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Unlocking New Mobile Phones Becomes Illegal In the US Tomorrow

SgtXaos It's the used CD/game sale thing (sorta) (475 comments)

If you unlock your phone, then you can sell it to anybody on eBay once your contract is up/you are tired of it. If you can't unlock your phone, then you can can only sell it to other $your_carrier customers, so $your_carrier gets/keeps another subscriber.

about a year and a half ago

Valve Reveals First Month of Steam Linux Gains

SgtXaos Re:DRM (295 comments)

Mr. Stallman, I thought you had an account here...

about a year and a half ago

NASA Releases New Photos of Saturn's Rings and Clouds

SgtXaos Go to the source... (34 comments)

Has all the images, none of the ads

about a year and a half ago

Why Mars Is Not the Limit For Human Space Flight

SgtXaos Re:With the exception of Mercury and other stars.. (256 comments)

There are plenty of interesting moons, planetoids and asteroids upon which we could land and explore. Limiting the discussion to only "official" planets is too limiting.

about 2 years ago

SAP VP Arrested In False Barcode Scheme

SgtXaos Re:Common Sense (535 comments)

Unlikely. This thing was huge, like the size of an xbox (in a box) large and stuffed directly up the front of his shirt.

Maybe he had the all-you-can-eat taco bar for lunch, and just had not had a chance to empty it...

more than 2 years ago

Turning Soap Film Into a Projector Screen

SgtXaos Re:Soap Films? (37 comments)

Don't get me started on carbon films and metallized thin films.

Well, a soap film could wash off the carbon film at least. I've had to do that after working on my car. As for the thin metallic film, you might need something better than soap.

more than 2 years ago

New Particle Discovered At CERN

SgtXaos Very cool... (144 comments)

I just wish they had named it something pronounceable. "Chi b to the asterix" just doesn't flow off the tongue too well.. :)

more than 2 years ago

The Cybercrime Wave That Wasn't

SgtXaos Re:Unreadable Summary (85 comments)

That is all.

Beat me to it.

I miss Taco...

more than 2 years ago

Teacher Suspended For Reading Ender's Game To Students

SgtXaos Re:Rush lyrics (1054 comments)

As a Rush fan, and having studied their lyrics and read Neil's writing, I have gained some insights into the philosophies they hold. I can only agree with you and not with the people you reference in your last sentence.

Not everyone who enjoys Rush music necessarily understands the messages and concepts in the lyrics.

more than 2 years ago

LightSquared Hires Lawyers To Prep For GPS Battle

SgtXaos Re:not quite that simple (195 comments)

This idea that the GPS industry "cheaped out on the filters" just won't die, apparently. The fact is, every engineering project is an exercise in trade-offs. Designs must balance the requirements with the budget and laws of physics. When you know the environment, you design towards it. In other words, the GPS makers designed their equipment based on the fact that the nearby spectrum would be low-powered satellite communications. Thus the filters on the front ends of the GPS receivers were built to reject that type of sideband interference. To do otherwise would not not be the correct design decision.

If everyone had to design their RF sections as you imply, every radio receiver in the world would need a 500 dB/decade "brick wall" filter to reject possibly ANY signal not included in its passband. These filters would be so large and complex as to render mobile devices impractical. The costs involved would make such devices too expensive to sell.

Please do not continue to drink the Lightsquared kool-aid. It is toxic.

more than 2 years ago

The Doomsday Clock Is Moved Closer To Midnight

SgtXaos Re:Zeno (313 comments)

Aside from a few million pounds (?) of it we have shot into space, all the metal that was here is still here. At some point, when the naturally available materials are simply too costly to mine, someone will figure out a good way to mine the landfills and dig those "gone" materials back up.

more than 2 years ago

Graphene Spun Into Meter-Long Fibers

SgtXaos Re:Knot identification fail (159 comments)

That's an overhand knot, not a square knot. If you want to join two like-sized ropes use the square knot; neither the overhand nor the figure-8 can do that.

You're right that the figure-8 is better than the overhand in most ways.

A square knot is properly used only as a binding knot. It can collapse and fail when placed under strain. If you want to joint two ropes (or glorious miracle graphene cables) use one of the interlocked overhand bends, such as the Carrick bend, the Zeppelin bend, or the Ashley bend.

more than 2 years ago

All-Electric DeLorean Car To Hit the Streets In 2013

SgtXaos Re:DMC? (366 comments)

I was in Houston a few years ago, and had to drive up north of town to get some equipment. Looked over and next to the highway, I saw DMC's place. Freaked me out a little, 'till I did some research later and found out about the resurrected brand and their manufacturing of cars from NOS and other parts.

more than 2 years ago

Help Shape the Future of Slashdot

SgtXaos Going "back" to the main page... (763 comments)

...after following a link - Why do I get the page that is several stories behind where I was? The page isn't cacheing properly. Not sure why this is, but it is aggravating to always have to reload the main page just to get back to where I was.

more than 2 years ago

CERN Experiment Indicates Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos

SgtXaos Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (1088 comments)

GPS drifts, and has to be calibrated several times a day. DGPS and WAAS make it more accurate from 100m to a few cm though.

