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Comments

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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

spasm Re:who cares? (853 comments)

Dealing with non-metric units isn't that daunting for people raised on metric either - I grew up in Australia and moved to the US in my 30s. I'm a scientist, so in my day-to-day worklife nothing changed at all. The conversions needed for daily shopping are rudimentary (a pound of fish is half a kilo of fish) and you quickly stop needing to even make the conversion. Inches for woodworking are sometimes actually an improvement (12 inches is divisible by 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12, which makes for a lot of easy mental arithmetic when dividing a length of wood into halves, third, quarters etc; 10 cm is only divisible by 1, 2, 5, and 10). Miles per hour is just a number on a sign which needs to be related to the same number on your speedometer - there's no need to convert at all. Temperature took longer to adjust to - it's really a matter of recalibrating your sense of which number matches to which relative feeling, and that took 4 or 5 years. The only thing I still struggle with is wrench sizes - quick, which is bigger, a 5/8 wrench or a 3/4 wrench? Quick, which is bigger, a 10mm wrench or a 12mm wrench? I just tried a 5/8 wrench on a bolt and it was slightly too small - quick, what's the next size up to try? etc.

yesterday
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DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

spasm Short range transmission =! privacy concern (261 comments)

"The submitter notes that this V2V communication would include transmission of a vehicle's location, which comes with privacy concerns. "

For the purposes of reducing accidents and facilitating things like lane changes, there's no reason for the location to be transmitted more broadly than a few hundred metres around the transmitting vehicle, nor for either the transmitting vehicle or receiving vehicles to store that location for more than 10 minutes or so. I'm not too worried about the impact on privacy if that were the case. And I'm expecting car manufacturers to go with the cheapest possible solution which meets regulation, so they certainly have no interest in installing the kind of equipment needed to broadcast location beyond 100m or so, and lost of interest in resisting regulation which goes beyond that.

about a month ago
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California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

spasm Re:Stay within reason (327 comments)

Well, I just wasted about an hour rummaging through California's law relating to waste water from industrial processes, as well as law relating to drinking water, and in that time could not find anything which either supports or refutes the parent poster's assertion that waste water from semiconductor plants must be cleaner than tap water (links to the law and regulations below). Nor could I find any support for the parent poster's claim just randomly googling around (I figured if it were true there'd be multiple references to it).

I agree with you that if wastewater from industrial processes is held to higher standards than tap water, then that's ridiculous. However given it's such an extrodinary claim, I'd also suggest that the burden of proof lies with those making it - here's the law; knock yourselves out.

CA law and regulation relating to drinking water: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic...

CA law and regulation relating to waste water: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/...

All code relating to water in CA: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/...

about a month and a half ago
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California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

spasm Re:So, such rules are bad for keeping people worki (327 comments)

"Why would the rest of the world care? If Californians eliminate themselves as a competitor through insane regulation, other countries benefit."

Well, another way to look at it is Californians have calculated the real cost. Sure, you get a couple of hundred FAB plant jobs, and a dribble of corporate and payroll tax out of it, but FABs are notoriously hard on worker health and on the surrounding environment. So the state ends up paying big dollars down the track to clean up the toxic mess left behind (and remember the only thing prop 65 bans is businesses dumping known carcinogens *into the drinking water supply* - under this law you can still dump carcinogenic waste wherever else you want), and pays again for healthcare costs for workers and their families (or we all pay it through increased insurance premiums if the state doesn't end up paying for it with our taxes).

About the only reason you'd want a FAB plant in your state that wasn't willing or able to comply with California's environmental laws is if you want to be able to boast about how you 'created more jobs' in the leadup to the next election, and didn't give a shit what the real cost to the state would be over the next 30 years.

about a month and a half ago
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California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

spasm Re:So, such rules are bad for keeping people worki (327 comments)

The law just says "Businesses are prohibited from knowingly releasing listed chemicals into drinking water sources."

The law *doesn't* say industry is held to higher standards than water treatment facilites - just that industry can't deliberately dump known carcinogens into the water supply. Per this particular law, industry could still dump known carcinogens into any other random body of water they like.

about a month and a half ago
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California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

spasm Re:Screwed... (327 comments)

You forget that allowing companies to expose workers to toxic crap and to dump waste everywhere comes with economic costs to the state as well as economic benefits. Sure, you get a handful more jobs and the tax revenue which comes with that, but usually it's the state who ends up paying for the cleanup afterwards, and it's everyone in the state who pays for the downstream healthcare costs for workers and others affected by it, both through higher insurance premiums and through taxes to pay for medi-cal and medicare. Sometimes the economic benefits to the state of allowing a semiconductor fab plant to skip environmental regulations so they don't leave to Texas or Mexico don't actually add up. Unless the *only* thing you care about is being able to boast about how you 'created more jobs' between now and the next election.

about a month and a half ago
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California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

spasm Re:So, such rules are bad for keeping people worki (327 comments)

That particular regulation (prop 65) was voter initiated, not legislature initiated. All it requires is: the state must publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm (defined as having a 1 in 100,000 chance of causing cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm); businesses must label products and areas, like workplaces or apartments, that contain or release *significant amounts* of those poisons; and businesses are prohibited from knowingly releasing listed chemicals into drinking water sources. Many businesses have taken the position that they're better off posting warnings when any amount of a carcinogenic substance is present.

