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Comment: That's why I use chat instead of phone (Score 1) 368

by NixieBunny (#47654681) Attached to: Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording
Just yesterday I had to engage with my ISP's support folks to resolve a network speed issue. Fortunately, I had saved the chat sessions from when the same problem occurred two years ago. I ended up pasting part of a previous chat session into the current chat session so that the CSR could see what worked last time. Result: problem resolved in hours, not days

Comment: Re:And when you include end-of-life costs? (Score 1) 409

The cost *is* minimal, since they aren't actually doing anything about the byproducts these days. The folks in Nevada who wanted to store that stuff in Yucca Mountain are still working on that plan, while the nasty stuff itself sits on the power plant properties in temporary storage. Paralysis costs nothing (as long as there's no disaster on a power plant site).

Comment: Re:OMG WOZ TOUCHED IT. (Score 2) 242

by NixieBunny (#47362069) Attached to: Disappointed Woz Sells His "Worthless" Galaxy Gear Watch
I'm the guy who supplies Woz with his Nixie tube watches. I've had to repair a few of them after too many Segway polo matches. They get just as crusty as anyone else's watch.

I briefly thought about selling the broken parts on eBay, but it seemed a bit too squicky. Although you know the auction would end up on Reddit.

Comment: Re:If you're worried about being tracked/viruses.. (Score 1) 119

by NixieBunny (#47351959) Attached to: Boston Trying Out Solar-Powered "Smart Benches" In Parks
You will wait quite a while to get a charge that way. The devices negotiate the charging current over the data lines. The default is either zero or 100 mA. Best to buy a purpose-made USB data isolator that negotiates a good rate with a built-in microcontroller, but doesn't connect the phone to the charger data lines.

You can build one using a few resistors. See Adafruit's MintyBoost.

Comment: That would be handy for radio astronomy too (Score 5, Interesting) 183

by NixieBunny (#47304143) Attached to: How Vacuum Tubes, New Technology Might Save Moore's Law
I work in a lab where we make radio receivers that work at frequencies around 460 GHz. As it is, we have to use a mixer diode to convert to a lower frequency (10 GHz) before amplifying the signal. This technology would be well suited to this application, provided that the noise is low enough. We already cool the mixer to 4K in a vacuum chamber.

One picture is worth 128K words.

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