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Comment: Re:Too expensive. (Score 1) 112

by JWSmythe (#49531033) Attached to: Google Launches Project Fi Mobile Phone Service

You can change his plan too. Boost offers 2GB/mo 4G LTE for $30/mo, which simply degrades to 3G when he hits 2GB.

I don't bother with the higher plans. I play Ingress a lot, use it constantly for mail, and I do a lot of web stuff when not home. Like searching for reviews and price comparisons when I'm out shopping. I also occasionally tether my laptop if I need to do something and don't have wifi available. At home and when I'm in an office, I get on wifi. It's not a bandwidth saving measure though, it's just faster to be on a fat pipe than anything wireless trying to penetrate buildings. When I check my usage, I'm usually only at 1.2 to 1.5 GB per month.

I ran into my first problem with Boost a month ago. They messed up provisioning Visual Voicemail when I switched phones, so it isn't sending transcribed messages to me.

It would seem that they're targeting a small market with this new plan.

Ah, they got their site up. It was throwing an error last night.

Comment: Re:WHAT? (Score 1) 313

If that's the story I'm thinking of, we're not resurrecting the mammoth, we're cloning it. Those are usually introducing the DNA into somewhat comparable modern animals. It's not like the mammoth would wake up and say "Hey, what happened? Last thing I remember was eating frozen grass in the tundra." That's assuming mammoths could talk. :)

Comment: Re:WHAT? (Score 5, Insightful) 313

So you're saying that a dead 2 year old, who had already had half her brain removed and the other half was seriously damaged, and dunking that in liquid nitrogen with the hope that someday a new body could be built for her and she'd be perfectly normal again ... is a con?

Oh ... ya ... it is ...

I don't know how the fuck anyone falls for it. Really... Why would they think that even if their bodies were preserved that long, and the technology was invented to create what's missing, and repair all the damage done by the freezing process, that anyone would spend the 14 bazillion New Earth credits (or whatever currency there is in futureland) to bring some old fucker back?

In her case, the could have just saved a DNA sample. The story is clear about the condition her brain was in. Half was gone. The other half critically damaged.

I'd have to think that it would be questionable in futureland to resurrect a 20th century person, even if they were in pristine condition. Say 21 years old with much above average intelligence, who was taught everything that there is to know, with no medical issues, no trauma. Just frozen as-is without cellular damage. Why would anyone opt to wake them up? Just to ask "Hey, so what was life like in the 20th century?"

The whole cryogenics "industry" is a huge con.

If these people are religious in the least, they'd have to believe that the soul was trapped in that frozen body until it was awakened. If it wasn't, there would be no reason to reincarnate them. What if they picked the wrong part to freeze? Like, if the soul was really in the liver, or maybe in the spinal cord between C1 and C3. Oops, sorry, we cut that part off.

And if they aren't religious in the least, why bother? So they can wake up as a curiosity in the future? "Hi Cro-Magnon. Fire hot. We have spoken languages you don't understand. And try to wrap your mind around these three seashells. No more poison ivy toilet paper for you. No, don't hit females with a club to make them your mate/slave."

Comment: Re:Larger landing area (Score 2) 342

So you're saying it wasn't hyper quantum sticktation of the flux attitude gimble during the multiphasic delay sequence?

Damn, I should write science fiction. Or maybe I could work for the media. Both string scientific sounding words that mean absolutely nothing. :)

Comment: Re:Larger landing area (Score 1) 342

I'm thinking they need to figure out a better way rather than landing it vertical. Maybe when they get it that close, they could do some sort of net capture, rather than hoping it will stay upright. It would solve some of the more delicate problems. That could create all kinds of new problems though.

Comment: Re:Offsite (Score 1) 446

Well, ya, picking "off site" as the next office in your building would not be so good. :)

I knew one place in an area that was prone to rather bad weather, and their "off-site" choice was a guy's house about 10 miles from the primary site. Sure, it sounds good if the building burns down. Not so good if the area is flooded. His response was something to the effect that his house was 10 feet higher above sea level, so it was "safe".

