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US Federal Judge Rules NSA Data Collection Legal

barv Re:The Real Winner... (511 comments)

maybe the NSA could charge a reasonable access fee to those individuals who want to access the information they store.

about 7 months ago
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US Federal Judge Rules NSA Data Collection Legal

barv Re:What is so sacred about privacy? (511 comments)

You can keep your privacy, just do not expect to be able to prosecute other people who manage to hack your encryption etc, or do all the other stuff that the NSA can legally do.

about 7 months ago
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US Federal Judge Rules NSA Data Collection Legal

barv Re:What is so sacred about privacy? (511 comments)

I am an Aussie, so had to look that up.

No to repeal of your fourth amendment.

about 7 months ago
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US Federal Judge Rules NSA Data Collection Legal

barv What is so sacred about privacy? (511 comments)

I am not personally concerned about privacy. People who are wealthy through shady methods probably have concerns about the authorities discovering the sources of their wealth. If people spy on me, I am not particularly concerned. I have nothing that I need to hide.

I object to only privileged institutions (and privileged people who have access to those institutions) having exclusive legal access to all that "private" data that I generate. This is the twenty first century, and everything has changed. Privacy, like copyright and patents, is dead and gone forever. Get used to the idea.

We should make all that phone metadata public. And the output of all publicly funded webcams. Repeal all those laws that criminalize information hacking. The NSA has that access, so why should not everybody have the same access? If you are concerned about stalkers, I would expect that apps would soon be available that would advise of who is researching your data or watching you.

Sure, our moral standards will have to change. Surreptitious liaisons will cease to exist. Even now, your partner is probably available 24/7 by cell phone.

One thing for sure. Not giving legal protection to privacy would expose a lot of corruption. Hopefully, it might even reduce my tax bill.

about 7 months ago
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Can the US Be Weaned Off Ethanol?

barv Calorific Value (CV) of E10 v E0 v price (330 comments)

In Australia, Petrol (Gasoline) costs about $1.50/L(itre) and E10 costs about $1.46/L, so Gas costs 2.7% more than E10
CV of Ethanol is 29.7 MJ/Kg. CV of Gasoline (Petrol) is 47.3 MJ
so 1 Kg E10 has Calorific Value = 0.9 * 47.3 + 0.1 * 29.7 = 45.5 MJ/Kg
Calorific Value of E10 / E0 is 45.5 / 47.3 = 96.2%
So Gas has 3.8% more energy than E10
So buying gas for a 2.7% increase in cost we get a 3.8% increase in energy.

about 8 months ago
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Clam That Was Killed Determining Its Age Was Over 100 Years Older Than Estimated

barv Re:Climate Scientists (366 comments)

"Your ridiculous straw-men simply don't hold up to scrutiny".

That is my response to alarmists. They take one fact (That CO2 has gone from 0.028% to around 0.04%) and have blown it up into total disaster, Your continuation is my response

"You haven't offered any facts, simply your guesses as to what will happen"

You know about Dunning Kruger, so accept an ex farmer's knowledge (and peer reviewed opinion) that the latest on Agriculture is that it actually has a net benefit from the fertilizing effect of higher CO2. Accept a travellers observations and history that the people of Holland have made Dykes work very well for hundreds of years. Accept that the scenario that Greenies offer to stop disaster is to take CO2 back to 0.28%, and that achieving that would take our world back to pre industrial levels. A Tax of $100/Kg on Carbon might be a good place to start reducing CO2. (That would mean gasoline at ~$400/gallon. What would that do to food production and deliveries infrastructure?).

IMHO it is better to save the starving billions by improving their wealth and infrastructure than to tax them into penury so that selfish western Greenies can peer out from their Chelsea Tractors at a natural disaster and blame it on "Deniers".

about 9 months ago
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Clam That Was Killed Determining Its Age Was Over 100 Years Older Than Estimated

barv Re:Climate Scientists (366 comments)

I'm not bistable. As Noordhaus (Harvard economist I think) says, those people who pollute are getting a free ride. Noordhaus estimated $5-10/tonne CO2 tax would compensate society for that pollution. Maybe now it's $20 with inflation.

Where I am, Greenies want a tax big enough to stabilize CO2. Estimates that I accept as realistic range from $500/tonne upwards. They won't tolerate Nuclear.

And economy is not "just money flowing around". If it were, the USA would not be a great innovative power. The world powers would be the places with huge populations. (So yes, I've read Ayn Rand). Rome spent money on armies. Didn't make their economy great.

So you have mine subsidy. It;s not unusual in areas built above coal mines in my country. Requires an Engineer to tell builders and Architects how to build houses that will "float". I understand the Japanese build multi story buildings that are earthquake proofed.

Get with it. The world is not stable. The Sun has stopped having spots, which some people think means an ice age is (or would be if it weren't for CO2 burning) about to hit the world. Sea levels have always risen and fallen. So build Dykes. Weather warms up? Buy A/C. There is always a solution, but the wealthier the society, the better it will recover from disasters (such as the Phillipines).

about 9 months ago
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Clam That Was Killed Determining Its Age Was Over 100 Years Older Than Estimated

barv Climate Scientists (366 comments)

Shoot first. After the damage is done "Gee, maybe I was a little hasty."

