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Old 2013-10-22, 17:53   Link #2441
mangamuscle
formerly ogon bat
 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Mexico
Age: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
so what would archeologist a million years form now make of our current society when they discover 100TB worth of porn being store in every home.
*lifts left eyebrow* Fascinating!
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Old 2013-10-22, 19:59   Link #2442
NoemiChan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
so what would archeologist a million years form now make of our current society when they discover 100TB worth of porn being store in every home.
Future humans or aliens will find us a civilization of perverts. Going from 3D to 2D
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Old 2013-10-23, 06:18   Link #2443
erneiz_hyde
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A million years from now? Who knows, some of us might actually still be "living" as digital lifeforms in these drives
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Old 2013-10-23, 09:21   Link #2444
MrTerrorist
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Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?

Soon, mechs.
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Old 2013-10-23, 13:22   Link #2445
SaintessHeart
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Eight questions for three Buffetts

Quote:
Q: We’ve heard a lot about efficient markets over the past week thanks to the Nobel Prizes. Warren, you’ve made a career out of exploiting inefficiencies. It’s hard not to come away from this book without thinking that food and agriculture are the most inefficient markets in the world. Why is that?

HGB: In the United States, it’s different than in Africa. In a developed country like ours, most of it has to do with distribution systems. In many cases, it has to do with not having enough labor to deal with some of the food that we produce. Our issues are not safety or in most cases accessibility. Accessibility can be an issue in rural areas. Affordability is less of an issue. Of course, it’s an issue for some people. A lot of it has to do with what our policies and rules are and whether that allows organizations to operate and function within them. And some of those rules are a bit prohibitive.

If you move to Africa, that gets really complex. It’s leadership, corruption, infrastructure, you name it. In eastern Congo, we just finished building – we didn’t build it, but we funded it – the building of a very small hydroelectric plant and when it was completed, there were two European companies that came immediately. One is producing soap because the DRC doesn’t produce any soap and the raw materials are there. And one is extracting enzymes from papaya. Before, they had no power, so now they can do the processing. Sometimes the things we think are so simple but not so easy to grasp are the things that work the best. Even in the middle of conflict, we are able to provide business opportunity.

Q: Let’s talk about technology…

WB: I’ll just take a snooze over here.

HGB: He’s done four tweets and I’ve done zero.

Q: You address some of it in the book. There’s GPS-run farm equipment, Judea Pearl’s application of Bayesian networks and Clay Mitchell’s “farm of the future.” Is Silicon Valley involved enough in this area? Where can engineers and technology companies really make a difference?

HWB: There are some distinct areas where technology will continue to play a growing and increasingly important role, particularly addressing the challenge of linking individuals here in the United States, and increasing their awareness and compassion of the challenges that are taking place all over the world. We’ve seen certain websites pop up and become incredibly popular because they’ve done a very effective job at connecting someone sitting here in the United States with a smallholder-farmer in Kenya and the challenges she’s facing every day. Making that direct connection is something that establishes a lifetime link between someone in the United States with the ability to make a small $5 donation with someone somewhere else in the world for whom $5 can change a lot.

HGB: In the eastern Congo, we go up into areas controlled by the M23 rebels, so the World Food Programme won’t even deliver food up there. We can find other people to deliver the food, but we didn’t have a payment system that could work because we couldn’t pay cash up there. So you can buy a little card for your phone, and everybody up there’s got a phone, it’s amazing. You can deliver the cash through the phone through the banking account, which actually solves a tremendous problem. That’s a place where technology works. Let me tell you about a place where technology won’t work. When you walk onto a farm and are standing on soil, there is no technology that is going to take that soil and transform it into something that is five times more productive.

Africa is the most weathered continent in the world, 75 percent of its soil has been degraded. You don’t just bring that back. I always like to say it’s like putting an oxygen mask on a cadaver; it just isn’t going to work. You have to rebuild soils, rebuild fertility. That’s how you get productivity. There’s not going to be a technology to shortcut that. Technology doesn’t build organic material. Technology in that case may be able to help you find small, inexpensive ways to do soil testing that we don’t have today. So there are places where technology can assist in trying to figure out what are the best solutions but they aren’t always going to be the solutions themselves.