Given that semiconductor manufacturing is one of the more hazardous and polluting industries out there, I'm not surprised fab plants have a difficult time meeting environmental regulations in CA and have been willing to deal with the costs associated with moving to states or coutries who don't care as much about the health of workers or the cost of environmental cleanup. The solution to lost jobs isn't to drop regulation so employers can go back to putting employee health at risk, it's to improve the standards of the rest of the world so there isn't an unregulated bolt-hole for fab plant owners to run off to.

about a month and a half ago
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WebODF: JavaScript Open Document Format Editor Deemed Stable

spasm zotero (91 comments)

Link zotero to this and you'll have a solution academic collaborators have been looking for since the beginning of word processing.. Seriously, we need a collaborative writing platform which allows multiple authors to add citations.

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft Takes Down No-IP.com Domains

spasm Collateral damage (495 comments)

Like many slashdotters, I have an old box under my desk which grabs mail from several external accounts via pop and serves it up via imap. No smtp though. And having home DSL with no static IP, I use No-IP to provide a stable domain for that machine. So this morning I wake up and discover that the domain has disappeared and my mail client can't connect. And I'm out of town, so have no physical access to the box, which is still happily grabbing my mail from external accounts.. Fortunately the no-ip website is still displaying the dynamic ip address the domain was last pointing at, and my ISP hasn't changed it (and probably won't until I next reboot) so I've been able to log in just using the ip address, but now I need to waste a morning switching it to another domain. Seriously, wtf microsoft!

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

spasm While driving (427 comments)

A watch is easier to look at when you're driving than a smartphone. Work out something that's useful to have when you only have a split second to look at it, and you have a market. Otherwise you're just talking about a fashion accessory which happens to tell the time.

about 3 months ago
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I typically start my workday ...

spasm Re:Academics.. (141 comments)

Yeah. I figure I may as well enjoy it while it lasts, because I don't expect to manage to keep 100% coverage in this economic climate for all that much longer.

about 3 months ago
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I typically start my workday ...

spasm Re:Academics.. (141 comments)

"People that get selected for studying towards higher degrees often are set in their ways, and are bewildered at any deviation"

Ahh, you've met my department I see!

about 3 months ago
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I typically start my workday ...

spasm Academics.. (141 comments)

I'm an academic. 97% soft money research. So my average start time is 11am, but the range is 8am to 1pm. And the work week is anything from 5 to 80 hours depending on where I am in the grant writing / actually doing shit cycle.

about 3 months ago
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California Whooping Cough Cases "an Epidemic"

spasm Megans law for the unvaccinated (387 comments)

We need a Megan's law for the unvaccinated. So you can look up which of your neighbors you need to avoid and keep your kids aways from, just as you would keep them away from sex offenders. Or at the very least childcares, kindergartens, and schools should be required to publicly document how many unvaccinated kids are attending so people can make informed decisions about whether to send their own kids there.

about 4 months ago
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Facebook Lets Users Opt Out of Targeted Ads

spasm Ads? (97 comments)

Facebook has ads? Or rather, there are people out there who still don't have adblock installed?

about 4 months ago
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Uber Demonstrations Snarl Traffic In London, Madrid, Berlin

spasm Re:Competition Sucks (507 comments)

It would be competition if taxi drivers were allowed to ignore the regulations that govern their activities too. All regulation has compliance costs; uber is 'competetive' largely because it dodges the compliance costs borne by existing services.

Now what would be really interesting is to see what happens when some city decides 'sure, uber can operate here, but we're dropping all the regulations we've built up over the years which currently apply to cabs too'.

about 4 months ago
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The Light Might Make You Heavy

spasm Re:Or maybe, you know... (138 comments)

Or living in a light-polluted environment is correlated with poverty, and poverty is a predictor of obesity due to the kids of food you access when poor.

about 4 months ago
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Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

spasm Megan's law vaccine registry (493 comments)

Let's just take it a step further. We need a Megan's law style 'refused to vaccinate' registry, which shows where unvaccinated children and adults go to kingergarten/school/work. Or at very least require schools and kindergartens to make public what percentage of their students have not been vaccinated, so I can make intelligent decisions about where to send or not send my kid.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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US Army migrating all servers to linux

spasm spasm writes  |  more than 6 years ago

spasm writes "The Register (among others) are reporting the the US Army is doing prep work to migrate to linux, with RHEL expected to be a bridge system to allow interoperability between existing Windows-based systems and planned linux systems."
Link to Original Source

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