Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:How are they rocky? (Score 1) 67

by Bob the Super Hamste (#48922803) Attached to: Kepler Discovers Solar System's Ancient 'Twin'
Not entirely true. I wondered what happens if you had 2 small neutron stars that collide and I guess they create all sorts of useful things if their combined mass is low enough to not become a black hole. Agreed that if there was just one sitting there it basically does nothing but get some collisions of neutron stars and you get gold. Also when talking about big monsters producing heavy elements you would need something bigger and hotter than Betelgeuse, like a Population III star which are thought to have been fairly common in the early universe and while they are large and when they blow are big enough to destroy their own core and don't create a black hole. So for heavy elements in the early universe these large fast burning monsters might have been able to produce enough. Then again IANAAP (I am not an astro physicist) so I may just be jumping to incorrect conclusions from partial information.

Comment: Re:Cam-tastic (Score 1) 151

I would be very wary of strobing the lights for a number of reasons. the first is that depending on the frequency it may violate laws in my state (60-120 Hz). Second, strobing IR is also used to trigger the lights for emergency vehicles and people have gotten in trouble for that and that seems like a great way to cause all sorts of unintended problems. Finally if you wanted to mess with the cameras you would need to be fairly exact in you timing.

That said having one be photo triggered would be doable but requires additional electronics. So given all that simply having a very bright ring around a substantially darker area would seem to be the easiest and unquestionably legal. The goal is to simply make it so the automated plate scanner fails to identify you plate and by massively overexposing one area so the rest is massively underexposed seems the easiest. The trick is to put out enough power in a large enough area to do it. I want a large area but that large area needs to be really bright so the camera automatically tries to correctly balance the picture. It isn't like 200 watts is a large portion of power the vehicle puts out of it's 100+ kilowatt engine.

Comment: Re:Cam-tastic (Score 1) 151

I have thought of building an LED license plate frame to mess with the cameras and others have tinkered with the idea some. The results at best could be considered hit or miss but that doesn't mean it couldn't be improved upon since most I have seen only output a few watts of power. I have been trying to figure out if I could build one with a power draw of 100-200W using some high output IR LEDs (the new license plates Minnesota uses are designed to be highly viable in the IR spectrum). Having a frame that isn't covering the license plate at all is perfectly legal in Minnesota but other things are not Minnesota statute 169.79 Subd. 7. Also the existing laws on vehicle illumination would also not prohibit this.

By frame I mean many concentric rings of LEDs packed tightly around the license plate so that you have 100 watts of IR LEDs shining around each plate. One of these days I will get some time to do it, and may also look into illuminating the front and rear windshield with IR LEDs as well in a similar fashion to further flood the image with IR.

Comment: Re:Urban legend? (Score 1) 299

What always bothered me about that situation and I could never find an answer to is the laws about leaving property on public land in Nevada. In Minnesota, my state, there are very specific rules about leaving personal property on public land so after 14 days it becomes abandoned property and anyone can take it legally. This is why you hear about people who have their tree stands stolen that they put up weeks before hand but then state that when the reported the incident the police didn't do anything. I have wondered if there was a similar law in in Nevada because if so it would make it so anyone could have claimed his cattle and I bet some other rancher wouldn't have minded getting some free head of cattle to bolster their own herds.

Comment: Re:Question (Score 1) 78

by Bob the Super Hamste (#48903943) Attached to: Fish Found Living Half a Mile Under Antarctic Ice
I was under the impression that the only things that people have made that will show that there was intelligent life on this planet in millions of years would be the giant bronze propellers on our largest ships. Not sure about their longevity over a billion years but I have heard estimates that they will last a few million.

Verizon, Cable Lobby Oppose Spec-Bump For Broadband Definition 254

Posted by timothy
from the never-let-the-government-define-words dept.
WheezyJoe writes Responding to the FCC's proposal to raise the definition of broadband from 4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream to 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up, the lobby group known as the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) wrote in an FCC filing Thursday that 25Mbps/3Mbps isn't necessary for ordinary people. The lobby alleges that hypothetical use cases offered for showing the need for 25Mbps/3Mbps "dramatically exaggerate the amount of bandwidth needed by the typical broadband user", referring to parties in favor of the increase like Netflix and Public Knowledge. Verizon, for its part, is also lobbying against a faster broadband definition. Much of its territory is still stuck on DSL which is far less capable of 25Mbps/3Mbps speeds than cable technology.

The FCC presently defines broadband as 4Mbps down and 1Mbps up, a definition that hasn't changed since 2010. By comparison, people in Sweden can pay about $40 a month for 100/100 mbps, choosing between more than a dozen competing providers. The FCC is under mandate to determine whether broadband is being deployed to Americans in a reasonable and timely way, and the commission must take action to accelerate deployment if the answer is negative. Raising the definition's speeds provides more impetus to take actions that promote competition and remove barriers to investment, such as a potential move to preempt state laws that restrict municipal broadband projects.

Comment: Re:Congress Makes Cuts (Score 1) 253

by Bob the Super Hamste (#48887997) Attached to: IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts
I haven't hear anyone claim that the US gov doesn't want to pay its debts, and it constitutionally must pay them so it is moot point. I sure wasn't saying that nor was I trying to imply that and was merely pointing out for the uninformed how things are structured and how we got there. There are problems facing the government once the bond redemption starts in earnest and those are mostly ignored which is the other point I was trying to make. The budget is already a mess and Social Security is just going to gradually make a bigger mess but I doubt anyone would know the difference.

I wouldn't say Social Security is properly funded for decades as the date the trust fund runs out is in 2033 according to the last Trustees Report which is the point at which it will be unable to pay full benefits. So less than 2 decades which means you will likely be caught up in it. The point at which it starts to take in less in taxes and interest and begin to draw down the trust fund.

So the decisions that one wants to make is how to deal with the problem and there really are a finite number of solutions. They could:
1. Raise taxes to ensure social security is fully funded. (democrat plan)
2. Decrease the rate at which benefits increase. (Republican plan)
3. Some combination of 1 & 2
4. Ignore the problem and in 2033 just fully fund it out of the general fund. (what will happen from 2017 to 2033)
5. Ignore the problem and in 2033 tell all social security recipients to fuck off and enjoy their 75%. (what the current plan out of the US government is)

Comment: Re:The IRS could shut down??? (Score 1) 253

by Bob the Super Hamste (#48887473) Attached to: IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts
I understand that and figured that is what happened, but with such a simple tax form it should have taken 10 minutes to do the audit not a couple of hours.

It is just struck me as a colossal waste of time, especially since all of the info I had, except form 1040EZ, gets sent independently to the IRS as well. Even at that they already had a copy of my 1040EZ because I sent it to them when filing my taxes which is what they were checking so I didn't need to be there. I could understand if they found a problem having me go through the song and dance but this was just wasteful.

Gravity is a myth, the Earth sucks.