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Comments

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Harvesting Energy From Humidity

Technician Re:clean drinking water (89 comments)

With electrolisis and a fuel cell, only the gas carried contaminates could possibly contaminate the drinking water. For quanity and qualityproduced, I'll take the solar solution. The distances traveled and the amount produced are both quite small. In the solar solution, the volume would be much greater and due to the recombining of gasses, much less likely to transport pathagens.

about two weeks ago
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Insurance Claims Reveal Hidden Electronic Damage From Geomagnetic Storms

Technician Re:Is this news? (78 comments)

Charged particles are not magnetic. The electric current caused by the electric current creates a magnetic field. Basic electrical magnetic property. There is a magnetic field because there is an electric current traveling through the atmosphere which does impose an electric charge on suspended insulated objects in addition to the induced electric current in conductors on and in the ground.

The amount of induced current is directly related to the rate of flux change producing an AC current provided one end of the conductor is grounded. At the low currents and large area of very long lines, this AC component is relatively low in relation to the DC current brought in at the poles seperated by our earth's magnetic field. A static magnetic field does not induce a current. A steady DC current does build high currents in long suspended conductors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...

Even high voltage transmission lines are now protected by adding a resistor to the center tap of a 3 phase transformer to ground to limit induced current. The transformers already MUST have a ground refrence already due to the DC charging of the lines that would happen if there were no ground. This is why transmission lines never use Delta transformer to Delta transformer. One or both ends of a transmission line have a substation with a Y connection with the center tap grounded.

I know of one BPA line that is Delta to Delta, but in addition to this there is a 3 phase Y transformer to nowhere that only porvides the required ground for the line.

Grounding both ends with a low impedance ground is good for lightning strike protection, but bad in a geomagnetic storm. Ungrounded is bad for line charging and lightning protection. UTP network cable is ungrounded at both ends and are subject to high voltage charging in short lengths.
http://www.solarsystemcentral....

about three weeks ago
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Insurance Claims Reveal Hidden Electronic Damage From Geomagnetic Storms

Technician Re:Is this news? (78 comments)

The elevated lines between buildings are rarely protected from a build up of a static charge as routers and bridges were not built with this in mind. On the physical layer, both ends of the wire are terminated into an isolation transformer with no discharge path to ground. This is an installation design fault against the guy that designed the installation. Lightning protection is often a gas discharge tube for a lower breakdown voltage. A high current discharge through a protection device can produce a relatively high ESD pulse through the transformer into the tranciever chip resulting in corrupt data to failures. A link between buildings must include a bleed discharge path to prevent the build up of voltage on the wire, or a shielded wire with grounded shield should be used.

Engineers design systems. A good technician can make them work.

about three weeks ago
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Insurance Claims Reveal Hidden Electronic Damage From Geomagnetic Storms

Technician Time to apply science (78 comments)

Time to apply science to the problem. What is known, what values are involved, and what breaks down.

Long distance transmission lines have two problems when there is a relatively high atmospheric current. They are long conductors feeding transformers that are not designed to shunt large components of DC resulting in core saturation and high current. This is measurable. The first effect noticed was by the railroad when telegraph relays activated and sometimes burned out.

The voltage induced current has two components. 1 Some current was due to the current directly into the long wire. 2 Some current was due to ground potential changing due to high current in the ground.

How to protect? For ground potential issues, simple pairs of wires provide high common mode rejection. This is common with telephone circuits as protection from induced hum and noise from a noisy electrical environment. Overvoltage protection in the form of lightning arresters is the second protection. Most phone loops are relatively short reducing the ground voltage gradient problem to non existant levels. Long distance hops are by Microwave Relay or Fiber Optic, both providing protection from ground gradients and long pick up paths.

Shrink the scale to inside a home by comparison. All internal house wireing is orders of magnatude shorter than transmission lines, CATV, and phone lines. Small DC capible antennas result in very low current if exposed. The home is generally protected by gutters on the eves, mildly conductive building materials such as wood, brick, etc that are not insulated to very low leakage at high voltages such as the insulatin on transmission lines. Net result is the very small currents are shunted by the building itself. Go up on the roof during a geo storm and see if you have any static electricity issues. Probably not.

