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California Regulators Tell Ride-Shares No Airport Runs

Omega Hacker Re:So wait... what? (314 comments)

I try not to feed the trolls, but I just can't pass this one up:

"An order of magnitude more? 200 dollars? Really?"

Apparently you're too dumb to comprehend that he very clearly stated that $20 is *more* than the gas cost by an order of magnitude. That means he's spending $2 in gas for the trip. At the current ~$4/gal with what passes for an "efficient" vehicle in the US, that puts his round trip at ~12.5mi, or roughly 6 miles from the airport.

The depth of your illiteracy truly astounds me.

about a month ago

'Write the Docs' is a Conference for People Who Write Software Docs (Video)

Omega Hacker Wrong date, wrong YEAR! (24 comments)

The link for the Portland conference is very clearly for *last years* conference (see the pesky '2013' in the URL??). The correct link is:

It is being held on May 5th and 6th, of *2014*.

about 5 months ago

Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

Omega Hacker Re:If Comcast were Exxon (520 comments)

about 5 months ago

Slashdot Asks: Do You Label Your Tech Gear, and If So, How?

Omega Hacker BoomerangIt doesn't offer anything anymore? (250 comments)

I was actually intrigued by BoomerangIt, until I noticed that a) "BoomerangIt Packs and Subscriptions are no longer available for purchase." and b) the cart indeed does not exist.

I'm a little fuzzy on how you a) start a business selling labels that promise long-term lookup&return, then b) stop selling new labels and thus getting new income, while c) still being required ("nominally") to provide the lookup&return service, without d) running out of money and imploding.

Am I missing something with either their site or their apparent lack of business model???

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Anti-Camera Device For Use In a Small Bus?

Omega Hacker Re:Confiscate cameras (478 comments)

I think you misunderstand. This has nothing to do with the passengers not wanting their picture taken. This has *everything* to do with the jackass owner trying to ensure that nobody can take their own pictures, because I guarantee he's got a photographer onboard who's taking "professional" pictures which are sold at ludicrous prices. Have you *been* to a themepark?

about 5 months ago

Sophisticated Spy Tool 'The Mask' Rages Undetected For 7 Years

Omega Hacker Re:Looks like Spanish? (98 comments)

Considering that *Kaspersky*'s press release opens with "Dominican Republic", I would guess the people writing it are probably pretty familiar with the difference.

about 5 months ago

Lawmakers Threaten Legal Basis of NSA Surveillance

Omega Hacker Re:And this is why (206 comments)

Agreed. Automatic expiration of laws help weed out old crap, and force lawmakers to *actively* support reauthorization of any bill and thus face any fallout over bills that might have seemed good at the time (no, I do *not* think the "patriot" act was a good thing at a time, but a lot of morons did) but have since proved to be a bad idea. Bonus: if lawmakers were required (after radically re-arranging the congressional rules) to re-up every single bill, we'd have a *LOT FEWER* bills in total. As long as they are not given the "out" of letting their underlings ([tenured] staff) re-up old stuff, they simply have a finite amount of time to both re-up and develop new bills.

about 6 months ago

Environmental Report Raises Pressure On Obama To Approve Keystone Pipeline

Omega Hacker Horse... barndoor... (301 comments)

While I generaly loathe our excessive use of fossil fuels, this is a case where the "market" is well in the lead of regulators. Those oils sands are already being dug up and processed, and the market is not going to let anything get in the way of that. This pipeline simply reduces the overall environmental impact and increases the safety (Casselton, North Dakota anyone?) of moving what is already being produced.

about 6 months ago

Scientists Predict Earthquake's Location and Strength

Omega Hacker Woo? (44 comments)

Waitasec... They took a "50-year quake" pattern and gave it a 40-year window, and now they call that "predicting a quake" ????

about 7 months ago

Why Reactive Programming For Databases Is Awesome

Omega Hacker HDL (165 comments)

