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Comment: Obligatory: 12 Second Mini Van (Score 1) 799

by DrJimbo (#48879143) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret


I reached my (1st) goal of getting into the 14's in the quarter mile, last year. I feel that any car running in the 14 seconds is faster than most cars on the road, but this speed stuff is like a drug. You always think of some little thing to make it a little faster. If a 14 second mini van will beat most of the cars on the road, a 12 second Mini Van mini van will beat almost all the cars on the road!

Comment: Re:Fuck the libs! (Score 1) 216

by DrJimbo (#48762339) Attached to: Bill Would Ban Paid Prioritization By ISPs

[...] there should be no problem with prioritized packets as long as you are not slowed down or interfered with in order to deliver them.

I did read your sentence to completion and I still vehemently disagree with it. At first I thought you were suggesting there be a fast lane as long as there is not a slow lane but, of course, that makes no sense. Then I figured out you are fine with a fast line paid by the sender as long as the slow lane meets some minimum bandwidth requirements. How can the customer complain since they are getting the extra fast line bandwidth "for free"?

One of the many obvious problems with this scheme is that it can quickly devolve to a situation that squeezes out all of the mom and pop content providers (the general public) who can't afford to pay for the fast lane. It reminds me a little of those idiotic "deals" from ISPs that let you lock in your current bandwidth and payment rate for life. As technology improves, increases in bandwidth should far exceed increases in costs.

I admit that in a static situation where my bandwidth to and from certain corporations suddenly increases is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. This seems to be the situation you envision. The problems start when the original static situation evolves over time. You can easily get into a situation where bandwidth to and from certain corporation is basically free while all other bandwidth is exorbitantly expensive. In the US, at least, the last mile is already a big corporate, unregulated rip-off. Why open the door to make it much much worse? The only way it could possibly be feasible would be for massive regulation of the minimum bandwidth and maximum fees of the slow lane. If the fast lane (and especially the slow lane) are unregulated then it will become a consumer nightmare. If you regulate it enough to work so consumers are not "slowed down or interfered with" going forward into the future then it will be a nightmare for everyone and the fast lane will be worth little.

I am also reminded of the RICO laws and things like civil forfeiture where the government can basically steal stuff from you without ever even charging you with a crime. Those bad laws were passed under the guise of "we are only going to use them on the really bad guys". Perhaps those were the intentions when those laws were passed but a few years down the road some police department reads the law carefully and figures out it can be used as a great way to raise sorely needed funding for the department. And, guess what? It is also legal. A rough rule of thumb is that any law that can be abused will be abused eventually. Why needlessly open up another channel for abuse when we gain nothing by doing so?

If you are a poor person on a sinking ship would you like a policy where the rich people get the fancy lifeboats and the poor people get lifeboats that were deemed adequate many years ago? Or would you prefer a policy where the poor and the rich are all put into the same lifeboats?

Comment: Re:Palladium foil with just the right parameters (Score 1) 183

by DrJimbo (#48678345) Attached to: Bill Gates Sponsoring Palladium-Based LENR Technology

why can't the electrons get between two nuclei and cancel their repulsion (rather like muons can do)?

The problem is that the conduction electrons are spread out so they can't clump together in the space between the nuclei. This is due to the low mass of the electron. A muon is very much like an electron but is over 3,000 times more massive; this means it is 3,000 times "smaller" and thus can fit into the small space between the nuclei just fine.

The problem is not that the electron wave function can't get close to the nuclei. The problem is that the electron wave function can't get clumped together into a large enough peak to counteract the Coulomb repulsion of the nuclei. One way to see this is with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Since a muon is 3,000 times more massive than an electron, it has 3,000 times more momentum for the same motion. This extra momentum allows it to be more localized without violating Heisenberg.

One of the best physicist of the 20th century, Julian Schwinger, investigated cold fusion and felt that the physics community as a whole was closed minded about it. I *think* his idea was there was some sort of collective phenomenon (getting the palladium just right) that accounts for cold fusion. It can't be as simple as simple screening by conduction electrons. TBH, I think Schwinger was past his prime and was grasping for things he could apply his formidable intellect to that would be useful for humanity.

