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Comments

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Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

MichaelSmith Re:ATC (259 comments)

Nah the monitors had individual co-ax connectors for RGB. It was a simple interface if you had the computing muscle to drive it. Not so easy in the early 1990s. The monitors had a serial interface which was proprietary to sony. It was there to shut down the HMI if the monitor stopped working. You could use the monitor without it if you wanted to.

7 hours ago
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Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

MichaelSmith Re:ATC (259 comments)

The 2k2k monitors were from Sony. I don't know if finding them was an issue. The unit price was high (~$50k) and sony must have had other markets. Later LCD monitors were from NTT. Barco are in the market as well making monitors for environments with high ambient light.

yesterday
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Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

MichaelSmith Re:ATC (259 comments)

Yeah 2k2k was standard even back in the 1990s on Eurocat using CRTs. I am a bit surprised they haven't gone beyond it now though, given what can be done with LCD.

yesterday
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333 Km/h Rocket-Powered Bicycle Sets New Speed Record

MichaelSmith Not a bicycle (51 comments)

Its a mototcycle. Where I live the limit is 200 watts. Less than that and your vehicle is a bicycle regardless of the number of wheels it has. I suspect this engine puts out a lot more than 200W.

about two weeks ago
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Flaw in New Visa Cards Would Let Hackers Steal $1M Per Card

MichaelSmith Re:That's 1M-0.01 in ANY currency (126 comments)

I thought maybe the reader can tell the card give me 10^6 Zimbabwe dollars, and then tells the back end card has agreed to 10^6 UK pounds.

about three weeks ago
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Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For

MichaelSmith Liquid fuels (594 comments)

I looks like the hybrid solid/liquid engine isn't going to push SS2 to 100km altitude. The original compound ran rough and it doesn't have a high enough specific impulse. The new compound explodes. Dick Rutan demonstrated a Long-EZ equipped with a liquid fueled engine in 2001. I think it is time to go back to XCOR and ask about a bigger engine.

about three weeks ago
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SpaceShipTwo Pilot Named; Branson Vows To 'Move Forward Together'

MichaelSmith Re:ground based pics of ss2 breakup (112 comments)

The Guardian article says this was actually the first flight test of the new plastic based engine. So I suppose it worked for a few seconds in flight, nothing more.

about three weeks ago
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SpaceShipTwo Pilot Named; Branson Vows To 'Move Forward Together'

MichaelSmith Re:So first plastic solid rocket design status is. (112 comments)

Frame 2 from the ground based photos seems to show that thrust from the engine reduced before the explosion. I wonder if something came loose and obstructed the outlet of the engine, causing an increase in pressure. Sort of a blowback situation.

about three weeks ago
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SpaceShipTwo Pilot Named; Branson Vows To 'Move Forward Together'

MichaelSmith Re:ground based pics of ss2 breakup (112 comments)

Consistency is a big issues with solid fuels. The shuttle SRBs were paired during construction, and the fuel was poured at the same rate into each engine from the same source. That way if the engine developed more or less thrust because of a variation in the consistency of the solid fuel, it would happen on both sides of the shuttle. Liquid fuels mix themselves, but a mixing problem is locked in to solid fuels until you burn them. I just wonder if a mistake was made during construction which caused a sudden increase in engine pressure, above that caused by the greater efficiency of this new fuel.

about three weeks ago
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World War II Tech eLoran Deployed As GPS Backup In the UK

MichaelSmith Re:GPS can fail? (139 comments)

There is one switch in the US which will disable the whole system. GPS works badly for aircraft because they change altitude. Most users have a fixed altitude, so a small degradation in the system can cause large positional errors.

about three weeks ago
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World War II Tech eLoran Deployed As GPS Backup In the UK

MichaelSmith Yeah like VHF multilateration (139 comments)

Its used in Australia as well, in parallel with GPS and radar. The aircraft transmits a signal, and multiple ground stations compare the arrival time.

about three weeks ago
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Tao3D: a New Open-Source Programming Language For Real-Time 3D Animations

MichaelSmith Most uninteresting (158 comments)

It looks like an INI file for describing different layers in windows.

