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The Downside to Low Gas Prices

flatulus Re:what are you going to do? (554 comments)

So back to you, what are you going to do when oil runs out in just a century or so?

I will roll over in my grave, ok?

about a month ago
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The Military's Latest Enemy: Climate Change

flatulus Re:They are going big into alternative energy (163 comments)

Next to that, we need a system of converting CO2 from the air into a usable fuel, ideally propane, because propane is not a greenhouse gas and inert.

Really? My reading is that the equation for propane combustion is: C3H8 + 5O2 = 3CO2 + 4H20

Maybe propane produces less CO2, pound for pound, than say, coal. (I don't actually know, and don't care to look it up.) But it certainly produces CO2 when burned.

Oh, and anyone who's ever cooked on a propane grill, or used a propane torch, will attest to its distinct non-inertness...

about a month ago
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US Midterm Elections Discussion

flatulus Re:Flamefest (401 comments)

Fire Ants FTW!

That is one of my favorite analogies, and I've never before heard anyone use it besides myself. I grew up in Florida, where I used to kick the tops off of ant hills all summer long. Free entertainment for out-of-school kiddies.

Just be sure to take a few steps back after kicking...

about a month and a half ago
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The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

flatulus Re:the solution: (651 comments)

Would you please provide some kind of citations to historical documents to support your assertion?

about 3 months ago
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The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

flatulus Re:the solution: (651 comments)

Unfortunately, a small, aggressive, well-funded minority can always subvert the democratic process.

If by this, you are obliquely referring to the NRA (as the aggressive, well-funded minority), you might take note that right now in Washington State, billionaires are out-spending the NRA (and pro-gun overall) by a ratio of 7 to 1 on an initiative to expand background checks. Well, at least that is what they are calling it. It's a whole lot more than "simply" expanding background checks, but I digress...

Said billionaires include:

Bill and Melinda Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Ballmer (gotta love all that Microsoft money slushing around)

Nick Hanauer

oh,

and Michael Bloomberg.

I particularly thrilled at how Ralph Fascitelli of Washington Ceasefire recently invoked the imprimatur of Dan Satterburg (King County prosecutor) as a supporter of I-594, while not mentioning the rest of the state (King county is a little over a quarter of the state's population). This was, of course, to a Seattle audience (who would care about the rest of Washington's population - how?).

about 3 months ago
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FCC Boosts Spectrum Available To Wi-Fi

flatulus Time for a Pedantic Rant (73 comments)

Wi-Fi is not a wireless communications standard. IEEE 802.11 is the wireless communications standard. Wi-Fi is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance - and industry trade organization. They do publish interoperability agreements and offer "certification" (required to use their trademarks on products), but these should not be confused with the IEEE wireless communications standard.

(rant done - going back to reading now...)

about 9 months ago
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FCC Boosts Spectrum Available To Wi-Fi

flatulus 23 years later and we get it! (73 comments)

I'd like to take a moment to memorialize a pioneer in this pursuit that probably none of you ever heard of. The name is Jim Lovette. Jim worked with me at Apple in the early 90's. He was a heart-and-soul devotee to the democratization of RF bandwidth for high speed data communications. With Jim's leadership, Apple drafted a petition to the FCC, known as Data-PCS. This was a proposal to allocate spectrum in the U.S. exclusively for use in data communications (as opposed to "voice only" which was the vogue at the time). The Data-PCS petition caused a lot of excitement, but did not result in anything earthshaking as an outcome. Still it started a movement of which this latest step is a grand one in the pursuit of "computing devices talking to each other" being equally important to "people talking to each other." Jim (and our team) were also early promoters of wireless LAN, which we all know today as WiFi. The IEEE 802.11 committee had just formed. Apple's early foray into wireless LAN preceded the availability of IEEE 802.11 (aka WiFi) products, and never made it to market. Apple chose instead to introduce their first wireless LAN products as 802.11b (11 Mbit/sec) WiFi. And over 20 years later, look what it has become?

Jim passed away in 2002, leaving us with a legacy of which few outside the cloistered Wireless LAN industry would even know he contributed so much. Thank you, Jim.

about 9 months ago
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Moore's Law Blowout Sale Is Ending, Says Broadcom CTO

flatulus Exponential growth (267 comments)

Moore's Law is an expression of exponential growth. All we are seeing is the logical conclusion of applying exponential growth expectations to a real world finite resource (i.e. the fact that atoms have an essential finite size). See Wheat and Chessboard problem for reference.

1 year,12 days
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For First Three Years, Consumer Hard Drives As Reliable As Enterprise Drives

flatulus It's TLER -- Re:Warranty isn't the only factor (270 comments)

"... but also, the firmware is different. They claim that drives intended for the consumer / SOHO market spend a lot of time retrying marginal reads before declaring an unreadable sector and sparing it. They say that SAN-class drives limit the retry time, because the array controller handles it more efficiently, since it has the big-picture view."

What you are describing is known as TLER or "Time Limited Error Recovery" (the Western Digital name for it, at least). See TLER

1 year,13 days
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U.S. Judge Grants Apple Injunction Against Samsung Galaxy Tab

flatulus Re:I'm confused (498 comments)

R'd the F.A. I don't see anywhere it says that a design patent is not a patent.

