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Virgin Galactic To Launch 2,400 Comm. Satellites To Offer Ubiquitous Broadband

DarthVain Nope, $$$ (123 comments)

The problem wasn't the need. Everyone wants that. The problem was it had to be an absolute need, because it was so damn expensive. The handsets started at about 5000$ (and this was quite a long time ago), and the packages you had to buy were exorbitant to say the least, for very little capacity. The Iridium satellites were very expensive to launch, and as a result they needed to change a lot of money to make it worthwhile, couple that with the fact they didn't launch as many as they were going to (I think?), and the fact that the bandwidth was so low that it reduces the number of possible uses/users which also inflate the price.

Branson is likely counting on two things to make this profitable.
1) That due to recent changes in space competition particularly private companies, that launches will be MUCH cheaper. Couple that with the advent of miniaturization of components and microsats, even more bang for the buck launchwise.
2) Advances in technology that will allow for much higher bandwidth. While still maybe not comparable to being able to watch YouTube on your satellite phone, probably more than enough to have a much larger user base for relatively simple things now like voice and text type services. (Though they mention things like LTE, who knows)

Note: I didn't notice a lot of dates being thrown around, so this is likely a very longer term project (or it will be despite any words contrary).

about two weeks ago
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Why We Have To Kiss Off Big Carbon Now

DarthVain Re:Hypocrites, liars and communists. (441 comments)

Agree. I do this all myself, mostly because I dislike waste. I do far more than most preachy environmentalists. It is about personal choice.

A perfect example: I work for a pretty "green" organization. Each year they run a big competition with surrounding businesses to see who can conserve the most CO2 for 3 weeks. The ones that do get little prizes...

I participate every year, but do not really contribute much. The reason? Because it is a measurement of what you would waste VS the 3 weeks of conservation. So if you are the worst offender, and then for a scant 3 weeks to actually try and do something you win. I tried to tell the organizers it was a horrible metric to measure success by, as you are basically awarding the behavior of those that pollute the most CO2 normally.

I bought a house that is a 10min walk from work. As a result it is old, small, and expensive (for size). I could go out to the suburbs and get a new, huge, cheaper (for size) house and drive 20min every day to work, or in the country or another community for a 30-50min commute.

So yeah, as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words...

Though not sure about the whole communists comment... :)

about two weeks ago
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Belgian Raid Kills 2, Said To Avert "Major Terrorist Attacks"

DarthVain Remember (257 comments)

OK, the whole scenario is a bit far fetched, however this is how it would play out, and their is historical precedent.

1) The USA has by far the largest, most powerful, most advanced, most strategic, military forces in the world. The next two in line Russia and China, are also not all that dominated by Muslims. When you start to look down the list, you got to go WAY down the list to find Muslim dominated countries with advanced military might. So in a strictly conventional war, it is really no contest.

However, as recent history has shown, it isn't entire nations, but radicalized groups... but of course we are talking entire populations, but whatever....

2) Only two nuclear weapons were ever used in war. They were used for basically one reason. The reports on what the estimated casualty rate of American soldiers varied but it was in the range of 500,000 to 1 million troops dead to invade Japan. A politician then weighed how unpopular it would be to order 1 million american citizens to their death VS incinerating a couple hundred thousands enemy civilians in a far off land. Obliviously, they went with Plan B, and that was just on the off chance that it MIGHT work. If you think that the US is incapable of making that exact same decision again, if faced with similar circumstances, particularly when the enemy lacks a response or anyway to deliver it, then you would be wrong. If you want to see how fast the moderates are in exposing and eradicating the radicalized components of that society, it wouldn't take long.

So you are right, anything like that would be unpopular as hell. However it only has to be less unpopular than the alternative for it to happen.

about two weeks ago
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Radio Shack Reported To Be Ready for Bankruptcy Filing

DarthVain Unsuprising (314 comments)

The last time I was in the store was a big disappointment. I recall good experiences when I was younger. About two years ago, the CD player in my car died. It was old enough that it didn't even have an aux out port, so it was basically a radio after that, and then a speaker stopped working.

I bought a new deck from Future Shop and tried to install it myself, which turned out to be more difficult than I thought. As it turns out my car (2002 Nissan Sentra, Spec V SER) comes with a "premium" stereo package which includes 7 speakers and a SW with amp in the trunk which makes things vastly more complicated. If I have had a normal stereo, the process would have been painless likely. Anyway not even the Nissan dealer wanted to touch it with a 10ft pole (jerks).

