Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:911 (Score 1) 353

by jo_ham (#49803601) Attached to: FCC Proposes To Extend So-Called "Obamaphone" Program To Broadband

don't be dense. You don't need 24/7 access to the internet to job hunt. There are lots of places you can go get access for free.

Right, but it's an awfully lot more convenient if you can check from home - especially if you're poor and have a lot of other time commitments (other job, school run, kids etc).

The money is already there, they just need to amend the wording because it was written in the 80s to say "landline or cable/dsl connection" rather than just "land line" as it does now.

Comment: Re:Where does the Fed claim to get power to ban th (Score 4, Informative) 249

Yes it can. [Gonzales v. Raich]

The issue was not in dispute in that case:

Respondents in this case do not dispute that passage of the CSA, as part of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, was well within Congress' commerce power

In my opinion, by the way, Wickard v. Filburn, the New Deal era decision that says making something for yourself (i.e. growing wheat to feed your own chickens, or growing marijuana to use yourself) affects interstate commerce (because you otherwise might have bought it instead, affecting the price) and can thus be regulated, is a travesty that is long overdue for the Supremes to revisit and reverse, as they sometimes do when a previous court broke something substantial.

But even if you agree that feeding your own wheat to your own chickens is a suitable subject for federal regulation under the commerce clause, don't you think it's a stretch to say that affecting the price of a banned substance by NOT buying it on the illegal market is a legitimate reason for the Federal Government to ban your growing and consuming your own plants? Either way you don't buy in interstate commerce, so how can the difference in your behavior affect it? (Or was it Congress' intent for you to buy illegal drugs?)

Sometimes more than half the Supreme Court justices follow some argument to a point beyond sanity.

Comment: Re:Where does the Fed claim to get power to ban th (Score 3, Insightful) 249

The Commerce Clause?

Nope. (The powers it DOES confer were already alluded to in my posting.)

[The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

"Regulating" = making regular, setting standards, etc. It does NOT include banning whole classes of trade entirely.

If they want to PROMOTE drug and gun sales, that's fine. B-)

Comment: Where does the Fed claim to get power to ban that? (Score 4, Insightful) 249

Selling drugs and weapons are serious crimes and should be justly punished. Propz to GNAA

Let's devil's advocate a bit...

The Second Amendment clearly (to anyone who understands how English was used at the time) forbids the Federal Government from interfering, in any way, with obtaining and carrying weapons. (infringe ~ "even meddle with the fringes of") That includes gun trafficing, because stopping gun sales makes it harder to exercise the right.

The Tenth Amendment explicitly, and the Ninth Amendment implicitly, ban the Federal Government from use of any power not explicitly specified in the Constitution as amended. I don't see anything in there that explicitly gives the Federal Government to ban any drugs or traffic in them, or in any way regulate such traffic (beyond forbidding false advertising claims, setting standards for labeling, and the like). (Do YOU find any such power in there? If so, please point it out to us.)

So it could be argued that, by the Federal Government's own basic laws, these were NOT crimes and the "Dread Pirate" was a freedom fighter.

(I won't even get into the issue of the Anarchist claims that ANY government is necessarily illegitimate, coercively imposing its will on people who did not pre-approve this and are not attempting, themselves, to coerce others. The people who promulgated the Constitution were doing their best to get governments off people's backs.)

Comment: Re:Maybe this will end "extreme" couponing (Score 1) 86

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49801753) Attached to: Feds Bust a Dark-Web Counterfeit Coupon Kingpin

The store doesn't need these people. Why not just fix the policies to ban them without affecting regular coupon users?

Because the coupons are legitimate offers of a reduced price on a limited number of purchases of an item. An "extreme couponer" just happens to be accepting a larger number of them than a more typical shopper.

To reject a person who uses "too many" of them (while not rejecting ALL coupon use by ALL customers) may constitute consumer fraud on the store's part and get them into serious hot water.

Comment: Re:911 (Score 1) 353

by jo_ham (#49801099) Attached to: FCC Proposes To Extend So-Called "Obamaphone" Program To Broadband

You don't need broadband to call 911, or answer a job call-back, or answer a call from your kid's school.

I'd be interested to see your success in a job hunt if you used only your phone and had no access to email or online forms vs having access to the net.

We'll leave out that a lot of school business is also conducted via email now, but we'll assume that they also send home paper copies of things that never get lost in between the kid's hands and the kitchen table.

Comment: Re:Yeah I never heard it called "Obamaphone"... (Score 1) 353

by jo_ham (#49801073) Attached to: FCC Proposes To Extend So-Called "Obamaphone" Program To Broadband

Ahaha. Good one.

Obama has been nowhere near this. The phrase "obamaphone" originated in the right wing media sphere as a way to generate outrage fuel for right wingers to throw on the "we hate obama" fire.

However, don't let facts get in the way of a good, baseless Obama bash. Carry on.

Comment: Re:Essential? really? (Score 1) 353

by jo_ham (#49801037) Attached to: FCC Proposes To Extend So-Called "Obamaphone" Program To Broadband

"Use a library!"

"But they closed all the libraries due to public spending cuts. They said everyone already had smartphones!"

"So use your smartphone!"

"While Fox News said Obama was handing out free iPhones the reality is that it's not actually a smartphone"

Also, if you read the article (I know, I know, who has time for that before coming here to lay out their highly informed and expert opinion), you'd see that the money is not an "increased" expenditure, it's just a provision to allow the already allocated funds to be used for more than simply a landline since the legislation was written during the Reagan era and doesn't explicitly mention broadband for some reason. You think they'd have written it in if they meant for your precious taxes to be used for it, but such as it is. I can't think why they'd need to review the documentation.

