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California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

50000BTU_barbecue Fine (279 comments)

Then declare that multiple physical people in a car are actually a corporation, ie, a single legal person.

2 days ago

Scientists Capture the Sound Made By a Single Atom

50000BTU_barbecue 10^5 slower? (100 comments)

That's a new one. What does it mean?

3 days ago

China Targets 2022 For Space Station Completion

50000BTU_barbecue Re:It is called the trickle down effect (100 comments)

Simple. Look at the label of the computer you're using right now. Then go look at your canned food, your TV, your lawnmower ...

4 days ago

China Targets 2022 For Space Station Completion

50000BTU_barbecue Re:funding contributed by you (100 comments)

I didn't get a choice in the matter. I keep my small electronics lab going with old North American test equipment, but except for tubes and other vintage parts, everything else is from China now.

What can I do about it?

4 days ago

WD Announces 8TB, 10TB Helium Hard Drives

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Helium is non renewable (296 comments)

I'll bet there's going to be a small market for Fusors to create your helium on-site!

5 days ago

Reno Selected For Tesla Motors Battery Factory

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Stop Making Up Words! (157 comments)

Dude he can call it "cucumber" if he wants as long as it creates actual STEM jobs in North America.

about two weeks ago

Mysterious, Phony Cell Towers Found Throughout US

50000BTU_barbecue They used to be called UHF TV tuners (237 comments)

We could listen to AMPS cell phone calls by tuning to the high UHF channels and tuning between channels... Ahhh anyone remember the joy of pressing the outer tuning ring and going back and forth???

about two weeks ago

Deputy Who Fatally Struck Cyclist While Answering Email Will Face No Charges

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Legalized Murder (463 comments)

I'm starting to feel that way more and more.

about two weeks ago

Anand Lal Shimpi Retires From AnandTech

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Wow (152 comments)

Yeah, it should age you 17 years. He doesn't look like any 32 year-olds I know.

about two weeks ago

Anand Lal Shimpi Retires From AnandTech

50000BTU_barbecue Wow (152 comments)

I guess running tech sites ages you because he looks 50.

about two weeks ago

For $1.5M, DeepFlight Dragon Is an "Aircraft for the Water"

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Seriously? (76 comments)

Pulmonary veins carry oxygenated blood.

about two weeks ago

Underground Experiment Confirms Fusion Powers the Sun

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Thought that was obvious... ? (141 comments)

Fine, but it's still not a very high power density.


"At the center of the Sun, theoretical models estimate it to be approximately 276.5 watts/m3,[55] a power production density that more nearly approximates reptile metabolism than a thermonuclear bomb"

I think this offends geeks because it shows that we will have to surpass those conditions to get fusion power to work on earth unless we can build cubic kilometer buildings to get a measly gigawatt of electricity.

about three weeks ago

The Evolution of Diet

50000BTU_barbecue Re:What? (281 comments)

Commercial onion dip gives me bad IBS flareups. Avoid...

about three weeks ago

The Evolution of Diet

50000BTU_barbecue What? (281 comments)

So you mean a 300 gram bag of Doritos, a container of chipotle humus, two beers and a Lindt chocolate bar *isn't* what my ancestors ate?

about three weeks ago

Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Yes OK (441 comments)

I used to care but now I don't. I want this ship to sink. Maybe the next one we build will be better.

about three weeks ago



What's on your hardware lab bench?

50000BTU_barbecue 50000BTU_barbecue writes  |  about 10 months ago

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) writes "I made a comment a few days ago in a story basically saying the oscilloscope is dead. While that's a bit dramatic, I've found that over the last 20 years my oscilloscopes have been "on" less and less. Instead, I use a combination of judicious voltage measurements, a logic analyzer and a decent understanding of the documentation of the gadget I'm working on.
Stuff is just more and more digital and microcontroller based, or just so cheap yet incredibly integrated that there's no point in trying to work on it. (I'm thinking RC toys for example. Undocumented and very cheap. Doesn't work? Buy another.)
While I still do old-school electronics like circuit-level troubleshooting (on old test gear), that's not where the majority of hobbyists seem to be.
Yet one thing I keep hearing is how people want an oscilloscope to work on hardware. I think it's just not that necessary anymore.
What I use most are two regulated DC lab supplies, a frequency counter, a USB logic analyzer, a USB I2C/SPI master, and a USB-RS-232 dongle. That covers a lot of modern electronics.
I have two oscilloscopes, a 100MHz two-channel stand-alone USB unit and a 1960s analog plug-in based mainframe that is a '70s hacker dream scope. But I rarely use them anymore.
What equipment do hardware folks out there use the most? And would you tell someone trying to get into electronics that they need a scope?"

