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Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charges

jeffb (2.718) Time for another plan: (677 comments)

Assuming this kid doesn't get his tablet smashed as the very next level of bullying...

He needs to record the bullying again, but this time, the recording needs to go directly to all local media outlets, and perhaps directly to social media as well. This may not make much difference to the bullies on the bus, but it's a lot harder for the bullies in the school administration or police department to bury.

It is still possible to shame entrenched bullies out of positions of authority. It doesn't often happen, but it's worth a try. It's certainly a Noble Cause.

10 hours ago
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Fire Risk From Panasonic Batteries In Sony Vaio Laptops

jeffb (2.718) What's a "partial burn"? (36 comments)

...and how does it differ from a "total burn"?

5 days ago
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How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

jeffb (2.718) Re:Parallel (507 comments)

Without attempting to take sides on the issue, I must point out one thing your arguments overlook: many people lose their hearing later in childhood or in adulthood. They've already missed their chance at being "deaf culture natives". Cochlear implants help them function in the culture that's already assimilated them, and I don't believe even deaf-culture activists object to implants for such people.

about a week ago
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Rover Curiosity Discovers Australia-Shaped Rock On Mars

jeffb (2.718) Well, let's keep looking... (99 comments)

Let's see if we can spot the maps of Kzin, Down, Jinx...

about a week ago
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For the First Time, Organ Regenerated Inside a Living Animal

jeffb (2.718) Re:Alright, alright,alright (94 comments)

Well, it's pretty clearly both. Of course, being eaten by wolves is also a natural occurrence, but nobody seems to object to those who choose wolf-avoidance as a lifestyle.

about a week ago
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For the First Time, Organ Regenerated Inside a Living Animal

jeffb (2.718) Can't argue with function, though. (94 comments)

Don't care. If the organ is restored to youthful function, as at least the linked summary indicates, then this is a big deal.

Specifically, this appears to be very different from (say) cardiac hypertrophy, where the heart grows larger but works less efficiently. In this work, the "rejuvenated" thymus not only gets bigger, it produces more T cells -- in other words, it works more like a youthful organ.

about a week ago
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Nanodot-Based Smartphone Battery Recharges In 30 Seconds

jeffb (2.718) Re:Phones yeah (227 comments)

So, use a big, braided, heavily insulated cable. With a connector about the size and weight of a gas-pump nozzle.

Now, neighborhoods won't want huge high-tension lines running to every corner "gas" station. But, no worries, we have these cool new high-rate high-capacity batteries! You just load a semi truck with them, and put on REALLY big (a few square feet) charge/discharge connectors. The truck charges up at the generation facility, drives to the local station, and discharges into the station's below-ground storage tank, er, battery.

Homes that don't have high-power electric available, or that don't want to pay for the service to be installed, can instead put a stationary tank, er, battery out behind the house. The propane, er, mobile-electric company would come around once or twice a month to refill, er, recharge it.

Aphorism of the future: "Never underestimate the current capacity of a station wagon full of batteries."

about two weeks ago
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Skydiver's Helmet Cam Captures a Falling Meteor

jeffb (2.718) Re:Why it is not white-hot? (142 comments)

It's not exposed to atmospheric heat (from compression, not friction) for long enough. It's heated for seconds, and the heat is so intense that it blasts off outer layers instead of dispersing into the body -- which, remember, is at cryogenic temperatures when it hits the atmosphere.

The light from meteors is nearly all from compressed atmosphere and vaporized rock/metal. All the material that's hot enough to glow gets knocked off.

about two weeks ago
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Study: Exposure To Morning Sunlight Helps Managing Weight

jeffb (2.718) James Thurber (137 comments)

Early to rise and early to bed makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead.

about two weeks ago
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Contact Lenses With Infrared Vision?

jeffb (2.718) Oh, BS. (99 comments)

Yet another press release that glosses over the difference between "sensor" and "imaging system".

Give me the best, most sensitive, highest-resolution, lowest-power, and cheapest thermal IR sensor array you can imagine, and it's just a glorified ambient thermometer unless you can focus onto it. I'm sure there are cyberpunks/steampunks/whatever who would be happy to rock germanium-lensed spectacles, and I'm sure there are body-modders who would love to have pit organs in their foreheads, but you're NOT getting a self-contained thermal-imaging contact lens.

