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Comments

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NASA Cancels "Sunjammer" Solar Sail Demonstration Mission

Chirs You've got it backwards. (58 comments)

The fundamental property is mass, and the "weight" is defined by the force generated due to "standard" gravity.

The kg is a measure of mass. The pound can be mass or force, depending on the system of measurement involved. Most technical people would consider pounds to be units of force, where the corresponding mass is the slug. (Though honestly SI units are more convenient for doing physics with.)

10 hours ago
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NASA Cancels "Sunjammer" Solar Sail Demonstration Mission

Chirs You would think....but no. (58 comments)

When doing physics the pound is most often used as force, but it's not quite as simple as you make it out to be.

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

Also, consider the system of measurement with pounds-as-mass, where the unit of force is the "poundal".

10 hours ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Chirs Just stick a lower limit on it (818 comments)

I suspect that if you exempted someone's primary residence up to say half a million dollars, that would avoid much of the difficulty with penalizing the poor.

3 days ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Chirs Actually, it is harmful in a number of ways (818 comments)

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...

"Effects of inequality researchers have found include higher rates of health and social problems, and lower rates of social goods,[81] a lower level of economic utility in society from resources devoted on high-end consumption,[82] and even a lower level of economic growth when human capital is neglected for high-end consumption.[83] For the top 21 industrialised countries, counting each person equally, life expectancy is lower in more unequal countries..."

3 days ago
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Battery Breakthrough: Researchers Claim 70% Charge In 2 Minutes, 20-Year Life

Chirs I remember reading about these (395 comments)

The article I read talked about carbon-fiber flywheels spinning in an evacuated chamber on maglev bearings. I think they were hitting over 100000 RPM.

5 days ago
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Why the Trolls Will Always Win

Chirs some thoughts (715 comments)

The following is all subjective, so be warned. :)

From what I've seen (admittedly second and third-hand) the people attacking women are generally doing so at least in part *because* they are women. On the other hand, attacks against men are rarely gender-based, but rather based on other factors like religion/ideology/actions.

If this is true, then even if the numbers of attacks are the same, it would not be unreasonable for the attacked women to feel it differently because they are being attacked for something they *are* rather than something they *think*. (And actually I suspect this same feeling may hold true for race-based attacks against people as well.)

about two weeks ago
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BitHammer, the BitTorrent Banhammer

Chirs bandwidth isn't the problem (428 comments)

The issue is that cheap access points/firewalls run out of resources trying to manage (and possibly do connection-tracking) on all the different connections. If a bittorrent user suddenly opens up a few thousand additional connections (regardless of actual bandwidth) then that ends up knocking everyone else off that firewall.

The bittorrent users could prevent the problem by limiting how many connections are allowed per torrent, but it sounds like they're not doing that.

Rather than forcing bittorrent users off the network entirely, it would be better if the access point itself limited the number of connections per MAC address to something reasonable. This would prevent the symptom from occurring.

about two weeks ago
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Tesla Announces Dual Motors, 'Autopilot' For the Model S

Chirs seriously? (283 comments)

That's crazy. I would have expected a cap on how much of a rebate you can get.

about two weeks ago
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Fusion Reactor Concept Could Be Cheaper Than Coal

Chirs carbon capture and storage (315 comments)

It's possible to reduce those externalities. Near where I live is a recently-opened large-scale coal plant with carbon capture and storage. They're capturing carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, and fly ash.

http://www.saskpowerccs.com/cc...

That said, I'd love to see a commercially viable fusion plant.

about two weeks ago
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Hacking USB Firmware

Chirs physical write protect for the firmware (97 comments)

What we need is a physical write-protect switch for the firmware itself, as well as for the contents of the drive.

