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Computer Chess Created In 487 Bytes, Breaks 32-Year-Old Record

userw014 Re:"en-peasant" - LOL... (202 comments)

Perhaps they mean "en-pheasant"

3 days ago
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Proposed Space Telescope Uses Huge Opaque Disk To Surpass Hubble

userw014 Re:Steerable? (124 comments)

Thanks. That makes it more steerable (provided that the edges of the disk remain in a plane too.)

4 days ago
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Proposed Space Telescope Uses Huge Opaque Disk To Surpass Hubble

userw014 Steerable? (124 comments)

A disk 1/5 mile with a sensor 10 to 100 miles away (precisely aligned on the axis of the disk) isn't going to be very steerable, especially if the distances from the EDGES of the disk to the sensor all have to match within a half-wavelength in order for the interferometry to work right.

And wouldn't the changing relative positions of earth, moon, and sun cause disturbances in the disk? Is the solar wind sufficiently uniform over distances of 1/2 mile at earth orbit to not be a concern for causing non-uniform disturbances to the disk?

"geostationary" MUST be a mistake in the article. I don't see how the sensor can maintain a 1/2 wavelength position from the disk at a range of 10 to 100 miles unless the sensor is powered (ion drive?) somehow.

4 days ago
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Local Motors Looks To Disrupt the Auto Industry With 3D-Printed Car Bodies

userw014 Re:Frame? (128 comments)

From the website: https://localmotors.com/3d-pri...

Is the entire car 3D printed?

Everything on the car that could be integrated into a single material piece has been printed. This includes the chassis/frame, exterior body, and some interior features. The mechanical components of the vehicle, like battery, motors, wiring, and suspension, are sourced from Renault’s Twizy, an electric powered city car.

about a week ago
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Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

userw014 Disney's nightmare (663 comments)

Disney does have some control over it's employees. Just as it can fire employees for coming to work drunk - or for risking the lives of fellow employees or visitors, so it can take measures that affect their employment in regards to vaccinations and disease outbreaks, from banning un-vaccinated employees access to public spaces to limiting their leaves to making vaccination a condition of employment. (Of course, that doesn't solve the problem of employment practices that penalize people for taking sick-time, etc.) But that's not going to solve Disney's problem because it currently can't discriminate against visitors who aren't vaccinated and so the impression of large theme parks as being a Horrifying Den of Disease is going to persist.

Disney isn't going to want to alienate it's customers by running advertisements asking people who aren't vaccinated to avoid coming to it's parks. It'll just irritate the anti-vaccination crowd and scare off the conventional people who think the anti-vaccination crown is terribly, horribly wrong (and irresponsible enough to visit anyway.)

A trade association COULD run public service messages to the effect that willfully avoiding vaccination is as bad as drunk driving and killing a family in a car accident. The government COULD make vaccination records available on state issued ID cards (drivers licenses, etc.)

This is a public health and safety issue, and like most such issues, practical and efficient solutions can come into conflict with some perceived individual freedoms. Even worse for some people, it involves the dreaded word "compromise". For instance, I give up the freedom to drive a car where ever I want to so that I have some assurance that I'm safe from people driving the opposite direction on the same side of the road I'm on, or on my lawn.

Perhaps the right solution (compromise) would be standardized, opt-in credentials that indicate what kind of conventional (sensible) things I'm willing to abide by, like:

  • (*) I'm vaccinated;
  • (*) I'm NOT packing a firearm;
  • (*) I don't chew gum in public.

People who think that such assertions are an infringement of their privacy don't need to opt-in. Privately run facilities could make decisions based on those credentials - although Public parks would probably not be able to.

about a week ago
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China Lays More Fiber, Improving Physical Connection To the Worldwide Internet

userw014 China as a global interconnect? (44 comments)

While this is purely speculation, could China be aiming to offer itself as a global (or even regional) interconnect? Or is the the ability to play NSA-like games on international traffic within home-borders just not a realistic possibility anymore?

