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The Science Behind Powdered Alcohol

DarthStrydre Xylitol doesn't count? (176 comments)

It's both a sugar AND an alcohol. It's been available in powdered form for a long time. I do not believe it can intoxicate humans, so perhaps not considered "Alcohol" by most people, but the article didn't mention ethanol by name.

about 4 months ago
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Trekkies Vote 'Vulcan' Into the Solar System

DarthStrydre Re:FU Trekkie geeks (138 comments)

Don't you mean the forest moon of Endor? I understand that the moon and the planet it orbited (long long ago) had the same name colloquially, but if we must be pedants, let us be truly pedantic.

about a year and a half ago
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Google's Server Cooling Plan Produces 4ft Alligator

DarthStrydre 6' long betta!??! (79 comments)

I'm sorry, but I'd definitely be afraid of a nearly 6 foot long betta! Probably moreso than an equivalent sized gator.

about 2 years ago
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How a 3-Year-Old Can Open a Gun Safe

DarthStrydre Re:$36? (646 comments)

5 button Simplex locks have just over 1000 combinations... meaning on average you can find the right one in about 500 tries. At 2 seconds per try (which is actually rather slow after you get the hang of it), iterating through takes about 15 minutes to get in. If one knows the general pattern used by listening one time (two sets of presses) this further reduces the search space.

I hope your daughter never has to be left alone more than 15 minutes.

If they had only used a 6'th button on a standard Simplex lock...

more than 2 years ago
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Know What Time It Is? Your Medical Device Doesn't

DarthStrydre GPS does output UTS as soon as it has a lock. (290 comments)

You confuse "GPS time" with GPS as a source for precision time. The difference between GPS time and UTC is broadcast every 12 minutes in the data stream, and includes the accumulated whole second difference, as well as drift value to correct for sub-microsecond. GPS receivers have access to this information and generally output UTC as soon as they read the offset value. Since the offset does not change often, it can be stored and used on subsequent startups, though this is a vendor specific decision. Though I've heard that they exist, every receiver and time source I've used outputs UTC by default by the time it downloads the full almanac and starts reporting position.

more than 2 years ago
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TSA's mm-Wave Body Scanner Breaks Diabetic Teen's $10K Insulin Pump

DarthStrydre 2 words (811 comments)

buffer bloat

more than 2 years ago
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End of Windows XP Support Era Signals Beginning of Security Nightmare

DarthStrydre Re:incompetent morons (646 comments)

isn't s/ usually used when you're substituting something that's DIFFERENT? *ducks and runs*

more than 2 years ago
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VGA and DVI Ports To Be Phased Out Over Next 5 Years

DarthStrydre Re:30 Years of VGA (704 comments)

I second your experience. The "More robust" micro connector might be rated for more cycles, but in reality seems to fail more often.

more than 2 years ago
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VGA and DVI Ports To Be Phased Out Over Next 5 Years

DarthStrydre Re:All about HDCP (704 comments)

ADAT Lightpipe uses the same fiber and physical connectors as S/PDIF TOSLINK. It handles 8 channels of uncompressed PCM audio at 24 bit, 48kHz, for a totally unimpressive but sufficient bitrate of 9.2MBit. A slightly better quality ADC is needed on the receiving end of the signal due to the higher bandwidth, but is mostly the same.

more than 2 years ago
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VGA and DVI Ports To Be Phased Out Over Next 5 Years

DarthStrydre Re:why phase out DVI? (704 comments)

SATA CAN be hotpluggable, but is not required to be. That said, most hosts support it, though only in AHCI mode, not emulation mode. From the systems I've seen in the field, about half are using IDE emulation mode, either because the OS doesn't natively support it and the installer did not spend time looking for drivers, or because it is a "fleet" computer where the BIOS was configured in a "safe" mode.

more than 2 years ago
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IBM Shrinks Bit Size To 12 Atoms

DarthStrydre Counterexample (135 comments)

Tunneling accelerometers are mainstream. They are basically a STM without the scanning ability, with the "pinhead" on a MEMs arm. These are in tiny chips. Combining these with perhaps thermal expansion "heater" actuators, and you have a crude yet tiny STM, with very limited storage capacity (limited by X * Y travel / bit spacing.

more than 2 years ago
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$10M Tricorder X PRIZE Kicks off

DarthStrydre It's not pretty when they blow. (111 comments)

Bonus if it can boil an egg at 30 paces, whether you want it to or not.

more than 2 years ago
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Recent Discovery Contains Oldest Depiction of the Tower of Babel

DarthStrydre Re:Pretty Lame (309 comments)

Babylonians, I bid you welcome to your new home!

more than 2 years ago
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Conflict Between Occupy Wall Street Protestors and NYPD Escalating

DarthStrydre Yes there is a medical code for that (961 comments)

Y93D1 Activity, knitting and crocheting
T1500XA Foreign body in cornea, unspecified eye, initial encounter

more than 2 years ago
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TOSAmend Automates Counteroffer Terms For Service Agreements

DarthStrydre All contracts are negotiable, but not all are usef (138 comments)

The rub in 2 and 4 comes when you STILL have to click the checkbox to make the software run. Nothing that they send back in paper form will get you past a hardcoded EULA/TOS agreement. By clicking OK even when you have the paper document in hand, you are explicitly accepting the original agreement and the company laughs at you.

more than 2 years ago
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Alcatel-Lucent Boosts Copper Broadband To 100Mbps

DarthStrydre Baseband's been doing it for 16 years... (129 comments)

..100Base-T. Albeit not over incredibly long distances.

Conversely on that broadband cable line already coming to your house, each 6MHz channel can support a downstream rate of 42.88Mb/sec using QAM256 (with some of this as overhead). Devoting that entirely to "Internets", the usable frequency range of that cable (typically) is from ~54MHz to 750MHz which represents 116 channels. 116*42.88 = 4974Mb/sec, or ~5Gb/sec of useful data in one direction. Cut that in half, and allowing for upstream inefficiencies (QAM64 instead of QAM256), you could theoretically get ~2.5Gb/sec down, ~1.75Gb/sec up over that one cable using current tech.

Of course you'd need multiple cable modems on the receiving side (or a killer DOCSIS 3 device supporting 58 down, 58 up channels) and the corresponding hardware at the head end. This is not unfeasable, just impractical.

And with Comcast you'd reach your bandwidth cap in just under 7 minutes...

The point is that the claimed level of performance of DSL can be trumped by a single entry level DOCSIS 3 cable modem (152Mb/sec down, 123Mb/sec up) using just 4 channels each way.

more than 2 years ago

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