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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

k6mfw Re:REAL Telephones (513 comments)

they NEVER wanted to have to repair them.

why would they? they never break. I still have mine, "Bell System Property. Not For Sale." You can buy them on ebay.

4 hours ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

k6mfw Motorola Motrac and Mocom70 mobiles (513 comments)

Motracs can be a problem if the final PA tube were to blow but both these mobile radios are incredibly rugged. Unit mounts in trunk, control head under the dash. They are big, heavy, and scary. Cheap to purchase but shipping costs are brutal. However, cannot be used for Part 90 anymore as they are not narrowband. Crystal controlled and not many channels can be awkward. These trunk-mounted units can also be used for armor-plating on vehicles as they can stop a uranium-depleted artillery shell or a TOW missile.

4 hours ago
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Vintage 1960s Era Film Shows IRS Defending Its Use of Computers

k6mfw Re:The announcer's delivery! (145 comments)

"Viewers today are more likely captivated by the refrigerator-size computers and 1960s hairdos.".

Regarding hairdos, I love the gal's hairstyle at 6:30, very bouffant and probably needs lots of Aqua-net.

yesterday
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Vintage 1960s Era Film Shows IRS Defending Its Use of Computers

k6mfw those reel to reels are interesting (145 comments)

as they go high rpm, scream to a stop, slowly move, then wham ram up to high rpm in opposite direction. Like rest of the equipment in those rooms, all made of heavy duty steel and cable.

yesterday
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This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

k6mfw Re:The glory days of computers (275 comments)

Back when programming magazines were useful, unlike the fluffy tripe that is passed off as a computer magazine today.

Even the linux magazines today are worthless for learning from.

Could it be deliberate? They don't want to publish something useful (I thought this is what magazines are for unless they are simply ad rags nowadays or teasers for the "good stuff") i.e. like this person argues "No, You Can't Pick My Brain. It Costs Too Much" http://www.forbes.com/sites/wo...

3 days ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

k6mfw 20th century method (385 comments)

Pen and paper, mail forms to IRS as always since the early days. I have copies of ***exactly*** as submitted. Nobody else gets a cut except USPS for mailing costs.

3 days ago
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The Best Way To Watch the "Blood Moon" Tonight

k6mfw Re:I'm going to have an excellent seat (146 comments)

now that sounds really cool doing your own laser reflection but are you using facility scope? Have amateur astronomers done this before? Does it require a really powerful laser, i.e. the kind that guvmint doesn't want in hands of individuals?

Now you people commenting of they don't think this is possible, this is one of these reflectors wwphx is talking about, http://spie.org/Images/Graphic...

4 days ago
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The Best Way To Watch the "Blood Moon" Tonight

k6mfw Re:The Best Way To View The Blood Moon (146 comments)

How about go outdoors, outside the city, and look up (or out) and beyond instead of always looking forward or down like typical flatlanders (the same kind of people that hounded Galileo).

4 days ago
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$250K Reward Offered In California Power Grid Attack

k6mfw Re:Simplified "homeland security" (111 comments)

Actually I prefer more of their profits going into maintenance such as clearing tree branches growing into power lines, replacing sagging lines and decaying poles. Infrastructure! It's what keeps this country going. Wasting on more on security for something that happens very rarely is not good investment into future (but hey like most Americans don't think of such things).

about a week ago
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$250K Reward Offered In California Power Grid Attack

k6mfw Re:PB&E? (111 comments)

you mean PG&E unless there is some subtle joke which I'm too dense to get. (or how about for those old enough to remember the fictious CG&E that managed the ill-fated Ventana power plant).

about a week ago
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Born To RUN: Dartmouth Throwing BASIC a 50th B-Day Party

k6mfw Re:Memories (146 comments)

for me in college I would see a BASIC program (this was in pre-internet days when magazine articles listed programs) I'd type it in and run the program to see what it does. Of course I have to go back and read the article to better understand what I just entered into the computer. Not the best way to learn but had fun with it. Regarding pre-internet, I did have a Compuserve electronic mail account but far from going to article online and do copy/paste.

