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Comments

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US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

LandGator Nukes radiate. Radiation breaks things. (342 comments)

You can only replace the tritium so many times before seals fail and injectors break. The fissile material, Pu-239 and U-235, and the tamper material, U-238, although not highly radioactive, do emit alpha particles, which break electronics. Throwing alpha particles at high explosives and detonators also doesn't make them any more stable or effective. Therefore, you either rebuild warheads constantly or find a design which is more immune to embrittlement and other alpha-related damage.

about a month ago
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NASA Forgets How To Talk To ICE/ISEE-3 Spacecraft

LandGator Re:Fail (166 comments)

Maybe the gummint ain't interested, but Americans can and do - 73s and best regards de K7AAY.

about 8 months ago
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NASA Forgets How To Talk To ICE/ISEE-3 Spacecraft

LandGator Re:So what are these "transmitters"? (166 comments)

Either an 8,500 euro transceiver http://www.cubesatshop.com/ind... or an SDR (Software Defined Radio) http://publik.tuwien.ac.at/fil... (or maybe the $18 receiver noted at http://sdr.osmocom.org/trac/wi... and http://hackaday.com/2012/06/27..., or a SoftRock TXRX http://fivedash.com/index.php?...), an upconverter/downconverter, dual circular polarized antennas, and an S-band broadband amp. See http://mdkenny.customer.netspa... for frequency specs. 73s and best regards, y'all, de K7AAY

about 8 months ago
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The Burning Bridges of Ubuntu

LandGator Re: Mulefeathers! (346 comments)

Whereas it was necessary to release 12 Ubuntu versions to keep up with the every-six-months releases of Ubuntu, for each of the Desktops, here's the track record of Debian based distros by Mint: six releases of Debian, three of those supporting multiple Desktops. So, Anonymous Coward, you seem to overlooked 83% of the Debian based releases of Mint. 2013.03.22: LMDE 201303 (MATE and Cinnamon) was released. 2012.04.24: LMDE 201204 (MATE/Cinnamon and Xfce) was released. 2011.09.16: LMDE 201109 (Gnome and Xfce) was released. 2011.04.06: LMDE 201104 Xfce was released. 2011.01.02: LMDE 201101 32-bit re-spin. 2010.12.24: LMDE 201012 was released.

about a year ago
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The Burning Bridges of Ubuntu

LandGator Mulefeathers! (346 comments)

Linux Mint already has multiple distros without Ubuntu (but Debian based). Therefore, Dcnjoe60 engages in fallacy.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Good Satellite Internet For Remote Locations?

LandGator Re:no matter where you are, it's gonna be laggy (175 comments)

I stand corrected, and confirm this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geosynchronous_orbit is the correct explanation. Therefore, each leg of the trip will be at least (longer depending on earth station distance from the equator) 119ms just for the transit, plus processing time, and if there are four legs, then it's at least 476ms plus processing time. Thank you, GumphMaster.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Good Satellite Internet For Remote Locations?

LandGator Re:no matter where you are, it's gonna be laggy (175 comments)

The Guyanas, Suriname, Venezuela, Columbia, sure. República de Chile, República Oriental del Uruguay, República Argentina? Not so much

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Good Satellite Internet For Remote Locations?

LandGator Well, actually.... (175 comments)

Congress _could_ help by throwing $$,$$$,$$$ at http://server-sky.com/ - no reason why servers have to be ground bound.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Good Satellite Internet For Remote Locations?

LandGator BGAN from Inmarsat? (175 comments)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadband_Global_Area_Network describes the BGAN system using Inmarsat's I-4 birds, which sells data two ways:

Streaming: A guaranteed delivery style of service, billed by cumulative time of use. A terminal requests a context of X bandwidth (currently 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, or 256kbit/s) and, if there your current spot beam has enough resources available, you are allocated a guaranteed chunk of the available bandwidth. So if you ask for an 8k streaming context, you will at all times be able to send data at 8kbit/s.

Background: A best effort style of service, billed by volume. Each spot beam provides a certain amount of usable bandwidth. The bandwidth which is not in use by Streaming contexts is used for Background contexts. This means that the actual amount of bandwidth you receive with a background context will vary over time. The theoretical maximum bandwidth available is ~400kbit/s.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Good Satellite Internet For Remote Locations?

