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Zuckerberg Made Instagram Deal Alone

wsanders SPECIAL FILTERS! (307 comments)

Where do get me some of this! Can they deliver it to my house via Webvan?

more than 2 years ago

How Doctors Die

wsanders Kidney transplants, pacemakers, etc (646 comments)

I think you mean for nearly-dead patients.

I know a few people who have had pacemakers for many, many, years, and one forty-something fellow who had a heart transplant over 20 years ago and is alive and well. They were all people who would have died at a young age otherwise.

The urge to keep someone alive is also heavily weighted for age. Responders will do everything reasonable to keep someone under 50 alive, someone over 80, not so much. The circumstances are highly subject to case by case judgment, which is usually correct.

more than 2 years ago

Physical Models In an Age of Computers

wsanders You have to see this (78 comments)

The model cover about a 3000 sq mile area. The Golden Gate Bridge is about 6 inches long IIRC.

You have to see the Bay Model if you visit the Bay Area. There is a fully restored Nike missile silo nearby that is also a must-see of Bay Area nerdy sights.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Greg Leyh of The Lightning Foundry What Charges Him Up?

wsanders Liability? (88 comments)

How are you going to deal with half the population living within a 10 mile range suing you for blowing out their home electronics, and when every ham radio operator within a 1000 mile radius complains to the FCC about you ruining their radio reception?

more than 2 years ago

Study Hints That Wi-Fi Near Testes Could Decrease Male Fertility

wsanders Wavelength has nothing to do with it (307 comments)

I think you are confusing this with the strong interaction of RF wavelengths with the dipole moment of the water molecule, which strongly increases at some frequencies (like in microwave ovens) and, above 30 Mhz, is the model for limits on RF exposure.

The RF simply generates an electric and magnetic field, with interacts (or not) equally with all matter regardless of size. Down to a point, and I'll let the physicists take over from there.

more than 2 years ago

How To Get Into an Elite Comp-Sci Program

wsanders I may be out of the loop - (297 comments)

- but since when have incoming freshmen been required to declare their majors before being accepted at most engineering schools?

I'm a not-so-recent alum of a fairly decent school (Rice) and as far as I know as recently as 10 years ago it was normal for many students to wait until well into their sophomore years to declare a major as long as the prerequisite courses were passed. And Rice, being a smallish school, has a lot of collaboration between departments. The exceptions were "professional" schools like music and architecture, where worst case, it might take an extra year to make up the entry year prerequisites.

more than 2 years ago

Working On Man Made Lightning

wsanders Burn it down (67 comments)

It may be cool, but I'm a ham radio operator and if you build this thing anywhere within 10 miles of my house, I will come over and burn it down.

This is just a toy for rich techies. There are plenty of places where lightning is frequent enough that if you build a structure to attract it, you will get lots of hits from the real thing:

more than 2 years ago

HP Pondering Sale of WebOS

wsanders Much Loved By Users! (99 comments)

I've heard that both of the people who use WebOS are very happy. Keep it alive!

more than 2 years ago

Who 'Owns' the Google Driverless Car IP?

wsanders Who care whose fault? You get sued anyway. (129 comments)

Any accident related to this will result in a huge fishing expedition for deep pockets. Even an unsuccessful fishing expedition will bankrupt all the graduate students in the crosshairs.

more than 2 years ago

Can the Hottest Peppers In the World Kill You?

wsanders Re:LD50? (337 comments)

I wonder how it kills you - I ate an unusually hot, very fresh pepper once and my airway closed up. For a minute or two I thought I was going to need a ballpoint pen tracheotomy. After a few minutes of difficulty breathing and slobbering uncontrollably I was OK. I am fairly used to hot, but not too hot, peppers; too hot and the sensation is indistinguishable from being maced (which I have experienced also.)

more than 2 years ago

The Mythical Tunnel Between CERN and Central Italy

wsanders What's the big deal? (303 comments)

Speaking as a civil engineer, a 750 km tunnel is no problem. Doing it for $45 million is probably harder than getting an elephant to travel faster than the speed of light, however.

more than 2 years ago

Sources Say Meg Whitman To Become HP CEO

wsanders HP, the Lehman Brothers of Tech (277 comments)

I'm just going to assume HP is some kind of fraudulent enterprise at this point. Although I doubt there is any left there who is clever enough to pull off another Enron or Lehman Brothers.

more than 2 years ago

Seismologist Manslaughter Trial Begins Next Week

wsanders Re:Which is worse (185 comments)

The refusers in question were academic researchers not government employees. Just because you receive a federal grant does not mean you are obligated to make all of your unpublished data, emails, and records available to extremist crackpots. The FOIA does apply "to data produced with federal support that are cited publicly and officially by a federal agency in support of an action that has the force and effect of law. "


There was another case involving a NASA scientist who was simply being harassed by climate-change deniers. NASA has much less leeway since it's a federal agency.

about 3 years ago

1970s Polaroid SX-70 Cameras Make a Comeback

wsanders Re:Why aren't these still available? (106 comments)

In fact, the old SX-70 film used amazingly stable dyes. They should look as good now as the day they were shot. Sharpness was not so good. The stuff was expensive, I remember a magazine costing somewhere in the $10 neighborhood even in the early 80s.

As opposed to my E-4 and E-6 process stuff from those days which is already starting to fade.

I have one of these cameras around the house somewhere .... sheesh $350 if it works and I put it in a fancy box??

about 3 years ago

Theoretical Shoe Inserts Could Power Your Gadgets

wsanders Re:Walking on sand (210 comments)

You know, we're engineers some of us? Let's "run the numbers" ....

Assume walking is about the same metabolic equivalent as riding a stationary bike lazily (, you expend about 50W more or less. So a 10W shoe is going to make it about 20% more "difficult".

Hard to say how that will "feel". "Walking on sand" seems to about sum it up.

about 3 years ago

The GIMP Now Has a Working Single-Window Mode

wsanders Re:NOOOOO!!!! (403 comments)

Don't worry, all the controls are in the window, leaving you a 150 by 150 pixel region to view your image.

about 3 years ago

Company Wants You to Visit Near-Space In Their "Bloon"

wsanders $156K?? (135 comments)

Can't you get something like 10 hours in a MiG-25 for that? That's enough to get a type rating.

more than 3 years ago

Accused Teen Bomber Finds FBI Surveillance Team's Wireless Network

wsanders Re:pure urban myth (267 comments)

Remember to use a different number from the rest of your neighbors.

more than 3 years ago


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