I believe the reason most physicists have a problem with cold fusion is the lack compelling experimental evidence combined with the lack of any satisfactory theoretical explanation. Remember that almost all of the interest in cold fusion was sparked by the totally discredit experiments by Pons and Fleischmann. The experiments could not be replicated and in new experiments there was no indication of nuclear activity.

Comment: Re:Palladium foil with just the right parameters (Score 2) 183

by DrJimbo (#48677095) Attached to: Bill Gates Sponsoring Palladium-Based LENR Technology

There's no reason to think this [cold fusion] couldn't happen with palladium foil given sufficient resources.

There is at least one overwhelming reason to think this could not happen regardless of how you prepare the palladium: basic physics.

The Coulomb repulsion of the deuterons keeps them so far apart that the likelihood of fusion is exponentially small. You can muck about with the palladium until the cows come home but unless do something like replace the electrons with muons, it is unlikely you are going to induce a significant amount of cold fusion.

It is like saying that by applying sufficient resources to painting and body-work, I can fix the engine of my car.

Comment: The handwriting's on the wall: Alice v. CLS Bank (Score 2, Insightful) 217

by DrJimbo (#48620391) Attached to: What Will Microsoft's "Embrace" of Open Source Actually Achieve?

In Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International the US Supreme Court ruled:

merely requiring generic computer implementation fails to transform [an] abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.

Recently, after its SCO fiasco, Microsoft's biggest gun in its ceaseless war on Linux and all things FOSS has been patent extortion. IIRC, Microsoft makes a sizable chuck of change from Android devices due to the licenses for a fuzzy bunch of patents that have never been tested for validity in a court of law.

At some point, someone with deep enough pockets to risk a spin on the roulette wheel that is the US court system in regard to patents will take on Microsoft and see if the Emperor is wearing clothes or not. Microsoft owns some very smart lawyers. The lawyers know such a challenge is inevitable. They also know there is a good chance Microsoft will lose and will have to shut down its patent extortion racket. At that point they will need a plan B. This is their baby steps towards a plan B which is way too little, way too late.

Comment: Re:Hmmmm ... legality? (Score 1) 138

by DrJimbo (#48603191) Attached to: Amazon UK Glitch Sells Thousands of Products For a Penny

I haven't canceled hundreds of orders on Amazon but I have canceled a handful. There has never been a fee or a penalty although I did have to fill in a small form explaining why I canceled.

If you did this maliciously with a bunch of items just to be a PITA then they would probably respond accordingly and cancel your account.

OTOH, I have had a seller raise the price of an item after I made an inquiry about it. That really pissed me off. I complained to Amazon but they said it was within their rules. The end result is it is stupid to make polite inquires about products (for example, asking if a used book listed as hardcover really is hardcover). You are better off just placing the order and then returning the item for a full refund if it does not match the description.

Comment: Re:Imagine that! (Score 2) 191

by DrJimbo (#48597301) Attached to: Spanish Media Group Wants Gov't Help To Keep Google News In Spain

But instead of negotiating or even trying to compromise they [Google] just took their ball and left.

Here is a better analogy:

A: If you don't pay us a bunch of money we are going to shoot ourselves in the foot!

B: That's a ridiculous business proposition. We aren't going to pay you anything. Shoot yourselves if you feel you must but we don't recommend it.

A: Wah! You are such a big baby! Why won't you at least negotiate or compromise?

Comment: Re:Imagine that! (Score 5, Insightful) 191

by DrJimbo (#48597025) Attached to: Spanish Media Group Wants Gov't Help To Keep Google News In Spain

But instead of negotiating or even trying to compromise they [Google] just took their ball and left.

WTF? What was there to negotiate or compromise on? Paying the extortionists any non-zero amount would have been the worst business decision ever made by Google. While there were extreme options available to Google, such as law suits and massive lobbying, Google took a rather mild approach by obeying the silly law while refusing to pay the extortion which meant they simply shut down their services that would have been encumbered by the extortion racket.