LandGator Re:no matter where you are, it's gonna be laggy (175 comments)

Clarke orbit is 22,236 miles above the center of the earth, not above the surface. Subtract the radius of the Earth (3,959 miles) and if he was on the equator at sea level, the distance from earth station to satellite would be 18,277 miles. That would result in a minimum transit time, each way, of 98ms. But, he's not equatorial, neither in Sud America nor Alaska, so I can't do the math without knowing LAT/LON. Add to that the lag inherent in processing the signal, and it starts looking sick.

about a year ago
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TSA Union Calls For Armed Guards At Every Checkpoint

LandGator There ain't that many... (603 comments)

Barney Fifes in the country.

about a year ago
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How To FIx Healthcare.gov: Go Open-Source!

LandGator Re:routine IT work (307 comments)

Yup. Do it all the time in the lab. No-brainer. Which lab, I'm not sayin'.

1 year,5 days

Submissions

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Robert X Cringely predicts more mininuke plants

LandGator LandGator writes  |  more than 3 years ago

LandGator writes "PC pundit Robert X Cringely had a life before writing "Triumph of the Nerds" for PBS: He covered the atomics industry and reported on Three Mile Island. In this blog post, he analyzes the Fukushima reactor failures, and suggests the end result will be a rapid growth in small, sealed 'package' nuclear reactors such as the Toshiba 4S generator considered for Galena, Alaska. He thinks Japan may have little choice, and with rolling blackouts scheduled, he may be right."
Link to Original Source
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LandGator LandGator writes  |  more than 7 years ago

LandGator writes "Ziggurat Con, where R.P.G. isn't just a Rocket Propelled Grenade.

Who: Donors of non-electronic gaming material (Bring out your dice!)

What: Ziggurat Con, possibly the first gaming convention in a combat zone, also described here

When: June 9, 2007

Where: Camp Adder / Talil Airbase, Iraq

Why: Gamer-to-gamer direct support seems like a spiffy idea.

How: Send games (e.g., Babylon 5 RPG, Cyberpunk 2020, D&D, D&D RPGA, GURPS, Historic Miniatures Battles, Magic Tournament, MechWarrior Miniatures, Rifts, Shadowrun, Starship Troopers, White Wolf System-Vampire, White Wolf System-Werewolf, XCrawl), minis, and dice via the APO address found on the web links above.

Con chair: SPC David Amberson david.amberson (at) iraq.centcom.mil

The Con's historical landmark "mascot" — the Ziggurat that gives the Con its name — can be found on the post, and hails from the ancient city of Ur. Nearby is the house where it is believed that Abraham (a large figure in the Bible, the Koran and the Torah) was born. Cool digs for a Con — if not for the fact that there's a war going on. Amberson, however, emphasized the need for soldiers to relax and kick back with enjoyable activities from time to time.

"There is a deeper sense of camaraderie in a war zone than you see back home," said Amberson, who is a supply soldier with Alpha Company, 86th Signal Battalion. "You eat with these people, work with them on a daily basis, and can even share a tent with the same people. When work is over for the day, we can sit back, relax, drink our favorite sodas, eat our favorite snacks, and play a bit of D&D. This helps us relax in a very stressful environment. We found a place where we can go somewhere far away from the IED's, mortar attacks, and gunfire, without ever leaving the safety of our camp. The next step was only logical."


I've asked the board of my local SF-and-gaming con non-profit (OSFCI) to support the con, by paying freight for dice ( Bring out your dice, Bring out your dice) and minis (Parcel Post), and for RPG manuals and supplements (Media Mail), but as a Red Crosser, I've learned a long lead time is required to get parcels to troops, so if you like the idea, start preparing NOW. And, I'm not alone:



aethereal FORGE, Sovereign Press, Final Redoubt Press, Goodman Games, Paizo Publishing and Steve Jackson Games are among those that have thrown in their support for the convention. But Amberson indicated that the soldiers could definitely use more.

"This convention is currently in drastic need of prizes and giveaways for the troops," he said. "Everything donated will go directly to the troops, or to MWR (Ed. note: Morale Welfare & Recreation) to use as loaner books for the soldiers."





