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Comments

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The Evolution of Diet

50000BTU_barbecue Re:What? (277 comments)

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

yesterday
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The Evolution of Diet

50000BTU_barbecue What? (277 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?

2 days ago
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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.

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

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Yes OK (441 comments)

This too!

5 days ago
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UPS: We've Been Hacked

50000BTU_barbecue Hope their IT got better (62 comments)

I worked for them about 20 years ago in customer service. My workstation was a PC running a terminal connected to an AS/400. I had to press ESC to do certain things. If I pressed ESC twice I went to the AS/400's menu where I could send broadcast messages and reset terminals.

They had to send someone from UPS in New Jersey as they refused to believe someone could access their holy system from a simple customer service terminal.

The rest of the stupidity I saw at that company fit with that experience.

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

50000BTU_barbecue Yes OK (441 comments)

So why can't *I* do the same thing with a lawyer, notary, accountant? You telling me *there* I have to use a local person? 2+2=4 in China too.

Oh that's different.

5 days ago
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Interviews: Andrew "bunnie" Huang Answers Your Questions

50000BTU_barbecue Re:A lifestyle... (32 comments)

It may well be, but I need lead-based 3% silver solder for the oscilloscope, and I use 60-40 for my stuff. RoHS solder doesn't flow right and looks terrible.

about a week ago
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Interviews: Andrew "bunnie" Huang Answers Your Questions

50000BTU_barbecue Re:A lifestyle... (32 comments)

It can when you don't want to reveal their gender.

about a week ago
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Interviews: Andrew "bunnie" Huang Answers Your Questions

50000BTU_barbecue Re:A lifestyle... (32 comments)

I didn't say that. I said I have an oscilloscope in the kitchen.

about a week ago
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Interviews: Andrew "bunnie" Huang Answers Your Questions

50000BTU_barbecue Re:A lifestyle... (32 comments)

From what? Eating my oscilloscope?

about a week ago
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Dramatic Shifts In Manufacturing Costs Are Driving Companies To US, Mexico

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Good for China, goods for us (232 comments)

Well, another corrosive idea is that we keep being told how productive we are and how powerful our technology is, but we see very little benefit except for the top layer of society.

I just wonder how we were able to reduce our work week back in the 19th century with steam engines, but now we can't reduce the workweek again?

about a week ago
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Dramatic Shifts In Manufacturing Costs Are Driving Companies To US, Mexico

50000BTU_barbecue Good for China, goods for us (232 comments)

The socially corrosive mentality that one class of jobs, usually technical and electrical engineering, can be mercilessly outsourced needs to stop.
Lower-value service jobs like accounting, lawyers and notaries are immune to this phenomenon.
It's also good that more Chinese can earn better wages and hopefully benefit from the technology they are actually building.

about a week ago
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Interviews: Andrew "bunnie" Huang Answers Your Questions

50000BTU_barbecue A lifestyle... (32 comments)

Too true. I invited someone to my apartment yesterday and they said "how can you live like this?"

I told them I work in electrical engineering and that seemed enough of an answer.

I keep an oscilloscope in the kitchen.

about a week ago
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If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Ready in 30 years (305 comments)

Are you an Electric Universe supporter?

about a week ago
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If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

50000BTU_barbecue Re:proving his point... (305 comments)

Could you read that again, please? How is there an average in there? Also, he mixed up density, temperature and energy density without blinking.

I'm not impressed.

about a week ago
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If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Ready in 30 years (305 comments)

OK here's a simple wikipedia peek for you my mouthy friend:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...

"The power production by fusion in the core varies with distance from the solar center. 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."

An average fission reactor gives you about 1GW of electrical power and more like 3GW thermal power. To get a 1GW of power at the density of the Sun, you'd need a a building about 150 x 150 x 150 meters, just for the power production.

Since a fission reactor's core is much smaller than that, in many ways, we've already surpassed the conditions at the core of the Sun.

But anyways, maybe you can learn some lessons from this, like humility, and doing some simple peeking yourself before opening your big yap and inserting both your feet tonsil-deep.

about a week ago
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If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Ready in 30 years (305 comments)

Shoulda said POWER density.

about a week ago
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If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

50000BTU_barbecue Re:Ready in 30 years (305 comments)

" The "real" reason we don't have fusion power yet is because it requires creating a little piece of THE SUN inside a contained vessel. That's mind bogglingly difficult."

Not really. The conditions for fusion inside the Sun are actually mind-bogglingly MILD. Overall, the Sun converts ~4 million tons of matter into energy every second, yet it only has the energy density of decomposing manure. It's just that the Sun is so freaking HUGE.

The problem with getting fusion power on Earth is that we need to SURPASS by orders of magnitude the conditions at the heart of a star.

about a week ago
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Hackers Steal Data Of 4.5 Million US Hospital Patients

50000BTU_barbecue Re:This can't have happened. (111 comments)

You're right, a for-profit only company would never have cut costs to the IT department. Nope.

about two weeks ago
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Windows 8.1 Update Crippling PCs With BSOD, Microsoft Suggests You Roll Back

50000BTU_barbecue Re:How about win 7? (303 comments)

Yes I can confirm that on my Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, the 2982791 update was present and it's removable.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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What's on your hardware lab bench?

50000BTU_barbecue 50000BTU_barbecue writes  |  about 9 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?"
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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
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What's the most depressing sci-fi you've ever read?

50000BTU_barbecue 50000BTU_barbecue writes  |  about 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
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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
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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
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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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