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What I Did During My Summer Vacation: Burning Man Edition

tocsy Normally... (228 comments)

Normally I hate the people who make this comment, but this time it's actually true:

How is this either a)news for nerds, or b)stuff that matters?

about a year ago

World Solar Challenge To Start In Less Than Two Weeks

tocsy Re:What's changed in two and a half decades? (26 comments)


There have been quite a few rules changes since then, and a lot of them have been to make the race more difficult. A couple of the big rules are 1) drivers must be sitting up now instead of lying down, and 2) the area of solar cells on a car is limited to, I think, 3 square meters this year. I think the 3 square meter rule is new this past year or two, so even the two cars that I drove (I raced in the North American races back in 2009 and 2010) would not be legal since we had around 5-6 square meters of cells. I haven't raced in WSC, although my team (University of Minnesota) is racing in WSC for... either the first time ever or the first in a very long time.

about a year ago

Reddit Bans Subreddit Dedicated To Finding Navy Yard Shooters

tocsy Re:At least, the justice is not as swift any more (159 comments)

Sure they can. Reddit can allow/disallow whatever they want - the First Amendment covers rights of free speech against the government only.

1 year,4 days

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Fight Usage Caps?

tocsy Re:how do I fight CAPS USAGE? (353 comments)

I'm glad I'm not the only one who misread the title at first. The fact that it was also submitted by someone named SGT CAPSLOCK made it even more confusting.

1 year,13 days

Illuminating Window-Less Houses With a Plastic Bottle

tocsy Re:So the solution . . . (240 comments)

The important part is really that his idea doesn't use electricity and recycles widely available waste to provide the lighting. It also provides more light than a window the same size would, so I imagine it doesn't create as large of a structural problem.

I worked with a non-profit called Long Way Home a few years ago who I believe was doing this, along with using plastic bottles and used tires for to build a structurally sound, environmentally friendly school in Guatemala. Unfortunately I couldn't find a picture of the plastic bottle lights in use but if you're interested, check out their website - they could use the exposure.

about a year ago

Hybrid Hard Drives Just Need 8GB of NAND

tocsy "Just?" (373 comments)

Man, tell me I'm not the only one who still remembers a time when 8 Gb of RAM was a REALLY big deal. I still only have 8 Gb in my gaming computer and 6 in my laptop. Maybe I'm just old.

about a year ago

Building a Full-Auto Gauss Gun

tocsy Re:Sensationalist summary at all? (285 comments)

I... was completely unaware of that - I suppose a simple search would've told me as much. I don't see anything about price though, so who knows if it's actually available to individuals or if you'd have to be super rich to get one.

about a year ago

Building a Full-Auto Gauss Gun

tocsy Sensationalist summary at all? (285 comments)

"Adding to the 3-D printed gun/rifle controversy"

How? Neither the Hack A Day article nor the design notes mention "3d" or "printing," and the fact that it's a gauss gun implies that metal is pretty central to the design... which can't be 3d printed at this point in time.

about a year ago

Companies Petition Congress To Reform 'Business Method' Patent Process

tocsy Re:You see! (78 comments)

I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic right now, but I'm going to respond as if you aren't:

Businesses are, by DEFINITION, primarily interested in profits. Given a choice, they will do what they can to maximize their profits. It seems as if in this case, expanding the CBM is good for their businesses - I'd guess because it will make it more difficult for them to be sued, allowing them to increase profits.

Money is ALWAYS the bottom line. What we may interpret to be "good will" is nothing more than the business determining that is a better/easier/quicker way to make more money.

about a year ago


tocsy FAA OKs US UAVs? (52 comments)


(I have nothing further to add to this conversation. I apologize for having wasted your time.)

about a year ago

A Year of Linux Desktop At Westcliff High School

tocsy MS Office (283 comments)

"There are still a few that are of the view that I can get rid of Microsoft Word when I can pry it from them."

I've been using linux on my primary computer for 5 years now and I'm still the same way - LibreOffice, OpenOffice and StarOffice can't hold a candle to MS Word, especially when you need to share your documents with collaborators. Same goes for the open "equivalents" of Powerpoint - if you make (or even modify) a slideshow in Libre, Open or Star, you have about zero percent chance of your presentation looking the same on any other computer.