Tl;DR [yet], but initially this sounds a lot like HDL's like Verilog and VHDL. The two fundamental constructs there are things that happen continuously (collections of simple logic gates) and things that happen based on a clock (registers, built around flip-flops). At a high level, this sounds like A = B+C is a continuous adder, and A is changed instantaneously with B and C. In the HDL world, this gets "compiled" down to silicon, but in a software world this would be radically harder to do, because you have to notify anybody listening to A that B and/or C has changed. Yes, it's like a spreadsheet in that sense.

about 7 months ago

How To Hijack a Drone For $400 In Less Than an Hour

Omega Hacker Re:Skyjack only works for WiFi drones! (161 comments)

I *highly* doubt the Amazon drones will be operated by some hobbyist Futaba or Spektrum protocol. Doing such a thing would be absolutely ludicrous from just about every angle possible. First of all, such protocols are nothing more than "stream-of-servo" positioning commands, and very badly suited to autonomous drone control. Honestly they're pretty badly suited to manual drone control IMO. Second, they are even less secure than WiFi. I'm going to take a wild guess and say that the Amazon drones will be cellular-controlled, with high-end SSL used to send the drone a set of GPS coordinates (waypoints, etc.), and the drone will handle *every* control aspect from there on out, as it should.

about 8 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What's On Your Hardware Lab Bench?

Omega Hacker Re:My lab (215 comments)

Marvin the domestic shorthair (humane society acquisition). His younger "sister" Kaylee was probably curled up on our bed at the time, plotting sneak attacks on Marvin in her sleep...

The mess is a consequence of the ongoing debugging of the primary project being interrupted by a bug that crept into a previous product and took over my desk with various levels of fix development for that. I'm cleaning up right now because the primary project may have just had a breakthrough and I need space to test it in full scale.

about 8 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What's On Your Hardware Lab Bench?

Omega Hacker My lab (215 comments)

First of all what I'm doing: I'm designing industrial embedded hardware, using funky data busses and high-resolution ADC's. I do all the hardware design, layout, prototype fabrication, and *all* firmware and host-side software. I'm pretty much a one-stop shop for this project (and the only engineer on it...). The hardware is all "slow" stuff at this point, with the fastest clock being the 32MHz driving the 8-bit microcontrollers scattered throughout the system.

Panorama of my office

First off I've got my computer in the "middle", nothing special except the monitor's on an arm to free up desk space. A second monitor to the right is used for debugging consoles etc. (and WoW). Several USB hubs are scattered around (some mounted) for use by both tools and the product under development.

To my left up on a shelf I have a (rented...) Agilent MSO-X 3014A scope, 4-channels plus 16 digital, unfortunately only the 100MHz version. I have a second-hand cheapy 5MHz signal generator next to that for occasional use (impedance checking etc). A simple Protek 3006B power supply (Fry's?) handles everything I can't run off USB 5V or from an LDO.

A Saleae Logic and Logic16 do quite a bit of work for me, and there's the occasional use of a BusPirate. An AVR-ISP MkII handles direct programming of the microcontrollers when possible, while the vast majority of my programming and test jigs are built around my own STK500v2 implementation multiplexed with serial debug.

To my immediate left is the main project space, while to my right is space for whatever projects crop up and don't have to have direct access to the scope.

In the window against the desk would be one or both cats.

To the far left is my soldering environment, which includes a regular temp-controlled soldering iron as well as an Aoyue Int968 hot-air soldering station (with its own soldering iron). A $25 toaster oven is used for reflowing most simple boards. Bins of loose parts cover the shelving above.

Behind me is a desk that holds a "proper" reflow oven, albeit the cheapo $300 unit from eBay, as well as a rework station of the kind used for XBox repairs (some of my boards have a *lot* of thermal mass that hot air alone can't handle). Reels upon reels of SMT parts are piled under the desk...