OTOH, there is USPTO which disagrees with you when they say:

"A patent is an intellectual property right granted by the Government of the United States of America to an inventor “to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States” for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted.

There are three types of patents. Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof. ... Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant."

Note the three types: design, utility, and plant. Design is most assuredly a type of patent.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Is the Future of Standing/Walking Workstations?

flatulus Re:Treadmill desk (204 comments)

I built one of these as well, except I added an extension arm off to the side and mounted the control panel on the extension. Otherwise, same outcome.

Now, if only I would use it...

more than 2 years ago
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Boeing Hydrogen Powered Drone First Flight

flatulus Re:The Hydrogen Luddites (160 comments)

Hydrogen will win the end, we just don't know how yet...

Wow - that is a "faith based" point of view if ever I've seen one.

more than 2 years ago
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Venezuela Bans the Commercial Sale of Firearms and Ammunition

flatulus Re:So.... (828 comments)

So police are all armed in the pursuit of killing as many citizens as possible?

more than 2 years ago
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Venezuela Bans the Commercial Sale of Firearms and Ammunition

flatulus Re:So.... (828 comments)

The solution is obvious, but not yet available.

We all simply need to carry phasers - set to "stun".

If only...

more than 2 years ago
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Venezuela Bans the Commercial Sale of Firearms and Ammunition

flatulus Re:So.... (828 comments)

I'll take a "shot" (pun intentional)

Think of it this way: I'd much rather a suicidal person put a bullet in their own brain pan than to have them swerve into incoming traffic (in which "me" == "incoming").

more than 2 years ago
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Venezuela Bans the Commercial Sale of Firearms and Ammunition

flatulus Re:So.... (828 comments)

For me a baseball bat works well.

Really? How many intruders have you scared away with your bat? Disabled any with it?

Or is it more likely that it works well in making you feel safe, even though you have never actually had to wield it in self-defense?

Could be either way, so I'm not saying you're full of crap. But from what you actually said, I don't have any evidence one way or the other...

more than 2 years ago
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Venezuela Bans the Commercial Sale of Firearms and Ammunition

flatulus Re:So.... (828 comments)

I once read the ACLU's position on gun ownership. The ACLU took STRONG pro-positions on things like freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, etc.

On 2nd Amendment, their website stated what was in essence "no position pro or con" (my wording - it's been a while).

In other words: "On some parts of the Constitution, we are Bold as Eagles! On the 2nd, we are Slippery as Weasels...."

more than 2 years ago
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Venezuela Bans the Commercial Sale of Firearms and Ammunition

flatulus Re:So.... (828 comments)

Kellerman and Reay: "Protection or peril? An analysis of firearm deaths in the home." N.E. Journal of Medicine, 1986

Has often been quoted as asserting that one is 43 times more likely to kill themselves or someone close to them than to kill a criminal in self-defense (somewhat paraphrased, but then that's the way it's been stated zillions of times by anti-gun types).

Of the 43 times factor, 37 was suicide.

In all cases, someone had to die to be part of the statistic (scaring or warning away, or even *wounding* an assailant got zero points in this study).

If you take out the suicides and just go with being 6 times more likely, one should then compare this to other ways one might die at home. I did this once (using CDC statistics), and gun deaths were trumped (don't recall by how much, but it was more than a few percent) by FALLING DOWN! (e.g. the stairs).

Try the math - at the least it would be amusing. And it might be enlightening.

This "guns are so dangerous" meme is a fabrication when viewed statistically. Every death is a tragedy. But tragedy happens a lot, and guns are not the majority of source of tragedy (notwithstanding tyrannical dictatorships, genocide, etc.)

more than 2 years ago
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Apple, Google: Battle of the Cloud Maps

flatulus Don't you get it? (179 comments)

The reason they don't make it easy to download an entire map has nothing to do with storage or bandwidth. It has to do with *tracking*.

Location Based Services -- Since we know where you are, we can suggest you turn right and have a pizza at the restaurant that pays us to steer customers their way. etc... etc... etc...

Google has a talent for fooling people into thinking that they are offering all these great FREE services out of the goodness of their corporate heart. On the contrary, those services are very profitable, and the way they accomplish all that money making is by knowing a WHOLE HELL OF A LOT about YOU.

Anyway, it's up to you folks. But don't bitch about not getting the whole free map thing - now that you understand why it is not in Google's or Apple's or Microsoft's (or fill-in-the-blank-megacorp-giving-away-services) to provide them.

That's my $37.00 worth (I'm old and that's about what 2 cents used to be worth when I was a wee one)

more than 2 years ago
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AT&T Microcell Disassembly; Security Flaws Exposed

flatulus Re:Ask Slashdot "how to spoof GPS" indoors. (82 comments)

Bingo - I posted on this earlier in this article (different sub-thread).

GPS is used to discipline the radio's oscillator to about 2,000 times greater precision than your garden-variety oscillator. This is NOT part of any serial port protocol. It is done with a dedicated logic signal, generally emitting one pulse per second.

Bad things will happen if the radio doesn't get rock-solid timing on this input. Like drifting out of your assigned RF channel and splattering on neighbor cells - oh and more important to you, having those neighbor cells splatter all over yours. Takeaway - everybody loses.

And then the lawsuits...

more than 2 years ago

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