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Researchers Find Security Flaws In Backscatter X-ray Scanners

bored_engineer Re:This is ridiculous. (133 comments)

Article four, clause 1 includes the text:

the right of a citizen of one State to pass through, or to reside in any other State, for purposes of trade, agriculture, professional pursuits, or otherwise;

This is the basis for the conclusion that we have a specifically protected right to travel.

yesterday
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Rightscorp's New Plan: Hijack Browsers Until Infingers Pay Up

bored_engineer Re:nuisance fee (374 comments)

"with whom" -->"with which"

2 days ago
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Rightscorp's New Plan: Hijack Browsers Until Infingers Pay Up

bored_engineer nuisance fee (374 comments)

The trouble is, that this is just a nuisance fee. I can pay $20 out-of-pocket to make a bogus "piracy claim" go away. I'm sure, though, that they'll include contractual language asserting my guilt, even though I've never downloaded from The Pirate Bay or its ilk. Once they've confirmed that I'm willing to pay, how many times will they come back? The article mentioned settling accounts exceeding $300 for multiple "infringements."

Also, how are they going to convince my ISP, with whom I have both an ongoing relationship and competitive alternatives, to do this?

2 days ago
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Neanderthals Ate Their Veggies

bored_engineer Re:Seems strange. (151 comments)

. . .except maybe inuit, since there isn't much to 'gather' on the ice. . .

They didn't really live on the ice. It was just a temporary place to use while hunting. While the Inupiat and Yupik (as well as other Inuit people) obtained (and many still do) most of their calories from hunting, they still gathered and preserved tubers, lichen, seaweed and berries. I don't think any Inuit cultivated crops, but some did practice animal husbandry.

about 2 months ago
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2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

bored_engineer Re:Good! (619 comments)

When will the bike riders pay their fair share of the road?

Probably when they actually cause wear and tear on the roads. I can assure you that when an engineer does the pavement design for a road, bicycles don't enter into the design life calculations.

about 2 months ago
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Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

bored_engineer Re:Is God falsifiable? (649 comments)

Interestingly, my father-in-law, an orthodox sephardic rabbi, insists that there is no contradiction. (I love this guy. I've never met anybody, except my wife, more capable of mental flexibility while maintaining his dogma.) He asserts (very briefly) that the timeline before the seventh "day" is God's, while the timeline thereafter is ours. He also asserts that our understanding of the universe is incomplete, and we *need* science to improve our understanding, and that accepting scientific knowledge about our world and universe will lead to a better understanding of God. (Or, our scientific tools are another of His ways to help us understand the Universe more completely.)

Please note that this is a two-sentence distillation of 20 years' intermittent discussion between him and me; much is lost in my delivery.

about 2 months ago
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US Marshals Seize Police Stingray Records To Keep Them From the ACLU

bored_engineer Re:Out of control (272 comments)

That's from "The Hunt for Red October," isn't it?

about 2 months ago
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Facebook Buying Oculus VR For $2 Billion

bored_engineer Re:Lets wait and see (535 comments)

. . .teenage girls.

Which is all that was needed to make it interesting to teenage boys as well.

about 5 months ago
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Drone-Assisted Hunting To Be Illegal In Alaska

bored_engineer Re:Bans Drones not Guns. (397 comments)

Probably less affluent hunters. Using aircraft (or FPV drones) would allow wealthy hunters to potentially lock out subsistence hunters who have little to no income, or perhaps for whom this is an important cultural activity, rather than a fun trip for the weekend.

about 5 months ago
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Drone-Assisted Hunting To Be Illegal In Alaska

bored_engineer Re:Redefine hunting. (397 comments)

. . .have a pretty powerful drone to have the kind of range. . .

I live outside Fairbanks, AK. In the outdoor section of the local paper late last fall, was an unconfirmed mention that "a friend" of the editor was using a fixed-wing drone and FPV setup to locate moose. I don't recall any mention of success.

about 5 months ago
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The Mammoth Cometh: Revive & Restore Tackles De-Extinction

bored_engineer Re:Kentucky Fried Dodo (168 comments)

I had a hard time finding a translation "walgvogel" other than as dodo, so I'll put it here for others. From An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language I discovered that:

Walgvogel in Dutch means "nauseous bird;" it seems that the sailors killed them so easily that they were surfeited of them.

