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Mars Orbiter Finds Buried Dry Ice Lake

Tycho Re:Regarding the atmosphere.. (96 comments)

Much like another certain individual with the surname Dyson who is a also physicist, Herndon should stick to physics and take the word of reputable scientists when trespassing in a field they have little familiarity and seem to be uninterested in studying more, much less attempt to understand. Should either individual attempt this they would lose their current status as cranks, which would be advantageous for everyone.

On the other hand, the natural nuclear reactor in Oklo, Gabon is something that did happen:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_nuclear_fission_reactor

more than 2 years ago
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Asus, Gigabyte To Replace All Sandy Bridge Boards

Tycho Re:I've mostly bought AMD over the years but... (180 comments)

We all point at you and laugh for using something as CPU intensive as RAID5 on a consumer grade SATA controller. What, you didn't think the XOR operations and striping came for free, did you? No, your CPU gets to XOR and align the data on the drive whenever a write to the array is made. This obviously kills write performance and is also fairly CPU intensive. It also defeats the purpose of DMA for writes. Reads are not impaired in a RAID5 array, however.

I suppose that SATA multiplexers exist which add additional ports, but since they divide up the bandwidth equally between each drive whether they need it or not, this isn't much of a solution.

more than 3 years ago
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Asus, Gigabyte To Replace All Sandy Bridge Boards

Tycho Re:I'll take one! (180 comments)

Do Gigabyte and Asus err... Foxconn, Pegatron, Quanta, et al. own enough equipment to do the desoldering, cleaning, soldering, and X-ray inspections necessary to do this work at a reasonable rate? I doubt that the actual board manufacturers like Foxconn do very much desoldering and other types of rework on a large scale in their normal manufacturing operations. Next, if the manufacturers must look outside their companies, is there enough equipment out there up to the task of reworking these boards at a reasonable cost and rate? Next, is the cost of reworking a board less than the cost of scrapping and recycling the bad boards and building an entirely new board and taking whatever refund Intel offers? I realize that while Intel will replace the bad chips, if Intel is willing or Intel can be made to be willing to foot the cost of manufacturing an entirely new board, why rework these boards with defective chipsets? Maybe even the manufacturers could weasel some lower prices on the 6 series chipsets. It isn't like the 6 series chipsets are much more than an ICH9 southbridge with PCIe 5Gb/s links as opposed to the 2.5Gb/s links found in older chipsets. For that matter, Sandy Bridge should have required a new socket or even an Intel chipset, aside from the DMI bus used to connect to the processor having potentially slightly different software protocols that PCIe.

Heck, the AMD SB850, which is several months older than the Intel 6 series of chips has links electrically identical to PCIe that run at 5Gb/s and hypothetically could be made to work with Sandy Bridge. The SB850 also has six 6Gb/s SATA ports instead of the half-assed SATA setup Intel uses.

more than 3 years ago
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Fun With an Induction Cooktop?

Tycho Re:Using it to wipe a harddrive? (147 comments)

Well, there is the Secure Erase ATA command present on all current hard drives, which is a full drive form and something the NIST considers more secure than the old DoD multiple pass overwrite procedure. Granted, just erasing or copying over the data once is 99.9999% of the time is going to make the previous data totally unrecoverable anyway. Although the effects of an induction range on the permanent, rare-earth, magnets from the voice coil motor that moves the heads might be fun. The metal plate those magnets are mounted on might also be at least some fun. The alloys used have a high magnetic permeability and thus can screen out much of the magnetic field from those magnets, I dunno what that might do on an induction stove, let us know if you try this and survive.

more than 3 years ago
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Scholars Say ACTA Needs Senate Approval

Tycho Re:Wait for the Supreme Court Case (204 comments)

Granted, ACTA also must exist in a "final" form for anything to happen. I'm not sure I've heard anything concrete, plausible, or credible about the existence of ACTA in the first place. When I might be concerned, but the amount of "secrecy" involved with ACTA as well as the required size of such an operation doesn't seem to be a conspiracy that is within the range of people. So a more probable conclusion needs consideration: the bits and pieces of information that are being attributed to ACTA are no more than idiots leaping at shadows.

