top 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room
Our last flight was on 9-10-2001 out of LaGuardia. We looked out our window and saw the trade towers the last full day that they stood. It's not that we think the technology of flying is dangerous, it's just the hassle and being treated like cattle that flying involves. My wife and I are both large people, genetically. Flying for us usually involved paying extra for first class or buying the middle seat.
Would I fly in an emergency? Yes, but for now we've decided that if we can't drive there, we don't need to go. I know others who have arrived at the same decision for the same reason.
about a month and a half ago
top New Watson-Style AI Called Viv Seeks To Be the First 'Global Brain'
behind this project?
top Ars Editor Learns Feds Have His Old IP Addresses, Full Credit Card Numbers
My wife and I last flew commercial on 9-10-2001 out of LGA, the day before 9-11. My wife and I decided, the next day that, short of an emergency situation, we were done flying commercial. If we couldn't drive to get there, we didn't need to go. It's not because we were afraid of terrorists, but we saw what a hassle and invasion of privacy it would became.
top Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?
I have a stainless steel self-winding Rolex Explorer that I bought for $157 in Gibraltar in November of 1969. I've had it serviced once. It still keeps very good time. It tells time in the 12 hour system. No day, no date, black face, high contrast very visible hands. It's a basic watch and it's exactly what I want in a watch. I don't think I need a "smart watch" to augment my smart phone. I will admit that I sometimes use a Plantronics Bluetooth headset with the smartphone, in part, to comply with our new laws regarding phone use while driving. That, so far, is the extent of my wearable technology.
top Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job
which shall remain nameless. I have taught electronics in college two times in my 44 year professional career, working in industry the remainder of the time. Currently, I am teaching only one class per week in the evening. If I taught full time, my pay would be about one third of my pay in industry. That was why I left teaching after 3 years as a full time instructor in the 1980s. I had a family to support and could only make ends meet comfortably by taking on consulting work beyond my teaching. Now, I am nearing retirement and was approached by the Dean of the school out of the blue, so decided to give it a try. I have completed one quarter and got good reviews from the students, so am now starting my second quarter. I view it as something useful to do in retirement.
top Ask Slashdot: What Inspired You To Start Hacking?
I was born in 1946. My father had been an Air Corps radio operator during WWII. He died when I was very young, but left behind a Hallicrafters receiver and a few boxes of electronic "stuff" that my mom did not throw away. My grandfather was not in the military, but was interested in radio during the 20's, 30's and 40's. He repaired radios and built some of his own from parts. He died, also when I was very young and, like my dad, left behind boxes of intriguing "stuff". When I was 9 or 10, I commandeered the Hallicrafters S-38 and started listening to Shortwave.
In our little town, the library had very few books about electronics and what they had were very old. I read them all. I wanted to check out the 1944 ARRL handbook, but it wasn't there. Somebody else had it. The librarian said she knew who had it and that it was over-due so she called the person that had it and they bicycled down to the library to return it. It was one of the high school kids a few years older than me, but the son of one of my mom's best friends. We struck up a friendship that endures to this day. He became a ham, too.
The librarian said that her brother, in the next town, was a ham radio operator and would I like to talk to him. I got my mom to take me over to meet him and decided that I was going to be a ham, too. My mom helped me study for the FCC test and learned the code along with me so I could pass the code test. At age 11, I passed the test and was a ham radio operator. I built my own Heathkit DX-40 transmitter, strung up an antenna and was on my way. My mom got her license, too, but didn't upgrade it when it expired. The entry level novice license was not renewable.
I discovered that I liked to build my own equipment. I salvaged parts from TV repair shops and surplus stores. In high school, I built a 1,000 Watt amplifier and had my own surplus model 15 Teletype machine, operating digital modes in the early 1960s, way ahead of the Internet. All my gear then used tubes, of course.
When I was in college, I studied Electrical Engineering. I wrote my first computer program in Fortran IV in the Fall of 1964. I had my first computer at home around 1976 which was a Mostek F8 development board interfaced to a surplus TI Silent 700 printing terminal.
Throughout my Engineering career, I was mostly a hardware designer, but software eventually played an important part, too, as a designer of elevator control systems, Elevator in the vertical transportation sense, not grain elevators, although I also designed grain temperature monitoring systems for the grain type.
