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Comcast Training Materials Leaked

Streetlight Customer Service Should Try to Keep Customers (235 comments)

It seems to me that customer service should try to fix things that are broken rather than sell additional services delivered to a customer with a broken set up. Why would I want something new that requires a working system when I can't get what I'm paying for now with a broken system?

yesterday
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Hackers Steal Data Of 4.5 Million US Hospital Patients

Streetlight Re:why internet connected? (111 comments)

Even if the systems are not connected to the public Internet, given enough money, someone connected to the systems with proper security clearance and access, could put the data that was stolen, and more, on to thumb drives, DVDs, or whatever. Snowden apparently wasn't paid for the enormous amount of data he purloined and didn't need the internet. Not so sure how protected the data was secured from the public internet, but it didn't matter.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Black Tuesday Patches Bring Blue Screens of Death

Streetlight 7/12/2014 Patches applied and no problem (179 comments)

I just checked my update history for my Dell XPS 15 running up to date Windows 7 SP 1 and the three patches listed in the OP post were installed and I have no problems. One was recommended and the other two were listed as important.

about a week ago
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Google Is Backing a New $300 Million High-Speed Internet Trans-Pacific Cable

Streetlight Can't wait for 60 Tbits/sec to my home (135 comments)

Then I can reach Comcast's data cap in, what, 5 or 6 milliseconds.

about two weeks ago
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New Process Promises Ammonia From Air, Water, and Sunlight

Streetlight Re:Actual entropy explanation (117 comments)

As chemistry majors know there are two aspects studied in understanding chemical reactions: chemical thermodynamics and chemical kinetics. Okian Warrier has described one of these, though without fogging the discussion with numbers, and I'm sure those are readily available. Kinetics involves the study of the mechanisms of reactions which involves the examination of details of molecular and atomic interactions, intermediate association of reactants and products, molecular structure, breaking of bonds, electronic structure, etc. One principle of reaction kinetics involves energy barriers that must be crossed as reactants proceed through the process of making products. A reaction may be thermodynamically allowed but because of high barriers may be so slow as to be impractical. Often slow reactions are speeded up by changing temperatures and pressures not only to make them thermodynamically allowed but also to force more starting materials to get over the kinetic barrier. One way to speed up things is to find new paths for the reaction with reduced energy barriers and that's where catalysts come in. Catalysts can function in many ways depending on the starting materials. For example, solid state catalysts often work by adsorbing molecules on their surface and weakening chemical bonds by reorienting molecular structure and/or molecular electron configuration. Homogeneous catalysts (substances dissolved in the reaction solution) will also lower reaction barriers by chemical interactions with one or more reactants. I'm guessing the mechanisms, catalysts, etc., for the production of NH3 have been thoroughly studied over the last hundred years by academic and industrial chemists and the Haber process has been optimized for the most cost efficient way to make ammonia on an industrial scale. Any method involving new processes would clearly be welcomed but in the end must involve the study of chemical kinetics/catalysts/reaction mechanisms to increase efficiency by finding reaction pathways that reduce the kinetic barrier described above. Right now the other way of making ammonia available to farmers is by crop rotation with the microorganism infected legumes, such as soy beans. It seems to me that biochemists must understand how these microorganisms do their magic using catalysts but it must not be economically transferable to industrial use.

about two weeks ago
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New Process Promises Ammonia From Air, Water, and Sunlight

Streetlight Re:Actual entropy explanation (117 comments)

PChem stands for Physical Chemistry and is a two semester course generally taken by third year chemistry majors after at least two semesters of General Physics (calculus based), two semesters of calculus, though three semesters would be better, and a year of organic chemistry. Some might call it theoretical chemistry and generally covers chemical thermodynamics, chemical kinetics and quantum chemistry with some specialized applications such as electrochemistry, transport phenomena, and more.. It's not descriptive chemistry but should be taught using fairly sophisticated mathematics. It's considered the toughest course in an undergraduate chemistry degree program. There used to be a bumper sticker: Honk if you Passed PChem.

about two weeks ago
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The Hidden Cost of Your New Xfinity Router

Streetlight Re:Google + IPv6 = Bad (224 comments)

I have an older Netgear router (WNDR3700 v1) with the latest software update connected to a Zoom 5341h modem and have absolutely no problem with IPv6 using Google apps, Gmail, Google News, and Google search. I'm on Comcast cable high speed internet. There is a thread on DSL Reports about IPv6 problems w/ Netgear routers but I've not had problems.

about two weeks ago
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The NSA's New Partner In Spying: Saudi Arabia's Brutal State Police

Streetlight Re:And yet, .... (125 comments)

AQ/ISIS is a great deal more brutal than is Saudi Arabia.