about three weeks ago
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Infinite Browser Universe Manyland Hits 8 Million Placed Blocks

MichaelSmith struggling (67 comments)

Can we still slashdot things?

about a month and a half ago
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Tesla Announces Dual Motors, 'Autopilot' For the Model S

MichaelSmith Three motors (283 comments)

I had the impression the Model S has two motors between the rear wheels, one for each wheel.

about a month and a half ago
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Maps Suggest Marco Polo May Have "Discovered" America

MichaelSmith Re:It's like the metric system... (276 comments)

Its hard to miss. Basically a wall from the Arctic to the Antarctic.

about a month and a half ago
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Maps Suggest Marco Polo May Have "Discovered" America

MichaelSmith Re:Big Old Liar (276 comments)

He doesn't mention Chinese tea houses. Tea has been important in China for thousands of years but Polo makes no mention of it.

about a month and a half ago
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AIDS Origin Traced To 1920s Kinshasa

MichaelSmith Re:The story (162 comments)

HIV is a mutated version of a chimpanzee virus, ... which probably made the species-jump through contact with infected blood while handling bush meat.

Okay, was there no monkey meat business before 1920s? Why did it make the jump only at that time? How exactly does a virus change from a chimp version to a human version?

It made the jump because of the large local population, fed by modern transportation systems. Previously it hadn't been possible to support a million people in such a small area.

about a month and a half ago
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AIDS Origin Traced To 1920s Kinshasa

MichaelSmith Re:Doctor Mary's Monkey (162 comments)

In fact I know a guy who works as a butcher. He got badly sick at one point from exposure to blood from a butchered animal. Not sure if it happened because he had an open wound. It does seem to be an occupational hazard for butchers.

about a month and a half ago
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A Garbage Truck That Would Make Elon Musk Proud

MichaelSmith Re:Distance and Charge Time (174 comments)

Yes I would agree. Its just that I used to hang around the test stand in the engine factory for the Australian fleet of FA/18 jets and those things are very loud.

about a month and a half ago
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A Garbage Truck That Would Make Elon Musk Proud

MichaelSmith Re:Low hanging fruit (174 comments)

IIRC there was a product advertised some years ago. Its basically a contractors truck with an integrated generator. The focus is on supplying power to a construction site, and traction runs off the same power source.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Android web browser can not upload files

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "I have an android phone and wrote a photo blogging application so that I could upload pictures directly from the phone. When I finally got around to testing from the browser on android the <input type=file> tag turned into a message Uploads Disabled. So I googled around and found this hilarious bug report which unfortunately confirms that Android can not upload files."
Link to Original Source
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Aus internet filter delayed for election

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "Australian communications minister Stephen Conroy has delayed the planned implementation of internet filtering until 2011. The likely reason for this is to neutralize it as an issue in the 2010 election, which is expected to happen before October. Interestingly Optus, Telstra and iPrimus have pledged to block child-abuse websites voluntarily but the article doesn't say how they plan to do that."
Link to Original Source
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Transport ticketing system as job creation

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "Screw ups in the new Melbourne ticketing system are so common they aren't really funny any more but this one almost had me ROFLing.
Staff at the firm making myki have had to manually add one cent to 87,261 cards so that they can be used on Sundays, when seniors are entitled to free travel. The myki system requires all users — even those getting a free ride — to have a positive balance on their card. 'This exercise took several weeks and was carried out by existing myki customer service staff...."

Geez guys write a loop. Learn some perl. Or fix the original requirement."
Link to Original Source

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The Wifi AP names people use

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "I code on the tram, going to and from work and I noticed that there are a lot of wifi access points along the way. So one week I made it my job to write an automatic scanner which runs from a cron job every minute during commuting times. My backup script pushes the new AP names to my web server and you can read it on line.
It is a mixture of the straightforward, naive and funny, with a few pop culture references along the way. The first column in the file is the number of access points with that name. The second column is the AP name, in brackets to pick up white space."

