* Posts by C 2

112 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Jul 2009


US power grid still fragile in the face of EMP threat: GAO

C 2

Re: This nearly happened in 2012

Its not even close to wildly overstated.

The power grid in the US has something like 5% redundancy, and the largest transformers have no backups or spares whatsoever. These are transformers that are not only built overseas, but they also have lead times of between a year an 18 months. Just a handful of these keep North America up and running.

What are the odds of multiple utilities going bankrupt and not being there to pay for or install said monster transformer by the time it has been manufactured?

From there it probably goes to shit a whole lot faster than 18 months anyways. Bronze age is probably optimistic.

Calamity cargo capsule DOOMED: Space station pod in fireball re-entry

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The Ruskies are 'innovating'.

Tis the NEW version of Russian Roulette, for the 21st century!

Fukushima radioactivity a complete non-issue on West Coast: Also for Fukushima locals, in fact

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Re: Sort of

>PS: For things to be "lethal", in the traditional sense of the word, there have to be deaths.

LOL, you have a talent for words.

Google sniffs at MySQL fork MariaDB: Yum. Have an engineer

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MySQL isn't faring so well under Oracle

First hand experience here, I've been updating a server at work that uses MySQL, and I have to work around more bugs and more serious bugs the further I go. This progressed to the point that the GA (generally available) releases of MySQL 5.5 have show stoppers. I can no longer restore backups to them. That's pretty serious. Although this has supposedly been fixed in MySQL v5.6.6, I can't use that yet.

Looking at other options, mariaDB seems viable, but the software we're using doesn't specify compatibility with it, although I may try it on a test server. PostgreSQL is looking pretty good and is supported by our vendor, but I'm still looking for something as well thought out as the (now old, discontinued?) MySQL GUI Tools.

That brings up another point, Oracle has decided to revamp the MySQL GUI Tools into some bizarre interface that seems to be missing what I need from it. I was ambivalent before, but dealing with this mess over the last few weeks, I'm feeling pretty grumpy about Oracle.

Soot forces temperatures more than thought: AGU

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We have options people!

So wood burning *can* be a clean process if done right.

Luckily for us its is pretty cheap to do AND because Rocket Mass Heaters are super cheap to make (AFAIK there are no commercial unit at this time) many people are building them into their homes. A huge advantage is that an RMH re-burns the smoke, extracting pretty much ALL of the chemical energy out of wood, almost nothing but CO2 and water come out of the chimney, at around 90F.

One woman stuck her face into the exhaust and could faintly smell wood burning. But I digress, people who use these things are finding that they are using around 1/8th (or less) wood to heat their homes for a winter (in Montana!) and they are staying more comfortable doing it. Also they have no problem with creosote buildup, that is part of what gets re-burned in normal operation.

This site has diagrams and such:


And then there's wikipedia:


NASA: THE TRUTH about the END OF THE WORLD on 21 Dec

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RE: If it was going to end

You know someone wrote an excellent article here:


They've even got a lovely picture of the 'doomsday asteroid'.

C 2

Re: re: Possible in physics?

Isn't that what government budgets run on?

Microsoft tightens grip on OEM Windows 8 licensing

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This sounds like a nightmare

...for legitimate users. The crackers always seem to find a way around Micros~1's crappy programming.

This looks like yet another reason to stay with my trusty (ancient) Win XP, or just use Linux Mint full time.

I already deal with Win 7 and Vista at work, which is why I don't use them at home.

Valve: Games run FASTER on Linux than Windows

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Re: 'idiotic command line crap'

Funny you should mention that, I have to resort to "idiotic command line crap" an awful lot in windows (Vista or 7) these days, its horrid.

These days under Linux hardly ever, especially Linux Mint, its pretty polished these days. Also you should see how fast it runs on older hardware.

Office 365: This cloud isn't going to put any admins out of a job

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RE"Maybe in the next revision ..."

I think he means Maybe Someday, which is what MS really stands for.

Climate-change scepticism must be 'treated', says enviro-sociologist

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Re: Sir

Methinks it is in the way this whole issue is phrased ..