RIP the world economy.

about 9 months ago
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Genetic Convergent Evolution: Stunning Gene Similarities Among Diverse Animals

barv ALIEN LIFE (164 comments)

This finding is more likely to be proof that all earth life evolved from an alien settlement marooned here. The aliens (and some of their food source plants/animals) devolved and evolved to all the animals and plants on the earth, which is why most species will have many genes in common. (Think Galapagos)

The only alternative I can think of is viral transmission. Dolphin gets flu with and flu virus adds dolphin genes, flu travels interspecies and bats catch it, and capture some of the genes from flu virus.

Both of those explanations are more inherently probable than convergent evolution as speculated. Wow, work out THAT improbability, then multiply by 50!

about a year ago
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New Radioactive Water Leak At Fukushima: 300 Tons and Growing

barv Re:Water can't be radioactive (198 comments)

Dear Whargoul,

I explained it fully.

Water is hydrogen and oxygen. Nothing else.

Hydrogen has only one radioactive isotope, which is manufactured in nuclear reactors. One source says that isotope (Tritium) is worth $30,000/gram (that is ~ $1 million/Oz.) World annual production is about 50 lb. So it is unlikely that any large quantity of Tritium would be left lying around in Japanese reactors.

As stated above Oxygen has a few radioactive isotopes, but the longest half life isotope of Oxygen (Atomic Wt 15) is about 2 minutes. That means that the radiation from a given sample of 15O diminishes by 999,999,999/1,000,000,000 every hour. If you are a layman, that means it stops being radioactive very quickly.

So if none of the components of water are radioactive, ergo, water is not radioactive.

I must say the quality of comments on /. has diminished noticeably in the last few years.

about a year ago
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New Radioactive Water Leak At Fukushima: 300 Tons and Growing

barv Re:It's been upgraded to a Level 3 Event. (198 comments)

Um, maybe you could send the accounting department for 1 day a week to work alongside the workers at the plant? Might get you better equipment and more pay.

about a year ago
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New Radioactive Water Leak At Fukushima: 300 Tons and Growing

barv morons all over the place (198 comments)

"morons all over the place". You said it. In case you didn't know, heavy water is water made with the deuterium isotope of hydrogen. Deuterium is not radioactive, so heavy water is not radioactive. (That is not to say heavy water is not poisonous to drink). As I originally stated, tritium is the only isotope of Oxygen or Hydrogen that could be dangerously radioactive in this situation.

I am surprised that morons have the sense to hide behind an anonymous nom de plume. Maybe you and the author of "somebody never took college level chemistry 2." above are only halfwits.

about a year ago
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New Radioactive Water Leak At Fukushima: 300 Tons and Growing

barv Water can't be radioactive (198 comments)

Water is hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen has 2 isotopes, Deuterium & Tritium. OK Tritium might be radioactive, but its not there. (Besides it's probably worth so much that there would be a race to get it). The longest life isotope of Oxygen is O15 which has a half life of 2 minutes, so its not a problem.

So water is not the issue.

It's the dissolved solids or suspended solids (sludge) in the water that is radioactive. If it's a sludge, it should be filterable. If its dissolved salts, there is probably a way to precipitate the radioactive bits. Failing that, evaporation should separate it out.

about a year ago
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California Sends a Cease and Desist Order To the Bitcoin Foundation

barv Re:Uh (396 comments)

exclusive "OR" huh?

about a year ago
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Snowden Is Lying, Say House Intelligence Committee Leaders

barv Lets face it. We can't stop spying. (749 comments)

The solution is to make all federal government source information available online. No secrets. All phone records, webcams, mics, the lot. If my taxes paid for data collection, then I want access to it.

My reasoning is that anybody (in the right place, with the right equipment) could intercept cell phone conversations. Even fixed wirelines could be intercepted by inductance methods. Webcams could be placed and focussed on public spaces all over, and the output uploaded to a website. Just like London. Anybody with people recognition software could then download those files and know where anybody is, now, last week, last year. At the moment, the more money you have, the more information you can buy.

All requiring no trespass, and probably quite legal. At the moment, you just need lots of $$$.

I am not particularly worried if anybody knows where I am or was, or what I said. I suppose cheating spouses might worry. And people engaged in criminal enterprise. Those who are concerned about communications privacy will just have to work harder at encryption and adjust their lives.

And that charge against Snowden that he has alerted terrorists to "spying methods". Oh Please. Even years ago, Bin Laden just didn't use phones. I really cannot imagine any terrorist who was idiot enough to trust a telephone to have got past year 6.

about a year ago
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UK Government 'Muzzling' Scientists

barv Climate Science (83 comments)

Hmm. Keywords are: "Department of Environment" and "Volcanic Ash".

Looks to me as though the climate alarmists have had a hand in this muzzling of scientists.