Eventually have a lot of research online, it seemed the cause of my troubles (Alternator whine, speakers popping, etc...) was because of multiple grounds, and no matter which way I tried to ground the thing, nothing would work. Talking to places, they would want to rewire the whole car system (at large cost). Finally I found a possible solution, in a electronic device called a "Ground Loop Isolator". Obviously not something you find everywhere, and because I wanted it NOW (I was really sick of this project not working), one of only places that had such a thing was Radio Shack. So I went to Radio Shack for the first time in a long time.

Not only did none of the staff know what the hell I was talking about or even if they carried it, it took all the staff to even find one on their shelf. It was only 2 channel, so I would probably have to buy 2, and they cost 50$. As it was I decided to buy one and try it out. I did it in the parking lot as I brought my tools. As it turns out, it wasn't even the correct one, as it had only male connectors, not both male and female. I immediately returned it, and got my 50$ back.

Then I went online and got this:
http://www.monoprice.com/Produ...

It cost me 8$, was 4 channel, and had the correct connectors. I installed it, and it works fine. It messes with your levels, so you have to adjust them in your stereo setup at the start. Which can be annoying as every time I take my car in for service they seem to love disconnecting my battery, which resets my stereo to the defaults, which makes me have to set it up again. However it does what it is supposed to do.

So it is not surprising that they are going out of business. If you are going to sell overpriced electronics, you actually need staff that know what they are selling or talking about. Otherwise I might as well just go online and take my chances...

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

DarthVain Pope Punch! (873 comments)

Sorry, all serious free speech debate aside, I just thought it funny that the POPE said he would punch someone...

In my mind he would yell "POPE PUNCH", right before doing so.... :)

about two weeks ago
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IEEE: New H-1B Bill Will "Help Destroy" US Tech Workforce

DarthVain Re:They do it for us! (481 comments)

There is a difference between immigration and hiring US citizens then there is to hire foreign workers from another country...

If there is a problem, then maybe fix the immigration and citizenship process rather than doing an end run around the whole process and makes what is essentially an "exception" to the rules to allow for it. As it is, the American Dream (TM) is being killed, where immigrated US citizens can't get a job in IT because all the work has been farmed out to cheap foreign imports.

about two weeks ago
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Ammonia Leak Alarm On the ISS Forces Evacuation of US Side: Crew Safe

DarthVain Tap Tap Tap... (95 comments)

Also, it will allow dramatically hopeful crew to tap the gauges as they edge towards criticality...

about two weeks ago
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PC Shipments Are Slowly Recovering

DarthVain Another reason I found out this year... (130 comments)

I had my house broken into this past year and was robbed a few months ago. I was only gone from the house for about 4 hours.

They took my 40" LCD TV. They took my Xbox 360 and all my games. Then even took my fscking Kelvin Kline cologne.

The one thing they didn't take? My desktop. It was easily worth more money than anything else I had, and in fact if you added up everything else they took, it wouldn't have equaled what my PC was worth (data and sentiment aside also).

Why? Because A) It is difficult and confusing for idiot robbers. There is a rats nest of cables plugged into everything that all need to be taken apart, and you need all the pieces. B) It is large and unwieldy (mine is even an ITX build!), big components, and multiple things to carry, and C) Ever bought a PC used or second hand? Not much of a market for it, and they are not worth much, particularly if you do not know what is in the guts.

If that was a Laptop, or a Tablet, or a Ultrabook (particularly anything recognizable as Apple) it would have been one of the very first things stolen. Easy to identify, easy to transport, easy to sell, worth money.

So there you go:
6) Theft Deterrent!

I think my next build will either be some super expensive system in a massive full tower case, or I'll find a nice bland beige box circa 1995 to put it in... Call it thievery camouflage...

about two weeks ago
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PC Shipments Are Slowly Recovering

DarthVain Upgrading (130 comments)

Upgrading really hasn't made much sense in some time. About the only upgrades that make sense, is if you build your system wrong initially, you *might* be able to upgrade to fix it. i.e. you underestimated RAM usage, or gaming VS video card etc... The problem is players like Intel change their standards every 2-3 years. So if you are trying to upgrade anything beyond that, good luck as it won't be compatible anymore. It will use a different socket, it will use a different DDR, it will use a different power cable, etc... which would force you to replace so many things, you might as well just buy a whole new boxen.

about two weeks ago
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PC Shipments Are Slowly Recovering

DarthVain Re:My guess (130 comments)

Not so sure of all the influence of those milestones, however years ago our organization went from a 3 year lease cycle to a 4 year one, and over time that would slow the market, but ultimately it would level off again so that makes sense.

