see things from the outside.

Comment Re:Overly broad? (Score 3, Interesting) 422

It's far more likely it's the caffeine, but they aren't being specific enough. If it was just sugar, then pretty much everything would be doing it and I wouldn't see how they could possibly have a control group.

Not so likely, given caffeine is widely available in other beverages that don't have the same affect.

Most likely is the phosphoric/carbolic acid content.

The most popular cola available is highly acidic with a pH of about 2.5 (which is why it needs so much sugar to taste good). Healthy digestive systems can buffer the acid so that blood acidosis doesn't occur, but they mobilize calcium phosphate from bones and teeth to do so. Several studies have already shown links between telomere shortening and blood calcium levels, so while there's no smoking gun, there's a known mechanism for the result.

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