That didn't matter. The tapes they were backing up to were never checked. They had no disaster recovery procedure in place, and when the day came that they needed to recover from a tape, they found out it hadn't actually recorded anything in years. Oops.

Sometimes being in the same country isn't really a good thing. If your primary site was Kiev, and the backup site was Vladivostok, things could have gotten touchy during that whole Soviet Union collapse thing.

We like to think the same can't happen here, but just as easily we could find that New York and Los Angeles end up in two distinct countries, possibly with other countries in between. I guess worrying about tax records from 1986 wouldn't be such a big deal then.

Comment: Re:Offsite (Score 2) 446

Exactly. You can't defend against every threat. The best you can do is go with redundancy. The chances of one site being destroyed by fire, flood, tornado, or loss to burglary is slim. The chances of 2, 3, or 10 sites all simultaneously suffering the same fate is very very slim.

Comment: Re:I live in the middle of nowhere (Score 1) 52

by JWSmythe (#49454807) Attached to: How Flight Tracking Works: a Global Network of Volunteers

I didn't even know FlightAware had a program like their ADS-B FlightFeeders I checked their map, and I'm a bit farther North in my area than the nearest feed, and there's a large gap to the next.

I have some questions for you. Hopefully you read this. What services accept hobbyist input, besides the ones in the article? Is there hardware you recommend for cheap and reliable?

I only took a quick look through, so I have more reading to do. Is there a software that reports to multiple services? Like Cumulus for my PWS reports to 5 plus two of my own personal feeds.

I've had a weather station up for a few years, and it's been feeding off to APRS/CWOP/FindU,, PWS Weather, Weather Underground, Weather Underground, and my own twitter feed and web site. It's nice putting up a resource that can be useful to everyone. As I understand it, that data is in turn aggregated by major weather services to give better weather reporting and forecasting. It helps the weather stations report with resolution down to "It's raining on X street, but Y street is still dry."

It's also useful so family and friends can check on the weather here. Not just "some reporting station within 50 miles, here", but "right at his damned house, here". When I'm away from home, I can check the weather there, so I know what I'm going home to.

Comment: Re:masdf (Score 1) 297

It would actually have the opposite effect. Rather than willingly taking on co-conspirators, a would-be attacker is more likely to be paranoid of everyone and not let anyone know his plans.

That brings us full circle back to the "He was a nice guy. Very quiet. Kept to himself. He didn't leave the basement much. We were really surprised to hear about [some action] on the news."

Without co-conspirators who turn on him, or accidentally trusting investigators as co-conspirators, or getting caught buying supplies, that makes them much harder to find until the attack happens.

I'm not saying that investigators instigating someone who could be an attacker, into actually doing an attack in a horribly flawed way (like a bomb made of 2000 pounds of dirt) is a good thing. I don't know everything that happened. I've only seen a few news reports on this one. If he really was the instigator and the investigators just provided some technical "assistance" in making a dud bomb, that was probably a good thing.

If they just picked a random target with little interest, and convinced him that he must make the dud bomb so they can bust him in a terrorist plot, that's something else entire, and they will get bitchslapped by the courts for it.

Comment: Re:Learning programming through motivation. (Score 1) 315

by JWSmythe (#49444771) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Introduce a 7-Year-Old To Programming?

Hopefully, the said trapped newbie programmer will give up on complaining at the door rather quickly.

And, yes, you're correct, that was suppose to be "or". As they won't find a dehumidifier, soda, ice, or fruit, most of those arguments won't matter.

The finest mechanical lock pick isn't much use against an electroncially operated solinoid acting as a deadbolt.

I think you over-thought a joke. ... unless those are what are being yelled at you by a child behind the aforementioned door. :)

Comment: Learning programming through motivation. (Score 4, Funny) 315

by JWSmythe (#49442247) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Introduce a 7-Year-Old To Programming?

Give the kid a computer, and programming book.
Install an electronic lock on the door with an interface to the computer.

Give them simple instructions.

Write a program to unlock the door.

If you get out, you can eat again.

If you can't, you will die in this room.

A person typically dies without water in 7 days, and without food in 14 days.

Good luck.

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340