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Comment: Re:Faraday Cage / Tempest (Score 1) 132

by DerekLyons (#48042727) Attached to: Boeing Told To Replace Cockpit Screens Affected By Wi-Fi

First, I would hope that the avionics themselves were shielded and tested before deployment and use. I mean, we don't want the altimeter interfering with the artificial horizon, do we? (stupid, simple, but real example)

They are shielded and tested before deployment. But no testing is 100% effective, ever. And EMI is a tricksy thing to test and shield against.

Second, the whole cockpit and supporting avionics and other fight critical systems are in an enclosed conductive vessel, ie the cockpit and support area. It's a Faraday cage within a larger Faraday cage (the aircraft)

First off, the cockpit and other systems are not in an enclosed conductive vessel - they're part of the main fuselage, just like the passenger cabin. Second... the aircraft is not a Faraday cage, or at least not a very effective one as a broad range of frequencies can be received in the passenger cabin.

Polite language: you haven't a clue what you're talking about.

Comment: Re:net metering != solar and 10% needs new physics (Score 1) 475

by DerekLyons (#48025381) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

The utility company already has a lot of the hardware anyway.

Um, no. They have precisely none of the hardware.

I'm not talking about what it would cost me to build my own battery buffer - I'm talking about the incremental cost to the power company to include me in their power buffer.

Well, no. The power company has all the other costs I mentioned as well. Failing to include them is misleading.

That I'm doing so with consumer-oriented prices should be taken as evidence that I haven't a clue what I'm talking about

There, fixed that for you.

Comment: Re:net metering != solar and 10% needs new physics (Score 1) 475

by DerekLyons (#48025217) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

So: 30kWh * $0.02 /kWh/day = $0.60 per day just for the power buffering, or $18 per month. Not nothing, but an eminently survivable expense.

Plus the cost of the converters (most houses run on AC, not DC). Plus any associated remodeling/installation costs (ventilation, additional wiring, structural changes). Plus the square footage costs (batteries occupy physical space after all).

So no, your numbers aren't a good estimate. They're based on numbers from the producer and leave out the installation costs.

Comment: Re:Fine. Legislate for externalities. (Score 2) 475

by DerekLyons (#48024245) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

The companies need to be evolving to be that backup power supply. They need to be shifting generation strategy and bringing online storage so they can displace the gaps so customers don't do it themselves.

That sounds simple in theory. In reality? You're just blowing smoke - because online storage in the capacities required simply doesn't exist. Pumped storage in a few places, maybe, in a decade or two when the utilities finally convince the regulatory bodies to let them sell the bonds... and after four rounds of court challenges for non environmental reasons and three for, not to mention the environmental impact statements themselves.

Comment: Re:Rushing to mars is crap science (Score 1) 266

by DerekLyons (#48013841) Attached to: Could We Abort a Manned Mission To Mars?

The cost of launching from earth is much higher than from space because we have to break Earth's gravity and pass through the atmosphere.

Build the next space station already. Build it big and ship it people and supplies and do it there. If we cat accomplish that, we don belong in space.

The funny part is.. you don't seem to grasp that you aren't actually saving anything by "building a big station and doing it there" - as all that material comes from Earth in the first place, the station is merely a temporary way station. You aren't saving any money by launching from the station, just "cooking the books".

Comment: Re:Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (Score 1) 173

by DerekLyons (#47981487) Attached to: Mangalyaan Successfully Put Into Mars Orbit

Nonetheless, after the Cold War fueled space race fizzled out.. and it has been a couple of decades now, hardly anyone is doing anything worthwhile as far as space exploration is concerned. You will probably admit that we have regressed more than we have made progress.

Only if you only consider "manned and boldly going" to constitute the whole of space exploration. Otherwise, especially on the unmanned side, we're in something of a golden era. Especially with regards to planetary science.

For sure, this is only a "proof of concept" kind of a launch, but the thing is - it now sets some new benchmarks in terms of cost, capability, scale of ambition, and execution. You can push something to Mars in 75 mil. That is pretty frickin sweet.

