Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

k6mfw Re:I got those calls every few days (244 comments)

yeah, then you'll have to waste tons of time explaining to them what a VAX is (nobody under 50 knows what they are).


Anomaly Triggers Self-Destruct For SpaceX Falcon 9 Test Flight

k6mfw Re:Exactly! (113 comments)

Specifically, the space shuttle didn't have a launch escape system.

supposably the Shuttle was meant to be reasonably safe that an escape system is not needed, unfortunately it was not as safe as commercial airliners. Airliners from the 707 to the 380 don't have escape systems, they were designed to safe enough. Of course if the airplane is not that safe, re-design it so it will be. There have been crashes as nothing is absolutely safe. Like ejection seats were never considered for airliners, if you survive the punchout, will you survive the environment which you parachute into? i.e. frigid Atlantic ocean, barren hot desert, etc.

AC said, "from a documentary I saw on PBS, is that the escape mechanisms are largely an afterthought meant to soothe the public and legislatures." I don't think so. Escape systems were part of the design (in 1950s, ejection seats to tractor rockets to escape towers were all being considered. Though astronauts and cosmonauts are national heros, they in 1960s were military pilots on flights like test aircraft with ejection seats.

4 days ago

It's Easy To Hack Traffic Lights

k6mfw Re:Don't emergency vehicles use this? (144 comments)

I was thinking what do they use now. Years ago I remember fire engines and trucks had strobe light on top of cab that flashes sequences which causes traffic light to turn red on opposing traffic. In late 70s or early 80s I saw a Dodge van that was parked in Quement Electronics on Bascom Ave in San Jose (you old guys remember that store, favorite among geeks back in the days when Fry's was a grocery store). I guess this person got ahold of one of these and voila, never gets a red light. Question I always wondered if that was legal.

Fast forward to nowadays, do emergency vehicles use such a system and is it RF based?

5 days ago

It's Easy To Hack Traffic Lights

k6mfw Re: Old news (144 comments)

same with me, hacking traffic lights and reminded me of Benny Hill as the professor inserting hacked tape into the control system deck. Michael Caine said to the other members of his team though professor had "interesting reading material" to not make fun of him because he is very important for the job. I saw the movie last month (previously saw it in 1970s), featured the Mini Coopers that were screamers (back in the days almost all small cars were slow), Italian constantly honking horns (most in those little Fiats). In real life they do that even when traffic isn't moving.

5 days ago

Feds: Red Light Camera Firm Paid For Chicago Official's Car, Condo

k6mfw Re:Avoid red light camera intersections. Dangerous (115 comments)

I did a right turn at a major intersection but stopped before I turned. When I proceeded, there was several strobe flashes. Scared the crap out of me, muzzle flashes? Heard no gun shots. Lightning? uh clear skies. Am I gonna get socked with a big fine and huge increase of insurance because camera made a mistake? So far it's been months and nothing in the mail (unless there is an outstanding FTA waiting for 10-29), but I don't have that car anymore (bought another recently). Will such strobe lights freak someone out and cause them to t-bone me? I don't travel though that intersection much but when I do there is not much of a choice.

about two weeks ago

Feds: Red Light Camera Firm Paid For Chicago Official's Car, Condo

k6mfw Re:our presidents origin story (115 comments)

You think corruption is bad in Chicago, come to Atlanta or New Orleans sometime.

I wonder how such cities keep running i.e. water, power, sewage, traffic (though slow), electricity, food, etc. etc. and not collapse into some kind of Somalia environment with corruption gone rampant?

about two weeks ago

DARPA Uses Preteen Gamers To Beta Test Tomorrow's Military Software

k6mfw Re:What's the problem? (84 comments)

So the kids are learning, they get to use cutting-edge software backed by a hefty financial contribution, and the end result could be a new way to provide computer-aided teaching.

I was thinking first having kids learn about finances so they learn at early age the basics instead of becoming like many adults burden with debt from misuse of credit cards and borrowing plans. But that's another topic.