about two weeks ago
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NASA Laying Foundation For Jupiter Moon Space Mission

k6mfw Re:Jupiter is hard [Re:What's been the hold up???? (100 comments)

Europa may be hard but I like to imagine a submarine launched into the water below and take pictures of the little fishes. Well maybe not but as SETI's Cynthia Phillips says when looking for life go where the water is.

about two weeks ago
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Evidence Aside, FBI Says Russians Out To Steal Ideas From US Tech Firms

k6mfw Re:Industrial Espionage is everywhere (132 comments)

Yep, if you are a country or a corporation then you gotta have spies (like all other big organizations need accountants and other staff to do specific jobs). As earlier post, whoop de do. What really gets me though is when we export our engineering and manufacturing offshore. Hey, they don't need spies, we will send stuff to them.

about two weeks ago
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60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over Tesla Model S

k6mfw Re:Because Hollywood. (544 comments)

It seems ***every*** piece of footage whether it be fiction, reality show, news cast, whatever of any kind of car stuff there is ***always*** some kind of dubbing. Even footage from helicopters that capture a crash, they add sound to it (I know the copter camera does not have a microphone pointed at the ground, and the sound does not travel at speed of light). Another common practice is dubbing 16mm combat war footage (all footage has been dubbed). Those cameras had no soundtrack including footage from Vietnam War with exception of a news crew that included a soundman lugging a audio tape recorder alongside cameraman.

Obviously the "General Lee" always has tires screeching on pavement sounds when accelerating, it's tradition like the ST Enterprise whoosh sound as it travels superluminal speeds.

about two weeks ago
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NSA Confirms It Has Been Searching US Citizens' Data Without a Warrant

k6mfw Re:OK, but... (274 comments)

a human being. so far other animals not considered yet.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?

k6mfw FTA sat TV not much for me (219 comments)

I dabbled a little few years ago but there really not much interests me. Taking a look at Galaxy 19 lyngsat.com as suggested by Isao has stations of little interest to me. However, it was interesting to get some hands-on experience receiving signals from a satellite, ironically the day I first locked on to bird in the Clarke Belt was the same day Arthur died.

Also back then there were websites that you can download software and load this into one of those sat receivers and be able to watch DishTV, Direct, and other encrypted sites for free. However, these didn't offer much (I have no interest in football, soccer, hockey which all have 200 channels each). There were some premimun channels like TCM that I already have on cable, but then I may also dump cable because even TCM shows same movies over and over again (occasionally they will show something different i.e. a series of Mamie Van Doren movies). There were "local" TV stations from various towns like Bakersfield on these dish tv stations. But then almost all I have no interest so why bother.

Getting back to when I setup my satellite receiver. Someone at DeAnza Electronics flea market was selling DishTV Ku-band dishes and oddball sat receiver boxes for dirt cheap, had a whole stack of these and didn't want to crate them all to the dump. Living in a condo reduced my opportunities (all the birds were aligned away from my windows), I was not interested in mounting the dish on a awning of sorts (I was experimenting and had no long term deployment interest). I was able to just fit the dish into my skylight, borrowed a sat finder meter to help lock onto the bird, and it was exciting to see the bars all light up on the satellite receiver box (Comet I think was the brand). Go through the motions to select the frequencies and download the channels. It seemed it was more interesting technically than watching entertainment (again almost all channels were of no interest). I also referred to these sites, http://www.uksatellitehelp.co.... and http://emantechnology.com/stor.... There were some channels that were non-encrypted including NASA-TV Public channel (and this was back when Shuttle was flying). However these stations were able to do encryption far more difficult to hack, and they also encrypted all channels including "FTA" like NASA-TV.

