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Astronauts' Hearts Change Shape In Space

acidradio Valentines Day (113 comments)

Great. How will the Hallmark card go for this one? You've completely ruined yet another "Hallmark holiday"! How will we stay in business?

about three weeks ago

Slashdot Asks: Do You Label Your Tech Gear, and If So, How?

acidradio Re:Labelling won't change others' morals, but... (250 comments)

I have a broadband router and a VoIP ATA both made by Linksys, both of which look identical and have "identical looking" AC adapters. I moved to a new apartment. All of a sudden my VoIP calls had a horrific buzz and would randomly drop. Upon further investigation the VoIP ATA needed the adapter that kicked out about 1000mA and the broadband router only needed about half that. Swapped. Problem solved. Now both adapters are labeled as to avoid future mishaps like this. That's the reason I mention this.

about 2 months ago

Slashdot Asks: Do You Label Your Tech Gear, and If So, How?

acidradio Labelling won't change others' morals, but... (250 comments)

I can't change others' morals and not make them thieves. But I do label stuff simply so it doesn't get confused. We all have so many big power transformers to power every device and, well, I end up moving every 2-3 yrs. How will I know what all they go to? Some look identical and even have the same plugs! But not the same wattage or amperage, which makes equipment go bananas. So... for at least THAT reason it's wise to label stuff.

about 2 months ago

CERN Wants a New Particle Collider Three Times Larger Than the LHC

acidradio Sounds like Dr. Evil at work... (238 comments)

I can only picture that someone who looks like Dr. Evil (from the Austin Powers series) commissioning the construction of this "bigger, better" supercollider :|

about 2 months ago

New England Burns Jet Fuel To Keep Lights On

acidradio Re:Importance in diversity of energy sources (230 comments)

Today plucked from the local news: Xcel urges customers to turn down the heat after Canada pipeline blast (www.startribune.com/local/242004631.html).

Xcel Energy is also a natural gas provider throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota. A sizable amount of their supply comes from Canada. They are urging people to turn down their home thermostats to a relatively-low 60F. What happens to the nat gas power plants now? Do *they* have to throttle down too? Other fuel sources can keep on truckin.

about 3 months ago

RNC Calls For Halt To Unconstitutional Surveillance

acidradio Watergate? (523 comments)

Wait a minute. Weren't these the same people who broke into the Democratic Natl. Committee's headquarters seeking to pilfer with documents and information?

about 3 months ago

New England Burns Jet Fuel To Keep Lights On

acidradio Importance in diversity of energy sources (230 comments)

In recent years there has been a movement to quickly shutter "old" power plants that run on fuel sources like coal, oil and other less environmentally friendly fuels and totally replace them with natural gas plants. Natural gas has come way down in price also which helps force that along. But what happens when supplies of natural gas either radically go up in price or become limited due to some other distribution problem? It's a good thing that they had these peaking units ready at the standby along with a sufficient amount of fuel.

Where I live (Minneapolis) a number of the local coal power plants have been completely converted to natural gas. There is still one large coal-fired plant though north of town (Xcel Energy's Sherco) that is not viable to convert to natural gas at this point and still runs on coal. Sherco was the quintessential baseload coal fired power plant cranking out 2400MW through three units. It has now be relegated to being a peaking unit for the most part, turned up and down as necessary. Recently one of the three turbines violently shattered, had to be rebuilt and was offline for many months. Sherco is the kind of power plant that was meant to be fired up and ran continually for a couple of years without downtime and without significant variation in the throttling/output. I can only speculate but I don't think that treating it like a peaking plant and constantly varying the output is good for it... and a number of other similar power plants around the country.

about 3 months ago

Ukrainian Protesters Receive Mass Text Message Ordering Them To Disperse

acidradio Why use your real identity? (233 comments)

Someday I'm just going to buy a prepaid mobile phone. And register it to:

Joseph Biden
9800 Savage Road
Ft. George G. Meade, MD 20755-6623

[I'll save you the Google lookup - that's the NSA headquarters]

about 3 months ago

Canadian Music Industry Calls For Internet Regulation, Website Blocking

acidradio RIAA = pig stuck in mud, dying (198 comments)

The recording industry, the biggest bunch of middleman thieves ever, is finally losing its free ride. You don't NEED a record company anymore, you can be your own! If they didn't think they were dying they wouldn't be violently throwing tantrums everywhere - lobbying for really radical unilateral changes to the law, suing regular everyday people for "piracy" to the point of bankruptcy, hassling bars/restaurants (usually mom and pop operations, barely making it as it is) into paying commercial licensing fees for music, etc.

A band now can cut their own album and sell it on iTunes, Amazon or a host of other music sites and retain a lot more of the proceeds. Back in the day even large, famous acts were getting stiffed by the record companies! Thanks in part to the way that record companies have pushed musicians up against the wall now for many years the market is now to a point where the artists don't even make money on the albums themselves. Instead they make the money at concerts, both on tickets and on merchandise. An artist now almost has to *give away* the music (many seem to - look on Youtube for all of the "full album" videos) as the loss leader in hopes of getting people to their concert. Artists can post samples on Youtube (at no cost) to drive sales and exposure. The record company middleman has less and less importance in a marketplace like this.

