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How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

Benson Arizona TTL - you had it easy! (391 comments)

You used TTL? You had it easy! I remember when we had to get up at 3 a.m. and walk 4 miles, in our bare feet, to the shoe box that served as our workshop. Then we had to suck the air out of our homemade triodes and thread our own magnetic memory cores...

about 6 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Would You Do With Half a Rack of Server Space?

Benson Arizona Build a Cloud Service (208 comments)

You could use the hardware to build a cloud service and sell it to gullible businesses that don't know any better than to store their corporate data on such a service. Just to be on the safe side, you could back it up to your new cloud storage, along with your own data. Hmmm...

about 6 months ago

Software Upgrade At 655 Million Kilometers

Benson Arizona 655,000,000 kilometres = 655 gigametres (57 comments)

This type of failure to employ basic SI prefixes really gets my goat! The metre is an SI unit so multiples should use the correct SI prefix. 1000 kilometres is a megametre and 1000 megametres (or 1 000 000 kilometres) is a gigametre. So the above stated distance of 655,000,000 kilometers from Earth should have been specified as 655 gigametres (or 655 Gm).

I know nothing of these "software upgrades" of which they speak.

about 10 months ago

Sleeper: LG G2 One of the Fastest Android Smartphones On the Market

Benson Arizona I don't think so... (108 comments)

"One of the fastest..." you say but in fact, I'll bet that it makes phone calls at exactly the same speed as every other phone on the market and no faster than every cell phone ever made

about a year ago

How Amateurs Destroyed the Professional Music Business

Benson Arizona The Recording Industry was The Destroyer (617 comments)

The professional music business existed long before the recording industry made recordings of "popular" music widely available. Once such recording became available, it became fashionable to have heard the recorded artistes despite the fact that you could hear the same music, without the loss of quality inherent in the recording and probably performed by better singers and musicians at your local music hall or tavern. Once people started to direct their disposable income towards the recording companies instead of the local performers, the professional music business was brought to its knees. The recent availability of "amateur" performances is merely serving to restore the balance by showing that the artistes being foisted upon the public by the recording companies are very ordinary performers with no special talent and not deserving of an elevated share of the money pot. Moreover, although the poor quality of the early recordings is consigned to history, it is increasingly common to hear the strange tonal warbling that is introduced when a digital sound recording system is used to correct the poor vocal quality of the singer(s). So let us hope that the trend towards listening to amateur and live performances will continue until the blight that is the recording industry has been eradicated forever.

about a year ago

What is your most productive time of day?

Benson Arizona Of course, 12 cannot be either AM or PM (185 comments)

AM (Ante-Meridian) meaning before midday and PM (Post-Meridian) meaning after midday, it is not possible for 12 to be either before or after midday because 12 is midday. Similarly, 12 midnight, being equally distant from the preceding and following midday cannot be labelled as either AM or PM. Thus, 12 may be referred to as midday, noon or midnight but never AM or PM.

more than 2 years ago

Inaccurate physics in movies ...

Benson Arizona One Indefensible Claim too far... (449 comments)

Ridiculous physics didn't bother me too much until one recent film in which the "mad scientist" claimed that his particle accelerator had made neutrinos travel faster than the speed of flight. There is a limit (to what is credible not the speed of neutrinos, obviously).

more than 3 years ago

Harvard Professor Creates Paper Accelerometer

Benson Arizona Inexpensive medical testing? (87 comments)

An (electronic) accelerometer can be constricted by attaching a resistive material to a vaguely flexible substrate such that the electrical resistance varies when the substrate is deformed (much the same as a strain gauge actually). In this case, the paper is merely the substrate and it is difficult to accept the claim that the accelerometer is made of paper.It seems rather akin to claiming to have made a paper-based computer - by sticking a laptop to a sheet of paper.