I'm not sure about that. ISIS has a "big mouth." We don't hear much about what goes on in Saudia Arabia.

about a month ago
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One Trillion Bq Released By Nuclear Debris Removal At Fukushima So Far

Streetlight 10 million becquerels/hours is a strange unit (190 comments)

Since the becquerel has units of reciprocal seconds and one hour is 3 600 seconds, the number quoted 10 as million becquerels is 36 000 million with no units. Hmmm...?

about a month ago
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Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy

Streetlight Trust No One = TNO (176 comments)

Steve Gibson's mantra: TNO. If the host has your encryption password/key, then they can't be trusted. If you don't believe that, ask Snowden's email provider, Lavabit's founder Ladar Levison: http://www.wired.com/2014/04/l...

about a month ago
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New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture

Streetlight Changing MS's corporate culture will be tough (204 comments)

Changing MS's corporate culture will be comparable to driving a fully loaded mega oil tanker through the same S curves as Formula 1 cars traverse. In another word, impossible. By the time any minimal action is started in this area, Nadella will likely be retired or fired.

about a month ago
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Funding for iFind Kickstarter Suspended

Streetlight Were are the folks who started it? (104 comments)

Are these folks now in some country the US does not have an extradition treaty with?

about 2 months ago
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Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

Streetlight Why do we work (710 comments)

It seems we work for at least a couple of reasons. One is pretty obvious, that is, to earn income to support a hopefully comfortable life for ourselves and our family and provide a secure retirement. Maybe also something for our heirs. There's also the whole business of enjoying our work so as to feel accomplishment, contribute to our company's and society's improvement and success, and professional and personal associations with coworkers. What happens when all this becomes unbearable because over work compromises or destroys these features of work? You may be earning a living but without any joy not only affecting your personal life but your work and its quality. Is this burn out? Companies must begin to realize this and make changes.

about 2 months ago
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New Evidence For Oceans of Water Deep In the Earth

Streetlight 300 miles down... (190 comments)

At first I thought this might be impossible to build a well to get at this water as the well pump would require nuclear reactors to power it. Then again it might be hot enough down at these depths to get steam up the well, but what kind of material would line the drill hole to prevent its collapse? This water is not going to solve the need for water in California's Central Valley anytime soon.

about 2 months ago
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House Majority Leader Defeated In Primary

Streetlight The Democrats voted for the Tea Party guy (932 comments)

A CNBC commentator suggested that since the VA primary was an open primary results showed that the Democrats put the Tea Party guy over the top. We'll see in November if the Democratic candidate beats him. The same thing is happening in the Republican Colorado governor primary. The Dems are putting out ads for an ultra right wing republican candidate to insure a November victory for the current moderate Democratic Governor.

Ain't politics fun!

about 2 months ago
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GM Names and Fires Engineers Involved In Faulty Ignition Switch

Streetlight Re:Ignition switch not the main fault (307 comments)

I was thinking somewhat the same thing.

If the wheels are turning in the forward direction maybe above a certain speed, the air bags should be deployable. If the car is moving forward or backwards, the power brakes should be available as well as power steering. I'm not sure how power brakes and steering are controlled in today's cars; someone can comment. I know in older cars, power steering used a pump run by engine belts so if the engine stops, power steering stopped. Power brakes used a large vacuum reservoir that worked for a few pumps if the engine were off but probably would fail if a car were at high speed. On my Prius, power steering uses a linear electric motor on the rack and power brakes use an electric pump, so gasoline engine failure would not be a problem unless there were a catastrophic electrical failure. Of course the Prius gasoline engine does stop while driving down hill or while coming to a stop, so these features were necessary. One problem that also should be addressed is if the car is moving the steering wheel lock must be disabled. For many people with adequate muscle strength loss of power steering/brakes from a stopped engine may not be a problem controlling a car, but if the ignition switch locked the steering wheel column, directional control would be impossible.

about 2 months ago
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GM Names and Fires Engineers Involved In Faulty Ignition Switch

Streetlight Re:Welcome to the "Big Three" (307 comments)

I think it's more than the corporate culture although the corporate culture is also associated with the development of a committee hierarchy that produced the insulated silos at GM. I lived in the Detroit area for many years - did not work in the auto industry - and it was well known that at GM any decision required working through interminable committees to get an action decision. This is clearly the case with the ignition switch/air bag situation discussed in the report.

One of the conclusions in the report was that no one at GM knew completely how their cars worked. It appears that the department responsible for keyed locks was asked to design an ignition switch that used a printed circuit board for low voltage/current control of its output. It looks like it would have four output signals: one for off, one for accessory one for run, and one for crank-and-start. The switch output would go to a computer that decided what to do in each case, i.e., in run, keep the engine running, allow some lights to turn on, energize the air bag detectors, etc., in accessory, turn off the airbags, let the radio work, etc. The engineers, however, didn't know what the four signals actually controlled since the computer group was in a different department and the computer was obtained and programmed by Siemens. There was a wall between the two departments. Furthermore, another wall/delay was established because GM could only read very basic stuff from the computer and had to send the devices to Siemens after an accident to get significant output data. And there were two versions of the computer software, one for the Cobalt and one for some Saturns that stored less data even though both use the same ignition switch. This siloing of engineering responsibility prevented understanding what and how the device in one part of a car was controlling a device in another part of the car. Was it corporate culture that insulated the two groups from understanding the interaction between the parts made by each? Maybe. Corporate culture is surely responsible for never taking responsibility for any work you did or decisions you made, i.e., pass the buck.