There is also the matter of the "patriots" and such that seem to feel quite strongly on certain issues and conflate these issues with the Constitution. However, the number of /. posters that don't seem to know about the two-thirds Senate vote requirement for ratifying treaties appears to be astounding. Granted, this is not as astounding as the number of "patriots" that don't actually understand how the Constitution has been interpreted, which is important, as opposed to what these same individuals would like it to mean, which is irrelevant.

more than 3 years ago
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Intel Threatens DMCA Using HDCP Crack

Tycho Re:Barn Doors (373 comments)

Meh, several years ago Intel had one of its engineers leak a paper showing that 5C/DTCP, the encryption used with IEEE1394 or Firewire was vulnerable to being cracked. I don't doubt that it is possible to crack DTCP. Some nice individuals from China wrote a paper on the subject here: http://ww1.ucmss.com/books/LFS/CSREA2006/SAM4740.pdf

Naturally, after Intel leaked the paper the stampede away from Firewire and to HDMI by the large media companies was rapid. All I can say is that with that in mind the new HDCP crack seems a bit ironic.

Granted, the entire concept of DRM is still flawed, it attempts to use encryption for a task that encryption just will never work for. HDMI is still reasonably resistant to copying, the volume of data is the issue. Although for Blu-Ray the already cracked AACS is a better option. I wonder how long it will be before large media companies figure out what encryption is actually useful for and that it is not useful what they want to make it used for, at least now?

Also, as usual, those who do not understand the lessons of a well designed, versatile technology like Firewire tend to reimplement it, poorly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDBaseT
I'm curious where the HDBaseT goofballs actually have a way to put 10.2Gb/sec ad offer 100W of power over the four twisted pairs present in Cat5e and Cat6. I'd also like to know why 10G Ethernet over twisted pair using Cat6 or Cat6e seems so scarce yet.

more than 3 years ago
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High Fructose Corn Syrup To Get a Makeover

Tycho Re:I 100% Agree with them. (646 comments)

Well, yes "High Fructose" would be hard to drop, granted "High Fructose" is used as a relative descriptor, most HFCS has 42% or 55% fructose, unprocessed Corn Syrup, on the other hand is 100% glucose. I don't see "Processed" Corn Syrup flying too well with all of the asshats buying less reliable, less sustainable, and with higher environmental cost "organic" foods.

more than 3 years ago
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High Fructose Corn Syrup To Get a Makeover

Tycho Re:Interestingly... (646 comments)

Not quite, Corn syrup starts out as 100% glucose after being converted into either 55% fructose Corn Syrup or 42% fructose Corn Syrup, the most commonly used types, the products do certainly have higher levels of fructose than unmodified Corn Syrup hence the "High Fructose" descriptor. Cane sugar on the other hand starts out as sucrose. If we start taking about carbonated beverages when the sucrose is put into solution with water and carbonic acid(from CO2) and in most cases with phosphoric acid or citric acid you have a low pH environment. Under these conditions sucrose splits into its constituents glucose and fructose. At this point, a 50% free glucose and 50% free fructose solution has shown no medically significant difference with HFCS. Better yet, something that affects both HFCS soda and cane sugar soda is that the glucose will start to convert into fructose under abnormally high, usually improper storage temperatures (90F), making this entire 5% part meaningless. So yes, one can end up with cane sugar sodas that for whatever reason have higher percentages of fructose than HFCS sodas.

Also, anyone ever look at the ratio of glucose to fructose on fruits, they are all over the map. Apples, for instance, have 90% of their sugar as fructose.

more than 3 years ago
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Ryanair's CEO Suggests Eliminating Co-Pilots

Tycho Re:Waste (553 comments)

If a fleet has autoland across the board, this won't be a massive issue. The planes are safer than the people behind the controls.

Yeah remind me when planes can autoditch themselves into the Hudson River after losing thrust in both engines. As to US Airways Flight 1549 itself, I personally like this quote from the second page of this report at: http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/GenPDF.asp?id=DCA09MA026&rpt=fi

(3) the captain’s resulting difficulty maintaining his intended airspeed on final approach due to the task saturation resulting from the emergency situation.

Yes, the co-pilot was occupied with his own tasks as well.

Even though there are few incidents of this type, it is safe to say that there are probably nonemergency situations where having a co-pilot has prevented an emergency from occurring.

more than 3 years ago
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Why Bad 3D, Not 3D Glasses, Gives You Headaches

Tycho Re:Cyclops, use your eyebeams! (255 comments)

The "prism correction" actually causes the eye to aim down or up and left or right from its uncorrected condition. Before I had a prism correction added to my glasses I had trouble with eyestrain and splitting headaches near my right eye. My right eye didn't want to aim properly. What is unfortunate is that the necessary prism correction for a pair of glasses can change more frequently than insurance allows for, sometimes more than once a year. My eyes let me know when a change is needed with splitting headaches.

