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At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

jbengt Re:Interstellar missions... (198 comments)

Consider what exactly heat means - it's the average kinetic ("vibrational") energy of the atoms in an object.

Technically, heat is only the energy moving as a result of a temperature difference. The average (translational) kinetic energy is proportional to the temperature. The kinetic energy of molecular motions is the internal energy.

yesterday
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Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

jbengt Re:Good news (409 comments)

IMO the complaints about the prequels were fueled primarily by nostalgia about the original movies. . .

Meh, the original movies were no gems themselves.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Announces Office 2016 and Office For Windows 10 Coming Later This Year

jbengt Re:Office 2007 started the move into alternatives (136 comments)

. . . . but I actually hated the menu in Office 2003 and the silly menus to show more. My worst was the nested menus and options where I needed many mouse clicks to perform tasks.

Couldn't you just have clicked on the buttons in the easily customizable toolbars?
Or are you only talking about the auto-hiding menu items that popped out after a delay, which is the first thing I turned off whenever I got a new computer/office install.

Name one function that was removed since 2003.

There is one big thing that has seriously regressed since Office XP and Office 2003: help was actually good then. I find Google much better at MS Office help than the built-in help function nowadays.

2 days ago
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Japanese Nobel Laureate Blasts His Country's Treatment of Inventors

jbengt Re:Poor delusional old man (190 comments)

I got around it by ignoring the agreement (it was an revised agreement they wanted everyone to sign after I had been working there a few years.) My department head never noticed that I never returned a signed copy. Still, since I read it, if it ever came up I'm sure they would have still tried to enforce it, since I knew it was their policy.

4 days ago
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Why Some Teams Are Smarter Than Others

jbengt Re:A known "Fact"? (219 comments)

This is bullshit. Who needs to "read minds" more? The female whom sexual advances are aggressively made towards, or the male who must discern his mate's passive body language, subtle flushing of the skin and lips, sidelong glances, etc? . . .
The oversimplification of "having more women" is insulting to women.

So what were they supposed to say about the study? That their actual observation (that the more women in the group, the more successful the collaboration) was wrong - after all someone on Slashdot with anecdotal experience knows better because figuring out whether women are open to sexual advances is difficult for him?

5 days ago
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There's a Problem In the Silk Road Trial: the Jury Doesn't Get the Internet

jbengt Re: Jurors (302 comments)

Jury of Peers was meant to eliminate conflicts of interest that arise if, for example, the King were to rule on who can inherit the Baron's estate. Having only other engineers on the jury would raise conflicts of interest - the engineers on the jury might see themselves being liable for the same sort mistakes the defendant made and want to reduce their exposure by ruling in their favor.

about two weeks ago
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There's a Problem In the Silk Road Trial: the Jury Doesn't Get the Internet

jbengt Re:Jurors (302 comments)

Exaclty.
Jury of Your Peers was agreed to in the Magna Carta and has a meaning stemming from that context - commoners should be tried by commoners, and noblemen should be tried by noblemen, not by the king. It was supposed to eliminate what we would now call a conflict of interest.

about two weeks ago
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There's a Problem In the Silk Road Trial: the Jury Doesn't Get the Internet

jbengt Re:Jurors (302 comments)

You will never see a jury of your peers if you have an IQ above 90 and are younger than 45.

So, you will be tried by noblemen if you are younger than 45 and have an IQ above 90, otherwise you'll be tried by commoners like yourself?

about two weeks ago
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Obama Planning New Rules For Oil and Gas Industry's Methane Emissions

jbengt Re:So much anger (202 comments)

Really, no company drilling for natural gas is going to throw away what comes with it, if they can avoid it. Ethane, propane, helium, and even carbon dioxide are extracted and sold, and with low methane prices they can make a significant difference in profit and loss
On the other hand, oil companies operating in the middle of nowhere, like rigs offshore or in the middle of the Arabian desert, are going to flare off the gases if they have no way to transport it.

about two weeks ago
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Obama Planning New Rules For Oil and Gas Industry's Methane Emissions

jbengt Re:"just" 9 percent? (202 comments)

