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Comments

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Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

ka9dgx Re:One last thing (491 comments)

So you are arguing against widely distributed small generators on that basis? They provide LOCALIZATION OF PRODUCTION by their very nature, so I suggest you be a bit more honest about your reason for objecting to them.

As nuclear is far more reliable

If there were thousands of little generating plants, we wouldn't need a big heavy duty grid... but solar is not a generating plant. It is a sometimes available source of energy which perturbs the balance of the grid over the time frame of seconds.

The Grid is a system designed to reliably deliver power from a set of fairly reliable constant power sources. Those sources were designed to go online and stay at design load for many months at a crack, then have a scheduled maintenance outage. and then do it again. There are stresses associated with each transition, which are cumulative, and result in finite lifespans for things like generator shafts.

Yes... a generator shaft is a big dumb piece of steel... until you start to think about it and dig deeper. It was probably cast in a spinning mold with a vacuum applied to cause any defects to be located in the center of the shaft. Those defects are then bored out, and thus you have a nice, strong, reliable piece of steel good for 5 decades of service, with a huge margin of safety. This huge margin considered 12 outages and/or unit trips per year, a safety factor of probably 20 for good measure, and an outrageous 50 year service life.

Since the 1950s... plants now cycle far more often thanks to big cheap nukes.... cutting that margin way back. Now you want to cycle them every time a cloud passes through the neighborhood of a large solar installation? They won't last 5 years at that rate.

The stresses on the whole grid from crappy politically special flowers will eventually collapse the grid unless some heavy, HEAVY upgrades are done... which just ain't gonna happen.

Solar/Wind is going to kill the grid... just wait and see.

3 days ago
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Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair With Astonishing Crop Yield Breakthrough

ka9dgx Replication? (308 comments)

Who is going to replicate these experiments? It's not science until someone can do it, and then someone else... and then someone else...

about a week ago
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Putin To Discuss Plans For Disconnecting Russia From the Internet

ka9dgx Just like Texas (241 comments)

The Republic of Texas has its own power grid. I've heard rumors in the distance past that they have the ability to isolate their phone lines. I see no reason to doubt that they kept up with the times when it comes to the Internet.

Of course... it's just a rumor.

about two weeks ago
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U2 and Apple Collaborate On 'Non-Piratable, Interactive Format For Music'

ka9dgx Arrr... we'll see 'bout that, ye bilge-rat (358 comments)

How fittin' it is that this tail comes on talk like a pirate day. The lubber has no idea what the crew has ready, once we host the jolly roger.

about two weeks ago
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Mystery Signal Could Be Dark Matter Hint In ISS Detector

ka9dgx ISIS is in space? (55 comments)

How the heck did ISIS make it up into orbit to attack the space station? You can't trust the Russkies, can you?

Next thing you know ISIS will be on the moon, and we'll have to bomb them. ;-)

about two weeks ago
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The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

ka9dgx Expectation Management (182 comments)

I completed the Stanford AI course, recently did a course in communications from the University of Amsterdam. In both cases, time management was a problem for me, I simply had other things to do, and drifted away... catching back up in the nick of time. Trying to fit distance learning into the regular schedule of campus life seems to be the problem here... it is definitely not the depth of material that is any kind of a stopper.

I think that guided deep dives into topics we would otherwise not understand, is going to be how we keep accumulating knowledge as a species in the future. Deep diving takes time, and unlike the real diving... it doesn't all have to happen in one shot.

On a side note... it is worth at least $20 to me... possibly much more... if someone can give me the deep dive that results in me understanding the Higgs field, and the Higgs particle. A true understanding... not some vague notion of mexican hats and potential.

about three weeks ago
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Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

ka9dgx Unchecked governmental BS (499 comments)

It is utterly offensive to me that the State Department gets to decide who and what groups are "terrorists". Free Association is one of the key tenants of a functioning Democracy.

I find the associations between lobbyists and government officials to be a clear and present danger to our country... but what can I do about it?

about three weeks ago
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New Nigerian ID Card Includes Prepay MasterCard Wallet

ka9dgx Re:Beastly (62 comments)

You do mean 616, don't you? Its bad enough when governments break their promise to pay money for currency.. the ability to take all of your money and your identity in one fell swoop seem to be the ultimate tool for sorting out Serfs and Lords.

about a month ago
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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

ka9dgx Hardened Operating Systems (129 comments)

Instead of trying to harden an OS, why not use a system designed to be secure from the start, one that supports multilevel security. The technology was created in response to data processing demands during the Viet Nam conflict, and perfected during the 70s and 80s.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

ka9dgx Bad Security Model in the first place (331 comments)

The root cause is that the security model of Unix that everyone copied isn't compatible with the modern world. The OS never asks what resources you want to allow a given program to access, instead it ass-u-me-s that it should have full run of everything, and just trusts the program to do the right thing.

So antivirus programs were invented to serve as a "no-fly-list" type system.... only programs on the list are stopped. This worked well until methods for changing the signature of programs got up to speed. Imagine a terrorist being able to make up a name before trying to buy/board a flight... this is where we are now.

Until we get the OS to ask what resources a program should be allowed... things will keep getting worse.

about a month and a half ago
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The Billion-Dollar Website

ka9dgx Re:Why dont we (194 comments)

Because 10% of a working system can't be measured. Even a 100% completed to spec system is worthless until it has actually been used for a while... when it will prove to need about 100% more work.

