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US Launches Largest Spy Satellite Ever

electrostatic Re:more expense (213 comments)

I'm am American who is proud of our technological superiority over the rest of the world. Meanwhile, every electronic or mechanical device with three or more parts that I own is made in China.

more than 4 years ago

NSA Adds Kahn Collection To Cryptologic Museum

electrostatic Re:To the tune of the Major-General's Song. (34 comments)

"It's an eclectic cornucopia of all things cryptological."

Actually, it's a misdirection of all thing obsolete.

more than 4 years ago

Windows Phone Permanently Modifies MicroSD Cards, Warns Samsung

electrostatic Re:Permanently modified? (426 comments)

...the term BBC (which is unpronounceable)

I thought that within its province it's pronounced Beeb.

more than 4 years ago

An Anonymous, Verifiable E-Voting Tech

electrostatic Re:I don't trust it (236 comments)

He said that the raw data from all ballots would be public along with the software. Any third party can verify the totals. And each voter can check that his/her vote is in the data. But I don't know how ballot stuffing is detected.

more than 4 years ago

New Tool Blocks Downloads From Malicious Sites

electrostatic Re:Prior art (192 comments)

"...to cross-check whether the user authorized the computer to open, run or store the file on the hard drive."

I run Windows in admin mode, which of course permits these activities. Thus it seems BLADE would do nothing for me and my ilk.

more than 4 years ago

Electromechanical Switches Could Reduce Future Computers' Cooling Needs

electrostatic Re:Steampunk (95 comments)

Miniaturized relays are interesting, but an inverter which operates at 0.0005 Ghz is less interesting. Somehow I don't think...

This is an incorrect and unfair assertion -- unfair by stating the switching rate in GHz.

In the real world, DC-DC inverters run below 1 MHz. From Wikipedia:
"Unlike a linear power supply, the pass transistor of a switching mode supply switches very quickly (typically between 50 kHz and 1 MHz) between full-on and full-off states, which minimizes wasted energy."


more than 4 years ago

Boeing Gets $89M To Build Drone That Can Fly For 5 Years Straight

electrostatic Re:SEE! (271 comments)

Go USA! Five year in the sky totally kicks ass.

The LCD screen I'm looking at is made in China. It's a safe bet yours is too.

My laptop is made in China.
My cellphone is made in China.
My MP3 players are made in China.
My CS, DVD and Blu-Ray players are made in China.
My Roku box is made in China.
My media-center electronic equipment is made in China.
My Samsung HDTV is made in Korea.
My new refrigerator is made in China.
My Canon camcorder is made in Japan.
My cordless phone is made in China.
My USB hard drives are assembled in China.
My CFL replacement light bulbs are made in China.
My new kitchen appliances and serving ware are made in China.

My electric toothbrush is made in China.
And the list goes on...

more than 4 years ago

Super Principia Mathematica

electrostatic Re:Silly and presumptuous name... (325 comments)

Super Principia Mathematica
The Rage to Master Conceptual & Mathematical Physics

This book is dedicated with sincere gratitude and admonishing [sic] to the all wise (Omniscience)[sic], Omnipotent, and Omnipresent God the Father of us all; God the Son (Jesus) the Christ, and God the Holy Spirit for providing the wisdom, strength, and insight, and for being the author and finisher of my faith, making this work possible.

This paragraph is from the Acknowledgment.
http://www.superprincipia.com/First_Law_Of_Motion.htm/ Click Look inside, on page v.

more than 4 years ago

Mozilla Unleashes JaegerMonkey Enabled Firefox 4

electrostatic Re:Compatibility (279 comments)

Firefox lagged chrome mostly because firefox cares a LOT more about compatibility, ...

I wish Firefox could display my Netflix queue properly. It's impossible to delete an item that shows the DVD/Bluray listbox: the delete icon is lost.

I was forced to use IE but now there's the IE Tab Plus addon that invokes the embedded IE engine in a FF tab. Mediocre solution.

more than 4 years ago

The Story of Dealing With 33 Attorneys General

electrostatic Re:Attourneys General? (172 comments)

Seriously, can we stop with the French throwbacks, and say things the English way? What's wrong with General Attourneys?

Yes, that would make the singular and plural possessive cases easier.

For example, an AG and her staff are having lunch and the waiter arrives with sandwiches.

Should you tell him "that's the attorney's general ham and cheese"? Or should you say "that's the attorney general's sandwich"?

In TFA, should it be "the 33 attorneys' general lying venality"? Or "the 33 attorneys general's mendacity?"

more than 4 years ago

Spinal-Fluid Test Confirmed To Predict Alzheimer's

electrostatic Re:Thank goodness: (138 comments)

Man visits his doctor.

Man: "What's the news, Doc."

Doc: "Not so good. Test results show cancer, and ... spinal fluid indicates ... Alzheimers."

Man: "... Well, at least I don't have cancer."

more than 4 years ago

Web-Based Private File Storage?

electrostatic Re:Encryption (467 comments)

The problem with Truecrypt is that the volume is portable and they can run a dictionary attack against the passphrase at their leisure.

Then don't use a dictionary word or combination thereof.

TC uses a unique salt that is generated when you initially create the encryption key. The salt hashed with your password and the result is hashed again 1,000 times. Use of a salt prevents the use of a rainbow table. Hashing it 1,000 times grievously slows down any kind of brute-force attack.

The term "at their leisure" does not compare to even the most optimistic attack time frame.

more than 4 years ago

ReCAPTCHA.net Now Vulnerable to Algorithmic Attack

electrostatic Re:colours (251 comments)

"...an excellent Firefox plugin to render this page's color scheme more bearable."