According to someone I know in the industry, the EPA estimates for methane leaking in to the atmosphere are greatly exaggerated.
FYI, one of the leading cause of methane "leaks" in the field are pneumatic-type controls use that work using the pressurized gas in the pipe instead of compressed air (more economical to use what is at hand, rather than build out electrical or compressed air infrastructure to power the controls). These types of controls necessarily bleed off pressure in order to work (or they'd be one-way controls that could open, but not close, or vice-versa) The EPA requires reporting based on their estimates of leakages from types of equipment, valves, piping, etc. When his company did an internal audit of losses, they found that they were losing a small fraction of the methane that the EPA forms required them to report. I'm not saying that the actual leakage is an insignificant contribution to warming, nor that the gas company got it exactly right, just that the EPA estimate of possible savings is likely over-estimated.
Probably at least as significant as methane entering the atmosphere from production facilities, is the methane that leaks from municipal distribution networks and consumer end uses.

about two weeks ago
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Obama Planning New Rules For Oil and Gas Industry's Methane Emissions

jbengt Re:reduce production (202 comments)

Whooosshh!!

about two weeks ago
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Authors Alarmed As Oxford Junior Dictionary Drops Nature Words

jbengt Re: "Acorns, and Blackberries, and Minnows, oh my! (174 comments)

Duck tape should never be in the dictionary as it's a brand name.

For the same reason, we should also ban aspirin, zipper, cellophane, velcro, teflon, freon, and linoleum from the dictionary.

about two weeks ago
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Ancient Viruses Altered Human Brains

jbengt Re: Now the anti-vax crowd (110 comments)

You would think that homeopaths would heartily endorse vaccines, as they seem to be one of the few treatments that successfully use small dose solutions of material that causes similar symptoms to treat (prevent) the actual disease.

about two weeks ago
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Chevrolet Unveils 200-Mile Bolt EV At Detroit Auto Show

jbengt Re:Um, yes, temporary. (426 comments)

They are not capping producing wells. They probably won't be capping producing wells at any oil prices that OPEC can sustain, since the capital costs are largely already spent and the marginal costs of pumping an existing well are not prohibitive. That being said, most oil exploration and production companies have learned to deal with a lot of price volatility, and make decisions based on long-term average prices.

about two weeks ago
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Chevrolet Unveils 200-Mile Bolt EV At Detroit Auto Show

jbengt Re: Only 30 Grand? (426 comments)

The article you linked conflates median income, average income, and typical income, so who knows what they are comparing to what. It would not be at all surprising to see that the price affordable by a median income family is close to the median new car price while considerably less than the average new car price - a few high-priced items can tilt the average well above the median. Also, TFA indicates that "affordable" is based on a some formula that includes interest costs and insurance costs, without stating the insurance costs or interest rates it is based on. Insurance costs vary widely by coverages, deductibles, location, driver record, etc. The last new vehicle bought in our family was only 0.9% interest and the last used vehicle we bought was less than $10,000 total, was in good shape, and had less than 30,000 miles on it. I have no doubt that a median income household (about $53,000/year in the US) could afford either of those if they really needed a car.

about two weeks ago
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3D Cameras Are About To Go Mainstream

jbengt Re:Does Anyone Actually Want it? (141 comments)

If my eyes are focusing for a long time within a single text box - it could grow in size, or if it sees my eyes flitting between two locations, they move to a a more comfortable position for comparison.

That would be so damn annoying.

about two weeks ago
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Bill Gates Endorses Water From Human Waste

jbengt Re:This is how municipal water works already... (245 comments)

Like when Chicago (the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, that is) discharges its' treated sewage water to the Chicago River, which flows into the Mississippi and is eventually picked up by the Anheuser Busch plant in St Louis to be turned into the piss water they call Budweiser. (OK, for all I know they use well water now, rather than river water, but that's the old joke.)

about two weeks ago
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Bill Gates Endorses Water From Human Waste

jbengt Re:This is how municipal water works already... (245 comments)

Ever wonder why water treatment plants smell so bad?

The chlorine?
Or did you meant sewage treatment plants? Which, however, don't provide potable water to municipal water works already.

about two weeks ago
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Beware Headlines Saying Chocolate Is Good For You

jbengt Re:WHAT! (224 comments)

Out of the $128 million spent by the top 10 individual donors . . .

You're ignoring the relevant adjective. The Koch bros. are much better at setting up astroturf corporations to spend their money through than most political $ contributors are.

about three weeks ago
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Extreme Heat Knocks Out Internet In Australia

jbengt Re:(in)Tolerance (103 comments)

For a newly commissioned, purpose built DC, why didn't they install a ground loop system?

$.
Also, there are still modes of failure for ground loop systems. None of the links say what specifically happened, so it's hard to judge.

about three weeks ago

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