"The good prof is in London at the moment for the "Planet Under Pressure" conference, where she presented a paper on Wednesday dealing with how best to do away with the evil of scepticism and get the human race to focus all its efforts on saving the planet."

The planet doesn't need saving, it'll be just fine. We OTOH ... will be nothing more than a very interesting layer in the fossil record, if we don't save our own wasteful butts.

What's more <rant>

I've often wondered if we are capable of screwing this up bad enough to bring earth up to Venus like temps of around 800 degrees. Then again as a race we aren't being very proactive about ANYTHING. I imagine our electrical grid and other technology we depend upon, but don't protect, might be wiped out by a massive solar flare like the Carrington Super Flare back in 1869. A smaller event could easily wipe out most of our electrical grid, leaving it down until replacement parts can be built .. the multi-million $$ parts at the critical points of failure have a 1+ year lead time, and utilities are too cheap to keep a spare on hand.





Visa and MasterCard warn of credit card data breach

C 2

Re: Global Payments Download.

Who's to say the password wasn't 'GUEST'.

Mars, Europe losers in Obama's 2013 NASA budget

C 2

Another way to put that ...

"If the dinosaurs had a space program, they would still be here." - http://nss.org/

This is my email sig, share and enjoy.

LibreOffice debugs and buffs up to v.3.5

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Good stuff

Let just say that while MS Office 2007 is installed on my workstation at work, I USE LibreOffice and get more done.

Why?? Cuz the UI is decent and usable, not rearranged by some adolescent designer who likes shiny crap at every release, like MS Orifice.

Saudi oil minister praises renewable energy

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Right, but what the Saudis can use is the upside-down land version of an OTEC, that has a byproduct of a year round greenhouse. It can also generate electricity 24/7/365. Pretty good for solar, huh?

I encourage skepticism, but you might want to read how before you go into 'complete disbelief mode'. There's even pictures.


These are well within our ability to build, and have been for at least 30 years, despite the enormous tower at its center. Although the tower is a pretty expensive part. Namibia has eight of these in the planning stage. Two more are in the permit stage in the SW of the US. Alternate designs are available that use a buoyant chimney, cutting the build cost significantly.

C 2

RE: peak oil

Someone has been fed some serious mis-information. I'm correcting the major point.

Have a look at Wikipedia's article on peak oil.


Global production of conventional oil peaked in 2007-2008, despite increasing demand.

To make up that increased demand, we've begun mining the stuff and scraping it off the sand that its soaked into. We've also started in on other extremely costly and hard to get to 'reserves'. Whoever said we have 300 years of reserves is either delusional, been lied to or works for a propaganda outfit. This doesn't even consider that if we somehow continued to burn fossil fuels for 300 years at current rates, our climate would probably be like the planet Venus (hot enough to melt lead). Even a few more decades may do enough damage to the climate and environment make humans nothing more than another layer of the fossil record. Our environment is failing. We are the cause. We cannot live without it.

We're on the way down. Yes, its that serious.

WD's MyBook takes a Thunderbolt to the chest

C 2


That's all? They've gone down then.

Starship Voyager dumped into skip

C 2

RE: rich trekkie

... is an oxymoron

Windows 8 hardware rules 'derail user-friendly Linux'

C 2

A gentleman and a scholar!

That is all.

C 2

How long until this 'signing key'

... is stolen, hacked or whatever.

Micros~1 security = joke.

Two PROTECT IP sponsors drop support for their own bill

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The anser is to ...

show these idiots what they are doing the the rest of the world.

Businesses and Internet sites for that matter have the RIGHT to refuse to do business with anyone for any reason, at least in the US. So no this is not censorship. This would be exercising one's rights.

These organizations and politicians who are so accustomed to stomping all over everyone else's rights to further whatever greedy goals they've got .. its time they got a taste of what they have been dishing out.

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Now if we can just

...get a good boycott started against this idiotic Windows 8 Secure Boot UEFI firmware extension crap.

Its plain as day if anyone cares to notice that Micros~1 is attempting to squeeze out Linux and any other competition .. so business as usual.

