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Amazon UK Glitch Sells Thousands of Products For a Penny

mirix Re:currency (138 comments)

I'm not british and like jaffa cakes. orange and chocolate is an awesome combination.

4 days ago
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Using Discarded Laptop Batteries To Power Lights

mirix Re:What happens to these at the true end-of-life? (143 comments)

Lithium cells are pretty benign in general. There are a few variants in chemistry, the worst would probably be the cobalt based ones. (others use various combinations of iron, nickel, manganese, and phosphorous, which are pretty tame). Though the cobalt variants are quite common.

NiCd is far worse, cadmium is fairly nasty... much more than cobalt.

about two weeks ago
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Using Discarded Laptop Batteries To Power Lights

mirix Re:sorry, all my laptop batteries are dead (143 comments)

In every 'dead' laptop battery I've torn down, one cell (or pair, in parallel) is totally kaput, and the remaining cells retain at least 50% of their nameplate capacity. Protection circuitry will lockout recharging of the whole pack, which wouldn't work with the dead cell anyway.

So the battery as a whole is utterly useless for the laptop, but 2/3rds of the cells or more have some life left in them, for other purposes.

I imagine a lot of the too-cheap-to-be-true off-label replacement laptop batteries are in fact combinations of two dead ones, with the remaining functioning cells rewired into one working (but lower capacity) pack. Certainly seems about right judging by the performance of them, anyway.

about two weeks ago
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Orion Capsule Safely Recovered, Complete With 12-Year-Old Computer Guts

mirix Re:Herp a derp fast computers DEEERRRPPP (197 comments)

I noticed that Intersil still makes a rad-hard variant of the awful RCA 1802. (you know, the CPU in a COSMAC ELF).

When I saw that, I figured NASA and or the DoD probably give them enough money to make it worth their while... so they must use that antique for something.

about two weeks ago
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Nuclear Weapons Create Their Own Security Codes With Radiation

mirix Re:This is the voice of world control. (106 comments)

land based MIRVs were banned with START-II from early 90s.

Scratch that, I guess it never went into effect and Russia still has some, though the US did get rid of theirs. Doesn't make much difference as the US still uses them on sub launched stuff anyway.

about three weeks ago
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US Marshals Auctioning $20M Worth of Silk Road's Bitcoins

mirix Re:But the case hasn't even started! (119 comments)

Could be. I know in Canada pennies are^Wwere only legal tender in groups of less than 25. (so you can't pay your income tax or parking tickets in pennies). I'm unsure if the US has a similar restriction?

Limitation

(2) A payment in coins referred to in subsection (1) is a legal tender for no more than the following amounts for the following denominations of coins:

        (a) forty dollars if the denomination is two dollars or greater but does not exceed ten dollars;

        (b) twenty-five dollars if the denomination is one dollar;

        (c) ten dollars if the denomination is ten cents or greater but less than one dollar;

        (d) five dollars if the denomination is five cents; and

        (e) twenty-five cents if the denomination is one cent.

about a month ago
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Google "Evicted" the Berlin Wall From Property It Bought

mirix Re:Good grief... (59 comments)

It's a two stroke from the 50s. Not sure how that reflects on communism (apart from them making them mostly unchanged for 40 years..). A DKW from the other side of the wall had just as brutal emissions.

The fact that it is only nine fold is pretty impressive, really.

about a month ago
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25th Anniversary: When the Berlin Wall Fell

mirix Re:The New Wall (151 comments)

To keep all the Ukrainians out, away from the jobs and higher wages?

about a month ago
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25th Anniversary: When the Berlin Wall Fell

mirix Re:Reminder of who not to credit (151 comments)

25 years later and there are still American bases in Germany. So there can't be that much resentment - not enough to force change anyway.

You'd think resentment would be much higher now, when there isn't even an illusion of requirement of american 'protection'.

about a month ago
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25th Anniversary: When the Berlin Wall Fell

mirix Re:US is how far from living under the Stasi? (151 comments)

Yeah, certainly the way to stop the decline is to say "oh, it was/is way worse somewhere else", put your head in the sand and do nothing.

about a month ago
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Study: There's a Wi-Fi Hotspot For Every 150 People In the World

mirix Re:Freifunk (63 comments)

frei is generally of the unrestrained variety

free stuff is usually said to be kostenlos (without cost).

about a month and a half ago
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US Midterm Elections Discussion

mirix Re:Have to take personal time to vote... (401 comments)

Where do you come up with this? Russia spans UTC +2 to UTC +12. (or Moscow time -1 to +8).