John Bartley K7AAY PDX OR USA
"The state which separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools." — Thucydides"
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LandGator LandGator writes  |  more than 7 years ago

LandGator writes "Robert X. Cringely, doyen compu-columnist for PBS, reports on a hidden e-mail problem at Earthlink: They're losing up to 9 messages out of 10, found as a result of a friend's testing.
He sent messages from other accounts to his Earthlink address, to his aliased Blackberry address, and to his Gmail account. For every 10 messages sent, 1-2 arrived in his Earthlink mailbox, 1-2 (not necessarily the SAME 1-2) on his Blackberry, and all 10 arrived with Gmail.
Swimming upstream through Earthlink customer support, my buddy finally found a technical contact who freely acknowledged the problem. Since June, he was told, Earthlink's mail system has been so overloaded that some users have been missing up to 90 percent of their incoming e-mail. It isn't bounced back to senders; it just disappears. And Earthlink hasn't mentioned the problem to these affected customers unless they complain. (Emphasis mine.)
Gee, you don't suppose they expect we actually want the e-mail service we paid for, eh?"
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LandGator LandGator writes  |  more than 7 years ago

LandGator writes "FreeGeek.Org is the the website for a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in Portland, Oregon, which is dedicated to spreading the Open Source ethos.

Portland's a great place for Open Source; O'Reilly recognized that when they held OSCON (the Open Source CONvention) here this summer and in years past.

Many, many volunteers help make FreeGeek work by recycling corporate cast-off and personally donated computers; receiving, evaluating, reassembling, loading Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xbuntu on the machines (many of which were OK mechanically, but had Windows so badly corrupted the machine would no longer boot). Rehabilitated machines are donated to schools, non-profits, and sold in the FreeGeek store to generate cash to keep the lights on; a desktop is also given to the volunteers after they've built six complete machines.

The FreeGeek meme is even cloning itself, as volunteers in other cities worldwide are copying and creating FreeGeeks of their own.

Sadly, FreeGeek Portland has been robbed of its most valuable assets, the laptops and specialty hardware often most needed by the community organizations it donates those rehabilitated systems to. A thief broke in to the warehouse and stole very valuable equipment, many, many systems. Here's the news from FreeGeek:

Hello, fine people. I'm writing with sad news. Last night, Free Geek, Portland's groovy technology non-profit, sustained its most major break in to date. The majority of the items stolen were laptops, a few hard drives, and LCD screens. Many doors were smashed in forcibly in the process. While our laptop program is becoming a major source of income for us, it also is a great source of needed hardware for local non-profits. This income is now gone, and local do-gooders will have to go without our free source of laptops for a few months.

So we're making a call out to the community to help us stop these thieves and prevent this from happening again. If you're offered a laptop with Ubuntu Linux installed on it in the next couple of months, give us a call at 503-232-9350. Used LCD screens, while harder to pin down as originating at Free Geek, might raise an eyebrow as well.

Thanks for your help!

(Ed. note: Also hard drives with geek numbers (a small, about-inch-square white paper label with a hand-written six digit number, which other stolen things may also have) on them, and some iMacs, too.)
"

Journals

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LandGator LandGator writes  |  more than 9 years ago Done got me two of them blog thingies now:

http://clackablog.blogspot.com is for local civic affairs in the suburb of Portland, Oregon, I now live in.

http://kiloseven.blogspot.com is about tech, gadgets, ham radio, and what to do with tech.

This is in addition to the now-and-then brief articles I write for PDAphonehome.com, the Expert Guide for amateur radio at PalmSource I write, and the occasional support question for PalmOS over at All Experts.com and comp.sys.palmtops.pilot on USENET.

Suppose I ought to revive the Palm Wireless FAQ and the Handheld's Cellular Data FAQ one of these days, but I'm dancing as fast as I can.

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Profundity

LandGator LandGator writes  |  more than 10 years ago

"Clearly, latrines are the forgotten Last Amenity of the Apocalypse. (Other signs.. Michael Jackson as your Best Man (?), Christina Aguilara as your makeup consultant & Cher as your personal shopper.) - ginmar

Stories I keep coming back to:

RULES OF THE GAME by G. Gordon Liddy
http://web.archive.org/web/20060221022525/http://www.liddyshow.us/mustread11.php

SOLUTION UNSATISFACTORY by Robert A. Heinlein
http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0743471598/0743471598.htm

CONCRETE JUNGLE by Charles Stross
http://www.goldengryphon.com/Stross-Concrete.html

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