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Comments

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SpaceX Testing Landing Legs On Next Falcon9 Rocket

brentonboy This will be really cool to watch (73 comments)

Given the attention to video that SpaceX has given to their other activities, there's a good chance we'll get to see a video of this thing splashing down, depending on how precisely they can land it.

about 5 months ago
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Shutdown Cost the US Economy $24 Billion

brentonboy Re:The govenment should just double spending. (767 comments)

In other words, when it says it "cost the economy $24 Billion," what it really means is that the US government spent $24 billion less than it would have otherwise.

If that really was the problem, it could be fixed with a bill to buy $24 billion worth of paperclips.

Am I the only one who thinks we're approaching this backwards?

about 9 months ago
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Chrome's Insane Password Security Strategy

brentonboy Re:The plaintext passwords isn't the issue (482 comments)

Why not just use KeePass or LastPass? Occam's Razor suggests it. In other words, why reinvent a wheel that has already been invented?

I do. It's a huge pain. It would be "simpler" to have it built-in to my browser. But there must be a reason Google hasn't done it. (Other than "LastPass already exists".)

about a year ago
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Chrome's Insane Password Security Strategy

brentonboy The plaintext passwords isn't the issue (482 comments)

Sure, it's shocking for someone who thought their passwords were safe in Chrome to realize that they're visible with four clicks. But the real issue is that Chrome passwords aren't really stored safely. If you get a virus on your system, it has full access to the passwords.

Honest question: why doesn't Chrome implement something similar to KeePass or LastPass? Is there some technical reason? Is it astoundingly difficult? Does it not actually provide additional security against malware?

about a year ago
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Manipulating Heat Like Light

brentonboy Re:Low-heat electricity generation (82 comments)

No, because it would violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Does the 2nd law of thermodynamics not apply to a steam generator?

about a year and a half ago
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Manipulating Heat Like Light

brentonboy Low-heat electricity generation (82 comments)

I wonder if you could use this to concentrate low levels of heat and generate electricity from it. Not only would you be able to get energy out of (almost) nothing, (albeit, probably not much), but you could cool an area without producing a lot of waste heat.

about a year and a half ago
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Scientists Breed Big-Brained Guppies To Demonstrate Evolution's Trade-Offs

brentonboy Re:Has nothing to do with evolution (121 comments)

I think there's a difference between breeding and evolution. Breeding plays with existing traits and amplifies/changes them. Evolution actually creates something new. You can't "breed" a dog to have wings or gills or anything that the ancestor wolves didn't have. But you can play with size and hair length and things like that.

about a year and a half ago
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Boeing's CHAMP Missile Uses Radio Waves To Remotely Disable PCs

brentonboy What did that one computer spit out it's CD tray? (341 comments)

In the video when the microwaves hit, one of the computers ejects it's CD tray and something falls out. What was it? What could cause that to happen? Did something trigger the eject functionality, or was it caused by overheating pieces inside somehow?

about 2 years ago
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LinkedIn Password Leak: Salt Their Hide

brentonboy Re:Standard practice? (192 comments)

I never give security questions the kind of thing they ask for. If they want my mother's maiden name, they might get "Cheverolet Caprice" (a car I have never owned), or the name of the neighbors's dog that I hate. I really doubt that they are going to check to see if I gave a valid name.

Actually, I do this too. But I'm betting a lot of LinkedIn users don't.

more than 2 years ago
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LinkedIn Password Leak: Salt Their Hide

brentonboy Re:Standard practice? (192 comments)

This is LinkedIn, not your bank, not the government, nothing important.

Except my bank has security questions that ask would-be infiltrators for personal information about me--the sort of personal information that can be found on LinkedIn, or that contacts on LinkedIn are likely to know.

more than 2 years ago
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Google Teaches Computers "Regret"

brentonboy Re:Regret is a standard term in economics (145 comments)

The article is comparing the technical regret to the common _use_ of the _word_ "regret," not the actual thing going on in our brains. I think there's a big difference in how most people use the word "regret" and what the technical word means.

more than 3 years ago
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Five Times the US Almost Nuked Itself

brentonboy Re:Fear mongering? (384 comments)

The destruction would have been far less than that of Nagasaki or Hiroshima, since it would have detonated on the ground, instead of high in the air over the cities in Japan.