Comment: Re:Even if you go DC, stay at 120V (Score 1) 553

Everything from your wall switches to your wires will cause you never ending problems.

Mechanical wall switches are still rated for DC. Houses USED to be wired for DC a lot. You only have to replace the stuff that was designed after AC was pervasive and wasn't engineered to handle DC.

(I forgot to mention that you'll also have to replace the light dimmers, too, along with most other electronic, rather than mechanical, switches. They usually use a current-zero-crossing turnoff device, and DC won't cross zero unless you force it to do so.)

Even if you replace your wall switches and outlets, your wires will degrade over time and develop holes and other blemishes that will cause a fire.

No they won't - unless they're wet (in which case you have bigger problems than galvanic corrosion). Electromigration at the current densities involved in house wiring is not an issue, nor is insulation breakdown. The wires and fittings will be just fine.

Comment: Re:Even if you go DC, stay at 120V (Score 1) 553

(DANG this stupid touchpad... )

An "inverter", by definition, actually has alternating voltage as a substantial output, or at least somewhere in the circuitry. A switching regulator has a cycling voltage, but it isn't an AC output, or even an AC intermediate.

But they're very similar.

(Also: I was going to mention, above, that the current supplied through the pull-down (or clamp-at-ground) switch is where the extra output current comes from, compensating for the lowered voltage with higher current for similar amounts of power. If the switches, inductors, capacitors, and wiring were all ideal, the driver and sensor circuitry didn't eat any power, and no energy was radiated away as radio noise, efficiency would be 100%.)

Comment: Re:Even if you go DC, stay at 120V (Score 1) 553

A down-stepping DC-DC converter is not an inverter?

Nope. But the pieces of the implementations are similar enough in function that it's close.

A typical DC/DC down converter involves two switches, an inductor, and both input and output filter capacitors, plus control circuitry to sense the output voltage and time the switches. (There may also be a VERY small resistor in series with the inductor to sample the output current if current regulation is necessary, but it's omitted for high efficiency if that's not an issue.) One end of the inductor is hooked to the output cap, the other through the switches to the input cap and to ground.

The pull-up switch is always active (typically a transistor). The control circuitry turns it on and the current in the inductor ramps up, charging the output capacitor at an increasing rate. After a while the pull-up switch is turned off and the pull down switch is turned on. The current through the inductor ramps down, but before it goes through a stop and reverses the pull-up switch is turned back on and the pull-down turned off. The pull-down switch may be a diode, which switches on as needed automatically, but for high efficiency it's usually another transistor, because it has a lower voltage drop and thus is more efficient.

The control circuitry varies the percent of pull-up versus pull-down time to keep the average output voltage at the desired level. The frequency may be controlled or may be allowed to vary somewhat.

So the waveform in the inductor is a sawtooth, and the current never reverses. An "inverter" by definition,

Comment: Re:Type C or mini B (Score 1) 101

by jo_ham (#49795087) Attached to: Android M To Embrace USB Type-C and MIDI

They want a standard but good USB connector for the laptop and a proprietary port they control for the phone.

That's why they gave USB-C away for nothing.

It's the same reason they gave away the mini-displayport connector for free too - they want it to be a standard.

The phone port though, they want to control because they want to control the peripheral market for the iPhone and iPad. The peripheral market for computers they don't care about, but they would rather that the connector of choice be a good one.

Comment: Re:Even if you go DC, stay at 120V (Score 4, Interesting) 553

(Continuing after brushing the touchpad posted it for me. B-b) ... equipment at that voltage. (Small systems are often 12V due to the availability of 12V appliances.)

But back to inverters:

Current inverter and switching regulator (they're pretty much the same stuff) technology is SO efficient that large PC boards in computing and networking equipment may run the power through as many as THREE DC-DC converters, because you lose less power to heat as losses in the inverters than you would to resistance running it a few inches through a printed circuit board power plane.

So the '"20-40% loss" number seems to me to be utterly bogus.

(Consider this: A Tesla automobile IS AC motors driven by inverters from batteries. A horsepower is almost exactly 750 watts. If they had 20-40% losses in the inverters, how do you keep the car from being on fire after a jackrabbit start? Let alone recover enough power on braking to reuse on acceleration to make a substantial difference?) If ANYBODY knows how to handle inverters it's Tesla. B-) )

Comment: Even if you go DC, stay at 120V (Score 4, Interesting) 553

This is strange. "20 to 40% power loss" seems to be an awfully poor inverter; existing inverters are 4-8 % loss.

Rather than rewire every house in America, wouldn't it make more sense to just design better inverters?

Or just run at 120V DC, as renewable energy systems did (and occasionally still do) before so many appliances were AC-only that it made sense to use an inverter.

Dropping voltage means you have to replace the copper wiring with MUCH HEAVIER wiring - by a square law - to carry a given amount of power with the same loss - and thus wiring heating inside the walls, where it can set the house of fire.

Switching to 120V just means using DC-capable appliances and replacing the breakers (DC is harder to interrupt) and must-be-GFCI outlets (normal GFCI devices use a transformer to sense unbalanced load).

The 48V standard was about having a voltage that was low enough that touching it was typically survivable, so working on or near it is (relatively) safe. The boundary between the hard part and the easy, "low-voltage", part of the electrical code is 50V (BECAUSE of phone companies B-) ). Medium power (>1KW) home Renewable Energy systems tend to be at 48V so much of the wiring falls under the easier part of the code, and because of the availability of

"The Street finds its own uses for technology." -- William Gibson

Working...