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Comment: I admire their spunk, but... (Score 4, Insightful) 275

by SpectreBlofeld (#46590663) Attached to: Operation Wants To Mine 10% of All New Bitcoins

My friends and I have already switched to Dogecoin. Sorry. And when you start mining that, we'll move again, etc.

I'm not serious, I haven't invested in any virtual currency. But isn't this a sort of problem? When it looks like a Major Player moves in and starts dominating the generation of your pet virtual currency, why wouldn't you just jump ship to the next one, where you can stand a chance to make money in the early days of generation?

It's not like mining gold. Gold is gold and there's only so much of it, and it's there or it's not. These virtual currencies only have value due to consensus, and can be abandoned on a whim, especially when some guy comes in with his 1.4 million mining chips and upsets everything. I know there's a limited number of bitcoins available before computation is done, so in that sense it's 'limited' like gold and thus perceived to be a scarce valuable item, but unlike gold, the users can just up and quit Bitcoin forever, especially when they sense 'unfairness' in the operation.

Comment: Re:EL and SCUBA (Score 1) 127

by SpectreBlofeld (#46589741) Attached to: NASA Puts Its New Spacesuit Design To a Public Vote

Don't worry, it involved sound too. In fact, I came up with the idea the other day during a discussion with someone about the current missing plane crises - he asked why airplane black boxes (that end up in the ocean) can't transmit an underwater ping that could be heard for miles by listening stations. That would never be practical, of course, but it got me thinking about underwater signaling in general. I live in South Florida and am surrounded by boat and diver culture.

Comment: Wow, timing. (Score 4, Interesting) 127

by SpectreBlofeld (#46581069) Attached to: NASA Puts Its New Spacesuit Design To a Public Vote

I was working on a personal design project with very similar features, for undersea divers - an electroluminescent (EL) panel or wire system for divers to use to signal each other underwater, even at distances where hand signaling would be an issue. Different colors for different situations, and the ability to 'flash' a sort of morse code communique to one another.

A diver's illumination would also light up or flash when air reserves reach low levels or the diver is otherwise in distress, so others could recognize the issue and come to aid.

Feel free to steal the idea and run away with it, if anyone reading this is in the industry. Like I said, it was just a personal design project that I was planning on giving away to improve the general state of things.

Comment: It makes me feel better (Score 5, Funny) 224

I am at such a loss of understanding what exactly quantum computers are and how they work (no matter how hard I try)... so it makes me feel like less of an idiot when I find out that it's so complicated that even Google engineers aren't even sure if what they have IS one.

Comment: Dixie Flatline (Score 3, Interesting) 241

`How you doing, Dixie?'
    `I'm dead, Case. Got enough time in on this Hosaka to
figure that one.'
    `How's it feel?'
    `It doesn't.'
    `Bother you?'
    `What bothers me is, nothin'~ does.'
    `How's that?'
    `Had me this buddy in the Russian camp, Siberia, his thumb
was frostbit. Medics came by and they cut it off. Month later
he's tossin'~ all night. Elroy, I said, what's eatin'~ you? Goddam
thumb's itchin'~, he says. So I told him, scratch it. McCoy, he
says, it's the _other_ goddam thumb.' When the construct laughed,
it came through as something else, not laughter, but a stab of
cold down Case's spine. `Do me a favor, boy.'
    `What's that, Dix?'
    `This scam of yours, when it's over, you erase this goddam


Comment: Re:The basics... (Score 1) 324

You'll never find this reply because you're posting as AC, but...

- Laser pointers are cheap, and the spotting scope was purchased for the endeavor and then returned to get the money back (yes, lame, but there you go)

- FRS/GMRS radios are cheap and have a range of several miles, and when I say we were 'poor', I don't mean 'destitute', but in 2003 it wasn't common for lower-middle-class 20-year olds to have mobile phones

- Almost all the equipment used came from the company we worked for (a tech company - and not in secret, our boss knew what we were doing and didn't object), and it indeed had its facility at the foot of a mountain ridge. Yes, we ran power and backhaul up the mountainside, but keep in mind we only had to go a hundred feet up the hill or so, being a mile away - it's not like the stuff was at the crest of the ridge.

  And it wasn't 'all by its lonesome'. Hills and mountains aren't exclusive to the remote corners of the globe. This took place in Knoxville, TN, which has a population roughly the size of Fort Lauderdale, and is bisected by several mountainous ridgelines. Take a look on a topo map sometime.

Comment: Re:Interesting as it points to how to decipher it. (Score 5, Informative) 170

by SpectreBlofeld (#46032259) Attached to: Voynich Manuscript May Have Originated In the New World

That's not even remotely plausible. You can't develop a writing system overnight.


"In 1821 he completed his independent creation of a Cherokee syllabary, making reading and writing in Cherokee possible. This was the only time in recorded history that a member of a non-literate people independently created an effective writing system.[1][4] After seeing its worth, the people of the Cherokee Nation rapidly began to use his syllabary and officially adopted it in 1825. Their literacy rate quickly surpassed that of surrounding European-American settlers.[1]"

  So, yes, it's remotely plausible, in the sense that it's absolutely happened (at least) once.

Comment: Re:The basics... (Score 4, Interesting) 324

Did this once! 2003 or so. Had a workplace with a bitchin' high-speed internet backbone situated at the bottom of a mountain ridge about a mile away from where I lived. My roommate and I we were poor 20-year-olds and wanted fast internet without the cost. We climbed the foothills of the mountain and affixed an antenna on the mountainside using highly directional antennas to give us free high-speed internet at home. We used fancy stuff like spotting scopes and lasers to help us align the two antennas. The antenna on the house was lashed to the fireplace with aluminum bands.

It was a lot of fun to set up, but it didn't work very well. No matter how we tried to stabilize the setup, weather fucked with us. High winds caused things to wobble, which meant packet loss, and slowdowns. And when it would go down completely, one of us would have to - with an exasperated sigh - get in the car and drive a mile away and climb a hillside and check out the setup while the other person climbed on the roof... while communicating to each other with walkie-talkies because it was 2003 and we were poor. We eventually ended up springing for some DSL provider, I don't even remember which.

All that said... I cherish the memories.

One good suit is worth a thousand resumes.