Only is you consider a subcompact econobox to be "pretty frickin sweet". While Mangalyaan is indeed cheap, it's neither particularly capable, nor particularly ambitious. Even though it's impressive that they managed to do it all - as always, you get what you pay for.

Why begrudge ISRO their moment in the spotlight?

Nobody is begrudging them their moment in the spotlight - only attempting to counterbalance and correct the hype and hyperbole that so many people (like you) are spinning.

Comment: Re:Does it matter? (Score 1) 137

by DerekLyons (#47977743) Attached to: Google Quietly Nixes Mandatory G+ Integration With Gmail

The reason is that "a single source for services" wasn't their plan. Their plan was "to greatly boost their numbers to make it look like they were winning versus Facebook, by cooking the books and padding the numbers by going absolutely nuts pushing G+".

Seriously, Google was very late to the party, screwed up their implementation, screwed up the launch, and was desperate to make it look like G+ was *huge* and growing exponentially. Pretty much their only even remotely legitimate option was to force everyone who used a Google service (or later an Android product) to sign up for Facebook. Sadly, pretty numbers didn't equate to user engagement and G+ was soon a dying wasteland.

Comment: Re:List the STL? Seriously? (Score 2) 471

by DerekLyons (#47977511) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

technical question like listing all the container classes in STL from the top of my head

Do experienced devs even know this? I've programmed in several languages and I could never give a list of functions on demand. That's what reference material is for.

You honestly dodged a bullet with that one; any company that asks for such a thing has a damaged tech culture.

Technical questioning, even if often misused in the corporate world, is a fine art with many subtleties.
When I was in the Navy and giving qualification signature interviews and sitting qualification boards, I kept a stock of that kind of question to hand with 'malice aforethought'. Why? Specifically to separate out the guys who memorized everything without thinking (which was undesirable) from the guys who thought and prioritized and learned (which isn't the same thing as memorizing and is desirable). Depending on the system/situation "grab OP46189 volume 7 and look it up" was exactly the right answer. You didn't need to know everything, but you did need to know where and when to look it up.

Also, to give me a chance to verbally smack twerps like you who hadn't grasped this yet upside the head.

Comment: Re:One SSBN != end of teh Earth (Score 1) 341

by DerekLyons (#47974725) Attached to: US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

Want to know WHY we have so damn many warheads?

Presuming you're talking about nuclear warheads (the topic of the discussion)... Back in the 50's and 60's it was mostly determined by how many weapons we could produce - the unholy alliance between SAC and the nuclear weapons production labs was the "military-inductrial alliance" Eisenhower was warning us against. From the 70's onward it was determined by a complex interaction of internal (US) politics and treaty negotiations.

The weapon folks try to figure out what the target defenses are capable of before the warheads reach their target, the really smart people start crunching numbers and come up with a solution designed to over-saturate their ( known ) defenses. We don't throw one warhead at a target, we throw several to ensure one gets through.

Um... nonsense. (The fact that there isn't effective defenses against most classes of nuclear weapons aside.) We throw (threw, since we're talking before the reductions of the 1990's) several at what appears to be a single target to the ignorant and the uninitiated to justify the massive number of warheads. To the way of thinking of the military planners - that HQ is a target, and the airfield is a target, and that hangar complex is a target... so even if a single warhead would get all three in actuality, they sent three anyhow.
As far as conventional weapons... you're partly right, partly wrong, and partly hallucinating. But I'm not going there as conventional weapons aren't the topic of discussion.

TBH though, our land based delivery systems are pretty much honeypot targets anymore. Bomber, sub and cruise missile delivery are much harder to target due to their mobility and not knowing if a sub is sitting just off your coast in the event you do something stupid is quite a deterrent in its own right.

