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Comment Re:Here's the actual problem, (Score 2, Informative) 113

Hint: this is for Visa applications. That is, for foreigners who aren't allowed to visit America without one, and are supplying this information in their own country.

And it's for Visa applications from people who like to hang out with ISIS, which should be an automatic denial in any sane world.

Comment Uh.... what? (Score 5, Insightful) 113

...required visa applicants to hand over all phone numbers, email addresses, and social media accounts that they have used in the past

*ever*???

Personally, I know I wouldn't even be able to begin to comply with this kind of demand. I don't remember all of the old phone numbers I've had. All social media accounts? Does that include aliases on bulletin board systems from the 1980's? Again, I couldn't comply because I don't remember them all. I probably have about a half dozen expired email accounts at old internet service providers, some of which don't even exist anymore, where I can maybe remember half of them.

Comment Re: Gravity waves != gravitational waves (Score 1) 55

"Gravity waves" seems misleading or confusing. Maybe it stuck for historical reasons?

It stuck because it is accurate.

Labeling their cause as one force among multiple is problematic communication.

All scientific communities have their terminologies, and "gravity waves" is an accurate use of the words for fluid dynamics. It is not gravity that CAUSES the waves, it is gravity that moderates them.

Comment Re: Gravity waves != gravitational waves (Score 1) 55

Let's see if I got this straight: Cloud particles gravitationally pull on each other

No. At least not to any significant amount.

It seems we normally don't see these on Earth because our thicker atmosphere and magnetosphere overwhelm gravity's direct influence.

What is it you think that keeps our "thicker atmosphere" where it is if it isn't "gravity's direct influence"?

Gravity waves are waves in something that are moderated by the force of gravity. E.g. regular waves at the beach are gravity waves. The properties depend directly on the difference in densities between the two layers in contact. For surface waves this is air/water. For subaqueous (or "internal") waves, it is a water/water interface.

There are also infragravity waves. Those are waves created by wave-wave interactions that occur at frequencies very much below those of gravity waves. A surface gravity wave may have a period of 10-15 seconds. An infragravity wave may be 100-200 seconds in period. Think "sneaker".

And while you might think that the ripples on the surface caused by wind are called "ultragravity" waves, they are actually called "capillary waves".

Comment Re:Google should just block Australia (Score 1) 24

Google has put up with worse I'm afraid.

Unfortunately the real power here lies with Rupert "Fucking" Murdoch. Much to the chargrin of News Corps minority shareholders, the Australian newspaper doesn't make a profit and serves as nothing more than a funnel to inject the sort of bad ideas that have turned american politics into the garbage fire it is, into australian politics too. And if he doesn't like it, the conservatives will bow, and do as the master commands.

I wish the old vampire would just have a coronary and leave democracy alone.

Comment Re:Municipal/County Fiber (Score 1) 168

The municipalities are not competing/wanting to compete with Cable TV providers or violate their contracts by laying their own fiber and providing internet.

You cannot condemn Comcast for being a rotten, expensive ISP with one voice and then deny that Comcast is an ISP with another. Yes, municipalities that are trying to run their own internet service are in DIRECT competition with a company that they have a contract with that demands all kinds of other things that the city doesn't want to provide.

The big broadband providers, including cable companies lobbied states to get special laws passed designed to kill the municipal projects.

Of course. Incumbent ISPs that have contracts that demand levels of service and types of services are at a direct disadvantage to local governments that don't have those contractual requirements. If the city wants to play in the ISP market, it should have to follow the same rules they enforce on commercial vendors -- ALL of those rules.

No: municipalities are only able to do this for Cable TV Service,

Which is how the Cable internet providers get access to the rights of way in the first place.

the franchise agreements don't apply to other services that the municipalities are not empowered to create a monopoly in for the first place.

The franchise agreements absolutely apply to services that municipalities cannot create monopolies in, like Cable TV. Exclusive franchises are a violation of federal law and have been so for a very long time.

Telecoms that put in and own fibre optics on the other hand are federally regulated and cannot be franchised by a municipality.

That's pretty funny, since I'm looking at my last CenturyLink (telecom) bill and it contains a specific line item fee for "franchise at 3%." Apparently my city can, and does, franchise the local telecom, despite this special "federal regulated" status they hold.

Comment Re:Yeah, maybe (Score 1) 168

"highway construction project that gets federal funding"

And it is the local government that is managing the rights of way (not "highways") where "dig once" conduits will be most useful.

State highway construction is currently pretty rare (at least in my part of the country), and when it happens it covers only a short stretch of road that is being replaced outside city limits.

It's pretty useless to require "dig once conduits" for a small stretch of state highway since that is usually where the major internet distributors run fiber anyway, not the local cable company. And it would do little to nothing to help improve last mile distribution in rural areas, and nothing at all within a city.

Earth

Let There Be Light: Germans Switch on 'Largest Artificial Sun' (theguardian.com) 116

German scientists are switching on "the world's largest artificial sun" in the hope that intense light sources can be used to generate climate-friendly fuel. From a report: The Synlight experiment in Julich, about 19 miles west of Cologne, consists 149 souped-up film projector spotlights and produces light about 10,000 times the intensity of natural sunlight on Earth. When all the lamps are swivelled to concentrate light on a single spot, the instrument can generate temperatures of around 3,500C -- around two to three times the temperature of a blast furnace. "If you went in the room when it was switched on, you'd burn directly," said Prof Bernard Hoffschmidt, a research director at the German Aerospace Center, where the experiment is housed in a protective radiation chamber. The aim of the experiment is to come up with the optimal setup for concentrating natural sunlight to power a reaction to produce hydrogen fuel.

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