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Comments

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$42,000 Prosthetic Hand Outperformed By $50 3D Printed Hand

weiserfireman Re:Obamacare exists because... (285 comments)

However -- because of the Supreme Court decision in the Obamacare case, the Medicaid expansion is voluntary for the states, and half the states (mostly Republican) refused to expand it. So in those states, poor people really are stuck. They do get kicked out of hospitals and get left to die of treatable conditions. http://www.texasobserver.org/a...

I live in one of those States that refused to expand Medicaid. I live in Idaho. I don't think we could have afforded to do it. Because of another Court case a few years ago, the State of Idaho now has to pay for education in Idaho out of the General Fund. It used to be mostly funded by property taxes at the local level, but now it is funded by Sales Tax at the State level. We also have a Constitutional requirement in Idaho to balance the budget every year. Approximately 60% of the State budget is now Education. Every other State Agency has seen their budget slashed by about 30% over the past 10 years.

And then the Federal Government orders the State to massively expand Medicaid. My State just doesn't have the resources to do it. It isn't because people don't care, we just don't have the income. 90% of the Students in my School District are on free or reduced lunch. Median Family income in my town is $31,000 per year. 20% of the people in my community live below the poverty line. There isn't a whole lot of room to add more taxes to expand another Government program.

If our State was doing better economically, there would be more support for expanding Medicaid. But we are all suffering. The idea of having to pay even more taxes is daunting.

The truly poor still have access to Medicaid in Idaho. The program didn't go away. It just didn't expand it to people above the poverty line.

3 days ago
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Drone Pilot Wins Case Against FAA

weiserfireman Re:FAA & Public Safety (236 comments)

Requiring the operator of an RC Plane to be a "Licensed" Pilot if it is for commercial use, but any joe smuck if it is for hobby use seems to be a problem for me.

For one reason, Piloting an RC aircraft, from the ground, is a different skill set than Piloting a small plane from inside the aircraft itself.

about a month and a half ago
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Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

weiserfireman Re:lack of attractive upgrade prices (860 comments)

I do IT in a machine shop.

We have 3 machines that still have Windows 95 for their OS, 2 with Windows 2000, and 2 with Windows XP

These are not standard intel processor based PCs. They are RISC processors that run a real time OS that communicates with the machine PLCs, and Windows provides a nice interface for the operator to interface with.

Last time we got a quote, it was $14,000 to upgrade one of the machines to Windows XP. I am not sure they can even be upgraded to Windows 7. They still work, so why bother spending the money.

I have a Tool inventory kiosk that has Windows XP on it too. I could upgrade it to Windows 7 or 8, but I have no guarantee that the Kiosk will function normally if we do that. So we are not upgrading it. I have better things to do with my time.

None of the machines or kiosks have Internet access. I will take my chances that they are secure enough.

about a month and a half ago
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Skunk Works Reveals Proposed SR-71 Successor: the Hypersonic SR-72

weiserfireman Re:SR-71 needed replacing (216 comments)

Shooting down a Mach 6 aircraft is extremely difficult.

Lets say an SR-72 was going to go the full length of Iran, and Iran had recently deployed S-300 missiles from Russia. The S-300 is considered a world-class air defense weapon (despite having never been fired in combat). It has a 5 minute deployment time and a 24 mile range.

Mach 6 is roughly 4,567 Miles/hour or 1.26 miles every second.

It will cover the 48 mile engagement envelope of an S-300 (24 miles each way), in 38 seconds. What this means is a missile site can't detect and engage the target. Someone has to detect and transmit targeting information to air defense sights in the path of the plane, so they can be ready to lauch, when it gets within range.

Just some moderate maneuvering and route planning, keeps the SR-72 out of range most of the time.

There was rumor that the SR-71 was detectable with long range radars, but stealthy to weapons guidance radars. Add in stealth characteristics and the task becomes even more difficult.

From looking at a map, the absolute longest flight path over Iran appears to be about 2000 miles. Meaning the SR-72, worst case, would only be over Iranian airspace for less than 30 minutes. If a plane came in over the Caspian Sea, crossed over Tehran, then turned for the nearest border, they could be in and out of Iran in less than 5 minutes.

All in all, a very challenging exercise.

about 6 months ago
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Nuclear Officers Napped With Blast Door Left Open

weiserfireman Re:Why hold them to higher standard? (238 comments)

There aren't any more active silos in Idaho

They are in Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota

about 6 months ago
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Fusion Reactor Breaks Even

weiserfireman Re:bbc? (429 comments)

But even there, we capture the exhaust and use it to power a steam cycle.

about 6 months ago
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Fusion Reactor Breaks Even

weiserfireman Re:bbc? (429 comments)

I am not up on Power plant designs, but I am not aware of another technology that exists to turn power plant levels of heat into electricity, except through a steam cycle. It would be nice if there was some material we could expose to that much heat, and have it generate large amounts of electricity directly, but I don't think it exists.