For homeowners, this is a non issue due to the lack of an effective gathering surface properly insulated to collect enough current to cause any damage. The collector is too small and the leakage path to ground is too high.

about three weeks ago
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Senator Al Franken Accuses AT&T of "Skirting" Net Neutrality Rules

Technician Re:verizon, comcast? (81 comments)

I was stuck on Comcast when I upgraded from Dialup. Due to the games with non working services, I jumped ship as soon as Qwest offered DSL. Skype, VOIP via SIP, Google Voice/Talk, etc all working fine. I feel for those without the option. Comcast has been trying to win me back, but I'll take the slower DSL speed for everything working properly anyday.

about three weeks ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

Technician Re:No. (502 comments)

Many of the earlier SB cards were known for a fixed clock, regardless of what the software was set for. This limited clock rate was the issue of many complaints of those looking for full 20-20K without artifacts. Once this reputation was cast, the line was considered as consumer grade and not better. Same applied to bit depth. The driver would accept many settings beyond the 16 bit DAC. Other cards had higher clocks and bits, and testing for the card performance showed the true limits.

Link below shows some of the real testing on this card beyond just golden ears. Look at the frequency output of noise and note what is NOT reproduced. Then scroll down a look at the extended frequency response of the cards in the test. SB hit a wall way before the competition.

http://www.clarisonus.com/Rese...

about three weeks ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

Technician D/A is good enoug, but.. (502 comments)

Onboard D/A for WAV, MP3, Movies, etc are generally good enough if the noise level is low enough. The biggest difference is in the on board synth. Playing games uses MIDI and the sound card produces the sounds. There are 2 versions. Hardware and software.

Hardware had an on board synth. It can be as simple as an 8 bit video game or as complex as full wavetable sampled sounds. An onboard hardware synth will sound the same on Linux or Windows. If the wavetable synth is XG compatible or similar, the sound is great. If a cheap synth is used it will sound like a casio entry level keyboard or 8 bit videogame.

Some cards use soft synth's with soundfonts. These can be very good sounding with inexpensive hardware as the synth runs in the OS and just sends the bitstream to the card for repoduction. This uses some system resources and requires installing the proper driver to include the synth and soundfont. This can mean great game sound in WIndows, but no sound or missing sound in Linux for games, unless you load a soft synth on Linux, install a soundfont, and enable it through Jack. While the combo does sound great, it is a resource drain.

Now, which is better? Mixed bag here. Some on board sound come in either variety. Same with add on boards.

about three weeks ago
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Police Recording Confirms NYPD Flew At a Drone and Never Feared Crashing

Technician Re:Collision unlikely (310 comments)

A crash is almost not possible unless the drone is way above the chopper and gets pulled down in the wash. A chopper chasing a drone will catch it in the down draft and get tossed under it. The police chopper was in no real danger if they had a visual on it.

about three weeks ago
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TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

Technician Re: Land of the fee (702 comments)

I second that on the courts. I had to drop off a document for a child case. I stopped at the metal detector and told security I was here to drop of a document, not visit offices, so I had not emptied my pockets. Please call the office of ... to come pick up the document. They objected. I said they can scan the manilla envelope. They complied. I made it clear I had no intention of wasting time for a drop off. It would be much faster for them to step out of the office and accept the delivery.

about three weeks ago
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On 4th of July:

Technician Re:Options A. through D. (340 comments)

Other missing option.. I sell consumer fireworks. Had a $10K day today.

It's noise is annoying, but for some, it's 10% of the annual income in just a few days.

about a month ago
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The lightbulb I've most recently acquired ...

Technician Re:$15 LED 3 years ago, haven't bought any since (196 comments)

I've had mixed results with LED bulbs. They fall into 3 catagories.

1 Poor lumen maintenance.
They dim over time by a large amount. Most often seen in Christmas Lights. My daughter took a string of blue LED's and used them as a nightlight in her room. about 1/2 were totally dead in 6 months. The remainer were all over the map in brighness, but all were much dimmer compaired to a string stored for Christmas used for comparison. Failure rate of decreased brightness by 1/2 percieved brightness in 6 months is 100%. A couple of other low wattage night light bulbs in bathrooms did the same.

2 Infant Mortality
I have had an infant mortality rate on LED bulbs slightly higher than with CFL's. Both are higher failures than traditional name brand incandesceant.