Lighting is provided by 2x 60/meter LED strips that side-fire to each side along the camera-window axis, plus an overhead Ikea quint-MR12 set over the main workspace when needed.

about 8 months ago

Why Not Fund SETI With a Lottery Bond?

Omega Hacker Sounds like an execellent idea! (191 comments)

Let's use the Search for Terrestrial Intelligence to fund the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence! Only seems fair.

about 8 months ago

NJ Gamblers May Be Locked Out By Flaws In Virtual Fence

Omega Hacker Shockingly... (88 comments)

...nothing of value was lost. And I mean that in both senses.

about 8 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Good Satellite Internet For Remote Locations?

Omega Hacker Re:There are none (175 comments)

I'm also looking for options for South America, and it's pretty clear from the Wikipedia description of ViaSat-1 that they have no transponders pointed anywhere other than the US and Canada. That puts it out of the running for both the OP's primary goal and mine.

about 9 months ago

Linking Mass Extinctions To the Sun's Journey In the Milky Way

Omega Hacker Not exactly a new concept (199 comments)

I've got a novel by John Brunner written in 1982 called The Crucible of Time (), which documents a (very non-human) species through its scientific awakening. Throughout the book they're discovering that their planet is getting closer to a cloud of debris dense enough to massively devastate the surface, possibly shatter the planet. In the end they manage to build enough arks to save the species. The foreward reads:

"It is becoming more and more widely accepted that the Ice Ages coincide with the passage of the Solar System through the spiral arms of our galaxy. ..."

about 10 months ago

The last time I used a dial-up modem was...

Omega Hacker Re:4 years ago (410 comments)

Actually DVDs contain on anywhere from 4GiB to 9+GiB of mainline video... The whole reason for dual-layer discs was to get around the limitations imposed by the ~4.5GiB max of a single layer. The "base" read rate of a DVD (1x) is 1.32MiB/sec, which puts a 2-hour movie at peak bandwidth (hopefully because they actually maximized video quality rather than just being lazy with the encode) at 9.5GiB, just under the absolute max. Account for menus, special features, and average encoding levels, let's go with 6GiB.

OTOH, 2mph is rather low, with one source ( claiming studies put the average healthy male at 3.4mph. I'd also estimate there to be maybe a 50% functional walking time (eating, blisters, etc.).

And as others pointed out, on a serial line there are actually *10* transmitted symbols in a byte because of the start and stop framing. 11 or 12 if you add a parity bit and double-stop, but let's stick with 10.

"Furthest" redbox would likely be something like from Portland Maine to Los Angeles for example, which google puts at about 3100 miles.

3100mi / 3.4mph = ~911.75hr / 50% *roundtrip = 3647hrs
6GiB * 10bits/byte = 6442450944 symbols
6442450944 sym / 3647hrs = 490.69 baud

If one were to drive, as per Google it'd take ~46hrs with traffic, and if you trade off drivers. For that roundtrip I get about 19452 baud. Let's say 19.2Kbaud to leave time for chinese fire drills.

about 10 months ago

Former Director of the ISS Division At NASA Talks About Science Behind 'Elysium'

Omega Hacker Re:Stuck?? (366 comments)

Agreed, I'm just pointing out that the "capital" absolutely exists on this planet, if enough of it is concentrated in just 25 people to achieve the task. Not saying they would personally, but debunking the implication that "it can't be done, it's too expensive".

about a year ago

Former Director of the ISS Division At NASA Talks About Science Behind 'Elysium'

Omega Hacker Stuck?? (366 comments)

I just totaled up the net "worth" of the top 25 people on Forbes 2013 billionaires list, and I got $839.8 billion. Not quite sure how $828.11bn is out of reach if certain people were sufficiently motivated, when it only takes the top 25. Now, if we were talking about something that cost $10 trillion or so, then I might consider it functionally out of reach, as that probably surpasses the net worth of the top several thousand.

about a year ago


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