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Huawei Successfully Tests New 802.11ax WiFi Standard At 10.53Gbps

isdnip WiGig will be here faster (116 comments)

Huawei is playing with the 5 GHz band which is becoming crowded, and whose availability has country-by-country exclusions. US rule were just liberalized a smidge but it still has exclusions for radar.

WIGig uses the 60 GHz band (57-64 GHz) which has a lot more space. It is not quite ready for the mass market, price-wise, but becoming possible in the $100 rage soon. It doesn't penetrate walls well but it's fine for cross-room very fast links.

about 7 months ago
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Huawei Successfully Tests New 802.11ax WiFi Standard At 10.53Gbps

isdnip Re:More bits then hertz? (116 comments)

That's multiple bits per symbol, not symbols per period.
1024QAM, for instance, has 10 bits encoded in 1024 possible values of the phase and amplitude. It's one symbol though. High-speed communications uses a combination of techniques, including OFDM (parallel, lower-speed carriers) and MIMO (separate transmitters).

about 7 months ago
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Thorium: The Wonder Fuel That Wasn't

isdnip The LFTR is a different type of reactor (204 comments)

The article seems to refer to conventional fission reactors that use thorium mixed in with uranium. I think Bill Gates has invested in a company that pushes that. McDowell's excellent video is about the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor, a much safer design that takes a bit of Uranium 233 as its seed and breeds it out of thorium, never creating a high concentration and burning almost all of it before refueling. A conventional reactor leaves over 99% of the energy in the spent fuel; a LFTR leaves very little.

about 7 months ago
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Why Is US Broadband So Slow?

isdnip Rock, not dirt (513 comments)

Have you ever tried burying wire in Westford, MA? There's a reason everybody uses poles in New England, the same reason most farmers gave up. The ground has a little soil mixed with lots of big hard rocks. A Ditch-Witch cable backhoe won't work. It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars per mile to bury wire here, so it's only done in core cities or to go under some intersections. And with Westford's low suburban/exurban density (gotta love those big expanses of Chem-Lawn and SUV garages, the Amerucan Way), the number of subscribers per mile is low.

about 10 months ago
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Why Is US Broadband So Slow?

isdnip Subsidies paid for it (513 comments)

VTel does not provide $35/month gigabit service because they have easy access to poles. To be sure, they own the poles -- they're the incumbent phone company, and have old copper up there which they can overlash. But more importantly, VTel got millions of dollars in federal subsidies. The whole project cost over $5000/home, but VTel itself only paid a fraction, and the federal universal service fund -- that 16% tax on your phone bill -- pays them whatever it takes to make them profitable. Their retail price is a joke. Nice though for the recipients of the cheap service, and Mr. Guite, who owns it.

about 10 months ago
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Nokia Introduces Windows Tablet

isdnip Re:Price? (112 comments)

True. Microsoft botched RT by getting greedy. Like iOS, it is locked down tight, so you can only install "apps" from their store. Sure, that gives MS a cut of the action, Xbox-style, but it's hostile to users and real Windows doesn't have that restriction. Plus it doesn't run real Windows applications. So its ecosystem is pretty narrow and not likely to become very good.

about a year ago
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Disney Engineers Develop Touch Screens That Mimic Tactile Sensations

isdnip BlackBerry tried this already (53 comments)

They did a touch-screen phone that vibrated when you crossed between virtual keys, and required harder pressure to register than just touching. It sounded like a good idea, but it was a flop in practice. Touchie-feelie phones are bad enough. Touchie-feelie fluffy pix? Eeewww.

about a year ago
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'Dangerously Naive' Aaron Swartz 'Destroyed Himself'

isdnip Re:Hope it makes him feel better (362 comments)

He walked into an unlocked closet, hooked up his laptop to a campus Ethernet connection, and ran a script to access a web site. The only "crime" was using a script rather than surfing, slower, by hand. He wasn't tapping others' communications. There was just a copyright question over how many documents one should access.

about a year ago
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'Dangerously Naive' Aaron Swartz 'Destroyed Himself'

isdnip Re:Generation Y's unusual sense of "responsibility (362 comments)

The prosecutor aims for a high degree of punishment because they hope for a plea bargain, with every intention of keeping the maximum sentence recommendation intact in the event that the case actually goes to trial. It is a way to undercut the constitutional guarantee of trial by jury by raising the stakes so high that a jury trial becomes an untenable gamble.

Thus the Ortiz-Heymann tactics in this case should be seen as what they were, an untenable subversion of basic constitutional rights, by persecutors with a goal of putting notches in their belt, hoping to gain political points with an ignorant public afraid of any and all "crime".

about a year ago
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BlackBerry Confirms 4,500 Job Cuts, Warns of $950 Million Loss

isdnip Re:A Loss For Several Reasons (120 comments)

Price might have killed the BB10 line too. The Z10 was priced near an iPhone and the Q10 was priced even higher. That's a ridiculous way to break into new markets when you're behind, and when the teardown cost of parts makes it clear that there's plenty of margin to work with. Some imbecile at BBY was greedy and shot the moon, when they should have taken their medicine and priced it competitively. BB10 devices get great user reviews.