Now there is C-band birds which NASA-TV provides non-encrypted including the Media channel but the antennas are big and hard to find. However, NASA-TV mostly has usual drivel repeated over and over. There was a time when everyone was dumping C-band dishes for free and great opportunity for experimentalists including those wanting a dish to do EME.

about two weeks ago
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Darth Vader Runs For President of Ukraine

k6mfw ain't gonna happen (114 comments)

he will be sued into oblivion by the Star Wars Corp. for unauthorized use of costumes and trademarks.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Yuri's Night: April 12, 1961 first human spaceflight

k6mfw k6mfw writes  |  about 2 years ago

k6mfw (1182893) writes "April 12, 1961 USSR launches Yuri Gagarin making the first human orbital spaceflight. This is when both countries USA and USSR got real serious on developing human spaceflight capabilities. April 12, 1981 USA launches Space Shuttle making the first reusable spacecraft flight but for nearly 20 years it had no place to go. But the Russians have a space station so both countries teamed up on International Space Station. April 12 becomes the perfect date to celebrate space, technology, art, sciences, and engineering."
Link to Original Source
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Military surplus a bonanza for law enforcement

k6mfw k6mfw writes  |  about 2 years ago

k6mfw (1182893) writes "from the article: "San Francisco may be known for antiwar movements and peace rallies, but when local law enforcement agencies needed help with supplies, they've turned to the U.S. military."
"A total of 163,344 new and used items valued at $26.2 million — from bath mats acquired by the sheriff of Sonoma County to a full-tracked tank for rural San Joaquin County — were transferred last year to state and local agencies.""

Link to Original Source
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Cars: The Next Victims of Cyberattacks

k6mfw k6mfw writes  |  more than 2 years ago

k6mfw (1182893) writes "From IEEE Spectrum, http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/computing/embedded-systems/cars-the-next-victims-of-cyberattacks, "Every year, automakers endow vehicles with more brainpower. But the computer hardware engineered to keep cars from crashing or to keep drivers entertained might soon be co-opted by criminals intent on attacking a single driver or causing widespread havoc. Several research groups have independently demonstrated smart cars’ vulnerability to cyberattacks. Security firm McAfee reported an incident where a disgruntled former employee at a Texas car dealership used a remote car deactivation system to simultaneously shut off the engines of 100 vehicles."

Personally I don't like the trends of car design, i.e. button to start/stop engine that is a computer input instead of direct on/off of ignition system. I also don't like trends towards less visibility (shorter windows) which lead to higher chances of collisions. And uni-body construction, a basic fender bender may be extremely expensive to repair."

Link to Original Source
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STS-135 ET to Transmit Video During Re-Entry

k6mfw k6mfw writes  |  more than 2 years ago

k6mfw (1182893) writes "STS-135 External Tank to Transmit Video During Re-Entry

http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?303039-Space-Shuttle-s-ET138-Video-downlink
M0ODV on QRZ.com writes:
âNASA engineers have installed a camera on the external fuel tank (ET) which will transmit live pictures of its destructive burn up on re-entry. The live FM transmitted signal will be on 2272.5 MHz at 10 watts. The camera captures images at (NTSC) frame rate of 30 frames per second and will burn up over the Pacifc Ocean over the east coast of New Zealand, entry interface (EI) will begin at 400,000 ft over southern Australia and can be seen with the naked eye.”

STS-135: External Tank death camera ready
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/06/sts-135-atlantis-tcdt-external-tank-death-camera-ready/

“We have not yet been able to analytically confirm if a plasma blackout condition will present a TV reception problem prior to breakup.”

STS-135: Tank Camera modification aimed at filming footage of ET-138’s death
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/06/sts-135-camera-modification-aimed-filming-footage-et-138s-death/

“The prospect of footage from the tank itself — as it vents and starts to disintegrate — on the final ever shuttle mission, may not be up to the high standards of the Soyuz ‘Flyabout’ footage of Endeavour and the ISS, but it would provide a potentially stunning viewpoint of the final Shuttle ET, prior to its demise.”"

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