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Comments

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At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

Dan East Re:Hold your horses (195 comments)

That's still not correct. It consumes 1 nA per ring, and it rings at 2 Hz. Thus it comes 2 nA per second, or 7200 nA per hour. According to your math you're assuming it only consumes 1 nA per hour, so that's off by a factor of 7,200.

13 hours ago
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At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

Dan East Re:Hold your horses (195 comments)

Actually I have to correct myself. I assumed it was low voltage, like a single cell battery, and thus around 1-2 volts. That's not the case - the voltage is around 2,000 volts:
http://www.sharingtechnology.n...

That means my calculations were off by a factor of 1333. So if you divide the times I stated for AA and D batteries by 1,333 and you'll get a more accurate figure. So even a deep cell 12 V battery, which is around 120 watt-hours, could only run the bell for 9.5 years. Guess that makes it more impressive than I thought.

Or my calculations are still way off.

yesterday
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At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

Dan East Hold your horses (195 comments)

Let's put this in perspective. The only "amazing" thing here is simply that the chemicals used in the battery are very stable. The amount of energy we're talking about is very, very low.

FTA, it takes around 1 nanoampere to ring the bell once. It rings around around 2 Hz. Thus it takes 2 nanoampere a second, which works out to 7200 nanoampere-hours.

So let's see how long a AA battery could run that bell. The better AAs produce 3 amp-hour of power. That is 3000000000 nanoamperes. 3000000000 / 7200 gives us 416,666 hours, which is 47.56 years. So if we could somehow spread the power of a AA out over time so the chemicals didn't break down, it could power that bell for 47.56 years. A single D battery has 12 amp-hours of power (4 times that of a AA), thus it could run the bell for 190 years.

We're not talking about much power whatsoever - simply that the chemicals and construction of the battery are such that it has not degraded that much just through time alone.

yesterday
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Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

Dan East Re:Good news (406 comments)

His plots aren't all that bad. His screenplay (especially dialog) is weak, and his directing is of a very specific style that only works with certain kinds of actors. It is both those things that hurt the prequels.

As far as directing, Lucas is a hands-off director. He doesn't give the actors feedback or direction - he expects them to bring the characters to life and flush out the nuances on his own. So what he'd do is shoot a scene over and over, even though the actors thought they got it perfectly right, until some nuance or personality came out that seemed more natural and unique. He always said he did his directing in the editing room - but to do that he needed a big pool of material to work with to pull the good stuff out of. With Hamill, Fisher and Ford, they had the talent, energy and personality to simply bring the characters to life. Do you think we liked Han Solo so well because Lucas directed Ford to be that exact character? Or Princess Leia being such a strong female lead and showing playful disdain in the harsh tone of her voice towards Solo? Lucus just stepped back and let them create.

That directorial style worked well in American Graffiti too. Like the liquor store scene. The robber leaves the store and throws the bottle of liquor to Terry. They shot it over and over, and every time he caught it perfectly. Until finally, he turned around too late and just barely caught it with the tips of his fingers. That was what Lucas was waiting for, and that's what made it in the movie. At the very beginning, where Terry runs his Vespa over the curb and hit the wall - total accident, but Lucas kept the cameras rolling and that made it into the movie.

So when it comes to most kids, like Jake Lloyd, they NEED coaching and prompting and directed. I strongly believe that Jake Lloyd was awful in Phantom Menace because of Lucas' directing style. When I watch him in other movies, like Jingle All the Way, I'm reminded that he was pretty talented for his age - Lucas just didn't bring that out because he just sits back and watches with no obvious emotion or constructive feedback.

yesterday
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Silk Road Journal Found On Ulbricht's Laptop: "Everyone Knows Too Much"

Dan East Re:What an idiot (176 comments)

A skilled hacker / engineer could create a system for under $40 that would circumvent this.

Use two microcontrollers (a raspberry pi would be overkill - I'd use a $10 STM32 Nucleo board), one hidden somewhere in your house that has a small coil around a power line which introduces a signal into the power wires, and another in the case of the PC that monitors the signal generated by the first microcontroller. As soon as the device inside the PC detected loss of the signal it could then shut the PC down. Or trip a relay connected to a servo that allows acid to flow into the HDD. It could also have light sensors (covering the largest spectrum possible) to detect the case opening, which would also trigger the destruct mechanism. It would be powered by 4 AA batteries when external power is removed. I would also add a trivial voltage divider circuit to an ADC line on the microcontroller to monitor battery power, and if it got down close to 5V it would destroy the device.

