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Comments

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The Executive Order That Led To Mass Spying, As Told By NSA Alumni

DanielRavenNest Re:Haply so, but exec orders and agencies (174 comments)

The owners of corporations are protected against unreasonable searches of their private business information, just like sole proprietors, or citizens in their data at home. As agents of the owners, corporate officers are the ones who should demand to see a warrant before granting a search.

yesterday
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Software Error Caused Soyuz/Galileo Failure

DanielRavenNest Re:"Programmers" shouldn't write critical software (148 comments)

> Getting rocket software right is difficult precisely because there is no way to do a live test.

As someone who tested software for the Space Station, there is, but it's very expensive, and seldom done. In addition to the other SQA methods mentioned, we had a simulation & test lab next to the clean room where the actual modules were assembled. We simulated all the inputs to the flight computers as if the rest of the Station was there, and flying, including testing all the possible fault conditions. That meant running hundreds of test sequences for each computer box. Before we got to the flight hardware, the simulations were run with isolated copies of the onboard computers in the lab. As a result, the test group was three times the size of the code group, and I haven't heard of critical failures in the fight software.

yesterday
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Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

DanielRavenNest Re:No (264 comments)

> When you give everyone guns

The U.S. has approximately one gun per person, including children (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_guns_per_capita_by_country). They are not evenly distributed, but to a first approximation we already reached the "everyone has guns" level.

about two weeks ago
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Chile Earthquake Triggered Icequakes In Antarctica

DanielRavenNest Redundant Summary (21 comments)

> a powerful magnitude-8.8 earthquake

As opposed to a weak magnitude8.8 earthquake?

about two weeks ago
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Floridian (and Southern) Governmental Regulations Are Unfriendly To Solar Power

DanielRavenNest Re:Solar (306 comments)

> 2) The electricity companies are not under any obligation that I know of to take your electricity.

They are in locations where the utility regulators require "net metering". In a fair situation, the homeowner still pays a line charge, to cover line maintenance and provisions for current flowing backwards through transformers, and not overloading the lines in times of high output. Then they pay and earn fair per kWh rates (which may be different and vary by time of day) for power used and generated.

> 4) The cost of taking your crappy, varying pittance of power

Is nothing like the way you describe it. Unless surplus solar is a majority of the power on a distribution line (the line that goes from the substation to houses), it will simply go from your house to some other house on the line. The utility then pushes the difference through their substation to meet the remainder of the demand. They already have to handle varying demand on the distribution line, since demand varies all the time in normal use. Only if solar were more than what is needed to power the solar houses *and* everyone else on the distribution line, would the utility need to make provisions at the substation for running power to other substations.

about three weeks ago
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Floridian (and Southern) Governmental Regulations Are Unfriendly To Solar Power

DanielRavenNest Re:Lifetime solar power in FL (306 comments)

http://spectrum.ieee.org/green...

"15 November 2012—Glass panels on rooftops and hurricane force winds don’t sound like the greatest of combinations, but solar power companies say their customers’ rooftop installations stood up very well to Hurricane Sandy’s onslaught."

Suniva panels are rated for 200 MPH winds ( http://www.suniva.com/document... ). The rest of the house would likely blow away first.

about three weeks ago
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Floridian (and Southern) Governmental Regulations Are Unfriendly To Solar Power

DanielRavenNest Re:Base Load Power (306 comments)

Solar PV for base load energy will not work

Solar Thermal, coupled with PV, Wind, Hydro, and energy storage will work. There is no requirement that only one kind of energy source be used to satisfy the demand curve. A current example is the Ivanpah solar thermal plant, just west of Las Vegas. They didn't bother putting in any storage because Boulder Dam, just east of Las Vegas, is on the same main power line. So whatever power Ivanpah puts out, just means more water behind the dam can be saved for other times.

Ivanpah also has natural gas backup. Once you already built the field of mirrors, boilers, and generators, adding natural gas burners is a small expense. The turbines don't care if it was the Sun or natural gas that generated the steam.

As far as storage, every electric car comes with a battery. If your car was fully charged up at work from a solar-panel covered parking lot and building roof, you can use part of that charge to feed your house at night. Buying a storage system by itself is expensive. But if you already bought a big battery for your car, not so much. There is a reason Elon Musk runs both Tesla and Solar City. They are complementary technology.

about three weeks ago
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Floridian (and Southern) Governmental Regulations Are Unfriendly To Solar Power

DanielRavenNest Re:Translated into English (306 comments)

Due to copy/paste error, the 176% should read as 17.6%, and 657% should read as 65.7%.

about three weeks ago
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Floridian (and Southern) Governmental Regulations Are Unfriendly To Solar Power

DanielRavenNest Re:Translated into English (306 comments)

Considering that Solar panels only have a effective life span of 15 years

"Many manufacturers currently give a double power warranty for their products, typically 90% of the initial maximum power after 10 years and 80% of the original maximum power after 25 years. Applying the same criteria (taking into account modules electrical performance only and assuming 25% measurement uncertainty of a testing lab) only 176% of modules failed (35 modules out of 204 tested). Remarkably even if we consider the initial warranty period i.e. 10% of Pmax after 10 years, more than 657% of modules exposed for 20 years exceed this criteria."