Getting back to this topic, I haven't seen the movie or read the book but I looked up Enders' Game to see what reference was. It seems creepy the parallels. Perhaps my Gripe of the Month is so much value is placed on warfare but I guess that's were progress is made. i.e. computers, internet, DARPA are all war department driven. While our economy tanks because most never got basic financial education, now there's war brewing in Ukraine and Middle East I guess emphasis is raising children to deal with it.

about two weeks ago

Getting IT Talent In Government Will Take Culture Change, Says Google Engineer

k6mfw Re:simple! all it takes is... (166 comments)

failure in government is actually pretty high for most un-elected types and the reward for success is nonexistent.

kind of like those who sit in ATC rooms and make sure the airliners don't collide?

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Why Are Online Job Applications So Badly Designed?

k6mfw like the Marines? (278 comments)

Perhaps by design they make the application difficult. It's tough, it's demanding, it's the hardest thing you will ever do. But if you have the perseverance, the skill to do it, then maybe you are worthy to join.

about two weeks ago

Chicago Mayor Praises Google For Buying Kids Microsoft Surfaces

k6mfw Re: Politician thanks company for doing his job (137 comments)

In my county, Santa Clara, it is $79k. They also receive generous benefits, and summers off. Teachers are paid fairly well compared to other non-technical college graduates.

I have to cry foul on this one. $79K is lot more than minimum wage but not high considering responsibility they have (future adults are children) especially this is Silicon Valley (one million dollars is not a lot of money). Yes, they get benefits as compared to other jobs that used to have benefits like pension plans but there is a jihad to eliminate those. Others not in the profession from billionaires to working stiffs don't believe teachers should have these.

You don't know teachers. Many have to use their earnings to buy supplies because politicos are too cheap to provide much of basic stuff they used to provide. Many teachers spend a lot of time after class and at home preparing lesson plans, etc. They don't have teachers aides like back in the days.

I don't want to hear this about there's not enough money, we find plenty to spend on countries, prisons, spying on citizens, etc.

about two weeks ago

With Chinese Investment, Nicaraguan Passage Could Dwarf Panama Canal

k6mfw Re:Not so fast (322 comments)

Pardon me, the empire that keeps trade routes open prospers; the empire that turns to lording over its own people falters.

I think I've heard this before. If empire puts the squeeze on trade routes, then its own subjects are too scared to expand and explore. Someone mentioned this analogy in another forum of what's preventing space exploration (oh, I don't have time to get the details and properly word stuff). Getting back to this canal, China has money to burn so may as well put it into this canal to provide options (it is one they can control where Panama they cannot). There is also amount of ships that can pass through Panama, even if it were wider (which it will be shortly) I heard there is a "traffic jam" of ships waiting in ocean for their turn.

about three weeks ago

Massive Russian Hack Has Researchers Scratching Their Heads

k6mfw any in Soviet Russia jokes? (102 comments)

I can't think of any but what a reputation this country has: Hackers, Russian dash cam car crashes, a leader with Tsar ambitions. And yet they have best competition ballroom dancers (and many moved here to US).

about three weeks ago

With Chinese Investment, Nicaraguan Passage Could Dwarf Panama Canal

k6mfw think big, plan for future (322 comments)

My impression is Chinese are thinking big plans for future. Way back in late 1800s early 1900s US was thinking same thing: Panama Canal was a huge project with lots of opportunity for failure. But reaped benefits for decades after. Also Chinese have lots of cash and putting it into big projects (ok some will fail but whatever they will secure strategic advantage). Meanwhile US put lots of resources into backwards countries with not much to show for it.

about three weeks ago
top Shuts Down Amid Reports Google Is Acquiring Twitch

k6mfw Re:Where to go now? Livestream, UStream? (56 comments)

I first used Justin but then later all I would get is a freeze frame with a cartoon of a dinosaur on top of image, "our monkeys are working as hard as they can to get it fixed" or something like that. So I then went to Ustream which seems to work fine except I never could get audio along with video, though I'm using the free version (maybe they don't send sound?). Livestream looks pretty good but for people to see it you have to get paid version. ParadigmDVD has nice Livestream streaming videos from dance competitions, nothing special on their end (I forget if they use PC or Mac) simply connect and use software from Livestream. They feed SDI from the cameras.

