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Comment: Re:Worthless (Score 1) 171

by Baron_Yam (#48920587) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

With electric elevators riding vertical rails, you can do switching. Essentially, with three or four sets of rails (one up, one down, a couple for parking) you can put as many cars in the same set of shafts as you want - and even have a supply of extras waiting in a subbasement to be added when required.

Comment: Re:Why use a cable? (Score 1) 171

by Baron_Yam (#48920571) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

It's mostly the counterweight issue, which you can resolve by using electric motors in the cars and large battery banks.

Draw power on the way up, generate power on the way down. There are losses, of course, but it's doable and not terribly inefficient.

The regulations for battery maintenance make it prohibitively expensive. I think there's only one or two such installations in existence.

Comment: Re:2 External HDs and Blue Ray disks. (Score 1) 234

by Baron_Yam (#48916577) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Personal Archive?

Ideally, you're going to want a couple of low-end laptops of a make and model known for reliability and able to run directly off wall current. You keep those backups for 20 years and you might find there's no OS or hardware that can handle your old media.

THEN I'd tend to store the data (and an image of the OS drive) on bootable USB flash-based storage. Just in case. You don't need the mechanical parts of the HDD failing after a long period in storage.

Comment: Re:so many problems with this idea (Score 3, Insightful) 79

by Baron_Yam (#48893539) Attached to: Winklevoss Twins Plan Regulated Bitcoin Exchange

>a virtual currency that is in direct competition with its own pet, the Almighty Dollar.

This is what Bitcoin proponents would have you believe, but there is no competition at present, and the flaws inherent in the protocol mean there never will be.

Perhaps some other future crypto will be a competitor, but all Bitcoin does is spawn scams or payment gateways that evolve into PayPal equivalents (once they're big enough they cut Bitcoin out of the loop).

Comment: Re:Pump and Dump until proven otherwise (Score 0) 55

by Baron_Yam (#48862175) Attached to: Jim Blasko Explains BitCoin Spinoff 'Unbreakable Coin' (Video 1 of 2)

"The great strength of bitcoin is its network effect."

Which is pretty much all it has going for it, since the only problem it solves causes issues that can only be resolved by bypassing Bitcoin with third party vendors.

It's really odd to see so many people (though really compared to the US economy it's peanuts) jump in without understanding just how futile an attempt at crypto Bitcoin is.

"Every new coin has to demonstrate how they will gather sufficient network effect to make themselves useful"

Nope. The network effect will build if the coin has sufficient utility over existing systems. A new coin needs to demonstrate that it is scalable, more efficient, and easier to use than existing options, including but not limited to Bitcoin.

Comment: Re:Inevitible (Score 4, Interesting) 151

by Baron_Yam (#48844101) Attached to: Being Pestered By Drones? Buy a Drone-Hunting Drone

Don't forget that guy in New Zealand who designed and built an inexpensive home-built cruise missile that could be launched from a pickup truck. It wasn't big, but it was effectively unstoppable and theoretically pretty easy to launch and escape without getting caught.

The important part here, is that he built a guidance system for it. Adapt that for a small drone platform, and suddenly you don't need to be at the controls or within visual range of the thing.

Comment: This will be interesting (Score 0) 74

by Baron_Yam (#48770661) Attached to: BlackBerry's Survival Plan: the Internet of Things

They have been unable to make their smartphones work in the consumer market, and they've burned a lot of bridges with their corporate customers.

So... given the track record of being unable to judge the market and put out a solid, single product the company was focused on, they expect to succeed at putting out a variety of products with which they have no experience and know nothing about the market?

Good luck. I expect Waterloo will have some good commercial real estate freed up soon.

Comment: Re:It kinda looks just dumped there (Score 1) 320

by Baron_Yam (#48763741) Attached to: HOA Orders TARDIS Removed From In Front of Parrish Home

Wow. I guess you live somewhere warm, because nobody around here is taking down lights until March at least. In most cases, they're simply frozen to the house until then.

Besides, it's nice to have a colourful light show when the days are consistently overcast and short.

Comment: Re:But does it come with a android rootkit? (Score 1) 391

by Baron_Yam (#48751109) Attached to: Sony Thinks You'll Pay $1200 For a Digital Walkman

> It looks about the size of a smart phone. All you really need is something the size of a shuffle but with a microSD slot.

If you have a smart phone... why would you need a music player? The modern smart phone is pretty much a portable general purpose computer, and one of the things it can do is store and play audio at or beyond the fidelity capability of headphones.

Comment: Re:Told you so (Score 0) 106

by Baron_Yam (#48696387) Attached to: Early Bitcoin Adopters Facing Extortion Threats

In the history of bad IT ideas, bitcoin is near the top of the list. The nerd factor is the only thing going for it.

I don't think that's true. It's an incomplete, awful implementation with a community made of a bunch of sometime technically-adept, usually socially-inept, often blinded by greed fanatics.

That doesn't mean the idea of a trustless distributed ledger isn't completely useless, just that none of the current implementations are ever going to be successful in the long term. They've done pretty well at transferring money from 'little people' to Chinese mining operations and scammers around the world, though. They're so good at it, the victims keep cheering the effort on and recruiting new victims.

Comment: Re:It's more like a stunt to me (Score 5, Informative) 229

I work in a unionized environment. All wages are in contractual 'bands', every job is evaluated and placed in an appropriate band based on required skill, risk, shift, education, etc.

This means that, within the band, we all know each other's pay if we bother to look up a job classification and leaf through to the most recent contract's appendix.

We all seem to continue working without being at each other's throats.

If I were a grave-digger or even a hangman, there are some people I could work for with a great deal of enjoyment. -- Douglas Jerrold