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Comment Re:fire! (Score 1) 54

The 1960s era insulation in my attic is exactly that - shredded newspaper treated with fire retardant. The main problem with it is that it tends to settle more than fiberglass and apparently doesn't insulate as well after it settles. Mine had dropped a good 6" (15cm) when I had additional fiberglass insulation blown in.

Comment Re:Article paid by Apple to boo over it. (Score 1) 456

Some of the stuff I've seen suggest that Microsoft will continue to toss money at Windows Phone. It's still being used in Microsoft advertising like the Surface Hub (tossing stuff from the Hub to OneDrive and continuing on your phone), and it wouldn't surprise me if Microsoft pushes Hub integration with Windows phone in a Superbowl commercial. Then there's the Windows 10 based Lumia Denim email I got yesterday...

And before you ask, I have a Lumia phone for work, supplied by work, and not yet released in the US. One of the fun perks of being a key Microsoft partner I guess (though that project is about 1/6 of my job). It actually is a pretty sweet phone, and definitely runs circles around my two year old Samsung Galaxy S4 (not that there is any surprise there). I've used iPhones as well, and I really don't have any issues with any of the designs. They are all a little different, but also fairly intuitive (at least for anyone that has used computers).

Comment Re:INTERCAL (Score 1) 414

Yeah, but INTERCAL 72 is no longer maintained. C-INTERCAL or CLC-INTERCAL, are the two current maintained versions.

Gotta love INTERCAL, though, where you have to constantly beg the compiler or it fails to compile.
Hello World in C-INTERCAL (as stolen from Wikipedia) - all those PLEASE statements are what I'm talking about :)

DO ,1 - #13
PLEASE DO ,1 SUB #1 - #238
DO ,1 SUB #2 - #108
DO ,1 SUB #3 - #112
DO ,1 SUB #4 - #0
DO ,1 SUB #5 - #64
DO ,1 SUB #6 - #194
DO ,1 SUB #7 - #48
PLEASE DO ,1 SUB #8 - #22
DO ,1 SUB #9 - #248
DO ,1 SUB #10 - #168
DO ,1 SUB #11 - #24
DO ,1 SUB #12 - #16
DO ,1 SUB #13 - #162
PLEASE READ OUT ,1
PLEASE GIVE UP

Comment Re:The Password is..... (Score 1) 165

There was a time when nearly every router could be hacked with admin/admin. Often username is ignored on the router, too, so all you needed to know is the default password is admin. This still is often the default password on many routers, but they often block access to wireless and non-LAN machines by default now, so it is definitely more difficult to hack than it was in the 1980s and 1990s. I remember hacking my university router this way in the 1990s, and one of my fellow labbies put a packet sniffer on it. After stealing a bunch of passwords and looking at people's emails I think he felt guilty and alerted the administration of the security flaw. That was hardly the only security flaw we found and exploited. Quota was another fun one we found a bug with and removed the 10MB restriction we had so we could store more stuff.

Anyhow, just saying 'password' and 'admin' were first try brute force hacks dating back to the 1980s and modems and admin stuck with routers to this day.

Comment Re:Passwords leaked from where? (Score 1) 165

3 months would be a joy. Try 35 days. I guess that was an improvement over our old policy of 30 days, but we also need a chipped ID badge and a machine generated PIN now. Apparently the 35 days was chosen because that is about the average time it takes to hack wifi with a brute force attack or something like that. Personally I think it was just made up numbers pushed to management based on a perceived threat.

Comment Re: Trump just says stuff (Score 2) 875

Basically what it'd do is split manufacturing at best. US electronic manufacturing would pick up to avoid high tariffs, but the cost would be passed on to Americans as well. All other countries would continue the same with cheaper prices. I imagine there would be unscrupulous imports to avoid the tariffs, as well. It doesn't really solve a problem, either, as US profits are taxed in the US and foreign profits would still be deferred and could be used in manufacturing costs and thus avoid taxes, just like they are now.

Comment Re:Lots of unwarranted concerns (Score 1) 319

ITER also most certainly won't solve fusion being a usable energy generator. One of the biggest power with the Tokamak design of ITER is it can only sustain the plasma for about 30 seconds. Stellerators have come back into the picture after falling out of favor in the 1970s because they can sustain the plasma for longer. Not enough is known about other designs yet to know how long they can sustain the reaction (for instance, Lockheed's High Beta Fusion Reactor

Comment Re:Lots of unwarranted concerns (Score 1) 319

Actually, the US had already banned placing emergency backup generators in a place that could potentially flood years before the Fukushima disaster. If Japan had the same regulations as the US, the meltdown would've never happened. I don't know what changes the US did after the disaster, but the main failure of having no backup power certainly wouldn't have needed to be one of them.