Oh and this PIPA atrocity needs to be slammed to the floor and stomped out of existence.

Former coder, NASA 'naut to lead DARPA starship dream

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RE: Troi and Riker

... were 2nd and 3rd most irritating. It was a close, but Troi wins 2nd.

Go Daddy boycott threat for backing hated anti-piracy law

C 2

I think you missed something..

The last bit about how big their business is and how this isn't hurting them ..


"Go Daddy has received some emails that appear to stem from the boycott prompt, but we have not seen any impact to our business. We understand there are many differing opinions on the SOPA regulations."

Go Daddy says it registers, renews or transfers a domain name every second. It is responsible for well over a third of all .com domains registered today, not including its resellers' sales.


Its pretty obvious bluster, they are hurting and they are afraid of anyone figuring that out.

Continue the attack!!

Plastic semiconductor makes solar cells more efficient

C 2

Another option..

If you're looking at the most effective way of saving or capturing energy for the money spent consider building a cheap solar space heater. The *most* effective value for the money spent I have seen is to build large panels using 2 or 3 layers of black aluminum window screen as the collector. Basically this stuff has the maximum surface area per Kg/ pound / whatever, so that as its temperature goes up, it heats the air around it very quickly. Convection does the rest, or a small fan (powered by a small PV panel) can assist.

I found a comparison of several designs here:


More collected data here:


Samsung shifts Apple A5 chip production to Texas

C 2

Baking chips

I used to live in Tx, and I hear they are in for a 20 year drought.

At least it'll be easier to bake chips, use solar power!

Apple's Galaxy Tab ban was best advertising ever - Samsung

C 2


Shouldn't that be "iTOLD you so" ?

Japan, Russia in plan for elephant to birth CLONE MAMMOTH

C 2

Actually ...

The Dodo where tough and not tasty. Plus they were mean.

Sorry to rain on that parade, have a pint.

Best Buy fires parting shot at Dixons with closing down sale

C 2

RE:Printer inks and toner

This sounds similar to what the printer companies do to people here in the US. I'm not sure which it is, but I suspect HP, Cannon, Epson, Brother, etc are selling the printers at cost or maybe lower, and the ink and toner is definitely their cash cow.

The answer is to do a bit of research on the web, if you are buying an ink-jet printer, you can find a 'Continuous Ink System' for many models. A CIS is basically a set of tanks with ink in them that sits outside the printer and is attached to a modified set of ink cartridges via a small set of tubes.

This amounts to ink anywhere from 75% to 90% less than what you'd pay if you bought the manufacturers ink at retail. You'll want to see if you can find reviews of course.

Note that the ink tank MUST be level with the printer or you'll get siphoning one way or the other, which is really messy.

As for toner some cartridges can be refilled/tweaked, the Brother HL-2040 is a good example of this.

Boffins find new 2012 glyph on 'secret' Mayan brick

C 2

Rounding error?!

Seriously a Bak'tun is 394.26 years (144,000 days) and 13 of them are 5125.38 years (1872000 days), get it right. After all its going to be a BIIIGG new years party so we must get the date right.

London 2012 Olympics: 17000 athletes, 11000 computers

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I dunno if I'd use the word 'run'...

Then again if they had 11,000 techs and 11,000 computers I'm sure it would work out.

MS denies secure boot will exclude Linux

C 2

RE: hey OEMs, here is specification for you

All well and good, but consider that windows has always been and will very likely always have security holes like swiss cheese .. some big enough to sail a cruise ship through.

Oh and BTW has anyone else realized that it is probably a lot simpler to write malware that either steals, or scrambles the 'signature' from Micros~1's bootloader(s). Chaos would ensue.

Which makes this whole UEFI signed bootloader business a big hassle with pretty much zero benefit. In other words just so much fluff.

So why not just use a mechanical/electrical switch to prevent or enable flashing the BIOS? Then at least the motherboard would be secure against the nasties that now re-write the BIOS.

As for windows .. pffft .. just fix it as per usual, it is after all the premier malware distribution software.

Give me 10 gig Ethernet now!

