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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

mark_reh My Soundcraftsmen PM-860 amplifier (513 comments)

200W/ch of bullet-proof audio. I loaded it with everything from ribbons to electrostatics and it has never faltered. I got it new in the mid 80s and it's still going strong.

My Squeezebox 3 music player has been working perfectly for the last 8 years, and even the VFD, which I had expected to last 2 years based on experience with VFDs in VCRs, is still perfect.

9 hours ago

Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

mark_reh Re:HP Calculators (513 comments)

I, too, have an HP-11C that I still use almost daily and have only changed the batteries twice since I bought it new around 1980.

Later I got a HP-48SX and the keyboard started out as crap and broke just after the warranty expired. They just don't make them like they used to...


9 hours ago

Snowden Used the Linux Distro Designed For Internet Anonymity

mark_reh If the NSA doesn't like Tails they will target it. (167 comments)

They will put developers to work on the open source code who will "accidentally" insert bugs that open holes in the security -like the hole that was recently discovered in https. Tails may have been a problem for them in the past, but with the NSA's nearly infinite budget it seems unlikely that Tails would remain a problem for long.

2 days ago

Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

mark_reh Re:Appeal to authority is not good enough (584 comments)

I don't understand what you and JM mean by "safer" versions of the vaccines. What data do you have to support the supposed lack of safety of the vaccines?

If you had measles and mumps and it was no big deal, you were lucky. There are many who are not so lucky. You are making the same mistake JM does- equating a single data point- your personal experience- to a generalized experience. Science/public health doesn't work that way.

I suggest you look up the potential problems caused by measles, mumps, and the other diseases we vaccinate against before you make statements about how it is better for people to get the diseases than to be vaccinated. These will get you started:

Ignorance is a choice. Smart people recognize their ignorance and attempt to rectify it. Stupid people choose to remain ignorant. Which are you?

4 days ago

Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

mark_reh Re:Appeal to authority is not good enough (584 comments)

" I had mercury fillings in my teeth when I was younger, which I was then told was poisonous and had to be drilled out and replaced. Very pleasant."

Whoever told you that was misinformed or lying (maybe they wanted to profit by drilling them out and replacing them). Your fillings weren't "mercury". Your fillings were mercury/silver amalgam. An amalgam is an alloy that forms when mercury reacts chemically with silver. An alloy is a stable chemical compound. It does not spontaneously decompose into its constituents. If it did, your fillings would have dissolved and disappeared long ago.

Yes, when amalgam fillings are first placed you are exposed to some mercury vapor. That is why the ADA recommends that amalgam fillings should not be placed in small kids or pregnant women.

Amalgam is a very durable, long lasting restorative material that has been in use for over 100 years. Amalgam restorations normally last much longer than alternative materials such as tooth colored composites which require frequent maintenance/replacement. Did they tell you about that before they drilled out all your "mercury" fillings?

For the ADA position see latest info summarized here: http://www.ada.org/sections/pr...
The summary on page 2 says:
"In the six years since the LSRO report was published the identified research gaps have
not been completely addressed. However a number of studies have added to the
growing body of literature on the topic of amalgam safety. The findings of the studies
published between January 1, 2004 and June 15, 2010 showed no consistent evidence
of harm associated with dental amalgam fillings, including for infants and children. There
is some evidence that mercury excretion may be affected by gender. There was no
evidence demonstrating that some individuals are genetically susceptible to harmful
effects from exposure to the low doses of mercury associated with dental amalgam
fillings. Overall, studies continue to support the position that dental amalgam is a safe
restorative option for both children and adults. When responding to safety concerns it is
important to make the distinction between known and hypothetical risks. "

4 days ago

Anyone Can Buy Google Glass April 15

mark_reh Why April 15th? (167 comments)

because in the US, April 15th is when income tax return forms are due. On that day many people find out if they are getting a refund of taxes withheld from their paychecks in the previous year. That refund money is often spent on TVs, appliances, etc., and now Google Glass.

4 days ago

Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

mark_reh Re:Engineer and Doctor? (731 comments)

So you're assuming that everything we currently have disappears over night? I would think that with a reduced human population the many millions of scalpels and other medical supplies already sitting on shelves would last quite a while, as would a lot of the other stuff we have, including computers and other battery operated electronics.

5 days ago

Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

mark_reh As a former EE and current dentist (731 comments)

I feel comfortable with an impending apocalypse. I know how to keep things working, how to fix them when they break, and how to get people numb enough to extract teeth without causing much discomfort. Yup, I'm good.

about a week ago

Study Rules Out Global Warming Being a Natural Fluctuation With 99% Certainty

mark_reh It's interesting that a lot of the people who (854 comments)

deny anthropomorphic climate change/global warming on the basis of not trusting data representing past temperatures (tree rings, lake sediments, etc.) put absolute trust in a book written 2k years ago to be the word of God himself.

about a week ago

The Graffiti Drone

mark_reh So many questions... (126 comments)

If the drone contributes 50% or more of the final output, is it still art? Even if the drone didn't contribute, would it still be art?
How usable with this be high up in the air next to a building when the wind is blowing?
What about the air pollution produced by spraying paint with VOCs all over the place? Are graffiti "artists" insensitive to environmental concerns?