It wouldn't be hard to have a single pin control whether or not the microcontroller firmware can be written to.

about two weeks ago
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Hacking USB Firmware

Chirs Write-protect the microcontroller firmware, silly. (97 comments)

What we need is a physical switch that write-protects the microcontroller firmware. Most people would never want to update the firmware on their USB controller so it can default to "off".

about two weeks ago
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MIT Study Outlines a 'Perfect' Solar Cell

Chirs Re:Carnot efficiency (110 comments)

Blackbody radiation is emitted from all sides of the emitter; it cannot be made directional. This means that the design that MIT has created, with the collector sandwiched against the emitter, will be at most 50% effective (When used with a light-source derived heat source). This is because some non-trivial portion of the re-emitted light will be beamed off the back of the device, where there is no collector to catch it!

Couldn't you put the intermediate radiator behind a layer of glass with a coating that is tuned to be highly reflective at the exact frequency that it is re-radiating at? That would reduce the amount of wasted energy.

about two weeks ago
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MIT Study Outlines a 'Perfect' Solar Cell

Chirs Not sure it applies (110 comments)

In the article the intermediate body is simply absorbing heat energy but then re-radiating it at a specific frequency. Would the Carnot effiency rules apply?

about two weeks ago
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Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista

Chirs Re:Hardware isn't Progressing (554 comments)

Actually, the performance difference between an i3 and an i7 is negligible.

That chart you pointed at is specifically for gaming. If you're doing parallel compiling, or running multiple VMs, or other easily parallelizable work the fact that an i7 generally has twice as many cores/threads can make a huge difference.

At work we have a 24-core machine that we use for compiling. It makes a huge difference when you're basically building a custom linux distro.

about two weeks ago
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PostgreSQL Outperforms MongoDB In New Round of Tests

Chirs Still goes into RAM (147 comments)

Even when using sendfile() in linux, the disk does a DMA transfer into RAM, and the NIC does a DMA transfer out of RAM.

While the CPU is not involved in copying the data, it still goes into RAM.

about three weeks ago
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Flurry of Scans Hint That Bash Vulnerability Could Already Be In the Wild

Chirs Still user input (318 comments)

The user input is in the form of specially-crafted HTTP headers in the HTTP request that cause environment variables to be set on the server.

about three weeks ago
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Flurry of Scans Hint That Bash Vulnerability Could Already Be In the Wild

Chirs Still problem with user input. (318 comments)

While you don't need to pass arguments, you still need to set environment variables based on user input.

Whoever thought it was a good idea to allow an HTTP request to set environment variables within the HTTP server to arbitrary values wasn't thinking about security.

about three weeks ago
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Nobody's Neutral In Net Neutrality Debate

Chirs depends on how the QoS is done (132 comments)

I have no problems at all with an ISP prioritizing certain types of traffic, but that prioritization should be 1) under the control of the subscriber, and 2) it should *only* affect traffic belonging to that subscriber. My traffic and your traffic should be shaped (as a whole) based on the subscriptions that each of us has paid for.

That is, I could ask my ISP to prioritize my Netflix packets over my bittorrent packets, but if you and I have paid for the same level of service then your VoIP packets shouldn't get priority over my Netflix packets.

about a month ago
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A DC-10 Passenger Plane Is Perfect At Fighting Wildfires

Chirs they carry concentrate (112 comments)

Typically the scoopers carry a tank of fire retardant concentrate that gets injected into the scooped water.

about a month ago

Submissions

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skydiver to attemp record jump from 131,000 feet

Chirs Chirs writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Chirs (87576) writes "Former 64-yr old french paratrooper Michel Fournier is attempting to break multiple world records by jumping out of a helium balloon at 40 kilometers (131,000 feet) altitude. They anticipate that he will break the sound barrier on the way down, taking 15 minutes to fall and reaching speed of over 1500km/hr.

The big concern at the moment is the wind. Anything over 10km/hr will cause problems getting the massive balloon inflated. The previous attempt failed when the baloon was destroyed by wind while still on the ground.

Some links: CNN Canadian Press Canada.com"

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