True, Real Time Kinematic DGPS methods with a broadcast or cellular correction signal typically get you below 3 cm absolute horizontal.

On the other hand, fast static observations and post-processing typically yields sub centimeter (usually less than half a cm) results for absolute horizontal positions, even with broadcast ephemeris. You can usually tighten up positions if you wait for precise ephemeris calculations to be published for your time window.

As for any drift, it is taken care of automatically. The ground stations continuously sync the clocks on the space vehicles.

more than 2 years ago

Demystifying UEFI, the Overdue BIOS Replacement

SgtXaos Re:runs on top (379 comments)

So it's the Ourobios?

Wishing I had mod points for you.....

about 3 years ago

Is There a Hearing Aid Price Bubble?

SgtXaos Re:An excellent point, but... (698 comments)

It's absolutely disgusting how expensive these things are. I think it may be worth it to note that the site in question is in the business of selling their own hearing aids, though...

Exactly why I tagged this "Spam"

A maker of low-cost hearing aids posts a story about how expensive others are. News?

about 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Could We Deal With the End of Time Zones?

SgtXaos Why not? Change is baaaad, uhkay? (990 comments)

We couldn't get the country to adopt metric measurements fer chrissakes. No way we could convince bubba that 2 AM is lunch break.

about 3 years ago

So Long, CmdrTaco, and Thanks For All The Posts

SgtXaos Re:An oldie but goodie (238 comments)

That's some funny shit right there! :)

Thanks for dredging that up...

about 3 years ago


SgtXaos hasn't submitted any stories.



SgtXaos SgtXaos writes  |  about 11 years ago

The power went out minutes after I posted the last message, about 10:03 thursday sept 18. It finally came back on this morning at 05:30. It was the longest I can ever remember being without power, aside from camping :-). That was basically what we ended up doing, except for the nice fact that we had hot water thanks to natural gas.

After the power went, things got progressively worse as the storm came in. Though downgraded to a borderline cat 2 at landfall, it still packed quite a wallop, and did severe damage on the NC outer banks. Several new inlets were created, and many beachfront houses destroyed by the combination of wind and water. It will be weeks before that area is anywhere close to normal. The roadways are broken up and/or buried in sand, services are down and damaged almost completely, and access is very limited.

As for Hampton Roads, we have just had the worst storm anyone can remember. In Fox Hill, which is one of the lowest-lying neigborhoods in Hampton, one friend of a friend had a mark where the water came up in the 1962 storm, which was previously the worst in memory. Isabel bested that mark by at least a foot.

Many homes were flooded, but the worst damage came from the trees. After a very wet summer, with 10" above normal rainfall, the ground was pretty well soaked. Then 70-80 kt winds were all that was needed to rip trees out by the roots, and lay them over on houses, across roads, and across power and phone lines.

In our neighborhood, flooding was not an issue. We are pretty well elevated here, so storm tidal surges were not able to get this far, and we really did not get that much rainfall from the storm, so no flash flooding either. But wind we got. In fact, we got one of the strongest recorded gusts in the area, 82 kts.

The evidence is all through the neigborhood. A house around the corner was bisected by a large tree. Several had minor to moderate damage from either close calls with trees or just wind ripping off shingles and siding. One house nearby was hit with two big trees, shearing off one whole side, and smashing the roof in, as well as crushing a car in the driveway.

Several trees right near me were ripped down, but didn't appear to hit anything. My neighbor next door lost his entire fence, but it was kinda rotten anyway and due for replacement, so that just accelerated his plans.

We were very lucky. The only damage we incurred was a broken fence section from the neighbor's tree falling. Luckily, the one that fell was a fairly short dead trunk. The two trees on either side of it held. If either of those fell, it would have definitely damaged our house, and to a pretty large degree.

With so much of the area dark, it was kind of a new pleasure to gaze at the stars. Not to many other options for entertainment were available. I re-discovered my scanner and shortwave radios, which had not seen a lot of use lately. Acoustic guitars still worked, and I built up some finger callouses that had gotten soft from playing electric all the time.