HWB: We have hope in innovation because we have to. One of the most important roles of technology is around building awareness. We have a tool called Map the Meal Gap, where for the first time – starting maybe three years ago – people can go and see the number of hungry individuals right in their own community. That’s something you can’t do without the right technology in place.

Q: Warren, what does your lack of a stake in or an acquisition of an ADM, Monsanto or DuPont say about the investment thesis for the sorts of companies behind a lot of the work your son and grandson are doing?

WB: Generally speaking, food processing and farm building operations have been pretty capital intensive in relation to profitability, so it has not been a field that looks to me like I’ve got an edge in. There could be an exception to that. I’ve looked at some of the companies you mentioned and even had an investment in one of them but it’s a lot easier for me to understand Coca-Cola or Wells Fargo.

Q: Howard – You’re the one in the book who makes the direct link between value investing and applying the same long-term approach to philanthropy. It hasn’t exactly caught on too widely in investing. Is there any reason to think it can work better in your field?

WB: [Laughs]

HWB: I’ve had the benefit of watching my dad over the last 15 years work at this and seen what grandpa has made successful at Berkshire translate down. When you ask grandpa, “When you look to buy a company, what do you look at?” one of the first things he’ll say is, “The person who’s running it, the manager, the individual who knows more about that business maybe than even I do.” What my dad has done so effectively well is identify the best managers of philanthropic capital you could ever imagine. There’s a half-dozen chapters in “40 Chances” dedicated to those kinds of people.

HGB: I didn’t start there, though.

HWB: One of my grandpa’s first rules in the management handbook is that shareholders are part-owners of the company. When you talk about the dis-link in philanthropy between having a customer and a donor, or a producer of a product, that doesn’t exist anywhere. There are no shareholders in philanthropy; there are just beneficiaries. That’s a real problem and part of the projects we have worked on so hard, especially in Afghanistan. How do we take individuals who are trying to help and turn them into shareholders? They have to own what we’re building for them so that there are sustainable income-generating activities at the end. What grandpa’s done so well is bringing shareholders into the decision-making process and doing it in a way that’s unique to a company the size of Berkshire.

HGB: Think about what our process has been for 40 years. We show up, we give stuff away, so people think there’s no value in it. Then when you try to build value in something, they want it free. It just doesn’t work. And we go home. You create dependency, you create conflict, but what you certainly don’t create is value. That’s part of why we wrote this book. We have to stop doing things that don’t work.

WB: I’m not sure there’s necessarily a parallel. In investing, you’re appealing to people’s desire to have a lot more next year, 10 years from now or in 20 years. In philanthropy, you’re appealing to a different side of their nature. You’re trying to convince people who have been fortunate in life that there are an awful lot of people that did not get the long straw. After you’ve taken care of yourself in a very good way and your family and all that, a lot of people can benefit if you apply some of those excess funds intelligently in education, in medicine, all kinds of things. It’s a different appeal. And people respond differently to them, too.

Q: When the day comes – say, maybe 50 years from now – when you become chairman of Berkshire, Howard, how do you think your very different life experiences from your father’s will affect the company?

HGB: The best experience I had was to spend 50 years around my dad. I know how he thinks, I know what he cares about and I know some of the promises he’s made to people he’s bought companies from. And the most important thing to do is keep that integrity and keep the credibility with those people and those managers who may be the original people who started the company. One thing about Berkshire that’s incredibly fortunate is that there could be more than one CEO – it’s up to the board and everything else in the future – but it’s not like we have to look very far. Every company can’t say that. Part of that value is that Berkshire has 50 CEOs and you have an array of choice. It’s not like it’s going to be a struggle to find somebody who can do a great job running it. My job is pretty easy: It’s just to make sure nothing changes a whole lot.

WB: I think he’ll be pretty good at this point. He wouldn’t have been when he was 20 years old or 25. If a CEO is put in there who does change in some way after they get in the job or if it becomes more about them than about the shareholders in the company, I think Howie will be good at detecting that. I think other members of our board will be, too. But he’ll also be in a position where it’s relatively easy to do something about it. It’s very hard if you have a CEO that’s chairman and the directors meet every three or four months, it’s hard to change CEOs sometimes. They learn how to entrench themselves and start putting their friends on the nominating committee and all that. His position is for the one-in-a-hundred chance that somebody is not who we thought they were when we put them in. The Bible says blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth, but it doesn’t say they’ll stay meek after they inherit it. That’s the problem we’re looking at.
Technology isn't everything. It is the person running the technology.

