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Comment JP-1 vs AvGas (Score 1) 157

The comments about Diesel nozzles vs gasoline nozzles for cars brought back a memory I hoped I had forgotten. Back in the 1960's an aircraft that was produced in two models -- one with reciprocating engines and the other with turboprop engines -- took off from Peachtree Dekalb airport north of Atlanta. It got airborne and just East of Atlanta the engines, which were gasoline engines, stopped since the aircraft had been fueled with Jet fuel. The aircraft made a crash "landing" on an Interstate very close to where I lived at the time. The landing was at least partially successful since I think most of the people on the aircraft survived, but there was at least one and perhaps several people in the cars in the way that did not. I was in my early teens then and can still remember that day. Back then at least it WAS possible to put the wrong fuel in an airplane. Bad designs happen -- some cost lives.

Comment Jury Nullification at least (Score 1) 292

As a resident of Georgia this would be ONE case I would not mind being on the jury for. As with so many things that this State's legislature does this is beyond absurd. If this is being published by the State of Georgia as an official document then it should fall under the Open Records Act. Yes, a "reasonable" charge for producing a document is included in that Act and, even though IANAL, I worked for this state for over 30 years and was involved in a number of open records cases and the "reasonable" requirement was pretty strict. Also, the documents are PUBLIC RECORDS and therefore not copyrightable. I would presume that this would include any annotations if published by the State. If Mr. Malamud bought ONE copy of OCGA from the state for whatever their normal charge is then he should be free to reproduce it in any way and in any form that he desires. Newspapers and other news organizations do that here all the time.

Comment Public Information (Score 4, Insightful) 430

For those that have worked in the public sector this is often the norm -- at least it was where I worked. Back in the dark ages (pre Internet) the State Audit department published a book with every employee's actual earnings and travel expenses annually. That document was a public record and available to anyone who knew about it and took the trouble to get a copy. When the Internet came along the data is now on line and searchable on a public web site. When vendors came to sell us the latest and greatest security gismo or software their standard example of confidential information was the employee salary data. Once it was on line I always got a kick out of going to the Web site and calling up the application and showing them that salary data was NOT at all confidential where we worked!

Comment Re:Learning how to learn (Score 1) 306

lol! YOU sir, are talented and full of esoteric knowledge. How much were you paid? Were you promised a full position, at least?

Yes, I had more than a full time position and esoteric knowledge is one attribute of an education. My degree was in engineering, but I took electives in everything from Geology to Technical Writing and many more. I spent most (30+ years) with one organization and made, and invested, enough that I have retirement income that is quite enough for me and in fact greater than my last official salary. I am still learning and staying active, but with projects and interests of my own.

Comment Learning how to learn (Score 4, Interesting) 306

College is, or should be, learning how to learn. I don't mean taking more classes, I mean just learning what you need to know to get what you need done DONE.

I graduated with an engineering degree in 1970 and am now 68 years old and "retired." I retired as a network/security engineer back in 2007. Any idea as to how much of that was taught in college in the late 1960's? Well, actually NOTHING I worked on for the last 10 and very little of what I worked on for the 10 years before that even existed when I was in college.

An example of what I mean by learning how to learn is when our upper management decided in the late 1990's that their entire infrastructure based on Token Ring was not going anywhere and I was given the job of converting everything to eithernet. I was told we had a vendor conference in about two weeks to begin picking a vendor and the equipment that would best fit our needs. I knew very little about ethernet at that time, but was able to learn enough in just two weeks to be able to filter the BS and FUD out in the meetings and ask the right questions that needed answering. I did this on my own in my "spare" time by reading everything I could find about eithernet and all the vendors products we would be looking at. I had enough "education" to know how to learn this on my own very quickly. A background in electronics, knowledge of Boolean Algebra (yea, that is REALLY how a net mask works) helped, but were background to understanding how the new "stuff" worked.

