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Submission + - SPAM: It Can Power a Small Nation. But This Wind Farm in China Is Mostly Idle.

schnell writes: The New York Times reports on a massive wind farm in remote Gansu province that boasts more than 7,000 wind turbines but whose capacity goes more than 60% unused. The wind farm epitomizes China's struggles in its efforts to become a world renewable energy leader: the Chinese economy is slumping, leading to decreased energy demand; the country lacks the infrastructure to haul power from remote wind-producing regions to industrial centers; and government policies continue to favor the domestic coal industry. China has 92,000 wind turbines, more than double the US's capacity, but China generates only 3.3% of its electricity from wind compared to 4.7% in the United States.

Submission + - Gambler Phil Ivey Sued For Being Too Good (thefederalist.com) 2

schwit1 writes: “The Borgata alleged that Ivey’s actions, which the casino agreed to in advance, constitute cheating. In fact, they merely constitute a gambler getting a legitimate advantage over the casino. In this age of cozy cooperation between the state and the gaming industry, that’s something that’s just not allowed.”

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Are Headphone Cables Designed To Fail Within Weeks Of Purchase? 3

dryriver writes: I'm a heavy headphone user. It doesn't matter what headphones I buy — Sony, Philips, Logitech you name it — the headphones typically fail to work properly within a few weeks of purchase. It is never the headphones/earbuds themselves that fail. It is always the part of the headphone cable where the small wires connect to the almost indestructible 3.5mm metal headphone jack. Result? Either the left or right ear audio cuts out and you need new headphones. Putting 1/2 a cent worth of extra rubber/plastic/metal around that part of the cable to strengthen it would likely fix the problem very effectively. The headphones would last for a year or even longer. But almost no manufacturer seems to do this. I keep trying new models and brands, and they all have the same "cable goes bad" problem — earbuds that came with a Sony MP3 player I bought developed the problem within 15 minutes of first use. My question to Slashdot: Do headphone manufacturers do this deliberately? Do they think "We'll sell 40% more headphones each year if the average pair doesn't last beyond 3 months of normal use" and engineer a deliberate weakness into the headphone cable? How can these major brands with all their product engineers not be able to strengthen the most obviously failure-prone part of the headphone cable a bit?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What Is The Best Place To Suggest A New Open Source Software? 1

dryriver writes: Somebody I know has been searching up and down the internet for an open source software that can apply GPU pixel shaders (HLSL/GLSL/Cg/SweetFX) to a video and save the result out to a video file. He came up with nothing. So I said "Why not petition the open source community to create such a tool?" His reply was "Where exactly does one go to ask for a new open source software?" So that is my question: Where on the internet can one best go to request that a new open source software tool that does not exist yet be developed? Or do open source tools only come into existence when someone — a coder — starts to build a software, opens the source, and invites other coders to join the fray?

Comment Re: Tipping point (Score 0) 528

Trade deficits are only 'not necessarily a bad thing' for those cases where trade deficits really mean *borrowing to invest*.

USA *borrows to consume*, thus in case of USA trade deficits are deadly, both figuratively *and* literally deadly. Figuratively because an economy dying is not really the same thing as a human dying, it's more like an inanimate process that is stopping. Literally because a dying economy leads to actual human poverty, suffering and death for a large number of reasons.

You are actually half way correct that so far trade deficits worked well for the USA because the foreigners did all that work that subsidised the USA consumer, who did not have to work to pay for all that consumption. This is possible (or was possible) because so far US dollar is still a so called 'reserve currency', though it is not backed by anything other than 'faith' and probably some military presence.

People expect things to continue the same way as what they have been accustomed to and they do not expect any serious changes to their lives over their life spans. However people are very often wrong about that, big changes happen, they happen often, they happen suddenly (especially for the uninitiated into the reality of what is happening around them).

What you call a 'sound economic policy' I call 'suicidal economic policy'. I know from your words here that you actually think that government intervention is 'sound economic policy', however it was government intervention that created the situation that required more government intervention. More government intervention further leads to a situation that requires even more government intervention.

If you paid attention to what history shows you would know that government intervention has an accumulative effect and it is self destructing. Pumping fake liquidity into an economy that needs to restructure the debts is the wrong thing, not the right thing. What happened 8 years ago did not prevent a depression, it assured it. 1929 recession was created by government policy, specifically by money printing by the Fed and by buying bad UK debt from France. It was a gigantic bailout that inflated the stock market bubble that eventually burst. Hoover and FDR turned a normal process of deleveraging and debt restructuring into a depression by pumping more liquidity into the system.

They even bought good farming products and ploughed the products into the ground to avoid prices from falling, that's government in action: the market restructures bad ideas and debts but also brings prices down, making it easier to survive the restructuring by the most vulnerable in the system. Government steps in and says: you cannot have that benefit, the prices will stay up and the bad decisions will not be allowed to clear, instead they will be kept around and made bigger by more inflation (money printing) and actual welfare redistribution to those business that failed.

This does not guarantee good outcomes, this ensures accumulating and multiplying of bad outcomes. This is the same thing that happened a number of times in the last (and this) century and it is coming to the point where the impact of the next crisis will no longer be manageable by these usual tools that the government has (and it's always just one tool, often disguised under different names), it is theft, it is money printing and theft of existing purchasing and saving power of those, who have savings.

If you understood any of this, you wouldn't have written the statements that you did. Not understanding all of this so far very likely means further misunderstanding on your part and this also may mean that the coming crisis will hit you in a way that you cannot comprehend.

Submission + - Parents View New Peanut Guidelines With Guilt and Skepticism (nytimes.com) 1

schwit1 writes: When Nicole Lepke’s son was born, she listened to her pediatrician and kept peanuts away until the age of 2, but the toddler still developed a severe peanut allergy when he finally tried them.

Now, 12 years later, health experts have reversed their advice on peanuts, urging parents to begin feeding foods containing peanut powder or extract during infancy in hopes of reducing a child’s risk for allergy.

The about-face on peanuts has stunned parents around the country who are coping with the challenges of severe peanut allergies. Like many parents, Ms. Lepke is now plagued with guilt. By restricting peanuts early, did she inadvertently cause the very allergy she was trying to prevent?

Submission + - Eggs from Skin Cells? Why the Next Fertility Technology Will Open Pandora's Box (technologyreview.com)

schwit1 writes: Imagine you are Brad Pitt. After you stay one night in the Ritz, someone sneaks in and collects some skin cells from your pillow.

But that’s not all. Using a novel fertility technology, your movie star cells are transformed into sperm and used to make a baby. And now someone is suing you for millions in child support.

Such a seemingly bizarre scenario could actually be possible, say three senior medical researchers who today have chosen to alert the public to the social risks of in vitro gametogenesis, a technique they say could allow any type of cell to be reprogrammed into a sperm or egg.

Comment Re:A slap in the wrist (Score 0) 159

Not because of the amount, no, but as a general principle of the matter I think Bezos will pay attention and do something useful with that money. I know I would not hesitate to spend a few billion bucks in his place to destroy the current Canadian government and would ensure that my selection of people get elected. The problem with the governments is that they exist but since they do they need to be used for good, not for evil. Companies need to ensure that individual freedoms are upheld by the governments and this to me means that the governments (the collective) must not be able with the private property rights and this 1000000 dollar theft is just that.

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