about a year ago
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Google Pressure Cookers and Backpacks: Get a Visit From the Feds

isdnip Re:How'd the government know what they were Googli (923 comments)

Probably not BS. This sounds real. But the Slashdot blurbist got it wrong. The picture, which was a file photo, had been taken in Massachusetts. The family whose home was searched because they googled the wrong domestic products was in New York (Nassau County).

about a year ago
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Bill Gates Is Beginning To Dream the Thorium Dream

isdnip That's India. (327 comments)

India produces cheap software.
Reactors are hardware.
No wonder they take so long to produce them.

about a year ago
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Bill Gates Is Beginning To Dream the Thorium Dream

isdnip Re:Finally! (327 comments)

LordA, that's just insane. DFHs didn't cause GE, Westinghouse, and other giant corporations to use old reactor designs and not new ones. Yes, TMI stopped the construction of new ones in the US, but they were only going to keep building the trashy old ones. That's where the money is.

Each uranium reactor needs custom fuel rods, built by the reactor manufacturer. So that's what they peddle, like HP printers and their ink, where they make their money on refueling, not just (if at all) up front. Thorium MSBRs don't work that way. No long-term revenue. Imagine where Gillette would be if their razor blades stayed sharp forever. Wear and tear is the heart of the business model.

about a year ago
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Bill Gates Is Beginning To Dream the Thorium Dream

isdnip Uranium would be in short supply (327 comments)

The market now may not be tight, but the world's total supply of U-235 is very small. Plus it takes vast amounts of energy to refine it out of the ore, since over 99% of the uranium is U-238. And if I understand the process correctly, it's refined by making it into UF6, which is spun in a chain of centrifuges. Now how do you make UF6? With FOOF! Look that one up... fluorine dioxide. Nasty.

If we really tried to power the world's electric supply with U-235, we'd soon run low. (Or die from meltdowns.) But there's a virtually infinite supply of thorium. It's not just cheap; it's practically free, since it's a waste product of rare earth mining, and we need to refine tons of neodymium in order to have good magnets for motors and generators. Yes, the MSBR needs a seed of U-233, but enough of those reactors do exist.

about a year ago
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Bill Gates Is Beginning To Dream the Thorium Dream

isdnip Re:Finally! (327 comments)

Thorium doesn't use fuel rods, so it doesn't need the zirconium, etc. The thorium is simply dissolved in the molten sodium fluoride.
The main reason it was abandoned in the US is that it was single-use, civilian power only, not dual-use military-civilian. You can't power a submarine with a thorium reactor and you can't build bombs from its waste products. It produces very little waste, a small fraction of what uranium-cycle reactors produce.

about a year ago
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Microsoft Slashes Prices On Surface

isdnip Re:Price Adjustment (330 comments)

But it might as well be completely different.

With Linux, a developer can compile to an target platform and make it available. And since sources are often available, someone else's program can be ported to a different target CPU.

With Windows RT, programs can only be installed from the Microsoft Store. So whether or not they're compatible is irrelevant. Both the original developer and Microsoft have to agree that it should be made available for RT before it can run there. So having commonality with Win8 is merely a convenience for developers.

about a year and a half ago
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How Silicon Valley's Tech Reign Will End

isdnip Do You Know the Way to San Jose? (395 comments)

That was a hit song by Dionne Warwick in the 1960s. It extolled the small-town life of what was then a pretty small place, when the Santa Clara Valley was still agricultural (anyone remember Paul Masson vineyards, the bulk-wine producer just west of town?).
"LA is a great big city, put a hundred down and buy a car."
San Jose was the opposite of LA, the place you went back to when LA got you down.
Now, of course, San Jose is more like LA than any other place in northern California. Bigger than SF or Oakland, and sprawling all over. Suburbs in search of a city.
No wonder I like it here in Boston.

about a year and a half ago
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WY Teen Cut From Science Fair For Entering Too Many

isdnip Re:Yeah, I'll think about that for you. (204 comments)

Check your math. Gasoline sold at retail typically has 10% ethanol (usually corn-derived) and 90% actual gasoline. So if they did away with the alcohol, the price would go, well, probably nowhere, since alcohol's price isn't zero, and it has less energy per gallon than gasoline. It's there because the corn states and ethanol producers lobbied to require it. It is a net waste of energy since growing the corn and turning it to alcohol consumes more energy than it creates.

about a year and a half ago
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Windows 8 Killing PC Sales

isdnip Windows8 can be tamed, but why should you have to? (1010 comments)

You can fix Windows 8 by adding Classic Shell or something similar, and then it acts a lot like 7, and you can avoid TIFKAM. But Microsoft never admits to a mistake. They are probably doubling down on it in Blue, rather than fixing it. It's a sure sign of too much monopoly power.

So if you need a new PC, then it's possible to live with 8, but it's true that PCs don't get obsolete as quickly as they used to. Unless you are a hard-core gamer and need the fastest performance, a 4-year-old system is likely to suffice. Especially on the desktop, which is easy to upgrade. Laptops are more likely to physically wear out, though some well-made ones last a long time. Mine's over 6 years old, runs XP, is on its fourth battery, and the keys are worn down, but it still works pretty well.

about a year and a half ago

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