As for 3D glasses, I found that at a demo setup that nVidia's 3D glasses with actively polarizing lenses worked acceptably. These are essentially the same as the glasses used for 3D home theater setups. At any rate, my only technical complaint was that I had trouble with the right lens not polarizing. This may have been due to damage to the glasses or some other issue. I still have complaints as to the cost and value of a setup with glasses and a monitor.

more than 3 years ago
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What To Do With an Old G5 Tower?

Tycho Re:Like the look of the G5 ... (417 comments)

it may take a little more than a phillips screwdriver to accomplish this.

Yup, you'll need a Torx driver instead.

That doesn't sound too bad, Apple has done worse than that before. Torx drivers can be found with ease in the US.

Even if it is just a Phillips screw Apple's managed to screw(heh, heh) things up by using #5-40 screws. Screws of that particular size and threading seem to be nonexistent at all of the local hardware stores where I live in the US.

more than 3 years ago
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What To Do With an Old G5 Tower?

Tycho Re:retire it (417 comments)

Bah, the GP would get a better performance boost by increasing the CPU NB Multiplier to 12x (2400) or 13x (2600) from the stock 10x (2000). Increasing the CPU NB voltage, as opposed to the NB VID from 1.1V to somewhere between 1.2V to 1.3 V is usually necessary.

more than 3 years ago
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Sen. Bond Disses Internet 'Kill Switch' Bill

Tycho Re:How about this... (171 comments)

Ahh yes you mention "fiat currency", as opposed to "real" currency based off of ruthenium, indium, weapons-grade enriched uranium, xenon, cesium, chlorine trifluoride, or yes, even gold. None of the elements and compounds I mentioned have any inherent value by themselves, not even a small amount. Though I suppose suffocating on xenon, being able to burn nearly anything or anyone with chlorine trifluoride might be useful to someone, or having a large quantity of a soft yellowish metal that is inedible and would make poor hand tools like gold, just not of much value to most people.

As for your mention of Post-WWI and ancient Greece (you missed 8th century China) only post-WWI Germany and recently Zimbabwe are actually relevant, and even then the following is not happening anywhere today

From Paul Krugman here: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/18/stagflation-versus-hyperinflation/

Hyperinflation is actually a quite well understood phenomenon, and its causes aren’t especially controversial among economists. It’s basically about revenue: when governments can’t either raise taxes or borrow to pay for their spending, they sometimes turn to the printing press, trying to extract large amounts of seignorage — revenue from money creation. This leads to inflation, which leads people to hold down their cash holdings, which means that the printing presses have to run faster to buy the same amount of resources, and so on.

Also, the CRA of 1977 had nothing to do with financial institutions owning mortgage-backed securities failing, it was a bubble, and private lenders not subject to the CRA acting badly.
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/03/things-everyone-in-chicago-knows/

more than 3 years ago
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Sen. Bond Disses Internet 'Kill Switch' Bill

Tycho Re:How about this... (171 comments)

Well, Venezuela does so well with Chavez not having to deal with a legislature that convenes and being able to make executive decrees on his own. On the other hand, BP with their oil spill shows us how well "getting government off the back of corporations" functions. Also, regardless of the existence $50 billion fund, or the court system, individuals affected by the oil spill almost certainly would pass on a cash payout along with the spill's destruction and disruption in exchange for their original life the way it was. The tort system, even without limits to damages, can never make an individual whole again after an event causing irreversible damage. For that matter, the criminal and civil court systems do not seem to have been much of a deterrent for executives and managers at BP either.

As for the grandparent post, lay off the "government iz moronz, hur" meme, corporations are just as guilty of post hoc "stupidity" and are more fallible, and are less transparent. Lets wait and see what the final bill that is offered looks like and read all of the bill, in context. By bill, I don't mean the kind of shit that cockmongers like Orrin Hatch offer up.

more than 3 years ago
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Wikileaks Was Launched With Intercepts From Tor

Tycho Re:A leak != Espionage (157 comments)

So what does the USGS, USDA and the NOAA use to gather foreign intelligence? Well aside from contacting the foreign authorities through the standard methods.

more than 3 years ago
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BFG Exiting Graphics Card Market

Tycho Re:BFG products fit a niche, and their absence is (108 comments)

Which curiously is how BFG got its start, buy selling veideo cards in stores like Best Buy, Circuit City, and CompUSA. The problem was how BFG got its start. It did so by sabotaging the original VisionTek that made nVidia graphics cards. They violated confidentiality agreements, stole trade secrets, saved plenty of files they should not have from VisionTek, used previous contacts illegitimately, managed to get Visiontek's old suppliers, including nVidia, to dump them, and got customers (like Best Buy) to dump them as well. It is disgusting behavior that no one did any jail time for and for which very little money was recovered from BFG, or anyone else in the end. It also appears "John Slevin" is mentioned in the press release in TFA, and is probably the same guy mentioned in the complaint in US Bankruptcy Court documents as being a part of the slime that made up BFG from day one. Interestingly, nVidia and Mitac (the board manufacturer) were sued and settled as well.