Oh yes, and the person funding it too.
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Old 2013-10-23, 17:18   Link #2446
AnimeFan188
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Why USB Ports Could Be the Power Outlets of the (Very Near) Future:

"Weirdly, USB's potential is driven, in part, by a system of transmitting and distributing
electricity that's been out of fashion since the late 19th century. I'm talking, of course,
about direct current (DC), the standard championed by Thomas Edison that eventually
lost out to Nikola Tesla's alternating current (AC) as the global standard for electricity.
While AC won out for its ability to switch between different voltage, low-voltage DC is
cheap, efficient and doesn't require an adaptor. For a few different reasons, USB
happens to be an ideal vehicle for DC power."

See:

http://gizmodo.com/why-usb-ports-cou...y-n-1450713482

&

http://www.economist.com/news/intern...power-supplies
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Old 2013-10-24, 09:32   Link #2447
mangamuscle
formerly ogon bat
 
 
Join Date: May 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnimeFan188 View Post
Why USB Ports Could Be the Power Outlets of the (Very Near) Future:
By the looks of it, it is not an "if" but a "when", IMO five years down the road what will separate rural/underdeveloped areas and cities/suburbs will be the existence of said USB plug on the wall, the digital divide keeps stretching.
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Old 2013-10-24, 09:51   Link #2448
Anh_Minh
I disagree with you all.
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangamuscle View Post
By the looks of it, it is not an "if" but a "when", IMO five years down the road what will separate rural/underdeveloped areas and cities/suburbs will be the existence of said USB plug on the wall, the digital divide keeps stretching.
It looks like convenience, nothing more. (For the end user, for everyday use.)

It's the difference between having two electical grids, one of which can't service anything more power hungry than a television, and having only one grids and adapters.
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Old 2013-10-24, 10:39   Link #2449
mangamuscle
formerly ogon bat
 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Mexico
Age: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
It's the difference between having two electical grids, one of which can't service anything more power hungry than a television, and having only one grids and adapters.
Please do read the articles, this technology coupled with some solar panels and a battery equals $aving$ and the commodity of having your tech available even in a blackout (which is a looming danger with the outdated power grid the USA has). You would still need AC for the freezer, the washing machine and the air conditioning and over time no doubt there will be new models of those that can work with DC.
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Old 2013-10-24, 11:08   Link #2450
Dhomochevsky
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Join Date: May 2004
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It is generally nice to have a low voltage DC grid in a building.
All those AC/DC converters, which basicly every single electronic device needs, are quite the power drain (touch them, they can get really warm even when no active device is connected... some more than others).

I do not really like the idea of USB becoming that though:

For one thing the 5V are pretty low. I'd prefer a 12V, or even 24V grid, which will cover many more applications.
Please keep in mind that you need obscenly high currents to run high demand applications over a 5V line. Your 5V DC freezer is a pipe dream.

And if we put datalines everywhere, I would prefer them to connect to a real network, like ethernet. The way usb works, with it's endpoints, seems to be more of a master/slave type setup.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I did not see the type of application, where you plug multiple devices into an USB hub and they can all talk to each other. Seems to only work with one device being the supervisor and all communication is run over that point.
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Old 2013-10-24, 11:08   Link #2451
Anh_Minh
I disagree with you all.
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangamuscle View Post
Please do read the articles, this technology coupled with some solar panels and a battery equals $aving$
There are limits to how much solar power you're going to get. Especially in urban settings where one roof may be shared among dozens of families or more. And once you factor in the costs of retrofitting all that into your walls, those savings are going to look pretty meager.

So, yeah. Green gadget for suburban hippies. Not bad, but nothing to cry "digital divide" about.

Quote:
and the commodity of having your tech available even in a blackout (which is a looming danger with the outdated power grid the USA has).
If you've got blackouts every day, you have bigger problems than whether to install usb sockets into your walls.