Thus nearly 2/3 of tested panels lost less than 10% of their output after 20 years. Your number for effective lifespan is way off.

Source: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...

about three weeks ago
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EFF: US Gov't Bid To Alter Court Record in Jewel v. NSA

DanielRavenNest Re:Who is "the government" ? (78 comments)

The Government refers to one of the sides of the case Jewell v. NSA ( http://www.uscourts.gov/Multim... ). The plaintiffs (Jewell et al. as representatives for all US citizens unlawfully spied on) allege that the US Government as a whole by means of their Terrorist Surveillance Program, operated by the NSA and other agencies, violated the Constitution. As a practical matter, "The Government" here are the lawyers representing the US Government, likely from the Justice Department, and whoever else in the Executive branch assigned to work on and review the case.

about three weeks ago
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Inside BitFury's 20 Megawatt Bitcoin Mine

DanielRavenNest Re:Until the last bitcoin (195 comments)

We will find out in about two years. The number of coins generated per block falls in half every 210,000 blocks, which is about 4 years. Two years is when the next halving is due. Half the mining hardware will become uneconomic to use at that time.

about a month ago
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Inside BitFury's 20 Megawatt Bitcoin Mine

DanielRavenNest Re:20 megawatts (195 comments)

The technology that underlies bitcoin, data secured by a series of chained hashes, such that the hash for one data block is part of the data for the next, enables a secure record keeping system for electronic data. Any change to past data, whether from errors or malicious tampering, is detectable because re-hashing the contents of a data block will give a different result than the one stored in the next block.

This is highly useful for a financial transaction system, the first application bitcoin represents. But secure digital record keeping applies to any kind of data whatsoever, and the applications are much wider than just digital currencies. To give one example, it can ensure the integrity of an operating system against malware. The original OS distribution and updates are encoded as a series of data blocks with chained hashes. Anything that is not supposed to be there would invalidate one or more blocks, and thus be detectable.

Corporate scrip (i.e private currencies) is a trivial application by comparison.

about a month ago
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Tesla and Panasonic Have Reached an Agreement On the Gigafactory

DanielRavenNest Re:What makes this a gigafactory? (95 comments)

It could also refer to the price of the factory, which will be well over a billion dollars.

about 1 month ago
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Tesla and Panasonic Have Reached an Agreement On the Gigafactory

DanielRavenNest Re:What makes this a gigafactory? (95 comments)

> I suspect that the name is also a bit of an homage to Back to the Future, but given that Musk is of South African origin and didn't move to North America until three years after the movie came out, I'd like to hear it from the horse's mouth to be sure.

Back to the Future 1 did 45% of it's box office gross internationally ( http://www.boxofficemojo.com/m... ). I assume South Africa had movie theaters in 1985. Most reasonably developed countries did.

about 1 month ago
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US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation

DanielRavenNest Re:Good luck (172 comments)

Well, they can try, but it will be about as successful as controlling bitTorrent, or cannabis.

The proposed New York State regulations require the "issuer" of a virtual currency to get a license if they have users in the state. Who exactly in the bitcoin community would that be? Satoshi Nakamoto? Chinese mining farms? So I agree, good luck. At most some bitcoin-based businesses will just not deal with New York customers.

about a month ago
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US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation

DanielRavenNest Re:The scammer's dream. (172 comments)

> Bitcoin is a scam magnet.

Unlike, say, the entire banking and real estate industry in the early 2000's? Or the founder and former head of the NASDAQ exchange, Bernard Madoff? LIBOR price fixing? I could go on.

about a month ago
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US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation

DanielRavenNest Re:Can we just recognize it as currency and be don (172 comments)

I certainly hope not, because ultimately they're completely unlike other foreign or domestic currencies in that they have nothing backing their worth*.

Ask yourself what backs the value of UPS shipping labels, that people are willing to give substantial sums to obtain one? Intrinsically the label is just sticky paper with some printing on it. The answer is the UPS network of trucks and distribution terminals. They enable a package with a label on it to get from one place to another.

