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Nobel Laureate and Laser Inventor Charles Townes Passes

k6mfw Re:A genuinely nice man (72 comments)

Decades ago someone asked a physicist (I wonder if it was Townes) how can a laser be used as a weapon. His answer was, "throw it at your target."

yesterday
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The American App Economy Is Now "Bigger Than Hollywood"

k6mfw 627,000 jobs, are they real? (133 comments)

There are many that create apps and have them for sale at Apple, but do they make a living from these sales? There was an article saying App store is more like a casino. House always collects revenue, almost all participants lose money but a few make some money. Article went on about how everyone has to pay $100 to submit their app to Apple Store, and most apps have little sales. Occasionally some apps have huge sales (i.e. Angry Birds) and developers make lots of money. I wonder if same like Hollywood says it creates 374,000 jobs but does that include people working at theaters making marginal income, or starving actors who occasionally get a stand-in part for $50?

yesterday
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Comcast Ghost-Writes Politician's Letters To Support Time Warner Mega-Merger

k6mfw Re:To whom is may concern (178 comments)

I almost read the C word as communism from Soviet Russia or Chairman Mao.

2 days ago
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Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

k6mfw chevy horn in a toyota, reference to Mazda (809 comments)

I've never faked an engine noise but back in 1970s I replaced the horn from my 1971 Toyota with a horn from a Chevy, Toyota horn was a measly bleat-bleat where the GM product had more ommf to get people's attention. I see the tagline referencing a Mazda. I also remembered in that decade a friend had a rotary engine Mazda and it was a screamer. This was back in the days when small cars were small powered but with his Mazda he routinely accelerated ahead of those big American cars. But maintenance was a nightmare.

If going to fake engine noises, have a selection of vehicles from quiet Telsas to way-too-loud-for-city-streets Formula One racers. Now that would be fun to have.

about a week ago
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A State-By-State Guide To Restrictive Community Broadband Laws

k6mfw Re:Enough of the anti-city agenda (160 comments)

And also broadband internet is essential infrastructure for businesses like good roads and schools for a successful city. If roads (and internet) are bad, many businesses are not going to set up shop in town. They will go someplace else and the city will become third-world.

about two weeks ago
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Elon Musk's Proposed Internet-by-Satellite System Could Link With Mars Colonies

k6mfw Re:Mars-a Mars-a Mars-a! (105 comments)

Stop the insanity!

True but if sending people to the Moon is the goal, then funding and work on things like a earth departure stage, lunar lander, and God knows what else will have to be done. NASA is not doing it because they don't have fundng for these items. Musk doesn't talk about it because he will have to allocate money and engineers to work on this stuff (right now their busy with developing a reusable rocket).

Mars as a goal cannot be readily challenged because it is so far into the future. There is no land rush to the Gobi desert because it is plonkingly obvious it is inhospitable to live. And it's thousand times easier to settle than on Mars. We romantize of colonies on Mars because it is so far out of touch.

about two weeks ago
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Cuba's Pending Tech Revolution

k6mfw Re:A great place to dump old hardware (122 comments)

The question is, how will they have a tech revolution without an open internet?

I wonder if they seek advice from other countries besides US. I'm thinking of places like Bulgaria have faster internet service than most of US. Then there is the higher ups in Cuba, are they willing to delegate authority? Only big transition is from Fidel to his brother Raul. Cuba could easily do business with other countries in spite of US embargo, I heard Cuban govt is terrible at doing business with other countries.

However, it will be interesting to see some Cubans wire up their 57 Chevy with internet access as JoeyRox suggested with various homebrew gadgets. At least many are mechanically creative like fabricating parts for these old cars.

about two weeks ago
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NASA, NOAA: 2014 Was the Warmest Year In the Modern Record

k6mfw Re:Hey NASA... (360 comments)

(1) The expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space;

(building space vehicles was number 3 on the list)

Good point made. I'm saving this for other forums.

about two weeks ago
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Radio Shack Reported To Be Ready for Bankruptcy Filing

k6mfw Re:Radio Shack was a great store (314 comments)

But the point remains: what was their core mission? I never got that.

"Core mission" is probably a poor choice of words, I don't have a MBA to properly use management terms. What I was implying is Radio Shack is a store that sells radios, stereos, TV sets, walkie-talkies, microphones, headsets, various electronic parts, power supplies, etc. though not specializing in one thing. When personal computers became the rage, RS featured the Tandy computer but it never became the central item. Tandy Radio Shack thought of selling tens of thousands, Steve Jobs and also IBM and clone makers thought of selling millions (probably a good thing RS didn't try to compete with the PC market). It seems RS focused on the cellphone rage at expense of what they were originally known for so non-cellphone items took a backseat. Tough to compete selling phones.

about two weeks ago
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Radio Shack Reported To Be Ready for Bankruptcy Filing

k6mfw Re:Radio Shack was a great store (314 comments)

When I was growing up. Used to be one of the few places you could go and buy electronics parts, and even leatherworking products.