Even if the complete lunacy of the extortion racket was not clear to you previously, this idiotic press release should have made it crystal clear. The Spanish news media need Google more than Google needs them. Therefore it was idiotic for the Spanish news media to try to get Google to pay them for providing them with a service they greatly desire.

When you are freely providing someone a service they greatly desire and then they want to charge *you* for providing them with this service, there is very little room for compromise or negotiation. For example, if I owned a country and passed a law that Slashdot has to pay me for every comment I post, their only logical response would be to stop allowing me to post comments. I could bitch and moan about them being big babies about it but until my position has some relationship to reality, there is really nothing to negotiate or compromise on.

Comment: Re:Great. More touchscreens. (Score 1) 233

by DrJimbo (#48584401) Attached to: Ford Ditches Microsoft Partnership On Sync, Goes With QNX

buttons are expensive and can't be reconfigured on the fly.

If true, this sounds like the most important reason why buttons are better than touch-screens in dashboards. Don't you hate it when you try to raise the volume and accidentally activate the passenger seat ejector instead?

Comment: Re:Wrong risk ... (Score 1) 151

by DrJimbo (#48464037) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Regrets Not Taking Copyright Law and MPAA "More Seriously"

Except that in this case the law was very plain and it was obvious that it was being violated. I may not like the DMCA, but it doesn't take a legal brainiac to know that refusing to comply with take-down requests (what Kim's was doing with his links vs files argument) will lead to greater legal retaliation.

What are you talking about? KDC followed the advice of his lawyers and complied with DMCA takedown notices. He was set up in a nasty sting operation where the FBI asked him to not take down a particular file (or files) in order to aid them in an investigation. He cooperated with the FBI and this is what they busted him for.

For example, the Wikipedia gives Dotcom's perspective:

In regard to Megaupload, Dotcom believes the company had actively tried to prevent copyright infringement -- its terms of service forced users to agree they would not post copyrighted material to the website. Companies or individuals with concerns that their copyright material was being posted on Megaupload were given direct access to the website to delete infringing links. Megaupload also employed 20 staff dedicated to taking down material which might infringe copyright.

KDC was hosting files so it would be silly for him to use a "links vs files" argument as you suggest. It would have also been extremely stupid for him to ignore DMCA takedown notices because obeying those notices is what gave him "safe harbor" protection. You may be a legal brainiac but what you are suggesting makes no sense and has nothing to do with reality.

Data Storage

How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive 438

Posted by Soulskill
from the it-was-the-SSD-in-the-enclosure-with-the-massive-IOPS dept.
itwbennett writes: For too long, it looked like SSD capacity would always lag well behind hard disk drives, which were pushing into the 6TB and 8TB territory while SSDs were primarily 256GB to 512GB. That seems to be ending. In September, Samsung announced a 3.2TB SSD drive. And during an investor webcast last week, Intel announced it will begin offering 3D NAND drives in the second half of next year as part of its joint flash venture with Micron. Meanwhile, hard drive technology has hit the wall in many ways. They can't really spin the drives faster than 7,200 RPM without increasing heat and the rate of failure. All hard drives have now is the capacity argument; speed is all gone. Oh, and price. We'll have to wait and see on that.

Comment: Re:Wrong risk ... (Score 1) 151

by DrJimbo (#48461361) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Regrets Not Taking Copyright Law and MPAA "More Seriously"

You can't plan for stuff like that.

What? Yes, you absolutely can. Yes, it was absolutely predictable. Yes. YES! Look, yes. The answer to all your objecting questions is yes. Yes, he could and should have predicted that the USA would do its best to sow his ground with salt. Just fucking look at us. LOOK AT US. Of course we would do that.

Even if you can predict that no rules/laws will apply, how can you reasonably plan for that contingency? What would those plans look like? Should KDC have given up business and become a survivalist?

My wholehearted prediction would have been that KDC was on the entitled side of the justice gap and as long as he had good lawyers and followed their advice then he would have nothing to worry about. The Pirate Bay getting repeatedly stomped on was not a surprise but the attack on KDC was a huge shock to me. I still find it amazing.

Weekend, where are you?