More importantly, precisely which medical tests require an accelerometer? Not being the sort of malingerer who spends a lot of time undergoing medical testing, I may have missed them but I'm pretty sure that no doctor has ever attempted to measure my acceleration. I know that older people often claim that time seems to pass more quickly. Perhaps time passing more quickly actually manifests as a measurable reduction in their acceleration and acceleration tests are a geriatric specialisation that I can look forward to as I get older. Perhaps the more senior SlashDot followers would care to comment on the efficacy of acceleration testing?

more than 3 years ago

Catching Exam Cheats With a Spectrum Analyzer

Benson Arizona Klingons on the starboard bow (210 comments)

It is pretty impressive that Taiwan has police officers who even know what a spectrum analyser is!

However, it is surprising that the candidates didn't know that they could disguise their transmissions by matching their carrier modulation to the warp signature - surely everyone knows that.

about 4 years ago

My Most Productive Day of the Week Is..

Benson Arizona Re:Mr Krabs said it best: (162 comments)

On the other hand: if a job is worth doing then it will probably still be worth doing tomorrow.

more than 4 years ago

US-Australia Tensions Rise Over Net Filter

Benson Arizona For UK citizens only... (169 comments)

Don't you hate to see the children fighting?

more than 4 years ago

Man Sues Neighbor For Not Turning Off His Wi-Fi

Benson Arizona Re:Retard. (428 comments)

If the clean room was to be locked for a period of one hour but the vial only broken upon the decay of a single atom of an element with a radio-active half-life of one hour then the subject could be viewed as both spotty and not spotty for the duration of that hour - sweet!

about 5 years ago

Fedora 12 Lets Users Install Signed Packages, Sans Root Privileges

Benson Arizona Pourquoi sans English (502 comments)

Has anyone else noticed French words such as sans gradually creeping into English in place of perfectly good words such as without? I believe that this is not coincidental but rather the work of a dedicated group of French extremists who, by gradually increasing the proportion of French words in circulation, hope to replace the English language entirely within just a few decades. Par recognizer this behaviour, we can arret it before it gets out of main. Mai, si nous do not faites attention then pendant just a few ans, we could find qui French is the nouvel Anglais. Dit "non" maintenant a English avec Francais!

Diese Anmerkung ist auch auf Deutsch vorhanden.

Well it's lunch time and all the blinkenlights are working...

more than 5 years ago

Light Helps Injured Mice Walk Again

Benson Arizona It's only a matter of time... (92 comments)

..... Corp announces its latest TV screen technology. The screens, driven by photon emitting mouse brains have higher contrast and a greater viewing angle than existing OLED or OLEP screens. Furthermore, the new screens are environmentally friendly being powered only by cheese and 100% biodegradable. Dead mice are replaced easily and cheaply. The new NeuroVision screens are expected to hit the market as soon as problems with the Cat Repulsion Technology (CRT) have been ironed out.

more than 5 years ago

China Considering Cuts In Rare-Earth Metal Exports

Benson Arizona Space Exploration Curtailed (456 comments)

Let's hope that they don't stop dilithium shipments!

more than 5 years ago

Can Mobile Broadband Solve the UK Digital Divide?

Benson Arizona Re:It's the carriers, not the technology (113 comments)

I live in a rural area in the UK (a short distance north of Belfast, if you must know) where I cannot get ADSL - having tried, I now know that my telephone line is more than 10Km long! So I have been using a 3G/HSDPA modem on Three (Hutchison). I plug the modem into my (Draytek) router and regularly work from home with two laptops running VPNs into different companies and my wife often connects her laptop by WiFi also. The "Mobile Broadband" handles it with no problem and is a lot cheaper than the alternative satellite service that BT tried to sell to me.

more than 5 years ago

How Do You Deal With Pirated Programs At Work?

Benson Arizona Pirate Programs at Work are the best... (958 comments)

I went on a Pirate Program at work. They sent me to the Caribbean where I learned to drink rum, bury doubloons, walk the plank and carry a parrot on my shoulder. Best training I ever did - what a week! Every merchant banker needs to do this.

more than 5 years ago


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