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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

Hank the Lion Re:For that matter... phones. (790 comments)

I dialed phone numbers by rapidly depressing the hook. Worked like a charm.
I then found out that 11 pulses followed by a few (2 or so) 'normal' digits would also give you a connection.
Judging by the response I got, I presume this was a number within the telephone company.
I was 10 years old at that time, so I hung up in a hurry ;-)

about two weeks ago

NSA Can Retrieve, Replay All Phone Calls From a Country From the Past 30 Days

Hank the Lion Re: How about... Malaysia? (320 comments)

Reply to undo a moderation that was done by a slip of the finger

about 10 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What If We Don't Run Out of Oil?

Hank the Lion Re:We Wish (663 comments)

If it would consume more energy to produce a solar panel than it will produce in its lifetime, then either:
- I would not be able to ever recoup my investment (but I can with current energy prices reach this in 15 years), or
- Solar panel producers pay far less for their energy than I do, or
- they would make a loss and go bankrupt.
The price of a solar panel will (except for subsidies) never be lower than the price of the energy needed to produce it.
As long as I can install one and make a profit, I don't believe that producing it will have cost more energy than it will ever produce.

about a year and a half ago

Samoa Air Rolling Out "Pay As You Weigh" Fares

Hank the Lion Re:Fuel costs money (587 comments)

Why isn't this reasonable? If I send a package by airmail, I pay by weight, even if I don't have the option of making the package lighter.
Why should that be any different if the package is myself? It will cost more fuel to transport me if I'm heavier, so why should other people bear that extra cost?

about 2 years ago

Researchers Convert Phones Into Secret Listening Devices

Hank the Lion Re:Preach it (59 comments)

So if the ringer was ringing and you pick up the phone there might leak some of the 90 V signal into the microphone?

That wouldn't be too good for the microphone.
The switches of the hook are there to prevent that.
They connect/disconnect in such an order that the telephone exchange is signalled that you pick up the receiver so the ringer signal is switched off before the speaker and mic are connected. I once had a telephone where this dis not work properly. When you picked it up at the exact moment of a ring, a loud buzzing sound came out of the earpiece. Not nice.

And did you consider what happens if you put a High frequency signal onto the line? Some of the signal might be affected by the condensator combined with the mic, and a usable signal might gotten of it.

If the receiver is on hook, both mic and speaker are completely disconnected, as you can see.
The capacitor is in series with the ringer, not with mic/speaker.
Please let me know from the schematic (the one I linked to, or another one if mine is not correct for the phone you have in mind) what exact signal pathway you have in mind. "Some of the signal might be affected" is too vague to be refuted or confirmed.

more than 2 years ago

Researchers Convert Phones Into Secret Listening Devices

Hank the Lion Re:Preach it (59 comments)

Yes, I know the difference.
I have disassembled T65 telephones, myself, and I did not find any difference to the schematic I linked to.
That is why I asked you to post the schematic of the telephones you disassembled that were different.
Unless you can do so, and explain how a telephone off hook can be used to eavesdrop on you, you confirm my opinion that you are a troll.
A moderately competent one, I must say: I'm still feeding you...

more than 2 years ago

Current Radio Rules Mean Sinclair ZX Spectrum Wouldn't Fly Today

Hank the Lion Re:Yeah I remember that (64 comments)

Yeah, the display hardware of the ZX81 was brilliant in its simplicity.
Not only did it use the program counter as the character point er for the display, but the I/R (interrupt and DRAM refresh) register pair was used as a pointer into the character ROM. These were output automatically by the processor directly after the fetch of the instruction.
And each line of the display was ended by a HALT instruction, so short lines did not need the full 32 bytes.
And, and, and... I loved that machine for its (albeit just a _little_ bit convoluted) design!

more than 2 years ago

Researchers Convert Phones Into Secret Listening Devices

Hank the Lion Re:Preach it (59 comments)

That's what I expected.
My post was mainly intended for people who might believe his claims.
For them, maybe, facts would be helpful ;-)

more than 2 years ago

Researchers Convert Phones Into Secret Listening Devices

Hank the Lion Re:Preach it (59 comments)

I'm guessing you never disassembled one to see how it actually worked. I did. Go ahead and find an exemplar and give it a go.

