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33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

LoRdTAW Re: The real crime here (459 comments)

It's really torture. You are torturing a person for close to 3 years by locking them in a cage with violent criminals. I have heard jail stories from dudes who did time for various crimes. Bottom line: you don't ever want to be in jail, even for a day of you aren't street hardened and can't fight.

about a week ago

Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

LoRdTAW Re:Odd material selection (162 comments)

Plastics don't do very well in a vacuum like atmosphere full of radiation with wide temperature swings in the long term. Plus the low average surface temperature of -82F/-63C makes plastics less malleable and in many cases, brittle.

In the low atmosphere they can become brittle from outgassing and are susceptible to cracking and can simply shatter like glass. Nylon wire ties in a vacuum chamber simply fall apart after a few months. Though the 6 mbar (4.5 Torr) Atmospheric pressure of Mars isn't a hard vacuum, it is still 0.6% That of Earth's average sea level pressure.

Then you have radiation degrading the plastics which again makes them brittle. A friend worked on RHIC out in Brookhaven National Labs and since he was small and skinny he was tasked with changing out a lot of the sensor cables on the ring. The insulation simply disintegrated from radiation. There was nothing they could do about it save for bulky shielding which would have made servicing impossible.

In the end, metals are simply more suited to the task.

about a week ago

Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

LoRdTAW Re:Surprise? (578 comments)

You would be surprised but there are a lot of AutoCAD people coming out of schools who get heavily discounted student versions. Plus there are a bunch of smaller less known CAD programs out there. I happen to like Ashlar Vellum Graphite for 2D/3D drafting. It can be buggy but it is very easy to use for a CAD n00b.

Not to be a jerk but what does a PCB CAD program which is an EDA tool have to do with a 2D drafting or 3D solid modelling? Eagle is not used to design buildings or automobiles. It is a bad example.

about two weeks ago

Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

LoRdTAW Re:Surprise? (578 comments)

"Reading comprehension fail?"

Apparently the mods were also full of reading comprehension fail.

about two weeks ago

Robotic Suit Gives Shipyard Workers Super Strength

LoRdTAW Re:Only geeks... (125 comments)

Yup. I know that on Long Island in Suffolk counties town of Babylon anything with a footprint bigger than 10x10 feet is needs a concrete foundation. That concrete foundation is now a permanent structure which requires a permit and tax revaluation. So keep it small and you won't be bothered. That or live in NYC where most people don't give a damn and build whatever. Let the next homeowner worry who is probably a developer looking to knock it down and put in a 6 family with no parking anyway.

about three weeks ago

Planes Can Be Hacked Via Inflight Wi-fi, Says Researcher

LoRdTAW Re:No they cant. (151 comments)

Here here:
In theory, a hacker could use a plane's onboard WiFi signal or inflight entertainment system to hack into its avionics equipment, potentially disrupting or modifying satellite communications, which could interfere with the aircraft's navigation and safety systems, Santamarta said.

So it stands that there really isnt much of a threat here. Either the journalist is confused or purposefully crafted the article so as to imply that a hacker with a wifi device can disable a planes navigation system or do worse. My money is on the latter. The reason I say that is because the two systems are indeed separate and not connected. This is why a Cobham rep said a hacker would need physical access to the planes avionics system. They (Cobham) made that distinction but the author never makes that clear.

And I remember a similar article on /. a while back about an airline entertainment system being vulnerable. I thought it was jetblue but I can't find the article at the moment. It was the same "alarming" report that turned out to be a flaw in the TV or entertainment system. The worst was people couldn't watch TV on their 6+ hour flight.

about three weeks ago

Animal Behaviour Specialists Map Out the Social Networks of Cows

LoRdTAW Re:I object. (66 comments)

" and generally taste worse than beef does."

Small sample:

So the general consensus is either pork or veal. Properly prepared pork is very tasty but I would say that beef can beat it out depending on the cut. Especially the tender and fatty skirt steak, better than filet mignon IMHO. Diet, gender, age and lifestyle could also affect taste. Perhaps a young fit female vegan would be the tastiest while an overweight 50y/o male alcoholic smoker would taste awful.

about three weeks ago

Free Copy of the Sims 2 Contains SecuROM

LoRdTAW Re:Anybody know? (234 comments)

I remember when Crysis came out it was secured with SuckROM. The idea was you inserted the DVD and SuckROM would verify the DVD was in the drive and the game would start, most of the time.

During the process of running crysis.exe securom would start and your mouse cursor would have this colorful CD icon attached to it. If securom failed to work properly (crash) which was every 1 in 3 or 4 times, the mouse cursor would stay a disco ball looking CD and your CD/DVD drive was rendered inoperable. A reboot was the only solution to solving it.

After a week of that I downloaded a cracked exe for a game I legally bought with my hard earned cash. And you wonder why the consumer hates DRM. That is part of the reason intrusive, rootkit like DRM needs to die in a fire.

about a month ago

What percentage of your media consumption is streamed?