I think a lot of people, including myself, will resist giving up MS Office until either a)EVERYONE uses the open equivalents or b)the open equivalents flawlessly port files to and from MS Office without formatting or display issues. I also think neither of these is likely to happen any time soon.

about a year ago

Former TigerDirect President Indicted In $230 Million Laundering Scheme

tocsy Re:maybe their prices will FINALLY come down then (109 comments)

So you're saying that you're sick of TigerDirect shipping more quickly than Newegg for slightly more money? It sounds to me like they're offering something that their competition isn't, and they're charging a little more for it.

I don't care either way - I switch between them both depending on who's cheaper for the component I'm buying - and I HAVE gotten stuff cheaper on TigerDirect than Newegg.

about a year ago

Scientists Growing New Crystals To Make LED Lights Better

tocsy Re:So, not an organic LED ... (51 comments)

These LEDs don't appear to be organic at all. We (I did my master's growing inorganic semiconductor crystals) say the crystals are "grown" because they are assembled typically atomic-layer by atomic-layer.

That said, this is a pretty terrible article. It doesn't say what method of growth they used, what they SAW from the growth, or really much about their experiments at all.

about a year ago

Geologists In Norway Are Using Drones With Cameras To Hunt For Oil

tocsy Fascinating link, thanks! (44 comments)

Mediocre summary as usual, but TFA was really well written and interesting!

about a year ago

Printable Gun Downloads Top 100k In 2 Days, Thanks to Kim Dotcom

tocsy Re:How many printed? (656 comments)

This was very similar to my question: how many people, out of the 100,000 downloads, actually have a 3D printer or access to one? They're not cheap - it's probably more cost effective (not to mention more reliable) to just buy a regular gun. I understand the argument that this raises concerns about proliferation of firearms (and I share some of those same concerns) but I feel as if 3D printing of guns will probably be a relatively small issue. I think it's most likely a fad that will be relegated to nothing more than a novelty as time goes on... but who knows.

about a year ago

IBM Makes a Movie Out of Atoms

tocsy Re:What are the ripples around the atoms? (102 comments)

I believe those are actually a visualization of the atoms' electrons moving across the copper surface... you can see constructive and destructive destruction of the waves around the boy. If you look at this stm image ( ), the bottom right image shows the wave function of electrons completely trapped inside the circle of atoms.

Remember, this is scanning tunneling microscopy, so the electrons are not actually going in and out of the plane... what we're seeing is their potential to tunnel into the tip of the microscope.

about a year ago

Hijacking Airplanes With an Android Phone

tocsy It has? (131 comments)

"Until today, hacking and hijacking planes by pressing a few buttons on an Android mobile app has been the stuff of over-the-top blockbuster movies."

I... don't think I've ever seen a movie where that happens (planes getting hijacked that way). Maybe I just don't see enough movies.

about a year and a half ago



That Was Quick: Microsoft Removing (Some) DRM from XBox One

tocsy tocsy writes  |  about a year ago

tocsy (2489832) writes "Backtracking on their previously announced DRM policies for the XBox One, Microsoft has announced that they will remove most of the DRM from the system. The console will still require a one-time internet connection for set-up, but the daily connection requirement, limitations on used games, and regional restrictions have all been removed. As is mentioned in the comments, however, there is no reason to believe Microsoft couldn't add DRM and other restrictions in the future if they so desired."

Voyager-1 is the first man-made object to exit the Solar System

tocsy tocsy writes  |  about a year and a half ago

tocsy (2489832) writes "The BBC is reporting that earlier this week, Voyager-1 finally crossed the heliopause — the edge of our solar system — and into interstellar space. NASA scientists say the spacecraft detected a rapid change in its surroundings indicating that the spacecraft has exited the heliosphere. This makes Voyager-1 the first man-made object to enter interstellar space, at over 18 billion km away from the sun. NASA has submitted a paper to the American Geophysical Union, to be published shortly in Geophysical Research Letters."
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