Quote:
You would still need AC for the freezer, the washing machine and the air conditioning and over time no doubt there will be new models of those that can work with DC.
The problem isn't DC. It's how much power they need.
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Old 2013-10-24, 11:36   Link #2452
Ithekro
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Age: 37
Heating and cooling systems need a lot of power. Compressors especially.
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Old 2013-10-24, 11:37   Link #2453
mangamuscle
formerly ogon bat
 
 
Join Date: May 2011
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Age: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhomochevsky View Post
For one thing the 5V are pretty low. I'd prefer a 12V, or even 24V grid, which will cover many more applications.
Please keep in mind that you need obscenly high currents to run high demand applications over a 5V line. Your 5V DC freezer is a pipe dream.
It is good to know.

Quote:
And if we put datalines everywhere, I would prefer them to connect to a real network, like ethernet. The way usb works, with it's endpoints, seems to be more of a master/slave type setup.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I did not see the type of application, where you plug multiple devices into an USB hub and they can all talk to each other. Seems to only work with one device being the supervisor and all communication is run over that point.
I was thinking the same thing, it would be nice to plug a printer or pen drive and presto, everybody has access, I hope they consider this (and adding higher voltages) to the specification.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
There are limits to how much solar power you're going to get. Especially in urban settings where one roof may be shared among dozens of families or more. And once you factor in the costs of retrofitting all that into your walls, those savings are going to look pretty meager.
Even if you share the roof, you have your own walls. The saving may look meager unless you think long term (since you will be using it for decades) and as in everything electronic, first adopters will pay a premium but the price will fall later on as production ramps up. I still remember when you needed $2000 USD to get a nice computer WITHOUT a hard disk, ethernet port or cd-rom (get off my lawn or I taser you :-p ).

Quote:
If you've got blackouts every day, you have bigger problems than whether to install usb sockets into your walls.
Wait for the government to fix things up or do it yourself, decisions, decisions, decisions.
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Old 2013-10-24, 12:11   Link #2454
Anh_Minh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangamuscle View Post
Even if you share the roof, you have your own walls.
That's not a lot of surface area, and a lot of it's in the shade.

Quote:
The saving may look meager unless you think long term (since you will be using it for decades)
Or until they change standards again. Besides, you're adding to your maintenance costs. Solar panels have to be changed every few years. I've heard that even in ideal conditions, even with government subsidies (which have disappeared in recent years...), homeowners barely break even financially. If that.

Quote:
and as in everything electronic, first adopters will pay a premium but the price will fall later on as production ramps up.
And get shafted when they pick the wrong technological horse. (Betamax? HD-DVD?)

Either way, it, or something like it, may come. But "separating rural places from cities in 5 years"? No. They'll still be a rare novelty at best.


Quote:
Wait for the government to fix things up or do it yourself, decisions, decisions, decisions.
Usb sockets so you can power your TV on sunny days isn't fixing the problem.
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Old 2013-10-24, 12:54   Link #2455
mangamuscle
formerly ogon bat
 
 
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Age: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Or until they change standards again.
Nope, what will happen 20 years later is that we will finally get cheap nuclear power, but hey, no one ever dumped their playstation just because there would be a ps2 (or 3 or 4 or 5) in the far future.

Quote:
Besides, you're adding to your maintenance costs. Solar panels have to be changed every few years. I've heard that even in ideal conditions, even with government subsidies (which have disappeared in recent years...), homeowners barely break even financially. If that.
Even car batteries need changing and I would really suggest doing some protests to get those subsidies back ASAP.

Quote:
And get shafted when they pick the wrong technological horse. (Betamax? HD-DVD?)
Even though only the anachronistic voter "neither, I want none of these new tech".

Quote:
Usb sockets so you can power your TV on sunny days isn't fixing the problem.
Forgive my regionalism but here we get plenty of sun (even on building walls) even on winter
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Old 2013-10-24, 13:11   Link #2456
Anh_Minh
I disagree with you all.
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangamuscle View Post
Nope, what will happen 20 years later is that we will finally get cheap nuclear power, but hey, no one ever dumped their playstation just because there would be a ps2 (or 3 or 4 or 5) in the far future.
We're not talking about a game console. We're talking about power grids. I'll wait until I the tech matures, thank you very much. (Which, by the way, brings us another obstacle to widespread adoption: we need gizmos that can use that new standard.)