There are dozens of things you could do along those lines. Place a magnet in whatever the PC is setting on and then have a magnetometer sensor in the buttom of the case connected to the microcontroller. If the PC is moved then it destroys the media. Etc, etc.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade

Dan East Re:Or another interpretation (567 comments)

Mashable has misinterpreted the "Free upgrade within a year".
More info from ars technica:

Microsoft has just announced the first pricing information for Windows 10 at its preview event today. The biggest news is that the new OS will be completely free for current Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 users for its first year of availability—after that time period has expired, OS upgrades will presumably need to be paid for as they are currently (though Microsoft was less than clear on this point, it made no mention of a paid, Office 365-style subscription for Windows upgrades). The Windows 10 upgrade for Windows Phone 8.1 users will also be free.

3 days ago
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Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade

Dan East Wha??? (567 comments)

Microsoft just took another big step toward the release of Windows 10 and revealed it will be free for many current Windows users.

Alright, it's about time...

Microsoft specified it would only be free for the first year, indicating Windows would be software that users subscribe to, rather than buy outright.

Are you kidding me? Seriously. Are you kidding me? I have half a dozen old computers running XP that are a decade old. You really expect the future model is that I would have had to pay for these machines YEARLY all this time? Is this the only payment model they have, or is that just a free-upgrade-scheme thing?

I'll stick with Windows 8.1 if that's the case.

3 days ago
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Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

Dan East Not about mobile (487 comments)

It's not about mobile. Windows 8, as a purely mobile, touchscreen OS, was okay. No major complaints there. The problem was that Windows 8 on Desktops, or even laptops with a touchscreen, tried to enforce an extremely oversimplified interface onto desktop users. Then to add insult to that, they had two parallel paradigms (Windows and Metro) and half the settings are in one place and half in the other. The solution is simple: they have to support both. The reason is just as simple. Right now I'm using my Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro as a laptop. So I want it to behave as a full featured desktop OS with all the power, control, widgets, bells and whistles I need to do all the things I need to do. As soon as I flip the screen around into a tablet mode, I need to be able to use it as a tablet.

I pretty much am at that state now with some 3rd party software, although again, half the settings are in Metro and half in classic Windows. So it's not like it would be all that hard for MS to get this right. They've just done the same thing they've done over, and over, and over. They take a paradigm or design philosophy, and push one or two steps too far.

The other big issue with Windows 8 is it had to bridge the divide between classic laptops, and the next generation laptops that have touchsreens. Metro with only a mouse? Awful. They force that on people, and the users hated it. Personally, I've only ever ran Windows 8.1 on my own machine that also had a touchscreen, so it wasn't nearly as bad.

5 days ago
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Why Run Linux On Macs?

Dan East systemd (584 comments)

Why run linux on mac hardware? To get systemd, of course.

about a week ago
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Marriot Back-Pedals On Wireless Blocking

Dan East I've stayed there (179 comments)

I stayed at that Marriot 6 or 7 years ago. They wanted an exorbitant amount for their wifi (I believe it was $9, and I only needed it for less than an hour). I was able to sit next to a window and access a neighboring hotel's wifi to do my quick email check. Maybe someday they will grasp the concept that by charging a reasonable price they would get more sales, and thus overall make more money off of their wifi.

about two weeks ago
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How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

Dan East Re: Uninterested people aren't worth it (480 comments)

The actual experience shows that the lower the turnout, the more likely the electorate is to do something stupid.

And "stupid" is defined by who exactly? The people who voted for the losing option?

about two weeks ago
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SpaceX Rocket Launch Succeeds, But Landing Test Doesn't

Dan East Re: No good video? (213 comments)

Another news story said it was foggy and zero visibility. The cameras on the rocket really only showed anything when it fell over into the water, where bubbles could be seen.

Considering spaceX has navigated the rocket exactly where they wanted every landing attempt, I wonder when they will finally get permission to land on, um, actual land. For all we know the ship may have pitched up increasing the velocity that the rocket touched down. Plus I'm sure the poor visibility at sea couldn't have helped either.

about two weeks ago
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Porn Companies Are Going After GitHub

Dan East Re:Nope (165 comments)

What does that have to do with GitHub?

about two weeks ago
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Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

Dan East Re:In the name of Allah ! (1350 comments)

Not that you made any such claim, but those are all Old Testament scriptures, thus for Christians they have been overridden by the teachings of Jesus Christ. None of those apply to Christianity, which makes sense, as you don't see Christians running around trying to enforce anything of the sort.

about two weeks ago
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Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

Dan East Video (1350 comments)

