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Comment: we had similar 'experiments' in school (Score 1) 286

by Brigadier (#49075659) Attached to: 1950s Toy That Included Actual Uranium Ore Goes On Display At Museum

Growing up in Jamaica the physics and chem labs in high school were originally outfitted via the old colonial (UK) school system. I recall one occurrence where we were given free range to rummage around in the lab supply room and found a geiger counter which included three radiation sources one alpha, one beta, and a gamma source of radiation all enclosed in lead lined boxes. of course without reading the instructions we just opened the boxes and pulled out the 25 cent sized disks. It wasn't until the smart kid in the group read the instructions that we realized the inherent danger. I also remember playing with samples of mercury, sodium, and making our own gun powder using the formulas in our chemistry books.

Comment: wingdings vs commercial implimentation (Score 1) 248

by Brigadier (#49050787) Attached to: Smart Homes Often Dumb, Never Simple

Having worked in the construction field (architect/project manager) I've seen building management technology come full circle. With the 2014 code implementation building management systems are the standard. I'm referring to integrated systems such as leviton which sense and adjust light levels, window treatments, lenel for access systems, and commercial mechanical system integration. The first time I saw a phone app that could tie in to a management system for a 60K square foot LEED gold building I was impressed with the simplicity and effectiveness.

Switch pages to systems such as wink, schlages residential lock management system, or smart thermostats they all don't have a true standard allowing central control. thus instead of one robust app you have several apps still under development. In addition device to controller communication is often over wifi as opposed to commercial style implementations which are hardwired. There is a reason they exist this way.

Comment: simple solution for one who doesn't live in LA (Score 1) 611

by Brigadier (#48603501) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

I've lived in LA for 14 years after moving from the east coast. Waze describes me as in the top 1% of my state, which bothers me quite a bit. The problem with LA is ..... (wait for it) the city is its own suburb. It always amazed me that my commute to downtown LA (about 65 miles) when I have to go is the same as someone living in say Culver city (10 miles). The problem when you get to the heart of it is a municipality that is unable to expand the traffic grid to match the cities growth, or subsidize mass transit to where it's viable. In new york city, or DC I can get to the city, then fairly easily get around. However in LA getting into the city costs as much, and takes as long as driving. Then when your in the city there is no way to get around as the localized mass transit grid isn't sufficient, and takes forever. Thus LA culture is one where you figure out the best way to drive (on your own) from point a. to point b. Waze is just making it a lot easier.

Comment: Horse Shoe crabs have been fish bait for years (Score 3, Informative) 159

Horse Shoe crabs area already a depleted resource as they have been used as cheap bait for fishermen for years. The impact being subsequent affects to migratory birds who feast on there eggs. I don't think the pharmacological community have a choice but to treat these crustaceans with the respect due


Comment: Re:And this (Score 1) 475

by Brigadier (#45727309) Attached to: Bitcoin Exchange Value Halves After Chinese Ban

who says this is destined to be a mainstream currency ? maybe the whole point of this is it will be the underworld currency which never exists in tangible form where it can be converted to standard currency, but where it only functions to trade goods. Thats sorta the problem with our current currency, in that it is volatile. Currency itself should never be traded, it should only function as a conduit for exchanging services, and goods. The value should only be in the commodity.

If bitcoins cannot be cashed out, but only serve as a value exchange for commodities then it will be a stable market. at least in my head it seems that way.

Comment: recently transitioned to google docs at work (Score 2) 618

We recently went through a pretty agressive transition to google docs in my department. Approximately 40 people mostly accountants and managers who's marriage to office was extreme. There was extreme push back by the accountants for the very reason stated in the article. Android/Google aren't real documents. you can only view snapshots but cannot work efficiently. The collaboration was the sell, with the thinking being use your pc to edit in native office formats. At this point all the accountants have switched over to google sheets. I think the reason is Microsoft's definition of a document is this behemoth file with every option. I think Microsoft is backing the wrong horse here. I can accomplish the same amount on my android device as on my desktop at work. It may not have all teh graphic coolness but it does what it needs to do.

Comment: Re:Question: (Score 2) 269

by Brigadier (#38191524) Attached to: Earthscraper Takes Sustainable Design Underground


Massive retaining wall costs.
Massive sump pump design and maintenance costs.
Massive heat dissipation costs.
Massive CO2 dissipation costs.
Massive moisture intrusion and mitigation.

Also how do you address

upthrust from ground water
ventilation on that scale is ridiculous
100 year flood planning ( you think the titanic scene was bad)

Comment: there is a reason this hasn't been done.... (Score 4, Interesting) 269

by Brigadier (#38190970) Attached to: Earthscraper Takes Sustainable Design Underground

I think this idea has been thought of in many arch programs, however from a practical side it's a dozy. The cost to excavate, the cost to transport the soil, dealing with ground water issue, 100 year flood conditions. even though it is a pyramid the retaining walls would have to be monstrous. Plus if anyone has ever seen what happens to an empty in-ground pool, there is reason for concern. I would put this out there with the floating island concept.

Comment: solutions for bad habits (Score 1) 161

by Brigadier (#38003102) Attached to: Ballistic Clipboard Holds Papers, Stops Bullets

I'll get blasted for this but I hate when people suggest solutions for problems which are procedural.

" I don't like wearing my vest because it's not comfortable"
  Knee Jerk Solution: let's make a bullet proof clipboard.
Proper Solution: Get used to it, wear it for those who love you, until we come up with a better one.

I here this same argument with motorcycle protective gear,
"My jacket gets too hot"
Knee Jerk: Lets design elbow and knee pads for motorcyclists.

Comment: Re:Well (Score 1) 219

by Brigadier (#33198836) Attached to: Servers Ahoy — Startup To Build Floating Data Centers

Server location should have anything to do with jurisdiction. It all has to do with where the company is located ie incorporated. If the Federal Government wanted to sieze server property I would see them filing an injunction against the company. ie give up your servers or we will arrest your operating officers for treason which is punishable by death. Worse case scenario of course. As far as the NSA etc, the servers have to be connected to the mainland someway.

of course obligatory IANAL

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 319

by Brigadier (#32255606) Attached to: Google Stops Ads For "Cougar" Sites

you know what, a younger man can learn a lot from an older woman. Older woman have no hangups, or false hopes. They are usually independent and take care of their own baggage. Shoot check out Lady Chatterley's Lover. I say go for it learn all you can (including suppressing your gag reflex) then turn around and use your ill gained knowledge on the hot chick next door.

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. -- Albert Einstein