3 Perform well.
Recently I have had more bulbs in this catagory from the name brands. Cheap import bulbs still suffer from the above two. To save energy where the energy cost is the highest, I have them in my Motorhome. To save bulbs where short cycling kill the other types, I have them in bathrooms and utility rooms. With some name brand bulbs, they are slowly creeping into the living areas that have lights on for long periods of time where failures were common. I always write the date installed on the bulbs I use to keep track of their life.

about a month ago
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Florida Man Faces $48k Fine For Jamming Drivers' Cellphones

Technician Re:You know ... (358 comments)

The problem was jemming the cell tower. The regular denial of service was noticed and investigated. Towers service an area beyond the street.

about a month ago
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Yahoo's Diversity Record Is Almost As Bad As Google's

Technician Re:Most qualified and motivated candidates? (435 comments)

In much of private industry, training and certifications do come first. I was recruited from my ISCET score by one company. They did not know my Age, Race, Gender, Faith, or Sexual Orientation. The knew I could be proficient in the position.

about a month and a half ago
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Yahoo's Diversity Record Is Almost As Bad As Google's

Technician Re:Lack of diversity (435 comments)

They would probably hire them if they could solve the router problem. Most parrots I've met have a better voice than some overseas call centers I've had on the phone, but theire technical knowlege seems to be a little limited. The good news is they would work for crackers.

about a month and a half ago
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Yahoo's Diversity Record Is Almost As Bad As Google's

Technician Re:Sensationalist summary (435 comments)

Due to Affirmative Action and trying to meet quotas, this reverse discrimination is common.

about a month and a half ago
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Yahoo's Diversity Record Is Almost As Bad As Google's

Technician Re:Most qualified and motivated candidates? (435 comments)

Having been a victim of Affirmitive Action by the US Government, I have seen this first hand.

In the 1980's, there were 2 parts to the BPA (Bonniville Power Administration) apprenticeship program.

1 Testing. Skills, aptitude, physical, etc. Normal scoring
2 Score adjustment on Protected Status. Counts for almost 30%

In the 1980's, Millitary service was not a score booster. Scored top in #1. Scored 4th after step 2. Did not apply for any other government position due to chilling effects.

Private industry scores on just #1 unless forced by government pressure for tax breaks or other reasons. Lately there has been lots of pressure by the US Government to "Make it Right"

Due to my Race, Religiion, Gender, Sexual Orientation, & Age, I have a poor chance. Only recently Vetran status is the bright spot on my Resume. With the recent issues with BPA HR, I would have a chance at getting hired if in addition to Vetran status, I was a protected minority, femaie, gay, muslum, etc. In the meantime, I'm in the majority with slimming chances at economic recovery.

about a month and a half ago
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Cable Boxes Are the 2nd Biggest Energy Users In Many Homes

Technician Re:What the 500 Watts draw rating means (394 comments)

Most of the boxes that have a 500 Watt listing on the box is the maximum combined power of the box with a television plugged into it. Those boxes generally go into standby when the TV is turned off.

This is the same way Light Dimmers are rated. A 600 Watt dimmer does not consume 600 Watts, but can handle a 600 Watt chandilier with 6 100 Watt bulbs.

Check the back of the box. Does it include a place to plug in the TV?

about a month and a half ago
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Are US Hybrid Sales Peaking Already?

Technician Re:My experience driving a Prius (377 comments)

I second the stuck in traffic milage. Unless heat prevents it, turn off the AC, and rolld down windows. It will literally idle for an entire weekend.

I know this because I put an inverter in mine and used it during an ice storm to power the fridge, TV, some lights, and the blower on the fireplace insert. The entire weekend used about 1/4 tank of gas.

Prius owners are not the ones running out of gas on the freeway in a backup, unless they run the AC.

about a month and a half ago
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Are US Hybrid Sales Peaking Already?

Technician Re:I can't buy one (377 comments)

My 2002 had a pack replaced last fall at 170,000 miles. Two weeks later, a semi changed lanes into it. I kept the new battery and put it into a 2003 with 135,000 miles on it. Fully expect to get another 170K on it.