LoRdTAW Re:Even my DVDs are streamed (152 comments)

I think the GP was saying that instead of ripping the DVD themselves, they save time and download a ripped copy. So they have a license for the media in the form of the purchased DVD. They just let someone else do the work for them. That should constitute fair use of the media.

From your post it appears that the ripped copy is considered a reproduction and needs a new license. Or am I confused?

about 1 month ago

Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

LoRdTAW Re:Hipsterism at its finest (worst?) (288 comments)

I too thought Apple was "buying" clean energy. But it turns out they have actually built a solar plant at their datacenter along with fuel cell backups.

This article peaked my interest though:

How exactly do they measure energy consumption from a particular power source? If the data center is grid connected the current will flow based on path of least resistance, loads and other factors. How can they be sure a load used 20% coal 30% nuclear and 50% natural gas? Did this information come from the power companies who can estimate the demands and current flows based on grid load? I read the linked Greenpeace report and nothing was made clear about how this was done.

about a month ago

Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

LoRdTAW Re:Apple no saint with 2 year disposable iPads (288 comments)

Oh come on. By the time the battery is half dead it will be replaced by the latest iPad lest the user be seen with last years model in public. Oh the shame that would bring them.

about a month ago

Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

LoRdTAW Re:Hipsterism at its finest (worst?) (288 comments)

2. Obviously you "know nothing, John Snow...." I've never had a SD card break, let alone stop working. My biggest fear with the MicroSD cards is that I will lose them, they are so tiny... So far so good...

Oh thank god. All this time I was thinking that no storage device is 100% reliable and here you come along and shatter that view. Thank you David_Hart for assuring me that SD cards are 100% reliable and never experience data loss. I am switching to SD cards for all of my backups from now on; both at home and at work! I am sure my boss will love how much money I saved him by switching from costly tape and off site providers to simple SD cards. THANK YOU!

about a month ago

Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

LoRdTAW Re:Why I'm on a well in a sustainable aquifer. (377 comments)

Also forgot to add that some aquifers consist of caverns that were formed from acidic water slowly eating away at the rock. These are stable until they are depleted which allows more water to migrate into them enlarging the cavity until it collapses. So not so much tunnels but natural caverns.

about a month ago

Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

LoRdTAW Re:Why I'm on a well in a sustainable aquifer. (377 comments)

When the underground maze of tunnels is filled with water the land above is stable.

There aren't any caverns or tunnels full of water. Aquifers are composed of sand gravel and other particles mixed with water. When that water is removed, a void begins to form as the space the water once occupied is now empty. The void can grow to an open cavern with no roof support as it is all sand and gravel. Once the roof collapses, the effect cascades until it reaches the surface which might be a hundred meters or more. That is how a sinkhole forms.

Ah, the special tang of a fermented corpse in the water fountain makes a trip to Orlando so interesting and it hasn't harmed Mickey Mouse one bit.

I've drank the water in Orlando and believe me, the flavor and odor the corpse would impart would be an improvement.

about a month ago

Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

LoRdTAW Re:110 or 240v (260 comments)

"And unless you really need 3-phase, split phase is easier to deal with - with 3-phase you need to monitor all three phases to ensure they are working (failure of one phase is a common failure mode that requires immediate shutdown of the other two phases lest any dangerous currents develop)."

Losing a phase will not result in dangerous currents in the supply system. The most common three phase load is a motor. If you start a three phase motor and remove one of the phases the motor will continue to run on a single phase BUT it will try to draw more current to compensate for the loss of the phase. You now have overloaded windings and the motor will quickly burn itself out. You use phase protection relays on your motors to open the contactor when a phase loss is detected. So you only need to protect your motors.

A DC power supply that runs on three phase won't be affected much but the bridge rectifier can be overloaded and output ripple will increase. It will also attempt to pull more current through the remaining phase and blow a fuse or breaker. So again, its only dangerous to the load. If a 3 phase heater loses a phase, then guess what? You get less heat. That's it. Resistive heater loads can tolerate a phase loss with zero electrical problems. Your process will be affected but thats about it.

A three phase alternator does not care what the load balance on any of its phases is as long as they aren't overloaded. Same goes for a transformer. Many homes are ran off of a three phase 120/208 Y (sometimes spelled wye). Homes still get single phase 120/208 but are connected to the supply (phases A, B, C and Neutral) as follows:

The split is repeated for homes and they balance out the grid nicely. Splitting each of the three high voltage legs from a feeder into a neighborhood and stepping it down using center tapped 120/240 transformers makes balancing a problem. You can't interconnect any of the three separate 120/240 lines as the neutral or center taps must be grounded. Now you have 3 sets of 3 wires to deal with and you have to ensure you even distribute loads across three separate 120/240 supplies. Are you going to run 7-9 wires down a block to balance out that mess? No, of course not. So now you have individual blocks of 120/240 which may be unevenly loaded. Three phase is much easier as three houses in a row can easily balance out a 3 phase feeder. Both systems are used in residential neighborhoods (and at random might I add) but anything new is always three phase fed.

