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Comments

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Reinventing the Axe

wcrowe I found a solution to this problem years ago (214 comments)

When I was a kid in the 70's, fireplaces were all the rage. When my father finished out the basement he had a Franklin fireplace installed. Of course this meant that one of my chores was splitting wood. And the wood we had was oak, which usually cannot be split with an axe, and requires wedges and a sledgehammer to split. Most of the time I didn't mind the work, but chores are chores and not a lot of fun.

I decided there had to be a better solution to the wood-splitting problem, and when I became an adult and bought my own house I came up with a fantastic solution: I bought a house without a wood fireplace. I haven't split wood in 27 years. Problem solved.

Of course, if some of you Grizzly Adams wannabes like this sort of thing, knock yourselves out. To each his own. :-)

2 days ago
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UAV Operator Blames Hacking For Malfunction That Injured Triathlete

wcrowe "It is not my fault." (178 comments)

"I wasn't speeding, officer. Someone must have hacked my vehicle. This has happened before. Just yesterday I was late for work because someone hacked my alarm clock. Also the computer forgot my password."

about two weeks ago
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Algorithm Challenge: Burning Man Vehicle Exodus

wcrowe Unenforceable (273 comments)

Your system is unenforceable. Or at least about as enforceable as the "10 items or less" lane at the checkout. Or rather, it is enforceable if you want to hire a bunch of jack-booted thugs with arrest authority to keep everyone in line, but that sounds like something outside of the spirit of Burning Man.

about three weeks ago
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NYU Group Says Its Scheme Makes Cracking Individual Passwords Impossible

wcrowe I'm skeptical. (277 comments)

Impossible? Hmmm, I don't know about that. Chin Ho Kelly on Hawaii Five-0 can crack any password within a couple of minutes. I seen it.

about three weeks ago
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Vint Cerf: CS Programs Must Change To Adapt To Internet of Things

wcrowe Who wants this? (163 comments)

Apart from a few technology companies here and there, does anyone really want the "Internet of Things"? I have yet to hear someone say, "Gosh, I wish my washing machine were internet-capable". Yes, I understand that tech firms can come up with all sorts of scenarios where they can try to convince us that this technology will be useful, but what have you really gained with an internet-ready appliance, apart from yet another vehicle for advertisement?

about three weeks ago
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Department of Transportation Makes Rear View Cameras Mandatory

wcrowe Will people use them? (518 comments)

"An estimated 13 to 15 deaths and 1,125 injuries may be prevented with the implementation of this new requirement."

Assuming people will actually use their backup cameras. If they can't be bothered with looking behind them or even using their rear view mirrors now, why should we think they will look at their backup cameras in the future?

about three weeks ago
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Supreme Court Skeptical of Computer-Based Patents

wcrowe Re:Best lawyer (192 comments)

I have read it, but when I compare it to how the real world works I see no correlation.

about three weeks ago
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Supreme Court Skeptical of Computer-Based Patents

wcrowe Best lawyer (192 comments)

Actually, I thought everything in our court system boiled down to "who has the best lawyer".

about three weeks ago
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Last Week's Announcement About Gravitational Waves and Inflation May Be Wrong

wcrowe What really happened. (194 comments)

What really happened was that Wolowitz and Koothrappali rigged the electric can opener to create false postitive results for Sheldon's test equipment. He shouldn't have announced his findings so soon.

about a month ago
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Earth Barely Dodged Solar Blast In 2012

wcrowe Hungarian/English phrase book (202 comments)

"Coronal mass ejections, with in 2012, according to researchers."

My hovercraft is full of eels.

about a month ago
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Officials: NSA's PRISM Targets Email Addresses, Not Keywords

wcrowe Dubious (96 comments)

If all they are collecting are email addresses and phone numbers, why do they need such a ginormous new data center in Utah?

about a month ago
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More Troubles For Authors of Controversial Acid-Bath Stem Cell Articles

wcrowe Re:Motive? (99 comments)

Moot questions. I wasn't talking about the plagiarism. I was talking about publishing results that cannot be duplicated.

about a month ago
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$30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

wcrowe It's a bad deal all around (653 comments)

Well, it's not like this is something new. Companies have been able to trademark colors for some time. And it's not like Fluke is some unknown company -- they've been around for a long time and everyone in the industry knows their multimeters are yellow around the edges. I'm skeptical that Sparkfun is completely innocent in all this. A quick look at their website shows that their company colors feature red, which appears to even apply to their circuit boards and tools. One would think their multimeters would be red, not yellow.

And as for forcing them to be destroyed, well that's how customs has always worked. Thirty years ago I had some alcohol brought back from Europe that I failed to declare. The choice was to pay the tax or have it destroyed and pay for the destruction. Either way you're gonna pay.

Having said all of that, there seem to be lots of other things like this that do make it through customs, and one gets the impression that Sparkfun would have had no problem if their bribe had been big enough.

about a month ago
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$30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

wcrowe Re:Thugs (653 comments)

Sadly, this is the kind of thing you usually only see in countries where government officials are corrupt. It is a warning sign of the direction the U.S. government is headed.

about a month ago
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More Troubles For Authors of Controversial Acid-Bath Stem Cell Articles

wcrowe Motive? (99 comments)

I'm perplexed at the motive behind such shennanigans. What is to be gained? Grant money? But surely that's too short-lived to be worth it. Does it just boil down to laziness on the part of someone seeking a PhD?