Comment Re:Sweden worries about theirs too... (Score 2) 319

It doesn't have to be. Most 4th generation designs are breeder reactors. Anything labeled fast reactor here is a breeder reactor that converts either thorium to fissile uranium or "nuclear waste" uranium to fissile plutonium. In layman's terms, they actually run on what conventional nuclear calls nuclear waste. Furthermore, they tend to burn long lived actinides, leaving much shorter lived waste. All of these reactors are most effective with on-site reprocessing, but given that being a proliferation concern, you can have once-through designs and do reprocessing at a single (or two - I believe the US had 2) secure facility, just like the US did in the 1970s.

Comment Re:Look on the bright side (Score 2) 319

In the US the towers were specifically designed with the possibility of an aircraft impact in mind, and even if the tower were breached, very little nuclear radiation would likely be emitted. Studies suggest the likelihood of an aircraft collision with a US tower actually causing a breach are infinitesimal. If the Belgian towers were designed around similar parameters, I doubt terrorists could breach them and I imagine car bombs wouldn't have much better luck.

If you mean dirty bombs, you'd need to steal nuclear waste (to get the short lived Actinides, mainly - the long lived ones probably won't do enough tissue damage unless you're very near the blast, as in smoking a cigarette is worse because those contain short lived and dangerous polonium) and separate out some of the shorter half life/more toxic parts to have an effective dirty bomb. Uranium itself in fissile/fertile form would be a terrible choice if you are looking at creating radiation related fatalities. Something like polonium would be vastly more effective. You'd also need to build a large conventional explosive, probably a fertilizer bomb, to actually spread it to any reasonable range.

TL;DR - obsolete reactors don't really help terrorists. You'd probably do more damage blowing up a few hundred cartons of cigarettes in a dirty bomb than stolen nuclear waste, though neither would be particularly effective.

Comment Re:Batteries are the worst (Score 1) 332

I must be hard on laptops. ASUS laptop #1, 3 years, died twice during that time, third out of warranty (cause of death: GPU failure in all cases - bad set of nVidia cards). HP laptop, 2 years, died out of 1 year warranty (display and hard drive failure). Dell laptop, 2 years, died just out of warranty (power supply spiked, most internal hardware dead, caught fire). ASUS laptop #2, died 6 months in, fixed under warranty, died again 3 years in (GPU kept separating from its slot in the motherboard, eventually failed). ACER laptop, died in 2 years, just out of warranty (Hard disk, couldn't get Windows back on it without paying ACER to do it, not worth it because it was a cheap travel laptop).

Linux/XP desktop, formerly Windows 98, 16 years and counting. Still runs my backup server.
Wife's desktop - ~8 years old currently Windows 7 (originally XP with free upgrade to Vista, if I recall correctly), has had motherboard/CPU/memory replaced 4 years ago and added drives. Had a recent power supply failure that fried the Windows drive, so reinstalling Windows on a new drive then I'll see what I can save.
My current Desktop 3.5 years old, only GPU replaced, mainly to run modern games. CPU was fairly high end at the time and still valid for most.

Comment Re: This was _outlawed_ in the USA? (Score 1) 545

The question is, is it any less safe to let the child stand at the bus stop unattended by a parent. This was always the case for me growing up because my parents left for work when my brother and I left for school. Sometimes other parents waited with their kids (sometimes letting us in to wait in a warm car), but for the most part it was a dozen kids standing alone at a bus stop.

Comment Re: This was _outlawed_ in the USA? (Score 2) 545

I had no idea this was a thing, either. In the 1970s my mom was out the door by 6AM, my dad had to drop my brother off at pre-school and then go to work, so I walked a block up to my friend Patrick's house when my dad had to leave and played until the bus came or walked the half block from there to the school and played on the playground until the buses arrived. By first grade walking was not an option - my parents moved and school was 6 miles away. Also that K-6 school closed the next year, so I'd have been bused either way.

Comment Re:North Korea (Score 1) 645

He assumes breeder reactors are only used to make nuclear bombs and ignores the fact that once through fuel cycles could avoid that. Also reprocessing can pull out isotopes needed by medical machines like MRIs. You could also do a once through, and then recycle fuel and do all reprocessing at an extremely secure single site. In fact, that is exactly what the US did at one time.

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