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Comment: Re:Interesting (Score 1) 283

by Gim Tom (#48661939) Attached to: Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

You can passively block it, yes. There's nothing preventing you from building a Faraday cage around your home. You cannot ACTIVELY block it though (i.e. broadcast signals to intentionally interfere with it).

Get aluminum siding on your house and you WILL be in a Faraday cage! The voice of experience says so.

Comment: Incompetence vs Conspiracy (Score 4, Insightful) 236

Do not attribute to a conspiracy that which can be adequately explained by incompetence -- especially if you won't show your evidence of said conspiracy. The company that thought a Root Kit was a good idea does seems to be lacking something in the competence department.

Comment: Re:Hardly (and sadly) not a unique tale (Score 1) 156

by Gim Tom (#48614365) Attached to: Dr. Dobb's 38-Year Run Comes To an End
Thanks for giving the full title of the original publication! When I saw that on the shelf I KNEW I had to buy it! However, my path diverged and went more toward system design and analysis and less coding -- which I did miss. I subscribed to Byte till well after it was bought out by the corporate Borg, but I have something between 6 and 10 years boxed up down stairs. Haven't looked at them in years, but just can't bring myself to get rid of them.

Comment: Birds Get Drunk Too, and maybe the squirrels (Score 4, Interesting) 89

by Gim Tom (#48501761) Attached to: Ability To Consume Alcohol May Have Shaped Human Evolution
I read the article and while interesting it doesn't fully explain a phenomenon I have observed first hand for many years. I have two wild cherry trees on my property and sometimes the cherries remain on the tree long enough to begin fermenting. When this happens every bird for miles fights over the boozy cherries! The squirrels also seem to prefer these somewhat fermented cherries. Humans may have evolved a better way to metabolize ethanol, but I don't think we were the first creatures to appreciate a wee dram every now and then.

Comment: Depends on Latidude as much as Attitude (Score 1) 613

by Gim Tom (#48289965) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?
The daylight to dark ratio is approximately constant only in the tropics. There is gets light about 6am and dark about 6pm year round and with almost no twilight between the two. The further north you go the greater the difference between daylight and dark hours becomes until you reach the arctic circle (I left out the southern hemisphere intentionally -- there is very little land at the higher southern latitudes) where there is about 6 months of daylight and six of darkness. The whole thing about DST is so artificial anyway. Until the rail roads set up standard time zones in the US each town and village had its on time based on local noon by the sun.

However, I know that in my case sunlight in my bedroom window makes me wake up more easily and feel more refreshed than being awakened in darkness. This seems to be at least somewhat invariant as to the actual number of hours of sleep I got within limits. Since I inhabit the temperate zone in the Northern hemisphere I would much prefer to just hibernate through the 3 to 6 months of winter (depending on latitude) we have here and not worry about changing from DST and back.

Comment: RF circuit alignment (Score 1) 155

by Gim Tom (#48116903) Attached to: Liking Analog Meters Doesn't Make You a Luddite (Video)
If you have ever done anything like aligning RF circuits or devices you are often looking for a peak or minimum value as you make an adjustment (or several interacting adjustments). An analog display is about the only thing that really works for this. THIS can be simulated on a digital display IFF it is fast enough to follow the changes AND if the digital circuits are shielded well enough so they are not fried by high RF levels or conversely inject enough RF crap into what you are trying to adjust to make adjustment impossible.

Comment: Re:Maybe Anthony Bourdain (Score 1) 103

by Gim Tom (#48031793) Attached to: Robotic Taster Will Judge 'Real Thai Food'
Point Taken, and I do love independent non-chain eateries. Everything has become too generic and "safe" anyway.

Yes, I know that everything has changed in 40+ years. I was there in 1971 and 1972 and it was a different world and a different place then. Also I was aware even then that the foods used and preparation varied widely around the country. Where I was was right on the border with Laos and there was much overlap between the Thai and Laotian foods. Even the ubiquitous Khao Phat fried rice varies widely around the country.

I did eat as much of the local food where I was as my taste buds, and system could handle and only got amoebic dysentery once, and that was from some ice in a drink I think. By the way, eating the local food was one of the LEAST risky things I was involved in while I was there.

Comment: Maybe Anthony Bourdain (Score 4, Interesting) 103

by Gim Tom (#48027145) Attached to: Robotic Taster Will Judge 'Real Thai Food'
I lived in North Eastern Thailand for a year decades ago and had some wonderful food while I was there, but it was almost never EXACTLY what the Thais in the area ate. Most westerners could not, or would not, eat the "REAL" Thai food. It wasn't just the spices, although they were far too hot for most people. The types of food and the way they were stored and prepared was just an entirely different culture and what is and is not food is to some extent determined by culture.

I saw a giant Mekong catfish lay on the side of the road for at least three or four days before it was considered "ripe" enough to use in food. When I was there refrigeration was rare and most food sat out in heat and humidity for extended periods. The climate was even a bit more that I was used to -- and I was born and raised in the deep south before air conditioning was common. The aroma of a Thai open air market is to say the least unique. Thailand is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, and the people are the friendliest and most open anywhere, but eating "real" Thai food is something I was never able to really appreciate.

There are places I have eaten in the US that have excellent Thai food, but it is not what you find the Thai's eating in Thailand. Maybe Anthony Bourdain can eat real Thai food, but on a recent episode of his show it appeared that even he was having a bit of trouble with some of it.

Comment: Private Solar becomming illegal (Score 5, Interesting) 517

by Gim Tom (#48008975) Attached to: Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit
In Georgia both the PSC and the legislature is being lobbied hard to effectively outlaw private solar installations at the same time that the utilities are running a PR Blitz about how much they are working on solar energy. Having the most corrupt governor in the country doesn't help things here either

Comment: Jimmy Said it well (Score 1) 478

by Gim Tom (#47967343) Attached to: Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"
I watched both of my parents succumb due to Alzheimer's and if you have seen that disease up close and personal like I have you really don't want to go there. I really didn't expect to live as long as I have. That may be something common among those of us that grew up in the "duck and cover" generation and then took that year in South East Asia back during that unpleasantness. There is a song by Jimmy Buffett that sort of says it all to me -- the title is Pacing The Cage.

"I got everybody to pay up front...then I blew up their planet." "Now why didn't I think of that?" -- Post Bros. Comics