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Comment: Re:Under US Jurisdiction? (Score 1) 280

Grey beards? So what of us who remember them as nerdshack.com? Before the great rebrand?

Fossils... right? :-)

But yeah, on the topic, I go out of my way now to not store data on US servers, nor do business with US based companies. It is rather hard in the IT world, but slowly and steadily I'm making progress on it.

Comment: Re:Unsustainable business model (Score 2) 59

by Ogi_UnixNut (#48559797) Attached to: Royal Mail Pilots 3D Printing Service

I don't know, it sounds somewhat interesting for me. You see, In London, space is expensive. I barely have the space in my tiny flat for a desk, bed and TV. Even having the computers on overnight is annoying because I can hear the fans when I try to sleep.

Much as I would like a 3D printer, I don't have the space for it. Nor could I deal with the noise (and most likely smell) while it spends hours printing.

The only hackerspace is clear across the city for me, so it isn't really convenient to go there to use their 3D printer. The idea that I can send a STL file to Royal mail, and get the printed part back in the mail after a week or so is actually not a bad idea. Especially if (due to their ability to have larger capital expendeture) they go for one of the proper 3D printers, that are normally out of reach of mortals.

We have to see what they come up with, and if it would suit my needs, but the idea ain't that far fetched.

Comment: Re:How is this "News for Nerds"? (Score 3, Insightful) 147

by Ogi_UnixNut (#48440437) Attached to: Linux On a Motorola 68000 Solder-less Breadboard

Haha!

For a long time I used to something similar. All ports that were not in use on my firewall would redirect to a port on an old Toshiba T4800CT: 486 with 8MB of RAM and 500mb disk, running linux kernel 2.0.

It would run nethack on that port, so anyone who would try a connect scan would end up in nethack. Probably confused a bunch of people, and if someone managed to break through that, would be interesting to see what they would make of it.

Comment: Re:Better idea (Score 2) 236

by Ogi_UnixNut (#48432543) Attached to: Russia May Be Planning National Space Station To Replace ISS
The irony of your statement, is that the whole reason Russia is planning on going their own way, is because the US does not plan to renew the station come 2020, but rather deorbit it (the US have been saying so since 2009 at least). As some of the Russian modules are going up in 2017, they would be barely 3 years old when the US wants to burn it all up. And these modules are not cheap to build or send up there. Additionally, the Chinese had to build their own space station precisely because the US did not want them on the ISS. Russians had no problem with their participation. So from Russias point of view, come 2020, detaching their modules, letting the US burn up its part of the ISS, and then forming a new station seems like a smart decision. Those modules would have 20 more years left in them at least. Plus, with the US no longer involved, they can invite the Chinese and the Europeans to join them if they so desire, for an ISS2. So in many ways what you wrote was perfectly correct, just replace "Russia" with "USA" to get to reality :-) .

Comment: Re:Hotspot handover? (Score 1) 63

by Ogi_UnixNut (#48309259) Attached to: Study: There's a Wi-Fi Hotspot For Every 150 People In the World

That has been possible since (at the very least) the first consumer Wifi APs (802.11b).

Try it yourself, take two access points, stick them on the same network, set the same ESSID/password/etc... and then connect with Wifi, if you turn one or the other AP off, your wifi client will seamlessly switch over to the other. TCP sessions will continue unaffected (except a minor packet loss blip sometimes)

The reason that these company provided "wifi hotspots" don't do that is deliberate. With the replacement of community wifi hotspots with corporate wifi hotspots, we've taken quite a few steps back, in exchange for the ability to track, meter and bill wifi usage.

If for example, you convinced your entire neighborhood to set up a WiFI AP with the same details, and a VPN connection to a single network between them all, you could all walk around the neighborhood and be handed over from AP to AP without even noticing.

I know, because that is how we did it back when we set up a wifi community in our area.

Comment: Re:Post-Steampunk (Score 1) 155

by Ogi_UnixNut (#48118743) Attached to: Liking Analog Meters Doesn't Make You a Luddite (Video)

Well, unfortunately it is hard to get hold of electronic components from the 30s-40s. There was a surge in the 90's to 00's, when a lot of ex-USSR stock was sold. Nixie tubes, valves, analogue meters, old WWII equipment. The lot. As the USSR stayed with bakelite far longer than the NATO pact, you have a more items available that used it, over a greater year range.

And yeah, there was a renaissance at the time, as people built nixie clocks, displays, and did all sorts of nice things with the neon tubes and valves.

Unfortunately the ex-USSR sources has dried up, and now those parts are expensive, so unless you are a collector, you don't really pay those prices.

Stempunk does not have this problem, because quite frankly, it is mostly sticking pieces of brass and leather on an item to give it that "period look", and an appreciation of mechanics (steam engines, pistons, linkages, etc...). Nothing that is beyond a hobby machine shop (brass turning is comparatively easy), so people can make new parts that look period, but aren't ludicrously expensive. .

That is harder to do with electronic components, at least for now.

Although I'd say that the closest thing you are referring to would be called "Diesel punk", as the stage after steam punk, and deals with the inter-war period.