Most software projects fail, unlike construction, etc... engineering can't be applied.

about a month and a half ago
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Leaked Docs Show Spyware Used To Snoop On US Computers

ka9dgx Re:Zee Germans (135 comments)

What, the Wealthy Industrialists who funded a clearly insane person on the assumption they could control him?

about 2 months ago
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Long-Wave Radar Can Take the Stealth From Stealth Technology

ka9dgx Long wave radar precision (275 comments)

The lowest frequency you could use to track a target should be on the order of one that results in the target being 1/2 wavelength. Given the F35 is 16 meters long, that works out to about 10 Mhz. I highly doubt there is an effective way to absorb/deflect a radar pulse at such a low frequency (and depth of penetration) in an aircraft.

I've known this since the 1980s... I highly doubt that I'm in any way unique. I expect there are a number of spread spectrum 30-50 Mhz radars out there, just for catching "stealth" targets.

about 2 months ago
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How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

ka9dgx 8088 with clock generator chip (391 comments)

I designed and built my first embedded microprocessor project (for remote metering) using an 8088 and a 8284 clock generator chip, with some EPROM and static RAM back in the early 1980s.... I've been working on computers ever since.

about 2 months ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

ka9dgx Re:Meta-problem (512 comments)

How did this get down-voted? Settlement is a thing

about 2 months ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

ka9dgx Meta-problem (512 comments)

The big issue is that one group of refugees from an attempted Genocide is creating another group of refugees from their attempted Genocide.

All else is lies.

about 2 months ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

ka9dgx Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration (701 comments)

"Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration, don't fail me now!" and/or

"Our Lady of Blessed Power Application, don't fail me now!"

about 2 months ago
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Google Reader: One Year Later

ka9dgx I stopped reading so much (132 comments)

I just gave up, and read the following things
    email /.
    metafilter
    boingboing
    facebook
    youtube
    doc searls web log

and that's it. The internet was nice while it lasted.

about 3 months ago
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Kids With Operators Manual Alert Bank Officials: "We Hacked Your ATM"

ka9dgx If this happened in the US (378 comments)

If this were a couple of kids in the US... they would both be on their way to Gitmo, the anti-rejection drugs the kid probably needs to stay alive wouldn't be addressed... then the remaining kid would probably go on a hunger strike in Solitary.

Oh... and someone at the Bank would be put in charge of a new "cyber security" division, with a big bonus and a corner office.

I wish we could be more like Canada some times.

about 4 months ago
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The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems

ka9dgx Re:"Coming IT Nightmare?!?" (240 comments)

That doesn't address the issue of unintended side effects from existing bugs. I agree that a separate LAN can help mitigate things, but it doesn't eliminate the odd things that can happen in a world where code is trusted by default.

Imagine if your garage light switch would 1 out of every 1000,000 times, cause your roof to fall off your house.... this is the world of software that can do anything.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

ka9dgx hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Some good discussion about cabsec

ka9dgx ka9dgx writes  |  more than 3 years ago

I was glad that there was some fruitful discussion about CApability Based SECurity (cabsec). I learned some things, and hopefully passed on some lessons as well. Thanks to all who joined in the comments in response to mine.

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Pushing the iceberg

ka9dgx ka9dgx writes  |  more than 8 years ago I've gotten tired of the bias towards snarky bashing... and just used my 5 moderator points to help push the iceberg that is /. towards a more sane area of the sea. I hope others do the same.

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Million Bit CPU?

ka9dgx ka9dgx writes  |  more than 9 years ago Ever wonder what would happen if you had a computer with 1,000,000 single bit processors? If I'm right, you might actually get one, for less than a buck, and it'll be darned useful.

Non Von-Neuman architectures are tough to wrap your mind around, but it can be worth it. I hope to find a few other people who can see the power of this idea, and bring it to realization.

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Intellectual Property is EVIL

ka9dgx ka9dgx writes  |  more than 12 years ago As I stated in the forum..."Intellectual Property is a VIRUS. Once you accept the notion that you can license an idea, algorithm, or way of doing something (as opposed to the very narrow to a novel mechanical device), you've already given in.

We're slipping a long way towards corporate ownership of ideas, and the public discourse. This is one of the many embodyments of the forces of darkness, and should be fought tooth and nail.

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I'm not depressed any more, now I'm just amused.

ka9dgx ka9dgx writes  |  more than 13 years ago Ok, Now that they're trying AGAIN to do DivX, with rentable downloadable movies, I've realized that the boys at RIAA and otherplaces might have political power, and have severely warped reality to thier twisted view, and the STILL can't come up with a plan to grab some real power.

They've killed off the only hope of a mass distribution system for music which they could monitor or control (or... gasp... make some money off of), and in so doing killed off viral free advertising.

They're clueless morons, and... as it says about Earth in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy... Mostly Harmless

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Soooo... slashdot does Journals now

ka9dgx ka9dgx writes  |  more than 13 years ago Oh... a "permanent record"... I get to record my transient thoughts of the day, the questions I ponder, and maybe even get some feedback from others. This seems to be a cool idea, and might even generate some traffic, more than my home pages elsewhere, which I never seem to get around to updating.

I just finished reading "Hackers" by Steven Levy, and now I'm depressed... it seems that the true hackers are all gone, and there's noplace to find them anymore... maybe Slashdot is it, and I just don't recognize it... hard to be sure.

Well, there it is... a comment, to be preserved forever in the machine.

--Mike--

PS... you can edit them after the fact, a nice feature.

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