Yep. Color Toggle


I have it set so Ctl-Shift-Z set light yellow background, black text, and blue links.

more than 4 years ago

LCD 'Engine' For Spacecraft Attitude Control

electrostatic Re:Next up... (95 comments)

"...faster than the wind, DIRECTLY DOWNWIND."

There's a bit of a cheat in the directly downwind assertion.

While it true that the vehicle is going directly downwind, its propeller is rotating in the wind. This causes to blade to experience the wind at an angle, just like a sailboat tacking into the wind. And in addition to the "lift" force perpendicular to the blade forcing the car forward, its rotation is used to drive the wheels.

Very clever nonetheless.

more than 4 years ago

The Physics of a Rolling Rubber Band

electrostatic Re:Wow, interesting! (226 comments)

"Spinning faster = more velocity perpendicular to slope on the leading edge of the loop. It makes sense that it would flatten out."

Very good point. The back edge of the loop is being accelerated perpendicularly upward. IOW, the small length of rubber that's breaking contact with the table is yanked -- accelerated -- upward to a high vertical velocity. Therefore, it will rise higher that it does at a slower rolling speed. Like throwing a ball upward with a high velocity against gravity, it reaches a higher distance. In the case of the rubber loop the restoring force is tension in the rubber just ahead of the peak.

But there's that difficult-to-model problem of elasticity. I imagine the fast-rising rubber is pulled downward by tension in the bit of rubber just ahead of the highest point. Most of its upward momentum is opposed by the force of that stretched bit. And the kinetic energy, which is proportional to the square of the velocity, is transferred to mechanical energy (force X distance) stored in the stretched bit. Since KE is non-linear (square of velocity) you often get unexpected behavior. Here we get into differential equations!

Regarding the role of elasticity in the transfer of momentum and kinetic energy in the shaping of the rolling loop, it would be interesting to do an experiment using a non-elastic loop. An example would be a metallic chain. I expect the shape would be different.

more than 4 years ago

Intel's 50Gbps Light Peak Successor

electrostatic Re:Why optical? (122 comments)

"...use 10 parallel 10Gbps lasers running at different wavelengths, but they are amazingly expensive.."

From TFA

And by encoding data at 12.5Gbits/sec across four laser beams of differing wavelengths, the connector yields a total bandwidth of 50Gbits/sec, five times that offered by Light Peak.

more than 3 years ago

Open Source Music Fingerprinter Gets Patent Nastygram

electrostatic Similarity application (487 comments)

There's a free app that recognizes similar content in MP3 and other audio files.

Similarity is a useful program that helps you to find and remove similar, duplicate musical files (MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV, FLAC, APE, WV, MPC) with the same or similar sound content, music tags (ID3,WMF,Vorbis). This is the best program where similarity of a sound part is checked, not just music tags or file content (byte to byte comparision). In addition the program analyzes the artist, title, album information from the music tags contained in the audio files and compare these with the appropriate entries in other files.

You can adjust sensivity of searching criteria to find exact or similar files. In this way it is possible to identify similarly titles with smaller differences. Duplicate files can be deleted or browsed. The list of duplicate files can be sorted, exported to playlist, and acted upon.

More at http://www.music-similarity.com/ I wonder if it uses the purported patented technology.

BTW, the assertion of a potential harm being caused by "...explaining how he did it because it 'may be viewed internationally. As a result, [it] may contribute to someone infringing our patents in any part of the world'" is certified bullshit.

All patents are public documents -- they must be public in order to inform the world just exactly what it is that the patent owner actually owns. It's detailed in the Claims section. "If you don't claim it, you don't own it."

Furthermore, a patent must "teach the invention," meaning that anyone "familiar with the art" shall be able to implement the invention with only the descriptions provided. If there actually is a patent for this technology, the cat is out of the bag.

Patent courts in the US are very favorably disposed to inventors -- assuming the technology is actually protected. It sounds like maybe not, and so the bluster and shrill threats.

more than 4 years ago

Should Cities Install Moving Sidewalks?

electrostatic Re:Obesity? (698 comments)

Wall-E, not just science fiction.

more than 4 years ago

IBM Makes Firefox Its Corporate Browser

electrostatic Re:What a pipedream. (152 comments)

I use FF almost exclusively, especially for the convenience and security provided by its rich set of addons. Not a web designer to any small degree, I don't understand why FF cannot render many sites, like Netflix, correctly. In the case of Netflix I wonder if this is a Netflix problem or Firefox fail. (FF cannot display the delete icon on the Netflix Queue page when the DVD/Bluray drop-down box appears on the same line.)

Certainly Netflix should make their site compatible with FF; but this problem has persisted for more than a year and they show no indication of giving a damn. OTOH, if Netflix conforms to coding "standards," whatever these might be, FF should work. Furthermore, FF renders lots of commerce sites so poorly that text is unreadable.

So I use the IE Tab Plus addon which renders the page with IE. A solution in the "extremely mediocre" category.

more than 4 years ago

Parallel Programming For the Arduino

electrostatic Re:C can do you wrong (140 comments)

Actually, the example I mentioned above does not apply to an Arduino itself, but to an add-on piece of hardware that uses a similar processor. The Arduino language has its own I/O pin functions.

more than 4 years ago



Optimal boarding for airlines: strict ordering

electrostatic electrostatic writes  |  more than 6 years ago

electrostatic (1185487) writes "A physicist says he has solved a problem that costs airlines millions every year: what is the quickest way to get passengers aboard an aircraft? Boarding is a serious issue for airlines, particularly those operating short flights that run several times a day, yet boarding times have steadily increased for decades. Jason Steffen of the Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, who has come up with the ideal boarding sequence, says the method used by many airlines is almost the worst."


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