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How a 'Seismic Cloak' Could Slow Down an Earthquake

egcagrac0 Banana shaped (101 comments)

Is the seismic cloak made of sheep's bladders?

about 6 months ago
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Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?

egcagrac0 Re:No Internet? (490 comments)

This one, right here.

DVD by mail leverages the bandwidth of a van full of media, and doesn't cut into your MiFi data cap.

If you actually buy the DVD, my understanding is that comes with a reasonably perpetual license to display the content, unlike streaming services that may go out of business.

For the paranoid out there, it's also slightly harder for the CIA/NSA/FBI/MIB to track when you're watching which film, provided you're watching it on a setup that isn't network connected. (Van Eck attacks are more expensive than waiting for phone-home reports.)

about 6 months ago
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Fluke Donates Multimeters To SparkFun As Goodwill Gesture

egcagrac0 Re:Good PR Move (250 comments)

Dang, maked me learn something. Thanks.

about 6 months ago
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Fluke Donates Multimeters To SparkFun As Goodwill Gesture

egcagrac0 Re:Good PR Move (250 comments)

However, I believe you could sell tractors that are a certain shade of green because within that context, green is identified as a functional color.

That depends on the intended use of the tractor, and the color.

If you said "construction tractor" (like a front-loader/backhoe, or a bulldozer), and "yellow", I think you're probably right. (Most of them seem to be a similar shade of "construction yellow".)

Certain shades of green (and orange, and yellow, and red, and blue) are almost certainly protected within the fields of agricultural tractors and landscaping equipment.

about 5 months ago
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Happy Pi Day

egcagrac0 Re:ISO 8601 (218 comments)

The confusion in this method of picking Pi Day clearly comes from trying to assign an irrational number to a day on the Gregorian calenda

Julian it is, then. Either November 9 or November 10, depending on leap years.

Suck it, Tau day proponents.

about 6 months ago
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Happy Pi Day

egcagrac0 Re:ISO 8601 (218 comments)

Imagine the bandwidth savings world wide!

Using your post as an example, 1/646... or approximately one and one half tenths of a percent bandwidth savings.

I can feel the latencies dropping already.

about 6 months ago
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Happy Pi Day

egcagrac0 Re:PI! (218 comments)

If you need more than about 32 digits for your calculations, you grossly misunderstand something.

Second, that's not a factorial.

about 6 months ago
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Happy Pi Day

egcagrac0 Re: What about the UK? (218 comments)

Wouldn't Pi Day be when, if you see the year as a circle (which many do), you have passed the diameter's length of it? I.e. April 26th?

This is possibly the most interesting idea so far.

about 6 months ago
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Happy Pi Day

egcagrac0 Re:MOD PARENT UP (218 comments)

It should really be July 21st, but very very late in the day.

about 6 months ago
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First Mathematical Model of 13th Century 'Big Bang' Cosmology

egcagrac0 900 years ago (60 comments)

I was under the impression that 900 years ago was "history", rather than "news".

about 6 months ago
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Bitcoin Inventor Satoshi Nakamoto Outed By Newsweek

egcagrac0 Re:Gun + BC client = $1,000,000,000 (390 comments)

Currency doesn't need to be a long term value store; currency needs to be a vehicle for short term value exchange.

about 6 months ago
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Bitcoin Inventor Satoshi Nakamoto Outed By Newsweek

egcagrac0 Re:Why? (390 comments)

Although maybe the latter will work in the not so distant future when there is only one journalist left.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

about 6 months ago
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Vast Surveillance Network Powered By Repo Men

egcagrac0 Re:stalking not free speech (352 comments)

If doing something once is OK (acceptable, moral, etc), how is it wrong to do it a million times?

If two wrongs don't make a right, two rights don't make a wrong. (Scale as needed.)

It's really not stalking - stalking is generally targeted at a specific person. This isn't targeted at anyone in particular; it's an attempt to gather general data to learn things. I think we usually call that "science".

about 6 months ago
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Vast Surveillance Network Powered By Repo Men

egcagrac0 Re:Shazbot! (352 comments)

It's time that we stop, take our time and really think this stuff through, make new laws that fit the times, strictly enforce these laws, and move on.

This is a reasonable viewpoint.

As we're thinking this through, however, we need to be extremely careful about what parts are actually undesirable. We probably don't want to create a society where it's technically illegal to sit in a park and write poems inspired by people passing by, or to take photos that happen to include a license plate or a person, or to get them published in a magazine.

We need to figure out what the "bad" part is, and restrict only that.

about 6 months ago
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Vast Surveillance Network Powered By Repo Men

egcagrac0 Re:Shazbot! (352 comments)

That depends on the circumstances.

If John was posing an imminent threat to your life, then you might have a justifiable self-defense excuse.

In our society, killing people, in general, is illegal (and immoral, and unacceptable, and unaccepted).

The United States Declaration of Independence specifically lists "life" as an inalienable right, and last I checked, DC was within US jurisdiction. Further, the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution already recognizes an intrinsic right to life ("...nor be deprived of life... without due process of law.").

No fundamental change is necessary; it's already in there.

about 6 months ago
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Vast Surveillance Network Powered By Repo Men

egcagrac0 Re:Shazbot! (352 comments)

I saw his car in the parking lot yesterday, too, so I'm pretty sure he was here yesterday.

As has been often lamented around here, a crime doesn't automatically become more heinous simply because a computer (or other technology) is involved. (Think... bank robbery by "hacking" instead of walking in with a note.) By the same standard, an acceptable act really doesn't become unacceptable just because it's automated.

If it's OK for me to drive around looking for someone's car, it is similarly OK for you to do the same. If it's OK for me to take pictures (or videos) while on a public street, it's OK for you to do the same. I'm pretty sure that if you or I found something interesting in our travels, we could take out our notebooks and write something about where we where, and when, and what we saw. We don't get to say that it's not OK for another private individual to drive around and take pictures just because they're going to use a computer to review the pictures and possibly highlight features of interest.

You say the subject may be more nuanced than I suggest; I don't think so. If action A is acceptable, and action B is acceptable, and action C is acceptable, how could doing all three together be unacceptable?

about 6 months ago
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Vast Surveillance Network Powered By Repo Men

egcagrac0 Re:That would be so freakishly illegal ... (352 comments)

You are welcome to observe what goes on in public and report on it.

Thanks.

What I don't want you to do is drive around an automated license plate reader and sell the data.

Explain the difference. In the latter case, I'm using tools to more efficiently observe what is going on in public, and reporting those observations to interested parties.

What's next, singing "Preserve us from the Wheel" in church?

about 6 months ago
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Vast Surveillance Network Powered By Repo Men

egcagrac0 Re:Is there an end to this? (352 comments)

RF doesn't always need line of sight to be effective. Don't need the cars to park at least 3 feet apart to get a good glimpse of the tag from the side as driving by.

about 6 months ago

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