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Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

amorsen Re:Politics (374 comments)

Would you have preferred that Tom Frieden lied? What would you have liked him to say?

11 hours ago
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Cell Transplant Allows Paralyzed Man To Walk

amorsen Possibly fake (156 comments)

There has been a lot of dubious research in this area. Studies where only a small minority of the subjects of the experimental procedure had their results published, and a lot of work with patients where the spinal cord was not actually completely severed. At least some of the results are likely to come simply from insufficient retraining prior to the experimental procedures.

Hopefully this one is actually true. We could really do with some good news in this area.

yesterday
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Samsung's Wi-Fi Upgrades Promise Speeds Up to 4.6Gbps

amorsen Re:I'd rather have longer range (92 comments)

You do not want obstacle penetration, unless you have that 10-story building with less than 10 wifi users. Obstacle penetration is just a nice word for interference these days. 2.5GHz is TOO good at obstacle penetration; in many places you can reach dozens of access points at 2.5GHz and the result is that none of them get decent performance.

about two weeks ago
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Samsung's Wi-Fi Upgrades Promise Speeds Up to 4.6Gbps

amorsen Re:I'd rather have longer range (92 comments)

Do you have lots of 10-story buildings with less than 10 wifi users? That seems like a very small market.

about two weeks ago
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Samsung's Wi-Fi Upgrades Promise Speeds Up to 4.6Gbps

amorsen Re:Samsung and wifi/bluetooth clashing (92 comments)

Bluetooth wifi coexistence is an ugly hack. Get your wifi to 5GHz (or 60GHz...) and leave the 2.5GHz mess to crippled protocols like Bluetooth.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: VPN Setup To Improve Latency Over Multiple Connections?

amorsen Re:Seems like a joke to me.. (174 comments)

Of course it is doable. It is probably even fairly easy with tun/tap. However, it requires programming; I doubt there are any pre-built solutions for doing this.

about two weeks ago
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Lennart Poettering: Open Source Community "Quite a Sick Place To Be In"

amorsen Re:In the spotlight (993 comments)

He is plenty good at dealing out abuse himself. Interacting with him is not a pleasant experience.

about two weeks ago
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A Garbage Truck That Would Make Elon Musk Proud

amorsen Re:Wondering why it took so long... (174 comments)

Why would you switch trucks to a less efficient system? Would you really put a 200kW+ electric motor in just to get rid of first gear?

about three weeks ago
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Object Oriented Linux Kernel With C++ Driver Support

amorsen Re:Linux could be compiled as C++ (365 comments)

The requirement was that the code would simultaneously compile with gcc in C mode (through the use of a few macros). That prevents any use of C++ features.

about three weeks ago
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Object Oriented Linux Kernel With C++ Driver Support

amorsen Linux could be compiled as C++ (365 comments)

For a short while, the Linux kernel could be compiled as C++. Some developers, I believe Linus included, felt that the stricter type checking offered by C++ would help kernel development. There was no attempt to actually use C++ features though.

The effort did not last long.

about three weeks ago
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Internet Explorer Implements HTTP/2 Support

amorsen Re:decompression: 800 Mbps (122 comments)

This would make sense if HTTP requests were typically bandwidth-limited. Almost none of them are, most are way too short and never actually get TCP going at line-rate. HTTP is most often latency-bound, not bandwidth-bound, and the compression is meant to help with latency (reducing number of request packets), not bandwidth.

about three weeks ago
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Internet Explorer Implements HTTP/2 Support

amorsen Re:Header Compression + Binary Headers (122 comments)

It is actually surprisingly complicated.

It turns out that a typical HTTP/1.1 request requires multiple TCP packets to get all the headers across. With TCP slow start, this takes a long time because only one packet gets transmitted per round trip in the beginning. Obviously this gets even worse if you try to browse to a different continent, with 100ms+ latency.

HTTP/2 manages to fit most requests into one packet, assuming a reasonable MTU. To do this requires both a binary protocol encoding and header compression. Without those, you need two packets which is half as fast.

Of course you could argue that this is all because TCP is a stupid ancient protocol which no one sane should be using in 2014.

about three weeks ago
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Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

amorsen Re:Profitable, if self-contradictory (549 comments)

It is difficult to imagine a destroyed Earth that is less hospitable than Mars. Not impossible, but difficult. In almost all cases it is easier to terraform Earth than Mars.

It would even be easier to build deep underwater communities on Earth.They are unlikely to be destroyed by climate change or ecosystem collapse, and resources are vastly easier to get there.

about three weeks ago
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The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

amorsen Re:the solution: (651 comments)

Anders Behring Breivik. Alas, he also had the skills to obtain guns legally.

about three weeks ago
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Apple Fixes Shellshock In OS X

amorsen Re:Why isn't this auto-update? (174 comments)

Yes, the typical use case for a MacBook is serving bash scripts over HTTP. Patch quickly!

about three weeks ago
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Astrophysicists Use Apollo Seismic Array To Hunt For Gravitational Waves

amorsen Re:Gratuitous LIGO Slam (25 comments)

One of the challenges is that there is just so much data from modern experiments. E.g. the LHC throws a lot of irrelevant data away before it even hits the hard drives. To a layman like me it seems likely that some potentially useful data gets thrown away in this process.

You cannot fault the LHC designers for doing this; the data handling and storage there is awe-inducing. Transporting and storing orders of magnitude of (probably useless) more data is just not feasible.

about three weeks ago
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Tesla Plans To Power Its Gigafactory With Renewables Alone

amorsen Re:ironic (260 comments)

That is the trick: You do not need to pump water anywhere. You just avoid using water when other forms of energy are delivering. If there is a power surplus even with the turbines off, you try to export that somewhere, and if no one wants it even for free, you stop the wind turbines or solar plants or whatever. If you happen to have pumped storage available for the few hours a year with low or negative prices, great, but otherwise it is not a great loss.

about a month and a half ago
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Tesla Plans To Power Its Gigafactory With Renewables Alone

amorsen Re:ironic (260 comments)

The neat thing about reservoir-based hydro power is that you can multiply its output by using pretty much any intermittent power source. If the rainfall is cut in half, you "just" build enough wind turbines or solar cells or whichever to provide the missing half of yearly energy output, and save up water whenever you can. At a large enough scale, you can boost hydro power many times over, assuming the hydro generators themselves are large enough. Luckily hydro generators are reasonably cheap to upgrade, whereas reservoir capacity is hard to come by.

about a month and a half ago
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Selectable Ethics For Robotic Cars and the Possibility of a Robot Car Bomb

amorsen Re:Insurance rates (239 comments)

Why would any bank finance a car loan without insurance? That would be monumentally stupid.

The bank can just insure the car themselves and add the cost to the interest rate they charge. However, most banks are likely large enough that self-insurance is the best option for them.

about 2 months ago
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Is Dolby Atmos a Flop For Home Theater Like 3DTV Was?

amorsen Re:3dTV is a flop? (197 comments)

3D TV requires you to disassociate your depth perception and your eye focus. 3D needs to stay properly sharp despite your eyes changing focus (and ideally blur the things which are out-of-focus, but that is less important). The technology to do so is almost here now.

Alternatively, most children today probably watch enough 3D that their vision adapts.

about 2 months ago

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