I think it would be better to use the quad blades to lift the drone to the desired height then use a ducted fan or other technology to adhere the thing to the building and then spray under real control, without the wind blowing the drone all over the place. After completing the "art", it would detach itself and fly back home.

about a week ago

Nat Geo Writer: Science Is Running Out of "Great" Things To Discover

mark_reh You don't know what you don't know. (292 comments)

It's called ignorance and it's always the starting point for new discoveries. I'm sure there were people claiming there was nothing left to discover/invent 200 years ago. Look how right they were.

about a week ago

Overuse of Bioengineered Corn Gives Rise To Resistant Pests

mark_reh As long as the bottom line was good for a quarter (259 comments)

or two, it was well worth the experiment, at least to the CEO and shareholders. The CEO got his bonus and the shareholders got their bump in the price and that's all that matters.

When the CEO lays off all the genetic engineers because of this "problem" the shareholders will reward him with another bonus for being so proactive.

I don't know why you guys are getting so upset. It says right there in the Bible that God gave us all the plants and animals to do with as we see fit.

about a month ago

Embarrassing Stories Shed Light On US Officials' Technological Ignorance

mark_reh Could this sort of ignorance be the reason why (299 comments)

congressmen let industries write the laws that will regulate their industries? Maybe that's giving too much credit to congressmen to recognize and acknowledge their ignorance of many topics. Maybe they just do it that way because it fills their Cayman accounts with $.

about a month ago

How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

mark_reh It seems to me that anyone who could afford (983 comments)

20 TB worth of content in the first place should easily be able to afford a backup system for it. He did come into that 20TB of content by legitimate means, right? You can't legally transfer a digital copy of a Blu-ray disc to HDD, so it must be UltraViolet copies, so he must have the original Blu-ray discs...

I recall a lawsuit that the RIAA brought against someone several years ago in which the defendant used an interesting argument to defend his having tons of illegally acquired music files on his computer/iPod. I may have some of the details wrong, but the argument was essentially that since songs cost $.99 each on iTunes, and an iPOD (at the time) could hold 8GB (or was it 16GB) equivalent to >$20K worth of music that no one in their right mind would ever pay for music to fill up an iPod. Therefore, Apple was encouraging people to get music illegally by providing a device to keep and play more of it that any sane person would ever buy.

I don't think the guy won with that argument, but it does make one think about the huge HDD capacities that are available for very low cost. What would people ever have to keep that takes 3TB (a single HDD), if not a bunch of movies, TV, etc., the majority of which has been acquired illegally? I'd bet the number of people who could legitimately fill that sort of space (home movies?), let alone 20TB, is very small.

about a month ago

Should Newsweek Have Outed Satoshi Nakamoto's Personal Details?

mark_reh Re:Bit coin is a lot like scientology. (276 comments)

"You would have to be an almost psychopath to still be holding all your bit coins at this point."

Which further demonstrates how bitcoin is like scientology...

about a month and a half ago

Should Newsweek Have Outed Satoshi Nakamoto's Personal Details?

mark_reh Bit coin is a lot like scientology. (276 comments)

Hubbard figured out a long time ago that the best way to make a lot of money was to start a "religion".

Bitcoin, like scientology, is a religion (with money as its god), and a small number of fanatical zealots (whose net worth is tied up in it) who will defend it no matter how ridiculous it looks to people uninvolved in it.

Nakamoto is truly brilliant. It's brilliant to start up your own currency, pile up a bunch of it for yourself, then convince others that it is worth something in real money terms. The real stroke of genius is that since it is anonymous, he can cash out before everyone figures out he has exited his own house of cards. It isn't a quite a pyramid and it isn't quite a Ponzi scheme. Since mining coins becomes more "difficult" as more coins are mined, it guarantees that the folks who started it up when mining coins was easy and cheap, will get paid the most and first.

about a month and a half ago



Linux replacement for Playon Media server

mark_reh mark_reh writes  |  about a year and a half ago

mark_reh (2015546) writes "I am tired of dealing with Windows and want to go 100% linux. There is one app that I have yet to find a linux replacement for- Playon media server. Is there a roughly equivalent Linux program that makes streaming web content as easily accessible from the TV?

PS3 media server is nice for streaming from my HDD but doesn't have the easy web content accessibility that Playon has."

Link to Original Source

Ask Slashdot: moving out but need to keep up with

mark_reh mark_reh writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mark_reh writes "I am forced to move to another state where I can work. My wife and son will be staying put. I need to go over my son's homework with him every night. Is there a decent tool that allows collaborative screen sharing accompanied by voice/video? His computer will be running Win 7 and mine will be on whatever is required, preferably linux."

How are photos controlled on the internet?

mark_reh mark_reh writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mark_reh (2015546) writes "When you search for images via Google Images you see a bunch of pictures, but how is the availability of images controlled? For example, where are all the swimsuit pics of Sarah Palin when she was in beauty contests? How does the Palin organization or any other celebrity, or anyone else for that matter, manage to control availability of images on the web? If such control is possible, how do sex videos of celebrities manage to fall outside that control, or do they?"



For the love of God, will someone tell me why

mark_reh mark_reh writes  |  more than 2 years ago

men who drive pickup trucks insist on backing them into parking spaces? What is the point?
The bigger the pickup, the more likely it will be backed into a parking space.
If it has a trailer hitch, it will be backed up so the hitch hangs over a sidewalk, just waiting to knee-cap someone walking by.

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