We even use the waste heat from Gas Turbine generators to power steam cycles, to gain extra efficiency

about 7 months ago
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Tom Clancy Is Dead At 66

weiserfireman Re:I was in Naval Nuclear Power School when.... (236 comments)

Because when you are 17 years old, and told they will send you to prison is you talk about secrets, you tend to keep your mouth shut.

The Navy doesn't spend a lot of time telling you which stuff they are teaching you is secret and which is common knowledge. They classify it all as secret, and you keep you mouth shut about what you are learning

The side effect of this behavior has infected our whole nuclear industry in my opinion. Because so much of it was classified for so long, there was a long period of time where the only people talking about nuclear power to the general public, was the anti-nuke people. Led to a lot of Fear Uncertainty and Doubt.

about 7 months ago
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Tom Clancy Is Dead At 66

weiserfireman I was in Naval Nuclear Power School when.... (236 comments)

I first heard about Hunt for Red October. I still have my first edition copy.

I had lots of questions from friends and family about how Nuclear Reactors really worked, and until that book came out, I was really scared about what I could and couldn't say without jeopardizing my security clearance.

After I read that book, I would reference people with questions to that book. It answered their questions.

about 7 months ago
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Court Declares Google Must Face Wiretap Charges For Wi-Fi Snooping

weiserfireman Re:What the fuck? (214 comments)

Problem with the Court's argument, radar detectors in cars

The legality of radar detectors rests on the radio broadcast exception "if you broadcast it, someone else can listen to it".

If police agencies can argue that radar detectors are "illegal wiretapping" devices because they didn't intend for someone to receive their broadcasts, a lot of people are going to be charged with wiretapping.

about 7 months ago
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Court Declares Google Must Face Wiretap Charges For Wi-Fi Snooping

weiserfireman Re:Not radio communications? WTF?! (214 comments)

I don't have any expectation of privacy when using an unencrypted WiFi connection. Specifically because someone could intercept it.

Because I understand I am broadcasting a radio signal in the clear, and know what that means.

about 7 months ago
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Court Declares Google Must Face Wiretap Charges For Wi-Fi Snooping

weiserfireman Re:Judges untrained in comms technology, that's ho (214 comments)

Judge made the mistake of trying to interpret the motive of the person setting up the unencrypted hotspot instead of the intent of the people who designed the WiFi standard. He also doesn't understand how WiFi and networking work.

He decided that in general, someone setting up a hotspot doesn't intend for the traffic to be snooped, therefore it "isn't publically broadcast". The law should be based on the design of the technology, not the intent and misunderstanding, of the person who turns it on.

WiFi doesn't work if every computer listening in on the hotspot doesn't examine every packet, at least as far enough to see if it was intended for it or not. It doesn't take a special $600 adapter for someone to snoop, or packet capture, the network traffic. That may be the easiest way for an untrained person to do it, but it isn't the only way.

We need special judges, who are trained technologists, to rule on technology cases.

about 7 months ago
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Court Declares Google Must Face Wiretap Charges For Wi-Fi Snooping

weiserfireman Re:Good. (214 comments)

Also Why not have lawsuits against NSA and force them to pay the civil damages for spying on american people.

What the NSA was doing was approved via a Warrant by the FISA Courts

This wasn't a case of the NSA going off and doing something unsupervised, they requested and had permission from US Judges for what they were doing.

As such, they would probably be immune from damages

about 7 months ago
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Web of Tax Shelters Saved Apple Billions, Inquiry Finds

weiserfireman Re:Did they break any laws? (716 comments)

We are a machine company in the Pacific Northwest. We are still English rather than S.I. Our Vendors call it the "Boeing Effect". Most of their customers are metric. Only ones who do a significant amount of aerospace work tend to be english.

about a year ago
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NSA Data Center the Focus of Tax Controversy

weiserfireman Re:I completely oppose this (120 comments)

I would gladly refuse all Federal Dollars in my State, as soon as they turn over title of all the land in the State they own to the State Government.

Feds own 60% of the land inside my State borders. Much of that Federal "welfare" is just money the Feds are spending maintaining and operating on THEIR land.

Consider the money the Feds pay my State as Rent for operating Wilderness Areas, National Forests, National Research Laboratories and Military Bases for them.

about a year ago
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TSA Log Shows Passengers Say the Darndest Things

weiserfireman Re:Don't go to the TSA blog!!!!1 (427 comments)

It was a smoke grenade. It might have started a fire, but it wouldn't have brought down the plane.

1 year,19 days
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Wrong Fuel Chokes Presidential Limo

weiserfireman Re:Um... (612 comments)

Part of the reason for the US bias against diesel is the fuel taxes.

The US Government, and the States, have huge fuel taxes on diesel because "those big trucks do more damage to the roads". That could very well be true. But in my region, because of those taxes, diesel has been more expensive than gasoline for a long long time.