about 2 months ago
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GM Names and Fires Engineers Involved In Faulty Ignition Switch

Streetlight I read the the document... (307 comments)

It took quite a lot of time, but the NYT posted the report and I downloaded it and read all the report up to the point it makes recommendations about reorganizing some of GM's administrative structure, which I skimmed. The folks involved in this debacle behaved like they were in a Marx Brothers movie. There's the GM Nod in which committee members all nodded that things would be done and when they left the room did nothing and the the crossed arms pointing which meant the individuals crossed arms pointing to others meaning they weren't going to do anything. There seemed to be hundreds of instances when folks couldn't remember what went on in the multiple meetings about the ignition switch issue. There apparently is an urban legend at GM that became standard operating procedure that notes were not to be taken at meetings as well as minutes. No wonder no one remembered what they were told or said. What's it called, probable deniability?

Just one situation out of many struck me as showing the engineers' incompetence: At one point it became clear that model year Cobalts after 2007 did not have the problem with the ignition switch where it would move from run to accessory just by brushing the key fob hanging from the inserted key with clothing. A couple of guys, including an intern, went to a junk yard to examine a car that had been involved in some kind of accident. The intern noticed that the ignition switched required very little torque to switch from run to accessory so the group got a fisherman's scale to measure the torque. They then got appropriate torque meters (Snap-on tools has nice ones which I have used) but only looked at the newer cars because they couldn't find any older ones to test. DeGiorgio had asserted there was no change in the switch torque from the initial design, so I'm guessing they just ignored the junk car result. My guess is they could have looked for old cars at used car dealers or car auction lots for testing or even got hold of the Michigan state motor vehicle department to find owners of older Cobalts. GM should also have a database of Cobalt VINs connected to registered owners. And of course, the ultimate incompetence was that no connection was ever made that when an ignition switch moved from run to accessory mode the air bag sensors were disabled and would have solved the mystery of why air bags did not deploy during accidents when the switch was turned.

This is a very interesting, fascinating and engrossing report and I encourage people to read it. I wonder if it might become required reading for discussion in engineering and law schools.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Anti-Theft Products For the Over-Equipped Household?

Streetlight Re:Don't. (408 comments)

Agreed about inviting thieves to steal your Glock. I have a friend in the DC area who said he was going to get National Rifle Association (NRA) stickers and put them on all his windows as his defense against thieves, even though he didn't own any guns. I told him that that might be an invitation to the thieves to see what his armaments might look like and while inside peruse other valuables. I don't think he followed through.

An interesting aside: One day his wife was home and a couple of very big guys in suits with bulges under their left coat pockets came to the door and inquired about a couple of guys that lived down the street. Turns out they were FBI agents and the guys they were interested in allegedly robbed a bank in DC while double parked in front of the bank and their car was ticketed. Sounds like a plot from a Mel Brooks movie.

about 3 months ago
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Police Departments Using Car Tracking Database Sworn To Secrecy

Streetlight How About Using Public Transportation? (202 comments)

If you are concerned about protecting you privacy of movement, why not use public transportation? In many places it's cheaper and more convenient than owning a car provided it goes where you want to go, has a good connections and passes near-by your residence frequently. In my town, however, public transportation is very poor and and certainly in most rural areas and smaller towns is not available. On the other hand, with all these public cameras and facial recognition technology unless you wear a mask and wig, your whereabouts at a bus stop, subway station, cab or bus can be known.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Streetlight Streetlight writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Streetlight (1102081) writes "Digital Camera Review (http://www.dpreview.com/) announced May 14, 2007, that they had been acquired by amazon.com.



"We're proud and excited to announce that Dpreview has been acquired by the world's leading online retailer, Amazon.com. Started as hobby site in 1998, dpreview.com has grown to be the number one destination for anyone interested in digital cameras and digital photography. Each month dpreview.com has seven million unique visitors (over 22 million sessions) who read over 120 million pages. 'We've worked very hard over the last eight years to deliver consistently high quality content to our readers', founder Phil Askey said. 'It will be fantastic to be able to expand and build on that without compromising our quality or independence. With the support and resources of Amazon we can achieve this.'""

Journals

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Amazon.com acquires dpreview.com

Streetlight Streetlight writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Digital Camera Review (http://www.dpreview.com/) announced May 14, 2007, that they had been acquired by amazon.com.

"We're proud and excited to announce that Dpreview has been acquired by the world's leading online retailer, Amazon.com. Started as hobby site in 1998, dpreview.com has grown to be the number one destination for anyone interested in digital cameras and digital photography. Each month dpreview.com has seven million unique visitors (over 22 million sessions) who read over 120 million pages. 'We've worked very hard over the last eight years to deliver consistently high quality content to our readers', founder Phil Askey said. 'It will be fantastic to be able to expand and build on that without compromising our quality or independence. With the support and resources of Amazon we can achieve this.'"

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