Here is uncensored video of the gunfight with a police officer, then the execution of the police officer. I think it's good for the public to see these kinds of things, so they can fully appreciate the reality of the threat posed to our society.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i...

about two weeks ago
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Finding Genghis Khan's Tomb From Space

Dan East Re:ah the great ghengis khan burial (166 comments)

I hear they even killed the birds, so Saruman couldn't see what they were up to either.

about three weeks ago
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Finding Genghis Khan's Tomb From Space

Dan East Not found (166 comments)

IMO, they've really not done much. They allowed people to tag aerial imagery for things they *think* they identify - rivers, roads, and other anomaly. That resulted in 2.3 million tags. And, well, that's it. 55 tagged areas were verified by field teams as having some interest to archaeology. However, I don't see how any of this has anything to do with Genghis Khan specifically.

about three weeks ago
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Why We're Not Going To See Sub-orbital Airliners

Dan East Lift (300 comments)

The other problem is lift. When you get to that kind of altitude, you either need to be at orbital speeds (not going to happen) or you need an incredible wingspan relative to mass to get lift from what little atmosphere is available. A third option is some kind of thrust to directly counteract gravity, which would be horribly fuel inefficient. Regardless, you end up with an extremely specialized, hard to fly aircraft like the U2 or SR-71 Blackbird, which has severe limitations in "normal" flight characteristics just so it can fly high and fast. Plus you're not going to be able to scale those kinds of specialized designs up from transporting just one or two people to an entire load of people to achieve the passenger volume an airline requires.

about three weeks ago
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Dish Introduces $20-a-Month Streaming-TV Service

Dan East Re:Delivery medium (196 comments)

What is so interesting about this netflix, hulu, and the like is that the customer is no longer paying for the delivery of the goods :: just the goods themselves.

What do you mean? Netflix and Hulu give away free broadband ISP connectivity to their customers? And Netflix and Hulu have free massive pipelines and distributed hosting to the internet? Man, that's pretty cool. Just because Netflix doesn't directly own the wires between the content and your house like ye olde cable companies doesn't mean that the customer is not paying for the delivery of the goods.

about three weeks ago
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The Missing Piece of the Smart Home Revolution: The Operating System

Dan East Protocols (252 comments)

No, it's not the OS that's needed, but the protocols. For example the Internet is not an OS - it is a set of protocols built on protocols with more protocols running on top. What is needed for home automation is the protocols allowing a "dumb" device like a sensor or button to be able to connect to something that unifies everything together and lets them communicate. What OS, if any, is running on the devices doesn't matter.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Facebook HTML Escaping Broken?

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "It appears that Facebook's HTML escaping has been bypassed or otherwise hacked. Currently this is being used to embed tags in regular FB posts to display gaudy animated GIFs. However this technique should work for any other HTML tags. The user Facebook Art's wall is the current source of these annoying posts, which other FB users are in turn sharing on their own walls."
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Zuckerberg's Generosity

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "Mark Zuckerberg, billionaire founder of Facebook, has decided to share some of his wealth with dedicated FB users, who were ultimately responsible for his fortune. Each time you enter the following key presses into Facebook (max once per hour) you will receive a $5 credit on your FB account (part of the advertising system):
UP UP DOWN DOWN LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT B A ENTER
Please repost — it is for TODAY only!"

Link to Original Source
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Thousands of blackbirds fall from sky dead

Dan East Dan East writes  |  about 4 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "In a fashion worthy of a King or Hitchcock novel, yesterday blackbirds began to fall from the sky dead. Somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 birds rained down on the small town of Beeb, Arkansas, with no visible trauma. Officials are making wild guesses as to what happened — lightning strike, high-altitude hail, or perhaps trauma from the sound of New Year's fireworks killed them."
Link to Original Source
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$1 million to find Toyota acceleration problem

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "Amid the controversy over Toyota's runaway cars, the Edmunds.com web site is offering a $1 million prize to any tinkerer who can figure out the cause of the phenomenon. The prize will go to a person who can "demonstrate in a controlled environment a repeatable factor that will cause an unmodified new vehicle to accelerate suddenly and unexpectedly." Edmunds will make details of the competition available later this month."
Link to Original Source
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Avast! Antivirus reporting massive false positives