Do you really think people in Vladivostok get up at midnight and go to bed at 4pm?

about a month and a half ago
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Pirate Bay Founder Gottfrid Warg Faces Danish Jail Time

mirix Re:Find a better excuse (89 comments)

Presumably he is going for worst case of injustice within the danish legal system in recent years. I imagine it's still a bit of a hyperbole though.

Denmark isn't some backwater where they execute people with room temperature IQ, or put them in jail for life for stealing three chocolate bars though, so maybe it isn't.

about a month and a half ago
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Cutting the Cord? Time Warner Loses 184,000 TV Subscribers In One Quarter

mirix Re:They tried to raise prices 20% unnanounced (392 comments)

-1, bullshit. How does FUD like this get modded to +5?

Lead free solder had some process related growing pains and is slightly more difficult to use, but that's about it.

I suppose my 6 year old lead free cell phone should have died from microfractures by now huh. or my motherboard. or my TV. or dishwasher. or basically anything electronic made in the last decade.

"They don't make 'em like they used to" is generally a fallacy. Survivor bias. (and I love old stuff).

My NES still works as poorly as it did 25 years ago.

about a month and a half ago
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FCC Postpones Spectrum Auction Until 2016

mirix Re:Why is it a 'sale' ? (31 comments)

The licenses are transferable, and give the right to use the spectrum. How is that different than the spectrum itself? It's a fiction so of course it's a license and not the 'physical' aether.

The problem for me is, instead of a lease going back to the state, which then leases the spectrum to someone else... some firm profits handsomely from selling a license for a fictional monopoly on a common good. That's kinda fucked.

I absolutely understand the need for licensing, else there would be mayhem. But it could be done in a better way. I guess it's the same idea as $1M taxi medallions. Those should be leased and non-transferable too.

about 2 months ago
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

mirix Re:Is counterfeiting really cheaper? (572 comments)

there is a standard. CDC.

ftdi stuff oddly mostly doesn't use it. But the other common ones (PL2303, CP210x, CH340, etc) do. I've wrote programs for AVR and STM32 that support it as well, plug and play in linux. I think windows still needs an inf, which is sort of counter productive though...

about 2 months ago
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Too Much Privacy: Finnish Police Want Big Euro Notes Taken Out of Circulation

mirix Re:Casino winnings can be too large (314 comments)

The 100s are physically smaller than 500s, so mass should be somewhat less than 5x, too.

about 2 months ago
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Liking Analog Meters Doesn't Make You a Luddite (Video)

mirix Re:Analog displays are better in some situations. (155 comments)

I was thinking more in terms of replacing simple electro-mechanical systems with more complicated transistorized ones. Not adding excessive touch logic BS to stoves :)

For example, prior to the early 60s, cars had generators. No silicon in them at all. The voltage regulator was basically two relays, and a bit of electro-mechanical trickery. very simple. If one contact failed, stuck on, a parked car would kill it's battery, if the other stuck on it would overcharge the battery when running.

Generator output had to go through the brushes, as there were no diodes available, so the commutator was used instead. In an alternator, only the exciter current goes through the brushes, which ride on sliprings and wear substantially less. (both because there are no gaps in a slipring, and because the current is minuscule compared to output current).

The cost to this was 6 diodes for the output, and a few transistors worth of voltage regulator. More complicated... but the result is greatly increased power for the same size, greatly reduced service interval, etc.

about 2 months ago
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Liking Analog Meters Doesn't Make You a Luddite (Video)

mirix Re:Analog displays are better in some situations. (155 comments)

Hey, don't make assumptions like that. I've got tube voltmeters that are older than you!

One of which the meter failed on. Something in the movement let a sliver go, which stuck to the movement's magnet, which the coil was then jamming on / binding with. Ended up sorting it out, but it was like brain surgery. This was on a Hickok 209A, circa 1940, with a gigantic 9" meter on it.

I'll stick with my 80's vintage fluke bench meters for most things. They don't look quite as cool as the Hickok, though.

I do use the $5 china special DMMs, but only for abuse in the garage, car, etc.

I can luddite with the best of them, but I know my limits!

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Upcoming wikileaks release to stress american ties

mirix mirix writes  |  about 4 years ago

mirix (1649853) writes "CBC reports that the US has told Canada that an impending wikileaks release may cause a negative impact on US ties with foreign nations.
Apparently the US is also informing other nations of the release — It could be pretty damning if they are bothering to notify foreign ministers beforehand."

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