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A Moon Base Made From Lunar Dust

tkohler Combustable Lemons? (115 comments)

Moon dust is toxic. Look what happened to Cave Johnson.

about a year ago
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1Gbps Wireless Network Made With Red and Green Laser Pointers

tkohler Re:Not new (157 comments)

30 Mbps in ~1970

from the very entertaining: Birth of the Laser Printer

"The problem is, the bits are all coming out a kilometer away, and the printer’s down here at the other end, so how do we get the data to this thing?

So, we sat down one time and said, "So why don’t we make an optical link?" Because we looked at doing microwave, but those were only three megahertz, and you’ve got to get enough FCC permission to do that, even then. So the interesting thing is there are no communications regulations on through-the-air optical communications. As long as the beam power doesn’t destroy things. [Laughter] We built something called a SLOT POLOS , which is the PARC On-Line Office System, Jeanie certainly would probably remember that, so SLOT POLOS On-Line Optical Link. And how do you do this?

Well, I went to my friends Edmund again -- I’ll get free catalogs for the rest of my life [laughter] -- and basically bought four astronomical telescopes. These are just simple Newtonian reflectors. And put two in a box at the 3180 building, on the roof, and two on the roof of Building 34. I put a photomultiplier at the focus of one, and a laser at the focus of the other, and we had a full-duplex optical link running at 30 megabits a second. We used helium-neon for two reasons. First of all, relatively inexpensive -- accousto-optic modulators to turn it on and off. And by using visible light, there was only one risk: fog was a bad thing, because you couldn’t see through fog. On the other hand, if you used infrared, you couldn’t go through rain but you could go through fog. So, made a back-of-the-envelope judgment that rain was probably going to be more prevalent than fog, and went with the visible. It was a good choice, because I think we were only down one day due to fog, in the one year that this system was up."

more than 2 years ago
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"Choose Your Own Adventure" On Your iPhone

tkohler Re:Oh, really (135 comments)

It would be more interesting if the (i)Phone gave you options in real life. E.g., "You had a fight with your girlfriend. Do you 1.)Post a rant on Facebook (click here) or 2.) Order her flowers (click here). Each click would perform the request (post a rant or buy flowers) and lead you to the next step in your adventure. Your entire life could be driven by phone-led decisions about what to do (and buy)! Do you: 1.) Mod up (click here) 2.) Wish you had a girlfriend instead (click here)

more than 3 years ago
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The Science of Caddyshack

tkohler Re:Mythbusters on the forefront (55 comments)

Well C4 molds in to the shape of an attractive female gopher better than gunpowder.

more than 4 years ago
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Hotels Lead the Industry In Credit Card Theft

tkohler Re:...and outright fraud (135 comments)

One time I was staying at a not-so-cheap hotel in upstate UK. The hotel offered a choice of breakfasts: Continental or Full, with about a US$10 price difference. Each day I chose a breakfast, changing based on mood and hunger, about splitting the choices evenly through my 5 day stay. (I was attending a conference at the same hotel) The waiter took my selection and room number each day. Upon checkout, I found they had charged me (and everyone else) for the Full breakfast everyday. I asked them why and they said they assumed that everyone would chose the "much better breakfast" and made that section for them "as a convenience". I then asked why the waiter bothered to ask the choice if they were going to only charge one price. The desk clerk had corrected the charge and finished my bill and now was just concerned with getting rid of me so he finally said, "Sometimes, sir, hotels just try to rip you off". I had no response.

more than 4 years ago
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Zoho Don't Need No Stinking Ph.D. Programmers

tkohler Re:Why else might he want high schoolers? (612 comments)

And they have built-in employee retention. No need for salary increases because no one else will hire them.

more than 4 years ago
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Obama To Nearly Double the Available Broadband Wireless Spectrum

tkohler Re:Wow... what a worthless article (194 comments)

That's my 2 copper cents worth.

Cents (at least US$) are made of Zinc.

more than 4 years ago
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USPTO Lets Amazon Patent the "Social Networking System"

tkohler Re:It's not just a bad patent system (265 comments)

It appears that you have failed law school or at least the part of the patent bar that recognizes that the first effective filing date of this patent is 2 Nov 1997. "RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/022,089, filed Dec. 22, 2004, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,386,464 which is a division of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/780,486, filed Feb. 17, 2004, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,194,419 which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/348,355, filed Jul. 7, 1999 (now U.S. Pat. No. 6,714,916), which is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 08/962,997, filed Nov. 2, 1997 (now U.S. Pat. No. 6,269,369). "

more than 4 years ago
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Univ. Help Desk Staffer Extorts Over Copyright Violations

tkohler Re:What are you doing here? (153 comments)

TFA says the position was to monitor "University Computers". The university DOES have a right and obligation to keep their own computers (I assume this means office workers, staff, labs and etc.) free of "illegal" downloads, especially since the RIAA would likely see the university as a deep pocket, not to mention viruses, malware and other costly IT problems. I agree with your point for student-owned computers, even using the university network.

more than 4 years ago
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Science Gifts For Kids?