I'm glad to see that more and more musicians are standing up for themselves and taking advantage of the offerings that don't involve RIAA-related entities. If the entity doesn't add value they shouldn't have a role in the marketplace anymore.

about 3 months ago

Adware Vendors Buying Chrome Extensions, Injecting Ads

acidradio Now the "alternative" is becoming the culprit (194 comments)

Many people have defected from IE due to its problems with malware and adware. Firefox, but more so Chrome seemed to be safe. So now that the awesome, "safe alternative" browser is compromised, what's next? I can't imagine there an easy fix to this. Is it time to go to yet another browser?

This is almost like how pharmaceutical scientists keep having to modify and discover new antibiotics. The current batch of drugs eventually becomes less and less effective and the bacteria become resistant, prompting us to constantly evolve the offerings.

about 3 months ago

Controversial Execution In Ohio Uses New Lethal Drug Combination

acidradio Re:Barbaric (3 comments)

Murdering people is barbaric. That's what all of these people are on death row for. And often for gruesome murders combining things like kidnapping, rape and torture! How is it not barbaric to say that someone who has viciously murdered someone has more rights than their victim was ever afforded?

about 3 months ago

Nations Largest Cocaine Smuggler Revealed: The DEA

acidradio Drug enforcement = job program (1 comments)

News like this just reinforces that drug enforcement in the US (and much of the western world, at the puppet-strings of the US) is a job program and political game. Lots of "Hank Schraders" and "Steve Gomezes" make their living trying to eradicate a product that people will spend hard-earned money and get into gunfights to obtain. They are trying to empty the ocean one teaspoon at a time. And the prison industry... ah the US prison establishment. We now lock up more people than all of those supposed communist, totalitarian nations we hate!

about 3 months ago

BlackBerry Launches Twitter-Like BBM Channels

acidradio Relevance? (49 comments)

Seriously. What is BBM? Hell, what is a Blackberry? I've never seen one. I hear about this old mythical creature but I don't know what it looks like and nobody else I know knows what it looks like. Hmmm.

about 5 months ago

Fighting Paralysis With Electricity

acidradio Proud to see stuff like this... (56 comments)

Kind of off-topic but I love seeing stuff like this hit the news. I do IT work at Medtronic. Nothing related to the devices but rather supporting the software that the engineers, scientists, physicians, designers and factory workers use to make these devices. Its an interesting feeling that in the end my work is a little tiny piece of making stuff like this happen. Morally and emotionally I feel great going to a job at a company like this. Here a device like this is helping this man stand and eventually walk again! My prior jobs were all IT jobs in really dismal, "selfish" industries - banking, credit cards, health insurance. Nothing I did helped make the world a better place. The work I did made a CEO richer and that was about it. The companies were built on "How can we cheapen this so we make more money on it." The reason I mention this is I see a lot of IT people who go to their job and feel something missing or don't feel like they contribute to the greater good. I felt that same way for a long time. Then by luck I got in there. I think a lot of us have a moral, emotional, spiritual (or all of the above) compass and this is the kind of stuff that fulfills that.

about 6 months ago

Google Wants Patent On Splitting Restaurant Bills

acidradio "He who looks at the bill first pays it" (196 comments)

Growing up amongst my friends (and in general) we had a rule that he who picked up the bill and looked at it (at least without discussing it first with the other people at the table) was on the hook for the whole thing. It was more or less a courtesy. If I went with someone who was older than me (ie. my grandma) and she brought me out to lunch it would be very rude of me to look at the bill that I'm not going to pay.

So if Google wants to get in the middle of my restaurant bill payment, well...

about 6 months ago

Nuclear Trashmen Profit From Unprecedented US Reactor Shutdowns

acidradio Re:Oh yes, store the waste (74 comments)

Can't we just store it in somewhere like Detroit? I mean they have the space, it's cheap, nobody seems to go there and they sure could use the jobs!

about 7 months ago

Device Keeps Liver Alive Outside Body For 24 Hours

acidradio Alcohol consumption? (62 comments)

So will this help me get more drunk? Less hungover? Will I dance better? I mean, what else do you really use your liver for?

about a year ago

Is Non-Prescription ADHD Medication Use Ever Ethical?

acidradio We make machines more efficient, why not people? (487 comments)

If we are truly capable of "better" or "super" abilities but with the aid of some kind of drug, stimulant or other substance... basically aren't we just harnessing something we already "have" but is not finely tuned or inaccessible? In the mechanical world this is done all the time - engineers scour all the possible ways to make a race car, an airplane, a piece of factory machinery more efficient. Humanity is looking for solutions to LOTS of complicated things. Why can't we make OURSELVES more efficient?