about three weeks ago

Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

k6mfw Smart Grids (502 comments)

Not sure how to get into this conversation (and I haven't RTFA), it reminds me of Smart Grids presentation. Speaker showed a diagram of how things were back in the days. One big power plant sending only power out, goes through transmission lines and distribution systems (only one way), and then to the users (only "feedback" is the electric meter with its disk going round and round, ticking the little numbers for the meter reader to note how much to bill you). Then he showed a diagram where the distribution system has all kinds of switches, loads measurement, and fault detection. And now you have users squirting power back into the system. On top of that there is digital information of system status in those lines. Actually quite fascinating, most of us don't even think about those light green boxes here and there occupying a small space along the highway. I've not studied it much but it's interesting.

I do remember back in the days when PG&E did everything (north Calif). Generate the power, owned and serviced the transmission lines and distribution system, did the billing, etc. It also seemed there were more service trucks back then (I used to ask the PG&E guys if they had anything to spare, I got few hardware items that fun to have). PG&E does the billing and servicing of local lines but someone else owns the power plants and the big transmission lines.

about three weeks ago

SpaceX Chooses Texas Site For Private Spaceport

k6mfw Re:Why bother? (113 comments)

Also weather can be an issue for FL in the summertime.

good reminder of difficulties scheduling launch from FL. The old joke goes what's the different between 20% chance of showers and 80% chance of showers in Florida? Answer is none. I always wondered when claims of several launches per week we've heard through out the years of various launch vehicles (beginning with Shuttle planning in early 1970s of hundreds of flights per year). Then there is limited windows, i.e. if you don't get your Delta launched by such-and-such a date, it will have to be scrubbed until next month because USAF needs to launch an Atlas because Range Safety can only deal with limited number of launches.

Then there is Baikonur Cosmodrome. They can set a launch date for a Soyuz about two years in advance and will be able to launch on that date with exception of technical problems because there is no "weather" (either really hot or really cold but no rain, no clouds, nothing). But there is issues of high inclination and dealing with a certain leader with Tsar ambitions.

about three weeks ago

San Francisco Airport Testing Beacon System For Blind Travelers

k6mfw Re:Capt Sum Ting Wong will still miss the runway (61 comments)

I remember that broadcast, I missed the "joke" and was thinking it didn't make sense because about same time in other media one mentioned a different set of names, another mentioned names of crew withheld pending investigation. At the time I was looking into how will it effect my flight into SJC (about 40 miles south) and also what caused such a simple landing to go wrong (maybe it is not that simple). But later I cringed thinking about the KTVU falling for bad information. Supposably, they called FAA to confirm but got someone who was taking messages for a FAA official who asked another person, etc. I guess pressure to be the first to get the news before someone else (I think it is better to be second or third place and be right instead of first place and be wrong).

about three weeks ago

If You're Always Working, You're Never Working Well

k6mfw Re:Peter Principle is killing the work force (135 comments)

Yes and no. There is the "Dilbert Principle" which the ineffective engineer is promoted so they don't screw things up in engineering (at least what I've heard, it seems to me managers come in all types of skills and effectiveness). Supposably the successful technical person at least knows subject matter even if they are poor managers as compared to the PHB of Dilbert fame.

about three weeks ago



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

k6mfw k6mfw writes  |  more than 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

Military surplus a bonanza for law enforcement

k6mfw k6mfw writes  |  more than 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

Cars: The Next Victims of Cyberattacks

k6mfw k6mfw writes  |  more than 2 years ago

k6mfw (1182893) writes "From IEEE Spectrum,, "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

STS-135 ET to Transmit Video During Re-Entry

k6mfw k6mfw writes  |  more than 3 years ago

k6mfw (1182893) writes "STS-135 External Tank to Transmit Video During Re-Entry
M0ODV on 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

“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

“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.”"


k6mfw has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>