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Comments

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Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical

Technician Re:From the wikipedia (252 comments)

I'm wondering how much is a false detection for a similar chemical, or as the result of another chemical reaction. At work our Lead detection kits respond the same to Copper. This has led to missdiagnosis in copper plating.

Chlorinated hydrocarbons abound in the environment. Could this be by products of burning recycled PC parts and old monitors and wire. The copper and other metals theft and recycling may be the cause.

yesterday
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Do Readers Absorb Less On Kindles Than On Paper? Not Necessarily

Technician Re:Probably has to do with demographic. (99 comments)

I suspect the e-readers are more likely to be time pressed people who multitask alot often skimming for important points where readers of paper editions tend to close out distractions and read the full text without jumping about looking at key events in random order. E book manual owners tend to read them the same way I read the National Electrical Code going to revelant sections to answer specific questions. Other than the numbered chapters sections of the code, I would have had difficulting knowing if Hospital Isolated Ground requirements came before or after the section of low voltage wires in an elevator access shaft.

yesterday
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Hack an Oscilloscope, Get a DMCA Take-Down Notice From Tektronix

Technician Re:Drivers not included. (273 comments)

I bought the scope to use as a scope. That is just fine.

Problem is I bought the optional communicaitons module, and can't communicate except by the hardcopy printer port.

I guess a better analogy would be buying a USB port card for your PC. Only the card manufacture will provide the propritary drivers.. for 6X the cost of the card. You can use it as a cell phone charging port without the drivers if you like. See the problem?

yesterday
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Comcast Training Materials Leaked

Technician Re:I have worked at a few ISPs (235 comments)

I used this to ditch them.

When they were the monopoly high speed provider in my neighborhood, they tried to push the Triple Play package even though I was set on Internet Only. As a new customer, they had a $100 connection fee where the teck comes out to "Verify" the connection and assist with router install. Could not get the fee waived for a self install even though I already had a router, wireless set up, NAS, Net printers, etc. Modem was an Actiontech Dual PC modem, so the only item need to connect was unplug the router from one modem and connect the other.

Connected under protest of the excess fees. Ran into their throtteling of torrents where they start fast, slow to a crawl and never finsih even after running for days on a small file.

Ran into their begging to upgrade all the time.

As soon as DSL arrived in my neighborhood, I switched. Improved speed from 2 meg to 6 meg for a reduction in cost of $20 plus a comptetive switchover bonus of $100. Self install was painless Punched 1 DSL filter in at the Demarc so I didn't have in home stubs to the various phones and filters on each phone.. (RF Transmission line basics)

They have tried to sway me back with their Xfinity product. It may be faster, but I'll take functanality over speed. Netflix doesn't stop to buffer. The 3 VOIP lines don't cut out (not throttled to upsell POTS instead.) or other games. When comcast calls, I tell them they blew their chance as customer retention efforts were non existant forcing me to flee at first chance. Please explain why I would want to try that again?

  If my DSL provider doesn't abuse me, they can retain me. They must be proactive in retention efforts.

yesterday
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Why Chinese Hackers Would Want US Hospital Patient Data

Technician Re:I'm not so sure.... (165 comments)

Some hospitals are taking photos of patients with higher cost proceedures as early as 6 years ago. My photo is in my medical records. A stolen ID would be spotted by any staff reviewing my medical history.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

Technician Re:Trolls == Necessary Evil (381 comments)

The only place truly free of trolls is a corporate internal social media website that is moderated and any despariging remark is subject to displinary action up to and including termination.

Want to get fired? Simply ask about the workplace diversication and why nobody speaks Spanish except housekeeping. Instant termination. Only seen that discussion on the board once. All parties except those warning others that is a taboo subject are gone.

The problem of no trolls is sensitive issues are never addressed. Does your place of employment include all races in engineering? Does your janitorial staff speak only one second languange? Don't ask why. It is troll bait. In a company monitored socail media it is a quick trip out the door.

Please do not start a flame war on the taboo topic. Only discuss on topic troll free discussion boards. Thanks.

Other taboo subjects include Is there a creator of the universe, is there genetic differences in race or gender in intellect, problem solving, politics, age, sexual preference, is all man created equal?

Again do not discuss the taboo topics. Please. They erupt into flamewars.

3 days ago
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Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

Technician Re:American car companies... (413 comments)

I still look over parking lots to find cars with rust, peeling paint, etc as when I buy a car, I don't want it to look like a 10 year old junker in 5 years. I don't like the trend but some forigen cars are haveing American car paint jobs with peeling clear coat and badly oxidized paint. My 12 year old Toyota has better paint and is not garrage parked.

4 days ago
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TEPCO: Nearly All Nuclear Fuel Melted At Fukushima No. 3 Reactor

Technician Re:A few notes on the construction of the fuel (255 comments)

The media had a hayday trying to cover an event in deep coverup. What they reported revealed volumes.