C 2

Details, details

"Consider for a moment a fairly typical backup requirement of 10 terabytes. At gigabit Ethernet speeds, allowing for 10 per cent network overhead and assuming zero media changes, it would take a little over a day to back that up."

OF course you could use some modern technology to improve this situation.

For instance, tools like Rsync have been around for a long time, not only can it be told to backup only the differences, but it can use various degrees of compression over the network link. Also for those avers of scripts, or the console there are quite a few front ends with a GUI for Rsync.

Another helpful tool is a file system called ZFS, which spots blocks or files that are identical and just keeps ONE copy on the array. I'm sure there are other file systems with this feature out there, but this one comes to mind.

What's more there is backup software that will use the same principle, skipping duplicate blocks or files and just copying the pointers.

I'd surmise that using technology like this a 10TB nightly backup could happen in just a couple of hours, maybe even less.

Supercomputer and superboffins spot rare baby supernova

C 2

Hiding in this picture

There are 23 ninjas hiding in this picture.

HP to 'spinoff PC biz'

C 2

HP the slow motion train wreck continues ..

Used to be a good name, don't really recommend them any more.

It looks like they've started digging faster.

Swede cuffed for cooking nuclear reactor on kitchen stovetop

C 2

Boron + hydrogen? -- Carbon12 then to He4 x3

Technically, the p-B11 reaction is a fusion-fission reaction. The proton and boron-11 fuse to temporarily create an unstable isotope of carbon-12, which then fissions to create three helium-4s. However, the same can be said about the deuterium-tritium reaction, which fuses to produce an unstable helium-5 and then fissions into a helium-4 and a neutron. Like wise with deuterium-helium-3, or practically any fusion reaction. There are a few pure fusion reactions. For example, when two deuteriums fuse they will usually either produce a Tritium and a proton, or a helium-3 and a neutron, but there is a very small chance that they will stick together to form a helium-4 with the excess energy carried off by a gamma ray. This would be a fusion reaction with no subsequent fission. But this reaction happens purely by chance. There is no way to make this particular outcome happen more often. It’s just part of the random nature of quantum mechanics that decides which outcome occurs. There is no fuel combination that produces only these kind of pure fusion reactions.

Snipped from:


Yahoo! reads! your! emails!

C 2

OR, you could just

... roll your own.


F*ck the man.

Now if only I could get a decent mesh network going .. then tell Qwest to go get stuffed.

'Great Reversal' as world's forests stage a comeback

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You DO realize that human activities spew roughly 130 TIMES the amount of CO2 that volcanoes do year on year right? And that number is rising.

.. thought not.


Fort Worth joins crusade against sagging pants

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For a good laugh

You should see one try to run that way .. positively makes girls in tight leather skirts look manlier.

Alas I could find no examples on the InterGoogle.

Would putting all the climate scientists in a room solve global warming...

C 2

Human 'contribution'

FWIW the human race contributes about 134 *times* (not 134%, but 13400%) the CO2 that volcanoes do annually, as of the USGS study in 2007. This number varies slightly as volcanic emissions are somewhat erratic, and human emissions are on the rise. This is with data on modern volcanic emissions.


In summary that's volcanoes 200 Million tonnes/year vs. humans 28.6 Billion tonnes/year.

Volcanoes are credited with bringing the earth out of the 'snowball earth' phase of its history via co2 emissions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowball_Earth#Evidence


I'm not getting into other factors such as albedo (roads, deforestation and buildings) and particulates or aerosols (skin flakes, diesel exhaust, dust, sulfur dioxide etc); however this suggests that 6billion humans can *easily* have quite the effect on our climate.

C 2

Some actual information might have helped

...you to come up with a more realistic comment. Allow me to fill in some gaps.

"I think one of the key issues is that the proponents of global warming are trying to draw conclusions from statistically-insufficient data sets. Because of random 'noise' on short-term measurements, climate trends can only be properly assessed over data spanning periods of hundreds of years. Attempting to make predictions of trends for the next century based of 30 years of data (since global warming allegedly took-off) leaves a gigantic margin for error."