The amended complaint:
http://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B--kPjOMTMyPNGQzYzdjYmUtYjI5ZC00NzJlLWE3N2MtZTM2MWQ5MjAwNWVl&hl=en

Article in Forbes that mentions Visiontek, but not BFG by name:
http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2008/0901/048b.html

I suppose Advanced Equities will soon be able to add BFG in as a failure.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy should not take this long, but it did here (includes payments):
http://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B--kPjOMTMyPNTg4NmVlZmMtMzRjYy00YzUwLWJhNDQtYzExMmZhNDczMjk3&hl=en

more than 3 years ago
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Senators Demand NASA Continue Spending On Ares

Tycho Re:It's about jobs in this economy (152 comments)

This interview from May 12 with Bob Bennett I find interesting:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126782931

While I don't agree with the guy very much on political issues, he does make some interesting points. This time around tea partiers flooded primaries with themselves. Worse, they didn't want to engage in rational discussion of the issues and were unwilling to consider compromise. They also seem to misunderstand what exactly one senator, or every Republican senator could do with respect to HCR. All you got was just a drumbeat about the "loving" the Constitution. This will get them nowhere in Congress.

Also, if TARP was unconstitutional, why has there been no case heard before the Supreme Court on it? If TARP had not been passed allowing the large banks to fail we would have probably followed a path similar to that of Herbert Hoover administration after the crash of 1929, a steep decline in the economy and a recovery only when the remaining banks were propped up. It would have been nice for the government to have been able to take the banks over, saving the depositors' money, but clearing out the investors. However, the final trashing of Glass-Stegall in 2002 made separating these two groups impossible.

more than 3 years ago
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The Far-Reaching Effects of Comcast v FCC

Tycho Re:Comcast makeing NBC cable only and kill off sat (132 comments)

FTC and FCC decisions have been overturned usually because of a perceived lack of legal authority and not due to constitutional reasons. Congress is still free to make these tools available to the FTC and FCC in the form of new legislation. Legislation that might seem more urgent if their current legal authority appears insufficient to allow then to complete their current roles.

more than 3 years ago
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The Far-Reaching Effects of Comcast v FCC

Tycho Re:Comcast makeing NBC cable only and kill off sat (132 comments)

You mean like the carcinogenic aftermath of bovine growth hormones showing up in milk? You're right, no corporation would be that stupid...

There would need to be evidence of that, and I've not seen any mention of such from any credible article indexed on MedLine. You can find any articles like that here:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/

And even if there was an article or two on Medline that still wouldn't meet the Daubert standard:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daubert_standard

Even then, bovine growth hormone would need to have a significant effect at the concentrations found in dairy products. I haven't heard of anything like that yet, and with that in mind, please provide some evidence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._R._Grace_and_Company
On the other hand, W.R. Grace and Company did sell vermiculite insulation contaminated with tremolite asbestos, one of the really nasty forms of asbestos. The crysotile asbestos that is intentionally used in asbestos containing products is not nearly so bad. Neither form is that dangerous unless you are disturbing its fibers on a daily basis, like in an occupational setting.

The individuals suffering the most from the tremolite asbestos W.R. Grace and Company unintentionally mined, are those living near where it was mined originally near Libby, Montana and the factory workers and their family members where the vermiculite was processed into insulation.

In any case, how much the executives at W.R. Grace knew, when they knew it, what they did with the information, and how much one could have done is another question. The residents of Libby, Montana suffering from health problems related to asbestos are receiving compensation for medical care from W.R. Grace. To a certain degree it isn't perfect, but it is better behavior than Exxon's with respect to its actions to a certain oil spill in Alaska.

more than 3 years ago
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The Far-Reaching Effects of Comcast v FCC

Tycho Re:Comcast makeing NBC cable only and kill off sat (132 comments)

Yes, but corporations still can't act against the interests of the public. Try making dangerous products. In such cases, the corporation would be making money, their suppliers would be making money and 401(k) accounts would be making money, but it would be dwarfed by the long term costs from people would end up injured. Making money in the short term is not a justification for bad behavior in the least.

If Comcast thinks that its actions related to FCC v. Comcast and other unrelated behavior should have no bearing on its current attempt at acquiring NBC, I assure you that both the FCC and FTC will have something to say about that. Either agency can and potentially even object to or block the sale of NBC to Comcast.

more than 3 years ago

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