They reported the Hydrogen Explosion. This was the first indicator to the public a major event happened. What the media does not know.

1 The fuel pellets are held in rods made of Zirconium. This is because it is transparant to the reaction and does not slow the reaction so it can be controlled by control rods.

2 Zirconium is flamable, even in water. It burns even better in water than in air. It breaks down water to use the Oxygen.

3 There was a LOT of hydrogen produced in a short time to fill the containment building with an explosive Hydrogen air mix. There are other ways to generate Hydrogen, but not in huge quanities.

When the Hydrogen explosion removed the containment, they were quick to point out this was not a Russian style steam explosion, but a Hydrogen explosion. I suspected at that time, they had burned the fuel rod structures in water. I suspected the fuel pellets were quite hot too.

about two weeks ago
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Hack an Oscilloscope, Get a DMCA Take-Down Notice From Tektronix

Technician Re:Drivers not included. (273 comments)

I bought a communications module for it. I bought it to save screenshots. See the problem? The software package can remotely save and recall settings for automated testing, do FFT, etc. I don't need that. Would not like to have to by the Rolls to use a spare tire for my econnobox. Would you pay $400 for an app to save a screenshot from your scope that should have been shipped with the communications module? No thanks. I don't do automated testing. Not needed.

Not realated to the scope, I bought a MP3 player. The software to transfer songs to it is NOT and add on package 4X the price of the player.

about two weeks ago
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Alleged Massive Account and Password Seizure By Russian Group

Technician Re:Now's a Good to monitor access (126 comments)

Most people with Gmail accounts are not familiar with the "Last Activity" on the lower right. Clicking "Details" will bring up a list of the recent IP addresses that accessed the account. Unless someone logs in and changes your password, you can monitor for unauthorised account access by checking the location and address of recent logins. I monitor my account. Some people would have no clue someone is regularly logging in to capture info. It even shows when two are logged in at the same time. Try it. Log in at work, and lock the screen. Go home and log in again. It will show the two as logged in.

about two weeks ago
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Hack an Oscilloscope, Get a DMCA Take-Down Notice From Tektronix

Technician Re:Drivers not included. (273 comments)

I would have been happy with a basic image capture from RS-232, but to get the funciton, you had to buy the software package at 4X the cost of the hardware module. I did not need all the other fancy functions in the software. It was a nice package but for electronics troubleshooting, I didn't need the functionality for the price. For the price of the software, I could buy some very nice Fluke DVMs instead.

about two weeks ago
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Hack an Oscilloscope, Get a DMCA Take-Down Notice From Tektronix

Technician Drivers not included. (273 comments)

This is unfortunately an old practice that has been going on for decades.

I bought a US made digital scope over a decade ago the TDS220. With it I bought the communications module providing serial RS232, Parallel centronics, and HPGIB interfaces. With it I could connect an HP Laser printer, or Epson Dot Matrix printer and produce hard copies with a limited library of printers. Ths goal was to print to my PC. Then I found out that capibility was bundled in an expensive software package which was extra. Due to my low volume, I could not justify the expense, so to post documentation online, I used an HP 1100 laser printer and a Cannon flatbed scanner.

Tecktronics did not offer a simple driver just to capture the image on a PC.

Needless to say, that was the last Tektronics scope I purchased. Any future purchases would include a built in USB interface, with nessarry software as part of the TCO when shopping. I won't be burned twice by the batteries not included sales games.

As a scope, the scope works fine as long as you don't want a screenshot directly transferred to a PC. For what I paid to obtain the communications module without any communicaitons software was a huge letdown. The printer module was only a little cheaper. Without the software, that is all this module can be used for. Let the buyer beware.

If you want to buy Made in America, the Americans need to knock off selling cripple ware. It is a bad model and is a huge customer turn off.

about two weeks ago
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Extracting Audio From Visual Information

Technician Re:This can not work with most video (142 comments)

This works with very high framerate video. Normal video has way too low of a frame rate to capture vibrations in the (phone company defined) band of 300 HZ to 3000 HZ. At normal vidoe rates of about 24-50 FPS, the sample rate is below the lower fundemental frequency of voice.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Bulletproof Video Conferencing For Alzheimers Home?

Technician Re:WebRTC, Asterisk/FreeSwitch and a JS SIP client (194 comments)

If you don't want to set up and maintain Asterisk in house, there are many SIP servers with Free SIP accounts. Many include free voice mail. One example includes ippi.com. If the solution is in the US, Google Talk with Gmail works and includes video like Skype, but can be tied to Google Voice so clients can get a free phone number and place free calls to phones (voice only), SMS, and voice to text email for missed calls. If residents can log into their own Gmail account, this may be a solution.

about three weeks ago
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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 a month 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 a month 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 a month 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 a month 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 a month 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 a month 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  |  about 7 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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