This is typical of the propaganda from political factions (IMO) that want everyone to keep using fossil fuels until there is no more to sell. As for the history of climate data it goes back somewhat farther than you suggest. Global warming was suspected and tentatively proven in the 1930's to 1950's using data as far back as the mid 1800s.


"Climate change or no, we need a replacement for fossil fuels, and will need that whatever happens, sometime within the next hundred years. Therefore we should be concentrating on that area of science. Once we have a safe energy source that doesn't liberate carbon dioxide, the global warming debate will become irrelevant."

Great idea, but we need something a LOT sooner than 100 years, unless you think farmers can somehow revert to 19th century practices by not using 10 calories of fossil fuels for every 1 of food they produce. "Peak oil" which for some reason is widely ridiculed happened in 2006 or 2007 at best estimates. Since the rate at which we use it continues to increase it won't last 30 years, much less 100.

This article sums everything up pretty well..


Peak oil will also likely cause 'boom bust' cycles in the world economies, until we find another solution or go back to 19th century technology.



C 2


You sir, are awesome. Have a pint on me.

... and for those who run screaming like little school girls from a few expletives they can watch the kids version here:


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Which hasn't stopped us from meddling

.. nor has it stopped some from proposing 'geo-engineering' to fix it.

Although many say isn't broken, despite the world being in a global food crises, due to what else but climate driven crop failures for the last few years:


Lets have a pint while we still can.

BOFH: Every silver lining has a cloud

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'The Cloud' isn't all its cracked up to be

.. you only have to read the news to know that.

I'm starting to wonder if the BOFH has developed some way to systematically deal with the bodies and the things they leave behind, like cars and so forth. Kind like the movie 'Arsenic and Old Lace'. Note, not all BOFHs are in IT nor are they all guys.

Cheers to sales force reduction! .. preferably via >kzzertt!<

AT&T spars with rivals over T-Mobile merger

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I'm a T-Mobile subscriber

Everything ATT touches turns to shit. It is very likely that I'll jump ship if this takeover goes through. I guess having a phone provider with great customer service could only last so long .. sigh.

Thanks for the tip about Sprint.

Australia cuts solar subsidies, and not before time

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Coal subsidies in Aussiland ..

Are just about equal to the profits from coal power generation, or around $1billion annually. Which BTW account for about 77% of electrical power produced in Australia.

Now if THOSE subsidies where cut, you'd see some wailing, and carrying on and screaming the like of which no one has ever heard before.

Why cut solar subsidies and not coal? What about the coal miners that die every year?

This is the kind of politics that killed the 200MW solar plant that was to be built in NSW a few years back. You know the one that runs (at reduced capacity) at night too.


Windows phones send user location to Microsoft

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Black Helicopters

I bet all the other smartphones do it too..

At this point I wouldn't be surprised. Also did anyone honestly expect *Microsoft* to be the goody goody?! I mean seriously.

Also I've long suspected that certain incredibly bloated OSes do much the same thing. Seriously, who expects a shiny desktop, media player, web browser and a driver layer to take up 15GB + of hard drive space; no matter how badly written. Oh, and free cell isn't gonna tip it either.

As a point of reference several Linux distros that do all the above PLUS an office suite, multimedia editing abilities and loads more functionality come in under 500MB. So why do some operating systems require 30X the install footprint?! What exactly is going on in there?!

Boffins devise way to hide secret data on hard drives

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Recovering files..

"Its amazing what you can pick up with just simple scraping software."

Agreed, but if you don't want it found, you can use any number of utilities to overwrite the drive, or just its free space. Especially if said hard drive is to be sold.

www.Ccleaner.com comes to mind.

Boffins pull plug on SETI alien-seeking antenna array

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A lousy $5M .. and our government spends $600+ billion on bombs and guns (every year), what a bunch of psychopathic thugs.

Google location tracking can invade privacy, hackers say

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@ John Smith 19

"You mean *poison* the chocolate factory."

I thought it was the Slurm factory. Slurm is from an episode of Futurama, it is a *highly* addictive drink, made .. well check out the video..


It even has Oompa Loompas