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Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

Andy Dodd Re:Another Malaysian Air 777 (752 comments)

This is something that happens routinely due to weather.

about a week ago
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Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

Andy Dodd Re:Wait for it... (752 comments)

Some of what I've been reading indicates that the "AN-26" the rebels thought they shot down was actually this 777.

If you splode something at 25-30k feet with an "illicitly acquired" SAM battery that you're probably not properly trained to use, unless you're an aircraft engineer you might have issues properly identifying the wreckage.

about a week ago
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Want To Ensure Your Personal Android Data Is Truly Wiped? Turn On Encryption

Andy Dodd Re:Free space (91 comments)

Android encryption is done on a partition basis - so the entire partition is going to get clobbered by the encryption process.

The only way data might "leak" out of this is if the eMMC wear leveller saves off the information somewhere - but this requires a pretty sophisticated attacker to recover. Also, Android's wiping facility has done an eMMC secure erase since ICS (exception - Samsung Galaxy S2 family does either a standard format or a nonsecure erase, since firing a secure erase at Samsung's defective eMMC will send the wear leveller out into la-la-land 5% of the time, and once it goes there, there is no coming back.)

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Dedicated Low Power Embedded Dev System Choice?

Andy Dodd Re:Buy a netbook (183 comments)

It seemed to me like netbooks stagnated pretty badly... These days, a Chromebook with crouton installed on an SD card makes for a GREAT Linux laptop.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Dedicated Low Power Embedded Dev System Choice?

Andy Dodd Re:Solaris not well supported by OSS toolchain (183 comments)

Yeah. People are asking questions because HIS questions are, when taken together, nonsensical.

He's looking for a good host machine to do development for ARM, MSP430, and other MCU embedded targets.

When doing embedded development, there is usually a very clear distinction between "target" and "host" - it is rare in the embedded world for people to use a device as both host and target (since the target is usually pretty weak CPU-wise), but he's implying that he wants to use a device that is usually a target (Raspi, BBB) as a host... Which to anyone that has actually DONE this sort of development is nonsensical. There's some benefit to a BBB self-hosting, but it's silly to do AVR or MSP development on a BBB, unless what he's really looking for is a heterogenous target (e.g. the BBB is part of the target solution, and loads an AVR or MSP at runtime to do realtime tasks - but even this doesn't really make sense due to the BBB's PRUSS, other than the fact that the PRUSS is a bit more difficult to work with.)

If you want a low-power low-cost development environment for ARM Cortex-M, AVR, MSP430, etc. targets, your ideal host system is probably a Chromebook with crouton installed on the SD card.

So either he has VERY special unique requirements that he hasn't clearly communicated, or he's looking in an entirely wrong direction for solutions. Either way, his actually needs haven't been properly communicated.

about two weeks ago
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Radical Dual Tilting Blade Helicopter Design Targets Speeds of Over 270mph

Andy Dodd Re:Dual or quadricopters (103 comments)

Yeah. Quadcopters are far less efficient than single-rotor aircraft, and multicopters (hexa, octa) are even less efficient.

The reason people go to hexas and octas is that scaling a quadcopter up to the payload sizes of some of the octas/hexas starts causing issues with blade inertia - an octacopter is more stable.

The main reason quadcopters are doing so well for small aircraft is that at that size class, the mechanical complexity (tail rotor with transmission and collective pitch, plus collective and cyclic pitch control for the main rotor) of a single rotor or dual-rotor aircraft adds a LOT of cost. (The only flight controls of quadcopters are motor speed, with a few exceptions of quads with collective pitch which is still FAR simpler than cyclic pitch control) Once you get to a fullsize helo - it turns out that the quadcopter approach becomes more expensive than a single-rotor AND it's far less efficient.

Kind of similar to how LEDs dominated the flashlight industry for years but only recently became feasible for residential/commercial lighting - incandescent bulbs suffer significantly reduced efficiency and bulb lifetime when scaled down to flashlight sizes.

about two weeks ago
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Radical Dual Tilting Blade Helicopter Design Targets Speeds of Over 270mph

Andy Dodd Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (103 comments)

IIRC, it's spread over many years AND multiple services. The idea behind JMR/FVL is to replace pretty much the military's entire inventory of helos - not just a single service's inventory.

about two weeks ago
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Android Wear Is Here

Andy Dodd The article is a failure (129 comments)

From TFA: "On the other hand, the Samsung watch is the clear winner on overall build quality."

From reality: http://www.androidpolice.com/2...

That's right - it's been only 2 weeks or so since Google I/O and Samsung devices are ALREADY breaking with multiple reports of the same failure mode.

In addition, there are frequent reports of display corruption that doesn't happen with the LG: https://plus.google.com/+Artem...

about two weeks ago
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The View From Inside A Fireworks Show

Andy Dodd Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (200 comments)

Well, as far as flying too close to an airport - I think there are a lot of people in that category that aren't trying to hurt someone, but are just plain stupid.