I don't think I recall RS being a great store, many times it seemed mediocre. But now with its demise, this will be a huge loss for the tinkerers. I occasionally go to RS to get parts for some of my homebrew projects. Though there is Frys and HSC (in Sunnyvale), RS was also convenient. You don't know what you got until you lost it. It seems root of RS downfall is them chasing the cellphone market instead of staying with their core mission.

about two weeks ago
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Ted Cruz To Oversee NASA and US Science Programs

k6mfw Re:We deserve this guy (496 comments)

Decline and fall of the United States will be from causes within.

about two weeks ago
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AirAsia QZ8501 Black Box Found

k6mfw Re:STOP calling them "bl**k b***s (95 comments)

Because everybody knows what a black box does even those that don't. With newer cars outfitted with recorder boxes, they call them black boxes so people know it's this thing that stores data for experts to examine later when "something" happens.

about two weeks ago
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NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission May Not Actually Redirect an Asteroid

k6mfw Re:Just visit the damn Moon (73 comments)

Nixon (cancelled NERVA & Saturn)

Saturn rocket was way too expensive to be sustainable, NERVA was cancelled because only need for it is to go to Mars (and no money for that so need for such a rocket).

Reagan (Cancelled the Space Tug crippling the Shuttle)

problem with space tug is amount of energy to change orbits is more than sending a spacecraft to the moon. Gemini, Apollo, Shuttle can change orbit inclinations but these were very small.

Bush W (cancelled the Shuttle replacement - without replacing it)

Most certain intent was to "scuttle the fleet" to motivate a development of a new vehicle much like Cortez scuttling his fleet to motivate his troops to take down the Aztec Empire. Silly analogy but according to Paul Spudis there was this kind of thinking.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

k6mfw Re:The whine of the flyback transformer (790 comments)

as this also ties in with old TV sets, any old timers here remember when staying up late watching OTA TV, falling asleep and to wake up later (about 3 am) to the sound of 'shsshshshshshsh' and nothing but static because station went off air at 1 am (will not get back on till 6)?

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

k6mfw Re:Mufflers dragging under a car (790 comments)

or a car backfiring, it seems very rare these days. I had a 1970 plymouth, in early 80s the points/rotator was getting out of sync which caused engine to backfire occasionally. When going up a incline it backfired more, and then one of these backfires blew the muffler off and then the vehicle was really loud.

about three weeks ago
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NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission May Not Actually Redirect an Asteroid

k6mfw Re:Just visit the damn Moon (73 comments)

WTF is the problem?

no money for a lander. That's why Moon is off limits (human landings that is). Until NASA is given money for a lander, the moon is simply not discussed. Mars is discussed even though no money for lander or habitat module while getting there, but that's far off into the future (much like fusion power plants, flying cars, etc.).

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Options For Cheap Home Automation?

k6mfw non RFI devices (189 comments)

All these gadgets are nice but many (i.e. high tech light switches) cause lot of RFI on my VHF and UHF radios. I cannot imagine what HF must endure, I don't have such at my place but I've heard a lot of gripes for HF users.

about three weeks ago
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Four Facepalm Bugs In USPS Label-Printing Site

k6mfw Re:Irony is... (182 comments)

BH complaining about wasting time.

but sure has a lot of time to write this article.

about three weeks ago
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Scientist Says Potential Signs of Ancient Life in Mars Rover Photos

k6mfw Re:Time for some leaps and not baby steps (142 comments)

Presumably, this discovery would be accompanied by some facts about the nature of the organisms that lived on Mars,

I recall one of those 1950s sci-fi comics of a manned Mars mission exploring surface, come across some ruins (there really was a cilivization here millions of years ago). They find this one place of various apparatus and documents (maybe it's advanced mathematical studies and high technology). After spending some time analyzing the numbers, one concludes it doesn't seem much more than just a balance sheet for a business. Another finds the equipment some kind of holographic projector and manages to get it operating. It shows a person under attack by a tenacle monster. Among other evidence they realize Martians were very humanoid and what they stumbled on was a movie theatre with feature film, "Invasion From The Third Planet."

about three weeks ago
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Scientist Says Potential Signs of Ancient Life in Mars Rover Photos

k6mfw Re:Time for some leaps and not baby steps (142 comments)

Is it me, or does NASA seem scared to get the answer to the question of is/was there life on Mars?

Viking’s results where ambiguous, so we decided – NO LIFE – no need to go back for over 20 years.

that's why mission is not to ask "is there life?" Because if answer is no, then we ain't going back for another 20 years because that is exactly what happened with Viking (ok maybe I'm stretching it). But then I feel the same way, the next big thing is even a bigger rover. I've read stories of the "Mars Mafia" to keep the money rolling to JPL by continuing easy missions (but talk to people that worked on Curiosity and they'll tell you it is ***NOT*** easy). Now for a mission of big leap is a Europa lander and submarine (imagine it taking pictures of the little fishies if any).

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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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
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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
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Cars: The Next Victims of Cyberattacks

k6mfw k6mfw writes  |  about 3 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 3 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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