In a similar way, the Bitcoin network of p2p nodes, mining hardware, desktop apps, merchants accepting it, and user wallets enable moving money from one place to another. A bitcoin address with a non-zero balance is like a prepaid shipping label, ready to be used to transfer value to another address. But without the network, the transfers would be nearly impossible. The network makes bitcoin balances useful, and therefore have value.

In a money transfer system, the internal units don't have to have any particular value, as long as everyone agrees on their value at a given time. If I want to pay a Romanian programmer and buy X dollars worth of bitcoins, transmit them, and the programmer converts them to Leu locally, the value only needs to be stable during the time the transfer takes to be acceptable. The particular number of bitcoin units in between is immaterial, it is just an accounting unit.

People who hold bitcoin units for longer periods are speculating that demand for them will go up, or at least remain level. Since the number of units is relatively fixed (it is increasing at 11%/year currently, and will taper off to zero over time), demand will drive the exchange rate up or remain level. If you live in a country that is rapidly increasing the money supply, like Venezuela or the United States, a stable supply of an alternative good can be attractive. That store of value function is separate from the value transfer function.

about a month ago
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SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

DanielRavenNest Re:Enabling wasteful spending on SLS? (114 comments)

Why even waste time developing this when we can use SpaceX, the Deltas, Atlas and so on, perhaps human rated versions of these.

Because the Senator from Alabama wants to keep the NASA center in Huntsville busy.

about a month ago
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SLS Project Coming Up $400 Million Short

DanielRavenNest Re:pfft, 3.5% overrun (132 comments)

Lockheed and Boeing also need to be completely removed from the process. They are making a mint milking DOD contracts, they don't need to be in middle of the civilian space program fleecing NASA and taxpayers there too. They do not use money wisely, they devour everything thrown their way and produce as little as possible in return.

I beg to differ, having worked on the Space Station program for Boeing. Pound for pound the station hardware costs the same to design as passenger airplanes of the same era. That is not surprising, because they are both aluminum structures full of mechanical and electrical components, designed by the same people, using the same methods and knowledge base. The big difference is when Boeing designs a passenger airplane, they typically make 1000 copies. We only made 1 copy of the Space Station hardware. So the entire design cost falls on that one copy.

The Falcon series rockets are cheaper partly because they use lots of repetitive parts. The Falcon 9 uses ten Merlin engines, nine in the first stage, and one in the second stage. The first and second stages use common tank diameters and bulkheads. The Falcon Heavy uses three copies of the first stage. So it is bound to be cheaper because you are not designing as many kg of unique hardware.

The SLS with a once-every-two-years launch rate barely has a production line, but yet you have to have massive tooling in the factory, a trained workforce who know all the jobs, etc. That is an expensive way to fly.

about a month ago
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Dell Starts Accepting Bitcoin

DanielRavenNest Re:Can I pay the tax in Bitcoins? (152 comments)

Dell is using a payment processor, Coinbase, ( https://coinbase.com/ ) who accepts bitcoins on their behalf. Coinbase deposits dollars to Dell's bank account, and resells the coins to individuals, and on exchanges. So Dell never handles bitcoins themselves, just dollars like usual.

about a month ago

Submissions

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3D Chips with Internal Heat Pipes In Development

DanielRavenNest DanielRavenNest writes  |  more than 4 years ago

DanielRavenNest (107550) writes "Swiss researchers at EPFL and ETH Zurich are developing computer processors with stacked cores and internal 50 micron cooling channels that function like heat pipes, vaporizing the coolant and absorbing heat in the process. Thus it is literally vaporware :-) The article states "It will take a few years until 3D microchips equip consumer electronics. The initial 3D microprocessors should be fitted on supercomputers by 2015, while the version with an integrated cooling system should go to market around 2020." So it is vaporware in the other sense too, being 5-10 years out."
Link to Original Source
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Endless Copyright Free Music?

DanielRavenNest DanielRavenNest writes  |  more than 5 years ago

DanielRavenNest writes "UGR researchers Miguel Delgado, Waldo Fajardo and Miguel Molina decided to design a software programme that would enable a person who knew nothing about composition to create music. The system they devised, using AI, is called Inmamusys, an acronym for Intelligent Multiagent Music System, and is able to compose and play music in real time. The program is designed to create background music, of the kind you find in offices, not the next Billboard chart topper."
Link to Original Source
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Cyberporn to be easier to find on Second Life

DanielRavenNest DanielRavenNest writes  |  more than 5 years ago

DanielRavenNest (107550) writes "Second Life has plans to separate adult content both geographically and in its internal search engine starting with the 1.23 client software. There will be a new mainland continent on their grid, presently unnamed but jokingly referred to as Pornadelphia, which will be strictly adult map regions. Their search will also include ratings flags and filters to allow search by ratings level (PG, Mature, or Adult). More Detailed summary is here."
Link to Original Source

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