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L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

Ken_g6 Re:Sharing channel == worse picture quality (79 comments)

I don't have cable or satellite, but I heard their picture quality is way worse than broadcast usually has been. This could just be evening the score.

5 days ago

L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

Ken_g6 Digital would be less "twitchy", but... (79 comments)

Digital becoming twitchy isn't just because of transitioning to digital. It's also because they lowered the transmitter power.

The maximum power for DTV broadcast classes is also substantially lower; one-fifth of the legal limits for the former full-power analog services. This is because there are only eight different states in which an 8VSB signal can be in at any one moment; thus, like all digital transmissions, very little signal is required at the receiver in order to decode it.

So if you were watching an analog signal of the same power, you'd have a hard time making it out too.

5 days ago

German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Ken_g6 Last sentence exemplifies the problem (290 comments)

From TFA that's not in TFS:

The company [Google] did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

5 days ago

To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

Ken_g6 Wireless charging (486 comments)

This has to be one of the best use cases I've seen for wireless charging stations. Put one at every bus stop where it's practical. Just by sitting there, while letting people on and off or just waiting to get back on schedule, the bus can be recharging. Also, buses are long, so the density of power sent through the charging coils doesn't have to be as high as with a car.

about a week ago

Microsoft Takes Down Slideshow-Building Tool After Getty Images Lawsuit

Ken_g6 Re:Maybe we need an HTML tag for image/work copyri (81 comments)

Not an HTML tag. It needs to be some kind of metadata embedded in the image itself. There are places in various formats for these things; I guess we just need better tools to read and write them.

about two weeks ago

Could Tech Have Stopped ISIS From Using Our Own Heavy Weapons Against Us?

Ken_g6 Make a key component removable and portable (448 comments)

For instance with tanks, if you make them drive-by-wire and you make the computer control system small enough, you can just pull the computer when you're done with the tank and take it with you.

Of course, the enemy could counter this in several ways. They could jerry-rig the tank to work minimally without a control system, but it would not be nearly as effective. They could steal the control computer, but that's a security issue - the key components should be under lock and key and heavy guard. Or they could steal the control software and load it on a smartphone or something, but that's again a security issue. And all of these require more technical knowledge than hot-wiring a car.

about two weeks ago

Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

Ken_g6 Re:Binoculars (187 comments)

I got a pair of good 7x50 binoculars. As a side-benefit besides astronomy, I call them my night-vision scopes. When I look through them at dusk at terrestrial objects, everything I see looks brighter! You won't see the landscape when it's pitch black, but it's a surprising difference for unpowered optics.

about three weeks ago

Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

Ken_g6 Cheap helpers for cheap scopes (187 comments)

Let's assume you got a cheap telescope. What can you do to make it work better for you?

1. Get astronomy software. Someone else mentioned Stellarium; I guess that's the go-to PC software now. I don't know what's available for phones. But make sure it shows an object's altitude in degrees.
2. Get a red flashlight. I guess these days people use red LEDs; back when I was a kid the place to go was army surplus for those bent army flashlights with colored filters.
3. Get a protractor. It's cheap, it's plastic, it shows degrees, and it's probably on sale now for back-to-school.
4. Get a piece of thin string and a weight, such as a nut for a bolt.

Tie the piece of string through the center hole on the protractor, and tie the other end to the weight. Now tape the protractor to the body of the telescope, preferably along some piece that sticks out near the tripod so it's aligned properly. To get an object in the scope, find its current altitude on your astronomy software. Then tilt the scope so the string's position matches that altitude on the protractor, using the red flashlight to see the string and protractor. You might have to do some math to get the matching number on the protractor. (90-x degrees - see, kids, that's what math is good for!) Now you mostly have to pan the scope, which is usually easier than tilting.

One other idea that came to mind while writing this: Take the jack stand out of your car, tape it to one leg of the tripod, and you might be able to use that for fine tilt adjustments. I've never tried this idea, though.

about three weeks ago

Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic

Ken_g6 Well, that's bad news... (465 comments)

Because there was no actual "hiatus". The poles were warming (on the surface, as opposed to 1,500m down) when the rest of the Earth wasn't. So this means global warming is actually accelerating by quite a bit.

about a month ago

Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

Ken_g6 Re:Expert?? (442 comments)

He also doesn't get that even at a local level things like AC compressors are already averaged out and that delaying the timing of starts really makes almost no difference at the neighborhood level, much less a town level.

Averaged-out appliances are what you want with baseload generation. With fluctuating renewables, you want to be able to delay a significant fraction of appliances at the same time, for short periods when the generation is low, and start a significant fraction of appliances at the same time when generation is high. To do this, the appliances have to somehow receive a signal of when to start and when not to start, such as a price signal or a direct control signal from a utility. Users would still be able to have control, but could save money by sacrificing some control.

about 1 month ago

The Flight of Gifted Engineers From NASA

Ken_g6 To parody Dragonheart... (160 comments)

They've always wanted to fly. Now they want to flee!

about a month ago

Brookings Study Calls Solar, Wind Power the Most Expensive Fossil Alternatives

Ken_g6 They're missing a lot of emissions (409 comments)

I notice that only gas is listed as adding new emissions. But hydro has methane emissions from the vegetation that's flooded when the dam is constructed. Not to mention the concrete that makes the dam. Solar, wind, and nuclear also have some building emissions costs, unless you replace all construction vehicles with electric and find a way to make concrete and steel without carbon emissions. (Wood might be an alternative for certain parts of wind turbines and maybe even solar frameworks.) Gas should probably have much higher emissions too, as the whole infrastructure from the well to the power station leaks methane. (How much is debated, but it's not zero.)

about a month ago

Comparison: Linux Text Editors

Ken_g6 Re:You're welcome to them. (402 comments)

I use GVim all the time. It can "highlight syntax and auto-indent code...spellcheck documents... [and] record macros". I don't see the point of managing code snippets - if you're using the same code multiple places you should take a DRY-er approach. And being an IDE is for Emacs people. ;P

about a month and a half ago

Opportunity Rover Sets Off-World Driving Record

Ken_g6 Re:So, 40 years and beeelions spent.. (46 comments)

The moon is much closer to Earth than Mars. It's so close that we can pilot vehicles on the moon manually, like an RC car, with just a two-second delay. Vehicles on Mars need to be a lot smarter.

That said, Opportunity is really slow. Its top speed is 50 mm/s, or .1 MPH. I think Curiosity is actually slower. Maybe one of these private space ventures like Elon Musk's SpaceX can send up a fast (minimum 5 MPH or 2,200 mm/s) rover that just drives and takes pretty pictures.

about a month and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: What Would You Do With Half a Rack of Server Space?

Ken_g6 CPU time for charity (208 comments)

If you think good will for your company would go further than a few cryptocoins, you could do World Community Grid.

about 2 months ago

China Has More People Going Online With a Mobile Device Than a PC

Ken_g6 Re:So (58 comments)

I found an Android app for Tor about a year ago. Haven't checked since.

about 2 months ago


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