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Comment: Electronic parts houses.... (Score 1) 314

by Ellis D. Tripp (#48822141) Attached to: Radio Shack Reported To Be Ready for Bankruptcy Filing

were never primarily in business to serve hobbyists and DIYers. They were around to sell parts to TV repair shops, industrial maintenance shops, etc.

Once consumer and industrial electronics became uneconomical to troubleshoot and repair at a component level, there was no need for the places that sold the parts. The handful of remaining hobbyists and radio hams weren't enough to pay the bills, so most of the parts houses gave up and closed their doors.

Comment: Interesting hypocrisy at play in Nebraska.... (Score 1) 484

by Ellis D. Tripp (#48640105) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

So legal weed coming INTO the state constitutes a great threat, but setting up cheap liquor stores just across the state border from the Lakota reservation (with a huge alcoholism rate) is just swell...

Nebraska Complains About Colorado Weed While Enabling South Dakota Alcoholism


Comment: Re:Not sure the FDA would be much better... (Score 1) 484

by Ellis D. Tripp (#48637177) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

In the case of pot, the most logical thing would be a division of efforts, such as we currently have for our other (much more harmful and addictive) recreational drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

Surgeon general can force warning labels and release reports, but little else.

FTC/FDA/BATFE can police ingredients, labeling/packaging, production facilities, overseas shipping, etc.

Home production/non profit distribution allowed with generous limits and no more oversight than homebrewing beer or amateur winemaking is subject to now.

Comment: Not sure the FDA would be much better... (Score 1) 484

by Ellis D. Tripp (#48634847) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

If they use the standards that they use for regulating pharmaceuticals, and tried to apply them to recreational drugs.

Their risk/benefit analysis procedures would need a major realignment, as the current methods would disallow essentially ANY substance as having risks that outweigh the benefits (getting high).

Because getting high is not a medical necessity, the amount of potential risk would need to be essentially non-existent for the FDA to allow a substance on the market. Even relatively benign recreational drugs like pot or psychedelics have potential risks that would preclude them from approval according to current FDA standards.

Comment: Re:On paper, sure. But in reality the DEA makes la (Score 1) 484

by Ellis D. Tripp (#48634399) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

Well, a group of lawyers and businessmen (Congress) is about as poorly equipped as a group of prosecutors and cops (DEA) to render an impartial decision about the potential risks/benefits of various chemicals based on scientific fact, rather than political expedience or ideology.

About the ONLY thing that Congress has over the DEA is that (again, in theory) they are responsible to the will of the people that elect them. Of course, in reality, they are beholden to the needs of the corporations (Pharma, Booze, Tobacco, Corrections) who fund their campaigns, so we end up with more and more substances being made illegal every year, science be damned.

Comment: On paper, sure. But in reality the DEA makes law. (Score 5, Informative) 484

by Ellis D. Tripp (#48633755) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

Going back at least as far as the 1980s, the DEA has used their "emergency scheduling" powers to ban various substances by fiat.

Drugs like MDMA, GHB, "bath salts", and various synthetic cannabinoids were all summarily placed in Schedule I by unelected DEA bureaucrats. All they have to do is wave their pen, and any substance they want to ban is made illegal.

Yes, such actions are theoretically open to review by congress, but in reality Congress has never denied any DEA action of this nature, and simply rubber stamps whatever the DEA does.

So the DEA has the ability to CREATE drug laws, as well as ENFORCE them.

Comment: Re:EIMAC Spoof Data Sheet (Score 5, Informative) 100

by Ellis D. Tripp (#48607987) Attached to: The Joker Behind the Signetics 25120 Write-Only Memory Chip Hoax

There were actually TWO spoof Eimac datasheets that circulated. The one the author referred to (with the melted tube) was for a type called a "Wemac 1Z2Z", and doesn't appear to be online anywhere. The other sheet describes a "Umac 606 Phantasatron", and is available here:


Comment: The website states exactly what yeast (Score 4, Informative) 50

by Ellis D. Tripp (#48498351) Attached to: Open Source Craft Brewery Shares More Than Recipes

strains they use to brew each beer:

Short Circuit Stout--Wyeast 1084 (Irish Ale)
Flip Switch APA--Wyeast 1272 (American Ale II)
Wheatstone Bridge--Wyeast 1010 (American Wheat)
Ampere Amber--Wyeast 2112 (California Lager)
Schottky Pumpkin--Wyeast 2035 (American Lager)

All commercially available to anyone who wants them:


Comment: Put it in a Pelican case for starters... (Score 1) 202

by Ellis D. Tripp (#48234339) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Make a High-Spec PC Waterproof?

I put together a system a few years ago for use doing offshore surveying in the surf zone. The system is carried on the back of a jet-ski type PWC, and has to withstand constant salt water spray and splash, as well as occasional immersion. It consists of a PC, a monitor, an ultrasonic depth gauge, a GPS receiver, and a custom keyboard, all mounted on the jet-ski.

The case is an off the shelf Pelican waterproof travel case, with all connections in and out of the box through Seacon waterproof bulkhead connectors and plugs. Because this thing is in a sealed black plastic box used outdoors in full sunlight, cooling was an issue. It was solved by using a seawater cooling loop supplied by a tap off of the propulsion jet on the jet-ski pump. The monitor is a 9" TFT mounted in a smaller pelican case with a viewing window up on the handlebars, with the UI handled via a custom 12-key "keyboard" constructed from industrial watertight switches in an IP68 enclosure.

System is still in regular use, with the only repairs being damaged cables when the driver flipped the jet-ski in harsh surf and ripped things physically apart.

If I were a grave-digger or even a hangman, there are some people I could work for with a great deal of enjoyment. -- Douglas Jerrold