Since bombers are landbased delivery systems... you really haven't thought this through very well. Nor do we have sub launched nuclear tipped cruise missiles. We do have submarine launched ballistic missiles, but they stay well the hell back out in the deeps where it's safe... and don't go anywhere near coastlines except for liberty ports and home ports.

However, put one of these weapons in the hands of a fanatic who has no issues about beheading folks, or volunteering to become a suicide bomber to kill infidels in the name of some pretend deity in the sky and all the deterrent in the world isn't going to stop them. Deterrent doesn't work with these types. You have to render them inoperable for lack of a better way to phrase it.

Thank you Captain Obvious.

Comment: Re:Not MAD. (Score 2) 341

by DerekLyons (#47971267) Attached to: US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

Further, we can only hope that some other countries like China and India are being honest with the numbers they claim. The US and Russia may be completely outpaced and not know it.

That's the folly of the Cold War and the Cold Warrior mentality - WE MUST HAVE MORE THAN THE OTHER GUY. Weapons piled on weapons piled on weapons neither increases security nor improves the chances of "winning" a nuclear exchange. Once you have enough to dismember the Other Guy (or to at least put him in the national equivalent of an ICU), more weapons just means you have more weapons - you can only destroy him once no matter how many weapons you have. That's the essential philosophy of Minimal Deterrence.

Comment: Not MAD. (Score 5, Interesting) 341

by DerekLyons (#47970821) Attached to: US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

*Sigh* A former cold warrior you may be, but all you do is give proof to what I've long said - a worm's eye view doesn't make you an expert. Or even knowledgeable. (And yeah, the view of a launch control officer is pretty low level). Having been an SSBN weapons tech (and FTB to be precise), I'm quite aware of just how little can be seen from the operating level.

America's nuclear strategy isn't MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction), and hasn't been for a couple of decades now. The strategy we're working towards now is Minimal Deterrence - the smallest number of weapons needed for deterrence.

Comment: Re:All this because Clang went Clunk? (Score 2) 203

by DerekLyons (#47965603) Attached to: Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

Regular finance account reporting of how the money is being used should be required. If you can't handle it, don't ask for money.

Such production of reporting and auditing of reports has costs and could consume significant amount of project funds.

Nonsense. If it's a serious project, they should already have an accountant or at least some form of accounting software - once you have that, it's pretty simple to produce a basic cash flow report. Regardless of what your business is, tracking the financials is basic to it. If not just to know whether or not you can afford that widget or software package, because come the end of the year you have to let the IRS know. If the project doesn't have financial tracking, it's a sign to run - far and fast.

It should be up to the backers and an agreement with the backers made in advance, regarding what will be required, not up to some random third party to decide what reporting will be imposed on them both.

Kickstarter isn't a random third party. As the great-grandparent said, they're essentially assuming the role of the stock exchange - as the middleman and facilitator of the process. Thus they have an interest in seeing that the process is transparent and to some degree regulated. Even for private investment, sans the market, the SEC has rules separating investors into two classes based on their ability to determine and withstand risk. As the arbiter of the market, Kickstarter has similar motivations to protect investors.

Now this being Slashdot, there will be a chorus of people insisting we don't need a middleman or and arbiter... to which I say, go try and raise significant funds on your own sans such a middleman. Then you'll understand why a central marketplace with at least some level of consumer (investor) protection is an idea that has recurred throughout human history. It's a win-win situation for all parties. (And before you rant and froth about Wall Street - I'll point out the problems there are implementation and QA errors, not specification errors.)

Comment: Re:Some details about the 3D printer (Score 1) 129

by DerekLyons (#47965243) Attached to: SpaceX Launches Supplies to ISS, Including Its First 3D Printer

Still, with mass at a premium it would be more efficient to send up a stockpile of raw plastic rather than many combinations of different spare parts.

For the relatively small fraction of parts that will break that are printable plastics - that's a great thing. (At least with anything resembling current technology.) For everything else, especially the electronics parts that will represent the greatest proportion of the failures... not so much.

"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." -- Bullwinkle Moose