I also discovered that both dodo and booby (the bird) are probably portuguese words.

about 6 months ago
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Apple's Messages Offers Free Texting With a Side of iPhone Lock-In

bored_engineer Re:Turn off iMessages ? (179 comments)

They certainly can't say you're not allowed to have a data-capable phone which doesn't have a data plan.

Is that right? I thought that their networks are sufficiently under their control to allow them to exclude whomever (and whatever) they want. Am I wrong?

Perhaps a carrier like T-Mobile ignores out-of-defined-use of smartphones, but do other carriers?

about 6 months ago
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Apple's Messages Offers Free Texting With a Side of iPhone Lock-In

bored_engineer Re:Turn off iMessages ? (179 comments)

unlimited calling ad unlimited texting

That should be "and," rather than "ad." GCI doesn't serve up ads as you use their service.

about 6 months ago
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Apple's Messages Offers Free Texting With a Side of iPhone Lock-In

bored_engineer Re:Turn off iMessages ? (179 comments)

I don't have a contract, and will never have another one again. When I was on a contract, I hated being locked in when I discovered that AT&T sucks in interior Alaska and couldn't switch without incurring a penalty. (While in Cantwell, I had a signal, but couldn't make a call: They couldn't tell me why. There were at least two more reasons I wanted to switch away.)

I have a vague memory, though, of reading that carriers can get the model of your phone, and will happily add data if they find you're using a smart phone without a data plan. Perhaps I should be more bold.

Right now, I'm paying $30/mo for a local plan, with an older phone. It includes unlimited calling ad unlimited texting with 1 GB of data and fantastic coverage. I don't have a strong incentive anymore for trying to dump the data fees, though I did give it serious thought and eliminated the possibility because of the limitations I perceived.

Do you mind sharing which carrier you use?

about 6 months ago
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Apple's Messages Offers Free Texting With a Side of iPhone Lock-In

bored_engineer Re:Turn off iMessages ? (179 comments)

My daughter has an iPhone without a data plan. . .

How did you (or she) manage that? Every carrier I've seen requires data with any smartphone connected to the network, and I thought I read that they can detect the phone. I've thought about doing exactly this, but haven't been bold enough to give it a go.

about 6 months ago
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China's Jade Rabbit Lunar Rover Officially Declared Lost

bored_engineer Re:Philosophical question: (131 comments)

Sorry, I should have expounded a little more. I read the article and the discussion here intending to ask the same question that ericlowe did. I answered much too concisely after I looked up the definition, so I skipped some of the thought process.
I didn't mean to imply that it was successful, only that the machine deployed from its lander. I suppose that I would have been more complete had I said that it had deployed properly up to "x" point, then failed at "y." (In the example that dictionary.com provided, even if the landing gear of a plane deploys properly, it doesn't necessarily follow that it will "accomplish its mission" and land safely.)

about 6 months ago
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Tesla Touts Cross-Country Trip, Aims For World Record

bored_engineer Re:Gravity charging? (357 comments)

I calculate the potential energy of water at about 2.7E6 J, while a gallon of gasoline has 130E6 J. A close equivalence, I think, is to assume that only 1/5 of the gasoline can be converted to mechanical energy at the wheels. That leaves about 26E6 J from a gallon of gasoline, ignoring any inefficiencies in the systems on the electric car, about 10X more energy than your hour-long (minimum, assuming an 8% grade) trek to grab water.

about 7 months ago
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California Regulator Seeks To Shut Down 'Learn To Code' Bootcamps

bored_engineer Re:If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (374 comments)

For every rhetorical question, there is an answer. I used to live in Beverly Hills, and was surprised when I learned that a permit is required for a garage sale. (I was amused to see in my search on Google that Beverly Hills, TX also requires a garage sale permit.)

about 7 months ago
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Will Electric Cars and Solar Power Make Gasoline and Utilities Obsolete?

bored_engineer Re:Natural Gas (734 comments)

I don't think that this is feasible. I ran a quick calculation, and assuming that you wanted to melt an inch of snow within one hour, and also assuming perfect heat transfer, you would need to supply 2.2HP, or about 1.7kW for the heat of fusion, assuming 1,000 sf of panels. (Somebody above suggested this as appropriate to completely supply a home and car.) This is nearly 15A at 120V for a heating circuit, and I've not yet accounted for heat loss or the latent heat to bring it up to 32F.

about 7 months ago

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