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Cable Boxes Are the 2nd Biggest Energy Users In Many Homes

Ancient_Hacker How ridiculous (394 comments)

Did anybody actually *think* before writing this article?

A cable box drawing "500 watts" would be cherry-red hot.

The rating of "500 watts" on the back is for cable boxes that have an accessory AC outlet, and the rating means that you can plug in a TV or whatnot rated at up to 500 watts. The cable box itself draws a whole lot less, like 15 watts, even less for the newer ones.

about 4 months ago
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Prototype Volvo Flywheel Tech Uses Car's Wasted Brake Energy

Ancient_Hacker Funny gyrations... (262 comments)

So what happens if you come to a stop and then want to turn right? You have a flywheel spinning real good and you're trying to change its axis. Either it's going to twist and bust its bearings and do considerable mayhem, or your car is going to go around the turn on two wheels. Fun times!

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Convince an ISP To Bury Cable In Your Neighborhood?

Ancient_Hacker It's all about the money (324 comments)

Economics. Burying is going to cost a lot. The ISPs would have to borrow money now to pay the diggers, and hope that they can recoup the cost in the long run. The up-front cost is like $2000 per city lot. The ISPs are unlikely to foot the bill, even though interest rates are at record lows.

about 9 months ago
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Google Announces Smart Contact Lens Project For Diabetics

Ancient_Hacker Re:Great (90 comments)

Some folks do get belligerent, my father for one.

about 9 months ago
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Google Announces Smart Contact Lens Project For Diabetics

Ancient_Hacker If it's like the others.... (90 comments)

If it's like the other continuous monitoring devices, it will be priced in the stratosphere, with sensors "needing" to be replaced every few days, at $75 a pop.

about 9 months ago
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Ford Rolls the Dice With Breakthrough F-150 Aluminum Pickup Truck

Ancient_Hacker Ridiculous (521 comments)

A semi-ridiculous idea.

It takes 200 million BTU equivalent of eletcricity to refine a ton of aluminum.

That's about the equivalent of 1,800 gallons of gasoline.

If using aluminum for the truck body ups the efficiency by 5 MPG, that would save 200 gallons for every 100,000 miles driven.

So you're still about 1,300 gallons in the hole.

A bad idea.

about 10 months ago
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Graphene-based Nanoantennas Could Allow WLANs of Nanodevices

Ancient_Hacker Sounds like purest balderdash (45 comments)

The physics of antennas is pretty darn basic electrodynamics. You need a quarter to half a wavelength to make an efficient antenna. Scientists and engineers have tried for well over a century to overcome that limitation, with not much success. It's pretty basic-- if you want to set up an EM field, you need to be able to have charges separated by a goodly amount relative to the wavelength. The emitting material is irrelevant, in fact you need a really good conductor as you make the antenna shorter, as it's radiation resistance goes way down with length. Gaphene not only does not seem to have any advantage, it's high resistance is a big disadvantage. Sounds super highly fishy.

about 10 months ago
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Ford Self-Driving R&D Car Tells Small Animal From Paper Bag At 200 Ft.

Ancient_Hacker Ridiculous. (207 comments)

A ridiculous press release.

Did they mention HOW RELIABLY it can tell a paper bag from a kid on a bigwheeler on the road?

If it is less than 99.99% correct, the first kid that gets run over will spawn a billion-dollar lawsuit.

about 10 months ago
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Tesla Would Be Proud: Wireless Charging For Electric Cars Gets Closer To Reality

Ancient_Hacker Really, really, really ridiculous. (176 comments)

Cmon, converting electric power to radio frequency AC is at best 80% efficient, and coupling it maybe 50% at best, and converting it back to DC 80% again. I get 32% best efficiency and those are for the most optimum situation. No way this will ever fly, economically. And since people are scared of their water meters e-field of a fraction of a watt, how are they going to feel about megawatts? Not gonna fly, or even crawl.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Application Security Non-existent, Boss Doesn't Care. What To Do?

Ancient_Hacker Don't (310 comments)

Don't even think of "helping".

I have tried doing just that, at least 3 times. It's never appreciated by mgmt. They either already know, or have been actively avoiding learning about these problems, or are unwilling to spend money on it. They will either frown, deny your facts, not follow up on your suggestions, or just plain fire you for not being a team player. Been there, tried to "help", got canned twice, now I don't squawk about the SQL injection issues, phishing, spam, etc, etc, etc.