OK, here is the schematic of the most widely used mechanical telephone in The Netherlands: the T65.
When the telephone is on hook ("hoorn"), only the ringer (bel) is connected to the line.
I really cannot think of another arrangement: the ringer voltage is high (100V?) so you don't want that appearing over your mic or speaker.
Please share with us the schematic of the phones you disassembled, or are you really a troll?

more than 2 years ago

Researcher Reverse-Engineers Pacemaker Transmitter To Deliver Deadly Shocks

Hank the Lion Re:Well I'm convinced it's true (216 comments)

Explaining it to the manufacturers of 900 kV stun guns will have no effect.
They know very well that their product does not reach 900 kV.
Those tasers may very well reach 90-100 kV (spark length of 3-3,5 cm), but not tenfold that.
It's just as with the 200W PMPO computer speaker sets that are supplied from a 12W transformer: pure marketing hype.

But, I agree with your main point: it is trivial to create a sufficiently high voltage in a small volume.
Even the simplest 2 kV fly swatter tennis rackets show that.

more than 2 years ago

Researcher Reverse-Engineers Pacemaker Transmitter To Deliver Deadly Shocks

Hank the Lion Re:Well I'm convinced it's true (216 comments)

I built a stun gun capable of generating 900,000 volts on-demand out of a few dollars worth of parts and a 9 volt battery, and it fits in the palm of your hand

900V or 9 kV I would believe, 900 kV not so much.
You would need creeping distances of more than 300 mm just to prevent arcing and making the voltage collapse before it even reached the 900 kV.
"900 kV" and "fits into the palm of your hand" are mutually exclusive, I think.
(and yes, I've designed and built multi-kV devices myself)

more than 2 years ago

Microsoft Pollutes To Avoid Fines

Hank the Lion Re:An even more economical way to store electricit (295 comments)

Ah, the second link made things clear.
If you just compress air without adding water, it heats up.
This heat is lost over time, lowering efficiency.
When you spray in water, you take this heat loss up front, that is: if you don't re-use the heat in the water.
The brilliant thing LightSail Energy is doing is that they re-use the heat in the water on expansion.
And because the heat capacity of water is much higher than that of air, relatively little water is needed.

If you would just release the heat in the water to the environment (which I thought was what happened when you described the cooling step), efficiency would be lower than without the cooling step.

more than 2 years ago

Beer Is Cheaper In the US Than Anywhere Else In the World

Hank the Lion Re:Define "Beer". (633 comments)

I just drank half a liter from a can marked "Beer". Paid 50 (Euro) cents for it. I'm from The Netherlands, where - the article tells me - beer is 2.48 (dollars) for half a lier. Something doesn't add up here. An average beer may be more expensive here, but five times? come on...

more than 2 years ago

Can NASA Warm Cold Fusion?

Hank the Lion Re:Answer, in brief: (556 comments)

I still don't understand what you mean.
Vastly more water will be produced when burning gasoline than the carbon monoxide and nitreous compunds that you mention.
The main constituents of exhaust gases are carbon dioxide and water.
Compression ratio will not change that.

about 3 years ago

Can NASA Warm Cold Fusion?

Hank the Lion Re:Answer, in brief: (556 comments)

Automobiles produce carbon monoxide, various nitreous compounds, and minimal water.

HUH??? Automobiles burn mainly alkanes, which are composed of carbon and hydrogen.
When you burn those, you get carbon dioxide and water.
So why you claim that automobiles produce minimal water is a mystery to me.
Most water that is produced will be in vapour form, so you don't see it, but it's there, nevertheless.

about 3 years ago

Are Data Centers Finally Ready For DC Power?