Link to Original Source
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Could the Mono Lake arsenic prove there is a shado

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "Scientists think that there might be arsenic based life in Mono Lake, California. If it shown to exist such life could have evolved independently from our own, or it could have forked from ours at a very early stage."
Link to Original Source
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Look out for paragliding terrorists

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "Intelligence sources are reporting that south Asian terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba has purchased 50 para gliders from suppliers in Europe. This article in the Indian Express discusses possible attacks in India using this novel vector, but other targets can't be ruled out.

One possibility would be to use a high building or terrain to fly right over perimeter security at a public event. Para gliders can use convective lift as well, but the pilot needs to be experienced. The article discusses suicide attacks so this may put a limit on the sophistication of the flying involved."

Link to Original Source
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MP horrified by altered bin Laden pic

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "The FBI has apparently used elements from a photograph of Spanish member of parliament Gaspar Llamazare to help compose an age advanced image of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The FBI says:

"FBI special agent Jason Pack said a forensic artist had been unable to find suitable features from the FBI's database of photographs and used a picture from the internet instead.
"The forensic artist was not aware of the identity of the individual depicted in the photograph," Mr Pack said, adding that the image would be taken off the FBI website."

Mr Llamazare is not happy about his face being used in this way and has complained to the US Embassy in Spain."

Link to Original Source
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Nine containers of PETN punctured in Nth Carolina

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "A major US port was shut down after nine containers of "highly explosive material" were accidentally punctured, officials said, urging that part of the city be evacuated.

The accident happened around 4:45am (local time) when a forklift punctured the imported containers during offloading in Morehead City, North Carolina, Mayor Jerry Jones said.

The chemical involved was pentaerythritol tetranitrate, known as PETN, he said, adding it was "highly explosive, but not airborne"."

Link to Original Source
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US Army files found on second hand MP3 player

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 5 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "A New Zealand man who bought a second hand MP3 player from a store in the US found it loaded with the names and personal details of American soldiers, as well as a mission briefing and information about equipment.

Chris Ogle says he will return the unit to the US Defence Department if asked, and that it never worked as a music player anyway.

A slightly different version of the story is available from TVNZ."
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MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 8 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "More than a year ago a former member of the Australian Defense Force set up a web forum for ADF members. Recently the site was blocked by the Department of Defense, presumably as part of routine workplace filtering. The interesting bit is that the the head of the Australian Army, General Peter Leahy wants the block removed. In the process he blames the "geeks" in the DOD for filtering the site, though I, for one, am not taking that personally. From his perspective a geek is probably anybody not in the ADF."
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MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 8 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "The Mars Rover Opportunity is now only 45 meters from the rim of Victoria Crater. The rovers navigation camera has taken a great picture of the interior of the crater. NASA seems keen to drive the rover into Victoria to do some geology but by the look of it I think they will be unlikely to be able to drive out."

Journals

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One openmoko phone still available

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I bought a five pack of GSM-900 openmoko phones. One I am keeping (very happy now that I am running OM.2009). Three I have sold to other people. The price for the last phone is 336.42 Australian dollars. That is exactly one fifth of the price I paid for the pack, including GST and customs charges. The price includes shipping within Australia.

This phone is unopened, still in the original packaging.

Please reply here if you are interested.

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Anybody want to split a five pack of openmoko phones in Melb

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 5 years ago As my sig says, I am interested in buying a pack of five openmoko phones ans sharing them with other people. This journal article is here so people can communicate with me about it.

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Technocrat.net shutdown

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I am the person who posted with the userid smithm and display name "Michael Smith" on technocrat.net

After Bruce shut the site down I sent him an email offering to take over the domain name. He indicated that he doesn't want to sell it.

I am interested in setting up my own site. In theory an online community can be very cheap to run. You can do it on google groups for example. But being a software guy myself I have a few ideas for how to build a system. I want to use the Mercurial DSCM as a backend and build it around individual user web logs with RSS gluing them together.

I am of the view that discussion sites should almost never be edited. Mercurial has features which make it easy to see changes in revision history, which is why I want to use that tool.

I have a few projects on the go over Christmas. I am closing my co-lo and installing a server at home. The web log software is project number two over the holidays.

If you are interested in hearing more about this project, please leave a reply.

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