I'm sure that there were also a bunch of people that jumped on the Tablet bandwagon thinking that was all they need only to find out it wasn't quite as useful as they thought it might be. Everyone has already mentioned also how much of a drag Windows 8 was also.

about two weeks ago
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Firefox 35 Arrives With MP4 Playback On Mac, Android Download Manager Support

DarthVain Memory woes, but Extensions flow! (177 comments)

Well I don't use Firefox anymore other than as another alternate browser for weird instances... However I remember two things both good and bad:

1) Memory management in Firefox was terrible (at least in the last version I used).
2) Some Firefox extensions were very useful for certain things... Like Firebug and debugging JavaScript.

about two weeks ago
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Firefox 35 Arrives With MP4 Playback On Mac, Android Download Manager Support

DarthVain More Importantly... (177 comments)

considering that Google is by far the largest contributor to Mozilla, it would actually be in the best interests NOT to compete with Google.

Though upon reading the wiki, it seems they are now getting the Money from Yahoo, of which MS takes a 12% cut as it actually goes though Bing, so it may not be in the best interests to compete with anyone really! :)

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Ends Mainstream Support For Windows 7

DarthVain Re: 64bit (633 comments)

In a secure enterprise environment, users typically cannot download and install anything. It should have been addressed in testing, and deployed with proper patches, drivers, etc... However because it wasn't, and they didn't, it caused issues later (which have since been addressed, but made the transition unnecessarily fraught with issues).

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Ends Mainstream Support For Windows 7

DarthVain Re: 64bit (633 comments)

That might work when the user has a specific application. In the two instances I saw, it was the fact that the print servers were not compatible (nothing user can do), so it was a matter of IT installing the 64 bit drivers. Ditto with the remote in software IT uses to network with users computers, which caused them some support headaches. However that works now also. Were they to go with 64bit initially, test it first, and address the issue then, none of it would have been an issue.

But someone somewhere made the decision that the entire org should stick with 32bit forever...

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Ends Mainstream Support For Windows 7

DarthVain 64bit (633 comments)

Windows 7 works fine here. The transition was mostly painless. About the only thing that has caused some issues, is that they decided to go with 32bit as the standard, likely for compatibility reasons. However some power users fought and won to get the 64bit version because of a requirement for more then 4GB of RAM (hardly surprising). The 64bit does have a few compatibility issues, particularly with some of the IT remote applications (and some print drivers). Should have just went with 64bit to begin with, updated the few incompatible applications as required, then you're not supporting two different OS versions for years and years to come.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Ends Mainstream Support For Windows 7

DarthVain Re:Exactly! (633 comments)

It might, but then again you are then trying to use it in an enterprise environment, deploying it on thousands of computers, etc... fraught with potential issues. I mean everyone is supposed to be using the same template images, yet even that gets screwed up all the time, then network deployment, with seems piecemeal half the time etc...

about two weeks ago
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Ted Cruz To Oversee NASA and US Science Programs

DarthVain Political Appointments have always been crazy (496 comments)

Even in Canada, we have had some crazy political appointments that made little sense, and are pretty embarrassing.

Off the top of my head we've had a Education Minister that never graduated from High School, a Science and Technology Minister, who was a creationist and believed the world was 5,000 years old, a Minister of the Environment that was a a right wing business talk show host, etc... Though some of that might be a mix of both Federal and Provincial governments.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Ends Mainstream Support For Windows 7

DarthVain Exactly! (633 comments)

We just started preliminary testing of 8.1, which I foresee having many problems. Rollout and compatibility aside (which will be huge issues no doubt), there is the fact that a great deal of "normal" users can barely function in a Windows 7 environment. Windows 8.1 will be like giving an iPhone to a caveman in many cases. Help desk is going to love that transition I am thinking...

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

DarthVain Re:MIB3 (790 comments)

i am pretty sure it was went they went back in time or whatever, and when they used the old version of the Neuralizer it made that sound. Hence the possible gag, in that it was old and obsolete...

about two weeks ago
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Canada's Copyright Notice Fiasco: Why the Government Bears Responsibility

DarthVain Re:In other words ... (73 comments)

Or they just do not care. I think it is a situation where ideology trumps common sense in most cases.