tkohler Re:Telescope ++ (368 comments)

Galileoscopes are $15 and have the added benefit that they are kits. Buy a couple. They are better and cheaper than toy-store variety. The best scope is one that gets used. (https://www.galileoscope.org/) I did a lot of research and a great, low cost, entry level microscope is something called a "My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope". It sounds fishy but is sturdy, well made and not horrible optically - it runs about $60. Give "The World of the Microscope" book to go along with it. The Eyeclops(http://www.eyeclops.com/) is good for some things too if you have a TV to plug it in to. We buy a lot of equipment from Homesciencetools.com (http://www.hometrainingtools.com/) and American Science Surplus(http://www.sciplus.com/). Then best chemistry sets are the Thames and Kosmos sets. They are the least watered-down sets available now.

about 5 years ago
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'Wiretapping' Charges May Be Oddest Ever Recorded

tkohler Re:What, no link? (439 comments)

If no one knows it is recorded, does it make a sound? How can one party NOT know it is being recorded?

more than 5 years ago
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Up To 90 Percent of US Money Has Traces of Cocaine

tkohler Re:In all fairness (441 comments)

You guys are all missing the obvious... What do you think the press-operators at the U.S. Mint do on their breaks in the paper storage room?

more than 5 years ago
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The Rise of the Digital Nomad

tkohler Re:And this works with .. (273 comments)

Well, this can certainly go too far in the other direction. As in the company makes you a PERMENANT "Work from home" employee. Not as in fired, but as in "no cubicle"-be a remote worker. I have colleagues who are full-time "remote workers" and they are often starved for human connection and are certainly out of the loop as far as office gossip, mood, and even work-related hallway conversations. That said, working at home is my most productive time.

more than 5 years ago
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California To Move To Online Textbooks

tkohler Re:OLPC? (468 comments)

Hmmm... You all seem to be under the impression that the high cost of textbooks has something to do with the production cost of the media. If that were the case, then eBooks and MP3s of audiobooks would be much cheaper than their hardcover comrades. A quick review of Amazon.com shows that to not be the case. Textbooks are a racket. Read Feynman for some anecdotes about this: http://www.textbookleague.org/103feyn.htm

more than 5 years ago
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You've Dropped Your Landline — Now What?

tkohler Re:A few thoughts (635 comments)

40V! The phone company sends pulses of 40V over your line when your phone rings (to run the solenoid in the bell in an old school phone) 1. sign up for land line phone service, and don't pay. Give only landline number as contact info 2. use land line number to enter as many internet "free iPod" contests as possible 3. hook up a transformer and battery charging system to phone line 4. profit!

more than 5 years ago
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The Unexpected Patents of Steve Jobs

tkohler Re:Absolute Bullshit (198 comments)

It's called a design patent and they are almost worthless except for stopping exact knock-offs. Design claims have no bearing on function so he didn't "patent a staircase", he patented "that particular look of a staircase".

more than 5 years ago
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Cheap Scanners Can "Fingerprint" Paper

tkohler Re:HP did this 10 years ago... (88 comments)

It was called a Capshare. You can buy them now on eBay for $3-400.

more than 5 years ago
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Best Wi-Fi Portable Browsing Device?

tkohler Re:Older Palm Pilots (426 comments)

TX works great for this. I use it around my house for the same purpose, portable web browsing. A several year old model used regularly still has a battery life of several days. Don't count on any support from Palm though. You can probably even get a few good reference apps, like the Dewey decimal index or something. Nice big screen and shirt pocket-sized. eBay has several.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Beer Googles - for your gmail

tkohler tkohler writes  |  more than 6 years ago

tkohler (806572) writes "Google Labs posted on their GMail blog about a new feature called "Mail Goggles". The idea is like "Beer Goggles" for email. When you are up late, drunk and accidentally reply to "all" instead just the girl you met from the company Christmas party. After hitting send, the mail system requires you to enter solutions to some math problems before confirming the send. It is only activated late at night on weekends.

However, it is only a matter of time until some drunk programmer writes a FireFox plug in to automatically populate the form with the right answers."

Link to Original Source
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Tiny morphing spy planes steal electricity

tkohler tkohler writes  |  more than 6 years ago

tkohler (806572) writes "The Air Force Research Lab is developing an Electric Motor-powered Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) that can "harvest" energy when needed by attaching itself to a power line. Not only is it stealing power from the people it is spying upon, it can morph shape, temporarily changing its shape to look more like innocuous piece of trash hanging from the cable. For domestic spying, maybe it will morph in to a pair of sneakers?"
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tkohler tkohler writes  |  more than 7 years ago

tkohler (806572) writes "Computer World is running an article about those "Free Public Wifi" wireless SSIDs that have popped up recently. Turns out that these are bait for unsuspecting mobile wannabes looking for a free hook-up. The article says that these can launch an attack on you and make you a zombie too. I have seen these at airports, near my home and around my office. Are all the people around me turning to virus sharing zombies? You need to have file sharing on, and if you do, a automatic Wifi connection could infect you. Oh yeah, it is worse on Vista."

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