I guess it's like embezzlement. You have to know, you're going to get caught eventually. There is no escaping it. But people do it anyway.

about a month ago
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New Facial Recognition Software May Detect Looming Road Rage

wcrowe Re:TV too? (133 comments)

True, but their world view is mostly about being angry at someone or something. The shows on those channels, and the way stories are presented, are specifically designed to get people angry and upset. The viewers are comfortable in their anger. They embrace it, and look forward to more of it. It's a kind of madness, I think.

about a month ago
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New Facial Recognition Software May Detect Looming Road Rage

wcrowe Re:TV too? (133 comments)

Fox News would go out of business.

about a month ago
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New Facial Recognition Software May Detect Looming Road Rage

wcrowe Solution in search of a problem. (133 comments)

A solution in search of a problem. With driverless cars on the verge of being a reality, road rage will become a thing of the past.

about a month ago
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Lit Motors, Danny Kim, and Changing How Americans Drive

wcrowe Brazil (144 comments)

I am reminded of the scene from the movie Brazil, where the protagonist is drving this tiny little one-person vehicle on the freeway, surrounded by huge trucks on all sides.

about a month ago
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43,000-Year-Old Woolly Mammoth Remains Offer Strong Chance of Cloning

wcrowe Re:Shouldn't they start out small first? (187 comments)

With a dead extinct animal? No. The closest thing is an extinct ibex cloned in 2009 (hardly "a decade"), and it only lived for a few minutes --- not exactly a success in my book.

about a month ago

Submissions

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What Tech Journalists Were Writing About in 1876

wcrowe wcrowe writes  |  more than 2 years ago

wcrowe writes ""On this day in 1876, the U.S. Patent Office awarded Alexander Graham Bell a patent for his "improvement in telegraphy," or, as we now know it, the telephone (above). This anniversary seems like as good a day as any — well, perhaps even a bit better than the other 365 days this year (leap year!) — to dip into the media frenzy that surrounded its arrival, a 19th century tech event evocative of today's Apple circus. Just kidding. It was nothing like that at all — the telephone, and the reaction to it, rolled out over the course of years, not minutes.""
Link to Original Source
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USGS Updates Magnitude of Japan Earthquake to 9.0

wcrowe wcrowe writes  |  more than 3 years ago

wcrowe writes "The USGS has updated the magnitude of the March 11, 2011, Tohoku earthquake in northern Honshu, Japan, to 9.0 from the previous estimate of 8.9. Independently, Japanese seismologists have also updated their estimate of the earthquake’s magnitude to 9.0. This magnitude places the earthquake as the fourth largest in the world since 1900 and the largest in Japan since modern instrumental recordings began 130 years ago."
Link to Original Source
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Stanford Solar Breakthrough

wcrowe wcrowe writes  |  more than 3 years ago

wcrowe (94389) writes "Quantum dot solar cells are cheaper to produce than traditional silicon cells, but they haven't caught on due to their relative inefficiency. For Stacey Bent, a chemical engineering professor at Stanford, this represented something of a challenge. She knew that solar cells made of a single material have a maximum efficiency of about 31 percent, a limitation of the fixed energy level they can absorb, and that quantum dot solar cells didn't share this limitation. "Quantum dots can be tuned to absorb a certain wavelength of light just by changing their size," the Stanford report on her research says. "And they can be used to build more complex solar cells that have more than one size of quantum dot, allowing them to absorb multiple wavelengths of light.""
Link to Original Source
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Dell to power OKC campus with 100% wind energy

wcrowe wcrowe writes  |  more than 4 years ago

wcrowe (94389) writes "Dell announced plans today to power its 240,000 square-foot Oklahoma City campus with 100 percent wind energy. The move is expected to significantly reduce the facility's CO2 emissions. Dell is among the first large businesses in the area to be powered entirely with renewable energy."
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Iran in possession of new weapon: Photoshop

wcrowe wcrowe writes  |  more than 5 years ago

wcrowe (94389) writes "Iran now has the ability to wipe out Israel — with Photoshop. The Guardian reports:

'A photograph of four missiles being fired by Iran ratcheted up the tensions between the Islamic state and the US and Israel. But now it appears that Tehran may have enhanced the pictures.'

Here's a link to the story."

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"Uncontacted" Amazon Tribe story a hoax

wcrowe wcrowe writes  |  more than 4 years ago

wcrowe (94389) writes "The story about an "uncontacted" Amazon Tribe discuss last month appears to be a hoax. The Guardian reports, "They are the amazing pictures that were beamed around the globe: a handful of warriors from an 'undiscovered tribe' in the rainforest on the Brazilian-Peruvian border brandishing bows and arrows at the aircraft that photographed them. Or so the story was told and sold. But it has now emerged that, far from being unknown, the tribe's existence has been noted since 1910 and the mission to photograph them was undertaken in order to prove that 'uncontacted' tribes still existed in an area endangered by the menace of the logging industry.""

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