Oh, okay, I can imagine something that would work like an insect's compound eye, with an array of highly directional individual sensors -- but that's not what TFA is talking about, and it's not something we're likely to see in the next couple of decades.

about two weeks ago
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Charter Challenges Comcast/Time Warner Merger

jeffb (2.718) "They don't compete"? (90 comments)

I wasn't aware that the entities that sell programming to them were also divided into non-overlapping geographic areas.

about three weeks ago
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Cisco Plans $1B Investment In Cloud

jeffb (2.718) It's clouds' illusions I recall... (61 comments)

...but I guess a Judy Collins reference outs me as older than even Cisco's management.

about three weeks ago
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Fluke Donates Multimeters To SparkFun As Goodwill Gesture

jeffb (2.718) One better? Well, sort of. (250 comments)

That original $30,000 shipment was apparently 2,000 multimeters. I'm guessing that $30,000 "worth" of Fluke meters, while a nice gift, will constitute a lot fewer units, meaning fewer makers will end up getting their hands on a meter.

about a month ago
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MtGox Finds 200,000 Bitcoins In Old Wallet

jeffb (2.718) Re:It's even more amazing... (227 comments)

it's a shady way of transferring money anonymously.

One man's "shady" is another man's "prudently concealed".

about a month ago
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Earth Barely Dodged Solar Blast In 2012

jeffb (2.718) Re:A faraday cage has to be grounded to earth. (202 comments)

You seem to think that the damage comes from stuffing too many electrons into a box. That's not how it works at all.

A Faraday cage shields its contents, period. A magical tether to Mother Earth might make you feel better, but it makes no difference to Maxwell's equations.

To put it in simpler and more specific terms, cars (and airplanes) frequently survive direct lightning strikes with no damage to their electrical systems. The energy from even a Carrington-level event, over the area of a car, is miniscule compared to the energy of a lightning strike. I'm not even sure it would exceed the energy of the static you build up scooting across the seat and then touching the door handle.

about a month ago
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First Automatic Identification of Flying Insects Allows Hi-Tech Bug Zapping

jeffb (2.718) David Brin predicted this in _Earth_... (99 comments)

...although I think he cast it as a Star Wars spinoff. I'm liking this idea, especially if it's subject to Moore's Law-style cost scaling over time.

about a month ago
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New Facial Recognition Software May Detect Looming Road Rage

jeffb (2.718) Not that much more dystopian... (133 comments)

...than it is now.

No, you do not have an inalienable right to act out your aggressions on a publicly-funded highway.

about a month ago
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Russian State TV Anchor: Russia Could Turn US To "Radioactive Ash"

jeffb (2.718) Meanwhile, US stock markets... (878 comments)

...are singing and dancing. If the Invisible Hand isn't sweating, why should I?

about a month ago
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EU Votes For Universal Phone Charger

jeffb (2.718) Re:Electrical devices? (358 comments)

With old chargers no longer becoming junk it's clear the market it cut down into fraction of what it used to be too, so perhaps we'll see only one or two charger manufactuers.

Markets dependent on planned obsolescence, and business models that rely on turning working and non-inferior equipment into e-waste, can go straight to hell.

about a month ago

Submissions

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CES: Laser headlights edge closer to real-world highways

jeffb (2.718) jeffb (2.718) writes  |  about 3 months ago

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) writes "Audi will display laser-headlight technology on a concept car at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, joining BMW, whose plug-in hybrid should reach production in 2014. A November article on optics.org describes the technology in more detail. This approach does not scan or project a "laser beam" from the car; instead, it uses blue lasers as highly efficient light emitters, and focuses their light onto a yellow phosphor, producing an extremely intense and compact white light source and then forming that light into a conventional headlamp beam. The beam isn't coherent or point-sourced, so it won't produce the "speckling" interference effects of direct laser illumination, and it won't pose specular-reflection hazards. It's just a very bright and very well-controlled beam of normal white light.

HOWEVER, if multi-watt blue laser emitters go into mass production for the automotive market, it's likely to drive down their prices in other applications — for example, grey-market multi-watt "laser pointers". If you're looking for a tool to burn holes in the tires of drivers who offend you, this technology may indirectly help to fulfill your wish."
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Son of Therac-25: CT overdoses from "reset error"

jeffb (2.718) jeffb (2.718) writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) writes "As the LA Times reports, 206 patients receiving CT scans at Cedar Sinai hospital received up to eight times the X-ray exposure intended. (The FDA alert gives details about the doses involved.) A misunderstanding over an "embedded default setting" appears to have led to the error. Human-computer interaction classes from the late 1980's onward have pounded home the lesson of the Therac-25, whose usability issues led to multiple deaths. Will we ever learn enough to make these errors truly uncommittable?"
Link to Original Source

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