What's the problem with tech in Canada?

50000BTU_barbecue 50000BTU_barbecue writes  |  about a year ago

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) writes "Why is Canada unable to sustain a technological lead? Blackberry, Nortel, the Arrow, we are able to be world-class for a while, but then, nothing. Are we still just happy to be a resource-based economy? Do we lack a certain something, maybe personality traits? What's the deal?"
Link to Original Source

What's the most depressing sci-fi you've ever read?

50000BTU_barbecue 50000BTU_barbecue writes  |  more than 2 years ago

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) writes "Usually sci-fi provides adventure with happy endings for everyone. But what story have you read that resonates years later because of some insight about human nature or society that's basically cynical or pessimistic? For me it's Fred Pohl's "Jem" with its sharply divided resource-constrained future world driven by politics, and its conclusion that humans are just too destructive to handle contacting alien life, especially if humans have the technological upper hand.

I'm wondering what other stories have stuck in people's minds. It can be a short story, a novel or an entire series of books.

(Sorry, I have no idea what the tags are supposed to do or how they work. I click and it becomes "!politics" or there's a picture of a hat. No matter what I type in "tags" it stays as "politics" with a "x" I can click to make it "!politics". I've rarely seen something so useless be so counter-intuitive. sci-fi doesn't work, but when I type "science fiction" the space bar apparently acts as en enter key so all it sees is science. I think my next submission will be about depressing user interfaces.)"

Link to Original Source

Why are old hard drives so expensive?

50000BTU_barbecue 50000BTU_barbecue writes  |  more than 3 years ago

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) writes "I was idly daydreaming about how I could build a small lapping/polishing machine when I thought of using an old hard drive as the platform. The mechanics and finish are perfect, just put a lapping film on the platter and power the thing. So I started looking for old hard drives on eBay, figuring the size and heft would be best for tinkering. I was amazed to find that the prices on 20 year old hard drives is staggeringly high. With that kind of markup, there has to be a reason. It's not just one model that could conceivably be of use in old but very expensive medical equipment for example. It's all of them. ST-506, MFM, ESDI, you name it, the prices are insane.
So there's either a market for a universal Flash->ancient HD bus interface (go for it!), or some people know something I don't!
What gives?"

Link to Original Source

Fusion power in four years?

50000BTU_barbecue 50000BTU_barbecue writes  |  more than 3 years ago

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) writes "A few years ago I researched fusion as a practical energy source in the foreseeable future for a school paper. I thought I had been quite thorough in finding and describing all the contenders starting with the usual suspects like Tokamaks and Polywell, etc. My conclusion, based on my skepticism was that, at best, real practical fusion energy was half a century away and would likely be just another energy source and not a panacea. Things like peak helium and the need for superconducting magnets really stood out as a problem. Somehow, the folks at General Fusion escaped my attention at the time.

They are proposing a "solid based" system of fusion using a large spherical reaction chamber filled with molten lead and lithium and then using acoustic shock waves to compress the core where all the good stuff will happen. I'm looking for insights and comments from /.ers in the know about the project. Is this viable? Can it produce power? If so, this is a huge deal."

Link to Original Source

50000BTU_barbecue 50000BTU_barbecue writes  |  more than 7 years ago

50000BTU_barbecue writes "I just bought a Logitech G5 mouse and I find that the scroll-wheel/middle-button is useless. It triggers a scroll before it detents, so using it as a button is very frustrating since if you don't click just *exactly* between detents and *exactly* in the right orientation, it will scroll before registering as a click. Of course this means you're not clicking where you thought. Should I exchange this mouse or are they all like that? Which mouse correctly implements a usable combo scroll/click wheel? This is for finicky CAD work on a large monitor rather than gaming, BTW."


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