What impressed me most was the reliability. At 170K miles the car still had over 50% of the original brake pads, all the original bulbs still work, etc. Changed the plugs at 120K Miles. Changed the 12 V battery 3 times. and regular oil and tire changes. Nothing broke on it in normal wear and tear.

Never had a car with that longevity before.

Saved on the Hybrid battery replacement by purchasing a new one online and changing it my self. Plenty of info online on chainging it, complete with safety info. If you change batteries in a 3-50KW UPS, you should have no problem changing out the pack.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Resolving the Clash Between Art and Technology In Music?

Technician Re:Drum machines... (121 comments)

In the live performance world, live performers is the norm. On the other hand, drum machines have pretty much been replaced by MIDI sequencers, so the drum track is CH 10 of the 16 channel MIDI specification for General MIDI. MIDI is quite common in recording. The insturments can be repeated perfectly every time while he vocals can do as many takes as required to get their part right. Sequenced music is common in soundtracks and many small artists recordings. For good insturment sounds, the MIDI is often fed to a sequencer by either 5 pin MIDI, or USB. Most good keyboards and digital drum sets include MIDI and/or USB connections for use with a sequencer, sound module, or other use. Using sound fonts (insturment sounds) in your software synthesizer, you can do most of the recording on a PC with a very good library of sampled insturment sounds.

I have seen bands using a laptop with a keyboard or digital drum set to add to the library of sounds beyond the built in sound fonts.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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When will SCO stock die?

Technician Technician writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Technician (215283) writes "I have been watching SCO stock waiting for them to die. Instead of dying, I noticed they have been ticking upward lately. This got me to wondering why? After some thought, I think I have the answer. Speculators are buying the stock, not because it may come back, but because it is threatened with de-listing as it has been under a dollar for some time. Speculators may have bought a bunch of shares in hopes that as last time it was threatened with de-listing, it jumped, investors will run up the price just before the deadline to prevent from being de-listed? Does anyone have any other theories why the stock is up from 0.15 to over 0.30? Is anybody holding SCO hoping it will hit 1.00 again? How can a stock that bad double in price in one and a half months?"
Link to Original Source
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Mystery illness from meteor crash is solved.

Technician Technician writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Technician (215283) writes "The meteor that crashed in Peru caused a mystery illnesses. The cause of the illness has been found. The meteor was not toxic. The ground water it contacted contains arsenic. The resulting steam cloud is what caused the mystery illness. "The meteorite created the gases when the object's hot surface met an underground water supply tainted with arsenic, the scientists said." http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/09/070921-meteor-peru.html There is a very good photo of the impact crater in the article. The rim of the crater is lined with people for a size comparison."
Link to Original Source
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SCO lost the Linux case. Stock drops 70%

Technician Technician writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Technician (215283) writes "SCO has lost the case in it's claim to Linux code. http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUKN10 31204220070811?rpc=44
Novell is in the clear to order SCO to drop the case against IBM for including SCO code in Linux.
"Judge Dale Kimball of the U.S. District Court for Utah said Novell Inc (NOVL.O: Quote, Profile, Research), rather than SCO, owns copyrights to the UNIX computer operating system, which also jeopardizes a related SCO lawsuit against IBM"
SCO's stock bombed over 70% today.
http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=SCOX&t=5d&l=on&z=m &q=l&c=
Novell is in the clear to order SCO to drop the case against IBM for including SCO code in Linux."
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Technician Technician writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Technician (215283) writes "SCO Relies on IBM-donated Servers to Provide Support for OpenServer/UnixWare Customers. It appears that SCO and Groklaw have the exact same tie to IBM. Does this mean that the IBM legal team is behind the anti-Linux SCO action? Aparently not any more than IBM is behind anti-SCO news. The kind folks at Groklaw have discoverd this and kindly provide an article here; http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=200704072 21422994"
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Technician Technician writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Technician (215283) writes "The 3 day 3 play limit on WI-FI sharing of MP3 files has a work around. In a nutshell, switch the unit to the hard drive mode and rename the MP3's you wish to share with a .jpg extension. There is no 3 plays 3 days restriction on shared photos. More info here; http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/portable-media/how- to-bypass-the-zunes-wifi-sharing-drm-217042.php This has been tested on MP3 files. I don't think it will work with DRM files."

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