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Comment The digital equivalent (Score 1) 258

of hot coffee on the lap, microwaving the pooch etc... I'm moving to Italy with a Vista powered lap-top - gonna claim a cool few million euros in extreme emotional trauma damages for every BSOD I encounter. Hang on; come to think of it, maybe I could claim attempted murder! Then there's the good old 'a fatal error has occurred' message... I'm in the money!!

Comment Re:PR perhaps? (Score 1) 150

I live in JP too. This is what the government website is telling me about radioctivity in my area 211km away from the Fukushima power plant as the crow flies in Saitama Prefecture. These readings appear to be supported by many independent sources too. While readings peaked for two 2hr periods at 1.2uSv/h on March 15th, they've remained relatively low. From what I gather; the United states has up to twice this level of environmental radioactivity with apparently no harm. While I'd prefer to see no I-131 and C-137 detectable in my tap water, these levels are obviously not harmful and in fact I-137 peaked at 37 Bq/kg, so the trend is encouraging (nothing like an 8 day half life!). Anyway; I think this may have already been posted on slashdot and while not fully reliable, might help to at least give some perspective on the level of contamination at this stage.

However; in the immediate area (i.e. 30-40km radius from the plant), obviously things are different and it is most likely going to be many years before life is returned to normal - that much is undeniable. Fortunately unlike Chernobyl the reactors have an extra protective casing and have only experienced damage to fuel as opposed to a full meltdown at this stage, but the situation is obviously critical. Although they've restored electricity, highly radioactive water used to cool spent fuel rod pools and reactors has found it's way into turbine rooms where many controls are located meaning they are unable to test what equipment still works. Worse still, this water has also been leaking into the ocean. At least they have changed water used to cool reactors etc from sea water to fresh water, which eliminates corrosion fears, but even this problem will crop up again once they start using boric acid to absorb neutrons.

So basically it's a critical juggling act of keep the spent fuel rod pools and reactors cool, while diverting water from control/turbine rooms & the ocean, all while trying fix/restart in particular cooling systems. Furthermore; trace samples of plutonium were discovered in the immediate location suggesting leakage from reactor 3, which was using MOX fuel.

Even with all that in mind, I'd struggle to see how travelers to China could bring in enough radiation to be harmful unless they'd ignored the 30km exclusion zone and spent a day or two in the affected area before boarding their flight... I also have to wonder how they destroyed their luggage... boric acid bath? It would have knocked any insects they'd inadvertently brought in!

Anyway; I feel our immediate concerns should really be directed toward communities of north-eastern Japan devastated by the massive post-quake tsunamis...

Comment Re:NK releases a statement like this regulary (Score 1) 608

I live next door in JP and have heard this kind of carry on for the last 6 or 7 years or so. I freaked out initially & thought about getting my family out of there, but over time I learnt that their taunts can be basically translated as follows: "we're very close to mounting one of these suckers on a missile, but even then our threats would only amount to mere propaganda because we know full well that any proactive act of aggression on our behalf against the US allies would mean curtains for us. But hey; at least it garners us enough attention and leverage for getting aid into our country drained of life by its own war machine."

Where Android Beats the iPhone 365

snydeq writes "Peter Wayner provides a developer's comparison of Android and the iPhone and finds Android not only competitive but in fact a better choice than the iPhone for many developers, largely due to its Java foundation. 'While iPhone developers have found that one path to success is playing to our baser instincts (until Apple shuts them down), a number of Android applications are offering practical solutions that unlock the power of a phone that's really a Unix machine you can slip into your pocket,' Wayner writes, pointing out GScript and Remote DB as two powerful tools for developers to make rough but workable custom tools for Android. But the real gem is Java: 'The pure Java foundation of Android will be one of the biggest attractions for many businesses with Java programmers on the staff. Any Java developer familiar with Eclipse should be able to use Google's Android documentation to turn out a very basic application in just a few hours. Not only that, but all of the code from other Java programs will run on your Android phone — although it won't look pretty or run as fast as it does on multicore servers.'"

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