There is a difference between education and training. With education you can learn on your own, sometimes with training your your "learning" becomes obsolete with the next change in technology. It is easy to remember the difference. Which would you prefer for your teen age daughter to attend -- a sex education class or a sex training class.

Comment Re:Ask a Vet (Score 4, Informative) 235

In my case it was when I was trying to get home from South East Asia on emergency leave after my mom had a cerebral hemorrhage with a poor prognosis for survival. I landed at Travis AFB near San Francisco after being awake for most of 3 days travel with only a little cash, but a good balance in a Bank America checking account and the Red Cross at Travis said it would take them 3 or 4 days to get an ok to cash one of my checks. I gambled my last cash on a bus ride to San Francisco International Airport and fortunately Delta was happy to take my check for a ticket and I got home in time to see my mom in the hospital. That is my personal experience, I have heard GI's tell of much worse.

Comment Ask a Vet (Score 2, Interesting) 235

I don't know about other veterans experiences with the Red Cross, but one I had over 40 years ago has kept me from giving them a dime ever since. I would not be surprised if many veterans had similar or worse experiences. I remember my Father talking about his during WWII, but didn't really understand until it happened to me.

Comment Re:May be of some use (Score 1) 243

I know. A well designed circuit for battery power SHOULD work down to about 1.0 volts per cell. These are very old and very cheap sensors that are imports and do not come close to that threshold.

For the sensors I am using the average current drain is in the microamp range except when transmitting a reading, which takes only a few milliseconds, and are several minutes apart. The transmit current is in the low milliamp range, but so brief that the average current drain is less than one milliamp.

I do have and use eneloop rechargeable batteries in many other devices, but have not tried them in these since the 1.2 volts per cell is below the 1.34 volts per cell where the alkaline cells fail. However, I plan to try some the next time I have to change the batteries. Perhaps combining the voltage booster in the original post with the rechargeable cells would be the best of both worlds.

By the way, the 90's walkman was a far better case of engineering design than these sensors!

Comment Re:May be of some use (Score 1) 243

Both your initial reply and addendum are good points. I do have a lot of eneloop batteries and charger and use them in my cameras and other places where ever they seem to work well. I have not tried them in these weather sensors (which are very old and undoubtedly poorly engineered) this is probably because when I take two 1.2 volt eneloop cells I get only 2.4 volts and these devices fail to function when the alkaline cells drop below about 1.34 volts per cell which is 2.68 volts and this is higher than the initial full voltage of two eneloop cells. Next time I have to change batteries I WILL probably try the eneloop's just to see if they work at all.

The sensors have average current drain in the microamp range except for a brief burst of only a few milliseconds when they transmit a reading. Then they draw several milliamps for that period.

Comment May be of some use (Score 4, Informative) 243

I have a number of wireless devices ( remote thermometers, rain gauges, etc ) that use AA and AAA cells and I have tracked the failure voltage of most of them for several years. I fresh cell will be a bit over 1.5 volts and good design SHOULD permit operation down to about 1 volt per cell. However, virtually all of the devices I have quit working when the cell voltage gets below about 1.34 volts. The devices use between 2 and 4 cells each, and I have to change batteries in most of them between one and two times per year. I AM an engineer and understand that "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch" but most of the devices are low average current drain with intermittent higher current peaks (a sensor that transmits a new reading every couple of minutes). A device like this, with an appropriate capacitor for peak current (which most of the devices already have internally), would cut down the number of batteries I use per year significantly. For the price mentioned in the article I will buy a few sets of these as soon as they hit the market.

Comment By By Google Maps (Score 2) 222

I haven't seen the new version, but did see the announcement. It looks like I will be switching to another map service since I don't use one of the browsers or OS's on their list of requirements. Too bad I used them often, but when pointy hair managers start making the decisions on what their customers want then end is in sight.

"Just think, with VLSI we can have 100 ENIACS on a chip!" -- Alan Perlis