Even trying to get a grant for genuine research without stating an expected alarmist outcome is nearly impossible.

Watch the alarmists mod this down to -infinity.

about a year ago
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Corruption Allegations Rock Australia's CSIRO

barv Re:Terrible (112 comments)

Some of my best friends have been Brits, but I dont really want them here.

about a year ago
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Corruption Allegations Rock Australia's CSIRO

barv Re:Undoubtedly another Howard legacy (112 comments)

PT = part time. As in that is the only work he/she has. $25k + tips.

As in "average" includes high flyers like Rhinehart and Julia, but does not include part time workers? Median is what FT workers get when the high flyers excluded?

WRONG: "A schoolteacher's (as in, someone in the classroom) salary in NSW will top out at around $85k". I know teachers employed in NSW to teach Physics who get over $100k. Of course they work in the unregulated (non union) private school system.

And yes, quite seriously, I do argue that we should pay Math and Science teachers up to $150k. Whatever it takes to get them. Am I wrong in guessing your PhD is not in Physics, Chemistry or Math?

"how is the fraction of one percent of the workforce you're complaining about responsible for our economic woes, exactly ?" It's a symptom, not a cause. An unintended consequence.

If teaching has been downgraded as a career, it's because students are unable to find competent teachers in the crucial Science and Maths arenas in our public school system. OTOH (Yawn) our children know all about the atrocities committed by a handful of convicts on Aboriginals, (Myall Creek springs to mind) and the horrors of Global Warming. (People dying of heatstroke, but don't mention the people saved from freezing.)

Unless you have a command economy, all jobs are "precarious".

If the employing organization does not deliver value, it goes broke. If the coal costs too much to extract, then coal miners are out of work (50 shades of Thatcher).

"less than one-fifth (and consistently dropping) of the workforce is unionised.". When Pilbara train drivers get $500k? p/a, it becomes economically viable to install automated trains at $1M each. When wharfies got paid too much, then installation of automated machinery became viable. etc. etc. And hence precarious, low paid, part time, non union jobs in the service industries are all that survive.

"you're fundamentally arguing from a logical fallacy: that unionisation is implicitly bad.". No. Unions are implicitly good. It's corrupt union bosses and politicians (most of them seem to be at state level, and in the Labour Party) that subvert the system that are bad. Our system fails the transparency test. We need direct government (like California) and recall elections and deregulation of the labour force.

Your use of the word "rentier" betrays a marxist attitude. Finance of commerce and the sale of goods and property are not "unproductive".

Your criticism of Murdoch is inaccurate and unfounded. It is from the Murdoch papers that we actually learn of these deficiencies in the public school system, and I would point out that State Labour politicians had control of the state education system for past decades in NSW. It is also a fact of life that wage rises, once granted, cannot be rescinded. (all that we can do is sack them, 50 shades of Thatcher). Hence the charge of "trashing the house". I suspect that the only way to fix the State Public school system is by issue of education chits to each child, and let the parents decide which educational institution to patronize. I suspect only about 10% of the public school system would survive for a decade.

about a year ago
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Corruption Allegations Rock Australia's CSIRO

barv Re:Undoubtedly another Howard legacy (112 comments)

Teachers (NSW) get $70k-$100k. Average annual pay for my PT waiter about $25k. Average FT Oz pay about $50k. Don't start me on miners, MUA or union organizers ($100k+), And every time I see about 3 flag wavers (what are they on? $50k?) to every worker repairing footpaths I know how my council rates are being wasted. At least in NY there were 3 blokes repairing the road, and no flag wavers, just a light moveable barrier.

The system is rorted by a process called "regulatory capture" where laws are passed that favour unions and industries that are unionised. (those flag wavers) Know why your kids know zilch about math and physics? Because Simon Crean in his wisdom has declared to teachers "You all do the same job, so you all get the same pay". So a math major in industry earns $150k - $200k, why would he go into teaching? OTOH The average historian/geographer/artist/Litt major would be hard pressed to get $40k-$60k. Gee we have plenty of them in schools, I wonder why?

Murdoch prints truth. That is why he prospers. In every country where he prints newspapers. That is because everybody sees through the lies and omissions of the "liberal" press (except of course the alarmists).

about a year ago
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Corruption Allegations Rock Australia's CSIRO

barv Re:Undoubtedly another Howard legacy (112 comments)

That North Atlantic Banking Crisis (aka GFC) did not justify the incredible wastage by Batts, overpriced & unnecessary school (BER) buildings, and the $94 billion NBN, Thank God JH sold off Telstra and airports. Those places were hotbeds of union "regulatory capture" for wage rises. What we need is a Thatcher to stop all the union rorts.

about a year ago

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barv hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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stem cell treatment.

barv barv writes  |  more than 2 years ago

You commented on slashdot today "Chinese Firms Ignore Licensing Mandate For Stem Cell Therapy" that stem cell therapy was "smoke and mirrors" (well words to that effect). Could you explain why it seems to work on horses? Or is the whole article fake?

http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/22998/

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