I'm thinking of how a "Chinese" error (in Germany) caused traffic between two Russian cities to be directed out-of-country (see http://research.dyn.com/2014/1... ).

I can take the tin-foil hat off anytime I want to, but I really do like the propeller beanie.

about two weeks ago
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Nest Will Now Work With Your Door Locks, Light Bulbs and More

userw014 The Connected House (163 comments)

Ignore (for now) the possibilities of vendor-abandoned embedded software on your home network to cause mischief or frustration.

Ignore (for now) someone spear-phishing you with your fridge or washing machine.

Just think about all of the lovely data collected into one central place about a home address where people with lots of disposable income live.

about a month ago
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Grinch Vulnerability Could Put a Hole In Your Linux Stocking

userw014 Wrecking a car causes damage! Film @ 11 (118 comments)

The flaw we're seeing here is various "computer security journalists" (and journals) destroying their reputations.

This is on the order of discovering that big heavy things that fall on your foot can cause pain.

about a month and a half ago
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Army To Launch Spy Blimp Over Maryland

userw014 Re:Weird article (177 comments)

Definitely a weird article. If you ignore the hyperbole, all you get is a military boondoggle. The idea that it's part of some NSA spying operation falls apart in the face of the Raytheon promotional material - "double digits of swarming boats" and "hundreds of cars" in the Baltimore area sounds woefully insufficient, either for tracking suspected cruise missile delivery systems or giving the NSA anything more useful than what they have.
I suppose it might be practical for protecting Marquette, MI from an invasion from Canada.

about a month and a half ago
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Army To Launch Spy Blimp Over Maryland

userw014 Re:Battle of Britian (177 comments)

Given how overweight most Americans are, I suspect that any effects of nude flying on TSA worker morale will be negative.

about a month and a half ago
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Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

userw014 Re:Move to a gated community (611 comments)

If the tolls were used to offset another public good (public schools being the only other one that's nearly as expensive), it might work to encourage either people living in-town, or some businesses leaving town. Of course, that would only work if schools and the toll roads were under the same authority. (FYI, I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan where while we might complain about traffic and parking, we don't have anything like LA's situation. But being part of Michigan, we probably have the worst roads in the nation and a GOP/Tea Party dominated state government that's so tax-phobic that it's even more dysfunctional than the US House of Representatives.)

about a month and a half ago
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How Identifiable Are You On the Web?

userw014 Uniqifying elements (160 comments)

On a Ubuntu 14.04 install, Chrome's most unique component was WebGL. On a Macbook Pro (Mavericks), it was the list of plugins, followed by the font list. For both, the Canvas was shared with less than 1%

Curiously, Do Not Track is reported as "yes" for Ubuntu, but "1" for Safari.

about a month and a half ago
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Displaced IT Workers Being Silenced

userw014 Re: H1-B debate? (398 comments)

Union? That's a four-letter word around here - with an off-by-one error.

about 2 months ago
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Trains May Soon Come Equipped With Debris-Zapping Lasers

userw014 Not quite a proof-of-concept (194 comments)

The video shows some kind of wide laser projector about a centimeter or so above a test-rig, with sparks flaring off, and the rail moving at a (relatively) slow rate - perhaps one or two Kph.

If the sparks were only burnt excess "leaf material", that isn't a problem - but if it's rust or steel fragments burning up, that's material coming off of the rails - in effect, wear.

If this is intended to be used continuously while the train is in motion in order to keep the rails clear of debris, how much energy can be delivered to a leaf from a fixed projector moving at 50Kph? If this does deliver enough power to cause the leave to disappear in a puff-of-smoke, isn't there a chance of heating the surface of the rail enough for the carbon ashes pressed into the rail by the subsequent advance of the train to chemically react with the rail?

This might be ok for single layers of leaves - but how long does it take for multiple layers of leaves to build up on a rail?