As far as your assertion that the jet will last long enough to turn around and land again - The landing and takeoff phases for an aircraft (most likely cases where it will hit a small RC aircraft) are the most dangerous ones. Typical RC aircraft have components that are harder/stiffer (worse for a jet engine) than a bird - and a bird into a jet engine on takeoff can be disastrous (see the Miracle on the Hudson - yes that was a rare dual-engine birdstrike, but even a single engine out during the most dangerous parts of a flight is a big deal).

I think the problem is that this video was done by a guy who was screwing around and probably not thinking about negative consequences - if he'd coordinated with the fireworks people to ensure that they agreed there were no safety issues he didn't think about, it would be fine. But now, there's likely to be legislation that is going to be directed at this but contain collateral damage.

See the recent rulings on FPV flight - http://www.faa.gov/about/initi... - I believe this was primarily driven by incidents like http://www.ksdk.com/story/news... (due to timing, not THAT specific one most likely, but similar incidents). End result is - because of some people being completely reckless with FPV flights, the FAA has created an effective blanket ban on FPV flights.

about three weeks ago
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Theater Chain Bans Google Glass

Andy Dodd Re:Good (376 comments)

So, what makes you so interesting that we would want to waste our limited battery/storage (mostly battery) recording you?

about a month and a half ago
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Theater Chain Bans Google Glass

Andy Dodd Re:Good (376 comments)

Glass is the worst covert surveillance and recording tool on the planet for a variety of reasons, and this is one of them.

about a month and a half ago
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Theater Chain Bans Google Glass

Andy Dodd Re:Good (376 comments)

This is why I own a GlassKap. :)

about a month and a half ago
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Theater Chain Bans Google Glass

Andy Dodd Re:Good (376 comments)

So by "keeping a running commentary", do you mean that it was obvious the person was actually using Glass to record his companion narrating the whole thing?

If so, then yeah, he's a Glasshole and deserved to get kicked out.

If not, then assuming that he was recording when he probably wasn't (was the display lit up the whole time?) is BS.

Don't call Glass users Glassholes unless they're actually BEING assholes.

about a month and a half ago
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Free Wi-Fi Coming To Atlanta's Airport

Andy Dodd Re:let me explain the puzzle (135 comments)

It doesn't help that paid wi-fi has a tendency to just cause people to switch to tethering now - which potentially causes performance problems for the paid users.

about 1 month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do 4G World Phones Exist?

Andy Dodd Re:simple (259 comments)

Yeah. HSPA+ is no slouch.

People's desires for LTE in the US stem from the fact that CDMA2000 1x data service (aka CDMA 3G) was poo.

In the US, AT&T never deployed DC-HSPA+ (42 Mbps support) and I think may never have even deployed 21 megabit HSPA+ - while I believe DC-HSPA+ is fairly common in Europe.

about 2 months ago
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Curved TVs Nothing But a Gimmick

Andy Dodd Re:No Way! (261 comments)

That's the biggest problem with 3D - the lack of content.

It's shocking how many movies were filmed in 2D and 3D was added in postproc - kind of like the oldschool colorization of B&W films. Most of these looked like crap when viewed in 3D.

3D would have been more popular if there were more GOOD 3D content.

about 2 months ago
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Curved TVs Nothing But a Gimmick

Andy Dodd Re:No Way! (261 comments)

The marketing seems to be dependent on the fact that many cinema screens are curved, and thus a curved TV is more "cinema-like"

There's a reason for this - anamorphic projection lenses used for extreme widescreen (2.35:1 for example) have distortion that is corrected by a curved screen.

Curved 16:9 is pointless. Even curved 2.35:1 LCD is likely pointless since you're not correcting for an anamorphic projection lens.

about 2 months ago
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Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

Andy Dodd Re:Infectious diseases ... (493 comments)

In addition, in many cases, even if the vaccine is not fully effective, a vaccinated individual is likely to have a less severe infection and stay contagious for a shorter period of time.

about 2 months ago
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US Nuclear Plants Expanding Long-Term Waste Storage Facilities

Andy Dodd Re:Transmutation in SFRs or LWRs too (187 comments)

Yup. Remember the IFR design?

I think one of the statistics was that it could meet all of our electrical needs for a century - using only waste from existing reactors. (and that statistic was two decades ago.)

In addition to extracting much more energy from the fuel, the waste was much easier to manage. While it was EXTREMELY radioactive initially, the volume of the waste was very low, and more importantly, within 200 years it would decay to the point where it was safe (radiologically speaking, at least. Some of those metals are nasty even when a stable isotope.)

about 2 months ago
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U.S. Drone Attack Strategy Against Al-Qaeda May Be Wrong

Andy Dodd Re:Correlation vs correlation (433 comments)

Yeah. At some point, no one is going to want to be CEO/CFO.

Massive CEO/CFO churn is a sign of a company in deep, serious trouble. Companies can handle occasional sudden losses of key personnel, but if it happens on a regular basis - that company is fucked.

It's also going to be bad for morale if the CEO/CFO keep getting whacked. Now, in the short term the company might have enough succession/disaster recovery plans to keep continuity going, but if the CEO/CFO in a company keep dying (as do the CEOs/CFOs of all other companies in the same industry), the employees are eventually going to say, "Fuck this, time for a career change."

about 2 months ago

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