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Comment Re:E-Cigs as Infection Vector (Score 1) 151

Contrary to what the mass media says sometimes, they do not use water vapor.

They work by boiling propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerine. These have a much lower boiling point than water.

Directly inhaling boiling water from from an inch-long metal pipe wouldn't let water vapor cool, and would cause nasty burns.

Comment This isn't really a new thing. (Score 1) 174

Lossy codecs typically have two major stages -- the lossy parts (e.g. dct while throwing out some component frequencies, motion prediction, etc.) -- followed by lossless entropy coding (e.g. Huffman in JPEG) to further compress the resultant data.

These compression algorithms just decompress the lossless part of the process and then recompress it with a more efficient lossless algorithm. On decompression, it then recompresses with the standard algorithm. In some cases (e.g. JPEG) you can keep a copy of the Huffman table that lets you recompress the data into a bit-accurate copy of the original file (you can include a small bit of extra information to make sure any remaining metadata matches up exactly).

The MacOS compression software StuffIt did this years ago.

Comment Re:Extended battery (Score 3, Interesting) 313

In my experience, Mugen makes the best extended batteries (both in size and performance).

Of course this is not useful if your phone does not have a replaceable battery (e.g. iPhones). But in general any popular phone with a replaceable battery will have extended batteries made for it. You just put the extended fat battery in then use the provided replacement back panel that includes an enlarged area to hold the new fat battery.

I *always* get this for my phones because I get sick of having to remember to charge them.


Comment It goes deeper than GoDaddy, unfortunately. (Score 4, Interesting) 448

Simply put -- consumers can't be trusted to be able to deal with complex secure authentication schemes. That's why there's so many easy-to-guess "What city did you grow up in?" password-reset functions. There are so many weak links in the chain of trust, it takes a concerted effort on the individual's part to secure it.

The CEO of Cloudflare fell victim to this when someone CONVINCED AT&T TO REROUTE HIS VOICEMAIL, starting a chain of events that wound up with the interloper having complete control over Cloudflare and the myriad of sites that use CF (and therefore trust it to send legitimate data).

It's a bit exciting/fascinating to read about the chain of events, (particularly the timeline):

Submission + - Feeling suicidal, so get help on an MMO?

An Ominous Cow Erred writes: In an odd approach to reaching out to otherwise shut-in sufferers of mental distress, an organization called Anxiety Gaming is betting that online intervention is the best way to reach people with emotional difficulties. Their argument is that the social nature of modern gaming makes it a valid means of reaching people who might not otherwise seek help through more traditional channels. According to their Facebook page, their future intentions seem to include distributing consoles to homes for foster youth, to encourage them to look to games for positival interpersonal communication.

With much media attention focused on cyberbullying and the negative affects of online social interaction, could gaming turn out to be a path to positive mental health as well?

Submission + - Ellsberg: A Coup Against the Constitution (

An anonymous reader writes: Daniel Ellsberg is a former US military analyst employed by the RAND Corporation who precipitated a national political controversy in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Pentagon study of US government decision-making about the Vietnam War, to The New York Times and other newspapers.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Camping 2

On the road, at a public library using the wifi and charging the laptop. Spent last night in the Hood Canal state forest. Warm, clear night. Packed up the new pack and hiked into the campsite, just a few hundred feet from the road. Practicing packing this pack, which I got on clearance. It has a shoulder strap adjustment so I'm trying to raise it as far as I can above my hips, so I'm carrying the weight on the shoulders and the hip strap goes across my stomach. It sort of works. I'll have to

Feed Google News Sci Tech: New Nexus 7 clears the FCC with 5 MP camera and 4G LTE - Android Community (

Android Community

New Nexus 7 clears the FCC with 5 MP camera and 4G LTE
Android Community
ASUS and Google have been busy lately, but we're all still waiting to see what exactly they've been working on. With the new second-gen Nexus 7 not arriving at Google I/O as expected, we've now been seeing multiple reports on the slate, but still no sighting.
New Nexus 7 is coming soonThe Droid Guy
Unknown Asus K009 tablet clears FCC with apparent Nexus branding ... Engadget
New Nexus 7 Appears to Support LTE Networks for Verizon, AT&T, and T-MobileDroid Life

all 48 news articles

Comment Re:I wouldn't be THAT expensive to catch it... (Score 3, Insightful) 265

I'm not discussing LANDING it. The goal is to park it into a high Earth orbit, where it can be mined relatively cheaply. Only the most valuable materials would be landed, while bulk materials plentiful on earth (water, iron/nickel, etc.) would be used to build and service spacecraft.

Comment I wouldn't be THAT expensive to catch it... (Score 3, Interesting) 265

You could capture it with a minimum of propellant fairly easily. Reorienting its orbit relative to Earth doesn't take much of a push if you do it far enough away (which is why when you do course corrections on a spacecraft, you make the big ones early on, and make small, fine-tuning ones when you get closer to your target).

Then you can get most of your delta-v by aerobraking it in Earth's upper atmosphere, aiming it just deep enough to slow it down to just barely below Earth's escape velocity. You'd save a vast amount of propellant and make an amazing light show for anyone watching. =)

Then you give it one more nudge at apogee (probably the most expensive part of the endeavor) to circularize its orbit enough that it doesn't hit the atmosphere again (which is important). After that last high-thrust burn you could then further circularize the orbit with low-thrust, high-efficiency electric thrusters.

Given enough time and a nuclear reactor, this could all be done using reaction mass acquired on-site, so you wouldn't have to actually haul the propellant to the asteroid, and only take just enough to get your reactor and fuel-manufacturing plant to it.

Comment The US needs more practical bikes (Score 4, Interesting) 342

Part of the problem with biking culture in the US it is an evolution of racing/track/BMX bikes. These are designed for weight reduction and aerodynamics rather than comfort. Exposed chains are almost universal, necessitating having your leg cuff rolled up or rubber banded, if you try to wear normal clothes.

Meanwhile in places like The Netherlands and Denmark, bikes are built to be practical for normal people in normal clothes to ride in a comfortable position. Step-through bikes are the norm and are not considered "women's" bikes.

The first image on this page is a Dutch-style bike. The lower pics are the closest thing America has to offer.

Notice on the Dutch bike:

1) UPRIGHT POSTURE -- for comfort rather than aerodynamics
2) FULL CHAIN CASE -- So you can wear *regular clothes* without getting grease all over them or having them get caught in the gears.
3) COAT GUARD OVER REAR WHEEL -- If you wear loose, long clothes like coats, jackets, or skirts (or a tux), it will not get caught in the rear spokes.
4) LARGE FENDERS -- Also to keep your clothes clean if the ground is wet or dirty!

These things add weight to the bike or add wind resistance. Sports bikes in the US shun all these things. Unfortunately, sports bike design has affected even "city" bikes in the US, which means that people barely remember what a full chain case or coat guard are anymore.

In the Netherlands, people go out clubbing on their bikes wearing their sexy outfits. Members of parliament bike to work wearing their suit and tie.

If we want people to switch to bikes in the US, we need features like these so people don't have the inconvenience of having to change clothes or roll up their pant leg (and still risk grease or nicks on their calves). These are all obvious solutions that are just not as obvious to American bicyclists because they never see them now.

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