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Fire Destroys Iron Mountain Data Warehouse, Argentina's Bank Records Lost

ridgecritter Re:Classic Slashdot (463 comments)

Theverge link was amazingly awful. I had no idea. And I can certainly see how it's Dice's direction for /. Just as certainly, not mine.

about 8 months ago
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Canadian Health Scientists Resort To Sneaker Net After Funding Slashed

ridgecritter Well said. (168 comments)

Thank you.

about 8 months ago
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Bizarre Star Could Host a Neutron Star In Its Core

ridgecritter Re:Some more explaination (73 comments)

Thanks for this. No mod points to give you, but I see they're not needed.

about 9 months ago
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Australian Team Working On Engines Without Piston Rings

ridgecritter Re:It won't work - sure about that? (368 comments)

I wouldn't dismiss this right away.

If the physical features on the piston provide resistance to gas flow along the piston/cylinder annulus similar to that provided by piston rings, they wouldn't need a close-fitting piston - therefore no expansion coefficient headaches. It may also be that the hydrodynamics tend to center the piston in the cylinder, which would reduce contact events and scuffing wear.

You could probably get a feasibility go/no check with a few weeks' worth of modeling. The resonance interactions in the piston grooves when the combustion pressure front reaches them would be very interesting to see.

about 9 months ago
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US Federal Judge Rules Suspicionless Border Searches of Laptops Constitutional

ridgecritter any tax consequences of seizure? (462 comments)

If my laptop or other device is seized at the border (and not returned), do I get to claim this as a casualty loss during the tax year? What about any machine-locked software on the laptop that I would have to repurchase? If my e-device is returned and acts funny, can I deduct the cost of a forensic exam to look for dropped-in malware? Gotta be a way to monetize this idiocy in my favor.

about 9 months ago
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Rough Roving: Curiosity's Wheel Damage 'Accelerated'

ridgecritter Re:Really? (157 comments)

Interesting, thanks. Wish I had mod points today.

about 9 months ago
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Investor Lawsuit Blames NSA For $12B Loss In IBM Value

ridgecritter Re: Capitalism Democracy? (204 comments)

The President's appointment of the CJ of USSC is, like his other appointments to the USSC, subject to confirmation by the Senate.

I'm pretty sure the FISC judges are unique in their appointments being subject to no oversight whatever.

about 10 months ago
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Investor Lawsuit Blames NSA For $12B Loss In IBM Value

ridgecritter Re:Let Me Get This Straight (204 comments)

I believe what's meant by "sovereign" here is "sovereign immunity", by which the US government (including the NSA as a Federal entity) is immune from lawsuits unless it consents to be sued.

YMMV under the Federal Tort Claims Act and/or the Tucker Act, but basically, the NSA enjoys the Federal government's umbrella immunity from suit which, under limited circumstances, may be rebutted or overcome.

about 10 months ago
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Investor Lawsuit Blames NSA For $12B Loss In IBM Value

ridgecritter Re:Capitalism Democracy? (204 comments)

"The court that issues these decisions (FISC) is not the court that decides what is Constitutional..."

Yes, but since "The court's judges are appointed solely by the Supreme Court Chief Justice without confirmation or oversight by the U.S. Congress."(*), the court that *does* determine constitutionality isn't exactly unbiased towards FISC.

I don't know of another circumstance in which a court's judges are appointed by a single judge of the only court that could review the appointees' decisions. As well as those appointments being made with no oversight whatever.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Foreign_Intelligence_Surveillance_Court

about 10 months ago
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Investor Lawsuit Blames NSA For $12B Loss In IBM Value

ridgecritter Re:I was wondering (204 comments)

Maybe they can hire Snowden to help them with discovery. Could be something useful to the litigants in the unreleased documents. Although I guess it could be tough to get NSA to authenticate them so they'd be admissible evidence.

about 10 months ago
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Nobody Builds Reactors For Fun Anymore

ridgecritter Re:Slight change in title, if I may (326 comments)

Completely agree. As a child, I learned a good deal about chemistry and explosives through DIY activities. Those childhood lessons (nobody got hurt) have gotten me some good jobs at major aerospace companies and at a space startup. A kid doing today what I did back when would be instantly jailed and put on the terr'ist list forever. Hell, I fear what would happen if DHS were to find my oxy/acetylene welding set in my home shop. Our increasingly Draconian restrictions are fencing off ever more sources of inspiration and creativity.

about 10 months ago
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First Images of a Heart Injected With Liquid Metal

ridgecritter Re:Gallium = Sticky (115 comments)

It is that. I've seen it stick to Teflon and graphite components. It coats glass and silicon wafers with a nice mirror surface.

Lowest melting nontoxic liquid metal I've heard of is Galinstan, a eutectic alloy of gallium, indium, and tin, melts around -19C. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galinstan

about 10 months ago
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No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service — and No Google Glass, Either

ridgecritter Jammer tech? (845 comments)

I've not looked into the technical details of GGlass. Is it susceptible to jamming? Might it be feasible to carry a wifi/BlueTooth jammer on my person that would inhibit GG's recording functions? If so, KickStarter, anyone? Or has it already been done?

about 10 months ago
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Building an Opt-In Society

ridgecritter Re:Power abhors a vacuum. (182 comments)

Yeah. One wonders what dreams these people have that are being blocked by the government.

Mr. Musk is doing good work in establishing commercial access to space and giving us a new choice in cars. SpaceX has a $1+Billion ISS supply contract from NASA (Government), and Tesla accepted and paid back a roughly half-billion dollar loan *from the government* that was extremely helpful in establishing the company's manufacturing operations. Seems to me that in Mr. Musk's case, the government has been a facilitator of his dreams.

I'm less familiar with Messrs. Thiel and Page's histories, but it would not surprise me to learn that government made a direct contribution to each of their businesses at some point along the way. It certainly contributed indirectly through providing infrastructure like commercial laws and the courts to enforce them, facilitating an educated and healthy population from which they could recruit workers, and on and on.

about a year ago
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Aeromobil Flying Car Prototype Gets Off the Ground For the First Time

ridgecritter Didn't climb out of ground effect, (56 comments)

but still pretty cool.

In the video, the aircraft seemed to fly level at an altitude no higher than its wingspan. This would have been in the ground effect flight regime, in which fixed wing aircraft have a bit more lift and less drag than at higher altitudes. Takes less power to fly in ground effect.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_effect_(aircraft)

about a year ago
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Saturn In All Its Glory

ridgecritter Thanks for link (75 comments)

Great trailer, looking forward to the film's release.

about a year ago
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DOJ: Defendant Has No Standing To Oppose Use of Phone Records

ridgecritter Re:Really? (396 comments)

And if we would just get rid of that pesky presumption of innocence thing, we'd sure imprison more criminals. That would be a good outcome, purchased at far too high a price.

In this case, the defendant sure looks like he's guilty. Doesn't matter. If the government didn't follow the law, he should walk.

It sucks when we occasionally let defendants go free who are quite obviously guilty, just because somebody screwed up an evidentiary chain of custody, or was too loosey-goosey about getting a confession through enhanced interrogation, or collected evidence illegally, or whatever breach of due process happened because somebody was lazy/corrupt/just plain human. But we have to do it.

When the government charges an individual with a crime, it's a proceeding by an entity of comparatively infinite power against an individual. It's good that the government has to follow rules exactly in this process. This good thing that we have costs a lot from time to time, and it's worth it.

about a year ago
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TEPCO Workers Remove Wrong Pipe Get Splashed With Radioactive Water

ridgecritter another mod up, please (214 comments)

Great link, thank you.

about a year ago

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