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Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

bromoseltzer How lethal are GRBs? (236 comments)

The abstract doesn't say how bad it is to be hit by a GRB beam. GRBs don't last for more than a couple of minutes. It seems that would fry the side of the planet facing the GRB, but the other side would be shielded from much of the radiation. So you zap half the lifeforms and maybe you boil some ocean. No doubt it's unpleasant on the dark side, but is it lethal?

2 days ago

Inside North Korea's Naenara Browser

bromoseltzer NK NAT (159 comments)

Clearly, you can NAT an entire nation! IT JUST WORKS!

(Of course, the fact that one of the most reclusive and oppressive nations in the world is using this isn't a shining endorsement, but still....)

Sure, but your big NK router only has 64K ports per external IP address. It will probably croak well before it has 64K NAT sessions going, though.

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: What Would You Do With Half a Rack of Server Space?

bromoseltzer Science, of course (208 comments)

Run BOINC. Discover pulsars, gravity waves, prime numbers, cure cancer. Isn't that enough?

about 6 months ago

Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

bromoseltzer Re:Which raises the critical question: (415 comments)

If you haven't used TECO, you might not be a real programmer. (The languge that is indistinguishable from line noise.)

about 7 months ago

Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

bromoseltzer Mosaic? (349 comments)

You're surprised that Mosaic doesn't run well on current hardware?

about 7 months ago

Master of Analytics Program Admission Rates Falling To Single Digits

bromoseltzer Analytics? (74 comments)

Analytics = !Synthetics Tearing stuff apart instead of putting stuff together.

about 9 months ago

The Case Against Gmail

bromoseltzer Re: Running your own server (435 comments)

There are at least 2 issues with cloud mail like gmail -- having GBs of mail archive sitting there (the static problem) and you have email coming & going over SMTP (dynamic). Got to deal with both. Unfortunately, you probably do need a first class (authenticated) SMTP relay for reliable outgoing mail. Tanstaafl!

about a year ago

The Case Against Gmail

bromoseltzer Running your own server (435 comments)

I just replaced my Google Mail account with a Raspberry Pi running Postfix and Dovecot. It does the job, if you don't get more than a few messages per minute. My motivation is to reduce my Internet Data Footprint -- the amount of stuff that is available to Google, NSA, et al to paw through. It uses trivial power, so there's no issue running 24/7. (If you're thinking about this, I'd recommend the BeagleBone Black - a lot faster for $10 more.)

The worst downside (besides having to set up and manage the thing) is spam control. Gmail is excellent at this, and Postfix/Amavis/Spamassassin only catches a fraction of the incoming bad stuff. There are cloud services for spam filtering, but they seem expensive for a single user.

about a year ago

When it comes to (download) bandwidth needs, I require..

bromoseltzer Re: Young whippersnappers! (279 comments)

I yearn for Flexowriters and the Burroughs 205 Datatron which they served. A room filled with vacuum tubes supplied with tons of cooled air.

about a year and a half ago

Dropbox Wants To Replace Your Hard Disk

bromoseltzer Copying Google (445 comments)

This is basically Dropbox parroting Google's Chromebook. I use a Chromebook at times, and it's remarkably good for 90% of what I do. Doesn't seem to run automake, however.

about a year and a half ago

The Pentagon's Seven Million Lines of Cobol

bromoseltzer Use the Proven Afghan System (345 comments)

Who needs software? Print lots of $100 bills, put into suitcases, put suitcases on pallets, and ship to Commanding Officers around the world.

about a year and a half ago

India To Send World's Last Telegram

bromoseltzer Re:digital? (205 comments)

Morse is the orginal digital system, being sent with the fingers.

about a year and a half ago

One Year After World IPv6 Launch — Are We There Yet?

bromoseltzer Re:I always thought... (246 comments)

I prefer this visualisation;

I wanted to make a cool graphic to show the relative sizes of the IPv4 and IPv6 address spaces. You know, where I’d show the IPv6 address space as a big box and the IPv4 address space as a tiny one. The problem is that the IPv6 address space is so much larger than the IPv4 space that there is no way to show it to scale! To make this diagram to scale, imagine the IPv4 address space is the 1.6-inch square above. In that case, the IPv6 address space would be represented by a square the size of the solar system.

I think this is why logarithms were invented.

about a year and a half ago

Nationwide Google Fiber Deployment Would Cost $140 Billion

bromoseltzer Re:Economic Stimulus (327 comments)

There's no bad way to spend $140 B (or more).

Blowing up children in Yemen would stand out as a bad way to spend that kind of money. vs. being put to productive use in the US economy.

As economic stimulus goes, I think I'd rather have bridges that don't fall down and railways that work than 1 Gbps to my home.

If the USG weren't trying to take defacto control of the majority of the Middle East, you could have both.

Quite so. Of course, end-of-war savings (peace dividends) rarely seem to materialize. Still, spending is good for the economy -- even if you only pay people to dig holes in the ground and fill them up. Of course it's still better if they fix bridges and highways and avoid shooting people.

more than 2 years ago

Nationwide Google Fiber Deployment Would Cost $140 Billion

bromoseltzer Economic Stimulus (327 comments)

Yes, but the Iraq war benefits the bankers, globalists, and components of the military-industrial-media complex. Nationwide gigabit fiber would chiefly benefit the citizenry and small businesses. So, the Legislators simply can't vote for such a thing!

There's no bad way to spend $140 B (or more). A lot goes into the pockets of workers who dig trenches and string fiber. (We really need those jobs.) Some goes to electronics manufacturers, but it all stimulates the economy -- and serves somebody's interests. The problem is if AT&T, Verizon, et. al. are locked out, especially if it's a government investment.

As economic stimulus goes, I think I'd rather have bridges that don't fall down and railways that work than 1 Gbps to my home. A mere 100 Mbs should keep me happy for the next 5 years, I'm thinking. I making do with 18 at the moment.

more than 2 years ago

Rover Finds Ancient Streambed On Martian Surface

bromoseltzer Re:Water, or some other fluid? (180 comments)

I've never heard of Occam's Razor. What is it? I'm imagining some kind of 7 legged, supersonic, invisible shoe.

It's an Olde English Cellphone.

more than 2 years ago

Scientists Say People Aren't Smart Enough For Democracy To Flourish

bromoseltzer Re:Democracy: the averagest (1276 comments)

Technically this is called aristocracy

Nope. Plutocracy. Aristocrats are aristocrats because their parents were aristocrats.

more than 2 years ago

Cambridge Scientists Create Huge Quantum Particles

bromoseltzer Re:Quantum Participles (52 comments)

It's a British thing. Queen's English. What what.

about 3 years ago

Cutting Open a Heatsink Heatpipe To See Inside

bromoseltzer Re:Where's the juice? (132 comments)

Why exactly is a fluid necessary? I don't think there is a fluid.

Heat pipes work by evaporating a liquid at the hot end and condensing it at the cold end.. The fancy wicking stuff is to persuade the liquid to move back to the hot place to get evaporated again. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_pipe .

more than 3 years ago


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