Comment: Re: over-stating the capabilities (Score 1) 405

Funnily enough, I'm starting more and more to complain that I have to purchase/order from actual machines, rather than people.

Like the supermarket self checkout machines. In theory, great idea, you don't have to wait in line, just go to a machine, scan items and pay.

In practice, the machines get confused, conk out, or just refuse to accept what you scan more than 50% of the time. At which point you have to sit there like a lemon and wait 10 minutes for the one human to come to your aid and do it properly (after they are done helping everyone else with their faulty machines).

It ends up being cheaper for the supermarket (because they don't have to pay wages, health deduction, admin overhead, etc...), but more expensive for me in time, which is far more important to me. I don't even get a discount in prices, they just get more profit. In some places they got rid of the cashiers completely. Just a bunch of machines, with a single mall security guard to prevent theft/cheating.
.
So now, I always avoid the automated machines when I can, and deal with an actual person. Not only do I help keep them employed, I get a better, faster, more pleasent, and more reliable experience in the end.

Comment: Re:Mission Accomplished? Thanks GWB (Score 1) 425

by Ogi_UnixNut (#48081561) Attached to: Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

Because Saddam had the audacity to consider not selling oil in US Dollars?

See back in 2000:

http://content.time.com/time/m...

It is all about the economy, as always, and the US likes being the worlds reserve currency. Without it that massive $trillions_of_debt would cause them far more burden than they are currently suffering. Being the reserve currency is the main reason why the US can run such deficits and not go bankrupt.

Comment: Re:Good news. (Score 1) 68

by Ogi_UnixNut (#48081193) Attached to: Nearly 700 Genetic Factors Found To Influence Human Adult Height

Where are all these tall women? 6ft is about 1.83m! As a >6ft Man, almost all the women (>95%) I meet are under 6ft, the majority are around 5ft, and quite a lot are smaller. So unless you spend all your time hanging around womens basketball teams, I call bs quite frankly.

Yes, humans are getting taller, but I don't think we are at the majority of women being >6ft, or anywhere near it.

Comment: Re:How about protecting the public (Score 1) 302

Well, I know France and Russia were key in supporting the American independence movement which overthrew the British government, so there is some historic precedent for those two at least :)

Not sure what Canada's history with the US is in this sphere, but I think at the time they were still a British colony.

Comment: Re:In The Future (Score 1) 118

by Ogi_UnixNut (#48017791) Attached to: World's Smallest 3G Module Will Connect Everything To the Internet

Until either the car doesn't start because it has no 3G signal to "Authorize" it. You know, because only thives/criminals would want to bypass the tracking signal. In fact I suspect one of the first uses of this technology will be for alarm/immobalisers.

And of course, the 3G module is part of a SoC that sits in the ECU, so you can't even work around it withot ripping out the ECU, and with that everything else connected to it.

So you might be able to do it, but it will get harder, and more expensive to do, and chances are you will end up breaking laws which will have repurcussions.

Relying on your wits to outsmart an organised group of people is hard, and you only have to slip up once for them to get you.

Far better to nip the problem in the bud, and not reach the point where you need such radical action in the first place.

Comment: Re:Best outcome (Score 2) 201

there isnt much of a used electric market out there right now.

You know, I was thinking about this lately, and tbh, I don't think there will ever be a used market for electric cars. Not with current technology at least.

A used IC car can generally keep running with standard maintenance for about 20-30 years. Engines are ruggedly simple. especially the old ones, and while the total HP may go down with time (unless the engine is rebuilt, which isn't too expensive in my experience). The range will stay more or less the same. Essentially engines are not consumable, the fuel is.

Not so with the electric cars. In a nutshell, an electric car is nothing more than some motors, attached to a battery pack via some electronics. The battery pack is essentially a consumable item, and makes up the bulk of the cost of the car.

While the motors should last as long as the engine, and the electronics can be replaced with second-hand working ones, chances are the original battery won't hold much charge 5-10 years down the line, and while when new, the manufacturer can do things like offer battery swaps as a part of the warranty, that rarely applies to second hand cars.

Buying a second hand electric car that needs 70% of its original value spent on a new battery makes no sense economically. The car would only be only 30% cheaper than new, but with worn out interior, body, etc...

I suspect that cars will become luxury items in the future. The rich will own cars, be it new electrics or classic IC exotics. Everyone else will not have a car at all, and will rent one by the hour when needed.

Comment: Re:The only consequence of this is more people (Score 1) 308

The anomaly here is South America; why is the population not growing there also?

Hmm, looking here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

It would seem that South America is growing, just not particularly fast. Roughly the same speed as China. Africa and India you are correct on.

Comment: Re:I will guard my privacy (Score 1) 130

Yeah, until they turn around and make using those cars on public roads illegal.

You know, they are unsafe/thinkofthechildren/onlycriminalsusethem/youhavenothingtohide/etc...

Or, just insurance companies will refuse to insure you. Here in the UK they are already making it harder and harder to own cars that are pre-90's. I can imagine it becoming even harder in future, until they become something you can only take on a trailer to show off at classic car shows.
 

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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