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Comment: Patrols (Score 1) 666

by Gridpoet (#30294990) Attached to: Somali Pirates Open Up a "Stock Exchange"

It seems to me the easiest way to deal with this is for the shipping companies to hire independent patrol ships, it wouldn't cost very much to be escorted through dangerous waters by an armed patrol boat that forms a safe perimeter around the ship...

this also has the added bonus of solving the problem of oil tankers not being able to have weapons fired on board due to the volatility of their cargo and it solves the problem of certain ports not allowing armed ships, the patrol boat simply anchors off shore in international waters and waits for the cargo ship to re-embark.

Comment: Re:Seems low (Score 1) 272

by Gridpoet (#29657089) Attached to: 72% of Banks Say Their Employees Committed Fraud

I think of gold as more of an "emergency currency" rather than a money making investment...

Historically (most recently Zimbabwe) when a country has a total currency collapse, gold and silver are quickly adopted by the grass roots as an alternative currency because of the inbuilt trust in its value... people are positive that its a relatively scarce commodity, and therefore of some value.

So surviving a crash becomes about having enough food to get you through the first 2-3 months of wrecked commerce, and then having the currency that is currently being used to buy your necessities after that.

Comment: Re:Try Express PCB (Score 2, Interesting) 262

by Gridpoet (#27360919) Attached to: Circuit Board Design For a Small Startup?

Indeed, there is a story of a toy developer that had a Chinese company design a motorized toy that had some simple microcontroller logic on it. The toy was designed for young children and would basically move around in a preset pattern and respond to some simple stimulus.
The company chopped apart the design so much they ended up running the motor straight from the stamp with no flyback diode...

needless to say, when little kiddies on Christmas morning started rolling the toy with a little force, the back emf fried the stamps...


the lesson here is, if you pay to have that work done, at least hire a known contractor to check the circuit for design defects.

"Lead us in a few words of silent prayer." -- Bill Peterson, former Houston Oiler football coach