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Google's Project Loon Can Now Launch Up To 20 Balloons Per Day, Fly 10x Longer

Mr2cents Re:No hot air (114 comments)

or as a byproduct of fission, that's the source of most Helium on Earth (alpha particles are Helium nuclei).

3 days ago
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Report: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Studio For $2bn+

Mr2cents Re:HALO (368 comments)

Ditch Minecraft and make Minecraft 2. Better graphics! Faster! (Runs on windows only).

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: PC-Based Oscilloscopes On a Microbudget?

Mr2cents RTL-SDR spectrum analyzer (172 comments)

Instead of a spectrum analyzer, you can use an RTL-SDR dongle as described here. Sure it has a lot of limitations, but it only costs you 10$, and with the scanner software you can get a very wide bandwidth.

about 5 months ago
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US Navy Wants Smart Robots With Morals, Ethics

Mr2cents The real story (165 comments)

7.5 million dollars just went down the drain.

about 6 months ago
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Why No One Trusts Facebook To Power the Future

Mr2cents Getting blocked? (218 comments)

I've been pondering on how toget rid of my facebook account. Is it possible to get your account suspended by posting filth and other matirial that's against their terms of use? I've heard about people getting their account blocked. Instead of panicking over it, I want to embrace it. Good idea?

about 8 months ago
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Homeopathic Remedies Recalled For Containing Real Medicine

Mr2cents Re:Sarcasm (173 comments)

Of course! Quantum effects!

Every quack claims "quantum effects" for justifying their quackery these days. Nothing new. Me is not impressed.

about 8 months ago
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Why We Need OpenStreetMap (Video)

Mr2cents Re:Sounds good (118 comments)

So because they are large makes them evil?

No. That just makes them powerful. There are concerns that need to be addressed when benign institutions gain power. Like that bank, that used to take care of your money until they became too big to fail. Remember that one? It was funny. I still can't stop laughing while I fill in my taxes.

about 10 months ago
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How Weather Influences Global Warming Opinions

Mr2cents Re:God loves a nice killing spree. (517 comments)

Of course it's not ok to kill and pillage all the time! Just a little bit once in a while.

about 10 months ago
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How Weather Influences Global Warming Opinions

Mr2cents God loves a nice killing spree. (517 comments)

I'm pretty sure killing, kidnapping and raping is forbidden regardless of religion.

And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? ... Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. -- Numbers 31:15-18

I'm probably "not interpreting this correctly" or "taking it out of context" or whatever religious people say when confronted with their cognitive dissonance, but it seems the Bible is just fine with killing, kidnapping and raping.

about 10 months ago
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NASA Rover Fails to Turn Up Methane On Mars

Mr2cents Re:Which to trust? (106 comments)

I've watched a great lecture about methane "observations" on Mars a while a go. It's really worthwhile if you want to get some background into the claims made. Needless to say, what you hear in the press is not to be trusted. Listen to the scientists themselves, they give a lot more subtle story than the headlines in a newspaper.

2011 SETI lecture about methane on Mars.

about a year ago
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Devs Flay Microsoft For Withholding Windows 8.1 RTM

Mr2cents Re:Touble trouble trouble (413 comments)

To make a long story short: Microsoft is sooo '98...

about a year ago
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FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio

Mr2cents Re:packet radio? (371 comments)

Thanks for your clarification! The puzzle pieces seem to fit :-).

about a year ago
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FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio

Mr2cents Re:packet radio? (371 comments)

Hmm, strange. Is this by any chance U.S. specific? I'm in Europe (Belgium) and I could have sworn it isn't allowed over here. I'm currently studying for my HAREC exam (I think that's the "technician" level in U.S. terms), anyway, it's the "super-duper full licence for everything"-exam. So I recently read the current law texts, and don't remember anything like that... I'll have to double check that.

about a year ago
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FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio

Mr2cents Re:packet radio? (371 comments)

The patent covers the operation of the vocoder, but does not contain the full specification for the codec. This spec is not available. So you'd need to completely reverse engineer the codec before you can even start your own implementation. I think there are some "software" D-Star implementations, but these need a dongle containing the vocoder chip. So, technically: yes it is possible to do in software. Practically: no.

about a year and a half ago
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FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio

Mr2cents Re:packet radio? (371 comments)

You should take a while to actually listen to HAM radio. People are DOS'ing each other, sometimes by accident, sometimes intentional. There are some jerks among HAM operators, as there are everywhere. But you can't do this on the entire frequency range (well, you can, but that takes a lot of power + this is illegal + you'll be fined + you'll have your equipment confiscated because you can not do broadband transmissions).

That said, in practice there are no problems most of the time. There is no need to allocate time slots or whatever. Don't propose a fix if you aren't familiar with the subject :-).

about a year and a half ago
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FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio

Mr2cents Re:packet radio? (371 comments)

HAM radio is about experimentation. The communication part is almost a side effect. Radio-amateur frequencies were never intended to substitute commercial telecom networks. So if you transmit something on the HAM frequencies, it's expected that everybody can decode the message. It's part of the experimental nature of HAM radio. You can not even use it for relaying messages for a third party, that's what phones are for.

That's the intent. Then again, there has been some erosion already, e.g. with the D-Star protocol. It's a digital communication protocol that uses the AMBE vocoder to transmit voice. The problem is: AMBE is patented, and you need a special chip to decode it. That's 100% against the intent of HAM-radio: normally you should be able to experiment and create your own decoder, but in this case it's impossible unless you buy the chip. This is a quite controversial topic, and has spurred the creation of a free alternative, called CODEC-2.

about a year and a half ago
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Gene Therapy May Protect Against Flu

Mr2cents Re:scrambling? (72 comments)

Oh, thanks for the link, I'll check that out.

about a year and a half ago

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