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "Due to a problem with the antivirus definition update 091203-0 on December 2nd, Avast! Antivirus began reporting that many applications were infected with the trojan Win32:delf-MZG. There are widespread accounts of this on the net, and Avast's support forums have been down for close to 12 hours due to the massive amount of traffic from users seeking more information on the problem. The problem has reportedly been corrected with the 091203-1 update, but many installations may not update automatically in time to receive the update before end users are affected. Avast typically prompts end users when infected items are found, asking them how to clean it. If the user selects "Delete" then software, or the entire OS, could be rendered unusable. The Avast! Blog is still silent on the matter."
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DVD Saves Firefighter's Life

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Dan East writes "Fire Chief Barry McRoy credits a DVD with saving his life — literally. McRoy was trying to leave a restaurant when two men, fighting over a gun, entered. During the fray the gun went off, and Chief McRoy's stomach started hurting. At first he thought the pain was from the percussion of the shot, since he was so close to the men and they were all enclosed in the small glass foyer together. However, upon reaching into his pocket he found, amongst the shattered DVD pieces, the bullet that had just been fired. In the video still it is clear the disc is a DVD-R, but the brand is not visible."
Link to Original Source
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Fake Wikipedia edit predicts murder

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "In a bizarre twist of fate, a bogus news post to Wikipedia predicted the death of WWE wrester Chris Benoit's wife 14 hours before her body was discovered in a presumed murder / suicide. Police believe Benoit murdered his wife and 7-year-old son before committing suicide by hanging himself in a piece of exercise equipment. The fake news posting to the Chris Benoit article read "Chris Benoit was replaced by Johnny Nitro for the ECW Championship match at Vengeance, as Benoit was not there due to personal issues, stemming from the death of his wife Nancy". The person responsible for the posting later confessed that his edit was speculative as to why Benoit canceled a scheduled appearance at a wresting event on Sunday. The editor's computer equipment has been confiscated while police try to determine if he was actually involved in the murder."
Link to Original Source
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Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "I volunteered to speak at my daughter's school for Career Day, and have been asked to give presentations to three different classes tomorrow. As a software developer, how can I pique the curiosity of 4th graders, while generating interest in an occupation that will need an even larger workforce in the future? I mainly do application development in the health care arena, but I've also created a 3D game engine, ported Quake and Quake2 to various platforms (Pocket PC), developed backends for a few web sites, and created a number of embedded solutions using microcontrollers. Should I limit myself to the "cool" stuff like gaming so they can at least relate to what I do? If you had to get up in front of a bunch of 4th graders, what would you say?

I know that today children are exposed to computers more than ever in school. Unfortunately, students are not introduced to software development at all in most school environments. When I was in 7th grade (1983) every class spent time in the computer room (full of TRS-80s) and were taught rudimentary programming. Yes, all of us, every single student, had to write software. Even prior to that I learned to program on my TI-99/4A by typing in BASIC programs listed in the monthly Compute! magazine. Children today are taught text editing, how to surf the net, and other very "generic" computer skills, and of course take tests and "play" various learning games on computers. Perhaps I should demonstrate some simple BASIC programming, or what that be too much?"
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Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "Researchers at Cornell University have determined that moderate strength solar flares can disrupt the GPS system. A graduate student first noticed the effect in 2005, and additional studies have correlated solar flares with reductions in GPS signal strength. The researches express concern over the use of GPS in "safety-of-life" situations like air travel, especially during the solar cycle peak in 2011 and 2012.

From the article:
solar flares are accompanied by solar radio bursts. Because the bursts occur over the same frequency bands at which GPS satellites transmit, receivers can become confused, leading to a loss of signal."
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Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Dan East writes "Bob Dillian, in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, bashed modern audio technology while showing an indifference to file sharing. A few key quotes, "There's no definition of nothing, no nothing, just like... static". Regarding illegal file sharing Dillian mused "Well, why not? It ain't worth nothing anyway." Finally, even the physical form-factor of the CD medium is an issue with Dillian, "CDs are small, there's no stature to it". I can't wait to hear his remarks when he learns music can be stored on SD cards."

Journals

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Mod points...

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I think this is the most mod points burnt on one of my posts so far. Looks like 20 or so mod points were used on one post.

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Normal (2).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Interesting (3).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (5).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Troll (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (3).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (5).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

A user had given a moderation of Insightful (+1) to your comment, Re:Make it static., attached to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort. That moderation has now been undone, probably due to the user posting in the discussion after moderating in it. Your comment is currently scored Insightful (3).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (2).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Underrated (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (3).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (2).

A user had given a moderation of Overrated (-1) to your comment, Re:Make it static., attached to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort. That moderation has now been undone, probably due to the user posting in the discussion after moderating in it. Your comment is currently scored Insightful (3).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (5).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (5).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Troll (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (5).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

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