more than 3 years ago
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Five Times the US Almost Nuked Itself

brentonboy My child almost shot himself (384 comments)

The only reason he didn't die is that there weren't any bullets around.

more than 3 years ago
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GoogleSharing, Now With No Trust Required

brentonboy Re:No, not Really? (152 comments)

Equivocate much?

more than 3 years ago
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GMail Introduces Priority Inbox

brentonboy This could be marginally useful (242 comments)

But what would be really useful is a snooze button for emails that would archive them for a few days (or whatever time you specify for that email) and then have it pop up in your inbox as if new after that.

more than 3 years ago
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Cloth Successfully Separates Oil From Gulf Water

brentonboy Re:The oil pressure's not that immense. (327 comments)

Why does it need to be this cloth? How about dumping 500 tons of cement on top of it?

more than 4 years ago
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Cloth Successfully Separates Oil From Gulf Water

brentonboy Re:Great for filtering, but - (327 comments)

Mammals and birds have a better chance, and it seems like a skimmer like this gets them into the boat and gives rescuers a chance to wash them. They're probably better off in the boat than out of it.

I'm not entirely sure - for two reasons:

1) Nets are huge. If you get dragged into one, even one that floats on top, and more and more oil is dumped onto you, I think you're going to die unless you're the last thing to get dragged in
2) I'm rather curious about the survival rate of birds, mammals, turtles etc., after they have been cleaned. It might look really nice, that you start with an oil covered pelican and end up with a shiny white and clean pelican, but if it dies a week after you set it free, because it's swallowed too much oil, infections or whatever, that doesn't bode well for the creature. Might be more humane to kill it instead of cleaning it off.

Yeah, once the oil is on the birds, they'll likely die.

more than 4 years ago
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Quantum Film Might Replace CMOS Sensors

brentonboy Re:Sensitivity is not Resolution (192 comments)

Of course, if money is no object, more of everything will certainly improve things.

Nope. Increasing resolution without first increasing light gathering ability will make the image worse. In fact, most digital cameras would produce better pictures if they decreased the resolution. Manufacturers put a higher pixel density than is useful because megapixels sell: the salesman and your mom, and even you see two cameras, one with 6mp, and one with 12mp, and you assume the 12mp camera is better. If they're similar in other respects, the one with a smaller pixel density (the 6mp one) is guaranteed to be better.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Cool-sounding things to do with Beowulf clusters.

brentonboy brentonboy writes  |  more than 4 years ago

brentonboy (1067468) writes "I have been scavenging computers out of trash and recycling bins for a few years, and my roommate and I finally decided to put all our boxes to use in a Beowulf cluster, more to impress visitors than anything else. So we have this stack of computers, and a good answer to the question "what is that?" But now we need a really impressive answer to the next question: "what is it doing?" So what are some neat things to have a small ragtag "conversation starter" Beowulf cluster work on?"
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Browser-stats for non-standard sites

brentonboy brentonboy writes  |  more than 5 years ago

brentonboy (1067468) writes "We all know that browser statistics are inaccurate and skewed. But I'm interested in looking at the distortions that appear on different websites and comparing them. For example, how many browsers claiming to be IE visit mozilla.org? Does Mozilla make it's browser statistics public? What about other tech sites like Slashdot, W3C, or for that matter, Google? It would also be fun to look through the User Agent Strings to see the "custom" ones--sometimes very funny!"
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Conferences for Web Developers

brentonboy brentonboy writes  |  more than 5 years ago

brentonboy (1067468) writes "At my company, all the other engineers get to go to cool conferences, but my Web Developer co-workers and I miss out on all the fun. Are there any conferences for back-end Web Developers to discuss and learn more about stuff like ECMAscript, HTML 5, Web Standards, and the newest browser info?"
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Good Tech Courses Online

brentonboy brentonboy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

brentonboy (1067468) writes "My employer pays for me to take training courses online. In addition to being a more interesting use of my time than what I normally do around here, it looks good on my resume, and I actually have learned a few things. As a Web Developer, I have already taken courses in CSS, JavaScript and AJAX, but it's getting harder and harder to find new courses from credible programs. The two places I've found that seem the most credible are O'Reilly School of Technology (which counted for credit at the U. of Illinois) and IWA/HWG through eClasses.org. Are there other legitimate places out there on the internet that offer credible certificates or classes?"

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