The bigger question to me is why aren't we naturally that well tuned, why do we have to take a drug to make ourselves more focused, better working, harder working? Were we generally more tuned in the past? What has this modern environment of cubicles, GMO food, blinding fluorescent light, lack of healthy and walkable environs, what has that done to the human animal and our ability to think and work?

about a year and a half ago

School Regrets Swapping Laptops For iPads

acidradio Gimmick? (504 comments)

I'm sure these iPads were touted as the "wave of the future" and that laptops were obsolete. Obsolete until you discover that the iPad is not a like-for-like replacement for said laptops! And in the process I'm sure some consultant handsomely profited on all of this. Like they said on The Simpsons, "Monorail! Monorail! Monorail!".

about a year and a half ago

FAA Permits American Airlines To Use iPads In Cockpit "In All Phases of Flight"

acidradio Immediate updates, faster communication? (372 comments)

I'm assuming that AA has or will have Wi-Fi installed at the gates for this and that the pilots will sync the iPads as they get from station to station. I see a couple of neat possibilities:

- Immediate and instant update of flight charts and manual pages. Instead of the pilots (hundreds or even thousands!) having to update pages/plates in their Jepp books and other manuals - a very ardous and regular task that everyone has to be compliant on - you can send out updates instantly. The whole company can be instantly updated in a matter of hours or a day.
- E-mail! When I worked in the airlines I can't tell you how many pilots popped into our flight ops area to borrow a computer to check e-mail, connect with crew scheduling or check updates to schedules, etc. We of course were always glad to share our computer but this makes it a lot easier and quicker for the pilots to do so without having to go anywhere.
- Paperless workflow. Granted airplanes are required to carry a logbook for maintenance purposes (still on paper) but this could help facilitate maintenance writeups if they could find a different way to do this. The pages in the aircraft maintenance logbook are usually 5-ply carbonless copy papers and are difficult to read. The lines are tiny and just try writing in one while the plane is flying and you hit a bump here and there! If they could enter the maintenance writeups into an iPad and sync it when they get on the ground (or maybe even with the inflight Wi-Fi products?) that could get the wheels spinning faster for maintenance and reduce the need for actual physical paperwork.

about a year and a half ago



A beer AND "gun range"? What could possibly go wrong?

acidradio acidradio writes  |  about 3 months ago

acidradio (659704) writes "A former FBI agent wants to open a combination saloon/"gun range" in the western resort town of Deadwood, South Dakota (known for its Wild West outlaws, saloons, gold mining and gambling). Apparently it will involve a saloon along with both a simulated gun range (for those who have been drinking) and a real gun range (apparently for those who have NOT been drinking). I almost feel it's inevitable the two lines will get blurred. What happens when some drunk patron sneaks over to the "live" gun range? After living in South Dakota I can tell you that basically "anything goes" there and there doesn't seem to be much common-sense protection of human life, or as little as you can find in a US state."
Link to Original Source

Commercial plane crash in Moscow caught on passerby's vehicle dash cam

acidradio acidradio writes  |  about a year ago

acidradio (659704) writes "Yesterday a Tupolev 204 (Russian-made aircraft equivalent to an Airbus 321 or a shortened 757) overran the runway at Moscow Vnukovo airport and crashed into a nearby highway. A plane crash is always bad but what makes this seem different is how well it was recorded. It seems like *everyone* in Russia has a dashcam, here is footage: http://youtu.be/hEQdW6yS5o4. A driver who just happened to be driving by on the nearby M3 highway (right about here on the map: http://goo.gl/maps/MVlYr) is pelted by flying nose wheels and a row of coach-class seats! An accident like this has probably never been filmed so up close. We are getting better and better at recording accidents and disasters (whether by coincidence due to overuse of surveillance or maybe on purpose). What does that say about our level of documentation and recording of people's everyday lives? And what's the deal with dashcams in every Russian car?"
Link to Original Source

Another Cable Provider Takes Aim At A Muni Broadband Provider

acidradio acidradio writes  |  more than 2 years ago

acidradio (659704) writes "The city of Monticello, MN (about an hr. drive north of Minneapolis) decided to roll out its own city-wide broadband network after all of the local phone and cable providers shafted them with either expensive or no service at all. Ironically carriers that never wanted to offer any kind of significant broadband in Monticello went to court and the Public Utilities Commission to fight Monticello's construction of this network! If they can't sell the broadband in Monticello nobody else can? Providers testified that it was not feasible for any of them to offer broadband or they could only offer it at low speeds for ripoff prices. After all that Charter is now offering a combined TV/DVR/cable modem package for $60/mo which is normally offered in other communities for significantly more than that. Maybe competition does help the consumer here!"
Link to Original Source

Employers say they can't find workers... but we ar

acidradio acidradio writes  |  more than 2 years ago

acidradio (659704) writes "Companies in all kinds of high-paying fields say that even in this lousy economy they can't find the employees they need. They don't seem to do a very good job of trying to develop employees though. Many of these fields in the past (ie. skilled manufacturing) were ones in which they were willing to take a risk on an underqualified but eager and trainable new worker. Now? They expect that worker to go out and pay for their own education in that field... which may not even exist or have jobs once that student graduates!"
Link to Original Source


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