Most of our refineries have been modified to produce more gasoline than diesel now. If we were to switch the buying habits, they would have be be changed back.

about a year ago
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New Technology Produces Cheaper Tantalum and Titanium

weiserfireman Re:the problem with titanium (139 comments)

We don't machine tungsten carbide in our shop, but we do make some pure tungsten parts

We buy it in 2' long rods from China. We have to buy a years worth at a time, lead time is so bad it is the only feasible way we have found to get any kind of price discount.

Cheaper titanium would be useful for us too.

about a year ago
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Homeland Security Stole Michael Arrington's Boat

weiserfireman Re:so what? (812 comments)

You're an idiot. I am not saying that it should be news because of this person's status. I'm saying that it's being reported on because of it. I dont agree with that, in fact I abhore it. My whole fucking point was that it is wrong to dismiss this bad behavior of govt agents, and the level of wealth of the victim is and should remain wholly irrelevent.

I guarantee you that if Homeland Security took something from some destitute single mom, and the media got wind of it, they'd be all over it. Stop letting your envy get in the way of real life.

And you'd be wrong. This shit happens every day at the border and at airports, and even along roadways. People doing absolutely nothing wrong are pulled over and detained for hours, goods are confiscated, possessions are damaged. I personally know of one person who was pulled over in Colorado for speeding (4MPH over...) and sat on the side of the road with her 2 kids under 10years old for SIX FUCKING HOURS in 90+ degree heat while DEA tore her car apart. She politely pointed out a procedural error of the officer that pulled her over and the next thing you know there's a DEA officer there. Why? Who the fuck knows. He was chatting with my friend being all friendly and said he had a drug dog in training in his vehicle, and would it be ok to just use this as a training excercise and let the dog sniff around the car. Believing she had nothing to fear she agreed. The dog reacted to something, or more likely to nothing, and they treated it like a full on smuggling incident from that point on and had multiple state patrol and DEA vehicles there in minutes.

They never had any reasonable suspicion and never found anything, and you never heard shit about it even though it's been in letters to the editor for 3 major news agencies.

According to the US Supreme Court, an alert from a drug dog is "probable cause" and "reasonable suspicion" exists to pull her over for exceeding the speed limit by any amount

about a year ago

Submissions

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How do I handle a Patent Troll

weiserfireman weiserfireman writes  |  about a year and a half ago

weiserfireman writes "We received a letter today from a company claiming they are the licensing agent for some US Patents, 7986426, 7477410, 6771381, 6185590.

They are claiming the integration of scanning and document management into our workflows violates their patents and we have to license their technology as an end user.

An example of an infringing technology is the use of an HP MFP scanner to send an email or scan a document to a network folder or Microsoft Sharepoint.

I am pretty sure that these patents could be invalidated by prior art. I've worked with document management systems since 1999. But my company is so small that a patent fight as an enduser of these technologies is not financially feasible.

I have started the process of trying to get HP's Legal Team involved, does Slashdot have any other suggestions?"

Link to Original Source
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What would you include in a new building?

weiserfireman weiserfireman writes  |  about a year and a half ago

weiserfireman (917228) writes "For the first time in our company's 60 year history, we are going to be building a new facility from scratch.

We are a CNC Machine shop with 40 employees and 20 CNC machines, crammed into a 12,000 sq foot building. We are going to build a new 30,000 sq foot building.

I am the only IT person. I support all the computer systems, as well as all the fire/security/phone systems. My Boss has asked for my input on what infrastructure to include in the new building to support current and future technology.

1st on my list is a telecommunications equipment room. Our current building doesn't have one.

I have been researching this topic on the Internet, and I have a list of a lot of different things, all of them are nice, but I know I am going to have a limited budget.

If you were in my shoes, what priorities what features would you design into the building?"
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weiserfireman weiserfireman writes  |  more than 7 years ago

weiserfireman writes "The US Supreme Court heard arguements today in the case of Microsoft v AT&T. The transcript is available at http://www.supremecourtus.gov/oral_arguments/argum ent_transcripts/05-1056.pdf.

The case revolves around an AT&T patent for voice recognition software. The code was included in Microst Windows. Microsoft already agreed to damages for infringement for copies of Windows distributed in the United States. AT&T argues that Microsoft also owes them for damages from copies of Windows distributed overseas. The key in this case is that there are no foreign patents involved, only a US one. The copies of the Windows were produced overseas from "Golden Disks" provided by Microsoft from the US.

AT&T claims that because the code and the Golden Disks originated in the US, all subsequent foreign copies infringe upon their US Patent. It is a novel case with potential liabilty for more companies than just Microsoft.

There is some interesting exchanges between the judges and the lawyers. It is clear that the judges haven't thought about software very much, but are adept and building anologies. The Lawyers didn't seem to really understand the technology and their anologies were very funny.

At one point one of the justices said "We've never ruled on software patents before, don't we have to rule that software is patentable to decide this case?" The lawyers desperately tried to steer him away from that question. Both sides have too much to lose to want an answer.

Based on the questioning and the laws presented, I don't think AT&T has a chance. At best Microsoft is liable for the master copies provide to overseas manufacturers, but not any subsequent copies that are produced overseas."

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