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Comment: Re:The solution's not in a box! (Score 1) 239

by Radio_active_cgb (#34690628) Attached to: Auditors Question TSA's Tech Spending, Security Solutions

> Sorry but the US will not put up with the only proven solution that Israel has been using for
> around 40 years.

Oh I don't know.... Consider what they've had to put up with so far.

From the TSA: Removing shoes, restrictions on bottled liquids, no-fly lists, growing security lines, and finally x-ray scanners.

From the airline industry: Stranding passengers in the terminal and on the tarmak (sometimes overnight), fees for checked luggage, proposals for "standing seating".

I'm sure the reader can add a few more items...

Comment: The solution's not in a box! (Score 2) 239

by Radio_active_cgb (#34682532) Attached to: Auditors Question TSA's Tech Spending, Security Solutions

It never has been.

The solution that works prevents terrorists from even getting to the airport - Intelligence.

Unfortunately, intelligence is hard work, and requires LOTS of highly trained people to make it work well. Not the minimum wage security people manning the boxes.

Comment: What are the graphs measures of? (Score 1) 434

by Radio_active_cgb (#34608542) Attached to: Comcast Accused of Congestion By Choice

I read the article and looked at the graphs. I understand what the text says, and it makes references to the graphs. The problem is, the graphs are meaningless to me and they aren't explained anywhere. What am I looking at?

I would be more inclined to accept the article if Backdoor Santa would care to explain the graphs. What axis (left or right) is used for what curve? What does each curve measure? Please be specific enough that I could (mostly) replicate the graphs if I took my own measurements (measuring what?).

Comment: Re:Decent competitor? (Score 1) 657

by Radio_active_cgb (#33866250) Attached to: GM Criticized Over Chevy Volt's Hybrid Similarities

It's not clear to me that GM indicated there was a mechanical link between the engine and the wheels (AKA front wheel drive transmission). I hope there isn't, and I believe that one isn't necessary to provide the operational performance GM suggests.

What they said was that engine power could be used to drive the wheels when needed (due to low battery or high demand), but they didn't say how. This is just a logical extension of a serial hybrid systems capabilities.

Same components, just used in a somewhat different way.

Comment: Re:Summary bad, but not as bad as you might think (Score 1) 185

by Radio_active_cgb (#32909960) Attached to: NASA's Juno, Armored Tank Heading For Jupiter

I think the article was very poorly written. Breaking it down:

> Juno's so-called radiation vault weighs about 200 kilograms (500 pounds),
This would be the total weight (mass?)

> has walls that measure about a square meter (nearly 9 square feet) in area,
> are about 1 centimeter (a third of an inch) in thickness,
> and weigh 18 kilograms (40 pounds).
Each wall is 1m^2, 1cm thick, weighs about 18kg.

Six such walls would weigh 108kg. The remaining 92kg would be the equipment it contains.

Comment: Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 387

by Radio_active_cgb (#32661502) Attached to: For-Profit, Illegal Movie Download Sites Threaten MPAA

I would argue that they DON'T have a realistic understanding of pricing and distribution - they just have something that seems to work most of the time. Otherwise, why are all theater tickets the same price. Why are all DVD releases delayed by about the same period (3 months?) Why do all the studios use virtually identical distribution practices?

No, they have a "one-size fits most" attitude, due to a variety of factors including "this is the way we've been doing it", and likely an inability to estimate and agree to individualized distribution plans for each release.

If the studios really understood and cared about their market, they would be trying to sell to that market. Pirates will always be around - they're unavoidable, but they are always willing to sell to the markets needs and desires.

Comment: Re:But this does actually cost them money (Score 1) 387

by Radio_active_cgb (#32661428) Attached to: For-Profit, Illegal Movie Download Sites Threaten MPAA

I find it amusing that the pirates are able to sell clearly pirated products at all. The legit vendors have simply ignored a distribution channel that the pirates are taking advantage of. The Legit vendors could put the pirates out of business simply by offering legit content at a similar price, but the vendors want to maintain their business model for as long as it continues to work.

What does it tell you that consumers are willing to pay for obviously pirated content?

Comment: Re:Bright Blue LED (Score 1) 351

by Radio_active_cgb (#32229854) Attached to: Your Computer Or iPad Could Be Disrupting Sleep

I have to agree - it seems that there has been an explosion of blue LEDs everywhere.

I think there were two causes that that triggered that explosion; 1) blue LEDs became plentiful and relatively inexpensive, and 2) industrial design practices seem to suggest that blue LEDs convey an image of intelligence and modern design, and more so if they blink.

I have sleep apnea, and use a CPAP at night. Guess what - it has blue LEDs (not terribly bright, but they still light up the room). I cover the LEDs when I go to sleep. Bone-headed design decision! I would have much preferred dimmer red LEDs. Getting a good nights sleep is already hard enough.

I also have a desktop computer with small powered speakers. They all have bright blue LEDs shining in my eyes as I'm using the computer. The glare is rather distracting. I've covered those LEDS as well. I still see them, but only when I look at them (as it should be).

Comment: Re:Help me benefit from media hype (Score 1) 499

by Radio_active_cgb (#31467020) Attached to: Toyota Acceleration and Embedded System Bugs

I saw a video this morning from Edmunds (via cnet) that showed what happens in a Prius when you shift to neutral (and reverse). When shifting to neutral (with the gas pedal floored), the engine is disengaged and idled and the car started slowing. Shifting to reverse does the same thing and the car beeps at you. For these to work, you have to hold the shifter for a second or two.

Comment: Re:Medical device (Score 1) 727

by Radio_active_cgb (#31466584) Attached to: Why Are Digital Hearing Aids So Expensive?

They seem to require FDA approval - you get them by prescription, and they have gain limiting functions (AGC) to protect what hearing you have left.

FDA approval requires that drugs or devices available by prescription are both SAFE and EFFECTIVE. In this case, "safe" means do no harm, thus the gain limit, and "effective", meaning extra gain at the frequencies where it is needed.

Similar non-approved devices are available, but they would have reduced gain with much less extreme equalization.

I've given the prescription process a lot of thought. A friend (former pharmacist) pointed out the safe and effective requirement for medical drugs and devices. That goes a long way towards explaining the drug trials and device certifications required for FDA approval (trials and certifications are both long and expensive processes).

I wear hearing aids, and use a CPAP (sleep apnea) - both required prescriptions. I also used to work with customers trying to get their medical devices certified by the FDA.

Comment: Re:It could be that Toyota is just being responsib (Score 1) 276

by Radio_active_cgb (#31382424) Attached to: Toyota Black Box Data Is More Closed Than Others'

I don't think so. With just one laptop (and likely its operator) covering the the US (North America?), it would take a day or two to bring the laptop to the vehicle. Multiply by the (likely increasing) number of court orders, and now you're dealing with delays just getting the data read out. This assumes the the data was even stored for later retrieval (and I suspect it wasn't).

The way the story initially broke, I think they've been aware of their unintended acceleration problems for a while, and was trying to resolve them quietly. They were successful until one of their executives blundered by admitting that they had a problem, then it blew up in their face. Now they're being forced into allocating more resources to deal with existing engineering problems, and additional public relations issues.

I think Toyota just didn't see the potential need for greater post-development support, or they would have been better prepared.

365 Days of drinking Lo-Cal beer. = 1 Lite-year