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Comments

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Car Thieves and Insurers Vote On Keyless Car Security

AaronW Re:I wish I'd thought of that (202 comments)

With my 2006 Prius I was told that if I lost both keys that the only way to recover was to replace the computer. If I had at least one key fob I could add more key fobs but it required having at least one fob.

My current car does not have a physical lock, making it all the more difficult to break in to. It can't be programmed over ODB either.

2 days ago
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Black Swan Author: Genetically Modified Organisms Risk Global Ruin

AaronW Re:Bad argument (403 comments)

Peanut allergies are also higher in people whos mothers did not eat peanuts for fear of it affecting their babies.

2 days ago
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Black Swan Author: Genetically Modified Organisms Risk Global Ruin

AaronW Re:I'm all in favor... (403 comments)

On top of that, glyphosphate is one of the least toxic herbacides out there that generally breaks down relatively quickly in the environment.

2 days ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

AaronW Re:Is this legal? (697 comments)

A compatible chip does not use the FTDI USB ID. FTDI paid for their USB ID. It is not available to other chips, whether they are "compatible" or not. The chips, BTW, are fake chips with FTDI's logo and part number printed on them, not compatible chips if you read the article. USB to serial chips are not a general class like USB storage devices where there are many compatible chips so in other words one cannot make a compatible chip. In the USB storage case, each chip or device has its own vendor and device ID which is not needed to be compatible. For USB serial this is not the case since there is no standard.

about a week ago
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Michigan Latest State To Ban Direct Tesla Sales

AaronW Re:Tesla wasn't the target, it was China (256 comments)

You must not drive much. I drive 40-50 miles every day. I have a tremendous amount of storage and it's certainly fun to drive. I also never have to set foot in a gas station. I spend 5 seconds plugging in at night and 5 seconds unplugging in the morning to a full battery (or whatever level of charge I choose). I don't have to stand out in the weather and wait in line for fuel nor has the range been much of an issue. It's also a somewhat different driving experience with how smooth and quiet and responsive the car is. There is no lag.

about a week ago
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Michigan Latest State To Ban Direct Tesla Sales

AaronW Great Job (256 comments)

The problem is that you now have the big players writing the laws to stifle competition. In this case, it's not the auto manufacturers, but the dealerships. The dealerships are not the mom and pop dealerships but the huge conglomerates. For example, the 5th largest which Warren Buffet just bought, the Van Tuyl Group does $8 billion in annual revenue. In my area there are a huge number of dealerships under the Del Grande Dealer Group. These are the guys who are paying off the politicians.

To get an idea of why car dealerships are generally so unpleasant to deal with This American Life has a good podcast showing why car salesmen are the lying scum they are. Some of the auto manufacturers would like to ditch the dealerships but they can't due to the laws. Most states have laws that prevent manufacturers from competing against dealerships but those don't apply if there are no dealerships as in Tesla's case.

The dealerships like to make the argument that they add protection to the consumer. This is pure BS. I know someone who bought a Fisker Karma. When Fisker went bankrupt, so did the warranty even for those who paid for it. Most dealerships dropped all support for the car like a hot potato leaving the owners in a lurch or get support from a couple of ex-Fisker employees who do the support on their own and paying for all service and repairs out of pocket.

about a week ago
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Michigan Latest State To Ban Direct Tesla Sales

AaronW Re:Tesla wasn't the target, it was China (256 comments)

I have a single car that's electric, now granted it is a Tesla model S. I don't have any issue if I have to drive from the Bay Area to LA. I was planning to drive up to Seattle though sadly I couldn't get the time off of work. The rate they're building superchargers makes it easier and easier for long distance travel. If I need to go on a long trip that isn't covered, renting a car for the few times I need to is still cheaper than all the gas I'd be burning otherwise. I kept my old car for about six months but I never drove it so I ended up selling it. The only trip I've taken where I couldn't take my Tesla is one where I wouldn't take my Tesla anyway since it involved a lot of bumpy dirt roads. In general long trips have not been a problem. While I do have to stop every few hours I find I'm more relaxed when I get to my destination.

about a week ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

AaronW Re:Is it legal to make code compatible alternative (697 comments)

I've had issues with many non-FTDI USB to serial adapters but the real FTDI ones have been rock solid. I pushed for integrating a quad FTDI USB to serial chip into one of our products since the FTDI chip can also do i2c and JTAG. I'm sure a knock-off chip would have a lot of problems. I've had the FTDI serial chip reliably running at 10Mbps.

about a week ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

AaronW This is just wrong. (697 comments)

In this case they are using the FTDI trademark and USB ID. This is not second sourcing but counterfeit FTDI chips.

about a week ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

AaronW Why is FTDI the villan? (697 comments)

Maybe there have been a lot of support calls on these fake devices not working properly. If that's the case, why not nip the problem in the bud and kill off the counterfeit chips. I pushed for FTDI USB to serial chips in some of my company's products because they work and have good OSS support. I've had too many other USB to serial adapters give me problems, but never FTDI based ones. FTDI also provides a lot of useful code for doing interesting things with their chips, like JTAG and I2C.

about a week ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

AaronW Re:Is this legal? (697 comments)

Deliberately creating fake chips is illegal. If an operation that works on a legitimate chip bricks a fake chip, whose fault is that? I've dealt with FTDI and designed their chips into products because they work. They also have great oss support for their USB to serial devices.

about a week ago
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Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

AaronW I wish they'd focus more on things like MRSA (384 comments)

I wish they'd focus more on things like MRSA and KPC which kills far more people in this country and are far more deadly. These diseases are easily spread and there is no cure for them. While not trying to diminish the cause to fight Ebola, frankly there are a lot of things far deadlier in this country that people should be worried about.