Most laws and the like are not written by politicians, but the direction and marching orders are.
The bureaucrats that drafted it up, probably knew all about the issues, and told the politicians all about them.

However when you are told to do it, get it done, and get it out, I am pretty sure any nay saying falls on deaf ears. That and the patented, we'll fix it later once implemented, or we'll see what happens, or lets risk manage that, etc...

As far as incompetent goes, I would say that because they rammed it through it does show they are incompetent politicians, as they should have saw this coming, underestimated the greed of the media groups, and foresaw that this is going to cause a real political issue when Little Jimmy or Grandma gets a letter saying that they are going to get sued into oblivion, with an election coming up.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Man 'Controlled By Satellites' Makes 100 Calls To 911 In A Month, Vows To Contin

DarthVain DarthVain writes  |  about a year and a half ago

DarthVain (724186) writes "A man who called 911 more than 100 times in one month says he’s not going to stop until his concerns are heard by the federal government.
Jimmy Shao keeps a log book of every 911 call he’s made. So many that he boasts he’s probably set a world record.
He doesn’t believe he’s wasting the time of emergency responders because he has an emergency of his own: Shao believes he’s being watched by shadowy government authorities.
He claims to believe his body is controlled by satellites.

If ever there was a story for slashdot..."

Link to Original Source
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Limewire being sued for 75 Trillion.

DarthVain DarthVain writes  |  more than 3 years ago

DarthVain writes "Apparently 13 record companies are trying to sue Limewire for 75 Trillion. The NYC judge thinks it is "absurd". Its almost like these media companies are their worst enemy trying to make themselves look ridiculous."
Link to Original Source
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George Lucas loses court appeal over Star Wars

DarthVain DarthVain writes  |  more than 5 years ago

DarthVain (724186) writes "I remember it was reported by Slashdot sometime ago that Lucas sued his old Prop guy (Andrew Ainsworth) for trying to sell Replica Star Wars costumes. The Prop guy lost that battle it seems in the US back in 2006, but they haven't been able to get the British courts to enforce it. It seems now the British court has ruled to "Sod Off", and "that the helmet and armor of the Stormtrooper costumes had a "utilitarian," rather than an artistic, purpose" and as such is apparently exempt.

I am not sure if anyone in the court room actually saw Star Wars, but I think I know some Ewoks that might argue how "Utilitarian" those suits of armor actual were..."

Link to Original Source
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Waterboarding and Comic books.

DarthVain DarthVain writes  |  more than 5 years ago

DarthVain (724186) writes "I noticed something last night when I was re-reading Superman: Red Son. http://www.amazon.com/Superman-Red-Elseworlds-Mark-Millar/dp/1401201911/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1244041637&sr=8-1 There appears to be water boarding in it. It is clearly described as torture. It appears in a scene in which Hal Jordan (The Green Lantern) is captured by the enemy and held as a POW and tortured, Vietnam style, or so it looks. It was not too long ago that I didn't even know what water boarding looked like, however I saw this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUkj9pjx3H0 of a republican radio personality that didn't think it was a big deal and submitted himself to water boarding with horrific results. Comparing those two images, the one from the video, and the one from Superman: Red Son, they are clearly the exact same event. Even the posturing of the persons performing the water boarding is the same, it is pretty surreal. So what does this really mean? Well for starters I think it is a pretty good indication of what is considered torture and what is not. The comic was written in 2002 (before all the hullabaloo), and this was the worst torture image they could print to illustrate Hal Jordan's discomfort. So folks that do not get it or fail to understand that it is torture, you can point them to this comic book with its pretty pictures. I also think it is a bit iconic that the image in the book is portrayed as a sort of Vietnamesque torture scene, one that I think most US citizens would identify with "worst torture ever". Anyway just something interesting I noticed while reading last night."
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Rogers - "We're A Dumb Pipe"

DarthVain DarthVain writes  |  more than 5 years ago

DarthVain writes "Rogers Communications the second half of the telecommunications duopoly with Bell in Canada had some interesting things to say to the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission).

Apparently when asked about Canadian content, they are a "Dumb Pipe" however later when asked about Bittorrent they are suddenly able to be a smart pipe and monitor every single packet.

It will be an interesting saga to see if the CRTC actually has some teeth and does something about the questionable practices of Bell Canada and Rogers Communications."

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