Improvised cooking using the gas grill (not so good for heating pots!) and a home brew camping stove that burns army surplus Triox tablets kept us in hot canned food and MRE's I had saved for such an occasion. The neighbors who had meat in their freezers cooked it all up and passed it around. We had laid in a supply of canned food, bottled water, nuts, and fresh fruit and cereal, which helped too.

Our water supply is still contaminated, and so it is usable for washing and bathing, but must be boiled or treated with bleach to consume. That advisory should be lifted by tomorrow.

So we survived our worst storm, got out very very lucky, and only with minor inconvenience. If I was a praying man, I suppose I would thank someone, but since I am not, I'll just enjoy my good fortune and see what I can do to help my less fortunate neighbors. It might be me next time.


SgtXaos SgtXaos writes  |  about 11 years ago

Power blinking on and off, 30-35 kt gusts, and steady rain. Storm still has not made landfall, but the outer bands are playing havoc on their own.

I'll try to make more entries, if I still have power.


SgtXaos SgtXaos writes  |  about 11 years ago

0600: Squall bands are coming through in waves. So far, ~20-30 kt winds and fairly light rain. Atm pressure made a steady drop down to 29.90" from 30.10" Hg last night.

Last night I made a photo-inventory of stereo and computer equipment, guitars, and furniture, just in case. Not too worried about direct storm winds, but tornadoes are always possible, and could be far more locally destructive.

Didn't board windows, but did tape them to limit potential shattering. Some folks in our neighborhood put plywood up on theirs, but I didn't think that was necessary in this area. Direct storm winds are not likely to be that strong here, and if we do get a tornado, it won't matter. We brought in or lashed down lawn furniture, bird feeders, trash cans, etc. to limit the number of potential missiles.

By this time tomorrow, it should be all but over for us here, and hopefully we won't see damage.


SgtXaos SgtXaos writes  |  about 11 years ago

Guess I don't use this journal very much, but I figured I would try to keep a log during the attack of Hurricane Isabel.

I am located in SE VA, so the projected track of the storm center is not across us, but we will be NE of it, and so get a load of wind effects.

Looks like the first serious weather will hit NC Outer Banks in about 12 hrs, at about 0800.

Our worries will really begin around noon. The first little band of showers just came through, and winds are building, but still only about 20kts.

Thought about leaving, but then decided based on projections, that it was an over-reaction, at least for us. Our house is on pretty high ground, and not close to any bodies of water, and is also in the center of a pretty well developed area, so winds will not be as great as those for folks near the beach or in more open, rural areas.

Still, I am concerned. My biggest worry is trees and limbs coming down on the house. The ground is pretty soft already due to above average summer rainfall, and particularly from T-storms and showers in the last week. The news just reported a tree down on a house in VA Beach, and the winds are not strong at all yet there, either.

I'll post more as I can.


SgtXaos SgtXaos writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I just finished reading Neil Peart's "Ghost Rider" and Bruce Campbell's "If Chins Could Kill". Interesting insights into both men's lives, and documents their individual struggles with life. But the books induced diametrically opposed feelings. Funny, I never used to read biographical works, but lately it is all I have read.


SgtXaos SgtXaos writes  |  more than 12 years ago

when you can't pursue your own initiatives, because someone else has issues with that pursuit?

When you can't sleep?

when you are stuck in a situation that you must remain in for compelling reasons, yet you feel that by staying you are risking the possibility of mental breakdown?


SgtXaos SgtXaos writes  |  more than 12 years ago

So whither burritos or tacos de carne asada? Hmm, both have the required yummy taste. I think the true draw, at least to my palate, is that the latter come swaddled in delicious steamed corn tortillas (tortillas de masa?). Out of all the delightful treats on the menu at the local taco joint, only one is certain to get you a nice warm corn tortilla, and that is a taco in some form.

Of course, you could opt for the "taco bell" hard, pre-formed shell that tends to disintegrate upon the first bite, except in those rare instances when the thing is fresh and freshly baked or at least warmed to the point of crunchiness.

But to get the true flavor of Mexico, you must have a pair (yeah, to make 'em strong enough) of warm, steamed corn tortillas wrapping a fistful of tasty meat and pico de gallo, with hot pureed pepper (preferably habanero, serrano, or chipotle) salsa, and optionally, white cheese.

And if you get the real thing, from a vendor right on the streets of Tijuana or some other town, you will get a delicious concoction as described above. The only unknown there is the origin of the meat, leading to the affectionate descriptor, "canine asada". Fido (or Mr. Ed) never tasted so good, especially after a rollicking afternoon of cheap Coronas and watered down tequila shots.


SgtXaos SgtXaos writes  |  more than 12 years ago

Having just discovered that I have a Journal, I decided to start it. April 19, 2002.

I like to play the blues on my guitar. I hope I get better at it.


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