The cases in Texas I think can be squarely blamed on incompetence from the Dallas hospital.

In the case of KPC, Congress has basically put their head in the sand and handtied the CDC and FDA from effectively studying and fighting it, thanks to the livestock lobbies Frontline has a good episode on this. It doesn't help that congress has cut the budget of the CDC significantly over the last decade and played politics to make it difficult to study and fight the causes.

As it is, the CDC had to cut back on their research on Ebola due to the budget cuts and the delays in the worldwide community for fighting and funding the fighting of Ebola aren't helping matters either. If the Dallas hospital wasn't so incompetent, there's a good chance Thomas might have survived and nobody else would have become infected.

about a week ago
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Barometers In iPhones Mean More Crowdsourcing In Weather Forecasts

AaronW Re:haha (79 comments)

My Verizon Galaxy Nexus phone which is almost three years old has barometer support, NFC, etc. Apple is nothing more than re-packaged yesterdays technology.

about two weeks ago
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Battery Breakthrough: Researchers Claim 70% Charge In 2 Minutes, 20-Year Life

AaronW Re:No mention on capacity though (395 comments)

All it requires is on-site battery or capacitor storage. It makes even more sense since the batteries can be charged when electricity prices are cheap (i.e. at night).

about two weeks ago
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Object Oriented Linux Kernel With C++ Driver Support

AaronW Re:Is it time for C++? (365 comments)

You can do this in C by using likely/unlikely. The compiler will put all of the unlikely stuff at the end of the function to optimize the likely hotpath. It can be a pain in the butt to do this though.

about a month ago
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Object Oriented Linux Kernel With C++ Driver Support

AaronW Re:C++ can make sense (365 comments)

It was indeed a driver running in kernel mode. In the case of OS/2 it was a bit challenging because the driver ran in protected 16-bit mode where things were limited to 64K segments though pointers were 32-bits. I mean what an OS guy means as a driver, not something running in user space. It followed the OS/2 NDIS network driver model and talked directly with PCI or microchannel ATM networking cards.

about a month ago
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Object Oriented Linux Kernel With C++ Driver Support

AaronW C++ can make sense (365 comments)

Back in the 1990s I worked on a large ATM networking driver written in C++ for OS/2. The driver was around 100,000 lines of code. It was quite fast and reliable code and fairly easy to work on. We also had a driver for Windows NT written in C. The C driver had fewer features and was a lot buggier, slower and was 360,000 lines of code. It was also harder to work on since C++ provided a lot of nice abstraction.

Now the C++ code only used a subset of C++ and it kept the data path fairly flat to help optimize speed. The actual overhead from using C++ vs C was fairly minimal as well.

The ATM driver was quite complex since it supported the full signalling stack and switched virtual circuits and ATM LAN emulation for both Ethernet and tokenring and classical IP over ATM using switched circuits.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Researchers Closer to Industrial Graphene Production Due to $10 Bet

AaronW AaronW writes  |  about 2 months ago

AaronW (33736) writes "After trying and failing to convince Nina Kovtyukhona to test her technique of separating layers of graphite and boron nitride to instead try graphene, Thomas E. Mallouk made a bet with Nina that her technique method would work. If it worked, Nina would owe him $10. If it didn't, he would owe her $100. Thomas is now $10 richer and we are now a step closer to industrial scale graphene production."
Link to Original Source
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3mm Inexpensive Chip Revolutionizes Electron Accelerators

AaronW AaronW writes  |  about a year ago

AaronW (33736) writes "Scientists and engineers at the US DOE SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have discovered an advanced accelerator technology smaller than a grain of rice. It is currently accelerating electrons at 300 million volts per meter with a goal of achieving 1 billion EV per meter. It could do in 100 feet what the SLAC linear accelerator does in two miles and could achieve a million more electron pulses per second. This could lead to more compact accelerators and X-ray devices."
Link to Original Source
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Earth May Once Had Two Moons

AaronW AaronW writes  |  more than 3 years ago

AaronW (33736) writes "According to a story at space.com, Earth may once have had two moons. The smaller moon, estimated to be 750 miles (1200km) wide and only 4% of the mass of the larger moon, crashed into the far side of the larger moon which caused the features we see today on the moon. The surface of the far side of the moon is quite different than the side facing the earth, having a different composition and a much rougher terrain."
Link to Original Source
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Moon Rock from Apollo 11 Sent Back Into Space

AaronW AaronW writes  |  more than 5 years ago

AaronW writes "According to this article at collectspace.com, a rock collected by Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 mission was quietly sent up to the ISS back in March. It was sent up in a special case to protect it with instructions given to the astronauts to not open it. Contamination isn't a huge issue since the rock sample had already been exposed to the air and was not that remarkable, resembling Hawaiian lava. It will be revealed tonight for a 40th anniversary celebration at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC."

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