Hank the Lion Re:also needed for houses (462 comments)

Voltage drop across a white LED is 3-4 V. Who ever heard of germanium LEDs with 0.8V drop?
And if you have a power LED used for lighting, you don't use a resistor to limit the current; you use a small switchmode power supply.
If you design a good one, you can have electrical efficiency of >90% running from 12V, wasting less than 10%.

more than 3 years ago

LHC Research May Help Explain the Universe's Matter/Antimatter Imbalance

Hank the Lion Re:...the fuck? (113 comments)

Ok, here we go again:

LHCb sees where the antimatter's gone
ALICE looks at collisions of lead ions
CMS and ATLAS are two of a kind
They're looking for whatever new particles they can find
The LHC accelerates the protons and the lead
And the things that it discovers will rock you in the head.

Or, for the full version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j50ZssEojtM

more than 3 years ago

Firefox 8.0 Released

Hank the Lion Re:You mean... (383 comments)

Whatever it is, I got a prompt saying that an extension that I want to use would be disabled if I upgraded to 8.

Would it be disabled because it is incompatible, or because you did not install it yourself?
In the latter case, you can just enable the checkmark before it, and continue using it.
Many programs install, if you don't pay attention, extensions that you may not be totally happy with ('Ask'-toolbar, anyone?)
Firefox now disables these by default, but gives you the option to keep them enabled if you want them.
I find this a useful feature.
On the other hand, there may be extensions that refuse to load after a major version number change, That is a pain, but in many cases, this will be remedied quickly.

more than 3 years ago

Open Source Tool Scans For Duqu Drivers

Hank the Lion Ultimate purpose of Duqu (64 comments)

In Suriname / Dutch slang, "doekoe" (pronounced as "duku") means money.
So, what would be the ultimate purpose of "Duqu"?
To make heaps of money with it!

more than 3 years ago


Hank the Lion hasn't submitted any stories.



Where is the "-1:Clueless" moderation option?

Hank the Lion Hank the Lion writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Every now and then, you will see a comment on Slashdot that sounds plausible, but is nevertheless totally wrong, and still rated +4:Informative/Insightful.
What can we do in this case?

Option 1: Moderate it down. But what moderation should we choose then?
Offtopic, Flamebait, Troll, or Redundant does not describe the post.
Overrated might work, but is does not remove the 'Informative/Insightful' label from the post.
And, as we have experienced, once a post has accumulated a few 'Insightful' mods, it is likely to attract another one.

Option 2: Post a follow-up, in which you explain why the parent post is not informative.
This seems to be the best option for now, but it has the disadvantage that the parent post will remain more visible than the counter-explanation, because that one will start only at +1 (+2 if you're lucky) and can come quite a bit later in the thread when you don't react to the original poster's mistake within 10 minutes or so.

Option 3: Don't moderate anything Insightful or Informative unless you are positive that it is true.
This would completely solve the 'problem', but it requires that all moderators do this.
Unfortunately, many moderators see a post, think it is plausible, and moderate 'Insightful' because they think the poster knows more about the subject than they do.
And I don't think this will change any time soon...

Option 4: Make meta-moderation change the original moderation.
At this moment, meta-moderators can give their opinion on a given moderation.
But this does not influence the moderation of the original post any more.
Maybe it would help, if an 'Insightful' moderation was meta-moderated 'uninsightful' several times, that it would be removed from the original post.
Problem here is that meta-moderation only starts several days after a thread has finished.

What I miss is the possibility to indicate that a post is un-informative or un-insightful.
I've called it -1:Clueless for short, but that may be a bit too harsh.
I think it would solve the problems with the other options:
- It describes the post correctly.
- It would be visible immediately.
- It removes the 'Insightful/Informative'.
- It gives a hint to future moderators to think twice before blindly moderating.

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