Just start looking for another job, with luck, at a less clueless place.

about a year ago
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The Feathered Threat To US Air Superiority

Ancient_Hacker No prob. (195 comments)

No prob. You rarely find birds above 4,000 feet. Just put another placard in the plane "stay under xxx knots below yyyy feet in peacetime".

about a year ago
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Edward Snowden's New Job: Tech Support

Ancient_Hacker In the long tradition of Philby, Oswald, MacLean (328 comments)

The USSR often gives jobs, usually non-cushy ones, to defectors. Lee Harvey Oswald got a job in a radio factory assembly line. I guess IT support is the modern equivalent.

about a year ago
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Researchers Tout Electricity Storage Tech That Could Recharge Devices In Minutes

Ancient_Hacker Nope. (31 comments)

Here's a hint. Any time you see a press release from a company or University PR department, ignore it. It's usually much worse than no information at all.

In this case they MAY have figured out how to lay down a supercapacitor on the back side of a silicon chip. Big whoop. You're talking about a few Farads at a few volts at most. Not a lot of energy storage possible there, certainly not enough to run a cell phone for more than a few seconds.

about a year ago
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New Hampshire Cops Use Taser On Woman Buying Too Many iPhones

Ancient_Hacker Watch the tazing videos on YouTube (936 comments)

Get a bit better perspective on this by watching the tazing videos on YouTube.

Basically, it seems, if you repeatedly refuse to follow a simple police command, like "get out of the vehicle" or "lay down on the ground", after 10 or 20 repetitions, the cops have the option of tazing you. Apparently this is SOP. The old-school way was to chicken choke or baton-choke you. You decide which is better.

about 2 years ago
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Thorium Fuel Has Proliferation Risk

Ancient_Hacker Not news, not since 1946 (239 comments)

This isn't really news. The original version of the Smyth Report mentioned research into using Thorium. The second edition deleted that paragraph. It was the only notable change from edition to edition. We're pretty sure the KGB noticed the change and went, like, "Hmmmmm...".

about 2 years ago
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Samsung Hits Apple With 20% Price Increase

Ancient_Hacker So???? (447 comments)

So it's what, a $4 increase in a BOM that totals out around $200? This is news?

about 2 years ago
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Open Compute Wants To Make Biodegradable Servers

Ancient_Hacker Manuel says "Fuego!" (102 comments)

I'm thinking there is some UL or ISO or Euro standard that makes it difficult to make server chassis out of flammable materials, and stack dozens of them in a rack, while running 240VAC through them and with lots of cooling air to fan the flames.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Stands In the Way of a Truly Solar-Powered Airliner?

Ancient_Hacker Laws of Physics. (590 comments)

let's say it's high noon and you have a plane with every outside surface covered with solar cells.

Now a 747-400 has a wing area of around 6000 square feet.

Full sunlight falling on 6000 square feet, or about 666 square yards, generates about 100,000 watts.

There are 746 watts per horsepower, so you have about 134 horsepower to work with.

Unfortunately a 747-400 needs about 80,000 horses just to stay in the air.

We are only about a factor of 600 short on the horsepower front.

about 2 years ago
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Increasing Wireless Network Speed By 1000% By Replacing Packets With Algebra

Ancient_Hacker Moderately ridiculous sounding. (357 comments)

Ah yes, all we have to do is find an algebraic equation whose 1542 roots happen to match packet #1767 of the Angry Birds video. And whose coefficients take up less than 5%, 75 bytes lets say.

I thought up this compression scheme in 8th grade. even then I knew there just had to be some basic problem with it.

about 2 years ago
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Apple, ARM, and Intel

Ancient_Hacker Replay of the mainframers (246 comments)

This could be a replay of the old days of mainframes. At more than one company, the engineers came up with mainframes on a desk, but the marketers could not see selling a desktop mainframe at the old 7-digit prices. So they just making the big boxes, til their eventual death. This happened to CDC, Data General, Digital, and Perkin-Elmer to name a few. Intel will undoubtedly survive, but it could be a long painful decline or change of direction. The "new architecture" fanatics there probably don't have much traction after the Itanium disaster.

about 2 years ago

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