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Comments

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Mysterious, Phony Cell Towers Found Throughout US

k6mfw Re:They used to be called UHF TV tuners (96 comments)

If these towers are not registered with the FCC, then what would happen if one possibly fell over?

Nothing. Like a tree falling in a forest with nobody around to hear it. Besides being factious that FCC no longer does enforcement but probably get attention from OSHA or local planning dept that issues permits.

10 minutes ago
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Net Neutrality Campaign To Show What the Web Would Be Like With a "Slow Lane"

k6mfw Re:Dammit! (87 comments)

reminds me of "free Comcast" of leaky cable boxes. Some years ago when Comcast had analog, and when watching amateur television on 421.25 MHz and 427.25 MHz I find certain parts of town being able to see Fox CNN on cable these freq (which are CATV Ch 57 and 58). Though all digital now but there are still lots of leaky boxes around though not sure if stations worth watching.

13 hours ago
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Net Neutrality Campaign To Show What the Web Would Be Like With a "Slow Lane"

k6mfw Re:Boycott (87 comments)

I still have comcast but only watch a few channels (I pay for hundreds I don't watch which is like paying monthly payments for a car I only drive 3 days a month). Talking with a friend who said there is about 100 OTA TV channels here in SF bay area. Not that all those channels interest me, but when he said OTA HD looks much better than Comcast which compresses the video (gotta fit all those channels through the coax pipe). He further described watching KQED OTA HD channel on oceanic life on a big screen (it was spectacular), then switched to same channel from Comcast. It was not as good. Then my comcast bill is a few dollars more (it seems to keep going up and promoting more football which I don't watch at all. was it the Cleveland Lakers that won the Superbowl?).

Maybe it's time to cut the cord from Comcast, my last month!

13 hours ago
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Battle of the Heavy Lift Rockets

k6mfw Re:Competition is good. (202 comments)

> Argue all you want, you still have to deal with the tyranny of the Rocket Equation.

I remain puzzled by the point of your post. [snip] The politics not the physics of the US space program more or less preclude that.

I probably jumped discussion too much, it refers to some people advocating commercial space that "it is easy" just like airplanes, emphasizing it's just a little harder. Actually it is difficult getting to LEO, SpaceX has made it lower cost when compared to "Arsenal Space" but still there is no cheap. So don't expect in 10 years from now going to LEO will be as straight forward as driving to Pittsburg.

We will have to see what next 10 years will bring, 10 years ago nobody expected us to be in a situation like we are now.

yesterday
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Battle of the Heavy Lift Rockets

k6mfw Re:Competition is good. (202 comments)

oh man, that is a good one. perfect to troll and make people mad.

2 days ago
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Battle of the Heavy Lift Rockets

k6mfw Re:Competition is good. (202 comments)

If the Soviet Union had managed LEO or the moon, do you think they would have not used it?.

Of course they would use it, like they used Sputnik and Gagarin to show superiority of communism and those were countered with NASA and Apollo. When these were successful, they were reduced (we abandoned going beyond LEO, and NASA struggles). Look at current "threats" which are not from USSR so the agency with one less A than NASA gets unlimited budget and authority, and can skirt the US Constitution.

2 days ago
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Battle of the Heavy Lift Rockets

k6mfw Re:Competition is good. (202 comments)

And rather than continue to do something that hasn't worked in around four decades (and really, the Space Shuttle and the Apollo programs were just money sinks) maybe we could look at things that do work, like SpaceX's approach?

Apollo succeeded because the politicos (those in power) realized if Soviets land on the moon first, they will plant the Hammer and Sickle flag on the surface that will enslave the world in Communism (not really but that's what they thought). So with that in mind, do whatever necessary to prevent that from happening otherwise their goose is cooked (strong motivator like 25 years before when threatened by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan).

Then after what next? Shuttle was left over from more ambitious missions of orbiting stations, lunar bases, mission to Mars, etc. And it could have easily not happened. see Dale Myers on MIT OCW video in 2005 when he said at time it looked like last HSF by US would have been the Skylab missions, Apollo-Soyuz was not scheduled at that time (sorry too lazy to get link but it's on youtube). Nixon realizing many people laid off in states with lots of electoral votes (CA and FL) so give them a big program to continue, in 1972 he said to OMB stop objecting to NASA plans for Shuttle and approve it.

Fast forward to 21st century and progress made by SpaceX and others is result of wealth inequality. Few billionaires have some billions they can put into to what they want rather than meeting political objectives (war, votes, whatever).

Argue all you want, you still have to deal with the tyranny of the Rocket Equation.

2 days ago
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Old Doesn't Have To Mean Ugly: Squeezing Better Graphics From Classic Consoles

k6mfw Re:That first link confuses composite and componen (167 comments)

uhmm, component video is not same as s-video (or correctly should be called Y/C). Component has three cables (Y, Pb, Pr), Y/C has two cables (Y, C). What drives me nuts is Y/C has some improvement over composite but uses crummy cheap connectors. Composite lives on because works great in an industrial environment with a single coax and locking BNC connector. Of course it also has the RCA connector which is more rugged than that crummy DIN connector used by Y/C.

5 days ago
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Old Doesn't Have To Mean Ugly: Squeezing Better Graphics From Classic Consoles

k6mfw Re:Shameless Advertisement (167 comments)

The bigger problem is that the slashvertisement has almost as much information as the linked page, most of it word-for-word.

veering OT, I've been surfing internet on video systems (HD, bitrates, modes, codecs, connectors, etc). Your quote reminded me why so difficult getting good info on the web:

"Yet today you have some manufactures creating completely phony websites that are supposedly written by former employees of the company, who are supposedly letting you in on 'inside secrets' of the companies new equipment, only to find out that it's astroturfing. Astroturfing is when a company tries to disguise their sales agenda as an independent public reaction to their product, in this case with a phony website with covert disinformation. One such example of this technique is what Panasonic did when they introduced the HVX200. They created such a website until it was uncovered that while it had no reference to being a Panasonic supported website, it was. They since took it down in shame."

5 days ago
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TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

k6mfw Re:I got those calls every few days (249 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).

about a week ago
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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.

about two weeks ago
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It's Easy To Hack Traffic Lights

k6mfw Re:Old news (144 comments)

This only proves that Italian traffic lights are easy to hack.

but how many young techies know how to hack something like this,
http://www.wired.com/wp-conten...

about two weeks ago
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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?

about two weeks ago
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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.

about two weeks ago
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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
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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
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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 three weeks ago
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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 three weeks ago
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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 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  |  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 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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