I'm in my late 60's now, still working part-time in engineering and teaching electronics at the college level. I still enjoy being a ham radio operator, too. It's been a good ride and it's not over yet.
top Data Center With a Brain: Google Using Machine Learning In Server Farms
Colossus. Need I say more?
top "Going Up" At 45 Mph: Hitachi To Deliver World's Fastest Elevator
I've been in the elevator business for 30 years. One floor runs are not done at speeds of over about 250 FPM, depending on floor to floor distances.
top WSJ: Prepare To Hang Up the Phone — Forever
We had a tornado in our neighborhood in 2006. Power was out for 7 days and cable was out for 10. Cell service ceased working reliably because the cell towers were out. POTS never hiccuped, even as the tornado was overhead. I still had access to dialup Internet so I could at least do email.
Both AT&T, my POTS provider and Comcast, our cable provider, keep bugging us to switch to VOIP. I keep saying "No" for reason of reliability. There's nothing quite like having a pair of copper wires back to a central office powered by a big battery. Yes, we do have phones that don't require line power to operate including one in the basement where we shelter in a severe weather situation.
Then there is my ham radio equipment which has battery backup.
top New Jersey Auto Dealers Don't Want to Face Tesla
Restraint of trade. Imagine that happening in New Jersey.
top Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?
MS Security Essentials
After that it depends on what I'm purposing the system for.
If it's for my use, I'll install VirtualBox along with a copy of my XP VM for some legacy software that doesn't play on any later versions of Windows
top How much time do you spend gaming compared to 10 years ago?
Zero unless you count occasional Free Cell playing.
top Scientists Create Pizza That Can Last Years
Back when I was in college.
top Short Notice: LogMeIn To Discontinue Free Access
Free logmein isn't ended yet. You've got until the 28th before you get locked out. I've already set up most of my remote computers I manage for friends and family with TeamViewer.
top Ask Slashdot: Will You Start Your Kids On Classic Games Or Newer Games?
I also had access to my grandparents collection of National Geographics going back to the 1920's.. I could get lost for hours reading those on a rainy day. Then there was my ham radio station, mostly home built while I was in high school. I lived in the country and had my own
.22 rifle from the time I was 10 and could go outside and do some "plinking" even though there weren't other kids to play with. I didn't need video/electronic games. I know I'm old, so excuse me for thinking that video games are way over-rated.
top Ask Slashdot: Will You Start Your Kids On Classic Games Or Newer Games?
You insensitive clod.
We played Monopoly, Parcheesi, Canasta, Rook and the like, but only when it wasn't nice outside.
top The Dismantling of POTS: Bold Move Or Grave Error?
We have POTS service in our house and phones that don't need power other than the CO loop current.
Our neighborhood was hit in March 2006 by an F2 tornado. Our house survived rather well, but the infrastructure didn't.... other than the phone lines which are buried clear back to the CO. I was on the phone in the basement while the storm was passing overhead, checking on our kids who live nearby, but out of the direct path of the two tornadoes that hit our community that day. We had no electricity for a week and no cable for 10 days. They were mostly above ground. My wife and I both have cell phones, but they did not work because the cell tower nearest us went down, too. We survived fairly comfortably with a 5.5 KW generator and gas heat. We had access to the Internet via a dialup connection, which we don't have now. I'm a firm POTS believer.
top Boston Cops Outraged Over Plans to Watch Their Movements Using GPS
All the field technicians have company supplied phones that have GPS tracking enabled. Their supervisor can track them via a map display and their movements are logged and retained. They also are dispatched via those phones and enter their time and material accounting per job that way. It's very efficient. Do they like it? No, not very much, but it's part of the deal if you work as a field technician for this company with over 30,000 employees world-wide. If you don't like it, don't work in this well-paid industry. All of the competitors are doing the same thing.
top Give Your Child the Gift of an Alzheimer's Diagnosis
I had my annual physical with my family doctor yesterday. He told me that he no longer does, nor does he recommend, prostate cancer screening based on recent studies. Most of the prostate cancers detected are not the ones that will kill you, but it's not possible to test for that without an invasive biopsy that is very uncomfortable. If you jump right into treating the cancer, that is also very uncomfortable and potentially debilitating.
top Schneier Has Something Good To Say About Airport Security
I worked for T.I. when they were making LED watches in the Dallas plant. Security asked me to design a random search generator hooked to a switch on a turnstile leaving the assembly area. They could select the search frequency by means of a DIP switch.
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