If the huge amount of leaves in the video is characteristic of the problem they want to solve, won't the wind from the passage of any train moving at speed just redistribute more leaves on the rails behind it?

about 2 months ago
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How the Rollout of 5G Will Change Everything

userw014 Re:Infrared Bandwidth? (216 comments)

I predate MIMO, so I had to take a brief refresher in what it is - and if I understand correctly what I read of MIMO (and what I read was correct - two important provisos!), MIMO seems to depend on using digital signal processing to be able to match the emit and receive channels, but it is using a physical separation (on the WiFi access-point side) of a few centimeters between antenna. I can see where you might find that kind of separation in laptops or even tablets, but not necessarily in a cell phone or an Internet-of-Things tiny appliance (like a light-bulb.) I couldn't tell how stateful the DSP part would have to be, or how long it would take to optimize for a particular set of signal paths. I also couldn't tell how well MIMO works out in a mix of MIMO clients and non-MIMO clients (like my IoT light-bulb). Can anyone offer any guidance?

QAM strikes me as (somewhat) incompatible with MIMO because using phase-shifted channels (QAM) (carrying different data) would be akin to space-shifted channels (MIMO) when the wavelengths and the distance between the antenna are similar - and the distance (and phase) between the MIMO antenna depend on the orientation between the sender and receiver of MIMO. But maybe that's just more DSPing?

about 2 months ago
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Black Friday '14: E-commerce Pages Far Slower Than They Were in 2013

userw014 Re:The problem is relational databases. (143 comments)

Perhaps if you have real hardware for your data, and your data is static. But once you escape into the real world, you shouldn't be designing web applications that depend on L1 (or L2) cache.

about a month ago
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How the Rollout of 5G Will Change Everything

userw014 Infrared Bandwidth? (216 comments)

800bps (call it 1600Ghz, using Shannon) is in the Far Infrared to (barely) mid infrared spectrum, and that's just base-band signaling (from a point-like source.) Doing any kind of modulation (to allow multiple channels for multiple simultaneous transmissions) is going to put that more firmly in the mid-infrared spectrum where things like the atmosphere appears to be opaque. I realize that this is a mass-media article, and depends on "... and then magic will happen" sort of science, but I don't see how this works (much less scales) without excessive speculation using ancient undergraduate digital communications classes too far.

But, to speculate WITH ancient undergraduate digital communications classes, I would think of things like this:

  • Multi-point (physical separation) of channels, with individual channels at more "modest" speeds. Something like 1000 locations per. simultaneous customer being served 800Gbps.
  • (As. per. above) very, very tiny cells, packed very, very, very, very closely together.
  • Very, very tiny ceramic antennae.
  • Extreme differences between upload and download speeds, like on the order of 10E6.
  • A hot-spot would literally be that.

about a month ago
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Launching 2015: a New Certificate Authority To Encrypt the Entire Web

userw014 Re:quick question (212 comments)

It makes sense when you understand the trust model, but that takes some explaining and isn't as simple to "civilians" as "check to make sure that the site begins with 'https://' or look for the 'key' icon provided by your browser." (Asking them to verify the host/site part of the URL is the advanced part of the explanation.)

It's rather like teaching people how to cook by telling them "be careful of hot burners, pots, and pans", but that is what we in IT have been doing to "civilians".

about 2 months ago
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Launching 2015: a New Certificate Authority To Encrypt the Entire Web

userw014 Re:quick question (212 comments)

It's the organizations that put strong controls over their staff use of desktop computers that do this when they generate an image. Those organizations that value micromanaging what their staff can do more than getting work done used to (and may still) block much of the internet, etc. and in that context of tightening everything down so much that the threads get stripped, managing the CA root list makes sense.

about 2 months ago
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Congress Suggests Moat, Electronic Fence To Protect White House

userw014 Think of the children (a Darwinian Solution) (213 comments)

There's already toddlers squeezing through the fence ... perhaps Rep. Gohmert's intent is "cull the herd" by having a moat.

about 2 months ago

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