Quote:
Even car batteries need changing and I would really suggest doing some protests to get those subsidies back ASAP.
Why, so my taxes can buy Chinese solar panels? What would be the point of that? Also, do read. I said "even with subsidies, even in ideal conditions, they barely break even".


Quote:
Even though only the anachronistic voter "neither, I want none of these new tech".
Most people wait to see which way the wind's blowing. Heck, a lot of people still don't have a Blu-ray player, because they think DVD's more than adequate. (If they even have a DVD player.) So they're not in any hurry to rip up their walls so they can more efficiently use solar panels they may not have either, to use gizmos that don't exist yet.


Quote:
Forgive my regionalism but here we get plenty of sun (even on building walls) even on winter
So that USB thing has a future in Mexico! Great!
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Old 2013-10-24, 13:52   Link #2457
mangamuscle
formerly ogon bat
 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Mexico
Age: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
(Which, by the way, brings us another obstacle to widespread adoption: we need gizmos that can use that new standard.)
Since there is such a thing as "planned obsolescence" I do not think there will be a shortage of gizmos that use it, heck, I still remember the first time I saw an usb port and thought "man, that will never catch on, who will build peripherals for that?"

Quote:
Why, so my taxes can buy Chinese solar panels? What would be the point of that? Also, do read. I said "even with subsidies, even in ideal conditions, they barely break even".
You could build solar panels in European soil if it was labeled as "national security priority" and I do read, but you keep thinking in terms of right here/right now, when (not if) production increases prices will go down.

Quote:
Most people wait to see which way the wind's blowing. Heck, a lot of people still don't have a Blu-ray player, because they think DVD's more than adequate. (If they even have a DVD player.) So they're not in any hurry ...
There are plenty of people that are in no hurry to learn to use that new fad yuppies call the internet, I do not count them in the equation since they are to be forever on the other side of the digital divide.

Quote:
So that USB thing has a future in Mexico! Great!
The solar panel thing that will benefit from the USB standardization does have a bright future in southern USA and lower latitudes (I am not as blind as to think we will contribute to the creation of new standards) and in suburban areas in northern latitudes.
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Old 2013-10-24, 14:33   Link #2458
Anh_Minh
I disagree with you all.
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangamuscle View Post
Since there is such a thing as "planned obsolescence" I do not think there will be a shortage of gizmos that use it, heck, I still remember the first time I saw an usb port and thought "man, that will never catch on, who will build peripherals for that?"
To a point, but you're talking about completely changing our homes to power a handful of laptops and tablets when our current outlets work and are reliable. (Unike a setup depending on solar power which, if you're right, will be in more and more demand for a quantity of sunlight that isn't going to increase.)

Heck, look at the success of USB. One-port-fit-all, it's great. And you'd want us to have two sets of outlets for different machines?

Quote:
You could build solar panels in European soil if it was labeled as "national security priority"
It doesn't matter what we call it. It's protectionism and we haven't had the balls to go down that road so far, for good or ill. Why start now? And over solar panels of all things?

Quote:
and I do read, but you keep thinking in terms of right here/right now, when (not if) production increases prices will go down.
They'll decrease just as much in China...


Quote:
There are plenty of people that are in no hurry to learn to use that new fad yuppies call the internet, I do not count them in the equation since they are to be forever on the other side of the digital divide.
You underestimate how many people don't want to remodel their homes for a fad.


Quote:
The solar panel thing that will benefit from the USB standardization does have a bright future in southern USA and lower latitudes (I am not as blind as to think we will contribute to the creation of new standards) and in suburban areas in northern latitudes.
There's only so much sunlight per capita, especially in cities. And any powergrid that can't feed our freezers and washing machines is a gadget.
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Old 2013-10-24, 17:25   Link #2459
Xellos-_^
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: R'lyeh
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Quote:
Japanese scientists have successfully tested a space cannon that will be used to blast a hole in an asteroid as part of an upcoming mission. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will use the weapon to gather extensive data about the composition of asteroid 1999JU3 that could not be obtained by simply scanning the undisturbed surface. This successful test sets up a launch for next year.

http://www.geek.com/science/japanese...ssion-1574879/
likely story, that cannon is aim at earth.
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Old 2013-10-24, 19:00   Link #2460
Ithekro
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Republic of California
Age: 37
I will guess that the four pound slug would burn up in Earth's atmosphere if fired at Earth.
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