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Comment Re:Daily dose (Score 3, Insightful) 66

I am afraid you are more then a little wrong. For example, in British Columbia around half the lodgepole pine have been consumed by beetles. Why? Because it has not gone below 40 degC in the interior for the decade or two. Takes going below 40 degC for a week to kill the buggers. This has decimated the forest industry and put many people out of work. And this is just one example - wait until the glaciers are gone and Calgary is out of water.

Climate change actually hits northern countries the hardest. While the US might experience an average increase of 1 degC, Canada will experience an average increase of 3. And while an increase in temperature can be pleasant, if the local infrastructure and environment were not designed (or evolved) to handle it then it brings disaster. Some reservoirs go dry while other areas flood. And half the problems will be such that we can not predict them coming - like the pine beetle example.

Comment Re:Cockpit recorder: shit, instrument panel on fir (Score 1) 142

According to the article you linked to, the fire the pilots were trying to put out was not responsible for the crash and was likely a secondary fire. From Google translate:

What is certain is that it was not this fire [cockpit fire the pilot was attempting to extinguish] that suddenly cut, at 37,000 feet, the other black box, the flight recorder (FDR), located at the back of the plane.

So there might have been a fire but it is more likely it came from inside the instrument panel then from on top. Either that or there just happened to be an exploding phone the exact same time a different explosion took down the plane.

Comment Hard to believe. (Score 1) 142

One would think an electronic device that catches fire while _on_ an instrument panel would be noticed long before said fire is able to damage the instrument panel and cause the plane to crash. The cockpit recorder should have picked up a few explicit verbal phrases if such an event had taken place. Different story if the phone was within luggage in the bottom of the plane. Perhaps right under the cockpit?

Comment Re: labor participation never recovered (Score 1) 142

The "Civilian Employment-Population Ratio" is greatly influenced by an aging population. A 3% change over 8 years is not unexpected given the number of people leaving the workforce. Best to not read too much into it. The unemployment rate is a better indicator of economic health.

Comment Re:I don't see why they would change (Score 1) 268

Hopefully Apple will get to the bottom of what happened in the tests, and make the laptops better.

Odds are good it is a software problem. Either that or a firmware problem that can be patched with software. I would look at the two GPUs and ensure they were not both turned on at the same time. But regardless of the cause, if they can get 19 hours after being patched then that makes for some amazing run times.

Comment Re:They forgot... (Score 4, Insightful) 212

Yes, but you never see MacBook [Pro] computers fail because their power cords have been tugged on. I fixed a couple of Toshiba laptops by simply re-soldering the power connector back onto the motherboard. The magnetic connection does an excellent job of preventing stresses on the internal components of the laptop. Power connectors, USB connectors, and 1/8" audio connectors are highly prone to damage resulting from cables being pulled. USB is not bad on the back of a computer, but when people plug USB sticks into the front of a computer (or side of a laptop) is is asking for trouble. Too bad it is so damn convenient - maybe the Type-C connector will be more robust.

Comment Re:I am amazed that there is no current limiter (Score 1) 243

Resettable polyfuses are a wonderful idea - but they would not work. They require too much area to heat up and as a result - are slow. This sort of application requires a more traditional fuse. Such a fuse would require significant board space and still require that blown devices be returned for repair. In short, unless this becomes a serious problem, I can not see such protection circuitry being added.

Comment Re:I am amazed that there is no current limiter (Score 5, Informative) 243

That is basically what a protection diode is - except they do not use zener diodes. They have one diode connected to ground and one to VCC. If the voltage drops below ground, one diode conducts clamping the voltage to ~-0.7v. If the voltage increases beyond VCC, the other diode conducts and clamps the voltage at VCC+0.7v. This is effective when dissipating a small charge that could potentially be at a high voltage - think ESD. But if you have prolonged current the diode will blow and short.

So you have a short (blown diode) but you still have a significant amount of energy to dissipate. This results in a large current that will cause the diode to physically explode or possibly blow a trace. USB data lines typically use very thin traces and can not conduct much power. If a trace goes then USB is screwed but the rest of the computer will probably function correctly. If the diode explodes your protection is gone and the high voltage will now cause all sorts of damage.

Comment Re:I am amazed that there is no current limiter (Score 4, Informative) 243

Of course they have current limited USB switches. The point is this device slowly collects charge over time then drops it onto the data lines instantly. The protection diodes found within the USB host are only designed for ESD-like voltages and currents. They can not handle a high voltage being applied for a long time. They blow then the rest of the USB chipset blows. If you are really lucky, the charge then passes through the USB chipset and blows other ICs in the host.

Comment Re:Step 1: Ignore the mouth (Score 2) 559

Many people like Trump because he appears to be honest and genuine in what he says. This always made me laugh because I view him as the exact opposite. He says what he does to appeal to those whom he is speaking to. He is the least honest of all those who ran for the Republican nomination. A complete BS artist. I am willing to bet there is never a complete wall, Mexicans are not all deported, and Obamacare is not repealed - in name possibly but not in practice.

What is really depressing is that by spewing this crap, Trump was able to get sufficient votes to be elected.

Comment Blame the news websites. (Score 4, Insightful) 624

Notice how many news sites (like CNN) now interleave fake story links with their real stories? And we wonder why the general populous is confused. If the news organizations want to regain lost trust they need to do away with such tactics. As it stands, the news sites are basically endorsing these sites.

Comment Re:27% better performance? (Score 1) 70

Specifically, Moores Law states that the complexity (ie, number of transistors) for minimum component cost increases by a factor of two per year. Translating this to computer speed or process size is easier said then done. Several other factors impact the minimum component cost. For example, the number of defects per unit area of a specific process. And when it comes to the actual parts manufactured, designers could opt for more transistors or a reduced, albeit not as efficient (price/transistor), final price. Either way, Moores Law still applies.

Comment Re:Out sold? (Score 1) 209

Unfortunately every products costs the amount it costed t produce it plus the margin the producer wants to make. And that has nothing to do with what "the market" is willing to pay for it.

The margin the producer wants to make is based on the number of sales the producer wants and what "the market" is willing to pay. If sales are too low, the producer typically lowers the price. If sales are too high the producer either increases the price or increases production. Increasing production generally increases the unit cost over the short term so producers try to avoid this. But everything is based on what "the market" is willing to pay. Should production cost exceed what "the market" is willing to pay the producer ceases production and drops out of the market. So the production cost only determines if a product is produced in the first place.

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