My home in Queens NY is serviced by a 120/240 center tapped 100kVA transformer that feeds only our street from corner to corner. The neutral connects to the other poles but everyone else in the surrounding area is on three phase. The poles do have 2400/4160 three phase feeders on top so getting three phase is not an issue. How we became a 120/240 island is beyond me but it might have been a leftover from old practices, never upgraded or left alone for a specific reason. Out on long island the neighborhood I lived in for a short while has 120/240 and only a single high voltage leg running along the pole. So they have to balance out the load on the feeder side.

about a month ago

MIT Combines Carbon Foam and Graphite Flakes For Efficient Solar Steam Generati

LoRdTAW Re:But (110 comments)

I would worry more about condensation of the cool steam in the turbine itself. The only way this would be good for a turbine is if the steam can be further heated via a solar super heater.

This is why power plant boilers have a superheater which passes the steam from the boilers steam drum through a heat exchanger in the hot exhaust stream of the boiler. This brings the steam temperature up well past the boiling point of water and prevents steam from condensing in the turbine. Imagine a turbine spinning at 3600 RPM (for a 2 pole 60Hz alternator) in which droplets of water form and begin to collide with the blades. All you need is one blade to fail from getting pummeled with water and it's game over for the turbine. The steam is condensed once it exits the turbine exhaust which creates a vacuum effect which increases the turbines efficiency, you pull steam through it. The steam is condensed using cooling towers, water cooled heat exchangers or fed to a district heating system and customers pay to do some of the condensing (and maintain the infrastructure while increasing efficiency).

about a month ago

Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

LoRdTAW Re: Idiocy (390 comments)

Hey! They paid a lot of money for that idiocy.

about a month ago

How Google Map Hackers Can Destroy a Business

LoRdTAW Saw this the other day on SN (132 comments)

This was discussed already and the general conclusion was the restaurant had very poor service. Poor service will kill a reputation faster than anything else. I remember going to a restaurant that was short staffed. They were trying to accommodate people, and were nice about it. But after waiting 30 minutes for bread, we left. You can always expect bad reviews based on food, you can't please everyone.

Plus I don't think Google information can kill a place in just a few weeks. People have phones and call ahead to confirm hours, seating availability, location and even directions. I know I always call. It's lazy people who just browse Google and believe everything they see without confirmation.


Yelp Reviews:

Trip Advisor reviews:

Google Maps entry:,-77.295876,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x89b6360d0a8fbba5:0x79a2bbe49b2f3a1e

Most of the reviews complain about very poor service. Waiters not checking up on the tables, one guest said they had to wander around to find a water pitcher and refill it themselves. People have waited 30+ minutes to receive the menu and bread. One guest claimed they were there for over 3 hours in total waiting for various courses. Guests would arrive only to find there was not host/hostess at the podium to seat them. Guests complained about rude staff both in person and over the phone. And these aren't recent complaints, they go back to 2010.

about a month and a half ago

Can the NSA Really Track You Through Power Lines?

LoRdTAW doubtful (109 comments)

They would have to have data recorded 24/7 about load distribution throughout the entire country. And if the person leaves the country to rendezvous with a reporter? Are they recording the electrical loads in Mexico? Brazil? Poland?

Perhaps they are monitoring EMF using receivers around the country, recording them and using triangulation. But how does this help them? If I blow the whistle to a reporter I am not doing it in my home town. Most people would go somewhere else to a neutral location. So then the tape surfaces weeks or months later and the NSA or whoever triangulated the location to a parking lot without any surveillance. They could do some old fashioned sleuthing but hopefully a whistle blower will try to cover their tracks.

about 2 months ago



Linux embedded system needed for a project

LoRdTAW LoRdTAW writes  |  more than 5 years ago

LoRdTAW writes "I am in the process of designing a custom heating control system for my home. Its an older house with steam heat and the heating is very uneven and I believe wasting allot of energy. Instead of spending upward of 30,000 dollars to upgrade (and ripping the house apart) I want to create a system to help me make my house more energy efficient and give me something to brag about. I am a Linux guy and I want a low power Linux powered x86 system with vendor expandable I/O options (Digital I/O, analog I/O, key pad, LCD, 1 wire etc.), removable flash storage (SD/CF) and RS232 / Ethernet interface for PC connection. The hardware needs to be easy for me to work with, I don't want to have to re-invent the wheel trying to get digital/analog I/O and external communications working together. An all in one development kit that includes the hardware, compiler and vendor I/O modules is a must. The local storage is important because I don't want to dedicate a power hungry PC for logging, it must be stored locally and remotely accessible for analysis when needed. Thermostat units are going to be built with the help of my friend who is experienced with PIC micro and the 1 wire bus. As for programming language, C is preferred but any language will do as long as it is flexible enough for my needs. The interface is going to be a small character or graphical lcd with a button pad and some led's."


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